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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Alkalizing... ummm.... POOL SLUDGE????



It's tasty. No, really... it IS!

Welp, it's not like a pumpkin pie with a shitload of whipped cream.  Or a taco from Tito's. Or homemade oatmeal raisin cookies.  But dude, those are all ACID!!!!  You want ALKALINE is your body.  Annnnnddddd, I suddenly got really hungry.

Proper pH balance is the new South Beach or Atkins.  And for a meager $25 (or $40, if you're stupid... like me), you can get the ball rolling towards a healthier YOU.

Also check out www.nutritionalupgrade.com  for additional intel on more involved solutions for alkalizing your damn temple.

Enjoy, and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas will end LIKE THIS


You know it'll end like this.

A scandal. Kringle caught on film with LeAnn Rimes getting his jingle bells polished. Headline news on TMZ.  Shamed by the press. Shunned by the church. Christmas... ruined forever!

Ol' St. Nick being served by Gloria Allred, who represents the soon-to-be-MS. Claus.

The North Pole, sold off to WalMart by the victorious Ms. Claus as she moves to Miami and becomes THE hot-shit-rich-as-all-Hell cougar of South Beach.

Santa retires to Calgary and runs a reindeer ranch, a recluse to the world which has betrayed him, secretly plotting his revenge. WalMart teams up with Apple to destroy Microsoft, who in turn flees to Antartica with Monsanto, GE, and Target to form a competing "South Pole".  All countries along the equator become battleground wastelands (like any of them gave a shit about Christmas in the first place), littered with broken toys and shattered dreams. Anybody north who owns a PC must ally themselves to Apple, or flee to the south.  Anyone in the south who owns an Apple, vice versa.

Soon, all major companies own and alliance to either side. Factories move closer to the polar extremes, deeper into the protected zones to inhibit arial raids.  Contaminants from these factories, now closer to the polar ice caps, begin to have an effect on polar temperature fluctuations, melting vast quantities of ice. Soon, oceanic levels rise to the point where NewYork City ceases to exist, New Orleans disappears, all of Florida... gone -- a modern day Atlantis! Arid desert turns to beachfront property (buy your Imperial and Coachella Valley property today!).  Heavier rainfall. Stronger hurricanes. Life as we know it -- changed forever.

All because a drunk-as-fuck LeAnn Rimes and a horny old man in a weird red outfit couldn't make heads or tails out of what they were doing.

It could happen.

But it probably won't. Santa doesn't exist. And nobody gives a crap about Rimes.

So we're safe... for now.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Senseless Acts of Murder, Gun Control, and the Holidays



This latest act of insensical violence in Connecticut, the moment it occured (or, at the very least, noted on the internet as occuring), shook more to the point where this entire day has been a "write off". Really, I've been rearranging my apartment all day, adding to my Goodwill stack of stuff, and feverishly cleaning.  I haven't eaten, only conversed with my friend Brenda over Skype for a brief while, and have been close to useless all day outside of succeeding in making my home 25 pounds lighter.  

20 kids, gone!  20 children, too young to understand the term "gun control", wiped off the face of this planet in a wave of gunfire.  Moreover, hundreds of individuals murdered in a different sort of way -- family, friends, and relatives of the children who will NEVER be the same again.

Interestingly, however, the moment I heard of the massacre, the very first thought that popped into my mind WASN'T gun control -- it was Christmas.  The end-of-year holiday are a special time for many, full of good cheer and good times. But for more than a few, December is the most complicated, anxious, and somber month of the calendar.  Inconsistent work, no money, discord with family, bad memories of a childhood gone wrong.  For individuals on the brink of snapping from, and then against, society, it's a toxic brew of pain, pressure and perception.  They witness their fellow man stuffing leased Mercedes, Audis, and BMWs with expensive gifts for children, wives, husbands, and family expecting wish lists to be fulfilled, all the while scrounging through what's left of their savings for the best gifts they can afford AND make rent at the end of the month.  They watch as television ads for Lexus state emphatically that it's "Decenber to Rememeber" time, showing an appreciative wife accepting the keys to her Christmas gift --  a $60,000 automobile! Certainly, it would be nice to go through life gifting five digit presents to loved ones. But when X is less than Y on the balance sheet, and your debt (both monetarily and societal) is crushing you, the very LAST thing you want to see is a perfect white couple, in a perfect house, with perfect kids, giving each other perfectly and ludicrously expensive gifts.

True, this year hasn't been the best in my adult life. But it hasn't been the worst, either. I look forward to a promising 2013. Yet, there are some individuals who cannot reason in that manner. Either they are mentally incapable of understanding the ebb and flow of life, or have grown so damaged through terrible ordeals that their rational thought has been completely overridden by emotion. Some commit suicide. Some go mad. And some... kill.

Unfortunately, today, the latter came true. And I'm SHOCKED it doesn't happen more often.

December isn't about bagging your wife a shiny luxobarge.  It's not about your children one-upping their neighbors with better gifts. It's not about saddling yourself with unbelievable debt, so you can give "the gift of joy". It's not ANY of that.  But, it's BECOME that.  The pressure is intense.... and it's a stupid, completely unnecessary pressure. I'm not 100% certain any of this contributed to the school slaying today. Yet, it's a microcosm to where this society has gone. A "show me" world of the latest gear and coolest toys and better car and brass placards on mahogany desk with a title after your name. A society where perception is more important than reality. A culture where "it's not MY problem" becomes "it's everybody's problem" at the pull of a trigger.

Gun control gun control gun control. It's all I'm hearing. For people, it's easy to scream. For politicians, it's measureable and stumpable. But what about "social control"? What about the mental state of the killer?  How did he arrive to this point of fate? What the Hell happened to him to make him snap like this?  Certainly, some people are predisposed to mental instability, but can society be less pressurized, slightly softer and more manageable to overcome when things don't go our way?  

I always say, happiness (IMO) comes from the freedom of choice. The more options one has, the free-er they'll feel, and the happier they'll be. But do any of us have a choice NOT to bear gifts on Christmas Day? Do any of us have a choice in not caring what people think of us? Do any of us have the choice of being completely open and forthright with anybody about how they feel at any minute of the day?  

The answer is ABSOLUTELY -- if you choose to be bigger than society and buck it's prerequisites. And if people cannot accept you for who you are, what you say, and how you feel, you pity them for being the mindless societal sheep that they are, incapable of understanding the difference between what they want, and what they need, and you move on. There are 311.5 million residents of the United States, which means there are 311.5 million opportunities for finding better people.  You have a choice.


Unfortunately for the shooters today, for whatever reason, they felt the opposite. Tragic.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Little MAW




Some people... try WAY too hard.

Group photo? Rarely will they NOT be in the middle. Somebody enjoying themselves in a room, and subsequently gaining attention due to it? Best watch your knees, pal, if Little Miss Attention Whore is within earshot.

The Wikipedia definition of Narcissism is as follows:

Narcissism is a term with a wide range of meanings, depending on whether it is used to describe a central concept of psychoanalytic theory, a mental illness, a social or cultural problem, or simply a personality trait. Except in the sense of primary narcissism or healthy self-love, "narcissism" usually is used to describe some kind of problem in a person or group's relationships with self and others. In everyday speech, "narcissism" often means egotismvanityconceit, or simple selfishness. Applied to a social group, it is sometimes used to denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others. In psychology, the term is used to describe both normal self-love and unhealthy self-absorption due to a disturbance in the sense of self.

I'd like to abridge that definition, just a tiddly bit:

Narcissism is a term with a wide range of meanings, but usually describes somebody who is magnetically attracted in a creepy, unhealthy manner to the proverbial spotlight and acts out like a worthless bitch-made punk when all eyes are NOT upon them.  

I'm not 100% sure if Wikipedia will accept that description.

The interesting thing about Little Miss Attention Whore is the timing of the action.  She will sit docile and without response UNTIL action is initiated by a second party upon a third party, with the third party being a person, several persons, or a group of people. Once the action is in play, such as an interesting story, sharing something funny, or simply pleasant banter, Little MAW fires up her supercharger and swings into action. Subtlety is a non art in her realm, as she leaps in to the discussion with only one rule in mind: The spotlight must NEVER waver from illuminating her and her only, no matter how loud, intrusive, or annoying she must become.

You cannot battle her head on: She's adorable and irreverent, far more than you, which offers her the eye-test advantage.

You cannot one-up her. It will simply appear you're artificially attempting to best her group-accepted natural tendencies.

You cannot work around her by discussing topics she hasn't a clue about. She'll simply segue your topic into her topic with the simplest of tactics: "I don't wanna talk about Quantum Particle Theory! Let's talk about Glee last night!... OMG!!!"

You cannot confront her. She'll spread stories about you.

You cannot spread stories about her. People will turn against you.

You can ignore her, since the entire point of her existence is "attention", which will in turn agitate her to the point of notching up the volume of her antics to 11.

And, of course, you cannot kill her. For as incessantly selfish as she may be, murder is NEVER the answer.

What you CAN do, however, is create a website where one can hire your very own Little MAW to directly combat the girl. Fight her on even terms, with the same weapons, in the same manner.  Like a hitman... or a hitMAW!!!   For $500, you can select a woman closely resembling your MAW's description, and deliver to her the marching orders. Then, kick back and enjoy the show as your personal "hitmaw" enters the establishment and takes command of the room. She's cuter than Little MAW, as well as funnier, smarter, and faster in her speak, offering little to no space between thoughts to drop a monkeywrech of contention.  Soon, Little MAW is a spectator, standing in the fringes of the audience darkness.  In the span of 30 minutes, her dominance has been broken, and her reign shattered.

The price also includes several follow-up sessions to re-educate your Little MAW by burnishing into her psyche her new place on the pecking order -- which would be 2nd place.  Soon after, if she acts up, merely mention the name of that sexy stranger who strolled in that day to set her off on a free fall of paranoia and uncertainty... like a command to a dog. Hours of fun.

Coming soon -- www.hitMAW.com

"A small price to pay for freedom (from attention whores)".

....?

Gotta work on that catchphrase.







Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Top Ten Most Unwatchable Films (according to me)


The full 10-up version of my top 5 "Unwatchable Films" segment from The B Side



There’s just some movies I cannot watch twice. It doesn’t matter how well-made they may be, nor how entertaining they may be. I don’t even care if I actually liked it -- I will NEVER watch it again! There’s just something about them that, for the lack of a more proper term,  PISSES me off. Sometimes it’s a major story flaw, or "overly convenient" plot conveniences, or galactically brain-dead gaffes that shoulda coulda woulda been fixed prior to the final cut, but weren’t. Really, 98% of the flick might be awesome... then there’s that 2% I’d like to throw an entire row of theater seats at. 

And for that, I have a list.  It’s not a massive list, but large enough where I’d have to split it up into several sections.  For the purposes of this post, we’ll stick to modern films.

OK. My top ten list of unwatchable films. Remember, these aren’t horrible films, except for one. I just won’t waste two hours of my time watching these pieces of shit.

10 -- Independence Day -- I like Will Smith. I like aliens. I like shoot-em-ups. I even like Jeff Goldblum, who was the only reason OTHER than the special effects to watch Jurassic Park. But if massive spaceships suddenly appeared out of nowhere and one of them hovered over MY city, I’d disown that town in a heartbeat. Sorry, LA. I love ya... just not enough to stick by your side when aliens in a big assed ship are hovering over you with a creepy calm-before-the-storm silence reminiscent of a slasher flick.  Also, the last time I checked, it was HARD to pilot a modern, precision fighter jet like an F-18 Hornet.  But, according to the films final showdown, even a plastered trailer park has-been can use it like it’s a fuckin’ Toyota Camry. Sure, easy. Just hop in, turn the ignition key, remember what the lieutenant told you, and hit the gas pedal, right?  It also doesn’t help that the President of the United States was played by the actor from Spaceballs. I was fully waiting for John Candy to pull a cameo as the VP, dog suit and all.

9 -- X Men 3 -- The first two were good. Those were the Bryan Singer versions. Yes yes, he also made the crapola Superman reset from several years back. But notwithstanding Halle Barry always looking like she misplaced her brain, they were good films.  Then comes number 3 and Brent Ratner. Pretty good director, but the bridge scene killed it for me. I was on a date, and so far we were enjoying the film. Then Magneto and his army decide they’re going to use the Golden Gate Bridge as a hovercraft to make it to the research facility on Alcatraz. Magneto lifts the bridge during what appears to be daytime rush hour, cars and all, and it begins cruising toward the island. I then lean over to the girl and whisper “How are they going to pull off a final battle in daylight?”  True words -- pyrotechnics work far better at night!  Then, as if by magic -- IT’S NIGHT??? How the Hell did THAT happen???  Did it take three hours for Magneto to fly the bridge to Alcatraz?  And if so, why wasn’t he shot down by fighter jets?  Hell, he’s lifting a fucking bridge!!!  Can he multitask at that moment? I dunno. Let’s find out: drop a bomb on him!  We’re led to believe that it only took moments for his army to reach the island. But it’s not dusk. It’s not sunset. It’s pitch black night! Well played, Ratner.  Suspension bridge of disbelief, I call it.

8 -- Armageddon -- OK fine. It’s pure summer entertainment. But I can’t get over this band of misfits being THE GREATEST drillers on planet Earth. Aside from the Bruce Willis-narrated montage where the government tracks them down, one by one, for the mission, we’re never shown exactly WHY they’re so damn good. In addition, I just can’t shake the unmistakable knee-slapping hijinks we’re force fed whilst the Earth is mere days from being fucking pulverized by a scary assed asteroid.  Too many clichĂ©s. Too much bad humor.  Too much Ben Affleck. And a brilliant scientist from NASA who’s the smartest man in the world, according to Billy Bob Thornton and, wait for it... has a British accent.  Spot on, govna!!!

7 -- The Departed -- In a nutshell, a bunch of good actors dealing some really crappy Chowd accents. Does everybody from Boston sound like Jimmy Fallon from SNL, Cliff from Cheers, JFK, or those Dish Network Hopper commercials??  Matt Damon’s done it before in Good Will Hunting, but the rest? It’s painful to watch Alec Baldwin turning into a woman right before my very eyes, and THEN dumping some Beantown “pahk the cah in tha gahrage” dialect upon us. I bet if you own the DVD, there’s an extra featurette on Alec Baldwin spending time in Boston and working hard to get that sound pitch perfect. Really, dude?  Let’s see ya go to the Highlands of Scotland and pull that off. After all, according to the film Team America, you ARE our greatest actor.

6 -- Anything Merchant/Ivory -- Some British films I like. I liked The Queen a lot. I liked Atonement, as well. It’s not that I’m against british films... I’m just against British period piece films with angst-ridden elitists walking along a river on a beautiful day, holding their sun umbrellas, discussing the drama in their lives.... ENDLESSLY!!!!  “Oh. Ruprect positively despises me. And my dress is torn. I can live no more”. Fine, then. The river is right there. Jump into it and end your pseudo-misery. And the men? Just sit around, holding pipes, wearing monocles, speaking intelligently. OK. Now what???  Isn’t that what PBS is for? The films, it seems, have three settings: Interior -- Study,  Exterior -- River walk, and Interior -- Dining Room. Look, if you’re going to write a stage play, then write a stage play. But don’t expect me to dump a Jefferson on parking, popcorn, and ticket for an episode of PBS’s Masterpiece Theater.

We’ll get to the final five a little later, but first a commercial break so I may pretend I’m actually making some cash with these audiocasts.  Hey, you gotta believe, right.

5 -- Into the Wild -- I can’t tell you how much I HATE this film. Five minutes in, I wanted this kid to get what was coming to him... but had to wait over 2 hours to finally gain the satisfaction. Yeah, it’s based on a true story, but the kid has absolutely NO redeeming qualities.  He’s just a spoiled asshole who thinks he knows more than everybody else. On his trek to Alaska, he meets up with so many good souls who’d like to take the boy in and care for him -- and he shits on them all. Why? Because he’s smarter than them. And, now he’s dead -- because he was stupid.  Wow! That’s deep.  You know what else is deep? The two plus hours of my life I’m NEVER getting back. Leave it to Sean Penn to drop this flaming bag of dogshit on our front porch and expect us to call it Chocolate Mousse FlambĂ©.

4 -- Jurassic Park -- Like I said before, Jeff Goldblum and the special effects were the best parts of the film. And that’s it!!!  Look, I’m a fan of Speilberg, but shit dude!  Could you make those punk assed kids ANY MORE ANNOYING AND STUPID??  T Rex threatening your life? Shine a flashlight in it’s face! Yeah... that’ll scare it off.  Then, when the boy is zapped with 100,000,000 volts of electricity and blasted 50 feet -- he survives!  Of course, when they make it back to the compound, they arrive in a room full of prepared food! FOR WHO???  There’s only, like, six of them on the whole damn island!  Then Sam Neil leaves them alone with man-eating dinosaurs are roaming all over the island.  Of course, without the kids, the film would’ve only been maybe 45 minutes long, so i can see the point of having them NOT be devoured half way through. But it would’ve been a lot of fun.

Oh yeah. There’s no power, so Attenborough is eating all the ice cream before it melts. Then Laura Dern joins him. Apparently, both fail to note the ceiling fans are working just fine.   Hmph!

3 -- Jurassic Park 2 -- Sure, all the shit that went down in the original is bad... but not as bad as the gaffe that was actually a minor news story when the film was in theaters.  Julianne Moore is some brilliant expert on dinosaurs -- can’t remember if she was a paleontologist, biologist, criminologist, who knows... and who cares. What you DO know is that she drops a sermon on us about the sensitive olfactory system of the T Rex. That, like a shark, it can smell blood from miles away.  Soon after, they come across an injured baby T Rex, and some of its blood gets on her button down shirt.  Soon after THAT, one of the party notes the blood, whereas she exclaims that “it must have been from the baby T Rex”.  Remember her oration about how the T Rex can smell blood from miles away? Does she lose the top shirt (by the way, they’re in a warm and humid jungle, and she IS wearing a tee shirt underneath)... nope. Not only does she continue wearing it, BUT HANGS THE BAD BOY UP TO DRY INSIDE HER TENT LIKE A PIECE OF MEAT!!!  Which, of course, leads the mama T Rex right to them!  Solution: she tosses the shirt to lose the scent, and some idiot member of the caravan who didn’t hear her speech picks it up and shoves it in his bag. Would’ve been an easy reshoot. Would’ve taken a day, tops! And it would’ve made perfect sense. Hell, it was a nice shirt. But Speilberg didn’t want to go overbudget, so the story goes, and never fixed it. 

2 -- King’s Speech -- The best half hour film ever made. No wait, it was two hours. That means 90 minutes of the movie was garbage? Yep.  Again, a true story, so artistic license is at a minimum, right? In this case, however, it would’ve been a better film if the whole thing took place on Mars, with the Geoffry Rush character being Marvin the Martian and Daffy Duck as Prince Albert/King George. The whole point of the story is curing the future king’s speech impediment. A little more than a half hour in, Rush places headphones on the Prince, and has him listen to music whist reciting Shakespeare. How very British, by the way. And it WORKS... which isn’t very british at all!!!! They find that, if the Prince cannot hear his own words, he’s fine. That’s the solution, right? Really, just keep doing that, and each time turn the music down just a little bit until he CAN hear his own words. In essence, rewiring his brain.  But NOPE!!!  We need to see and hear the future king stutter and suffer, and sing expletives.  Wow! That’s some next-level speech therapy, right? In the end, he must deliver a speech to wartime England. Does he stand before a crowded quad, or amongst journalists watching his every move, where the months of pain and suffering finally pay off? No. They place him in a room with no windows, a chair, a table, and a microphone... and that’s it! After 90 minutes of character torture, all he ever needed were those headphones and a little music. Idiotic!!!

And the TRUE King of Unwatchable films is.... A TIE, and they both belong to one man!

1 -- Batman/Beetlejuice -- How DARE you desecrate Tim Burton’s masterpieces, you think. Phfff. After I get done with them, a masterpiece you shall not believe them to be, I assure you.
Let’s start with the junior offender of the two -- Batman. When it came out, I really liked it. It had the TV show camp along with the comic book darkness, sprinkled with a little Tim Burton oddity. But man, it did not get better with age. First, it’s never fully explained -- as it was in the Chris Nolan reboot -- exactly WHY he chose a bat as a symbol. Yes, he does say “They’re great survivors”. Y’know, Panda bears are great survivors, too. Maybe you shoulda named yourself Pandaman! Stupid! Second, a supersecret lair is a supersecret lair because it’s SUPER SECRET. When old man Alfred decided, completely on his own, to bring Vicki Vale straight into the Batcave and surprise Bruce Wayne, Wayne should have responded in kind with a well placed bat ninja star to his butler’s skull. I’m Batman. I wear a mask because I don’t want anybody to know I’m actually billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne -- except at your discretion, Alfie ol’ boy. Bring in anybody you’d like. I’m sure they’ll keep the secret safe. Oh, a news reporter I’m having sex with who’s looking for the big story? Sure. Why not! She won’t say a word.

Then there’s the final showdown, when Batman, with all his hi tech gadgetry, can’t shoot the Joker who’s just standing right there! Yeah yeah, Batman isn’t supposed to kill, but he’d targeted the Joker dead aim, as he did in murdering most of Jokers street thugs a moment before, and missed, then grunted like he was pissed. Yeah, dude, he was looking for the killshot. Then the Joker nonchalantly pulls out a reaaaallllyyy long gun, takes his time to aim, and fires at the Batwing. Bulls-eye. What, did Bats have an epileptic seizure or something? He couldn’t SEE the clown was aiming a gun at him, and veer out of the way?  To paraphrase the old saying: he can build ‘em, but he can’t fly ‘em.

Now, the king of the unwatchables: Beetlejuice. First, this was Alec Baldwin before he was a good actor and before he started looking like Bette Midler with less hair, so it takes some getting used to. But that’s not all. He and Geena Davis say adios to the world, hit up the afterlife, and return to their attic a year later. But by this time, a new family is moving in. OK. Here’s the deal -- their attic, for an entire year, was left untouched! WHY?? The new family is renovating the entire house postmodern artsy fartsy, but never touches the attic. In addition, the company prepping the house prior to the sale, removing little things like  all the dead couples furniture, belongings and personal effects, never touch the attic! Why?? It’s never explained why the entire house is altered EXCEPT the attic! Oh yeah, because it’s locked. Really? You busted most of the house up already, what’s a stupid door lock? Even if the mom is a little afraid of the attic, hell, get your husband to do it. That’s what he’s there for, right? Oh, that’s right... it’s wannabe pedophile Jeffrey Jones. Nuff said, I suppose. Michael Keaton redeems himself here as Beetlejuice, but why he’s named after a star in our Milky Way is, like Batman and his bat, never explained. Like the movie Ghost, Alec and Geena must concentrate to move things. But like the movie Ghost, they can apparently walk their ghostly asses up and down stairs and all over the upper levels of a house without falling straight through the woodwork. Interesting.  But that’s nothing compared to what happens next. The Winona Ryder character is CERTAIN she sees ghosts, and sets out to prove it. Baldwin and Davis drape themselves with linen sheets to look like ghosts. Ryder spots them, then takes a Polaroid picture of them. When it develops, WOW!!! No feet! She exclaims, “You really are ghosts!”, Yeah, baby, as opposed to a couple of psycho adults secretly living in her house. Then, the VERY NEXT MORNING, she shows the picture to her parents --  as an 8x10 reprint!!!! Lo, a question... how the fuck to you make an 8x10 from a Polaroid? There’s no negative!!! And it’s the same pic!  You think even the prop master would note: “Uh, Mr. Burton. I know this is a ghost film, and you’re all about make-believe, but that’s PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE!!!!” I dunno. Maybe they didn’t want to hang a Canon AE1 around Ryder’s neck for fear she might go five fingered discount on it. 

But Burton does this a lot. Like Edward Scissorhands. His dad is dead, and he lives all alone in the mansion. How does he buy food, make food, and feed himself? He’s got blades for hands. He should’ve starved to death a long time ago. I suppose, when watch a Burton film, it’s best to dump a fifth of Scotch down your gullet and hope in your drunken stupor you miss half the shitfest.  Or just don’t watch Tim Burton film.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Alkaline Water with a Twist of Electrocution

Several weeks ago, it was found that GlaxoSmithKline had to shell out over $3 billion as a penalty for a drug fraud scandal involving their asthma medication Advair.  In short, they were encouraging medical professionals to push the brand "off-label", meaning to present it as an alternative solution to a problem not associated with its intended use.  Of course, a few billion dollars is bus token money for a giant like GSK, but the message had been sent by the Feds -- loud and clear.

Sorta.

Along comes Duracell, famous for two things -- their coppertop alkaline batteries, and NOT owning commercials with a drum-slamming bad-assed anamatronic bunny.  Nonetheless, clever marketing always finds a way to shine through the darkest of clouds, and the folks at Duracell has proven the point ad nauseam -- by actually suggesting their batteries help create an alkaline water that, when ingested, normalize your pH levels from very acidic to more alkaline and healthy.

"As easy as dropping ice cubes into a glass of water, the best batteries in the world become the best dietary tool in history!", stated Kermit Brasbals, Director of Worldwide marketing for Proctor and Gamble, Duracell's parent company.  "It really works! I've been on the CopperTopDiet for seven weeks now, and I feel great!"

The advertising campaign was intended for a January unveiling at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, but was pushed to just a couple of weeks ago at the JenniLee Billowbutt Health and Nutritional Luncheon and Tupperware Show in Encino, California.

"Like, omigawd! My son Zane has, like, 50 million toys and I throw Duracells out alllllllllllllll the time. Now, I can reuse the batteries for my water? I'm sooooooooooooooooooooo there!" exclaimed one mom who chose to remain anonymous.  Another woman tried a sample of what she described as "powered water" and claimed to feel a slight tingle.  Brabals quickly noted that the sensation was NOT slight electrocution, as suspected by a few, but in fact the Duracell battery "re-imagining" the water to a delicious, alkaline state of being by way of "pure magic".

However, a leading expert form a nondescript consumer watchdog group nobody has ever heard of until a second ago claims it all to be an elaborate hoax.  "It's bunk. It's all about the dollars and it's dangerous!", claims Stuart S. of Knee Socks, a group of militant Aspergers know-it-alls.  "They don't know anything!  Have you ever been in the military? Have you?  What's the capital of Ethiopia? Do you know that? My grandfather was a Holocaust survivor!"

Yet, the trend seems to be catching on. At a recent street fair in Kansas City, the Duracell "Fountain of Youth" kiosk was alive with health crazies quite literally bathing themselves from a 25 foot fountain showering them with CopperTop water.  When authorities shut down the fountain, due to the severe drought conditions currently gripping KC as well as much of the country,  there were unconfirmed reports of some drenched participants shooting lightning from their hands at the law enforcement officials.

Braasbals denied such an occurrence at the event, citing "propaganda" from the nutrition industry bent on failing Duracell's quest for proper health, before enveloping himself in an electrostatic cocoon and floating away.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mamma Mia!!! Pasta Fazul!!!

I own Sicilian blood from my father's side, so there's already some built-in DNA hating on mainland Italia. But, surprisingly, the above cartoon has got NOTHING to do with any predisposed genes the future Baby Brandon acquired at conception.  It wasn't even penciled purely as a joke.

It was designed for revenge, and -- if all goes according to the ways of backwards Italy -- shall be launched into action around Monday afternoon L.A. time.

A friend is trying to make her way into the Istituto Europeo di Design in Rome.  The rules are simple enough: put together a paragraph or two about how your design would help change the world, and couple it with an illustration (or photograph) of said design.  If they like it, you move to the next round, with the Grand Prize being a full scholarship and the requisite life in Rome.  She called upon my illustrative skills to help her meet the deadline of Sunday.  By Saturday at 3pm Pacific time, her selection had been uploaded with 12-24 hours to spare.

Or was it???

First thing's first: In proper Italian fashion, the website wasn't at all clear as to the "exact" deadline of the contest.... just, "Sunday".  In addition, she found the process of uploading her material incomprehensible and ultimately self-defeating (another Italian trait).  As of Sunday evening, she STILL has no clue as to whether her offering had been successfully uploaded.

And yes, she speaks and reads fluent Italian.

Quite a few of the contestants had submitted what amounted to pure garbage (very Italian, depending on your point of view as to what constitutes "garbage").  How about bringing back '50's style fashion? Brilliant.  And while you're at it, why not go all the way by diving into your dad's garage and busting out that 1958 Philco tube TV and that creaky pair of wooden skis.  Yes... hitting up Mammoth with two planks of lumber strapped to your feet will DEFINITELY change your life -- for the worse. Or, how about a multi-colored scarf that Jerry Garcia just wiped his ass with?  Certainly, it would change the world by calling into... ummm.... by recognizing the plight of..... errrr..... ah fuck it!  It's a tie dyed piece of fabric a Skittles mass murderer might proudly don.

But Cassandra's idea was choice.  I'd think she'd have a great chance of moving forward, if only she knew if her "submission" moved forward??  She'll find out Monday morning via phone if Luigi the webmaster spilled his stale chianti on the server whilst in the midst of a spaghetti battle with his fork.
If she misses out due to their server disregarding her upload (since, naturally, spaghetti can NEVER be the culprit), then the cartoon will be launched.

Not much of a retaliatory strike,  but at least it'll place a wicked smile on her face. For a brief moment, vengeance shall be hers...  and for this cartoonist, that's good enough.




Monday, July 9, 2012

Water is Free... For a Price.

A dear friend of mine recently relocated to Philadelphia, land of Philly Cheese Steaks, baseball fans who feed their kids beer on national television, and a bell that doesn't work.   I've always had an interest with the Upper East Coast (or, as SoCal natives like to call the region: New York). Yet, I'm concerned about my friend.  Certainly, Philly offers some unique challenges to a transplanted Angelino.

Check that: a transplanted Angelino Raw Food Health Freak.

She WON'T eat meat. She WON'T touch anything non-organically grown. She doesn't even drink store-bought water (plastic leeches dangerous toxins into the liquid).  It's true -- she travels out of her way to fill up her glass jugs with "special" water from a "special" shop, apparently christened appropriate to guzzle by the World Health Organization (well, not really).  This aqua ain't cheap, either.  Nor is Whole Foods Market where she used to shop for her food, as well as the myriad of minerals, vitamins, and supplements she'd cover that food with in a manner similar to how the French utilize sauce. I might be 100% wrong here, but phonetic thinking suggests Philadelphia not placing high on the list of places a superhealth fanatic can comfortably reside.

Case in point: I'd ask for a glass of water... what follows is a Rube Goldberg scenario I REALLY should have caught on video before her departure: grab glass, reposition massive ceramic container of water to find spigot, pour water into glass, add Himalayan salt into glass, sprinkle diatomaceous earth into glass, recite ancient Hindu chant of the Water God (not really), wave glowing rock over glass to transfer positive energy into water (again, not really), and serve.  It's... just... WATER!

Brita -- bad!  Arrowhead -- bad!  City water -- are you kidding me?  Another crack like that, and I'm kicking you out!

When did water become the most lucrative commodity on planet Earth????  I remember the days when we had Arrowhead, Sparklettes, tap water, and that's it!  I drank tap water for the first 20+ years of my life (and don't drink it now only because I'm not keen on its taste), and I still only have two eyes and no unnecessary appendages growing from my neck.  This is not dissimilar to those disinfectant commercials that warn, quite sternly, the perils of an unclean kitchen and dining area.  Of course, if they were true, every homeless person who's even mauled on day old food in a back alley would be dead right now.

Poisons, insecticides, mercury, fluoride, the list goes on and on, and everything causes cancer.  Well, if EVERYTHING is dangerous for you, and you must now reside within a nutrition prison of your own making merely to survive, then what's the point?  Have a little fun. Eat a taco from time to time. Grab a Big Gulp and chug it for old time's sake -- when you were a kid and none of this mattered. Remember the saying, "A little dirt doesn't hurt"? Grab a mouthful. Not the diatomaceous stuff that resembles cremated human ash, but good ol' fashioned backyard earthworm tarmac. Yum!

After all, according to the "superhealth code", everyone unclean and inorganic will soon be dead anyhow, right?  So, you may as well enjoy life while there's still residents of this planet left to enjoy life with.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Rumi Ruse, Posers Lose



I love L.A. ... aside from the earthquakes, Hollywood moshers, Prius congestion, CamryDriver, jaywalkers on their cellphones holding their baby, dime-a-dozen fake blondes with their spotlight ambitions, and the ever present "I'm a brain surgeon, but I'd give it all up tomorrow so I can ACT" dream-chasers.  Really, a great place to live. I'd live no where else.

Of course, considering I HAVEN'T lived anywhere else, my opinion is slightly skewed.

Yet, there is one thing about Los Angeles that should be a negative, but isn't.  It's those damn yoga chicks scurrying around, unintentionally whacking you with their oversized rolled mats as they pass you donned in the latest $100 pants from Lululemon, perfect hair, bejeweled iPhone, and Half Caff Latte.  These are what I call the SPGers, or "Spectacular Pants Goddesses".  For them, yoga is less about the discipline, and more about a fashion statement.  When they hit the yoga studio, in their small mind it's high school all over again, and they're the numero uno "don't look at me you freak" hot shit chick.  The world of yoga (at least, here in L.A.), there are three sects of yoga person -- the True Believers (frazzled hair, no make-up, crap clothes, all about the yoga and nothing else... arm pit hair optional); the Moderates (stylish but not consumed by it, serious about yoga, takes care of their appearance); and the SPGers (fashionistas, high drama, owns a small dog, always on cell phone, high school was the zenith of their life... and they're 27!).  Like the squeaky wheel, the two extremes dominate -- the true Believers with their Patchouli stench, and the SPGers with their visual stench -- leaving the Mods the dominant but shadowed yoga society, which to them is most likely just fine.

But nature always has a countermeasure, always a cure, to any disease or virus.  In the case of the SPGers, it's the "Guru".  Certainly, there are real, salt-of-the-earth individuals who HAVE been to India, HAVE extensively studied, and ARE masters of the discipline. What I'm speaking of here are the fake-o's, the ones so desperate for attention and purpose they literally re-invent themselves into what can only be described as a demigod.  They quote Rumi. They chant. They dress (and smell) the part. They own a SAG card. And the SPGs gobble them up like fresh kill to a hungry pack of wolves, for the SPGers are searching for purpose as well, something to latch on to and exclaim "this is what I'M all about".  As an unusual sort of mini ecosystem, the Guru and the SPG tribe inhabit the same occupied space and co-exist together, one in desperate need of the other, incapable of survival without the partnership.

The SPGers trek with the Guru as he's booted from studio to studio (since he hasn't a clue what he's doing), spewing venom about the former en route to their future target.  And all the while, the Guru rakes in the bank. He has shirts,  booklets, CDs, yoga retreats, every item designed to rip every penny from every SPGer who blindly follows him.  In the end, many ultimately lose their connection with the demigod (usually when they find they're not the only follower he's having sex with), and head off to worship the latest Yoga Guru to hit the town.

Which, of course, gives them plenty of time to reload their bank account.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Astro Profiling


There's racial profiling.  Anybody of color has been a victim of it in some form or the other.

There's status profiling.  If you don't drive a Porsche, Mercedes, or a late model BMW, you've been a victim of it.

And then there's astro profiling. If you're a Capricorn (as I am), you've definitely been a victim of it.

You get into a delightful conversation with a pretty girl. You both have similar interest and enjoy the simple things in life, like a good brew of coffee. She appears attracted to you, and vice versa.  Then, out of the clear blue sky (or, in the case of Seattle, the gray wet sky), she drops THIS question upon your lap:

"So, what sign are you?"

Your innocuous reply, "I'm a Capricorn."

This is generally followed by a pause, which is then generally followed by an "Oh".  Mind you, not a delightful "oh", but more along the lines of a unpleasantly surprised "oh".

What the f**k is THAT supposed to mean????

Is it MY fault mommy and daddy decided to play Battleship in April and not June?  Am I moody? Yes I am.  Are there non-Capricorns in this world who'd trump my mood swings without breaking a sweat? Yes. there are.  Yet, within seconds the girl has my profile pinned 1-2-3 like Andre the Giant versus Richard Simmons. Instantly the chat morphs from "like to know ya" to "been nice knowing ya". And why? Because I was born after December 21st rather than before?

Don't get me wrong.  My ex-neighbor Natalie worked up an astrological forecast for me last August.  I went in with an open mind, and came out a believer -- not due to her hot Aussie accent, but due to the fact that everything the chart told her would happen in my life has come true!  Of course, there is a difference between truth and fact, with truth being in large part perceived and self-fortified.  Yet, I'm sold on PROPER astrology.

But the hocus pocus "just-add-water" Instamatic Astrology that psychotic flower child pulled on me?  Maybe it's a good thing the discussion ground to a halt.  Perhaps -- and I'm just assuming here -- if the relationship had grown beyond a coffee chat to something far more serious, can you IMAGINE the woman applying the wonders of Instamatic Astrology to everything in our lives?

"Honey. Let's go to that new restaurant down the street."
"Are you kidding? The rising moon five degrees from Jupiter's aura says we stay in and meditate!"

"I wonder what's on TV tonight?"
"The sun is aligned with constellation Sagittarius, pulling on a transiting Venus.  Watching the television is the LAST thing I want to do when THAT combination is showing."

"I love you."
"Phfff.  That's just Pluto and Neptune rising with the moon. When that happens, lies and deceit dominate. You don't know what you're talking about."

....!!!

Wow. Did I dodge a bullet there!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Story About Aliens Combat Birthday..... what?!!!


I consider myself neither liberal nor conservative. More of a centerist, I share both likes and dislikes with the fringes of American politics.

So when I say most left-side television political analysts either look like they fell out of a dryer, an AA meeting, or a Dungeons and Dragons tournament, please take note that it's a dead-on, clear as day observation, and not some right winger propaganda to push the glory that is FoxNews.

Current TV is a perfect example.  Listen, I'm not a tie guy myself.  But if I'm on the boob tube, with millions watching (or, in the case of Current TV: 3,987), I'd prefer to look my best.  Perhaps Current TV has a standing law forbidding ties or expertly-fitted coats. Not 100% sure... don't 100% care.  If you flip on FoxNews, you'd think they had a looking-good contract with Ralph Lauren and Neil George Salon.  With Current TV, maybe Kmart and Supercuts.... maybe!

With the cat above, however, I'd roll the dice with Big Lots and Fantastic Sam's.

"What The Flick"?  How about "what the f**k"!!  Where is it written that liberal telecasters NEED to appear disheveled and aimless?  Is there some field guide that clearly points to a rule stating "all righties must appear as if they're closing million dollar deals en route to the financial district in a BMW, whilst all lefties must appear like they've got a baloney sandwich stuffed in their pocket and a Huffy parked out back".

Aside from Jon Stewart (who does, in fact, wear a tie in accordance to the looking-good code), there appears to be no rhyme or reason to what a democaster's going to wear night to night.  And those guests... really????  Gavin Newsom had a couple on the other night discussing automobile technology.  Once again, the memo must've read "wear what you have.... hair brushing and make-up optional".  Whereas Fox attempts to maintain a sense of etiquette and flair, Current and MSNBC just, well... exist.  Littered with skinny guys wearing glasses and a grab bag of sport coats a couple sizes too large for them, jeans, frazzled hair, and a voice perfectly suited for the words "I told you so", they are the polar opposite of the well-groomed right, well-behaved right.  Which, in hindsight, must be their orchestrated plan of attack.

And just when you think this potpourri of democast gobbledigook is, actually, a "game plan", they hit you with a technical faux pas like the YouTube closed captioning illustrated above. Maybe it's just YouTube, and not them.

But, if you know the YouTube cc'ing stinks of roadkill, then DISABLE IT!!!!

Democaster: Huh?  But it's cool.

Conservacaster: LOL!!!!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

The 20 grand Ferrari



A friend who's not incredibly savvy with anything engine-driven noted the above photo posted on my Facebook page, which of course is the new Ducati 1199 Panigale.  He chuckled: "Nice death machine".

My response is not unlike a response from any lover of two-wheeled Saturn 5 land rockets:

"Bikes don't kill riders. Riders kill riders".

His almost immediate response of suddenly popping an unintended wheelie or powering through a turn into oncoming traffic -- in other words, the basic list of every motorcycle horror story you've ever heard -- was just as quickly thwarted with a response of my own: throttle control.  I could have dug in with a sermon of general motorcycle riding dynamics, but that would have gone over as well as Fat Elvis slamming a stoppie on a '68 Triumph while leaning forward over the bars.

This guy didn't have a clue from the word "go".  The fundamental truth is, for roughly 20 to 24 out the door (for the base and S models), one can own THE BEST superbike in the world.   Try pulling a similar trick as a cager (car driver). Hit up glory spots like The Auto Gallery in Calabasas, and ask for "the best of the best".  By the way, you'd better have that second mortgage ready to drop.  In that realm, $24,000 gets you a set of brakes and a wheel rotation. $240,000 gets the salesman talking... and that number speaks only for entry level fare.

There's nothing wrong with Italian muscle -- I've always been partial to the Horse, the Bull, and the Pitchfork... I know, the Maserati logo isn't a pitchfork, unless you once owned a flambe BiTurbo and it caught fire while you were still in it -- but for the price of a service you can own a World's Greatest!

How much does the World's Greatest watch cost?

Or the World's Greatest private jet?

Or the World's Greatest yacht?

For instance, you can own a Ulysse Nardine "Maxi Marine Diver" gold chronograph watch, or you can own the best superbike ever to roll off an assembly line.

The best!  Not the most expensive.  Not the most exclusive.  The BEST.

My friend, dumbfounded and defeated, had only a singular response: "But what if it rains?"

My response: "Switch it to Rain Mode".  I'm not 100% certain he was close to asking if umbrellas pop out of the fairings before stopping himself short, but I would not have put it past him.


Sugar > Nuclear Waste or a Bullet to the Head


Okay.  I get it.  Sugar is evil.  Sugar is the AntiChrist. Sugar is the foodstuff equivalent of Chernobyl. Sugar will kill you if you let it.  Sugar is a major health problem in America.

But, it's not.

And THAT'S the problem.

Certainly, sugar isn't the most effective source of nutrition, nor the most effective means of energy, you may utilize as fuel for your body.   Yet, it's by no means the very worst kind of white powder you can place into same body.  Cyanide, off the top of my head, might be considered a more destructive substance.  Cocaine, as well.... and I can't imagine one person save for Robert Downey Jr. who'd argue sugar as being more damaging to your life expectancy than good ol' Aunt Nora.

I'm very aware of several folk close to me who are flat out addicted to Diet Coke.  Mind you, not favored by it -- ADDICTED TO it!  Their rationale that it's a healthier version of Coca-Cola is,  pardon the predictable pun, junk.  Sugar is a natural substance the body can easily recognize and digest. Sure, it'll make you fat -- if you sit around all day watching your damn talk shows.  Ever wondered what kind of devious dark magic went into making that chocolate muffin in the cafe pastry case?  Unless chickens are evil sorcerers, wheat fields are sources of unspeakable Pagan sacrifices, and the Belgians mix their chocolate batches with potions of bat claw, hair of alpaca, and blood of Himalayan rat (of which I'm not 100% certain is "not" true), then all you must fear of that deliciously mouth-watering muffin is watching The View shortly after devouring it, slumped on your couch, dropping Diet Coke chasers.  Rather, here's a novel thought -- walk!

Your local coffee hut is three blocks away. And you require an automobile to reach it because....?