Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Things that Annoy Me, part 26.

Mark at The Rambler reminded me that this exists: The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks. Unnecessary quotation marks are way up there in my list of pet peeves.

Another pet peeve, you ask? Why yes, in fact, I do have another pet peeve:  the misuse of the phrase, "beg the question." Here, let this quasi-hipster T. Rex explain it.

I nurse my pet peeves and they grow stronger with time. They're superheroes and supervillains; they're my best friends and my worst enemies.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fine Dining.

My son and I went fishing before we left Florida. I caught a repulsive catfish and some other thing that the guy who piloted (drove? captained? steered?) cut up and used for bait. I also caught five or six mangrove snappers, which are pretty, as fish go.

Good eating, too. But what to have with them . . .?

Friday, August 8, 2008

I and I

As soon as we got across the bridge from the Florida mainland, we pulled into the Sanibel visitors' center. In the parking lot, I saw this:

True, it's a van, but it's not just any van. It's a van with this bumper sticker:

Chances are this means nothing to you, and the truth is, it should mean nothing to me, either, but it's the logo of a Cincinnati band called The Modulators, who have been around so long that they played at a high school dance I attended (the condom is still in my wallet, by the way) when I was maybe 17 years old. Back then, they were among the two or three most popular groups in town, and these bumper stickers were everywhere. The Modulators are still around, with some of the original members, no less, but that "next big thing" aura they had, or that I thought they had, is long gone. They're still fun, though; they played a parish festival last summer and I actually danced along with the other doughy, middle-aged locals, and my 6-year-old son, who totally showed me up on the dance floor. The kid does an excellent Worm.

Why does this sticker excite me? Because I'm old, that's why. This fact was confirmed when I saw this:

. . . and I thought, "Well, that kind of makes sense. Marco Polo is a really loud game."

Thursday, August 7, 2008

You make the rules, you say what's fair.

A list of rules as long as my arm, and nothing prohibiting thongs and Speedos?

By the way, anyone know if we're allowed to dive here?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Greetings from Sanibel, FL

My alarm went off at 3:45, Friday morning. I went downstairs, stumbled around and made the coffee. Back upstairs, I woke my family, and we were on the road at 4:30. By mid-afternoon on Saturday, we were on the beach in Sanibel, which is an island near Ft. Myers, off the southwest coast of Florida. I had a lot of time during that drive to mull things over, and I've set it all out below. I hope you'll find this information helpful.

  • An 1,100-mile drive is a long fucking time in the car.
  • Georgia is the bad haircut capital of the country, if not the entire world. At a Taco Bell in some shithole town between Atlanta and Macon, we saw the most glorious mullet in the history of mullets; I tell you, words can't even describe it. I wish I'd had my camera, although I don't know if having a photo would have been worth the ass-kicking I'd almost certainly have received if I'd tried to take a picture of the guy. I've scoured the series of tubes for shot that most closely approximates the Dixie stud and, although this one doesn't really do it justice, it's sort of close:

  • Scouring the internet for pictures of guys in mullets is funny at first, then it becomes sort of disturbing. After that, kind of sad. Finally, funny again, oddly enough.
  • Southerners love themselves some Jesus. You get past the middle of Kentucky, and you start seeing them: the crosses at the gas stations; the billboards with New Testament quotes; the ads for "Cool Christian Music" (an oxymoron if there ever was one); the billboards with quasi-New Testament quotes (Jesus - He's holding your atoms together or Uninspired by Jesus? Bet you've never met him!); the radio dial saturated with proselytizing shouters. Even the cute, enthusiastic manager at the Gainesville Marriott where we spent Friday night gave off a vibe that said she'd be the kind of woman who, about midway through dinner on your first date, would ask you, "Do you have a relationship with the Lord?" It's Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! until you cross that causeway from Ft Myers and then -- thankfully, as if by magic -- nothing.
  • McCain is beating Obama in Florida's bumper sticker race. I hope that's a false positive. I don't think about politics too terribly much but, honestly, I believe if McCain gets elected, we are doomed.
  • Question: What's more depressing than a McCain bumper sticker? Answer: A McCain bumper sticker placed next to a Confederate flag bumper sticker.
  • One word to describe what it's like to grow a beard in a place where the average temperature is about 97 degrees -- itchy. I've jumped back on the goatee bandwagon about 10 years too late, but that's what guys do on vacation, right? My beard can be generously described as "salt and pepper." While I'd like to think I look like this guy:

I really look more like this guy:

  • Grooming tip for the gentlemen: If the image your beard projects is "genocidal despot," then perhaps it's time to shave.
  • Lying out in the sun (or "laying out," as we call it in the grammatically challenged midwest) sucks. I enjoy swimming in the ocean, walking on the shore, looking for shells, and so on, but for the life of me I can't understand how someone can just lie there prostrate, baking. It's madness, I tell ya.
  • All right, at the risk of this becoming a "aren't my kids just the greatest" blog, I'll just say this is pretty cool:

I guess that wraps it up. We have a couple of days more here, and then we're back on that long, lonesome road. Pray for me.