Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Your Thoughts

Several of you have suggested to me that as long as I'm not posting for the next 12 days, that maybe I should let other people post. Not a bad idea, though I should still be a little selective.

So, if you want to post something, a story, some pictures, a rant, a recipe... whatever.... email it to mrginandtonic@gmail.com

Remember, the more compelling, the better. If you want credit, I'll give you credit. If you want to be anonymous, that's OK too.

OK, I'm done now. Back to taking my break.

Still Taking a Break

I am still on a 12-day break. Do not be mistaken. However, I really wanted to share this with ya'all.

video

Sorry...

Blame Valdez

Monday, July 28, 2008

Nuthin

I have nothing for you. Not even prurient filler. The next two weeks will be crazy busy, so I might as well take advantage of it.

I'm taking a break. We'll be back in about 12 days.

...Just in time for the third-annual Ginny Awards...



...OK, I found prurient filler.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A little Bit of Not-Even-A-Little-bit-Safe-For-Work Monday Morning Horribleness

I think I'm getting soft in my old age.

Originally, I just posted the horrible picture here. But now, I've second guessed myself. I'm all worried about what's appropriate and what's not appropriate. So I took it down.

Jesus Christ, I'm a puss.

Anyway, HAPPY MONDAY!!

Click HERE for the Horribleness

Don't say I didn't warn you.

***SIDE NOTE***

If you google "Cleavage Submissions," The Gin and Tonic Lounge is the #1 hit.

Congrats to all of the submitters; You're Famous!

***Critical Rules Update***

Dave has graciously reminded me that he, in fact, has a clearly stated rule. A rule that I have taken to heart and follow zealously.

Dave's rule is: "No, that stripper didn't really like you."

A review of my own personal rules, which incorporate Dave's above-stated rule, can be reviewed by clicking HERE.

Rules

I sat watching Chicago the other night. You know, the movie musical with Catherine Zeta Jones, Richard Gere and Renee Zelweger. It's essentially a movie about women in prison.

Which, of course, set my, mind racing.

No, not about that, you dirty dirty reader. I know where your mind went.

No, it caused me to stop and think for a moment about rules. Yes, rules. important rules that I've learned. important rules to live by. And as I watched Chicago, I was reminded of one of the best rules I know. It came from regular-reader Mitch, and it goes lie this:

"No movies about women, unless the women are in prison. And, no movies about animals, unless the animals are in prison with the women."

Words to live by. But then, I realised, there are other rules that I've learned from others close to me. For instance:

Dr. B's rule is: "Once saved, always saved." A message of hope for the damned like me. However, it's just fucking wrong to take theological advice from Dr. B.

Just sayin...

Then there is Tom's great rule: " Just do a little bit extra." Oh, but wait, no, that was Tom's dad's rule. No Tom's was: "Don't bend the spine."

I'm pretty sure he was talking about his comic book collection. Although, he may have been talking about his enormous-but-fragile penis. Right Mrs. Tom?

Of course, my own wife, Mrs G&T, used to have the rule that she would only eat animals who couldn't look her in the eye. And no, that is not an invitation for comments about my own penis...

Fred has declared openly: "I have a god-given right to argue with the television. Doubly so with commercials."

Oosje, I have discovered, has many rules. Unfortunately, none of them are useful.

And Inog? Oh yes, his rule was very clearly stated long ago: "No Chinese." That, however, is an inconvenient rule for him to maintain these days in light of certain things...

For the rest of you, though, I can only speculate what your useful rule might be:

Lisa: "Welsh, not English."

Helly: "Yuck, boys leave your shirts on. "

Marge: "Don't interrupt the NASCAR, Missy, less your brother ain' breathing, or the trailer's on fire..."

Familytrain: "Yogurt fucking is next to godliness. Jesus Saves - 10% on offshore Viagra."

Dave: "If I scowl long enough, someday I'll be a star."

And the rest of you: "The Lounge is the greatest blog ever. I may start praying to Mr. G&T. I'll certainly send him all of my naughty pictures..."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

922

Nothing of historical note occurred in the year 922.

No battles. No major births. No martyrs. No discoveries.

Nothing at all.

How can that be, though?? How can an entire year pass on Earth without one single notable historical event?

It was the Buddhist year: 1466

It was the Islamic year: 310

Yet, not a goddamn thing happened. Nothing. You might think, with all these folks sitting around doing nothing for a year, someone might have realised it was a good time to do SOMETHING, and taken the opportunity to conquer something, or invent something.

But no. Nothing took place. It was a global siesta. Leaving me with this, nothing notable to talk about. With the one exception that this post is post #922. The same number as the year when nothing happened. So, there is no clever tie-in. No historical anecdote.

Still and all, though, 922 posts... Holy hell. That's a lot of posts.

And Here I Was, Ready To Move On...

They keep coming folks. I'll keep posting them as they do.

Voyeurweb Dot Com

I think this is how Igor got started over at http://www.voyeurweb.com/

One day, folks come to understand that your little wayside stop along the information superhighway is a logical and productive outlet for their exhibitionist urges. Sudenly, this sort of thing starts to happen.

Now I know what it must have been like to be Spencer Tunick.


Admittedly, there are no rules, since there is no contest, but still, good lord, would you two just get a room..

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Don't You People Have Jobs?

Yee Haw

Nice halter...

Gauntlet

I'm running out of breath declaring the non-existence of any contest. There is no prize. There are no rules. I'm not even really accepting submissions.

However, that having been said, it seems that certain participants are in it to "win."

I don't even have any idea what that means.

Anyway, here's some more...

eh...

I'm not sure about this one. I don't think it's an actual reader...

...But in a Good Way

Sometimes, this job makes me feel dirty...

Cleavalanch

They just keep rolling in...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Really and Trully

There is no submission contest. No Game. Nothing.

I am NOT accepting submissions.

Sure, I'm posting them, but mostly because you people are dirty dirty exhibitionists.

But really, this is your own doing...




Not Accepting Submissions

I am not accepting cleavage submissions. There is no contest. There is no exhibition.

However, the submissions keep coming in.

So, I suppose I will just post them as they arrive. If you feel the need to send a picture of your cleavage to mrginandtonic@gmail.com I will just go ahead and post it for you. However, really, there is no submission contest.

So, here's what's arrived so far:


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Worth a Thousand Words

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Since I have no words in me tonight, here are several thousand words worth of pictures from the weekend...












Oh ya, I should throw in a couple of the kids too I suppose...









Saturday, July 19, 2008

Highland games

Claim This Cleavage

Is it yours?


This submission was sent in by a very long-time regular reader. Thing is, the reader is a dude, and those are not HIS fun bags. So, the question is, "whose are they?"

Even more importantly, perhaps, how would you like to submit your own? I think cleavage just might be be the topic of our next submission rally.

Thoughts?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Personal Jesus

Thanks to Ev for my very own bobble head Jesus.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Boar

You're not bored are you?

Yes?

Oh come on, I only have one post left on this topic.

OK, OK, FINE! I'll punch it up a little...

So now, let's see, where were we? Oh ya, it was our last day in town. It had been a long visit. We had seen much. We had done much. I was in need of a nap.

Tom and Brian headed out together, probably to a bath house. Who knows.

I was a lone in the room. The curtains were closed. So, I laid down on the bed to catch some sleep. (Yes, that may or may not be code for "masturbation.")

Suddenly the room was filled with a heavy heat and darkness. I sensed that I was not alone, and I heard a deep raspy hissing from the foot of the bed.

I saw her eyes first, red, glowing with pulsating evil. It was a devil in the shape of an attractive underwear model.

I could feel her stare through my soul. And slowly, she raised her well-manicured finger at me and demanded that I do her bidding...


"Meester Geen and Toonic..." she cooed, "ye shall com and do mee beeding..."

"Uh, alright," I said. And looking back, I think I meant it.

""Ye shall gaether unto meeee, 13 Chinese babies, first born uncircumcised males. Oh, and 5 gallons of soy sauce..."

"Huh?" I replied. "That's it? That's your evil master plan??"

"Yessss... Oh, and I neeed a Hibachi. Charcoal, if you can fiiiind one."

Stupid plan, yes, but still I felt compelled to assist her diabolical machinations.


Then, in the distance, I heard the hoofs of angelic horses approaching fast with their heavenly host. Beautiful angels, topless, with really great angel tits, rode into the room. The wrath of God was in their eyes. Although, to be honest, I had a hard time maintaining eye contact.

A brief battle ensued, but the victory of my saviors was pre-ordained. They smote the devil down, saving the lives of countless scores of little boys from China.

I remained sitting in a daze. Shocked. Stunned. Their leader approached me and shook me back to my senses.

"You have been soiled by the unclean succubus. Come, we shall bathe you in light and grace." Whereupon, they took me by the hand and led be to a soapy baptism in the bathroom.


"Oh most merciful and large-breasted beings from Heaven. I am most grateful for your intervention. Please, tell me, is there anything I can do to return the favor? Anything at all?"

They thought for a spell, and finally replied, "Well, yes, there is one thing. You can kill Sasquatch for us. Gabriel, our supervisor, really hated that hairy fucker. He apparently stiffed our boss after a poker game, or something...."

"Christ! Kill Sasquatch?? I don't even know where he lives!"

"No worries," they said, "we'll take you to him." And with that, I was lifted to the back of a heavenly horse, and we rode, literally like the wind, into the dark forest of the Sierra Nevada.

They led me to a rough shack, high above a glacial valley. They also handed me a gun, which I could see had been wiped clean of serial numbers.

I knocked, and Sasquatch opened the door...


It was awkward, but I slowly explained about the devil and the angels and how Gabriel wanted him dead.

"Oh that winy winged queen!" Sasquatch said with disdain. "Whine whine whine! That's all that little bitch ever does. No, it has nothing to do with a poker game. No, we were lovers, but I caught him having a three way with some leprechauns and I threw his sweet little angel ass out. And now, he's just pissed because I kept the victorian mahogany beveled cheval mirror. That bitch!"

Sasquatch went off and pouted, but I recognized this spat for what it was, and decided against killing Bigfoot.

The Angels got pissed off and left. So, the big ape-man gave me a lift back to town.

That night, after a long day, Dr. B's cousins took us to a place whose name I cannot remember. It had something to do with a Boar, like "The Boar's Head" or "The Brass Boar." I just don't remember.



It was a dark step-down venue. But that is all I remember of the place. The food, however, is the key. Starving, I ordered large, and soon a platter of pasta came my way. It was bow tie pasta, with fresh basil and three kinds of sausage. The sauce was dark and garlicky, punctuated with mushrooms and onions. Kalamata olives. Many different flavors of melting cheese. It didn't just hit the spot; it hit every spot.

And all these years later, I can still recall it being the best meal I ever had.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Queer Eye

To say that there is a "Gayest" part of San Francisco is sort of like saying that there is a hottest part of the sun.

However, there is.

On the sun, it would be the core, the center, at 15 million degrees Kelvin.

In San Francisco, it would also be the core. In this case, it is The Castro District, or just "The Castro."

In the Castro, you will find the best restaurants, bars and antique shops in the city. Why? Because gay men know how to live better than most of the rest of us. That's why.

The Castro is the geographic and spiritual center of the city. Or at least, so I've been told. And while the folks there don't necessarily walk around in Indian chief and construction worker costumes, the ratio is certainly greater than 1-in-10.

I knew this. Tom knew this. Dr. B, well, his mind was on other things...

We were just driving around. I was behind the wheel and we were wandering. I'm pretty sure that Tom and I saw the sign at the same time, but didn't really say anything. I turned left, and started heading south on Castro Street.

We passed 14th, 15th and 16th. I approached the complicated 6-way intersection at Market and passed straight through.

Slowly, Dr B, who was lounging in the back, took notice of the two men holding hands on the sidewalk. Then another. And another... They were everywhere! Eating food. Going shopping. Talking to their friends. Just like actual people!!

We came to a stop at the next red light. Looking around, there were very clearly no women to be seen whatsoever. It was quite plainly a village of men.

We sat waiting for the traffic to pass and our light to turn green. Pedestrians passed in front of our car. Out of habit, while I waited, I glanced in the mirror to check traffic behind me.

"Holy shit!" I gasped. "Where's Dr B??"

Tom turned too. Our backseat buddy was not there. There were no back doors in Tom's tiny Probe, so he could not have bailed out.

"Hey man, where are you?" asked Tom.

"Down here," came the muffled reply, "on the floor behind your seat."

"Good Lord," I said, "what the hell are you doing on the floor of the car?"

"Hiding." He said. "I don't want the gay people to see me."

To this day, I'm not sure what his logic was. I don't think he even knows what his logic was. It was, after all, a long time ago.

And, to be fair, I asked him earlier this week whether he minded if I posted this short blurb, and with good humor, he let me post it. So, thanks to Dr. B for that!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Two-fer

"Spare some change?"

Having worked, now, for years in and around downtown Portland, the ubiquitous begging has become background noise, an ambient rhythm as I pass from block to block.

But it has not always been so. I have not always had such a high level of social immunity. Once, there was a time when I would actually acknowledge and address each out-stretched cup with jangling change. Once out of alms, I would smile and nod apologetically to each beggar that I bypassed.

Seems, perhaps, Tom also felt the same sense of obligation...

It was our first full morning in the city by the bay. The sky was blue, we were downtown and decided to take a walk.

"Spare some change?" We heard around every corner. Out of every alley way. Behind every bus stop. The walkways were lined with cardboard plats, orderly arranged, demarcating each sidewalk stake. Ranks of beggars accosted us every other step, shaking their cups, vying for the last few pennies in my pocket.

Dr. B., I think, kept his eyes closed and held on to my shirt sleeve, pretending they were not there. Tom, on the other hand, smiled and joked with the squalid masses.

And then, we met him. Him. The guy. He was probably 25, but looked like he was 50. Thin and dark-skinned, he shifted uneasily from side to side. His pitch was that he wanted money to buy a burger, and strategically placed himself outside a McDonald's to lend an air of credibility to his tale of woe.

He actually leaped out at us, blocking our path. "Say gentlemen, might you have just a few cents to spare for a hungry brother who wants to buy a burger?" Dr. B clenched his eyes tighter and began humming to himself, apparently firmly rooted to his happy place (Though I shutter to think what his happy place might be...) Tom, of course, took up the conversation.

"Well, that certainly is the best pitch we've heard all day! Sadly, my chums and I are fresh out of cash, having just run the gauntlet of your neighbors." Tom sad sadly with his mock-documentary-narrator voice, motioning with a broad gesture to the long line of beggars we had just passed.

"But I'll tell you what," he said with an earnest smile, "If I see you again, I promise to buy you a Big Mac."

"Shit, man, you got yourself a deal." And with that, they shook hands and we went on our touristy way.

The day was filled with the usual sight seeing. Coit Tower, Lombard Street, Golden Gate Park, Fisherman's Wharf, cable cars, the bridge, etc...

That night, we found ourselves tired but antsy, sitting in our room. We were on the second or third floor. Our window opened out onto Post Street and the front of the hotel.

The weather was nice, so Tom and I decided to take a walk. Dr. B decided to stay inside. Although, he seemed to have a special interest in the window...

Once out in the night air, we discovered many well-dressed women in evening gowns populating the various street corners in our neighborhood. It didn't take long to figure out what they were up to, and we quickly began playing the game of "Spot the Undercover Cop." We strolled down the avenue taking in the sights, but in the distance, far behind, we heard the strange sound of a man hooting: "hooky hooky hooky..."

We made a broad circuit, taking note of skyscrapers and sex shops. There were signs advertising live sex shows, which I thought sounded interesting, but perhaps a little too naughty for me at the time...

Tom and I turned a corner, and started back up the hill toward the hotel. This sidewalk was empty and dimly lit. The breeze had blown in and I noticed a chill. I picked up the pace and walked a little faster. We passed a blackened alley and I noticed a stirring shape out of the corner of my eye. A second later I heard the rustling shuffle of someone moving behind us.

"Hey! You fella's want a blow job?" She offered, "Five bucks!"

To say that she was a filthy toothless weather-beaten wrinkly old sea hag, would be unfair to sea hags. She was the incarnation of filth. Filth to a staggering degree.

Still, though, $5. You really can't beat that.

I joke...

I grunted and turned, preparing to outrun her knife-wielding accomplice likely standing behind her. Tom, however, flashed his charming grin. "Sorry ma'am, I'm fresh out of fives, but thank you kindly for the offer!"

We turned and walked away. After three seconds passed, the indignant hag bellowed out: "Fuck you! What are ya, a couple of FAGS??"

Well, we were two men taking a stroll at night together in San Francisco, so she probably shouldn't be faulted for her assumption. Nevertheless, we could not wait to get back to the hotel and tell Dr. B.

We exited the elevator on our floor and rushed into the room, where we found our friend perched precariously on the window sill, leaning out as far as he could manage, calling to the call girls below, "Hey hooky hooky hooky..."

"Hey, did you guys know most of them were cops?" He asked.

"Ya, we figured that one out." We replied.

The next day found us in a completely different part of town. Blocks, if not miles, away from our hotel neighborhood. We were walking down the street, seeing what there was to see. We passed another McDonald's, when suddenly we were accosted yet again by another pan handler.

"Say gentlemen, might you have just a few cents to spare for a hungry.. HEY, IT'S YOU GUYS!!"
No lie. It was the exact same guy working a completely different beat in a completely different part of town.

"You promised! You promised!" he said with glee as he pointed his long dirty finger at Tom.

"You got me." Tom said, and we all walked into the burger joint together...

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Prescott

Tacos, in my mom's house, meant ground beef, caramelized in the family's secret ingredient, hand-grated cheddar, shredded ice berg, and soft-fried corn tortillas. Rosarita refried frijoles were on the side.

It was therefore a shock to discover that there were other ways to make tacos.

It was, perhaps, a coincidence. It may have been more of a subconscious conspiracy. Whichever, tonight I found myself strangely drinking a gin & tonic while thin-slicing a fresh crisp red pepper.

And why was that odd? And what does that have to do with Tacos? Well, hold on!

It was, probably, 1990, or thereabout. We were in school, employed and out for adventure. While it is good to have friends in low places, it is better at times to have family in high places. In this case, not high, but really just high enough.

Dr. B's cousin was the concierge at a fine hotel atop an even-finer restaurant in the heart of San Francisco. It was a nice hotel; tasteful by Reagan-era standards. She was able to get us a room, a nice room, if not a little cramped. Nicer, though, than three smelly college boys had any business being in.

Still and all, we drove, crammed into Tom's brand new tiny little Ford Probe, the 400 miles. Music came from Cassette Tape. We took turns sleeping on the miniature back seat.

We were welcomed for the weekend, the city lay before us, and Dr. B's cousin, and her husband invited us to their home for dinner. It was a charming and bright flat just north of the Park.

They were young yuppies, making the most of their time in the city. She worked at the hotel, and he went to school. Part time, however, he poured drinks at the same place his wife worked. It was also his time to cook.

Tacos, of course, with long strips of grilled chicken. Red leaf lettuce, red onions, corn, three different kinds of cheese (none of them cheddar) and as I walked into the kitchen, he was just starting to knife paper-thin slices of crisp red bell pepper.

These were TACOS. The inspiration for the current thing that I call "Tacos." And involuntarily, that thought, that memory of those Tacos is what comes to mind mind every single time I slice red bell peppers.

I mean, hell, I don't even remember Br. B's cousin's name, let alone her husband's name. I just remember the kitchen and those goddamn tacos. Although, I need to be very clear, the tacos ARE NOT the most-memorable meal, which I mentioned last night. While this is one (or actually two) of the stories from that weekend, and while the tacos were literally life-altering, They are not the meal I mean.

Thoughts of the tacos, though, were strangely woven with tonight's divine gin & tonic (made with locally-distilled Aviation Gin). It was a perfect combination, I thought.

The night before the tacos, the night we arrived in San Francisco, we were wised around the hotel for the semi-grand tour. It was a working night, and the cousin's husband was on duty with his portable rolling bar. (I need to get me one of those...)

Introductions were made, and smalltalk was bandied about.

And then, as he was a bar man manning a bar, the offer was made. The selection was slim, however, and I eventually accepted his offer to try a gin & tonic. It was to be the first one I ever tried. The first of countless many, it turns out.

And, it was a horrible thing. It tasted like a science experiment gone wrong. It tasted more like Malaria than its cure. I sipped politely, smiling appreciatively, biding my time until I found a suitable hole to pour it down.

So, not so much a grand premonition of my life to come. It was not exactly love at first taste.

Still for such a guy to have such a life-long impact on me, it's a shame I never remembered the cousin's husband's name. And while his taco influence lives on (side-by-side with my mother's) I understand from Dr. B that his marriage did not.

That however, has nothing to do with the rest of the legendary weekend of lore...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bow Tie Pasta

I cite it often as the best meal I ever had. Although, in all honesty, the claim is probably not true. More likely than not, it is merely the clearest example of a memorable meal in my mind.

There have been others, along with their stories I have not yet told. There was the pork loin, forked off of Carl's grill, one warm summer day. There was Indian Stew, cooked over open fire at Indian village in the 6th grade. There was the McDonald's orgy after a long foodless day at church camp. Oh, and, the Thanksgiving when I set the centerpiece on fire...

Many memorable meals.

But the one that comes most easily to mind, was the corner stone of a weekend, rich in lore. And tonight, as I stirred the diced tomatoes into my red sauce, and poured the bow tie pasta into the boiling pot, I wondered why I had not told the tale before. At least, not here at the Lounge, where I mostly just tell stories.

In person, I have probably told most of you most of the tales from that adventure. They are some of my best ones. Most of you have heard the toothless crack whore tale. You've heard about the homeless hamburger guy. I've shared the one about undercover police woman on the street corner, the tour of the Castro and the maniacal hotel limo driver. But I have never written about these things on the Lounge.

What you probably don't know, what I have not likely mentioned to anyone before, is that the weekend in question, was also the first time that I ever tried a gin and tonic.

I think, perhaps, that the entire tale, filtered as it is through the haze of memories and the embellishment of retelling, is worth its own week of pieces. So, this week will be a series. A telling of the whole tale of the grand journey to San Francisco. I am sure to have some help from Tom and Dr. B, for they were there too.

Stay tuned.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Treasure Hunt

"I'm sorry, Mom." She said absentmindedly, as she withdrew her heel from my throat.

"Actually, I'm Dad," I reminded her, "and you need to be more careful."

"OK Dad." she said, entirely without conviction, as she scrambled over my legs and up into the cushy chair. Once there, upon her high perch, the girl again dove off, landing, this time, with her other foot placed just under my chin.

The boy, having just bounced off the side of the sofa, was sitting, dazed, upon the floor. The kids were running in high gear, and I was laid out on the floor, a fleshy speed bump, trying to just catch my breath. I needed a gin-and-tonic, but that would have to wait.

I needed to come up with something quick to drain the energy reserves.

The boy, fortunately, switched on his hungry mode, so a handful of cheese and mandarin oranges satiated his needs.

The girl, however, was in need of a work out, and the best way to do that was to get her to run up and down the stairs. It was then that I got the idea.

Mom ran interference for a moment, as I ran to my secret coin stash. From the bucket, I drew out 8 shiny colored tokens, and carried them downstairs, where I hid them, one by one, in semi-secret spots around the rooms. Then, I returned upstairs.

The girl took to the game with relish after she learned there was a secret prize (Elmo stickers) for successful token retrieval.

Each token required a separate trip down the stairs, around the rooms and back up the stairs. Not-subtle clues were given. Each token was triumphantly presented to me, and the growing stack in my hand was recounted each time. The count was subtracted from 8 to determine how many were left, until all had been found.

By the 8th token, she was tired and hungry. She no longer had the drive to stomp on any one's neck. She was, however, ready to eat.

Victory stickers were presented and dinner was had. I wallowed for a bit in my own victory, having, for once, outsmarted a precocious and rambunctious three-and-a-half-year-old girl.

Oh and, sometime between the 6th and 7th token, I finally got that gin-and-tonic I had wanted earlier.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Be Happy

I have no idea who Matt is. Some blurb on the internet says he's a video game developer, or something. I do know, however, that he's a freakin genius and I envy him just a bit.

So, the video is called Where the Hell is Matt.

Watch the video. It'll make you happy.

I actually recommend clicking on the Youtube link and then clicking on the "watch in high quality" link in the box below the video. It's worth it.



Oh, and in case you're interested, here is his first crack at the project...

(it also has a "high quality" option)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Landlines

Having now watched the James Bond trailer several dozen times, I note something very interesting. there are no killer spy satellites to be seen.

No remote control cars. No omnipotent touch pads.

Just guns, cars and explosions. Back to basics, as it were. And Bond is not alone. I've noticed a trend recently in movies and in television, subtle visual cues, a return to basics of sorts.

Our modern everyday world has found itself filled with Blackberries, Palm Pilots, notebook computers, iPods, iPhones, Bluetooth and all other manner of digital debris. Our cheep electronic do-dads and gadgets accumulate and clutter, and in the end, look merely cheap and disposable.

Visually, this image is magnified on screen. High tech gizmos date a character, cementing the story to a very specific time and place. Your fancy futuristic cell phone looks great, in 1992, but looks like a brick with a stick in 2008.

The era of ubiquitous Bluetooth ear pieces being worn in public like a permanent Borg implant is waning. It has moved quickly from the vanguard of tekkie trends to the domain of Hindu 7-11 operators and over-weight sweat-stained mechanical engineers.

Movie and television producers seem to be catching on. Finally. And in an effort to perhaps preserve their story for other eras, or perhaps for the pure aesthetic pleasure, I am noticing a trend away from displaying the gizmos.

Phones, frequently these days, have cords, and are attached to things, like walls for instance. Notes are taken down on paper. Paper, it seems, is the new "high tech." Everything gets written down on paper, and nobody sends, receives, forwards or even mentions email.

And so, for James Bond, Q is dead and his department is gone. Big stunts are back, and nobody is fighting in outer space.

For space fights, you need to watch Battlestar Galactica. Of course, they write everything down on neat bits of paper with the corners trimmed off. Oh, and, their phones have cords.

Knowing Which Way the Wind Blows

This is not a post about political philosophy.

It is not a post about partisan opinion.

It is, however, a post about political expedience.

What to do when you are an incumbent moderate Republican Senator up for re-election in a politically schizophrenic state that seems to be currently tilting to the left? A moderate Republican Mormon Senator no less...

What to do when you are that same Senator in a state with pragmatically anti-crime Democrats and conservation-minded Republicans? What to do when you initially supported your party's war, but then turned against it? What to do when you turned against your own dim-witted president, your church and your own party to support stem cell research?

What to do when you are facing a close re-election contest against a formidable Democratic challenger, and the state is likely to turn out heavy for Barack Obama?

Why, you purchase local air time during the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and run this ad, of course:



Now, I'm not sure, at this point how I'm casting my Senatorial vote this year. However, from a purely objective Poli Sci point of view, this ad is brilliant! So clever, that it has made the hot topic discussion list on CNN. Even Mr. Obama has had to release a statement clarifying that he likes and respects Mr. Smith, and has enjoyed working with him, but his campaign still officially endorses Smith's Democratic opponent.

Sadly, I think that may have been a missed opportunity for Obama to display valuable bi-partisan flair, but then, I'm not running his campaign. Perhaps he should think about hiring the guy who is working for Smith.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Really, Only About 3 of You Will Find This Amusing

Star Wars Vs. Star Trek

Finally...



BTW: one interpretation is that revenge only brings a quantum of solace, or a very little amount of feeling better...

The Latest Best Reason to Have Cable

He's not exactly Indiana Jones.

You won't see a bull whip in his hand. Yes, you may see a bull penis, but no whip. And more likely than not, he'll be eating the bull penis, along with monkey brains, poisonous fish and fermented shrimp paste.

No, I'm not talking about Inog.

His name is Andrew Zimmern, and he is the host of Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel. Part food critic, part tour guide, part crypto-zoologist; Andrew travels the world with his trusty camera crew and explores the gastronomical delicacies of far-off places.

Some of the items he eats look fantastic and make me hungry. Said hunger, however, is quickly dowsed by the remaining filth he shoves down his gullet. There isn't much he won't try (tap water in India for one) and he gives every dish its due. If it has good points, he'll spell them out. If it has only bad points, he can be less-than-diplomatic, if not descriptive.

The show is colorful, charming and fascinating. I find that I can watch it all day, which is what I almost did this weekend. It appears to be the only Travel Channel show with ratings, so it is always on. I think there may have been a marathon this weekend, or something. In any case, I found myself transfixed for hours with exotic street food from Malaysia, a one-man feast in Morocco, an edible sheep's head in India and serious sushi in Japan.

The show is worth a watch and gains the Gin and Tonic Lounge thumbs-up of approval. Check it out! You'll be glad you did.


(No, sadly, these girls are not on the show...)

Friday, July 04, 2008

Smugglers Blues

It's a losing proposition,
But one you can't refuse
It's the politics of contraband,
It's the smuggler's blues

-Glenn Frey

Han solo, it seems, was a good smuggler. He had a necessary sense of daring-do. He had a fluid sense of morality and loyalty. He also had a fast ship. Well, fast that is, if making the Kessel run in "less than 12 parsecs" is fast. But, who knows

All good smugglers need a good crew, I guess, or at least a good side kick. Han had a Wookie, an 8 foot tall hairy tree ape with engineering and piloting skills. Not bad for a space pirate.

Most important, though, were his secret hiding places. They were all over his ship. Every panel in the floor was a secret space. If you are going to deal in contraband, you'd better have a place to stash it.

I, on the other hand, am not such a good smuggler. My Korean-made mini SUV doesn't even know what a parsec is, and the only hiding place I have is filled with emergency tools and a jumper cable.

Today, my side-kick smuggler was a three and a half year old girl, who is neither hairy nor tall. She has no engineering or piloting skills either. However, she is quite proficient at singing along with a number of Bobby Darin tunes...

Our mission today was to fetch supplies for the annual 4th of July shindig in Salem. By supplies, of course, I mean explosives. Fireworks. The kind you cannot buy in Oregon, but which can be acquired across the river in Washington.

And the good folks up in Vantucky cater well to the myriad of Oregonians who pour across the Columbia each year for this single purpose. The raw animalistic competition between the two main outlets is astonishing, with gangs of rabid youth stalking the streets with signs, banners flags and flashlights, all trying to re-direct or even misdirect traffic away from the competition. The spectacle itself is worth the drive.

Once inside one of the mammoth circus tents of combustible patriotism, there's no fucking around. They don't sell sparkling fountains, sparklers or ground bloom flowers. No. None of that pussy shit. They deal only with the serious business of Independence Day. They only sell projectiles that fly high and make loud booms. Single and triple stage mortars. Canisters. Saturn Rockets. Jumbo Saturn Rockets. Roman Candles. I shopped for value, the girl pointing at pretty pictures of explosions on the boxes.

I pulled a large box of canister mortars down off the shelf. The girl liked that one. She asked to hold it, which she did. Hugged it, really.

The five large white shopping bags were filled to capacity, and I threw them in the back of my car. I strapped the girl in, and off we went, southbound toward the state line. Once on the freeway, I did start to think about it. I did start to ponder the large load of contraband in plain sight in the back of my car. We were smugglers. We were smuggling. The girl was bored and took a nap.

We made it safely back to home base, and then, later, on to Salem. The illegal loot tucked nicely in and around my kids' wagon, which was done-up for the parade with balloons and streamers. Once there, it was unloaded and carted by local lackeys (Inog and Ryan) into safe storage.

Despite the danger, my crew came through. The mission was successful. The parade was a riot. The meat was expertly smoked. And at nightfall, we shot rockets into space blew the hell out of the sky.

Couldn't Have Said it Better Myself

What Would Tyler Durden Do has the best 4th of July blog post ever.

Click HERE to read it.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Cowed

5000 mexicans sitting on their asses. We are green we are white whoa whoa...

What?

Wait, mexico has a national anthem?