Do not try the rolling Russian pushups. The other night I was watching “Ghosts of the Bismark” on Discovery – and why not? Hi-Def + James Cameron + another sunken shipwreck = lots of thrilling pictures of rusticles and murky rooms where you may, if you look closely, make out the image of a bedspring. A Tragic Bedspring, too. Anyway:  One of the Russian sailors was doing this strange push-up – imagine making your spine do The Wave while you’re doing a push-up. Works everything from pelvis to Adam’s apple. And how do I know that? Because that’s what hurt the next day. So don’t do that.

Tomorrow’s health hint: do not pop painful blisters with a hedge trimmer, especially if they are in the achilles’ tendon area, and you are prone to sneezing.

At the suburban coffee shop. The EQ-life store has died. The clerk who poured my coffee – no one calls them barristas, which is one of the reasons I like it here  – said the company planned to “focus its efforts” on the other stores in the chain, which is PR speak for “a glacier that gradually retreats gets less attention than one that spontaneously explodes and takes 46 middle-managers with it.”  As an MPR story put it when things looked rosy:

It's not the Best Buy you're used to. The new eq-life store is part electronics, part health store, part spa. Computers and DVD players sit just an aisle away from herbal supplements and portable heart defibrillators. Throw in nurse consultations, Pilates classes, and a full-service salon and spa -- and you've got a very unusual formula.

Brilliant! I have new idea for a drugstore for the 21st century, aimed at today’s savvy consumers! USB cables right next to douche kits! Hand-pressed virgin Motor Oil across from Hindoo goddess statues!

Another new approach is the sales staff, which are called Qs, who are there to "guide you to sound answers and options to meet your individual needs," according to the promotional materials.

I’m Cymanthae, and I’ll be your Q. I would leave a me-sized hole in the wall, so quickly would I bolt.

Well, it’s gone. The Pier One next door (“Callusing the hands of Thai factory workers on your behalf for over 30 years”) is still going strong. The Red Pepper Chinese restaurant has a nice new sign. But the Elements furniture store has closed. They pioneered overpriced hip-looking particle-board junk long before IKEA, except you used ‘Murcan  screwdrivers insteada them furrin gol-dang hexy wrenches. The difference, in the end, was a different kind of stripped screw head.

Everything I bought from them ended up loose. No matter how tightly I put them together, everything leaned, groaned, slipped, squeaked, or generally exhibited the condition of looseness. There may be some stores left, but the store has lost its grip on the minds of young hip urbanites, and now IKEA rules over all. I’m sure this is bad somehow, inasmuch as small trendy stores staffed by imbecilic snoots have given way to a large friendly store with 50 times the selection; when I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

(“Snoots” is not a word, but should be.)

I was watching the sixth disc (there’s a tongue twister in there somewhere. The sick Sith’s sixth slick disc slipped.) (Note: I hate tongue twisters. The other night I was watching “I’ve Got a Secret,” that highly popular and largely inane old TV show; all the panelists had to perform a tongue twister several times in order to illustrate Zsa Zsa Gabor’s secret, which was that she was taking diction lessons, dahling. The panelists all failed to say the twisters five times quickly. Ha ha ha! Oh, we got you guys this time! Well, there’s a reason tongue twisters are pointless; nothing that needs to be said every presents itself in the form of a tongue twister. Even if she does sell seashells down by the seashore, chances are someone will come up with a different way to describe it. Oh, her? She’s down by the beach. Has a little shop adjacent to the surf. You can buy shells there.

Anyway. I was watching Disc #6 of “24,” and saw an actor who looked like Lou Diamond Phillips. I wondered if that would hurt a fellow or help him, because it’s not like there’s a big market for guys who can produce 85% of the total Lou Diamond Phillips experience. Then there was an actor who looked a bit like Dennis Hopper, but that was a function of the mean eyes and the beard. I checked the credits when the show was done: “Special appearances” by Lou Diamond Phillip and Dennis Hopper. Why didn’t I assume it was them? Perhaps because the entire show is full of nobodies, at least to me  - well, Keifer is a known quantity, and the Senator’s wife was the girlfriend of Captain Cisco in DS9, and I didn’t like her there, either. But everyone else was new to me. Using recognizable actors, i.e. ones to whom you could instantly attach names & other roles, took me out of the story.

But only for a moment. I finished the series, and yea, was mightily pleased. On the other hand, after 24 hours of being struck in the pelvic area with a cricket bat, any conclusion is welcome. I think I’ll wait a while before starting season two. Say, three days. 

And now back to work – much to do today. There’s a new Motel addition, but beware: the link to the video will not work until tomorrow. I’m posting it now because the chance that I’ll remember it later and add the link is practically nil. Well, there’s a small chance, but it’s like one of those theoretical subatomic particles, and vanishes once observed. 

For those keeping track: this is the Third Day in which G. Burly, the new and improved contractor who started off on the right foot, has not called me back as promised. I’ve discovered that the “repair” of the Water Feature actually may have opened up an entirely new aquatic Hellgate, since the ground under the fresh woodchips has attained Bog Status. It is entirely possible that the main pit leaks, the holding tank leaks, the liner leaks and the overflow pipe leaks, as well as the pipe that feeds the main tank.

If this story has concluded by the Fourth of July, I will purchase a hat and eat it.




c. j lileks. email may be sent to first name at last name dot com.