Yak, yak, yak

Hilary Swank: Yak, yak, yak.
Clint Eastwood: Yak, yak, yak.

If I had someone to thank, I’d thank them in person.

Jamie Foxx’s speech was very sincere and very nice though. Chris Rock was being Chris Rock; don’t bring him back next year. Johnny Depp looked like a freak. I would pay money to see Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz together in evening gowns again.

And why on Earth was the girl from “Maria Full of Grace” nominated for best actress? I just saw that film, she did nothing for me. She gets pregnant, swallows ten pounds of cocaine, and dethorns flowers all with the same look on her face. It was a stupid movie anyway.

Well, now I have a new bunch of movies I have to see. What is “Vera Drake?”

At the gym

I checked out some of the new equipment in the gym this evening. If that sounds like a dull way to spend Saturday evening, it is, but I work on Sundays. They put some pretty cool machines in there. They took out my elliptical, though, and the two new ones lack power cords. WTF.

Is there an exercise machine that’ll make me get off my unmotivated rear end? That’s the kind of machine I need.

Fuck-a-duck and more

There is–I shit you not–an Argentine gaucho camped out with three horses in Ocean Springs. I first saw him this afternoon on my way to the pool in Biloxi. The cops had stopped traffic on the eastbound side of the bridge so he could walk the horses into Ocean Springs. On my way back I saw him grazing his horses by his tent, which he had set up in grassy area along US-90.

I asked about it while I was at the Chamber of Commerce. He is trying to set a horseback riding record. It was in the paper a few days ago. I called la argentiniana and told her about it. She knew nothing about it but was very excited.

In other news, there are muscovy ducks everywhere. They live in the ponds at my apartment complex and lately they’ve been just proliferating. This is one of their many breeding seasons, so there are ducks humping and nesting everywhere. There are two brooding in the garden bed around my building. A couple of weeks ago two were coupling on the landing above my apartment.

A shock to the suburban upbringing.

I found a very interesting website- in fact it is a web log- in my browsings. The woman who writes it is an “escort”. It is actually very interesting and scary. All sorts of people comment on her entries. Some are supportive, others are hostile.

I should probably stop being surprised by the Internet.

I was going to choose “surpised” in the mood menu, except that it comes with a smiley face; I was not that kind of surprised, nor was I smiley-faced “shocked”.

Cranes on the brain

I accompanied our volunteers on a field trip to the nearby wildlife refuge. We certainly learned a lot about Mississippi sandhill cranes. Preserving and growing thier small, isolated population is very labor intensive, and unless their habitat is restored (98% of the wet pine savannas on the Gulf Coast is gone) the refuge will remain a little island of heavily managed cranes. We saw a quite a few cranes today, but they are very skittish and it is difficult to get within about 300 yards of them before they fly off.

On Thai food and Lawrence Welk

Tonight I brought home Thai food. Yellow curry something, medium spicy.

I’m enjoying a little ultra-right wing entertainment this evening. Mississippi Public Broadcasting airs reruns of “The Lawrence Welk Show” every week. It’s also supercorny, but I enjoy listing to the music.

The show was on for something like forty years. It’s impossible to tell from the audience how old the broadcast is. They all look like Wallace supporters. A better bet is to look at the performers’ haircuts. I’m guessing tonight’s broadcast is from the late sixties or early seventies. They probably thought they were pretty hot when they got those haircuts.

Some observations:

Once I was watching a broadcast from the fifties. The camera scanned the all-white-bread audience as they danced; if the camera hadn’t been moving you’d be unable to discern that the people were. In the same broadcast, Welk went out of his way to welcome and praise a young black tap dancer. I wonder how well that went down back then.

Welk also admonished protesters during a July Fourth broadcast from the sixties. Among his usually patriotic jingo, he said something like, “the world doesn’t owe you a living.” I think he was reacting to the urban race riots.

The reruns have these short segments spliced into the broadcast featuring former performers who keep us viewers posted on what they’ve been doing since 1962 or whenever and what their family and descendants are up to. Like I give a flying fuck. I can’t stand them. They’re so goddamned Beaver Cleaverish. They never say, “My name was published on the Megan’s Law website and my daughter is the least successful crack-whore in Milwaukee.”

In spite of this, the performances are pretty good. You know those campy Old Navy ads? That’s what the show is like, but without the crass insincerity of commercial marketing.

On web logs

Apparently I’m participating in some revolutionary new thing when I write in this journal. I’ve been hearing and reading a lot about how blogging is going to revolutionize news and public relations and God knows what else. Charlie Rose was discussing it the other day, NPR reports on it occasionally, and a column this week in “The Economist” is about how Microsoft hired a blogger. Charlie Rose’s guests were especially idealistic and optimistic about the whole thing.

Web logs may indeed change the world, but (ever the realist) I’m sure it will turn out to have a dark side. I wouldn’t trust Microsoft’s blogger to be objective even if he does have a reputation for being critical. And for all a web log’s potential for powerful, real-time exchange of ideas, it has to have its limits. The other day I blocked anonymous posts from my own journal, just because I didn’t like anonymous posts. Conversely, I never read anyone else’s blogs except my friends. A blog is pretty easy to ignore, and there are so many out there that most will be tiny self-contained little communities.

I’m probably wrong. I’ll know it when “the bloggers come for me.”

A nice day

In another attempt to rescue my dwindling metabolism from the toilet bowl, I went to the public pool in Biloxi. It’s a pretty nice facility. I spent about half an hour (a little less) doing laps across (the short way) the pools. Man, my shoulders felt dead after that. I feel pretty good though. As I was about to leave the locker room for the pool, a bunch of school kids came in to use the bathroom. They were all wet and shivering. They looked miserable and sounded like, “W-w-w-w-w-w.”

The lady at the pet store thinks I’m changing my aquarium water too much, as opposed to too little. She says to do a 25% change once a month, which is what I do, except I also try to change 10% every week in between. She feels I am disrupting the nitrogen cycle (bad for the plants) and putting unnecessary stress on the fish.

This afternoon I rode my bike into town to get lunch.

The replacement killers.

I went to the garage and got my tailgate fixed. The trunk shocks(support arms were shot and needed replacing. It was much cheaper than I hoped. I had to go twice today, at first they had the wrong size parts, but the right size were delivered quickly. Also replaced the inner tube of my front bike tire.

The gas station and the car wash down the street both had air pumps out of order (as usual), so I stopped at the oil change place next door. They let me use their air pump. A couple of the guys joked, “check the pressure and rotate?” Ha!

Bought a web cam, too, so I can chat with L. more effectively.

Did a little research for my aquarium. I’m going to try something new to stablize the water. After I solve that problem, I’m going to buy a few more angelfish. I also ordered some plant fertilizer tablets. I’ll try them out; I used to use a now-defunct brand and thought they were great. For some reason the local pet stores only carry liquid fertilizers, which I’ll continue using. I must have lost another algae-eater, I can’t find one of them. They’re so sensitive I can never pin down the problem. Then again, I’m a lousy fishkeeper in the first place.

Tomorrow I’m going to the pool, then I’m going to ride my bike.

Fun some more at the grocery store

I am all about grocery stores hiring paramilitary commandants to enforce the spirit- if not the letter- of the express lanes. The lady in front of me not only paid with a personal check (people can’t write it out to “Grocery store” and sign it while the kid scans the Hostess Ding-dongs?), she needed four brands of cigarettes, so the kid had to go across to the customer service desk to feed her addiction.

As I didn’t have my cloth bags this time, I asked the retarded bag kid to put the carrots in the same bag with the bread. I could hear the gears stripping in his brain. He was probably taught never to put anything else heavier into the same bag as the bread. I explained to that I didn’t want a lot of bags and held open the bag so he could put it right in the bottom.

I shook off a bout of slothfulness and hit the gym for the first time in over a week. I feel much better as I’ve been pining for la argentiniana more lately.

Charlie Rose is on, talking about the assassination of the former prime minister of Lebanon. Nope, won’t be discussing that with anyone at work tomorrow.

Checkout line

I made an impulse purchase at the grocery checkout line today. I never do that. I bought a tin of Altoid Tangerine Sours. They are “curiously strong” as the container says. I think I ate too many.

I bring, when I remember, my own cloth bags to the store to carry groceries. The man behind me said, “that’s a great idea.” “They save me a lot of plastic bags,” I said. I used to have way too many plastic bags jammed in a corner.

“I have my own bags,” I reminded the bag girl. So she stopped bagging and then left. Often the baggers take that as “I don’t want you to bag my groceries.” I don’t get it.

Another dull weekend

Every time I want to ride my bicycle it has a flat tire. It’s from riding on the garbage-strewn grass shoulder on the road into town. And the stupid pistons on my tailgate are shot, so I can’t throw the bike in the car to bring into the shop. Well, first things first. Maybe I’ll fix the tire myself, though last time I tried it realigning the brakes was distinctly tedious.

This morning I visited the tax preparer. I’ve always done it myself, and I believe I will return to doing it myself next year. I went this year because I thought I’d try it and because I had some tax questions. On balance, it wasn’t worth the money.

This weekend I rented “Edward Scissorhands” (that’s right, I’ve never seen it) and “Anchorman”. “Edward Scissorhands” was typical pointless Tim Burton bullshit. I can’t stand his movies, and if I’d remembered it was his I’d have saved my money. “Anchorman” was a lot funner than I expected. There are tons of deleted scenes on the DVD. How long were they going to make it?

Looking forward to another understimulating week of work. I think I’ll go hiking next weekend.

Laissez les bon temps roulez

A friend and I went to a Mardi Gras parade in Biloxi last night. The cops seemed a little frazzled but the crowd wasn’t too nuts. There was garbage everywhere, though. A fair amount of underaged drinking, too.

Purple, green, and gold Mardi Gras float at night.

Some of the floats were pretty cool, some were very plain. The parade in Biloxi was nothing like what little I saw in New Orleans last year. New Orleans was a horrorshow. I didn’t enjoy it. The Biloxi Night Parade (there were parades all day and in the different towns on the coast since January) was very accessible, very pleasant, and very brief. I practiced a little on my new Nikon digital camera and discovered it is not very good at photographing things that move, even if they move slowly.

On shark jumping.

Last night after the Superbowl, I watched “The Simpsons” for the first time in a couple of years. I used to love that show and watch it all the time, but it’s not the same as it was. In fact, I was in heaven back when it was in syndication three times an evening. I’d say the funniest, smartest episodes were in the first six or seven seasons. Now every episode is, “What stupid thing is Homer going to do this time?” and “Who’s going to guest voice?” Homer used to be sort of human, you could relate to him, now he’s just an obnoxious hedonist. They barely even bother with the rest of the characters.

Nonetheless, I brayed like a donkey at last night’s episode.