Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick of the Night


Tis the night of tricks and or treats. Or Beggar's Night. Or All Soul's Eve.

It's all about the candy. There was a day it was about toilet paper and eggs. But I do like the candy, just not the dressing up. I never liked the dressing up part.

I'm not expecting too much tonite. This will be our fourth Halloween at this house. The first three provided not one trick or treater, but each year left me with a boat-load of candy on the off chance someone did eventually show. I didn't want to be the bad house in the 'hood.

Maybe because it falls on a Saturday this year, we'll see some rugrats who want the good candy. I don't buy the bad stuff in case I'm stuck with it and have to eat it all by my lonesome.

It will be a full moon though, so that's kind of cool.


Song by: Bananarama

Friday, October 30, 2009

Shopping with Blobby Becca

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!

Ok, this everyday shopping. It's not groceries, like most of my Shopping segments. Hell, it is not even me submitting the picture. It comes to you courtesy of Rebecca. And it's wicked brilliant.


Personally, I think there could be, and should be, a bunch more of "blood" streaking down the curtain - but you get the idea.

I suppose it's not something you'd keep up, like....if you were trying to sell your house or having your in-laws stay with you, but it's fun.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dress You Up

Possibly one of the funniest things I have seen in a long long long time. I am sure it has to be making the internet rounds, so you'll just have to suck it up and deal with it here.

Of course, I hope you're seeing it here for the first time, but it's probably doubtful. I love the Onion's matter-of-factness on it all.

Sorry you'll have to sit through a short LG ad before viewing it, but you'll live. ....and that inconvenience is totally worth it. Totally!

you really need to watch/read the info blurbs at the bottom of the screen





Song by: Madonna

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Piggies


It's here!!!!!!!!!!

Well, it's been around for months, but it is here and it is here now! H1N1.

Unfortunately, for most, the vaccine has not arrived. It has become problematic.

In Northeast Ohio, we have already hit what would normally be the peak of regular flu season, when you're looking at confirmed cases. ....and we are 3-4 months away from when the height of normal flu season hits. Pandemic, indeed.

Friends have already contracted H1N1 (right Dith?). Some of my clinical staff has gotten it too - which is very problematic when trying to remain operational to take care of patients.

Our place actually got about 1,000 doses of vaccine yesterday. FINALLY. It is clearly not enough, but it's a start. It is being administered in a tiered fashion. I'm not in the top tier to get a shot. I probably could have pulled some strings to get one, but I didn't. And I won't.

....at least for the time being.


Song by: the Beatles

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Big Star


I feel like Chris over at the Mangina Monologues, needing a rescue for a blog post.

Oddly enough, I have some drafted already for end of the week, but nothing mid. Go figure. Someone tagged him for a meme, and he did it. No one tagged me, but I'm just picking up on it because.....well.........as I said, I need rescuing today.

What movie star (past or present) would you have to dinner and why.

I went with the first person I thought of: Meryl Streep.

The why is pretty obvious - she's brilliant at what she does, even when she's in crap. And let's make no bones about the most Oscar nominated female in history - she has been in plenty of crap.

But she floats effortlessly through drama to comedy - and yet most people would never see her as a comedic actor. If you've seen her in real-life, or in an interview, she is frickin' hilarious and very quick on her feet. It's why I'd like to have dinner with her - forget her body of work, she'd be fun company.

I first saw her in The Deer Hunter, which is a small small role, but pivotal for her career - and a movie I love (which is odd to say if you know it). The same year, I saw her in Wendy Wasserstein's Uncommon Women on PBS. I remember it more for Swoozie Kurtz, but Streep was there.

Then there were the succession of down, but great films: Sophie's Choice and Ironweed pop to mind. I saw but wasn't a fan of the French Lieutenant's Women, Falling in Love or Silkwood (one of only two films I've walked out of). Out of Africa bored me except for the cinematography.

But that's where she kind of got interesting. What possessed her to do She-Devil? Overall, it was a horrid movie, but you know what - she was fun to watch. Honestly. And then Postcards from the Edge? Still an all-time favourite. It's part her, part Carrie Fisher, of course, but Streep does it so well.

Comedy is hard though. Death Becomes Her? There's only so much you can do when working with Bruce Willis and Goldie Hawn. Then there's lots of mediocre crud: Bridges of Madison County, the River Wild and don't get me started on Mama Mia.

But other things I've mentioned here lately are still great and good: Angels in America and yes, even the Devil Wears Prada. If you have a chance to see the latter, there is one scene that just encapsulates Streep - and it's the last one she's in during the movie. She goes from indifference to reflection to almost joy to complete bitch in less than 10 seconds. It truly fascinates me.

So yeah - I'd go to dinner with her.

....or Jason Stratham. That wouldn't be for the conversation. Trust me.


Song by: 10,000 Maniacs

Monday, October 26, 2009

Of Angels and Angles

I*I*I*I*I have been watching replays of Angels in America lately. It's been showing again on HBO.

It is not like I haven't seen it a dozen times before, as when it originally aired, I couldn't ever turn away whenever I caught it.

Six years later, the same can be said.

Tony Kushner is a frickin' genius with the pen. Or word-processor or typewriter, as the case may be. His flow, his words, his imagination are just amazing.

The cast is pretty incredible too. I mean - I can't say I am or was thrilled with Al Pacino. He seems to be playing every character he's played in the last 20 years.....or he's just playing Al Pacino and getting a check for it. There are a few actors who only play one character, but the same amount will play two, three or four different ones.

Years ago, I would have said my would-be beard, Mary-Louise Parker, was the best thing about the play turned into tv movie. But I don't know that's really the case. With a very interwoven storyline, I don't know that anyone works without the other character/actor.

Patrick Wilson, Ben Shenkman, Justin Kirk and Jeffrey Wright are as much the stars of Angels, as Streep, Pacino and Emma Thompson. Hell, I love how Vanessa Redgrave is thrown in near the end, just sitting there with nary a line to utter.

But it comes back to Kushner. Without his words, there'd be no one clamoring for a role in this thing in the first place.

If you haven't seen it, you really should - via HBO or NetFlix. It's dark, heavy, light, funny and poignant - all at the same time. Some it can be very difficult to watch, at least for me. Clearly, it is something I watch over and over again, so it can't be all bad, right?


Song by: the Decemberists

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Vogue

Last night we went to go see The September Issue.

Going by my blog and the pictures I post of me on here, I'm guessing you can assume I'm not all that into fashion. I'm certainly not Becky or Jon who like watching stuff like Project Runway. Hell, I even hate shopping. Hate it!

The irony was not lost on me that during a movie on fashion, I was wearing Eddie Bauer jeans, an LL Bean flannel shirt and Wolverine workboots. ...and no, I am not a lesbian.

Anyway, the movie is about putting together what is the biggest annual issue of Vogue. Again, I don't really give a hoot about fashion, or Anna Wintour. However, I am interested in process - how a book makes it from author to store, how a record is made and even how a magazine is put together...even one like Vogue.

It is a documentary, clearly, but it is like The Devil Wears Prada meets a documentary. And it shows you how eerily close Prada was to reality. But I liked Prada.....well, at least Meryl Streep.

So it was a fun way and almost funny to watch the similarities between the two. And with The September Issue you don't have to watch that douche who is/was in Entourage.

But really it was the process I liked - the one of creativity and decisiveness, the art and product, even though you never really see the final product. On that level, the movie delivered.

It is an A&E production, so it's probably only a matter of time before it hits that cable station. It's only 90 minutes - and there were zero previews. What's up with that?


...and for the record, we're up to movie #9 for the year. I still think we can make the goal of 12.


Song by: Madonna

Saturday, October 24, 2009

All the Pretty Faces

So there is this guy at my gym who is just - handsome. No other way around it.

Not striking. Not classic, per se. Just really really really handsome. And he's got a killer upper body. He might have a killer lower body too, but I don't know. He is one of the few, if not the only, guy there who wears sweat or track pants when he works out. Always.

But from the shirts he wears, he's got a great chest and really nice upper arms. And then there's that face!

I could never have him - because, well.....I'm so not in his league. And he doesn't meet my height requirement. I might overlook it (HA!, get it?) for him. Oh - there's that Denton thing too. Technicalities.

...and the man sweats like no one's business. This is not a deal-breaker.

I mentioned him on some level to my friend Todd. He looked at him and goes - "oh yeah, he's lost like 60 pounds in the last year." Impressive by any standards. But an additional 60 pounds on a guy like that would have made him heavy. So - maybe that's why he wears pants all the time. Weird skin and stretch marks. I'm just speculating, of course.

So, why do I write about him? Why you ask? Because to the casual observer, like me, he's perfect. ....except in yoga.

I so kick his ass!

Yes, I know yoga is not to be about judgment or competition, but I can't help it. The guy I see who can lift more than most, do cardio longer than most and look better than most ever will can't do what I do in the yoga studio.

It's petty, but in this unfair world, it's the only way to level the playing field.


Song by: the Killers

Friday, October 23, 2009

Forgotten Worlds

What a weird existence these social networking sites have brought us. Blogging. Twittering. Facebook. Linked-In. Like high school, I belong to them and yet do not feel that I fit in. But life is an extension of high school, so...........there's that.

Twitter has basically been non-existent for me lately. I can't think of the last time I logged on, let alone posted a twat.

Linked-In is there, but what do you really do with it? I know you're supposed to network, but it's just Facebook without the updates of, "I'm going to yoga now....". They want you to tell people what you're reading. Do I think potential employers want to know I'm reading "The Life and Times of Joey Stefano"?

I kid. I kid. That is a "movie", not a book!

Blogging, well, I am still doing every day. so............there's that. And I go to Facebook usually daily but will not tell FB what is on my mind on a consistent basis.

Now you folks know when I blog, I will mention Denton. For a long time I just called him 'the BF' because he did not sign up to be on a blog. I was trying to be courteous. Oh - stop laughing. I can be if I have to be.

But now and again he'll read what I write and I got caught for calling him 'the BF'. There's no winning. So now you get his name.

On FB, I don't really mention him at all. And by "don't really", I mean other than saying I'm "in a relationship", you'd just never know he existed.

One of Denton's friends (yes, not really mine) requested me to friend her on FB, and I did. Denton does not have a FB account either....or twitter, or a blog, nor is he linked-in. He's the anti-Blobby.....in so many ways.

When I do put what is on my mind, it's usually frivolous life things: gym, food, travel, etc. My #1 Facebook Fan is my cousin. We exchange stupid little comments back and forth on each other's posts. I could see where someone might think........well.....you know. I mean - they don't know we're cousins, so people could get the wrong idea.

Kathleen might be one of these people.

Denton gets an email the other night from Kathleen asking if he and I had broken up. The rationale? "Blobby" never mentions you on his Facebook posts!!!!

LOLLLLLLLL. I coud not stop laughing.

I don't know Denton found it that amusing. I confirmed to him, that I indeed do not mention him. ....and that I assume people think David and I are dating due to our back and forth. But I don't keep my friends - current or way back ones who haven't really kept up with me - up on my home/love life.

I'm not that guy.

...and trust me, as curious as Denton might have been on why I don't mention him/us, he's not that guy either. I don't think he ever emailed Kathleen back to answer her.


Song by: Delerium

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Gimme Stitches

Finally, I can post pictures of someone else's surgeries besides mine! ...and I have permission!

I told you last week that Morty had sugary on his Achilles tendon. He finally got to see what was under his dressings - and thanks to his almost brand spankin'-new iPhone, so do we.

I'm not squeamish about these things at all - I've had enough cutting done on me to be one Froderick Frunkenshtein. But if emails were to be believe, Becky made fake fainting noises while Dity claimed to vomit.

You've been warned.


Jon and I both agreed this looked like a stump, but it is just the angle Mort took the picture. That is the back of his ankle and down to the bottom of his foot (to the right). Isn't that great?

I told him: chicks.dig.scars. !!! I guess he'll have to take my word for it. Poor guy. Like I'd know in the first place.

Here he is after he uncovered the wound and then put a more temporary cast on his leg, so he'll be able to get around easier. It's orange.

Apparently, like braces on your teeth, you can now pick the colour of your cast. Who knew? I've only broken one bone in my life and that was like 36 years ago. You only got plaster - off white. Morty went with the autumnal /halloween / thanksgiving motif.

Here's wishing him good thoughts and a quick recovery. George should put peanut butter on Morty's toes so the beagles can lick it off and just tickle his feet, and there's nothing he can do about it.


Song by: the Foo Fighters

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Freefall

The question wasn't 'how could this happen?'. The question should have been 'why doesn't this happen more often - or sooner?'

So Monday, my mother calls me to tell me that near our house, there are a number of police, fire engines, ambulances and news trucks. That can't be good - right?

And it really wasn't. It really really wasn't.

I've mentioned before, and blogged about, how many accidents we see on the hill that goes behind our house. Lots of fender-benders. Lots of totaled cars. ....but none like this.

One 1993 Audi that went around the curve. I'll assume a little too fast and a lot out of control. The car went over the curb and over the edge. One 76' plummet into a ravine.

KURPLUNK!

The car landed on the roof, most likely killing the driver instantly.

I know they recovered the body, but don't know about the car. I don't know how one brings up a car 76' up a steep cliff.

They need to do something about that curve or the way people speed around it. I loathe the idea of someone suggesting speed bumps. I don't want to have to hear the thumping each and every time a car, truck or emergency vehicle goes over it.

Not only will it drive me nuts, if we ever had to put the house up for sale, we'd never ever ever get an offer. ...and no offense to the guy who went over the edge, but that would be the real tragedy.


Song by: Electronic

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Killing with Kindness

I miss the days of living on campus (or near one) where you get to see little left of center things that just make up college life.

I like the would be liberal-bent of a campus that lets you at least pretend your ideals are achievable, even though you're striving for a job that pays more than the rent, all your beer and vinyl. You say you'd rather be helping the under-served, when in reality you're just becoming a corporate tool.

But there are days I'd really like the chuck it all and go do good....or pretend-good. Like this guy. I think it's a guy. I assume it is. No woman would really live in this thing - would they?



I don't really know what his objectives are, or how he's measuring success or an ROI. I don't know what is operational or expense budgets are. I have not seen a prospectus or business plan or any quarterly updates on how this kindness has spread, or not.

Let's not even talk about his productivity and how close he is to achieving that One Million goal mark. I mean - what is the strategic plan here?

I've lost my way, I fear. That's how I feel some days....like today...and yesterday.....and last week.

Maybe it would be nice to travel in a bus, campus to campus and spread the word of good deeds and that there is more to life than making your mortgage and car payments.

Of course, it would have to come with medical, dental and vision.....


Song by: Tears for Fears

Monday, October 19, 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.

This month you get two Classic disks. Technically you get one. Or two-for-one. Whatever. Yeah, this will be a little weird, so bare with me.



You know those Desert Island Disks where you are supposed to pick like 10 albums if you were stuck forever? Fleetwood Mac's Tusk is only one of two I have identified that I'd have with me. The other eight are still up in the air - or don't yet exist.

Completely misunderstood by the Rumours buying public, Tusk is really an incredible disk. Mind you - it is not a band effort so much as three partial solo albums thrown together and labeled as a band.

In a move that probably shocked some band members, all of radio and record execs, Fleetwood Mac went out on a limb and produced the most ambitious music they had ever done - or will ever do. Except for 'Sara' and 'Think About Me' - there isn't a true radio single to be had, which is kind of horrific for a band that made its mark with two previous albums that were primarily just that.

While the album didn't bomb, per se, it did comparatively to Rumours. That being a 20 million seller and Tusk being a meager 4 million. It did not help that the day before its release, Warner Bros had every AOR station in the country play it back to back, uninterrupted. Three times! Fuck - everyone taped it. I did!

Oh and at the time of its release - 30 years ago this month!!! - it became the most expensive list priced album on the market, $17.99. In 1979! It was doomed and set-up for commercial failure.

That all being said - I loved, and still love, the disk. Each singer/songwriter with their own style and basically left out there on their own. Stevie Nicks being the least, as she truly includes the others in their harmony vocals. I'm not 100% sure anyone else appears on Lindsey Buckingham's songs.....at least not most of them. Christine McVie is just herself, but possibly more introspective than usual.

But it is Buckingham who shines. From the weird-ass title track, which is still fascinating, to his best work ever: "I Know I'm Not Wrong", "What Makes You Think You're the One", "The Ledge" and "It's Not That Funny".

It's also his work as an arranger/producer that really makes him stellar. His working of Nicks' "Sisters of the Moon", "Storms" and mostly his vocal arrangement of "Beautiful Child" show how talented he is. And to her credit, Nicks doesn't sound like she phones it in - like she will in their next two studio disks.

Nicks has the least amount of songs, but the most playing time. Buckingham has the most songs and the least time. But McVie has some really solid work - especially the opener "Over and Over" and "Honey Hi".

The styles are so diverse and the production so clean, it really is a go-to disk that I have yet to tire of, even after three decades.


Though I know most won't agree with me on that above statement, there is someone who might: Camper Van Beethoven.

Strange but true, CvB did a song for song remake of Tusk maybe two decades after the originals release. It sat unreleased for years after that - and not even put on the market until they broke up.

While probably considered a tribute, don't look for faithful renditions of most of the songs....if any. The band is/was in awe of the original disk and would play it often at concerts and just decided to commit it to tape. The songs are in the same order as Fleetwood Mac's version.

They probably do a better job with Buckingham's songs because the originals lent themselves to more garage type bands than the slickness of McVie's or Nicks' music. But I really like their cover of McVie's "Brown Eyes" and they do ok with Nick's "Storms" and "Angel".

One of CvB's members said after the fact, that it's little surprise that the guy who sang on Nicks' songs eventually came out. Don't they always?

I'm not sure either version of Tusk is for the uninitiated, but most will have an easier version of Fleetwood Mac's - for consistency and availability. CvB's is a little harder to come by - but if you like the original, it is definitely something to check out for the sake of interest.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

When I Saw You

Last night, we took my 16 year old nephew to another concert. We've taken him to a few, but this one was quite low-key for him.

I got him to go see Don Dixon & Marti Jones. Yes, they are not big names and the only way most of you might have heard of them has been through this blog. In all my years of fandom, I've only seen them four times in 20 years - the last being about 16 months ago.

You might know Dixon from producing classic disks from REM's early days, or the Smithereens. You might really know him from being the guy who wrote and performed "Teenage Suicide: Don't Do It" from the movie Heathers.

Marti is his wife, but she's been putting out music for the last 25 years. She has a great alto and chances are you've never heard a things she's done. Some of her stuff is on iTunes, but most is out of print. Both she and Dixon have had a big following in DC and North Carolina. But they live up here and rarely perform.

Since they rarely perform, I dragged Denton but asked Matt. He's up for most things musical and I think he likes spending time with us. We weren't sure if he could go, as he is in the midst of having a pneumothorax. That is a collapsed lung, not a Dr. Seuss character.

Docs aren't sure what's going on with the man, but he's seemingly ok as long as he doesn't play tennis, cough or laugh. It's painful for sure, but he's seeing a specialist on Monday. And he can go since not only does my sister trust my judgement (I think), but that I know every frickin' hospital there is to know and what to do and how to manipulate those systems if I had to.

Anyway, like last time, Dixon and Jones played in this small "basement" in Canton that held maybe 100 folks - most of them friends and family. We felt like we were crashing a reunion.

It was just the two of them, no other musicians and they can pull that off quite well. And they did - and they didn't. Vocally, they've both sounded better, but musically they were just fine. Marti is a strong guitarist, Dixon a great bassist.

(the iPhone only takes so-so pics in a dark venue. sorry)

Neither has nothing new to promote. Hell, Marti is eight years out since her last disk. They performed songs I've never heard them do live before - actually most of them, so that was a plus. But I found they did best when singing together - not just backing each other stuff. In the course of their careers, they probably have 5-6 songs where they actually duet and when they did some of those, they truly shined.

I think Matt got something out of it - least of all being exposed to new kinds of music for him. But I probably wouldn't go out of my way to see them again. If they were in Cleveland, maybe. The hour to and fro (each) to Canton is questionable.


Song by: Marti Jones & Don Dixon

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Jinx

I think I'm part jinxing myself on this blog entry a day thing. I hadn't really been giving it much thought for 9.5 months. But in the last month and the next 1.5, I'm increasingly struggling now and again to write anything......and not even of pseudo-substance.

Ok...ok....it's not like I ever have anything of even pseudo-substance ever. No need to rub it in (that's what she said!)

I've been consumed with budget meetings this last week. As rough as those can be, I think my process is going smoother than for most of my peers, but that is because I took us from the red to the black - so I earned some credibility. They are still no fun at all.

So, it's just another typical weekend day for Blobby: gym, lunch, everyday living things. Perhaps a movie. We'll see. We'll see.


Song by: Green Day

Friday, October 16, 2009

Lead Balloon


g-d, there was nothing in the news yesterday. Just that stupid motherfucking kid who was thought to go up in his stupid motherfucking father's helium balloon.

Apparently, I have a lot of built-up hostility today, no?

...and speaking of hostility and full of hot air.....Rush was denied buying an NFL football team. At least someone is doing something to stop that douche from being even more public than he is. Of course, this declination will just give him another three weeks of material.

I suppose that's ok - I don't listen to him. And I don't have to read about that kid either. It's kind of a shame that Rush and that kid weren't up in that balloon.

Yeah - I'm running on empty here. I admit it. But it was either this, or posting pictures of Morty in his hospital gown and cap. ...and I like Morty and would like to continue this friendship for another 20 years - or until I kick it. Whichever comes first.

It's his birthday today too. So his present from me is not posting those pictures. He can thank me later.


Song by: Liam Finn

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Playboy

So Mr. Hefner - this is what it has come to?

Is it to lure a younger readership by putting Marge on the cover - and as the interview? Because, if so, you might be about 10-15 years too late. While I still like the Simpsons, in theory, I have not gone out of my way to see an original episode for at least half a decade.

And are younger readerships really wanting to see a 45 year old mother of three in a skin magazine?

I suppose if I had to choose between her, Benicio del Toro or Tracy Morgan, Marge might float to the top two.

Compared to Hef, the former Marge Bouvier is certainly a spry youngster, but so is Dame Judi Dench.


Song by: Dwight Yoakam

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What's New?


I probably have something better to say, but it's been a long week. What? It's only Tuesday? Oy.

Denton's aunt is staying with us, so I've been busy cooking and cleaning - like the good in-law I can be. I really do like cooking and wish I did it more. I find it completely relaxing.

But because of the visitor, I won't be creative and just provide you updates. Sound good?

  • I had a good trip to Philadelphia. Sorry Anne Marie, no time for coffee etc. My meeting was three hours long. I made it back to the airport with about 15 minutes before boarding time - damned TSA slow-pokes. The flights took longer than the meeting, but I think it was good and productive.
  • Morty's sugary went well. At least his emails have him in good spirits. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the Level 3 narcotics he's on. Ok - maybe a little.
  • Denton's car is still in the shop. Repair bills are now double the original estimate. I'm not surprised. I don't think the repair place are crooks. I just couldn't imagine it would only take the original amount quoted to fix the damage....and I was right.
  • We had dinner with my parents last weekend. Unexpected, but nice. We all went to a nice steakhouse they had not been to before. It was a slightly belated 53rd anniversary dinner. We had some good conversation and I like we can have an honest discussion about the potential of getting my dad a cane, a walker or even a scooter (for free! Thank you VA and / or Public Option Medicare!). I'm happier he is open to the idea. He's almost 90 and is aware of his limitations - which will be good when I have to take away his car keys.
  • Workouts are going well. Still doing free-weights and adding more weight every few days. I'll never be a big bench-presser, but it just makes me feel so butch! I know - feel, not am!

I think that's it. That might be all I got for now. For today. Until tomorrow.


Song by: Linda Ronstadt

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Achilles Heel

Poor Morty.

Today he's having surgery on his foot. Or 'sugary', as he calls it. And yes, it is on his Achilles area.

Mort said it better when he got descriptive: They will cut me open, move my Achilles out of the way, remove the bone chip, shave part of my heel off (he says I won't miss it), re-attach the tendon, and sew me back up.

I think they use a Ped Egg to have off the heel.

For as long as I have known him - this might be his first sugary - and yet he's endured many a cut to my flesh and bone over the years. Unfortunately, I no longer live close enough to him to help him out fetching him jell-o, toast and tea. Thank g-d for laptops, iPods and podcasts to keep him busy. I believe Geo might be praising the heavens too.

He'll tolerate the surgery just fine. He's a tough guy - one who has taken on at least two dozen marathons, a few triathlons and one iron-man. ....and I've known some of the guys he has dated. As he says that Lance Armstrong says: It's gotta take ball.

I think Morty will be a good patient...........initially.

His inability to run for a few months will drive him batty, but I'm guessing he'll find other things to focus on. He'll finally get around to all the crocheting he's been putting off.......since birth.

But my thoughts are with him and I'll give him a day or so to recover before I give him a call. Naturally, they'll be emails awaiting him when he wakes up and checks his laptop when he can watch no more Judge Judy.

Surgery is no fun, for sure, but he'll be better than he was. Better. Stronger. Faster. ...and it won't take Six Million Dollars to do it. (insert your own healthcare reform joke here.)


Song by: Marti Jones

Monday, October 12, 2009

Philadelphia


I'm on the road today. Just for the day.

If you can't guess to where - well........then I'm really kind of at a loss for you.

I'm in and out in a day. The flights will take longer than why I am going. What? I didn't say why I was going? Oh well - Deal!

I've never been to the city of brother love. I've been through it on Amtrak. I've connected flights at their crappy crappy airport. But I've never been to the city. I'm not really going to be seeing anything this trip either. Just what I can see from the cab.

How the meetings go will determine what I tell you - or don't.

Enjoy the day guys. Hopefully I will too.


Song by: Neil Young

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Day In Day Out


National Coming Out Day. Yawn.

It's a day? It's a frickin' life time process - and one that straight folk don't have to do. They don't have to tell people they are straight on a monthly, weekly or daily basis. It's just assumed.

...but it's nothing that can be relegated to a day. And while I know the day is of awareness, I'm not sure that day hasn't outlived its usefulness. I think we're out there doing it daily. We have to - because it can't be avoided.

I've been at this job for almost 10 months now. Weekly someone asks about "my wife" - as I will assume it is because I wear a ring. On a weekly basis I have to inform them I am not married and before they even ask '...but why the ring...?' I just go on and tell them I am partnered.

I have had no ill feedback, crumpled up noses or even a sign of surprise at the news. The surprise comes when they eventually ask how long we've been together and then I provide the answer. The time we've been together usually adds up longer than their marriage(s) - or the time they had been married and divorced combined.

Hopefully, in a subtle/not-so-subtle way, that information makes the point that relationships like ours do not defy the sanctity of their two or three nuptials. But this isn't about gay marriage exactly.

It's about coming out - and being comfortable with it. Or becoming comfortable with it. It's taken a long time for some of us - myself included - with this comfort. But the more often I say it, the easier it is, regardless of the situation or environment.

I used to laugh on campus when to show your support for National Coming Out Day you were supposed to wear - gasp! - denim. RORRRRRRR.......college students wearing jeans! That'll show 'em. All you fag supporters on your way to Econ 101 in your dungarees. Seriously, what were the GLB (yes, it used to be GLB before LGB and LGBT) offices thinking?

Maybe they planned it with a sense of irony - but my guess is they really didn't.

With so many gay issues out there now - I don't know where NCOD ranks in importance. Maybe I'm too far removed from that - since it is a regular occurrence. Maybe it's just for the first-timers.


Song by: Diana Krall

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Funny Way

Yes, it's just a comic, but it's a Saturday and most of you people aren't reading me today. You've got lives. Which of course implies that I do not. That last part may or may not be true.

But I read the comics today and as usual, Bizarro made me smile. This one made me laugh.

I can barely stand to open the paper anymore, anymore if I get to it, the comics are one of the few things I'll read and even then it is like three of them. I'm not so much into Rex Morgan, M.D., Mark Trail or Marmaduke.

But who doesn't like a Mr. Peanut comic? Who?


Song by: Tim Finn

Friday, October 09, 2009


I'm not even giving this a blog title. I got nothing. But by telling you this - I had blog, so you are officially getting a blog entry and I get to keep my record going.

Things will get better for the blog reading public. I swear.

.....but then again, they kind of have to - right?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Seven and Seven Is

I'm finding it harder and harder to make my goal of 365 days of continual blogging - at least without making it g-d awful boring; for you and me. Keep in mind, as painful as is to read some of my crap, I get to write it, sometimes more than once!

You don't want to hear about my work - and trust me, I've had to live it for 11 hours per day, I'm not going to relive it by jotting down my day here.

So Sean provided a meme that I thought would be an easy time killer. FAIL.

I always forget, these things take a lot of thought. Or I put too much thought into them. ...and as I read through it, it turns out I'm still a fucking bore.


7 Things That Scare Me

1. Breaking my teeth
2. Fire
3. the Religious Right
4. the GOP
5. Denton dying first
6. Sick pets
7. Clowns

7 Things I Like

1. Cats
2. Dogs
3. Music
4. Beer/Wine
5. Cookies
6. my friends
7. Denton

7 Things I Hate

1. Mushrooms
2. Nuts in food
3. Cockroaches
4. Nancy Grace
5. Most FM radio
6. People using cell phones in public restrooms
7. Frigid cold weather

7 Things In My Room

1. Clock Radio
2. Books
3. King sized bed
4. signed Christo print of 'the Gates'
5. framed blueprint of our first house
6. Denton's grandmother's chair
7. No TV !

7 Things About Me

1. Cancer survivor
2. Left handed
3. Had three hernias/hernia repairs
4. Have four sisters
5. No brothers
6. Have a freaky memory
7. No desire to attend any school reunion

7 Things To Do Before I Die

1. Play piano
2. Play guitar
3. Retire
4. Tour Europe
5. Go to Hawaii
6. Have a dog
7. umm....live forever?

7 Things I Can Do

1. Memorize song lyrics in no time flat
2. Type 80 wpm
3. Blog multiple months in a row
4. Name all the presidents - but not in order
5. Manage an $18M budget
6. Use a Bongo Board
7. Write in HTML

7 Things I Can’t Do

1. Fold a fitted sheet
2. Roll my "R"'s
3. Sleep for more than 5 hours
4. a really good push-up
5. Get married in Ohio
6. Fall asleep easily
7. Cold fusion

7 Favorite Movies

1. What's Up Doc?
2. Sixteen Candles
3. Hairspray (the original one)
4. All About Eve
5. Auntie Mame
6. Citizen Kane
7. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

7 Things I Say Often

1. Fuck ME (no, not that way)
2. Get the fuck out!
3. That's bullshit
4. Smell ya later
5. Be good. For g-d's sake, please be good (to the cats)
6. Namaste
7. Why are you even with me?


Song by: Billy Bragg

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Site of the Month

....and so early in the month to be doing this. I'm sure I'll regret it, but I'm all about work these days and not much else to report going on.

Have you seen Where's George?

It's a site to track where your hard-earned cash ends up. Since we as a country don't put it in the bank, it is more like, I spent it in at store A and want to see where it ends up.

Of course, you're dependent on not only you entering into the website (serial number and bill condition), but whomever ends up with the bill has to do the same thing.

Perhaps you've come across a bill that has it stamped (yes, stamped!) on it 'Where's George?' along with the url. Or sometimes people just write it on the bill.

Years ago, I did it for about three or four months - just writing the url on bills and putting them on the website. I probably only entered a dozen or two bills into the system, got bored and stopped doing it.

Who knew they had automatic notification when someone else updated the bill status. (click to enlarge image)


My $1 bill made it from Cleveland to Sunbury, PA - and it only took almost three and one half years to go roughly 350 miles. It seems like a slow process.

Did it walk there?

Tuesday, October 06, 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!

Ahhh...Don't say I didn't warn ya. You knew I went to her concert and I said I had one more 'covers' disk to review this year - and this is it.

Rosanne Cash's The List is it. And I dare say it has restored my faith in how a cover album should go. Somewhat. Clearly the exception and not the rule. But it's not the end-all, be-all either.

Her father compiled a list back in 1973 of the 100 essential country songs she needed to know, apparently when she had little knowledge of where she came from. This is only 12% of that list. 13% if you buy it on iTunes. But it's a start. Most of these songs have been recorded by dozens of artists over the years, but still I can't say they are popular. Not really. Maybe with certain crowds, but not the general record-buying public.

I will start out saying the selections she did live, some of them played out much better in a live setting than in a recording studio - and those live versions were way stripped down, just Cash and a guitar.

But on some of this disk - Cash appears stellar. Her voice, at 54, has never seemed stronger. And in reality, it is really nice to hear Cash return to her country-bent. She never was or will be full county but I've missed some of this take on her heritage and talents.

She kicks off with "Miss the Mississippi and You" - which hearkens back to something she'd have done on Somewhere in the Stars. "Motherless Children" is really stellar, but it doesn't sound nearly as sorrowful as she did it live. Still, she nails it....if you can say that about a song like this. "Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow" is very well done - and is still pretty sparse musically, but you can see what a well crafted song it was for the Carter Family.

Cash does a pretty incredible job on Hank Snow's "I'm Moving On" - and it might be the best piece on the disk. Dylan's "Girl From the North Country" (great string bass line throughout the song) is well done too. She does a decent job on "500 Miles". It is poignant enough, but it doesn't convey the emotion that it did when she did it live or even when Peter, Paul & Mary or Bobby Bare recorded it.

Usually when guests abound on a record, it spells trouble for the material or artist. Especially when it's an over-use of guests (like almost happened on Cash's own Rules of Travel). Because of this, I was skeptical with The List in advance for having Springsteen, Costello, Rufus Wainwright, Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) and Neko Case all making appearances. Hell, that's almost half the disk.

Some work and some don't. Springsteen is by no means bad on "Sea of Heartbreak", but in reality, you hear how strong Cash is by herself, there was really zero need for Bruce to be there at all. But it's a great song and it really is a stand-out.

Wainwright on Merle Haggard's "Silver Wings" is nothing more than a backing vocal, more so than harmony. I don't know I would have known it was him without the actual credit.

Tweedy has more of a harmony vocal "Long Black Veil". Ditto with Costello on Buck Owens' "Heartaches by the Number". See, I like Buck Owens and while it is probably the twangiest thing on this disk, I'm not sure they truly pull it off. She does better on Hank Williams' "Take These Chains from my Heart". It sounds almost like an Owen Bradley production deal.

There are missteps, if you ask me. Cash says she was skeptical to touch Patsy Cline's "She's Got You" - and she should have gone with her gut. While not horrid by any means, there is no one who can really cover that well, save maybe a Mandy Barnett - and even then it's more imitation.

The same can be said for "A Satisfied Mind" (available only on iTunes). Covered by everyone from Porter Waggoner to Lindsey Buckingham, it just sounds......under-done, if that makes sense. The right idea, the wrong execution.

Overall, The List is the right idea and right execution - mostly due to Cash's vocals and producer/husband's John Leventhal's production and musicianship. I guess Johnny Cash has a lot to do with this too.

Of all the music I've purchased this year, it is one of the better selections in terms of style and sound.

Just for fun, I'm posting the video to "I'm Moving On". I'm surprise that not only they still make videos, but that they spare the expense for a boutique artist like Cash.


Monday, October 05, 2009

Y.M.C.A

A few things first: I don't go to the Y (normally) and I don't own the song. Nor do I own any Village People. I'm just running out of titles that fit when talking about the gym or work-out.

Yes, I did take this picture in the MEN'S locker room at the Y at the Outer Banks when we were there in August.

I found it HI-larious. I wonder if all the other men who use the facilities had the same reaction? Well, probably not enough to take a picture of it. But I am of a special breed.

It has been some time since I have updated anything about my work-outs. As I had mentioned, this was not to become a gym-blog. But on the other hand, I wanted to make sure people knew that almost eight months in, I have stuck to my guns - and to the gym.

Because of changing schedules - work and the actual instructors changing around, I have no upped my gym dates from four to five per week. It's probably insane, but it sounds so impressive. One day is just yoga, so it's not all that.

I continue on with yoga, which I am really really liking and finding that I can shut things out and I am finding some balance. I might even be bendier, but that is really the last thing that is coming with this. I kind of hate that school is back in session, as the classes have tripled in size and I just find it annoying. The rest of the gym doesn't seem to have experienced the same kind of growth. If I felt I could progress to the next class level, the size would be more manageable....but I don't think I'm there.

Spin is still part of my routine, but I have opted to cut down from three or four classes to two per week. And sometimes I can only make one, just due to timing. I try for Andy (who doesn't!), but sometimes I have encountered other instructors. Women ones. And they are vicious. They make Andy look like a wuss. They kick my ass - and they kick it hard!

Naturally, I'm still doing regular cardio when Spin isn't an option. And I'm doing weights. But the big new is (for me), that I am kind of / sort of graduating to the Big Boy room.

I've been completely intimidated by the free weight room - and it is one I thought I did not belong. Well, the room did not intimidate me. Architecture rarely can. But the guys in there did. I'm trying to take away from yoga that all this is not me and I am just an observer of my body and mind and that there is no judgment. That last part is way hard for me.

I don't judge others in the gym, but I compare them to me and I'm always the loser. My mind. My esteem, or lack of. But as I have ventured into the free weight area, no one gives a shit about me....and not in that normal way.

I think they see it as - he's out there, he's trying and he's doing it consistently and they just let me be. The more I observe, the more I find it a very solitary place, no matter how many people are there. So I started with a bare bar. And continually over the weeks I've been adding weights.

Free weights don't weigh more than the machines, but there is a balance (there's that word again) to using them in both body and mind. I feel like I've turned some kind of corner...even if it's just imaginary. I'm freeing myself up of what I thought I can't do.

I haven't lost anymore weight and I'm ok with that. Honest. 16 pounds is nice and puts me in a good place. I said it wasn't about weight at the start, but really, had I lost nothing, I bet I would not still be at the gym and I would have given up long ago. I just talked myself into it not being why I was there. ...and I do not think it was the main reason either. I just wanted to look and feel better....in that order. Yes, I'm vain, I admit it.

Apparently I'm some kind of a role model too. A reader (who won't be named) emailed me to say that because of me and another blogger he reads, it encouraged him to get to the gym and eat better. To date (or when he wrote) he had lost 25 pounds! I think that is great - but not because of me. Because of him. As we all know, it takes work and commitment to do any of this.

The other blogger he reads must be the one eating better, because for the most part I still have pretty crappy food patterns. I eat better at lunch for sure. Dinner is still a hodge-podge and I eat way to late in the evening. And I still like chocolate and wine. And peanut butter! Imagine what I could do if I ate better. It doesn't help that we're in crappy fruit season. Too late for most things, too early for my beloved oranges (good ones!). That leaves me with apples and bananas. Yawn.

So I continue my quest. My cousin keeps pushing me to go with him to a yoga studio, but I haven't committed to that yet. It seems a serious place for serious yogis - even though you are to be true to your practice, not theirs.

I don't want to compare or be judged - but I don't know I can help it. I guess I have a ways to go.


Song by: the Village People

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes

I am somewhat reticent to even post this, not because of the content, but because there is naming of names and that thought that there are enough weirdos out there who shouldn't have too much information.

My niece, whom I have written about here before a few times, has just gotten her first bit of non-blog press. She is off to college, as you read about here, but has made some kind of name for herself in the one (plus) month she has been away.

Parent's Weekend was scheduled these last few days, and apparently she knows everyone on campus and everyone knows her. According to her parents, anyways.

But it was fortuitous that the student paper happened to do an article on Katie, her music and her videos right before her parents arrived. I know my sister was cautious about Katie letting people know her name on YouTube, let alone where she lived or went to school. But to be fair, she also let her make that decision once she was of age and out of the house.

It is my understanding the student radio station is also playing some of her songs - which is kind of cool. It'd be more cool if she had them with a publishing company that was paying her royalties for that, but all in due time.

The article was ok, but it is a student paper and there is only so much talent there. The writing style could have been better.

I'm not longer reticent about this post, as I opted not to put the link to the paper in this entry.

I've already had to go after some "kid" on YouTube who wrote creeeeeepy comments to her songs and also had his own "response song" about her, and how he'd like to "take her away" and crap like that. I left a message for him directly (which, yes, was a harsh one) and then reported him to YouTube.

Katie might somewhat be ready to be in the spotlight, but I feel awfully protective of her.


Song by: k.d. lang

Saturday, October 03, 2009

You Can't Walk In Your Sleep (if you can't sleep)

I know mattresses are supposed to last like 10 years, but ours has lasted all of 3.5.

It's got plenty of life in it - don't get me wrong. It's just not the mattress of my dreams. Oh, and as you know, I dream. Good g-d, I dream. Weird-ass dreams and on a daily basis.

What I don't do is sleep. Not really. And not well. I'm still on about five hours per night and still not in a row.

I'm not saying it is because of the current mattress, but I'm not saying it is not.

When we were due for a new mattress four years or so ago, I just let Denton pick it. He chose what he thought he needed and what I'd like. It was a luxurious pillow-top one and it seemed nice and cushy - but not too cushy. At least at first.

But it was cushy. And high. The poor kitties struggled to get up that high, but they did and learned to maneuver up to its heights. But soon after we got it, I had a harder time sleeping than I normally did.

We flipped it religiously, but it didn't seem to matter that much.

It turns out, I really wanted something firmer. The beds we bought for the guest rooms were just my style. No pillow top and firmer. When we have to sleep in the other rooms I seem to do better. Again, it might be coincidence. ...and we'll see.

Last Sunday, we went and splurged on a new and firmer mattress. We narrowed it down to two - and hopefully we chose correctly. To be honest, I don't know how one picks after just lying on it for only a few minutes - and in a showroom while a salesman hovers close by and with other customers almost waiting their turn to lie in the same place you currently are.

It gets delivered today. Believe it or not, I'm psyched to get it. Do I expect a solid night's sleep from the get-go? Nah. I mean, it would be nice, but I haven't slept a full night for over a decade, so I don't think it will happen. But if I could snag five hours in a row, or seven hours not in a row, I might be a less stressed man.

I said, 'might'.


Song by: the Go-Go's

Friday, October 02, 2009

Rape Me

I dunno - the younger Roman Polanski was hot. No doubt hotter than the younger John Phillips. I guess if you had to have forced sex with one of those two, I know who I'd pick.

Andrew had to point out that Woody Allen is supporting the release of Polanski from his incarceration. It's nice to have that backing, but does one really want it from Woody Allen? Je think not.

However, it was kind of laughable when you really think about it.

Yes, there are a plethora of celebs who want Polanski freed and have his charges dropped - including his victim. Not only does she believe it continues to open old wounds for her, which I'm sure it does, but she thinks the California courts weren't fair to him either. I always found that kind of damning....not that the courts have taken any heed of her statements.

My most favourite part of this story is this snippet:

Actress Kirstie Alley wrote on Twitter "JUST FOR THE RECORD....RAPE IS RAPE...this is one HOLLYWOOD STAR who does not CELEBRATE or DEFEND Roman Polanski..his ART did not RAPE her."

(for the record, that was more than 140 characters! do stars get special Twitter exemptions?)

Too much upper case - for sure. Apparently, she's mad! And apparently, she sees herself as a 'Hollywood Star'. Really? Sad. So sad.

But she makes a point. Rape is rape - no matter how good his movies are or what kind of artist he is. And yet what do I hear about McKenzie Phillips? Not much other than so many people don't believe her - including her family member.

Bonnie Franklin has yet to take to her Twitter account.

To be honest, I think her story is way way way way way worse than Roman's little "tryst" (I know it's more than that....calm down....). More often than not, you see people blaming the victim. I have seen little or no sympathy for McKenzie. I'm not quite sure why. Why is that?

I'm not being flip when I say this: is it because she's borderline unattractive? that her rapist is dead and cannot defend himself? is it because it was her father and it is just something no one wants to think about, let alone talk about? is it because she's a woman?

I have zero answers on any of this - Roman or McKenzie. I don't know they do either.


Song by: Nirvana

Thursday, October 01, 2009

No Cars Go

Not too much to report.

I got a call yesterday morning from 'the man'. He'd been in a car accident. Not his fault, but still in an accident on another rainy, cold, Cleveland morning - at rush hour.

Some lady ran into him - at least hard enough to deploy her airbag, but not hard enough on his end to set off his. That may or may not have been a problem - as he banged his head and neck. To say nothing of his coffee (in a secured travel mug) to go all over him and the interior of the car.

The woman was "bright" enough to get out of her car to check on him. Denton mentioned he was shaken and had hurt his head and neck. So what does she proceed to do? Get back in her car - and leave the scene.

He is kicking himself for not getting her info or taking a pic of her car / plates with his iPhone, but c'mon - he was startled and in the middle of four lanes of traffic. ...and at first he thought she might be pulling over to get out of said traffic. What a fucking bitch she was.

Cops came and got his info/statement, but no one else called in an accident.

Morty & crew chimed in that she was either texting while driving, drunk, had no insurance, had an outstanding warrant for her arrest, or it wasn't her car. Or all of the above.

So, yes, there is damage - to the car, not the man. He's feeling fine - at least he has to cough up that $500 deductible to get his car fixed.


Song by: the Arcade Fire