Saturday, June 12, 2010

(Non)-Guilty Pleasures

A list! Stolen from Madtown Mama, stolen from Jenn-Jenn, and so forth…

Five little addictions: not like chemical dependencies, but more like guilty pleasures. Problem is, there's very little about my addictions that I'm guilty about, so I don't know if that makes me clueless or geeky…or, clueless about the LEVEL of my geekiness. Whichever…here ya go.

1) Kiss. If you don't already know that I obsess about Kiss, you're either a new reader or you're just…not…paying…attention. I discovered Kiss in 1976 with the help of my 5-years-older aunt, and I never looked back. For me it really is mostly about the music (and you can keep your snarky comments about their level of musicianship to yourselves, thank you!), but I certainly have WAY too many boxes of Kiss-themed junk. Also a pinball machine. *sigh* For now, I'm content with the newish album Sonic Boom, which so totally ROCKS, dude! And, my 12th-row tix to see them on 9/11. With my best friend. What could be sweeter??

2) Vinyl. Don't get all kinky with that one, eh? I mean LPs, you dorks! Sure, I grew up in the '70s, the heyday of vinyl, but I adopted cassettes ("You want me to get new tapes, Tony? I'll get new tapes!") and CDs and mp3s and…well, pretty much everything but 8-track and reel-to-reel. I'd lost a connection to my vinyl collection until bro-in-law Joel came on the scene, and he completely reignited my passion for what is, pardon me, really the best listening format around. I now buy all my new music on vinyl, if I can, and that includes releases in the past 2 years from Kiss, Springsteen, the 52s, the Donnas, Chickenfoot, Metallica, AC/DC, Ace Frehley, and a 25th anniversary pink vinyl edition of Twisted Sister's monster Stay Hungry. I actually want a portable turntable, and have made my birthday wishes known in this regard. Seriously. Go get a turntable and some fuckin' records, man. You'll thank me in the morning.

3) Sex and the City. Y'know why? 'Cause it's a show for MEN, you asshats! Look…4 hot chicks who prance around naked, fucking everything in sight. *Ptooo!* Show for men and lesbians, end of fuckin' story.

4) Stephen King. He's been around what seems like for-fuckin'-ever, and he's consistently over-productive. I just eat his books up, from The Stand to Shawshank Redemption to current 10-lb. dictionary The Dome. Seven volumes of Gunslinger? Fuhgeddaboutit! I never want him to die, and when he does, I want him to have followed Prince's footsteps, with like a gajillion unpublished works that'll last until 2068. I'll read the last one on my 100th birthday, a-thank yew verrah much.

5) Magic: The Gathering. In the world of gamer dorks, you're usually divided into one of two camps: dicechuckers and cardfloppers. Dicechuckers play D&D, cardfloppers play M:TG or some godforsaken spinoff that I don't even want to consider. Magic is great, 'cause it has everything: it's collectable, which feeds THAT beast in me, it's creative, it's fun, it's a good excuse to get together with friends, it's playable for untold hours in a row, and even with thousands upon thousands of cards, it really doesn't take up that much room. Go buy an introductory set and see what I mean…plus, you'll make my cards worth more!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Fuckin' Dogs

Okay, I have a question: where did all these fuckin' dogs come from?? Yeah, yeah, I get it: Man's best friend, and all that jazz. Whatev. I'm just sayin'…there's a lotta damn mutts in my neighborhood, and they just seem to mill about aimlessly, with tapioca where they oughta have brains.

See, we're cat people here. Oh, I had dogs as a kid: Pepper, whom I can be seen holding in one of my favorite childhood photos, but whom I do not remember at all; and Frisky, who was sold to my grandmother as a Cockapoo (great name, that), but turned into a shaggy…something. Not D.A., but a great black smelly beast of a dog that was a lot of fun, and was a great pet, and seemed to be more Old English Sheepdog than anything remotely resembling a poodle. Since my teens, then, I've been a cat person. Neat, orderly, leave-me-the-fuck-alone pets that require next to zero maintenance and shit where they're told.

I took my cat Ramona outside recently (on a leash, as she's an indoor pet…which pretty much oughta be redundant, yes?), and this…thing from the neighbor's, like, seriously four houses down, apparently thought she was some sort of furry candy, 'cause I turned my back for a minute and this shit-colored blur came streaking across our lawn, paws in apparent defiance of gravity as I never once saw them touch the ground, and he/it tried grabbing her in his/its slobbery excuse for a food-hole. I screamed at it, I mean really screamed, the kind you can't hold in from shock, and it took off back for home. (Poor Ramona, meanwhile, spent the next several hours trying to lick her fur back into some semblance of order after she puffed up to the size of smallish yew bush.) I can't even begin to guess what kind of an animal this might be: poo brown and white, all blotchy, with short military fur, long legs, a big chest, and that thin, waspish waist of a whippet or greyhound. Ugh. Eyes all lolling every which way, like some miscolored Cookie Monster. Too dumb to even know about gravity!

Then there's another neighbor, possessor of 4 hounds of ill-repute, animals that are so barbaric in nature and of such mixed heritage, I'm pretty sure one of 'em is part Dodge Dart. These things - Bumpus Hounds, we call 'em - bark as if each other is constantly on fire, and once were witnessed milling about their returning owner's car in the driveway to the point that it took her almost 3 minutes to go from curb to garage.

Lots of people around our new neighborhood have these little dogs. Y'know, these…little dogs, the kind that if you could catch one, you could incise a nice clean hole in their stomach with a melon baller, stick in a long handle, and use 'em to mop the floor. Always fulla nervous energy, these dogs, which they expel by peeing on everything in sight and yapping until they're hoarse. Except they never fucking GET hoarse, do they? No, they just bark on & on & on, until pretty soon the Bumpus Hounds are braying away like the misbehaving donkey-boys on Pleasure Island.

There are a few dogs that I like. Our friends K. and S. have a big ol' black labradoodle thing who, despite hogging drool from at least three other perfectly usable dogs, is a pretty good egg. Likewise E. and S., whose now-deceased lab was a good cuddler and absolutely a saint with kids. Mostly, though, I'm deluged by canines of a more annoying nature, which prompted this exchange with our local hardware store cashier:

R.: "Need anything else today, Scott?"
Me: "Yeah…where do you keep your dog poison?"
R.: "…"
Me: "Or traps. How about a nice medium-sized dog trap?"
R.: holds head in hands

Turns out you can't buy dog poison. I Googled "dog poison" and only came up with pages that help you try to get poison out of dogs. Hmph. Seems backward, y'ask me.