Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Quotes of the Week

#1.  Wailed by a gangsta on his cell phone in City Center:  "I ain't gonna get all gooey an' fuckin' sentimental . . . nah . . . nah . . . Mom! . . . She just talks too much shit!"

(He's got 99 problems but his moms ain't one.)

#2.  Wailed by a crusty old man on Hennepin who was ogling young girls:  "Where were all you beautiful ladies when I had hair?!" 

(Sir, I'm no mathematician, but I'm going to go with:  in utero.)

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Passage from India

A few years ago, my friend Linnea traveled in India and treated us all to a hilarious blog. What follows is one of her posts that I specifically saved for future enjoyment. And now, because she is brilliant and because I think this account deserves the widest audience possible, I pass it along to you.

I went to a movie in McLoud Ganj Friday night. I saw the DaVinci Code. Perhaps you are imagining your own experience at your local cinema? Perhaps you also saw the DaVinci Code? Though we may have seen the same movie, it is unlikely that there are any additional similarities in our experience. First, the theater had the look and feel of the inside of a bus - most likely because the theater’s seats came from a bus. I believe there were still seat belts attached to some. There were only about 30 seats in the theater and no screen. The movie was shown on a large television. Barb – not exaggerating – it was half the size of yours. If you could haul that thing to India, you could set up shop. It might not be the most lucrative endeavor however as I only paid 30 rupees for my ticket (less than a dollar). You may be shocked to learn that the version of the film I saw was a bootleg – it was grainy, a bit off center and the opening credits were in Russian. Though the film is in English it was shown with English subtitles displayed. It was clear that the subtitles were written by someone for whom English was a second or possibly fifth language. I don’t think a single line of dialog was correctly represented in the subtitles. When Tom Hanks exclaims “it can’t be, a fleur de lis” the subtitles read, “it can’t be, flute is bleeding!” I found myself wishing I couldn’t hear the dialog because it would have been fascinating trying to decode the plot from the subtitles. Knowing the magical “holding grill” people kept talking about was actually the holy grail would have been key. At least, perhaps sensing its importance, they actually attempted to translate that. Unusual words and those with more than two syllables were frequently spelled “….”

I have heard the movie is not good. I can’t really say whether it was good or bad but I can say the version I saw was the funniest movie I have seen in a while.

Saturday evening ended with an encounter with the largest spider I have ever seen. The spider was perched on Sherry’s ceiling. The spider had fangs. The spider had biceps. The spider was flashing gang signs and waving a stick at us. We had encountered the spider earlier that morning and had attempted to capture it but, when poked with a broom, it spewed a bunch of tiny spiders and ran for cover. Oh, the humanity.

There was a fair amount of high pitched squealing and some scurrying in and out of the room (people scurrying, not the spider – the spider was frozen in place on the ceiling) as we discussed a plan to rid our flat of the menace. A vote was taken as to whether this would be a catch and release operation or if the solution to our spider problem would be final. It’s a do-gooder lot, the volunteers, and we’re surrounded by Buddhists monks everywhere we go. Given this it was surprising how narrow the victory was for catch and release. The plan involved a bucket, Elliot, a fellow flatmate, on a chair with aforementioned bucket pressed against the ceiling over the spider and me sliding the cardboard from a board game along the ceiling. Thankfully the plan worked. The spider plopped into the bucket and was rushed outside. It was deposited a safe distance from the house and order was restored.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Small Humiliations: Part XIII

One morning, a friend of mine took her two boys (let's call them Frick and Frack ... names have been changed to protect the innocent) to the coffee shop with her. It so happened that Frick was potty training at the time.

Shortly after arriving, he approached his mom and told her that he had had an accident. More specifically, that he had dropped a deuce. He didn't exactly put it that way, but it works well for the purpose of this story. She quickly hustled the kids to the bathroom, pulled off her son's pants, and was immediately puzzled. There was nothing there.

It should also be mentioned that, because of the heavy toll on underwear taken by the potty training, my friend had thrown pants on the kid that morning without anything underneath. Was this a bit cavalier, desperate, or just outrageously hopeful? These are the kinds of decisions you make more effectively after coffee.

Anyway, circumstances had combined to beg the question that she then whispered in horror:

"Frick, where's the poop?"

Did she dare to dream that, from this point onward, it would simply evaporate? His reply snapped her back to reality.

"It fell out in the coffee shop."

So she did what any good mother would do, and went looking for it. Midway into her surreptitious investigation, she spied a lonely turd on the floor. And to make matters worse, it already had a footprint in it.

Now, at this point, you're probably thinking, how can this situation take yet another embarrassing turn? I'll leave you with one last sentence:  The footprint belonged to Frack.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Case of the Missing Prisoner

I present to you another gem from my elementary school archives. I think I made this "book" in 2nd grade. How do I know? Because it's not about dinosaurs. Everything in 3rd grade had a decidedly extinct reptile theme. But evidently I decided to take my first crack at a crime caper at age 8.

 Okay, we're starting off strong. We have a main character, and he seems pretty likable.

Not bad. Alex can hoist a handcuffed man by his belt loop, and he does it with a smile. However, he seems to be driving some sort of spaceship. And the criminal appears to be shackled to an anti-gravity ball and chain. Also, I don't know why he doesn't just walk out between the bars.

Only minor problems here. I seem to have forgotten how to draw elbows, even though two pages earlier I was doing just fine. I've made the criminal a bit cocky and placed a handy dandy map of his entire plan on the back wall. It starts with a shovel and ends with a hole, and these are really the kinds of schematics you're bound to forget if they're not prominently displayed. Also, that's the brightest moonlit night I've ever seen.

Interesting. We find out that Alex is a redhead (and a bit of a drama queen). But things really start to fall apart on the right-hand page. It looks like all my artistic energy went into drawing that rolling fortress, and I had to make do with a red felt-tipped pen in a pinch. That's okay. I'm sure no one will notice. They probably won't notice that the ticket counter is located on top of the train, either.

Three things I love about this spread: 1) I didn't know what to call the passenger car, so I went with "people carry," which I think cuts right to the chase. 2) I knew that there was a double letter in "caboose," dammit, but I chose the wrong one. 3) The most exotic destination I could conjure for the train was New Mexico.

On the previous page, we established that "Alex is the boss," and boy, is he authoritative. And now bald, apparently. But look how he commands attention. I'd obey anyone who knew how to say "hurry up" in two different ways. Especially if he had six fingers.

On your left, you'll note that not only is Alex a crack shot with his "pop" gun, but he manages to look downright jaunty while doing it and even throws in a sassy comment to boot. Although it appears he's now a midget. I think that, while Alex was aiming at the criminal, I was aiming for perspective. 

On your right, in a bizarre twist, Alex and his "helper" Jon (who has not been introduced until just now) disguise themselves as clowns before arresting the criminal (whom I now refer to as "the stupid guy"), and a previously unknown plot point involving peanut shells turns out to be the key to the entire case. When pressed for an explanation of this tidy wrap-up, and asked why I chose not to draw any of these colorful shenanigans, I can only speculate that I simply ran out of room.

But sometimes our visions just have to be crammed into 12 pages, no matter how grand they are. You work with what you got, man. You work with what you got.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Crack-Up Crackup

I recently stumbled across this recording again and remembered how hard it makes me laugh.

Gotta love voicemail. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Party in Aisle 18

This pic comes courtesy of my friend Amanda and her friendly neighborhood Cub store. 

I'm not sure if I should view the labels as a progression in an interesting night, or as an amendment to the five stages of grief. I know only one thing for sure: Aisle 18 is where it's at!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Is This Thing On?

Occasionally, I say something funny. Out loud, I mean, not here in the blog. Sometimes, those comments are well-received ... and sometimes they aren't. Two examples of the latter:

Once, I was in the elevator at the end of the day with my coworker John and another woman. John looked over at the number pad, pointed to the button that read "DH" and asked if I knew where it went. I said no. Then he said, "What do you think DH stands for?" And I said, "Direct to Hell."

In response, I got crickets. Then a tumbleweed blew across the elevator floor.

Another time, a coworker was telling me that the people in her neighborhood have a progressive dinner every fall. The previous year, the theme was Italy, so they had Italian food and wine. For the next event, my coworker suggested they do a Southern theme, or a Loveboat theme, or (my favorite) a 1930's Prohibition theme. So I said, "What are you gonna do for that, get hammered and run from the cops?" 

Nothing. Nada. 

Ah, well. I amuse myself, and I guess that's what counts.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hop To

Dining Date:  June 2011

On My Plate:  The battered fish n' chips. Two of the biggest, juciest, flakiest pieces of fish, served with wonton chips and sauce. Also delighted to find Sapporo beer on tap. Delicious!

Servers Rate:  Friendly, attentive.

Fun Fact:  There's a decent selection of gluten-free items on the menu. There's also a veggie burger named after Steven Segal.

The Damage:  Reasonably priced. About $20, including tip, though we didn't have any apps.

The Verdict:  Cool place. It's an odd little fusion of your favorite Asian dishes with pub fare, and the restaurant itself would be suitable for after-work happy hour or a nice dinner out. It doesn't hurt that I'm a fan of the overall graphic design, either. Bottom line -- my food was great, and it was just fun.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Explicit Eavesdroppin'

The best snippets of bus conversations (from people on their phones) in the last few weeks:

"You need to call up them peoples and they'll find you a dif-ernt day at a dif-ernt time. I don't know what to tell you, homegirl. It's a fuckin' dentist office."

"No, you got problems cuz that money be burnin' a hole in your pocket. You ain't gotta spend it all right away.  Lakisha.  Lakisha.  Laki  . . . listen, bitch!  . . . What forms did you have to fill out? You shoulda talked to me, I might coulda helped you with that."

"I was like, fuck yo birthday! You gon' have lots more of 'em."

"What was it called?  Twat? . . . oh, Twilight.  I saw the first one, but I ain't never got into it.  Cuz that bitch almost died an' shit.  I cain't have that.  If you gon' die, just die, don't do it halfway.  It's a motherfuckin' movie, ain't no one gonna care."

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Small Humiliations: Part XII

A friend of mine once told me that she knew someone who worked at a company that rented moving equipment. One day, a guy came in wanting to rent a trailer. The guy behind the counter ran down some specs for him, and then asked what kind of vehicle he drove, since it would determine the maximum trailer size.

"Oh, I've got a Goolie," the customer said.

"A what?"

"A Goolie," he repeated, nonchalantly.

"I'm . . . not exactly sure what that is."

"Well, it's right outside. Take a look if you want."

Confused, the clerk headed out to the parking lot and found a beat-up old car with part of the name worn off. The man drove a Pontiac 6000 LE.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Say What?

Three of the weirdest quotes I've ever heard on the bus. Don't expect context for these, because in many cases, there wasn't any:

"That's the last time I buy a Chinese padlock."

"Fingernails are stupid. But they're useful in self defense."

"Toys for Tots, n----! Toys for Tots!"

As a side note, a homeless guy once approached me at the bus stop and told me I look like Amy Klobuchar. After I gave him 95 cents, he yelled, "Cowabunga, dude!" and ran off. I used to laugh about this occasionally until last week, when I was flipping through Minnesota Monthly and realized that, dammit, I do look like Amy Klobuchar.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hugs Not Drugs

Ladies and gentlemen, I submit for your review the poster I designed in second grade for an anti-drug campaign. You can tell this was an important artistic work, because it's laminated.

Let's break this down, shall we?

So it looks like we have a little kid clinging to his father in the upper left-hand corner, and he's recounting a crazy-ass dream he had. Or maybe he just doesn't want to get back into that nightmare of a bed with what appears to be giant claws on either end.

What's happening in the dream?

In the center we have Mr. Milk lassoing Mr. Cigarette in a bizarre cowboy vs. Indian tableau. They actually don't look terribly unhappy. However, things get more serious on the outskirts. On the left we have Mr. Apple stabbing Mr. Asprin (who evidently is already wounded, since he's missing an I) in the mouth. I'm not sure why aspirin makes the cut of dangerous illegal substances, but there you have it.

On the right, we have the young fruits and vegetables engaged in a Lord of the Flies situation, armed to the teeth and out for blood. At the top, Baby Orange is poking Baby Drug (must be a generic) in the ass with a dagger. Below that, Baby Carrot is dueling with Baby Wine (though shouldn't he really be just a grape?)

But the best part is that, above all this violence and chaos, is the overarching message of "Hugs Not Drugs." Because clearly Mr. Milk and his associates are winning the day with love. Did anyone, at any point during the creation of this elementary school propaganda masterpiece, think to point out that perhaps I shouldn't illustrate my thesis with a crying child and a group of slightly racist characters locked in mortal combat? No. No, they did not.

Or maybe they did, and I ignored them. What matters is that I won second place, as evidenced by the red ribbon on the top left. So suck it, logic and good taste. You've never been key players in the war on drugs, anyway.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monumental Issues

I recently watched a commercial for Cialis that featured men and their ladies having various little encounters that triggered spontaneous romantic moments. In one scenario, they accidentally brushed hands while setting up a campsite, and from what I could gather, the dude was super happy he could pitch a whole different kind of tent on the spur of the moment.

What confuses me is that, at the end of the commercial, all the couples are lounging naked in his-and-her claw-foot bathtubs, sometimes in the middle of nowhere, staring out at the horizon. WHY, Cialis, WHY? Why have they dragged bathroom fixtures into a field where there is no plumbing? Why aren't they in the tub together? Is this before or after a bit of hanky panky? Was it that dirty? Or do men with ED really just want a good long soak?

It makes even less sense than the Hoveround commercial that features elderly people riding motorized scooters at the Grand Canyon. That I can actually believe. Not that they rode the scooter all the way there, but that a person could, indeed, putter around in one to sight-see.

And while I'm on the topic, remember that Lunesta ad where the animated butterfly flew around, and everything it flew past fell asleep? Did anyone else think it was odd that the butterfly flitted past Mount Rushmore and all the presidents nodded off? Why did they feel the need to feature a historic landmark? Did they really believe someone out there was thinking, "Wow, if that stuff can knock out Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt AND Lincoln, think what it can do for me!" Tune in next week when Crazy Horse has psoriasis and the Statue of Liberty has a yeast infection.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Mo-Rockin' Meal

Marrakech Moroccan Cafe and Grill
1839 Central Avenue NE, Minneapolis

Dining Date:  May 2011

On My Plate:  Bistella, a dish described by the waitress as "dinner and dessert in one," and which I have been unable to convey adequately to anyone since tasting it. It's layers of phyllo dough with chicken and all manner of spices (cinnamon, ginger, cilantro, saffron) plus almonds, topped with powdered sugar. So it's a mishmash of savory and spicy and sweet and nutty . . . kind of mysterious and overwhelming all at once. My dining companion had the kefta, which was a tasty concoction of meatballs and eggs in a tomato sauce.

Servers Rate:  Friendly and willing to help out the novice. Knowing nothing about Moroccan cuisine, we went with recommendations from our waitress and got a good overall sampling.

Fun Fact:  This place is old school but clean and inviting. There's a charming, brightly painted patio out front where you could sit and sip your tea. A quick two-block walk from the new Nimbus theater, it makes a perfect hangout after a show.

The Damage:  Minimal, especially considering the large portions. Under $15.

The Verdict:  Definitely an adventure! Would like to go back and give their couscous a try.

Friday, June 3, 2011

21 More (Old) Questions

Do you have a webcam?
Yes, tune in at midnite CST for a hell of a show.

Have you ever been forced to take a bath with one of your siblings? 
Of course! But I drew the line last year.

When showering, do you start the water and get in or get in and start the water? 
I have to start the water before I brush my teeth, b/c it takes 4 minutes to get it hot.  (Just like me.)

Do you have more enemies or more friends?  
All my enemies have been eliminated, or so my sources tell me.

Have you ever sent an anonymous letter?  
Letter, no.  Envelope filled with naked pictures of me, yes.

Do you follow your horoscope? 
No, but I do read fortune cookies. My last fortune said, "Plan your graduation party with Leeann Chin Catering and Delivery." Profound.

Have you ever stolen anything from your friends?  
Their souls. Perhaps I've said too much.

Would you kill a dog for $1000?   
Depends. Is the dog an asshole?

Are you impatient? 
Next question.

Do you consider yourself nice?  
Go to hell.

Have you ever smoked heroin? 
You're supposed to SMOKE it?! I put it under my pillow and got a grand from the heroin fairy.

What is your secret weapon to lure in the opposite sex?
I suppose I could work the dimples, but my milkshake is what brings all the boys to the yard.

Are you crazy? 
Stop looking at me, swan!

Is conversate a word? 

Do you like Paris Hilton?  
I'd shove her sparkly sunglasses up her ass but I'm afraid she'd like it.

Do you have A.D.D.? 
No, unless that stands for A Delicious Derriere.

Do you love chocolate? 
If you don't like chocolate, you might as well go join Al-Qaeda.

Are you a superstar? 
Don't you remember you told me you loved me, baby . . .  said you'd be coming back this way again baby . . . baby baby baby baby oh baby . . .

What do you smell like right now?
Polo Ralph Lauren Blue. And success.

Do you have a hickey on your neck right now? 
Why do you ask that, just because I'm wearing a turtleneck in May?

Can you name the seven dwarfs?  
Pride, Greed, Sloth, Gluttony, Envy, Lust, and Wrath.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

21 (Old) Questions

Remember when, back in the early days of MySpace, you could kill the better part of an afternoon just filling out random, ridiculous surveys that people forwarded to you? Before finally deleting my old account, I decided to copy some of my more bizarre and/or hilarious responses. Naturally, I've posted them for your enjoyment.

You should know, you were screaming it all last night.

Who do you trust with your life?
That's a very short list. If you're on it, you probably know it. If you're not on it but would like to be, press 1. If you're not sure you're on it, press 2. If you're on it but would like to be removed, go to hell.
If you could change your name to anything, what would it be?
Maybe Candy, because then I wouldn't have to lie when I dance.

What would you do if someone told you that you were the most beautiful person in the world and they would do anything to wake up to your face each and every morning?
I would say, "Thanks, but I'm still not giving you change for the bus."

Who is the nicest person you know?
Whoever doesn't try to monopolize my corner.

Have you ever snuck out of your house/someone in your house?
Have I ever snuck out of someone in my house? That's so dirty! And difficult to do without waking them.

How did you get the idea for your MySpace name?
It was a very long, drawn-out process that involved a peg-legged gypsy woman and my star chart. 

What does your dad do for a living?
He says he's in auto insurance, but I don't think that explains the multiple passports and semiautomatic in his bottom desk drawer.

What did you dream last night?
I can't remember, but last Friday night I dreamed I was in a gun battle in a Korean parking garage.  Figure that out, Freud!

Have you ever done something to make trouble?
Some called it an "international incident" . . . I just called it a brief but torrid affair with a certain young man third in line from the throne of England.  Big whoop.

Are you mad at anyone at the moment?
Mitt Romney.  Because what kind of a name is Mitt, anyway?

If you had to be reincarnated as a sea dwelling creature, what would you be?
A giant squid, because I would be universally feared and admired for my powers of suction. Wait . . . 

Of all people, with whom would you want to be stuck in a well?
Anybody with a flotation device and survival skills.

Do you like to spoon? 
I like to fork.

What do you wanna name your kids? 
Oh come on. Women don't share that. What if some bitch steals your idea?

How many houses have you lived in?
Two with my family, one in Japan, and one while those people were on vacation.  Shhhh!

How many watches do you own?
One. And it's always peanut butter jelly time.

Have you ever been to Kentucky?
I don't think so, but I notice my cousin's name is on this marriage certificate, so you do the math.

How many lamps are in your bedroom?
Only one. Any more and there's too much glare off the mirror on the ceiling.

Easiest person to talk to? 
Rob Lowe. He hasn't done anything worthwhile since The West Wing, and he's not doing anything right now. Go ahead. Call him. He'll be there.

Have you ever stripped?
For money, no. For the sheer joy of the pasties, yes.