Monthly Archives: September 2008

“Nothing rhymes with Stupid but Stoopid”

Someday I will catch them in The Act. I will be there that fateful moment when the hack responsible for approving these tortured translations sends the copy sheets out to the sign-painter, whomever. I don’t even know how it works. They write an (almost) error-free “Nine Theses” in Hebrew, absolving themselves of responsibility for the use of this sweet little fitness installation blah blah , …and then pay(?) a child pasing by on the street, or worse, a ‘professional translator’, to pretend to ‘Say it in the English’. I’m sure there are by now at least a couple hundred of these Babel-Fish masterpieces littering our fair land.
   This sign, almost in front of my house, is identical, except for the local council insignia, to one I found behind a high school in Netanya, a neighboring town. That one I actually kicked, hard, when I read it. Don’t know what got into me. Guess I just hate stoopid that much. We can’t afford stoopid here. Wars are lost because of it. And that’s why I need to catch these paste-eaters red-handed. It’s a  matter of national security.
Happy New YearShana Tova , guys  Resolve to lern to spel gud, at least when you’re out in the park.




vowels are expensive

AND IN HEBREW… “Et tu, Moshe?”

zionist version


Dumb Fact Number Twenty

20) I still feel a little queasy  having allowed myself the banal luxury of a simple prosaic post (below). Took twenty minutes, but it’s ‘Not my style’. I realized a few days ago that I’m doing something with Xanga that no one else to my limited knowledge is doing: writing and publishing,  nightly, tightly-worded creative fictions dumb-stuff.’ It’s only a test. I’m trying to determine what fraction of readers ‘get’ any of the jokes. I need this information to continue with my work here in the lab. A dozen or so readers are on my growing short-list, along with my undying gratitude. Thanks for being born…. ‘sharp’.  This is not said to equate, say, fascination with RACECAR, in all its palindromic glory, with brute intelligence. (Although I do consider my coming up with “NOT WE NOT WE, NEGRO ‘G’, DIRT UP ANI’S EVIL BUT TANGY GNAT TUB, LIVES IN A PUTRID GORGE, NEW TO NEWTON.” to be my single greatest lifetime achievement.)  Sounds better in the five-part harmony version I recorded, but nobody’s got headphones nowadays.

    Anyway, I guess my site’s just an IQ test, even though I wasn’t aware of that for the first couple years.
People hit it at random sometimes. Most of ’em run away with their tongues hanging out. I wish they’d stayed longer. I’m really trying to make it worth the effort. -js-

Hey Nineteen

Just because it’s Carly, and I knew her before she became a high-traffic light in the sky, I’ll come up with 19 things to say, assign them numbers, enlist my doubly-blind list-maker’s aid in re-sequencing them according to random beta-decay, and post them for some odd reason. Nineteen’s a Prime, by the way; that’s what convinced me.
1) I love words. Love playing with them. But I rarely use my dick-shun-airy during the process. Feels too much like Websterbation.
2) I like to just think of a word, write it down like you’d park a RACECAR in the driveway, oogle it from the front, from the back.. Hmm.. which end has the engine?

3) Somebody gave me a jar of de-cafeinated coffee. I don’t drink the stuff. Like coffee but with a condom. Anyway, I took it to work, put it on a shelf. Eddie was busy working on a sketch of some project. I said ‘Hi’ and left for ten minutes to grab a sandwich, came back and found the jar with a mustache penned-in on ‘Madamme DeCaffe’, whatever, the girl on the logo. Eddie was gone, Only a note, said :
Tried to DRAW, DEFACED DE-CAF, EDWARD.” I think I’ll keep him.

4) I was real psyched up for a concert this Friday, some aviation buddies of mine from the Canandaigua (NY) EAA chapter put together a CD, not bad actually, but I sure hope they fly better than they sing. Anyway, I just read that they won’t be like.. singing singing. A little gossip item I just saw:   “CNY’S  PILOTS TO LIP-SYNC”. I might still go though. I owe the drummer a new altimeter.

5) The last two items I just made up. You probably guesed ….’from whole cloth’ as we say. What, you don’t say that? See, that’s the difference between you and me. I say stuff you don’t and vice versa, LOL

6) It rained here last night for ten minutes. The first shower of the season. We haven’t had a drop since like, March. You can store stuff out on the lawn for nine months in Israel and it won’t get wet. Stolen maybe.

7) The announcer is screaming in my cans “Talk about yourself, bozo. Meteorology they can Google!”. Ok ok. It just feels so.. so vain, so narsuistic…

8) Dinner tonight was four eggs, probably not from the same chicken, they don’t live that long. and tuna with Grilled Eggplant in T’china salad spread over the whole thing. That stuff could make the sole of your shoe taste good. Which is what I might have tomorrow, if they don’t pay me soon at work.

9) I was scheduled to sneak into Cuba in ’68 to help with the sugar-cane harvest. Got through all the interrogation, was sitting in a  safe house in Bayone when I decided sugar’s bad for my teeth so I didn’t go. I was right.
10) This is only number ten? Feels like fifteen to me. Probably to you too, dear reader. I hate building octagonal houses. You finish five or six sides and say the hell with it, take it off the bill.

11) Overheard somebody say “Ga’dol ca’zeh” yesterday and I couldn’t understand why it tasted like an ‘L’ word. Realized it’s the rhythm, ‘di-dah-di-dit’. That’s an ‘L’ in Morse, even in my sleep.

12) I’m as confused as anyone, I guess, whether I post here for myself or for others. I try to catch myself if I start caring too much. –Add Comments– ugh; just reading that in print can ruin my day. But then I love to see a post from somebody else with a virgin comment box. Figure they’ll be especially happy to see someone read their creation.

13) I just realized there aren’t nineteen things worth saying about me. Sad, ain’t it?

14) Found out why my tomatoes, eggplants, brocoli, and lettuce all died within a week of setting-out in Pennsylvania. I was under a black walnut tree; they release a toxin from their roots. And I thought it was all my fault. Yippie, sort of

15) Raccoons ate my airplane. They go nuts on the taste of butyrate dope. All that’s left is the aluminum airframe and a couple pieces of spruce in the ribs. Temporarily grounded, she is.

16) I am so sick of watching my two male half-grown kittens ‘nursing’ on each others functionless tits. Their mother was murdered by an Israeli when they were six weeks old. Still, it just looks.. perverted.

17) I have 78 Hard drives in a box. Take-outs, toss-aways. Each one is full of somebody’s life story. He should have thought of that when he threw it on the sidewalk.

18) I keep trying to take a new picture of my dumb face for a profile pix, but it always comes out looking  like a guy peering at a camera lens, worriedly searching  for fly-specks. Or like a ‘foto-ret’sak’, we call it in hebrew; “murder photo“. I’m innocent, but you’d never know it from the mug-shot.

19) That’s all, folks. I’m 6’0, 180 pounds, scar on my left leg where a cow gored me when I was four… what else do you need to know?

“You’re denuded to VT-TV in Montaigne.” Wait, I’ll read that again.

…..Just got an Associated Press feed going up here in the new News-room. “Palin? Experience:NIL..” (AP) Hope Trever reads that right.

I just put him in the 8:00 Nightly News spot Guess I’ll have to ditch the lead-in super though. The guy I replaced paid megabucks for it, screams “It’s MORE-OVERMONT” with Danny More!” Danny don’t work here, no more…But  now Trever’s worried about who’ll host his Cultural Affairs series, now that he’s our head talking head. “Gonna miss “The Trope Report”, Eh, ‘T’?”  I asked, kinda rhetorically, after I gave him the news.
“I dunno, Sol-guy, Hell, I knew that show backwards and forwards..” he replied, suprising me a little. Oh well, lotta changes here at VT-TV:  Ronnie Banks.. Ok, I should call him “Chef Ronaldo” now I guess, is finally getting to do his life-time dream, a cooking show, live audience, hungry special guests , the whole schmear. He was stuck for years in a dreadful late-night ‘Mr Wizard’ science show. Five years and all Budgeting ever coughed up was one (1) blackboard, three (3) pieces of chalk, and two (2) used lab jackets they found in the dumpster back behind S.L.H.S. the school we film in sometimes when we need the auditorium. That’s it. Plus the title, “Ron on Ions” made you think it was only chemistry. Nobody watches chemistry. These days. His new show’s gonna be called “‘R’  on Onions”. I love it. We don’t even have to scrub the tease, well, a little white-out, but Sammy (‘more at ten…’) is good at that. Oughta be, he’s been at the station for like, a century.
Dr. Gelb stays. The 12:00 to 1:00 spot. We had a 23% in that slot last month. Lots of women watch it over lunch, I guess. I wouldn’t, speaking personally. “Gelb at Noon: Table ‘G'” him with his catheters, scalpels, pulling out body parts and shit. Ok, it’s only cats and dogs but still, they’re human too. ‘G’ is for ‘gross’? Maybe I can convince him to go back to his old Town-Veterinarian life. More money in it, but now he’s hooked on the fame I guess.
Ok, Sammy. He kinda owns the station. I’m technically Program Manager, but he’s letting me run just about everything. His father, Shmuel Levin Sr. had the big floor-covering plant here in Montaigne. They even named the school after him when he passed on. “S.L.Linoleum H.S.” The way it works in a one-horse town. Sammy’s only doing one show a week anymore, the medical call-in thing “Shmuel on ‘Ills'”. He does know his tsorises though, I’ll give him that. He’s supposed to read the disclaimer every week, you know: “I’m not a real doctor.. blah, blah..” but he keeps weaseling out of it. “Oops, we’re out of time..” Hope the FCC don’t tune in, knock on wood.
The one show we’re still in development/pilot on is a Spanish language Quiz show/whatever. The whole concept is flawed, my opinion. First of all, Sammy III (yup, ‘son-of’) who’s pushing the thing ain’t even fluent in espanyol.. We knew that, but we need the Equal Time Act funding. Anyway, I call it “Oy, yo no se!”. Cracks him up, but he knows where I’m coming from. “Eso no es un yoyo” is about as far as he got in middle school. I’m actually thinking of changing it to Yiddish, but we already got the background painted, chroma-key blue so he can waltz around in front of it with the ‘contenders’, spouting “Yummy, Sammy say Muy mas yummy!” when they get a question ‘correcto’. Veh’s mir..
    So there you go. My new job. Channel 37 on the cable, if you’re ever bored. Gotta go, Rico just called from Engineering. “We’re down and black!” Again!?” Shit. “Camera Three, pan to the goldfish bowl. Stationary shot…Ready…and…Three.” Hey, where’s the damn fish? There ought to be fish.”

AUTHOR’S NOTE: (hey, that’s me!)

Please read carefully, wear a helmet if needed, and remember, Super Montaigne-o-Mart Savings Coupons for the guy who finds the most Palindummies, whatever…

If you got a terminal disease what would you do?

I got to know who phrases these questions. Ok, I guess people do “get” diseases, although the verb sounds to me like driving in your station-wagon over to Diseases R Us and picking out the one you saw in the paper, or alternatively, opening the mailbox and finding a letter containing oh, scurvy or ugh, the black death.
Really, the main sub-questions are:
1) Do the xanga-overlords realize the ‘duh?’ phrasing of most of their Chosen Fragen?
2) What percent of those who chose to answer them mention the odd wording, (I shall shortly check on this point, as I often do) and
3) Yes, what would I do?
Since Life itself is a condition from which no one exits alive, the question really resolves to an issue of timing. i.e. “How much time I got, Doc?”
I remember when I was 6 or so, hearing on the radio, during my modest little birthday party, that Albert Einstein had died. I’m sure I knew by then that cats and cows and crows like, ‘got dead’, but this announcement might have been the first I thought deeply about human mortality. If you think about it, none of us is born knowing that we won’t live forever, it takes a while till a child realizes the truth.
So I’d kinda like to see a Featured Question: “When did you first realize you were gonna get dead?
Oh, and the Shpiel-check approved version of my answer?
“Keep farming till the money’s all gone.”


I just answered this Featured Question; you can answer it too!

Urgent! Avoid “Schpiel-chequer 1.0”!

    Seeing an otherwise perfectly written and perceptive post on the recent US financial circus-parade titled “HYPOCRACY” was what put me over the line. ‘There but for fortchewn gogh I’ I thought. There are a quite a few words I myself refuse to learn to spell, probably ’cause they’re the wrong color, but hmm….

(By the way, the art of bringing a typo discretely to the attention of a beloved Xangan is tricky. I usually just spell it correctly in a comment and hope for the best. Or in this case, suggest that rule-by-hippos might actually be preferable to the babboons currently in charge.At any rate, I decided to find a free spelling thingie on-line, download it, and let it iron out the wrinkles in my fabrications here. I made a big mistake.
   Simply put, “DO NOT ..EVER..USE “Schpiel-checker 1.0. ®’ I should have trusted Google when she asked “Did you mean to search for ‘Spell-checker’?” But no, I blithely clicked the link, grabbed the .exe. ‘yes’ to the agreement, ‘yeah, a desktop icon, why not?’, and bang, now I’m a dead man.
(I’m writing this from an un-infected friend’s computer, by the way; I wouldn’t have gotten past the first two lines on my own “Schpiel-protected”   machine.
  I tell stories. You guys know that. Even in first grade, they didn’t merely label me ‘langsam‘ (slow), no, my very first report-card had Mammy Hummel’s scribbled curse-wort “Lang-weilich’ (‘he takes like, forever to get to the point’)  there  in red pen on the back, under ‘Add Comments’. Big Deal. She wanted

“Dick and Jane had a Dog. His name was Spot.

Bad shit happened to Spot. Spot got Dead. The End”.

A+. Good, Johnny.
For me the whole fateful vignette made no sense without a page or so of character-development; Dick only agreed to that dumbische  name cause Jane gave him that wining pre-pubescent smile?
Anyway, Schpiel-Chequer, whatever, insinuates its evil self into every stinking file on your hard-drive. And any sentence even borderline deviant from Voice of America’s Simple English broadcast style-book is DELETED.! You heard that right. Luckily I save my posts as .bmp screen-captures. You should see what it does to the .txt’s. Five hundred  carefully-, ok, whimsically-chosen words reduced to two sentences:
“Jane met Dick. Spot liked his. Why? Because he could.
Jane said ‘See you in 20 years, Dick.’ Dick looked at his watch. The End.”

Dear Readers: Don’t do what I done. Stick with sum-thing reputable. Caveat Emptor. (Hey,It doesn’t censor Latin!. Hmmm…)

Hah. Feature Dis Content, Xanga!

In the mail-bag:
    As I expected, my mention in the last condom-entry of my “Inner grand-child” whom I call ‘J’s Lizard’ prompted a letter from far-off Emmental, Schweitz, where Fritz Solberg, of the Solberg branch who missed the boat in 1732 nowadays runs a solid concrete firm. He confirmed, if my translation betrayeth me not, that in fact, his great-grandfather did share a few words with a young Patent Office worker from Bern, on lunch break at the Solberg Gasthaus in Kapellen, just down the road. And further, that Leo’s Lizard, mentioned in (my new bosom-buddy) Albert Einstein’s famous letter to FDR was in fact my very own lizard’s god-father(!). A Small World. This revelation, (plus 5 shekels) netted me a free one-litre ‘udder’ of garden fresh milk just minutes ago at the nearby gas-station convenience store. “From Full-featured contented Cows” it says right on the bag. I feel vaguely vindicated, historically, at least.

  And as if this good news weren’t enough, Al Tezachen, my prime alter-ego called from Meridian, MS, where he is supplanting his meagre album sales income with a steady job at a nearby foundry he found. He’d taken a typically immature fancy to a few candid photos of the local (female of the species) fauna I’d e-mailed him:
“I feel strenuously that ‘Number 4’ quivereth my loins in an almost uncontrollable fashion.” he had the courage to admit. “And my steely dan  stands poised to plunge itself…”
   I gave him a quick ‘birds-of-prey and/or bees’ mini-lecture:
“This type of activity does carry with it a certain …responsibility, does it not, Al?”

“It’s the damn Metalurgy thing, you know.. takes over your cerebellum after a couple months on the job.” he explained. “The urge to melt inside..”
Smelt, isn’t it?”
I asked him.
“Smelt, schmelt, I see these creatures and I’m left with maybe 5% right brain funtion at best. The owner here introduced me to his daughter the other day and I blew it, big-time:”

Boss:So, Pachysandra, have you met Al?”
“Um ‘Hi’… I’”
“Ah yes, Aluminum, used to be a precious metal. The roof on the Washington Monument..”
Me: “Yes, it used to be. I stand at the base of that mighty phallus..I mean, ‘palace’, honoring the Foundry.. um.. founder of our great nation, bursting at the seams with fertile valleys begging to be fertilized, and grew dizzy at the thought of such an unarguably arch-typical act of Providence.. and… um..

Pachy-fox: “*clears throat* “Daddy, I gotta run. If I call this morning, I might be able to re-schedule my root canal appointment with Doctor Fleischer for 2:00. Nice to meet you, Al.”

I pretended to struggle trying to understand what his episode must have been like:
“Try my trick, Al. Always remember that she might very well have had vibratory, and in the final analysis, topologically identical thoughts about you, had you not presented yourself as a total goofus. We’re all just doughnuts, or bagels, whatever, with enough stretching.”
And that’s why I love Al to death. He seemed to have ‘gotten it’. I could hear the blood rushing back to his cranium even over the cheap trans-atlantic phone line.
“It’s working!” was all he said.
“Great. You want some more pix?” I asked.
“Sure, keep ’em coming. Especially the malleable, ductile ones..”

“Oof, you never learn…”

The Carborundum Condom Conundrum.

    So my Mom’s got my nose to the grindstone, says I gotta write a post about “etwas wirklich“. ‘Something real’. I’d choose “Current Affairs” for $500″ if I thought it was xanga-safe to regale anyone with tales of midnight trysts under the Mediterranean Moon.

‘Con-current Affairs’ I will talk about, as a concept… to be avoided. I’m on record as stating that multiple romantic partners add together in net value as fractions multiply. That is, any  fool who thinks he can nicely ‘serve’ three masters, or mistreses ends up with a life about  1/27 as rewarding in the long term as I, for example, (and reluctantly so), have been lately graced with.
Well-dressed math buffs may note that we’re talking about a penalty significantly more severe than even the dreaded Fitzgerald Contractions, which due to their square-root factor give you a jet-set playboy bonus almost up to the speed of light, at which point your schvantze weighs trillions of kilograms, and fellow astronaut/paramours  avoid your advances with centuries-long “Eeww!”‘s
Speaking of contractions, (which never having experienced makes me feel only half a man), let’s get finally to today’s topic:

This being an election year, do you believe in condoms?”
Phrased thusly in flawless Xanga Featured Style, I will answer that yes, I believe they do exist. I saw one once. Used one, also ‘once’. (“No, Mom, not that one you found in my wallet when I was 14.” Shame, checking my pockets as I slept”). My Dad made me bury it in a sinkhole. (I dug it back up the next night, Haha.) But no, some girl once thought it would be ‘interesting’ to see how they work. Well, as we found out within oh, ten minutes of Olympic Synchronized Copulation. ‘They don’t!” Shredded latex was all that remained. So how did (do) I navigate decades of ‘activity without resort to this featured invention? Simple Rule: Never get ‘Squishy’ with a girl who A) has diseases, and/or B) isn’t like, dying to bear your children. These categories can and do overlap at times, but usually one is sufficient.My problem is being so in touch with my inner… hell, I’m in touch with my inner child’s inner child. The limbic system. Guess I ought to call it my ‘Inner Lizard’. I never ‘do it’ without thinking of the procreative function motivating the operation like G-d’s designated driver. And a condom is akin to swearing in The Almighty’s face.

There, Mom, do we agree on this point? . Hey, you wanted substance. What, now you’re saying I shoulda done “CONUNDRUM“. Eine ‘CON UND RUM’?  Bad combination, right?. Or mebbe “Fix the CARB OR {the motor will} RUN DUM.”….

So nu, what’s in the box?

       Somewhere in Andorra, Pandora Spock’s taking in the vista of the Pyrenees, using a “P” and/or a “S”, as we speak.
    Ah Andorra, a principality and/or a postage stamp stuck on the slopes of what we’ve been trained to call the ‘Pyrenees’ Mountains. But as ever with Catalonians, united but with just-below-the-surface factions, those mountains have been called variously “Pyrenees“, “Syrenees, and last year in an election-eve compromise, “Spyrenees“. (Detractors on the op-ed page of the local daily suggested wryly “Why not ‘Psyrenees’?” )

But owing to her ‘parve‘ name, my beloved Pandora slid right in, her immigration petition flying to the top of the pile like Marilyn Monroe’s dress. Of course to the detriment of my carefully hand-scribbled plea. Seems like  the authorities take in new citizens much like patrons at a popular restaurant. “Please wait until one of our valued customers.. um.. ‘passes away’.” they might as well have told me, adding “..and one who chooses, oddly, not to be buried on our soil”. Hmm, table space at a premium, huh?” Just my dumb luck Andorra’s got the world record for longevity! Oh well, I’ll just twist in the windy queue here in the Promising(?) Land, watching the tax-men frenzy-feed on my meagre shekel collection. I could change my name, of course. “J Solberg-PisS” Nah. “SisP“? Give up, Johnny. They know a transparent ruse when they see one. Sob. Guess I’ll never get to see what’s in Pandora Spock’s box

.Momma sez: “Penguins are starving in Antartica and you’re playing with words?”
Me: Hmmm.. ‘Sometimes The penguin is mightier than the s-word.’ Nice , huh Mom?
Momma: Oy. My son, die grosse shrayber! Don’t mean gornischt to a little farshtarbene faigel.
Me: Ok, you win. Next post’s about something real, I promise, blee ayinora.
Momma: *spits*


Given a chance to meet and talk to any 3 artists (dead or living), who would you choose?

First off, I’d choose ‘living’  artists. Lots easier to talk to ’em. They like, respond, ask follow-up  questions: stuff like that there makes the experience a bit livelier. Andof course I’d much prefer to be living myself.

Ok, seriously, I’ve had more than my fair share of opportunities to hang out with artists of renown, mostly musicians. And I must report that  admiring, even coveting someone’s gift does not necessarily imply that a conversation will be inspirational or fruitful. Past saying “G-d, you have monstrous chops, bro. How’d you get there?” and learning that “Um…I practiced a lot..” you mainly co-miserate about the weather, agents, airplanes, or whatever’s handy. I’m not sure what I could ask my hero Tchaikovsky, other than “How do you say ‘awesome’ in Russian?”.

   One memorable conversation of several hours I did have, though, was with Duke Ellington. z”l  He was writing some tune at that moment, we sat at the piano, I cracked him up pretending to know better than him what the horns should be doing at this bar, etc. Altogether an individual so human in almost a child-like way that we lost track of time. I must say I learned something, “meeting and talking” with that artist .

Oh, and it’s “khorosho” if I recall, I didn’t write it down so I forgot already. Pathetic, right?


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