Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Take That Mole People

As I am sure you are all well aware, gas prices are - how can I put this gently - un-freakin-believably high. Prices are going through the roof and there's nothing we can do about it. You can blame whoever or whatever you want - The president, the war, high taxes, big oil, OPEC, the evil conspiracy of mole people intent on keeping everyone down - it's not going to make a lick of a difference. It's still going to cost you a weeks pay, an arm, a leg, and a first born to fill up the old gas tank.

At least it's going to cost YOU all that. That's right, I have found a way around high gas prices. How am I getting around high gas prices, you ask. Is it public transportation? Heck no. What do I look like, an idiot? No, I have found a much more eloquent solution to the gas price crisis. You see, my car no longer runs on gasoline. Believe it or not I have found an alternative fuel source. My car now runs on dreams.

That's right. My car runs on the ephemeral but limitless power of human imagination. I know it sounds quite odd, but it's all true. It took a little work but I think I have the system down. Now whenever I get in my car I just have to say to myself "wouldn't it be neat... If people had wings," or "...I was the holy roman emperor" or "...My fingers were glow sticks", and away I go. All I need is my imagination and I can go where ever I like. And I don't mean that in the lame Reading Rainbow/Muppet Babies sort of way. I can actually drive there.

Now, I know everyone's wondering how I did it. How can someone with no engineering background make his car run on the power of dreams? It was easy. It's all psychosomatic, like how I made myself like asparagus or how my brother convinced himself he had mono and actually felt sick for a month. Through an intense regimen of reassurance, I actually made my car think, think with all its mechanical soul, that it didn't need gasoline. I convinced my '93 Lumina - or 'Silver Bullet' as I call it - that it can internally combust my dreams. Now, I'm driving easy. Dreams are free and so am I: free to drive about the country.

It's fantastic. Today, I was thinking about how wonderful it would be to be a Snork and the next thing I knew, I was at work. I'm thinking about having an elaborate day dream concerning my conquest of space. I'm going on a road trip...A road trip to the moon. Oh, crap I think I hear my car revving up.

Shalom

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Sequels, prequels and remakes, oh my!

This summer Hollywood is remaking, retelling, prequeling, and sequeling itself to success. (same as last year) From Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to War of the Worlds; Star Wars, Episode III to Batman Begins; and Bewitched to the Dukes of Hazard, everything old is new again. And everything new is old again.
The bottom line is: New ideas no longer exist. Everything’s been invented.
But Hollywood is still pumping out movies like there’s no tomorrow. (At least no tomorrow they won’t tell you about in a sequel next summer.)
This is good news for the mediocre talents, like me. If creativity and originality are scratched from the qualifications list, I have a shot at being a movie maker.
And I’m taking that shot. I’m pitching these ideas for next summer. All prequels, sequels, and remakes but with modern Hollywood twists, like more violence, more zombies, gratuitous nudity and a few, dare I say, surprises.

Sunrise Boulevard (sequel to Sunset Boulevard): Joe Gillis rises from the grave and tries to return to his life as a screenwriter. He teams up with other zombies, haunting Hollywood with ideas that have been done to death. “All right, Mr. Romero, I’m ready for my close-up.”

Casablanca, the sequel. Or Here’s Looking at You, Too.
Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine … twice. Yes, Sam, play it again. If she can stand it, so can I.

Back with a Vengeance (Sequel to Gone with the Wind) Scarlet’s baaack. She’s pissed and looking for revenge. As promised, she hasn’t gone hungry, but she has gone a little crazy, and frankly, my dear, you better give a damn.

Citizen Kane II, Rosebud’s Revenge: Like Steven King’s Christine, Rosebud returns from the fires possessed. A hapless, unaccepted child finds Rosebud, and is transformed into a cool, reckless sled-riding madman, with a sled bent on revenge. Complete with the clichéd close-ups, fade-ins, and off angle shots that made the original so original.

The Greatest Story Ever Told – the remake. (what more needs to be said?)

Fahrenheit 4-1-1: Michael Moore’s documentary, Fahrenheit 9-11, was so successful, it begs for a sequel. A sequel documentary about Michael Moore making his documentary. But Fahrenheit 4-1-1 begs the question, “Where’d you get the information?”

The as-of-yet, untitled prequel to History of the World, Part I. (practically writes itself.)

Dr. Strangelove, the sequel: Post Apocalypse Now, or How I learned to stop worrying and love the fallout. Eddie Murphy and Jim Carey play all the parts in this tale of a nuclear wasteland where someone is building a Birthday Device, called the Genesis device. (Sure, I stole that from Star Trek, II, but if the option gets picked up, I’ll call it my tribute to a great sequel.) Hilarity ensues.

The Female Ishtar: Roseanne as a suave, beautiful sophisticated socialite teams with Paris Hilton as a bumbling, dateless loser. The star power alone will make it as big a hit as the original.

20,000 Leagues of Their Own: Combine the world' s first all female baseball team with the first nuclear powered underwater ship and we get the Nautilus Nine. Plus we learn, “There’s no crying in submarines.”

The Post Graduate: I have one word for you; Sequel.

That’s right, sequel. Nothing says success like success.
See you at the movies … again.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Mr Write

As a young man with a bit of a literary bent, I am always interested in the doings from the world of words. Imagine my surprise to find that there's a new literary voice out there. The voice of a murderous, thugish former dictator. That's right, it seems that Saddam Hussein is really a closet wordsmith. His latest novel - the whimsically titled "Get Out of Here, Curse You!" - has been floating around the Middle East in bootleg form, garnering a cult following. Now, in case you think that Saddam's literary success is just a flash in the pan, this is not his first book. No, Saddam has a long and rich literary career. His other works include "Men and the City" and "Zabiba and the King" which - God as my witness, I swear I'm not making this up - was later turned into a musical. I don't know about you, but when "Zabiba and the King - The Musical" gets its broadway debut, nothing will keep me from seeing it.

Now, I know that the idea of Saddam Hussein, the author, may give some people pause. The thought of a mass murderer as artist, is a little tough to take. This feeling will even increase when people discover that "Get Out of Here, Curse You!" is not the happy go lucky story the title would lead you to believe. I assumed it was a charming romantic comedy, or a sharp but gentle social satire in the Jane Austen vein. Apparently, the book is nothing more a load of anti-American, anti-Jewish propaganda. Come on Saddam, why not produce a work which features the warm, gentle humor you are so famous for?

Still, Saddam's literary success actually gives me hope. I know this sounds strange. Please don't misunderstand me. I hate Saddam. I'm glad he's in prison. I'm glad they took his pants from him. I hope that when Saddam goes to the shower, he is supplied with the world's most slippery bar of soap. But as a person who enjoys writing and thinks it would be neat to write a book and actually have people read it, Saddam's literary exploits give me hope. If one of the most evil men alive can write a book and get people to read it, maybe I can too. After all, I'm not an evil mass murderer. I'm pretty sure I'm not even the most evil person on my block. Also, I'd be willing to wager, I'm a better writer than Saddam. I know for a fact I can come up with better titles and my writing's not fueled by bitter vitriol. So, maybe, just maybe, someday I can be like Saddam - by which I mean a writer with a following not the whole evil dictator, genocidal madman thing. I just want to make that clear.

Shalom

Monday, June 20, 2005

That's it! I'm goin' gay!

No, Mike the Tall! Say it ain't so!

Wait, my rabid and ever dwindling fans because I am never around nor in shows because I live an hour away and have the best of crappy jobs that works me to the very bone, do not judge so quickly!

This week is some gay pride thing in Pittsburgh. I'm sure what it is or when it began or ends, but a co-worker told me that Sunday should be slow because 1/3 of our clientele (and over 1/2 our staff) should be celebrating their love for people of the same sex and their freedom from the shackles or marriage, children, and general grown up responsability.

And that is just three of the reasons I've decided to go gay. Much like Jews for Jesus, I want to be a gay guy that only likes women. I want the benefits of the gay lifestyle. You get to party all the time! That's like a rule. You can sing and dance in public and no one makes fun of you. You can wear awesome and matching and well-pressed clothes and again, no sneers and leers. Women....yes, women flock to you, and some, when intoxicated will try to turn you back, because they feel they have the power. Someone want to take on me? I might be convinced, but .....I...don't know.......

I don't get to march in any parades now that I'm not in the marching band from high school anymore. And I can't march in a heritage parade. I think the last time a bunch of Germans marched together we called it World War II: the sequal with no equal.

Gay people don't have kids for the most part. But I say, and this might be sterotypical, but it would work: let gay men raise girls and let lesbians raise boys. How cool would that be? The girl on My Two Dads would not have been nearly as butch if her two dads were gay. She'd have been way girly. And I know more lesbians that know more about my car than I do. Had I been raised by two lesbians, my life would be way different, but I would sure as hell know how to fix my radiator (see previous entry from me) and a plethora of lawn care maintenance styles.

It's so hard to look good when you're tall, but gay men have nice clothes and homes that are stylish and sometimes less than practical. I wouldn't be a collector of things that 80 year old women have, but rather the artsy Modern furniture kinda guy with a bar that has martini parafanalia for show only. I just want to be able to dress snazzy and have some choice in clothes. When you're as tall as me, your shirts come in white, brown, blue, black, and occasionally a yellow or green. Why can't I get a nice dark purple, or dark green or red? How about orange? I look good in orange, but apparently I outgrew that color in 1999. What the heck?! And shoes? Well, I can choose the exact same kind I had last year, or the exact same kind with a new number on it! Argh!

Gay men are not only allowed, but encouraged to have artsy jobs. I like artsy jobs. I want one, but they are going to women and gay men. I get looks sometimes like "How can you do theatre? You're not gay? Where can the talent be?" Well, douchebags, I can do it! And I don't need to like the chorus boys to do it.

I know gay men like other men, and I suppose I could like them as friends. I could me a non practising whore , like I was in college. Would it be cheating on my people if I got married or slept with women only?

Whatever, I like the ladies, but I want the other things. I can't seem to reconcile that. I'm trying to well rounded, but I guess you can't be straight and fabulous.

Mike the Tall

Thursday, June 16, 2005

It's been a long time since I.....

hey, joe here,

over the past couple of decades i've been fairly busy, with jobs, shows, and what nots. mostly what nots. And i realized it's been a long time since i blogged, so i'm blogging. It's also been along time since i've done many other things so to kill two birds with one larger bird, here is a list of stuff i have not had or done in a long time ( in alphabetical disorder)( hey that sounds like a good show title))

it's been a long time since I....

went swiming. i used to swim in my girlfreinds pool or at the beach and since i havent been with either of the two, i havent swam since june 11th 2004, the last day i was at the obx.

saw a movie in a theater without other cellar dwellers being there, the last movie i saw in a theater was star wars episode something or other. which was about a month ago, but before that the last movie i saw in the theater sans cellar dwellers was star wars episode something or other the first time you know the one with the kid and the pod race. i think that was 2001. i have been to the drive in more recently in 2004 to see finding nemo, with a navy chick.(wink)........alright i'm lying there was nothing to wink about that nite.

went on an official date. sure i've hung out or met for drinks, but the last date date, i was on where i actually asked a girl "you wanna go on a date" was summer 2004 (it went very well , wink) ......... yeah, i'm lying again i take my wink back.

rock and rolled, actually i've never officially rock and rolled, but hey some day.

was naked in a public place, i know i'm as suprised as you are, but the last time i was naked in public was last summer around july something at a pool in alliquipa, i'll spare the details, just know when the cops come and your naked at a pool, never hide in the woods. never. i'm itchy just thinking about it

watched an nhl playoff game,

climbed a tree for purposess other then retrieving something, the last time i climbed a tree simply to climb a tree was arbor day 2003 i rember cause i saw a commercial with the guy from green acres (not mr. haney but mr. douglass) and i had no trees to plant so i figured i'd climb one.

used spell check, may 2002 for my last college paper.

saw my mom, we were suposed to hang out on thanksgiving 2004, but something came up and she blew me off ( it's cool if she would have called i would have been washing my hair. the last time i saw her was. around xmas 2003. ( we do talk on the phone now and again)

road in a taxi. the first and last taxi ride i was ever on was early fall 2002. i did my usually thursday nite exercising of runing to the 19th hole (dive bar) and drinking a pitcher of beer and instead of running back home like normal it was raining so a freind shared a cab with me, however the cabby took the 1st of the 4 of us home in darlington much farther away from my house then i was originally at the bar/. i was the second to last one off, and when the cab reached my house it was 3:30am feeling ripped of and pissed i tossed a what looked like more then just a dollar to the only remaining passenger and ran off sticking him with the majority of the fair.

and finally for now, it's been along time since I...

let donnie iris sit on my lap. it's been about 2 years since the king of cool rested his like a rock ass on my lap. i wont explain the situation it's funnier like this. ps. i have a picture to prove it.


well later on dweller boys and girls

joe eoj

At the Mercy of Mechanics

I got my car inspected, and of course there were things wrong. It cost almost $400 to get the stuff fixed and the inspection. My thoughts are that if I spend that much now to fix multiple things, I can not spend tons to fix a broken thing of each one of the minor things.

However, they could rip me off. I don't know anything about cars. I know how to change a tire and where to put the wiper fluid and oil. Other than that, I'm car challenged. I like my car. I'm hard on my car, and the freakin insurance job did nothing to help my car. I put so many miles on that car driving to the ends of the state with it. Oh well, that's how it goes. Plus I have put many a mile on it going to see Zach in Cleveland. (Who recently turned 1)

I got to do improv the other night with the guys (and Nang who is not a guy, but also very funny) and there were several forms of transportation: Running, a bus, cars, mopeds, trucks, vans, bikes, roller skates, ice skates. That's all I can remember. But look at those. WE don't know anything about those. If they break, we're screwed. I don't know how to fix one of those! maybe a bike. or I suppose ice skates just need sharpened or unbent. Point is I'm not mechanically inclined. I'm an actor and can deal with people and affairs of the mind and heart. I can search a man's soul (outside of poker games) and pick his brain, but I'll be damned if I can fix his car radiator.

Is it less manly to know nothing about cars? I know a lot of men who know nothing about cars at all. And only a few of them are gay. Guys will stand around a car and look at it and talk about it and pretend like they know. I think that's the majority of men. It's odd how we won't comment on a room's color or paint, but a car we'll say "Look at that paint job!" And how is a wallpaper border that different from a decal set on a car? I say very little difference indeed. Guys need creative outlets too, but it seems like we have to have ones that move and need fuel. Grills, cars, motorcycles, lawnmowers. You get the idea. Seinfeld asked why we took a car to the moon. "Isn't that far enough? There is no more masculine idea than to fly to the moon and drive around."

Everyone charges more for their expertise. I don't do a show for free much anymore, because that's what I do. But I have a feeling that the mechanics at the garage are not willing to barder some Shakespearian soliloqies for a brake job. Oh well.

Mike the Tall

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

My Achilles Heel is Savings

Last night I went to a local ice cream stand, Hank's Frozen Custard, with James and Mike the Tall. This was the third time I was visiting this local ice cream stand in the past week, my parents had taken me there the other two times. Each time I went there with my family, Dad got a pint of chocolate custard. A pint! I would tell him, "Dad, that's a ton of ice cream." He would just respond, "It's cheaper than getting a large." I didn't quite get it until last evening when I looked at the menu, keeping in mind that my wallet was taking care of the bill. Not only was a pint of ice cream cheaper than a large, it was the same exact price as a medium!

This led to me eating an entire pint of ice cream in one sitting. That might be old hat for some, but for me it's sort of a big deal. Sure it's alot of ice cream, but it also shows you how much my dad's consumer lifestyle has rubbed off on me.

The philosophy is simple: get the most amount of something for the cheapest price. It doesn't matter if you are going to eat everything or not, you are saving money. Dad stresses economic frugality to get the most you can out of businesses. Why do you think we own both an Entertainment and Enjoy coupon books? The entire book is filled with BOGO (Buy One, Get One) coupons. You use the book two or three times and its already paid for itself. Every time I go off to college he fills a ziplock bag with tons of coupons for the Greensburg area. A prime example of my own execution of this philosophy was back when the mayor of Fizz City was offering any size drink for $.99 at Sheetz. Every Monday, on my way to the Pittsburgh Filmmakers, I would stop there and get the largest Lemon Iced Tea possible.

I voted for the mayor's re-election, but the people of Fizz City said no... They went back to their normal drink prices at Sheetz (which still aren't bad: $1.19 for the largest drink!)

But you see, this isn't about gluttony, it's about frugality. It's about getting the most for your money, stretching your dollar to the very brink of destruction. It's the same philosophy that makes me look around and compare prices of CDs and DVDs before I buy them. I cringe every time I walk by FYE and see someone paying $18.99 for a new music CD.

It's this mentality, however, that will contribute to the one thing I swore I would not become: fat. You see, there is this sort of curse on my dad's side of family. None of my uncles are incredibly obese or anything, but they sure aren't thin. The catch is that they used to be thin, until they got out of college. You can see pictures of all of my uncles and my father on their wedding day... they were as thin as can be. Now they have settled into their plump Italian lives, and its my philosophy that they got that way because they can't turn down a good deal.

Why only buy one can of peas when they are "Buy one get a second half off"? Why buy the medium sized ice cream when you can get a whole pint for the same price, except it doesn't have the frills of a cone? This isn't the "Super Size Me" syndrome, but rather the "5 for 5 at Arby's" issue. Who on earth would pay 4 something for their deli sandwiches when you could just get five roast beefs for five bucks? It's this sort of thinking that not only creates monetary savings and smart spending habits, but can also lead to big bellies and thick thighs.

Should I be worried? Well, maybe not yet. My metabolism is still running at the speed of six jack rabbits on Red Bull, and it seems like no matter how much I stuff my face, I manage to lose a pound or two when it comes time for a physical. But I need to keep this sort of issue in mind for when things start to slow down. I can still get the good deal, but I have to make sure I split the food with someone. Or I could save it for later. It's completely possible to keep up the smart spending and stay healthy, I just have to start being frugal in other ways as well.

Friday, June 10, 2005

P.S. This Movie Sucks

Last evening, James, Christoph and I had ourselves a little movie night. In the past, we've watched such things as "Coffee & Cigarettes," "Strange Brew," "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes," and a heck of alot of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Last night was a little different. We kicked things off with a great episode of MacGyver, and then followed it up with one of the worst movies I've ever seen... P.S. Your Cat is Dead.

They rented it knowing it was going to be pretty bad. Chris and James had chosen it because of its top billing: A film by Steve Guttenberg. It was also co-written and starred Guttenberg. For those of you who don't know who that is, he is basically a sub-par actor who spent the majority of his career on direct-to-TV Disney movies like "Tower of Terror," "It Takes Two," and "Zeus and Roxanne." He was also in the first four Police Academy movies and "Short Circuit." But it appeared as if this time, he was trying his best to turn his career around, become a serious actor/director, and break into the indie scene. Instead, he turned a crappy play into an even crappier movie that, while it tries to be as serious as can be, fails at the pudgy hands of Guttenberg's incapable acting ability.

The story goes something like this: Steve is a flopping actor who is failing miserable in LA. He comes home to find that his wife is leaving him, or something, and that he owes a mob (of gay latinos?) alot of money... or something. Then, he gets robbed, but catches the robber and ties him to a table in the kitchen. That is the set up for the whole movie (actually the movie begins with about 15 minutes of exposition narration, which is the scourge of all screenplays) which takes place mainly in Guttenberg's kitchen. Movies can be claustrophobic, or have a static setting, but they have to be done right. Movies can also be based on plays, but they have to be done right. A prime example is "12 Angry Men," one of my favorite movies of all time. However, this movie is pitiful in this execution. It's so obvious it was based on a play, and was very poorly translated to the screen. I had suspected it was a play even before I knew that it was, which is never a good thing. Some movies, like Mamet's "American Buffalo" are only obviously based on a play when they are looked back upon, after you've already watched them. But this film screamed it, from the top of Guttenberg's wealthy loft (which they refer to as a crappy apartment for some reason).

There were times during this movie where we couldn't help but laugh. Not because it was funny, but because Guttenberg is such a terrible actor. The film is supposed to be a comedy, but instead plays out like a morality play. The moral of the story is: don't ever watch a Guttenberg movie again.

Just to make sure you never go out and rent this movie, I'll break the ending to you... Guttenberg spends the evening with this robber tied to the table. At first they hate each other, then they find common ground and begin to have dialogue. Guttenberg finds out the robber is gay, and he begins to realize that he himself could possibly, maybe, be gay too... or something? Then these gay mobsters come in to collect money and possibly rape Guttenberg! (I'm not lying!) But then the robber comes to his rescue (like you didn't see that coming). Eventually the two of them make amends and he lets the robber go. Guttenberg watches the sun rise on his roof, which symbolizes a new start to his life. And then, surprise, the robber comes back to him, and the movie ends with those two on the roof together, looking off into the horizon of their lives. Holy, freaking, crap.

Please, don't shorten your life by watching this festering piece of rotting movie career. You may be fooled into thinking, "Hey, this looks indie and pretentious! And it was based on a play! This has to be worth seeing..." but I assure you its not. We should have seen this coming, we should have known to avoid it. The heading "A film by Steve Guttenberg" should have given it away. We should have watched Funky Monkey instead.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Ask A Dweller

In our never ending quest to maintain a great relationship with our legions of fans The Cellar Dwellers would like to introduce: 'Ask A Dweller.' That's right kids, we, the illustrious Cellar Dwellers, are opening up a new dialogue with you, our adoring audience. Using this space the Cellar Dwellers will answer all your burning questions. First up is Mark Jacobs of Baden, Pennsylvania who has a Question for James.

Mark: James, we all know your a real bookworm. So, what are you reading now?

James: First off, technically that was a statement AND a question which isn't exactly what this was designed for. I'll let it slide this time. Oh, don't worry Mark, I'm just pulling your leg. It's cool.

Now, to your question, right now I'm about half way through Edith Wharton's brilliant 'The Age of Innocence'. This book expertly dissects the social mores of Victorian era New York City. It employs a dry and subversive narrative voice in...

Mark: Whoa, James, isn't that kind of a chick book?

James: It is written by a woman, but it's not a 'chick book', whatever that means.

Mark: It means its a book for chicks. Dude, your reading a girly book. I'm not so sure about you, man.

James: What?! No. I honestly have no idea what you're talking about. Reading this book certainly in no way reflects poorly on me or my manhood. It's a book, a great book, by a woman, but it's not like I'm reading the Bridget Jones Diaries. There's nothing inherently unmanly in reading and enjoying Wharton.

Mark: Really? So, what's the book about?

James: It's about a man of high society who is torn between his conventional fiancee and her unconventional cousin.

Mark: Oh, a love triangle. That's the hallmark of good masculine literature. Chick Book!!

James: It's just a way of showing the superficiality of the New York society, and the constraints of its rigid mores. It features brilliant fully developed characters. Plus, the main character is a man.

Mark: Oh, so what's his name?

James: I fail to see what that has to do with anything.

Mark: Then what is it?

James: This is ridiculous.

Mark: The name.

James: Newland.

Mark: Newland?! Sounds like a pansy to me. I bet the book even looks like a chick book. The cover's probably purple or something.

James: It's lilac!

Mark: Wow, that's tons better. Chick book.

James: Well, if it's really such a chick book would Martin Scorcesi have directed the film version.

Mark: He didn't really direct it. It's a conspiracy against him.

James: Who would do such a thing?

Mark: Francis Ford Coppola.

James: Now you're just being stupid.

Mark: I'm sorry did you hear something. It must of just been some little girl who reads girly books. Face it James, it's time for you to take your balls out of your purse and step up to some man literature.

James: Fine. If that's how it's going to be, so be it. I'm a man. I'm all man, dammit. So, I'm going to go out and I'm going to read some Hemingway, and some London, and a whole crap load of Conrad. And then, when I'm good and full of man juices, I'm going to go kill something... something beautiful. And I swear to god, Mark from Baden, if I ever run into you I am totally going Kafka on your ass. You're not going to understand it, but you're not like it either.

Mark: Sounds like someone's over-compensating for something.

James: You son of bitch...


Well, that's all the time we have this week for 'Ask a Dweller', be sure to join us next week when Sally from Hopewell asks Little Mike loaded questions about the UN.

Shalom

Monday, June 06, 2005

The Lure of the Car Cruise

Summer has finally decided to come around in Beaver County. Right now its over 80 degrees outside, which is just hot enough to poach and egg or an endangered species. This, of course, means that folks will be outside, enjoying the weather, flying kites and climbing trees. In the evening, folks will catch lightning bugs and sit on their respective porches, reading the paper or shooting the breeze with a Colt .45. This also means that any momentum that the theater troupes in the county have worked so hard to build will suffer slightly as we see the return of our greatest nemesis (and America's biggest waste of time): the car cruise.

Perhaps I just don't understand the lure of the car cruise, or maybe I understand it all too well. But the fact that there are people in the community willing to stand out in the sun for hours and do nothing but look at old cars frightens me just a tad.

I'm not totally sure car cruises are something that happen all across the country, just like alot of people don't have chipped ham or grilled chicken salads. Let me explain it in the simplest terms possible: it's an event that consists of people treating a parking lot like a white-trash art exhibit. Classic car owners, or just guys who invest alot of money into modding their DeLorian, park their cars in the middle of a street or in a huge parking lot. Then they pop the trunks and the hoods and shine everything up really nice (it's as if these cars are this clean naturally!) and unfold their lawn chairs and prepare for the long day ahead. Spectators stroll by each car (I can only assume this is called "cruising") and look at the engines and the interiors.

But you won't find any guys here with thin, rimmed glasses and dark turtlenecks analyzing the significance of a bobbling hoola dancer on the dash. People don't peruse cars while drinking champaign or munching on expensive French cheese. Folks are puffing on cigarettes, drinking Miller Light, and wearing mesh tank tops. Hundreds of people show up at these events. Some of them bring their own chairs and sit next to the cars they like, striking up a conversation with the owner:

"So, you wax this thing?"

"You bet."

"She's a beauty."

"Yeah, it was either this, or college for my kids. I think I made the right choice."


Towns in this area thrive on these Cruises. Every time one is held, all of the businesses in the area are jammed with folks wanting food, drinks, and whatever else they can occupy themselves with while they walk around on the hot tar. And it's always the same people, too. You rarely see different cars at these things, because there aren't that many people in the county. So the same cars and owners show up at every car cruise, showing off their cars to usually the same folks that patronize each event. It's sort of like a traveling automobile circus. "Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the bearded '63 Mustang and the five-wheeled Festiva!"

As I've said, I don't understand why people populate these things. I have never seen an unsuccessful car cruise in the area. Each year, Beaver County holds a "Riverfest" regatta. And each year, the biggest event is the car cruise. I can only imagine the number of "autophiles" out there, who just stare at those shiny cylinders long enough. Meanwhile the comedy troupes, community theaters, concerts, and open mics in the country suffer at the hands of these oil-smelling hooplas. I know what you are thinking, "If you can't beat em, join em." I have considered driving my Cougar up to the cruise, parking that thing, and just doing some improv. In fact, we've tried to perform at these events before... but our comedy wasn't as interesting as a fifty year old muffler.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The New Houseguest

My aunt and uncle in law went on a trip. A 6 week long trip to Tennessee for, i don't know, something that takes 6 weeks to accomplish. This, however, is not the point of my Blog today. Thier indoor cat, on the other hand, is.

As I'm sure you guessed by the title, Danette and I are watching her aunt and uncle's cat for the 6 weeks that they are out of town. I am fine with this. I like cats. (Not as much as i enjoy the compainship of dogs, but I like Cats.) The cat is named 6toes. Why? Well isn't it obvious, on his front 2 paws, he has an extra toe. It's cute. he can do normal cat things, like jump on counter tops... while you're making dinner. Rub against you're leg... causing you to trip and fall into the microwave stand. Scratch and claw... the carpet into little stringy bits. He's a normal and functional cat. The one thing he does really well though, is poop.

This cat should enter pooping competitions. He poops when he wakes up, he poops 10 minutes later after rubbing against your leg. Pet his belly, go ahead, he likes it, it makes him poop. I have Never, and I mean NEVER seen a living creature excrete as much waste as this cat does on a daily basis. Either his food is full of extra fiber, or his extra toes are little poop machines, overworking themselves till his entire intestinal cavity is filled to the brim with feline waste.

It's not even that he eats a whole lot. we feed him a bit in the morning, then around 6-ish we give him a can of food (which smells almost as bad as his poop does). There has to be other forces at work behind this poop manufacturing. So I watched him this morning. he did typical cat things. Lie around, drink some water, poop. typical stuff. Then i thought, "Hmm. I never had an indoor cat before. I don't know how much they poop on a regular basis. What if all cats poop as much as 6 toes does. Should I judge 6 Toes differently when this is all he knows about pooping."

But alas, I did find out one thing for certain. Cats know how to train humans. I the 4 days that he has been here, i have cleaned out his litter box 3 times. Surely I will be cleaning it tomorrow as well. He does nothing but sleep in a bed, that I made for him. Eat food, that I set out for him, and poop in a box of litter, that i clean up after. The next 5 weeks of my life will prove to revolve around a cats eating, sleeping, and bathroom habits, and i asure you, it stinks. Now if you'll excuse me, i have something pressing that i have to sift through.

-Ben