Shaken Not Stirred

Friday, July 28, 2006

The Farmer in the Dell

I use to love that song as a child. What I didn't understand was the "cheese" standing alone. I remember singing the song in kindergarten and holding hands with other classmates in a circle form, with one person starting out as a farmer and then picking a wife, who picked a child, on down as the song progressed to a rat and then the cheese which stood alone.

My father's really good friend from medical school bought a farm in Ohio. We use to visit the farm while growing up (Charleston was only a three hour drive from their home). I can remember getting there as loving the fresh air and also the vast expanse of land. It's not that Charleston doesn't have fresh air, cause it does, but there was something about the rural air that seemed refreshingly clean.

This family didn't live in the typical farmhouse. The home was a modern one (architecturally) with huge glass windows and an "A" frame sort of shape. And the silo which rose in its background looked funny and out of place. But playing around that silo and the pond which lay about 500 feet from their home was the best.

I remember one of the children telling us that if they wanted to keep the animals on their farm, they had to care for them. Their horses stable was cleaned out by them and the cows were fed by them. I remember thinking that it was "hard" labor. But as I grew older, I realized that it helped to build character in my family friends. Each of my childhood friends that helped to sustain that farm grew up into successful adults, independent, responsible and just salt of the earth people. They grew to learn the value of food and had the calluses to prove it. Despite being children of extremely affluent physicians, they grew up unspoiled by materialism.

Looking back, I think I know why the cheese stood alone. It's because the cheese prided itself on being the food that sustained the whole hierarchy!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Please Pass On Or Your Teeth Will Fall Out

I've written before about how I always pass on the chain letters that I get. These letters promise the best of luck or tug at my heartstrings. My buddy Jonathan just sent me a hilarious parody of thsese chain letters and I thought you guys might enjoy it....

Hello, my name is Billy and I suffer from guilt for not forwarding 50
billion fucking chain letters sent to me by people who actually believe
if you send them on, a poor six year old girl in Scotland with a
on her forehead will be able to raise enough money to have it removed
before her redneck parents sell her to a traveling freak show.

And, do you honestly believe that Bill Gates is going to give you, and
everyone to whom you send "his" email, $1000?

How stupid are we?

Ooooh, looky here! If I scroll down this page and make a wish, I'll get
laid by a model I just happen to run into the next day! What a bunch of

Maybe the evil chain letter leprechauns will come into my house and
sodomize me in my sleep for not continuing a chain letter that was
started by St Peter in 5AD and brought to this country by midget
stowaways on the Endeavour. Fuck 'em!!

If you're going to forward something, at least send me something mildly
amusing. I've seen all the "send this to 10 of your closest friends,
this poor, wretched excuse for a human being will somehow receive a
nickel from some omniscient being" forwards about 90 times. I don't
fucking care.

Show a little intelligence and think about what you're actually
contributing to by sending out these forwards. Chances are, it's our

The point being? If you get some chain letter that's threatening to
leave you shagless or luckless for the rest of your life, delete it. If
it's funny, send it on.

Don't piss people off by making them feel guilty about a lepper in
Botswana with no teeth who has been tied to the arse of a dead elephant
for 27 years and whose only salvation is the 5 cents per letter he'll
receive if you forward this email.

Now forward this to everyone you know. Otherwise, tomorrow morning your
underwear will turn carnivorous and will consume your genitals.

Have a nice day.

Billy Connelly

P.S: Send me 15 bucks and then fuck off

Pretty funny wasn't it?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Can You Find A Better Witness or Better Editor?

I was watching one of the news channels today. One of the BIG stories was the landing of the first plane from Lebanon carrying American citizens. I was so relieved to see it land safely in Baltimore and happy for their families. I still pray for the rest of the travelers to find flights and land safely here too.

Anyway, they were interviewing some of the passengers. They interviewed one guy who basically just said "yes" or "no" to the questions, not elaborating very much. So he really didn't add to the story, give any human interest tilt to it. But what I found really funny (maybe he was nervous) was when he was talking about playing basketball with some of the Lebanese men. They showed a clip of the event and he said something like this "there is them and there's us the Americans". What? That's what you can say about the relations between you and them? There is us, and there is them? Okay thanks!!!

Why is it that news people always find some uninteresting people to interview? On another channel, there was some better interviews. The one I liked was an interview with a college student and his younger brother. They both talked about how helpful the embassy was in facilitating their exit. They talked about how they had spent their vacation in Lebanon and also described their feelings about the chaos. Much better editor and much better interview.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Someone has Got It Going On

The passengers I sat with on my flight back were much better than the first two. I actually was amazed at their conversation.

The two were actually not together before the flight started. I got the aisle seat--thank goodness. I like either an aisle seat or the window seat. I prefer the aisle seat since I like to stretch and I also like to relax towards the aisle so as not to lean on some stranger, or fall asleep on someone's shoulders.

Some pretty hot chick had the middle seat. She was fidgeting with her iPod. She said hello as I sat down and told me she had taken the pillow from my seat because her seat didn't have one (and neither did the window seat). In her apology, I detected a European accent. Of course I said it was okay. She was first of all a chick (and I pride myself on being chivalrous) and secondly she was a HOT European chick!!!! Not only hot but she was polite. I could tell by the way she talked to some of her friends on the phone and the way she used her please and thank yous to the stewardess.

At the last minute a guy excused himself and made his way towards our window seat. He sat down, eyed the hot European chicks iPod and said "Is there any Hasslehoff in there?". He said it with a grin, and I know he had heard her accent, thus prompting the question. The mention of Hasslehoff immediately made me miss Mr. Shifely. But every now and then Mr. Shifely does update his blog with some Hoff sitings. Anyway, the girl laughed and said "No Way". And so began their amazing conversation.

First off as they engaged in more heavy conversation, I could feel the guy peer over at me reading my book. He asked if I was bothered by them. Since their volumes were just above a whisper and because he asked, I told him no. I wanted to say that I was actually amused that the level had gone beyond the typical weather ramgling-plane seat-between-two-strangers conversation. He said to let him know when I was being inconvenienced.

In between chapters, I caught tidbits of their conversation. They talked about European politics vs United States government. They talked about their best friends and other countries they had visited. He talked about someone he had recently broke up with and she talked about a long distance relationship that didn't work out because of the ocean in between.

I fell asleep because it was the red eye flight. I woke up because of turbulance. I could hear them still whispering to each other. The pillow and blanket that the chick had asked me for was now covering me and the pillow tucked beneath my head. I found it amazing that after three hours they were still engaged in conversation.

When we finally landed on the east coast, I thanked her for putting the blanket on me. She told me that I looked cold and it was no problem. He said he hoped that they didn't keep me up.

As the plane started to taxi, he asked her for a cell number, which she gave. She asked him for his and he said he had written his already in the book she was going to read. She smiled.

I heard him whisper, it's going to be amazing going on our second date. She asked when did they go on their first. He said the night before.

I can't make this shit up!!! Opinions? I liked it and thought it very Lifetime Television for Women/Meg Ryan in the 90's.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Again With The Ipod

Again I've forgotten my iPod, which could have been extremely useful.
I really needed it on the plane ride. I didn't bring it because I bought the novel "Odd Thomas" by Dean Koontz, and I thought this would carry me for the plane ride to Las Vegas. My mistake. Always bring a plan B.

Believe me, I tried to read in silence/peace. I tried to ignore the business buddies sitting beside me. Before take-off, the two were talking excitedly about their trip. The woman had never been to Vegas (me and the four rows in front of us and behind us became well aware of this fact). She wanted to sit by the pool when they first landed. He wanted to go gambling. She would sit by the pool if there were other members of their convention that were willing. He wanted to go gambling and get the free drinks that came with it.

The informed the stewardess that they would not be eating an on-flight meal. They had brought their own--hamburgers (with onions) from his favorite restaurant. The stewardess thanked them for informing her (she said it with an odd grin). She then informed them that on-flight meals were only available at the passengers request and for a five dollar fee. They looked at each other and remarked that they were glad they brought their own food.

The two were so loud that the co-pilot, who had passed us five minutes prior and was making his way back to the cockpit said "Shhh you two". He tried to make it sound like he was joking around. Those of us in the four rows surrounding them (remember I was beside them) knew he wasn't joking.

They talked incessantly about who they hated in the office. Was so-and-so from the last convention going to be there again. They had heard that so-and-so from Houston was going to be there, did they still look as good. He had investments here and there. He was going to buy some speculation property somewhere in Nevada. He already had some in Mississippi. This much information before take-off. I didn't bring my Tylenol PM because I thought I was going to read "Odd Thomas".

When the plane had gotten to the place in the sky where the seat-belt light went off, the stewardess began to offer earphones out. When she asked me if I wanted to purchase a pair, I remarked "God yes!! Please give them to me NOW!!!". She smiled a knowing smile and handed them to me. I forgot whether or not she took my money.

I put the earphones on and placed it on the country station. Ahhh, a familiar singer's voice was belting out his new song.

Peace at last? Nope, the volume of these two could still be faintly heard above the music in my ears. She has a business contact that he could get in touch with--a potential partner for something he was looking into. At least the sheer volume of their voices were drowned out.

This continued until we landed. And we all smelled the extra-onions on their buffalo burgers as well as the coagulated cheese on their cheesy fries.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Out Of Town

Hi everyone. I'm out of town for vacation.
Saw a little kiosk in the mall that allows internet access. The hotel does it thru ethernet and I forgot my cable.
So I will get back to you guys soon.
Hey Meow, I got some more postcards for you!!! I'll send them to you.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Happy Fourth of July!!!

Hi everyone,
I just wanted to take the time and wish everyone a happy fourth of July!!!
Remember to keep in your thoughts all of our military, fighting overseas. It's because of them that we are afforded certain freedoms.
And also be careful!!!! Most of all enjoy yourselves!!!

P.S. One of my posts, just disappeared. WTF? And is there a way to retrieve it?