Saturday, June 30, 2007

Joe Strummer sings Bob Marley's Redemption Song

Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom
Cause all I ever had, redemption songs

Emancipate yourself from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our minds

Friday, June 29, 2007

All your dumbness are belong to us.

I realized today that it's been probably decades since I've heard anyone use the word ineducable, which is such a pity, because with our manifold billion dollar school system which any child may attend, I keep seeing examples of people who apparently are beyond reach, intellectually speaking. Translation: you cain't learn 'em nuthin'. I suppose it's not kind to call someone profoundly stupid in this age of "no rocket-surgeon left behind."

Um, ok.

So call me a bitch. I can live with that.
I've posted a mashup video of this song before, but it's so good I'm repeating it with an even better video. This City Never Sleeps is my favorite song by Eurythmics. slow, lovely and hypnotic. Bonus - this video is of night driving in London, one of my favorite places in the world.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

This guy was on the most wanted list. I wonder how they found him?
Um, anyway. Seems like 10 or so years ago, tats started creeping from what could be hidden by a long-sleeve high-collared shirt into the public space of neck, face, skull and hands. Then there are all those people with bolts-through-the-nose and big hollow spools in the ears.
By all means, find your tribe.
But that doesn't make a person hard-core. I'm still waiting to see one of these modern primitives who actually fits the bill of hard-core.
I'll believe they're hard-core when they have a hemorrhoid pierced. Until then: shut up and sit down.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Housework cuts breast cancer risk.

Ruh roh, Raggy.

Looks like I may be in for it, averse as I am to cleaning.

Actually, I like having a clean house. I just like someone else doing the cleaning.

I have a bitchy voice mail I got from someone which I'm thinking of posting. It was over-the-top. It's funny when someone says something with the intention of cutting you to the bone, when in fact they only bone they reach is the funny one. Asshat.

Golly, I'm busy. It's gotten so bad that I don't even pause at noon to wish I were still in bed. In fact, I find myself waking up about 7am whether I have to get up or not. Meh.

Busy is good, though.

I got a lot of great snaps of that fire over on Industrial south of downtown on Monday. It was wild, because the whole of downtown was engulfed in stinky smoke. *gag* *sputter* About 2 miles away, a fairly large piece of ash fluttered down before me. Freaky.

Monday, June 25, 2007

If you saw or smelled evidence of the massive fire that engulfed Downtown Dallas today in smoke, here is ground zero. This was reported as an hotel on fire at Industrial and Cadiz, but I knew there was not hotel at that locale. Fortunately, it was a massive group of disused warehouses which were in the process of being demolished. Several sections of same had already been taken down earlier this year. The fire was spreading and seemed pretty nasty, smoke-wise, but otherwise, didn't seem to damage much more than air quality, as far as I could tell. The fire seemed to emanate from a pile of rubble at the south end of the demolition, and the wind carried the flames north across the entirety of the structures. Interesting.

This post over at Xavier Thoughts was just too golden not to link, and there's video to watch, too. Some bright robber went into a black beauty school in Louisisana and the 50 or so women in there beat the ever-loving crap out of him. He was trying to get away from the women, and they wouldn't let him go. Read the story and watch the video - it's the perfect ending to what could have been a tragedy.
My take on Michael Moore:

He has met with such critical acclaim in part because the liberal, politically correct crowd think there is some kind of valor in being such a hideous creature. They think someone that homely and un-intercoursable would never lie to them.

I went to see Roger & Me when it was first released. I found this film mildly amusing but heavy-handed. R&M revolved around MM trying to corner Roger Smith (then-CEO of General Motors) and needle him over layoffs at GM.

I've always been a film buff, and in my early 20s I was going to at least a couple films a week, sometimes more. This film interested me because people raved about it, but some things rather stuck in my craw. The tradition of documentary until that point had typically involved the film maker being entirely off-screen, and on rare occasions, simply voicing questions from behind the camera. In R&M, MM hogs the screen and can't get enough of the sight of himself, fat and winded, chasing after the suited, freshly powdered Roger Smith. Again, I go back to my original premise that the knee-jerk reaction to this would be that "here, this revolting person has put himself out there and gone to the mat to get the real information for us and has brought us a big bowl of truth. How heroic." I think the truth is that, high on his own armpit vapors, Michael Moore is in love with the sight of himself. Yes, as inexplicable as it may seem, his primary purpose in making films is of a Narcissistic bent. (And now Al Gore is tip-toeing through the tulips on the shining path MM has blazed. Joy.)

Think about it, in all the years of your life, how many documentary film makers can you even remember ever having seen on camera in their projects?
There you go.

The other thing about R&M was the interviews he did with people who had been laid off from GM, which presented the story in a manner carefully engineered to evoke a negative emotional response from the viewer so they would ultimately take a bad feeling about Roger Smith away from the theater with them. One particular subject was a white-trashy sort of woman MM interviewed outdoors. The camera and MM followed her about her rounds on her property, where she killed and butchered a rabbit on camera during the interview. Overkill? Well, I think the granola-munching PC crowd who would typically go see a documentary like this would be the very type to be outraged by the sight of abattoir-type activities. See what this poor woman was driven to by Roger Smith?!!! Never mind the fact that most of us eat meat-- we live at remove from the idea that our meat grows on animals and someone needs to kill it first. MM exploits what is surely the first killing of an animal for food that many city dwellers ever saw. I'll bet there are lots of vegetarians whose restrictive diets found their origins in that very scene. *much eye-rolling here*

Now, if you or I took a film crew to try to get an interview from Ted Turner or Oprah or Michael Moore himself by following same, it would be called stalking and we'd be jailed forthwith.

That's entertainment? What absolute twaddle.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Anchor Motel Harry Hines Boulevard 23 June

After a day with Ordinary Girl on Saturday, I whipped out my camera and headed out to collect snaps of sundown Saturday night. I love this mid-century neon, and frankly, I'm surprised it's still working. Good stuff.
Is blogger going all wonky to anyone else, or am I getting some special treatment?

Dunno... Is this thing on? PFffft! Pfffft!

OK, I posted this once, and it all disappeared. Hopefully, second time's a charm, even though it won't be so well-composed as the first. Seriously. That first one was Pulitzer material. I swear.

Saturday I met the wondrously lovely Ordinary Girl.

We're both on a foodie online group and she organized for a bunch of us to converge on an Indian restaurant in Irving. There were about 9 other people there, and there was lots of talk about everyone's favorite local restaurants. I learned a lot about food and about great cooking resources and local eateries. The group will meet somewhere for Dim Sum next time, and I'm really looking forward to that.

Of course, the highlight of the whole event for me was just meeting OG. She is an absolute doll. She looks about half her age, which is sort of how I picked her out in the restaurant. She has an easy laugh and a warm, open smile and bright eyes. I think it was bold and daring of her to organize the gathering, and everyone seemed to enjoy the gathering immensely.

After the meal, OG & I went across the road to a home goods store which has a fantastic selection of cookware and kitchen-y stuff. I bought a pair of red wellies [now I'm ready to tramp through some mud should the opportunity arise] and various sauces and seasonings. All the while we were shopping, we talked and laughed and had a grand time. When we'd finally sufficiently had our way with that store, we went over to a nearby coffee shop and sat and talked a while more.

We had an instant rapport and OG makes the second person I've met this year from the blog. In the same way Holly was instantly a dear friend, I know OG and I will be friends for life.

Thanks, OG. You so totally rock. Let's get together again soon.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Tuesday is Soylent Opera Singer Green Day

Having been through the human-meat grinder that is the pathway to this type of career, I really hope this Englishman makes it and makes it monster in the operatic field. He won a tv competition called "Britain's Got Talent" and is due to release an album within mere weeks. At 36, this telephone salesman always nursed the secret longing to make it as an opera singer, but was too shy to come forward and take a crack at it. With some prodding from supportive family, he entered the competition and won it handily.

What I expect is that he will meet with popular acclaim and the opera establishment will remain curiously mute on the subject of him. After all, he didn't go through the channels and perform all the traditional obeisance to the useless pedantic powers-that-be in the opera establishment. Due to popular demand, he'll get some opera gigs and do some recitals. Hopefully his agent will see that he has an exacting coach, particularly for his diction. I really hope that his technique will be beyond reproach and that the critics will cheer him, as well. I hope that, but I doubt it. Remember what I said: meat grinder. I expect the critics to be vicious and not at all happy for any degree of success or acclaim he ever achieves. After all, opera is for a more elevated, less common sort, oui? Good singing could never come out of the non-rarefied air of the solidly middle class, could it? Poppycock! The irony of this will be that someone like Paul Potts could potentially inspire a new crop of fans to bolster the flagging ranks of the opera audience which is fast succumbing to attrition. I hope I am surprised by his reception in the professional opera realm.

Here's to the underdog and not letting go of one's dreams. Good on you, Paul Potts!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Almost Swiftian in its rapier-like subtlety.

I love these guys, even though they are fake rednecks.

Goths have toilet-cleaning needs, too.

I coulda been a goth you know - I like a lot of that music. Bauhaus. Type O Negative. Skinny Puppy. Sisters of Mercy. It's just that I didn't like their uniform.

Oh, this is great - did you ever see Hope is Emo? Funny stuff.

OK. I take that back. I could never have been a Goth. Gothtard. Hyuk! Hyuk!

Over on his big swinging blog, Dick posted a link to this fabulous squirrel catapult video. You'll laugh and laugh. I did.

Car in photo is much more massive than it appears

So not long after it was made, Dad acquired a '77 Ford LTD fer me ma. It was powder-blue and absolutely massive, with two enormously long doors. Mom complained that she felt like she was going to be run over whenever she got on the highway - it didn't have any git-up-and-go. So Dad opted for overkill. He pulled out the underpowered engine the manufacturer so naively provided and dropped in a 460 Magnum with racing pistons, a high-rise intake, triple-grind valve job, ported heads, Holley double-pumpers and a whole lotta chrome, if memory serves. At family gatherings, the men folk would stand around the opened hood of the car and just drool and smile in admiration. Finally, an engine capable of lifting two-plus tons of car to escape velocity!

The neighbor guy commented to Dad "your wife just about burned the tires off that thing this morning - the smoke was boiling up from 'em."

Mom complained to Dad that something was wrong with that car-- that a belt or something always squealed when she took off.

He said "it's those Michelins, Caroline."

She knew. It's just one of those little games they play. Mom and Dad are like the non-drinking Ozark version of Nick & Nora Charles. It's fun to watch, and always a thrill-ride.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wow, someone's getting the ultimate sweet ride. Click here for details. The first of the new super-ginormous mega-jets will go to a private buyer who will spend $350million on the plane, and then $50-$150 million on duding it up proper. The ultimate pimping of the ultimate ride, as it were.

I'm betting the buyer is that Saudi Prince. If you think about it, it's thrifty for him to spend 450 million sawbucks on this big new plane, because it's got to be more efficient than traveling with his coterie of 450+ dearest and best on two 747s, like he did when he came to Dallas last year. Also, when he came to town last year, heir to the throne snarled the entire uptown district when streets were closed off to accommodate him and his massive entourage, who booked the entirety of The Mansion on Turtle Creek (whose cheap rooms start at $495 and go upwards of $2400 per night) for their exclusive use. They also booked every limousine in town, making it take even longer for his police-escorted entourage to traverse local roadways. Goody. *yawn*

When you really think about it, the environmentalists are the biggest racists around. Why should they want to deprive those poor desert dwellers of the income their petroleum affords them, hmm? I think it's because they hate Arab people. Bigots! Haters!

I celebrate the right of Arabs and the Sultan of Brunei to cobble some paltry existence from their generally un-enticing localities. You have to feel sorry for them, really - having to travel with all those hangers-on must be a colossal pain in the ass. At least now there is a plane big enough to accommodate those suck-ups in one swell foop.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Phlegmfatale!

  1. If you lace phlegmfatale from the inside to the outside, the fit will be snugger around your big toe!
  2. The average duration of sexual intercourse for phlegmfatale is two minutes.
  3. Phlegmfatale can turn her stomach inside out!
  4. During severe windstorms, phlegmfatale may sway several feet to either side!
  5. Originally, phlegmfatale could not fly.
  6. 68 percent of all UFO sightings are by phlegmfatale.
  7. By tradition, a girl standing under phlegmfatale cannot refuse to be kissed by anyone who claims the privilege.
  8. More people are killed by phlegmfatale each year than die in aeroplane accidents.
  9. The ace of spades in a playing card deck symbolizes phlegmfatale.
  10. Research indicates that phlegmfatale will be attracted to people who have recently eaten bananas!
I am interested in - do tell me about
Because it's all about MeMe...

The marvelous Holly tagged me...

WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Yes, after one of the great 20th century bombshells. Hot cha cha!

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Sunday, thinking how much I love my Dad.

DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? When I take time with my hand, with a nice pen, I like my writing. Generally, it's chicken scratch - I coulda been a doctor.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Um, Prosciutto, Salami, hard, salty thingies, but not turkey.

DO YOU HAVE KIDS? I wanted to have a bunch, but I have a doglet, and the kids of my siblings will have to do, and they are fantastic, so it's ok.

IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I can be impatient with spazzy people, but I AM spazzy sometimes. I hope I could have the clarity to see through to the earnest, eager-to-please cupcake that I am. Then again, I might be really jealous of my urbane cool and wicked style. *ting!*

DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? I like to say it's better to regret the shitty remark you made than to regret the shitty remark you wish you'd made... I live by that policy, and have a lot to regret having said...

DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yup. Original manufacturer equipment here.

WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? I'll willingly get myself into masochistic binds, but I won't bungee jump, ever. I wouldn't do a free-fall ride at an amusement park, either. Not my ideer of a good time.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Corn Bran, but I can't find it. I don't think they make it any more, but it was delicious. Lately, I prefer oatmeal with brown sugar and butter.

DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Most of mine are slip-on dress shoes, but no, I don't untie them if I can slip them off without doing so

DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? People in my family are physically very strong, and I'm no exception. My strength isn't what's dangerous about me, though - it's the hausfrau rage you gotta worry about.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Black Walnut- are my roots showing?

WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? varies. Humor, style, conversational ease, and - having dealt with a bit of it - nuroses jump out at me and I run like hell.

RED OR PINK? Unquestionably Red.

WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? Letting negative people overwhelm me

WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My grandpa, my grandmothers and my old self.


WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Luby's Vegetable plate.

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Me, tapping the plastic

IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? something metallic, copper or gold

FAVORITE SMELLS? Morning Zen incense by Shoyeido, Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana, the smell of the Chiracahua hills, my dog (except her breath), the faint smell of dust stirred and carried on the wind right before it starts pouring rain, the fresh, green fragrance of the Ozarks.


FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Live: Little kid sports are cute to watch, Dressage. Televised: Equestrian, um. Like watching billiards competitions, rarely watch sports, actually. I saw some exciting darts on tv in England once.




FAVORITE FOOD? Steak, raw and wriggling. Knock the horns off and wipe its ass. Yum.

SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings, though I can get bored with incredibly predictable films.

LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Little Miss Sunshine

WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Still the same beach towel, tropical colors.

SUMMER OR WINTER? Winter. Definitely fall and winter - I prefer cold weather

HUGS OR KISSES? Tam had the perfect answer on this one, but Hugs are generally safe and sweet

FAVORITE DESSERT? Um, I love good Belgian chocolate, especially Astrid by Neuhaus or its counterpart Satan by Godiva. Glorious.



WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Finishing up Comanche Moon

WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Alien heads from Roswell, NM.

WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT? I watched DVR of The Soup from Friday night

FAVORITE SOUND[S]? Voices of loved ones, good music, the voices of Thomas Quasthoff, Imogen Heap and that singer from Elbow *rowr*, a Glaswegian accent

ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Um, Liv Tyler was the best thing to ever come out of the Rolling Stones, and I can't think of anything THAT nice to say about the Beatles. I can take or leave either, but mostly, I'll just leave them.


DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Yes, I can safely say I qualify for the short bus

WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Pocahontas Arkansas

WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK? Ordinary Girl's, if she'll stoop to confer

Fork from Finland

This sounds like 4 felines doing Toxic by Britney Spears, but I love it-- Cathy Dennis wrote this song, and it would have been a hit even if it had been recorded by Harvey Fiersten and accompanied only by trash can lid percussion-- it's just that well written. The girl on lead has chops for days-- too bad Britney can't sing this well.

At least, I like it, anyway.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Sunday, June 17, 2007

This actually made my skin crawl. I had to show it to you. How old is this thing? Am I the last to see this? Supremely tacky. More retro-ironic.
Happy Father's Day, Pop.

You're the best, and I'm so proud of you. I love you.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

He had me at "I have a fake nut and I'm ready to cook."

Yes, season 3 of Top Chef started with a bang this week. CJ wasn't the focus of the episode, but he certainly got my attention with his nutty little comment. At 31, he's a testicular cancer survivor and now only has one ball left to cook off. I hope he can hang.

I felt sorry for the goofy-but-lovable Southerner who removed all doubt and got booted from the show. Clay seemed like a good guy, and I hoped he'd do well, just because he seemed so fundamentally sweet.

I watched Hell's Kitchen the past two weeks to see that 48 year old doughy guy cry and drip sweat over people's food. Yeuch. Disturbing. I can't believe they didn't send him home.

For a couple months now, I've been too busy to keep regular tabs on any tv show. I've occupied myself with other things, and I've tried to keep from getting sucked in to yet another time-thief tv program. But those cooking shows are nigh irresistible.

Believe it or not, I'm still finishing up Comanche Moon by Larry McMurtry. About a month back, I started getting all grim and upset that I'm at the end of the 4th(final) book of the series, and I hate for it to end. I stopped reading, and today I started back up again, and I could feel myself choking up. Isn't that corny? I mean, while I am an excitable sort, I don't get sad over the end of movies, and I don't cry easily, so why does this series have a tendency to turn me into a simpering mess?

People have talked about the Ego and the Id and the brilliance of McMurtry's writing, but I think the answer is much simpler than all that over-thinking kind of baloney. I think Gus and Woodrow are really two sides of a coin and together they make a whole man. One has an over-developed (if myopic) sense of duty, and the other is perhaps too given to pursuing good times. Early on I related almost wholly to Gus, but toward the middle of this book, I realized I very much related to Call. This has been a most interesting evolution of character.

Well, I'll say it again - if you haven't read Lonesome Dove and the books in this series, you are cheating yourself. It's not often you read a work of fiction and feel you come away with a better understanding of yourself. Or maybe that's just me. But I think not - I think this series resonates similarly with everyone who reads it. It's sad to end it, but it's bittersweet. Must read them all again soon.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Thursday morning I went to a crime watch meeting for local business owners, hotel and property managers. We have fantastic officers who are very involved and come by our office often, and it makes one feel things are as they should be.

Manager of a very expensive condo development said she was really tired of seeing Richard around. Richard is a homeless guy who hangs around the area, and he had a leg amputated sometime last year. She said her residents complain about him, but the very same people turn around and give him cash, so it's impossible to make him go away - too much easy free money. Richard was once a lawyer, by the way.

A woman from the PD asked her how she would like to see the issue resolved, but she was too politically correct to say she wanted him just to go away. It was interesting to watch her grasping for some way to say she wanted him gone without saying she wanted him gone.

I mentioned Robert Davila, a sad homeless guy I see on my property about once a week, picking through the dumpster. Robert is actually a handsome and fairly young man, but I think he is mentally ill. He has a habit of turning up when I'm showing the most expensive apartments, ambling casually across the parking lot as though he's walking along a beach. No one ever rents after they've seen Robert, and what can I do? He's sorta my bridge troll and the toll must be paid.

After the woman said maybe the city's homeless services could help Richard, I suggested that for most of these homeless folks, and particularly the rogue homeless who keep their single-serving-Hoovervilles and panhandling beats well away from the teeming masses of homeless, well, they don't relate to other homeless people any more than they relate to society in general. These are people who decided to reject jobs and family and society and tax returns and social security-- they are highly unlikely to be amenable to being warehoused with a bunch of other homeless who they are bright enough recognize as losers.

"What do we do with them?" dithered the lovely young blonde woman.

One of the officers went on to say if you move the cheese away, the mice will look for it elsewhere, and that if area residents stop giving them money, they'll move along to greener pastures.

I said "I wanna know how I can get a gig like that: hanging around drunk all day, people driving by and giving me money for my booze, showering with obliging garden hoses on area lawns."

Most laughed, but the officers roared. I suppose it's refreshing when someone refuses to tippy-toe around the thorny issue of the homeless.
John Safran - This ends well. Best Michael Moore parody I've seen.

RE: the whole Paris Hilton fracas:

You can lead a whore to culture, but you can't make her think.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A girlfriend and I were talking yesterday about camping in summertime. She said her mom and dad were hiking near a cabin they rented in Alabama somewhere, and her mom had to get off the path to make a necessary stop in the woods. She said almost immediately she could feel mosquitoes biting her hiney, (that's the word she used) but the need to pee superseded the desire not to be et by mosquitoes. The instant the coast was clear, she quickly tugged her jeans back up and hastened back to the path. That night in her cabin, she counted 26 dead mosquitoes in her underwear that were killed when she pulled up her britches. Imagine how many must have gotten away. Sheesh.

Anyway, I've bought and given away about, oh, 7 bug zappers in the past few months, and I just realized I've neglected to keep one for myself. Time to make the trek back to Elliott's Hardware for another for yours truly. Only problem is, I won't be able to use it in the pool, as they advise you not to get it wet. Shucks.

OOH - all y'all in Dallas need to check out Cafe Rembrandt in the Brewery, at the northwest corner of downtown (next door to what was the Starck club). Fantastic food and a nice atmosphere. I was tempted to go back for dinner. The owner is from Amsterdam and the menu is based on Dutch favorites, and even includes a marvelous Brussels-style mussel dish. I had iced tea (which was very good) but I'll bet they have some great beers on draft, too. Yum. Grab your bonnet and run there!
Almost Fame-Ass.

In a funny conversation with an apartment locator yesterday, I discovered I'm getting brutally frank in my old age. This post contains B-level celebrity gossip which is past its sell-by date.

In the industry, licensed real estate agents may refer potential clients for a fee, usually 50% to 100% of one month's rent if the client signs a one year lease. Most apartments which rely on locator referrals take this into account when setting prices. Personally, unless a person is moving to another city or has some extraordinary time constraint, I can't relate to the urge to have someone else ferret out an apartment home for me, but I suppose it takes all types.

Yesterday a locator, Jerry, called me up to find out about a space for a client moving from Seattle. He said she wanted to try to keep it under $2000 per month(!). I mentioned a particular unit, one which became available on the 3rd of this month. He said it sounded perfect and they'd like to make an appointment for Sunday. I said no one was available to show this Sunday, but that since the unit was empty and I know this locator, I'd leave it unlocked for them to access on the evening before they want to come by.

Jerry said this would be perfect, that the prospect specifically mentioned that she didn't want to meet any apartment personnel because a manager in her last apartment had fallen in love with her and was obsessing over her. She said 'you'll understand when you see me.'

After listening to him talk a couple minutes, I said 'Jerry, this is not even remotely a statement on my sexual orientation, but I can gurantee you that I will not fall in love with her if for no other reason than she sounds like a neurotic pain in the ass.' He laughed heartily.

We chatted and laughed about this for a bit, and then we started laughingly speculating that maybe she's a celebrity. Then Jerry went on to tell me about his brush with greatness.

He said some years back he got a call from someone who identified herself as Harry Connick Jr's assistant, and said Harry was looking for a loft in Dallas in a quiet area with low-key residents. Jerry knew the perfect spot, which was a building in which Don Henley kept a loft. Sounded ideal, right? Well, Jerry confirmed availability and called back the number the assistant had given him, and a man answered the phone. Jerry identified himself and said he had a great space which could work for Mr. Connick. Suddenly, the man(HC) started demanding to know who gave his number to Jerry and yelling that he was never to call that number again.

So, um, low-key? Maybe it was a prank by his assistant. Maybe he'd fired the assistant and they bandied HC's number about to folks she knew would return calls. In any case, his reaction was rather gauche. Frankly, even if my property were extremely high-flight, I wouldn't want the pain-in-the-ass factor of a celebrity presence on any level. That would detract from my luminary status, and I find the lighting not to my taste in the reflected glow.
Waterspout off Singapore spins huge boat. Coolness!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Wow. The excerpt below is from a Dallas neighborhood newsgroup- infuriating. Citizens trying to do the right thing and a system failing at every step.

[A Dallas neighborhood] has been home to SW Bell/ AT&T for over a decade. In that time, it has been broken into an averaged out ratio of nearly once a month. They have a property enclosed with a cyclone fence with their copper wire etc. laying out in the open 24 hours a day...a candy store for crack heads, we call it.

Two Saturdays ago, Rich awoke to some noises at 4:00 a.m., went outside to see some guys breaking into AT&T. They'd cut open the fence and were pushing gigantic coils of cable thru the fence. Rich yelled at them, they hid on the inside while he called 911.

He gave 911 the name and type of the business, the nearest intersections, a full description of an on-going burglary, but the 911 operator said she needed an exact address. He explained the thieves were inside a compound at St. Paul and Kelly Streets, that he didn't have a street address. If he left, they'd get away. She told him she needed an address, an exact address.

Still holding the guys inside, Rich tried 911 again in hopes of getting someone to respond...
only to get the same operator saying the same thing. Get the address and she'd send help. He explained again, that if he walked around to get an address, she wouldn't need to send the police because the creeps would run. Still no go, so he walked around to give her the address only to come back to an empty lot. What a surprise.

Enormous amounts of huge cable sat at the cut-through, stuff that would take two and three guys to haul. There it sat.

While mowing this weekend and cleaning the perimeters of our property, Richard noticed the sun hitting something under the notorious Harwood bridge. Again, what a surprise; the bazillion pounds of cable from AT&T. He called 911. They asked him " what do you want us to do about it?" and " There's no metal detectives on duty until Monday."

A attorney is moving into the neighborhood. He asked about this particular challenge we face, and this was my reply:

Dear Jeff,

I've met with AT&'s on-site head guy, nicknamed Tiny (he's huge!) a couple times. They won't get a dog because they say it violates their insurance, won't get a guard because it costs too much. They used to get hit 3-4 times a month when "Strawberry" was selling drugs in the house next door. They'd just add more prison wire and more lights. We met with a couple of men from their corporate office who said they'd had it up to their eyeballs but didn't know what to do. Dog? guard? move the metal? Again, it all fell on deaf ears.

AT&T had to go to the City to get rezoned to move that facility here. If Planning and City Council would have known it would attract this much crime, I don't believe it would have ever been approved. I don't think any of us would mind seeing them go.

Isn't that sad? Frustrating, too. The big corporate neighbor has deep enough pockets to shrug off monthly break-ins by ne'er-do-wells, but it's the folks who have invested in the neighborhood and who live there 'round the clock who really pay the price for having a lowlife magnet like free copper wire in the area.

And 911 won't respond to an intersection given? What if there was a dead body? Would they blow that off, too? I mean, they had the chance to catch the criminals red-handed -- what makes this ok? I'm baffled.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

By the way, here's a picture of the little lad from the family reunion wot kicked the other boy in the prognosticles. Bratty-lookin', ain't he?

Blue Flax and other flowers growing wild in a little creek canyon, Sundown, West Texas

Wow. Looking at these photos brings it all back, and I'm so excited about my next trip West, whenever that may come.

I'm trying to decide on a business card design, and I need to hurry it up, because I need cards to give people. I went to the office meeting Monday morning and it was great. It's funny, because R.E. people function on some wild, adrenaline-soaked energy loop, and I'm freaking out that I can jump right in and ride that wave with them. (ahem) Well, in my own way, of course-- I vow always to be an oddball. For example, I will not be giving up wild shoes. You can throw me in the briar patch, but I'm keeping my funky shoes.

Speaking of shoes, I went to the Saks & NeimanM. outlets at Grapevine Mills today, hoping to find some dressy-but-cute Ferragamos at an insanely low price. No such luck, but I did find a nice pair of Prada kitten-heels with pointy toes (why am I doing that pointy-toe thing again?) for well less than $200, which was well less than half the original price. OK, sis, I can just feel you thinking that was no bargain, but I don't want to hear it. I need great shoes to salve my pathetic, childless existence.
The open house went well on Sunday. I'll do another with my mentor next week, and then I suppose I'll be jumping in with both feet. It's cool, but it's sort of hard to believe.

So, the whole Sopranos thingie is over for HBO. I never really got into it - it was all just too neanderthal. Now, Deadwood? I was all over that one. Wish they hadn't ended that so soon.

I needed to get to Industrial blvd Sunday, so I took Wycliff from the tollroad to Harry Hines and cut across the parking lot of Market Hall. I forgot this was the weekend of the gun show - crap. Was going to try to catch that one. Anyway, I noted with irony that they had the elevated Police watch-box to provide surveillance for the parking lot. I say irony, because I figure the people that go to gun shows are among the least likely to be trifled with in any parking lot, ever. Oh, if only the gangbangers WOULD bring it to a gun show parking lot-- I have a feeling we'd be rid a bunch of loser thugs AND some illegals all in one swell foop.

You may say I'm a dreamer...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I saw the new Casino Royale last night, and I actually thought it was good. I think I remember hearing it soundly panned at the time it was in theaters? I wanted to see it then, but was simply too busy. This Bond is way more physical, and the first 20 minutes or so are a lot like a free running exercise. It was almost exhausting. I kept waiting for Bond or the bad guy to sprain an ankle.

Daniel Craig is always a badass in films, and in this one he continues his trend of getting totally nekkid. He seemed to spend a lot of the film in various stages of undress (all germane to the plot, naturally), but he does have presence and I think he makes a good Bond. I'd like to see one Daniel Craig film where he doesn't get totally naked. OK, well, he was a monk in Elizabeth, but he ends up naked when he's being tortured at the end, dun't he? Anyway, I'm seeing a trend-- I wonder if he has a rider in all his contracts requiring that he be shown naked? I think he digs it.

Anyway, good film, longish. At one point, Bond drives a *gasp!* Ford. The times, they are a'changin', but not all for the worse.

(here's a video of free-running, but I recommend watching it without the sound)

Saturday, June 09, 2007


I read this post by Babs RN and things seem a little more in perspective. Check it out.

Take this quiz at

Friday, June 08, 2007

If I didn't already love Amy Winehouse, I would be smitten after finding this little nugget, which details her heckling of pompous git Bono's acceptance speech at a British awards program last October. Nice.
Dogs with cones is such a cool site, and now they have the cutest little old lady dog over there. Rock on, doglet!

Pease River west of Vernon

Mkay. Today is the day I sign with a realtor. I had wild dreams all night and kept waking up. The doglet couldn't seem to find a wallow to suit her on top of the covers. Perhaps it was the satellite dish/lampshade she has to wear right now. She's licking her paw until it's raw, so for now, she has to wear it. No doubt, we'll be going to the vet again soon. Poor lamb.

Last night I filed my nails all to the same length, and painted them the rocket red I generally prefer. This morning, the tips of my nails chipped while washing my hair. HOW does this happen? For my protection, tolulene and formaldehyde have been removed from nail polish, and now it doesn't stick for beans. *harumph* This has me in high dudgeon, because now I have to do a bomb-shelter layer of coats to get it not to chip. This is madness, I say. Bette Davis always had her talons immaculately lacquered, and she lived to be, like, a thousand or something, and I don't see where nail polish impacted her health or quality of life. Hell, the colors were probably lead-based in her heyday. I'll have what she's having.

Orly has a product called "Won't Chip," a top coat that for some 10 years did what it promised. Perhaps a year ago, this product stopped being effective at not chipping. Now that is just messed up. They should at least give us the option of buying the carcinogen-laced product, don't you think? Put a surgeon general warning on it, for goodness' sake. Make me sign a waiver. I don't give a crap. *grumble*

Last night's dinner with my friend was at Amuse, on South Lamar across from Poor David's pub. I had the Carolina Brook Trout with hazelnuts, french beans and blood orange butter. It was amazing. When I first talked on the phone to L, I felt like we had been living parallel lives. Now, two years down the road, I still feel that way. We're not close friends, but we definitely speak the same language. Love her.

Speaking of fabulous women whom I love: best wishes today to my dear friend Holly while they operate to put her finger back together in the proper order. Take care of yourself, petal.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Barb wire and wildflowers. Can you spot the Jackrabbit? He was hunkered down, thinking "mama said if I don't move, no one will see me." Their long legs look kinda gawky and odd, but with those outrageous ears, they manage to be cute, still.

I'll try to do the table picture tonight, but I'm going to dinner with a girlfriend and tomorrow night I've got to go get my hair did, and you see how busy I am. I also want to do another coat or two of my lemon oil/beeswax polish before it's ready for its closeup. I'm probably going to be at my first open house this weekend with my mentor, which is really cool. Kinda excited, kinda nervous. No doubt, I'll be in a state of high chihuahua disquiet before it's all over.

A girlfriend from music school invited me over for dinner last night, and she made a traditional South African dish called bobotie, which is kinda like a savory meatloaf and a lot like a shepherd's pie. Made with minced ground pork/lamb/beef or any combination thereof, savory spices are added(she includes pumpkin pie spice) along with dried fruit. The dish is served with a curried rice, and she said it's perfect with an orange chutney from S.A. which can't be found here, apparently. Actually, I already thought it was perfect without the marmalade, so I didn't miss it. Beside shepherd's pie, flavor-wise bobotie also reminded me of a Greek moussaka, only without the eggplant.

She had needle-woven bead napkin rings and I surprised her by knowing they were from the Ndebele people. They have a very distinctive method of needlework, doubling back through previously threaded beads to cause the beads to stack up at obliques to each other, creating a herringbone effect.

I grew up with no idea where my forbears were before Arkansas. My great x 3 grandfather who fought in the Civil war married a girl from Kentucky, and that's as far back as I know on Pop's side. On Mom's side, someone at a family reunion last year told me we're descended from a Highlander named McCord who fought at Killiecrankie and then crossed the pond. So, in light of my own murky notions of my family's origins, I was amazed when I asked when her family came to South Africa and a crisp "1688" popped out in her lovely accent. They were a winemaking family, Protestants escaping persecution in France. It's ironic to think of the French chasing out vintners. Now France is largely Muslim and they're still chasing Protestants out. Oh well.

Well, that turned into a rabbit-chase, didn't it? I'm having a lovely week, and I hope all of you are, too. But it's suddenly turned horribly hot, innit?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Crap. The doglet has Kennel Cough. And after I went to all the trouble of having her bordello shot two weeks ago. (thank you, I'll be here all week.) Poor pup. Back to the vet we go, I suppose.

Oh, um, the photo is of the ruins of the no doubt once magnificent Chief Drive-In Cinema on the outskirts of Quanah. What could be better than going to watch a movie in your own car with the whole family, bringing along food mom made at home? Anyway, I rue the demise of the drive-in theater, particularly now that car seats are so incredibly comfortable. What have we lost? Pi-tee-full.

It's great when you can go back to work still feeling some sense of joy left over from a trip away. Tuesday was fantastic and I concluded the day by contacting a realty company and letting them know I'm ready to dip my toe in the pool and they were the ones I want to take to the Prom. WOOHOO! I'm kind of anxious and freaked out at the same time - surely I'm verging on mania. Things are going well at my job, and I'm sorta transitioning my duties, although I continue to manage the property. The thing is, I'm weary of dealing with the same few un-manly men over and over again, and the needy unrealistic women, all the while trying to gently teach them I'm not responsible for their feelings and am not paid enough to hold their hands for an hour each day. I am there to solve problems, but the irony is that other people are too shy to come forward and tell me about a mechanical problem, and heaven forbid someone let me know if their hard-partying neighbor is disturbing them when he cranks Tool at 4am -- I could fix that, but only if I know about it. I need shorter-term business relationships - not ones that drag out over years. Single-serving clientele. (hat tip to Tyler Durden) I can invest an intense amount of focus on a task for just so long, and then I'm ready for what's next. Ferreting out the minutiae of hot water heater (mal)function and slapping wrists that have flushed q-tips and let their dogs crap at the mail kiosk wears a bit thin on the Queen's nerves. We are not amused.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Mail call comes to West Texas...

This was in an art-deco period post office on the trip last weekend. A long, tall, west Texan was flipping through his mail at the table against a wall, and I snapped the photo of his keys in the door of his open mailbox. He asked me where we were from and I told him. He told me his family has had this mail box for about 100 years. His grandparents, then his parents, and now him for the past 40 years. I asked if he got junk mail for anyone else in the family, and he laughed and said no. He went on to say, in fact, that he would always fill the junk mail reply envelopes with their own garbage mail, and they finally left off sending him anything. Nice fellow. He told us where the local jail was and a nice area museum.

I felt honored that locals would be so generous and take a minute to talk about their town and its history. The lady at the checkout desk at the motel was the same, telling me about her brother who fought in Korea and several tours of Vietnam, and about how the arched bridge I mentioned yesterday was his favorite place. She said he passed away a bit ago and she'd go there to feel close to him. What a lovely and intensely personal thing to share with a complete stranger. I felt like she was kinfolk.

Here's one interesting bit of trivia I picked up on the trip - the reason why towns along highway 287 are all approximately 30 miles apart is because back in the day, the steam locomotives had to stop for water about every 30 miles. Cool, eh?

I picked up the doglet from the spa, and got her home. Funny thing is that she is not accustomed to a very social, busy environment, generally, so I suspect she's awake and alert the whole time she's at the dog place. I think she fancies she needs to manage every living creature in the surrounding acreage, and watches all the people and dogs intently. Thus, upon returning home, it is necessary for her to nap for days. We came in the door Monday afternoon and she went to her water bowl and drank for about 2 minutes straight, and then I let her out. Not 5 minutes later, she was snoozing like Rip van Winkle, all settled in for a multi-decade sleep event. Reluctantly, she has awakened a few times since, but generally, she's just snooze city. It's good to be a doglet.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Through a windshield, bug-smearedly...

The trip to the Texas Panhandle was nice. There's been an unusual abundance of rainfall there this year, and the wildflowers are making a rather lurid display of themselves, all tarted up and ready to go to the dance.

Driving out on Friday night through an intense storm was rather exhilarating, with lightning striking all around. Despite my plans to leave early, we left Dallas at about 8pm, so we spent the night in Wichita Falls. Saturday broke splendid and clear, and we headed on up the road.

Right after Vernon, you cross the Pease River, which was wide and rich with swirling red dirt. It looked like red dirt coffee- incredibly thick. One of the cool things about driving through this area of the country is that during and immediately after rain, the rivers swell and look large and rather violent. If you drive through during a dry spell, some river beds will be just that: a broad, sandy swath of ground that it seems senseless to have built a bridge over. I would imagine all West Texas soil right now is about as saturated as it ever gets, but one characteristic of these arid climes is that even during a heavy rain, there is low absorption in the soil, and most of the rain runs off to the nearest, lowest crevice, from whence it sluices into a creek or river. So, anyway, this is the second time I've been privileged to see the Panhandle in a rainy state, and I love it.

There were also these massive dandelions, bigger than a man's fist. I've never seen any like them - they were grand.

Saturday, we drove up into the Panhandle and across to Oklahoma, and then back down to Texas, crossing the Red River a couple times. It was flowing and rather intense, but it seemed not so dramatic as the Pease had, for some reason. The Pease flows up toward Oklahoma, eventually joining the Red at some point East of Vernon. Anyway, we went through some nice small towns in Oklahoma, but a couple towns made me sad, as all the old downtown buildings were completely empty and/or boarded up. I hate to see that, but I suppose that's the way it goes.

Saturday evening, we went for a drive along a dirt road and came to a neat old arch bridge over a neat little mini-canyon type thingie. We drove for miles and didn't see another car, but we saw loads and loads of Jackrabbits. We even saw a baby bunny. There were loads of roadrunners, and I saw the blazing fuschia breast of a purple finch sitting on a telephone wire. I didn't know that area is such a birder's paradise - perhaps it is owing to the incredible recent weather, but I'd venture that someone who knew which birds I actually saw would be impressed by the variety.

We drove that little dirt road until we hit a larger, paved road in the country, which turned out to be Texas Farm Road 1166. We got to a large open stretch, and pulled to the side of the road at sunset, killing the engine to listen to the birds get ready for night. That is when and where I took the above sunset photos. I couldn't decide on color or B&W, so I gave you both. This huge wedge-shaped cloud formation is the beginnings of a storm system which barreled through West Texas on Saturday night. The real storm hit this area about 4am.

Sunday was fine and beautiful again, and after collecting my table and other goodies, we made a little excursion to the Copper Breaks State Park south of Quanah.

Everywhere in the area, crews were out cutting and baling hay. I saw lots of fields of steers who seemed like they were just taken from their milk supplies, standing in tight clusters in the middle of sprawling pastures. There would be the occasional oddball steer off by itself, perhaps smarter than the rest. I realized yesterday that I've always thought of cows as profoundly stupid, but they are smart enough to get under cover when it's raining, aren't they? Then again, if the cover they got under is a tree and it's struck by lightning and they all expire, well, that wasn't very smart after all, was it? Poor pre-cooked beeves.

Oh, my table - I'll try to photograph it tomorrow. I was wrong -on closer inspection, the surface of the table is not one contiguous plank, but is three incredibly well-joined planks. I'm cleaning it today. Being pine, which is a soft wood, there are lots of dings in the surface, but that's just character, right? The base is married to the tabletop by these marvelous bowtie/butterfly-shaped mortise-and-tenon joins. Anyway, it's beautiful and I'm so pleased to have it. It was made in northeast New Mexico, and I'd estimate it's about 70-80 years old.

I also got a couple of crocks from Love Field pottery. This was a pottery that operated from 1923 to 1948 in the area of Dallas where the Love Field Airport is. The cool thing is on the logo, LFP had a little bi-plane. Neat stuff.

Anyway, it's good to be home. Today I'll fetch the doglet from the doggie spa, and it'll be back to life as usual.

Trips to West Texas are becoming my favorite excursion, these days. I've heard friends say the drive to Santa Fe is so dull, but I think only a dullard would fail to see the beauty here. The terrain is beautiful, the people are nice, and considering the changes of the seasons - it can be brutally cold and icy to wicked-hot to the Spring idyll I experienced this weekend - this place has it all. I wish you could see it.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Spending the night on the way to the Panhandle.

Drove through the most spectacular storms between Fort Worth & Wichita Falls. Took some video on my phone, which I'll try to get posted online by Wednesday. The lightning was amazing.

Cool thing - less than a year ago when I got my whizz-bang camera, I bought a 1 gb memory card for $100. Friday at Wolf/Ritz camera, I bought an 8 gb card for $190 and got a $50 rebate. Oh, and my camera cost $900 less than a year ago, and now it's $700 - that's the March of technology for you, isn't it? One minute you have the hottest thing, and the next moment, it's an embarrassing dinosaur-era relic. Well not quite - my camera is still fabulous.

I had a Nokia cell phone that I had a hard time letting go. I had a Power Puff girls face plate on it, and it was super-cute. One time I went with friends to a hotter'n'snot trendy restaurant in Dallas, and my phone weighed more than the 3 of theirs combined. I made a comment and the waiter said um, actually, my phone looked ancient. I'd had it, maybe, 2 years. Sheesh.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Wow. This is some guy's idea of a perfect last meal on earth. He describes a steak as thick as a fat guy's arm, charred on the outside and bloody inside-- sounds glorious, except the charred part may be a little too well-done for me.


You know that guy with the virulent strain of tuberculosis, a breath-borne highly infectious and still deadly disease even in the less antibiotic-resistant strains? What a selfish twit. I saw a photo of him online, presumably with his wife whom he traveled by airplane to marry in Greece. I hope he is prosecuted, but he looks like John-John Kennedy, so the more vapid set who seem to be running our country lately will probably give him a pass on the whole thing. Ironically, his thoughtless navel-gazing reminds me of the arrogance of a newbie pilot flying through bad weather and into a fog bank in a small plane and not trusting his instruments. Not us, we're Kennedys. We're too beautiful to die! Actually, if he'd just have been a drunken lout and a Kennedy, survival would have been a cakewalk.

I wonder if the TB guy's mother interned for the JFK administration?

Black Milk by Massive Attack featuring the lovely ethereal Glaswegian chanteuse Elizabeth Fraser

This video is random clips compiled by a Brazilian. They fit the music, but I'm just posting this because I like the song so much. It's incredible to me MA's Mezzanine cd came out 9 years ago, and now this music is popping up in popular culture. I sorta resent the cheap co-opting of the exquisite music I've been keeping tucked away and enjoying on my own. Still, it's nice if they are compensated in some way for their brilliance. Ms. Fraser also sings on their track Teardrop, which is the theme to the tv show House.

Good stuff.