Sunday, April 4, 2010

Earthquake Resurrection.

How did this blog become all about earthquakes.

Let's get to the really pressing matter: Los Angeles felt a slight tremor this afternoon when the 7.2 hit Baja, causing several ladies-and-gays-who-lunch to spill iced non-fat lattes down their $300 bedazzled t-shirts. When is the Jennifer Lopez-sponsored telethon to help these devastated victims of the dreaded coffee stain?

Friday, January 22, 2010

"Live" Blogging Hollywood 4 Haiti: Making Fun Of The Best Of Hollywood During The Worst Of Times.

Here's the thing: I find it admirable that celebrities want to help, but these telethons usually come across as just another excuse for Hollywood to pat itself on its back. For instance, don't make it out to be some amazing shit that Julia Roberts cares enough to answer a phone and talk to someone who makes less than $30M a year.

Frankly, what's even more pathetic than that is I'm investing 2 hours to blog a telethon that's already over. Still, this is way less embarrassing than what I want to be doing, which is reading "Twilight: Breaking Dawn".


10:00PM: Hey shitbags, if I donated, so can you.

9:58PM: I may not be a fan for unspecified reasons, but I have to say, way to end it right, Wyclef.

9:50PM: Dave Matthews vs. Neil Young: Battle of the Indecipherable!

9:43PM: Tom Hanks has some kind of magical power that makes you want to become a better person. (Note: So does Rita Wilson. I wonder if they travel around LA via unicorn.)

9:40PM: Brad Pitt is talking from Los Angeles. Jennifer Aniston is answering phones from Los Angeles. OMG, they are, like, sooooo back together!

9:31PM: Only in Los Angeles could your big break come from a telethon. Way to score, Matt Morris.

9:20PM: Here's the fantastic news: Madonna, "Like a Prayer". Here's the bad news: She really, really, really fucked her face up.

9:17PM: The Clintons honeymooned in Haiti 35 years ago ("The More You Know"...cue NBC music).

9:12PM: I can't tell you how much I hate myself for saying this, but Kid Rock may sound like he swallowed a fist full of pebbles, but still, not terrible.

9:10PM: Hey, Morgan Freeman! Why aren't you narrating this entire thing?

9:05PM: Why is Beyonce channeling Crystal Gayle?

9:03PM: Um, who else is desperate to rub Eastwood's seemingly Beaker-like hair?

9:02PM: Sting hopes to raise $ by having tantric sex with his guitar.

9:00PM: Hot vampire alert!

8:58PM: My bad, it gets worse. Anderson Guns proceeds to INTERVIEW the girl seconds after she's pulled from the rubble.

8:57: Anderson Guns says there's a 15 year old girl buried alive behind him. Luckily he goes to help...and brings his entire camera crew with him.

8:55PM: Julia Roberts loses perspective.

8:52PM: Good for you Christina Aguilera for finally wearing appropriate, less transvestite-y makeup. Though, you could be wearing clown makeup, because who cares when you have pipes like that.

8:50PM: Does anyone else find it hilarious that they gave botoxed kewpie doll, Nicole Kidman the line, "Don't be afraid of death"?

8:45PM: I dare you to find something unlikeable about Taylor Swift. Especially since she's no longer with that Bella-stealer, Jacob Black.

8:41PM: Why is Samuel L. Jackson wearing my MeeMaw's cardigan?

8:35PM: For some reason, Jon Stewart is the only one who makes this telethon seem less like Hollywood patting itself on its back.

8:32PM: John Legend, you are a tall drink of adorable, sir.

8:27PM: Oh dear god. They have audio of stars answering phones: "Hi, it's Reese Witherspoon!"

8:20PM: Good for you, Stevie Wonder. You sound way better than you did during the last fundraiser you participated in: The Michael Jackson Memorial Fund to Further Bankrupt California.

8:17PM: Dear Leonardo DiCaprio, you may have donated $1M, but I still haven't forgiven you for "Titanic".

8:16PM: Anderson "Guns" Cooper continues to depress the hell out of us. Minus the guns.

8:15PM Anderson Cooper, put away your guns. If that t-shirt gets any tighter, everyone will see your nipples shooting rainbows over the world.

8:14PM: Famous stars answering phones! Whoops, there's Mel Gibson! Let's hope the person he's talking to isn't a Jew!

8:11PM: It's not a proper telethon until Bruce Springsteen sings with a choir. FYI: More money would have been raised had Snooki and The Situation been singing back-up.

8:10PM: P.S., Halle, you really are very pretty.

8:09PM: Really, Halle Berry? Are leather pants appropriate for a fundraiser? Really? Why don't you just get out your bedazzler and stud those pants with diamonds.

8:03PM: Clooney, by all accounts, you're a highly likable, very nice guy. But would it kill you to sometimes get over your fucking self?

8:00PM: Alicia Keys can open her mouth wider than a carp.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Holidays.

Rest easy, my redeye to Boston never crashed. And neither did I – even after two drinks. So I arrived in Boston at 5AM looking like Lindsay Lohan on a typical Tuesday.

An hour later, my sister and I were sitting on her couch. Practically comatose, I was minding my own beezwax when my 5-year-old niece approached us. She looked me up and down, and then turned to my sister and said with severe disapproval, "Your sister is no better than a juice box." It was both weird and oddly sophisticated, and yet still highly insulting.

That afternoon we made it up to Maine. Have you ever been in Maine in December? It's freaking freezing. Yet, if you walk into my parents' house, you'd think you were sitting in a tanning bed on the equator. And in the horrific event that the thermostat creeps below 80, everyone is offered a round of cashmere sweaters and sifters of brandy. Each night, while it hovered near 20 outside, I actually slept with the ceiling fan on, all my bedroom windows open, and it still felt like the Beach Boys should be singing "Kokomo" from my closet. (If only!)

Tradition is big in my family, so searing house temperature is nothing new. In fact, there are very few "new" things introduced into the Christmas festivities, and there are 5 things you can always count on:

1) At 6PM sharp, my father begins asking, "Can I get anyone anything...?" And everyone politely declines.
2) At 6:03PM, drinking becomes acceptable, and everyone asks my father to get them a drink.
3) Christmas Eve dinner is served at 8PM. (Crab cakes or lasagna.)
4) By 9PM, we are gossiping about the crazy relatives who are a perfect combination of both creepy and boring, and we still obsessively talk about the same stories every. single. year. as if it's the first time we've heard them.
5) Christmas dinner consists of beef tenderloin with Bearnaise (don't get saucy with me, Bearnaise!), mushroom souffle, Italian green beans with tomato, onion, and garlic, roasted potatoes, copious amounts of wine, and some kind of kitchen-related disaster. (Last year my Bearnaise separated, and calling 911 was seriously considered.)

Food and drink are big traditions and trump all.

The other big tradition is the Christmas tree ornaments, in that they are traditionally weird.

We take a lovely evergreen and smother it with: retainers, hospital stay bracelets, my mother's Child Psychologist ID from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (note: my mother is neither a psychologist nor has she worked at a hospital), the fake ID I made when I was 16, business cards from first jobs, my brother-in-law's wedding boutonniere, turkey bones, my deceased Meemaw's hair roller which includes some of her white hair (naturally), the key to my deceased Paw's safe deposit box (I'd still like to see what that has to offer), my mother's broken eye glasses she ran over in the car a week before my sister's high-stress wedding, a pack of Kool cigarettes, one of my mother's veins she had removed from a varicose vein surgery in the 80s, my father's staples from his first hip replacement surgery, a NYC subway token, and a B. Altman's credit card.

Yet surprisingly, no one in my family is a serial killer...that we know of. Although secretly, we all suspect Anson of cagey doings. Remember him?

And just a side note, I forgot many of the bizarro tree ornaments we had, so I sent an email to my mother asking her to list some. She did, and she ended her email by asking me, "Is that enough? Are you making a quilt??" Apparently the intense heat in that house is scrambling her brains, because surely she knows that when we quilt we use dried animal organs and the ears of the homeless.

Weirdness aside...just kidding...I'm about to give you more weirdness.

When we sit down to Christmas dinner, before we cheers, we each open our "Christmas Cracker". (Believe me, a name not lost on any of us.) If you're unfamiliar with this English tradition (we're not English, by the way), you pull open the cracker to reveal a surprise treat and a colored paper crown to wear. This year, the prize in many was a nail cutter. And I can tell you with 100% certainty that those nail cutters will end up on the tree next year. But more importantly, you should know that all 9 of us sit through a 2+ hour dinner wearing our crowns, each looking creepier than the Burger King.

And again, in keeping with tradition, we did suffer another kitchen-related casualty. After a very hectic plating session in which my mother realized too late that we never warmed the plates (an important but unspoken rule of the house), she really tried to get those plates into that oven. But, she was expertly thwarted by Tad, who saw her coming and correctly thought, "Fuck warm plates" and aggressively threw a slice of tenderloin on each plate seconds before my mom reached them. It was honestly a genius move on his part.

Unfortunately for Tad, this would be his last genius move of the evening.

Still wearing his apron from slicing the beef, Tad put on a couple of pot holders to bring the hot rolls to the table, setting them down next to a few votive candles. Now Tad is one of the smarter people we know, so it was surprising that he couldn't foresee what would happen when you place a wooden basket lined with a paper cloth next to an open flame.

From the kitchen I hear, "OhboyOhboyOhboy!" As I stuck my head around the corner, I see Tad tippy-toeing around the table, clutching a flaming basket of buns. The apron and comically large pot holders just added to the scene. Had he been wearing a toque, I would've thought the Swedish Chef was in the dining room.

When we finally sat down to dinner, the Bearnaise was perfectly saucy, the potatoes crispy, the beans tangy,the beef juicy, and the rolls smokey.

As always, good times.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Live Blogging From 35,000 Feet.

Quick, send help, I'm trapped in a aluminum tube for the next 4 hours. On the plus side, free wifi!

My red eye thus far has been...clown-jumping-out-of-a-closet-with-a-machete terrifying. L.A. was experiencing some high wind gusts upon take-off which led to some dicey moments. As I sat there quietly gasping and whimpering and wondering if the plane rolling from side-to-side on the runway would get enough lift to make it into the air, the dickface 3 year old in front of me was screaming, "Weeeee! This is fun!" Had I not thought I was going to die, I would've wished for death.

A minute after "wheels up", a term I learned from my obsessive watching of "West Wing" on Bravo, the captain came on and said, "The tower just informed us that our climb is going to be real bumpy. Please buckle those belts tight. Flight attendants, keep your seats until further notice. Now, don't worry too much about it folks, we'll try to keep our speed right on the money to climb as fast as possible."

Holy fucking full-blown panic attack, Captain.

"Don't worry too much? We'll try to keep our speed right on the money?"

Look, in my mind, you have one job and that's to deliver the goods alive within 6 hours or less. You don't try, you do. And I don't care if you're on fire in the cockpit, Captain. You will tell the cabin that everything is fine, we should not worry at all, and the fact that you have to have skin a graft on your penis is no big deal and this is just another Tuesday.

Now, I can't be certain what I looked like or how I acted for the first 50 minutes of hell ride, but the lovely guy next to me said, "Hey, you OK?"

My internal monologue screamed "OH MY GOD WE ARE ALL GOING DOWN AND THE CAPTAIN IS ON FIRE!", but I pulled it together, kind of laughed and said I was fine but I didn't like flying.

His response? "Me too, and I'm in the Air Force."

Not the comforting answer I was looking for. Because I think I can assume he knows a lot more about flying than I do, and if he's scared, then there's going to be a freaking Prongs-shaped hole on the side of this plane soon.

To alleviate my fears, I went to MSNBC.com. What's the first thing I see? "American Airlines Flight Overshoots Runway"

Next.

Now, 2+ hours in, things have settled down. Mostly due to the fact that I'm drinking and watching a "Roseanne" marathon on tv.

Whoops, spoke too soon.

It seems we're running an obstacle course at 35,000 feet. Or perhaps trying to evade a flying octopus. This tin foil beast is all over the place. I'd ask the Air Force to send help but apparently "this is shit they've never seen." And I don't want to know the answer as to how that is even remotely possible.

By the way, ever try to write about someone who's sitting next to you? He's reading this right now. Have I mentioned he's very attractive and we're all lucky to be in his presence?

He just smiled.

The fact that he can even read this is crazy, because I have the typeface so small, that I can barely read it with my nose to the screen. Did the AF fit him with robotic eyes?

Notice how I type "AF" to throw him off the scent.

He read that too.

I think we're now all in agreement that this must end.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Holiday Gift To You.

Prongs is back!

My mother and high school English teacher are so excited!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Grasping At Straws.

There's one person who may find this amusing. But that's a big maybe. In fact, don't even bother reading this post.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

UPDATE: Just Guerilla Marketing For "Where The Wild Things Are".


UPDATE: My mistake. They're all assholes.

Perhaps you've heard of Falcon, the Balloon Boy? That annoying, rambunctious six-year-old who made everyone believe that he was flying through the clouds in a contraption made of tin-foil and plywood and kept aloft by an invisible panting unicorn?

He had the entire world sitting on the edge of their seats, praying for his safe return to the loving arms of his famewhore-y family comprised of Mr. Wizards and Wife Swappers. The cable news channels went crazy. Bruce Springsteen started writing a ballad called "Falcon Took Flight". Everyone wondered why this six-year-old boy with a normal sense of curiosity would just jump into a conveniently located, giant silver floaty thing – an alleged safe harbor for puppies and candy –and take to the skies. It made no sense!

The National Guard acted immediately. Denver Airport was closed. The FAA immediately began tracking "The Falcon". Helicopters swarmed the area. Anderson Cooper packed his Pradas and prepared to head west. But finally, in the vein of the great Capt. "Sully" Sullenberger, that giant unicorn-powered balloon made a miraculous soft landing.

Thank God. Obama could now tuck away that hastily written eulogy and save it for another day that will surely involve the Gosselins.

But as emergency personnel raced to the site, they discovered that Falcon was nowhere to be found. Immediate horror gripped the cable networks, much to their twitchy delight. Did the 6-year-old fall out? When? Where? From how high a height? Could this magical child survive a fall from 7,000 feet? Well, he did somehow figure out how to hijack a balloon by untying a bow, so yes, anything was possible!

People searched for hours. And when there was little hope left for finding this young Emilio Earhart, he was discovered! Safe!

Hiding in the attic above his garage.

That's right, that little inconsiderate piss-ant cost the state millions and he made the world care about a not-so engaging story. But worse, he ruined a perfectly good balloon comprised of tin foil and plywood.

What an asshole.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Prongs Is Adorable.

Cute Overload clearly has questionable judgment, because I've joined Not That Mike, The Other Mike, as one of their writers.

Check it out:

http://cuteoverload.com/

Thursday, August 13, 2009

By, George.

Yesterday morning a contractor came to the apartment to fix a window in the bathroom, and when I answered the door, I had a sudden thought that Ponch had arrived (finally!) to whisk me away to the PCH on his CHP-issued hog. In reality, he looked more like Jon Favreau’s Hispanic twin.

His name was George and he offered me one of those sparkling smiles that dazzled to the point of bordering between attractive and outright creepy. He greeted me and inserted about 20 exclamation points after my name as if he had just run into an old friend in the aisle at Ralph’s. His black t-shirt was fitted, but not too tight that it made him look like one of those guys with cantaloupe biceps from Gold’s Gym, and he wore a small but sparkly blue stud in his ear. It seemed like an odd choice for a Hispanic contractor, but that’s George for you.

George, my new best friend.

He was immensely likeable, and that’s usually impossible to say about landlord-endorsed workmen. And George further endeared himself to me when he characterized my building’s management team as “kind of idiots, you know?” I knew. He continued, “Your landlord? Seems nice, right? But sometimes calling someone ‘nice’ don’t mean what you think you think it means, am I right?”

I nodded my head enthusiastically because, of course, George was right; I was intoxicated by his lilting accent and the fact that he had punctuated his sentence with a wink, but in all honesty, I wasn’t exactly sure what he was talking about. But that’s George for you.

We spent the next thirty minutes going through the apartment, which in reality takes only about 6.5 seconds, but George was thorough and he wanted to make sure that he addressed each and every problem. There was no problem too big, “Sure, I can hang a ceiling fan from those 20 foot ceilings, but it will be messy for sure and probably look pretty stupid, you know?” and no problem too small, “You know that painting hanging there is crooked, right? Let me fix it for you!” It was the first time anyone has paid that much attention to me in months, and though I knew this man about as well as I knew steady employment, I was tempted to invite him to join me in a bowl of Boo Berries. That’s just George for you.

George finally retreated to the bathroom to repair the shower window, and when he emerged just 15 short minutes later, he was triumphant. “Come, take a look at my work!” The window was fixed, the bathroom was clean, and the tub looked curiously whiter than it had an hour before. “Oh yes, I noticed that someone did just a disastrous caulking job, so I fixed that for you too! Looks good, right?” Right. Good. Very good and right. It was the easiest – and by far the most pleasant – 45 minutes I’ve spent with anyone.

We finished up the paperwork, and just before he left, George sheepishly asked if he could use the bathroom. Of course – anything for you, George.

In the meantime, I checked email. And after a few minutes, I headed into the kitchen to get a glass of water. As I did, I stuck my head around the corner and noticed that the bathroom door was still curiously closed. Maybe George noticed another problem. Yes, that must be it. I plopped myself down on the couch and waited for George to open that door and tell me that while fixing my leaky faucet, he had discovered a cure for cancer.

But with each passing minute, I became increasingly nervous. What was taking so long? It takes – what? – thirty seconds to pee, tops? I calculated the odds that George was suffering from a urinary tract infection, and determined that this would still only warrant an acceptable two minutes in the bathroom. But George had been in there a good ten minutes already. Was he sick? Should I call out and ask if he’s OK?

Just as I decided that he must have fallen and hit his head, George emerged from the bathroom, victorious – his dazzling smile in check and looking just as triumphant as I expected. “Thank you very much! We’ll be talking soon!” he said, as he headed straight out the front door. It was kind of an odd departure considering the bond we had formed. No hug? Perhaps George had left another surprise in the bathroom in the form of a repaired cabinet? Yes, that would just be soooo George.

As I headed toward the bathroom, I realized George did leave me a surprise, and my heart sank. It seemed George emerged triumphant for an entirely different reason, and a familiar stink was quickly seeping through the apartment. It was the smell of someone trying to cover his tracks. It was the smell of someone disregarding personal boundaries. It was the smell of betrayal.

Technically, it was the smell of a smoldering match and its poor attempt at masking the stench of a freshly brewed poo.

Yes, George took a giant dump in my house. Worse, in the one toilet in my house. That’s located in my bedroom. I started thinking about what sort of circumstances would force a stranger to shit on another’s throne. Presumably, it must have been an emergency. However, the more I thought about “emergency shitting” the more nauseous I became. I imagined George rushing in and pulling up his slightly fitted tee as he sat down just before his ass exploded like water exiting an elephant’s trunk. Had I not been so repulsed by my soiled toilet, I would’ve thrown up in it.

I went into panic mode. Everything would need to be sanitized, disinfected, and scrubbed with a toothbrush – ideally George’s. No, I’d just demand a new toilet. Of course that would mean that George would be the one to install it. Fine, I’d just have to move.

I didn't understand – in ten minutes time, my whole morning had been turned upside down. I still couldn’t believe it. Who craps in a stranger’s house?

That’s George for you.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Unintentional Gag-Inducing Headline Of The Day.

From the Associated Press, 8/9/09:

"Florida Inmates Make, Sell Their Own Hot Sauce"

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Christmas In July.

Perhaps you heard, but after 40 years, 20th Century Props–a prop house here in L.A.–went out of business. Its owner, Harvey Schwartz says he ran out of money and was forced to go out of business due to the loss of scripted television and the increasing number of movies filmed out-of-state. A sad sign of the times, indeed.

But, sorry Harvey–your loss is Prongs' gain. Thanks to 20th Century Props' inventory auction, I was finally able to secure one particular item that I've had my eye on for some time. I've never found anything like it–certainly nothing that represents my character so well:

A prong-footed tub.

Behold, my bathing vessel. My God, isn't she gorgeous? The photo doesn't do her justice, but she's titanic–but, you know, built better–and to put her size into perspective, that tag hanging on her toe? Well, it's the size of any American flag you'd see hanging at a car dealership. So yes, plenty of room for me to float around in my swimmies and snorkel.

Sure, the downside is she's the size of my living room, so right now I'm just calling her "art". Although her proper name is Bathing Ruth.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Stupid Is As Stupid Does.


Sometimes, my own stupidity astounds me. In fact, I'm so stupid that I don't even know what the above title means, I just know that since it has the word stupid in it twice, it must apply to me. In looking up the phrase, I discovered that "stupid is as stupid does" apparently means "judge people by what they do, not by how they appear". Just as I suspected – I'm doubly screwed.

And with good reason, if recent events are any indication.

A few nights ago, around 8PM, I walked out to my car to run a quick errand. It was just beginning to grow dark, and as I approached my car, I noticed two guys laughing on the porch of a building a few up from mine. A few whistles were thrown my way, and I rolled my eyes as I thought, "I love you!" They seemed pretty drunk, perhaps odd for anywhere else, but Sunday night is a drinker's paradise in West Hollywood. Why, I don't know, but I suspect it's a way for the gays to give God the collective (expertly manicured!) finger.

I turned the ignition over in my car, and because my street's width equals that of a celery stalk, I adeptly performed a 16-point turn, and 7 short minutes later, I was ready to go. Just as I started slowly rolling down the street, I heard one of the drunk, porch guys yelling. And before I knew it, he was running in front of my car, waving for me to stop. I slowly drove by him, and I as I did, he started banging on the passenger side of my car. So I did what any normal person would do. I stopped.

(Let's take a moment and allow my mother some time to pick herself off the floor and back into her chair.)

He came running up to the passenger side window and indicated that I should roll it down.

I quickly assessed the situation: I'm alone in a car, on a quiet, dark street–yes. And I heard my mom's voice say, "Don't talk to strangers!" But how much harm could a young, good-looking, fraternity-type white guy cause? (This much.) So, I did what any normal person would do. I rolled down my window.

As I rolled down the window–only half way, but that positive is totally negated if you do this while keeping the doors unlocked–I realized this harmless serial killer wasn't drunk. He was hammered. Imagine the manic energy of a Liza Minnelli combined with the slurred speech of a Larry Flynt plus the movement of a tall ficus tree swaying in the wind, and you'll get a pretty accurate picture of this adorable rapist now leaning into my car.

As he leaned over the window, within reach of being able to successfully choke me–or hug me!– he said, "Heysh! Where'sh yush goin'?"

Was he French? "What?"

"Where you going? You going to the westside?"

"No. I'm going to Trader Joe's."

What the fuck did I just say?

Did I just tell some random drunk guy who's now practically crawling into my window that I was going to Trader Joe's like this is the most normal conversation–under the most normal circumstances–I've ever had?

See, I have a terrible habit of offering too much information when people ask me simple questions. Like, if I'm ordering take-out and the guy asks if I need extra ketchup packets, instead of saying, "No thanks," I'll say, "No, that's ok–I just bought a huge thing of ketchup, and it's in the door of my fridge." It's a mortifying habit.

But this response was extraordinary–even for me. In fact, it was so odd that it made my cute, drunk killer pause, and for one brief moment, his crazy eyes focused, and I could read what they said, "God, you're fucking weird, lady."...Thought the drunk guy asking random strangers for rides as he hangs halfway out of their car windows.

"Well, what are you getting from Trader Joe's? And can I come?"

"Just some lettuce and milk."

What the fuck!

I wondered if I was undergoing some kind of epileptic event. How else could I justify this behavior?

Finally, I told him that, sorry, he could not come with me, but to have a good night. And as I started to drive away, he tried to open the passenger side door. This was not good; admittedly, this made me nervous. Although, as history has shown, had he offered me some hard candy, I probably would've taken it. My anxiety was short lived, however, because as I sped forward and watched him still fumbling with the door handle, I realized a mitten-wearing seal would've had an easier time getting into my car.

Crisis not-so-gracefully averted, by the time I got to Trader Joe's, it sunk in just how stupid I had been. Not only had I pulled over for some stranger, but I stopped the car, rolled down the window, and then engaged in some seriously awkward conversation. I'll be honest, the awkward conversation bothered me the most. Lettuce? Milk? I vowed to make a concerted effort to not talk to anyone anymore.

I was feeling better once I pulled onto my street. I felt immediately worse when I realized the only space left was the one from which I left–the same space in front of the building with the porch where the two drunk, young, good-looking, fraternity-type white guys still sat. What, in the time I was gone, he couldn't find any other idiot to give him a ride?

I refused to park there in fear I'd end up describing–in detail–how it annoyed me that I had to pay for my lettuce and milk with my atm card since I was a dollar short in cash. So I circled my block looking for parking. By my third pass–and with that same space still blatantly available–the two drunk, young, good-looking, fraternity-type white guys were pointing at me in hysterics. I loathed that fucking bag of lettuce sitting in the back seat of my car.

I ended up finally finding a different space at the end of my block. The space was tight, but after five tries and some inadvertent honking of the horn, I squeezed myself in. And then I sat there for 10 extra minutes. I got home, put my lettuce away and promptly ordered a pizza.

"Do you want dessert with that?"

"Nah, I have a whoopie pie in my fridge."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Behold, The Hilarious Highlight Of Thursday.

If it makes you sad that this snippet from a conversation is the highlight of my day, then you're going to be near suicidal when I tell you it may actually be the highlight of my week.

And please take a moment to recognize the new level of "nerd" that I've just stooped to: I'm blogging about an IM exchange regarding Facebook. And, I use Beeker as my icon.

I might as well adopt a lisp and start showing up alone to parties where I explain to a group of strangers that my tardiness was due to my concern over a mysterious rash blanketing my limbs. True story.



Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Meow-Mixed.

Whitney Houston just released the cover for her new album. And look, I like a comeback just as much as anyone (are you listening, Flock of Seagulls?), but does a comeback mean you have to come back with a new face?


OK, but please don't make me look to you.

Listen, I expect it from someone like Courtney Love–someone who didn't have much to work with to begin with–but you, Whitney Houston? Whitney Houston, we used to look at you and actually believe that children are our future. But now? Now we look at your face from that one moment in time, and frankly, it makes us think an alien race of felines is going to take over the world.


I'm every woman. (Literally.)

And I'm allergic to cats, so I don't particularly want to treat them well and let them lead the way, if you're picking up what I'm throwing down.

But I suspect you can't even see what I've thrown down since by the looks of it, your scalpel-friendly eyes can no longer register perspective or depth. Which is interesting because you were married to Bobby Brown before any of this happened.

At any rate, I hope your new album is a good one. I want it to be an album so great that it's gonna make me wanna dance with somebody–somebody who loves me. OK, so that means I'll be dancing alone. And sure, it's not right, but it's okay. At least I won't look like a British Shorthair.


Bob-bay!

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Look Into The Future: Part 1.

Did you know that some of our most famous Americans were born in Iowa? People like Herbert Hoover and Mamie Eisenhower. And John Wayne, and Ashton Kutcher, and Elijah Wood. It makes sense; all of these people were/are about as exciting as an ear of corn.

Speaking of corn, Iowa loves it. In 2007, 2.5 billion bushels were harvested from 13.9 million acres. Of course, most of Iowa's crop goes into animal feed, so you can imagine how many kernels are currently stuck in the teeth of some very frustrated cows.

Speaking of cows, Iowa's obesity rate is at 26%.

Speaking of 26, there are way more than 26 registered sex offenders living within 3 miles of Des Moines, Iowa's city limits. I wonder if Sesame Street gets huge ratings here...

Friday, July 10, 2009

And They Lived Happily Ever After.

Perhaps you remember my arch-nemesis, Morgan Freeman. Well it seems he has too much time on his hands, maybe he's not doing enough acting-narrating. You see, Morgan Freeman decided he wants to marry his granddaughter. Sorry, step-granddaughter. As if that distinction makes this situation any less Woody Allen-ish.

Try to follow along: Apparently Morgan Freeman, who is in the midst of divorcing his current wife, Myrna Colley-Lee, has been romantically linked to his 27-year-old granddaughter for over a decade. However, the girlfriend-granddaughter is actually the granddaughter of Morgan Freeman's first wife, Jeanette Adair Bradshaw. And during that marriage, Morgan Freeman adopted the girlfriend-granddaughter's mother, Jeanette Adair Bradshaw's biological daughter, thus making Morgan Freeman's current girlfriend/soon-to-be fiance his step-granddaughter.

Go ahead, try to narrate that, Morgan Freeman. Even you can't talk yourself out of this debacle-of-a-creepy story.

"That'll do, pig. That'll do."

Why did I not see that coming.

"She did, and she was secretly delighted."

Listen Morgan Freeman, despite your annoying habit of narrating everything under the sun –

"Even as she typed it, she immediately knew that choosing such an overused idiom was a mistake. As a writer, she thought even typing such a thing was beneath her. It was not."

Goddamn it, Morgan Freeman.

"She'd never admit it, but each night she went to bed dreaming that one day she'd become the next David Sedaris. Of course, by the next morning, she realized she'd always just be the Odie in a world of Garfields."

Wait, what?

"She began thinking about Garfield. She loved that crazy cat ever since she was five years old. She spent hours, her pudgy fingers turning page after page, giggling over their shared love of lasagna. That day when she finally realized that Garfield couldn't actually speak, well something shifted, and some say –"

Some?

"...that's the day her childhood ended. She was twenty-two.
"

Oh Christ, here we go again.

"Despite the fact that yes, she did think I narrated too often, she still liked me. There was something about me, something she found comforting. She hated to admit it, but I reminded her of her grandfather–in the best way possible."

True. My sister and I actually call you "Black Paw".

"She panicked a moment and wondered if that was racist. Or better, just racist enough to be funny...? It was neither."

I hate you, Morgan Freeman.

"As she said it, even she was unconvinced.
She had missed me. Her blog hadn't been the same. She needed me."

What, like your granddaughter needs you as her husband? You've known her since she was seven, for Christ's sake. It's creepy.

"But, she's not seven anymore, she thought. She hated herself for thinking it, but she suspected people have better things to do with their time than spend it thinking about me. She, of course, was not one of them."

Jesus Christ.

"Besides, the mere mention of creepy instantly reminded her of the crush she had on her high school English teacher..."

Please don't do this.

"He looked like Magnum P.I., only more attainable. Not for her, of course, but for his wife, who he was unfortunately happily married to. "

She didn't deserve him. And besides, that was just a high school crush. It's not like I started dating my grandmother's new husband –

"Tried as she might to not think about it, she couldn't help wondering what kind of man her grandmother could bag. Someone like Olivier Martinez, certainly. But less French. Yes, her MeeMaw would never go for someone who wasn't Italian."

Do you do this to anyone else?

"She mentally crossed her fingers and mouthed 'please say no.'

I don't care what you say, and I think there's something wrong about dating your own granddaughter.

"She did care, and was there? Who was she to judge, she thought. Besides Garfield, the only person she ever loved was Superman, and even she could concede that loving fictional felines and aliens named Kal-El was way weirder than anything I could ever attempt to do."

You boned your granddaughter when she was only 17. That's statutory rape, brothah!

"As much as she wished she could, she could not pull off saying neither 'boned' nor 'brothah', and she knew it. She was embarrassed, and she could only hope it would go unnoticed even though she knew it would not. Her humiliating moments rarely did, which was cruel considering 95% of the time, she was invisible to the world."

What the hell are you talking about, Morgan Freeman? Look, let's say you do marry your girlfriend-granddaughter. That would make your adopted daughter your mother-in-law; and if you should have children with your girlfriend-granddaughter, your ex-wife will become your children's great-grandmother. Talk about awkward family reunions.

"Oh, how she loved hearing about awkward family reunions. They made her feel uncharacteristically warm and fuzzy, and she only hoped she'd be able to hear about mine. But thinking about my re-configured family tree left her feeling frustrated more than anything else. By the time she finished typing the sentence, she was so confused that she found herself no longer caring about my situation; and she had already started to look around for something to eat. Lasagna sounded good."

I still hate you, Morgan Freeman.

"She still loved me..."

Jesus Christ.

"...but what really annoyed her is she realized that somehow I had managed to expertly dance around every pressing question she wanted answered."

Goddamn it, no, it can't be.

"Yes, it can indeed, be –"

Who talks like this.

"...and just like that, she realized that I could, in fact, narrate my way out of this.
"

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Watts You Talkin' 'Bout, Friendly's.


The other day, my friend* told me how thrilled she was that her mom had recently dropped off her favorite summer-seasonal dessert, an ice cream roll made by New England-y favorite, Friendly's.

The roll is composed of three different types of sherbet (watermelon, lemon, and lime) and is shaped to look like a slice of watermelon. For those of you who can't visualize even the most obvious, the lemon-lime sherbet makes up the rind, and the watermelon sherbet is even dotted with chocolate chips which function as delicious little seeds.

Sounds like a perfectly innocent summertime treat, yes? Sure, if you don't like black people.

You see, this sherbet roll is actually called a Wattamelon Roll.

Wattamelon? Wow, maybe they should just offer a piece of fried chicken and an afro pick with every purchase of a Wattamelon Roll. Seems blatantly racist to me, but maybe Friendly's has some kind of explanation?

I decided to go straight to the source and wrote a letter to Friendly's management via their website. Below is my actual letter:

"Dear Friendly's:

Ever since E.T. shoved those Reese's Pieces in his mouth, I've been a fan of your Reese's Pieces Sundae. However, for the sake of full disclosure, I'm not sure if my love of the sundae has less to do with your ice cream than it does with E.T.'s memorable fingers. You see, they look eerily similar to my own, and I'm a big fan of myself.


As much as you'd like to hear more about me, I'll move on. A friend recently told me about her own favorite Friendly's summer-seasonal dessert, the Wattamelon Roll. Frankly it doesn't appeal to me because until "sherbet" is spelled "sherbert", I refuse to touch the stuff on principle alone.


But, I'm interested in hearing the origins of Wattamelon, this not-so-terribly clever name, because it seems to me that Friendly's may not be so friendly to certain people.


So I ask you: Watt you talkin' 'bout, Friendly's?


Wattamelon? You couldn't have come up with something a little less racist? Look, I'm no scholar, but off the top of my head, I'm thinking Watermelon Roll or Wantamelon Roll might fit the bill. But again, that's just me taking a few seconds. Who knows what your marketing department could come up with? Probably not something as clever as Wantamelon, but I'm sure they're mildly capable people.


So please, at your convenience, provide some information on this Wattamelon name. If I were you, I'd change it, but that's because I care about black people.

Thanks, Friendly's.

Best regards,


Prongs Ofla


p.s. I like your Fribbles."


So, I'll let you know when I hear back. In the meantime, take the poll in the sidebar and tell me if you think "Wattamelon" is racist.

Don't worry, I'll judge you either way.

*My friend is simultaneously confused and disturbed every time she takes a bite of this summertime treat because while she doesn't wish to support racist products, such product is decidedly delicious.

Appropriate Coverage.

Sure, California may be $24B in debt, and the state is sending I.O.U.'s to taxpayers, but I think it's perfectly appropriate that the freeways were shut down so Michael Jackson's entourage could travel undisturbed by those who use the freeways for far sillier adventures like trying to get to work. Besides, since the unemployment rate is hovering around 12%, how many people were really all that inconvenienced anyway?

Still, some think the media coverage is excessive. Please. When your MeeMaw died, didn't you invite 17,000 people to attend her memorial? And if I remember correctly, Brian Williams spent a good part of a Tuesday talking about the time she made the best batch of oatmeal cookies ever.

And your MeeMaw couldn't even Moonwalk.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Prongs Of L.A. Reviews A Restaurant: Cafe Firenze.

"This is Top Chef, not Top Scallop!"

And with that one line, I was smitten. For those of you who don't watch Top Chef–and you should, if not for balding hotty Tom Colicchio alone–that line was uttered by one adorably handsome, terribly likable chef-contestant, Fabio Viviani.

Buon giorno, tutto! Please, eat my greens and love me!

With his Italian accent and rugged good looks, Fabio charmed the pants off of anyone within range of hearing his delightfully precious broken English. For instance, his "I'm fresh out of 'da boat!" made baldy Colicchio buckle and giggle like a Tickle-Me-Elmo. (Yet not nearly as furry.)


May I buff your head with some olive oil and marrow?

In addition to being more appealing than a overstuffed cannoli, Fabio is supposedly a great chef; he lasted until the final round of Top Chef competition. So for months, I've been dying to try Cafe Firenze, Fabio's restaurant in Moorpark, CA. I've resisted for months because, well, his restaurant is in Moorpark, CA–known more for cactae and rattlers and 100+ degree temperatures, and not fine dining. But this past Saturday, we drove the hour to Moorpark to try his "ambitious" lunch menu.

I secretly had high hopes, but I tried to keep my expectations realistic. Not so secret was the Bravo TV "Top Scallop!" t-shirt I donned under my Italian flag-woven cotton sweater.

Cafe Firenze is located in a strip mall, which is not unusual for many restaurants in the LA area; Katsuya in Studio City, for example, is smooshed between a pet store and a Domino's and yet it's one of the top-rated sushi joints in Los Angeles.

The only thing missing is a coin-operated carousel.

So, the strip mall aspect didn't bother me so much. However, the three Vespas lined up outside the door, did. Why not go the extra mile and hire three old skinny dudes with slicked back hair to lean against them while smoking cigarettes and talking about bracciole.

Once inside, at first glance the large rooms seem cozy, homey, lovely. But once you really start to look around, the room starts to look more and more like some faux-Mediterranean restaurant in Epcot's Italy. Had Goofy tumbled out of the kitchen spinning pizza dough, I wouldn't have been batted an eye. Mainly because I would've been too busy asking him to sign my autograph book I keep in my Chip 'n Dale backpack.

As expected, the restaurant walls are painted in that overly used faux gold overlay which highlighted the massive dark, wooden beams crossing the ceiling. It's a look often used by people who think they have taste, but don't. I'm immediately reminded of a wine cellar that may or may not double as a whacking room in a Mediterranean villa-mcmansion plopped down in the middle of, say, Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.

But, I'm here for the food, and I keep an open mind about this restaurant that decidedly blows. I order; a glass of white for me, a bloody for SFB. Because apparently there isn't enough sodium in the V-8 juice, the bloody inexplicably comes with salt. I guess Fabio figures, "You already too bloated to see your feet, why you care if you have cankle?!" And as predicted, 8 hours later SFB would comment that his hands look like mittens.

For the first course, a Caprese salad on a bed of arugula with aged balsamic is split. Let's start with a positive: the dressing was pretty good–a near-perfect combination of tangy, tart, and fruity. But, that's about as positive as it gets. The mozzarella was ice cold, the tomatoes grainy, and the arugula was more aged than the balsamic.

The "after" picture is more appetizing than the "before".

Have I mentioned the fly and its smaller yet more persistent cousin, the fruit fly, that keep fluttering around our booth?

Next, we order the Caprese and meatball paninis. First of all, the Caprese wasn't a panini. It was two pieces of previously toasted "focaccia" that contained the same ice-cold mozzarella and grainy tomatoes as seen in our salad, and worse–the basil that was so old its edges had blackened. And I say focaccia in quotes because it was basically two pieces of toast with grill marks. The whole thing looked like it belonged on a tray table during a flight to Cleveland.


Even the food is "faux". I should've kept the theme going and paid in Monopoly money.

The meatball panini, while appropriately hot and melty, lacked flavor and...meat.


This isn't a weird angle–the chip actually dwarfed the panini.

And as if adding insult to injury, each sandwich came with exactly five potato chips. And all 10 chips were unseasoned and chewy.

Blame the flies swarming our shitty food (undoubtedly the only satisfied customers at our table), or the fact that I noticed ivy leaves stenciled on those faux walls, but we didn't even bother looking at the dessert menu. But I think it's safe to assume that tiramisu makes a prominent appearance.

Fabio was actually walking around while we were there, and it makes me wonder about his judgment. How could anyone who calls himself a chef, allow those plates to be served, I'd ask him as I snuggled in his lap in the glow of faux gold.

It pains me to say this, but Cafe Firenze is nothing more than an Olive Garden. But more expensive. And that's an astoundingly annoying combination.