Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tenderness on the Block

710 should probably try to monitor my alcohol intake at neighborhood events. It's not that he should be responsible for me, but clearly, I'm not competent enough to keep tabs on myself.

Unless I'm hanging with my sometime man-date, Scott, or with my oldest and dearest friends, my intake of booze is quite limited. In those aforementioned times, I can swing right back into my peak consumption times. It's quite a thing to see - though it is not always pretty.

Or even at a block party in the hood.

Perhaps 5-6 glasses of wine isn't a bad thing......assuming one partakes of the layout of food that was also provided.

Blobby didn't do that.

To be fair, there is only so much quinoa salad one can tolerate...and I think three different people brought one.

Usually there is a treasure trove of desserts, which made me halt my thought-process of bringing cupcakes......and almost no one brought dessert this time.

Oh fate, you are a cruel, cruel wench.

I had a few chips full of guacamole....and......well....that might have been it. Oh - no, I had one of the things we had brought (more on that tomorrow). Hardly enough to absorb any booze going into my system, let alone all of it.

I chatted with some long time neighbors. I got to meet one-half of the newest neighbors....though I saw the male half chatting with others (grrrrrrrrr!).

Still it was a nice time and we do have some really nice folk who live by us.

My favourite part of the day were the kids. I know.....I know.....I don't like kids. But some of them have clearly seen too many police / crime dramas. They were going around doing chalk outlines of each other.

It was funny the weird positions they were getting into. Very random. Very post-violent scenes.

Or maybe I was more amused at this because I was drunk.

Song by:  Shawn Colvin

Monday, September 22, 2014

My Music Monday

Autumn beings today at 22:29 EDT.

It's not quite unwelcome, as I think Autumn is my favourite season. Yes, it signals Winter, but this is Northeast Ohio - everything signals Winter.

Summer wasn't much of anything. Plenty of rain, though other years lately have seen much more. Temps have been very mild for the most part, and we had enough days in July and August that had us pulling out the comforter.

That's not what you quite want for Summer.

Appropriately enough, today's song title is "Summer Moved On" by, yes, a-ha.

Long time readers of this blog-thingy will know I don't cast dispersions on a-ha. If you can overlook "Take On Me" (and I try to), they have some decent work - though nothing that is groundbreaking, but a lot more folks have gotten into the Rock Hall for a lot less.

a-ha did their 30th anniversary concert tour a while back and I think that was it for them.

I've opted for a live version of the song because it shows they're not quite just studio guys. They might not be heavyweights, but it's not all created for recording.

Granted, the studio version isn't that much different, but in the live version you get the flaws and that is actually ok.  Even this version is from '98, but it is the version I have.

There are better live versions in terms of video out there, but the arrangement of the song differs slightly, or enough for me to still stick with this one.

Hope you had a good Summer.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Nothing in My Way

The Muses are not here today. Or yesterday I suppose. But it effects you today. I suppose I can throw out a few nothing items that you might see in the future:

  • iOS8.  I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. Liking some things. Not liking others. The more I get to know it, the more I can fully comment on it. 
  • iPhone6. I haven't said yes to getting one. But I haven't said no either. We walked into Apple yesterday, while there was a line of people outside waiting to pick up their pre-orders. I did like the size of the 6 (not the 6 Plus). I liked how thin it was. Still.....we'll see. We didn't even bother to ask about availability.
  •  We have our neighborhood block party today. There might be a post on that. And possibly (or in conjunction with) a food post, as I need to make something to bring. Or buy something. But I'll probably make it. 
  • That cyst on Petey's paw? While the doc says it doesn't need to come off, we are thinking it does. It might bother him more than we would like to believe and now he's back to obsessively licking it and opening it up. Ick. That's just a recipe for another infection. I get the pricing on the surgery this week. 
That's it. That's all I got. As I've said, all these posts can't be winners. 

Song by: Keane

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Outside Looking In

Petey Porn. Petey Porn. Petey Porn.

With a little bit of Sophie thrown in.

On what was bound to be our last hot day of 2014. The room a/c was on, and he was shut out. Well, kind of. He knows how to nose his way in, but those sad sad hound eyes made me get up and open the door for him. 

Pete has taken to lying in the garage when I'm doing yard work. Naturally, he plops himself down in front of the sensor, so he ends up turning and keeping on the garage lights. 

Brother and Sister time. 

Honestly, he has the entire (stage) left side of the couch for himself. But lord if he doesn't want to jump up onto my side and sit on me.  

Trust me, I'm not complaining. 

Song by: Mary Chapin Carpenter

Friday, September 19, 2014

I'm in a Philly Mood

You've heard about the news by now. Well some of you have......or at least some of the news.

Two gay men were beaten up - one now with his jaw wired shut - (allegedly) by a large group of 20 somethings who had once attended Catholic high school together. In surveillance video, there seems to be at least a dozen folks. In the picture they took at a restaurant they were at shortly before the assault, there are more than twice that many.

Yes, not only did this take place in the City of Brotherly Love, this was perpetrated by a the followers and disciples of Jesus Christ.

Compassion. Caring. Kindness.

That Jesus Christ.

Of course, the lawyer for some of those involved, claim the two gay men started it and threw the first punch.

I've seen enough Law & Order (pick any franchise) episodes to know that you get those 12 or so into a room individually and each of their stories will be radically different.

But here's why their story doesn't hold water - too much of it, if any.

A group of 12-20 individuals vs two others (gay or not). Unless terribly high (which I know is possible), or terribly arrogant or stupid (which I know is possible), who the fuck is going to harass a group that size?  Let alone throw the first punch?

And for argument's sake, let's say one of those two guys throw the first punch. That warranted a knock down, drag-out fight?  And why was their wallet and phone taken by the group?

And better yet, no one - NO ONE - in the group, reported to police they had been assaulted? I mean, until after they were caught?

Oh, Father Flannigan is going to hear some fucking doozies in confession this week!

One he might not be hearing from is one of the guys who worked at his alma mater where he was basketball coach. Worked. Past tense.

As in: fired.

Silly gay-basher. Has he learned NOTHING from the archdiocese???  Had he just fucked / raped the victims, the church would have gladly moved him to another parish / school. No harm. No foul.

As for them getting caught - well, welcome to the new digital age. You don't need the NSA to be spying on you. First off, the surveillance tapes were remarkably clear.  Secondly, it took an average citizen to deduce from a Twit pic, the restaurant at which the gang ate, then checked that place on Facebook and not only did said group post that same pic, but tagged each and every fucking one of them with their names.

So, if the gang's story doesn't hold up, they still can't be charged with a hate crime, as Pennsylvania doesn't have those on the books.

Personally, I'm hoping one of the accused folds like a house of cards and rats on the rest of them.

Song by: Darryl Hall

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Site of the Month

Where it is somewhat safe to assume I do not know the entire contents of the Bible, you'd be wrong to assume that at a 30,000 ft level, that I have some comprehension of the text.

I'm not talking about just the Leviticus shit people pull out to put down homos.

I mean, there are whales and pillars of salt. There is human sacrifice, plagues and resurrection. There is incest and thievery. There is prostitution, human trafficking - you name it.

And yet One Million Moms are against so many things - you think this book, it would be the first one they'd start with wanting people to boycott and ban. Even burn.

Hell, the Book of Revelations alone is best reads out there.

Without changing a single word, a screenwriter and filmmaker could make the most epic movie ever.  And yes, I would assume Gerald Butler would be bare-chested in that cast somewhere.

And I would guess it would be the Christians who would claim to know the Bible so well. But what would they be willing to bet on that? And if so - how much?

Like I said, I'm a well-read man. I couldn't tell you one chapter and verse of this book by memory and am even too lazy to look up John 3:16, even though it is at every fucking sporting event ever. Ok, maybe not curling, but.....you know what I mean.

Still over a few decades, regardless of your religious upbringing, you hear some of the stories and can kind of guess how it all ends. But again - do people know it as well as they think?

On reading an article on if Jesus actually existed, since the Bible is a book of tales that were relayed from the past - how much of him (if any) is real and how much became mythology.

Don't get me wrong, I think the Old Testament is full of tall tales too. Fire. Brimstone. Wheels in the sky. Apples and snakes. You get the picture.

So the SotM is on how well do you know your Bible stuff.

This quiz deals specifically with the New Testament. And I would venture to guess that every person who takes the quiz gets it wrong. I did.

Every. Single. Question. Wrong.

I thought I was crazy. So I took it again. The results were the same. WRONG.

...and it's not because I'm as dumb as I thought {shut up}.

Good luck.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Doctor! Doctor!

All in all, I am liking the physician I went to on a trial basis.

Truth be told, he's in the same practice as my outgoing doc and I had seen him once (maybe twice?) before, back in the early 2000s.

He "claims" to thinking my name was familiar and went back into the EHR prior to my appointment and looked back through 2005 before figuring out he hadn't seen me. I told him he didn't go back far enough.

I have to give him this, he DID look at my medical record and made mention of my surgeries - which to be honest, some were extensive. Most physicians I come across don't bother to learn squat about their patients, especially before an appointment.

I brought him up more to speed on that temporary hearing loss, the headaches, physical therapy, ortho visits and now my right foot.

Well, my right foot has been on-going. I saw someone about the tendinitis a few years ago, but I think that's morphed into something that is more painful. I told the new Dr. T (yes, the old one was also a Dr. T) that I'm one of those asshole patients who self-diagnose.

But he was happy that I knew my medical history so well - on when things happened and my understanding of why we think all these things happened.

We had the exam and a decent chat. He's very personable - and that's saying something too.

If I have an issue, it's that like my outgoing doc, he'll probably retire in five years or so. But I like him enough to ride out the time he has left. I'll burn that new doc bridge when I get to it. I mean, there is no guarantee that a younger doc would stay in this town or with this practice...or get hit by a bus.

On a plus side, save my HDL, which is still lower than it should be, all my other lab work was normal.

I also got my pneumovax and flu shot. Ouch.

Not the shot, just the after effects. My arm is so fucking sore. But that's the price one pays to ward off flue and pneumonia.

Get your flu shot.

Song by: Thompson Twins

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Eulogy for a Rock Band

Last week I delivered my first eulogy. Probably not my last, but.....well, one never knows.

My mother finally decided to have a small memorial for my father. It was larger than I anticipated, due to her quick turn-around on wanting to have it and when to have it. Most of the timing was based on two of my sister's schedules, on when they could be in town.

Some family was there - both on my mother's and father's side. Some long time neighbors. Some of my mother's old work folks, with whom she keeps in touch with - clearly. And some friends - of both mine or my sisters.

Most - if not all of - my father's cohort have passed on. But they say these things are for the living, though that only seems to be partially true.

While there was the seemingly required reading of what I call the Byrd's bible verse (turn! turn! turn!) my mother didn't really think about anyone giving a eulogy of any kind. Of course, I offered. And while she claims to have agreed to it, what she really said, was 'let me think about it'.

Honestly, it was only 15 minutes before the beginning of the service when I asked her again, and she said she thought I was doing it. Right then was not the time to question her recall of memory as to what she had stated 2-3 days prior. She was a little fragile.

Having never given one before, but having seen quite a few, I knew I wasn't going to hit the best of them, but knew I wouldn't tank either. Or at least hoped I wouldn't.

My cousin, Bill had his law partner (also named Bill) give his eulogy few years back. Afterwards, I told (the alive) Bill that when I die he could give my mine. It was just that good.

But I've seen people go up there and be a crying mess too. But not in a 'happy we knew you' kind of cry. More of a 'what am I going to do now' kind of wail. Well, if that is for the living, there may as well be cyanide punch after the service.

Mine, I hope, was timed well. Not too long. Not too short. There was meant to be a combination of humour and heart, and I think I achieved that.

I've long ago gotten over my fear of public speaking. Oddly, I think video blog posts have helped. They are unscripted and I've seen a reduction in the "um" and pauses that most people speaking to groups give.

I won't say my eulogy - if that's what mine could be called - was unscripted, but there was nothing written, not even notes or talking points. While I knew many in attendance, I didn't know all, so you never know how personal to take things, or not.

Seeing that my father's brother was there, I did omit a few things i thought of saying. Nothing bad about my uncle, but some family quirks that my father inherited that you never know if it would be something that would make his sibling laugh or take offense. Since I had not seen his brother in 28.5 years, I opted to just delete those.

I spoke of my father the planner. My father the animal lover. My father the husband, dad and grandfather.

While I felt comfortable doing all of this and in this setting, it's still a blur. While I hope I made eye contact with the group - I remember only seeing Morty, Rebecca and my mother in the seats. I hope I stood up straight. I hope I didn't "um" or "ah", or at least too much.  710 claims I did not, but I'm not sure I can trust him.

I kind of flubbed a few things. I forgot one anecdote I wanted to put forth, but totally went blank on and remembered only after sitting back down. I also called one of my sisters by her full first name, something she has never been called since she was maybe five years old. I have no idea where that came from.

710 did say days later that my talk made him tear up. Morty said the same thing, especially when my mother got up to come and hug me after I had finished.

Sitting back down. One of my sisters leaned over and whispered, "how did you do that off the top of your head?"

Well, in my head, I'd been writing the eulogy for weeks. Maybe months. Bits and pieces here and there. I'd been editing and refining some of those tales as I'd drift to sleep on a nightly basis. I never thought, or felt the need, to commit them to paper.

Afterwards, we gathered for food - since that is what one does at an event like this. While I didn't think I did anything special, I was amazed how many people - familiar and strangers alike - approached me to thank me for what I said, or to tell me what a good job I did.

I wasn't looking for accolades, but truth be told, it was nice to hear that I didn't suck. Which is what one of my brothers-in-law said. Perhaps he was being the most honest, even if he was just joking with me. I think.

Even one of the food workers in the hall, setting up lunch, told me she thought it was a great tribute to my father. I'm assuming she sees a few funerals per week, so she'd know. And since I didn't know her at all, she didn't have to say it so, maybe I didn't suck.

The mingling and food stuff was nice (well....the food wasn't) but you know how those go. You get 30-90 seconds with most people. The folks you want to see you don't. The ones you want to have a good conversation you can't, though my first year college roommate was there. But he lives near my parents, so had heard about my father's death. Still, it was nice to see him.  ....and his mother, who was always like a second mother to me.

Before it was all wrapped up, I went around and thanked the catering and hall staff for doing such a nice job. I think they were grateful someone noticed their work, though once came back and said, "let's not make this a habit".

It was probably a stock line she uses with all funeral stuff, but I laughed nonetheless.

And just so you know, not that I'm wishing ill of my mother, but I've had the first line of her eulogy written in my head for about 10 years now.

Song by: Weezer

Monday, September 15, 2014

My Music Monday

It's another one of those My Music Monday's where I had not mapped out a song. But to be fair to me, it's just been one of those weeks. I've been surviving day to day.

I'll get back on track. No worries.

So, I did the iTunes shuffle of 10 songs and you get what is #10. Let me tell you, if I did just nine, we'd all be, like, "uggggh".  That's all you need to know.

So you get Louden Wainwright III' s "White Winos".

Yes, Wainwright is Rufus' father. To hear Rufus tell it, depending on which interview you read, he loves his father or hates him....or blames him for this or that. Welcome to childhood Rufus.

The elder Wainwright has been a recording artist for decades - mostly folk music. He was married to one of the McGarrigle sisters and one of the Roches. ...and a few other times, I believe. That's just FYI - not an indictment.

He's also an actor and appeared in a Judd Aptaow movie or two and a few episodes of Parks and Recreation.

Rufus also recorded a version of one of his father's songs, "One Man Guy", and it is possibly the best thing Rufus has committed to "tape".

But I've always been a fan of "White Winos". It's a simple three minutes. Vocal, acoustic guitar and a few strings. That's it.

Louden has a good voice and good picking style. He's probably under appreciated.

Louden Wainwright III - White Winos

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Spanish Flea

We did something new yesterday - 710 and myself. We went to the Cleveland Flea.

Maybe I'm missing something when people go: "what is that?" Because to me, it sounds fairly self-explanatory. I mean, unless one is into entomology. Or works for the CDC.

It's a flea market, people. Nothing more. Nothing less.

I mean, where else could you buy an impala head wearing a pair of Ray-Bans?

Nowhere.  That's where!

I've known it's been around for a bit, but just never made the time and always forgot the actual schedule. And when I thought of going, I feared I might be talking 710 into an activity in which he might not want to participate.

I was wrong.

Yes, there was some crap there no one in their right mind would buy, but there was some cool stuff too. Plus a lot of stuff for more younger, hipper folks than ourselves. Clearly.

They had music too. A DJ playing really good music that I'd never heard and a live band that would have made Morrissey want to slit his wrists.

And most importantly, they had food. Vendors selling their wares in terms or artisnal breads, chocolates, etc......but they had food trucks. We looked around but settled on Wholly Frijoles.

Two carnitas and two carne asada tacos. We shared, so had one of each. (I liked the asada more, 710 like the carnitas better.)

...and mini donuts.....

...and since it's from a lab, you know it's science.

Well....science and oil and sugar.

Song by: Herb Albert & the Tijuana Brass

Saturday, September 13, 2014

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 55th 12 of 12

Normally it is 12 pictures taken on the 12
th of the month. Since I only post once per day, you get my images the following day. All pictures taken with my iPhone. Click images to enlarge, if you choose.

Created by Chad Darnell and picked up from, what I can tell, any number of random bloggers who then link back to him and vice versa. Chad is no longer doing this, nor is successor coordinating the linking of other 12 of 12'ers anymore. Now it's just Erik (and sometimes Jim) and myself - that I know of. 

I still continue to do this, because of all my consistent post topics, I actually like this one the most.

06:50. Getting the morning paper.  

08:05.  I'm not really a bumper sticker guy (at least on my car), but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate some - if only for an instant - on other automobiles. 

And it can be used when you're referring to the IT department too.

08:30.  The last of this year's watermelon. I don't foresee getting anymore in 2014.

08:50. Taking Blob Sr. to his memorial service.

11:00. My father on display. 

11:30. Small gathering of friends, relatives and neighbors of my father.....and horrible food.

12:30. Real food (and beer) with real friends at Gamekeeper's

14:15.  Back at my mom's house with my nutso family. 

14:45.  Lord, I hope the recipe of Dolley Madison's Zingers.
I love the "new edition". Pat Nixon seems to be the last First Lady. 

18:40.  Doggie Dinner Time. 

19:05. Not original, but we took my mom out to P.F. Chang's just to get her out of the house for dinner - and the evening. It was good for her.

20:30.  Fortune.  .....while in bed. 

...and now your Baker's Dozen......

22:15.  Sophie's evening ramekin of milk. Skim, of course.

.....so until next month.....

Friday, September 12, 2014

Smack My Bitch Up

Let's start off with the title of the post: yes, it's meant to incite. No, I don't condone domestic violence.

I haven't had time to weigh in on Ray Rice and his elevator antics. I mean, in theory, I'm six weeks behind the times. Or four months. Or three days, depending on which part of the video you saw...and when.

...and I'm still more timely than the NFL.

Rice clearly should have been axed from the Baltimore Ravens and the NFL during his first go-round. Yes, the NFL commissioner said, after the two-game suspension, that the league was too lenient in their punishment. And they were.

But at least they're consistent. You can go to jail for dog-fighting and the mistreatment and killing of dogs for sport and money, but you can be welcomed back to the field with open arms. Ditto when you on trial for murder.

Let's face it, if Pete Rose had only been in the NFL, he'd already be in the Hall of Fame....and with a pat on the back, I might add.

And what I am about to say will draw a lot of controversy (say that last word like Prince), so hear me out and here goes:

based on previous events, the Ravens and the NFL had no right to fire Ray Rice.

Hey!!!  I said hear me out.

Rice was suspended for two games for beating his then fiancée and dragging her out of the elevator. Ok, let me rephrase: it is possible he was suspended for dragging her out of the elevator. Allegedly the NFL didn't see the tape to know what happened inside the car.

Both Rice and said fiancée were charged with domestic violence, so it is inferred that what happened in the elevator to render her unconscious was via some type of battery.

So, now that the additional video just surfaced, which the NFL "claims" to have never seen before, now he gets shit-canned?

What. The. Fuck. did the NFL think actually happened in that elevator? That Janay Palmer fanned herself when she got the vapors after someone uttered 'drat' or 'egad', while twirling their waxed moustache, and subsequently slumped to the floor?

Since nothing really new surfaced - except the video - why did the NFL change their already carried-out punishment?

It was the same instance, the same crime, the same day and time. Nothing changed.  Ohhhh - except that all of America got to see it. Ohhhh - and now 45% of the NFL's audience are........wait for it.......female.

The NFL doled out their punishment for the same crime, of which Rice completed its requirements. So why the change of heart - I mean except for the video and all the females in the U.S. of A. who have been your financial supporters, as of late, now have their panties in a wad..............but only because they finally saw the video.

Kids - you're looking at a business decision.

This is not one about morals of players beating women. The same as a few dozen dogs or killing someone isn't really a punishable crime. If people will pay money to see these motherfucking losers play ball - a blind eye is cast. No apologies. No explanations.

But once you fuck with the business model - all bets are off.......for the players, that is.

As Bobbi Flekman would say: "money talks and bullshit walks".

Those same players can beat their brains to mush for the good of the game and the league will pay $750MM for all players ever affected - past and future (not that we know how many that will be) - as long as you, the consumer, keep buying overpriced tickets and their merch....just as long as you don't tape or show a game without the expressed written consent of the NFL.

That might infringe on their $8.8B broadcasting contracts.

And don't read too much into this, but Janay (how is she not a Real Housewife of Atlanta?) wasn't, at the time, married to this ticking time bomb. There were no ties, no children (?), no nothing.

I know anti-violence groups and NOW will treat me like they did DiGirno, but really - why not just walk away?

I've seen a few dozen of the #WhyIStayed explanations. Some hold water. Some do not. Sorry - but they don't. I get the bartering with yourself to stay or go for financial reasons, the children, the thinking it is something you brought on yourself, shame or lack of self-worth....I do.

I don't get the: "I thought he'd change".

DiGirno has a better rationale for staying in an abusive relationship than that one.

It's like people of today have never seen a Lifetime movie in the last three decades. This problem and lame explanation are not new and they are not swept under the rug. They are an every day occurrence that are in the media - be it the news, fiction, television or movies.

Beat me once, shame on him.......beat me twice.....well...........

Yeah. That does not hold water.

While the NFL cannot necessarily control the behaviour of their players, each contract should (and might) have a morality clause. Put it in there - and not just about domestic violence, make it more sweeping - and fucking stick to it.

"You fuck up: You're fired".   No pension, no buying out of your contract. You. Are. Gone.

It's amazing how fast these dumb-asses will fall in line when the almighty dollar is attached to it. But the underlying problem is they are coddled....by the team, by the league, their managers and agents. Behaviours and actions are hidden because to say a player failed is to say that all those people failed too....and when they fail, they get fired or at the very least, don't get paid. So the code of silence is in place.

The NFL is fucked. Goddell is fucked. No matter what (t)he(y) knew or when is almost irrelevant now. It won't stop the idiotic fans from watching or advertisers from spending, but hopefully there'll be a closer media eye on them.  I mean - except from the networks who broadcast their games (Fox, CBS, NBC and ABC/ESPN).   Oh yeah............never mind.

Maybe, just maybe whomever helms the Super Bowl half-time show will be smart enough not to book Chris Brown and R. Kelly.  But I'm not betting on that either.

Song by: Prodigy

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Speed the Collapse

Ok - I'm anticipating a 50% approval rating for this post - tops! The video portion, that is.

This was the year we saw the World Trade Center / 9/11 Memorial . While it was not the experience I had expected, I was still glad we had done it. The next trip to NYC, I will try to see the Museum as well.

There's little funny about 9/11, though as I've said before, Family Guy has tried a few times (and succeeded). Still, it's hard to write about remembrance over and over.

So why not bring a little Star Wars reference into it?

Song by: Metric

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Record of the Month

I figured I'd do a monthly 'what I'm listening to' kind of thing. This could be viewed as a lame placeholder kind of post. And probably it is. But it's my blog! So there! 

I read an article not too long ago about why debut albums can be so great. Chances are, the groups have been sitting around with those songs, perfecting them perhaps, for years before they are signed or have a chance to record them. Follow-up albums are usually newer material that don't have that kind of time to ferment.

In theory all this makes sense.

Perhaps that is why the Counting Crows' debut August and Everything After is so stellar and some of their subsequent albums have been a little more hit and miss. Each of those albums had some brilliant material but equal parts filler as well.

But now they're out with their first new material in six years (though they did an album of covers a year or so ago) with Somewhere Under Wonderland.

While there is a "deluxe" edition out there, it consists of two demos from album tracks. That's not really worth two extra bucks.

Somewhere Under Wonderland is very good, but I won't go on to say it is great. It doesn't greatly deviate from much of their other work, but this time they're pulling from the better parts. And that's not to say they don't stretch here and there.

I'm digging their eight-minute plus intro, "Pallisades Park". It reminds me of something Rickie Lee Jones would have done on Pirates. That is a high compliment.

There are other good tunes: "Earthquake Driver", which is another song that isn't quite like anything else they've done. I like, and always have, Adam Duritz has a way with vocal phrasing and he does well with in on this song.  And I like his voice.

"Scarecrow" seems to be the commercial centerpiece from this disk. I can see it's appeal for being somewhat familiar and people tend to gravitate to what they know. And it's fine, but it's nothing new.

The same can be said for almost all of the other six songs. The melodies are familiar but they're done well. They seemed to have cherry-picked their best elements from Recovering the Satellites and Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings.

"Johnny Appleseed's Lament" and "Possibility Days" are stand-outs.

Yes, "Cover Up the Sun" and "God of Ocean Tides" have country tinges to them, but some reviews to call them country songs is off the mark. Counting Crows have always had a song or two in this vein.

For $10 Somewhere Under Wonderland is a more than solid purchase.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Shopping with Blobby

Technically it is Shopping with Jeremy. I fault him for this one.

Let's start off with almost every Saturday when David and I go to yoga in Beachwood Place, there is a line at Foot Locker for people waiting to buy the "new" shoe, whether it be an Air Jordan or a LeBron shoe......or any of the hundreds of WNBA stars.

It got to the point that security was doubled to watch the youths, but I'm always stuck on the guys walking out with 2-3 pairs. I mean, these things cost $200 or so per pair. And a new shoe is released almost weekly.

WHO has this kind of disposable income? And better yet, who has this kind of storage for all these shoes?

Anyways....back to Jeremy.

He sends me a messenger thingy via Facebook a few weeks back to ask me how my dad is doing ("still dead", I say) as he was a little behind in the news regarding that piece of info.

Anyhoo, we are chatting about this and that and mostly about his new, (hopefully) soon to be ex-boyfriend. Jeremy could make better choices, but he picked a guy who isn't horribly sensitive to his needs and feeling and smokes - and Jeremy hates smokers....so I don't get it, except for the fact that he gets lonely.

During the chat, he sends me this link.

Converse All Star Hi Tops with Wonder Women on them.    .....and they're for women.

But alas, these are not for Jeremy. They are a make-up present for his bf. Seriously. Since his bf was rude and nasty to him, Jeremy is buying them for the bf.  

Oh to be "young" and in "love". 

I love Jeremy to death, but I just don't get it.  

Oh, and he had to search different states to find them.....finally being successful......in New Jersey. 

Oh....and in size 14..........in a women's shoe size. I guess 14 women's equates to size 10? in asshole. 

I should mention that clicking on that ad then populated all those sidebar ads with this shoe. Damn cookies.  mmmmm.....cookies. 

Still - aren't these kind of shoes that you own but never wear?  That one might display, if one might display shoes?  And considering what Air Jordans cost, $60 is a steal. 

I did sent the link to my friend, Gina. She loves Wonder Woman.  ....and she's not from Paradise Island....if you get my drift. 

Monday, September 08, 2014

My Music Monday

Is there a better reason to have a My Music Monday selection other than said song has been stuck playing in your head for over a week?

I can't think of one.

When I was in Columbus last Saturday, I have Meredity some new music. The disk didn't quite burn correctly, but this week's selection, the Both's "Volunteers of America" was one of the tracks.

I reviewed their full album a few months ago and some of the songs have grown on me more and more. "VoA" was good from the start, but I've been really digging it these last few weeks....mostly the chorus.

I know radio is such that if you haven't had a Disney show or somehow affiliated with Usher or the Beibs, you can't get played, but this song straddles the line between rock and pop

Apparently, there is an official video of it too. I'm not 100% sure why Susanna Hoffs from the Bangles is in it. And by that I mean, I'm 100% unsure as to why. She doesn't play on the song, or have any writing credits. She doesn't add anything (or take anything away) to the video, so go figure.

Once again, Aimee Mann does not quite look comfortable in front of the camera, but recording artists aren't necessarily meant to be video ones.

Still, it's a fun song. Or at least a fun-sounding song.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

I Need a Doctor

Dre's right - I need a doctor.

I got a letter from mine. Even before I opened it, I suspected the worst:  retirement.


Dr. T (and not his ladies) has been my doctor for 14 years. We had a good give and take. He never took me for an uniformed patient and I never gave him any grief.

But it was a relationship that took years in me getting him to the level I wanted. And it was such that I could and would bypass his nurse, secretary or scheduling staff to talk to him or get things I needed.

Granted, when I used to work at the hospital, he got a hold of me to get things he needed.

Now - for better or worse - I guess I'll be auditioning new docs.

Obvi, I've seen other docs in the practice, but none who have wow'd me. And some of those guys are gone. There are a few docs I've seen, but none who'd remember me and if they said they do, they're lying.

But 710 is right, I don't have to select one right away - or even at this practice. Try one out, he says. So I'm auditioning, I guess.

With Dr. T (and not his ladies) we had it all worked out that the bloodwork orders went in weeks before my exam, so we'd go over results then. It seems logical, but you'd be surprised how many physicians do not do this.

I won't say I had to argue this point when making this appointment, but it had to be a persuasive conversation. They eventually acquiesed to my thinking.

So yesterday, I went to get my labs drawn - since I had to fast for 12 hours. I'm not a big fat pig, like brettcajun eating Brownie Brittle, but I don't normally go that long without food or drink.  Still I lugged my unfed self to the office hoping to be first in line. No luck.

You know me, you've seen pics of my blood draws before, but this phlebotomist was having none of that. Maybe because he didn't want to possibly be documented giving me a hematoma. But he said taking pictures was not allow and "they" were cracking down on such things.

First, I'm not breaking any HIPAA crap because if twas me taking video of me. I could have argued this point, but he was the one with the needle about to stick me, so my phone went in my pocket.

Then he said I needed to provide a urine sample. Really?

In 14 years of getting labs here, no one has ever ever ever ever asked me for one. I say so and he goes on to admonish me saying, "if you're getting labs, you should always be prepared to provide a sample for blood, urine and stool. ALWAYS !!!". 

Yikes. Maybe he's not a morning person.

But I didn't have to go and told him so and that the office never told me they put in that order. To which he told me again to ALWAYS be prepared to give one.

What a freak show.

He took my blood and a little bit of my ego and I slunk away (slunked?)

So far, this does not bode well for keeping my business here. I'll go through with next week's appointment and see how this physician visit goes, but my search for a doctor might continue.

Ugh - I cannot believe I have to break-in another doc.

Song by: Dr. Dre (ft Eminem and Skylar Grey

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Magic Smile

Easiest blogging day of the week.

 Even when he pants, he looks like he's smiling.....albeit like the Joker, but he's still cute. 

Poor 'lil Petey at the vet. Just annual bloodwork....and checking out the garbage.  But he also had that cyst on his front right paw rechecked. 

It's the same size as before. It doesn't bother him - seemingly. So there it will stay. I don't want to put him "under" to get it taken off. 

Hangin' in the yard while I cut the lawn. 

I like being the center of their attention. 

Song by:  Rosie Vela

Friday, September 05, 2014

Precious Box

I swear I will get off the post-death entries here soon. Honest.

As my mother gets closer to thinking of possible memorial and interment, it is appropriate to move my father out of his cardboard box into something more presentable.

As it turns out, finding something tasteful and presentable is equal to that whole needle / haystack thing. And this isn't a price thing - it doesn't matter how much you spend. Actually, the more you spend, the f'uglier things might get.

Let's take a look, shall we?

Here Kitty Kitty Kitty. 
This is the tabby version. They have Siamese and every other cat types. 

 I'm not sure what this is. Is it just a scale to show you how big the urn is as opposed to some odd faux-Marlboro Reds tie-in. Or if this is just an urn for folks who die of cigarette related lung cancer. 

I don't even know where the ashes go in here. 

I'm not sure how this even stands up for display. It's almost worth a purchase to see how it works. 

This one almost works.  Almost. 

I'm guessing this is something the Log Lady would be put into. 

Teddy Ruxpin Urn. Trademark Pending. 
You put ashes into a bag* and find the concealed zipper in the back of the bear, and place bag in there. 

*bag not included (srsly)

Ninja Throwing Star urn?

Seems like a USS Enterprise thingy. 

If it had my dad's cocker spaniel, maybe. And maybe if you changed 'Sadie' to 'Murphy'. 

Ew.  Just ew. 

$600. I'm just sayin'. 

Ok - this is for a pet. 

My personal favourite. Burial at sea - where you cannot attend, but will get an e-voucher swearing they did what they said they'd do......and not just take your $149.99 and throw dad in the dumpster. 

So my search continues. I can guarantee it won't be anything like these. The scary thing is, these aren't even remotely the worst of what is out there. Not by a long shot. 

Song by: George Michael