Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Psyched out.
I thought I'd be done with my psych class by Monday night, but I ended up working 2.5 hours late (surprise) and I felt like playing my guitar and ukelele instead of studying.  I had some anxiety about the term paper, and I prepared myself for the likely outcome of a 70, a 60 or even a 50.  It was not poorly written, but from a technical standpoint, I expected the professor to bust my balls over the flimsy bibliography and a complete dearth of footnotes.  Fooled me, because he gave me a 100 on it.  This was most gratifying.  I've made a 100 on everything but the tests, which I've made an low A on all of those.  I only  have to make a 4 on my final (out of 150) to make a B, or 104 out of 150 to make an A.  I figure 2 out of 3 is a no brainer.

******************
What is it with me and getting my ass chewed out by kooks at work on the phone, lately?  My natural mien on the phone is deferential, kindly and empathetic.  Lately, when people call in and are in a state of outrage (drunk or just plain crazy, in some cases) me speaking truth seems to really piss some people off.  The odd thing is, though, when people are super-shitty to me on the phone, I get a little more quiet, much less casual, but I seem to have a knack for acting as a catalyst for people who are primed to blow.

Okay, I just wanted to say that bit there.  People who are primed to blow want to blow, and are just determined to do so, and generally there is simply no talking them down from the ledge.  Oh, I could patronize them and turn it around, but I'm not going to mollycoddle someone or lie to them to shut them up and get them off my back. 

But another word on people who have an obvious comfort level with going all 'splodey and showing they ass on the phone with peon-level customer service schlubs like me: the world is not the murky, anonymous morass it once was, my darlings.  If you have a unique name (google your name and you'll see how many of you there are in the USA), you're much less anonymous to the person you are blowing up at.  My theory is that just like some people collect porcelain flowers or snuff boxes, some people collect shitty customer service experiences.  It's their axe to grind, their justification for rancor and bitterness in life, and it's always someone else's fault.   All this is a roundabout way to say there should be a shitty customer archive somewhere where people can be outed for being the nasty people they are.  Someone named Jim Johnson may slip through the net on  that one, but if Miss Lilliepatrice Gigglesnort shows up there, you can bet she's the only one in the USA. 

Is there such a site? If so, let me know.  I have a list.

**********************
My guitar playing is progressing nicely.  The weird thing is I never realized how fast my nails grow. I have to trim them frequently.  I told my teacher that I'd like to write music eventually, and he said "why not start now?"  He gave me some basic tips on chord progressions and assigned me to compose a chord progression in the key of C major.  I must say it's not half bad, and I've even composed a little melody to go with.  I need a keyboard.  I'm glad I have this diversion-- I think it's kept me sane this summer.

Hopefully I'll have news of an A on my test tomorrow.  Cheers!
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Monday, July 30, 2012
The Lush Life
I think I heard this for the first time about 16 years ago, and the complexity of the melody was at once hypnotic and as elusive as ribbonlike tendrils of smoke curling up from a half-tamped cigarette in a dirty ashtray.  Jaded, world weary, one fully expects this was composed by some middle-aged barfly, yeah?

Not so.  Billy Strayhorn began composing this when he was merely 16.  He performed it at private events and on the strength of this and another composition, Duke Ellington hired him as in-house composer where he could practice his songwriting craft while blending into the background.  Tonically, the structure of this piece is staggering, and I find the poetry of the text to be equally so.  Really?  A 16 year old man wrote "where one relaxes on the axis of the wheel of life" - elegant, incredibly refined and altogether dolorous.  And the Byronian reference to distingu√© traces? Achingly lovely and sad.  Still, I think Billy was a bold and brave soul, completely open about his homosexuality in an age where that was simply not done.  Bless Duke for giving him a platform from which someone might trumpet his magnificent compositions.  All the same, though, Duke really should have given Billy credit for composing Take the A-Train, Duke's most popular composition.  Billy was never paid a dime of royalties for that one.

Strayhorn was said to have been infuriated with the liberties Nat King Cole took with the song when he recorded Lush Life, layering in a samba beat and botching the exacting poetry of the piece.  How gauche!

Sadly, the song was prophetic, and Billy did live a lush life, dying at the age of 51 as a result of the toll of a lifetime of booze and cigarettes.  My favorite recording of this is of Billy himself singing the piece in 1964, a year before his death.  The ravages of his lifestyle show in his voice and the pitch is iffy here and there, and he was admittedly not a singer, but a songsmith.  I love it.  The wrung-out version fits. 

I used this clip below because Johnny Hartman's vocal is haunting and brilliant, and his vocal production is so amazingly smooth that it's like the finest silk, and it's a wonderful compliment to such a perfectly crafted song. 



Johnny Hartman, vcl
John Coltrane, tenor sax.
Mccoy Tyner, piano
Jimmy Garrison, bass
Elvin Jones, drums
Photo: Dorothea Lange


I used to visit all the very gay places
those come what may places
where one relaxes on the axis of the wheel of life
to get the feel of life
from jazz and cocktails

the girls i knew had sad and sullen gray faces
with distingué traces
that used to be there you could see where
they'd been washed away
by too many through the day
twelve o'clocktails

then you came along with your siren's song
to tempt me to madness
i thought for a while that your poignant smile
was tinged with the sadness
of a great love for me
ah yes i was wrong
again i was wrong

life is lonely again
and only last year
everything seemed so sure
now life is awful again
a trough full of hearts
could only be a bore

a week in paris will ease the bite of it
all i care is to smile in spite of it
i'll forget you i will
and yet you are still
burning inside my brain

romance is mush
stifling those who strive
i'll live a lush
life in some small dive
and there i'll be
while i rot with the rest
of those whose lives are lonely too
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Sunday, July 29, 2012
Sunday, Puppy Sunday: three-fur
The pups are nicely settled together. Miss Mochi seems to bridge the gap between the personalities of Chuy and Praline, so there's pretty much something for everyone here. It's a delight to me to see them curled up together like this more and more frequently. I took this photo on Friday while I was working. They're so sweet when they are sleeping.

Sorry to miss SPS last week, but Sunday is a big day, as it's the day my test opens, so I spend the whole day studying and then take the test in the evening. At this point, there are only 3 things remaning. I need to read about 200 pages of textbook today (and I'm a slow reader), and I need to read a 26 page paper and write a 3 page review, and participate in 5 discussions online. Piece of cake, right? My hope is that at this time tomorrow, My work on this course will be completed, because it's been kicking my butt.

Oh, and the reason I didn't already do my reading for the test is that Tuesday I had a weekly paper due and Friday at midnight I had a term paper due, and Saturday I had to work from 8 to 1pm, and I had not the heart to study last night. I'm exhausted. This is all going to be worth it, but there's no doubt in my mind that I'll know I've earned this when it's done.
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Saturday, July 28, 2012
overheard on Facebook:
Something I never thought to imagine I'd blurt to someone...

"Remember when you used to walk on my back in Band Hall?  That was the awesomest!"
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Friday, July 27, 2012
I'm Hip by John Pizzarelli


John is the son of the immensely talented Bucky Pizzarelli. 
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what we learned at work yesterday:
People who call in prepared to launch into a spittle-flecked rage no matter what I say don't like it when I laugh at them.

More on this later.
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Thursday, July 26, 2012
blackwork: the delicate toil of the needle
If I had limitless amounts of time, one of the things I'd be adding to my schedule would be embroidery.  I'm not crazy about all forms of embroidery, but I am quite taken with blackwork, which is a style of embroidery which came into vogue in the age of Henry VIII.  According to wiki, this was also known as "Spanish work" based on the belief that Catherine of Aragon brought many blackwork garments from Spain, and art of the 15th and 16th centuries shows black embellishments on many garments.  Typically a dyed black silk thread was used on a matrix of cloth such as linen, preferably with a very regular weave.  Various styles of stitches were used to create the effect of density of color and delicate motifs.   Apparently few original examples of this art survived the period, as the dyes used to blacken the silk thread were corrosive in nature.  Blackwork can also be found in other colors, with red being the most common variation.  I think there might be an argument that black-and-white and red-and-white quilts were very much inspired by this beautiful effect.
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Wednesday, July 25, 2012
currently digging: Norwegian songstress Ane Brun
Odd video, unusual vocal stylings, and I really like it.


Wow. Just a little over a week of this summer session left. I'll be glad.  While there is tremendous appeal to getting school credit quickly, there's something to be said for not having it hi-jack your entire schedule and life.
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012
guitar lust.
I can't afford it, guitar lust.  But the inlay work on these guitars by Andy Powers is nothing short of breath-taking. 

You can hear how nice one of these instruments sounds here.  Lovely.   I so love the inlay of the maple leaves and acorns-- quite lovely.

************
I've been spending more time playing my ukelele, in addition to practicing my guitar.  On the uke I'm playing Sheena Is A Punk Rocker by the Ramones and Ring Of Fire by Johnny Cash (or was that the Carter family, originally?)  Anyway, I'm nothing too exciting on them, but it's a nice diversion from the workaday and school-a-day.  I'm very pleased that unlike last night, I'm not up until 2am studying.  Finished a test a short bit ago.  I seem to have a solid A so far with 1.5 weeks left to go. I have 2 major papers to submit and 1 or 2 more tests, I think.  I'll be glad when it's done, though.  I'm looking forward to the break between summer and fall terms to do a little more quality concentration on practicing my guitar and uke.

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Monday, July 23, 2012
It's not always this cut-and-dried, but...
in this case, I'm completely comfortable with the death penalty for everyone featured in the video and filming it.
And as swiftly as possible.  What absolute cretins.  Damn their eyes and those of anyone who would condone their actions.
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Sunday, July 22, 2012
Damn, girl!
PJ Harvey kicks more than 31 flavors of ass here.  Love the way she rocks. 

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Saturday, July 21, 2012
a little scribbling on crazyness.
Recently I was chatting online about my Psych and Sociology classes this year with Carrie and I said that the net effect of these classes is that they re-wire your thinking, and that I rather resent this.  She chirped "I love being rewired!" and it really got me thinking about my resentment.   This may be a 10 line post, or 100.  I'll just go until I'm done, okay?

Carrie is right to see excitement in the adjustment of one's thought processes.  When I look at my life, do I think everything is ideal or the best of all possible worlds? Obviously I'm pursuing this education/career change because something needs realignment.  After all, I'm not being brainwashed, but merely challenged to consider how and why we function as we do individually and collectively.  I also subscribe to the √† la carte concept, sort of an idea buffet in which I get to pick and choose to which ideas I adhere.   The cherry-picking route seems sensible anyway, since this is an evolving field of study.

In our narcissistic way, it's inevitable that some deeply reflective of our kind would try to boil us down to our discrete parts and organize little groupings, tidy little ways to categorize us, define some order to things.  That I understand.  The condescension baffles me, though.  The texts all have some point in which they mention the biases of researchers, but I find biased language here and there in the texts, but most particuarly in the sociology book.  I would be reading along, taking it in and trying to jprocess the concepts when a phrase of bias popped out at me like a toenail snagging on a carpet, and suddenly I'd be hung up on how the author meant to be purely observational but was, in fact, being a little patronizing. 

I do not balk at reading challenging things.  Indeed, I think they do tend to help you to organize your view in a better way, and to help cement what you do believe, and hopefully inspire an evolution or reinforcement of thought and belief.   I'm complaining here, but not all was bad in these books, and I have learned and perhaps being more reflective was something I genuinely needed.   

I must admit, though, I did come across one psychiatrist who makes worlds and worlds of sense to me in the form of Thomas Szasz.  Szasz theorizes that social experiences and not necessarily illness of the mind underlie bizarre behaviours. I've always been struck by the fact that the default explanation people go to for rude, deviant or antisocial behaviour has tended to be "clearly she/he is crazy."  I think that gives a pass on responsibility to people who have actively (and sanely) chosen to commit outrageous cruelties/crimes against other people.   Someone is vicious and witheringly evil to all her inner circle and people shrug it off as "she's just crazy?"  No, she is an asshole, sweetheart.  Someone has a an entire ethnic group rounded up and shipped off to be slaughtered?  That person is an asshole. Someone calmly goes into a crowded place that is not a warzone and blows away a bunch of people for no reason?  That guy is not crazy, he is an asshole.  These people may be in varying states of mental healthfulness, but I don't give them a pass as though they were not in a state of choice before they committed their offenses. 

No, these studies are not all bad, and I suppose the ultimate good I'll see from it won't be evident for a long while to come.  I can say I'd prefer these contemplative courses stretched out in a 16 week semester, rather than 5, because this is so much to process in a short span of time.
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Friday, July 20, 2012
43 years ago today...
Superbly geeky and cool.  I was 3 at the time, too young to really care much, but all these years later, watching this video on my lunch break gave me chills.  Landing on the moon on July 20, 1969.



So cool.
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My first pack pile.
*squeee!*

They all cuddled up together for the first time on Monday. Chuy and Praline have gotten gradually more warm and accepting of my new little peanut Mochi.
Mochi seems to be afraid of the dark and is loath to go out after dark unless a person goes out with her. Or maybe she's afraid of being left out in the dark. She was chained up in a yard for a lot of her second and third months, and then she was still an outdoor dog, though more kindly treated at her previous home.
She's a sparkly little thing, though, and I love her floppy-puppy ways. Just the way her pads sound on the floor is different, and she seems to have livened up the established houndies in the house. Chuy and Mochi seem to be undertaking some project behind (or under?) the shed. If she shares his engineering bent, they'll dig a hole to China, Praline will go walkabout down the chiweenie hole and Chuy and Mochi will stand around looking innocent and pointing out that sissy has gone down that big, spontaneously-appearing hole under the shed.



There's no telling. In any case, my pups fill my heart with joy. I'm glad Miss Mochi is here, and I think the other pups are, too. :)

...but we're going to need a bigger puppy bed.
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Thursday, July 19, 2012
only the coolest things stay cool forever.
Seasons change, fickleness happens. Something that seemed to ooze coolness that summery by the pool with the fireflies buzzing 'round may not fare so well in the winter, but the very utmost cool things stay cool forever.


Kind of like you, Dad. You have the brilliant sense of possibility of the natural engineer. You have a creative spark that delights and surprises and teaches your progeny to not settle for the dull. Your wit and delight in life are also great teachers. You're one of those forever young, forever cool kinds of people. And through it all, you are the kindest of souls, too.


I don't have a giant classic American convertible automobile, but if I did, it would have fins, and this song would be on permanent loop.

And as I drove around in that convertible like the self-actualized creature you taught me to be, I could claim I was channeling you, the coolest guy I know, but it would be more accurate to brag that I carry a whole lot of you in me in the form of your most wonderful DNA.

Happy Birthday, Dad. I love you and I'm so very proud of you.

But even if you weren't cool, you'd still be the best, and I'd be just as proud of you. I wouldn't trade you for anything. You and Mom are the greatest treasures on earth to me.




And as I drove around in that convertible like the self-actualized creature you taught me to be, I could claim I was channeling you, the coolest guy I know, but it would be more accurate to brag that I carry a whole lot of you in me in the form of your most wonderful DNA.  Thank
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012
A couple minutes of music from the superb Neko Case
The Next Time You Say Forever

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Shift-lag
Monday I worked from 10AM til about 10:30 last night. Tis the season, and all. My theory has proven largely true, though there are some flurries if calls after 5 PM.

Only worked about 10 hours on Tuesday. I'm plumb tuckered out. Feels like jetlag.

I'm for bed.


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Sigourney Weaver still has it.
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Monday, July 16, 2012
I'm going to like this new schedule!
My work schedule was 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM, but in recent times I've worked as late as 8:30 or 9:00 PM.  One day recently I took 65 calls on my shift and made 65 calls, but usually, my total hovers somewhere around 100 calls a day.  I came to realize, in recent times, that the first 4 hours of my day are utterly consumed by me managing eruptions happening primarily with accounts managed by others, leaving me to scramble to get my appointed duties dispatched with the meager remains of the day, thus the piling on of overtime. 

So, a Eureka moment-- I'll switch with a later person and they can deal with the things that go splodey early in the morning, and I'll just mosey in later.  Yay!

So this morning, I've got about 1:45 before my shift, I've watered my plants, fed and let out the pups, worked on weeding around flowers for about an hour.  We'll see if I am staying  4 hours after my shift to finish up, though.  Hopefully this will ultimately result in less overtime.  I'm going to ready part of my next psych chapter and then clock in about 45 minutes early.

Yeah, this seems much more manageable.  Report to follow. :)
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Sunday, July 15, 2012
Sunday, Puppy Sunday: first tussle of the day
Bless her heart, but Miss Mochi has a short mandible so it doesnt fit with the upper part evenly. When she bares her toofies during sparring, the effect is comical, rather than fierce. She really can't get a proper bite on things anyway. Poor baby has the same problem I do, to a lesser degree. I must keep her and protect her.



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Friday, July 13, 2012
Friday roundup - Friday 13-- always a good day for me!
First of all-- when did my furboy Chuy go to Africa???  This is the cutest picture. Chuy is so fierce, and not just because he has a harem now.

Second of all, went to lunch Thursday with Himself and when I got home, there was a certified envelope on the doorstep.  The insurance company has deemed my jaw surgery medically necessary.  I'm sort of scrambling to get it set up. Would be ideal the first week of August to have it and have done with it in time to be in school.  I may be a fright, still, at that point, but hopefully most of the bruising and swelling will be gone by then. 
Still, yuck.
I may be getting my braces back on as soon as next week because they have to use the anchored brackets to reposition the cut-and-paste mandible action.  That will be interesting. It's going to be a challenge to speak clearly on the phone with braces all over again, but I'll manage as before.  I should probably be practicing talking with my retainers in, or somesuch. :)

Thirdly, why do I want to call my Psych class my psycho class?  Clearly the Sociology class was the psycho class.  You'uns is still owed a post on that, btw.  Don't think I've forgotten.

At the end of the day Thursday, 4th day of the work week, I've put in 43.5 hours.  I vow I'm leaving my work at the regularly scheduled 4pm on Friday.  Besides, I have to drive to Dallas after work.  Too busy for messing about working late.

Next week I switch to a later shift, to 10-7 rather than 7-4.  I have observed that I spend the first few hours of the day fixing what went 'splodey with other peoples' clients. I figure things will be tamped down to a dull roar by the time I get in if I let others handle it, so we'll see how that theory holds up.  Maybe I can get away with getting my work done in few hours that way.  The most important part, though, is that I don't want to leave work until I know I've put out all the fires and responded to every client.  That can be tough on a day in which I handled more than a 100 phone calls and received 200 emails.  But I manage.

Finally-- Friday 13th is always a happy reminder for me.  Once my dog Valentine got out during a thunderstorm, and, terrified, she probably ran for miles.  I went to the SPCA every day hoping to find her.  5 weeks after her escape, a kindly family picked her up a couple of counties away and took her to the vet, got her all fixed up and they took her home.  4 weeks later, on a Friday 13th, I got a phone call from someone who saw Valentine's poster at the SPCA.  The voice mail said "I hope I'm wrong, but I think I may have your dog.  She had a collar on that had a tag that said 'Devil.'"  Yup, got my baby back on Friday 13th after she'd been gone for 9 weeks.

Just when you least expect it: just what you least expect. :)
Have a great weekend!
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Thursday, July 12, 2012
school daze.
I'm really tired.  There's about twice as much reading and more intensive assignments with this Psych course than there was with the Sociology course that ended last week, but I'm generally doing much, much better.  My average so far is a 95.  TONS of reading, though. 

I'm wiped out.  My kitchen looks like the dirty dish elves have been flying frequently, and laundry? Fuhgeddaboutit.  The grass wants cutting, too.  Miss Mochi doesn't like her tummy tickled by grass in the back yard, I've noticed and she doesn't need any excuse to have accidents in the house.

Took the 3 pups for their first walkies together at lunch on Wednesday. Miss Praline found an obliging pile of poop in which to roll, bless her.  She was foul.  She was bathed forthwith.  She hates baths.  I wish she would hate baths more than she loves rolling in poop. ew.  Chuy is his usual cuddly self. Thank goodness for [clean] puppehs.

And I worked about 55 hours each of the last two weeks.  3 days into this work period and I've already got nearly 9 hours of overtime.  Summer is high season where I work, so to not work as much as I feel is necessary would be to give my duty short-shrift, though, so I'll just suck it up and deal. 

Mean time, though, I am SO tired. At least I don't have to work this weekend.  *whew*

All that being said, Sociology and Psych courses, while a necessary evil, make me feel a little melancholic.  I don't like being that reflective and having someone poking me in the chest and saying "this is how it is, all people are like this, blah blah blah." 

I don't think it's like that at all.  It would be better had they said "people tend to be like this or things tend to play out in this manner."

Their way just makes me feel cynical about the possibility of happy outcomes, and if those are not possibilities, then why am I busting my hump over this crap. 

Yay! Psych and Soc courses are almost done-with.  Yay!

More yays!

Just 4 more weeks, really.

Yay.
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Wednesday, July 11, 2012
New favorite pencil
Himself bought me the best mechanical pencils I've ever used, and they're cheap!
If you are in the way of needing pencils, I highly recommend the Bic Velocity pencil #2.  I like the .9 lead, personally.

I'm generally not a pencil fan, but I have to have them for filling in the bubble sheets for exams at the university, and since I'm renting my text books when possible, I have to be able to go back and erase my notes so I don't get hit with the purchase price on books, so pencils are the go-to margin scrawlers for me.

Oh. Another note on books-- My current psych class has a textbook that was $155 at the university bookstore, but a school bookseller in town had the same book for rent for $27.  All i have to do is turn it back in looking as neat and tidy as it was when I rented it.  I'll just try  not to fall asleep and waller around on it.   I found out about this alternate bookseller from Mrs. Tolewyn, btw, so it pays to have smart friends!

Not all text books are available for bargain rentals, but I got lucky in this case.
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Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Once upon a time, manchego and goat cheese had a stinky little baby...
Once upon a time, manchego and goat cheese had a stinky little baby and her name is Balarina Aged Goat Gouda.

There was a time when the idea of stinky cheese was utterly unappealing to me.  How could anything that reeks of gym socks possibly taste good? Well, somewhere along the way, I got far enough past the smell to actually taste some of them, and you know what? That last statement is indicative that either one should or should not drink wine in copious amounts, as wine is partly to blame for me getting past the stink.  Delicious! 

Anyway, at $17.99/lb, Balarina is fairly dear for my modest means, but a worthwhile occasional purchase.  Very satisfying.  I'm nibbling on some now on my lunch break.  Too bad I have to go back to work, else this would be quite marvelous with a nice wine.  Mmmm. 

There's this one stinky cheese that is one of my all-time favorites - epoisses - which the link terms "a stinker with a drinking problem."  I had a friend who shared a house in Santa Fe with a couple of friends, among them the wine buyer for the Santa Fe Whole Foods.  Went there one New Years' Eve party and found a puck of epoisses salaciously oozing across a plate.  The wine was red and delicious, and I succumbed to this neglected dissolving puck of creamy funky heaven.  Epoisses actually has a creamy sweetness you would not expect, but have a care-- the scent is un-ignorable.  This cheese is reputed to be banned on the Metro in Paris, for some reason. :P 

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Monday, July 09, 2012
Roscoe was absolutely right! This clip is perfect.
Sound quality is not great on this, but it's hilarious.  Good synopsis that manages to be accurate and funny.



************
I expect the final grade on the odious Sociology course tomorrow.  I may unleash the rant this week, but we'll see. I'm trying to get my bearings with an assignment-heavy psych course for the second summer session.  This one is online too, but at a different school, so the last week of the previous course and the first week of this on overlapped last week.  Between that and working about 55 hours last week, I pretty much had my clock cleaned.  Hopefully work AND school will settle down to a dull roar this week and I'll be able to retain some shred of sanity.

Meantime, my guitar practicing is going quite well, and in that I am well pleased.  I've been really surprised how the dogs have been very cool and not bothered by the guitar.  Sometimes if I strum and play loudly, Praline will lift her head from the sofa as if to say "really? really?" but otherwise they seem not to notice it at all.  :)
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Sunday, July 08, 2012
Sunday, Puppy Sunday: a peaceable queendom
Praline broke the seal on sleeping next to Mochi quite quickly after her arrival, within a couple of days.  I've not caught Mochi and Chuy curled up together yet, but it did take several days before he would deign to sleep on the sofa if Mochi was on it, so this is major progress.  And the romping?  There's been formidable romps afoot.  They are having a grand time and Mochi is integrating nicely.  Chuy is all luvved-up and has recognized he's not being ousted as the prima-donna lap whore.  :)  Mochi, when not in her hard puppy naps, is quite content to play chasey-chasey with Praline, and Praline is euphoric, frankly.  I'll try to get a video up soon, but several times a day, there are eruptions of 3 rocketing fur-tubes zooming about in a blur.  This warms my heart. 
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Getting by on music.
It's how I'm getting by.  Always in my head. always in my heart. music is always there. I've been working aobut 55 hours a week and then school on top.  This past week, my two classes overlapped and I made it throughout.  It's all for the cause, all for getting me somewhere better professionally, but it's taking a toll.  Always, music is getting me through.  It's in my head.  It gets me by.

Love this sublime cover version of Crowded Houses's amazing Fall At Your Feet by Boy & Bear:

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Friday, July 06, 2012
For folks caught in a brutal heat wave: this, too, shall pass
Here are some cool tones and images which will hopefully be an anodyne for anyone in the throes of a brutal summer.   Drink lots of water. Make sure there's lots of water out for your little ones, be they human or beastie, and try not to overdo it.  This, too, shall pass.  It's hard to believe, but it's true, because it just doesn't feel like it now.  Try to stay cool, my friends. 


Olsen Olsen by Sigur Ros
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in which we have pulled a hat trick.
I telegraphed here my low expectations for my performance on the Sociology final.  I expected to end up with a B so I eschewed study for the final in favor of study for the Psych class I started at the local university this week.  Turns out, I fared better than I anticipated and I actually earned an A in the course. 

Once the ink is dry on my final grade-- sometime next week-- I'll vent spleen about what had me so hot under the collar a month ago.  For now, I'm basking in the glow of a grade one letter higher than I dared presume I'd walk away with.  Certainly, I did earn this grade, but not without some anguish. 

I look forward to telling you that story.  In the mean time, though, have a lovely weekend.  I intend to. :)
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Thursday, July 05, 2012
this kicked over my giggle box
Funny Animal Gifs - CUZ BABY YOU'RE A FIIIIIIIIIIIREWOOOOOOOORK
see more
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The end (of sociology class) is nigh.
Tonight will be my final in Sociology, thank goodness.   I calculated my totals, and as of now if I made a zero on my final, I'd still make a 74.  The final has  over 200 points, and I only need 79 to make a B, and 179 to make an A, so, uh, I think I'll be plenty happy to get a B.  I decided to eschew study for the final to focus on my other class which started Monday. 

I'm not trying to be lazy, and I really prefer not to phone it in, but one thing I've learned with this course and this professor is that more work does not necessarily yield a better outcome, so I think coasting is the sensible choice here.  Worst case scenario?  Hey, I've already got a C.  

I'm glad this one is nearly over. 
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Wednesday, July 04, 2012
Happy July 4!
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Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Human Error - We Were Promised Jetpacks
Human error: a bit thick on the ground, of late.




Love the album version too, but I really like the acoustic, as well.  Nice.
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Born on the 3rd of July


For some reason, this song has been going through my head for a few days.  Whaddayaknow if I didn't just get a ukelele and Tom Cruise has a birfday today, though I suspect he would not be kindly disposed toward this brilliant ditty penned by Jonathan Coulton. 
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Awwwwww!



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
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Ukelele!
My guitar lessons are going very well. I went to a guitar store Monday to buy a new capo (the one I bought when I got my guitar is right crap) and while I was at the shop I looked longinly at all the mandolins and ukeleles which happen to be way on sale.  But I resisted the temptation.

Went in to my lesson later and my told my guitar teacher that I plan to buy a ukelele sometime in the relatively near future and he said he happened to bring one that he was wondering if I'd be interested in buying.  It's a cheapie, but it's fun.  It's a good diversion.  It will not supplant the guitar, but it is a lot of fun. :)

No, I won't be playing Tiptoe Through the Tulips.  But I definitely plan to learn Tonight You Belong To Me from The Jerk. :)
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Sunday, July 01, 2012
Sunday, Puppy Sunday: Introducing Miss Mochi
Mochi is a rescue pup. She's about 4 months old and has cycled through several homes.  When she left her mother, she was chained up in a yard and left alone all the time.  A coworker of mine had adopted a little male from the same litter and persuaded Mochi's captors to let her take Mochi, where she's been the last 2 months.  Mochi has been happy in a loving home that wanted her, but my co-worker's daughter and her dog moved in with her yesterday, and their community has a strict limit of two pets per household.  A few weeks ago she told me she needed to find a home for Mochi.  I'd met Mochi and observed her to be a smart, sweet and healthy little pup.  I couldn't bear the thought of her going to a shelter and maybe not making it out alive, so I told her I'd take her if no one else did.  She said "she's yours."  She said my house is puppy heaven, so Mochi will surely be happy here.  Two weeks ago I took Mochi and her brother to the vet for checkups and shots, and they got the all clear.  This also gave her time for her body to process the boosters etc and got her properly wormed before coming to my house. 

Mochi is a chiweenie, though she looks more full-on doxie than chi, to me.  In fact, oddly, when looking at her next to Chuy, Chuy looks way more chihuahua than I ever recognized.  Nonetheless, he's still a magnificent and dashing little brute.

Got her a little over 24 hours ago, and the personalities have worked together in exactly the opposite of my expectations.  Praline was very chill and accepting, even letting Mochi fetch the rubber stick back to me several times.  Chuy, otoh, was very standoffish at first and not at all cool about it.  With the aid of Himself, I've been sure to keep a very close eye on their interactions so no one got hurt.  Mochi has not had an accident in the house.  She is obviously teething so I'm keeping an eye on her and being clear about which are nommable toys and what stuff is off-limits. 

Slept all night, and Mochi slept through on the bed.  It's been interesting that she has to be convinced to come into the house, because she spent a great portion of her life so far being forbidden to come indoors.  She seems to be loving it, though.  This morning the trio finally got their frisk on, and went tearing around the house like three fur-bearing little missiles.  ZOOM! ZOOM! ZOOM!

Welcome home, Mochi.  Be happy here. Love and be loved. :)
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Name: Phlegmfatale
Location: Elsewhere, Texas, USA

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


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