A Little Shakespearean Nerdery

Hello all. Long time, no blog. In case you’re interested, and I can’t imagine that most of you are, here’s my final project for my summer Shakespeare class. The paper is lengthy, but it comes with killer tunes. I suggest listening as you read. Enjoy.

All work is mine, in my own words, and original.

Since I have cheap-ass WordPress that won’t allow plugins, you’ll have to visit the playlist I made for it here, at my 8tracks account. Open in a new tab.

My original paper (below) required some familiarity with the characters and did not include the cast list. In case anyone reading needs it, here you go:

Cast of Characters in Othello – Sparknotes


I chose to create a modern-day soundtrack for Othello. Not only was it one of my favorite plays that we read this term, it really spoke to me in terms of relating true human emotions through the characters. As a lifelong musician and nearly obsessive music enthusiast, I fell in love with the idea of creating a scene-by-scene, modern-day avant-garde soundtrack for the play. I was shooting for a melancholy mood, and my decision to choose one song per scene in order to create an entire soundtrack rather than focusing in on one song each for a single scene or two was for several reasons. I wished to create a comprehensive, unified feel for the entire play in music, as if I were scoring a movie. I painstakingly analyzed the lyrics and the styles of the songs that I chose and tied them into each scene, according to both themes and dialogue. I hope that my decision not to do an extremely deep analysis for each song/scene was not misguided in terms of what you expect for this project. I feel like my analyses are quite fitting and thorough, if brief in terms of individual scene. I want for my soundtrack to serve as a unified piece of art which speaks to the entire play. It is my hope that you will see Othello in song the way that I see it, and I hope you enjoy the soundtrack as much as I enjoyed creating it. I truly believe that the songs I chose capture the spirit of Shakespeare’s Othello. I have structured each entry with a short summary of each scene, including lines from the scene which speak to the theme; then a reveal of the song chosen and a justification for each, including analysis of the mood and style of the song, lyrics, and dialogue of the play and mood of the scene.

Act One, Scene One – Scene Summary

(Roderigo and Iago are speaking)

Iago is explaining to Roderigo how Othello has hired Cassio for his lieutenant, and how he is getting stuck as his ancient. He is expressing his remorse that he is bound to love the Moor, and that he intends to pretend to be the Moor’s friend, but only until he can get revenge on him. Iago and Roderigo then go to Brabantio’s house to tell him that Desdemona has married Othello, and incite Brabantio to complain about Othello to the Congress. Iago causes trouble and then escapes – “Farewell, for I must leave you. / It seems not meet nor wholesome to my place / to be producted – as, if I stay, I shall – / Against the Moor.” (146-149.)

Song: “Hide Behind My Glasses” – Fishbone

I chose the Fishbone song because the theme of this scene is Iago’s planning his revenge against Othello, and the initial laying out of his plan. A close runner-up in choices was Motorhead’s “Sweet Revenge” – “You thought you had it made, well here’s your final shock surprise, How do you like it, my unfaithful friend? How do you like it?” This song, however, has an appropriately “Dr. Suess-y” feel, which I believe captures the nearly comically over-the-top nature of Iago’s character. The song is a nearly burlesque-style romp that calls to mind Iago sneaking around behind the scenes, manipulating everyone to his end. “I like to hide behind my glasses, so I can give you all dirty looks, like I hate you, incompetent, moron, son of a jerk!” This is a reference to Iago’s two-facedness, or “hiding behind his glasses”, so to speak. While he is acting as though he is Othello’s friend, he is actually planning his complete destruction. “I’ll take my underdog supersauce pill, to beat the bullies and save the land.” This lyric is a reference to Iago’s apparent belief that by ousting the Moor, that he will be doing the government and country a service. His goal of getting himself elected to the position of Othello’s lieutenant is due to the same belief. With the previous lyric, we establish that Iago hates both Othello and Cassio and views them as morons. With this lyric, we establish that Iago views himself as some kind of valiant underdog, whose goal in revenge against the “bullies” is justified in his own mind.

Act One, Scene Two – Scene Summary

(Enter Othello, Iago, and Attendants with Torches)

Iago warns Othello that Brabantio is gunning for him because of Desdemona. Othello is somewhat nonplussed. “My parts, my title, and my perfect soul / Shall manifest me rightly.” (31-32) The servants of the Duke come in and tell Othello that he is wanted before the Congress immediately. He assumes that it is because of Desdemona, but they really want him to go to war for them. Brabantio shows up and berates Othello for stealing his daughter. Othello refuses to fight. They depart to take audience with the Duke.

Song: “Kashmir” – Led Zeppelin

While I could have focused in this scene on either Othello’s refusal to fight Brabantio contrasting with the idea that he is a soldier, or Brabantio’s belief that Othello has stolen his daughter away, I chose to focus on the fact that this is the first scene where we, as an audience, are introduced to Othello. I chose Kashmir, a song with a style that calls to mind a proud, exotic man strutting through life, which is exactly how I pictured Othello when we first saw him. He is confident in himself to start out with, which makes the contrast of the Othello at the end of the play so heart-wrenching. Because we have met this Othello, it makes us all the more sad when we see at the end how broken down he has become – a shadow of his former self. “Oh, let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dream. I am a traveler of both time and space, to be where I have been. To sit with elders of the gentle race, this world has seldom seen. They talk of days for which they sit and wait and all will be revealed.” To me, this speaks to the idea that Othello is a weary world traveler, respected by his elders, and something of an outsider. He has had life experiences that no one else in the play can relate to, and is thereby fascinating, but this doesn’t make him as secure a man as he thinks he is.

Act One, Scene Three – Scene Summary

(The Duke, Senators, and Officers are speaking)

The Duke and Senators discuss the arrival of the Turkish fleet, with varying accounts. News of the fleet continues to arrive via messenger during their conversation, and it is decided that they need to send a mercenary. Their first choice, Marcus Luccicos, is not in town. They write to him. Brabantio, Othello, Cassio, Iago, Roderigo, and the officers come in, and the Duke straightaway employs Othello as the mercenary required. Brabantio tells the Duke and senate that Othello stole his daughter. The Duke questions Othello about it, who says that it is all true, but that he won Desdemona fairly. Brabantio argues that Othello must have used witchcraft to win her. “A maiden never bold; / Of spirit so still and quiet that her motion / blushed at herself; and she, in spite of nature, / Of years, of country, credit, everything, / To fall in love with what she feared to look on! / It is a judgment maimed and most imperfect / That will confess perfection so could err / Against all rules of nature, and must be driven / To find out practices of cunning hell / Why this should be. I therefore vouch again / That with some mixtures powerful o’er the blood / Or with some dram conjured to this effect, / He wrought upon her.” (97-107). Othello denies this, saying that it was merely the telling of his life story that wooed Desdemona, and suggests that they send for her so that she can back Othello’s story up. She does. Brabantio backs down, and it is decided that Desdemona will go with Othello to war, and that they will leave immediately. Iago stays behind with Roderigo, who is heartbroken over Desdemona’s marriage and threatens to drown himself. Iago sets him up so that he (Iago) can later steal Roderigo’s money.

Song: “No Ordinary Thing” – Opshop

The theme of this scene is that Desdemona chose Othello of her own free will, and that he won her of his own accord and without using trickery or deception. I chose this song as a way to foreshadow what is coming, rather than choosing a song celebrating their love. “No Ordinary Thing” is a melancholy, longing song about the belief that your love transcends all others and rises above worldly concerns, but there is an undercurrent of feeling like maybe you’re not destined to work out. “Knowledge will capture comfort one day, and our worlds will be worth more than living once in this lifetime. If we could liberate today, we could alleviate tomorrow, but no one can reach the light switch, they say. My love, this is no ordinary thing.” This lyric foreshadows the supposed Desdemona/Cassio cheating scandal – “Knowledge will capture comfort one day”, as illustrated in the passage where Othello laments to Iago that it would have been okay if Desdemona were having an affair, so long as he did not know about it. “I swear ‘tis better to be much abused than but to know’t a little.” (Act 3, Scene 3, ll. 353-354.) The song goes on to lament “We were compromised by our own hearts. Jealous seas couldn’t keep us apart. I wanted to touch you but we stop when we start. I wanted to hold you, but here we are…” This foreshadows Othello’s lament upon Desdemona’s death bed, after he learns the truth about what happened. “Jealous seas” is rather self-explanatory, but “I wanted to hold you, but here we are…” to me, parallels Othello’s lines in the last scene: “Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate, / Nor set down aught in malice. Then must you speak of one that loved not wisely but too well; / Of one not easily jealous but, being wrought, / Perplexed in the extreme; of one whose hand, / Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away.” (Act 5, Scene 5, ll. 352-358.) He is lamenting the circumstances that brought him this far.

Act Two, Scene One – Scene Summary

(Enter Montano and Two Gentlemen)

Montano and the two gentlemen discuss the fate of the Turkish fleet. It turns out that the fleet has shipwrecked, and there is no need for a war. Cassio arrives, and fears that Othello may have been lost at sea. “Oh, let the heavens / Give him defense against the elements, / For I have lost him on a dangerous sea.” (46-48.) Iago arrives, with Roderigo, Emilia, and Desdemona. Desdemona inquires about Othello. Iago, Emilia, and Desdemona banter about the nature of women for a few minutes, which frustrates Desdemona. Iago observes Cassio with Desdemona and their easy friendship, and the seeds are planted to poison Othello against him. Othello arrives and then immediately leaves with Desdemona. Iago tells Roderigo that Desdemona is in love with Cassio. Roderigo is doubtful, but Iago persists. Roderigo agrees to provoke Cassio.

Song: “Shipwrecked” – Spacehog

I selected “Shipwrecked” partially because of the appropriate feeling of the song, and partially because of the message. The song has a semi-melancholy feel, but the lyrics appropriately portray a man married to the sea, and wondering fondly about his love. The man is confident in himself and secure in his affection for his woman, but he is a soldier before a lover; much like Othello at this point in the story. Othello leaves to go to war with his entire entourage but, true to the “lonely sailor” stereotype, they return one by one without him, fearing that he is lost at sea. “And as the stars fly by me, so the ocean binds me, and I’m as lonely as a sailor, shipwrecked on the sea.” It’s a beautiful, lonely song that I believe paints a picture of Othello as he is – an older man and a rugged soldier; not a boy in love, nor a man used to feeling emotionally for anyone. This personality aspect will come into play later as he gathers intelligence from his men (as a soldier would), but does not speak with Desdemona about his feelings or suspicions. Indeed, his emotional reaction to the idea of Desdemona’s betrayal does not agree with his nature – he has seizures over it.

Act Two, Scene Two – Scene Summary

(Enter Herald)

The herald proclaims the sinking of the Turkish fleet, and announces Othello’s triumph at sea as well as his marriage to Desdemona. There is to be much feasting and celebration. “Heaven bless the Isle of Cyprus and our noble general Othello!” (8)

Song: “Dead Man’s Party” – Originally Written by Oingo Boingo, performed by A Thorn for Every Heart

I chose “Dead Man’s Party” because ostensibly, this is a celebration about to occur, but little does anyone know, the party is about to become a bloodbath when Roderigo and Cassio wound one another, Iago further wounds Cassio and murders Roderigo, and also foretells Othello’s impending death at the puppeteering hands of Iago. “Waiting for an invitation to arrive, Goin’ to a party where no one’s still alive.” The title is also apt. It is a party celebrating Othello’s war victory and marriage, but he is going to die.

Note: My professor pointed out to me that the lyric “All dressed up and no place to go” would have been a nice metaphor for the war with the Turks that never happened. Sadly, I did not think of that.

Act Two, Scene Three – Scene Summary

(Enter Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, and attendants)

Othello tells Cassio to give Iago a hand keeping the nightly watch, and then retires with Desdemona to consummate their marriage. Iago offers Cassio some celebratory wine. Cassio resists, protesting that he has no head for alcohol and does not wish to drink any more than he already has. Iago insists, telling him that a celebration requires it. “If I can fasten but one cup upon him, / With that which he hath drunk tonight already, / He’ll be as full of quarrel and offense / As my young mistress’ dog.” (41-43) Iago intends to get Cassio offensively drunk and make him look bad. Cassio is persuaded, and he and Iago drink with Montano and some other soldiers. Cassio behaves himself, then leaves the gathering. Iago gossips about Cassio to the other soldiers the moment he excuses himself, calling him a drunk. Meanwhile, Roderigo has offended Cassio, and Cassio chases him back into the gathering. The gentlemen dismiss Roderigo’s offense, assuming that Cassio is drunk and overreacting. Montano holds Cassio back from fighting Roderigo and scuffles with Cassio himself. Roderigo escapes at Iago’s prodding to rouse Othello to look at the mess. Montano is bleeding and wounded by Cassio, and Othello admonishes them all for behaving like savages and demands to know who started the fray. Iago fingers Cassio and adds that he (Cassio) was drunk, and Othello fires him from his post. “Cassio, I love thee, / But nevermore be officer of mine.” (226-227). Cassio bemoans his lost reputation to Iago, who advises him to entreat Desdemona to persuade Othello to reinstate him.

Song: “Goodbye, Sober Day” – Mr. Bungle

I selected “Goodbye, Sober Day” for this scene on Cassio’s behalf. Cassio is persuaded against his will by Iago to drink too much, even after his protesting that he has no head for alcohol. This particularly avant-garde song brings to mind the uncontrollable mental ups and downs of having had too much to drink, and Cassio’s confusion at the end of the scene. “I remember a mass of things, but nothing distinctly…” (Act 2, Scene 3, l. 260.) The relentless beat (reminiscent of a pounding heart) over the ever-changing landscape of manic guitars perfectly soundtracks the scene; from Cassio’s first drink too many, to the battle, to the resultant drunken confusion and injuries. The song itself starts in a rhythmic panic and descends into madness and nonsense. “Pin my ear to the wisdom post, Hang me up and drain me dry, mend my shipwrecked spirit, lift the veil from my eyes.”

Act Three, Scene One – Scene Summary

(Enter Cassio and Musicians, then Iago.)

Cassio reveals to Iago the next morning that he has not yet been to bed, and that he is there to entreat Emilia, Iago’s wife, to grant him audience with Desdemona. Iago agrees and fetches Emilia, who tells Cassio that Othello and Desdemona are already discussing the matter of Cassio’s dismissal, and she believes that Othello will reinstate him. “The General and his wife are talking of it, / And she speaks for you stoutly. The Moor replies / That he you hurt is of great fame in Cyprus / And great affinity, and that in wholesome wisdom / He might not but refuse you; but he protests he loves you, / And needs no other suitor but his likings / To take the safest occasion by the front / To bring you in again.” (42-49) Cassio insists on speaking with Desdemona anyway, and Emilia says that she will make it happen.

Song: “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” – The Smiths

I chose this song to highlight Cassio’s post-battle drunken shame that he feels in the light of the next day, and his humility and desperation in begging his boss’s wife for his job. The song has the appropriate tone, and the lyrics are pitch-perfect: “See, the luck I’ve had can make a good man turn bad. So please, please, please let me get what I want this time. Haven’t had a dream in a long time, see, the life I’ve had can make a good man bad. So for once in my life, let me get what I want. Lord knows, it would be the first time.” The song is about someone who is ashamed and regrets the mistakes that they have made, but feels, to the point that they are willing to beg for it, like they deserve a second chance. Cassio hasn’t, to our knowledge as the audience, asked for any special treatment in the past. As a result, we can sympathize with his humiliation and feel that he is justified in asking for Othello’s mercy in this case.

Act Three, Scene Two – Scene Summary

(Enter Othello, Iago, and Gentlemen)

Othello gives some letters he has written to Iago, and bids him give them to a messenger who will deliver them to the senate. Iago agrees, and Othello retires with his gentlemen to inspect the fortification.

Song: “Forty Six & 2” – Originally written by Tool, performed by The String Quartet.

I chose this instrumental rendition of a Tool song because it has the appropriate feel for the midpoint in the play; I believe. It is intense and slightly eerie, but heartfelt and demanding at the same time. The original rendition is poetically about transformation, with lyrics including “I’ve been wallowing in my own confused and insecure delusions….change is coming through my shadow….I choose to live and to lie, kill and give and to die, learn and love and to do what it takes to step through.” The instrumental fits this particular scene better than the original Tool song because it leaves to the imagination what you can feel coming through the music, even without the lyrics. We can sense that something is about to happen, and it doesn’t feel like it’s going to be good. If I were to focus on the lyrics, however, they do closely illustrate Othello’s current and future demeanor: confused and insecure delusions.

Act Three, Scene Three – Scene Summary

(Enter Desdemona, Cassio, and Emilia)

Desdemona reassures Cassio that she will talk to Othello on his behalf. Iago sees them talking, then sees Cassio leave as he and Othello approach. He takes the opportunity to poison Othello against Cassio, planting seeds of jealousy. Desdemona, true to her word, starts in on Othello almost immediately about reinstating Cassio. Othello tells her to leave him alone, so she leaves with Emilia. Iago swoops in and banters with Othello about what they think of Cassio, and whether or not he is honest. The conversation descends into an indictment of the nature of women, and Othello begins to seriously doubt Desdemona’s loyalty. Desdemona re-enters with Emilia and ends up dropping her handkerchief, which was a token from Othello. Emilia picks it up and turns it over to Iago, who plans to leave it in Cassio’s room for him to find. Othello re-enters, agitated. He now has very serious suspicions of Desdemona and Cassio, and begs Iago to give him solid proof. Iago makes up a story about Cassio talking of Desdemona lovingly in his sleep, and lies and says that he saw Cassio with Desdemona’s handkerchief. Othello explodes, ordering Iago to kill Cassio and hiring Iago as his new lieutenant in Cassio’s place, and vows to kill Desdemona himself.

Song: “Baby Did A Bad, Bad Thing” – Chris Isaak

This dark, brooding song escalates into an intensely growled lament, perfectly capturing Othello having gone over the edge in this scene, so to speak, with regard to his suspicion of Desdemona. There is no going back now. “You ever love somebody so much you thought your little heart was going to break in two? I didn’t think so. You ever tried with all your heart and soul to get your lover back to you? I didn’t think so.” This also speaks to the idea that every lover who has ever had their heart broken has ever had – namely, that nothing like this has ever happened to anyone else, ever. That no one could possibly feel this with any measure of the intensity that you feel right now. That no one could possibly understand how you feel. In perhaps the most appropriate sentiment of all expressed in the lyrics: “It hurts so bad when you finally know just how low, low, low, low, low she’ll go….I feel like crying.” Othello is perhaps a bit less eloquent in expressing how he feels about how low he believes Desdemona will go: “Damn her, lewd minx! Oh, damn her, damn her!” (Act 3, Scene 3, l. 491) The sentiment, however, is universal.

Act Three, Scene Four – Scene Summary

(Enter Desdemona, Emilia, and Clown)

Desdemona tries to find Cassio to tell him that she has persuaded Othello on his behalf. She laments to Emilia that she seems to have lost her handkerchief, but Emilia does not admit to knowing what happened to it. Othello comes in, and Desdemona tells him that she has sent for Cassio to come speak with him. Othello asks, purposely, if he can borrow her handkerchief to wipe his eyes. She gives him one, and he asks why it isn’t the one that he gave her. She says that she doesn’t have it with her. He tells her that it was given to his mother by an Egyptian, and that is an enchanted handkerchief. Desdemona starts to panic, and Othello asks her if she lost it. She won’t admit to having lost it, but asks him how bad it would be if she had. Othello tells her if it is not lost, then go get it and bring it to him. She protests that she can, but she won’t, for this is a trick to put off speaking to Cassio. They argue and Othello leaves in frustration, and Cassio enters with Iago. Desdemona tells Cassio that she has fallen out of favor with her husband, and that now is not the time to speak with him. Iago says that he will go after Othello and find out why he is upset. Iago tries to reassure them that it must be some matter of the state that troubles him, and Emilia and Desdemona hope that he is right. “Pray heaven it be / State matters, as you think, and no conception / Nor no jealous toy concerning you.” (150-152)

Song: “No Use Lying” – The Black Crowes

The theme of this scene is lying. I chose “No Use Lying” to embody the lies of Emilia, when she plays dumb about the whereabouts of the lost handkerchief, of Othello, when he tries to trick Desdemona into an admission of guilt, and Desdemona, when she twists in the wind under Othello’s scrutiny; unable to admit that she lost the handkerchief. The song illustrates the futility of lying and the suffocating, smothering environment that it creates for everyone involved. “You come in the room and you close the door, and you let me see what you’re really here for…and you show me things that aren’t easily said, working in circles and twisting away, making it hard to breathe….There’s no use lying, because I’ve heard all your bullshit before.” Othello doesn’t believe Desdemona’s half-truths about having lost the handkerchief, but indeed would probably not have believed a word she said about it, regardless of what it was. At this point, he is already too far descended into paranoia about Desdemona’s trustworthiness.

Act Four, Scene One – Scene Summary

(Enter Othello and Iago)

Othello and Iago are discussing Desdemona and Cassio. Iago leads Othello to believe that Cassio has slept with her, and Othello is so distraught and angry that he falls into a seizure/trance. Cassio enters and shows concern for Othello, but Iago sends him away. Othello comes to, and Iago mentions Cassio’s visit. Othello asks if he confessed. Iago tells Othello not to be ridiculous, but that he told Cassio to come back shortly to speak with him (Iago), and that Othello should hide while Iago gets Cassio to tell the story of how he slept with Desdemona. Cassio returns and Othello hides. Iago starts talking to Cassio about Bianca, the woman he is actually seeing, but without using her name such that Othello thinks that they are talking about Desdemona. Othello is growing angrier and angrier, then Bianca enters, holding Desdemona’s lost handkerchief. Bianca and Cassio quarrel for a moment, then leave. Othello asks Iago how he should murder Cassio, and remarks at how he (Cassio) laughed at the situation. Othello asks Iago to confirm whether or not the handkerchief was indeed his, and Iago replies that it was. “Yours, by this hand. And to see how he prizes the foolish woman / your wife! She gave it him, and he hath given it his whore” (165-166). Othello vows again to kill Desdemona. Lodovico enters with Desdemona and attendants with news from the Duke. They are promoting Cassio. Desdemona rejoices, which makes Othello even angrier. He rants and raves in front of Lodovico, then leaves right after Desdemona. Lodovico expresses concern about Othello’s health, and Iago says that he is “much changed.” Lodovico: “Is this the noble Moor whom our full Senate / Call all in all sufficient? Is this the nature / Whom passion could not shake? Whose solid virtue / The shot of accident nor dart of chance / Could neither graze nor pierce?” Iago: “He is much changed.” Lodovico: “Are his wits safe? Is he not light of brain?” (256-262)

Song: “Where Is My Mind” – The Pixies

This song perfectly encapsulates supposed insanity. “Where is My Mind” is a dissonant, offbeat, plodding song that not only keeps with the general feel of the soundtrack thus far, but also produces a dazed, disjointed experience for the listener as well. Iago has said that Othello is losing his mind, which is most certainly an exaggeration, but also has a grain of truth in it. Indeed, Othello is wondering where his mind is at this point as well. “Get me some poison, Iago; this night: I’ll not / expostulate with her, lest her body and beauty unprovide my mind again.” (Act 4, Scene 1, ll.190-192) The feel of this song is more than enough to evoke the feeling of impending insanity, but the lyrics are apropos as well: “Your head will collapse if there’s nothing in it and you’ll ask yourself, where is my mind? Where is my mind?”

Act Four, Scene Two – Scene Summary

(Enter Othello and Emilia)

Othello is questioning Emilia with regard to Desdemona’s loyalty. Emilia assures him that she has never seen anything untoward going on between Desdemona and Cassio. He sends Emilia to fetch Desdemona, and he looks her in the eye and questions her subtly, but she doesn’t know what he is talking about. She swears that she is honest, and he says she is not, starts crying and sends her away. “Heaven truly knows that thou are false as hell.” (41) She refuses to leave and tries to figure out what he’s getting at, and he doesn’t tell her directly, but calls her a whore and a strumpet. Emilia comes back in, and Othello pays her to keep their counsel, and leaves. Emilia wants to know what was said, and Desdemona tells her that she has no answers, but that Othello is not her Lord any longer, meaning that he has gone so crazy that she doesn’t know him. Desdemona tells Emilia to fetch Iago. She does, and then tells him that Iago called her a whore, and asks if he knows why. He plays ignorant, but tells her that she doesn’t deserve such treatment. Desdemona asks Iago how she might win her husband back, and Iago tells her not to worry; that he’s upset about matters of state and taking it out unfairly on her. Desdemona and Emilia leave. Roderigo comes in and chides Iago for dealing with him unfairly. He begins to suspect that Iago has set him up, and had no intention of arranging for him to win Desdemona. Iago denies wrongdoing, and tells Roderigo of Venice’s petition to put Cassio in Othello’s place as the general, but that Cassio doesn’t know about it yet. Iago convinces Roderigo that it would be good to get Cassio out of the way and persuades Roderigo to kill him. Roderigo isn’t convinced, but Iago says that he will be able to change his mind.

Song: “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” – Originally written by Leadbelly, performed by Mark Lanegan

This song gives me the chills listening to it with regard to this scene. I have chosen to focus on Othello’s abuse of Desdemona at this point in calling her a whore and a strumpet. This song is perfectly, creepily rendered, and the ideal song illustrating suspicion of a cheating wife. One can hear this song and nearly picture the entire murder happening to the sinister undercurrent of this song. “My girl, my girl, don’t lie to me. Tell me where did you sleep last night? My girl, my girl, where will you go? I’m going where the cold wind blows….”

Act Four, Scene Three – Scene Summary

(Enter Othello, Lodovico, Desdemona, Emilia, attendants)

The group is disbanding, and Othello orders Desdemona to bed, saying he will be in shortly. Emilia dresses Desdemona for bed. Desdemona suspects that she will die this night, and she and Emilia have a strange and morbid conversation about death. Emilia suggests that it is the husband’s fault if wives do fall. “Then let them use us well; else let them know, / The ills we do, their ills instruct us so.” (100-101.) Desdemona disagrees, saying she would not betray her husband for all the world.

Song: “Weeping Willow” – Verve

I selected this song partially for the parallel in the scene where Desdemona sings the mournful willow song with Emilia, lamenting that she suspects that she will die, but that she is true. I imagined that she is hoping with all her heart that Othello will come to his senses and love her again. The lyrics of this song echo this longing: “When morning breaks, we hide our eyes and our love’s aching. Nothing’s strange. It was in our hands from six to ten, it slipped right out again. There’ll be no better time to save me.” And later in the song: “I hope you’ll see what I see. I hope you’ll feel like I feel…weeping willow, the pills under my pillow…weeping willow, the gun under your pillow…there’ll be no better time to save me.” Desdemona is desperate to be redeemed in the eyes of her husband, but she can’t see how it will be possible.

Act Five, Scene One – Scene Summary

(Enter Iago and Roderigo)

Iago is instructing Roderigo to hide and attack Cassio with a knife as he comes by. Roderigo is somewhat ambivalent about the murder, but agrees that there are good reasons. “I have no great devotion to the deed; / And yet he hath given me satisfying reasons. / ‘Tis but a man gone. Forth, my sword! He dies.” (8-10) Meanwhile, Iago doesn’t care whether Cassio kills Roderigo or vice versa, or if they kill each other, because any outcome will be able to be turned to his purpose. Cassio bests Roderigo, and Iago jumps out and stabs Cassio, then hides again. Othello happens upon the scene and automatically assumes that Cassio was sneaking in to see Desdemona. He leaves them there. Gratiano and Lodovico appear, but they don’t think it’s safe enough to investigate who the wounded men are. Iago appears with a light, pretending not to know what’s going on. He asks Gratiano and Lodovico, but they do not know. He chastises them for not investigating when someone could be hurt and in need of assistance. He pretends to be Cassio’s friend and when Cassio points Roderigo out as one of his attackers, Iago stabs him (Roderigo) to death. He and the other men attend to Cassio’s wounds. Bianca comes in, and gets very upset over Cassio’s wounding. Iago announces that he suspects Roderigo, and shines his light on Roderigo’s face. “Gentlemen all, I do suspect this trash / To be a party in this injury. – / Patience awhile, good Cassio. – Come, come; / Lend me a light. (He shines the light on Roderigo.) Know we this face or no? / Alas, my friend and my dear countryman / Roderigo! (86-91) They bring in a litter and carry Cassio and Roderigo off to be attended to. Emilia comes in, and Iago explains to her what has happened. She is shocked, and he warns her that “This is the fruits of whoring.” (117)

Song: “You got A Killer Scene There Man” – Queens of the Stone Age

I selected this song to illustrate the final epic battle between all of the men in the play because its style is very much in keeping with the feel, and it’s the perfect dark complement to a foul murder plot in progress. “I don’t mean to make a scene, but even the mob know what the hell I mean.” In this scene, we see Iago’s evil plans come almost fully to fruition, culminating in, well, a killer scene there, man. He has painstakingly orchestrated this particular series of events, and is now watching it unfold. “Yeah, I got enemies, but they don’t know. They won’t get no glory on that side of the hole.” This is a chilling indictment of Iago’s duplicitousness, and a tone-perfect illustration of it in song. “This is the night / That either makes or fordoes me quite.” (Iago, Act 5, Scene 1, ll. 131-132.)

Act Five, Scene Two – Scene Summary

(Enter Othello with a light, and Desdemona in her bed)

Othello talks to Desdemona while she is sleeping, and laments that he is going to have to kill her. She wakes and asks if he is coming to bed. He asks her if she has said her prayers. She says she has. He says that she’d better atone for any sins she has forgotten. “If you bethink yourself of any crime / Unreconciled as yet to heaven and grace, / Solicit for it straight.” (28-30.) She doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and he tells her to do it before he kills her. She’s surprised. They argue, and she says that she is innocent of any wrongdoing with Cassio, and that Othello can ask him himself. Othello says that Cassio confessed to “using her unlawfully.” (74) Of course, Othello is thinking of the conversation where Cassio confessed to using Bianca, only he doesn’t know that. They argue more, and he smothers her. Emilia comes in and wants a word with Othello. She tells of the murder of Roderigo and wounding of Cassio. Desdemona wakes briefly to cry that she is falsely murdered; Emilia opens the bedcurtains, and asks who is responsible. Desdemona says that it is her own fault, and dies anew in front of her. Othello dismisses her as a liar, and confesses murdering her to Emilia. Emilia admonishes him, and Othello tells her that he knows that Desdemona was sleeping with Cassio, and it was her own husband (Emilia’s husband, Iago), that told him. Emilia is shocked, and tells him that Iago lied to him. She cries murder, and Montano, Gratiano, and Iago enter. Emilia confronts Iago about his lies, and he tells her to shut her mouth. She continues to rail against her husband until Iago threatens her. Emilia tells Othello the truth about the handkerchief and how Cassio came into possession of it. Othello rushes Iago but is held back by his men, and Iago stabs Emilia and kills her. Iago escapes, pursued by the men. Othello mourns Desdemona, and Lodovico re-enters with Cassio (in a litter), Montano, and Iago, who is now a prisoner. Othello wounds but does not kill Iago. “I’d have thee live, for in my sense ‘tis happiness to die.” (298) Iago refuses to say more about the goings-on, although the truth is certainly revealed. Lodovico removes Othello from power and puts Cassio in his place as the ruler of Cyprus. Othello asks Lodovico, when he reports these events, to preserve his honor and dignity as much as possible, then stabs and kills himself, but not before kissing Desdemona one last time “I kissed thee ere I killed thee. No way but this, / Killing myself, to die upon a kiss.” (367-368).

Song: “Winter” – Joshua Radin

I chose this absolutely heartbreaking song to end the play because Othello’s heart gets torn to shreds in the final scene, culminating with his committing the murder/suicide of himself and his love, Desdemona. The song is about bitter regret for what might have been, which is absolutely the sentiment Othello espouses in the final deathbed scene: “I am not valiant neither / But every puny whipster gets my sword. / But why should honor outlive honesty? / Let it go all.” (Act 5, Scene 2, 252-254) The song echoes Othello’s regret and heartbreak. “I should know who I am by now…your name is the splinter inside me while I wait…And I remember the sound of your November downtown. And I remember the truth, a warm December with you. But I don’t have to make this mistake. And I don’t have to stay this way. If only I would wait…” To me, the song is saying that even though you know you’re making a mistake, you’ve gone so for already that you can’t stop yourself any more, and must see it through to the end. Othello DOESN’T have to make this mistake, but…if only he would wait, indeed. If only he had waited to kill Desdemona, he might have learned the truth. If only…

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The Subtle Art of the Side-Eye

Everybody knows what the side-eye is. The side-eye is the expression that people who have manners employ in lieu of howling “Bitch Please!” every time they hear something so stupid that they can’t believe their ears. As a matter of fact, I side-eyed my husband just this morning because he told me that I looked older than Justin Bieber’s dad. In retrospect, I should probably be embarrassed to mention that conversation.

There’s a subtle art to delivering an effective side-eye. Each one must convey a proper amount of disdain and “bitch please”, while also adding nuance. To that end and because it makes me laugh, I have collected a number of celebrity side-eye pictures for every occasion. Feel free to employ one of these next time you need to express your disgust in a unique and classy(ish) fashion.

1. The Audrey

Perfect for expressing general disapproval of someone’s appearance. You can almost hear her thinking “I canNOT believe he/she left the house looking like that.” Applies to: People of Wal-Mart, people who wear white after labor day.

Look at Audrey, thinking “Look at that dirty tramp, flashing her boobs all over the place. Bitch oughta be ‘shamed!”

2. The Aunt Esther

This one is more of a “You did NOT just come into my house and say that!” look. Applies to: Judgmental relatives, Jehovah’s Witnesses.

My ass that pot roast was too dry!

3. The Bernie Mac

I can’t see Bernie Mac’s face without hearing “Amurr-kah? I’ma KILL them kids.” However, this side-eye says “You’ll shut your mouth and get your ass out of here if you know what’s good for you.” This one almost makes you want to apologize for whatever you did. Applies to: Loudmouth drunks, your children.

What did you just say to me? Nothing? That’s what I thought.

4. The Betty White

This is not to be confused with Betty White as Rose Nylund, which we’ll get to later. This side-eye is the “I may look like a sweet, tolerant person, but I have a limit and you are testing it right now.” Applies to: Karaoke singers, performance artists of any kind, the DMV.

I’m not sure what the fuck is going on here, but I can assure you I don’t like it.

5. The Blanche

The Golden Girls all have classic side-eyes. Blanche was always a good sport about her sluttiness and Southern idiosyncrasies, and the woman could take a joke, but she wasn’t one to suffer fools gladly. Note the little ‘up-and-down’ she adds at the end for extra disdain. Applies to: People who say stupid things.

Darlin’, your daddy should have pulled out.

6. The Claire

Claire Huxtable is the undisputed mother of all wife and mom side-eyes. Hers range from “Did I just hear what I think I just heard?” to “Get out of my sight!” to “Are you kidding me right now?” Applies to: Your husband, your kids, your idiot son-in-law.

Cliff, WHY did we have five children? Because we didn’t want six!

7. The Diana Ross

Diana Ross has perfected the diva side-eye. This one is reserved for the kiss-ass antics of those trying to ride your coattails, often while secretly hoping you’ll fall on your face. Applies to: Groupies, yes men, hangers-on, haters.

Is there some way you could be making yourself USEFUL?

8. The Disney

The Disney lady above clearly thinks that whomever she’s looking at has no manners. She’s questioning your upbringing and secretly suspects that you smell bad. Applies to: Homeless people, orphans.

Oh, dear. I don’t care for this bit of unpleasantness at all.

9. The Doris Roberts

The Doris, best seen on her character in Everybody Loves Raymond is utilized for general disapproval of someone else’s attitude, lifestyle, or actions, particularly if it applies to someone whom you believe is raising their kids wrong. Applies to: Your adult kids, the spouses of your adult kids, other people’s kids, damn meddling kids.

I don’t care for your tone. Doesn’t your mother love you enough?

10. The Dorothy

Dorothy is the Queen Mum of the “I’m too polite to mock you to your face, but if you say one more thing I’m going to have to start” side-eye. This is the “If there was any justice in the world, it would be literally painful to be as stupid as you are.” Start with Dorothy at your own peril. Applies to: Optimists, Mary Sunshines, bastards, morons.

Maude’ll get ya.

11. The Little Girl with Hillary Clinton

This child is clearly not suckered in by your rhetoric, madam! This one is the “If you had the first clue what you were talking about, you’d be as disgusted as I am” side-eye. Applies to: Politicians, evangelists, bald-faced liars, Ann Coulter.

Are you listening to yourself? I don’t think you are.

12. The Ice Cube

This is the “Do you think I’m some kind of an idiot?” side-eye. He’s saying, “I don’t know who you think you’re convincing, but you’re barking up the wrong tree.” Ice Cube is not buying what you are selling. You are full of shit and possibly insane. Applies to: Con artists, car salesmen, Octomom.

What do you mean, WE?

13. The Michelle

If Michelle Obama were any more disgusted with you, her lip would be curled. Michelle’s side-eye is the “I don’t know who you think you’re talking to, but you’d best reel it in, son.” If you think you can talk to Michelle any old way, you’ve got another thing coming. Applies to: Everyone.

If this bitch says one more word, someone’s gonna have to hold my earrings.

14. The Niles

What you have just said, sir, is preposterous! This side-eye is the “I’m aghast at what just happened, because I am refined and you are common gutter trash!” This pretentious version has a side-order of shock and disbelief with it. Applies to: Anyone with less than a PhD, anyone with less than a six-figure salary, anyone with a discernible personality whatsoever, the help.

I never! You are now dead to me.

15. The Oprah

The Oprah is the “I am skeptical about what you just said, but I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and move on.” Particularly useful when you’re a classy lady who routinely deals with the Dr. Phils of the world. I love the tiny smile at the end. Oprah suspects you are pulling her leg, but is going to let you get away with it, just this once. Applies to: Charlatan autobiographers, Dr. Phil.

Are you sure about that?

16. The Prince

Prince is, well, the prince of the old “Did I say you could talk?” side-eye. Prince doesn’t want to hear what you have to say. Not now, not ever. Applies to: People who give unsolicited advice.

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to shut it.

17. The Rodney

The Rodney is more of a wide-eye, but it’s perfect for when what you’re trying to say is “What you just did is so wrong that I’m actually a little afraid of you right now.” When the offense is so bizarre that the culprit might actually be from another planet, the Rodney is the side-eye of choice. Applies to: Stiffs, the clearly insane, Judge Smails.

Looks good on you, though.

18. The Rose

Rose, the most innocent and naive of the Golden Girls, has a side-eye to rival any of the four of them. The Rose says “I know that there’s something funny going on here, and when I find out what it is, you’re gonna get it.” As soon as Rose figures out what’s going down, it’s on. Applies to: Your sneaky-ass kids, your sneaky-ass boss, general sneaks.

I kicked your ass once back in St. Olaf, and I’ll do it here, too.

19. The Sherri Shepherd

This is the “Do you believe this bitch?” side-eye. This was originally reserved completely for anything Elizabeth Hasselcrack says, but is also useful for general ignorance on any subject. Applies to: Conservatives, racists, nutcases.

I can’t believe this bitch.

20. The Sonya Sotomayor

Chief Justice Sotomayor isn’t having one ounce of this shit. This is the “I have heard just about enough out of you, and I’m not hearing any more” side-eye. Applies to: liars, damned liars, and statisticians.

One more word, and one of our asses is going to prison.

21. The Sophia

The Sophia is the “I’m older than you and a hell of a lot meaner than you, and messing with me is the stupidest idea you’ve had all day long.” Sophia will straight hide a razor blade in your cheesecake. She doesn’t fuck around. Applies to: Anyone born after 1930.

Congratulations. Now you can get any job involving a cardboard hat.

22. The Tea Lady

I have no idea who this woman is, but this is the quintessential and all-too-common “I don’t BELIEVE you’re fucking with me before I’ve had my caffeine” side-eye. Applies to: Anyone living in your house who won’t shut the hell up.

I’m sorry, did you start your day HOPING someone would shove a coffee mug up your ass?

Aaaaand, last but not least…

23. The Igor

This one is harder to pull off, but is reserved for those occasions when one side-eye simply isn’t good enough – this particular offense requires two.

What hump?
Posted in Comedy, Crazy People, Humor, Just for Fun, Life, Miz Parker Muses, Pop Culture, Stupid People | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Stray Observations from a Musical Weekend Out

Last weekend was my husband’s birthday weekend, and there was so much going on in town that we were interested in doing that we decided to make a weekend of attending music festivals and shows.

Saturday was the Boise Music Festival. The city predicted that 65,000 people would turn up in the park to enjoy the free festivities, which included Sugar Ray, MC Hammer, and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Obviously, if one has an opportunity to see MC Hammer on his birthday, one cannot pass it up. So, despite our general misgivings about both purposely being around huge crowds of people and having to use outhouses that 65,000 other people are using, we ventured out of our cave. Sunday, I had purchased tickets for us to see Dredg (one of my husband’s favorite bands) with Fair to Midland and The Trophy Fire. Some stray observations from our weekend out:

1) I expect to see 6-pack abbed, muscly, tan guy with their shirts off at an outdoor festival that are 18-24 years old. After that, and you’re a 6-pack-abbed, muscly, tan guy with his shirt off that’s clearly over thirty, I’m just wondering what you do for a living that you have time to look like that.

2. Stop wearing tube tops. No, there’s no caveat to that. No, “if you’re wider than you are tall”, no anything. Just stop.

Left: What most people look like in a tube top. Right: Still not great.

3. Just because your dog is technically WELCOME at such an event, doesn’t mean that said event is any place for a dog. Use your head. It’s 102 degrees outside, there are 65K people around, and there is a lot of noise. I know, YOUR dog is the sweetest doggie in the whole wide world and would never hurt anyone! 99 times out of 100, you might be right, but you cannot predict how a dog is going to react if he is tired, hot, thirsty, stressed out, threatened, afraid, or possibly all of the above. If YOU’RE hot, thirsty, and cranky because of the crowd, imagine how your dog feels.

4. We saw the School of Rock (Eagle, Idaho) play, and they were about the coolest thing I have ever seen in my life. Seeing a 10-year old front a band and sing Metallica, Soundgarden, Queen and more was inspiring. What a great bunch of kids with a ton of talent. Seriously, check them out. I just want to pinch all of their cheeks and adopt them. I will never get over seeing a little boy sing “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, so don’t even ask me to.

We took a bunch of footage of them, but no one song came out great, so we made a montage. Enjoy.

5. We followed up School of Rock with a couple of beers and a trip to the main stage, where we saw MC Hammer play. He sounds good, but it might as well have been a recording. Plus, he has gotten fat:

Please Hammer Don’t Eat Me.

The crowd was reasonably apathetic about the entire performance. The best remarks to come from that were a text message exchange between my husband and a friend of his who lives in New Zealand:

Friend: Hey, what are you doing?
Husband: I’m watching 20 black guys onstage in front of 70,000 white people who don’t give a fuck.
Friend: Are you at church?

6. MC Hammer was followed by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and by God, Joan Jett still puts on a hell of a show. I wasn’t sure what to expect – the woman is, after all, in her fifties – but she was incredible. I expected her to close with “I Love Rock and Roll” – arguably her biggest hit – and of course she played it, but her set opened with “Bad Reputation” and also included “Cherry Bomb”, “Do You Wanna Touch Me” (Gary Glitter cover), “I Wanna Be Your Dog” (Iggy and the Stooges cover), “Fake Friends”, “School Days”, “Crimson and Clover” (originally Tommy James and the Shondells) and “I Hate Myself for Loving You”, among others; followed by an encore that included Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everyday People.” In-fucking-credible. What a show. We got pretty close to the stage. Some photos we took:

Could she be any hotter?

7. After the Music Fest, we met up with some friends for karaoke, which included my husband performing the most fantastic version of Electric Six’s “Gay Bar” I have ever seen, and some dancing. To the pretty girl who slinked up to my husband after his performance, making him blush – I had my eye on you, but then you purred to him, “I think you left your glasses on the stage.” You are awesome. His face was priceless.

Stray notes to some of our other fellow revelers:

7a) To the blonde in the 1980’s denim miniskirt who was “dropping it like it was hot”: I saw London, I saw France, and if you had been wearing underpants, I’d have seen those too. Maybe next time you’re going to squat in a mini, you’ll want to cover the cooch. Shroud the snatch. Hide the hoo-ha. Just a thought. It also probably wouldn’t kill you to re-think the denim miniskirt, but let’s take one positive step at a time.

7b) To the drunk blonde girl in the baseball cap who was (badly) attempting to freak dance with the black girl – I’m not sure I’ve ever seen moves like that. My description will not do this particular spectacle justice, but I shall try. Black girl is dancing, in sort of a semi-crouched position. Drunk blonde girl comes up close behind her, crouches down even further to dance, takes off her hat, reaches between the legs of the black girl, and waves her arms back and forth whilst trying (unsuccessfully) to maintain her balance. My husband’s remark: “I’ve been out of the club scene a long time, and I have never claimed to be a dancer. But since when does squatting and fanning a stranger’s crotch with a hat qualify as dancing?” I about lost my shit.

8. We followed up Music Fest the next day with a trip to The Venue to see Dredg, with opening bands The Trophy Fire and Fair to Midland. Fair to Midland was a very welcome surprise (I had not previously heard of them), and well worth checking out if you’re into progressive metal. The vocalist is incredible. Dredg, the main attraction, played for about an hour and a half and were absolutely tremendous. Plus, the lead singer looks like a cross between Mark Ruffalo and the naive guy from Spin City (Alexander Chaplin). Observe:

Gavin Hayes (Dredg) Alexander Chaplin Mark Ruffalo
What say you, internet? Uncanny, right? More like Mark Ruffalo than Chaplin, but still…

Some photos that we took:

I love this photo.
His hair mysteriously remained perfect throughout the set.

Check them out at dredg.com.

All in all, we had a great time, and how often do you get to legitimately tag a blog “Fanning a Stranger’s Crotch with a Hat”?

Posted in Comedy, Current Events, Humor, Just for Fun, Life, Miz Parker Muses, Pop Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The ‘Gret Stet of AhDaho’ – More Redneck Traveling Adventures

I should have just titled this blog “I swear to God I am not making this up.”

I relish in poking fun of the residents of the Gem State. And rightfully so, a lot of the time. But the truth is that the part I live in (Boise) is really pretty urban, and has a lot of California transplants. You could come to Boise and not really have an idea of what IDAHO is all about. Boise is like any other small city. Recently, however, I had occasion to visit my family in St. Maries. That’s about 8-10 hours’ drive north of Boise, deep in the forest. I’m not kidding you, I drive through there expecting the big bad wolf or the cast of ‘Deliverance’ to jump out of the woods and accost me. And this is red-frigging-NECK country up here, folks. I hadn’t visited the north Idaho relatives since I was a kid. I expected this to be a run-of-the-mill adventure. It wasn’t. I was highly entertained by the entire trip. Jeff Foxworthy himself would have been impressed.

First off, north Idaho is Indian country. You drive up I-95 (including through my hometown), and once you’re up the Salmon river a ways, you start hitting the reservations, which means Indian casinos, folks. Good stuff. Most of the north Idaho tribes are Nez Perce, Benewah, Clearwater. Southern Idaho has Blackfoot, Shoshone, etc. And you’re in the forest on the river. North Idaho is gorgeous. The towns are few and far between, and where they have population signs, they say things like “72” and “14.” I wish I had brought my camera. You will have to live with my descriptions of some of the things that I saw. And this is to say nothing of the conversational highlights of my weekend. First off, picture me doing an 8-10 hour drive in a small SUV with both of my parents and two dogs, including devil dog from hell. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the good Lord for iPods.

So without further ado, here are the top ten awesome red-neckinest things I saw/did this weekend.

1. The first night, we stayed at a place 21 miles outside of St. Maries on the St. Joe river, called “Big Eddy.” My uncle had made us reservations. The directions we got were “go ‘cross the bridge and turn right, and it’s ’round 16 miles out thataway.” We found it, after forty minutes of winding through the woods. Mom asked “Is this a hotel, or is it a man named Eddy that your uncle knows, who is allowing us to stay?” I said I didn’t know, but in the phone book, it was described as a resort. We all felt better after that. After all, it was a resort, right? We arrived at ten o’clock that night, and it was a clapboard shack decorated with Christmas lights and neon beer signs. The barefoot hostess (Mrs. Big Eddy?) wandered out to meet us. “Y’onna beer?” That’s redneck for “Would you folks care for a beer?” We politely declined. It was a campground about twenty paces from the river. We had rented “the cabin.” Yes, there was only one. Your other choice of accommodation would be to pitch a tent or park an RV. We also wanted to fill our car with gas, whereupon Mrs. Big Eddy pull-started the generator that works the gas pump, and we filled up. She said “Y’all have to come in and tell me how much gas you pumped. We don’t have a meter. And when y’all go out to the cabin, it ain’t locked. Key’s in it.” The “cabin” was about 120 square feet. It was a bed, a sink, and a toilet. We had asked for a rollaway bed for me, and jammed at the foot of the bed was a child-sized rollaway with a stained, ripped, sagging mattress on it. No bedding. I sat on it and my ass immediately went through the springs and hit the floor. It was fucking awesome. So I slept with my feet hanging off the bed on this filthy cot, using the dog blanket from the car. The two dogs slept on my back and fought the entire time. So between the mosquitoes that had infested the room, the horrendous bed, my father snoring, and two smelly dogs sniping at one another all night on my back, I got a great deal of sleep, as you can imagine. The next morning, we explored the facilities. The shower door didn’t shut and neither did the window in the bathroom (explaining the mosquitoes), so as you were showering, the door would pop open and you’d get a nice ice-cold breeze right up the ol’ keister. The sink, where one would normally expect certain amenities in a place you’ve rented, had a cracked bar of soap (obviously used) and a dirty ashtray next to it. Classy joint, this. There were also, despite us requesting the rollaway bed and being explicit about a third adult, only two towels in the bathroom. We elected not to stay another night.

2. There was some discussion about the family getting together for breakfast in St. Maries. My uncle, who lives there, said “Well, we could go to the restaurant.” I said “That’s not a terribly creative name for a restaurant.” He said “Oh, it’s called something else. I just said ‘the restaurant’ because it’s the only one in town. And it ain’t that good.”

3. St. Maries is a logging town. This is their town mascot, who greets you as you ride into town. The official (and hilarious) explanation: “The axe wielding Bunyan has been here since townsfolk found him in a field in 1967 (rolled off a truck is the accepted explanation). According to a local account, “Vandals set off homemade bombs under his footless legs and leave unsavory calling cards in his huge hands.”

Exploiting the fear that you might be brutally axe-murdered in the woods here since the ’60’s.

This raises more questions than I care to address, but I love the idea that any old thing you find that rolled off a truck should simply be erected in front of an elementary school.

4. I went to the grocery store with my cousin, who graduated high school the same year as me. At the store, we ran into a friend of his from high school who was a few years younger than we were (making him about 22), carrying a baby. My cousin said “Is that your first baby?” He said “No, third!” Yeesh.

5. We passed a place on the way there called “Big Bud’s Eats, Fixins, and Gifts.” By way of description, there was a sign on the door which read “We sell fish n’ game.” Uh…wha? The truck parked out front had a hand-lettered bumper sticker which read “scurts kick ass.” Can anyone help me out with that one?

6. We passed a sign coming through Grangeville which was one of the “Adopt-A-Highway” signs, where your group gets to put your name on the sign if they pay to adopt the highway. No big, right? I swear to God, I shit you not. This one, where the group’s name should be, read “Yahweh’s 666 Warning Assembly.” Who says you can’t be both insane and environmentally conscious?

The sign in question. I told y’all I was not making this up.

7. We had a run-in with “the law” in Genesee. We flipped a U-Turn in the middle of the road, at which point, a flatbed truck was behind us. There was a man in the flatbed truck flashing a light at us as he was driving. A red one. We assumed he meant to stop. We did. He got out of the truck and ambled up to our car, and he was wearing a white T-shirt and blue overalls, a mesh baseball cap, and had a toothpick in his teeth. His flashing red cop light was a regular high-powered flashlight with red cellophane rubber-banded over it, which he was simply turning off and on manually. He rolled the toothpick around in his mouth, and said “Where y’all from?” We said “Boise.” He said “Y’all flip them dye-doos up there in Boise, d’ya?” We said “No, sir.” He said “We don’t go in for none of them dye-doos up here in Genesee, neither.” We said “Yes sir.” I don’t know if he was an actual representative of the law or what, but it was hilarious. Side note: What the hell is a “dye-doo”?

8. We get to some one-horse town and we’ve stopped to use the bathroom, and an “announcement” comes over the radio in the gas station which said “Don’t forget, June is accordion awareness month in Fruitvale, so stick around for the polka!” Ummmm…. accordion awareness month? I can’t say it didn’t surprise me. I’m also not sure a whole month is required to become “aware” of accordions, unless it is to warn people. The clerk was wearing a T-shirt which read “I like both kinds of music. Country AND Western.” We did not “stick around for the polka.”

9. Council, Idaho was advertising a quilt show. The signs for the quilt show started miles outside of town, and continued every few feet in town. It was lasting from June 10-July 8. Must be one HELL of a quilt show. Oh yeah, Council? Population 816.

10. Coming through Riggins, we were listening to the one local radio station up there because I like to hear the announcements in each town. We heard an announcement on the radio which read “And if you come to Larry’s hardware this weekend, you can get a FREE prostate screening!” Who here thinks that it would be a good idea to get a prostate screening at a hardware store? Raise your hands. Anyone? I didn’t think so.

To top it off, Fuck-O the Wonder Mutt rolled in something at the last rest stop which smelled approximately like what would happen if you stuffed a dead weasel with sauerkraut and cottage cheese and left it out in the sun for two days. The last fifty miles were NOT pleasant. Stupid dog.

Posted in Comedy, Crazy People, Humor, Just for Fun, Life, Miz Parker Muses | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Most Awkward Conversation in the History of the Universe

My husband and I have moved about every ten months to a different state for work since we’ve been married. Between moves, we occasionally stay with my folks for a couple months here or there, when we are between houses and cities. My grandfather lives there too. This was originally written back before my other grandfather passed away, and two of the below dogs were still alive. However, as my live-in grandfather is now moving in with my uncle, which is upsetting to all of us, I wanted to revisit this blog about living with him.

Living with my parents is a special kind of hell. Not that my parents are bad people (they aren’t) or difficult to live with (they aren’t.) It’s just that, as humbling as it is to have to move in with your parents at age thirty with your husband, it’s also more or less a round-the-clock circus.

My husband and I have two dogs and a cat. My parents have two dogs and two cats. My grandpa lives here too and has a dog, and my brother’s dog lives here most of the time because he’s never home. So at any given moment, there are five adults, three cats and six dogs running around. Not that I mind the dogs. It’s like having a really cute, really useless entourage follow you to the bathroom. And they’re all around the same size.

Two of these:

Two of these:

One of these:

And one of these:

Except Gusbuster is way, way uglier.

Before I get into what it’s like living with my granddad, I will preface these stories by saying that he’s not losing it or anything, he’s just old. And a little eccentric. Okay, a lot eccentric.

Since we’ve been here, he has used my mother’s loofah on a stick to scrub all of the toilets. Yeah, one of these:

For those of you who are still baffled, one is supposed to apply soap to the poofy end, and then use said item to wash oneself in the shower. I can’t say equivocally whether or not this particular loofah was used by my mother subsequent to being used on the toilets, but I can tell you that she was somewhat less than amused to learn about its having moonlighted as a toilet scrubber.

On another occasion, I found granddad in the kitchen around lunch time, and I asked him if he wanted me to fix him something to eat. He declined, and said that he would fix his own. Somewhat curious about his concept of what constitutes an acceptable lunch, I observed. Apparently, a bowl of strawberries with cream and sugar and an extremely large vodka tonic is perfectly reasonable. The best part? He poured his (24 oz) vodka tonic into one of his medically delineated plastic mugs with a lid, which are marked off so that one can measure how much water they drink in a day. Stealth drinking at its finest.

I was asked to make clam dip and snacks for the big game last week, and Granddad was going to help. Actually, he came in and started pulling things out of cabinets, and I asked what he was doing.

Me: What are you doing?

Granddad: Making clam dip.

Me: No, I was asked to do it; let me.

Granddad: (looking frustrated) But you won’t make it right!

Me: Well, why don’t you tell me how to make it then, and I’ll do it your way, but let me do it.

Granddad: Mix up the clams with ketchup, mayonnaise, and a little horseradish.

Me: That’s not clam dip, that’s fry sauce with clams in it.

Granddad: Well, that’s the way I make it!

At this point, I pulled out a can of refried beans so that I could make bean dip as well, and he said “If you mix those beans with the clams, I’m not eating it.”

Me: (Sigh.) I don’t mix the beans with the clams.

For the record, a proper clam dip is two cans of clams, two packages of softened cream cheese. Drain the clams into a bowl so you can save the juice. Mix the cream cheese with the clams and also a can of diced water chestnuts and diced green onion. White onion will work also. Flavor with minced garlic, a splash or two of Worcestershire sauce, about a half-tablespoon of horseradish, a splash of tobasco, a splash of lemon juice, ground black pepper, a little salt, dill weed, and add back in the clam juice a little at a time as you mix so that it ends up the right consistency. Toss the rest of the clam juice.

The winner, however, for the most awkward conversation ever had with one’s grandfather in the history of the universe, goes to this one. My other granddad, who lives out of state, is currently not feeling very well, so my mother has gone to there to visit with him. A little history – my out-of-state granddad was a doctor in a small town, and my parents grew up in the same place, so both sets of my grandparents have known each other for years.

(after telling granddad that my other grandfather is sick.)

Granddad: I’m sorry to hear that. He’s a nice man. As a matter of fact, I remember when I met him.

Me: Oh? When was that?

Granddad: Years ago, I twisted my groin up something terrible. Had a testicle blow up like a balloon, so I went to his doctor’s office to have it looked at.

Me: So the first time you met my other grandfather, you showed him your balls?

Granddad: Pretty much. He had to drain them out. Stuck an eight-inch needle in there and the water from twisting it all drained off.

Me: (gagging) Eww.

So to recap, not only do I now have the mental picture now of my grandfather having his balls drained, I have to picture MY OTHER GRANDFATHER DOING IT.

The retelling of this story prompted this remark from my husband:

“I’d like to think that your grandfathers met in a porno, and they were two of the original lemon party guys.”

Me: I suppose meeting in a porno is the same as meeting in a doctor’s office. Other than the method of having one’s balls drained.

Posted in Comedy, Humor, Life, Miz Parker Muses | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

How I Became A Savior of the Hopeless

It just occurred to me tonight that I could look up what search engine terms people use to find my blog. Or, perhaps more accurately, the search engine terms people have used and then subsequently stumbled upon my blog. I must say, the mind reels. I’m probably on some sort of government watch list at this point. My husband looked at the terms and remarked “Looks like you’re a savior of the hopeless. You’re the new Jesus.” To which I say, AWESOME. So, I thought I’d have a little fun and share some of my favorites (complemented by pictures of whatever you get when you image-Google said terms) with y’all. I have a first-page rule, meaning that when I search for an image, whatever comes up on the first page goes.

“wearing a motley crue t-shirt”

I’m not sure why anyone would search this, unless it was prefaced by a name. I can get behind “Colin Farrell wearing a Motley Crue t-shirt.” Maybe they were looking for instructions regarding how to properly rock a Motley Crue t-shirt. One can’t be too careful.

“squirrels with afros”

He’s like a miniature, nut-hoarding Don King. Aaaaand, now I am envisioning people finding me by searching “Don King Nut Hoarder.”

“wyoming sucks how do I get out”

I’m sure a lot of people want to know that. Glad to be of service.

“being a loser at life”

Here’s what comes up when you image-Google “being a loser at life”:

You know you’ve screwed up when even Ozzy Osbourne’s opinion is “I don’t know a lot of things, but I know you don’t tattoo your face.” A facial tattoo says “I’ve gone as far as I care to in society.”

“fat lady in shorts”

Again, WHY, people?!? This has to be associated with some kind of fetish.

“drunk and pregnant in the street”

The only image associated with that phrase that isn’t vaguely pornographic appears to be Brendan Fraser reprimanding Skeletor. Enjoy.

“sweaters for couples”

Feast your eyes on THESE babies.

“I wet myself”

Seriously? Is there some reason you’re Googling rather than cleaning yourself up or weeping in shame?

“scott walker’s stupid pig eyes”

This phrase haunts my dreams.

Oh, hell. Any excuse to re-post this picture of Scott Walker looking like a retard. And now that you mention it, eerily piggish.

“how do I live with being a loser”

I’m sensing a pattern here, and I don’t like it.

“justice league with serial killers”

You mean there’s someone besides me who thought this was a good idea?

“horrible asses”

Perhaps it’s just me, but I never thought that fringed silver epaulets screamed “bad-ass.”

“big hair of the sixties”

Not a terribly interesting image search, but I’m baffled how it relates to me.

“toilet capable facebook feed”

Um, what?

At this point, I don’t even know if the ‘image is unrelated’ or not.

“i am rejected”

Again with the loser / reject references! You’re starting to hurt my feelings!

“80’s crafts”

This can’t be good.


“am i going to hell”

If you have to ask, you probably are.

“steve irwin porn”

Fuck this, I’m not Googling that.

and, my personal favorite:

“I’m going to hell for laughing at this.”

Yes, yes you are.

Ironically, the least offensive image associated with that phrase.
Posted in Comedy, Crazy People, Humor, Just for Fun | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Dammit, Jim! I’m a Junkie, not a Doctor!

I’m a big fan of the show House. In part, this is because Hugh Laurie is gorgeous and an amazing actor, and in part because I have a thing for TV doctors (don’t judge me!)

Pictured: 10 pounds of Awesome in a 5-pound bag. He’s even wearing a Motley Crue T-shirt. Grrrrr!

Over the last couple of seasons, I’ve had the beef that the show, while always formulaic, has become overly so. Typical episode of House:

Minutes 1 – 50: Oh my God, you guys, we don’t know what’s wrong with this patient, and he/she is gonna die if we can’t figure this out.
*Minutes 38-43: Is it Lupus? It could be Lupus. It’s not Lupus.
Minutes 51-55: The ‘Aha’ moment. We figured it out, you guys. The patient is going to live! Or, y’know, die. But we figured it out, you guys!
Minutes 56-60: Wilson and/or Cuddy tells House that he is an idiot. House sheepishly makes it clear to the audience that he did not learn his lesson. Oh, that wacky House! Tune in next week!

Incidentally, the guy over at Polite Dissent is a doctor who posts every week the beefs he has with the “medicine” practiced in House. Interesting guy. He separates his rants into major complaints, modest complaints, and nit-picks.

Despite the fact that I think the show is predictable, I watched it pretty regularly for the first couple of seasons and then pretty sporadically until this latest one (I do catch reruns sometimes.) I adore oogling Hugh Laurie (and Chase is no slouch, either), and I ignore the fact that the writing seems to be getting sloppier and sloppier. Tonight’s episode, After Hours had SO many problems with it. I know, it’s the ‘eyyy-body got problems’ episode leading up to the season finale, but UGH. In no particular order, my beefs:

1. Taub. In 20-something years of marriage, where he adamantly didn’t want children and presumably took precautions, he didn’t have children. A week or two of boinking a hot nurse half his age, and she’s pregnant. He’s a doctor. Are we to assume that he’s that stupid? Also, why give Taub a kid? It’s a shitty thing to do to his ex-wife (oh, suddenly NOW you’re having kids with someone half your age that you don’t know), and by all accounts, he’ll be a lousy dad. (I know, he’ll come around and be a good father, but blechh. Lazy writing.) Also, he doesn’t want the baby through the majority of the episode, and goes to a strip club with Foreman in an effort to contemplate how to tell the nurse to get an abortion. I know strip clubs are where I do MY best thinking, so no problems with that. Here’s where it gets silly: He spots an asymmetrical mole somewhere on the stripper, breaks the “no touching” rule, makes the excuse that he was touching her mole, and gets thrown out of the strip club. He waits for the stripper to get off work, essentially stalking her, so that he can convince her to get it checked out. The stripper is decidedly unamused by this and pulls a gun on Taub. His near-death experience causes him to rush into the hospital to the knocked-up nurse, reeking of booze and dripping with stripper glitter, and declare that he suddenly wants to be a father.

Pictured: Contemplating life-altering decisions in an appropriate environment.

2. The 13/Chase adventure. She takes the junkie ex-cop she met in prison into her house to fix a stab wound, but won’t take her to the hospital. She calls in Chase, and we get a sob story about how she murdered her brother to spare him pain, and somehow that translates to protecting an ungrateful prison buddy. I get it – Chase and Cameron got divorced because he killed that patient and couldn’t handle it, and this sets Chase and 13 up to have an affair or a relationship. Again, ugh. We’ve had three seasons to get used to 13 having Huntington’s disease, and yet, she’s never mentioned she even HAD a brother, let alone one that had the disease, and let alone one that she put out of his misery? The prison story arc wasn’t enough? Her being on a bunch of drugs and ending up in prison because some guy OD’d in her house wasn’t enough? One drug-abusing doctor on the team isn’t enough? It’s kind of a lazy way to throw her and Chase together. Historically, for Chase, her being smoking hot would have been enough. Incidentally, I could have gotten next to the whole “guy OD’s in 13’s house” thing if they had done an homage to Pulp Fiction. 13 calls House in the middle of the night. House is all, “Prank caller! Prank caller!” 13 screeches up onto House’s lawn with the OD’ing guy. House jams a huge needle into the guy’s chest. That would have been awesome.

3. House performing self-surgery in his bathtub. Leaving out the obvious grotesqueness of the plot device, how many doctors do things that are that stupid? He has crossed the line from being a doctor that does some pill popping to a junkie who occasionally does some doctoring. I don’t like it. He wouldn’t be able to keep his job if this weren’t television. His not being able to get ahold of his staff to help him sets them up for lack of loyalty – they’re sick of his nonsense, and either he can now get rid of them guilt-free, or the show can get rid of House guilt-free, and honestly, after the next season, which has already been announced, where is there for this show to go except House dying, or permanently leaving in some fashion, such as via the mental institution? Hugh Laurie does a hell of a job selling whatever he’s doing, but at this point, I’m just not buying it.

Aaaaand, speaking of hot doctors on shows that have jumped the shark…
Posted in Comedy, Current Events, Humor, Miz Parker Muses, Pop Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Your Momma Don’t Dance, but Mine Does

Well, it’s Mother’s Day, and most of us have purchased our Mommas a card or a small token of our affection. But do many of us really tell our Moms how much we appreciate them on any sort of a regular basis?

My Mom has never failed to crack me up. You see, she’s a tad on the naive side. Unworldly, if you will. It’s one of the things that I love about her. She’s the sweetest woman in the world, and always willing to believe the best about people. Several Halloweens ago, I kept with my regular tradition of driving to my parents’ house and scaring little kids (answering their door) while my father grumbled and my mother had her own things to do. She was dressed for a party she had to attend for her job as an elementary teacher.

When I arrived, she was wearing hip waders, a vest with lures all over it, a hat with hooks in it, and carrying a net and a fishing pole. She said “Guess what I am!” I snorted and said “I’m going to go out on a limb and guess ‘fisherman.'” She rolled her eyes at me and said “No, I’m one of the VILLAGE PEOPLE.” (As if that were supposed to be obvious to me.) I said “Mom, the Village People didn’t have a fisherman.” She said “Really?” I say “Yeah, they had a cop, and a fireman, and an indian, and a couple of other dudes. One was a construction worker, I think.” She said sadly, “I thought that the Village People represented everyone in the village! As in, they changed costumes every show!” I shattered her illusions when I said “Nope, pretty much the same thing. Also, they were gay.” She said, in her low way, “You’re kidding me!” I cracked up. How could she not know that? Because it would have just never occurred to her at all. I say “Nope, they’re pretty darn gay, and there was no fisherman.” She says, incredulously “…I thought they were just festive!” You have got to love a woman who thought that the Village People were “just festive.” She was quite disappointed when she said “Well, I guess I’m just a fisherman…”

Pictured: Festivities. Not pictured: A fisherman.

She’s also famous for mis-hearing lyrics. Unlike Dad, she’s never particularly liked most of the stuff that I do. She’s also one of those people who thinks that Creedence Clearwater Revival is saying “There’s a bathroom on the right” instead of “bad moon on the rise.” I can’t even tell you how many songs she’s mangled. So imagine my surprise when I walk in one day and she’s listening and singing along (sort of) to R.E.M.’s “Man on the Moon.” I said “I didn’t know that you liked R.E.M.” She said “Well, I like this song. I can relate to this song.” Before your brain explodes wondering how my mother can relate to a song about Andy Kaufman, I will explain. You know the part where they sing “Eve was troubled by the horrible asp”? Mom says “You know the part where they say ‘Edith was troubled by her horrible ass?’ I like that part. I, too, am troubled by my horrible ass.” I didn’t bother to correct her. That shit is funny.

There are also those of us who are apparently not troubled at all by our horrible asses. On the bright side, it would be hard to be a Roethlisberger fan if you had a smaller one.

I also remember that she was so squeamish about blood that when I fell off my skateboard really badly as a kid, and a nice man picked me up and dumped me on my parents’ front porch and rang the doorbell, she answered the door, took one look at me with my leg very nearly scraped off (you could see bone in places), gagged, and slammed the door. She left me on the porch. I rang the doorbell again, and after a few minutes, my Dad came to the door instead and cleaned me up. Mom stayed away until I was all bandaged up. That night though, she and I stayed up all night and ate a whole bag of popsicles together and watched movies. We must have eaten thirty of those popsicles with the double sticks that are basically frozen flavored water. We made a game of counting the sticks. It was one of the only times I can remember that she didn’t limit me to one popsicle, make me go to bed on time, etc.

There are a lot of things my Mom has done for me that are more personal than I want to get on here. Suffice it to say that I’m lucky to have her, and lucky that she hasn’t killed my stupid ass. Particularly the time I sold the car in Los Angeles. Sorry, Mom. I’m willing to bet that there are a lot of you out there who are lucky that your Mom didn’t straight up murder you as well. Thank her today. She only has one day a year where you’re forced to appreciate her, but she’s nice to you ALL THE TIME.

Posted in Comedy, Humor, Just for Fun, Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

This List of Things I Think are Stupid Goes up to Eleven

This is a re-worked re-post from my old blog. There are a couple of outdated references (My Humps, Paris Hilton), but lo and behold, I still think that all of these things are stupid, so here you go.

I don’t know what my problem is today. I’ve often said that they should put me in charge of the whole country for a month, and I’d get this whole thing straightened out, God dammit! The thing is, that would probably never work. And here’s why. I’m pretty much a liberal independent who leans toward fiscal conservativism, but I would be a complete fascist dictator if you put me in charge, because I have pretty much ZERO tolerance for stupidity. Most people at this point would be going “Ha ha, right…stupid people suck…” but here’s the thing: people who are stupid often don’t even know that they are, in fact, stupid.

A short list of things today that have made me think to myself “Oh jeez, that’s fucking stupid.”: (yes, JUST today so far. And it’s only noon. This may be a personal best.)

1. People who ask me to do something “ASAP.” I do EVERYTHING as soon as I possibly can, at least from a work standpoint. What would be my motivation for sitting on something until you get so impatient that you have to ask for it? My main motivation is not to get yelled at or fired, which includes, oh I don’t know, DOING MY FUCKING JOB. Hey, how about this? If you ask me to do something, provide a deadline. I’ll have it for you by whatever deadline you set. I swear, if people continue to send me ambiguous crap that not only contains no deadline, but no information, and no research completed on it, and demand it “ASAP”, I’m going to send them a smack-o-gram. Note to self: “Smack-o-gram” might be a really entertaining business idea. Who doesn’t want to hire a guy to go over to someone’s house and smack them? I can think of a lot of people who deserve that. Maybe I could make the guy wear a gorilla suit or something. Or maybe I could hire Andy Dick. Getting smacked down by Andy Dick carries the added hilarity of being really humiliating. Plus, he could probably use the money.

It’s expensive to be this wacky.

2. That idiot that’s getting so much attention locally because he’s starving himself “until abortion is outlawed.” I’ve got news for you buddy, taking your own life in a really stupid manner doesn’t exactly scream “I’m pro-life.” It’s his 52nd day of nothing but water and salt tablets. He’s so weak now that he’s having to use a wheelchair, and his doctor has apparently informed him that his “life is in danger.” No shit. Let’s see, what do I need. Hmm. Air, check. Water, check. Food? Aw, jeez! It’s like third on the list! Moreover, the guy has 16 kids. 16! I’m surprised he didn’t starve to death forty years ago when he was trying to feed a family of 18. Fuck that guy! What makes it even stupider is how much attention we’re paying to this maroon. I’m all about peaceful protest, but there is a line.

3. People who name all of their kids starting with the same letter of the alphabet. It’s not cute and funny, it’s cheesy and sad. Especially when people pick an obscure letter and then have so many kids that they can’t think of a good name with that initial anymore, and they end up sticking the last couple of kids with really stupid names. You know who you are if you do this. And yeah, it’s stupid.

4. People who merge onto the freeway going about 35 miles per hour. It’s called “merging” because you’re supposed to seamlessly fit in with the existing traffic; not hold it up for an excruciating amount of time while you get up to speed, assuming, of course, that you have any intention of actually driving the posted speed. I swear to God, this is why my brake pads are wearing out. Because I have to hit them 56,000 times a day on what SHOULD be a relatively painless freeway commute. How hard is it to drive at a consistent speed on a straight stretch of road? Smack-o-grams for all of you. Actually, this one makes me want to mount a canon on the roof of my car and if you’re guilty, BOOM. I’m just gonna blow you away. Only I’d need not so much a canon, as some sort of vaporization device. Because that way I wouldn’t have to run over your stupid wreckage.

5. Female celebrities who are only really famous for being dirty, dirty tramps. I’m looking right at you, Paris Hilton. I don’t know why she pisses me off so much, honestly. Apparently there’s a professional Paris Hilton lookalike with her own talk show. So, let me get this straight: not only is the heiress herself one of the most vapid, useless, stupid, selfish tramps EVER, but there’s a person out there that actually makes a living acting just like her? A cheap knockoff of something that’s already cheap? And useless? Apparently real Paris may have plans to appear on fake Paris’s TV show. And you know what I hope happens? I hope that the sheer uselessness of both of them actually occupying the same room causes a rip in the fabric of the universe as we know it, and they both get sucked in.

This is my cat, who is being threatened with a lawsuit:

Jake’s a pretty kitty! Yes she is! Yes she is! (Okay, I’m done.)

Jake the Cat, as a matter of fact. She’s a girl. Yes, I have a girl cat named Jake. She used to be one half of a two-cat team; the other cat being Elwood. My ex-roommate ended up with Elwood, so now I just have a girl cat named Jake. The ex-roommate once told me that Elwood has developed a horrendous weight and gas problem, so I think I ended up with the better end of that deal.

I realize that it stretches the limits of credulity that my cat is being threatened with a lawsuit, but the story is actually quite entertaining. I took my cat to the vet once, and the vet, when they sent my bill, addressed it to the cat. I have a cousin with the same name as my cat, and I seriously thought I was getting his mail by mistake. Hence:

6. Vets who address their communication to the animal being treated. Last time I checked, cats don’t carry wallets or checkbooks and would thus be rendered unable to pay such a bill. Unless the animal wears pants and, in fact, carries their own money, don’t address bills to them. Which reminds me:

7. People who force animals to wear pants.

This dog is biding its time until it can kill and eat whomever is responsible for those pants.

My mom doesn’t really believe in naming animals people names, and maybe that’s why. It wouldn’t have created nearly so much confusion if the bill had been addressed to Fluffy, Rover, or Miss Kitty.

8. People who name their cats things like “Miss Kitty.”

So I started thinking to myself, if my cat can receive unsolicited mail, perhaps she can solicit mail. So Jake joined a DVD club. (She has excellent taste, by the way.) All was just fine and dandy (and I took the liberty of paying her bills for her) until I moved out of my apartment about eight months ago. Like most people who move, I had my mail forwarded to my new address, but Silly Me! I neglected to forward my cat’s mail to my new address. So, presumably, the DVD club continued to send mail to my cat, and the new tenant either didn’t send back the little cards, ignored them, or is keeping the DVDs, because this club has finally located my cat and sent her a bill with a not-so-kindly threat of legal action.

This morning, I informed Jake that she’ll be sued if she doesn’t pay her bill. She seemed unimpressed.

9. Morning radio shows. When my alarm went off, the first sentence that made it into my head as I trundled off to the shower was “How the hell is a homeless man supposed to cook a lamb?” It reminds me of that Lewis Black bit where he’s talking about how sometimes you hear something that’s so incredibly stupid that your brain explodes because you can’t get it out. (“If it weren’t for my horse, I would never have spent that year in college.”) I’m serious folks, I thought about that sentence for my entire shower. Why does a homeless man NEED to roast a lamb? Is he running a gyro stand? And how come you never hear about people roasting sheep? Do sheep somehow become inedible (but somehow fuckable, see next item), after they grow up? You’re always hearing about roast lamb, and people kidnapping sheep, but never the opposite. Why? The next thing I heard on the radio after exiting the shower was “Haw haw! Talk about being in the zone!” And I’m thinking “Are they still talking about the homeless guy? Does one need to be ‘in the zone’ to roast a lamb?” Seriously, if most people are as incoherent as me in the mornings, we should do away with morning shows. Because they’ll only confuse you.

10. The guy who attempted to kidnap a sheep from the zoo. This is both stupid and hilarious, and may or may not be related to the hypothetical homeless lamb-roaster above. It seems that an “obviously homeless” man was seen leaving the zoo, carrying a plastic trash can with a sheep in it. He was stopped by zoo security, who asked, “Where are you going with that sheep?” Whereupon our hero apparently channels Jon Lovitz’s character “The Liar” from Saturday Night Live, and says “What sheep?” Well, the sheep that you have there in that trash can. “Oh, this sheep. Well, you see, I am this sheep’s doctor. Yeah, that’s the ticket. This sheep is very sick.” Why one would kidnap a sheep by carrying him/her away in a trash can is beyond me, but then to claim to be a doctor is just awesome. But seriously, what the hell is people’s fascination with sheep? Maybe he was going to cook it, but that would violate my theory of sheep/lamb cookability/attractiveness.

11. That Black Eyed Peas song, “My Humps.” Seriously, people should shove this song up their asses. It pisses me off. Worse, there’s no escaping it. And it’s also another reason why morning shows should be outlawed. As I’m driving to work today, I actually spent about three minutes devoting my thoughts to how much I hate this song. So I decided to flip on the radio again, and just before I did, I thought to myself “ha ha, it would be totally ironic if that song was playing, because I was just thinking about it.” And you know what? It wasn’t. It was that guy on the Bob and Tom show that calls in and impersonates Morgan Freeman. So I’m listening to that, and I hear “Whatcha gonna do with all that junk, all that junk…” ARGH!!! If there’s anything more disturbing and annoying than that song as it is, it’s a Morgan Freeman impersonator singing it.

Of course, there’s a whole host of things that I don’t even care enough about to really muster up a lot of disgust toward. But that’s another story.

“I suppose I could riff a list of things that I care as little about as our last week. Let’s see… low carb diets, Michael Moore, the Republican National Convention, Kabbalah & all Kabbalah-related products, Hi-Def TV, the Bush daughters, wireless hotspots, the OC, the UN, recycling, getting Punk’d, Danny Gans, the Latin Grammys, the real Grammys, Jeff that Wiggle that sleeps too darn much, the Yankees payroll, all the red states, all the blue states, every hybrid car, every talk show, everything on the planet, everything in the solar system, everything, everything, everything, everything, everything, everything every-everything that exists past present & future, in discovered and undiscovered dimensions! Oh, and Hugh Jackman.”

Stay tuned for my next blog, which will be entitled “Why I Think Bisexuality Is A Crock.” And before I get pre-emptive hate mail on this one, I do have a theory that supports this. That’s right, folks. Old Miz Parker has thought this one through. Of course, I also think that British Humor is a crock. Feel free to send me hate mail on that one. I don’t really have a supporting argument for that, other than the fact that I hate Hugh Grant. Who really isn’t funny. I mean seriously, that guy is a wiener.

Look at me, I’m so British and charmingly befuddled!
Posted in Comedy, Crazy People, Humor, Life, Miz Parker Muses, Pop Culture, Stupid People | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

We Have Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself. And Toilet Squirrels.

I was thinking the other day about how most of the stuff you’re afraid will happen, never does. The everyday things we worry about mostly don’t ever come true. Things generally turn out alright. I have days where everything is a big fat pain in my ass, but life is generally good. Maybe that’s why they call certain fears “irrational.” Because they would never, ever happen in two billion years of incidents. I have a couple of crazy irrational fears. Now that I think of them, most of mine are completely insane. None of the standards faze me a bit – heights, spiders, enclosed spaces, crowds, public speaking, guns, etc. – no fucking problem. Bring ’em on.

One is fish. It stems back to an incident in my childhood where I was brutally attacked by a zombie salmon. I swear to God, I am not making this up. The fact remains that I cannot so much as walk through the fish section of a pet store without getting the heebie-jeebies, because – get this – I envision all of the little suckers leaping out of their tanks and latching onto my skin somehow. (Yes, I’m revealing myself for the complete whack-job I actually am.) Fish are creepy. They never blink, and the ones that have teeth? Forget about it. I couldn’t even walk through the beautiful restaurant in Honolulu that has the giant aquarium with the manta rays in it. Steve Irwin’s fate aside, I envisioned the tank bursting and one of the rays (gasp!) accidentally touching me. I nearly had a reltney.

Do you know how hard it was for me to image-search “fish with teeth”? Seriously, I may not recover.

Another crazy thing I’m still kind of freaked out by? Toilet squirrels.

There was a picture of it on the internet, so that means it is TOTALLY a real thing. ZOMG, you guys.

I heard a story when I was a kid about a woman who sat down in a park bathroom, and a squirrel was hiding in the toilet bowl and bit her um…more sensitive regions multiple times. Talk about feeling violated! She had to get tested for rabies and everything. It’s not a debilitating fear, per se, but I do always check public toilets for deviant evil rabid squirrels who are waiting to bite my business. I hear some people are the same way about toilet snakes.

I’m also not crazy about big ugly bugs. Particularly ones that fly. But I don’t get all girly and freak out, either. Mostly it’s the fish thing.

They totally have these (Wetas) in New Zealand. If they could fly, nobody would ever go there, ever.

I’m trying to think of stuff that’s freaked me out as an adult. The idea of lepers kind of freaks me out, not that I’ve ever seen one in person. Same goes for Siamese twins. Ever see the movie “Twin Falls Idaho”? Good flick, if you like creepy independent films. The nazi villian guy from the movie “Hellboy” freaked me out. The fish man was tolerable because the guy who played the brother on Frasier did his voice, and he seems pretty harmless. Oh! I just thought of another one! ALIENS.

I can watch blood, gore, violence, etc., but I can’t watch Close Encounters. It’s the modern-day pop-culture depiction of aliens I can’t take. They haunt my dreams, with their big black eyes and mean little mouths. I’m literally shuddering as I write this. I can’t even watch shows with aliens on them, or look at those cheesy bumper stickers, or 311 logos. Brrr! I hate it! Another thing that sort of creeps me out is being alone in a bathroom in the dark. Maybe it’s the “Bloody Mary” legends that do it, but I can’t stand being alone in the dark with a large mirror.

I can’t even look at this. If the aliens ever land here, it won’t be me trying to make friends; I will be hiding and crying in the basement.

Little kids are famous for insane irrational fears. I had nightmares when I was a kid about somehow being mistaken for a magician and being burned alive while I was chained inside of a coffin I was supposed to escape from. (Yeah, I was a morbid little kid.) Freddy Krueger used to scare me. I think it was the melty face and the razor fingernails.

The wicked witch from The Wizard of Oz used to send me running screaming from the room when that part of the movie was on, and hide in the bathtub with the shower curtain closed. I think it was the green skin. I don’t know why the bathtub. Apparently Psycho didn’t upset me. I also had recurring nightmares as a kid about suffocating – in a fire, or drowing, or sometimes, I’d somehow get sucked into the sky and slowly suffocate as the air got thinner and thinner.

The worst when I was a kid though was being afraid of a monster my cousin had dreamed up to scare me. She called him Blueberry. The idea of being afraid of a monster named Blueberry seems hilarious now, but at the time, I would hide under my covers, shivering with fear that he was under my bed. I wouldn’t so much as sneak my little toe out from under the covers. I pictured this guy – remember the big-headed alien guys from the original Star Trek?

I found out when obtaining this picture that they’re apparently called “Tosbaloks.” That’s a little more fear-inspiring than blueberries.

In my mind, his skin was bright blue and he had razor-sharp teeth and a huge mouth, and I believed that if I hung anything off the bed in my sleep – a hand, a foot, etc. – that he would snap it off and eat it. And cackle. Cackling is a big part of inspiring fear, I think. All the great villains cackle. The moral of the story may be to not let your already-kind-of-weird 6-year old watch Star Trek.

“I’ll get you for this, Wonka!”
Posted in Comedy, Crazy People, Humor, Just for Fun, Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments