Random Thoughts Part II

True story.  35 years ago I hadda supermarket job stocking shelves when one day while I was stacking canned green beans a guy comes along claiming he was the original Jolly Green Giant.  His wife/significant other reassured me that this was true but I wasn’t buying it although I nodded at ’em as though I was.  Can u blame me? How many people do u come across in life who claim to be the f#%@ing Jolly Green Giant???

Secondly, we’ve hadda few hits from Canada recently and I feel the need to give ’em a shout-out.  Yep, the next time anyone in the U.S. decides to call u a bunch of backwoods, syrup-slurpin, seal clubbin’ yahoos, rest assured I’ve got yer back.  Despite the many complex and almost desperate issues going on with the Mexican border these days it’s reassuring to know that NO ONE (not even Donald Trump) is planning to build a wall between the USA and Canada.  Why u ask?  The Canucks would rather freeze to death than associate with us and recipricuosly Americans aren’t that much interested in our northern neighbor seeing as we can freeze OUR asses off just fine in New Hampshire, Montana and Alaska when necessary.

The New England Patriots have suddenly decided to get all spooky again. NEVER count out Tom Brady. The Pats/Raiders and Eagles/Cowboys games are gonna be good watching this weekend.

Just a few thoughts and until next time keep a cold one in the cooler for me.

Jimmy

 

Let’s Just Forget it All Happened (’til Later)

“Sexual Harassment” has been a word being thrown around lately as though it’s a thing or even a crime.  Thanks to Harvey Weinstein, Bill Clinton (some time ago), Bill Cosby and previous president George HW Bush (tho on a way smaller scale) among many others, my morning weather and traffic reports are routinely followed up by some actress coming outta the woodwork accusing him of something that I’m not sure is even a crime.  Don’t get me wrong here, there’s sufficient, even abundant evidence that these guys are arrogant, narcissistic borderline perverts who take advantage of their powerful positions in order to satisfy their own sexual desires, but have they violated the law?

Fear not, for your not so indefatigueable journalist/blogger is on top of it.  In studying this matter I asked my three female bartenders to answer the question of “What IS sexual harassment?” (almost sounds like an NFL penalty when you say it enough times. “The offense is penalized 10 yards for sexual misconduct! The ball will be placed at the 34 yard line! Please reset the game clock to 2 minutes and 34 seconds!”).  The aforementioned bartendresses couldn’t quite come up with a definition themselves despite my lurid and depraved examples, but they all felt that they just know it when they hear or see it.

Fair enough.  So let’s delve deeper into this issue by searching the internet for an accurate, fair description…

“harassment (typically of a woman) in a workplace, or other professional or social situation, involving the making of unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks.”

The EEOC (“you’re tax dollars at work!”) came up with an actual definition of the legality of this question:

“It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.

Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general.

Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex.

Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).

The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.”

AHA!! Now we have a clear definition!! Unfortunately, these rules would necessitate the incarceration of every male in the USA, so let’s probe further.  Let’s say that a guy who’s not so great lookin’ (let us call him “Gus”) busts a move on a way overly made-up, leopard-skinned clad, fake blond floozy of a woman while simply asking her out for dinner (let us call her “Wanda”) and gets rejected.  Is Gus guilty of “an unwanted sexual advance”? Next, let’s say a total douchebag of a moron named “Iggy” says the exact same thing to Wanda only this time she accepts.   Is Iggy off the hook here because Wanda accepted his advances while Gus is suddenly in trouble?

Here’s why I setup this example.  Gus apparently made an “unwanted sexual advance” simply because he got shot down by Wanda whereas Iggy’s cool insomuch as his advance was accepted by Wanda and  therefore must be considered a wanted advance.

Now let’s consider Gus to be outta the picture seeing as he may or may not have sudden legal problems requiring a lawyer under the rules previously mentioned and concentrate on Iggy. Taking this further, let’s also say Iggy is Wanda’s boss and could promote her career in ways that Gus never could leading to Wanda’s acceptance of Iggy’s advance.  Heh, heh, NOW WE’RE TALKIN’!

Here’s where Harvey Weinstein, Bill O’Reilly, and every other self-entitled semi-molester in a position of power is gonna get it. Or so you would think…

The key here seems to be that the guy inflicting the harassment has to be in a position of power. A studio executive, a politician, a rock music star (funny that rock stars rarely seem to have this issue. Maybe their “aquaintances” don’t aspire to anything I guess) or a person of heavy influence over their targets careers.  Can Iggy and Wanda have a relationship just because they love each other and want to be together? What if it is at first and things go downhill inside of a month and they just break it off? Is Iggy guilty here?

If sexual harassment is so pervasive and so humiliating why does it seem to take forever for the victims to say something?  What changed after all these years? Were they too young and hopeful at the time or are they just looking to cash in on an opportunity to stick it to that guy?  Maybe the women were so humiliated that they felt ashamed and just wouldn’t admit it until they’d grown up.  To be blunt, are we talking about female golddiggers here or powerful, manipulative men taking advantage of vulnerable young women?

I still wonder how you define this. It seems to boil down to “he said, she said” and lacking Monica Lewinsky’s dress, how do you know for sure?

Please hit Mamemagazine.com when you have a chance.  Great writing and top-notch photo content.

Until next time,

Jimmy

 

We’ll Take the Bill Now Waiter

I love progress, I really do.  It’s gotten so dysfunctionally slick that instead of just getting an e-mail showing what I owe on my cable bill I receive a full-on, condescending video of what I owe with audio notes explaining how I got into this mess in the first place.

Being a forward-thinkin guy, I’d like to recommend the next step in our world of progress by suggesting that my cable provider invent a cartoon character called “Billy: Your Friendly Bill Explainin’ Squirrel” wherein Billy would explain to us how idiotic and self-indulgent it was to order “Wanda Does Walla Walla” in a moment of weakness last month, resulting in a “very reasonable” charge of $17.99 per viewing.  Billy could then step into the next phase of the billing process where he resolves absolutely none of our questions in the billing and tax phase of our bill to the point of imparting in an appropriately high, squeaky voice “HAHA!!! F*&# YOU and I’m NOT GONNA TELL YA!! or “GET A LIFE GOOMBAH!

Still, I have high hopes for our theoretical friend. Being cute and fuzzy can really take u a long way in this world, much like the Terrier outside my window who figures it sound thinking to bark his ASS off at 2:30 in the morning. Getting back to Billy, I’d like to see his lovability used as a force for positive change bringing love, peace, goodwill, free love, opioids and all the other fun stuff that modern society provides us.

To be honest, all I’ve been doing in the preceding paragraphs is running interference while waiting for Chuck’s response to this e-mail:

Me: “1st off, I went to Nick’s for a beef combo and gravy fries today cuz I just couldn’t take it anymore after 3 months of introverted denial (Evil demon on left shoulder: “get Nick’s roast beest w/gravy fries Jim, Chuck would WANT u to do it” while the angel on my right shoulder is saying “No, no it’s a sign of betrayal!”

Guess which side won.  Having just driven 8 hours up and 8 hours back to and between a wedding in Provincetown, MA I’da thought that a good post or two would be easy money, but no dice. As my sister so eloquently put it “I can’t believe we got thru that incident-free.”  (My family’s weddings usually qualify as some kinda spectacle that’d make the Cirque du Soleil jealous.)

Having noted all this I’ll take ANYTHING in the way of ideas for a post (it’s been a while, man.) including your scientific opinion on the preservation of mastodon fossils.  Lacking that, I’ll post this e-mail and WHATEVER thoughts on the subject of wooly mammoths as u may  be so kind as to impart.”

As fun and wonderful a writer Chuck is he can also be a surly, recalcitrant bastard when he wants to be. Fear not, for I shall harass him when/where necessary. This is my solemn promise to u.

Oh, Tom Petty died last week as most of us know by now.  One person fancied him an equivalent American songwriter equal to Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan (allow me to throw in John Lee Hooker) in a statement I’ll never disagree with. Once again lemme see if I can git this video goin’ (it always seems to be a challenge) If not, listen to The Travelling Wilburys “End of the Line” and “Handle With Care” on your own.  You’ll be glad u did.

Stay safe and be strong.

Jimmy

 

 

 

That Means WHAT???

Being a 53 year old guy who thought he was wise to the ways of the world (the English vocabulary in particular) and then some, I’ve recently found out how wrong I was when my daughter and I recently got into a friendly argument about the nickname of her targeted college, namely the University of Hawaii.

While she insisted the team nickname was “The Manoans”, I quickly and accurately corrected her with “Rainbow Warriors” as the school’s flagship moniker.  In order to settle our dispute I looked up the aforementioned Rainbow Warriors on Google and the first site presented was The Urban Dictionary, which gave a vastly different interpretation of the term than I was expecting:

Kate:  OK Dad! Look it up!

Me (while Googling): Yep. I’ll show you!

(momentary pause)

Me: What the hell is this???!!!

Kate (laughing): Dad, you clicked on The Urban Dictionary site!

Allow me to withhold the definition of Urban Dictionary’s version of what “Rainbow Warrior” means (seeing as this is a damn family site) compared to what I thought it meant (brave Polynesian Warrior).  This got me to thinking what other interpretations of terms I thought I knew might be out there. This’ll require some investigative journalism on my part (or in other words “work”) but it’s a small sacrifice for you, our readers. Let’s begin:

“Afterclap”

What I’d guess it meant- noun; the fallout from a venereal disease

What it now means-verb; the last sound from a round of applause

“Yard Sale”

My thinkin’-A homefront where used junk is sold at dirt cheap prices

Alternative-Wiping out on a snowy mountain leaving gloves, poles, skis, etc…all over the place

“Unlightening”

Me: A light bulb blows leaving you in the dark

Actual-Somebody represents an idiotic and untrue theory as fact (I’ve gotta include this term in the website motto.)

“Beerboarding”

Me: (you’d think I’d know this one) Bringing a frosty alcoholic beverage up the gangplank

Actual: Getting someone bombed so that they spill the truth

This is getting so fun that I think I’ll make up a few of my own.  Lemme know what you think:

“Funselfish”- Buying the bar a round so you can keep the party going when everyone seems to be wrapping it up

“Steamed Clam”- A person who walks face-first into a glass door thinking it was open

“Kangaroo”- A person who trips on a crack in the sidewalk and has to hop in an effort to maintain some dignity

“Floon”-As Chuck knows, I’ve already tried this one out to no effect.  It’s intended meaning was to imply a screwup or mild mistake.  Shoulda gone further but the Catholic Church wouldn’t buy into it with the whole “forgive me Father for I have flooned” serving as quite the obstacle.  Worth a shot, tho.

This topic has above all proven to me how flexible, interpretive and stupid the English language can get.  See ya next time.

Jimmy

 

Wonderland

Time to swim against the current a little. I know at this time of year, most parents are overjoyed that the kids are heading back to school. Not this parent. I love all of the things that the girls and I do all summer long. I love being outside with them. I love game nights that start at 9 o’clock at night. I love heading to the local park to shoot hoops with them. I love taking them to baseball games. I love hitting the beach with them. I love attending outdoor concerts with them. But, mostly, I love the freedom that summer allows. Childhood races by at blinding speed, and childhood summers race by even faster. I, for one, am in no hurry to see them end.

Chuck

Yep, I have those memories too although I’ve hadda adjust mine to “stay the %#&* outta jail”.

Walter Becker of Steely Dan recently passed away so lemme see if I can hook you up with a good number here (below). Becker w/b the guy playing bass and singing in the background by the drum kit. He and singer/keyboardist Donald Fagen pioneered a lot of the music we hear today and yes, that’s Jeff “Skunk” Baxter on guitar for you Doobie Brothers fans.

Jimmy

 

Mr. Mom

Here’s a recent quote from Chuck:

Diane “I’m exhausted from food shopping.”

Chuck “Hey, I’m tired too! I’ve been watching three kids, one of whom I didn’t even know was here.”

Chuck

By my standards that was a fine job. Responsibility and coverage for the kids in consideration for your significant other tops all responsibilities as we Moms and Dads grapple with the ongoing struggle of raising and dealing with kids, their ideals, their hopes and dreams, their tantrums, refusing to eat what’s cooked for dinner, bumming money of ya, bad grades, insolent attitudes and generally being a money siphon akin to laying every dollar you own on the floor with the understanding that a vacuum cleaner will soon come along and clean you out.

Say, that reminds of a story of my own: (We had a one-year old boy at the time. Mother’s Day, circa 2001)

Wife (early morning):   “Well”?

Me: “Well what”?

Wife: “Where’s my Mother’s Day gift?”

Me (sensing trouble): “I didn’t get u one”

Wife: “WHY NOT!!???

Me:  “You’re not my mother”.

I paid a king’s ransom for that response friends and in some ways so discreet (other ways more overt) that I still haven’t any cognizance of them 20 years later.

Marriage/kids: Think hard my readers.

Think hard.

Jimmy

 

It’s All in the Delivery

I was scanning thru my 5 zillion TV channels recently when I noticed two things:

A) How fast the delivery of spoken lines was back in the twenties and thirties.  It was either sped up in editing or they really did speak their lines that quickly.  Here’s a reasonable approximation of when ya put lines on paper compared to the on-screen effect…

Joe: Thismugdoesntwannacooperate!Louie:He’sokJoe,just ask the boys.Darla:Don’thurt himJoe,hedoesntknowwhathe’stalkin’about.Joe:He’sstillamugIsay!Somebody’sgottatakecareofthisguysee?Andi’mjusttheguytodoit!Yeahthat’sright!I’lltakecareofhimrealgoodItellya!Idon’tcarewhatanydamesays!

Justtypingthatmuch, er sorry…Just typing that much sent my normally cognizant and cooperative spellcheck feature out of it’s mind. Nextly and thusly I’d like to point yer attention to art of naming movies and their enthusiastic promos.  Maybe I could be good at that. There’s been a long running trend where movie (or even TV shows) have been kept to five words or less so as to keep them quickly remembered as well as fitting onto posters hanging to your local theatre walls geared towards generating the interest and fascination of you, the viewing public.

Sooner or later (in our lifetime or not) Hollywood’s gonna run out of words about how to name and promote their latest shows and features.  Think I’m wrong?  This effect is already occurring with such improbable names as  “Bikini Bloodbath Car Wash”  (Hey!! I think I saw that one!!),  “Mars Needs Women”, “Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny”, “Ilsa: Nazi She-Wolf of the SS” (definitely saw that one) and “On Golden Pond”.

Then again maybe I’m jumping the gun here.  Let’s see what movie titles I can drum up with word anagrams using only the actual words in the aforementioned film names (allowing for pluralizing when necessary):

“Ice Cream Nazis on Mars!”

“Santa Needs Women!”

“The She-Wolf and the Bunny Bloodbath!”

“The SS Bikini Carwash Pond!”

Ok, Ok, this is a clearly stupid and futile exercise but are my movie names really any worse than the ones I was drawing from? Then again, maybe I didn’t see some great film monikers in there that other, more farsighted readers can provide. Please send ’em to me in the comments section if ya think u got a good one.

Jimmy