Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mel Gibson & other random thoughts

Some days I wake up fired with a passion to blog. I know, I know. That’s like waking up with a passion to farm worms -- and I do farm worms too, but rarely with passion, something the amiable worms never seem to mind.
Then some days I just don’t have any focus. Yet, I have friends who nag me if I write fewer than three times a week. Why, I don’t know.
It’s not like anyone today is lacking in entertainment options. And you’d think they’d encourage me to pursue actual wage-earning options as I uniformly owe them about $50 each.
So on days when I don’t have one really good idea there’s only one option riding to the rescue . . .
The random item post!
  • Sad, but true. My 9-year-old daughter has earned more from the Tooth Fairy in the past four days than I’ve earned from anybody in the past six weeks.
  • I’m toying with the idea of cleaning my second-floor office, something I do about once every four or five months. My experiences here 14 seconds from my favorite bar stool convinces me every guy should have a place like this. I put what I want on the walls. I kill time juggling, hitting balls on a mini-golf driving range and filling a wall-mounted waste paper basket with crumpled scrap. When my wife asked me what I wanted for Christmas one year, I told her to get me a Bob Dylan Theme Time Radio poster. “What are you, in eighth grade?” she mocked. “Nope, but my office is,” I told her. When the girls come in they wrinkle their noses and shake their heads at the splendid filth, which is as it should be. If my office had a motto it would be: “Welcome guys! My door is always open and my toilet seat is always up!”
  • I was wondering what kind of trouser fashion adjustments a person needs when walking around in government-sanctioned no-fly zone.
  • You have to fly into Arnold Palmer Airport to land in Mister Rogers Neighborhood. This is Latrobe, Pennsylvania, my home since 1992 and the birthplace of professional football, the banana split and Rolling Rock beer. Fred Rogers was born here and modeled his show and its characters after the old steel town of 7,600, mostly famous for being the birthplace of favorite son Arnold Palmer. Now’s the height of the tourist season. About 10,000 people from all over the country are every day crowding our streets and taverns. You see license plates from all over. This is where Borscht Belt comic Jackie Mason served our Jewish community as rabbi for three years after his ordination. I read that and thought, “There are Jews in Latrobe?” It’s a very homogenized population. But not during August when our African-American population swells by nearly 200 percent. Latrobe’s St. Vincent College is also the summer training camp of the Pittsburgh Steelers. That means I’ll be updating friends from around the country with news that Hines Ward is shopping in the Giant Eagle or that Mike Tomlin is sipping beers at Dino’s. I’m not sure who I’ll call if I see Ben Roethlisberger heading into in a bathroom stall with a drunken 20-year-old.
  • Anytime you hear of someone dying suddenly it should reinforce the need to ensure you're always living suddenly.
  • Spent an afternoon last week listening to all the Mel Gibson tapes. I know I shouldn’t take so much soulful joy out of another person’s misery, but hearing Messianic Mel go haywire felt somehow uplifting. Remember, just a few years ago he was such a family values conservative he was saying the pope, a man who thinks AIDS-reducing condoms are the devil’s plaything, was too liberal. The best part were the YouTube mashups where pranksters got creative with the tapes. There’s a good one where they splice together Mel arguing with the tape of Christian Bale going bale-istic. But my favorite is when they take Mel and have him unleash his most vicious and profane insults at tapes of Betty White sounding all innocent and wounded.
  • We are born free and spend the rest of our lives constructing prisons around ourselves. Mine has no walls, no security, just lots and lots of bars.
  • I don’t understand the impediment to the lifestyle they’re trying change by releasing Lindsay Lohan out of jail after just 14 days. If I’d been on a year-long bender, 14 days seems just about right. Note she was released at 1:35 a.m. Just in time for last call!
  •  Daughter, 9, asked what I'd be doing today. Me: "Sitting all alone in a small quiet room screaming for attention." That's writing.
  • Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve caught enough of two popular shows to make snap judgements. First “Mad Men.” Val and I tried to get into it early, but it didn’t take. But I can see the appeal now and might try and wedge it into the rotation. Then there’s “Jersey Shore.” I’m all for cheesy, voyeuristic shows about hapless idiots, but I could feel individual brain cells detonating en masse as I watched this. With “Jersey Shore,” we may have crossed a frightening threshold. Bad TV may no longer be a guilty pleasure. It may have become unwatchable.
  • I can’t think of a summer with fewer must-see movies. “Inception” looks compelling, but friends tell me watching it made their heads hurt. Does anyone out there know of anything recent that’ll make me laugh?
  • Despite my efforts to appear adult, I still without fail shout, "Gesundheit!" anytime I hear someone use the word "eschew.”
  • Six of the above items were ripped directly from http://twitter.com/8Days2Amish. Guess which ones and I’ll have the Tooth Fairy deliver to you the cash equivalent of how much I’ve earned over the past six weeks!
  • That’s that. Now it’s, “Worm farm, here I come!”


Emma said...

You do, as always, give me a good chuckle, sometimes an out and out laugh. I like that you feel committed to three posts a week; you delay my having to go find something productive to have fun at!

Chris Rodell said...

How sweet of you to say such wonderful things. I enjoy doing this so much and to hear words like yours from someone who just stumbled onto my blog means the world to.

I've been negligent in checking out other blogs, but just peeked at yours. It's wonderful. I'm going to read it more and refer my readers to it in the nearby "I like these guys . . ." column.