Sunday, July 29, 2012

O Fried Chicken Ye Tuna O' The Land

There was no egg wash or batter with corn flakes and bread crumbs. Mom would just coat it with a bit of flour and throw it in a cast iron skillet in rendered bacon fat that she got from 5 inches away on the top of the stove in a mason jar. Dad made fun of her for saving things such as bacon fat and leftovers in general. Dad hated leftovers. Of course Verna, dad's mom, did the same thing. So dad saw it as a sign of poverty because dad grew up poor. So mom would say, "Well at least we didn't have to eat field corn." "We didn't have to eat field corn! We liked the lack of flavor!" This exchange, as predictable as sunday dinner, made mom and I laugh as if no one was ever going to die ever, not even the dogs.

It should be noted that the chicken mom grew up eating was alive shortly before it hit the pan, which is why whenever we moved around one of the first things she always looked for was a good butcher with "connections".

Now frying chicken in bacon fat is probably something that those genius nutritionismists would look down upon in scorn and condescending assholedness because they know everything there is to know about food, namely, that food is nothing more than the collection of a bunch of chemicals. Do not dispute them or you will have to punch them in the head.

Now eating chicken fried in bacon fat just after watching tv all day and just before drinking beer all night may indeed not be the ideal diet. But most of my and your people come from those whose day went from sunup to sundown, then started again at sundown and went to sunup in the winter on account of livestock, who are like children in their neediness but are much more worthwhile and are nicer people with non-psychotic tendencies, unless they're chickens. So my people, needing fuel as much as their horses, then their tractors, did eat things like boiled potatoes doing the butterfly in a lap pool of butter and salt. Grandpa Kading's favorite lunch was cold chicken leftover from last night's supper. During planting and harvest my mom would take it out to him and his brothers to save time. Their farms weren't at all huge by today's standards, but "making hay while the sun shines" wasn't just a metaphor and actually has its origins in farming, if you can even believe that!

So cold chicken, also called by many "the lobster of the midwest" (where "many" means "me"), with it's high fat content, protein and other chemicals we need to live (oh you nutty nutritionistas!), was the perfect fuel for men who smoked and washed their hands in gasoline and died at 63.

Rambling a bit here. I've been on a 2-week Kentucky Fried Chicken binge. It's the gravy.

Mom liked it when I rambled on the phone. Today is her 72nd birthday. She was 10 times smarter than all her kids combined. My siblings would agree with this tacitly, believing in their hearts that this couldn't possibly be true. Problem is, shit-for-brains, it was and is true. And it's your sense of self-importance and unearned arrogance that prevents you from realizing it and therefore renders you incapable appreciating who she was. Idiots. It's always the baby of the family who bears the brunt of inconsolable loss. But I'm learning to bear it gratefully.

Nota Bene: When my sister had the idea of sauteing chicken without the skin, without the skin, and in a non-fat substance with the look of snot, dad tasted it and said, "Perhaps it would've been better had you just boiled it." My dad was funny without being mean. Most of the time.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Romney Storms Europe Dressed As Saxon Redcoat

Arranges Joint Press Conference With MI6, Mossad, Thanks Both For All The People They Secretly Kill For Our Freedoms, Promises White House With Fewer Security Leaks On Behalf Of Our Freedoms As Well, "'Munich'" Is My Favorite Motion Talking Picture Show!"

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Perhaps The Most Misunderstood Genius In The History Of Music

Like I even have to tell you.

I know where I'll be friday night. Oh yeah! Just try to stop me.
I dare you. Just try to stop me.
Just try. Seriously. I dare you.
Try to stop me. Really. Try to stop me.
Okay, stop me. Try. I'm begging you.

It should be noted here, though relapse is no joke, that I'd have to be screaming on pot like a baked ham in a can, knee-walking drunk. And that would be just to buy the ticket. But I would. But it should also be noted here that if I were to go sober I'd have just as bad of a hangover the next day, and my soul would also have a little mold and mildew on it.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Life can be such a chore.

I need to sort my scrap lumber and my salvaged lumber so that I can proceed with getting the "cabin" ready for winter. I don't have to do the sorting chore, but it will make the process so much more organized, easier, and, dare I say, even pleasurable.

But boy it's hard to get motivated to haul boards all over the property and centralize them in the part of the original house that's not weather-proofed (chortle!) but still has a roof on it and is held together by recycled beams, posts, and plaster.

You'd think it's practically thankless work. But when I start, with the radio blaring and organization blooming and the scent of sobriety ripe in the air, momentum, inertia and cumulative progress seem to happen without me even thinking about it, which is key, because when I get into the midst of mindless, thankless work and life begins to move at the speed of time*, I'll look up, and without having thought about it, there are dents in otherwise intimidating piles.

Does that make any sense?

Not to mention the fact that tonight is the season premier of Bachelor Pad, so everybody wins, except for those watching it and on it.

P.S. Bryan Cranston really is enormously talented and looks a lot like Gary Oldman.

*Michael Scott

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Batman 3: Dark Night Rider, A Movie Review

With a talking car named "Kat", and a talking catwoman named "Katnip Evergreen", this bat man will be littering the streets with MeowMix till the poop is scooped, the hairballs are coughed up, and Kitty von Meowington has been sprayed for neutral.

Riddle me that, Robin! Who? Exactly!

The last movie I actually went to the theater to see was Team America: World Police. But since I was a fanatic of Nolan's franchise from the first frame of Begins, and because anyone who isn't is stupid, I may actually have to head on down to the GigantoPlex in Troy for this gem. I won't.

Movies I Wish I'd Seen In The Theater:

Star Trek
The Matrix
Batman Begins
The Dark Knight
War Of The Worlds
Rachel Getting Married
Lord Of The Rings
Mr. And Mrs. Smith
Hey I Fuckin' Shot That!
Jerry Maguire
Phantom Menace
The Bourne Ultimatum
Sense And Sensibility

Also, and while we're on the subject, here's a list of shows that should win many Emmys but will be cancelled:

Parks And Rec
Up All Night
The Season Finale Of Whitney In Which The Whole Gang Is Gunned Down By 2 Broke Girls With A Gattling Gun
The Firm
30 Rock
Sewing With Nancy
Dateline NBC When It Explodes All Over
Happy Endings
Master Chef!
Marc Shaiman

Full Disclosure:
1. I don't have cable.
2. The cable shows have an unfair advantage on account of their being so much better.

The Emmys have been retarded for some time now. But they went full Simple Jack when Jim Parsons beat out Alec Baldwin a few years ago. Which is the same reason why President Obama will lose. Because when it was revealed during the premier of Big Brother xxiv that they would be joined by 4 Big Brother All-Stars, the quote of the show by one of the contestants was, "It just got real." "It just got real." "Real." "It." "Just." "Got." "Real." And that Julie Chen is considered a journalist.

Oh, skitch!

Boy I'm glad my mom and dad are dead.

I get so mad sometimes when I see someone like Michele Bachmann go on the tv and claim that the current administration has been infiltrated by The Brothers Of The Muslim Fraternity Of Islam and that Hillary Clinton pilots unmanned drones in order to kill American citizens in Yemen and Mankato. And that Michelle is fine with her husband paying 14-year old boys to come to the house so he can suck their cocks.

That folks like Michele and Sarah rise to prominence and importance not in spite of their ignorance but proudly because of it really grates my cheese.

Then I think of my parents and realize I have a lot to do yet to get ready for the first fly of snow. And I'm grateful, so very grateful that I continue to retain the privilege of being their son.

And I calm down. A little. And I get back to the art of living.*

*Oh, IOZ!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Master Chef! Paula Deen! [racing heart monitor sfx here]

When the Mystery Ingredient Box began to be raised I was thinking the reveal would reveal either Paula Deen, or a piano. I was right.

Then, as if to add sugar to Type 9 diabetes, when the Secret Ingredients Crate was raised to reveal the revealed ingredients for tonight's supper, I was shocked to see an entire chicken, bacon, peppers, creamed bacon, a fried chicken fried in fried chicken skin stuffed with bacon-fried chicken skin, buttered butter, oil, oiled butter, cream of cheese-buttered cream oil, okra, a life-size Paula Deen salt sculpture, Fritos-crusted onion rings, a Red Lobster Fudge Overboard! Chocolate Volcano Fountain, grass clippings, and a midget with fresh ground pepper and a porn mill. For those of you not watching, don't ask.

How many people have you killed, Paula? And how many with your food, m'lady?

The Mystery Container Challenge? Sushi. Or as I like to call it, "bait". Full disclosure: I love sushi, but only because I also like to call sushi rolls "soy sauce sponges".

I'm guessing The Pressure [Cooker] Challenge Coffin will reveal a bag of potato chips, a jar of mayonnaise, a loaf of Wonder Bread, 20 endless minutes on the egg timer that can be seen from space were we still going there on a regular basis, and no leftovers. And product placements that make the nose twitch and twist.

Now if you'll excuse me I have to check on my Fruit Loop casserole to see if it's risen.
It has risen indeed.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Braking Back!

I have an irrational appreciation for actors, known mostly as "That One Guy", who work a lot and are so very good in nearly every part. Some that come immediately to mind:

Gary Cole
Jason Bateman
Bruce Greenwood
Miguel Ferrer
Michael Hitchcock
Brad Pitt
John Michael Higgins
The Newspaper Guy From Spiderman, And Juno
David Koechner
Richard Something Something (older guy, seems sad all the time)
Bob Balaban
Jeff Tambor
Justin Theroux
Tom Cruise
David Paymer

We knew them when (they were still "That One Guy" [some still are]):

Paul Rudd
Tom Wilkinson (personal favorite)
Alec Baldwin

I've seen maybe 3 episodes of Malcolm In The Middle. Good show. But Brian is the sort that you just know right away about, especially when you hear yourself say, Oh, yeah, the one armed guy from Saving Private Ryanwith maybe 2 scenes.

I like Jason Bateman on there because of Starsky And Hutch and Pepper Brooks.

Though I'm a drunken pothead, in counseling we talked about heroin and crack and meth. The counselor said that though all are devastatingly addictive, meth seemed the hardest to come off. In a weird way it helps to see others hit bottom, but only if it's on TV or in memoirs. Though I suspect it's going to be years and years before I'll ever be able to watch Leaving Las Vegas again.

Full disclosure: I've heard so many interviews from cast and writers and creators and directors of the show, it was only a matter of time before I ordered Season 1. Curiously, it was Bob Garfield of On The Media going on and on about the show during a story about a Slate writer who said it was pop culturally self-defeating to watch an entire series in 3 days. I kind of agree. When I watched Deadwood for the first time, I made myself stop after 2 episodes every saturday afternoon, sober, oddly enough.

And I've never seen The Sopranos. Frankly, the show scares me. Or just the thought of it.

(And lest we forget: Tom Cruise is the greatest actor of all time.)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tough Room

I don't know how many of all y'all have spent much time in The Deep South ("American by birth, Southern by the grace of God, retarded by the heat and humidity."), but white people love to see other white people being treated poorly by blacks, especially if those "other people" are northerners. It's a sort of "We tried to tell you so!" teachable moment regarding what happens when you give "those people" "a say".

The punch line turns out is that whoever orchestrated this bombing at the NAACP is right. And because stereotypes exist for a reason, it allows the Romney folks to say, "Well, sure, this guy may well indeed be the president and all, for the most part. But he's still black, which means we can pretty much say anything we want about him."

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Breakfast At Wimbledon: The End Of An Era

Somehow I've never managed not to watch at least the Championship no matter where I was no matter how I was. Well, thanks to greed, probably, this will be the first year, minus an act of god, or My Mom And Dad, I will miss the men's final. ESPN3 does not seem to want to talk to my verizon bot, so tomorrow morning I'll try to listen to it on the radio.

I was trying to think of the most fun I had watching Wimbledon that didn't include watching it with my dad, because that wouldn't be fair. I have concluded with not much thought that it would have to be Eastman School Of Music, summer of 1985, Boris Becker.

This fiasco has not improved my mood, so I may have to listen, again, to the "Fiascos" podcast from TAL.

1. Serena Williams is a thug who hates tennis.
2. If the purse is to be equal amongst men and women, then does it follow that the women should be required to compete for best of 3 sets as well?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fire Crackers!

25 years ago, I was back home in Ohio for the summer after my first year in New York City. When July 4 rolled around, this stray dog, a pit bull mutt, wandered on to the property and didn't seem to have any intention of leaving. She was terrified of the fireworks all day and that night, so my little nephews named her "Crackers".

Dad did not like her, did not like her at all. We already had a dog, adopted as Sidney, a German Shepherd/Husky mix, but his name had changed over the years from Old Thunder to Charles Albert, on account of stories in the paper dad and I had read, and the last one on account of an old, old lady at the vet whose tiny dog was named Charles Albert, mom surmised, after the old lady's late husband.

Crackers was a pain. In the garbage, needy, nearly vermin, you would think. And dad didn't want her muscling in on Charles Albert's attention, even though he didn't care for attention. Dad did not want this dog. At all. We already had a dog.

But she wouldn't leave, and my parents weren't the sort to take dogs to the pound. They were the sort to adopt dogs from the pound. So they decided to keep her until someone who actually wanted this dog could be found.

I'm not having a particularly good week. Not a bad week, but not overly positive. Probably the heat and the power loss over the weekend, and the heat is still here. (Though July and August in The Ham for 13 years has pretty much inured me to anything Ohio can and will throw at me.) And I'm almost as sick of saying, "One day at a time," as I am hearing myself say it. But as smart as I like to hope everyone thinks I am, that's just what it ends up coming down to: One day. I"ve got today. It's hot, but it's a blessing.

Every 4th Of July, I think about what ever happened to that dog that didn't want to leave. And it makes me wonder. And it makes me sad.

Well, what happened to that dog was that she never did leave. And she became the most adored dog ever in the history of dog history. Often, when my dad would get up at 5:15 in the morning, while my mom was still asleep, he would coax Cracker up into the bed where he had been laying and put the covers up to her head so that my mom would wake up with this dog sound asleep with her head on the pillow as if it were the most natural, predictable thing one wouldn't even have to imagine. My mom would get so mad telling of it that she'd have to laugh.

Then there was the time they were gone for 3 days, a story for another time.

When Charles Albert died in 1993, Crackers helped us bury him in the woods and wouldn't leave the site of fresh earth for 3 hours; she just laid there, waiting for him.

One of the sweetest, saddest things I've ever seen was right after dad died the last week of March 2001. People were bringing food for our family at all hours of the day all that week. So there were cars coming up the driveway too often to count. Yet every time a car would start down the driveway, that dog would think for just a second or two that it was dad, and would lumber over to the front door only to be disappointed yet again for the two dozenth time. Then she'd mope on back to mom. Mom and I would share a look that from what I can remember was an odd combination of comfort and devastation.

Crackers died almost exactly 6 months after dad did, having lived a pretty good dog's life, having broken in mom's last stray dog, Sophie, who, it breaks my heart to think, is still waiting at the front door waiting for mom to come pick her up and take her back home.

P.S. Moonpie got to meet my mom exactly 3 times and was, as you might imagine, smitten by her immediately, and remembered her as if on cue the 2nd and 3rd times right away. I suspect there's a little Crackers in Moonpie dog. At least I like to think so.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Heroic Icon, Or Iconic Hero? Anderson Cooper Notes

Anderson Cooper 360??? 180?!?!?!? Try 540!!!

Anderson bravely blows lid off story everyone already knew and really didn't care about and now cares even less about.

"We prefer our gays to be more stylish and less self-absorbed. And that they can actually read."

It's his pioneering new style of Don't Ask Don't Tell journalism that really gets our nipples hard.

Fox News Reports It May Now Believe That Real America Is Actually Gay, Making Real Americans Gay, Making Most Republican Legislators Real Americans, Again, Check Mate

Newsman breaks news by making news by being news that isn't news thereby breaking news even more.
"... [F]act is, why simply report the news when you can be it, no matter how lame and predictable..."

Mini Cooper-Cruise Power Marriage In The Works?

Anderson Cooper comes out of closet, goes back in, comes back out with even uglier shirt.

Gay Vanderbilt Queer Heir (Queir) Raises Stakes And Eyebrows In Attention Whore Game

"... [F]act is, I'm gay. [But don't worry, I'm still very not smart.]"

Today Leads With Bleeding Ann Curry, Follows With Howie Mandel, Parallel Parking Jap Thug, talking ball of yarn as possible Romney running mate

"His fudge packs a real punch."

&c., and so forth, and the like...

Speaking of which, Deadwood, Season 2, Episode 8, "Childish Things". 'nuff said.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

"I feel like I just lost my best friend: AMERICA."

Stephen Colbert didn't say that.
Jon Stewart didn't say that.
I didn't even say that, sort of.

"I feel like I just lost two great friends: America and Justice Roberts," wrote GOP Rep. Jack Kingston on Congress's main public outreach platform, Twitter.

But I did, to my shame, actually ROFLMAO. Be assured absolutely no lesbians or omelettes were injured during "the incident", that we know of.