Monday, July 28, 2014

My Music Monday

Luck of the draw. That's where we are today. Another week with no plan on what song to put here.

So, you know the drill - or one of them - put iTunes on shuffle and the 10th song is what you get.

And what you get, kind of ironically, is a cover - even though my month of covers is over. But it is what it is.

I landed on the Roches from their contribution from a disk honoring Laura Nyro.

Arguably, Nyro's most famous songwriting credit would be "Wedding Bell Blues", which was made famous by the 5th Dimension, though she also wrote their hit, "Stone Soul Picnic" and Blood Sweat & Tears' "And When I Die".

For those who are more familiar with her folk music roots, she also wrote things like "Eli's Coming" and "Save the Country".

As for the Roches, they are a set of sister - Maggie, Terre and Suzzy - who sang folk music starting back in the '70s. With no real hits to speak of, they were something to see, if you've never seen them live.

While they all played instruments, it was the combination of their voices where their talents truly lie. Or maybe past tense. They have not released an album for over seven years and they no longer tour. Though I saw that Suzzy was on Broadway in something when I was there in May.....and for a while, she was Rufus Wainwright's stepmother....just a side note.

And on that Nyro tribute album, the Roches got "Wedding Bell Blues" as their selection. It's not quite a knock off of Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis too, but it shows their talent in vocal arrangements too.

the Roches - "Wedding Bell Blues"

Sunday, July 27, 2014

App of the Month

No.

The answer is just "no".  No matter the question.  Such as......

"Is it fun?"

"Should I download it?"

"Is it intuitive?"

"Does it cost anything?"  (as if.)

I'm talking about Make Them Jump. It's by the makers of 2048, which I still have yet to master (though Sean "claims" to).

Overall, it has a three star rating. I think someone is being generous with those higher ratings.

The levels of the game are "Normal", "Nightmare", "Hell" and "Inferno".

If there are instructions, I didn't see them on the download, so as the faux-posed question above, it's not exactly intuitive to get through a level.

I was unimpressed.

But it was a suggested game while I was playing 2048. And by "suggested", I mean they automatically steered me off the game I was playing to direct me to this game.

Honestly, I liked the logo. I figured it was free, so WTF.

WFT indeed.

Save your time. Save you money.....oh wait.....it's free. So, save your time.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Take Me Out

It's Saturday - or Petey Porn Day - which seems to be your favourite day of the week for this blog. I guess I could be flattered or offended.......so we'll go with flattered.

Who wouldn't take a few shots of a 12 year old beagle over the ramblings of a slightly older male?


Petey has been a little under the weather this week. Stomach issues. He's fine. But here he is acting like Ferdinand the Bull  - and who am I to stop him?

Hey! That's not your H20 bowl. That's your brother's!!!!

Honestly, in eight years, I've maybe seen Sophie drink water 5-6 times. I know she does, but almost never see it happen. Tovah was all about being at her water bowl. Sophie, not so much. And of those 5-6 times, this is the third time it's been at Petey's water. 

Face is blurred, Super fast wagging tail is blurred, Paws on the counter coming to greet me and his harness. Someone is super-duper excited to go for a walk. 




Song by: Franz Ferdinand

Friday, July 25, 2014

Pretty and High

It is amazing (or sad) to what levels I will go when I don't have tons to write about. The plan was to never truly tell this story, but I won't lie: it's been weighing on me for a week or so. The story itself, not the telling of.

I was doing some work in cleaning up my gmail account when a friend's window popped up in g-chat (or whatever it is called). That is one function I don't use a heck of a lot, though I think it comes down to timing on when I'm in gmail and any gmail friend is also there.

Tony and I have been friends for maybe 16-17 years. He lives in Los Angeles and I would see him occasionally when I'm out there for work. We'd get together for dinner.

He mentioned in g-chat (or whatever it is called) that we had not chatted at all in 2014. It seemed implausible, but he could be correct. He asked if he told me about his hospitalization in December of last year. He had not.

It turns out Tony had one eye that wouldn't dilate and he lost vision in that one eye. Knowing this was a problem, he went to the emergency department and eventually they figured out this happening due to stage II syphilis.

Tony tells me quite a lot of things, so that he was so free with this information didn't phase me a lot, but I'm sure the bubble over my head, if I were cartoon would have been full of ??????????s.

Clearly the LA County Dept. of Health doesn't require people to squeal on their sexual partners once they're diagnosed with an STD, so they can contact those folks to get tested. Of course, I'm also assuming that those STD'ers might not know their sexual partner's names or contact information. I also don't know how long one must have syphilis to move from Stage I to II. I do know that when I had my on-going headache's last year, they tested me for syphilis to rule out neuro-syphilis, but all documentation says the neuro part might present itself 20 years into a syphilis diagnosis.

So anyway, Tony was in the hospital for five days for round the clock IV antibiotics. That's a little more than getting a shot in the ass. Alas, Tony's vision did return in that one eye. And as Tony's family, while not local, are very close, he told his parents this bit of information. I'm not sure I would have.....but that's me.

The next bit of information did not phase me at all, as you could see it coming a mile away: during his hospital stay, they also told him he was HIV positive. I'm seriously not casting judgements, but I've worked in healthcare too long to know that if you're prone to one STD that gets to a stage where you lose your vision, there's not a huge leap to assume you have one or more STDs going on.

We 'chatted' about that. He's doing fine. His counts are now under control. He did not mention if he told his parents and brother this bit of info, nor did I ask. I was just trying to make sure he was ok.

But it's the last bomb he lobbed is what still has me shaken.

He liked his Infectious Disease doctor so much, Tony told him that he's regularly been using Crystal Meth for the last two and a half years.

If the syph comment had a half dozen ?????? above my head - this one had two dozen more. This is not the Tony I know.

Trust me, I'm no poster boy for clean living - and admittedly did meth one night - but no.  No no no no no. And of course, I flashed on the times he's driving me around L.A. to dinner, and me thinking he's a horrible horrible driver. And me now wondering to myself if he was just high.

We chatted about the meth use too, and of course, I'm working on assumptions. Them being that after hospitalization, syphilis and HIV that he's on this massive road to recovery. So I was a little floored when I asked him how hard it was to stop the meth and his response was, "oh no, I'm still doing it.".

Mind you, it is text / chat, but of course, I read a slight boastful pride in that statement.

I tried not to judge, but truth be told, that was really difficult. I'd encourage him to stop, if I think that's what he wanted, but nothing in the conversation went "I know I should stop, but......". Instead he told me it's a better high to smoke meth than snort it.

The More You Know.

I also flashed on 30 Rock's Dr. Spaceman talking with Jenna about weight loss options, one being meth: "how important is tooth retention to you?"

In terms of friendship, I'm at a crossroads. Tony can't quit unless he wants to. I can nag but I'm assuming that puts a strain on, or termination to, our relationship. But to do nothing could put an end to much more.

I've seen him since on g-chat (or whatever it is called), but haven't yet initiated a conversation, nor has he. I'm not sure what to say. But I won't give up - at least not until he tells me to.


Song by:  the Roches

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thunder Clatter

While waiting for the Muses to return from their unscheduled PTO, I'll just ramble about thunderstorms.

Being in the mid-west (is Ohio really mid-'west'? je think not.), we are prone to the occasional t-storm. For the most part, I love thunderstorms.

There have been one or two that have scared the bejebus out of me - one being when driving from Columbus to Dallas where lightening was practically hitting the hood of my car. Morty, ever the alert co-pilot, slept through the entire thing.

We have also gotten a few house-rattlers. You know, when lightening is so close that the house just shakes when it strikes and you wonder what tree branch might be crashing down....and where. While intense, those can also be neat, as long as one has proper shelter.

Usually though, it is the rolling storm that comes. You can hear it approach, if not feel it, well before it actually arrives.

That got me thinking yesterday morning, around 04:30, as I was in bed and heard the thunder come near and could see some lightening through my still closed lids. I've done this hundreds of times, which is why I started thinking - it is kind of amazing that many of these storms come right before dawn. Right before I might head to the gym or into the shower or inexplicably, on trash day, when I have to trek out to the end of the drive once or twice carrying our refuse.

Don't get me wrong, we certainly get some storms at nigh or in the afternoon, but - and I don't have any data to support this - I would say the majority of these cels hit us right as we need to start our day.

The dog is smart enough to know what rain even sounds like, so unless he really has to go, he's staying on his bed and probably snoring. We are very happy to have a dog who is not afraid of the sound of thunder or fireworks.

A strong storm might stop me from a morning gym visit (because I'm probably looking for any excuse), but it won't usually stop my from my shower. Yes, I remember what my mother told me about not taking one while there is an electrical storm. 50 years later, I'm still here to talk about it. With the advent of cell phones, the old adage about being on the phone during one no longer really apply.

Maybe conditions are more favourable to thunderstorms in the early a.m., I don't know.

I've always felt bad for family and friends (well....maybe just friends) who move west and experience fewer thunderstorms. I hear from people, mostly in San Francisco, that they miss their absence. Some have missed things like that enough to move back east, though I think it's probably just that the city is cost prohibitive when it comes to housing.

Still, I lay in bed, listening to the thunder, seeing flashes of light......and then eventually rain on the roof.

710, as always, slept through it all.



Song by: Wild Cub

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Blank Slate

It is one of those days. As Spo would say, the Muses have abandoned me.

This happens now and again - and why wouldn't it considering I write / post daily, but I'm never comfortable with that situation.

I fear it might take me a day or so to get back on track. I have no rationale for that fear  - it's just something I'm feeling.

More tomorrow.

Probably.

Song by: the National

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Honey for the Bees

Outside my office window, I've seen the comings and goings of bees. Lots and lots of bees.

Yellow jackets, to be specific. Or predatory wasps, as they are known.

Me no likee.

They have - well had - a nest in the garage roof, in the eaves. Ick.

While counting to 60 (it seemed like a reasonable amount of time), 16 bees went in and seven came out. That seemed like a heavy traffic area, if you axe me.

The house is 104 years old - I didn't need a bunch of bees expediting the need for a new roof, so I called a pest control guy.

Before you get all up in arms, these are not honey bees. I know there is a massive shortage of those critters doing the pollen / stamen dance. These are not those kind of bees. Honestly, I don't know what yellow jackets do, except sting the hell out of me - so for a lousy $65, a guy came and took care of them. He estimated 200+ in the hive.

Worth it.

He was telling me that 'most men' would just have caulked up the opening and why 'most men' shouldn't do that. Besides for the fact that I'm sure I'd get stung 200+ times, he said that the caulk wouldn't stay put and if it did the bees would eat through it.

Nice.

He also said not to seal it for 3-4 weeks. Let the hive dry out. If I didn't, the larva would ferment (or something) in there and the smell would be incredibly bad.

A few times, he mentioned how 'my wife' wouldn't like that.....and how 'my wife' probably didn't like the bees.

All I know is that 710's 'wife' doesn't like the bees or the would-be rotting smell outside my office and that I signed the check for him to come back in a week (with 90 day follow-up) to get rid of the little buggers.

A 'wife's' work is never done.



Song by: Alison Moyet

Monday, July 21, 2014

My Music Monday

My infatuation with the Civil Wars' last album was a little short-lived.

Don't get me wrong, it still is good, but I way way way over-played it and I have barely revisited it in the last six months.

Oddly, I made a copy of the disk for my sister-in-law and she said the same thing, so it is just not me.

With just two band members, their short lived career (as a band) was well-crafted and they seemed to fit well together.

But now and then there is a nugget of theirs that still exists out there. One of those is "Tip of My Tongue". It has been out there for years, but finally put out on a post-break-up release, so the record company can get something back on their investment.

What I like about the song is that John Paul White's singing and playing. I do like their arrangements too and it seems fairly seamless when you know it was a lot of rehearsing.

Joy Williams is talented, but now and then, especially live, her mannerisms are like that of an annoying girl at a party who isn't actually drunk but acts like it so people think she's cool when they just find her, well....annoying.

In the studio she sings well, and she can live, but sometimes it's a little mush-mouth. Such is the case here, but the pros still out weight the cons. Yeah, I wish White had a more dominant role in the song, but his talent makes up for Williams' showiness.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Shopping with Blobby

Yet another installment in the drudgery that is everyday shopping. The camera-phone makes it a bit more fun - though I get looks whenever I take pics of products. Like I care what people think!


Man, I hope Devo is getting some kind of payment for this.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Little Sister

While there certainly is some Petey in today's Petey Porn, I am going a little Sophie-centric today. The poor girl doesn't get the attention she did before his arrival.


Sister love. Always by his side. Or at least usually. 

See? 

Sometimes, she has love for one of her dads. Not a lot, but now and then. 

.....and apparently at night, I'm just a Grooming Station.  Worth it!!!



Song by: Rufus Wainright

Friday, July 18, 2014

Lives in the Balance

I read the notice as Paddleboard Yoga - something else to check off our yoga list.

What it probably said was Paddleboard and Yoga.  Ooops.

Sometimes I think that Evelyn Wood class just wasn't worth it.

Bri, who has done grocery store, museum and sky yoga had another event almost two weeks ago, about which I'm now just getting around to writing - though you gotten a teaser, if you read for content earlier in last week.

What it said was: Paddleboard and yoga.  Ohhhhhhhh.

I have never been on a paddleboard. At Becky's parent's house, I tried wind surfing with disastrous results - but that may have had more to do with my blood-alcohol content than my normal ability to balance on a fiberglass board.

Or maybe this time it was a bit easier that due to yoga, I have a better sense of balance itself. And maybe because I signed a waiver saying I was not allowed to drink and be on the lake at the same time. Silly details.

I was up on the board in seconds. I'd say 10 minutes in, my legs were dying because I was so tense, hoping not to fall in - which of course, is exactly what happened. But that turned out to be a good thing, as I no longer had that fear.

One does not really paddle like a kayak or canoe, so it took a while to figure out how to steer and such. And the lake was so calm, even with people around - potentially pointing and laughing - I tried a few poses myself.

That is the only one I know that was caught on film. Film. Ha. It's not 1977.  But I did a few Bridge poses, and not-so-ironically Boat pose too. Plank was fine. Down and Up Dog were fine. Warrior I seemed shaky but doable. Warrior II didn't work so well and Blobby ended up in the water more than once.

Some others were doing headstands. Some attempted handstands. Fucking show-offs. Oh yeah - this isn't about ego {big eye roll!}.

And we jammed to some very urban tunes. For a white girl, Bri is all about the "No Diggity". Though she threw in some Nine Inch Nails too.

video

After two hours (!) on the board, it was time for 75 minutes of yoga. While it was fun, it is safe to say that afterwards, I was sore. My shoulders ached (kind of still do) from two hours of paddling.

But between Bri's husband and photographer friend, they shot a fun little video.




I'm more psyched that there is another of these in 2-3 weeks. There are other actual classes that do yoga on the boards. It's $60, and you know I'm notoriously cheap, so we'll see if I break into my wallet for that or not.



Song by: Jackson Browne

Thursday, July 17, 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! 



When I saw Marti Jones perform last January, she mentioned she was having a Bossa Nova record coming out in 2014. She played one potential selection, "Keep it to Yourself" and it was nice. But any new music from her is welcome.

That said, I want to love this record. But we don't always get what we want.

The thing with Bossa Nova is, you really have to want it. Brazilian in nature, it makes for great background music - or evening drinking music -  for one or three incredible songs, but rarely does one listen to the genre for a total of 42 minutes in a row.

You're Not the Bossa Me attempts the style - which works and doesn't. The songs have the percussion down. Ditto with the horns. The guitars are ok, but not quite authentic, though I don't think they're supposed to be.  This disk is heavily Bossa-infulenced, but not down to the letter.

It is the vocals with which I have one of my bigger issues. Jones has a great alto. But later Bossa Nova trends (which this disk is emulating) are known for the softer and more subtle vocal palate. Jones meets that requirement, but in turn minimizes and marginalizes her own talents. It really works on a few songs, but then it just falls flat  - literally. While I think it's the written music (and not her actual vocals), some of the words land on a flat note.

Kelley Ryan apparently / allegedly co-produced with Don Dixon (there was no digital booklet to see the writing / producing / playing credits - which irks me) and her style seems to dominate. Ryan is fine in limited doses, but you hear her in the music (which no doubt she wrote or co-wrote) and inserts herself into the vocals, which far too often.

Again, there are a few decent songs, but I won't go as far as to say they're outstanding.

I think the biggest issue I have with the disk is that what I normally get out of Jones' music is the ability to to connect, sing along and usually achieve some emotional resonance. I get none of that here. It's light-weight, which is fine for a song or two, but ultimately, they all run together and it's hard to distinguish one song from another.

And that's a shame. Bossa Me is Jones' first solo disk since 2002 (and only her seventh since 1985), so prolific she is not. I'd like to hear what she'll do on her next disk, but that could be a decade away.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Do It Again

Well, whomever edited the trailer for Begin Again, did a better job at film making than whomever the full-length movie.

We saw the preview at two different movies and I will admit to being the one who wanted to see it more.

On a lark eight years ago, we went to see a yet unknown movie called Once, which I loved. It was an unassuming movie where almost nothing happened but it still intrigued you. Or at least me.

They might have just called this movie Twice.

It was all very pleasant. I like Mark Ruffalo (hey, he's the Hulk). I like Keira Knightley (loved her in Bend it Like Beckham and the little seen Looking for a Friend at the End of the World). But I can't help think that the writer / director, John Carney, did this all before and better.....eight years ago.

Both films had musicians who had been dumped and down on their luck and a saviour of sorts (who is separated from their spouse) who lifted them up, gave them the hope of success (but not actual success) and miraculously not end up together. That last part would be the movie anomaly if Carney didn't do the exact same thing and better....eight years ago.

I get that we in the U.S. have a short attention span. I also get the 'go with what you know' mentality. And I get the studio's thing of, "hey, it was a hit before...." but this time it was all very average. Still - the same movie basically twice and twice in a row?

Apparently, someone felt the need to bring in Adam Levine to play a "rock star"....with that less-than-Jamiroquai-like scrodeling that he calls "singing". (what a stretch.) His acting talents should be reserved for staying silent and taking off his shirt - neither of which he does in this movie (oh...yeah....Spoiler Alert). Honestly, two of his songs were sooooooo bad - so maybe he wasn't "acting".

In Once, I found the music engaging. Hell, I bought the soundtrack. With Begin Again, the songs are mundane....at best. Knightley does her own singing, and she's not bad, but it's not stellar - though it is not supposed to be. And then, there is the lame material she had to work with.

But it is the little things that make me roll my eyes:  going to a rapper's house (Cee-Lo Green, who is way more natural at acting than Levine), and you see the skyline of Los Angeles, even though the movie takes place in NYC.  Or the recording session on top of a building that miraculously has a recliner, a table with a lamp on it. Or the whole set-up of Ruffalo's daughter who is to play guitar on one song, her mother goes on about how horrible she is on the instrument and of course in one take nails the part like a seasoned pro...........even though she's never heard the song she's supposed to play on, let alone ever rehearsed......and she's 14 (though looks 29).

Sigh.

And yes, those musical things happened in Once too. First time it was cute....second time it was much harder to overlook.

Ruffalo is fine in his role. He's done much better in other films. It is Knightley who makes the movie watchable. It is her energy and talent that move the film along.

The movie was all fine and good, but I wouldn't recommend anyone pay to see it. That's what cable is for. And if you've seen Once, you've kind of seen Twice Begin Again.

Oh - and they couldn't even be bothered to alter the poster images that much.




2014 Movie Count / Goal:   4 of 12. 



Song by: Diana Krall

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Theme for a Nude Beach

From gay marriage (last week), to naked weddings (today).

A friend of mine - who shall go nameless - sent me an email the other day, just discussing this and that. We started out with 4th of July stuff, then weather (there was a hurricane back then, ya know!) and then to family.

It was in his closing paragraph that he added this:

we are going to "attend my nephews wedding. It will surely be the social event of the season. Well, in upstate New York anyway. It's a clothing optional wedding reception so that will at least be interesting."

Yes, there is no apostrophe in 'newphews'. Oh the shame.  The shame!!!!  But I'm leaving it as is...well,  mostly because of the shame. At least he got "it's" correct. Batting .500.

Oh - and way. to. bury. the. lead!

Granted, it is upstate NY - which could or could not mean 'Woodstock'-area. Hippy Dippy Central. ...at least east of the Mississippi. But 'clothing optional'?  I'll assume that means for bridal party as well as the guests?

He didn't say. I forgot to ask.

I can think of one (or several related) or two positive take-away(s) from this type of wedding:  what to wear.

I mean, the guy in the pic has some kind of thong on. But it's "optional", right? Still it is not 'naked'. But going along with the what to wear is: less to pack.  And the wedding party will save a fortune on dresses they will never wear again - bride included.

I guess another 'win' would be digital photography. If the wedding photog and the guests with their Kodak Instamatics didn't have the ability to process their prints at home, the police would be waiting for them trying to get porn prints when they drove back up to the FotoMat.

The only other possible win is if the someone attending is hot. Granted, that is in the eye of the beholder, but it's like the holy grail - rare, if it exists at all.

Of course, the drawbacks are many more.  Many many many more.

Let's start with dear old dad walking his daughter down the aisle. Ick. Hell, we may as well just jump to the father-daughter dance. Double ICK!  Even more awkward when that dance is "Baby Got Back".

And since we touched on photos - oh those awkwardly posed bridal and family shots. Picking the matting and frame that doesn't clash with grandma's skin tone is going to be tricky.

For the groom, shoes are not optional if you're Jewish. You do not want to lacerate your Achilles tendon while breaking the glass.

Then there is the receiving line. Old Aunt Edna isn't the 'optional' kind of woman and she doesn't want to get your lactation juices, Vagasil or pre-cum on her new dress she snagged from the clearance rack at Chicos. I guess it's a handshake and how-do-you-do from Edna. There will be no hugs.

Now we are down to food. Clearly buffet is not an option. Even NY health codes have to agree with this one. Sure you have sneeze guards, but........there's a lot more than noses going on here...and little of it to do with sneezing. That would be a lot of plexi-glass. And man, please watch the sterno. Those things are HOT. And crab or foot long hot dogs should not be an entry option - not even for the laugh.

Yes, the wait staff might not be thrilled having to provide sit-down service, but it really is the only way. And for g-d's sake, I'm assuming everyone gets two linens?  One as their napkin and one for, well, covering the chair seat? You know how Cousin Frank was never good with personal hygiene. And on that same thought - best not to make those linens white.

It should go without saying, if I have to subjected to seeing your mother-in-law's saggy tits, then there had better be an open bar.

Top shelf.

...and that bar had better be fully operational four hours before the wedding.



Song by: the B-52's

Monday, July 14, 2014

My Music Monday

Once again, I let time get away from me and had not a song planned.

This going with the last song I hear in the car or #10 on an iTunes liberry shuffle works though. It kind of takes the pressure off - and that is not a bad thing.

Today you're getting Dar Williams.

I heard Williams on NPR back in the very early '90s singing "the Babysitter's Here", and went out and bought her debut disk, which she was then promoting. I went on to purchase her next 6-7 solo disks and have seen her live twice. Apparently she has two other original material disks out that I have missed.

Granted, she's not major label material, but that works in her favour. She puts out what she wants, when and how. While I really liked that song or two NPR played so long ago, I wasn't a huge fan of the entire disk. Her subsequent material got stronger.

On 2005's My Better Self, she does a not embarrassing cover of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb".

It is the same album from which I got today's selection, "Beautiful Enemy".

I'm glad my Music Roulette landed on this song, as might be my favourite from this album. I hope you don't mind it. Maybe you'll even enjoy it.

...and it's rare to get a song with the word 'hegemony' in the lyrics. And by 'rare', I mean 'never'.



Dar Williams - "Beautiful Enemy"

Sunday, July 13, 2014

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 53rd 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 ErikJim 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.


06:20.  a dynamite blast had woken me earlier (implosion of an old bridge)....and Sophie was ready for her morning feeding time. 

06:30. Making sure the barrels are still in place.

People actually remove them to drive past the sign. I put snow stakes up on the right, as you can see some of the tire marks of people who would just drive on the lawn to go around the barrels.  Our neighbors across the street followed my lead.

On my way to yoga, I actually caught a mother having her 7 and 8 year old girls moving the barrels to go through. Oh yes, I called them on it and made them leave.

Oh oh oh - her license plate?  'JC4U'.  I should have questioned her on what Jebus would have done. I also should have said I was videoing it, along with her license plate and sending it to the police.

am the cranky old man, you know.


06:40.  Seriously. A 20 page special section of paper devoted to the return of LeBron James.
I wished he'd never come back. 


09:30.  Morning dew on a spider's web between / over flowers. 


09:55.  Yoga "Rocks" the Park.

Five minutes before start and yet barely anyone was set-up to go. About 2/3 more folks actually plopped down before we got going.  The musicians were actually good.

I really haven't done yoga indoors for almost two months. Outdoor yoga is awesome. (and yes, Scott taught this class.)

11:15. Post-yoga snack ready for consumption. And sharing.

I gave some of my Rainier cherries to familiar yogis. All female btw.


11:40.  Aftermath of that aforementioned bridge implosion. Less than a mile from my yoga practice.

14:25. Dude, we don't have many rules in this house for you, but try to stay on the cover.
Ahhh - that's ok. He's cute. Cuteness lets you get away with a lot.

15:15. Helping 710 with some electrical work.
Let's be clear: this is all I'm qualified with which to assist - holding the tester to show if wire is live.

17:30.  Returning after Petey's 2nd walk. 
His Invisible Fence collar gets taken off, and we leave it behind and pick it up once we come back.

19:50. Paws & Claws time. 
See the white part of the nail (the lunula)? I don't like it at all. I trim my nails at the first sign of it. Yes - even that little amount. So off they came. 

22:00.  Full moon. Supermoon, in fact. Peeking through the trees and the clouds. 

22:15. Your Baker's Dozen. 
Dessert. A cookie or a small ice cream wasn't going to cut it today. So I got both. 


Until next month......at least for 12 of 12

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Here Comes the Weekend

All week I was sure 12 of 12 fell on Petey Porn Day. But I was wrong. So I didn't really plan lots of Petey pics. 

Good for you (well, and me) that I have some back-log of unused images. And Sophie is in here for good measure. 

 Petey checking out the junk in David's trunk.  

 Can we go out now? Can we go out now? Can we go out now? Can we go out now?

Maybe "someone" is getting an extra treat while I was cooking. 

Sophie is perfectly able to open this door when she wants to. But if someone can come to her rescue - better yet. ....just like a girl. 

 It is truly a sad day when four seniors - one in a wheelchair - laps us on our walk. 

 Wakey! Wakey!!!

She is sooooo not supposed to be on the counter - albeit the one that only holds keys and no food. She was waiting there from when I came in from getting the paper. 



No doubt both of them will be making appearances in tomorrow's 12 of 12. I mean, assuming they do something cute. 



Song by: P!nk

Friday, July 11, 2014

Old Man

It's official.

I have become the Old Man [citation needed] who yells at kids to get off his lawn.

Due to construction, the road is closed at the end of our street, which also just happens to be where our house is situated.

While barricades have been erected to keep traffic from going in or out, people just don't seem to care. Forget the fact that they have to pass another similar sign and barrels 700 feet sooner that they just soon ignore.

While walking Mr. Pete, in a way it's kind of fun to see the lemmings. One car goes one way, and the rest all follow.....assuming. Always assuming. Until they hit the dead-end (even after passing one of the signs and multiple barrels) and have to turn around.

It's even funnier when the lead car puts it in reverse but has a line behind them who are just sitting there, unsure of what to do. But inevitably, they back up. Some into a driveway (usually ours). Usually missing part of the actual drive and their wheel go onto our lawn.

Or there is the poorly executed three-point turn, which almost invariably gets at least two wheels onto the lawn, since they're nowhere near the actual drive.

And then there are the kids who go down into the ravine to get high. These are teens arriving in the brand new Audi Q7s or their Lexus,  or my favourite, the $115,000(+) G class SUV. Kids. With a car worth over 100 grand. All of them adorned with their private high school stickers.

Those poor tots are forced to go into the mosquito-infested woods to get high. Isn't that why they have their servant quarters and country houses?

But since they're so entitled anyways, they have no qualms about dumping their trash on our lawn or backing over it.

I snapped the license plate of one of them as five kids sat in it waiting for me to disappear. As if.

The lone guy got out and asked why I was taking a picture of their car. My response is, "you know why - so you tell me". They left in a teen huff. As much as one can do in an expensive piece of German machinery that mums and dads gave them.

During the school year, it's easy to predict their traffic. Right after school till right before they have to be home for dinner or homework. During summer, all bets are off. It starts at 11:00 and goes until at least 23:00. Dozens of cars per day. The police do nothing.

And let me tell you, it's a little disconcerting to watch a 13-14 year old girl go down deep into those woods with 2 or 3 19-20 year old guys. But if she has to have a train pulled on her to get her fix, that's her life.

The kids speed out of here, going the wrong way on a one way street, or peel out going 50 in a 25 where kids play and old men [citation needed] walk their dog.

Honestly, I am praying one of them gets t-boned by an on-coming car, if not a full-on head-on collision. I hate to say it, but it won't matter that much if a kid who is high is injured or dies - it's got to be the innocent person in the other auto before the law takes notice.

But the actual yelling part, to which I referred in the beginning was a Davey Landscaping truck, trying to go around the barriers.....while I sat in my front lawn....watching......waiting.

Actually, I was cutting my lawn. There was no way they couldn't see me. There was also no way to get through. Well, I mean, even if they drove on the lawn around the barriers, there were a good 6-7 huge construction vehicles working at that moment. They'd have had nowhere to go. Still, they made weak attempts.

Oh, and it wasn't just a truck but a multi-wheeled trailer with all their gear. So when they decided to back-up - which is tricky in its own right - I stood and watched them roll over the tree lawn with their truck and trailer.....and even though they saw me, continued to keep going.

Until I yelled.

I killed the mower. I yelled again and stormed walked toward the street.

That is when they stopped. I mean, I could walk faster than they could back-up, not only with the trailer, but the soon to be other set of signs they'd have to maneuver around.

They apologized profusely. Like I cared. But I also told them since they were a lawn care company, they could fix the damage they just did.

And they did. I will at least give them that. Kind of. When I went back out I noticed a big chunk they didn't touch. So I left a message with the company.


Of course, had no one seen, they'd have kept going, of this I am almost assured.

I have had it with reseeding that part of the lawn 3-4 times per year due to assholes like this. Boulders are our next step. Small enough to fit, but big enough to damage their fucking cars. They can explain that to mommy and daddy how they have a $2700 repair bill.

And while some (especially Jeremy but also Geoffrey, David) have labeled me an alter cocker - I'm going on record to say, until my father passes on, that title does not pass to me.

...but yeah, I'm cranky.  What of it?



Song by: Neil Young

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Rocky Mountain Way

So another state ban on same-sex marriage falls. This time it is Colorado.

A little over a year ago, I wrote a post being somewhat critical of Colorado passing a Civil Union measure. I likened it to getting a hand-me-down.

And now, here they have gone and upgraded to getting the off the rack garment. Never used.

Good for them.  GREAT for them, in fact. Now Stevie B. can stop living in sin!

The current map of where states are in the process (or not) of obtaining same-sex marriage is confusing at best. There is the cut and dry of the 19 states that allow same-sex marriage.  There are the 13 amount of states that have overturned the ban but have a stay on actually allowing it until a Federal Appeals Court hears the case....and then possibly the U.S. Supreme Court (because, they're so reliable!)

Then you have the states who recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states - though I think all of those are under review by different and multiple Federal Appellate Courts.

Let's not forget the other states that don't recognize (or might) but are also trying - through the courts - to repeal the marriage bans, which will then lead to appeals in, yes, you guessed it, the Federal Appellate Court system.

Yet, let's say that the Courts allow same-sex marriage in the current states where there are stays. That would bring the number to 32 states.

While I do not mean to disparage anyone (ummm....Erik), but in what fucking world do we live in when it comes to being socially progressive, Ohio is behind Arkansas, Utah, Oklahoma, Idaho, Wyoming and Kansas???

There is that old joke about Oregon's whereabouts on the U.S. map: "it's just left of Idaho.....but what isn't?"

And they don't even believe in evolution in Kansas!!!!!!!

Ohio is even fighting the recognition of marriages performed in other states - that is, if you're doing guy-on-guy or girl-on-girl action. The thought of overturning the ban on same-sex marriage isn't even on the table (at least voter-wise) until 2016!!!

Now, the way the courts have been ruling, I would like to think that an Ohio judge will strike down the ban, assuming there is a lawsuit filed to do so.  (honestly, I have to believe there is one, but I don't know about it.)  And I have to believe that will happen before it ever gets to a 2016 ballot.

My cousin and I were discussing this other day and part was that we, as a state, were trying to appeal to the GOP for their convention. Possibly.

I will go more on the fact that the current Ohio governor wants to be on that presidential ticket (top of) in 2016. And what better way to do that than to pander to the far right on an issue that is so not an issue anymore.

Best case scenario: Ohio will bring-up the rear for the entire country who will have already adopted same-sex marriage. They'll do it not because they think it's the right thing, only because we are the only ones left.

We will be the University of Alabama in the same-sex marriage. Fighting it every fucking step of the way. Ok - maybe Alabama will be Alabama in this scenario, but Ohio will only be right ahead of them.

Ohio will be brought into this kicking and screaming every step of the way. We already are.

And I'm not naive enough to think these other states didn't have the kicking / screaming issue too. But at what point do you see the writing on the wall and make the concerted effort not to come in last?

I can almost overlook the fact that our marriage isn't recognized by the state, due to the fact that the U.S. government has taken some of that out of their hands. But I am so incredibly embarrassed to be part of the state of Ohio, you have no idea.

I don't really smoke pot, but man, Colorado has that and soon-to-be homo marriage.



Song by: Joe Walsh

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

the Blind Man and the Elephant

I took this picture months ago, upon exiting the Cleveland airport after a work trip, knowing at some point in time I would need it.

That day is today.

Yesterday, apparently months ahead of schedule, Cleveland was named the host of the 2016 GOP Convention.

Fuck.   ...and Yay.

I'll only say 'yay' for the revenue it will bring into the city. Politicos. Delegates. Press. They'll all need hotel rooms, transportation food and drink. And hookers. Though I don't know how many male hookers are actually in Cuyahoga County.  We might need to outsource some additional 'rent boys' to keep up with the demand.

The 'fuck' is for the typical reasons. Republicans en masse, being the primary one. I can easily avoid downtown for a week.

I certainly get why Cleveland wanted the convention:  $$$$ and national media exposure. It's pure Marketing and Economics 101.

I am not as certain as to why the GOP / RNC wanted Cleveland.

While Ohio is purple (what? eight large Democratic counties, 80 firmly in the red), Cuyahoga County is as blue as blue can be, even though it has the largest number of registered Republican in the state. But just because they are the most, doesn't mean that they vote, only register. And just because they are the most, doesn't mean that there are not more registered Democrats.

It is doubtful that whomever the GOP picks as their nominee will change that in the slightest. I mean, it's not like the GOP is really reaching out to the black or Hispanic communities. And we certainly know what they think about women. Cleveland has a large black community. I don't know what it would get them to change their party affiliation.

The convention choices came down to Dallas and Cleveburgh. And the GOP wanted an earlier convention (June!) so they could pick their nominee earlier, get their 'message of hate and exclusion' out earlier and well.....have more time for fundraising. (oooh, they're scared of Ms. Hillary.)

I won't say Cleveland got it by default, but Dallas had one partial week in July in which they would agree the earlier time frame. The new proposed suggestion would have meant possibly giving up their arena if the Dallas Maverick possibly got into the NBA final championship. Way to go Mark Cuban for making that town a city of believers.

That isn't an concern for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Ever.

Cleveland will have to make sure their two new hotels are completed before go-time. But Sochi didn't  - so I don't see why we would need to. They're just Republicans.

The true sad thing of it all is, Cleveland was / is also in the running for the 2016 Democratic Convention. That would have been a bigger 'get' for me.

Now, it is possible we could get that one too, but it is highly unlikely.

Columbus is also in the running for the DNC. It would not surprise me if the DNC chose it. Both parties need and want Ohio as a win and Columbus is in the blue too.

What I truly do not get is that Cleveland has to raise between $55-60MM dollars to put on the convention. Why the fuck isn't the RNC paying for their own fucking convention?  710 wondered if it had to do with extra police etc. Perhaps, but let me tell you, if I'm having a funeral and need police escorts to the cemetery, I have to pay for that. The city doesn't.  Maybe we won't be turning a profit on this after all.

To any GOP folk planning on attending - and who is reading this - Cleveland Hopkins Airport is not Minneapolis. There is no place to steal away for a Larry Craig moment. Save your cavorting for your hotel room when your roommate is busy elsewhere. Or try Flex, which I'm sure will have a nightly unofficial delegation meeting from 01:00 - 05:00 with free buffet. Towel, condom and piped-in bad dance music are complimentary.  (pssssst.....I'm talking to you Mr. Drudge and Aaron Schock. )

Ann Coulter is on her own. I have no idea where the tranny bars are.

And sorry to insult trannys.  Not by the using the name, but by including the Spawn of Satan in your group.



Song by: Natalie Merchant 

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Love So Right

How could it "turn out to be so-o-o-o wrong"?

Oh Barry Gibb was so prophetic!!!!

Quite a while back I posted about a woman's obituary whose last name was Gaydar. Hehehe....Gaydar.

While I was making more fun of the name than the alleged perception meter some of us claim to have in determining if someone is of a certain sexual persuasion.  Most of the comments centered around if submitter had or did not have Gaydar - accurate or not.

In that post, I claimed to think I have good Gaydar.  I take it all back.

Every. Fucking. Word.

In the course of a week, I misjudged three - three!!! - people as being gay. Well....maybe two.



Let's start with my would-be future ex-husband, Scott (who you pervs have made one of the highest visited posts of 2014!).

I can't say my Gaydar was working correctly on this one. Or at all.

Truth be told, he wasn't even registering. It was just a 'wishful thinking' on my part. Honestly, I'm not sure I ever wanted him to be gay. Straight was actually preferred....not that it would have stopped me from having sex with him....but that's another story / wish.

So the official word is, Scott is not gay. He's dating. A woman. Apparently a real one. Oh well, I can still take his class. I can still look. Until there is a restraining order, there is no law against that.



Next up is Jon.

He was doing yoga with us at a few places, the last one being at MOCA almost two months or so ago. That post didn't say it, but while at that practice, I had a Nasty Pig t-shirt on. Nothing too offensive, I swear.  On the back it had two pigs humping and under that, it said "packed in its own juices".

Jon, not really knowing me, stopped me and asked if he could take a picture of that. Who am I to deny him? I have no idea what he did with the picture, but I can't say I haven't done something like that in the past to others.

But for all the yoga classes I've been in with him - and he has great form in his flow - nothing about him registered as remotely straight. Nothing.

Yet there he is, now, on FB, changing his profile picture with him and a woman. And a bunch of other pics of that same woman all over town with him in Chicago - where he's apparently been for a few weeks.

Now, maybe - just maybe - they're long time friends who had a meet-up, but I'm thinking not. And not that that Jon reads this (or knows it exists), but here's a word of advice: even with women, you can do sooooo much better.



The biggest blow - no pun intended?  - was Mike (the title image guy). He was referenced in my Rock Hall Yoga post. He was the one who responded positively to me deep-throating a watermelon-lime popsicle. Honestly, it wasn't a showing of my skills technique - I just didn't want it melting all over my hand. That's my story.

And with his trying too hard on his body and endless supply of tank tops, there is no way he was straight. None.  ....though the thick chain around his neck threw me.

Yet Saturday, he shows up to another yoga event............with a girl.

That's ok. Lots of homos take their fag-hags everywhere. Right?  Or sisters.

We were on paddle boards (that's another post), each with their individual ones. Mike was overly friendly, as was "his girl" to me....well, to everyone. But let's stick with me, shall we? They were barely apart in the lake.

But like a school boy insistent that he doesn't like a girl by pushing her down or sticking her pigtails in the ink well, Mike kept purposefully running his board into mine so I would fall into the water. That just made me confused.

Later, Mike and the "girl" shared a board. She'd lie on it, with her head between his legs. Bitch!  Even later, I'd catch them coming out of the bathroom together. I don't think homos do that with their hags.

I told David maybe that Mike is just the last to know he is gay.

Yesterday, a friend was telling me about some guy he saw over the weekend, who was dating his niece, who was the most handsome man he's ever seen. And then he said, 'everyone under 30 looks gay to him'.

I couldn't agree or disagree. Clearly, I have no credibility in this matter.



Song by:  the Bee Gees

Monday, July 07, 2014

My Music Monday

I got a pseudo-request from Brett (the other Brett) about why I haven't yet done a Michael Stanley song.

Yes, 90% of you can scratch your heads now...and go....."who?"

Michael Stanley is a long standing Cleveland musician whom, he and his band, had a minor hit or two back in the '80s, though they were playing in '70s.

The Michael Stanley Band (or better known here as MSB) was one of these oddities that had a double live album (Stage Pass) out after only having a few studio albums (two for the band, two solo). I can only think of Cheap Trick and Peter Frampton being the other two who achieved this. Record companies were way way different in the '70s than they are now. I'm not sure this could even be conceived now a days, let alone executed.

But Stage Pass was a big deal in Cleveburgh.

Sadly, both Columbia and Arista (then EMI) tried to make MSB a little more E Street Band-ish. And in reality, they became marginalized and didn't even make it to the level of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes-ish.  Adding a screeching saxophonist isn't always the answer to early '80s rock, no matter what any A&R man thinks.

Still, a release by the MSB, in Cleveland was always a "big thing".  They even sold out our outdoor amphitheater, Blossom Music Center, four nights in a row, which is still a record. And two at the now non-existent Cleveland Coliseum. I will admit to being at three of those seven shows. And it was those lesser early 80's records that got them their "hits".

But for today, I'll stick with Stage Pass.

MSB would religiously open with "Midwest Midnight" (almost the selection today) and close with "Strike Up the Band". A number of their songs were in the 6-8 minute length. Remember, this was the '70s.

I am going with "Let's Get the Show on the Road".  It's a long one, so sorry about that. The show was taped in Cleveland, so it gets a good response.

..and Mr. Stanley is still putting out music and does a handful of a live shows per year.  (Morty, Becky....he's playing Cain Park in August - are you in?). I think his full-time job now is being a DJ on a radio station.

Oddly, it's been a few decades since he has been relevant, but you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone between 30-65 in town who doesn't know, or know of, him.

Brett (the other one), this one is for you.


Michael Stanley Band - "Let's Get the Show on the Road"

Sunday, July 06, 2014

the Boy Who Wouldn't Hoe Corn

My plan was not to blog about my contribution to our neighborhood cookout just yet. But time got away from me for any other post.

You were going to get it anyways, now it is just early.

Since the cookout is usually really really warm, we don't bring hot food. We want to make it easy, but not store-bought.

I went with a corn dish. Well, more than corn, but that seemed to be the bigger ingredient and it is the only cooked part of the recipe.

It is actually Corn Avocado Tomato Salad with Honey Lime Dressing.

As we were providing for dozens, I doubled the recipe, but here is the actual single version.

2 ears - corn
1 avocado
1 lime
1 clove - garlic
1 pint - cherry tomatoes
1 T - honey
3 T - vegetable oil
salt
pepper
cayenne pepper

I made the vinaigrette first. Easy enough: combine oil, juice of one lime, oil, minced garlic, honey, salt and black and cayenne pepper.  Set to the side. 

Halve a pint of cherry or grape tomatoes. I used to different colours - because I needed two pints since we doubled the recipe. But also because I am that gay. 

Grill the corn for 10 minutes, turning continually, so it cooks on all side. I tried keeping some of the husks on, but I'm not sure it made a difference. 

Cut the cooled corn (though hot is fine) off the cob. It's amazingly easy to do, if you've never tried. And yes, I'm wearing a Chief Wahoo shirt. First, it's the only thing Red, White and Blue I own. Secondly, we took the land from the Indians. Thirdly, they used corn, but they like to call it 'maize'. 

Add corn to the bowl with the tomatoes.

At this point I also poured in the vinaigrette. I wanted it in there before slicing the avocado. I put the avocado in last, and gently tossed it all together. The lime juice will keep the avocado from turning brown.


Let it all marinate for at least 10 minutes and serve.

I wish I could say it looked better, but not by much.

It all tasted very good, though both 710 and I agreed that it was missing something, though we couldn't quite put our finger on 'it' was.

The corn was sweet, but the honey helped. The lime and garlic worked too, but I didn't really taste cayenne.

I will say this: there was another corn dish at the cookout and placed right next to ours. Ours was gone in 15 minutes. The other was still there upon our departure an hour after that. I won't disparage whomever brought the other dish - as I had to try it compare. I liked it, though they were clearly only had corn as the main ingredient.

It's an easy dish and great for summer.



Song by: Alison Krauss + Union Station