Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Crosseyed and Painless

Sunday turned out not to be a yoga day. I think we already knew it, but David and I hadn't seen each other for two weeks, so it sounded better that we were actually active as opposed to just meeting for tea.

Lululemon has Crossfit this month. The first time we didn't know and did not dress appropriately (i.e. Birkenstocks do not make for good Crossfit footwear).  Sure Lu2 needs to expand who comes into their store, as every 28-54 year old white female has already purchased all the store has to offer.

Crossfitters can wear see-through leggings too, ya know!

Secretly, the first day I was happy I didn't have workout shoes. Mentally, I was not prepared to do Crossfit bootcamp. And as physically demanding as it is, mentally it is a lot worse. One must stretch that grey matter to get through that hour.

But Sunday, we were prepared - as much as the two of us ever can be. And we liked the idea that they'd (Crossfit Independence) be doing this outside, as it was a beautiful day.

There were an odd number of folks, so breaking up into teams of two didn't work. Three of us guys (minus Frankenasian) teamed up. The rest of the group were women. It could be argued that two of us three guys were girly too.

You know a Crossfit guy or gal from soon after meeting them - because they LOVE to talk about Crossfit. I cannot tell you how many countless plane flights I've had with a seatmate extolling the benefits of this 'miracle'.

Honestly, some people do good with it, some people are just mental. And the latter skews higher. But so do the injuries. I'm already battling more than my share of exercise related maladies, I'm not looking into adding to those - let alone pay for the ability to become an invalid.

Let's be honest here: what we were doing was Crossfit Lite.

There were no hardcore overhead presses. There was no dead-lifting 350lbs. There were no picking up of tractor tires over your head. No chin ups. No pull ups.

We had six stations of activities. One minute working. 10 seconds resting. Times three, per station. And one minute resting between stations. Even I can do just about anything for 45 minutes.   ....well, except sex with a woman. {shudder}

Just due to where we were standing, I think we ended up at the hardest station first - mountain climbers. This was a blessing, as who the fuck would want to do that last?  Not us.

We did jumping jacks. Had I known, I'd have worn tighter undies, as Blobby Jr. was jumping all around too.

We did back bends, lunges, squats (oh, I felt those the next day), throwing a 20lb ball and the ropes you see at the top.

It was fine and all, and we broke a sweat, but it's not selling me on driving 25 minutes each way to Crossfit. My shoulder and elbow would never let me lift the way they do - and unlike yoga, where there is not to supposed to be judgement - I'm guessing there is finger pointing all around at that place.


Even our female instruction, used the lovely "c'mon ladies......", like it was being called out by my 6th grade P.E. teacher. So I called her on it - good natured, of course.

It really wasn't too bad at all, but not for me for a long period of time.

Even our yoga class the next day was much much much more difficult. I actually considered burning my mat, for fear of never being able to get it clean again.




Song by: Talking Heads

Pic a Day in May - 27

Beans




I'm not a coffee drinker, but I do love the smell.








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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Iris

The summer blockbusters are out in full force (no Lisa Lisa or Cult Jam) - and we've seen none of them.

No Avengers. No Fast or Furious. No Tomorrowland. No Mad Max. Certainly no Poltergeist. San Andreas isn't out yet.

So what is a gay man to do?

We went to go see Iris.  Duh.

We had seen previews while taking in other movies at the local art-house cinema. While a documentary (from the now late director, who made Grey Gardens and Gimme Shelter), it is fully entertaining.

Never had I heard of Iris Apfel.  I'm not a gay man who knows that much about interior design or fashion - as I think any of you could surmise from my choices in clothing or house works. But I think it would be a mistake to call it a movie about fashion or interior design.

710 joked that it is a PBS version of Hoarders, but in reality, it is a portrait of a woman who has lived a life as she wanted to, in a time where that did not happen much. It is a story of an individual and individualist, who also happened to marry a man not unlike her in spontaneity, charm and love - as they have been together for over 66 years.

While clearly slightly eccentric, she is a 90 year old force with which to be reckoned. Iris has exhibits of her collection(s) at various museums and helps educate fashion students, as she believes most designers are just fame whores who don't even know how to sew. As I have never even watched 34 seconds of Project Runway, I can only surmise that she is 100% correct.

Oh - she also sells a line of slippers and costume jewelry on HSN.

Iris and her husband did well enough in interior design to have their Park Avenue apartment, her mother's old apartment (for storage), a warehouse (for storage) and a Palm Beach condo.

Iris is less than an 90 minutes. It was interesting and worthy of a viewing. It doesn't have Captain America. It doesn't have Vin Diesel. It doesn't have tectonic plates.  But Iris is entertaining and there are parts that make you laugh aloud - and that's saying something.




2015 Movie Count / Goal:  5 of 12



Song by: the Goo Goo Dolls

Pic a Day in May - 26

Sweat



Sweatiest. Yoga. Class. EVER.






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Monday, May 25, 2015

My Music Monday

If you had not noticed, I had a My Music Monday theme this month: songs titles with first names.

There are a lot of them out there - or at least in my music liberry. Though there are not a lot of songs with guy's names out there - or at least that I have.

Obvi, there are a lot of guys singing songs about chicks. But oddly enough, I have a lot of girl-on-girl action going on too. Blondie sings about "Shayla" or "Maria". Stevie Nicks sings about "Sara". Sarah McLachlan or Patty Griffin about "Mary".  Mindy Smith about "Jolene".

Now and again there are songs sung by women for men:  "Jackie" by Sinéad O'Connor and two weeks ago with the Bangles and "James". "Frederick" from Patti Smith too.

And to flip the table, you almost never see a guy singing a song titled after a guy's name. That would be.....well.......gay.  I guess like Joe Jackson says, it's different for girls.

I think I've been through my entire music liberry twice to find another female singing a song titled with a man's name. I've already done two of the ones listed over the years, and I think I'll skip Sinéad for the time being.

That leaves me with some girl-on-girl action, which for the most part isn't really gay. Though this song seems to have a lesbian element to it: woman befriending newbie at art school.

Scandalous.

The song is called "Valerie".  Oddly enough, I have three songs with that name - in various spelling variations:  the Monkees, Steve Winwood and yes........Quarterflash (oh yes, they still have a website!).

Sue me: I liked a handful of songs by the sextet, even if a normally screeching alto sax would pierce my eardrums. Alto sax was to 80's music as that fucking penny whistle was to a lot of 90's songs. Dreadful.

But I liked that a woman (Rindy Ross) actually played the sax for the band. Right or wrong, that is usually a guy thing. I'm all about breaking down the walls of musical instrumentation.

Besides their three hits ("Harden My Heart","Find Another Fool" and "Take Me to Heart") they had a few enjoyable songs - one being "Valerie".

And yes, the song talks about getting involved a female student (or instructor?) at art school. And yes, the song is sung by a Rindy Ross, but it was written by her husband - so maybe it's his perspective / experience and she just sings about it?

I don't know - nor I'm getting more invested in this than I already seem to be. Just listen to it already....or not.


Quarterflash - "Valerie"

Pic in Day in May - 25

Question



....straight ahead





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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Talkin' Bout a Revolution

Cleveland is the new Ferguson....or Baltimore...or........(fill in the blank).

In reality, one our incidents of cops vs. the African American public pre-dates Ferguson or Baltimore, though I'm not bragging by saying "hey, we were first!". This is not a contest one wants to be winning.

And we were hardly first. There have been multiple cities with police and unarmed minority victims over the years.

A high speed car chase through multiple cities, involving dozens of officers, shooting (137 times) and killing two unarmed African American folks.

One victim had 24 wounds. One had 23.  That only makes 90 shots that went..........somewhere other than intended. Clearly, a few into the windshield.  .....but many of them came from the officer on trial, who was standing on the hood of the victim's car, shooting directly into it.

That officer was just acquitted of all charges yesterday.

While there is much to school the police in terms of process and procedure, somewhere on that 'to-do' list needs to be more time at the firing range.

Yes, the incident was tragic. Yes, there was clearly excess in terms of the number of police involved. Yes, police commanders on down completely ignored their own protocols in terms of pursuit and deadly use of force. Forgiving the pun, it was overkill.

Cleveland police, investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice and given a horrible report on their behaviour, has so far poo-poo'd their findings - which doesn't surprise me. But this car chase and two other cases pending - all eyes are on Cleveland and their court system.

Not only was no other officer charged in the incident, all - or at least most - who were called as witnesses refused to testify, or pleaded the Fifth. A big blue wall of silence.

The police kind of fucked up a few big cases: you know, three kidnapped girls sitting right under their noses for a decade. Then there was the 11 women who were killed and buried in a back yard - but you know, they were minorities, drug addicts and / or prostitutes, so the police didn't really look for them.

Still, the acquittal comes on the heels of other cops being let off the hook for similar behaviour. But in a way, I knew he would be - with one question from his defense to a witness:  yes, the officer's behaviour was against procedure. When followed up with - 'was it against the law?', the answer was 'no'.   ....and that was in the second week of the trial.

At least as of this drafting, no one has burned the city to the ground. No one has looted. There have been peaceful protests - mostly marching or blocking of traffic. Truthfully, I believe the local new outlets are disappointed. For weeks up to the verdict, they kept asking (hoping!) this would be the next Baltimore. Lordy, they wanted some action to report on - it was almost like they were baiting the public to do something.....anything.

I'd say these police actions with no legal repercussions cannot continue. But they might. And at some point there will be a breaking point, and it won't be pretty.

My fear is that even innocent law enforcement will be convicted in the attempt to appease a broken system and the fear of reprisal. Trust in the system has evaporated.





Song by:  Tracy Chapman

Pic a Day in May - 24

Bikini Bottom



Items to put in the bottom of your fish tank. I thought it was brilliant.






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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Everything Zen

We are a little Sophie-lite this week. I'll make up for it next week.


Petey getting a little left over CapN Crunch milk - the stuff Sophie left behind. 

Nature Calls

Sophie - surveying all that is hers.....even if she's not allowed outside. 

Petey taking his after-walk treat. 
I'm saving my fingers by putting it on my knee. 

....and now, your moment of zen. 

Petey has a space that his first dad knows. No matter how hard we try, we cannot replicate Petey's pleasure zone. 






Song by: Bush

Pic a Day in May - 23

Who?






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Friday, May 22, 2015

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! 


Since making Brandon Flowers a My Music Monday selection a few months back, and informing you all of an impending album release with the Desired Effect, you kind of had to know this album review would be coming - right?

On one of his new songs, "Never Get You Right", Flowers sings "....it's a coin toss".  While he's not speaking about his record, he could easily being doing just that.

As I had pre-ordered Mr. Flowers' album, about one song per week has been released to me. I had 40% of the album in my "hands" well before the actual album release date, but that came with very mixed results.

I am still finding "Can't Deny My Love" to be my favourite song of 2015. I would expect that to change as the year went on, but he could surprise me.  It will be in the top 5 for sure.

The following two songs sent pre-release were a disappointment. "Still Want You" is the antithesis of "Can't Deny My Love".  It. Is. Horrible.  Just one of the worst songs ever, let alone his. I can't imagine that Flowers and his producer sat around the studio afterwards, going "man, this is really good!!"

"Lonely Town".  Meh.  Like a lot of songs by the Killers, it has an 80's vibe, but this one isn't a good vibe. The keyboards are bordering on DeBarge and Nu Shooz territory - and there is no way that some of the vocals (at the 0:59 mark) don't sound exactly like the lead singer from a little known group - Cock Robin.

Flowers covered his 'lonely town' laments much better in his last solo release with "Playing with Fire". We get it - being a Mormon in a small town wasn't ideal for you. The crass auto-tune moment does nothing to help the cause. Even if he changed these elements, the lyrics are way more repetitive than most of his songs.

With "I Can Change", we get redemption. While more than a little sampling Bronski Beat's "Smalltown Boy", Flowers makes the song work. I like the vocal arrangement, I like the chorus more than the verse, but that works too. The song abruptly drops off, for a very weird transition, yet it kind of still works on that level as well.

The rest of the six songs are like the first four: hit and miss. None truly rises to the heights of "Can't Deny My Love" or "I Can Change". A few try. The hits don't make it as high as those two songs, and the misses don't really sink to the levels of "Still Want You" or "Lonely Town".

"Dreams Come True" and "Between Me and You" have a Sam's Town quality, but more like a song that didn't make the cut to that album. And the title in "Dreams Come True" is repeated far too often. But when Flowers opens it up like at the 1:10 mark in "Dreams", he is golden. The problem is, he doesn't do this far enough or for long enough.

Unlike his last solo disk, Flamingo, Flowers seems to strive to sound more Killers-like ("Digging Up the Heart", "Never Get You Right" and "Untangled Love").  Some of this works well - like "Untangled Love", but some of it I think would have been in better hands with the band. I don't think it is coincidental that "Untangled Love" features the Killer's drummer.

I can certainly do without "the Way It's Always Been".

I've said it before with other artists, and will no doubt say it again:  an artists will be remembered for the great songs and the awful ones. It's the mediocre that drowns you - the songs no one will ever remember - and when you only have 10 songs on a disk and 3-4 of them fall into that category, it weighs the entire album down.

Flowers is capable of so much more, but he's not producing it here.

Pic a Day in May - 22

Infamy


My favourite pic of the month (obviously).   ...and it wasn't even taken by me.

Morty sent me this, when he was in Siesta Key, FL, which oddly enough is where my parents had their place in Florida (though not the same condo complex).





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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Cooking with Blobby

It's a two-fer.  A main dish along with a side.

I suppose I could break them up into two, but nah. I'm a little lazy that way.

You know I'm always looking for a new way to prepare fish. I'm a little tired of butter and garlic sauces. I've tried mustard. I've tried mayo.  They're all find and good, but.....I needed something more.


Fish
Tilapia fillets - 4-6 oz each
Egg - 1
Cayenne pepper - 1/4 t
Tortilla chips - 1 cup, finely crushed
Lime juice - 1-2 T
Salt - 1 t
Pepper - 1/2 t

Tartar sauce
Mayo - 1/2 c
Garlic - 1 clove minced
Lime juice - 1 T
Jalapeño - 1. seeded and diced


Administer lime juice, then salt and pepper to both sides of the fish.


Dredge fish in beaten egg, then into the cayenne and tortilla mixture


Place on parchment paper.

Bake at 400F for 12-15 minutes.

For tartar sauce, you mix all ingredients into one bowl. Stir well enough so the lime juice is no longer runny and incorporates into the mayo.

Since it had a southwestern thing going on, I diced a tomato and threw it on after the fish cooked.

I really liked the flavours. The cayenne provided heat, as did the jalapeño. This definitely goes into the dinner rotation.



Then there's the side:  a version of smothered green beans.

I'm usually fine with spinach or broccoli as a side, but 710 wanted a change up. I get that. Like I usually say, the hardest part about making dinner is coming up with what to eat. Shopping, preparing and clean-up are the easier parts.

710 suggested green beans which are fine, but I had to find a way to make them interesting to me.

My sister does something with soy and sesame oil, but it seems I've been doing Asian inspired things a lot lately, so opted to find another method.

Smothered Green Beans

Green beans: 3/4 lb
Water - 1/2 c
Onion - 1/4 c chopped
Garlic - 1/2 t minced
Bacon - 3 thick strips chopped
Salt / Pepper


Cook bacon in pan until fat begins to render.  Add onion and garlic. 

Add beans and water. Cook until the water evaporates and the beans are tender. (add more a little more water, if initial water boils away and beans are still not tender.)

Season with salt and pepper and serve. 


It all worked very nicely. I let the bacon cook too long after I added the beans. But very crispy bacon is still bacon. I just needed to time the fish cooking with the beans better so that nothing overcooked. 



Good enough for mid-week, but good enough for company too. 

Pic a Day in May - 21

Jellyfish


.....as seen at Niagara Falls State Park




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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Graduation (Go On)

It was a little less than four years when my oldest nephew graduated from high school. Where the last four years went, where this last weekend we were attending his college graduation, is beyond me.

While going to his ceremony was nice and I have always had a strong bond with my nephew, I didn't feel I needed to be there. I was more compelled to go so I could take my mother.

Being 86, she didn't have a chance to see my oldest niece graduate two years ago. My father couldn't travel and she couldn't leave him. And being that she's 86 and her next grandchild won't graduate from college in at least four years....well........this might have been the only time I could do this for her.

So after putting Petey up at the kennel {sob}, 710 and I headed out and picked up my mother. We were going up the day before graduation, as it was too long of a drive to and from the Finger Lakes area of NY to do in a day.  And graduation started at 10:30, so.......

As we went to pick up my mother, 710 and I decided if the weather held, we would make a slight detour and take my mother to the American side of Niagara Falls. I know she didn't have a passport, so we couldn't do the Canadian side.

As it turns out, she kind of dozed off outside of Buffalo so she didn't even see me make the turn-off without ruining the "surprise". We were much closer when she snapped to and asked what 'that river' was. The jig was up.

She had been to the American side, though I didn't know that. And we haven't been since maybe 2000. I was surprised how much has changed there. Not of the Falls, of course, but the actual park - improvements in parking and buildings - they had shuttles. It was a little commercial, but ok. I love this side of the river for the beauty of walking through and over the rapids without the tackiness of the Canadian side.

We tried to get some pics, but I think I took more pics for other people who asked for my assistance. I was happy to do it.

After that, we made our way east to meet up with my nephew and his parents for a few drinks on his porch.

Lord - no matter where you go, campus housing still is iffy - at best. While Matt lived in a house, it was considered campus housing. Shared living areas, kitchen and bathrooms, but everyone had their own bedroom. Both men and women lived there. Each house has a theme, and his was the 'Writer's House'.  It was still kind of a pit, but I suppose with eight early-20 somethings, that is to be expected.

Matt, being Matt, was lackadaisical about the entire thing. He "forgot" to open some letter, so he missed a ceremony the day before where he was to receive his cum laude medal.  Oops.  He claims graduation practice was meaningless, but I'm 94% sure he never even went.....he was just avoiding upsetting his parents. When it came to dinner reservations, he said the restaurant told him there were openings, but he failed to remember whether he secured a reservation (he had).

The grounds for dinner were great - right on Lake Geneva (or is it Geneva Lake?). While warm out, the water was not, so fog rolled in. It was neat to see.



Dinner, for however nice a place this was, was questionable. Our server was nice, but the kitchen was abominable. My brother-in-law who is never mad, was mad. We (or he) ended up with free drinks, free dessert and a $50 gift certificate. The latter was nice, but when would we be up this way again to use it?

As it turns out, Matt was staying an extra day, so he went the next evening and took his girlfriend.



Graduation day was beautiful............and HOT.  87F by 11:00a. I didn't prepare (as usual). No sunscreen. No hat. No water. As it was, I had to force my 86 yo mother to move to the shade. She would have withered and died.


But we got to see the speakers (David Gergen was the big one - though I have seen him before). And we got to see Matt cross the stage.

Since he was staying and his parents weren't, we loaded up my mother and made the trip back. The long long long trip back. And we had to spring Petey by 19:00 or wait another day to get him {as if!}.

I love my mother, but honestly, it's the first car trip I've been on with her since high school, and it had its moments of enjoyment and, if I had any, times where I would have pulled my hair out.

The downer of the weekend was looking back at the pictures. I see my mother weekly, but until I saw her in pictures, I didn't realize how old she looks. I was no prize to view in any of the pics either.

I am glad we did it - for her, and for us.........and for Matt. He might seem bored with it all, but some day, I think he'll look back, glad to know that we were there for him.




Song by: the Wet Darlings

Pic a Day in May - 20

Swimmer



Yes, these were the stress "balls" given out at CLAW.





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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Mad About You

I don't know if Mad Men was one of those shows you loved or hated.

I do know it seemed to be one of those shows you've seen every episode, or none at all.

While 710 was a viewer from the beginning, I came late to it, though I eventually caught up.

Rarely did we watch it real time. With the advent of the DVR, there was zero need.

But with the now final episode, we stayed up past our bedtime to watch - so we didn't have to hear how it all ended - the speculation, analysis and recaps - the following day on-line.

Note: there might be spoilers in here if you have not yet seen the last episode. 

While I suppose many feel that potential sociopath, Don Draper is the star / focus, I always saw the compass to be either Peggy Olson or even Sally Draper. Those two women, at very different stages of their lives, showed the most grown and progress.

Don, if possible, was a complex, yet almost one dimensional character. While it could be argued he experienced turmoil and change throughout the seven season, basically, he never changed. Not truly. The surface was booze, women, cigarettes along with some advertising which in itself was a metaphor for not seeing the real product underneath. But that surface never truly seemed to be hiding much of what was bellow. I think it hid more of what wasn't there.

And that is a testament to Jon Hamm's acting - he can pull all that off and you still kind of care about him.

Even in the last few episodes, while on some kind of search to find himself (again?), it could be construed that Don was just morphing into someone else....yet again.  Or he could have centered himself and returned to his NYC life. His last conversation with Peggy was regarding the Coke campaign. I don't think it is an accident that Don "found himself" and the show ended with possibly the iconi Coke ad. Either he truly found himself - or ended up back at the agency creating that ad. Or both?

You can take from the ending what you want.

I will give the final episode this: it churned out two of the most nuanced performances from Jon Hamm and January Jones regarding Betty Draper and her health. Neither of these characters seemed to dare show much real / true emotion throughout the run of the show (save some resentment and anger) and with that one all to brief (but perfectly timed) scene - they nailed it.

For the vagueness of what happens to Don, creator Matthew Weiner almost all to easily wraps up the other storylines, but it doesn't seem too forced.

For the last year or so, anytime I'd see Stan (who was always kind of funny and cute-ish) and Peggy - I'd turned to 710 and say "oh come on - just do it already'. And while they didn't, we got an even better thing.

But Peggy is possibly the most developed character in Mad Men. From secretary to creative executive, she's come the closest to having a true and honest relationship with Don - even more than either of this two wives. And certainly more than the 184 women with which he's slept.

Pete, Roger, Joan all have tidy endings wrapped up in a bow - however loosely tied.

Only with Sally Draper do we have somewhat of a downer.

In certain ways, she was the only grown-up of the show, even as a child. She saw more and learned more than any of the other characters - peering into most of that adult world and leaving with take-aways: more of what not to do, than with how one does / should behave. Even with her last conversation with her father, when he tries to assert the parent role, Sally is clearly more the adult.

In certain ways, Sally fulfills her destiny of truly becoming the adult in the Draper household, just as Betty had done before her after watching her mother die.  Sally, like Betty, becomes an adult much too early in life and no doubt unfulfilled and possibly not that happy of a person - just like her mother, the woman she rebelled against for so long.

I really had no idea on how the show would end. I thought maybe Don would fall out of a window, as the opening of the series shows implies (or that silhouette could just be falling through life). Even a few episodes back, Don rattles the window in his new office, but I'm sure that was more a nod to people who thought it might end that way.

Mad Men was a good ride, yet I'm not unhappy it's over. The timing seemed right and it never overstayed its welcome. And usually every episode was very well done. And you can't say that about most television shows.




Song by: Belinda Carlisle

Pic a Day in May - 19

Scissors


Sculpture at Hobart and William Smith Colleges - allegedly to represent the dual nature of the men's college (Hobart) and the women's (William Smith).






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Monday, May 18, 2015

My Music Monday

I picked Nickel Creek song for one of my 2014 best songs.

They are back on my radar, well.....yours. They've never really left mine.

Today's track, "Helena" is one song to which I keep coming back. It comes from an album released in 2005. A decade later, it still never gets old.

Nickel Creek would normally be considered a bluegrass band. Bluegrass, does not incorporate much other than acoustic stringed instruments. There is no electric anything, and no real drums or percussion.

So with that, "Helena" kind of breaks tradition, especially in the last third of the song. But that's ok, I don't hold it against them.

For me, I'm probably more of a lyrics man than one of music. It's hard for one to exist without the other - at least in popular music, which is probably why I stay away from most radio. The songs are soooooo poorly written in terms of the lyrics.

There is a joke in Pitch Perfect 2 regarding songs about butts......to which the character Beca replies: "so, that is basically any song on the radio, right?"

Truer words were never spoken.

So with "Helena" you get a story. A least kind of. About a guy, a girl.........and another girl. Back in the day, the male in the song would be called a 'cad'.

Of course, this is assuming one listens to the words being sung. Some people don't. But the music here is good too. It starts sparse and builds and builds.

Have fun with it.


Nickel Creek - "Helena"

Pic a Day in May - 18

Patrol







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Sunday, May 17, 2015

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!


Yes, normally I do a funny named product...........or just a weird-ass product. This kind of isn't either. Just an observation while at the Try N Save.


I use Glide. And I'm an inquisitive guy. So, I passed by this display and though to myself - 50% more easily than.........what?

Luckily for me, there was an asterisk.


Of course, their "answer" only brought up more questions than it answered.

First off, Glide makes many different kinds of dental floss.  Some are thicker and wider. Some are extremely thin. I go back and forth between the two types, as I do like their products the best when it comes to stimulating my gums.

But every brand - Colgate, Crest, etc. - makes multiple types of floss.

So what is 'regular floss'?  And who determines this?

And it still goes back to my original questions:  how does one determine and measure the ease of slide, let alone the percentage of improvement in said 'slide'?

There are a lot of factors - including, and especially, tooth positioning.

Honestly, I have a decent set of chompers, but some are tough to get in between. And then you know, some people - well you can drive an El Dorado between a bicuspid and incisor.

See - I want too much information they're not willing to give, because, they don't really have it. And honestly what are the chances that the percentage ends in 0?   I'd be more likely to believe them them if they said 46%.

At least then, they pretended like they did their math.

Pic a Day in May - 17

Pokey


Loved this display at the National Air & Space Museum in DC.

At first, my thought was that Secret Asian Man was shooting lasers out of his eyes. But then I thought he might be about to get his eyes poked out by a satellite.





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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Honky Cat

We here at Blobby's Blog have been a little Sophie-lite as of late. This oversight cannot continue, so we've taken great pains to try to include her - as she is not one for posing in the slightest.

Soph is more likely to be in a Photography Safari:  elusive, quick and sometimes just never seen.

But we have guest stars this week as well.   Enjoy.

My niece's cat, Pippa checking out Petey. 

She's only seen him once before. She wasn't unfriendly. Definitely curious. Petey could not have cared less about her. 

Sophie waiting for me at the front door to come home. 

Breaks my heart. 

A few minutes later, she decided to conk out on me. 

Totally good with this. 

My brother-in-law picking up Wally. 

Before you get all up-in-arms about it. Wally comes by for this twice a day. He insists upon it. 

Boomer & Petey - together again.  

 The kids relaxing after a long day of being treated like royalty. 

Petey - Man About Town. 




Song by:  Elton John

Pic a Day in May - 16

Cut / Uncut



....and with a title like that, here you were hoping this picture would be about dick.





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Friday, May 15, 2015

This Perfect World

You might remember my initial reaction to seeing Pitch Perfect - somewhere over the Rockies.

I have to say, over time, and multiple rotations of it on HBO, my take on it evolved just a little. Don't get me wrong, I can still shoot cannons through some of the holes that are in that movie, but I can also appreciate some of the performances more than I did at 32,000 ft.

It was easy to make fun of the Bella's early performances. It was fun to watch Adam Devine. It was more fun to watch Adam Devine and Rebel Wilson. But you saw the ending coming a mile away.

So, yes, we were awaiting to see Pitch Perfect 2. It's not like we were going to stand in line to see Mad Max.  ....and we got in a day earlier than the official opening date. And it seems no one else knew - as there were a total of eight of use in the theater.

....and we were the only white gay men there. Actually we were the only gay men there. ...and the only white folk too. We were a triple minority.

I think this is the first movie I've been at opening night since the Temple of Gloom.

I have learned not hold out high hopes for most sequels. The original film was only better than average. I've seen great films have their sequels turn to crap.....and I'm not touting Pitch Perfect as a great film, so it could fall......and fall hard.

It is safe to say that they tread no new ground here - be it the writers, director or stars. The only big difference is the cameos - of which there were zero in the first film. This time you get Snoop Dogg....errrr Lion, Tobias Fünke David Cross, Clay Mathews and Keegan-Michael Key (plus the cast from the View and the Voice). Most of them don't distract from the movie.

I miss more who is not in the movie.  No "Donald" or "Unicycle".  Barely any "Jesse". I do believe the Treblemakers only had one song. I get it's not the same story as the first, and it's set three years later, but........    And let's face it, the musical performance  - the good ones - were fun to watch. There are fewer of them this time around, or at least it seems, though the Riff Off lasts longer.

While giving no true spoilers, once again, you can see the ending coming from very early in the movie - and on multiple levels.

That doesn't necessarily make it less enjoyable. But to truly appreciate the movie, I might need to see it 3-4 dozen more times on cable.



2015 Movie Count / Goal:  4 of 12



Song by: Freedy Johnston

Pic a Day in May - 15

WTF






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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Cooking with Blobby

I think it's been a while since I've cooked anything for you. Well..........anything new.  Newer, that is.

It's been over a year since I made an attempt at Sesame Chicken, and while it wasn't bad, it needed to be improved upon. And I did, though I think next time it can be tweaked a bit more.

The ingredients are few - though more than are shown here, as I forgot to fetch the broccoli and scallions from the icebox.

Actually, neither of those two items were in the recipes I'd seen, but I wanted them in, so I made accommodations for them to be included.


Chicken breasts - 3 skinless / boneless
Soy Sauce - 1/2 c  (low sodium)
Honey - 1/2 c
Corn Starch  - 2 T
Water - 1 c
Red Pepper Flakes - 1 t
Ginger - (grated) 1t
Sesame Seeds - 1 T
Olive Oil - 2 T
Garlic - 3 cloves (minced)
Broccoli - one head of florets
Scallions - 2 (chopped)


Cut chicken into bite sized pieces. I cooked them in the olive oil with one clove of garlic. Because I really like garlic. 

While chicken is cooking, in a bowl put in garlic, honey, soy sauce, water, red pepper flakes, ginger and corn starch. Whisk together until corn starch has no lumps. 

At this point, I also used a skillet to cook the broccoli in some olive oil and yes, a clove of garlic. I cooked it enough to warm it through, but it was still crisp. 

Add whisked mixture with the chicken, bring to a light boil, until the sauce thickens. Add sesame seeds.  

And I added the broccoli too. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes for the sauce to incorporate into the chicken and it will soften the broccoli a bit too.  

Over some rice (or not, if you don't want the starch) dish up the chicken and broccoli. Garnish with the chopped scallions.


It has flavour and 710 really liked it. I liked it but didn't like it, like it. I still think it's missing a little umph. 1 T of red pepper flakes is a lot and it provides a slow burn as you eat - which was fine, but I still wanted something else.

Perhaps next time I might use sesame oil to cook the chicken and / or broccoli. That might give it a little more of a punch in flavour.

For us, this made three decent sized servings (one each for dinner, and one for someone's lunch). Adjust your recipe depending on how many folks you are serving.