Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Viva Loss Vegas

To back track a little . . . 

During my time in the US I was lucky enough to attend my niece's (now Goddaughter's) baptism in Las Vegas and unlucky enough to try my luck at slots, craps, black jack, poker, and sports betting.  On this holy occasion, I learned that I am the worlds worst gambler.  I lost at everything I touched.  Fast.  You'd be surprised how much you can lose at penny slot machines if you never win anything.  Still, I had plenty of free drinks, largely because I was the only non-AARP member in the casino, and I had a great vacation from my vacation.

I stayed at a casino/hotel on the edge of town called The Eastside Cannery.  The Cannery only opened a few months ago, and it was a very nice hotel and casino despite the terrible theme (and terrible odds, in my case).  Apparently, whoever designed the casino thought the patrons would want the feel of being in a modern canning factory.  Most of The Cannery patrons looked as if they already spent the lion share of their day in an actual canning factory, so I'm not sure why "canning" was picked as a theme, but it was.

The redeeming part of the "canning" theme was the Cannery's logo.   The logo looks like an early 1800's Betty Crocker if Betty had married an alcoholic and was forced to move west where she gave up her lucrative baking carrier to become the madame of a small but friendly town brothel.  This sly-eyed vixen beckons you into the canning factory.  Something we can all relate to.

Actually, being Vegas, brothel may have been an alternative service at the Cannery.  Frank, my one-legged Pai-Gow Poker dealer, told me that he would never sleep with the ugly cocktail waitress even though "she was begging for it."  Frank said that they went out once, but she got really, really drunk really, really quickly and then tried to wheel Frank back to the Cannery where she had stolen a room key.  I'm glad that while Frank took my money he and I grew close enough for him to share his romantic history with me.  I made sure not to tip the waitress too big, just in case she got the wrong idea.

Fact about me #58
I don't like gambling as much as the rest of my family.  I also find that I don't really care about wining anymore.  There must be something in this English water because that is just un-American.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My 3D, Wolverine, Lush Farmer Update

What's new with me, the photo essay . . . 

1.)  I saw My Bloody Valentine 3D which is one of the greatest films ever created, and I'm sure it will be up for a lot of Oscars next year.  The plot is well above average for a horror movie and the 3D is well above 2D.  Here's a picture of me looking stylish in my RealD glasses. (Seriously, go see a 3D movie ASAP).

2.) You may also notice the trendy beard I've sprouted in the new year.  I decided not to shave after my niece's Christening; however, after seeing the trailer for X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I was inspired to go with a more Hugh Jackman look.  Here's me doing my best Wolverine impression.

3.) My beard wasn't the only thing growing.  I'm a proper LUSH farmer.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Audacity of Rex Manning Day vs. Barack Hussen Obama Day

Things are going so well; I'm having my own personal Rex Manning Day.  But that could be because Barack Hussen Obama Day was the best day since Rex Manning Day, if not better.  We all love Obama, all 6.2 billion of us.  I got the same feeling on Obama Day that I get at Christmas when I watch the Grinch's heart grow three sizes and break the little heart measuring frame.  It was a day for breakin' all the rules.  A day when the president doesn't have to get all the words right in when being inaugurated, but at least uses words that actually exist.  A day when Tupac would change the lyrics to the song Changes because, "And although it seems heaven sent, the world ain't ready for a black president, uhhh" isn't quite as poingnet now, uhhh?  It is a time for change, and Obama wants to bring about change.

If you read Obama's second book, "The Audacity of Hope," you discover that change, is in fact why hope is audacious - sorry to ruin the ending.  From what I understand, Obama has already helped change the economy by selling popular Obama merchandise, and not just in the US, but on the world market too.  I've seen clever Obama t-shirts here in the UK, but for my contribution to the Obama-nation, I'd like to present the very best in Barak Obama merchandise on the Tanzanian Market.

In Tanzania, people use these large sheets of colorful fabric called kangas for anything they find suitable: a skirt, apron, hat, backpack, towel, banner, to carry a child, as a carry-things-on-your-head-thing, etc.  And the difference between a kanga and a normal piece of fabric is that a kanga has a message printed on it, usually something along the lines of "God gives me strength" or "Never lose hope" but also very specific messages like "Leave my man alone."  My kanga, as pictured above, is a Christmas gift from my friend Emelie and it says, "Love and Peace, He Grants Us Through God" in Kishwali.  Needless to say, this is tremendous.

As for the inauguration, which was equally as tremendous, here are my thoughts:
1.) Chaney looks extra old in his wheelchair.  And while I'm sure he's hell on wheels, this would be a damn scary inauguration if Palin was pushing Chaney to the podium.
2.) It looks cold.  I hope Obama doesn't pull a Harrison, get pneumonia, and die.
3.) Was Martin Luther Kings dream to have a black president?  I need to reread that speech.
4.) I can't decide which name is funnier: Barack Hussen Obama or Yo Yo Ma.
5.) It seems strange that after the inauguration, it's traditional to read poetry.  But keeping with this tradition . . .

by Tony Hoagland
From: What Narcissism Means to Me

Then one of the students with blue hair and a tongue stud
Says that America is for him a maximum-security prison

Whose walls are made of Radio Shacks and Burger Kings, and MTV episodes
Where you can't tell the show from the commercials,

And as I consider how to express how full of shit I think he is,
He says that even when he's driving to the mall in his Isuzu

Trooper with a gang of his friends, letting rap music pour over them
Like a boiling Jacuzzi full of ballpeen hammers, even then he feels

Buried alive, captured and suffocated in the folds
of the thick satin quilt of America

And I wonder if this is a legitimate category of pain,
or whether he is just spin doctoring a better grade,

And then I remember that when I stapped my father in the dream last night,
It was not blood but money

That gushed out of him, bright green hundred-dollar bills
Spilling from his wounds, and-this is the weird part-,

He gasped "Thank god-those Ben Franklins were
Clogging up my heart-

And so I perish happily,
Freed from that which kept me from my liberty"-

Which was when I knew it was a dream, since my dad
Would never speak in rhymed couplets,

And I look at the student with his acne and cell phone and phony ghetto clothes
And I think, "I am asleep in America too,

And I don't know how to wake myself either,"
And I remember what Marx said near the end of his life:

"I was listening to the cries of the past,
When I should have been listening to the cries of the future."

But how could he have imagined 100 channels of 24-hour cable
Or what kind of nightmare it might be

When each day you watch rivers of bright merchandise run past you
And you are floating in your pleasure boat upon this river

Even while others are drowning underneath you
And you see their faces twisting in the surface of the waters

And yet it seems to be your own hand
Which turns the volume higher?

Fact about me #2
I didn't realize Obama's middle name was Hussen.  How'd I miss that?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My Bathroom is Rad-ish

As of Friday my life has changed.  I now belong to a brotherhood shared with the likes of John Deere, my grandfather Sylvester "Butch" Bordewick, and Jennifer Gardner . . . I think.  For I am now a farmer.

On Friday I threw out my old, dead Ikea hanging plant I'd previously killed despite it's "easy to care for" label, and planted fresh, nubile radish seeds.  Now, in 4 short weeks, I will be feasting on - or at least garnishing drinks and dishes with - tasty radishes like the kings of ole.  I'd post pictures, but at this point it just looks like a pot of dirt.  This is one of the cases when a picture is not worth 1000 words.  Imagine a pot.  Now imagine that the pot is full of dirt.  That's exactly what it looks like.

I've placed my pot-o-dirt in the bathroom so it's now self-watering via reverse osmosis of shower steam (Thanks 10th Grade Biology!)  I realize that "Bathroom Radish" doesn't sound like the most appetizing dish.  In fact, "Bathroom Radish" sound more like a slang term for an STD you'd pick up from a public toilet seat than something you'd eat, but the thought of eating a non-bathroom radish is not very appetizing either.  Radishes are always the last thing left on the vegetable tray at a party, and the vegetable tray is always the last thing left after the other food is eaten.  The radish is the last of the last.  Poor Radish is the last kid picked at recess.  Or worse,  Radish is the kid who's last picked and then the captain of the team who should have him says, "You can have Radish"  like he's doing the other team a favor.  In reality, he knows that his team is stronger being one man short than having even numbers if one of them is Radish.  Poor Radish.

Really, the only redeeming quality of the radish is it's name.  Rad-ish.  I bet a lot of unfunny-funny people in the 80's used that as a regular pun.

For my astute readers, you may have noticed that I have already killed a plant this year.  True.  Apparently, if you have three plants and you leave them unattended in a freezing cold, dark flat for three weeks while you gallivant around the United Sates by the time you get home: one of them will commit suicide, another will look fairly sick, and the third will not have noticed you've ever left.  It's okay though, these circumstances will most likely lead you to being a popular radish farmer.

Fact about me #66
I've never grown anything . . . before now.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Forgive my absence, but sometimes I am absent.  It's not because my life has been boring so let me begin my back log now.

My friend Mike came in October/November and here's what we did:

1. Spurs game - Tottenham wins!

2. Time in London:

Sadly, I'm missing the best photo of the trip - Britain's Oldest Door.  But here's a blurry one of the London Eye and a hooka bar in Soho where we met 4 different drug addicts.  The best of the four said, "I'm not gonna lie.  I do do drugs, and I'd sure like to sprinkle some crack in there."  We gave her a pound.

3. We went to Dublin, but it was cold and rainy so if you want to see what we did just turn on MTV, watch it for a few hours, and then go to an alcohol manufacturer and buy a hat.

4. Belfast is awesome.  We took a black cab tour to see all the murals outlining the conflict of the city, and we signed the peace wall.  We also saw Oasis.

I'm realizing now that I didn't document that trip as well as I should have.  It's probably best summarized by this last photo which is Mike in a hostel holding 4 Liters of cheep cider, some salt and vinegar crisps, and a net bag of baby bells.  This could have been any night of the trip, but it really was the spirit of us in the UK.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires or Will You Marry Me, The Derek Till Story

Derek Till is engaged. Now I'm really lonely. But while I like to think that my perpetual loneliness is the sub theme of this blog, that is not what this is about. This is about my big brother, Derek.

So Derek got engaged, and despite his best efforts, did not burn down a forest in the process. A few weeks ago my big brother, Derek, asked his girlfriend, Aleks, to marry him, and what I imagine as the same tone as the Virgin Mary used with the angel Gabriel, she said yes. But unlike my visions of my own wedding - leap year, February 29, 2012 - Derek Till was romantic about it.

First, Derek contacted Aleks's favorite artist to paint her a picture asking, "Will you marry me?" Second, Derek met Aleks on a designers weekend festival thingy that Aleks was in charge of . . . an important weekend to her. Then he placed the original art on a conveniently (for purposes of proposals by original paintings) placed stone fireplace in the middle of the Minnesotan wilderness. Some other John-Cusiacian-Romantically-Minded individual had already arranged candles around said stone mantle, so Derek lit the candles and met Aleks for an autumn walk.

Now Derek is no fool, and he realized that leaving a load of lit candles in the middle of dry autumn wilderness surrounding an original piece of artwork that potentially defines the precise moment his future went from rolling 12-sided dies to rolling to Home Depot for domestic repairs, is a bad idea. So he b-lined it to the engagement site. And regardless of the awkwardness that followed, including pulling a ring out of his right hand coat pocket with his right arm was around his beloved - I'm still not sure how he did this - all is well that ends well, and my big brother is engaged.

Now comes the excitement of telling family and friends. My parents, who knew this was coming, gracefully overwhelmed the couple with a champagne toast. Then - I would assume - came telling Aleks's parents and sisters as well as Derek's two sisters and his only brother and future best man, me. Now, I'm aware of the day and age in which we live, but I am not apparently aware of the formalities of Facebook. And while I plan on getting married on leap year 2012 so that I only have to celebrate an anniversary once every four year, and as soon as I find a non-mingin' girl who's into getting married on this Wednesday, I will ask her to marry me, I will still let my immediate family know who said girl is by at least a phone call - I've already told them the date and they are not impressed, but my mom seems to like it a little more then when I was dead set on eloping. Anyway, back on subject, Smokey the Bear/my brother, chose to send me a beautifully worded, if misspelled, Facebook message about his engagement:

Subject: some big news
"Aleks and I got engaged on Saturday. Really don't haave much more info than that. Give me a call soon (612) 310 #### and we will talk. Love ya


I actually knew that this was coming because of the awkward goodbye my mother left on my message machine a few days eariler, "Hi B, it's Mom. I'm just calling to say hi. Give me a call if you want. Love you, bye . . . You might want to call your brother . . . ok, bye." But still. Come on. I'm the only brother involved here. And while 6 hours away, you could always call me in the middle of the night and plead ignorance to time zones. It's a good thing I'm never bitter.

But truth be told, in spite of his affinity for Facebook, everyone who knows Derek knows what an outstanding man he truly is. To me he's been the cool older brother who bought me Taco Bell when I was 12, the quirky dork whose been getting me hooked on nerdy sci-fi shows since I was 16, and the brother and friend I know at 26. More importantly, everyone who knows Aleks knows how good she is for, and with Derek. This engagement is a blessing for both of our families, and I'm honored to be able to expand my family with a cool new sister like Aleks, even if it does mean I will have to send one more Facebook message in 2012.

Fact about me #32
I want to have a baseball themed wedding where the bride wears a big white dress and looks like a baseball, I wear a tux that looks like a catchers mit, her father is a giant bat who hits her down the isle, and the priest is dressed as an umpire who has us say, "Strike!" insted of "I do." There will also be bunt cake.