SO I was at Big Lots the other day looking for jars filled with cotton candy that had either dried out or gotten moist – one or the other, who knows? – so that the once big fluffy wads sat like dense, pastel-colored hockey pucks of sugar at the bottom of their plastic containers. Mmmmm-mm!
Having checked that off my list, it was over to the next aisle where I was faced with a difficult decision:
Did I have a hankering for chocolate flavored wine?
…Or was it Banana Moon Pie flavored coffee that I craved?
While trying to make up my mind, I wandered over to their furniture department and fell asleep in the bottom bunk of one of those metal pipe-frame kids beds. By the time I woke up six hours later, I was completely sober and of course wanted neither. Problem solved!
Let me help you out here! Some free advice!
When you’re filing a story (industry term) about some sort of supposedly newsworthy event, include a little something called details.
Here’s a piece titled “The Onion Apologizes for Tweet About Quvenzhané Wallis” over on our sister site newyorktimes.com where they note that “an obscene reference” was made about the young actress. And over at our other sister site usatoday.com, they noted that the Onion issued an apology for a tasteless Twitter remark (which I understand is called a “Tweet”) with the headline news that “‘The Onion issues apology for tasteless Twitter remark.”
Neither story mentioned exactly what was so offensive (though to be fair, USA Today eventually added a link to another story filed a few minutes earlier that spelled it out, or at least gave us the first letter:
If your news organization is touting something as news, have the editorial courage of your convictions to print the actual details of the story rather than make oblique references to it. The entire story here begins and ends with the dreaded c-word, and to paraphrase the Onion itself, everyone seems afraid to use it. (And yes, I realize the irony of me not including it here, but I’m brilliantly and insightfully commenting on the story, not reporting the news. Also, my grandmother reads this blog.)
Furthermore, if readers have to leave your site to do their own research elsewhere and find out what the goddamn story is, your news organization has failed at the one thing it’s supposed to do.
Nothing that happens on Twitter is ever news.
FRIDAY morning, I got a call from my employment agency, the Temp Bag, with an assignment: head over to the
KodakDolby Theater in Hollywood and sit in the audience for their run-through of Sunday’s show. They needed people to stand in for the stars for lighting, camera blocking, etc. I spent the day with a sign reading “Anne Hathaway” hanging from my neck. (I was hoping to be Joaquin Phoenix, but everyone agreed I’m more of an Anne Hathaway.)
Anyway, when we broke for lunch (industry term), I managed to sneak backstage (Not allowed! Shh!) where I snapped this picture of those legendary Oscar gift baskets they give to the nominees.
Man, I tell you, those celebrities have it all!
IT’S FUNNY how things work out sometimes. I was leaving the gym the other day and I came across this in the parking lot.
Can you see the seat covers in the car? They’re these:
I’d been looking for someone to take care of Nana Parsnips when I take off for Vegas for a long, lost weekend-slash-bender. What better In-Home Care-Giving Service than “California’s #One In-Home Care-Giving Service” that features the Grim Reaper as their unofficial automotive upholstery logo, right?
But it gets better, and unfortunately, if I were to prove it, I’d open myself to all sorts of litigation and even more people picking on me at the gym when they realize I’m the jackass taking pictures of vehicles in the parking lot.
Anyway: The website of their in-home care-giving service, which I ingeniously blacked out to minimize the inevitable settlement I’ll be paying for the sake of entertaining you, what, six regulars…? Well, when you visit it, and then click on the “About Us” section offering little bios of their employees…?
It plays the 1972 soul hit “Me and Mrs. Jones.”
Honest to God!
Sure, they’ll probably end up killing Nana, but at least she’ll die with a smile on her face.
Sweet pickled radicchio! Do my eyes deceive me?! Look what’s at the 99¢ Only store – peanut butter!
And not just any peanut butter, but high-end, name-brand, fancy peanut butter! Faaaaaaancy peanut butter!
From Planters! The peanut people!
New! says the label! Planters NUT•rition Energy Mix Berry Nut and Cinnamon Raisin Granola Nut peanut butter. Twelve ounces for 99¢ only. Who could say no to that? You could?
Well, what if I pointed out that the lid is green? And this isn’t your father’s green! Back in the old days, a green lid on a jar of peanut butter meant it was either lime-flavored peanut butter or menthol light peanut butter or an open case of peanut butter was back in the stockroom when the maintenance crew put a fresh coat of spray paint on the cardboard baler!
No, today, green implies healthy and/or recycled! I’m going out on a limb here and presume that, even though I bought this at the 99¢ Only store, this isn’t recycled peanut butter so that leaves only one other possibility: healthy! You’d pay 99¢ only for a jar of healthy peanut butter, wouldn’t you?
Of course you would! We all would!
How exactly is it healthy? I’m glad you asked! It’s got Mr. Peanut using his cane to mime a golf swing on the label, and it’s from Planters NUT•rition line of products – which is a play on the word “nutrition.” Could it be any more healthy?
And that’s not all! It’s also got 10% copper! See?
Do you know how much copper sells for these days?!
…Neither do I, but I know it’d be a hell of a lot easier to buy a bunch of this stuff from the 99¢ Only store and smelt it down to the copper and peanut alloys (peanutium rises to the top) than to break into construction sites and vacant houses and steal all the copper wiring like we all did during the summers we were in college.
Here’s the Cinnamon Raisin Granola Nut version:
I tried some on a crisp Ritz cracker!
And then there’s this one, the Berry Nut type:
Which I also tried on a crisp Ritz cracker. Mmm-mm! Good cracker! Good cracker!
As you know, everything tastes great when it sits on a Ritz, but the first one – the granola one – it was just a little bit better. Crunchy, it was. And not crunchy like chunky peanut butter. Really crunchy, like there was granola made of rice in there, which there was. Who the hell makes granola out of rice? you ask. Apparently Planters does. Don’t argue, it gives it a nice crunch.
Tired? Need a quick pick-me-up without the crash? Toss those cans of Monster M-80 in the garbage, you’re going to chug a peanut butter sandwich! Yes, that’s right – these are “Energy Mix” peanut butters.
Like a peanut butter adrenaline shot directly to the heart, they are! Christ almighty I hope you’re not allergic to peanut butter!
Oh, by the way, if you are allergic to peanut butter, and, by extension, peanuts…?
Or even peanut, singular, I guess.
Anyway, there ya go: Planters NUT•rition Energy Mix Peanut Butter (contains: peanut) is what’s bueno at the 99¢ Only store today. But it won’t be for long, because every jar they had (and they had a lot of them) had a best-by date of somewhere around the third week of February. And folks, we’re there now.
Now that’s not to say that they won’t continue to carry them long past the best-by date. Good heavens, no – this is the 99¢ Only store we’re talking about, after all! I’m just saying that maybe they won’t be as bueno, say, fourteen months down the road as they are today.
HEY, I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again: This is not a political blog!
But one thing that all Los Angelenos everywhere can agree on is that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is a complete and utter scu—
—Actually, my attorney’s on vacation this week, sure, and his paralegal is frantically waving her arms and telling me that the laws regarding elected officials and libel are, eh, difficult to interpret, so we’ll just say, for now, that, in my First Amendment-protected opinion, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is #118 on a completely non-sequentially numbered list of an arbitrary total number of 857 reasons to get the hell out of the filthy toilet that is Los Angeles or not move here in the first place. If it weren’t completely non-sequential, he’d be closer to number one. In my opinion.
Voted Most Likely To Be LA’s Worst Mayor
There’s no particular heinous or disgusting or stupid thing he’s done or said lately*, it’s just that I was at the ol’ post office the other day to pick up my mail and I was distressed to see that it’s happening again…
…My mailbox is filling up almost quicker than I can empty it. That’s four days worth of political flyers, and we’re only getting started.
But the good news is that among the offices we’ll be voting for is that of mayor of Los Angeles. Villaraigosa is thankfully termed out and so his reign of embarrassing douchebaggery is near an end. But before he’s hopefully irrelevant**, I wanted to note what an awful mayor this former gang member has been, and thus has been a perfect fit for L.A. Considering he’s served two terms – that the city saw how much of an opportunistic, preening jackass he was during the first four years, and yet he was voted in again – this city deserved him.
So I won’t go into great detail about his extra-marital affair, his silly promise to plant “one million trees,” his other silly promise to fill one million potholes (which he achieved by labeling virtually any road repair work as X number of potholes), his legendary narcissism and vanity, or the number of hours the man actually spends doing his job. (Or, hell, the much longer LA Weekly piece that is a delight to read.)
Have I written anything considered libelous? I hope not; I don’t want Tony suing me. Not him directly, of course – an attorney working for him, I mean. For him to sue me by himself, he would have had to have passed the California State Bar on one of his four attempts.
But what better man to represent the filthy toilet that is Los Angeles, than Antonio “We Clean Your Toilets” Villaraigosa holding court wielding a toilet brush as a scepter?
…which would have been an awesome way to end this post if I knew how to Photoshop a toilet brush in his hand.
But, aaah, I don’t.
*Well, aside from partying with Charlie Sheen or giving LA a final F-You by supporting another increase to our ridiculously high sales tax.
**That is, if Obama doesn’t see the irony in naming the mayor of a city with notoriously bad traffic the Secretary of Transportation.
Here we go. Little glass canning jars from the 1970s:
They hold about ten ounces. Does $1.99 seem reasonable to you?
Each. $1.99 each.
Okay, now, what if I were to tell you that most of them are missing the little rubber rings inside the lids, the rings that are there are in various states of disintegration, and the rest we can’t be sure of because the rusty lids seem to be permanently fused to the glass?
Still a good deal, huh? Hey, you’re the jam expert.
Let’s leave that Goodwill, and head to another.
Oh, but let’s stop at the store first – this reminds me: I need to pick up marmalade. Sweet orange marmalade.
Here we go.
$2.78. Hey, that’s the price of sweet orange marmalade these days.
All right then, on our way!
And now here we are in a different Goodwill. Oh, what a coincidence – another jelly jar.
An empty one.
For a dollar ninety-nine! The jar full of preserves only cost 79¢ more!
It’s like I’ve always said: You’re not paying for the sweet orange marmalade, you’re paying for the jar.
AS YOU KNOW, Friday nights are a special time for the Parsnips clan. We drive two hours away to the closest Long John Silver’s, have ourselves a good healthy meal and then the real fun starts: We backtrack another two-and-a-half hours to Jo-Ann’s at Porter Ranch to check out the new fabric patterns! It’s a weekly tradition!
Yes, yes, I know – the truck comes on Thursdays, but sometimes they don’t get all the new bolts of fabric out until the next day, so it just makes sense to make it a Friday thing. (Oh believe me, I filled out a complaint card. Useless. Absolutely useless!)
Anyway: as you also know, I’ve been a lifelong “Star Trek” fan all my life – why, for as long as I can remember. I’ve been in the fan club since I was knee-high to a Wookiee (Star Trek reference), and I’m proud to call myself a serious, devoted Trekeroo, as we true fans refer to ourselves. (Please, please don’t call us “Treksters.” It sickens us.)
So today I came across something fascinating at Jo-Ann’s:
See, even Dr. Spock agrees, with characteristic enthusiasm!
It was a whole bolt of Star Trek fleece!
Although apparently there was a little bit of a mix-up at the fabric factory, as they included an image of Lee Majors as the “$6 Million Man” on it as well. No…no, wait, upon closer examination, it is fact in Kirk, but it’s from that episode where he contracts Space Palsy and half of his face is temporarily paralyzed. (As you recall, they cured Kirk by sending him back and forth through the, whaddayacall, the zapper.)
Here, look at it some more! Look at it some more while I try to come up with some sort of Starfleet / Starfleece pun.
Aaah, it’s just not coming. I got nothing here. But the fleece is pretty neat, right?
And look, there’s more! Not fleece, but regular, cotton print fabric!
There’s their ship, the beloved Jupiter! Will they ever get back home?
And here’s even more fabric!
This particular print in noteworthy because the ship seems to have gone through a pop culture warp and somehow ended up in the same science fiction universe as the space station in “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Which makes even less sense than me intentionally getting basic Star Trek details wrong yet being able to correctly identify the space station in “2001.”
There’s more yet!
And, brother, I saved the best for last!
By Grabthar’s hammer, that’s not just Star Trek fabric, it’s Star Trek fabric with the print made of vintage 1960s Gold Key comic book covers! You know how much I love vintage 1960s Gold Key comic book covers!
Here’s a slightly closer-up closeup!
Here’s where I appeal to you, my vast readership of, what, six people: Look, one of you must know how to make curtains. I think we’re all in agreement that it’s time for me to grow up, take down Huckleberry Hound from the bedroom windows and put something up a little less juvenile. Whaddayasay? I send you the fabric and the dimensions, you sew ’em up for me.
Or, if that’s too complicated, maybe you could design a nice, roomy muu-muu. I don’t mind telling you, those hush puppies are just like Tribbles – for every one you eat, you want eight more.
What’s bueno at the 99¢ Only store? This salsa! The one on the left, of course! I put it next to the one on the right so that you might, whaddayacall, compare and contrast! So that you might compare and contrast the concave and convex!
It looks like someone was asleep at the ol’ el switcho at the salsa factorio, they accidentally overfilled it, and it’s ready to burst at the seams! Someone’s going to make out like a bandito – lucky bastard!
Anyway, after I found that, I found this:
Pretty cool for a buck, huh? A couple of flocked pictures with six markers to color ’em in. But that’s not what’s so amazing. The name is!
Let’s go in for a closeup, hmm?
Can you believe it? Velvet Doodles! Yes – you remember! That was my name when I used to host Karaoke Tuesdays at The Leather Anvil in Silverlake! That is, until the ol’ ball-and-chain made me quit because it interfered with her damn softball league night.
“Say, Thorg, our Premium Fish Fillet sandwich is back – delicious, 100% North Pacific cod, hand-cut and then lightly breaded in a crispy panko crumb coating topped off with fresh crisp lettuce and creamy tartar sauce. Weighing in at 3.4 ounces, we’ve reeled in a fish filet larger than our leading competitor. But it’s only here for a limited time so, Thorg, I need you to get up on the ladder – eh, the wood-climb-stick – and put something on the sign out front to let customers know!”
“Me on it, Boss!”