Friday, August 31, 2007


Ten years ago today, a modern-day fairy tale came to an end with the shocking death of Princess Diana in an automobile accident.

As fairy tales go, it stood convention on its head, for it had, in contravention to the usual form, a sweet beginning and a bitter ending. The magnificent wedding at Westminster, with all its pomp and circumstance...two handsome young princelings born unto the happy couple...a fashionably dressed, lovely young princess, a stark contrast to the dowdy family of royals into which she married. All of these ostensibly happy years, followed by the gradual estrangement of husband and wife...the involvement of a horsy-looking Other Woman...public revelations of Princely Indiscretions...a divorce.

And then came the sort of news upon which the greasy tabloids thrive. Unthinkable. Painful. Yet who among us did not harbor a secret, fleeting schadenfreudlich thought that no matter how beautiful, no matter how famous, Diana was mortal after all?

As for us, the news of Diana was a remote event in a weekend full of tumult, like the ripples made by throwing a rock into heaving, storm-swept surf. For not only was it SWMBO’s birthday; it was also the weekend when we delivered Elder Daughter unto the arms of Boston University, there to begin her college career.

At the time we were resident in Houston, Texas - the very Sweat City where I write these words today - and Boston was an enormously long way off. So much so that, in lieu of renting a U-Haul trailer and making the three-day drive, we elected to send Elder Daughter’s dunnage up by way of UPS and take the Silver Aerial Bus to Boston with her.

This led to several complications, thanks to an exceedingly ill-timed strike by the UPS workers. Aaaggghhh. Fortunately, E.D.’s possessions arrived safely, albeit a few days later than desired.

We managed to get our now-Collegiate Daughter properly ensconced in her dorm room, and then went off to celebrate SWMBO’s birthday with prime rib and Mud Pie. It was a happy moment...and yet...

Sending one’s daughter away to a distant city is a bittersweet task. Baby birds must eventually leave the nest and stretch their new-fledged wings; it is the natural order of things. That knowledge appeases the rational part of one’s brain, but it is a poor anodyne for the emotions.

And I could not help but think of another set of parents whose daughter had gone off years before, to lead the sort of life - for a while, anyway - that most little girls can only dream of. For them, there was no sweetness to offset the dark bitterness of the day.


SWMBO Rose 1977
She Who Must Be Obeyed, 1977 edition.

The picture above is from our honeymoon, 30 years ago this month. (In case you were wondering, we were married in June but delayed our honeymoon trip until August.) She Who Must Be Obeyed had stuck a rose petal in her mouth to create a pair of Simulated Lips. Every time I look at that picture, I smile, for it seems to have captured a certain whimsical part of her personality. It’s a suitable image to trot out every year for the traditional Birthday Post.

For, yes, SWMBO celebrates Yet Another Birthday this very day.

Last year, my lovely bride was still recovering from the aftereffects of her mandibular extension surgery and was on a Mushy Food Diet. But now, having fully healed - and, better yet, having had her orthodontic appliances (fancy-pants words for “braces”) removed in February, she is lovelier than ever.

Why she puts up with me, I will never know...but nevertheless, I am eternally grateful that she does. For she is still the Light of My Life.

I am 850 miles away from her as I write this, but b’ratzon ha-Shem - the Good Lawd willing - I will be joining her (and a gathering of good friends) for a Celebratory Dinner this evening. And now, should she choose to do so, the Missus can tuck into a thick, juicy steak. As I no doubt will.

“Bis Hundert-Tzvantzik Yoor” – ’til one hundred twenty years, my darling. I love you!

SWMBO - the 2007 Model
She Who Must Be Obeyed, 2007 edition.


Welcome once again to Blog d’Elisson’s Friday Random Ten, the weekly feature in which I post a selection of Choons drawn at random from the legendary iPod d’Elisson.

It is, of course, Friday. But instead of writing this in my accustomed Homely Lair, I’m pounding the keys in a hotel room in Houston, Texas. A few hours at the headquarters of the Great Corporate Salt Mine, and I will board the Silver Aerial Bus that will take me home to my lovely Missus, who celebrates her very birthday today.

Perhaps the iPod d’Elisson will cough up something appropriate to the occasion. Lessee:
  1. Pluto - Björk
  2. We Are Not A Football Team - Minus The Bear
  3. Pearl of the Quarter - Steely Dan
  4. Half Moon Bay - Béla Fleck & The Flecktones
  5. 5 Years - Björk
  6. Florentine Pogen (live) - Frank Zappa

    Ah-oh-oh-oh ah-oh-oh-oh ah-oh-oh-oh oh-oh

    La-la la-la la-la la-la
    Lo-la lo-la lo-la

    She was the daughter of a wealthy
    Florentine Pogen
    Read ’em ’n’ weep
    Was her adjustable slogan

    She was a debutante daisy
    With a color-note organ
    Deep in the street
    She drove a ’59 Morgan


    That’s the kinda step she takes
    When her hot breaks hot brakes
    That’s the kinda sound she makes
    (ooh, let go uh me)
    When her crab cakes
    (Arf arf arf)

    She didn’t like it when her fan belt
    Shrunk and got shorter
    Battery leaks could nearly cost her a quarter

    She didn’t want to go home
    An’ watch the pestle go mortar
    Later she speaks
    On how Perellis might court her

    Na-na-na, na-na-hoo
    Na-na-na, na-na-hoo
    Na-na-na, na-na-soup
    Na-na-na, na-na-soup

    She was the daughter
    Of a wealthy
    Florentine Pogen

    Read ’em ’n’ weep
    (Take a booger home with you to)
    Read ’em ’n’ weep
    (Take a booger home with you to)
    Read ’em ’n’ weep


    Chester’s go-rilla
    She go oink
    Chester’s go-rilla
    She go quack
    Chester’s go-rilla
    She go moo
    Chester’s go-rilla
    She go

  7. It’s All About Money - Bobby Slayton
  8. What You’re Doing - The Beatles
  9. Road Trippin’ - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  10. Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant With My Two-Headed Love Child - Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper
It’s Friday. What are you listening to?


Let’s doff our hats to the Modulator:
Of Ark-Captains, there is nobody greater.
Even old Noah would no doubt say
(That is, if he were alive today)
That the Friday Ark’s weekly menagerie
Is without compare on the Bloggy-Sea.

The 154th Voyage of the Friday Ark is afloat, as usual, at the Modulator...and once again, Hakuna and Matata have scored the coveted Pole Position. Joy!

This Sunday (Erev Labor Day), Carnival of the Cats returns to its Ancestral Home at This Blog Is Full Of Crap for its 180th edition. Be sure to stop by and say hello to alla them kitties.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


The eminently lovable Wiseass Jooette from Brooklyn - my natal turf, Esteemed Readers - sang the praises of a particular Deli Meat Sammitch in a recent post.
...I’d splurge on the soft, warm and succulent goodness of a corned beef, pastrami and turkey triple decker on club, with a side of stuffed derma (kishkes) swimming in brown gravy, two sour pickles, and a Dr. Brown’s Diet (why?) Black Cherry Soda.
Sounds like a near-perfect meal to me.

Of course, I might choose to order my sandwich structured a little differently. I am no great fan of the Triple-Decker, mainly because it has a higher bread-to-meat ratio than is absolutely necessary. I go for the Standard Sandwich Construction - meat between two slices of bread - and, as often as not, I will remove one of those slices and enjoy my sandwich open-faced. Thus do I feed the illusion that I am avoiding unnecessary carbs.

What sort of meat? you ask. To me, the Holy Trinity (you should excuse the expression) of Deli Meats consists of Pastrami, Corned Beef, and Tongue (“The Meat that Tastes You Back!”), and, should these prove insufficient, Chopped Liver may be added. Any single one of these Deli Meats is heavenly; a combination of two or more is profoundly soul-piercing.

Accoutrements: some coarse-grained brown mustard, thinly spread so as to complement, not overwhelm; and perhaps (if the mood so strikes me) some Russian dressing. Mayo? May your tongue - the one that you speak with - cleave to the roof of your mouth for even suggesting such a sacrilege. Bread: Jewish rye, of course, although a fine pumpernickel is a satisfying alternative for variety’s sake. Pickles: While kosher sour pickles have their devotees (Erica among them), I much prefer the crisp, garlicky snap of a bright green Half-Sour. Ba-Tampte produces an excellent example of the genre.

There is no more satisfying beverage with which to wash this whole mess down than with Dr. Brown’s Black Cherry Soda. In my usual desire to save a modest number of calories in one area so that I may consume tenfold more elsewhere, I almost always order the diet version, which approximates the Sacred Original well enough for most purposes.

Erica’s post mentions stuffed derma (kishkes) [sic]. Technically, stuffed derma is known as kishke or kishka; kishkes means “intestines,” as in, “After I ate that triple-decker sandwich, my kishkes were killing me.”

Stuffed derma is a classic Jewish Catered Dinner Side Dish, very popular on the Bar Mitzvah circuit back in the ’60’s. It’s basically a mixture of carrots, celery, onions, suet, and flour (or matzoh meal), flavored with spices. Traditionally, it would be stuffed into a length of Beef Intestine (thus the name), baked, and served with beef gravy; these days it is, like as not, packed into some less scary type of casing.

What you should know about kishka is that it is (1) delicious (although non-Jews rarely understand its appeal), and (2) ferociously calorific. I’m surprised Steve H. Graham hasn’t discovered it yet, since it contains prodigious amounts of white flour and grease. Maybe if you made it with bacon grease...

But what I want to know is, how the hell can you eat a triple-decker Deli meat sandwich with a hunk of kishka on the side? That is truly a prodigious feat...but one I would not put past a Real Brooklynite.


Boulevard’s got ’em! (Being a paraphrase of a chewing gum advertising jingle of the 1960’s.)

We rely on Roadway Markings to tell us where we should - and should not - drive our vehicles. Yellow lines, white lines, et cetera.

Where I grew up, in the northeastern U.S., roadway markings consisted of paint applied to the road surface. On our annual forays down South, we would drive on highways that incorporated raised ceramic buttons in their lane markers. These things, it turns out, have a name: Bott’s dots, named after the California traffic engineer who invented the glue used to attach them to the roadway.

It was pretty obvious why we didn’t have Bott’s dots on our roads back home. The snowplows would scrape ’em right off.

Larger versions of Bott’s dots are used in some localities to mark off traffic lanes where crossing from one lane to another is strongly discouraged. She Who Must Be Obeyed remembers calling these things “City Titties” as a young SWMBO growing up in Foat Wuth, Texas. In size and shape, City Titties are somewhat smaller and perkier than the hemispherical type of Elephant Turds used in the Miami area for lawn edging and other Bad Taste Yard Decoration.

Recently, I heard the term “gourd” used to refer to a zebra-striped zone in a roadway upon which one is not supposed to drive. This came from a friend who was involved in a minor collision and who was (improperly) ticketed for “driving on the gourd.” I can’t find any references to the word “gourd” being used in this sense anywhere on the ’Net...are any of my Esteemed Readers familiar with this usage?

Update: Commenter LauraB appears to have cleared matters up. The term is “gore,” not “gourd” or “guard,” and it refers to the triangular area where roads split or merge. These areas are frequently marked off by stripes.

In retrospect, duh.


This day shalt thou be with me in Heaven Helen.

Unleash Your Inner Monkey
Unleash your inner monkey.

Here are a couple of options I’ve been working as regards a Semi-Official T-Shirt for this year’s foofaraw in Helen, Georgia. The Zeejus shirt is already available from Cafepress...but as there may be numerous people who may not want to wander the streets of Helen in a Possibly Probably Almost Certainly Blasphemous T-Shirt, I figured it might be a good idea to come forward with a few other selections.

Feel free to leave your opinions and suggestions in the Comments.


This morning - at the Butt Crack of Dawn, as the Mistress of Sarcasm would say - I hopped on the Silver Aerial Bus and journeyed to Sweat City, there to enjoy several days of toil at the headquarters of the Great Corporate Salt Mine.

With my flight running reasonably close to On Time, I expected to arrive at the office shortly before lunch, which would have allowed me to join my colleagues for the Noonday Victuals. But my plans were interrupted by a request from one of my old friends in Sales, who had called me (unaware that I was, at that very moment, enroute to Sweat City) to request some data prior to several meetings with customers...meetings that would be starting within mere minutes.

So much for lunch with my colleagues. I ended up slipping down to the cafeteria just before closing time, by which time the lunchroom was mostly deserted...except for a brace of High Mucky-Mucks, whom I took unobtrusive, yet deliberate, pains to avoid. For by this time, I just wanted to snarf down a quick bite without having to be on my Best Corporate Behavior.

My eye had been caught by a salad, one that involved assorted greens, one’s choice of shrimp or chicken, Gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, Mandarin oranges, and diverse berries (rasp, blue, and straw), dressed in a light raspberry vinaigrette. Why not? I thought to myself.

I’ll tell you why not.

The salad was composed of that damnable mixture of greens that includes numerous Springy Components. To make matters worse, the dressing was fairly low in viscosity. As a result, despite my careful efforts, I soon found myself bespattered and bespeckled with reddish-purple vinaigrette. It looked as though I had been shot. Well, with a paintball gun, anyway. One with raspberry-colored salad dressing in it. Fuck!

Fortunately, a quick trip to the Kamar Kecil, where I was able to bring a moistened paper towel to bear on the situation, appears to have removed the most egregious marks.

Esteemed Readers, remember:

O, listen to Mr. Debonair
If a clean shirt you’d like to wear.
Eschew the Raspberry Vinaigrette
And you’ll have nothing to regret.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Not the Steno Pool
© 2007 Bob Jones and 2007 Skip Terpstra

Every so often, one of the Mistress’s friends will prevail upon her to do some minor acting or modeling. It’s not always about Scary Teeth, though. Here she is, braving the watery deeps for a music video shoot directed by Amanda Finn and shot by Kevin Phillips.

I have no idea what the song title might be. Any guesses? How ’bout “Bridesmaids in Brodo”?


Sunroom Sisters
Hakuna and Matata, the Sunroom Sisters.

What devious plans, what feline mischief, do they plot as they sit watching their Bifurcated Sugar-Daddy toiling away in his home-based outpost of the Great Corporate Salt Mine?


Michael Vick, the embattled Atlanta Falcons quarterback, pleaded guilty to Federal dogfighting charges Monday in Richmond. He then made the obligatory Ritual Speech o’ Contrition.
Speaking slowly and softly, the 27-year-old ex-Virginia Tech star also declared that he had “found Jesus” as part of his ordeal and has turned his life over to God. He did not take questions after speaking in a conference room at the Omni Richmond Hotel.
Imagine that: A jailhouse conversion before he has spent even one night in jail.

It occurs to me that if you ever lost your Jesus, the best place to look for him must be on the courthouse steps. Plenty of folks seem to find him there.

Now, there’s a Dog Bites Man moment in more ways than one.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


When I read Libby’s comment on my recent Radial Lightning post, the words “cosmic eyeball” leaped out at me.

For I have seen a veritable Cosmic Eyeball. A photograph of one, anyway.

Several years ago, back when Elder Daughter resided in Cambridge, Massachusetts, we spent a few hours with her knocking around the MIT museum. This was one of the images we saw:

Mystery Eye
The Cosmic Eyeball.

It does resemble an eyeball, does it not? One with a decidedly malevolent aspect.

Any idea what it is? Put your best guess in the Comments. The answer - and another image - is below the fold.

Mystery Eye Again
Another Cosmic Eyeball.

Those Evil Eyes you’re looking at are nothing less than atomic fireballs - ground, not airburst tests - taken within a millisecond of detonation. Walrilla and Og were close; Dax and BobG were even closer; but Velociman snagged the cigar (with a little help from his 100 Suns book.)

The images were captured by Rapatronic high-speed cameras developed by Dr. Harold Edgerton of MIT and capable of taking photographs with an effective shutter speed of 10 nanoseconds. That’s one hundred-millionth of a second, a timespan during which light itself travels less than 100 feet. The cameras were located seven miles from Ground Zero.

Below the fold is a photo of the HARRY shot from Operation Upshot-Knothole in 1953, as V-man points out; the pic above the fold is from an unnamed test circa 1952. In the HARRY photo, you can see the ghostly image of the shot tower just before it was engulfed by the expanding fireball.

The spikes you see protruding from below the fireball are caused by the shot tower guy wires, blasted into glowing plasma by the bomb’s thermal radiation before the fireball shock front can engulf them. This effect was dubbed the “Rope Trick.”

The sinister mottled appearance of the fireball is the result of the vaporized debris of the bomb and the shot cab splashing against the back wall of the fireball’s hydrodynamic shock wave.

Sinister, yes: for HARRY is the Bomb that Killed the Duke.

Several months ago, I wrote a post that mentioned the Upshot-Knothole test series:
One of the Upshot-Knothole tests sent fallout drifting over St. George, Utah, where John Wayne, Susan Hayward, and Agnes Moorehead would shortly afterward film The Conqueror, in which the Duke played a young Genghis Khan (!) in what may have been his worst film ever. He, Hayward, Moorehead, and at least 88 others of the 220 people of the cast and crew later succumbed to cancers that were very likely caused by radiation from that fallout.
That test was HARRY.

The Evil Eye, indeed.


I didn’t mean to treat you bad
Didn’t know just what I had
But honey now I do
And don’t it make my brown eyes
Don’t it make my brown eyes
Don’t it make my brown eyes blue

- Crystal Gayle, “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue”

I’ve written about Extremely Personal Cosmetic Surgery before...but as is usually the case, truth is stranger (and way more perverse) than fiction.

Two words: Anal. Bleaching.

Yes, there are some people who are so obsessed with enhancing their appearance that they will do whatever it takes to make their Brown-Eyes...not so brown.

Mac at peskyapostrophe’ has a good take on this phenomenon. Read it all.

I wonder what Catfish would make of all this. “How can it be a blown-eye if it ain’t blown?”

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Chocolate Salt
Chocolate-coated sea salt.

Sometimes an offbeat combination of flavors will surprise you.

Several years ago, at one of our annual Men’s Club retreats, someone showed me an unusual way to dress up vanilla ice cream: by adding a shot of Scotch whisky and a liberal dose of freshly-ground black pepper. It sounds insane, but results are what count: It was delicious.

So when I saw a post at peskyapostrophe’ that mentioned chocolate coated fleur de sel, I had to check it out.

The recipe is at Desert Candy, and it’s simplicity itself. The salt intensifies the flavor of the chocolate, along with whatever it’s sprinkled on. A perfect companion for ice cream, and way more sophisticated than those tasteless “jimmies” that look like Bug-Shit.

“Hey, you ice cream decorations that remind me of President (gack) Carter on account of your name, get the fuck offa my ice cream!”

I made a small batch using Lindt 85% bittersweet chocolate and Balinese large-grain sea salt - each grain is a tiny hollow pyramid! - and I’m eager to clap my hands on a pint of vanilla ice cream upon which to sprinkle my creation.

Sure, it’s crazy - but then again, there are plenty of crazy things out there to eat. Eggs, fresh from a chicken’s ass! Oysters, loogies that live in rocks!

I’ll let you know how it tastes.


Ice Cream with Chocolate-Coated Salt

It’s perversely delicious. Just a few chunks over vanilla ice cream is all you need.


Our nephew William, who reaches the advanced age of five in early October, continues to come out with comments that would bring Art Linkletter to his knees.

Here’s the latest one, inspired by Gawd only knows what and inadvertently overheard by his Daddy:

“Don’t need no Baby Mama Drama...”

Kids. Don’t they say the Gawd-damndest things?


Judaism does not claim to possess the exclusive Pathway to Salvation, and as such does not actively proselytize. Righteous people of all faiths, it is said, have a portion in the World to Come...whatever that turns out to be.

Having said that, I can say that there are pluses and minuses about being a Jew which might cause some people to look at it seriously as a belief system.

Let’s take the negatives first:

  • That circumcision thing.
  • Bacon guilt.
  • Mercedes guilt.
  • Just plain guilt.
  • No Christmas.
  • No Jesus.
  • Praying in an incomprehensible language that nobody understands. (All y’all Catholics who remember the Latin Mass can relate to this one.)
  • Tougher getting into certain country clubs and sororities.
  • Gefilte fish.
On the positive side of the ledger:

  • Tradition!
  • Matzoh brei.
  • Pastrami and half-sour pickles.
  • No Jesus.
  • The Ten Commandments? Ours, baby.
  • Being able to say “Mel Gibson is an asshole” and really meaning it.
  • Controlling the media and the banks. (Just kidding!)
  • Getting to have a shot of Bowmore single-malt during Saturday morning services.
That last one might even win Eric over. And yes, that’s what I had at the regular session of our Kiddush Club this morning. Bracing!

You Baptists don’t know what you’re missing.

Friday, August 24, 2007


At long last...

Gas Cooktop
Our new Jenn-Air gas cooktop.

...we’re cookin’ with gas.

It has been many, many years since we had a gas range, and I have missed having that hair-trigger responsiveness, that plain old BTU-packing power.

We had a limited number of options, given that we wanted to work within the dimensional constraints of the existing island. The existing electric cooktop had been a 30-inch center-downdraft model, and so we confined our search for a replacement to gas cooktops fitting that description. Fortunately, we found one that could drop right in, leaving us to deal with plumbing up a gas line from the stub in the basement just below and with providing a grounded 110-volt AC outlet in lieu of the existing 220 service.

That left front burner will deliver 15,000 BTU’s. No more waiting a month for the hot water to boil for the pasta. Yowza!

Meanwhile, anyone who wants a pre-owned (that’s Bullshit-Speech for used) 30-inch Jenn-Air center-draft electric cooktop with plug-in modular components, just drop me an e-mail or leave a comment...


I tell the tale of Pincus Pink
Who lives under the kitchen sink.
Is Pincus crazy? Ask a shrink -
For Pincus is my friend.

The day I first met Pincus Pink
I saw him at the skating rink.
He drank a most peculiar drink -
A whiskey-prune juice blend.

Say what you will of Pincus Pink:
He does not care what others think.
He uses epithets like “Chink”
Which drives folks ’round the bend.

The living space of Pincus Pink -
It has a noticeable stink,
A pong to make a strong man blink,
And then his clothing rend.

[The theme of Weekly Challenge #71 at the 100 Word Stories Podcast is Pink.]


Last night, an electrical storm flickered and flashed to our south, and this is what I saw...

Radial Lightning

I was twenty-one years old, newly graduated from college and on a cross-country trip, when I saw radial cloud-to-cloud lightning for the first time. It still freaks me out a little bit.


Every once in a while, it’s amusing to see what sort of search terms bring Random Visitors to this site.

Based on my last 100 page views, here are the top search terms:
  • de tri berrese
  • deflowering
  • abcedarian poem
  • ihop's crispy cara
  • de tri berrese translation
  • toy western pistols
  • gilgo
  • yom kippur appeals.
  • liquor locker cabinet
  • wedding malibu
  • fernet branca
  • dreams, attacked by tornadoes
  • di tri berrese
  • debonair blogspot
  • deflowering stories
  • debonair
  • frogs in wheelchairs
  • hineni prayer
  • nicknames for vagina
  • hineni
  • phases of a chicken swag
Now, I can understand why people might be looking for these things...and why the search might lead them here. But why in the sweet name of Fuck-All would someone type the phrase “phases of a chicken swag” into a search engine? Am I missing something?


Welcome once again to Blog d’Elisson’s Friday Random Ten, the weekly feature in which I post a selection of Choons drawn at random from the legendary iPod d’Elisson.

What Bizarre Musical Juxtapositions does Elisson’s Little White Choon-Box have for us today? Frank Zappa, immediately followed by Itzhak Perlman? No problemo!

Let’s check it out, shall we?
  1. G-Spot Tornado - Frank Zappa
  2. Sarasate - Carmen Fantasie - Itzhak Perlman
  3. I Feel Fine - The Beatles
  4. Follow Your Heart - Urinetown, Original Cast Recording
  5. Andy Wolff - Minus The Bear
  6. She’s Vibrator Dependent - Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper

    Came home early one night from work
    Thought my wife’s in bed with a jerk
    She’s in there with a big piece of plastic
    Yelling and a screamin’
    Super-deluxe creamin’
    She don’t want my love stick

    ’Cause she’s vibrator dependent
    Don’t want me in it
    Says I don’t make the right noise
    Been replaced by batteries
    Hey there fellas, can’t you see
    She just wants to play with her toys

    She don’t want to go out and dance
    She don’t want to get in my pants
    Just stay home and vi-bo-rate
    I’m getting big blisters on my hands,
    Thinking maybe I ain’t a man
    Man she ain’t gonna get impreg-o-nate

    ’Cause she’s vibrator dependent
    Don’t want me in it
    Says I don’t make the right noise
    Been replaced by batteries
    Hey there fellas, can’t you see
    She just wants to play with her toys

    Play with ’em honey

    There she was, in the bedroom, sounded like she was shaving her tallywhacker with a battery-powered device. Me, I’m prancing around out in the living room, got the demon jism buildup. I mean, I got a severe case of it. Lotta pressure on my brain, eyeballs turning white, grabbing my tallywhacker all the time.

    I look her in the eye, and I say, uhm, I say, “Baby baby baby baby baby baby baby baby pleeeeease! Baby you got something I need, something I want. I want to put my face in the special place.”

    She says, “What?”

    “I want to put my face in the special place. Yeah, I want to get ring around the face, honey. You know what I’m talking about, when the full moon comes around.”

    She said, “Mojy wojy, you got to do something for me if you want to do that.”

    I said “What’s that, honey?”

    She said, “Mojy, know what you got to do? You know I got these battery powered things here, and you know I got some things that plug into the wall, put 110 volts on my tallywhacker? Mojo, I want you to go out to the store, I want you to get me something, something big and ugly. Gigantic vibrator: Vibratorzilla, it’d be. And unplug the refrigerator, Mojo, get Vibratorzilla, bring it in here and put 220 on the money, honey!”

    I said, “Baby, you done gone crazy.”

    “And then, Mojo, you can put your face in the special place...

    “But you’re gonna have to, gonna have to...

    “Make a little noise...

    Took her down to see a nurse
    Cure her of this terrible curse
    Doctor said, “Lady, you’re afflicted.
    Ma’am, you’ve got a terrible habit
    Now I told you not to grab it
    I pronounce you addicted!”

    ’Cause she’s vibrator dependent
    Don’t want me in it
    Says I don’t make the right noise
    Been replaced by batteries
    Hey there fellas, can’t you see
    She just wants to play with her toys

    ’Cause she’s vibrator dependent
    Don’t want me in it
    Says I don’t make the right noise
    Been replaced by batteries
    Hey there fellas, can’t you see
    She just wants to play with her toys
    She just wants to play with her toys

    She’s got VD
    That’s Vibrator Dependency now, isn’t it?
    No, honey, you can’t plug my toes into the wall.
    I ain’t gonna hum no more either...

  7. Wise Up - Aimee Mann
  8. I’m Down - The Beatles
  9. Johanna - Stephen Sondheim, Sweeney Todd
  10. Beautiful Forest / The Great Hall - Russell Garcia, The Time Machine (1960)
It’s Friday. What are you listening to?


If it is Animals you’d see,
Come ride the Friday Ark with me.
The cost of passage? It’s gratis (free!)
So join me on Voyage #153.

The Friday Ark has set forth on its 153rd weekly voyage across the Bloggy-Sea, captained by that most able Modulator.

Those wishing an additional dose of the fuzzy should swing by Carnival of the Cats, the 179th incarnation of which will be posted Sunday evening at The Scratching Post.

Update: After a brief delay caused by minor technical difficulties, CotC #179 is up, and a fine carnival it is. Thanks to K T Cat for rising to the occasion.

And thanks to everyone who visited Laurence’s galleries and helped make Hakuna and Matata Catmodels of the Week!

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Tummy Tata
Matata displays her ample tummy.

Yeah, I know. It’s supposed to be Tummy Tuesday. Or Friday Catblogging. But I don’t give a crap. Or, as Mr. Debonair would say, “I do not care to donate an excrement, thank you very much.”

You will just have to enjoy this photograph of a Meaty Kitty Belly on Thursday. Suffer.


Elisson and Matata visit the Kwik-E-Mart.

I’ve always wanted to do a guest shot on the Simpsons.


In case you’re wondering about the title of this post, that’s the what the script says whenever Homer makes that familiar “D’oh!” sound. It’s Dan Castellaneta’s shorter and punchier version of actor James Finlayson’s trademark sound of exasperation. You’ve heard Finlayson’s “D’ohhhhhhhh!” if you’ve watched enough Laurel and Hardy or W. C. Fields movies.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


One of the wines we sampled at the Atlanta Sommelier Guild tasting yesterday evening was a 2006 Kim Crawford New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

Kim Crawford 2006

Take a closer look:

Kim Crawford 2006 detail

This wine proved to be a popular favorite. Most tasters noted its “full, earthy bouquet, with subtle undertones of fruit, grass, and a delicate shading of escherichia coli.” With remarkable depth - and, more important, girth - the Crawford would benefit from being laid down in a cool basement for many years.

Next time you take a drink, think of Kim Crawford!


At breakfast this morning, one of my Minyan Colleagues pointed out that there are only three ways to make money: by putting people to work, by putting money to work, or by discovery. Anything that generates income will boil down to one of those three fundamental Money Making Methods.

But making money and generating wealth are two different things, and we, as a society, confuse them at our peril.

As with money, there are only three ways to generate wealth, the fountain from which all money floweth. You can extract it from your surroundings, you can grow it, or you can build something. Extraction, growth, and creation. Anything else is just three-card monte writ large.

For example: I can create wealth by drilling for oil or digging for coal. Oil and coal are useful materials owing to their energy content, but they are not useful when they lie buried in the Earth’s crust. By taking them out - extracting them, to use the Latin root - we render them usable and therefore useful. We have created wealth. Likewise with all of the extractive industries, such as mining for diamonds or metals. Oilmen and miners create wealth.

If I take a piece of land and grow crops on it, I have created wealth. Food. Raw materials for energy or building. Whatever it is, it wasn’t there before, and now it is. Farmers create wealth.

If we take a mess of steel, rubber, glass, and plastic and build an automobile with it, or if we take wood, brick, and asphalt shingles and build a house, we are creating wealth. If we teach our children the knowledge and skills that will enable them to function in a modern technological society, we are preparing them to be able to create wealth. So: Builders, manufacturers, and teachers create wealth.

If we build a Big-Ass Casino or a Football Stadium so that people will flock in droves to be relieved of their hard-earned money for the privilege of enjoying the thrill of games of chance or of watching Beefy Athletes throw objects at each other, we are not creating wealth. We are creating a venue for the redistribution of wealth - from the less fortunate to the more fortunate (inevitably, in the fullness of time and the workings of probability, the owners of the casino), or from the less-skilled to the more-skilled (the people who can chuck a football well enough that we are suitably entertained thereby).

I cringe every time some politico stands up and proposes the introduction of legalized gambling because of the expected windfall tax revenues it will generate. Not that I have anything against legalized gambling, but it’s simply not an economic panacea. It takes money from one pocket and moves it to another. It generates no wealth beyond the glitzy physical plant in which the casino is housed...a physical plant that is useless for any other purpose.

I cringe every time some politico stands up and proposes that taxpayers subsidize the construction of Yet Another Athletic Stadium. Not only does the tax burden for these ventures typically fall on people who have no say in the matter (e.g., the people who come from out of town and rent cars and hotel rooms, taxes on which are a popular source of funding for sports facilities), but at the end of the day, a honkin’ big Sports Arena generates no wealth. Nothing save the stadium actually gets built. We just pay for the privilege of being entertained. Money is redistributed from the sports fans and the corporations who advertise during televised sports events to the team owners and their players. And the players become rich as Croesus, which frees them to do all the stupid shit that stupid people do when they have more money than brains.

Panem et circenses, friends. Bread and circuses. Circuses generate no wealth; at least you can eat the bread. Or the foot-long hot dogs that come wrapped in it.

Money is nothing more than the labor of humans, crystallized. It’s energy, and it behaves much as other forms of energy do. Spread thin, it’s useless. Concentrate it in one place, and it can move mountains. Call it the Thermodynamics of Mazuma.

Wealth, however, is more than just money. It’s a necessary precondition for money to be created. It’s something you can eat, live in, or wear.

There’s a classic California bumper sticker: If you can’t eat it or fuck it, kill it.

It’s a crude (and incomplete) definition of wealth, but it’s a good place to start.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Our Kitchen Renovations continue apace.

Yesterday, the tumbled-stone backsplash went up. Now, with the mastic having set up sufficiently, on goes the grout.

Applying the Grout
“Say the secret word and win $100.” - Groutcho Marx

The Finished Product
The finished product.

We will replace those outlet covers with something a little more compatible with the tumbled stone...but meanwhile, the old ones will serve.

The plumber should be here this afternoon to hook up the gas connection to the cooktop and to connect the various Sinky Fittings. She Who Must Be Obeyed can’t wait to use her snazzy new Hans Grohe faucet. Me, I’ll be happy to have a functioning kitchen sink.


...and Hakuna is suffused by the morning backlight as she performs her Bedclothes-Guarding Duties.

Hakuna at Dawn


This evening’s Guild event sounds promising. It will be a Sauvignon Blanc tasting: none of that messy confusion dealing with two or three different grapes. Here’s a quick look at the menu:

Speaker’s Wine:
Henri Bourgeois “Petit Bourgeois” 2006

Flight 1:
Mason Napa Valley 2005
Geyser Peak “River Road Ranch” 2006
Fiddlehead “Happy Canyon” Santa Ynez Valley 2005
Provenance Rutherford, Napa Valley 2006

Citrus crusted sea scallop, smoked salmon, whipped potato, yellow tomato & cucumber salad

Flight 2:
Kim Crawford 2006
Neudorf 2006
Cloudy Bay 2005

Roasted apple, chestnut & escarole ravioli, chèvre crème

Flight 3:
Henri Bourgeois Pouilly-Fumé Loire Valley 2006
Henri Bourgeois Sancerre “Les Baronnes” Loire Valley 2006
Château La Louvière Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux 2004

Roquefort-stuffed chicken breast, French lentils & julienned candied tomato

Not too shabby. I’m not a big fan of white wine, but if I have to drink it, Sauvignon Blanc is about as good as it gets...with the exception of Champagne. The real stuff, I mean.

The tasting will be at Grace 1720 in Norcross, so I know the food will be top-drawer.

The Grouchy One will have returned from his Western excursion, so I’ll have a chance to debrief him firsthand. And joining us for the first time as a new member of the Guild will be none other than...Houston Steve!

Update: A capital evening, marred only by Denny’s absence due to some problems he has been having recently with sores on his feet.

In addition to the wines listed above, we enjoyed an After-Tasting Tasting courtesy of Parks, a Guild member who is in the wine business. More Sauvignon Blanc, of course, all Serious Bottles:

Domaine Saint Prix Saint-Bris 2005 - a Sauvignon Blanc from Burgundy (!)
Etienne Henri Sancerre 1999
Henri Bourgeois Silex Sancerre d’Antan 2002

Now, excuse me while I try to digest my wine-soaked meal.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Stevie Nicks and Clutch Cargo
Stevie Nicks (L) and Clutch Cargo (R). What do they have in common?

The Missus and I were having a discussion with our friends Marc and Shelly yesterday when the topic of Botox came up.

It seems Shelly was watching Charles Osgood’s Sunday morning television show earlier in the day, a show that featured an interview with Stevie Nicks. Oldsters like me will remember Stevie Nicks as the singer-songwriter of Fleetwood Mac - not a noodle dish with grated Cadillac, but, rather, a pop band that saw its greatest success in the 1970’s and 1980’s when Nicks was a member.

Shelly figured out that ol’ Stevie - now 59 years old but with quite a few cocaine-fueled Years o’ Dissipation behind her - must have had some major Botox work recently, because during the interview her face was almost completely expressionless. Only her lips seemed to be capable of movement, as though she were a human ventriloquist dummy.

Hmmm. A face that was completely immobile save for the lips? Where had I seen that before?

That's when it struck me...

Clutch Cargo! Remember him?

Clutch Cargo! Exemplar of Extreme Animation Cheepnis, with theme music consisting solely of Flute and Bongo, possessed of that same ventriloquist dummy quality!

Clutch Cargo’s bizarre style of low-budget animation has heretofore been credited to the Syncro-Vox optical printing system, but now we know the truth. Botox has apparently been around since 1959!

Sunday, August 19, 2007


The chocolate rain it raineth on the just,
And also on the unjust fella.
But chiefly on the just, because
The unjust steals the just’s chocolate-proof umbrella.

- Apologies to Lord Bowen

The latest Viral Video to take over the toobz at YouTube is Tay Zonday’s “Chocolate Rain,” which is not so much a song as it is a catchy hook, repeated (with different lyrics) ad infinitum.

Here it is, for your delectation:

Of course, anything this catchy will spawn legions of parodies. My favorite is this one, starring Chad Vader, Day Shift Manager:

[Tip o’ th’ Elisson fedora to Meryl Yourish for finding this...hilarious!]

Of course, some people can take parody just a little too far...

Cleveland Steam
(sung to the tune of “Chocolate Rain”)

Cleveland Steam!

Met a girl down at the local bar
Cleveland Steam!
Drank some beers, then made out in my car
Cleveland Steam!

Talked her into going to my place
Cleveland Steam!
Didn’t even spray me with her Mace
Cleveland Steam!

When we got there, said “Ya wanna drinky?”
Cleveland Steam!
Her response: “How ’bout we go get kinky?”
Cleveland Steam!

“Girl,” I said, “you cut right to the chase!”
Cleveland Steam!
“Howzabout you sit here on my face?”
Cleveland Steam!

“Lover, let me tell you what I think -”
Cleveland Steam!
“Nothin’ revs my engine like a little stink.”
Cleveland Steam!

“Let me hop right up there on your chest -”
Cleveland Steam!
“And I’ll just crimp one off, like I do best.”
Cleveland Steam!

I jumped up, and showed this girl the door
Cleveland Steam!
Now I don’t hang out in bars no more.
Cleveland Steam!

Kinky shit, I really cannot take
Cleveland Steam!
I don’t want no Boston-type Pancake

[OK, who wants to help me make the music video?]

Technorati tags: , ,


...U.S. Customs seized a shipment of lead from China after analysis showed that it had an unacceptably high toy content.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Getting stoned was an inexpensive proposition when all you needed to buy was a little bag of weed...or perhaps some (gag) Boone’s Farm wine.

But when the stone in question consists of several slabs of polished granite collectively weighing close to one short ton, it’s like a cat pissing in the cash register: It starts to run into the money.

And that’s perfectly OK, because the Good Things in life are worth splurging for. In our case, the Good Things include new granite kitchen countertops and a new gas cooktop. A new dishwasher and stacked set of ovens will follow shortly. Perfect for preparing the cat food and beans that’ll be all our budget will allow us after we pay for alla this stuff.

Here’s a visual Progress Report. There’s still plenty of work to be done over the next few days, so what you are looking at is far from complete...but at least you will get the flavor of what we’re trying to do.

Clear the Decks
The calm before the storm.

All of the crap has been moved away and shoved unceremoniously in the dining room, leaving a clear field of action.

New Desk
Emerald Pearl looks a damn sight better than that old white Formica.

Step 1
The old electric cooktop has been pulled out of the island.

Step 2
Off goes the Formica.

Step 3
The rest of the Formica countertop is gone and the backsplash has been stripped away.

Step 4
The granite is in place, sans cooktop and sink.

Step 5
Sink and cooktop are in place.

That’s one day’s work. Plenty more to come: installing the backsplashes; framing up the undermount sink (currently supported by clamps); hooking up the cooktop vent and running a line to the natural gas supply; installing the faucet and related Sinky Plumbing.

You better believe there will be some Celebratory Drinkage when this job is done.


Welcome once again to Blog d’Elisson’s Friday Random Ten, the weekly feature in which I post a selection of Choons drawn at random from the fabled iPod d’Elisson.

What does Elisson’s Little White Choon-Box have for us today? Let’s just take a listen, shall we?
  1. Let’s Play Guitar In A Five Guitar Band - Minus The Bear
  2. Stagger Lee - Professor Longhair
  3. She Hates Me - Richard Cheese

    Met a girl, thought she was grand
    Fell in love found out first hand
    Went well for a week or two
    Then it all came unglued

    In a trap trip I can’t grip
    Never thought I’d be the one who’d slip
    Then I started to realize
    I was living one big lie

    She fucking hates
    She fucking hates la la love
    I tried too hard and she tore my feelings
    Like I had none and ripped them away

    She was queen for about an hour
    After that her shit got sour
    Now it’s over, and I’m glad
    ’Cause I'm a fool for all I've said

    She fucking hates
    She fucking hates la la love
    She fucking hates
    She fucking hates la la la love
    I tried too hard and she tore my feelings
    Like I had none and ripped them away

    What a night!

  4. Everybody Hurts - R.E.M.
  5. Manoir des mes Rêves - Django Reinhardt
  6. Little Light Of Love - R.H.R.A.
  7. Air on a G String (from Suite in D Major) - Wendy Carlos
  8. All Of My Love - Led Zeppelin
  9. After The Fall - Elvis Costello
  10. Fade Into You - Mazzy Star
It’s Friday. What are you listening to?


In case you’re wondering what to do,
Go visit the Friday Ark. Number 152
Is floating away on the Bloggy-Sea
With a whole menagerie for you and me.

The Friday Ark has cast off for its 152nd voyage at the Modulator, with our very own Hakuna in pole position. (Talk about your mixed metaphors...)

This Sunday evening, Carnival of the Cats #178 will be posted at StrangeRanger. Be sure to stop by and say hello to alla them kitties.

Update: CotC #178 is up.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Remember this nutty little video?

Just for shits and grins, the Mistress of Sarcasm posted it on, thinking only her friends would see it.

Think again. In less than two weeks, it made the MySpace top played list, logging a quarter-million views and generating more than 2,300 comments. Kinda makes my three years of blogging seem pointless, eh?

Holy Fuckamoley.

[I will make an observation about video commenters in general and MySpace video commenters in particular. At least 95% of them are either spammers or illiterate idiots. When you see orthography like “teath,” “rong,” and “perficktly streat” in a comment, it’s a dead giveaway that the commenter oughta be riding the Short Bus. But at least the Mistress gets good marks for her straight teeth.]


It’s more than just an Inadequate Condom. It’s a Bloggy Sport!

Velociman tries in vain to hit Elisson’s deadly pitch.
(Click to embiggen.)

Those happy idiots fine Online Journalists coming to Helen, Georgia to attend the upcoming Blown-Eyed Blodgemeet for the first time will discover that it’s not just about the Boozy Camaraderie.

There’s Boozy Athletics involved as well. Namely, that fine game, ostensibly of Savannahian origin, Half-Rubber.

Think of Stick-Ball played without bases and with half of a solid pink rubber ball instead of the sacred Spaldeen of bygone days, beloved by Northeastern city dwellers.

Yes. Half of a ball. That’s why it’s called half-rubber, ya dewemplin. A skillful pitcher can throw that hemispherical ball in any number of bizarre trajectories, owing to its unique aerodynamics. It’s all in the wrist.

This photograph, graciously provided by Eric the Straight White Guy, shows Velociman vainly trying to get his skinny-ass broomstick bat on one of my impossible-to-hit pitches. That’s Redneck, catching.

The sound thrashing I delivered unto Velociman in this, my maiden Half-Rubber outing, is probably what eventually impelled him to give up blogging. Just sayin’. It’s my theory, and I’m sticking to it.

Come to Helen and see for yourself. Perhaps you, too, can thrash Velociman.


Vick Jury
Editorial cartoon by Gary Varvel. (Click to embiggen.)
­©2007 Creators Syndicate.


[Tip o’ th’ Elisson fedora to Catfish.]


Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

- Robert Frost, “Fire and Ice”

Other schools of thought hold that the world will end in a puddle of Chthulu-Spooge, but this is considered to be a minority opinion.

People in the Atlanta area would probably bet on the Fire option these days. It’s been hotter than a fresh-fucked fox in a forest fire, as they are wont to say in Texas, with daytime temperatures topping out at over 100°F almost every day this week. Gaaahhh.

Not that it’s normally cool this time of year. It is mid-August, after all. It’s supposed to be hot in the South in midsummer. But typical highs this time of year are in the upper 80’s, not north of the century mark.

I dread our next electric bill, but I would dread being without air conditioning far more.

Nothing to do for it, I suppose, than drink plenty of Gin-and-Tonics. With lots of ice.

ELVIS PRESLEY, 1935-1977

Large Man with Dead Body: Who’s that then?
The Dead Collector: I dunno, must be a king.
Large Man with Dead Body: Why?
The Dead Collector: He hasn’t got shit all over him.

- Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Not necessarily.

Today marks the thirtieth anniversary of the death of Elvis Aaron Presley, AKA The King. (While there are rumors that Presley never died, but rather was wafted directly to Heaven by a fiery chariot in the style of the prophet Elijah, this Apotheosis of Elvis has never been proven to have taken place.)

Q: Who was that then?
A: I dunno, must’ve been a king.
Q: Why?
A: Because he died on the throne.

Requiescat in pace, Elvis. We hardly knew ye...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Ricardo Cabeza was the clumsiest cook ever to work the line at the Gowanus Lounge.

His orders would come out perfect, but always at the expense of seared fingers and trodden-upon toes. Working alone, he would trip all over himself; on the line, he created hopeless chaos.

Finally, his coworkers had had enough. They prevailed upon the owner to promote him to Executive Chef. He’d help make the restaurant a success, and he’d be out of everybody’s way.

Ricardo was ecstatic. In his excitement he squirted himself in the eye with dishwashing detergent...

...but his tears were tears of Joy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Eric may have Helga, but She Who Must Be Obeyed and I have something far, far more evil: Dianna.

Dianna, the Personal Trainer.

Dianna’s mission in life is to help the Missus and me to Be All That We Can Be, for which she is handsomely remunerated. In my case, Being All That I Can Be means being a sweaty, whining, obnoxious individual, exceptionally Averse to Exercise. But I drove myself to do Dianna’s bidding, for she brooks no nonsense. Plus, she’s got a tight little bod with nice, firm kalamatunis and an ass you could crack walnuts with. An inspiration, it is.

Somehow, I managed to survive the day’s workout. SWMBO did, too, but she doesn’t whine nearly as much. Having had two children, I suspect, has inured her to levels of pain with which most men are simply not acquainted. Unless they somehow find themselves in the position of having to shit out a bowling ball. With legs.

Afterwards, we were feeling a bit peckish - and thrifty - so we went out for a quick bite at the local International House of Pancakes. No, we didn’t order pancakes. It would have been perverse to sabotage our recent efforts at the gym with we ordered reasonably healthy dishes, both of which involved some sort of chicken.

But to find those “reasonably healthy” dishes, we had to negotiate a minefield of “no frickin’ way this is healthy” choices on the menu. I noticed, with no small amount of horror, that IHOP is now touting funnel cakes along with their usual French toast and pancakes. (Waffles, it seems, they leave to the experts at Waffle House. If you try to order a waffle at IHOP, the busboys take you in the back by the dumpster and beat you to death.)

Funnel cakes. The bastard offspring of an illicit liaison between a pancake and a doughnut, funnel cakes are made by allowing batter to dribble through a funnel (duh) into hot grease. The resulting sargassum-like mat of fried dough is then extracted from the Grease Tank, drained, and covered with powdered sugar.

From a health perspective, funnel cakes make doughnuts look like a vinegar salad with steamed broccoli. That’s on account of their high surface area-to-volume ratio, which allows a single funnel cake to absorb the same amount of hot grease as any eight hundred randomly-selected doughnuts. Since everything tastes better fried, and assuming that deliciousness is proportional to Grease Content, a funnel cake should therefore taste eight hundred times better than a doughnut. That’s a hypothesis that this guy oughta test.

About the only good thing you can say about the funnel cakes is that they’re not the Crispy Banana Caramel Cheesecake. Checkit:

“Rich, creamy cheesecake layered with chunks of banana and caramel, quick-fried in a flaky pastry tortilla. Topped with powdered and cinnamon sugars, caramel sauce, sliced banana, and whipped topping.”

Holy Fuckamoley.

That cannot possibly be good for you.

But I figure that with a year of thrice-weekly workouts under my belt, I just may be able to try it. Or maybe I’ll just get a spoon, a tub of Crisco™, some confectioner’s sugar, and eat myself silly. Because by then, I will have earned it.


Cockeye the Sailor.

Cockeye the Sailor is dead at the age of 78, according to an announcement released today by the King Features Home for Superannuated Seamen.

A finding of the official cause of death is expected to be released shortly by the Thimble Theatre Office of the Coroner and 5¢ Hamburger Stand. J. Wellington Wimpy, spokesman for the Coroner’s office, indicated that he “would gladly inform [the public] Tuesday of the results of their investigation into the unfortunate circumstances that came to light today.”

Cockeye, the lesser-known younger brother of Popeye, lived a quiet life in his celebrated sibling’s shadow. He rarely appeared envious or resentful of Popeye, saying, “I yam what I yam; he be what he be.” In recent years, however, a degree of tension between the Eye brothers became evident when, at Alice the Goon’s 75th birthday party, Popeye said, “Well, blow me down!” and Cockeye responded, “Well, blow me!”

Cockeye is survived by his brother Popeye, his sister-in-law Olive Eye, and his adopted nephew Swee’Pea. He was predeceased by his long-time Life Partner [and his brother’s frequent nemesis], Blewto Schwartz, who passed away of an AIDS-related illness in 1998.

The family plans a private Viking-style funeral during which Cockeye’s remains will be set adrift in a Boston Whaler and ignited, using Chatham Artillery Punch (of which Mr. Eye was inordinately fond) as an accelerant.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Ya gotta love Anthony Bourdain, the most popular Degenerate Chef on the airwaves.

Unlike most, if not all, of his fellow stovewhores, Bourdain is not afraid to use colorful language. His Les Halles Cookbook is the first cookbook I ever read that was seasoned liberally with the word “fuck.”

And on his Travel Channel show “No Reservations,” Bourdain does not disappoint. He’s in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, China, sipping tea at a park and having his inner ears reamed out by an itinerant Ear-Reamer. Such people, apparently, not only exist in China; they are able to support themselves.

Happily, the Travel Channel was discreet enough to not show any of the evil and noxious substances that may have been extracted from Bourdain’s ear. But his offhand comment (inadequately covered up by Mr. Bleep) would have made this guy proud:

“Now I know where the term ‘skullfucking’ came from.”

I’m pleased to announce that Eric has invited Mr. Bourdain to our upcoming Southeastern Writers’ Conference, Tea Party, and Ice Cream Social - the infamous annual Blown-Eyed Blodgers’ Blogtoberfest gathering in Helen, Georgia. The drawing card? Well, it ain’t the food, bunky.

But if Mr. Bourdain is brave enough to eat Beijing-style sheep intestines, surely he is man enough to handle a few glasses of Chatham Artillery Punch.


Sometimes a parody will be so effective, it will completely destroy any enjoyment you may have gotten from the Source Material.

I can’t listen to South Pacific without hearing lyrics from one of MAD Magazine’s numerous sendups in my head. “Alcatraz awaits you...” “There is nothing like a frame...” et cetera.

Yeah. I get an earworm; Weird Al Yankovic gets a career.

Years ago - I must’ve been in high school - I made the mistake of reading Bored of the Rings, the Harvard Lampoon parody of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. It was an inspired piece of nonsense written by Henry Beard and Doug Kenney, who would go on to create National Lampoon Magazine. (Kenney also co-wrote the screenplay for Animal House and appeared in that movie as Stork.)

It absolutely killed Lord of the Rings for me.

I can’t reread Tolkien’s epic without thinking of ridiculouly parodic names like Arrowroot, son of Arrowshirt; Dildo Bugger; Frito Bugger; Legolam; Tim Benzedrine (and his wife Hashberry); and Gimlet, son of Groin.

I can’t look at Tolkien’s Elvish poems and songs without the Lampoon’s versions running through my head:
A Unicef clearasil
Gibberish ’n’ drivel
O Mennen mylar muriel
With a hey derry tum gardol
O Yuban necco glamorene?
Enden nytol, vaseline!
Sing hey nonny nembutal
Yes, LOTR is dead to me now. Thanks, Henry and Doug!

And now you’ll have cause to thank me too.

From Kevin, the Big Hominid at Big Hominid’s Hairy Chasms, comes a fine photograph that will render clayfooted one of your cherished Childhood Icons.

Click on the extended entry at your own risk.

Darthy Vader
Hello Kitty Darth Vader!

Perhaps it’s not who we think it is. Could it be his sister Darthy?


Drinky Hakuna
Hakuna enjoys a quick bite, unmolested by sister Matata.

“Where’s that bitchy sister of mine? Upstairs? Good...maybe I can enjoy a meal without her coming along to bite my ass...”

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Clear the Decks

Here’s a last look at our white Formica countertops.

The decks have been cleared for action. Tomorrow begins the process of replacing the countertops, sink, and stove. It will be a huge pain in the ass...but the results should be worth it when the dust settles.


Once upon a time, when a prospective bride and groom announced their engagement, friends of the families would arrange a Bridal Shower at which guests would “shower” the soon-to-be bride with household-related gifts. In like wise, when said bride eventually began displaying evidence of being with child, friends would arrange a Baby Shower at which guests would “shower” the soon-to-be mother with baby-related gifts.

Without exception, back in the day, these Showers were uniformly female-only occasions. With bizarre “girls-only” discussions and mysterious Party Games, the institution of the Shower was completely opaque and unknown to those of the hairier sex. Except for the Golden Shower, which we shall not discuss here.

In the early 1980’s, cracks began appearing in the dam. One of our neighbors was expecting a child, and, as was part of the normal Course of Events, a Baby Shower was arranged. But this was a Baby Shower with a Difference...because husbands were invited.

At that Baby Shower, I remember having the same kind of feeling that I would associate with going into a restroom and finding a sofa. Or, even worse, a Sanitary Napkin Receptacle. It was a feeling of not quite belonging, of treading on foreign turf. Fortunately, I was not alone: there were other husbands there with whom I could share these feelings of alienness. Not aloud, of course, for that would be Unmanly. But we all knew what the score was.

It’s a quarter-century later, and coed Gift Showers are probably the rule rather than the exception nowadays. Yesterday, we co-hosted one for the son and future daughter-in-law of some old friends, friends that we had met on our first tour of duty in Atlanta in the early 1980’s.

There was food a-plenty, what with a whole army of people contributing entrées, salads, appetizers, and desserts. One of the appetizers consisted of a wheel of Brie that had been shaved, buried in apricot preserves, and baked until it had been reduced to a mound of bubbling Brie-Lava. Hoo, boy, was that tasty. Fulla cholesterol, too.

She Who Must Be Obeyed prepared a pile of Garlic-Roasted Red Potatoes that were a big hit. Meanwhile I put together some horseradish sauce (to accompany two whole beef tenderloins prepared by other co-hosts) and a mess of Poached Salmon.

Poached Salmon
Poached Salmon Elisson.

Poached Salmon is a perfect summer dish, as it can be served cold. Here’s how I made it:

Poached Salmon Elisson

Salmon fillet
Bottle dry white wine
10 whole peppercorns
2 carrots
2 stalks celery
1 yellow onion
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 bay leaf
5-10 parsley stems (flat-leaf parsley preferred)
2-3 springs fresh dill

Chop the onion, carrots, and celery stalks coarsely and put in a fish poacher or non-reactive pan big enough to hold the fish. Add the garlic, bay leaf, parsley stems, dill, and peppercorns. Dump in a bottle of dry white wine. (It doesn’t need to be fancy, but it should be a wine that’s good enough to drink!) Add water, enough so that the fish will be covered when you put it in, but not enough to overflow the vessel.

Put the poacher (or pan) on high heat until the contents are ready to boil; lower the heat and let everything simmer for about 30-45 minutes. You’ve made a court-bouillon - and now you’re ready to poach your fish.

Using the fish-poacher rack (or a couple of spatulas, if you’re using a regular pan), lower the fish into the simmering liquid. You should have enough liquid to cover most or all of the fish. Let the fish simmer about 10 minutes, then check for doneness. You want your fish to be just cooked through; you’re not trying to boil the crap out of it.

When it’s done, carefully take the fish out of the simmering liquid without scalding the shit out of your hands. Let cool.

Poached salmon may be served hot or cold. I prefer it cold. Garnish with a sprinkle of freshly-ground black pepper and some chopped fresh dill. If you like, you can serve the fish with a sauce made from chopped dill and plain Greek yogurt.

It’s tasty...tasty enough to take your mind off the fact that you’re a guy attending a Bridal Shower. Oy!

Later, as the presents were opened, SWMBO acted as Recording Secretary, jotting down the names of donors and what they had given. (It’s a lot easier to write thank-you notes when you know who gave what.) And she made what I thought was an excellent suggestion: for all of the guests to write in the Shower Book their advice for a happy marriage.

The advice SWMBO wrote down has stood us in good stead for over thirty years of married life: “Never go to bed angry at one another.” It’s advice that she, in turn, received from my Aunt Marge. And it must have been good, because Aunt Marge and Uncle Phil recently celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary.

Mine? “Never eat anything bigger than your head.”

Hey, it works for me.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Most of my poetry is complete drivel - who else, I ask you, writes poems about subjects such as Painful Rectal Itch, the ideal shape of turds, and even painful inflammations in Delicate Places? - but that does not mean that I cannot appreciate the Real Thing when I see it.

My Esteemed Readers know that I enjoy the works of Ogden Nash, David McCord, Don Marquis, Walter de la Mare, and other luminaries of the poetic pantheon. Hell, I even like Hilaire Belloc, despite his (probably undeserved) reputation for being an anti-Semite. (Ezra Pound is another matter.)

Like a certain gentleman of my acquaintance, I enjoy Robert W. Service’s fine verse as well, although (unlike said gentleman) I cannot declaim entire lengthy epics while in a state of not so mild inebriation.

And then there is A. E. Housman.

Housman’s work tends to be on the dark side, but he has his moments of silliness. Witness Inhuman Henry, or Cruelty to Fabulous Animals:
Oh, would you know why Henry sleeps,
And why his mournful Mother weeps,
And why his weeping Mother mourns?
He was unkind to Unicorns.
Henry, who delights in tormenting the local unicorns (by setting his lion loose upon them, of course), ends up getting eaten by the lion: appropriate revenge for a “bloody-minded boy.”

Housman’s best-known work is a cycle of sixty-three poems, collectively known as A Shropshire Lad. Some of the individual poems are more or less familiar: When I was One-and-Twenty, for example. But my favorite is this one, the penultimate poem of the cycle, and not just because it makes me think of getting drunk and rolling in the mud on the banks of the Chattahoochee River.

The point of this seems to be that Miserable Poetry is better for you than getting wasted. Instead of suffering a hangover the next day, you’re fortified - inoculated, if you will - against the miseries of everyday life. It might explain the popularity of Alanis Morrisette.

LXII. Terence, this is stupid stuff

‘TERENCE, this is stupid stuff:
You eat your victuals fast enough;
There can’t be much amiss, ’tis clear,
To see the rate you drink your beer.
But oh, good Lord, the verse you make,
It gives a chap the belly-ache.
The cow, the old cow, she is dead;
It sleeps well, the hornèd head:
We poor lads, ’tis our turn now
To hear such tunes as killed the cow.
Pretty friendship ’tis to rhyme
Your friends to death before their time
Moping melancholy mad:
Come, pipe a tune to dance to, lad.’

Why, if ’tis dancing you would be,
There’s brisker pipes than poetry.
Say, for what were hop-yards meant,
Or why was Burton built on Trent?
Oh many a peer of England brews
Livelier liquor than the Muse,
And malt does more than Milton can
To justify God’s ways to man.
Ale, man, ale’s the stuff to drink
For fellows whom it hurts to think:
Look into the pewter pot
To see the world as the world’s not.
And faith, ’tis pleasant till ’tis past:
The mischief is that ’twill not last.
Oh I have been to Ludlow fair
And left my necktie God knows where,
And carried half way home, or near,
Pints and quarts of Ludlow beer:
Then the world seemed none so bad,
And I myself a sterling lad;
And down in lovely muck I’ve lain,
Happy till I woke again.
Then I saw the morning sky:
Heigho, the tale was all a lie;
The world, it was the old world yet,
I was I, my things were wet,
And nothing now remained to do
But begin the game anew.

Therefore, since the world has still
Much good, but much less good than ill,
And while the sun and moon endure
Luck’s a chance, but trouble’s sure,
I’d face it as a wise man would,
And train for ill and not for good.
’Tis true, the stuff I bring for sale
Is not so brisk a brew as ale:
Out of a stem that scored the hand
I wrung it in a weary land.
But take it: if the smack is sour,
The better for the embittered hour;
It should do good to heart and head
When your soul is in my soul’s stead;
And I will friend you, if I may,
In the dark and cloudy day.

There was a king reigned in the East:
There, when kings will sit to feast,
They get their fill before they think
With poisoned meat and poisoned drink.
He gathered all the springs to birth
From the many-venomed earth;
First a little, thence to more,
He sampled all her killing store;
And easy, smiling, seasoned sound,
Sate the king when healths went round.
They put arsenic in his meat
And stared aghast to watch him eat;
They poured strychnine in his cup
And shook to see him drink it up:
They shook, they stared as white’s their shirt:
Them it was their poison hurt.
- I tell the tale that I heard told.
Mithridates, he died old.

Friday, August 10, 2007


You Are Prune Juice

Dark, rich, and with plenty of body, you have many facets to your personality.
You can be sweet. Or deep and complex. But mostly, you’re weird.
A small dose of you and people have to run and take a wonder you’re so popular.
You pack more fiber than a stand of old-growth oak trees.

Deep down you are: Dependable. Because people who hang with you need Depends™.

Your partying style: Loud and obnoxious, alternating with periods of quiet surliness.

Your company is enjoyed best with: Bran muffins, All-Bran™ cereal.

Tip o’ th’ Elisson fedora to Chickie for the link.


Houston Steve was sitting at breakfast this morning, holding forth on the topic of Fear.

We have become a fearful nation. Terrorists abound; environmental disasters loom. We’re in the midst of a mid-August heat wave (Dog Bites Man!), raising the specter of Global Warming. (Never mind that the number of tropical storms and hurricanes this year will once again fall well below the Dread Prognostications.)

We’re all gonna die!

We have become a nation of cowering, crouching Pussy-Wimps, with our kids afraid to play outdoors (You’ll get a sunburn! You’ll get abducted! You’ll get a rash!) And the media are, in Houston Steve’s estimation, largely to blame for this state of affairs, for whipping Americans up into a frenzy of terror helps sell newspapers and advertising minutes on the evening news.

In Michael Moore’s film Bowling for Columbine, Steve observed, Moore contrasted the television evening news in Detroit with its counterpart in Windsor, Ontario, right across the river. In Detroit, the news was filled with murders, shootings, car crashes, and other Exciting Stuff. In Windsor, there were reports on the topics discussed in City Council.

Fear-Mongering versus Good Government.

And that got me thinking about the national character of the United States, as compared with that of the other major offshoots of the British Empire at its height: Canada and Australia.

Think about it. Each a country of Anglophone heritage, but each with distinctly different personalities. And to understand these differences, one must look back to the national origins of these various Former British Colonies.

The United States: Settled by jackleg freebooters, fortune-hunters, and the religiously disaffected. The Puritans came to these shores seeking freedom of religion...and freedom to oppress anyone who practiced a different religion from theirs. From these humble roots came Jimmy Swaggart and Anal Roberts (Oral’s brown-sheep brother).

Australia: Settled by transported criminals, Oz still has a raffishness unmatched anywhere else. Listen to “Waltzing Matilda,” the unofficial national anthem. No bombs bursting in air for the Ozzies. Instead, you have a vagabond stealing a sheep, then drowning himself to avoid arrest. Sweet.

Canada: To our north lies a nation established by the Hudson Bay Company and government bureaucrats. It’s as though the guys at the post office and the guys at the driver’s license office got together and said, “Hey, kids - let’s put on a country!” Not very exciting, perhaps, but never a problem finding postage stamps.

If you want to understand a country’s personality, look to its origins.

It certainly explains why Israel is so tenacious. You have a nation built by an unexiled remnant of a people who have been chivvied from pillar to post these past two millennia, fortified by people who immigrated in the First Aliyah with a dream to build a nation, followed by those who survived the inferno of the Holocaust and World War II. Its citizens, for the most part, share a heritage thousands of years old. They will fight to survive: they have no alternative.

Maybe we’d do well to remember our American origins. No more snivelling! Stand up straight, kick an ass, fix a bridge, and drill an oil well!


Welcome once again to Blog d’Elisson’s Friday Random Ten, the weekly feature in which I post a selection of Choons drawn at random from the fabled iPod d’Elisson.

The kitchen renovations I mentioned in last week’s Friday Random Ten post have been delayed a week, owing to the delivery of a flawed granite slab to the installer. Flaws, indeed: twelve deep scratches, all half-heartedly covered up with Magic Marker in the vain hope that they would not be discovered until too late. Bah.

A replacement slab has been delived and pronounced good, so the Disruptive Work should begin in earnest on Monday. Which works out fine for us, since I have been commissioned to prepare two enormous slabs of poached salmon for a bridal shower we are co-hosting this weekend.

But you don’t give a crap about fish, now, do you? No. You want to know what Elisson’s Little White Choon-Box is spewing forth today. Here you go:
  1. From the Cradle to the Grave - Leo Kottke

    Feeling like a ship out of the ocean
    About to go aground on desert sands
    Feeling like an eagle losing motion
    Tired of flying, ain’t no where to land

    Every day’s all the same
    Same old ways, never change
    Going from the cradle to the grave

    I don’t think I’ve ever felt so helpless
    Always feeling like my hands are tied
    Failure at most everything I’ve dealt with
    Ruining most everything I’ve tried

    Every day’s all the same
    Same old ways, never change
    Going from the cradle to the grave

    And every day’s all the same
    Same old ways, never change
    Going from the cradle to the grave

    Running from my life at every moment
    Never having time to catch my breath
    Sometimes I wish this crazy race were over
    The thought of living scares me half to death

    And every day’s all the same
    Same old ways, never change
    Going from the cradle to the grave

  2. The Royal Scam - Steely Dan
  3. Thank You Girl - The Beatles
  4. Yellow Submarine - The Beatles
  5. Tumble In The Rough - Stone Temple Pilots
  6. Zed’s Dead, Baby/Bullwinkle Part II - The Centurians
  7. Blame It On Cain - Elvis Costello
  8. Religion/Drugs - Bill Hicks
  9. Ssekota - Maritu Legesse
  10. Rhineland (Heartland) - Beirut
It’s a broiling hot Friday here in Atlanta. What are you listening to?