Tuesday, August 31, 2010

We Go To The Mattresses!

What's new in school fundraising?

Selling mattresses. Really.
A flyer went up at work today for a school selling mattresses to raise funds for the soccer team. And this is a deal being offered all over the country now.

This is great. No longer do the schools have to deal with wads of crumpled, nasty $1 bills from kids selling thousands of chocolate bars. No longer will there be confusing sheets of orders for overpriced tins of cookies or specialty candies. No longer will they lose vast portions of the funds raised buying cheap prizes for kids who participated.

Now one or two parents manage to sell a few mattresses and we're all set. The only thing to worry about is the risk of getting arrested when we steal the truckload of mattresses on its way to Target. then we make you an offer you can't refuse.

Tom Hagen: What did he say?
Sonny: What did he say,? "Badda-beep, badda-boop, badda-boop, badda-beep", he wants us to send Michael to sell chocolate and the promise is it’s “The World’s Finest”: so good people can't refuse. Ha.
Tom Hagen: What about Sally Foster?
Sonny: Ah, that's all over done. Candy and wrapping paper were sold by my father.
Tom Hagen: We ought to hear what they have to say, Sonny.
Sonny: No, no, no, not this time, Committee Chairperson. No more chocolates, no more wrapping paper, no more fund raising tricks. You give them a message from me. I want soccer money. And it’s not candy door-to-door. We go to the mattresses.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pick Me Up!

My company participated in an event at Children’s Hospital yesterday. There were parents and kids there for a program on sickle cell anemia. Those families brought siblings and cousins with them and these other children needed to be entertained and fed while their families were going through the program. I ended up in the activity room for pre-K children; there were maybe 30 kids and 8 volunteers.

I learned that I still have the energy needed to entertain and play with a bunch of kids that age for 3 hours. We were with them for 3 and a half hours.

Some kids were very upset about being left there without their parents. I tried to comfort one little girl who was standing against the wall, crying. Next to here was a bag of children’s’ books so I figured maybe one would draw her interest and cam her down. I pulled out the biggest picture book and opened it to a two-page picture of a giant, hairy spider. Thanks for nothing, Eric Carle.

I re-learned a lesson I had forgotten about playing with kids. When the littlest one comes to you and holds his hands up, do NOT take his hands and help him bounce and jump really high. If you do it for him, every other kid will drop everything and scurry over to form a giant swarm of wiggling bodies and waving arms, shouting, “Do that for me! I’m next! Me! My turn!” and you have to lift and bounce every child in the room, over and over until you expire. And there is quite a difference between the cute, tiny, child you started with and the largest child in the room.

The kids were incredibly sweet and a joy to be with. I would do it again anytime … after my back and arm muscles and joints recover.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Emotional Rescue - the Movie!

I took a recent blog entry and turned it into a sketch starring me and my friend, Dr. Mize

Monday, August 23, 2010

How Do You Cause a Problem By Sharia?

There were a lot of options they had:
"Take a Letter Sharia"
"Sharia (I Just Met a Law Named Sharia)"
"How Do You Cause a Problem By Sharia"

"They" are the protesters of the Islamic Cultural Center approved to be built a few blocks from where the World Trade Center stood - I'm sorry, I meant the mosque being built directly on Hallowed Ground.

They were trying to write a song to explain why they are protesting the building and holding signs saying "SHARIA!", implying that that is a word of terror, when what it means is "the body of doctrines that regulate the lives of those who profess Islam".

But I've digressed. My point is that, with all those obvious songs to choose from, they chose a forgotten song from the 70s by Leon Russell called "Masquerade".
(the song lyrics dont come in until about 1:30 into the video)
Here are the lyrics they came up with:
We are really happy with the loaded words we say
Dealing out the hate cards we play
Stirring up emotion with a modern day Crusade
We’re causing a Mosque charade

A Muslim culture center built some blocks away
We label as a mosque on hallowed ground
We say “Obama’s Muslim, or at least he leans that way”***
We’re masters at the mind games that we play

This is an election year and so we must devise
A wedge issue that will divide
We cannot win with reason, so we carry on this way
We’re causing a mosque charade

You cite “religious freedom”, abstract words that hold no sway
You’re losing to the loaded words we say

We’re causing a mosque charade
And we’re causing a mosque charade

*** This is a clip from some craftily edited sound bites they put out
"Who's the leader of the club that hates the U S A?
B-A-R A-C-K O-B-A-M-A"

"Marxist, Muslim, Mosque-a-teer
Barack Obama's not from here"

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Today's the Day the Stoner Bears Have Their Pic-a-nic

"BC police: Bears surrounded pot fields"
Police who uncovered two marijuana fields near the U.S.-Canada border had to tread carefully: 13 black bears were wandering around the crops.

The economy has reduced the number of vacationers visiting Canada, resulting in a shortage of pic-a-nic baskets. The native black bears, unable to secure legitimate employment, have turned to guarding pot fields to earn money.

Some bears have fallen to using the marijuana themselves, with the expected unfortunate results, ending in indolent, unproductive lives. The life of one such bear was documented by researchers:
Yogi Bear’s a stoner and a slackerish bear,
Yogi Bear has munchies and a vacant stare
Where you stash your snack food you will find him there
Stuffing down more goodies than the average bear.

He will sleep till noon but before it's dark,
He'll smoke every ounce of weed that is in Jellystone Park.

Yogi Bear is cooler than a polar bear
But can’t escape the rangers, ‘cause his mind is impaired.

Mom Always Told Me Not To Brag

But I probably should have posted this here earlier.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Emotional Rescue

I don’t understand how the iPod randomizes tunes when I have it set on “shuffle songs”.

I listen to my iPod in the car, and every day for two weeks straight it was playing "Emotional Rescue" by the Rolling Stones. Now, I like "Emotional Rescue", otherwise it wouldn’t be on my iPod, but it just seems to me that it can not be random that it comes up every day.

When I was young, if you wanted to know how something worked, like a clock or a tape recorder or a radio, you just took it apart and looked at it. You couldn’t ever get it back together again but you could understand how it worked. Life was simple to understand.

Now I could take my iPod or laptop or cell phone apart but I wouldn’t see how it works because everything is programming: it’s invisible instructions put into microchips.

Now, don’t think that I imagine that all our electronic devices are programmed to do evil or take over the world – no, definitely not all of them - and it’s not my imagination – but, for the most part, they are designed to keep us constantly in touch, no matter where we are, with people we didn’t even know we wanted to be in touch with. And the iPod is designed to play us songs we didn’t even realize we wanted to hear. It makes things simple and yet stressful.

I am not listening to music enough to go through 999 other songs and just come back around to Emotional Rescue in a week let alone a day. I know I could skip the song, but my iPod was choosing that song for me and I started to think that perhaps there was a message there.

So I went to a psychiatrist. He asked why I was there and I said, “My iPod suggested it. Listen, Doc, one day my iPod played this song from Todd Snider’s early career, when critics were comparing his sound to Tom Petty, and in this particular song Todd references that comparison to Tom Petty and the very next song my iPod played was Last Dance With Mary Jane by Tom Petty, followed by Red Hot Chili Peppers Dani California which is a total rip off of Tom Petty’s Last Dance song.”

The doctor responded in a controlled, reasoning voice, “Dani California was not a ripoff, it was a tribute song,” which is exactly what my Blackberry had told me he would say – but I didn’t tell the doctor that.

I said, “My point is that those three songs are a perfect set together and the odds of the iPod randomly playing those three out of 1000 is … I don’t know – it’s beyond my comprehension; which is why I’m feeling tense around technology devices. I think they are talking about me, maybe not in a bad way, but like they know something they are not telling me.

Then I told the doctor about Emotional Rescue and I told him that I had finally talked to my iPod about it.

“I was driving home from Yellow Springs and I had some time, and I said, ‘you know, iPod’ - I don’t have a name for my iPod, I don’t treat it like a human being or even a pet, I’m not crazy – but I said, ‘iPod, I guess I have been having a little trouble sleeping. And I’ve been feeling, I don’t know, like I am just not connecting with my communication devices. I mean I’m not going off the grid, but maybe you are right iPod, maybe I do need an emotional rescue. Maybe I should see someone.’”

The doctor was mumbling a song to himself, "stumblin' thru' the street, shufflin' on my feet, askin' people - doot doot doo doo - whutsamattah wit chu, boy?"

I stared. "That's 'Miss You'." "I'm talking about 'Emotional Rescue'."

The doctor looked slightly stoned, his mouth gaping half-open. Then he asked a bit too loudly, “Did the iPod answer you?”

I said “No, of course not.” and he seemed relieved. And I said, “iPod was just trying to help me see the problem it didn’t need to force the issue.”

The Doctor paused, thoughtfully. “John I’m going to have to agree that you could benefit from some counseling.”

I said, “I know! iPod knew. How does it pick up on that? How do they program it to diagnose psychological issues?”

“We can talk about it,” he replied. Why don’t you see Barbara at the front desk and set up once a week appointments.”

Well, Doc,” I said thoughtfully. “I do want to get some sessions going … but perhaps not with you.”

“Oh? Why is that?” he asked

“Well,” I said gently, “it’s just something my GPS was saying about you on the way over here. It was pointing me in a whole different direction.”

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

If Politicians Were Honest

We always see politicians in State of the Union speeches or rebuttals to same or in campaign speeches, bring up a story about some "real" person in order to garner sympathy and put a face to whatever it is they want us to believe in.

I would like to see a politician get up and say, “I traveled this country – this country full of resourceful people who work hard and don’t give up. I traveled this country, speaking to real people about my plan to improve this great country. In Norwood, Ohio, I met Bernadette Music who got shit faced and dialed 911 looking for a date – preventing one dispatcher from doing her job for nearly a half an hour. Bernadette then proudly recounted the story for a local news reporter.

In Fort Collins, Colorado, I met Richard Heene, a man who fabricated a story about his young son being aloft in a runaway balloon, occupying an enormous number of rescue workers, police and fire personnel, just so the Heene family might get a reality show on TV.

All across the country I met people willing to fight against legislation and demonize their leaders without knowing any facts about either one, willing to obstruct efforts to help people in need, out of fear and hatred. Willing to believe the lies spread by sensationalist sleeze mongers on “entertainment” programs disguised as cable “news” shows.

I traveled this country with my plans for improvement and finally I just said, “Fuck it”. These people are screwed up. They are not universally hard-working or resourceful, caring or compassionate. Definitely not intelligent or responsible.

I quit. I’m going to grab a six pack, apply to get some medical marijuana and just kick back somewhere and listen to some tunes while I wait for this place to fall down around me.