Thursday, December 31, 2009

All My Friends

It's late......or early, depending on what side of midnight your life revolves around. For me, it's late. Way late. Or WAY early, even for my body clock.

We were invited to dinner at a couples house last night. I knew better to ask who else would be in attendance. I never want to base my acceptance on who else will be there, just as I don't want people doing that when we have a soiree.

As it turns out, of the eight others, we knew six. And the two we didn't - I LOVED! Fun and funny - I immediately took to them. I suppose it is possible I've met them at Gay Guy's Happy Hour - I think I have, but not 100% sure and they certainly didn't seem to recognize me. No surprise there. You know me - I blend into the wall.

But dinner and drinks were good. A very casual meal, but very well done, as only David & James can do. Well, that might be a slight exaggeration. But they do do it well. (yes Morty, I said do-do.)

The conversation went from witty, to sophomoric to sexual to political in a few quick minutes, but everyone had something to contribute and no one judged anyone for their opinions and some things got lively. It was fun even if/when you disagreed.

Between this and the last day on the job (today!), it was a perfect way to end the year.

Well, tonite I suppose is the true end of the year. No big celebration for us. Maybe movie #12 and then the next day: movie #1-2010!

Ok, off to bed for me. I suspect I will not be making my 5:30 gym call, which isn't all that far away from right now. Yeah - not gonna happen. I'll go after work.


Song by: Counting Crows

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

All Good Things

I have done this in some form or another for the last 2-3 years, I think. Pick the top best songs of the year, that is. Possibly I've done it longer, but I'm just too lazy to go back and take a gander. I could have limited it five, I suppose, but I don't think I can make it to 10 without diluting the list.

Not surprising, most you will not find on the radio or even on the iTunes top 100 downloaded of the year. Ok, maybe two of them ...and I'm a little all over the place. Again, not surprising. Except for #1, none of the rest are in any particular order.

Haunting Me - Raul Malo
Hands down, the best song of the year.

We Let Her Down - Chris Isaak
One of the better things he's ever done, and just slightly different than his usual stuff. But just slightly.

Motherless Children - Rosanne Cash
Of all the songs on her great disk, this is the one I keep coming back to. Not up, but good.

Gimme Sympathy - Metric
Pure Pop - but with slight edge.

Shining Light - Annie Lennox
Doesn't quite make up for her last disappointing record, but it's a good one-off.

Black Cloud - Morrissey
A tough call. His disk is full of really really good songs. But I'm going for this. However, his "That's How People Grow Up" has some lyrics that just put a smile on my face.

The Day We Fell Apart - Kelly Clarkson
Possibly one of the best songs to spin to. A bonus track that probably should have been the first single.

Uprising - Muse
I call it 'anthem rock', but something about the guitar draws me to it.

Just Say Yes - Snow Patrol
No radio splash from it. Chorus better than overall song. And it kind of makes up for that over-played "Chasing Cars".

It's My Life/Confessions, Pt II and Halo/Walking on Sunshine - the Glee Cast
Two for one. Or four for one. In theory these should not work on multiple levels. Bon Jovi? Katrina and the Waves? Beyonce? Mediocre singing? But g-d help me, the combined three and a half minutes proves to be very infectious.


Song by: Jackson Browne

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Out in the Cold

No, Sophie isn't left out in the cold - because we'd never allow that. Here she is sitting atop of a fleece blankie which sits on top of a radiator. She's the picture of comfort and warmth on a day that is bitter and snowy. Our first real snow of the season.

This picture was taken from the "warmth" of our kitchen on Sunday night. The headlights behind the tree give it an eerie look. It doesn't help that the iPhone doesn't have aperture settings to allow in more light without using a flash (not that the iPhone has a flash either). I use quotes with "warmth" because our kitchen is probably the least insulated room in our house. It is fucking freezing.

But it started snowing Sunday evening and went through Monday evening. It might still be snowing, it's just too dark out to see.

Normally, I do not mind clearing snow off our 80' driveway - mainly because we have a snow-blower. But it was like 17-18 degrees yesterday and that did not include the wind. And as you all might remember, I've become a huge freeze baby.

However, I did clear off the drive but it took umpteen times longer, as the wind was so fierce it blew the snow right back into me no matter which way I seemed to go.

So this morning, I need to find a way to get to the gym at 05:00 without freezing my keister off on the half a mile walk from my parking garage to the actual gym. I'm already talking myself out of not going at all........and that can't really happen.


Song by: Carole King

Monday, December 28, 2009

9 Crimes

It is possible we will make our movie goal for 2009. But at what cost? ....at what cost?

When given a choice between a number of movies, for some reason I picked Nine. Avatar wasn't a choice, since we have plans to see that with friends later.

So remember when a few days ago, I said getting a Kelly Clarkson download might be the gayest thing I have done? Scratch that. Seeing Nine might....ummm....top that. It also challenges Angels & Demons as the worst movie of 2009. It should be noted that Denton does not agree with this assessment.

"Felliniesque" is the best way to describe the style, I suppose since it was adapted from a Fellini film. The film boasts star quality - as most of the "stars" have Oscars......but you know my feeling on that.

Save the two who do not have Academy Awards (Fergie and Kate Hudson), no one is really awful - it just just seem to fire on any cylinders or gel in any kind of way. I know Fellini is supposed to give that impression, while ending up being able to do those things. The 'esque' part of this doesn't seem to get that.

Daniel Day-Lewis is always going to be a standout, but he seems to struggle with what he's been given. Marion Cotillard seems to be the best of the females (save maybe Judi Dench). She has the best role with the most depth (yes, even more than Day-Lewis) and the better singing voice. Ironically, she did not do her own singing in La Vie en Rose. I didn't mind Nicole Kidman either - speaking or singing.

But - ugh, Kate Hudson? Is there anyone on earth in this movie with less talent than she? Denton enjoyed her part and her number, but to me it looked like an outtake from the third Austin Powers movie (yes, I am inferring it wasn't good enough for even the first two!).

And - ugh, Fergie! Is there anyone else in this movie on earth with less talent than she? It's bad enough in the music world she's a white chick who thinks she is in some way black. She ain't. And her acting/pretending to be Italian here is no better. "Acting" is a strong word. She has no lines at all. Not one. Just a singing role.

I have seen Penelope Cruz in any number of things, and I'm not getting her appeal. I just don't get it. Pedro Almodovar might, but I do not. Sure, she's limber (see above image), but it just means she is really really good at yoga......or kind of a slut. I suppose there is no reason she can't be both.

At least with Chicago, I somewhat enjoyed the music. Not so much here. And you have to endure two or three of the songs a second time during the ending credits. Sure, I could have left, but I kind of like to see the credits.

I noticed everyone, except maybe Day-Lewis, cries during their songs or in their dialogue. For the life of me, I can't figure out why he didn't - maybe it is because he is such a great actor. I was on the verge of tears - and not because of emotion.

So we've made it to #11 in the quest. I'm thinking that seeing Alvin and the Chipmunks Squeakquel with Becky over the weekend wouldn't have been such a bad idea at this point.


Song by: Damien Rice

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Everyday Will Be Like a Holiday

As promised, or threatened - depending on your take - I can now give a recap on the holiday.

It was nice, but pretty low key. Just the way we like it. Enough family stuff and friend stuff to make it memorable, but enough alone time too.

The night before, we spent at my sisters. It was the day after my dad's birthday and the day of my mother's. No structure, not really - but it was all good. And lots of good food we all just brought. Now, I like going because I get to do some hang-time with my sister's dog, Petey. He's the best beagle ever (sorry Mort).

Unfortunately, Petey had doggie-pneumonia (who knew it existed?) and could barely get out of his doggie-bed. His double-decker doggie-bed. He likes to stack his brother's bed on top of his. He's a little territorial, but the sweetest dog ever.

We then came home to our own home - and our tree.

This year we used colored lights. It was a change-up from the white ones we almost always use. It was hard to focus without the flash.

It looked underwhelming with the flash.

Then the next morning we did something better than the cereal and oatmeal we would normally have breakfast. We attempted (and succeeded) in making Eggs Benedict. Not too shabby - as you can see.
Then when we exchanged our gifts, Sophie decided to watch and even participate.

You haven't really seen her for a while, but she has gotten so big. Still not huge, but normal size.
She is as even as big as our new dog!

Ok - not a real dog. Becky brought us a stuffed Jack Russell Terrier. Sophie wasn't too a-scared of him/her, but Tovah was a bit taken aback. Of course, Sophie has never encountered a pooch prior to, but Tovah has. After Tovah crouched and backed away slowly, she eventually went nose to nose (just like Sophie above) and then they both just ignored him.

I doubt that would happen when and if we ever get a real dog. Maybe we will. With the new job I can work from home, so maybe to acclimate everyone we can try it then. Maybe.

But we did have a great dinner with Becca. And a few hours of just shooting the shit. It's never enough time, so we enjoy every moment we have together.

That was the holiday in a nutshell.


Song by: Don Dixon & Marti Jones

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Airportman

Yes, the holiday was nice. There will probably be a post in the next day or so - avec images, but for now, you get what you get.

What better way to get off our lazy asses on a major holiday than to go see a movie. Our 10th of the year. I know, I know - I only have six more days to see two more films to meet my self-imposed goal.

Somewhere in my warped mind, I feel I can still achieve this - all the while trying to wrap up work, start a new job, have house guests (potentially), go to a dinner party, go to a possible concert and another major holiday eve before year's end. Yowza.

Anyhoo - we went to go see Up in the Air.

First off, it was well attended for a late afternoon movie on xmas. And I don't know how we do it, but considering we are both pushing a half-century each, how is it that we were the youngest people in the frickin' audience?

Made by Jason Reitman (Ivan's son), the director of Juno, I had high expectations. While they weren't quite met, it hit all its marks, as predictable as they were. Geo Clooney was fine. More than fine, actually - but Oscar buzz? Really?

On the other hand - why not? Everyone else seemingly has an Oscar: Jamie Foxx. Robin Williams. Marisa Tomei. Even Whoopi Fuckin' Goldberg. I suppose Clooney's put in his time somewhere that someone should hand him one. Affleck got one easier.

Not that they should really be compared, but Juno had more humour, more heart. And less predictability. It was fine and not all that deep. Is it the best movie of the year? No - not even in my top 5 - and I still have two more to see!

Still, it was on my list and now I can cross it off. It was a good afternoon distraction.


Song by: R.E.M.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Love Came Down at Christmas

I suppose one can celebrate xmas without believing in X, right? I mean, I have for years. And by years, I mean decades. It's all about taking time to relax and have fun with friends and family. Kind of in that order. Family makes it all that more tense sometimes.

But today, we'll get up late (for us) and kick back until mid-morning before we even think about gift exchange. We will make breakfast first - and go all out on it. No cereal or oatmeal for us. We're attempting eggs benedict.

Everyone celebrates differently and however you do it, enjoy your day and your holiday.

However, before you go - I insist that you watch this. Given to me by Morty, it is just so damned cute!


Song by: Shawn Colvin

Thursday, December 24, 2009

No Title. No Song. No Concentration.

Just a brief post.

I'm as ready for the holiday as possible. Or at least as good as it's gonna get.

Gifts are bought, if not necessarily all wrapped. Food is ready to be eaten and eaten and eaten. I'm mentally gearing up for family stuff, but whatta gonna do?

Yesterday, work folk surprised me with a going away cake. A nice gesture for sure, even though I still have a week left - and then some, and that it was the most g-d awful cake ever. Cake was bad, icing was worse.

I boogied out of work early too so that I might have drinks with my man-date, Scott. It was only two glasses of wine, but it was a nice time. He always makes me laugh.

So this morning, after work-out, I'll put in a few hours of "work", but I cannot imagine staying a minute past like 11:00a.

Wednesday, December 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!

Ok, so this kind of officially makes me gay. That and sex with men. Yes, I own a Kelly Clarkson album: All I Ever Wanted.

I kind of downloaded it for Denton, but I'd be a liar if I said I didn't enjoy about half of the disk.

As a vocalist, I think Clarkson does a more than admirable job - she's got a strong voice and can keep it in tune. Not always so much with the material, which is why I enjoy about half the disk.

The unfortunate thing is, and it is probably the record company more than her, half of the material could be done by anyone - and practically has been (could that crappy "I Do Not Hook Up" not sound like everything it's writer, that crappy Kate Perry has done?).

That all being said, I'll focus on the half disk I do like. As with much of the music I've been listening to lately, it goes to, 'can I spin to it?' mode. For this - the answer is 'yes'.

For all it's cheesiness, I eventually got around to liking "My Life Would Suck Without You". There I said it. But I also enjoy "If I Can't Have You" (featured in my shower dancing video), the title track and really, "The Day We Fell Apart".

I don't mind "Already Gone", and for as frickin' slow as it is, Andy, my spin instructor, honest to g-d, plays a dance mix of it during class. A dance mix! And I speculate on his sexuality. What am I thinking?

Songs like "Save You" and "Tip of my Tongue" are ok. The latter one sound like it could have been done by Pink - and please, don't even ask me how I know that. I couldn't give you a good reason. And the opening measures to "Ready" could be a law suit for the Beach Boys as it is almost note by note from "g-d Only Knows".

I'll give her this - "Whyyawannabringmedown" is a non-formulaic song. Not a small feat for someone who has made their success on American Idol, which is all formula.

Is it a great album? No. Is it a decent album? Sure. If nothing else, some of it can be good to do cardio to.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Knock-Down Drag-Out

For a day now, I've been wondered about how I'd write this blog post. If you notice, I have a theme to my posts and try to have a beginning, middle and an end. Or provide you with a certain rhythm or cadence. I can't seem to focus on this one.....or in a certain manner to which I would like.

Denton and I went to Columbus over the weekend (ok, a full 24 hours only). We went to see friends (Morty, George, Dith and Tom), but mostly under the guise of going to.....hang with me here....a drag show. I guess not any drag show, but Mary Ann Brandt's Christmas Show.

While, as always, Mary Ann, was great, I cannot say I'm the biggest fan of drag. I almost got kicked out of the first drag show I attended, it was so bad and I was laughing so hard. Apparently, it wasn't meant to be funny. Ooops.

I have known "Mary Ann" for years and like her creativity and the attention to detail she can put into some numbers. But with it, you have to deal with the other people she has perform with her. Awful.

I won't go into them by name, because not only do you not care, but I don't care! Not an iota. Well, I suppose that isn't true, or I wouldn't be bothering to blog about it.

One of the middling performers used to live across a quarry from Denton and myself (in 1987!) and then we ended up renting a townhouse he was moving out of (in 1993). Since then, s/he has been busted from some drug charges and then opted to do drag. Big girl drag....in every sense of the word. It ain't purdy.

I guess most of this is kind of campy drag. CampIER drag. Maybe you've seen ones that are serious, almost, homages to female performers. Not so much here.

Besides not just getting why to do it in the first place, I really don't get doing it badly. One "performer" was SO bad. Morty turned to me and said, "I think she practiced this for the first time on the drive here". It must have been one short commute too.

Oh - did I mention the Flaggots? That is not a typo. Men with flags....spinning and twirling them. That's all I'm saying about that! (you can kind of see them in the above image.)

Here is what I really don't get: people throwing or giving cash to them for such shitteous performances. Ok, I can barely see giving money for the good ones, either, but you see where I'm going - right?

I know sequins, beads and thigh high boots are expensive, but I ain't funding your hobby. Nope. Ain't doin' it. But I guess us, as a gay population, must have lots of disposable income.

And now what I really really don't get: Lesbians.

Let me qualify. I don't get that it was a huge lesbian population watching the show (well, it was in a lesbian bar, but.....), but the ones hooting, hollering and clamouring to give them all the singles. At least I hope they were only singles. They do know they're not real women, right?

Don't get me wrong, it was fun to hang with the gang and throw back a few cold beers. It was fun to run into an old friend, David S. And going out to dinner with Dith, Morty and George at TipTop was just great. Lots of laughs. Lots of good food. But mostly just great friends.

Next time, we just have to do it without the need for the semi-bad floor show.


Song by: Weezer

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Light

Yes, it is closing in on the end of my current employment, and yes I have a new opportunity on the next horizon.

Yes, Becky will be coming to visit (allegedly) on the 26th of this month (possibly Morty and George too!).

Yes, people around the globe will be celebrating the birth of baby jebus or the arrival of Santy Claus.....or both, as somehow they can't really separate one from the other, even though they shouldn't be related.

I particularly chuckled at the Big Bang Theory (don't laugh, it's a funny funny show) when the head nerd guy described the holiday:

December 25th, 1642. Julian calendar. Sir Issac Newton is born. Jesus, however, was actually born in the summer. His birthday was moved to coincide with the traditional pagan holiday that celebrates the winter solstice with lit fires and slaughtered guts.

You have to see it done in complete deadpan, of course. ...and no, I didn't memorize it or anything....I looked for the exact quote on-line, thank you.

But none of these are the highlight of the week. I mean, I can and will tie in part of the quote of the winter solstice - which is today at 17:47 (that's 5:47 pm).....Greenwich Mean Time, of course.

It is the shortest day of the year. Well, I mean, they're all pretty much 24 hours and such, but it is the least amount of daylight during the year - which means the days will start getting longer. Unfortunately, they will not start getting warmer, but I'll take what I can get.

I am very much like my father in pointing this out, I might add. But I've stopped fighting fate, to a degree, that I am and will turn out like him.


Song by: Linda Ronstadt

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dick in a Box

When I first posted this a few years back, it was great and funny. It still is. The problem was, it got pulled off of YouTube. Bastards.

It seems me and all my email buddies agreed it might have been one of the funniest things on SNL in the 157 years it has been on the air. Believe it or not, it one these guys an Emmy!!!

I think we all had what we thought were the funniest moments. Jon "liked" how the guys kept pushing roses and feathers into Maya Rudolph or Kristen Wiig's faces. Becky liked how they kept singing about what they wouldn't get them for xmas. I don't really remember what Dith's and Morty's favourite pieces parts were. I'm not sure what mine are.

Maybe it is that Justin Timberlake might actually have a sense of humour. But it is still funny - and I'm doing this post two days early so I can go visit Morty & Co in Columbus.



Song by: Adam Samberg & Justin Timberlake

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dancin' With My Elf

It wouldn't be the holiday season if I didn't do the annual Elffing of myself.

Office Max is jazzing it up this year, with different dances and some singing.

As you can see near the post title, I tried out a Disco motif, but it wasn't working for me. I don't need to do the the Classic, as I've done that before. Country didn't call to me, nor did Hip Hop.

So you get the singing one. (which is hyperlinked above)
It appears that Office Max has me dancing better than I do in my posted blog videos, but worse than I think I do in the kitchen while I'm making dinner. Maybe I can get OM to help me win the Jiggy Dance WhoreOff IV, whenever that might be.

It sucks that they make you pay $5 if you want to keep it forever. As it is, you can only view it until January 15th.

Enjoy it.


Song by: Morty via Billy Idol....or vice versa.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Calling it Quits

It's been almost a year to the day that I told you that I up and quit my old job to take on a new endeavor.

Though linked above, the short version is, my career options, at the time, were limited there and I opted to move back into something I had spent most of my adult life doing - healthcare operations and finance.

The new job was not the end-all / be-all for me. I knew that shortly after I was in. I probably knew it before I walked into my office for the first time, but I'd make it work. And I did.

In the last year, I took a very unprofitable department into the black. Actually, I went positive to budget in eight months. Smell me. I also shored up the front-line staff and started making the professional staff into being less dysfunctional. They're physicians - so, they'll always have a lot of dysfunction, but you try to minimize that. They still have a ways to go.

But, many days there have been a struggle. Not so much at the department level, but at the organization. Too much infrastructure built in where it was a fight to get anything accomplished. At my level I shouldn't have had to go to my boss to fight for me, which ironically, in those cases, he'd have to go to his boss to get her to fight for him and me. So you can see the inefficiencies.

It probably didn't help that since July, I have been being (re)recruited by my former company, albeit passive-aggressively. But I took the bait and began talking to them. Talking became formal interviewing, which became me doing case-studies for them, which became a job offer - which I accepted a few weeks back.

Why wait to tell you now? For one, I normally do not talk about work here and am keeping things vague, at best. Two, I had to hammer out some negotiation things in regards to benefits that I wanted before I officially nailed down a start-date. Three, I hadn't given my notice to my current employer - and as much as I hear from all of you, I owed them the first official notification.

Now, I hate quitting. I hate the moment I have to tell them, "I've accepted a new position". As much as I think guilt is a useless emotion, it runs through me like the Colorado River. So there is a weird sense of irony in this last round when I was to talk with my boss about my impending termination and he beat me to the punch: he'd been let go due to job eliminations.

In a certain way, the pressure was off as I wasn't dumping my department in his lap until he found my replacement. Of course I immediately felt bad for my department since they will not have anyone for a bit to continue the initiatives I've put into place and keep up their successes. I felt bad that I was moving on to a better job and he was moving on to unemployment.

Some of those feelings were immediately quelled when after giving my announcement, even with him being let go, he went into exit interview mode. Really? Now? But then I figured, he was probably thinking if I was leaving and he was going, one of those reason might have been because he was viewed as not being a good boss. (you can see the tumbleweeds and hear the whistling wind and crickets here......but technically, I'm not saying one way or the other...)

While I won't go much into the new job, it is with my old company, it is a new service line, it is a new reporting structure and it is an opportunity that did not exist when I left a year ago. Had it, I might not have left in the first place.

Like I said in my year-old post, some of these people are the best folks I've worked with in my career, so I'm kind of excited to go back and the ones who know I'm coming back are excited. If I could pull it off, I'd have minimal people know and just go in on a Monday and sit at my old desk drumming my fingers on the desk like I had taken a really long long lunch and just showed back up.

....but I don't have to go back, exactly. I will travel about 40% of my time. I can work in the downtown office, or from home - and I'll probably split my time that way.

So I think I've made the right move. I hope I have. Because, if you look on paper, I'm officially what I would call a job-hopper. I hate that more than anything in my career, but to use the phrase I hate more than the plague Sarah Palin, it is what it is.



Song by: Aimee Mann

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Site of the Month

It can be hit or miss, but when it hits.......it hits. Awkward Family Photographs.

First shown to me by my friend DeeDee (no, seriously - that's what she goes by), and then I eventually forgot about it. It was Dith who brought to my attention.....again.

The holiday ones are ok, but sometimes you have to go back a ways to find the truly weird ones....and there are truly weird ones....trust me.

As for the pic above - I don't find it awkward, as much as I find it slightly erotic. ...not so much the couple though.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chunk of My Lung

Yesterday, my 16 year old nephew had thoracic surgery. This was mainly due to two separate spontaneous pneumothoraxes. Obviously, everyone was hoping for some non-surgical fix, but it was not to be.

So, he had minimally invasive surgery - three holes on the one side of his body, one being for the camera. Cool. I told him "chicks dig scars", but I don't think he cares - and clearly I have no real way of knowing this.....not first hand.

Actually he was so calm about the entire thing, I was quite proud. He was way more freaked out by the idea of getting the IV. I used to be that guy way back when too.

They took him in and removed a part of his lower lobe and then stapled something to something. Two hours later he was in recovery. He was out but not out. Couldn't open his eyes (or wouldn't) but could hear most everything and would pipe up with a comment now and again. I used to be that guy way back when too.

He doesn't know it, but I snapped some pics of him while he was out. They'll be fun to torture him with later. ...and no, I will not post them here.

He'll be fine. He'll be in mucho pain the next few days, but he's getting quality drugs: dilaudid for starters! NICE! He won't realize that until later, if he's anything like me.....and he is.


Song by: Jennis Joplin

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

We Three Kings

I am so not a fan of holiday music - especially xmas music. But g-d, when it's done right, even the traditional stuff can be a treat.

Those correctly done songs are few and far between and I suppose 'done right' or 'done correctly' is relative. I truly don't think there are enough good takes to even make up one full album (Alison Moyet's "The Coventry Carol" is a great song, but that's the only one I can think of off the top o'my head).

So I present to you, Blondie doing their version of "We Three Kings".




You can download it for free from their website, which I hyperlinked above.

I think I like this version, not so much for the content, but the execution. How is this not Blondie, circa Plastic Letters? It is so much more raw than stuff they've done recently - and by recently, I mean the last 25 years.

I also see on their site that they have a new disk coming in 2010. Yayyyy. I'm so hoping it is in this same vein. I mean, not holiday music, but their early style.

Yeah, I know most of you don't care about this - so this is mostly a post for Jon.


Song by: Blondie

Monday, December 14, 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.
Once again, I delve into the little or unknown category when it comes to my Classic selection. Unless of course, you are Jon.

Shakespear's Sister had one true hit in the U.S. - and it was not from this, their debut, disk. You might remember "Stay" from their follow-up disk, Hormonally Yours.

While I liked that disk, and it has some good pieces of work on it, I really enjoyed their debut, Sacred Heart.

First off, the group really consisted of two women, Shiobahn Fahey of Bananarama and Marcella Detroit, whose biggest claim to fame was that she co-wrote "Lay Down Sally" with Eric Clapton. A seemingly odd pairing, but it worked.

While I truly got it for Fahey's work (yes, I was a fan of Bananarama....sue me) I was never sure her/their work wasn't just producer driven and if they had any true talent. I think this disk answers that question - at least for Fahey....not so much for the other two girls.

Sacred Heart definitely has a darker and rawer side of anything Bananarama did and that appeals to me, yet it also has its pop/dance roots, which was the style of the time.....and my style at the time.

I would say half the disk ("Heroine", "You're History", "Twist the Knife", "Dirty Mind", "You've Made Me Come to This" and "Run Silent") are great selections. The other half are good, but not necessarily great. But really - how many disks are even half-great?

Granted the disk and the group is a little more club oriented, but that's what I gravitated to back in 1989. It's not that I ever really heard them play any of the selections in a club back then, but this was central Ohio - you took what you could get.

It is my understanding that Shakespear's Sister still exists in some form (no Detroit), but I don't think getting their stuff is that easy this side of the Atlantic. It's ok.....I my overall tastes might have shifted a bit, but I do enjoy this disk still.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I'm Not in the Mood (to say no)

Only what, 12 more days to go before xmas? I'm finally kind of getting in the mood. We've both been lax as to getting where we need to be for this time of year.

I finally have a gift or two purchased and the cards bought and addressed - Mr. You Know Who just needs to put his John Footpenis on them and we can get them in the mail

And yesterday, we finally went out and got a tree.

Here is a partial picture of the ever elusive Denton. He's trimming some stuff off our 8' fraser fir. It was purchased from a hunky tree guy. I mean, I didn't know he'd be there, it was just a plus that he worked at the local place near where I park for work. I'm sure we'll go back there if he is.

Mr. Hunk Man talked us out of a taller tree, but I think we had the room for it. As you can see we have another foot to play with easily. But it's all good.

I contemplated not getting a tree at all this year. Each year we host the family here for the holiday. A month or so ago, we kind of flashed on that maybe we were hogging it when others wanted to have it. In reality, only one of my sisters could probably pull it off with space - so I said something to her about it and she said she'd do it and we could trade off year to year.

And unfortunately, I don't think we'll be having a holiday party either. We bagged on it last year too, as we normally base it around Rebecca's visit. I think we need to rethink that, with all due respect to Ms. Flowers.

So with those to non-events, in the back of my mind I figured, 'why bother?'. But with a cold cold snap, I got a little reinvigorated and we'll do it....some of it.

We have the tree, yet undecorated, but I do love how it makes the house smell. Of course, the cats are always interested in the tree. Neither of the two have climbed into them before...unlike Kylie the first few years we had her.

So today, I think I'll need to go out gift shopping. The nieces and nephews are done, but that still leaves Mr. Who Know Who. I can't just get him anything from amazon....I need to go look, and I hate shopping.

I guess I'm really down to the 12 days of xmas. At least I don't start this nonsense before T-giving.


Song by: Shania Twain

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Be Kind to My Mistakes

I threatened promised to post a very short blooper reel of my first speaking video. ...and I'm nothing if not a man of my word.

I knew I had done four takes of the original video posting, if you can even call them that, which went bust and for some reason #4 went off without a hitch. Well............you know. But there wasn't really much to pick from those other three attempts, as they never got far into the filming. So you get what you get.

Honestly, the one reason I'm posting the blooper reel? I smile and laugh in it - and you guys give me grief for doing neither. So now you'll have to find something else to bitch about.

Oh - and it's Saturday and I got nothing else. ....well, I do, but I'm not ready to talk yet.



Song by: Kate Bush

Friday, December 11, 2009

You Win Again

....well, not again, so much as for the first time. A Bloggie is out of the question for me, as I just don't have that kind of pull. I want to be a fun blog and not a professional blog, which are the ones who always seem to win and nominated.

But Larry, over at Patently Queer passed along the award to me. Well, me and four others. Sigh. Just like Brettcajun, I am included where "we're all winners". That only happens in Little League where everyone then gets a trophy, even for coming in dead last. Hello??? Do we remember the failure I was at the Jiggy Whore DanceOff III?

It still stings. Sob.
But I did win the 'Prrrrrrfect Blog Award'. And I am a cat guy - though this feline is tad bit scary. Like Stephen King novel, scary. Am I lying?

All that being said, Larry said some really nice things about me, which I will repost here:

Blobby’s Blog — Blobby is up in Cleveland, my old stomping grounds, and what I consider to be the best place I’ve ever lived. He just completed a one-year marathon in which he posted every single day for a year. I’m lucky if I can post half that often! His dry wit and subtle nuances are right up my alley.

See Jon/Morty/Becca/Dith: I am subtle!

I think I'm supposed to pass this along to other bloggers I read, and I'm happy to do it, but I don't know I have 5 that haven't already received it. But I'll at least try:

Rebecca Flowers. ...and while I love her like the wife I'll never have, her blogging, as of late....well..........just doesn't exist. I give her slack for that - with those two kids she has to help raise, her teaching job and trying to get her second novel published (which I am not a part of this time - yet she still gets the shout out). That she really is a great writer doesn't hurt either.

Jake, over at NoFo. I don't know him. I think we've exchanged two emails - and that's it. But I really like his writing style. He's funny - and not hard on the eyes. (Morty, he's a marathoner.) But he's not fond of cats...at least as of late, so he might not like this award. I don't know if he visits my blog, so he might not even know the award exists.

Curtis, over at Let Me Tell You About It, Sweetie. I like anyone who likes me....but not in that creepy way. ...and I'm not saying he's creepy. Curtis' posts are usually short and to the point, but I check him out regularly - just to make sure he's out there writing.

And I'd be remiss for not bringing attention to Tornwordo and Birdie. Two other blogs I visit daily - whether they post or not. I have to check, right? You should too.


...on a side note, I forgot how much I really really like the title song of this post.


Song by: Mary Chapin Carpenter

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Can't Complain

Oh, but I can Nickel Creek. I can. ....and I will.


See, now that a year was up, I bet you all thought I took a break. I did not.

Once again, my lovely host server hit a major snafu and while on my end, via the editor, it looked the like yesterday's post posted, it did not. And not that their "technical support" was technically savvy or supportive. So I hung in limbo for a day. ...as did you, since you seemingly hang on my every word.

I have to do a little research and just get the fuck off that host server.

So yesterday's post is now up and so is today's - which is this little rant!



Song by: Nickel Creek

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Falling Star


Is it just me, or has Macaulay Culkin's (yes, I had to look up to see how he spells his name) plastic/pre-op surgery gone horribly awry?

...and I didn't even know Bonnie Bell still made Lip Smackers. I mean, that is what he's wearing, right?


Song by: Linda Ronstadt

Tuesday, December 08, 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!

No...No...No...No! This is just not right!

Only $4.49 - can this be ???

Oh no, I mean....really?????? Did the marketing person in charge of the box and sales campaign really find this "appropriate" for your grocer's freezer?

I suppose these are great for Little Billy to practice his fellatio on, but........ And the nut covered one just seems like an STD gone really really really wrong.

....and very few of the others are that smooth..................I've heard.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Tiger Woods

Yes, there actually is a song called "Tiger Woods". I am not making this up. And yes, I own it.

Becky (and yes, she's hyperlinked b/c g-d help me if I forget!) turned me on to Dan Bern, wow, this has to be almost a decade ago. Trust me, the song has very little to do with golf and not exactly what you think it would be. The song is at least 10 years old, and why the man hasn't been actively using the recent headlines and the song title to bring attention to himself, well.....he clearly needs a better agent/publicist. It's all about timing and opportunity.

You've all heard the Tiger story anyway. Or stories (plural) and non-stories. My favourite one is Tiger's sex dream that involves Derek Jeter and David Boreanaz. Who knew straight men had fantasies about devil's three-ways? Especially when the guy fantasizing isn't even involved in the menage-a-trois.

But have you seen the CGI version of the "accident"? For this, you just have to love the Japanese (possibly Chinese or Taiwanese).



I'm personally waiting for the CGI of the chick-Boreanaz-Jeter porn movie.


Song by: Dan Bern

Sunday, December 06, 2009


War Child

Ok - just a dumb little thing in College Humour. But it speaks to me as a Star Wars geek.....and a somewhat newish Facebook member.

....and it keeps this blog going past those 365 blog posts (ok, I've got to stop with this entire year reference, right?).

Of course, not to be outdone by just one social networking site, it seems Darth Vader posts on Twitter. I'm not a follower, but I was amused at some re-tweets people posted on or around Thanksgivng:

Darth Vader: Will be celebrating Thanksgiving this year with my son & his friends on Cloud City. I just know they'll be dying to meet me.


Darth Vader: These aren't the drumsticks you're looking for. #starwarsthanksgiving

Yes, I'm queer - but how did you not know this already? I mean, seriously........


Song by: Blondie

Saturday, December 05, 2009

To a Stranger

Day 366 - and still at it. We all knew, deep down, that I would be still doing this.

Last March I touted the iPhone app this is PhotoSwap. It's still an ok kind of thing, but the fun wore off soon. Thank g-d it was free, but then almost all of my apps are. I'm pretty cheap.

Quick recap on the app: you take a pic and hit 'send' and it goes to some other random iPhone user and you get one back. It is unclear to me if the you pic you get comes back from the user who gets yours. I suppose it does not matter that much. They/You can identify themselves/yourself as much or as little as they/you chose - along with a map of their general vicinity.

There is also the option to 'reply' to someone who has sent you a pic and vice versa.

Oh, it should be noted, like my Twitter account, my PhotoSwap account shamelessly advertises my blog URL. What can I say - I'm a BlogWhore. I gotta have the hits, man!

So, like I said, I got a bit bored with the app and only bring it out now and again to play with - so who knows what person saw whatever I sent (a half eaten bagel? a clementine sitting on my office desk?), and when. But when I logged onto it on Thursday, I had a message/reply waiting for me. ...and it was this picture:

How cool was that ????

I don't know if he/she is reading this now, but more power to them. More power to me.

You guys know I love my readers - so it is always fun to get more, even if I have to cheapen myself to do it. ...and I'm clearly not above doing that.


Song by: the Golden Palominos

Friday, December 04, 2009

This Was the Year

365.

Today is the day.

I've completed my one post per day, every day, for the last year.





Song by: Nina Gordon

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The Trick is to Keep Breathing


So on Tuesday I made my way to an otolaryngolgist. ....or as you might know of them, an Ears, Nose and Throat guy.

Really, I only went for the nose part, since I've got a big schnoz and all. It's not that I want to reduce it, I like it the way it is. But for as big as it is, it would be nice to actually be able to get air through it. ...at least the left side. My left, not stage left.

This is not a new affliction - it's been constant for as long as I can remember. I'm just considering fixing it now. Well.....reconsidering it.

I'd say about 20 years ago, I went to an ENT in Columbus and the old coot physician said he could fix it, but there was only a 70% chance it would be better. I needed better odds than that. At that time, after the procedure, your sinus cavities were packed with gauze and only one way to take it out. My understanding was, that was more painful than the surgery itself. "Blinding white-hot pain" was the description. I was out.

Now it is two decades later and technology, success rates and NO packing have come a long way. So, I'm back to checking it all out.

The appointment / evaluation was quick. I snapped a quick pic of the instruments he might use on me.

He only used the three from the left. The one on the far left made me feel like I was probably looking like Link Hogthrob. Oh, how I wish. It was probably more like Dr. Strangepork. As ridiculous as it may have looked, for the time he had me pried open, I could breathe.

One instrument not pictured was also used - a fiber-optic camera that went right up my nostril. It didn't hurt, but it sure felt weird. He talked about how far back the deviation actually was, but it is fixable - with surgery, obviously.

A 45 minute procedure. No packing. One stitch.

The surgery cannot replicate my current nighttime breathing mode: sleeping with my thumb pulling along my sinus to keep it open. Oddly enough, that is more effective than the surgery can do. More odd? I can pretty much do that through the night....or most of it. I've trained myself well.

There is a huge downside to the procedure though: no exercise for 10 days!


Song by: Garbage

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

One More Bite of the Apple

I have mentioned here my cousin, David. I have also mentioned that he is a little nutso.....and that is a good thing. I appreciate it in him and Denton noticed some mannerisms in David that he sees in me, which I don't think I really want to go into.

The phrase Denton uttered was the oft used / apple / tree / falling / certain distance/ reference. I kind of like that, even separated by decades of not seeing each other, that our relations are still tied closely together.

The apple reference is also important to this post in another way. The other day I got an email from David saying, "I saw this and thought of you....." It is a little on-line story worthy of CSI: Stockholm. (I'll wait while you go read it........)

tick

tick

tick

are you back yet?

I started my reply back with, "note to self: don't eat the fallen fermented apples...", then I kind of shifted gears and said, "wait, you saw this story and 'thought of me'???"

His reply was great: "When I read this story I thought only you could end up being accused of something so stupid only to be vindicated by alcohol and deer pubic hair after waiting 5 months. I thought of you because it seems to crazy and the fact that the government would take 5 months to release the data, well, who else can I share that with. Also, you have a big enough yard to have an apple tree so don't plant one."

So, I lovingly call David "nutso", but in reality, if I'm the only person he can share that with - what does that say about me?

Denton was probably closer to saying that than I was picking up on.


Song by: Neil Diamond

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Shake the Disease

I love the image. It's not mine, as I lifted it from the internets (thank you, Goooooogle Images). It says so much (Morty - don't go all Jack Handy on me here):

Alone, but not alone. Strength. Support.

Today is World AIDS Day - the 21st one, amazing and sad as those both sound.

I don't expect a cure in my/our lifetime, but it would be nice if it happened. There might not ever be a cure. I look at cancer and while treated and even the successes that exist with individual cases (mine included), overall success rates are fairly low. But like any good accountant will ask you, "what do you want the number to be?"

Back in the day, when I was younger, and believe it or not, more naive, I was shocked to hear that they thought a 5-10% survival rate in bone marrow transplant was a HUGE success. So it really is in how one measures and defines success - and what, if any, benchmarks exist.

We have pharmaceutical success for AIDS/HIV management, but not the vaccine. We have these drugs but with unintended side-effects that are coming to light lately. We have longer rates of people living with HIV, but increasing numbers of people getting it. We have education, but always struggling for funds to provide it.

Here is one thing we do have: ourselves.

It goes back to the earlier part of this post and not being alone. It goes to the strength and support our community needs, and people suffering with this who are not in our community.

This year, while being pseudo-forced into giving to United Way, I directed my contribution to the AIDS Task Force. The expectation was go give it back to our organization (I kid you not), but screw that. I put my dollars where I wanted and where I thought they'd do some good.

Clearly, support isn't only in monetary form. But I encourage folks to do whatever they can, in their own way.

Today is a day to remember or to act. But it is never really just a day.


Song by: Depeche Mode