SuckyBreak

SuckyBlog will be on break for a short while. Got work to do.

Will try to be back in a few weeks. Maybe a month or two.

Pillaging the Ritz

lanesborough.jpgWhen I’m checked into a hotel, I like to take home the little mini toiletries they provide. At the nicer places, they usually give you around three bars of soap- one for each sink and one for the shower. I just use the very smallest bar for both the sink and shower so I can leave the big bar and other small bar unused.

Or if they provide a body wash lotion in addition to the soap bars, I’ll use that and keep all three unwrapped bars of soap. I also sometimes don’t use the shampoo. I’ll just wash my hair with the soap or the body wash so I can keep the shampoo bottle brand new.

soap.jpgEvery morning, I take all the unused mini toiletries and tuck them away in my bag so that they are not visible to the housekeeping staff. They must wonder how one traveller can go through three bars of soap, a bottle of shampoo, a bottle of lotion, and eight Q-Tips every single day.

Despite the obvious doubts they must have, housekeeping never fails to restock my room every day when they see that all the toiletries are gone. Sometimes, if I’m feeling obnoxious, I’ll ask for more toiletries when they come in for turn down service. And if I’m feeling super duper obnoxious, I’ll call housekeeping and ask for extra soap and shampoo. Because, you know, I “ran out”.

I’ll only take the toiletries if they’re sorta fancy. Hopefully with some fancy packaging (“Lavender Hand Milled Soap in Recycled Natural Fiber Packaging” … made by some 14 year old in some Asian sweatshop I’m sure.) Call me a soap snob if you will. Well, cheap and snobby. That’s the best combination because you are always too cheap to achieve your snob goals.

ritz.jpgI once also took a box of Kleenex. I had to pry it out of the built-in Kleenex box holder in the marble and wood countertop (don’t worry, I didn’t damage anything). I also once took a new roll of toilet paper. I really liked how they folded the end of the roll into a pointy tip and fastened it with a shiny gold sticker featuring the hotel’s crest.

I don’t take towels, robes, slippers, furnishings or fixtures though. That’s crossing the line. And you’re liable to be billed for it.

neutrogena.jpgWhen I get home, I take all my winnings out of my bag and place them in neatly organized shoe boxes underneath my sink. Then I wash up with the Suave shampoo and Dove soap that I bought at the supermarket.

And why do I spring for the hotel room, but not the soap? Penny wise and pound foolish, my friend.

So I still have this giant accumulating stash of unused mini soaps, mini shampoos, and mini lotions. Just in case some Lilliputian houseguests ever need to shower. One million times.

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Gary C and The Carved Up Weiner

peewee.jpgI went to school with a legend. No, it’s not Michael Jordan, Martin Scorsese, or Pee Wee Herman. His name is Gary C. Back in the day, Gary was the ultimate master of mischief. In the suburban town where I went to school, his reputation precedes him.

The ironic thing, though, is that Gary had a knack for kissing parents’ asses with unabashed flair and enthusiasm. (A result of his having the most outgoing and well-mannered parents in the neighborhood, who taught their children to be equally warm and sincere.) “Why, Mrs. Jackt’s Mom, thank you for making us this wonderful dinner. It is so delicious, I could eat this every day. This chicken is simply delightful. May I please have a second helping?” He spoke like that as a kid. Literally. Parents ate it up.

hotdog.jpgIn fourth grade, Gary took a hot dog and carved one end of it to resemble a penis. He then stuck it part-way into his fly and zipped back up to hold it in place. He ran around at recess with his makeshift weiner-cock hanging out of his pants, dangling and bouncing around everywhere. His teacher nearly fainted.

supersoaker.jpgIn middle school, he would tie a headband on (we grew up in a post-Rambo era), strap himself up with the brat’s weapons of choice (Super Soaker, water balloons, rolls of toilet paper, and bottle rockets), and set traps for little old ladies driving around the neighborhood. He was like a teenage TP ninja.

In high school, Gary would sneak his own drawings into our history teacher’s roll of transparencies. Quite amusing when Dr. F. has to pause his European History lecture because everyone’s laughing at the giant green middle finger on the projector screen.

knife.jpgOne day, Gary decided to play a prank on our classmate Caroline. Caroline lived across the street, and had this dog named Baryshnikov (she was a dancer- can you tell?). So Gary took a sausage, two meatballs, and some red tomato sauce and put them all into a clear plastic bag. He then made a sign that said “Baryshnikov” and nailed the bag and sign to Caroline’s front door with his Rambo hunting knife.

We all had a good laugh over that one at our high school reunion. Too bad Caroline wasn’t there to kick Gary’s ass.

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Splish Splash

urinal.jpgEver take a pee at a public bathroom urinal? A gold star for the ladies who have, for inhuman hoo ha control. The guys of course get nothing, since I know from personal experience that you all miss the target.

So you stand at the urinal to do your business, then you get splashed with tiny droplets of … Ew. Sometimes all the stars will align and the splashing will cause a stray pubic hair to somersault out of the urinal, just missing your left foot as it swan dives toward the floor.

Splashing can occur while you pee, where your own pee is doing the splashing. But that’d be your own fault, because if your wee wee is short and the pee has to travel farther than the recommended distance for a controlled stream, it gathers velocity on its downward trajectory (it’s called “gravity”), hence creating a bigger splash. (Hint for all you splashers: Pee onto the back wall of the urinal, not directly down.)

Splashing also often occurs, though, after you’ve flushed an overzealous urinal with no sense of flow control. I hate it when urinals get emotional like that. They were made to be pee’d on- what do they have to get so upset over?

Either way, you get at least a few tiny little splashes of that nasty urinal water on some part of you, whether it be your thighs, knees, ankles, feet, or toes. This is problematic for shorts-wearers everywhere, if the splashing occurs at knee-height or below.

And don’t even get me started on the gunk on public bathroom floors. It gets on the soles of your shoes and the tips of your shoelaces. Think on that next time you tie your laces.

Then go wash your hands.

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The Wonders of Modern Manufacturing

Below are some products that don’t yet exist, or are sold only to select markets in Japan (I am only guessing about Japan, but they seem to have lots of strange stuff that people elsewhere don’t use regularly). But I think these products would be hugely useful, so I am posting them here for the record.

monkeybutt.jpgPerhaps some giant factory in China will find this post, start making these items, and distribute them to U.S. retailers. And then monkeys will fly out of my butt and the Devil will burrow out of the ground because it was too cold in Hell.

Air-Conditioned Blanket
Just the title sounds counter-intuitive, I know. People use blankets to stay warm, not the other way around. BUT- Most people I know enjoy the secure feeling of having a blanket draped over them while they sleep, a remnant of their childhood phobias. But what do you do on those hot summer nights? Cover yourself and sweat to death, or go uncovered and let the monster that surely lurks under your bed gnaw on your feet?

Enter The SuckyBlog Air-Conditioned Blanket. Stay covered up by your protective blankey while the bogeyman peers out from behind your closet door, all the while enjoying the refreshing cool air circulating between you and your sheets. Also saves on energy costs, as you don’t have to cool the whole room on a hot night.

Disposable Underwear
uw.jpgI am sure this item has already been marketed in some specialty stores in Japan or other parts of Asia, but they probably don’t have the materials or marketing right.

Mark my words: This one is going to be huge. Well, yes, my underwear is huge- it needs to fit my ass, after all. But that’s not what I’m talking about. Disposable underwear one day will be huge.

Think paper towels. There was a time (before my time) when they were not a common household item. Disposable contact lenses. Disposable mops (Swiffer). Disposable toilet bowl cleaner (ToiletWand). Bottled water. Even in the early 80s, did you think that people would be buying drinking water in little pre-packaged bottles? Absurd!That’s how we feel today about disposable undies.

But someday soon, some guy in China is gonna figure out a way to manufacture a super inexpensive but resilient paper that feels acceptably like fabric. They’ll first start selling them at airport shops. Then they’ll roll it out in bulk packages at supermarkets and big box retailers everywhere.

Less laundry for all of us. Lighter packing when travelling. And people who leave skid marks know that it’s much less embarrassing to discard the evidence. Soon it’ll be less costly, too. And as to how I know about the skid mark detection evasion strategy- I plead the Fifth so as not to incriminate myself.

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Sauna My Ass

sotv.jpgTo visit an emporium of manufactured goods that perform curiously strange functions, there’s no need to leave the comfort of your living room. All those late night TV commercials sell so many strange things. And in my half-awake state late at night, some of them actually seem worth buying. Good thing I lock up my credit cards.

But for this one, I had to wake my wife up at 3 am and coerce her to relinquish my credit card from her safekeeping (I won’t say how I did it, but it involved splashing her face with cold water until she woke up and started yelling).

sb.jpgOnce Operation Credit Card was accomplished, I went and ordered myself The Sauna Belt. Yes, you read it right. It’s a sauna. In a belt. Incroyable, I know. Because (excerpt from ad copy) “Now you won’t need to leave the house to work up a sweat, with Sauna Belt you can just relax in the comfort of your own home.”

I really dislike leaving the house. And I hate doing anything strenuous just to work up a sweat. I would much prefer to sit at home and sweat, with a can of Cheez Whiz within arm’s length. As long as I strap that Sauna Belt on my ass, my ass is gonna look bitchin’. That’s what they show in the picture, so it must be true.

nok.jpgJust think about the possibilities. Finns everywhere in Finland will venture forth into the vast unknown reaches of the un-sauna’d world. Perhaps they’ll pack their Sauna Belts and cross entire oceans to exotic lands where non-Nokia mobile phones abound (*gasp*).

eau.jpgThey should come up with a battery-powered version. So that on your next plane flight, you can be flanked by Sauna Belt-wearing passengers, beads of sweat trickling down their faces just inches from your shoulders. Just hope that your fellow passengers didn’t eat anything stinky prior to boarding. Unless you prefer the fine scent of Eau de Garlic, of course.

So when I say “Sauna My Ass”, I’m not being flippant or derogatory. Nor am I implying that The Sauna Belt is not a sauna. I’m saying “please strap a Sauna Belt on my ass”, so I can work up a sweat in the comfort of my home. And sport a bitchin’ ass.

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The World’s Best Jobs

pg.gifPublications like BusinessWeek and Fortune often come up with lists of best companies to work for. P&G, Genentech, whatever. Screw ‘em. They don’t know what they’re talking about.

These are the best jobs to have:

Saab Designer
saab.jpgDesign a new car every nine years. Spend the rest of the time fielding a company soccer team to play fellow Swedish car maker Volvo’s company team. Winner gets to make the world’s ugliest car. Loser gets to make the world’s boxiest car.

Comic Strip Writer
Every day you submit three little hand-drawn cells, which get read by millions of people. (shock). (gasp). Like, “Hey, I’m so tired from spending two hours thinking up one joke. And theeeEENN (roll eyes) I had to spend another ten minutes drawing up the three cells. O Gaaawwd I’m gonna take a break and go for a Double-Sized Frappuccino while Ernesto here colors the cells.”

Dude, you can finish all the strips for the entire month in a week and spend the rest of the month in Hawaii. Not a bad gig.

Take a look at my friend Phil‘s work. He’s got a few different series, the most popular being Skinny Panda. All of his stuff is hilarious. BUT: One of his series is a bunch of STICK FIGURES! What the Pho? Stick. Figures. In black and white. He doesn’t even draw little bubbles for the dialog!

skinnypanda.jpg

Whoa. *wipes brow*. That was hard work, coming up with this blog post. Being a blogger is definitely not one of the best jobs to have. Actually, that’s not true. Being a blogger is not a job at all. Cuz it ain’t a job if it don’t pay.

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Breakin’ It Down 2: Pantenelectric Boogaloo

b2.jpgI’m a movie fan. I really like Star Wars. I even made a feeble attempt to break it down in a previous post. For the most part, though, I am your average summer blockbuster lemming. I go to movies and get wowed by the special effects (“Whoaaaa…them’s la-ZERS!”). Who cares about a plot when they’re blowing s**t up, I say.

I have a friend, though, who is much more intelligent about movies than I am. Pantene loves movies. Loves talking about them, thinking about them, repeating famous lines. I think she even enjoys watching them a little bit.

And I really like Pantene’s criteria for what makes an all-time favorite movie. Her take on it is accessible but not shallow. And it’s for movie watchers, not movie makers or industry types. So I asked her to jot it down and email it to me so I can post it here.

raffle.jpgAnd as to why she’s named after a shampoo: I’m very vague on the the details, but what I heard is that it involves a yellow dress, a raffle ticket, and a wild night at a strip club in White River Junction, Vermont. Perhaps they should make a movie out of that.

Below is Pantene’s take on what makes an all-time classic movie.

Pantene on All-Time Classic Movies

Ok,

There are several elements a movie must have to make it Great; “The Best of the Best”. Can you guess what the following have in common?

The List:

  • The Unforgiven
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • The Godfather, Part I
  • The Godfather, Part II
  • The English Patient
  • Schindler’s List

A Good Script.
Strong, believable, unpredictable dialogue. I hate it when the writers insult my intelligence.

An Epic-Like Story.
I want to feel completely invested in the whole shebang: the people, the location, the story, the struggle. I also want a little complex “moral imperative”; a little gray.

Good Characters.
ro.jpg When evil is sooooo evil and good is sticky sweet, I get bored. Again, with “insulting my intelligence”. I don’t want cookie-cutter characters. Give me dimension, flaws, humility, honesty, “un-categorizable” people if you will. Let me digress a little here: Take a good look at “The Hunt for Red October” again. Not a phenomenal film, but a great action flick nonetheless. You’ll see that there’s no evil senator, no bad-ass general, etc. It’s a battle of wits so to speak. They forgot about this kind of subtlety when they made “Patriot Games”. Oooo, it’s a mean, volatile, greasy-haired bad Columbian drug lord. Gee, do you think he’s the bad guy?

Good Actors.
gf2.jpg That is each and every actor is spot-on no matter the size of their role. They don’t have to scream and yell to make themselves believable. Once again, subtlety is key. That’s why Pacino is so goddamn good in Parts I & II (closing the door in Diane Keaton’s face, twice.) and soooooooo shitty in Part III. Parts I & II were made before Al started screaming all his lines. He should take a page from the Ralph Fiennes book on How to Act. How can we forget the German Commandant Amon Goeth (Schindler’s List)? “Whatcha doing with that rifle, Amon? Um…Amon, why don’t you put the gun down and finish your coffee? Um, you’re not really going to shoot… OH MY GOD!! YOU BASTARD!!” With one swift yet apathetic act Ralph Fiennes’ character was able to epitomize the evil of the Third Reich. More noteworthy performances: The interaction between Gene Hackman and Sir Richard Harris’ characters in The Unforgiven…I suggest watching the jail scene again.

Cinematography.
Need I say more?

Movies that come very very very close-but-no-cigar to meeting ALL these needed elements, that is, movies that I feel still kick-ass but are not going to be included with the above mentioned are listed here in no particular order:

Runners-Up:

  • The Searchers
  • Dances with Wolves
  • Lawrence of Arabia
  • Lord of the Rings, Two Towers
  • Gone with the Wind (how can you not?)
  • Mississippi Burning
  • Million Dollar Baby
  • Pulp Fiction

ij.jpgAnd of course there are movies that are great indies (Lost In Translation, Magnolia), great comedies (When Harry Met Sally), great action adventures (Raiders of the Lost Ark), great love stories, (Breakfast at Tiffany’s) great thrillers (Sixth Sense) and great guilty pleasures (Ocean’s Eleven, Showgirls).

Check out AFI’s Top 100 Films. I agree with 95% of their list (That’s ’cause I’ve seen only 95 of the movies listed.) To pull a few of my personal favs:

Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, The Third Man, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, & Rear Window. I could go on and on and on…To Kill A Mockingbird, The Graduate, The Big Sleep, Alice, Dead Poets Society, Sound of Music, All The President’s Men, Cry Freedom, Stalag 17, Walk the Line, Fish Called Wanda…..

How’s that Jack?

Pantene

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A Delicious But Dirrty Affair

This year, my hometown of Los Angeles did not make it onto Gourmet Magazine’s list of top five dining cities in the United States. Us Angelenos have known this all along: L.A. is a big city with some decent fancy restaurants, but other cities have much more impressive high-end dining rosters.

lomosaltado.jpgWhile Los Angeles may not be great for gourmet cuisine, it is unmatched for ethnic chow. You know what I’m talking about- those secret (or sometimes not so secret) hole in the wall gems that serve up delicious concoctions from the Middle East, South America, Asia, and everywhere else. You name it, we’ve got it. And it’s so authentic, it tastes just like it does back home. Wherever that may be.

A while ago, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services began requiring all eating establishments to post their inspection rating by the front door. The details of the inspection results are also posted on the County web site. The Health Department’s grading system is like the school system’s: Total score of 100 points, with “A” being the highest letter grade.

friedporkchops.jpgI just looked up two of my favorite LA restaurants on the Health Department website- Mario’s Peruvian and Lee’s Garden. The results were just as I figured. Because for food to taste good, it must be just a little bit dirrty. Makes sense, right? How good could Lee’s pork chops taste if they didn’t have a dash of Lee’s Special “Chutney”? Like with all delicious- mysterious recipes, I’ll eat it, but when it comes to knowing what’s in Lee’s Special Chutney, I have a strict Don’t Ask / Don’t Tell policy. Just like the U.S. Navy.

So now you know all about Los Angeles’ role as the ethnic chow capital of the world. Where the food is authentic and delicious. And inexpensive, to boot. And if you forget to tip, next time they’ll even throw in the hepatitis for free.

Favorite Restaurant 1:

MARIO’S PERUVIAN & SEAFOOD RES
5786 MELROSE AVE
LOS ANGELES, CA 90038

Current Score: B (84 out of 100)

Violations:

  1. Risk for contamination
  2. Food Storage
  3. Improperly Cleaned/Not Maintained Clean
  4. Storage
  5. Unapproved Type/Improper Use/Improper Installation
  6. Wiping Rag
  7. Deterioration/Unapproved Materials/Facility Not Fully Enclosed

Latest Inspection Date: 10/12/2005

Inspection History
Date – [Score] – Letter Grade
06/03/2005 – [90] – A
04/05/2005 – [90] – A
03/24/2005 – [74] – C

Favorite Restaurant 2:

LEE’S GARDEN
1428 S ATLANTIC BLVD
ALHAMBRA, CA 91803

Current Score: C (76 out of 100)

Violations:

  1. Holding of PHF
  2. Cooling
  3. Thawing
  4. Food Storage
  5. Ready to Eat Food
  6. Improperly Cleaned/Not Maintained Clean
  7. Unapproved Type/Improper Use/Improper Installation
  8. Deterioration/Unapproved Materials/Facility Not Fully Enclosed
  9. Not Maintained Clean
  10. Sink and Fixtures/Floor Sink/Floor Drain
  11. Drain Line/Supply Line
  12. Hood

Inspection Date: 10/12/2005

Inspection History
Date – [Score] – Letter Grade
05/13/2005 – [80] B
03/26/2005 – [81] B
03/17/2005 – [71] – C

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Asphincter Says What?

In school, I was no science prodigy. I was just OK at biology. And I made a barely passable effort in chemistry.

pfd.jpgBut physics- well, that was even worse. In a failing effort to teach me relativity theory equations, one of my physics professors (whom I had driven to his wits’ end) came up with a special physics problem just for me involving an X-Wing Fighter flying past the Death Star at the speed of light. He hoped that my dense brain would finally wrap itself around the problem if the challenge appealed to my geeky nature.

I still got a C+.

Knowing how to take a hint, I never considered a career as a physician.

I do, though, have the privilege of knowing many highly competent and talented doctors. Most of their days, it seems, are fairly uneventful. But on occasion, as in every workplace, embarrassing and humorous moments do occur.

But funny moments at hospitals are always much more funny than episodes elsewhere.

Because they usually involve someone’s sphincter.

Always Use The Right Tools for the Job
After performing many physical exams supervised by her teaching physicians, a new intern began giving patients physicals on her own.

After a few solo sessions, the teaching physicians were perplexed. About halfway through each session, they kept hearing a sharp grunt or a muffled cry emanating from behind the exam room door.

k_y.jpgAfter hearing this audible anomaly a few times, one of the more experienced doctors decides to sit in on the new intern’s next physical, in case she had overlooked a step.

You guessed it: She gloved up for the rectal exam like every good doctor should (*sss-nap!*). But she forgot to use lubricant to *ahem* ease the discomfort.

Improvised Explosive Device
A patient comes in, complaining of being constipated for several days. They give her some oral laxatives and send her home.

It doesn’t seem to help. She returns. Her abdomen, naturally, is in a lot of pain at this point.

They admit her to the hospital. The doctors consult with each other to resolve the obstruction. They put her in stirrups and give her suppositories. And more suppositories.

This continues for a quite a while. She’s backed up. She’s lying down, in stirrups. They keep giving her suppositories. Nothing’s happening.

Finally, after a few days of this, one of the nurses hears a bursting sound (*BOOM*!!!) coming from the room.

The dam had burst. Or rather, exploded.

There was poop everywhere.

The linens.

The bed.

The floor.

The wall facing the bed.

Inside the air conditioning vent.

The poor nurses were none too happy about clean-up detail. But the backed up lady sure was happy her problem had finally cleared up.

You Say Tomato, I Say Rectal Exam
A doctor is giving a physical.

The patient speaks only Spanish.

The doctor learned Spanish in school. So, in his effort to communicate effectively, he conducts the physical en Espanol.

Or so he thinks.

The first part of the physical goes smoothly. Then comes the rectal exam (told you- every funny story involves someone’s sphincter).

The doctor explains the rectal exam procedure to the patient (in Spanish, of course). That the patient would have to turn around, partially disrobe, and bend over the exam table. That the doctor would then insert his finger into the patient’s rectum to check for abnormalities.

The doctor then leaves the room to get some supplies.

Upon returning, the patient is standing there in his hospital gown.

Underwear off.

Bending backwards.

With his own finger up his ass.

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