Saturday, November 27, 2010

Astral Projection

I can always tell when Christmas is near because my liquor is suddenly packaged in a box containing two free glasses.  The glasses always appear ready to use, but Linda insists I wash them first.  I'll splash a few drops of water inside, give a quick twirl, and hope I have met the standards of Linda's discriminating eye.  If I have not, she will snatch the glass from my hand and wash it herself.  Hell, I'm just gonna pour booze in it.  Everyone knows that alcohol kills germs.

In any case, tonights mode of inebriation is Saint Brendan's Irish Creme Liqueur.  Perhaps not as respected as Bailey's, just a smidgen above Carolan's rating.  Still, a pleasant way to dull ones wit.  To assure you I am responsible dipsomaniac, I have made it clear that if I happen to start slurring this text, I have appointed Linda as my designated typist.  Her nightly drink is ice water.  No booze for her.  We all can sigh in relief.

Time to let imagination fly.  Not like a bird nor a plane, but like an OOBE.  Raise your hands if you know what OOBE stands for.   Keep them up, also.  Someone will be right over with a cookie for you.  OOBE is a anagram for a term meaning astral projection:  Out Of Body Experience.  The most common type of OOBE is when a person dies, but only for a moment.  He or she will get the feeling that they are floating out of their body and towards a bright light.  Yet, it is not the only way to have the experience.  Yogi's (as in masters of yoga.  Not as in a bear, or a Yankee catcher.) claim to go so deep in meditation that they will leave their bodies and fly around the planet, checking up on their friends, or political leaders, or maybe sneaking into movies or hovering over nudist camps.   Basically, they can go wherever they want.  No holds barred.  They have been tested scientifically and the results weigh in their favor.  If OOBE is some sort of parlor trick, no one has been able to debunk it.

Well I'm sitting here with my feet propped up on opposite knees, back arched straight, and eyes shut tight.  My arms are crossed my chest, and the pulse of my being is slowing down.  As my breathing becomes barely detectable, I feel my inner self rise.  I can look down and see myself sitting posed.  I have the ability to soar, to traverse across the continent, the seas, foreign shores...  Any destination is possible.  If I wish I could visit other planets, other galaxies, other universes and dimensions.

As I ready to take flight to destinations unknown, I give my body a final glance and notice that on the table next to me, my glass is empty.  This will not do.  Quickly I rejoin my physical self and bring about my awakening.  I take the glass to the kitchen, add ice cubes, and refill with Irish Creme.  My journey to strange lands are put off for another week.  I will make plans for next Saturday for an OOBE.  Maybe I'll visit the bottling plant of Saint Brendan's.   It's a shame that OOBEs do not allow gathering of souvenirs.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Necks

My plate is empty.  The turkey will not be ready for several hours.  Still I stay near the kitchen, plate in one hand, silverware in the other.  No one is behind me, but I fear if I leave my post for even a second, a line will form in my absence.  Today will not turn out like the last few Thanksgivings.  I refuse to once again watch all the others devour legs and wings and white meat while I suffer the remains of a turkey neck and scrapings from the bottom of the mash potato bowl.  I shall do more than drink the juicy remains of the vegetables.  Attention yams and green beans, be ready for consumption.  At long last, I will finally learn the flavor of home-made stuffing.

I shall have desert!  This year I will actually taste the hot apple pie instead of being taunted by the lingering aroma that proved it had once existed.  And I will have it  ala mode!  I can already envision a hearty scoop of French vanilla slowly melting over the piping hot wedge of pie.  Or perhaps I would rather enjoy a slice of cheddar dissolving into the crust.  The decision will be hard.  But wait, I am first in line, I can have my pie in both fashions.  No dilemma here.

Checking the clock, it is still two hours before dinner will be ready.  The roasting bird has spread its tantalizing smell throughout the house.  My mouth salivates in anticipation.  I set my plate and silverware momentarily down.  Fearful of drooling, I tuck a corner of a napkin into my collar, smooth the opposite corner to my belly, and pull the cross corners to each shoulder.   I retrieve my place setting.

I hope this plate is large enough.  I try to estimate how I will divide the portions onto it.  Right away I know half the plate will be dedicated to holding meat. That leaves the other half for stuffing, mash potatoes, green beans and a roll.  It's going to be a tight fit, and I haven't even calibrated the gravy coverage.  Gravy should cover the white meat and the potatoes, but what about the stuffing.  Should I give the stuffing a healthy dose of gravy?  Decisions, decisions...

Oh, no, I forgot about the cranberry.  The plans I made for my plate did not include cranberry.  Perhaps I can slide a portion between turkey leg and the roll.  If necessary, I can place my roll on top of the white meat.  This should free up about two inches for the cranberry.  That won't work, I just recalled that the roll will be setting atop the green beans.  Should I mix the cranberry with the green beans?  This is getting harder and harder to figure out.  I should go grab pencil and paper so I can create a scale design for my thanksgiving plate. Yes, that's what I'll do.  No guests have arrived yet.  I think I can risk going into my study for sketch materials.  I set my dinner plate and silverware down, and head to the room down the hall.

I find a drawing pad and start to look for pencils.  I want a number 6b lead for drawing.  6b is a soft lead good for either light or dark lines.  Looking through a drawer of pencils and pens, I'm not having any luck finding a 6b.  After a fruitless search, I settle on a substitute lead, a 4b.  4b is a little harder than 6b, and leaves a lighter mark.  It will have to do.  I use a sharpener on the pencil and bring it to fresh point.  Now to find an eraser.  I'm not as picky about erasers, and a grab a pink pearl.  This will suffice.

Upon my return to the kitchen, I discover Bob standing in my place.  I lost the top spot on my venture to the study.  I look at the clock and see that almost two hours has gone by.  I had been so busy planning out my plate and looking for pencils, that two hours had sped by.  I will have to settle on being number two.  This is still a big improvement over my prior year position as dead last.  I greet Bob and wish him a happy Thanksgiving.  He shakes my hand and returns the good wishes.

I hear a commotion from the living room as more guests arrive.  Linda, my better half and holiday chef, greets them by saying they are just in time.  Dinner is ready.  She returns to the kitchen and pulls the bird from the oven.  I hear Sheila call out for Bob.  They have been married for over a decade and have four children.  Bob yells to her that he's in the kitchen.  Sheila greets me as she passes by and stands next to Bob.  She then calls out to the kids to come get in line.  The little brats join their parents and have brought another brat with them.  I have been shoved back to the eight position in line.  The extra brat belonged to Jim and Marsha.  They saunter up to their child and thank him for holding a place for them.  I have been relegated to the tenth spot.

Bob and Sheila are being served as two more guests arrive.  It is Sheila's parents.  She instructs the kids to make room for Grammy and Grampy.  These old people haven't been in the house a full minute and they were already at the head of the food line.  The line is slowly moving along.  I stare up ahead to watch the vittles slowly vanish.

I have ended up being last again. By the time it is my turn the choice delights have been taken.  I am left with half a turkey neck and the scrapings from the mash potato bowl.  Once again, I am the last person to get Thanksgiving dinner.  Next year, I shall get in line a day earlier.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fun at the Grocery Store

Went to Krogers today to buy Thanksgiving foodstuff.  Found a box of donuts, 12 powder sugar lumps, for the price of forty-nine cents.  Who could resist?  Having unpacked the bags at home, I opened my donut purchase and took one out to consume.  The treat immediately dehydrated my mouth.  Apparently, when whoever it was made these, they neglected to include any fluids in the batter.   I checked the box and saw that the expiration date was 6:00 o'clock.  The time was 6:05.  Just missed it.  The turkey was also forty-nine cents.  That's per pound.  I examined the turkey and stamped on the packaging was "Best if used before yesterday."

Krogers has a sale on cereal; four boxes for ten dollars and two gallons of milk are thrown in as a bonus.  This is not a bad deal, but the cereal has to be a General Meals product and weigh between 9 and 16 ounces.  I enjoy Cheerios.  I have to remember to save a few of the tiny O's and plant them next spring.  Its always cheaper to grow your own.  Anyways, I took 3 boxes of Cheerios and one box of Trix.  (I know who Trix are for, but I am a kid at heart.)  In the checkout line, when I passed the cereal and milk over the scanner, the price came to nineteen dollars and change.  This was wrong.  I called over the... (checkout girl? checkout woman? female attendant? grocery clerk?)   ... the person who assists shoppers in the self-serve lanes and commenced playing descan/rescan with the cereal.  I would hand her a box.  She would pull the purchase price off my receipt.  I would then rescan the cereal.  We did this for several minutes.  Finally she had all but one box of Cheerios.  She had me scan this single box four times.  And it worked.  The ten dollar total finally appeared and I paid it.  Unfortunately, I only had one box of cereal for my two gallons of milk.  The lady then instructed me to go to the service desk and they would give me the other three boxes.

Don't you just love waiting in lines?  So, now I have to explain to the Service Desk personnel about the cereal.  It was a man this time, and he examined my receipt as if he were Sherlock Holmes.  He stated that I was only charged for four boxes and the price was ten dollars.  "Yes," I agreed, "but I only received one box, my shopping cart is right here, you can count for yourself."  He asked why I would pay for one single box of cereal four times.  I told him that was what the lady said to do.  He gave me a look like I was either a total idiot, or a con man.  What lady? he wanted to know.  So I went through the whole rigamarole about how the price was scanning wrong and how I was instructed to give back boxes and rescan and so on and so forth.  He decided to check out my story and phoned the self serve aisle attendant. Luckily she remembered who I was and concurred that I was owed three additional boxes of cereal.  Service guy tells me go and bring back three boxes of cereal and he will scan them for me.  This I do.  I fetch back two boxes of Cheerios and one box of Trix, and the service guy proceeds to scan them.  He then picks up the Trix and reads the weight.  This is only 9 ounces, he exclaims.  I need the larger size; fourteen ounces.  Whoa!  Mystery solved.  Service guy leaves his post to get the correct size box for me.  When he returns, he hands over three boxes of cereal and my order is finally complete.  

My ten minutes of shopping had turned into two and an half hours.  I don't think I'll be shopping at Krogers anymore.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


So I'm taking this Basic Drawing class.  Not for drawing, but to fulfill the Associate Degree requirements. Anyway, since posting pictures is easier than writing, I now present to you several of my drawings. Drum-roll please...

This is what happens when you stuff a Teddy Bear into a tuba, use a candlestick for ears of old corn, add a boot with a crab leg, a motorcycle helmet, and place it all on a cloth draped table.

Here is bunch of block shapes and such sitting on a movable platform.

Here is the hallway outside my art classroom.

This is a miniature Pepsi bottle, an old camera, and a toy barrel.

This is the torso and head of a mannequin wearing a nasty wig.

And finally, it's me holding a broken pocket watch.

In case you didn't notice, I named everything I drew.  That's just in case you are having a hard time trying to figure out what you're looking at.  All these pencil drawings were assignments. The next time I post drawings, they will be in charcoal.  That is the media we are currently using.  Betcha you're on the edge of your seat with that news.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Until I Think of Something Better...

 I will state for the millionth time, "I am not prone to exaggeration."  I don't know why everyone on the planet makes this accusation.


I enjoy spying on paranoid people.  It gives their delusions merit.


When it rains, tall people are always the first to get wet.  But fat people get wetter.


Bumper sticker: "I Brake for Lawsuits"


I have become obsessed with food.  I even dream about hot dogs chasing donuts.


Old joke time:

There was a man named Benny who was walking along a beach and came upon a lantern.  Benny rubbed the lantern and a genie appeared.  The genie said that he would grant him any wish as long as Benny obeys the single rule of the lamp: Never shave.  Benny thought this was a great deal.  He could have any wish and all he had to do was grow a beard.  Benny agreed and asked that his wallet would never run out of money.  The genie said a few magic words and "Poof," Benny's wallet had an inexhaustible supply of twenty dollar bills.

For the next several years, Benny bought anything he desired, and his beard grew long.  At first, Benny did not mind having a beard, but after ten years, his beard was dragging on the ground.  A few years more and Benny had to use a wheelbarrow to haul his beard.  Twenty five years of beard growth and Benny could stand it no longer.  He figured the genie would have forgotten about him by now, so he took a chance and shaved off his beard.

As soon as Benny's beard was gone, the genie reappeared.  The genie told Benny how disappointed he was. How he would have to punish Benny for not keeping up his end of the bargain.  So with a few more magic words, the genie turned Benny into a coffee urn.

The end.

Wait.  There is a moral to this story:  "A Benny shaved is a Benny urn."

That's it for now.