Tuesday, December 25, 2012

To Be...or not to be...me.

My Yearly Identity Crisis
I would like this to be my new Facebook picture.

2012 was a quiet year at the Hemlock Residence. The reason for this is my name is not really Hemlock.  Jonathan Hemlock is the name of a character in a Trevanian novel, “the Eiger Sanction.”  
Pretty cool guy.   He is very much like me.   

He is a connoisseur of Art.  He owns a few post impressionist Gauguins and Cezannes paintings.  I have a poster of “Le chat noir”.   I consider that art.

He listens to classical music.   
I listen to Mozart for the “Mozart effect”.   If you listen to Mozart every day it will raise your IQ by 10 points.  That means about  twenty five percent for me.  It is also supposed to lower my blood pressure.
I actually prefer DooWop music.

That’s about it for similarities. Oh….Did I mention my striking resemblance to Clint Eastwood?

This whole Hemlock charade is starting to get old and boring.  I need to make my life more exciting.
The solution came to me the other night while I was watching MTV, hoping to hear some DooWop.
The Little French Lady found a program called “Catfish” and we started watching it religiously.

The Urban Dictionary defines Catfish as someone who pretends to be someone they’re not, using Facebook or other social media to create  false identity,  particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.

I thought this would be an absolutely wonderful idea.  My wife would prefer that I be an online troll. I wonder why …. 

You would be cranky too if your testicles were gone.
The Urban Dictionary defines a troll as one who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing the maximum disruption and argument.

I am leaning towards Catfish,  My wife is still leaning heavily towards the mythical troll.  Trolls are ugly and slow witted.  She thinks it would be a better fit for my personality.  She is also frowning on me having an online romance.

I have been trying to explain to the little French Lady that I will not be having an online romance, the other person will.   I will just be the fuel that keeps stoking the fake romance.  

I haven’t decided what gender I will be.  If I am a guy I will be leaning towards Will Dicker for the obvious ambiguity of the name.  If I am going to be female I am leaning towards Nia Eve Silurefaux (Naive Catfish fake).  That’s a sexy french name.

I am personally partial to being a girl.  I have never been one.  It  would be different.  My wife could be a consultant on this project.  She knows a lot about being a woman. She’s been one for quite a while.
I have mixed feelings about being a girl.  Guys will be trying to get into my pants.  This stuff I know about. I used to be a guy once.

On the other hand, I could pretend to be a guy.   I do have some experience at this.  In my younger days many woman told me I was not good at it but I have improved with age.  I could revisit the experience and act like a real man this time. 
Definitely something to think about.

I suppose the democratic thing to do is to take a vote or at the very lease take some suggestions.
My brother. a polluted gene pool.
  1. Should I be a “troll or Catfish?”
  2. Should I be a guy or a girl?
  3. What should my persona be? Should I be a professional Harp player?
  4. What is my personal description? How tall, eye color, etc,
Picture profile for Facebook: Help me decide.

Please help me decide.  All suggestions will be considered.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The day of the Great Redemption!


The world came to an end yesterday so I'm not doing much.  I am just standing in line waiting like everyone else.  

Oh...wait a minute.  I thought I was in line for the "Great Redemption" but it is the Walmart customer service line.  This is what Dante referred to as " The first circle  of hell" , I'm guessing.

I am destined to carry around these empty bottles and cans for eternity.   The line seems pretty long and the clerk used to work for the DMV.
 I thought the end of the world would be a more metaphysical and religious experience.  It seems to be more commercial than I had expected.  
I will grab my bible, drop it face down on the pavement and see what page it lands on.


Leviticus 25:25
"If your brother becomes poor and sells part of his property, then his nearest redeemer shall come and redeem what his brother has sold."

Leviticus and my brother teaming up again, lusting after my cans!
How did they get involved in this transaction? 
Could this be the the second circle of Hell?
I know my brother has a lot of diet Pepsi cans he wants to redeem.

Hmmm! Recycling is Hell. (Perhaps the third circle of Hell).

What if Dante had it basically right?  
Every time I go to Walmart I feel like I am in Limbo.

Perhaps I am overthinking this.

Friday, December 21, 2012


Today is the last day.  12/21/12

It looks very much like yesterday.  Hmmm....perhaps I should not have given away all of our money and furniture. 

The little French lady is sitting on the couch.  She has packed her laptop, favorite pillow and a picture of Wilson.  I am not sure where she is going.  She is dressed casually but eclectically.  I am wearing a hoodie and sneakers.   She told me to get some pants on.  This whole thing seems like a lot of work.

Just end already!!!!  


False alarm.  The snowplow just put down its blade.  It made big noise.


Oh....It was the guy upstairs dragging a chair across the floor.  I am a little jumpy right now.


Hmmm....It was just a city bus going by the building.  

I should try to relax. Every time I hear a noise, I think that the world..............

Monday, October 8, 2012

His spirit dims slowly.

I haven't had much time to write my blog lately.  That has not where my mind has been.
I smell......me!  (Wilson weighed 9 pounds when this picture was taken in October 2011)

Our cat Wilson's health has started to fail recently.   It has been almost a full time job nursing him along to good health.  Our efforts do not seem to be helping him much.  This is a cat who once weighed nineteen pounds.  He now weighs six pounds. He is not eating well.  We give him all kinds of medications.  He just stays in an area in our kitchen that is about 2 ft by 3 ft.  His litter box is there, his cushion is there  and his food is there.   This has become his life.

The vet doesn't know what is really wrong with him.   One thing we do know for sure is that he has hyperthyroidism. we were also told that he may have a tumor and kidney failure.  A few more tests, a lot more dollars and the vet might be able to tell us tell us for more. This is our situation.

The little french lady and I came to a decision on Saturday.  We decided to treat him only for his hyperthyroidism.  This is the only problem we know he has with certainty.  It would be cruel to stop treating him for that, because he would be constantly obsessing about food without any relief.   The other problems.......well... if he has them, it is basically a death sentence for him.  If he doesn't have a tumor or kidney failure  he will live on for a while.

We are both heartbroken watching how our little companion's life has changed.  His quality of life has diminished significantly in the last six weeks.  We are trying to make his life more comfortable in his final days, if they are his final days.

He has made me laugh every day for sixteen years.  He has has been a wonderful companion for the little french lady and myself.  He has a huge personality and spirit.   His spirit dims slowly.

This is a photo of Wilson in September 2005. He weighed 19 lbs at the time.  He  pushed his yellow food dish from the other side of the kitchen into the living room.  He nudged it with his nose.  He had to go around a counter, over the rug  and over that small hump in the doorway.  He looks worried.  "We noticed you, Wilson."

Note: Our little friend of 16 years passed away Tuesday evening 10/09/2012.   We are sad.  His spirit lives on in our heart.

I added a short little movie of Wilson.   He was a charmer.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Knowledge Quest

Recently I have been much more philosophical and I have gone on a knowledge quest.  The idea kinda fermented in my brain after reading A. J. Jacobs’ book “The Know-it-all”, one man’s humble quest to become the smartest man in the world.  He read the encyclopedia from A to Z.

I wanted to read the Encyclopedia also.
My wife says this is a bad idea since I usually fall asleep while reading.  If  A to AK falls on my face it could do some serious damage to me physically. That’s my opinion. My wife, the little French lady, says that an anvil could fall on my face and nobody would probably notice. 
It is also difficult to carry around 26 volumes (50 pounds) of books in my backpack. Did you know the legendary lover, Casanova ended his life as a Librarian?
I decided to take a shortcut and read A.J.’s book instead.

A. J. Jacobs read the Encyclopedia Britannica from  A to Z in the belief that this would make him the smartest person in the world. He did this while he was working as Editor-at-large for Esquire magazine.  
His work did not make him much smarter: He retained a whole lot of useless information that he would try to interject into an otherwise intelligent conversation.  I have done the same thing on numerous occasions.  There were a few times where my intervention was met with cold silence and a somewhat hostile glare. 
Did you know that there are 108 double stitches on a baseball?  This bit of information does not go over well when two baseball fans are arguing over whether Mickey or Willy was the best ballplayer.  

Sadly there is much stuff in my head that should be put in the “inactive “ file but I just won’t let it go.  Did you know that the USS Indianapolis was actually sunk by the Japanese after the War was over?  It’s true.

Anyway….I have all this stuff in my head.  Yes, I am a fact hoarder.  A trivia buff.  

Someone will be coming to the house this afternoon for an intervention.  He is  the “Trivia Whisperer”.  I have a bunch of facts I can mentally download onto his virtual hard drive.(brain)

The theory is this will give my useless information a use and therefore opening up some new space in my brain for practical purposes. He  also will do a maneuver called “brain cleansing”.

The doorbell is ringing. He’s here.
I’m back.  It went well.
One of the exercises was to write down my trivia questions and put them in an envelope and after an hour,    kiss the envelope and put it into the document shredder. We did this for five hours straight.  I believe I am cured. But he left the help line number and a twelve step program.

hmmm….I just received an email. I will check it out.

huh!  One of my “friends” just flushed me off his Facebook page.
I sent him a personal message. I called him “An Abalone’s butt.”

Did you know that an Abalone has five a$$holes? 

So I called him an a$$hole to the fifth power.
A powerful rejoinder.

OMG! What did I do with my helpline number?

Friday, July 13, 2012

I beg of you (and many others)

Adjusting to your environment

Montreal!! I love this place.  I have the good fortune of living in an area of the city where people are bilingual.  I have not encountered any major language problems.  If someone speaks to me in French,  I just looked dazed and confused (which I am!) and they start speaking English.
My wife, the little French lady, speaks Frenglish.  She can switch languages instantly.
My Frenglish is limited to "Bonjour, ya'll" but I am learning.  In fact, It is one of the reason we moved into this area.  I could learn French at my own pace.  It is also the center of the universe.  It is the only area I have ever seen that has a walk score of 100.
But if you don't feel like walking, the metro is across the street. Nice. But I am puzzled.

Why are there so many panhandlers in Montreal?  The city seems very tolerant of them. We are very tolerant of them. People sometimes get caught up in hard times.  We occasionally help them out.  In fact some of them are quite creative. (see below)

creative!  I gave him a dollar.

cute dog! I gave him a dollar.

creative! I gave this guy a dollar.  My wife gave him $5. (What!!)
My problem is: Sometimes the street people don't respect boundaries.
My wife (the little French lady) and I were eating on the patio (fenced) of  a small restaurant called "SacWich." We saw a couple panhandlers outside. We paid little attention to them.  We were about half way through our meal when one of these panhandlers walked up to us and rattled his cup to another customer while we had his stinking pants bottoms in our face.  Hmmm! That was annoying.  Is this allowed?  I  am a problem solver.

Later that day I had a minor problem with my MacBook and I started thinking that within a year I will probably need a new MacBook Pro. I will merge these two events and come up with a solution.

I will become a panhandler with a gimmick.  Every panhandler needs a gimmick.  I must make up a sign. Let's try this:

Fellow Quebecois!  I am a blogger. I am on a fixed income (retired).  My Macbook has died.  I need to blog.  Please give me as many loonies ($1) and toonies ($2) as you can spare.  These Macbooks aren't cheap.  I will not waste money on things such as food, coffee, beer. (I sure would love a Molson's right now.) 
Here's the deal.
Give me $20 and I will take your picture and it will appear on my blog. (tax deductible?)
$10 smaller picture, $5 even smaller picture, your name mentioned $2 (toonies) size 14 font, $1 (loonie) size 12 font.  

This should get the job done fairly quickly.
Now I must consider wardrobe.
I think I will go with a Hawaiian shirt, Docker slacks, Argyle socks, a pair of Rockport loafers, tortoise shell sunglasses that fit over my bifocals.  I will splash on some Paco Rabanne or Perry Ellis Reserve and hit the road.
Oh, one final touch.  I will bring along one volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica and I will google manually sans computer.  I will only be able to do A to Aq. I cannot bring all thirty volumes. This way they will see what a hardship my life has been since my computer went out of commission.

If this idea doesn't work, I have a back up plan.

PLAN B:I will start talking about the late 50's when I was growing up.  I will drone on about playing little league baseball, my high school English teacher, how smart I was in geography, and I will recite the capitals of every state PLUS all the provinces of Canada.  This will be a wonderful thing. They will be fascinated with my adventure filled life.

I think I will go down to the Library on our street and scout locations.  I will definitely get a more intellectual crowd there.  I see a new Macbook in my future very soon.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I want to talk to a human being.

An amaze..ing experience

This morning, while I was peacefully taking care of our laundry, the Little French Lady received an email from her bank. She had made a transaction that my bank thought was improper.  She had tried to transfer money from Bank A (We will call it bank A....I left out a few letter such as F and O)  to bank B (her bank).  Bank A communicated with Bank B, saying that someone (my wife) was defrauding Bank A.  As a result, bank B froze my wife's money.

While I was quietly enjoying the smell of fresh laundry ... my wife called her bank, who assumed she was a thief and demanded to talk to me. Since I was not availabe, they told her that she needed to arrange a conference call with Bank A to resolve this matter.  She called Bank A to arrange the conference call.  Bank A stated firmly, "We do not talk to other banks.  Goodbye."

The problem is Bank A was our friend when we put the money in the bank.  Today we asked them for some of our money.  They said, "Sorry, who are you?  We see that you are in Canada.  We don't deal with Canada.  They're not US.  You think they are America Junior?  No....They are not.   There is an 180,000 feet high financial wall that makes the Berlin Wall look like a mole hill.  We have your money.....too bad for you."

While she was discussing with the Customer Representative, my wife heard mumbling and laughing in the background. 

"Have you tried "the Phone Maze, Ma'am?  If you can prove you are worthy we may release your money.  Or maybe not.   It depends on how bored we are."

... when  I come back from the laundry duty, my wife is sobbing uncontrollably and hands me the phone...

Let me give it a try...
I call the Phone Maze Maven....
Something answers...

"Welcome to Bank A phone maze.  We care about our customers (yeah right!).  Our CSR will be with you shortly.  Our current waiting time on line is 2 hours and 47 minutes.  We will play really obnoxious music and have an obnoxious man explain why we are such a wonderful bank between obnoxious songs. "

So we waited it out.  I have a calm demeanor... my wife is fuming.
Finally....Someone says: "Bank A customer service.  If you want to check your balance say 1, if you want to open an account press 5, if you want a mortgage loan press 7,  if you want to check your saving balance hit the # key twice, if you want to invest in a CD's say 4 twice, if you want to rent a CD go to Blockbuster and ask for Nigel. If you want to invest in an annuity hit the 1 and then say 'pound sign'".  
I  started to fall asleep. I had better do something.  I hit "0".  Someone hollered, "Stop that."
I think I have their attention.  Hit "0" again.  
"Okay...Okay...What do you want?"
"My money!!!!"  I explained.  I told her the story.  She said, "Hmmm..No one has ever made it this far in the maze.  I will put you through to our money specialist.  She knows about money."  
I explained our problem to the money specialist.

"We are down to our last can of beans.  Wilson will be annoyed if I eat any more of his cat food."
I lied to them.  I am not eating cat food.  My wife is.  She likes it.  She thinks it's tuna salad. I figured if I told the bank the truth I might lose their sympathy. (fat chance!!!)

"Hmmm!...I noticed that you are in Canada.  Isn't that somewhere else? I don't have it listed as a state.  What state is Canada in?  Oh... That is in upstate New York.  I will put you through to our Canadian Specialist.
....  15 minutes of annoying music later....
"Hello, my name is Jennifer Smith and I am your Canadian specialist."  I explained our problem AGAIN.  
We had communication problems.  She had an accent and it wasn't Canadian.
I said, "Those Montreal Expos are having a great year, eh?"
"Oh, Yes sir, Wonderful year."
"Jennifer, the Expos left Montreal about 10 years ago.  Where are you?"
She burst into tears. "My name is Davarko Gupta.  I live in Calcutta, India and I make $1.30 per hour, that's 1,30$ in Canadian money.  Please don't expose me and I will put you through to our money transfer specialist."


"Bonjour Mister Hemlock, I don't speak English, so speak to me in French."
"Ummm! I don't speak French." (Click!!!!)  I think she hung up on me.
So I started again.

"Welcome to Bank A."  I was on the phone for 7 more hours. I went through this maze 2 more times.  My wife is sobbing, Wilson is cringing in the corner, I wet my pants twice.  I have invented new curses, remember curses from 1950 comic books.   I have called people "pig dog swines, yankee imperialist pigs, brainless turds,  shit eating dogs" and those are a few of the nicer ones.
The neighbors are screaming at us to shut up.  They are weeping too!  I am drooling, giggling and wild-eyed. 
But....they said they would release our funds.
In fact, the final Canadian money transfer specialist said "If there is any problem with your transfer, give us a call."  I hear loud laughing in the background.

10 minutes later I received an email from Bank A.  They wanted me to fill out a customer satisfaction survey.  There was a post script.
It said: we will be expecting your 150 questions survey later today.  Please bear in mind that your money will be released AFTER you fill the survey...probably tomorrow or soon, maybe. It has been a pleasure serving your banking need.  We care.  Don't call us again, you defector.
This is how our bank viewed us when we opened  our account.
How our bank views us today.

I just wanted to talk to a real person.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

"Hemlock's excellent adventure."

Busy, busy, busy!

I will get back to my regular blog soon.  I am having too much fun right now.

I am in Montreal.  I am here to study my new interest.

Yes, I am a student of Proctology,  doing lesson one.
It's kind of funky in there.

Well...There is your problem, sir.
No, that is not a hemmoroid.  You had a geocache in your butt.
Nice little house, eh! Oops, I am starting to talk like THEM!!!
This is next to St. Louis Square, which is a nice park off St. Denis in Montreal.
This picture was taken with the little French lady's cellphone, who takes better pictures by accident than I do on purpose.
Excuse em wa, Senior.  Which way to the Franco Follies?
What sign?  Where?
"Merci!!! Merci Beaucoup!!! Bon soir! sacre bleu!!!! Lost again."

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

In Montreal


We are in Montreal. We will be here for a while. I have taken a few pictures.  It has been pretty exciting.  Wilson had a rough trip from Myrtle Beach. As you can see, he has bounced back.
This is Atwater Metro station.  Pretty quiet.  It's not usually like this.

Time to head downtown. a metro shows up about every 12 minutes on weekends, more often during the week.

Looking downtown from our building.  Montreal has no really tall skyscrapers.  No building can be higher than Mount Royal, which is in the middle of the city,
Lachine Canal bike trail. bikes are big in Montreal. You can rent a bike through Bixi.
Students in Montreal have been protesting for 100 days.  Last night they marched by our apartment.  I would guess there was at least 10,000 marchers.  It took about 20 minutes for them all to pass by. This pic was taken from near the top of our building. 
note: There are bike lanes on most of the streets.

Montreal notes
The people of Montreal are very friendly folks.  If you speak English and you try to sprinkle in a little French, they really appreciate the effort.  If you act like "The Ugly American" they don't care for that very much.  This is Quebec.  Most people speak French.  Speaking louder to them does not make them understand any better.The area we live is an area where a lot of people are bilingual. They can switch languages on a dime.  Don't expect that outside of Montreal. 

Montreal is an island.
Milk is in bags in Quebec.
Creton is tasty.
A lot of graffiti in Montreal.
I haven't eaten any of the French stuff called Pontoon...? ...putain?...pantaloon?..putang?
wait a minute, I'll ask my wife........!!!!
It is the equivalent to Quebec that grits is to South Carolina.
Money?...only 1$ and 2$ coins (Loonies and toonies) and yes, the dollar sign is after the amount.
Quebecois is very much alive.  In fact, one of the main streets of Montreal, Rene Levesque changes to an English name after Avenue Atwater.  It is then Dorchester. This did not please the French Quebecois.
St. Hubert Chicken is the best.
I have walked a lot since arriving here.  Our apartment has a walkscore of 100. (perfect) on Padmapper
I can look out my window and see the Metro station and a large 3 story shopping mall across the street.  Cabot Park is close by, as is a library. Great location.

Adios everyone....ummm...That didn't sound right.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Yo...Dude! (reviewing Hemlock blog)

In recent weeks I noticed that the number of hits on my blog has been diminishing on google analyticals. My three regular readers are starting to waver.

I asked a few of my “friends” to review my blog and give an honest assessment of my writings.

Let’s begin:
Randy Jackson of American idol:  Dude

“Dude….Yo…Dude…Yo…..ridiculously good…yo,Dude,  I think you’re in it to win it. Yo, Dude.”

Jennifer Lopez
"I was moved to tears by your last blog. You have the talent but you must bring it to the next level. You can’t keep playing it safe.”

Steven Tyler
"Your range of talent is wider than Randy Jackson’s ass, funnier than my wardrobe and has more eye catching range than Jennifer Lopez’s butt."

Randy Jackson: “Yo….dude..yo…yo…..yoyo…Yo…dude!”

Howie Mandell of America’s Got Talent:
“I was touched by your blogs.  Here’s the thing.  DON’T TOUCH ME. I don’t like being touched.”

Sharon Osborne
“I didn’t understand the humour, but Ozzie explained it to me. Now I understand.”

Piers Morgan
“Drivel, absolute and pure drivel. Change your shoes, changes your socks, change your underwear, change your blog and you could capture the American public. They will love it.”

Donald Trump: 
“You are wonderfully talented .. but ..You're fired.  Piers, you're fired too.  Randy…fired! Hemlock? who?”

Stuart Woods:
“Yo…dude…yo…Stone Barrington loves  it. His hero is Colt Brandisher.”

Huh? That didn’t sound much like Stuart Woods.

Clark Kent of the Daily Planet says:
“A super blog. Almost more powerful than a locomotive.”

Bruce Wayne of Gotham City says:
"Don’t bother me right now, Hemlock!  I have my own problems.   I have to go to court today.  
Let me give you a bit of advice, my friend.  Don’t take a 15 year old boy into your house, put him in tights and a cape, name him Robin. I dress myself up in tights, cape and a mask, keep the kid in a basement cave for 40 years and expect gratitude.  He is suing me for every penny I am worth.  He says I molested him.  I know it looks bad.  I wrestled and boxed with him but that was training.  
My manservant, Alfred, has turned against me.  Alfred said he heard a lot of “bam, boom, pow” coming from the basement. It was training, nothing inappropriate.  well, I may have touched Robin’s cute little butt occasionally. Nothing sexual, Really. 
Well, I did peck him on the cheek once or twice.  No tongue involved….except that day I was very lonesome.  The kid was a hottie…I gotta go. Great blog."

Hemlock:  “Thanks Bruce for the glowing review. Hmmmm! TMI!”

Randy Jackson:
“Yo…Bruce….Dude…Yo.  Be in it to win it. Yo.”

Ozzie Osborne:”Wha….who win? Where my frog? umm.da dooba.. Damn you, frog. wha..yo..wha..yoyo…doodoo? good,…good?”

David Hasselhoff:  “Hemlock, a beer and your blog is all I need to find happiness. You could throw up throw in a hamburger and I am a happy boy.”

Clarence Thomas, Supreme court judge:
“Dude…dude…Randy has a big butt.  This is my judgement.  Jennifer Lopez?…her ass is three happy meals from catching up with Randy’s butt.  Steven Tyler…How would you like to meet that dude in a dark alley at 2 am?  Fun….not!!!!  Hemlock your blog was judged. It was 5 to 4. Happy now? Yo…dude.”

Rush Limbaugh (American know-it-all)
“Hemlock, You are a left wing, nut job slut. Your blog will be the downfall of all good american values such as owning an Uzi, texting while driving, the right to bash gay people and other fun stuff. Don’t try to confuse me with common sense.  I don’t care that you have been a registered republican since 1963,  I don’t like your communistic anti-god, gay loving blog, you writing whore!!!!"

Randy Jackson:  
“Yo…..Limbaugh Dude..Yo….Your ass is fatter than mine.  Your fat ass goes all the way to the top of your Charlie Brown head. Yo…Dude.”

Andy Rooney:
“Don’t you just hate it when you die suddenly?  It ruined my vacation plans.  I was going to catch up on Hemlock’s blog.  He is one of my favorites."  

"Don’t you just hate it when you get to the pearly gates and there is a waiting line?  Why do they call it the pearly gates? I saw no pearls or no one named pearl.  Hey, There’s Mike Wallace and Ed Bradley.  They are arguing over who is going to interview God.  Don’t you hate it when you get to heaven and people are arguing about who is going to interview God?”

George Bush former President and comedian.
"After reading Henrock's blogs I had an ephifory.  I realized I should be saying epiphany.  I must now change my life strawtiggery."

Randy Jackson
“Yo… Hemlock dude…..Does this culotte make my ass look big?  It isn’t a culotte, dude? It’s my boxer shorts. Yo…dude.”

Lady Gaga: "Hemlock’s blogs are pretentious and contrived.  I ought to know."

Steven Hawking: physicist and  actor on “Big Bang Theory”
“I don’t talk much, but if I could I would say that Hemlock’s blog is pure genius and if Shakespeare was alive today he would say. 'Wow. I’m old and Hemlock is great.'”

Helen Keller Junior:
"A winner at the braille blog of the month club."

Kanye West: singer and world foremost authority on the Arts
"Hemlock, not bad, but Beyonce's blog is really much better. Aorry, not really."

Internet reviews: (the vote is in)
LOL count 172
LMAO count 269
WTF?  count 13,482
WYSIWYG  count 128
2G2B4G      count 3
Stop! AAAAA (American Association Against Acronym Abuse) count 3477
Meh count 211
TBD count 687
other count 8

Yo.....OK! The vote is in.  It has been decided.  Randy Jackson needs a dictionary to enhance his limited vocabulary.......Dude!  

As Judge Judy would say...RIDICULOUS!!!!!

The blog. It will survive.

Monday, April 2, 2012

CASE STUDY: The current job market is hell in Vegas.

Transcript of interview of an unskilled/semiskilled laborer

Resume Review: Jesus is a single 33 year home schooled individual.  He was born in the little town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and grew up in nearby Nazareth PA. He has a spotty work history. He has worked with his father as a carpenter's assistant. He was given a battery of aptitude and psychological test.  He tested high for carpentry ability but it is noted that he has an strong aversion for hammers and nail, especially spikes.  He tested highly in the food preparation field.  When tested with a box of Pillsbury biscuit mix and a dozen eggs, he made enough biscuits to serve one hundred and thirty four people.
He has high leadership and verbal skills.  He has eleven friends...oops, make that twelve...waiting for him in the lobby.  They seem to follow him around and take note of everything he says.
Eleven of them have MacBooks and one has a Dell laptop.  The Dell guy seems to be mumbling a lot.

The Interview: Human Resource Representative (HR) , Seamus Sen Gupta

HR: "Please be seated, Jesus" (pronounced hay-soos)
Jesus: "That would be Jesus, Jee-sus, Sir."
HR: "I see.  I noticed on your application you did not put down a middle name or initial."
Jesus: "My middle name is Aich, which means savior in Aramaic, but people think I am saying H, so I left it blank."
HR: " I noticed some rather large gaps in your work history.  What have you been doing since your eighteenth birthday?  I see nothing for the last fourteen years.
Jesus: "Missionary work."
HR: "Are you one of those Mormons, or a Jehovah Witness? Which one?"
Jesus: "Neither, I am a Jewish Christian."
HR: "As Doctor Phil would say, How's that working for you?"
Jesus: " Well, not so bad. When I moved to Vegas things improved quickly.  I found a very nice homeless shelter. I then sent my friends, Peter and Paul to the Flamingo Hotel roulette table and told them to bet on red 7.Ummm...We are now set for the next year.
I am not in a homeless shelter any more."
HR: "I see here that you now own a car but you do not own a driver's license or insurance. What's up with that?"
Jesus: "I have faith in my driving skills.  No accidents since the time I let Judah drive my car.  He got a DWI and a summons for resisting."  
HR: "It's kind of dangerous behavior, Jesus(hay soos)"....thought bubble (who does this guy think he is? Steve Job?)
Jesus: "That's Jee-sus, not hay..soos."
HR: "I see that your IQ scores are off the charts,  your psychological profile indicates that you have a messiah complex or a Steve job complex.  You are prone to defying authority figures and you tend to be preachy and self righteous  Have you ever thought of getting into politics?"
Jesus: "I didn't think that politics and religion mixed until this year.  I been listening to Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rich Perry and the Pope and I stand corrected.  I may try politics later, but I don't think my dad wants me to get involved."
HR: "Your dad? He is very important in your life,eh? His name is Joseph?"
Jesus: "He's my adopted dad.  My real dad is in heaven. Umm, my mother is a virgin."(oops...maybe I should not have mentioned that.)
HR: "Say What?"
Jesus: "Nothing."
HR: "Well, hay-soos, I have an entry level job as a clerk/cook at a bakery. Would you like to give it a try. It is the Mt. Sinai Bakery and coffee shop. It is a neat little hippie place that has great pastry and a wonderful mocha cappuccino."
Jesus: sure, it sounds wonderful.  I will give it a try. The name is Jee-sus, sir."
HR: "Here is the address and referral for the job, and don't wear those sandals to the job interview."
Jesus: "Gracias, amigo and Adios."
HR: "No problem, Jesus..huh?.....what?....I knew it, I knew it. Hay-soos."

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Where's my car?.....Oh...I sold it in 1964?

I'm not a car man, but there are exceptions.

1939 Chevy.....Really!!!

My wife and I went to a car show a few weeks ago.  My original purpose was to find a 1959 Austin Healy Sprite.   I had a special place in my heart for that model car.

You see ... I did not have a drivers license when I purchased the little sports car.  I figured that the only way I would ever get my license was to buy a vehicle I would enjoy driving.

It wasn't long before I had my Connecticut drivers license and I was cruising the back roads of Fairfield County with the wind blowing through my flattop haircut as I drove by Helen Keller's house and honked my horn and waved. I was single and not dating. Helen was single and I knew she wasn't seeing anyone.  Life was good.

Winter arrived and with it came frozen slider windows.  1959 Sprites did not have doorhandles on the outside of the car.  I couldn't get into my car unless I took the convertible top off. Not suggested during a freezing rain.
The lost Austin Healy  Sprite. (bugeyes)
Note: No door handles

I had to sell it.  I bought a VW bug but I still have fond memories of driving the back roads and honking at Helen. (beep!...beep!)

My car show experience made me realize that they don't make cars like that any more.
Back then, cars were sturdy and beautiful.  They had character and personality. The most popular  cars seem to be from the 1950's.   The Chrysler products had huge vertical fins and push button shifting on the steering wheel. Ford had horizontal fins, Chevy had vertical fins and later switched to horizonal fins on some models.

All the cars of this era had a rather spacious back seat. It could hold three people vertically with comfort.  It could hold two people, preferably male and a female quite nicely from the horizontal posture.
Songs were sung about these Cars and they were hit songs. remember "Beep, Beep?" How about "409" by the Beach Boys? "I get around? Little Deuce Coupe?"

There were numerous 1955 and 1957 Chevies.  The Fords of that era seemed to be very popular also.  I saw several Ford Skyliners.  These were retractable hardtop convertibles.

Ford Skyliner w/continental kit

Old Caddy
I didn't find my car, but I found some memories.  The amazing thing about the experience was that I could name off types of cars that I recognized. I was spewing facts like I was the editor of "Motor Trend magazine." I still know a 55 Chevy when I see one.

Remember the movie "American Graffiti"?  That was my life.  I thought my life was very much like the movie.  I could have played Ron Howard's part or even Richard Dreyfuss's part, possibly even Harrison Ford's role.
My wife kinda agrees with me.  She says I could have played "Terry the Toad" Field who was played by that great American actor, Charles Martin Smith. A sample of his fine work here.  My wife says I could play that role with my eyes closed. She says I was born for this part.

Now all the cars look like clones of each other.  I am not sure what kind of smelly big car we drove home in.
Huh....What?...... The little French Lady told me it was a city bus.

Alrighty then!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Death of Colt Brandisher?

Writers block solved

It has been a while since I wrote anything about my fictional character, Colt Brandisher
For those people who tuned in late, he is a problem solving, creative minded, skirt chasing, Clint Eastwood type detective who has managed to get himself into a rather large predicament.  A bullet was hurdling at Colt's head at a rather fast speed when I last checked in with him. 
He has such a small brain that a bullet would not kill him, but the ricocheting inside the skull would do him in.

Actually Colt is more like Stuart Woods favorite, occasionally slow witted detective, Stone Barrington.
Stone Barrington is the type of detective that walks in dog poop and tries to figure out where the smell is coming from.  He always figures it out after about an hour.  He always solves the problem.  
Colt isn't nearly as clever.  People have told him that he has shitty shoes.  He thinks they are talking about the shoe style. 
I asked for Stuart Woods' help. I emailed him to describe my dilemma.  
He answered, " You got yourself into this, get yourself out."

I came to the decision that Colt must die.  It is the only solution. Thanks, Stuart.
Colt Brandisher will be replaced by his gay twin brother, Rock Brandisher, named in honor of Rock Hudson. (a man's man....both figuratively and literally.)
This will give me a lot of writing fodder.  I can describe the death of Colt Brandisher and develop my new character, Rock.

Rock Brandisher, gay detective.  
How can I incorporate all I know about gay people into my new character?
  • Rock's apartment is decorated in mauve and puce.
  • He listens only to Bette Midler and Judy Garland music.
  • His favorite comedian is Kathy Griffin.
  • He enjoys reading Truman Capote's books.
  • His favorite playwright is Tennessee Williams.
  • He hates women.
  • He votes for Obama.
  • His favorite talk show host is Rachel Maddow.
  • He has a closet full of women's clothing.  He likes to cross dress.
  • He likes to go to the park next to the elementary school and eats his lunch.  He always carries a pocket full of candy with him.
  • He hangs out at gay bars only.
  • He knows he is going to burn in hell so he is very promiscuous.
  • He knows his problem can be fixed but will not get treatment.
The little French lady is looking over my shoulder.  I hear a loud gasp and an utterance that sounded very much like "WTF?"

"What?" I queried.

Wife: "You don't know much about gay people, do you?"
Me: "Just what I learned from Rick Santorum, the Westboro Baptist Church and the boys in 5th grade."
Wife: "Do you know you're very close to a Nazi?"
Me: "You're a Nazi?"
Wife: "No, no, fool!..I mean you are portraying gay people with myths and false stereotypes which is very close to being a Nazi or... a Republican candidate for president."
Me: "And your point is?....."
Wife: "Didn't you grow up with any gay people in your school?"
Me: "No, There were no gay people in my school. A few switched teams later on in life but no one was gay in my school. Students were not allowed to be gay.  It was their choice to switch later on.  I think they are mentally ill or it doubled their chance of getting a date on Saturday night. Only the teachers were allowed to be gay at my school."
Wife:"How many students switched teams later? Bucko!"
Me: Oh...let me see.  There was Sherman, Clarise, Ricky, Wendell, Rod, Tony,...Tony?...O...M...G...!!  I put my arm around Tony in football huddle once and I patted him on the ass after he scored a winning touchdown. Holy hat! I am one of them.  I didn't know that.  I just outed myself.  I never kissed Tony, I swear. Well, maybe a little peck on the cheek. No tongue involvement.  Oh, wait, I didn't do that. Forget that!"
Wife: "Hold on, dimple cheeks. You're not gay. I have it from a pretty reliable source. Your little French Lady...me!.....Ummm.....Tony?...What?"
Me: Really? Wow! That was close.  I thought I had just switched teams.
Wife: "People don't really switch teams. They just don't accept it at first.  They want to be like everybody else. Tell me more about this Tony thing."
Me: "Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Hold everything. What are you telling me? Am I supposed to believe Rick Santorum, Republican candidate for President, The Pope, a candidate for sainthood, Mitt Romney, who thinks being gay is a choice and it can be fixed by prayer and a lobotomy or....you?"
Wife: "Me!!!! All that stuff you wrote about your character, Rock, is crap. Who's Tony?" 

My wife knows a lot of stuff. I will trust her on this one.  She keeps asking about Tony. What's up with that? 

So I am back to the drawing board.  Maybe Colt will live.  Perhaps he will have a gay twin brother.  I am so confused. Perhaps a female version of Colt.  I could call her Rockette.  No, that's not working. Writer's block again? Yeah.
Well, at least I'm not gay.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. "Right, Tony?"