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OW (Now updated with italics fixed.) | The Bleat.

Sunday we went out for brunch with some folks, daughter included; she was feeling a bit abashed as the only kid, resigned to stare at her plate and think kid thoughts in then Prison of Silence. When we got to the restaurant it was a gorgeous bright autumn day, and we decided to sit outside; odd no one else was. When we were seated a bee came over to welcome us. It did not have menus. We waved it away, but it didn’t like this and brought over a pal to let us know it had dibs. Well, brush them away. The waitress came by, took our orders, and left, after which we sat around waving around more bees. The waitress returned with some plates of lemon and sugar – a bee trap! A nice idea, and I’m sure it has worked before, but this was a bit like putting a little blood in the water a few yards away to make the shark move. It may move away for a moment, but you’re also going to get more sharks.

But we waved them away, and probably looked like a monthly meeting of the Club of Airy Dismissers, people who sit around and make vague gestures describing something’s relative unimportance. Daughter, however, was petrified. I kept telling her the bees were more interested in the juice and the caramel rolls, and if they wanted to sting, heck, they would have done it already! Eventually she went inside with my wife, and I stayed outside dismissing, chatting, eating, and at one point I brushed something ticking my chin OW DAMN

Now. Am I allergic? Don’t recall. Probably not. But we’ll sure find out, won’t we? At least I had the pleasure of knowing the little bastard was dead, and my jaw wasn’t entirely numb, so we stayed out chatting and eating until it became apparent we were a few minutes away from being encased entirely in bees, and then borne up into the air with some difficulty and flown off to a hive. So we went inside.

Good food, though.

Then we went to look at some houses. It’s the Parade of Homes, if you can describe driving all over hell and back to look at large, stationary objects. If they all floated past down the street with the occasional elephant, that would be different. But no. You go somewhere, take off your shoes, wander around and think “relative to these people, I have failed.” All the things one would like in life – incredible views, big living rooms with comfortable appointments, perfect offices, tubs built for a sumo wrestler – here they are, and this is as close as you’ll get, pal. Luckily, the first house wasn’t something I’d like at all – too horsey. Literally designed to give you that born-in-a-barn feel. If you lived there it would take about a month before you’d want nothing but oats for supper, and your spouse would come up to you and nuzzle your arm and you’d say “oh, I think I have a lump of sugar somewhere here.” The second place was nicer, but for some reason they were playing “Rite of Spring” on the house-wide sound system, so by the time you got to the entertainment room you couldn’t help but think it would be a nice place for sacrificing the tribe’s chosen virgin to make the crops grow again, or the markets improve. The third place was a large house shoehorned into a small lot, a million and change, a Pottery Barn catalog come to life. It was described as being “Steps from the lake,” which is true, but steps plural is a concept that extends into the infinite. I mean, it’s steps from the Vatican, too.

So that was Sunday. Saturday I had some errands to do, and had to get some stuff for a job, which meant going to the antique store, believe it or not. They had all sorts of new old stuff I’d never seen before. Drink up that warm lemonade, boys, happy days are here again:

Charlie Chaplin is not happy and you can understand why: he’s been skinned.

Betsy Draper poses for an ad:

This was a find: three large posters that were unmistakably mid-century Disney:
Posters promoting “How to Catch a Cold,” a cartoon made in conjunction with Kleenex. As you might imagine, tissues were liberally employed as a preventative measure.

Finally: nothing says “stomachic calmer” like potions named after ancient kings and gods. Or 70s fake psychics and Star Trek characters:

Saturday night I was not in a mood to work on anything until about 11:30 PM, and then I got all sort of ideas. Designed two new sites I really liked, started the redesign of an old one, and started the redesign of the main page. (Yes. Again.) Then I went to bed with reluctance, because I really wanted to stay up until dawn working, but my head kept falling forward and hitting the keys, which probably meant it was already 2 and I should stop. So I did. But there are updates, of course – Flotsam has them, as usual, so you might want to bookmark that in case I neglect to post updates here. Not today, though – you’ll find the Matchbook Museum, such as it is, and you’ll find LA Dining 62 as well. Permatan!

Now, if you’ll excuse me – late assignment for a magazine story, of all things. Tumblr is loaded up; see you at all the usual places, and have a grand day.

 

44 Responses to OW (Now updated with italics fixed.)

  1. Poagao says:

    The characters in the “Young China” ad are ???? with “qingnian”(??) meaning “Youth” and “Zhongguo” (??) meaning “China”.

  2. Poagao says:

    Oops, I guess your website doesn’t suppose Chinese characters.

  3. GardenStater says:

    I guess the Italics key got stuck again, huh?

  4. Dr. Spyn says:

    The “newest and smartest” restaurant on the matchbook: no one with an IQ below 150 and an SAT math score below 800 admited.

  5. Tom Beiter says:

    I believe you left an italics font open somewhere after the word “Damn”.

  6. Cory says:

    That stomach powder just might have been named after the Akkadian king, if it was the original.
    After all, at one time he was the most powerful man in the world. Could probably deal with a little stomach upset.

  7. greg zywicki says:

    Since you’re Mr. AR Detail Man, you’ll probably appreciate this, my own bug-aboo:They’re YELLOW-JACKETS! Bees to Yellow-jackets is Coffee to Jubal, comparison wise. Yellow-jackets are probably more responsible for bad PR than anything else.

  8. Jim T says:

    Considering that until recently, anyone with a pulse could get a jumbo no-doc no-cash mortgage, perhaps better to think “relative to these people, I am debt free”!

  9. Brerarnold says:

    Suggestion: “Patagonia.” The Vatican involves some strokes as well as steps.

  10. boblipton says:

    Were these houses offered for sale because their ‘owners’ were underwater in negative-amortization, no money down Adjustable Rate Mortgages?

    Bob

  11. Mxymaster says:

    One of the models in the last page of 1962 L.A., Frances Gregoli, apparently had a brief acting career and died too young:

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0828933/

    No info readily available on the interestingly named Baby Doll Leslie.

    As for the Karnak Stomachic Tonic, I’m disappointed that it did not come in a mayonnaise jar (as found on Funk & Wagnall’s porch).

  12. erp says:

    You probably were attacked by yellow jackets, a type of wasp that are particularly vicious at the end of their life cycle in late summer.

  13. Cambias says:

    Note the fine print on the KARNAK label: 18% alcohol by volume. That’s not a patent medicine, it’s a cocktail.

  14. Discovered late in life that apparently I am allergic to bee stings too. Stepped on at least two a month playing in the back yard as a kid. Then as My Child Bride were rafting a short section of the American River near our house, at Salmon Falls where the river enters Folsom Lake, I placed my arm over the side of the raft as we were preparing to egress. Of course, a bee was waiting there for me. I took off my wedding band, but by the time we got home 20 minutes later, my left arm looked like Popeye’s.

    So now I have a bee sting kit. You’re supposed to stick the needle in a muscle and inject, but really, I’m waiting for Dr. McCoy’s Hypospray.

    DON’T SAY ‘I don’t care for Mexican food’.

    Indeed, don’t say it – blasphemer. You’re either with us, or against us. And if you care not for Mexican food, you’re decidedly against us.

  15. Brisko says:

    The italics makes everything look like it is either of great importance, or said sarcastically. You be the judge!

  16. rbj says:

    Here:

    Free of charge.

    Sunday, after dogs to the park & drive afterwards, and then a round of errands, I got to lay on the couch with said hounds and watch football through my eyelids with the sound off. Given that I get Lions games, that’s perhaps the best way to watch. Saves up energy to watch Mad Men.

  17. Every young couple’s house begins in the Pottery Barn lifestyle.

    After the third kid arrives, it’s Poverty Barn.

  18. rbj says:

    Hm, end italics code doesn’t show up in the comments.

  19. GardenStater says:

    @Greg: “Since you’re Mr. AR Detail Man, you’ll probably appreciate this, my own bug-aboo:They’re YELLOW-JACKETS! Bees to Yellow-jackets is Coffee to Jubal, comparison wise. Yellow-jackets are probably more responsible for bad PR than anything else.”

    Very true. As the husband of an amateur beekeeper, I’m often placed in the position of defending the friendly and useful honeybee.

  20. Will says:

    Yellowjackets are mean and stupid — kind of like Moe Howard. The spider by my front porch has been feasting on the little blighters, for which I thank her.

  21. Brisko says:

    @GardenStater

    Jubal the character from the Book of Genesis?

    I’ve never heard of a drink called Jubal.

  22. Tom says:

    I’ve always called them jellow yackets* after I heard a friend’s Swedish mother yell it out when one flew into their kitchen one summer.

    Her English was perfect except when flustered by those evil yackets.

    *for the full effect pronounce the ‘j’ with a slightly hard ‘ch’ sound, and add Swedish Chef effects for bonus points.

  23. @Tom, bork, bork, bork!

  24. swschrad says:

    @Boblipton: the owners, MegaCrustyBank LLC, would be pleased if you joined the six previous tenants in a ten-minute 200% ARM finance package.

    @bee-allergy sufferers: I have been assured by a doctor of actual degree in the medical field that if you have an asthmatic nearby, 4-6 puffs on a rescue inhaler has about the same medical effect as an EpiPen.

    so always invite a wheezer to your finer dining experiences.

    I’m free most night this week.

  25. grs says:

    “I’ve never heard of a drink called Jubal.”

    Head on down to the Diner. They’ve got a supply.

  26. Cory says:

    Mxymaster:
    Great post.

  27. The Dread Pirate Neck Beard says:

    Gah! please!

  28. JamesS says:

    Here, lemme see if I can fix this…

    Did that work?

    Yellow jackets are hornets, not bees, which explains their foul temper. Years ago, while enjoying some tasty, frosty beers on the front porch, my wife and I were disturbed by the reptiles. We poured a little on the banister and armed ourselves with a flyswatter. A couple of hours later there was a pile of dead hornets, but we were unbothered. The beer was too much of an attraction compared to us.

  29. JamesS says:

    Goodness, how many open italics tags are there?

    Anything?

  30. Charlie Young says:

    It’s Bleatalics Day. I guess it’s better than having it in all caps.

  31. swschrad says:

    @Charlie Young: it only takes one open tag if that one has admin powers.

    if it was all caps, it would be Salute To The TeleType ™ day.

  32. swschrad says:

    yellow jackets: an old hunting camp trick is to take a bowl of sugar, and pour a bunch of vodka on it. the critters come for lunch, and stay long past happy hour, on their backs.

    backyard trick is a no-return bottle of Hawaiian Punch. drink off 2/3 and leave the bottle around, preferably with a signal ribbon (help! italics attack!) around the bottle so nobody with brains picks it up. the buggers will fly in happily to guzzle, and, surprise! — they can’t fly back out again.

    yellow jackets in fall are carrion beasts, what they really crave is meat protein. they’ll settle for anything sweet or perfumed. so sic ‘em on Aunt Tillie, over there in the corner.

  33. We had a yellow jacket invasion back in the 60s, they were quite fashionable around these parts and were more popular than a Nehru.

  34. Emmett Flatus says:

    When The Bleat loads why does it always assume I want to first revisit the picture of the old building?

  35. DryOwlTacos says:

    I note that Sargon is encased in a globe on the package.

  36. fizzbin says:

    @swschrad…poo upon yellow jackets-if yer pourin’ vodka, I’ll be there.

    “…stay long past happy hour, on their backs”. Are you monitoring my living room? :)

  37. Philip Scott Thomas says:

    So if bees give us honey, do wasps give us English mustard?

  38. swschrad says:

    @Emmett: you are using the laugh machine of the ages, Internet Explorer. it can’t handle such newfangled modern things as “style sheets” and “graphics” and “flow.” thus, it locks onto Street View stuff and goes batshirt insane.

    there are those using beta 9.0 who say it fixes everything.

    but few will be able to use IE9.0, because it’s only for Windows 7. no side ports, no retrofits. it’s Safari-share.

    those of us who are working for companies with hidebound IT operations that only support junk like IE 7 are right displeased every time a Street View is linked.

    not that I have a cow about it, or anything.

  39. wawona says:

    …I like the local name my nephews use for what I grew up calling yellowjackets: “meat bees”. Now we always call them that. And they ARE mean this time of year!

  40. Doc says:

    Eating at El Cholo is a must if you visit L.A., particularly during green corn tamale season. It’s proper Mexican food – Angeleno style.

  41. Will says:

    “but few will be able to use IE9.0, because it’s only for Windows 7. no side ports, no retrofits. it’s Safari-share.”
    Actually, it works on Vista SP2 as well. And why MicroSoft should spend time developing software to work on an OS that’s three generations old is beyond me. XP has had its day, it’s time to move on.

  42. Emmett Flatus says:

    “not that I have a cow about it, or anything.”

    Wasn’t aware that posing a question was equivalent to bovine birthing. Sorry.

  43. Normie says:

    @ JamesS – “Reptiles” were disturbing you? I thought you were talking about yellow jackets.

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