Sunday, January 29, 2017

Why stop at Taco Tuesday—some ideas for the rest of the week

Somebody please explain to me why we have Taco Tuesday but not Waffle Wednesday. I love me some tacos, but one day a week does not meet my lifestyle's alliteration requirements. Waffle Wednesday, people.

Thursday is tough. Thousand Island Thursday? Thiamin Thursday? No. I vote for Thocolate Thursday, which sounds like your mouth is gummed with thweets.

FriedDay, obviously. Fries, fritters, tater tots. A good way to end the week.

Satay-day is a no-brainer.

Strudel Sunday has to happen. We have to make that happen. Somebody do a Kickstarter.

Meatless Monday is already a thing, but it is awfully pleasure-less. I say Mango Monday. Or Melon Monday. But that could be taken as misogynist. Or feminist. These days, it kind of depends on the hat you are wearing.

Then again, why does alliteration require food?

Mental Monday. The first day of the week is hard, so let's just assume that everybody is totally mental, as the British say, and give each other some extra slack. We bring donuts to the office. We flip off five fewer people in traffic. You know. Baby steps.

Trivia Tuesday. Coworker needs the Henderson report? "Sure," you say, "but first tell me this—who won the first season of 'American Idol?'" Or "Sure, but first, what is the capital of Andorra?" Your coworkers love trivia.

Wallaby Wednesday. It has always been my contention that Wednesdays do not involve nearly enough marsupials. I am not saying hey, on Wednesdays, let's everybody get a wallaby, because zoos frown on loaners. I just mean invoke your inner wallaby. Wallabies defend themselves with biting and hard kicks, and I suggest that is how you too spend midweek.

Thong Thursday. Get your mind out of the gutter. I jutht like thinging.

Factual Friday. If you are like me, during the week you keep a list of all the lies you have been told on a small notepad marked "Groceries." Celebrate truth. Friday, burn it.

Sacrificial Saturday. Forget watching golf. Pull the weeds you've already put off for five satays in a row.

Sumo Sunday. Why leave grappling to the talking heads on the political talk shows? And don't tell me you want to wear more than a loincloth on Sundays, because I do not believe you.

Tacos are so great, though. Food for thought—instead of just Tuesdays, how about an entire month? Just mull the idea, people—Taco-tober.

. . .


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Sunday, January 22, 2017

A non-sports enthusiast on football returning to L.A.

Let me say up front that I am not a sports writer, but I did once see "Black Sunday," so I feel qualified enough for this column.

Saying I do not follow football is like Donald Trump saying he is not a big fan of CNN Sports. I can name more dudes from the original Broadway cast of "Hamilton" than the roster of the Patriots. But football in L.A. is in the news, and as a journalist I feel compelled to cover it.

(Note to new readers—I am a "journalist" in the same way that Hillary Clinton is a "president.")

The Rams came "home" this fall after a hiatus of over 20 years. ("Hiatus" is a Latin term meaning "more money.")

The Cleveland Rams were founded in 1936, then moved to L.A. a decade later in order to feel their toes again. Then they moved to Anaheim, then they moved to St. Louis, whose taxpayers agreed to build them a stadium. (St. Louisians will be paying off the bond on the empty stadium for another five years, giving credence to the old saying, "Fool me once, shame on you, hey, whoa, where ya goin'?")

The Rams played 2016 in their temporary home, the L.A. Coliseum, while a brand new stadium is built for them in their ancestral homeland, Clevel—I mean Inglewood.

This fall, their record of four wins and 12 losses provided fans with a level of entertainment not seen locally since "The Day of the Locust." But they succeeded in the most important aspect of sport, indeed, life, in L.A.—doing better than San Francisco.

In 1961, the L.A. Chargers went out "for a pack of cigarettes" and are just now returning from San Diego 55 years later. They will share the Inglewood stadium, along with the Rams colors of blue, gold and white, saving a fortune on changing the banners every week.

With a record of 5-11, never let it be said that they, um, let's see, that they did not help bring football back to Los Angeles. Woohoo! Football.

If you really want to see the Rams at their best, find the movie "Heaven Can Wait" with Warren Beatty from 1978. He plays a Ram quarterback in, I think, the best romantic comedy ever. I could name you half the cast, but I wouldn't want to bore you. I know the conference championships are on. I looked it up.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wednesday Wa Pic - Cutting up

 Sure, but you should get a load of the mouth on their clippers.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

On this date in history, January 15

On this date in history, January 15:

In 849, Byzantine emperor Theophylact dies, but his name is quickly trademarked for a new allergy drug.

In 1582, Russia signs the Truce of Yam-Zapolsky. Nobody remembers much about Zapolsky, but the yams were reportedly delicious.

In 1775, Italian composer Giovanni Battista Sammartini dies of syllables.

In 1869, future Kentucky governor and male human Ruby Laffoon is born, not knowing that his future lieutenant governor will be nicknamed "Happy." Despite the tug of the entire universe, Ruby and Happy do not create a TV show.

In 1943, the Pentagon is dedicated in Arlington, Virginia. Originally entitled the Hexagon, budget cuts had a dramatic effect on the project.

In 1962, the Derveni papyrus, an ancient manuscript from 340 BC, is found in Greece. Revealing remarkable prescience, it reads, simply, "Beware the clowns." Or "Don't forget to buy ouzo." Historians are divided.

In 1967, the first Super Bowl occurs, resulting in the invention of advertising.

In 1969, the Soviet Union launches spacecraft Soyuz 5. When asked about the first four, the Soviet Union replies, "Hey! Look over there!" and then runs.

In 1991, England's Queen Elizabeth II, being queen of Australia too, files paperwork allowing Australia to become the first of its commonwealths to use its own Victoria Cross as part of its honors system. This is probably a big deal. Somebody check.

In 2001, Wikipedia, the free Internet encyclopedia, goes online, and since absolutely anybody can edit its listings, accidentally launches the "post-truth" era.

In 2005, the European Space Agency's SMART-1 lunar orbiter discovers traces of silicon, aluminum, calcium, iron and other elements on the moon. Disappointingly, these are all later found to be concentrated in the spot where Buzz Aldrin spilled a Coke.

In 2009, Captain "Sully" Sullenberger lands a crippled passenger jet in New York's Hudson River with no loss of life. As is the American way, he is vilified for causing people to miss their connecting flights.

. . .

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wednesday Wa Pic - Just plain seedy

 There isn't a play on words on Earth clever enough to get me to try a kale mint combo.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

A son turning 16 brings back old memories

My son turns 16 this week, a fact which evokes in me a level of sentimentality I have not felt since the final episode of M*A*S*H*.

I remember being 16, but only vaguely, like I also remember seeing "Apocalypse Now," but I can't remember why the natives had to hack up that water buffalo. I was 16 in an era when society wanted you to drive so much, your counselor literally called you out of class to the office to sign you up for Drivers Ed. An era when "texting" somebody meant throwing your math book at their head.

When I was 16, the first "Star Wars" came out. Our minds were blown, but soon they were unblown by repeated viewings of "Happy Days" and "The Love Boat." We learned about romance by sneaking into "Saturday Night Fever," which temporarily damaged our judgment to the point we thought men singing in falsetto for entire songs was "boss."

When I was a teenager, my first priority was avoiding looking uncool. I didn't have to look cool, but I definitely couldn't look uncool. I know. It seems like it would be either one or the other, but there was a grey area where Schrodinger's cat lived.

The thing you can't know at 16 is what you will regret. One day my dad drove me home after a track meet. I was still in my maroon tank top and shiny shorts. He suggested we stop off for a milk shake. I imagined the looks from the other customers, thinking aww, how cute, a daddy out with his boy. Adorable.

Adorable was not cool. I told my dad no, I'm good, let's just go home. I will never forget his look of incredulity. I remember hoping he did not guess that I did not want to be seen with him. I was all grown up, you understand.

My dad died a decade ago, and you can't imagine how much I'd give for one more milk shake with him. My son is not like I was. He appears to be unconcerned with cool entirely, and would no more turn down a shake with his old man than he would turn off his phone during daylight hours.

His generation gets criticized, but I think if it can just come up with something approaching "music," it will be pretty cool.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Sunday, January 1, 2017

White-suiter nightmare becomes all too real

The nightmare is always the same. It is New Year's Day and as a white-suiter, a volunteer helping to put on the Rose Parade, I am supposed to be on duty at 4 a.m. My alarm has failed. I wake at seven, the parade across town only an hour away.

I stumble out of bed naked, even though I don't sleep naked. (I apologize for even putting that visual in your head. Here are some lyrics from Irving Berlin to erase that: "Anything you can do I can do better...")

I stagger to the dresser, throw open a drawer and pull on my long johns (sorry: "Anything you can be I can be greater...") For some reason, my pristine white suit is missing the pants, even though I laid everything out the night before, so I grab my wife's white silk pajama pants out of the hamper and yank them on.

My white shoes have, in the night, inexplicably become a pair of baguettes. I have to speed-eat holes in them so I can wear them.

Nightmare logic declares this just fine. People will totally buy this look. I jump in my car to discover that it will only go in reverse. I speed backwards across Pasadena. There are approximately 100,000 more cars in town than usual. It's gridlock.

I bail on the car and take off on foot. Birds attack my shoes. I can't blame them. They look delicious. I fight the birds off with Wonder Woman's magic golden lasso somehow.

A helicopter swoops low out of the sky, and I hear my name. The pilot is gesturing to the rope ladder dangling, and as I climb it and reach the door I see that the pilot is Oprah. She too is wearing white silk pajama pants, except she meant to. In minutes she air-drops me on Orange Grove Boulevard, ground zero for the parade. As she veers over the trees she shouts, "I would have gone with 'There's No Business Like Show Business!'" and is gone.

There are no floats lined up. No crowds. It is the wrong day! I am wearing bread for the wrong day. It is a Sunday, and the parade's "never on Sunday" rule is in effect, a tradition since 1893, out of respect for churchgoers. The parade is on Monday, January 2nd.

I wake up for real. It is only January 1st. I find, much like Scrooge, there is still time.