Thursday, December 28, 2006

Make Just One Person Happy

Friday is my birthday, and I want something from you.

Each of you.

All of you.

Whether you work down the hall from me, or across Portland; whether you live in Seattle, Salem or Los Angeles; regardless of whether you are in Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Idaho or even the UK, I would like you to do me a favor.

Just one simple thing.

Sometime on Friday, at any time of the day, I would like you to go out of your way to do one good thing.

Sure, you probably do good things all the time, but I mean one extra, unexpected, consciously executed good thing. It does not have to be big. In fact, it can be rather small.

Call your mom. Have lunch with your kid. Make a donation. Help an old lady across the street. Adopt an orphan. I don't care.

Maybe you are a regular reader, or maybe you just popped in from Google on a search for "Pepperocinis" or "Assapalooza." Maybe you comment every day. Maybe you have silently lurked for months, never knowing quite what to say.

Well, here is you chance to participate.

If you feel like it, once you have done your good deed, I would invite you to ANONYMOUSLY share with the rest of us what you did.

Yes, yes, I'm turning into a big hippie pussy. Bite me. Go do a good thing.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Strip

Rumor round town has it that Daisy has been spotted recently dancing at Dino's.

Well, it's suspected that it's Daisy. I mean, just how many one-armed strippers can there be in Portland?

Now, generally, this makes me sad. As any long-time reader will know, Daisy is a bit of a mythical goddess around these parts, the pre-beatified post-thalidomide patron saint of the lounge, as it were.

It is my dream, one day, to wander the halls of the courthouse with a slutty-Santa-suited Daisy in tow, handing tinsel hats out to all of the whining plaintiffs...

But I, again, digress...

"So, what's the problem?" you may ask. "At least she's working isn't she?"

Well, yes, but she's working at DINO'S!!
Here, this what the Portland Mercury had to say recently about the place:

"I've got two things on tap, Bud and water, so which is it going to be," growled Theresa, the barkeep who looks like "mamma" from "Throw Mamma from the Train." Dino's Inn is the nadir of dive bars. Not only does the bartender look frightening with her beard and mustache, but the two-a-night dancers on the foosball table-sized stage might also scare the bejesus out of you. A recent night included a one-eyed, mid-40's woman who stripped down to nothing but her eye patch, and an overweight beast with baloney nipples. Pool is 25¢, but the cue stick will inevitably hit a wall or a video poker patron while you try to play. RV

Sadly, it's all true. I know. I've been there.

Well, Tom and I have been there.

I admit that I've been to some rather sketchy, sticky and/or stinky establishments in at least five states, but nothing, NOTHING, compares to the unholy display of wretched despair found inside of Dino's.

Late, on one of our epic nights of debauchery, Tom and I wandered willingly through the chipped red door, which was swollen with rot. The jabba-like Theresa, mentioned above, was likely the same hairy lady we found behind the bar.

Now the rule was, to claim to have visited, we had to sit, tip and drink one beer; which we managed to do despite adverse conditions on more than one occasion.

But this... This!

Before our gaze was met, and we were turned to stone by the bar-wench Medusa, we averted out collective sight and spun toward the ramshackle stage behind us, where, for all I could tell, a fat 75-year-old man was taking his clothes off.

Our spin continued until we had turned 180 degrees. In one fluid synchronous spiral, Tom and I retreated with haste, and have yet never returned...

Which brings us to today.

It was lunchtime, and I had to get across town to drop my video camera off for some repair. Thee most direct route carried me over the Hawthorne bridge, toward the fashionable edge of Southeast Portland. As I passed familiar landmarks, I noted that Dino's was coming up ahead, and thoughts of Daisy flashed before me. I was sad that she had been rejected by the fancier clubs, and forced to work in the horrid dive like that..

But as I drew closer, I noticed something intriguing. The building had new paint. The old jutting sign was gone. There was a temporary banner hanging from the wall!

Dino's is gone! Gone to hell. Gone for good. The new club is called theHawthornee Strip, and I can only hope that the old staff has been replaced. So, now the quandary begins.

You know what I'm thinking... So, who's in?

I Should Not Take Breaks

I'm working a lot this week, trying to top off my billable hours before the end of the year. Sometimes, when you work hard, it's important to take breaks.

Unfortunately, when I do, I sometimes come across videos of men, dressed as girls, who chain themselves to livingroom furniture...

Also, unfortunately, said crossdresser doesn't allow his videos to be embedded. Here's the link though...

Monday Fashion Minute

Monday, December 25, 2006

Peasant Food

Nothing exorcises the spectre of hunger like the rough crustiness of peasant food. It's the same everywhere. Sure, the ingredients change from continent to continent. In the Americas, south of the equator, a poor farmer's table may serve hand-flattened tortillas with rice and beans. In Japan, you might find fresh caught sushi with mamasan's homemade rice balls. On the sun-scorched shores of the Mediterranean, hungry families feast of flat bread, lamb meat and baba ganoush...

It is the chunk-cut nature of the flavorful finger food that defines the fare. It is the home-grown boldness generations-old recipes. Inspired choices dictated by scarcity, served on grandma's wooden platters. It is farm-freshness, or fish still cold from the sea.

And so I sat, Sunday at noon, the girls of the house napping soundly down the hall. I was left to my own devices for lunch, and not eager to be ambitious.

A crisp green Granny Smith was first in hand, followed by the blocky remainder of a smoked Gouda wheel. Half a day-old baguette was fetched from the fridge, and I finally opened the briny jar of pickled herring. Lunch was eaten from the cutting board with no more utensil than a paring knife. Rain fell hard against the windows. The fire was warm, but the dark winter beer was cold.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Funny

"I don't know. Just say something funny." She said, as we discussed plans for the office Christmas party.

The associates and staff get gifts each year, tokens really, for the four partners. Over an afternoon of roast beef and stiff drinks, proper small talk will devolve into inappropriately inebriated fits of hoots and giggles.

Somewhere along the way, the presentation of the presents must be made, and someone, Lorax-like, must speak for the plebes...

And this year, that someone so happens to be me. By the time most of you read this, it will already be over. With luck, they will laugh. With more luck, I will still have a job come next Tuesday.

I think I will try to keep it short.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Multimedia message

Christmas is coming the goose is getting fat. Put another something in the something something ...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Something About March

It's that time of year again. It's the beginningg of the gin-&-tonic family's December-long birthday bonanza!

Starting with today, we wish Mrs G&T a hardy happy birthday. I won't say how old she is, but I will confirm that she is older than me by twelve days.

In middle, is the monkey. In three days, she will be 2. However, we celebrated this afternoon. Thanks to the loyal Loungers who braved the sea tots. The monkey thanks you for the the books.

Then, twelve days from now, I'll be 36.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Ass Promised

Once again, this afternoon, I had to explain to someone that not everyone who comments on the Lounge knows each other. You're not all one big blog clique of inbred kissin cousins. Sure, some of you have seen others of you naked. Take Tom and Dr. Brian for instance...

And to be sure, some of y'all have gotten to become familiar in these here comment sections. Ryan has added Dave as a myspace friend. Lisa writes to Allie. And now, even Familytrain pokes his head in from time to time.

We've all heard about Leah's reproductive system. We've all read about Carl's trips to China. But most especially, we've all become familiar with Amanda's Ass.

We've written about it. We've thought about it. We've joked about it. But now, we all have the opportunity to look at it. Without further ado, here is the long awaited photo, (with her permission) of Amanda's ass.



eh... So, it's not exactly madthumbs.

And no, that isn't road rash. If you look closely enough, you'll see that the bruising is vaguely in the shape of a hand. Ahoy matey! Adventure on the high seas indeed...

Thanks to Amanda for sharing the goods for the sake of the Lounge!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Amanda's Overrated Ass

I have in my possession one photo of Amanda's ass.

I have her permission to post the photo.

I'm just wondering what it's worth to you.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Assapalooza

I misjudged my audience.

Here I thought cerebral folks would value an introspective investigation of my memory's minutiae. Silly me.

I knew all along what the regular and repetitive readers of the lounge want. Why they want nothing less than ASS. And lots of it!!

So, here you go! Here is some fine smooth ass for you!!


Ya, that's what I'm talking about!! Let's look at more ass!!


Oh Fuck ya! Ass! Ass!

And for the ladies, (and Dr. Brian) here's some hot man ass!


Oh goddamn, look at all that ass! Forget all those words and shit! Who cares about a well written turn of phrase?? Let's look at more ass!


Oh my god, so much ass, I may never write anything ever again!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Roxanne

Have you ever swept an entire grocery store? Down every aisle? Around every vegetable stand? Charging oncoming customer carts with your dust mop, like a matador, one handed, swerving parabolic arcs with panache?

It was 1986. I was working the night shift.

I would map out my dry mop maneuvers. I would start with the general merchandise on the south end, and work in zig-zag-fashion down each aisle until I reached the sticky-floored produce and meat aisles along the north wall.

As the cotton-millipede-like mop-head glided over polished tile, its many fabric tendrils would stretch out, snatching bits of dust and dirt, pushing it along like a bow wave. The trick was to see how far I could push the accumulated debris, before it flanked the wide gliding scrubber, and spilled like a dusty contrail behind me.

I could usually make it to the dairy section, the halfway point, before needing to scoop.

It was late Spring, and some dreary deity decided to drown Los Angeles with a deluge. The rain had been falling hard, and my usually-dry and frequently-smooth surfaced floor was tacky and tracked with moist, but drying, mud. "Dry Mop" was a misnomer. I worked my way along my usual path, avoiding black foot prints (I'd get those with the wet mop in a few minutes) aiming with vengeance for the light-brown, dry and flaky footprints, which fled with fear before my oncoming broom of doom.

I rounded the dreaded cookie aisle. I passed the row those hateful butterscotch Keebler abominations, and pushed on toward the rear of the store. Just then, without warning, without even a buzz or pop, the lights went out.

Completely out. Pitch black. I don't know whether you've ever been in a grocery store during a blackout at night in a thunder storm, but it's dark. Dark like Dick Cheney's heart.

Dark.

I froze. I was completely without reference. My once taken-for-granted bearings were gone. The absence of any horizontal reference made me dizzy, and I sat down.

In aisles to my right and to my left, I heard the voices of similarly stranded clerks, apparently with more advanced training than I had, giving the same instructions to assumed customers. "Stay put. Don't move. If the lilghts don't come back on, we'll come and find you with flashlights."

That sounded comforting. I wondered where the flashlights would come from, or who would come find the stranded clerks. Then, I remembered, somewhere up in front, probably in the office, was our night manager, Roxanne.

Perhaps I wanted to make sure she was there. Perhaps I wanted further emergency instruction. Perhaps I was just getting freaked out by the darkness, but in the best calm-voice I could muster, I called out her name.

Then, out of the darkness, somewhere in the vicinity of the bakery, a nervous sounding female voice called out: "Roxanne?"

Then in a best-impression of a British pop singer, I think from behind the dairy case, Some one sang out, "You don't have to put on the red light!"

Nervous laughter erupted in the darkness, from the canned-fruit aisle, from produce and from all over the store. Now egged on, or perhaps in just an attempt to lighten the mood, a chorus of (likely-high) dairy clerks attempted a few more lines. Soon, however, the lights and the familiar whirring and humming of refrigeration snapped back on. The singing stopped, and Roxanne's familiar voice was heard over the loud speaker, thanking shoppers for their cooperation and the dairy choir for their performance.

The light seemed bright. The shelves seemed almost white. However, the mud was still on the floor, and I still had my mop...

I thought about that blackout this morning, as I sat in a dark office staring at a blank computer screen. Power went out around 9:00, which can cause, as you may imagine, complications for a law firm.

The bubble wand and filter in my aquarium were silent. The printers and copiers slept silently. The phones were dead. Small quiet conversations down long dark hallways carried with clarity. It was oddly soothing.

Natural light is plentiful in my atrium-like office, and active attorneys found ways to work. I huddled near my sliding glass door, and read a large notebook of medical records with a very low-tech highlighter pen. As I sat there, I noticed that the new janitor had recently swept the dirt and mud from my private patio, and I began to hum old Police tunes quietly to myself.

2 Ornaments

As the wife was hanging ornaments on our goddamn giant tree, she noted that only two out of our assortment of tree baubles were mine, or me-related.

So, if anyone was wondering, Amanda found THIS

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Size Matters

Some folks prefer them lean and trimmed. Others prefer full and bushy. Most folks like the smell.

Strangely, women seem to prefer short ones, while men like them big. And everyone likes the balls that go with them.

I speak of Christmas trees, of course, and I got mine today. The G&T family headed out on a short quest down the local rural highway to a quaint family tree operation. The good tree folks sat huddled around a blazing fire with free cider in the crockpot and murky directions for navigating around the acres of evergreens that circled their home.

The missus, the Monkey, and I wandered through the evenly-spaced woods, comparison shopping along the way. The Monkey, now nearly two, trudged on like a trooper, sustained along the path by her giant supply of now-warm cider.

City boy that I am, I had my gloves and my saw, ready to harvest our selection from the soil, which brought back memories of holiday lumberjack expedition in Idaho a few years ago...

Seems that my wife's tree hunting history was different that mine. Growing up with a sister and father who were asthmatic, our tree always came out of a box... Her family, however, would snowshoe for miles up into the BLM back county of the Saw Tooth National Forest, chop down a suitable tree, and tote it back to the car via dog sled, or somesuch...

All of which came as a surprise to me during my first Christmas in Idaho. There were snow shoes for starters, easy enough to master, but a disaster if one slipped off. Then there was the moderate hike, which nearly killed the lower-elevation cousins (myself included). After taking turns, cutting in rounds, to hack through a minor three-inch diameter trunk, The only person left who was acclimated enough to breathe was my mother-in-law. So, she carried the tree out of the forest while the burly, but gasping, men followed...

So, today's trek was nothing like that. With the exception that I got to murder the tree myself. Down in the mud. In the rain. And carry it back up the hill to the waiting truck.

Thing is, the tree looked to be good sized, but not too tall, while we were surrounded by other trees. Now, however, inside the house? It's crazy tall. Crazy.

Crazy!

Thank god for vaulted ceilings.

There is something about a big tree though. It gives one hope. Hope for bigger presents, that is.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Cavern

"You know there are 7 secret levels below us don't you? It's where they keep the secret security offices, and store the popcorn."

Yes, I'd heard that before. Everyone who grows up down there hears about the secret underground levels all the time. It's popular conversation while standing in line for Space Mountain or the Jungle Boat.

She had long brown hair, green eyes, and shiny glossy lips that smelled of strawberry. So, I listened intently and acted surprised. I was 14. She probably was too, and we were standing in line for the Matterhorn.

We waited with others from our group, a motley hodgepodge of sweaty teens, dowsed in varying doses of hairspray, cologne and hormones, roaming the Magic Kingdom for a day. The Matterhorn was an in-line toboggan ride. Strictly boy-girl-boy-girl, nestled between each other's legs. That is what awaited us at the end of that impossibly slow-moving line.

And we all knew it...

Finally, a fair-haired boy in lederhosen led us to our alpine bobsled of love. Strawberry wasted no time planting herself between my knees. An unfortunate doofus with a large forehead and tacky jacket shared the compartment behind ours with his obnoxious girlfriend. We overheard their whispered negotiations. He was apparently allowed to put his hands inside her shirt, but only after the ride started. Oh, but, he wasn't allowed to undo her bra.

The the track brakes released with a pneumatic woosh, and we were underway. The toboggan slipped slowly into the first cave with that smooth precision only Disney engineers can create. Once in the dark, I immediately detected the distinct sound of tongue kissing behind me. Strawberry wiggled subtly against my thighs, while my hand migrated slowly from the hand rail to her outer perimeter.

CLACK CLAcK CLACK CLACK CLACK... The romantic reverie was broken by the jarring jerking chain lift elevating our cars up out of the darkness, up above the park, up toward the fake snow-packed summit. We were released again and glided smoothly, only to be caught quickly by the second stretch of chain lift.

Motorized mountain goats blinked at us, and distant screams of exhilaration were heard echoing through the mountain. Once we reached the top, the cart was set free , and we began our high-speed hurtle through icy caverns back toward ground level.

Dashing alternately through darkness and light, we hugged the outside rails, then dipped back into an tinkling ice cave. Blue-white crystals flashed past us, while bursts of tinkly tinkly music completed the effect. We rounded the curve in the cavern and came to a rather sudden and completely unexpected stop.

Seems we were stuck.

Seems the whole ride was stuck.

Something somewhere broke, and all of the sleds were stopped. A friendly yet authoritative voice told us so. It also told us to stay in the toboggan and someone would get us.

Get us? Well, yes, but not for about 45 minutes, and not all of the strawberry-scented sexiness in the world was enough to get the never-ending tinkle tinkle tinkle tinkle out of my head.

Just when I thought I couldn't take it anymore, the ice wall to my right opened, and two foxy blonde girls with green lederhosen and tan legs stepped out to greet us.

"Come this way." they instructed.

Bewildered, and reeling from the artificial ice-noise, we climbed out of the sled and followed the tight-bloused girls into the well-concealed freight elevator.

Down, down we descended into the bowels of the Matterhorn. Down through the secret levels. The work shop. The toboggan lot. The break room. The lockerroom. Down to the bottom. Down, below the mountain. Down to the underground hallways.

That was as much of the grand tour that they wanted to provide, and we were whisked briskly back into the daylight. However, I had seen enough.

I had seen behind the Mouse's veil. I was shown things most people will never see. I saw what I never thought I would see.

Which is how I felt this afternoon.

Following the media frenzy, I delved not-so-deeply into the undercurrents of the blogosphere to seek out the un-edited photos. Without much effort, I found them.

All of them.

In the background, I saw the familiar smarmy smirk of Paris Hilton. She sat in a car, seemingly stewing in sweat and semen, swilling one more for the road. Paris was waiting for her new best friend to swing away from the paparazzi, and get back into the car. There was more binge-drinking to be done, and she wanted to go.

In the foreground, was Paris's new best friend, Britney. She was dressed for a night on the town, wearing a tight-fitting black cocktail dress. She was awkwardly posing for the publicity pictures, feiging a candid moment, she overcalculated her sneak peek, and hiked the hem of her skirt way way way up her hips.

And there, in the focal point, what I never thought I'd see, what I never even really desired to see, was the clean-shaven somewhat-saggy panty-less winking vagina of Britney Spears.

The mysteries of one more dark cavern revealed. Oh, and, that tinkly ice-cave music music you hear is probably her latest release.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

7 in Kansas

I know many Brians, Dr. Brian being only one of them. All from varying backgrounds, most were born between 1968 and 1972.

I have previously shared my theories concerning our mothers and the movie, Brian's Song. So I won't go into that again here.

Suffice to say, I once knew a guy named Brian, which, in light of my opening paragraph, shouldn't be a surprise to any one.

This Brian was a year or two older than me, and came from a fairly affluent family. By "affluent," I mean his family lived in a gated hillside community in Southern California where wealthy white folks lived to get away from brown-skinned folks. That, however, was not Brian's fault, nor is it the point of this post.

Brian was a very nice guy. Book-smart, spiritual and musically-talented, he often went out of his way to help those in need, usually preaching the gospel to them along the way.

Well, as these stories often go, one day, Brian lost his fucking mind. Bonkers. Nuts. Goony as a loon.

I was at home. He dropped by. He had lost weight quickly as he apparently was living on a peanut and water diet. Everything he owned was in his car. He had a wild maniacal look in his eye.

He bounced around my house, never quite sitting in one place for more than a minute. He spoke rapidly, repeating phrases, laying out his plan for surviving the apocalypse.

"I'm going to drive to Panama and bury a bicycle in the jungle." He said.

"uh." Was all I managed."

"Then, during the tribulation, before the rapture, if we run out of gasoline, I can walk to Panama and dig up my Bike."

I thought for moment, then, "That's an awfully long walk."

He was ready for that though, "Oh, not to worry, I will walk from town to town, preaching the gospel in Spanish, and stay with believers along the way. Hey, do you have any spaghetti??"

He then went into a frighteningly obtuse exposition about pasta and pan lids. I zoned out.

Insanity, as you well know, annoys me.

While he went on, I reviewed his plan in my head. Something bothered me about it, and I'm not talking about the obviously insane part. Something about it flipped a switch, and I was slow to identify what it was.

Later, after he was gone, in the still quiet of the night, I finally figured out what it was. What if he COULDN'T find his bike?? What if he walked all the way back to Panama through persecution and plague, only to realize that the jungle is a big place and his bike was lost?? What if someone stole it?

These are the things that I fret about when I am far from my belongings. I am a firm believer in "A place for everything, and everything in its place," and the tropical jungle is no place to bury a bike, regardless of how crazy you are or who you think your god is.

Which leads me to this morning.

I drove this morning, earlier than was prudent, out to the quaint rural hamlet of Mc Minnville for a deposition. Names and facts are not important. All you need to know is that the deponent did a bad thing and it is going to cost him a lot of money.

As we slogged our way through the questions and answers, it became apparent that the small smelly old man was land rich but cash poor. He had also accumulated many separate investment, checking and savings accounts, IRAs, 401ks, and various funds for stashing cash. They were spread out all over the state. Thing is, they were all near empty, containing but mere pocket change for the sake of keeping them open.

But WHY??

Why not have one account, and funnel the remaining meager funds into it?

Then there was the forgotten account. It was a retirement account that he had forgotten about. It potentially had thousands of dollars in it. However, the fund manager had since stopped sending statements, and he had forgotten all about it.

That raised several lawyerly eyebrows all around the room. However, it just confirmed my fear about spreading my things out beyond my scope of control.

But then came the topper. Seems there was some land too. 7 parcels to be exact, located in a small town in Kansas. 7 parcels purchased in the 70s, when he was a young man living in the area. The land was cheap, and he needed a place to park his mobile home until surrounding land prices improved.

As time went on, he moved away, and has continued to pay $13 per year in property taxes. No rent. No improvements. He has not even gone back to look at it since 1978. One field divided into 7 lots, sitting empty. Perhaps tempting trespassers? Squatters? Adverse possessors?

If I held land, unseen for 28 years, unimproved, and unguarded; I would never be able to sleep. I would worry about it all day and all night. Worrying about the upkeep, and worrying about liability. I cannot abide a loose end. It would drive me CRAZY.

...Which would be convenient. If I owned land in Kansas, and lost my mind in the trade, I would at least have a place to bury my bicycle.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Haka Monday

I think I may start to do my own little Haka before depositions...

Friday, December 01, 2006

Erudite Friday

Here's a little Shakespeare to get you through the weekend:

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Christina Ricci

I seem to lose readers as fast as I gain them...

The new readers can be fun though, watching the rapid demoralization of their souls as they dig deeper and deeper into the dreary depths of the Lounge. Ah, nothing like the loss of innocence to start the day off right!

So, one such blog-spelunker observed recently that I seem to hold a limited fixation on Christina, while other, healthier, individuals can have entire LISTS of predatory sexual obsessions.

"Hold your horses!" was my retort. "You obviously have not dug deeply enough to have seen the List. The Laminated List!"

Which raised the realization, "Holy Guano, Batman! I need to update the list!"

So, without further ado, here is the all-new fully-updated brunette-heavy Gin-&-Tonic Laminated list:


1
Nicole Kidman
2
Christina Ricci
3
Alyson Hannigan
4
Dita Von Teese
5
Eva Green
Of course, to validate the list, I must name my obligatory alternates...
Blonde Alternate: Tricia Helfer
Over Age Alternate: Isabella Rossellini
Under Age Alternate: Emma Watson
Same Sex Alternate: Ewan McGregor

Not in Oregon

Finally, freaks doing frealky things in OTHER states...

Man accused of spray-painting 3 goats

Tue Nov 28, 10:26 PM ET

A man broke into a barn on Thanksgiving morning, spray-painted three pet goats and scattered pages of pornographic magazines on the floor, apparently to harass the property owner, police said Tuesday.

"Obviously it's not an occurrence you see every day," Karst said. "I think it was a situation where this harassment got out of hand."

He would not elaborate on past instances of harassment or what the feud involved but said the suspects were known to the property owner.

Karst said he did not know specifically how the goats were harmed, but a veterinarian said the goats became sick after eating the magazine pages. The vet, Stacey Dallas, also said the orange paint was on their genitals and described the act as torture.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Late Shift


Trisha was working the late shift at Target. Clad as she was in tan pants and red short-sleeved blouse, she looked down the deserted aisles, looking for signs on life, or a patron to process through the checkstand maze.

She was crabby. She wasn't supposed to work tonight, but Cheryl couldn't make it in due to snow. So, Trisha had to cover.

So, there she stood, in sensible shoes, regretting the fast food she feasted on for dinner. Bored. Cold. Dreaming of a day when she would work regular hours with regular weekends. Maybe she would be a dental assistant. Maybe she would be a paralegal (whatever that is...) The odor of the over-buttered popcorn wafted from the food court.

She felt ill.

Suddenly she saw him. Perhaps the last customer of the night on this snowy November Monday. He was tall. Over 6 foot for sure. He wore a ratty green sweatshirt under a black leather coat. He had bad hair. His glasses were too big for his face. He smelled vaguely of gin.

In one hand, he carried discs; CDs and DVDs. Among them, INXS, Gorillaz, and the Little Mermaid. In the other hand he held a six pack of one-liter bottles of 7-Up.

For this, he left the house late and braved the snow? This was the late night shopping emergency? Sad really. She smiled politely.

He fumbled with his debit card, seemingly confused by basic technology. He mumbled something both unfunny and incoherent.

Trisha kindly packed the bags, gave the man his receipt, and sent him on his way. To his credit, he shuffled out the door without complication.

Trisha, knowing the end of the shift was near, slumped against her register and sighed.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Post-Hipster-Outdoorsy-Utili-Chic

I finally managed to get my ass into a theater to see Casino Royale. It rocked. It was smart and stylish, suspenseful and well-paced, well-written and well-acted. It was stripped-down and edgy, lean and low-tech. It was what true fans have waited for, for a long long time. Here, I thought Pierce was the best Bond since Connery. Hell, Mr. Craig is really quite possibly better than the original.

If the Broccoli family ever come across this blog, I would just like to say, "Thank you. Finally, you got it right."

How, you may ask, did I ever actually get out to see a movie? (With the missus, no less!!)

What, pray tell, happened to the monkey??

Well my friends, I have one word for you: "Babysitter!"

A trusted twenty-something from the wife's work requested a tot-fix, and we had just the tot for her. By all reports, all went well. The lovely lady arrived, as pre-arranged, with her polite and dapper boyfriend around noon. The monkey napped without incident or alarm for a couple of hours, leaving me with really only one question: "Where in my house did they screw?"

Not that I CARE... I'm just curious.

The mid-day movie-date allowed for a rare luxury, not partaken of since, oh, last May. This of course was the all-adult dining experience. As we drove north, we ran through the litany of all known eating establishments. We don't often have this opportunity, so we decided to make it count. We settled on our favorite Vietnamese Pho house, near where Tom used to live. However, that idea didn't sit quite right.

We randomly called out a few more sorry suggestions, until Mrs. Gin-&-Tonic finally recalled one small cafe up in the northwest part of town that she heard about on the radio. Having wound our way through the narrow streets, we came to the corner of 24th and Thurman, only to discover that the place was gone.

Not to let the loss of a cafe defeat us, we toured some more through the uber-hip over-priced neighborhood, until we came across a little red and white brick building with a simple sign that read Stepping Stone Cafe. It looked deliciously divy. So, we walked in.

Now, I'm not here to tell you that it was the greatest diner in the world, or that it will change your life. However, it was truly tasty, and the wait staff is charming, in a sassy and surly sort of way. Their motto is : "you eat here because we let you."

The Coffee was durable. The proportions were large. The sausage was sizzling, and my wife ordered some sort of thick banana hazelnut French toast thing that would have been appropriate for desert. I will definitely drive back for more, and if you are near Portland, you should too.

Now, while we sat in the cafe for this Sunday's brunch, I began to look around at my fellow patrons. Not surprisingly, it was a typical Sunday Portland crowd with varied ages and economic backgrounds. Most clearly, no one looked like they had just come from church. In fact, many looked like they had just rolled out of bed with delicately disheveled hair and cleverly pre-crumpled ironic clothing. Some wore high-tech outdoorsy weather gear. Some wore khaki. Some wore creative ensembles of all these things.

Most Women had pony tails. Most men were unshaven. A few of the guys still had make up on from the night before, but otherwise mascara was nowhere to be found. This is Portland. Weekend Portland, at least. During the week, downtown is predictable business suits, ties, and dresses, but even then, there is a subversive subcurrent in the professional appearance.

My sister visited from California a couple of years ago, and noticed after a short time, that people in Portland had a, uh, um "different style." Well, fair enough.

so sitting in that cafe this afternoon, I wondered to myself, what exactly is that style? It crosses generations and local geography. Formal dining here means a dinner jacket with your blue jeans. Most wait staff, anywhere in town, is tattooed. There is a hipster sensibility mixed with the necessities of wet winters. There is an outdoor ethos mixed with a blase aloofness. It is concentrated understatement. It is trying too goddamn hard to look like you are not trying at all.

So does it have a name? Deliberate-dress-down-woodsy-chic? Quasi-urban-techno-casual? I don't really know, and perhaps I don't really care. After all, I don't want to look like I'm trying too hard.

But in all seriousness, the food was good. You should go.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Can We Have Root Beer Flowing from the Fountains Too?

Wishful thinking is what it is. I know, I know, it's popular in California. However, THIS is not California...

People like fake trendy facades down there. Hell, the whole place IS a fake trendy facade. So, it should be no surprise that the latest trend in shopping is a "total immersion commercial experience."

See, the big malls and bigger box stores have killed the concept of local downtown mom-and-pop shopping. However, market research proves beyond doubt that the downtown village shopping experience is exactly what shoppers want.

So, now, retail developers have taken to building fake shopping towns, which, when viewed from a historical perspective, is exactly how real town were first formed. So, it's actually a cyclical circle of sorts, so to speak, but I digress.

These new pseudo towns have no mayor, no city counsel, no residents to speak of. They are simply malls. Malls with streets, street art, and artsy thematic facades. And so, we come to the illusive point...

The greater Portland tri-county metro region has, among other things, three big malls. Washington Square caters to the Yuppies on the westside (home of Nike and Intel). Clackamas Town Center caters to the eastside hillbillies. Lloyd Center, toward the northside, caters eclectically to street-thugs, gay men and Tonya Harding. (She used to ice skate there...)

Recently, however, some developer took note of a triangle field located near Interstate-5 at the very gateway of Lake Oswego. ( For you folks who don't know, "Lake No-Negro" is a private lake surrounded by wealthy white folks who shelter along its shore behind tall walls, and who venture out only in caravans of matching SUVs with darkly tinted windows.)

Needless to say, this little capital venture was aimed at the "upper end" shopper. So, it should be no surprise that a little pseudo-village shopping park, Bridgeport Village, should emerge, as if overnight. Streets were re-routed. Entire big-box book stores made the move literally across the street, but then things slowly started to go wrong...

First, there was the flaming fountain sculpture. It is nice, with stone and bronze, fire and water. It was temporarily loaned to the Village by the aging artist. It was, however, PERMANENTLY installed, and no one seemed to have planned to pay anyone for it. Oops.

And then there is the parking. And really, since I've started writing this blog last year, I have resisted a raging rant about the inexplicable absence of parking at this place. So, in the interest of moving on, let me just say this: Parking at Bridgeport Village is poor.

(By "poor," of course, I mean that the designers should be ass-raped in hell for all of eternity.)

And then, as if by surprise, once the first winter hit, it was discovered that there was no roof. Well, the individual shops have roofs, but not the side walks. Now, Oregonians are a hardy bunch when it comes to rain, but really, the upper-end shoppers from Lake-O, so coveted by the village, are just a bunch of pussies.

Bad planning. BAD GODDAMN PLANNING!! That's what I think every time I go. And I have to go. They have things there that I want! But having made my purchase, I feel guilty for having supported BAD FUCKING PLANNING!!

(Jesus, this one's getting long...)

OK, so, tonight, The Village hosted it's first annual lighting of the Christmas Tree. First attempt. Fair enough.

But Damnit, if you are going to invite a gazillion people to come stand OUTSIDE in the cold November air, have more than TWO heaters on site.

AND, if you are going to distribute hot cider to the throng, or even offer hot cider, have the cider ready. Have cider pump-pots that work, and have more than one poor schlepp on hand to help. And if you are not going to have the product available, do not make kind folks and potential shoppers stand in line.

AND, if you're going to have a gazillion children come stand outside to see Santa and the tree, and you are in Oregon, and you FORGOT TO BUILD A ROOF, a little temporary tarp or tent might be nice.

AND, when you've designed overly-narrow lanes, and crammed them with kiosks and a gazillion crying cold wet children, DO NOT try to force a team of angry elk, dressed as reindeer and pulling a sleigh, through the milling masses.

AND, this is the important part, when you have lured a gazillion crying cold bored hungry tired wet children to your Bataan-death-march-like holiday extravaganza, Santa Claus had better goddamn well better be sure that he is not 30 fucking minutes late!

Piss-poor planning in goddamn deed.

And before you ask, no, I do not want or need a tinsel hat...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Cigar

It's dark now. It's been a good day. Every one is asleep, except me of course. I am sitting in the dark by the big window watching dimly lit breakers slide up the sand. I am on my second glass of port. All that is missing is a cigar. Poor planning on my part.

SHUSKY

Growing up, I had a dog named Sargie that was half lab and half shepherd. When I was 5, we moved into a house nextdoor to a dog of the exact same mix. So, what are the odds of that happening again? Well, here at the coast on a stormy thanksgiving, our shepherd husky boy has met and played with not one but two others exactly like himself. It's just odd really.

Holliday Update

Happy thanksgiving from the sunny oregon coast.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Man of the Year

GOOD LORD, it's been a long week. I feel bad. Really I do. I've been remiss in my duties.
Thanks to the commenters to the last post for at least presenting something new for the last few days.

Anyway, It's Saturday night, and very few folks read this thing on Sunday. Nevertheless, I have to scratch my bloging itch. So, here are some pictures sent to me at work to satiate the masses.

I added some commentary...

It's the 2006 Man of the Year Awards!!

Our first runner-up is a sensitive man of nature.

Unfortunately for Mr. Extreme Sport, he probably will not be getting a blow job from the girl SLEEPING ON ROCKS any time soon. You know what they say: "Spokes before Pokes..."

The second runner-up is a hero for many reasons. However, my favorite detail in this photo is the fact that he is drinking one of the beverages. I picture in my mind, the man saying something like: "here, let me help you with this," as he takes the bottle from the top rack while shirpa-girl is holding them.

I also like to imagine that the girl is the man's Russian mail-order bride.

The Winner may be the greatest man off all time. It could only be better if he was shirtless and and eating a steak.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ides of November

I am old, and getting older by the minute. Fortunately, however, the other Brian -Dr. Brian- will forever be older than me.

Happy Birthday to Dr. Brian!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Piggly Wiggly

You can tell what region an American is from, not so much by their accent, but rather by the grocery store they frequent.

Vons or Ralphs? California.
Kroeger? Midwest.
Fred Meyer? Northwest.
Piggly Wiggly? South.

Truth be told though, the Piggly Wiggly chain used to be more dominant, and certainly more ubiquitous. Proof of that fact can be found in the nostalgic photos that line the Hooka aisle at the local world food store, around the corner from my office.

Photographic history tells a tale that takes us back to the 50s, through the personal history of Barber World Foods. The market has been through various incarnations including Barber Foods, Barber Market, and even once, long ago, Piggly Wiggly.

Much has changed over the decades, and the current high-end ethnic trend brings unusual color and flavors to a rather dull intersection. Lunch becomes a safari. A walk down the aisle is a caravan to Morocco. Even the gummi bears are imported from Hungary.

So, there I was this afternoon, picking up a quick powerbar lunch after my extended Russian depositions this morning. Coming the aisles for a beverage treat, I came upon an oasis of juicy delights. scanning the exotic labels, I spied varying treats from diverse continents, until I came across the abomination.

Three great tastes that don't taste great together. Hate in bottle. A little bit of vomit in the mouth.

I discovered a product that nearly justified in my mind Cheney's campaign of middle eastern ethnic cleansing. The product is making me nauseous just thinking about it. Seriously, I'm getting that queasy, going to throw up feeling.

I can barely type this.

It was called "Mint-flavored Yogurt Soda." Oh god, I'm getting sick.

Fine, don't believe me? Here's a picture:

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Truth in Advertising.


We made the monthly run to Costco this wet and windy afternoon. We bulked up on Yogurt and soda and toilet paper. On the request of the Missus, I also also grabbed a three-pack of canned pumpkin, presumably to make a pie for the impending holiday.

After returning home, I began the long processes of unloading the car and storing the goods in the pantry/fridge/freezer. As I unloaded the tightly-packed parcels from the reused wholesale boxes, I came across the cans of pumpkin.

The label stated clearly that the can contained 100% pumpkin, which I assumed, of course was a load of horse shit. I'm not sure what I expected was in the can, but sugar, water, and preservatives were a given.

I expect labels to lie to me. It's the nature of advertising. "We're the #1 blah blah blah in town!" "We have the lowest prices!" "I am a compassionate conservative..." You know what I mean.

So, as I unwrapped the cans from their clear plastic sheath, I casually turned one in my hand and glanced at the ingredients. This is what it said:

"Ingredients: Pumpkin"

That's it. Well, I'll be damned.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Grinch

But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.

-How the Grinch stole Christmas

I was alone on the dark road. The air was cold and clean. The rising elevation of the twisting mountain road had lifted me from the perma-smog level of the valley below.

It was convenient, living in the small town at the very foot of Mount Baldy. It was too early for snow, and on a chilly mid-week evening in the middle of autumn, there was no traffic.

I came around the corner and slowly trailed off the road into a flat gravel turnout. There was a mounded soil berm around the edge, poorly-designed to prevent wayward drivers from plunging to their fiery death down in the dark canyon below. I stopped before I got that far.

I sat in the cab of my truck watching swirling eddies of dust dance in my high beams. Morose music played meaningfully from my stereo speakers. Probably the Smiths. This was many years ago, but still, 10 to 1, it was Morrissey and Johnny meandering their way through the harmony and melody of gloom.

My stalwart sensibilities were in some sort of youth-induced disarray. Was it a girl? Maybe. Was it the apprehension of my waning faith? Perhaps. Might it have been the tedious monotony and of work and school? It's truly hard to tell.

I'm not even certain now, these many years later, whether it was angst, anger, or anxiety. I was full, however, with whatever emotion ailed me, and I felt that it was prudent to take it out on the mountain roads that wound their way above my home.

So, there I sat, alone, with the lights turned off, listening to sad songs in the dark by the side of the silent road. The source of my ire swelled, and it needed to come out.

I opened the door of my truck. The frigid night air made a sucking sound as it poured into my once-warm cab. The ping ping ping of my open-door alarm and the glare of my overhead lamp were jarring against the inky silence. As I stepped out, I felt the satisfying crunch of my Vans stepping on the gravel below. Quickly, I closed the door to end the assault of light and noise.

A few feet away, I found a boulder perched precariously on the edge of the cliff. I stepped carefully atop the rock and stared at the moon-cast shadows crawling against the apposite canyon wall.

I knew the alpine ravine was deep and the walls were steep. It was also quite wide. From where I stood, it was several hundred yards to the other side. I felt small. I felt engulfed by the unknown darkness.

It took a few moments to find my voice. Eventually, however, whatever it was, whatever the cause of my melancholy, I closed my eyes, lifted my head and and let it out. It was Whitman's barbaric yawp. It was primal. It filled the valley before me, echoing against rocks and trees, flowing toward nothingness in the night.

It was, what you might call, therapeutic.

Today, I drove my practical car to the office to get in a few extra weekend billables. I was dressed comfortably in practical Northwest layers. I had lunched with the monkey and the missus. I stopped for a grande coffee (no room) at Starbucks.

I was listening to some old music on the way that recalled memories of my road-side outburst. I realized that don't feel Yawpy much anymore. In fact, I don't feel much in the way of swelling emotion very often at all anymore. Maybe I'm a Jedi. Maybe it's just old age. Maybe my heart is two sizes too small.

Hard to say. However, it's probably for the best, there aren't many cliffs to scream from around here...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Dinner for Two

Time was short and I was hungry. It was past noon, and the tummy was grumbling. Apparently that grande coffee and Rice Crispy treat wasn't the breakfast-of-champions that I thought it was.

There were things to do, motions to file, letters to write. So, I jumped in the car and made a run for the border. Well, not a border in any literal political sense. I went to Taco Bell.

And there I sat, with discarded Burrito Supreme and soft taco wrappers strewn across the mauve laminate table. I was reading the day's newspaper. This was not so much to catch up on the current events, as it was an attempt to not look like the hapless friendless lunch loser I really am.

I flipped idly through the pages, discarding useless sections like the classifieds and Sports. It was Tuesday, so I glanced through the special Food section. It occasionally has interesting BBQ ideas.

I came across an odd article about an old man who learned how to cook by making soup in his backyard as a child. It didn't make sense when I read it, and it makes less sense now that I am recalling it.

Regardless, the man was asked: "If you could invite anyone in history to dinner, who would it be?"

Pretentiously, and predictably, he said: "Thomas Jefferson. I'd ply him with an Oregon Pinot Noir. While he talked, I'd cook. What a wonderful occasion that would be."

Now, the man lived in Northeast Portland. So, more than likely, while he cooked, Jefferson would be making time with the attractive African-American lady next door. But I digress.

I sat stewing in my refried-bean-induced lethargy, thinking to myself, "well, self, who the hell would you invite to dinner?"

The possibilities swam wildly through my imagination.

Jesus, perhaps: "Excuse me, Mr. Son of Man, could you heal my pancreas? No? Right, I didn't think so..."

Julius Caesar: "Yes sir, we call them 'The French' now, and no, they're not quite as tough as when you fought them..."

Nicolaus Copernicus: "...Right, eight. I mean, there were nine, but someone change the definition."

Leonardo DiVinci: "Tell the truth Leo, that really is you in the picture, right?"

Napoleon: "You're the military genius here, but I'm just saying, you might want to avoid taking little naps during large battles in Belgium..."

All of these guests would make for fine fellowship and delightful dinner discourse. However, if I were ever presented with the option of selecting anyone in history to dine with, I'd probably choose Christina Ricci. I mean, I always serve wine with dinner, and if I got her drunk, she might make out with me.

(Yes, I am married, but Christina is on the Laminated List, so it's OK.)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

In the News Today


Here is a tasty, though abridged, morsel from Today's Oregonian, a fine-fine printed news source:

Former jailer accused of preying on inmate

Lawsuit: An ex-prisoner in Lake County alleges former guard, Jason J. Haskins, pressured her into oral sex for a can of chew

Tuesday, November 07, 2006
BRYAN DENSON The Oregonian


A former jail inmate has filed a federal lawsuit that accuses a one-time corrections officer in Lake County of coercing her into oral sex for a can of chewing tobacco.

Haskins was charged with two crimes -- supplying contraband and official misconduct. His trial is set for later this year, said Lake County District Attorney David Schutt.

"(The alleged victim) was able to describe a particular room in the jail that prisoners don't have access to," said Schutt, adding, "She was in possession of a can of Copenhagen."

Attorney, Ron Howen said his client broke no laws and denies soliciting oral sex or giving the woman any chew.

The suit accuses Haskins of selecting her for abuse because she was vulnerable and her capacity to consent to sexual intimacy was limited. Also, the suit alleges, Haskins flirted with the inmate "in order to groom her for later sexual predation," and lured her with chewing tobacco and other favors.

Lake County and its sheriff answered the complaint Oct. 27, saying that if the woman really did perform a sex act on the deputy to obtain benefits, she did it willingly and that -- if the acts really occurred -- they were intended to help her bring a lawsuit against the defendants.

Brian's comments:

Just for clarification, Lake County is about as far as you can travel from civilization and still be in the State of Oregon. It's a place the Amish find a little backward, but quaint. Close relatives are expected to "keep it in the family." Jesus usually gets 20% of the write-in vote, just behind Dale Earnhardt Jr.

What I take from this article is two-fold:

First, tobacco-chewing semi-retarded jail babes are cheap AND easy.

Second, and more importantly, even tobacco-chewing semi-retarded jail babes need a little foreplay (or just some quality chew.)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Vote

I suppose it is election day. So, if you haven't voted already, go vote.

And of course, by "Vote," I mean go and do whatever you are capable of justifying to yourself to punish the pig-headed jack-booted red-neck religion-twisting brown-man-hating bible-thumping cocksucking hypocrites who stole the GOP from me.

Punish Bush

Punish Cheney

Punish warmongering

Punish partisan betrayal

Punish corporate corruption and executive treason

If Daniel Ortega can abide by and participate in constitutional democracy, so can you.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

112 Honest Lawyers

Why don't sharks eat layers?

Professional courtesy.

Heh heh...

I laugh with the rest when a good lawyer joke is told. It is important to be able to laugh at one's self. Too often, however, I think folks form the wrong impression of my profession.

While car dealers will lie, cheat and coerce to make a sale, and mechanics will look you in the eye and prescribe an unnecessary yet costly repair, lawyers are actually bound by a very strict code of professional conduct. The practice of law is one of the most highly regulated and strictly disciplined lines of work in the world.

So, there I sat, Friday afternoon. I was at a conference collecting my mandatory continuing-legal-education credits. It was near evening, and it had been a long boring day. There was a forensic accountant speaking to us about tax records. We were probably a half hour from being done, and I was sitting in the back row trying to stay awake.

Then it struck me. There were still a lot of lawyers in the room.

We were there for credit. Every three years we must report our CLE (education) credits to the bar to maintain our licenses. It is an honor-system. You are only supposed to report the credits for the hours that you were actually present, but in reality, no one is stopping you at the door.

But here we were, 4:30 on a Friday, with an accountant blathering away at the podium. No one wanted to be there, and no one was making them stay. No one, that is, except honor. The bar would never know if any of them lied about being in their seat for the full 8 hours, but they stayed. 112. I counted. 112 lawyers sitting in their seats, being honest and doing the right thing.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Odds And Ends

Item 1:

Juries in this county are, for the most part, intelligent. They are, in fact, probably more intelligent and better educated than juries in most of the other counties of this state. Unfortunately, they are also satanically sadistic motherfuckers.

The trial is over. It's not so much that I lost, as it is, the jury was simply pissed off and found a way to punish every single party and attorney involved. They spread the pain like pavement, and there was nothing like having my boss's most-lucrative client sitting in the gallery behind me when the verdict was read.

Item 2:

Get back on the horse...

One of the very best ways to overcome a disappointing trial verdict, is to run right back down to court the day after trial and argue a motion that is sure to win. However, running right back down to court the day after trial, arguing said motion, and in fact losing the sure-thing motion, does NOTHING for one's self-esteem.

Item 3:

Of course the only surefire cure for the litigation blues is a healthy dose of Monkey Therapy.

If you don't happen to have one of your own, you're welcome to borrow mine. (Assuming I know you of course, and further assuming you're not totally creepy...)


Which leads to my fourth and final item...

Item 4:

You can never have too many monkeys.

Well, OK, maybe you can. However, as the old saying goes, two monkeys are better than one...

Yes, the gin-&-tonic monkey (pictured above) is going to be a big sister. Mighty seed has once more issued from my loins. Mrs. G&T is thoroughly knocked-up, and I have it on good authority that I am very likely the father.

We are not so far along that I can tell you what it's going to be. However, we are far enough along that I can tell you it has a head, a heart beat, two arm buds and two leg buds. And that is good enough for now.

I will say this, and I apologize to you folks who have heard it already. Just after making the first announcement a few years ago, when we were expecting the Monkey, I was told by another lawyer friend of mine that I was going to have a girl. "Why do you say that?" I asked.

"Because you look like the father of girls," he said.

Funny, but later, it got creepy when he told his partner that I was going to be a father. "It'll be a girl," said the partner,

"Right! Right! But WHY do you say that?" asked my friend.

"Because he looks like the father of girls," said the partner, and the father of a girl I am. Does this mean that I am destined to be the father of two girls? Perhaps, though I don't stake much faith in such superstitious hobgoblinry. Boy. Girl. Whichever. I'm just holding out for healthy, happy, and smarter than dear old dad.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Friday, October 27, 2006

Book 'Em Danno

And The Hits Keep Coming

I had a Steve Austin doll. That made sense. I also had the Oscar Goldman doll with booby-trapped brief case. Esentially, a bureaucrat action figure.




And this one... I wonder how this studio pitch went: "So, ya, it's just like Smokey and the Bandit, only with a MONKEY!!"

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Boys With Cars

I was thrilled to see such an enthusiastic response to the first entry in my "Best TV Theme Song" series. In an effort to capitalize upon the feverish frenzy, I will post two theme songs tonight for your pleasure.

The first is a riveting sequence that got the juices pumping for an inevitable weekly let down. It really was a crappy show with no direction or any hope of resolution (Much like "Lost." Sorry folks.)

Here's Harcastle and McCormick



The next was a more successful venture into the man-boy-adventure genre. The Mustache, the shorts, the car. It's Magnum.

Pearly Whites

DO YOU HAVE A SHITTY SMILE?

DO YOUR GUMS BLEED?

DO YOUR BEST FRIENDS CALL YOU "YUCK MOUTH?"

Well, if you answered "yes" to any of these important questions, then do I ever have a dentist for you. The Gin & Tonic Lounge's very own resident tooth mechanic has his very own brand new website.

Be sure to Check it out, HERE

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Foreseeable Future.

Ah, the leisurely life of a lawyer...

Chauffeured into the office each morning in our gold-plated Mercedes by tanned Swedish bikini models, we are met at the door by our personalized pygmy attendants. Fresh French pressed coffee is served in jewel-encrusted chalices by virgin handmaidens. I sit in my baby-seal skin chair to listen to young Irish choir boys read my mail to me while I am fanned with handfuls of my own money.

For our afternoon break, we shoot peasants with hunting rifles from the roof, and then we give thanks to our lord, Satan, for our glorious bounty.

Or so you think...

I was in the office until 9:30 tonight, clearing the decks to prepare for next week's trial. It's bound to be a big one.

The cleaning lady was startled to see me. I quickly tucked the burger wrappers (my only meal today) into the trash can, and handed it over my desk to her. I finished two phase reports for the insurance company, three responses to Requests for Production and finalized an inbox full of dictation, all after 6:30.

The desk is now clear. Trial prep starts tomorrow. Trial begins Monday.

Oh, and, did I mention that my entire family is coming up to visit from California on Friday?

Needless to say, I'm not going to be spending much in the way of time bloggin until the middle of next week. In the mean time, I do have a lovely little series in the can ready to go. So, without further ado, here is the first in a multi-part series I'd like to call "Best TV Theme Songs."

Tonight's entry is by far one of the best, and most riveting opening theme songs ever orchestrated. I write, of course, about SWAT:



As a five-year-old in the mid-70s, this song could wind me up to a degree that raw sugar could only dream about...

Monday, October 23, 2006

Two-Fer

ITEM ONE

One of the few bright spots on an otherwise dismal television horizon has been Studio 60. Aaron Sorkin of West Wing fame is a coke-headed savant, capable of turning out volume after volume of muse-infused genius-level scripting.

Studio 60 has been, in its 4 short weeks, a second coming of both West Wing and Sports Night, a mass media messiah to save the literate masses from the eternal damnation of mediocre drivel.

And tonight was no exception. Amid the delicate backdrop of a crisis of conscience concerning appropriate role models for minority youth, an anonymous elder wanders the halls looking for signs of his former youth gone-by. Interweaving plots and dialogues set the scene.

The old man was a writer on a long-gone show in the studio. He had been blacklisted in the McCarthy era, and was searching for some sign of his pre-dementia days.

The actor playing the man was familiar, but it took several moments to lock in his identity. Eli Wallach it was. Much greyer and much reduced from his performance of Tuco, the Ugly, some 40 years ago.

I was gleeful to see such an actor reappear, and be filled with the words of a witty writer, such as Sorkin. Good episode. Good show.

ITEM TWO

What the fuck is wrong with the Japanese?? I mean, holy hell.

I have see a lot of depravity in my lifetime. I make a living in which I expect people to lie to me every single goddamn day.

I have also seen enough sensual debauchery for any one person to see, live, taped, or on the internet. I thought I knew of all of the various and sundry acts of degradation. I have seen the foot fetishists, the furries, the vampires, the pony girls, scat freaks, vomitoriums, public and private humiliation, waifs, MILFS, and everything in between. BUT GOOD GOD! Those godforsaken Japanese!!!

Well, here it is. Here is the biggest new thing from the land of Godzilla:

Nose Abuse.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

College Fund

The Monkey is clearly smarter than I am.

Perhaps it is cliche parental pride, but it appears to me that she is aglow with talent and potential. It is, therefore, fair to assume that she will, in all likelihood, earn a full ride to whichever institution of higher learning she eventually wishes to attend.

She'd better, because Mama and Daddy will still be paying on their own mortgage-sized student loans by the time she graduates from high school.

Absent that, she may have to work her way through college, like her dear old dad. Of course while I slung pizzas to pay for tuition, she seems to possess more lucrative talents:





Yes, I am in fact going to hell...

Tight Grouping

Playing darts at the Lucky Labrador, Josh decided to play Robin Hood. This is an actual photo of Josh's actual darts. He did, in fact, sink the tip of his third dart between the flight and the shaft of the second dart. All three were grouped in the bulls eye.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Portland Oregon

This is a little video tour around the city I call home. Well, OK, I actually live in the burbs to the South, but I work there!

It kinda peters-out toward the end, but you get the point...


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Big Kahuna Burger

I arrived home tonight, after a long cold gray day, to the warm and unmistakably inviting smell of homemade chicken soup.

Carrots and onions, simmering in a tall pot with celery and rice. Chunks of roasted chicken swam in the current of hot broth. There were biscuits too, with soft butter and honey. It was a perfect meal, punctuated by the bright fire in the fireplace and the cold Autumn rain slapping the windows outside.

I slurped the soup from the big spoon, and my thoughts wandered, as they always do when I eat soup, to my favorite scene from my favorite movie. Angel Eyes walks into the man's house. He is going to kill the man, but first, he's going to eat the man's soup. He sits at the rough-hewn peasant table and pulls the wooden bowl close. The soup eating is noisy and sloppy. The conversation dodges around a mysterious bag of gold.

Once fed, Angel Eyes kills the man, and the man's swarthy son, in cold blood. Of the three titular characters, Angel Eyes is established in that moment as the "Bad."

It's a good movie.

It was good soup.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Lounge

I discovered something disturbing today, or, perhaps, "peculiar," is more appropriate. As I wound down from my active afternoon, I wandered the neighborhood around my little patch of the blogosphere.

I checked in on our old friends at the Syndicate and our new friends at the Gouda. I traveled to Wales to read some tales, and meandered to Minneapolis to check in on Margus. Eventually, I logged into the dark master of my soul, Myspace.

Jesus, I stay off the internet for a couple of days and you'd think I was dying of cancer... Slowly, I hacked through the messages and comments, and porn-spam-friend requests. I read blog entries and blog comments, and I caught up on the non-spam bulletins.

Then slowly I sauntered about, checking in on the various changes folks have made to their profiles. I flickered through my friends list until I happened upon Ryan's profile. It has been nicely done up in hellish Halloween fashion. But then, as I scrolled down past the Tim Burton caricatures, I spied something truly wicked.

It was a picture of Dave.

You know, Dave. Dead Honkey Dave. Deuce Dave. Dave.

He's on Ryan's friends list. I mean, holy hell, how does that happen??

First, let me put this into perspective. Accurate or not, I like to hold myself out as a somewhat worldly, quasi-amoral, mostly-godless, drunken lecherous hedonist. However, if I were to envision the personification of my id in the form of the devil sitting on my shoulder, that devil would be Dave.

In stark contrast, the responding angel on the other shoulder would certainly be Ryan. Now, to make matters only more complicated, these images are based on nothing more than the respective duo's public personas, for in reality, both are fine upstanding moral citizens with a duplicitous penchant for the seedy side of life. However, the real kicker is, absent the Lounge, they would never have known each other.

I have been told, time and again, from secret readers and Lounge lurkers that many folks are afraid to enter the fray and leave a comment, because everyone here knows each other and everything is an inside joke.

Alas, nothing could be further from the truth. High school, law school, gateway-friends, wives of friends and friends of wives of friends, most of y'all have never met. Some of you, I've never met. Some of you live on other continents. Most of you live in other states. Some I've met on-line, and others have yet to pipe up and say hello.

And yet here is Dave, who I've known longer than I've had armpit hair, showing up as a friend of Ryan, who I played poker with many years later in law school.

And there are others too! But my head hurts too much from this one to think about those.

Social networking indeed...

Magic Water

My stomach doesn't feel particularly well. It's rumbling. It's grumbling. Perhaps it was the copious amount of booze consumed at Brenda's wedding over the weekend, or the lack of sleep. Perhaps it's the endless conveyor belt of craptastic food that I've consumed over the last couple of days.

Perhaps my job is to blame, with Tuesday's arbitration and the trial barreling down upon me at the end of the month. Maybe it's the row of unread medical-record notebooks, standing like a siege wall along the perimeter of my desk.

Whatever is the cause, it sounds (and feels) like a herd of water buffalo have taken up station in my belly. Therefore, tonight, as I prepped for tomorrow's Arbipalooza, I felt the need to rush down the hall to the downstairs guest suite bathroom.

This is, quite frankly, one of my favorite rooms in the whole house. It is one of the main reasons I wanted to buy the house. I recall exclaiming the word: "OOH!" upon first seeing it.

It is a simple bathroom. Shower/bath, toilet, sink, mirror. Spartan in decor, it is clean, and well furnished with pilfered hotel toiletries for our guests. More importantly, however, it is mostly isolated from the rest of the house and is, therefore, ideal for me to do the deed.

(No, I'm not talking about masturbation. At least, not this time.)

No, you know what I'm talking about, and this room is the ideal place for it. With this squarely in mind, I also keep this room stocked with an assortment of varied literature for my quality reading time.

So, tonight, I found myself sitting for a spell, and started thumbing through a recent copy of Popular Science. It is a reputable rag, to be sure, there was something about robots... Anyway, as I reached the advertisement pages near the back cover, I came across a bright bold red warning declaring that FILTERED WATER MAY BE AS DANGEROUS AS CIGARETTES!!

An anonymous woman from SD (South Dakota?) was quoted, "All around me they have MS, but they all drink pure filtered water from distillers, filters, ozonators, and reverse osmosis machines. The water is PURE, why do they have MS?"

I failed to see the connection, but I was intrigued. Maybe I was missing something.

But wait, there was more:

"People with Cancer flush their disease along with their medicine into the ground water 4-5 times per day. (Those bastards!) If you have well water and people in your town have cancer, there's a good chance you could get cancer!!"

OK, are they saying Cancer is contagious?? I mean, if your neighbors have cancer, and you have cancer, shouldn't you be more suspicious of the chemical processing plant across the street?

Apparently, they have a cure for that problem too:

"A town in Colorado that was fined $10,000 per day because water treatment companies couldn't stop the horrible smell from a 5 acre waste lagoon with over 10 million gallons of sewer waste. (Yes, that was a sentence fragment.) We sprayed our energized water on the surface of the lagoon. The smell was gone in 24 hours!"

Finally, in the poorly-written closing pitch, we are told: "Now you have been warned about cigarettes AND pure water products." Well, thank god for that.

It would be nice if it were true. All I'd have to do is drink some energized water, "with electrons!" and all of my many many medical maladies would wash away. Perhaps a tall cool glass of iced magic water could sooth my rumbling gut.

What isn't nice, however, is the sloppily fabricated fear tactics employed by these jackasses. I mean, it's one thing to separate a dimwit from his money, but it's always someone's gullible grandma or ailing aunt that gets hoodwinked by this hokum.

Wanna see for yourself? Check it out right here. The company seems to be located in New York. Anyone know the number for the Justice Department back there?

I think it's time for some Pepto...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Ultimate Showdown


We've all seen the little video. Now it is time to pose the ultimate challenge:

VERSUS


GEORGE WASHINGTON

Fact #1

George Washington: Was 6'8" and weighed 1 ton.

Chuck Norris: Not measurable by any form of Geometry or Physics.

Fact #2

George Washington: 2 sets of testicles.

Chuck Norris: Chuck doesn't get kicked in the nuts, his nuts kick you.

Fact #3

George Washington: Invented cocaine.

Chuck Norris: Necessity is the mother of invention, but Chuck Norris is its father.

Fact#4

George Washington: Had a pocketful of horses and fucked the shit our of bears.

Chuck Norris: Ya, George can have that one...

Fact #5

George Washington: Will kick you apart.

Chuck Norris: Will also kick you apart.

Fact #6

George Washington: Women dug his snuff and his gallant stroll.

Chuck Norris: Behind every successful man, there is a woman. Behind every dead man, there is Chuck Norris.

Fact #7

George Washington: 12 stories tall and made of radiation.

Chuck Norris: Doesn't get sunburned. Rather, the sun gets Chuckburned.

Fact #8

George Washington: 6'20" - fuckin killing for fun.

Chuck Norris: Has a deep and abiding respect for human life... Unless it gets in his way.

Alright folks, those are the facts. You be the judge...

Burrito Update

I found that I was out of Frozen Burritos.

I ate leftover teriyaki meatballs instead.


Hey, my pal, Ann, posted a brilliant video over at her Myspace Blog. Go check it out!

Conquest Update

As the Julii faction, I have captured the northern provinces of Italia, and have earned the good will of the Senate. I am preparing for my invasion of Gaul.

I am also hungry after having had a small dinner. I think a microwaved burrito before bed is in order.

Monday, October 09, 2006

NIHIL EST--IN VITA PRIORE EGO IMPERATOR ROMANUS FUI

I was the Grand sovereign Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. My holdings stretched along the southern coast of the sea, past the pyramids and the shores of Tripoli.

The Straight of Gibraltar was sealed in the West by my fleet of Dhows and Galleys. The Bosphorus was blocked by my occupation of Constantinople in the East.

My wicked Janissaries had overrun the sad Spanish defenses of Queen Isabella's ancestors. I was perched upon the high Pyranese at one end of the known world, and stood astride the Danube at the other.

I had been here before, in other lands, on other continents. I was surveying my opposition, taking stock of my forces, and tweaking the production output of my hinterlands. The politics and supply-lines were secure. The rebels were under foot. It was time to muster and attack. All that stood between me and world domination were the English, the Germans and the Pope.

Allah was with me. It was time.

I right-clicked the mouse...

Medieval: Total War, released in 2002 was perhaps the greatest comprehensive computerized strategy game ever created. Second in a series of three, it followed 2000's Shogun: Total war, and preceded 2004's less-enthralling Rome: Total War.

The series blends strategy with tactical command, and intertwines them with politics, religion and economy. Entire nights and weekends have been lost to these all-consuming conquests. That is, until the release of Rome.

Following in the footsteps of Medieval, Rome rode a wave of frenzied anticipation in the geekosphere. Once released, though, it was found to be too linear, and have more style than substance. It was still fun though, and better than most of the crap that's out there.

Blogging has put a damper on all things game-related, and fatherhood hasn't helped either. In the past week or so, though, I have begun to watch the HBO series, "Rome," with it's flashy fighting and fleshy debauchery, the old soundtrack of Rome: Total War has been rattling around in my head.

Then, tonight, I caught the spectacular series on Roman engineering on the History Channel. Whoa boy, that put me over the top. Rome is now now out of the closet and sitting on my desk. I bet it would look awfully pretty running on my new PC... Ooh... Look at the horsies..

Monday Morning: The Greatest Music Video Ever

So, I had an inspired idea for a blog post this weekend. It was one of those perfect-moment ideas. It made perfect sense. It was inspired by one of those deeply-repressed memories, which when sprung, evoked an emotional response.

Unfortunately, one idea led to another, which in turn led to hours and hours of needless googling, and youtubing. (I'm not sure if "youtubing" is a word, but I don't really care much at this point...)

I now have an ungodly assortment of raw material, relating in name only to the original Concept. I still think there is a good idea in there somewhere, but at this point it's all a useless pile of pig shit.

So, now it's late, and I'm tired. My brain is feeling a little bit numb. I may have more energy to attack this problem on Monday. So, for now, here's the greatest music video ever made:

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Geek Out!!

It was 1978. I was 7 years old, and still under the spell of the Force. I was caught in the tractor beam. I was paralyzed by Darth Vader's death grip.

The powers that be, in television land, were not blind to the phenomenon. Star Wars was still selling tickets, a year after its release. Star Wars toys (including those wiley storm troopers) were flying off the shelf. A Star Wars-like knock off was inevitable.

Fortunately, Glen A. Larson had a big-budget Sci Fi adventure, based oddly enough on Mormonism and vague Greek mythology, already on the hopper. Thus the original clunky clumsy cheesy Battlestar Galactica was born.

I was addicted!

This show came with its own accessory toys as well. Unfortunately, they came in a different scale than the Star Wars toys.

This, however, was only the beginning. In the years that followed, there would be role-playing games, dice-based strategic board games, computer games (both strategic and role-playing), Model United Nations, Political Science club, the Dune series, the Hobbit, the Lord of the Rings, Law School, more Star Wars movies, Magic: the Gathering, squirrel-based websites and numerous blogs.

Don't forget the many many many Star Trek series, movies and books.

Oh, and the X-files: My wife and I had Mulder and Scully cake toppers at our wedding.

So, it should come as no surprise to anyone that knows me, that I have geeked-out completely over the new version of BSG. Only now, it's not so new. Tonight, Friday, 9:00, Sci Fi Channel, the long awaited third season begins. I'll be watching here at home with the missus, and a couple of regular anonymous readers. Down in Salem, Ryan will be watching with Inog and Mrs. Inog. Down in Los Angeles, Mitch will be watching, presumably alone, or perhaps with Mrs. Mitch.

This ain't Star Trek. This ain't Buck Rogers.


Get this video and more at MySpace.com

Due to overwhelming popular demand, I tend to avoid blogging about this show here in the Lounge. Well, OK, mostly it's Dr. Brian who complains, but I'm sensitive to his criticism. Therefore, Abestis and I have created an entirely separate blog called "And they Have a Plan," taken from the catch phrase in the opening credits.

The Plan, for short, has been dormant lo these many months. The show is back on, however, and so is the blog. If you're a fan, come and visit.