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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Monday, April 14, 2008

Random Stuff

What's crackin' friends? I'm not speaking to my frienemies today.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and thank you for weighing in on the first chapter of our race relations series. If you haven't checked out that post, feel free to take a minute, go back, read it and comment. Chapter Two will post Thursday or Friday.

So my weekend was pretty uneventful.

Saturday morning we stopped at a Miami-area mall for some crap I can't even remember right now. We had the pleasure of seeing auditions for the Miami Dolphins cheer leading squad. Of course, I didn't realize the whole set-up was for auditions, at first. Thankfully Mrs. B stopped me before I could wave dollar bills at the stage. And for some reason no one near me thought it was funny when I called out "skeet, skeet, skeet, skeet, skeet!" Seriously, if you get that joke then you listen to some really bad bad as I occasionally listen to, apparently.

I'm kidding, by the way. I didn't yell "skeet, skeet, skeet..." at the would-be cheerleaders. They've gotta eat too. So more power to 'em. I hope they all made the team, and I hope they inspire better than 1-and-15 next season.

Anywho, we had dinner Saturday night with old friends from Milwaukee, plus one of their friends from here in South Florida. A local TV reporter, who used to work in Milwaukee also, and with whom I'm acquainted (but not friends), was supposed to join our group. But he was a no show. He didn't even call to say he was bailing on us. He is friends with the woman who organized the dinner. Tsk, tsk, TV reporters. This is why you should read your local newspaper and/or your newspaper's Web site. We're always on time. I admit I'm biased, 'cause we're a better, more thorough news source. Plus, pre-Mrs. B, I dated a couple of TV reporters back in the Midwest. They never knew how to turn off the "personality." Every conversation was like the 5 o'clock news had just started. And that makeup - the kind that's powerful enough to resist the hot lights on the set? - is toxic. I swear it ate a hole in one of my shirt collars once. Or maybe I'm just exaggerating that part 'cause I'm pro newspaper and local TV news bites.

We ate Thai. And I fell for the crispy duck...again. I order it repeatedly, because I hope one day it will actually be crispy. Once again though, I had the soggy duck...which sort of got crispy as it got colder.

Sunday I spent the afternoon scooping a fresh batch of tadpoles out of my koi pond. I got about 1,000 of 'em out before I tired of that exercise. It's not very nice to look at, but if I'm gonna prevent this from happening all summer, I may have to resort to putting a net over the pond to keep the mating toads out. Last time I broke out the net it inadvertently became a toad trampoline. I don't know if they couldn't see it, or if they just thought it would go away if they jumped on it enough, but it was a pretty funny sight - these giant toads hitting the top of that taut net and bouncing a foot higher than normal.

And Sunday evening I did homework, looking around for story ideas, hints of trends, and taking the race quiz at artist Faith Ringgold's Web site.

Quick takes on the news:

  • Barack Obama messed up with his assessment that blue collar and rural folk are so bitter over the bad economy that they've turned for solace to their guns and religion. I'm no fan of Sen. Clinton. Actually, I'm no fan of any of the candidates, at least in terms of political positions. But even if she wasn't being sincere in her criticism of Obama, she was right about his comments sounding elitist. People don't go hunting, because they're bitter...unless they're Michael Douglas in Falling Down. Average hunters go, because they enjoy the sport. And while some bitter people may embrace religion in search for some kind of redemption, the average practicing religious person embraces their faith simply 'cause they believe it, it helps sustain them through good and bad times, and they like it. It makes 'em feel good.
  • The current issue of Details magazine has a story about this year being the 20th anniversary of The Real World on MTV. Hard to believe that show is almost of legal drinking age. Even harder to believe they still call it "Real." I admit I was hooked on that first New York season, the one with Julie, the country girl, Eric Neis, the model dude, and Kevin Powell, the poet/writer dude, and those other people. I was a fan till I met Powell. He came to speak at my college in my junior year, and the Student Activities director asked me to shuttle him around and what not. So I did. I drove him to/from the airport, etc. And Powell, a couple of other folks, and I ended up out for dinner and drinks after his speech. The abbreviated version is he treated us like no 'count punks who should have been grateful to be in his presence. Not cool. First impressions, ya know?
  • Dr. Phil is half a step away from becoming Jerry Springer.

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  • Not calling to apologise, in advance, for not making an appointment with a friend. BAD manners!

    AS for the tadpole thing. If your yard is big enough - net the koi pond & dig another for the local amphibians. Call it a wildlife pond. Then be thankful if you don't get aligators turn up too!

    BTW - didn't the toads keep down the mosquito population one year? Seem to remember something about Frogarotti.

    By Blogger Bronchitkat, at 6:43 AM  

  • What is it about TV personalities that makes them think that they are so much better than the rest of us?

    In my experience, the people who do the most, and have the most skills, are the easiest to get along with.

    By Blogger The CEO, at 8:24 AM  

  • Bronchitikat, you have an excellent memory. Last year the toads kept down the entire bug population in my yard. The only thing they wouldn't eat were these giant grasshoppers. Very colorful. Made for great photographs, but a native Floridian explained to me that their bright colors were a warning to other animals that they tasted badly. I wouldn't imagine these toads would care, considering the other creatures they eat. As for the gators, I'd like to see 'em get over my fence, though I seem to recall a story from a year or two ago here in Florida, where a gator climbed someone's chainlink fence.

    Monty, bright lights and cameras do things to scramble our brains, I think.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 9:48 AM  

  • I don't watch Dr.Phil but I have an extreme dislike for the guy. I wonder if I'm basing my feelings on a MadTV skit or something like that, which has stuck to my subconscious, making me almost froth at the mouth at the mention of his name. I dunno.

    I watched the first season of the Real World, but for the life of me I can't remember a thing about any of the cast. Hmmmm.

    The "skeet" line is hilarious. I'll bet you did it under your breath, but the Mrs. caught it and bopped you in the head. Full disclosure dude!

    By OpenID jalishouse, at 10:24 AM  

  • Jali, the good doc has been parodied on those weekend late not comedy shows. Could be what set you against him. I used to like the guy. Not sure what happened. I think he uttered one ism too many for me, stuff like "You shouldn't drink so much! That's crazier'n a possum wearing pink toenail polish!" He didn't actually say that, that I know of. I'm just sayin' he has an ism for everything. And you're almost right about the "skeets." Mrs. B just kept giving me a look and asking me "what did you just say?"

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 10:38 AM  

  • I'll admit, I'm an Obama-ite. I voted for him in the primary and I hope I get the chance to vote for him in the general election.

    And I think he was right on the money. Hell, I *am* bitter. Bitter about politics as usual. Bitter about corporations getting million dollar tax breaks. Bitter about oil companies who could produce more with the fuel supplies they have but refuse to increase their productivity.

    That someone like Hilary Clinton, who defines the word "elite," could call someone like Obama elitist and condescending, amazes me. Has no one been watching that woman over the past two decades?

    By Blogger SWF42, at 12:56 PM  

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