Zenestex
7Sep/072

A Random Sampling of Fortune Cookie Fortunes

One of my loyal readers, Security God, posted a comment on the Open Letter To Mr. Fortune Cookie Writer article earlier today. Rather than respond to it in the Comments section of that post, I will make a new Mostly Daily and respond to his post section by section. His words are in italics.

Myself and three co-workers order chinese food every Friday and the so called "fortunes" were all too good to not share with the world. Since I don't have my own blog, I choose yours. Sadly, the 7 viewers you have aren't exactly the word either, but this is the best I can do.

Actually, seven may be stretching it. My guess would be four people who check daily and maybe another four who check irregularly—perhaps weekly. Then there's the smattering of poor souls that I constantly beg to take a look. Hey, I'm trying. Advertising a blog about random musings ain't easy.

As an aside, a few co-workers and I went to a Chinese restaurant for lunch last week (Hao One) that had exemplary fortune cookie fortunes. If I remember correct, mine predicted that I would get a new car soon. Now that's a fortune done properly. Perhaps too specific, but the vagueness of “soon” makes up for it. Not only was the “In Bed” crutch unneeded, it doesn't even make sense. That is, unless my wife bought me a Hotwheels toy and gave it to me before I fell asleep one night. I wish that I had kept the rest of the fortunes we received on that glorious day. Mr. Fortune Cookie Writer deserved a demonstration of his marked improvement.

Anyhow, let's see how Mr. Fortune Cookie Writer performed with a random sampling of fortunes from Security God. I only used Mr. Fortune Cookie Writer's “In Bed” crutch where it was needed.

Without further delay, here are the fortunes that were blessed upon us..... Mine: You are broad minded and socially active. In Bed.

The “In Bed” definitely helps this one. With it, you are the Man. Period. Without, it is a purely shot in the dark by Mr. Fortune Cookie Writer that you are not, in fact, a narrow minded shut-in. Or, perhaps, you are a narrow minded shut-in who fancies himself a broad minded social butterfly. Either way, it's a pretty solid bet that most people fall into one of these two categories. Not many people are narrow minded and antisocial and admit it to themselves. I know I don't. This is not good Mr. Fortune Cookie Writer. In fact, it's a cop-out and we are none too impressed.

"The Victim": Ignorance never settles a question. In Bed.

In other words, you can never answer a question that you don't know the answer to. Thanks, Mr. Fortune Cookie Writer; this might be the worst fortune of all time. ”In Bed” does not even make any sense. I could try to stretch the “In Bed” angle, but I am not sticking up for you anymore, Mr. Fortune Cookie Writer. You are better than this.

Co-worker 3: You will be a good comfort. In Bed.

Mr. Fortune Cookie Writer, welcome back! Did you notice the future tense? Why, it's a wonderfully vague prediction. Now if you do something as simple as pet your dog, you will have fulfilled this prophecy. Well done, Mr. Fortune Cookie Writer. “In Bed” is not needed here, but still fun.

Co-worker 4: You will travel to many places. In Bed.

This is a perfect fortune. No stale advice, just a generalized prediction. Now the onus is on you, the receiver of the fortune, to wedge this ambiguous forecast into your life. How far do I have to go to travel? What is a place? Am I going to Hawaii? If I go to the bathroom more than usual today, does that count? These are the questions you now have to discuss with your friends. Do I even need to put “In Bed” after this one? No, but I will anyway. Co-worker 4, a word of advice, don't travel too far. Florida has very prudish laws. You could fulfill both versions of this fortune by travelling to Louisiana, where anything goes, and then do the “In Bed.” I'm just looking out for ya'.

Boss: You are loyal to your family.

Well Boss, I should certainly hope so. I know who the Boss is and I didn't have the stomach to put “In Bed” after this one. It's just too perverse. For shame, Mr. Fortune Cookie Writer. For shame.

I have refrained from commenting on each seeing as you have a better grasp of the eloquence of the english language then I do. Have fun with these! (don't forget to add the infamous two words to the end of each!)

The fortunes you guys received represent the entire scope of fortune cookie fortune themes. There's the predictions, which by definition, are the only good fortunes since all fortunes should be about the future. A few fortunes attempted to describe your idiosyncrasies; these are not worth the strip of paper they are printed on. And finally, there was one absurd piece of “advice” that was a mere statement of the obvious.

Overall, two out of five true fortunes is not a bad outing for the newly reformed Mr. Fortune Cookie Writer. I think Mr. Fortune Cookie Writer is confused right now and is sincerely trying to break the bad habits he has picked up over the years. Give him time, he'll be back.

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6Sep/071

It Is What It Is

“It is what it is.” Well, it's a redundant truism is what it is, and not a particularly good one at that. I've noticed the phrase “it is what it is” gaining popularity over the last few years. At first, it was a mere annoyance. I'd hear friends and colleagues pepper their conversations with it every so often. 50 Cent used it in a few of his lyrics. Football coaches mixed it in with their coach-speak.

I'd cringe at hearing “it is what it is,” but I'd let it go. I figured if I ignore it, it will just go away. Kind of like the word “bodacious” in the late 80's. I thought that word was just retarded, as was any mouthbreather who used it. After a few months, it died a quiet death, leaving only a few traces of its pathetic existence in the Bill and Ted movies. Sadly, I hear “it is what it is” more now than I ever have before. It just won't go away. Now, with the use of “it is what it is” reaching epidemic proportions, I can no longer bear it. This cliché must die.

At least saying you're “going to give 110%,” another peeve, is saying something—mathematically impossible though it may be. Saying “it is what it is” is no different than saying “um.” It's filler. It adds nothing to the conversation. What in the hell does it even mean anyway?

No shit, it is what it is. What else could it possibly be other than what it is? Nothing! It is what it is. This is implied for every noun. It is the basis of existence. “It is what it is not” is a false statement—it cannot happen. If “it is what it is not” is a true statement, then it would have to be everything and nothing in order for it to be what it is as well as what it is not. You can't have it both ways. It is what it is. So why tell us that it is what it is when it is already so apparent? Do we have to constantly to point out this logic in the middle of a discussion?

If you ever find yourself about to blurt out the worthless phrase, “it is what it is,” just throw up your arms, make a fist, and punch yourself right in the nose. Save me the trouble.

"We showed up and gave 100%, and it is what it is."— NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, after finishing second in the Nextel Cup championship.

“Well, it is what it is.”—George W. Bush

"I made a mistake," said Britney Spears after being caught on camera driving with her baby son on her lap, "and so it is what it is, I guess." Allow me to interject. It is what it is you guess?! This quote by Ms. Spears wins the first and only Zenestex.com “Most Incredibly Vacuous Thing Ever Said” Award.

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4Sep/072

The Most Bizarre Restaurant. Ever.

After touching down in Denver to begin our Colorado vacation, we decided to eat Mexican food at a place where flame jugglers jump off 30 foot indoor cliffs, gorillas and mariachi bands live together in relative harmony, and after dinner fare includes exploring prisons and waterfalls. In short, we committed to satiating our hunger pangs at what is, by far, the strangest restaurant I have ever been to: Casa Bonita.


Casa Bonita


Casa Bonita poster making promises of dancing monkeys. I only saw a gorilla, which as we all know, is not a monkey.

Casa Bonita is the brainchild of Bill Waugh who created the Mexican restaurant with eclectic entertainment back in the early 70's, and it shows. Mr. Waugh must have been on one epic LSD trip when he dreamed up Casa Bonita. “You know what man, I'm tired of sitting in this van and trippin' all day. I need to make something of my life. Something that's gonna make me rich, man! Hmmm, I got it! I can open Mexican restaurant set in the Wild West. No wait, I got a better one! I can make a theme park with caves, waterfalls, jugglers, villages, arcades, and a giant pink area for no apparent reason. Eureka! I'll make them both and combine them into some bizarre amalgamation of overplayed ideas! HaAhaHAhahahaAa!! Hello Mr. Fuzzy Gorilla. I like the gorillas! Ooooh, it's gonna have a gorilla, too!”

Casa Bonita can be found just outside of the ghetto in Denver, Colorado. The building is located in a strip mall and is wedged between a Hollywood Video and a Check Cashing business. I was nonplussed after seeing the location of this restaurant and resigned myself to expect the worst; not to mention that all I had eaten in the previous six hours was the fun-sized bag of pretzels my cheap ass airline handed out midflight. So I was hungry, tired, and grumpy. My only goal at that point in my life was to get fed and get fed quickly; everything else was just obstacles preventing me from getting fed. My stomach cried out in utter horror when I saw the line to get into this place. This queue could easily be mistaken for the line of Pirates of the Caribbean—and there were just as many people waiting in it. The line snaked through a faux Mexican village/cave thing complete with televisions introducing the characters we would meet and places we would visit during our Casa Bonita adventure.


Casa Bonita is located in a strip mall right next to Hollywood Video.


The beginning of the line to get into Casa Bonita. Notice the lack of a line? This was taken on our way out.

Overall, we spent about 45 minutes standing in line before we were sat at our table. In the middle of this line you place your order at a cash register under a little hut. Every item on the menu is drenched in cheese, so I had to make a “special” order of fajitas with no cheese since I absolutely hate the vile substance. Further down the line you pick up your tray of food and a glass of soda that holds maybe four sips if you use ice—four very small sips. I was told by the host that my tray of fajitas would be delivered to my table since it was a “special” order. I will never understand how ordering something with no cheese is deemed “special.” It's less freakin' work you automatons. I should get my food before everyone else, not 30 minutes after as was the case at Casa Bonita. You just take the fajita plate you are preparing and DON'T put any cheese on it. Less work, you see.


$17 fajitas that come to you in a Zip-Loc bag.

To exacerbate the hunger crisis I was facing, the chips and salsa came just after my fajitas finally arrived at the table. Yes folks, the chips and salsa come during the middle of your dinner. Fearing the mysterious Hawaiian Punch red liquid they claim to be salsa, I immediately opened the Zip-Loc bag containing my wraps and devoured the $17 plate of fajitas. Middle School cafeteria tacos have more flavor than any of the meals we ordered. The after-dinner soapapillas tasted like little fried balls of nothing until you drenched them in honey, which we also had to ask for. Still the dinner was edible and filling. Besides, as we would later learn, Casa Bonita is not about the food; it's about the quality entertainment.

If I was 8 years old Casa Bonita would be, hands-down, my favorite place on Earth. Hell, at 28 years old this place still has the potential to hold a special place in my heart. Only my hunger and thus, grumpiness prevented my love for Casa Bonita from coming to fruition. It wasn't until after the fajitas and soapapillas settled in my stomach an hour and a half after our arrival that I truly began to appreciate what a little slice of heaven Casa Bonita is.

During our meal we were treated to a few shows located in the middle of the restaurant on a rocky stage with a waterfall next to it. One skit involved a bandit, some chick, and the infamous gorilla. I don't want to spoil the intricate plot, but the show involved the gorilla chasing the bandit off the stage and throughout the restaurant.

A mariachi band roamed the restaurant playing “Happy Birthday” at almost every other table. This impressed me since they performed the actual copyrighted “Happy Birthday” song. Most restaurants replace that song with some suck-ass knockoff like “Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday Ole” to avoid paying royalties to Warner Music Group.

Another performance featured a flaming torch juggler who seemed ill at ease with his choice of profession. He nervously juggled the torches, dropping them only a few times, and finally ended his misery by diving off the 30 foot cliff and into the pool below. I have seen jugglers feign nervousness in their acts and it's always good for a laugh. However, if you want a truly captivating spectacle, I highly recommend watching someone juggle flaming torches while sincerely fearing for their life. The juggler emerged from the pool with a quizzical look on his face like he was pondering whether he had died, if this was Hell, and why Hell was Casa Bonita. I cheered as if the Gators had just won another national championship.


Flaming torch juggler making his peace with his maker. I had pictures of the other performances, including the gorilla, but they were just too dark. D'oh!

After our dinner was complete, we roamed the premises and took in all the sights. There was a little village next to the eating area that contained a few shops including an old time photo booth, which was mercifully closed. There was an arcade featuring skee-ball and a souvenir shop that sold a little bit of everything. We explored the caves and waterfall, but unfortunately we could not find the much hyped “Black Bart's Cave” that was mentioned a hundred times or so while we waited in line to get in.


Souvenir shop in the village


The source of the flashers that kids were toting throughout the restaurant.

After we spent some time exploring and taking pictures, we decided to head back to the hotel room and crash since we had some serious hiking to do the following day. I regretted the fact that I was so tired since I really wanted to dive in and play. If by some unfortunate series of events I ever find myself in Denver again, Casa Bonita will be my first stop. And this time I will find “Black Bart's Cave.”

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2Sep/079

Protect Me From Myself

Today is my 29th Birthday and what a crappy start to an otherwise a beautiful day. I don't feel any older, but my actions so far have proven otherwise; I've completely lost my mind and I need help. Not just any help, either; I need a professional.

This morning I strained my back working out. Now this is not unusual since I pretty much strain my back every other week. However, this time I followed up the back strain with a nasty injury. I crushed two of my fingers between the barbell and squat rack after the set was complete. This peeled off a few layers of skin behind my fingernails and bled like hell. The rest of the workout was, thankfully, uneventful.

I decided to cut my hair after the workout. I grabbed the clippers on the bathroom sink, put on a quarter-inch comb and began cutting away as I always do. What I didn't realize was that I had picked up the dog clippers instead of my own clippers. To make matters worse, I was using the combs from my own pair of clippers and they didn't fit too well. In the middle of the haircut, the comb popped off and I shaved a good portion of the back of my head bald. I spent about an hour trying to curtail the damage. It doesn't look horrible, but it will take about a week for the bald spot to fade away. After the haircut, I jumped in the shower and proceeded to shampoo my hair with face soap.

I can't continue at this rate. I am a danger to myself and possibly to others. I will follow up this post by checking myself into an asylum, putting on a straight jacket, and locking myself in a padded room for the remainder of the day.

Anyhow, my I know my posting hasn't been regular, but I have been busy for once. On tap for this week is a review of Casa Bonita (the most bizarre place on Earth) and a review of Bertie Botts Every Flavor Jelly Beans to celebrate the fact that I finally finished the last Harry Potter book.

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