Saturday, April 25, 2015

Ice Cream Cooler Thief Gets Away With It Because Store Clerk Is Out Cold

Our Florida Man ice cream thief
flips the bird at the surveillance camera. 
Before you say anything, remember, the following happened in Florida, which explains everything.

Surveillance video shows a guy stealing an ice cream cooler at a convenience store.

It might seem hard to do, taking a whole Good Humor cooler from a convenience store. You'd think somebody would notice, after all.

But, according to the Miami Herald the store clerk, Beauvais Guisman,  was sound asleep, just inches away from where the cooler had been.

I never knew a convenience store was such a comfortable place to sleep. The things you learn!

I'm not sure what you'd do with a whole cooler of ice cream. You can only eat so much of it, after all.

But maybe the suspected thief, Dennis Norman, 25, was especially hungry.

The Miami Herald said police figured out that Norman was a frequent visitor to the nearby Zoo Gym Health Club. He'd probably worked up an appetite from all those hours in the gym.

From gym records, police caught up with Norman at his home. He'd stashed the ice cream in his own freezer, but said he couldn't remember what he did with the Good Humor cooler from the store.

He couldn't remember? A big cooler is not like a set of car keys. It's kind of hard to misplace.

Then again, Guisman, the store clerk misplaced the cooler, too. After all, he slept through the whole theft.

Guisman is probably the former store clerk now, as sleeping on the job, especially during a theft, is likely a no-no. I'm afraid Guisman is going to get very tired again and fall asleep in a bad location.

All that pavement pounding looking for a new job has got to be tiring.

Here's the fun surveillance video of the incident: (The thief flipping the bird at the surveillance camera is a nice touch)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Chinese Government Demands People Stop Hiring Strippers For Funerals

A new low in tastelessness? People are hiring
strippers in China to perform at funerals.  
Ever been do a funeral and all of a sudden strippers came out in the middle of the proceedings and did sexy, slutty pole dances?

Didn't think so.  

Unless you were in China, where apparently, this is a thing.

Apparently, families of the dearly departed hire strippers for funerals in the hopes of drawing larger crowds.

Sex sells. Even at funerals.

I know, I know. Strippers at a funeral doesn't make for an especially dignified, poignant send off to the dearly departed.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the strippers would draw this big crowd I metioned, which is supposedly a harbinger of good fortune in the afterlife.

"It's to give them face,' one village explained, 'Otherwise no one would come," reports the Wall Street Journal.

The Chinese government, though, is a party pooper, and is cracking down on these funeral strippers.

Again the Wall Street Journal is on it, saying the Ministry of Culture is working with police to stop these stripper performances.  Already one organizer of a funeral stripping troupe has been detained for 15 days and fined about $11,300 for one such performance

There are a a lot of Chinese imports here in America, but I really, really hope this is something that does not catch on. (It already has caught on in Taiwan)

I definitely don't want some pneumatic Barbie with big fake boobs in my face when I'm reflecting on the wonderful life of some friend or relative that has passed on. I mean, would you?

For once, the Chinese government and I stand in rare solidarity: No more strippers at funerals, please. Ugh.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

How My Parents' Terrible Carpet Contributed To Vermont Stage Company's Brilliant "The Mountaintop"

My husband, Jeff Modereger, on the set of
"The Mountaintop" at Vermont Stage Company.  
My parents' decrepit, scary, awful, 40 year old living room carpet became part of an awesome piece of art.

My husband, Jeff Modereger, is a set and scene designer for plays, and he's the scenic designer for the Vermont Stage Company's production of "The Mountaintop" 

If you're anywhere near Burlington, Vermont between now and May 10, when "The Mountaintop" closes, you MUST go see it.

It's the best play I've seen Vermont Stage Company produce, and that's saying something. They've done some awesome work over the years.

More on this in a moment.

The wall to wall carpet in my parents' home had become a risk to them. It was frayed, and split. Tripping hazards for my mother, who is in her 80s, and my father, who turns 95 on Friday (!!)

We were visiting my parents, and Jeff looked down at the carpet and said, "This is perfect."

Um, what?

"The Mountaintop" takes place in the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. In the play, Martin Luther King Jr. has just checked in. It's the night before he is to be assassinated.

The play is exclusively about the imagined interaction between MLK Jr. and a chambermaid who comes in to deliver the coffee and newspaper he'd ordered. I won't describe what happens in "The Mountaintop" beyond this, because I don't want to be a spoiler.

African Americans in the late 1960s didn't get to stay in nice hotels, and the Lorraine Motel was pretty threadbare.

My parents' carpet was certainly threadbare, and was the just right color for late 1960s cheap furnishings, the kind in the Lorraine Motel. Jeff had struggled to find a carpet for the set, and my parents' mess of a carpet was exactly perfect for "The Mountaintop."

So we struck a deal. Jeff bought the carpet from my parents, and Jeff, me, and my two sisters and their partners chipped in additional funds to buy them a new, safe carpet. Everybody wins!

Except for people with allergies. Though my mother faithfully vacuumed the carpet over the years, the carpet has 40 years worth of cat and dog dander, plus whatever the cat literally dragged in.

People on the crew for "The Mountaintop" with allergies have not been happy. Because of this issue, and the fact that a feather pillow bursts open during one scene in the play, there's a sign on door to Vermont Stage Company alerting people with allergies.

Still, I love how my parents managed to contribute in a strange but effective way to the Vermont arts scene.

Even if you do have allergies, go see "The Mountaintop" at Vermont Stage in downtown Burlington.

The playwright is Katori Hall, who certainly has a way with language. From a literary standpoint, it is one of the most well written plays I've seen, full of provocative, beautifully constructed dialogue that never gets flowery, but does get intense.

Cristina Alicea, the artistic director at Vermont Stage Company, directs the play, and paces it just perfectly so that the plot moves briskly, but not so fast that you can't catch the powerful dialogue and the expressiveness of Jolie Garrett, who plays Martin Luther King Jr and Myxolydia Tyler, who plays Camae, the chambermaid who comes into MLK's room.

Interesting fact: Garrett was born on the day MLK Jr. was laid to rest.

Tyler is especially awesome. Many of her best moments are not when she's speaking, but when she's reacting to what Martin Luther King Jr is saying. This is especially true as "The Mountaintop" builds toward its riveting climax.

Yeah, I'm gushing about "The Mountaintop." Deal with it. Better yet, go see it for yourself.  As I noted above, this production is the Vermont Stage Company at its finest.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

This Is Why I Like Some Gruff, Tough New Yorkers

The gruff, tough talking bro on the left
side of this image turs out to be a real sweetheart.
The woman on the left is crying because of him,
but DEFINITELY not because the bro did anything mean.  
A viral video is circulating about an incident on a New York subway.

Nope. No weirdos. No crimes. No embarrassing people.

The video, uploaded two years ago but just now getting a lot of attention, shows us a tough talking New Yawker guy confronting a woman selling roses on the train. She's just trying to get by and make a few bucks.

She had to buy the roses from somewhere. If she doesn't sell most or all of them, chances are she'll lose money.

The tough young bro in the business suit with the untucked white shirt demands to know how much the roses cost. They're $1 per rose.

Our bro New Yawker next orders the woman selling the roses to tell him how many of them she has.   She's got 140 of them.

He then hands her $140, right on the spot and tells her in no uncertain terms that she must now give them away to passersby, as he has already paid for them. He wants no bullshit with this, either.

Which means our tough guy, not-born-yesterday New Yawk dude is a total sweetheart. Certainly helped the woman, and brightened the day of up to 140 people who got a free rose.

The woman sellling the roses is so take aback by the bro and so verklempt she just breaks down and cries. It takes her awhile to speak.

Through her tears, the woman with the roses finds her New Yawk tough talk voice. "For anybody who wants a rose, you can come get it."

This is totally a reason to love New York.

To get the whole effect, you gotta watch the video, even if it is improperly filmed with a vertical smart phone. It made my day:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Clueless Dude Explains Why He Thinks Cat Calling Makes Him A Studmuffin

Patrick Jones, left, can't seem to believe his ears
as he interviews this weird guy who
thinks catcalling and harassing
women like he does is something the
ladies appreciate, or should.
Surprise! Most people beg to differ.  
Patrick Jones at Buzz60 was out interviewing people about some "No Catcalling Zone" signs that went up in New York and other cities.  

The signs look like run of the mill "No Parking" signs, but if you look closely, they're weirder and much funnier and more pointed.

Some of the signs show an image of a cat shooting laser beams out of its eyes -- at the offending catcallers.

So, Jones dutifully went out to one of those signs and interviewed passersby, who all agreed that catcalling is rude or worse, much worse.

Until this other dude shows up, and the interview quickly enters another dimension.

Here's how part of the interview went

Creepy Guy: "Sometimes you gotta call a girl (then whistles and clicks his tongue). Like that."
Jones: "How would you call a dog?"
Creepy Guy: "Same way."

Then Creepy Guy gets distracted by a woman walking by and does more whistling and clicking.  The woman, off camera, is clearly unimpressed, judging by the befuddled look on Jones' face and the oblivious self-satisfaction on Creepy Guy's face.

There was only the slightest glimmer of self-awareness in Creepy Guy's interview. He noted that it's better to catcall and harass at a distance from the targeted woman. That way, the women "aren't that scared," he said.

You'd think that women might be "that scared" of Creepy Guy's catcalling that he'd think twice before doing it. Unless he's actually trying mightily to repel women.

If he is, Creepy Guy is certainly succeeding.

Here's the insane video of this guy:

Monday, April 20, 2015

Sometimes Your Dog Stares At You For Reasons Other Than Lust For That Cookie You're Eating

My canine companion Jackson the Cocker
Spaniel gives me a good stare in this photo from January,
when we were hanging out together in
a warm house on a cold day.  
I had to call in sick to work this morning, something I hate to do.

No worries. I have a mild medical condition that sometimes acts up briefly, to the point where I'm too sick to do much of anything for several hours. Then by the next day, I'm totally fine.

With that medical report over, I will now observe that when I was in bed all morning, not feeling well, one of my dogs, Jackson, was next to me on a pillow, staring at me. And I stared back.

Jackson seemed happy just being next to me. Also, I began to feel better with Jackson there and he might well be the reason why. There's scientific proof.

Japanese researchers say when dogs and their human companions stare at each other, it's mutual beneficial. The staring literally changes brain chemistry.

According to the Associated Press via Huffington Post:

"The brain response is an increase in the levels of a hormone called oxytocin. Studies in people and animals indicate this substance promotes social bonding, such as between parent and infant or between two lovers.

"Analysis showed that owners whose dogs looked at them longer in the first five minutes had bigger boosts in oxytocin levels. Similarly, dogs that gazed longer got a hormone boost, too."

Of course, the good feeling you get staring or resting with Fido is no news to any person who lives with a friendly dog. But the study cited by the Associated Press goes a long way toward explaining the scientific reasons why the moments I have with my dogs Jackson and Tonks are so enjoyable for all involved.

According to the AP: 

"The new work is the first to present a biological mechanism for bonding across species, said researcher Larry Young of Emory University.

Young, who studies bonding behavior, said the relationship between people and dogs is special. Human love can lost its initial exhilaration over time, he said, but he hasn't seen that with the dogs he has owned for 10 years. 

'When I come home from work every day, they are just as excited to see me now as they were when I got them,' Young said."

Note to my husband: As much as I love Jackson and Tonks, my initial exhilaration upon seeing you has not waned over the years. But you were at work when I wasn't feeling well this morning, so I settled for the dogs.

Of course, when Jackson and Tonks are staring at me, it's often because they want to eat what I'm having. But it's nice to know they might occasionally have other motivation, too.

I'm still feeling just slightly under the weather as I write this on a dreary Monday afternoon. And both Jackson and Tonks are acting a little lonely at the moment.

Time for another staring session among the three of us, I guess.

Ben & Jerry's Intensifies Their Campaign To Make Me Fatter

Ben & Jerry's is teaming up with New Belgium
Brewing for more sinfulness in the food and drink department. 
It's hard to resist the temptation of Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

Sometimes, it's also hard to resist the temptation to resist a good brewski.

Thank goodness Ben & Jerry's doesn't make beer.

Wait, what's that? They do? Or at least they will? Great. It looks like I'll be too big to fit into anything anymore.

Apparently, Ben & Jerry's is teaming up with New Belgium Brewing for "Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale, which could hit the store shelves as early as this autumn.

I'll reserve judgement on how this beer tastes until I try it this fall, but it looks promising.

Maybe we can all make meals of this. Ben & Jerry's ice cream for dinner and their beer to wash it down. Yum!

Some proceeds from sale of the beer will go to an outfit called Protect Our Winters, a nonprofit organization that is battling climate change.

So drink up!