Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Doctor Shoeshine and the Arm Smeller

Two times ago when I was in New Orleans, Vickie and I went to a place called Deanie’s. They’re the ones who serve a bowl of spicy new potatoes as an appetizer. This time Donna and I went back to Deanie’s. It wasn’t too hot.

First, I asked the grumpy old waitress (who Donna said looked like a Bertha) if there was a dinner equivalent of some chicken pasta thing they offered on the lunch menu. Bertha told me no. I asked if there was anything with chicken I could have. She offered me a salad with chicken. I asked if there was anything on the dinner menu with pasta. Bertha said there is some sort of a shrimp and pasta situation. I asked if I could either get the salad with chicken substitute pasta for salad or the shrimp pasta thing substitute chicken for shrimp. She said no. I think it’s crazy that all of the ingredients to make what I wanted were available, yet they were unwilling to combine them as I pleased. So I ordered a steak medium well. It came out raw. I sent it back. It came back tough.

This Deanie’s is a weird place. It looks like places where I used to go to dinner as a baby. Very seventies. From the time she took our order until the time the food came out, Bertha pretty much just sat there at another table doing nothing. Meanwhile – and this was my favorite part of tonight at Deanie’s - there was a bearded waiter who looked almost exactly like Popeye’s Bluto (or is it Brutus? Are they the same guy?). Blutus didn’t do much except walk around the restaurant smelling his arms real hard. He just kept smelling and smelling his arms. What would cause anybody to do that? I don’t even think he had any tables. Some restaurants have people who will come around and serenade you. Deanie’s has a guy who walks around smelling his own arms.

When I was a little kid, there was another little kid down the street called Robbie Tylicki. Robbie Tylicki had a bad habit. Actually he had two bad habits. First, he didn’t know the word ‘I’. Instead he said “me”.
“Me is going to go home now.”
“Why are you going home Robbie Tylicki?”
“Because me wants to.”
His second bad habit was that he sucked the heck out of his arms. He’d suck them until they bruised.

You may be thinking, “Gee, it seems a little mean of you to make fun of Robbie Tylicki.” Well, let me tell you that Robbie Tylicki was a little creep! I would always go over to Robbie’s house to ask if he wanted to play, and he’d literally slam the door in my face. My Dad is about as peaceful a man as you’d ever meet. He’s Popish. But he hated the Tylickis. Once when Robbie Tylicki slammed the door in my face, my Dad suggested that I go over there and swipe his big wheel. I asked him where I could put it. My Dad said we could hide it in our garage. So we did.

We’re staying at the Renaissance hotel in downtown New Orleans. We are literally a stone’s throw away from Sodom and, I think, just a couple of blocks from Gomorrah. If I wanted to see “World Famous Live Love Acts” (whatever they are!) all I’d have to do is step outside and walk about the length of a football field. This is a really great hotel, but I’m certain I’m going to catch some pants-related disease just from breathing the air.

I just don’t get peoples’ fascination with the French Quarter. If you haven’t been there, it’s true that lots of it smells like throw up. There are a ton of interesting things here in New Orleans without subjecting yourself to that French Quarter. For example, I saw a copper door today with Ben Franklin’s and other American heroes’ heads carved in it.

I love Ben Franklin! Did I ever tell you about the time when, as a small boy, he got in Boston Harbor with his kite? The wind pulled him and his kite right across the harbor! What a great idea! I wish I wasn’t afraid of water. I’d re-create floating across some water or other with my kite. Thanks a lot Assistant Den Leader Walt McElroy for trying to drown me as a Cub Scout. You are responsible for how I’ve turned out!

Speaking of throw up, did you know that Jelly Bellys are available in the flavors of vomit, dirt, grass, and anchovy? I’m not sure if I think that’s funny or just kind of gross.

We went to the House of Blues for dinner last night. That was a pretty good place. King Diamond is playing there May 20. Heavy metal’s Tesla played there last week. Also, Dallas’ own Reverend Horton Heat and Bowling For Soup are playing there in the next month or so.

Reverend Horton Heat has been around for a long long time. Back in the day, I had a Reverend Horton Heat t-shirt. On it was a picture of the fat version of Elvis. Under Elvis' picture was a list of all the planets and what Elvis would've weighed on each. That's one of my all time favorite t-shirts.

On the way back to the hotel, we met a guy called Daniel (the self-proclaimed Dr. Shoeshine). Daniel sits on Decatur near Canal every night with his shoe polishing equipment. I asked Daniel how much for a shoeshine. He said, “Not much.” So I hired the Doctor to polish my shoes. He did a really fine job. When he finished he informed me that he typically gets $20 plus a “bonus tip”. I ended up paying that character $30 to shine my shoes. Doctor Shoeshine bills out at about $180 per hour. What a racket! Or maybe I’m the only sucker in town. Anyway, I liked him and don’t feel bad about getting ripped off. I hope you’ll let him shine your shoes sometimes.

Denton has a good jazz radio station (FM 88.1). The problem is that it has a weak signal and can't be heard very well from most parts of Dallas. New Orleans has a great jazz station (FM 90.7). Would it be too much to ask for Dallas to get rid of KPLX or Young Country or The freaking Wolf or one of the other All Kenny Chesney All The Time radio stations and replace it with a good jazz station? I haven't even felt the need to turn on the TV tonight because I'm enjoying the radio so much.

I guess that’s just about it for now. So long.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Bearded Theories

If you are an old time reader of this blog or if you have had to be around me in person for too long, you probably already know my following two bearded adult theories:

* Beard Theories
1. Good luck ever finding a bearded adult riding in the back seat of a car.
2. You'll rarely see a bearded jogger.

I'd like to qualify my theories as follows:
* Qualifications
a. The beard can't belong to a person who looks like they listen to Soundgarden or similar.
b. A qualifying beard must have beard/sideburn connection. GOATEES DO NOT COUNT!
c. There is an inverse relationship between the degree of cheek coverage and the probability of finding an example of either 1. or 2.. (e.g., the more cheek the beard takes up the less likely the adult has ever ridden in the back seat of a car or jogged.)
d. The further a beard comes away from the head the less likely the bearded one has ridden in the back seat of a car or jogged.
e. Beards in the back seat of mass transportation do not count!
f. Beards playing softball or some other sport do not count for the jogging theory. Jogging is the sport where you won't see the beard.
g. Beards on black people don't count for the jogging theory. Black men are willing to jog in their beards.

I am offering surprises to anyone who can provide photographic evidence of exceptions to my theories. However, you may not orchestrate an episode of bearded jogging or riding in the back seat.

While in New Orleans, we (Donna, Gina, and I) went over to the piano bar at Pat O'Brien's. There were two examples of classic beards in there. One of them came on a guy who was roundish, bald, and professor-looking. The other belonged to a poofey 50 something called Don.

Both of the bearded men said that they either currently or formerly jogged in their beards and that they actively ride in the back of cars. Gina said that my theories are blown. I said that my theory was that you never SEE examples of bearded jogging/riding in the back of cars, and that any bearded person who jogs or rides in the back of a car does so either in disguise or under the cloak of darkness. My theories are good!

Gina took my picture with the bearded Don. He was an awfully good sport about all of our beard questions. He even acquiesced when I asked, "May I touch your beard?"

Would people watch a television show called "May I Touch Your Beard?"? It would have me interviewing beardeds and finishing up with, "May I touch your beard?". Half the time the segments would end with me feeling beards. Half the time it would end with me having my ass kicked.

What about this - a TV show called "The Bearded Swimmer"? He (I) would shave all of his (my)body hair ala a swimmer. However, he (I) would have a fantastic beard! He (I) would do all of the things you've ever wanted to see a massively bearded guy do (including swimming), but can't since it doesn't happen. The Bearded Swimmer would swim, jog, ride around in the back seat of the car, tap dance, eat salad, tie his shoes, drink milk, cry, make sandwiches, and whisper.

What does anyone else have to say about all of this beard business?

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Meyer the Hatter

In New Orleans, there’s a place just off Canal on St. Charles called Meyer the Hatter. They sell hats. It’s been family owned and operated for around 111 years. I think that’s nice and interesting. Tonight after work we went over there so I could look at some hats. Of all times, Meyer the Hatter closes at 5:45. We weren’t at Meyer the Hatter until 6 twenty something. However, there was a Meyer inside so I mouthed through the glass, “Would you please let me inside? I want to buy some hats.” He let me in and could not have been any nicer. I bought two hats and Meyer gave me a free Meyer the Hatter ink pen as a souvenir. My Mom told me that customer service like that is probably what’s kept them in the hat selling business all these years. I think she’s right!

One of the two hats is a captain’s hat. Others tell me that it makes me look like a genuine captain! From now on I shall only respond to The Captain.

I wonder why I mouthed through the glass, “Would you please let me inside? I want to buy some hats.” It’s nonsense. After all, I never mouth stuff to people on the same side of the glass as me. Why would I be at my most quiet when the person trying to hear me is all the way behind a hunk of glass?

Plus, sometimes I’ll pull up to a four way stop at practically the same time as another guy. Every now and then the other guy waves me through at which point I typically mouth, “Thank you.” Why is that? I should roll down my window and scream the thank you.

The other day I was at the Rangers game and there was a guy on a cell phone standing up waving his arms like mad at someone on the other side of the park (and I would assume on the other end of the phone call). I’m sure the guy knew whomever it was he was waving to. He might even see that person every day. But there’s something about seeing somebody from across a baseball stadium that people find amusing. Those same two people probably saw each other at work the day prior scarcely mustering up the energy to mumble hello to each other as they passed in the hallway. Oh, but how we’ll roll out the barrel if something as hilarious as seeing someone you know from a distance happens.

Tonight I had my first baked beans encounter. I don’t know about those things. I need someone to offer me some baked beans with the guarantee that no mustard’s been added.

Here’s some stuff to think about. Is a bean the same thing as a seed? What is a nut? Also, what would happen if I planted a kernel of popcorn? Would it give me a corn? Could I pop beans? If not, what other stuff besides corn can be popped? Lots of stuff melts, so you couldn’t pop that stuff. But if stuff doesn’t melt, shouldn’t it pop? Are pop and melt opposites? Do chickens melt? I know they have popcorn chicken, but I’ve never noticed any corn in them so I think it must be kind of like chicken fried steak. Popcorn describes how the chicken is prepared. Popcorn-popped chicken. Since chicken pops, shouldn’t other meats pop? I mean, meat is meat. Why would one meat pop any better than another?

I bought my dog a duck the other day. My parents take care of my dog while I’m out of town. After my Dad dropped me off at the airport, he stopped by my house to pick up Albert’s duck. According to my sister and my Mom, the duck and my Dad have been going around quacking non-stop at Albert. Finally my Mom got sick of it and started yelling at my Dad. My dog likes his duck, my Dad likes to quack, and my Mom likes to yell. I guess everybody’s happy.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Being Rocky Dennis

I have giant thighs. Also, I have an enormous neck and extremely long arms. Plus I have a really massive head. My self is a physical improbability.

Pants are either too tight in the legs but just right around the waist or too large in the waist and just right in the legs. I CAN’T STRIKE A PROPER PANTS BALANCE. Most shirts that fit my torso don’t allow for buttoning the top button. So I’m left with a choice. I either leave the top button unbuttoned or I buy a shirt whose top button I can button but that has lots of bonus torso material. Yesterday at Dillard’s I bought the latter.

So tomorrow I’m getting on a plane to New Orleans in my new shirt with proper neck but too much material otherwise. I’ll be uncomfortable the whole trip. All of the extra material will keep creeping up from out of my pants and blousing up around my stomach and chest areas. I’ll look extra bloated. The airline will probably try to make me buy an extra seat to accommodate all of my shirt material. Would it help if I tucked the parts of my shirt that I don’t need into my underpants? I don’t know.

The rest of my family isn’t disproportionate. Why me? I am taller from the waist up than I am from the waist down. Do you think I may have been dropped or beat as a youth and that that could’ve stunted my growth? I wonder how tall I’m really supposed to be. Once when I was about two years old my aunt fed me a whole pot of chili. Could that have anything to do with this?


Today at Kroger there was a dad who verbally assaulted the cashier for being out of Copenhagen. I’m ready for the End Times. The good news is that there was olfactory evidence in the bathroom at my work last Friday that they may be just around the corner!

This week I get to go back to Voodoo Barbecue!

Is broth and blood the same thing? If not, why?

Did you know that two words to describe hot dogs are “semi-solid” and “chubby”? Gross.

The new book called The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers is really good – unless you’re against Jesus.

The Fantastic John Wesley Harding’s (AKA Wesley Stace) debut novel Misfortune is impressive and long.

Sirius Radio on Dish Network is awesome.

When my dog Robert died, I stood a metal cross on his grave. I’ve never seen anything like this before, but the ground where he's buried has all but swallowed the cross. There’s about a half inch left sticking out of the ground. We’ll meet again.

When I used to work for my Dad, Robert came to work with me. I had a computer on my desk and it plugged in behind my chair. One day I was eating a bagel that I refused to share with Robert. Robert ran in back of my chair and unplugged the computer from the wall. I turned around to plug it back in. The next thing I know Robert grabs the bagel off my desk and runs over to my Dad’s office. I’d say that’s pretty good thinking!

Well I need to go pack my stuff. So long.

Hair Update

Frequent readers may recall my February 22 trip to Style America. I was having my hair fixed. It was then that Beautician Lisa Dang informed me that I (a) am going bald, (b) have an unusual hair that’s growing from my otherwise bald forehead, and (c) have gray hair. What I didn’t tell you before about that day is that I told BLD of a work trip I had scheduled to Oklahoma City that made it necessary for me to have even prettier hair than normal. I thought she’d try to do a better job than usual if she thought I needed some really good hair for a business trip. She had lots of questions about my trip. Among other things, I ended up telling her that I was going to OKC to work, that I was staying at a Bed & Breakfast with a person from San Antonio (Vickie W.), and that my Mom yells at me all the time.

I went back for another hairdo yesterday. I was shocked when she asked me about my trip to Oklahoma City and my co-worker from San Antonio. I was shocked again when she asked if my Mom’s been yelling at me lately. “This Beautician remembers everything!” I thought. Then she said, “I don’t remember you having gray hair. You really have a lot of gray hair.” I asked how she couldn’t remember my gray hair, but could remember all of that other stuff not having to do with hair. After all, I told her, her whole job is to remember about my hair.

Clearly she is more concerned about things none of her business than she is about my hair. And you should see how she annihilated me this time! First, she cut the perimeter of my bald area shorter than the rest of my head. It’s the kind of short that makes it want to stand straight up. It really looks silly. Plus, if you will imagine that the area extending from the southern edge of my dual crowns down to where my neck hair ceases to naturally grow is a football field, she cut my hair clear up to the 50 yard line. So my hair bottom (sorry to use such technical hair terminology) stops just about midway up my ear. Tomorrow I’m going to New Orleans where I will look plain stupid.

Next time I go in there I predict she’ll ask me how American Airlines flight 2238 to New Orleans went, but will be appalled to learn that I am losing my hair.

It occurs to me that 90% of the crap I write about has to do with hair, meat, cheese, death, or pants. One day I'm going to write an entry that combines all five. Meanwhile, shouldn't there be more to life than this?