Sam-a-rama!

"Say, does this look funny to you?"

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Ringo

This weekend, I'm house sitting for a friend of mine named Billy while he and his girlfriend Kelly take a holiday. While I'm at the house, I'm to watch their dogs which is a treat for me. One is a cross between a bassest hound and golden retriever named Kelsy and is a wonderful dog. The other is an asshole named Ringo. Okay, I don't think that "asshole" is a particluar breed, but that would link dogs and humans in the evolution chain.

Ringo is actually a black chow mixed from what I can tell and barely over ten months old. He is loud, rambunctious, and a pain in the keister. When I fist met him, he jumped all over my lap, stuck his snout in my face and looked to be saying, "Hi, my name is Ringo" over and over and over, hoping I would give him a scratch. When I did, he would run around the room only to wind up jumping on me and saying, "Hi, my name is Ringo" over and over again. This would go on for hours, if I 'd let it. Basically, this dog has ADD and is a glory hound to boot. Whenever I would try to check on Kelsy, Ringo would just nose his way into the situation to act as thoough he was the only dog in the house. Poor Kelsy would just look at me with an exasperated look of, "What the Hell can I do? You're lucky to just be here for a few days. I had to deal with this ass for two months now", then she'd shake her head and walk away.

Billy warned me that Ringo has had the problem of jumping the fence in their back yard at their new house since they moved there last week and that I would have to put her on her leash. It seems that every morning after I get her out of her kennel and I walk to the back door all while tryingto unlock it and hold her back at the same time, she gets out and hauls butt to the back fence he jumps it like Steve McQueen in "The Great Escape". When it happened yesterday at seven in the morning, it hit me that I am a large Black man in a fairly quiet neighborhood yelling at the top of my lungs for a dog. That went on for ten minutes when a man can up to the front fence cradleing Ringo in his arms. "Aww, is this your sweet litte doggie", he asked. In a bit of early morning before I even had a cup of coffee sarcasm, I said "Oh, yeah. That's adorable little Ringo you have there, sir", with the sweetness Ranger Smith before he threatened to turn Yogi Bear into a rug, but not near Ike Turner telling Tina to eat the cake. Meanwhile, there's Ringo looking at me with those big brown "Can I haz cheezeburger now" eyes, playing it up as innocent as possible, all while giving me the Muttley laugh behind this guys back. When we got back into the house, Ringo did his best to brown nose me when I went off on a tirade of how I haven't even had a cup of coffe and I'm yelling out at seven in the monring with a neigborhood of old white people looking for a dog like a idiot and why can't you act like Kelsy, all the while Ringo give me the "Dude, I was playing around" look. That is when I called the dog an asshole. I think I also said doucebag as well in my anger.

After having a cup of java and finally calming down, Ringo and I had a talk where I told him that I was only looking out for his best and if something where to happen to him, I'm not sure what Billy and his girlfriend would do, even if they had him for two months when someone forced the dog on them and they weren't even sure that they even have another dog. After a few scratches on the forhead and a treat for Ringo, things seemed to be back to normal. That is until this morning when I went to take him outside again and he jumped again. This time, I drove all over the nieghborhood for nearly an hour before I had to go into the radio station and asking folks if they saw the dog. No luck whatsoever, so it looks as though as soon as I'm off work, I shall continue to look for Ringo. If you're on the Southside of Savannah, particularly on San Fernando off Largo and you see a dog that fits Ringo's description, let me know. I would appriciate it.

By the way, I would like to state for the record that I love and adore dog and wish that I could have one for myself if I could afford it. That being said, once again Ringo is an asshat.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

I wanted a Hula Hoop...

In case you decided to get away from all the noise of the today, I thought I would leave this for you under the tree. By the way, this is the way I like The Chipmunks. No CGI, no stinkin' girl chipmunks, none of that for me. Give me the real thing. LONG LIVE ALVIN!

Oh, and Merry Christmas.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Crimble

Well, here we are. Just less than 48 hours till the big day. If you haven't done your shopping yet, you're still thinking about who to get that great gift for and you try to make it to the store as fast as possible for that last minute sweater or Playstation 3. I truly have no idea what that's like these days because I am as broke as Britney Spears carreer.

I'm did not write that for pity, God no. I just don't think that if I even had the money would I want to even face the crowds this time of year. If I had an actual, leagal, official nuclear family (wife, 3 kids, and a dog named Murray) and I had to go shopping for them every year, someone would be in pain and it would not be me. I think my kids would be spoiled and would only want the best. Which means I would have to fight humans for a Rock Star video game or a TMX Elmo. I can see it now, with me standing in the toy eisle with dark shades looking at the last XBox 360 along with a throng of others, all while I'm holding a shotgun and saying "I'm here to buy toys and chew bubble gum. And I'm all outta gum". The very fact that I'm a large Black man would be a plus in that book, but I know that I would have to take out a few soccer moms just to get my kids what they wanted, all so I don't have to hear it from them later on how Cindy down the street got a rare Super Ultra Mega Power Big Hair Bratz doll and they didn't. No, someone will have to take the hit for my kids and it ain't gonna be me this year. They will have to pry that toy talking parrot from my cold, dead hands, you damn dirty apes.

Since it just me however , I'm mixed with joy and yes, a bit of sadness that I don't have the chance to buy anything for anyone this year. I did send out Christmas cards via email (if you didn't get you're it's your own fault for not giving me your email address when I asked for it weeks ago, so don't be mad at me), but it was all I could do this year. Still, it's the thought that counts and do think of my readers all the time. So, I would like to wish you and yours a very blessed Merry Christmas and hopefully a wonderful New Year. I hope to see you all converging here for more goofiness in 2008.

I shall pray for you if you have to head back to Target for those batteries for that Nintendo DS.

UPDATE If you already got my card or you didn't and I do have your email address, you may want to look for one more little thing on Christmas Eve. I hope you like it.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happy Holidays

While I'm putting this post together, I'm working on a Christmas CD for a party I'm DJing on Saturday. I had dialysis today and I'm kind of worn out, but thanks to what happened to me yesterday, I wasn't able to get back on track so I'm here now trying to finish this up so I can go home. Anyway, I thought about one of the songs on the disc that I sent out to folks last year, "Happy Holidays", by The Whispers. There's no video of them performing the song, but I did find this homemade clip that should put you in the mood for the holidays if you haven't gotten it yet. I'm gonna take a break and I should have at least one more good post in me this Sunday before the big day comes.

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My Christmas Cards

I hope that you all got your Christmas cards I sent out. If I didn't please send me your email today to samjohnson@gmail.com and I will try to send it out to you as quickly as possible. I don't really celebrate it to big here because it's just me and there's really know reason to go big this time of
year when you live alone. I also don't expect much when it comes to presents. A few cards maybe and that's it. The Kenner Star Wars Give-A-Show was a great surprise, but today I had an even bigger shock.

I went to my mailbox and noticed that I had gotten three cards today and that put a bit of a smile on my face. When I got in, I opened them up one by one. The first from from my radio pal CJ, with a very simple 'Have a merry Christmas, Sam and see you in 2008". I thought that was nice of her to do that.

The next card came from my partner in crime from my TV show Underground Savannah, Bobby Ruggerio, along with a photo of his kids Emma and Vinnie, whom I haven't seen in forever. The card said, "And now it is time for the Festivus Airing of Grievances!" I had a great laugh from that and it was wonderful seeing the kids. In fact, from what I see in the photo, Vinnie is just like his dad. INSIDE JOKE!

The third card I got was from my friend Tina. It was a simple little card with Santa on the front and the inside said "Thank you for your friendship through 2007 and I pray that 2008n is much better. Love, Tina." I thought how nice of her to send that to me.

I then read something else I missed on the car, right at the bottom. It said, "P.S. I have made a donation to your name to the National Transplant Assistance Fund."

When I saw that, I began to shake a bit. I haven't had a fundraiser for it in over two years. I've posted links to it on the blogs, but really I haven't pushed it on anyone because I hate having to ask folks for money. I even hatged putting up that stupid Pay Pal thing on the blog, but someone told me that it's okay to have it up. Still, I feel bad asking anyone for anything, possibly becasue of my pride for one and two, no one's just gonna come out and help a guy like me they barely even know. But, when someone does help, especially after all this time, at this time of year, it is a blessing. Truthfully, I have been crying on and off all night because if that. The fact that no matter how much I want to hang out and be a part of the gang, my life will never be normal no matter what. That sadly, I may have to live on the kindness of friends and stranger in the future in order for me to survive. And maybe, just maybe there are people out there who truly do care about you, despite all the craziness and I guess Tina is one of them. I'm all cried out right now, so this gives me the perfect chance to say thank you and God Bless you, Tina. Your gift wasn'ta toy from a childhood memory, or a tin of cookies and fruitcake. No, just a simple card and a gift I would have never expected that has now become a part of what could be down the road, the greatest gift of all: Life.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Once again, here's the original version of this month's Murmur magazine essay. If you live in the Savannah area and you want to see how it looked in the end, stop by any kiosk that has the Murmur logo. It's free, which is cool that a magazine that looks that good should at least cost something. A steak dinner, maybe. How about a beer? Oh well, whatever.


I've been asked by the editor of this lovely little magazine, Tadd Trueb to come up with a piece for the December issue. Mind you, it's a last minute thing, since the original story fell through and he needed someone to fill in for a page or two. For the record, I feel like Regis Philbin whenever David Letterman calls and asks if he could come by the show since Tom Cruise has a Scientology thing that night. I now have a twenty-four hour deadline to meet in order for Tadd to get things published on time. Which means "deadlines" is this month's subject. How do you think, Dear Murmur reader, will I get to that subject? Read and see.

As we all know by now, the deadline for 2007 is 11:59 on December 31. At the stroke of the clock at midnight, it will be January 1, 2008. After all the Auld Lang Syne, the boozing, the kissing, and the rest that people do to bring in the new year, it now comes time to come up with a resolution for the next year. Oh, I almost forgot...My dad would get his .38 and unload it on New Year's Eve. He'd be buzzed on gin, then go to the upstairs window and start shooting. I don't think he hit anyone, at least anyone still alive from his holiday sniper shots. I would like to remind everyone that my father was friggin' crazy like that.


On New Year's Day, the question is always asked. Some jackhole comes up to you while you are trying to enjoy your yearly bowl of Hop n' Johns for luck in the next few months and ruins it by asking you the dumbest thing in the world. "So, have you made any New Year's resolutions?"

First, let me say that if I did make any resolutions, it is none of your business, Nosey McNoserson. How about your resolution be not to stick your big head where it doesn't belong? Why don't you use that super power of getting into everybody's deal when you're not wanted and help OJ find those real killers like he said he would? Oh yeah, he could really use the help, pal. With that being said, Nosey now has just put the pressure on you for the entire year. You start to become self conscious and realize that you have a problem that needs to be fixed and the new year is the perfect time to fix it. It's not fair really to anyone. the fact that you have this long standing problem and you have now forced yourself to have it resolved in 364 days from now. Great, no pressure. No Pressure at all, right?

Anyone who makes a resolution on New Year's Day is a fool. You will say it, but you probably won't do it. It's true because I read about it in a survey. You can't argue with me on it because I know that you've done it as well as I. "I will lose weight this year." "I will stop smoking this year." "I promise not to wake up in a bed that I never bought after a night of Wild Turkey shots." That one I made up, kinda. I know a few folks that do that constantly. Really, tat one would be cool. As long as the person on the other side of me worked for Coyote Ugly and NOT coyote ugly.

The problem with making such a promise like that is whether or not you will be able to stick to it. Once you realize the pressure of the statement, you're more than likely to forget it. every year I said I would stop smoking, I would wind up lighting up another the next day without fail. Nosey McNoserson would then ask, "I thought you said your resolution was to quit smoking this year". Yeah, I said it and now I'm over it. Now shut your pie hole before I shove this pack of Camels right down your throat, you nosey bastard. Yeah, no pressure at all.

However, 2007 was different for me. I didn't make any resolutions. I just said that I'll do better and somehow I did. I decided to go back to school and concentrate more on my studies than I should women. I had a health scare over the summer and would stop smoking completely, although I did have some help thanks to 1mg a day of Chantix. Other than that, I haven't had a smoke in five months as you read this and I think I can keep it up.

The point I'm trying to make here and I promise that there is a point to all of this is that the deadline is now on for a lot of people. 2007 is almost done and 2008 is looking you straight in the eye wondering how you're going to make the most of the year. You got the little respite from Christmas but now it is on like Donkey Kong. You need to get your crap together for the coming year so you'd better get ready to say something whenever that freakin' busybody asks you what you plan on doing for the next year.

Or you can do it like me. Just take it all one day at a time. Take that long, deep breath and let it go. And give the middle finger to anyone that gives you too much pressure to meet a deadline. Okay, well at least not to your editor when he can see you.

Sam Johnson is a Jack-of-all-Trades, Agent Provocateur and fun loving Rouge all rolled up into a big old ball. He can be heard Sundays from Noon to Four on E-93, and has his own blog at www.blaxstone.blogspot.com. You can reach him via email at samjohnson@gmail.com For Christmas, he wants a doggy, a Kenner Give-A-Show projector, a kidney transplant, and Olivia Munn from "Attack of The Show".

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Give A Show!

It looks like Christmas has come early for me this year, thanks to an anonymous reader. First let me say that I never really expected anything at all this year as it goes every year, other than a card or two, but his time I think I got the coolest thing I've ever received on nearly thirty years. Also, knowing the identity of the said reader (for sadly, very personal reasons), I would have never thought that would go out of their way just to do this.

This is a Kenner Star Wars Give-A-Show projector from 1978. The version to see above is the Canadian version. I would show off mine, but my camera is down for the moment. Nonetheless, Anonymous found my version on EBay from someone in Canada and had it shipped right to me! I should say that the Canadian did not pack it properly with packing peanuts or even newspaper and just threw it in the box which damaged the container but not the toy. That would almost give me a new reason to blame Canada for something, but I know too many good ones from the North now. Still, the toy was safe and ready to go. I even had to buy D batteries, which I haven't picked up since from a store since high school! The film strips are even in great condition and I wound up having a major flashback of projecting the entire film on my walls! Even in this version, Greedo shot first!

It's nice to relive your childhood memories sometimes with an old toy like this and I know that I will now start looking for other old film strips to play through the projector. Let me wipe my Kool-Ade smile off my face long enough to say thank you to Anonymous again for this wonderful gift and that even though things have become very strange in the past few months, you're still okay in my book. I'm now going to call over some friends and watch Star Wars in a whole new way!

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Serve this with your turkey...



My favorite fruit juice is cranberry juice, so last year when Pepsi came out with Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash soda I was thrilled as all get out. The sad part fore is that I have to limit my fluid intake. I also have to remind myself that they only make Cranberry Splash duing the holidays, which really sucks. This year, I have decided to stockpile as many two litre bottles as possible in the kitchen cabinets this go around. If you see it on your self, I sugest you try it out, especially with a splash of ginger ale. You will be refreshed afterwards, I promise.


Mr. Pepsi, if you can read this, please send me five cases for Christmas.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Goody Rickles

By now, most of you have seen the documentary "Mr Warmth", all about Don Rickles and his long career, running this month on HBO. If you haven't, it really is a treat to see the man on stage still at it after so long and getting respect from lots of his peers and newer comics. So after watching it one night, I happened to remember that one of the very first comic books I bought as a kid was Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olson # 141 in 1971 simply for the reason that it had two very familiar characters that I just happen to know one real and one not so real. I'll let you guess which one was which to me.

After seeing the special and having that flashback, thought that I would ask the one man who would know about that comic and that comic, my (sort of, kinda) blogging mentor, Mark Evanier , he of the great News From Me, as he knows all things Jack Kirby, who was the man behind the story and also a man who has seen his share of good and bad stand up after writing for television over the years ( Mark was the only person who made Garfield bearable for me) . So I says to Mark, via email...

I saw the Rickles special again for the second time today and laughed again at how much Don is still Don after all these years. I particularly thought that the story Steve Lawrence told about Rickles doing "Yankee Doodle Dandy" in the middle of his act confirms the complaints in your post. However, being the guy that I am in that I must always ask questions, just how in the world did Don Rickles become part of the Fourth World. I thought I would ask as you worked with King Kirby. Also, did you ever have any contact with Mr. Warmth?

So he says back to me...

No contact. Here's how those issues came about. This is from aforeword I wrote recently for a reprint collection...

Jack's most famous issues of Jimmy Olsen were probably his weirdest.Cartoonist (and Oddball Comics authority) Scott Shaw! called one ofits cover blurbs -- "Don't Ask! Just Buy It!" -- the greatest coverline in the history of comics. And things got even weirder inside.

Here is how this epic came about: Comedian Don Rickles was thenenormously popular, and Steve Sherman and I were big fans of his.Rickles plied his insult humor on many a talk show, forever claimingthat he never picked on a little guy...only on the biggies. Steve andI thought, "Who's bigger than Superman?" So we wrote up someRickles-style insults of Superman and suggested to Jack that DonRickles make a brief cameo appearance in Jimmy Olsen. The idea wasfor him to insult The Man of Steel the way he went after Sinatra.

Jack was also a Rickles fan and he liked the idea. Steve contacted Rickles' press agent and obtained the necessary permission. In the meantime, a press agent working for DC decided it presented tremendousopportunity for publicity...but it had to be cover-featured and runover two issues. That was how Mr. Rickles -- and his look-alike, Mr. Rickels -- wound up in Jimmy Olsen #139 and #141. (No, you're not missing an issuethere. #140 was a non-Kirby reprint special) Steve Sherman and I plotted the Newsboy Legion sub-plot. Jack did everything else and,somewhere along the way, lost track of the original premise. As you'll see, at no point in the story does either version of Don Rickles meet, let alone insult Superman.

But readers loved it. Or hated it. Don Rickles more or less sided with the latter faction, annoyed that the brief appearance he'd okayed had turned into what it turned into. I'm with the "loved it" people, if only because I can see how much fun Jack had doing it.

So that's the story of how Don Rickles came into my life. By the way, if you love a good read, Mark is teaming up with Mad cartoonist and his good friend and collaborator Sergio Aragones for a new version of the comic book classic, The Spirit starting next year. When you pick it up and you want to send the writer an email on how much you liked it, tell Mark I sent ya.

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Mr Warmth!


I know what your thinking. You're thinking that this cover is just stupid. Well it is kinda. I'll bet you are also thinking why have I even put it here today? Well, you hockey puck, you're gonna have to wait for later this evening when I gan give you an explanation. Right now though, I got finals today and I just wnated to get this done before I head into Hell. Wish me luck and I'll see you with Don Rickels later tonight.

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

"Hey, Love"

I'm about to show you all a classic commercial from the eighties. Now, I know that maybe a HANDFUL of readers can remember Video Soul on BET with host Donnie Simpson from back in the day. If you do, you should remember this 1-800 record ad. If not, get ready to experience one of the coolest ads ever done with some of the smoothest slow jams from the seventies ever done, all by the original artists! I'd like to thank The Humanity Critic for posting this on his My Space blog and I truthfully did not ask him if I could get this from him. However, to paraphrase one of the guys in the commercial, noooo my brotha. I had to get my own. You'll see what I mean.

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What had happened this week...

I got up close and personal with a scalpel again on Tuesday. For those who've followed along this far may remember that last year I was admitted to the E.R. for surgery due to clots in my arm where they usually do dialysis and that I had gone to St. Joseph's Hospital at least ten times in 2006 because of it. It happened again for the first time in over a year and a half, so I was at least happy about that when they noticed at the clinic. They quickly booked me for day surgery at the hospital and as soon as I got there, the nurses recognised me immediately. "Oh Mr. Johnson, we'd thought we'd never see you again!," they all said in a semi-humorous tone which reminds me of why I hate hospitals now more than ever. Still, they did their job and got me prepped for the the work to be done to my arm. As soon as I was on the gurney in the O.R. and they put the mask that was filled with goofy juice to knock me out, the surgeons had already begun to do their job and within two hours or so, I was done. Later that night, I was back at home on the couch, stoned out of my gourd with my left arm killing me. The surgeon had prescribed Oxycodone for me to take every six hours, but I only three pills in twenty-four hours since Wednesday and I haven't touched it since and now that is where the big problem lies as I type this.

Because of having the anaesthesia and the Oxycodone still in my system after Tuesday, added with the fact that I still have to take my high blood pressure meds at the same time, I am on a high the likes of which haven't been seen since Cheech and Chong's Nice Dreams. I have been walking on Cloud Ten since then and cannot seem to function properly. I'm worn out and tired even more than usual and I finals this week at school. I haven't been able to study like I should and the added fact that I missed a whole week of classes this week hasn't helped the matter. I shall expect that I'll take the finals anyways still on this legal high but not doing as well I would have with out this problem.

Anyway, that's why I'm just getting around to posting anything until now. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. Also, some of you could have called a brotha to see if he was still alive. Dang.

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Deadlines

It has been busy this week, especially the past few days. My brother Anthony became ordained as a minister this week and I was supposed to go. However, it happened on a Friday night and I thought it was Sunday. It didn't help that I saw him on Thursday to help him plan for his wife's 50th birthday for Saturday night. Yep, you just have to love family.

Speaking of which, I got to see a few of my sisters Saturday night. Since all my sisters live between Atlanta and Virginia (six of them, by the way) and only Anthony and I still live in our hometown, it's always special whenever we can get together. I gave them all an update on what's been going on im my life and now I've now become the new P.J. O'Rourke. I did show one of my sisters Gwen the "Chicken N' Beer" story, with a little trepidation, but she actually laughed out loud and thought it was great, to my relief. The rest of the girls haven't seen it yet, so I still don't have full family approval. We shall see.

Speaking of the magazine, Tadd of Murmur called me yesterday afternoon as I was helping to set up for the party at the center with a rambling voice message. It turned out that the cover story wasn't going to see print as planned and he would be heading out of town early Monday for Vegas (lucky bastard) and needed something to fill in before he left so could I please, PLEASE come up with a piece for the December issue? There was lots of cussing in the call, but I understood what he said so I called him and let him know I'll see what I could do, despite the family. I knocked out the first paragraph later that night around 12:30 am or so, went to bed and finished it up this morning with over 1,000 words to Tadd's enjoyment. The essay, "Deadline 2008" (temporay title t.f.n.) will be in this month's Murmur in two weeks, with an online version to follow soon here.

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