Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fascination Street

It's the last day of the month and I'm closing in on my 90th straight day of a blog entry. This is tiring, ya know?

So I'm just taking Tornwordo's meme to do Gooooooogle Street Views of the house(s) you lived in when growing up, or as he calls it, your childhood home.

I wasn't sure exactly what a childhood house actually is, so I am giving you three.

Here is the house my parents lived in when I was born. I don't think it was so filled-in with foliage, since I think it was a bare lot when they built it. I remember one of my sisters saying years later, they planted a pussy willow in the yard. I always thought that was a funny word. hehehehe......pussy willow.

We didn't stay there long. Maybe two years after I was born? I remember zilch about this house. After there, we moved here:

This is where we lived for the next three or four years. Right outside Toledo - and very very close to the Michigan border. Allegedly, the playground at my kindergarten was in Michigan, but I see that as implausible with state and city taxes for public school.

My father still talks about this house, or really, the neighborhood. I have fond memories of the house, or really, the neighborhood. And the neighbors. Bruno, the big german shepard, from two doors down. Or the neighbors who had a kid my age with my first name. Who knew?

There was no basketball hoop when we lived there. What we did have was a tree my family planted in the front yard. I remember my oldest sister pushing me into the freshly dug hole for it, while my hands were in my pockets. I couldn't get out of the hole, or the hands out of my pockets due to how I was laying said hole. I remember them looking down and laughing at me. Bitches!

My mother planted the arborvitae to the left of the house as a barrier to the neighbors, look how huge they now stand!

After there, we moved here:

Ok, there is no street view for this house - where my parents still live. In June, they will have been there for 40 years! 40!!!! You can kind of see, they live on a golf course and it was a great place to really grow up. I was there from 1st grade until I left for college.

Denton and I still go out there a few times per month for dinner. I wouldn't mind my parents moving into something smaller than their 5 bedroom house, but at their age, that doesn't seem realistic to pack-up, sell and move. The house is still nice, but I know when it is time to sell, us kids will have to either take a bath on it, or do some renovations before selling it.

One of my sisters moved right near them on King's Orchard. They've since moved.

We never lived here. One set of grandparents did. I was just looking this shit up. It was the first and only house I've known with a "breezeway". It had cool red laminent flooring though in the kitchen.

My grandfather killed himself in the garage. I wasn't supposed to know that, but I saw the death certificate that was left out on the dining room table. I guess maybe a 6th grader should be sheltered from that. I'm not sure how much my sisters knew of this at the time. I kept it to myself for at least a decade.

Maybe my childhood ended sooner than it should have.

I never tag anyone for these meme things. As far as I know, no one did my Mr. Picasso Head.



Song by: the Cure

Friday, February 27, 2009

Never Say Never

Never Say Never

It is the law of averages, actually. And a matter of time.

There are X amount of rest rooms in the United States. The N in this equation is how many of said rest rooms use a certain make of personal hygiene tissue dispensing system.

It was bound to happen. And knowing how things go, it was bound to happen to me.




To be honest, after seeing the name of the device, I was just kind of biding my time, with iPhone in hand (or pocket, as it were).




Song by: Romeo Void

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Come to Jesus

I love walking around work the day after Mardi Gras. All these people with ashes on their forehead.

But I'm loving the someecards that I came across my email yesterday.


People might find religion, or at least find it more interesting or tolerable if it were limited to 140 characters.



Song by: Mindy Smith

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Strangeness and Charm

I don't know what I have to say or not say today. I'm tired of talking about the gym - and you're probably tired of hearing about it.

I am sure I could go on and on about something, but I came across a clip of Joaquin Phoenix on David Letterman, promoting his new and possibly last movie.

For those who haven't heard/read/seen - Joaquin has been making a stink about retiring from celluloid and foraying into the world of hip hop. Whatever, dude.

But he was indeed on Letterman, though not really on Letterman. Dave is in his prime. I love seeing him when he is on. You have to watch the clip - and I do mean the entire clip - to truly enjoy the weirdness of the situation.




Song by: Tim Finn

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hand in Hand

My cat is in love with me - and quite needy.

Usually on Saturday and Sunday mornings, I get up and read the paper(s) before getting breakfast. That meal usually consists of a bowl of Honeycomb and then Second Breakfast is either a piece of fruit or an English muffin.

But before that meal, Tovah plants herself on the right arm of the chair, reaches out and holds my hand. It makes it quite difficult to read the paper - especially turning the pages.


See?


I now know how hard it is to be disabled and only have one arm.

I do attempt to use the right arm, but Tovah reaches out her paw and pulls me back over to her. Time and time again. And I just can't say "no" to her. And why should I? She doesn't ask for much.

Ok, it ain't the prettiest picture of me, but it's like 7:30a on Sunday morning and it's all I got.

I'm kind of fond of her too, by the way.


Song by: Dire Straits

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Latin One

It took me about 10 seconds to get the license plate yesterday on my way back from the gym and grocery store. They are not one entity - I was just doing the rounds.

We never wish each other a Appyhay Monday. So here's to it.

Happy, because it is not a gym day this morning. I vary that routine a bit: 6a on Tuesdays and Thursdays and then later in the morning on Saturday and Sundays. I might try to add another day in there at some point - but I am so not there yet.

As it is, I cannot go without running into someone I know - no matter what day or time. And also no matter what day or time, I run into one unknown guy every.single.time. I thought he might be stalking me until Denton pointed out he might think the same of me. I'm not. He's not my type.

Most folks at the gym are your normal every day schmoes, like me. Trying to look and/or feel better through the power of a monthly payment. Naturally you have your hard-core guys, for when big isn't big enough (you know what they say "big fireman, little hose!"). Or the guy who has negative percent body fat. He looks like anatomical muscle model you see in any every health museum.

I hate him.

Or even worse - the guy who works out with me in the mornings. Well, he does cardio, because that is all he has to do. The rest of his body is naturally close to perfect. You know those guys - the ones who don't actually have to be there, because some greater being smiled upon them.

I love hate him.

But I almost got out of the gym yesterday without seeing a single soul I knew. This is not a bad thing. But I stopped to rest and eat an orange I had brought. I finished, grabbed my gym bag and heard someone call out my name. It was my old boss. Well one from....let's see....two jobs ago. The one who could have saved my job, but clearly opted not to.

I have seen Ali a number of times since I left and each time he has been nicer and nicer. Less uptight and actually smiling and laughing. So I stood for a few minutes while he was on the elliptical, reading a journal.

He asked how often I come to the gym and I said about four days per week, adding "this (gesturing to my body) does not all happen on its own", making the guy on the elliptical two over burst out laughing - in a good way. I think. I hope.

If not.....well then, I hate him.


Song by: 10,000 Maniacs

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Physical

My work-outs continue. Believe it or not, I still don't have the perfect body! Shut Up! I know!!! WTF - it has been almost two weeks!!!!

You know that ad for 8 minute abs? I always scream at the TV, 'that takes too long, I want them NOW!' Instant gratification takes too long.

But I've been a good boy. Today will be the 8th day out of the last 11 that I will have hit the gym. That's not bad, right?

At the very minimum, I do 30 minutes of cardio - whether it be the treadmill, life cycle, the recumbent bike or the elliptical. I try to mix it up to keep it interesting. I thought I was doing pretty well when it came to cardio, until I did the StairMaster (queue whip-cracking sound here!) yesterday. Just on a steady pace at what I thought was a lower level speed, it was killing me.

I thought I had strong legs and decent butt, but.......now I'm beginning to wonder. I always thought it was the upper body I needed work on (and I do), but yesterday has me re-thinking everything.

Anyway, 30 minutes minimum of cardio per time and now I've been incorporating weights into that too. Me and my scrawny arms and chest. I really do hope to see results. I fear without seeing, I will fall prey to defeat and quit. There has to be some validation, don't you think?

I certainly feel the results. I was sore. Very very sore. Getting my suit coat on and off was a chore in those early days. I guess that's good, right?

I don't mean to bore you all with this work-out update. Like Becky's novel-writing advice, you have to tell people you're doing it - which kind of forces you to actually do it. At least that's my thinking.

Oh - another thing I've learned: I realize why I probably sucked so badly at organized sports. My hand-eye coordination isn't what it should be. Have you been on an elliptical? Hands and feet moving akimbo almost? It's all well and good if you are focused and looking straight ahead. Whatever you do - do NOT look down to see what is going on. I got so flummoxed, that I swear I could have gone head over heels (gotta have a G0-Go's reference!) over the machine. At least I learned my lesson.

Ok, time to hit the gym.



Song by: Olivia Newton-John

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I Drink Alone

I have. I will. But I don't make a habit of it. Technically, last night, I didn't.

After work yesterday, I was supposed to meet a friend for a drink at happy hour. A gay happy hour.

G2H2 (Gay Guy's Happy Hour) is this great little event that happens once a month. Gay men take over a straight bar for happy hour.

Personally, I would like this to be more subversive than it is. It would be better if it seemed like flash mob or critical mass activity, but I believe it is a bit more planned than that. The G2H2 leaders get clearance from the actual bars and it is all very well executed. That being said, it is still an interesting idea.

In mid-afternoon, my friend Jon (not the same Jon I normally reference here) said he could not come because he had to pick-up a friend from the airport. Worst. Excuse. Ever. Undaunted, I decided to go anyway. Though I axed Denton, he wasn't up for it and went home right from work. So I went alone.

I can't say I drank alone because there must have been 300 guys who showed up. Nice turn out, no? And for all my attempts for being more social these last two years, I knew exactly ONE person there and one whom I knew of. The one person was a nurse at a place I worked two jobs ago. The one I knew of, was ex-blogger FaggotyAssFaggot. I did introduce myself to him, but it was a cool reception at best. Maybe he doesn't want to acknowledge (or have acknowledged) his past blogging life. I dunno.

There was something very different about this set-up - in a good way. With this many guys, it felt like a gay bar, but somehow it didn't. First, it was still light out when the event started. No disco naps needed and then getting dressed at 11:00 pm to make your debut thirty minutes later. No 168 beats per minute music that has had the same g-ddamn remix qualities since 1986. No Mariah, Whitney, Madonna or Taylor Dayne! And it wasn't so loud you couldn't have actual conversations.

It also wasn't horribly pretentious like so many gay bars can be - or make you feel. When I walked in, I was afraid I'd be leaning against a wall with my drink, like I had done so so many times. But those fears were put to rest quickly.

Two guys immediately came up and talked to me. Joe and Bob were from the Akron-Canton area. They come up for these things, as well......like I said, they are from Akron-Canton. What else are they going to do?

They asked if my wife knew I was there and then they gestured to my ring. Later some very good looking man came up to me and told me wanted to tell me he thought I was attractive, but then said he saw the ring.

What? Does the ring presence make me no longer attractive? Or just unable to make people think or say this? Hell - I don't know anyone would mind that affirmation regardless of their romantic attachments.....or jewelry enhancement.

That all being said, I would do this again. It beats actually going to gay bars and you still get the socialization. It would be better going with folks you know, but I don't think I'd have any issue going by my lonesome.



Song by: George Thorogood

Friday, February 20, 2009

Crapped Out Again

We were out and about the other week (yeah, I store images for when I'm looking for things to throw up here......well, not vomit like throw-up) and out in a parking lot was a collection spot for old computers, disk drives, mice and the likes.

If you haven't clicked the image to enlarge it (and really, shouldn't you?), you might miss their wonderful URL.

Sure, I suppose to the untrained eye, it could be IT Scrap. To me, I saw: Its Crap (clearly the apostrophe is missing). I guess it works on multiple levels.

I can't say that folks working there found it that amusing when I pointed it out......or took the picture, from the comfort of my car.



Song by: Keb Mo

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm Just a Girl

I do not necessarily mean to disparage a gender or come across as misogynistic, but oy do I hate being the only male in a meetings with a group of women.

In my last job, I led quarterly meetings for one of my clients. More often than not, I was the only male in group of 10-15 people. The meeting were schedule to last two hours. They always went over - sometimes by three hours. I always narrowed it down to having 14 women going of topic and being unable to reign them in. It was painful.

Yesterday, I was in training at my new job. The first two sessions were great. But it me, a male trainer and one woman. The third session was 15 folks. 14 women and me. This training should have taken 90 minutes. Actually, it should take less, but when you have a group, I get you need to buffer in that additional time.

This took three hours. First off, a third of them showed up after the start time. Almost none of them turned off their cellphones, even though large signage indicated that it was a must. And then with the questions. Always with the questions.

Mind you, if they showed up on time or actually listened - there'd be none of this. It's like they didn't have half a brain in their head.

I'm assuming you've all been in training classes and worked in some kind of training environment - right? The developers put in made-up names and situations. Almost always these names are famous folks and for some reason it makes people chuckle, though never me.

I will give you one of the highlights, but one that illustrates their inability to grasp simple concepts: they could not figure out that 'George Clooney' was not really in the purchasing department. And all the questions that followed. I couldn't help but flash on Malibu Stacy saying, "Don't ask me, I'm just a girl!" and then her giggling.

I do not find women to be stupid in general, but man they sure picked them with this group. I think the women I know - truly know - would have beat these women senseless had they been in this training session.

And they could have gotten away with calling them "stupid". I'm not sure I can. Can I?



Song by: No Doubt

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Record of the Month

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


I reviewed Arcade Fire's second disk, The Neon Bible, a while back. It was their first one I purchased. But they did have have a debut disk, Funeral, which I'm just now getting around to putting out here.

I've only had it for about a year, but the disk is actually pushing being five years old. Clearly, they take their time with what they put out.

By reading the reviews in places like amazon, their fan base clearly prefers Funeral over Neon Bible. I'm not of this ilk.

Neon Bible really struck a chord with me. Funeral is ok, and for me, it shows a lot of potential of what they could become, but I'm also working backwards, so who knows how it would have played out if I had heard it first.

The good things about it are that it is still very innovative. With the number of band members and the array of instruments that they play, and the combinations in which they play them is still way different than anything else out there now, or in 2004.

They also mixed it up a bit more with vocalists. Win Butler still provides the majority of the lead, but now and again Regine Chassagne will take over. This doesn't happen on their follow-up recording.

There are some really good songs on here - "Neighborhood #1" (there are four "Neighborhood" songs) and "In the Backseat", which has Chassagne's Bjork-like vocals on it. Then there is the funness of "Wake Up".

That all being said, overall, the disk just did not gel for me. I can't pinpoint what about it just isn't doing it for me. It's not a bad disk, but with all the positive reviews I guess I was expecting so much more.

I guess that's what I get for reading reviews before purchasing. Let this be a lesson to you all.



Oh.....wait........

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

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!


Free Range Pistachios?

Ok - it's not a funny funny picture of the weird stuff I find in the grocery store. I've just never seen nuts on display like this. And even if they ever were, pistachios wouldn't have been my first choice.

They are, however, my most favourite nut. But that being said, I don't like them in anything really. Pistachio flavored ice-cream? Encrusted salmon? I don't think so.

I don't even like shelled pistachios that much. Something about them means you have to break the shell yourself. I don't really care if they are red or white. It's just not that important.

Wow - it's not that good of a post either.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Running Through the Garden

No No. The pic right here is not a Monet or Van Gogh. Actually, it is a garden that is all indoors. At least for this last weekend.

Yesterday we went to the annual Home & Garden Show.

Granted, we didn't pay for these tickets. Friends of ours had comps and even they wouldn't couldn't go, so they were offered to us. It was a cold and snowy day, so what the hell we went. ...and then got hit for fuckin' $8 for parking!

Let's just say, we didn't get our $8 worth.

What you see above was almost the only real garden. There were a few displays of pergolas, water features and the likes. Then there were things like stone walks, windows replacements and gutter covers. Oh and hot tubs and outdoor furniture. (click image to enlarge)

Seriously, who would ever thing placing larger than life ants on their display was a good idea?

After that, the place was filled up with even more crap: homemade candies, incense, jewelry, hand-crafted wooden model airplanes, greyhound adoption, Sham-Wows and imitation Sham-Wows.

Home & Garden? Je think not! Yes you can put all these things IN a home, but c'mon......it's a stretch at best.

Oh oh oh oh....and there is this: (you must click on image you enlarge. I mean - you must!)

WTF ????

I love the suspended-animation hair head. The "guy" styling her hair was not that amused by me taking her picture. I'll let you decide whom I mean by "her".

Again - Home & Garden?

Oh - and for no real good reason, there is this: An indoor ferris wheel.


I know I can't get that in my home!



Song by: Fleetwood Mac

Sunday, February 15, 2009

the only constant is change

It's kind of a YouTube Sunday. But the actual embed process if not via YouTube, so....it's just video link Sunday I guess.

I have no idea who Louis CK is. See how hip I am? He was on Conan (I do know who he is). But I didn't see this as I cannot stay up that late. My sister sent it to me via another blog, of which I have never read and don't really feel like linking to, as I probably won't really ever visit it again.

As my sister said in her email: this is funny too (sort of).

I'm not sure what the "too" was in response to exactly, but I assume it was a post I had done earlier. I did find the clip amusing, though not hilarious. It really has nothing to do with anything I've been yakking about to even thinking about. I don't know how Conan and Louis CK got on the subject. I don't think it matters much.



It's just a mindless Sunday post. Deal with it.



Song by: BT

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Ballad of Michael Valentine

Today is the most sacred of made up holidays. And this year it is falling on a Saturday.

If you haven't gotten your dinner reservations made yet, be ready to break out the white belt and shoes, because you'll be going to the Early Early Bird Special.

You'll be back home by 5:30p. Lucky you.

VD means nothing to me, or us. There might be a card, but if not, it is not the end of the world. It's no biggie. We're certainly not fighting the crowds to go out - even if we did pre-plan........which we didn't.

No doubt I'll hit the gym today and then maybe a matinee movie. The former would keep me in condition to live to see another VD, the latter, well, that will keep me on track for my one movie per month deal I've got going in my head - even though we always lose that deal before end of the year.

I don't have to ask him to 'Bee Mine'. He already is. He ain't going nowhere. .....at least I don't think he is.



Song by: the Killers

Friday, February 13, 2009

Exercise One

Yesterday I started to work out. Again.

I will make an attempt to be more consistent this time. Last time / last gym started off strong, but when my travel started to increase, my exercise time decreased in equal proportion and frequency.

The old gym was ok, but it was functional. I'm not looking for glamour, ya know. Oh, and because it was in the building my company was in, it only cost $10 a month.

The new gym is nicer, but it is a bit more pricey. Not that I care. It needs to be done.

On a BMI scale, I'm good, but I want to be better. I need to be. My lipid profile is pretty good. Triglycerides are where they need to be. The overall cholesterol is fine. LDL is hitting all the marks. But my HDL is lower than it should be. The only way to raise it is through diet and exercise.

I'd be lying if I said there are not other benefits. Hopefully ones that will show. Things could be toner. Tighter. I'm not above admitting to being vain.

So my initial work-out began at 06:00 yesterday. I thought I would try an early morning routine to see how suits me. I had been doing after office visits, but after a long day of work, sometimes you just don't have the energy to go. Guilty!

This new place provides some one-on-one training with the monthly fee, so that will be good, though I want someone encouraging and not who berates me. I don't need my 6th grade gym teacher.

This gym also has lots of members I know. I'm not sure this is a good thing. When signing up, I ran into to folks. While working out yesterday at 06:00, I ran into two more. You know - some people you just don't want to see in the shower. You just don't.

....nor do I necessarily want them to see me either.

So, anyway - here we go. Another attempt be be healthier.



Song by: Joy Division

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Boy Named Sue

I've mentioned here, at least once a month, I am perpetually 12 years old. Most men are. It's a fact! (the queen of England doesn't know her A-B-C's.)

All you grown-up males can deny this statement all you want (about being 12, not the Queen not knowing her alphabet), but deep down you know this to be true.

Last Sunday, after dinner at my parents, Denton and I stopped by Giant Eagle to pick up provisions for the week. Not that it really matters, but I worked in this grocery store, oh, about 29 years ago. Back then it was called Bi-Rite.

To shop there, maybe you had to speak two languages or write with both hands. Maybe you had to have sex with men and women. I'm not sure why it was named the way it was. I suppose Frank Taynor thought he was being clever. He was not. I can say that now, as I suppose he's dead at this point - oh, and I haven't worked there for 27 years.

So, while Denton was picking out produce or something, I was rearranging the Sue Grafton books.


Yes, Denton actually found me and caught me doing it. He shook his head and walked away. I can't really blame him for that reaction. My reaction? I just chuckled to myself....and kept chuckling. And then I took a picture.

There was actually another volume on the shelf - 'R is for...well...something', but I didn't want to spell 'shirt'.



Song by: Johnny Cash

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Ties That Bind

I have never understood the long standing jokes about the Father's Day presents of ties and how they are a horrid gift. I don't get it. I love them. ...and I'm not even a father, nor ever will be.

I hate shopping. I'm a bad gay man that way. I'd rather do anything than go clothes shopping. If I need a suit, I buy five. If I need a pair of shoes, I buy three or four. Anything to not to have to return to a store.

But each time I am at one of these stores, I look at their ties. Even in my last job when I only needed them for travel and not everyday wear, I'd look and I'd sometimes buy.

Here is a sampling of just some of my ties.

I know I am in the minority with this, but I was not a fan of the casual work environment. I missed not wearing a suit and tie daily to work. And now I'm back at it. Score!

I could seemingly never pull off the casual look that well. It seemed wrong. I'd chuckle at the men-folk in the office who had to wear ties to meetings and could not wait to take them off at first chance.

So, I'm back in my element. Suits. Shined Shoes. And ties. In theory I don't have wear the same one for 3-4 months. But let's face it, some of them are hold-overs that I just can't get rid of. I have my favourites - one of them being a Jerry Garcia tie. I never was a Grateful Dead fan, and yeah, I though making ties with his estate's name attached was kind of a sell-out, but ya gotta make a buck, no?

....and I look good!



Song by: Bruce Springsteen

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Record of the Month - Classic

Another installment of a disk I have enjoyed over the years. I'm trying to keep the Record of the Month posts to be fairly new releases. Classics are going to be ones that are at least 5 years old.

I vacillated between this debut disc, Kite, and Kirsty MacColl's sophomore album, Electric Landlady, but I went with this one. Duh.

America most know Ms MacColl for writing Tracey Ullman's "They Don't Know", (not that most have ever really known this fact - or the song) but she was so much more than that. She was a witty and poignant songwriter who also did a great job of performing - in that, oh-so British way.

Jon almost had me post this last month when in Mexico, as we were not far from where Kirsty died in a tragic speed boat accident almost a decade ago. But he certainly got me thinking on when (not if) to include her music.

The version of Kite I have no longer exists. The ones currently out there are remixed within an inch of their life with lots of additional, lesser known and less stellar tracks. I think they dilute the experience.

The disk, produced by her then husband, Steve Lillywhite (responsible for U2's first three disks, Talking Heads and a plethora of other music out there), comes across as poppy and light-hearted. That is, until you really listen to it. Don't get me wrong, it can just be pop, but more often than not, it can be socially conscious, heartbreaking and/or sad.

The original disk consisted of 15 songs, a third of those not even hitting three minutes in length, they were snapshots almost. Most of the songs are originals, but a few covers. MacColl does a decent cover of the Kinks "Days", but ironically, two songs later she does her own song, "15 Minutes" which sounds like it could be a Kinks song.

She also does what I consider an incredible cover of the Smiths "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby" (at least the original release). It ranks up there as one of the best cover songs ever done and she does it without losing any of Morrissey's tongue-in-cheek behaviour. The Smiths, Johnny Marr makes appearances as both musician and co-writer on a few tracks.

As the album goes, I have some favourites, as you might guess: "Free World", "What Do Pretty Girls Do", "Dancing in Limbo", "You and Me, Baby" and "La Foret de Memosas".

I am not sure how easy it is to find Kite outside of iTunes, but it is available there. Go and sample. I think you'll like.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Comic Books

I was never a reader of comic books. I do mean ever. I'm not sure I've ever read one. I know I've never owned or bought one. I guess I'm not your normal gay boy. Or normal blogger. There seem to be a lot of guys out there in Blogland who have devoted their forum to the comic book. I'm just not one of them. I'm just not that into it.

I have seen Batman and Spidermen on the big screen, but have successfully avoided things like X-Men, the Hulk, and that thing with blind Ben Affleck. It is just not my style.

But it is early early Monday and I have to be out of the house early. The blog post I was working on is not ready. Time got away from me.

Ruckiry (not Jon's boss) Moby provided me an excellent, and fairly easy post, so I don't interrupt my 70+ days of straight (ha!) blogging. He became a superhero - and so now I am one also.


Ok, I'm a superhero, but even in my geeky way. I'm about two steps below Mild Mannered Shoe-Shine Boy. Yes, I'm the Mighty Thoughtful Philanthropist......albeit one with incredible legs, arms and torso. I thought the alter-ego was supposed to be mild-mannered, not the hero portion. Can I not get anything right?

My mighty weapon is a shopping bag - only because a briefcase was not available as a choice. It is probably just filled with stuff from Whole Foods. ....because I'm that gay!

I've seen the Incredibles enough to know that Edna Mode says a superhero should never have a cape, as it will just end badly for the protagonist, but as it goes, I couldn't help but at least attempt putting one on. It looked better than wings - which were my other choice.

The tie, well, it was an obvious choice for me. My superpower? Probably the ability to use pivot tables in a single bound.

So, feel free - make yourself a superhero. You can thank Moby later.



Song by: Debbie Harry

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Speak My Language

Last night we saw Laurie Anderson. Again.

I'm thinking that made the ninth time in the last two decades or so. The most oft artist I have seen. Some of her performances have been better than others - which is kind of stating the obvious, as they can't all be equal.

She's never truly had a hit anything, though one could call "O Superman" her most known work. And technically this was not a new show - I guess you'd call it a retrospective.

She did pieces from her last show Homecoming, which I wrote about last April. She did pieces from End of the Moon, Happiness, Moby Dick and Speed of Darkness. And then she just did a song or story here and there from Strange Angels or The Ugly One With All the Jewels. Only one snippet was new - not really specifically referencing Obama or Bush per se, but she morphed it into an older piece soon enough almost immediately.

Maybe because I've seen her so many times, I know what to expect. Or at least I expect what to expect. But the audience seems sooooo pretentious last night. The guy next to me did is barely above the breath, yet too much so over it, "wow" between and during pieces. Including pieces I don't think were wow-able.

Or the chick in the lobby who was looking at the merchandise for sale (something I had never seen before at an Anderson show). While viewing a t-shirt she said to her group, "this is a very unique shirt.................VERY unique!!!".

It wasn't. Not by a long shot.

But Laurie was. If I had a criticism (and you know I do!), it is that she didn't adapt her pieces at all from the other shows. About 8 years ago she went to work for McDonald's for two weeks - serving Big Macs and fries. But in the show, she goes, "last year, I got a job at McDonald's..." Would it have been that hard to update the time frame? Just a peeve of mine, I guess.

I knew the show was a going to be an amalgamation of shows, but I really wanted to hear more from Moby Dick, as it was her only show I had not seen. I was not rewarded with this.

Still - I'm sure at some point, I will be looking forward to performance #10.



Song by: Laurie Anderson

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Beard Lust

I attempt to never watch commercials. I feel that is why DVRs and/or remotes were created.

I don't think I've ever had a commercial sway me to buy a thing. Ever. Sure, I joke that I must must must have the Egg Wave or the Bedazzler, but I never ever really mean it.

But I think it is possible we've come across the most dumb-assed product - ever: the GoateeSaver.

Seriously - you actually hold this "device" in your mouth so you can shave around it to obtain the perfect goatee. Are these people who order this morons, or just Sandy Duncan Louis Braille.

For g-d's sake, I shave daily in the shower with little need for any mirror, let alone something to trace around to make me look ever so faggy. I'm sorry, did I say 'faggy'? I meant 'metrosexual' - which, of course, is just straight lingo for 'faggy'.

Late last night, after red wine, then tequila and then oreos (don't ask) it occurred to me that maybe Hannibal Lecter wasn't trying to eat people's faces off, or have an old friend for dinner. Perhaps he was just trying to obtain the perfect van dyke and had actually invented the original prototype for the GoateeSaver.

Yes, it was primitive, but you got where he was coming from and how he wanted to change the world of men's facial hair. The man was pure genius.

Even if the idea of that Ronco (or whomever is really selling it) is pushing was not totally ridiculous, the results speak for themselves.

Creepiest. Goatee. Ever. Apparently, it provides some kind of indoor/outdoor carpeting for your face.

I don't think his choice of lip gloss is helping matters any.



Song by: Natalie Portman's Shaved Head

Friday, February 06, 2009

Money Money Money

These are tough economic times. Ask anyone.

Ask Barack. Ask the GOP House of Representatives. Hell, ask the CEOs needing/wanting bail-out money who might now be forced to live on a measly $500k per year. How will they do it?

And when it comes to political activism, I try to do the right thing for the right causes - or as what I see to be the right ones.

But it has been killing me, that on a daily basis - or sometimes more - moveon has been emailing me asking for money. The election is over, but now they want $$$$ to help pass the stimulus package put before congress. Or to buy ad time for a senate race...........for 2010!!!

Seriously? And it's not even in my district or state?

Yes - these are hard times. Too hard for me to be coughing up $25 per email they keep sending me.

George Soros and Peter B. Lewis are billllllionaires who originally helped fund moveon. Good for them. From there on it became kind of a grassroots effort. But now I'm not sure how those roots are there, or can afford it.

Not only that, we had some big wins back in November after eight years of losses. I'm thinking not only have funds dried up, but enthusiasm and basic need for change has too.

I know at least at this point, I'm not giving.



Song by: ABBA

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Connection

Because blogging and twittering are apparently not enough, now it seems I have to belong to Facebook.

Becky has been getting me to joining for months and I've been resisting. Then Jon joined. Then Morty. Then George. Then Dity. And as I've said before, I'm nothing if not a follower.

I joked that it would take me one step closer to being on NBC's "To Catch a Predator", because don't most of these pervs find each other through here and MySpace? (wait, I just think I called myself a perv.)

FB is like Twitter or LinkedIn, in so much that, I am not sure what I'm supposed to do with it. Or what it's supposed to do with me.

I think it just comes down to that phrase: the one that dies with the most toys wins. Only the toys here are - how many friends/connections/followers/colleagues you have attached to whichever account.

If that is the case - I lose.

According to CNN, the average Facebook user has 120 "friends". 120???? Man, I am bringing down the median, as I only have 19. But I'm not average - clearly.

Of course, I love the article headline: can it survive? Whoo-Hooo.....I love jumping on a potentially dying bandwagon. I'm always behind the curve. Bother.

I certainly do not find the website that intuitive to use, and while the iPhone applications has much more limitations on what you can and can't do, it is actually easier to maneuver through. Go figure.

So far I invited certain friends, some of who have responded. Some have not. And some people from the past have found me. And I'm talking from 15-25 years ago. WTF?

Actually, two of them are kind of welcome and it has been interesting exchanging emails with them. But in the greater scheme of things, I think this application has a shelf-life for me.

19 friends. My g-d. Facebook proves that life is nothing but an extension of high school - and once again, I'm not sitting at the popular kid's table. Not only that, a few years back I blogged that maybe I'd get 22 people to attend my funeral whenever it happens.

I think I aimed high - like by three people.




Song by: Elastica

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Kiss of Death

Colour me bummed to see this:


RJ had one of the few blogs I checked in on daily. I'm pretty sure I was one of the few he did the same with. That last sentence is just a guess on my part.

His last post was back in November and every few weeks I'd shoot an email his way to make sure he was ok. Only once in awhile would he reply, usually with a word or three. For a writer, he used his words sparingly.

Without ever meeting, we developed a somewhat brotherly bond. Had geography worked in our favour, I assume we'd be friends. The things we liked and did not were quite scarily on the same level. I think my group of friends from the last few decades, and whom I reference here often, would allow him into our little group.

And while the taking down of his blog, with no notice, did not surprise me - I won't lie to say it didn't disappoint me. Deep down, I was hoping he'd just start back up - again, without any notice.

RJ assures me he is fine. I do expect to stumble upon him with another blog - one started with no notice. Maybe more wishful thinking.



As for the rest of my blogroll - in the last few months, I have added and subtracted folks without fanfare. Most are the same, but welcome Steve and Jake. And welcome back Tony, in his new blog.




Song by: New Order

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Becky's Tune

Until someone buys the movie or television rights to it, this is probably my last plug for Rebecca's novel, Nice to Come Home To.

Published last April, you folks have gotten dozens of hints from me to order the sucker for the 10 months prior to go-live. Some of you, I know have followed through. Thanks on that. She might thank you as well. Her manager, agent, publisher, publicist and accountant do.

For those of you hit hard by the economy - good news! Today, NTCHT comes out in paperback. It's kind of like the second coming. But with the book, you have opportunities for paper cuts, which are like stigmata.

Don't let Katie Holmes on the cover scare you. It's actually a cute cover and it's not really Mrs. Cruise. Tom probably wouldn't let her read the novel as it has a therapist as a character, and we all know what he thinks about psychiatry.

Yes, the novel is probably geared more towards women, but no reason men wouldn't like it. I did. (hush - all of you!) The possibility that the bestest character is based on me has nothing whatsoever to do with my opinion on the book. Honest. Kind of. Not really. Ok, it's all about me. Or should be. I was jonesing for her to call it McKay & Friends, but she never seriously entertained the idea. And by 'seriously', I mean 'at all'.

As it is, I don't think I factor into her new novel, which she is currently writing.

But until that (no known working title) is completed, pick up the paperback of Nice to Come Home To. It's approaching spring break and beach season (well.....kind of soon) and it's a good read for those times. But at least buy it now. Her publisher will thank you.



Song by: Michelle Shocked

Monday, February 02, 2009

Site of the Month

What can be more fun than Mr. Picasso Head?

Well.....in truth, probably lots of things. But at MPH, you can be(come) a painter with virtually no way of screwing up or being bad at it. One could view it as if Pablo had an Etch-a-Sketch. No shaking with this site, just an 'erase' button.

If you don't like it, just change it out. No worries.

I call this Self Portrait #2. Mostly because it was my second try, mostly because I forgot to save #1. I wasn't really going for a self-portrait, but when it was done, I kind of thought it looked somewhat like me. I guess it is all in the subconscious.

Clearly if it were me, the eyebrow would be thicker, the ears bigger (so says Tony), and I'd have lips. The nose is dead-on.

Have fun. Try it yourself. Post them if you have a blog.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Happy Dog (for Caggy)

Yes - it is my annual post for the Puppy Bowl. This is possibly the most important sporting event of the year! (that is not just hyperbole, either!)

I have never cared about the Super Bowl...and that's not just because Cleveland has never been in it, or possibly will ever be in it. It is just the most over-hyped sporting event. Ever.

Quick! Who played in it last year? Who even won? Yeah, I didn't think you'd know either - at least without Goooooogling it.

It's not even worth sitting through it for the commercials. That's what YouTube is for anyhow.

The Puppy Bowl is just fun. And cute.


C'mon! 20 doggies romping around a heavily product-placemented (it could be a word!) gridiron? What's not to love? Buster, Charlie Brown, Griffey, Mac & Mercy are my picks before going into the game.

Oh - who will get MVP (most valuable puppy)?

And of course, let's not forget the Kitty Half-Time Show. You can watch Springsteen almost anywhere these days. Watch the kitties and doggies instead.



Song by: Blondie