Sunday, December 30, 2012

Investigator Boudreaux and the Cockfight

The Louisiana State Police had gotten wind that illegal cock fights were becoming big in the rural areas around Lafayette. They decided to send in Boudreaux, their best undercover detective.

Boudreaux spent several weeks doing surveillance and came back to headquarters to report the results of his investigation.

Boudreaux said, "Dere is tree main group in dis cock fightin' bisness."

"Who are dey?", his Sergeant asked.

Boudreaux replied, "De Aggies, De Cajuns, and de Mafia."

"How you know?", asked the sergeant?

"Well," said Boudreaux, "I done seen da cock fight, Cher. I knowed da Aggies was involved when a duck was entered in de cock fight."

"What about the others?" questioned the Sergeant.

 "Well, I knowed da Cajuns was involve when sumbody bet on da duck. You know dem Cajuns, dey drink too much an say 'Aw, what da hell?', an dey'll do anyting dats kinda crazy."

"Mais, Boudreaux," axed the Sergeant, "How you know da Mafia's involved too?"

 Boudreaux said, "Dat's de easiest part. De damn duck won it!!"

Friday, December 28, 2012

She's a Real Girl!

Recently a group of us watched Lars and the Real Girl together, as an indulgent Chicks Night In, with munchies and drinks that the Calories Gods had previously pronounced low cal[!]  Anyway, the movie, starring Ryan Gosling, was a tale about a lonely, shy man who had an interesting fantasy life.  In the story, he obtained a Real Girl, a reasonably lifelike model of a young woman that he named Bianca.  I won't give the plot away in case you haven't seen it; but it was strangely touching while avoiding true creepiness and had a satisfying ending.

Later on, I looked into the existence of such a product. There is such a product available, marketed under the name RealDoll, and each costs about a cool $6000.  You can Google this product's website if you wish; be warned that the product site is somewhat graphic!

Basically, the RealDoll is designed to recreate the appearance, texture, and weight of the human female primarily to serve as surrogate sex partners. They come in 9 different body types and 16 different faces.  They can be dressed in different types of clothing, changing wigs or makeup, and even adjusted in body temperature by use of electric blankets or baths.

According to the detailed Wikipedia article, their use is not exclusively sexual.  They may serve as stand-ins for human models in photographs or other visual arts.  Some owners also use the dolls as non-sexual companion substitutes, maintaining a chaste relationship with them.  Still other owners buy the dolls simply because they consider them to be beautiful works of art.

Well, I hope you did not find this topic uncomfortable.  But how do these Real Girls or RealDolls fit into the everyday scheme of things?  For a start, could she be listed as a dependent on your income tax return?  Do many women own Real Girls?   What state has the greatest percentage of owners of Real Girls per population?  Will they come our with a minister's wife version of the Real Girl someday?

Does a thoughtful owner choose her ensembles carefully and with taste?   I hope that he would have more self-respect and sensitivity than to dress his Real Girl like a tart!  Something classy, like an evening gown or a little black dress, perhaps?  And shouldn't there be a period of acquaintance before any intimacies take place?  After all, even a Real Girl is entitled to have a good reputation! 

A thoughtful Real Girl owner would periodically buy her flowers; and special little gifts!  And take her to nice places: the opera, concerts, lectures.

Suppose a Real Girl owner were to meet a real life flesh-and-blood real girl or woman later?  How would she deal with her predecessor?  I would assume that they would not be so depraved as to live in a ménage a trois!  Wouldn't there there be jealousy issues?  Shouldn't there be a retirement plan for the Real Girl?  I would also assume that no one would be so crass as to sell his Real Girl.  If relegated to the closet, could she come out of special occasions?

Obviously, using a Real Girl sexually is an example of a paraphilia.  As such, it then raises the question as to whether there is a subrosa subculture of Real Girl affectionados.  Is there a demi-monde where they can convene, buy their Real Girl appropriate clothes and jewelry, and dine out together?  And what is one to think of some high roller who has more than one?  Is that morally equivalent to polygamy?  It seems that we have some questions to resolve as these Real Girls become more mainstream.

Also still to be resolved is whether transporting your Real Girl in the passenger seat qualifies your car for the multiple passenger lanes on expressways!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


You can look at coffee either positively or negatively. 

When coffee was first widely introduced into Europe, it was viewed with suspicion, especially because it was available in coffeehouses, which were regarded as hotbeds of sedition.  Unlike in taverns where habitués simply got nicely swocked and disorderly, people tend to be totally awake when they drink coffee.  Sometimes they talk sense about the usual order of things; and this is not looked on with pleasure by the powers that be.  Another reason: coffee-drinking came from Muslim countries, and it was regarded initially as a Muslim drink.  However, Pope Clement VIII declared it to be "a Christian drink" in 1600, and coffee-drinking became okay eventually, except for with the seventeenth century food Nazis.

And make no mistake: coffee is a psychoactive drug.  It is a mild stimulant.  Furthermore, there is some evidence of dependence with regular, large dosages.  Italians drink coffee as a simple self-medication: to get an immediate feeling of alertness.  And, whether we care to admit it on not, many of us do too.  Like me.

Regard coffee-making as a Zen exercise.  You have to have the right attitude and style to do it right.  If you stray from the Eightfold Path, you will make less than a great cup of coffee.  Specifically, you cannot make good coffee if you use a dirty pot!

As a former barista, making and serving coffee was enjoyable because a nice cup of coffee seemed to make people happy if prepared well!  However their day might have been going, at least they could sit down and enjoy a good cup of coffee and enjoy a brief respite from their cares.

Coffee is, in my opinion, a secular sacrament.  You should take it seriously. 

When coffee is made, it has a very short shelf life.  When you make it, use it right away!  As a matter of fact, this is the primary problem with convenience store coffee: it stands overly long and becomes bitter.  And a bitter cup of coffee embitters the drinker.

I wonder if many marital problem have their beginnings with a poorly-made or bitter cup of coffee.  And maybe some of the great screwups of government are due to bad coffee.  Maybe we ought to pay more attention to what kind of coffee is served at Presidential Cabinet meetings and how it's prepared!  It's said that the little things get us down; but coffee is more than that.

I drink chicory coffee about 60% of the time.  Usually, I adulterate it with evaporated milk or Half-and-Half.  A teaspoon of sugar can also be added, if needed.  Sometimes a little Sambuca or Fra Angelico will make a festive coffee for an evening's drink for you to share with a lover!

Experiment with other liqueurs like Irish Cream or Grand Marnier: you will be doubly delighted with one of your own creation!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas with all its joys!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Zen and the Art of Dorkery

Dorks are typically more noted for having quirky personalities, behaviors, and interests. While their interests or abilities may or may not be on the level with the traditional geeks or nerds, they have a better ability to laugh at themselves or others and are usually less socially threatening, a survival feature in today's conformist world. 

However, they are social skill-challenged; which can pose problems for them. Like geeks and nerds, they are quintessinal outsiders; but nevertheless, they are less likely to be criticized than are the other two categories because of their ability to enjoy life and pursue their own quirky interests in their own way.  As a matter of fact, there is a movement in some states to make dorks a protected species by well-meaning legislators who had presumably failed biology. 
The assumption of dork status has its own duties and burdens; but the neophyte dork would do well to follow the Eightfold Path of Dorkery:

1. Correct Interests -- Let your interests be exotic, non-threatening, and slightly amusing to others. Role-playing games, anime cosplay, collecting baseball cards, and rolling marbles down steps are okay. Anything that falls into the category of intimidating interests is not. For God's sake, don't be an expert on French cinema. And don't use the word 'cinema.' Political people can be so boring.  Amateur radio is so retro. 

2. Correct Dress -- Strive for slight quirkiness, having a few small departures from correct fashion. Generally try not to dress too outlandish or sexy. The latter is generally not a problem with guy dorks. In general, dressing as a Goth or a Sweet Loli is going overboard.

3. Correct Self-Display -- Release subtle cues regarding your unique interests; don't be overbearing or in everyone else's face. The maven and the otaku are pains in the behind. I personally avoid these.

4. Correct Insouance -- Be seemingly unaware of others' reactions to your interests. Implicitly, this communicates that you do not follow the rules or even have an awareness that there are rules. However, insouance should be practiced in moderation; don't give the impression that you don't give a [euphemism].

5. Correct Balance -- Avoid letting your esoteric interest creep into your family or work life. Well, you can have a Hello Kitty toy in the office, if you're female and that's what you like. But don't paint your office or bedroom to look like a Hello Kitty setting.   And, heavens, don't paint your house in your team's colors. I would restrain myself and not paint mine purple and gold, if I had a house.  A purple and gold apartment brings owners' complaints.

6. Correct Friends -- Be around positive people. Avoid politicians or mossbacks or televangelists. They are wearisome and a bruden to the soul.

7. Correct Beliefs -- Cultivate some that are un-mainstream, or even those that are dated. But avoid the faddish ones, like the Da Vinci Code or the paranoid streak that sometimes permeates the heat-oppressed brains of Hollywood types.

8. Correct Beverage -- Coffee, beer, or energy drinks. Use nothing involving excessive sweetness or possessing cute names. Whoever thought of drinks like the Shirley Temple, Sex on the Beach, the Bosom Caresser, or the Bloody Awful should be kicked. [I'm not making those drink names up.]

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Recruiting Remittance Girls as an Enrollment Strategy

Juggling operational costs of a university (salaries, maintenance, services, and other expenses) with cash inflow (tuition, state money, alumni gifts, research grants, etc) is a bottom line problem facing all universities.  It helps if your institution is illustrious, if it's the flagship university of its state, or if it has a lot of sentiment associated with it.  After all, doesn't every institution have its own saccharine Alma Mater?

Therefore, boosting enrollment is seen as the sine qua non of a successful institution because there is the necessity of grubbing or begging for money.  However, the birth rate reduction of a generation ago is affecting the number of potential college students.  Obviously, universities would like to attract the best and brightest!  But if your institution is a new one, without a remarkable campus life, or athletic prowess, it's a little harder to play that game!

Dean Chauncey Worthington and his Enrollment Management Committee at Florida Everglades University had to confront that reality.  In their discussions regarding enrollment strategies, they brainstormed (or brainstemstormed) several ideas:  (1) Having a Junior Year Aboard in Boca Raton, (2) Developing a Surfer Science Major, (3)  Offering discount coupons with early payment of tuition, and so forth.

Finally, Assistant Professor Clovis Evariste timidly offered an idea:  seek out Remittance Girls.  The Dean, despite his aversion to appearing unknowledgeable, blurted out, "What is a Remittance Girl?"

Professor Evariste went into a lengthy discourse about how, during the Victorian Era, well-to-do noble families dealt with the problem of occasional black sheep by sending them to the Colonies or to America and, effectively, paying them to stay away!  Hence, due to their remittances that provided them with support, they became known as remittance men.

In our modern p.c. times we wisely refrain from using sexist language; so it is appropriate to speak of the parallel expresson "remittance women."  As a matter of fact, some families followed this practice by packing off wayward daughters to live in places such as boarding schools out of scrutiny by other family members or friends.  Professor Evariste suggested that the institution actively seek out female students whose antecedent careers proved to be embarassments to their families, and give them a fresh start with programs geared to meet their needs.

Such as marvelous shops, art galleries, bars, and beaches.  As well as a institutional "don't ask, don't tell" policy with regard to drugs, sex, or porn.

Some members sputtered at this outlandish and nonintellectual strategy, as academics are wont to do.  But old professor Vivian Wilson mentioned the adage, "If you have a lemon, make a lemonade!"  She pointed out that one formidable challenge that the institution had was that it had little to recommend it to the more affluent set, the set with disposable resources that might result in donations.  However, they could turn things around by buying an older hotel in nearby South Beach and designating it the Florida Everglades University -- South Beach Campus.  The institution could immediately make this effective by charging substantial fees for dormitory rooms (on-campus residence required for Freshmen) and a tuition surcharge for its South Beach Campus.  Furthermore, they would adversize their South Beach Campus in some of the tonier East Coast magazines!

The Enrollment Management Committee quickly endorsed this idea.  And the males on the committee promptly applied for assignation to the South Beach Campus as soon as it was operational.  After all, they were supremely sensitive to the needs of this newly-discerned type of student!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Louisiana Museum

There is a Louisiana Museum, featuring modern art.  Several moderns, including Picasso and Calder are on display there.  It's supposed to be in a very visually compelling setting, and makes a trip 22 miles north of Copenhagen worthwhile.

Yes, I said Copenhagen.  Of the Denmark variety.

Did the founder have any links with Louisiana?  Was he a native Louisianan, or admired the small state so?    Perhaps he was an LSU graduate?  Or maybe it was in honor of a grand time had at a Mardi Gras?

No, it's for an odd reason:  It turned out that the founder had been married successively to three women, all named Louise, and the museum was named in honor of his three wives!

Alexander Calder sculpture at Louisiana Museum

Candy Thong and Bra

I must admit that I'm totally amazed that such a product as a candy g-string or thong exists.  Presumably it is to be nibbled on as part of foreplay.  It must require the wearer to have a great sense of humor, a lack of ticklishness, and few inhibitions.  Not to mention a superlative Brazilian waxing!  And they're reasonably priced at only $11.50!
I fear that I am skirting the margins of taste with this topic.  Still, what a thought to have one under my skirt at work . . . .  Would it get sticky in warm weather or from body heat?
I wonder what the Nutrition Facts label says regarding this product.  How many calories does it have?  What is its sodium content?  And, very importantly, how many servings goes with each?
Suppose the candy thong or g-string is listed for two servings?  I can imaging some eagle-eyed Republican reading this, and concluding that the government is indirectly sanctioning threesomes!  Oh my, what a can of worms!  Particularly since it implies a not-often-thought-of form of threesome: two men and one woman!  They don't do that sort of thing in Florida!
In fact, there can be a lot of possible naive logical processes and faulty assumptions to adopt.
At any rate, if the thong is edible, it should warrant nutrition information.  This would at least satisfy the Democrats!  And we would not want any of our citizens becoming and living large from eating candy thongs, especially during the holiday season, when sweet treats abound.

Even better: You can also wear a matching candy bra for about $9.50.  The product is listed as "one size fits most."  [Sure. . . .]   After all, lingerie should match.  Very definitely you might wonder about the caloric intake that goes with a matching candy thong and bra set and how many servings they represent!  Maybe the resulting activity might serve to work off some of those calories.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fnancial Success by Being a Unsuccessful Football Coach

Ideally, one should choose a life's work that is socially useful, stimulating, respectable, financially renumerating, and gives you joy in your life.  On the other hand, most of us mortals have to work with what we can get.

Millenials have read a number of lists of most needed and best-paying occupations; hopefully to guide them in making this golden decision.  On the other hand, some choose poorly: they become meth lab specialists, prostitutes, used car salesmen, and politicians.  But, clearly, the real magabucks come if you are lucky enough to be  Fortune 500 company CEO or a football coach.

A football coach?  Now, very few get to coach on the Division one level; and they get big bucks for doing so.   It's a high-pressure job, with the administration and alumni (less often alumnae) riding on your case if you do not at least produce a conference championship.  Respectability?  Judging by salaries, they are more highly regarded than college presidents or state governors.  Maybe I'd better not pursue this idea too much further, though!

This year, three of the 14 SEC football coaches bit the dust: Derek Dooley of Tennessee, Joker Phillips of Kentucky, and Gene Chizik of Auburn.  All of those institutions had previously replaced other coaches with them.  There seems to be a coach merry-go-round, with new riders regularly.

The result: Tennessee and Auburn have to eat the costs of the big bucks contracts by buyouts of 5 million and 7.5 million dollars, respectively.  That is serious pain for all but Harvard and Yale, institutions that might be satisfied with victories over Vermont Home for Unwed Mothers or Massachuetts or Dartmouth.  Kentucky, by contrast, was in the hole by only 2.5 million dollars.  Presumably they put their money in basketball.

So this my cunning plan:

1)  Get hired as a Head Coach at some ACC or SEC university with a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract.  This would require persuasive skills to be enumerated later.

2)  Absolutely guarantee the fans a victorious season in the first year, a conference championship in the second year, and a national championship in the final year.  Promise them beans, and deliver a flatus.

3)  Give a lot of rah-rah speeches to alumni groups and appar on Sports Talk Radio to work everyone's expectations to their max.

4)  Now the cunning plan begins to take place:  First, have a loss to a homecoming game-quality opponent, followed by an embarrassing loss to a conference opponent.

5)  To adjust for problems on defense, I will hire some clown to deal with defense problems.

6)  If the offense is feeble, I will try new strategies, like drop-kicking field goals and punting on third down.  Hey, Carrot Top would make a neat offensive line coach!

7)  Hopefully, by mid-season the football fanatics will holler for my head; and I will have to take up lodging in a downtown hotel under an assumed name.  The hue and cry to fire me will grow and grow.

8)  Finally, the university will fire me, and continue to honor my multimillion dollar contract.  Imagine: getting paid without working!

9)  I will then immigrate to the Cote d'Azure and finish out the season, leading a life of indolent bliss.

10)  After two or three years of living incognito, I will make occasional appearance as a sports commentator on ESPN.

All I need now is to convince some naive Athletic Director who will sell me to the alumni. 

However, my reverie aside, probably the best I would be hired for is Assistant Cheerleader Coach.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Prophetess Madeline Tees Off on Yankee Sex Tourism

[Toward the end of the 10 A.M. Morning Show on Action News]

Al Gautreaux:  Now for further developments, here's Missy Chauvin...

[Camera cuts to a scene of noisy ladies carrying protest signs.]

Missy:  So what is new in New Orleans?  The Prophetess Madeline has brought up what she thinks to be an increasing problem.  Ms. Prophetess, what are you and your associates from St. Cletus Parish protesting?

Madeline:  I'm glad you asked, Missy.  We're protesting what we see as increasing problem: Yankee sex tourism.  Each year hundreds of predatory Yankee women descend on the South to seduce our innocent Southern men.  This primarily occurs just after football season.  These are largely women in their thirties referred to as cougars; they zip into New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville, or even Charlotte and seek out our unsuspecting guys where they take advantage of them while they are most vulnerable: in that period between the Super Bowl and the NCAA Tournament.  Of course, the more hardy ones also come down in the summer.  I tell you, cher, it is a scandal!  C'est vrai!

Missy:  C'est dommage!

The Director (through Missy's earbud):  Talk English, Missy!

Missy: I mean, that is a shame!  And what does your group propose?

Madeline:  We propose that the City Councils of all Southern cities enact dress standard laws.  And laws that require that, if a room is occupied by two adults, that they be married to each other.  And, stronger yet, a four drink limit on Bourbon Street and other entertainment areas.

Missy:  How likely do you think the Council will go along with that?

Madeline:  Er . . . . maybe those ideas need reworking a bit.  We are thinking that additional sports, like soccer and beach volleyball, might be incorporated as wholesome distractions during the time between football and basketball.

Al:  Now I can deal with that!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Breast Enhancement, Ancient Greek Style

To improve on nature seems to be a common wish, especially when it comes to matters of breast enhancement. There are the bust-enhancing cremes (do cremes work better than creams?), tissue, bra inserts, and (as a final resort) breast implants. Currently this is the most common form of cosmetic surgery.

Apparently this was a desire back in ancient Greece also. Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, proposed singing as a means for the damsels of ancient Greece to enhance their assets! Now this should be looked into as a non-invasive technique.  After all, he comes highly recommended by history! Remember: The ancient Greek plays had those Greek choruses! Maybe they were so popular for that reason! Even when they imitated the singing of the frogs in Aristophanes' play by that title. Maybe when Agammemnon or Oedipus met their demises the audience could at least go out smiling by what is happening to the chorus.

On the other hand, were there many chorus boys?  Did this cause an upsurge of Hellenic moobs? 

Singing lessons, anyone?  Should I join the choir?  Maybe that's why being in the choir is popular in some churches!  Some more immediate, temporal rewards follow.

A former member of a Greek chorus.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Joys of Being Boring

Several years ago, Forbes magazine had an article on the Ten Most Boring Cities.  Which places marited this dubious claim to fame:  Chula Vista, CA, Chandler, AZ, North Las Vegas, NV, Bakersfield, CA, Aurora, CO made the list, as well as a few other dull places.  You can read it here, if you are okay about slide shows:

As contrasted with Detroit, New Orleans, Washington, and a number  of other places recognizable without state suffixes, this may not be a bad thing, as places often get into the news for the wrong reasons.  Thinking about the Forbes list, the ones on it seem to be moderately sized (by Southern standards, at least), be near or suburbs of more prominent cities  (It's hard to compete with your neighbor if it's Las Vegas or Los Angeles), and have increased population recently so as not to have an extensive history.

I'm surprised that Shreveport did not make the list.

However, I must quibble with the Forbes criterion:  Is not often making the news really boring?  Is that a legitimate usage when talking about other possible instances of boredom?

Obviously, most boring student is a term never encountered in schools.  In that setting, more emphasis is bestowed on the academic stars, the athletes, the cutest, the most troublesome, and the most menacing.  The garden variety kid gets overlooked.   

For example, who would be the most boring NFL quarterback?  It certainly would not be a leader of a Super Bowl-bound team, or one who is demonstratably religious.  It possibly could be a singularly inept player, though.  When the New York Mets baseball team emerged from the primal ooze, they supposedly were legendary in their clumsiness. But, they were not boring!

Or, what was the most boring movie?  I'm sure everyone has his or her own opinion on this.  Consult for some possibilities.  Or most boring television show?  Just play television remote roulette!

Let's go esoteric.  Who is the most boring anime girl?  I'll bet she does not wear a sexy superheroine costume or have interesting superpowers!

When it comes to food, we employ the term "comfort food."  This is typically food that is high in carbs, not highly seasoned, and food associated with your childhood or place of origin.  Some people might call it "boring" but your feelings toward it do not fall into that category.  Sometimes it's nice not to be challenged.

And we should never forget that boring can sometimes be a good thing.  Consider the most boring politician.  Now this fellow might not be a media darling since he gives little for them to write on; but he serves responsibly, does not say dumb things, has no extramarital flings or scandals, promotes beneficial legislation, and gets along with people of the other party.  To my way of thinking, this is a desirable trait.  And I would support a candidate of either party that was like this.

I dimly recall that one of the Republican nomination contenders fit this; or perhaps it was because he didn't make the news much except for a brief mention.

Obviously, it won't get him or her into the Presidency; but perhaps the constituents are well-served just by someone doing his job.

I'm sorry; but I had to re-install Word Verification because my blog was starting to get a lot of ads in the replies.  I wish it wasn't this way; but they were beginning to clutter and some I was not sure of their content.

So, returning to the concept of "boring cities."  A small town in Oregon apparently got the spirit of this.  To make their point crystal clear, they even named it Boring.  It's not far away from the irredeemably interesting Portland.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Time at the Beach

I took a few days off down at 30A, the Rosemary Beach - Seagrove area in Florida.   It is near Panama City, but  is more leisurely and less party-oriented than P.C.  No, it's not tacky.  The prime recreational activity involves taking leisurely strolls on the sand.  The water is too cold to swim in; but wading in is okay until your toes get too cold.  Many visitors dress beach-style in swimsuits or shorts, but possibly might accessorize with a windbreaker.  We stayed in a upstairs room above a carriage house.

This outing was quiet, romantic place for relaxation, rather than rowdy. Rowdy is okay, but tiring.  What's it like in a off-season coastal town?  It's quiet, serene, and less expensive.  And less fashion-conscious.  A cup of coffee and a chocolate pie or ice cream is the afternoon delight.


Well, maybe not that much . . . . Later, after returning to the grindstone, I had some flu virus that kept me inactive upon returning.  I'll post something more extended when I'm at full speed.