Friday, December 30, 2005

Coffee Gorilla

Philip the Pun just came back from his East Coast vacation. While he was gone, I visited his condo, watered his cat, fed his plants, played with his Star Wars LEGOs and did some laundry, since the Landlord's washing machine was broken. Unfortunately, I got the dishwasher soap and the laundry detergent mixed up. My Landlady hasn't yet noticed how squeaky-clean all the clothes are, but she has mentioned something about the "shine" that makes me think she's getting suspicious.

At any rate, Phil showed his appreciation for all my hard work by bringing back for me some Gorilla Coffee. Like me, the coffee is Mighty Strong:

It's a Full Pound (though I'm sure I weigh much, much more, albeit not as much as Brutus):

And it's Not Wimpy:

Thank you, Phil. You're very generous. (I almost feel badly about the hair-trim I gave your cat. Then again, she wouldn't have needed the hair-trim had I not given her bubble-gum. I only had the bubble-gum out because I had to fix your broken LEGOs with something. They would never have broken if it hadn't been for the cat jumping up on the ledge to escape from the attack of the finger-puppets.)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Grudge Match Puppet Show

Boxing Day Grudge Match 2005

All the world's a stage
and all the men and women mammals,

avians and reptiles merely players puppets.
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man gorilla in his time plays many parts...


P.S. My Landlady took the pictures.
P.P.S. Click on the "slideshow" option to view the puppet-show properly.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Boxing Day Grudge Match

Tune in tomorrow, December 27, for the results of the Boxing Day Grudge Match. I know I had promised to post the results earlier today, but I am verbally sparring with my Landlady over which version I'm going to show. I want to show only the edited version, and she wants me to show the full, uncut version. The uncut version is too shocking, too harrowing for general audiences. Besides, the Grudge Match didn't turn out quite as I had anticipated. Everything was fine until the end, and then things got really embarrassing.


Happy Boxing Day!

Traditionally, Boxing Day was the holiday when lords and ladies gave presents to their servants. Over the centuries, it turned into a big shopping day. Now, I am proud to announce that for the first time ever, Boxing Day has nothing to do with shopping and everything to do with sparring. My Landlord is going to host a big Boxing Day game-session in the basement. All of his buddies think they're coming over to play his new board game, Orks Go Berserk on Pretty Ponies, but really, they will have to pummel each other until someone agrees to go upstairs to get more beer.

What will be more interesting is Brad's Boxing Day Grudge-Match held upstairs in the living room. My Landlady doesn't know about it yet, but she'll find out sometime before it starts, if not immediately thereafter. Fear not, I'll post photos of the event. In the meantime, I am enclosing a snippet of my life culled from the pages of Hitman J's Weekly Word Verifier contest:

The word-verifier jumble "cbies" reminds me of my childhood, when I rode in my mother's truck and played with her CB Radio. My mother, I think I've mentioned, was a big-time activist in her day. She was always lobbying for gorilla rights, and communicated with her cohorts primarily by CB Radio. (This was in the day way before cell-phones were anything but daydreams for the common primate.) My mother was always using special codes on the radio, and I wanted to do the same. The trouble is, I didn't know what any of the codes were. I got us into trouble sometimes. For example...

Young Brad on CB: Chocolate pudding on banana sticks straight ahead!

Real meaning: The elephants are stampeding the marketplace. Send reinforcements immediately.

Young Brad on CB: I'm smoking 12 stinky cigars!

Real meaning: Please send 12 dozen pizzas to the mayor, and put them on his bill.

Young Brad on CB: Underpants! Hankie! Flush the toilet!

Real meaning: All members of the liberation squad immediately report to the ice-cream stand and await further instructions.

As you can guess, I spent a lot of time in the Uncooperative Chair.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Monkey, Monkey, Monkey

My Landlady features Monkey in her post today (despite the fact that she said she wasn't going to do any more posting for the rest of the week).

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Poem and Chocolate for Nonny

HEY nonny no!
Men are fools that wish to die!
Is 't not fine to dance and sing
When the bells of death do ring?
Is 't not fine to swim in wine,
And turn upon the toe,
And sing hey nonny no!
When the winds blow and the seas flow?
Hey nonny no!

--16th Century, author unknown

My favorite part of the song is about swimming in wine, although I'm sure Mr. Pudding would prefer to swim in beer. Of course, I don't really want to swim in wine. I can't even swim (though when pressed, I can doggy-paddle).

By the way, I know Nonny expressed some skepticism over the chocolate fondue fountain. However, once she sees that I have dipped roses in chocolate using the super chocolate fondue fountain, she'll change her tune. I just know it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Brad Rose

Ladyhearteater, I'm sorry to hear that you're sick. I know you wanted Elvis flowers, and I said I'd get you Elvis flowers, but as it turns out, it's too close to the holidays to get Elvis flowers. No matter! I've gotten Charlotte and Fred to get to work in the greenhouse and create something extra special for you. They've been working hard all morning on this particular flower. And now, for the first time ever in the history of horticulture, I am proud to present

The Brad Rose:

I'm giving Charlotte and Fred the rest of the afternoon off.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Scotch Eggs

For Charlotte, the initial thrill of Seattle has worn off, and now she complains about missing her friends in Glasgow. She is doing quite well for a beginner in her internship here at Bradley Enterprises, and someday she may rival even me in terms of grouchy bossiness. Fred, on the other hand, is a mellow sort of chap. He’s always trying to do kind things for Charlotte. Charlotte thinks Fred is babyish, and so she turns up her nose at his efforts.

Yesterday morning, as I was making eggs sunny-side up, Charlotte stomped to the breakfast table and said, “Eeew. I hate runny eggs. I only like meatless Scotch eggs."

I figured Charlotte could take care of her own breakfast. I don't know if you've ever had a Scotch egg, but nothing will harden your arteries faster, unless you count Charlotte's other favorite snack, the deep-fried Mars Bar. However, as I began to grind the coffee-beans for my first cup of coffee, Fred asked Charlotte, “Would you like an omelet made with Smart Bacon and bread-crumbs? An omelet isn't a runny egg."

"No!" Charlotte replied. "I said I didn't want any eggs that weren't Scotch eggs. I'd rather just starve."

“You don't need to throw a fit," I told Charlotte. "Fred was trying to help, which is more than I would do for you in the temper you’re in.”

“Fred is just a smug do-gooder,” Charlotte said. "He doesn't understand what I'm going through."

For those comments, I had Charlotte clean all the toilets in the house. In addition, she had to do something nice for Fred. She hasn’t done it yet, but she’s not getting her weekly stipend until she cooperates.

I have a headache.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Brad's human avatar

Nonny and Lady Hearteater were sad because the whole Yahoo Avatar fol-de-rol setup didn't have a primate option. I was disgruntled as well. (Some people think that humans are primates, but as stated in an earlier post, I am writing a monograph refuting such a preposterous notion. Deep down inside, everyone knows that humans are really monotremes).

You'd think that Yahoo would have gotten it by now that the internet is an interspecies information highway. No matter. I designed a human transformation a la Shrek 2. Now, you all have to make avatars so I can see how you would look as gorillas, bonobos, chimpanzees, or orangutans.

Yahoo! Avatars

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Brad Stays

Mr. Pudding,

Your complaints reached the right officials, it seemed. When Ulric’s neighbors found out that Ulric was bringing two gorillas to his apartment (or two and a ½, if you count Fred, who is part chimp, part gorilla), they raised a ruckus. “No gorillas in Queen Anne!” they cried. I had to calm them down using buckets of water and dirt. The superintendent finally reached a compromise whereby everyone agreed that one gorilla could stay in the apartment. Everyone took a vote, and Brutus won. (I think they were still mad about the water and dirt.) So, Brutus is moving out with Ulric, and Fred and I are staying in the Landlord’s and Landlady’s house. It’s just as well—Charlotte has been making a mess of the place, and the Landlady said, “I’m already cleaning up after a toddler. Cleaning up after a toddler and a teenager is just too much to ask of me.” I told the Landlady that she could make Charlotte clean up after herself, but the Landlady scoffed. “Who has ever successfully made a teenager do anything?” she asked. “They have to think that the things they do are their own ideas, or nothing ever gets done.”

I conceded her point.

Nonny, I am granting your long-awaited wish. Here is a family photo of Fred, Charlotte, and me in the fruit-basket:

Monday, December 12, 2005

Moving Out

It's official. When Ulric moves out of the house this week, I'm going with him to his new apartment. My Landlady said that Charlotte could sleep in the Landlord's daughter's room. They're going to take Ulric's room and turn it into an entertainment center-- the Landlord will use it for role-playing games, and the Landlady will host her sewing circles (also known as the "Stitch and Kvetch"). Since I will be paying for Charlotte's room and board, I shall still refer to the Landlord and the Landlady as such. However, "Landlord's daughter" is getting to be a bit of a mouthful, so I shall refer to her as "Lucia, the Landlord's daughter."

Charlotte is arriving tonight from Glasgow. Since Ulric doesn't yet have his new car, I shall have to borrow the Landlady's car. I won't actually ask her, as she would just say, "No, Brad, you can take the bus." She keeps rubbing it in that I don't have a license. I'm a gorilla. Gorillas don't need drivers' licenses. We instinctively have a feel for the wheel.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Genetic make-up

I admit that I was skeptical that actor Andy Serkis could play a good Kong. You know how I feel about humans playing gorillas. There are perfectly good gorillas out there willing to act for big budget films, especially when they're paid properly. However, my initial reservations have given way to confidence that old Gollum-face can actually act. Here is the article that convinced me:

Handsome Beast

Initially, I scoffed when I read these paragraphs:

Serkis is something of a gorilla expert now. Humans, he says, differ only about 3 per cent in genetic make-up from simians. To get in touch with his inner 97 per cent, he studied gorillas everywhere, from his local zoo in London to the mountains of Rwanda.

He must have done well. The story of his interactions with Zaire, an older female gorilla at London Zoo, could have pushed Brad and Angelina off the front pages.

"I spent a lot of time at the zoo before I went off to Rwanda and I began to realise she recognised me," he says. "Then she would start beckoning me and, yes, flirting."

I don't know what the author was talking about with this "Brad and Angelina" business. Perhaps they meant "Brad and Jen" (we're just friends, remember), but still, someone needs to proofread these articles in a more professional manner. I don't know anyone named Angelina, unless you count the dancer, Angelina Ballerina. Really, we've only met twice, so I hardly know her. (Remember, gorillas are more of modern-dance and jazz fans.)

When I read this paragraph, I was convinced that Serkis was the right actor to bring authenticity to the film:

Serkis became an on-set gorilla advocate. When the script called for Kong to chow down on a vanquished tyrannosaurus, Serkis pointed out gorillas are vegetarian. The menu at Kong's victory feast thus features a medley of giant bamboo shoots.

Thank you, Mr. Serkis. It's about time. I cannot imagine anything more unappetizing than a "vanquished tyrannosaurus" (unless you count Ulric's peanut-butter in canned mushroom soup fiasco).

P.S. On a whim, I've lifted the ban on contractions.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Grammar Gorilla

Some time ago, I came across a website called The Grammar Gorillas. I said to Brutus, “Finally, the greatest of the great apes will banish the peccadilloes of the English language.” Hah! I was sorely disappointed. The Grammar Gorillas deal only with parts of speech. What would I do with parts of speech? If I wanted to talk about nouns, prepositions, or conjunctions, I would consult with Dr. Knickerbocker, my old Latin Professor. Five seconds later, I would fall asleep on top of his desk.

I have decided to take matters into my own hands. Henceforth, I shall banish contractions. Contractions are at the roots of so many problems. Consider “It’s” and “Its.” If you just write, “It is,” all you have to remember is that “it” never takes an apostrophe. “You’re” and “your” are similar culprits of confusion. Banish the apostrophe! “You’re” becomes “you are.” Worst of all is the they’re/their/there Triumvirate. Preposterous! First, remove the apostrophe, so that you have “they are.” To remember the difference between “there and their,” all you have to do is to put a “t” in front of “here” to get the opposite word. By process of elimination, "their" becomes the possessive of a group: "Their party is over there. They are having a great time drinking banana daquiris."

From now on, I will not use any contractions. They are bothersome, fiddly things that do nothing but cause perfectly reasonable people to worry and fuss.

Amendment: I have decided to retain one contraction for personal use: "Y'all." I would hate to see “Y’all” disappear from the English language.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Rumor is Partly True

My Landlady blabbed on her blog about how I got kicked out of art school today. Hah! I didn't get kicked out. I quit. Who needs art school? Koko didn't go to art school, and the prints of her fingerpaintings sell pretty well. I'm considering ordering the print, "Pink Pink Stink Nice Drink" after I sell my own artsy photographs for a tidy sum. I had hoped to sell my couch-mural painting, but my Landlord threw the couch-cover in the wash when I wasn't looking. He said he needed a place to sit down more than I needed a canvas. And he thinks he's an artist. He jests!*

*Um, actually, he's pretty good.

Monday, December 05, 2005


Dear Nonny,

Your Christmas tree is sparkly and festive, but it's missing something very important: the Brad Ornament! I shall remedy the situation immediately:

If anyone else has a Very Special Blogger ornament, please sent it my way.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Brad's Billion Dollar Blog

My Landlady's blog is worth a small chunk of change. I shall find out how much my blog is worth, according to someone else's arbitrary number-crunching:

I am shocked. This is obviously a mistake. I'll take the test again:

My blog is worth $1,000,000,000.00.
How much is your blog worth?

That's more like it! There is so much wisdom in these little blog quizzes.

Letter from the Queen

In the comments section, Mr. Pudding writes:

Have you got permission from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to display a British flag in the background of your baboon profile picture?

Funny you should ask:


Mr. Pudding writes:

Lord Brad-Tarzan,
Please accept my sincere apologies for doubting your honour sir. As the letter is on butter-coloured parchment it is undoubtedly authentic. I will dribble with shame this evening as I guzzle a yard of Tetley's bitter at the local pub, avoiding the temptation to ask for a WEE "Scapa"! Funny how the Queen forgot how to spell her surname - WinDsor - but she is getting on in years now.

Of course I accept his sincere apologies. I am not completely without compassion. You will all note, however, that the Queen did spell her last name correctly. I cannot fathom why Mr. Pudding would have thought otherwise!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Republic of Cascadia

I am throwing off the yoke of oppression. Not only did I not win the mayoral race of Seattle, the government officials threw out my ballot! They said I'm not eligible to vote in the United States. What nerve. I've been voting for years, and no one's made too much of a fuss before.

Fine. The United States government won't allow me to vote, so I shall embrace a country that will recognize my rights as a free-thinking, political ape. I am now a proud citizen of the Republic of Cascadia. My Landlady claims to be a Cascadian fan (you'll see it in her profile), but never mind her Anglophilic pretentions and claims to be a citizen of the world-- she is a United Statesian at heart. You can take the real New York bagels away from the Landlady, but you cannot take the Landlady away from... oh, I guess the Landlord did that too. Never mind. To make up for it, he brings her coffee in the mornings.

In any case...


Here is the anthem of Cascadia, written by Dan LeRoque (link has an mp3 file of the song):

Cascadia, Cascadia, of ever-present rain
Cascadia, Cascadia, the drugs help ease the pain.

We come here from Newfoundland, Quebec and Ontario
And call our folks in winter-time, to laugh cuz they've got snow.

Sang de revolte je prends partant mon grandpapa et pere
On viens ici pour faire squeegee et prendre le welfare

Cascadia, Cascadia, Oh faultline under me
You wouldn't want to be here when we fall into the sea.

Brad's Notes:

ever-present rain: Often a heavy mist, rarely an out-and-out deluge.

drugs help ease the pain: Lots of Cascadians are on anti-depressants. It's not that the PNW itself is depressing, but that the lack of direct sunlight in the winter months can have negative effects. Human beings need 20 minutes a day of direct sunlight (no sunscreen) in order to get the Vitamin D they need. Gorillas in the diaspora generally don't need to take anti-depressants, but during the winter, we do tend to write soppy ballads about how no one understands us. It's embarrassing! I usually burn all the evidence once spring rolls around.

laugh cuz they've got snow: Today, Seattle got snow. It was quite the event. Despite the fact that most of it has melted away, we're all still talking about it with much amazement.

Sang de revolte etc.: Of course there's French in our anthem. We're so cultured around these parts. There is no evidence whatsoever of an inferiority complex to New Yorkers. Or anyone else (especially those cities with great sports teams). Do you think I jest? Perish the thought.

You wouldn't want to be here when we fall into the sea.: So, what's the point? As Sufjan Stevens sings, "All things go." (I'm afraid that's what's going to happen to the gorillas too, and it makes me sad.) At the same time, I really wish we Cascadians would get it together so that we're earthquake prepared. I don't want to be anywhere near the Alaska Way Viaduct or the 520 Bridge when the Big One hits. Despite my surly exterior (and interior, for I am tough meat through and through), I wouldn't want anyone else to be there either.

I don't want to end on a dismal note, so I shall leave you with the inspiring verses of the Geoduck Fight Song.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Shocking News about Black Highlighters

Here's a ground-breaking story from that illustrious news source, The Onion:

CIA Realizes It's Been Using Black Highlighters All These Years

Also unclear is why black highlighters were chosen in the first place. Some blame it on the closed, elite culture of the CIA itself. A former CIA officer speaking on the condition of anonymity said highlighting documents with black pens was a common and universal practice.

"It seemed counterintuitive, but the higher-ups didn't know what they were doing," the ex-officer said. "I was once ordered to feed documents into a copying machine in order to make backups of some very important top-secret records, but it turned out to be some sort of device that cut the paper to shreds."

That explains a lot. I suspect the FBI has made similar mistakes. I once ordered a copy of my FBI file, and received a folder full of pages with sentences blacked out. I have scanned a copy of the cover page. Perhaps you can figure out the complete content of the document. I am stumped.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Red Elvises

Since Hitman J has imbedded a video on his blog, I must now imbed a video on my blog. However, there's something funky with the formatting. It's not my fault. It's someone else's fault (perhaps Ulric's). This song is by the Red Elvises, and it's from the film Six String Samurai.

Addendum: Embedded videos are really annoying. I just can't support that kind of nonsense anymore. Just go to the Red Elvises website, and you'll find a number of videos by this surf-band from Russia. You'll note a reference to the song in Mr. Pudding's comments. I maintain that the song is about a romantic wind instrument, a la flute or oboe. Mr. Pudding seems to think that it's about something risque.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Bradopoly: The Special Edition

For those of you who wanted actual names on your place-squares of Bradopoly, here you go. You probably will have to print out the gameboard in order to read all the names. There had better be no quibbling about hierarchy in regard to the streets named after the various bloggers, or there will be no chocolate pudding for anyone! (I'm practicing my authoritarian-uncle tone for when my niece Charlotte comes to intern for Bradley Enterprises. I have a feeling that she is going to need lots and lots of bossing around in order to keep her in line. Gorilla children are notoriously rambunctious.)

Here are the rules.

Qui-Gon or Obi-Wan?

Regarding yesterday's post, Nonny writes, "That doesn't look like Obi Wan. It looks like Qui Gon Gin. I need a better picture please."

Nonny, here is your better picture:

What do you think? Maybe it's Taylor from "Planet of the Apes." No, probably not. The action figure is rather overdressed for Taylor.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

More News Updates

Ulric brought up some Star Wars figures for the Landlady's six year old cousins. The Landlord's Daughter immediately seized them for her own play. She took Darth Vader and said, "This is the Daddy." Luke was the Mommy, and Obi-Wan was, well, Obi-Wan.

By the way, Ulric is apartment hunting. He wants a place of his own, because as he points out, "It's hard to date when you're living in your older sister's basement." I get to decide whether I will move out with Ulric or stay with the Landlord and Landlady. Here's the dilemma: in Ulric's apartment, I would have easy access to all-night parties and general carousing. However, my young niece, Charlotte, is coming from Scotland to intern for Bradley Enterprises, and I have agreed to host her in my home. What to do, what to do?

Friday, November 25, 2005

Friday Silliness

While I was adopting Hrothgar the virtual hedgehog, I thought of Lady Hearteater. It's the sort of thing she would do, only I think she'd adopt all the animals available.

adopt your own virtual pet!

For some reason, when I think of Godzilla attacking web pages, Hitman J comes to mind.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


(Click the picture to enlarge the gameboard for printing quality.)

Are you tired of the board games you have played year in and year out? Now, you can play a new version of an old game: Bradopoly! If you have an existing Monopoly set, you may use the items found therein. (If you need more money, you can print out Ameribucks here and Britquid here.) I have left properties and currencies blank so that you may fill in what you desire according to your particular economy. Feel free to inflate your economy.

You may follow the usual rules for Monopoly except for when it differs from Bradopoly. Some examples:

1) Whenever you land on Utility panel ("Brad will fix..." or "Brad will clean...") panels, it means a gorilla will stomp all over your property and sweep your houses and hotels off the board. Hard luck! That's Bradopoly for you.

2) When you land on "Save the Gorillas!" you must donate 5% of your existing funds to the Gorilla Fund. The Gorilla Fund is located under the fruit square.

3) When you land on the "Free Fruit" square, you get the money that's there.

4) You may attempt to rob the bank at any time, but you must not get caught! If you get caught, you go directly to jail and have to donate all of your stolen goods to the Gorilla Fund. If you land on the "Rob the Bank!" panel, everyone has to hide his or her eyes while you rob the bank.

5) If you land on the Banana Tax panel, you must give 25% of your earnings to the Gorilla Fund.

6) Make two cards--one for "Chance" and one for "Community Chest"-- that have Brad Insurance. If you land on a Utility panel, you may use your Brad Insurance card to negate the damage. However, you must surrender that card to the original deck.

If you have any further questions, let me know. I will add addendums to the game as I see fit.

Monday, November 21, 2005

News Items

Here are two news items for you to read while I work on my "Bradopoly" post:

Baby Gorilla (Thanks for the link, Stewy!)

Big Brother

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Great Gorilla Run

Nobody ever tells me anything. For the past two years, there has been a Great Gorilla Run in London, England, to raise funds for gorillas in the wild. Neither my cousin Nigel (who lives in Brixton) nor my clipping service notified me of this matter. (Memo to Self: Fire the clipping service.)

I had to find out about the Gorilla Run from Adam Ant of all people. While I appreciate Mr. Ant's intentions to be helpful, it's actually good that his record company refused to release "Save the Gorilla", sung to the tune of "Stand and Deliver." (Memo to Mr. Ant: The next time you want to release a song about gorillas, why don't you write to me personally? Please. I can help. Among other many other things, I am a noted songwriter.)

Other links to the Great Gorilla Run:

Baked Apes!

Rach's Great Gorilla Run

Just when I thought my adopted country had dropped the ball, I found this link to a Gorilla Run in Colorado: Denver Gorilla Run

Now, Washington State needs a Gorilla Run of its own. I would run in the race myself, except that I have bad knees ruined from lifting weights. Still, I could organize it. Better yet, I could get Ulric to organize it while I sit in my chair, smoke my cigar, and boss him around.

Addendum: My Landlady just pointed out that the Great Gorilla Run is not a race, therefore I can walk it. I will have the benefit of not having to put on a gorilla suit, but of course, I will need to wear a costume.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Pudding For Friday

Dear Friday,

Would you believe it, Ms. Juanita Mannerly-Appe recovered from her chest-cold in record time. It's funny, because I could have sworn she still had a bit of congestion (it was very hard to understand her over the phone), but she was insistent on completing the seminars on gorilla etiquette. "You've done enough," she said. I detected a note of grumpiness in her voice, but perhaps Ms. Mannerly-Appe was starting to get worried that I'd take over her newspaper column when I returned. No such chance! I'm running Bradley Enterprises, taking art classes at Cornish, trying to get another rock and roll band together and I'm running this blog. Then, there's cooking the Thanksgiving dinner... but enough of that. You need cheering up, and I, Brad the Gorilla, am here to do it. First off, you need a little chocolate therapy. I have prepared for you my signature quick-and-easy chocolate pudding layered with banana slices:

I know Hitman J likes recipes, so here goes:

4 tablespoons cocoa powder (more if you want!)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups milk (lowfat okay)
1/4 cup of maple syrup (sugar is fine too, but Grade B maple syrup has more nutrients, and you might as well have some fortifying pudding)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 banana

Mix cocoa powder and cornstarch together. Get a double-boiler ready (if you don't have one, simply put a pot on the stove with a couple of inches of water in it, and put another pot over top of it so that it rests on the rim. Try to get the pots to be around the same size so that you don't lose your pudding to boiling water). Combine all ingredients except vanilla, and stir constantly over medium heat. The mixture will seem to be simply chocolate milk until it begins to boil, and then it will get thick. The longer you keep it over the heat, the thicker the pudding will be. I like my pudding to be pretty intense, and if you do too, you might want to double the recipe.

Take the pudding mixture off of the heat, and stir in vanilla. While the pudding begins to cool, slice up a banana and place a layer in the bottom of each bowl (technically, this makes four servings, but I prefer 3 servings! Or two. Ho ho.) Pour pudding over the banana slices. Garnish each pudding bowl with more bananas. Eat the leftover banana bits.

Of course, if that doesn't work, I can always get out my puppets.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Road Signs

As I travel around the state covering Ms. Mannerly-Appe's gorilla etiquette seminars, I have been taking photos of interesting signs. Here are a few I've seen so far:

In some towns, folks keep their pumpkin lanterns lit all November long. This was my favorite one:

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Etiquette Seminar

Dear Nonny,

I am writing from the road. I am filling in for Ms. Juanitta Mannerly-Appe who was teaching some in-state seminars on gorilla behavior, or rather, how one should behave when in the presence of a gorilla. While in Snoqualmie, Ms. Mannerly-Appe caught a chest-cold that prohibited her from completing the rest of her tour. I found Ms. Mannerly-Appe's agenda to be incomplete, so I added a few points of my own. To wit:

Traditional Gorilla Etiquette

Obviously, these points only cover the manners you display to the gorillas at the zoo. When gorillas are out in the world, there is a whole host of other things to remember. I shall name just a few:

1) When you first meet a gorilla, it is polite to offer a present of some kind. Future meetings do not warrant a present, but some sort of small gift in the form of delicious food is appropriate. That small gift does not have to be anywhere near the extravangence of the first gift.

2) When a gorilla tosses a mixed-salad with his or her feet, then offers it to a human, it is unseemly to turn it down. The human must eat every bite, or the gorilla's feelings will be hurt.

3) If you buy a brand-new car, it is courteous to offer the first test-drive to a gorilla, and not to make any comments on the state of the car when it is returned to you.

Of course you knew all this, but many of the humans in Washington State are not as informed. That is about to change! I shall post updates as I am able while on the road, but do not expect the normal calibre of insight and genius you usually find within this blog. I shall return home before Thanksgiving, as I have agreed to cook the Thanksgiving meal for the entire family plus extended relatives. I am getting paid, of course.

Your friend,

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Brad and Jen

Good morning, everyone. I am your new mayor of Seattle.

Just kidding. Mr. Nickels is going to serve a second term. I'm not too choked up about it, though. At his acceptance speech, the mayor said a number of good things about my campaign, and vowed that he would spearhead an Initiative to repeal the Banana Tax. The big shake-up around here is the approval of the Statewide smoking ban in public places. That doesn't affect us cigar smokers, since there usually are separate rooms for cigar smoking. (I still don't like the smell of smoke in my fur, which is why I stick to my Havana Banana cigars. They are hard to get, so please remember Your Friend Brad when you visit Cuba.)

In other news, it seems that my friendship with Jen Aniston has made the gossip columns. If the print is too tiny to read, click on the article, and it will enlarge:

Monday, November 07, 2005

Reminder to Vote for Brad!

My Landlady quoted me in her LiveJournal. I'm wondering how this quote will go over with the Seattle voters tomorrow. Remember, I'm running for mayor. If elected mayor, I will bury Downtown so that the Alaska Way viaduct is at street-level, the existing roads will become bus tunnels, and the much-loathed Banana Tax will finally be repealed. Furthermore, everyone who decides to pulverize his or her car will get a free pony for the daily commutes across the 520 bridge. Where will we get all the money for the ponies, you may ask? From Tim Eyman, of course.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Ode to a Piece of Fruit

Here is a poem I wrote a few years ago:

Ode to a Piece of Fruit

I love you,
Speckled banana.
You are whole
Unto yourself.
Neither the siamangs of Sumatra
Nor the nectar bats of Brazil
Have ever truly unpeeled the skin
Of your mysteries.

Picked too soon,
You are bitter and green
Plucked too late,
You turn to mush.
But heated by the flame of the flambé stick
And the embrace of whiskey,
You reveal a truth we should have always known:
Your longing for custard cream is only surpassed
by your passion for chocolate.

O golden-brown banana,
No one can say that I desired only
plump ripe plums,
Small, mysterious kumquats,
Or impudent lychee nuts.
You are first, last and always in-between
Each course I serve upon the table
Of my earthly home.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

HNT: Better Late than Never

I'm really stumped as to the appeal of Half-Nekkid Thursday. Oh well, I guess I'll play this once. Hmmm, let's look at some of the guidelines...

"While animals can be included in a "Half-Nekkid Thursday" picture, they are not the focus, therefore cannot be the subject. If an animal is all that keeps your picture "Half-Nekkid" rather than "Full-Nekkid", that's OK."

Okay, so I'm an animal. If you're reading this, you're probably an animal too. I used to have a friend that was a cardboard box, but as far as I know, there are no plants or minerals with whom I converse on a regular basis.

Use some originality with your shots. Facial shots should be limited.

I have an original face. I shall disregard that guideline. Obviously, it does not pertain to me.

"As we get into this, you may find that you want to post more than one picture for "Half-Nekkid Thursday". I would discourage this practice unless absolutely necessary."

This guideline also does not apply to me. I'm finding this game strangely compelling. Bah! I blame Friday's Web.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Mirrormask Gorilla

In the film Mirrormask, one of the early scenes has a dancing gorilla wearing a tutu. I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw it. I was about to storm out of the theatre, but my friend Phil (a.k.a. "Blue Pencil Demon") said, "C'mon, Brad, give the film a chance." Despite my ruffled sensibilities, I did, and, well, grumble, grumble it was a good movie. Okay, I admit it. So what of it? Now are you going to see it for yourself?

P.S. Thanks for the popcorn, Phil. I just love popcorn. I hardly ever get any around here unless I go to the movies. My Landlady has forbidden (on pain of eviction) to let anyone cook popcorn in the house. It's all because my Landlord's friends burned popcorn in the microwave on two different occasions.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Flowers for Lady Hearteater

Dear Lady Hearteater,

Here are some flowers for you. I hope they don't make you sneeze. Remember to cut the stems before you put them in water.

Your friend,

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Presents for Everyone?

At the moment, I'm working on my gift list. It's tough, but I am trying to find appropriate presents uniquely suited to everyone on the list. Let me know if I've forgotten anyone. Here's what I have so far:

Apron for Hitman J

Lighter for Nonny

Clock for Potamus

Earrings for Smoochypants

Tummy ring for Lady Hearteater

Shower curtain for Phil the Pun

Golf-club covers for Stewy Stinker

Bingo Markers for Ulric

Salt and Pepper Shaker set for Friday's Web

Tote Bag for the Landlady

Wine for the Landlord

Barrettes for the Landlord's daughter