Pops' Bucket
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Third In A Series Of Three
Babysitters for three kids are not easy to find. And yet somehow, when there are twelve Guatemalans living in your attic, shackled together so that they rely on you as their only source of food, sunlight and toilet access, arrangements can always be hammered out. Sometimes literally.

This is how Mrs. Pops and I found ourselves able to run out for a few hours and take in the much-anticipated Superman Returns.

In the interest of fairness, completeness and because my new openness has kicked down doors into realms of creepy exhibitionism I never knew I had, I present for you a picture taken from the back row of the theater featuring both myself and--making her world blog debut--my darling wife, Mrs. Pops. This was taken by an usher. It's amazing what you can get them to do for $5. Immediately after this picture was taken, I had him do a funny, funny dance. Best $10 I ever spent. Anyways:

See how the Man of Steel himself casts an envious backward glance in my direction. Even he fears the abs.

In the course of bringing these images to you, I have learned two things:

1) People in general do NOT appreciate flash photography in the middle of a film and
2) Writing takes less time than picture-making, but it sure is less fun.

I'll go back to words and junk in the near future, I promise. For now, ogle. And resent the fact that this image cuts off before the eyes can reach my glorious package. Sorry people, I have afforded you quite enough of that. Basic law of supply and demand tells me I must keep pictures of my genitals rare (and wonderful!) so that they remain precious. I'd hate to cheapen myself.

No rodeo as promised yesterday, but Mrs. Pops did insist on the hat. Strangely, no one in the theater complained.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.4


PS- The movie was actually pretty good. Slow in some parts, but effective in all the right places. Looked fantastic as well.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006
National Pastime
Another day, another attempt by the wicked, evil, bastard sun to kill me dead.

This time Mrs. Pops--as part of her blatant and unabashed program to cash in my life insurance without waiting around for me to conveniently get ball cancer--dragged me off to yet another event that involved much walking and even more exposure to the elements.

She made me go to a baseball game. With the kids. In hot-ass late June.

Have any of you ever seen one of those giant solar collectors that cost billions of dollars and provide us with upwards of .01% of our daily electricity needs? No? Perhaps I can paint a word-picture for you: picture a baseball stadium... yeah, that's basically it. That's what they look like. Both structures work exactly the same way except instead of harvesting and focusing solar radiation for the purposes of making prohibitively expensive usable energy, baseball stadiums use the sun's rays to piss off my kids and make us by $5 sodas. The baseball stadium is much more financially feasible and cost-effective an enterprise.

I do love me some baseball, but my team lost by like 10 runs, so it was less than ideal.

Since I opened up yesterday and showed you what I looked like, I will share with all of you another picture of myself from the baseball game. The floodgates are opened, people. Now that I feel free to share, this is going to be all-me-pictures all-the-fucking-time.

This one was, again, taken by my wife, this time from just in front of the railing high above home plate in the Upper View section, as far up as you can get and not be on the goddamn roof. Again, as yesterday, NOT A GIANT. OK:

What? Oh, you didn't think I only dressed like this for the beach, did you? I'm sorry if I gave you that impression. But come on, if you had a body like this, you'd dress exactly the same way. Plus I know if I show up this way, a small group of well-groomed guys almost always buy my ticket for me.

The specs are gone (it's a night game and even I am not that pretentious), but note how I show my support for my team my wearing my chapeau ever so jauntily askew. It conveys a clear, unashamed rooting interest while saying "Hey, world! Let's not take this all so gosh darn seriously! It's just a game! Also, I'm so secure in my hetero-masculinity that I'm not afraid to look this gay!"

Plus the one-eye-covered is kind of pirate-y looking and you know who loves pirates? The ladies.

Enjoy. Tomorrow: me at a rodeo. Or possibly on the moon. Depends on what Google gives me.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.4


Monday, June 26, 2006
Locals Only
It's late Monday and my precious Routine is already fucked up beyond all recognition.

Luckily we've had lots of events planned to keep my mind off the stress of deviation from the patterns I would normally hold to without regard to distraction, hygiene or even personal safety. I nearly made it through the whole day without cutting.

Today, as it has been what meteorological experts call "hot as balls" here in the Inland Empire, Mrs. Pops decided it would be a good day to head west and enjoy us some salty, sandy, skin-irritatin' fun at one of our local beaches.

We went to Salt Creek, a county park beach out in Orange County right below the Ritz-Carlton hotel out that way in Dana Point. It was a beach I went to often as a kid, but some things have changed. Mostly the fact that I am no longer a kid.

I'd forgotten the half-mile trek down (and then, horrifically, inevitably, up on the way out) the 60-percent grade hill to get to the water. Also: less fun with exhausted and sun-addled children in tow.

We left tired and thirsty and chafed and sniping at one another, just as all good beach excursions should. But not one tetanus shot was needed, so that counts as an exceptionally good day at the SoCal coast.

My wife and I take turns watching the kids kick around in the surf while the other lays on a towel and pretends we've all drowned so I/she can enjoy a few minutes of peace.

When I'm up, I play my favorite game One-Night Stand or Statutory Rape? It's the game that makes me glad I'm married and off the dating market so I don't have to figure out if the girls parading before me in skimpy two-piece bathing suits are 14 or 25. Frankly, I've completely lost the ability to tell. Playing this game makes me feel creepy and wrong, but I am comforted by the fact that I am with Mrs. Pops who a) also rocks a two-piece and b) has a birth certificate I can check if I'm ever unsure.

And just so you know, I'm not leering and ogling the girls on the beach. That's what the opaque sunglasses are for. As far as they know, I am clearly pretending to watch my kids who may or may not be tumbling ass-over-elbows through the surf. Did I mention none of my kids can swim? Details, people. Parenting is all in the details.

As a penance for what is sure to be crappy attendance this week, I have decided to grace you all with the first-ever live picture of me on the internet.

This photo is NOT DOCTORED. This is not a picture of "Pops," but of my actual self, Korvath Ganymede Macleish Horrington III. This was taken on a bluff above Laguna by my wife this very afternoon. I am breaking my anonymity. Tell no one.

Oh, before you go, know that when I go to the beach, I only wear three things: secret opaque ogling specs, sunscreen (SPF -11, which is basically bacon grease) and a white banana hammock. Enjoy.

Also important to note: I am not, in fact, a giant. I am simply in the foreground. If I were a giant, I would obviously be eating the people behind me by the handful.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.4


Sunday, June 25, 2006
Because You Macramé-ed Yourself A Pair Of Jean Shorts
Jesus Saves. It's true. I know it's true because I read it on a bumper sticker.

Other things I learned were true in exactly the same manner: Life Begins At Forty. Easy Does It. I'd Rather Be Ice-Fishing. A Woman Needs A Man Like A Fish Needs A Bicycle.

I've also learned that women who display that last bumper sticker are almost never receptive to my advances. Even using the bumper sticker as an ice-breaker, as a way to show that we share an interest in absurdist humor and adhesive-backed wisdom-placards, and still I get nothing but the stonewall. They would always--them and the girl they'd be with--just laugh at me and sometimes throw things. But you know what, fuck them. I mean, what does that even mean, a fish needs a bicycle? It doesn't even make any sense. There's no way a fish needs a bicycle, because it lives underwater and doesn't even have any... any...

Oh. I just got that.

But the chicks who have the "I'd Rather Be Ice-Fishing" bumper stickers? Totally slutty. I don't know if that's some kind of code or what, but I do know if you see a car with that across the back, you're never more than a subtle horn-tap away from a subtle horn-tap, if you know what I mean.

The point is that Jesus Saves. That means everybody. Well, not the Jews, but everybody else. Or the Muslims. But the rest of us. Minus the atheists. And people who don't like NASCAR. But every single one of the rest of us who aren't liberals.

Notice I didn't leave out the gays. The gays are a problem, but they aren't beyond fixing.

Jesus can even save the women with the bicycle fish bumper stickers. Really, he's been turning gay people straight for a very long time, much to the relief of the people who cared enough to band together and force them to try.

While being a Jew is a stain some are born with and can never be truly wiped clean, being gay is simply an act of shameful decadence. "Shameful Decadence" also happens to be a flavor of Ben & Jerry's ice cream (vanilla ice cream with minty chocolate chips in the shape of your grandmother's disapproving face, laced with flecks of real gold, saffron threads and a pathological inability to experience abashment [which tastes exactly like cherries]), which is something Jesus need never save you from. Gluttony, just like usury and basic human compassion, are things a modern-day believer need not worry him or herself with. Some issues we set aside for the sake of tackling the really important social ills that threaten us daily. Like gayness.

Recently on a television near you, a man was brave enough to share his Jesus-saved-me-from-my-fabulous-self story. He too once felt, deep in his gut, the Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name Until Will & Grace Makes It To Syndication. He says that with little steps--a pair of shoes that didn't quite compliment his shirt here, a transvestite prostitute there--he was eventually able to make it all the way back to the Land of the Happy Vaginas. Jesus told him that, no matter what, if he would only look at the female genitals from the right angle, they would be smiling at him. Sort of a 90-degree head tilt.

The point is that he is fixed and now he would like to fix you as well, you dirty, dirty godless sissy. This butch non-queer wants you to know that HE knows what the nellies need to cure them of their insatiable hunger for cock. He's very hands-on.

He preaches what they call "holding therapy" which he demonstrated on CNN by letting another man sit on his lap and cuddling with him.

What a godly thing to do. From what he says: "They're hungering for that intimacy and that bonding that they didn't experience in primary relationships with parents and/or same-gender peers... So what we have to provide then, in the Christian community, is really mentoring these men and women... and a lot of them need healthy touch--hugging, holding, just palling around, buddying around."

And at the end of the program, as a celebration of the bond now shared between Christian brothers, those who complete the program receive a diploma, a Ring of Promise illustrating their commitment to sin-free life, a year subscription to Playboy and--as a reminder to the graduates of the thing they now abhor--a vigorous goodbye cornholing from their leader, Mr. Richard Cohen.

Hang on... Cohen? Oh man, and I was totally buying that. Those crafty Jews almost got us again...

Back to the drawing board, I guess. It's not a bad idea though. If anything will get the gays' interest in your program, I'd say free hands-OK lap-dances from other dudes is the way to go.

Until we figure out what the cure is, however, the rest of us will never be safe.

So long as there are gays, Dr. James Dobson's precious virgin sphincter will be under constant seige from the ravenous homos who are desperate to ravage him. I mean, look at him... It isn't hate or bigotry that drives him. It's clearly a case of self-preservation.

This man's colon is in your hands.

Worst bumper sticker slogan ever by the way.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 3.3


PS- No Monday post. Wife is on vacation, so we may have all-day-esque plans a couple times this week. Also the man is coming tomorrow to murder the ants and wasps and other sundry unwelcome insect vagabonds who darken my eaves and pantries. Although I will relish their deaths, I do not wish to see the carnage first-hand, so we will be vacating. I shall not say where. Suck on it, stalkers. See y'all Tuesday. Or not.

Friday, June 23, 2006
Movies I Have No Intention Of Seeing, #36


starring Adam Sandler, Kate Beckinsale, David Hasselhoff (yes I said DAVID HASSELHOFF!) and Christopher Walken

You know what? Fuck this movie. I'm already as angry about this movie as I was about The Lake House. Instead of a magic mailbox that sends letters through a mystical portal of time (and before you kidnap a postal service worker and torture him or her in your basement in order to prise free the secrets of time travel, remember Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock are using the same mailbox, which means the letters never pass through the hands of the USPS) this movie's high-concept premise has to do with a magic remote control that actually works on people and things. Like instead of rewinding a movie, you rewind to, say, high school before you were fat and balding and hopeless and crippled with despair, reduced to writing an allegedly humorous blog.

I find the whole idea of both The Lake House and Click to be offensive. Because there just isn't enough going on in the everyday of people's lives that we have to make these tortured focus-group ideas pieced together Frankenstein-like from some goddamn committee charged with spitting out movie formulae like algebra problems. Sometimes they're even actually about algebra problems.

I want this movie to fail. I want the people involved with it to fail. I want this movie to suffer painfully, linger on for a few weeks, just long enough for people to decide that they won't buy it when it comes out on DVD either. I want the people who approved this concept for the screen to be rounded up and... I want... I... uh...

Oooooooh, Kate Beckinsale...

She's lovely, sure, but that's beside the point. The point is that some studio head has a retarded nephew who entertains the family when they gather for holidays (Passover, Hanukkah... look, I said studio head) by trying to use the TV remote to turn down the cat. They laugh and laugh until they cry only in the end they're not sure if they're crying from too much laughter or because of the grotesque human tragedy of it all. So all loaded up with guilt and shame, this studio guy tells the room full of hack story-idea people "I want a movie about a retarded boy with a magic remote, pronto!" Then he slams the door with a flourish and stalks off to lunch featuring two martinis and a receptionist.

Once in the room, the idea takes on a life of its own. It's a short trip from "retarded boy" to Adam Sandler and here we are. Yes, here we (by "we" I mean "those of you who are able to leave your homes") are: stuck on this final pre-Superman weekend with this tiresome dreck that I take as a personal insult on behalf all Americans who are meant to swallow this brackish pabulum without so much as a... um... a... uh...

Ooooooh, Kate Beckinsale...

And Christopher Walken, my God. Sometimes his forays into retarded comedy pay off ("...more cowbell!" etc.) but mostly it's Wayne's World 2 or worse. In this one he plays the guy who makes the magic remote and you can tell he's a mad scientist type because he's got Mad Scientist Hair and he wears Mad Scientist Clothes. Just like everything else in this movie, a total waste of money and creative energy, assuming anyone (besides Mr. Walken) has any actual creative energy to be wasted in the first place. Unfortunately for everyone involved, it's too late to round up all the prints and burn them on a bonfire while we the liberated dance around it, stripped to the waist, our bodies painted only with smoke and sweat, dressed only in crude pants stitched together from the scraps of cast-aside "casual Friday" Hawaiian shirts.

You know what, I want another Beckinsale picture.

I'll be honest with you people, I'm leaning. Despite all my protestations, this does have Kate Beckinsale in it. She is hot. But then that wasn't nearly enough to make me see Pearl Harbor or either of the Underworld movies. But the hesitations there can be explained by my irrational fear of both vampires and Josh Hartnett.

This one... I don't know. I mean, like I said, it seems really stupid. And this is coming from the guy who recommended Nacho Libre last week. It should get the Andrew Shue Mark of Death on the Babysitter scale, but I'm reluctant. If only there were something that could decide it for me one way or the other...

Done and done.

One (out of 3) on the Hot Babysitter Scale.

Rescued, but just barely.



Mrs. Pops is on vacation next week. That means lots of planned activities where I load up on Paxil and pretend I'm part of human society. So posting may be hit-and-miss this coming week. Get your affairs in order now. Just in case.

Thursday, June 22, 2006
Having the US team rolled out of the World Cup after the first round is really kind of a relief. Now I can just watch the rest of the games nursing my peptic ulcer instead of feeding its unquenchable thirst for stomach acid.

For those of you who didn't watch, Italy won their match as we needed them to. With win over Ghana, we would have been through.

Ghana 2-1 USA.

The first half was very exciting. We even scored a goal.

Mystery penalty kick given to Ghana and that was about it.

If you want to know how the second half went, here, I can show you:

Oooh, look at the sad Ghana man laying there. Now picture that for about 50 minutes. Every collision an injury, every injury a reason to lay on the field and kill some time off the clock. This is why people hate soccer, including--as of right now, until about noon today--me.

Now I have to go. I'm in a bad mood. It's not just the game, it's that my eldest boy wrote with allegedly "eraseable" marker all up and down the railings upstairs. It's a whole series of glyphs that are largely undecipherable, but when I piece them together like Tom Hanks in that one movie from that crappy book, they read "I Hate Dad." So instead of being witty for your bemusement, I shall spend my morning painting a railing.

And now, just so this whole post isn't a total wasted downer, I leave you with a picture of a dog wearing sunglasses.

Auf wiedersehen, Deutschland.

[Narcissus Scale given the day off to drink and generally make an ass of itself.]


Wednesday, June 21, 2006
A Vicious Purple-Nurple Shall Be But The Opening Salvo
I know that one day my eldest son will rise up and challenge me for alpha-male supremacy in the home. We are evolved from animals and to our animal natures we will always revert, especially when the issues in contest involve the most basic, fundamental, primal cornerstones of survival such as the remote control and who has to cut the grass.

Yes, one day I will want to watch old episodes of Silver Spoons on the Ricky Schroeder Channel while he will insist on not watching music videos on MTV 8 or whatever it is they'll be up to by then. And he will rise from the couch, point his brawny, post-pubescent finger at me and say "Your day has past, old man!" after which he will launch himself at me with the fury of the tiger and I shall answer with the manic cunning of the bull.

And I shall be defeated--honestly, I should have picked something with sharper teeth than a bull--knowing he will claim rulership over all my dominions, sit in my recliner and sleep in my bed next to my wife (who is still his mom, so don't go imagining any weirdness you pervs). My last feelings before he ends my existence will be a mixture of pride and bitterly ironic bemusement: pride as his long-foretold ascendancy comes to pass and bemusement at knowing it will now be HIS problem to make his two brothers cut the grass. Good luck with that, tough guy.

For now he is young and poses no threat to me physically. But still, we clash. These are the first skirmishes in the long struggle that can only end in my death. They are less about strength (because I would totally fuck his 7-year-old shit up) and more about will, independence and experience.

Today, for instance, our fight is about the most basic of calendar events, the Summer Solstice. Man has observed this date ever since one turned to another and in his rough, guttural, proto-language said to his companion "Jesus, is the sun NEVER going to go down today?" And if they were in Norway or perhaps Alaska, the answer might have been "no." But if they were anywhere south of the Arctic Circle, it would have been a recognition that days differ in length, which means one day is going to be the longest.

I say, in 2006, that that day is today.

My son insists that it is in fact on Friday.

He has gone so far as to deface my ancient time-keeping device:

I know, the picture is kind of dark. We use only natural light sources in our home (sunlight during the day, a giant burning pile of beef fat at night) which can be a challenge when taking pictures with the digital camera.

Note a couple of things: first, I'm such a soccer dork that I marked in the date of the USA v. Ghana match on the 22nd. That's tomorrow! 9:55 am Eastern/6:55 am Pacific! Set your alarms!

The other thing to note is that the calendar says the first day of summer--the solstice--is today. My son, refusing to be swayed by either me or the words he can now read, simply crosses out what offends him and re-writes it on the day he has arbitrarily chosen to will the earth to halt in its progress around the sun long enough to make truth and astrophysics bend to his personal whim.

Like I said a few days ago, he goes to a really good school.

For now we duel by inference and by proxy with all the fierce passive-aggression of which only thinking, knowing, cowardly man is capable.

When the first blood is drawn, know that I shall dutifully blog it.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.7



I forgot to post this yesterday, much to all of your great pleasure. But as we move on to the third match-day for all of those participating, there is less drama in these early days than there should be. The highly anticipated Argentina-Netherlands match is between two teams who are already assured spots in the second round of play. The only real reasons to watch are a) you like the matchup between two highly regarded teams or 2) you have strong negative racial hatred for either Argentinians or Dutch people and wish to see the object of your ire fail is some/any way. It's hard to hate the Argentinians as a people outright as they are mottled, genetically confused New Worlders just as we are in America. The Dutch, though... with their smug windmills, their cloying tulips and their brazen defiance of the sea, which should have swallowed them long ago... oh how I want them to suffer.

All eyes now on USA vs. Ghana. The times are listed in the post above. If we beat Ghana (no small task) AND Italy beat Czech Republic, we survive to face Brazil in the Round of 16. And what an honor it would be to be destroyed by Brazil as they march toward their third World Cup in four tries. Go, Italy! Forza Azzuri!

Of course being Euros and both teams qualifying for the next round with a tie, they'll probably spend the whole 90 minutes admiring each others' greasy Euro hair and sharing a nice leisurely 0-0 kickabout. All we need do is beat Ghana by like 5 goals and we can break in anyway. So fuck them. We haven't scored ANY goals yet, so we're totally due.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006
So Much That We Share, It's Time We're Aware
I've been to Disneyland probably a hundred times in my life. Yes, it's crowded, it's expensive and when I take my kids, they usually complain the whole time we are there. I don't blame them really because it is the hard-wired socio-genetic nature of children to be dissatisfied with anything that costs over $75. New parents will often joke at birthday parties "Ha ha, look, I spent all this money on presents and the kid is only interested in the box it came in, ha ha" when really they are just grateful all these people are around to keep them from murdering their ungrateful devil-spawn.

Personally satisfying or not, I can say that from my trips to Disneyland, I have definitively learned at least three things: 1) walking + sweating + a little extra weight = unpleasant thigh chafing; 2) it is possible to pay over $50 for a burger-and-fries meal for one family and 3) it's a small world after all.

That last lesson was both the easiest to learn and the hardest to understand. It was easy to learn because it is set to a catchy little tune sung at you by dolls while you are trapped in a boat. It was hard to understand because some of the dolls speak different languages.

But by the end of the Small World ride, it all makes sense: the world would be a perfect place if only we would all wear matching monochrome outfits. And speak English. That last section of the ride, when all the confusing babble of heathen jabber is streamlined into powerful, unifying English really gets to the heart of most of the world's problems, all of which stem from persistent foreign-ness.

Now more than ever I am confident that Walt Disney's explicit dream of total American globo-cultural domination via consumerism (supported, eventually, by an army of solar-powered self-aware animatronics) can be realized, thanks to the quickening pace of instantaneous global communications by which we might transfer our superior language and culture.

Look, I'm doing it to you right now!

The best thing about having such a shallow culture is that it's very portable. If all we're trying to convey is Coca-Cola tastes good and we should share a frenzied fascination with what goes into or comes out of Angelina Jolie's birth canal, well, not a lot of heavy lifting needed there. It's not like we're trying to make people change the way they think or live. We simply require them to add on board a few things they may have gotten by over 10,000 years of human evolution as a society without. And to consider maybe super-sizing for 49¢ more.

The best thing is that I know it's already working. Over in the Middle East, sure, you've got a couple of people whose idea of a good time is to torture and murder American servicemen. I agree, this is not co-existence. It sounds a little bit like resistance, actually.

Where does this level of vitriol and hatred come from? It comes from a desperation borne of the realization that we are winning. Maybe not in any readily obvious military way, but slowly, culturally, we are eating away at the separateness that made all the scary dolls in the Disney ride sing words I didn't get so that one day we will all be pasteurized and streamlined, singing in one voice and probably watching Andy Griffith on the Superstation (Andy Griffith Show or Matlock, your choice!).

As evidence I present to you the ongoing story about the Michigan girl who tried to run away to the West Bank to be with the Palestinian guy she met on MySpace.

The 20-year-old Palestinian man agreed to be interviewed by the AP and details are coming out now. The two lovers still talk to each other, he still wants them to be together in defiance of her parents and several international statutes against trafficking minors for the express purpose of sex, blah blah blah.

A few things to point out:

First, the story describes "Abdullah Jimzawi, a 20-year-old high school dropout who lives with his parents in Jericho" who also "spent 10 hours a day in Internet chat rooms" and "loves songs and to chat with people outside of the country and doesn't like to talk to people here."

Chat rooms all day, high school dropout, lives with parents, socially retarded... is there anything more American than that description? We've got 'em, people.

Plus, what must be even worse for those who commit acts of terror in the name of Palestinians, the ostensible engine that drives all this post-WWII anti-Western hatred, this young Palestinian warrior said:

"When I realized she wasn't coming, I felt my whole world collapse... My tears didn't stop and I couldn't sleep for three days."

This is what the al-Qaeda is now fighting for: so this kid and his family can have a homeland where he will be free to be an emo-pussy.

We are winning.

It's a small world indeed. And we will keep beating on it and beating on it until it is exactly the size and shape we decide best suits our needs.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 5.7


Monday, June 19, 2006
Monday Lite: All Points Bulletin

Where are you, Heather Thomas?

You may not remember who she was, but I will never forget her. For me, she will always be among the first uncovered boobies I've ever seen, a gift granted by the unexpected blessing of fledgling late-night cable in the early 1980s. I will forever remember her stirring portrayal of... whatever her character's name was in the Scott Baio telekenesis vehicle Zapped!, a film about a boy who accidentally acquires the ability to move things with his mind and then uses his gifts in the one way that could best benefit mankind, but popping open ladies' sweaters from a safe distance.

Zapped! gave us many things, including a portent of the Scott Baio-Willie Ames partnership that would go on to captivate a grateful nation in Charles in Charge, a brave show that still holds the record of longest portrayal of a gay couple in television history.

Ms. Thomas was among a small coterie of female TV and film actresses in the early 1980s locked in a bitter interpersonal struggle for the Fake Blonde Sex Kitten crown vacated by what by all rights should have been the death of Farrah Fawcett.

In the end it was down to Ms. Thomas, Heather Locklear and the formidable pair (both of them) of Landers sisters, cooing and hot-pants-ing and double-entendre-ing their way through B-movies and sitcom guest appearances.

I thought for sure Heather Thomas had the inside track. She took up a role on The Fall Guy, a terrible show but with the one crucial advantage of the Lee Majors connection, the same connection that had worked so well for Farrah.

Heather Locklear took what seemed to be a misstep accepting a role on sleazy-but-not-as-dopey-jiggletastic Dynasty, which ostensibly identified itself as drama. The horror.

The Landers sisters, tragically, were murdered in their beds by the Wrigley chewing gum people who had used them in a Doublemint commercial and only later realized the sisters were not in fact twins. Their bodies were never found. You may be chewing them right now!

And all these years later, it is Locklear who survives, still making movies, still having rockstar husbands stolen by Charlie Sheen's ex-wife, still on top of the world and Heather Thomas is...

...I have no idea. The sadness can be overwhelming.

We'll always have Zapped!

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 8.8



The first two games of the round-robin stage are past, which means we now get a change in the schedule with games being played simultaneously (yes, in different stadiums, funny people) so results do not affect play. This means we must be selective as to what we watch. You can try to watch both at the same time, but that would require two TV sets and some fairly serious surgery.

Tomorrow's Match of the Day: Paraguay vs. Trinidad & Tobago, 3 Eastern/noon Pacific, ESPN2.

Believe it or not, tiny island Trinidad & Tobago still has a chance to advance with a win here and England defeating Sweden in the other match. If you don't watch it, they will know. They don't want to, but they will send the hurricanes again. Let's get those ratings up and save our Gulf Coast.

Speaking of ratings: NHL Stanley Cup finals is averaging about a 1.5 rating. USA vs. Italy World Cup match? 5.2. All of America agrees: hockey sucks more than soccer does.

Sunday, June 18, 2006
"Keep Ancient Lands, Your Storied Pomp!" Cries She With Silent Lips
This woman is crying because she has seen the horrors of genocidal war, up to and probably including the deaths of those closest to her in the most brutal and inhumane ways possible. I know what this woman feels. This is what I felt when Italy scored the first goal against the United States.

This man knows neither fear nor sorrow nor shame. He glides through the rigors of existence unhindered by the restrictions of doubt, anxiety or regret. He forges ever forward, content to leave the past behind him. That which is given to him he appreciates without hesitation or reservation. He loves without condition, his heart and mind (without effort) approach ecstatic union with the oneness of the universe, in whatever form that may take. This is what I felt when unrelenting US pressure resulted in an Italy own-goal and tied the score 1-1.

This man feeds on the sorrow of others. He runs from all feelings of brotherhood and human connection, feeding his malice on the scraps of memory and loss, until it is bloated, still ravenous and consumes even him. He begrudges all those who have and brings them his own vicious brand of self-style vengeance, destruction and harm. This is what I felt for the referee when two US players were ejected for unwarranted red-card fouls vs. Italy.

This is a bear. It seeks only a brief respite from the great heavy coat of being, of knowing, of feeling. Beaten down, the basic animal soul seeks comfort in heavy sleep, knowing the relief is transitory and the nature of existing is suffering. This is how I felt when the Italy vs. USA match was over and we had survived, somehow still alive, with an improbable 1-1 draw.

Yes, this post was about soccer.

But USA vs. Italy was Saturday. Today was (is) Father's Day. Here is a pictorial representation of that:

I'm not sure what makes me more proud, the fact that my son thought enough of me to write this or that he had the presence of mind to heed his lawyer's advice when drafting this document and neglected to affix a signature before submitting it, thus absolving himself of any legal responsibility to reiterate or demonstrate the truth of these claims in the future. He goes to a really good school.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 10.0



Thursday 22 June: USA beats Ghana and Italy beats the Czech Republic and the USA qualifies for the second round, the prestigious knock-out phase of the tournament. People will try to tell you this is complicated. That's because they are communists who want you to hate America's soccer team. Do not believe them. The second step down this road of lies is them asking you to participate in their plot to blow up the Statue of Liberty. So I must ask you: do you hate the Statue of Liberty? Support your team.

Friday, June 16, 2006
Movies I Have No Intention Of Seeing, #35

Nacho Libre

starring Jack Black

directed by Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite)

My wife doesn't think you're particularly funny.

It's nothing personal. She just works a lot of hours, so she doesn't have a bunch of energy to spend pretending to laugh at things that aren't actually funny. You don't have to worry because I've done all the legwork on this for you.

Don't get me wrong, she's not a mirthless shrew. She has the physical capacity to produce laughter and even (I suspect) somewhere very deep down she has the emotional tools to feel something other than tired + annoyed. All I'm saying is, if you happen to meet her on the street somewhere, you can make with a bunch of jokes and whatever passes for charm in the hillbilly backwater you are statistically likely to live in, dear Reader, if you like. Just know before you start that you should be prepared to face a solid ice wall of impassivity and eye-rolling. That's right, I just painted a word-picture of a wall with eyes. That's how desperate the situation is.

I don't tell you this to make you feel bad. I really don't. Personally, I find you endlessly amusing. I don't mean that in a patronising way at all, either.

The reason why I point any of this out is that my wife, who has even less patience for "comedy" movies than she does for "comedy" oriented people, starts giggling uncontrollably every time she sees any kind of advertising related to this film, Nacho Libre. When it first happened, the sound so took me by surprise, I thought she was choking and immediately administered a vigorous and thrusty Heimlich maneuver. She didn't think that was funny AT ALL! And although it wasn't all that funny, the move did lead directly and surprisingly to [CENSORED], which was nice and all, but just left me more confused if anything.

Anyway, I don't know if it's the Jack Black or the what's-the-big-hurry? sensibility carried over from Napoleon Dynamite or the ridiculous put-on Mexican accents of the whole thing, but something about it makes Mrs. Pops laugh and laugh and laugh. Personally I think it has something to do with the masks and capes. I do remember her laughing hysterically at the end of Eyes Wide Shut with all the people naked but for masks and capes. But now that I think of it, she might just have been laughing at the self-importance-to-the-point-of-absurdity of that whole orgy business. Or perhaps it was sort of a punchy, exhausted giggle brought on by the trauma of extreme boredom. I don't know. There are a lot of factors to consider. That was a complicated movie.

Not only does this movie pass the Mrs. Pops test for potential interest, but it's also got one huge thing going for it: it is not The Lake House. For those of you who are not aware, The Lake House is another movie coming out this week, this one about Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock who fall in love via a crappy plot device the power of fate and what one reviewer has angrily called "a magic mailbox."

See, they use this mailbox at this lake house and they exchange letters, but they are living two years apart! Isn't that romantic?! No, that's not the right word... tip of my tongue... also starts with an "r"... ah well, it will come to me eventually.

Anyway, I'm sure it ends all tragic-like with one of them having some class of fatal disease or hit by a car or something. If we're lucky. If we're not, they find each other and complete the part of the other that they didn't realize was missing before or what fucking ever they do in those films.

Let me ask you, potential moviegoer, this one simple question about The Lake House: any rasslin' in that? No?

Then your choice is clear.

I choose Nacho.

Three (out of 3) on the Hot Babysitter Scale.



This World Cup section will stand for all eternity, immortalized as part of a MIHNIoS post so that I might bore future generations with equal zeal.

Weekend Match(es) of the Day(s):

SATURDAY: USA v. Italy, 11:30 am Pacific/2:30 pm Eastern, ABC. This weekend is Father's Day. In an effort to be accomodating, my in-laws have offered to celebrate the occasion on Saturday so that we (and my brother-in-law's family) would be free on Sunday to mark the occasion with other fathers. Except we're having lunch at a restaurant. Lunch. During the must-win USA v. Italy game. I'm recording it, but still. I know this restaurant has a TV in the bar. I'm praying the people there feel the same way you people do about soccer and choose to show lumberjack competitions instead of the match so I don't have to shove bits of pasta in my ears to keep any information from tainting my blissful ignorance before I get to watch.

If I'm still married by Sunday, you'll know it went well.

SUNDAY: Brazil v. Australia, 6 am Pacific/9 am Eastern, ABC (I think). Uninspiring Brazil against an energetic and exciting Australian side who don't really know they're not supposed to be competitive in games like this. It could either be a spirited contest or an absolute massacre. Either way, I heard Anthony LaPaglia is going to be there! The Without a Trace guy! He's Australian! Star power at the World Cup! Now I KNOW you'll want to watch.

Thursday, June 15, 2006
An Open Letter To Congressional Democrats

Looky here, people, I don't know what else a president is s'posed to do. I give some big ole tax cuts to some friends of mine and nothing. I make some clearly offensive nominations to Cabinet and Supreme Court positions and they sail on through. I start a whole war for no reason at all and I can't get the least little bit of resistance from anybody. Hell, that one just started as a joke between me and Dick Cheney where he bet me I couldn't undermine the basic tenets of both the United States and the United Nations at the same time and I bet him he couldn't shoot a guy in the face and get away with it. Johnnie Walker is some dangerous stuff when you're the Supremo Numero Uno with a whole military ready to do what you say.

But goddamn if you didn't let me and Dick tie.

I even started the wheels in motion to gut social security and people didn't say nothing about that. I know it failed, but that was just because I thought we were playing a game of chicken with Congressional Democrats and you cagey fuckers didn't blink, so I had to pull it.

I need to be able to blame somebody else for some of this crap and I can't get anyone to resist me. And now look at me. All the blame for these really bad ideas--and they were just ideas people, I didn't expect anyone to let me do any of it--is now falling directly on me.

I learned an important political lesson from my mom on the day she told me I was going to run for governor of Texas. It seemed like a stupid idea to me too, but man, by that time I'd moved through every stimulant known to man and was shooting a combination of cocaine and Drano right into my carotid, so I would have said yes to anything.

Anyway, what mom said--and I don't take political advice from dad since mom says he's kind of a pussy--is that you trot out some phoney-baloney issues and then cut your opponent off at the knees for being against America and/or God for not going along with it. Of course mom is for literally cutting people off at the knees--not everyone, just a strategic few, like for instance the children of your enemies--but I must have a little of my dad in me because I wasn't willing to go that far.

She tried to get dad to do it with flag burning, but that wasn't far enough. He got thrown out by the hippies and low-borns. So I've tried every batshit crazy-ass idea I could think of and what do I get out of it? A near 100% implementation rate. Come on, I nominated a guy for Chief Justice who said women don't belong in the workplace AND who is clearly gay.

You Congressional Democrats are officially cut off. I can't count on you people for anything. Now I'm going to have to invent some different enemies if only to keep me from offing myself from the sheer boredom of this job in the two years I have left.

I've already laid the groundwork to villify the Supreme Court; my Supreme Court, how ridiculous is that? But you spineless fuckers leave me no choice.

Judicial vs. Executive, that could work. If that doesn't, I guess I'll have to move on to a deep-seated idealogical battle with paraplegics or the Girl Scouts or something.

I will find some resistance somewhere. I'd do it by proposing we kill the firstborn male child of every immigrant family, but goddamn, I'm scared to death you people would let me do it.

Shape up, fuckos.




Ha, nearly forgot to put this in.

You know what, I was totally not looking forward to the Saudi Arabia-Tunisia game. The best I was hoping for was for some woman without a headscarf to come running on the field and frighten the players, but it turns out we didn't need that. 2-2 draw, but holy crap, what a game.

And then on top of that, the absolutely fantastic Germany-Poland match that was not only exciting soccer, but ended with NO DEATHS. Best of both worlds.

Friday Match of the Day: Netherlands v. Ivory Coast. noon Eastern/9 am Pacific, ESPN2. If only for the electric uniform colors clashing. FIFA will probably puss out and make one of them wear white, but the Orange and the Yellow... get your Day-Glo on, people.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Welcome To The Working Week
This post might come out... weird. Not my usual weird where I talk about fruit for 1,000 words or my personal feelings on the subject of werewolves (I'm against them, by the way), I mean just... off. Slightly.

See, I'm sitting on my couch composing this post on my laptop. That might not sound like a big deal to any of you, but for me, the deviation from my regular post-creation routine is a big step. The guy I buy my psychotropic therapeutic drugs from would be proud of me, or at least I assume he would be if he could be made to understand. I'd try to reason with him, but I'm pretty sure if I made a concerted effort to find him, the guy he sends to meet me at the agreed-upon exchange place would probably put a bullet in my liver. He seems like an organ-specific kind of dude.

I'm trying this new approach to post-creation even though I know I don't do well with alterations to my routine. I'm almost positive I'll have to cut later just to release some of the tension, but we have to expect some kind of coping behavior to make the transition possible.

It's not just the laptop, though. The reason I've been exiled to the couch is because I have kids playing computer games on my desktop rig. I know it's dorky to call your computer your "rig" but I drive a minivan and a sensible 10-year-old small car. Not at the same time, but those are my options, you understand. If I refer to either of them as my "rig" I would be universally ridiculed. I mean, neither of them has any kind of neon effects kit. If I use the same term for my computer (especially in this environment) I know at least that there is a tiny, tiny community of like minded hermits and spazzes who will nod their heads and go "yeeeaaaaaah..." Probably while not getting laid.

The reason I have kids on my desktop playing games is because of summer vacation. We have an extra kid in the house with my oldest boy out of school for the summer. You know, when my alarm was waking me up waaaaaay earlier than I wanted it to during the school year and we had 45 to 90 minutes of homework every night, summer vacation sounded grand.

I realize now that, psychologically, I'm much better equipped to handle the inconveniences of responsibility than the disruption--however small--of what I've come to recognize as my regular routine.

This is more than a small disruption. This is the total annihilation of the entire shape and gravity of my universe. No alarm, no kid getting dressed, no driving the same route, hitting all the same landmarks (seriously, I hit landmarks... sometimes I forget my contact lenses), no dropping-off, no six hours and seventeen minutes of near catatonia as I wait for pick-up time and I snap into the next segment of blessed, comforting, awful routine.

Honestly, if part of my regular routine involved driving a spike through my tongue or forced sodomy, that would be OK with me. So long as I could expect it at roughly the same time every day. I could totally survive in jail.

Dr. Phil tells me that even though the disruptions make me absolutely certain that I am within seconds of total psychological collapse and spontaneous death, I am fine, everything will be fine and I can learn a lot about myself, achieving unheard of heights of personal growth, if I make it through this crisis. But then Dr. Phil is a fat man who sells diet advice. So fuck him.

If it was something I could do every day with regularity between, say, soap operas and making sure all the items on my desk are aligned at perfect right angles, I would actually fuck him. Dr. Phil I mean. I'm sure that's how his wife powers through it. Have you seen her? She's tiny. It can't be a comfortable experience for her, physically. And that big shiny bald head (steady...) and that drawling mustache face coming (I said steady people...) at you, pointing to his crotch and saying things like "Whut you need to do is seize this issue with both hands, turn it over a few times, see whut it looks like. Then we're going to integrate it with your internal dialogue. Doggy style."

There, I just disgusted myself. Wow, I guess I CAN do it with my laptop. This is a huge breakthrough for me. I'll still probably have to cut, but I'll use something sharp instead of the rusty end of a wire hanger. I guess it's been a good day. I should treat myself.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.9



I realize now I should be doing Match of the Day for the following day as by the time I write this, two of the three daily matches are over. That approach does make it easy to pick, however.

Today: Germany v. Poland, 3 Eastern/noon Pacific, ESPN2. Wow, Germany vs. Poland. Sometimes people talk about international soccer as a metaphor or a substitute for political conflict up to and including war. My guess? Not so much of that from the analysts in the run-up to this one. A little awkward, to say the least. Although, judging by the strength of the German team this tournament (my pick to win the whole thing), I expect a very similar result to 1939. Except hopefully this time with no threat to European Jewry. But you never know. Germany is still Germany.

Tomorrow: England v. Trinidad & Tobago, noon Eastern/9 am Pacific, ESPN2. A soft-looking England team against our friendly Caribbean Red-Stripe-drinking neighbors. T&T is a nation of under a million people who tied powerful European Sweden, winning for themselves international respect, free state subsidized health care and unfettered access to buxom blonde Swedish women of their choice in perpetuity. These countries take their soccer very seriously. There is a lot at stake. Should England lose, they will be forced to turn over Elizabeth Hurley. And the islands will rejoice.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Jab Jab Cross
I don't use this blog very often to bitch about things. I am generally a positive person, who sees the beauty in the world and finds the good in every situation. Where there is despair, I see hope. Where there is suffering, I find endurance, survival. Where people are dying in droves, I see ponies and rainbows and gumdrop kisses falling like rain. I'll say to people "Wow, do you see the rainbow?" and then they usually hit me with something and run. It's optimism bordering on psychosis. It's psychoptimism.

What I try to avoid on this blog is the R-word. No, not "retarded." I say that all the time. I mean "rant." Too many blogs are given over to self-described "rants" which usually just means Andy Rooney-like zero-level observation paired with question mark/exclamation point bundles meant to convey a sense of exasperation.

"The post office, man. Why is the line so slow?!?! It makes me kerrrrr-aaaa-zzzeeeee!?!?!?!"

Seriously, why is the line at the post office so slow? I know it's rant-y, but I'd honestly like to know.

In case you hadn't twigged yet, this post is lurching dangerously toward Pops-spends-three-pages-telling-us-what-he's-not-going-to-write-about-and-then-proceeds-to-write-about-it-anyway (patent pending). It's what I do.

I do want to make it clear that this is not a "rant" in any way. There is no broken system I wish to topple with the power of my words here. This is just me bitching.

Yesterday was the first official day of summer vacation for my boy. My first Monday for a long time with no alarm clock. It's been aaaaaall the way since Memorial Day! And yet somehow I survived.

Remember, we're still potty-training the youngest boy.

So I get woken up at around 7 by the eldest sprog, who tells me the youngest has befouled (he goes to private school, so that's how he talks, "befouled" this and "besmirched" that) his training pants (basically a diaper that looks like chonies) but I shouldn't worry because he, my seven-year-old, has "taken care of it."

This means I'm out of bed like a shot, all adrenaline and annoyance as I start yet another round of the Great Poop Hunt of 2006. Potty-training parents know whereof I speak. These are the times when you suspect something scatologically untoward has occurred, but you're not sure, so you have to comb the house (seriously, I use a comb) looking for offending loose growlers. Ideally, you find them with your eyes first instead of your feet.

That part worked out OK (the seven-year-old, it turns out, has some mad innate shit-handling skillz, which means he has a bright future in either the pig farming or public service industries).

Then at 9 that morning, I settled in to watch the [CENSORED], which, disaster that it was, squashed my mood even further.

I did get to do some fun stuff in the middle of the day like yell at my children and scrub the kitchen linoleum on my hands and knees. That last part was part of my ongoing 19th Century Victorian Washer-Woman Historical Re-Creation Living History Project I'm putting together on spec in hopes of selling it to the Unnecessary History Channel (call your cable or satellite provider today). Sure, the first impulse might have been because I bought these new shoes with black soles that made the linoleum look like Seal's face (yes, it was that handsome), but that doesn't mean the project isn't worthwhile. I watched a four-hour dramatic recreation of how people used to eat with wooden utensils on UHC once. They'll buy anything.

Dinner time comes around and I take the ground beef I bought LESS THAN 24 HOURS BEFORE out of the fridge and start cooking. About five minutes in, I check my feet to make sure I'm not wearing some old socks. That have also been bathed in sulfur. And pickle brine. And set on fire. What I'm saying is there was an odor.

Turns out it was the meat. All rotten and whatnot. After one day. Toaster waffles for dinner again! SHUT UP AND STOP COMPLAINING! YOU WILL EAT THEM AND YOU WILL LIKE THEM!

The only good news was last night was the first night of my new boxing class at the gym near my house. This is part of my lifelong program to become an unstoppable killing machine. As some of you may recall, I had been taking a martial arts class already, but I had to quit. I had run out of students I could safely kill. The only ones left had families or at least someone with whom they lived who would miss them if I were to snatch the life from their bodies in one stealthy yet impressively showy move. So I had to move on.

I did learn one positive lesson from my long day yesterday: never borrow the loaner boxing gloves from the gym. It's bad enough to be in a room with something that smells like that. It's quite another thing to strap them on your hands and then punch things with them. My hands still reek with the funk. Think of rental bowling shoes, but without the handy disinfectant spray. And then stick your naked fingers in there. Not good. But a life lesson.

As bad as yesterday was, I kept waiting for the pirates to ambush me, but they never came. I say that to myself quite often when I'm having a bad day: "All I need now is to be ambushed by pirates and today will be just fucking perfect." And yet they wait. They bide their time. I suspect it's because they're aware of my deadly training and are intimidated. But more likely, I think, they're waiting for me to buy a boat.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 10.0



I'm very slowly recovering from yesterday's bitter, bitter disappointment. The morphine is helping.

Today's Match of the Day: Brazil vs. Croatia. 3 Eastern/noon Pacific, ESPN2.
Defending champions against the 1998 semifinalists Croatia. From Berlin! This will be quite a treat for those of us who only know Berlin from grainy black-and-white film footage they show on a 24-hour loop on the History Channel. This is everyone's chance to see how the city has changed. Or at least the part of it on which the game will be played. My guess: lots of grass, some seats arranged in a bowl-shape.

Also: the Croatians are sure to break out their traditional red-and-white checkerboard uniforms. I find their fascination with checkers perplexing and confusing, but it makes for some interesting fashion choices.

Monday, June 12, 2006
Monday Lite: Anguish Is Funny
Total fucking unmitigated disaster. I don't even have the energy for the dick jokes.

I'm taking today off. I leave the comment thread for you all to make fun of me.

If that isn't enough to keep you entertained for the day, please consider:

This man regularly bangs supermodels.


If you need me, I will have my head in the oven.

Don't worry, I'm not going to kill myself. I have three kids and it's quiet in there.


Sunday, June 11, 2006
PS: We Should Be Together, Too
Ha ha ha! Woo! Ha! Yes! Woo! Woooooooo! Yesyes! Ha ha! Wooooo! Yeah!

I mean uh... no, uh... no. No, I promised it wouldn't be all about soccer, so I will tone it down and not make this a full recap of my weekend sitting on my ass watching "the beautiful game."

I will agree with you all that "the beautiful game" is a stupid nickname for soccer. When I think of "the beautiful game", like most of you, my mind immediately goes to the Lingerie Bowl.

I will also say that, judging by the comments from Friday, nothing gets the Bucketeers riled up like spending a whole post talking about something they hate. So that will mean more Ann Coulter, more soccer and I'm planning a few posts about old sitcom reunion shows, Yanni, porn that isn't free and dysentery. I like to keep the readership interested.

The only thing I will say even remotely related to soccer in this part of the post is that I realized while watching the Iran-Mexico match that no two people in the WHOLE WORLD say the word "Iran" in exactly the same way. We should skip all the work we're doing on biometrics or human genome mapping or whatever. The way someone says the name of that country that used to be Persia is as distinct as any fingerprint or retina blood-vessel pattern.

The problem seems to be the two vowels in the word "Iran." Is the "I" pronounced "i" or "ee"? And is the "A" pronounced a as in "ram," a male sheep, or as in "Ram," one of the Sikh names for Waheguru, their One God? Gosh, it's just so confusing.

With both vowels a variable, the permutations are nearly endless. Or at least they are if you, like me, aren't very good at basic math. "Endless" is what we say when we suspect we may be asked to multiply.

Personally, I say it like the English sentence "I ran," for two reasons: 1) that aaaaahn sounds all fruity European and 2) I love me some Flock of Seagulls.

With all the controversy about holocaust denial and nuclear ambition coming out of Iran right now, I'm sure lots of Americans would like us to recall all the maps and relabel it "Crazystan." Unfortunately, I could never endorse such an idea. Not because I'm especially enlightened or don't enjoy a good country-renaming joke. No, it's because of Crazy Stan.

If you don't know Crazy Stan, count yourself lucky. Suffice it to say, I'm against anything that gives Crazy Stan any kind of public recognition, even by accident. That's right, I'm talking about you, Crazy Stan. You're a bastard and a liar and I want my underwear back. Crazy fucker.

Now you people are making me miss the probably-totally-incomprehensible season premiere of Deadwood, so I dismiss you all at this time. The next time we meet, I can almost guarantee I will have referred to another human being as "cocksucker." Maybe in exchange for money, maybe not.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.5



See, look how nice and segregated!

Monday Match of the Day: USA vs. Czech Republic, noon Eastern/9 am Pacific on ESPN2.
I almost hate that this game is coming. Two-plus years of build-up and it could all be washed away in one poor showing. I'd hate for us to be the 2006 version of Portugal 2002 or (worse) USA 1998. I haven't been this nervous since my first vasectomy. Sometimes I wish I were just in it for the sexy soccer-man legs like my wife is. If there is no post tomorrow, it's because USA lost and I am dead.

Avenge me.

Friday, June 09, 2006
I don't know what keeps you people, my loyal Bucketeers, coming back here day after day. Honestly, I've done everything I know how to do to drive you away. For the last nearly two years, I've tried a whole range of tactics ranging from obscenity all the way to vulgarity in order to put you guys off, but still, here we are.

Today, however, I have an announcement to make. I've come up with a plan so offensive, so vile, so antisocially self-destructive it cannot help but alienate every single one of my readers until, at the end, I will be left with only what I had with me the day I started this blog: just me, my lesbian clown porn and lots of free time in the morning.

What is this weapon, you ask? You can see it. Would you like me to show it to you? No, not THAT. I mean the weapon. OK, here it is:

Right now you're thinking: that's the most elaborate and expensive dildo I've ever seen. But no, people, this is no pleasure device. Well, actually, I wouldn't say categorically that it's never been used as such, but it's INTENDED function is to be the World Cup trophy.

That's right, soccer. I can feel your eyes glazing over even now. You're still reading, but you're slumped down in your seats a little bit, a little disappointed, a lot bored already.

This is my month-long program to shed the burdens of readership. It has been four years in the making, which is a testament to its power as I've only had this blog for two. And I have my friends at FIFA to thank for it.

Actually I don't WANT to drive you people away, I'm just compelled to talk about this. I'm so ridiculously amped up for the event that I'm a little embarrassed by my enthusiasm. My absolute geekdom for soccer, frankly, should worry most of you. If you don't stop reading this post (not NOW, at the END) and immediately submit my name to Homeland Security as a supporter and perpetrator of un-American activities, I will immediately lose all respect for you all.

Being honest, I actually don't intend to blog JUST about soccer every single day of the tournament, but do expect a carefully segregated, easily skippable section at the end of each post devoted to pimping the Most Popular Sporting Event In The World.

Like right now, for instance.


You all must be informed of the US team's schedule.

Group play starts for us on Monday, June 12th. 32 teams total, 8 4-team groups. We are in Group E.

Game 1: USA v. Czech Republic. Mon 12-June. 9 am Pacific time. ESPN2.
Game 2: USA v. Italy. Sun 17-June. Noon Pacific time. ABC.
Game 3: USA v. Ghana Thurs 22-June. 7 am Pacific time. ESPN.

Commit it to memory. I have it tattooed on my inner thigh. Painful? Yes it was. But necessary.

Hopefully we will qualify for the second round (top two finishers from each group, so 16 teams in all) and there will be further game-time information to pass on. This is not an easy group, however.

Also, I will be pimping a Match of the Day that you will be REQUIRED to watch and then return here to discuss in nearly pornographic detail. As this is a weekend coming up, I will give you three:

Today: Germany v. Costa Rica. 9 am Pacific, ESPN2. Host country (Germany this year) always gets to open the proceedings. This year against our (USA's) regional co-qualifier, Costa Rica.

Saturday: England v. Paraguay. 6 am (!) Pacific, ABC. How much of a geek am I? My son's last day of school is today and tomorrow, his (and my) first day of vaction and I will be SETTING MY ALARM for 5:55 am. But it's England! And Paraguay! Fine, don't care. More for me.

Sunday: Mexico v. Iran. 9 am Pacific, ABC. We hate Mexico because they're right next to us and they keep sending us people. We hate Iran because they want nuclear weapons so they can light us up. For us, it's All Bile Television as we pray for a way for both of them to lose.

I would bore you all further, but as I type this, this is LESS THAN HALF AN HOUR until the first match. I have to start running through my several self-purification routines in preparation. The mortification of the flesh is the hard part, but it's well worth it in the end. USA made the quarterfinals last time, so I know it works. And the skin-grafts took just fine, so I'm confident everything will be OK this time as well.

Olé olé olé olé!

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 10.0 (in bold, even!)


Thursday, June 08, 2006
Resting Place
Once upon a time there was this house in Iraq. This house sat there not bothering anybody, just supporting its roof with its walls and doing its best to regulate its internal temperature despite being located in a climate most fit to support things like reptiles and brimstone. You know, things that generally do not need houses.

Then, one day, some guys come to the house to have a meeting. The house didn't invite them, they just came. Somebody let them in probably, but as in most cases, the house was more or less indifferent. Houses generally have little interest in politics as the time has not yet been right to launch the latent Domicile Enfranchisement Movement. In the meanwhile, they try not to get in the way (so as not to alienate potential political allies when they will be needed) and they wait. Houses are nothing if not patient.

Unfortunately for the house, the people in it are positively drenched with politics. They're soaking in it. They are so deeply immersed in the political that they reek of it. The stench of it all is so strong that it is enough to attract the attention of overflying planes which drop a pair of quarter-ton bombs on them.

Sadly for our poor innocent house, they are inside when the bombs find them.

Some Republicans might tell you (mostly the physically fit 22 year olds who use words and phrases like "vital" and "necessary" and "essential for the survival of our country" when they blog about Iraq from the safety of their parents' pool house) that this house was a collaborator and all collaborators should expect the same kind of treatment in the future. But I'm just a lily-livered America hatin' liberal, so I mourn the death of innocent houses even if it is in the pursuit of justice and/or security.

With the death of this Zarqawi guy, as a liberal, I'm supposed to be conflicted. I'm supposed to be all tormented by the loss of any human life, even those who wish us harm. I'm supposed to be suffering at the idea that young American men and women are being asked to kill at all. Mostly I'm supposed to be deeply ambivalent about any "good news" coming from Iraq because it might mean a temporary rise in presidential approval ratings, which could affect the mid-term elections, derailing our plans to retake the Congress and begin our program of impeachment and mandatory homosexuality.

Also I'm supposed to use quotation marks when I put the terms Iraq and "good news" together to denote smug self-satisfaction and arrogance. I hope you caught that.

As for how I actually feel about the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, well... I won't have to hear about him on the news anymore, so that's good. And we won't have to watch any more of his instructional videos at the College Democrats club I serve at as Senior Indoctrination Officer.

But nobody--not even George Bush, judging from his statement--is going "Phew! Now finally the violence will end and we'll get some of those flowers and sweets we were supposed to get when we arrived."

Seriously, stop bogarting the sweets, Iraqis. We have tanks.

I guess if I had to sum up my mood I'd say: cautiously optimistic. Not about the outcome of the occupation, mind you. I am still a liberal, remember. No, I'm cautiously optimistic that Zarqawi is actually dead. I know we've seen pictures, but I'm reserving a tiny little bit of skepticism. It's not that I think all the military all liars, it's just a personal policy. I committed too early with Elvis and Jesus and they both came back to burn me later.

Since I'm talking about liberal and non-liberal and whatnot, I should spend some time talking about the other internet story of the day, this Ann Coulter business regarding her criticism of 9/11 widows. I feel like I should say something, but I think I'm going to take a pass here. I mean, what does it help to add to the chorus of condemnation where liberals (and some conservatives now) call her hateful and mean-spirited and a shallow controversialist and a skinny, ugly skank with a mannish Adam's apple.

It always goes right to the Adam's apple with Ann's critics, which I find fascinating. It's the same way anti-gay-marriage people go right to the goat-sex, like an unconscious reflex word association.

My point is that it doesn't do any good to lavish attention (good or bad) on someone seeking it. It's also somewhat hypocritical that liberals--supposedly the "enlightened" ones when it comes to feminism and women's rights--immediately go to looks and sexuality when criticizing a female opponent. It disappoints me, frankly.

I mean, just because she's a skank doesn't mean we need to spend a lot of time pointing it out. High road, people. High road.

You will also notice I didn't make the easy association between stories where I suggest what a shame it is we can't also bomb Ann Coulter's house. Two objections there: 1) too easy a joke to be actually funny and 2) what has Ann Coulter's house ever done to you?

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 8.0


Wednesday, June 07, 2006
I don't feel like blogging today. I just don't.

If I were a real man instead of a simpering, whining, people-pleasing kind of whore, you wouldn't even be getting this much. I'd have just shrugged my wide, macho shoulders and gone about my business wrestling runaway cattle to the ground with my bare hands and then gone off to have sex with Jake Gyllenhaal. The way a MAN would.

But I lack the ability to ignore this altogether, so you get five minutes of my time, tops.

You can curse me if you like, but we're potty training the last kid around here. In the first few days, this involves sitting around waiting while your kid sits on his/her little plastic potty seat. You know they're just in it for the novelty of it and for the promise of stickers (we use the Sticker-Bribery Method here), but you can't tell them to stop screwing around and go play because they just MIGHT really have to go. These sessions take up to half an hour and occur anywhere from 3 to 150 times a day.

So I am spent.

I offer instead Other People's Content.

First, a limerick from the lovely and talented Lucy, a Bucketeer so selflessly devoted to reading this blog she doesn't even have links available to reciprocate when she leaves messages. This is related to yesterday's Tom Cruise content:

There once was a man named Mapother
Who craved quite a bit of the other
Hubbard said, "Get a beard,
'Cause teh gay is too weird!"
So he made Katie Holmes "his" kid's mother.

Brava, Lucy. Brava.

In closing, I share with you two things: a) something that's old and played out on the internets but only just brought to my attention by the stupid morning radio show I listen to and b) me experimenting with video blog embeds.

This isn't R-rated, but it's not completely safe for work either. Beware the pasty skinny man butt in the first 15-20 seconds.

If you watch, you MUST WATCH ALL THE WAY TO THE END. The closing shot makes the whole thing.

Is it a joke or is it serious? I don't know. All I know is I didn't have to write it. Back to Poop Watch 2006.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 10.0 (it was the Poop Watch that put it over the top)


Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Why Is This Day Different From All Other Days?
You can feel it when you walk outside. Something is a little... off. A little skewed. You can't quite figure out what it is: do I have that inner-ear problem again? Did I forget my orthopedic shoe? Oh my God, I'm still drunk from last night!

No, it's none of those. Well, OK, it might be one or more of either of those, but in addition to that, there's something more ethereal, something more culturally primal, something more deep-seated in our collective unconscious, an elusive sense of basic unease that manifests itself in irrationality, superstition, fear and paralysis.

Today is special. Look at the calendar. Do you know what today is?

That's right: it's PRIMARY ELECTION DAY!

Wherever you are, whatever you're doing (or are supposed to be doing instead of reading this) drop it and give us a good old fashioned horror-movie scream. Go ahead, I'll wait.


Don't you feel better? I mean those of you who have not been immediately fired. But they'll get home and they'll read this on their home computers and then we'll all have a good laugh. Until the money runs out and their electricity gets cut off. In which case they won't be able to read my blog at all anymore...

You know what, on second thought, don't scream. Or if you already did (for the last time, you don't FOLLOW directions until you FINISH the post), tell your boss you have Tourette's or OH! Threaten to file a sexual harassment lawsuit. If your boss is the same gender as you, you might have to gay it up a little bit for the inquiry (a little hair gel for the guys, Birkenstocks for the ladies), but it's worth it for the sake of my Sitemeter numbers, don't you think? I do.

Oh and yes, it is also June 6th, 2006, which is 6-6-06, fine, whatever. The only really evil thing that I can tell that is happening today is the release of that remake of The Omen. We have little to fear, however, as I'm fairly confident NO ONE has any intention of seeing that one.

Out here in CA, one of the places where it is Primary Day, it's hard to see the devil in the details. We have a race for the Democratic nominee for governor between two people so uninteresting, they couldn't possibly be the devil. You do hear talk from time to time about "the banality of evil" which sounds ominous, but we're talking about two candidates who would have to ASPIRE to banality.

We know what the devil will look like: suave, sophisticated, appealing to our basic needs at the expense of the high human abstractions that hold societies together. Basically he'll be Ricardo Montalban with a barrel full of Ecstasy.

I actually already voted. There are a couple of places where you can vote a few weeks in advance around the state, the mall near my house being one of them. There's something so comforting about casting my vote for an American election right in the middle of the shopping mall between the Orange Julius and the Hot Topic. Someday I hope the Iraqi people will build the kind of democracy so robust they can put it up there on the list of personal importance right next to Cinnabon.

Speaking of banality, we know the 2006 election cycle is in full swing because we get to hear more about amending the constitution to keep gays from touching each other. It's been introduced by the president and his people even though there is no chance it will pass. Basically it's a "please vote against this so that we might make a list" type of proposal. Gay marriage is the new flag-burning. There's a joke in there about "flaming" but I'm not going to touch it.

The fact that the White House has even rolled gay marriage out again I find encouraging. It means they've run through all their new 2006 schtick, all of which failed, and are now recycling the 2004 stuff. You know, because it worked so well last time. If only there weren't so many Mexicans, the whole immigration thing would have worked out better for them and they wouldn't be reduced to this, but such is life. Sometimes it's hard be the unopposed political majority. I weep for them.

If there is nothing else we can say about this 6-6-6 date it's that gay marriage will not be declared illegal at the federal level. So there at least is one victory for Satan. Nice work, Satan!

As for who I voted for in the gubernatorial primary, Phil Angelides or Steve Westly, the answer is: neither. I probably won't vote for Arnold, but that doesn't mean I have to back one of these stiffs either.

I wrote in Ricardo Montalban. I figure if I can't actually vote for Satan on his day, I might as well vote for the next best thing.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.1


Monday, June 05, 2006
This weekend was crazy, man. Just crazy. First off, me and Lanny and Muttonhead were cruising down Jefferson when these two squares in their dad's old Corsair rolled up on us, looking for a race. No contest, daddy-o. I even had to slow down just so they could see us laughing at them.

After that we were playing pinball at the Burger Stand when these greasers walked in looking for trouble. We weren't in the mood for any of their lip, so we rumbled. Muttonhead took a pretty good pummeling, but it broke up pretty quick after Lanny killed three of them with a bicycle chain. You don't wanna cross Lanny, man. That guy can get kooky, dad, just zonko.

I picked up Betty Sue and we split a malted down at the diner and then caught a double feature at the drive-in.

Shortly thereafter, Betty Sue got pregnant and immediately went to Mexico for an abortion, where she died. Then I got syphilis and went crazy and died. And I lived my whole life without ever talking to a person who wasn't white. The End.

The fifties were good times, weren't they?

Actually I didn't do any of those things. Except for the syphilis, but you can get a shot for that.

Oh, and the drive-in.

We took the kids to the drive-in (we still have one in Riverside), Mrs. Pops and I, because they were showing Over the Hedge. I don't know if you've heard of it or not, but it's the animated movie with the talking animals in it. You know, THAT one.

I'm also telling you this story as a confession: for only the second time ever, I have seen on the big screen a movie I had no intention of seeing. The last one was Munich, which turned out to be a HUGE mistake. That movie sucked. I mean really sucked. I chalk it up to karma.

This time, it was Mission: Impossible III, the second half of our drive-in double feature. Hey, it's $6 per person for anyone 10 and up. Everyone else is free. For my wife and I, that's $12 for two movies, only one of which I had no interest in!

[I feel I should point out here that there is an enormous difference between not having any intention of seeing a film and not having any interest in seeing a film. Some of those profiled I'd like to see very much but can't because the shrews at the theater get all judgmental when you bring your 4-year-old to see Basic Instinct 2: Instinct Harder.]

Over the Hedge was fine. MI3, surprisingly, was quite diverting. Maybe it was just the price, but I was entertained by it almost all the way through.

My 7 year old son, who refused to be daunted by the 10 pm start time, also enjoyed it thoroughly. Especially the part where Philip Seymour Hoffman shoots that lady in the head. He thought that was great. He told me so when he woke up in the middle of the night screaming.

I'd talk more about the whole white-trash experience of drive-ins, but I'm totally distracted by something else I simply must address: I saw this headline (yes, a REAL HEADLINE) that said International Bird Rescue has X-ray pictures of a duck that swallowed an alien. A space alien. Swallowed. By a duck. In the news.

Judge for yourselves. Bottom right quadrant:

Actually they say they don't know for sure what it is and are awaiting the results of an autopsy. On a duck. But for now, just to be safe, the official news press release is that THE DUCK SWALLOWED AN ALIEN. As carried by the AP. Seriously.

This raises two points of order: 1) Why are people X-raying ducks? It's not like you can put casts on them. 2) I have never felt safer against the invasion of space aliens than I do now. They have the capacity to travel hundreds or thousands of light years and yet cannot avoid being swallowed by a non-carnivorous creature with a neck the size of a pencil.

Humans they could probably conquer with ease. This is why we should all be grateful for the shielding, vigilant water fowl who keep us safe. Aliens might have faster-than-light propulsion, but they have no answer for the duck.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 8.7


Sunday, June 04, 2006
Can Lindsay Lohan Be Far Behind?
On the days when I don't have the time to post a whole thought-out well-structured thing (yes, I know, "when have you ever," I get it, that's clever), you are stuck with what I give you. Of course you are stuck with what I give you every other day, but it's on nights like tonight that I almost feel a slight twinge of compassion for you.

Almost. I would have to have a functioning heart for that. Ever since I was mauled by that bear (stupid picnic basket!), I've had one of those mechanical ones keeping me alive while I wait for a donor. Sure, the hissing and clicking the machine makes is somewhat annoying, but it's more than just a heart. I got the latest one with the built in video camera, voice dialing and Bluetooth capability.

Hang on, I might be thinking of my cell phone...

Anyway, today I leave you with a riddle. It is one that has been asked several times across these internets but has never met with a satisfactory answer.

Consider this list:

Lara Flynn Boyle

Monica Potter

Reality TV skank Trishelle (picture link to illustrate skankiness, NOT SAFE FOR WORK)

Courteney Cox

Jennifer Aniston

Mary-Louise Parker

Nicole Kidman

What do these (mostly) beautiful, intelligent women have in common?

They have all allegedly consented to have sex with this:

I know, you're thinking "Holy Christ, Nicole Kidman boned TV's Grizzly Adams?"

And no, that would be Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz. Adam Duritz boned Grizzly Adams.

Ha ha, I kid. No, apparently Mr. Duritz, despite his I-live-under-a-freeway-overpass appearance, is quite the gash hound. As far as I can tell, this is only a partial list of conquests. A full list may include an Olsen twin.

What is the problem here? It's not so much that he's horrifically ugly... OK, that's part of it, but didn't any of these women hear that song "Mr. Jones"? "Round Here"? That caterwauling shit is AWFUL. I know hot chicks inexplicably bang Mick Jagger all the time too, but at least he gave us that "Satisfaction" song.

Like I said, this has been asked elsewhere many times before, but still, I just don't understand.

OK, the Courteney Cox thing kind of makes sense considering she married David Arquette. The chick is obviously into weird.

But come on, Nicole Kidman?

I'd harp on this more, but no amount of harping makes a weak post stronger. Plus Sopranos season finale is on and I'm off to watch it instead of further embarrassing myself by continuing this travesty.

I am genuinely confused about the question, though.

Now accepting all theories.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.98


Friday, June 02, 2006
Movies I Have No Intention Of Seeing, #34

The Break-Up

starring Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn

directed by Peyton Reed (Down With Love, Bring It On)

You probably don't know it, but we all just avoided national tragedy last night. I'm not talking about Iran developing a nuclear bomb and missiles capable of delivering them to the eastern seaboard. Seriously, big deal. I live in California.

What I'm talking about is last night a 13 year old girl from New Jersey won the National Spelling Bee. Why is that so harrowing? It isn't. What should concern us all is that the second place finisher? Canadian.

That's right, from Canada. Foreigners have now infiltrated--and nearly won!--the last innocent American competition. The pride of America's youth were almost rent asunder as a whole by an upstart from some other country.

As it turns out, in Canada they don't teach you to spell words like "weltschmerz", the word the runner-up missed, opening the door for our Katharine Close of Spring Lake, NJ. You know what else they apparently can't spell in Canada? "National."

It's not the International Spelling Bee, it's the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Held in Washington, DC. The capital of our nation.

I know "national" is kind of generic and could apply to many countries, but come on: is Canada even really a nation? Don't they have the Queen of England on their money? Not only is she a foreigner to them, she's a foreigner who doesn't even hold any kind of political power in her OWN country. How are we supposed to take these people seriously? And they think they can just waltz in here and humiliate OUR school system network of private and home-schools? I don't think so, Gordie Canuck. Our kids might not be able to find Canada on a map, but that doesn't mean we can't kick your asses and send you back to... wherever it is Canada might be.

You have been chastened. And now you have been warned as well.

But this Katharine Close, she can run right out with her prize money and go see The Break-Up without any parental oversight as she is 13 and the film is rated PG-13.

You know, the marketing campaign has really focused on how this film is a "dark comedy" about the "painful realities" of the demise of a relationship between two grown people. And it's PG-13? We're not even breaking up but the fights I have with my wife are quite often R-rated for strong language, scenes of intense action and partial nudity. I can't argue with pants on. I just can't.

The reviews are not that strong. The print-ads are relying on one really long quote from Maxim as their support-blurb. One long quote, which says to me "couldn't really find enough to fill this space." And it's from Maxim, which only likes movies where chicks get hit in the face with things. Usually a penis.

And yet this is PG-13. I am perplexed.

I want to like this movie. I like Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston. But it reeks of your Gigli, your Shanghai Surprise, your Cleopatra. OK, maybe not so many triremes as Cleopatra, but Liz Taylor was totally boning Richard Burton and any time your leading lady is boning your leading man in a way loud enough that the tabloids notice, you've got trouble.

When will studios and agents learn to insert the no-boning-of-costars clause in contracts? For all of our sakes, really. I want my hype tied to overpromising the entertainment experience of a hopelessly mediocre movie, not all this distraction about who regularly sticks what into whom. Unless you're releasing a grainy video of the act on the internet, I don't want to know about it.

Man, I hope this is the movie where finally--finally!--we will get to see Vince Vaughn take off on this long, extended verbal free-association riff that lasts several minutes and is delivered at a pace too fast for the auditory receptors of the human brain to process. Please let this be the one! America is clamoring!

Ha ha, I kid. Vince only plays one guy in all the movies he's ever been in, much as Tom Cruise does, but the difference is that Vince Vaughn knows he's doing it and is trying to be funny. And often is. So he gets a pass.

I was also disturbed when I learned that this film includes a scene that involves a campy homo character singing a campy homo song around the dinner table for assembled guests a la Rupert Everett in My Best Friend's Wedding. But then I saw the campy homo character is being played by John Michael Higgins and The Break-Up gets another pass. Yes, even for that heinous transgression. You think you don't know who John Michael Higgins is, but you're wrong. You do and he's very funny.

The reviews are poor, but I like the cast and I like the fact that the people promoting this movie are using the phrase "anti-romantic comedy." If nothing else, you have to applaud that effort.

With that I give you a surprising:

Two (out of 3) on the Hot Babysitter Scale.



Thursday, June 01, 2006
I'm reading the paper this morning and I come across this story about this horrific car crash in Indiana that killed a bunch of people and left one in a coma. The family sits by this girl's side for five weeks doing all the things coma-victim families do, which I suspect is mostly watch TV, bother nurses and then, every once in a while, cry so hard you throw up. We have Lifetime movie channel here, so I know.

Right now you're thinking, "Why such a downer this morning, Pops? Is it because you didn't get your regular Couric this morning?" the answer to which is: maybe.

Hang on though, kids, it gets worse.

The family spends all this time with the hair-stroking and gentle conversation and the tooth gnashing and the consternation over the broken-yet-still-functioning body of their little girl. And then they find out that the girl they've been fretting over for the last five weeks isn't actually their daughter.

Yes, this girl and another victim--one who died in the accident--were very similar looking and at some point, what with all the scarring and swelling and trauma, the identities got confused. So that's a good day for the people who thought their daughter was dead and buried, but man, not the best of days for the people who spent hours and hours reading The Velveteen Rabbit to some girl they never met before and who, for all they know, thinks The Velveteen Rabbit is overrated bourgeois pap.

They think THEY had a bad day, but they've got nothing on me, man. I suffer too, you know. Yesterday I had a computer virus.

I know. I accept your heartfelt condolences. Cash will be accepted in lieu of flowers.

I should have seen it coming. My computer is pretty slutty. I keep telling it and telling it if it's going to hang around seedy internet neighborhoods signaling its openness and accepting anything anyone is willing to shove into it, things like this are going to happen. But you know how it is with computers these days; you can't tell them anything. They sit there with one panel off their case, CPU fan spinning out there for all the world to see... it's indecent. They spend all their time in chat rooms or playing video games or downloading porn and we wonder why this country is in the state it's in.

My computer gets a virus and who has to spend half a day hunting down infected files and running various scanning and cleaning programs? That's right, me. Computers just want to have fun and steal MP3s without ever thinking about who's porn-viewing time is going to be cut into later.

Big shout-out to my friends over at Computer Associates who won the contest between themselves, Symantec and McAfee to see Who Gets To Clean Pops' Computer. Theirs was the least hurdle-and-advertising-laden approach to downloading antivirus help fast and (most importantly) for free. Plus you get a whole year to try out their EZ Antivirus whereas the others are like 90-days tops. After the year is up, I might even consider sending them money.

In all EZ Antivirus deleted over 4,000 infected files, most of them generated by the worm. And before you ask, I will tell you: yes, my porn is safe. My museum-quality stash of vintage lesbian-clown-porn was largely unaffected. Thank God for small favors.

One last thing brought to my attention by loyal Bucketeer the lovely and talented SJ this morning: Prince Albert of Monaco, as part of his long-term public relations plan to convince us all that he's not gay, has announced that he is indeed the father of yet another illegitimate child. This child has lived all her life in Palm Springs.

Where is Palm Springs, you ask? Why, it's in Riverside County. Hey, hang on, Riverside County is where I live!

Let me ask you this: is there any European royalty knocking up local hoochie in the county YOU live in?

Riverside asserts its supremacy once again. First me, now this.

It's the Royal Bastard Children that makes us great.

Normally this is where I'd fit in what's called a "call-back" where I reference the beginning of the post in order to tie the whole thing together. But do you want to revisit the coma-mistaken-identity story? Nah, me neither.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 3.2

Oh my God wait! That's not the score for this post! I've just discovered that this post on the Narcissus Scale is actually: 7.7



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