Monday, July 31, 2006
Removing doubt, one mp3 at a time...

Well, we made it home. Drove about 1200 miles from 4pm Friday through 1am Monday. Much of that on a scenic mountain highway (steep and crookedy) at night. Poor planner, me. Hit some poor bird on the mountain road, but it was over so quickly that there was no telling what kind of little bird it was - it just shocked the crap out of me, hitting the windscreen as it did directly in front of my face. I decided Saturday to come home Sunday, for reasons I won't go into here.

NEVER drive through Hot Springs on a Friday night, even though the neon in that town is spectacular - see the fountain hotel sign at right (there is a diving maiden scooping around the bottom right of the lettering, but her neon doesn't work anymore, alas!). It took about 45 minutes to drive through a one mile stretch of road - a lone traffic signal near the baths was the culprit, turning green and allowing a scant 2 or 3 cars through at a time, then followed by a 4 minute wait. I have more cool neon photos to post tomorrow or later in the week.

We woke up to the view of the grand canyon of the Ozarks, which was spectacular. I took this photo from the doorway of our room. Hummingbirds were buzzing around, and it was thoroughly charming.

My grandpa seems on the mend from the heart attack he had in May, which was about a month after my grandma's death. It was strange to go there and see the place and her house without her in it. On that dark mountain road I'd played cds of the best of Supertramp and ELO, and I remembered making my teenage escape of family gatherings by sitting in the car to listen to rock and roll radio, some of these very songs playing at that time. Bittersweet, the crushing weight of nostalgia. Your heart could break daily if you let it.

Anyway, lovely visit with grandpa and lots of fabulous hunting stories and stories of what a crack shot he was (my pop is, too.) Here is one of them.

When grandpa was a kid, his mom, Granny Smith, told him to bring his gun because she needed him to kill a chicken for dinner that night. He brought his .22 long rifle and as Granny went to the henhouse, she pointed out the black chicken she wanted shot.

He watched the chicken for a bit, and finally it stood stock still in perfect profile to grandpa, so he took aim at the eyeball and fired. The doomed bird jerked slightly and sat back on its haunches, but remained upright, head unmoving. Granny came out of the hen house and said, "you missed it, Jim," and he said "no, I think I hit it somewhere."

They went up for a closer review, and sure enough, the shell had shot clean through the left eye- not even breaking the rim of the eyelid- and out the right eye, splitting the outer rim the eyelid, otherwise leaving the chicken intact. I asked grandpa if he had to finish the bird off manually, and he laugh and said, "oh, I killed it."

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Sunday, July 30, 2006
this is an audio post - click to play
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Saturday, July 29, 2006
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Friday, July 28, 2006
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*whiner alert*
My partner in the office is on vacation this week, so this is one of the few times in recent years that I've actually worked a 5-day week. (you KNEW I was a pampered creature, so shut up already.) Im totally suffering here. Today I had that 1000 yard stare, a pendulous blob of slobber hanging bungee-like from my bottom lip. OK, that was a slight exaggeration, but the point is I'm glazing over at work and having difficulty focusing. See, I'm a trifle ADD, and I need breaks between work days so I can clear my cotton-wadded head and focus on tasks at hand.

What may actually be worse about this is that my job may be ending soon and then I'll have to go out and get another job, this time probably full-time, ugh. After all, my shoe habit must be supported.

On another sad note - Gary Numan is touring the USA (that NEVER happens) and the closest he's coming to Dallas is Chicago, alas!!! I would really love to see him.

In other music news, Austin City Limits is having a music festival in Austin in mid-September. If Imogen Heap would be there, well, you couldn't keep me away. As it is, I would dearly love to see Massive Attack, but I'll bet you can't get a room within 100 miles of Austin for any of those nights. Still, it should be an incredible event. *envy mode on*

Oh, tomorrow may be an audio post as I am traveling to Arkansas for the weekend to visit me grandpaw. I'll have some spectacular photos from the trip, no doubt. Have a great weekend!
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Thursday, July 27, 2006

I had to post these. Today I went due west from downtown Dallas toward Irving on Industrial, which turns into Irving Boulevard. Trinity Industries has this sputnik-era sign on outward sloping legs, which you can't get a sens of because of the tree.

Anyway, I stopped in the parking lot to get this picture, and then I noticed the rather stern lollipop parking sign giving a warning about poor parking in much the same way I would. Except I'd have a picture of a nun with a ruler in her hand. But the threat to tow would be unchanged. Another cool thing about this sign is the font looks 1920s era to me, though it really could have been lettered anytime up through the 60s. It's super cool. I wish I had this sign for my garden, because that's the kind of hairpin I am.

omg - anyone besides me simply foaming at the mouth to see who gets booted off Project Runway next week for cheating? It's GOT to be Angela. Can't believe she dodged that bullet again. Sheesh.

Oh, and finally, yesterday I told husband to "get the lead out" meaning to haul ass - he said he's never heard that expression, ever. He was born in Dallas. Any of you ever hear that? I've heard it aplenty since I was a young'un. Seems pretty common to me, but maybe I'm strange...
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Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Ok, this is an image from today with my new yellow filter to get more contrast on my b&w cloud pics. The clouds late this afternoon were big fluffy santa-beardy fluffballs.
This one had a neat sort of keyhole in it, and I was thrilled to see the filter helped me capture the crepuscular rays. Neat stuff!

Click here for one of the best sites I've seen on optical effects in clouds, sun/moon, etc. Great site. I can spend hours there looking at stuff. Beautiful.
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Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Good googly moogly.

All this time we've been trying to be more French, ya know: more cosmopolitan, more "citizens of the world," and all that crap. We've seen the error of our ways-- that to be indpendent and strive for a free society where people can do their own thing and participate or not as a matter of choice is just plain nonsensical. Further, our eschewing of the virtues of socialism has been very short-sighted.

The French way is the one true path. The modern French - scions of the fathers of Enlightenment, are who we look to for right-mindedness. After all, look what a mess der Fürher made of Belgium and even London, but yet still the Eiffel tower stands, testament to the virtues of self-preservation and the material bliss that is guaranteed by utter capitulation. Why fight it?

I can just see my beloved Coco Chanel straddling a tank as it rolled down the Champs Elysees. What was that shitty remark that got Clayton Williams UN-elected governor of Texas? Oh yeah- "the weather is kinda like rape - if it's inevitable, you might as well just lay back and enjoy it. "

So what if there are sections of Paris that are so dominated by gangs of north African origin that the gendarmes dare not enter? They've got their heads on straight about everything, and it's time to face facts that all the world will look down on the USA until we are more frenchfried.

So, in light of all this, color me baffled at this story on breitbart.com on something of a groundswell of discontent sullying the waters of gay Paree. Apparently all is not bliss in the land of Moliére. I suppose with the world media hammering it into their heads that WE are up to our eyeballs in homeless people, the French hired a bunch of sloppy folks to flop under bridges and along picturesque canals in tents provided by a "charitable" organization to emulate homelessness.

This is ironic, because as we all know, in a perfect society that is so vastly superior to our own, homelessness, hunger and unemployment could not possibly exist. After all, homelessness, hunger and unemployment are constructs of the evil ever-expanding democratic movement of the West. So, is this a paean to Disney, or some such? Is this a sartorial nod to the societal disquiet of the west, doffing its hat with a wink and half-grin? Worse still are the mean-spirited folk who are not playing along with the ruse, demanding that these pawns in the game of life move to homeless shelters or rehabilitation centers. How cruel! Sounds very non-French, frankly.

I KNOW that this story can not mean that there are actual homeless people in Paris or France or the smug-git European flipping Union, because I don't see how they can blame that on the obvious source of all homelessness which is clearly Ronald Reagan and the Georges Bush.

Can someone 'splain me this?
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Believe it or not, this post concludes with real life pseudo-celebrity gossip. Are you excited? I knew you would be.

Today was my second time trying B&W with my new hotshit camera. The clouds were interesting, but husband says I need a yellow filter, so I guess I'll grab my bonnet and fetch one tomorrow. The papery pods of the second image are Sea Oats, a beautiful wild grass perennial I have near the pool. I love the way they shudder in the breeze. Lastly is another perennial prairie grass which looks to be birthing paisleys all over the place. Love this one too.

Went to see Lady in the Water today, and although it wasn't pure genius, it was fairly engaging to watch. More "schlock schlock horror." I sorta figure if I notice I'm dying to pee early in a film, well, it's the kiss of death. So I had to pee about 4/5ths the way through. Not SO bad. A bit juvenile and pat, it still manages to be more engaging than most of the crap that makes it to big screen. Like The Village, I think this is more a message film, but so long as the preaching is not overt, I can live with it.

I was hoping to see the new pirates movie, but it had been running 20 minutes when I arrived, and I'd have to sit around waiting 40 more minutes for the next showing, so I played cinema roulette, where I just go to whatever is coming up next. Haven't done that since my bachelorette days. Sometimes I'd see 4 movies in a day. Loved that. Nearly had to go see the Owen Wilson movie. Dodged a bullet, there, since it had the same starting time as the Lady movie. Sheesh.

By the way, a girlfriend of mine went to a wedding reception at the grand home of the Wilson family, of Luke and Owen fame. The family manse is a sprawling mid-century modern affair that is immaculately turned out and overlooking a large parklike setting in one of the toniest areas of Dallas. There is an awkward segue between "levels" with one barely noticeable step up about 2 inches, and my girlfriend's husband tripped as he walked along with a plate ful of food. He leaned over quietly and said to my friend "I guess we know now how Luke broke his nose."

ROWR!
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Monday, July 24, 2006
Hide And Seek
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Heh heh. I posted organs. Organs on parade. Unintentional, but I'm leaving them up. Blogger must've hiccuped. This can be the Busby Berkley of blogs.

I figured it out - what is so incredibly compelling to me about the sewing machine song from Imogen Heap, which I will post in a separate entry above because I'm too much of a 'tard to figure out how to post my own text below a yootoob link.

When I was about 7 (1972 or so) my mom and pop gave me a Magnus Chord organ for Christmas, and I could play with it for hours. The keyboard was almost 3 octaves and the buttons on the left played chords - black were minor and white were major. Mine was identical to the one above except mine was a much more tasteful dark brown.

Although I've always been musically inclined and would later learn rudimentary piano, at that time I demonstrated no talent for keyboard because I was droolingly content to sit and listen to the tonal relations between chords and notes, and the sound of the air whooshing through this organ was particularly fun. It amazes me how something - even a basic electronic such as this - can produce such an organic response. Just listening was enough, and I didn't need the prison of notated music to limit my enjoyment. Even today I can sit and listen to simple chords at a piano and marvel at the sound.

Anyway, the shift of the keyboard and microprocessing of this track- Hide and Seek- is remarkably evocative of that little organ.

Even if it's not your cup of tea, listen to it at least 3 minutes in, the pace of this song changes at about 2:55, and I think it totally gels at that point. I could listen to this one song all day. She creates a brilliant soundscape, and the words are equally compelling. Then again, no doubt you are a more critical listener with more demanding tastes than myself. Still, I think it's worth a good sit-through, at the very least, not being the usual shit they try to spoon-feed on the radio.

Is she singing about a failed relationship, or about a dead loved one, or about God? I can't tell, and I don't think I want to know. I just think it's brilliant and the mystery only heightens the spell she's cast. Enjoy.

Where are we? What the hell is going on?
The dust has only just begun to form,
Crop circles in the carpet, sinking, feeling.
Spin me round again and rub my eyes.
This can't be happening.
When busy streets a mess with people
would stop to hold their heads heavy.
Hide and seek.
Trains and sewing machines.
All those years they were here first.
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Sunday, July 23, 2006
House cleaning post...

I found this chick's website where she has the most incredible collection of roadside America photos. There is a special section just on signs (click here). Great stuff. I think she travels around showing dogs and spends a lot of time on the road. She seems to have an appreciation for the same aesthetic I do, so if you liked those neon signs I had below, you're going to find a lot to love in her sign section. It's cool because you can click on the state and look at regional signs. All the route 66 states will have great signs, of course. She also has sections on art deco roadside architecture, any kooky/beautiful/peculiar 20th century design movement is represented here, including some fabulous old gas stations. Click here to go check it out, but make sure you have plenty of time to spend poking around there - one of my favorite sites ever.

I don't remember who it was that insisted I give a listen to Imogen Heap, but thank you thank you thank you. Bought it this week and am loving the crap out of it. In fact, it sat in the bag since Wednesday until today, and I opened it as I was doing some house cleaning. Then I remembered that I'd left the new sewing machine I bought today out in my car, so as I walked through the door with the sewing machine in my arms, the chorus of one of the songs burst through with a line that mentions sewing machines. How odd is that? Of course, it doesn't mean anything, but it's one of those strange coincidences that make you feel like it sorta does.
Same thing if you're driving down the road and a word someone says or sings on the radio happens at the very instant you see that same word on a billboard. Meaningless, but neat, anyway.

Saw The Devil Wears Prada today. Loved it. Gorgeous movie, beautiful fashions, not even remotely bitchy enough, though. It was more Bitch Lite™. Seriously. Despite the gorgeous styling, the characters should have been WAAAAY more ugly. But then maybe I have low(high?) standards when I honor someone with the title of "bitch."
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Saturday, July 22, 2006


S'funny the crap people post online (ok, yeah, I know how ironic it was for ME to say that!). For example, this choir robe which for some reason brought to mind the outfit Barbra wore in The Owl and the Pussycat. I'm all for artwear--heaven knows I can put together a get-up--but people should give a great deal of thought to embellishments on robes a choir will wear whilst sitting in front of a congregation. During moments of desperately quiet boredom, the mind might tend to stray a little...

I'm just saying.

Oh, and did anyone ever notice that Neil Tennant from The Pet Shop Boys sounds just like Al Stewart, the guy who sang The Year of the Cat?
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Friday, July 21, 2006

These rank among my favorite vintage neon signs in the Dallas area. I've been wanting to photograph both for yonks, but I finally got around to it yesterday.

The Good Luck Modern Trailer Court is a place where people park their RVs when they are traveling, and there may be some live-in trailer homes permanently parked there, too. Anyway, the whole point is that it's a totally groovy sign. And SO modern. I love it.
This place is on I-35 on the East side just North of I-20, between Wheatland and Camp Wisdom exits. I'd put this sign at about 25 feet tall.



O'Malley's is on the West side of I-35 just before the US Highway 67 split. It appears to be a dive sort of bar between the highway and the stony end of Zang Blvd in Dallas. It's probably one of those places where people wait for the doors to open at 7AM to get their first drink of the day. I've driven by it a million times and always the sign gets my attention from the highway. I stopped by to take this photo at about 11:00 yesterday (Wednesday) morning, and the cars were lined up in the lot, and a big-haired bar-floozie was peeling out in her Ford pickup with the aluminum topper. She looked like a tough old gal - the sort that wears pantyhose under her polyester pants- the sort that could go bear-hunting with a switch. Being the only one I've seen, she is for me the embodiment of the O'Malley's customer. This sign is cobbled onto some sort of smoke stack about 30 feet tall - maybe there was a brazier or some sort of cooking station in this building, originally. They may yet have a grill.

Now that I have a whizz-bang camera, I'll be posting more of this stuff to show you what I like so much about living in Dallas. You don't have to like it or agree with me, even though I'm totally right about everything. It's just that for me, this has a certain mid-century American charm, a kind of air that is quickly vanishing, but will ever be a part of the fabric of how I view the world. Extremely modern and design-forward when they were made, these little charmers have become a time capsule.
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Thursday, July 20, 2006
I just have to say something - I was just on a website where people were bemoaning the fact that George W. Bush doesn't demand that Israel stop pounding Lebanon.

Funny thing is, like, 5 minutes ago it seemed like everyone was bitching because George W. Bush DID take steps to intervene and prevent Saddam Hussein from continuing the wholesale slaughter of the nomadic peoples of northern Iraq, scores of thousands of whom were murdered by Hussein and dumped in mass graves.

Hnh.

DO intervene. DON'T intervene. Love him or hate him, it seems to me George W. Bush is in a lose/lose situation because some people have made up their mind to find fault with him no matter what he does. I'd appreciate if they'd at least be honest about that, but I don't think they are capable.

Thank God for men with the balls to keep their own counsel and follow their own inner guides rather than being swayed the heady winds of popular opinion, of whom there are scarce few to be found among the ranks of our elected leaders.

Furthermore, the woman in this video clip (please click) has pegged the situation. Not just Iraq. Not just Israel/Lebanon & F-A, but the general malaise that has plagued us this entire century.

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Three of my favorite people.

I spent the day with niece yesterday and we came by dad's shop to bring him a nice iced tea. We had a grand time. Hope you had a happy birthday, pop. I'm more proud of you than I could ever say.

The dashing lad in the other photo is nephew who is the family's personal Pocket Atlas - 3 years old, pint-sized and fearless. His life's ambition: to kill a bear in between bites of cinnamon toast. Look out, bears!

Sorry for posting these huge unedited photo files, but my PC has utterly crapped out and I'm barely able to get online these days, let alone edit my pictures. It was just such a great day I had to show you why. I hope to have things functioning normally again on my own machine within a few days. Wish me luck - I seem doomed when it comes to my PC of late.
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Wednesday, July 19, 2006
OK. I don't know how much of this will get typed tonight as I am rassling with husband's bajillion dollar laptop with the keyboard I bloody hate. I'm feeling frequent trips to Kinko's in my future, considering we can't keep a machine running at the house for me.

This was not going to be my post today. I took photos of an egg frying on the pavement outside today with a happy surprise ending (the chick lived! Just kidding) but the universe conspires to prevent you from seeing it for the time being. Perhaps tomorrow.

A couple weeks ago I had an appointment to show apartments, and they said on the phone "we want to see everything you've got available for rent," which is the first tip-off that you're not looking seriously, fyi.

I saw these two older guys pull up in a brand new Porsche (sorry 'bout your dick, dude) and the forty something guy was the passenger and the 60ish heavy smoker was the driver. The younger guy was the one looking for a space.

First of all, they made a very negative impression by pulling right up to the door of my office (AS IF they had the finest car on the lot) and made a big production of inventing a parking space where there wasn't one. At this point they are pegging the asshole meter, but wait! There's more...

I take them to the first of 4 apartments I mean to show them, all above $1200/month. We schlep all over the property and meanwhile, the older guy - I'll call him Gimpy - was limping something fierce. We walk down the hill to the lowest possible point on property and I notice a squeak each time he takes a step. I'm trying to be discreet while ogling his jeans-leg for evidence of one of those fake titanium legs. I refrain from telling him he needs to oil the old joint there.

The younger guy - a King of Queens sort - sorta turns up his nose while Gimpy makes shitty cracks about the apartments. Shit like "Wayull, hayull, a thaousund a munth don't saound saow bayud nayow, duz it?"

After showing the second space, we emerge from the hallway into the heat of the day, and I've vowed to waste no more time on these cheap out-of-their-league bastards. I turned to them flashing my best megawatt smile (fake as shit) and said "It's been a real pleasure showing you boys around and you are welcome to walk over and see the pool or check out the party deck on the roof, but I have an old sprained ankle that's bothering me so I'm going to have to cut this short."

Showing no evidence of injury and not awaiting a response, I turned and marched double-time up the hill like nobody's business. I heard the squeak and knew they were behind me, but I noticed they couldn't keep up.

In the office today, I heard that squeak again and turned quickly only to find myself alone. The squeak was one of the sandal-clog thingies I was wearing. Too bad for Gimpy - for 10 minutes he was slightly more interesting, stupid hick.
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Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Watered the plants about 9:30 Monday night, and even then, a couple hours after sundown, the deck around the pool was too hot for my bare feet, I had to keep splashing water on the decking to stand there. The pool was about 90 degrees, which was warmer than you might prefer, but still cooler than the air. It was nice actually, until I kicked my own butt with some laps. Ugh.

105 degrees F Monday (supposed to be hotter Tuesday), it's too hot to do anything but shop. That is why Dallas has some of the best shopping in the world. Ask anyone.

By the way, I bloody HATE malls. I detest going into a building to buy one specific thing and having to walk a mile and pass 60 other stores in the process. Still, Dallas has plenty of purveyors of yumminess that cater to my persnickety needs. OH, and I'll go to the anchor stores like Neiman's & Sak's because I can park right by the door and be in and out quickly without entering the mall proper. Yee haw. I've gotta do it my way, baby.

Monday I went to Tuesday Morning's big flagship discount store, or Storegasm™, as I call it. On rare occasions, I find something that is so very verrrrry superlative that I must have it in multiples. I bought a simple robe of a waffle weave sweatshirt gray jersey that feels like it was made for me, and only $25. Yes, so hot I came home and stripped out of my sweaty clothes and put this new robe on. Note to self: go back to Storegasm™ and get more of these. Seriously. This will endure as my favorite robe ever, and I WILL wear it out. I know - you care deeply. I promise this post gets better.

So way back ancient of days when I worked for Neiman Marcus, I stocked up on very fine towels and I pretty much haven't bought any since then, excepting of course beach towels for pool use. Recently I vowed to buy small lots of bathroom linens when I came across bargains that were suitably refined for my taste.

Today I squealed inwardly as I found some blanket-like sumptuous towels for under $10 each, but I had to put one to the test for thickness, fiber content, etc. Pleased with the data on the label, I draped the towel over my shoulder and didn't even think about what was underneath it and began to test the nap of the cloth and thickness, etc.

I must have been lost in a reverie (ooh, new towels - yes, I know how rough my life is) when I saw a geezer standing stock still about 10 feet from me, hands white-knuckling his shopping trolley, slack-jawed and staring at me with a certain look in his eye. I realized that look said he meant our worlds to collide. Baffled by his lascivious leer, I came to realize that rather than checking out a towel, I appeared to be fondling my own breast, and ceased forthwith simultaneously shooting a look that said any convergence of our worlds would not be harmonic, you pervy old git!

I mean, jeez - can't a girl feel her own tit in public without some horn-dog getting ideas? Heavens-to-Betsy!

Listening to: Just like Honey by The Jesus and Mary Chain...
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Monday, July 17, 2006
Happiness is like a butterfly. The more you chase it, the more it will elude you. But if you turn your attention to other things, it comes softly and sits on your shoulder.
Henry David Thoreau


Don't be like the butterfly who flies around all the pretty flowers and then lands on a cow turd.
Advice on marriage, as told to my dad by Great Grandpa Smith, son of Harvey, of course.

Who sounds smarter to you - Thoreau or my great grandpappy? I know whose advice is worth heeding... And speaking of, I'm calling "bullshit" on that Thoreau quote.

Add to that who honestly wants little cow-poopie butterfly tracks on their shoulder, anyhoo?



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Sunday, July 16, 2006
Thanks for all the nice comments on my maiden attempt at audioblogging. That was actually fun. Imagine how wound up I'd be if I still drank coffee. Yes, I know: I'm a chihuahua.

I am filled with longing for this adorable pendant lamp which would look quite fetching hanging between my kitchen and dining area. It's a Campari light, a cluster of 10 clear glass bottles of red Campari soda surrounding intense halogen light. It's incredibly cute. Don't you think I deserve one of these? Or two? Or three?

New topic.
A friend from high school was a gymnast and dancer who majored in dance in at university. She met and married a print/runway model, and soon they were expecting a little one. She's a rather sophisticated person, and I hope the story I'm relating to you is indicative of her sense of humor as an adult and not of an abiding passion for weird exhibitionism.

About 12 or so years ago, she was expecting her son and appeared on the Jerry Springer show in an episode on pregnant moms who were proud of their bumps. She came out on stage all spindle-limbed with a long scarf doing an Isadora Duncan routine in a bikini. 8 months pregnant. The whole damned town was talking about it.

I have nothing to add to that.
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Saturday, July 15, 2006
this is an audio post - click to play
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I was going to get up at about 5 am and head for Arkansas to see my grandpa, but I'm thinking I'll put it off. I hate to, but I'm in a rare moment where I don't feel like a mini road trip. Shoot. I'm off Mon/Tues/Wed - maybe I'll go Monday. We'll see...

tenant complaint of the week: the drawer of my new refrigerator squeaks. I need you to fix it.
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Friday, July 14, 2006
I'm not bad--I'm just audioed that way.

Wow. I think I'll do an audio post next, that way I can demonstrate fully what an absolute spaz I am! It's probably a very bad idea, so I definitely will do it.
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Thursday, July 13, 2006
My dad has a brother, Wayne, who is a bit of a colorful character. Uncle Wayne and Dad were somewhere together recently and a huge hombre covered in tattoos and wearing big rings walked by. This guy had a massive knife in a sheath down the side of his leg, the bottom of which was tied around his thigh, like an old-timey gun holster. Uncle Wayne said to my dad "Look at that: he thinks he's gonna shit a bear and need to cut it loose."
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Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Jeff Gordon's Gay

I came upon this song at Les Jones' blog via Tam at View from the Porch. Actually, Les had a link to a shorter version of the song with a different video, but I 'bout blew a gasket laughing at this one. Funnee. I've watched it, like, 10 times and I don't even like Nascar. Any hick song that wrangles a reference to Spandau Ballet rates high in my book. And funnier still, it's difficult to tell if the singer disdains Jeff Gordon or Earnhardt fans more. Enjoy!
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Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Love or hate Nascar, this is a funny t-shirt.
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Monday, July 10, 2006
Why I love Texas reason #573:

I was talking to a friend who has a house on a lake here in Texas where she goes on weekends and vacations. Things are more laid-back and loosey-goosey out that way, and in truth, one sees a lot more rough-around-the-edges folk in such places, but it's nice to get out of the big city to a place where things are a little more countrified and a little slower paced.

However, there are some assholey neighbors at the lake who are determined to be a fly in the ointment. One in particular is an older white-trash single lady (cigarette spit-dried and permanently dangling from the bottom lip) who has a pack of dogs she allows to run rough-shod all over the place. They run into the road and attack cars, and have tried to run into my friend's house. The leader of the pack is a pit bull with a gaping maw like the lid on a grand piano. People are scared of this, and have complained to the sheriff, and of course she's denied it was her dogs causing the uproar.

Last week, another neighbor was driving to his lake house on his motorcycle and the pit bull ran up and attacked him, causing him to wreck and break his leg. The sheriff, God bless him, told the guy next time to just haul off and shoot the rotten cur.

I call that a beautiful thing.

So, let's talk about ME for a while. Or someone who made me possible, anyhoo.

My mom and pop came over today after church and we grilled parmesan chicken (I'll give you the recipe I just made up - it's toe-curling) and we were all in the pool this afternoon, talking and laughing. I told my dad I'm going in a couple weeks up to Arkansas to see my grandpa (his dad, husband of the grandma I lost in April) who's been pretty feeble lately. He told me while I'm up there I need to get him to tell me about his granddad, my Great-Great Grandpa Harvey Smith.

Harvey fought in the American Civil War. Of course, he fought for the Confederacy, some of the time under the leadership of Major General Sterling Price.

Dad said all the officers rode horses, but there was this one crazed wild beast of a horse that no one could break, so Harvey asked them to let him have a crack at it. He broke the horse, but apparently was the only one who could ride the horse. When "charge!" was sounded, this horse would run like hell for the opposite side of the battlefield, leaving the other horses in the dust.

At last in one battle, the opposition shot the horse out from under Harvey and he was going to fall back to the foot soldiers, but he remembered he had a length of cloth for his wife tied to his saddle. Bullets whizzing around him, he fiddled with the knots and couldn't get the cloth free. Finally he decided it wasn't worth it and high-tailed it back to the line. He wasn't shot, but after the battle was over, he counted seven bullet holes in his clothing, and nary a scratch on his person.

Yeah, that sounds about par for the grit and tenacity of folks in my family. I'm sure I'll have more stories then. I could fill a book just about Grandpa alone, actually.
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Sunday, July 09, 2006

HERE is the verbena. Pesky blogger was contrary with this one yesterday.
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These are photographs from my garden early this evening, taken with my new camera without a flash. I'm surprised they turned out so well without the help of artificial light. I can't wait to get a macro lens so I can show a boil on a lady bug's butt. Then, look out, horticultural world!

The first image is an Indian Blanket flower. Sorry - I don't know the latin for this one. I love these. They are technically wild flowers, but I cultivate them. What's not to love?

Next is a gorgeous tall variety of Verbena. The habit of this plant is low and not very leafy. Then a tall fibrous stalk shoots up about 3 or 4 feet with clusters of these tiny purple blossoms. I love these because you can plant them in front of shorter flowers and the lower growth stuff in back will still show up while these appear to be levitating over everything. I just found these and bought both specimens at a Dallas nursery a couple months ago. This is the first time I have had this variety since my last garden sold with a house in 2000. Love them, always want them in my garden.

Next comes one of several red/crimson varieties of salvia I have in the yard. They are very heat-hardy plants and I love the dry desert smell of their leaves. Salvia are of the sage family, which is a very drought-loving type of perennial. My favorite salvia are midnight blue and a bog sage that has sky-blue flowers. I don't have any of that growing right now. I do have one called eggs-and-butter which is white and pale and dark yellows, as you might have guessed. They are adorable, and just the name makes me smile. See how easily pleased I am?

My philosophy on gardening and houseplants has always been that it's trial and error, and you experiment until you find plants that can thrive on the degree of neglect you will dutifully provide. Then rev it up and go.


Finally I decided to show a weeds-and-all photo of a little grouping of stuff that makes my heart sing. I love the grid patterned mercury glass ball (it's bigger than a bowling ball, to give you an idea of scale) and the dark yellow stuff is yarrow and the odd little daisies are a variety of an African flower, and I do think they are related to daisies. The color is a buttery yellow on the tips of the petals but fades almost to white on the inner petals by flowers' centers. They look much more exotic in person, but the light wasn't ideal, perhaps. Then of course you see the peppery tips of weeds that vow to take over. More garden photos soon. Have a great remains of the weekend.
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Saturday, July 08, 2006
Klaus Nomi Lives

So strange it's cute. LOVE the gold-lamé-covered spinny barstool. So will you.
Oh, and mad props to Perez Hilton where I first saw this video.
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Friday, July 07, 2006
Yesterday for lunch I went to Stoneleigh P's. SP has a fantastic juke box and it's free between 11am and 3pm, so since no one was playing anything when I arrived, I made free to play the entire new Neko Case cd. I took my seat and ordered my iced tea and the Xotillo soup (Dick - you gotta take Kelly here - she'll love it) and cracked open my book. This was a glorious little getaway from a hectic day at the office. The book I'm reading is The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri.

I dove into this book a few weeks ago, but it was not the kind of reading I usually devour. This is a pensive and deliberate tale that has worked its way into my heart. Some books pull you in and you are swept along on waves and I like that kind of reading, but the sometimes the more subtle work creeps up and packs a wallop.

So, sitting there in a little realm of contentment with all my immediate needs met and listening to music I know and love, nothing could have surprised me more than to come upon a passage that made me utterly mist over, tears threatening to breach the banks of my eyes.

And that is why I read.

Sometimes being surprised is a delight. I highly recommend this book.
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Thursday, July 06, 2006
You scored as Cabaret Voltaire. Sheffield-based band Cabaret Voltaire were formed slightly before punk but are often said to be godfathers of electronica and industrial music. Their music is a innovative combination of synthesisers, tape samples and electronic beats, best heard on 'The Original Sound of Sheffield 1978-82'.

Cabaret Voltaire

87%

Throbbing Gristle

83%

Joy Division

73%

The Teardrop Explodes

70%

Gang Of Four

67%

The Slits

60%

Public Image Ltd.

60%

The Pop Group

53%

The Fall

50%

Wire

43%

Which Post Punk band are you?
created with QuizFarm.com



Oddly enough, I LOVE Gang of Four and Wire's The Ideal Copy is one of my all-timers. But yeah, I'm CV all the way. I love when these quizzes get it right.

Oh, and I think it's cool that I didn't have to cheat on this quiz to come out as my favorite post-punk joint, though if naming them for myself, mine would rank Cabaret Voltaire, Gang of Four, Public Image Ltd, Wire, Joy Division, The Fall, and then the others could duke it out on their own time.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006
THIS JUST IN: Go here to see a couple of long-time friends of mine - we play cards together - they're the ones with the hot pink feather boas, and Lisa is the one talking with the mile-high white wig.

Wow, what a day!

I celebrated the 4th as nature intended: Independently.

I crawled out of bed at an inexplicable 9:00 am and started cleaning. I made a pitcher of iced tea -mostly earl gray with a bit of black tea, and went on a Caberet Voltaire infused bout of deep-cleaning. Frenzy is not a big enough word.

OK. First I popped in the vid of Tori Amos' complete videos from 1991-1998, listened to that through twice, then in went the Talk Talk videos which I do dearly love- Mark Hollis is still the most fetching bloke ever even 22 years later, no matter how he pronounces "trousers," and at last came the dvd of Cabaret Voltaire live from the Hacienda ( a club in Manchester ) 1983 and 1986, with a couple of vid extras thrown in for the slavish devotees. (ME! ME!) This includes a live version of "I Want You" my favorite song EVAH. Sweet. I will CLEAN THE WORLD!

You know, you may not have cut your teeth on hardcore industrial like I did in the early 80s, but trust me when I say that a lot of the rot-gut-shit that I'm in love with has filtered down to be consumed piecemeal by the public, cause the public can't handle it whole-cloth, but it's too immaculate to be ignored. It's funny to me that listening to vintage CV I kept thinking that George Clinton was rassling with the same musical ideology about 10 years later, and trust me when I say George Clinton is about 15 years ahead of the mainstream pop. It's just too good to be enjoyed on a mass basis, ya know?

I'm not biased or anything. Just honest.
Hey! I'm like the teenage cheerleader in the T Mobile commercial. Isn't that sad - she's the one person on TV I identify with, and that only because she aspires to be like me.

Anyhoo - had a brush with death in my mad cleaning frenzy and I'll tell you about it.

I got into the pantry and pulled out everything, throwing out all the stuff in cans that were out of date. How sad is that?
About 3 years ago I was in a cooking phase and getting into all sorts of things British (and why not?) and I bought a couple tins of treacle, one of them black( a lot like molasses). You never know when a guest will bring a pudding by that wants topping, do you? Anyway, they'd been lurking at the back of the pantry since I moved from my last loft to the house exactly 2 years ago.

I pulled the treacle tins out and vexed over how to open them. They have pop-in lids like the powdered chocolate for milk in the USA used to have - only these were heavy-duty tins which would not be prised free of their lids with a mere table spoon. Oh no. I had to call in the heavy artillery.

I used a lemon zester from the utility drawer and made minor progress, but grew impatient. I saw a slab of stainless steel lying on the counter from the IKEA expedition yesterday, and began to prise away the lid. At last it popped free while leaving a gloppy smear on the steel, so I stuck the steel thing under the tap of super-hot running water.
This is smart, right? Why did MIT never invite me to dampen their bathmat?
So next is the tin of black treacle. I try the zester, to no avail. Genius that I am, I grab that steel thing.

Not thinking how hot it is on the end. The merest tap of the molten hot steel on the black treacle tin and the lit EXPLODED into the air, festooning me with a dusting of treacle freckles. Even my glasses had the little brown spots. The sound was deafening, and I heard the lid land with a decisive *sploink* into the trash bin across the kitchen.

So there I was, hot water running to clean out the other tin, half-deaf, strange industrial music blaring from the other room, spots all over the lenses of my glasses (which I almost never wear - freakish, that!) and wondering WTF just happened.

So now I'm obsessing, envisioning the lid of the treacle tin embedded in my forehead and not being found for days, the hot water tap running and "sex money freaks" blasting from the dvd player.

Nice.

Just how I wanna go. And I missed out on it.
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Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Happy Independence Day, peoples! God bless America.

...utterly besotted.

I have an announcement to make:
Phlegmfatale is in LOVE!


Yes, again. I've searched and searched, feeling I would never be understood in this lifetime, and along comes a shoe company working overtime to fulfill my special needs. And here are the saucy tarts who've stolen my heart:



Little Victorian valentine text printed on the sole of the shoe says:
Summer may change for winter
Flowers may fade and die
But I shall ever love shoes
While I can heave a sigh.


Hot Step It! by Irregular Choice. Go there and check it out -yee haw- because I just know you're festering to see all the alternative views. I feel tingly all over!
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Monday, July 03, 2006
Crack found in foam of space shuttle's external fuel tank; Launch in doubt...

Heavens to Betsy, what has happened to our once-noble space program? I mean, we expect this of rock stars, professional athletes and even elected mayors of Washington D.C., but now we have someone in the space program trying to smuggle crack into outer space on the space shuttle? Where will the madness end? Oh, we're all human, but there was a time when it really meant something to be the creme de la creme who were plucked from obscurity for entry into the space program. Alas, no longer.

Also, there was a time when those selected for our space flight program would have had the sense to know that crack rocks would have burned up in the foam shell of the shuttle in the heat produced in achieving escape velocity. Tsk tsk tsk.
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I was going to write something funny about monchichis and I came across this image that stopped me dead in my tracks. Any thoughts?

I went to IKEA this afternoon, and I have to say I'm having a bit of a love/hate thing with that place. I like the 4 wheel steering shopping trolleys, but they feel wonky and a little hard to control when tourists sashay into your path and plant themselves. I also feel like I'm walking on a hillside with those carts - like the wheels on one side are facing the hilltop, and the others are facing the valley, and it's itching to go downhill. Perhaps I need a tutorial on trolley pedagogy.

Oh, and also I just went in for a few things for organizing the kitchen and spent longer in the line to check out than I spent driving there and selecting my crappy items. Urgh. I normally would never go on a weekend, but insanity strikes!

Oh, and what is up with unattractive people vexing over mirror choices? Must they equivocate? Buy the frosted mirrors, darling, lest you smeg up the flow of chi.

Finally got back home this evening in time to enjoy a sunset from the pool's eye view. I floated on a couple of noodles (those big foam spaghetti thingies) and looked up at the sky with the radio on. I saw a fiery orange-pink ring of clouds blazing with the last rays of the day, and on JACK fm, someone was singing "Smoke on the water and fire in the sky." Ah. Perfect!

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Sunday, July 02, 2006
I watched the Keanu Reeves/Rachel Weisz film Constantine today. I think it was pretty soundly panned by the press, but I thought it was a very entertaining film. Tilda Swinton is great as Gabriel gone astray.

I'm looking forward to the new Pirates of the Carob Bean, but I've not been to a theater in ages. I think Charlie/Chocolate Factory was the last thing I managed to make it out to see the first weekend of release.

It seems I see all my movies on cable now, and I think some of the effect is lost on small screen, don't you? Still, a film with a decent script holds up whether dazzling effects are involved or not. Just like in life - good conversation
always saves the day.
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Saturday, July 01, 2006
Finding your tribe.

If you read my blog much, you may have noted I've been grossly overcommitted lately and posting has been a bit odd. If I visit your site regularly, with very few exceptions, you'll have noticed a lack of comments from me for the past month, and I've really missed knowing what was going on with others, but I knew all would understand if I came in and caught up with everyone later.

Finally making the rounds today, I read a posts on two different blogs that made me cry. One was the reminiscences of a clever girl whose father died when she was 13. The post wasn't sappy or written to evoke sympathy, but I was very touched nonetheless. The other was on the blog of a fellow beader/creative person who's been going through a bit of a tough time, all of that erupting while I haven't been popping in on her blog. I felt sorry that I'd not been there to extend a kind word at the worst moments of her trial.

I've always said that the greatest aspect of the internet is that this medium affords humanity a forum to seek and form new communities. Bloggers are loosely cobbled together, and in many cases we don't even know one another's given names, but this has the makings of a neighborhood nonetheless.

Anyway, all this is by way of saying you're just a fabulous bunch of people, and I'm glad to be able to read what's going on with you and know your thoughts on life and what's happening in the world. You ARE my newspaper, you sexy people!

I did it this morning - got up in pajamas and pulled weeds, then got in the pool listening to JACK FM and swam around, then climbed on a pool float and took a nap in the rising sun. Lovely! Going to try to do that for the next 4 days, too, and then everything should be all weeded, at last. It's sad, but my weeds kind of make me look like i have a greener thumb than I do, so I hate to thin it all out!
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Name: Phlegmfatale
Location: Elsewhere, Texas, USA

I'm not whining;
I'm unburdening.
FATALE ABSTRACTION


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