Peace to Desmond Dekker. "Israelites" is one of the truly splendid jukebox songs.
Finally dove into the world of Costco this morning. Pop economists, financial columnists and other money gurus are always like, "shop there, buy your dress shirts there, just do it." I've always been cool with the concept, but I've also typically lived in abodes with almost zero pantry space. If you're gonna buy bulk, you gotta have a place to put it, y'know? You don't want that 64-roll pack of paper towels sitting in the living room, looking like some sort of retarded art installation.
The space situation isn't superior in my current dwelling, but financial concerns are paramount these days, so me and Tha Mrs. decided to take the Costco plunge.
I'll say this -- that store makes you feel like a lumbering, swamp-grass-covered, consumerist sauropod. Unlike, say, a jaunt to the Giant for coffee, milk, bananas, beer, cheese, chicken breasts and frozen corn -- where you're like, "OK, got that, moving on" -- you walk around Costco with that big fuckin' shopping cart, and you're like, aaaauuunnngggghhhh, big ketchup. ooooodlerrrrrrowww, many, many socks. gggggaaaakkkkkrraaaarrrrpp, more Swiffer refills in a single retail unit than I have ever beheld before.
And everybody else is doing the same thing -- you're all walking around at old-people pace, moving your limbs all slow, because you have like, 300 fucking pounds of stuff in your cart, and you have to think 30 feet ahead at any given time: Must ... begin ... steering ... cart ... toward gigantic Tide With Oxy Power dispenser. And because EVERYBODY is walking around all slow, it's easy to get paranoid: Come on, honey, let's go around the corner. I feel like I'm being watched. Why is this guy following us down the kitty litter aisle? I wish he would just PASS US.
It's not so much overwhelming as it is a chance to reflect on exactly how much stuff you eat, wear and wipe yourself with every month: Damn, do you think we'd actually be able to devour that many gourmet peas? No, you can't just take a couple of cans out of the plastic. You have to buy the whole thing. Put that back. They're not that much cheaper, anyway. But look at this 288-ounce vat of Icy Hot ...
The checkout line, however, is sweet release. The frantic ladies at the cash registers know that you've just spent an hour stumbling around like a nearly extinct plant-munching dinosaur, trying desperately to keep your hands on your cart so you didn't start strangling the lady who was blocking aisle 307 with her mother lode of freeze pops and granola bars. At the register, they're like, zip, zap, zot, you wanna add a dollar to your bill for [inaudible reference to some sort of charity]?
And you're like, "rrrooowwwbbrrrraaagh, sure, where do I put in my PIN number?" And then you're done, and they check your receipt at the exit, and you walk outside, and the sun is shining. Somewhere, in deep space, a big fucking comet is speeding toward Earth.
Applied to the youth in your household: "... and you can't even finish the first mission of Halo 2."
1. The female "Slowsky" turtle in those Comcast ads. (Hot, in that cocky MILF way.)
2. "I, Phantom," Mr. Lif (an ever-giving salve for the undercompensated)
3. Having Travis Hafner of the Indians on your "head-to-head" fantasy baseball team (Mecha-productive!)
4. This righteously cool and predictable Spring, which must be a hallucination (I have an inkling that I'm passed out in a D.C. gutter somewhere, dreaming every single minute of it, while rashy and saturated in my own crotch sweat)
5. "Wolf Songs For Lambs," Jonathan Fire*Eater (I missed this one the first time around, probably because I was digging the Motards and Oblivians instead, and that's perhaps a good thing)
6. That face Rasheed Wallace of the Pistons makes when he's all mad at something (His eyebrows are like, knittin' sweaters & whatnot)
The WaPost wrote about the exurb septic-tank culture-clash recently, but due to illness and apathy (see Arby's post below), I was unable to fulfill my elemental Cesspoolian duty to comment. But I'm back on track, so I provide thee with wisdom and knowledge:
As one would probably hope, I did live in a house with a septic tank at one point. The family home was in a prewar suburb that originally had limited funds for public works but eventually developed enough of a tax base to put in a township-wide sewer system. This involved ripping up everyone's yards, as well as the right-of-way behind everybody's house. (We called it the alley, even though it wasn't paved.)
So, for many months, my back yard -- and the alley in particular -- featured large trenches and/or huge piles of rocks and soil. To properly excavate enough space for the new sewer lines, the contractors first had to drill into the bedrock and then stuff dynamite down the holes. Afterward, the explosions would make the ground rise quickly; maybe some dust or smoke would be kicked up.
The workers then dug up everything with backhoes. The alley looked like a clay-colored moonscape for awhile. I distinctly remember them stopping in the fall, after the ground started to freeze. This meant about 4-6 months of pristine dirt piles for exploration and whatnot.
Two things were thrilling about those dirt piles: They were full of the detritus from the explosive charges, and they had a ton of cool rocks. Any safari into the clay produced either a handful of short, colored wires and shredded blasting caps, or at least one show-and-tell-quality quartz crystal.
I seem to remember a muffled, collective breath of concern in the neighborhood about the potential for unspent explosives in the dirt. Maybe my dad said something like, "if you see a really long piece of wire, don't try to pick it out. Tell me."
I still have my fingers. I might still have some of that quartz, too.
Last night, while trying to fall asleep with the help of an exotic over-the-counter cold remedy, I was watching the end of the Sox-Yanks game. I remember Papelbon striking out somebody at the bottom of the 8th inning. I also remember being completely enthused about an advertisement for Arby's roast beef gryo and Jamocha shake. The reduced pace of my thoughts -- due to the increasing effects of the cold remedy -- allowed me to be more conscious of my logic. I remember it this way:
wow, mmm, roast beef
wow, that's a gyro, i wonder
what that creamy sauce tastes like
there appears to be much seasoning on the meat
does this meat taste like gyro meat?
or is it regular Arby's meat in a gyro setting?
i would eat that
whoah, they switched away from the gyro meat
that is a jamocha shake
i wonder how the jamocha shake
compares to a Wendy's frosty
a Jamocha shake with a roast beef gyro
yes, that might taste good right now
i probably would order a lemon-lime soda, too
and save the Jamocha shake for dessert
this food would probably make me feel sluggish
because i recall that in a moment of weakness
i ate a McDonald's spicy chicken sandwich last week
and the sauce tasted like plastic
and I had heart burn afterward
nonetheless, Arby's food is traditionally less plastic-tasting
but still, it is still fast food
i don't even know where the closest Arby's is
i am going to call the Wook and discuss this with him
I also told him how other GIs (in Louisiana) figured out that if they used a syringe to inject a june bug with trichloroethylene (a solvent we used to swab a nuclear bomb's uranium-238 pit), the bug would embark on an amazing suicide flight.
All this from a column about tritium and chewing gum. (Morning Call)
But alas, in the blockquote below you will read nothing but the genius of the Lovely Man. When prompted to comment on Mr. T's new show, "Pity The Fool" -- where he goes around dispensin' advice to people with problems -- the Lovely One fired back with this phosphorescent and luminous outburst of sociological accuracy:
Contestant: Dear Mr. T, I am a fully grown adult who
continues to desparately crave the attention of others. In
addition, I fear their reprisals so I intentionally create a
persona that they are forced to either blindly accept or
outright deny. This prevents me from ever having to show any
real substance or character, thus insulating my fragile ego
from the imagined judging of others I fear so much. Finally,
in recent years I have fading from the consciousness of my
peer group, and so I have been taking radical measures to
regain their interest, including devaluing myself by
engaging in activities that heretofor I would've considered
beneath me. What should I do to correct this deep and
potentially fatal character flaw?
Mr. T: I don't see the problem.
Flippin' channels last night, I was compelled to watch three things:
1. Much of the third period of the Flyers' series-deciding loss to the Sabres. Total train wreck.
2. Much of an episode of "The Deadliest Catch." Is it just me, or do some of those guys look like refugees from some indie rock scene? Nonetheless, they are tough.
3. Most of an episode of "Going Tribal." It didn't really get rolling until the white dude left the Suri tribe and shacked up with the Nyangatom tribe. They have AK-47s.
Verdict: A mediocre hockey team can give you a temporary midlife crisis.
The Cesspool updates an American classic for the new age:
FRANKS & BEANS, pseudo-Mexican style
2 cans of black beans (Goya brand, if possible)
6 chicken hot dogs (the more chickeny, the better;
pork or beef franks are too heavy-tasting for
1 clove garlic
½ of a regular-sized onion
1 tablespoon of olive oil
½ teaspoon of cumin powder
¼ teaspoon of chili powder
fresh cilantro (optional)
shredded cheese (optional)
Open the beans, but do not drain the liquid. Dump the entire contents of both cans into a crock pot, on a high setting. Add the cumin and chili powder. Don't overdo it on either spice -- you're not making chili here. Add the salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.
Finely chop the onion. Crush the clove of garlic. Chop the hot dogs into segments a half-inch long.
Briefly fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil. As soon as the onion begins to turn clear, add the hot dog pieces. Fry them briefly so that they firm-up a bit. You don't have to fully brown them.
Dump the contents of the fry pan into the crock pot. Leave the temperature on high for about 2 hours; add some water if the mixture appears a little bit dry or sticky on the surface. Stir and continue cooking on low heat for about 4 hours more.
Garnish with cilantro and/or a mild shredded cheese, or serve on a plate with a side of rice.