Sunday, August 22, 2010

Groaning and Moaning

I use to joke with my friends about old people. I would tell them to avoid old people because old age was contagious. I had a whole spiel about how the only people who got old were those that had come in contact with old people. "Stay away from your parents," I would warn, "and for god's sake, don't even consider talking to your grandparents!" That was close to forty years ago. Perhaps I stumbled onto a truth without realizing it. The old man in the mirror tells me I should have took my own advice.

I do not appreciate aging. Why does my body grow old and not my mind? Inside my head I am still the sassy brat of yesteryear. I would love to party all night, but my body refuses to go past ten p.m.. I yearn to jump out of bed in the morning eager to start another day, yet when the morning comes the only reason I get out of bed is use the toilet. It seems to take longer and longer to motivate myself. I have spent entire weekends in my pajamas. In my youth I wouldn't waste an hour of the weekend on sleep.

I exaggerate only slightly. I still have my moments, but those moments seem to happen less and less often. To quote the old country song: "Poor, poor, pitiful me."

That's not entirely true. I called it a country song because it was made famous by Linda Ronstadt. The song was written by Warren Zevon, the English bloke who sang "Werewolves of London." He wrote that one too. He's dead nowadays. But before he died he wrote "Lawyers, Guns and Money" and "Excitable Boy" and a trunk-load of other songs. The ones I mentioned are the most famous. If you don't know them, then Warren wasted his time.

And I apparently am wasting your time also. Nothing of note in this post. At least I'm running true to my course. Give me a minute and maybe I can come up with something humorous.


Okay, here's a blast from the past. When Groucho Marx was alive and Lawrence of Arabia was just released, Groucho remarked "The ladies will love this Peter O'Toole fellow. He's got a double phallic name."


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Reading The Girl

I've been busy reading. I just finished "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson. It is one of those books that I could not put down. I won't go into any details of the plot. This will avoid any potential spoilers for those of you who wish to read the book. If you enjoy a mystery/whodunit, pick up a copy immediately. You will not be disappointed.

The reason I bring up this book is because of the author; Stieg Larsson. He has a very sad story. This man spent years writing "The Millennium Trilogy." "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" was the first, followed by "The Girl Who Played With Fire" and then "The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest." These books were written in Swedish, Larsson's native language. He spent years writing, during which time he was married, divorced, and moved in with another women. When he finally completed the series, he took the manuscripts to a publisher. The publisher bought the stories and made plans for the release. Stieg was paid roughly $5000, and would get a percentage of the book sales. The books were printed in Swedish and did not sell very well. Stieg would not receive any more money.

One of the people who bought a copy was a British publisher, who was in Sweden on other matters. He loved the book, negotiated for the English rights, and made arrangements to translate it for re-release in Great Briton. Stieg was so happy about this, that he had a heart attack and died.

The English version of the book sold like hotcakes. (I never understood this analogy. Do hotcakes really sell that well? IHOP must be making out like bandits.) The first book ended up being translated to most every language on the planet. The sales of this book equaled that of Harry Potter. It was a #1 best-seller the world over. The following year, the second book did better than the first. The third book is currently the #1 fiction hardcover. The money this trilogy has generated is in limbo. Stieg's divorced wife has a lawsuit claiming she should get it. The girl who was living with Stieg at the time of his death has a similar lawsuit. So does Stieg's parents. Not one of the three parties are willing to split the multi-million dollar estate. Whoever wins, it will be the lawyers who will end up with the lion's share.

I don't have the slightest clue on who should get the money. I just find it very sad that the man who generated the books and money died before realizing an iota of the fame and fortune.

Stieg did not sit around between the sale of his books and their release. He was working on another manuscript at the time of his death. For the most part, it is complete but in need of editing. It was left on his laptop. The girl he was cohabiting with has it in her possession. She will reap the benefits of at least one publication no matter the results of the lawsuit. Or so I have been led to believe.

Sweden already released a movie based on "Dragon Tattoo," but I do not like subtitles. The U.S. is currently casting for it's own English version. This one I will see. Two of the main characters will be portrayed by Daniel Craig (Bond, James Bond) and a newcomer named Rooney Mara. Max Van Sydow is currently in talks to play a major supporting character. I know which actors will play which characters but I will let your own curiosity discover this yourself.

If you have read this far, I can guarantee that if you go buy a copy of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," your next few days will be a reading fury. As for myself, I will be headed to the store as soon as I finish these words and pick up "The Girl Who Played With Fire." And off I go...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thinking Out Loud

I had an idea but its gone.


How is it possible to forget? If the information is stored in the brain, why is it not always accessible? Is there a glitch in the thinking process? Some sort of loose connection that only works part of the time. What if something major is forgotten? What if I go swimming and forget how to hold my breath? I have forgotten to eat. Is it possible to forget eating long enough to starve to death? That would be a big whoops. If it is a loose circuit in my cranium, can it be repaired? I would like to have everything I ever learned to be available at any given moment.


Total recall would be wonderful. The ability not the movie. Although I did like it when Arnold's eyes bugged out. Did you know they are doing a remake? I can't imagine a better version than the one with the Governator. Do they still call Schwarzenegger that? I see that he's in a new movie with Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone. It's getting good reviews already and it hasn't been released yet. The movie critics must get advance screenings. Either that or they decide if a movie is any good by its trailers. That would be great career. To get paid to see the latest flicks and say what you think about them. My opinion is as good as anyone else. I even had a class in "Cinema." I got an "A+." So I know a lot of the technical jargon. Here's some terms for you to ponder: Dolly Shot, Pan Shot, Sync Sound, Superimposition. Three points for anyone who can correctly relate what those terms mean.


Here's a money making idea for the next Christmas season: Mistletoe belt buckles!


In case you're curious about my typing "pause" every so often, it's because a significant amount of time has passed since my last words. It is not an instruction for the reader. You do not have to pause because I did. You can read straight through.


Just watched a bit of the telly. "Rules of Engagement" is on. I have only watched this show two or three times. This is a repeat of one of those times. What are the odds of that happening? 13 to 1. I just figured that out as I was asking it. If there has been 26 episodes and I have seen two, then the odds of my random viewing a repeat is 26 to 2 which is 13 to 1. A mathe-freaking-matical genius I am.

I just remembered that I forgot to make a drink for myself. I am debating whether to keep typing or start tonight's inebriation. If this ends suddenly, then you will know what happened. I don't have to make a drink. I just have to pour one out. Tonight's lubrication is amaretto on ice. A frugal elixir that I enjoy as a change of pace. I generally consume Bacardi and coke with a lemon wedge. On rare occasions I will dabble in tequila, either with salt and lemon or with orange juice and grenadine. Beer once in a while and wine every now and then. After all variety is the spice of life.

Well, I made myself salivate... Gotta go. Good night.

Friday, August 6, 2010

City Hall

Yesterday I paid my house taxes. What fun that was. While at city hall I also paid my water bill. My water bill was $117.76. I'll have to stop using so many ice cubes in my liquor.

Anyways, as I gave the clerk my money I said "Let me see if I got a penny." I hate having a pocketful of loose change, so whenever possible I will try to get rid of what I already have, or use what I can to reduce the number of coins given back. I did not have the penny and stated so. A man who was walking by had overheard me, said he had change and asked what I needed.

Before I could say anything, the clerk showed him my water bill. I don't know why, but I did not like the idea of the clerk sharing my water bill with someone I did not know. (This is strange because I openly share the amount of my bill here on this blog for anyone to see.) I didn't say a word, holding my indignity in check. The man plopped seventy-six on the counter, and continued walking to wherever he was going. Perplexed, I thanked him. He didn't turn back. He merely raised his arm in a wave and said he was glad he could help.

As he disappeared from my view, I asked the clerk "Who was that guy?"

She replied, "The mayor."

"Really," I said, "what's his name?"

"Hanselman," she told me.

I must admit I was slightly embarrassed by my ignorance of local politics. It wasn't until I got home did I think about the whole incident. This is an election year. Did Mayor Hanselman just try to buy my vote for seventy-six cents? I hope not. I would want at least twice that amount.

Speaking about local politicians, I have another story about a different Mayor of Center Line. Back in the early 1960s, the Center Line Mayor was a man named Okras. I am not certain if that is how its spelled, but the pronunciation is "Oak-ress." I was singular digit in age at this time. It was the beginning of winter and my mother told me to put on nice clothes because the Mayor was coming over. My father had gone to pick him up and they would be at our home real soon. I recall putting on my going-to-church shirt and pants. My mother put on a nice dress. She applied makeup and lipstick to herself. This must be a special occasion to be so dressed up in the middle of the week.

My father arrived alone. My mother wanted to know where Mayor Okras was. Dad told her that the mayor followed in his own car. He would be in as soon as he parked. And sure enough, as soon as Dad had said this, their was a knock on the side door. Dad went to let Mayor Okras in. But they did not return to where Mom and I waited. Instead they went into the basement. Mom was not surprised by this. She went into the kitchen to busy herself with either cooking or cleaning. My curiosity got the better of me and I headed to the basement.

In the corner of the basement I saw my father standing and the mayor sitting on the floor shining a flashlight into our furnace. Mayor Okras was dressed in overalls and he was fixing our furnace. You see, being mayor of a small city like Center Line was only a part-time job. The population of Center Line was about one tenth of what it is today. So Mayor Okras was a part time mayor and a full time furnace repairman.

I never understood why my mother wanted us to dress up for some guy fixing our furnace. I guess she saw him as the mayor, and wanted us to be presentable for a man with political clout. At the age I was, I thought being a furnace repairman was more exciting than being mayor. Unfortunately, I wasn't allowed to get near to watch the repairman do his craft, and I really wanted to see. My father ordered me back upstairs. He didn't want for me to dirty my good clothes. He said I shouldn't have put them on. It wasn't Sunday!

At times my parents worked against each other and it was I who suffered the consequences.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

No Subject

Once again I type out words without the slightest notion for a topic. This is Wednesday. This is at night. This is boring. Not boring in a drill bit sort of way, although that may be more fun. Doctors used to bore holes in the heads of mental patients to let out the demons. I wonder why they never considered that the holes they drilled might be presenting an opportunity for demons to get in. Another fun fact about doctoring is bloodletting. When people felt sick they would have a doctor cut them and have the sick blood drained out. Bloodletting became so popular that the doctors could not handle all the cases presented. They contracted out their bloodletting duties to free up more time for amputations and head drilling. The contracts went to the barbers. Cut your arm along with your hair. This is why barber poles are white with a red stripe swirling around and down; to symbolize a bloodletting specialist.

I am running out of thoughts.

I wonder how fast a person thinks. Is there a way to time a thought? When I write, my thought process is in sentences, yet when I am not writing, I think in complete ideas. For instance; when I am hungry I visualize a sandwich and picture the items for its creation all at once. I never think out the process "I will go in the kitchen and take two slices of bread..." When I recollect an incident from my past I see the entire event all at once. When I tell someone about an incident from my past I regress the incident into a time line and form complete sentences in my head before speaking them.

Another thing I am curious about is if I see the same colors as everyone else. If all my colors are reverse from your colors, how would I ever know. What you see as red may appear green to me, but I have always known it as the color red.

I have seen many car accidents during my life. Yet the only time I have seen a car explode into flames is on TV or the silver screen. Someday I will have to get an old junker of a vehicle, find myself a cliff and push the car off. According to the movies and television, vehicles that go over cliffs always ignite into a fireball. I've got to see this happen, at least once, before I die.

Speaking about movies, why is it when the phone rings, the person answering waits for the caller to say the first words? This doesn't happen that much nowadays, but take a look at some old movies and you'll see what I mean. Also, in the movies, when someone calls someone else, if the phone isn't answered before the second ring, it goes to voice mail. Who in their right mind has their phone go to voice mail after only one ring?

This exercise in blathering is almost over.

Mitch Miller died last week. He was 99 years old. I thought he had been dead for decades. I was wrong. All these years gone that I could have sung along with Mitch. Now it is too late. I guess I am doomed to never learn all the words to "You Are My Sunshine" and "Oh, Susanna."

Well its time for me to "follow the bouncing ball" out of here.

Hopefully, next time I will have a topic. TTFN

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Another Harebrained Scheme

I have come up with a scheme to improve the economic status of my hometown. This scheme may be harebrained but I will state it none-the-less.

I love coleslaw. I considered myself a connoisseur of coleslaw. To my knowledge there is no coleslaw capital. So why not make Center Line, MI, "the Coleslaw Capital of America?" This can be true if enough people claim it to be so. Imagine this: an annual coleslaw festivity where people from all over the United States bring their coleslaw recipes to Center Line in hopes of being crowned the King or Queen of Coleslaw. I would offer my services to judge such a contest.

You may ask "How will this help the economy?" I shall explain. We will insist all entries for the "Coleslaw Crown" must use Michigan grown cabbage in their recipes. This will enhance the Michigan cabbage market. The cabbage farmers will make more money. There will be a demand for more vehicles to bring the cabbage to market. This will put a boon to the auto industry's truck divisions. They will have to hire more workers to supply the demand.

Local hotels and motels will be filling up for the month long "Coleslaw Bowl." Yes, their will be parades and floats and football. The crowning of the Coleslaw King (or Queen) will be during halftime of the Pay-Per-View stadium game. Do you see where I'm going with this? New jobs will become available in every field. We will need everyone from laborers who will build the floats, run the carnival rides, sweep up the confetti, work in the restaurants and bars, to the professionals who will design the floats, work the cameras and special effects of the live broadcasts, administer pharmaceuticals to those overzealous attendees whose eyes were bigger than their stomachs. We will need people from all walks of life; doctors, police, chefs, artists, lawn care workers, electricians, plumbers... the list goes on and on.

So how do we get started? Word of mouth! Its now in your hands. If you want to see a return to prosperity, you must start spreading the word: Center Line, Michigan, is the Coleslaw Capital of America. Try saying it a few times. "Center Line, Coleslaw Capital" has a nice ring to it. Add the words to all your emails. Make people curious. Before long we will have the first annual coleslaw competition.

For those of you who are not fond of coleslaw, I will be more than happy to eat your share.