Sunday, April 26, 2009

Thoughts from the Ass End of the Night, Volume 2

Thoughts from the Ass End of the Night, Volume 2

Um....insomnia blows. And there's a slight worry here...this is the third night out of five that I've found myself waking really, really, really, really, really early. And as I sit here tonight, trying to get the Lakers/Jazz replay to make my brain shut up, I find myself with several thoughts roiling around my noggin.

1.) It was a horrible idea to decide to while away my insomniac free time by reading up on Swine Flu. My personal pessimism is directly correlated with lack of sleep. Combine that with a familial ability (genetic predisposition?) to make mountains out of molehills, and I spend the last several minutes searching for "Hemingford Home" and any 100+ year old people in the state of Nebraska, at all.

2.) In what is as good a segue as any, I took a check from a guy at work the other day whose initials were R.F. He was wearing a blue jean jacket, and I wanted to ask him if he's missing a "How's Your Pork?" button.

3.) I've been listening to the Dark Tower books in the mornings, as I get ready for work. Granted, I'm listening in 20 and 30 minute snatches, but this is an investment in time. I started The Gunslinger the day after Christmas. Plus, there were a couple of breaks in there, where I listened to musics instead of the book. Some mornings, it takes a little more than the droning voice of George Guidall to get my big ass moving. (Yes. I'm talking Annie Soundtrack.)

4.) I have no way to segue here...I asked on twitter: Which duo will die first? The last remaining Beatles, or the last remaining Golden Girls? I have a funny feeling Betty White will make it to the 110's....

5.) I know it runs contrary to my previous rants against the NFL draft being anything at all to get excited about: I am floored...FLOORED....that the Titans actually took a wide receiver in the first round of the draft. Granted, it's the 30th pick of the draft, but still. The first round? Is Jeff Fisher feeling okay?

6.) I made a pigs fly/swine flu joke on Facebook about that. I am tremendously proud of it. Heh.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Chapter MMMCCXCV: In which our hero is again farty

Chapter MMMCCXCV: In which our hero is again farty

Just a note from the razor's edge that is my life:

Tonight, I started a game of bowling with a spare, and then reeled off six straight strikes.

In the eighth frame, I started my approach, and had to fart.

Not knowing the nature of the beast, and for fear that it might be a touch more frothy than I would like, I held it in. The act of clinching changed something in my posture. I took 3 pins in that eighth frame.

I will say that if I were wearing long pants, instead of cargo shorts, I might have let loose.

I'm not sure if there is a league provision for turds falling out of a pair of shorts, but I know on a lot of other levels, you'd call that a foul.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009



Short night last night....Closed the store, and gotta be back in at 8 this morning. Slept quick, had weird dreams.

I don't remember any specific details, just images. Kinda scary images, actually.

I'll just say that if all the snowcone booths in your town close down? Gather your family, pets and belongings around you, pee a circle of protection around yourself and hunker down for some rough times.

It was manageable, until the reports of flying saucers started....

Monday, April 20, 2009

10 11 Favorite Movie Characters...

10 11 Favorite Movie Characters...

Yeah, your old pal Tommy's procrastinating. Instead of writing what he's supposed to be writing, here's a meme that I saw at Newscoma's via Cup of Joe Powell...

In Alphabetical order....

Max Bialystock, played by Zero Mostel, in The Producers


Not to be ill, but piss on Nathan Lane.

There is no bigger pessimist than a disappointed Max Bialystock....

Frank Costello, played by Jack Nicholson in The Departed


Jack's got a lot of great performances, but this one's my favorite, somehow. He's an animal dressed up in a tailored suit. He makes no bones about it, though. I think it's the setting that makes this performance a favorite.

Tom Doniphon, played by John Wayne in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance


Weary, dejected. Moral, but not real happy about it. Maybe one of the strongest men to walk through a movie.

Jimmy Dugan, played by Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own


Tom Hanks is maybe the best physical comedian of his generation. But, we frown on people making people laugh for a living, so we were treated to a decade of retards and dour, weary heroes.

Avoid the clap...Jimmy Dugan.

That's good advice.

Atticus Finch, played by Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird


If Tom Doniphon isn't the strongest man to ever walk through a movie...Atticus Finch is.

Randall Graves, played by Jeff Anderson in Clerks


Maybe not the best acting job, in terms of range, be he fits perfectly. Plus, he's got the best lines in the flick.

Doc Holliday, played by Val Kilmer, in Tombstone


I dunno if it's a guilty pleasure, or not. I'll just say that Val Kilmer can do no wrong after playing Doc Holliday.

"Don't Move!"

"Nonsense! By all means, move...."

The Joker, played by Heath Ledger, in The Dark Knight


I've been over this one a time or favorite character in all of comics, and this is the portrayal closest to the one in my head....

Rupert Pupkin, played by Robert De Niro, in King of Comedy


Maybe the newest entry to this list. Rented King of Comedy after not having seen it in 15 years. Watched it twice, once right after the other. Creepy, yet engaging....

Walter Sobchak, played by John Goodman in The Big Lebowski


I dig this picture, just because it exemplifies the relationship of The Dude & Walter.

Annie Wilkes, played by Kathy Bates, in Misery


Maybe the scariest character in all of movies? I think she shops at my store. Actually, I think four of her shop at my store.


There were several that just missed the list:

The Hanson Brothers, from Slap Shot
Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), from the Alien Movies
Laurie Bohner (Jane Lynch), from A Mighty Wind
Harlan Pepper (Christopher Guest), from Best in Show
Tajumaru (Toshiro Mifune), from Rashomon
Sanjuro (Toshior Mifune), from Yojimbo & Sanjuro
Jacob Mitchell (Billy Bob Thornton), from A Simple Plan
Doyle Hargraves (Dwight Yoakam), from Sling Blade
Brooks (James Whitmore), from The Shawshank Redemption
Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), from No Country for Old Men
Ty Cobb (Tommy Lee Jones), from Cobb
Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones), from The Fugitive
White Goodman (Ben Stiller), from Dodge Ball
Annie Kinsella (Amy Madigan), from Field of Dreams
Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey, Jr.), from Tropic Thunder

Gonna stop now...wasted enough time....

Stuff for you to Buy Me....

Stuff for you to Buy Me....

I was a country kid. By that, I mean my parents bought a house way the hell back in the sticks, so far out that we couldn't get cable. That meant that there was an odd, kinda sad thrill at going to the home of a friend or relative who had ESPN or MTV. Going on vacation, or staying at a hotel for some reason, had a similar vibe to it, in its own way.

In high school, there were two minor pieces of popular culture that eluded me, if only because they weren't included on channels 3, 9, 12 or 61 out of Chattanooga...

The first was Ren & Stimpy, which held a real fascination for just about every guy in my sophomore class. I couldn't tell you why, exactly. When I did finally get to see an episode on the Nickelodeon some months after hearing everybody lose their minds over the cartoon, I found myself coming up something underwhelmed. As an aside, I often get the same when a lot of people recommend books or movies...I've taken the stance that I let myself buy the hype without even realizing it, and nowadays will generally let a measure of time pass if I feel I've received a lot of tends to lessen any expectation a touch.

I've wandered.

The other thing that I kept seeming to hear about, somewhere in the neighborhood of my junior and senior year? The State.

My two friends, both named Bill, kept referencing something. Weeks and months probably went by before I finally asked what a specific reference meant--it eludes me, though I think I can discount "what does 'I wanna dip my balls in it?' mean?", since that's the sort of conversation you tend to save for your doctors and White House interns more than anything.

They brought me a tape of a State marathon one of them had taped off an MTV marathon.

Even then, I was skeptical. However, the Bills bought themselves a lifetime of gravitas with my introduction to The State. What I saw was a beautiful sketch comedy show that's stuck in my mind for the fifteen years or so since.

Just one of those things, where the humor shown hit a wavelength similar to what was in my own head. It left a mark, and I've tended to root for the writers and performers of that show ever since, in their efforts in books, TV and movies.

I've always found it something of a shame that the show hasn't popped up anywhere since it went off the air, my freshman year of college. I figured that it'd at least get a Kids-in-the-Hall like midday run on Comedy Central for years, considering MTV and Comedy Central are sister networks.

Since it went off the air, I had to make do with the Skits and Stickers VHS tape (that I seem to have lost in one move or another), and the handful of episodes that are available for download via Amazon, and the occasional episode that showed up on this Bit Torrent or another....

I say all that to say that The State is now supposed to come out on DVD come July 14 of this year. I am stoked, though a little dubious, since these rumors seem to swirl once a year for three or four years, now. David Wain & company even made a big to-do on The State's official site a couple summers ago about having recorded commentaries and worked with MTV to create a cool package for the series....only to have the whole shebang get nixed a few weeks from the DVD's release date.

So. July 14. I think I'll take the day off.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chapter MMMCXCIII: In which our hero gets all farty....

Chapter MMMCXCIII: In which our hero gets all farty....

Not much to report on this end of the great conflagration.

Except that today, in a moment I thought I had my immediate vicinity to myself, I decided to break a little wind, only to find out that I was not as alone as I'd previously believed.

There was no escaping the fact that the witness had to have heard the barking spiders. That part does not embarrass me. We all fart. All of us. Remember that scene a couple weeks back when the Obamas were meeting the Queen of England? Every one of those people has farted at least once. That day.

So, farting is not the issue.

I am left to wonder whether he witnessed the left lift/semi-hop I had to use to make sure all the demons were expelled.

I'm sure that had to be a tremendous sight to behold, walking in unaware both my surprising acrobatic acumen and my diet, which has been higher in both protein and fiber lately, than normal.

Anyway, that was the high point for my day.

Today was a good day.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Thoughts on a Monday....

Thoughts on a Monday....

Howdy, folks. Wandering through a day off. Thought I'd put a couple words on the interweb while I watch the Cubs and Rockies....

I'm a 32-year-old man, and about an hour ago, I very nearly got into an accident looking at a pretty girl walking down the street in the next town over. Luckily, I caught hold of reality before having to explain to the Etowah PD that I was somewhat distracted....

Besides...they have plenty on their hands today. A second round of storms blew through while I slept last night. Call it testament to how tired I was...I'm a somewhat light sleeper, but missed these entirely. They were bad enough to knock power out in Knoxville and Chattanooga, as well as in part of Etowah. While there, I saw news trucks from both cities, presumably covering the story of a kid who lost his life with a tree falling on his house. Found myself a little worried this morning that perhaps it was somebody I knew, as three co-workers with teenage kids live over in that area. The addresses do not match up, so it's to the good, at least for my friends.

I now want to pause a moment to give you a brief insight into the mind of your old pal Tommy.

I have an enemy. I do not know if he realizes this. I tend to think he holds me in much the same mind I hold him, though not as a personal issue. I think he probably holds most people in motor vehicles in this light.

He rides a bicycle. In and around my small town, muchly along a road that leads back toward my parents' home in Riceville. Cedar Springs Road is a long, moderate curving road that wanders back toward the foothills. It is not one that you're advised to run terribly quickly on, as a couple of the curves are banked oddly, and there tends to be a gremlin of sorts on a bicycle. He is the aforementioned enemy.

I see him maybe a minute a month. But he is a regular citizen of Cedar Springs Road. He rides a bicycle.

He's serious about it. Reflective strips and religiously tight shorts that a man of his age probably ought to consider "shit I wear underneath my other clothes.

He's out there a lot. Like I said, I see him maybe a minute a month, but that minute is one of the most irritating of the month, without fail.

He's a bicyclist, right? I want to say that I hold no particular grudge against bicyclists. If you want to ride a bike, fine. I'm going to give you plenty of road to ride your bike. I ask only the same: plenty of room to drive my truck.

My point is this: I am willing to share the road. He apparently feels that I do not give him adequate respect for his position as a vehicle.

Three or four years back, I was driving to my folks' house. I got behind this gentleman on a particularly curvy section of the road. I gave him several car length's space, and did not move to pass him until I was in a position I could see what was coming around the corner.

I came to portion of the road where I could see, despite a double line still demanding a no-pass. I moved into the other lane, to go around the guy. At which time the man moves over to the left hand portion of the right driving lane, bringing his bike almost to the line.

As I go buy, I see the gentleman giving me the bird.

I'm a fan. I return the gesture as I move in front of him (again, several car lengths).

In reply, he comes up off the handlebars, and gives me two (2) birds. One with each hand.

I think for half a second, and slam on my brakes, stopping in the road.

I don't know what my next step was, even if there was one. I hadn't lost my temper, though I was moving up the mountain. Similarly, he stopped his bicycle where he rode. For a second, we both sat there. He stared at me, I stared at him in my review mirror.

I drove on.

Like I said, I don't know what I was thinking. I took umbrage...I felt I'd given due consideration, and had been responded to with little more than asinine prickishness. Maybe I didn't respond as well as I could have, though I think I could have done worse--it'd be bad to think I could be blogging from jail in 2009 because I got out and stole the man's bicycle from him....

I guess I should say, I'd take the same umbrage, and probably more, if a car I was trying to pass had done the same. I don't think it's a bicycle thing necessarily, though I feel like you should be able to keep up with the flow of primary traffic before you start acting like a complete ass.

Anyway, this got to be a monthly occurrence. Not necessarily the bird/slam on the brakes show, but he'd take offense to my passing on a double line. Sorry, bud, but I don't feel obligated to drive 11 miles an hour over a four mile stretch.

I've said all that to say this: a bicyclist was killed this weekend in Athens. Not on Cedar Springs Road, but not more than a mile from it. I've spent the last couple of hours wondering...just wondering. If only because I've said to myself "he's gonna really piss somebody off." He got me that day a few years ago, and while I'm not completely laid back, I'm better than a lot. There's a fair number of crazy sunsabitches around these parts.

Anyway. That's about all I've got this afternoon....Y'all take it easy....

Saturday, April 11, 2009



Well, we had us a brush of bad weather out this way yesterday. Same system that brought the tornadoes to Murfreesboro, though we were south of the worst part of the weather, I think.

Still, went up to my folks house, owing to they have a basement to huddle in, should things have gotten exceptionally rough. They had some pretty stout wind, and they suffered a broken window in their sun room--the victim of a wind propelled stick or hickory nut. The power went out for a while. The worst victim, for their property, anyway, were the four or five stout hickory and poplar trees they lost. Up on the north edge of the woods, a particularly strong gust of wind must have blown through...they lost four monster trees. Three of them, I wouldn't be able to wrap my arms around, one of those by not much more than half, if that gives you any idea. Seeing that, Dad figured them fortunate, since the area near the house is lined with the same type of trees--any one that size would have forced an emergency re-model....

The smallest of the four did make a nuisance, as it fell across their driveway. Dad and I took the chainsaw and cleared a path for vehicles.

Talking to them this morning, their power's back on, and no significant other damage can be seen in the house, so, all's well.

Talked to friends out in Murfreesboro, my personal stomping grounds for eight or nine years. All seems to be well, with some minor structrual damage to one friend's parents' house. I've not heard yet from Gunny. As much as I'd like him to close his piehole, I'd prefer it that he and his not be demolished by storms. I tend to think Gunny would best be dispatched murdered by volkswagen beetle full of clowns. I don't know why I think that, but I also don't know why I get the odd occasional urge for Krystal cheeseburgers with jalapeno and buttermilk. I'm an enigma, I admit.

Spent about an hour yesterday watching channel 5 out of Nashville via their online feed, seeing a couple of landmarks I know from out that way with funnel clouds wandering through. Got a laugh from my buddy Alex, who's likewise wandered away from Middle Tennessee, when Channel 5 was reporting that a likely tornado was bearing down on the Jack Daniels distillery in Lynchburg--he pictured a tornado passed out on the ground, with other funnel clouds looking down disapprovingly....

Anyway. All's well here in this neck of the woods this morning. Hope things are sunny out whereever the hell you are.

Now, I go off into Saturday contemplating a gubernatorial bid....

Edit: Borrowing this video from Eric, over at Straight White Guy, who filmed the tempest wandering into the SWG Compound. It was a lot like that where I was, except their sunroom faces due west, and everything was blowing straight in at us, from that vantage point. What initially got my attention, as the storm was blowing in, was a 50 ft Cedar, maybe 300 yards from their house, splaying out and laying at nearly a 45 degree angle right as the initial brunt of the gust hit my folks' house....

Friday, April 10, 2009



...while working the other day. I was fixing a display in the Ice Cream section, and two college aged guys came looking for ice cream:

College Age Guy #1 [to his buddy, who has gone up the aisle looking for something else]: What kind do you want?
#2: Whatever
#1 [pulling out a package]: You had Monster Cookie?
#2: [walks over to look at Monster Cookie]: No. Ya know, I don't like ice cream with a lot of shit in it.
#1: [thinks this over, as he puts back the package]: I don't even want a little shit in my ice cream. I want none. At all.

Me: [silently, to myself] touche'....

(Yeah, it's quiet up here in Lake Wobegon....)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Thoughts from the Ass End of the Night: B.A. Baracus Edition....

Thoughts from the Ass End of the Night: B.A. Baracus Edition

Here's a little bit of A-Team trivia, for those of you wandering the dark side of the planet awake and kicking with Big Stupid Tommy: B.A. Baracus' initials stand for "Bosco Aramis"

Isn't there a chocolate syrup called Bosco?

Never seen it myself, but I've heard tell. Mainly on Seinfeld, I think.

Awake at 4 A.M. I'll say this for my insomnia: It slept in an hour. Usually, it's the witching hour when I find myself wandering to take a whiz and then sitting up reading about movies in the 1970's or playing Tetris until the sun comes up.

Tonight's fun thing?

My brain wants to wonder why I didn't turn left when I should have turned right. Started off with a rough dream, and it just got that asshole of a hamster running on its wheel after I found myself awake.

That's something I don't usually waste time on during the waking hours, as there's no changing the past. Still, I figure I must harbor some amount of resentment, deep down, at the choices, since they've come calling on the doorstep two hours before sunup.

Nothing big. Nothing Mike and the Mechanics would be singing about, anyway. Or actually, kinda like that, now that I think about it. Nobody's died. Will it suffice to say that she ended up marrying somebody else?

I guess a lot of us have that thing, though. What might have happened if we'd said something instead of remaining silent (or in this case, the double whammy...I was silent when I shouldn't have been, then spoke up saying the wrong thing when I should have probably kept my trap shut). I dunno. Like I said...99% of the time, I'm all about sucking it up and moving on. 4 AM, with nothing to occupy my mind except Sham Wow or Extenze infomercials, I tend to lose my James T. Kirk grip on the world.

I don't suppose it'll come as a great surprise that I'm not the most self aware son of a bitch you've ever met. But I do know that my dreams usually clue me in to what's bothering me. When I'm really stressed? Something I sometimes don't admit to myself? I have tornado dreams. And when I realize that I've been worrying about nothing (which is often), I tend to dream about clouds disappearing.

And when I find myself a little too busy or oblivious (which amount to about the same, in my book) to recognize something that's a trifle troubling, I tend to relive past moments. It doesn't happen often, that I dream about and relive past events, but they do happen. Maybe once or twice a year. I think it's my brain trying to tell me to say whatever's in my heart.

Trouble is, I'm not sure what I'm needed to tell.

Ya gotta love my brain. Need to find a Rosetta Stone, or something.

Anyway, I'm finding my brain running willy-nilly a little less, after having written this.

Gracias for indulging.

Y'all have a good night....

Monday, April 06, 2009

Wrestlemania 25

Wrestlemania 25

A couple thoughts, as I take a break from the other writing....

  • A strong show that I ultimately enjoyed very much. Were it not for the lazy, sluggish and predictable double main events, it might have been one of the all time great Wrestlemanias.
  • The Money-in-the-Bank Ladder match was a nice way to start the show. Did anybody believe that Mark Henry was really going to be able to climb a ladder though?
  • I'm not sure of the logic of awarding CM Punk the opportunity for the belt, again. Seems like they did everything they could to make him look weak, undeserving champ when he had the belt the first time. Of course, I am assuming that Punk will win the title again, as no MitB match winner has not, to this point....
  • There is a school of thought that says Santino winning the women's battle royal shows how unimportant the women's division is....but then, Santino can actually work better than 88% of the women in the match (Mickie James, Melina and probably Beth Phoenix being the exceptions...). The WWE needs to take a look at TNA to get an idea...their women wrestle, can talk on the mic, can generally tell a story, et cetera and so forth....
  • Ricky Steamboat can still bump like a son of a bitch. God bless him. Ricky...we've missed you.
  • I don't buy Rey Misterio. I never have. Kevin Nash destroyed any credibility Rey Misterio might have had for me against big men, one fateful Monday Nitro in 1996, by turning the luchadore into a yard dart. I did not buy Misterio winning the Royal Rumble a few years back. I did not buy him as World Champ. And I did not buy him beating JBL last night. There is a spot on the card for Rey, but I just can't get it out of my mind that it's not as a Heavyweight, even after 15 years of this junk.
  • There is a small part of me, with JBL retiring, that wouldn't have minded the Texan getting a small face push for the Wrestlemania in Texas. I know we wanted to push Rey, but how hard would it have been to build up a JBL vs. William Regal or Vladimir Kozlov feud?
  • Why the hell wasn't Kozlov on the card? I hate the dude, but put a squash match or something for the dude? Just keep building him up.
  • The Shawn Michaels/Undertaker match? Damn. Just damn. I think the wait staff at Buffalo Wild Wings got caught up in the energy, too....I looked over at one point after one of the many close finishe, and the bartender and two waitresses were all just watching along with the crowd.
  • That Shawn Michaels/Undetaker match was phenomenal. Maybe one of the best I've seen. That was two Hall of Famers leaving it all in the ring. These are two 40 year olds, having a top 5 match for either man. They worked their asses off. And I almost felt sorry for the main eventers, for having to follow.
  • That said, the double main events were letdowns. Lazy. Sluggish. Contrary to pretty much any energy you've been building for either Edge or Randy Orton.....
  • On the whole. A good show. Could have been a great show....

Friday, April 03, 2009



Didn't realize it until now, but Steve Silver's been having wrestling clips all week over at his blog. Including this one, the Hogan/Andre fight from a prime time Main Event broadcast.

The Hebner twins were a small part of the process that made me eventually admit wrestling wasn't real. Even at 10, that whole thing ran a little hokey.

My anti-Hulkster bias kept me from watching that particular match since....

Also: another long-time read, Pete, from A Perfectly Cromulent Blog, will be covering the Wrestlemania event this Sunday for a local weekly, down in Houston

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Owen & Bret...

Owen & Bret...

Wrestlemania's this weekend. For years, I would have said Ricky Steamboat & Randy Savage at Wrestlemania III was my favorite match of all time, but it's fallen second to this one....Bret and Owen Hart at Wrestlemania X:

Part 2:

Part 3:

I dig the way the match is put together. I love the out-of-nowhere ending, and I love the way Owen gets put over clean, and I love the stage it sets for later in the evening, when Bret wins the World Title....and for later than that, since Owen beats Bret cleanly, and has gone from mid-card to obvious contender for the World Title.

Owen left us too soon, and it seems like Bret's slowly letting go of his grudges. I doubt we'll see he, Vince and Shawn Michaels ever hugging, or even shaking hands. But at least he doesn't seem to be firing off weekly missives on how things should be, so that's a start....

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries

There isn't much better in life than Sweet Potato Fries.

Don't let anybody ever tell you different.

If they do? Kick their ass.

Use that kung fu I saw you use. That time, out behind the Dairy Queen.

Remember? You know, when you got all offended when somebody said the word "snatch?"

About that? I still think they were using it as a verb, and that your own use of the word "pussy" in those loud epithets was both ironic, yet fitting, since you made them shit in a box after you were done beating on them.

That made you the toughest person I've ever met.

So, I have no worries that this Sweet Potato Fry thing won't be an issue for long.