Pops' Bucket
Friday, March 30, 2007
Movies I Have No Intention Of Seeing, #44

Blades of Glory

starring Will Ferrell, John Heder, Will Arnett, Amy Poehler and Craig T. Nelson(!)

directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck (those Geico "Caveman" commercials)

I'm in my early thirties, but I've already been married a long time. It will be ten years this year, in fact. A full decade is enough for me to know: I will probably never see Blades of Glory.

Do I want to? That's a complicated question.

The premise is borderline-retarded. Male figure-skating rivals are banned from singles competition and thus skirt said ban by entering the pairs competition--together. Will Ferrell and that Napoleon Dynamite kid and whammo! Instant movie, right?

I have a master's degree. Not a lot of people can say that, so I'm proud of it. Despite the bragging rights and the opportunity to get my ass kicked in almost any bar in America should I mention it, the responsibility that goes along with an advanced degree is that I'm supposed to show some kind of intellectual sophistication that innoculates me from interest in movies that include fart jokes and a huffy skein of homophobia disguised as humor.

And yet I like Fall Out Boy songs and I am drawn to Blades of Glory.

As a further complication, the reason I mentioned my marriage earlier is that I only get to go to movies that my wife will agree to accompany me to. Yes, I could always go to a film by myself--and have done--but there's something sort of sideways about it when you have the option of companionship and you still elect to go alone. The way I figure it, if I'm going to skulk off with the shame of having my tastes de-valued, un-validated and rejected and then turn that into unsupervised Pops-alone time, the obvious place to spend that time? Titty bar. That's what a real man would do.

But then again, a "real man" would probably also buy Toby Keith records and vote for George Bush.

Man, being a dedicated Registered Contrarian is hard work.

The real prize for any Registered Contrarian is to confront someone whom you automatically and unthinkingly oppose (for the sake of the Contrarian principle, the details of which are in the Registered Contrarian oath, which we all refuse to take, naturally) and find a way to bullshit them into changing their point of view. That way you can have a whole new perspective to reflexively gainsay.

Mrs. Pops, however, is wise to this scheme. If you need any further indication as to her powers in this respect, I still have yet to see Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. She is a worthy foe, which is all a Registered Contrarian can hope for.

I must rate this film:
Three (out of 3) on the Hot Babysitter Scale.

Unless any of you agree with me in the comments.

Like I said, it can get complicated.



Thursday, March 29, 2007
Ad Misericordiam
This is going to be a shorter than usual post today. I know I just got back from an extended absence and you people demand--DEMAND--that I give you your usual thousand-word pointless missive that both sums up the appeal of the Bucket and alienates you at the same time with its sheer volume. But alas some things can't be helped. I cringe when I think you might come upon some fresh Bucket and have it take less than a half hour to read.

Today is a Special Day in that Special Day way you can only get when your kid goes to Catholic school.

My son is making his first confession today. All alone behind a closed door in a little dark room with a Catholic priest, my healthy, attractive seven-year-old boy. Gosh, what dad wouldn't be super-excited about that?

I'm happy for my kid, I really am. He's going to go in there and experience the incitement to confess, to voluntarily enter himself into a power relationship (with the priest in particular and the Church overall) in which he is the subjugated and controlled member. He hasn't yet read Foucault's History of Sexuality, Part 1, so think he'll be OK with it. When he does, though, WOW, is he going to hate my ass. And Freud's.

It's part of the cycle. He got some inkling of what Catholic Guilt really entails from Sunday school, his religion classes and dabbling in some of the rites, like Lent this year where he gave up cigarettes. He doesn't actually smoke (what kind of a father do you think I am?), it's just him trying to game the system right out of the gate. When the Catholic Guilt finally fully sets in, he'll realize it only works if you give up something you REALLY LIKE so you can be a grouchy, miserable bane-of-your-family for forty days. Only by being truly unhappy can you ultimately know Jesus.

I'm also excited about this confession thing because I'm happy about any activity in which my name might come up. Just to ensure I'll be worked in there, I've been a total dick to my kid over the last week or so. That should push him over the "honor thy mother and father" commandment breach, I think. Wish me luck.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 10.0 (I'm on a roll!)



Wednesday, March 28, 2007
L'Être et le néant
I should have known something was up when I changed planes in Houston. If you've never been to George H. W. Bush Houston Intercontinental Airport, you don't really need to go. If you've been to any other major metroplitan connector hub, you know what it is; if you haven't, imagine your local indoor shopping mall, except about four times as sprawling and with an International Arrivals gate. It's very techno-now and window-y and shiny, outfitted with all the latest inconveniences of modern air travel.

When I left my 170-some-odd passenger 737 at the gate, I made the long trek through the moving sidewalks, past four gift shops and at least seventy book stores, two escalators and one train ride(!) away to my connecting gate. There, sitting, waiting for me was the most adorable little flying can of certain death I had ever seen.

Look, I'm sure little planes are just as safe as big planes. I don't recall hearing a whole lot of stuff in the news about the little ones falling out of the sky like Old Testament frogs or anything, but still, if you're a city guy like I am, you're used jumping from international airport to international airport, which means volume passengers, which means six people to a row, minimum. It's not that one way is better than another, it's just what I'm used to. When I fly, it doesn't feel right if I don't feel like I'm the only survivor under a four-ton pile of dead bodies. It's all very overwrought and inappropriately Middle Passage of me, but I'm an American. I tolerate what I've been conditioned to tolerate by the commercial necessities of mulitnational corporations. Any instance where I am not forced to tolerate such conditions--overcrowded planes, nutritionally bankrupt fast food, Nickelback--I can be very put-out. Testy even.

Plus the size of the plane I was about to board (after the requisite layover, naturally) also served to underline the reality of what I was doing and to where I was going. I was leaving the world of "international" and headed to a Panhandle. I was going regional.

The flight was short, but it was a white-knuckle affair the whole way. It's not that it was particularly bumpy or in any way physically harrowing, it's just that... it's hard to explain, but I was in seat 1A. There was no First Class, so on this particular plane, I was a) up front and b) IN A ROW ALL BY MYSELF. To my left was the window. To my right, the aisle. Right of that was a little cubby where the one--one--stewardess kept her little drinks trolley. All I could think of, with no one next to me, was that if we were to veer drastically off course and crash in the Andes, whom would I eat? There was no natural choice for me to make. Or alternately, who would eat me? Everyone else behind me was happily paired up with a row-mate for their emergency dining pleasure. But me, I was destined to be left, shunned, alone, frozen to death, completely untasted by an otherwise starving mob of motley cannibal survivors.

Out of desperation I asked the stewardess to lick my forearm. She would not.

I was grateful to land at the regional airport, which was, let me just say, regional. Instead of those tow-carts they use to push planes off from the gate, they were using two-by-two teams of what looked like yaks, which seemed geographically inappropriate. And the guy on the grounds crew who directed us in used glass lanterns filled with some kind of either lightnin' bug or incandescent salamander. It was hard to be sure, but all I know is electric light doesn't spook like that.

The rope-ladder down to the hardpack dirt runway was a little tricky, but when I reached the bottom, there was a welcome crew just like if I'd arrived in Hawaii, except instead of a lei, they present you with a plug of chaw and a styrofoam cup. I was just about to refuse it when the shooting started.

Some of the regional people, apparently, ain't too keen on the flyin' machines and the "outsiders" they bring with them. Luckily all the meth and moonshine makes them really shaky and not particularly good shots. In total, I'd say no more than four of us were killed.

A long walk, one pontoon skiff ride down a "crick" and one detour to get treed by a bear later and I reached my destination. It wasn't much, but they were family. If they wanted to live in corrugated iron geodesic dome using only a brood of overly friendly coonhounds for both mattresses AND the only source of warmth, well, that was OK by me.

I stayed at the Holiday Inn.

This post on the Narcisssus Scale: 10.0


PS- Solidarity, brother. There are such things as good lies.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Phew! I just flew in from [CENSORED] and boy, are my [CENSORED] tired!

OK, so it's clear to me already that the delicate nature of my work prohibits me from saying exactly where it was or what I was doing while I was away. All I can say is that while my mission may/may not have been to kill the president of Paraguay with a fork, it ws nearly as exciting. By that I mean that at one point, I was chased by federales. Don't worry, that's only dangerous if you're accompanied by Paul Newman.

What I can tell you is that my trip found me existing for the better part of a week in one of America's panhandles. Sorry, that's as specific as I can get, but that should at least narrow it down for you: Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Nebraska, Alaska... If you've never been to any of these places, I'm sure you can tell from the context that geographically speaking, "panhandle" is American for "shithole".

I say "panhandle" and you immediatley think of a banjo, don't you?

It's also synonymous with the act of debasing yourself by begging other human beings to sustain you with their charity. Considering the amount of federal dollars that go to support the people who live in those regions, I'd say that's not far off.

All that said, any place is Shangri-La if you get to spend five days kid-free there. I'd do the Shawshank Andy Dufresne Sewer-Pipe Shit-Crawl to Freedom for five days in a row if it meant I didn't have to visit Higglytown or get anyone any juice at any point for the duration.

No, no, I love my kids. I really do. It's just that I love them more when other people are watching them.

The good news is that you have me here, at your blog beck and call, interruption free... for the next 4 1/2 months.

See, the bad news is I've got another trip planned, this one in early August. My travel agent quoted me some prices on that Shawshank Shit-Crawl and, well, there was a minimum age (12 or older only!). How could I say no?

The ambivalent news is that while I was away, I've practically set records for readership according to my Sitemeter thingy. I have no idea how to take this. On the one hand, you want me to leave. On the other hand, you show up in droves here--at my blog--when I'm gone. I'm at my most popular when I'm not even here, but then if there were no me, there would be no "here" for you to come to and mock me with your vigorous smart-ass interest.

Maybe it's simpler than I realized: maybe you people are just addicted to existential irony. To test this theory out, the entirety of the Bucket this week will consist of block quotes from Sartre. Nothing separates the wheat from the chaff like long passages of Les jeux sont faits in the original French. It definitely weeded out the non-believers at my Mommy & Me reading-group.

Totally got them back for making me do Lipstick Jungle... again!

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 8.9


PS- Yes, I got out on an exclamation point. I'm clearly rusty. Forgive me.


Sunday, March 25, 2007
Gone Fishin' Day 4


It's entirely possible that when you read this (and I know you waited until Sunday night/Monday morning) I'm already back in California. If that is the case, then you can chalk this one up to laziness and jet-lag.

Frankly I've got nothing left for you.

I did want to share with you maybe the best two-game streak of Yahtzee! in recorded Yahtzee! history.

Bottom right, last two scores.

And that's how I teach my kids that they can't win every game. By crushing them. You should see us play Ping-Pong. It's not easy to explain the welts when I take them to school the next day.

Back live on Tuesday.



Friday, March 23, 2007
Gone Fishin' Day 3
Friday! Another work week behind us, am I right people?

And if it's Friday, you know what time it is. It's time for Pops' Poetry Slamm. Holla.

Everyone's watching, to see what I'm goin' do
Everyone's looking, but they don't give a fuck about you
Everyone's wondering how they can get their hands in your pocket and their boot back on your neck (which they never took off in the first place, they just wrapped it in velvet and convinced you it was an accessory--an excessory--that you needed to have and they sold you for the low, low cost of three easy installments of $14.95 plus shipping and handling and your identity/dignity/soul)
Everyone's trying to get it right

Everybody's working for the weekend because nobody will pay them a living wage so they can earn enough money between Monday and Friday--40 Hours and a Mule--so they can maybe accidentally spend some time with their fatherless children, enjoy the comfort their employers take for granted, stop and look into the eyes of their spouses to find something like love or satisfaction there instead of desperation despair-ation Despair-Nation. And they wonder why we rise up.

Rise up.


You want a piece of my heart?
Fuck you. Cut it out first. Nothing else is for sale.

Um... that's it. It's kind of awkward printed out. It sounds better at an open mic. It doesn't have the same impact if you can't hear the congas.



Thursday, March 22, 2007
Gone Fishin' Day 2
Man, is it Thursday already? Time traveling is easier than they make it look on TV. If this gets out, it's going to be hell on our entire Mad Scientist-based economy.

You want to know what's not easy? Thinking of material for five blog posts in one sitting.

So here, I'm punting.

Enjoy instead the company of well-known character actor Curtis "Booger" Armstrong



Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Gone Fishin' Day 1
I think the most appropriate topic for today's post would be to ask the question: how the fuck does Blogger not have a delayed-release time-bomb type posting option? I would love to be able to date and timestamp my posts and then have them appear at the appropriate pre-set hour to complete the illusion that I care enough to post even while I am gone, but no, apparently that kind of crazy technological functionality just isn't possible. I mean, we'd need a computer or something to figure out something like that. They can do it for anti-diarrhea pills, but not for a blogpost.

And oh man, hey, can you believe that thing that happened? You know, that one that's all over the news? Man, it totally took me by surprise. Especially if it was the crash of the plane I might currently be on. That would have surprised me greatly, possibly in the tragical past tense.

Instead, here's hoping it was just speculation about Bob Barker being the father of Anna Nicole's baby.



Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Heroes Returns April 23rd
I'll be the first to admit it: yesterday's post really wasn't my best ever. It had about four or five half-baked ideas in it, any one of which might have been an OK post developed on its own, but thrown in there like that, all defenseless and unformed... it's like dropping a fetus off at kindergarten.*

It's like making gumbo, only instead of shrimp and okra, I decided I would use gravel and old pencils. You know, because I had some of those handy.

It's like Thing that is not dissimilar to Other Thing. It's all fucking metaphory. Or simile-ish. I get them confused.

You're going to have to forgive me for yesterday though because, you see, I am distracted. I don't really know how to say this in any way to make it easier, so I'll just come right out and say it:

I'm leaving you.

Not forever. Just for a few days. I get on a plane tomorrow morning at a very reasonable hour for most of you, but considering that I live on Pacific time AND I have no job, it will be for me too disagreeably early.

As for why I'm leaving and to where I am going, well let me take those questions one at a time:

1) It's not me, it's you. I'm not really sure how or why, I just think it was time it was said by someone somewhere.

2) Well, that's more complicated. Once I've got the blindfold on and I'm locked in a trunk inside a black C-130 that doesn't officially exist, I tend not to ask questions. Four year anniversary of the war. I can only assume something special is being planned.

This is not the first time I've been forced to leave you all for an extended period and I can tell you already this year that it won't be the last. Just know that every time I do leave, I think of you all often. Mostly when the giddy realization hits me about half way through the morning that I don't have to slog through another blog post that day. Then I say something to myself on the order of "Whee!" and pound another celebratory Shirley Temple Is A Whore (Sprite, grenadine, Courvoisier and rohypnol).

This time, however, things are different. I've decided that I'm going to take care of you all while I'm gone. I know you look to me with affection and good will and--most importantly--the aching, bone-marrow need, not unlike the way Rush Limbaugh looks at OxyContin. Or cake. Or the way Newt Gingrich looks at chicks who are not his wife. Or, again, cake.

I'm going to post a week's worth of stuff all in advance. But you shouldn't act exactly like Rush with a cake. Try to dole it out, day by day, to tide you over. The last thing you want is to be half way through a day's work on Thursday in the grip of a massive Pops jones.

We'll be back live Tuesday morning.

Now take my hand. Stay with me. I'll get you through this.

*=our Catholic school I have found to be deeply ambivalent about such an act.


Sunday, March 18, 2007
Accomplished Mission
I know the political posts bore some of you, but that's OK, I understand. I know it can get repetitive having to listen to me drone on and on about the things I decide are important, willfully ignorant and/or stubbornly dismissive of all contrary points of view. But I figure, you know, it works for Fox News.

See now, I'm ashamed of myself. That shot at Fox News was completely gratuitous and, what's worse, predictable. I'm always the least comfortable blogging when I'm writing things you can all sort of see the obvious end to. Remember, I'm the guy who brought you the Talking Celebrity Penis Advice Column. I like unorthodox; not really bothered with what you might have to sacrifice sometimes to get it. Like tact. Or class. Or decency. Or really even basic quality. Just so long as it keeps you guessing.

Political posts--once the author's leanings have been deduced--are really a no-win situation if your stock-in-trade happens to be unpredictability. I have a hard time imagining any of you wondering "Hey, I can't fathom whom Pops might have voted for in the last election."

I find it much easier to imagine you wondering that while you are naked, however. Yes, you. All of you. Not all together, but individually. You know, because I respect you as a person. A naked, naked person. While sitting on a stone bench in a public square in front of a large fountain the centerpiece of which is a peeing cherub. And eating an ice cream cone. You, not the cherub. Yes, I'm sick, but in a really very specific way that is either totally harmless or serial-killer-in-training. I guess we'll only find out for sure when after I figure out how to get your addresses from your IP number thingies. Which could be any day now.

The point is, I wanted to talk about politics for a second, but I wanted to warn you that what I was going to say might totally surprise you.

I am reconsidering my position on the George Bush presidency.

Have I gone insane? Am I just a sociopathic contrarian bastard bent on doing the opposite of whatever a majority of people are doing? I will say that that was the reason I stopped being a Justin Timberlake fan. I was fine following his career while he was toiling away as an anonymous member of a little can-do indie outfit called *NSYNC, just one of five, working their way up gigging in, I don't know, probably coffee houses and little juke joints for a decade or more before being plucked from obscurity. And then Justin goes solo and he's all #1 record in the country and that was it for me. All that *NSYNC integrity, just wasted. Bye bye bye. Gone. This I promise you. And I want it that way.

Listen, George Bush has gotten a fair amount of stick about his inability to do... well, really anything associated with the job of chief executive of the most powerful nation in the history of all mankind.

But consider: is the mere fact that he can't do what we expect with any level of basic competence any reason to dismiss him?

Yes, of course, but before we do, I would like to point out that he has done just about everything he said he would do. The record is astonishing.

  • "I am a uniter, not a divider" This was a deeply bifurcated, wildly distrustful nation of Blue and Red States, one Fort Sumter away Confederate General Peter Pace descending on Washington to purge it of the gays (a direct threat to Congress... talk about your Rump Parliament! Hey-o!). And then George Bush arrived to bring us together. After he tore us apart, sure, but then there was the together thing. See, nearly 70% of the nation believes he sucks at his job. When was the last time 70% of people agreed on anything? Those 4 out of 5 dentists who recommended Dentyne, that's when. George Bush has given us unity. And not just any unity; approaching cinnamon-gum unity.

  • "The United States should not be involved in 'nation building.'" I know, I know. Say what you want, but have you seen Iraq or Afghanistan lately? Do they seem nation-built? Promises kept, sir.

  • Weapons of Mass Destruction Finally, I say to you doubters: HA! Chemical weapons are being used in Iraq even as you read this. Did it take four years? Is it mostly our fault by creating the insurgency situation? Sure. But is it more or less our fault than the original chemical weapons we sold Saddam Hussein in the first place? See, not only do we win on merit, but we win in relative moral terms as well.

    I don't know about you, but I am buoyed. Mostly I just can't wait to see how that Hurricane Katrina thing turns out for the best, long-term. Not for New Orleans specifically (because, I mean, holy fuck, right?) but just as a political and/or semantic abstraction. Which, as an American voter, is all I'm really interested in.

    This post on the Narcissus Scale: 10.0



  • |
    Friday, March 16, 2007
    Don't Think Of Pink Elephants
    I'm a little troubled. Here we are a mere 20 months away from the next presidential election and I am still not 100% sure: who's fault is everything?

    You know what I mean. In 2004, everything was the fault of the gays. They wanted to get married, which meant traditional families were threatened, which in turn made gas cost more, flavor left all food and God sent a hurricane to destroy New Orleans.

    But that threat has mostly been dealt with; considering the overall lack of interest as a front-burner issue, I can only assume all the gay people have left and/or are no longer interested in their own civil rights.

    I did appreciate General Peter Pace's attempt to make us all feel better again by revisiting the issue, but really, when the only person who comes out in support of your position is Sam Brownback, the Ted McGinley of the Republican field of contenders, well, I think you know the shark has been well and truly jumped.

    Immigrants kind of worked for a while (they're expensive! they are brown! they are politically defenseless!) but then they started putting e coli in the spinach and onions we were asking them to pick and we learned our lessons there. Nobody wants salmonella on their grapes.

    Where are the commies when you need them? I'll tell you where they are: they're being adopted by Angelina Jolie. I mean, even the chances that that kid grows up to become a sleeper agent deep within the megacelebrity infrastructure at the heart of our country aren't very good anymore.

    They are trying right now with the subprime lending stuff, but that really feels like a late-winter "Shark Attack!" type story to me. You can't even really put it on the cover of a magazine. Until they get some kind of spokescharacter to help brand that idea, I'm just not on board. Maybe a cool zombie rising from the grave, slowly limping toward unsuspecting victims, his arms heavy, flesh rotted away to show sinew and bone underneath, a deep, steady moan as he pounces on his victims and forces them to accept variable interest rates on long-term loans that will eventually require a significant raise in the lending APR.

    See? No legs. No zazz.

    I don't know what this says exactly, but I would say that as of this second, right now the only clear enemy all of America has?

    Harriet Miers.

    For the second time in a year she has risen to become the bête-noir of American politics, the Bush Administration in general.

    See, she already established her bona fides as a worthy adversary whe she was introduced in her first appearance in the famous "Case of the Dead Chief Justice" where she turned out to be cagily and dastardly totally underqualified for the job to which she was nominated. And in public! Somebody well worth our scorn as Public Enemy #1.

    And now it turns out she was the sole mastermind behind the latest episode, this "Case of the Stuff that Happened That I Really Don't Understand". US Attorneys! People getting fired! E-mails! Karl Rove!

    I don't know what she made the president and the Attorney-General do against their will, but the press sure covers it a lot, so it must be so so bad.

    How long before she is an affront to the traditional family and a threat to the tastiness of food?

    2008 will come down to one issue: what does each candidate think of Harriet Miers? The leadership of the Free World will hang in their answers.

    Unless they are Sam Brownback.

    This post on the Narcissus Scale: 7.1



    Thursday, March 15, 2007
    Who Dis?
    I'm never the first person to buy the latest and greatest piece of gadgety wizardry. I like my movies well hyped, but when it comes to things I have to integrate into my daily life, all the gizmos and whatsits that promise convenience and only deliver unnecessary complication, I'm generally nonplussed. I don't have an MP3 player. I never had a PDA. Newest, smallest, fastest, sleekest? Not impressed. I don't have that kind of fetishized reaction to shiny plastic gewgaws. Not since a SaladShooter™ killed my dad.

    But I am married to a woman who works in the fancy-pants tech field, which means every so often, I get some scary spousal pressure to put out... lots of unecessary money to pay for some newfangled thingamagoober. To "support the industry." She says she does it all the time and I'm not pulling my weight. I always come back with "they don't put silicon chips of any kind in a double-headed rotating vibrator. You don't even know the difference between electronics and mechanicals!" and by then she's usually on the other side of a locked door, humming the same monotone sound she always hums in there. Honestly I don't know how she has the lung capacity to keep it going as long as she does.

    Anyway, long story short, she made me buy a new cell phone. It was free (as part of a contract renewal), so I relented.

    Still, I don't really see what the problem was with my old phone. It made calls. It received calls. The end. I've never texted in my life. In fact, just back in that last sentence was the first time I've ever used "text" as a verb. They have yet to invent the cell phone that will play 8-tracks, so they're useless to me as music players. And as for cameras, well, we all know cell phone picture taker people are the absolute worst kind of people in the whole wide world. If you ever end up in prison, tell them you're a pedophile before you tell them you a cell phone picture snapper. Sure, they'll still rape you and kill you, but at least they won't make pruno in your hollowed-out corpse afterward. Keep some dignity.

    I even liked the way my old phone looked:

    That's Grandpa holding it. See, no picture-phone mode, so I had to take this one myself with a whole separate apparatus. Yes, Grandpa is trying to shave with it. It's embarrassing, but it's either that or I would find him screaming into it, pleading for an airstrike against the Krauts advancing on Bastogne. Poor crazy old fucker. He just relives it over and over and over. I never should have introduced him to Call of Duty 2.

    I know, it was a little bulky, but I could use it as a blunt instrument in a pinch. Or, you know, if the mood just struck me. And you're thinking "there's no way you could fit that in your pocket" to which I say you are clearly not being creative enough in your choice of pants.

    By way of contrast, here's a closeup picture of the keypad/workstation-area of my new phone:

    Crazy, right? The manual is not measured in pages, it's measured in feet of thickness. I'm not allowed to use it on planes, not because of the outside chance it might interfere with the instrumentation, but because it comes with the capability to actually fly the plane. And caller ID.

    Here's a picture of it from a bit further back:

    I'm not going to lie to you, storage and portability are challenges. Battery life is a fucking joke. And the guy we had to hire to operate it is expensive AND a condescending prick. You know how IT guys are.

    I know, it's totally counter-intuitive to go bigger, but look, that's just how I roll. I won't be dictated to by fads or trends. I'm wearing velvet pants and a cape right now. That should tell you everything you need to know about me.

    This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.9



    Wednesday, March 14, 2007
    After yesterday's post and the overwhelming response to it, I think it's finally time that I acknowledged what it is you people want from this blog. It isn't often in an public space that such an obvious consensus is reached, but that time has inexorably, inevitably come at last. It's time for one of the long-suffering Featured Players on this blog to move up to Full Cast Member Status.

    It can be a risky thing to do, I know. Remember how good Jay Mohr was on Saturday Night Live when they would roll him out once every month or two to do his Christopher Walken impression? And then what an insufferable, intolerable hack he turned out to be once he started getting real air-time later? Now you understand my reticence: it's solid Jay Mohr reticence.

    But this is a question of fairness. Most of my blog traffic is generated by my association with this particular entity, so I think it's only fair we give it a shot in the spotlight to see how well it can perform under pressure.

    Enough prologue. Ladies and gentlemen, Pops' Bucket is proud to present for you, for the first time ever, because you demanded it:

    Ask Brad Pitt's Dick

    See, the idea is... ah fuck, you get it. Let's go:

    Letter #1

    Dear Brad Pitt's Dick,

    My boyfriend and I have been together for several years. He's very talented and very sweet and even though the other boys think he's a bird-chested girly-voiced wuss, I just love him to pieces. Until recently, that is. It turns out that he likes younger girls with giant boobs who are also whores. I've been patient, but finally I decided that nobody cheats on my 18 times in one year and gets away with it. I have my dignity. And new hair. And a new nose. So we broke up. But still, I'm so sad, that I haven't been able to share my scary deep horsey laugh with anyone since he left. I don't think I want him back, but I can't live without him either. Tell me, Brad Pitt's Dick, what should I do?

    Cameron D.
    Los Angeles, CA

    Brad Pitt's Dick responds (mostly to warm hands and a firm touch):

    Cameron, I thank you for your question, dude. I find it very gratifying that people feel comfortable enough with me to share their most private questions of intimacy, personal growth and/or sexual deviancy with me. My only regret is that nobody ever asks me a geography question. I'm really good at it. I mean objectively good, not just good for a penis. But I never get a chance to show that side of myself. I guess I can't blame them. Who really wants to hear a penis go on and on about alluvial fans or South Pacific island-nation capital cities? Almost no one, that's who.

    To your problem with your boyfriend, let me just say to you, look: I'm a penis. From my point of view, relationships boil down to simple questions of how often and with what kind of vigor I'm going to be asked to engorge myself with blood and perform my primary function. It's crude, I know, but it's procreation. For the continuation of the species. At least I got him to do it once, but the fucker keeps adopting now, which I take as a personal insult.

    And with your boyfriend, hell, I don't know. All I have to say is in the interim between male companions, DON'T BUY A VIBRATOR. We find that to be personally insulting.

    Letter #2

    Dear Brad Pitt's Dick,

    I don't have the best skin, especially on my face. I wish it were only "combination skin." It's dry, it's oily, sometimes it oozes something that smells and tastes disturbingly like maple syrup. The real stuff too, not that imitation crap. And I'm not even going to try to explain what happens in my T-zone. Nothing I've tried works. I'm at my wit's end. Please help.

    Edward James O.
    Los Angeles, CA

    Brad Pitt's Dick responds

    Hey, Ed! Well, I'm not really sure which way to go here. Suffice it to say, me and moisturizers have a very... complicated relationship. Usually when one is being applied directly to me, the point isn't generally dermatological health, if you know what I'm saying. Plus any time I hear the word "facial", I immediately start thinking of something totally different that what you're asking for. Sorry. I'm just a penis. I have limits.

    Letter #3

    Dear Brad Pitt's Dick,

    Please come back. Please. I miss you so much. Vince Vaughn? My God, what was I thinking?

    Always, always yours,

    Jennifer A.'s vagina

    Brad Pitt's Dick responds

    Baby, just stop. It's getting embarrassing. You know I'd hit that if I could, but I'm attached here. I do what I can, but occasionally he's successful at diverting blood upstairs to his brain, which between you and me, is clearly the lesser organ. He follows that stupid thing as much as he does me, maybe more. Just move on. The TRO is still binding.

    PS- Hi to your mom.


    The End of installment #1. Wow, three times in a row. Now if you'll all keep it down for a while, our star is completely knackered.

    Any questions any of you might have for Brad Pitt's Dick can be directed to me at popsbucket@hotmail.com. He has no e-mail address of his own. Typing one letter at a time is exhausting for him. I'm happy to act as his mouthpiece in this matter.



    Tuesday, March 13, 2007
    Vietnamese Hookers
    First of all, I'd like to ask you all a question. If you had to guess, what would you surmise is the top search result on Dutch Google for the string puma spackle martial arts? Jean-Claude Van Damme's Drywall Repair & Big Cat Predator Boarding Co.? No, sir! It's this guy! Nearly three years in to this blog thing and I continue to achieve. Way to go, me.

    As search-strings go, "puma spackle martial arts" is pretty good. But is it the best ever? Is it objectively better than Paul Begala karate? Or chloroform white slavery? Or arsenio monologue hamburger?

    And hmm, I know you're dying to find out, what sort of criteria makes a search string "best"? Is it the context-free non sequitur absurdity of the above choices? Or maybe it's the robust, reliable staying power of the regular strings that find me like "Brad Pitt's dick" or "Vietnamese hookers" or (frighteningly) "reasons not to kill myself".

    Which is the best search string seems like an insignificant question I guess, but remember: we are Americans. We fought and died against the likes of King George III in the War of 1812 specifically to secure for ourselves the right to wallow in pop-culture minutiae and base triviality. George III was totally against that. But he was also known to hold long conversations with oak trees, run naked through public functions and piss blue. Dude was fucking crazy.

    We are not crazy. We are Americans. We are sane; sane like a fox! Every year maybe we get the "March Madness" but we get it winkingly, knowingly, much in the same way "student-athletes" get homework, with no expectation of actual commitment to the idea. We're all crazy this time of year the same way we're all Irish on St. Paddy's Day and then we're all magically Mexican six weeks later on Cinco de Mayo. Like most things, we do it for the discount alcohol.

    But then there are some out there among us who take a perfectly good totally useless idea like the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament and find a way to make it even less consequential.

    That is how you get things like this new book The Enlightened Bracketologist: The Final Four of Everything which purports to boil any discussion down to a branching series of single-event single-elimination competitions, steadily whittling itself down until there is but one winner.

    Best Movie Death! Best Marital Argument!

    Ah, useless quantification of inscrutably subjective things. It's the American genius. I guess we'd be better off if the "American genius" were something like resource consumption efficiency, but look, who do you want to be? Us or the Native Americans? They had uses for all the parts of the buffalo. Big whoop. Look where they are now: operating casinos in a legal gray-area, raking in money hand-over-fist in the billions of dollars.

    OK, bad example. But we make lists! Of stuff that can't be listed! If we didn't, would Entertainment Weekly even exist? I think it would not. Every line of every issue can't be about Britney Spears. Although God knows they try.

    And in case you were curious which would win in my Best Bucket Google Search String, well, I think the answer has to be "Brad Pitt's dick". You can't argue with volume. From a numbers standpoint in terms of visitors mistakenly directed here, "Brad Pitt's dick" is HUGE.

    This post on the Narcissus Scale: 10.0


    PS- UCR vs. Arizona State. Yeah, it's chicky-ball, but it's OUR chicky-ball. And a 14 seed! And it's just down the freeway at USC's Galen Center! I'm not going. But still!


    Sunday, March 11, 2007
    No Future
    You are George W. Bush. You have been president for six full years now. You have had plenty of time to establish your work habits, your political tendencies, reveal your priorities, push whatever agenda you might have, all in an attempt to cement you post-presidential legacy as it will be written by the Ivy League ivory-tower intellectual eggheads you so rightly despise.

    What do we know about George Bush? Based on his record, will we remember that he could:

  • Keep us safe from terrorism?
  • Accurately identify geopolitical danger-spots in the world so as to not waste time focusing on those that are ultimately no threat?
  • Judiciously execute a well thought-out and practical war plan that would give us the best shot at victory?
  • Manage the care for those who come home damaged/wounded from the wars we commit to?
  • Respond with force and speed and compassion should some kind of natural disaster befall a major American city?
  • Speak?

    Well, that's No x6. Realistically, people stop paying attention to sitting second-term presidents completely in January of an election year, so unless he can pull victory in Iraq, re-defeat of the Taliban in Afghanistan, social security reform, energy independence, debt reduction and an air traveler's Bill of Rights out of his ass in the next 9 months, I'd say he's in no small amount of trouble, historically speaking.

    Ah, but George Bush, you are about nothing if not sass and magic of little consequence. A little soft lead polished up to look like steel for the cameras, a startling slapped-together town of Rock Ridge for Hedley Lamarr's Fourth Estate desperadoes to safely rage at while you watch from the safety of a nearby bluff.

    So what if you can't do all that fancy presidentin' like you wanted to, Mr. Bush. Can any of those other "qualified" predecessors move space and time with the stroke of a pen?

    That was all you, Georgie.

    "Yatta, bitches!"

    Horde all those snatched-away hours and then, reapply them at the end of the term to squeeze in the signing of the executive orders to make ice-cream free and for the summary arrest of Robert Novak.

    My God. Like Gary Sinise said when he was playing Truman in that HBO movie: what a paradise we could make of this world.

    This post on the Narcissus Scale: 1.9



  • |
    Friday, March 09, 2007
    Movies I Have No Intention Of Seeing, #43

    The Ultimate Gift

    starring Some Guy, Abigail Breslin, Brian Dennehy and James Garner

    directed by Michael O. Sajbel (a bunch of stuff you never heard of)

    Now, look, I was all ready not to throw one of these labored, lazy, gimmicky things at you this week. I had been prepared to tell you that I was giving it a miss because there exists this week a movie I do intend to see, the ultraviolent paean to comic book homoerotica, 300. Oiled pecs and beheadings, all in front of post-production drawn-in backgrounds. Critics have said it lacks story depth, contains a lot of empty visceral thrills with little or no redeeming content, glorifies violence, has an undercurrent of eurocentric xenophobia and say it looks "too much like a video game." It's like someone has been reading the Checklist of Awesome Movie Elements (which I know they haven't because I NEVER unlock my diary)! Everyone's clearly as excited about it as I am.

    Mrs. Pops clearly won't want to go, but this isn't really the kind of movie you take a girl to anyway. This is the kind of thing you and a bunch of other dudes sit through together and afterward share silent head-nods that confirm: "Bad-ass." Sure, you have to hoot a little bit louder than you normally would when the hot chick comes on screen--you know, just so there are no awkward misunderstandings in the theater restroom afterward--but that's a small price to pay to bask in the cornucopia of geek wonder that is a film adapted from a Frank Miller graphic novel.

    With all my focus thus taken, I had no idea a film such as The Ultimate Gift even existed. I found it completely by mistake on the IMDb when I was out surfing for more more more 300 pre-release hype-porn.

    I read the synopsis. Apparently this old dude (James Garner) dies rich. He wins, happy ending, right? No wait, there's MORE! He has this grandson played by Some Guy who stands to inherit all this money, but HANG ON! In his will, James Garner (and I had no idea he was this much of a dick) says the grandson will only inherit the money if he completes 12 tasks in a year.

    OK, I'm thinking, a modern spin on the twelve labors of Hercules, right? Ooh, get it, like he'll have to face down TSA Airport Security or something and it will be like the modern-day allegorical equivalent of Cerberus, the three-headed dog who guards the gates of Hell, like Hercules had to defeat. Kind of lame, but not entirely, I guess. At least SOME chance of slow-motion shots of oiled up pecs, right?


    Apparently this guy has to do shit like "find a true friend." I'm not kidding, that's one of his actual "tasks."

    Then I was like, OK, I get it. Less Labors of Hercules and more Brewster's Millions. Except I know from the jump that it can't be anywhere near as good as Brewster's Millions because John Candy is dead.

    Plus at the end of Brewster's Millions, at least we had the implicit suggestion that Richard Pryor was immediately going to leave that story and bang that hot overseer lady sideways.

    Any chance of that here?

    Christianity Today gave the film 2.5 out of 4 stars, and called it "lovingly crafted."

    The Chicago Sun Times called The Ultimate Gift a "winner . . . could be described as a spiritual training film."

    Oh God, it's Mitch Albom's Hollywood! It's PAX-TV on the big-screen! Jesus help us, this is a movie that douchebag Michael Medved would like!

    I shouldn't underestimate this film's ability to challenge us in our core spiritual beliefs. As you can see, I'm in something of a spiritual conundrum here myself: odds are very good that had I never mentioned it, none of you would have ever heard of this monstrosity. And better off for it, no doubt.

    On the other hand, letting these things go uncommented-upon would be an abdication of my sworn self-appointed role as Savior of Our Democracy. We just can't have shit like this floating around, inspiring people to be nice to each other at the expense of movies like 300, to which this film is clearly the counterprogrammed antithesis.

    Do you have any idea how many thousands of people it takes to animate the severing of a human head? Think of the economy, if nothing else.

    That's why this film gets the dreaded:

    ZERO out of 3. No Hot Babysitters for you.


    PS- And yeah, OK, it didn't take me long to fashion the above severed head, but come on. Would any of you pay $10 to watch that for two hours? I feel kind of bad subjecting you to it for free.

    PPS- The IMDb synopsis was written by the director personally. I guess I should expect a very angry e-mail soon. And not just from Michael Medved. Who is a douchebag.


    Thursday, March 08, 2007
    You ask any kid what he or she wants to do when they grow up and you get a range of answers. Fireman. Ballerina. Fireman/Ballerina. Responses vary depending on exactly how much a kid likes to get his ass kicked.

    What the answers generally show is a reflection of several factors including media lionization of certain professions (entertainment, politics, whatever it is Paris Hilton does) as metabolized by a child's intellect, socio-economic factors (poor kids want to be wealthy, middle class kids want professional lives of meaning, rich kids want a reliable coke dealer and a maid with a decent rack, etc.) and sublimated psychological desires children are not yet emotionally or intellectually equipped to express (i.e. firemen are big, strong men who answer when called and lug around giant hoses, ballerinas are the epitome of grace and fluid dignity and are always eating-disorder thin).

    Mostly what the responses show is that kids are stupid.

    Little Billy says "fireman" because Little Johnny next to him said "policeman" and, well, it was his turn to mix it up. The next kid will pick either one of the two and so on down the line, occasionally dropping in a professional athlete. One in about every ten wants to be an interior decorator (or some other form of deviant swatch-handler), but that's about the whole scope of it. Kids say what they are expected to say because really, what ten year old boy has really got any clue what it takes to be a fireman? Or a doctor? These are undereducated, entitlement-bloated American children who cannot fathom the possibility that they are our future Mall Security or Home Depot Parking Lot Day Laborers.

    As a product of American public education, I too was undereducated and entitlement-bloated. And after the high-fat meals they served me for school lunch, I was actually on my way to be actual bloated. I never really learned how to find the circumference of a circle or what the capital of South Dakota was, but it's not like I came out of my educational experience empty-handed. I proudly finished 12th grade with a diploma and Type 2 diabetes. I'm still proud, but I miss my toes.

    Unlike the other kids, though, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up and it wasn't any kind of goddamn service-sector helper of people. Noble dreams, but small ones.

    I only ever wanted to be a hereditary member of the British House of Lords.

    God, think of it. A job you hold by the nature of the blood that is in your veins, a right of superior birth and just the right amount of strategic inbreeding. A job you don't have to apply for and can never, ever lose, right?

    Sure, it's possible that my desire to wear coronets and an ermine cape had something to do with the appeal, but still... apart from the hemophilia, it sounded like a pretty sweet gig to me.

    And also unlike the other kids, I knew how to get it. I knew the Born To It option was off the table as I was a filthy, unclean, common American. But all I had to do was wheedle my way into one of those families somehow, either by marrying one of them or by offering myself up for the perverse ritual sexual abuse a thousand years of privilege can think up and develop in exchange for the dim hope of ending up in the old guy's will. "Entry level" indeed. But it's that or a mail-room somewhere for $7 an hour.

    But now, as of today, even that dream is dead to me. Closed off by "forward thinking" kleptocrats and jumped-up slappers in the House of (aptly named) Commons. Whether or not a 700-year-old institution is a paragon of legitimizing, self-justifying tradition or a moribund house of dusty obsolescence all comes down to whom you can either pay off or blackmail. Apparently either sheep buggery has gone totally out of fashion among the Commons backbenchers or the Lords have completely abdicated their responsibility to film said acts and then wield said film like the Mace of State that God had rightfully conferred upon them.

    Probably the latter.

    All I can say is that after the announced withdrawal from Iraq, yet another way the UK has shown me that they truly are the filthy foreigners I always suspected them to be. Monty Python clips and the funny way you drop your Rs will only get you so far.

    A whole country, dead to me.

    This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.975



    Wednesday, March 07, 2007
    The Pops' Bucket Digest Of Books, Volume... I Lost Count
    When I was in college, I took a lot of shit from my friends for dating a much older woman. After a lot of long talks, she finally convinced me that they were just jealous because she was, she told me, "experienced" and beautiful and everything they're girlfriends weren't, by which I assumed she meant stretch-mark free. Then she bought me a PlayStation and a car. It got easier eventually as soon I had no friends left. I did get a pretty bracelet to celebrate the alienation of the last one, though.

    She ditched me eventually as I (ironically) got too old for her tastes. Plus I don't know if ever really recovered myself in her esteem after that time I agreed to be a bottom and I cried afterward. But I was a simple boy from humble beginnings, by which I mean we didn't have cable. There was no way I could have been prepared for that. Ask any guy and he'll tell you his first receiving-end can stir up some strong, unexpected emotional stuff. Especially if you run out of lube about half way through.

    All the taunts and all the tears were worth it though. We still keep in touch, which is good. I'm here with my blog desperate for material and she went on to bigger and better things. Anytime I want it now, I've got an "in" in the publishing business. You can read that however you like.

    I've used it before to get exclusive first-looks at books.

    Now I am proud to present for you all, for the first time ever, a sneak-preview excerpt from the not-yet-released Jenna Bush book entitled Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope.


    It is so hot here in Panama City. So hot. It's like a swelter.

    They have air conditioning here in my hotel, but it totally doesn't barely work. Plus the rooms are so small that I had to rent three of them in a row just so I could hear myself think. And I need it because I think LOUD.

    You would have thought they would have considered who I was before calling this dump a "Presidential Suite." I mean, I've been in a "Presidential Suite" and this is the kind of shit we wouldn't give to the Kenyan Undersecretary of Agriculture in Charge of Soy. Dad calls him "Short Mocha Latté" and makes sure he always gets a good room.

    Anyway, I was proud of myself today. Only eleven cigarettes! But I gained four pounds since last week. God, I don't know how people do this.

    Also, I actually left the room! I had planned to try to get all the way down to the lobby, but when the elevator came, there was this gross old lady in it and, well, I am sure you can see why it was out of the question. I'm typing this on my laptop under my covers.

    From what my assistant Stephanie is telling me though, there is a lot of good poverty and suffering happening out there.

    She told me about this girl Ana, whose story I would like to relay to you in the course of this book.

    Ana is a survivor. She is everything we as Americans find disgusting: she is foreign, speaks Spanish, has colored skin, is an unwed mother and has AIDS. All that and still she survives. It's like a miracle.

    The sad irony is that, the way affirmative action works in America, she could have any job there she wanted. Even Supreme Court Justice. But Stephanie tells me that here in Panama, so many people look and live like Ana that affirmative action does her almost no good.

    My flight leaves the so-called "airport" in about three hours, but Stephanie assures me that she will stay and see this story through to the end. She will or she'll have her funding cut off.


    Wow. It's John Kennedy's Profiles in Courage all over again. In twenty years when Jenna is threatening her dad's record as Worst President Ever, I'm sure we'll all look back on this as Where It All Started.

    Which means we still have time to stop it.

    This post on the Narcissus Scale: 4.4



    Tuesday, March 06, 2007
    You Don't Need A Quadraphonic Blaupunkt. What You Need Is A Curveball.
    Ah, spring. The time of year has come when a young man's fancy turns to... well, if he uses the word "fancy" very often, probably other young men.

    I know, I know, we still have two weeks to go until it is officially spring, but here in Southern California, we like to justify our ridiculously unjustifiable cost of living by reminding the rest of you pale, hairless, lamp-eyed, snow-buried gnomes why it is exactly anyone in their right mind would pay $2,500/month to rent a 600 square foot one-bedroom apartment out here.

    Today in Riverside: 84 degrees, light and variable winds, zero clouds, no noticeable humidity. Ha! Eat it, Everywhere Else!

    Of course by the end of the week it's supposed to be over 90 out here and will remain so until about mid-November. And there will be no rain between then and now seeing as our four-week "rainy season" is now over. So we should expect a couple of 1,000+ acre forest fires to blot out the sun a couple of times. And the occasional rolling blackout. And water rationing.

    But still! No snow! Again I say: Ha!

    Well, except for that one time, but that was a fluke! And it only lasted long enough to spook the homeless people. Really, they come here to live under our fancy freeway overpasses for the express reason that our ERs do not have a proper slang term for a hypothermic and/or frozen solid homeless person (see: bumsicle). If I were a homeless person living in the greater Los Angeles area that day, if I hadn't already snapped to the point that I was socially non-functioning to the point of utter helplessness, I totally would have snapped.

    I know it's spring in Cali not just because of the weather (which never actually changes) but because this week we started baseball practices again for my boys.

    I say "boys" because I meant to indicate the plural. Seriously, just by adding an S to the end. Language is a marvelous thing.

    We have two of them in this year, one in proper pitch/hit baseball and the middle child in his first year of T-ball. Two kids in. Hooray for me. That means twice as many practices, twice as many futile sessions of catch in our pathetic backyard, twice as many ass splinters climbing the neighbor's wooden fence to fetch the ball that inevitably goes over, twice as many times I have to explain to a prepubescent boy that the hard plastic cup is there crushing his testicles in order to protect him from having a struck baseball crush his testicles.

    Dad work is hard.

    The good news is that since they're still young and producing their own human-growth-hormone in abundance, I don't have to spend any time or money trying to procure any on the black market, just like their professional role models might. If I were smart, I'd harvest that stuff myself and sell it. But then I can't get my son to give up where he keeps his pituitary gland. I never should have let the sneaky little ingrate know I have no medical knowledge of my own. I told his mother that Operation game would come back to bite us in the ass. Which I know is somewhere between my shoulders and my ankles.

    Don't worry, I'll keep you all posted on how the seasons progress, and in true Bucket fashion. Expect lies.

    This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.1



    Sunday, March 04, 2007
    Far be it for me to defend Ann Coulter in any context. It seems darn near impossible that such a thing would happen. Besides, she doesn't really need my help. I think she's perfectly comfortable being perceived as a stark argument against the continuation of human beings as a species.

    Sure, when she calls John Edwards a "faggot" in front of hundreds of people, your first thought is to bring up the fact that she's got hands like a dude, an Adam's apple about the size of her ball sack and is so unnaturally thin, she puts meth addicts right off their dinners of Hot Pockets and meth.

    Those are obvious, hackneyed, predictable responses, shared the whole blogosphere over, time and time again, by both the left and an increasingly high percentage of the right. So I won't go there. You know, anymore.

    As a die-hard left-wing terrorist-lover, I would have to say that Ann Coulter has every right under the Constitution of the United States to say whatever the fuck comes into that crusted-over syringe-tip pin she calls a head. I give her all the leeway in the world. What she said was probably a totally scripted, pre-arranged, carefully crafted totally spontaneous result of a series of screened questions that completely took her by surprise.

    And now... whaaa?! People noticed?

    What's the result? Now Michelle Malkin looks quaint by comparison. Shameless Harridan of the New Media Right is a coveted title with a single seat at the top. She could have taken her beating and slinked away to the cold embrace of her home coven, but no. Ann knows you got to be in it to win it. Crazy bitch is as crazy bitch does.

    Just to be fair, we do have the same thing on the Left, but it generates considerably less friction and thus far fewer headlines. It's just that nobody wants to get that close to Ralph Nader.

    This post on the Narcissus Scale: 7.6



    Friday, March 02, 2007
    I'm Right Behind You, Charlene
    My kids have the day off today because, apparently, being Catholic means having a less rigorous schedule than all the heathen kids in public school. Saving our strength for the ascent into Heaven, I guess.

    This means the little darlings are all up in my face, not leaving me a lot of space to use words like "f*ck" or "*ss-f*sting" because, somehow in the four hours a week they have to be in school, they've picked up on this reading business. Seriously, what am I paying those people for?

    But if I can't swear in a healthy, asterisk-free way, what's the point of blogging?

    Except to assign you homework. Please watch the below.

    As an American, of course, I am outraged immediately and lawyers have been retained. The only thing I can't figure is what is a better pretext for emotional distress from a civil court judge's point of view:

    1) Injury from an attack on the social subset of which I am a part, on behalf of all SAHD's everywhere, including the shockingly offensive exposure to a clip from the execrable Mr. Mom, the N-word of the stay-at-home-dad set or

    2) My sense of entitlement questioning why, if they were going to do a piece on this subject, I was never consulted. I defy any of you to think of a better example of the species. OK, maybe they didn't want me to say "c*cksucker" on TV, but still, I would have liked to have had the opportunity to turn them down indignantly.

    Please enjoy my words and the Colbert cheap video, preferably in that order.


    This post on the Narcissus Scale: 8.0



    Thursday, March 01, 2007
    Are You On The List?
    Apparently you can't take Home Ec four semesters in a row in American public high schools. I guess they figure once you've mastered apple-berry crumb cake and knit a full-body adult-size one-piece jumper, you've learned all they can teach you and it's time to move on. We didn't have a Gay Student Union to advocate for me, so out I went to be butchified. That's how I ended up in Woodshop.

    Of course I would never have entered voluntarily. Ever since that one time I accidentally killed that cat with seventeen blows from a ball-peen hammer, high-pitched squealy-noises (not unlike your typical power tool) made me wet myself just a little.

    Plus, the last place you want to put a cutter is in front of a table saw.

    But my pleas went unhearkened and there I was, a pile of lumber at my feet, sawdusty tears on my downy, youthful cheeks, a wedgie waiting to happen.

    That's when I met Mr. Stolich. He was the shop teacher. Warm, kindly, always ready with a shoulder to cry on, a comforting arm on the shoulder. We got on so well I even took to spending my lunches in the shop with him, just me and him, telling stories, practicing our back-rub techniques on each other, reporting on the 19th century erotic literature he would assign me to read. Just the kind of stuff a lonely, fatherless boy needed at the time.

    For my final, he worked right alongside me, every step of the way. I was making a spice rack, which was weird, I thought. We never used spice in our house. Mom always said that fancy stuff was for "rag heads" who needed it "because camel-meat tastes like horse-shit." I never really got how or why a camel would taste like anything related to a horse, but my God, when she was drinking, the first thing to go were her metaphors.

    Anyway, I worked on the spice rack and he worked on his thing, slowly, quietly, careful to keep it just out of sight.

    I had to stay after class on the last day to finish it, but when I was done, I presented it proudly. A flat plank of plywood with four odd lengths of dowel-rod sticking out of it. Mr. Stolich beamed. A+.

    Then he locked the classroom door and said he was going to show me what he'd been working on. Something special. Something just for me.

    I was so excited, so touched, but when I saw it, I was just... confused. It was shaped kind of like a bullet, except it was about as long and as big around as his forearm.

    I asked what it was for. He said he'd have to show me.

    Suffice it to say that when I testified against him, I had to do it sitting on one of those little inflatable donuts. But you know, a large bowel resection (in retrospect) was a small price to pay for justice, in the end. I think he got time served, a 90 day suspension from the school (with pay) and a permanent note in his record.

    The point I'm trying to make is that your heroes always let you down.

    This is how I felt when I found out Dick Cheney is a total pussy.

    Oh Mr. Macho, Mr. Let's Bomb Everyone, Mr. Fuck Diplomacy.

    A fucking light goes out on his airplane and they immediately have to land so they can fix it.

    Then somebody tries to blow his ass up, not unlike the everyday experience of the 100,000+ men and women on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan and immediately it's WHOOSH! Off to the bunker and then out of the country. I heard he even shit himself.

    It puts that whole 18-month period after 9/11 when he completely disappeared into his "undisclosed location" into perspective. It was probably because every time he heard a plane fly over, he swooned like poor, sickly fucking Melanie Wilkes.

    147 deferments from 'Nam, but who WILL he shoot? Unsuspecting old men. Right in the face.

    Being around this much of a pussy all day, I'm surprised only one of his daughters came out gay.

    It's not just Dick, though.

    You've also got baseball players taking steroids again/still and other ones being named in books written by whores.

    Now, the Tommy Lasorda/hooker thing for me isn't so much a demerit for Tommy. I never was much of a Dodgers fan. By my opinion of whores has sure taken a knock. I mean, come on. Tommy Lasorda was 60 years old and 290 pounds the day he was born. Where are the whore standards I grew up believing in?

    But then, just when you are at your lowest, a hero rises. It turns out a food-service worker at a fancy celebrity party exposed everyone there to Hepatitis A, which according to the article, is literally only transmissible if you eat an infected person's shit. Deliberate act of sabotage or overcaution in the face of what could be improper hygiene? I choose to believe the former.

    I need something to hold on to.

    This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.5




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