Sunday, May 01, 2016

Not that Social

I'm sure I've mentioned, we go through periods where we are just not that social. Between Winter, Petey and the new job, I would say until recently, we have been way less than social.

With the Cleveland International Film Festival, we have started to come out of our anti-social funk.

Shorty after, I mentioned about a night at the neighbors where everyone was curious how Petey was doing. But then I had drinks with my college roommate and his wife, who were up to see their son in college. It was actually very nice.

Poor Pat tried to get their 16 year old son to socialize with me while we sat. Is there anything worse than being a teen and having forced interaction with your parent's friends?

Then we had a neighborhood BBQ last Sunday. Totally spontaneous - almost. I was stepping on an elevator and an anesthesiologist, who also is our neighbor, asked us over. His wife followed up the next day. Some people we knew, some were from his office, so that was a good mix. Lots of good food. Lots of beer. And a bonfire.

Last week I had drinks with Chef Bob. I have barely seen him at all in the past few years, but we met up at the film festival. So we've both been trying. He asked all about Morty (who he thinks is adorable - - and he is), but mentioned nothing about Rebecca. I think the household of Chef Bob is still smarting from her "Nurse Matt" comment.

The problem with going out with Chef Bob was we ran into a neighbor, who stopped by the table to give condolences about Petey. This was a subject I had not yet touched on with Bob, so that took us down a road I was hoping to avoid on our first night out in eons. But he's a dog lover, so he got it.

Maybe it is Spring and we are getting out more. Maybe we were in a funk and we are no much anymore.

I still base our movie times around when we'd have to get back for Petey. Maybe that's not a bad thing if and when we get back to dog ownership.

Right now, either I'll have to force 710 to participate, or vice versa, depending on the day or our mood. But we'll get there.



Song by: the Von Bondies

Pic a Day in May - 1

Carpet


Hotel ballroom carpeting.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Cute as a Bug

At least until I can come up with a better Saturday theme, I will still attempt to dedicate this day to animals. Maybe it will work. Maybe it won't.

 Boomer.  Tired. Passed out in the living room - my sister's living room, that is. 

Oliver. Rhodesian Ridgeback. He's so handsome and nice. And as tall as the dining room table of our friend's house, where we had a dinner last Sunday. 

Wally. So tired.  It seems the animals at my sister's house are pooped. But cute. 



Song by:  Lyle Lovett

Friday, April 29, 2016

Lucifer

Listen, I'm no fan of Orange is the New Boehner - though it could be argued, that nobody is....even his own wife -  but I gotta give props to the pumpkin head. Calling Ted Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh”, (sorry, I had to bold that) well, how does one not just howl ????

I mean, my ears pricked up.

Well kind of. I was reading the story, not listening to it. So if nothing else, an eyebrow was raised. And I'm all about the eyebrows, dontcha know.

That statement on its own would have been like being in heaven with thousands of puppies who never had to pee or poop. But Johnny boy went one better.....

"I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”

Sorry. I had to bold that. Yes. Had to.

.....and this is coming from a guy who is a miserable son of a bitch......so, he kind of knows from which he speaks.

I mean - that statement really kind of nails it, doesn't it?

The look that is on Ted's face is one of misery.

I could never quite place it:  constipation? holding in a fart? smells something bad?  But no....it's misery. And as the saying goes, it loves company. So fuck if that man isn't going to make anyone and everyone around him miserable too.

I should not let it pass about the 'son of a bitch' part either. Because that is spot-on too.

Boehner is never one I'm going to for political advice or to check his endorsement. But like him or not (and let's face it.....it's 'not'), the man was voted by his peers to be Speaker.....and a non-boy raping one at that (well.........as far as we know!).

Don't even get me started on Cruz's VP selection. Oh. my. lord. I could not stop laughing - and on so many levels.

DUDE - you're NOT the nominee. A VP candidate-in-waiting?  Are you fucking serious?

And Carly Fiorina??   - - are you FUCKING SERIOUS?

Let's forget that she lost a state election and couldn't garner much interest in this presidential one either. I find it hard to believe that she stumbled into 4-5 bad jobs with unsalvagable companies. She was the lowest common denominator in all of them. Oh - and all those horrible horrible things she said about Teddy during said failed presidential run.

For the record, I never clicked on anything that said she 'sang' at the announcement of her would-never-be vice presidency. Can you imagine what horror that might sound like?

However, I would like to go on record - when it comes to Cruz / Beelzebub references, I think I beat Mr. Boehner to the punch about six months ago.



Song by: the Cult

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hip to be Square

I thought about posting this yesterday after our restaurant outing, but you know, I got distracted by - probably by all the alcohol in my system.

We went to a nice place, but not a trendy place. My rule is: if I have to ask what two ingredients in a dish are, I'm out.

And then there are those places that try way too hard.





Song by: Huey Lewis & the News

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Brother's Keeper


So yesterday was 710's birthday. Save for work, it was a grand time, though nothing super special was done - per his request.

A few years back, I've spent more birthdays with him than I have not. That means, per his lifetime, the majority of them he's celebrated (or not, as the case may be) with me than without. Not a bad maker.

Apres work, we went out to dinner. A nice place, but not a new one. It is what 710 wanted, and that's my job. He wouldn't let me get him anything, so just a nice dinner was on deck. That's ok with me.

Dinner was great. But the best part was the two people you can't see clearly in the picture. They intrigued me to no end. Both had the exact same hair 'do.  ...and not a flattering one.

Whomever their SuperCuts "guy" was, they styled them just the same: ala Flock of Seagulls minus the mousse.

Poor 710. I could barely keep his gaze and I made him turn around - several times - to look.

And then the woman next to us. I just wanted to lean over and say, "have you ever consider having your adenoids taken out?".  Instead I just killed the bottle of wine we had ordered.

Oh yes, It was a Tuesday and it was the third day in a row of drunk. I'd say Rebecca and Morty weren't even there, but 710 was emailing Becky while I Sammy Jo'd* it.

Afterwards, we stopped at the grocery store for a few provisions: i.e. cake. There is this cute-ish kind of cashier there. As 710 was paying, he eye'd us up and down and goes....."so..........are you two brothers?"

While the line was amusing, his delivery made me laugh, not just on the way out of the store, but in the car and on the entire drive home.

...and it wasn't just the wine making me do the laughing.


.......I think.



*to toss back the rest of your drink, they way Heather Locklear's Poor White Trash character on Dynasty (Sammy Jo) would consume alcohol. 



Song by: Aimee Mann

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Suspicious Mind

A+

That is what the Cleveland Plain Dealer gave as a rating for Elvis & Nixon.

I'd never seen an A+ rated movie before.

As it turns out, I still haven't.

When I saw the on-line preview two months ago, or so, I may have internally gone "ugh!".  It looked lame. When I saw the preview in the theater, I didn't "ugh" again, but I didn't say "oh, we HAVE to go", either.

But the movie selection currently is a little thin, so, after I saw the rating (though I didn't read the review), I thought "hmmmm....why not?".

As it turns out "why not" is not the best rationale to be plunking down $9 per ticket.

First off, the portrayals are not meant to be spot-on, so if you're critiquing it on that merit, you have to think more broadly, as that is what the performances are. Ditto with the story.

And oddly, Kevin Spacey - the performance I had the biggest concerns about - was possibly the best one in the movie. And if you remember from other things I've mentioned, Spacey creeps me out. Completely. Maybe House of Cards is good, maybe it isn't, but I ain't wasting hours watching the man.

Some of the tale did indeed happen - Elvis going to the White House in search of Federal badge. The movie portrays it like he wanted to go undercover. Priscilla would write that that he wanted to use said badge to have credentials to carry weapons outside the United States.

Even so, the filmmaker stretches out a premise a little too long and with too little pay-off. But there are moments when it is really really good. And I kept thinking, if they had more scenes where Michael Shannon, as Elvis, practices his intro to the president. Something about where that scene goes really resonated with me. I'd have enjoyed more of that.

There were a few instances that were forced -1971 - references to Iraq and Syria. And a few pre-Watergate Watergate references. And it wasn't lost on me that Nixon's representatives and Elvis' representatives meet in an abandoned parking garage.

Elvis & Nixon was mildly entertaining, but apparently either the reviewer doesn't know what an A+ movie actually is...............or perhaps I don't.



2016 Movie Count / Goal:  12 of 18


Song by: Elvis Presley 

Monday, April 25, 2016

My Music Monday

Highways. BiWays, Freeways. Avenues. Lanes. and such. This is my last entry for the theme. 

For my cousin and his wife, I will commit a sin: I don't understand the appeal that is Willie Nelson. 

As a songwriter, I get it, he can be great at that (think Patsy Cline's "Crazy"). As a guitarist - meh. As a "vocalist", not so much. Even reading about Loretta Lynn's new album, she had to record her vocals on a duet with Willie and send it back to him. She said she couldn't sing with him or harmonize against his vocals. She had to have him harmonize with her. 

Yet, sometimes he works well with artists. Take the 1990 recording of Nanci Griffith's (whatever happened to her?) "Gulf Coast Highway" in which Nelson accompanied Emmylou Harris. 

It's one of those songs that has been in my rotation for decades. Both Harris and Nelson have distinctive voices that are like none other, so when you put them together it should totally work or totally fail. 

It actually works. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sinking

I missed the 104th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic last week.

After we passed the 100th, there really hasn't been much to obsess over, though I think that building an exact replica is just a waste. Is it wrong that part of me hopes it sinks on its maiden voyage - - that is assuming that it is every constructed.

As much as I say I'm over my fascination with the Titanic, then something like this comes out:  a 2:41:19 recreation of the ship sinking in real time.

Yes, it's long, but not as long as standing on deck waiting to die. Yet, I bet the passengers wish they still had 2:41:19 left.  ....though if they did, they probably wouldn't watch this.

Granted, I didn't watch almost three hours of video. Who has that kind of time. But I did skip around - chronologically - as, like always, I wanted to get the ship breaking apart and sinking.

Yes, it's morbid. But in my defense, it's like a ghost ship. The simulation has zero passengers aboard. Though at the end, there are screams - hence the ghosts (?).

The graphics are extremely well done and some nice POV shots.




I totally get not that most folks would not find this fascinating, but I did.


Song by: Jars of Clay

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Two of Us

I know, deep down, that I have to start stopping Petey posts. I get it.

But yesterday was Earth Day - like that's anything!  It would have been Petey's 14th.  That is way way more important, in my books.

So with just a quick glimpse of him, here are Petey pix.

Lounging in my sister's kitchen. 

Stacking beds. He would never allow Boomer to have his own bed, so he took them both. 

 The ever-present tongue. The softest in all the land. 


My Man



Song by:  the Beatles

Friday, April 22, 2016

Musicology

Bummer about Prince, huh?

I was in meeting all yesterday morning and missed the news. And you know I rarely turn on radio in the car, so, when someone mentioned it when I got back to my office I was a little stunned.

You know, in a way you could see Michael Jackson's demise coming a mile away. Granted, maybe not from anesthesia, but that was a man who just wasn't well.

I was way way way more surprised by the death of his Purple Badness. And it did bum me out.

The man was prolific - no doubt about that. I won't say too much so, but with a lot of output comes a lot of crap. There's just no way around that. But man, did the man have his moments. I'm not just talking about "the hits" - though he had them. Still, it's rare I need to hear "1999" or "Little Red Corvette" again. I've said it before, I've never been a fan of the song "Purple Rain".

I'm not even sure I believe the story Stevie Nicks likes to tell about that last song. She claims Prince gave her the music and wanted her to write lyrics to it - and she said she was unable to do it. I suppose that's easy to say when you know he won't respond because he's pretty much a recluse to the media.....and now dead.

I liked the hits....and the lesser hits ("Alphabet Street" anyone?  Anyone?). But I would do the deeper tracks more often than not: "D.M.S.R". "Automatic".  "When You Were Mine". "Computer Blue". "anotherloverholenyohead". "Erotic City".....and the likes.

Sure I liked the singles that weren't huge hits: "Musicology", "the Most Beautiful Girl in the World", "Cream", "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man", and such.....and who knew he could actually get me to like Sheena Easton with "U Got the Look". He really brought out a side of her I could appreciate. She was a good foil for him.

And of course, he had songs he didn't make famous: "Manic Monday", "Nothing Compares 2 U", "I Feel 4 U", "Sugar Walls". And all the bands who fronted his music who ended up sounding suspiciously just like him: The Family, Sheila E., the Time.

Immediately following his death, our local theater was showing Purple Rain. Horrible movie, when it comes down to it, but the performance segments on a big screen are just incredible.

I've said in other posts, I wasn't a huge fan of his latest works, but that's ok. Prince always did what made him happy - and rarely was it for popularity. Oddly, he didn't really care what I thought of his music.

Even so, I'm sorry to see him go. 2016 has been a tough year for pioneers in music.



Song by: Prince & the New Power Generation

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Throw it Away

This part of Cleveland - you know, the part we live in - might be the last place in the U.S. to do recycling.

I shit you not.

When we lived in "the Heights", we recycled. After we moved three miles away, we no longer had that option, though almost 11 years later, we still separate.  Of course, it all gets thrown into one truck and I'm sure dumped into one landfill. So our efforts were for nothing.

Until now.

Yes, starting next week, we are to use these two behemoth vessels for refuse. Bother.

One is for trash, one for recycling. Though without reading the directions, I'm not sure how it works. Do you really throw papers, cans and glass all together? (do you really throw papers, cans and glass?)

When in "the Heights" one doesn't have these cans. You just separate in different bags. There is nothing to drag back in to the house after the man comes to take away your used goods. There is nothing that sits at the end of your drive all day to let people know you're not home (or just too fucking lazy to wheel them back in).

......and there is no place to store them, that isn't outside for all to see, all day, every day.

Bother, indeed.

The "joke" is: Cleveburgh has been threatening to give us these cans for 3-4 years. Each year we get one or two notices saying they are coming on 'x' date. They never do. Or never did.

This time we didn't even get the notice, though I suppose it would have been like crying wolf - and honestly, how much paper and postage could the city spend on a hollow warning?

Yet, yesterday, I turned into the drive and almost hit them, as they just sat there, left like two fat, ugly orphaned kids.

Oh, and you get fined $200 if you don't use them.

I think I liked it better in "the Heights".



Song by: Joe Jackson

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Hypnotized

I think it's safe to say most of my readers (all of my readers?) are no fan of Donald (t)Rump. 

Yet my friend Scott posted this the other day.


I'm hypnotized. It's grotesque - even for Donny, yet very difficult turn away. 

I suppose Voldemort didn't have a nose either. 

Coincidence? 



Song by: Fleetwood Mac

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Hanging Tree

In the never ending quest to do new things and to stay get fit, 710 and I did something we had never done last Saturday.

It was a beautious day, so after I got home from yoga, we got a quick lunch and then headed east - to Holden Arboretum.

It's part of the park department and they've done some great things with grounds - and not just the plants and trees.

Before we got there, we did stop at Penitentiary Glen (which seems like an odd name). It's nearby to Holden. One could say we wanted to see it too. Or one could say I had to stop there....if you know what I mean. But since we were there, we did a few mile hike and went down into what they called a gorge. The stream / river was nice and clean - and it was a hike. The going down was easy enough - the coming back up???....well.....that was a work out.

We did go to Holden for a specific reason and not to see the yet-to-bloom rhododendrons.

Nope. As of late last year they had two new attractions - as much as a botanical garden can have "attractions".

The first is what you see in the title image - a 20 story tower that is above the treetops.....that is, once you climb to the top.


Admittedly, we were probably a few weeks early. I'm sure it would be great when trees are in full bloom, or better yet, in Autumn.

And hooo boy, that tower sways when you're atop of it. I didn't care so much, but I can see how some might.

The other site to see was their canopy walk way.


As suspended (and swinging) walk way through the trees.

Again, probably something better once the foliage has appeared. Still it was cool. I imagine once things are all greened in, it takes longer to get up there, as the crowds are no doubt greater.

All tolled, we walked about 9 miles and did the equivalent of like 53 flights of stairs. Going up - as Mr. FitBit doesn't calculate down.

It's safe to say my calves were on fire - even as of last night. Going up stairs isn't a bother, but walking down?  Ouch.

It is no wonder I got drunk Saturday night. All the fresh air and exercise and no food for like eight hours. It was a recipe for easy inebriation.

It was a cool day. Something new. Something fun. I suspect we will be back - but maybe for fall colours.



Song by: Counting Crows

Monday, April 18, 2016

My Music Monday

Highways. Avenues. Lanes. Boulevards and such. That is this month's theme. 

Apparently this also includes freeways. 


"Freeway" was the lead-off "single" from Aimee Mann's 2012 album @#%&*! Smilers


I like the song. I only like about half the album. Overall, it his not Mann's strongest body of work. Still the song itself fits the bill for the month's theme. 


Sunday, April 17, 2016

the Drunkship of Lanterns

Let me just apologize for the typos.

I'm drunk.

For the record, that's two nights in a row.  You'd think I was still living in Columbus (hi Morty! hi Becca!).

It's 22:12 and I'm just getting around to drafting this post. And I'm drunk.

Well, it was 22:12 when I wrote that, but my fingers were off a bit on the keyboard so it came up as 22:23 .....over and over again. And then I got distracted....and now it's 22:28.

The idea was to stop into a neighbor's house to his part to - and I'm not kidding - to "see his etchings".  I kept changing the word to "drawrings"  (and not, that is not a typo).

There was lot of artwork on the walls, but most, if not all, was done by his father, and all were nudes. After I found the open bar, I'm not sure I checked out any of the artwork. Actually, I am sure I didn't.

Allegedly there was food, but when we looked in the serving area, there was celery. And dip. And that's it.  Yes, they eventually brought out pulled pork sammies, but not plates, no napkins, no nothing. So we ate nothing.

That did not bode well for having an open bar. ....and me.  

It didn't help that we went on a hike most of the say - more on that in a different post. 14,000+ steps, 52 flights of steps, 7 miles of walking or climbing. More on all of that later.

710 has always being responsible, stopped after two. I......did not.

I've said before, and I'll say again, we have great neighbors. The room was truly split into two. Neighbors..........and the Others.

I was just like LOST.  .....but with out Dharma.....or a satisfying ending.

As predicted, word had gotten around about Petey, and if not, people asked about him. It was a fine line. Wanting to be nice, wanting to inform....and not wanting to spend the entire night talking about his death. Is it any wonder I drank?

Still, everyone was great. And we had a good time and stayed way longer than planned. But that was due to good friends and neighbors.  .......and an open bar.

Honest to g-d, now it's 23:05.  Time to focus and wrap this up.

Is it wrong to say sometimes I like to be drunk?




Song by: the Mars Volta

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Cute

Well, it's not Petey Porn, but it's Animal Magnetism.

Sophie hanging on Petey's blanket. I've washed it, so I know it no longer smells like him, but still I think she knows. 

Boomer at my mother's.  I was doing the dishes and I had a helper. He's so frickin' cute. 

 Outtake from my 12 of 12.  Ms. Soph.  Bestest cat in all the land. 


Boomer a few days later - - after a grooming. He's such good boy. 


That's all I got this weekend. And I'm a wee bit drunk.




Song by: the Rascals

Friday, April 15, 2016

Site of the Month

I don't think I am going out on any limbs here to say that the majority of my readership believes in some type of gun control.

I do not think any of you are under the impression that guns will be completely banned, but that some sort of control would be welcome.

I've said it before, and will again, Bertha down at Turn Your Head and Coif needs a license and training to cut your hair.

So why shouldn't someone be required to have education, training and a license when they own a deadly weapon that can dispense 600-900 rounds per minute?

Sure, Bertha's bad 'do will make you want to curl up and dye (see what I did there?), but it's doubtful she can mow down a dozen people in 30 seconds cutting shears. I mean, unless she's a Ninja Hairdresser. If she is, then you're kind of fucked.

But like the GOP - and so many gun owners do belong to that party - you can't talk reasoning to them....or rationally. It's all 2nd Amendment this....and 2nd Amendment that. They'll always quick to throw at you that "you don't know what the framers of the Constitution were thinking when they crafted that".....but neither do they, though they'll claim to.

They are tough conversations to have. It can be frustrating and thankless. Just ask my friend Rebecca.

Becky has started a podcast with Loaded Conversations.

She has two episodes up and running so far - so you should listen.  Now!   (well, after you finish reading my post.)

While Becky has been a friend forever, I'd like to think I'm objective in my thoughts on the production and content quality. While I won't say the episodes are lopsided, as she tries to remain neutral as she goes about crafting each podcast, but there is no doubt - like my readers - she has a proportional response to gun violence.

Her time on All Things Considered was well spent, as the podcasts have a similar feel to them, which is even better as she doesn't have an NPR team behind her.

My involvement in this project is nil. Rebecca bounced a few ideas off me at the beginning. There were plans to participate and have a segment per podcast relaying the absurd news of stupid people doing stupider things with guns - there are no shortage of those insane stories. The first taping was fun to do, but I had reservations that us laughing about that shit might detract from the actual message she is trying to get out there. I'm not opposed to revisiting that concept after she gets going.

But really, take a listen. It's 15 minutes out of your life per show. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Cry Me a River

Lord....this just gets better and better sadder and sadder.




To be fair, CNN's home page makes it look like Cruz is the one complaining. And he is, but not about the GOP rooting thing.

That's all (t)Rump.

Boo-fucking-hoo.  "They changed the rules on me, so I can't win", he says.

Except for the fact that they changed the rules before he even declared his candidacy......so that's on him.

It's kind of like Donny saying his non-voting kids can't vote because the state had changed the registration rules a year ago...even though the actual deadline was by March 26th.  Of this year!  I'm guessing they've never participated in an election. Or maybe they are too embarrassed to vote for their own father. I would be.

The problem is: the (t)Rumpettes.  They might have listened to the reasoning behind the GOP and his kids' lackadaisical attitude toward the political process......but they didn't hear it.

Facts are meaningless.

I gotta say - I do not understand the closing of the ears.....and minds....with any political candidate. I have never been so feverishly blind about anyone in politics.

Of course, Cruz has called the whaaaambulance more than once himself. While (t)Rump might be a bully, Teddy is a fucking wuss. Either way you dice it up - they are both big babies.

And they both are full-on borderline personality disorder folks. Lots of blame for what goes wrong, none of the responsibility.

I've heard of the dumbing down of America, but we just keep getting lower and lower and lower.




Song by: Julie London

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 73rd 12 of 12.

Normally it is 12 pictures taken on the 12th 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.

 05:45.  Not a cold sore. 

I actually cut my lip shaving..........10 days ago!!!!!  The sucker will not heal. Every time I laugh, yawn, or eat something (yes, the jokes write themselves....I get it!) I just reopen the wound. 

06:35.  See? 

I "aggravated" it by drying my face after showering. Silly me. 
But it's very Pollock-esque

 07:40.  Doctor visit. 

My blood pressure is just slightly elevated. My glucose was just above norm - though it wasn't fasting. Other than that - all systems are 'go'. 

 08:50.  Arriving at work. 
If you get there after 08:00, chances are, you're parking on the roof of the garage. Like I did. 

 10:30. Waiting to meet with the Chairman of the Dept of Medicine. 

11:30. Found Doggie. 

You probably know I run our neighborhood email group. A woman found a dog while jogging, asking me to sent out a message - which is what I'm doing here. 

Before I did, I asked 710 if we could keep him if no one claimed him.  .....and he said YES! But shortly after sending the message, someone claimed the pup. This one was not meant to be. 


14:30.  New digs. 

Checking out where our new offices will be and how the construction is going. If it stays on track, we move at end of June. 

16:45.  Incoming. 

MedEvac making a landing. 


video
18:00.  Leaving work - I stopped to play with the interactive art.

18:25.  Dry Cleaning Day. 

They picked up and dropped off in the a.m.,  I'm retrieving in the p.m.. 

18:40.  Evening Greeting. 

As soon as I sit down, I get sat upon. Poor lonely Sophie. 

19:20.  Dinner prep. 

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

21:07.  FitBit

I'm back to wearing it, as it seems lately there has been too much Blobby. And you can't change what you don't measure. 

I'm not to 10,000 steps per day.....yet. But I'm not taking the elevators anywhere...up or down. I average about 24 flights per day.  Yesterday it was 36. 

Yes, this says 35, but I had one more flight to go......when I head to bed. 



Well.....that's it for this month.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Monster

It's been a few years since we took in the Cleveland International Film Festival.

The bigger film festivals (Sundance, Berlin, Cannes, Toronto) are business ones - places to find a distributor - I'm told.

I'm also told that CIFF has a great rep in other film fest world - the viewing. But CIFF also provides filmmakers Academy Award nomination ability - and successfully at that.

Like the last time we went, we viewed one of the "10%" categories.  You know: gay! But at least this time it didn't have that closet case, James Franco or the gay guy from Ugly Betty.

Closet Monster was a smaller-indie from Toronto / Newfoundland (and happened to win Best Canadian Feature at the Toronto Film Festival last September). The viewing was sponsored by our friends David & James who got a block of tickets for a number of us. David used to head the CIFF. His successor (a woman) used to "date" my cousin, Bill.

I knew less than nothing about the film. It had the word 'monster' in the title, so I was prepared for some kind of psychological horror film. Closet Monster turned out to be more of a dramedy. Heavier on the drama than the 'edy'. Drama with a few funny moments.

The movie starts out (well, close to the beginning) with a viewing of an act of sodomy with a piece of rebar. I had to look away, even though it was shot well enough that it was more implied than graphic. Sometimes that can be just as bad.

The story is more of a sort of coming of age while also being gay. Oh, and your parents are fucked up individuals....especially the father, who you could say is homophobic, but that might be too limiting. He could go off over just about anything given the right circumstances....or the wrong ones.

Most of the performances are pretty strong - especially the focus of the film, teenager, Oscar. I wasn't 100% sure about the crush-experience that Oscar has on a co-worker - though there is a very excellent and very nicely shot scene with the two of them. And of course, there are some well placed symbolism in the film - including Oscar's talking pet hamster, who is his friend, conscious and therapist.

Oh, and Isabella Rossellini as a the voice of a talking hamster. I suppose she hasn't had tons of work since her cameo on 30 Rock.



At the post-Q&A with the director, talked about snagging Isabella for the role, as apparently she has an Animal Planet show that she narrates. But the more interesting part of the A from the Q was that going to her house in upstate NY where she had a wall of taxidermy heads given to her by David Lynch.

After the movie, eight of us went to dinner. Sure, we talked about lots of things other than the movie, but of course, we did break it down. Everyone had different takes on it all, but we agreed we all liked the movie. It was a good discussion. And you know eight gay men don't agree on anything.

I don't know what the movie's distribution deal is going to be or if it will be in the theaters ever, at least below the 49th Parallel. There are themes in Closet Monster that has been done before, but this was well done.



2016 Movie Count / Goal:  11 of 18



Song by: R.E.M. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

My Music Monday

Highways. Avenues. Lanes. and such. That is this month's theme, courtesy of moi.

David Broza is the man this week with the title track from his album, Second Street.

Broza is Israeli born, but sings in Spanish, English and Hebrew (mostly the latter), and has albums released in all these formats. I have albums of his in all languages.

I have seen Broza a few times live - sometimes it's English only, sometimes it's Hebrew heavy.  I have never heard him sing in Spanish live, though his guitar playing (almost always acoustic) has a flamenco style. You can somewhat hear it on "Second Street", though it is heavier in other selections.

If you ever have a chance to catch him live, you would enjoy it.

He has / had no official video for this song, so you get this. The audio is ok, but the visual aspect sucks.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Our Song

Ohhhh....Fearsome nominated me to participate in his meme on music. Of course I agreed. He's a nice enough chap. I like music (clearly) and well, one always needs a blog post idea.

The stars aligned.

It's a simple enough task for 4-5 questions.

I won't nominate anyone. Fearsome already nominated most of the folks I would have done anyways.

What does music mean to you?
I think growing up, music as an escape for me. I had different tastes than my sisters and certainly my friends. I pretended to like things like VanHalen or the Doobie Brothers, and they might have even had their moments, but not enough to engage me.

I can read and play music - mostly on trumpet or piano, though I know a few guitar chords.

I know they say music is an art, but it really is a science. Timing, rhythm, cadence all plays into how a song is structured.

I know people think that advent of the WalkMan and iPod cut people off from the world - and to a degree that is right, but those things made life so bearable for me. And trust me, keep my music playlists to myself from time to time makes it bearable for others too.

What is your first related memory?
Ha! Oddly I don't remember it being any children's songs or anything my mother sang to me - if she sang at all, which I'm 99.81% sure she didn't. I was the 4th out of 5 - she didn't have time for that shit. I don't think there are any pics of me before I was 2 or 3.

So my first music memory was in our house in Sylvania, which would have made me somewhere between ages of 3-6. The Monkees were on the radio, or more likely an album of one of my sisters, and I thought if you could cut a hole in the fabric that covered my father's hand built (by him) Heathkit speakers, I could see the band playing inside of said speaker.

No worries, I never had the opportunity to cut it open. And my safety scissors wouldn't have been effective.

What was the first album you ever purchased yourself? 
I have touched on this subject any number of times in any number of posts over the years. And even though I was like all of 8 years old back in 1971, I'm not ashamed to admit the purchase - the Carpenters self-titled album.



What was the latest music you purchased? 
I'd say this is a trick question, but I suppose it is not. But it is not an easy question. "Music" isn't the same as album. And iTunes kind of fucks around with how I used to buy music.

The question wasn't what 'album' did you purchase last, or was it what album did you 'get' last - because I will get things from the public liberry.

And then there are iTunes pre-orders. So, technically, I have purchased something that is still a month away from release, though I did get two pre-release tracks.


So, the last music purchased would be the new(er) New Order disk. No, not the one from from last October. Well..........kind of the album from last October.  Instead of Music Complete, this is Complete Music - remixes from their last original release.

It comes out in May, but with the pre-order, I got two tracks immediately.


What is the very last song you listened to before writing this post? (be honest).
Well, if I'm being honest, iTunes was shuffling through and it was on a-ha and the second single from their debut album, "the Sun Always Shines on TV" when I began the post.

I like a-ha (well, some of it - not their James Bond theme, that's for sure), I like the song and I even like the video. Well, I like the imagery. Something about mannequins playing stringed instruments, singing background vocals or being the audience just amuses me for some reason.







Song by: matchbox twenty

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Stray Dog

Yet another week without me being able to commit to a recap of the Life of Pete.  So be it.

However, I'm still not out of dog mode yet. We talk about them. We think about them. When I see one on the street, as we drive by, I give the walking dog "incidental music".  I used to do that before we go Petey too. When we had him, I found that made up music went away when I saw other pooches.

As I was perusing doggie stuff on-line, I came across a place in Costa Rica I just must visit.

Since the Outer Banks is clearly on the do not fly (to) list this year, maybe Costa Rica is the place for us.

Oh sure, some folks would kick back at the beach or a resort pool / bar. And of course, I'd do that here and there. But they have a site there that seems so spectacular, that I'd assume I would trek over to each and every day while in that paradise.

Land of the Strays.

900 stray dogs in one location. Fed, housed, exercised, bathed, cared for. And adoptable.

But even if you don't adopt, you can go on-site for free to play and help exercise the pups.




It seems overwhelming but cute. I'd love to go, but I don't know how one could ever leave without taking a precious pup home. Or four.

I suppose I could have called this post "Heaven in a Place on Earth", because I'm guessing this is the closest it comes.



Song by: New Order

Friday, April 08, 2016

When I Grow Up

Sometimes I just can't believe I'm an adult.

I'd say, most of the time, I still feel like I am in my 20s.

Not physically. I mean, I have at least one sore body part at all times. Sometimes multiple, depending on the day.

I'm talking more regarding how you feel inside.

Yesterday I was invited to the executive boardroom to give a presentation. And I'd be presenting to the presidents of eight hospitals.

Me.

While I waited to enter, I was talking to a physician and the CEO walked by. He's an imposing man. I'm 6'2" and he's easily four inches taller than myself. We had met briefly, once, not that he'd remember. Nor did he seem to. I'm fine with that.  I don't feel the need to have face time with him. As it turns out, he knows the wife of one of my cousins. As always, people ask if she and I are related....I suppose we are, though I've never met her. I haven't even seen him for 30 years. 30 years this week, actually. (He was at my sister's wedding.....she just celebrated her 30th.)

Then I was sitting at the biggest conference table I've ever seen and just sat down and chatted with all these presidents. Three I knew. Five I did not. What was more amazing was that they sat and listened to what I had to say - and provided good feedback.

Great feedback even.

I really am not patting myself on the back here. Honest. But as one of the presidents went on to thank me for providing direction to two of his hospitals, and then called me 'Bob' and asked if it was ok to call me that.  I probably blew any credibility I had and said, "if you keep singing my praises, you can call me anything you'd like".  It at least got a laugh.

Still, during this hour long back-and-forth, in the back of my mind I kept wondering - 'when are these fine folks going to realize I'm a fraud who shouldn't be here?'.  I am a guy who watches the People's Couch and still appreciates a good fart joke. But it does have to be a good one.

I kept thinking - I have no business discussing multimillion dollar business.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think they'd really invite me to the table if I wasn't qualified. Sometimes I can't figure out I got from there to here.

I guess I don't grow'd up.



Song by: Garbage

Thursday, April 07, 2016

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!

Technically, this is a Shopping with Billy.

You see, Billy is my would-be straight cousin.

I guess, for the record, Billy is "straight". He's married, has kids, yada yada yada. And yet, he sent me a picture of him naked in his hot tub. So, there's that. I mean, you couldn't see anything {oh so sad for Billy!}. He did it to get a reaction.

I never did ask if he used a self-timer of if his wife took the shot, and if she knew what he was going to do with it. I'm almost guessing he told her.

I'm only telling that story and putting "straight" in quotes, on the off chance that Billy actually reads this. Because I want to rib him. It's what we do.

The man does like to tease me, mostly about me being gay. Yet it is all good natured. I love him and he continually makes me laugh, so it was funny - and yet not entirely surprising - when last Sunday he sent me this........




Yes.  Faggots.  6 of them.

Billy would never actually call me that name - not even behind my back. He realizes the absurdity of the product. But now that I think of it, I never did ask him where he happened upon such a would-be purchase.

Of course, there was the follow-up text too......his messages are in the grey boxes.


Yes, he's talkin' gravy. Sorry....."gravy". 

And yes, he has a music video. And a new album. Billy and his wife put out children's music. I believe this will be their third disk. I'm ashamed to say I own none of them - but then, I have no kids. 

Maybe at some point, I'll make Billy a My Music Monday

But until then, he just gets a Shopping with Billy

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

I Hate Love

I'd be lying if I said "I never expected a rebound effect from the Obergefell ruling".

I would be lying if I said I thought it would come so swiftly and so harsh.

But it has, and they have - and in all the places you'd expect - one of the Carolinas (in truth, I would have thought South Carolina to pick it up before the Northern side) and Mississippi. Neither of them are shockers.

In theory, I'd like to think North Carolina is more progressive - they have Charlotte, the research triangle and Ashville. But I suppose that's not enough to keep the deep-seeded hill folk from showing their fear and hate. Of course, I mean the state reps.

I have friends in NC. Some of them gay, some not. Some are religious but not that narrow. At least that is what I'd like to believe of them. I would hate to see their livelihood suffer because of a bunch of asshats. But on the other hand, the state as a whole should suffer. They didn't discriminate on who'd they'd discriminate against, so if they as a whole make a few suffer, a few should make all the state population suffer.

Unfair is unfair.

To be honest, I don't even think the state legislature or the governor realize what they crafted and signed into law, respectively.

Under their transgender bathroom law, Caitlyn Jenner is required to use the men’s room, among guys not used to seeing dresses and pumps in the stalls. Likewise, a transgender man with broad shoulders and a beard will be relieving himself alongside women who may not realize he was born with a vagina.

Aerosmith never sang a song called "Lady Looks Like a Dude".  It is much harder to make a rhyme with that.

Maybe Ally McBeal had it right a decade and a half ago. Everyone in the office used the same restroom - often at the same time.

Back to the state's punishment:  Normally I might say 'big deal' to 400 PayPal jobs. But it is a big deal. Besides the taxable revenue, they'll lose the income those folks would have spent on housing, transportation, food and entertainment.

But not ALL entertainment. Because the guy, Stephen Schwartz, who holds the rights to Wicked!, Pippin and others, has just nixed the idea of any of his productions to be licensed or shown in the state.

And somewhere, those big bouffanted southern women who've only seen Wicked!  79 times are having a conniption that it won't be 80, without going out of state. They never think about the nancy-boy choreographers and costume designers behind the production. Or the dykes who construct the sets. Without - they wouldn't have that play to go to. Don't even get me started on the touring production of Victor / Victoria.  My heavens, they'd need the smelling salts!

Ruckiry (not Jon's boss), PayPal isn't the only one potentially not doing business. I say, give it to 'em where it hurts - the pocket book.

Mississippi probably isn't going to feel that financial repercussion. What industry could even possibly leave the state - chitlin production?

It's all very sad. It really comes down to fear and education - or lack of the latter. But you can't teach folks who don't want to be taught.

As for us?  Well our summer vacay was coming down to Maine or the Outer Banks. It's been years since we've been to OBX, but this won't be the year. When the place we stay emailed us about our plans, we told them we would not be coming and why.

One would like to think that you'd get a response back saying, "that's a shame and we don't believe in the law either.....", but such a reply never came.

I think we made the right decision.



Song by: Garbage