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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

English Translation: I Ate a Big Fucking Grasshopper

Hoy he tragado el bicho más grande de mi carrera de ciclista. En mi paseo a la Albufera estaba pedaleando como un demonio porque siempre me persigue un gordo viejo con más canas todos los días quien se parece mucho a mí. Estaba jadeando como un perro cuando entró por el gaznate un saltamontes del tamaño de un ratoncito (de momento hay una plaga de estos bichos). No tocó los dientes ni la lengua ni nada, como si solo buscara la salida. Hay una puerta de atrás pero primero hay que pasar por un par o tres de órganos internos. No he podido escupirlo así que tragué agua con dos motivos: quise ahogarle y hacerle pasar al estómago. Mi antiguo record fue una libélula.

-Amigos españoles, tened la bondad de corregirme. porfa.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Lion Attacks, Kills Small Girl (cute and white!)

My video response to about 99% of the stupid shit on YouTube. The animal attack videos seem to be especially popular so I thought I would toss out a curve ball. I can just imagine some adolescent boy searching for videos of gruesome lion attacks and suddenly finding himself watching my video and becoming even more confused, sexually or whatever.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Evidence of My Laziness #532

My elevator is out-of-order so instead of walking downstairs to the market that is no more than three or four doors from my place I tried to make a coffee filter out of a paper towel. I don't know whether to be sickened by my sloth or pat myself on the back for giving it the old college try. 
The coffee didn't turn out very well so I had to hump down and back for the filters after all. There's probably a lesson to be learned in all this by someone brighter than the author.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Say "Job Creator" One More God Damned Time!

Obama with Balls
Instead of "job creators" which is Republican for "rich assholes" I could have used one of dozens of other right-wing euphemisms like "class warfare" to mean a tax on the rich, or "death tax" to mean a tax on inheritance.  About the only people calling out the conservatives on their creepy, Orwellian word coinage are the staff of The Daily Show.

Obama needs to be more like Sam Jackson and less like Germaine Jackson and bring the fight to the conservatives. Make them stand firmly on their views so that the American public can see, once and for all, that Republicans represent only the top 1% of wage earners. I am sensing a bit of a sea change in public opinion and even some of the most pathetic of the knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing tea-baggers are beginning to understand that Republicans are all about making the rich even richer and fuck the rest of us.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ensaladilla Rusa

This ubiquitous dish is served throughout every region of Spain, with little variation. It can be terrible in some bars and excellent in others.  The best way to insure that your ensaladilla rusa is well above average is to make it at home. If you are going to make it at home go the extra distance and make your own mayonnaise which only takes a few seconds if you have a hand mixer.

  • 3 medium (16 oz) potatoes
  • 1 large (3 oz) carrot, diced
  • 5 tablespoons shelled green peas
  • 2/3 cup  green beans
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cocktail gherkins, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons baby capers
  • 12 anchovy-stuffed olives
  • 1 hard-cooked egg, sliced thin
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

In a saucepan, cook the potatoes and carrot in “aggressively salted water” (chef Mario Batali’s words). Bring to a boil and allow to simmer until almost tender. Fold in the peas and beans, and cook until all the vegetables are tender. Drain the vegetables and transfer them into a serving platter. Add the onion, pepper, gherkins, baby capers, anchovy-stuffed olives, and egg slices.

My version
In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice and mustard. Add this mixture to the serving platter, mixing well to ensure all the ingredients are coated. Sprinkle with pepper and toss. Garnish with chopped parsley and refrigerate. Allow to stand at room temperature for about 1 hour immediately before serving to enhance the salad's flavor. As any dish made with mayonnaise, ensaladilla should be refrigerated and will not keep for more than 1 to 2 days.

Here is the version of José Andrés:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Summer Almanac 2011

I know that talking about the weather is the most boring thing in the world but I just wanted to put this on the record for posterity.

This has been, without a doubt, the finest September in my time here in Spain—not that any of them were bad. I have yet to sleep under a sheet, let alone a blanket. I haven’t worn anything but shorts and sandals. Summer hasn’t shown a single sign that it will be leaving anytime soon. Some people probably aren’t too happy with this heat but don’t count me among them. Looking at the forecast for the next three days makes me believe that I could wait a few days to post this and nothing will have changed.  Part of me wishes that it would never change, that I’d have an endless summer.

But I have lived in places that do have an endless summer and they weren’t really for me. I’d have to say that in all of the places where I have lived the Mediterranean climate suits me best. The winters are brief, the spring and fall are comfortable, and summer is always fantastic. This summer was absolutely excellent. It was never that hot, even in Granada. July was completely mild as far as summers go.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

NoTodo FimFest

This is my favorite from the filmfest. It's like this was written by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Quentin Tarrantino.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Short Story Competition

Esquire Magazine is sponsoring a short story competition in which all entries must be exactly 78 words (in honor of their 78th birthday).

I plan on submitting a story and will write at least a dozen entries and narrow it down to what I think is the best. 78 words means that there is very little commitment on the part of the author. I could probably write 10 in a day. Here is my first attempt:

Talbot's Dream

For as long as they could remember Talbot had told his friends and family that his big dream was to live in Paris. He studied French and received the highest marks. He said he would go after he graduated from the university. He got married, bought a house, and fathered two children. He taught them French.  

He never made it to the city of light, as you may have guessed. He died suddenly and tragically of old age.

Esquire printed Hemingway's famous micro-fiction: "For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn." I find that horribly maudlin but who the fuck am I? I'll write another quick story borrowing heavily from Hemingway.

Say No to Drugs

For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn. Why’re we selling the shoes you may be asking? The baby’s dead, that’s why. Are you happy now, you intrusive, heartless pricks? Your next question—if I know your type, and I think I do—is to ask how the baby died. Ever heard of crystal meth? Not exactly anyone’s idea of pre-natal care but the old lady is totally hooked on the stuff. Me too.

Want the damn shoes or not?

Pink Slip, Orange Hair

After being let go from Ringling Brothers the only place to go in a clown’s career is down…way down. What’s left? Birthday parties or some sleazy carnival? I’d rather shoot myself.  Granted, all I have is one of those pistols that fires a flag that says “BOOM” but I’m sure it’d still hurt. 

The guy at unemployment had me doing balloon animals. Can it get more degrading?

Thinking back I guess that I had it good in prison.

Things Matter

Seth said, “I’m so glad that I got this. How do people live without them?” He was talking about something he didn’t know existed the week previous.  He used ephemeral slang that disappeared like linguistic bellbottoms; fashion and style were his passions, although that perhaps puts it too forcefully. The future was anyone’s guess and the past was easier left forgotten. He was truly a modern male.

But Seth was more of a target market than a man.

Vengeance Fantasies

Too Good for the Little Bastards
I suppose that it goes without saying that everyone hates flies; I’m sure even PETA volunteers have swatted their fair share of these pests. When it comes to killing flies, I’m proud to rank myself among the mass murderers of the insect world. Even though my apartment doesn’t have screens on the huge windows, we don’t really get many flies. Nonetheless, there are occasions when a single fly in the kitchen will pester the living shit out of me and killing it just doesn’t come close to  evening the score in my book.  I just wish that there were more that I could do than simply kill a few of the little bastards.

Simply swatting a fly seems somewhat of a hollow victory for a couple of reasons. First of all, another fly will soon take his place. Secondly, it’s not like flies have much of a life in the first place so snuffing out the future hopes of a fly doesn’t really rate up there in my definition of revenge.  If only I could somehow hurt a fly’s feelings, say with an insult or a disparaging remark. That would be a lot more gratifying than smashing a fly with a rolled up magazine. Now, there have been many occasions when I would have preferred to beat a human being to death with a rolled up magazine but have been forced to settle for lancing a hurtful insult their way instead, such are the constraints of the modern penal code.  But insulting a fly and really making him feel bad would make my day. I’m not saying it would make my day every day but if I were having a slow day it would brighten things up a bit if I made a fly cry.

For those flies that are being particularly irritating perhaps I would be forced to conjure up worse things than insults and mockery. For the most irksome flies I wish that I could really do them damage beyond squashing their revolting little thoraxes or lowering their self-esteem. I wish that I could do harm to their families and loved ones and have them aware that it was I who did the deed. A fly might think twice before bothering me if he knew that I was going to wreak vengeance down upon his clan with techniques right out of the Old Testament or the Armenian Mafia handbook.  

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Republicans Propose Pre-Industrial Era Jobs Plan

With income inequalities quickly reaching levels not known since the Middle Ages, the Republicans are pitching a jobs plan that will speed up America’s decline to a pre-industrial state. “The plan is so simple and so utterly demeaning to the American worker that it just might work,” quipped Republican front-runner Mitt Romney about the proposed plan which, among many other creative innovations to spur employment, offers generous tax breaks for hand-cranked street organs, monkeys, and monkey training.

Republicans point out that the wealthy—or the “job creators” as they have been canonized—are constantly complaining that good servants are hard to find. If their plans goes through the House, minimum wage will be abolished allowing rich assholes to hire more servants, thus creating more jobs. “The liberals may have Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman doing a lot of their thinking but we have Charles Dickens and Upton Sinclair,” noted one of the few Republicans who would actually admit to having ever read a book in their completely anti-intellectual party. “As far as jobs creation goes, we need to start thinking out of the box for people sleeping on top of boxes,” added Sarah Palin.

With fewer and fewer Americans covered by health care many experts have predicted a sharp rise in birth defects and untreated medical problems leaving more people disfigured and crippled. “Begging needs to be on the table in any discussion about job creation,” added Republican strategist Oliver Norquist. “Instead of asking for government handouts Americans should be begging from each other. An unsightly injury can be a real gold mine for beggars.”