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Happy Christmas!
Posted by Rob Sherwood   •   Monday, 2007-December-24 • 14:29
I wish I could have an open-house and have each and every one of you stop by. It would be so nice to talk in person.

I could envision just sitting by the fire listening to things on vinyl. Like Karen Carpenter's Christmas L.P. Or something serious. I can entertain myself like no one else can do. But...that sort of peace is not my lot, so with just a dribble of complaint, I (to paraphrase Mama Cass) "go where I gotta go...do what I gotta do..."

Pretty funny that without plan I mention Karen Carpenter and Mama Cass...because as you all know....if Karen Carpenter had eaten Mama Cass's ham sandwich, they would both be alive today!

Does anyone watch Extra's on HBO? What a wonderful show. Since I frequently watch shows on BBC America I love hearing the catch phrase..."Are you having a laugh?"....Last spring when I was in England, some one on the train used something similar...but more graphic. I said something and he said, "Are you having the piss?" I still laugh.

Speaking of laughing. Who is war-like and tells people to be quiet?

Conan the Librarian!

"...have yourself a Merry Little Christmas..."

Holiday Typos
Posted by Rob Sherwood   •   Friday, 2007-December-21 • 10:45

I took a few moments to scan the latest chapter in My Story (now found in the Minnesota Years Tab) and I have to apologize for all the typos and mistakes. I warned that I was posting it un-corrected, but I didn't realize how loaded with errata it was.

So is the Christmas season treating you well. I find myself getting frazzled and tense along with the masses and when you think about it, how foolish that is. Instead of peace and contentment there are tensions and resentments. Perhaps, in my case, it is a basic selfishness. Quite frankly, I don't much like giving presents. Wait a minute. I LIKE giving presents. I don't like buying presents to give. At least I have a saving grace because I don't much care about receiving gifts either. That is a stretch from the way I was raised. My mother went absolutely mad at Christmas. She began buying gifts in June or July and wrapping in August. Often she would forget what was wrapped and to whom it was gifting and on Christmas morning after opening there would be a muttered, "That's not for you" and the present would be whisked out of your hands and given to someone else. In the early 70's I missed Christmas while I worked and the following Sunday, Don Bleu and family drove with me to have a delayed family Christmas. They were amazed when I opened 28 gifts. With the affluence that came with TDB's success I am sure his kids approached that total, if not in number in value. I'm sure most people don't get 4 footstools and a pen that writes under water for Christmas.

My main problem is that I gotten myself into a situation where I have no control over my holiday. I end up just going and doing what others tell me to do. At times I feel like the guy who followed the Wisemen's camels with a shovel. I have written somewhere on the site of a Christmas in Modesto when I made a huge pot of killer chili on Christmas Eve. I miss things like that. I still love Christmas but it is the concept rather than the reality that fills me with joy.

Sometime over the week-end I'll hit the key that delivers my internet Christmas cards. If you get one....great. If you didn't make the list...sorry. In either situation, I really do wish you a Happy Christmas and a wonderfully contented New Year.

In the meantime, I will trudge to where I am told, keep my mouth shut and feel like all my chestnuts are....

"....roasting on an open fire...."


PS: A listener from the 'old days' wrote and asked me a question about a song and group on a TV/radio commercial from back then. It seems familiar to me but I am drawing a memory blank. Not surprising. Here is the query....

...I'm thinking back to a commercial for Coca Cola back in the 60's and I'm wondering if you can tell me who the band was that did the commercial. The scene was on a beach and the band was singing, "Just a few feet back in a little white shack..." They were singing about getting a Coke from the snack shack at the beach."

Anyone want to solve this mystery?
Happy Times
Posted by Rob Sherwood   •   Monday, 2007-December-10 • 20:56
I have refrained from spending a lot of time with my opinions of what is wrong with radio today. Opinions are like ass-holes.... You know the rest. Quite frankly, I don't spend a lot of time thinking about radio. I have other things to think about. In any given week, if I listen to 10 minutes of regular contemporary radio there must be sports on my talk stations. I AM out of touch.

It was an unusual night when I spent a few minutes staring at the ceiling thinking about what I was wrong. I have come to two conclusions. First, the entertainment radio shows all seem to take themselves waaaaay to seriously. It irritates me that someone as mean spirited, negative, ill-informed, as Don Imus can become a millionaire. Like so many, his real talent is his ability to convince people he has some. And there are many like him.

Secondly, where is the genuine fun. I was watching an old Dean Martin show and the sheer exuberance and fun was more than contagious. It was genius. I remember a bit that Steve Allen did. He played a sports caster but it was the early version of all the various "news" reports done on SNL or copycats. I never understood that bit on Saturday Night Live. It just wasn't funny. However, when Steve Allen did it I would fall on the floor laughing.

I guess what I am saying is that most of the people I hear on radio don't really sound like they are enjoying themselves. That's my bottom line. Not surprising when you think that the least funny comment will get an LOL and just a tiny bit of humor gets a LMAO!

So, I have compiled a list of funny. Here are some. Feel free to add.

Jack Benny - Funny

The Seinfeld Show - Funny

Jerry Seinfeld - Not funny

Saturday Night Live - Not Funny

Al Franken - Not Funny

Bill Mahre - Not Funny

Ricky Gervais - Funny

Charlie Chaplin - Not Funny

Laurel & Hardy - Funny

Topo Gigo - Not Funny

Family Guy - Funny

American Dad - Not Funny

Larry King - Dead

There are a lot more, but my brain is working too hard thinking of them. Next time I'll post the parrot story and it will explain a lot.

Take Care...Rob
Posted by Rob Sherwood   •   Friday, 2007-December-07 • 21:51
I know I was grousing about it yesterday, but the Senior Christmas Lunch was fun this year. The volunteer kids from the High School did a good job of serving the geezers and even handled my brother's request for more gravy. I don't go for the food, but to see some cousins I rarely see, perhaps to win a door prize, get the various freebies including my pound of authentic Native American wild rice and have a little tradition in my life. BTW...no turkey. Roast beef and baked chicken. The only problem...only dark meat. One of the reasons I don't eat the goose or the duck. All dark meat you know. It could have been worse. Earlier in the week I was invited to a local Lutheran Church's annual Lutefisk and Swedish Meatball dinner. Boiled potatoes and Swedish meatballs are on the list of foods served in Heaven, but I'll pass on the lutefisk. I don't eat anything that swims. Another reason not to eat duck or goose.

I went to dinner with some friends and they were eating oysters. Technically an oyster doesn't swim. Does it crawl? No..I think oysters just stay there. People who eat oysters on the half shell get almost orgasmic while eating them. They are supposed to be aphrodisiacs. When I was younger I ate a dozen oysters but only 11 of them worked.

Have you noticed how different foods are eaten by different social types. I can't picture a stereotypical San Francisco gay eating at Old Country Buffet. Can you imagine some guy with a rifle in the window of his truck and a 24 pack of cheap beer teling you they were a vegan? I don't know where I'm going with all this. Somehow I got off the track. That is because my nose is plugged, it is going to be -20 tonight and tomorrow I have to help my sister-in-law decorate her Christmas tree. MY tree has been up since.....hm.....let me think.... 2002. Yup! That's right. 2002. I think after Christmas I may dust it.

Too Serious
Posted by Rob Sherwood   •   Thursday, 2007-December-06 • 22:47
Everyday important things happen. Everyday there are tragedies we try to understand. I spend a lot of time shouting at the TV and I am frequently tempted to bring my shouting here. I don't.

There are already too many opinions on the why and what-for. I prefer to keep my blog-umbrage among the banal and trivial. Have you ever wondered why old codgers get so upset because kids cut across their lawns? It is a time thing. Whether the world is a mess, the next generation screws it up worse, Social Security is in trouble or the Islamic Nut-Jobs will do this or that is too far in the future to worry about it. I NOW understand why old people used to say, "Well, when that happens I'll be pushing up daisies...". But when a damn kid rides his bike across the corner of your yard, BY GOD, I can deal with that RIGHT NOW!

Tomorrow I'll celebrate a bit of my Native American heritage by letting them give me a free holiday meal. Yes, the annual Senior's Christmas Dinner. I'd probably skip it (if for no other reason than it will probably be the despised turkey) but, my older brother likes me to go. And I might win one of the door prizes.

This afternoon I dropped by Old Country Buffet. I don't go their to join the competition. You know...the buffet competition. The object being to try to eat so much that you are an unprofitable customer. I just like to make myself a big salad. The salad I make would cost at least the $8.46 I pay and I'm sure someone else will pick up my gluttony slack with 6 or 7 pieces of chicken and two or three thousand calories of desserts.

My visits to Old Country Buffet lately have been star-crossed.I know my complaint isn't PC and I should have more generosity of spirt and there-but-the-grace-of-God-go-I....but sometimes I am rather shallow. Why do the people who sit in the adjoining booths always have some...well....some deformity....or unfortunate condition? It is starting to bug me. I guy in a wheel-chair with a urine bag hanging from the back full of sloshing yellow liquid. I'm sorry. A circus-fat woman who literally was sitting on two chairs. A man who picked his nose before going back for seconds. An extremely old man who shuffles feebly two and fro. A woman with literally one tooth, who makes eye-contact and smiles everytime you look up. And today, a man with a hook!

I feel so ashamed. My only solice is that a woman with one tooth is blogging at this very moment a complaint about the pervert who stares at her laciviously everytime she goes to Old Coutnry Buffet.

Space Invaders
Posted by Rob Sherwood   •   Wednesday, 2007-December-05 • 22:04
There are two reasons I could never live in the country. Make that...out in the country. Well, actually, there are dozens of reasons I could never live OUT in the country but two significant reasons dominate the list. Bears and UFO's. I am terrified of bears. Remember the movie that was sort of a Swiss Family Robinson movie but in the mountains and a grizzly bear attacks the house? As a kid I used to read magazines in my father's store. Men's magazines. Some were just excuses to look at the sexy pictures (tame by today's standarads) and some were loaded with stories of manly adventure. A strong impression if dozens of man-bear encounters. People were constantly surprising a bear and coming out the worse for it. At least in San Fran...I don't worry about being attacked by a bear. Unless I am hanging about south of Market! (Such a wonderful and unplanned SF inside joke) Once I had a nightmare about a San Francisco earthquake and in the dream I was in the streetcar tunnel under Twin Peaks and during the quake the bears had escaped from the zoo and were in the tunnel with me. It makes sense I suppose because if a bear is going to get from the zoo to south of Market, the quickest way is through the tunnel. LOL

Now, UFO's seem not to be a problem in bigger cities. With the exception of 50's movies where the Flying Saucer always takes a route that goes right by the Capitol building. In 5th or 6th grade I walked home at about 10pm one night, certain that I was going to be attacked by a UFO. Seriously, my heart was pounding loud enough to attrack an alien when I reached the safety of home. I walked all over San Francisco. I may have had reason to fear the denizens of some of the areas I passed through, but I never worried about being probed. Wait a minute. This is San Francisco...there is probing going on just about everywhere!

I was at the movies this afternoon. Just one movie but you know...that's what people say. At the MOVIES. My nephew recommended a book called No Country For Old Men. It was pretty good. Unique style of writing, The movie is playing so I dug out of the snow drifts to see it. I go as much for the popcorn as for the film. The theaters are going to start showing an HD live presentation of the Saturday afternoon Metropolitan Opera. I have loved opera since I was 11. Weird child! Maybe the aliens DID get me. The first one is on the 15th and I'll be there. I wonder if it is gauche to eat popcorn at the opera.

So, I like to sit in the first row of the stadium seating because there is a metal railing and I can put my feet up on it. Just like I used to do when I watched Hopalong Cassidy when I was 10. I used to arrange my jacket on my lap, empty the popcorn into the lining of the jacket and feet it down the sleeve into my hand. For some reason it tasted better after it made that trip. It isn't THAT stupid. Don Bleu mixes JuJuBees with his popcorn and my sister-in-law mixes popcorn with Junior Mints.

There was no in my row except me. And no one in the row behind me. Until some guy entered and with all the available seats chose to sit in the one directly behind me. He was a Space Invader! That was wrong. The was weird. And to make it even worse for the first 10 minutes he cleared his throat every 15-20 seconds. It was a good movie so I soon forgot he was there and I don't remember being probed but I did give him a dirty look on the way out of the theater.

On the way home the low gas light came on. I hadn't noticed how low it had gotten. The snow was pretty thick the last couple of days and the visibility was poor. Plus I was on the look-out for bears and UFO's and I just don't multitask well. I got gas at a strange station and it was disconcerting because I couldn't figure out how the thing worked. I GOT gas. That sounds disgusting. But then I don't want to say I pumped gas because that sounds kind of pornographic. We used to laugh like hell about pumping ethel.

Anyway, I made it through the storm....kept my world protected. (Sorry Barry--And Sorry about your politics too...)

Speaking about Christmas....I have a wonderful spot for a new flat screen....

Free Day
Posted by Rob Sherwood   •   Tuesday, 2007-December-04 • 11:46
Remember when you were in school, dreading a test or worried about an assignment unfinished and the fates stepped in with a SNOW DAY! Today, I feel like that. For weeks I have fretted and stewed over a doctor's appointment in Minneapolis. Yesterday his office called and cancelled. He was stuck in Boston and I avoided being stuck in Minneapolis. It is snowing here but the brunt of the storm is to the south and in celebration I am going to jump in a fresh snow bank and make angels.

Actually, I wouldn't venture out the door if I didn't have to re-stock the larder. I would never make it as a Mormon because I rarely have anything on-hand. I can do all my shopping at the local Cub...some power bars, diet Mountain Dew, a couple of Stouffers and I am good to go. And thanks to the self-check-out, I can also get condoms, lube, hemmaroid cream, anti-itch medicine, laxatives, beard dye, wet-wipes, toilet paper, toe fungus ointment, sanitary napkins, Depends, and tweezers without the least fear of embarassment.

Since I am not in San Francisco, I will put everything in double plastic bags. Tomorrow I may go to Home Depot to get a new lock for my medicine cabinet.

Have a good day..how's your Christmas shopping going? I need an air freshener for the Lexus.

Between Turkeys
Posted by Rob Sherwood   •   Monday, 2007-December-03 • 21:44
I am impelled to write about turkey. A few years ago I wrote somewhere on the site about things people do just because people do. Turkey falls in that catagory. Does anyone REALLY like turkey? There is so much wrong with it. First, it really doesn't taste very good. Turkey gravy is good and proper home-made stuffing (not Stovetop) is tasty. Even deli-turkey seems to come from a different animal. The turkey inflicted on me at Thanksgiving never rises to its promise. Bags, basting, pop-up timers, deep-fryers, Butterball, fresh, frozen, turkey filet...all fail to provide the universal quest: a moist bird! (Somehow that sounds vaguely pornographic)

You may think I'm full of shit because millions of people supposedly LOVE turkey. Millions of people supposedly think Willie Nelson can sing. (zing!) I just thought of my best argument against turkey. Ask 20 people what their favorite food is and if even one says...turkey...I'll stick a wishbone in my eye. The answers will be pizza or steak or Kraft Macaroni and Cheese or Kraft Cheese and Macaroni. If turkey doesn't even make anyone's top 20 then why oh why is their this holiday obsession with it?

I am a traditional sort of guy so in spite of my turkey-scorn, I'll accept it as a yearly infliction. I know, however, that the demons of hell dwell in those who cook up another bird for Christmas! Please...! Please....! I rather have chicken.

One acceptable use of turkey-off-the-bone is the sandwich my older brother taught me to make as a child. Make toast. Butter the toast and liberally slather on mayonaise (or if you are a philistine, Miracle Whip). Now, slices of turkey (chunky ones) and perhaps a little left over dressing. Sliced pickles and some left over salad. Even cole slaw is permissable. Now that the sandwich is complete cut it into quarters diagonally corner to corner and dip each bite in ketchup and consume with cold milk. Heaven! I'm in Heaven!

The same sandwich, though, is much better with left over roast beef. If I ever see anyone make this sandwich on the Food Channel, I shall sue.

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