Do not forget to take care of you and your friends

(Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?)

I beli- I beli- I beli-, th- th- That's all folks! — Porky Pig

The Decade's Best Comedy Films



My ten-best comedy films of the 2000's span the sub-genres of teen, romantic, crime, adventure, and thriller.

...subtle as a hand grenade in a barrel of oatmeal. That's a joke...I say that's a joke, son. — Foghorn Leghorn

Khoda by Reza Dolatabadi


My my, what a thumping good read. Lions eating Christians, people nailing each other to two-by-fours. I'll say, you won't find that in Winnie the Pooh. — Stewie Griffin

I read last year:

...Hhhhhhh...hhhhhhh... — Muttley

Festivus For The Rest Of Us

I hate red thermometers. — Frosty the Snowman

solstice



Winter Solstice Haiku



dank and dreary might
rule this short day and long night
but wednesday is festivus


winter has begun
today earth has exactly
twenty-four months left



It's like rain...snow eave-en — Snagglepuss

Santacon - Santa Rampage


To participate in Santacon/Santa Rampage (and yes it can be referred to either way, two groups the PDX Cacophony Society and Drunken Rampage do this jointly piggy-back-style):

Get a suit.

Learn where and when to meet (don't ask me how, the truth is out there).

Call all of the hundreds of Santas you interact with Santa.

The 4 fucks of Santacon:

1. Don't fuck with children.
2. Don't fuck with the cops. (You are dressed like me.)
3. Don't fuck with security. (They will call the cops.)
4. Don't fuck with Santa.

Never wash your Santa suit and repeat (next December).

Aren't we forgetting the true meaning of Christmas...you know...the birth of Santa? — Bart Simpson

Hue, Sue, and SF Heros

Entering our current morning eating place (my dad and mine) my autonomous-system forced me to cringe when it registered that the front door bing had been replaced by a cacophonous leather belt of reindeer bells bouncing off glass. My reaction caused the owner, Hue Lee Chi, to proclaim with every one of his terrible teeth on display, “You can’t sneak up on Hue no more.”

As he unnecessarily led the way to my father’s second-favorite table, (I could see Dad’s back from the door) I toyed with the alternatives: ‘Hue can’t sneak up on you no more,’ ‘Hue can’t sneak up on Hue no more,’ or—my least favorite—‘You can’t sneak up on you no more.’

I took the seat facing my dad. Hue began to offer me a menu as he said with all his normal nodding and teeth, “Same same?”

“Yes, thank you, Hue Lee.” I pronounced it almost like Julie but with more breath around the J and almost no tongue around the L.

“Okay. Good. Good. Almost right.” He said keeping the menu and entering the kitchen.

Dad enunciated, “Hew can no longer sneak up on Yue.”

“I think I preferred the previous possibilities of being snuck up on.”

“That’s a lot of bell disdain, coming from you.”

I smiled at Dad’s snide reference to my back-to-a-wall-face-to-the-door thing and turned it into a smile and nod of thanks as Hue brought my strawberry soda and topped off Dad’s coffee.

Hue returned to the kitchen.  In the middle of Dad’s statement: “I asked about why the sleigh bells in September and Hue acted like I was the first person to mention a holiday correlation ...” the bells crashed the arrival of another customer and Hue came out of the kitchen. “... so as a year-round thing it’ll certainly take some getting used to.”

“Something’s happened to Hue’s wife. I can’t remember her name.” I said.

“Why? What makes you say that?” He turned in his seat and looked over his shoulder as if I had just witnessed something, then turned back when all he could see was Hue taking an order. When I said nothing, he said, “Oh, it’s that thing you do isn’t it?”

“Yea. It’s that thing I do.”

“Suki or Sue Kee. I recall Hue calling her Sue.”

I must have done something with my facial muscles because Dad said, “Don’t start with it.”

“What?” I tried an innocent confused look.

“You were gonna do a how-could-I-recall-calling-her-Sue routine or somesuch. Don’t change the subject. What did you discern?” He skewed the word discern in such a way that it sounded like he was both skeptical and proud of that thing I do.

“The bells; his past body posture, facial expressions, and routine movements—compared to today’s; and his continued use of a verbal patch.”

“Patch?”

“The bit about not being able to sneak up on him. He used it with you, me, and them.” I motioned with my head at the people who had just given their order.

“People use familiar words or phrases over-and-over to patch over gaps. Sometimes the gap they think needs patched is merely a pause so they’ll use umm, or ya know, or like. Other times the gap patches-over the truth. I think Hue is using the sneak-up bit so he won’t have to explain the real reason bells are there is because he has to spend more time in the kitchen, which means Sue is not back there.”

“So, maybe, she took the day off. Why do you think something bad happened?”

“His smile is turned up an extra watt or three. He is carrying himself stiffer. Some of the reasons are not easy to put into words and when I do they sound flimsy all naked and alone by themselves.”

Hue’s arrival with my dinner of short ribs, rice, steamed vegetables, and tofu with a side of kosher pickles, and Dad’s sausage omelette with extra-crispy hash browns and side of muffins breakfast, paused the conversation.

After eating for a while, Dad said, “Are you going to test your theory?”

“Not a theory,” I explained. “A fact which you don’t have sufficient evidence to believe exists yet.”

“All right smart guy. How bad of a something do you think has happened?”

“Hospital bad.”

“This food tastes and looks the same as Sue’s.” He said.

“Just means Hue’s insuring everything goes out the same.”

Hue returned to top off drinks and I said, “Jue-lee, when will your wife return from the hospital?”

Hue’s smile crawled back inside his mouth as he said, “How you know? Food not good?”

After we assured him it was great, he said, “Suke’s mother have a stroke. She be back after couple days I hope. But, my nephew he cook good. You still notice different though, hunh?”

“I didn’t notice any change in the food. The food is great. I could tell from your behavior. You put loud bells on your door so you could be in the kitchen more.”  I pointed unnecessarily at the door.

“Oh.” His face seemed to relax back into it’s normal explosion-smile of terrible teeth. “I get it!” He nodded with exuberance. “You doing that hero thing.”

I looked at my dad. His confused-expression indicated he hadn’t previously said anything about that thing I do to Hue.

Hue continued with, “Why hero always eat at Asian restaurant?”

I decided hero was not the word I was assuming it was, and in order to get out of my confusion I replied with, “I don’t know...why?”

“I dunno either. But Bladerunner, he eat Asian. Fifth element guy...Bruce Willis: Asian. Name a ess eff hero who doesn’t eat oriental food.”

I got it—weeks ago, he and I had talked about my love of old films—and I smiled. “Well, the guy from Dark City: he ate at an automat.”

“Ahh” He waived the idea away, walking toward his kitchen, “Noir don’t count. Noir always gotta eat at a diner. You find an ess eff hero that eat something besides Asian, you tell me.”

The way I run this thing you'd think I knew something about it. — Bugs Bunny

The Decade's Best Horror Films



Spanning the sub-genres of monster, boogie man, vampire, slasher, and zombie—these are my ten-best horror films of the 2000's. (Actually, they are all monster films, aren't they?)

What for you bury me in the cold, cold ground? — The Tasmanian Devil

The Decade's Best Animated Films




Covering the techniques stop-motion, rotoscoping, traditional, and CGI—these are my ten-best animated films of the 2000's.  The film genres represented are:  Fantasy, Superhero, SF, Documentary, Action/Adventure, Mystery, and Comedy.

We cartoon characters can have a wonderful life if we only take advantage of it. — Heckle (or Jeckle)

gameboard


                                                1. Begin in the proximity of the birth square.
                                                2. Move according to the pips on your die.
                                                3. Avoid as many bad spaces as possible.
                                                4. Stop when you land on a death spot.

— Pogo Possum

Zonk Won't Hike Frozen Ground


I gotta have a bird! I'm weak, but I don't care! I can't help it! After all, I am a pus-thy cat. — Sylvester the cat

Byzantine Bullshit

I slowed my pace from march to stroll about a half-block from the Washington Square train stop because the status board read Blue Line to Hillsboro 9 min.  Downshifting from stroll to meander, I began listening to the-already-waiting’s conversations.  I paused near three college-age girls.

“...to fuck on Saturday and I’s like, ‘He is so fetch.  Maybe I should, you know?’ But then, I dunno.”

I meandered on when I didn’t hear the obligatory reply: ‘Gretchen stop trying to make fetch happen it's not going to happen.’  I’m not bothered by cute people's colloquial use of fuck, or even their inane overuse of like—but mishandle fetch and I decline to participate...even as a skulking eavesdropper.

“...only that’s never sufficient is it?  Always needs the next.  The brightest.  The mostest.  You’ve heard of champagne taste but beer budget?  Well, chauffeur taste and bus budget is how I...”

He could have been using the almost invisible Bluetooth, (and I’m not adverse to listening-in on one end of a wireless conversation; I sometimes get myself giggling imagining the other half) but this grimy guy didn’t have the posture or the requisite disconnect with the other members of the train stop to be loud-talking on a phone.  I think he was preaching to himself about himself.  I shuffled my feet along the sidewalk and—even though I had my sunglasses on—I became conscious of where my face was pointed and insured it remained away from him.

“...too early in the damn morning for that byzantine bullshit.”

Whoa, this could be a good one.  Two tallish scruffs of indeterminable age—taking up waaay more space than their backpacks and hats-worn-askance should be able to fill—would, normally, never catch my ear.  But byzantine bullshit?  That’s a keeper.

I climbed the steps of the westbound Max-train behind them and stood in the isle near them.

“Tell me Scrait...do parasites like dat qualify for your program?”

“Naw.  Dude’s a mosquito.  No sense in swatting em when you can use repellant.”

“Mosquito hover round me...try to land (snap—I hear the sharp sound of a finger-click) I mash it, even if I am wearin Deet.”

“Deet?  You wear you some Deet?”  (This was spoken through a big smile.)

“Fuckyou....whatchou wear?”  (Also, through a smile.)

“It’s an anology.”

“For reals?  Here my dumb ass was thinkin it was a metaphor all dis time.  Glad you here to set me scrait.”

Up to this point I’d thought scrait was the name of the one who used byzantine in a sentence.  We all shuffled as seats emptied.  Byzantine and Scrait ended up in a bench behind me as I took an isle seat next to a gray pantsuit with a gold duffle-purse too big for her body-frame.

“A metaphor is a type of analogy; a sub-set.” replied Byzantine.

Scrait said, “I was bein ironic....which is a type of sarcasm...a sub-set.”

The soft sound of clothing-against-clothing punctuated their snickers, and I imagined the exchange of elbow-nudges.  I had hopes of gleaning more about Byzantine’s program, which (I assumed) Scrait had brought up after Grimy-bus-budget-guy asked one or both of them for money, but their conversation had travelled too far from the Washington Park train stop and I suspected I’d never hear more.

Just before I stood for my stop, Scrait asked, “So... what kinda insect qualifies?”

After such a lengthy pause I was afraid I wouldn't hear Byzantine's answer before I got off—he said, with his face toward the window so his voice sounded much lower than it really was, “brown recluses and black widows.”

As I walked to my car, I wondered if he was still speaking metaphorically.

(...) — The Pink Panther

Santa and Easter Bunny


Everybody was a baby once, Arthur.   Oh, sure—maybe not today or even yesterday—but once.   Babies, chum:  tiny, dimpled, fleshy mirrors of our us-ness, that parents hurl into the future, like leathery footballs of hope.   And you've got to get a good spiral on that baby or evil will make an interception. — The Tick

Sneaky Low-Down Persistent Ellipses

I'm a bit slightly amazed at the Chinese.  Not all 1.3+ Billion, just the one-too-many who wants to put their ad-porn-link in my comments—and not be immediately introduced to.  Her most recent ploy, (I choose to imagine a woman whose every feature conjures the word pert) is to use some innocuous cliché followed by dot dot dot times five...with each dot a link to their site.

Yesterday's post was blessed by: A bird in hand is worth two in the bush................

I chose, rather than resort to Captchas, to create.  Thanks pertness!

There are three things in life that people like to stare at: a flowing stream, a crackling fire and a Zamboni clearing the ice. — Charlie Brown

Mixed Meta For Stewed Mackerel

In criminal investigation, sometimes you tackle the guy, sometimes you swing-and-miss, and—once-in-a-clue-loon—the guy takes a high dive (when it should've been obvious there's no diving in ice fishing).  This was one of those times.  I recall the strange details of this case as if they unfolded yesterday instead of over a decade ago.  I feel slightly guilty (still) about the dreadful outcome.  It also still makes me giggle a little bit.

1:  While badger hunting, we are gifted with a mackerel stew recipe.

I had three on-the-job-trainee interns: Hughie, Dewy, and Louie.  I tasked Hughie with locating a suspect, Mr Ecks, who did not want to be found.  After two days of flailing, Hughie said he didn't think it was possible to locate Mr Ecks's address without a warrant.

"We can't get a warrant without probable cause, Hughie.  You have to find him first.  Then we talk to him."  I said.

"Everyone I called told me either they didn't have any information on him, or that I needed a warrant before they could give me his information.  I'm no good at this."  He said.

I looked over the agencies he'd contacted.  The local cable provider was the least significant company on his list who said they needed a warrant.  I said, "Call the cable company back.  Ask for the same lady you spoke with the first time.  Once you get her on the phone, explain everything to her.  One hundred percent truth.  Tell her what you know he did and why you know it; also tell her how this suspicion isn't enough for a judge to grant a warrant.  Tell her all you need is his address.  That this guy is going to get away with it if someone doesn't help us catch him.  If she sticks to the warrant-bit, give her your name and number and ask her to call you if she changes her mind and thank her.  Be overly nice to her.  It can't hurt."

An hour later he came back to my office.  "She says if we go down there and show her a badge, she'll give us Mr Ecks's address."

"All that time on the phone!  What the fuck Hughie?  Are you goin steady with her yet?"

"Very funny.  Actually, she and I kinda hit it off and she ... well, she had this complaint.  Kind-of.  Mostly, she wants it to be anonymous cause she's scared as greased hell that the info will point back at her.  But if what she says is real, I think she just gave us a pretty big economic crime case."

As we drove downtown to show her my badge, Hughie explained how, before her divorce, Mrs Cable was the sole bookkeeper for her ex-husband's business.  Mr Cable's company installed large overhead, hinged, and sliding garage doors.  For the last four or five years Mr Cable met about every month or two with Mr Mackerel, who provided assistance in obtaining government contracts.  Although Mrs Cable suspected Mr Cable paid his friend for the inside information, she never witnessed any actual graft.

2.  I compile the stew ingredients.

To provide a smoke-screen, over a period of a few weeks I "conducted a review" of hundreds of various government contracts:  plumbing, electrical, new construction, old construction-repair, siding, windows, roofing, and garage doors.  I learned Mr Cable's company had been awarded 92.5% of all the garage door contracts on the military installation; 37 of 40 in the prior 4½ years.

One person was responsible for representing the government in these contracts: Mr Mackerel.

4¾ years earlier, Mr Mackerel had been promoted to the contracting position.

These contracts were required to be open to the lowest bidder.  The bidding process was always conducted with sealed envelopes.  Between two and five other contracting companies routinely bid.  Mr Cable's bid was the lowest by $10 to $50 on all but three contracts. 

3.  I put the ingredients I found in a pot.

I called Mr Cable and asked him to come to my office.  The day he came for his interview, I sent Dewey and Lewie to go pick-up Mr Mackerel from his office.  I advised both Cable and Mackerel—separately—of their legal rights for the crimes of:  Conspiracy to Commit Fraud, Graft, Theft of Government Funds in Excess of $100,000.00, False Official Statements, and Bribery.

Neither of them said anything incriminating.  Both claimed they only knew each other professionally.

I did not interrogate either of them.

I told Mr Cable that I didn't need a confession because I had a source who'd already provided all the information I needed, and concluded with, "...on the basis of that information, a judge will undoubtedly find you guilty.  And—from my experience with white-collar crimes of this nature—you can look forward to a huge fine, being banned from all government contracts for 3 to 5 years, and probably probation."  I then told Dewy to take his mug-shots and fingerprints.

I told Mr Mackerel that I didn't need a confession because I had a source who'd already provided all the information I needed, and concluded with, "...on the basis of that information, a judge will undoubtedly find you guilty.  And—from my experience with white-collar crimes of this nature—you can look forward to a huge fine, losing your job, being banned from all future government employment and pension, and probably probation."  I then told Louie to take his mug-shots and fingerprints.

4.  I turn on the heat and stir.

Hughie was sent to interview some government co-workers of Mr Mackerel:  Mr Ahe, Miss Bee, Mr Cee and Mrs Dee.

Louie was sent to interview a handful of construction employees of Mr Cable:  Mr Eff, Mr Gee, Mr Ache and Mr Eye.

Dewy was sent to interview other owners of garage door installation companies:   Mr Jay, Mr Kay and Mr Elle.

They were given a small list of questions to ask, like:  Did you ever see Mr Cable and Mr Mackerel together outside of a professional setting?  Did either Cable or Mackerel ever confide their fraudulent activities to you or anyone you know?  None of the interviewees provided any information.

I met with the Director of Contracting.  I briefed him on the facts of the case and recommended that he remove Mackerel from all duties involving contracts.  He concurred, immediately suspended Mackerel and turned him into a high-paid receptionist.

5.  I put a lid on the pot.

Mrs Cable called me.

"You are going to get me killed!" She said, "My ex was just here and he is going ape-poop-crazy.  He accused me of turning them in and told me that if he finds out I turned him in he would kill me an bury me in the woods where nobody would ever find me!  You said they would never know it was me.  But I told you they would suspect me and now look, I don't know..."

"Mrs Cable.  MRS CABLE!  Calm down.  Caaaalmmm dooowwwnn."

"Okay, sorry."

"What did you tell him?"

"I told him it wasn't me.  That I had no reason to turn him in.  I told him that we'd been divorced for over a year, so why would I turn him in now?  Which did calm him a bit; but then he just got more worked up and he pointed outside at a dark sedan and said they were following him.  Are you following him everywhere?"

"No. No, we don't have any reason to conduct surveillance on him.  But I'm glad he's upset.  That's a good thing.  If he gets in touch with you again, just continue to deny, okay?"

6.  The pot begins to boil. 

"Hello, Mrs Cable?"  I said, "Have you heard from your ex-husband since I spoke with you last week?"

"No."

"Good.  I want you to call him and tell him you just got a phone call from the cops.  That we asked to schedule an interview with you, but you told us that you couldn't until Saturday because of work.  Then I need you to convince him that you are in a panic, that you don't know what to say or do.  That you need his help.  You need to convince him to come to your house on Saturday before noon and wait in the next room when we come to interview you at 1230.  We'll act like it's the first time we've spoken; we'll ask all about your work as the company bookkeeper. . . you'll deny any knowledge.  He'll overhear.  Can you do it?"

7.  I take the lid off the pot.

"How did everything go?"  I asked Mrs Cable.

"Fantastic.  He coached me on how to act and what to say.  Then when your guys left he came out and I could see immediately that he no longer suspected me.  He thought of me, more, as a co-conspirator at that point."

"So you don't feel in danger any more?"

"Nope.  Not at all."

8.  Mackerel stew is served.

"Special Agent Glines?"

"Speaking."

"This is Lieutenant Colombo from the Downtown Police Department.  I've got a guy who confessed to shooting and killing your confidential informant in a case you're investigating where ... ummm, he ... they ... were doing some kind of contracting fraud?"

"Ahhh... umm, this is the first I've heard.  I ... I'm ... sorry lieutenant—yes, I have an investigation of that nature.  Who is the suspect?  Can you tell me the name of the man who confessed to the shooting?"

"Yes, it's a Mister Mackerel.  He says the guy he killed last night, around 2am, was your informant and I..."

"Is he sitting within earshot?"

"No.  He's in another office."

"Well I can tell you he didn't murder my informant, because my informant is not a he.  Obviously, Mackerel can't learn about this."

"Right."

"What was the name of the victim?"  I asked.

"Ahhh....Mister Gee.  He was a sub-contractor of his friend's, a Mr Cable.  Mr Gee supposedly worked with them installing doors and, supposedly, knew all about their under-the-table stuff.  Mackerel said he followed Gee to a Waffle House after a night of drinking and as Gee exited the restaurant Mackerel pointed a .22 caliber pistol at him, threatened him, and then shot him four times.  Mr Gee was dead at the scene."

Leave us not jump to seclusions. — Popeye the Sailor

2009 Charted


I would never let a woman kick my ass. If she tried something, I'd be like, HEY! You get your bitch ass back in the kitchen and make me some pie! — Eric Cartman

4 minutes of Art (x 2)


And now, here's something we hope you'll really like! — Rocket "Rocky" J. Squirrel

Oscar for Best Supporting:



Do you recall how good The Dark Knight was...with Heath Ledger's Joker?  That level of rare disturbingly-wondrous performance is, this year, Mo'Nique in Precious.  The film has a well written script, fine acting, and good pacing—however—Mo'Nique's performance, as the noxiously vile woman who gave birth to Precious, is beyond amazing and turns an otherwise good film into a fantastic one.

Sanitized violence in movies has been accepted for years. What seems to upset everybody now is the showing of the consequences of violence. — Stanley Kubrick