Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Black Parade

Becky was asking the other week what (y)our favourite fair ride is or was.

It was a bit tongue in cheek - as they all pretty much suck. Amusement parks are different. Fair rides are bit scary. I think they were even scary when I was a kid.

But whomever you are, it probably wasn't this one.

Someone should tell the manufacturer that he had no need for that 's'. ....think about it.....

For the second time in three years (and the second time in about 30 years) we went to Blossom Time....for that frickin' parade! Talked into by my little sister to take my niece and nephews to the cavalcade of crap. Let's just say - never again.

There is almost nothing redeeming about a parade.

Except this

and him

and him again.


Song by: My Chemical Romance

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Crystal

"Thank you for going with me to an incredibly mediocre movie". Believe it or not, that quote didn't even come out of my mouth, but Denton's.

I've been woefully behind on my promise to do an average of one movie per month. Not rental or HBO movies, but ones out at the theater with living, breathing people. Ok, at least breathing. And eating. L-rd, those movie goers can put away the nachos (and really - how disgusting are those anyway?)

Yesterday, we went to go see Indiana Jones and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I'm sure we were the ones who pushed it over the $120 million dollar mark.

While I will try not to give any spoilers, I will comment. I must comment. If you haven't seen it or don't want to know my thoughts, you might want to stop reading now. If you want to comment on it or to know more - feel free to email me.

I'm glad it was Denton who said "mediocre", because I knew if it came out of my mouth first, I would have been the person deemed to be too harsh.

That being said, Crystal Skull was better than either Temple of Gloom or the Last Crusade - but how could it not? I mean, nothing is going to really touch or top Raiders of the Lost Ark. The latter still ranks in my top ten movies....maybe top five.

There is clearly more Spielberg than Lucas in this film. When you see it you'll know what I mean. At one point, I wrapped my fingers around an imaginary shaft and made jack-off motions, it was so bad. Denton, who tends not to be happy with that stuff sometimes, even laughed. You'll know exactly which scene I did that in too.

The great thing about Raiders was that it was steeped in biblical and historic legend. Crystal Skull may have been also - but only to a degree. Spielberg just cannot let AI go and he really really really really needs to. Really!

Where in Raiders, you were kind of on the edge of your seat or your pulse would race - that didn't happen here. The action scenes weren't bad - however, they were a little predictable. There was one that even Helen Keller would have rolled her eyes at.

Cate Blanchett was actually pretty good, as was Shia LaBeouf. Karen Allen, whom I thought was the best thing about Raiders, seemed kind of forced in this movie. But so was Harrison Ford. He's more than showing his age and when Indy and Marion kissed, I turned and said, 'wow, she almost knocked out his dentures'...which illicited another laugh.

I'm glad I saw it. I'm glad I saw it the first weekend it was out. It met, nay, exceeded, my expectations - which clearly weren't high. It was ok, but nothing more.

Now, I'm looking forward to Sex and the City Wall-E.



Song by: Fleetwood Mac

Monday, May 26, 2008

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!

These may or may not be newly released disks. They might not even be a good disk - just what is been in heavy rotation in my car (as usually the iPod is playing anywhere else).


What kind of homo would I be if I didn't use Madonna's new disk, Hard Candy as one of my Record of the Month postings?

Well, I wouldn't be a homo at all!!!! Shit like this is about all that keeps my membership active in the Gay Club anyway.

I'm sure this review could get me kicked out the club entirely, but it's a risk I'm wiling to take.

Total review in a few words? Overall, I'm non-plussed. It's better than American Life - but really, what does that say? To paraphrase Medusa, 'it's just cold boogers on a paper plate'.

Ok - maybe not as bad as snot, but there is nothing on here that isn't anything Nelly Farturdo, Gwen Stefani and a host of other middle of the road artists haven't done in the last five years.

This kind of bland hip-hop that is meant to cater to white folk and radio programmers is just lame. Releasing Hard Candy makes Madonna the equivalent of the 55 year old man who wears a pony tail and an earring to make him feel young and hip, when all it really does is bring attention to how old he really is.

The first single, "4 Minutes" is probably the most accessible, but it isn't as much 'a song' as it is spliced together phrases that they've edited into a complete song. Ironically, they go over by 0:00:03 (since they have 4 minutes to save the world) but the song effectively ends at the 3:41 mark. They couldn't even muster up the energy for 20 more seconds of real or looped music. It's also weird how Justin Timberlake's vocals are almost indistinguishable to that of Madonna's.

The only other song that kind of, sort of, resonated with me was "Give It 2 Me". The "rap" in the middle is horrible and distracting from what is/was otherwise a decent song, even if it has elements of Kylie Minogue's "Slow" (yes, thank you LOGO's NewNowNext for making me figure that one out).

But the rest is pretty much throw away. The overused lyrical phrases and the 'moon-june-spoon' rhyme scheme is boring.

I finally figured out why all the "guest artists" keep saying/singing the word "Madonna" - because, they have to remind you whose album you're actually listening to - since it could be just about anyone. Or that her ego is so huge, she has to hear someone say it at timed intervals.

This has been placed into our digital catalog, but I won't be rotating through it often. Take away my membership if you must.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Once More, With Feeling

Curtis insinuates that those of us here in North Ohio are "uppity"
. I guess it's all relative.

He mentions that he is a "hilljack" and not a "hillbilly". I always thought that latter term was a derogatory one. I'm not sure I've heard of the former.

On a road trip to Florida, Jon and I stopped in a Denney's, or some such place, in Georgia for breakfast. As we were waiting for a table a family of four came in behind us: mom, dad and two teen boys. The mother says to her brood, in her somewhat twang of an accent, "I wonder what they think of boys with earrings here in the south". (at least one of her sons had an earring.).

Jon and I just turned to each other and without a word knew what each other was thinking (we have that ability dontcha know): 'here in the south?' Honey, where do you think you came from???

Relaying this story to others upon our return, a physician who overheard turned and said, "oh, they were probably hillbillies". I was aghast. I can't believe someone just said that. She must have noticed my face and said, "I'm one. We don't see ourselves as being southerners." Who knew?

I have to say, we currently live in an uppity neighborhood though. I can't even deny that. We hear about people coming into our 'hood and thieve things. Mind you - most of the ones who get stuff stolen are kind of asking for it. Our neighborhood email group (of which I am now in charge of) will say things like - "someone stole my wallet from my car. It was on the front seat, the doors were unlocked, windows rolled down and sitting in the driveway". "Someone broke into my house. The doors were unlocked and open and I was only gone for an hour!".

It got to the point where folks were saying, "I saw a 'strange man' walking (!) in the neighborhood" (read: non-white). The next email "oh that was just someone doing work at our house". We are uppity. And white.

Our old neighbor told me, right after we moved in that someone stole their bikes from their open garage. But he was good about it, saying, 'they needed them more than we did'.

But this last Thursday, someone a few door down was robbed at gunpoint in his own garage. I'm not quite sure if when he opened the garage the other guy darted in before the neighbor opened his car door or not, but it has put a number of people on alert. Myself included.

A number of folks mentioned a car that drove slowly through our streets on that very day. Even in our little enclave, the cars zip through at speeds higher than they should, so a slow driver probably brought attention to themselves.

Yesterday, I was on the way to store when I saw one. VERY slow driver looking at each and every house. Possibly they were looking for a specific address, but I admit I doubled back and made sure no one was 'casing the joint(s)'. It was kind of pathetic on my part. I'm not sure how much better I am from the guy who told the valet 'joke' the other day.

So, yes Curtis, you were right. If I'm the benchmark, we are uppity here in Northern Ohio. We easily fall into mob-rule mentality (apparently), we enunciate differently and we don't call our pets "critters" or "varmints".



Episode by: cast of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Baby, You Can Drive My Car

I probably already used this title for something, but no worry - you'll all live.

No post yesterday, and I really considered no post today. Mind you - it hasn't really helped that I've been out drinking every single work night this week, and will continue this trend tonite.

I would like to say I woke up hungover this morning, but in reality, I woke up a little drunk.

But I really wanted to tell you, even in a tipsy haze of last night, how mortified I was when I attended a Harvard Business School function last night. Mind you, I did not attend HBS, but I think I mentioned last year when I went, folks ignore me in mid-conversation when they found out did not go to Harvard.

The only person last year to talk to me was probably an odd man out: an african-american graduate. Even among his educational peers he was a leper.

This year they increased the minority population by 100%. Yes, there were TWO (!!) in attendance. Next year, I'm guessing there will be none - and here is why:

A man (not an HBS alum) got up to accept some leadership award thingy. He was from Ashland, OH - which he admits is a farming community. But he teaches Economics, probably at Ashland University. But he goes on and on about coming to 'the big city'.

...and how he ran into gangs!!! Gangs with their colors on!!! Red VESTS!!!! Who demanded that he give them his car and to get out!

Yes folks, it was the valet staff.

Joke or not - anecdote or not, it was horribly offensive on every single level you can think of. Naturally, all the alum laughed and laughed and laughed. My scanning around the side of the room, the wait staff did not - nor did I. I'm sure my eyes were bulging with Cabernet and white guilt hyperthyroidism.

I don't care next year if the boss asks me to go and if my job is in potential peril. Sometimes the cost is too high.

At least this year, I went with a co-worker and we stood around talking through clenched teeth about our yachts and summer houses on the lake.



Song by: the Beatles

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sleep

If I could sleep forever/then I would forget about everything.....

So the song goes.

I'd kill for a great night's sleep. Anytime soon would be good. Lately it seems a bit worse than usual, which was never good to begin with.

My dreams include warm feelings about and conversations with Josh Lyman. And that is when I can turn my brain off....or down.

I'll assume most of my pseudo-insomnia is due to work and the uncertainty that brings. As of yesterday, I'm feeling a little bit better about where I am in where I will fall out into the new structure, but don't want to speculate on it just yet. Some hours I feel like I'll be better than safe, other times I feel like I will get a raw deal.

Oddly enough, even the rawest of their deals would keep me employed, just in a reporting structure I could not possibly abide by. Or worse, having to relocate.

My deviated septum is worse - I swear it. Though I have perfected a sleep mode (since I'm not doing it much at all anyway) to hold a nostril open while I actually snooze. Don't ask about the Breathe Right strips. They are ok....for a day or two, then they just irritate the skin like no one's business.




Song by: Dandy Warhols

Monday, May 19, 2008

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 will blog a food item - if not always. This is kind of a food item, but kind of not.



While shopping the other day, I couldn't help but chuckle a little at the pseudo-irony of the Quick Ones sample station which wasn't very quick at all.

There are certain days in grocery stores that have these stations in almost every aisle. The food companies ply their wares for the hungry and buying consumers. I've never figured out when, how or why. You think I would have, since back in the day, when I was really broke, I could would have to go from station to station to eat.

I did wonder what poor (literally) guy had to wait around until 2:30 to get his freebie of the not so Quick One.....and whether it was worth it.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Everyday I Write the Book

So last night we went to see world-famous author, Rebecca Flowers, read from her debut novel, Nice to Come Home To.

I think things went swimmingly. Most of the chairs were filled. Granted, many of those folks attending were friends and family, but it was still a nice turn out.

The reading was at Politics & Prose. If you ever watch C-Span 16, you'll notice many of the televised readings that they put on are done at this store. Unfortunately, Becky's appearance was not filmed for television, but was audio taped for use later. I' m not sure how.

The poor moderator looked like he was just miserable as he sat in a wingback chair up next to the podium and table. In my mind, I back-storied that he sat there going, "what a bunch of crap! she gets a book deal and I get nothing and am stuck working at a bookstore and not even getting to introduce Chuck Palahniuk!".

It turns out he was just nervous as hell, as this was his first event. And he read the chick-like novel, which did surprise me. That he liked it didn't. Just getting a guy to read it is a huge coup.

The excerpt was good and the Q&A was just fine. I opted not to ask any questions. Many folks bought copies whom you would have thought had already acquired them - ourselves included.

We bought four (yes FOUR) copies ourselves - mostly for friends and family we know who did not have it. Naturally, we had her autograph them. Then the store brought a dozen or so for her to sign to they could sell autographed copies. That left her display looking a bit anemic (click on image to make larger) - but that's a good thing - right?

After the reading, about 14 of us (not including the 6 kids) went next door for pizza. Most of the folks I knew, but hadn't seen since Becky's wedding. And after that, Becky, Denton & myself wandered further into Adams Morgan for a drink and dessert.

The place isn't what it once was. It has gone from a bit of a cool hipster hangout to looking and feeling like every college campus main drag. Maybe we're old, but we were all ok with calling it a night at 10:30p. It'd been a long day for all of us. A long week and weekend, actually.

We'll do it all again, when Rebecca reads in the Cleveland area in about two weeks.



Song by: Elvis Costello

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Fame

Apparently the 'red carpet' isn't as big of a deal as the Oscars and E! might lead one to believe.


Hell, this thing is barely a remnent. I've had bathmats bigger than this piece of cloth.

To be fair - this was a festival/premier/exhbition for some GI (yes, as in 'the military') film, but I saw no black limos, no press or papparazzi clamoring for space to accost the non-stars who were not in attendance.

The lack of scene (like the picture) seemed kind of sad. Earlier in the day, we helped direct an Iwo Jima survivor/veteran make his way to the Carnegie Institute, which we figured he was traveling there probably for this event. The poor guy was so nice, but could not figure out why the 1800 block of P St didn't have an address of 1500. Honestly, I don't think he could distinguish between an 8 and a 5. But sometimes I can't either.

He wanted to walk and not take a cab - which we offered to hail for him. I'm wondering how he made it up those steps. Or if.

The best that can be said is that none of the attendees had to encounter a Ryan Secrest or Star Jones. That would have been the biggest insult to our veterans.



Song by: Irene Cara

Friday, May 16, 2008

Finest Worksong

Sorry for the delay in any postings. It's been one of those days. Or two. Possibly even three.

Yes, I've been on the road - working. And as usual, I've been in DC. But worse, I've been staying out in Tysons, which is in Northern Virgina. More corporate headquarters and malls than you can shake a stick at.

My days have been non-stop, but at least they seem to have been productive. Well, this afternoon I took a 2 hour nap. Not productive in the big sense, but apparently I needed it.

I'm staying in DC for the weekend. Denton is/has joined me. Rebecca and her husband are here too - which is fun. Denton and I will do some touristy things, I'm sure - Rebecca will get ready for her reading at Politics & Prose. Naturally, we will be attending.

I had dinner with the couple last night and lunch with the world-famous author today. I ate, she had a lemonade. We froze. The temp outside must have dropped 15 degrees in 10 minutes as we sat outside.

The big re-org announcements regarding the acquistion of our company are beginning on Monday. I'm not sure how I feel - as I peak and valley a few times per week. This is better than a few times per day than I had been, but right now I'm valley-ing. The Big Valley (starring Miss Barbara Stanwyk). There are too many unknowns and what-ifs. There are too many scenarios of, 'I cannot report to x, y or z and remain sane'.

After my last job go-around, I know there are no certanties. I thought I could deal with this better having done it before - but today.....right now.....I'm floundering a bit.

At least I have Becky, Andrew and Denton to distract me this weekend. And alcohol. I'm going out now and getting drunk. Wish me luck.



Song by: R.E.M.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

All About Chemistry

I was reading the NYT on Sunday morning, with the TV on, as we normally do. Mind you - our Sunday morning routine is usually breakfast, papers, coffee (not for me, thank you) and occasionally flipping back and forth between HGTV or Food Network (hehe, I just typed 'foot network').

While not really paying attention to the show, almost out of my peripheray, I see something that makes me get the DVR remote and hit rewind.



I know it is a small step for gays everywhere, but it is out there and I loved it - and on multiple levels.

Obviously, I liked that chemistry.com even produced the ad and that they have same sex dating criteria. jdate has finally done something similar with that too.

I liked that the ad is almost under the radar and wouldn't gross out middle america - though maybe I'm not a good judge of what middle america actually is and what their tolerance level might be.

I also liked that those are the type of vows I would want at my commitment ceremony, and if it is in front of a butcher counter, mores the better. And I am very down with the 'cilantro' issue.

It certainly make sense that this airs on Food TV and HGTV, as they often have gay men or couples on any of their cooking shows, but often on House Hunters. It might air on other networks, but I haven't seen it.....yet.


Song by: Semisonic

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Giving Up the Ghost

I'm a guest blogger at Rebecca's site.

She axed, I said yes. I just can't say 'no' to that woman. ....well, I can, I just try not to that often.

You may have read about the encounter before, as I blogged the spiritual event on Halloween of 2007. Somehow I think the retake I did on Becky's blog was a better job than I did on my own site. If you write it enough, you automatically edit it - usually for the better.

Her intro is good, though I believe she speculates on my promiscuity - or at least that is the way that I took it. Eh - she's probably on the mark. Now, that's scary!!!

I know I'm supposed to be a guest blogger on Large Tony's site too - and I have something in the works, but I fear he's lost interest in me doing something. I haven't - I've just lost track of time. If he still wants me to do it, I promise that one won't be about ghosts.


Song by: Don Dixon

Monday, May 12, 2008

Freeway

On a whim, this weekend I went and test drove a Prius. I've been in one a few times and they are surprisingly roomy. I can sit in the back seat for a few hour drive with plenty of head and leg room.

The visit to the dealer was in response to my car breakdown the other week, the fact that the warranty and roadside assistance is up in a few months - and that gas here in NE Ohio is at a whopping $3.79/gallon. I thought it would be at least worth it to take a look.

...and as Aimee Mann sings on her soon to be released disk, "you've got a lot of money, but can't afford the freeway". (you can stream the song from her website.)

But worth is a funny thing. What is my time worth? Clearly way too much for the likes of a sleazy car salesman. Poor Jordan, the salesguy, tried hard too win me over by trying to bond for with him. He was adopted at 2, is Korean and just got out of the army and moved from Los Angeles to be with his girlfriend who is going to music school. Like I gave a flying fuck!

5 minutes wasted, though it seemed longer.

The cost-breakdown of the models - after I told him I'm not looking to buy or order today, just test drive.

5 minutes lost.

Then he gave me a lightening speed course in Economics 101: supply and demand. How long it takes to get the cars because they ARE in demand, but they had 'rented' cars that could be purchased. I couldn't get from him what 'rented' meant. He said they weren't leased cars or demos....or used. So what the fuck are they? If I wanted to buy one, it would be a six month way, because of the supply. (what he didn't say was the 2009 models - completely redone (see above pic) will be out by then.)

7 minutes down the tubes.

What color car did I want to test drive? I told him I didn't care and why would it matter - as it was a test drive, not a sale. To which he replied, 'oh we don't have a car to let me leave with today anyway' to which I had to reiterate, I was only looking for a test drive, not a sale. Jordon had to 'go to the back to get the car'....he'd be back in 5-10 minutes.

I'm assuming he just went out back for a cigarette, since he came back reeking of smoke - oh, and the car we test drove was sitting right out front - the same place it was when I walked in the fucking door at least 17 minutes earlier.

10 minutes pissed away.

The test drive....through Cleveland Heights, which has no freeways....and no streets that you can go faster than 35 mph. It wasn't the test drive one dreams about for opening up the car for an all inclusive ride. It was kind of tame.

On the plus side, I did get to ride behind this guy (click on image to make it bigger). Who knew the King of Gondor would make his way around in a PT Cruiser?


15 more minutes.

Ruckiry (not Jon's boss), he had a customer waiting for him when we returned, so I could make a quick getaway.

I really liked the ride and the car, though it is very disconcerting when you stop and the battery really kicks in. It feels/sounds like the car has stalled.

The price was not bad at all. I would seriously consider it, but I will not get it from this dealership. The next one I'll go into and tell them about these guys and how the first hint of that kind of treatment, I walk.

And that is all an IF I get one....or dump Viggo. Like I said, it was just a whim.



Song by: Aimee Mann

Sunday, May 11, 2008

g-d is a real estate developer

You know the Bible 69%!

Wow! You are truly a student of the Bible! Some of the questions were difficult, but they didn't slow you down! You know the books, the characters, the events . . . Very impressive!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Create MySpace Quizzes



I totally swiped this from Curtis' blog. He went to bible college - and clearly, I think we all know that I did not.

Though they say I'm 'very impressive' - and I am, just not in bible stuff - some of the questions were just a little too easy if you went by process of elimination. Many have them have nothing to do with biblical knowledge.

I was a little disappointed they didn't tell me which questions I got right or wrong. How will I ever learn??? Don't say by reading the book - that's never gonna happen.

It's probably not a coincidence that my score was a 69. I guess I couldn't get a 666, so that's the number they had to settle on.


Song by: Michelle Shocked

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Love is the Drug

Oh no!!!! The pope says that sex is like a drug!!!!

Fuck - let's hope so!!! It's not like I have any other vices left - unless you count food and chocolate.

Actually CNN says the pope says that. If you really look/listen further into the text/quote, he says it, but not in the context to which you (or I) think.

When talking about THE church's 40th anniversary on their document that condems contraception, Benedict expressed concern that human life risks losing its value in today's culture, and worried that sex could "transform itself into a drug" that one partner had to have even against the will of the other.

Well, that's just rape. Or manipulation. I'm sure the catholic church wouldn't know anything about that!

I was really hoping for a story on sex addiction or something.....which usually include rape, manipulation and an altar boy or priest. What? Too sweeping of a generalization?



On an unrelated note (or is it) - some naval rear admiral (hehe, I said 'rear') was demoted and fired for having an affair 18 YEARS ago!!!!

Are you fucking kidding me??

Oh - and he nailed the broad in the White House during Bush 1's term. Apparently the big faux pas wasn't that he had sex, or in the White House, but that he lied to the woman saying he was a widower when he was actually still married!!!

OH NO!!!!! A man lying to get into someone's pants?? What has this world come to??? (Maybe we should ask Fr. Flanagan!)

But I am dying that the Department of Defense if finally catching up with this guy almost two decades later. It leaves our current soldiers free to rape Iraqi civilians without fear of punishment.....in two decades.



Song by: Roxy Music

Friday, May 09, 2008

Different Names for the Same Thing

I have to be honest, in 2003-2004, I was a big supporter of moveon.org. But in the last two years, I've moved on from moveon.

Besides selling, or giving, my name to every on-line liberal organization, they've been as effective as the DNC and the democratic run congress. ....which is, of course, to say they haven't been effective at all. Now they just clog my email box with endless crap about things they say they are attempting or whines about the GOP.

They need to focus - considering 'we' have the house and senate and the White House is a bunch of lame birds of some species and/or genus - or their attempts at changing the political landscape are slim.

But I haven't quite been able to 'unsubscribe' myself from their emails, as it is a presidential election year. I know - it makes no sense, but what if I end up missing something???

The other day I got to take the Bush/McCain quiz. They claim over 300,000 folks had already taken it - and that was with the email I got! So, are they beta-testing this thing on other moveon members before it finally became my turn? Maybe it goes by donor $$$ or something.

Play if you'd like. I got 4 out of 5. Story of my life.


Song by: Death Cab for Cutie

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I Know But I Don't Know

I know I made Parallel Lines one of my Record of the Month postings about 20 months ago, and I'm back to post about it again.

I'm not necessarily re-writing this as a Record of the Month - there is too much music out there not to comment on - good and bad.

But this is one of the 'oh fuck, am I old' posts. Blondie's disk is hitting its 30th anniversary. THIRTY!!!!!

That means I was the hippest 14 year old of anyone I knew and not because I owned it. But because Parallel Lines was not the first Blondie disk I ever purchased means I was the hippest 12-13 years old of anyone I knew! (I didn't know Jon then!) I was considered an outcast by my peers (as if I had any!) because I wouldn't listen to the Doobie Brothers or Aerosmith. (I said.....I didn't know Jon then!!!)

It's easy to spout off the songs you know - "Heart of Glass" or that Swiffer song, "One Way or Another" - but it really is the non-radio songs that still get to me: "Fade Away and Radiate", "Picture This" and "Just Go Away" - all great!

Well Blondie is re-re- releasing the disk
. About 6 years ago, they put out a remastered version, which was far superior to the original cd release. The soon to be new one has bonus tracks and a DVD. I probably won't get it - I rarely watch those DVD adds and I have two of the four songs of the bonus tracks.

But the disk is really nice to go back and visit. On my iPod, I always have a healthy selection of Blondie songs. They never get old to me. Clearly - after 30+ years, I would have grown bored of them by now. The beauty is - the songs were with their time and ahead of their time all at once. They still are.


Song by: Blondie

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I Feel Pretty

It's not the prettiest post in the world, I'll admit that right up front. And I'm not even sure why I'm telling you about it at all. Maybe I just have nothing else to say.

Because I'm not repulsive enough, I now have a wart. Well, two actually. The second one I've had for years.

One is my right thumb. I swear it appeared overnight to where I thought it was just a callous. Denton is the one who had to tell me it was a frickin' wart.

Immediately I felt so dirty! I kind of still do. Icky. It's a virus - and nothing I can do to (th)wart it off. So what else is there to do but attempt Compound W? It is the first line of defense - I guess.

Not that it worked on my other wart. But I don't know that that stuff is supposed to be effective on plantar warts. Especially ones on the bottom of your foot. Maybe those can only be on your feet. I don't know. I could Goooooogle it, but honestly, I don't want to read about it.

That thing has just become a part of my life because I've had it so long since I'm big enough of a wuss. That and the ability to get into a dermatologist is a full-time job.

Honestly, I went there once about it and I came away with physician advice to use duct tape on it (yes, you heard that right). ....and a prescription for wart removal. Genital warts!!!! Seriously, that's what they sent me home with. Yeah, that was fun to be filled. It hurt. It burned. It was expensive. And it didn't work.

I'd slather it on (ok...dab) and then put on the duct tape. Now it turns out the tape doesn't really get rid of it, but it does keep it at bay.....from growing and hurting. Maybe on others it works, or maybe I just have a mutant wart. Dunno.

I just stick a piece of tape on until it falls off and then put a new one on. It usually stays on for a few days.

I know I have to get it burned off - or whatever they do - eventually. But it is not today or tomorrow....or anytime soon.

I will have to remain repulsive for a while longer.


Song from: Maria from West Side Story

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Expose Yourself

I knew there were other Vegas stories to tell you. One is mine. One is actually Denton's - but since he doesn't have a blog, I'm just co-opting it and putting it down here.

I had gone swimming down at the hotel pool and then went back to the room to hang out and wait for Denton so we can go out for dinner. It's Vegas, so there is no dress code per se. For better or worse, shorts are an ok thing to wear at even some of the nicest resturants. I threw on a pair and off we went.

What I completely forgot to do was zip my fly. Though it is quite possible that they were one of those pair where the zipper kind of doesn't stay up too. I realized this as we strolled across the crowded casino floor to make it to the main door. Yeah - I know, I guess it could be embarrassing, except for the fact that shit rarely bothers me.

As I zipped up right there (hey, it's Vegas), but it was then I realized I was going commando, which is something I rarely do. Again, it's Vegas. Big whoo. Poor Denton just shook his head, because naturally, I felt the need to tell him had people really made the effort, they might have caught a glimpse of Shumba and his short hairs.

A day or two later I went to the pool without Denton. But eventually he came down. Now these hotel pool areas are pretty big so he couldn't find me and just took his own chair somewhere. I never saw him since I was actually in one of the pools. At some point he found me.

Then he proceeded to point out a group of fairly masculine men he had been sitting near who at least appeared to be straight. And maybe they were. Maybe not.

Overheard was one guy complaining that he didn't have an opportunity to shave his head that day. But that lead to a conversation from a few of the others (not just one!) that they didn't get a chance to wax their taint.

Normally, I would have screamed: "GAY!!!!" (followed up with a very quick "ouch!") except that a few months ago, one of my holiday party guests was talking about the guy she was seeing who does the same thing.

Seriously - who does this??? WHO? (I mean besides the guys in Vegas and Betsy's booty call?)

It makes my commando / open door policy look frickin' tame.


Song by: Medusa

Monday, May 05, 2008

Site of the Month


This site, The Daily Puppy, will delight Dity, but might drive Becca batty. But that's ok - she's sent her dogs to 'farms upstate'. Oh poor mighty Isis!!! No, this isn't a site for Ms. Rebecca.

You see, Dity has her beloved dog - as do Jon and Morty. We have our cats. But animal talk, via email, can push Becky over the edge faster than when we have electronic discussions about automobiles. Oddly enough - this is more frequent than any of you might imagine.

With me, I tune out almost immediately when it is about knitting.

We all have our hot buttons.

But isn't Sydney, but in the picture, just adorable? He (or she) is a Miniature Australian Shepard. My sister has one - though I'll break family ranks to say Boomer isn't this cute. And Sydney seems better behaved. I don't think he probably eats dog bowls, every outdoor plant or cushions to their outdoor furniture. Or the tubes from their house to their air conditioner compressor. I'm not talking chewing...I'm talking EATING.

But at least he/she is adorable. And that's what counts - right? Nothing to be sent to a 'farm' for.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

OHIO

While this is May 4th, and the 38th anniversary of the Kent State shootings (for which this title post song was written), this is not a post about that event.

No, there is new corruption in Ohio that involves guns - apparently the Attorney General's love gun......or a Sex Shooter, as Apollonia would call it ("come on kiss the gun....guaranteed for fun").

Marc Dann, who is our AG, was caught, through a series of mishaps from his moronic staffers, at having an affair. The person in question he was doing the nasty with was his scheduler....now former scheduler, as she has resigned.

Many in the state are calling for his resignation over the affair. Personally, I don't give a shit who Marc is sticking it to - it's not really any of my business, though I'm sure his wife feels differently.

I too think he should resign, but for different reasons.
  1. It's a national election year and in at least the last two, Ohio has played a critical role in securing losing to the GOP. All we need is a scandal for the Republicans to latch on to. It has really nothing to do with anything, but will help bring down the dems (not that they aren't doing a good enough job of that themselves).
  2. In the 2000-3000 word article in Saturday's Plain Dealer, there was some text and thrown out quotes by Mr. Dann which I found much more offensive than him playing 'hide the salami' with someone 20 years his junior.
The former state senator who once worked in a small Youngstown law firm blamed his inexperience and said he was not equipped to take over a state agency with more than 1,400 employees, including 400 lawyers.

"I don't know how many people here expected me to win the election, but I certainly was not among them. It was a surprise that I won," he said.


Jebus - talk about an incompetent boob (Marc Dann, that is - not this 28 year old's dirty pillows). Throw the bum out! Or at least take him to Kent State and shoot him.


Song by: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Supply & Demand

If you were paying attention earlier this last week, Shrub blamed Congress for all the economic ills in the U.S. and blamed basic Economics when it comes to prices of gas and oil. I don't think he mentioned anything about all his gas and oil backing buddies whom Cheney has had not-so secret meetings, but never quite released their names to the public.

Marketplace, one of my favourite NPR shows, broke down W's comments the other day. Too bad no one will ever really take him out to task for this shit. He got his sound byte and moved on. You can listen to the audio here, or just read the transcript below:

Kai Ryssdal: I don't know the last time the President pumped his own gas, but he's probably got staffers who filled him in on how much it's costing because he wasted no time this morning telling Americans he feels our pain.

Gas is up $1.40 a gallon over the past year, he said, and he knows why:

President Bush: One of the main reasons for high gas prices is that global oil production is not keeping up with growing demand.

Our senior business correspondent Bob Moon's been spending some time today going over the president's remarks.

Hi Bob.

Bob Moon: Hello Kai.

Ryssdal: Alright, so let's get to the fundamentals, as the economists like to say: supply and demand. Is that really what's going on here?

Moon: Well, we got a leading industry analyst on the phone, Kai: Barbara Shook at the Houston research firm Energy Intelligence and she begs to differ with the president:

Barbara Shook: The U.S. market is well supplied. Do you see anybody waiting in line at the filling station?

Moon: In fact, analysts have been reporting that gasoline reserves in this country have been on the rise since October and in recent months, we've got more stored up than we have since the early 1990's, so as Shook points out, we've got enough on the supply side. Then you've got demand and that's actually been falling since last July. None other than the Bush administration's own Energy Department now says the demand for gasoline here is on track to see the first annual drop in consumption in 17 years. And I might point out that analysts aren't the only ones who are questioning this supply and demand explanation. Let me give you a quote from the head of Exxon Mobil recently: "In terms of fundamentals, fear of supply reliability is overblown."

Ryssdal: Hmm. The president mentioned Alaska -- ANWR: The Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge -- a couple of times today. He said he hopes Congress will start worrying as much about gas prices when they think about ANWR as they do about environmentalism.

Moon: Well, Barbara Shook says more supply certainly couldn't hurt here, but this comes down to a very long and complicated political fight that's not directly connected to the price turn-up we're seeing today, so even if we do open up that exploration, it's not going to bring prices down right now.

Ryssdal: Let me ask you about refineries, Bob. The president also talked about those a couple of times today. Here's what he said:

President Bush: Another reason for the high gas prices is the lack of refining capacity. It's been more than 30 years since America built its last new refinery.

Ryssdal: Mr. Moon, over to you. Is that the problem?

Moon: Well, Barbara Shook was a little confused by that one. She says we're already doing that:

Barbara Shook: We're expanding refining capacity in this country. We have probably more than half a million barrels of new refining capacity per day under construction right now and I wouldn't be surprised to see another 100,000 barrels per day of new capacity announced in the next six months to a year.

Moon: And Kai, remember what I just said about demand going down. We're actually using less gasoline lately. Well that means refineries here in the U.S. have actually been cutting back on production because their margins are tightening up.

Ryssdal: Alright, so to review, if it's not supply and demand, it's not refineries, it's not gas on the market, what is it?

Moon: Well, most analysts say it's a combination of a couple of things. They say as long as the value of the dollar keeps sinking -- and oil does get priced in dollars you know -- the price of oil has to go up then, so that the sellers can make up the difference in their purchasing power. That doesn't entirely explain this, though. Last year, for example, the dollar dropped a little over 10 percent, but at the same time, oil prices were up around 50 percent, so the major factor here seems to be the wave of investment dollars that are flowing into the oil market, the speculators driving prices higher. Here's a number for you: about $9 billion was invested in oil futures back in 2000. Well, that's now up to $250 billion and even the head of Exxon Mobil blames wild speculation for all this.

Ryssdal: Marketplace's Bob Moon and the president this morning. Thank you, Bob.

Moon: Thanks, Kai.


Song by: the Hives

Friday, May 02, 2008

O Mio Babbino Caro

I had the thrill of going to a wake/viewing/whatever yesterday down in scenic Jamestown, OH.

Let's put it this way, Jamestown, makes Xenia seem like a metropolis.....even after a tornado. But who in their right mind would have thought you'd ever see this in the "center" of town (click to enlarge if need be)

Maybe the bench is really old and none of the residents responded to its request. I was just sitting at a stop light and had had had to take the picture. It just struck me as odd and funny.

Not as odd and funny as say.......the wake/viewing/whatever.

I know I've have mentioned my disdain for funerals and the like and this was no different. It wasn't even anyone I knew. But the husband of one of my staff members who died unexpectedly at 42.

I felt the need to make an appearance, even though it was a four hour drive each way.

I've said before, I'd be happy if 22 folks showed up to my funeral. I got there 15 minutes into the start time of the wake and I was what I would estimate to be 300-400th in line!!!! When I left, there were at least that many still waiting to go through the receiving line - which is a concept I really do not get at all.

I didn't know the parents or the siblings. I didn't know the deceased. I did not want to talk to any of them. I just wanted to see my staff member, give my condolences and head home.

After, and I'm not kidding, waiting for 1.5 hrs, I finally line-jumped. Hey, I was still 45 minutes away from the open casket!! But I saw other staff members of mine doing the same thing, and I figured, I only wanted to talk to one person, so I followed suit.

What do you say when the person left behind starts off saying, "I'm widowed at 35....now what???" Eeeek. Note: there is no comeback. None.

But I should back up anyway. The obituary said, wear Ohio State game attire, as the guy was a big Buckeye fan. Well, I'm old school funeral - I wore a suit. I may have been the only one to do so. Even the dead guy was in a Tiki shirt. I'm not quite sure why everyone else was wearing a Buckeye jersey and he wasn't.

But these guys weren't just wearing OSU gear. Nope. They wore game day everything. Ripped jeans - in all the inappropriate places, unless you were planning on visiting the backroom at the Chicago Eagle (umm....I've heard). This was gear that looks like you had been tailgating for about 8 hours before the game. It wasn't pretty.

The other thing was the photo collages of the guy. The ubiquitous pics of his birthdays and wedding were there. But more often than not, it was him with some animal he had killed. Deer. Moose. Lions. Tigers. Bears. Kittens. Fish. Ok - maybe not all of those, but most of those. All in various states of the hunt and/or death - but almost all of them with a firearm in the shot (pun intended).

My staff was thrilled I made the effort to get down there for this. Hey, if I can win points with that crew, which ain't that easy, it was worth the 15 hour work day.


Song: from Gianni Scicchi by Puccini

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Dance This Mess Around

Back in 1980, the B-52's played on Saturday Night Live. I was in awe!!! My parents walked in from a night of Bridge (snore) right when they started playing their second song. What is that?, my mother asked. The question was rhetorical.

I went out and bought their album the next day. It started an almost 30 year love of their music.

In 1989, I think Jon and I were the only ones out on the dance floor at the Garage when “Channel Z” was played. Well, Charlie, the Nosferatu-ish waiter from Rigsby’s was also out there. But that was it.

Well, we (Denton and myself....no Jon) went to go see the B-52’s the other night. Tuesday, it was.

In my post when I bought the tickets, I lamented on how it would either be brilliant or horrid and probably no in between. I was kind of right and kind of wrong.

When they were good they were very good. When they weren’t they were blah, but never horrid. I fully cop to the fact that their new stuff feel fairly flat but the nostalgic stuff was really well done.

It wasn’t their playing or singing. Really, only Keith Strickland played. Sure, Cindy did the bongos, Kate the moroccas? and Fred once played the glockenspiel. I’m not sure that qualifies them as “musicians”. What happened to the day when Kate was their keyboardist?

As for their singing, it shouldn’t really amaze me (or anyone) that those voices are not studio created. So they were strong and exactly how you expected them to sound – just like their recordings.

I think where they fell flat was just timing. They weren’t horribly active on stage, just little go-go dances (mostly by Kate). Denton mentioned afterward, ‘they started strong, but kind of lost steam near the end’ – which was true. I had to remind him that some of them are probably close to 60 (!!) now.

They played almost all the songs I had hoped for – “Mesopotamia”, “Planet Claire”, “Strobe Light”, “Private Idaho, “Party out of Bounds” (eh!), and an unexpected “Give Me Back My Man” – which I loved. Of course, they did their big big hits too: “Love Shack”, “Rock Lobster”, “Channel Z” and “Roam” (misty want to). Any songs from Bouncing off the Satellites and Whammy! were completely overlooked. And no “Dance This Mess Around”. That was a shame.

For an unofficial Album of the Month entry – I’m not thrilled with most of the stuff on Funplex. You can’t just put the words “shimmy” or “shake” in a song to make it fun or hip. I do like “Juliet of the Spirits”, but mostly because it is just Kate and Cindy – and oh, how I do love how they harmonize. But c’mon: “Love in the Year 3000”?? Lame. …and not the gold kind.

As for the title track, I just keep singing the word “funplex” to “love shack” - “fun plex, baby fun plex….”. The disk does have its moments, but there is entirely too much Fred on the disk. WAY too much.

And speaking of – at some point early in the concert, I had this thought of, ‘oh wouldn’t this have been fun years ago on Ecstasy'. I thought a lot about how back in the day, Jon and Morty and myself would have been into it. Then I had the unfortunate encounter with two guys who stood next to me who were clearly on X….possibly coke, but the latter doesn’t sustain this behaviour without repeated administrations (or so I’ve heard). Anyway, their antics were not pretty….just annoying. I’m sure I wouldn’t have acted that way! Lordy, I hope not.

But one of those guys – and mind you he was in his late 30s, or just had a really rough life - SCREAMED through the entire show: “FREDDDDDDDDDDD. FREDDDDDD, I love you!!!” eeek. Disturbing on so many levels.

The set was quick – with almost half of the songs coming from Funplex. The show started at 9p. When I looked at the clock in the car (I rarely wear a watch), it was 10:45. And it was at least a 5 minute walk to the car and we had stopped to pee and I didn’t look at the car clock until we were halfway home – which is about another 10minutes. So maybe 80 minutes tops for the show?

Anyway, I am glad I went. From 150 yards away, they looked good and sounded like you think they would. I’d do it again, but maybe on a weekend night where I could get drunk.

If they end up in your town, it's worth the ticket.


Song by: the B-52's