Saturday, December 29, 2007

Why I Hate The Holidays

George C Scott is one of my favorite actors. He is highly accredited, having won Oscars and Emmys and the like. He is the epitome of intensity on screen. He is a rock, he is an island. He built this city, he built this city on rock and roll. I didn’t really notice him until I saw Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb. In this very dark comedy, he plays a military advisor to the President during a cold war nuclear fallout / doomsday scenario. At one point, he pretends he is a B-52 bomber and “whooshes” around the Presidents situation room, bombing the Russian countryside with reckless abandon. Although pretending to be a B-52 bomber is fun, this is not why I like George C Scott. It is not his gruff sandpaper voice, or his wheezy laugh, although I do always try to imitate that laugh whenever I have a sore throat, which might be the only good aspect to being sick, you sound like George C Scott when you laugh. It’s not the awards that he has won either. The reason I really like George C Scott is because of his monster mutton chop side burns as Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. Those things are B. A. D., bad I tell ya’. And not “Michael Jackson Bad,” or “Gleaming the Cube Bad,” or any kinda bad where you don’t know right away how bad something is until you upset some delicate internal balance and release some pent up monster that takes the law into their own hands before realizing the follies of their ways and ends up crying in a corner. That’s not the kind of badness that these sideburns exude. I’m talking about blatantly, out-right, in-yo-face, obviously-gonna-mess-you-up-at-any-given-second-for-no-particular-reason bad. Samuel L. Jackson bad. Sgt. Bosco “BA” Baracus bad. Shaft in Africa bad. Dolph Lundgren bad. George C. Scott’s mutton chops are the definition of bad. If those bad ass mutton chops were a person, and you accidentally bumped into the mutton chops’ parked car, and he saw you do it from inside whatever store a personified mutton-chop being would shop at, you’d get your butt kicked. Those things are bad.

Why do I care so much about George C Scott’s side burns? Because I have no choice. They demand attention. It’s the holidays and I will see those bad mofo’s over and over for the next few weeks as every TV station plays “A Christmas Carol” and “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Jingle All The Way”. I like George C Scott, but I didn’t want to see him and his bad mutton chops out of the corner of my eye while I was sipping gloog at the local pub after a long day of work. You have to be prepared to see mutton chops that bad, and I wasn’t prepared. As a result, the friend I had gone out for a drink with thought that I was being a jerk and went home. Thanks a lot, George. You and your bad ass mutton chops pissed off my friend, not me. That’s why I hate the holidays.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Buddy The House Plant: A Soliloquy

This is my obsession. This is my harem. These are my spirit guides. No wonder I’m so flapin’ lost. Get a freekin’ GPS system, stupid spirit guides.

Calathea Ecuadoriana

This persnickety temptress of the night is one of my most recent acquisitions. Possibly the hardest plant in the lot to care for, Calathea has a tendency of letting her lowest, youngest, most na├»ve leaves die off without even a hint of remorse or regret. No matter how I try to nurture her, the slaughter continues. Even if these smaller tendrils hold nothing in their little plant hearts but love, and dedicate their whole existence to Calathea's impromptu whimsies and fancies, they scarcely stand a chance against her wrath. It seems a game to her, a cruel and manipulative rouse meant to provoke some drastic action, some dire accomplishment, but I know not what she wants of a wretch like me. As I cut away the rotting corpses she leaves at the base of her sacrificial temple (aka, the pot that the plant sits in), I can’t help but be taken in by her majestic beauty. The pinstriped pattern of her leaves, her crushed velvet texture, her slow, sodden pleads for “more water, more water” are too much for my weak will. She has beguiled my heart and I am nestled deep in rapture, in awe of her power. I offer all I can to her; only in the finest pottery will she sit, only resting in the most nutrient rich potting soil shall she grow, only of the finest filtered city water my kitchen spigot will offer does she drink. And of her perch, one could wish none higher or better lit; with sweeping views of the neighboring Thai restaurant and the corner day spa, with it’s neon sign of a smiling sun, continuously beckoning passers-by to escape the brutal winter air and indulge in the decadence of an electronic bed made of sunlight and cancer. What being of this Earth would renounce such handling? Such tenderness? Such an attentive servant? I beseech her; “Tell me what you desire, and I will search the world of it for you!” But she remains silent and the death drums continue and the leaves fade and wither and die away as they have every night and will continue forever more. And now I sit, alone in the dark, in my penance, my reparation to her. All my possessions I bade her take of me, and still she scowls upon my meager existence. Oh, tainted heart, will you not beat once more? Is twice thrust upon the alter of love, lust and bile too great an extent of one man’s witness? I beg you, heed my warnings and be wary the temptress of the night, the one they call Calathea.