Romancing The…Stone is a Cliche.

Anyone in the mood to talk romance? Light up those scented candles and eat a red velvet cake on a satin couch…Whooh, boy–

Me neither. Anyhow, that was getting too hot for Thoughts of a Southpaw–geez, shouldn’t I remember how many innocent minds are reading these posts? Not enough is what I say, am I right? Innocence for the win!

Pardon me; however, we were, I believe, discussing a serious topic; and everyone knows all we cover here at Southpaw International is serious stuff. Spend a day in these rooms…you will have an evening filled with the most terrifying nightmares: kindergarteners picking their noses; dogs pissing on fire hydrants! It’s horrible. It’s downright scary.

But romance is not scary.

At least I hope, for your sake, it is not scary. Hey, if you want to hook up with the Axe Murderer on Gallows Street, please, be my dead guest; and be sure to call at your curfew–never o’ clock.

The sane minded among you, excluding those in flip flops–it is Winter, people–will not chase after the killers in your midst, however dark and handsome they may appear to be; and to tell the truth the darkness is from the shadows.

No, the sane minded will hopefully–this is a leap of faith–go hunting the equally sane minded; obviously they will be attracted to these sane souls, and perhaps some day find a common ground on which both sane minds can frolic…like puppies on a giant ass rainbow.

That a good picture?

There are plenty more portraits where that came from if you will kindly hand over your credit card…or write a check to Romancing the Bloggers Ind.. I hope your duration working with us has been delightf–

Wow. I apologize. That usually doesn’t switch on unless I hit a button.

Getting back to the romance chat, by the way.

Here are some dos and do nots:

DO eat dinner at a fancy restaurant–this is not McDonalds, you cheapskates.

DO NOT eat breakfast at a fancy restaurant–this should go unsaid…

DO get to be friendly with brothers and sisters–ever heard of browning points?

DO NOT get to be friendly with the drunk uncle–though it may seem fun, the reality equals hangovers and hangovers and more hangovers.

DO buy him or her a dog–name it Fido and enter it in the Thanksgiving talent show. You all know what I’m talking about…some of you did not switch the channel after the parade ended…

DO NOT buy him or her a parakeet–a bird that repeats whatever you say in your free time?  Bad idea.

Oh. Looks like I reached the end of the list. Note to self: add more do nots…

Are you still there? What the hell? Leave this computer, or phone, and run after that dame or duke–I mean, don’t go all stalker on their ass, but…you get the point.

Observe at a distance. Scratch that–sounds worse than before. I am genuinely picturing someone dressed up in a black ninja costume jumping behind trees and those pissed on fire hydrants as their crush runs through the park with headphones blaring rock and roll.

Last time. Observe them as you would a wonder of the world.

Think daily,

A Southpaw

Silverish Bells–It’s Christmastime?

All right, people, let’s get it out of the way–Santa Claus. You believe in the tubby man wholeheartedly, or, say, you happen to be descended from Ebenezer Scrooge, you think Santa can shove his cookie gobbling ass down the chimney; yet some of you do not have chimneys…

No smoking out the intruder this year. Put away those marshmallows.

This year, unlike other years–not calling out 2010 or anything; I mean, the milk was untouched when I woke up in the morning and the carrots were…moldy, not sure how that happens in nine hours either–Santa Claus will be believed.

Yes, throw away those horrid conspiracy pamphlets written by the same people who believe the moon landing was directed by Stanley Kubrick, as well the shameful Christmas horror movies–for kicks toss in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, the one with Jim Carrey; it is for the best.

Open the box, go on, you know which box, you sly dog; it’s the one containing the cookie plate and the milk mug. Why? You think Santa won’t want an appetizer in New York before he flies to Hong Kong–this ain’t the Red Eye, folks; this be Sleigh Express, taking American Airlines out of business since the dawn of time.

And the presents–

Whoah! Don’t show them! It’s like you’re flashing around a pair of dirty underpants: no wants to see them until Christmas, in this case, Christmas dinner, and it ruins the season for all who gaze upon them. Yuck. Skid marks. Quit rubbing chocolate bars on the underpants!

There. Set them down easy underneath the tree–on second thought, tie up your dog before he pisses on the wrapping. Okay…all is in place, and all is hidden; save for the bicycle.

After setting out decorations the best thing to do is counsel your children…if you have children. Please don’t go steal a Tiny Tim from off a doorstep so someone can eat your fruitcake.

Tell them:

Santa Claus is…

Oh, I almost forgot the best part–the Christmas carols! Personally I can do a little ditty on Silent Night; but, see, that was when I was eleven years old…hard to sing in heavenly peace at seventeen. What you want to do is–

Not sing any Christmas carols whatsoever.

Hello?  Who is this?

I am the Santa Advisor. 

The Santa Advi–I thought the elves gave Santa advice?

I do not give Santa Claus advice, you fruitcake. It is rather to the families in doubt.

Doubt about…

Whether or not Santa Claus is real. I advise a certain answer for each family. 

You can’t do that. A family should decide on their belief of Santa themselves.

Not according to the rulebook…

Rulebook, schmulebook! Santa Claus is an individual opinion for everyone!

Santa Claus is a definite figure in the world and no one can–

Enough! Get out of my studio!

What studio? This is a broom closet. I see a mop and bucket for the janitor. 

Then get out of my closet! And take your elitist Santa views with you!

Bah, humbug.

Is he gone? Thank Rudolph…Oh, man, he totally spilled my soap bucket! Hang on, have to rip out some paper towels and sop this up. Doo doo do. And it is–Oh. The soap is leaking through the paper towels. Right.

At least it’s Christmastime.

Think daily,

A Southpaw





The Life of Rice–Ballad of Loneliness

Meet Rice.

Nice guy, right? He has that slim body so hounded after in modern society; his texture is always smooth and…well, a bit slimy; and his acclaim–why, everyone loves Rice; he should be an American icon…but for that he came originally from China…

Rice is in need of a good ear, no, not Goodyear, the tire manufacturer, a good ear! Get your hearing fixed, would ya?

He has started to feel inferior in his social life: all around him his relatives and friends are experiencing what he refers to as, “a grand old time;” while he is trapped, as it were, in a hole of alike faces. There is Rice Junior; Brown Rice; Uncle Ben; and each one of them are exactly as he imagines himself…but better.

I don’t know how many of you are psychologists; but perhaps you could tell me, and Rice here, what it means to understand yourself. Rice is having a hell of a time–from nine to five he basks in a cooking pot for that special slimness; on weekends he is restrained to a black storage container wherein sleep his equally bored brethren; however he never finds the time to examine this…life, or as he calls it the Scalding Oven.

I want anyone reading this to invest some time, right now, in aiding Rice in his quest for self acceptance. Remember he’s not a big guy–at Rice Training Center, when he started smooching on Missie Soy Sauce in the–whoah, Rice, calm down! Anyhow, at Rice Training Center they had him lifting peas and swimming four laps in a salt pool.

Put it this way: he looked like the same skinny, no-good, dry piece of rice–

Okay, okay, sorry, Rice! I was trying to make them feel bad for you, and I guess I got a little carried away. Would you go back to your cooking pot and sulk in there? You’re getting salt on this nice beige carpet.

Good God…he is…

Oh, still there. Right. Rice is such a sensitive person, you know; you say one thing and he takes it as a threat to eat him.

Rice, ol’ boy; what else is there to say about him? He cares a lot about the environment. He also likes to sunbathe; get a little tan on his starched white backside. And he is always, always, putting others before himself, like the time when he let his friends jump on to the orange chicken in that one restaurant…yeah, they loved it up until the Fork showed up–silver pronged bastard.

Whenever you find yourself in a rut, a seriously deep rut, kinda like if your hand fell off; I want you to remember Rice and his self esteem issues. Tell yourself, “Man, Rice is an example of how screwy life can be; but he somehow makes it work, spending the majority of his time avoiding overhead death from those bastard forks.”

And then, once you have climbed out of that rut, throw away any bags of rice–this goes to all you Uncle Ben lovers–for the sake of preserving the mental health of Rice and others like him around the world.

Rice! Come back and say bye to the nice bloggers!

Think daily,

A Southpaw

Futuristically Speaking…

I have been doing a lot–well, no, that’s a lie; I haven’t done a lot–of thinking about the distant future and [spoken in despairing soap opera tones] my purpose, my destiny in this world. Can you blame a guy? In a couple of months I am off to the stomach–the metaphorical belly of the beast…life outside of a sandwich bag.

Not too often do I consider the future. It gives me the heebie jeebies. I predict one thing, like how I am going to have a financially successful standing by the time I’m twenty-one–funny, right?–or if I’m going to own a litter of dogs or children. Busy times either way.

But when I do ponder futuristic realities…I do so with optimism.

Everybody likes to think the future is a grumpy old fart who never does what you want unless it has its beauty sleep; but to shed some savory light on this abused character–read A Christmas Carol to see how badly his Christmas counterpart is described–the future is an agreeable fellow.

It controls your lives! It controls our lives! It strums an electric guitar of epic futuristic proportions while drinking a cup of green tea! People, Mr. Future. Mr. Future, People. Introductions are out of the way.

Now consider the future as related to you:

Is it…flying cars?

Is it…robot slaves?

Is it…the death of an annoying cat?

Is it…an A plus on your next math test? Am I right, guys? Yeah, Math! Kicking its logistic ass back to Archimedes!

Okay, you obviously know what I think about. Still, see the positivism?

Grimness has its place, no doubt about it. Some examples are the apocalyptic movies we have all seen: Mad Max; Apocalypse Now; The Road; The Stand; My Little Pony; Clifford the Big Red Dog–I could go on forever…that would be an apocalypse of its own. And the Grim Reaper. What a guy. Like a dependable weatherman he forecasts your death years before it comes it to fruition; oh, such a caring member of society.

Sometimes I frequent that dark side.

I walk over there with my head bowed and look up to those black shadows and I yell at the maintenance man for not fixing the lights! He is paid hourly; and yet there are no operable lightbulbs in that section!

So, you get me? The future is bright, do remember to pack sunglasses for the many tomorrows; and when you enter the dark half tell the maintenance man to work a little harder and switch out the bulbs…so many people have hit their heads helplessly wandering.

And then–you can come back to the future and reread this post.

Think daily, 

A Southpaw


Take A Load Off. Go On. Do It.

It is getting close to the time of year when laziness is not as frowned upon as in earlier seasons, like, say, Summer, or Spring–it is Winter, my friend, that cold burglar of energy, and the moment in which cookies and cakes and pies and television seem to be deemed…okay–for now.

Not that a long run won’t do you some good, because, hey, getting out on your favorite course and breathing in the chilly air, the type that burns your lungs, is a sensational experience. Side note: if you have not already done so, go out and run…I can wait here…trapped eternally in cyberspace…

Laziness does have its perks. Personally I can’t stop moving all day–the idea of sitting in front of the television and watching three shows straight through is mind boggling; however those of you reading this probably have different perspectives on the whole laziness versus fitness discussion. And maybe you have some fair points. It is possible.

I can think of at least one good thing to come out of laziness. Go on and guess.

Bzzzzzz! Wrong answer!

I was actually going to say…

Huh. I have no idea what to say. Let me do some more thinking here–talk amongst yourselves.

(In the background)

Okay…hm…hot chocolate is an option, oh, and so are movies…maybe squeeze Netflix in there. Let’s look at the notes…doo da doo…a ha! fireplaces! Wait…fireplaces? The hell do fireplaces have to do with laziness? Something about soothing flames–forget it! I hate these notes! There’s nothing on them but pictures of snowballs and chocolate! I’ll take a swing at it on my own…

You still here? Good. Oh…you’re still waiting for the answer. Right…well…

How does next Saturday sound? You open for ten o’ clock? I was thinking we could grab some coffee and talk it over.

You disagree. This is not going how I anticipated.

Excuse me a moment.

(In the background…again)

They said they hated coffee. Yes. They honestly hate coffee.  Well, I don’t know; I didn’t say if it was going to be Starbucks or not. What’s that? No…I was sort of thinking Dunkin Donuts. Geez! All right, all right, no cheap coffee! I get it! Look, would–would you–shut up for a second! Would you please give me some ideas? Okay, pen and paper…and go. Uh-huh…good stuff…yep…definitely! Thanks much.

Apologies for my distracted nature today. I happen to be suffering from a cold…cough-cough. Anyway, I got the goods. Let me unroll this paper…

And now, the one perk about laziness is…

Dang, out of time. Looks like I’ll have to tell you later. Business and all that…

I’ll catch you later?

(In the background…a third time)

Boy, are they dumb….I wonder what I’ll watch on Netflix tonight? 

Think daily, 

A Southpaw


A Date? Do Clarify, Dear Sir.

Welcome to the Dating Show! Today we have our contestants–the Businessman; the Jerk; and the Brainiac–all competing for the lovely hand of one jaw-dropping madame. The contest: bob for caramel apples in a barrel the size of an ant!

It ever seem like that to anyone else?

You see a painted target–the painted target you have been eyeing for some time–and luckily you still have a good number of arrows in your holster; but are there arrows enough to compensate for all the target has to offer?

Maybe an arrow is flat. Maybe your bow string snapped a second earlier.

It is impossible to account for all the mishaps which may occur in the course of pre-going-places-with-another-person. Hm, sounds catchy.

The thing to remember; however is not the name of the game, but the game itself. Too many people focus on labels–the urge to slap a title on a flowering relationship; and this can be destructive…hastily destructive.

Artificial cookies never taste as good as the cookies baked thoroughly in an oven to the point of a crisp browning–mmm, it makes the mouth water; and yet eagerly these cooks crank the dial on the stove and heat those suckers up, because, honey, the chocolate is only ever tasty when it’s melted.

Or so it appears.

That said, the dates themselves are to be savored. Yes, the browned cookies are going to be eaten; you have watched that timer run its ticks and its tocks for a satisfying desert. But when will the timer run out? No one can know.

All is left to do is sit and wait and enjoy what is served until it does so.

Truthfully, despite the difficulties and the doubts which can arise it is a ride worth taking; for as in any journey the most meaningful memories are contained within the steps it took to reach that red carpeted end.

Go ahead and dunk your face in the barrel! Whoever said caramel apples came easy?

Think daily, 

A Southpaw




Halloween Versus Christmas–The Terrifying Truth…[Insert Scream Here]

Can we get a picture of Jack Skellington and Santa Claus duking it out under a mistletoe? Never mind, forget the mistletoe–no one can look at that and think violence–and instead go skull crazy. I am talking six foot skeletons holding giant Grim Reaper scythes…and those creepy cow skulls you see in almost every Western horror movie; it is as if the director is whispering “Beware the cows…” into the set designer’s headset.

But to talk about the picture: give Santa some beefy arms and a biker mustache, stick him in a spandex suit with a belt of candy canes; opposite him put Skellington on a fire breathing motorcycle that hums the theme from Halloween in a never-ending loop–

We have to wait on the picture?

Fine–I suppose I can them entertained until then.

Is he gone? Good. What a piece of black licorice….

You are obviously wondering the purpose of this artful picture–not to give myself credit or anything. As a matter of fact it is the essential image of the war waged between Halloween and Christmas since the dawn of the Tootsie Roll and the stocking stuffers.

Marketing–that selfish fruitcake!

Pardon my French, ladies.

To illustrate this further I see I need to educate you on your role as a consumer in these colossal money suckers. For both Halloween and Christmas there is this feeling; and this feeling–in laymen terms we call it anxiety–pushes you, the tradition following citizen, to leave the safety of your home and venture out to the treacherous soul stealing–in laymen terms we call it your wallet–pit known as Wal Mart to purchase either latex masks and candy bags, or aluminum trees and freaky elves you like to see staring at you from the shelf…

In short: the repetitive ankle twisters of the holiday season.

Imagine a man breaks into your house; and while you are stuffing shells into your shotgun–it was an early Christmas present–he rushes up to you and twists your wrist so far you wish it did snap. He tells you the only way he is letting go is if you buy him a roll of present wrapping and a gingerbread house kit. This man is Twister Tommy–the bastardized version of your favorite holidays; and he lives on Consumerism Avenue.

Do the right thing–eliminate the Twister Tommy who intrudes on your season. This has been a Public Service Announcement from the Bureau of Protecting the Values of Holiday Fun Times.

Is that picture ready yet?

Think daily,

A Southpaw

Least Miserables Book Ever… Just Kidding. It Sucks.

Do not read Les Miserables if you are afflicted with any of the following symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Deriving Humor From the Pain of Poor People
  • Zero Tolerance For Sometimes Pointless Tangents From the Story
  • Hairy Mustache
  • Hungry Stomach
  • A Tendency to Kick Baby Unicorns

I am dead serious, people. This book is classic because of its depressing storyline–well, and the play and movie it spawned…but mostly the storyline. You will leave each reading session thinking to yourself: why am I still interested in reading about this poor neglected child, or even that saintly criminal who hates himself every single chapter? What’s that? Take a break and learn about the Battle of Waterloo? Okay, why not?

My God, there are also times when I question my patience with some writers, specifically Victor Hugo and his tendency to drag on about things which do not directly relate to the storyline but for a snippet at the end of a section. Granted, he was born into a literary family, and all know with literary families there is going to be heavy doses of symbolism or deeper meanings in their works. And he was in the French Revolution–anything to take time away from there was crazily sought after.

But if you do enjoy books about the struggles of poverty stricken families–cough cough, sadist–and you can stand long trips into other realms of Paris and the warlike atmosphere, like me, then Les Miserables is your book.

And quit kicking those baby unicorns.

Think daily,

A Southpaw


New Additions to the Blog?

A Southpaw here,

In recent months I have written posts on the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and How to Read Literature Like A Professor–both of which were extremely enjoyable to talk about; as well I wrote some miscellaneous thinkings and a movie review of Last Shift.

I am coming to a close on those books and will review them.

Today I wanted to talk about what the blog will feature in the future. I am certainly going to focus on books (I do love my classics…if that’s any hint) and a few choice movies here and there. They will not be plain reviews. These books are classic for a reason, and so should be treated likewise; meaning I will discuss certain intriguing sections of the books in creative ways, such as I did for Huckleberry Finn.

But most importantly this post is about receiving input from you guys: tell me what books sound interesting; what movies sound interesting; and anything you can think of which will make this blog a delight to read. All comments will be helpful!

This blog is supported by its followers…so why not give some advice to improve it?

Think daily,

A Southpaw