News of the Odd and Absurd

Sometimes I think that my life is absurd.  That things just aren’t right.  That there just couldn’t be anyone else that has this much of a soap opera of a life.

And then I read the newspapers.  I mean, good grief, my life is downright boring.  Family dysfunction, unemployment, life in general is nothing compared to how things are going around the world.  There are some truly messed up things going on out there.  The apathy and ignorance shown by society is a hoot.  Here are a few things that caught my eye.  Some are hilarious, some are sad, some are historic, some are just interesting.  I stuck to my no more than ten rule, but I’m afraid that one of them is a bit long.  Enjoy reading:

  • Roger Ebert has long been an icon in the entertainment industry.  With his original partner, Gene Siskel, the two could make or break a movie based on a simple hand movement.  With the recent revamping of their TV showAt the Movies, both Ebert and Siskel’s replacement, Richard Roeper have voluntarily decided to leave.  Ebert wrote a wonderful eulogy of sorts for the show, and you can read his bittersweet farewell here.
  • I cannot believe that the New Kids on the Block are releasing another CD after all these years.  When I was in high school these guys were at their heyday along with Tiffani and Debbie Gibson.  We spent skip day one afternoon having a Debbie Gibson lookalike contest, a Tiffani lipsynching contest, and played NKotB Twister.  We had their faces all over the board.  Good heavens, we hated those groups.  Good times.
  • I know many people have seen this one, but it has a bit of local interest.  Evidently the court in New Zealand ruled that a 9-year-old girl was a victim of child abuse because her legal name is “Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii.”  The poor child never told her friends her real name because she feared mocking and teasing (wouldn’t you?) and thus her name as known by her acquaintances was “K”.  The article goes on to say that Kiwis are rather unique in their naming practices, citing the following: O.crnia, which was how her mother spelled “Oceania” in text messages, Violence, Midnight Chardonnay and Number 16 Bus Shelter. Twins were named Benson and Hedges.  Names that were rejected include: Fish and Chips, Yeah Detroit, Stallion, Twisty Poi, Keenan Got Lucky, Sex Fruit, Fat Boy, Satan, Adolf Hitler and 4Real.  Here in my own hometown, we have some names that rival the Kiwis.  A beloved local artist, may he rest in peace, legally changed his name to Happy.  His children’s names are the following, including punctuation:  Happyanne All The Saints; Chances R. Good, Brother; Keegan of Laughter; The Maximum Jazz; Amazing Grace; and Oceans Miracle.  Their mother, Therese, pales in comparison.  The six have no lasting defects as a result of their moniker, in fact they grew up in a free and creative home and have all turned out to be normal children.  I’ve met a child named Nevaeh, which I had never heard before, but evidently started when a Christian rock singer for the group POD had a daughter.  His explanation was that it was heaven spelled backwards.  Evidently it is fairly popular, and has cracked the top 100 of girl names–it is somewhere in the 70s I think.  Online research revealed the following: “When my friend had a boy, she named him Demont, but she didn’t look the birth certificate over too well when she signed it in the hospital, because now his legal name is Demon” which cracked me up.  But nothing, nothing is as interesting as the one that I had walk through my office door reporting for work about thirteen years ago.  Phonetically her name was pronounced Sha-Theed.  Unfortunately, it was spelled Shithead.  As a child you can’t do much, but at the age of 18 I would have rushed to change that sucker legally!!!
  • Poor Powder.  He lost his home, and is now in foster care.  To make matters worse, he was nicknamed “Princess Chunk”.  You see, Powder is a 44 pound cat who was abandoned when his owner’s house was lost to foreclosure.  That’s almost the same size as my dog! My cat looks like a mouse next to this sucker!
  • I am a giant college football buff.  I love the raw talent that is finessed before it is corrupted by the NFL and paychecks.  Most of the kids play because they love the sport and only a small percentage go on to play pro ball.  It’s the sport at its greatest.  And while I’m a devoted Hokie fan, I have admired the incredible talent and skill of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow.  He is the antithesis of an athletic star–a devout Christian, dedicated to missions work, and oh yeah the Heisman Trophy winner.  Part of the accolades that go along with winning the trophy is a given inclusion for the preseason All American photo spread in Playboy.  This year, because of his personal ethics and beliefs, the school’s athletic department didn’t include Tebow in its nomination for the team, which avoided the awkward situation.  Good for them.
  • This one even made the national morning news shows.  Spas in DC are using fish instead of a pumice stone.  The doctor fish (a type of carp) feed on dead skin.  Certainly different, not sure if I could get into it!
  • First Chicago dumps 14 tons of oreo cookies on its highways, blocking traffic.  Now Jersey is having a problem.  A beekeeper had his hives turn over and swarm traffic on the turnpike.  And everybody knows that you shouldn’t mess with a Jersey driver!
  • We have drive thru-itis I think.  In this town, we have pizza joints, Starbucks, libraries, restaurants, banks, DMV, and many more with a drive up.  One thing I haven’t seen thus far is drive thru church.  In Michigan, the Cathedral of Faith Church of God had drive thru prayers on a Saturday. “Customers didn’t even have to get out of their cars. Those who pulled in filled out a form saying what they wanted to pray about and drove over to the other side of the church. Patrons rolled down their windows, and the Rev. Chris Martin or another minister held their hands and prayed while the cars idled.”  Hey, if it works and gives people comfort, great.  Still think it’s a bit cheesy.
  • Those crazy Germans.  At a bachelorette party the girls went crazy when the strippers arrived.  Stereotypically, they were dressed as the police.  The girls were starting to get all freaky when they discovered that they were not strippers, they were in fact actual police that were responding to a call of disturbing the peace.  There were no arrests made, but I’m not sure how many tips were given.
  • My stepfather is a huge Anglophile.  I know others that are also obsessed with the Brits.  But none so much that they would pay $9000 for a pair of Queen Victoria’s bloomers.  I’m sorry, but for a pair of handmade, drawstring, 50″ waist panties that are not only over 100 years old but also used, I think I would have passed.
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