last open thread of 2008

So, how was your Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chanukah, Festivus, or whatever it was that you celebrated? Anything worthy of note? Anything you think the rest of us might find of interest?

Anything you’ve been wanting to share, holiday-related of not?

If there’s something bugging you, you might want to get it off your chest now, before we enter the new year. Keeping things bottled up isn’t healthy.

The last open thread of the year only comes once a year. Better take advantage of it.

Anything you’d like to see more of here at in the new year?

More recipes? More photos of cute, furry animals? More opportunities to purchase my hair and nail trimmings? More celebrity interviews? Shorter posts? More advertising? More photos? More attractive people in those photos? (I’ve been thinking about holding an open casting call for models to play me, Linette and Clementine on the site. If that’s something that you would like, let me know, and I’ll pursue it.) Should I move from Ypsilanti to another town? (Are you prepared to make me an offer?) Seriously, if there’s any way your needs aren’t being met, let me know. I live to serve.

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  1. Brackache
    Posted December 29, 2008 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    I just ate at Cracker Barrel for the first time, and I think it’s the shit. Like it’s one of those things that I like that defines me as a person, and belongs in self-descriptive boxes in various online profiles. Which is really exciting, because usually you find those things happen in your teens. Where has Cracker Barrel been all my life?

    As per your request, I prefer seeing positive Ypsi posts, personally. Ourselves being great is something we can all agree on.

  2. Dirtgrain
    Posted December 29, 2008 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    I’m wondering what’s going on with Ypsi politics (of course, I’m too lazy to look at the moment). More photos would be cool. For example, I like to look at nerds. Maybe you can include more photos from the next nerd summit.

  3. Old Goat
    Posted December 29, 2008 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    If you live to serve, than I’ll have a Side Track burger, no pink, cheddar cheese and sweet potato fries!

  4. Old Goat
    Posted December 29, 2008 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Oh…and a Bells Winter white!

  5. kjc
    Posted December 29, 2008 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Funny you should mention Cracker Barrel. I ate at one in TX over the holidays. It was the shiniest meal I’ve ever had.

  6. egpenet
    Posted December 29, 2008 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    “shiniets” … ?

  7. egpenet
    Posted December 29, 2008 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    “shiniest” … ?

  8. Paw
    Posted December 29, 2008 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Less handwringing. More topless coeds.

  9. egpenet
    Posted December 29, 2008 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    According to Meredith Wilson “Cash … made the Cracker Barrel obsolete.”

  10. Klaw
    Posted December 29, 2008 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Video footage of random acts of meaningless violence.

    And more pictures of cute, furry bunnies and the like.

    Just alternate the two.

  11. Karen TCB
    Posted December 29, 2008 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    I spent my Christmas having my love for life depleted with surgical precision by so called loved ones.

  12. Karen TCB
    Posted December 29, 2008 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    The empty hole left in me is now being filled with whiskey.

  13. Posted December 29, 2008 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Don’t change a thing, Mark. You are just right just the way you are….

    …ok ok, there is one thing: A few more posts about places to eat on Washington Street downtown would be good. You don’t have enough of those.

  14. egpenet
    Posted December 29, 2008 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Yah … a coupon for Biggie’s!

  15. Dirtgrain
    Posted December 29, 2008 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    How about OEC and Brackache review the best cheese steak hoagies in town? I must know. Then BBQ. Then burger.

  16. Brackache
    Posted December 29, 2008 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    kjc, you’re absolutely right. My green beans were squishy, shiny, and tasted suspiciously like bacon… like how God must make them in the cafeteria of paradise.

    I agree with the biggies coupon.

  17. Patty
    Posted December 29, 2008 at 10:42 pm | Permalink


  18. Terry
    Posted December 29, 2008 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to see more posts on snack foods and 70’s pop culture. And while I can’t afford to buy your hair and nail trimmings maybe we could work out a trade.

    Oh, and I got socks for Christmas.

  19. Old Goat
    Posted December 29, 2008 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    Terry, how about a combination of the two? Space Food Sticks comes to mind. Sort of a small cigar shaped novelty/snack that tasted rather like dirt. Haven’t seem them on shelves for years!

  20. Chelsea
    Posted December 30, 2008 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    No, Dirtgrain, no (regarding Ypsi politix)!

    As usual, I’ll play it straight:

    Love the personal (and punchy), not so much the political.

    When I read newspapers, I skipped the news (always boring or depressing) for the features, comics and advice. Still skip news as much as possible.

    Same goes for Ypsi: parades, fairs, fried chicken taste-offs, murders, addicts, ladies of the evening: OK in small amounts. Water, sewers, politicians, town meetings….don’t pay attention to that stuff in my own town.

    Wherever you take, though, this reader will go along, or try to. Please keep doing what you do.



  21. Kazoo
    Posted December 30, 2008 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    I have a soft spot in my heart for the hookers stories…

  22. The Exterminator
    Posted December 30, 2008 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    How about some contests? With prizes?

  23. Ol' E Cross
    Posted December 30, 2008 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    I think most readers will agree that we’re here primarily to boost our self-esteem. As such, I’d suggest:

    -more funny, easy to catch typos (perhaps you could confuse impetus with impotence or message with massage?)

    -less posts about going to the gym and more about gorging yourself at breakfast buffets

    -more Clementine, but only if she’s showcasing her wit to expose your shortcomings

    -more OCD (i.e., my life isn’t that bad, at least I’m not Mark Maynard, that dude is afraid of sidewalks!)

    -more extreme closeups of infections

    -more medical emergencies

    -most importantly, more MoneyPowerTrio.

  24. Posted December 31, 2008 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    Happy new year, Mark!

    My wish list includes

    * more family values art (= art by or valued by your family)

    * more corporate sponsorships, perhaps from those marketing items to the OCD community such as

    * Anonymous cartoons

  25. Ditch Digger
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    more scavenger hunts.

  26. Brackache
    Posted January 1, 2009 at 3:25 am | Permalink

    Happy New Year, you stupid assholes!!!

  27. Andy
    Posted January 1, 2009 at 4:55 am | Permalink

    In your “Santa’s Plate” post, you mention you have a dog, which is news to this long-time reader. Does it have a name? What’s its story?

  28. mark
    Posted January 1, 2009 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I love Cracker Barrel. If you search the archives of this site, and back issues of Crimewave, you’ll see that, over the years, I’ve talked of the establishment often. I don’t support many national chains, but I like what they’re selling.

    More later.

  29. mark
    Posted January 1, 2009 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    I’m from Kentucky and loves me some salty country ham.

    And, yeah, I have a dog. Her name if Freeda. Before her, we had a dog named Foxie (or Foxy). If you search the archives, you’ll see that I’ve written about both quite a bit over the years.

  30. mark
    Posted January 1, 2009 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    And, I’d absolutely like to do more comics in the new year, Minal, and more art photos. I’d also like to do more mini interviews with people doing interesting stuff… Speaking of which, I’d like to do one with you when your book comes out. Let me know if you’re interested.

  31. mark
    Posted January 1, 2009 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    And I will consider creating an alternate version of the site that deals more with adult topics, like sex and taxes.

  32. Robert
    Posted January 1, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to see more creepy and disturbing sexual references, if that’s even possible.

  33. Old Goat
    Posted January 1, 2009 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    …as opposed to all of this juvenile stuff???

  34. Brackache
    Posted January 1, 2009 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Wow. You’ve been blogging about Cracker Barrel since aught-3. I’m humbled, and your pioneering in the field of Cracker Barrel apologetics comforts and encourages me. It must have been lonely all those years, trying to squeeze into those old school tight parking spaces before it was cool.

    Like most pleasurable sensations, my first Cracker Barrel experience was accompanied by shame and fear. I assumed that something I liked THAT MUCH most certainly must be the object of ridicule or disapproval by my peers (usually a safe assumption). Since I generally don’t have much of a flight response, I compensated by immediately popping out of the closet, arms wide and pants down, with a big greasy grin on my face, not wanting to appear ashamed of Cracker Barrel, lest Cracker Barrel be ashamed of me.

    Am I the last person on earth to know how great Cracker Barrel is?

    mark, you are a genius. I wasted a lot of years not starting to read your blog sooner.

  35. Old Goat
    Posted January 2, 2009 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    At the the CB only once, and under desperation. Was O.K. but abhor their employment policies, (i.e. won’t hire gays). So to hell with their prejudices. Will eat elsewhere.

  36. Robert
    Posted January 2, 2009 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    One of the servers at the Cracker Barrel has a great strategy of mentioning to all of her customers, every day, that it is her birthday. She just finds ways of slipping it into her chit-chat when she first seats you. I wonder how much more she gets in tips as a result. I thought it was so clever; I had to tip her more even though I was sure she was fibbing. You have to reward that kind of initiative.

  37. Dirtgrain
    Posted January 2, 2009 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    On the way to our honeymoon in Georgia almost three years ago, Kim and I hit two Cracker Barrels, for lunch and for dinner. We must have gotten unlucky, as it was crap food both times. But the honeymoon was nice, excepting the one day I spent on the toilet due to some pears I bought of a roadside rebel produce stand. Damn that rebel bastard!

    Mark, why haven’t you blogged about the sauna? Oi veh, I’ve used it two times since I last saw you, and both times I got creeped out. Time one: I’m in there all alone and then this old dude in a Speedo comes in. He goes to the corner, climbs up on the first level bench, puts his hands on the corner wall, spreads his legs, his butt sticking out towards me, and makes creepy deep breath sounds. He proceeds through numerous awkward yoga poses and breath sounds as I freak out in my mind: should I leave? Is he doing this for me? I couldn’t help but look a few times; I was seated facing him, and there wasn’t anywhere else to go. But I swear I was not engorged.

    Time two: today I walk up to the sauna, and as I reach for the handle, I see framed in the glass of the door a naked old guy facing me. I still entered, as I was thinking, “Naked is natural. No big deal.” Stepping in, though, I see he is standing up on a bench, in the middle, facing the door, with his stuff right there to greet any who entered. I saw his face only for a moment, but it was a reddened face that one might expect to see from an angry, white-haired Nazi commandant. Some other dude was in there, to the side, facing a corner and curled up, seemingly trying to block out the display. I sat a few feet from the old dude, and tried to relax. Moments later, he gets down, exits the sauna. My eyes were cast down at the sauna heater, but I noticed him turn back, looking through the outside window, staring at me for five seconds. Holy crap I kept my eyes down. Yikes.

    Once I saw Oprah featuring a security expert who warned that one should always trust one’s instincts the messages that one’s body is sending about a situation. I didn’t listen either of those two times, and I’m lucky to be here.

    So, Mark, do you have any sauna stories?

  38. Old Goat
    Posted January 2, 2009 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    How about this: Years ago we build a sauna in the basement of an very old and large farmhouse in the Ozarks. Having fired up the wood stove within, Ron and I decided that too much heat was escaping up the flu and attempted to add a damper (didn’t have one), while the unit was in operation. A wadded up ball of aluminum foil was to be added to the flu-pipe. In just seconds the sauna became filled with smoke, but we were able to replace the pipe (without the foil ball), before asphyxiation or before setting fire to the house. Was young and stupid once, learned not to mess with hot flues and active smoke!

  39. Brackache
    Posted January 7, 2009 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Bailout for the porn industry.

  40. ol' e cross
    Posted January 11, 2009 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    Forgetting what year it is, I’ll take the last open thread…

    I had a nice back-to-back two night movie experience.

    Tonight, I finally watched Sicko (yes, I’m that far behind the times). To paraphrase with quotes, “In America, people are afraid of the government, in France, the government is afraid of the people” is one of the best summations I’ve heard for a long ass time.

    The quote works very well with Strange Culture, which we watched last night. It’s a very nice half-drama half-doc that should appeal to both political sides of readers of this site. We got it from the library simply because it had Thomas Jay Ryan, one of the leads from Henry Fool, a movie I can’t defend or recommend other than it’s one of both my wife and my top tens. Anyhow, Strange Culture is a short, nicely done true story of bizarre post 9-11 gov intrusion into an art profs life.

    For those who believe in socialized entertainment, our copy will be returned to the Ypsi library shortly. For those who don’t believe in socialized entertainment, I’m sure you can buy a copy from In short, when you run out of things to rent or borrow and see Strange Culture sitting on the shelf, pick it up.

  41. john on forest
    Posted January 11, 2009 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    We saw Strange Culture (also got it from the library). It’s a well done movie and the story is told compellingly.

  42. Meta
    Posted February 11, 2009 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I didn’t know where else to put this. Sorry.

    It’s a conservative website. The comments following the post (on the attack of a white woman active in the civil rights arena by a black man) are absolutely shocking. It’s amazing to me that we have people like this living in America.

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