OK. I'm finally doing it. Monday night I took the plunge and listed something on Craig's List, which (judging by their rabid following) is as addictive as the Devil's dandruff* and even more easily accessible. You may never hear from me again. My soul will lose its way forever like that boy who disappeared in the Helen Reddy classic Angie Baby and my days will spool out in a Craigslist-induced haze, a feed-bag of oats around my head, diapered and permanently glazed over. Then again, I won't know, so I won't care then, will I?
I have a Celeste which has been haunting the garage for ever-so-long, and I've decided to cut it loose. Here's the text of my ad, which I thought was a tasty little nugget. Oh, and email me if you want to buy this Celeste.
Well, I knew it was a long shot.
You know the adorable bell-theme at the beginning of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood? Well, I always fantasized I'd one day be playing that theme on this Celeste. Then I expected I'd go on to be the Viktor Borges of the lounge chime-piano set, haunting darkened dens of the downtrodden, each new daily layer of nicotined barroom haze further darkening the peeling gold walpaper with the red-flocked florals that had beamed in straight from Miss Kitty's saloon. I'd do world-weary versions of selected works by Chet Baker, Nina Simone and the Bugaloos. All the while, I'd trot out my pithy banter as a cigarette dangled precariously - spittle-glued, really - from my bottom lip with an impressively long ash. Bar-goers would take bets on when that impossibly long ash would fall off. Bookmakers would sell odds. Alas, I have come to embrace the notion that I'll never play the theme of a chidren's show on the stage of Carnegie Hall, nor any smoky flophouse on Harry Hines, so guess what? My dreams crashing on the pitiless rocks = the portal to a vista of your own musical magnificence: for a limited time (i.e.or until I sell it) I'm offering this dusty little gem which could fuel your own fantasies of theme-song (and otherwise) musical greatness. Go on. Buy this Celeste. You know you want to.
This Celeste is in need of a lot of work to make functional, including a thorough cleaning. The actions on some of the keys/hammers are completely disengaged. I would guess this instrument is mid-20th century and may be restorable, or it may simply be useful for parts. AS-IS. The keys I struck when taking the photo sounded pure and clear. My non-expert opinion is that this could be made to work. The keyboard has a sliding cover. Keys are plastic, and the frame of the instrument is covered in a wood veneer which looks rather cheap to me.
From the internet: "The celeste looks slightly similar to the upright piano but produces a very different bell-like sound. Inside the celeste is a row of slender steel bars and the outer case is wood similar to the upright piano. When the keys are pressed, a tiny felt covered hammer strikes the metal bars. A small hollow box is underneath each of the metal bars. This makes the sound louder. The celeste also has a foot pedal, called the sustaining pedal, which makes the notes longer when pressed."
Somewhere, there's a 1970s bridesmaid that JLo beat the shit out of so that she might abscond with this coral chiffon fantasie.
Either that or she mugged Norma Zimmer (The Lawrence Welk Show's Champagne Lady).
And the hair? That's shoplifter wig hair. Several kinds of wrong.
In any case, it kinda makes me puke in my mouth, a bit.
Oh, and speaking of singers - didn't that whole Milli-Vanilli thing pan out sorta like the backstory in Singin' In The Rain where they have the normal but somewhat ordinary gifted singer's voice dubbed over the squawking of the silent film star? Sorta? Kinda? Maybe just a little?
Remember that Louis Vuitton monogram car Madeleine Kahn drove in High Anxiety? She was also wearing an LV suit - it was meant to look ridiculous. Anyway, this car is a definite fake. One of the hallmarks of LV products is that on the real-deals, they have a proscribed layout of their monogram so that the initials are never cut off or embedded in a seam. Clearly, the initials are compromised by their proxmity to the wheel well. Totally fake. Also suspect this would not be a LV preferred canvas of a car. But that's just me.
I'm pretty much ok with wearing fakes. The truth is I wouldn't wear or carry anything I didn't genuinely like, just because it has a certain label. My method is of the bait-and-switch variety. My theory on this has always been that if generally you are known to own authentic designer pieces, people will assume everything you own is authentic.
This article cracked me up, because the author had a Eureka! moment over something I've always known:
The next arrival is by far the more fascinating. She's in search of sunglasses—Dior, or maybe Chanel—and she's sporting a diamond monogram pendant that I am almost positive is by Harry Winston and costs in the vicinity of $12,000. (If it's fake, I've never seen anything like it.) Her very presence throws into chaos my entire belief system: I have always determined whether a bag is real or fake not by the quality of the bag itself (almost impossible), but by sizing up—and costing out—whatever else the person carrying it is wearing. But if Ms. Moneybags is mixing fake shades with Harry Winston, maybe everyone I see—on the subway, in the ladies' room at Bergdorf Goodman, in the audience at Xanadu—is carrying a fake. Everyone but me.
I didn't expect to have that in common with fabulous NYC bitches. Now, I don't have a $12,000 Harry Winston initial pendant, but I'd be proud to sport a fake. Nice work if you can get it, eh?
If you get a chance, you owe it to yourself to read a collaborative series of posts a few fine bloggers have written. Titled "Perspectives," these three folks follow a deadly situation through three phases of our emergency response/care systems.
This depiction is a composite of many tragic scenarios they've been presented with as emergency service personnel. We rely on them being there we need them, but we don't give a lot of thought to the real peril and the painful human toll that must come with the burden of seeing people at their most desperate moments in life. I thank them for their service to our communities, and also for these splendidly written posts.
I went to Mama's Daughters' Diner on Irving Boulevard for lunch. As they do, they seated me at a table with 3 other people.
Everyone smiled, nodded, said hello when I sat down. It's always friendly like that there. I love it. I've been seated with Judges, police officers, lawyers, prattling office drones and more than one homeless person, I suspect.
Noticing her University of Arkansas t-shirt, I asked the young woman across from me if she went to UofA. She said no, but that she was from Arkansas. I said "so'm I. What part are you from?"
She was from Searcy. The two men next to her said "we're from Arkansas too!" Naturally, I assumed they all came together.
My favorite waitress came and took my order for fried chicken livers (don't laugh -they are sheer perfection at M's Ds'). A few minutes later, I had to laugh when two plates of livers came to the table for the Arkansas boys next to me. About that time, the woman across the table left, and a man was soon seated in her place. I asked if he was from Arkansas and informed him that he was required by law to order the chicken livers if he sat at our table.
We chatted, talked about property development in Dallas, how quiet Arkansas can be, and about emergency preparedness.
A short while after my livers arrived, a plate of livers arrived at the table for the new guy. Wow. I must be more persuasive than I realized.
____________________ Friday ended the week on a very good note. Things were relatively quiet, and two of my favorite residents came to see me. It's not so bad, my job, sometimes.
Marijuana can cause psychiatric problems because it throws off the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain.
I believe it.
I've discussed this with people for years, and what I keep hearing is that there is no long-term damage, that the THC merely locks onto receptors in the brain harmlessly, but it's always been difficult to me to dismiss the possibility that neural pathways are altered by longterm exposure to THC. I strongly believe that pot use wreaks havoc on the limbic system and seriously limits a person's ability to problem-solve and change behaviors at their basest emotional level.
If you have to have pot or booze to make it through every single day, you need to change something in your life. These things don't fix what's wrong. Why squander life by anaesthetizing oneself to experience? Only you can change the way you live.
Then there's this bit in the news about astronauts flying shortly after having pulled a big sloppy drunk. Can you imagine being in space and drunk/hung over? Sounds like hell on earth. Well, hell, but not on earth. Maybe hell relatively near earth, considering the vastness of space.
Anyway, in honor of the drunktard astronauts, I give you another golden chestnut from Flight of the Conchords. This one's about David Bowie in Space. It's pretty freaky, man!
You know that big welding gas supplier that 'sploded in Dallas on Tuesday? Well, I've got ash all over my property from that. It's not Mt. St Helens or anything, but it's ashy. Kinda strange. And we're at least a couple miles away.
The property is on the market (anyone have spare millions in the double-digits?) [whining text deleted}
If only it will sell and soon. I'm not superstitious, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed, just in case.
[more whining text deleted]
The truth is everyone has moments where they hate what they are doing, right? And if it were just a barrel of laughs, then they wouldn't have to pay people to do it, right? I'm actually very lucky, so sorry about the whining, to anyone unfortunate enough to have seen it. _______________
What better way to wash away the bitter tang of careericide than a couple hedgehogs and a very minky-looking cat?
Hey! Your banana and your chocolate are in my peanut butter! Hey! Your peanut butter and your banana are on my chocolate! Hey! Your peanut butter and your chocolate are on my banana! Elvis died 30 years ago on August 17, 1977. This date also happened to be the birthday of Sean Penn and the day after Madonna's birthday. My theory is that as Sean and Madonna reached the full flower (?) of adulthood, the mighty Elvisness could no longer abide existence on the same plane with such a vortex of evil, and he did the gentlemanly thing and bowed out, albeit from the perch of his throne.*
Anyhoo, Reese's and whoever-owns-Elvis'-image (thank you, Lisa Marie) thought a commemorative Limited Edition Banana Creme Reese's Peanut Butter Cup would be a fitting tribute.
I'm just waiting for the state fair where someone will batter and deep fry one of these little deadlies. Now THAT will be a greasy confection fit for the King.
Uh-uh huh! Thank you very much.
*elvis died on the potty
Sorry, but I had to include this photo of the Mad One getting high on her own armpit vapors. ________________ Guess what? I'm gonna roll 50,000 today. WOOHOO! I started this blog in 2002, but only fired up a counter sometime last year. So, anyway, thanks for encouraging my bad behavior this past year, all you sexy, sexy people! And thanks to the not-sexy people, too.
If Al Gore is such a genius, why didn't he call his movie something clever like "The Earth Who Fell To Man?"
Also, since Earth has been granted person-hood now (along with artificial life forms) how soon will activist organizations begin demanding Earth's rights, filing lawsuits on Earth's behalf? I mean, we so masterfully have bent the entire planet to our will, what with our having ended the shift of tectonic plates, the production of magma, and animal-on-animal violence.
August Belmont Jr., racing enthusiast, was an important early investor in New York City's subway, and he also founded Belmont Park, named for his father. This park would become the namesake of the third jewel of the Triple Crown. A lot of people don't realize Belmont played a major role in historic neighborhoods in Dallas.
In 1892, Belmont purchased an area of Old East Dallas now near the Whole Foods at Lower Greenville Avenue and (what else?) Belmont Street. Today Belmont is a conservation neighborhood which features lots of Tudor homes, little Hollywood-style bungalows and Homes designed by Charles Dilbeck.
Charles Dilbeck was a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, and his work evolved from a derivative style into a mid-century moderne vintage uniquely his own. One distingushing characteristic of a lot of his designs is the higgledy-piggledy brickwork, which I find utterly beautiful. Here is a page featuring several of his Dallas homes. Dilbeck is credited with having designed the first Texas Ranch House, which is a very distinct style here.
The brick house painted white here gives perhaps a better impression of the very non-uniformity of his brick-laying. I love this. Maybe it's nutty, but my love of asymetry thrills at the unlikely sight of mis-aligned brickwork that holds together decade after decade.
So, in the 1940s, the Belmont Hotel was constructed at the corner of Sylvan and Fort Worth Avenue. Designed by Charles Dilbeck, the Belmont was one of the first hotels to feature year-round air conditioning. This hotel was run down and even abandoned for many years. I always lamented its sorry state, because I thought the lines of the structure were magnificent.
Once in the mid 80s, a theatrical group staged a play on one of the hotel's balconies with the audience sitting in the parking lot in fold-up chairs. I decided that night that this was the best view of Dallas. I was thrilled when a development group undertook the restoration of this exquisite structure in 2005. It's a hotel, but also has a grand balcony next to the bar. Also, the art-deco diner next door is being restored, and will no doubt be a favorite haunt of all the coolest kids in town. It's absolute cream puff, and though it's expensive, I expect it's well worth the dosh.
Some time soon I'll spend the night there and I'll give you a full report.
The Hercules family moves into a house with their exchange student (Frenchie) and they find a portal to another world in the closet. The portal feeds into a giant digestive tract and the passenger/traveler is pooped out into the 6th dimension. King Fausto is played by Herve Villechaize (Tattoo from Fantasy Island).
One bright sparkly moment in the whole film is Satan as played by Danny Elfman. He is joined here by the Knights of the Sacred Order of Oingo Boingo.
The sets are big cardboard cut-outs. Yeah, it's super- low-budget and quite crap, really. There's one hilarious alphabet song scene in the film, but otherwise, I'd say avoid it unless you have an unnatural urge to see Herve Villechaize, or the understandable inclination to see Danny Elfman.
This is a French film by Belgian director Rémy Belvaux. At the time the movie seemed rather original but I think deserves a second look. When I think of it now, it seems oddly prescient of reality tv and film programming, and of the collusion of the filmmaker (documentarian *ahem*) with the subject's activities.
A documentary film crew follows a psychopath around, filming his navel-gazing rantings and his occasional random murder. He's obviously deranged but is manipulative/charismatic and eventually draws the film crew into his activities until they find they are at the business end of his nefarious urges.
Looking back, I would like to think there was a statement being made about the culpability of the people who film people bent on evil rather than acting to prevent same. They are glorifying a bad actor, but feel they should be immune from consequences.
Odd footnote is that after relatively great international acclaim for this film, director Belvaux didn't do much more. In 1998, he was in the news as one of 4 people who cream-pied the face of Bill Gates. Last September, Rémy Belvaux committed suicide, aged 39.
This is a good film, better than average, I'd say. Worth watching if you are in the mood for something a little offbeat.
The Puppini Sisters' twist on Wuthering Heights Kate Bush cum Andrews Sisters
You know, Wuthering Heights (the book AND Kate's song) is really a marvel to me.
Cathy and Heathcliff are supposed to be this fabulous, meant-to-be-together couple whose unity was thwarted by life's cruel circumstances. In truth, Cathy is a right nutter, and Heathcliff dodged a bullet.
During the making of the 1939 film version, Merle Oberon absolutely despised Laurence Olivier, who played her Heathcliff. Ironically, this is cited as a superb example of hot on-screen chemistry, but I sorta don't see it. I wonder about people who are magnetically drawn, moth-to-flame-like, to unstable folk. My theory is that people who loved the book wanted to see romantic magic (that's sorta redundant, isn't it?) and so they did see it.
In the end, Cathy's still looney-toons, and the irresolution of the story simply doesn't jibe with the modern American happy-ending-imperative. Still, this remains a favorite film for many. Even being a film buff, this is one movie that makes me want to slap the characters around. Really. Honestly. Slap them until they pee theysefs.
Anyway, late 1970s-ish, along comes the comely, teenaged Kate Bush and her wide-eyed veracity in delivering Cathy's plea from beyond the grave in her compelling Wuthering Heights. For a minute you think, oh, this is rather sweet, clutching desperation and interpretive dance notwithstanding- they're in lurve. It's almost believable.
Then she breaks the spell with the gripping conclusion in which she demands he let her grab his soul away.
Gratuitous gun lyric of the week from the Hank Dogs' 1999 cd, sung by a then-teenaged girl:
Poor little house in the country, with 18 dogs and an M16 for company. cowboys comin' over the horizon they'll be lookin for some hospitality.
Come on in boys the door is wide open but I'll warn you my dogs were born to win and I'll take the greastest of pleasure in watchin' you torn limb from limb.
I love this song, but it's obscure enough that I couldn't even find it on YouTube. Actually, I suppose it's more a rabid-dog song than gunny. Whatever it is, I still like it. bow wow. ________________ Saturday I went shopping with Kelly. We went to Williams-Sonoma and oohed and aahed over their expensive foodie wares. I confess I have an All-Clad fetish. Yes, it's crossed over from mere preference or even addiction. The truth is that well-made, quality cookwear never wears out. Hopefully one day, the offspring of a sibling will appreciate what treasures are stored in my kitchen cupboards after I sashay off this mortal curdle. Either that, or it'll be one heckuva foodie estate sale. Anyhoo. In the meantime, I have my precious All-Clad to keep me warm.
We ended up at an Asian supermarket. I have a pretty good grip on not allowing odd smells to revile me in some way, but near the meat and fish in this market was a righteous rolling funk that made me regret my previous several meals. No, I didn't gag, but I did breathe in a shallow manner without even planning to. I needed to cough at one point, and lacked the mental fortitude I would have required to make a deep intake of breath and then haul off and cough. Yes, I suppressed the cough. Even Kelly mentioned it was particularly funky. Still, it was fun and interesting. These days, you can pay .50 or more for regular limes in the grocers', but this place had them 10/$1.00. Not bad.
They had fish sitting around in styrofoam tubs on ice. but I think it wasn't the fresh fish what were reeking. Oh, and you can get a pack of 8 duck heads for $1.52. The duck heads seemed all the more disturbing because they'd obviously been boiled, and were monotone - the duckbills being the same liver-paste color as the skin of the head, etc. I love eating the heads of small fried Japanese snapper and in the proper context I'll eat anchovies, sardines, etc., but I sorta don't get eating the land/air animal bits with the faces. That's just waaaay too thrifty for this old gal. I'd be ok with my dog eating it, though.
We also hit Central Market, and we combed through the aisles looking at exotic honey, butter and cheeses. They had some strange promotion going on, and there were men running around in pirate drag, occasionally yelling "Arrrrr!" Kelly gave them her best misanthropic "WTF?" look, while I no doubt had the mesmerized look of a 2 year old at a balloon farm. goo goo gaa gaa.
I generally dismiss dreams as so much random twaddle from recent events deconstructed and reconstituted into a big meatball of unrelated bits. I don't believe dreams predict the future or tell you anything about anyone else.
What I am wondering is how much a dream can tell a person about himself. I mean, do dreams tell us things our conscious mind has been unable/unwilling to grasp? Is there really such thing as a subconscious mind, or is it just a convenient excuse to beat a murder rap? Are our perceptions shaped by our dreams, or are our dreams shaped by our perceptions?
Alice by Cocteau Twins. Yes, that's English. No, no one understand the words. Elizabeth Fraser is most reticent about her lyrics and their meaning. Actually, I love CT's music because in that way it's undemanding, simply lovely of the sake of driving a melody and for the sake of beauty. Dreamy, ethereal.
in 1879, Doc Holliday killed for the first time when someone made a mess of his New Mexico saloon (That's if you don't count all his dental patients who probably contracted TB when he coughed in their faces in Doc Seegar's Dallas practice)
Esteemed people born on this date:
1814 Samuel Colt - made some wonderful things
1834 Edgar Degas - painted a couple pictures
1865 Charles Horace Mayo - opened a clinic
1941 My Dad - all-around, generally wonderful person
Happy birthday, Pop. You're the best!
_______________ A couple years ago I saw a rose I really liked at a local flower emporium, so I bought the bush and brought it home. This was a tea rose, very cabbagey with about 200 petals on every bloom, and the color was the palest peachy yellow, almost pinky. What wowed me about this rose other than the dense blooms was the marvelous, antique-rose style fragrance.
I've been gardening for years and years, but I've pretty much limited myself to native perennials from this area, heat-hardy plants that don't need a lot of watering or hand-holding. I've never checked into what it takes to have a rose bush thrive. I sort of envisioned the old-fashioned ladies with the little net-hat on and a hand-held fumigator, dusting the roses with mystical powders to kill bugs and make 'em all purty. In other words, I rather imagined they needed lots of pampering in order to thrive.
SO... since my general philosophy on gardening is that you look until you find the combination of plants which will thrive on your particular degree of neglect, I assumed the rose would hang around a bit and retire early in a ladylike fit of indignance. Not so. This rose LOVED the place where I planted it. The soil was PERFECT! It LOVED the exposure - not too much sun, not too little. I never watered it? NO problem! I had one happy, monstrous rose bush which threatened to take over half the yard, even though I'd just tipped it into a hole in the ground without so much as soil amendments, bone meal or a howdy-do.
So, on Sunday I took pruning shears and pair of limb-cutting shears and began snipping back the branches and suckers. It was incredible, because it took me about an hour and a half just to cut back all these canes. And I still haven't dug up the rootball - I can only imagine what that's going to be like.
Anyway, please learn from the example of my cautionary tale - if you plant roses, you'd better think of it as a commitment. Not necessarily a commitment to spend a lot of time maintaining, but a commitment of a huge parcel of time to get rid of it, should you ever tire of its lovely, genteel self. Better still, put it in the middle of a pasture, where it can just go wild, and you can visit on that rare occasion you actually want to see it.
Congress decided to burn the midnight oil because their carbon footprint is not large enough. I'd like to impress my own footprint on their collective behind.
If you see a Chevy Cobalt with a curious appendage on the roof, those are eyes-on-stalks - the Google streetview crew may be about to take your pic. Be sure and look purty for the camera, and try not to be adjusting your brassiere or truss or swatting your snotty brats when they snap you. Remember, you and your thigh-chafing polyester houndstooth britches with the muffin-top and hair in rollers will be representing your community until the camera fleet rolls through town again. Or until they set up a permanent panoramic big brother at every corner.
I'm in love. Pardon me if I gush a bit. It just took me by surprise, but it was so worth the wait. I mean, I was impressed by all of them, each having special qualities, but at last, I found one which embodied all that I was looking for:
I'm in love with a wonderful gun!
Ages ago in this blog, I told the story about shooting pellets at bloated milk cartons of grandpa's fermented tobacco spittle, and I talked about firing the patriarch's Civil War muzzle loader, and of course there have been sundry bb and pellet guns along the way, but I've really never fired handguns, unless you're counting the video game Area 51, which I'm convinced should qualify me for a girl scout patch, or at least an Alien-Killer Barbie™. "Killing aliens is fun!" (did I read that on Tam's blog at some point?)
Today, the splendid Holly and her Dearly Beloved (henceforth, DB) took me to a cow pasture to try a few handguns on for size. I know you're dying to know so I'll tell you I was wearing my red Wellies, but I do intend to bedazzle them. They felt like they were suctioned on by the time I pulled them off hours later.
Anyhoo, DB started by talking about gun safety, which, of course, can never be overstated. He gave me a lot of information, but in very digestible servings. Although I'm undeniably a n00b at all this stuff, I feel I have a great foundation on which to build. I plan to do a lot of reading.
I started off on .22 pistols. The paper plate in the photo with the .22 shot was the second plate I did. I'd like to say that extra munch taken out at about 1 o'clock was for triangulating the rest of the shots, but, well, whatevs. I shot .22 revolvers, semi-automatics, several .38, a few 9mm, and a couple Kel-Tecs. I have smallish hands, and the waffledy-grips on the Kel-Tecs made my hands feel kind of chewed up. Even so, they were all fun to shoot.
I have to mention the smell. By the time I switched to the .38s, I could definitely smell the powder burning after each shot. I turned and looked at Holly and said "mmmm! Perfume!" It smells really good. Trust me. I have an excellent nose for things.
I now can say I know the desultory pang that comes with the click of an empty chamber. Awwwww! The only times my shots didn't stay in a fairly tight cluster was when I did them in rapid succession, so I don't feel too badly about that. It was hot, and near the end, the sweat was stinging my eyes.
I liked all these pistols, and they all had good qualities. At last, I shot the Colt .45 1911 types Government and Commander models. One shot out of the gubmint model, and I squealed "I have a favorite!" The Commander was a close second, but I prefer everything about the Government model. This was the second paper plate in the photo (that's the one with the big holes). Honestly, it was like finishing up with dessert. LOVED that gun. DB told me I could continue to shoot some more with any of the guns, but it was very hot, my eyes were stinging, and I felt like ending on a very successful note with all this. I think this was a great first outing and I'm looking forward to improving.
Yeah, to a lot of you, I'm total tadpole class, but I'm really excited and have great plans for improvement. Afterward, DB and Hols allowed me to take them to dinner. I said it's amazing how collected and relaxed I felt after all that. I rather expected to feel like at least one of the guns was impossible to handle, and I never felt that way--never felt like it was getting away from me. Frankly, I think anyone of sound mind would benefit from squeezing off a few rounds at a firing range - this is just good clean fun, and therapeutic beyond all imagining.
As we were leaving the restaurant and saying our goodbyes, Holly called me "Deadeye." I couldn't think of anything to say to that, nothing clever, so I just grinned like a 'possum.
Holly is an excellent cheerleader, giving me good feedback on occasion, but mostly just content to sit back and watch DB tell me how to snatch the pebble from his hand. Thanks for letting me hog all the ammo to myself, both of you. Was that greedy? You are most generous.
I have to add something here. I composed this post just before bed on Monday night, and I was giddy from the whole experience, but I now want to say one more thing which I don't think I emphasized enough. DB is a phenomenal teacher. He's thorough, communicative, calm and assured. He doesn't muddle the process with unnecessary information or tall-tale type baloney. Such a sense of calm focus in a teacher sets the tone for a pupil. Being an excitable person myself, DB was the best type instructor for me. This is precisely the type teacher one should seek out to introduce them to this art, in my opinion. And let me say again that pretty much everyone should try their hand at shooting under the proper circumstances at least once in a lifetime.
I'm looking forward to going to shoot rifles with my Dad sometime soon, ok Dad? Talk about elegance!
Thank you SO much, Holly & DB, for creating this monster. What an incredible experience!
By the way, some time ago I had a post about Liver of Sulphur, and Tam asked why it was called liver. I figured it had something to do with the acidity, and I asked a chemist friend recently, and he said that was it - uric acid, like bile. Ew. It certainly smells like it's digesting something. *urp* ________________________
So, M went to the thingie, and she called me early in the afternoon with results on my painting.
She had been giving me grief about the frame, saying she can't believe I would consider paying $5 for that frame, let alone $12.95. So when she called me, she started off by saying the painting was only worth so much, but the frame was incredibly valuable. Like the colossal goober I am, I said "Really?!" to much laughter from my tormentor.
Turns out, they didn't have an expert with any particular knowledge of 20th century Texas painters, and they sort of sputtered and hemmed and hawed over it for a bit. At last, they came up with info from an art dealer online database, and they valued my painting at $500-1000. Yeah, big whoop, but totally worth the $12.95 and having the story.
M also said she and her friend were turned out and wearing the best boots in the place, jeans with hems the proper length, and they were both wearing their platter-size equestrian trophy buckles, and still they didn't get filmed for broadcast, alas. She said the people who were making it onto camera seemed to indicate that the Antiques Roadshow producers were set on showing Texans to be the most backward, unsophisticated bunch of rubes. One guy who was being filmed with his artifact appeared to be wearing plastic cowboy boots, and she said his jeans were an embarrassing length.
There you have it: boot snobbery. If someone is going to attempt to cowboy- or cowgirl-up in a state that actually has cowboys and cowgirls, they need to do a teeny bit of research and make sure they come correct. Now I'll have to watch that episode simply in hopes of seeing the plastic-looking cowboy boots.
One time, my 3 year old cousin put the family car in gear and rolled the car down the driveway over her 1 year-ish old sister, who was crawling around. She had the big tire mark all the way across her abdomen and nothing broken, nothing 'sploded. True to form, they are tough bitches in adulthood too, having gotten full scholarships to college for volleyball and basketball.
Apparently, getting run over is more easily survived by some folk than others.
About 10 years ago I went to thrift stores looking for frames I liked for something I was working on. I decided not to pay more than $5 each, but I came across one with a painting inside that was $12.95. I decided I kind of liked it, so I bought it anyway to keep just for the painting. Several years later, I decided to google the name of the painter, and he turned out to be a known Texas painter who was friends with Ima Hogg, the philanthropic art-patron daughter of famous Texas governer James Stephen Hogg.
Anyway, a girlfriend of mine is in San Antonio today for a taping of The Antiques Roadshow, and she took my painting. I hope she gets to be on television - she's wearing one of her big trophy Texas-size silver belt buckles which she won in equestrian competition, and she's quite lovely with that broad East-Texas accent. I'll bet they film her and use her footage. That'd be really neat. She said she'd tell them my name, and I told her to look at the camera and mention my email address and that I'm a realtor. We got a big laugh out of that.
You may be surprised to learn that to be on that program, you don't just show up with your crap and get in line. You apply to be included in a lottery drawing for tickets. Apparently something like one out of ten people actually are awarded tickets. Who knew?
I'll let you know if I get any word on that. I'm guessing they'll value the painting at $400 or so. It'll be fun to actually know how collectible it is, though, at last.
Courtney Love was looking pretty harsh after she trashed her hotel suite during her birthday celebration last week.
Thinking of her a few days ago, it sprang to mind how un-punk her post Kurt transformation really was. Surgically morphing herself to look like a Faye Dunaway/Donatella Versace lovechild, it seems she's done a complete 180 from her punk roots. Remember her original nose and teeth? Yeah, she had a wide nose like the grille of a locomotive and I'm sure she hoovered up impressive quantities of Bolivian marching powder, but holy crap! She's not even 40 and she's got that burn-victim look. It really makes you wonder.
In the early 90s, Courtney was the antithesis of the popular ideal, the surgically-enhanced/genetically gifted version of beauty, and she owned that and really made it work-- why should female icons all be cookie-cutter versions of beauty? Then after Kurt dispatched himself, Hollywood types turned Courtney into a make-over project. Now she's just awash on a sandbank in the low tide of popular culture.
The irony is that in today's market, Eleanor Roosevelt wouldn't make it at all, and not because her ideas were bad (oh, she had some great personality in there, too), but simply because she was remarkably un-pretty. Courtney had the spotlight on her own terms, but couldn't tough it out with original manufacturer equipment, and that's a damned shame.
Now like a tract of industrially-wasted property, Courtney Love can regret in leisure that she tried to play their reindeer games. _____________________________
Speaking of self-loathing, I saw a guy abusing himself in his car at a stop light this week. I wondered if there was any point calling 9-1-1, but later on I decided a man who would do that at an intersection was probably dangerous. What do you think?
Watched The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada yesterday. I love Tommy Lee Jones, even if he is politically wrong-headed. Good, unconventional movie. Lots of gorgeous border-area Texas/Mexico footage.
Woohoo! Happy Friday 13th, peoples! I'm not superstitious, but I have had some of the best things in my life happen on a Friday 13th. Enjoy! _________________________________
The new Die Hard movie is great. I laughed and laughed. Actually, measure for measure, I enjoyed this film much more than the Harry Potter fu. Even though the computer stuff was insultingly bad, it wasn't quite as bad as "The Net" starring Sandy Bullock.
Speaking of Bullock, the villain was played by the actor who played Seth Bullock, the lawman in Deadwood, only in that, he had a moustache. It's amazing, because without the moustache, he just looks wrong to me- almost baby-faced, even with salt-and-pepper hair. He's an asshole, though, so, the villain thing worked.
Another believability error was the hot karate chick in the knee-high stiletto boots kicking and chopping her way through piles of man-flesh. Yeah, perhaps she COULD do that, but in stilettos? Bitch, please. Please.
This week I had to attend the Crime Watch meetings for my area of town. We have a couple fantastic police officers who run the meeting, and I feel great just knowing they are out there keeping an eye on things. They are smart, friendly and tremendously patient even in the face of staggering ignorance.
They went through the list of reported crimes for the area for the past 30 days, and one thing that'd happened was some guy sitting at a bar at 4am was hit over the back of the head with a bottle, and awoke a time later to find himself on the floor, his pockets emptied. The bar was a seedy little armpit of a Mexican lounge which any sane person would avoid, obviously. Pressed for time, the officer gave brief details and was on to the next item, when a middle-age white lady (who no doubt lives in the suburbs) in the group wanted more detail on the attacker, as though she might be apt to happen into them at any moment. The officer very politely flipped to the previous page and read it word-for-word, which of course imparted no additional details on the attacker. She sat there, stunned, unsatisfied, and said "but what about the guy who attacked him?" I turned to her and said "just look out for someone holding a bottle." Everyone laughed, but I think the officers were particularly amused.
Barbara Bruederlin of Bad Tempered Zombie fame bequeathed me the much coveted Rockin Girl Blogger Award. As part of my reign of terror, I must pass this honor along to 5 other Rockin' girl bloggers, so look out, folks: here it comes.
Tam of View From the Porch: In the encyclopaedia entry for "badass," you'll find a picture of her. She likes driving hot rides, listening to good music, kittens and guns, and not necessarily in that order. Love. Her.
Holly of Holly's Histrionics: Holly drives a convertible with her stereo cranked as the wind rushes past, her loyal bitch Boo riding shotgun. Holly totally rocks.
Ordinary Girl - Kelly is one of the coolest people I've ever met. She looks like a teenager, and manages to be an incredibly fun person whilst still being no-nonsense and taking no shit off anyone. Girls like Kelly are what rock is all about.
Detail Medic - because she holds her own in a firehouse, and because any fan of the Cocteau Twins...
Zelda of Sleeping Ugly - recognized here because her official theme song is the Prince classic Pussy Control
Finally, big ups back on over to Barbara Bruederlin, who is even more of a music fan than I ever have been - she knows it all, and she is devoted to her favorite artists, has never lost the thrill of going to live shows and now enjoys that pursuit with her fabulous teenaged daughter.
I had to do it - I had to go see the new Harry Potter movie today. After what seemed like 30 minutes of trailers, the house lights went down and a woman in the audience whooped and a couple people started clapping.
Imelda Staunton was superb as Dolores Umbridge. You'll love to hate her. Actually, I love her entire wardrobe, which is a symphony of garish pinks. I actually would like to own a few of those garments in more subdued tones. That probably tells you something very disturbing about me, but who gives a crap?
One of my favorite set designs of all the Harry Potter films is the scene in this photo, in Dolores' office. Each of the decorative plates has a different kitten or cat emblazoned thereon, and the cats meow and purr and make general cat sounds as they preen and move about the plate - it's a composite of disconcerting and delightful. Actually, that's a great analogy for Staunton's performance. She's kinda evil, but not super-evil.
I recommend this film, but as so often happens, there's too much rich detail that must be left out to keep it from being 4 hours long. The centaurs should have been on screen more, but I'll bet the CGI people were thrilled we'd never get a clear look at one of those creatures. I thought they did a great job showing the house hidden in the middle of the block in London, but pretty much aside from the cat plates, there wasn't enough time for the mindless niceties of setting and character quirks.
The story line was very cohesive, and I kept thinking of surprising parallels to life in 21st century America. The political leader, fearing loss of his position, acts to prevent students from learning protective spells so that the students will never use these powers against him or his supporters. A weak, uneducated populace is more easily controlled.
Hmmm, I'm too tired to chase that rabbit. Anyway. Good movie. Go see it.
I remember this public service announcement from Memphis television in the 70s. The cautionary narrative concludes with "there ain't no lower class than Tennessee Trash." I have a cousin in Arkansas who might be able to unseat TT in the filth stakes. I'm just sayin'.
SO - who's all lathered up about this Harry Potter movie thingie? And I'm not naming names, but her initials may be detail medic or some such. Yeah, I'll prolly go see it today or tomorrow, but I'm drawing the line at going to the 12:01 showing, even if the film does have Gary Oldman and David Thewlis.
Now, I'll go to the midnight movie to see Bladerunner or any of several Kubrick films, but, jeez - it's a school night.
When your car is already a pestilent congregation of poo, why not turn the seat, steering column and other stuff around, give it all-wheel steering, and have some real fun? I always knew Poland couldn't be all bad. It looks like a wonky English shopping trolley sometimes. On corners, it reminds me of a wiener dog where the rear chassis is trying to come abreast of the front bits.
Watch out for the bit of film past halfway through where there are two drivers - one facing the front of the car, and one facing rear, operating the different sets of tires independently. The baffled pedestrians are a hoot.
I laughed and laughed and laughed. Dad, you're gonna love this one.
OK. I know I've posted YouTube several times recently, but just the ones I really like. It's not a problem. It's under control. I only do it on evenings, weekends, weekdays and the other times I'm awake. I can quit any time.
OK, so Monday was kinda wild with too much to do, but I decided to carve a couple hours out of the day to take in a movie.
You MUST go see HOT FUZZ - it's simply brilliant. James in comments said it's almost as funny as Blazing Saddles. It's incredibly goofy and clever, with a few shockingly gory scenes. The language is too rough for the kiddies, too, but I highly recommend it.
So I got to the theater just as the lights were lowering and the trailers were beginning. I quickly scanned the theater and found two empty rows sorta in the middle. I walked down to those rows and went over about to the middle of one, all the while looking up to the left at the screen as I tried to find that ring to slide my cup into with my right hand. For an instant, I had the irrational thought that the armrest of that seat was warm, but I instantly dismissed it. Couldn't find the cupholder, so I decided to sit down and find the cup holder afterward. So, I sat down only to find that I was sitting on a very quiet man.
What I'm wondering about is some guy in a darkened theater who DOESn't let a woman know she's about to sit on his lap-- I mean, holy crap! It was so embarrassing. We both laughed, but later on, I decided he was a pervy git.
In between cleaning jags, I flipped the idiot box on a couple times Saturday, and it was hard to get away from the "We are the Gored" stravaganza musicales. By that I mean it was on quite a few channels. Funny thing is how many (I'm guessing) invited rock acts were very vocal about their opposition to such an event, pointedly declining to appear onstage.
Anyway, when I flipped on the telly, Sundance channel was broadcasting the show, and there was some rap-critter running around on stage singing about a Gold-digga, and meanwhile, the half-full front seats of the place were populated by pasty middle-aged looking white guys, trying to look hip and clap along, like they'd ever heard that shit in their life, let alone WANTED to hear it then.
When I was in Jr. High band, our evil, sadistic director, Rico Belotti, would make us sell candy, the proceeds of which would in some way benefit the kids in high school, and not us. Anyway, the high school kids advised us to fluff the bag before we knocked on a door, and make it look like more candy. Well, I think concert organizers fluffed the bag and made folks spread out. Or maybe it was like when you're taking the red-eye from New York to London and you luck out and the 747 is not full *SCORE!* so you get to stretch out on a long row which you have to yourself. Or something like that.
Basically, it was the anti-Glastonbury/anti-Coachella. All the cool kids aren't doing it. I'll tell you what would have packed out those stadia, though - if they said they were auditioning for American/Canadian/Brazilian/Latvian/Botswanan Idol - they woulda been beating them back with sticks. And then some.
Well, actually, I won't bother digging around for details, but I'm waiting for the MSM to be as cruel and derisive to Al Gore's son as they were to Rush Limbaugh when his little drug issue was made public. Seems to me there's a lot more sympathy, this go-round.
I think Rush Limbaugh is a brilliant entertainer. I admit he occasionally says things that make me cringe, but I find him extremely like-able (if that's a word?). I thought the cruelty with which his prescription drug addiction was treated was immaculately bull-shitty. Especially considering all the sympathetic hand-wringing that accompanied the deaths of people like a couple drug addicts like Chris Farley, John Belushi, um, pretty much any old dirtbag can get a sympathetic nod from the MSM, but not Rush.
Double standard. And the MSM wonder why we dig around the web for our own news these days. They are so obviously biased and therefore not credible. Hypocrites.
Now, if Rush had been injecting meth into his eyeball, listening to audio books by Michael Moore while speeding in a Prius with a Donkey bumper sticker, he'd a been alright in their book.
From the "I'm not worthy!" files, I just found out today that I'm linked over on the site of one of my favorite bead makers, Aardvark Art Glass. They make some seriously wild beads that are unlike any others I've seen.
Here's a great example - this bead is "drunk sun" and the bead has a liquor bottle in his back pocket. You can buy this fabulous bead here at ebay. Good stuff.
You can also look on in astonishment at their other beads on auction at this link. Enjoy!
1. I went to court reporting school briefly after high school. 2. I'm a night owl, and could happily sleep most of the day every day. 3. I have a green thumb but rarely have time for gardening, so my style with planting is sorta rev-it-up-and-go. 4. I've never seen an episode of Friends, and the very idea of that show makes my skin crawl. 5. No cavities - never had 'em, (hopefully) never will. 6. I don't like my sheets tucked in on the end of the bed, and I can't sleep with my feet covered, mostly. 7. I hate new country music, but I love classic country and Western Swing.
Hmmm, let's see... I'm sposta tag someone, but I generally hate tagging folks. Tell you what: if you want to answer this meme, consider yourself tagged!
We bought our house late June '04, and immediately after, husband went to Virginia to visit close friends from college, and it's sort of turned into a tradition that he's always gone during this holiday. I noticed yesterday that every year since then, I've spent the evening of July 3 by myself in the pool, watching a nearby fireworks display. Well, not this year.
I called up Kelly and begged she & Big Dick to meet me at Texas de Brazil. They finally caved in to my pitiful plea and we arranged a time to meet.
Now let me chase a rabbit for a second: my hair is naturally curly, but I generally wear it straight. I figure if we can put a man on the moon, someone can make a product to give me straight hair, dammit. However, with all this rain, lately, I've been drying my hair straight, but it ends up just sucking up moisture and curling up, anyway. Yesterday, I decided to-heck-with-it and fixed it curly intentionally. Big mistake. Huge. I'm not one to spend much time looking in the mirror. My policy is I take a few minutes to be-cuten myself in the morning, and that shit should hold all day, right? because I'm just enhancing my natural beauty, right? SO... not having looked in a mirror all day, I was just about to leave my house to meet K&D and I did a quick look and my hair was ENORMOUS. Like it had exploded, seriously. I was mortified. It was like Carrottop huge. Roseanne Roseanna Danna huge. I called Kelly and asked her to tell Dick in advance that my hair is not normally that big. She laughed and passed along the info.
We had a blast. What happens at a Brazilian steak house is that first you hit the "salad" bar, which is in no way a typical salad bar. They have all kinds of nice cheeses, lobster bisque, hearts of palm, salmon, sushi, tabouli, roasted peppers - lots of good stuff. Then when you are ready for steak or whatever, Brazlian guys in gauchos bring giant skewers of meat to the table, and you ask for whatever you want. The meat pieces are smaller than serving size, so you can try a lot of different things.
Dick kept laughing about the whole thing, saying it was a great concept, that they figured out a way to charge so much for serving only so much food. When he was finished, the waiter came by and asked if he'd like a fresh plate. Dick said "no, I'm finished." The waiter seemed incredulous, and said surely he meant to eat more. Dick said "no, I can't eat that much. See, I used to weigh 400 pounds, but I had that surgery a couple years ago." Incredulous, the waiter sort of sputtered "but you look so, you don't look like..." Just getting into gear, Dick said "yeah, you wanna see the scar?" as he reached for the bottom of his shirt, and the waiter said "no! no! no! It's ok, I just-- it's just, you don't look like someone..." The poor guy seemed in a daze.
Let me tell you why that is SO funny. Dick is probably taller than the average guy, and he looks quite fit, and obviously always has been. He looks muscular and capable, and he has that easy, relaxed air of a man who knows pretty much no one can kick his ass. He's like my dad that way, someone with real presence. This is something other men notice and respect about a man, in the same way women notice what the others are wearing. So, obviously, Dick couldn't weigh 400 pounds if he tried.
I feel like I've touched the hem of the garment of greatness in leg-pulling.
Kelly is lovely and incredibly smart and witty, and she can keep apace with Dick in that department, I suspect, though I've not seen her in action. You can see a post about this very kind of whoppering on June 16 over at Kelly's blog. They were in Lowes and buying a washing machine. Dick said it was for their grown son and Kelly played along and the sales guy was gasping and freaking out, because Kelly looks like she couldn't have a grown son. Kelly has that adorable Philly accent, too, and kind of a soft voice, so it makes her seem even more incongruous with the very easy-to-hear Dick. Nutty business. If you ever get a chance to meet them, don't miss it!
Anyway, the whole thing was a hoot, and I had the best July 3 in yonks. Thanks, y'all!
For the distinguished gentleman who has almost everything, may we suggest a taxidermy flying monkey?:
You can see this and more delights at the wickedly delicious Custom Creature Taxidermy Arts site. Incredible stuff. I think I'm going to get a taxidermied squirrel head, actually. I just LUV decoratin'!
____________________ Oh, snap! Cell phone calls failed to trigger car bombs - could this be the result of the dumbing down of terrorism? It's nice to think their leaders are as prone to hubris as the next bunch of elected asshattery/divine rulers/maroons.
Hopefully they'll outdo themselves with even greater feats of boobery and butter-fingered-ness. Or maybe we've managed to kill or nab a bunch of their real proficients at this. That's a hell of a learning curve on getting your suicide device to deploy.
Well, I'm all for tit-for-tat. I think anyone caught failing at a suicide bombing should be hastily helped on his way, and as Dick has suggested, I'd be ok with sending them out covered in pig blood. But that's just me.
Well, me and Dick. ____________________
I don't know where it is now, but this weekend I saw a news story that there was a 600 yard tunnel from Mexico to the US across the border from one house to another. This reminds me of that scene from Absolutely Fabulous:
Edina: What you two don't seem to realize is that inside of me, inside of me, there is a thin person just screaming to get out. Gran: Just the one, dear?
The only thing surprising to me about this is the idea that anyone is surprised. I mean, there must be many, many of these things, don't you think? Now, I'm not saying I think half of El Paso is going to collapse into a series of honeycombed sub-terranean chambers like a soufflé in a stampede, but, sheesh! It just seems so obvious to me.
But maybe I've just not been getting enough sleep.
______________________ Have a safe trip, Holly & DB. Call me when you get back!
I've been planning to start going to see art house films more often, and Sunday night I finally managed to do so.
I saw La Vie en Rose which is a Cliff Notes sort of version of the life of Edith Piaf. Piaf was no great beauty, but she looked passably pretty when she was younger. Makeup for this film had rather a tough row to hoe with the surpassingly lovely Marion Cotillard as Piaf. Her facial expressions were spot-on, and it was heart-breaking how you could see in her eyes how desperately she clung to her rare and pitiful scraps of happiness, never fully believing her luck had changed.
Of course, as with any biopic, no doubt liberties were taken with the story. I certainly hope her life wasn't that tragic. I blubbered (ok, not boo-hooed, but streaming tears) in about 5 places in the film. After her final note of "Non, rien de rien" (I regret nothing) the film went black and silent, and a woman a couple rows back blew a kleenex with a honk that was remarkably kazoo-like. This broke the tension and everyone laughed. That was acutally quite nice, although I'm sure the woman will never overcome the shame of it all.
Stunning film. ____________________________ Yeah, I'm loving me some you-tube.
Oh, THAT's why we always thought Eva Gabor was classier than Zsa Zsa:
Yesterday I was in Waxahachie visiting my boss and her lovely parents. Waxahachie is about 20 or so miles south of Dallas, but it feels liked you've gotten more away from the city than that, in some ways. They live south of town. My boss rides dressage and has a couple horses on her land and I got to take some horsey photos, including a good naso-centric shot. I got nipped by a wiener dog. They're little tyrants, aren't they?
One of the coolest things about Waxahachie is an odd art gallery called Webb Gallery. They sometimes have art openings and they have lots of primitive and naive art, like prison art, folk art, and the like. They have lots of old authentic carnival sideshow banners, silk banners and hangings from Elks lodges and places like that. They will be having a big art opening on a Sunday afternoon in late July, with live music and whatnot. I'll let y'all know when that is coming up. Their openings are always fun, and you'd be amazed what a mixed crowd they get.
When I went in yesterday, I was greeted at the front door by this unfortunate two-headed calf. (calves? I dunno) They had at some point acquired and sold a collection of taxidermied two-headed critters. Alas, I was too late to purchase the two-headed baby chicken, as it had a hand-written "sold" note taped on the wall beside it. The baby chick stood, wings out, with an almost surprised look on its face. That is to say, if chickens can look surprised, well, this chick/chicks looked suprised.
I just finished an online course I have to complete before the r. e. officials will turn me loose on an unsuspecting public. They told me this online course would take about 30 minutes. I'm pretty fast at that sort of thing, and I clocked exactly 1.5 hours. Still, I'm glad it's done. Huzzah.
I checked into ordering my own custom floaty pen as a promotional thing to give to people who come to open houses, etc. I've got an incredible little design in mind, so I talked to the contacts for Eskesen, the Danish company that has been making floaties for the past 70 years. I collect floaties and I was pre-ordained from birth to have a series of my very own floaties. I'm ready to fulfill my floaty destiny.
You know how you pay about $3 for a floaty in a tourist-trap place? Well, not including the artwork, for me to have custom floaties done, I have to order 500 of them, and they'll come in at $3.15 each. I thought it was curious that buying in bulk didn't net me some kind of break, but oh well. I did order a small promotional item with another vendor, and he's going to try to contact Eskesen for me and see if he can't wrangle me a better deal. The bottom line is that I'll pay whatever I have to. Needs must.
Since I'm respectful of what my new office-mates might think, I did nix the idea of having a trailer home in the center of the foreground, and on the left side, a garden gnome would slide from far left to behind the trailer, and out the other side would emerge a strutting flock of flamingos. Alas. Maybe for my next floaty once I've already earned the respect of my colleagues. *sigh*
It would also be funny to have a hausfrau with a rolling pin - mid-run - slide behind the trailer and a running man sliding out the other side, him in boxer shorts, a wife-beater, dress socks and wrong shoes. *fun*
Oh, what? I'm supposed to be selling houses. Oops.