Saturday, December 28, 2013

SHOOTS AND LADDERS

What comes in the box for the Walking Dead board game… 
Dice? A spinner? A Colt Python .357 Magnum?

Friday, December 27, 2013

TO DIE FOR

For Christmas, who wouldn't want to slip into a Sudden Death Jacket?"

Monday, December 23, 2013

NOT A CREATURE WAS STIRRING…

Due to the ear placement on this Christmas ornament from Cost Plus World Market, what was supposed to be a bear looks like a "polar mouse."

Sunday, December 22, 2013

PECAN'T

Pecan Pie-flavored Pringles taste like dehydrated McGriddles.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

COPY THAT

Shia LaBeouf has been accused of plagiarism... but no one can say he stole his new idea for a dried meat product:


Thursday, December 12, 2013

MOONRAKE

Hm... I'm not familiar with that last film in 
the SyFy Channel's James Bond marathon.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

AN ARMS RACE FOR FEET

Saw these in a Nordstrom. 
Are tassels status symbols now or something? 
'Cause them's a lotta tassels.

Monday, November 25, 2013

COLORS, COLORS

When I was a little boy, I imagined — assumed, really — that in the 21st Century, automobiles would come in all the colors of the rainbow.

You'd be able to go to a car dealership, pick out your car and choose any color you could think of. And then in a week or a few days (hell, maybe a few hours!) your customized vehicle would be ready.

Well, it's 2013, and if you're interested in purchasing the new Acura ILX hybrid car, here are your choices:


Monday, September 16, 2013

BLANKET OF SNOW?

This sheet set is labeled "Weatherproof" but if there are 
meteorological conditions occurring in your bedroom, 
wet linens are probably the least of your problems. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

HOW RANDOM

I work on a game show, and prior to each tape day, we randomize the material.
The meeting for today's randomization was at 9:15.

"Siri — create an event called Randomization."

Monday, August 26, 2013

"THIS IS 9-1-1 — ARE YOU ON THE LIST?"

The name of this emergency vehicle sums up 
everything that's wrong with the American healthcare system.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

GREAT AMERICAN LYRICS

One of my favorite song lyrics is from Salt-N-Pepa's "Whatta Man."

"From 7 to 7, he's got me open like 7-Eleven."




Seems to me those hours are a bit off.

Friday, August 2, 2013

BUCKET LIST

Should I be concerned that the folks at the 2013 Citrus Classic Balloon Festival seem to think that me and my whole family are going to die imminently?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

FRO-ROE

They've got lots of toppings at my local frozen yogurt place. 
The one in the upper right appears to be salmon roe.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DRIVE


This driver wants all of us to know that he is a proud American Union supporter. 
But he's driving a car that wasn't built by a single American UAW union member.
The Honda Insight is manufactured in Suzuka. 
The flag on his bumper sticker should be Japanese, not American.

Monday, July 22, 2013

LIQUOR? I HARDLY KNOW HER!

I tore this liquor ad (for Grand Marnier or Dewar's) out of a magazine in 1994.
I was fascinated by the Photoshopping of the model's fingers on her left hand.

Friday, July 12, 2013

SLIGHTLY IRREGULAR

Here's a page from a catalogue I got in the mail once.
This page caught my eye because of the woman in the upper left box.

At the bottom of the page, it says "Slightly Irregular" — this look implies that maybe the phrase is meant to describe the model, not the bra. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

BED, BETH & BEYOND

Whenever I'm out apartment hunting, I think of this sign I once saw:

I'd hate to see one of their 1 1/2 Beth units.

Monday, July 1, 2013

BRANDEIS STORIES

Thirteen years ago today, I began the most rewarding job I ever had — I helped my friend David Milch teach a month-long theater course to high school students visiting Brandeis University.

Mara, David, Julia, Dave, Rachel, Josh,
Deborah, Emily, Naomi, Allie, Jesse, Sharon, Andi, Michal, Erielle, Gillian

David did all of the heavy lifting education-wise, but I enjoyed every minute I got to work with the students.

In addition to theater history and technique, the kids received a few life lessons that summer too. They got their first taste of self-indulgent, shitty absurdist theater thanks to the Gloucester Stage's idiotic play called Pipe. 

In Cambridge, they saw the brilliant Marcel Marceau. And in Boston, we enjoyed a delightful outdoor performance of The Tempest — that was enhanced by the brief interruption of an actual thunderstorm.

For the most part, I had weekends off and used them to run around New England.

I saw the movie Hamlet with a Dane (a teacher named Sara), and I got to see the Big Dig in progress. (I believe they're really close to finishing that project.)

David and I took a trip to Foxwoods where I won $500 from a Betty Boop slot machine. I stood there while the speakers blared "I wanna be loved by you... you and nobody else but you!" over and over again for 10 minutes until a casino employee finally shut it off and paid me. 

During a weekend in Manhattan, we scarfed down some coal-fired pizza at John's, and I ran into my buddy Frank Nicotero in Washington Square Park (he was shooting remotes for the show that would make him famous, Street Smarts).

As a baseball fan, it was a thrill to finally visit Fenway Park. The ballpark itself is a wreck, and they serve the worst hot dogs I've ever eaten, but far and away the best baseball fans I've ever sat with were at Fenway. They were the perfect combination of being very knowledgable and very salty. Fans would scream at the top of their lungs at the manager about dumb trades made decades ago.

I also enjoyed that around Fenway only two t-shirts were available for purchase: "Red Sox Nation" and "Yankees Suck." As a lifelong Yankees fan, I found Boston's specifically-directed sartorial anger fascinating and hilarious. You wouldn't be able to find a "Red Sox Sucks" shirt anywhere in New York; it wouldn't even occur to us to make one.

And that summer I achieved a lifelong dream: visiting Bourne, Massachusetts — named for a famous whaler named Jonathan Bourne (imagine a time when you could gain naming-a-town-after-you notoriety through fishing). 



I visited the Jonathan Bourne Historical Society and Bourne High School.



When I excitedly told the librarian "I AM Jonathan Bourne!" she couldn't have seemed less impressed. Guess I should've learned to catch a whale.

I still think about those Brandeis kids from time to time. We did a class exercise in  storytelling where each student had a limited amount of time to tell a personal story until a bell went off. Every time the bell would ring, we'd all feel disappointed that we wouldn't get to hear the end of the story.

On the last day we were all together, I told them that I was sad to see them go because to me, they were all stories, and now it was if a bell was going off, and I'd never get to find out how all those wonderful stories turned out.

But thanks to the internet, I've gotten to see a little more of those stories.

Mara got her doctorate in epidemiology from Harvard and is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Sharon went to Yale and became an attorney in Chicago.

After getting her Masters in Diplomacy and Conflict Studies, Erielle became an anchor on Israel's IBA News, then returned to her native Oklahoma to become the weekend anchor at KOCO.

Those are some good stories.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

WHY SO SINEWY?

If you've always wanted rock-hard abs on your back, 
you can't go wrong with this Batman backpack.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

NO CHOKE

Sorry, folks, but the "Artichoke Object" from Williams-Sonoma is no longer available.


I have no idea what possible replacement you could get for a fake artichoke to place on your tabletop or sideboard.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

"DECORATIVE" IS ANOTHER WORD FOR "USELESS"

This wooden egg from West Elm is "for decorative use only." So don't go trying to make a Denver omelet with it, okay?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

PEPPER POTBELLIED

Found at my local Hallmark — this fat Iron Man doll. I can't decide whether this looks like Tony Stark ate too many Chocodiles or just had a bad allergic reaction to shellfish.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

BALLISTIC MISSIVES

While at the Churchill War Rooms in London last summer, I purchased some great postcards featuring replicas of World War II propaganda posters.

Interesting choice — trying to recruit soldiers using the fashion angle.

More sartorial propagnda. I'm not sure why long sleeves were so dangerous. Maybe the Allies were rationing fabric?

Hm... they knew to avoid those deadly carbs even back then.

That's good advice even in peacetime.



Thursday, March 28, 2013

PART OF A DISTURBING BREAKFAST

Safeway (aka Vons) sells generic versions of sugary cereals. Each one has its own loony mascot. And each one is utterly terrifying. Witness:

Cinnamon Crunch is the generic version of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. The mascot of the name-brand cereal is a kindly old baker named Wendell. But Safeway has chosen a space alien to represent their cereal. Is there some connection between extra terrestrials and cinnamon that I don't know about?

Well, obviously Cocoa Nuggets is the generic of Cocoa Krispies. Now, if the cereal were banana flavored, the monkey mascot would make sense. And maybe I could get on board this mascot if he were a brown monkey. You know — brown like cocoa. But inexplicably, he's a green monkey! 
(By the way, there are green monkeys. Known as Sabaeus monkeys, they spread the deadly Marburg Virus in the '60s.)

Okay, this one's on the nose. But hey — Apple Orbits makes more sense than Apple Jacks, right? 
Are you noticing the pattern with these mascots? They all have scarily protracted tongues. And crazy eyes.

Safeway's version of Froot Loops employs an amphibian instead of Toucan Sam. Well, at least the absurdly elongated tongue makes sense on a frog.

It took me a while to figure out what Crackles was the generic for — it's Cap'n Crunch. Once you understand that, the Crackles mascot makes sense; as a sea creature, he's even more nautical than Horatio Magellan Crunch. But he's not just an octopus — he's a pirate octopus! (which I suppose makes the proposition of "walking the plank" far less treacherous)

The rabbit mascot of Marshmallow Magic (literally the poor man's Lucky Charms) is the most unnerving. His tongue is thankfully not as tumescent, but I haven't seen such haunting eyes since the final frame of Roman Polanski's Repulsion.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

BACK TO SEATTLE

I last went to Seattle in 2008. It's a great place to go whenever I feel like I've had enough of the Priuses and Whole Foodses of Southern California... and want to visit the Prisues and Whole Foodses of the Pacific Northwest.

Once again, I flew Virgin America. The Miami Vice lighting really helps assuage the anger of paying $25 to check a bag.

My new favorite sign: The Fish Ladder at the Hiram M. Chittenden (Ballard) Locks
Though strictly speaking, this is a fish climbing stairs, not a ladder.

We watched baby steelheads struggle to work their way up the fish ladder... and then later enjoyed a salmon dinner at Salty's on Alki Beach

This is Paul Sorey's sculpture entitled Salmon Waves.


There's nothing I enjoy more than a factory tour, so I made sure to hit the one at the Theo Chocolate Factory.

Did You Know: Chocolate bars are made up of 40% stone. Mostly pumice.

Friday, March 1, 2013

IN FLUX

Someone dropped this paper bag with a note on it in the parking lot where I work. It's a shame, because whoever lost it seems to have invented the Flux Capacitor.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

BOURNE FOR PRESIDENT

While attending UCLA in the '90s (as of all things a Theater major), I discovered that to run for Student Body President, all you needed was to get 75 students to sign a form supporting your candidacy. I walked around campus with the petition and got 75 strangers to sign it. Then my campaign began.

The thing is, I didn't stand for anything. Having a platform never even occurred to me; I just wanted to be on the ballot. I raised no money — I had only one campaign sign, and it was made with scrap wood and a magic marker.

For a while, my campaign slogan was "Jonathan Bourne: 75 people can't be wrong!" But eventually I decided I would blatantly pander to the electorate. Hm... what issue could I champion that would make college kids vote for me? And that's when I hit on the idea of a campus bar.

I claimed that UCLA was the only UC school without a campus bar. To this day, I have no idea whether or not that's true. When the Daily Bruin asked for my platform, I submitted one that proposed shutting down the Daily Bruin and replacing it with a weekly magazine resembling the nation's most popular periodical, TV Guide. With the savings, we'd open a UCLA bar. The editors did not take kindly to my platform.

Despite my drunken co-ed bait, I lost the election (coming in behind a student who ran as "Ludwig Van Beethoven).



As a result of the 2% of the electorate who voted for me, no candidate received enough votes to win the Presidency outright. This would trigger a runoff election between the top two candidates, one of whom was Kate Anderson. Much to my amazement, I received a call from Anderson asking if I would tell my "constituency" to throw their support behind her in the runoff election. Constituency? I didn't even know anyone who voted for me!

Nevertheless, I told Anderson that I'd alert my voting bloc to support her candidacy — in exchange for being named "Theater Czar." Needless to say, after Anderson won the runoff election, I never heard from her again.

Twenty years later, Kate Anderson is running for Los Angeles Unified School Board, District 4. Though Anderson does have that valuable experience from being UCLA Student Body President, on March 5th I intend to write in my vote for LAUSD School Board Director: Jonathan Bourne. Because 75 people can't be wrong.