Musings.

Okay, you know the drill (unless you’re just now discovering this blog, in which case, welcome!  Have some dip!  It’s delish!) Now and then the random crazy thoughts and notions in my head must be purged, so here we go again.  A little housekeeping.

I used to smoke a pipe.  A tobacco pipe, no less.  It was the 90’s.  I would probably still smoke one to this day, but smoking a pipe is much like eating Buffalo wings:  it’s too much work for the amount of gratification.  You hafta pack the tobacco in strata of compaction and texture, then light it and possibly re-light it and sure, the amaretto vanilla smell is extraordinary, but Jesus…it’s just easier to grab some Black & Milds and go to town. That thought led to me to this one:  why the hell haven’t the hipsters taken up pipe smoking?  They already have the old-school glasses, neckties, Smith Corona typewriters and Schiltz beer (I am trying to get hipsters to drink that stuff so they leave the decent beers like PBR and Hamms alone) so it would make total sense that they would all take up the ludicrously time-consuming and attention-grabbing act of tobacco pipe smoking.  They should be all over this shit.

I left the Shire before it was cool.

I left the Shire before it was cool.

I think I may have covered this in a different post, but here’s one hard fact of life, my friends: The green and pink hippos in Hungry, Hungry Hippos always rule. They are good and fast, with smooth action.  You always get tons of marbles with those two.  However, the other side of that coin is that the yellow and orange ones (at least one, usually both) suck.  Terrible.  The jaw sticks open, the neck doesn’t go all the way out…something.  Avoid at all costs. BTW, did you know all those hippos have names?  I don’t know what they are.  Probably something like Geoff or Brad.  Brittany, maybe.

Pictured: utter, dismal failure

Pictured: utter, dismal failure

There was a series on Showtime way back in the day (back when we’d watch the cable movie network late, late, way after we should’ve been in bed, in order to glimpse the nightly showing of Porky’s, Zapped, or some Shannon Tweed flick; anything with some skin) called “Steambath.”  Here was the entire premise of the show: heaven (Nirvana, Elysium, whatever you prefer to call your afterlife) was a steam bath.  That’s it.  Guys died, they went there, they sat around talking about life or whatever (I honestly don’t remember much of the show, as I was about twelve and it didn’t have laser guns or tits or laser-tits, so I couldn’t be bothered.)  I think this is a show ripe for a Netflix revival.

I think this is from the actual show, and I'm pretty sure that's Bill Bixby.

I think this is from the actual show, and I’m pretty sure that’s Bill Bixby.

There are two phrases that have been completely ruined by musical numbers from animated films within the last year or so.  They are expressions that you can’t possibly utter now without hearing someone belt out their own rendition of the song that incorporates the phrase in question.  They are “Let it Go” and “Everything is Awesome.”  The sad thing is that I never realized how often I use both phrases until the goddam singalong thing started.  It’s a living hell.  It’s like living in my own private ongoing production of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” done as a Disney/PIXAR monstrosity.  Fuck.

So close.  Maybe Frank would work better in a Ren & Stimpy revival...

So close. Maybe Frank would work better in a Ren & Stimpy revival…

I think hats fell out of favor because of Hollywood.  See, men in particular (but everyone, really) used to wear hats.  Fedoras, Derbys, Homburgs, etc.  But then they started making movies.  And in the movies, you want to see the faces of the big, bold stars up there on the silver screen.  So they’d contrive to have the hero go without a hat.  Seriously, think of Humphrey Bogart.  Sure, he had his lid on for a few minutes in Maltese Falcon and at the very end (the tarmac scene) of Casablanca…but otherwise, it was his slick pompadour and a cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth.  And guess what everyone in the United States of America has always done?  Imitated the people they see in the movies.  Slowly but surely, as fewer hats appeared onscreen, fewer were seen on the heads of the fine young men and women of the USA and freedom-loving peoples all over the world.  That’s why even today you’ll find everyone in North Korea wearing hats.  Because those godless commies don’t allow easy access to American cinema.  (Okay, I really don’t know what the hat situation in North Korea is, but fuck ’em.)

And no, Bogey.  Liking margaritas does not make you gay.

And no, Bogey. Liking margaritas does not make you gay.

Television science guy and ambassador for rationality Bill Nye is NOT the same guy as crusty English actor/sea monster Bill Nighy. They’re two completely different people.  In fact, one is English and the other is not.  Plus, according to some internet sources, one of these two pronounces their last name “Nigh-hee.”  Just wanted to clear up any confusion.  Also, Gordon Lightfoot might look sort of like one of these two, but he is not.  Not either of those two guys.  The science one and the English dude.  Okay, I wanna go home now.  Seeya.

See, now I don't remember which is which.

See, now I don’t remember which is which.

Kindness Ninjas

(4/25 UPDATE! Barry Thickk, my old partner in crime, pointed out this post on The Chive today.  Synchronicity?  Someone biting my rhyme?  A little of both?  No matter.  As long as people are getting the message!  Oh, and KCCO!!)

This particular blog is for the betterment of mankind.  Sort of.  I have, as usual, a jumble of thoughts rolling through my head and wanted to put them down on, uh…html? Anyway, my friend Kassi suggested via Twitter that I need to blog today instead of playing XBox.  She’s having a bad day, so I’ll indulge her.  BTW, Kassi is awesome, adorable, and a blogger in her own right. (And, ahem…single, fellas.)  BTW, I’m in a cursing sort of mood, so I apologize  in advance for the number of “fucks” that will likely end up in this post.

Kassi is hella cute. maybe TOO goddam cute...

I wanted to get away from the sci-fi/comicy geeky goodness that so often permeates my blog entries and get into some randomity.  The good kind!  I had a college professor named Gavin Whitsett.  He was a true hippie.  He didn’t go all tie-dye and Birkenstocks, but  when you saw his worn tweed jacket and long hair you knew who he was immediately.  Wire-rimmed glasses and a permanent smile completed the picture.  Anyway, Gavin had written a few books about “Guerrilla Kindness” and for a while in the mid-90’s you heard people saying things like “I practice random acts of kindness!”   He was great.  And for an author living in Evansville, IN his impact was huge. Dude was on Oprah, for God’s sake. He also ran a public radio station for a while.  Gavin knew how to communicate.  It is in his memory (RIP, sir) that I pass along some of things I try to do on a regular basis to make the world a little better.  And a word of warning:  if you’re doing nice things for people in the hopes that someone will notice and say “Wow!  You do nice things for people!” then you’re doing it wrong.  The acts of kindness must be anonymous.  Discreet.  You are a ninja of goodness.  Got it?

Get it? There's a Gorilla...and it's Guerrilla Kindness, so...aw, fuck it.

You know how you’re driving around the parking lot looking for a space close to the entrance?  Especially in the dead of winter or the heat of August?  Do everyone a favor and leave the good spots for someone else.  They’ll never know.  They’ll just turn up an aisle and go “Wow!  A spot two stalls away from the door!  And here am I with these twin babies that I must safely and warmly ferry inside!  What luck!”  But it isn’t luck.  It’s kindness.  Well done. Along those lines, carry some extra change in your car.  I love doing this one, but it can sort of backfire.  While doing a weekly radio event called “Bear on the Square” in downtown Ft. Wayne, I usually park in metered parking.  I pay up my maximum of two hours, then if I have any leftover change I’ll put it in the meters on either side (provided there’s a car parked there.  Otherwise you’ve just wasted fifty cents, asshole!)  The drawback is this: once, as I made to leave, I overheard a larger fellow mutter “Huh!  I walked all the way out here and somebody done fed the meter!”  He didn’t sound angry…but disappointed, either because he REALLY loves putting coins in that thing and I robbed him of his glory, or he hates walking.   At least he saved a few coins and got some exercise.  Double-win, if you ask me. You know another easy car-related piece of kindness?  Letting another driver merge.  Even (and this is the tough part) if said driver is being a douche.  There are two kinds of bad mergers: the asshat that knows the lane is about to close and he needs to get to the right but guns it as fast as he can to bypass everyone, hoping he gets in ahead and then there’s the old person who c r e e p s her car forward about ten centimeters at a time, terrified of the oncoming horde of metal and glass shrieking and honking her way.  You’ve encountered both of them.  Now and then, let ’em in anyway.  The first guy I mentioned is probably some date-rapist that reeks of Drakkar Noir.  But he could also be an undercover cop or have a wife delivering a baby in the passenger seat.  You never know.  Letting Captain Fuckstick in that one time might save a life.  Prolly not.  But it’s still a kindess. Here’s another simple idea:  say “Bless you” when someone sneezes.  Even if they never say “thanks” or even acknowledge your kindess.  Sometimes I’ll hear what I think is a sneeze and say “Bless you!” and the other person replies with “It was a COUGH you moron!”  Big fucking deal!  Cough, hicup, spasm, orgasm…I don’t care what the fuck caused your problem, buddy.  I’m being kind, so fuck you!  And bless you, while I’m at it!

However, if THIS happens, I'm calling you an ambulance.

And I guess that’s the real lesson here.  Gavin would shake his head and smile if he heard me talk like that.  But he’d be okay with it, because it proves that even the surliest, mangiest, tatted-up, swearing-like-a-sailor bastards and bitches can be good.  That guy with an eyepatch and septum piercing that just held the door for you?  He’s one of us.  That geek in the “Bazinga!” t-shirt that helped you track down the papers you just dropped to keep them from blowing across the quad?  He’s one of us, too.  He’s just wearing a stupid fucking t-shirt from the most awful show ever.  We’re kindess ninjas.  We’re usually unseen.  But we’re there…lurking…waiting to strike. There are literally thousands of little ways to make the world a little less sucky for others.  I can’t wait to see some of your ideas (hint!) in the comments section. In the meantime, have a great day, fuckers!

Randomity!

Getting ready to go camp out at McDonald’s for Ronald McDonald House, so I thought I’d throw a quick blog together.  It’s sort of like leftovers…and it ain’t even Thanksgiving yet!  Bing!  In other words, no rhyme or reason here, just more random thoughts and observations. Such as…

Winter is Coming.

Those are the Stark words, and living in the wasteland that is Northern Indiana, it’s a fact that’s on everyone’s mind.  me?  I love winter.  LOVE. IT.  I love it for many different reason, but one of my guilty pleasures is leaving work after it’s been snowing and using my arm to clear a little space on my windscreen.  Not the whole window, mind you: just a patch.  Then I pretend I am driving an old Sherman tank like in Battlefield.  I suggest you try it.  however, please try not to be too terribly drunk when you do so.

WEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

Nazis in my shoe

Sometimes the seam of my sock loops over my little toe.  It’s one of those things that I try and tell myself is no big deal at first.  “I’m sure it will shake itself out before long.  No big deal.  It’s just a sock, after all.”  After about thirty minutes, it feels like there is a little Nazi sneaking up behind my toe with a wire garrote.  Little bastard is totally trying to cut my piggy’s head off.  I hate Nazis.

Get...out...of...my...SHOE!

Ethnic names

Some people make a big deal out of “ethnic” names.  You know what I’m talking about: Daekwon, LaToya…names that tip you off  to the far-away origins of the person’s family history.  You know, names like Ian, Connor, or Josh.  Aboriginal names like Braden, Caden, Jaden, and Binladen. (Okay, that last one was a joke.) It goes in cycles, though.  I would say there was a 100% chance that the white kid serving you pretzels at the mall in 1998 was named “Josh.”  And here’s another little insight into my situation:  in college I briefly squatted with some fellows in the campus apartments at the University of Southern Indiana.  Turner Watson, Marcus Gresham, and Micah Hawkins all sharing a room.  People would look at the housing rolls and assume we played for the basketball team.  Racist? Possibly.  But absolutely true. Later in life I had a surfing buddy named Lawrence Hawkins.  Also terribly white.  Never judge a book by its cover, people.  (Notice I didn’t say you people.)

Wu Tang is not a group of troubadours to be trifled with lightly, good sir.

Bachelorette fun!

Adult bookstores are great places to stock up on gag gifts.  Funny cards.  Bachelorette party supplies.  And Avatar-themed Fleshlights.  The bachelorette stuff always strikes me as funny.  You girls are so nutty!  A straw that looks like a penis!  HOW CRAZY IS THAT!  LOLZ!! See, when guys go on a bachelor party, they drink and look at titties.  It’s what you do.  Some cool bachelorette parties do the same thing.  Hell, my lovely wife and I actually ended up at the same strip joint the night of our respective parties.  Got his-and-her lap dances.  It was awesome.  ladies, THAT’S how you begin a healthy marriage.  Which makes me wonder about how much actual materiel the adult bookstores sell every year.  My guess?  A crap-ton.  And there’s a very simple reason: camouflage.  Say a gal wants a personal sexual toy or marital aid.  She goes to the bookstore.  She shops around.  Finally, after exhaustive research and hours of self-debate, she settles on the $250 double-ended Taint Ranger with vibrating love rabbit, perfect for those nights at home watching Twilight!  Only now she feels a little self-conscious.  As she approaches the checkout, the young lady wonders whether the cashier will thin she’s a deviant (hint: no.  No, they won’t.  Those employees see REAL deviants every single day.) So to confuse and obfuscate, she grabs a “#1 Bachelorette” tiara, some penis straws, and a colorful “Bride to Be” feather boa.  She’s going to pass the $250 Vadge-inator off as a gag gift.  And God bless her.

This exists.

Front-clasp bras

While on the subject of femininity, what the hell ever happened to these things?  I remember the first time I ever encountered one in high school…fumbling around under her shirt, prolly clawing the shit out of her back in a vain attempt to smoothly undo her brassiere and free her budding teats into my waiting, eager hands.  After about ten minutes of this nonsense, she pushed me back, lifted her shirt, revealed the magical mamary-constraining mechanism, and out came the globes.  It was very anti-climactic.  I was trying to be all George Clooney.  I was not.  Good riddance to these abominations, now that I think about it.

Whaddayouknow! Heaven has a front gate!

Red Cream Soda

What the fuck is that? Strawberry?  It’s not cherry.  I know that shit for damned sure.

Don't know what it is, but I drank the shit out of it in college art class.

Cracked Pavement

Ever see a parking lot or side street with a spiderweb of cracked pavement…that someone has painstakingly gone over and caulked with that rubbery black stuff?  What the hell, dude?  I understand that you don’t want big asphalt chunks laying all over and the resulting ever-widening holes and whatnot.  But how about just re-paving that shit?  Can it really be more troublesome?  I don’t get it.  I don’t. Then again, it’s pretty obvious that there’s a lot I don’t get.  Life is a mystery to me.  Like a front-clasp bra in eleventh grade.

No problem! We'll have this banged out in about twenty years.

Random Pancake Tampons!!

Okay, full disclosure: there are no pancakes OR tampons in this week’s missive.  Sorry for misleading you.  I just thought of the word “random” and then the first two words into my head were pancakes and tampons, so there you go.  Speaks volumes about the state of my mental well-being, eh what?  Forgive me, it’s been a strange week.  I flew a plane, for God’s sake.  Seriously.  They let me have the controls of an actual goddam airplane, and I lived to tell the tale.  See, the lesson was only one dollar…but the landing cost me a hundred-forty-nine bucks!  ZING! (That’s a pilot’s-license-instructor joke.  It absolutely has ’em in stitches at the airport.)  And you know what I learned about flying an airplane (other than it’s fuggin’ AWESOME?) It is EXACTLY like every video game you’ve ever played.  Only, you know, more terrifying when you stall.  Fact.

Oh! Okay, yeah...up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, THEN B-A-Start. Got it.

Anyway, there’s no point to the blog this week.  I just wanted to point out that this place is now conveniently called turnerwatson.com!  How ’bout that!  SOOOO much easier to ignore! Notice that I’ve changed the look a bit, too.  Yeah, that’s me.  Keepin’ it fresh and real like a goddam Wendy’s!  YOU KNOW WHEN IT’S REAL, BITCH!!

One of the other things I did this week was pay one more visit to the Ft. Wayne’s Children’s Zoo.  For the uninitiated, that’s an actual zoo full of animals, NOT a collection of ragamuffins and street urchins.  If that were the case, no one would go to the Africa exhibit because it would be sad and depressing and full of flies.  And the England exhibit would have loveable scamps playing footy and picking pockets while shouting “‘Ello, guv’nah!”  The fish & chips would be bomb-diggity though, yo.

D'awwwww!

Anyway, one of the rides there at the Ft. Wayne’s Children’s Zoo and Orphanage is the Australian Outback River Ride.  Basically, the zoo got a deal on some old Cedar Point log flume ride parts and threw together a meandering little teenage make-out session on water.  It’s kinda cool, and you get to see Black Swans and they always remind me of cheap-but-tasty Australian wine. As the family (the wife, two kids, and myself) wrapped up the ride and got ready to disembark, I had a brilliant idea that would be sure to liven the day of the poor minimum-wage kids running the damn log ride day after day.  I tell you this now at the end of the season so that maybe they’ll forget about it by springtime (as if anyone read this blog anyway, amirite?)

I’m going to need an accomplice, but here’s the plan.  I’m going to get into one of the old Abandoned Saw Mill Mining Town Log Ride Boats (formerly the Australian Outback River Ride) and about halfway through, once out of sight, I’m going to bail out.  Yep.  Leave the goddam path, so to speak and find out if Nedry turned off power in the ‘Raptor paddock.  This is where the accomplice comes in.  He/she will have been in the boat one or two spaces behind me, and I’ll hop in THIS person’s boat.  “That’s it?” you’re asking yourself.  “Big friggin’ deal!  Gosh, I thought there was more to this.”

You also wish there were more to this, don't you? Me, too.

Ah, but here it is!  The reason I need another boat is because I would have left the following items in my original ride:  One (1) mangled athletic shoe, four (4) children’s teeth (My oldest son is losing his baby teeth.  We don’t just throw those away once the tooth fairy comes, do we?) one (1) hunting knife, and five (5) clumps of animal hair (likely from my fat-ass cat, Keyser.) All of these items will be covered in copious amounts of fake blood, or deer blood if one of my huntin’ buddies bags and guts a deer.  I actually just realized that I’ll need a second accomplice to videotape the reactions of the zoo employees, as that’s the whole point: to scare the living shit out of some poor pimply-faced kid who sees a vacant log boat filed with blood, carnage, and signs of struggle wash up on his landing. God, that’d be priceless. “OMIGOD!!  A WALLABY MUST’VE GOT LOOSE AND TOTALLY NOMMED ONE OF THE VISITORS!!!”  Fuckin’ wallabies, man.  They’ll fuckin’ GET ya.

Swear to God, this already existed on the internet. It just happened to be perfect.

Of course, if someone executes this plan before I get a chance, well…as an agent of chaos, I’ll sit back and smile quietly.  Perhaps I’ll even clap, slowly.

And wonder why I never get any work done.

Thoughts From the Kitchen…

So I was in the kitchen the other day.  A bunch of stuff ran through my head.  These are some of those thoughts, pretty much as they occurred to me.

I never know how much plastic wrap I have left. It’s so thin! And clear! And there are some things it absolutely will not “cling” to. Ever try to put that shit on a paper plate? Good fucking luck. I have three congealing hot dogs on a goddam paper plate and I might as well throw a tarp over it. I feel like the coroner at a crime scene…”somebody notify this frank’s family. He’s already got that cold greasy shit all over.”

pigs in a blanket

Hot diggity dog!

 

Which reminds me. What better gauge is there for whether a food is good for you? Look at it in the fridge the next day. If, like hot dogs, it’s covered with pale jelly-like stuff, it’s probably not too good for you. It’s so bad, in fact, that the fat itself is trying to escape. Grilled chicken looks good the next day.Hot dogs? Not so much. On the flip side, you really can’t tell with frozen foods. Ever looked at a frozen chicken breast? Unbreaded? Looks like a goddam pastry. “Honey, why did you freeze these bear claws?”

More food observations. Why is it that some people refuse to eat the crust of a pizza, but will eat a hundred breadsticks. DIPPED IN PIZZA SAUCE. And cheese?

Some people call “grilled cheese” sandwiches “cheese toasty.” these people should be avoided at all costs.

One day I plan on strapping two boxes of Franzia wine to either side of my head with duct tape, sort of like those beer helmets, only much classier. Once my terrifying boxed wine contraption/cosplay is in place, ima head down to Fazoli’s, kick the door open, and yell “I’M DON CORLEONE, MOTHERFUCKERS! AND I’D BETTER GET UNLIMITED BREADSTICKS UP IN THIS BITCH!”

The first Google image search for "Grandma's fridge."

True story, I used to live in Evansville, Indiana and some co-workers and I would frequent this one particular Fazoli’s. We went regularly to this Fazoli’s not because of its location or superior pasta. We went because of Breh Girl. Breh Girl was an employee of this Fazoli’s.
She was maybe in her early twenties. It’s hard to know exactly, because there seemed to be a number of things, well…wrong with Breh Girl. In fact, her name derived from the word she said when she came around with the breadsticks. She’d ask “breh?” and you replied either “yes, please” or “no, thank you” because you’re a polite motherfucker, naturally. Then she’d smile, say “Okay!” and go about her rounds. The greatest thing about Breh Girl was her amazing super-powered Bread Sense (or Breh Sehn) that alerted her whenever someone was in need of fresh breadsticks. It was amazing. I’d be halfway through my baked ziti and realize “I haven’t properly rationed my bread! I wonder if there’s–” BAM! Breh Girl was at my side.

“Breh?” Oh, yes, ma’am! “Okay!”

breh?

Pictured: breh

She was like Spider Man and the Flash rolled into one. She was amazing. And what was totally awesome to me was that she obviously had some things working against her. Physical and perhaps (likely) mental handicaps. But god damn, she worked her ass off (and well, might I add) for several years. There are a lot of able-bodied, healthy people out there who find excuses not to work. Not Breh Girl. She rocked. And props to Fazoli’s, too. They hired her and kept her on, and I’ll bet she got “Employee of the Month” a few times. Good for Fazoli’s.

Even if they did pay her entirely in breh.