Sunday, August 31, 2008

Um, if Obama was so veddy veddy confident everyone was hankering for change, then why did he choose a 35-year D.C. insider for his running-mate? I thought he was going to bring change-- what's different about that???

Here, Back in Black, an AC/DC tribute band played the House of Blues Saturday night. I hoped a pink gorilla would make an appearance during Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, but I never saw him there until I got home and saw this ghostly presence at the back of the stage in the photo. More on this whole story later today.

My sister, she did the crazy eye at the Fan Halen/Back In Black concert Saturday night. More news on that soon. Great night. :)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Just in case my ISP won't work on Saturday, I've pre-loaded a picture for everyone's enjoyment. This was on a ladies' meeting at the range where I shoot. This, in honor of strong, hot women who shoot, including the next Vice President.

Now, I wouldn't shoot that bare, I don't think. Having been hit by hot brass a couple times, I want to shield all my tender vittles from the stings and furrows of outrageous misfortunes. Then again, I suppose it's easier just to peel molten bits off your hide as it's melting in, rather than have to pull off a garment and THEN peel it off. Still, she looks amazing.

Friday, August 29, 2008

I've just got to throw this out there - besides being made of utter asskickery, the future VPOTUS is rocking some rad, sexy hair, and I can't wait until she is sworn in. WOOHOO!
I know it's incredibly silly of me, but I couldn't stop laughing at this.

Amazing how pivotal a soundtrack can be, eh?
The following is an online help chat I had with a person *WINK* from my internet provider.
Lately, I've been having problems getting online from my home pc because the modem has been acting up. Finally, after no connection Wednesday, I took the opportunity Thursday morning when the modem decided to get off its lazy ass and perform the task for which it was designed, I contacted the help dept at my ISP. Below is a transcript of that convo. I'll edit the bits where appropriate so's'n you can enjoy the Cliff notes version. I'll put my bits of the convo in pink and his/her/its in green

Phlegm: Hi there
Sam: Hello! Thank you for choosing your ISP technical Chat. My name is Sam. How may I assist you?
Phlegm: Thanks sam. I'm having problem with my -- is it called a modem?
Phlegm: the thing with the 4 green lights
Sam: Yes Phlegm. That is a modem.
Phlegm: Starting about 3 weeks ago,sometimes only 1 or 2 of the green lights would be on, and my internet wouldn't work, sometimes for an hour or two at a time. Sorry -i'm no-tech
Sam: I apologize for the inconvenience caused.
Sam: I'm more than happy to assist you. To get us started, I'm going to need to verify some security information and then we can move on to understanding your setup. We will need to perform some troubleshooting steps together, and I'll be running some tests on my end. Feel free to ask questions along the way.
Sam: May I have the following four pieces of information from you For security purposes please?1. The account holder's 10 digit telephone number. (xxx-xxx-xxxx) 2. The account holder's Full Name (First and Last) 3. Please tell us your name. 4. May I have your preferred e-mail address? (Preferred e-mail address is the one that you use frequently; it may be different from the Road Runner e-mail address)
Of course, at this point, I'm thinking "i've got someone to help me on the end of the line, I'd best run for the barn and try to get the info to them as quickly as possible so's not to waste a bunch of their time." Plus, I hadn't looked at all that gobbledy-gook he'd just spewed out there from an OBVIOUSLY canned selection of statements.
Phlegm: anyway, it would only be down for an hour or so at a time
PHlegm: but as time has progressed, sometimes it's down all day.
Phlegm: xxxxxxxxxx tel
phlegm: phlegm
Phlegm: phlegm at my emailDAHTcom
So, of course, at this point, I've blurted out the long and short of the problem, then I had to enter all that crap for them to verify I am who I says I is.
Sam: Thank you for the information. Kindly hold for a couple of minutes while I pull up your account and research your issue.
Phlegm: oh, and now it's obviously working
Sam: Thank you for your patience.
Phlegm: np
Sam: phlegm, I understand that you are facing connectivity issues with your modem. Am I correct?
Phlegm: that's a big 10-4, good buddy.
Okay - THAT was super-smart. Oh, and the way every answer started feeling very programmed at this point(putting my name at the beginning of each response??? strange.), even before they asked if I was facing connectivity issues with my modem, when I think that's just what I'd spent about 200 strokes telling him/her/it already.
Sam: Thank you for the confirmation.
Phlegm: oh, i'm sorry - you're a machine, aren't you? Yes, I am facing connectivity issues with my modem.
Sam: phlegm, I am not a machine.
Phlegm: sorry. thought i was getting canned responses. I'm sure you're a wonderful and vibrant human being. I love you for helping me.
Sam: phlegm, I tried running a couple of tests on your modem. It is not responding properly.

Give Sam a cookie.

Okay, I'll not bore you with the rest. I mean, DUH - it's their bloody blasted modem from MY system, which THEIR system obviously can tell, right? It just seemed unnecessarily tedious. But maybe that was just me.

Yeah, Sam, I know you're out there somewhere, you're a real person and you're hurting. You're hurting because you have to deal with no-tech people like me who think I should be able to simply push a button and have everything work, no questions asked. You may say I'm a dreamer, Sam. Deal with it. Love ya!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I am SO going to the Texas State Fair this year (which starts September 26 - thanks for correcting me, John Wiley Price- I'm obviously running for the barn and trying to end this year early!).

They've announced the list of fried foods that will be unveiled on the midway. Among them:

Chicken Fried Bacon.

I don't know about the Texas fried jellybeans, though. (yuck)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Separated at birth???
People are always seeing a weeping virgin Mary on a tortilla or Jesus on a rusty drainpipe. It's in the news all the time. Well, I see a Mondoshawan from the Fifth Element on my dog's butt. I think they'd be flattered, don't you?
Sorry for the blurry image-- it's hard to capture the likeness of something that never stops wiggling.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

There's a whole lot going on here in this story. An Iraqi 15 year old would-have-been suicide bomber gave herself up. Yeah, there's a lot to sort out in this tale, but I think there's more than a little significance to the fact that her mother-in-law strapped this stuff on her. It's interesting how in this oppressive culture the women act to keep the other women in line, or even to destroy same. Misery loves company, I suppose.

It reminds me of the story of how crab traps work. The trap is basically a box with an open hole at the top. The bait is held in the bottom of the trap, and most of the crabs are too profoundly stupid to ever sort out that they can just crawl right back out the way they came in. For the rare crab that DOES work out how to escape, the other crabs will grab it as it makes its bid for freedom and will pull it back into the trap and destined for a swan song on a porcelain platter. Nasty lot, that.

15 years old. That's just a baby, really. I hope someone well away from that hellish culture will help her salvage any possible remnants of her youth and give her a stab at a decent life of her own choosing. You think they'd let me adopt her?

LOVE the yellow bra, by the way. I hate that humilation had to be heaped upon the scorn of being a sacrificial lamb. Damn anyone who would strap explosives to a child. They deserve same, and against their will, at that.
She thinks I want that hot dog as badly as she does.


How cute is that? Belly shots soon to follow. She's all wiggly when I flip her over these days, so it's hard to get belly snaps! I'll keep working on it. She's bound to fall asleep again some time.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Embarrassing question here, but...

is it possible to un-Google cache something???

Someone I know posted something they shouldn't have and they'd like it un-posted. *ahem*

The night before I left for vacation in the Hill Country(august 8), I went to a couple concerts.

The first was Nellie McKay. No, don't get excited-- I didn't see her. The internet said the show started at 8:30, so I moseyed over there about 8pm. This time, parking in the parking lot was only $5, unlike the $20 parking fee I paid when I went to see Feist there in April. I bought my $14 ticket and I waited and waited. The show was in The Loft, which is a smaller venue attached to the Palladium on South Lamar. I was so excited because I'd only discovered her the previous month courtesy of Breda's blog, and I put her dog song on a post about my lovely puppy. It was going to be great to see her live.

Unfortunately, I had already promised to go to a biker bar to see a band from back-in-the-day with a girlfriend before I heard about Nellie's show, so I had some overlap issues there. I thought I'd go see 1.25 hours of Nellie and then head over to the biker bar. I asked one of the security guys if there was an opening act for Nellie, and he said there wasn't. I waited and waited. Finally, about 9:30 a couple guys came out on stage to do an opening act. (eyerolling here) Unfortunately, the friend I was meeting at the biker bar is a real stickler for punctuality, and she was sending her driver to pick me up at my apartment at 10PM. (This was S, my friend I went to the charity shoe 'do with Saturday night). At 9:45, I left and went home to meet the driver. I was disappointed not to see Nellie's act but it couldn't be helped. The crowd was very strange - like a tenured hippie university professor convention or something. I'll bet some of them had braided armpit hair with beads and pieces of bone woven in. That surprised me. I expected young and hip. (ya know: like me). Oh well.

The driver was a man from Istanbul, and we started talking about Turkish culture. He was gregarious and fun to talk with. He dropped me off at the bar, and I immediately recognized my error: to a man, everyone in the place was wearing black, white or gray, and there I was in a red v-neck t shirt and some sort of skirt. Uh, um. okay. So, before going to the concert stage at back, I walked into the bathroom where 4 women stood in their leathers and made entirely of ass-kickery. I turned into jelly. I wanted to flop on my back, pee myself and beg them not to hurt me. Okay. I'm kidding about that. I'm just saying that I think the four of them had testosterone levels equal to my own. Okay. Maybe a teeny bit higher.

So, back into the venue, I found my friends. The singer of the Sutcliffes was in the crowd and wearing this t-shirt - Keep Austin Elitist. So true. I heard that some remnants of the Hickoids and Loco Gringos (legendary Psychobilly and TexMex punk bands from the 1980s) would be playing, but I never saw evidence of them, alas.

Finally, the act we all came to see took the stage: Tex Edwards and the Swinging Cornflake Killers. We all sang along to everyone's favorite song, Lee Harvey Was a Friend of Mine. Classic, that one.
This snippet of the song is probably about 15 years old. Tex has a few more miles on him by now, but he seems to have not-mellowed nicely. Loved the hat.

So, the driver was taking us all home, but the others all lived close together in Lakewood, so they trumped me, and the driver took me home last. Before I got out of the cab, he said so when are you coming with me to Turkey? I just grinned and thanked him for the ride.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bitches at the bank drive-through.

It's after midnight and I'm kind of baffled by the surprise Saturday brought.

I'd gone out Friday night, and despite my preference to remain unconscious until late in the morning, my friend S called me at 8:30 and asked me to attend a charity event with her Saturday evening. I hemmed and hawed and said I'd let her know later after I was properly awake (and hopefully feeling more human).

Feeling better in the afternoon after a teeny spot of retail therapy and a proper Chinese meal, I capitulated. After I said yes, I'd go, then S chose to tell me that she'd paid $600 for the two tickets to this event. Oh, crap. Sounds fancy. Sounds a bit intimidating. Crappity crap crap. I found a simple black dress to wear and I wore my tooled-leather gray 'Vogs with the ribbon tie closures. Okay, it was very conservative, but it was cute. I was gonna bite the bullet and just go for mebbe 45 minutes. Turns out this was indeed a super-swank affair, and I felt I should have put on the dog a bit more and worn something more evening-oriented, but, oh well. I felt good in my vogs. I put on my new D&G specs and rocked the hep librarian look. I thought Breda thoughts. I thought of England as I handed my keys to the Valet driver. I pictured LouLou the Baby Shoe's little Hyundai knees a'knockin' in the parking lot filled with huffing and puffing Mercedes, Lexus and Inifitis.

They had what looked like an amazing buffet (I'd already eaten) and no one was going near it. Ironically, half the women there looked one meal from malnutrition. I pictured them tied up like fois-gras geese with funnels down their gullets, being force-fed. Poor dears.

Oh, and the theme was -- wait for it-- SHOES!

Neiman-Marcus and a whole lot of local retailers donated shoes for an auction to benefit charity. Oh, and the bids ranged from about $120-ish to several hundred for the starting prices. Wow. The only pair of shoes that sent me into orbit was a silver pair of platform mary-janes, but they were 2 sizes too small for me. *whew* Dodged a bullet there, actually- being removed from temptation, and all.

Anyhoo. There were fancy silver tiered plates of shoe-shaped iced sugar cookies sitting neglected on various tables dotted about the place, so I took one and ate it. Wouldn't you know, the photographer for the local fashion/society paper snapped a photo of someone right in front of me as I took what was probably not a dainty bite of the cookie. Lawks!

I figure my 2 drinks and cookie were $100 each. Wow. The neatest thing in the place was a vault they had set up with a huge refrigerator type chiller, and they had a table made of ice for serving cosmopolitans. There was a big shoe-shaped ice sculpture with a channel carved through the middle for pouring the drinks through to cool, with the liquid pouring out the toe of the shoe. This room was actually more quiet and less crowded, so I sat there in comfort and enjoyed the cold. Here's a pic.

It's funny that I've gone and done things these past two nights a mere couple days after I was thinking I needed to do more spontaneous things. Careful what you wish for, I suppose.

Well, hopefully this time next year, I'll be living a more quiet life elsewhere, but for now and while I'm still in the city, I'm going to make the most of it.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Maybe it's because I was on vacation the previous week, but this week was really rough. I suppose it's a good thing for other staff that people seem to save the puke&doodoo eruptions for when I am on property but it sure does make for a bit of stress. Anyhoo, I was looking forward to vegetating this weekend.

Friday night, though, Tracy called me and told me she was going to see a band at House of Blues and had left a ticket for me at will call. After a teeny bit of arm-twisting, I agreed to throw myself together enough to drag out and meet her there.

I took the doggie for a quick walk and showed up late. People stop me everywhere I go to make a fuss over Praline, so that took longer than I expected. Puppeh thinks everyone came to see her.

The band was a Queen tribute band, Almost Queen, and it was a blast. I wore a simple black top and black skirt and my 6" mini mouse platform Mary Janes. It was a good look and I was proud of myself for putting it all together without smoke coming out of my ears. My hair was curly and eNORmous. Not poodley-Brian May hair or anything, just big and frizzy. I decided to pretend that was all intentional.

Oh, they have one of those bathroom attendants in the concert hall bathroom. I suppose it's good because that lady will keep the place relatively tidy, but I find it annoying to have the paper towel dispensers disabled so that after washing their hands, patrons are obliged to take the paper towel the attendant hands them. A tip basket sits yawning expectantly on the counter. Yeah, I've always hated that.

Anyway, the band was a lot of fun and really had the whole Queen schtick down pat. The crowd was one of the strangest collections of humanity(young/old, hip/dorky) I've seen at a show, but we all howled along like Wayne and Garth, and it was a hoot. I also must add there was a display of some brilliant musicianship. The vocalist has a fantastic voice, and is very evocative of the physicality of Freddie Mercury. The other band members were great on vocals as well. Mastery of all instruments was in evidence, and I have to say I just LURVED the drummer. All around, the musicianship was excellent, serious business. It's always great to see good music brilliantly performed, and Almost Queen definitely fills that bill. If they come back to Dallas, I'll definitely be hitting that show. I'll also give you fair warning so you can come, too.

Tracy and friends were excited about some Weezer-alike band playing over at Double Wide, and did I wanna come, but I was tired *whine*. More arm-twisting. Yeah, okay. Tracy said if she'd had the long seat on her scooter, I would have to ride with her. I told her I wouldn't have anyway, that I didn't want to mess up my special hair mojo. I rode with Margo, the schoolteacher with the Hiawatha 'do.

Over at Double Wide, we went where the band was playing. Everyone was singing along there, too, but I don't know Weezer from Eve, and it was hot and smoky, so I went back out to the enclosed patio area. I sat on an old bench car seat next to some spare white guy who was engrossed in conversation with a couple other people around a table. I only sat there because it seemed like the most comfortable seat, and the guy, Clint, looked like a normal human being. We talked a bit, and one of his friends had a rainbow clown afro wig on and I said "love the beard!" He had no facial hair. I don't know why I said that. All those guys were in a band that just finished touring with someone named Lincoln Park, but I don't listen to the radio and I don't know who that is, either. Yeah, hanging out with a band. Crap. I just realized I never asked the name of their band. Oh well. haw haw

Anyhoo. One of the band girlfriends and I went back into the main bar and sat there in the air conditioning, talking and laughing. My friends found me and I said I'd take a cab home, which I did. I was really too tired for all of that, but I'm glad I went. In truth, I'm too old for hanging out with people half my age, but every once in a while, it's nice to get out and appreciate that you're NOT 21 and going out every night. It's nice to be old and smart enough to take a cab, too.
Good times.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fat Hairy Bastard sent me this.
Thursday I finally got out to the the cinema to see Mongol, a Russian film about Genghis Khan. It was at times ponderous and in love with itself, I think, but it was otherwise a visual feast. The textiles and ornaments of the costumes were spectacular and that's enough to keep me happy in even a bad film, so I'm no good judge, I suppose.

Yeah, Genghie was a brutal beast, but it was for a good reason, and after all, he was sort of our lovable, brutal beast, so that kind of made it all okay. He was a bringer of light, if you will-- he was just misunderstood.

And wow-- I went to the 5pm showing and admission was $10. Lawks!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Did you know that the bit of the chicken that sails over the fence last or crosses the road last is called a Bishop's Nose???

Yeah, me neither.

Anyhoo, Kelly told me this, and it totally freaked me out. Funny to even think of naming this part of the bird (would YOU eat it? I wouldn't!!!) because it's a total throwaway, in polite circles.

So I did a google search, hoping to find a visual aid. Instead, I found a link with this Q&A exchange on chicken ass preparation:

Question: I bought a pound of bishop's nose(s)? After frying in oil and soya sauce, they turn up hard and rubbery. Why?

You probably overcooked it. Given the fat content, it's going to have a bad reaction to too much heat or too long on the heat.

PROPER ANSWER: Um, Hello??? It's CHICKEN ASSES! Lower your expectations.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

TRUE GOSSIP about someone you've never thought or even heard about.

My Cousin(MC) was married to a guy about twice her age who used to be in charge of security detail for one certain veep when he shilled for McHitlerburton. Now, this guy MC married was what we mere mortals would call rather well-to-do. If you're one of them folk whose house has spent any of its existence being ferried about on wheels, you'd call him rich.

Anyhoo, MC was forever plagued by the contradictions of living in fancy digs, driving luxury vehicles yet being hounded by Rich Guy(RG) over petty trifles which he deemed wanton excesses. Clearly, RG thought MC was just too extravagant and harangued her constantly about her general lack of thrift. The favorite story, now part of the family lore, is that RG was sent into a purple-faced rage about the rate at which MC went through toilet paper. MC said nothing in her defense, but-- in the passive-aggressive tradition-- would thereafter always make a production of spinning the terlit paper backward on its roll, making it SOUND from outside the bathroom like she was un-spooling miles of the stuff. Apparenly, RG fell for it and was utterly inflamed by her antics.

MC and RG are no longer married, btw.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Neko Case - Hold On
Here's a poll on MSNBC asking if "in God we trust" should be removed from US currency.

With nearly 4 million votes tabulated, I'm shocked to see more than a third who have responded have sayed "hell, yes!"

What absolute twaddle.
I just started reading Sourcery by Terry Pratchett. The dedication explains the inspiration for The Luggage:
Many years ago I saw, in Bath, a very large American lady towing a huge tartan suitcase very fast on little rattly wheels which caught in the pavement cracks and generally gave it a life of its own. At that moment the Luggage was born. Many thanks to that lady and everyone else in places like Power Cable, Neb., who don't get nearly enough encouragement.

Okay, I linked it up top, but isn't it great just knowing the Luggage has its own Wikipedia entry?

I have to go on record saying if I'm to absorb much of what I read, I have to read slowly, and even then, some detail will come glopping out my sieve-like brainy bits, alas. If I actually met people who loved Discworld as much as I do, they'd probably dismiss me as an utter dimwit. Still, I long to share an inside joke occasionally with someone about the Luggage and sapient pearwood. Call me dorky.

So, here I roam the streets, fully populating my secret society of one, alas!

When I wake up on my side in the morning, Praline has her neck draped over my neck, her jawline snug against my own. I think she thinks she owns me. She only peed in my office twice Monday. I only wanted to pee on my desk about five times. I think we're making real progress, here.

Goodness gracious, it's hard going back to work after time off, innit? I somehow never really feel fully rested and ready to tackle work, but back into the fray one must go. I have to go to a symposium Tuesday which will hopefully wrap up by noon, and then I'm taking the rest of the day off to spend time with the pooch and to clean. I may make it over to my torch room to work on getting it set up. I have a lot of beads bouncing around in my head that I want to make. Someone has referred me to another gallery to sell my jewelry, and I'm planning to try to get my work in ashop in Santa Fe and one in Albuquerque when I make a trip out west in a couple months to visit Lin.

I got some little shards of Pueblo pottery (800-1200 years old) at a shop in the hill country, and I plan to build some jewelry around that. Yeah, lots of ideers are floating around-- I just need to put them into motion. Someone motivate me, please? I mean, poverty is obviously not scary enough incentive! :P

Monday, August 18, 2008

You say "po-tay-toe",
I say "fierce."

Someone asked me for new photos of the baby bitchling, so here she is in all her puppy-breath splendour. The first photo was taken Sunday on the way back from hill country outside the Czech kolache bakery in West, Texas. Note the stylishly spiked hot pink leather collar, and the steely glint of future ass-kickery in her warm brown eye.

The second photo was taken several days before in her $9.99 budget-buy doggie bed, which she just LURVES. She has a gift for most admiring the least expensive toys. You should see her getting hold of bubble wrap!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I found the coolest lodgings on the Guadalupe river today. It's called Hideout on the Horseshoe and it's the neatest place. It's on a bluff overlooking the river, and you can watch holidaymakers float by on their tractor inner tubes. I want to stay here sometime soon. These lodge-style cabins are exactly as I would have designed them with lots of xeriscape plants and native rock and wonderfully colloquial touches. At least one of the cabins has my dream bathtub, too. *squeal*

Tubing is a big Texas tradition, but I've never done it before. If I feel up to it, I'll go tubing with the girls on Thursday when they go. So far this week, though, I'm feeling a little puny for gamboling in 100+ degree heat, even in the water. we'll see.


OKAY - I wrote that bit above on Tuesday, but had problems getting it posted. For half the week, I had problems with the internet on my celica foams, but I got home Satiddy night and we're cool for school now. New Braunfels, the Texas Hill Country, Gruene and Canyon City were all absolutely grand. Despite the brutal heat the trip was beautiful and relaxing.

ZOMG! Tubing is the coolest thing. I felt well enough to go tubing Thursday. Truth be known, I felt embarrassed about being such a wet blanket all week, so I sucked it up, and I'm so glad I did. We floated the Horseshoe 2 times all together, and one of the girls and I went back for a third go-round. Good thing we did, too, as Flo rescued a small, crying child who was stranded on some intimidating rocks as her family had been pulled downstream by the rapids. The trip around the horseshoe on the river is about 1.5 hours. Water was released from the dam that morning, so the river was a little higher and the rapids a little more exciting for the second and third go-rounds. I would post a video from youtube, but all the Guadalupe toobing vids I found there was plumb et up with ignunce and didn't do the experience justice. You'll have to just take my word for it. Let's just say that between now and when the weather turns cold (maybe November or December), I plan to go down to tube the river every chance I get. Great stuff.

I need to give a patented phlegmmy 5-hankie salute™ to Neutrogena Sunblock Ultra Sheer Body Mist SPF 70. Other than shooting and mostly covered up to the wrists even for that, I haven't been in the sun all summer. Thursday I sprayded myself thoroughly with this product and I have nary a crispy bit on my no-longer-fair person. I followed instructions and sprayed it all over about 30 minutes before going into the sun, and I kept it in the ice chest (OOOSH!) and re-applied it every couple of hours. Truth be known, though I stay pretty fair, my skin is olive and I have rarely burned, and never to a crisp or blisters or peeling in my lifetime. I just prefer being pale, but now I'm tan after only one day, and that with no redness or discomfort. Tra la. If you apply this stuff, be sure to do so in a well-ventilated area, as it is super-fumey. Also, don't spray it on your face- spray your hands and then wipe them on your face. The most easily-applied sunblock I've ever used, I got thorough, even coverage on my back without having to axe for help.

Miss Praline had a grand time, and Flo brought her Sheltie and the dogs scrapped and played and larked the whole week. Now, home alone with me for about the past hour, she's been barking and I think she's a bit underwhelmed by the silence of home. I think I need to get her some dog and human noise videos, or something. She'll never be satisfied with just her old mommy again. Meh. She seems to have doubled in size in just the past week, too. 3 weeks ago, she weighed 2.3 pounds at the vet, and now she is over 5 pounds, and I think she looks too thin, actually. Growing girl. She's getting some really cute spots on her belly, too. She now can latch onto a chew toy and be picked up by her teeth.

Oh, and Praline now sits on command. Smart girl, that!

Anyway, we stopped at a superb barbecue place in Belton (Schoepf's) on the way home on Saturday afternoon. BBQ was the perfect ending to a week of wonderful meals at restaurants and back at the condo. We found a fabulous Cajun place on 306 called Plooky's and all proceeded to fall in love with the owner of that fine establishment, Jodi, who was a textbook version of a character. Loved her. Vowed to go back. The night before we left, we met SpeakerTweaker and his gorgeous family there for a cajun boiling pot-style feed. ST ordered 2 lbs of crawdads with the heat turned up to 11, and he was a happy man. His wee daughter made an impressive dent in a smoked turkey leg and Jodi gave her a long seashell, called it a "shell phone." Funny, clever and incredibly cute. We had a lovely time.

It was a grand week, and good to get away from Dallas and spend time with people who were ever ready to have a good laugh. Getting back into town and to my apartment in the shadow of skyscrapers, I thought how strange to be arriving from the country to the thick of the city and so-called civilization to say "I'm home." Well, for the moment I am, but that's not forever... The noise here is terrible. It's so much nicer to be someplace where you just hear the river and the bugs at night. I confess I was a bit nervous about snakes and the skunk family lurking around the resort, but me and the pup emerged unscathed, and so a miss is as good as a mile. What snakes? What skunks?

Thanks for the invite, Hols, and it was great getting to know Flo better, and very nice to make the acquaintance of Az. I hope to see you all again soon. :)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

OMG. Hammer posted this and I just had to pass it along.
I don't normally like this kind of film, but this trailer kicked over my giggle box. [profanity warning]

Poor Betty Butterfield, medicated and dreaming of Yankee women.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I had my eyes examined the other day, and they are on the backswing from sorta near-sightedness through normal, near-perfect vision through to that hideous zone where I'll have to hold my arm way out with the menu in restaurants, someday(hopefully years from now). For now, my vision is 20/30, and last time I renewed my license, I was able to have the eyewear restriction removed from my license. yays.
I lurves my new glasses. Yes, they look strange, but they look cooler than you can imagine on moi. The sales girl said she kind of cringed when I picked them up because everyone who has tried them on looked hideous in them, but that they looked daring and stylish on me. So, either they are beyond fabulous on me, or I just have the brass ones to go out in public looking that stoo-pide. Take yer pick. My take is magnificence, and I'm sticking to it.
Having narrowed my top picks down to 3 pair, there was this Dolce & Gabbana, a fabulous red pair of Chanel at $369, and a super-sweet Bvlgari in red plastic with sparkly crystals that I thought HAD to be the ones.
So, I flummoxed and finally elimated the Chanel out of the group, leaving the Bvlgari and the D&G. THEN I saw the $869 pricetag on the Bvlgari. That's just the frames-- no lenses, baby. That was a red-letter day. First time I've ever actually been more IN LURVE with the cheapie, which was about a quarter the price of the Bvlgari. Just went online, and found them for HALF what I paid for them at Lenscrafters. However, if I'd ordered the RILLY cheap ones online, then I wouldn't have had a store full of stylistas cooing and aahing over how fabulous I looked in them. That's part of what you're paying for. NOT that I needed someone to tell me I looked flawless in them.
I'm not blind, you know!
...just a little dim...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

This video features music from the exquisite soundtrack of the film Steam.

Subtitled in Italian and Turkish, this film won't appeal to every sensibility, but if you at all appreciate the elegance of the Turkish contradiction of a collision of cultures ancient and elegant, then you really should do yourself a favor and pick up the soundtrack. Great music for cooking, sunsets and moonlight.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

MAJOR pet peeve: when I'm returning someone's call and the receptionist asks who I am and the nature of my call, and then the person I'm calling gets on the phone and they obviously haven't been told WHO I am or the nature of my call. Why the hell did the receptionist ask for that information??? SOOOOO annoying. Stop wasting my time, bitches. I'm too busy for your crap.

While I'm whingeing on about phone etiquette, I DETEST when someone calls my office and says "May I speak to Phlegm" and I say "speaking" and they say "how are you?" without even identifying themselves. I always say "I'm great!" and then don't axe them how they are and it's awkward and amuses me for a teeny second, because it is so ingrained in people that when axed "how ur durrin'" you automatically respond with "fine and how are you?" I don't want to play those reindeer games. Honey, if you're selling something, just cut to the chase so I can rebuff you quickly and we can all get on with our lives.

And what's with all the automated sales calls in recent times-- does that ever net sales for a company? I find it hard to believe this method of marketing is ever successful...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

I'm on vacation in the Hill Country this week. I'll try to moderate comments when I can, but I may only be able to check in every day or two. Meanwhile, I've pre-loaded a post for every day.

So far, though, I'm noticing more Obama stickers on Prius than on any other vehicle. I think it's interesting how eager they are to remove all doubt and press home the point that they are members of the witless protection program. Sometimes it's better just to keep one's mouth shut.

I'm having a great time with friends, but feeling a little fragile in the heat, actually. I've vowed to just take it easy and see how I'm feeling from day to day. One friend brought along her little dog, so Praline has a buddy to play with this week. I've got posts-pre-loaded for every day, but I'll try to pop by and see how ur durrin.

Here's another video - The Heinrich Maneuver - from the new Interpol cd.

Have a great week!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

More yummy goodness from Miss Shirley Q Liquor.
Remember to lift up that lid. Look under there.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Here is your Saturday Fuzzy:

If you don't think that's cute, there's something wrong with you.


Friday, August 08, 2008

Don't hate me just because every day is take-your-puppy-to-work day at my job.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

When I started hearing about the foot-filled athletic shoes warshing up on the shores of the Canadian coastline, I thought of body integrity identity disorder.

If you've never heard of BIID, you may want to stop reading now and go forward with your life of happy innocence.

Sometime in the past 10 years or so, I started hearing rumblings that there are actually folks who feel they would be more complete if they had a limb or hand or foot amputated. Yeah. Wannabe amputees. And they don't just want to be-- they find a way to make it so.

Anyway, when I heard that tenny-shod feet were washing ashore, at first I thought it must be a med-school student prank. Once about 10 years ago or so, some students at a local med school left a couple severed limbs in one of those coin-catcher baskets at the toll plaza of the Dallas North Tollway.


The problem with a prank like that is that although it's sensational and and will get a bit of attention, very few people will see the handiwork on display, so what's the real point?

So, yeah, I thought of medschool students for the foot-shoe thingie. But then it dawned on me that if there is a whole cult of amputee wannabe fetishists out there, then wouldn't the shoe prank thingie be a jolly way to dispose of the unneeded parts? Yeah, sick and weird, but to my way of thinking, that would be in keeping with the wit of someone who feels they'll never be whole until their body is diminished by an appendage.

I figure that if you live long enough, life will present you physical challenges aplenty without you inviting extra impediments. Anyway, maybe it's all just wishful thinking. Maybe it's just that it's more fun to think about some imbecile wilfully hacking off their own foot than to consider some reprobate who is ready willing and able to cut off the feet of another human being.

In any case, I don't get it.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Shirley Q Liquor is the cutest thing. I loves me some Shirley!

I hate when store clerks have a bad attitoove.

Go tell it, Shirley!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A woman came in for an apartment last year. Her locator called me first to see if I had something available immediately which had not been painted or cleaned, as the client was highly allergic. Well, yeah, it just so happened I did. So this woman (I'll call her AB, short for allergic bitch) comes in and bounces and giggles that she's found the perfect place and yes, it absolutely will do, will be the one and only perfect place for her on the planet forever and ever hey men.

She submitted an application, I vetted her credentials and approved her, and she came in to sign the lease, effective immediately. I asked her to consider simply doing a 30 day trial lease, the end of which she might renew for a full 12 month lease at the same low rate, but that way she could be sure. No, no, no, this was right, she just knew it and against my instincts, she signed a full year lease.

So, that night, it turned unbelieveably cold. The next morning, my voice mail had a message from AB sounding like death warmed over saying she had a turble turble reaction to something in the HVAC system.

Goody goody gumdrops.

I was secretly SOOOO pleased she didn't stay. I KNEW she would be a difficult resident even under the best circumstances, so I let her out of her lease, charged her rent for the time the apartment was off the market, and sent her refund check within 30 days as per contract.

About 45 days later, she called me, wondering where her check was. Well, we'd mailed it weeks before... Could we cancel that check and re-cut it? I said yes, but we'd charge a fee for stop payment on the check, etc. SHe said "yes, please do" and by the way, when we sent it out, we needed to send it to a different address this time.

So she apparently had moved at least twice in the interim since she'd been at my place. Talk about dodging a bullet. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

No offense to anyone who has deathly allergies or anything, like shellfish or peanuts or whatevs, but people like AB make Mr. Darwin's point for him, IMHO.

Someday Massah gonna set me free.

Monday, August 04, 2008

I don't believe it!
There she goes again!
She's tidied up and I can't find anything.
All my tubes and wires and careful notes
and antiquated notions, but it's poetry in motion.
Thomas Dolby, She Blinded Me With Science

Okay, the gas thing has been in the news a whole bunch lately, including helpful tips from Barry Hussein Obama (Holla!). He recommends we all get tune-ups. *ahem* I'll get back to that in a minute.

First I need to quote someone brilliant on the subject of tune-ups. Namely: me. From a blog post about a year and a half ago in which I waxed bitchtastic over crap screenwriters/set dressers/prop people get utterly wrong in filims:

Then there's Billy Bob Thornton's (horrid, in my opinion) much ballyhooed Monster's Balls. At one point, the inveterate racist BBT has come around to realizing that he's attracted to Halle Berry, whose husband he's just executed at the penal facility at which he works. He has a real Barney Fife moment when he takes HB's car to a mechanic for repair. As he's walking away from the
garage--the big man--BBT sends all credibility(?) to hell when he says to the mechanic "Be sure to check those plugs and points." [THIS would be a reference to what was referred to as a tune-up] Now, her car is a late 80s/early 90s ride of Asian extraction. All production passenger cars are made with electronic ignitions these days, and there ARE no points. Made after the 1970s? Pretty much
no points in that dog. The points to which he would be referring if the car had points, would be breaker point distributors. The bps controlled the flow of the 20-40 thousand volts of electricity from the battery and ensured they were distributed to each spark plug at the right time. Advent of electronic ignitions mean that points is one less thaing Billy Bob Thornton has to worry his purty little haid about. Someone shoulda told him.

Actually, I have to add a little bit here. I confess that upon reflection, I've gotten more chuckles' worth than the price of the rental on this movie just remembering BBT's Barney Fife moment of hiking up his britches and manfully saying "be sure to check the plugs and points.". Maybe BBT knew what he was doing, knew his audience would know and that he was being ironic. Some people call it a mower blade, I call it a sling blade/Some people call it A Simple Plan, I call it an uncomplicated plan/Some people call it change, I call it the antichrist.

Yeah, and someone shoulda told that asshat B.O. (I'll just call him body ordure, if that's okay wit choo), too, while they were at it. There's an old joke about not flying off the handle when you're full of bull. If Mr. Smarty Man is so wise, so all-knowing and so frelling brilliant, how's come he's going around telling people they can save gas by performing maintenance which was obsolete before many of his biggest fans were even born??? Bamalamadingdong may as well have advised us to improve mileage by checking our cars' hooves and refilling its oat bag every 10 miles. Yes, Obama fans-- the tune-up comment was on that very order of stupidity. Be embarrassed.

The irony is it's not un-heard of for some mechanics to be un-scrupulous in their dealings with a gullible public. How many garages do you suppose have added the new service of tune-ups to late-model vehicles in the past week? Oh, but I'm being mean, aren't I? Maybe Obama's just advising tune-ups because he's been paying for tune-ups himself for the past 30 years. He's a man who covers all the bases, real and imagined, and he wants to do the same for the highest office in our nation. Who are we to hold that against him? In fact, let's just cut to the chase: let's skip the nightmarish redux of a Carter presidency and put Obama to work for Habitat for Humanity. I'm even cool with the Nobel prize nomination for him and all that if we can just skip the horrors of a B.O. presidency in the interim.

Yeah, you know what? While we're at it, we can save gas by quitting our jobs, staying home and living off the gubmint. But if we do that, who'll pay for the free ride all his supporters are expecting?

Break's over. Back on your heads.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

I've had the puppy for two weeks now, and it's been great.
She's growing so fast and she's more active every day. I'm really lucky to be able to take her to work with me, though, so she doesn't have a lot of time in isolation.

I still miss Valentine, too, and I think of her every day, but it's been great to have my heart warmed by this furry little dynamo. There are similarities and there are some fun contrasts, too, but I suppose it's too soon to say they are even that different from one another. Praline is not quite at the age yet that Valentine was when I got her, and she was one of a litter, whereas Miss Praline was a one-off and had no siblings, so she was very much hand-raised from the git-go. Valentine, while warm and cuddly, had a devil-may-care aloof quality which is the opposite of Praline. This may simply be a puppy thing, but outdoors or in strange places, Praline definitely doesn't want me out of her sight. Considering what escape artists this breed usually produces, I'm hoping that's a trait which continues as my girl grows up.

It's funny to me now that I had the thought of going 6 months or longer without a dog. I don't ever want to live in a house without a dog, again. :)

Saturday, August 02, 2008

This is SO awesome!
How they roll in India...

smoking Indo, sipping on gin and juice, laid back and text messaging with their mind on their money and their money on their mind.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Sometimes, when you least expect it, someone amazing will appear before your very eyes.

I met the most extraordinary man at lunch yesterday at Mama's Daughters' Diner on Irving Boulevard. I walked in and was seated in my usual section at a table for 8 and across from an older gentleman.

We exchanged hellos and I asked how he was doing. He said fine and asked me how I was, and I said I have a new puppy. Then the convo was off and running. He asked about Praline, and then reminisced about a particularly fine little terrier his family had some decades before. He said the terrier figured out how to do flips for treats with absolutely no training. Smart little scamp, he was. Then he talked about a boxer they'd had for years named Smudgy for the black area around his face.

I noticed his disabled veterans cap, and wondered if he'd served in WWII, but didn't ask. He said he used to eat at MDs' every day for breakfast and lunch, but now he only goes to his company once a week since he retired and comes in to the diner slightly less frequently than that. I asked what line of work he was in, and he said he had a graphic design/typesetting company.

He told me he once worked for a company that moved his family around frequently, and they rented an old house on Saranac street in Rochester NY. He said the house was from the late 1800s and was immaculately kept, stately and quite grand. The family told him they hadn't really figured out what to do with all their mother's stuff in the house, so he and his family were free to keep whatever they wanted there. He called them up and told them they surely would want to keep all their mothers' gold and diamond jewelry, and oh, but could they keep the one nice chair in the living room. He told his wife to check the underside of the cushion and make sure it was in good shape. She pulled it out and beneath it was an envelope stuffed full of a lot of cash and stock certificates and such. Again, he called them up and said what he'd found, and they said "oh, we were wondering where that was!" His wife and her friend put on some satin movie-star style gowns they found from the 30s or 20s, and they strapped on their kids' toy pistols and holsters and he took photos. His eyes twinkled when he remembered that. He said they've been married 62 years.

They'd bought and sold 8 houses over the years, but he and his wife moved into an apartment where they've been happy as clams ever since. I mused there's a whole lot to be said for being able to call someone else and tell them it's their problem if your toilet is malfunctioning. Again, the grin, the twinkling eyes at the joy of not having to either do the plumbing himself or pay a technician for same. He said there were only a few older people living at these apartments, but that the management took really good care of them, being on the spot with repairs and response to any concerns they had. I told him that was how I try to do my job, and he said he could tell I was good at it, that I am personable and communicate well, and that I could probably do any of a great many number of jobs well. He talked about an MIT study which developed a vocational aptitude test. At some point, he mentioned he'd had more than 600 people working for him, and that the ability to relate to people was essential to motivate people and help them stay on track. I think (if I may flatter myself) he's someone who has the kind of varied interests and natural curiosity I have, although I'd not place myself in the same league intelligence-wise. He was completely unpretentious and unassuming and yet here I knew right away he's one of the most remarkable people I'd ever met. I didn't want the lunch to end.

He told me his name is Potthoff, and once his wife met someone and told them it was pronounced like "take the pot off the stove," and when she parted company from that person, they said "it was nice to meet you, Mrs. Stove."


Anyway, the conversation was lively, and most engaging, and for once I really listened and stifled the urge to interject or chase rabbits. I learned some things.

I at last asked what branch he'd served in, and he said he was in the Seabees with the Navy, and joined in late '45, and was due to be in the first wave to invade Japan. (Mental calculation told me he must have just married before he went into the service and to an uncertain future). He said those bombs saved his life. He said they had their chops all set for the loss of a million Americans in that effort. Staggering. I said those bombs saved countless Japanese lives, too. He said indeed they had, that the Japanese would have fought down to the last man. We talked about adapting and he mentioned the Japanese idea of rather than being rigid and inflexible like the oak, they aspired to be like the willow and achieve strength in their ability to bend with the stressors of life. He mentioned the impeccable quality of their cars and electronics. We agreed that it's a great thing to learn from mistakes and move forward from them.

Anyway, it was a great conversation, and I felt so energized by having met him. He suggested if I want to change careers, that I might look into advertising. I'm going to give that serious thought. Anyway, as we'd wrapped up the meal, I noted where Barbara had placed his check on the table. I picked up mine, and when his hand was not near his check, I picked it up and said "I am buying your lunch." He said "oh, my, I can't let you do that" and I said "I insist. This lunch is a very small thing and I am in your debt. Thank you for serving our country." I gave him my card, and took his email address, and I said I hope we can have lunch again sometime. We smiled warmly, shook hands again.

I've got a lot more to learn.

Guy Ritchie-- goes on a who-knows-what-fueled rant about the evils of sugar, saying it kills more people than does crack cocaine.

Oddly enough, his wife is about to launch into her next global gambol which is called the "Sticky & Sweet Tour."


Is this an oblique dig at the Mrs?