Wednesday, June 30, 2010

No Title


Last night I was in Columbus and had dinner with my old friend, Tom G. Great fun. But I'm so tired from work, travel and dinner, I can't think of a good title for the post - so you get none!

I love Tom dearly, but I know how easily I fall back into old habits with some folks - himself included. The image you see above is where he would be sitting if he weren't in the bathroom.

It used to be that Tom and I would hit happy hour a few times per week. All school nights. But we are older and somewhat wiser now. We limited ourselves. It might be a heavy night for others, but for us, it was nothing.

The drinks were fine and the company was great - as always. But I have to say, I was impressed by the place we went: Level. The menu wasn't only very reasonably priced, but I had a hard time narrowing down which of the dishes I wanted to get - and that almost never happens. Normally, I'm struggling to find anything I want or could eat.

What I ended up with was spinach ravioli with a buffalo like sauce over them. Oh and the raviolis were deep fried. They said with a crusty coating, but trust me, they were deep fried.


Still, they were tres yummy, though I couldn't eat all of them. Very rich too.

Beer was our appetizer and dessert, so we really just got main courses - but these were all under $10! CHEAP.

So that's it. That's all I got. It's almost 00:30 and I'm dead tired and headed to bed.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Letter


Yeah, I know that the image doesn't say 'letter' in any way, shape or form. Work with me here.

The image is a view from my dental chair yesterday. Yes, it was my semi-annual cleaning. Of course, I hope that's all it ever is, and I was not disappointed. Some x-rays, scraping, picking, brushing and flossing.

Oh and they did some oral cancer screening too. That was new. Sounds like it might be part of new Medicare guidelines. ....not that I qualify for Medicare...........yet. But Mcare is what most reimbursement policies are based on - no matter who your payor is. There - you just learned something. Oh - and I don't have any kind of oral cancer! Bonus!!!!!

I got a clean bill or dental health. Dental. Not Mental. They're not miracle workers.

But I did find something more painful than going to the dentist: the post office.

OMFG!

I am all for cutting funding and Saturday deliveries. Cut the entire fucking program and make it even more privatized. Kids currently running a lemonade stand could be more efficient.

If - and it is such a big word for only two letters - this branch worked 25 times better/harder than they did yesterday, it still would have made Barbaro look fast - and that would have been after they put him down.

Mind you I was only one of two customers there when I arrived - the first guy took forever! He had an expired PO Box, no ID, no money - yet (and get this) - they still let him renew and gave him keys to a fucking box. Mind you, that only took 18 minutes, but I don't know how long he was there before me.

I had a certified letter I had to pick up. One sent from our city, which is in horrible financial shape, yet they pay for a letter to be signed for which was such a non-event, there was nothing that could not have been sent via regular mail.

The lady took my request and then I think she went on break. She was gone for 12 minutes!!!!! I was so mad, I just stood there and peeled the dead skin off my arms and let the flakes fall where they may. I'm surprised I didn't hit blood vessels, but there was a pile of flesh on the floor. By this time there were about six folks behind me, I'm sure watching me scrape my arms. (btw....I did blister horribly, and oozed earlier, so I'm going with my 2nd degree sunburn.)

I won't even go into the signature process, but the entire time I watching the clock because I had this dentist appointment. I built in an extra 45 frickin' minutes for the post office (including travel time) and still ran late......all to pick up a letter.

Who'd have ever thunk that going to the dentist would be the highlight of the afternoon??

On the plus side, my dentist has FINALLY upgraded their equipment from 1964 to almost modern day!!! I was so happy, I almost smiled..........



Song by: Nat'lie Merchant

Monday, June 28, 2010

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.

Nine songs; six of them pretty great, three just ok. Still, not a bad at bat record.

I was not a fan of the X-Files, but Denton was, and I would catch scenes here and there and only remember one - and it made me laugh. While looking into some weird precipitation that killed people, the native tribe called it 'purple rain', and then the script ran like this:

Scully: "Purple Rain?"
Mulder: "Yeah. Great album. Deeply flawed movie, though." ...

How true that was/is. The movie, while providing me a line for the last 26 years that an audience member shouted out, was a lame story that only came alive during the performance segments. ....not so much Apollonia 6's "song" (that was the comedy portion of the show), but I'm speaking of Prince & the Revolution and the Time's stuff.

But on its own, Purple Rain worked - and 26 years later it is still an overall great disk.

Clearly buoyed by the first single "When Doves Cry", the other songs are good, but really, that song is still fucking genius. The lyrics, the arrangement, the instrumentation are beyond good. It also produced a great Simpsons line, when Milhouse met someone just like him over in Shelbyville ("so this is what it feels like when doves cry!").

But if you tie the music to the movie, the record version of "Let's Go Crazy" pales in comparison to the longer version - and somehow those visuals are needed for how intense Prince and the band could get. Ditto with "I Would Die 4 U".

Like with album 1999, Prince moved a little further away from the true funk and soul stuff on Controversy and Dirty Mind, and gravitated more and more to a pop-based sound - while keeping some veins open of his old self. It worked well for sales and exposure.

I still love "Baby, I'm a Star" and have always been a big fan of "Computer Blue" - which skews more towards an instrumental, but it really works. And even though Tipper Gore didn't like "Darling Nikki", I do.

Had it been on any other album that wasn't as popular, you might not have seen the words "Explicit Lyrics" on album and cd cover art. All for the word "masturbating". But that ticked off Tipper enough to get a group together to monitor music releases for adult content.

Purple Rain's flaws? I'm not a huge fan of "Take Me With U" (nothing wrong with it, but it is just blah. Apolloina isn't the best singer or harmonizer), "The Beautiful Ones" and yes, the title track (snore!).

What I do love about this disk is that it takes me back to 1984 immediately and yet the music is not dated. It stands the test of time. Whether I like all of Prince's stuff isn't important, but I think he is and was way talented and innovative, even if no longer commercial.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lost in the Supermarket

One of the most underutilized things we do here in our fair city is frequent the West Side Market. Nary a Food Network show that ever comes to Cleveburgh does not mention, stop and film there.

But it's on the west side and we live on the east - which means almost nothing, but it is funny how the two really don't interact.

Our normal grocery stores have iffy produce at best. The West Side Market has great everything - which is why we need to frequent there more often and not utilize some of our chain stores as much. WSM doesn't have some of your staple things, like cereal and most condiments, and that's what we'd use your typical store for.

This place has operated in the same place since 1840, so they must be doing something right. It's also nice to have a bustling space of community. The place is always busy.

This is the back entrance. I should have gotten a shot of the front, but I didn't.

This is just the building for produce. Fruits and veggies, if you will.

These folks, are veggies. We got some romaine, peppers and corn. mmmmm. I didn't take a pic, but we also purchased grapes, strawberries, watermelon and bananas for some ridiculously low price. I'd say almost half what you'd pay for much worse quality elsewhere.

The other building if filled with meats (see above), poultry, cheeses, breads and desserts.

We did not purchase any desserts. While I love love love them, I'm afraid they are the reason for my lack of weight loss. They say to lose one pound per week, you have to cut 500 calories from your diet, per day. UGH. That is why I got bananas, strawberries, grapes and watermelon. We did purchase two rib-eye steaks though.

The later in the day you go, the more they start hacking amounts off the prices. SCORE!

The bread section is neat too. We didn't buy any but Denton put it nicely when he said some were like works of art. I'd almost hate to cut into this loaf.

So the goal is to shop at the West Side Market more often to pick up our good so we can prep meals for the week. It will be better quality, healthier and potentially cheaper. It does mean planning meals more than we do, but that's a small price. I hope.



Song by: the Clash

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Singer Must Die


I told Denton I wasn't going to blog about it, but he talked me into it - well....a little.

We did our usual summer Friday night date-night at the Grotto and were greeted by this douchebag. Mike Someone-or-other. Worst. Hired. Talent. Ever.

Normally they do not have "talent", let alone outside. First, he was way too loud. And he was wayyyy too bad. A career-lethal combo, if you axe me. ...and I guess there really is no second. First says it all.

Of course there was his choice of music: all mid-70s. A few Elton John, and Eagles number and lest we forget Pink Floyd. Yes - Pink Floyd. He also did a version of Journey's "Faithfully" that made Finn from 'Glee' sound passable.

I loved how was off by a few keys on any number of songs, where he had to shift both hands to make things not so flat. Unfortunately he didn't have that kind of talent to do the same maneuver with his voice. HORRID.

There were times in mid-word (not even mid-line) he had to change keys octaves. Total octaves. He was beyond bad. And seriously loud. I couldn't hear Denton at all, or Angela, our waitress - whom I complained to about the hired help.

She knew it was bad and so did the management. Too little; too late. Angela tried to compare him to Steve Buescmi in the Wedding Singer. But she added, "though he's not funny".

Laughable, I thought - but no, not funny.



Song by: Leonard Cohen

Friday, June 25, 2010

Getting Better

So, I think the sunburn is getting better. Or I thought.

It has gotten to the point where I can sleep at night. I normally sleep on my left side and that had been more than a little painful. But the last two nights I've made it through with out a lot of wake-ups when I make a roll or slight move.

Then at the gym yesterday I was feeling ok about it all.

I even ran into a neighbor / friend / work-out guy at the gym yesterday morning. I had just done my weights and the focus was on arms and chest. I stopped to chat on my way to the showers and he goes, "look at your arms....."

I was about to say something like, "oh thanks - I have been working on them...." when I realized he wasn't talking about any kind of definition, but the redness that still existed for all to see. Dang.

But at least I made a joke out of it and he played along, as he always does - so I didn't feel like a complete moron.

But since I got nothing to really blog about, I thought I'd at least show you progress from 2nd degree burn (my assessment - I got no clinical back-up on this) to almost tan. Day One was on Monday's post - so you can go back and look at that pic. The rest are below.

Day Two: more red than Day One. To be expected. Please note the nice urban look: briefs exposed above the pants. No worries - I went back to business casual right after the pic was snapped.

Oh - total farmer's tan/burn!


Day Three: Still pretty red. Still pretty painful. But I'm kind of hoping it was just the blue of the shirt that made the colour pop. No such luck.

Nice face in the first pic (yes, sarcasm). I hate to say it, but I look a lot like my dad in that.

Day Four: I swear it is not as red. I still might avoid peeling and the upper arm might become tan like the forearm. Here's hoping.


Oh - and I'm sure I'll get a skin cancer screening sometime this summer. It is a perk of working in healthcare.


Song by: the Beatles

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Housequake


OMG - we experienced a somewhat rare earthquake yesterday here in Ohio. It's like the biggest disaster to hit NE Ohio since the big power grid failure of August 2003! People were all a-twitter (and I'm sure twittering). And by "disaster" I mean something that lasted 14 seconds that had people talking about it for hours afterwards.

Epicentered up Canada, it was easily felt on the Northcoast and many other places, but you'd think by the way some people acted that the earth opened up and swallowed dozens of folks whole.

I actually found it neat that my work building swayed for a bit. I tend to rock in my chair, since I fidget a lot, so I wasn't 100% sure I felt what I thought I did - or that what I was feeling weren't due to my actions. I made jokes about watching for a tsunami on Lake Erie.

All the gals in my office were beside themselves - actually talking of having to going home!!!! Really????

If you look, earthquakes aren't really that uncommon. While I'm sure the map will change by the time you click on it, there were 1427 tremors in the last seven days - in the U.S. alone! ...and that's only covering 48 of our states - but in truth we don't care about Alaska, thanks to Sarah Palin. There, if the earth opened up and swallowed her whole, we might create a national holiday. I'd spearhead the project.

This map also doesn't take Canada into consideration - so the one we just experienced below the border isn't even accounted for. It's kind of like gay marriage and socialized medicine.

Heck, even Ohio has plenty of quakes. See? We have plenty of faults too - and not just Dayton and Youngstown (bada bing!). What we don't have is Al Michaels in Candlestick Park saying, "I'll tell ya what....we're having an ear...."

So yeah, it is worth a blog entry, but not worth talking about for hours. This is more just for historical documentation. Keep it moving folks - nothing to see here.......



Song by: Prince

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Closing Time


Yesterday I trekked down to southern Ohio to visit an old client site. We are a vendor on this site.

Personally, I had given up the site about 18 months ago, since they aren't really in my region anymore, but sometimes circumstances prevail.

The site is closing up shop for good. I knew it would be before transitioning off the account those now many moons ago. The staff knew it would too. No one knew it would stay open for as long as it did.

Some staff left for new adventures and a more secure paycheck. Others stayed on because they knew they had a good gig and would get a retention bonus if they were there on the last day. In reality there weren't many, if any, options for the staff. To get a job meant to relocate.

This is a town that had been featured on '6o Minutes' and was a huge stop for both McCain and Obama during the '08 election cycle - multiple times. The town and job situation are a vicious cycle too. To relocate meant that folks would have to attempt to sell their houses - or abandon them. No one is buying real estate here - not when the biggest employer is Wal*Mart and there had been 8,600 lay offs at one plant. Sad.

So I joined my replacement and went down to say good-bye and take them out to lunch. The staff had dwindled from 41 members or so, down to 10. Still it is a better percentage of retention than the client we worked for. But it was sad - all day long.

I'm sure I said some right things and a bunch of wrong ones. I did appreciate all they had done and how loyal they had been. I wished them all luck going forward, but it didn't sound right. None have jobs or prospects currently - though most are employable............just not in this town.

I'm sure I said I'd keep in touch, when I know I won't. I don't have their non-work email addresses and hell, I've been off the account for a year and a half. We're not close anymore.

Still, I'm glad I went.



Song by: Rosanne Cash

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Littlest Birds


I have a bird buddy. ...yes, that sounds as odd typing it as it does reading it.

For the last few weeks, whenever I cut the lawn I have a robin who comes out of nowhere and follows me around. Weird, right?

The first time it was just kind of cute. He'd (I'm assuming it's male due to his colouring) hop around, just following me, or a little bit in front of the mower. He'd never fly away and maybe just bop
to the side if I got too close.

Then it happened again and again. Each and every time I would mow the yard he'd show up and the pattern would be the same. So far he hasn't missed a time.

Yes, I am assuming it is the same bird. I haven't had multiple ones show and since the pattern is always the same, I'm just guessing we've got a thing............goin' on. Maybe I'll call him "Mrs. Jones".

Yesterday was no exception. I had cut about half the yard before he showed up. But show up he did. And like clockwork, he just followed me around, watching me and and checking me out.

I don't get his game. Do I uncover grubs or worms or something? Do I make it easier for him to go eat or provide for his family?

Either way I kind of like it. I like the routine or the unknown buddy-system we seem to have. I get nothing out of it other than a smile, but I'm assuming he gets something too - whatever that might be.



Song by: the Be Good Tanyas

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Warmth of the Sun

Yesterday we did a good 36 mile ride down to Peninsula. It was down the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The towpath for the Ohio and Erie Canal runs through there. They have not built the entire bike path up to Lake Erie, but it is getting closer.

The thought was to go all the way down to Akron, but we had time limitations since I had to be at dinner for Father's Day.

We might had made it if not for the Sunday crowd on the path. The people who rent bikes and take leisurely rides (which is fine), and do it side by side so no one can pass safely, or at all (which is not). I've never said "on your left" so many times in my life.

We averaged about 15-16 mph on the way down and the weather was great for it. The heat index was not too high, nor the humidity. On the way back, it was a major headwind all the way. It slowed us down to closer to 12 mph.

At the half-way point (Peninsula) we stopped for lunch, because Blobby was hungee. I neglected to pack power-sauce bars with the awesomeness of apples, so we had to sit and eat.

I almost called the post 'Sex on Fire' because my bike shorts were not holding up. My taint was a bit sore about a third of the way back. It wasn't long lasting - as an hour after stopping I was all good. I knew you'd want to know all of that.

This pic is mostly for Birdie. ...and Garkawe. Look. A smile. And more and more grey in the beard. Oh well. Look at this way: I don't have striped shirt and a goofy pattern on my shorts like this dude riding behind me.

Oh - and I'm wearing my helmet like a good rider. I'd say two-thirds of all the riders on the trail did not. What's that about?

Here I am at lunch. We just kicked back for an hour and tried to eat healthy but more importantly not heavily. I did not want to ride 18 miles back and be all bloated.

The one thing we also did not do before the ride: SPF - any number, pick one. Now look at that number and multiply it by 0. We fucked up and we fucked up bad. Actually, the ride just gave us colour and maybe a little redness. But where I am sitting at lunch, I was a lot more exposed than Denton. A LOT more.....

See? My left shoulder and arm took the brunt. The back of the neck isn't as bad as it could have been. The top of my legs are a bit red, but it will turn into a nice summer brown, as will my right shoulder and arm.

The left one, I am guessing the skin will start peeling off in sheets in about 6-7 days, after the bubbling and flaking gets going. Yes I will lotion and aloe, but I know the drill. The damage is done. I am so not looking forward to showers over the next three days. PAINFUL.

I'd say I've learned my lesson, but only time will tell on that one.

I really do love getting out on the bike and am looking forward to my next outing......along with Ms. Coppertone 45.



Song by: the Beach Boys

Sunday, June 20, 2010

New Toy


Frick - we are so behind on our movie-going goal. It is so not going to happen. But I have faced this early on in the year and with enough counseling, I should make it through.

Yesterday, instead of going to Pride - we opted to go to see Toy Story 3. Like the Pixar movie, Pride has pretty much the same on-going cast of characters - and it's been all said and done before. The tipping point was the 90 degree heat and threat of thunderstorms. The theater had air conditioning - and popcorn.

The computer-generated characters in the movie were also not nearly as annoying as most of the folks who show up to Pride. ...and except for "Ken", they are not as gay-acting.

Because Denton is Denton, we didn't just go to the movie, or the 3-D version of the movie. Nooooooo.......

.....we went to XXX XD 3D version. With Denton, if it is newer, more advanced and more expensive, then he's all over it. Why the hell do you think he's with me???

Truth be told - I'm not sure there is a lick of difference between regular 3-D and the new-fangled version, except another three bucks. Save your cash for your Milk Duds. Like with Up, I'm not sure 3-D is needed at all.

Every single commercial before the movie was Toy Story related. It was tres annoying. The marketing and tie-ins are way overboard. For that many commercials, the movie should have been at a discounted rate. I think every movie preview was in 3-D, so you had to wear your glasses for those too.

As always, the Pixar short prior to the movie was as good as, or better than, the actual movie. They do a great job with those. Day & Night was no exception.

The movie itself was good. It's getting great reviews and I think they did a good job with the story and action, but I don't think it was as clever as Toy Story 2. Yes, it had some very funny moments - and the first 5-10 minutes might be the best thing of the movie. Loved that. And I really like Buzz en EspaƱol.

And yes, there was some tender moments that would pull at your heart strings - but luckily for me, I have no strings........or heart.

Oh - and for the umpteenth time in Pixar movie history, you have to endure Randy Newman's music and "singing". What in g-d's name does that man have over the folks at Pixar?

Anyway, it was a fun and nice movie. Totally worth it - and oddly enough, the theater was only about 10% filled and not a lot of snot-nosed kids. I'm not sure how that happened - except for the fact that the ticket prices were way higher due to the XD 3D. Maybe not having kids in the place is totally worth the admission fee.

Oh - and once again, you totally get to see me with my 3D glasses on.

C'mon, they wanted me to recycle them but we paid big bucks for them. I know I have no use for them, but now no one else will either.


Song by: Lene Lovich

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cupid's Got a Brand New Gun

I saw the placement of these two magazines at the grocery store and it made me laugh.....well - and it made me stop and take a picture too.

Maybe the stockboy has a fun sense of humour, or maybe it was all by accident. There just seems to be a little testosterone floating around Giant Eagle these days.


Song by: Michael Penn

Friday, June 18, 2010

Where Time Stands Still

So last night I met one of my old fraternity brothers for a drink. Ok - two drinks. Sheesh - Judgey McJudgersons.

I had not seen Lester for two plus decades, but back in the day, he was quite the man. He was fun and funny and had this Tourette's like mouth - but not in a dirty way, just in a no self-censor mode....about anything. He was also cute in a non-traditional way.

In theory we had nothing in common, but some of that that was due to part of my life I wasn't willing to reveal back then. Too many guys in our house had been found "out" and they were ostracized. I was not at that place where I could just walk away.

In theory, currently we have nothing in common. He is a staunch Republican - and I am not. He is a divorced parent of two - and well, I am not.

That all being said, I still like Les. He's still got a great sense of humour.

The plan was to meet him at his uncle's restaurant and he was running a few minutes late. It was then I had this thought: it's been 25 years or so, how will we know each other? He might recognize me since I have some pics on Facebook, but he only has an avatar of Stewie Griffin.

Ruckiry (not Jon's boss), I got there first and was taking with his uncle. It was he who said, "oh here comes Lester". Thank g-d he said it because never in a kerjillion years would I have recognized him.

Gone were his dark curly Italian locks, only to be replaced by very little amounts of wiry white hair. Added was about 150 pounds to his frame. The dark glasses he never took off did not help.

Do not get me wrong, I know I am not the same person physically. I'm about 58 pounds heavier than my 130 lb frame back then. I certainly have lost my hair as well. The joke is, I didn't like myself much back then - physically or otherwise. But I'm pretty ok with where I am now.

I guess it is just one of those things where you think time stands still in certain ways, but man oh man, does it keep marching forward. We're not the same people - none of us. It's not such a bad thing - you just have to change your perception and state of mind.

His daughter got a big chuckle out of the fact that one her father's fraternity (don't call it a 'frat' - you don't call your country a 'cunt') brothers can grow a beard, yet he can't. There was my win. Not that I needed one.

We still had fun. And it was only two drinks.


Song by: Mary Chapin Carpenter

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Throw Me a Curve


Yeah, I know the guy has a Padres uniform on, but whatta gonna do? It'd have been nice had he been able to wear an Indians one, but that's not the way the ball bounces - though it seems I've mixed my sports.

You might not know it to look at me, but I do enjoy baseball. Watching more than playing, but I've been known to get out the glove and ball and toss one around for a bit.

Paragraph two and I'm already a bit off-topic.

Dirk Hayhurst was a somewhat native boy (Canton - close enough) who wanted to be in the major leagues. I'd say - maybe he got there, maybe he didn't, but the attached image kind of gives that away.

Anyway, he has written a great book on one year in the minor leagues. Maybe a little more than a year, but you get the idea.

The Bullpen Gospels is a well written book that includes equal parts of reality, remembered/pseudo-reality, humor and struggles. It adds up to one convincing read of what it is like to try to live and achieve your dream.

Granted, I watch major league stuff and while some of the best player all start in the minors - and sometimes get sent back there - I have to say I had no idea what it was really like to live that life. I'm not a ballplayer and that's never been my dream, suffice to say - if it were, and I knew what the life was like, I'd come up with an alternate dream.

But Hayhurst has an easy writing style and he blends all of those aforementioned elements and touch-points not only into the book, but usually into each chapter. And yes, he has some very touching moments in it too. Yeah, I get caught in the sap now and again.

While his tales takes some of the glamour out of the game, it provides me one of those things I really like: to know how it is done - how something works. It's not quite as bad as say, seeing how sausages are made, but it gives you good insight.

He also rags on his 91 year old grandma - so it can't be all bad, right?

I suppose this is all true - if you like baseball. I don't think you have to be a fan to like the book, but it probably doesn't hurt.

It is certainly not a difficult read, but it's fun, funny and well done......you know, for something written by a pitcher.


Song by: the Go-Go's

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Buy and Sell

It's that time of my life when I either need or want a new car.

Viggo was my first car purchase since I bought Pteri in 1987. After 10 years and 99,000 miles with Pteri, I leased for another seven years. But with Viggo, I bought and paid off a while ago.

And while I love Viggo, the time might be here to trade him in. He isn't .mp3 capable - and forget retro-fitting him for an iPod feed. Cannot be done. But the bigger reason is the creaking his steering column is making. Just not pretty.

So it comes down to, ditch him now or put a few car payments worth of repairs into him when down the road he's gonna get sick again. David warned me year seven was tough on Volvos and I'm about to enter that year.

I know you think Volvos are reliable and safe - and so far so good. But I hear stories - and as a FB friend of a friend pointed out to me: (and I paraphrase here) - "oh, but you have one after Ford bought Volvo." I replied that I had been "out-snobbed".

So I've done my search - both new and certified pre-owned. I really wanted a used Mercedes 300, probably so I could call her Ruehl (get it?). It really is a nice car, but I couldn't find a new enough model with low enough mileage.

I discounted the Infiniti G37, not only due to price, but it didn't speak to me. I didn't like how it looked, though everyone I know who has driven it raves about it - and even says it makes them smile to do so.

However, I think I've narrowed down to my choices - and they are very different in many ways.


The Hyundai Sonata - 2011. Nice lines. Really good warranty. Fully loaded and still a reasonable price. Downside? No V6. They used to make it but not all models have the same engine. WTF?.

Don't get me wrong, I still got it up to 60 mph on an on-ramp during my test drive. The salesguy wasn't too happy about that, but you know - I'm testing it the way I drive. Not the way he wants me to drive.

Still, I like that little extra power - what can I say?

Oh - and even though this might be the colour I am going for, the sales person said: "oh, they aren't making it in this colour". What? Then get it off your fucking website as a choice. Personally, I think the douche just doesn't know what he's talking about. I've actually seen it in this colour at a car rental place.

Next up: the Volkswagen CC. Slightly sharper lines. A lot more power. A lot more money and a lot less in the warranty department. WTF!!

I do like high performance vehicles - though nothing too fancy. And where I might be high maintenance (no really, ask Denton), I really don't like that in a car. I worry that after the warranty runs out, maintenance will be out of this world.

But as Denton says, I can sell it after three years. Ugh. I hate this.

I was all set on moving on the Sonata, when coming out of yoga the other day, I saw a CC driving out down the road. It really made me stop and smile. It is the sharpest looking car on the road - in my not-so humble opinion.

So, I am doing the internet pricing dance. This is the only part I like about car shopping: not dealing face to face with a salesman. I'm looking at both and see who can cut me a good deal.

We will see. We will see.


Song by: Suzanne Vega

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

So Happy Birthday

I'm traveling today and will not be home for Sophie's 4th birthday.

Oh - she looks all sweet and innocent here, and she is about 87% good, but that 13% evil....mostly just to her poor sister.

She is smart as all get-out though. I have never seen a cat with so many problem-solving skillsm though most of them involve stalking, strking and bouncing. These skills work to her advantage, but not necessarily to Denton's and mine. Her brain is always going. Thank g-d she has no opposable thumb or we'd be screwed. There aren't many doors or cabinets she hasn't figured out. Let's not discuss the unwiring of our security system.

Soph is also the most affectionate cat we have ever had. The folks at Rescue Village really nurtured their temporary residents with lots of love and socialization. That has worked to our advantage.

We haven't had her for four years......yet, but she was born four years ago today....so says her papers.

We'll celebrate with wet food when I get home.

Here's just a parting shot of her. She can really sleep anywhere in any position. ...as you can clearly see.


Song by: Laurie Anderson

Monday, June 14, 2010

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!












Camel Toe. It's a problem anyway you look at it ladies.

But now you can rectify your soon-to-be yeast infections with this: Camelflage!!!!I guess it's like an armoured shield built into the crotch of your panties so things just can't - well you know.....spread.

I love part of the website: You will feel safe and secure knowing you aren't "that girl" everyone is laughing at behind your back.

....I really don't know what Marlo Thomas has to do with this, but hear this: they will be laughing at you behind your back. Maybe not because of this, but because of something. I've seen Mean Girls. They just grow up to be The Women.

And think about this.....about half the "testimonials" on the website reference Howard Stern. If everyone isn't laughing about you being "that girl", they will be snickering that you're taking advice from that sleaze ball.

To give credit where credit is due: this could be called Shopping with Denton. He passed on the item to me. Now that he has satellite radio in his car, it could be argued he's listening to Howard Stern - which would be grounds for separation in my book. However, he does "claim" to have found this via Chelsea Lately.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

12 of 12

So I'm doing my fifth 12 of 12. 12 pictures taken on the 12th of the month. Since I only post once per day, you get my images the following day.

Created by Chad Darnell (thanks Chad!) and picked up from, what I can tell, a number of random bloggers who then link back to him and vice versa. He intends 2010 to be his final year of doing this, but hopefully someone will pick it up from there. Time will tell.

06:50. The Cleveland Plain Dealer is on the driveway and ready to be skimmed. Trust me - a full read is a waste of your time.

07:00. The paper got skimmed while eating a bowl of Honeycomb. The commercial says, they're not small (no no no), but they kind of are.

11:22. Self-portrait #1023. I spared you any morning gym pics, but I did ride my bike down to....

11:23. ...the 21st Parade in the Circle. Part renaissance fair.....

11:27. ...part arts and music fest....

11:44. ...part food fest.

These are cold noodles from Tea House Noodles. Try the Freakin' Rican sauce. Just great!


12:15 - 12:35 ....and part frickin' Mummenschanz.

It was our first time to the parade and while it was different than fire trucks and clowns, after seven minutes I was bored out of my mind. Just like every other parade.

12:55. One the way back to our bikes I saw this sneak attack....one that never actually happened and Mr. Spaniel was none the wiser.

13:10. Back on the bikes, we rode past the Peter B. Lewis building - designed by Frank Gehry.

Back in the early 21st century, a lone gunman went in and held a number of people hostage and killed one of them.

My father who knew nothing of the building or Frank Gehry, saw video image of the roof on the news and thought someone had exploded a bomb.

13:30. The Cleveland Museum of Art and the Wade Lagoon.

The museum has been under renovation for the last few years and still has maybe two more to go. But it houses one of the best art collections in the world. You cannot see it from this picture, but in front is one of many renderings of Rodin's The Thinker. Cleveland's version made news in 1970 when it was vandalized by a pipe-bomb. It has not been repaired.

13:50. Train tracks. What? I gotta spell it out for you every time??

17:10. ....and a special 13th pic.

Fresh Markets meat counter. Purchased rib eye steaks, peaches, cherries, tomatoes, basil, mozzarella (yes, we had caprese salad), oh and cookies.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tragedy

It's not that I got nothing, but I'm just being lazy today.

This video is making the internet rounds. It's ok, but I can't help thinking it could be better. That being said, for the life of me I do not understand why BP or the U.S. Government don't take all assistance, no matter how far fetched some of the ideas sound.

I saw an interview with Mary Chapin Carpenter recently who commented on exactly what I've been thinking for about the last 2-3 years. She said, "If you pay too much attention to the news, your heart would be broken in a thousand pieces every day. You couldn't function."

It really is how I feel about the oil spill. The natural resources, the livelihood of the residents, the images and video of wildlife and animals - it just breaks my heart. Clearly the folks at BP seemingly have no heart. It's nice the CEO will have a job until it is resolved, then they'll dump his ass. Because, really - who the fuck are they gonna find to take this job if they canned him right now?

Anyway, here is the video that is supposed to be funnier than it is.



Song by: the Bee Gees

Friday, June 11, 2010

Wuthering Heights

Because I'm all about bad taste (but isn't it worse that Morty found this and sent it out?), I thought I'd post a picture of Gary Coleman's casket.



Yes, tasteless, but I'm ok with my blog post choice. I think we all know my level of humour by now. Deal with it.

But the image also brings up Morty (again). We all have an affinity for misheard lyrics and Morty has always had some of the best. One of them was from "Wuthering Heights" - though I don't really know if it was from Kate Bush's version, or Pat Benatar. At this point it doesn't matter.

The actual lyric is: "Heathcliff, it's me, Cathy, come home / I'm so cold...."
Morty's version: "Heathcliff, it's me, I'm camping / I'm so cold..."

While that was funny enough, it was Becky's response that made me laugh and has stayed with me for almost 20 years, and I think about it each time I hear the song:

While laughing she managed to blurt out: "can you just see Mrs. Linton with her Coleman...." and that just made me crack up - and it still does.

Of course, Becca meant a Coleman lantern, not so much a casket cooler.

And you know, talking about lanterns and coolers is still way more interesting than taking about Gary. That's what I'm talkin' about.


Song by: Kate Bush

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Diamonds are Forever


Last night was my first Indians game of the season.

If you look not so closely to either of my images, not many other people made it their first, third or ninth game. Such is the life of being an Indians fan. If, as a team, you're not winning - you don't exist.

But last night we defied the odds and not only won, but it was a shut out: 11-0. Yes, you read that correctly. Your eyes do not deceive you.

I wasn't worried so much about winning, as we had an early lead, which is as unusual for us as winning. But my would-be husband (oh yes, please click on the link!) was 0-4 at bat. Hell, he was worse than Casey.

But at his fifth time at bat, bases were loaded. And really, what you want from a designated hitter is to, well, HIT! And hit he did.....right out of center field. Grand slam!!!!!

This is why I would agree to marry him.

But it was a beautiful night - as you can kind of see.

Unfortunately, this is picture is from the 2nd inning. No one was there. And get this, half of the fans were from Boston.

To be fair, it is honestly cheaper to fly to Cleveland, get a hotel and ticket to the game than it is to get a ticket at Fenway. Isn't that crazy?

But it was clear, after an entire day of rain, and it was 77 degrees with zero humidity. How is this possible??

So yes, the first game of the season, but not the last. I want the Indians to win, but if you grew up in Cleveland as I have, you are a fan or not - regardless of their ability to pull out a game.

And apparently my man-date, Scott, is easily thrown when I do my beer-burps. Normally we go out for wine, so he wasn't expecting the volume and depth of my belches. I'm a little tres declasse, but you have to learn to live with it.

...and yes, I'm writing this a little drunk. Five beers in seven innings - and two brats.


Song by: Shirley Bassey

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Record of the Month

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

I am loving that lyric. It's a stand-out line from the National song "Bloodbuzz Ohio", which might be the centerpiece of their new album, High Violet. But there are many highlights on this disk.

Actually, I'm loving the disk too - and you know how I really don't like much of anything, so that's kind of saying something, no?

Folks - we have a contender for the best release of 2010 !!!!!!

If Arcade Fire doesn't completely hit it out of the park with their disk in two months, the National might take the title for this year.

Back in 1987, my friend Jon once told me about my music choices, "it's good.....but down" or was it, "it's down.....but good". Either way, you get where he was coming from; and where I come from. If I were a teenage girl, I'd just go for the Bell Jar set to music.

Matt Berninger's tenor (and sometimes baritone) is riveting and haunting. When I first listened to the new disk, I wanted to stay put and turn away all at the same time. But in reality, I'm totally captivated.

I'd say the group isn't like anything you've heard before, but that's not entirely true. While they are not like Arcade Fire exactly, you can see some similar elements, but it mostly the lead vocal. AF, musically, can throw in everything and the kitchen sink - along with a running disposal. Not so much with the National.

On first listen, you might say the disk goes fairly minimalist, but the subtle layers only make you think that. When you really listen, it's pretty hypnotic and captivating. I can reference many of the songs, but "Runaway" comes to mind with the mostly a guitar and slowly swelling trumpets.

Lyrically, they are all over it. "Bloodbuzz Ohio", which I referenced at the beginning of this post, is great, but by no means the only one. Take "Conversation 16" with "I'll tell you miserable things after you are asleep" and "I was afraid....I'd eat your......brain". That last lyric isn't so much the words as the phrasing and almost lack of intonation in the vocal.

I'm a big fan of "England", "Sorrow", "Anyone's Ghost", "Afraid of Everyone" - actually of most every song. The only one that doesn't jump out for me is "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks", even though it's a great title.

I go back and forth to what my favourite song on the disk. I shouldn't say, because it changes on every listen. That's not a bad thing - as I swear I hear new things each time. But at this very moment, "Conversation 16" might be it.

If you listen casually, you might say all the songs sound the same. They don't. For the most part, the tempo does, at least seemingly, but that's not really true either.

High Violet isn't necessarily a background music kind of album, it is a sit and listen to it kind of disk. I think after you get to know it, it could make an amazing background kind of record. Admittedly I have only played it on my iPod, but am dying to get it on a full stereo system.

I hope you give it a chance. I don't praise too many disks here, but this is one of them. Now I need to check out their back catalog.

For fun, I'm just including the video for "Bloodbuzz Ohio".