Monday, December 31, 2007
Blogging is a great forum and a great community. I know it's not a 100% positive experience for everyone, but I do think it's a great way to know and stay in touch with people all over the world whom we otherwise would never have met. I think of pre-web world and am awed by how less rich my life would be if I'd never met Holly or Kelly or chatted with Christina on the phone. A few people I'm very fond of have stopped blogging altogether and sometimes I've removed links of folks who stopped blogging for long periods, but I appreciate each and every one of you who've come to my blog, whether you've commented or not, and I've loved reading yours, as well.
Now, without further ado - here's my rundown of my blogroll as it is today, and a few reasons why I like these folks:
Adventures of Mauser Girl - Smart, incredibly talented, and a dog person *YAY DOGS!*
Atavist - Erudite rugged individualist (this is a description which might aptly be applied to many on this roll)
Ambulance Driver - A compassionate heart of gold wrapped in an enchilada of wit and pith
Attila the Mom - Wit to spare, and her own unique variety of badassery
Bad Tempered Zombie - Barbara's passion for music excels even my own. She's smart, funny, and whips up on people with her mad zombie skills
Better and Better (Matt G) - Smarter than the average bear but spends lots of time in the punalty box
Breda - Hot librarian who kicks ass for breakfast
Brown Valley Kingdom - Kevin went through a whole lot just to get here, and now he's raising a wonderful family in California. I'm proud he thought so highly of our country, and I'm proud to call him a fellow American.
Dalai Mama - have known her-- gosh, around 18 years? Brilliant, talented, and a dream of a little cook. Dazzling smile.
Damn! - mechuahua is the male me, if I'm flattering myself. He delights me.
DBA Dude - Impeccable taste in music. Intrepid man. Exceptional.
DirtCrashr - oozing style and working the mess out of a PanAm carryon bag. Suspect he has sand in his shoes all the time
Exile in Portales - A gentleman is Buck. Very respectful person.
Expert Witness - jpg - Ombudsman - all around go-to guy.
FatHairyBastard - is anything but. Is, in fact, teddy bear.
Fat In Indiana - hoosierboy is a good, funny guy
Flying Flo's Forum - Flo is a remarkable gal. In fact - I'll get to meet her new year's eve - can't wait!
Hammer - Unconventional person, clever and thoughtful.
Tickersoid - fell off the blogmap recently, and I wish him well. Welsh steel worker. Grit and wit in equal measure
Holly - a dear, dear friend, and I'm glad - I pity anyone unwise enough to earn a spot on her shit list. Her voice mail says "I'm sorry I missed you. I'll work on my aim." She's the big sister I never knew I needed.
Lin of If the Creek... - delights her readers with the vicarious thrill of her musings about her experience living off-the-grid in New Mexico - lots of great petroglyph images there, too. For all my shoe-obsession and good-time loving ways, I'm secretly envious and want to do the same. Don't you, sometimes?
John Shirley - Clever man, and true
LawDog - salt-of-the-earth
Life on earth - LJ is a fellow beadworker and a lovely artist, at that. Kind and gentle, incredibly sensitive soul
Lucrative Pain - Christina = effervescence
Meg - A fun, reflective New Zealand weaver
Mushy - man-of-the-world - has seen some things and will tell you about them
Myron - A career submarine guy - intrepid, gritty, insightful and someone with whom I hope I share common strands of DNA
Off task - Leazwell - educator and musician, Lovely person
PapaDeltaBravo - rapier wit
Roberta X - fabulous twin of Tam
Searching for Oz - Becky shares my passion for film, and I always love reading her reviews
Skywritings - I miss Scully's blog - she raised the bar, considerably
Sleeping Ugly - Zelda is such a fabulous bitch. Love her
Something to Say - One of my oldest and dearest friends, Kim is a graphic artist from Dallas who lives in Seattle now - her blog is just like she is -- beautiful and full of sweetness and light, but she's always tolerated me anyway.
SpeakerTweaker - More badassery, can really rock a bowling shirt
Squeaky Wheel - Heigh ho! Another vocalist - smart, talented and dangerous to know. The world needs more women like her
View From the Porch - Tam's my idea of what a woman should be. If I could be smarter and 10 inches taller, I'd be heading in the right direction
Xavier Thoughts - A good man to know™. His blog is often entertaining, but always educational
So, that about wraps it up, and trust me-- I could have gone on and on about every one of you. Thanks for the many hours I've enjoyed perusing your blogs, and I'm looking forward to more reading next year. I hope you all have a wonderful new year.
(If you are easily offended, or even not-so-easily offended, but offendable, you may not want to watch this video. I'm just saying. Definitely not safe for kids and prolly not safe for work. By the way, this guy is a terrible pole-dancer.)
Had ta post one more video for the year.
Barbara - she of Bad Tempered Zombie fame - posted her five favorite hand-clap songs. Well, this is one of my top five. Gay Bar, by Electric Six (who are coming to Dallas, by the way, but who I'm probably not going to see even though I DO love that singer, who is a total spaz.)
I'm LOVING the irony that in a video chock-full of tasteless lyrics and imagery, they use the sound of a whip-crack to censor out the words in bold in the following lines:
Let's start a war
Start a nuclear war
Wait a minute - a goofy indie band from Detroit might incite a nuclear war, for real?
Um, okay. Whatevs.
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Uh, maybe not.
Rosanna Arquette seems to be playing some bizarre game of musical chairs, landing on random musicians as she goes. I suppose famous people don't want to date normal, mere human persons, so I can understand the rock star thingie. I know we're talking about a span of 25 years, and stretched out over that length of time, 3 rockers doesn't seem like that big a habit. Then again, they say when you've acquired 3 of anything, you are officially a collector, so on with the rant:
In 1982, she was dating a member of Toto who immortalized their relationship in the song "Rosanna." [Yeah, I'm wishing I could get it out of my head now, too. Sorry.] No ideer what happened to their relationship, but I suspect Toto was crapping out just about the moment RA's star was in ascendancy, and ne'er the twain would meet again.
Upping her cool-quotient exponentially, she was involved with Peter Gabriel from 1988 through 1992. PG even appeared in one of her films (New York Stories) and she wore an Amnesty International t shirt in one scene -- a cause also quite dear to PG's heart.
As for the Toto thing - flattery on a massive scale is nearly irresistible, I suppose. She was young and, well, why not? Peter Gabriel is charming, attractive and seems to have a well-functioning brain-- what's not to like? On some level, both these relationships were understandable. It's the new thingie that sort of baffles me.
Recently, Rosanna has been linked romantically with Paul McCartney. That's just... um. I dunno what that is. Maybe it's the money. I guesss a billion pounds might turn a woman's head, but. Ew. He's a hot favorite over at MenWhoLookLikeOldLesbians.com. It's not just that I'm not a huge fan of PM, even though I admit he's written some wonderful music (and put out a lot of crap that he really needed to make up for, frankly), but my skin crawls when people out of their 20s employ the moue as if they still look young, fresh and coy. Paul baby, Paul! Bubbie - when you go all wrinkly about the lips, it just looks trout-pouty. Stop it. Stop in the name of love. No more pouting. You're a grandpa, for goodness' sake.
Yes, of course, many songs PM wrote were stuff of genius. Still, I reserve the right to hold a grudge for Junior's Farm and many Wings-related wig-outs. Even if I do dig how much Linda looked like Scary-Monsters-era Bowie in that vid. And her hair? It's a shag, baby!
Back to Rosanna and Paul: I don't think the age difference is so terrible - less than 20 years. I can't quite put my finger on why this weirds me out. Is it the 6 degrees of separation double-whammy bit Paul has going on with Michael Jackson there? (MJ was married to Lisa-Marie Presley who was married to Nick Cage who was married to Patricia Arquette, RA's little sister) and PM also recorded some crap with MJ, Don't waste your time; the dog-gone girl is mine and prolly some other stuff. Also, before his legal unpleasantness, MJ owned the entire Beatles catalog. I'm just wondering why everything comes back to Michael Jackson in the end? Can't we get away? Even Michael Jackson doesn't want to be MJ - no more drip-curls, all the self-loathing-generated surgeries, and lately the self-pixelation. [Hey! Remember when MJ wanted to buy the skeleton of John Merrick (the Elephant Man)??? Just thought I'd remind you. ] Wait, that was a ramble. Sorry.
Oh yeah, I will go on about this, but on some level I'm in ecstasies. If you really think about pairings of celebrities, they come up with much kookier couplings than we could ever devise for them. I suppose we should thank them with unswerving devotion. Instead, we will continue to view them as the slo-mo recurring trainwrecks they are and thank our lucky stars for the instructive properties of the cautionary tale.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
As we enjoy the dulcet tones of the Duke Ellington orchestra, let us contemplate palms swaying in the breeze, spitting camels, and stripey tents by oases on moonlit desert nights. Imagine all of this, of course, in the rich spectrum of white, grays and black so characteristic of 1930s cinema.
Caravan is my favorite Duke Ellington number. Totally classic and yet new even seventy-some years after he wrote it, this song is a masterpiece. I can hear in this music the DNA of Béla Bartók and Django Reinhardt, and so much of what was right and evolutionary about 20th century music.
Can you imagine what it was like to hear this in the 1930s? This must have felt like an entirely new musical vista had shifted into focus, with things destined to turn toward the high-brow and extremely intellectual. Listen as the melody shifts to the only obliquely referential minor modulation-- only to be reeled back into the fold as the tonic's familiar arabesques are restored to that place our ears long to have tickled. All the while, the arrangement is extremely tight and you can feel the musicians at the helm never lost their sense of true North.
This is pure-dee brain food, and the logical progeny of Beethoven and Bach. This instrumental is superb, but my absolute favorite recording of this is the vocal arrangement by Lambert, Hendricks and Ross-- which is perfection, in my opinion. Look it up, if you get the chance.
Here's a rather delicious Les Paul version of same. Yummy rhythm guitar on this one.
And yet one more interpretation-- Brian Setzer Orchestra. Smokin'! Fantastic bass on this one.
Fine musicians recognize they don't need to re-invent the wheel, but it's permissable, on occasion, to slap some lipstick and whitewalls on that puppy.
Wait. Is it a full moon?
joe allen sagely pointed me in the direction of this impeccable version by Michel Petrucciani. If this one doesn't make your toe tap, you need a medical professional to check you for a pulse. He captures the majesty and the brilliance of Caravan in a million notes or less. Me likee.
...and they keep rolling in, courtesy of Joe, again. This one features jazz banjo. frontporchradio Speaking of the banjo guy (they're all great- lURVED the accordion guy), notice how he alludes to Flight of the Bumblebee in there. Good stuff!
Friday, December 28, 2007
I'm obsessed with cornball vintage ceramics. Once I saw a hideous cactus pot of some rube-type fellow with his waistband pooching out, a stately column of cactus rising majestically from within, and ever since then, I've sort of been ruined for proper, tasteful ceramics.
Every so often I troll ebay for that perfect cactus planter, but I've yet to find it. I admit this Indian fellow sorta comes close, but he's kind of expensive (counting the $16.48 shipping) and doesn't ooze the rednecky charm I'm craving in a cactus pot, although he rates mightily in the un-PC-quotient, which counts for something, in my book.
Then there's the two tripod planter boys from wossit, Asia sumerother. I want to understand these planters, but I don't. Tragically, the seller didn't include a second photo to 'splain how the whole set-up works, what with where the plant thingie goes in and all that. I'm guessing the plant is somehow involved in what appears to be a third leg on these little acrobats, but who knows? They frighten me, but I love those burnished gold sleeve-cuffs.
Finally, there's my personal favorite: this darling little gem. No, it doesn't have the redneck appeal or the off-color charm, but I do find it incredibly cute. It may be coming home to mama. I think it's a kitty-cat, so a spiny protuberance from the back-end might be apropos. I dont' know for sure, but I'm betting the little black dots on the cheeks harbored little glued-on whiskers back in the day. Then again, this may be meant to be a squirrel. This piece is likely 1930s or 40s. Good stuff.
Gosh, it's been way too long since I've been out junking. I'm getting the urge... There may be a trip to Canton* in my future... hmmm...
*gi-normous North Texas flea market
Thursday, December 27, 2007
I just watched Terry Pratchett's Hogfather.
Hogwatch is the Discworld corollary to Christmas, and Hogfather is Father Christmas, only on the holiday in question, Hogfather is indisposed, so Death steps in and makes all Hogfather's appointed rounds to hold everything together while Hogfather gets back on track. Here, Death goes down a dark alley to a dying little match girl as his assistant 'splains that the dying little girl is an instructive tool, a cautionary tale for the rest of more fortunate society. This is one of my favorite scenes in the production.
Nice touch, Mr. Pratchett. I lurve yew!
I kept seeing references to this production on other blogs and comments, so Wednesday I went by Premiere video on Mockingbird in Dallas today to see if they had this vid. They have the most extensive collection of videos of any store - if you're in the area and longing to find something obscure - call them up, because I'm betting they'll have it.
Even better, they had Hogfather but only on international format, and I asked where one would obtain an international player, and they checked one out to me with the video at no extra fee. Isn't that amazing?
Anyway, incredible vid store, wonderful video. Terry Pratchett is a genius and a huge dose of something the world needs more of. If he didn't already exist, someone would've had to invent him.
He's the milkman of human kindness, and he leaves an extra pint.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I had a great time with family and enjoyed watching all the kids enjoy their presents. Nephew with his growing arsenal is beyond wild, but still fun to watch. No one's eye was put out, so that's a mercy.
Monday, December 24, 2007
I don't know if this is unusual, but it certainly looks cruel to me...
Apparently, in the Phillipines, the prisoners are punished by having to re-enact popular music videos. There's Radio Gaga by Queen and something by Black-Eyed Peas(no word on whether the Fergie-alike in that one pees herself like the real deal-- I couldn't bear to hazard a peek). This video features 967 inmates of Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC)Cebu, Philippines.
Here they bring to life the Michael Jackson classic Thriller. At first I saw a woman from a distance in the video and thought "wtf were they thinking, putting a woman in heels in the middle of all those horny criminals?" and then I realized they actually made some poor sucka dress like a woman and play the Michael Jackson date-role from the video. He manages to look rather convincing, except for the occasional side-faux-boob shot of toobsock-boob, but it was his/her male-pattern-baldness wot sent me into ecstasies. (I'm a simple woman with simple tastes. I don't ask for much. Right now, I'm a happy camper.) It's all very icky and surreal, yet mesmerizing and--in its own way-- magnificent.
Sit back and enjoy the crashing waves of zombies.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Thursday, 20 December 2007
My niece is in a grade school class where the teacher has her own incentive program for good/helpful behaviors. After Thanksgiving, the children in the class begin to amass points (or dollar amounts, actually) for things like getting in line quickly, for good behavior and for good citizenship things like picking up trash off the floor or helping other kids in some way. The cool thing about this system is the kids are really motivated to focus on following the rules, rather than all their boundless energy simply ratcheting them up into a rabid frenzy by semester's end, with its attendant joys of a break from school and Christmas. The last day of the semester the kids may use their currency at a "store" to buy gifts for their families or things for themselves. The merchandise in the store is provided by the teacher and some parents and other supportive parties.
Also on this day there is an auction for some more highly prized items. One of these things was an autographed poster of a member of the Dallas Cowboys. A little boy from the class with some learning disability (I think borderline autism?) was desperate to have the poster-- everyone knew this kid was pining for the poster, and my sister even mentioned it the day before, saying he was so awestruck by it that it would be a pity if he didn't have the poster for his own. However, another kid from the class was equally determined, and a bidding war ensued.
Early on, as the dollar amounts climbed in to the upper double-digits, all other contenders dropped out. The parents, the teacher and all the other children were incredulous as the bid amount kept spooling up. Finally, at around the $150 mark, the kid with learning difficulties had to concede and drop out of the bidding, having less dollar credits to spend on the poster.
The little boy who won the poster walked calmly and quietly up to the front of the class and collected his prize. He didn't seem ecstatic or like he'd won some huge personal victory. There was no gloating dance or fist-pumping. Instead, this little guy walked over to the now-dejected kid and simply gave him the poster. He spent all his store money just to give it to the other little boy who'd wanted it so desperately.
We think of young kids as being so much potential and merely the raw material which will form the promise of tomorrow, but if we look around, we'll notice they often exhibit class, dignity and true depth of character in the everyday moments of life. Yeah, they're learning and flawed just like everyone else, but every so often, they will step up to the plate and dazzle with the brilliance of their heroism.
Good on you, kiddo. Stay sweet. I'd say he won a lot of hearts that day.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
The 27 year-old strip club owner patient said he was increasingly stressed-out by the situation, becoming angrier and angrier about the event as time passes. Apparently, he holds no ill will against the person who dared him to have a tattoo needle driven into his (has to be erect for the process) penis hundreds of times, and yet someone else finding that remarkable is some sort of outrage? This big-girl's blouse* doth protest too much, methinks. I'm sure his strip-club is a lovely and fine establishment where nothing illegal or degrading ever occurs, but even so, being in that business, I sort of find specious any claim that he felt in some way violated by the physician. Next we'll hear the catheterization was a form of rape.
Sorry, but I will go on about this: this man profits from a business in which women place their bodies on display, and yet he feels degraded by the curiosity over his self-mutilation by a medical professional who deals with people with physical/psychological issues for his job. Like, you know, for work, and stuff? I mean, they pay him to deal with body stuff, and the physician is supposed to be some sort of nut-job for noticing? Puh-leeze.
It's crawling with idiots, this place.
*Big Girl's Blouse is an idiom in Britain meaning "ineffectual or weak, someone failing to show masculine strength or determination"
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
In a plot too lame to be contrived, Jamie Lynn Spears (Britney's 16 year old sister) has announced she's gonna be a momma, y'all!. She stars in a show that's a hit with 9-14 year olds on Nickelodeon channel. (No more role-models, please?) I suppose since she's rather a minor Hollywood luminary they felt it was inevitable that folks would figure out the underage actress was preggers. Her boyfriend, whom she met through church(according to the article, whatever "through" means), is the father.
Now, this guy has got to be on the hot seat, right? Or does the speciousness of sex with underage pipples not count when they are celebrities?
From the article:
"It was a shock for both of us, so unexpected," she said. "I was in complete and total shock and so was he."
Like, totally! Wow, you mean, like, sex makes babies? Who knew? More timely tips? Read on:
What message does she want to send to other teens about premarital sex? "I definitely don't think it's something you should do; it's better to wait," she told the magazine. "But I can't be judgmental because it's a position I put myself in."
Hmmm. More do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do from a celebrity? Thanks for that timely tip-- and thanks for not judging, JL!
Good on her for working on her fame quotient intsead of futzing about with silliness like college and scrap-booking and ponies. Why let Britney have all the fun? Why not cut to the chase?
Soon JL will be speeding down the Santa Monica freeway, baby in lap, cheeto-smudged cigarette dangling from her bottom lip, flipping off the paparazzi.
Seems the Spears family have finally invented a perpetual-motion event. Unfortunately, that event is a train-wreck
I knew I wasn't up to decorating and preparing all the food for a holiday wing-ding for all my residents this year. Too busy, too much going on.
I promise I wasn't being selfish at all when I scheduled the resident appreciation party at a venue which serves Westmalle Trappist Tripel ale.
But I won't lie to you and say I didn't enjoy the entire exercise. I did manage to resist the prodding to sing a song, so you may rest assured I did not embarrass the tribe. Beyond that, I can't say anything.
Here's to Belgium!
May I be capable of posting again within 24 hours, but I'm not holidaying my breath, either.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I'm so glad you've found your place among the Right Sort of People in the Hamptons. I've no doubt you truly deserve each other and I wish you long and very merry in each others' company.
Sorry, no, these many moons since you moved out, I haven't riffled through the mail of the subsequent three residents of your old apartment to see if they were receiving your mail. If I had, I would have made a note to the carrier to send this to your forwarding address. What? You didn't notify the post office of your new out-of-state address? Do please forgive me for failing to care more about your mail than you do - how can a lowly servant like myself sleep nights knowing you may have missed out on the latest offerings from the Pantyhose-of-the-Month-Club and the Sharper Image? My bad!
I'm sorry to hear that through the Gordian knot of our labyrinthine postal service you were shocked belatedly receive notice that your moving truck was issued a traffic violation notice by the City Of Dallas and that no one bothered to track you down before now. Clearly, everyone but you is responsible for this egregious error.
You didn't say so, but I'm sure the fines on that violation have reached sub-orbital levels of expense. I have no pull with the city, but if you'd like me to write a note 'splaining how cute you are, I'd be happy to oblige.
P.S. I gave you your full deposit back because that is my policy-- I give the 95% of residents (who are impeccable) their entire deposit back-- not just the cute ones.
P.S.S. - When I give the full deposit back, that doesn't make me a sucka or your perennial slave.
P.S.S.S. - Love ya. Mean it. Within limits.
Monday, December 17, 2007
This time, Law Dog, Ambulance Driver and Babs escort a sweet Little Old Lady through a medical emergency.
Small town Peace Officer responds to a light-hearted call that turns serious.
Then Ambulance Driver arrives at the scene and takes over.
Finally Babs is welcoming warmth and comfort as the patient arrives at small town Emergency Room.
A very nice story, beautifully and lovingly told.
I don't generally go in for clubby, herd-type peace/love/unity crap, but this one sounded sorta nice, and hey - it's Cwisbus, so why not? Anyhoo, it's called BlooggersUntie, and it's a day for dyxlesic bloggers to -- no? Not? Uh, er. OK.
Bloggersunite er somesuch. Something wherein we'll toot our own horns about unsolicited acts of kindness.
I hit upon something earlier this year that helped me through lots of stressful moments and sort of lessened the impact of more than a few dookie-events bent on derailing me utterly and the taking down of pegs. Now, if you've read more than a couple minutes' worth of my navel-gazing writing here, you know I worked very hard to climb up on my high horse, and I don't appreciate being lowered in station. I've always been a bit of a stationery (high quality paper)/pen (fountain, thank you) freak, and one particularly nasty day I had an epiphany: "This bad situation is not my entire job. This job is not my entire life. In fact, the good folks I deal with vastly outnumber the ne'er-do-wells-- who can I think of to send a thank-you card to?"
So there it started - whenever the excreta hied to the rapidly-spinning aeration device, I'd commence to turn my energy from the bad situation and instead think of someone beside myself and other than the bad person.™ I got very much better, very quickly. Not too much later, every so often, someone would mention to me that they were so surprised and delighted to get a lovely little note. A couple people even said it made their day. One person told me she got home from work, alone, feeling unloved, and that she walked to her mailbox thinking "why bother? It's just bills," and to her surprise, my little note let her know someone had thought of her, out of the blue. That touched my heart, because what started as a (selfish) re-focusing exercise turned into a way to express genuine warmth for other people and maybe brighten their days.
Call me a cornball. See if I care. Just don't remind me of it next time I'm donning my bitch gear. I don't want anyone getting the ideer I'm just a softie, or anything.
While we're on the subject of doing nice things for others:
Prolly lots of y'all have already chosen and contributed to various charities in your area and the world over by now. I'd like to tell you about my favorite. I cannot say enough good things about Soldiers' Angels, but I'll make a tiny effort in that direction. 85-90% of every donated dollar is applied directly to helping the men and women of our military, and that's an exceptionally high ratio. Donations go to provide care packages, assistance for soldiers' families, and when I first became aware of this organization, they were providing laptops for soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital--many of these laptops were specially adapted so that soldiers missing part or all of their fingers/hands could still use their computer for its many applications such as remaining connected with the outside world via the internet. Also at that site, you may choose to adopt a soldier and to send friendly note of support and encouragement to one of our men or women overseas, as well as the occasional package.
I believe the most important contributions any of us can make are in our own families and communities, but it's also important to reach a little further afield occasionally, and I think this is a great way to help folks who may not be in our own back yards, but to whom we all are related in some small way, and to whom we are indebted. I hope you'll consider adding this to your list of important charities.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I owe a few email responses to some folks on the blogroll. HollyB told me last week that email she has sent me has been bouncing back to her account for the past few weeks. This is most vexing, considering she is on my list of contacts in that very email account. Anyway, if you've written me and the email has bounced back, please send me a note via comments, which I won't post. It may be time to switch email accounts, or somesuch. They say you get what you pay for, and I've had that account on hotmail for about 10 years, all free. Oh well. Easy come...
So that's what the men in those oogy outfits get up to. Yuck.
bicycles have feelings too, ya know. I wonder if they did a rape kit thingie on the bike.
I don't know what's more disturbing-- that this guy made nice to a bike, or that someone actually prosecuted him for having done so.
So, he didn't harm another human being or an animal, and he didn't commit any public weirdness? I say he should be left to his own devices.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Don't be messin' with Rita Moreno.
She's at least two nations wide.
OMG! It gets even better:
I was thinking "damn, Rita is smokin' hot in this video, must've been about 40-ish", so, I poked around tha Intarw3bz and found out she was at or near 50 in this video! She is the only Puerto Rican actress to have won an Oscar, Golden Globe, a Tony and an Emmy-- she's a triple-threat power-house performer. And gosh, isn't it awesome to see a naturally lovely (i.e., unenhanced) rack on a female performer? Alert the media!
Of course, she was in West Side Story in 1961 when she was 30, but the film producers really tried to dowdy her up so she wouldn't compete for ingenue status with non-latin co-star Natalie Wood. Whatevs.
Rita Moreno is fierce. Animal knew what he was talking about!
Friday, December 14, 2007
Fashion is illusory and trends are designed to delineate the haves from the have-nots. I say this is illusory, because there is a huge gulf between fashion and style. Fashion is all trends and turn-on-a-dime fads that one day will be regarded with the red-faced embarrassment they richly deserve, whereas style is a classic sensibility and not mutable or tarnishable by the fickle whims of popular culture. Fashion must buy the new thing and always be the first to wear that new thing, whereas style can put a new scarf with a nice, older handbag and a $6 skirt from a Wal-Mart markdown rack and look fresh and original all at the same time.
The great thing about style is its limitless applications - be it in the cut of a suit or the cut of a jib or the way you cut donuts in a snowy parking lot. A savvy person doesn't need evidence of an expensive label to recognize true quality, either.
I have my own style, a very few very nice things, and the rest is the bits wot I cobble together to emboss my own little chop-mark on my existence here. Very often, having that strong sense of self and timing comes of having a parent who knows how and when to garland the occasion with a distinctive flourish.
Here, from my archives (april 2006), is a bit I wrote about Dad and Mom which I felt the need to post again:
One of my favorite mom & dad stories is when I was a kid and we lived in West Memphis, Arkansas. A friend of dad's called up in the middle of the night - passing through town with a desperate car problem. Dad told him to come over and he'd fix it. Now, it just happened to be one of the most brutally cold nights of my life - the ground outside was completely frozen with an even colder wind chill. The next day, we were scheduled to get new carpet, but the guy with the car problem didn't know that. When he arrived, dad looked at the vehicle, figured out what needed to be done, and went back into the house with the guy.
Mom was up, probably sitting in a 3am haze. Knowing her, she was shooting eyeball daggers at this demanding inconsiderate lout for disturbing the household. Mom didn't so much as bat an eye as dad pulled out a box cutter and cut a huge square out of the living room carpet on which to lay on the ground under the car. Meanwhile, the guy is shitting himself, thinking that dad just butchered the nice family carpet to help him out, and boy didn't he feel like a jerk? He was sputtering and apologizing profusely to my mom, and she just stared at him intently. I don't think they ever told the guy, but I don't think he ever called in the middle of the night again. Wicked wit and a flair for drama. Yup, my folks have STYLE.
So that's part of it-- they can't bottle it and you can't come by that sensibility any way but honestly, so say I.
I was driving somewhere Thursday and heard on the news on the radio that a guy working security at the NorthPark Mall Neiman Marcus in Dallas was arrested for stealing something like $400,000 worth of jewelry. In 2004 and 2005, Manuel Alvarez stole at least 400 jewelry items and handed them off to accomplices who sold them on ebay. The irony here is manifold: you can't sell anything remotely related to firearms on ebay, but you can sell about a half mil of stolen luxury goods. Um, ok. Also, I'm betting that as a security guard(a relative had this gig, once), he made in the neighborhood of $40,000-ish/year. He's in jail for 10 years now, so whatever his friends made off that crap on ebay and then split with him, you know he didn't walk away from the whole deal with enough to justify the risk.
If there is any joy to be had--however fleeting-- from possessing fine things or a lot of money, what good is it to you if you know you did not earn same on your own merit? I would be embarrassed, unable to savor such bitter prizes. Better to have a life of simple, spartan appointments than to wallow in excess at the expense of one's good character.
To wrap this all up in a little bow, I'll finish by saying that style has everything to do with personal zest and enjoying life and exactly nothing to do with wealth. Remember that person I derided for the tiedye thingie about a week ago? Well, good on him- he liked what he had on, and what I think is utterly unimportant for his life. As for that NM guy who ruined his life over a few dollars, if exposure to all those mega-wealthy people did not teach him that mega-wealth is not a desireable thing in this life, then he just wasn't paying attention.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
So, anyway, almost immediately, he was suffering from alcohol poisoning and was taken to a clinic in Nuremberg which, of course, meant that he still didn't get on his plane.
What a maroon!
By the way, I have no idea what this keytag says, but I like it. A lot. Want one.
For what it's worth, I think I'm falling in love with Greebo. How is this possible? Secretly suspect the author wants to be Greebo.
Brett Favre, after living a full life, died. When he got to heaven, God was showing him around. They came to a modest little house with a faded Packers' flag in the window.
"This house is yours for eternity, Brett," said God. "This is very special; not everyone gets a house up here."
Brett felt special, indeed, and walked up to his house.
On his way up the porch, he noticed another house just around the corner. It was a 3-story mansion with a blue and silver sidewalk, a 50 foot tall flagpole with an enormous Dallas Cowboys' flag, and in every window a Cowboys silver star.
Brett looked at God and said, "God, I'm not trying to be ungrateful, but I have a question. I was an all-pro QB, I won 2 Super Bowls, and I even went to the Hall of Fame."
God said, "So what do you want to know, Brett?"
"Well, why does Tony Romo get a better house than me?"
God chuckled and said, "Brett, that's not Tony Romo's house; it's mine."
...and speaking of things sports-- if team names connote bad-assery and sheer staying power, why haven't there been teams named Pigeons, Grackles and Cockroaches? They're the real success stories on our planet, after all...
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Goober lawyer came into my office last week looking for his lawyer friend who lives on property. A true Social Inept, I could tell he thought he was going to do the big-swinging-lawyer routine for the dumb office-wench since he doesn't get around civilian females much and rarer still gets the chance to flex his superior brain-power. He picked up a publication from my table and started yammering about the election next year. In a sneeringly smug and pedantic monotone he made statements to the effect of I'm-regurgitating-the-minced-baloney-talking-points-we-all-got-from-Als-FrankenGore-because-enlightened-people-be-democrats-of-course and I just sat there. *blink*blink* When he ran out of breath at the end of his one-note samba about the idiocy of electing Republicans, he finally paused to ask me what I thought. I said, well, I'm actually more Libertarian than anything and he shot back with "why would you vote for Giuliani?" and I said "I wouldn't(and here's where I was off-to-the-races), and frankly, I can't imagine why liberal democrats have been so unhappy with George W Bush when he's been more liberal than Clinton and he's grown the government like a drunken-- well, like a Kennedy, and he's WAY too liberal." I said more, but I'm boring myself here.
Then he decided to retreat to a safe corner by saying "And what was with calling Reagan the great communicator? I just don't get that at all." The funny thing is that with each new tack he took, I could tell he was using what he thought were the sure-fire popular-with-the-ladies talking points, and he looked shocked. With the patience one uses to explain to a 2-year-old that the potty is, indeed, a chair they get to shit in, I splained him that after the bumbling international embarrassment of the Carter presidency, Reagan's bright-eyed optimism was a breath of fresh air and that he never lost that sheen, that he --like most Americans-- believed the greatness of America was not merely a thing of the past, and if you simply hammer people with a negative message constantly, eventually you will lose your audience entirely and Reagan was the antidote to that fire-and-brimstone political crap. I pointed out also that a lot of Dems were so stirred by RR's sincerity that they actually crossed the aisle.
He asked what I thought of Bush as a person and I said he seems likeable to me, and that I thought it was ironic that Dems accuse him of being so devious and sinister that he plotted 9/11 and yet they turn around and call him names and say he's a puppet for Cheney and you can't have it both ways-- simultaneously the dumbest and most canny person on earth. He said "I just don't like Cheney - something about him - he's so, so, so cynical."
I said "that's funny. You strike me as an extremely cynical person yourself-- do you think it's okay for you to be cynical but Cheney, having been vilified because people simply don't like him has no cause to be cynical?" Dude started sorta sputtering and I was done. I let him dribble all over himself as I stared very hard at words on a page and he finally sorta shuffled out the door.
Next time I have to go through that crap, though, I'm going to make it interesting for myself. I'm going to don my best apocalyptic-white-trash persona and in what might fairly be called the rape of the Engrish language, I'm going to find the most ignernt way of agreeing with them as possible and going one step beyond. I'll suggest concentration camps for conservatives and that we inspect everyone's home to make sure no one has the old-style lightbulbs or polluted indoor air or lead paint. I want them to question what is so very wrong with liberal Democrats that my unschooled ass could be one. Because straight-up logic simply doesn't work, obviously, and no doubt he's completely convinced of my ignorance now.
I prefer harmonious interaction with people (even those with whom I disagree as well as the occasional monkey) and I intensely dislike conflict, but if someone will keep pushing and not reading these obvious signals, then they'd better come correct, because I'm bringing my A-game and I'm not in the custom of losing arguments, not even to platitude-spouting attorneys.
Sorry. Another one of my rambles. I forgive myself, and hope you will as well.
Anyhoo. Have a great day.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
I just mopped the entire living room before her bath, and now she's christened it.
I'm not a fiend for Mexican food, but I do love rellenos, so when they are on the menu, that's almost always what I choose. A relleno is a poblano pepper (or sometimes an Anaheim) roasted just enough so the skin peels off the outside and so the membranes (where the heat is in this pepper) pull out easily. Then the pepper is stuffed with a mild white cheese, pre-cooked chicken or beef (I always get the cheese). The next step is where many differ on relleno preparation. My favorites do a really light batter in which this little pocket of paradise is fried for a little bit. Another method is to beat egg whites until stiff, lay a pad of the eggwhite onto the hot grease, then carefully lay the pepper atop, finally covering that with another layer of the frothy eggwhite.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
You know you're a total sales whore when the client's pet monkey mounts your arm (thankfully not humping) then climbs up and rearranges your coiffure (much as one might toss a salad) and still you never miss a beat. The funny thing is that I'm so easily distracted that normally I have to work very hard to stay focused all the way through to completion of a sentence, but I felt very centered and on my game with 3 lbs of primate perched on my uppermost area, its diaper area making nice to the crown of my head. At least there was a diaper. No, overall, Bonzo seemed to function as a centering device, some kind of meditative tool. (emphasis on tool, there.)
If you've never seen a small monkey up close, they are little marvels. The anthropomorphism element is eerie. The small black hands with their fine articulation and long, elegant fingers are creepy, to say the least. I kept thinking what a taxidermy challenge it would be to stuff one up proper. The tiny, human-looking teeth were unsettling, too, but were incredibly white and clean, and could have been interesting set in gold...
Thursday night's concert was so great that nothing was going to spoil the next day for me, but that monkey thing Friday almost unseated me. Almost.
I was astonished, really, and it was crawling around and messing-with- and chewing-on- things in a way that I would have demanded a stop to had the perp been a small, snotty child. However, the monkey thing distracted me so that I had to sort of ignore the surrealism of the moment to remain collected and get through my spiel, let alone navigate the choppy waters of asking someone to prevent their pet primate from checking me for nits without offending their tender sensibilities. Later on, however, I sat back enjoyed the crashing waves of something like post-traumatic stress. My hair will never feel clean enough again, I'm convinced.
[once in some European airport, Salvador Dali was letting his pet ocelot run around and make free with the terminal. On the overhead speaker, a refined woman's voice announced "Mr. Dali, please control your ocelot." (I don't know where I read that story - but it must be true - it's too strange to be otherwise.)]
I had to draw the line, however, when it started to slurp the condensation off the outside of my plastic cup of iced tea. I scooped up my cup and carried it away from the arena of terror, beyond leash-reach. This is still Texas, dammit, and a person's iced tea is part of our state constitution. Or it should be. I consider inviolable my right to have my daily glass of iced tea that hasn't been monkeyed with.
Don't make me go ape-shit on your little ass, is all I'm saying.
More about the Knitters' show:
*I met someone who was at the Sex Pistols show at the Longhorn Ballroom in 1978. WOOHOO!
*The bass player was smokin' hot.
*Dave Alvin really turned it out.
*Exene looked really cute with her dark waitress dress with the lace collar and cuffs and the vintage apron, red stockings and brown biker boots. Nice touch. I love that she carried her handbag to the stage. It also was a Paul Frank Scurvy bag, and I have a companion of that bag - KEWT! At one point she started talking between two songs, and a woman at the back of the audience yelled something, and she looked to the back of the venue and said "well, alright. Impatient... Dallas... lady." Everybody laughed. At one point I realized my cheeks were tired from grinning like a 'possum. But it was that kind of show. It was like Santa Claus had come to town for a bunch of old punks, only it was a Santa that said "fuck" a lot.
There were several people I've seen at indie/punk concerts for 20+ years, almost all male. Them bitches gettin' old! Not me, though. *don't try and disabuse me of my denial-- it's all I've got* I came up with one more eternal truth - tie-dye does not camouflage an enormous gut, particularly when the locus of the core of the rainbow spiral centers on your belly-button, or more of a belly-hubcap, really. I'm not being mean, I'm trying to help here, people. Let me help you. Help me help you. Iffn you are as broad as you are tall, then ixnay the iedyetay.
My friend Tracey called me up and told me about this show last week. Tracey and I have gone to see the Cramps a couple times together, and some other shows. She's one of the most kick-ass women I know, and she likes to be right at the front of the stage, so if I stick near her, I never miss anything. At 5'2", being near the stage is about the only way to fly, if you want to see what's happening there. Tracey looks a lot like Patricia Neal, is sorta tall and although she is a handsome woman, she has a look in her eye that tells you she could go bear-hunting with a switch. Once at a Cramps show, a couple youngsters decided to push in front of me and get next to the stage, but she came in heavy on them and they left a little trail of pee on the floor as they hot-footed it to points elsewhere. The funny thing is she's actually an incredibly soft-touch. She's from El Paso and makes the most amazing chile rellenos, which makes her a total goddess, in my book. But the coolest thing about Tracey is that, like me, she really loves music and loves to get out and go to a live show.
So, yeah, great show, good time hanging out with friends. It's nice to get out, but, in truth, I'm glad there aren't shows I want to see every week - I can hang and can have a productive day at work the next day, but I sure couldn't make a habit of it. Mama be needing her sleep.
See what happens when I don't get enough rest? I end up with a monkey sitting on my head. That ain't right.
Friday, December 07, 2007
I'm exhuasted, and maybe I'll write more on this tomorrow, but for now I'll say rockabilly bassist Johnny Ray Bartel was superb, DJ Bonebrake was skiffle-tastic and just what one would hope for on drums, Exene Cervenka and John Doe were sheer delight on vocals, and Dave Alvin wrought something from the guitar that sounded like a thousand miles of clear blue sky.
Great show. So glad I dragged my tired ass out to see them, and I can't wait to see them again. *must resist urge to drive to Houston/Austin over the next few days, but I'll think wistfully of traveling to see them again*
Here's the Knitters playing Burning House of Love on the Letterman show a couple years ago.
You're right, James, and thanks for the comment with this link to Dave Alvin's superb Dry River which they performed last night, only John sang it instead of Dave. Great link James - thanks again!
Thursday, December 06, 2007
And now it's time to walk it off.
Anyhoo. The more I read Terry Pratchett's work, the more I want to stop blogging and just copy his writing in here - he's side-splitting. Despite the whole quiz I took recently, I'm still on the fence about whether I'm more Granny Weatherwax or Nanny Ogg. In this exchange, I definitely fall on the Ogg side of the fence:
Granny Weatherwax's eyes focused immediately somewhere around Magrat's knees.
"And what do you think you're wearing?" she said.
"Ah. Um. I thought...I mean it gets cold up there..what with the wind and everything," Magrat began. She had been dreading this, and hating herself for being so weak. After all, they were practical. The idea had come to her one night. Apart from anything else, it was almost impossible to do Mr. Lobsang Dibbler's cosmic harmony death kicks when your legs kept getting tangled in a skirt.
"They're not exactly the same as ordinary--"
"And there's men 'ere lookin', " said Granny. "I think it's
"What is?" said Nanny Ogg, coming up behind her.
"Magrat Garlick, standin' there bifurcated," said Granny, sticking her nose in the air.
"Just so long as she got the young man's name and address," said Nanny Ogg amiably.
Or how about this one--
Nanny raised the hem of her skirt. She was wearing new boots. As boots, Granny Weatherwax could find nothing to complain of in them. They were of proper witch construction, which is to say that a loaded cart could have run over them without causing a dent in the dense leather. As boots, the only thing wrong with them was the color.
"Red?" said Granny. "That's no color for a witch's boots!"
"I likes 'em," said Nanny.
Remind you of anyone?
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Anyway, it's prolly good for Ashley that they ashcanned the whole thing, because, you know, Cheryl Crow caught cancer from him.
Is it just me or is it a wee bit ironic that a one-balled guy named Lance has turned out to be rather the harpoon artiste of late?
Personally, I'm soon to be the proud mama of a pet cactus. Sweet!
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
From the article:
In a region where other Muslim governments ignore the AIDS epidemic, quarantine HIV-infected people or preach abstinence as the only solution, Iran's approach is fairly progressive. Iran's AIDS program melds up-to-date programs and research with deep-rooted religious values.
Oooh, treatment with "religious values" is okay, s'long as the treatment doesn't involve anything associated with Catholic or Christian tradition. Ok, I'm learning here. Oddly, I'd call treatment that involved Islam-oriented brow-beating rather primitive treatment.
In such a staggering case of spin, the author may develop inner-ear problems. I'm getting dizzy just watching it.
Soon we'll hear "dude! Iran's a gay-friendly vacation mecca!" They're so much more cultured and evolved than the west. We totally suck.
Monday, December 03, 2007
I was at a discount department store strolling around waiting for someone who was in the fitting room. Something on a shelf caught my eye-- I saw a bag of dog chew toys that had a stranger-than-usual item represented therein. Now, I've seen all sorts of non-sequitir subjects represented in chew toys, but I'm baffled that someone thought to make a box-cutter dog chew-toy.
I bought it so I could snap a photo and return the damned thing - chew toys don't even merit a sniff with my dog. I just wonder if someone thought they were being cute by making and marketing a toy in the form of something that has enormous recently-historical cultural significance here. I'm not saying I think people who produce box cutters have anything to feel bad about, or anything, just that I think a toy rendered of same is more insensitive than, oh, say, naming a teddy bear Mahatma or somesuch. I mean, it's not as though one would let their dog chew on an actual cutting tool of any sort, right?
Intent is irrelevant. I'm baffled, but I'm not generally an easily-offended person. I really don't know what to think-- what do you think?
Sunday, December 02, 2007
I don't care what anyone says-- the 70s had it all over the 80s when it came down to the Velveeta Quotient. Witness this garish spectacle of the octogenarian Mae West being romanced by Timothy Dalton in the 1978 comedy/musical/barfical Sextette. Delicious!
How did he ever land the role of James Bond? J/K - I thought he was awesome in The Beautician and the Beast.
Double, double, toil and trouble
Fire burn and phlegmfatale bubble.
O! I am fortune's phlegmfatale!
He that sleeps feels not the phlegmfatale
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Headline reads "Clinton calm in hostage crisis" and I thought, Wow - I didn't know SHE was the hostage! Then I read the article and it turns out it never was her neck on the line. Characteristically, she was completely unruffled by others going down in her stead.
|What American accent do you have? |
Your Result: The Midland
"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.
|The Inland North|
|What American accent do you have?|
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz
Roberta X had this fun test on her blog recently.
I love where it speculates that I may be from Dallas (I'm not, though I live there now) and that I have "a good voice for tv and radio." Accent-wise, yeah, but everytime I hear recordings of my own voice, I keep envisioning Drew Barrymore with an I.V. heavy-flow drip (deluge) of espresso, for some reason. *Spaz mode* I sound really dorky.
[odd, unrelated: my prof in German class was a Wiesbaden native, and she said I spoke German with the cutest French accent. Go figure.]
Anyway, they could have narrowed the respondents down to Texas alone if they'd had a "fixin'ta" question. Here, one who is about to go to the store might say "Do you need me to pick up something fer ya, 'cause I'm fixin'ta (fixing to) go to the store."
I think I'm right, right? That is a Texas-ism, innit? Do any of y'all from forn parts say "fixing to?"
If that guy's name is FavRe, they why oh why do people pronounce it "faRve?" Gack!
Where's that drive-by comment-lobbing rabbit been lately? And I want him to write me about his West Memphis exploits - I lived there for 7 years...
Friday, November 30, 2007
Granny wasn't at home in public houses. She sat stiffly to attention behind her port-and-lemon, as if it were a shield against the lures of the world.
Nanny Ogg, on the other hand, was enthusiastically downing her third drink, and, Granny thought sourly, was well along that path which would probably end up with her usual dancing on the table, showing her petticoats and singing "The Hedgehog Can Never Be Buggered at All."
So, there's a wee bit of Nanny Ogg in me, too, since I sing that song all the time.
Speaking of things witchy-poo-esque - I'm in lurve again-- aren't these shoes the very most darling things evah? I knew you'd agree. *sigh* Santa-me may have to break down and buy them for myself. I'll grant you they are a trifle unconventional, but then again, so am I. Plus I've been perfecting my cackle.
Oh, I finally found a video I can love of my favorite Tchaikovsky setting of Goethe's achingly beautiful "Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt" and here sung by Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky in his native tongue.
I always loved singing this song because it's so lovely, and I most enjoy singing in German, for some reason, much better than French or certainly English. I also love lieder (German art songs)-- usually German Romantic poets' text set to music. This was my favorite.
Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt [None but the lonely heart]
Weiß, was ich leide! [Knows how I suffer]
Allein und abgetrennt
Von aller Freude,
Seh' ich ans Firmament
Nach jener Seite.
Ach! der mich liebt und kennt,
Ist in der Weite.
Es schwindelt mir, es brennt
Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt
Weiß, was ich leide!
It's really dramatic stuff. Gotta love it.