Monday, November 30, 2009

I Love Music

Saturday night we met our friends Christine & Bryant for dinner. I've seen Christine a few times in the last year, but not often - and it has maybe been two plus years since we've seen her husband.

The company was good, the food was good, the service was........ok. I cringed when the lispy / fey server would come over and ask us something. Yes, I should embrace our brethren, but truth be told, way way fey just makes me way way uncomfortable. Of course the end of the meal is always the worst when he used 'dessert' and 'espresso' in the same sentence.

His demeanor was not why I say the service was "ok". That is mostly due to him being completely inattentive.

Not that we didn't have enough to discuss: work, kids (theirs, not ours - obviously), family, old friends, etc - but we kept coming back to the music the restaurant played. It was as diverse as their wait-staff. Umm...wait, that probably isn't accurate, but I'll give you a small sampling - as we were there for 3.5 hours - in no particular order:

the Carpenters
.38 Special
Rufus Wainright
Heart (x2)
Michael Jackson (x2)
Julie London
Stevie Wonder
KC & the Sunshine Band
the opening number from Rocky Horror Picture Show !!!! (I know, right???)
Bill Withers (and it wasn't "Ain't No Sunshine")
the Arcade Fire
Diana Krall
Dixie Chicks
the Pretenders

No - I don't own any Stevie Wonder or KC................. or .38 Special (I thought I'd leave you hanging a few on that one), but the rest could have easily come from my music catalogue.

Bryant pointed out that when you trekked back to the restroom, you could hear blaring rap music from the kitchen. So they really were all over the place.

I'd kind of like to meet whomever does their playlist and shake their hand. ...and you know damn well, it was probably our server.


Song by: the O'Jays

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Puttin' on the Ritz

Yesterday I attended a two hour spin session (a two hour spin session).

It was hot, it was tough, and it seemed way longer than 120 minutes.

This was the brain-child of two of the gym's spin instructors - cute Andy being one of them. "Let's help people out after a fattening holiday meal/weekend!", they concocted. I swear it was like Abu Gharib, but with stationary bikes.....and music.

Jamie, the other instructor, is the Lynndie England of the work-out set. Of the 8-10 spin instructors, she is by far the hardest....or in the top two at the very least. No mercy. No compassion. And I'm guessing more of a core instructor than she is a cyclist. She's the kind of gal who gets off her bike and walks around and tells you that you're not working hard enough. I hate that. ...and not just because I feel like I'm being called-out. More like she has no idea what my limitations might be or my experience in the class.

...and she has horrible taste in music.

Seriously, music really does make or break the spin class. With decent motivational music, you can really make it through any routine. Anymore when I play music at home or in the car, I consider one of two things (or both): Can I spin to this? and/or How can they do this on Glee?

Andy has the best music of all the instructors, but he goes from Lady Gaga to Bon Jovi in a heartbeat. No one can tell if he's truly gay or not. I'm still very split on it and my gaydar is giving up nothing.

So when you team the two up together (Jamie and Andy) you get a really weird mix of songs. Andy was consistent on his choices (I swear, if I have to hear the Black Eyed Peas "I Gotta Feelin'...one more time......). Jamie was in a "jazz" mood. ....though someone needs to tell her playing Bette Midler singing "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", Judy Garland's "Get Happy" or something by the Andrews Sisters is not "jazz".

One of her last song choices was Fred Astaire's version of "Puttin' on the Ritz". I guess we could be happy it wasn't Taco.

Now, in the area where I was spinning were two other regulars - and we all are men of a certain age. So while we know of each other, we don't know each other - not really. With no set-up, with not winks or nods before hand, when Mr. Astaire sang: "If you're blue/and you don't know where to go to/why don't you go/where fashion sits....", well, the three of us kind of did the Young Frankenstein response.

Not loud-loud, mind you - but loud enough where we knew all three had done it. Smiles, grins and guffaws all ensued. ...then we had to finish the climb we were doing and sweat and pain replaced the fun, but it was a great momentary distraction.

Now, I can link you to another post of mine - 3.5 years old where I reference this same song, and the Young Frankenstein version used for Clyde & Seymour's Spooky Kooky Castle and my history with that. I won't redo that whole thing here.

I made it through the two hours (one guy left after 15 minutes - what's that about?). My legs were a little rubbery at the end, but I made it. If nothing else, it was a good warm-up to SpinFest II, coming in January. There I'll spin for 120 minutes to raise money for the Cleveland Free Clinic. It's a good cause and I have to spin anyway - so what the hell.


Song by: Frederick Frankenstein & the Monster

Saturday, November 28, 2009

In Snow

We almost made it. We almost had a November without snow.

It would have been the first November on record without accumulation, but alas, it was not meant to be. Now, I never saw a flake, but just because I didn't witness it doesn't mean it never happened.

But just because I haven't seen the Loch Ness Monster doesn't mean she/he doesn't exist - does it?

November kind of redeemed an early start of fall, which was cold and wet. We had beautiful days and we were like 6 degrees above our normal temps. I don't care what half the panel on the McLaughlin Group thinks - climate change isn't a conspiracy to shift monetary funds across the globe.

Oddly, the east side of Cleveburgh usually gets hit the hardest with snow, but honestly there was none to be seen. It rained on the way to work (yes, I worked the day after T-giving), but no snow. But the west and south sides saw upward of over an inch. I know - big whoo, but still.....

All we had to do was make it three more days to be in the record books, but like just about everything else Cleveland, we fell short.

So winter is here, even though it is technically like 24 days away.


Song by: David Broza

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turning Up the Heat

Yes, I am s0-so (at best) when it comes to T-giving dinner and its food. But you know what is so much better than eating it? Making it.

I do love cooking, which with its would-be mess, is a very relaxing and ultimately satisfying thing to do. Denton won't get me cooking classes with Chef Bob because he thinks I'd be spending money just to hang and laugh with him. In reality, he probably thinks I'd run away with him. He's probably right. On all counts.

Anyway....I digress.......

So, as I said yesterday, the plan was for me to make dessert and stuffing for dinner at my parent's house. And that's just what I did - with a little thanks and help from Ina Garten. I basically just used two of her recipes, but at least it wasn't store bought. And it allowed me to use the new Kitchen Aid mixer we bought a few weeks back (thank you Blood Bath & Beyond 20% coupon and additional Kitchen Aid $30 rebate! I wouldn't have purchased you any other way!)

The Contessa makes an orange pound cake mix, but I thought it would be much more gratifying to do it ourselves. Yes, we did it together. Some of it. Majority of it was me, but it was my idea.

Fresh orange zest and squeezed juice do make the difference - I'm assuming. I've never made the mix. I'm not sure they could have turned out much better, though the bottoms got a little too done.

You can find the recipe here.


It was a process, as you can see just from the ingredients above, and you don't even see the six oranges I had to zest and then squeeze. Oh - and here's a tip.....if you have a few paper cuts on your hand and squeezing citrus with your bare hands? ummm......ouch!

But they came out really really good. Everyone seemed to like them

The stuffing was actually easy, except when figuring out how much 16 cups of cubed bread actually is. But the apples, onion, butter and sausage cooked up nicely. We just don't have one bowl big enough to hold it all and mix it - so we did it in two batches. But at least I now have a holiday gift idea for Denton. Oh - and you can find the recipe here.

It looked great and it tasted ok. It may have been a little too sausage heavy, but for the most part it went over well. I'm not sure it will be a holiday tradition, but it beat the normal boring stuffing we normally have.


Song by: Any Trouble

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thank You

If you've read this blog for any amount of time, you'd know that T-giving is one of my least favourite holidays. It just doesn't speak to me. Hopefully one doesn't need, on singular day, to profess thanks for things, people or situations.

It really comes down to the food. And I'm not fan of most of it. Blasphemy, for some, I'm sure. I can handle your condemnation. So put away your voodoo dolls of me.

Yes, they are very autumnal colours in the food, but it's basically monochromatic in taste and looks. Since no one is making me anything special (mom !!!), I'll eat what I need to, so that I may sustain life. That usually ends up being broiled turkey skin and stuffing. And dessert.

....but not pumpkin pie. Is is just me, or it visually just as unappealing as it tastes? Trust me, I know I'm in the minority on this one, so that question was indeed rhetorical. But my friend Jack, who cooks like no one's business, is no fan of it either. He even sent me an email on why he won't eat pumpkin pie.
It's probably as close as I can imagine as to how they make pumpkin pie filling. ...though I'm sure there is a FoodTV episode of "Unwrapped" dedicated to such nonsense. They'd never show how it was really done (see above), like they'd never truly show how a hamburger was made.

That all being said, my almost 81 year old mother is farming out the cooking duties to her kids - and rightfully so. She shouldn't be doing this. So, I'm in charge of stuffing and one dessert. Two actually. I'll bring pumpkin pie, but won't make it. Both things I'm making are Barefoot Contessa recipes. Maybe it will be my blog entry for tomorrow on how well I did. (psssst....I bought some Stove Top in case I completely fuck up the snazzy version.)

Of course there are many things I am thankful for: a great partner, the bestest of friends, good family - immediate and non, a seemingly loyal blog readership. And the cats. I can't forget them. Lots of other stuff too numerous to mention here.

So enjoy your day - and your meal. ...and your long weekend if you're taking one.


Song by: Tori Amos

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ooh Ooh Song

This iTunes meme was stolen from Kevin's Rants. He stole it from some other people, but I'm doing a coast blog at holiday time and what the hell - I'm not above thievery.

The data is true as it stands, but it's not really all inclusive - as I don't have 100% of everything I owned either ripped or loaded into iTunes. All of our music resides on a massive server, but I don't care for some of Denton's music (and vice versa), so I saw no reason bog down my hard-drive with that stuff.

That being said - away we go:

How many total songs?
9187 items in my library. That’s 25.7 days, and 43.95 GB of music.

Sort by song title – first and last…
First: “Abandoned Masquerade” – Diana Krall (The Girl in the Other Room)
Last: “6060-842” – the B-52's (the B-52's)

Sort by time – shortest and longest…
Shortest: :09, “Intro” – Prozzak (Hot Show)
Longest: 21:54, “Sleep Don't Weep” – Damien Rice (9)

Sort by Album – first and last…
First: Abbey Road by the Beatles
Last: 1992 Telluride Bluegrass Festival by Various Artists

Sort by Artist – first and last…
First: A-Ha
Last: 10cc

Top five played songs
175 - Like Fugitives – Rosanne Cash
174 – Everyone's Got a Story – Maria McKee
173 – Along Comes Mary – the Association
173 – Please Sister – the Cardigans
172 – I See You – Raul Malo

Find the following words. How many songs show up?
Sex: 40 items
Death: 22 items
Love: 654 items
You: 1157 items
Home: 126 items
Boy: 156 items
Girl: 215 items

First five songs that come up on Party Shuffle…
I don't seem to have Party Shuffle on my iTunes. What gives?


Song by: Pat Benatar

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hello, I'm Gone

I'm just in a melancholy mood these days. One could chalk it up to the holidays being here for the next 30-40 days, but that's not really it.

Not that he's far from my thoughts much, but lately I've been thinking more and more about my friend Fred.

As you may remember, he passed away quite unexpectedly this last August.

Even if I wanted to put him at the back of my mind, I can't seem to. Facebook won't let me. In the upper right corner of my page, it tells me to reconnect with him. Or to get him to update his FB page. Or to help him make FB better for him. I can't do any of those things.

Fred's wife hasn't taken down his page (if she even can) and I can't and won't "unfriend" him. It seems like total disrespect, which is odd, as it is only Facebook. For all the flaws this social networking site might have, there is a connection part that just grabs on to those you are not in contact with regularly.

I'm fairly choosy about whom I accept as friends on FB. I chuckle at these people who have 300 or 1500 friends. I don't even know that many people let alone want to share my life or thoughts with them. I think I have under 80 - and I'll keep it that way.

But it is all so voyeuristic. I visit Fred's page often and another one dedicated to his memory. I've contributed to them once or twice, but usually go to see how others are or are not coping with the loss of him. It comforts me not one bit. I keep thinking it should and it really doesn't - possibly it does the opposite. You think I'd learn, but I continue to go back now and again.

This will all pass, I know. I can only imagine how hard the holidays are on Fred's wife and kids. I wish I really knew them so I can do something for them that doesn't seem intrusive. Sometimes I'm just socially inept that way.

I'll get together with our friend Mitch to see if he has any brilliant ideas.


Song by: Trisha Yearwood

Monday, November 23, 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!
The one thing I love about Rickie Lee Jones is her consistency for being inconsistent. For many artists, that is such a bad thing, because they can't maintain any talent. She's not of that ilk.

Rickie is not exactly all over the place as a recording artist, but she doesn't tend to do the same thing twice. Ever. But she always does a superb job at what she does release. So there's that.

For the longest of time "Chuck E.'s in Love" grated on my nerves (due to radio saturation), but the rest of her debut disk was stellar. It was with Pirates that I truly was enamoured of her though. Not a bad song on that disk.

She has since flirted with full-on jazz, standards, covers, religious, pop and spoken word music. You know my thoughts on covers, but man she does such justice to Traffic's "The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys", it's worth the price of the disk alone.

No longer on a major label, her releases kind of fly under the radar now (not that there were huge pushes for them before). Her new one is just out: Balm in Gilead.

I can't really describe it, but I've never been able to adequately pin down Jones. Her voice, singing and spoken, is like no other. She weaves it around her words and her music in a way that is inimitable. She's not quite folk, not quite jazz - and yet she's all those things.

I could go on and on about the songs, but you'll really have to listen to them. I like "Wild Girl" a lot. Ditto with "Remember Me" and "The Moon is Made of Gold".

Not meaning to sound like a douche or anything, but Jones is really one of those unfound treasures that you have to discover. Or rediscover. She's made it a bit easier with Balm of Gilead.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Last Night

It was just a whim, but David (my cousin) called and said he was going to be near us and wanted to know if he could stop over. I agreed without actually conferring with Denton. Oops. Doing stuff like that can get me into the dog house.

Later in the day, David called back asking us instead to meet him, and a friend of his, as they were going to be in the Coventry area and if we'd rather just join them for a drink.

Back in the day, Coventry was the Haight-Ashbury of Cleveland. It was quite the place to steal away to when David and I were in our teens. Today, it's just becoming a place for pseudo-brand name establishments. There are some independent bars and restaurants left and that's cool. We went to two of those last night.

One was a bar. And empty empty bar. But the drinks were cheap. We had a few before Phillip, David's friend, needed food. Lightweight.

We went to a good Thai place for food. It was good conversation and as you know, I love David. I am really pleased that Denton liked him as well. And vice versa. Did I mention it was their first meet-up?

But I continue to really really enjoy David's and my time together. Hard to believe we get along so well with such infrequent interaction - previous and current.

Normally Denton and I are kind of low-key guys and when we have weekend plans it is just that, plans. So the calling at 5p to meet up in 90 minutes was a change - but not an unwelcome one. It's ok to shake things up a bit.

So, now it's Sunday and I'm up late due to staying out and drinking a little later than normal. I think I'll work out, but I know I'll skip Spin.


Song by: Lush

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Trouble

Some of you may have made the trek here yesterday and this morning to find a big ERROR message. Because you just love that when it comes to your blog or any website one might have.

I'm quite tired of it happening here. Even on my big day, you know, my big video earlier this week, I had to republish the entire blog to get it to appear. I had missed at least seven hours of people being able to view said video.

Some might have found that a delicious reprieve from the two minutes and 56 seconds of me. But who knows? Maybe that other seven hours would have pushed me to the 3rd Miss Runner Up slot.

I have no idea of another host would be better or not. I just know in the last four months, I've had way too much trouble.

It is seemingly fixed. ........for now.



Song by: Lindsey Buckingham

Friday, November 20, 2009

Dangerous Type

Two more weeks or so of fingers to keyboard and I can potentially take a blog break. Potentially.

It would be hard not to do this daily, but lately, I'm thinking - wow, it would be nice to take a few days off. I think it's mostly a 'how busy my life seems to be these days' fatigue I'm just feeling right now. It's not you. It's me.

Normally I don't talk work here and I really won't. Maybe the high-level view. I am not one who needs a pat on the back for what I do. Odd for a Leo, but I rather do a good job and be left alone. Unfortunately, it seems I do a good job and all I get it, 'what else can you do for us'. It's a bit disheartening. I'm in the black - by quite a bit, when I was told I wouldn't even break even.

Where's the 'thanks', I tell ya.

So that has just been a bit draining for me. More than I normally care to admit - let alone here.

Hell, even yesterday I didn't get out of bed until 5:30a. Yes, I skipped the gym. Shock! I know.

I lay there at 4:00a and told myself I just couldn't do it. I wanted to stay in bed, so I did. I never really fell back asleep, of course. I spent so much energy on the guilt of not going and trying to justify going after work or I could get there if I left NOW.

Neither happened. I knew I had a busy and late day, so I was going to miss yoga as it was - I had no idea how I'd get in my cardio and weight routine. So I got in none of it. And I'm not really beating myself up over it. It could be said I'm an all or nothing kind of guy - so I was nothing.

It's why you've gotten me ALL year.

I know some of you have asked why I am doing this. It was not my intent to do it. I just happened to be blogging a lot and in April or so I found out I was five months in without a break. Then I thought I'd take it to 'x' date and at some point I figured I just had to go the entire 365.

December 5th. That's the date. Or is it?


Song by: the Cars

Thursday, November 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.


Like many of my music choices here, so many of them are from unfamiliar artists. I kind of like it that way - for me and for you. I like mainstream stuff, but I like the unknown stuff more...usually. I also hope I'm exposing a few people to underrepresented artists.

Naturally it is with a bit of frustration. How often are my Classic choices out of print or not on iTunes?

David Broza is one of those artists. Sorry about that.

Broza sings/plays in Hebrew, Spanish and English. Usually not on the same disk, but he incorporates those qualities on each disk. Normally his disks are consistent in each of those languages, but the passion is in all of them.

Each of his primarily English disks are good, but if I had to pick one, I'd go with Stone Doors. It's the most accessible of these disks, but it's not the end-all, be-all either. You could make one killer album if you took the best of his stuff and put them on one release.

Still, Stone Doors is good. I love "Nights in Wyoming" and "Painted Postcard" (the latter being the only Hebrew language song on this disk). I like "Because I Love You", "If You Don't Kiss Me" and "I Marry the Bed" too.

Broza is an incredible guitarist - at least live. He's a great guitarist on his recordings too, it is just that sometimes his work gets lost in the "band" feel of some of the songs. The man can really make that guitar talk too - not just the strings, but how he uses his fingers on the body of the instrument.

His guitar work incorporates a lot of Spanish/flamenco style with some traditional Jewish leanings. It's a good combo and it seems to be a natural one, especially with his somewhat gruff voice.

You can find some of his stuff at amazon (probably eBay too), but very little on iTunes, and most of it is all Hebrew there - not that is a bad thing. I've seen him perform shows all in English and all in Hebrew and they are equally as good. If you can get his recorded stuff, I think you'd like it. If you can see him live, I think you'd love it.

Wednesday, November 18, 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!

What's the best way to get Morty's goat? I know. I know !!!!



Morty has this unnatural fear of Rach(a)el Ray. I totally get it. I only know of her from her Food TV show. I know peripherally that she has a talk show, a magazine and probably a media empire, but have never had to encounter any these other ventures. It is doubtful Mort has either.

Morty hates her not only from the 30 Minute show thingy, but the show where she ate all day for under a certain $$$$ amount. Morty says she'd have to whore herself out to eat what she did for the amount she paid.

"Whore" comes up a lot when Morty talks about Rach(a)el. ....and really, who adds that extra 'a' in that name?

But for me, it is her use of terms like "EVOO" and "Yum-O" that really grinds my gears.

I guess it was only a matter of time before she had her own cookware and grocery line. I'd almost wager money that she has some regular old bowl for sale that is marketed as a 'garbage bowl'.

Yes we (the email group/friends) all find her annoying. I still dislike Ann Curry way more though. But a cage match between the two is something I'd stop to watch.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm a Loser

{sigh}


The numbers don't lie.

Well, I didn't come in last - and I guess that's the best thing you can say. I'm trying really hard not to be a sore loser, but I always let my competitiveness get in the way of true fun. {I'm saying this all very tongue in cheek you understand, right?}

Oddly enough, people must have liked the video enough to watch it 275 times (as of this writing), even though only 11 people voted for it. One of them being me! Someone rated it 5-stars on YouTube - so thanks for that (and it wasn't me, as you cannot rate your own submissions). But only one person has given it a rating...besides you other 11, um...10 people.

I can't even pull a Sally Field here. "right now you really really don't like me!"

Or I guess, it's possible you all thought it was a hideous car accident that you couldn't turn away from and had to watch again and again - and now it's going to end up on some viral clip show like the Numa Numa guy.

So Kelly won. He was strong right out of the gate and there was no catching him. I suppose I have a year now (is this an annual thing?) to come up with a better/different concept. I love that Brett practiced and stuff. That never occurred to me. Point. Shoot. Edit. Post. That's all I did.

It was fun and I'm glad I did it. Hope you all enjoyed it too - not just mine, but the others. I mean, I hope you enjoyed mine more, but..............



Song by: the Beatles

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dance This Mess Around

OMG - it's my second video. Two in one full week. And yes, it's a dance one. Again. Two for two.

I think I can almost promise it is my last dance one, at least for a while. I had no intention on doing, let alone posting, another dance video, but then there I was, sitting at the counter at Schwabs having my ice cream soda, when I finally got my big break! (ok that might be a reference for the older crowd........Jon).

Really, it was a personal email from the one and only brettcajun. When Brett specifically requests, there really is only one answer - right? (he should put that previous sentence and keep it in his back pocket for later.....). Yeah, it's a bit of a man-crush. Sue me.

I mean, c'mon - it's like being asked to sit at the cool kid's table at lunch. I was never ever ever invited there or even dared to venture over in that direction. So I was intrigued, to say the least.

I will go on record as saying I wasn't happy happy about accepting - mostly because I know I'm a dork at dancing (as you've seen), but I'd be afraid of never being asked again, so I took the Jiggy Dance WhoreOff III challenge.

I haven't really seen I or II, so I made my video blindly and I'm hoping it helped not silo me by what others have done in the past. I also didn't have a lot of time to get a concept or execute the video: four days from invite to posting.

Yes, the mess dancing around, is me. Apparently, I am some Limburger - which is why you won't dance with me. But I threw caution to the wind and went for it, using video techniques that were abandoned by 1986. However, they hide a plethora of sins and inexperience in editing (and shooting and well.....dancing).

The hardest part? Uploading to YouTube. Apparently using anything from the Warner Music Group set up an immediate block on go-live. The music you hear (or will be hearing) is from Panic! at the Disco. I contested copywrite issues and at least have a temporary reprieve. We'll see how long that lasts or how long the video stays up.

It's kind of a joke in a way (yes, I'm tempting fate here), since Panic! only had two disks before disbanding. They kind of should be happy anyone is using their songs for anything. But there probably is that whole payment thing - and they probably could use the cash.

But I do like the song I picked and it wasn't the obvious choice (I'm hoping). I mean who, but me, chooses a song called "The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage"? Who?

For the record, I'm more Jiggy, then Whorey (not that I'm passing judgement........Kelly!). But just by a smidge.

Apparently there are other contestants, though what you win is unclear to me. But I'm a competitive guy - more than I care to admit, but less so than a certain Louisiana tennis player we know of. So it would be kind of fun to win this out from under him.

There are five entrants, including moi. It could be argued that none of us truly dance, but I think I might be doing it more than the others. However, I didn't get specific ground rules on what we were supposed to - and supposed not to - do. Granted, you get to see Kelly in a harness and his bare ass, but is it art?

You know what to do - vote for me. Vote early. Vote often. (ok ok, I think you can only vote once.) But I'm woefully behind in this contest. How can this be? Please note that competitive comment a little bit up on the text.

So without further ado - here I am, contestant in Jiggy Dance WhoreOff. III.






Song by: the B-52's

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Stuck

So on Friday I got my H1N1 vaccine. Score!

I know there are a few out there who are skeptical of either the vaccine itself or the over-hype of the flu itself. I get it. I respect it. But respect me my views too.

I work in healthcare and I see its impact. I see how it is affecting healthcare workers, who would normally be taking care of ill non-healthcare folks. I see how our ICU utilization is through the roof and if you are in need of a ventilator due to respiratory illness (say, like due to H1N1) you might not be getting that cubicle/room.

My frustration lies with the vaccine distribution. Grocery stores and community centers got it before hospitals - at least here. We would get only enough that it would be gone in 45 minutes - and that was just for the direct patient care folks. Yes, workers got it before patients, because, if there is no one well enough to take care of the patients - everyone is kind of screwed.

Finally at the end of last week, we got a huge shipment - but not without our Chief Medical Officer traveling to Columbus and DC to basically beg for it. Since we got so much, they relaxed the tiered approach. Technically, I am not in the first three tiers. But enough came in where it was allowable for any hospital employee who wanted one to get one.

And for all the hoo-ha of low supply and high demand - do you want to know how many people were waiting to get inoculated when I was there at 14:00 on a Friday?

Me, myself and I. That's it. No one in front of me, no one behind me.

It took longer to complete the paperwork than it did to get the shot.

I'm not over-hyping the flu, but it's one of those things I do not need. So, I got my seasonal and H1N1 shots. I wash my hands - a lot - and I really am watching what I touch (do I really need to grab the hand rail on a public stairwell? Je think not).

So all I have left to do is make sure Denton gets it - the shot, not the flu. Me getting the shot only covers me so far. ...and let's face it, it is all about me!


Song by: Stacie Orrico

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mr. Right

I so wish I could take credit for any of this, but I cannot. The Onion made the video, and Morty directed it my way. I'm just the vessel to share it with you.



Becky's response to it was priceless: Hilarious...but who's Glen(n) Beck?

She doesn't watch much TV. If she knew who he was, 'hilarious' would have been upper-cased.

I do have to mention I ended up sending this link to a long-time friend of mine, Mitch. He is a lawyer by training. He is a staunch republican - and one who campaigned for NJ's Christie. Oh and he is a VP at Fox "News".

Yes, I know....I know, you don't have to say it. I know it. He knows it. He knows I know it.

But believe it or not, sometimes friendships can overcome or overlook these things. Sometimes they have to. Of course, we know enough to steer clear of things to discuss other than the weather (don't bring up climate change!), music and alcohol. Nah - that's not true, we talk about almost everything.

However, I sent him the clip with a note: Being a company man, you MIGHT not find this funny. I kind of hope you smile a little.

He had a nice response of: Oh no - I still have to maintain a sense a humor.

Mitch never said if he liked it or not. I mean, he knows where his bread is buttered and I did send it to his work email. He's smart enough not to say too too much.

Hopefully you'll like it. How could you not?


oh - as for the song/post title, I do not think Mr. Beck is correct.....he is to the Right.



Song by: Garth Brooks

Friday, November 13, 2009

Squeeze Box

Do you know how hard it is (that's what she said), to find a song with 'hug' in it? There are a few out there, but I have zero with that included. Ditto with 'Jew'.

Allegedly, today is National Hug a Jew Day. At least according to someone on the consummate knowledge site: Facebook.

The blurb reads: On Friday, November 13th, please aspire to hug as many Jews as possible. The term "Jew" refers to anyone of the Jewish religion, which believes in such values as monotheism and awesomeness. We eat matzoh ball soup :) It's on Friday the 13th because it's bad luck to not hug a Jew XD

But if you look on-line, there seem to be a number of these "days": February 3rd, or the 2nd. One site has it on the 1st. But then there is November 13th, or the 11th. The event is just not that well coordinated or communicated. There seems to be no devoted wiki site, which of course is the source of all truth.

Naturally I accept my invite, because, I mean, who wouldn't? My cousin David responded, 'when is it Slug a Jew Day?'. He wasn't really being anti-Semitic, I mean, he is Semitic.

He's an out there Jew, but I can't say a proud one. It's great fodder for him and he's just fun anyway, so throw a brick wall behind him, give him a mic and put him in the Catskills with a two-drink minimum and he'd be golden.

But people, hug away today. It's been a few thousand years of a hard life. Just keep the hands above the waist, please!



Song by: the Who

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sexuality

So Monday I went to noon-time yoga. I sneak away from work to go. I can't help the guilt of leaving during the middle of the day, but the other four days I always eat at my desk and work through lunch. I also put in 11-12 hour days. Is going across the street for an hour a week such an awful thing?

ok....it's more like 90 minutes with walking over, changing, yoga, changing back into a suit and walking back.....but still.

So, I'm checking out of the gym, giving my locker key back and getting my membership card in return - or waiting to, as a woman is ahead of me.

The man behind the desk gives her a card of a male member. The exchange goes something exactly like this:

Her: This is man's card
Him: Oh, sorry
Her: I'm not a man. Unless you think I'm pre-op.
then turning to me: Sorry.

At first I smiled, then thought, "whaaaaaaaaaaat?" (you have to say it like Stewie Griffin.)

I'm sure the apology was because she thought she was inappropriate with an unknown crowd. Or she thought maybe I was pre or post-op.

That I gave it any thought at all seems like a waste of my time.


Song by: k.d. lang

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Site of the Month

It's just a silly little site, but it's kind of fun: Steak House or Gay Bar?

It is really as simple as it sounds. The site gives you the name of an establishment and you have to guess if it is a gay bar or a steak house. It's that easy.

Or is it?????


You could play the odds, like I did, and assume that the Silver Slipper is a gay bar. Hell, I would have assumed it was a drag bar. 67% of all responders guessed that it was a place for homos to gather and drink....and possibly dance. I'm back-storying, of course. We were wrong.

It's a time killer. Probably better after you hoisted a few and were sitting around with some good friends who had as much to drink as you have.

But you're sitting there, right now - in your office or at home doing this by yourself.

Sad Sad Sad.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Baby Got Back

This is a blog entry that usually only Tornwordo could write. I don't know whether to be proud of the fact that I've joined his league/rank, or horribly horribly ashamed. ....but here it goes.

So, there I was yesterday morning, doing my bidness, as I am apt to do, pre-dawn, you know: Shower, Shave and Shinola. Except we all know no one is really buffing their shoes when they use that phrase - right? Need I really clarify? Huh?? Torn, care to set them straight on this?

Well, anyway, I went to 'shinola' before going out the door, which is my usual routine. Yes, I have patterns - you can't be shocked by this, can you?

Granted, I have been working out a lot in the last nine months, and have been tackling all parts of my body, so many parts of me are much firmer than they once were. Including my, uh-hum, backside.

But I have must have one big fat ass strong as hell gluteus maximus, because as I was sitting (no 'h') there, reading the CB2 catalog (not a euphemism), there was a shift (yes, there is an 'f') in my seating arrangements.

Some people can bend spoons with their mind. Some can move a quarter across a counter. I can crack a seat with my crack. Smell me! Wait - maybe in this scenario, you don't want to do that.

By the way, skin and hair can get caught easily, WAY too easily, in that crack. ...and now, for your moment of non-zen! It does wake you up in the morning. Who needs coffee?

Do you want to know the sad thing about all of this? This isn't the first time my center of gravity decimated a toilet seat. At least I'm keeping an entire industry in business.



...and just because I can, the blog title totally made me think back to one of the first iPod/iTunes commercials. I love when white guys do rap because it's so relateable for them and their life. But it was a fun(ny) commercial - I thought.


Song by: Sir-Mix-A-Lot

Monday, November 09, 2009

Dancin'

I probably do have something to say today, but when I posted the other day of having writer's block, Sean suggested I post a video of me dancing in the shower.

Here it goes.



I don't see what's so great about dancing in the shower - though one might suspect he thought it would be with less or no clothing than me coming directly from post workout and in gym gear.

Yes, the entire 20 seconds is queerer than queer but it will explain so much. I am a HORRIBLE dancer. Ask Mr. Pez. And I'm clearly no Brettcajun when it comes to dance videos. He's the king.

Ok, I am not really not as bad as this and I do have rhythm. I realize I look gayer than I actually am (yeah, I'm saying first - so keep your pie holes closed!). I thought of editing out the hands on the hips thing, but I couldn't be bothered.

On the other hand it is meant to be queer....and a bit over the top. I knocked this thing off in about 15 minutes - and that includes carrying the laptop upstairs shooting and editing it. It took longer to upload to YouTube.

To be fair, it was my first attempt at a video anything. It took me forever to actually find the Photo Booth of my newish Mac. I've never used it, let alone searched out it's function. But the editing thing it pretty easy and so is the adding of music.

....now if I can just get acting, voice and dance lessons, I'll be golden.


UPDATE: allllll fixed. except for the dancing part. that will take years of tap, ballet and jazz lessons.


Song by: Chris Isaac

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Daily Nightly

One of Kris' posts points out that there is a group/website called NaBloPoMo: National Blog Posting Month. (oh, if you go to Kris' site, you get to see her and Bret's excellent Halloween costumes. I'm sure she'll be thrilled I directed you her way.)

National Blog Posting Month is the epicenter of daily blogging! People who want to set the habit of blogging by doing it every day for a month, including weekends, can come here for moral support, inspiration, and the camaraderie that only marathon blogging can provide.

Their abbreviation is secondary only to BiMonSciFiCon ("be there and be square!) - which I'm sure you all remember from the Simpsons. No? Really? Just me?

If NaBloPoMo is the epicenter of daily blogging, then I am their fucking g-d! Or should be. I don't know how to go about running for this position, but it should just be bestowed upon me - don't you all think?

It will never happen. Hell, I can't even get nominated for a Bloggie, or whatever those awards are called, let alone win one. If it is an honor to just be nominated, what kind of crap pile does that put the rest of us in? I'm not 100% sure that question is rhetorical.

And I'm sure I'm one of hundreds of thousands who blog daily, so it just goes to my 'nothing special' mind-set. ...and I really only have like 27 more days where I have to blog daily. I probably will continue, but I will try not to feel bad taking a day or three off.


Song by: the Monkees

Saturday, November 07, 2009

All the Lazy Dykes

I am being lazy today. Way lazy.

Yeah, I'll head to the gym and spin class (I mean, Andy is teaching today!) After that, I don't know what I'll do.

We did indeed hire out folks to clear our leaves and the pile in the front to be taken away is every kid's dream of jumping into. It's huge! (that's what she said!) So I don't have to do that, though the few that fallen since are bugging the ever-loving shit out of me. Is it enough for me to do anything about it? Probably not.

But right now, Denton's working. In reality, I could go into the office and get alllll the stuff that has been put on the back burner due to budgets and get them out of the way. But then there is that whole lazy thing I've got going on.

I'm not so lazy that I won't go eat lunch or anything. I mean, I'm lazy, not certifiable


Song by: Morrissey

Friday, November 06, 2009

Writer's Block

One more month. Yes, one more month.

That is what I have left to do a full year of blogging. No days missed - even when I lost access to publishing. It's been hit or miss with my posts - hell, I am posting about fucking clock radios. What have I become?

Will I become a non-daily blogger? Only time will tell. I don't want to stretch posts out where they are so bad, like I feel they've been over the last two months. I'm not horribly inspired, but work's been a bear. But I'm not ready to give this up - not yet.

Back to work stuff: Budget season for 2010. On the plus side, it's almost over. ...until they come back and tell me to cut 10%, which they will do. But my expenses, revenue and capital are done...and it closes and end of day today.

So, I just have to make it until like 17:00 and then it's happy hours. Yes, plural.


Song by: Peter Bjorn & John

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Strangers When We Meet

So last night I did something new and different.

I met my first blogger. Wait - let me take that out a bit. I met the first person (save Kris and Becca) who I've linked to on my blog.

Sorry Brett - you're still at the top of my short list though. Promise.

No, I met Birdie for a drink. Well, a drink for her, two for me. I mean, I am.....me. Her blog info says she's ISTJ, but she's not an I....more like an E. Definitely an E.

I cannot speak for her, but I thought we got along famously. It was fun and the conversation was easy. She was in town for a few days, but this was my only free evening. I picked a nice, but clearly dead place to meet: One Walnut. The four staff members out numbered the customers.

The one we actually asked to do something out of her job description (pouring wine), well, she kind of eff'ed it up.


(small update:  I had to repopulate a pic and no longer had my original. This is Birdie's shot - not mine.)

Granted the iPhone does not have a focus feature, but this is just bad. I have no issues of posting the pic without specifically asking Birdie's permission since no one could pick either of us out of a line-up with this photo.

So it's a first for me - the meet and greet. And it went well. Yes, my first, but I think Birdie said it was her 13th blogger meet-up. She's been around. No - not that way. Sheesh.


Song by: the Smithereens

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Charm Alarm

I know it sounds weird, but I just got my first new alarm clock in 28 years.

My old one was from Radio Shack. The Shack - as I think they're trying to brand it now.

It still works. It's functional anyway. No one besides me can probably operate it. It has about 10 buttons and you have not know how those work in the dark. Wanna use the Snooze Button - well, you have to know how to hit it jusssssst right.

But the real reason I got a new one was - ta da - the gym. Every other day I have to change the alarm time to get up at 4:50a, so I can be out of the house 10 minutes later. On the alternating days I'm up an hour later. It's just a pain to keep resetting the alarm.

Mr. New Alarm Clock (yes, it's a mister!) has two, count 'em, two alarm settings and all I have to do is flip it from A to B.....or B to A, depending on the day.

Of course, the real joke is: I am up hours before the alarm ever goes off. I think I can count the number of times on one hand when I've slept to my alarm - and never through it.

However, it is security for me - that I will get up. And it was $15. If I spend that once every 28 years - I'm golden.


Song by: Deborah Harry

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Compulsive Gambler

Casinos and Livestock Care Standards. Or as I call it - an off-season election. Nothing much going on.

Ohio has got to be one of the few states that does not have legalized gambling, unless you include lotto, megamillions thoroughbred racing, trotters and Pete Rose. Oh wait. That last one might not be legalized. Art Schlichter, then. What? Still not legal? Hmmmmm.

So for the umpteenth time in umpteen elections, once again "they" are trying to get gambling past in this great state. I'm never sure who "they" are. Maybe the four out of five dentists who recommend Trident gum. It probably will pass this time too - finally.

I only say finally so the ads will stop. I don't really care if we have casinos or not. I have gambled, but I'm not a gambler. I like roulette, but that's about it. I'm sure you've read about that here the few times I've been to Vegas. I'll play but the second I play a round where I win nothing, I stop.

On the plus side, I've never walked away with less than I've started. And there lies the problem with most people: they lose some and keep playing so they can 'break even'. It's a slippery slope. Ask Mr. Schlichter. Ask his bookie. Ask his parole officer or former wife.

Naturally, we're way behind the curve here. All bordering states, save Kentucky, have legalized gambling. So we're not drawing on these states to bus in the walker and oxygen tanked crowd (seriously, what is it with the infirmed that feel the need to gamble what little life savings they still have left?). They have their own casinos, why cross state lines to play the I Dream of Jeannie or Wheel of Fortune slot machine?

I will say, in 2008 when it was last up for a vote, I cast a 'yes', but only because the one casino was to be built in what is possibly the hardest hit town in Ohio - unemployment wise. This time around, that isn't the plan. The four biggest cities in the state will now get them. ..and while we have hard economic times everywhere in this state, I'm not sure these are the places that need the draw for folks to make livings.

I voted 'no' - but all the polls sound like it will pass. It'd be nice if they did something good for the state, but I'm not betting on it.


Song by: Sam Phillips

Monday, November 02, 2009

Autumn Leaves

Earlier in September and October, I wasn't sure we'd have an autumn. It was colder than normal and a lot wetter too. But lately we have had some really nice weather. Well.....on and off. But such is the weather.

Last week, we cleaned up the first of the fallen leaves. Unfortunately, only about 15% had dropped from the trees. My estimate, clearly. Nothing official.


One week later, we're down to 80% gone.

...and I'm 100% uninterested in cleaning them up.

Unfortunately, this is just part of our yard. It's not the front or the back yard, so imagine how many more of these are strewn around the other sides of the house. Bother!

We're going to be totally lazy about the entire thing: we're contracting out. Seriously.

The city comes by about three times a year now (it used to be six, before budget cuts) to pick them up from curbside. We've already missed one pick-up and I am not in the mood to coordinate the other two. So we've contacted a guy who'll make handy-work of the crap on the ground in about two hours.

Problem solved. ...at a cost, but solved, none-the-less.



Song by: Paula Cole

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Fall in the Light

It's that time of year. We go from daylight to standard time. Unless, that is, you're in some freaky place like parts of Indiana or Arizona or something.

We're falling backward (or you should have by the time you read this), which has never made sense to me. Most times I've fallen, it has been forward. How many times has one fallen backwards? I want statistics on this.

It also hasn't made sense as to why it matters all that much. At least with my schedule, except for the height of summer, I go to work (or gym) when it's dark and I come home when it's dark. Even if I didn't, that "extra" hour of light disappears in, what, three weeks (?) as the days start to get shorter and then we're really right back at square one.

I don't have Seasonal Affective Disorder, so I just take this as it comes. I mean, really, what else can you do?

But if for nothing else, there is "public service announcement" for the time change. It's cute. He's cute....and he's not even my type.



Song by: Lori Carson & Graeme Revell