Tuesday, January 31, 2012

You sound so much better with your mouth shut.

Today's strange question: How much time does it take you to think?

I don't mean how long does it take to plan out a list or remember song lyrics; I'm talking about the amount of time necessary to formulate a single up or down vote in your head.

A split second—that's what I'm thinking.

Like checking your fly before exiting the restroom, like remembering to make sure the iron is unplugged before leaving, it's nothing more than a neurological impulse, really.

Oh, but it can mean so much.

I'm referring to Sunday's appearance on CBS's Face the Nation by newly minted Republican National Committee Chairman, Reince Priebus (By the way, who names their kid "Reince?" It sounds like some chemical Rumsfeld said was buried in Iraq, but wasn't).

Priebus declared that Barack Obama was "our own little Captain Schettino," referring to the pilot of the ill-fated cruise ship who allegedly abandoned his vessel after running it aground off the Italian coast. Over thirty passengers perished or are currently missing.

Maintaining that the analogy is accurate and appropriate, Chairman Reince accused President Obama of abandoning America during its time of crisis for the sake of his re-election campaign.

How do you feel about such a statement?

Regardless of your political affiliation, would you not consider such a remark egregiously inflammatory—likening the President's behavior to an alleged act of homicidal negligence and cowardice?

In case you're wondering, I would. Had Priebus (also a very strange name) allowed his vitriolic thoughts to bounce around his cranial racket ball court for a couple of seconds, he may have thought better of vomiting up such churlish chump chunks.

In other words, he didn't double-check his pie hole fly.

Look, I'm the last person to claim immunity to such outbursts; then again, I don't occupy a position of power and influence, unless I'm standing at Subway with all those bread and meat choices.

Self-talk, in my opinion, plays a critical role in everything we say—the variable in this equation is whether this inner dialogue occurs before or after we make a statement.

For example, a few years ago at my wife's company Christmas party, I found myself seated next to one of the firm's partners, a very wealthy man. Having already consumed a couple of pops and attempting to make conversation, I leaned over and asked, "So, when you order a pizza, does the delivery guy ever get lost since the houses aren't numbered in your gated community?"

My hypothetical self-talk, had I thought for even a second prior to asking, should have been: "Do not ask him that, you idiot. Just talk about wine or something."

My actual self-talk, subsequent to actually asking the question: "Oh, my God. You are an idiot. You are so going to hear about this on the way home."

In another case of nonexistent self-editing, as I lie prone on the exam table mere seconds before my vasectomy was to begin, I tilted my head upward and said to the urologist, "I'd just like you to keep a couple of things in mind as you do this."

The doctor didn't understand the joke and asked, "Okay, what are they?"

My hypothetical self-talk, had I thought for even a second prior to saying that, should have been: "If he doesn't understand your joke, your next statement will have to be 'my testicles.' Is that what you want?"

My actual self-talk, subsequent to actually making the joke: "Oh, my God. You are an idiot. Now you have to say, 'my testicles'."

And finally, a couple of weeks ago, my family posed for a series of portraits at a professional studio. Having accomplished an entire session without saying something stupid, as we left the room I queried, "Can we just get a couple quick shots of me not wearing a shirt?"

My hypothetical self-talk, had I thought for even a second prior to asking that, should have been: "Do not say that. Your wife and kids will be embarrassed and pissed and that poor photographer will visualize your bare torso against her will."

My actual self-talk, subsequent to actually making the joke: "Oh, my God. You are an idiot, " followed by the audible sounds of my family proclaiming, "Oh, my God. You are an idiot."

And so, Mr. Reince Priebus, you of the strange name and absent thought filter, please apologize for your ridiculous comments...

...or God so help me, I'll take off my shirt.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I'll be turning in around six tonight.

"Sleep Country USA,
Why buy a mattress anywhere else (ding)?"

For those who aren't familiar with this jingle, it's the most annoying assembly of tones ever assembled for the purpose of purveying a product to the American consumer public...

...and it's where we bought a mattress yesterday.

I apologize for subjecting you to those words. They'll bore into your brain and lay their larva like next-door neighbors who park their one-wheeled Airstream along your front curb. They can inflict a "song tumor," a nightmarish combination of subconscious singing and whistling which can last at least twenty-four hours.

So don't think about the Sleep Country USA song, starting right now.

Yeah, so we bought this new mattress yesterday. It was one of those things where you've been talking for a while about replacing the old one, and hey, look, here we are in front of this mattress store. Let's just go in and see how much they cost, maybe lie down on a couple and test the mattress waters.

We walked out an hour later with the most expensive freaking mattress in the store, the Serta iComfort mattress. It's got something like fifty-seven inches of foam which conforms not only your body shape, but apparently also maps your genomes and creates a nice little cushy DNA buffer. Which is nice.

These people had us at memory foam.

It's a highly unusual purchase for my wife and I, since, like a lot of middle-agers, we're constantly weighing current expenditures against long term outlays, most notably kids' college and retirement. My bride has always been one to err on the side of fiscal conservatism, and I've followed suit since the early Nineties. Except beer.

We've flirted with Hondas, yet thrice purchased Kias.

Old Navy is a name mentioned more frequently in our house than Johnny Depp. Wait, that's not true.

On my weekly grocery trips to Safeway, I salivate thinking about how much I'll save using my club card. It's a payoff sweeter than any amount of freshly harvested earwax after I've examined that receipt and learned of an eighty cent savings on my next petrol purchase.

So very sad.

But now we've got the most expensive mattress in the store, sitting on the bed just waiting me to plop my weathered carcass onto its supple petroleum-based virginity.

I promise to be gentle.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

America's top ten comfort foods (assuming I am America).

Food. It's all about the food.

I can't speak for other households, but within the confines of my brick and mortar, it's a topic that trumps all others—how much we have, why don't we have a different kind, and most commonly, what form of it are we having for dinner?

As my children have grown, so have their opinions and tastes regarding meals. Even when we all agree to dine out together, we often can't achieve consensus on a suitable restaurant for all.

It's freaking ridiculous, it is.

To stem our profound chronic nightly meal deciding fatigue, my wife and I ultimately decided to hold family dinner planning meetings every Sunday prior to the weekly grocery shopping trip.

Similar to the Discover Card at many businesses, we no longer accept the term "something good" as a dinner idea from our ankle biters. Less guessing means less stressing.

And after a couple of years of employing this routine, I've discovered that my family's most popular meal ideas consist of what are commonly known as "comfort foods."

How do you feel about that term—comfort foods?

I bristle a little when I hear it, since it rings of a subtle snobbery. It implies that you're opting for commoners' fare, like you've forsaken the silk lingerie in favor of those jammies with the built-in feet. So be it.

Maybe it's a ninety-nine percenter's thing, but I was raised on comfort foods. Oh, sure, some of those cold and soulless fruits and vegetables appeared along the way, but I think my parents were just trying to be politically correct.

So screw the sushi, to hell with the hummus. Here are my top ten comfort foods:

10) Meatloaf and mashed potatoes—These must be served together to maintain their top ten position. Every time I watch "A Christmas Story," I wonder why Randy doesn't pay them the respect they deserve.

9) Sloppy Joes—You can go slightly uptown by using ground turkey, but I recommend 80/20 ground beef, topped with grated sharp cheddar. You need not be really broke or really stoned to declare your devotion to this saucy treasure.

8) Anything sold at the Costco food court—Nothing beats a cheesy ranch chicken bake prior to weaving through the throngs for a thirty pack of cheesy ranch chicken bakes.

7) Chili—Great on a really cold or rainy day, again topped with grated cheddar. Not so awesome in July or while riding in the back of a U-Haul with a bunch of fraternity brothers, but still worthy of the list.

6) Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup—We're actually having this tonight. And since we only have eight slices of bread left, I've offered to eat the sandwich made from the heals. Team player? Guilty.

5) Spaghetti—If spaghetti were served at communion, I'd be so ensconced in the Catholic Church that I'd be Cardinal Timothy by now. Jesus, I love spaghetti.

4) Cream of mushroom soup-based casseroles—I'm surprised that more condemned prisoners haven't requested green been casserole topped with Funyuns as a side dish to hamburger-tater tot casserole. Now that's what I call a last meal.

3) Chicken pot pie—My step mom's is so delicious that I offer to chew it for other family members as a courtesy.

2) Macaroni and cheese—Whether it's Kraft dinner or a sixteen-cheese baked masterpiece, I'll eat that shizz until my lower gastrointestinal tract is obstructed like a golfball-stuffed garden hose.

1) Pizza—You know when you've got a huge, gooey slice of pizza and you're forced to hold it over your face and lower it for that first bite? If I could string every first-bite-of-pizza moment from my life back-to-back-to-back and experience the entire event over one weekend...oops, suddenly I'm fourteen again.

There you have it. Feel no shame, for comfort foods are the people's ambrosia.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Promise You Won't Tell?

Are you a snitch?

Are you now, or have you ever been, a rat, a stoolie, a fink, a squealer, a buttinsky or an intermeddler?

Has your treasonous tipsterism ever squawked up a Tsunami of Dopplering discontent?

I'm going to guess—uh, yeah, it probably has.

As my mentor and role model, Mike Brady, so eloquently offered to his lithping thtepdaughter Thindy:

Kids are notorious tattlers. They're highly motivated to tell on others because it quells the heat of their own misbehavior and exacts revenge on the offender.

The youngest of three children, I told on my sister for anything and everything. If she sang too loud or chewed with her mouth open, I filed an immediate grievance with management.

Sometimes she just looked at me weird.

My brother, six years my senior, rarely played with me, so when he did, I tightly monitored his behavior. One such occasion, while playing H-O-R-S-E in our backyard, he missed a shot.

"Dang it!" he bellowed.

Paydirt. I immediately jogged into the house where my parents sat reading the newspaper.

"Tom just said 'Dang it'." I stood proudly, waiting for the payoff, the moment my dad would fold the paper, rise from his chair, open the sliding glass door and cuss my brother out for swearing.

My mom spoke. "Saying 'Dang it' isn't swearing."

"Yeah it is. Mom, he said 'Dang it'."

"Right. That's not swearing."

I slinked back into the backyard to resume our game immediately after receiving my brother's punitive slap to the back of my head.

"You little nark. It's your shot."

Most of us outgrow our bent for routine tattling around junior high, when the snitch label assumes an ominous prison yard stigma. At that point, we could bear witness to hollowed out algebra books stuffed with weed and vodka, yet anything short of waterboarding won't get us to sing.

No one wants to get shanked by a dull number two pencil between the band room and woodshop.

Things tend to even out as we mature into adulthood. We're still not squealers, yet injustices no longer go unnoticed. The problem is, most of the stuff we'd love to report isn't reportable.

After all, to whom to we complain about the guy who pulls two newspapers out of the machine, or the kid who throws a Heath Bar wrapper on the sidewalk, or the car that barrels through a crosswalk, just missing an elderly woman?

So here's my question, and I'm really interested in your opinion: How do you feel about the ultimate nosey parker, Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks?

Mr. Assange is currently under investigation for espionage by several national governments, including Iceland, Kenya and yes, the United States. His accusers have labeled him a traitor for uncovering and publishing incriminating information, including a video showing the killing of several Iraqi civilians and journalists by a United States Army helicopter in 2010.

Convinced that the military industrial complex depends on an ignorant public to achieve its devious ends, Assange has launched an all-out assault on secrecy in the name of skulduggery.

In a recent Rolling Stone interview, he claims that the United States military possesses 4.3 million security clearances, a higher number than the entire population of New Zealand, yet a completely closed shadow society within a seemingly open American state.  

Should the American people be allowed access, even partially, to such a stockpile of information? Assange believes that yes, we absolutely should, that such large scale withholding has resulted in government censorship run amok and a serious threat to a democratic society.

His revelations have proven not so much subversive as embarrassing to free and oppressive regimes alike, and many credit WikiLeaks' disclosures with sparking the recent Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.

Do we, the people, have a right to know what kind of covert casserole is baking in our own kitchen, or is Julian Assange nothing more than an opportunistic, treasonous gossip?

What do you think? I promise I won't tell.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Breaking news: Newt's open marriage proposal uncovered.

This really is amazing.

After quite a few phone calls and thanks to the unprecedented freedoms provided by the Patriot Act, I think I've uncovered the smoking gun.

Was this dangerous work? Potentially, but America's right to know trumps my own petty concerns for my family's personal safety.

Without further ado, I hereby submit a document which may very well sway the outcome of the 2012 Republican Presidential race: the original transcript of the letter written from former Speaker of the House New Gingrich to his then-wife, Marianne, proposing an "open marriage."

July 24, 2000

My Dearest Marianne,

Our marriage has always been one based upon love, trust and above all, reason. And that is precisely why I'm appealing to your sense of reason to hear me out, to understand that I am proposing this arrangement for the benefit of you, me and most of all, America.

No single argument is more or less important than another, so please read each with equal receptiveness. Let's begin.

You know how I'm really into history, and you know how I really like playing that game where I'm Abe Lincoln, the country lawyer, and one day while I'm shirtlessly building a log cabin, you walk up with a tin of water and tell me I look thirsty, and I say, "Then quench me, slave girl," even though Abe Lincoln never had slaves, although I would have had I actually been Abe Lincoln? Yeah, I won't make you do that anymore.

I can find someone else to mousse my furry chest.

I can get that whole "secretly attracted to Lewinsky" thing taken care of.

You're free to date and engage in physical relations with anyone of your choosing, even friends of mine...if I actually had any.

You can pursue someone whose required foreplay doesn't include a miniature jaws of life or other small hydraulic device to expose my Newt Flewt.

You will no longer wake up in the morning smelling of Old Spice and Domino's Cheesy Bread.

If I return home smelling of Love's Baby Soft and Grape Bubble Yum, I won't need to tell you she looked eighteen and claimed to be a lobbyist for the wine cooler industry.

I think you'll agree that this arrangement benefits all, especially you. Please respond soon, since I plan on being gone all weekend.

Your fuzzy love muffin,

I think the facts speak for themselves. You are a small man, Mr. Gingrich.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I'm always thankful I'm not tipped off to these situations in advance.

Yesterday, I arrived ten minutes early for doctor's appointment and took a seat in her waiting room. No big deal, right? Waiting in waiting rooms is part of the whole doctor appointment ritual usually they're running a bit behind, yes?

In a typical, spacious room, I'll scan the area and peel open an already well-perused periodical like TIME or Sports Illustrated or maybe even Highlights or Your Ballooning Prostate Monthly when the selection is sparse. Then I'll perch myself in the chair which affords the maximum buffer of personal space from the germy masses who occupy this communal zone.

But yesterday, the waiting room resembled the space of a large elevator. Harboring a lamp, a coat rack and a small table with a fake plant, precious little space remained for two chairs and the two humans who were forced together for seven minutes yesterday afternoon.

As I attempted not to brush against him, I gingerly placed myself in the chair next to the guy. He was apparently waiting for someone behind the doctor's closed door since I had the next appointment, and he didn't appear pleased to have me there.

I nodded as I  sat, but he obviously desired no part of it. Even though we sat inches from each other in that cramped Barbie's Dream House of a space, he looked everywhere but at me, which was basically two other places—a faded painting of some birds and the floor.

It would have been the perfect beginning to a low budget gay porno—like really low budget—meaning no sound either.

The guy's wife ultimately emerged from behind the door as I was busy mentally communicating with a spot on the carpet and her husband studied his non-ring ring finger cuticle with a level of concentration normally reserved for eye tumor removal.

Seven minutes of my life has never felt so long nor seven inches in distance so short. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it was really uncomfortable.

Guys have a tendency of doing everything besides talking to each other when faced with close, awkward situations. We enjoy space, and lots of it.

As I've stated previously, two guys urinating next to each other is a commonly shared experience, yet urinal talk is verboten. Occasionally, guys will even enter the restroom engaged in conversation, yet when it's time to perform, their eyes glaze over and their heads bow in homage to their urinary sanctum.

Often, the floodgates are wedged shut and the best cure may be some distracting sports talk. But no, we must endure in thick silence while strenuously pondering waterfalls and fire hoses while passively competing for the first trickling wellspring of progress.

At my age it's difficult enough even when no one is standing next to me.

Besides default sports topics, I'm not really sure how to remedy salty silences between myself and other men, since I usually say something embarrassing and embarrassment is awkwardness's kissing cousin.

On a recent trip to Las Vegas, my family rode to the airport in a hybrid Toyota Prius taxi. If you've ever ridden in a half electric car, you're aware that when they stop, the gas engine shuts off.

With the rest of my family in the back seat and your humble blogger riding shotgun next to the driver, we had stopped at a light, which stayed red for two full cycles as an ambulance passed in front of us.

The prolonged silence deafened us all,  and after we all heard the driver's stomach growling, I decided, Okay. That's it. I'm going to chat up the cab driver. I'm tired of listening to the faint whistles of people's noses in this tiny car.

"So." I turned to face the driver. "Are you familiar with the airport?"

I felt the burning energy my teenage daughter's mortified star and a dull kick to my lower back as I scanned the "Orange Airport Cab" logo on the driver's baseball cap.

We rode the remainder of the way in silence.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Listen up, candidates: How to turn this thing around.

"Everyone has a plan 'til they get punched in the mouth."
-Mike Tyson

That's one of my favorite lines ever.

It's so accurate, whether, as with Mr. Tyson, it literally refers to one of his long history of fallen tomato can opponents, or more figuratively referencing the combatants in our modern political arena.

While none of the presidential contenders would even consider going a couple of rounds in the ring, how much fun would it be to watch Gingrich sweating and gasping for air as he simultaneously attempts to punch Santorum and hide his quivering moobs?

While the candidates surely consider themselves above any type of physical fray, wouldn't it be great to see Perry and Romney go after each other at Madison Square Garden during halftime of a Knicks game?

I could see Perry dominating at the outset, but then Romney getting really pissed about the condition of his hair and windmilling his open-gloved hands in a climactic, yet ineffective rage.

Alas, I can only fantasize about such entertaining political exploits.

But now that Mr. Romney has opened a fairly sizable lead over the others and gained nearly enough momentum to propel his robber baron arse to the nomination, the also-rans had better restock their verbal quivers or forever stand down.

So, in these desperate days, exceptional circumstances require exceptional assistance and I'm here to offer just that to messieurs Paul, Perry, Santorum and Gingrich.

Congressman Paul, you've got the reputation of a well-prepared, mature orator, as well as a highly respected physician. So, next time you hear Mittens proclaim that "corporations are people, my friend," ask him where General Motors' scrotum is.

It'll throw him off. A lot.

Governor Perry, Mr. Rommey likes to attempt to relate to average folks, which you do, as well. So, next time he claims that "there were a couple of times I wondered whether I was going to get a pink slip," tell him "That's ridiculous. Y'all could get as many pink slips and blue teddies as y'all want. In fact, you could buy the entire Fredericks of goddamn Hollywood."


Senator Santorum, if Governor Romney makes the mistake of again saying, "I like being able to fire people who provide service to me," respond with "That's where we differ, sir. Since I'm a highly repressed right wing Christian, I conceal my perversions by keeping all those who service me financially secure."

Moral high ground is what it's all about, no?

And finally, Speaker Gingrich, you've proven yourself to be quite adept at firing sharp verbal salvos, so you don't really need my assistance. But just in case, if Mitt again affirms that "President Obama's stimulus plan is one of the biggest peacetime spending binges in American history," remind him that the United States is certainly not at peace, but it will seem like it once there's a President Gingrich.

He'll be godsmacked by your badassedness.

You guys are welcome.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sex Advice for All...Except the Gays.

A question for you: Is it acceptable to judge others' judgmental behavior?

Or am I asking you to judge my judgment of others' judgementalism?

I'm losing you, aren't I?

Anyway, a common subject of my writing is certain people's unflinching desires to hurl moral medicine balls into our lower abdomens when we're not looking.

Has this behavior always existed and I just didn't notice or has it gotten worse?

I think it's gotten worse.

Football players, prior to Tim Tebow, occasionally knelt or pointed to the sky, yet didn't make nearly the spectacle of themselves that this guy does. Feigning utter deference and  humility and bowing in prayer at the goal line, Tebow advances his agenda while sixty thousand fans and millions at home capture his "private" moment between him, his eighteen inch biceps and, oh, yeah, God.

Presidential contenders hadn't formerly based their candidacies on divine ordinance. Okay, I know George Bush claimed that God told him to seek office, but that could have been a strong cup of coffee and a dip of Copenhagen talking.

In this race, three challengers have competed to plant the Christian stanchion in the name of the Grand Old Party, which seems like an all-time record.

It's become a matter of branding, of associating oneself with a look and feel in the quest for financial and personal gain. And it so very American.

To cap off my treatise on the American Christian branding machine, I'd like to share the story of Mark Driscoll, founder of Seattle's Mars Hill Church, one of the fastest growing congregations in the Pacific Northwest. Mars Hill currently boasts nine campuses, with future plans for sites in Oregon, New Mexico and southern California.

It's members are predominately the young and hip, people you might see at the trendy sushi bar or shopping for Danish bar stools.

Pastor Driscoll, similar to this humble blogger, is a chubby, forty-something white guy who favors jeans and hooded sweatshirts. Driscoll's disarming charm and charisma betray the subject matter of his teachings, a Biblical form of Sharia which abhors homosexuality and women in church leadership positions.

He also claims that Yoga is evil. I tend to agree, especially planks.

Mr. Marky Mark contends that the Bible proscribes specific duties for man and woman, which, while considered equal in God's eyes, require the man to head the household and call all the shots.

Hers is to obey him and stay foxy, lest he stray.

And now, in an all-American attempt at good old fashioned cross-channel marketing, Ayatollah Driscoll has "co-written" with Mrs. Driscoll a book entitled, "Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship and Life Together."

I haven't read the book, but it sounds like he's taken most of the guesswork out of what is and isn't okay when it comes to all things carnal. Finally, I can rest easy and won't have to worry about some bearded, thirty-three year old son of God watching my every move and waiting to throw the flag for illegal use of glands.

Thank you Mark Driscoll. In your ever-expanding pursuit of power and money in the name of religion, you've clarified some important points for me, the master of my domain.

If we ever meet, feel free open up to me about your mother issues and need for a large truck.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

You Ain't Nothing But a Major Tom.

I've got a strange taste in my mouth today.

Each time I post a piece to this profound journal of the mundane, I'm left with a residual feeling, a taste, if you will.

After expounding about my children's exploits, the leftover flavor can be a bitter sweet bouquet of guilt, shame and liberation from allowing others to nestle in next to me on the parental roller coaster.

Occasionally I'll write about an event in which my own actions have led to personal embarrassment and humiliation. The taste opens with acridity, yet finishes with a velvety sweetness—that familiar peace one feels when confessing sins, but sans the presence of a clergyman, bartender or cross dressing prostitute.

But the most confusing sensation on my grizzled pallet surfaces after I've blurted out remarks judging moral behavior—especially vis a vis America's politicians. Oh, how easy it is for Mr. High and Mighty to spew his vitriol from behind his iMac while snacking on Sunshine Cheez-It®, proud sponsor of Reflections of a Shallow Pond.

Who am I to judge, yes?

And that's why I was so relieved to learn of two birthdays this morning, both of which were for gentlemen who stated loudly and proudly, "I'm freaky, I'm weird and I'm questioning you. If you don't agree, I've got two words for you: Look how many chicks I'm getting.

Elvis Aaron Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi on this day in 1935. Elvis embodied rock "n' roll, even for kids my age who were a generation removed and didn't really listen to his stuff because he'd become a bloated caricature of himself.

Before all the pills and the guns and the bacon and forgotten lyrics, this dude rocked. Forget his incredible singing ability and good looks, have you ever tried moving your hips like that?

I did, once. I was around thirteen, and jeans were super tight back then. Let's just say, after about seven gyrations I learned something new and wonderful about myself that afternoon in my room back in 1976.

Today's other rock 'n' roll birthday belongs to David Bowie,  born David Robert Jones on January 8, 1947. Right around the time I was learning about the benefits of denim-inspired friction, David Bowie introduced me to the universe of androgynous glam rock.

Before the ever-morphing personas of Lady Gaga or Madonna or Prince, there was David Bowie.

When you're a kid whose only musical exposure has been to groups like Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Bee Gees, you get pretty inspired seeing this odd-looking and -sounding dude who sings some superior pop songs.

David Bowie was one of the first people who said to a young Tim, "Go ahead, say it. You'll be okay."

Happy birthday, Elvis and David. Thanks for absolving me of my sins.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bachmann leaves nothing behind but Santorum.

Up in the morning look in the mirror.
I'm worn as her tooth brush hanging in the stand.
My face ain't looking any younger
Now I can see love's taken her toll on me.

She's gone. Oh I, oh I'd
Better learn how to face it.
She's gone. Oh I, oh I'd
Pay the devil to replace her.
She's Gone— what went wrong?
"She's Gone."
Hall & Oates, 1976

I'm not going to lie...it hurts. Way down in my gut, it smarts, and I'm sort of hanging by a thread right now.

But it's over. Doggone it. Michele Bachmann, America's sweetheart, has decided to "stand aside," to withdraw from a pack of GOP candidates she had been spanking a year ago with the vigor of a yellow pant suited dominatrix. 

Sure, she was flawed, but that's the thing about her that lit my Presto Log. Her gaffes gaffed my heart like the quiver tip of a bobbing pellet waggler. (fishing lingo courtesy of Wikipedia).

Congresswoman Bachmann had me at HPV vaccine, of which she had heard from her friend's father's husband causes mental retardation. An acquaintance of her cousin's barber's waxer told her that President Obama had incurred expenses totaling two hundred million dollars a day while visiting India.

Both statements totally false.

And totally hot.

And now she's gone.

So, Ms. Bachmann, as you retreat to lick your wounds and stock up on those comforting cans of Chung King Chow Mein for the coming apocalypse, I bid you goodbye, but certainly not farewell, my sultry psychopath.

Enter former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who lost his latest re-election bid by seventeen percentage points in 2008. After falling only eight votes short of Mitt Romney's victory total in this week's Iowa caucuses, Santorum has now achieved "flavor of the month" status in the Baskin Robbins ice cream sweepstakes which has become this campaign season.

If I were to assign actual flavors to some of the past leaders, I'd probably dub Newt Gingrich "Newt York Super Pudge Punk."

Herman Cain might be "Meet Me In My Suite Candy Cain Crunch."

Rick Perry? How about "Scoops and Scoops of Oops?"

"Vanilla Nut" would succinctly describe Michele Bachmann's flavor, and now that Mr. Santorum has assumed the mantle, let's call his "I'm Secretly Attracted To and That's Why I Hate All Gay Boysenberry" ice cream.

It's going to be fun to finally see Dick encounter the same media scrutiny under which his predecessors have wilted. He feels that food stamps are unnecessary due to America's high obesity rate. He believes that abortion exceptions to protect women's health are "phony" and that healthcare is a luxury, an expense which most people could afford simply by lowering their cable and cell phone bills.

And Santorum stated that if he were President, even though he firmly believes in state's rights as proscribed by the Constitution, he would unilaterally annul all same-sex marriages.

The guy has six kids, so a likelihood exists that one may harbor attractions to those of a kindred gender. That's not okay, but it obviously is okay for insane people to wed. 

Otherwise, all of Rick Santorum's children would have been born out of wedlock.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Welcome back, 2012.

Hello, 2012. Or, should I say, "Welcome back."

For many of us, it's our first day back—to work, to school, to daycare, back to pants which fit better on the last day before the first day of the vacation which led up to the first day back.


Naturally, the first day coming back to something isn't quite like a day where we begin something brand new.

That first September day of school can be nerve-wracking, yet exciting—new clothes, new classmates, occasionally new facial hair or other body parts which can lead to shock and dismay in the locker room.

At a new job, day one is also exhilarating, yet the information onslaught prohibits our ability to process much. We return home knowing how to look busy with nothing to do, where the bathrooms are and that we'll never again have lunch with that guy Bob who brings to the restaurant his own jar of chipotle mayonnaise.

I'm not sure what the initial day of prison is like, but it's got to be similar to a sorority rush, with diverse social groups vying for your affection, the relentless pressure to always look pretty and all that throwing up after meals.

So, as I mentioned, today is not a first day—it's a first day back—to work, to the gym, and to most of us, to a life of reacquainting ourselves with behaviors which don't encourage an early demise.

It's a return to earth from the festival of lard and sugar which commenced with Halloween, a two-month orgy which begins with seven or eight fun-sized Kit Kats and ends with one supersized...me.

Awakening this morning in the predawn darkness for the first time in ten days, I stumbled out of bed, threw on some shorts and dragged my rotting carcass to the gym.

I mounted the elliptical trainer with an enthusiasm equal to sliding into a dental recliner and tuned my portable radio to the sports talk station. By the time the morning host's voice grasped control of the airwaves, I had gained some valuable knowledge from the advertisers:

My excess belly fat places me at considerable risk of heart attack and stroke, so I should buy this supplement to halt this lurking danger.

My advancing age puts me in substantial peril of decreased libido, increased fatigue and magic eight ball-sized man melons, so I should buy these pills to differentiate my testosterone level from that of a female kitten.

My intelligence and affluent station in society position me in need of a luxury automobile, so I should buy this car and screw the first two products.

As I worked my aging body into an anaerobic lather, I resolved to do none of the above. I'm not going to start something new, I'm simply returning to something that's been there all along.

I'm pretty sure it's in there somewhere.