Monday, January 31, 2011
The esteemed Old NFO arrived in town first Friday afternoon, followed closely by Vine and FarmGirl (bringing an offering of delectable brew from the Nerds).
Then Chris joined us for dinner and finally AmbulanceDriver arrived late. The next morning Jennifer and EvylRobot arrived, the fruit of their loins in tow. We headed out to the local greasy spoon for breakfast and ruled the roost in the non-smoking room. Then JPG and Holly arrived (deviled-eggs!!!), followed soon by MattG and his lovely missus. The party was in full swing by the time the marvelous Christina appeared, in from a hard day's slog and with a big pot of delicious chili. Somewhere in the festivities, Gneil the Gnome made an appearance and took a samurai whack at the traditional birthday cake. Kitchen bitches did oodles of dishes for me, lessening the chore load and making the cooking a little more efficient.
Fire roaring in the chimenea on Saturday night, we sat around and told stories and a grand time was had by all. Squirrels got up to mischief but managed to avoid a proper seeing-to. See previous redneck party post for details.
Great ideas were hatched and still more were germinated. Holly and I really must start our holster manufacturing operation. We're going to make bra holsters and call them Cannon Cups™. [cheeseball tag line: "Hey, guys! Check out these guns!"]... Possible alternate blog title: Sprechen Sie Bitch? Possibly a vocal ensemble is in the offing. More on all these later.
Some dear folks couldn't attend and they were sorely missed, but it was a most excellent occasion, and I thank all our friends for making the trek out to Little Town.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
I don't normally post my response to comments on the main blog page, but these comments so amused me that I have to point them out, lest anyone should miss them.
Joe Allen, referring to the Bette Midler video quipped :
Joe Allen said...Then some clever soul offered:
I wasn't looking at first - I thought the first one was Barry White with a head cold...
BTW, just saw on Regretsy some NSFW footwear for you: http://goo.gl/qTfRE
Anonymous said...To which came the gallant rejoinder:
Classically trained = music snob. Nobody cares about your opinion.
Joe Allen said...I can't say it any better than Joe did, but I will add that it's giggle-inducing to think that someonone make a big production of saying that no one cares about my opinion. I am struck by the irony that they cared enough to come here and read in the first place, and will probably come back to see if I got an ouchie from the cruel words. If you must know, I chuckled.
Anonymous = cloth-eared nincompoop.
I'd always wondered what sort of idle slackwit heaves themselves off the couch to respond "no opinion" to phone polls, now I know.
I'll not bother to point out that even the most rudimentary instruction can enhance and increase one's appreciation and understanding of any art form - it's clear that you're not burdened with an overabundance of education of any sort.
I'll just ask that if you're going to be boorish enough to insult our fine hostess, at least have the decency to sign your own name to it.
While you're having a listen to your "fuzzy warbles", have a look at the shoe link I posted earlier. It's directly applicable.
Friday, January 28, 2011
You may or may not know that like several on me blogroll, I am a classically trained singer. Yes, it sounds frouffy and pretentious, but it's true. I can ho jo to ho with the best of them, baby. Or worst. For reals.
I started vocal training well into adulthood, and one result of my rigorous training was that while my enjoyment of non-classical music was undiminished, I brought a much more critical ear to the table and technical failings could impede my ability to hear a piece of music for its own merits.
I always found slightly askew music appealing and now I better understand why. I adored Richard Butler's vocalisation in the Psychedelic Furs. Same with David Gahan of Depeche Mode. Now I recognize that part of their wonky appeal is that each of these singers doesn't quite center their pitch over the note they are singing. Gahan is an example of a singer whose vibrato takes them a smidge away from the tone they are singing and makes it sound almost off-key, and this is part of his charm. Butler's technique is odd with a forced vibrato and this probably plays in to his pitch issues. But I love them. My affection for their sounds are firmly cemented.
I've generally balked at so-called-popular music. I always listened to music which was often technically and generally textually superior to the mass-marketed crap on the radio. I am exceedingly fond of P.J. Harvey (who has some interesting pitch issues going on occasionally, and on her, it's smokin' hawt) and Dead Can Dance and Imogen Heap. In the spirit of full disclosure, Whitney Houston makes me want to scratch my own eardrums out, and Bette Midler's The Wind Beneath My Wings made my skin crawl in a not-good way. Bette was a great cabaret act, but the belting is not something one can sustain for a lifetime, unless you're Ethel Merman. She is not Ethel Merman. Celine Dion I can handle in (extremely) small doses (there is a little good technique going on there, but I do feel she abuses her instrument) such as a background piece of music in a loud restaurant scene in a movie for, like 5 seconds(no theme songs, please), and then that's it. That's me done with Celine Dion for the next decade. Oogy-quotient aside, Michael Jackson, admittedly, wrote some very melodically compelling music, but I never bought it and I certainly did tire of hearing him everywhere, all the time.
There are good singers, and then there are good vocalists. Very few have the felicity to possess both qualities. Bruce Springsteen? Scary voice, good singer. Neil Young? Eerie, odd voice, decent singer, better songwriter. Get the idea? Dione Warwick, great voice, great singer, but some scary vibrato issues. Apparently Whitney took the wrong lessons from the work of her auntie. Dolly Parton, good but odd voice, brilliant singer. Ronnie James Dio, superb instrument, very fine singer.
I am awed by the melodies of Burt Bacharach. Remember the Martini&Rossi ad campaign he did in the 70s with Angie Dickinson? That's just hawt. Say yes! Anyhoo, about 10 or so years ago, Burt teamed up with Elvis Costello (odd voice, brilliant singer and also superb songwriter) and they penned one of my all-time favorite songs, God Give Me Strength, which was featured in the film Grace Of My Heart and masterfully sung by (great voice, great singer) Kristen Vigard. This song is extremely complex in composition and the range is a brutal one for the chesty, typical vocal style of pop music. This is a song that 99.999% of the singers on the planet should reserve for the sanctity of their own showers when they are home alone. In the middle of nowhere.
So, on TV, in front of me and everybody, Bette Midler had to take a whack at the beehive and the result is a vocal train-wreck that made me absolutely doubt my senses. This is so incredibly poorly done that-- like watching an exploding septic tank-- I simply cannot look away. If this had been my first hearing of this song, I would have thought it was never in the same room with Messrs. Bacharach and Costello, let alone penned by them. The fawning comments below make me want to spew. I expect the link will be killed about 5 minutes after I put this up, but I'm doing it anyway. What you hear in this clip is the dividend of decades of improper singing.
Bette, honey, just stop. Please. You're hurting the children. You're hurting me. You're spoogeing up my favorite song, lady. Remove this from your repertoire. Immediately.
That is all.
Come to that, stop listening to Bette and wash the bad taste out with the version of it properly done:
Yes, a busy week, and I am perhaps late to say so, but I believe free speech is not just a right for protected classes like incumbents or the politically correct.
Not two whole months ago I linked a post by TJIC which I found profoundly inspiring. The link in my blog post is now dead because TJIC's blog can no longer be read, having been taken down by authorities who also came to take his guns, although he has committed no crime. Come to find out, TJIC said something on his blog following the Tucson mass murder to which certain officials took great exception.
I'm thinking of all the hate speech that is protected because the targets of hate speech were conservatives or of a traditionally Catholic or Protestant bent. A filmmaker produced a work depicting the assassination of George W. Bush while he was still president and that was soberly regarded as protected intellectual discourse. While we are on that tack, Andres Serrano's photograph Piss-Christ depicted a Crucifix dunked in a glass of the artist's urine-- again, this was regarded as free speech and legitimate creative expression. The artist said this was not meant as a slight on Catholicism but as a statement on the commercialization of their faith, but I contend he packaged it as a product as effectively as any secular dealer of liturgical accessories ever did. Bastard. Again: free speech. He gets to do something virulently offensive to myriad Catholics around the globe and be lauded as original and profound and clever. But don't you dare say anything negative-- however true-- about some backward neanderthal religion practiced by misogynistic goatherds from regions that would never have invented the wheel if someone hadn't rolled one in to them. Don't you dare criticize the anointed of our political body-- they matter and you don't, and I don't, and TJIC doesn't.
I say that is absolute twaddle. I am an American. No matter how anyone may try to twist our perceptions of the intentions of our founding fathers and the penetrating brilliance of the documents they drafted to ensure that our freedoms would endure through the ages, the truth is simple and absolute and always there for the reading.
I have the right to express my views, even if someone disagrees with me. So do you. So does TJIC. Don't like what I say on my blog? Get your own. I will applaud your tenacity and the energy you give to support your beliefs, even if I disagree with you and refuse to link you. We are still Americans.
My fervent hope is that whoever launched this attack on free speech will rethink their stance and recognize that their actions have set us on a slippery slope on which our clutching grasp will find no purchase, and then it's all over but the crying. My hope is that very soon, my link to TJIC's blog is again active.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
waka! waka! waka!!!
He had me at cornball.
Watched Dog Soldiers afterward to wash the bitter taste of higher learning out of my mouth. Excellent movie. LOVED the references to all the other films. Was fabulous. The characters were actually likeable. Oh, and I guessed immediately the chick was one of them. MM hmm. Yep. Sure did.
Oh, and Spoon is teh ossum. You've gotta love a guy who vows to wrack the monster who's about to eat him with a raging bout of loose stools.
Monday, January 24, 2011
At first blush, this looks to me to be on par with the "you can get a mortal brain infection from picking your nose" type stories. You may die from space junk falling on you as you walk to the mailbox. We've all gotta die from something.
I sleep with my dogs and have no intention to stop. If that's lethal, then what a way to go, eh? I'll take my snuggly little parasites any day.
I won't abuse you with the before picture -- the "After" is chaotic enough. There is a serious dearth of closet space in my house, so Saturday night I put together this closet-y thing in the space where the sawhorse table was with the tools and things that have been used for ripping out/repairing on the house. This was not the red-letter day accomplishment that the actual installation of an actual closet will be, but it is certainly a welcome and hallowed event. Can actual home organization be far behind? Hopefully not.
BTW, that other wheelie cart at the end of the room has the paint and stain cans, and yes, there are some clothes piled on top. The wood at the end of the room is the beadboard awaiting stain and then installation into the living room ceiling. See? Messy!
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Sunday, January 23, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Qu'elle surprise! Qu'elle horreur!
Nakedly so, one afears. Is anyone surprised? Not likely.
Mosey over to Linoge's and see how it is they go about researching and booking their guests for their informative reports.
Bastiges. I want my money back. I never wanted to fork it over in the first place. Smug, double-dealing gits.
I wonder why I invented that?
What's odd about that is I don't like overly-preened dogs, like the pom-poms on Standard Poodles, and I think it's terrible that people trim a dog's whiskers. I think one of the most adorable things about Praline is that she looks so prim and pretty yet has a big, honkin' complement of whiskers, including a pair of stray black ones that make me giggle. I clearly have a preference for dogs being the fur-bearing fuzzballs they are naturally, so I can't imagine why, in my sleep, I'd invent a hair-removal product for dogs.
I was dreaming. I'm not responsible.
Friday, January 21, 2011
This is a small town, and there are skunks about. Sometimes out for walkies at night, I hear coyotes yodeling in the distance. This is just part of living in the provinces, and not something I generally give a lot of consideration. Coyotes don't make it this far into town, and the 3 times I've seen a skunk within 5 blocks of my home, I've quickly reversed my steps and avoided enjoying the discord of its race.
One night this week, I was cooking and needed to run out to the market for an ingredient. I stepped out the front door, the cool evening air redolent of skunk, but still a little faint, as though it weren't terribly close. I shrugged, but looked around carefully before making my way to my car. Got in. Drove off. Came back, and was careful to sweep my headlamps wide as I turned in, looking for evidence of a skunk. No sign. *whew* I stepped out of my car and immediately my heart sank-- my oh, shit! is back. There was the very strong scent of very fresh skunk and very close by. I hoped with every fiber of my being to make it into the house without a stinky-squirty event. Yes, I moved with great purpose and economy of action and made it through the door, my heart hammering madly. I don't smoke, but I think if there'd been a nicotine patch handy, I would have slapped it on.
Speaking of skunks, this brings to mind my favorite of Ambrose Bierce's fables featuring one of these musky beasts:
A Needless Labour
AFTER waiting many a weary day to revenge himself upon a Lion for some unconsidered manifestation of contempt, a Skunk finally saw him coming, and posting himself in the path ahead uttered the inaudible discord of his race. Observing that the Lion gave no attention to the matter, the Skunk, keeping carefully out of reach, said:
'Sir, I beg leave to point out that I have set afoot an implacable odour.'
'My dear fellow,' the Lion replied, 'you have taken a needless trouble; I already knew that you are not a rose.'
Thursday, January 20, 2011
You can dial calls and take calls. You can turn it off. You can save numbers on a paper pad with a little pen in the back of the phone. You can turn it off. It has a volume dial, but most importantly, you can turn it off. No texty-texty. No alarm-clocks, farmville apps or lawn-mower attachments. Just a phone.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
The professor tells corny jokes, and that's actually fun. He seems to think even the dimmest among us have hopes for grasping the concepts, so perhaps there is yet hope for me.
I did well with Geometry but struggled with Algebra in grade school, so I've been dreading this. I'm going to study every day and hope I can surprise myself by actually learning this stuff.
At a restaurant Tuesday, Himself and I were doing the bouncy (insincere) bobbing our heads back and forth to Surfin' USA, ironic grins on our faces.
Just how baked do your beans have to be to get past the first horrible line???
Let's fluff our auras and clear away the hideous Beach Boy stench with thoughts of puppies:
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
Ricky is the creator of the English series The Office, of which the American series of the same title was inspired. Ricky's humour style is distinguished by an awkward, often rude and uncomfortably off-the-mark observations. He plays a boorish character, and people have loved him for that. Considering such humour is his stock in trade, I wonder who the frell expected him to do otherwise in an award show setting? Would you hire Fran Drescher to speak extemporaneously on French Symbolist poetry? No, you'd hire Fran because she's really hawt for a woman who laughs like a donkey. Would you engage a chimney sweep to engineer your wedding cake? Me neither.
Awkward, off-the-mark, boorish humour is what Gervais does, so I say if they hired him for the host job, then they deserve what they got. You can't sit around calling him a comic genius on one hand and then crying foul when he turns that caustic wit on you.
It's all fun and games until someone starts telling the truth. Hollywood has been drinking their own kool-aid for too long.
Hollywood is all about illusions, and to paraphrase a famous movie, they can't handle the truth.
I say give Ricky Gervais a raise. That guy is either immaculately stupid, or he seriously clanks when he walks.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
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Last night I went to see the esteemed Coen Brothers' remake of True Grit and at the end where she's in the pit with the snakes, I kept thinking what a tragedy it was they left that gorgeous antler-handled knive on the mummified remains down in the pit. I think even snake-bit, I wouldn't have left such a pretty behind. *blink* *blink* That didn't come out right, and I'm not going to try to fix it. The knife was pretty, okay?
Saturday, January 15, 2011
How to massage your 'possum from MePearl.
I am in awe of this series of possum care videos for off-the-scale cuteness. Who knew possums have natural Chi? Himself was dumbstruck, but I think he just can't handle teh kewt.
[And yes, Christina, I thought of you]
Friday, January 14, 2011
I got these socks (and oh-so-many other oober-cool things) at a marvelous little shop in Dallas called Gifted. It was such a great store and joined the ranks of other sublime gone-but-not-forgotten stores like Modern Toys and Right Brain/Left Brain.
It seems teh puppehs have a taste for my favorite sock, too. See below. Now they'll never be reunited, unless the other one, too, travels the gnarled path of puppy innards.
*le sigh* Bye bye, Daisy Chainsaw.
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Thursday, January 13, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
*******speaking of the retina... I'm given to understand that Jack Russell Terriers (or so a vet told me once) are the dog most likely to suffer from detached retina, because of all the bounding around they do. Not surprising...
Former Timelord Tom Baker goes there and talk trash about his Dr Who predecessor Jon Pertwee. Tacky, tacky, even if true.
...just because it's Wednesday, let's hope the Milkman of Human Kindness leaves us all an extra pint.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
And so it was on Monday morning, when flipping down to the next message in line, one of the company higher-ups (who has a ranch, this being Texas and all) messaged the whole comp'nay to say that there were 4 white fluffy bunnies available to whomever should want them.
This time, I didn't resist and hit "reply to all" and sent the simple message "are these fryer size?"
A friend in another department said that a sort of shudder whooshed through their office when that email hit the in-boxes and someone muttered "oh, phlegmmy, NO."
It was only after I'd sent it that I grokked the subject line - I need to find a home for 4 pet bunnies.
Uh. *blink* *blink*
Shrewish, surly woman from another department marched over to say what a horrible person I am. So I recognize rabbit for the delicious little beast it is. So I don't have time to read the subject lines on email before replying to all. Does that make me a horrible person?
I think not.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Sunday, an anonymous commenter said
It's Hungary's national anthem. Please remove the sound, because it's not for that. I'm not a nationalist idiot, but it is far too much, thank you
I admit I've said unwittingly, shamefully insulting and ignorant things in a nation's sacred place (no, I will never tell you about the Edinburgh Castle Ugly American Moment™), but I do strive to be respectful of others' national pride [unless they are from some backwood jihadist goatherd state and when those people wantonly kill innocent folks in my neck of the woods, well, their bilious reeking-of-cheapness negated any respect I may have granted them out of my own (foreign to that lot) innate sense of decency].
To the aforementioned commenter, I am disappointed you took the video as an affront to your country's lovely anthem. I did not recognize it as your anthem, but I do think the stateliness and elegance of the piece made it an appealing background for the video which (albeit of a humourous bent), was made to illustrate the forged-steel backbone that drove the bold and pioneering spirit of folks who settled in the rugged and often desolate lands west of the Rocky Mountains in America. Some others might reasonably take offense and say the video's intent was to show Mormons as nutty, and no, they're not going to get an equal-time post such as this one. Deal with it.
I will not remove the previous video, but I will post your anthem in toto, accompanied by images of the breathtaking landscapes and beautiful cities which festoon Hungary, and all this undiminished by centuries of occupations and the hideous, stinging cruelty of communist oppression in the 20th century. Hungary is resoundingly influential on Western culture, however subtle. Even ignorant of its origins, I grew up in a Southern American household where Goulash was often found at table. I say be proud of your country, absolutely, and your National Anthem is a beautiful one. No offense was intended, and I hope your discomfort with the previous post is assuaged.
Jó kedvvel, bőséggel,
Nyújts feléje védő kart,
Ha küzd ellenséggel;
Bal sors akit régen tép,
Hozz rá víg esztendőt,
Megbűnhődte már e nép
A múltat s jövendőt!
O Lord, bless the nation of Hungary
With your grace and bounty
Extend over it your guarding arm
During strife with its enemies
Long torn by ill fate
Bring upon it a time of relief
This nation has suffered for all sins
Of the past and of the future!
Jack Russell Terriers have a well-earned reputation for being a trifle spastic. Miss Praline has her moments, but in the main, she's a calm and very focused little dog. Especially when there's little scraps of venison being sawed off and parceled out to puppies. She and Chuy both wait their turns patiently. Good doggies!
Sunday, January 09, 2011
Wow. I just realized I had venison from this lovely little beast last week when Himself whipped up some venison chili for me. I may have to start a sunday, Bambi Sunday series.
Full report to come.
p.s. I LURVESES my Dutch Oven. In fact, before I ever had the inkling that I would ADORE cooking, girlhood version 1.0 of me began having cooking vessel lust. That Dutch Oven in Bugs' "bring me my HOSENFEFFER" episode made me long ever-so-daisperately(that was a Scots accent on that last word, btw) for a Dutch Oven of precisely that design. And one day, I'm going to have one. Oh yes, I will.
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A couple days ago I wore these Fluevogs to work, and sat on the bed to take them off when I got home and then wandered off into the house. Forgot and left them within pups' reach, but they didn't raise an eyebrow. It's not that the pups never chew things that I'd rather not have chewed, but they just never got into the habit of nomming shoes. Thank goodness. I admit that when I walked in the room and saw them there, my heart sank a bit, fearful that this would be the day they discovered the joys of noshing on shoe leather, but not so!
Saturday, January 08, 2011
Sequester pups in kitchen, check.
Protective eyewear, check.
Nitrile gloves, check.
I guess we'll see how this works, but the air has already stopped flowing in. How I've managed to not have rattlesnakes in the house is a marvel, actually.
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I love this SO. MUCH.
I can't stop giggling.
Friday, January 07, 2011
I LOVE LOVE LURVE this bedspread. Actually, several years ago, I found a $600 version of this in all-white cotton voile from someplace like Saks or somesuch and resisted temptation when I could have afforded it at the time. Silly me. Anyway, this blue ombre version is muy adorable, and I may try to figure out a way to succumb, this time...
Thursday, January 06, 2011
I'll just let the irony sink in for a moment. True, you go to Mexico, you're not supposed to drink the water, and here I am, drinking water bottled at the source in Mexico.
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
I was sad to hear Tuesday evening that he'd died yesterday. R.I.P, Gerry, and thanks for the lovely music.
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Monday, January 03, 2011
Christina and Silver came to visit Sunday night and it was a grand finish to a long weekend. I LOVE my friends! I've said that about a million times this weekend (blush) but it bears repeating.
Himself made some chili with venison I got from me Pa (thanks, Dad-- was the best EVAR!!!) and Daniel came over and we played Munchkin. Daniel is well evil at Munchkin, btw. You can always tell when he's gearing up to annihilate the room and run the table. No one was spared. Was good fun, though.