Friday, August 29, 2008

The Last Laugh

Yesterday, Lily and I took a long woods walk. Her primary goal in these walks is to lurch off into the undergrowth and do one of three things: (1) Get the extra-long leash wrapped around a tree; (2) Get her ears stuck in a thicket of brambles; (3) Dig. Dig. Dig. Dig. Dig. Dig.

My objective is quite different. I seek only to keep mosquitoes from bothering me. Easy enough, you'd think? Just apply insect repellent, you'd think? You'd think.

Instead, this is what happened yesterday:
That's always how I feel when I get a cloud of mosquitoes pestering me. Except, in this case, King Kong is walking along a scenic forest path with an airhorn slung around his chest, a walking stick, and a dog on a leash. This makes it even harder to swat at the annoying cloud of whining, winged creatures.

I know that my facial expression is the same as Kong's 'though. Angry, befuddled, perplexed, disbelieving..."BLARGH! BLARGH!" accompanied by spastic motions of my head and arms.

Yesterday, I think there was just ONE mosquito and that mosquito was everywhere about my head and that mosquito was trash-talking me. It went like this:

Mosquito (into Sparkle's ear): "Mrrrrrrrzzzzzzzz mrrrrrrrrzzzzzzzzzz. I'm gonna bite you I'm gonna get you I'm gonna bite you I'm gonna get you."
Sparkle (flailing like Kong): "BLARGH BLARGH!"
Mosquito (still right at Sparkle's ear): "Mrrrrrrrzzzzz mrrrrrrrzzzz. You won't know when it's coming I'm gonna bite you! Mrrrrrszzzzzzzzzzz."
Sparkle (puts down walking stick, boxes ear, ear rings): "Heh, heh, heh. Ow."
Mosquito (back at Sparkle's ear): "Mrrrrrzzzz mrrrrrzzzzz. Didn't get me, nyah nyah."
Sparkle (butting head into leaves on low-hanging branch and shaking head back and forth angrily): "BLARGH! BLARGH!"
Silence.
Sparkle: "Heh, heh, heh. Ow."
Mosquito (back at Sparkle's ear): "Mrrrzzzzzz mrrrrrzzzzzzzzz. I'm really really gonna get you."
Sparkle: "BITE ME ALREADY!"
Mosquito (back at Sparkle's ear): "Don't wanna. You taste bad. What's that crap you've got on? I'm looking for that one spot on you that doesn't have the crap on it. Don't mind me...go about your business. Mrrrzzzzz mrrrrrrzzzzz."
Sparkle (breaks into a frenzied run, closely followed by Lily, who thinks Sparkle has seen a deer and is giving chase): "BLARGH!"
Mosquito (sounding slightly winded): "Mrrrrrrrrrrzzzzz mrrrrrrrrrzzzzzzzz mrrrrrrrrzzzzz."
Elderly Man, accompanied by beagle, who pops up suddenly in path: "Well, good morning!"
Sparkle (tries to reign self in): "Lovely day! Mosquitoes a little thick!"
Elderly Man: "Really? They haven't been bothering us!"
Sparkle: "Oh, good!"
Enters a clearing with no sign of mosquitoes.
Sparkle: "Whew."
Mosquito: "Mrrrrrrrrrzzzzzzzzzzz."

To sum up: I'm pretty sure there's a mosquito version of "You Tube" and they're playing the "Sparkle Kong vs. Mosquito" video 24-7.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sister: "Where ya been?"
Sparkle: "Working on a training module that involves Alba the glow-in-the-dark bunny."
Sister: "Well, you bet. Who hasn't been doing that?"
Sparkle: "I need to crawl back into the module now."
Sister: "Don't bump your head."

So, that's me on this day in history: I am working on a training module involving a glow-in-the-dark bunny that might have been genetically engineered for an artist or an artist wanted to make use of it after it had been genetically engineered. Alba the Green Bunny.
http://www.wired.com/medtech/health/news/2002/08/54399

In an effort to ease a growing sense of "module claustrophobia" I've had over the last couple of days, I busted out today, went out and bought two glamorous black tops and an ankle bracelet (A SPREE), and got about a million new books to read. Sittin' pretty.

The question: Should I go with Michael Crichton's "Next" next or "Four Phillip Marlowe Stories" by Raymond Chandler?

As I also have six Robert Parker novels, I have the feeling that I might be drawn back into the gravitational pull of the world of Spenser for Hire. Strange: When I'm not into reading those books, I can't imagine ever wanting to. When I'm into it, nothin' can stop me--okay, maybe Alba can stop me.

Anyway, Spenser brings me to this, the cheesiest instrumental TV theme show intro music ever, 'least I think so. It makes my eye get a tic:

And as I watched that, I was captivated by Ron McLarty. Everything was looking too glossy and disgustingly smooth, accompanied by the whiny, noodly sax, and BANG! Here's Ron McLarty!Chomping a doughnut and keepin' it real! As looking stuff up online is my sole super-power, I plugged Ron McLarty's name into IMDB. I found out that he "was discovered as a writer by Stephen King, who listened to his unpublished novel which McLarty had recorded as an audio book. Stephen King listed McLarty's book, 'The Memory of Running', in a 2003 review as the best book you can not read. After a publishers bidding war McLarty accepted an offer from Viking of over $2M for the publishing rights."

I need to go now. I have to crawl back into the module and deal with Alba the Green Bunny and the awful knowledge that a publishers bidding war is unlikely to result from my work with Alba and the Modules. Sigh. I think I'm going to go find my new ankle bracelet and pretend I'm in the burlesque.

A Special Note for Redbeard: None of this is made up (except maybe Ron McLarty is eating a cruller and not a doughnut, per se).

Monday, August 25, 2008

Choosing The Next Book to Read

So, I just plowed through the three books I was reading--zipping back and forth--and now I need to pick a new book to read. I'm gonna pick the book by the first few lines. Here are the choices:

Book 1: "He woke up scared. Worse than that: he was terrified. His heart was pounding, his breath came in gasps, and his body was taut. It was like a nightmare, except that waking brought no sense of relief. He felt that something dreadful had happened, but he did not know what it was."

--Man, is it just me? Do you feel kinda anxious now, too? Mind you, this would describe a typical Monday for me, but it does sound suspenseful. That's a maybe.

Book 2: "How much land do you need? Is your dream plot in the city or the country? Or even another country where the land and property are less expensive? Do you want to try to go off-grid--meaning no public electricity, water, or gas? Can you make it happen by staying put and renting land--fields, allotments and such? Do you want to join a self-sufficient community? Are you going to continue a career? Do you have enough assets?"

--Just reading these first few lines made me really, really tired. I think I need to go lie down now. I'm probably not ready to read this book yet.

Book 3: "The muttering was indistinct. It crept down the dark ward, forcing itself upon the man who lay in the patch of light at the far end of the vast room. It was a pleasant muttering. It made a reassuring undercurrent below the worry, that terrifying anxiety which was thrusting icy fingers deep into his diaphragm."

--OUCH! Damn! I don't want any icy fingers deep into my diaphragm! It was all sounding very pleasant back when the muttering was indistinct and then wham! There we go with the terrifying anxiety again. I'm thinking I might go with something else.

Book 4: "It had been sixteen months since the female sperm whale had copulated briefly with the old bull amid an excited welter of near-freezing foam in the lonely, icy wastes of the Souther Ocean. Now the moment of birth of her first calf was at hand."

--WTF was I thinking when I chose this book? A female sperm whale's one-night stand? The writer is sounding a little too excited about this. I thought it was supposed to involve espionage? And spies? Not female sperm whale's one-night stands?

Book 5: "When Proust recollected the precise taste sensation of the little scalloped madeleine cakes served at tea by his aunt, it led him into his monumental remembrance of things past. When I recollect the taste sensations of my childhood, they lead me to more cakes, more tastes: the great razor clams, the succulent Dungeness crab, the salmon, crawfish, mussels, and trout of the Oregon Coast; the black bottom pie served in a famous Portland restaurant; the Welsh rabbit of our Chinese cook, the white asparagus my mother canned, and the array of good dishes prepared by the two of them in that most memorable of kitchens."

--Nice, cozy. Manages to avoid waking with dread. Abstains from posing too many questions all at once. Above all, presents a nice discussion of seafood WITHOUT venturing into the sex life of the female sperm whale. I might go with this one. Drawback: I've read it before.

Play the Game That's Sweeping the Country! Is Dick Smiling, Plotting Evil, Or About to Bite?

1. Correct. Here Dick is totally plotting evil. Well done, my friend.
2. Oh, sweet Jesus! SMILING! Yes, DEFINITELY SMILING! Please make him stop!
3. This was a trick. The answer is "None of the above." Dick is about to eat a baby here. A very, very cute baby. He is also planning on eating the baby blanket.
4. Another trick. He actually just "made" in his pants and blamed the liberal media for the smell.
5. Aw, there's no fooling you. Yeah, it's another trick. This is Dick's profile picture in an elite online community of bottom-teeth-fetishists. I do not judge.
6. Yes, it IS tiny, but you have guessed correctly. Here, Dick is about to bite.
7. And, last but by no means least...What have we here? HOLY COW! Dick Cheney's been peeking at the "Democrat Playbook" again and he's stolen Joe Biden's trademark hand gesture. What's next? Is he gonna steal their mascot before the big game? ZOIKS!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Friend Is Dotty

Sparkle: "Hello?"
Friend: "It's happening again. I'm feeling light-headed."
Sparkle: "Well, just lie down like I told you, and put your feet up on pillows, and try to breathe deeply."
Friend: "It's not working. It's not working. It's not working."
Sparkle: "This is all in your mind, you know, you are stronger than this. You can get over this."
Friend: "I'm not so sure anymore."
Sparkle: "It's just a word."
Friend (yelling): "IT IS NOT JUST A WORD! Everywhere I turn, there it is and it's creeping me out, man, it's creeping me out. It's following me with its eyes."
Sparkle: "It's following you? With its eyes? What do you mean? I know you told me you had a problem with this, but this is new. What are you talking about?"
Friend (not lying down with feet elevated): "It's UNNATURAL! I read the paper, there are the eyes. I watch the TV, there are the eyes. I'm talking to somebody, they say the word, and the eyes are there--I can't see them, BUT THE EYES ARE THERE! The eyes, not to mention that smirking little dot over the j."
Sparkle: "What are you talking about?"
Friend: "Beijing. The i's in Beijing! I told you the word was creeping me out for some reason, and I just figured out what it was. It's those i's and the j...it's three dots all in a row. It's not natural."
Sparkle: "Oh. You were saying 'i's.' The 'i's' are following you."
Friend: "Yes. What the hell did you think I was saying? It's that "iji." It's like a weird, creepy little dot gang. Three dots in a row. It's freaky. It ain't right."
Sparkle: "I think you should just read some good books for awhile, maybe 'til the Olympics are over. Don't watch TV, don't read the newspaper."
Friend: "That's no solution! That's a lousy idea! What if I read a book and the word Beijing is in it? What then?"
Sparkle: "It is not so easy being your friend sometimes."
Friend: "C'mon, you're an editor, you can help me with this."
Sparkle: "I don't think you need an editor."
Friend: "Oh, sure. Take the easy way out. Pass the buck. It's not my fault. It's the freaky word's fault."
Sparkle: "How about if you picture those three lil' dots as smiley faces?"
Friend: "WORSE! WORSE! Creepy! WORSE!"
Sparkle (sighs): "Okay. For you, I will invent an alternative spelling for Bei-"
Friend: "Don't say it, don't say it. I can say it, but it's worse when someone else says it."
Sparkle: "...jing. It's pronounced the same way, but the new, alternative spelling is: Beejeeng. Four e's replace the offending i's, and only the j remains. It is now a one-dot word. I have broken up the 'creepy little dot gang'."
Friend: "Hmm. I'm writing it down now."
Sparkle: "Better?"
Friend: "No. All those e's make the word look like it's screaming."
Sparkle: "Goodbye."
Click.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Cisco Kid Is A Friend of Mine

So, I've been watching this old TV show on DVD: The Cisco Kid. As always, I became curious about the actors--that would be Duncan Renaldo (Cisco) and Leo Carrillo (Pancho)--and I googlegooglegoogled to find out more.

1) An orphan, Duncan Renaldo claimed not to really know where or when he was born. He MIGHT have been born in: (1) Spain; (2) Romania; (3) New Jersey.
--Study Question: New Jersey? What exit?
2) Duncan Renaldo came to this country as a stoker on a Brazilian coal ship, but when his ship caught fire he had to find other work and started producing films.
--Study Question: How many stokers start producing films when their Brazilian coal ships catch fire?
3) Before he started producing films and before he became the Cisco Kid, Duncan Renaldo tried to make his living as a portrait painter. It didn't work very well, although later on he did illustrate at least one book which is now for sale on ebay.
--Study Question: Does this make him the only Stoker-Portrait Painter-Producer-Actor you've ever heard of?
4) Duncan Renaldo was arrested as an illegal alien (from where? New Jersey?) and was imprisoned for almost a year until Franklin Delano Roosevelt pardoned him. Apparently, Eleanor Roosevelt convinced FDR to pardon Duncan because she'd bought one of his paintings and liked it.
--Study Question: Can I trust IMDB and Wikipedia about this guy? Do you think a studio PR department made up this stuff and it has not been proved false?

In any event, Duncan Rrrrrrrenaldo interests me. From what I read, he seems like he was a nice, hard-working guy surrounded with a good deal of murkiness about his early years. Or, maybe it's all true? I just don't know.

There is no mystery surrounding Leo Carrillo, but he is a very interesting fellow.
1) He played "Pancho" when he was in his seventies.
2) Before he became an actor, he worked as a political cartoonist at the San Francisco Examiner.
3) A California state park is named after him.
4) His father was the police chief and mayor of Santa Monica.
5) His cousin acted on Broadway and in movies under the name "William Gaxton."

Both men died in September, Carrillo in September 1961 and Renaldo in September 1980. Here's to Duncan Renaldo and Leo Carrillo--two cool and multi-talented fellows.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Hurley, Burley, and Something Grrrrly

Okay. According to Ace Reporter Lois Lane, today is Hurley, Burley, and Something Girly day. I can kinda do that! Here goes:
HURLEY! Uh, Chad Hurley, the co-founder of YouTube, to be specific. Chad Hurley is married to Kathy Clark, the daughter of "noted Silicon Valley entrepreneur"* Jim Clark. Jim Clark founded Silicon Graphics, Netscape, and other stuff. Chad and his wife Kathy have two children. I'm kinda scared to imagine what those two kids will invent--sentient cyber clams or something? Zero idea.
BURLEY! Okay, maybe it's more "Burl-I," but I say it counts.
AND GRRRLY! Yep. Well, actually they're riot women now. I've been wanting to put this clip up this week!


BONUS FEATURE FROM THUNDERANT (www.thunderant.com): THE PERFECT SONG

*I wish I had a cool descriptive phrase that always goes in front of my name like people like Bruce Wayne and Jim Clark do.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

It's Still Charlene Yi-TV Thursday, but...

Good mornin'! So, it's still Charlene Yi-TV Thursday at Dinosaur Casserole--please see videos below. But, in her blog this morning, Cake brought to our attention the woeful state of side effects in medicines. I've had some real problems with side effects that are worse than the ailments themselves. So, the last time I was at the pharmacist, I was like, "Look. I don't like the side effects of this medicine. Do you have any other side effects you could give me?" Fortunately, the pharmacist did, in fact, have some different side effects in stock and was able to quickly fill my order:
S'long as it's a double-post day, have a bonus Picture of Lily.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Charlyne Yi-TV Thursday at Dinosaur Casserole!





Dining A L'one

Here is the list of suppers that people have told me they eat when they are alone--either living alone or there's no family supper for the night:

1) Popcorn and diet soda
1a) Popcorn (the microwave sort with butter...mmmm...lots of lovely, lovely butter) and infrastructure (aka booze) (Jayne)
2) Cereal and milk
3) Frozen yogurt or ice cream
4) Chips and a beverage
5) Eggs and toast
6) Take-out (pizza, Chinese food, Subway, fast food hamburgers, etc.)
7) The best leftover pickings from a "fridge browse," microwaved
8) Food that is carefully labeled and left in the refrigerator for them with detailed instructions on how to warm it up
9) Salad from some grocery store salad bar
10) An entire meal they make from scratch that neatly scales the food pyramid--protein, carbohydrate, fruits and vegetables, etc.
11) A sizable amount of alcohol and an ill-advised "treat" from a street vendor taken to sop up the alcohol
12) Hoarded items from a child's Halloween candy stash...and an apple
13) Nothing--not "Nothing for item #13"--nothing
14) Macaroni and cheese from a box
15) Going out to a restaurant--doesn't matter what the food is, just not eating it at home
16) A brownie topped with pieces of Heath Toffee and vanilla ice cream (Redbeard)
17) Cheese cheese cheese sausage and cheese! (Cake)
18) Grilled cheese sandwich; mashed potatoes and gravy with something on the side to fulfill the protein requirement; scrambled eggs with fried tomatoes, onions, and mushrooms on the side; baked potato with broccoli and cheese; or mac 'n cheese (Cake).
19) Fish fingers/sticks with loads of vinegar and loads of salt (but not quite enough to cause a stroke) (Jayne and Lois)
20) Chips 'n Salsa; P-nut butter sandwiches (Lois)
21) Tuna Sandwich! (Pork Luck)
22) Beer and ... whatever I find in the fridge after eleven beers. Pickles? Grated cheese? Old stale tortillas? Yum! (Ege)
23) Pasta and broccoli with romano cheese; Broccoli, Worcestershire-infused ground turkey meat, and romano cheese; a pint of premium ice cream; waffles--especially interestingly flavored waffles; a whole mess of grilled Spanish onions, served with pasta or hamburger or pretty much anything else--maybe with a bit of cheese melted on 'em; generic, non-pre-portion controlled leftovers eaten right out of the pan used to heat them. (Lamont)
24) Mini-carrots with hummus or shrimp cocktail sauce or mustard; pickles; a cracker or toasted flat bread or something likewise crunchy; a slice of cheese; fruit. (Sparkle)
25) Cooked carrots, celery, cabbage, tofu, soy sauce, catchup, non-fat yogurt, and lemon-pepper (Donald)
26) Fresh veggies from the garden or a piece of fish or chicken. Bad food... salsa with corn and beans and sour cream with some chips (Ishat's Fire)
27) Bottle of homemade wine and bag of potato chips (Soup's Favorite Aunt)

Where do you fall--if anywhere--on this list?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Friday, August 8, 2008

And Now...For Something Completely Different!

So, there's this Web site where you can put in your picture and it comes up with "your celebrity look-alikes." I actually tried doing this with photos of Lily's face, a scary trout face, and Godzilla's face, but the program rejected 'em. In other experiments, with my usual gallery of mugging, face-making, disgraceful photos, my closest "Celebrity Look-alikes" were judged to be: Jessica Alba, Patricia Arquette, Eminem, Elizabeth Taylor, Marc Almond, Gary Cooper, and Sofia Coppola. It seemed like an insult to those celebrities, frankly.

One thing I know for sure now: If I have make-up on, look like I'm drunk, tilt my head, smirk, and make the picture black and white, the program claims I look like Gwynneth Paltrow.

If I have make-up on, smirk, look like I'm drunk, tilt my head, and keep my picture in color, the program claims I look like Patrick Swayze.

And, if I don't wear any make-up and use a picture that makes me look like a cartoon character, the program claims I look like...L. Ron Hubbard.

Try it yourself!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Double Feature! Hiram Holiday and My Secret Passion

FEATURE 1: A SPLENDID SEA CUCUMBER DISCOVERY!
So, thanks to Cake having a great sister named Roger (who has a great sister named Cake--very unusual names in this family, but perhaps it is the Canadian Way and my name is Sparkle, so I better not be a judger) and thanks to Roger for having an obsession with sea cucumbers instead of trout, I found myself looking for sea cucumber ephemera today. AND WOW WHAT A COOL THING I FOUND! You probably know all about this--because in the words of Fredo in The Godfather, you're smart, not like people say-ay. However, I did not know all about this.

HIRAM HOLIDAY (AKA WALLY COX AKA UNDERDOG)!!! HERE HE IS, HOLDING A SEA CUCUMBER! (Actually, it's just supposed to be a sea cucumber--I strongly suspect it's a stunt creature that the prop department put together...possibly a scallop stapled to a snail or something)
But but but! I never even heard of this old Hiram Holiday TV series!!! It looks quite delightful! Hiram is a mild-mannered (of course) fellow who wanders the globe looking for stuff like sea cucumbers and bumbling in and out of trouble (there's a bit of a Monsieur Hulot thing going on here, if you ask me--maybe not, maybe so).
I guess I know what I'm gonna be buying in my next Amazon order...Check out the clip in the sidebar!

FEATURE 2: MY SECRET PASSION
Yes, that's right. The Harlem Globe-Trouters are my secret passion. Well, okay. They're not a secret passion--that just looked better in the title box, y'know? This morning, I realized that I'd forgotten about them and how much I loved them when I was a kid (and now too, I'm sure, but I haven't seen 'em lately). I never missed their TV shows. I didn't realize they started so long ago--in 1926--and let's face it, life off the basketball court very likely sucked pretty big for them. In the vintage poster above, I must make an observation: I don't know what this House of David thing is all about, but the House of David is packing. This is definitely from the "short shorts" era of basketball sartorial resplendence...
The Harlem Globetrotters: To adopt the language of the movie Casino, I fuckin' love 'em.
HAPPY NEW COMIX DAY! HAVE A WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Big Fish Story

The Mystery Fish of Brigham City, Utah
Craig Schaugaard, Aquatic Manager for the Department of Wildlife Resources, said, "When we first saw that fish, we thought, ‘What in the crap is this thing?'..."It does have an adipose fin, which is common in trout species."
One person wrote, "Looks like a cross between a trout, a gremlin, and my ex-wife."
Three-year-old Ellie said, "It got big teeth."
Godzilla said: "Why the hell do all of these random loser species come after me? And this time it's just the heads of these freak filets? It's like 'little guy syndrome' or something. Excuse me. I have to prove myself. Again. I don't get paid enough for this crap."

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Life Cycle of A Trout

Where The Trout Swallow FoodGnome of The Trout Apocalypse Shack of The Trout Apocalypse
Where the Trout Are Swallowed
The End
(Unless you want dessert, in which case I'll need to put up the Life Cycle of A Strawberry Shortcake with Whipped Cream.)

Friday, August 1, 2008

A True Story

I got my library card today.

And, when she handed the card to me the librarian said, "You can use this card in ANY LIBRARY IN THE STATE!"

And I cried out hoarsely, "WOO-HOO!"

I believe I scared the librarian.

The End.

(Have a great weekend!)