Admittedly, I had all but abandoned my blog.  Not intentionally, not on purpose like how I plan on throwing out my son when he’s hit social puberty and is in a years-long snit, but more of a gentle abandonment, a bar night “Hey, I’ll call you later”-type promise that never quite gets fulfilled.  Sad, but wiser and older, my blog and I were complacent having trudged our separate ways.

Then comes along Lou.  I have a secret crush on Lou, and–but, wait.  Have you met Lou?  If not:

Alas, I have great memories of Green Mill peanut brittle, if it were not for Green Mill I would not have been able to go to Boy Scout camp Oseola folr six years in a row. I would get anywhere from 50 to 100 boxes of Greem Mill peanut brittle on Sat mornings at my troop 81 location at Perry & Topping KCMO and the start selling door to door for the rest of the day or untill sold out, for each box I earned .10 cents towards my camp fund. The expereience taught me a lot about a good attatude, people and good experiencs come with hard work and commitment, and one very important lesson was not to set my EXPECTIONAL LEVEL to high so as not to order more candy than I could sell. Something I feel our disgruntaled bloger failed to learn as regards to high of a expection of her candy factory tour (just because you dont like peanut brittle) I bet a lot of kids in your class did. You sound like you were a spoiled and ungrateful kid (you probly still are as a grown adult today. I only found this site because I was looking on the net to see if Green Mill sill existed so that if they did I could order some of their wondreful PEANUT BRITTLE

Lou, a wonderful example of an Internet warrior, woke my blog out of a deep slumber to post a reply to my three year old entry about a Kansas City candy factory.  Okay, fine, that entry certainly wasn’t my best effort, and while a combination of chocolate and sperm seemed like an amusing mix at the time, I probably should have edited it a bit more carefully.

That said, this is about Lou, and my new, almost cult-like admiration of him.   There’s something brave and resolute about being unafraid of putting yourself on the line like that in full view of the public and taking a stance, standing tall, and refusing to spell most words correctly.  Browsers have spell-checks; web-based dictionaries are littered across the Internet; English majors and five year-old kids are an e-mail away, waiting to hand out advice on proper spelling; yet Lou, my newest friend, he ignores all that.

Lou is an island.  And a rock.  But mostly that island thing.

See, Lou knows things.  He knows that the letter i abhors being used, which is why it ran away from “attitude” and seduced a in taking its place.  Lou understands the letter e is quite the opposite of that prudish i and so he gives e what it wants, and liberally peppers “experience” with so many of the alphabet’s favorite slattern, readers end up with an e-gasm.

Under Lou’s sweet guidance, “until” breeds another l;  “probably” has abandoned most of its letters; “expectation” doesn’t quite live up to its; and adults come in two sizes: grown and, well, something else.

I salute you, Lou, and your willingness to show the world you are who you are, no compromises needed.  No education, either, truly, but that’s my Lou and I wouldn’t have you any other way.

And Lou, while it’s true other people would have been tempted to read my original post with tongue firmly planted in cheek, I’m thrilled you saw through such temptation and called me on my bluff.  Yet I’m forced to admit, Lou, that not all I wrote was honest.  I’m ashamed to say that I truly was never planning on buying a ninja outfit over the Internet so as to sneak in and decimate Green Mill’s Candy Factory.

I was going to buy a whole ninja.

 

 

1,753 Comments | Category: Live A Little

Did I ever tell you that for a few days, back when I was ten and emboldened by the stories of Donald J. Sobol, I had my own detective agency?  Problem was, no one needed anything detected and I soon had a going-out-of-business sale. Which, quite frankly, was made up solely of a homemade sign; I wasn’t allowed to sell the purloined dining room chair and folding table.

No one bought the sign.

You could argue that, as a novice business owner, I ignored one of the most important tenets of  a successful entrepreneurship:  Location, Location, Lotion–wait.  Location.  You might even suggest that an open garage set back from the street and out of the view of most passersby wouldn’t be an ideal office.  You could even say a lack of advertising in the local rags failed to stir interest in my detecting endeavor.  And if you wanted to be a real Santa-killer, you might even tell my ten year-old self that real life ain’t like it’s painted in fiction.

Whatever.  All I’m saying is that the next time you drive by a child’s detective agency, you stop the car, get out, and offer the poor kid a few bucks to find  a lost puppy, your way in life, world peace, a real job, something, anything, and if you do it the great god Encyclopedia Brown will bless you and all your progeny for generations.

Or until the end of the book when Bugs Meany finally confesses to his dastardly deeds.

Actually, here’s a thought about that: the eternal turmoil raging inside Batman is the notion that, unless he kills the Joker, countless Gotham citizens will be murdered by the king clown of chaos.  Yet, Batman doesn’t kill because he’s all noble like that–or he’s never seen Die Hard and doesn’t have the appropriate slogan.

Either way, Encylopedia Brown is Idaville’s analog to Bats.  Would Idaville be a more pleasant place to hang your hat if Bugs wasn’t there to rig a race, steal a few coins or terrorize the local school?  Should Brown and his brawn, Sally, take Bugs out for good?

Right, right, shake your head.  But c’mon, that book would sell like hotcakes and you know it.  Plus, it would have made my novice detective agency a much more interesting place to work if I also had a license to kill.  Frankly, I’m not even sure whether I can get one of those now.  The state of Kansas only recently allowed shipments of wine to be sent directly to your house–who knows how the wheat state’s bureaucracy handles 007 responsibilities, thus disappointing aspiring yet bloodthirsty little kid detectives of all ages.

Way to go, Kansas.

2,916 Comments | Category: Life

“Speaking for myself and myself only, it is my personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the right thing to do.”

– Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

In a word, duh.  But what repeatedly jump-starts the hackles living on my person is the ridiculous notion that the armed forces has to consider the feelings and objections of the commanders and other soldiers who oppose allowing gays to openly serve.  Frankly, in this case, it’s nothing more than a delaying tactic and political grandstanding meant to appease a fundy-conservative voting block; an illusory defense of  “I tried, I really did!” used by a politician so that his/her voting base doesn’t hang him out to dry the next time a primary comes around.

Even if we take that notion at face value–that the armed forces truly considers the objections of its underlings–I find myself caring very little about the hurt feelings of uniformed homophobes any more than I care about the historical objections when Truman issued Executive Order 9981 in 1948 and cleansed the armed forces of official racial segregation. (I’m not burdened by any delusions that segregation stopped then and there, but it was a damned good start.)

Kicking valued, educated officers and soldiers out of the military solely on what happens legally and privately in the bedroom, is the wrong thing to do and seriously undermines the oft-repeated slogan that the military is here to “defend the country.”  You’re not defending the country by discharging those who could contribute the most; instead, you’re tearing yourself apart and weakening your versatility and ability to meet challenges–all for entirely irrational reasons.

If a soldier or officer rebels because he refuses command or otherwise can’t control his homophobia?  Discipline him as you would any other disobedient member.  If he continues?  Then perhaps you’ve finally found the correct type of person who reduces the military’s strength and effectiveness, and maybe it’s time to send him packing.

And hopefully, when this kind of discrimination is finally weeded out, maybe the rest of society will learn a lesson or two and abandon its fundy resistance to allowing gays to enjoy full equal rights.  It will happen one day–I don’t fear that it won’t–but it would be nice for it to happen a lot sooner than I expect it will.

1,766 Comments | Category: Live A Little

The snow is outside.  Waiting.  I can see it, still, resting, on the flip side of my window.  “Snow, snow, go away,” I chant, but I know it’s laughing at me, amused by my efforts and entirely unaffected by the rhymes that held so much more power when I was young enough to listen intently, one night each year, for a careless sleigh bell up high.  Snow was magic then.

Now it’s just malevolent.  Hand-in-hand with its pal the bitter cold, they’re pressing their ice cube noses up against my second floor window and daring me to come outside; a tag team of winter vampires hoping to dine on chilled… wine.  It promises beauty, this blanket of white, and each polka-dotted burst from the heavens carries the seductive memory of the anticipation of school being canceled.  They’re my memories, true, but they no longer apply: these days when the blizzard hits I no longer can count on the comfort of a couch, cartoons, and a bowl full of puffed sugar Ohs; instead, I work for The Man, and he tells me I have to trudge on in to work, anyway, no matter the revival of He-Man scheduled for that morning’s line-up.

The Man has no soul.  But he pays well, so there’s that.

The snow is relentless.  It follows me to work and tries to swallow me, to my knees, when I misstep on the journey from my car to the front door. “Haw-haw,” it says, as I wiggle free.  “I’m just joshin’ ya.  But I sure got ya, didn’t I?”  One of these days I know it won’t let go, and that we’ll finally get to the punchline I’m pretty sure I won’t find all that hilarious.

So, it’s there, still, outside, peeking into my office window from the adjacent roof–a Jack Frost who’s really a Peeping Tom.  It’s tempting to want to grab an extension cord and my wife’s hair dryer and go teach the bastard a lesson.  When tomorrow morning finally stumbles in and the squawk box tells tales of a man-shaped icicle  found dangling from his roof with a sputtering Conair in his hand, know that I went down fighting.  And that I ruined my wife’s hair dryer.

But that I went down fighting is a much more manly memory.  So, maybe you can tell people I had a flamethrower?

Yeah.  Snownan the Barbarian, that’s me.

2,139 Comments | Category: Live A Little

A friend-of-a-friend on Facebook was musing that his son was recently  somewhat evangelized by his grandmother, and now the son was concerned he actually had Jesus living in his heart.

Which brings to mind the next giant summer blockbuster:

*********************************

–Ridley Scott presents–

Alien Jesus

Watch in horror as the Baby Jesus bursts  from the chest of the unsuspecting child believer and eventually grows to kill everyone at Vacation Bible School.

“In faith, no one can hear you scream.”

*********************************

I’m not sure why I don’t have producers lined up to finance my films…

2,435 Comments | Category: Holy Ghost

I have a ladder in my closet.  No, no, this isn’t a metaphor for some latent sexual discovery (unless I’m really, really turned on by aluminum steps); instead, I have an actual ladder hanging out in my bedroom closet.  It’s waiting for me, see, sitting there, open, patiently eschewing its own daily rituals ladders do when we’re not looking, until I climb aboard and follow its steps skyward.  Until I hit the ceiling.  Which pushes away (not all of it–just a small panel) to reveal…

The ATTIC!

It’s an empry attic, so don’t get too excited.  No serial killers hiding out, crawling through the duct work to spy on my family (that usually only happens in sorority houses, anyway, which–sad to say–doesn’t appear to be my house) so as to later cut and carve his way to newsmedia glory (or maybe just come down for breakfast one morning).  No deranged family of squirrels or birds making nests, passing rabies amongst each other until someone like me lifts his head above the ceiling, a perfect victim for future frothing at the mouth.  No ghosts, no leftover nooses from some ancient hanging.  Just a plain old suburban attic.

Which holds the attic fan (duh).

Our attic fan isn’t working, and I have no idea what’s wrong with it.  Oh, sure, I can guess (“It’s probably a worn belt,” I assured the Insta-Princess.  “Either that or the serial killer has been peeing on it again and shorting it out.”) but not being wise in the ways of attic fans, I’d pretty much be blowing smoke out my patukis.  Ignorance, however, doesn’t ever truly stop me; in fact, attracted to what I don’t know and shouldn’t even try playing with, I’ll soon find myself at the top of the ladder, pulling myself up through the hole in the ceiling and gingerly making my way across the planks of wood so I don’t slip and fall through the ceiling.  Eventually, hours later–because not falling through the ceiling takes time–I’ll be crouching next to the attic fan, squinting my eyes, furrowing my brow, wrinkling my boob (just seeing if you were paying attention), hoping that the serial killer, ghost and family of rabid squirrels would think I know what I’m doing.

“Hmm…”

“What?  Did you find it?” the Insta-Princess will yell up at me.

“Yeah, but it’s really fluffy.  Not what I’d expect at all from this model of fan,” I’ll shout back down at her.

“I think that’s just a clump of insulation.”

“Oh.  That’d explain the lack of a power cord.”

I can see it now: she’ll suggest we go hire someone to fix the fan–or at the very least help me recognize what a fan looks like.  I’ll bristle at the suggestion and demand she have more faith in me.  She’ll remind me that, as an atheist, perhaps I shouldn’t be so gung-ho on the whole faith thing.  I’ll shed a few tears and wonder why we atheists are so discriminated against, especially in home repair.  She’ll soothe me and say it’s just an attic fan and, hey, we can always get a second mortgage on our home to help pay for turning the AC on so soon in the year.  Knowing nothing about financial matters, I’ll brighten at the prospect of being challenged by a second mortgage, and suggest that maybe we can also add a bowling lane on to the house.

Compromise!

Actually, big win for me, because I’ve always wanted my own bowling lane.

1,506 Comments | Category: Live A Little

Went to a Hallmark warehouse “flea market” sale today where they promised us–promised!–mannequins for sale.  Right there on the flyer; right there in black ink on a pastel blue background they wrote, “Dude.  Mannequins.  Come get some.”

I’m not sure why they didn’t write that in verse.

Anyway, I grabbed my wife, she grabbed me back (turns out, not so much fun the other way around; we’re no longer doing the grabbing thing) and we headed off to Crown Center to score a coup on some Kim Cattralls.   By the time we work our way through the crowd, we find the mannequins failed to make an appearance.  They just never showed.  (Sure, there were a few dress form mannequins, but their lack of arms, heads and legs, that’s like ordering a sticky-sweet bear claw and getting a doughnut hole for your troubles.)

Where is the justice?  Where is the love?  Where is the lawyer for a possible lawsuit?

Alas, to fulfill my dreams of an army of mannequins dressed up in Halloween costumes (for Halloween, by the way, not costumed for, say, Mother’s day), I’ll be forced to troll Craig’s List again. (Which is always a little discouraging, what with the ads typically suggesting the use of a mannequin for sale being, “For Halloween, parties or whatever.”  It’s the last one that gets me; I’m forced to avoid all thoughts of what “whatever” might be.)

Clearly, I live my life abused and betrayed by authorities.

2,964 Comments | Category: Live A Little

I’ve reached that unsettling age-y point in my life where I’m thrilled my lawn is mowed, and I’m excited by the chance to edge the sucker.  That’s right: the adrenaline gets pumping when I know I can whip out the electric string trimmer and force a straight line down the edges of my property.

This is a cry for help, mein amigos.  I know I’ve betrayed the ideals of my younger self (who paid scant attention to lawns) and fear that one day you’ll see me taking my trusty Honda on a tour of my yard, mercilessly killing the blades of grass that dare to grow in my way, all the while blissfully unaware that my socks have turned coal black and have crept up to my knees.  Plus, I’ll be in sandals.

There’s gotta be a number I can call, an address to which I can write; there’s got to be a god of youthfulness I can besiege with prayer, a demon of wishful thinking whose bungalow I can go visit; I dunno, maybe Santa Claus can keep me from turning into the neighborhood grandpa?

Right now, even as I type out this plea, my mind is slowly being consumed by the thought that somewhere in my yard there’s a tree with dead branches.  And I have to trim it.  And it makes me smile.  I’m smiling an evil smile because I know my resistance is slowly being trimmed away and I, too, will be soon yelling,

YOU, KIDS!  GET OFF MY LAWN!

969 Comments | Category: Live A Little

The boy’s first haircut.  No tears, no screaming–but then, barbers no longer let blood and saw bones, so I suppose he got off lucky.

This time.

2,477 Comments | Category: Auggy, Le Photo

While visiting Planet Comicon this weekend, I passed by the booth of a couple of Kansas City filmmakers.  The film they were pimping?

My Step-Dad’s A Freakin’ Vampire!

Who can resist a title like that?  This, I must say, adds a slightly bloodier menace to the role of step-pop than even what Terry O’Quinn brought to the screen in his entirely creepy performance in 1987’s  The Stepfather.  Plus, the effects look spectacular, especially coming from a group who doesn’t have the financial backing of a major studio:

That’s pretty impressive, and it comes from a Kansas City chapter of horror fans .  I’m looking forward to seeing this when it comes out in May.

2,099 Comments | Category: Live A Little, Video

Let’s talk about Watchmen.

There, that’s your spoiler warning, so no complaining if you read further and find out something you didn’t want to know.  With that disclaimer in play, I am blameless. (For this.  No such guarantee could be made about, say, my relationship with my girlfriend back in the sixth grade.  I probably screwed that one up.)

In short, Watchmen the movie is pretty blah.  In truth, the graphic novel was not that much better, being nothing more than a rehashing of the tired tale of what happens when those who protect us act to destroy (all or some of) us, all for the betterment of the world, but at least it was something new for comics at the time.  Plus, the comic could at least be said to have a semblance of subtext (a very, very thin layer), while the film abandons originality and daring for a nearly scene-by-scene adaptation of the comic.

In short-shorts (she wears), the film’s boring.  It’s nice to look at, but walking through a garden filled with nothing but perfect roses and pretty soon you find yourself hoping to see a war party of dandelions invade the place.  Oh, sure, Dr. Manhattan’s  ever-present blue Dr. Johnson was both refreshing (no, heh, big deal was made out of it) and amusing, but everything else about the visuals was note-perfect and, well… shiny and clean.  It certainly doesn’t match up to the real-world dirt and grime given center stage in The Dark Knight.

Plus, Zack Snyder missed something huge that made up one of the central tenets of the comic.  That is, all of the heroes in the comic–with one noticeable exception–were human.  Fighters, maybe; inventors, sure.  But, human, with no powers and all of the biological frailties we tend to have.  In the film, however, Snyder directs his special effects team to show costumed vigilantes punch through walls, lift and throw adversaries across the room, survive their heads being slammed against kitchen counters, and fight multitudes of men without breaking a sweat or wearing down.  When you give your non-powered characters kinda-powers, you’re missing the point.

On a good note, and despite what you may hear, Malin Akerman is actually pretty decent as Laurie Jupiter.  If you fnd her performance paper-thin, you really can’t blame the actress; the original comic book character wasn’t any better, with Alan Moore choosing to focus his angst and energies in developing our favorite murderous psychotic, Rorschach.

Speaking of Rorschach, he was, of course, the most intersting character in the film.  An unapologetic facist, unswerving, relentlessly truthful, an emotionless killer–a movie about him as a vigilante and what that would mean to the real world, that would have been interesting.  As it was, he got the best lines in the movie, and was probably the most fun to play.

So, yeah, the movie was meh.  Not much meat on that bone.  Extra points go toward substituting a pseudo-nuclear attack for the original dumb “giant alien”, but let’s face it: the idea was ultra stupid to begin with, and I can’t really tell you if that was Moore’s point or his failure.  Keep in mind that our “villain” was trying to save the world by threatening it; getting nations to band together to fight off what was expected to be an alien invasion.  Thing is, if Moore lived a few minutes outside the Incredible Kingdom of Nerdom, he’d know that cooperation between juggernauts doesn’t last long; eventually there’d be poltitical power juggling, old feuds making guest appearances, the inevitable breakdown of the alliance, etc…  Perhaps that weakness was intended, but given the time the comic was published (mid-’80s), and the nuclear holocaust we were all worried about, I’m just figuring he wasn’t thinking far enough ahead.

Anyway, aside from the much ballyhooed and overrated source material, the film suffers from the same irreparable flaw the Harry Potter films do: they’re nearly exact imitations of the books with no heart or soul of their own.  And this, I blame on the director.

1,528 Comments | Category: Live A Little

I have to pee.

There, I’ve said it.  Not that you couldn’t tell, not that anyone couldn’t tell, what with me sitting at my desk with my legs bunched together as I try to stem the tide from, you know, tiding.

“Go to the bathroom,” you say.  Thanks, Mr. Whipple, but there’s a pack of hyenas guarding the nearest lavatory, and while I’m not sure why they’re there, I know that I’m just one man, alone, afraid to challenge them for the urinal cake territory.  Let them have it, I say; give them the land of the yellow river and I’ll sit here until something bursts.

“Hyenas?”

Well, kids.  Teenagers.  Maybe they won’t bite so much as they’ll taunt, but who can blame them for surrendering to their baser instincts as I cautiously stumble down the hall, almost drunkenly, as I try to keep the internal swishing to a minimum?  Maybe they’re touring the building; perhaps in this downward economy they’ve been hired as scofflaws and hallway hoodlums instead of as burger flippers and fry salters.  Whatever they are, they’re in my way and as hard as I try to magically transport my pain away through E.S.Pee, I remain crippled by the worst nightmare the little Dutch boy ever had. (“Honey, don’t stick your thumb in there!  You can’t hold everything back.”)

Arrgh!  I give, I give!  Uncle!

790 Comments | Category: ya' know?

In my tireless march to rule the world (Wednesdays and Fridays, after lunch), I’ve created an account on Twitter.  Why read a whole blog page when you can sacrifice to the gods of ADD and litter the world with one-line updates?  That’s me: prolific litterer of rhetoric.

Oh, and I’m pretty.

So, if you want to visit me over there, you can.  Get in soon enough and you’ll have a place in my kingdom once I take over. (Someone needs to wave the fronds.)

http://twitter.com/skipfitz

682 Comments | Category: Live A Little

The gals from Softee have graced us with video.  Watch Unicorn Poo on bass and lead vocals, Chihuahua Freak on guitar, Happy Doodle Land on the rockabilly cello, and I-Don’t-Have-A-Blog Meems on the skins:

My only complaint is that, once again, I’m not performing with them. They shall rue the day they rejected my silver harmonica! Rue!  Until then, enjoy the video.

575 Comments | Category: Live A Little, Video

It should be snowing just about now.  That’s what the Internets (tubes and all) told me, and damnit, I believe it.  That, and let’s face it, while actually getting up from chair and going outside to look at Mother Nature in all her speckled white glory seems like a good excercise plan, I’d much rather remain at my desk and dink around the world and the wide and the web.  Inertia is its own super power, isn’t it?

Last week, however, the sun briefly burped a hotspot of mercy and showered us with enough rays to raise the temperature to a balmy sixty degrees.  In a fit of insanity, I figured I’d walk to lunch that day–braving the fresh air, the chirping birds, the hot moms walking their kids, the general pleasantness of the day.  I survived (in case you were worried).  On the way to the sandwich shop, though, my eye caught a glimpse of tiny plastic package from a certain Greek prophylatic producer carelessly cast aside; it was the usual shape and had the usual tear to indicate that the booty inside had been used to get booty on the outside, but what grabbed my attention was the rubber title.

Extra Sensitive

Awesome, I thought.  Now even John Thomas covers are getting into the feelings game.  You have to wonder how that works out in the heat of the moment.

“Oh, Henry Steel! I’m so glad we can connect like this!”

“Me, too, babe.  You’re hot.  I’m hot.  This is hot.  Hot.”

“That’s so true!  In fact, I… I’m sorry, is your penis crying?”

“It is indeed!  I’m glad you noticed.  Just before our act of naughty fun I dipped my bald butler in Trojan’s Extra Sensitive sheathe.  He’s shedding a tear right now because this moment is so special. He’ll even listen to your problems and share a pint of ice cream if you so desire.”

“Oh, Henry, I’m touched. “

“And if you go out of town, he’ll come over to feed your pets.”

I tell ya, technology these days.  I certainly didn’t have that when I was in college.

1,096 Comments | Category: Live A Little