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

Monday, October 24, 2005

Elvis the Gorilla

As promised, here is the photo of me dressed up as Elvis. I was in cooking school at the time, and weighed a bit more than I do now. As I said before, I won second place in the costume contest. First prize was a balloon ride over Loire Valley, but of course, the prize went to someone dressed up as a princess. No matter how much effort you put into your costume, first prize always goes to the person with the most rhinestones. I should have worn my Las Vegas Elvis suit that day.

By the way, this was the second prize:

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Gorilla Costumes for the Uninitiated

Many of you have written to me with burning questions about Halloween costumes. "What is the best way to dress up as Brad the Gorilla?" some of you have asked, while others wondered, "Is there a decorum for dressing up as a gorilla?" Of course there is. Never let it be said that I am unhelpful to my friends and readers in need. Here are the following five tips for your edification and inspiration:

1) No Gorilla Dances Ballet

Trust me: in the realm of dance, gorillas tend to stick to modern or jazz. Ballet dancing is very hard on the body. Pointe shoe dancing, in particular, may look good, but tell me, where in the whole evolutionary process did someone think it was smart to balance his or her whole weight on an area that's 2 inches squared at the most? Someone should have gotten a Darwin award for that one, except that s/he didn't, and now ballet dancers have to deal with bloody toes and washed-up careers at ages when most humans are just beginning to wonder, "What do I want to be when I grow up, I mean now that I've graduated from school and racked up thousands of drachmas in debt?"

2) Hyperbole is Fine in Moderation, but There's No Need to Be Overly Silly

Many humans would think that this costume is a gorilla's dearest dream come true. Here's another basic rule of nature: smaller fruit is sweeter, larger fruit is blander and mushier. A banana this large is probably pumped up with nasty chemicals and tastes like dirt without the benefit of crunchy bugs.

3) Strive For Accuracy

This Planet of the Apes costume would be fine except that the vest is not the same color as the ones worn by the gorilla soldiers. What's the point? However, if you want to pretend you're a futuristic space-gorilla from Babylon 5, then by all means, this costume might be your cup of tea. Just watch out for those Narns, who might be under the mistaken impression that you are mocking them. Narns are notorious for having no sense of humor whatsoever.

4) Don't Project Your Hero Worship Onto Your Children

Children's lives are hard enough, what with having to deal with peer pressure to dress up as princesses and presidents. Let their appreciation for gorillas grow naturally and spontaneously.

5) Real Estate Gorilla is the Way to Go

If you must dress up in a gorilla costume (and when it comes down to it, I don't blame you one little bit), the Real Estate Gorilla is the best gag of all. With real estate prices the way they are, everyone gets excited when they see a sale. Imagine pointing this sign at a mansion in Medina! You'll have the crowds positively rabid. What kinds of treats do you think the Manor Born distribute to the masses? With our luck, they give out raisins.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Musical Differences

It's hard to find anyone besides my Landlady who shares my appreciation for the acid-rock-country-gospel band, Alabama 3, or "A3" as they're legally known in the United States. (Some American soft-country band got a collective bee in its bonnet over the name similiarities. Can you imagine the Rolling Stones and Sly and the Family Stone making such a fuss?) Sure, they had a minor hit with the opening credits song for the television show "The Sopranos," but that's about it. I don't care about their rise to fame, popularity, or any other fancy trappings of the rock and roll world (ahhh, those fancy trappings!), but my Landlady has been bellyaching that they're not going to bring their Outlaw tour to the PNW, let alone the USA. The band and I used to hang out in the early days when I would head over to the UK on weekends away from cooking school. We'd go to raves in Brixton, and jam together from time to time. I even recorded a single with them, called, "Turn the Poacher Inside Out." It has never been released, because there was some major problems with legal issues. I don't know. Personally, I have never troubled myself with legal issues. If Alabama 3 ever get it together to come to the PNW, I will personally make a big pot of spaghetti for them. It's the least I can do.

Recently, Orlando Harrison, a.k.a. "The Spirit," wrote an article in journal form for The Independent. His assessment of Larry Love is apt to a T:

I'm gripped by desire to smack Larry Love in the face. It's an automatic reaction, like tears in the face of a strong onion. Everything he says, everything he does, makes me want to hit him. It's not his wild exaggerations, it's not his narcissism. It's not even his stupid cowboy hat. Actually, it might be the hat. But this whole festival of degeneracy is his idea, the product of his delusion. Trouble is, I quite like him. I settle for drinking him under the table.

I can relate. I really can.

A rare photo of Brad the Gorilla jamming with Larry Love of Alabama 3

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Blind Date

First off, my blind date was surprised to find out that I actually was a gorilla, not a human being. She said, “I thought ‘Brad the Gorilla’ was a moniker to describe your Herculean strength, not your actual species.”

I jest. What she actually said was, “Oh, you’re a gorilla!”

To which I could only reply, “Oh, you’re a human being!”

After that, Zirconia (my blind date’s goth name) and I decided to make the best of an awkward situation. There was really only one thing to do: go to Café Flora, the premiere vegetarian restaurant in town. For an appetizer, we had lentil-pecan pâté, gherkins, apple, marinated olives and red onion confit with croccantini crackers. Zirconia had the Artichoke Croquettes with citrus cream and sweet chili lime sauces, petite lentils and a fresh vegetable slaw in orange ginger vinaigrette. I had the Portobella Wellington made with portobella mushrooms, leeks and mushroom-pecan pâté in puff pastry with Madeira wine sauce, seasonal vegetables and mashed potatoes . For dessert, we had orange clove crème brulee, and chocolate coconut cake with chocolate espresso sauce. We splurged on a dessert wine and had Chateau Manos Cadillac.

Afterward, Zirconia took me to the members-only goth-club, The Mercury . It was there we discovered that our musical tastes were highly incompatible. I thought the goth music was okay, not great, but as soon as I found out she didn’t think Elvis contributed to rock and roll music simply because he didn’t write his own songs, things got a bit uncomfortable. Zirconia also thought that Howlin’ Wolf sang "Born to Be Wild." Then, when she mentioned the band Sisters of Mercy, I thought she was talking about Leonard Cohen.

At the end of the evening, Zirconia said she had a nice time, but that she was really interested in dating human beings. I wasn’t put out at all—as I’ve said time and again, I am not interested in romance with anybody. Besides, Zirconia picked up the check for everything. For once, I have nothing about which to complain.

And here you thought I was going to throw a fit!

When I got home, I took the Goth Name Generator Quiz, just out of curiosity:


Girl Name: Queen Nocturna Starfruit
Guy Name: Lord Biff the Frightfully Furry

*You will tickle an
annoying person in the near future*

You tend to hide behind your squeaky clean (albeit furry!) image. You hope that no one will reveal the secrets of your past but you have no idea that everyone is only thinking about Halloween cupcakes anyway, and wondering or not they will get enough cream-cheese frosting with black and orange sprinkles. (It's a good bet that they probably won't.)

What Is Your Goth Name?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Transportation Problems Solved!

My landlord has written a post on Metroblog that addresses how Seattle can solve its transportation problems once and for all:

"Let's raise the downtown ground level to the height of the Alaskan Way Viaduct....If you've ever taken Bill Speidel's Seattle Underground Tour you know that our current plague of engineering debacles (Alaskan Way Viaduct, Downtown bus tunnel, monorail) is merely a reflection of a city whose previous misadventures include blowing itself up, burning itself down, and dousing itself in sewage. So let's take a page from their book, bury our problems, and start anew."

It's what I've been saying all along. And that makes me think that I know the perfect place to take my blind date this weekend: the Underground Tour. I'm going to email my blind date right away, and warn her not to wear sandals.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Personals Ad???

I am so mad at my Landlady I could spit pomegranate seeds. (Hah! My Landlady has been making such a fuss about pomegranates lately. When was the last time she ate one fresh off the tree? That's right, never.)

Yesterday, my Landlady asked me a few questions for what she said was a "fun survey." I thought she was talking about those silly personality quizzes that are so popular with the blogosphere right now. I decided to indulge her. Noblesse oblige, after all. I had no idea that my Landlady was filling out a personals ad for me. A personals ad. How often have I have said (ranted, raged) about having no interest whatsoever in romantic relationships? Did my Landlady have a banana in her ear all those times? I'm shocked and dismayed. For someone who's supposed to be soooo sensitive, she sure does have a callous and cruel streak. (Of course, part of me is impressed by her powers of cunning and guile, but not enough to ease my ire. Not enough by far.)

Here is the list of questions my Landlady asked me under false pretenses:

What is your most humbling moment?

It’s hard to say. Either it was after losing the third round in the semi-finals of Wimbledon, or after my Landlady posted my baby photos. Then again, I did lose the match to Goran Ivanisevic, so I’d have to vote for the photos. What was humbling about the moment was realizing I had underestimated the craftiness of my Landlady. Never again! (Addendum: Famous last words.)

· If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?

I’m always exactly where I want to be. What’s the purpose of this survey again?

What are the five items you can't live without?

I assume that you’re not asking about the basics of food, clothing and shelter
(though really, I don’t need clothes, as I have my fur), but about some of my favorite items. With that in mind, here are the five items I like a lot:

the new zebra-striped apron my Landlady is sewing for me
my limited-edition “A Very Special Earth Day with Elvis” album
my guitar
my paella pan

· Fill in the blank: _____ is sexy; _____ is sexier.

Oh. That. Is. Just. Gross.

· In your bedroom one will find...

A big mess. That’s not my fault, though, as my roommates are the messy ones.
I live with a chimpanzee named Fred, a 800 pound gorilla named Brutus, and a wiry human named Ulric. Fred and Brutus are relatively tidy, but Ulric is another matter. It’s okay, though. When the room gets too messy to maneuver without bruising shin-caps, I just throw everything out the window.

Why You Should Get to Know Me

You already know me! Oh, I have to pretend you don’t know me. Okay. There is only one good reason why you would want to get to know me: I’m Brad the Gorilla. Case closed.

More About What I Am Looking For

I enjoy cooking with organic bananas, but am also appreciative of pineapples, guavas, and mangoes. I have a weakness for passion-fruit soda, but that’s hard to get anywhere outside of South Africa. As far as spices go, I am a big fan of saffron, cardamom, and sumac. All of those spices make good presents. Is that why you're asking me? I have a whole wish-list of suitable presents, as you very well know.

Update: Now I'm starting to get email messages about the personals ad. Help!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Early ape gets the fruit-basket

Strictly out of curiosity, I walked into the new Grocery Outlet store this morning. As I entered the doorway, cameras flashed and people shook my hand. "You are our first customer!" they cheered. I came home with a free fruit-basket. The second customer, a woman with a seven month old baby, said, "I can't believe they don't sell diapers! Now I have to go to Target, and I haven't gotten any sleep in weeks."

While Grocery Outlet had a decent assortment of produce, I was unimpressed by the plethora of prepackaged diet meals (I use the word "meal" in the loosest sense of the word only.) Most if not all of us wanted Metropolitan Market to move into that lot. Hey, Metropolitan Market wanted to move into that lot. The folks at Grocery Outlet went over the heads of our local contacts to the humans in Florida who own the property. By the time I found out about this shady behavior, the deal was done.

To customer #2: you will get your diapers or my name is not Bradley the Gorilla. Selling diapers at Outlet stores is a no-brainer. They will get their acts together or they will go under.

In the meantime, would you like a kiwifruit? I've got plenty to spare.

P.S. I tried to make tapioca pudding with pureed papaya. Not only did it not work, but the pudding turned out bitter. I should have known better. The last time I tried to cook mango, it ended up tasting like squash. I like squash, but it was a waste of a perfectly good mango.

Monday, October 03, 2005

King Brad: the film

I had a dream last night, and today I'm working on a screenplay. Here is my vision of the film. It takes place in Seattle, and the final scene, the oversized gorilla gets to crawl to the top of the Space Needle. The oversized gorilla is hungry, of course, and everyone keeps pelting him with bananas in the hopes that he will go away. But no, the oversized gorilla shall not be quelled by such stereotypical devices.

I've only gotten that far. At least I have a movie poster with which to work. After watching Big Tim's movies, I've gotten the acting bug again. Since this time I'm writing the screenplay, I'll have more artistic control. I'll use footage from Stockstock.

Who wants to make a movie?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Party in the Trees

I know some of you think I dislike monkeys merely because I throw fits when people confuse monkeys with apes. However, I do have monkeys for friends. I even like some of them. Many of my dorm-mates in college were monkeys. Here is a photo I took my junior year of college, after an all-night party in the woods. One of the monkeys in the picture is a doctor now, and the one with the "B" on her chest is an English professor. Over the years, I've lost track of some of the guys, but a few of us get together annually for a raucous reunion. Red hats are strictly optional.