From Latin; literally, "it does not follow."

Me: What’s with…(quickly) never mind.

Luna:I was plucking my eyebrow hairs, and I plucked too many.

Me: Well, hair grows back at the rate of half an inch a month.

Luna, verbatim: Not MY eyebrows. My eyebrows are prodigious growers. They’re like Soylent Green. No, wait. Soylent Green is people. They’re like that other stuff. You know, it’s green. And it takes over things. By growing on them. It was in a bad movie. I don’t think I saw it.

* * * * *

Upon further review, neither of us has any idea what she was talking about. Suggestions?

"Teaching is just a way to pay the bills until I finish my novel."

To attempt to start a small business based on sensible long-term financial planning, with a brilliant and ethical financial planner, in one of the legendarily free-spirited places of America, is an interesting and engaging challenge. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, and we’re having reasonable success, but still…

* * * * *

Hunh…it’s like…I don’t care about nuthin’, man.

Roll another blunt.


I was gonna return your call.
Until I got high.
I wrote the message on my trailer’s wall.
But then I got high.
You just have to keep calling me,
And I know why!
(Why man?)
Because I got high.
Because I got high.
Because I got high.

I was gonna show up on time.
Before I got high.
(C’mon y’all…check it out.)
My appointment was set for nine,
But I got high.
Now you’re in the office and I’m not,
And I know why!
(Why man?)
Because I got high.
Because I got high.
Because I got high.

I tried to save for old age.
But then I got high.
All I get is minimum wage.
Because I get high.
But my house is worth a million two because of my savvy choice to invest my money in real estate in 1975, by which I mean, “I paid $11,000 to a guy named Groovy so I could park my minibus on the lot next to his trailer and live in it”, and you people pushing mutual funds are lying thieves, and I will continue to invest my money how I see fit, like taking the recommendations of my astrologer, and of, as soon as I sell my house, which I can’t, because the bubble has utterly burst, and what’s so funny about that, anyway? I have a million dollars and am so painfully financially unsophisticated that I am 47 years old and have seriously never had a checking account and all I know is that you’re a crook because you aren’t offering unlimited free money like the realtors and predatory lenders that are my neighbors and no doubt have my best interests at heart, and I am going to take THEIR advice, not YOURS,
And I know why!
(Why man?)
Because I got high,
Because I got high,
Because I got high.

The Weasels Are Closing In

I love the first paragraph of Moby-Dick:

“Call me Ishmael. Some years ago – never mind how long precisely – having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off – then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.”

Back in the very worst days at my corporate job, when the idea of retiring to Florida and doing some volunteer work was just a glimmer of hope among a very great deal of increasingly frustrating wasteful tedium, I used to use an excerpt from it as one of those self-indulgent autosig quotes no one ever notices. It made me feel very slightly better. Once we moved, or maybe once I was sure I was going to move, I switched away from it, because I felt better.

The last month has been trending up, but the three months before that were pretty down. You could probably tell, if you read here a lot. I did a lot of contemplating coffins and restraining myself from knocking off hats. It was a rocky few months. We’re coming out of it. I think. I hope. But I thought of that bit — “I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball.” — again this morning.

When I bought airplane tickets.

Vegas, baby.

Potty Humor

Premium Choice Flushable Cat Litter, you’ll notice, has the word “Flushable” right in the name.

The words “flush” and “flushable” appear on the container not less than twelve times.

It also says FLUSHABLE! in huge bubble letters on the front.

The somewhat key phrase “Caution: Not for use with septic tanks” appears on the back of the two-gallon jug, in discreet letters smaller than the UPC numbers.

As soon as the plumber leaves, I will be off to buy some bleach, a mop, and a nuclear warhead rocket-launcher.

Bad Scooter Searchin' For His Groove

Several nights ago, in observance of my older younger brother’s birthday, a gang of us trooped off to the House of Blues to catch Bruce in the U.S.A., who are reputed to be the preeminent Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band cover band in the world. About thirty seconds into the second song — “Badlands” — Honey turns to me and says “Do you think that guy puts ‘Fake Steve Van Zandt’ on his tax forms?”

I’m now brimming with cover-band-related questions. I’m not dissing the show in any way, understand — it was spectacular, and I will see it again — but when one sees a truly remarkable Springsteen cover band, one is moved to wonder:

* Does the fake Max Weinberg have a day job providing rimshots for a Conan O’Brien impersonator?

* Did fake Bruce leave his real wife for fake Patti Scialfa, or was he fake married to a Julianne Phillips impersonator for the first few years of “Bruce in the U.S.A.”, or does their devotion to accuracy only go so far? If the last, does she get tired of his constant sly allusions to “realism”?

* Are fake Bruce’s long-ass midsong and indroductory monologues about his father and growing up and Vietnam and New Jersey and so forth
1) Fake Bruce’s verbatim reenactments of Real Bruce’s monologues?
2) Fake Bruce talking about his own real formative experiences?
3) Fake Bruce talking about fake Bruce’s fake childhood?

* Do they play, say, “Lucky Town”, to generate verisimilitude via audience disappointment, or do they genuinely believe they can really make the bathroom-break stuff work live?

* There was an opener, which we missed. I need to know: Was it a lesser cover band? (“Tonight, opening for ‘Bruce in the U.S.A.’, please welcome, ‘Pseudo Brewer & Shipley’!”)

* What kind of career arc goes into being a slavishly accurate cover band frontman? Do you learn to play the guitar, then wait til you give up on being a rock star on your own and begin asking friends, “So, um, who do I look like?” Do you set out, from an early age, to be the best damn fake Springsteen the world has to offer? In his mind, is this the pinnacle of fake Bruce’s career, or a steppingstone? (This question goes double for the guy who’s the fake Garry W. Tallent.)

* What did their want ad for a Clarence Clemons look like? “WANTED: Horn player for cover band. Must dig Springsteen and be willing to travel. No drug addicts. E.O.E. as long as you’re a big tall jolly black dude with dreads who can sing backup and play the saxophone.”

A Streak Ends Happily

Save for Squares, this will be the first Super Bowl on which I have no money since Super Bowl XXII.

So, just for fun:

1) I’d be taking Chicago and the points.

2) I was set all week on the over, but the weather might be a major factor. Which is great for the Bears — I’m going to church momentarily — but not for the over. So that’d be, literally, a gametime call. Clear and dry, take the over. Pouring and/or muddy, take the under.

3) Prop bets for MVP: If you can get Devin Hester or Bob Sanders at greater than 20:1, put down whatever you can afford to lose.

It is time to sign off and attend to the chili. I will see many of you tomorrow. And we’ll discuss this matter, whatever the outcome, on Monday.

OMG Maturity

Gracias, Life on Wry

The “Older People” Survey
(Meant to be completed by those out of high school)

Tired of all of those surveys made up by high school kids?
‘Have you ever kissed someone?’
‘Missed someone?’
‘Told someone you loved them?’
‘Drank alcohol?’
Here are some questions for the people who are a little more…mature…okay, okay…old….

1. What bill do you hate paying the most?
We finished calculating our taxes. It’s probably good I no longer follow news. I might be voting with firearms.

2. Where’s the best place to eat a romantic dinner?
Dark restaurants with views (Binion’s Ranch, Prime, Bella Luna, Lutèce) or winecellar style (The Cheese Cellar, Hugo’s, Bern’s, Fleur de Lis.)

3. Last time you puked from drinking?
Believe it or not, I don’t think I have.

4. When is the last time you got drunk and danced on a bar?
Bars aren’t really built for me to dance on.

5. Name of your first grade teacher?
Mrs. Smith.

6. What do you really want to be doing right now?
I’m quite content with this.

7. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A veterinarian, a performer, a stage techie, a teacher, a DJ, a writer, a parent, and I’m sure there’s more to come.

8. How many colleges did you attend?

9. Why did you wear the shirt that you have on right now?
I am — brace yourselves, ladies — topless presently.

10. Gas prices?
Are fine. Lower than they’ve ever been, just about. But gas, last summer, set most-expensive records in South Florida and Chicago. I will be donating money to some Governors’ opposition.

11. If you could move anywhere and take someone with you?
Done and done.

12. First thought when the alarm went off this morning?

13. Last thought before going to sleep last night?
This would have been something I’d need to have been requested to remember earlier.

14. Favorite style of underwear?
Boxer briefs.

15. Favorite style of underwear for the opposite sex?
I admire the personality types that correlate to going commando.

16. What errand/chore do you despise?

17. If you didn’t have to work, would you volunteer at an art gallery?
No. Arteests tend to be profoundly annoying.

18. Get up early or sleep in?
Depends. Both have merit. Depends on what’s in front of and behind me.

19. What is your favorite cartoon character?
Wiley Coyote.

20. Favorite NON sexual thing to do at night with a girl/guy?

21. A secret that you wouldn’t mind everyone knowing?
Ginger and bondgirl both habitually wear toupees.

22. When did you first start feeling old?
When I was about nine. As I have been boarding with my mom, and staying in my old room, and sorting things, I have come to realize that, by the standards of growing up as a middle-class white American, I had a fairly unhappy childhood. If you can avoid unpacking as an adult things you thought you had put away as a child, I recommend it.

23. Favorite 80’s movie?
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

24. Your favorite lunch meat?
Dry salami.

25. What do you get every time you go into Costco?
Poorer by $100. Whether I get two things or twenty, I never walk out of Costco without spending at least $100.

26. Beach or lake?
Waterfront is good. Boats are good too.

27. Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual that was invented?
I think many parts of it are outdated. But if you ae going to have children, you have obligations to them that outweight what you want.

28. How many people do you stalk on Myspace
None. Being a MySpace stalker is a useful litmus for immaturity.

29. Favorite guilty pleasure?
Living in the Florida Keys.

30. Favorite movie you wouldn’t want anyone to find out about?
They’re in the folder labeled “XXX”. I don’t know the titles.

31. What’s your drink?
Dark rum or Diet Coke with lemon or coffee, depending.

32. Cowboys or Indians?
Cowboys, and give the points.

33. Cops or Robbers?
Robbers. Crime is an honest living. Gravitating to authority is disgusting.

34. Who from high school would you like to run into?
I run into people from high school, ‘cept for a very select few, I don’t even pretend to be pleased. Move on, you people.

35. What radio station is your car radio tuned to right now?
790am, “The Ticket”. Unless it’s been stolen from the long-term econo lot at FLL. Which would be great, really.

36. Norm or Cliff?

37. The Cosby Show or the Simpsons?
The Simpsons. Not close.

38. Worst relationship mistake that you wish you could take back?
I thought about it a lot, and I’m generally okay with how things have turned out overall. Can’t really identify a “here’s where it all went wrong” point.

39. Do you like the person who sits directly across from you at work?
I do.

40. If you could get away with it, who would you kill?
Wow, is that a long list. Who wouldn’t I kill?

41. What famous person(s) would you like to have dinner with?
Rachael Ray. After dinner we could clear the table. Quickly.

42. What famous person would you like to sleep with?
I really should read ahead when answering these questions. So after leaving Rachael on the table with a lazy grin on her face, I would not object to having dinner with Cat Cora. She can cook.

43. Have you ever had to use a fire extinguisher for its intended purpose?
Yes. Except I didn’t know it was a chemical extinguisher rather than CO2. (There wasn’t time to read the label.) That took some time to clean up.

44. Last book you read for real?
I am just finishing Jay McInerney’s “A Hedonist in the Cellar”.

45. Do you have a teddy bear?
I hav an old bunny rabbit. He is retired from active duty, but is one of maybe three remaining just-can’t-do-it sentimental possessions.

46. Strangest place you have ever brushed your teeth?
Did anyone else read this question and reflexively think “That’d be the butt, Bob.”?

47. Somewhere in California you’ve never been and would like to go?
The French Laundry.

48. Number of texts in a day?
Ten? Text messages are the perfect form of communication. They’re tiny phone calls with only necessary information transmitted. No tangents, no pleasantries. I love them.

49. At this point in your life would you rather start a new career or a new relationship?
A new relationship. A new career is exhausting.

50. Do you go to church?

51. Pencil or pen?
Whichever’s nearer to hand.

52. What do you want to achieve in life?
I want not to waste any of it.

53. How old are you?

54. Where do you see yourself when you are 40?
Not in a cubicle.