Thursday, December 24, 2009

Whole Foods Midnight Marathon

My dad once almost beat a Whole Foods employee into submission because the store lacked Hershey's chocolate syrup and Coca-Cola. That said, despite liking their cheese selection greatly, I feel pretty similarly about the entire Whole Foods operation. I like Velveeta, Jim Beam, and Wonder Bread on occasion. And I really like paying less for groceries.

But I can take Whole Foods with a grain of salt. I realize that moral superiority isn't really dictated by where you shop for groceries. So Whole Foods Midnight Madness in Denver was quite a humorous event for me.

"Midnight Madness," a term usually used to refer to college basketball programs' first practice of the year, means that Whole Foods puts a very few items on sale-- and on sale at Whole Foods is still pricier than Wal-Mart's everyday low prices (especially if they have that creepy yellow smiley face near the price.) Shrimp for $7 a pound? Insanity. Blocks of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for $5? These prices, from what I could discern, made the yuppies of Cherry Creek as excited as if they'd received a new fixed-speed bicycle from Barack Obama for Christmas (or Eid?)

As we arrived at Whole Foods around 11:15 in the PM, we quickly realized that there was not an entire spot in the entire parking lot. Wait, were we mistakenly at a Subaru dealership? No. It was really Whole Foods, replete with Subaru Outbacks and their yuppie drivers. Oh my god, a Prius. The employees bowed to the owner as he entered the store. Thinking that Whole Foods' customers might be a bit less aggressive than Wal-Mart's customers, I quickly realized that a $4 pack of wheat naan could turn even the greenest soccer mom into a crazed discount hunter. Here's a picture of me getting a great deal on naan.

After an extended search for a parking spot, we entered the store to cheering employees announcing the midnight madness specials on the overhead speaker. Hip-hop music between the announcements calmed people's nerves about being a white person in an all-white grocery store. Soccer moms in pajamas ran around the aisles like teens at a slumber party high on soda flavored with all-natural coarse cane sugar.

I realized that the amount of self-congratulatory and hipster-ish quotes being thrown around would put my memory on overload (although that happens during most simple sentences to me). So I decided, luckily, to write down some of the quotes as I anticipated that this could be a blog-worthy event. I'll just throw these quotes out now with a lil' bit of commentary.

"Honey, are we out of naan at home?" I mean, why would you limit your naan consumption to home? Most families of four need at least twelve loaves of naan each week. Plus if you keep a stash in the car, you could eat twenty loaves of naan easily.

(on the overheard speaker): "The OJ special is in the PRODUCE section and not in the NATURAL JUICE section." This caused an absolute tide of yuppies to shift directions and I'm pretty sure someone got hurt in the ensuing rush for $3.99 half-gallons of OJ.

"Oh my god, I can't believe we biked here honey! We are having SO MUCH FUN." Couples' high-five. By the size and irony of the guy's moustache, and her awkward-looking blue leggings, I could tell they were some of the first people on their block to see Modest Mouse live in concert at a small venue. (Cheers to Christian's blog Stuff White People Like for informing this last hipster-inspired commentary).

Tatooed employee: "Free samples, bro! Rice nog!"
RetiredJK: "Is it ORGANIC?"
TE: "Sorry it's not, bro, but it's all natural and really tasty!"
RJK: (Disgusted look) Later broski.

Fifty-something: "EXCUSE ME, you're cutting in the seafood line!!!
Sixty-something: "I'm in the OLIVE LINE!"
Employee with multiple facial piercings: "Free samples! Pizza! No gluten! No rye! No wheat!" Ummm... at some point I feel like Whole Foods sells people the emperor's new clothes and that there's not actually anything in the box. Maybe some olive oil or something. But I'll bet buying it still feels really good inside.
A couple other funny things I noticed. One is that chicks at Whole Foods really like to wear their hair like Princess Leia from Star Wars. I also have never even fathomed that so many fifty-somethings knew how to send text messages. I really wondered who these folks were texting at midnight, given that my parents go to sleep two to three hours prior most nights. Probably their friends in Japan or something multicultural like that.
At the checkout, I really had to fight the desire to buy a Northern Italian cooking magazine, because seriously who would even eat Southern Italian food? Philistines. The uncultured. I say this as I eat a late-night crab enchilada with nacho cheese. But seriously, the string trio playing 90's pop hits (jazz-style) was blocking my access to baguettes. I'm pretty sure they played "I Want It That Way" by N'Sync on their viola and stuff. The layout of the store was very poor because I need two baguettes a day.
But as I left with my naan and block of Parmesan cheese, one of their dreadlocked employees handed me a free sample of peppermint soy beverage. ORGANIC. And if it wasn't the best peppermint soy beverage I've ever had then my name is not JK and I'm not retired. Whole Foods, holla! P.S. My dad would have totally kicked that employee's arse.

Do You Really Want to Hear About the Morgans?

Hello my dear blogettes. I hope this Christmas season finds you well and prosperous, and that you can find it in your heart to share some of that prosperity with me during my blogathon. It starts now and ends after this blog but may continue for another day or two depending on the motivation level in a post-Christmas world.

So, as you may have guessed, this blog deals with a certain recently released rom-com (for the uninducted this stands for romantic comedy) featuring SJP (Sarah Jessica Parker) as Meryl Morgan and Hugh Grant as Paul Morgan. A quick summary of the movie in my good friend Dave's words: "He's been stumbling through life as a charmingly befuddled d-bag... She's a horse-faced slut... But together they unexpectedly find the recipe for love..."

The movie doesn't even start before the laughs begin. A preview for the Jennifer Aniston action rom-com "The Bounty Hunter" precedes the movie, and I predict these two movies will compete for post-season honors on As the movie begins, Paul is repeatedly calling Meryl's answering machine, leaving sweet but wordy and misguided messages with the clear intent of reuniting with his estranged wife. The reason they're estranged? Sometimes movies imitate life, and Paul has cheated on his wife (although not with a hooker in the back of a car).

The first major scene in the movie features Paul stalking his wife at a charity dinner. She is the keynote speaker despite having zero talent for public speaking. The topic of her speech? An ironically foreboding talk about the fight against breast cancer reaching a "turning point" and a "make-or-break" time in their organization's fight for a cure. Paul listens intently and, after the speech, is the most convincing, polite, British yes-man ever played on screen. He never actually disagrees with Meryl, whose over-the-top high-strung personality clashes horribly with his. Throughout the movie, they are far more believable as the antagonistic, seperated couple than they are as a married couple living together. One wonders if a straight-to-video release may have been more appropriate for the flick.

As the plot thickens, Paul and Meryl walk to her client's home only to see the client murdered by a knife in the back. Of course, the hit man feels it necessary to stick around for awhile and stare at the Morgans; conveniently, he sees a picture of her on the cover of a magazine on his getaway. After some fish-out-of water jokes about her attire and business dealings, they quickly enter the witness protection program and are whisked off to Wyoming.

The directors evidently put the movie on auto-pilot at this point, as we while away a half hour watching Paul and Meryl adapt to Wyoming life. Placed in horribly contrived situations, they experience all the things that all rural people do: eat wild game, shoot rifles, ride horses, milk cows, visit the rodeo, and, of course, share themselves with the wonderfully quaint townfolk. The ultimate irony of this portion of the film is that Meryl at one point claims to be "allergic" to horses... could this be a sly dig at SJP's horse-like appearance on the part of the producers? Probably not, as that joke would be a bit over their heads.

One of the few saving graces of this film is that it parodies city folk, especially those of you who live in NYC. The Morgans' inability to fathom rural life comes up throughout the movie, for example as Meryl struggles to find a non-cocktail dress outfit to bring with her to Wyoming. Later, Meryl asks Wilford Brimley to blow his smoke in another direction, and they get a rude awakening to living in a rural town. Straight out of an episode of South Park, he states "we don't take kindly to out-of-towners coming in to town and tellin' us what to do" to which Paul replies "I hope we can be friends" in the most beseeching, submissive tone he can muster. And he musters a submissive tone amazingly well.

The New-York centric point of view continues later, as Meryl recalls an episode involving "Jarlsberg cheese from Zabar's" while recalling an incident in which Paul tried to humanely trap a mouse rather than slaughtering it (Meryl, of course, is a member of PETA). The humour (note how I spelled it!) continues until the very end, when the hitman tracks them down at a rodeo. Meryl and Paul, in a scene that reminds of their newly repaired relationship, hide inside a rodeo clown outfit. A charmingly self-harming Paul overcomes his fear to douse himself in bear repellent while attempting to disable the hitman. Despite his clumsy but well-meaning attempt, the couple has clearly endeared themself to the community, and they respond by pulling several guns on the hitman and knocking him unconscious with a horseshoe.

Can a movie get zero stars? Was this written by a junior high school student? Could Meryl's personal assistant's performance overcome an awful script to compete for year-end honors? Will there be a worse movie this year? I don't know, but to quote the movie, "we don't take kindly to movies like this around here." I'm also pretty sure there was a high school couple giving each other hand jobs in the back of the theatre... I have no doubt they were far more romantic than any movie with Sarah Jessica Parker could ever be.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Casa Bonita: Part Deux

Yesterday, when I left off, we were en route from the serving area to the seating area: this was what we had come to see! Cliff divers, pirates, gorillas, Blackbart's cave, mariachis! We made a special request to the host for a cliffside seat, as I'm sure everyone does; despite being prepared with a $10 bribe, I felt a bit sheepish about bribing a host at what is, essentially, a children's restaurant. He stated that our seat would have "a waterfall view" which was, again, tangentially true. We walked around confused for awhile until a waitress took pity on us and found our seat (again, I'm not sure how she knew where out seat was, furthering my conviction that Casa Bonita employs some type of animatronics).

We met our server, who claimed his name was Juan. He assured us that we would have only the finest service and that, indeed, the chips and salsa and the sopapillas would be gratis. We had a flag on our table and he showed us how to employ the flag to our advantage; moving it from the down position to the up position would indicate that we were in need of something. But really, what I need is companionship. And more cliff divers. So I didn't raise the flag for awhile until I wanted a taco.

Speaking of the entertainment, it is scheduled every fifteen minutes. It mostly consists of cliff divers, mariachis, and some dog-and-pony (or shall I say pirate and gorilla) show which seemed less than authentic. However, I did get caught in the middle of a chase; after a bit of banter, the gorilla escaped from its pirate owner, sending them into wild goose-chase mode. I saw the gorilla run by me, and attempted to misdirect the pirate when he asked which way the gorilla went. "Behind you!" I said. But this did not fool the wily pirate, who seemed to be no stranger to chasing large primates through Casa Bonita.

Sopapillas. While I could write about these for awhile, given they they are fried, free, and all-you-can-eat (hint, hint: bring a gallon bag with you and take some home!) I got a priceless photo that really sums up the sopapilla experience at Casa Bonita:

Finally, the check came. While charging me for their horrendous food seemed cheap of them, I had faced the facts that the only way to dine and dash would be via Blackbart's Cave and an emergency exit. Besides, they had provided us with two pitchers of beer and two margaritas (for the ladies) which was worth something, right? Well, it wasn't worth $17 for a pitcher of Coors Light. Which brings me to one of my major tips which I may or may not summarize depending on fate at the end of this blog. I don't think I can come out and say that you should do something illegal, because that's like yelling fire in a crowded theatre or spreading lies deliberately in a written manner (libel). So I'll say it in another language: Ooyay ustmay ingbray askflay.

Blackbart's Cave! Known to me only from South Park, this was a pretty sweet place to get back at kids for cutting in line... I mean it's dark and if the kid is as tall as my knees, how was I supposed to see him? I was focusing on the pirates. And going as slow as possible to block all the kids behind me. This is the treasure of Blackbart, it's crazy it's been out there this whole time just sitting there and no one has tried to take it.

Casa Bonita: Parte Uno

Casa Bonita. The words evoke a feeling of hominess, like your family will always take care of you. I wouldn't say the reality of the place quite lives up to its name, because from the odd buffet-style dining, to the amusement parkesque atmosphere of the place, Casa Bonita did not quite match my expectations. (Note: If you have not seen the South Park episode you really should prior to reading the rest of this. I believe it is Season 7 episode 10 or so. We viewed it practically en route to the restaurant.)

First off, let me remind you that Casa Bonita is first and foremost A RESTAURANT; this is confirmed by the fact that they won't let you in without buying an overpriced plate of nacho cheese with various (but surprisingly few given the number of combinations algebraically possible) portions of chicken, beef, and starch that didn't pass for a tortilla. I'm pretty sure they've cut costs by eliminating vegetables and real cheese from the menu.

But all these facts were available to me prior to visiting and yet I went. As you all may know, I am not always insistent on five-star food; I have, to my knowledge, never been within a mile of a Michelin-rated eatery. In fact, I am once in awhile willing to eat this very Tex-mex fodder that I've been describing. I once ate a taco al pastor reheated and filled with broccoli beef. My legend lives on, as so far I've never met anyone who tried this same thing.

That said, CASA BONITA IS AN UNMITIGATED FAILURE. And, moreoever, that said, thus, there is alot of science that I will write about below but you have just read the summary of my feelings on this strange place.

Here's the play-by-play. We arrived about seven PM armed with a "Survivor's Guide to Casa Bonita" provided so thoughtfully by Craig. We entered the castle-like structure to an entryway so small it may have been a bodega; we were immediately herded through turnstiles in a line of many shelters, twists and turns. I didn't realize until later that these were intended to confuse prospective diners as to their wait time.

And what you don't see until the last minute is that there are young ladies posing as hostesses who are actually waiting to take your order on a secret computer. So when you get to the front of this line and actually think you're about to be seated, you are forced to come up with an order while all the other hungry, pissed-off parents are wondering what's taking so long, not knowing that THEY TOO will be similarly confused, continuing a decades-long cycle of confusion perpetuated by the Casa Bonita MGMT.

OK. So we're still trying to order. Everything, strangely, is lined up in two columns: BEEF and CHICKEN. And the only menu is on the far wall. And alcohol is hidden behind some little kid. The "hostesas," which we'll pretend means hostesses in Spanish, seem to have the art of dodging questions down pat. Here's a sample of our convo, evidently she is communicating on a higher plane than I am:

RJK: "So do I have to order beer here or can I order from the table?"
Hostesa: "I can take your order for beer here."
RJK: "How do I get more of the all-you-can-comer platter?"
Hostesa: "You can get more of anything on your platter."
RJK: "How much are pitchers of beer?"
Hostesa: "I'm not sure, you pay your server at the end." (This was a truly great answer, as I would have without a doubt choked her if she had told me the answer which will be revealed later.)

I felt as though I might be speaking with a Fem-bot. We all sympathized with any parents in line; thoroughly frustrated as a group of reasonably intelligent twenty-somethings, we could not collectively imagine doing this with a five-year-old. Weekly.

Thoroughly mystified, we turned a corner to find that there was another line in which to wait. The end of this one held our food, though, so there was some promise of seating and sustinence ahead. Oddly, every platter being presented at the communal serving area looked to be the same even, perfectly molten, orange hue of cheap nacho cheese (we're not even talking about good nacho cheese here). Luckily, they came carefully marked by party, and on request the lady would magically discriminate YOUR plate of nacho cheese from THE TUBBY KID'S plate of nacho cheese.

Speaking of the tubby kid, I had my eye peeled for any budding Eric Cartmans. And I found one almost immediately when he slapped his brother. Attempting to get a photo with or of this child became my biggest wish for awhile. I really wanted to see this kid eat, a privilege which I was denied by the dismissive host. And yes, I know you're wondering, this kid was super-tubby.

Tomorrow, check back for the dining experience, the secrets of Blackbart's Cave, and a sweet picture of sopapillas and me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Crazy Rock Lady Acts the Fool.

In my last posting regarding the crazy rock lady (c. 3 months ago), I had assumed that all our tensionsfrom our minor run-in had boiled over and receded long since. How nieve I was, nieve enough to forget the umlaut over both of those words. It seems that the rock lady holds on to our scuffle like it was a epic battle of minds and rocks, although I don't quite remember it as being that significant. Anyway, here's how the most recent As The Valley Turns goes.

I was working my normal Friday afternoon shift. All was well in the Centennial Valley. I was about halfway through my shift, watching some Cash Cab on the TV and listening to Elton John on the j-box. A customer unfamiliar to me, but evidently well known by others in the bar, walked in with a possible husband. They sat and had one or two beers when someone called on the bar phone, "is Michelle* there?" (*means the real names have been altered) I called out for Michelle, and the new woman responded. She chatted on the phone for a few seconds before handing it back to me.

Soon after, I heard them saying, "Jan is coming." Jan happens to be crazy rock lady, but I didn't think much of it given the remoteness of the incident in both time and space. I figured she'd matured alot since the incidenct and wouldn't give it any thought, and we'd bury the hatchet over a can of Busch beer or something. But upon her arrival, the hatchet was not buried, dude.

She sat down at the end of the bar next to a friend of mine and greeted all in the party of four. She kind of ignored me as I think she sensed the power of the beard and the likelihood that, in a minute, she could speak with Mohammed. I asked her kindly what she'd have, and she responded that she would enjoy a Busch can and a shot of peppermint Schappsteria (she didn't actually say that, I just added it for effect). As soon as I turned my back to get her drink, I overheard her asking her neighbor, "Is that Mohammed?"She immediately ran out of the bar into the grill area and never returned.

So now the weird part starts. First, she sent someone from the grill into the bar to pick up her two drinks and deliver them into the grill for her. Next, she sent someone else to pay for her drinks, tipping me $1! Soon after, she sent the same messenger with a hand-written note to meet her at the other bar/restaurant option in town. After her friends complained about the childishness of all this and refused to go to the other location, she left.

Soon after, she called to speak with the members of her party, disguising her voice when I answered. When they took their time finishing their drinks and complaining further about the immaturity of this fifty-something woman, she had another person call and then pass the phone to her after speaking with me.

So I submit to you, reader, that this level of subterfuge, vidictiveness, and immaturity have seldom been reached by someone past the age of 14. I have realized that the rules in this conflict are different: there are no rules. And no limits. So I must radically change my thinking about this whole deal. I need to be on my guard at all times. Turf wars are on.

In unrelated news, my toilet froze and cracked, so soon you will have the update on how the JK-fixed toilet works.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Hitchhiker's Guide to Wyoming

I guess you could call it a bucket list, but I don't. Sometimes you do things and later realize that you've just checked an item off the life checklist, like when I saw Vanilla Ice in person and he poured elk's blood (read: Jager) into my mouf. And another one of those moments happened to me a couple days ago. I was attempting to reach a lake two miles off the main road, which closes for the year due to snow. As I neared the gate, I turned off toward Brooklyn Lake because I had heard a rumor that the dirt road was plowed the two miles back to the lake, which would allow me to park and access several good fishing lakes in the area.

As soon as I turned off the road, I knew that my plan was woefully awful as the road was not near plowed. Trying to maneuver around a parked snow plow, I felt my right front wheel fall off into a small snow-covered ditch. Stuck, I was. And nine miles from any type of civilization. And out of cell phone range. And at the end of a dead-end, snowed-in highway by which very few people pass. And without a shovel. And without a heavy coat. I approached a lodge I knew in the area, but it was empty. I decided to walk a mile downhill to another lodge that advertised it was open "year-round", which was totally untrue. So, knowing that I had no cell service and there was no one likely to be around for miles, I did what any normal person would do: cried. Cried before I decided to hitchhike, yeah!

It only took about ten minutes for a vehicle to drive near. I realized that this could be my last shot for hours, so I decided to not wait by the side of the road with my thumb out like a bum. Instead, I decided to stand in the road in front of their car waving my arms like a crazy bum. I wished to Allah I had shaved my beard that morning in anticipation of looking good while I attempted to hitchhike, but this did not happen Inshallah. Allah did smile on me when they stopped, mostly because they had nowhere to go except through me. Luckily, they were college students up for an afternoon sled, and not the murderous organ-thieving type of college student that picks up hitchhikers.

Right now I'm preparing for dinner, and I know you wonder what's on my menu given the limited cooking and cleaning capabilities I possess. Well, today it's chicken noodle soup followed by a salad with chicken. I recently got a free life insurance policy (from some actuary who clearly hadn't done their homework on me) and I'm trying to overdose on chicken so my family can reap the benefits... the benefits of being a close relative of the first person in the world to OD on chicken.

You may be wondering what I do most of the day now that the parents are gone, I have a steady two-day-a-week job, and I have no water. Well, I listen to the 80's song "Almost Paradise" alot and dream that I'm Kevin Bacon in Footloose, which is probably my favorite 80's movie. I whip up some vinaigrette once in awhile. I spend silly amounts of time reading news and books, most recently Friday Night Lights, which was pretty similar to my high school football experience albeit at an urban private school to which we wore ties and grey pants. Ultimately, I spend alot of the day chopping and moving wood, starting fires, handwashing dishes, cooking,and generally doing things that modern conveniences have long since rendered obsolete. So be thankful for these conveniences. And send me money.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Medieval Times

Usually there would be no stories to tell from a Vegas trip, but here's a child and family friendly one that you can show the kids. Know to most people as "Medieval Times" from the movie Cable Guy, we visited a similar show at the hotel Excalibur called "Tournament of Kings". For the uninitiated, it features legions of horsemen, midgets, overweight king-types, and fair maidens putting on a chivalrous display cum melodramatic performance, frequently exhorting the audience to sip from their chalices of $10 wine with a loud "Huzzah!" (which means "quaff your expensive wine, tourists!" in Gaelic).

So we met at the grand hotel, Excalibur, at the planned time. We took our seats in the Russian section (they seat people in sections led by your fictional "king;" ours happened to be Russian even though I pled with the host to seat us elsewhere. We opted for the prix fixe menu, which is mandatory for buying a seat to watch the tournament. This menu has been in existence, unchanged, for nineteen years as far as I can tell. The luxurious courses began at once. Tomato soup, which one of my friends promised would be the finest part of our dinner, was served in a not-very-medieval-looking plastic bowl. It was indeed good, although for all I know it could be straight from a Campbell's can. Then, the magnum opus of the meal:

You see the offending meal above, and believe me, this is one of the more appetizing pictures of it I was able to find on the World Wide Web. Soggy broccoli, lighted cooked potato sticks, delicately seasoned yet cardboardy cornish game hen, and some pieces of bread round out the entree course. The meal made us long for the days of junior and high school cafeteria food (especially Macho Nachos, and BBQ Rib). But enough about the food: the tourney hath begun!

These are the eight kings of our tourney. They hail from Sweden, Norway, Russia, Iceland, and maybe Spain and some other countries in Europe that really hadn't formed by Arthurian times. The historical acumen of the writers of this show is stunningly poor. But anyway, I was tipped off by someone in the audience that the Russian king would cheat to win the joust (even though I wish he would have said "earmuffs" prior to ruining my enjoyment of the night). I engaged him in conversation, telling him that, based on prior experience with Russians, I had assumed some acts of subterfuge from my king. I also expect his children to dote on him as he lays dying and they harass the doctors and nurses, but I digress...

As the tournament started, there was some half-ass trumpeting going on and some amateur-looking pyrotechnics. I also noted that, less children with their parents, we were the only people under forty in the audience. I ALSO began to note a serious lack of pre-gaming on our part, which became far more obvious as the tourney dragged on and I fell asleep as per usual. But from the part I was awake, I remember that there was a lot of prancing, in fact there were about twenty guys and ten gals whose job was simply to prance around the ring engaging in gymnastic feats. There were a full ten drummers, moonlighting from their day jobs as eighties' hair band backup drummers.

And then there were the eight kings. We all agreed that these guys were moonlighting prior to the night showing of "Thunder From Down Under" as they seemed to be a little too ripped for a medieval king. There was some jousting via horses, some swordplay, a mystical Dragon King who appeared in a puff of fire and fought everyone at once. It all came dangerously close to small children several times and I'm just glad no one got hurt. I slept through the ending, which I assume included some type of moralistic lesson from the time of kings, and I'm glad I missed that part.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

San Francisco Rooftops aka JK the Cat Burglar

OK, blog fans, I had started a retrospective on my time in India and falling into the Ganges, but the save function didn't work properly, so I'lll whisk you to San Francisco, last week.

I was vacationing in my former place of residency, when this strange incident occurred. I was staying with a friend in an apartment building of around twelve units. The staircase ended in a door to the roof, which needed to be propped open while you walked around on the roof and surveyed the surrounding landscape. It's a great area in Western Addition that includes Alamo Square Park, home to the iconic homes of the Full House television series. My final night home, I made my way back after a night at McTeague's and the Kozy Kar Bar (kind of weird but with comfortable seats).

Prior to leaving, I had a downright bizarre experience with a beautiful French ballerina. For some reason, she patronizes McTeague's once a week despite living in the beautiful East Bay city of Oakland. I barely spoke with her on my first visit there, but after returning from a snack of animal crackers and candy served by my friend Eddie in his apartment, she began talking to me almost immediately. It really seemed like I had to be on hidden camera for the following reasons: A)this woman had no business at McTeague's B)she had no business talking to me, especially because I was wearing a beard that hadn't been shaven in months along with my black-framed dork glasses that I bought with the express purpose of driving away females C)her bizarre behavior to follow.

Despite my best efforts to show almost no interest in this amazingly gorgeous woman, she managed to corner me about my plans for the weekend. I told her that I was just in town for a few days and was leaving for Vegas in the morning. To this, she replied, with the cutest French accent, "Why are you going to Las Vegas? Why not stay here?"

RetiredJK: "Ummm.... cause if I stayed here I would miss my flight to Vegas."
FrenchBallerina: "But what would you miss in Vegas? You should stay."
RJK: "I'm going to my friend's birthday party. There's no argument about this."
FB: "You should stay; you never know."

Never know what? How creepy a hot French ballerina can get after a couple drinks? I don't think I want to stick around for this. At one point, I actually enlisted some friends' assistance in a cock-block setup to get her away from me.

So we parted ways, and she drove off down the road, the wrong way on a one way street in her BMW SUV.

So I trekked home to the Full House apartment and clicked on the baseball highlights. Drawn to the rooftop around three AM to look out on the city, I forgot to block open the door in my haste and forgetfulness. No problemo, I thought, I'll try the keys. No luck. Being the huge guido that I am, I tried to muscle the door open, but to no avail. At this point I first faced the possibility of spending the night on the roof in my shorts (I had changed into shorts upon arrival), a possibility that could be fatal in chilly San Fran. I stood by the edge for about a half hour, waiting for someone trustworthy to walk so I could toss my keys to them in the expectation that they'd actually come up and open the door. But at 4:15 in the morning, there just aren't alot of people walking around, and most that are you wouldn't want to be in posession of your keys.

So I gave up on finding someone to let me in. I check the fire escapes, which I realized would be my only way off the roof in case an inferno engulfed the entire place (no, setting it did not cross my mind). They looked steep. And close to people's windows. And possibly slippery. I sat and meditated on my next step for awhile. At this point, it was closing in on 5 AM. I called my friend who owned the apartment, and dammit, he was staying elsewhere that night! In my time of need, you're gone, and I'm stuck on a rooftop; I think I could make contemporary rock song up about the situation. So I decide that I need to take drastic action, lest a tenant come up to the roof for their morning yoga and find my asleep in my shorts in front of the door. That's not something they call the police for; it's something they call Animal Control for at that point.

I check the two fire escapes and opt for the one away from the street so that, maybe, not as many people will call the police. I shimmied awkwardly down the ladder to the top floor of windows; no lights on. So far, so good. The rest was just stairs albeit thin ones, but I took the final couple floors in a matter of seconds. Only one window was lit and I avoided looking into it. I smashed a potted plant on accident. But when I got to the bottom, I discovered that I was STILL ON A FIRST-FLOOR ROOFTOP.

There was no way out; all the sides were at least twelve feet to the ground with no obvious ways down. Evidently, escaping was not meant to be. Desperately, I surveyed the surrounding territory. The building was attached to a row house by a garage and small garden. However, getting to the ground would require climbing onto the house's windows, garage and fences. At this point, I had no other option. Certain that the police or at least a dog would await me on the ground, I crawled across their oversized stone window sill and down several small rocky shelves in their garden. A security light switched on and I went into stealth mode. Only one more barrier; a six-foot fence to the street. Of course, I couldn't open the gate from the inside and had to scale yet another fence. I sprinted to the apartment building's door, entering just in time to watch the police pass by on the street.

Overall, this morning was a test of my gymnastics, my wits, and my stupidity all at once. Luckily, I took off a few hours later for Vegas, where no one really cares if you're crawling around with glasses on at five in the morning.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fat Babies, New Jobs, Snowmobiles

Whaddup Staten Island. OK, so I take back what I had said earlier about the discriminatory bar in town. With my tail between my legs and no money in my pocket, I approached the manager for about the fifth time looking for a job. Well, ask (a bunch of times) and you shall receive. I started last Friday and am liking it pretty well. It's minimum wage plus tips, but the real attraction is control over two (2) televisions the entire time I'm there. I don't have any TV's at the cabin, so YouTube gets alot of play, and the radio is pretty entertaining to go along with books. But anyway, when I'm at the bar, I rule the channels with an iron fish. I mean fist. Tom and Jerry is on alot, and so are Looney Tunes. Nebraska games get first priority Saturdays.

I dropped half a bottle of Crown my first day on the job.

Anyway, if I hadn't told you already, I am applying to psychiatry residencies, which I think will be perfect for me. But there is one program administrator who seems to be preoccupied with how I spend my free time: she really wants to know what I've been doing for the last four months. The best I could muster is this: "I hike and fish alot, and soon I'll snowboard alot." I don't know if I'll get anything from them re: an interview.

So has anyone heard about this chubby baby in Colorado who was denied health insurance for being overweight? He's six months and seventeen pounds, and his family was told he couldn't be covered due to being >95th percentile in weight! Alot of people have come to this little glutton's defense, but I for one am taking a stand! Why should I pitch in on insurance for this miniature Augustus Gloop? Someone needs to put their foot down, have an intervention, and say baby, that's enough! You're too fat! And if he doesn't understand the tirade, they should make him fast for a few days to teach him a lesson. You can't just go through life eating everything, lunchbox! You can't just be born into this country expecting insurance when you eat Ho-Ho's and salami all day!!!! Pull it together, baby!

Also, I have increasing amounts of proof that hitting your computer actually does improve its performance. For the longest time, this craptop I'm using to blog would only start up about every fifth time you pressed the button. I fixed that with a few blows to the kidneys, located on the sides of the mousepad. It starts up every time now. It's kind of like holistic medicine for your computer. I mean, there are "Western methods" of fixing a computer, if you have screwdrivers and knowledge and stuff, but when the computer is just out of chi, you need more than a microchip and a wish to fix it. You need to address the source of the problem, which is the computer's inherent evil. Only moderate strikes with an open hand can fix this problem.

So the other day, I learned how to snowmobile... at two in the morning. It's pretty exhilarating, those things can go over a hundred miles per hour! Craziness. I took a couple sweet jumps, but nothing too ridiculous.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A new way to play "Guess Who?"

So yesterday after a dinner of nice Chianti, bruschetta, e pasta a la vodka a la funge portabella, we set out for a board game. This quest began around 10 PM mountain, so finding an open toy store was impossible; trusty Wal-Mart had to suffice. After narrowing our choices to "Twister:Hopscotch" (which could be the name of a Nicholas Cage flick), "Guess Who?", and "Life", we decided upon the former (which would be the second in a series of three.)

I'm sure you remember this game from childhood; it features two boards of 24 matching faces with 24 "draw cards", each portraying one of 24 "characters" in this petty game. You each draw one, ask yes or no questions alternatingly, and thus try to deduce which "character" you opponent has drawn. Usually, the questions go something like this: "Does your person have brown hair?" "Yes. Does your person wear glasses?" Pretty standard. Problem is, this "hyper-objective" approach to the game really dichotomizes people unnecessarily and throws alot of bias into your world. So we came up with a new way to ask questions, a way that involves alot of grey area, which I like. ("How grey?" "Charcoal."--Fletch) (Did you know grey can be spelled with an "a" also? Although greyhound is always spelled with an "e".)

So the new way to ask questions involves alot more personality development and creative thought on the part of the players. Instead of objective questions like, "Is your person bald?," you ask questions like "If your person went Thailand, would he try to engage in child sex?" or "Has your person ever worked in the computer industry?" Believe me, this is much MUCH more fun than the original game, which may I remind you is a children's game primarily intended for the twelve and under demographique.

Here's a little sample of the interplay and witty repartee in which you can hope to engage:

Playa1: "Has your person ever been in a fight and won?"
Playa2: "Never been in a fight. Does your person do Sudoku with any regularity?"
Playa1: "Only when pressured at the office. Has your person ever visited an STD clinic under an assumed name, preferably Ron Mexico?"
Playa2: "Absolutely and on a regular basis. Does your person eat a salad at least six days a week?"

The game is also augmented by random statements about the characters' personal lives, such as: "Maricia is a buck-toothed skank!" and "This guy probably met his wife through"

I lost, naturally, as women are far more able to personify a real person from an animated figure on a card. It also helped that she picked Zachary almost every time, cheater.

(Note: Zachary is behind and to the left of the yellow Megan card, sorry this is the best I could find.)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Loosie From an Arab

Alright blog fans, I went on a sweet date tonight, and usually I could publish in the morning but my editors say this story needs to be told at 3 AM Denver Standard Time. That is now.

After a drink and a great pizza compliments of Marco's Wood Fired Grill, we proceeded to a little place called the Giggling Grizzly on 20th St. Lower Downtown (LoDo), Denver is the scene just in case ya didn't know it. It evidenly was the winner of 6 awards last year in Best Of Denver: Best College Bar, Best Singles Bar, Best 3 Bartenders, and 3 other things, although now that I look on the WWW, I find no evidence to back up those claims. Anyway, the presence of an air hockey table attracted us to this place. I cleaned up in air hockey 2 out of 3, but what ensued what quite entertaining.

First, we were flanked by a group of young adults, possibly college students. There were about 8 guys and 3 girls including one female Oompa-Loompa (doompity-doom). All the guys except one seemed intent on taking home the non-affianced, non-Loompa girl; the remaining one really just wanted to do 180's and stare down my date in a very suspicious manner. (Hint, dudes, if you have to do a 180, you need to say something at least. Or pretend to look at something else.) They did have some sweet glow lights. But when Ms. Oompa stated to sing the song "Loompa Land," it was a cue for her to take off with her guy, who was dressed in matching brown shirt and blue jeans (not kidding).

Anyway, at some point during this time, the conversation turned to the music of Miley Cyrus (Kjell, I know you love this part.) Of course I felt the need to jukebox terrorize this college crowd with a little music not by Modest Mouse, A-Kon, or Kings of Leon; thus I promptly followed up some Phil with a song by Miley. Halfway through "See You Again" they stopped the music, got on the PA, and asked who played the Miley song. I kept my hand down, not wanting to be assaulted, but someone near me rose their hand, arrived at the PA system, and was rewarded with shots of Bacardi Limon.

But during this sweet song interlude, as I had guessed might happen, two lovebirds decided they needed to dance to Miley Cyrus. I don't know if they realize Miley Cyrus is only seventeen, and thus couldn't be talking about anything of a semisexual nature in her songs, but here is how they decided to dance:

It was pretty amazing, especially when she did a slow-dance pop-lock and drop it to a Miley Cyrus song.

About this time, the college students near us started to get a bit intoxicated and unruly. At one point, a dancing male asked my date if she knew where she was. Sensing she didn't, he threw out one of the sweeter pickup lines I've ever heard: "You're at the dirtiest bar in Denver." As she pointed out later after falling for this DU Don Juan, "It's true, the air ducts are horribly unclean."

Well alright, after she had her way with me in the final game of air hockey, I managed to grab some water at the bar. During this time, I was informed that there was a guy air-humping another guy while they played air hockey; a sight not to miss. I actually managed to get a picture of the air-humper in the frame with this fortune cookie message I had received two days earlier from an Indian resturant: "A chance meeting with a stranger will possibly change your life." POSSIBLY? Definitely, broski, my life is changed. It's not the same.

So anyway, all good things must come to an end. No, that doesn't mean that Soulja Boy is retiring. It means that the bar closed at closing time. But there was more fun to be had. People outside selling burritos for $1.50. Fights in the street (we were in close proximity to BASH, a downtown urban club; if ya don't know now ya know), police, cabs, drunks. I bought my first "loosie," or single cigarette (which I'm not even going to smoke). As Dave Chappelle stated, it was indeed bought at the store, "from an Arab."

PS-- I also tonight found out that a person I know did it with Redman in the back of his tour bus, along with dozens of other girls one crazy night.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Roughin' It

So I returned yesterday to my humble abode in Centennial to find that the water had been shut off for the "winter" (even though fall just started). With temps hovering in the mid-twenties and snow blowing all over, there was a real danger that the pipes would freeze and burst. So I showed up late at night here to find an indoor ambient temperature of forty degrees, a pile of wood, and no running water.

So I've had to make some drastic changes in my routine, and quickly. I reuse alot of silverware and dishes. I don't shower much. I try to use the bathroom whenever I'm in town or over at somebody's house. I eat straight out of the pan to reduce plate usage. I spend alot of time with my feet on top of the wood stove so I can move my toes. And I listen to alot of Mannheim Steamroller Christmas hoping that Santa will come and deliver me with running water.

Seriously, though, have you ever been in a home where it got below sixty degrees, ever? Most people have not. It's absurd. Congealed olive oil is NOT SEXY. It curdles, but it still tastes amazing, and it's actually a boon in disguise because it doesn't drip as much. Pork and beans CAN FREEZE and I have a dream that one day I will drive away an intruder (OK, I'm really just hoping for some company) by throwing a frozen block of beans at him. In a couple months, true irony will set in: my fridge could actually be WARMING items to keep them from freezing in the air of the cold empty cabin. It's modern technology, turned on its head.

Needless to say, I dont venture outside very much. I have on a Snuggie about 70% of the time. I usually take it off when I leave the house though. I am actually pondering getting a TV, something that this cabin has never had. Although I'm not sure if I could get any channels; most of the radio stations are pretty staticky (and Dad took the satellite radio).

And this is just day 2.

Monday, September 28, 2009

5 Funniest Videos on YouTube

Many sites have claimed to find the funniest videos on YouTube. I actually have. In no particular order, they are:

-David After Dentist. A reality video of a five year old after anesthesia for the first time... it's like what would happen if you got your little brother high and he was really funny anyway.

-Never Let a Crackhead Sing at Your Funeral. A video about truth, wisdom, and beauty, and a powerful argument for either A) staying off drugs or B) learning the words to a simple hymn.

-Marijuana Overdose 911 Call. This is an absolutely real 911 call from the wife of a police officer who had stolen evidence and utilized that evidence to the best of his ability. Best line: "We're dying. Time is going by really really really slow. I think we're dead."

-My New Haircut. Irresistible to fans of the Jager Bomb, this clip has probably spawned as many parodies as any other videos on YouTube... it's also shockingly revealing and self-deprecating for a bunch of NJ guidos.

-Mobile Alabama Leprechaun. The amazing part about this news clip of some true believers in Mobile, Alabama is that IT'S ACTUALLY A REAL NEWS SEGMENT. Buy the T-shirt!

Honorable Mentions:
Charlie Bit My Finger... Mostly funny because they're British.
Hahaha... I usually shun videos of babies but this one is awesome, and imported from Sweden!
Star Wars Kid... Talk about scarred for life.
Evolution of Dance... Not especially funny, but pretty cool.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Part 1: JK learns to gut a fish. Part 2: A donkey and matching motorcycle jackets

Part 1: As said above I continued my outdoor education yesterday by learning to gut a fish. As stated previously, I have been fishing quite a bit lately, mostly with my dad. Fishing is cool, but seeing that I don't really like to eat fish, I just catch them and release them, and then try to catch the same fish again. But yesterday, we had a visitor who does like to eat trout, and he agreed to let me "clean" them (which is code for robbing them of their intestines and, if applicable, eggs).

You start by smacking them in the face, really hard. This shocks and immobilizes them and makes you feel like a real fish-beating man, and I accordingly wore what's properly known as an "A" shirt, informally known as a wife beater. I asked my dad and visitor why you don't just stab them straight through the eyes to shock and immobilize them, and they conceded that method would work as well.

So after you beat the fish a bit, you gut it. This consists of slitting the fish belly from anus to just proximal to the lower jaw. It's pretty easy with a quality knife. Then you slit it laterally through the gills, proceeding upward to free the lower jaw, which you use as a "pull-tab" of sorts to rip the intestines (and, if applicable, eggs) out. You then dispose of the innards on land (oddly, other fish won't munch them if you throw them back). You squeeze all the blood out of a large central vessel, wash the fish in the water, and you're ready to go! Decapitation is optional but it's much cooler to cook the fish with its head on.

So that's what I learned yesterday! I also managed to get another wicked sunburn, further increasing the number of burn and tan rings around my neck to four fully visible. A bee stung me on the neck, and then proceeded to sting me three more times on my back after diving into my shirt. Await the sequels of this segment, which will likely be: 1, JK cleans a blue grouse and 2, JK guts a deer (which I will eat later, no trophy hunting for me thank you.)

Part II: So things moved on toward evening. I pan-fried some blue grouse (like a wild chicken) that I traded for last week, making the barter economy very favorable to me. Then I proceeded to the Friendly Store/Century Bar and Grill, which thankfully does not discriminate against patrons like they do prospective employees. I arrived to find a cache of regulars partially watching Miami (henceforward referred to as "The U") crush higher-ranked Georgia Tech. I would denigrate the entire "U" much more thoroughly right now, but I do fear being hunted down and shot by any member of their football team.

When I got to the bar, I ordered my usual Jim Beam and diet and proceeded to talk to the couple on my right. I described the new bartendress to him and, now that I have seen her again, I upgraded her to a 7.5 (great eyes!). At that point, the guy on my right turned to me and said, "Hey, watch out, you're talking about my future girlfriend." I laughed and took a sweet picture of his mullet, which I am unfortunately unable to upload from my telephone. At that point, someone asked him if he was the "guy with the donkey."

This newcomer in town had been spotted on the road over the last couple days, walking barefoot with a dog and a donkey. When asked why he had a donkey, he stated (quite correctly) that no one would pay attention around here to a barefoot guy with a dog, which is a far more common occurrence than you would think. So we asked him why he wanted to draw attention to himself, and he stated that he was trying to get Bill Gates' attention (?) to help fund and promote a revelation in education called "adaptive learning."

In short, adaptive learning consists of an interconnected web of electronic devices (computers, cell pieces, etc) that network around you, recognize you, and provide you with relevant learning experiences as you use these pieces of technology. It sounds to me like a Montessouri type school system, but ever present and transmitted via technology rather than fellow students. Anyway, the system itself doesn't sound so unreasonable, but I did take a chance to look at his website, which I would encourage you visit: It's quite entertaining, and could conceivably serve as a cautionary tale for what happens when you take too much acid in your younger years and later find Christianity wrapped up in all types of self-help info.

So I listened to this guy out of the corner of my ear, and we accused the best-known old codger in town of various criminal offenses to explain why he had just got out of jail (felony animal cruelty? Exposing yourself to minors?). Some lady came up behind me and rubbed my shoulders. Another woman asked me if I was indeed doing a crossword puzzle (as if it was a question she needed to ask) and told me that she had a "thing" for crossword puzzles. I, for once, was really at a loss for how to respond to this statement.

It was one thing if she would have said she had a thing for guys (or gals) who did crossword puzzles. I would have told her I was a leper or something to drive her away. But she actually said, and I quote, "I have a thing for crossword puzzles" and stared longingly at the paper. I don't even know what this means; does she like to do crossword puzzles, or "do" crossword puzzles? Confused I was. So I said nothing and kept "doing" the crossword puzzle. I disposed of the paper before leaving so no one else would be put in that awkward a situation, ever again.

When it was indeed time to leave, the couple on my right stated that they had arrived on a motorcycle (sweet). Then he proceeded to pull two matching helmets and matching Triumph motorcycle jackets out of a closet. They were both black and white, and as they walked out the door, a black and white dog kept barking at them. It was pretty awesome, and reading this over again, it was something you had to see to fully appreciate.
I proceeded home, thinking that everyone would be tucked in for the night as they usually are. However, there was a man sitting in a chair in the corner in faint light, drinking a Busch heavy. All he said was "Home already? Not the way to close down the bar." I said nothing. I sat and did a Sudoku and another crossword and went to bed in silence.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I admit defeat. Touche, bartendress.

You may have noticed that I haven't blogged about work in a few weeks, which is odd because it's pretty fertile ground for blog fodder. Well that's because I haven't been working. My place of employment closed Monday-Thursday for the winter season; evidently $50 in receipts at the bar every night just wasn't cutting it. So I had applied at another bar in town (the only bar in town open all night all winter) for employment, thinking it a sure thing. So here's the story that left me unemployed and eating canned pig's feet for my one meal a day.

Thinking that I was a shoo-in for the job, I initially applied through word-of-mouth when I learned that the former Tuesday-Wednesday bartender decided to return to school at Wyoming to study something nebulous called "Geographic Information Systems." I later learned that, far from being nebulous, this major only includes GPS and related topics, making it very useful indeed. But anyway, my application proceeded through the appropriate channels but stalled in the hiring committee due to concerns over the now-infamous "Mohammed Incident" or "rock incident" which is detailed in prior blogs. Evidently the rock lady is good friends with several members of the hiring committee and she still had (and has) it in for me; in fact, I've heard it's what keeps her awake at night (ed: scary).

So I filled out a formal "Application for Employment" detailing my sterling high school academic record, astounding standardized test scores, Harvard degree (with honors), and subsequent short-lived career as an internist. I also used my extensive bartending experience (almost ten full days of work) as a reference. I sensed success when only a couple other people applied for the position. But hear from them soon I did not. I overheard a discussion of the hiring committee later, which clued me into their discriminatory practices: "We need a girl to take over. She's pretty too."

To me this amounts to overtly discriminatory employmentary practices. It also subtly implied that I'm not pretty, which added insult to financial injury. I felt like I had a case for the Supreme Court of Wyoming, or perhaps the World. It hasn't happened yet, but my initial conversation with an employment lawyer will likely go something like this:

RetiredJK: "Hello, I've been denied employment because I'm a male."
Lawyer: "I'm sorry to hear that viciously discriminated against you have been (it took me quite awhile to figure out how to not end that sentence in a preposition). What happened? Billing hours start right now by the way."
RJK: "I was passed over for a job at a bar for a pretty girl."
Lawyer: "Clearly that's an exception to anti-discrimination laws. How many sea donkeys do you see getting hired at bars?"
RJK: "....But E stands for equality, and E. pluribus unum, and all that for which our forefathers worked to make this country great. Abe Lincoln (who's kind of a JK look-alike when he grows a mustache along with his beard) would want me to have this opportunity."

Lawyer: "E also stands for employed, which you are not, thank you for the call. Abe Lincoln was a staunch supporter of hot women working in bars also. That will be $49.50."

So finally, at the bar yesterday, a stranger entered; female she was, indeed. Pretty, also. I won't give an exact number but she ranks as an integer somewhere between six and eight. This made me feel much better, the idea that I could be jobless but still served drinks by a good-looking person. I can compromise on that. So my current plans are to wait out the winter here, snowboarding, tutoring for ACT's for cash, applying for psych residency, and plotting my revenge against the crazy rock lady.

If you find yourself in the Denver area, I'm only a couple hours from there. You should come visit, providing you are one of mis amigos and not some random tranny scanning blogs for invitations to meet in rural locations. Also, I'll keep all updated to travel plans via this blog. First trip: Oct 20-23, San Francisco 23-25 Vegas??? That's what I'm thinkin. Gotta visit the old stomping grounds in SF (mostly McTeague's Saloon) and Vegas for a couple bday parties.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

RetiredJK, Cowboy for a day

Dear readers, it's been a while; I've been in Centennial long enough that new material is getting sparse. But this weekend, I had the opportunity to join some neighbors on a cattle drive. Now, usually a cattle drive involves herding cattle from, say, Texas to Montana. This was a mini-drive, going from one pasture, across the rural highway, to another pasture. But for me any cattle drive is a big deal. Still lacking in a cowboy hat and boots, and chaps, and many other things necessary to herd cattle, I substituted my Harvard rugby T-shirt, cheap sunglasses, and Seven for All Mankind black jeans. I heard plenty of "City Slicker" epithets, but I'm sure they were all in good humor! I didn't bother to tell them that I am military suburban by birthright, urban by obligation, and a born-again normadic country boy by choice.

We started the day fixing a fence through which the neighbors' cattle were entering the hay fields. This is evidently poor form by the neighbors for not tending to their cattle. It's also quite a drain on the hay supply, which I had always thought was infinite. So we rode out to the hay pasture. I know that you're wondering where I learned to ride a horse, but they took pity on me and let me ride an ATV for the day. They're really no comparison to horses as far as mobility, and I still think shooting someone from a horse would be much cooler than shooting them from an ATV. Heck, lancing or slashing someone from a horse would be even cooler and probably contribute to some medieval cachet.

Amazingly, Kid Rock doesn't just blare from every ATV when it leaves the factory; you actually have to have a CD. So we rode our ATV's out to the affected section of fence, and the cows were so scared of me they actually left the hay and ran back through the fence. We used an incredibly low-tech but highly effective (which, by the way, is also how I would describe the intrauterine device as a method of contraception or the skyhook as a way to score baskets) tool to repair the fence; it grabbed the two broken ends, racheted them together, and allowed enough slack to twist the broken ends of wire together. And by "we used" I mean "I rode around in circles on the ATV chasing rabbits". Helluva ranch hand I am.

After fence-mending, we got to the exciting part: herding cattle. Unfortunately, it doesn't require any roping, calf-tying, or bull riding. I was really hoping to jump off my ATV and tackle a calf but that would have been totally out of line. Anyway, there's a reason you "herd" cattle-- they love being in a herd. In fact, it's alot harder to remove one cow from the herd than it is to move an entire herd of cattle. There's also a reason that the dogs they use are called "herding" dogs; they love harassing cows more than that bestiality site on the Internet... or so I "heard". So in short, we were pretty much along for the ride, as the lead cows and the dogs do all the work. I attempted to high-center or flip my ATV (disability, here I come!) going as fast as possible but they ACTIVELY RESIST flipping and high-centering likely due to some feat of engineering or perhaps an act of Jesus (thanks for saving me, big man! Pay off my credit cards now.)

I actually found a sweet picture of Sarah Palin (I still think she's gorgeous) riding an ATV with a child, and there would be nothing better than a picture of her shooting wolves from an ATV, but alas my uploading ability is curtailed.

So we herded the cows, bulls and calves all into the pens for sorting, which is easy because they don't even resist entering a closed space. Then, we culled out the bulls to put them in their own pasture. This was probably the scariest part because bulls have horns. And they still weight 3/4 ton or more. Their lack of sensitivity for my safety was shocking and I had to pull a move straight out of a rodeo and hop a fence to avoid an oncoming bull several times. But pretty much, you let the bull out of the pen with minimal others, then try to isolate the bull and get it into the chute. One bull got an injection of antibiotics (good old DURA-PEN, penicillin for hoof rot) which involved immobilizing the bull from the neck up in the chute and injecting him IM on both sides. He enjoyed it slightly more than a child might.

Next, we got to weigh the calves. They're pretty damn cute, but they will bite your finger off. They also weigh 300 pounds apiece and can kick you like a ninja. This part consisted of us letting a bunch of calves out of each pen and then trying to block their moms from following them; the calves get pretty lonely when seperated from their mothers. But weighing the calves is fun, I actually learned what a cattle prod was, and that is no metaphor! It actually is a cattle prod that you use to shock the calves on the buttocks. I didn't try it even though I usually try to shock myself with anything available (e.g. electric fly swatters, dog collars). But you pretty much push one into the chute, close the second gate (at the end of the scale), and when the calf steps on the scale you close the gate behind it.

This part added some excitement. We got to castrate a male, which is not nearly quite as exciting as it sounds. You actually just tie a couple bands around its scrotom and it withers up and dies (what a sad idea, I would not go quietly if someone tried this on me). Imagine if all the cows figured this out and rebelled, and pulled each others bands off. You would have half a herd of bulls! It's like something from Animal Farm that's not a metaphor for communism. So anyway, one of the calves had not been castrated during their drive earlier this fall. Since I had gloves (the only necessary equipment I actually managed to bring), I got to rope the calf around the neck and hold it back while they wrestled it down. Main job hazard: rope burns, kick injuries, jealousy that I couldn't wrestle the calf. So I slipped the rope (aka lasso) around its neck in the chute, they opened the chute and wrestled the calf to the ground, and, lo and behold, no balls. For some reason it was marked as uncastrated but it indeed what. So I slapped it in the nose for good measure.

Then we let all the calfs and their mothers reunite, and led them out to pasture. This was, as usual, very unremarkable because the cows lead themselves out to pasture. For me it was another excuse to ride the ATV recklessly. After we let the cows out, we took the back way home, did some sweet jumps, and had lunch. What do cowboys eat for lunch. Evidently they eat Subway because that's what we had. And plenty of full-flavor American lagers, although as we discussed that day there's really only one that remains American in mass production, and that's PBR. PBR ME ASAP, brosef.

Also, contact me via text message for an interesting three-way trade I made the other day involving a freshly killed blue grouse (it's like a chicken.)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Fan Mail, Part 1

First of all, I got the sweetest fortune ever in my fortune cookie: "Soothing your body are the name of the game today." This would be more apropos for Siamese twins, but I still thought it quite humorous.

Anyway, down to business: I got my first fan mail the other day from someone I don't even know. They will remain unnamed as some might find their letter a bit, well, downright funny. I don't because it uncovers the lies behind the truth. All I will tell you is that it's from a fan in Missouri. Here's their letter, verbatim; it came to me handwritten. Every sentence needs a (sic) after it but I thought that would take away from the wonderful flow that the letter has. My response follows.


Thought you might like this info on 2 books.

"INTO THE LIGHT" BY WM. CAMPBELL DOUGLAS II; a 4th generation Dr. and his son is a 5th generation doctor-- see enclosed order form. We developed "ultra violet light" in the US in the 20's as a medical treatment. 7,000 cases have been treated-- no side effects. IN AERICA ONE HAD AIDS SO BAD HE COULDNT GO TO WORK-- 20 TREATMENTS LATER HE WENT TO WORK!!

IN THE USA ONE WAS GIVEN 70 TREATMENTS and he is free of aids.

Usually one treatment is enough. IT TURNS YOUR BODY ON SO IT HEALS ITSELF.

Used widely in Russia-- no money for pills.



Think you will enjoy this immensley!

Sincerely yours,



Dear fan,

I am glad to hear that you are enjoying the blog. I think it's really funny and you should too. I appreciate your interest in holistic medicine; this Dr. Douglass sounds like a real treat! I am not sure how they bypassed his literature in medical school. It is probably because I went to a state-funded medical school and they don't want "insubordinate" medical topics taught, but that's because our medical schools are funded by the CIA and big pharma. If it's good enough for Russia, it must be good enough for me!

I do have one question, how can he be a fourth generation doctor when his name says he is "William Campbell Douglass II"? Isn't that an oxymoron? And one other question, if UV light usually only requires one treatment, why did one guy require seventy just to get rid of the AIDS? There are medicine men in Africa that can cure it just with some herbs and stuff.

But seriously, this guy seems to be on to something. I have always thought that AIDS was developed by the American government or some other shadowy organization. His book "AIDS and Biological Warfare: What They Are Not Telling You!" could have saved millions if they had just shipped the book to Africa in the mid-80's and told everyone to read it while they were bottle-feeding their starving children. I mean, that is, if HIV does in fact even cause AIDS! Haha!

There are a couple other books of his I find interesting. "Eat Your Cholesterol! How to Live off the Fat of the Land and Feel Great" is really relieving for me, since I am currently eating three slices of bacon, four ounces of chorizo sausage, two eggs friend in chorizo and bacon grease, and two grease-fried tortillas with eight slices of cheddar on top. I am going to lick the grease off the plate to celebrate the health benefits of this tasty and healthful meal!

But my personal favorite book on his reading list is: "The Smoker's Paradox: Health Benefits of Tobacco." YES. Finally I can start smoking those wonderful cigarettes and not worry about rare but troublesome issues like small cell lung cancer and emphysema. Is chewing tobacco as good for you as smoking cigarettes? Cause I could do both if Dr. Douglass thinks it would have health benefits. I have always thought that the so-called "smoker's cough" was actually a GOOD thing, because when babies are born and they cough that is a good sign; why would it be any different in middle-aged or elderly people? And I had always thought that a slight reduction in pancreatic cancer was about the ONLY benefit of smoking, how silly! You can get all the benefits of smoking for only $200 a month, and we prescribe prescription pills that can poison you and cost the same! I am just going to write scripts for cigarettes from now on. The government has clearly been demonizing tobacco just to divert money to big pharma and make money from their conspiracy-driven lawsuits against the tobacco companies.

Anyway faithful blog reader, fight on. I am ready to have my mind BLOWN by "Into the Light" and other hidden classics by Dr. Douglass. I can't find that much information on the web about him though, and alot of it is filed under the topics "quack". What does this mean? It must be a title of respect like "chief" or "hallowed physician/genius". I can't wait to read his rebuttal of global warming theories as well!

In solidarity,
Comrade RetiredJK

PS-- Can I borrow your UV light? Cure for AIDS.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Phil and me

Usually one's interest in a particular song or artist wanes as times goes on. Maybe it's due to changing personal musical tastes, shifts in the genre, or the effects of aging. For me, the Beatles really fall into this category, as does the band Poison. But some things get better with age. For me, some of these things were steak, wine, and tomatoes. And musically, Phil Collins is better than steak, wine, and tomatoes all put together.

What is it about "Another Day in Paradise" that just makes me crazy? Or when Phil jumps in on the drums toward the end of "In the Air Tonight"? And who could ever forget "Sussudio" after hearing it just once?

I will tell you a secret too, Joe Rogan. In my dreams, whenever I die it is in a hail of bullets with the song "I Wish It Would Rain Down" playing as loud as possible. And, oh yes, it is raining hard. Hundred dollar bills are flying around in a penguin tornado also.

In searching for a picture of Phil Collins to put on this very blog, I also discovered that Phil Collins was recently ranked #5 on an list of music for the terminally uncool. Visit the article by Bill Lamb, writer, at: To give you an idea of this guy's credibility, guess #10 (Bon Jovi) and #4 (Neil Diamond). Who's #1 on my list of bad writers? You, Bill Lamb.
I'll bet you didn't know that Phil has crossed over into hip-hop. According to Wikipedia's article on Phil, "The hip-hop group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony recorded a remake of the song "Take Me Home" titled "Home" on their album Thug World Order. The song features verses by the group, with the chorus sung by Collins. Though the BTNH-Collins collaboration was criticized in the United States (for example, VH1 rated it #9 on its "top 20 least hip-hop moments in history), it received so much positive reception in the UK that Bone Thugs decided to name Collins an honorary member under the moniker "Chrome Bone".

I also found a tournament underway at Entertainment Weekly for top musical guilty pleasures, and Phil Collins is seeded 11th in the East Regional. He takes on George Michael and Wham in the first round. See the tourney at While this may sell a couple magazines, I do not believe that Phil belongs on the guilty pleasures list. I mean, I never feel guilty when I listen to Phil. I only feel pleasure. OK I feel a little guilty when I hear that song from the Tarzan soundtrack.
What brought the idea of this blog on me was a Chinese buffet at which I ate on Tuesday. They were playing those cheesy piano and wind instrumental versions of American pop songs. Right after "Auld Lang Syne" they played a completely butchered version of "In the Air Tonight." They also had those very gossamer Chinese restaurant pictures, usually featuring a dolphin, waterfall, full moon and clouds. They served "Macaroni and Cheese" at the buffet which was actually pasta alfredo. Their wasabi was reconstituted from powder. And for reasons I still don't comprehend, the lady at the register had to put the credit card in a plastic bag before she swiped it. It was sooooooooooo authentic.
I'm going to go listen to Enya.

Monday, August 24, 2009

JK get sexually assaulted.

Alrrrrright friends, usually this blog is more lighthearted and whimsical, but today's entry is anything but family-friendly. Earmuffs for children or leaving the room would be desirable. Because we're here today to talk about sexual assault, a crime of which I recently became a victim.

I was sitting on a bar stool at William' Tavern in uptown Denver. The place is kind of a dive, I would post a picture but I can't figure out how to download pictures on a Macintosh. There is no right mouse button and it infuriates me!!! I was sitting on the left end of the bar with a very attractive woman sitting to my right. To her right was a fairly suspicious looking, goateed and lonely guy with a beer and a shot in front of him. Here's a security camera video of the lineup (this is actual footage from Williams Tavern):

I was talking to the attractive girl when a woman on my left interrupted us and commented that we were a very cute couple. I flatly denied this accusation and asked for a more manly title on our relationship. She laughed and asked if she could buy us drinks. At that point my resistance faded and I realized that being a cute couple could be really lucrative. I turned to the other half of the couple:

RetiredJK: "I didn't really think we were that cute."
Woman: "We're not."
RJK: "We should try to be cute more often."

And the night wore on. I played my favorite combo on the jukebox, a combo of Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight" and Lady Gaga's "Poker Face." There was quite a bit of dancing.

Anyway, we ended up sitting at the same seats at the bar, and the same guy I mentioned earlier was still seated next to her. At one point he interjected something into our conversation but nothing memorable, and my knowledge of him is currently limited to that comment (which I have since forgotten).

When it came time to leave the bar, everyone in our clique was saying goodbyes, hugging, and eating Cheetos. The aforementioned guy at the bar got up and approached me. I like to seem approachable so I didn't think much of it. But all of a sudden the guy said, "It was great getting to know you." I was so taken aback by the comment (since, of course, I hadn't really met him) that I didn't notice his left arm wrapping around me and landing somewhere in the region of my ass. At first, I thought he was going for my wallet, which would have been disastrous since I had all my $1's and$5's for the club later in there. I still didn't really understand what was going on for a few seconds, when I said something like: "Why's your hand still there?"

And then he smiled kind of like Samwell does in the "What What" video and I realized that I was in the process of being assaulted, sexually. I demanded $20 for the cheap feel and my emotional trauma but he just offered to buy me a drink. I really, really wish we could have gotten a picture of the offender and turned this guy in, because I'm pretty sure he is a serial toucher of guys at bars. They need a mascot for anti-grabbing laws at bars, like Smokey the Bear reps for forest fire prevention. I am the poster boy for fighting against unwanted male-on-male grabbing especially if there is no cash transfer involved.

The motto is "No Molestation without Compensation."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Retrospective 1: Vanilla Ice at the Ice House?

With this blog, I will introduce a new feature to my blog repertoire (or bloggystyle, if you will): the retrospective. Frequently used in movies and poems, retrospectives offer a look back at times gone by, when a computer was either not close at hand or not invented yet. This particular blog takes a look back at a warm night in the summer of '06. It was, indeed, the summer of 2006. Vanilla Ice had not been cool for about fifteen years. Yet long after his rap classic Ice Ice Baby set the world on fire, Vanilla was still making headlines, usually with his bizarre behavior (e.g. holding up a fake jewelery stand or changing to reggae and hard rock). I was sitting at a hockey game in downtown Omaha, watching the now-defunct Omaha Knights with about 140 other fans. I got a text: "Vanilla Ice Omaha tonight." I texted back: "Bull&*(# you &*()#*&()'ng liar." Typical text jargon. I told my guest who also didn't believe it was true.

But we figured it was worth investigating. I called an independent third party, who looked it up on the World Wide Web (praise be to Al Gore as always for inventing this wonderful tool) and confirmed that, indeed, Vanilla Ice would be playing the Big O that very night. The venue? It's almost too good to be true. He was alledgedly playing a sports bar called The Ice House. It was like a made for TV movie at this point.

But this would be no bed of roses, no pleasure cruise. Vanilla didn't command the attention he once did. The ravages of age, jail time, and tattoos resulted in a quite different Ice than the one we remembered. And it almost seems like hair holds have traveled back in time, as he can't seem to keep it up like he used to. I'm talking about his hair, sickos.

I don't know what that means. If it's a metaphor, it's lost on me. The only thing I can think of is that he can rearrange his fingers into an anagram that spells "We won dip" (the extra W comes from the thumbs put together), "Indee Wop", or simply use his left hand and say "peon" (the irony is amazing). I also am pretty sure he borrowed that suit-tie-hemp bracelet combo.

So we traveled to the Ice House, hoping that tickets would be plentiful. At $20 apiece, I could have fed myself at McDonald's for days. But Ice promised more nutrition, lyrically, than all the double cheeseburgers (now McDoubles) in the world could provide. The only exception is when they play those "I'm Lovin' It" commercials because some of those actually have better lyrics than his new stuff.

The show started in the parking lot of a sports bar, which was bad sign number one: they wouldn't even let the performer and his fans into the bar. Jagermeister sponsored his tour and it took place on the back of a semi trailer. Lighting? Forgot about that. Backups dancers? Must have had the night off. Dozens of random black dudes standing on the trailer and doing nothing during the concert? CHECK. They seemed to function as some type of security/legitimacy-lending firm, and I don't know if you had to sign up ahead of time or if you could just jump on the trailer.

Also watching were about a hundred eager fans, more prescient than I, who realized that a) the concert would not be worth $20 b) they could stand across the street and watch the concert just as well as paying guests and c) they could drink for free if they used opaque cups. Damn them! The only price they had to pay was when Vanilla chided them for being cheap, although I don't think his exhortation to buy tickets really had any effect except to get fans to ask for their money back.

The concert started as we hoped it would: Ice Ice Baby. In fact, the song was played three times in whole or part. We also got a sample of Ninja Rap from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II soundtrack, one of his lesser-known classics. But he also slogged through some of his newer, heavy-metal stuff, which frustrated people who really just wanted him to play Ice Ice Baby for an hour. One drunken female fan even heaved her drink at him, cup and all. That's how close we were able to get to the legend. It was so empty you could hear every catcall.

One of the things I remember most about the concert was the waste of bottled water. Despite it not being particularly hot outside, he felt the need to shower the crowd with water every couple minutes, between most songs, during the instrumental breaks, and whenever he got booed. I think he went through about twenty bottles during the show.

Toward the end, he handed the mic off to his "homeboy", local rapper Shorty Spice. I'm pretty sure they had never met before, but Vanilla took this opportunity to invite all the "b*itches" in the crowd onstage. They had to pass the seven test, which means that they had to be about a seven a scale of one to ten to get onstage. The aforementioned black dudes seemed to be responsible for selecting them and funneling the hotter ones toward the star and I think they got to keep his cast-offs. Alot of phone numbers were exchanged, probably some kisses, and certainly some drunken vulgarities.

But now we get to the climax of the night. Remembering that he was indeed sponsored by a certain drink company, he had to do something to promote Jager. What better than to give out free alcohol and shout the name it? Now, I've been to plenty of places where alcohol is given away as a promotion, but not quite in this format. He actually started POURING JAGER DIRECTLY INTO FANS' MOUFS. Clearly I had to get in on this, and I used my size to push past several lesser fans so that I could experience this once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon.

I yelled his name (not Rupert Van Winkle, but his stage name). He looked at me. The look seemed to last forever. That dirty haircut. Those wild, coked-out-of-his-skull, I-couldn't-care-less-if-I-never-visited-whatever-this-city-is-again eyes. It seemed to last a lifetime. I shouted again, although I don't know what.

(Key dream sequence)

And then it happened. The Jager bottle moved toward me as if an invisible hand were in control, except the invisible hand became visible and was attached to Vanilla Ice's wrist. The Jager poured like a caramel-colored waterfall toward my shirt. Care not I did. I got some in my mouth finally. But really, I should have just let it rain down like notes from a mandolin on my shirt, my shorts, my socks, and my shoes. I could have sold them on EBay for a fortune, but my fortune was in my mouth, my friends, and I hold on to the thought that, like Caesar's last breath, a few molecules of that icy Jagermeister remain somewhere in my body.

On a final, unrelated note, I also am at the library, and I love that when people approach a strange dog and talk to it in a baby voice, they ask questions to the owner by addressing the dog: "What's your name? What kind of dog are you?" I have yet to see a dog respond to these questions truthfully. It's like the owner is interpreting what the dog might say, if it could think.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Run-in with John Q. Law

Shalom, chosen ones. So I was sitting in the cabin Saturday morning, enjoying my caramel coffee and a meager bowl of cereal when I heard a knock at the front door. It looked to be an officer of the peace, or at least an overweight birthday stripper very convincingly costumed. I put all the illegal stuff away and answered the door.

RetiredJK: "What can I do for you, officer? Donut, perhaps?" (Snickering)
Officer Harris: "Hello, I'm officer Harris. I'm looking for the mad blogger known as RetiredJK."
RJK: "You have found him."
OH: "I'm responding to a complaint from a neighbor that you may have trespassed on her property. Do you know a redacted------ down the road? Did you remove some rocks from the road in front of her yard?"
RJK: "I did indeed, they were a hazard to everyone."
OH: "Well, yes, this lady is a bit-- off-- and I spoke with the Homeowner's Association President and he says you were indeed righteous to do this." (I had never thought of myself as righteous before, so now I can add another positive attribute to my already inflated self-image.)
OH: "But she did accuse you of trespassing on her land, and said you were quite threatening when you removed the rocks from the road. She also said that you introduced yourself as Mohammed Abdul."
RJK: "That is true, but never was I threatening. I think this woman is simply accusing me of threats because she is a racist."
OH: "I'm going to warn you for trespassing, just to get this over with, I'm not even going to write it up. Can I have your full name and birthdate?"
RJK: "I wasn't trespassing on her property, though."
OH: "OK, I'll just let her know that I spoke with you. She's a bit mad." (I assume he meant "mad" in a mad hatter sort of way.)

I'm hoping to get an official copy of the incident report, I will post this online if I am able to. I couldn't get a picture with the sheriff, though, to celebrate this proud moment of homeowner civil disobedience.

On I ventured to Denver for the weekend, meeting a couple friends from high school for dinner and drinks. One of my friends' friends showed up, and they were named "Parker" and "Collins," tying them for whitest-named people along with "Dax," "Logan," and "Colby"....

I took a cab to Flamingo Court in Denver to meet with my other friends, and there we engaged in several "round"-style songs: first, "What What" by Samwell, best known for Butters' rendition of the song on South Park: "I said what what, in the butt... you wanna do me in the butt? OK." I can't remember what the second song was, but needless to say, our round-singing skills are a bit rough since we finished third grade almost twenty years ago.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The last few days

Hello all! It's been a couple days since I last blogged. Trying to get outdoors and do some hiking, biking, and... I can't think of anything else to rhyme with that except diking, which is not really a word and may be offensive to some. Anyway, work has kept me busy the last two days. Monday, I had such a treat. Many of you probably know that Sturgis recently occured, if for no other reason than news of Stephen Tyler's unfortunate injury. So I was working at the bar, serving a round of beers to the parents and their friends (this was the third time in my life I have seen my dad drink anything other than pink wine), when a group of big, burly Harley riders entered the bar. Sensing trouble, my mom did what she usually does in this situation: strike up an awkward conversation.

By communicating with them, we learned that they were in the bar neither to rob me, nor to beat each other with pool cues as might be suspected. In fact, they were from Finland (!) for Sturgis, continuing their vacation with a ride through southeast Wyoming on to Denver. I figured they would want some shots, or at least a decent beer; instead, all but one of them ordered either coffee or Budweiser bottles. The other's order was a Bud Light, and he was clearly the rebel of the group. One ordered cheesecake. I informed them that Abba was the closest thing to Finnish music we had on the jukebox (I don't think they found the humor in it) and that Sigur Ros and Ace of Base weren't available. They told me that, like most Harley riders, they would prefer Sabbath or Slayer. We settled on Led Zeppelin after I offered to play some Prince (When Doves Cry) on the jukebox.

I learned several things from them. One is that Finns are not good tippers, and in fact studies show that no one tips quite as well as Americans. I also learned that Nokia comprises only 7% of Finland's GDP when I had estimated 15%. Of course, all of them had Nokia phones.

The next day was yesterday. I had the idea to climb a small mountain (more like a rocky hill) near our home in the Snowy Range. On our way up to the trail, we passed an area known for moose. There were four cars pulled over at a stop, so we figured there must be a moose that they were photographing. Much to our surprise, there were not one or two meese, but FIVE. Five male moose, eating and traveling together sounded strange to me; most males of any large mammal species travel alone or in heterogenous packs. But this was like a lone moose who had added several wingmen. My mom theorized that perhaps they were a pack of gay meese. Have you ever heard something so absurd?! I managed to snap some pictures of the moose grazing on grass and wading into the shallow lake. I can't wait to publish them, more later.

Yesterday at work passed uneventfully, but afterwards I had some humorous moments. First of all, I saw a commercial for Monster Ballads, which includes Warrant's Heaven Isn't Too Far Away, Extreme's More Than Words, and of course, Whitesnake's classic ballad Here I Go Again. I immediately felt the urge to buy it. Figuring that I could buy it later, I shelved the idea, but saved the number in my phone as first name: Ballads, last name: Monster. I also wondered under the stars (and a beautiful meteor shower) what linked an old song type mostly utilized in the time of bards with 80's hair metal. You just don't hear ballads made like they used to make them.

Another quite funny story, which reminded me of a scene in Dr. Strangelove (Or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb), occurred when I went to visit a friend at his home after work. Evidently fairly intoxicated, he told me several fish stories, and we looked for pictures of these big fish (in these parts you really learn why they're called fish stories) but only found pictures of his baby niece and nephew. While looking at these (obviously, I was thrilled to look through his family album with him) he mentioned something strange. The conversation follows, and I am certain Peter Sellers lovers will recognize it easily:

Dude (all of a sudden): "You know what I want more than anything? I want a woman who I can love. Someone who... I can pass on... I mean, I have certain features, features that I want to share with someone. But I have standards, and my essence... there are good things that I want to pass on, you know, my essence, do you understand what I mean?"

Me: "I think I understand. The essence, it's essential, and there have to be certain standards for passing on your features."
I felt much like Captain Mandrake, when it hit me that this guy was really talking about Purity of Essence. Peace on Earth. Purity of Essence. Essential. Meteor Showers. Gay moose. It all fit together finally. I went outside and wrote everything down (in anagram-code format, no less) lest I forget this moment in which I realized what was important, and what was not.