Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I think the loss of a pet is so devastating because we own and are owned by our pets in ways we can never own another human. I was reminded of the devastating grief over the loss of my own dog so recently when tonight I opened Tam's View From The Porch and found that she's lost her beloved cat Mittens, obviously a superior feline.

I'm so sorry for your loss, Tam.
There have been people who have struck it rich in the market when others were losing their shirts and shorts and socks and... So who is seeing big returns right now? Someone has to be, right? Maybe they're just keeping their mouths shut because it would be imprudent to boast at a time when their colleagues are tearing their hair out...

Here's what I want someone to splain me: Say I make incremental payments into a 401K and as of January 1 this year, I had a balance of exactly $100,000. Let's be modest and say that as of today, my 401K's value is now $75,000. I put $100,000 actual value dollars in the account, so where did the $25,000 go? It had to go somewhere. Did it pop up like a carbuncle in someone else's account?

Answer me this in lay terms, and I'll send you a dollar.
Formula One driver Ricardo Patrese gives his wife a bit of a scare. As her eyes grow large and her hair strains for the horizontal, she says lots of stuff that sounds threatening in Italian and even manages one rude gesture before she figures out she's being filmed. Some things you don't need the words to understand.

shamelessly purloined from DBA Dude.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Saturday, Ambulance Driver was in my neck of the woods for EMStock, so I sashayed down to Ellis County and checked out his comedy routine with his charming partner (who smokes great-smelling cigars). No sensibilities were left unoffended, btw. We laughed and laughed. I was delighted when AD introduced me to the clever TOTWTYTR from Too Old to Work Too Young to Retire and also AD's comedy partner who is just such a lovely, cultured man that one has to wonder how he and AD ever managed to collaborate.
The act was really funny on a couple levels, because there was a lot of tech-speak, and I am not a trained EMT or fire rescue person, so the terminology was a little, well, uh, I felt like a housepet being talked to by a human. Lost in translation: if the flibbledy-brip goes kerbang, you may want to extibulate the feminine artery*. Yeah. I didn't get it either.

To my surprise and delight, LawDog also had come down to check out the festivities. After the floor show I cajoled he and AD to join me for a spot of supper over at 1879 Cafe on the square in Waxahachie just across the street from the 1895 county courthouse.
Side note - if you're not accustomed to driving around with LEO- and EMT-types as passengers, there's just a wee bit of pressure you feel when acting as their chauffeur. If LD was appalled and terrified by my driving, he very graciously kept it from me. AD did at one point make the pithy remark that being in the back seat, LD and I would catch the disastrous results of my driving more severely than he would. Thanks AD. *wink*
[these are photos I took in November 2006, btw]
Legend has it that among the battery of stone carvers who worked on the Courthouse, one young man fell in lust at the daughter of the owner of the boarding house at which he stayed in Waxahachie. He was rebuffed, and legend went on to say he carved rude representations of the female anatomy into the structure as an act of effrontery. Of my scores of visits to Waxahachie and the courthouse, I never saw the alleged lady bits until we visited the courthouse Saturday night. Wouldn't you know it that it would be evident in mixed company, and such distinguished company, at that. Waxahachie Sutra. *much throat clearing* We were chatting as we approached about the legend, and I pointed to one thing and said "could that be it?" and LD and AD both said "uh, yeah, that's it," and then I went around to the other side of the column and I said "uh, actually, I think this is the one," and they agreed vociferously. Actually, the two sides of the column could be interpreted as two separate perspectives on the same, uh, anatomical occurrence. Yeah, so, wow. Uh, interesting to finally see that.
The courthouse is constructed of gray and red granite from central Texas, and the high relief carvings are rendered in red sandstone from the Pecos area of West Texas. This is a spectacular structure, and it was fun to see it through new eyes in the company of such interesting folks!
We drove down the highway a bit and stopped in a little town with a few Victorian structures and stopped to look at a nice town monument memorializing the local school (now gone from the grounds) which opened in 1914. We said how nice it was that a community remembered and celebrated such landmark events.
Lots of stories were told, yes, things unbloggable. LawDog even told one story he said would never be repeated beyond the confines of my car, and I'll never tell. If you can imagine, AD is incredibly quick-witted and wry in person as he is on the page. Good times.
Yup, ladies: envy me.
*not their actual words. I'm going on memory here, people, and I'm not the medical type.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Barbara Bruederlin, my own very favorite Bad Tempered Zombie and fellow music entoosiast is next to fall prey to my series of

Shopping For Others.

I do, I really do try to pay a bit of attention, and although I completely mis-fired out of the box when suggesting the cost of Roberta X's Ann Demeulemeester boots could be defrayed by them being shared with a less-than-delighted Tam,(woopth!) I do want to assign shoes to people for whom they would bring delightments and other assorted nice sensations.

In that spirit, I remember Barbara fairly horrified over the ideer of heels. Here, then, is my compromise:

Wingtip Oxford from Robert Clergerie in (I believe) satin and nubuck suede. Om nom nom. *slurp*

I have to say that when I worked for Steamin' Carcass, in a blissed-out shopping haze I blindly stumbled into the shoe department during Last Call (their ultimate mark-down sale) and on one of those 30/30 sale days they have for employees (30% off and then 30% off that price, net effect being around 50% off marked price) and ended up laying out a cool $100-ish on the most gorgeous pair of shoes I've ever owned-- and the finest, which happened to be by one Robert Clergerie, originally priced in the $500-ish range. They were oxfords immaculately wrought by hand of a dove-colored leather and with a chunk heel. They looked like the oh-so-practical shoes my great granny Smith wore, and that the ladies of her generation were wont to wear, albeit with an updated twist. They were so well-made that I had cat's paw soles put on when the leather got a little worn, and I had the cat's paw replaced two more times. I walked all over campus in them and stood through long opera rehearsals with none so much as a bit of foot discomfort. In truth, those RC shoes are pretty worn looking and much-loved by now. I haven't worn them in years, but they will hold pride of place as the non plus ultra of my shoe collection, and they are one of two pair I will never get rid of.

So, in the spirit of appreciation for a finely wrought pair of shoes, I present Barbara with these lovely oxfords, which I recommend she only buy if she has the cash on hand, because I don't want to be responsible for anyone racking up high-interest credit, including myself. Or maybe she can wait for the markdown sale at Bergdorf's.

Marvy stuff. Cool, stylish, and even a bit on the arty side for a real music afficionado.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

[my apologies for the following convoluted rant. It's just been brewing for a little while, and I needed to put it out there.]

The sky: she is not falling.

Enough with the freakout.

I'm not making light of what clearly is a magnificently nasty mess in the financial market, but we are in a completely different place than was the common person in the late 1920s. At that time, Americans were primarily agrarian and rural, rather than city-dwelling, and failure to rotate crops brewed up a nasty wallop in the form of the Dust Bowl, a drought which lasted from 1930 to 1936, and the blight of which emblazoned its stamp on generations of midwesterners. The double-whammy of drought and stock market crash really set people into a tailspin. But remember- these people were dirt-poor to begin with and had very little set aside, in a lot of cases.

Whatever does or doesn't happen with the mortgage industry, the structure in which you reside will not evaporate. Unless you decide to be so, you are not about to be homeless. Where we are vulnerable is our addiction to excess and luxury. Some of us are tougher than others.

Ironically, I think it's the shrinking 401Ks that has people freaking out. Yeah, that's significant, but it's a damned sight different from the situation of a midwestern farmer whose topsoil is wafting over the eastern seaboard. Quite different. A little perspective, darlings.

The media have stirred so many people into a foaming-at-the-mouth frenzy about every little thing that I wonder when these people will recognize the boy who cried wolf. Every single moment of our lives can not possibly be on the verge of collapse. I'm sick of hearing it, and I don't believe it.

Yes, serious times. By all means, the coming election is of great moment in our nation's history.

What is disturbing is the morons who allow themselves to be manipulated by those media who would whip them into a frenzy-- the same morons who would riot after a court verdict or when their ball team loses. Worse than volatility in the market is the potential of large groups of people to behave very badly, indeed.

I saw a bit of an interview - celebrity "journalist" *ack* and someone - I think Lindsay Lohan (how bad do you have to be for Paris Hilton to call you firecrotch?), anyhoo, and the interviewer and interviewee were talking about Sarah Palin in that who-the-hell-does-she-think-she-is tone. No one ever heard of her before. She can't possibly be a breath away from the presidency?!!! Translation: She's not one of the anointed elite. After all, she's not one of us.

In comments on a Paul Begala article, a reader stated that at 52, she herself was not remotely able to take the reins of the vice-presidency, and at 43, Palin couldn't possibly be. Well, the fact is that like it or not, someone must step up to the plate. Doing what is right and what must be done is not something one can question, and just because one person is spineless and helpless rather than approaching life's challenges head-on doesn't make other people less capable of putting on their big-girl panties and having a swing at it. About 6 years ago, I took a 10 hour a week job as office girl for a company. My hours doubled within a week. I started showing apartments, and whaddayaknow - I was good at it! Within a year I was assistant manager for several properties, and another year later, I was the manager. Of a substantial chunk of real estate. Yeah, I came into it sideways, and if they'd asked me to do what I do today rather than the 10 hours a week, I would have thought it impossible for me. But now I know I can do that. There must be other things I am capable of which I never imagined. Most people go through their lives never realizing their full potential because they have accepted the defeat the media and general naysayers have said is their only option.

I saw a video on YouTube at the Atavist's blog which really inspired me. Nathaniel Brandon (associate of Ayn Rand) was talking about realizing one's potential. He said "what would happen if you were just 5% more present in your every task" or words to that effect. It was amazing. I drift, I daydream, I get bored and forget what I'm doing. Just a teeny bit more concentration does wonders for striking items off my to do list. Clearly, the commenter on the Begala article needs to watch Brandon's videos.

Chris Rock was on David Letterman bitching about the Clintons not being on board with Obama-- he clearly was nervous that Obama won't be able to hoodwink the cracker vote.

Someone in comments in an article about Bill Clinton's Larry King appearance was lambasting Hillary saying to get on board, that 2012 would be her year. Um, well, if Obama is elected, uh, won't the democrats give him the nomination again in 2012? I can't see an incentive there for Hils to carry Barry's water, honestly.

It's all going to be very interesting. Yeah, some of it may be bad and have terrible consequences for a lot of people, but that's life. Death, tragedy, taxes and upheaval are all part of life. The wise thing is to savour life, to prepare as best one can for hardships and to get on with making the most of time with our dear ones here and now.

The sky is not falling. It's not falling on me, anyhow.

That is all.
Hold on-- let me check something:
Sure enough: still cute.

Perplexing ebay item of the day:

This appears to be a papier mache face fashioned into a toilet paper dispenser, but it's hard to tell, either from the blurry photo or the Engrish text. Maybe something's been lost in translation. At least, I hope something has.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Mortgage Meltdown 101
A video primer.

h/t to Buck This was too good not to pass along...
Oh. My. Goodness.

Can't Oprah hook Michelle up with some more appropriate attire?
TIP: Ditch the florals and watery prints. *shudder*
It's not a garden party, baby.

Stewie versus Gecko.
Who'll end up in the bitch seat?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

How's this for crappy:

Dallas' City Council decided to set the wheels in motion for a $550 million taxpayer-funded hotel to be attached to the city's convention center. What sticks in the craw of more than a few people is the fact that they did this without so much as a vote from those folks who will be ponying up the said $550 mil. A group has organized a petition drive to demand taxpayers be allowed to vote on this issue. I'm not holding my breath. We need a few more Sarah Palins in this country.
In 1989, Percy Adlon (director of Bagdad Cafe) released a film called Rosalie Goes Shopping.

RGS is about a rural family in the South. The father (the late Brad Davis of Midnight Express fame) flies a crop duster for a living, and they have a big mess of children (or "bunch" as we say in Arkansas) and the oldest son (Alex Winter of Bill & Ted fame) is going to chef school. The mother (German actress Marianne Sagebrecht) secretly spends the family savings on equipment for the son's training, and then discovers CREDIT! Then she's really off to the races. She schemes and eventually ends up with about a million in credit. Her husband makes about $900 a month, btw.

So, anyhoo, lately this mortgage thing has reminded me of this movie, because the tagline in the commercial was "When you're $100,000 in debt, it's your problem. When you're a million in debt... it's the bank's." Well, this mortgage thing is just like that, only in this case the government is Rosalie and we - meaning you and me - are the bank. Woe unto us.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Next to fall under the careful eye of my gripping new
series is our own darling shooty, erudite and allaround fabulous librarian (naughty or otherwise) Breda.


Max Studio whipped up this dark confection of a calf leather-wrapped hidden platform pump beautifully balanced on a 4" heel. As if that weren't enough, it's a Mary Jane.

[down, phlegmmy. Breathe. Breathe.]

And we're calm again.

Now, I'm going to go out on a limb here *ahem* and say that even if Breda didn't soil herself at the thought of paying $160-ish on these shoes, it's a safe bet she wouldn't spring for the $10,000-ish she'd have to lay out (minimum) for the spare leg with the foot that would fit these, so, in an act of pure generosity and altruism, I have purchased these little deadlies for myself and do solemnly swear to think of Breda every time I wear them.
What can I say? I'm a giver.

Call them my birfday shoes, 2 weeks early. How often does one find such high, spiky heels that actually manage to be muy comfortable and easy to walk in? Not very. I'll just try not to step on any puppies when I wear them. I'll prolly save them for when I'm going to super-nice events this winter when I want to wear shoes a little wild but that don't look already luvved-to-death.

By the way, these little dreamlings are sold out nearly everywhere excepting DSW thingie. The brown version is a very dark brown, but I held out for the black.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I live in close range of two bodies of water which no doubt produce mosquitoes in impressive numbers.

When the pups go out, I always go out back with them and climb down the stairs to ground level and sit while they play or do their business. Sometimes I read or play solitaire on my Palm thingie, but mostly I'm just in awe of how the skeeters swarm us. Yes, I even see them getting after the pups- it's noticeable against Praline's white coat. This morning I was dazzled to see - after 42 years of living in the south - for the first time, two mosquitoes riding piggy back for some reason. Something had to be done.

Well, this morning - BRAIN WAVE! - I took out my hand-held bug zapper. I've had it around as a novelty, but never had occasion to really put it through its paces. It has a contact on either side of the handle which you squeeze together to send the charge through the wires of the racquet face, et voila! Bob's your uncle.

I took it out, and played with it a bit - noticed it does emit a very high frequency zinging sort of buzz when the charge goes through it. Sat on the steps and waited for the corpses to pile up.

You know what? After I sat down with that thing, nary a mosquito came near me. I DID so want to kill some, but keeping them away from me, I'd say mission accomplished.

I think I need to put up some bat boxes.
New audio pleasures from TV On The Radio

Monday, September 22, 2008

The shortest list:




He seems wont to respond to Chuy. Still, I think Brutus fits the dignity of his bearing and no doubt about it: this one's a little man. Absolutely heart-fetching, that is. He's a beautiful little beast, and as the hours wear on, he and Praline are finding their groove together. Yeah, it's early days and all that, but when I said I'd never want a chihuahua or a dachshund, I couldn't have imagined such a grand little beast coming from those lines. He's a smart boy, and I think whatever bits of my heart are not with Praline or Valentine are utterly his. I'm so thankful he came my way! :) *big goofy grins, here*

Here's a great picture that illustrates the puppehs' relationship. I was cooking and cleaning in the kitchen Sunday night and didn't want to step on the baby, so I put him in a basket with a nice big fluffly towel. Well, big Sissy hopped into the basket with him. That's what I call solidarity. It was cute and sweet. They are really getting along well. I'm so happy to know that I've made two little dogs so happy for life by bringing them together.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ees magnifique, non?

Okay, still considering names for The Boy.

He's holding his own with the wild she-fiend Praline.
[shortcake was vetoed as too saccharine and emasculating - thanks, Sis!]
Chuy is a favorite with many, and he's a chewy boy, as it turns out.



Wide Track
Guntur is a particularly delicious name, because it's the name of an Indonesian volcano which means "thunder" and it's also JUST like the German name Gunther, right?
Meanwhile, I'm still thinking...

Little Britain USA starts on September 28 on HBO.

Only I just remembered I don't have a telly.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

You know how the girl in your office says she'll never fall in love again and then announces her engagement the next week?

So I told you before I was actively seeking a companion dog for Praline. My criteria were a small dog wot can be a lively and fun playmate for teh puppeh. I was coming to the conclusion this might involve another terrier. The two breeds I swore I wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole were Dachshund and Chihuahua.

Took Miss P to the vet Thursday to get her 15 week shots, and I discussed getting a second dog, and compatibility issues with Praline. She told me they had the last two of a litter of pups Dr. Parker rescued, and one of them would be great. I met them and liked them, and told her I'd take the boy if no one else did Friday.

Turns out, they're chiweenies. Yup. Chihuahua AND dachshund.

Nope, no name yet. Pancho? Taco? Fritzy? Longue Carbine?

He looks more wiener than chi (and that's a mercy), and he's very good-natured and sweet. Then again, he's a baby and more personality will come out in the coming weeks. Miss P is hell for leather to menace him, and the two of them are a handful, for now and can only be together with very close supervision. When he's big enough to kick her ass, she's really going to be in trouble. She's been pretty gentle, generally, but he IS so much smaller than her. I'm a very present mother hen when they're together, and I'm careful to try to dote on Praline. She doesn't seem jealous, but I don't want her to feel her place in my heart is threatened, either.

Anyhoo, more to come. Wish me luck.

Friday, September 19, 2008

True Story from yesterday

Random Lady: OH! Look at how cute you are!
puppeh: *Wag/wiggle/twisty/lookatme!/bend/squirm/squeeeeeeeeeeeeee!*
RL: What's her name?
p: *wiggle*
Me: Praline
RL: OHHH, Praline, that's so cute!
p: *wag-o-matic*
RL: Look! She loves her name!
Me: Actually, I could have named her DooDoo and she would be just as happy.

I've been thinking about doing a new feature style post here. [Politely fail to remind me that I never did a second installment of Ugly Furniture Sundays]

I'm a savvy shopper, and I want to use my retail gifts to help others, and so without further ado I present


Today's beneficiary will be a double-barreled wallop of goodness in the form of Tam and Roberta X, so long as they wear the same shoe size and are willing to split the $1795 price tag (plus tax).

I saw these Ann Demeulemeester Triple Lace-Up Flat Tall Boots and thought STEAM PUNK. Yeah. Good stuff. Finally, footwear with the stones to match Miss Tam's arsenal.
If yer on my blogroll, keep your eyes peeled, because sooner or later, your number will be up and I'll be advising you of a product which you must simply grab your bonnet and run out and purchase forthwith. It'll be good. It'll be sexy, gorgeous and will change your life forevermore.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Okay, I admit: now I'm whining.

Crap. I just called the Rush Limbaugh show. Bo Snerdley laughed when I told him my comment and put me on hold. I was on hold for about 25 minutes and then I was hung up. Crappity.

I was going to say

Now we know why the left were so full of phony outrage over John McCain’s failure to use the internet. They were just mad because he didn’t have an email for them to hack.

Wednesday I decided to check out Newport's Seafood restaurant in the Brewery at the west end of downtown. I thought it might be a little pricey for a weekday lunch, but I was sure it would be good.

I was not disappointed. I had a dish of scallops, artichoke hearts and linguine with a sun dried tomato and goat cheese sauce. It was fantastic. The dish and my iced tea came out to a smidge under $20, but it was an impeccable dish, so, I think it was well worth it.

But the restaurant itself was an amazing place to see. I had no idea of the history. I used to go to the Starck Club in that building, The Brewery, in the 80s, but I had no idea there was a well in the building. The well is a circle of bricks 31 feet wide, and stair-stepping like an inverted staircase, opening the well wider as it goes deeper. I had something to read with me, and I was seated under a very good light right by the well. The well is about 55 feet deep and there is about 35' of water standing in the bottom.

At the end of my meal, I took a few photos with my phone. I felt a bit nervous that I'd drop my phone in, sort of the way the Grand Canyon makes me feel like I'll just suddenly go nuts and fall in for no particular reason, and so I stay well away from the edge. Nervous or no, I took one for the team - I was thinking of you, really!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Is it too late to name her Gozer the Destructor?

She gets so excited, so wound-up. It's like she's on an espresso drip. She plays hard for as long as she can hold the attention of humans or other dogs, and the minute there's a lapse in attention, she flops down and naps like a little sack of taters. She's asleep in her little bed now, and as soon as I scoop her up and take her outside one last time for the night and then get into bed, she'll be SOOOOO excited to be in bed that it'll be time to start barking and playing and nipping and wallering. I have a light for reading on my nightstand, and Praline gets very lathered up over the giant scary doggie outline thrown on the wall. Sometimes I have to turn off the light to settle her down. Sometimes turning the light off isn't enough.

She's a little clown.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This cracks me up.
That is all.
Shamelessly purloined from Barbara.
Driving west on Mockingbird at about 8 tonight, I noticed an enormous light in my rearview mirror. It was a big, bouncy moon. It was breathtaking and made me think of a song.

Song to the Moon from the Czech opera Rusalka by Antonín Dvořák. Rusalka is a water nymph and has fallen in love with the prince of men. She sings this aria asking the moon to tell the prince of her love.

This is one of my favorite arias, but it was nigh impossible to find a version of it which satisfied me. Recorded classical music often loses the essence of what makes it so enchanting live. Still, the melody and the language are exquisite, and this version by Milada Šubrtová is as close to perfection as I could find on YouTube. Singing in her native Czech, this recording of her is probably from the 1950s.

Monday, September 15, 2008

More tasty goodness from Rabbit:

Be sure to catch Barry's soon-to-be bestselling hardback "What color is your parachute's flames?"

I just realized something, and yeah, I'm too lazy to look it up on Wikipedia. I think I'm right, anyhoo.

Both stock market crashy-thingies were in October of a presidential election year, right? 1928 and 1988, right??? [Ted has informed me the 20s meltdown was in '29, not '28]

Crap crappity crap crap.

BUT, a word on bailing out mortgage lenders:

Why should profit be privatized but risk be socialized???
It shouldn't.

Just like wagon-wheel makers going out of business or adapting to the automobile industry about a century ago, mortgage companies who've profited from lending rates an honest person would call usury need to man up, grow a pair and take this one on the chin, just as you or I would if our lawnmowing/bookseller/drycleaner/whatever business failed. Grow the smeg up, already.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A doggie tale...

I have to take a moment to talk about that bit on the back end of Praline. File under jaunty.

Like the flag on a bicycle, that thing is, bobbing side to side.
It seems to be some sort of doggie barometer. Impossibly cute, this little tail is a wonder all its own. When she is asleep, the tail is soft and malleable like a wet noodle. As she awakens, it draws upward, pulling into a gentle arc pointing back toward her head. Grab her favorite squeak toy and send her to fetch it, and you'll see it pull taut into an almost a perfect semi-circle, tail-tip arcing toward her spine.

Yup, she's an engineering marvel, my doggie is. She's a glorious thing.
Praline is a whole new world of wonders and discoveries and she makes me happy every day of my life.

She is absolutely the cure for what ails me. The mere thought of her little tail is enough to make my spirits soar. Long may she wave.
What could be more squalid than 70s teenage gang member love?

There must be something, but I can't think of it. Perhaps that is why this scene from Switchblade Sisters is among my favorites in all of filmdom. Poor Lace. This is what comes of dating an Obama supporter.

If you go, it's gonna turn out BAD!

I loves me some B movies.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thursday night I was hankering for a pinion fire in the chimenea, so I built one. Before dark, I sat on the steps reading as the fire got rolling. The resinous wood smouldered a bit, tendrils of smoke curling out the top and making their way around the concrete pillars in my yard, remnants of the property's industrial past. The photo was long exposure - mebbe 3 seconds and no tripod - and I didn't even notice that spark jumping out the top. I need to get one of those mesh thingies for the top of the flue. I'm so excited about cooler weather- I'm going to have a fire in the chimenea as often as I can.
Is it too late to name the puppeh Gozer the Destructor? She just LURVES chewin'!
Oh, DBA Dude sent me the link to this story about Rocket Rosie, a Jack Russell Terrier who routinely runs about 30 mph. SRSLY. Miss Praline's getting there-- she's faster every day.
I don't have a tv, so I've been catching a bit of video coverage of hurricane Ike on the internet. On one radio interview, there was a family holed up in their 1895 house in Galveston, along with some friends. The woman figured this house had weathered 100+ years of major storms, including the big killer hurricane that leveled Galveston in the early 1900s, and the house is up to it, whatever Ike has to dish out. I was thinking that if that family perishes in that house, they'll seem just as foolish as the people partying at the bar on the beach as the storm surge rolled in.

I admit I'd love to experience a hurricane. I know that's crazy, but the intensity of it sounds amazing. But, um, I don't want to be in danger's the thing. I suppose other than whatever rain the hurricane slings up our way, I won't be experiencing hurricanes in general, in this lifetime.

See, it works like this -- if you have warning that something nasty is coming along, you prepare or get out of the way, right? Ideally, you head for higher ground.
People are silly.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Okay, I needs must be cryptic, but I know y'all are real smart and can figure out the riddle here.

Today, I'm going to meet the person who created a famous wall plaque of a certain aquatic creature wot sings songs of lament and irony as said creature flails futilely on said plaque.

I have friends who have performed solo recitals in Carnegie Hall and concert halls all over the world. I have a friend who has been nominated for multiple Grammys. With all these famous, sexy people, I'm cool. But I admit I'm a little starstruck about meeting this inventor person.

I think this is where I earn my hillbilly bona fides!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Once again, I'm doing the work for you, darling, crawling into the pathogen-riddled trenches of celebrity gossip to filter out the best bits for you. Because I care.

Apparently, Madonna's daughter Lourdes is a massive fan of the young band The Jonas Brothers. These guys are 15, 19 and 20, and wear rings as a symbol of their promise to remain virgins until married.

*rabbit chase here*

Anyway, at the VMA awards this week, ribald Brit host Russell Brand jokingly stated "They can have sex with any woman they want but they choose not to. That's like Superman just deciding not to fly and to go everywhere by bus." Later in the ceremony, American Idol winner Jordin Sparks responded at the mike ""I just want to say, it's not bad to wear a promise ring because not every guy or girl wants to be a slut, okay?" I think Jordin is about 18 or so, and I think it took a lot of guts to make that remark, standing up to the host. Well done, Jordin. Brand claims MTV has already asked him to host the awards next year. Hmph.
Apparently, the powers-that-be at MTV managed to persuade Brand to cut the gag from his act about Sarah Palin giving her daughter the electric chair for getting pregnant. Uh, good call, folks. *much eye-rolling here*

Yes, MTV is rife with inappropriate sexuality and lewdness. I'd say everything has its place, but the whole of MTV is marketed toward the junior-high demographic, and I call that mature/immature composite entirely inappropriate. And then to retain a host who is a comedian known for material overtly sexual in nature, however florid and Edwardian the delivery, I think you have a recipe for a supremely offensive package. *ahem* I wonder how any parent could allow a young child to watch this stuff unedited?

I'm not even remotely a prude, but if I were a parent watching this with a child, we'd DVR it, and start watching about 2 hours after the program began, Mama would hold the remote and forward from one musical performance to the next, skipping the insulting filth in between, and skipping some of the insultingly filthy performances. Sheesh.

*rabbit chase over*

So, anyhoo, never-say-AARP Madonna's daughter Lourdes is reportedly obsessed with the chaste Jonas brothers. (If your mom was embarrassingly sexual and youth-worshiping, and publicly so, wouldn't YOU be obsessed with the Jonas brothers? or become a nun?) Jonas brothers were set to appear in London the very night of the opening of Madge's tour, and Lourdes very much wanted to see TJB rather than attend mummy's show. There have been rumblings for years that little Lourdes, now 12, is very wilfull, doesn't know who her mum is and frankly doesn't care-- she apparently came out ready to spar. No word on who won that battle, but I can imagine that judging by TJB's message, the shock and insult for Madonna is manifold. I expect when Lourdes really rebels in her teens, there'll be no end of horn-locking with those two, and I expect there'll finally come a day when Madonna feels her age.

It's not that I'm gleeful that Madonna will (likely) be humbled by a relationship, for a change. It's just there's a toothsome symmetry to the idea of someone who has preached overt sexuality to the masses for 30-ish years having a child who is averse to the same exhibitionstic ways.

Whatever the outcome, I hope little Lourdes manages to have a happy life.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

One's breeding will always out.

There's a blog called I Miss My Mommy at downspalin.blogspot.com Nope. I didn't hyperlink it. You can get there, if you really mean to. In it, some intellectual giant makes "funny" comments in Downs-speak from the perspective of Trig Palin.

uh, yeah.

I love the fact that-- however anonymously-- people are stepping it up and letting be known the truly callous, cruel aspects of their nature. The same folks who circled the wagons for Al Gore when his wastrel offspring got a DWI are gleefully lampooning a little "tardy" baby.
Stay classy.

Were they born yesterday, or do they (hypocritically) pretend not to remember all the whining about how Chelsea was off-limits?

Whatever other things they may be, the person(s) who composed that blog-- they are irretrievably pathetic. Frankly, I'd rather have DS than be someone like that--for that would be a true curse.

And like one of their commenters said, well-done on driving the nails into your own coffin. You're a limber thing, darling. Yoga, much?
A friend who works for the Meyerson Symphony Hall called me Monday and asked if I wanted to go see Martin Short and Carl Reiner speak on Tuesday night. I've always loved Martin's comedy, but I rather expected he'd wax on about Obamessiah, etc., and I expected Meathead's dad to do the same. Even if Rob Reiner DID direct The Princess Bride, just like the rest of us, he's entitled to be wrong oncet in a while.

The restaurant group, Brinker International, sponsored this new series of lectures, and Tuesday was the kickoff event which was to have featured speaker John Travolta. However, sort of last-minute, the big Scientology cheese had a scheduling conflict, and Reiner and Short were booked to take his place, thanks be to Xenu. I'm calling that a most fortunate substitution-- I can't imagine how listening to a Sweathog for a couple hours could have been even remotely so engaging as hearing of the early careers of Reiner and Short.

Incidentally, Reiner's wife was the "I'll have what she's having" lady from When Harry Met Sally, which Rob also directed.

In speaking of his early career, CR was already writing for tv series in the 50s when he had the idea for a show about a guy who's writing for a tv show. He filmed a pilot for it-starring as himself-- and showed it to a producer. The producer said-- "it's good, but let's film it again, this time with a good actor." That turned out to be the Dick van Dyke show.

They both talked about Steve Martin, MS talked about SCTV/SNL and the evolution of his characters, and it was really immensely entertaining. At the question/answer end of the program, someone shouted out "Brad Pitt or George Clooney?" CR had appeared with both in those Oceans movies, so I suppose that was the inspiration for the question.

As I said, I expected there to be a lot of political stuff, but they said they'd decided NOT to talk politics, but CR said he couldn't stand not knowing, so he wanted everyone to -- not moving hands, head or face, utter a sound when he said the name of the candidate they would vote for. This was hilarious. I was surprised how many uttered when he said McCain, and there was a substantial amount of booing when he said Obama, but I'd say the crowd was a majority in favor of Obamessiah. Not surprising for an artsy, wannabe intellectual crowd. After the "vote" was taken, Martin said to Carl "I can't believe you don't think this is dividing the audience!" Big laugh, there.

Wow, good times, after all. SO glad Travolta didn't come to town. However, if he'd had a question/answer thing, it would have been fun to ask him what it was like working with Lily Tomlin on Moment by Moment. Or it would have been funny to mistakenly ask him about some film starring Robbie Benson.

Here's a Martin Short short...


Trying to get in touch with your inner naughty librarian?
Try Sarah Palin's glasses on for size.

Kazuo Kawasaki 704

Hot cha cha!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Brilliance from Rabbit, who refuses to set up his own blog:
It's not ALL bad news.

About that atom-smasher thingie they're going to throw the switch on, tomorrow - if we all get sucked into Negativeland, at least Barack Obama will be going with us. La! Actually, the greater danger may be that we'll all be sucked into a black hole by B.O.'s sheer vacuousness. Vacuity? Vacuosity? Whatevs. That atom-smasher better watch it-- BO'll take it down with the rest of us.

Here's one of my favorite crank-it-up-and-shake-yer-ass songs, Supermassive Black Hole by Muse. Enjoy.

I heard a commercial on the radio recently for a monitored home security system called laser shield. In fairness, I can't say whether this was a local or nationally broadcast commercial. What caught my attention was the sales pitch. The announcer was saying that renters are umpteen times more likely to be burglarized than are home owners. The announcer then urged renting listeners to buy a laser shield system to "even the odds on this unfair statistic."

The thought that there is a fair number of times to have been burgled in life, of course, brought to mind Discworld and the Thieves' Guild of Ankh-Morpork. Only, in the book, it's viewed with irony and humour, as the idea of an agreed-upon number of times to be robbed is clearly ridiculous, right?


I just wonder what is wrong with people that they think if they are burgled, then it is fair that other people be burgled as well. Isn't this shifting the blame for the occurrence onto the victims, or onto people who haven't been victims, rather than taking the blame to the doorstep of those actually responsible for these crimes? And how nasty of people in the security business to capitalize on fear, rather than simply taking a common-sense approach! Why couldn't there be a straightforward sales pitch which doesn't rely so heavily on emotionally driven manipulation? How about "it's a neat idea to have a security system, and sometimes it will be a deterrent for thieves?"

The sad thing about common sense is that these days, it's less and less common.

Monday, September 08, 2008

From the dont-fly-off-the-handle-when-you're-full-of-bull files comes this tasty little morsel from ABC's Terry Moran waxing orgasmic and doing it all wrong:


h/t to Zelda

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Jack Russell that dominated Victory Plaza...

Note how 20-foot vid screens shrink into the background when there's a beautiful bitch in the photo. If Leni Riefenstahl were alive today, this is the photo she'd want to snap.
The search continues...

Tried to do a good thing and add to our household at the same time. Found a dog that sounded fabulous on petfinder.com. Called the rescue facility housing said pooch and talked at length about his appropriateness for me and Praline. Sounded good. His profile said he was housebroken. Great! Knew this would have its challenges, but based on what the lady told me, I thought we could manage the hurdles.

As we were leaving the shelter, I told the woman I was stopping on the way home to buy him a kennel. She told me not to get a plastic kennel, to get a wire one. I said okay.

Got him home, and he wouldn't pee outside, but didn't pee inside either. Let him choose where he slept that first night. Awoke to Lake Urie on the kitchen floor. Probably cleaned up at least a quart of urine. Um, okay. KNEW that would be part of the deal. Called the shelter, though, and the woman told me THEN that she never put the dogs up at night, that they could come and go 24/7, so he was accustomed to going out any time day or night. Um, that is not house-trained, in my book. (Petfinder listing said he WAS housetrained to a doggie door, and that she'd told me so long as he got to go out every couple hours or so, it would be okay.) Okay, at this point I thought it'd be more of a challenge than I originally expected, but not insurmountable.

Spent a LOT of time outdoors with both dogs throughout Saturday. Cleaned up lots more pee in the house. Fine. Bedtime came, and I put him in his kennel. I'd no more than climbed in bed than he started rattling his kennel door and thrashing about. I thought he'd quit eventually, and i drifted in and out of sleep several hours. At 3:30, he began barking. I came downstairs and took the two dogs into my back yard for about 30 minutes. Back inside and back into the kennel, he started howling and moaning. That really sealed his fate. I let him loose for the remainder of the night so I perhaps could at least get a few hours' decent sleep.

I have common walls with two other apartments. If someone complained to me their neighbor's dog was baying at 4am, I'd cite that resident and issue them a $250 fine the next occurrence. (company policy, not one of my own creation). The pee thing I could work around as long as necessary, but there needs must be a short learning curve on the bark/noise issue.

Sunday morning, I called the lady again about him and I said what a disaster the kennel thing was, and she said "you can't put him in a kennel! He's claustrophobic!" Again, this is a bit of information that would have been helpful when I was making the decision to take the bundle of joy home, and she could have mentioned this instead of advising me what type of kennel to buy. I feel misled, at the very least. She said I could let him roam free and never kennel him, and I said that would mean he'd never learn to be housebroken, plus, my little dog who must be kenneled for her own safety would bark incessantly if he had free run of the place as she was cooped up. This dog was just an unfolding series of nasty surprises.

Yes, I took the dog back to her. I thought I was doing a good thing for the 3 of us. Funny how the important questions turn out to be the ones not asked-- the ones you'd never THINK to ask. I've never heard of a kennel or shelter where they don't pen the dogs up at night. I would think that people who wanted the best outcome would try to be as forthcoming as possible to facilitate the best possible outcome for the rescued pets, yeah? I'm so disappointed.

Update: In a state of distress Sunday morning, I emailed mauser*girl who works extensively with dogs, and someone whose opinion on same I value. In her response, she wrote:
While any dog needs to have time to settle and get used to a new routine, this has nothing to do with patience. A dog is either housebroken or he is not, and a dog is either crate trained or he is not. As both are absolute requirements in your situation, I agree - you were hoodwinked. I would return the dog and ask for a refund. I don't know whether their contract states that they don't give refunds or not, but they LIED to you. It's not like you simply changed your mind.

Thanks, mauser*girl. I wanted this to work out, but this equation of partial or false information about the dog set us all up for failure, unfortunately. After all, we are talking about how several lives will be affected, and not the fate of a used car. I'd like to think things here can be held to a higher standard.
Um, I saw some 8 week old pups on petfinder.com - siblings from a litter, obviously, and their little page each said "this animal has been altered." Remind me how young an animal can be neutered? I thought they had to be about 6 months or so?

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Of course, this is all purely hypothetical...

Let's say someone had a puppeh.

Let's say mebbe a cat or cats occasionally pooped in the fenced-in back yard of puppeh.

Not mentioning any names or anything, but, um what if puppeh liked to eat said poops?

Um, is there anything the hypothetical person responsible for that yard could do to ward off the offending felines? Cat bane?

Ugh. No more kissies for puppeh.

Well, er, the hypothetical puppeh.
That is to say if such a puppeh existed.

Which it does not.*

*Um, any advice you can give would be appreciated.


Friday, September 05, 2008

This is kind of cool. My great grandpa was a champion fiddler and played regularly for a radio show in Michigan in the 20s. (I never knew that!) He's mentioned about halfway down the page in this article. Amongst family, great grandpa was called Papa Kent, and he was apparently a real ogre of a man. He died quite a while before I was born, so I never had to know of his meanness up close and personal. Apparently he'd get drunk and walk around town naked. (I think they all lived in Lepanto Arkansas at the time). One time, (if I've got this straight) he was walking around town au naturel accessorized only with a pistol, which he used to blow a hole in some guy's hat. He was aiming for the guy's head, though, so lucky thing he was drunk.

No one liked him. But he played a mean fiddle.


Mama Kent also died well before I was born. She was the long-suffering type, and they had, like, a million kids. I seem to have endless numbers of second- and third- cousins, mostly not married to one another. Mama Kent divorced P.K., but it didn't stick, and for some reason she allowed herself to be persuaded to remarry him. At some point, she had a stroke and never really talked again, afterward, although she could say one word. Whenever she was frustrated or angry, she would say the word "scat!" Married to PK, I can imagine she said "scat" a whole bunch.

It's funny to think of one's forbears, particularly those dead before you were born, but who kept their silent vigil over your life from the stately poses of photos on the wall and in family albums. It's interesting to think of quirky things you may have in common with a person whom you never met, like a recessive gene that rears its ugly head every so often. I don't think I could be drunk enough to walk around the High Street naked, but if I did, I'll bet I'd carry a pistol and say "Scat!" a whole bunch.

Who knows?
CLICK HERE to see a seriously cool version of the Statue of Liberty.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I have shopping mojo. I'm a smart shopper and my keen eye comes across some fantastic things, now and again. I learned a long time ago if there's something I rilly rilly want, best to buy it-- I can always return it if I have buyer's remorse. Better to regret something you have bought than to regret something you didn't buy-- the purchase that got away. This is particularly true with stuff in junk stores-- you may, in fact, never come across the identical antlered lazy susan with matching S&P shakers and chainsaw caddy. Often when I'm on the horns of a dilemma about whether to buy or not, when I finally make up my mind and come back for it, it's usually been snapped up by another savvy shopper who recognized a golden opportunity when they saw it. My belief is this one item which sat dusty lo those many moons had acquired a sheen by virtue of my shopping mojo which settled on its surface when I cast a favorable eye thereupon.

Funny how things work out.

Me and Miss Praline went to the Dallas Humane Society to meet Bruce about 5 on Wednesday afternoon. Before I left work, I called them and asked if I could come up and meet him, the 3-legged guy, and they said "sure!" Had a hard time finding the place-- Irving Blvd gets a bit wonky over there-- but finally arrived. I left the pup in the car to go check things out. Walked in to find that a family had just come in after I called and brought their dog. The whole family loved Bruce, and so did their dog, so Bruce had a home.

I got my shopping mojo on him. Maybe I need to do that for more dogs that need a home. I am so happy for him. I knew if he and Praline and I all got along, I'd really have my hands full. I need to work more on getting my place organized before getting the second dog. I knew if I met Bruce, that most likely I wouldn't be able to resist, and I think things probably worked out for the best for him. Bless his furry little heart! What a fine boy.

You can see Bruce here in the bottom row of successful adoptions, dated 9/3/2008.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Is it just me, or are other people enjoying the Dem ticket's Brown Trouser Moment™?

totally SFW
Short and funny
Peter (Bayou Renaissance Man) update: He left me a voice mail this morning at 9:30 saying he has no utilities and has to drive several miles just to get cell phone service, but that he is alive and well and will be checking in with friends via cell every so often until local utilities are restored. I read on Lawdog's blog yesterday that a tree fell on Peter's house. There were several trees he was worried about possibly falling, so I'm hopeful the damage is minimal and not as severe as it might have been. Terrible that he's experienced the 1-2 punch of the fire and now this, poor poppet.

When we were on vacation for a week a few weeks back, Miss Praline got to spend some quality time with a matronly dog (Flo's lovely Miss Allie, the Sheltie) who taught her some better manners. Now that we've been home alone together a couple weeks now, some of that good influence is wearing off. The photo above was taken at the end of the week and on the way home. I rather sense in her eyes that Allie was tired of Praline's crap. But Praline was SO much the better for it, and of course, companionship is good for a dog.

Thus are we on the lookout for another small dog to add to our little pack to give her companionship. I'm perusing the dog rescue pages for all the immediate area. It's amazing to look at all the pictures. My heart really goes out to them all. One ad said "I'm a really good dog but my family left me at the shelter when they moved to another state. I guess that state doesn't allow dogs." Saw that more than once - family moved and dumped the dog. Or they got a puppy and dumped the older dog. You really have to wonder how people can be so callous to a little furball.

Well, there's a few dogs me and Praline will be visiting over the next several days, I suppose. Believe it or not, the front-runner only has 3 legs, but he's a spiky little dude. We'll see. I'll give you a report when there's news to tell. Here's the scrappy little 3-legged guy. Isn't he just adorable???
Will report again when there is news to tell.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Another brand new musical biscuit

Okay - here is one I am SUPER-excited about.

Any of you remember Big Audio Dynamite???
The Clash?
Generation X?
Sigue Sigue Sputnik?
Sisters of Mercy?

Well, all those components of my own personal musical DNA have banded together to form Carbon/Silicon, to marvelous effect.

Glorious to again hear the voice of Mick Jones, formerly of The Clash and B.A.D.

Here's a song about (for a change!) good news. Reminds me of last Friday:


h/t to DBA Dude

Monday, September 01, 2008

I went to have supper with my folks and accidentally left my cell phone at home. Peter called about 8:30 and said he is fine. The water is coming down now in absolute bucket-fuls, but he was able to get cell reception by standing out in the wind and the rain, but he wouldn't be doing that again. They were expecting 18 inches of rain over the next several hours from then. Sounded like he was safe, but would simply be out of touch for the immediate little while. He wanted me to let you all know he was fine. :)

Godspeed, Peter! We're thinking of you and all your neighbors down there in Louisiana!
blogroll Gustav update

Posting this at 5:15 Monday afternoon - I spoke with Ambulance Driver a short while ago, and they've battened down the hatches and are riding out the storm. The unfortunate thing is that the eye of the storm looks dead-set to go right over his house, but I'm hoping for everyone's sake the whole production will poop itself out toute-de-suite now that it's made landfall.

I just called Peter but got a voice mail saying his line was busy. Hopefully that means his line was busy and not that there is no service where he is at the moment. Still, despite the recent fire and whatnot, I know his home is well fortified and provisioned, and that his house sits on the highest ground in the immediate area.

Will post an update if I have word again from either of these two.



In refuting John McCain's choice for Veep, P. Diddy comes up with one of the best arguments for Sarah Palin that I've heard. Tedious and profanity laden, you may want to FF to the money shot at 3:35.

To wit: "there's not even no crackheads in Alaska."

Sounds like a ringing endorsement, if I ever heard one.

h/t to Bayou Renaissance Man

Oh, and WHILE we are on the subject, let's just address the touchy-feely bushwa of "children are the future" and the culture of youth-worship and all that. Um, No, Morons, OLD PEOPLE are the future. That is to say, if we play our cards right, we live to be old, and that's in the future for every one of us wot dudn't get killdeded. Just because you come from a thug culture that celebrates some latter-day cowboy update of living fast and dying young doesn't make it desireable, heroic or anything other than a reality-deficient romance.


Aussies have a deliciously twisted view on things. I like those people!

h/t to Myron