Saturday, February 18, 2012

Reading Is FUNdamental

Sure, I could try to dredge up some story from my past in the hopes of either getting some laffs or connecting emotionally with you. Possibly you've been through the same experiences, felt the same emotions and we can relate on a deeper level. That would be magical.

But it's a lot easier to show some pictures of other people's work and make fun of them. These are all real books I've come across the last week or so at work. Stop by and check them out!

It's what Dom would have wanted.

This book is over 200 pages long. I think I could cover the topic in less than half that.

Who knew Grady from "Sandford and Son" had a starring role in such a sexy book? Good for him! *

I jokingly call several of my close female friends crazy cat ladies. After seeing this book, I no longer feel they qualify.

* Actually, this whole story was an excuse to run more photos of "Sanford and Son" cast members, since "Aunt Esther Sanford and Son" remains the site's highest search term. So here's a picture of Grady.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New York Minute

As expected, my New York trip was awesome. Doubly awesome because I didn't hurt anybody this time, except for perhaps several of my internal organs and the psyches of those who were unlucky to see me rip my shirt off repeatedly.

I was heavily recruited by my friends to sell my house and join them in the big city. This happens a lot on vacation. People who don't have to be near me that often think it would be a good idea for me to live around them. Strangely enough, people in Jacksonville who have to put up with me day after day tend to want me to go far, far away.

Most of these pictures were taken with my crappy no-flash phone. That's why they are blurry and out of focus. Plus, I was probably drunk. I took a lot of pictures, including excited photos of snow falling, but they were even more blurry than the crappy pictures I decided to share here so they didn't make the cut. The Goo Goo Muck - committed to quality control.

If I have one regret, it's that I didn't have enough time to spend with everyone, that and the fact that we didn't make it to the Sbarro's where the Fat Boys filmed the seminal music video "All You Can Eat," for a recreation, but that just gives me a goal for next time.

Thanks to everyone in NYC for their hospitality, showing me around and putting up with me and my traveling companion. Now enjoy the stunning picture quality only a cheap T-Mobile phone can provide!

I stayed at my friends Keith and Ellie's apartment. It's full of robots.

Robots and booze.

When in Brooklyn, visit Desert Island for all your comic needs (and Sicilian bread, apparently). Be sure to ask the owner about Mary Worth and Marmaduke.

Gettin' down in Chinatown.

These are stuffed cats for sale in Chinatown. For some reason, they have removable poops in their mouths.


Check it out, Joe Strummer on a wall!

If you happen to find this baby she will enthusiastically toast you all night. She's sort of like a continual Baby New Year.

One of these gentlemen got into a fight with four college kids just minutes before this photo was taken.

This robot hurt my feelings.

Caribbean Scream

My parents took a trip to Jamaica when I was a little kid and dragged me along. Like a lot of things they provided, the experience was completely wasted on me.

I don't know how old I was; I'm not even sure if my sister was born yet since all I was focusing on was myself. I do know this would have been the early '70s, so the opportunity was there for all sorts of awesomeness.

Maybe Mom and Dad checked out Lee Perry mixing some dub plates at the Black Ark:

Perhaps they listened to this guy's bad-ass mobile sound system:

Maybe they ate some curried goat or jerk chicken. Actually, knowing my dad, I'm sure he ate some goat and chicken.

I don't remember that much about the trip. I remember eating ice cream and watching Tom and Jerry. I remember swimming with my dad and walking on a deserted beach early in the morning. I remember seeing women balancing stuff on their heads at some market. And I remember being in a state of sheer terror for the entire trip.

It was my first plane ride and I was pretty excited. While we were up in the air (we were up in the air!) I took out an in-flight magazine about this place my parents were taking me. There was a black and white photo of some strange ladies dancing around. I read the caption: "Witchcraft and Voodoo Abound in Jamaica."

Holy crap.

I loved reading about ghosts, monsters, witches, anything creepy. I never really got too scared, because I knew all that stuff was made up. But this was an actual photograph. In a magazine. For adults.

My parents were taking me to a place where witches roamed the streets, secure enough in their evil that they didn't even mind being photographed.

That's when I started to think that my parents were actively trying to kill me.

At some point we went to some caves. Here's a picture I stole off the internet:

I remember my parents telling me about these caves. Those things sounded awesome! I was gonna go into a cave! There was probably treasure and pirates and stuff down there. And bats! There were totally gonna be bats in that cave! Man, was I gonna explore the hell out of that cave. I wonder how long my parents would let me hang out down there? Couple days ought to give me enough time to fully explore the place and get my fill of treasure.

Once we got to the caves I refused to take a step inside.

I don't know what sort of cave I was expecting, but this was clearly not it. This wasn't a cool pirate cave, this was a home for witches and mummies, just waiting to put me in some Jamaican stew or ... whatever it was mummies did to little kids.

There's also a picture at my parent's house somewhere of me grasping a waterslide for dear life, my face red and contorted, because I saw a ton of spiky sea urchins waiting to impale and poison me under the water.

This was probably the beginning of my shaky history with vacations. It was probably also the beginning of my parents considering leaving their fraidy-cat kids at home while they went on vacation.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

No Sleep Till Brooklyn

Sometimes my timing can be excellent. Last month I booked a trip to New York, sort of on the spur of the moment. I was lonely and bored in Jacksonville, and figured I knew a lot of people up there, so why not.

If you've followed my foolishness at all, you'll be familiar with my theory of how a weekend of hanging with friends and eating and drinking like a Roman emperor will jolt me out of whatever crappiness happens to be dragging me down at the moment.

For the most part, I’ve been doing OK recently. Sure, I have my problems, but nothing I’m really losing sleep over. This last week has been pretty stressful, though. It climaxed with the news yesterday that I will soon be taking a pretty substantial pay cut and having to repay some back pay, through no mistake of my own.

While it is novel to actually have a problem that can’t be directly linked back to some stupid action or character flaw of mine, that doesn’t isn’t really helping me feel any less poor and stressed.

But you know what? Screw it. I’ve got a credit card and a ticket to New York City. Sure, I’ll be coming home to minimum wage, but getting this news right before I leave will only make this visit that much more epic, even if nothing at all happens.

My vacation history is littered with pain, destruction and chaos. Will I injure any elderly French pedestrians this time? Get in a riot? Who knows? Thanks to work, I'm up for anything this weekend.

Friday, February 3, 2012

World Class Adult Entertainment

Years ago I had a girlfriend who house-sat. Not as a profession or anything, she just got called when these friends of her parents were out of town. It was a sweet gig. The houses were amazing – two different childless married couples with all sorts of fancy food and booze and tech stuff. I would stay over and pretend I wasn’t having to work three part-time jobs to stay afloat. Nope, those days were far, far behind me. I was a respected member of the community. A gentleman with a taste for the finer things in life. Hey, I worked hard, I wanted to appreciate the fruits of my labor.

Some weekends she’d have to work, and I’d hang out in these houses alone. I’d turn on their expensive stereo and play my crappy records (one of their speakers probably cost more than the entire recording budget of most of the records I played over them), take a lap in the pool, then relax in the hot tub while drinking a gin and tonic. This was really living, I’d think, as a Misfits bootleg screeched over the outside speakers. Sure, I should be listening to that one Mozart song they always play to denote class, but I didn’t want to forget my roots. No matter how awesome my home here was, I was still a punk rocker at heart.

Maybe after another couple laps I’d watch Dolemite on the wide-screen.

One night while cooking dinner my girlfriend casually mentioned something about her friend finding the owners' porn stash.

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah, there’s tons of it over there by the TV.”

How the hell did I miss that? Was that whole pile of videotapes porn? This was like a Pharaoh’s collection of dirty movies.

“You want to watch some? They're kind of weird.”

Wow. Watching porn with the girlfriend. No way could this end up as anything but awesome. And it’s weird porno! This night just got awesome.

“Yeah, sure,” I said, hoping I’d put just the right amount of casualness in my voice. Man, this was gonna be great!

I put the first tape in. This fat, bearded biker guy was spanking this skinny methed out looking girl with a riding crop in the back of a limo. It didn’t look like anyone was really having a good time. I fast-forwarded a bit. Nope, still a bearded guy spanking this girl all bored, while she just sort of squirmed around a little.

“I dunno, let’s try another one.”

Next tape was a different fat bearded biker guy spanking a different skinny methed out girl, this time in a crappy motel room.

Next one was another fat bearded biker guy distractedly spanking another skinny methed out girl. I forget the location.

Same with the next one. My fun, sexy night was taking a nosedive, fast.
Who were these people? Were they friends of the homeowners? Was this stuff legal? Could the FBI tell that we watched it?

“Hey, you know what,” I said. “I think I’m done.”

“Yeah, I told you they were weird.”

We probably watched Dolemite after that and went to bed.

Couple weekends later I investigated the porno pile a bit more thoroughly on my own. They couldn’t all be homemade biker spanking videos, right? Bingo! After some investigation, I found a good one, one where attractive people looked like they were having a good sexy time and were all excited and everything. Alright, now we’re talking!

I put the tape in and started to watch. Well, almost. I was really distracted.

“I wonder if this is a trap,” I thought. “What if they have cameras hidden here somewhere? Would they send out some biker guy to lazily spank me in the back of a limo to punish me for watching their porn? I really don’t want that.”

I put the tape back into the mountain of videos and went outside to take a couple laps. Maybe I’d watch Dolemite again. Yeah, nice, safe Dolemite. He wouldn’t let some biker spank me.