Tuesday, January 31, 2012

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!


You can mock me all you want - I totally deserve it.

I have to learn to let go of the past.

When I was a child I thought as a child, yada yada yada.

But more importantly, I have a hard time giving up groups I either used to think were talented, or who were talented and became lame(r) as time went on.  The Bangles would fit into the latter category.

Yes, they had some pop crap that raised to the top of the airwaves in the last '80s, but if you skipped over that, you'd find some decent songs as they tried to play up to their  faux '60s vibe they tried to pass off.  It worked to a certain extent.  They have never surpassed their debut disk - kind of.  I'll get to that in a minute.

I can't say this is a full review of their last disk, Sweetheart of the Sun.  Why, you ask?

BECAUSE THE RECORD SUCKS SO BADLY, I CAN'T SIT THROUGH AN ENTIRE LISTENING.

Ok, maybe that is a little harsh, but it's not too far from the truth. I can sit through most of it, but probably not through every song, save one or two.  I keep hitting 'skip'.  Well, kept hitting.  I don't rotate through any of them anymore.

Hell, it came out in September 2011 and I haven't even been able to bring myself to review it.

25 years ago, their over the top attempts to be compared to the Beatles was cute, now it's just annoying. You're not untalented ladies, but you've carved yourself into such a niche you have little wiggle room. Having Matthew Sweet as a co-producer on this disk is not helping matters.  Didn't they see how his and Susanna Hoffs' Under the Covers vol 2 bombed??  ...and I mean totally bombed.   Undoubtedly, that was one of my worst purchases ever.....and I have a fuck of a lot of music.

Here is where the Bangles failed (in my opinion, of course):  they let bassist Michael Steele get away. She was the only songwriter/singer that dared to be different album to album or song to song.  And she always got the short end of the stick in terms of time on any disk.

Steele had no songs on their debut, so as time went on, it was her two (maybe three, if we were lucky) songs that I held out for. They never disappointed and you had to sit through a lot of filler to get to them.

Yes, the Bangles try very hard to get back to their debut sound, and in ways they do, but not with the same quality material, even if they are talented musicians.

As for the better songs, I could list them, I suppose, but then I'd have to go back and sample the disk to remember which ones they were by title - and you know, it's just not worth my time or effort to do that.

Monday, January 30, 2012

My Music Monday


Ok, I have my player thingy all fixed. Well, to a degree.  They wiped out every song I had uploaded that I posted to my blog, so all those previous links are broken. I'll go back and fix........eventually.

So many other things to do and fret about.

Let's go folk-ish today. Faux Folk.  Faux French Folk.

"Est-ce Que Tu" by Dusty Trails is the tune of the day.

The "group" are two women, former members of other bands - the Breeders and Luscious Jackson. I think they only had one record, possibly two. They were ripe for Lilith Fair timing. They didn't make a dime.  ...and they're not French.

Their self-title debut disk was ok, but it was more for the estrogen crowd, if you axe me. Indigo Girls Lite. But that's not to say they are not talented and have a place, but they had an expiration date for me. I can only listen to 3-4 songs on the disk anymore.

But one of them is "Est-ce Que Tu".   The vocals are even airier than some of their other stuff, but at least with this song, I like it. It's simple, or at least it starts that way, but then it keeps layering as they go along, and that works to its advantage.

You can at least sample it here.  I mean, where are you going to hear a song that came out 12 years ago from a band you've never heard of (well, except Jon)?


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Your My Choice Tonight

Come Academy Award time, I'll have seen six of the nine nominated films. An all time high - with apologies to Rita Coolidge, though really, shouldn't she apologize to us for that horrid horrid song?

I know, I haven't seen all of those six just yet. We will see the Artist in the next week or so and we have the Tree of Life on blu-ray. My father-in-law recommended it, so the husband got it as a present for the holidays.

I won't argue with most of the movies that were selected. They have decent reps. As for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, I can't say, except it was a movie that I heard no buzz on and has reportedly been the lowest rated Oscar nominated movie.......EVER.

I have no plans to see it before the timeline....or after.  Until it hits HBO, and then I'd have to stumble upon it.

I will say, not that I truly expected Harry Potter to be named for best picture, but I was a little disappointed that Alan Rickman or Ralph Finnes were not nominated for supporting actor. Both did incredible jobs in the final (actually all) release.  Actually, I saw Finnes on tv the other day and his actual persona is wayyyyy creepier than Voldemort.

I mean, Nick Nolte?  Jonah Hill?  Sure he was ok in Moneyball, but Oscar material?  Well.....you know my thing about that - they'll give one to anyone. That gold statue is not as special as people think, but they have great PR to make people believe it's the shizz.

Anyhoo, they could have dinged either, or both, of those actors and given the nod to Finnes and/or Rickman.  Oh well, I am not a member of the academy, I have no say.  Hell, I saw 12 (!!!!) movies last year. That's more than Marisa Tomei probably saw!  ...and she has an Oscar!

I can probably get another post of this closer to award time and give you my predictions, so I won't do it now. I'll see those other two movies first.

You've been warned.



Song by:  Teddy Pendergass

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ode to Chewbacca

Is it just me, or do moving these cabinets sound just like Chewbacca?

video

Yeah, I don't have much to blog today, but been carrying this video around on my iPhone for the last week.  

....and no, this is one of the few song titles I have used in this blog where I don't actually own (or have heard) the music. I just own no music with the "chew"("I seen you, seen you, seen you chew"), "chewie" or "chewbacca" in the title.  Crazy, no?



Song by:  the Plaid Jackets

Friday, January 27, 2012

We Can Work It Out

I don't get it - it's almost the end of January and there are still hangers-on at the gym. Shouldn't all of these people just have dropped off the face of the gym-earth?  Sure they still have to pay their monthly fee, but it's a small price to keep the floor open for the rest of us.

Actually, the number of people who are at the gym at 05:30 has risen, but I don't see that many new faces. Maybe those folks who are here and there are now just here.

It's problematic - for me. I mean, DUH!

The weight room is more crowded and I find myself standing waiting for certain weights. But the bigger issue is the shower.

The locker room has seven shower heads. At 07:00, I always get my shower and there is rarely anyone else in there. The other day, all seven were taken. Sure, I was at my station, but what if...............what if.........    The horror.

On the plus side, in that shower were two of the hotter more attractive of our membership. One is newer and pretty to look at.  The other guy has been around for a year. Very attractive and a great workout routine.  He's one of these guys that I see each time I'm at the gym and we acknowledge each other with a nod when coming and going.  Of course, now it is far too late to actually say anything or introduce ourselves.

And as 2012 goes, I'm not spending all my time in the weight room. I'm getting nowhere there. I mean, I"m sure I am, but not my final destination - not Final Destination VII.

Actually I think I have just plateaued on my routine. I've gone back to the Matrix machines - or what used to be Nautilus. I'm working different muscles and working out a different way and hoping that helps. Mentally it was tough to leave the big boy room. I feel it took me so long to earn my place there, that I have to give it up.

I'm still go in and start my day there - marking my territory as it were, and to silently nod to handsome man, but I'm no longer there for an hour.

If it doesn't pay off - body-wise - then I'll have wasted some good viewing time.

I guess there's always the shower.



Song by:  the Beatles

Thursday, January 26, 2012

App of the Month

I suppose it is not really fair to highlight an app that isn't offered on a mobile device that I actually use. But life isn't fair and you'll all just have to suck it up and deal.

Dith, in all her Dithness, sent me a vague message about Swing Blob Swing.


Texts sent back to her asking for clarification, qualification, or just general information went unanswered. This is a surprise to no one, least of all me.  {sigh}

So I had to do a little digging on my own.

Swing Blob Swing is an app for Android only, not iPhone. Cruel that I cannot play my own namesake of a game, isn't it?


But Blob doesn't swing, not this one anyways. Though I suspect this is becoming my body shape.


And it's true:  Blob Don't Drop.

If anyone has a Droid and has this game, I'd love feedback. I'm not sure why, it's not like I'm changing mobile devices to get a game I have pay for.  I don't have time for it anyway - Words With Friends takes up all my free damn.

Damn you Alec Baldwin.  Damn you!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Glass Onion

I had to use an 'onion' title, because I have no songs with 'sausage' or 'vegetables' in their title. Sad but true.

I attempted a new dish last night, courtesy of Mike. Perhaps his attention span is too short, or maybe mine is. I think my reading comprehension is on target, but something was off, that's for sure.

Mike's post on roasted sausages, bell peppers, potatoes and onions sounded great in theory. Basically a type of cassoulet. You can see all the ingredients in the title pic.


The prep is simple and it mixes up really nice.  It looks pretty.  And if Fernando taught us anything, it's that looking good is better than feeling good - or tasting good, apparently.

Mike did tell me that if it didn't turn out, I could blame Peter. Peter can consider himself blamed.

I followed the recipe to the letter. Well, until the last 20 minutes. But I could not cook this 20-30 minutes longer.


It cooked down to nothing and many of the veggies were charred. Black as the hills, I tellz ya.

I agree with Mike that there is no way this could serve six. You can see that when still in raw form, it looked like a heck of a lot of grub, but like cold water on a penis, you get shrinkage.

I truly believe the dish has potential, but the first time out of the gate blew - and it blew hard. It had some good flavour beneath the black (the orange juice and balsamic were genius, I must say!) , but I should have known at the first stir a half hour mark that it shouldn't have gone the full hour. I mean, I didn't even let it go the last 20-30 and it was finished. Had I, I'm not sure we could have served two - and even then, those whoever those two were, wouldn't have touched it.

It was my luck that we had a bunch of cookies, because that is what I ended up eating and getting full on.  So that was the silver lining.


Song by:  the Beatles

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Shame

Finally!!!  22 days into 2012 and we have finally passed through the doors of a cinema for the first time this year.

Oddly, there are quite a few movies I'd like to see - or at least certain performances, if not the entire movie (Meryl Streep, for example).

With our friends Tom & Sal, we went to go see Shame. Their choice, I suppose. It was definitely on my list to see, but I gave them options - but really thought they'd choose the Artist instead.  I guess the promise of male full-frontal was just stronger than a silent black and white movie.  Sal was worried that it would be too artsy - no pun intended, he said.

Yes, it is has been a much hyped movie since October of November. It just got to Cleveland this last weekend.

....and "hyped" would be the operative word. Overhyped, in fact.

"S-L-O-W" and "boring" would be two more words to describe it as well.  So slow, that at one point 710 wondered if it would be rude to pull out Words with Friends and play a game or two. He wouldn't have missed anything had he done so.

I'm not a prude, but save Caligula, I am not sure I've seen an NC-17 movie in a theater. And back with Caligula, I don't think NC-17 technically existed. As Buddy Cole once said on Kids in the Hall, "I have enormous respect for filth".  So do I, just not iffy story telling

Yeah, there is sex, some of it graphic.  Yeah, there is full frontal of Mr. Fassbender and btw, mazel tov to him, but eh.  Yes, he's a sex addict, but I'm still bored. There's no story, or one so buried in supposition it could be almost anything - or nothing at all.

His sister, played by Michelle Williams Carey Mulligan, is equally messed up, as you can tell by only a few specific lines. A major part of her storyline is horribly predictable.

I can't say it's a spoiler, exactly, but their fucked up lives are, I'm guessing, due to a previous inappropriate relationship with each other.  It's never said, barely implied, but I can't imagine how else they became so distant - from others, each other and themselves - and damaged, without that being the reason behind it all. The probable relationship is the shame, for both of them.

I've seen Mulligan in a few things and while she shows a little more range here than she did in say, Drive, she was just ok.  Fassbender is seemingly up for best acting awards (we'll find out a little later this morning if the Academy Awards nominate him), but I was vastly unimpressed with most of his performance.

Having sex on camera might be operationally difficult, but is it "acting"?  Honestly, the most emotional thing Fassbender's character did was what I am guessing was an unedited elevator ride by himself - no dialogue.

Even with that, I don't see the performance award worthy - in nomination, let alone a win.

Yes, Shame has been the only movie I've seen this year, but as of now, it is the worst one I've seen. Personally, I cannot recommend it.



Song by:  the Eurythmics

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Music Monday


You know, I had a tune all picked out for today.  One that didn't have a video or even a frickin' fan video, so I was going to embed that audio player thingy I've been using on and off for the last two months.

Alas, the portion that contains my music downloads is inoperable, so not only can I not utilize it currently, but even the stuff that was in there (and posted here) is not working. Not that any of you are going back to play these things from my blog, but still............

Technology!  Pfffffft!!!!

So I had to come up with plan C.  Plan B was to post something from Love & Rockets - which my cousin suggested the other night as we sat at a bar. It is a great idea, but I couldn't find anything I had to play here.  Alas I sent searching through the 12,007 songs I currently have loaded into iTunes. Well, 12,007 minus the 50 or so I've already posted here.

I clearly went in a different direction than Plans A or B.  I opted for Canadian artist, Jann Arden.

If she's known in the U.S. at all, it is for one minor minor hit called "Insensitive" from some movie with Christian Slater.  ....and since that movie wasn't Heathers, it's doubtful anyone but Mr. Slater and his agent saw it.

Most of Arden's stuff isn't even released below the 49th Parallel. When I was buying her stuff (yes, no longer), some of it I had to order from Canada itself.  Well a store in Canada. The country itself couldn't be bothered.  NAFTA be damned.

One iffy and another bad original album and a horrid covers record just had me saving my Loonies. It wasn't worth the effort. That being said, she still has three very decent disks released in the early to late '90s.  I believe these would be considered "oldies" now.  Actually, except for one song on 1995's Living Under June, there are not any that are bad.  The one that is?  Her minor U.S. hit.  To quote another Canuck, "isn't that ironic?".   Yes, I'm talking to you Anne Murray.

Anyhoo, I chose "The Sound Of" as my Arden selection. It is better than fair and it kind of has a clown in it, so you get your clown reference for the week.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Nails for Breakfast, Tacks for Snacks

Yesterday we went to a neighborhood "men's breakfast".  It is exactly as it sounds - a breakfast for men. Period. Stop reading more into it.

I made the mistake - and should have known better than - to post something about going to it on Facebook.  The knowing better should have come from my "friends" who immediately chimed in:

"So, it's an irony thing?"  or
"mmmm....sausage".

{sigh}

Anyway...........we were invited to one such breakfast a few months ago and accepted, but at the last minute we had a family conflict and had to cancel.  Speaking to some of our other neighbors, they were mock-miffed that they weren't invited this year and that maybe they fell off the "A-list".

A-list?  This year?

You mean we've lived here for six and one-half years, and have never been invited before? Sheeesh! Forget the A, B or C-list, we were more like on the T-list.  We still live in a class system.

As it turns out, our neighbor man must have at least two of these per Winter. He left a message with 710 saying since we missed the last one, we could pick the date of the next one. That date was yesterday.

Mind you, I was skeptical of the b'fast anyways. It is not because of the company, but the actual food.  Scottish Steel Cut Oats?  I'm not an oatmeal fan. But of course, it gets worse.

When speaking to the earlier mentioned neighbors, they discussed the use of buttermilk and marmite in the oatmeal. When the tag-line for marmite is "love it or hate it", it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know on which side I will fall.  It is fermented yeast, for pete's sake.

It doesn't help matters when things are added to the oatmeal such as raisins, cherries, cranberries, apricots and (blech) dates.  If you wanted sweetener, you expect brown sugar, but you got maple syrup.

As Becca says, things are not as good as you'd expect or as bad as you anticipate.  Yes, the oatmeal had the consistency and taste of wallpaper paste (well, what I'd imagine wallpaper taste to taste like).  I actually searched out the fruit to get any kind of sweetness in each bite, save the dates.  I picked around the dates. Even the maple syrup did not help sweeten the deal.

Oh, and there was homemade coffee cake.  With nuts. I do not like nuts in food.  That's just wrong.

But really, it was not about the food, it was about the company - and that was very very nice.

Apparently the invite list gets somewhat rotated, so those who were there in December were not this time, yet it was a good group of folks. No to brag, but I was the youngest there.

And while it is a men's breakfast, the host's wife did show up for the last half-hour.  And their grown-up daughter, who still lives with them (cough cough - 45 years old...) was there, but upstairs and traipsing through the house now and again.  But mostly it was us eight men.

There was very little work discussion. We focused on art, medicine, civic endeavors and since it was the South Carolina primary, politics.

Overall, we live in a fairly liberal community, still the discourse was fairly unanimous on topics of Super PACs, the IQ, or lack thereof, of Rick Perry and gall of Newt. When you get that many people together, you expect some dissension, yet there was none.  At least there was a lot of laughter.

Two hours flew by. It may have gone on longer, but we had to excuse ourselves for another appointment. That seemed to get the rest to their feet and we all walked out together.

I have little doubt we will be invited back to another go-round, be it a few months from now, or a year. Even our neighbors were not aware of multiple gatherings, so no one truly knows the frequency of the events.

But between now and then, I need to find a way to enjoy oatmeal.



Song by:  Panic! at the Disco

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hood

This video has been making the internets rounds over the last few days - mostly on the homo blogs, and mostly because porn "ingenue" Arpad Miklos is in it.

I won't deny the man is nice to look at - like a younger, well-built and probably hairier, Greek Jimmy Smits - but it really is the two minutes of music that have me enthralled.

I know nothing of Perfume Genius and who knows if I'll even see what else they(?) have, but I have probably watched/listened to  "Hood" a dozen times.  It is not just the lyrics, but I am digging the music and how it builds.

Actually, I like the video too. And not because Mr. Miklos is nice to look at.  What?  He is.  I can't say I've seen any of this "work", but what kind of homo is he?  He can barely brush hair with it looking painful for the singer and what do I know about applying make-up?  Let alone to a girl-boy.  But I'd never hire him as a make-up artist.  I am willing to be that is not what his out-calls are for.

Ok, the Freddie Kreuger blade / nails are a little weird, but over all, I like the song and video.  Yes, this could be a My Music Monday submission, but no...........it's kind of a filler post for the weekend.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fame Is

The problem of being a celebrity blogger - well, I assume - is being constantly hit up for things about which to post.

Maybe other bloggers get this more than I do, but in the last few weeks, I've been sent links to review and / or post about. For the life of me, I don't know what most of the things were. Clearly they weren't that memorable to begin with and I am far too lazy to be bothered to go through my trash to remind me what I tossed away in the first place.

Yesterday though, I was asked to review and post a gay short film.  And get this, I actually watched it.

I normally post things I like or find funny  This video was neither. I am assuming the film makers weren't thinking I'd post it and then trash it not say nice things about it.

When you watch 'movie title deleted by me' you will think you know it all, but you don't. Judge for yourselves.  So said the email.


Oh, I judged.

It was a movie with no dialogue, yet the email stated how well it was acted. It was not.  It was trite. Is was horribly predictable. It was boring.  It was 10 minutes long, but seemed longer.  Even the sex scene - yes, there was a sex scene in a 10 minute silent movie - was poorly done.

Is this what they wanted me to say to my dozen and a half readers?  Don't they know my scathing review could get them a failing grade in "art school"?

Blobby is happy to post / embed a movie clip I enjoy, or a record that someone shoots my way (oh, that was one of the trashed emails I didn't - a bad musician!) but for g-d's sake, make it good.  Or at least compensate me, right?

I'll make you a star!  ....for the right price.


Song by:  Crowded House

Thursday, January 19, 2012

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 10 years old.

For 2011, I focused on debut disks - just to make it more challenging for me. I don't think you'll care one way or the other.  I don't think I'll necessarily continue on debut disks in 2012, but this selection actually is. 




You know, I didn't do a Record of the Month - Classic last month. I'm not doing two to make up for it, but I guess I should crap one out here, no?

I might be running out of debuts, but I think it is ok to touch on Cyndi Lauper's first solo disk (not her debut with the group Blue Angel), She's So Unusual.

She had four top 10 hits that anyone over, say 30 knows:  "Girls Just Want to Have Fun", "She Bop", "Time after Time" and "All Through the Night".  It was an impressive disk in that regard.  And while those were clearly entertaining and somewhat overplayed - both on radio and MTV - there were two or three songs that for me, made the album - and they were both covers

First off would be the first track - a cover of the Brains' "Money Changes Everything".  Better than the original, in my opinion, it sets the tone for the disk.  More unexpected, and what I do consider the best track, is her take on Prince's "When You Were Mine".  This is pre-1999 Prince. We're talking Controversy Prince.

But there is some unexpected fun on the disk too: "Witness" and "I Kiss You".

Yeah, Lauper's voice at times became to cutesy-wootsey in places, but you could tell she had a strong set of pipes. At some point she tried to use that voice, but unfortunately, it was on her follow-up disk, True Colors.

Cyndi was never able to match her success with She's So Unusual.  I'm not sure she really tried though.  She certainly had one or two decent songs on True Colors (but not more than that) and a few on A Hat Full of Stars and A Night to Remember.  Not so much with Sisters of Avalon (where I stopped buying her) and anything after.

It's no longer 1983 and I can no longer listen to She's So Unusual straight through. It' has good songs, but I've outgrown the flow of the disk.  For me, it's strictly a song-by-song basis.....except for "Time After Time", which was so over done, I don't care if I ever hear again.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Velvet

It's cooking day.  Well, yesterday was.

Have you ever made chicken and just can't get it to brown decently?  Especially if it is boneless, skinless chicken boobies?  We have that issue all the time. 

But while watching Cook's Country, I came across the technique called 'velveting'.  I know, it sounds like something Vanity 6 would do - right?

Long and short - it worked and it didn't.  Maybe the pan wasn't hot enough, maybe too much velvet. It's hard to say. We followed the recipe to the T, so I'm not sure where we went wrong.  Mind you - if it had surpassed expectations, this would be an "I".  Since it was average it is a "we". 

In glass baking disk:
Poke thick end with fork 4-6 times
Sprinkle with ½ tsp of salt for each breast.
Cover with foil
In 275 degree oven for 30-40 minutes
145-150 degree check
Take out, put onto plate with paper towels, pat dry

Prep a 12” skillet
1 tbsp veg oil
Med high heat until just before smoking

Then the Velveting:
2 tbls melted butter
1 tbl of flour
1 tsp of cornstarch
mix together


 You just brush the velveting on the basically albino chicken.

 Then put it in the skillet.

It browned up, but not as much as I expected it to. 

Then it was pan sauce time:


Shallot – Mince 1
Return to medium heat.
Let shallot soften.
1 tsp flour. Make roue.
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth.
Whisk in slowly.
Simmer for a few minutes until thickened. About 5 min.
Should result about ¾ cup sauce.
Add resting chicken juices (from resting chicken).
Whisk in 1 tbs butter.





Here's the finished product. Honestly, it tasted fine, but the pan sauce reduced more to a gravy like consistency. Maybe I reduced it too much.  I ended up liking the spinach salad more than the actual main course. Again, not that it was bad, but I am thinking Julia on Cook's Country had a better end-result.

...and since it is Cook's Country, the kitchen was a mess. They insist on making one use more utensils than one possibly needs to dirty. 



Song by:  a-ha

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Downtown

Oh yea!  Downton Abbey is back.  Season two, that is.

Finally good TV is back.  I say "finally"like I've been waiting more than a year for a new TV season.  In reality, we kept hearing about it and finally watched a mini-marathon of them during the holidays.  We had to wait a total of two weeks between when we watched the first season and the beginning of the next.

If you haven't watched, I highly recommend. The cast is great and the storyline is a very good one.  And while it is a good story, I do like Season 1 a bit more, at least to far.  World War I has broken out, as have the associated horrors.  The war also takes more of the story out of the manor.

But back to the cast - I can't say I ever saw Elizabeth McGovern when she seemed to be a second or third tier Brat Pack member, but she does well here as the only American in residence.

For those who haven't watched, the household has three daughters, which I read some tongue-in-cheek article calling them "the early 20th century Kardashians".

I love Lady Mary. The actress, whomever she is, does such a great job. I feel somewhat sad for Lady Edith, and clearly her parents do too. Their father, Lord Grantham is fun to watch.  But overall, it is the house staff where more of the drama lies.  Naturally, the nastiest of the bunch is the gay servant, now soldier. But it is the honorable Mr (not Master) Bates that is a great character.

...and really, how can you go wrong with Professor McGonagall Maggie Smith?  Parts of how she spars with her nemesis reminds me of when she was in A Room with a View (a great movie!)

Heck, we even enjoy Laura Linney just introducing the episodes.

If you have not caught the PBS series, I think you can stream it from amazon - but probably at a cost.  Since it is a British show, there aren't a ton of episodes. That's the way they work. So you don't have to endure six years of something like  Lost only to go - "eh".



Song by:  Petula Clark

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Music Monday


I knew of Nick Cave (and the Bad Seeds), but I can't say I had a lot of knowledge to his / their catalog and to be honest could only name one or two songs that he'd ever recorded.  I still don't.

"O Children" is probably best known for being the song Harry and Hermione dance to, in a tent, in the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Pt 1. 

Much ridiculed for never happening in the book, I found the scene and the music selection to be quite endearing.

The actual 2004 song is much much longer, almost seven minutes in length, with the Harry Potter part only being the last 90 seconds or so.  Granted, that might be the best part of the song, but it builds over those other five or so minutes.  Not quite theatric, not quite choir, not at all rock, but it works. I'm the first to admit that I like the last 90 seconds or so the best as it kind of finds it element / groove.

There are shorter clips out there that just have Harry and Hermione dancing, but it is not the full song.  Feel free to let it buffer if you don't like the first part and skip to the last two minutes, but I think it does ok as an entire piece.

It does not seem there is an "official" video for the song, so you'll get some fan-based one from a 1933 movie as the visual.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cold Comfort

It was one of those cold days.  The kind when you would rather not even go outside, but one must.  Curls, Cardio, Squats and Ab attention must be paid.  And I will be paying.  Ouchy.

We had been invited to Columbus for a b-day dinner, but we could not attend, as we had too many obligations on the home-front. But we did get to have lunch with friends who were headed to said dinner.

Becky was back in town and Ditto came to pick her up.  We picked a new place to go to lunch and lo and be-fucking hold  it had opened and closed in six months. Gone. I'm thinking it was a front for something.  So off we went to Great Lakes Brewery to grab a bite. Which is where Becca snapped this pic.


No offense go Dith, but this picture is not good of either of us.  It's just that Becky takes a pick of us together each time we're together. Oh my oh my - how grey my beard is. And how much more Asian I've become.

The meal was ok, the company was much better, but that is almost always the case. As it turns out, Dith had mentioned she wanted to see the West Side Market, and with our change of plans that was easily accomplished.



The WSM is a great place with dozens of food vendors for us everyday shoppers and many restaurants do their purchases for their kitchens as well.

We bought the birthday boy some cheeses to be sent down south.  I loved look of it - and something adventurous that Geo would like....hopefully.

....and apparently, he cut it later. 

And speaking of adventurous food.....


It says 'blue mashed potatoes', but they are really more violet in nature.  

Before I left, back into the cold, I did have to use the restroom comfort station. 


Still the few hours we got to spend with the gals was fun and missing the dinner sucked, but sometimes life gets in the way. 

Ruckiry (not Jon's boss), they got out of town in time, as it started snowing.  Not too too heavily, but enough.  ...and they did have beer with lunch - the lushes. 



Song by:  Michelle Shocked

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Won't You Say You Will

Sure I have stuff to post, well probably, but since Erik (from whom I basically lifted this from, but he got from someone else and so on and so on.....) posted this a few days ago, I keep coming back to it - One, because it's funny. Two, because it's well done. Three, because the guy is koot!  He's also rocking those glasses.

...and he's probably gay, which makes him the spokesperson for "shit straight guys say to gay guys" both a little funny and ironic. But I suppose that is the point.

Still the delivery of most of the lines are so spot on, they make me smile ("hey puppy!").

And since I haven't been to Spin consistently, I haven't heard any Rihanna songs, nor did I know what song he was singing and had to Gooooogle the lyrics (psssst.....it's Rihanna), and he's so cute singing the last part with the multiple tilts of his head.

But back to this title  - and all the other billion viral videos of Shit 'x' Say series.....   We've (well, the gay "we've") have probably heard some of this.  Even Becky's then bf (clearly, now ex-bf) showed up at my apartment one Friday night at 23:30 as I was going out.  I got kind-of / sort-of taken to task the next day from Ms. Flowers, who was in Texas, asking why I didn't invite him to go with me....................to a gay bar.    WTF.   It never ever ever occurred he'd want to go a gay bar with a gay man.

Of course, maybe he wanted to know if I knew where he could score some coke.






Song by:  Walter Egan

Friday, January 13, 2012

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 23rd 12 of 12

12 pictures taken on the 12
th of the month. Since I only post once per day, you get my images the following day. All pictures taken with my iPhone. Click images to enlarge, if you choose.

Created by Chad Darnell and picked up from, what I can tell, a number of random bloggers who then link back to him and vice versa. Chad stopped doing the 12 of 12 links in December of 2011, but I will continue, as I like doing it.  I just can't link with the others who participated monthly.  Bummer.


 05:35.  Gym bag set.  710 had already set out bowls for b'fast.  I'll eat after the gym though.

 05:37.  Um. Have to done something before I leave for the gym. 

 05:50.  Does Tim Tebow work out here?  (hint: look between the grill slats.)

 07:10.  There was no fluctuation.  It was fucking freezing.  Polar Bear Club cold. 

 07:25.  Leaving the parking garage.

07:27. Crossing the bridge.  Still dark out.  Sucks. 

12:00.  Grey day.  But it's almost mid-January, mid-40's and no snow.  I can live with a winter like this.

15:45.  Mid-afternoon snack.  I've been on a pistachio kick for the last two weeks.

 18:45. Bookcase up in my office.  Used to be 710's office, so most of the stuff on the shelf is his.

 19:20.  Last of the holiday M&Ms.  There they still sit. No one wants to be the one to polish them off.

19:35.  I'm not sure what Sophie is tired from, but she's got a big yawn for me.

21:40.  Watching a PBS special on Steve Jobs.  Don't get me wrong, I like his products and he was smart, but man, he was kind of a prick.

22:40.  You Baker's Dozen.
Cookies and milk for 710 and me.  ...and a little milk for Sophie. She's a princess - she deserves it.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

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!


Ok, I know some people who have a foot fetish (feet fetish?), but Peppermint Foot Wash?

Is it for the smell?  And if so, who is down there smelling feet?  Is it to cover up of a worse smell? And if so, you know it's like Glade trying to cover up fried food ("now it smells like fish and roses!").

Peppermint is allegedly supposed to settle an upset stomach. Does it help settle, I dunno, whatever happens on feet that makes them upset?

Well, it was Seen on TV, so it must be good.

I'm not buying it.  I'm waiting for Spearmint.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Vote for Me

I'm pre-posting, so maybe by publishing time the crowd has gotten thinner.

The crowd, of course, being the GOP "candidates" for President.

Romney won, to no one's surprise.  Santorum came in 5th.  Not a real surprise. He wouldn't have come in that high had it not been for that fluke called "Iowa".

I think this was Perry's last call.  When the Occupiers are protesting against the 1%, I don't think they meant the percentage of votes he actually received.  Bye-Bye Rick.

A little more surprising is Newt.  He might not make it to South Carolina and if he does and finishes third or lower, it is bye-bye Newt and his automaton wife of his.  I mean the third one, of course.

I can't quite figure out how long Paul will last. But if his bathroom writing campaign manager has anything to do with it, he might stand a chance for a little longer. If you enlarge the picture, this ad already swayed a Perry vote - and you can see, it probably worked.

This nomination thing could all be wrapped up by the end of Super Tuesday or the following primary. With all the infighting, I don't see any of these non-nominees being able to be the VP candidate, or even any cabinet position. The rhetoric has gotten so bad, how can anyone offer or accept a position that they've talked so horribly about?

Regardless of how I think Obama has handled himself, he's really the only option. Now Trump just has to join as an Independent to break away enough of those truly fucked up Republican votes.

I am truly going to try to keep political blogging to a minimum this year.  There are more than enough guys and gals out there to do it for me.  I was just doing it to use the picture I took in the Nashville airport men's room.


Song by:  Janis Ian

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Face the Fire

Poor BosGuy. The man's kitchen must be broken, since he posts so many restaurant reviews.  Someone needs to get that man a hot plate or something.

I kid.......I kid.  I mean, I suppose he could be a professional food critic and I just don't know it.

But taking direction from him, I thought I'd mention a place 710, Rebecca and I had brunch this last Sunday -  Fire.

710 and I have been there multiple times before and I've been a few others with my friend, Chef Bob. And yes, my man-date, Scott, and I have had drinks there more than a few times. Normally, I'm not overall impressed with their dinner menu. I can always find something on the menu to eat, but there isn't usually a selection of things that from which to narrow it down.  You know me, I'm not big on frou-frou stuff.  That said, their current menu is better than it usually is - for me. I know people who find Fire to be their bestest place to eat in Cleveland.

But Becca wanted brunch on Sunday - and even though we're gay, I dare say, we don't brunch. We're not the "brunching gays".  Yes, there is such a species.

Of course, I anytime I hear the word "brunch" I think of Homer Simpson.  Doesn't everyone? When at his high school reunion, he won the award for most weight gained. His acceptance speech?  "I discovered a meal between breakfast and brunch!"  Amen.  Because trust me, I did have breakfast at 07:00. I can't wait until 11:00 to eat!

Brunch was great. I wanted most everything on the menu and it was hard to narrow it down. Ruckiry (not Jon's boss), Becca ordered the clay oven bread with cinnamon sugar, to split.  That was gone in seconds. But the fruit plate was good, as was the Eggs Benedict.  As was the rest of the breakfast pizza that 710 ordered, but didn't finish.  Let me clarify, he didn't finish it.......but I did.  I made a P.I.G. hog of myself....and was quite happy to do it.

The entire experience made me rethink Fire. Yeah, we can still do dinner there now and again, but maybe when we do stuff with friends, we become gay friends and have brunch every once in a while.  I'll have to check the homo handbook, but I think it requires a complete different wardrobe. Bother.


Song by:  Dan Fogelberg

Monday, January 09, 2012

My Music Monday


I run hot and cold on Mr Hall and Mr. Oates.  If I never hear "Rich Girl" again, I think I'd be ok.  Ditto with "She's Gone", though it's not nearly as painful as the previous mentioned song. Sure they have the plethora of hits with the MTV era in the early to mid-80s, most of them ok pop hits that one can take of leave. Or I can.

Then again, I really like "Maneater", "Las Vegas Turnaround", "Crime Pays", "Open All Night",  and "Art of Heartbreak".

But if there were a select cut of their, I would still go back to 1976's disk, Bigger Than the Both of Us and this song, "Do What You Want, Be Who You Are".  I always think it should be "be who you are", but whatever.

Hall was probably at the top of his game with songwriting and vocal performance around here.  Critics and publicists always described Hall & Oates as "white Philly soul" and for the most part I never bought into that characterization. However, this might be as close as they come, and it's not bad at all.

I think I've mentioned here in the past that I ran into Daryl Hall on the streets of NYC eons ago and honestly, he could have passed for a woman.  There is a video of a 1977 live version of this song out on YouTube (here) that I almost put up, but his hair and "outfit" (yes, in potentially inappropriate quotes) skeeved me out. I opted to go with this horribly generic video, but you're hear to listen to the music, right?

Anyway, how many "straight" men use the term "leather bars" in a song, let alone back in 1976?  ...and yet, I believe he's still unmarried.  Curious.

I have no desire to have the entire disk, but I did purchase the song from iTunes months ago. I'm still enjoying it in digital form.


Sunday, January 08, 2012

Read My Lips

I'm being lazy today when it comes to a post.  I admit I had nothing planned and was going to wing it, but then decided I would read the newspaper first, while I did laundry and had breakfast.  Yes, I was multi-tasking, but kept thinking, "you know, you need to blog still........"

The Cleveland Plain Dealer is a quick read. It is for me. I completed the entire thing while 710 is still on page one of the New York Times.  Granted, I do not read everything the PD has to offer, which isn't much, in my opinion. But you're not looking at it as the official record of anything.

I leave the comics until last in the chain of paper reading. In our horrid supply of comics (really - BC? Funky Winkerbean?  Beetle Bailey???) , I read just two on Sunday:  Garfield Dilbert and Doonesbury.

Since I was a kid Doonesbury has rarely disappointed. Garry Trudeau is usually spot on, and would be hard to argue with regardless of your political stance. Sure, I'm sure many of his targets do argue his perspective, but it makes the no less true.

So today's comic made me smile.  I'm guessing the same cannot be said for Newt.

Click image to enlarge if you need, old-timers.




Song by: Mary Chapin Carpenter

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Site of the Month

Stevie B. calls Uniqlock Music.Dance.Clock  his 'favourite website of all time'.

I like Stevie B. and all, and it is a cool site, but "off all time"?  That's a pretty big statement.  I'm sure there are fan sites devoted solely to Petticoat Junction of which he and I are both unaware that could be awesome!

Oh be quiet, it's 06:40 on a Saturday morning, it was the first TV show that popped into my head.

Yes, the Dance. Music. Clock. is cool in its own way, even a little hypnotizing.  The menu isn't as intuitive as one would like - that one being me.  But some of the stuff in there is busy and still fun to look at.

For the main clock part, even in Japan-time (I can't figure out how to switch it to Eastern Standard Time - and maybe you can't) I still really like the site.

I don't have a site of all time - except maybe this one, but that seems like a cop-out or even cheating. And I'm a little hurt that Stevie B. didn't call this his most favorite. Balls. I bought the man lunch in June!  Still I did ask permission to use the site, which he showed me and he graciously agreed, so that is something.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Thin Man

So, lucky me, I was the subject of an email exchange yesterday between "our group".

Jon started it with: Does anyone else think this (illegal) Steve Jobs action figure looks a little too much like Blobby?


This is the (in)action figure.

Poor Mr. Jobs. Look at those arms and wrists, he must have been a Thalidomide baby. So, that's one difference have. That and about $7 billion dollars.

Morty's reply was: Skinny and holding an iPhone - duh!

It's true, I have my iPhone most everywhere I go, save the gym shower. And depending who is in there, I'd consider taking it.

Becky immediately chimed in with: Not nearly skinny enough.

And just to include Meredith in this, because she loves to be in the blog, she says: Good point.

Jon remained mum on my weight - the bastard!

So I am at, or about, my optimal weight. 182. Or 183. I could go down to 180 and feel good about myself - and I think it helps with the definition I'm trying to achieve. Less fat, more muscle. It's science!

For the record, I do wear my glasses, the readers anyway, a top my head the way the left Steveo is doing. I do own a black mock turtleneck and jeans, but I don't remember ever wearing them together. And if I did, I wouldn't wear white tennis shoes with them. I see that look and feel like doing Johnny's lines from Airplane. "Ohh...those shoes! And that dress!!!

I also don't pace and talk at the same time.

I also don't have that much hair and I'm not that grey.............yet

And yes, I might be thinner than I was, but no one is mistaking me for "skinny" - and I achieved it by not getting liver cancer! So there!

Yeah, Stevie J was a Buddhist, so there's a chance he might be reincarnated and come back to torture me for that last jab. I'll take my chances.


Song by: Suzanne Vega