[Editor's note - The ostensible plan was to allow the author to let his mind wander, stream of conscious style, and record each thought as it occurred, to the delight of a wide range of consumer demographics. However, the initial result was slightly darker than this space usually exhibits. In point of fact that composition, consisting of a question about the ever decreasing life in the battery of his lap top, which led to a bleak meditation on decaying love and lifelong dreams being deferred until the soul itself is a dry husk, which then actually became an immense black hole sucking all life and light into a dark core of nothingness, the location of which in the cosmos can be inferred by its gravitational effect on nearby stars and planets. With that boil lanced and deleted, the author was free to let his mind wander into strawberry fields. It is hoped that the reader will delight therein, though the fate of the cosmos (vis-a-vis the aforementioned black hole) remains, at best, questionable.]
*For my money, John Hodgeman's The Areas of My Expertise is the funniest book ever written. Every page is purest gold. Even the outside cover is delicious. It even contains a chapter entitled Those 500 Hobo Names You Requested. Need I say more? Find it. Buy it. You will thank me. And you'll owe me for a thousand and one smiles and delightful conversations.
Speaking of smiles . . .
*Armed with donated gift cards, I had the priviledge of taking a kid from the shelter to Pac Sun [super hip clothing store for tweeners, teens, and twentysomethings - ed.] and was impressed with their cutting edge set up. Problem: the young person in question has a 38 inch waist. There were only two pair of super hip jeans with a waist over 34, and they were 36's. Conundrum #1: On the one hand, I was absolutely sympathetic and supportive to the chubby teen, who is a really great guy who is in the process of overcoming a very difficult childhood. On the other, I was rejoicing inside that there was a retailer willing to bring the hammer down. How to put it diplomatically that you are secretly, and yes, uncharitably, glad that the fashion industry so blatantly marginalizes the more generously appointed? Conundrum #2: since when did skinny jeans become mandatory? I love a trim line, but I do not need jeans that grip tightly around my knees and ankles. I don't understand their range of cuts, which was "skinny" on the wide end, and "tighter than Billy Idol's leather pants from the 80's" on the other. Conundrum #3: PRICES. After shopping so long at second hand stores and bargain outlets, the idea of paying more than 20 dollars for a pair of pants sends my mind reeling. Some of the jeans in that place were $50. And that's a bargain to the fashion forward. I've seen jeans selling in the $80 -$200 range and thought: I am a country mile behind the world. If I won the lottery I wouldn't pay that. If George Soros paid me Al Gore money to tell America how stupid and evil it is, I still wouldn't pay half that. It is beyond my comprehension. Dang I'm poor.
Perhaps the dominance of the skinny jean paradigm is God's way of ending the bitter, loathsome scourge of sagging, baggy jeans. My prayers that he simply use the Smite App. on his Celestial i-phone have been long unheeded. But now I see. No lightning bolt, no foul disease, no earthquake or pestilence could make them see how disgusting they look. They will never see the folly of sagging their pants so low they cannot even run from the cops who should soon be arresting them. But soon, they will be marginalized along with fatty. They will wear sweat pants in public or they will step reluctantly into the light. The nightmare of boxer shorts and butt cracks will have an ending.
Speaking of endings . . .
*LOST is coming back. The YouTube promo almost rekindles some of the early enthusiasm I felt for that magical show. The fact is, we have to know. We have to know how it ends. And isn't it a relief to see a show that says: This is it. We are ending it. We will not compromise our artifact for profit. I wish more shows would know when to call it quits. Like Flight of the Conchords. Like Extras (and almost every other BBC show, including the original Office). Like Arrested Development (Please don't make the movie! People THINK they want it, but they will rue the day.)
Speaking of ruing the day . . .
*Christmas time rolls around once a year to remind us that Jim Carry will burn a thousand years in the ninth circle of Hell for his portrayal of the Grinch. Only his stint as the producer and narrator of Arrested Development has earned Ron Howard a provisional pardon. I heard that horrible "Where are you, Christmas?" song in the store the other day and went into convulsions. It's almost as bad as the torturous "Feliz Navidad." Here are the lyrics I hear every time it putrefies the airwaves:
Here's a Spanish phrase.
Which I'll blast in your face.
Let me say it again and again and again with a blah blah blah.
Now I'll sing the same thing in English.
Now let me sing the same thing in English.
One more time I'll say it in English from the bottom of my heart.
Here it comes again.
Do you wish you were dead?
This song never ends and prospero blah blow blah blah blah blah blah.
Try it, it matches up. [Addendum: In several states it is not considered murder if you kill the composer and/or performer of that song. I'm not saying; I'm just saying -ed.] If that song is now stuck in your head, you'll be wanting to kill ME, so we'd better close with a palette cleanser. Where does the mind wish to meander.
I was 7 years old when I figured it out. I got up in the middle of the night to pee and saw my parents wrapping gifts that were supposed to be from Santa. They didn't see me. For their sake I lied about believing in Santa for another year or two. I also continued to lie to my friends about believing. I didn't want to make waves. It was such a relief when the cat was out of the bag for everyone involved.
If you don't watch A Christmas Story and Dr. Seuss' ORIGINAL animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas sometime this month, you are inartistic, ignoble, uninspired, and unamerican.