Monday, January 25, 2010

Bottle Cap Let Down

I was wandering downtown with my kids yesterday and we came across Economy Candy Store. This place is candy heaven. They've got every candy you could ever imagine, including those frighteningly fucked up ones, like the giant black gummy rat, candy cigarettes, candy liquor bottles etc.

We slowly made our way through the aisles, scoping out all the tasty sweets, then we grabbed a basket and did a second run through the store, grabbing all the candy we wanted to buy. We hit the wonka section with a vengeance. Gobstoppers and the coveted box of bottle caps. Fuck yes. I bought 3 boxes of the caps, explaining to my kids that cola and rootbeer flavored bottle caps are as good a food as you will ever eat. I detailed how they dissolve on your tongue, how they melt away, dispersing that sweet soda flavor over your palette.

My kids were intrigued.

I was excited.

We headed to my parents' place to watch the Jets game and, upon entering the loft, my kids started asking for candy.

We all popped a watermelon Zotz. My son spit his out seconds after the first fizzy hit his tongue. My daughter and I sat there, face to face, giggling as the foamy fuzz bubbled out of the razor sharp hole in the zotz.

Then we had a contest to see who could make the loudest crackle sound with pop rocks.

We tried the sprees, sweet tarts, sky bars, now and laters and then my son asked for the root beer flavored bottle caps.

So we opened the first box. I poured the contents into a bowl. I started sifting thru the bowl. My son grabbed a cherry flavored cap, my daughter went with grape. They liked it but they weren't impressed.

Hang on, there has to be at least one brown cap in the box.

No, actually, there doesn't.

So I opened the second box.

Nothing. Not a single brown fucking cap. No cola, no root beer.

Box 3? Same shit. Orange, grape, cherry. I like those flavors. I do but they aren't cola and they aren't root beer.

Fucking shafted by Wonka.

Candyman, meet Floogin McNoogin, pissed off sugar junkie.

I just sent a lengthy diatribe to the Nestle, parent company of Wonka. I informed them of their cap issues. I explained the heartbreak my children suffered. The anguish I suffered when I came across as a lying sack of shit. I detailed the tears when I explained that the store was closed and I couldn't go buy more boxes to find the coveted root beer bottle caps.

Since when did the soda flavored caps become as elusive as the McRib?

I plan on emailing Nestle every day until they respond to my complaints.

I will call them and let my kids cry into the phone.

I will get compensated for those lost caps.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

24 Returns, So Do The Formulas

Let's see, Jack's out of CTU? check.
Jack is trying to lead a normal life, get closer with his daughter? Check.
There's a terror threat to a political figure? Check.
There's someone inside CTU who is threatened by an old flame/relative/friend? Check.
A political figure has someone inside their group that is trying to undermine his office? Check
A scorned politician's wife? Check
A new tech geek in CTU who is smarter than everyone and who will, either turn out to be a mole or a casualty? Check.
A new CTU operative who is like a younger Jack Bauer and who will, invariably, wind up working with Jack until he is, most likely, offed? Check.
Someone having their arm sawed off to remove a locked manacle? Check.
An agent willing to do anything to save the nation? Check, only this time, it ain't Bauer.
Chloe is under appreciated, ignored, pissed off and sassy? Check, check, check, check and check for good measure.
There's a moron running things at CTU? check (RIP Bill Buchanan)
Cops working for terrorists when they are supposed to be protecting the target? check

All this is the first two hours.

I expect we'll find many more similarities as the hours mount but, still, the show is entertaining. Jack has yet to show off his bad ass training. He's still sporting his man bag, only this one matches his new leather jacket. He's still The Man but now he's got Renee Walker back and she went from naive, overwhelmed agent to crazy, arm severing loon.

The new CTU agent sucks. He goes from having this thuggish moron accent to sounding as vanilla hollywood blandsville in every scene change.

His fiance has managed to go from being a trailer park queen to some kind of techno goddess who changed her name and avoided the apparently not so intense scrutiny of job placement at CTU.

The location has changed to NYC which, for me, should make things more fun as I can recognize all the exterior shots and see where they filmed but, sadly, instead, it is ruining things for me.

In the first two hours, Jack went from his apartment and took a walk/run a few blocks away. The exterior shots were from a street about a mile and a half away, not a few blocks.

Jack managed to get from Manhattan to Queens, break into a home, find dead bodies, talk to cops, get tasered, get tortured, break free, convince a cop he was a good guy, and head back into Manhattan in under 2 hours. DURING THE MORNING RUSH HOUR.

Anyone who has ever driven in NYC during the morning rush hour can tell you how impossible that is.

Still, we believe. We willingly accept that Jack's cell phone will work underground and never need a charge. We accept that Jack and the other folks on the show can move from location to location without the real nuisance of traffic or people. Jack has saved the nation year in, year out, and, yet, he's not recognizable by the terrorists? He's about to go undercover and the idea that everyone on the planet wouldn't know his face by now is almost laughable. Still, we believe.


Because it is still one of the most entertaining shows on tv. We know what will happen. We know folks will die. We know Jack will get close, lose the scent, close in again, only to be held back by some pointless side plot. We know Kim will find herself in some moronic situation (hello Johnny Drama and a cougar). We know Chloe will prove to be the smartest person in the room. We know the president will have to make a decision that goes against everything she believes in, AGAIN! and we know that, in the end, we will sit on the edge of our seats, chewing our nails, savoring each and every predictable minute because it's good and it's fun.

There won't be any shocking change to the formula until the show is leaving the airwaves. At that point, all bets are off. Jack might actually die.

Until then?

Keep an eye out. Tony Almeda might return. Hell, we might be so lucky as to see Mandy one more time.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Tale of the Deadbeat Continues

It seems the issue with my brother in law has finally reached its high point. My dad has cut him off, my mom can't look him in the eye and my sister claims she's on the verge of throwing him out. Personally, I don't believe my sister. I think she is pissed off but I think she is somewhat pissed at him and somewhat pissed at my parents for not giving them more money. That's how she is.

Case in point.

My dad is telling me how this guy is such a scum bag that he continued charging to a credit card that my sister had given him and he had run the balance up to about $10,500 and which she had told him to stop using.


She gave him a credit card? Why the fuck would she do that when they, supposedly, keep all their cards and accounts separate? Why would she tell him to stop using it and not take it from him? When she came to my dad, asking what she should do with this debt of over ten grand, presumably hoping my dad would pay it for her, my dad told her to call the company and tell them you want to pay it off and cancel it for 80% of the balance (this is the amount they will let you settle for without further fucking your credit). Then, when they called the card to make the offer, presumably with my dad making that payment, they found he had added another $1500 to the bill since the last one. So, she says she told him not to use it but he did anyway. This, from a guy who was told he'd be thrown out if he didn't get a job and start paying down his debt. Again, I'm not buying it.

I feel for my sister. I do. She's married to a lump of shit but, I also know that she loves him and married him, even though she knew he was a lump of shit.

So, while I feel bad, I don't feel that bad. No way in hell she let him keep the card and trusted him to not use it. I think she's lying to my parents, much like he lied to them, in an effort to keep some form of the gravy train a rollin'.

Of course, I can't tell my parents this. Shit, for the last few years I've been trying to alert my parents to the issues this guy was creating, only to be treated like I was the asshole son in law.

So, as I continue counselling and advising my parents on how to deal with this, I simply tell them that the guy lies, he continues to like and that they need to tread cautiously with their daughter as it is clear that what she says to them and what really goes on in her household are, more than likely, two vastly different stories.

One of the more impressive stories coming from that camp is that the guy has been seeing a shrink and he was diagnosed with clinical depression two years ago. Even my mother scoffed at that one. She and I both agreed that, if anything, he's fucking depressed as hell now because he is no longer being paid to be a lump of shit.

The mayo clinic lists the following as symptoms of clinical depression:
Loss of interest in normal daily activities
Feeling sad or down
Crying spells for no apparent reason
Problem Sleeping
Trouble Focusing or concentrating
Difficulty making decisions
unintentional weight gain, or loss
being easily annoyed
Feeling fatigued or weak
Feeling Worthless
Loss of interest in sex
Suicidal thoughts or behavior
Unexplained physical problems such as back pain or headaches.

So, let's clear a few up right off the bat. He's not suicidal. If he was, he'd have done it by now. He doesn't have unexplained physical issues. I know this because, having spent a few years in the office with him, I got to know way more than I ever wanted to know about him. Don't want to discuss the sex thing. He's a bit jabba the hut like, with this massive pumpkin of a head and it pains me to see him in a bathing suit, let alone picture him rogering my sister.

Unintentional weight gain, or loss. He was a fat fuck for a long time, long before he claims he was diagnosed as depressed. He recently lost a bit of weight but that's because he went on a very serious diet. So, not at all unintentional. Difficulty making decisions? He always seems to be trying to make decisions for everyone so we can rule that one out.

Now, let's get to the issues he has that might indicate depression.

Loss of interest in normal daily activities. Not sure if he has lost interest in the daily activity of work. He wakes up each day and goes somewhere, either his brother in law's office or some woman who he is trying to do business with so I can't say he's given up interest in that. During the summer he would wake up at 5:45 on saturday and sunday to play golf, he'd come home, oil up his island of a body and lie by the pool, ignoring everyone, until it was time to go fishing and then he'd get his shit together and get on the boat so we can rule out the loss of interest. While we're at it, we can rule out trouble focusing or concentrating because golf takes a lot of both and he never suffered enough that he couldn't play golf. We can also rule out fatigued or weak feeling since he woke up to play golf, would take his kids biking and he'd go fishing and play other sports with his son.

Feeling sad or down and feeling hopelessness. Well, now, sure, probably since he is now faced with the realization that his wife, inlaws and everyone around them know that he is a worthless lump of shit but over the last two years? No way. He was a happy fucker who loved going out to dinner, loved doing all the things previously mentioned and so on.

I'm sure he cries now and I'm sure the reasons are clear. I'd be a weepy motherfucker if I owed my father in law about $150k and everyone thought I was a waste of space.

I also wouldn't be able to sleep.

Irritability. This one I'll give him. He is irritable. He is also easily annoyed. Two on the whole list that might qualify him but he only gets irritable at his wife, his kids and my mother when she asks him to do something, like replace the empty bottle of vodka that he, alone, finished off the night before. He's been annoyed and easily irritated by his kids since they were born but, they are the most annoying kids on the planet. Fuck, if I had to listen to his whiny son cry whenever he was told no about something, I'd be depressed too.

The other thing about his irritability and easily annoyed personality is that these traits were most prevalent during the day, before he'd start drinking. That makes him an alcoholic who is itching for his booze, not clinically depressed.

Restlessness? My mother just told me, last night, that there's no way in hell she will allow him to lie around the pool doing nothing all day now that he doesn't have the free golf membership. So, he likes to lie around and do nothing? Hardly restless.

He's a con artist. A gold digger. A scum bag. A lying sack of shit.

He is not clinically depressed.

Anyway, the saga continues as the days progress and, since I have started discussing it here, I will continue to do so, in case one of the 5 people who reads this, gives a shit.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Celebrity Train Wrecks

Last night I sat down to watch some tv and there was nothing on. So, I flipped thru the channels and came across Celebrity Rehab. I'm hooked. These z level celebrities are even more pathetic than the ones who strip down to their skivvies and prance around half naked on celebrity fat asses or whatever it's called.

In Rehab, a group of celebs enter a rehabilitation facility for their drug use. They've got home video of them all doing drugs. Seriously. They showed them snorting coke, smoking crack etc. Who the fuck videotapes themselves doing drugs? Why? For what purpose? Are they smoking crack and thinking "shit, we should tape this so I can use it when I go on celebrity rehab?"

The tapes themselves are fucking pathetic. One of the "celebrities" last night was shown smoking cocaine with his father. I kid you not. Is there anything lower than smoking cocaine with your dad in a van?

Yes, there is.

Letting your dad shoot you up and then fucking him which is what one of the "celebrities" did. Repeatedly. McKenzie Phillips is on the show and she fucked her pops.

The so called celebrities were a nice mix of has beens, nobodies and never weres. The aforementioned Phillips, Heidi Fleiss, The former bassist from Alice in Chains (smokes with dad), a woman who, apparently, dated Roger Clemens, Dennis Rodman and another dude who was deemed a celebrity although I never found out who he was or why he was deemed famous.

These folks are interviewed by Dr. Drew and the interview is interspersed with video of their lives, their fame, their background, their downfall and their current, mostly pathetic existences.

Heidi Fleiss is a meth head. She copped to getting tweaked the same morning as she entered the facility. She looks like you'd expect her to look. She's gone way downhill from her heyday as a hooker and that is a pretty sad thing to face. She now lives like a hermit, surrounded by parrots. She was beaten by her former boyfriend, also a (former) celebrity rehab inhabitant.

Phillips was clean for ten years before moving on to heroin. Impressive.

Rodman? Not sure what his deal is but he's pretty much the same embarrassing clown he was when he got married in a dress.

The bassist from Alice In Chains? He actually thinks he was famous and when he was tossed from the band he decided drug abuse, with his dad, would numb the pain of no longer being "the drummer from Alice In Chains." Seriously. I don't know the band, other than that one song they had that Beavis and Butthead made fun of on their show. I do know the lead singer was Layne Stanley and he died, of an overdose, I think. To be fired from a band where the lead singer eventually overdosed, you need to be a pathetic mess or a total asshole. This guy seems like both.

It is pure nirvana watching these losers talk about how they skipped out on prior rehabs because the places were filled with losers. Seriously, Heidi, you sucked cock for money BEFORE you became an addict and the business man with a coke addiction is a loser?

I'm never one to promote reality tv but this is something worth watching. Showcasing people, who were more infamous than famous and who are now so desperate to regain that infamy that they will go on tv and let the world see them for what they really are, is pure entertainment.

If you don't want to check out the whole show, watch enough to see Heidi Fleiss smile. Then come back here and tell me she isn't The Joker from Burton's batman.