Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Think of Iala on #GivingTuesday

In an attempt to use social media for something good for a change, somebody has come up with #GivingTuesday.  It comes after Thanksgiving, when you think of what you're grateful for and count your blessings.  And it comes after Black Friday, when you grab bargains out of the hands of the slow, the weak, and the elderly.  So, on December 2nd, you are encouraged to renounce your selfishness and put your gratitude to work; you are supposed to give back, help, do something good, and basically not be a selfish jerk.  If you want to be trendy and hip, then you take a picture of yourself doing nice stuff, and you post it with the hashtag #Unselfie , to show that you're not shallow, and you're not a teen doing duck-face photos.

I would like to urge everybody to dedicate their #GivingTuesday acts of kindness to the memory of Iala.  As she is a cat, she would probably appreciate you doing something to help her cat kin, like maybe making a shelter for a feral cat, or putting out some food out for that stray who looks so skinny.  Or donate to a no-kill shelter or rescue group in your area.

Or, as D. so kindly said, you could make a donation to Four Paws to help provide food, shelter, and vet care for the homeless cats in my valley  In fact, while I was typing this post, I got a call from somebody who found 5 baby kittens in a box by the side of the road.  The caller has been feeding them scrambled eggs and doing her best to care for them, but she can't keep them, and asked if Four Paws could find them homes.  I said I'd call back, because I'm not sure if we have the resources to take on 5 more babies.  But in honor of Iala, I will take them.   And if you make a donation, I will give you the privilege of naming one of them.

But your acts of pre-Noel goodness don't need to be limited to helping animals - I'm sure Iala would approve of your doing something nice for people, in honor of her obedient human slaves.  D. Sidhe and her partner strike me as the kind of people who would like to see homeless people helped, kids educated, old people get meals, etc.




So, start thinking of what you could do to spread a little compassion and love in the world.  Do it for Iala and her wonderful human, D. Sidhe.

Farewell, Iala

[Note from Scott:  D.Sidhe posted this news in the previous thread, but it deserves to be on the front page.  And D.?  If you have any photos of Iala you'd care to share, I would be more than happy to add them to your lovely tribute.]

Hey, guys. Scott, I need to threadjack.

So our beautiful fluffy twenty one year old kitty Iala died this last weekend. It was old age, we knew it was coming, and she died as I think she would have been content with, at home, in her perch on the bed, between me and my partner, both of us there at the end telling her we loved her and were grateful to have had the time with her. It sucked, but it wasn't terrible, just heartbreaking, if you understand that.

Iala, whose name is taken from a sort of bipedal cat vampire of Romanian folklore, could draw blood through carelessness, or when she was getting a pill, but she spent a lot of time happily showing off her belly to play venus flytrap, too. Which also drew blood. Well, vampire.

She was the most good natured cat I've ever met, and sweetly tolerant of our other cats, she spent a lot of time grooming her humans and sitting on top of them while we all slept. An adventurous, deeply amusing whirlwind in her younger days, as she got older she spent more time with social works like Groom Humans and Clean Water for Cats and Occupy Chair and Bed. We respected her work and tended to end up sleeping and sitting in weird configurations to not make her move.

She was six months or so when she started squatting our doorstep, and following me everywhere I went. This led to a confrontation with a truck, at which point we said "Fuck it" and took her in. She wasn't much good in the wild, but smart enough to find a good home for a long and spoiled life.

Some of my favorite moments, the time she managed to crawl behind the water heater and get stuck there so we had to drape a towel behind it for her to climb up. Her general willingness to not bat around the obnoxious kittens we adopted, even when they were playing with her tail. Her occasional late night roaming across the pillow covering my partner's face at night. The time she stalked by the dryer and smacked the door closed while the younger cat was sleeping in it.

She is survived by the young annoying girlcat Nagi, and her human slaves, who she always treated with patient contempt. She will be placed in a box in the closet with Cypress, and Tora, two other cats whose company she tolerated, and I'll talk to her when I walk by. Also, she liked boxes. And sunlit patches, to which I will occasionally move her when we spend time.

Scott, you can move this away from your much-needed lols review, or whatever you want.

My family here at WoC, you guys don't have to say anything if you don't want to, it's always hard to find things to say. If you could spare it, maybe a small tribute to Sheri's foundation, or just a hope for a sunny blanket in a window for Iala to watch squirrels from in the beyond.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Always the Bridesmaid, Never the Bride of Blood


Man about Movies Hank Parmer (known to his underworld confederates as Grouchomarxist) is back this week with another film which, by all the laws of physics, should not exist, and dares you to believe it!...Or Not!

Brides of Blood (1968)

A Hemisphere Pictures production, directed by Gerardo de Leon and Eddie Romero (George's sleazier brother) from a script by your friend and mine, Cesar Amigo.
The movie begins with some Filipino -- I mean, Polynesian -- extras standing around in sarongs, holding spears, as they watch a tramp steamer approach their island.

On board the steamer young, handsome Peace Corps volunteer Jim Farrell (John Ashley), boring middle-aged stiff Dr. Paul Henderson (Kent Taylor, the Scientist) and his 30-ish wife, Carla (Beverly Hills -- no, really, and her wardrobe will emphasize these prime tracts of real estate) are dining with the captain of the Greasy Bastard. No, strike that: it's the captain who's the greasy bastard.

The captain inquires: "Wha' for you want to bury yourselves on thees island? No one veesits Blood Island except this sheep, and that's only once every seex months." What 'sheep'? Sheesh, what a maroon: he thinks he's the skipper of a sea-going even-toed ungulate!

Here we first become acquainted with this film's penchant for not simply telegraphing but sky-writing the storyline, cluing us in from the start that this bunch has the collective IQ of a wad of dryer lint. I mean, seriously, "Blood Island"? ("We wanted to go to Entrails Island, but they were booked solid. And Lingering, Agonizing Death Island is soooo last year.")

Jim's aching to civilize the simple natives, while Paul's enthusiastic about studying the island's flora and fauna. (I think that's enthusiasm, but it's hard to tell with Kent Taylor.) Carla's clearly not pleased, even though she'll have a fresh field in which to pursue her hobby: publicly emasculating her husband. She makes eyes at one of the sweaty, bare-chested sailors. When Jim cattily remarks there'll probably be a mutiny when she leaves the ship, Carla offers to stay aboard and keep the crew happy. (I think she wants to organize a shuffleboard tournament.) The captain guffaws.

Hubby gets huffy, says he'd better go below and check his equipment. Jim say's he'd better check his gear, too. (Will two 50-gallon tubs of Brylcreem be enough to last six months? What if Paul runs out, and wants some of his? He looks like at least a quart-a-day man.)

Carla asks Paul if he needs any help. But she doesn't mean it: she knows that checking his equipment is something he prefers to do in private. On her way to her stateroom, she stops off to check out the sailor's equipment. That's right: she's a slutty slut slut. So she'll deserve whatever bad thing is going to happen to her, right? God, how I love that good, old-fashioned morality!

By the time they pull up to the pier, Carla's temporarily satisfied her cravings, and changed into a new dress. Looking down from the bridge at the islanders, she says she's never seen so many sad and frightened faces. Not since the SWAT team took out Mr. Munch by mistake, in that embarrassing incident at the East Moline Chuck E. Cheese.

The new arrivals file ashore just in time to see a picturesque native procession. The islanders are carrying a lumpy, cloth-wrapped bundle on a litter and mouthing the monotonous chant which will accompany each and every one of their ceremonies: "Ba Ba -- Ba Ba Ba -- Ba Ba -- Ba!" It's a catchy little number.

Unbeknownst to our Americans and the villagers, a sinister figure watches from the edge of the jungle.

One of the bearers twists his ankle and upsets the litter. Out from the bundle pops a dismembered leg and a decapitated head. Carla quite understandably freaks. The islanders gather up the people pieces, take them out in the bay and respectfully dump them over the side of their canoe.

But it's nothing to get excited about. Arcadio, the village headman, shows them to their hut, and introduces his granddaughter, the love interest, Alma (Eva Darren). Carla, who's quickly recovered from her shock, wants to know what happened to those two girls. (Incidentally, how did she know these were pieces of two bodies, both of them female, as well as their approximate age? Did she take a correspondence course in forensic pathology?)

It was an accident, explains the headman. Their leis exploded ... and … then they fell into the coconut peeler ... didn't have a chance, what with all the rotating knives. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Nobody bats an eye. Happens all the time on these primitive islands, where they've likely never even heard of OSHA. Arcadio informs them he and that sultry granddaughter who's sporting the suspiciously un-Polynesian ronnie are the only English-speakers on the island. Except, Alma reminds him, for the mysterious Mr. Powers and his faithful detainer, Goro.

Then Alma launches into a lengthy speech on behalf of the islanders about how grateful they are to Jim and the others for coming to their island. She finishes up by promising him "We are your servants."

Jim gently corrects her: "We're here to serve, not to be served. I only hope it works out that way."

"I, too," she answers demurely, with downcast eyes, each of them no doubt thinking of services they can provide for the other.

Jim introduces everybody. Alma says it will give her great pleasure to do whatever she can to help. Carla replies that her husband won't be much help in the pleasure department, dear. She offers to do a three-way with Alma and Jim. It's going to be a long six months.

Later, everybody's in the hut, unpacking. Alma is enthralled by the high tech of a Coleman lantern.  Arcadio now decides to tell Paul they chose a bad time to come to the island. Jim wants to know why, but the headman won't elaborate.

Alma says they are ashamed. Jim assures her they weren't expecting laundromats and supermarkets. A White Castle or an Arby's would have been nice, but they'll manage to cope, somehow.

Arcadio: "We wish you had asked to return where you came from, while the ship was still here." But wouldn't it have been a bit more timely if Arcadio had said something before the ship left? You simply can't assume this bunch is quick enough on the uptake to catch broad hints like “Blood Island” and mysteriously mangled people parts.

Paul doesn't understand.

Arcadio: "We have gone back to primitive ways. There are things which we do now, which we did not do before." He departs, without offering any further explanation.

After Arcadio's exit, Paul asks Alma what he meant. She says, "We have returned to the ways of our primitive ancestors. We are not too proud of it." She bows, then quickly exits. Got it? They're doing something primitive. And they're ashamed.

The next day, Jim is showing the awestruck islanders how to construct a rickety cabana. He tells Alma it's going to be a health center. Then they're going to build a schoolhouse, and maybe an irrigation system. And after that, a secret fort! And then a full-scale replica of Trump's Taj Mahal! He promises Alma he's here to improve their village, not tell them how to run it: they'll have to do the work themselves. No leaving a bowl of milk out at night for the elves!

Then he notices an odd-looking tree. That is, he says it looks odd, but from all we can see of it, it just appears kind of scraggly, and in need of a little judicious pruning. He asks Alma about the tree, but she clams up. When he wants to know if something's wrong, she runs away. He continues to gaze in wonder at this arboreal freak.

Cut to the jungle. Carla's bored, while hubby's doing scientist things. Strangely, Carla notices the sun is setting at 4:30 in the afternoon. It's more likely her watch has stopped, or she has trouble with the concept of time zones, than the Earth has suddenly sped up its rotation. But this is Blood Island, after all, where anything can happen.

Carla poses seductively against a tree trunk. Paul stops taking samples and stares at her.

Carla: "I'm not one of your specimens."

Paul: "Sometimes I think it would be simpler if you were." He'd need one hell of a big jar, though.

It looks as if she and Paul might reconcile, or at least indulge in a quick hate fuck, but the moment passes. I see: this is the Filipino-American remake of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Starring Carla as Martha, Paul as George, Jim as young Nick and Alma as Honey. ("Don't talk about the monster, Martha!")

On their way back to the village, they come across a bizarre critter which looks like someone glued an eggplant onto a land crab's hindquarters. Paul, ever the perfect gentleman, assures the crab that it doesn't make its butt look too big.

Back at the village, the setting sun is almost touching the horizon. Another fascinating native ritual: this one's a lottery, to choose two of the island's maidens for some special honor. Strangely, the lucky winners don't seem at all elated by their good fortune.

I guess the script forgot about that sunset, since now Jim, Carla and Paul are ambling through the jungle, and from the angle of the light it can't be more than a couple of hours past noon. Manservant Goro -- the sinister, scar-faced guy we briefly glimpsed when the Americans set foot on Blood Island -- suddenly materializes from the underbrush, and invites them to dinner at Mr. Power's mansion.

Goro leads them into the jungle. Mist rises, and an unearthly racket assails their ears. They notice a banana tree has grown a weird appendage, which -- like the movie -- is flailing about aimlessly. Scientist Paul appears only mildly interested by this incredible discovery. (Okay, Taylor only seems capable of mildly portraying any emotion, but still ...) He readily agrees with Jim that it can wait until morning. They sure are in a lather to meet that enigmatic Mr. Powers.

Goro is nervous; he tells them they must hurry. Another banana tree menaces them with its fronds as they walk away. They arrive at the Powers mansion, where the groundskeeper has apparently been burning a lot of yard trash. Inside the courtyard, two diminutive servants clad in red silk diapers sprint to the gate and open it, while a third peeks around a bush.

The visitors are suitably awed by the place. "It must be over a hundred years old!" exclaims Jim. Sure, it looks more like it was built in the 1950s, but why not take the script's word for it? They enter the mansion, while a half-dozen or more little people in diapers scurry around or furtively watch the visitors. (Apparently, Powers has developed his own breed of Oompa Loompas.) The little people whisper among themselves. Something about wanting to climb those Hills, I'd wager.

The Americans first meet Ricky Ricardo -- I mean, the mysterious Mr. Powers -- in his parlor, as he pounds out a tempestuous tune on a grand piano. (I suppose a pipe organ would have been a little too much of a tip-off.) I think he's playing the theme for The Secret Storm. Goro whacks one of the servants on the head, tells the little guys something which I'm sure would roughly translate as "Stop ogling the dame and scram!" He then gently interrupts his deeply preoccupied Master, informing him that his guests have arrived.

Esteban Powers introduces himself to his "fellow Americans" in a thick Spanish accent, and invites them to stay at his mansion. Carla, salivating over the new meat, easily persuades Paul. Jim declines, reminding them he has to live among the villagers to do his work.

They sit down to dinner. Before they can begin tucking in, they're interrupted by the sound of Goro whipping one of the Oompa Loompas. Goro explains the little guy stole Paul's flare gun. Powers chides Goro for leaping to conclusions, then apologizes to his guests: he hopes the beating hasn't spoiled their appetites.

This crowd? Are you kidding? Jim and Paul have elevated obliviousness to the level of high art, and Carla's ... intrigued.

The script dishes up some exposition: turns out Blood Island was on the fringe of the fallout from the bomb tests. Powers says there's no radiation here, but Paul tells him about the mutated land crab, and reveals that his tests showed it was radioactive. They blather for a while about radioactivity and mutations. Powers wants to know if the mutations could affect -- dramatic pause -- humans. Paul isn't sure.

After dinner, Goro leads Powers' guests back through the jungle. Assuming the filmmakers were trying for a day-for-night effect here, they failed miserably. More mist, and again with the mixed-up, kooky sound effects, as they trudge along the trail.

In a pioneering example of tentacle soft porn, Carla is attacked by a tree root. Jim stabs the root with his knife, while Goro watches impassively. Trees are waving their roots at them on every side. Orchids puff clouds of pink pollen at them, but prematurely, while they're still well out of range. (I think this may be a subtle metaphor for Paul's little problem.) They hasten past. A giant inchworm -- or maybe it's an ambulatory penis, you never can tell with these wacky atomic mutations -- humps across the trail after they pass by.

Carla panics. She has to be hustled along by Jim and Paul. They emerge from that screwy jungle just in time to catch another procession: now the islanders are carrying two litters, bearing the lucky lottery winners. Jim, Paul and Carla follow the crowd to an idol topped by an enormous gap-toothed Mr. Bill head. This idol really shouldn't have put off those visits to the dentist.

The islanders tie the girls to upright bamboo frames, and Arcadio strips their halters off. (Because of the blip in the movie here, I'm betting the original cut probably showed some breast.) The headman shoos everybody off, telling them there's nothing they can do for the women.

Again, I can only marvel at these Americans' enlightened acceptance of local customs.

Back at the hut: eerie roars are heard from the jungle. Well, actually, it sounds more like a telephone breather, with his head stuck in a culvert. Paul, however, thinks it might be an earthquake. And this guy is supposed to be a scientist?

"No!" replies Alma, mentally adding, "What kind of a numbskull are you?"

A fake moth, with construction paper wings embellished with markings crudely scrawled in Crayola, flutters into the hut and, accompanied by a theremin, hovers in the air. It changes form before their very eyes! Off-camera, and not in the brief glimpses they show of it, but look, just go with them on this: it has fangs and other scary stuff, okay? Paul tries to capture the putative were-moth, but it attacks him! It wounds his hand and flies away, because it was never really his ...

While Carla helps Jim bandage Paul's bloody hand, the breather gets louder and more urgent. He's either having a possibly fatal asthma attack or working up to something ... Carla demands to know what's happening. Paul speculates that some creature on the island has undergone a drastic mutation. (Ya think?)

Cut to the idol. The monster shuffles into the torchlight. It's a hideous amalgam of Sean Connery and H.R. Pufnstuf, with glowing red eyes, and dried-up liver slices stapled to the costume. The non-human creature attacks one of the girls. She screams.
Back to the hut: Jim wants to confront the creature, but Arcadio insists it's too late. The headman threatens Jim with a knife, vows to stop him at all costs. Suddenly, the roars cease. Oh ... well, never mind. Lights out, everybody!

Friday, November 21, 2014

I Sound My Mighty Yelp

I was so delighted and inspired by Sheri's piece on Wo'C favorite Robin of Berkeley that I just had to pluck a fruit from the poisoned tree and take a big crunchy bite of it myself. And then Weird Dave, one of our favorite, and certainly one of our nudest Crappers, wrote in comments, "Before we bid Ms. bin Berkeley adieu check out her complaining about Yelp.  I will bet dollars to doughnuts she got a bad Yelp review (or three)." And if you know me, you know how difficult I find it to ignore the advice of a man who spends most of his time frolicking naked in the desert. So I followed his link, and sure enough, Robin is as upset by this crowdsourced Consumer Reports as she is by the Andrew Breitbart murder, or Rosemary's Baby (but happily she's still proud of her whiteness):
Real Men Don’t Yelp
They just jump straight to their safe word.
Everyone is Yelping these days, that is, using the website, Yelp, to play critic. But in my opinion, the name “Yelp,” is a misnomer. Instead, it should be called “Whine.”
That'd be great, Robin; unfortunately, "Whine" has already been reserved as a synonym for "Blogging."
Because that’s what most people do on Yelp, complaining about this restaurant or that physician’s office. As a bumper sticker I saw aptly put it, “Yelp. Ruining small businesses since 2004.”
Well far be it from me to refute the peer-reviewed conclusions of a bumper sticker, but the only time I ever wrote a Yelp review, it was a rave for the Mom 'n' Pop computer cobblers who resurrected my wizened Mac after the harddrive died.  Now I realize my experience is completely anecdotal, and lacks the large data sample and rigorous statistical analysis typically performed by the rear collision guard of your Kia Elantra, but according to this site designed to help local merchants leverage social media, Yelp users most often come to praise Little Caeser's, not to bury it:
Take “Becky from Oakland.” She ordered her burger from the local bistro medium rare, but it came well done. Did she politely speak to the waiter? Complain to the manager? Try to work things out like, I don’t know. . . a grown up? 
No, Becky typed out an incendiary attack against the restaurant and posted it on Yelp. In that moment, as Becky seeks revenge for her disappointing dinner, the restaurant owner isn’t a person like her, someone with dreams and feelings. He is just a vehicle for her to unload frustration and bitterness.
Unfortunately, Robin didn't link to Becky from Oakland's review because we can't handle the truth!, so we don't know if she did try speaking to the waiter or the manager, or just sullenly accepted the cremains of her burger and placed it in a tasteful urn next to Aunt Sadie's ashes on the mantle. And since a search of Yelp for "Becky from Oakland" yields no reviews at all, positive or negative, it's possible Becky is another one of Robin's imaginary enemies. Or one of her patients. But I repeat myself.
Yelp plays to basest instincts for vengeance, imparting a false sense of power and bravado. In that online moment, Becky becomes a mini, online Rambo.
What you call Hell, Becky calls Help.
Then there’s Jim. He didn’t like the attitude of the person at the local dry cleaners so decided not to use them. Rather than simply bringing his garments to another shop, he gave the place (which, by the way, he never actually used) a nasty review and one star. In the age of Yelp, business owners can’t be in a bad mood because of a troubled marriage or a sickly child. Every potential customer is now a Secret Shopper, scrutinizing all possible wrong moves.
It doesn't seem to dawn on Robin that people actually read the reviews on Yelp, and if "Jim" says "The dry cleaner was all pouty about his kid's lymphoma, so I refused to let him touch my fine washables. One star!", then users will probably accord his opinion the weight it deserves. On the other hand, I find Robin's stubborn belief that everyone is as stupid as she is -- in spite of all evidence to the contrary -- a touching act of faith.
I suppose Yelp isn’t all that different from many sites on online, with the trolls and the hostile, sometimes obscene, comments. 
Back on the Old Wo'C Site, Sheri quoted Robin on the mystifying, nay, suicidal effrontery of trolls.  "Why," Robin puzzled, "Would they subject themselves to scrutiny by a licensed psychotherapist?", to which Sheri responded, "Robin, you routinely diagnose mental illness in the Left while being a nut yourself. You’re a humorless, tone-deaf scold. And you tell the most far-fetched, improbable, entertaining stories about the trials and tribulations of being you. Of COURSE the trolls are going to be drawn to you. You’re their queen!"
Virtually, people can brandish words like knives to attack anyone who dares to disagree. It’s all anonymous, of course; one can say things that would never be allowed in polite conversation. And the recipient of the abuse isn’t a quite a person, but an objectified, disembodied thing, someone different than oneself.
Robin of Berkeley would like you assholes to stop insulting people from behind your curtain of anonymity.
Maybe I’m touchier about the subject than others. My father owned a very small store post-WWII, when leases were easy to get and red tape nil.
Before the days of intrusive government regulations, our father's were free to run their wildcat organ harvesting business out of the neighbor's toolshed!
Because ultimately, it’s not about burgers and fries or dry cleaners; it’s about something deeper and more essential: dignity, and a culture bereft of it. No longer do we treat each other with basic dignity. The business owner isn’t someone’s father or mother, not a person trying to carve out his little piece of the American dream. No, the other is an obstacle in our way, a barrier to our achieving our own perceived rights and privileges.
So what if he poured sawdust into the drive train and then charged you for a new transmission -- he might be somebody's dad for all he knows!
I propose something radically different, something that harks back to a bygone era, that is, the one prior to the creation of the World Wide Web. How about if someone has a problem with someone else, that he speaks to them? If Becky doesn’t like her burger, she should send it back. Speak to the manager, if necessary. Worst comes to worst, she can order something else from the menu.
By preemptively posting a bad review on Yelp, Becky will never know if the manager would have preferred -- given the opportunity -- to address her complaint in a more personal way, by making her a new burger and spitting on it.
How about if everyone stops Yelping and Whining, and returns to talking to each other with basic respect. We’re all in this human soup together.
Okay, although I prefer to think of it as Homo Bisque.
In my opinion, real men (and women) don’t Yelp. And real human beings don’t seek revenge on each other, by trying to destroy reputations and businesses on impulse. 
I think Dave is right, and a few well-placed consumer complaints to the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (I'm lookin' at you, Chris Vosburg), may explain why Robin no longer identifies herself as a "licensed psychotherapist."
Real people see that we are all connected in some mystical way that none of us can really understand. 
Yes, there's few things more mystical in this veil of tears than the ethereal bonds between "fraud" and "gullibility," or "carnies" and "rubes."

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Strong Enough for a Man, But Made for a Neuter Noun

I gotta say, any day that sees the triumphant return of both S.Z. and Robin of Berkeley is a damn fine day indeed, one which fills my veins with the non-dairy creamer of human kindness. So I'm going to get the holiday season started early this year, with a preview of our annual gift giving guide.

(The item below appears courtesy of our buddy, film scholar Jim Donahue.)
Dear friend 
Wonderful day! 
Do you still remember Vision 3 ,yes ,vision 3 special package for Christmas is coming.
I don't remember the product, but the inconsistent capitalization rings a bell...
Material:Carbon fiber tube 
Size: (L)130.5mm*(D)17.5mm  
Output Voltage:3.2v-4.8v 
Capacity:1600mah 
Are you still annoying the problem that what is the best guy for Christmas’ selling .Consider vision 3 and I believe you will have a wonderful Christmas day. 
Good luck! 
Vera 
Shenzhen Jinokn Technology Co., Limited  
Facebook: vera wei 
Skype : jinoknecig
I'm such a procrastinator.  Here it is, almost Thanksgiving, and I haven't even begun to annoy the problem of what is the best guy for Christmas' selling, or addressed whether the best guy for the selling is even a guy; perhaps a woman would be more annoying! We must think outside the box.

And while we're out there, you should probably get around to hanging Christmas' lights. But move that apostrophe first -- you might cut yourself.

Anyway, as Vera says in her subject line, Father Christmas will be attracted by them— electronic cigarette battery, so buy one now, and you'll never again have to ask a neighbor to jumpstart your e-cigarette on cold mornings.

(On the downside, use of Vision 3 ,yes ,vision 3 special package has been shown to attract Father Christmas' and occasionally raccoons. We recommend storing it in a Rubbermaid container.)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

14 Years a Berkeley Slave

Since Scott doesn't have the strong constitution necessary for wingnut hunting right now, I thought I'd do a quick scour of the ol' stomping grounds.  Imagine my delight to find that Robin of Berkeley is back on the job.   And she hasn't changed a bit! Seriously, she is saying the very same things she did years ago, so maybe she has actually been replaced by a Google cache.  Anyway, just for old times' sake, here is Robin with a column about how liberals don't have a sense of humor because they won't laugh at her ethnic jokes.
 If You Don't Have a Sense of Humor, It's Not Funny
"There are so many things that get under my skin around here: the crime, filth, and trash; the road rage; the naked people; and the slavish adoration of all things leftist."
It's so sad how nobody will tell Robin about the road that leads out of town and into Oakland.  Or maybe all the naked people are just blocking the sign.
"But one of the most annoying is that so few people around Berkeley have any sense of humor. Imagine living in an area where you have to screen every potential comment for racial, gender, and transgender sensitivity. And every time you dare to open your mouth, there’s a pretty good chance that someone will shut you up."
Imagine living in a society where people expect you to have a little decency, and to not be a jerk out loud.  It's a dystopian nightmare!
"For instance, I was at the bank last fall when we were having a string of lovely, warm days. Amiably, I said to the teller, 'It seems like we’re having an Indian summer.'  To which the well trained, young white male responded, 'Hm. I wonder if the term, ‘Indian summer,’ is racist'.”
We've already reached the point in Ms. Robin's remarks where I have to call "no way."  There was no well-trained, young white male teller, was there, Robin?  No lovely warm day last fall.  No trip to the bank.  The whole thing was an anecdote from the 1984 edition of Rush Limbaugh's "Happiness is a Dead Liberal."  Know what gave away the fictional nature of the alleged encounter?  Yes, it was Robin addressing an amiable remark to somebody.

Anyway, the point is: nobody in Berkeley has a sense of humor, and so you should never, ever open a comedy club there - and if you do, it will fail, and you will have to make your living as an indentured psychologist.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Random Scenes of Hollywood

Update on Mary's condition: she's doing well, with no post-operative infection (I wasn't particularly worried about that, but as Wo'C Chief Medical Officer Dr. BDH remarked, hospitals are "full of germs and mistakes." She's developed a bit of a cough, and every hacking spasm hurts like hell, but otherwise the pain is manageable, and she's able to get around the apartment. We'll know more when she sees the doctor on Monday.

Meanwhile, Moondoggie is exhausted from all the feels, and just wants this week to be over.

Anyway, I haven't really felt like poking a stick into the muddy bottom of the right blogosphere and stirring it around until methane bubbles pop on the surface, but I did manage to take a walk and snap a few photos -- and while I'm certainly not trying to compete with ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© I figure it's been awhile since we've done one of these. So please enjoy The (Mostly) All Cactus Hollywood Sidewalk Revue!
Two cacti embrace, one of whom is extremely aroused.

I don't know what species of cactus this is, I only know that it's Textured for Her Pleasure.

The cactus in the center appears to be delivering a big, rabble-rousing speech. The one on the left, however, seems to have gotten bored, started watching the two canoodling cacti above, and popped a half-chubby (which is always embarrassing if the meeting adjourns unexpectedly, because then you've got to sit there and shuffle your papers around until it wilts).

This cactus is doing it's famous impression of a Sandworm Eating Gooseberries.

I'm not sure, but I think this cactus is flipping us off.

This is either a palm tree that has been eaten away by blight or natural erosion and is about to snap in half and brain a passerby, or it's a Muppet version of a tiki idol.