Thursday, November 30, 2006

Click here to read a Dallas Morning News story on Thanksgiving Dinner at the Texas Embassy Cantina in London. Thom Jackson, general manager, was my neighbor at Railroad Studios lofts in Dallas for about 5 years - great guy. Also, the Texas Embassy makes the best margarita I ever had in England and they make great authentic Tex-Mex food with fresh ingredients. Very good salsa.
I went to have my teeth cleaned on Monday, which is always very nice. The exam room features a floor-to-ceiling window and looks out onto the parking area and lots of trees. In a small tree outside the window, they have hung a couple bird feeders and it's always fun to see them. When I went in, I took my camera and snapped a photo for Dallas Diorama. The doctor said I needed to put a bird in the photo as there were none when I snapped it, and I said "yes, I think I'll photoshop a bird into the image, something exotic. Perhaps a macaw." He said that actually, they'd had quite a few small parakeets and other birds that had to be pets (or escapees) come and feed there, and that once he'd seen a very large and obviously very tropical bird chowing down. I said then that decided it: I would photoshop in feral canaries. I said that the pivotal moment in western civilization would be us coming up with the feral canary concept. People will remember where they were when they first heard of feral canaries and will order the memories of their life events by feral-canary-era and pre-feral-canary-era.

See. Aren't you glad you never have to meet me in person?

Oh, I confronted someone today, and they turned out to be the wife of a sports superstar (she didn't tell me - I looked her up online afterward). I'm glad I didn't parse my harangue in the potty language I was longing to set afoot (as her lawyer budget may be slightly higher than my own), but I'm still glad I griped at her - it was the right thing to do. And there's more where that came from.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

New piece of jewelry I made last night. I've finally set up a jewelry blog so I don't have to bore everyone over here with my jewelry obsession. It's over at the link just below Dallas Diorama at the left.

I've got to go out soon with my camera and snap pics of the Christmas lights. Tonight I felt like driving and just tooled up the tollway and saw some splendid lights.

I saw some spectacular lights in Austin Saturday night, but alas, did not have my camera along.

Niece and nephew are coming over Friday night and we will decorate the Christmas tree. I'll post photos, because you're going to love it - it's a little odd, but very cool...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

"Three Thing" MeMe
I was tagged by Kim over at Something To Say with "Three Thing MeMe".

Three things that scare me:
* Sudden loud unexpected noises - being startled usually results in me emitting a bark like that of a small dog - it's embarrassing, but what can I do? People should't scare the wound-up lady
* The loss of freedom and personal rights
* Out-of-control bureaucracy

Three people who make me laugh:
* Tam - View from the Porch
* Erin - the immaculate equestrian and fellow hypomaniac
* Dick & Kelly - OK - I know they make 4, but consider them an entity since they're a couple

Three things I love:
* Music - any style as long as it's good music
* Color
* Making funky jewelry

Three things I hate:
* Out-of-control bureaucracy (yup, this one's so big I had to bring it up again)
* Smug people who sit around judging other people, especially the ones who feel self satisfied and make a big production of saying who is "going to hell."
* (This group overlaps the last one) People who use threats of hell and Armageddon to try to terrify other people into making professions of faith, rather than trusting there is any intellectual reason to make that profession of faith. Yup, I hate that - it annoys the shit out of me, actually.

Three things I don't understand:
* Why more people haven't bothered to read that wee little book "The Prince" by Machiavelli, which is a roadmap for dominating people on a mass scale - then they'd understand how they are manipulated by all "leaders." I'm not suggesting anarchy is a good ideer, but people need to know that "their guy" and "their party" in D.C. is not on their side - they are there for themselves alone. That's how it works. No one in that town is "for the people." We exist for them. Or, at least, all the rest of you do. Except for that bit about a third of my income...*ahem*
* Bullies
* Not flossing - gosh - how do people stand their own bad breath? I can go a few days without flossing, but over time, I feel like my teeth are furry. My braces just about did me in because they made flossing nigh to impossible.

Three things on my desk:
* Dad's 1st place horseshoe trophy from this year's country fair
* A container of little yellow birds
* my Canon Rebel XT

Three things I'm doing right now:
* Let the doglet out once more
* go to bed and read
* go to sleep

Three things I want to do before I die:
* See my wonderful niece grow up to have the independence to pursue her dreams in life (right now it's to be a veterinarian) and to see her happy
* Same for my nephew, only he'll probably invent some new form of music, if he keeps going in the same direction - he's quite the little composer at a ripe old 4 years
* Maybe learn to ride horses, something like that

Three things I can do:
* Stay up all night and sleep all day
* needle-woven beadwork with teeny-tiny beads and no glasses on
* I can cook rather well.

Three things I can't do:
* father a child
* I can't seem to have fewer than 3 purses sitting around the house at one time
* willingly stay in a place with bad music - it depresses me and gives me the twitchy urge to run to the stage and show them how it's done

Three things you should listen to:
* Your parents - even if you will ignore their advice, you should at least consider it. That way it's not a surprise later on when they say they told you so
* Villa-Lobos' divine harmonica concerto. Heartbreakingly beautiful.
* your intuition

Three things you should never listen to:
* Fanatics (unless they are an Imogen Heap fanatic - those people are all right!)
* negative people who look for the dark cloud above every silver lining
* politicians

Three things I'd like to learn:
* html
* chemical processes behind the miracle of cookery
* to be a better seamstress

Three favourite foods:
* My mom's chicken croquettes
* My Grandma Bertie's buttermilk biscuits and gravy
* My Grandma Smith's everything - how did she make plain old green beans taste like a symphony? What a woman!

Three beverages I drink regularly:
* water
* unsweetened iced tea with no lemon - like I like my men: bitter
* bucks' almond steamer with whipped cream

Three TV shows/Books I watched/read as a kid:
* Beverly Hillbillies (was watching them when I found out Elvis died)
* Sanford & Son - I learned alot about decorating from Redd Foxx
* Nancy Drew series - the books, never the tv show

Three blogger friends that I am going to tag:
Meg (when you get time, when your show is over) at Not a Woman of Few Words
HollyB over at Holly's Histrionics
Tony at Blah Blah Blog
OR... Your Name Here.

Monday, November 27, 2006

[There are some superb photos of Immi's Dallas show over here ]

Saturday I awoke still giddy from the glory that was Imogen Heap's sublime concert in Dallas the night before. I got out of bed, all toasty-holiday-happy, and got on the computer. I blogged a mile-long entry about that show, and then I looked on her tour roster on her MySpace page. Hmm. Austin Saturday night. It's not that far - just about 200 miles exactly from my front door to downtown Austin... Hmm.

I looked online and saw I could have flown down for $111, which is not so bad, but then would have been the car-hiring and I would have had to remain in Austin until 8AM. Hmm. I like the book I'm reading, but not that much. Plus, I hate flying. Anyway. I went to the site for La Zona Rosa and found there were still tickets left, and for a mere $27 I could have one of my very own. I decided to buy the ticket before I made up my mind to go, entirely. I thought at least my options were open that way.

I asked brother-in-law if it made me weird, retarded and stalkerish if I went to see her in Austin. He said no, that I would be a stalker if I went to Phoenix to see her. In comments, someone this weekend has called me a groupie and another comment called me a dead-head. Fair enough! I'm laughing at that.

Then I realized that all this time I've been craving a weekend in just pajamas, what I've really needed was a dose of spontenaity. I decided to go and got all gussied up. I decided I would rock the dress-over-jeans look that is so bohemian and so right-now, and I wore a red & white Indian frock with embroidery around the neckline. I asked husband if I looked like George and Ringo in their Ashram phase, did I look like a guru? He assured me I didn't. I wore heels, though not spike and not sandals. I had zippers on my jacket pockets and carried everything I needed in my pockets so no bag was necessary - here's to simplicity.

I loaded up the car with tunes and a bottle of water and an iced tea, gassed up and was on the road before 5pm. Showtime was 9. The drive down was pleasant, and I listened to The Eraser, Thom Yorke's [Radiohead] cd which came out & I bought in July, but just peeled the plastic off a week ago. I never changed the cd - this one floors me and I recommend it highly. More on that another time.

The last time I went to La Zona Rosa was 14 years ago and then it was a Mexican Restaurant. Now it's opened out into a warehouse area that is the central concert venue in the back, basically a huge metal shed. Austin was warm, too. People were at the concert in shorts and sandals. At one point, I saw water misters spraying over the shed area. Indoors. Great. I could feel my hair sucking it up and curling for its very life. I was destined to be a white girl guru with an afro. By the time I arrived, the capacity 1200 venue was sold out, and I was relieved I bothered to buy my ticket online. People were hanging out in front trying to buy tickets off other people. Too bad I didn't buy 2 tickets and make some of my money back for the trip.

Levi Weaver played again but was plagued with technical difficulties and didn't do the Radiohead cover this time. Then came Kid Beyond, a beatbox guy who did some amazing stuff with digital looping. A lot of the crowd was there specifically to see him, and they went wild for his stuff.

Since this venue was standing room only, the vibe was completely different from the more manicured and refined Dallas setting of McFarlin Auditorium. Imogen seemed to enjoy both shows equally, but I think she very much was buoyed by the energy of Austin's large audience dancing along with her to her superb music rather than sitting politely. It was incredible. I'm so glad I went, but next time I'm buying a couple bottles of water and bulldozing my way up to the edge of the stage early, rather than trawling around for little nooks to see beyond the tall people convention.

I talked again to the girl at the merchandise table and she asked me to come back and talk to her some more when people weren't at the table. At some point when Kid Beyond was playing, I came back to her and the photographer Ryan Obermeyer was there. We had a conversation and I got to view close-up the wondrous engineering marvel of his black feather mohawk. I asked if he ever slept in the feathers, because it would be a shame to wake up with wonky feathers, and he said he had and that it did make them wonky. He was very interesting, funny and charming and wearing a pair of pin-striped white baseball pants. I like someone with more fashion guts than I have, and he had them in spades. Then again, someone with a mohawk is never saying "don't look at me." He asked me if I was familiar with local hotels, and I said the only one I'd stayed in was the nearby Hilton, but laughingly said that I have a moral outrage about sending money to Paris' family these days. Nice guy. I asked him how he came to work with Imogen and he told me that story. I expected someone like him would be aloof and inaccessible, and I find he quite the opposite - he's a nice guy. Ryan's also a brilliant artist.

Immi's set seemed identical to Friday night's except that she had no difficulty with the equipment this time. As a result of the more seamless transitions between songs, there were not so many little moments of chattiness from the prior evening, which seemed to make the experience warmer rather than uncomfortable. Friday night it almost seemed as if she might return from her computer with a tray of teacups and cookies for everyone.

The Dallas audience was more average-to-high-style and freshly scrubbed, whereas there seemed a much greater cross-section of Austin humanity in attendance Saturday night. There were quite a few Suicide-Girl types, loads of people with facial hardware, and--inexplicably--there were loads of little sorority girl types. This show had more older people than the Dallas show, and I didn't feel such an antiquity then. People in Austin seem more apt to have their own style aesthetic, and for people-watching, this was probably the best show I've ever seen, other than any show by The Cramps. I'm still baffled by the idea of people wearing strappy spike-heeled sandals to a show where they are mashed up in a huge crowd of people. I'll bet there were toe injuries, is all I'm sayin'. Yes, this should carbon-date me as having punk-rock-era street cred.

Having talked to the lovely girl at the merchandise table over time, I felt pretty comfortable with her. Before I even bought the Austin ticket, I knew from the previous night that it was extremely unlikely there would be a chance to meet Imogen, so I'd sort of let go of that aspiration altogether. Imogen began her final song at midnight, and a 3-hour drive home lay ahead of me. I knew if I waited to try and meet Imogen again, it would probably be 1:00 or 1:30 before I even got out of town, so I asked the merch table girl if she'd give the necklace to Immi for me. I had my business card in the little drawstring pouch with the necklace, with a little note of thanks for the music written on it, and I handed it over. I hope she gets it, and I hope she likes it, but there it is. I made a nice gesture, and it goes where it goes.

I'm so glad I got to see both shows, I'm feeling rejuvenated, and now I'm ready to make some more jewelry. Tra-la-la!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I am SO going to Austin.
Ok. Imogen Heap show from November 24 2006
Dallas, McFarlin Auditorium on the SMU Campus

As you know, with my musical training/obsession - I'm something of a music fan. Many concerts in my life I expected to be the ultimate show but left feeling disappointed. Then there were the shows that hit me over the head and planted themselves as benchmark performances in my mind (Neil Young/Sonic Youth/Social Distortion in Dallas in 1991 comes to mind). This show, along with Dead Can Dance's Spirit tour in 1997 stands as a time when I had the highest expectation and the artist excelled even that. I'm so happy when I'm not disappointed.

I arrived at the venue at about 20 minutes until 8:00 - show time with 2 opening acts. I was kind of surprised because there were long lines to get in as a phalanx of police officers were screening everyone before they entered the building. They swept everyone with the metal detector wands and looked in all handbags and rucksacks.

Imogen came out and personally announced the first two performers, which was a very nice touch. She was wearing a retro new-wave skirt with bunched down white boots and stockings, a jacket and a hat - what a cool chick! This made the entire evening feel much more intimate and conversational --that she was the first and the last person on stage.

First guy came out and played guitar and sang (sorry -didn't catch his name, but I'm sure it's on her MySpace page). He's a young singer/songwriter who also played double-bass and French horn in support of her during her set. The next guy was a musician from Dallas named Levi Weaver, who lives and performs in Birmingham England. Levi was a clever guy, and the audience chuckled heartily as he made self-deprecating quips during little technical glitches. He used digital loops of tracks and in that way accompanied himself to a superb cover of Radiohead's Idioteque. Lots of people stood and applauded that one.

When Imogen came out, she came down the aisle from the back of the auditorium with a remote-miked organ on a strap like a guitar and started singing and playing. After about a minute, she stopped and said "this is the point where I have to go on stage because the loop isn't working." Everyone laughed and cheered. The thing about this type of setup involving lots of computers looping multiple tracks is that things will mess up on occasion. I think it was probably her conversational ease that made the audience so patient and comfortable with all this - in fact, my brother in law said he thought that enhanced the performance in a way - it was very spontaneous and not an over-produced eerily slick production like everything else you see these days. I liked the fact that she was re-routing the cables herself between equipment, all the while chatting about how it was funny that things can be perfect in sound check and then go haywire the minute you step on stage and that the equipment was determined to show the many ways it can malfunction. I was surprised no tech rushed on stage to fix it all while she stood there, and that was exactly how I would have done it - myself.

The stage was really neat - the percussionist had a tiny trap-set and lots of other instruments. Immi had a transparent acrylic baby grand piano holding some of her keyboards and computer. When she was offstage, I could see the screensaver on her computer reflected in the upturned piano lid, which was swagged with flowers and fairy lights.

She was wearing ballerina flats and a lovely skirt and corset made of a not-quite-red-but-more-watermelon-y matte brocade, lime green lacing on the back of the corset. The skirt was beautiful and would flare out when she danced and spun, many ruffles of lime-green petticoat peeking out from underneath. Her hair was backcombed into a nimbus festooned with a mohawk spray of red and white feathers. Something on her face sparkled. She was beautiful, almost other-worldly.

Ryan Obermeyer was in the audience - he's done lots of fantastical photos of Immi including the image of her with the rabbit and the video featured below. He was in the audience, bald, save a mohawk of black feathers. Check out his site - I LOVE his photography - dreamlike. Remarkable.

After the first song was successfully deployed, Imogen walked around her setup and played little fragments on all the keyboards to demonstrate what each was for. She said of one little keyboard "this is my parrot" and it repeated "this is my parrot" about 10 times until she hit a button. It was very cute, and it's fun to see someone so technically adept who turns computers into instruments to please the ear.

The music was superb. About half the songs, the other 3 guys accompanied her onstage. It was beautiful, sparkling, bright and warm. Her voice is a remarkable instrument in itself showing tremendous breadth in both range and motility. The improvisational passages of her music can be baffling in their magnificence - she probably is a master at music theory and understands and uses all the relationships of tonality. I can't say any one song was a bright spot, as they all were superb. However, Hide and Seek, first song of the encore, was marvelous and excelled the spine-tingling original recording. Goodnight and Go was a delight, and she danced so beautifully. The quiet songs with just her on piano were touching and lovely, and that's how she closed the show--with the final track from Speak For Yourself--a quiet and melancholy song about parting. Fitting.

Absolutely one of my favorite concerts ever. I'm actually tempted to go online and see if she's sold out for Zona Rosa in Austin tonight. Would love to see her again. Update: Zona Rosa show is not sold out... Hmm...

Before the show, I confirmed with the house manager that Immi would come to the merchandise table after the show. THIS was the true Josie Grossie moment for me: apparently about 150 other people had the same ideer, all of them about half my age (or less), and I decided it was a no-go, that it was simply not meant to be- too chaotic. We milled about and got back in line and I bought a second t-shirt and after that, we just left. Walking to the car, I could see another throng of humanity clustered around her tour bus, so I knew she'd have to run that gauntlet before she even made it back in the venue, so, wise choice to leave.

For one nightmarish instant after the show I said "maybe I'll just head on home." The HORROR! Never thought I'd see the day I'd like to go home early. After all, it was only 10 until midnight. Old fogeyism may be catching up with your humble narrator. One crappy comment from my 9-years-younger sister was all it took, and then I was up for it. Peer pressure. We met back over at Lee Harvey's and sat at a picnic table by a fire pit and talked about the evening, how beautiful it was. I ran into former neighbors from lofts I've lived in and it was good to not feel a complete stranger at my former local pub.

I'm going to email Imogen's myspace page and send .jpgs of the necklace and ask if she'd like it--if I could send it to her, but I dunno. I made it for her, worked every bit of glass on the torch with her in mind, and it would have been neat to give it to her, but things work out how they work out. Whatever. Nothing could dampen how great an evening it was, and maybe, just maybe, I've postponed for a moment one of my musical idols seeing what a colossal dork I am. I'm calling that a win/win.
OK, I'm home and totally wiped out. I'll add to this post when I wake up at 10 or noon, or so.

The show was glorious-- one of my best shows ever. See you in a bit...

Friday, November 24, 2006

...and a couple more pics.

Yes, I got a little sleep last night, amazingly.
No, I haven't peed myself yet, but I might at any moment. WIGGLE! Seriously, I'm wagging like a dog right now. My *giddy* mode is in overdrive.

Ok, I made loads more beads than I needed for this necklace, but I needed lots of color in the palettte because she's such a vibrant person, and of course, the Thai Hill Tribe silver butterflies were a must. I made a little dome in fine (.999) silver and stamped "why'd you have to be so cute" on it, which is a line from Goodnight & Go, the video I just posted.

Now I'm taking the doglet for walkies and then I'll get ready and then I'll go for sushi (I'll try not to sit by any disgruntled KGB) and then off to the venue.

I got the cutest scarlet velvet jacket for tonight and I'll wear black stockings with red fishnets over them and that should blend with the really LOUD pair of Fluevogs I'll wear. *bliss*

I really really rilly hope I get to meet her and have my groupie moment, practically middle-aged and fawning over a dreamy artist. Ever see Never Been Kissed with Drew Barrymore? I told my sister I feel like I'm having a Josie Grossie moment. I've never been so star struck. Silly me.

Film at eleven.

[This is a hypomanic moment. Could you tell?]
Why'd you have to be so cute?

Immi's Goodnight and Go video. YAY! 4 hours to go.

I just put a load of beads into the kiln to anneal, and then I'll have some raw stuff to work with. Yay.
Maybe I'll post a necklace photo here during the day on Friday.

To my utter delight, the day at last has arrived when Imogen Heap will perform in Dallas. Excited is not a big enough word. I'm all wiggly and giddy and about to drop my transmission. I'm going to bed now. May be up about noon. May not be able to sleep. *bliss*

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I'm grateful for too many things to name them all. I hope everyone has a nice time with loved ones, good food and glorious daytime napping. Heaven!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

8:30 AM addendum:
You know, I typed this post before I went to bed a little before 1 AM, but I want to add something.

I'm very grateful for the community we have here in blog. Of course I have my friends and work and creative imperative and family that keep my days full, but blog really is the amusement I treasure that keeps me tethered to an idea of community that knows no boundaries. I started my blog in 2002 and only posted sporadically as inspiration would strike, but more than a year ago I worried that I was languishing creatively and I committed to myself to blog daily to have something creative to show for each day. Now, though, this is not simply me tapping the old plastic in my fuzzy slippers and tossing it out into the ether never to be seen again--you wonderful people respond and when necessary commiserate and indeed make this a community. I love the conversational aspects of the comment section, and I appreciate all of you who participate in that forum.

Through this I've conversed with people who share my passions for music and glass bead making and fiber arts and books and popular culture, and I've discovered much life-enriching stuff through many of you, so thanks for the recommended publications and music and creative references. Thanks for the encouragement. Thanks for the information. Thanks for being here. Thank you for your blogs - they amuse me and I often tell you so.

Not so terribly long ago, people in my family would travel from Arkansas at harvest time out to California to fruit tramp. They would pick fruit all summer, following the harvest up or down the coast, and then head back home. Sort of Grapes-of-Wrath-ish, only maybe not so classy. As a result, flotsam-esque bits of the family branched off and stayed in California and Washington, and I now have some relatives out there. So the trips to California morphed over time from an economic imperative into a familial custom.

There was an old joke that said if you see a car heading toward California with a mattress strapped to the roof, it's an Okie (Oklahoman). However, if there's a mattress on the roof and bare feet sticking out one or more of the windows, it's an Arkie. Yeah, that's how we roll.

Anyway, a great-aunt of mine was named Inez, and she was a bit of a fruit-bat, and would ride back and forth on the California trip with whomever was heading out that way. Nezzie, as she was called, had a strange compulsion. When the group would stop to eat along the way, she would ignore the people at her own table and sit, raptly focusing on the conversation in the booth or table behind hers. She was so obsessive that she would neglect to eat her own food. When they'd get back out on the road, Nezzie would proceed to regale the family with the gossip she'd heard about these random strangers. Invariably she'd cry because she was famished and no one felt sorry for her.

Anyway, for all of you who come here daily and don't comment, I think of you as my Nezzies. Whether you're enjoying the onlooker slow-down aspects of my crash-in-slow-motion life, or if you chuckle wryly, nod appreciatively and think you simply don't have anything to add to the discourse, thanks for stopping by and thanks for reading my blog, and remember to eat something or you'll be hungry later on, and we're not stopping again!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Once upon a time in Dallas... [bad taste alert]

The mining ship Red Dwarf has run out of curry powder and so they time travel back to 20th century earth to get some, and blunder into a Dallas scene on a certain occasion. The episode is Tikka To Ride, and one of my all-time favorites of this sublimely silly, well-written series.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Sunday I went to Waxahachie [pronounced woks-uh-hatch-ee] and I took some photos of the old red sandstone Ellis County courthouse which dates from 1895. Click here for a virtual tour of this structure.

Here is a history of the carving as I remember it:

This masonry was commissioned of a noted Italian carver by a local enormously wealthy businessman. When the Italian arrived in town, Cupid smote him with an overwhelming desire for the comely daughter of the businessman. In tribute to her, he rendered her likeness in sandstone on one corner of the building. Over time, however, she spurned his advances and the now embittered Italian vented his spleen in the remaining curlicued embellishments of the courthouse. As you view the other 3 corners of the courthouse, her face morphs into a bloated cavalcade of grotesques, each more hideous than the last.

Also, legend has it that one particular carving on the structure is the spitting image of the place where babies come from. Uncharacteristically for me-- I've never tried to ferret out the outrage, and I probably never will. I'm content to live with the mystery.

By the way, I misspelled that last "and" as "nad." Coincidence, or psychic phenomenon?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Brave Little Toaster

This video is hilarious, as much for the guffaws of the announcer as for the sheer delight of seeing someone drive a vehicle that sports a bit too much engine. That's a Chevy 350 in this VW Microbus. Fair dinkum!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Ruth Brown
Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean

Bit by bit I've been making the blog rounds, but still haven't caught up because I continue to be busier than a whore in church. (yeah, it took me 41 years on earth to come up with that one - I'm a little disappointed in myself - not so quick these days.)

In February 1994, I was in London and happened into Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club on a momentous occasion: Ruth Brown, venerated high priestess of American R&B was making her London debut. Considering she was about 66 at the time, well, it was about time.

[If you're not already familiar with her impressive blues career, you may remember her from the John Waters film Hairspray in which she played DJ/record store proprietress Motormouth Maybelle.]

Anyway, Miss Brown sang the stuffing out of the blues that night, and it was a sparkling evening. I'm so glad I happened to catch it, because it was a rich musical experience from the git-go. Arriving just before she took the stage, we took the last two available seats at the very back of the house. I remember being a little surprised because we had to check all bags/purses at the door-- security, I suppose.

She sang lots of the standards from the R&B catalog, including some killer Bessie Smith (Ain't Nobody's Business) and lots of great cry-in-your-beer kind of music. It was golden.

Now, one thing I've always admired and greatly respected is the way people in the UK recognize the traditions of blues/jazz and how they are part of the DNA of modern popular music. It seems the mainstream American audience forget good music as quickly as it passes through town, and there is no regard for tradition. In England, on lots of stations you'll hear the latest pop tune, then something from the 80s, then Motown - good music has real staying power there.

Where an American audience has it all over the Brits --at least an American audience that's schooled -- may be observed in the call-and-response tradition of channeling feedback to a blues performer. There has to be a natural ease and flow to this exchange, there has to be a sense that the audience is saying "yeah, we know you're driving, and we're coming with you." I see this as intrinsically related to the dynamic of any performer who is setting a musical mood and reliant on the pliability of an audience.

From the audience came occasional rather polite utterances of approval, but it seemed to me something a little less vague was in order. (Caveat: this was before every body and their dog was saying it, including Oprah guests) As the band played some low-profile intro to her next piece - Lover Man by Billie Holiday, Miss Brown started talking, and I could tell it was going to be good, so I waited for my moment. She said, "you know, love can be hard," followed by a lengthy pause as the music played on. I hollered out "YOU GO, GIRL!" in that idiotic way we Americans have of acting too at home in the world. (I promise, I'm not normally obnoxious abroad. I'm just an obnoxious broad.) To my everlasting delight, Miss Brown responded into the microphone: "That's my relative."

Miss Brown died Friday, aged 78. I feel badly that I never took time to write her and tell her what a power-house performance that was and how privileged I felt to hear her at her London debut. She wrote in her 1999 autobiography of how edifying it was to be recognized and so well received in London after so many years in the business. I'm glad she had that, and I'm glad I was a tiny part of it. Even though I was embarking on my training as a classical vocalist, I'll always feel a teeny whit of kinship with her and her abiding love for music.

Miss Brown was a songwriter and song stylist of note in her younger years, but was paid almost no royalties for all her great efforts and acclaim. In spite of this vile exploitation, she never let that steal the joy she found in making music. This speaks volumes of her character and her true motivation in performing, and if it's not about the music, why bother?

So in 1994, Miss Ruth Brown stood there in her spangly sparkly dress, with the wig and the fake eyelashes, and sang about the themes of love and loss that are as ancient and newfound and timeless as any other concept we pitiful humans have ever come up with, and she made it fresh. Not bad for a life's work.

So wherever you are Miss Brown, long may you wave, and you go, girl.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Now that we live in Andy Warhol's fabled future where everyone has their own tv show, one starts to see familiar tv personalities more routinely and in unexpected places. You might run into the first chick voted off the island as she's at the store buying tampons, or you might run into Kayne from Project Runway at the Gypsy Tea Room as a friend of mine did recently.

But here's the eerie, peculiar encounter I had today, and this is one Emily Post never covered: what if the person you see out & about was the feature on a Discovery Channel surgical gender reassignment special? This happened to me today, and I really tried not to be obvious that I was having an emotional conflict. Is it rude to observe "I saw you on television" if the nature of the sighting was so intensely personal?

I realize I don't know this person at all and having seen them on television in no way connects us. However, I have seen his/her manly/womanly bits through a filmy haze of blurred dots, and it sort of seems that if someone has put themselves on such display, well, I'm guessing modesty is not a factor.

Anyway, the bizarre part is that although I'm pretty much opposed to plastic surgery, I found myself thinking that if they were going to bother with the rhinoplasty (which they did in order to render the specimen more feminine in appearance), they should have thinned the bridge of his/her nose a bit more dramatically.

Strange times, these. What's the old proverb? May you be blessed not to live in interesting times. Quite.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Top Chefateria.

Please tell my I'm not the only one who has noticed the similarities, both physical and mental. Marcel IS Syndrome, und hee veel rrroool zee vorld!

Oh, about this week's top chef episode - I really liked Josie and was sorry to see her go, but about Marisa? That bitch HAD to go - she was annoying me from day 1.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ritsuka and Soubi - This Sun hasn't Set

Lyric of the day from Frou Frou:

I'm a slow moving accident
Lost in coffee rings and finger prints

Anyway, the point is the song - I love it, but what is up with all the Anime done to the music of Imogen Heap (she's part of FrouFrou)??? I know it's dreamy and gorgeous. Well, anyway, have a great day.
Well, I've been too busy with a big bunch of navel-gazing to share it, but the prescient Tam had a brilliant post-election post followed by a flurry of empassioned commentary a few days back. You can read it here.

Then there's some deliciousness over at the always-brilliant Law Dog Files where some New Zealand rugby guys are doing something called "Taka" which some of you may have seen in that New Zealand band I posted here a couple weeks back. Good stuff. I may have to take up rugby-watching.

I have made so much jewelry I'm almost sick of it. Almost, but not quite. Sometimes in a state of fatigue I'll make something that baffles even myself, and tonight I'm near to soiling myself with delight. NOT that I've ever soiled myself with delight. I said "near to."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I was just brushing my teeth and for some reason I suddenly had an olfactory memory of the Goop from my Thingmaker Fun Flowers from about 1969 or 1970. My brother had the Creepy Crawlers Thingmaker. Now THIS was from the time when a toy was a toy, and so much more exciting because there was the added element of risk: electricity, and a boiling-hot little baking tray to cook your little deadlies on.

These days, the fun of toys is utterly quashed by a generous girding of foam-padded safety rails and low-voltage battery operations. How is a kid supposed to learn about life and that sometimes a person needs to be careful? Gosh, no wonder people are so disturbed these days!

Anyway, I'd love to get a whiff of that Goop one more time - it had an interesting smell, and I always loved the excitement of making my big useless rubbery flowers in dayglo pinks and oranges. Perhaps my obsession with wonky, flamboyant beads stems from just such experiences, that and being born smack in the middle of the sixties. Who knows?

Anyway, this over-child-proofing of toys reminds me of what John Waters always said about all the padding and gear that football players wear: "What's the point of all that violence if you're prepared for it?"

Yeah, kids need to break stuff, learn how not to break stuff, and even have the occasional boo boo. This way they won't be so helpless in a big scary world.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I haven't told a family story in a while, so here's a new one.

Along about 1991, I was driving along a street in Dallas and I saw a sign that said that extras were needed for a large tent revival scene in a film, and that the pay for extras would be donated to the Montessori Schools in Dallas. This sounded interesting, so I called up my parents to see if they wanted to go with me. I suppose I was such a spaz about it that they thought they'd come along because they felt sorry for their retarded daughter, or maybe like me they were curious about how it all worked.

The film turned out to be Leap Of Faith with Steve Martin. The scene was shot in a soundstage in Las Colinas, which is West of Dallas near the airport. We were inside the tent, inside the building, with blazing lights, so it was quite hot. This was the scene when the storm finally comes to the drought-blighted community and the cynical fake preacher Steve Martin finally starts believing in miracles, and all heaven breaks loose on the wet folk at the tent revival.

Well, it was hot and muggy in the tent, and we stood for what seemed eternity as things were shot over and over. I have to say the whole trip was made worthwhile by the magnificent 100 strong black full gospel choir who were singing their brains out at the front of the tent. To hear that many good singers singing full-voice is a hair-raising experience, to say the least.

We were near the back of the tent, with two rows of chairs in front of us with an aisle in front of them. Most of the time was ours to play tiddly-winks. We were hot and restive, but everyone stayed in their spots because the film people were running around losing their minds, and somewhere, a director was yelling. Finally, some production assistants came through the humid masses with bottles of water to hand out. I took two. Mom sat quietly in her chair, but Dad and I were standing, looking around, and truth-be-known, probably itching to instigate a riot.

There was a mouthy heifer two rows ahead who also took extra water bottles. Dad and I were standing, taking a swig of our water when the bitch stone cold turned around, let out a "whoop" and flung a big ropey splash of water onto me and the people behind me. I was filled with the need for revenge. I pulled out my second bottle of water and began to remove the cap, when Dad said "don't do that," and took it from my hand.

Dad, always the clever one, pulled out his pocket knife and bored a small hole in the lid of my water bottle, rendering it a precision weapon by which I could exact my revenge on that nasty bitch. I crossed my left forearm across my waist to hold my elbow, and waited for my moment. As soon as I got a clear bead on her, I sent a quick projectile of liquid vengeance to douse her neck. By the time she reacted and turned, my left arm was still in place, right arm upturned and holding the (seemingly) capped water bottle casually, not looking at her. We had fun this way several times but I stopped before she figured it out. Her sputtering impotent fury made me glad she'd been such a jerk. Needless to say, we laughed about it the entire rest of the day.

I never saw the movie, so I don't know if we are visible, and I really don't care. I certainly know there is no entry for Phlegmmy in the credits. Like I said, it was worth the discomfort to hear that choir. But to have an opportunity to have my pop act as efficiency expert to my mischief-doing was absolutely priceless. You rock, Dad!

Monday, November 13, 2006

OK, I'm sure you're going to be sick of my beads before this is over, but here's a few from the Sunday batches. The cranberry and purple beads have the colored glass in the core and a casing of clear glass around that with 24K gold leaf on top. The heart bead is my favorite of the day, with that ropey twisted stringer of pale pink with orange stripes. It's about an 1 1/4 inch long. I decided not to melt the stringer in all the way because I liked the way it looked in relief.

Since the move to a house from my last loft, I haven't listened to music while on the torch, but sessions have been so protracted and fatiguing this weekend that I simply HAD to kick out the jams. I've been listening to Black Holes & Revelations by Muse - a superb cd even if I think they are a little full of shit. The guitars are nasty and just what you want from your Rock N Roll, if you're doing it right.

Then there's the cd from Frou Frou which features "Let Go," that song I linked to here last week. Love this one, and in all the best ways it reminds me of hypno/dreampop like Cocteau Twins and Curve and Lush, but with a more lighthearted sensibility. Love the instrumentation on this one.

Here's hoping this cool weather lasts through Monday night, and by then I should have enough beads done for all my immediate commitments. I can't tell you how disheartening it is to know you have to make about 100 beads and by the time you've finished the first one, there's a happy trail of sweat running from the nape of your neck down to your posterior regions - not comfy by a long shot. Funny to think how much dirt and grit and oomska goes into making something so girly, isn't it?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

OK, here are some beads I made today. I was making a lot of green&black beads, and I needed to blow the dust out of my brain so I put together the dookiest color combinations I could think of. The one that is so dark you can't see detail on it is a pale seafoam-green transparent bead with layers of opaque gray and red dots - it sounded revolting to me so I had to try it, and it actually looks really cool.

Oh, and I'm just figuring out about the light tent and I think I need to add another light with a little more warmth so the colors look more vivid and true-to-life in the images. I'll get better at this, I hope.

My favorite of this group is the bead on the far left. It's an ivory core with dots in the middle of an intense yellow clear pyrex and a transparent cranberry glass dots on either side. The oxides in the cranberry glass react with the ivory glass and it starts turning black and having all kinds of oily swirls - that's why the glass melted in and made the yellow dots look more like little square windows in between the cranberry/ivory tug-of-war.

I made about 50 beads today, so I should probably make about 125 tomorrow and 125 on Monday. We'll see. So far I have lots of good pairs for earrings, and that's always a good start.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

News Flash:

Film director Guy Ritchie has encouraged his wife Madonna to start directing her own films.

Translation: He's sick of hearing her tell him how he ought to be directing his work. This is a classic example of "if you know so much about it, why don't you do it yourself?"

This might get interesting.
This came up in conversation with me sister today. We were talking about the "cell foam" blog post and she told me her good friend M (Hi, M!) works for a phone company and lots of first-time cell phone owners call up and complain that their "celica" phone isn't working. The helpful phone company representative will ask what seems to be the problem, and they say they are not getting a dial tone.

Somehow, it's hard for me to believe that people this profoundly stupid are not a new phenomenon. I'm guessing the subsets of people who are waiting for the dial tone on the cell phone and the people who don't get out of the way of incoming hurricanes overlap dramatically. These groups are probably also heavily populated by the We probably soon will hear a statistic that there are more fatal car accidents caused by people talking on cell phones than are caused by drunk drivers. It's coming, just wait.

I have to make about 20 necklaces this week and at least 6 dozen pair of earrings. That's a about 300 beads, conservatively, 72 matched pairs among them. I'll be a zombie this time next week. Watch this space.
Rest in Peace, Jack Palance, and remember to protect your cooling system against corrosion.

LOVED Jack Palance in Bagdad Cafe. He was one of the true originals of American Cinema. I thought he was creepy and weird when I was young, but after seeing him as the loner iconoclast with loopy visions in Bagdad Cafe, I realized I actually kinda dig him. Well done, Jack!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Funny thing is that I goober around with the language so much that sometimes I slip up and mis-pronounce something or mis-type it when I didn't intend to. Like today, the nearby office for my cellular provider was out of stock of the blackberry I wanted to exchange my old cell for, so I went online and googled "cell foam dallas."

*pendulous strand of drool puddling on the keyboard*

I was really exhausted. It's not my fault, really. I was up making beads until 1am last night.

Probably have a necklace photo in here by Sunday night. Most likely.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Arnold Rimmer meets the female version of himself

Red Dwarf - good stuff!
Golly, I love that song. The video is not the point - but I didn't know a source to link just the audio from the web, so that will have to do.

When every event is tension-filled and it seems the whole house of cards is balanced on one teeny fulcrum at every turn, I get crisis-fatigue. Know what I mean? Anyway, happy or not with the way things happen, "Let Go" is a lovely reminder that good things can come of bad, and maybe you're focusing on the wrong thing to begin with.

Things have been really stressful to me for some reason lately. I'm not feeling burned out on my job, in and of itself, but one person in particular has become a pebble in my shoe AND they have my cell number and abuse it--having called me on days off two weeks in a row, waking me up in one case. I'm getting a new cell foam tomorrow, and I'll program their phone number with the name "SATAN" next to it so I'll know not to answer when they call. My current phone has a cracked display which doesn't, so screening calls is not really an option. And I'll just have to be satisfied with my fantasy of him duct-taped to a chair, covered in Crisco and me with a flame-thrower.

No wait - that's the wrong answer. I'm going to let it go, right?

The recording is by Frou Frou and the singer is Imogen Heap. I'm practically peeing myself because I'll be seeing her in Dallas in a few weeks. *joy* I love her style.

I gave my sister and my awesome brother-in-law tickets to come with me, and that will be cool. I think the last time we all went to a show together, they were in high school, 1989, The Cure at Texas Stadium. I think Curve opened for them, or Lush. Can't remember.

Here's a funny story about that night. BiL is 6'4" and along with the 3 of us, another couple from their school came to the show that night. Texas Stadium is terraced, and someone from the next deck up was throwing ice down on the people on our level. I turned to my future BiL and said "let's go kick their asses!." Now, mind you, I was 5'2" of ass-kicking machine (I know - what was I thinking?!!) and his friend was along for the ride. At that moment, though, I had no doubt of my prowess. OK, I WAS loading 100 pound bags of mail into trucks all day at the time, but I dunno - I'm not exactly skilled in the arts of combat, unless you count pissing people off.

So I led the way and here these two young men came with me to the upper deck, and we saw the perps, but they'd moved away from their place and were watching from about 40 yards away, knowing that we came to put an end to their shenanigans. I saw one of them had a huge - must have been a 36 ounce --beer that was about $12, and they'd left it sitting on the floor by where they'd been sitting when they were throwing ice. Oops! I kicked it over and smiled sweetly as one of them slipped into a purple-faced rage.

A ZZ Top-looking usher/bouncer/crowd control guy came up to us and said "is there a problem?" and I said "no, but there's going to be if those guys keep throwing ice down on us." I suppose he rode herd on the jerks, because they didn't throw any more ice on us. Or maybe they were afraid of BiL & his friend. Or maybe they were afraid of me.

Anyway, I expect there will be no need to do any butt-kicking at the Imogen Heap concert. It will all be sweetness and light and I'll be on good behavior. I'm slightly more mature.
It's so amazing here, so let go.

drink up baby down
are you in or are you out?
leave your things behind
'cause it's all going off without you
excuse me too busy you're writing your tragedy
these mishaps
you bubble-wrap
when you've no idea what you're like

So, let go,let go
Jump in
Oh well, what you waiting for?
It's all right
'Cause there's beauty in the breakdown
So, let go, let go
Just get in
Oh, it's so amazing here
It's all right
'Cause there's beauty in the breakdown

It gains the more it gives
And then it rises with the fall
So hand me that remote
Can't you see that all that stuff's a sideshow?
Such boundless pleasure
We've no time for later
Now you can't await
your own arrival
you've twenty seconds to comply

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Well, I finally got some new beads made tonight. I worked on transparent hollows, because they are my all-time favorite. In fact, the funny thing about making the hollow beads is that this is one of the more difficult techniques to do, but it was one of the first things I spent hours and hours trying to master, and now it's easy-peasy. Getting the cell walls of the bead to be of even thickness can be a bit of a challenge, but mine turn out pretty well, generally.

First you take the stainless steel rod and lay on two parallel rings of molten glass, which is about the consistency of thick honey. Then you build out concentric rings on each of these until you have two parallel (if wobbly) disks. This can be challenging because you want the disks to be stiff enough to stand up to the new layer you lay on, but they still have to be hot or the new glass won't adhere to them. Then you either build the edges of the disks toward the center (toward each other) or you do what I do and take a pair of 12" tweezers and coax the soft molten rims together, where you seal it up so a little air is trapped inside the space. Think of it like an air-filled ravioli. er, sumthin.

At this point, the surface is all ropey and wonky-looking, and I gave up at this point when I first tried it all those years ago. It seems at that point that this could never possibly morph into a smooth and pretty bead. Of course, now sometimes I leave them in the wonky state because I like variety in texture, but this knobby looking beastie was intimidating when I first started making beads.

Then the real fun begins. The bead with the hollow space inside is completely sealed around the mandrel and as the surface of the bead melts into one smooth unified piece, the air trapped inside heats up too and expands, plumping the bead out into a nice little sphere. It's a gorgeous process, and I wish I could show you here.

The amazing thing about working with glass is that it is in its most exquisite and enchanting state when it is in molten form, about 1700 degrees F for the Moretti/Effetre and Lauscha glass rods I use. This mesmerizing state is why so many people fall in love with glass-working. It's hot and uncomfortable and has its physical strains, but it is a bewitching process. I promise to post a photo of a new necklace or some such in the next week.

I have intentionally avoided watching election returns the night of. I took the doglet for a walk down the street past the elementary school where the polling place is for my neighborhood. A guy stopped me to give me "literature" on the street, and doglet sidled up to his shoe and copped a squat. I yanked her collar in time to keep her from desecrating his footwear, and laughed "well, she's marked every other spot on the street, so you are uncharted territory." He seemed a little freaked out. I hate when people don't play along. I should have let her pee on his shoe and at least someone would have been doing what they wanted to, as Big Edie would have said.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

This past weekend, the bizarre 1976 documentary Grey Gardens was on television, and I called my mother to tell her to turn on the telly, but she was already watching it, horrified.

The film starred mother and daughter (big Edie and little Edie) who were aunt and cousin to Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. Both famed as great beauties in their youth, the 80-ish big Edie and 50-something little Edie had been cohabiting for about 25 years, since the ailing mother called her daughter home from a budding showbiz career to aid her in convalescence after surgery. Little Edie never left, because she was the only one who would (or could) care for her bat-shit manipulative mother.

Lee Radziwill, sister of Jackie O, had sent these brother documentary film makers out to interview the Edies for a film they were going to make about Lee and Jackie, but that deal fell through. Then the brothers proposed the Edies were an intriguing subject for a film.

Bequeathed on Big Edie in 1923, the 28 room mansion, Grey Gardens, was noted as one of the most splendid garden estates on the East Coast at that time. By the time of the filming, it's pretty much kudzu world. The Edies live predominantly in a few rooms upstairs along with a clan of 6 toed cats. At one point, Big Edie says "Look, that cat is going to the bathroom on my portrait. Well, at least someone is doing what they want to do."

The ladies cook on a hotplate and keep cold food in a mini-fridge near their piled-under twin beds. Supposedly, the place was so infested with fleas that the film makers wore cat flea collars on each ankle during filming.

My favorite part is when the camera follows little Edie up the darkened staircase into the attic, and through a window milky with dirt we see a raccoon peering into the darkness expectantly. Edie says all these different animals live up here, opossum, raccoons, etc. Next thing you see is her upending a sack of white bread and then opening and dumping a box of cat chow out on the floor for the varmints. On the attic floor - she's feeding the rodents - amazing!

Anyway, I think I'm going to sell some crap on ebay and maybe, just maybe, like, ya know, clean up. Sheesh.

But I'm keeping my barf bags, dammit.

Interesting news from monday - this totally got my attention - Naked man arrested on concealed weapons charge. Impressive. He'd recently been paroled and was found naked lying on a tree stump masturbating and was going to be arrested for indecent exposure. However, when asked by the arresting officer if there was anything he should know, they guy told him he had a weapon secreted in an intimate area of his person. Turned out, he had a an awl wrapped in electrical tape in his rectum.

Wrecked 'im? It liketa killed him. ba-dum chhhh!

I digress. Anyway. On to the more important issue of the day: it will be exciting to see how things pan out today with the US elections. Sadly, one could not honestly say that this has been the most contentious or ugly campaign in living memory - this seems merely par for the course (or should that be coarse?) and it's quite wearing, actually. If we held our elected officials accountable, we wouldn't have such a high rate of recidivism - er, make that career politicians.

And one thing further about polls and the media: there is this huge turning in the polls in just the past 5 days which rings false to me. I haven't changed my mind one whit about whom I will vote for, and I don't believe other people have, either. I'm thinking the pollsters want to shape public perception and provoke a reaction that will get out the vote, and I think that is a prime example of the cart pulling the horse. If this election, like the last major one, has greatly disparate results from what the polls have been saying, then I think the way public sentiment is "measured" pre-election should be scrutinized and scrapped, or overhauled at the very least. That's my two cents.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The new phonebooks are here! The new phonebooks are here!

Yes, that's me channeling The Jerk. I've finally made the switch to cable internet. Yippee. All systems go. Cheap thrills for a crashing dullard.

Sorry the posting has been so spotty lately, but I've been a little under the weather and didn't feel like going out to post from Kinkos. Anyway, even though I'm fully dressed (the installer came by, so I HAD to be) it's nice to know I could be in my pajamas right now if I so chose.

That all-pajama weekend is coming up soon, I can just feel it. It may be the first weekend of December, but at least it's on the horizon. Yay.

Friday, November 03, 2006

I have to say I LOVE Vietnamese food, and I used to have it regularly until I had two gross-outs in a row at my favorite local.

Once I was eating my Pho Tai (noodle soup with wafer-thin slices of beef on top - yum!) and reading a book when a roach came up on the table. I grabbed a magazine and swatted at the wee beastie but it got away. So the damned thing got crafty and went to the underside of the table to the extreme other side and came back up and made a beeline for my plate. I rather expected the little devil to pull out a handgun and demand my purse. Too bold!

Well, I figured, what the heck and shrugged it off. Unfortunately, I should have quit while I was ahead. The next time I went in, my iced tea arrived festooned with the carcass of a baby roach. ew. OK. That was it for me.

There's another Vietnamese joint in town my boss loves, so we went there Thursday. Much cleaner, thank goodness. But I arrived early and went to the bathroom to wash my hands. The gel in the soap dispenser wasn't soap - I strongly suspect it was anti-bacterial hand gel. My hands felt more disgusting after this "wash" than before. So, as I'm drying my hands, my married ring goes flying off and lands by the roach bait under the terlit. Ew. What a total grossout.

Now, mind you, the dropping-the-ring thing wasn't their fault, but for goodness' sake - soap is soap, people, and "sanitizer" is NOT soap. Soap works because it breaks the cell walls of dirt bits, and if you are washing properly and for a decent amount of time, your hands will be *ting!* CLEAN when you finish washing with soap. Sometimes the old-fashioned way is the best way. Hand sanitizer should be held in reserve for those moments that facilities for washing are not available.

About 7 years ago I was performing with a classical vocal ensemble, and in our travels, we went over the border in Matamoros (super down-market) Mexico for a day of shopping. I'll never forget being aghast as my fellow singers stepped off the bus, clustered on the dusty Mexican street, an obviously rich and predominantly white bunch of Americans, blocking the donkey path as they handed around the anti-bacterial gel.

I savored the irony later when the same idiots were getting sloshed on maragaritas filled with ice which was no doubt manufactured from the local pathogen-infested water. Monteczuma's revenge, they call it. I'm ok with that, just so's we know there was some ugly Americanism going on up front that warranted a wee bit o'payback.

Oh, and WTbloodyF is UP with the traffic in DFW lately? It's been like day-after-Thanksgiving traffic over and over lately. Spending 45 minutes to travel a mile - Maddening! I need a jet-pack.

Saturday's post will be late in the day. Hopefully when my cable comes Monday, I'll be back on my regular schedule and again the social butterfly.

Today when I called up the phone company to cancel my DSL, the girl tried to run through a spiel of extra services they'd like to offer me, and this after I'd been bitching about the crap service her company provided. I responded by saying that if they couldn't even keep a clear phone line and DSL running for me, why on earth would I jeopardize other services that actually keep me connected to the outside world? More on that crap next week, no doubt.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Dallas Morning News did an article yesterday listing statistics on the grease-clotted fodder we Texans gobbled up at the State Fair last month, to the tune of 2.5 million corny dogs sold, etc.

People will go on about a healthy alternative not being available to eat on the midway.

Well, here's my contribution, and I'm thinking I need to patent this toute-de-suite and reserve booth space to sell my new invention at the next state fair. I'm going to be a millionaire.

Are you ready? Are you sitting down? OK.

Deep-fried Salad-on-a-stick. It could be a 1/8th wedge of Iceberg lettuce with olives, tomato bits and little buds of ranch dressing embedded, then breaded and deep-fried.

Or, how about deep-fried cole slaw? What's better for you than cabbage?

What do you think? I'll let you know when I do my IPO, mkay?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

So, allow me to say how very intently blogger blows when it comes to posting images lately. It was so much better in pre-Google era. Here is Doglet's birthday photo, one day late, wisely farmed out to a third party image-hosting outfit. Please to enjoy.

And speaking of outfits, yes, I know this space-dog get-up is beneath her butch dignity, and you can kinda see her hurling eyeball-daggers at me. Sorry, doglet. Everyone knows what a tough girl you are. No one will hold that sparkly pink against you. They'll blame me.

Oh, and while I'm on the subject of technical difficulties, blogger's image issues pale in comparison to the suckitude of SBC/ Southwestern Bell/ A T & T (or whatever they are calling themselves this week)'s for-shit-DSL.

If the DSL is working my computer is on the fritz. If I get a Mac, that craps out after about 5 minutes. I get a machine that works, finally, and then the DSL is unreliable. I'm thinking a plot is afoot. Now I'm waiting for the cable company to switch my internet over so I'll have access at home again.

What doesn't make sense is I'm not even surfing the web and looking at porn and opening risky attachments in email - how does my system keep getting fried? Like I said, it's a conspiracy.