Been & Going

[California Seething] A Modest Proposal

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It’s been quite common recently for Republican leaders to declare that there are people in this country who don’t belong here. People that are just here to make trouble- spreading violence and chaos, with no respect for the laws of the land. People who have different values then we do- who don’t appreciate the freedoms this nation was founded upon and wish instead to impose their own religious law. People who take advantage of the inherently permissive nature of this great nation and use it to perpetrate mayhem and destruction. It is the opinion of Republicans leaders that these people need to be dealt with- monitored, rounded up, tracked and maybe even deported. And I have to admit- they may have a point. There are people in this country who are crazy, violent, fanatical, destructive and up to no good- and they do need to be dealt with harshly.  I think you know who I’m talking about- and frankly, I’ve had enough. And that’s why I’m proposing that we deport all the white people.

I know that may sound harsh- but, come on, white people, we’ve been tolerant long enough and you’ve been nothing Cal Seething- 113015- firstthanksgivingbut trouble since the day you got here. You show up in this country as a bunch of dirty refugees from political persecution with weird clothing and customs. You have no jobs and no useful skills. Even though you make no effort to learn about the culture of your adopted land – or even to learn the language, you still gladly accept handouts from hard working native Americans. And then, as soon as you get settled, you so-called “pilgrims” start spreading disease, grabbing up all the land, killing everyone who’s already living here and imposing your twisted, puritanical version of religious law- like ISIS with buckles on your hats. And, on top of everything else, you have the audacity to create a holiday celebrating the fact that you suckered real Americans into helping you out so that you could butcher them and take their homes. It’s a little known fact that the Native Americans actually named the holiday “Thanksgiving”, but of course nobody realized they were being sarcastic.

Cal Seething- 113015- protectamericaThis is why white people freak out when somebody new wants to come to this country. They’re terrified that the newcomers will be as bad as they were. They’re all like: “On the one hand, the Syrians seem to be in a tough spot and could really use our help. Then again, I bet that’s exactly what the Indians said when they saw us- and just look how that turned out….so- sorry Syrians. No Thanksgiving turkey for you! Maybe you should try Germany- I hear they actually feel bad about their genocide.” So, yeah, it’s not foreigners that white people in America fear at all- it’s KARMA.

But all that is in the distant past, and it’s not the reason we’re calling to deport you guys now. Nor are any of the other terrible things you’ve done in the last 400 years including, in no particular order: Slavery, Jim Crow, Japanese internment camps, Wal*Mart, the NRA, Salvadoran death squads, Thomas Kinkade, the rise of the Taliban, the Hollywood blacklist, Vietnam, inflatable lawn Santas, supply-side economics, segregation, sub-prime loans, the systematic racism and brutality of the so-called American “justice system”, and car-antlers among many Cal-Seething--113015--caranmany things. No- the real reason I’m calling for your deportation is that I’m afraid for my life. Practically every day there’s another news story about a terrorist attack by a heavily armed white guy on a school, church, Planned Parenthood clinic or other public gathering place and, frankly, I’m sick of it. Sure, sure you say- but those are just isolated incidents by extremists- surely not ALL white people are bad. And, OK, that might be true- but how am I supposed to tell the good ones from the bad ones? I mean, you do kind of all look the same- all pink cheeked and petrified- is it really worth the risk if I’m wrong? You say you don’t feel safe with Muslims on airplanes? Well I don’t feel safe with white guys in movie theatres. And- if these attacks are just isolated incidents committed by extremists- then why aren’t the so-called “moderate” white leaders condemning the perpetrators as terrorists? Instead, all I keep hearing is nonsense  like “oh, they shooter’s motivations are unclear.” Seriously? Cause dude was shouting “No more body parts” when he shot up a Planned Parenthood- that sounds pretty fucking clear to me. Or- what, you think maybe he was pissed he couldn’t get replacements for his Mr. Potato Head and he remembered there used to be a KB Toys on that site and then started shooting when he saw it had been replaced by a Planned Parenthood??  Or, even worse, you refer to the terrorists as “protesters” – because evidently when white terrorists kill innocent people that’s just a form of legitimate protest- which is funny, cause when black people engage in legitimate protest they’re pretty much treated like terrorists. Huh. Wait- that’s not funny at all. Anyhow- if you’re not acting all baffled by the motives of killers or downgrading them from “terrorist” to “protester” then you’re make excuses for them- saying stuff like “it’s not their fault- they’re just mentally troubled kids from messed up families” Well, that’s too damn bad- you know who else was a mentally troubled kid from a messed up family- Osama Bin Laden- and I don’t hear anyone saying we should have cut him a break.

Look, OK, so maybe we don’t need to deport you guys. Maybe we can just round you up and put you in camps or something. It won’t be so bad! You’ll have Fox News and NFL Sunday Ticket and we’ll make sure each camp has a Chick-Fil-A and a Hobby Lobby. Yes, I think you’ll find that Camp Trump is just like home. Well, almost.  You will have to work a lot harder than you’re used to- can’t have you freeloading off the government, after all. And while you may find 12 hours a day of forced agricultural labor to be challenging- you can take comfort in the fact that you’re finally taking  good, American jobs back from the illegal  immigrants who’ve been stealing them away. Oh- and I guess, you’ll need to learn Spanish. I mean, it’s not required or anything- but you’re probably going to want to be able to talk to the cop who drags you out of your truck and starts beating the shit out of you because you have a broken taillight.

But aside from the Spanish and the forced agricultural labor, it’s just like home. Oh, well, except I guess for the six hours per night of Mandatory Re-Education where you’ll learn all about Sharia law, gender neutral pronouns and spotting a racially offensive Halloween costume (HINT: they all are) among many other things. And I know that sounds like we’ll keep you awfully busy- but don’t worry- you’ll still get 6 Cal Seething- 113015- 2dadshours per day to sleep. Assuming, of course, that you can sleep with your eyelids pinned open watching the Campbell’s Soup commercial with the two dads over and over and over again.

But it’s not all forced labor and Re-Education (or Re-Edu-tainment as we like to think of it). There will be festive occasions as well, just you’ve always had. Well, sort of. Every December 25, we’ll bring all of you together to observe “Holiday” by gathering around a 40 foot tall undecorated red Starbucks cup and singing “Imagine” in Arabic to honor the memory of an unwanted Middle Eastern refugee who spoke out against violence, condemned rich people and had two dads. And, of course, on the fourth Thursday of every November we’ll all celebrate “Thanks-for-Nothing” by throwing you out into the woods with a Smallpox infected blanket and sorta hoping you die.

And, don’t worry, you won’t be held there forever- just until you’re able to pass a little loyalty test- which will include:

  • Changing your profile pic to show that you Stand with Planned Parenthood, support Marriage Equality or believe #BlackLivesMatterCal Seething- 113015- yoga
  • Using “white privilege”, “microaggression” and “cultural appropriation” correctly in a sentence. Bonus points if you use all the words in one sentence. Double bonus points if the sentence involves white rappers or yoga.
  • Listening to Colin Powell speak without saying “my, my, my – he’s so well spoken”
  • Listening to Straight Outta Compton in it’s entirety without once saying “I don’t know what this is – but it certainly isn’t music” or “All they say is N-word this and N-word that. But, of course, if I say the N-word- then everyone thinks I’m a racist.”
  • Memorize the rainbow alphabet- LGBTQQIAA (try using the ABC song! “Now I know my LGBT’s. Won’t RuPaul be proud of me”) and know what each letter stands for. When your kids tell you which one of these they are- listen carefully, then hug them and tell them they can always count on your love and support. And if you add “and I’ll be praying for your soul because you’re going to hell” I’ll come down to Camp Trump and beat you myself with the Tolerance Stick.
  • Saying “Thanks, Obama!” without being a total sarcastic dick about it.

And if you pass this little test, we’ll know you’re rehabilitated and ready to live among civilized people.

Or….you could avoid all this unpleasantness and STOP FUCKING SHOOTING PEOPLE. The choice is up to you. We can all come together and stand up to hatemongering extremists everywhere who pervert the teachings of their religion to justify their unthinkable brutality – or you can give them tacit approval by supporting politicians and pundits who fan the flames of destruction with the hot air that spews from their fetid mouths. It’s up to you, really- just don’t take too long, because we’ve got a warm bunk just waiting for you in the gender non-conforming dormitory at Camp Trump and we’re eager to Re-Edu-tain you. Don’t test us.

Hope you had a great Thanks-for-Nothing and wishing you all the best this Holiday season. Maybe try celebrating Cal Seething- 113015- shooteyethis year without guns. Cause, best case scenario, you just shoot your eye out- and worst case scenario….well, let’s make that a Christmas story we don’t have to tell this year. Crap! Sorry! I mean “Holiday” story. I guess it’s off to Camp Trump for me…

Happy Kvetchgiving From Been & Going!

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I’m sure you all know by now that today is not only Thanksgiving but the first day of Hanukkah. If you weren’t aware of this, then you might want to consult a proctologist about getting your head out of your ass. Fiber can help with that, too- trust me, I know! Anyhoo, the next time these two holidays are scheduled to coincide is in approximately 70,000 years- assuming, of course, there are no major changes to the Jewish calendar between now and then and that our super-intelligent ape slave-masters allow us to celebrate Thanksgiving- which I’m pretty sure they will unless they have us enslaved at Walmart. You Maniacs! You Opened up for Black Friday on Thanksgiving! Damn You! Damn you all to hell!!. (And, yes, it’s true- there is no occasion that can’t be improved by a Planet of the Apes reference. Try it at dinner today: “Wait- so you didn’t buy any canned cranberry sauce and all you’ve got is this freaky lumpy home-made crap? You Maniacs!!! Damn you! Damn you all to hell!”) Unfortunately, because these two holidays coincide, Walmart’s decision to open on Thanksgiving will be particularly hard on their Jewish employees, since I know both of them were really looking forward to celebrating with their families and nobody donated latke mix to the Walmart employee food drive. Good thing the Supreme Court decided that corporations are people, so I can tell Walmart to go eat a bag of dicks.

So- sure, I guess it’s kind of a big deal that both holidays are falling on the same date, particularly since Jews are some of the least thankful people on earth. Don’t believe me? Here’s my impression of the entire Old Testament:

God: For lo, I have bestowed upon thee, my chosen people, a multitude of blessings: Freedom, land, protection, shelter, food, milk, honey, uhm….what else….backrubs, vanilla scented candles, peanut butter sandwiches with the crusts cut off, Bath & Body Works Bannana-Berry Body Spray, a coupon for one free footlong at Subway when you purchase one of equal or lesser value….uhm…did I say freedom already?

Israelites: Waaaaah! It’s too hot here, the dessert smells funny, I’m allergic to vanilla, I asked for crunchy peanut butter, they wouldn’t honor the coupon for any of the items on Fiery Siriracha Sauce menu because they said it couldn’t be used for limited time seasonal specials, that backrub was too rough…

God: Jesus Fucking Christ!! What do I have to do to make you ingrates happy??

Jesus: Golly gee Dad, maybe if you just said you loved them every once in a….

God: Shut your damn love hole. I wasn’t asking you.

Jesus: Okey Dokey.

But, I would just like to implore- nay- beg my fellow American Jews to keep their wits about them and not do anything stupid this year. Seriously.  I don’t care how major a coincidence this is THERE IS NO REASON ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH TO BRINE A TURKEY IN MANISCHEWITZ. I understand that kitschy irony is the only way that American Jews feel comfortable expressing their faith but- PLEASE DON’T DO IT. All you will do is ruin both holidays and remind Jewish children just how badly they get shafted every winter. Seriously- if you actually want the Jewish people to be around in 70,000 years, you won’t shove a bright fucking purple  Mansichewitz brined turkey down your screaming kids’ throats and drive them right into the warm goyisha embrace of Santa Claus and Baby Jesus. Baby Jesus always gets the drumstick by the way. He can be so bossy sometimes.

On the other hand, what you can do to celebrate Kvetchgiving is give the Jews in your life a super-cool first night of Hanukkah present that they sharknadocan show off at Thanksgiving dinner – like- oh, I don’t know A SHARKNADO AREA T-SHIRT!!!! That’s right- we Jews are getting kick ass presents already from our non-Jewish spouses and you guys have to wait like a whole month- SUCK IT GOYIM! And we’ve got 7 more nights to go! Jealous? The line for conversion begins on the right, bitchez. I just hope your circumcised or this is about to get awkward. And by awkward I mean unbelievably painful. Honestly, it’s probably not worth it for you, especially since Hanukkah’s gonna be like a month later next year.

Alright, that’s all I’ve got. Have a great holiday. Eat lots of stuff. Pretend to be thankful even if all you do is whine like a bitch the rest of the fucking year and top it all off with a slab of pumpkin pie. Wait- hold on- what do you mean you’re out of pumpkin pie? Damn you! Damn you straight to hell! Huh. that’s how I ended my last post. See, perfect every time. At least I can be thankful for that.

Check out this Dessert Droppings post for more great Thanksgiving/Hanukkah whatever you want to call it observations.

[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Thanksgiving with the Swedish Chef

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swedishchef2Happy Thanksgiving!  While we all digest our turkey feast and before the tryptophan kicks in, I thought it would be great to take a minute and kick back and salute all of the chefs who slaved in the kitchen today to make our turkey dinners, great!  So, let’s all have a laugh with the greatest chef of them all – The Swedish Chef!



This clip is from season 4 of The Muppet Show that originally aired for 120 episodes from September 5, 1976 – March 15, 1981 in the United Kingdom.  Reruns would eventually make their way to the United States where they were first shown in syndication on local television stations, before moving to cable where they continue to air today.


The Swedish Chef character was performed by Muppets creator Jim Henson and Frank Oz at the same time.  Oz would improvise by throwing objects with the character’s hands that Henson would have to ad-lib from.  After Henson’s death, veteran Muppet performer Bill Barretta has taken over the role.


The Swedish Chef has appeared in the Muppets spin-off TV series and films.  He most recently appeared in a 2013 ESPN commercial with New York Rangers’ goalie Henrik Lundqvist.


Here it is as a free bonus:



The Swedish Chef from The Muppets on display at the American History Museum.

The Swedish Chef from The Muppets on display at the American History Museum.

THE 411


Name: The Swedish Chef


From: The Muppets TV series and movies


First appearance: Season 1, 1976




I freaking love The Swedish Chef!  He is absolutely my favorite Muppet character.  One of the greatest pieces of film ever recorded is his concession stand cameo in The Muppets Take Manhattan.


Check out the scene and enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving!



Image credits – Jeremy Shields and Andrew Kuchling

[Desert Droppings] Black Friday stuffs Thanksgivukkah Thursday!

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Once in 70,000 years, it happens (no, not another collision with a meteor carrying extraterrestrial life forms- another?  Yup.  Where do you think quinoa came from?). I’m talking about Hanukkah, which as an ABQ Jew I celebrate.  November  28 is an astronomically rare chance to revel in Hanukkah and Thanksgiving on the same day.  The media, ever ready to wallow in shtick, has dubbed this cosmic convergence “Thanksgivukkah.”  The turkey shaped menorahs, menurkeys, are selling like Sunday morning lox at the deli (if ABQ actually had a deli). Recipes for pumpkin-cranberry latkes are claiming full -page spreads in that fish-wrappers’ friend, The ABQ Journal.
But, all is not gobblers and gelt in the Big Q and elsewhere.  There’s a conspiracy, a plot, a Wall Street ploy to send families scurrying  from Mom’s drumsticks and brisket to the MALLS!
Black Friday store openings have oozed like The Blob onto Thanksgivukkah Thursday. Thanksgivukkah, a once in a lifetime celebration of two legendary (ie not quite believable) events has been transformed into a frenzied feast  – a Two Tums Up experience.

So, with apologies to Hallmark, get ready for my Thanksgivukkah card to you. Imagine on the cover a sweetly smiling multi- generational family lighting Hanukkah candles before a steaming golden-brown turkey.  Holy Norman Rockwell!
Inside the card, in huge Target-red letters, the inscription, NOT THIS YEAR!…and this verse:
Forget over the river and through the woods.
It’s race to the stores and snap up the goods.
Quick! Spin the dreidel,  ’cause you can only play ’till
The Gates of Greed swing wide.
Count your blessings and your coupons
Say a fervent thanks to Groupon,
And shove your way inside.
Inside Walmart! Inside Target!
Anywhere your shopping carts get.
Snuff the candles. Freeze the meal.
Line up for that early bird deal.
Thanksgivukkah comes once an eon,
But who cares, it’s buy 2, free 1!
L’Chaim!  Cheers!  Good will to all!
God Bless America and our local mall!

Happy Thanksgivukkah !
Anyone for leftover latke-encrusted turkey cutlets?

[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] How to Beat Black Friday

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blackfriday2You’ve seen the commercials for at least a week, the Sunday paper was jammed full of ads, and now we’re only a few hours away from BLACK FRIDAY.  Well, that’s what it used to be until this year when more and more stores are opening tomorrow to ruin everyone’s Thanksgiving.  It’s not for me – and I’ve got a fool-proof plan that beat’s the system, every year!


Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving in the United States, where stores have knock out sales to lure in Christmas shoppers that rake in a huge profit.  Most stores open in the very early morning offering blockbuster savings such as a giant 52” HDTV for a mere $99.  Bargain hungry shoppers, most of whom are non-retail workers that are off of work and school for the long holiday weekend, wait in line and rush in as the doors open to score the sale.


The stores have the complete advantage on this day.  Most offer rock bottom prices with very limited quantities that are often gone in mere minutes.  This leads to stampedes, shootings, injuries, and even deaths of both shoppers and workers.



Every year, the stores seem to open earlier and earlier.  A few years ago they opened at 6am, then 4am, and last year – midnight.  Now, many are opening on Thanksgiving Day.  The almighty dollar has finally ruined a great holiday with family and only the stores’ bottom line will win.


Will you see me out and about at Black Friday this year?  I say – screw that!



There’s no way that I am waiting in line in the early morning to cash in on a super limited sale.  There’s no way that I am leaving my grandmother’s Thanksgiving dinner to go buy some electronic device, Thursday evening.  But, I do cash in on these sales all the time and I’ve never once waited in a Black Friday line.  My secret to beating the system – THE INTERNET!


Customers camp out in front of a Minnesota Best Buy store for Black Friday bargains.

Customers camp out in front of a Minnesota Best Buy store for Black Friday bargains.

Stores are so desperate to get your dollar this time of year, that most offer the same or better sales online.  While you can’t go to the store and view the item, just look for those that offer FREE SHIPPING and/or FREE RETURNS.  You’ll be surprised to find that most do.  Many will allow you to return an item to a physical store, if need be.  I always stick with either the traditional big box retailers, small town stores that have been around for a while, or


Buy it online and get it shipped right to your home.  So, you go ahead and stand in line… I’ll b doing my shopping at home, nice and cozy, while watching Star Trek.


Before Black Friday existed, stores would often use big Thanksgiving Day or early Christmas parades to show off their goods and sales.  Most Thanksgiving parades feature Santa at the end, to officially kick off the holiday season.  Another big ad lure was for departments stores to create elaborate holiday window displays with a grand unveiling, but that practice has gone by the wayside, since most mall locations don’t have display windows.


In 1939, order to get an additional week of shopping, President Truman moved up Thanksgiving by a week, but all he really did was tick everyone off leading to that year’s holiday to be called Franksgiving!


Customers volley for a Black Friday sale.

Customers volley for a Black Friday sale.

The name Black Friday was first used to describe the financial crisis of 1869, but the current meaning originated in Philadelphia in the early 1960’s, where it was used to describe the large amounts of pedestrians and vehicle traffic that would clog the downtown streets the day after Thanksgiving.


Retails have an alternate use of the term.  Traditionally, they operated at a loss from January through November and these big after Thanksgiving crowds would be the day their books go “in the black.”


In 2011, Target, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Best Buy, and a few others opened their stores at midnight for the first time.  The crowds came and last year, Wal-Mart decided to open their stores at 8pm on Thanksgiving and the crowds came.  This year, many more stores and even shopping malls are following suit.


That is except in Massachusetts, where blue laws prohibit stores from opening on Thanksgiving Day.  Applause to you fine people!


While stores and shoppers will no doubt benefit from the extra hours, the big losers are the store employees.  Sure, they may make a few bucks more on this day, but most are forced to leave their family dinners and celebrations to run to work, just to be there for money grubbing shoppers.  Those that volunteer to work win – but most stores require a full staff and extra security for the crowds, so you can bet that many are not so happy to be there.



There are certain jobs where you understand that you will be working on Thanksgiving and that’s usually known well in advance.  Hospital emergency rooms, fireman, cops, TV news, movie theatres, Dallas Cowboys players, etc.  Now, we have to officially add retail workers to the list.


Opening stores a few hours early on Black Friday is one thing as some families actually enjoy getting up early and going together for all the excitement.  But, opening on Thanksgiving is just wrong.  Everyone loses the family time, employees are forced to work.


A few stores have vowed not to open on Thanksgiving, which is now unofficially Black Thursday.  PC Richard & Son, a New York electronics chain, is running ads on how they refuse to open on Thursday so employees can have the day with their families.



Thanks to Black Friday’s success in America, other countries now have Black Friday’s of their own including Canada, United Kingdom, and Mexico.


An entire website,, is devoted to finding the best department store deals for the day to help shoppers plan their store to store shopping sprees.


And since 2005, the biggest day for online shopping is now known as Cyber Monday, or the Monday after Black Friday.  Small Business Saturday has been around the following weekend for the past couple of years, to encourage shoppers to support their local stores.


And by the way, all those long Black Friday lines at the door = long Black Friday lines at the check-out.  Double Whammy!


Black Friday shoppers wait in a long check out line at a Wal-Mart store.

Black Friday shoppers wait in a long check out line at a Wal-Mart store.

THE 411


Name: Black Friday


What: day after Thanksgiving where stores offer mega discounts to lure holiday shoppers


Origination: Philadelphia






Take advantage of the Black Friday deals, but do so from the comfort of your home.  Buy what you need online and look for the stores that offer FREE SHIPPING.


I get all of my Christmas shopping done in about an hour that way.  This is the 21st century, let technology do the work.


When the stores open at 8pm on Thanksgiving, my grandmother will be passing out the wine and baked goods.  Our family’s celebration will keep on going for hours and it certainly not involved standing in line at a department store!  But, it’s up to you to make your own family tradition.


It’s not worth ruining the lives of retail store employees – just to save a buck.  I really think it’s shameful what Black Friday has become and the videos posted in this blog prove that point.


If you do decide to partake in the Black Friday madness, just remember one thing – manners.


Image credits – Michael Muni, Wang Shein, David Haines, Beth Rankin, and laurieofindy