Friday, November 30, 2007

If you haven't already read the most recent post of The LawDog Files, I recommend you mosey on over and read this brilliant post in which a P.O.S. car gets convertible-ized. It's less kind, less gentle than you might have imagined. I laughed and laughed. Enjoy!
OK, I'm on to the third of the witchy segment of Discworld. I loved the first but was over-the-moon with the second, Wyrd Sisters, and I fancied myself the Granny Weatherwax sort until I read this passage.

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.
I think I should atone for all that ugliness by posting something excessively lovely.

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
Mein Eingeweide.
Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt
Weiß, was ich leide!

It's really dramatic stuff. Gotta love it.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Gag Keanu with a --


There is no spoon!
Did you know...

there's a submarine parked on the north bank of the river in Little Rock, Arkansas?

Yuppers, it's the USS Razorback, and it was commissioned during WWII, served in the Pacific theatre and all over the place until 1970, when it was decommissioned and given to Turkey, who re-named it.

I'm betting my personal favorite submarine guy, the ever-brilliant Myron, can fill us in on details.

Yeah, I knew about the RAZORBACK. Getting her back from Turkey and turning her
into another museum submarine was a big thing in the subvets community. She was
towed up river from Nawleens with a contingency of old subvets on board.If you
go to the website and scroll down there is a link to a patrol report from July,
1957. It will give you an idea of what we cold war diesel boat sailors did for a
living. Click here to see a Google Earth image of where
she was. And here also for a closer look at the funny
names.These reports were only recently declassified. Guess I need to order the
ones for my boat. By the way, we got underway for that area of the world in
July, 1957 12 days after I reported aboard from SubSchool. Welcome aboard,

Driving around Little Rock I had a brainwave - Bill Clinton was just confused: he didn't know there was an "L" in "public servant."


One more thing was I tried to find Franke's Cafeteria, which everyone raves about, but I went to the address listed in the yahoo phone directory (not the one on Rodney Parham Road) and there was an empty building. Meh. Ended up eating something common and not-at-all-cafeterialike.

Made up for it by eating at Bryce's in Texarkana on Sunday night. Golly, that place is awesome. They have toe-curling deviled eggs that taste just like my great-aunt Geneva's deviled eggs. high praise.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Over on YouTube, I found a really cool set of videos called Nutcracker of the Damned, and it's the 2006 Pacific Northwest Ballet's version of The Nutcracker set to the music of the Damned. Oddly enough, it really fits, Grimly Fiendish, In dulce decorum, et al.

First time I was in Europe in 1987, I was on my way to the airport and snapped a photo of a Damned poster, and when I got the photo developed, I saw they played Brussels the night I left. Damn. Better late than never, I saw the Damned in Dallas several years ago. Wish they'd come back - great show.
I thought once I got past last week the dust would settle a bit, but things continue apace, as hectic as ever, it seems. I'll make my blog rounds soon, I promise, and get caught up.

I was recently tagged by the barbara of Bad Tempered Zombie fame to share 7 random and/or weird facts about myself. Um, I can't imagine there's much weirdness left that I haven't shamelessly flaunted here, but let's see what we can dig up...

1. I'm neurotic about flossing and brushing - never had a cavity, hate having bad breath, and bizarrely

2. I love garlic and onions, leeks, shallots, and pretty much anything stinky, including super-stinky cheese *bliss*

3. I hate chewing gum. I sort of have a compulsion to chew the entire pack at once if I ever indulge, because it'll be calling to me, and I just have to get it out of the way. Chewing gum makes me nervous (whew, this entry is about 7 all by its lonesome, oui?). I like Big Red and cinnamon gums, hot gum that's sweet

4. My orthodontist made me chew sugarless gum after I got my braces adjusted, so the pain wouldn't be so bad the next day

5. If I still had my baby teeth, I'd set them in silver and make a necklace or a bracelet for myself. I think my mom is glad the tooth fairy didn't save my baby teeth, and I suspect my sister has hidden niece and nephew's baby pearlies... must investigate...

[let's change tack, shall we?]

6. I have a massive collection of wind-up toys, and now I am building my fleet of animated car/lowrider/hoop-d series. Goofy, brightly colored plastic with wind-up or push-buttons for music are like crack for me. Despite all this, I have none of those clattering teeth in my collection. (AHA! ya see that? I got a toofy reference in there!) I do have walking sushi and a keychain that plays the Beverly Hillbillies theme. I'd like to have the Jeffersons, but I haven't seen one of those.

7. This blog is the closest thing to a habit of any non-artistic pursuit in my life. In close second (and I'm loath to admit this, almost) is that I have the dorkiest hobby in the world: I'm a where's george goober. Yeah, I know. That ranks above pocket protectors, but I forgive myself.

On very rare occasions, I'll hear someone say something that makes me feel like a computer wiz. Tuesday was such a day: I was in a class for a real estate thingie, and everyone was plodding through the course material on their own pc stations, when a guy near the front asked "now what do I do since I touched the touchy thing?" [translation - "what do I do after I click the hyperlink?"] I managed to not snort. Proud of me?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Unicorn Kingdom Club

This is very special.
When you consider cases like this, I don't see how there can be any question of whether or not the death penalty is ever appropriate. Matter of fact, I don't think we could devise a death cruel or sinister enough for this pair. But I think we shouldn't let that deter us from taking a stab at it.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Wow, the things you learn about people you've known all your life can surprise you.

Had a great visit to the Ozarks. Went to see my Grandfather's two sisters, and that's always wonderful. They are cheerful, lovely women. They're both in their 80s, and are the spiky, sparky sort of women who crop up in my family pretty frequently. They are brilliant cooks and gardeners, and my crochet might approach being a pale shadow of theirs if I practice for about 30 more years.

My great-uncle was a POW during WWII, and I was startled when he brought out his photo the Nazi welcoming committee took of him on the first day at Stalag whatever-it-was. There was a series of numbers above his head, and another 7-digit number on a chalk board hung around his neck on a string. Shocking to see. Handsome young man, looked like a one not to be trifled with. He said the Allied troops gave them back their personal records from the camp files when they were liberated.

He'd been on the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) up north building dams before he was drafted. Incredibly nice, quiet man, he is.

He volunteered to be the gunner for a mission to Germany, and the plane was shot down on that fateful day. I asked him what was going through his mind at the moment the photo was taken, and he said he was wondering when he would get out of there. He didn't mention it, but I know his shoulder was dislocated during a rough landing in the parachute, so he had to be in some degree of pain at that time, as well. He was 20 years old.

I asked how long he was imprisoned there, and he didn't miss a beat as he said "17 months and 7 days."

Greatest generation, indeed. We must take care to remember what our forebears have gone through in service of our country. They are not proud, and they don't go around tooting their own horns, but they deserve our respect and our thanks.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Cute girl with ukelele almost manages to make "Toxic" seem wholesome.

YAY! The Texas/Arkansas visitor center has free wi-fi! WOOHOO!
Stopping at Bryce's cafeteria *YAYS* and then 3 hours to home. *whew*

Starbucks doesn't have free wi-fi. *OH NOES!*
They are "partnered" with AT&T or somesuch. I told the dorky, doughy barrista with the 4-carat fake-diamond earstuds that it sounded better if they just said "Starbucks is in bed with T-mobile", or who-some-ever. Meh.

Yeah, so take your laptop to Starbucks, and you have to pay $9.99 to get on the internet.
What absolute twaddle!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Driving home to visit Grandpa in the Ozarks, I was astonished by the brocade tapestry of burnished leaves still clinging to the trees on the mountains. Amazingly, I saw a herd of deer grazing not 200 feet from the busy highway. I wondered if they figured out their odds were better near the motorists than deeper in the woods near the guys with guns.

It's always strange to go to Grandma's house without her there.

She was such a quiet person, and it was hard to tell when signs of Alzheimer's began to appear, or disappear, as it were. A little portrait I'd made for her when I was about 7 disappeared from a wall where it'd hung for about 25 years, I noticed, several years before her death. Another thing which went away was the totem pole S&P shakers my brother got her at the Grand Canyon, circa 1970. He blew his entire spending money for the trip on that one gift for her, and she'd always seemed to treasure it, giving it pride of place on the window sill above the kitchen sink.

I started to notice her repeating questions we'd answered only moments before. I then started to see something different in her eyes, and I worried that she was not merely being her usual quiet self, but was perhaps bewildered and wondering who we all were, strangers in a strange house.

Not wanting to disturb Grandpa at the back of the house, I brushed my teeth at the sink in the kitchen. As I popped my retainers onto my teeth, I looked at the spot where the Totem pole set always had been. There, in its place, was a porcelain mug delicately painted with blue forget-me-nots with her name printed below: Theresa.

I went to bed and slept under a patchwork quilt Grandma made from dresses I only remember from family photographs that were faded before I was born.

I could never forget you, Grandma.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Dateline: Texarkana

Staying at a motel on the Arkansas side, which is $15 more expensive than the motel room of the same chain across the road on the Texas side. Plumb tuckered out.

I made a couple cakes which seemed warmly received by family. Thanksgiving was nice and I got to see my siblings and parents, and didn't have to see any beastly people, so that was nice.

Highlight activity of the holiday was definitely shooting blow-darts, and I plan to order my own blow-dart setup as soon as I come home to Texas in a few days. I wowed the relatives with my style and accuracy. All those years of musical training finally paid big dividends when I managed to bury the darts in styrofoam, running through in some cases. (good breath control) How have I lived on this planet so long without experiencing the joy of blow-darts? Y'all oughta check it out.

I saw an episode of Modern Marvels this week on cheese, and it made me remember my brilliant ideer for a cottage industry: a woolery/fromagerie (cheese-making outfit) supplied by angora bunnies. OK, that's sorta a joke, and sorta not. Sometime in the very near future, you'll hear of rabbit cheese sellng for $23/pound at Dean & DeLuca and you'll say "phlegmmy was spot-on & shoulda done that rabbit thingy."

Heather Mills-McCartney has gone off the deeper end of the deep end by suggesting humans wean off cow milk and to instead drink cat, dog and rat milk, since these animals exist in abundance. Seriously.

Paul McCartney has a net worth of 1.6 billion GBP. Her divorce case is requesting a settlement of 100 million pounds, but he's offered 50 million. Frankly, I think he needs to pony up the extra 50 million just to get his surname off her stationery. It'd be money well-spent.

That, of course, is not to say that I don't think he's a fruit-bat, too.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!


At last, a race I can really sink my teeth into. Pass the garlic butter.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

This conversation really happened. I've tried to present what the other people said accurately, but it was smoky up in that joint and I may not have been paying total attention:

person one: You know, that movie version of Lonesome Dove really got period details right. For example, there's that part where Gus gets out that buffalo gun, and he used a special configuration of the sight to get a few hundred extra yards out of the shot.

person two: Yeah, the cool thing about that is the trajectory of any projectile follows a parabolic arc, and so if the earth's gravity were concentrated in a single point, the bullet would travel around that point and back again in an elliptical orbit.

Me: So, like, you could shoot yourself in the back?

*much honking*
This will change your life:

She's back, and she's throwing down a colossal croissant of hip-hop with so many buttery, flaky layers that I can't quite wrap my brain around it. Why question perfection?


Ya get me hotter than a stick of hot glue
And I'm scrap-bookin' everything we do...

Can a tour be far behind? I'm going to bedazzle something fabulous for the event. I'm so digging the gold lamé octopus epaulettes, too. Good stuff.

Flash back to earlier this year, my could-have-been moment that wasn't, as Leslie made me think she loved me, then dashed my heart to the rocks. Read all about it here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I cain't hardly believe it, but...

Attila the Mom over at Cheaper than Therapy hepped me to the fact that there will be No more valedictorians in Boulder Valley School District.

I'll let that sink in for a second.

It seems that a grade-point system that separated top students by mere hundredths of a point led to lots of hurt feelings and upset parents. Therefore, why not do away with the ideer of recognizing a top student altogether?

Reaping the sowing of the counterculture of the hippy-dippy sixties, the article concludes by saying
"Boulder Valley had previously abolished class rankings to reduce "unhealthy competition."

After all, why should there be any incentive to be the best? We should accept the reality of the only realistic options we deserve, and settle for the comfortably attainable range of loserdom-to-mere mediocrity. We shouldn't try to be the best we can be - that's just being mean and greedy. No one likes having or being the best of/at anything, right? We all crave unremarkable, right?

What a load of horse shit.

Anyway, this post was stuffed to overflowing with clever observations that you would all have been quoting for years, but I didn't want to intimidate, so I edited the real brilliance out.

You're welcome.

Monday, November 19, 2007 which our heroine continues her quest to breathe life into her inner cowgirl.

HEROINE: [walks into western wear emporium, sees handsome, slightly older cowboy with sky-blue eyes carrying a stick-horsie back to the stick-horsie barrel] I woulda' figured you for a bigger horse.
SALES COWBOY: [obviously delighted, speechless, smiling]

later, at the cash register as I turned to leave:
SC: Thanks for smiling at me. You just made my day.
H: What? Has someone been mistreating you today?
SC: No, but until you smiled at me, it was a pretty ordinary day.

If I hadn't already made the purchase, I would have figured I was being given a sales pitch.

He helped me choose a shirt for that little singing gig thing I did Saturday night. Nice guy. You single women need to start wearing western wear, is all I'm saying.

Singing Saturday night, I did a Patsy Cline tune. The program was packed and a little pressed for time, otherwise, I would have told the story of the last time I sang that song in public. I was in a karaoke bar in London, and a toothless 70-something man fell in LURVE with me, followed me around all night. This time, I wanted to step up to the mic and say "Now, last time I sang this in public, a toothless 70-something man fell in love with me, and if any of you 70-something men take a mind to fall in love with me, you need to know up front I have a 4 tooth minimum."

But, I wimped out, and didn't say anything, just grinned like a loon. I was worried that little bit of patter would make me forget all 23 words of the song. Honestly. Lily-livered!

A couple girls got up on stage and sang some hideous new country duet about something like "is he loving you like he's loving me" and my sister and I were in paroxysms over the icky-ness of it all. I mean, YUCK! Why didn't they just mug down and make out on stage? As if you'd ever say "well, I know you're boinking my guy, but, um, well, okay." The new country has gone to the dark side and totally crossed-over into Whitney Houston world. *cootie spray*

Then the Patsy Cline topic erupted and sis said she couldn't believe Patsy sang that awful song "Foolin' Around", which pretty much says I know you're just a horn-dog and are going to fool around, so I'm going to break up with you so after you fool around with other women, you can come fool around with me.

Me: Sheesh! Patsy really did a song like that?
Sis: Yeah!
Me: Can you imagine - just saying you're basically okay with that arrangement?
Sis: Exactly. I'd be like "after you fool around with those other women, come over here so I can shoot you."

I love my baby sis! She's yet another family Bad Ass™.

Seems like about a week ago that you couldn't open a site without seeing a photo of Obama not pledging allegiance to the flag while Hilary and someone else had their hands on their hearts --- I have googled this and can't find the image anywhere - I find this odd? Has it been purged from existence? I tend to think I'm fair at ferreting out things on the net I'm looking for, but this one eludes me. Can someone direct me to it, or did I only imagine that happened? Thanks!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Holy mackerel!!!

Video of the enormous cruise ship Voyager in cyclone Valentina on 14 February 2005. One of the coolest things about this video is that there is no crap announcer telling you what you are looking at, and neither is there a hick in the background saying "Bubba! It's tahm ta git in tha basement! Bubba! Yew come here raght naow!"

Seasick much?

Friday, November 16, 2007

I swear this is all true.

So, the cooler weather made me think of high school marching band, standing on the sidelines in my heavy wool uniform, waiting to take the field at half-time. I played flute, but managed to finagle my way into being the only piccolo player they'd allowed on the field in decades (a crap piccolo can ruin the whole show.) I enjoyed this power, and never abused it-- it was a matter of pride. I even got particular mentions from judges as we swept top honors at marching competitions(always on pitch!). The really cool thing, though, was that of all the band, I got away with a diminutive case small enough to stuff into a garment somewhere, and meanwhile people are lugging around these big, awkward horn cases. Don't think of me as lazy: consider me efficiency-minded. Besides, the abbreviated case fit so much better with my patented brand of sass and my general policy of never appearing to be working very hard. If only they'd known. Guillible saps. (I'll not bore you telling you about the 2-5 hours I practiced daily - for I was going to be in the Berlin Philharmonic, dammit. Is there a Berlin, Texas?)

Anyhoo, Thursday night I went on YouTUbe and watched superb vids of several military-style (we were) marching bands, most especially the impeccably sharp Aggie band. Then I ended up looking at the New Zealand Army band which is pure joy, in my opinion. Then I hopped over to some Edinburgh Tattoo videos, and finally ended up on the following delightful version of "Scotland the Brave" by the Corries, so that's how I got there. I hope you like it, too.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Plodding my way through Discworld (I don't have much time for reading right now) I'm given to wonder which Discworld character I'd be. I fancy I'm more the Granny Weatherwax sort than anything. Not so, says this quiz:

Which Discworld Character are you like (with pics)
created with
You scored as Lord Havelock Vetinari

You are Lord Vetinari! Supreme ruler of Ankh-Morpork! Cool, calculated, and always in control. You graduated from the assassins guild, but failed a course on stealth and camouflage, because the professor never saw you there (even though you attended every class). You always seem to know what everyone is thinking, and after a conversation with you, people feel that they have just escaped certain death.

Lord Havelock Vetinari


Esmerelda (Granny) Weatherwax


Carrot Ironfounderson


Commander Samuel Vimes


Gytha (Nanny) Ogg




The Librarian


Cohen The Barbarian






Wha??? I haven't encountered Lord Havelock yet - should I be flattered or insulted? Let's try another one...

Your Score: Susan Sto Helit

You scored 89 intelligence, 69 morality, and 39 physical strength!

As Death's granddaughter (a long story, which you greatly dislike), you inherited his ultimate practicality and lack of fear. In fact, boogeymen and other childhood boggles fear YOU. Often assisted by the Death of Rats and his raven, you manage to fix the Universe inbetween working as a governness and educating the masses. The ultimate teacher.

Link: The Which Discworld Character Am I Test written by smirkette on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

I don't even know who this character is, but she DOES sound like me, so I'll take it... Still, I'm a bit wistful about not being declared "Granny Weatherwaxish." Oh well.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Planely speaking...

There's a meme wot's been going around about favorite planes. Well, I'll tell you: I'm unfond of the sensation of being up in a plane, thusly my favorite planes tend toward the sort of planes that exist only in flights of fancy.

Anyhoo, here's my top 5:

Lexx - dragonfly - well, ok, it's a ship, really, but let's not quibble over details. Loved the stuffing out of this show.

Snoopydog's pilot Ace's doghouse plane. Well, ok it IS techincally a doghouse, but the thing I really like about this one is that it never actually leaves the ground, trapped as it is in the two-dimensional confines of a comic strip. Me likee! Me likee long time. Nary a pitch nor a roll in sight, which means stuff is less likely to slosh out of one's water dish.

Then there's the Starbug transport plane from Red Dwarf. I love anything to do with this show because Lister's downmarket Liverpool accent is so earthy and raw. I can imagine the bad breath he has after his chili-cheese-chutney-and-egg sandwiches, and I'm kind of okay with that. Tell me more about Fiji, Lister.

Three words make this next plane really special and I'm sure you'll agree:
Stop the pigeon.

Love that wonky tail.

And the ultimate plane, of course, is Wonder Woman's invisible plane. All the better to see her splendid footwear with, oui? What would make the invisible plane perfect would be if it were available in a sporty model with gaily colored gears and gizmos, kinda like that techincolor teeter-totter watch. Remember those? I mean, the invisible plane with visible guts would have to be for special appearances only, because it wouldn't be tres stealth to go around with the plane-guts showing, even if the rest is inweesible.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Plastic surgery killed Kanye West's mom and doubtlessly he'll soon assert this happened because George W Bush doesn't care about black people. Apparently a plastic surgeon refused to perform the surgery until she was cleared by a physician due to health concerns, so she found another doctor. I intensely dislike her son (his music and his attitude) but she seems like she was a lovely person. I wonder why she didn't listen to the first doctor - I mean, no surgeon is going to turn away business from someone in a multi-millionaire family if they can help it? Second opinion? By all means. But perhaps the second opinion should have been from another specialist regarding her health, rather than another surgeon who stood to earn lots of money from performing the surgery. which the world turns backward on its access... [yes, that was the champagne typing. Decided to leave it in, anyway. Bath time, darlings!]

In the 43rd reprise of her emo-girlie turn à la Beetlejuice, Winona Ryder promises to do what she did for the Alien™ franchise and work her automaton magic in an upcoming Star Trek flick in which she'll play the mother of young Spock.

On the up side, the ever fetching Simon Pegg will play young Scotty. (wtf?!!???!?!?!) That's an oggity-oggity-oggity bit of casting if I ever saw it, but I'll take Simon Pegg as Uhura, dressed and fileted with a side of ramps, if that's the way he's presented. Call me open-minded.

Except about the Winona Ryder part. Understand that I do actually like WR, I just find her so positively wooden onscreen. I long to be surprised.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Being the creative, bohemian sort, I tend to have about 40 projects going at any one time. I have various sets of yarn and knitting needles and crochet hooks littered about on nearly every horizontal surface. I can't seem to help it. This week, I bought a new plastic see-through bin for all my new skeins of yarn. I vow not to buy another skein of yarn until I have completed all works currently in-progress. I do solemnly swear. Really. Ignore the crossed fingers, toes and eyes on that one.

This weekend was extremely productive. Oddly enough, I had a commitment to show a big property this weekend on Saturday and Sunday, and I was really psyched up for it, but the listing agent had something else fall through, so they didn't need me after all. Turned out to be a good time to focus my energy on home stuff. Now I have a bunch of crap to drop off at Goodwill (therapy!!!) and much that remains is slightly more organized, as well as the fact that I have actually completely cleared several horizontal surfaces. To the dog's disappointment, I've done a lot of laundry, too (she loves the dirty clothes basket most of all).

I have fresh, clean bedding on the bed and now I'm going to take a bath with a couple products from Lush and Equal Rites, which is a darling of a book with a 9 year old heroine named Eskarina. Yes! I'm feeling well-rested, at last.

From Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett:

Esk, in fact, moved through the fair more like an arsonist moves through a hayfield or a neutron bounces through a reactor, poets notwithstanding, and the hypothetical watcher could have detected her random passage by tracing the outbreaks of hysteria and violence. But, like all good catalysts, she wasn't actually involved in the processes she initiated, and by the time all the non-hypothetical potential watchers took their eyes off them she had been buffeted somewhere else.

Funny. That's just the effect I was going for...
If you have the time, I found this 6:44 clip of Everything Is Illuminated on youtube. This is one of the best films I've ever seen - I absolutely love it. Anyway, this scene has Cool Discocat action, self-dentistry and a seeing-eye bitch - what's not to like? Enjoy, and have a great week!

For some reason - the link isn't working all the time, but the video is still on Youtube if you click here. Enjoy!

Veterans Day

I have always loved the site, and I've spent hours there. (ok, well, moments and moments.) Anyway, a few weeks back I saw a woman who made me think someone should start a

Well, even better, someone has come up with menwholooklikeoldlesbians, which put a song in my heart and a spring in my step. Since Patrick Swayze started interfering with himself surgically, I've thought he was feminized a bit, actually. I flipped back a bit in their archives, and I didn't see if they had David Lee Roth and Bruce Jenner, but they did have Paul Stanley. EEK!

The caption by their photo of Robert Redford reads:
Robert Redford. Actor. Director. Head of Women's Studies at Community College of Denver.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Um, GQ magazine - Gentleman's Quarterly - is a monthly. Shouldn't it be GM?

This Fartal Coil

Norman Mailer finally bought the farm. Why is it when someone famous has died, the headline reads "Norman Mailer Dies." Well, shit, we're all dying, all the time. When I see "dies," that seems to indicate present-tense. Shouldn't it be "Norman Mailer Dead?" When Princess Diana got Dodi'd, no one gave me the headline I really craved: Di Dies. Di Died. Somesuch. My life is forever incomplete because of this.

I love to read, but I had an ill-impression of Norman Mailer after the first book I read of his. Ancient Evenings was set in Egypt thousands of years ago and was semi-porny yet managed to be wildly un-sexy, to me. Yuck. I mean, I really couldn't get past the nearly pagely references to the stale air in the old man's diseased colon. Yes, the novel evoked a mood, but not one I'd ever revisit. In fact, I was convinced I never wanted to read Mailer again, and I haven't. This must have been about 1985 or so, so I was 19 or 20, and perhaps I was too young to read something in which the author waxes long-winded about his own mortality. I don't know, though - I think my reading list at that time was fairly sophisticated, for one so shallow as I was then. I still managed to be edified by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez and his 3-page sentences in The Autumn of the Patriarch, so there.

Anyhoo, kudos to Mr. Mailer for this new phase in which no winds will ruffle his colon-- ill, or otherwise.
Tam over at View from the Porch has a post up from Friday about how the authorities in California are tracking grocery store sales to pinpoint out spikes in the sales of falafel in an attempt to ferret out possible hotbeds of ne'er-do-wells in what must be the first-ever dietary-profiling attempt to counteract terrorism. No doubt, al-cruddies will be stocking up on Moon Pies and RC Cola in attempts to thwart that effort.

I've always been annoyed by those "club" cards with stores. Annoyed, at best, and paranoid, at worst. I mean, isn't it creepy that they browbeat you with potential savings into trading your personal information? Yeah, I know that retailers like to track groupings of particular products purchased and record trends, but their computers can tell them that without my personal information, thank you very much. Frankly, I don't even fool with those, since when I'm cooking I'm buying primarily fresh produce and meat, anyhoo, and there's rarely additional savings on that stuff. Still, it's something that's always bugged me. I figure if someday when healthcare is completely rationed, who-knows-how the dietary (for example) purchases of a lifetime at food stores can negatively impact ones candidacy for life-saving surgery or treatments? I mean, yeah, it's nutty to consider, but in a climate in which we are increasingly harangued by a hall-monitor society, it doesn't seem like that much of a stretch to imagine that one day you may be passed over for treatment for heart-disease because of your Twinkie habit, in favor of a granola-munching Metamucil-entoosiast. Consider how many people lie about their alcohol addiction and are on the donor list for liver transplants? I mean, obviously, those folks are getting away with it, but if the doctors had access to purchase information from the local liquor sto', then they might sing another tune.

Well, the falafel thingie reminded me of a favorite prank of mine from Rob Cockerham over at (you can spend hours there giggling at his projects, pranks and costumes, btw - you have been warned.)

Anyway, this whole issue about stores tracking personal information and keeping records of purchases apparently bugged Rob Cockerham, too, and so much so that he decided to try a little prank which he called his Clone Army(click for details). This was about 5 years ago.

What Rob did was sign up for and acquire one of those Safeway sales tracking cards. Then he used his hi-tone printer to print out a sheet of identical sticky labels all with the same club card number with the bars for scanning. Then lots of folks who frequent his site sent him their address and he sent them each one of the little barcode thingies. The recipients plastered the clone barcodes over their own Safeway cards so that dozens (or hundreds?) of folks all had the same card membership number recording purchases. Right away on his club card, he'd be having simultaneous purchases in Safeway stores from all over the country.

True, it's no ends-with-a-bang story, but it's still one that had immense appeal, to me. Perhaps we should set up a huge number sharing consortium to addle the stores-that-be? I mean, sure, there are alleged "benefits" to these memberships. However, I've yet to see one, and I've no doubt the dividend they pay is merely an increase in junk mail.

Below is an eye-opening segment from 20/20 which details Rob's prank in which he tears up a credit card offer, tapes it back together and writes another address on it, sends it off to Visa, and then gets a credit card in the mail, no questions asked. Amazing stuff. Clever guy.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Someone decided to correct my grammar this week. You know, 95% of my grammatical goofs are done intentionally, and the other 5% I couldn't give the southern end of a north-bound rat whether or not they are correct. Honestly.
Of course, this classic gem comes to mind:

A girl from Texas and a girl from New York were seated side by side on an airplane. The girl from Texas, being friendly and all, said: “So, where y’all from?”

The girl from New York said: “From a place where they know better than to use a preposition at the end of a sentence.”

The girl from Texas sat quietly for a few moments and then replied: “So, where y’all from, BITCH?”

GOlly, sleep deprivation is for the young. *yawn* Longer post tomorrow.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Taj Mahal show at House of Blues was fantastic. Ruthie Foster opened the show, and she was phenomenal.

This is the 3rd show I've been to in 2.5 weeks, and I'm over-committed already. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that no one else I adore will come to town before next year - I'm really too wiped out. Oh, but I want to see Tori Amos.

Funny thing - I was in the bathroom digging through my purse and a young woman said "are you [my name]?" and I said I was, and she introduced herself as someone I rented an apartment to about 7 months ago. She's an absolute doll, but I see so many adorable young women, they sorta run together. Anyway, she said "everyone loves you, everyone says how great you are!" It was SO nice to hear.

So, back to my seat, Taj came out on the stage and he had some really hot, fetching moves as he generally boogied and cut a rug through the whole set. He played a Stevie Ray Vaughan tune that was met with a warm reception, and generally there was lots of hootin' and hollerin' in the audience.

I was really hoping Taj would play Squat That Rabbit, but it was still a marvelous show, anyhoo. Oh well, you can't have everything.

My favorite moment was when he said "this next song is dedicated to women with a" and then he held up his hands, palms facing each other about shoulder-width apart, and he mouthed the words "big fat ass." The crowd went wild, although I did notice an abundance of under-padded females in attendance, and I wondered how all those anorexics reconciled their whooping at such a comment - it must have been a bewildering moment of topsy-turvydom.

It was a good time, but I've got a loooong day ahead of me tomorrow. When will I stop R.S.V.P'ing and saying yes to everything? Was it me who was howling a few weeks back about party season having arrived? *deflate*

Wednesday, November 07, 2007 which House of Givenchy mercilessly strums the heartstrings of my inner pimp and plays foolish games with my affections, rendering Givenchy worthy of a sound flogging with the back of a hairbrush...

Goodness gracious me. These are just delicious, if I do say so myself. I also have to say these shoes are several varieties of wrong for me, but I like 'em anyway. Cruel world. I'm thinking of Vanessa Redgrave in Blowup, for some reason...

THESE... on the other hand [or foot, as it were] are just about my speed - I could totally rock these funky zebra-action ponyhide hidden platform shoes. Yeah, they're made from the hide of a pony, and I've been sporting a cellophane Easter-grass-green ponyhide handbag nonstop for the past week. What's up with equine creatures having to die for my shoes and handbags, lately? I dunno. Whatever it is, I'm kind of okay with it. Better the horsies should end up on my feet or my arm than in my enchiladas. I don't think that's too much to ask. Honestly, I'm honoring the wretched beast.

Take that, PETA bitches.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Thanks for all the nice comments about grandpa's guitar-playing. Several folks asked for more, so...

This is about 4 minutes, and the first part is The Bells of St. Mary's and ends with Washington Square. WS is a jaunty tune that might actually be tied with Sweet Bunch of Daisies as my favorite tune that Grandpa would play. I hope you like these, too.
Rest area by the on-ramp of the highway to the danger zone...

Actually, I don't care at all about the video - it's the born-to-be-mild MIDI version of one of the power pop anthems of the 1980s that thrilled the little cockroaches of my heart. Enjoy.

Then try to forget.

Monday, November 05, 2007

I'd be honored if you'd give a listen to my grandpa playing Denver Blues on his Martin 3/4 guitar twenty some years ago.

Grandpa played in the finger-picking style, also known as fingerstyle, and this manner of guitar picking has a great kinship with the river-bottom blues style of guitar picking. The thumb plays the lower strings as the rhythm accompaniment while the index and middle fingers play the melody and harmonies on the middle and high strings.

Music has been my abiding passion my whole life, and I really learned first to love music at grandpa's feet, listening to this superb guitar. I can fall in and out of love with new music all the time, but there is only one true body of music to which my soul resonates, and it is this, played by my grandfather's hands and informed by his life of joy and tragedy. I'll post more of his music soon, but this, Denver Blues, is one of my favorites.

Grandpa started playing when he was just a few years old, around the time of WWI. I have another song recorded that he learned in 1922, and in addition to the folk tradition, I think the finger pickers of that era were playing in a manner evocative of the jazz/ragtime and blues transformation that American pop music was undergoing at the moment. Grandpa was a woodman, and felled many a mile of timber in his day, much of that wood for furniture. Who knows-- maybe there's an antique stick of furniture in your house that passed through his hands? Anyway, I'm pleased you've taken a moment to think of my grandpa, and I thank those of you who've listened to him.

JPG asked for a link to a video of this style of playing, and here's an older blog post of mine that has video of another Ozark fingerpicker named Jimmie Driftwood who plays a guitar built from the headboard of his grandmother's bedstead. Filmed in 1988 at the age of 81, he was a real old-timer and he was born 7 years before my grandpa. Jimmie Driftwood wrote "The Battle of New Orleans" to get a class he was teaching interested in the subject. Jimmie strums more than my grandpa. Grandpa primarily plucked the strings, as you can hear, but there's a definite kinship in their styles.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

First of all, I'm slowly making my way through my blogroll and getting caught up on everyone's blog, so don't be surprised when I flood your last couple weeks' posts with my pithy comments, darlings.
The concert Friday night was fantastic. I'm so glad I planned in advance to miss the headlining act utterly, because a) I'm no fan of Spoon b) I got to leave at 10pm c) I got home by 10:30 and though I was tired, it was a far cry from dragging home sweaty and smoky after a concert that ended at 1:45am. [ew, gettin' old. eek!]

OK, several of you have said you've liked the musicians you've discovered through my blog, and I really really rilly hope you'll love Emma Pollock who is as genuinely lovely as her music is clever.

Adrenaline Rush:

This song, Acid Test, was the most well-received of her set Friday night. I thought the audience in general was pretty rude and disengaged during Emma's and TNP's sets on Friday night. This was largely a drab, emo crowd who clearly had little patience for anything other than the headliner, who in my opinion was artistically excelled by both opening acts. Oh, and I will go on about this topic: remember how I said the audience at Gogol Bordello was the most interesting and lively I've ever seen? This audience was the polar opposite of that audience. Underwhelming.

Anyway, Emma opened the show, and only a handful of people were already in the venue, and the audience clapped politely after all her numbers, but generally seemed under-energized. Emma took a swig of a pint of Stella Artois and said they were all from Glasgow and that they called Stella Artois "wife beater" and did we call it that here? I think no one responded, and she really didn't chat between songs after that. Her set was superb, though, technically, and her melodic structure is refreshing, and it was great to hear her live.

The second opening act was The New Pornographers, and although I know Barbara will be appalled, the only real reason I wanted to see them was to hear Neko Case sing, if only briefly. Neko's voice is like Phlegmmy-nip - listening to her sing, I could probably agree to just about anything. At one point, the lead male singer said "We're from Calgary" and the audience shuffled, and Neko said "We live in igloos. We eat pemmican." The audience practially yawned. Pearls before swine. Anyway, on TNP's new cd, there's a song called Go Places which I particularly wanted to hear, and they did that number next-to-last of their set. After that song I made my way to the exit and headed for the merchandise table.

I skipped the overlong Spoon merchandise line and went straight for Emma's. Her t-shirts and cds were all $10 each - what's not to like??? So I bought 3 cds and 2 shirts. The merch girl said "wow, you must really like Emma" and I said "actually, I really only came to see her and now I'm going home." She seemed impressed and said Emma normally came to the merch table between bands, and that I should wait a couple minutes because she knew Emma would want to say hi to me. I said ok, she sent a text message to Emma, and about 5 minutes later, Emma came up and merch girl directed her to me, and I said "hi, I'm your Dallas groupie" and she laughed. Emma was so kind, polite and lovely, and she asked me to sign up for her MySpace page for show updates. I told her I'm looking forward to the next opportunity to see her live, and that hopefully she'll be the headliner and do a much longer set. The next day I was amazed when I thought about that. I mean, Emma was a member of the Delgados, which was a band that sold out venues that seated thousands of people, and here she was taking the trouble to say hi to some random fan. How cool is that? Pretty amazingly cool, actually. She autographed my cds, btw.

Anyway, as I said, I hope you'll agree Emma's wonderful. Her music is catchy and memorable without seeming saccharine or cloying. I think her music will catch on, actually, but to a broader audience than was represented Friday night. For myself, I'm just happy to have seen her perform and to have my autographed cds and t shirts. WOOHOO!

See that? See how easy that is? I'm a simple woman with simple tastes. Sorta.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Tonight Neko Case will be in Dallas at House of Blues with The New Pornographers. Love this song, Go Places, from the new TNP cd.
Also, Glaswegian Emma Pollock opens that show. Headliner act is Spoon. But I'm just going for the opening acts. YAY!

Sickeningly, I just discovered that Neko was in town opening for Rufus Wainwright two months ago, and I missed it, alas. *le sigh*
I like RW fine, but not necessarily enough to go see him, but I WOULD go for Neko...
I saw it.
I had to have it.
I bought it.

The latest entry in my catalog of needless purchases comes courtesy of the CVS pharmacy markdown Halloween aisle.

I was looking at bottled water, when I heard it calling to me from one aisle over. "Phlegm" it whispered. I did not resist. My path was strewn with boxes from the new Christmas decorations with which the staff were working through the night to swag the joint. Undaunted, I stepped over the boxes and walked along the aisle. It was love at first sight: My new Animated Lowrider. It's so cool. True love for $7.49-- who says money can't buy me love? It's a black station-wagon (hearse?) driven by a couple skeletons with ripped red headliner (or drapes) hanging down and flapping in the wind. When you push the button, the front end lifts up and green LEDs glow from underneath the chassis and a red LED glows from the dome, and all this to the dulcet tones of "Another one bites the dust."

THIS was meant for my collection. I went home and did a search on "animated lowrider" and found this treasure, which I promptly ordered, of course. This one (pictured) comes replete with a vato, Hulk Hogan and Samuel L. Jackson, along with a primer-gray passenger door. This one plays War's classic Lowrider. What's not to like? This will go nicely nestled amongst the floaty pen and wind-up toy collections. I'll just make a note to keep them well away from the ladies in the tip-n-strip pens and the cheesy 60s girlie playing cards.

Wednesday I went to my folks' house to see niece and nephew in their Halloween finery (she was a fairy and he was a ninja) so Miss Buns had to forego any birthday celebration. The next night I took her to the dog park to celebrate her birthday. We'd been there nearly an hour when a guy I remembered who looked like John Leguizamo showed up, and the smile on my face froze when I remembered that he has this little evil poodle from hell. EPFH is maybe 12 pounds and is close-cropped all over except for his over-grown head hair, which sorta gives him a scraggly lion effect. EPFH looks like he's been over-pruned and the wisps on the tail and skinny body give him a look like a little old man, but that big head is freaky, and he's a right horny little bastard. He makes the rounds of the humans, letting them know he's arrived. He'll pee on one person's leg, and then hump a leg of the next person over. He's so nasty. I scooped up my doglet and tried not to look TOO eager to get out of there, but I was delighted we made our exit before EPFH made it around to my leg. I really wonder about that dog, but I'm afraid to ask the guy. Yuck.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Jonathan Coulton (contributor to Popular Science magazine) wrote Skullcrusher Mountain about an evil genius in love. Quite melodic with a diabolical edge. Me likee. Me likee long time.


I made this half-pony half-monkey monster to please you
But I get the feeling that you don’t like it
What’s with all the screaming?
You like monkeys, you like ponies
Maybe you don’t like monsters so much
Maybe I used too many monkeys
Isn’t it enough to know that I ruined a pony making a gift for you?

Another personal favorite by JC is I Feel Fantastic, a ditty about a heavily-medicated life.

All I know is that steak tastes better
When I take my "Steak Tastes Better" pill


Halloween recall of lead-laden ugly fake bubba teeth from China. Hollywood is in danger. I'm worried for them.

I'm hoping activist Hollywood will stop whingeing globally and start acting locally to tidy up the toxic chompers they're sporting. Diseased gums, mismatched veneers, discolored gums that indicate an obvious predilection for the Colombian marching powder, big honkin' toofies that look like piano keys-- it's an epidemic. Not even the young are exempt from trifling with what nature gave 'em: poor Hilary Duff is now rocking a set of veneers that time-warped straight from a Martha Raye Depends ad, circa 1993. Tsk tsk.

I've said it before, but does anyone remember Cher's original teeth? Yeah, they were kinda wonky, but I think they looked soooo much better than that uni-tooth veneer thing she's got going on now. That's just me. Oh, and David Bowie used to have teeth, too.

Now here's something funny - my dentist also does cosmetic veneers, and he told me he has a patient who came in and had veneers made that were like Cher's original teeth. Amazing.