Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Monday after Black Friday ain't so freakin' good either.

Hey chowderheads, it's Frownie here. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. A day to give thanks for the whitey McWhites to come over and trade food and life saving skills learned from the native peoples for small pox and blankets. How was mine? Thanks for asking. It was okay. I had to visit my ex-wife and her new husband. Talk about uncomfortable! Oh well, the food was good, and the cranberry sauce from a can is always a classic.

Black Friday I went out shopping at about 10 AM, the idiots got it out of their system by getting there at 4 AM, and the people that sleep in wheren't there yet. It was a good time. I got some good deals and only maimed one old woman. I got a t-shirt half off because some teenager ripped it with her freakin' huge curly fingernails, I'd've socked her in the solar plexis had she not been 14. .. and if I had , ya know, hands.

So the weekend came and went, watched a little TV, drank a little red wine, made a couple phone calls to the time and temperature lady just to have a little companionship on a budget. Monday rolls around and I head back into the office.

It doesn't help that Smiley was there ten minutes early and made a pot of some sort of Christmas-y tea. The whole floor smelled like the inside of a craft store or a Harry & David's, which smells like a craft store. I tossed my coat over the chair and Johnson comes over and we exchange pleasantries about the holiday. Not like swapping turkey recipies, but saying how much beer we drank and which games we watched, that sort of thing. Then Rachel from R&D pops her head in and wants to know if I wanted any of the Christmas in a cup that Smiley whipped up. I say, "No, I celebrate Christmas; I don't drink it. " She gave a confused grimace, then giggled and walked away.

So paperwork for an hour and then the boss comes over. Apparently I have been chosen to get the White Elephant gifts for the office Christmas party. Everyone is supposed to give $7 to me and I get all the stuff. I might just get a bunch of dollar presents and pocket the rest. It'd be fitting the way they treat me there. I'll probably do a Big Lots sweep. But why'd he pick $7, that means I'm gonna need small bills for the next few days to make change for everyone. Plus, why do we have to have a Christmas party? I'm sure someone in this building is Jewish. I don't see anyone rushing out so we can play the dreidal on smoke break. Whatever.

I know there have been more typos in my reports as of late, but when your brain and heart are both comprised of thick fudgey chocolate, you might be a little slow on the uptake too when it comes to keyboard finesse. Well, I guess I had better get back to the grindstone.

Seeya chumps,
Frownie

Sunday, November 27, 2005

MacGyverology

A Degree in MacGyverology:

Description: A bachelor's degree in MacGyverology will enable you to be proficient in ways of problem solving and mission accomplishing. You will be able to maintain a vagueness about your personal life, while still developing connects and contacts throughout the country. Each graduating student will be required to have frosted hair and to dress no nicer than one would for a funeral for an unknown relative.

Courses
• LA150 Home Economics
• SC125 Intro to Physics: Cause and Effect
• SC300 Advanced Physics
• SC100 Basic Chemical Reactions
• SC450 Advanced Chemistry
• PH100 Logic
• RE230 Advanced Morality
• PE200 Physical Education: Hockey
• JLA400 Study Abroad: South America

Portfolio Requirements:
• Each student must also be a contributing member of the Boy Scouts, and reach Eagle status before graduation. Merit badges should include: fire starting, impromptu tent-building, helping inner city youth in the woods, and determining if campers are ex-cons.
• Each student must also be a starting member of the school's collegiate hockey team, and express leadership abilities both on and off the ice.
• Witty recollections of activities shared with a grandparent, or humorous observations about everyday life may be included in your final reflection paper.
• Each student is required to complete a final thesis project involving fire ants. He or she will also be required to take a final test, which may involve getting out of a predicament.

After Graduation:
• Each student will, with the help of the Career Development Center, contact various government organizations. These organizations may or may not include the Phoenix Foundation, the Pentagon, the CIA, or think tanks to be named in a later season.
• Each student will be asked to develop a mysterious and catchy last name that he or she will go by at all times. The student will all but forget their first name, until it is revealed at a much later date by accident.

This new program will empower each student by teaching them critical problem solving skills to help various clubs, think tanks, and organizations achieve national and global success. Each student will leave this university with a newfound knowledge in chemistry, physics, and putting shit together to stop villainous goons.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Seasons of Annoyance

Holy F-ing mother of Godzilla! RENT is a freakin' movie. RENT! All the little girls that think they can act are all like "Omigod, omigod, omigod! I can't believe it!"

Oh man! I HATE this show! Honestly, I've never seen it, but I can't take it. No show is a culteral phenomenon. No show!!! But they keep trying to make this the show that changed the world. I also have an awful connection to it since I was a theatre major in college and it came out off-broadway the year I graduated high school. Therefore, my college years were flooded with how wonderful RENT was.

RENT is La Boheme, but set in the East Village in New York City. La Boheme is a fruity French opera. Well, we're off to a bad start. Then we take some whiney poor 20-somethings and throw them in the mix. Great. Next we add all this gay stuff for no real reason then to have some hot lesbian action on stage and we can make one of the gay guys have AIDS to make some of it tragic. Because there weren't enough AIDS plays in the 80's. Granted, most people have forgotten about it, but it's still around killing a bunch. So, I'm SOOOO glad we put it in a play to bring up the mood! Huh? So there's singing and dancing, and girls making out.

Over and over I'd have to hear these posers saying how great this show was. There is stuff out there like Sam Shepard's creepy-ass plays, Shakespeare, Aristophanes, Mamet, Chekov, freakin' Angels in America is a much better story. And everyone's all about this, "but it has singing!"

Well, that's just part of the reason I'm peeved about the hop from stage to screen for this show. (Besides, my money is on the South Park movie [despite its content matter] for the most well crafted movie musical EVER!) The real reason is that damned song, "Seasons of Love." I know the whole song from my college years and my "freinds" constant repatition of it's lyrics. I hear ten seconds of that bastard and it's in my head for weeks. WEEKS!!

I was at home for the Giving of Thanks and this morning, my mom passed The View on TV. The cast of RENT was on there. The movie cast. I heard seconds, maybe five, of that friggin' song, and now at 1:18 AM, I can't shut the damn thing off! "525,600 minutes. How do you measure a year in the life?" Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I hate you RENT!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Mike the Tall

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Leatherface makes a mean dessert

I will contribute to this boundless Frowniemania by telling you that the new kids' menu at Kings doubles as a frownie mask. It has elastic and eyeholes. Its about 10"x6". It is very cute until you put it on and you look like leatherface.

In related news, Max and Erma's has introduced Pie-ous, the self-righteous pastry.


Monday, November 21, 2005

Name Them One by One

As I am sure everybody is well aware, Thursday is Thanksgiving. It is this time of year when we are encouraged to take stock of our lives and give thanks for those blessings we have received. Unless of course you’re not American. If you’re, say, Canadian, this is the time of year where it starts to get really, unbelievably frickin cold. Yes, we Americans humble ourselves by giving thanks once a year. It is just one more reason we are SO much better than the rest of the world which is too lazy for such things. Yes, Mexico, I’m looking at you.

I’ve already started my list of blessings received. It was slow going at first, as my faithful readers may have guessed. It would seem that I do not have much to be thankful for. I hate my job. I’m too poor to properly heat my apartment. I’m underachieving, lonely, and desperate. My car is in dire need of a good working over if I want it to pass inspection by the end of the month. It needs brake work, a windshield wiper, and every time I look at my tires they practically scream at me: “Hey, James, remember when we had tread.” To which I respond: “Shut Up Tires! I’m balding too. You don’t hear me bitching about it.” At which point my neighbors call their children in and shut their doors on the ‘crazy guy who yells at tires’. I am also unpopular in my neighborhood, not to mention with the ladies. Last time I bought a girl a drink at the bar, she asked for it to go.

So, yeah, my life isn’t all roses, sunshine, and dance-a-thons, but that doesn’t mean I have nothing to be thankful for. I have a lot to be thankful for. I have my health (here’s the part where I inform you that I work out. I assure you I do work out. If you where here with me right now, I’d insist you feel my bicep. Rest assured knowing it is rock hard. You’ll just have to take my word for it. These guns are so impressive Democrats in congress think they should be banned.) I have my mental health. I have what’s left of my emotional health. I have some friends, some of whom might not actually stab me in the back to help themselves. I just earned ten cents in free gas a gallon at Giant Eagle. So, really, once I reflect on it, my life’s actually quite sweet. Here’s just a short list of the things I am extremely thankful for.

- I’ve never been to a Turkish prison.

And then there’s...other stuff…which I can’t really remember… right now.

Okay. Okay. Never being in a Turkish prison is the only thing for which I’m extremely thankful. Actually, it may be the only thing I’m thankful for at all. I mean I’m not in that good of health. I’m so poor I hardly eat. I’m so thin and pale I look like a cancer patient. Don’t even get me started on my mental and emotional health. That’s it. I can’t think of anything else right now to be thankful for except never being in a Turkish prison. But, I happen to think never being in a Turkish prison is a pretty damn good thing to be thankful for. I’m sure everyone who has ever been in a Turkish prison wish they had never been there. Do you have any idea what goes on in those Turkish prisons? Neither do I exactly, but I have a fairly good idea that I wouldn’t like it at all. So, that’s it. When my family gathers around our Thanksgiving table and we each take turns listing the things we are thankful for, mixed in amongst all the thanks for new jobs, new relationships, and good luck, the only thing I’ll have is that I’m thankful for never being in a Turkish prison.

I just hope Uncle Kenny isn’t there. That would be really uncomfortable.

Shalom
James

Sunday, November 20, 2005

A Potato Wonderland

I was able to stop at Eat'n'Park for their famous Sunday Brunch this morning, and wow, I was not disappointed. This buffet had it all you could want: eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, waffles, fresh fruits, fried chicken, salad, soups... I could go on and on... but the best was the offering of SIX DIFFERENT VARIETIES OF POTATOES! That's right... it was a virtual Potato Wonderland.

Here's the lineup:

Homefries,
Cubed Hashbrowns,
Mashed Potatoes,
Scalloped Potatoes,
Potato Pierogies, and
Cream of Potato Soup

Now, I would have had to bribe the other people I was with if I wanted to claim that I ate all 6 varieties... but I can not make that claim... I tapped out after eating only 5.

I opted not to eat a cup of the Cream of Potato Soup. I'm sorry.

Keep in mind that I was also eating several helpings of eggs, bacon, sausage, etc, etc, etc. and that I also had a two-hour car ride ahead of me... and anyone who knows me can guess what a serving of a heavy cream-based soup would do to my lactose intolerant belly. I wouldn't have survived the car ride, so it was strictly a health decision.

So with that being said, and even though I feel like a failure, I have lived to eat another day. If Meatloaf sang that 2 out of 3 ain't bad, then, 5 out of 6 Sides of Potatoes can't be all that bad either.

(Wow, did I really just end that story with a Meatloaf and Potatoes joke?! I guess I did. Damn, I'm good... And another thing, I'm pretty sure the soup was made up of all of the potatoes that weren't eaten at the previous week's Sunday Brunch.)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Alert

My current Holiday Season Annoyance Level is at pink.

Holiday annoyance chart.
pink = happy
teal = somewhat happy
mauve = tolerable
eggshell = somewhat annoyed
lilac = annoyed
sienna = beginning to hate tinsel
goldenrod = thinking about stealing Santa's hat
azure = Grinch/Scrooge
coffee = If I hear Jingle Bells one more Goddamned time....
Red = Christmas is officially canceled

To repeat, my current Holiday Season Annoyance Level stands at pink.

shalom
James

Friday, November 18, 2005

Live Free or Die, the New Hampshire Way

While walking through the school parking lot the other evening, I noticed a license plate that I immediately filed in my "ridiculous" category. (It's important to note that the category itself isn't ridiculous, however the items referred to within are.) It wasn't the letters and numbers on the license plate that caught my eye, rather it was the state slogan. It was a New Hampshire plate that read "Live Free or Die."

Apparently, this state motto has been around since 1809 and was first written by General John Stark, who was one of the great generals from the Revolutionary War. The motto, however, wasn't applied to the state until 1945, just as WWII was coming to an end. To me, every state needs to have a great slogan. "Virginia is for Lovers" is probably the best I had heard. Pennylvania's kind of sucks ("The State of Independence"? How much more boring can we get!?) But New Hampshire... now that's a hardcore slogan. I'd venture to say that slogan might even be "extreme!" Maybe even "X-treme!" It has that sort of "Puff Daddy is making me vote" vibe to it.

I think they can take things a step further. Get even more extreme with their state slogan:
• New Hampshire, as hard as a sock full of nickels.
• New Hampshire, we curb stomped Vermont.
• New Hampshire, tying one off.
• New Hampshire, our state is blue but our blood is red.
• New Hampshire, live free or we'll kill you.
• New Hampshire, no fat chicks.
• New Hampshire, we suffocated Old Hampshire with a plastic grocery bag.
• New Hampshire, home of the shiv.
• New Hampshire, Santa and the Easter Bunny aren't real.
• New Hampshizzle.
• Clap on, clap off, New Hampshire.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Two Words: Marketing GENIUS!!!!!!

Has anyone of us talked to you, dear reader, about the Frownie? Well, I'm going to. If you are reading this because you've been hooked on our blog but have never seen the Dwellers, then this might not make sense. The Dwellers are mostly in Beaver County. And in the greater Pittsburgh area there is a restaurant called King's run by a man named Hartley King. Go figure that he calls his place King's.

But our story really starts earlier. There is also a semi local restaurant chain called Eat N Park. It stems from a drive in restaurant called Park N Eat. Not so creative in the restaurant naming biz 'round here. Anyway, now they're big and their mascot as well as most popular dessert (aside from their strawberry pie in May) is the Smiley Cookie. It's a delicious sugar cookie covered in white icing and a colorful smile in icing on it.

Well! Now there is an answer to that smug bastard of a cookie! It's the Frownie! This dessert is a thick, chocolately, fudgey brownie, well suited to be paired with two spades of vanilla ice cream and hot fudge. On top of the brownie is some thick choco icing and the saddest mismatched eyes dropped on and a mumbling, grumbling mouth slightly open. Thus is brings the saddest, most meloncholy dessert to life, or what he can call a life. The FROWNIE!

The other night some of us went there and I got one of these guys. He was so disgruntled and delicious. We spent the entire hour and a half we were there creating scenarioes or why the frownie was so sad. Many included the Smiley cookie being his jerk co-worker that everything goes well for for no reason. (I'd also like to point out that I hate when people spell cookie "cooky." That's a nickname for a military or cattle trail culinarian.) Why would anything be excited about being eaten? I wouldn't. I'd be pissed. Frownie might drop a line onto this blog, who knows.....


Mike the Tizall

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

So What Does That Make Me?

So I watched a WWE Pay-Per-View tonight... does that make me trash?

I went to Primanti Bros to watch it for free instead of paying for it at home... does that make me cheap?

I went to the restaurant/bar establishment alone to watch it because I couldn't find anyone to go with me... does that make me pathetic?

I told the waitress that I was meeting someone so that I could sit at a table instead of the bar... does that make me a liar?

I eventually sat at a chair against a wall after leaving my original table so that my waitress can get turnover... does that make me considerate?

I grew increasingly annoyed while the table of five teenage boys sitting in front of me repeatedly yelled, "Woooo!" everytime Ric Flair threw a chop... does that make me old?

I found myself actually rooting for a wrestler who I knew wouldn't win, (cause let's face it, Cena is unfortunately keeping that belt for a while)... does that make me a sucker?

I literally tipped my waitress twice as much as that party of 5 teenage boys tipped their waiter... does that make me generous?

Well, after some thinking, I have decided that the answer is yes... I am a cheap, pathetic piece of trash who lies to be a considerately generous old sucker.