from the "Calendarianisms" Dept.


Vulture Culture

Afbeelding2I posted the International Vulture Awareness Day 2009 over at MetaFilter, but there’s one more thing I couldn’t include on the link-oriented front page.

When I was in high school some 30-odd years ago, I submitted several short verse poems in the style of Ogden Nash to a school literary competition. (One was even titled “Ogden Nash, No Doubt, Is Rolling Over in His Grave”) My at-the-time-topical piece titled “The Panda” (“Just because you’re a gift from Mao / For a bear, you’re a sacred cow”) won 2nd place in Poetry, but I liked my little poem “The Vulture” better…

It’s very common in popular culture
To vent your hate at the ugly Vulture.
Negative opinions rarely vary on
Our feathered friends who feast on carrion.
But here’s a reason to not be so mean:
The vulture helps keep the landscape clean.
So please, let’s all give a great big hand
To nature’s flying garbage man.


Days of the Week: Sunday

Slept until Noon, and 15 minutes after turning on my compy to do some under-the-hood work on the blog(s), I realized the Essential Truth About Sunday: It is NOT a good day to do anything requiring the use of the brain. Which explains why Church, Pro Football and “Desperate Housewives” are on Sunday.


Unhappy Holidays

I usually pay more attention when Days of Note get bunched together like they are now, but there are so many other things to deal with. Still, considering that today is both Abraham Lincoln’s* and Charles Darwin’s 200th Birthdays, instead of “fired” or “laid off”, today’s job actions should be described as “freeings” or “natural selections”… And tomorrow, Friday the 13th, all layoffs should be either “bad luck” or “Michael Myers attacks”. It’s a good thing Valentine’s Day is Saturday; there is no way to describe losing your job on that day besides as a “Massacre”.

*for real, not Monday Holiday version


Twas the Day AFTER Christmas

…and in lieu of any new original stuff, here are some boxes containing boxes and/or boxers I collected last year for Boxing Day (previously posted in a no-longer-accessible location). Meanwhile, don’t forget my caption contest. PLEASE. I promised a prize based on number of entries received and from what I have so far (two), the winner may owe ME a couple bucks. I’ll keep it open over the weekend just to reinforce my lack of popularity.

box-happy.jpgbox-box.jpgbox-gloves.jpgbox-dog2.jpg Is that all? Of course that’s not all! Click Here.


Twelve Dazed

After seeing the 13,791st article on what the gifts of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” would actually cost, I decided to take a different approach and see the potential contemporary impacts of making each of the last 12 Shopping Days before Christmas fit its corresponding theme.

On the first day of Christmas: A partridge in a pear tree.
Okay, that one has already passed, the 13th, but it was mostly for shopping at PetSmart (for the bird) and Home Depot, Garden Department (for the tree, duh).

On the second day of Christmas: Two turtle doves
And the 14th was probably the best NON-shopping day of the season, with the doves representing peace (which you will NOT find in any store right now) and the turtle representing taking it slow. (Yes, I know it’s not a turtle-type turtle, but I’m taking the symbolism as deep as it’ll go.)

On the third day of Christmas: Three French hens
The 15th could also be a good day to “chicken out” from shopping, reinforced by the French part (does making fun of the French ever get old?). Just make a hearty breakfast, featuring French Toast (made with eggs, get it?).

On the fourth day of Christmas: Four calling birds
On the 16th you’ll finally be getting seriously into the shopping, and ‘calling’ obviously means phones: iPhones, Blackberrys, Androids, whatever, or just get set up on Skype. Also, this may be your last chance to attempt to buy out Twitter.

On the fifth day of Christmas: Five golden rings
The 17th is the day you can expect a total sell-off in the Stock Market as all the smart money gets into Precious Metals.

On the sixth day of Christmas: Six geese a-laying
More eggs? but on the 18th, it’s Goose Eggs, also known as Zeroes, so the more zeroes you find at the end of a gift’s price the better. It’s Big Ticket Day, so pre-check the available credit on ALL your cards and find a Lexus-sized ribbon.

On the seventh day of Christmas: Seven swans a-swimming
The 19th is a difficult day: Swans? Take your loved one out to see Swan Lake? The problem is, during this season, the only ballet showing is The Nutcracker. Swimming? Way too cold in most of the Northern Hemisphere, unless you want to organize a Polar Bear Club, but even though they’re both white, few people will confuse a Swan with a Polar Bear. The best you can do is book a trip to a warm beach somewhere for later. Like on the 7th Day of Presidents sometime in February (I think). Or if staying home, get yourself a bathtub large enough for seven swans… or two people.

On the eighth day of Christmas: Eight maids a-milking
Okay dudes, stop drooling. For the 20th, the Milking Maids obviously represent something home-and-kitchen-based. Now’s the time to replace some old appliances, like the George Foreman grill you can’t clean George’s blood stains off of, or the Microwave that’s started making noises like the Large Hadron Collider. And some items you need a second one of: one to make smoothies, the other for your Will It Blend demonstrations.

On the ninth day of Christmas: Nine ladies dancing
For the 21st, you could give her a stripper pole, and unless you can somehow convince her it’s “Santa’s North Pole”, you’ll end up all alone with your tongue stuck to it. Meanwhile, dance-wise, the Ballet is still Nutcracker-obsessed, Disco is still dead, and Cloris Leachman is still recovering. So what are you gonna do for today? Think Dancercise. A treadmill, spinner, eliptical, or just sell your soul to get a Wii with Wii Fit.

On the tenth day of Christmas: Ten lords a-leaping
No, no, no more exercise for the 22nd. If you’re leaping, it’s usually over stuff on the floor: fuzzy pets, kids’ toys or those robotic vacuum cleaners. If you don’t already have all of the above, get them today. If not,
then do something else nice for your/their feet. Maybe a good pair of shoes to replace the ones you threw at President Bush. Just remember, nobody wants to see packages of support hose in their Christmas stocking.

On the eleventh day of Christmas: Eleven pipers piping
On the 23rd, after you’ve acquired all of these wonderful things, it’s time to think about keeping them safe and secure. What does this have to do with pipers? Loud alarm systems. Bells are out, sirens and klaxons are in. (What does a klaxon look like, anyway?) These days, they should have car alarms that recreate the sound of the horn sections of Tower of Power, Blood Sweat & Tears or Earth Wind & Fire. Or at least Clarence Clemons from Springsteen’s band.

On the twelfth day of Christmas: Twelve drummers drumming
It’s December 24th. Christmas Eve, the LAST shopping day before Christmas. Your impossible mission, should you decide to accept it: the 21st Century version of twelve drummers… the Rock Band video game. Good luck finding it.

Now, if this whole rigmarole sounds like too much of a rigmarole (What? I LIKE the word rigmarole. I may use it one more time, just for fun.), then find a chocolate Advent calendar with some halfway-decent chocolates in it for a change. I’ve seen the ones you’ve gotten before at the 99-Cent Store. Stay away from that whole rigmarole. (See? I did it.)


Happy Father’s Day

I offer this greeting to men everywhere from the POV of one who has always believed that the best way I can help future generations of humanity is by NOT passing on my DNA. You will all thank me later.

No, seriously, I have no children and I do not intend to get any. And my practice of staying in contact with exes for at least a year after breakup has assured me no surprises. Unless somebody got a sample of my sperm without my knowledge. Which is always a possibility since I’m usually not in a proper state of mind to keep track of it, ifyouknowwhatImean.

As long as I’m talking dirty, I’ve read a lot of spoileriffic stuff about the Incredible Hulk movie but the one thing that made me giggle was Bruce Banner’s sexual hangup… “You won’t like me when I’m angry… and you really won’t like me when I’m horny.” An interesting variation on the old “Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex” trope. Maybe Tony Stark should start marketing Iron Man Condoms.


Six Seven Eight Nine Ten Eeeeeeleven!

The worst thing about oversleeping is when you miss something that you (and very few other people) consider important. Yesterday morning, June 7th, 2008, I slept through the 9 o’clock hour of the morning and missed the numerically significant moment of 6/7/08 at 9:10:11. No, it didn’t feel right at 9:10:11PM, because my cheap watch switches into 24hr/military time mode so often, I’ve gotten to think of 9PM as 21:00. Fortunately, America is once again out of step with the rest of the world so I’ll have a second chance to experience 6/7/08 at 9:10:11 on July 6th. Or 6 July. Which is a Sunday. So I’ll probably oversleep then too.


Mirth Day

So, how am I going to celebrate Earth Day? Considering my usual skill in mishandling special occasions, I thought I’d just take a look at what else is going on…

Hmmm… the Pennsylvania Primary, which in honor of Earth Day will have absolutely no paper trail for the voting. Meanwhile, let’s see which companies on Wall Street will be announcing their 1st Quarter Earnings today… AT&T (which should see a big drop since I cancelled their phone service last month), Corn Products International (makers of ethanol, HFCS, Doritos and most of my awfuller jokes), Ethan Allen, Western Union and Dupont (waitaminute… those companies still EXIST?). In media stuff, “Cloverfield” is being released on DVD, allowing millions of confused theatergoers to freeze-frame and say “Is that it? Is that really it?” and Flight of the Conchords have finally issued a real album on CD.

Recent-historically, today is the 8th Anniversary of the Seizing of Elián González, and I used up all my snarky jokes back then on a now-defunct blog. The Mosaic Web Browser is 15 years old, which is 2Kgoogles in web years. On this date, Oklahoma City was founded as part of the “Land Run of 1889” which was a Reality TV show that bombed because, well, TV hadn’t been invented yet.

Famous birthdays: Emmanuel Kant is 284 years old, theoretically. His famous statement “To be is to do” was years later misquoted by Frank Sinatra as “Doobie doobie doo”. Julius Sterling Morton, who founded Arbor Day as kind of a too-narrowly-focused Earth Day is 176. Vladimir Lenin is 138, and in his Russia, older got YOU. Other birthday celebrators include Vladimir Nabokov (who meant to call her Lola but stuttered) 109, Robert Oppenheimer (who was sorry he set us up the bomb) 104, Eddie Albert (now under the Green Acres) 102, Yehudi Menuhin (if he were alive today, he’d be reporting for NPR) 92, Charles Mingus (all his bass now belongs to us) 86 and Aaron Spelling (who doesn’t deserve ALL the blame for how TV turned out) 85. People still alive to celebrate their birthdays include Bettie Page (85), Charlotte Rae (82), Glen Campbell (72), Jack Nicholson (71), John Waters (62), Peter Frampton (58), Paul Carrack (57), Marilyn Chambers (56), and Ryan Stiles coming in with the low score at 49. Now, would somebody who believes in astrology please try to explain what all of them have in common? ANYTHING? I considered making jokes about each of these people but I have to shut down my Blogomanic 1999®™ before dawn or my carbon footprint will block out the sun (returning us to Earth Day).


The Day Before Christmas

‘Twas the day before Christmas, and down here at work
Not a creature was stirring, not even a clerk; Is that all? Of course that’s not all! Click Here.