Painting With Shotguns XXXVIII

This House Is A Sacrifice Bunt

Windows Within Windows Within Water Yep. We’re selling this house.

Been here just shy of four years now, and it’s time to kiss it on the Bilco doors and send it on its merry way. We’ve done quite a bit for you, Old House. The fence. The new kitchen floor. The giant mega-fridge. The walkway. We looked the other way when you had that drinking problem. We didn’t tell anybody when you touched that neighborhood hobo inappropriately.

We’ll miss you.

Except, we won’t. Not really. Basically, this house is just the scapegoat. Like, in the ancient style. We’re heaping our sins upon this bleating mammal and chucking it into an empty void as big as the Guatemala sinkhole. It’s a good house, but of course we’ll be lucky to get all that we’ve put into it (and, quite likely, we’ll be taking a loss, leaving it as a lovely value for any who’d care to snatch it off our hands). It’s the equivalent of a sacrifice bunt. The at bat’s going to get fucked to get a real man further on base. We’ll take the hit on this house to get into something bigger and better while the market’s still a frail, quivering slip of a girl.

Some of the houses we’ve looked at have been on the market for like, 300, 400 days.

Let us all together join in superstitious thinking and pray to our respective deities that this house spends, ohh, a fraction of that on the market.

Silly razza frazza housing market.

And In Better News

Drunken Sunset It’s time to do a wee bit o’ traveling. I got my travelin’ pants on, which means it’s time to go places. See, come October, Super-Uber-Ultra-Agent Stacia Decker says, “Go to Bouchercon,” and I say, “Isn’t that in San Francisco?” and she nods between sips of, I dunno, Bacon Liqueur or something. I like San Francisco. I like San Francisco a lot. The wife and I, we did our honeymoon out in wine country, with a little time spent there. I smell opportunity.

So, I say to the wife, “Hey, wife, you should come with me.” Then I wink. And nod.

And she says, “I will if you untie me.”

And I exclaim, “Hold on, I’m not done talking. That first part of the trip will be like, a work expense.”

“First part?” the wife asks between attempts to gnaw through the ropes.

“Uh-huh. Like, we’ll go out there. For, mmm, two weeks.”

She almost has the ropes off, but that’s okay, because under the ropes is duct tape, and that shit is the king of tape. Plus, she’s bound to a chair in the center of the room, and I’ve cut a two-foot moat around her, and in that brackish water swims the Pugranha. I’ve been communicating with her over an Intercom and a grainy video feed. So far it’s worked pretty well. “Two weeks?”

“Word. Two weeks. Except, the thing that’s really awesome about San Francisco is that it’s the West Coast. And the thing that’s really awesome about the West Coast is that it’s not the East Coast. You know what’s close to the West Coast?”

“Dinosaurs?” she asks, just trying to get me off-topic. I love dinosaurs.

“No. Hawaii.”

The Best Waterfall Shot on Flickr “Hawaii.” Gnaw, gnaw. Rope falls apart. She finally sees my duct tape trap. Her normal response ensues: a roll of the eyes. “Great.”

“It is great,” I say, knowing full well she’s being sarcastic. Hell with that. I don’t have room for sarcasm. “We’re going to Hawaii!”

Which is now officially true. We’re heading to Bouchercon for a few days, and then to the island of Kauai, and then back to San Francisco for a couple more days. Breaks up the trip a little bit. Otherwise, flying to Hawaii from Pennsylvania is basically hell. You’re shoved in an airborne coffin and made to wait for about, ohhh, 10 hours. It’s not so bad going, because at least the end of the hell comes the beauty of Hawaii. Coming back, though? Ugh. That trip’s for assholes. Ten hours in a plane, plus the two hours before boarding, and the hour after waiting for Philadelphia to stop, I dunno, raping your luggage in the back, and that’s a long goddamn day just to come home to, well, Pennsylvania. It’s like waiting a half-a-day for a piece of cake covered in tire rubber and cat shit.

I am, needless to say, geeked about visiting San Francisco and Hawaii.

(A number of my earlier Hawaii photos are right over yonder, if you care.)

Anybody been to Hawaii? Kauai in particular? Taking advice on what to do, where to eat, and so forth.

Same goes for San Francisco, if you care to spare some comments.

Search Term Bingo!

I swear to Christ, anytime I need a smile on my face, I merely need to glance at the search terms. They’ve been really good lately. Juicy, junior. Real juicy. So, hell with it, let’s play another round.

Permission to say “Cock”

Go ahead. We let Julie Summerell say worse things.

My beard kills people

I’m not surprised. The beard must kill. The beard must sup blood. It’s how I get my beard to be robust and shiny. It’s how I make it full. And lush.

oops horse cocks exposed

Oops, indeed. The lack of the possessive here confuses me a little, though. Like, were you pulling a Red Ryder wagon with a blanket over, and as you passed the neighborhood preschool the blanket got caught under the wheel and pulled off, thus revealing a small dragon’s hoard of horse cocks? “Oops! Sorry, kids. I was taking these to donate to Good Will! Oh, the silly embarassment!”

I don’t care if anyone doesn’t like me

That’s the spirit. Besides, this is the Internet. Nobody’s going to like you here. This is a land of negative energy. A realm blasted by hate, scoured of life and light and love by loathing. I know I damn sure don’t like you. Really, it’s that hat. It’s the ugliest fucking hat I’ve ever seen. And those shoes. And that face. And your wagon full of horse cocks.

Siren naked death love

Nympho nudie life luck!

How to destroy the Internet

No problem, reality terrorist. I have you covered. First you summon the Dread Mistress. Then she calls the Mad Blind Idiot God Transvestite. Then the Internet implodes upon itself. A vacuuming butthole sucking the body into itself. Whoompf. Internet? Totally farkin’ destroyed, yo.

Pretty shitty goat fists

That the name of your autobiography? Good for you. Your story must be told.

Is a dog sexy to a goat?

No. But the reverse is true. A goat can be sexy to a dog. We used to have this little poodle? Cindy Lou? And she’d hump everything. I mean, everything. I had this pillow as a young’un, and it was shaped like a cartoon car, and she’d go to town on that thing like a drunk dude humping a city bench. And she’d watch you as she did it. As if to say, “This could be you. This could be you.” So, I figure, a dog will love up a goat. A dog will love up a dead bluefin tuna you give it half a chance.

Turtal pinies

Okay. Ooookay. Listen, given the number of “turtle penis” searches I get here per day (between 5 and 25), I have to assume that’s what you’re looking for but are in fact  just a god-fucked moron with a truly piss-poor spelling ability at your command. Unless, unless, this is some new race of mutant found in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. They’re called Pinies, right? Now we must fear THE DREAD TURTAL PINIES. Oh noes! They’re coming for my treasure! And my anal virginity!

What is pterodactyl porn called?

I do not believe it yet has a name. And so we shall name it here, for names have power, and the giver of names are divine. We shall call it: PORNODACTYL.

Jurassic Park fanfiction rectal

Man, more with the dinosaur porn. You should see somebody. A professional. A professional suicide assistant, I mean. Do you really want to butt-bang a stegosaurus? Or, do you just want to read about somebody else making the aforementioned dinosaur “take it like a champ?” Really, the addition of the word “rectal” at the end of that search term is going to give me nightmares. It’s like someone asks you, “Hey, what do you want to see?” And you reply loudly, confidently, “Jurassic Park fanfiction!” And then when they turn away, you whisper to yourself, “Rectaaaaaal.” That’s some John Wayne Gacy shit.

By the way, all three Jurassic Park films were filmed in Kauai. We will be staying near that one tree where Sam Neil finds the dino eggs. I hope to be eaten by velociraptors! *giddy clap*


Linkasaurus Rex

I don’t have a lot of great links. I feel like a failure.


Well, let’s make do.

First, the Internet is rewiring our brains. Good job, cat videos. Good job.

Second, how many Justin Biebers can you take in a fight? It told me I can take 23. Beat that.

Third, I think I already posted this, but eff it, it needs more love. Everything Tracy Jordan Says In Season Four Of 30 Rock. Seriously. It’s a giant list of insane non sequiturs. It’s fantabulous.

Fourth, hey, fuck you, BP, now you’re killing dolphins and turtles. Humans, we’re sort of fucked-up animals and probably need to be drowned in oil now and again. But dolphins and turtles? Man, you’re a dick. Oh, and you’re hiding the evidence, which is some sneaky Snidely Whiplash shit. Oh, and GOP, way to politicize this. And Obama, way to wanna drill. And BP, please explode and die. In an oil fire, appropriately enough.


Sixth, and finally, Doyce says, “Read this book.”


  • *looks up “sacrifice bunt” on Wikipedia*

    *looks up “bunt” on Wikipedia*

    *looks up “rules of baseball” on Wikipedia*

    I hate American sports metaphors. I really do. Have fun in Hawaii regardless. Just don’t you ever pull that baseball crap on me again. I barely understand soccer rules and I play the damn thing all the time.

  • I wrote up our experiences doing a Hawaii cruise last year here:

    Kauai was our favorite island. You *must* check out Maha’ulepu beach. Just be warned that the road to get there is unpaved, and likely full of potholes and ruts. You will violate your rental agreement by driving out there. It’s totally worth it. When you get to the beach, walk along the edge of the water to the left (as you look at the water). You will get to a truly spectacular area.

    Kauai also has Waimea Canyon. If you read my description, you can see that we pretty much missed the Canyon, but it’s supposed to be truly awe-inspiring.

    Good luck with the house stuff. That’s always a super-long slog.

    Oh, and you may be able to fool the turtle pinies, Chuck, but you can’t fool us. We know you don’t have any anal viriginity left.

    • @Lugh:

      You both amuse *and* inform. It’s why you’re hired.

      Anywho — yes! I was just reading about Maha’ulepu. (And by the way, I once more look forward to completely murdering the Hawaiian language!) From what I can tell, you can actually walk to that beach from… I think it’s Shipwrecks beach. And we’re not staying too far from there, so that should work out pretty well.

      Everybody seems to claim Kauai as their favorite. It’s why it won out over Maui. (Well, that and I found a tiny window on a great deal for flight/hotel/car; outside that deal, getting to Kauai was very expensive. Now, not so much.)

      – c.

  • Twenty-nine, friend.

    Given the choice I’d much rather being going to Hawaii than any place else on my current itinerary. Philadelphia next week for the writer’s conference, Mystic seaport in July for the family reunion and possibly Butler in September for a convention.

    • @Josh:

      Certainly I’d recommend Hawaii to anyone — ironically, it’s usually less expensive than people think. To go to SF and then Hawaii for a two-week trip I’m still spending less than staying at the Jersey Shore for one week. Which is insane. Because it’s the Jersey Shore. Because it’s medical waste. Because it’s water the color of churning diarrhea. Because it’s Jersey. And because Hawaii is, well, goddamn Hawaii.

      Paradise versus, umm, let’s see, syphilitic tides.

      Anyway, yeah. That said, traveling anywhere is good. The writer needs to move and roam. Too easy to be complacent and sit in one spot. So, good on you for getting out there and going places.

      – c.

  • Bouchercon, huh? Being told the same thing. Agents always want you to do things. Write the book, write the synopsis, dance naked for money with a moose mask over your head in Vegas…

    Okay, that last was my idea, but still.

    Maybe I’ll run into you there. Or maybe I’ll taser you in an alley and you’ll wake up in dark room somewhere bricked into a wall. Never can tell with me.

    Waimea Canyon in Kauai is beautiful. And if you can get on a boat to go by the NaPali coastline, the cliffs are breathtaking. Wailua river’s nice, too, and in October you should have fewer tourists floating down stream belting out Blue Hawai’i.

    And yes, Maha’ulepu is gorgeous. Overall, it’s touristy in a different way than Oahu or Hawai’i. Less glitz and more nature.

    • @Stephen:

      First: Bouchercon. Awesome. We shall meet. Hey, even a good Tasering-and-Cask-of-Amontillado’ing is still “meeting,” right?

      Second: See? All the cool kids go to Kauai. I’m seeing that now. We definitely wanted a less touristy trip — Maui and Oahu seem like maximum touristness. We did Big Island last time, and it was nice and quiet for the most part, and the closer we can get to that measure of serenity, the better.

      Waimea Canyon is definitely on the list. I’ll poke into Wailua River — I think Smith’s is near there? The luau/garden/grotto?


      Taking more suggestions if you or anybody has ‘em.

      – c.

  • Yes, Smith’s is over there. It’s… a little surreal. You get lots of cheap, fruity drinks in little plastic cups and eat at huge tables with complete strangers. The show’s cool. It’s hula from different islands. The Samoans juggle fire, only reinforcing my belief that Samoans are simply badass by nature.

    Overall, it was a weird experience for me.

    It’s less touristy than Maui, or even the Big Island.

    • Less touristy than the Big Island? Dang. Even the resort areas there were… very quiet.

      I do want to see the fire knife dance. Because, y’know. Fire knife.

      – c.

  • Every time I read search-term bingo I think, “I should pump some wacko search term into Google and keep going until I hit Chuck’s site just to perk up his day.” Then I get gob-smacked by the truth that nothing I could think up and fake would be as hilarious as the truth of what people on the Internet look for.

  • I went back to Hawai’i about, good lord, 20 years ago for my dad’s funeral. And my uncle, who is a consummate salesman, owed a guy with a hotel some favors. So he gets us booked into, and seriously this is the name, Uncle Billy’s Hilo Bay Hotel.

    They had dinner shows, which consisted of two local boys playing guitar and keyboard in full Don Ho regalia (blue Aloha shirts, white pants and loafers) doing Aloha Oi and Tiny Bubbles while this emaciated blonde chick danced some half-assed hula. Looked like she was smoking the local pakalolo.

    And the place WAS PACKED. In the off season.

    Kauai was dead in comparison.

  • HAWAII!!!!!!
    I am so very excited for you guys because I know the wonderment that is Hawaii. I don’t have anything on Kauai, but I am sure all the islands are magical. And I am jealous. Twice to the promised land in one decade? That much Hawaii goodness might ruin you for East Coast livin’, you know? You may never be happy here again. Are you sure you are willing to risk that?
    As far as San Fran – also very awesome. That was our honeymoon – long weekend in San Fran to Hawaii to a day long layover filled hellride back to grey winterworld. If we didn’t have our dog to come home to we might have just turned back after our first 4 hours in the Denver airport and never seen the East again.
    Anyways, San Fran – I suggest you go to The Buena Vista ( Yeah, it’s a little touristy. But do it on a weekday morning. Go sit with strangers (they have big communal style seating), get drunk on irish coffee and eggs benedict at 9am, then stumble around Fisherman’s Wharf and then sober up at Alcatraz. Or not. It might be better to bring a flask along for that portion – but, hey, it’s your vacation.
    Enjoy! (And good luck with the house business, Oi.)

  • Take the helicopter tour of Kauai. It doesnt take long to circle this little island. The pilot will point out all of the movies that were shot on this lush tropical paradise. If i recall, theres not much on this island. We spent most of our time there in the hotel pool enjoying drinks with fruit on. Lemmie know what we missed out on.

  • Uncle Billy’s is like an undead cockroach. No way that place is ever gonna die. You could set a nuke on its doorstep and it’ll still be standing.

    Think Uncle Billy might still be around, too.

  • Hey, Chuck,

    I’m thrilled to hear you’re coming out to the city by the bay. If there’s an opportunity I’d be honored to stand you a glass of quality Islay malt. If you’re open to drinking with strangers please follow up, because that’s a serious offer, and when I say quality I’m not fucking around.

    Now, as to what to do in San Francisco, I can make extensive recommendations on various fronts, but my focus for a short visit would be on alcohol and food. If you’d like to get into an awesome drag show my roommate is inner-circle with some of the city’s prominent queens, and I can point you at the finest of the freaky. But in my opinion there are few things in this city cooler than the cuisine. In particular, you should go to:

    Absinthe — get a dinner reservation, the food is great and it’ll guarantee you a table, but you’re here for the bar. They know what they are doing for _real_.

    Alembic — If you come on a weeknight, you’ll be able to get a table, which I recommend, but even more so than Absinthe you’re here for the liquor. These two bars are probably the best in the city. At Alembic start with an Old Fashioned.

    Tartine — Breakfast/brunch. You’ll have to wait in a long line, and it’s absolutely worth it. Finest bakery in the city. Try the bread pudding and the morning buns, but nothing here is bad. They also do phenomenal sandwiches at lunch.

    Orson — This one’s a bit more adventurous. Elizabeth Falkner does not fuck around, but she’s out there on the experimental fringe, and you’ll pay for the privilege. You won’t find shit like chocolate rock-salt pizza anywhere else. The bartender knows his stuff, too.

    Zushi Puzzle — Don’t bother with this unless you can get a seat at the bar, and you’ll need a reservation for that. But if you can swing it, do, and order omakase. Roger will treat you right.

    Oyaji — Again, sit at the bar if at all possible, and be certain to tip the staff, especially Hideki himself, with extensive quantities of sake. This is a sushi restaurant, but really you’re here to drink with the staff. Make a day of it and start with a walk through Land’s End park and the presidio, then end with reserved seats at the sushi bar at Oyaji. The day will prove legendary. Plan to take public transit home.

    Tacqueria Cancun (19th & Mission) — Come here at 2 AM after a night of drinking for the best goddamned burrito in the city. Tacos are also excellent here.

    Monk’s Kettle — In the mood for beer? This is the place. Crowded as an overbooked Thai prostitute, but with good reason. I recommend coming here for a drink in the middle of the afternoon when things have thinned out, since you’ll have the flexibility of vacation and they’re open all day. They have an amazing selection of beer, and a staff who knows all about it. Also damned fine pub-style food. The pot pie and lamb burger are particularly great.

    If you have specific categories you’re craving, or you somehow explore all of the above and come up looking for more, feel free to drop me a line.

    • @John:

      Holy crap. You just gave me a bucketload of potential in the Bay City.

      These all sound awesome. And while I cannot promise the opportunity to get together and drink (are you going to be at Bouchercon?), I’ll certainly try to keep some time open.

      Man. Man! These sound good.

      San Francisco is a great eating city.

      – c.

  • Oh, another great place in San Francisco is The Stinking Rose. It’s a whole garlic-themed restaurant. I found the giant platter of roasted garlic a bit much for the appetizer. But the 40-clove chicken was really good. And my wife had the lamb, which was frickin’ fantastic!

  • @Chuck:

    That was just off the top of my head. The food in this city is ridiculous.

    I’m not planning to go to Bouchercon, as I will be in a wedding that Saturday (though lord knows I love Lee Child’s stuff). But I live like five public transit minutes away from the Hyatt, so let me know if you get some spare cycles (other than Saturday, per above). I’ll be around the following weekend, as well.

  • I’m less clued about hotels, I fear. My friends came out and did their honeymoon staying at the Good Hotel last year, and when they came back they’d liked it enough to stay there again: I hear very good things about joie de vivre in general. And also about the hotels. (Har har.)

    If you’re looking for historical significance, you might consider the Fairmont, but I know nothing about it from a customer perspective. I just know it’s unique and pretty.

    And of course there’s the Hyatt, the Westin, and so forth down around Union Square, if you’d like more straightforward luxuries.

    But, again, you may want to seek other sources for hotel recs — I live here, I don’t visit.

    Let’s hang out some evening among the 26th-28th, if you’re able — You won’t have a con, and I won’t have a wedding. I suggest connecting with me via email towards that end. I don’t normally read through all the comments over here. =)

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