Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Candy Everybody Wants

Should I have a post for Halloween?  Should I care?

I've posted or reposted my ghost story a few times. I'll give that a rest for another year or two.

All Hallow's Even has never been my night. Sure I liked the candy. Sure I liked egging houses.  But the getting dressed up stuff was a drag pain in the ass.

Not just the execution, but the creativity regarding what to go as.  Not my strong suit.

Is it sad to say my most ambitious costume was going as an abortionist?

One pair of scrubs, one plastic bag, one half dozen cracked eggs, a squirt of ketchup in said plastic band and one hanger.   It was also a costume made on the cheap.

I was reviled by everyone - though mostly the females. That stands to reason of course.

To be fair, it is a legitimate profession and it certainly beats going out in drag (yes, which was done ONCE!).  Of course, when I went as that "M.D.", I was at a fraternity party and it was 1983.  Guys in frats might think drag is funny now, but then it was just a way to get the shit kicked out of you.  Oh - and I never really had the inclination to do it.

But like the last few years, I won't be home for the holiday. And the few years before that, we have gotten zero kids. That new lighting I mentioned may change things. I'll encourage 710 to have a bag of candy on hand, just in case.

I applaud people who do have creative costumes and spare no time or expense to do them. It's just never been me.

Me - I just want the candy. The good stuff.  No crap.

But if you're going out and dressing up - show it off.  Let's see what you got.

Song by: 10,000 Maniacs

Tuesday, October 30, 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! 

I feel a little better that the Killers new disk, Battle Born, has somewhat returned to form of their better material.

See, I like the Killers' first two disks a lot, but their third, Day & Age only had a handful of decent songs as did Brandon Flowers' solo disk. I had higher hopes for Battle Born and they weren't completely shot to hell.

Radio like when their debut came out is not the same, they're not garnering the radio airplay they once had, so the chances of attracting new listeners seem to be slimmer.

The band uses a half-dozen producers to take on the disk and that doesn't quite work for them. I have always admired Steve Lillywhite and Daniel Lanois's work, but too much of that anymore is synonymous with U2 and Brendan O'Brien with the later Springsteen stuff - both of which the Killers have emulated -  and well, Stuart Price didn't quite pull off a coup with the Killers' Day & Age.  There is something to be said about mixing it up, but something to be said for continuity. There might be too many chiefs here.

Still, Battle Born is pretty good if pretty standard. Good tracks include "Flesh and Bone", "Miss Atomic Bomb",  the title track, and "the Rising Tide".

"From Here on Out" is like an outtake from Flowers' solo disk. Not as bad as some of that stuff, but not great band material. ...and like most 'deluxe' versions of any album, there is too much filler and it dilutes the core album.

Still Battle Born is a decent of enough disk. Look at it this way - there are more than a few decent songs to lift or Spin to.  ....and sometimes, that's enough.

Monday, October 29, 2012

My Music Monday

I'm not a huge Tom Petty fan, but I figure after 30 odd years of making records, he probably has enough material to make one killer full-length disk.

His earlier stuff is better - in my opinion - but now and then he pulls out a decent song, and it's likely the ones I appreciate are not on the radio.

Of course, nothing Petty or his Heartbreakers have put out in the last 5-10 years has been played on the radio, though his older stuff is a staple  - and I like "American Girl", "Breakdown", "I Need to Know", "You Got Lucky", "Change of Heart" and a few others.

While he collaborated semi-often with Stevie Nicks, those were spotty pairings at best. They excelled at "Insider" and I can still tolerate "Stop Dragging My Heart Around", but after that.....meh.

Actually it is another Fleetwood Mac alum collaboration that I like the best, "Walls (circus)".

The song - and different variations of it  - were put on a "soundtrack" to Ed Burns' She's the One, which has been playing on HBO these last few weeks.  And while it resides on my iPhone and iPod Shuffle, seeing the movie made me think of it for this post.

Anyhoo, Lindsey Buckingham takes on backing vocals on the "circus" version and really adds a layer that Petty needs. Not only is it a decent and unexpected harmony, but I dig that he is purposefully a half a count off on most of his part.

And it works. At least for me.   ...and isn't that what counts?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Everything is Coming Up Roses

Somewhere, 710 and I were talking about Jeffrey to some friend.  I'm blanking on when and where, or why.

I liked the movie (never saw the play), and thought, save for the guy from Wings, (or Jeffery as he's called in this movie), everyone was well cast. I thought Steven Weber was horribly miscast.

I've always asserted that both Sigourney Weaver and Nathan Lane should have been up for Academy Awards for their roles, but knowing they couldn't be, because they could never actually show their clips on an award show.

On a whim, I checked YouTube and both clips are out there. Both are still excellent, but I was watching Lane's one in particular with a better set of eyes than maybe the first few times I saw the film.

It's not that he isn't spot on and has excellent delivery, but it was his (or the playwright's) message that really kind of resonated this time around.

Yes, he gays it up with his analogy of good and evil by citing certain Broadway shows.  And yes, my parent had that My Fair Lady original cast recording and it's odd how accurate he is that we as gay children anthropomorphize g-d via George Bernard Shaw.

And I'm not the most spiritual person, but I get it.  Especially at the 6:25 mark - through 6:43.  ...and evil is one-note.

But the second old lady gets it right:  the only real blasphemy is the refusal of joy.

I suppose in some not so weird way this is a continuation or tie-in of my post from yesterday, though it has nothing to do with love or the inability to love. I'm good and covered on that front - so no worries there.

Song by: Black

Saturday, October 27, 2012

My Ever Changing Moods

It's been one of those weeks.  Or months. Possibly years.

What I feel to be myself maybe isn't quite myself.  I'm thinking I've been a bit off and maybe for so long that it's been quite the norm.

One gets into such patterns and so gradually, you just don't know you've changed, for better or worse. And even worse, you don't know how to change back, if that's what you choose to do.

I kind of had an notice that maybe I'm flowing through things the way I used to.

Change isn't always bad - thought most people resist it. I do. Or can.

It is how you deal and cope with it that tests you. And at a certain age, change can be daunting, but recognizing it and what you do with it is vital.

I know I'm quite vague here. I could be more specific, but I opt not to be.

It's not that I don't lay it all out here (or mostly), but I'm not sure what it is I am laying out, at this time,  or if I even want to. I'm internalizing and externalizing, to a point, at the same time.

Frustrating for me.

It's been a tough week. It's been a tough day.  But I have to say, I have an amazing family. And while I joke about my parents and sisters here, they are good folks, but I have to tell you, I have an amazing set of cousins - first, second and third cousins. Hell, even their spouses are great.

For whatever one goes through throughout the day, just hanging with them, even if you sit back and observe and say little, even in hard times, it is nice to have that kind of family. But more than family, they are friends.

...and you can't always say that about your family.

Here's to better days.

Song by: the Style Council 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Look at Miss Ohio

As goes Ohio, so goes the country.

So says "someone" when describing every presidential election ever. Allegedly, no Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio.  Cool.

Actually, not cool.  Scary is more like it.

We are not a fly-over state. Not by a long shot.  More political ads are run in Ohio than any other state. NBC News says an average of 333 ads per day are shown in the Buckeye State.

We are the brunt of every campaign stop and the pressure to deliver - whichever political party you're affiliated with - that's why we are bombarded.

Ads have been playing here since April, not as heavy as they are now, but still it has been continual and relentless. Every single commercial break on tv has one Mittens ad and one Barack.

Shoot me.

Don't even get me started on the fucking Josh Mandel ads. That man gives Jews a bad name.

The New York Times has a great article breaking down of how Ohio plays into the 2012 election. It is not necessarily pretty, but it gives me hope.

Song by: Gillian Welch

Thursday, October 25, 2012

You Do

BosGuy, whom you'll remember I met this last summer, is doing this blog thing where he's getting folks (bloggers and non-bloggers!) to bring awareness to Referendum 74:  Marriage Equality in Washington state.

One prints out a .pdf of and takes a snap of themselves with it.

It is really a campaign by the Seattle Times, but Bos picked it up and ran with it.

I tried to go green and just brought up the .pdf on my laptop and took a pic that way. It has been submitted to Mr. Guy to use on his blog.

There are three other states with something similar on the ballots this election year: Maryland, Maine and Minnesota.

If polling is correct, WA, MD, ME are likely to pass these initiatives and allow same-sex marriage. MN is a nail-biter, and possibly too close to call.  If any state other than Washington has this type of campaign, I haven't seen it, but would be happy to participate.

While three of the four states seem on the way to passing these, I am cautious. It would be nice to add more and more states to the slowly growing list of enlightened citizens, but to not rest on those polling numbers is crucial.

I like seeing these dominoes fall. It's not as fast as I would like them, but 10 years ago, I wouldn't have guessed we would be this far into making change.

Song by: Aimee Mann

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Shining Light

I go away for a few days and 710 installs lights on the outside of the garage.  We had one fairly bare bulb that was worthless.

These might not be our forever lights, but they look good - if not a little Frank Lloyd Wright-ish.

Our house is about 80 feet from the street and hard to see. It's pretty dark.

Dark enough that you can't see animals - mostly skunks - when you walk Peter at night.

We also don't get any trick and/or treaters due to the scariness of the walk up to 1313 Mockingbird Ln.

This isn't such a bad thing. In seven years, we've never had one kid come to the door for candy.  This might change.

These two lights actually light up the top part of the drive, but a good portion of the front yard.  Yes, 710 also lit up the part of the house to the right as well.

Granted, it doesn't photograph well, but it looks nice..........or nicer.

Given time, money and well......the inclination, we might light the other 70 feet of driveway. But it probably has to do mostly with money.

Song by:  Annie Lennox

Tuesday, October 23, 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 thought I'd focus on debut disks - just to make it more challenging for me. I don't think you'll care one way or the other.

Most of you know Paul Young as the guy who does the opening line in "Do They Know it's Christmas". Then maybe the crooner of a lesser known Hall & Oates song, "Every Time You Go Away".

For me, at least Young was all about his first solo album, No Parlez. Young covering Hall & Oates isn't too far off, as both would be considered white soul. It's all very nice but non-threatening.

Case in point, Young covers Joy Divisions "Love Will Tear Us Apart".  The once morose song becomes a lighter-hearted potential pop hit - though it never did.

For the most part the album has held up, and you might remember the earlier MTV "hit", "Come Back and Stay".  And whether it was in the UK or U.S., he had minor hits - a cover of "Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)", and "Love of the Common People".  His white soul comes into play with those two songs and also with "Oh Woman" and "Broken Man".

If Young takes any risks it is with three song - the title track, "Iron Out the Rough Spots" and "Ku-Ku Kumara (though that last one wears out its welcome soon enough).

Risks or not, I still like the No Parlez. Yeah, there are a few throw-away tracks, but most albums have those.

He couldn't sustain his U.S. success after his second album The Secret of Association (that included his biggest U.S. hit), though another hit would creep in here and there over the next few years - and then he just disappeared.

...except for every Thanksgiving to New Year's, where you'll hear him on "Do They Know it's Christmas".  There he'll live in infamy, even if everyone probably says, "who is that guy?".

Monday, October 22, 2012

My Music Monday

It is another long song for My Music Monday.

Generally, I do like the longer pieces of music. While I do appreciate the sometimes radio-friendly 3:30 pieces, the ones that lengthier usually have a bit more substance and have the ability to change over the course of needle laser hitting the disk until the song ends.

Last week's Geo Michael song was kind of like that.  This week's song, SinĂ©ad O'Connor's  "Troy" is very much like that.

"Troy" starts off very low and low key....and it builds and builds and builds to a louder and angrier piece. You could say it is the epitome of O'Connor herself.

The song is from her debut diskThe Lion and the Cobra, which is arguably her strongest and most consistent record. It is almost six and one-half minutes, but totally worth it.  The music is good, her voice has great control - from the purposefully muted singing at the beginning to the loudness at the end.

The video is very 1987 - missing frames to make it look choppy - but it is also done well, especially for a then unknown artist.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

App of the Month

Of all my "talents", drawing is not one of them.

Oh, I've tried to play Draw Something, both with 710 and Rebecca, and I can guess their drawings, but man, my pictures suck.

Granted, it is not easy to draw on an iPhone and I think both Becky and 710 use their iPads to play, so their space is a little bigger - still.......I'm like a kindergartner with finger paints.......but a kindergartner who was a Thalidomide baby.

It's not to say that the app isn't a little fun, but I'm a little competitive and want to win, but honestly, it hasn't been about keeping score, it becomes just about not completely embarrassing myself.

You this:

Yes, it's a wagon.  My other choices to draw something was "lollipop" or "turbo".  I don't know how one draws "turbo".

The worst thing about Draw Something?  You can erase and start your drawing over, but when your opponent gets your drawing, they will see each and every iteration of it, so there is no way to save face on how badly your other renditions came out.

For the record - this wagon was my first and only attempt.  I decided to do as few takes as possible to keep down the humiliation factor.

As iPhone game apps goes, this is ok, but not as addictive as Words with Friends, Bejeweled or even Fuzzle.

Oh - and it's free. At least the version I have.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Surprise, Surprise

It is safe to call this first.

In my travels, I have run into people I know at airports, but it is also safe to say they are usually current or former friends or acquaintances.

I got up at 03:00 (Pacific time) to catch the 04:00 hotel shuttle to their airport. Don't get me started on the live entertainment they had in the hotel lobby which went on till 21:00 - and I needed my beauty sleep.

Sorry, but if you must have amplified musicians - in a hotel !!! - then you better have sound insulation for all those fucking people who paid to, oh you know, sleep in said hotel.  Like me.

So, I flew from Phoenix to Chicago and had a scheduled lay-over for almost two hours. Yet while checking the board of flights, saw one was leaving for Cleveland in 30 minutes. I hightailed it over the two gates to see if I could get on that flight instead.

As I approached the ticket agent, who should I see sitting at the gate than one CB from the Mangina Monologues.

Of course, we had commented on each other's blogs over the years, but neither have ever had the chance to meet, as I don't get to Minneapolis......ever. He wasn't exactly going to Cleveland, but landing there and going to Cedar Point.

Yes, I recognized CB from his blog - scary, ain't it?  But it was an unexpected blogger meet-up, right there at B10 in O'Hare.

As it turns out, I got my flight changed and even ended up sitting on board with CB for the entire 48 minute flight. He was fun and comfortable to talk to - so it was a breeze. I hope the weather holds out for him for his Cedar Point adventure.

 ....and I got home about 90 minutes earlier than planned.

All-in-all, not a bad end to the week.

I don't know who the lady who photo-bombed the pic was.

Song by: Bruce Springsteen

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friend of Mine

I would expect a cantina in Arizona to have a decent margarita.  I was wrong.

It was fine and everything, but I really expected good!  I am constantly disappointed.

However, I was not disappointed with my dinner companions:  David & Duck.

We had not seen each other since my last trip to Vegas.  In the meantime, they fled Sin City for Sun City. They claim it's hotter here, but I don't see much of a difference.

We did the early bird special - basically. My body clock time said 20:00 but my watch (if I had or owned one) said 17:00.

The boys are good and always fun to be around. Allegedly, David claims anything he says to me is "off-the-record" and not to be used for this blog, so if something about, oh, say, leopard print bikini bottoms came up, I was not allowed to blog about it.

Duly noted.

I did find it odd my Mexican wrap came with American flags on toothpicks. But this is a Jan Brewer state and any illegal-looking wraps were profiled and sent back across the border, no doubt. These wraps had to prove citizenship and well, U.S. flags are the way to do it.

Yet here I am, back in my room by 18:30 and contemplating bed. Even by Eastern Daylight time it's early.  But the body wants what the body wants.

Song by:  the National

Thursday, October 18, 2012


So, our work event tonite (last night) was ung-dly awful. 

I know I can be harsh (, it's true!), but WTF?

After a billion hours of meetings, we went to some place called Rawhide: a western town right outside Phoenix.  It could have been the set that the Brady Bunch used when they were locked in that old abandoned mining town.  

....except this time of year, they made it into a ghost zombie town. Lame. 

...and that's lame as in sad and tired, not a gold fabric used to make slutty cocktail dresses. 

First, the food was awful. You had your choice of a side of beef or ribs. ...and beans.  Vegetarians need not come by.  And someone in our group ordered two orders of deep fried rocky mountain oysters.  Nooooo thank you.  Yes, I get the irony that I was one of the few in the group who did not eat them, but it may have been lost on most others. 

Oh, and we had to wear "cowboy hats", as you can see. Though they look more like something a dandy would wear on a safari.....and they cost $1 at the dollar store.  And yes, I look like a dandy in this pic.

...which brings me to the second part of this. 

After dinner, we had a "show". They called it a stunt men show, but Clyde & Seymour's Spooky Kooky Castle at Sea World 30 years ago was better executed....and acted.....and they were a seal and an otter. But two of the guys played "gay".  ...and I mean FLAMING gay.   ...and I am not sure they were acting. 

I was so uncomfortable. A woman I work with was too....mostly for me. I just turned to her and said, "I think I should be horribly offended", and she replied, "you should be".  

But I had to keep in mind that this is Jan Brewer's Arizona, so I should not have been surprised in the least. 

Homophobic or not, it was just a bad show.....and you know the "actors" had to know it too. The anemic applause couldn't have been the first time they didn't hear two hands clapping.

I could not wait to get back to the casino/hotel to down a glass of wine. My first alcoholic beverage for the trip. I know, right?

On the way through the lobby, I passed the bucking horse statue I have passed a dozen times since being here. Only this time I saw something I had neglected the first 11 times:  possible accuracy.

Get a look. Get a long, hard look. 

Yes, I'm going to drop that phrase.  It's late. I have to get to bed, and I had to get this posted. 

Song by: Frankie Laine

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Desert Rose

Much to Spo's and Someone's dismay, I am in Phoenix for work.

There is no time for fun, as I'm with my regional team and my new boss. The third boss I've had at this company in less than three years.  ....and I met him on Boss's Day - something he passive-aggressively he pointed out to all of us 4-5 times.

As it turns out, we end this meeting around 13:00 on Thursday, but I couldn't get a flight out until the next morning (05:05 - ugh!). So I am spending an additional night with no co-workers, but moving hotels to something much closer to the airport for that ung-dly flight hour (it means getting to security at what - 03:30?).

So, I will have some potential free time to see friends, be it Spo or Someone (not that I've contacted them).  But my friend David G, whom you've read about me visiting in Vegas is now in the Jan Brewer state - and specifically in Phoenix.  Yay for me. Yay for him!

I also have two other friends here as well. Ones I have not seen for maybe 18 years. Jeff and Bill left Columbus shortly before 710 and I left for Cleveland. I guess I could call them to see if they wanted to meet for a drink.

I also have a fraternity brother here as well. No offense to Dunns, but we haven't been that much in touch, so he's a little lower on my need to meet up with list.

This is a trip I've been dreading, which is why I don't think I gave the head's up to anyone. I was hoping it wouldn't happen on any level, but here I am - in Phoenix, the same night as Madonna - though I don't think she's staying at my hotel.  Actually, I'm sure she's not.

I left a 50 degree Cleveland for a 90 degree Phoenix.  Not that I will see outside much, but it's nice to know it's warmer somewhere.

Ok - it's almost midnight my body clock time - way past Blobby's bedtime.   Nite kiddies.

Song by:  Sting

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

the Wings

We had our annual Block Party on Sunday.

Actually, it was scheduled a week ago, but it poured and postponed by a week - even though the invite said 'rain or shine'.

For the original date, 710 made brownies with toffee in them and on top. It sounded better than they actually turned out. I'm actually ok the party was rescheduled, as we didn't end up serving them.

The new date brought a new idea and a new recipe: Chorizo Chicken Wings.

We snagged the recipe from Sara Moulton from her PBS show. Overall, I don't care that much for her Public Broadcasting show. I was much more a fan of her FoodTV Sara Live a few years back. The idea that she'd cook the meal live and serve it up in an hour - no edits and she did it with a viewer who cooked along with er via the phone.

Moulton's wing's recipe seemed simple enough - at least how she did it on TV, but it was a little labour intensive. There are a lot of dirty dishes, measuring cups and cutting boards. You can see, there aren't tons of ingredients, but two pounds of chicken wings lend to a lot of cross-contamination.

And I wasn't sure how having chorizo on the outside of the wings would work. Two very different kinds of protein. But Rice Krispies make it all better - no?

There is the wet and (mostly) dry part of the concoction, almost like baking.

Raw chicken is messy....and icky. I just coated it with vinegar, mayo and garlic. It was to make the coating to stick onto the wings. 

Paprika, Cumin, Salt, Pepper, Parmigiano, Snap, Crackle and Pop. Oh, and the chorizo.  We couldn't find Spanish, so we had Mexican. It was fine. 

We very very very barely had enough coating to get the wings coated. And it was harder to get the chorizo to actually stick to the chicken than Ms. Moulton alluded. 

30 minutes later we had really great looking and smelling wings.  I only had one, to make sure they were good. They were. 

Sara will say they are addicting. I'm not sure about that. They're good, but I don't know I'd make them en mass.  But they had great flavour and they were so fricking tender and moist. 

Our block party day was a beautiful day. Sunny and mid-70s (in October!) until 20 minutes before the start of the event - then 50 mph winds and threat of rain, and then rain. 

But we were there and then it was moved into a neighbor's large garage, so we had somewhere to put down the wings and when we left 30 minutes later (we had another engagement), half the wings were gone. A few folks I talked to couldn't place the sausage flavour - and why should they?

I mean, who thinks of covering chicken with bits of sausage? I never did. 

I might make them again, for a holiday party or something. The prep time takes longer than the cooking time. The clean-up time takes twice as long as the prep time. 

But if you're looking to take an appetizer to a party, you might want to try this. 

Song by: Gustavo Santolalla

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Music Monday

I cannot say I have ever been a huge fan of George Michael.

Somewhere back in my more official coming out, there was something homoerotic about Wham! UK....which is what they were call before the dropped the 'UK', but it would be a stretch to call that music good (though their cover of the Miracles' "Love Machine" isn't bad).

If I never hear "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" or "Careless Whisper Again", I think I'll be just fine.

That said, Michael had some decent solo stuff ("Freedom 90", "Jesus to a Child", "Playing for Time", "Too Funky", Fastlove") though he seemed to have a lot of filler. He had his big MTV run with a lot more hits, but nothing that ever truly appealed to me....or if they did, they wore out their welcome, must like he did with most of his public shenanigans.

One of Michael's strengths can be in his voice and not in his writing. He can be a good interpreter of music, other than his own.

He does decent justice to his cover of Seal's "Killer" and as much as he and Ms. Elton John feud (who doesn't that latter queen bitch about?) Geo has a natural affinity to John's songs. He does a good job with "Don't Let Your the Son Sun Go Down on Me" (a live version) but he also covered (live again) a lesser known John/Taupin song, "Tonight" for a tribute disk to the two songwriters.

The song is long. The intro to get to Michael is long, but it's worth it.

Even if you never heard the original version, you'll pick up on the stylings of John/Taupin. Still Michael is in strong voice and more than does the song justice.

If we were ever to stage a U.S. comeback, a covers album (though he did a mediocre one of music from the 40s) might be the way to go.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Laughing Boy

You know, I just might not be cut out for live theater. Going to; not acting in.

I just don't think I appreciate the live art the way I'm supposed to, be it community, revival or Broadway (musical or non). I may have mentioned that earlier in the year when we went to see Spring Awakenings.

I know they have to play to the back of the house, but it all seems so over the top to me. Or maybe I'm just never in the right frame of mind when it comes to curtains going up.

There were no curtains in The Little Dog Laughed, and it was not a big theater.....though it seemed bigger, since half the seats were empty.

...and the little dog may have laughed, but I can't say this man chuckled or smiled too often - gay content, full-frontal male nudity or not.  (sorry, no photography was allowed.)

The four-member cast was iffy at best. The lead actress was in Spring Awakenings, and was too over the top, even for her role. The other woman was milquetoast at best. The two males, played gay, but judging how badly they kissed, I'd venture to say they were straight playing gay.

Yeah, they had not trouble showing their wieners, but if you can't even act like you can kiss, you can't go much further than that in terms of conveying emotion.

It was fun to go out with 710 and friends for dinner and a play. It was fun running into other friends and gym-goers at the play too, but still........the play was iffy.

Maybe I'm a naysayer ( could be true), but I seemed to like it less than others - or than others were willing to say.

I stand by my "review".

Song by: Hall & Oates

Saturday, October 13, 2012

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 32nd 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.

 06:15. Clothes "laid" out. I dress in the dark before taking out Petey for his a.m. walk.

 06:18. Surveying my subjects from a throne. 

 06:30. Set-up b'fast for the family: humans, canines and felines. 

 06:55. Listen 12 of 12 isn't always pretty, but this is part of my day....3-4x a day.

07:15. Trying to feign interest in the VP debates the next morning.

 13:00. Tuna fish on toast (or between it), Goldfish crackers and two chocolate raspberry wafer cookies.

17:10. The last of my clementines.  Yes, it's that season again. 5 per day, I eat.

 19:10. Evening doggie walk. Half of a neighbor's stone entryway.

19:30. One Petey dog almost taking my hand off to get his after-walk treat.

20:45.  Speaking of Petey: all the manipulation he likes to do of his bed, after 4 months, he shredded the underside of his bed last night. I know it looks like poop, but it's really just stuffing. He's using one of his other three beds now.

20:50. Dinner. Leftovers from multiple other meals.  Pork tenderloin and Spanish rice.
Don't judge.

22:10. A painting I got 710 when I was in Seattle last year. We had it framed and are finally going to hang it today!!!

Your Baker's Dozen.

22:30. Petey in his "new" bed. A smaller version of what he ripped up. It is his "office" bed. Yes, he has a bed in my office so he can sleep while I work.  And yes, that is snot on the side of the bed.
Don't judge. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Let the Music Play

I forgot to do my post on the Compact Disk turning 30 years old.    ...that's like only 7 years younger than I am.

Since Billy Hole's Joel's 52nd Street was the first commercial album (?) compact disk release, I'm surprised the medium went anywhere. You couldn't pay me enough to own that album, let alone on a disk that won't wear out.

The compact disk has lasted longer than the cassette and, well definitely the 8-track. It has yet to outlive vinyl, but hell, even that made a comeback, albeit a pricey one (the new Aimee Mann on vinyl is $25!). 

I had to have a CD player back in 1985-86 and bought a good one for $149. It was pricey then, but I was grossing about $13,000 a year.....but I was also driving a 1971 Maverick, so that $149 was my 'fuck you money'. 

Turns out the player cost nothing compared to the price of the disks. Of course, then CDs used to cost $18 - and now they're what, $10?

And my friend Jon will remember, the only place you could get them in Columbus at the time was a place called CD Jungle and then For the Record (which ironically sold no vinyl).

I actually bought my first two CDs before I got the player - and both because of Jon: Laurie Anderson's Home of the Brave and Kate Bush's  The Hounds of Love. They were great and still are. 

And while the medium still might be produced, and might have a less compressed sound quality than .mp3s, I haven't purchased a physical CD for over six years. My hearing cannot tell the difference between the quality and I have no desire to store these things anymore.

That said, I haven't been able to part with the 400 disks I currently own. Yeah, they're all ripped and on a hard drive - and backed-up - but I can't quite get rid of them.....and yet have not touched one for years. You know.......just in case. 

Jon used to make fun of me (he probably still does), because I alphabetized them by artist and then album title. And yes, if you opened up the case, the disk was upright.  I had an OCD problem.

But that crap about CDs never skipping or popping is a bunch of bull. I was very careful with mine, but shit happens.

The best thing about the medium was the recordable disk. Oh, how I made better music for my car, since I could pick and choose my own songs.

What will become of the compact disk?  I know folks who still buy them, but I can't imagine how it will sustain itself. The music industry has gone back to the '50's where people buy singles (or single songs). It's now longer album driven.

But for now, I have 400 of them, taking up shelves and shelves of space.

Song by: Shannon

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Coming Out

Oh, it's that time of year again.

I never know how to feel about National Coming Out Day.

Maybe it's age and / or time, but I just don't care that much anymore. There is no timeline to say when to come out.

...and yes, I know that is not the intent. The intent is to bring awareness that gay folk should be proud and come out, at least eventually.  Not on Oct 11th.

In reality, there is no day to come out. We've been doing it our entire lives and most likely will continue that.

Yes, friends and family know. Even my neighbors. I mean, c'mon, we're listed in the neighborhood directory:  two men's names and we're too old to be "roommates".

But some workers don't know - and since I work remotely, they just won't know my story. My clients don't know. My staff don't necessarily know. But invariably, someone will ask if I'm married, or about my wife or about my kids.

Then it gets tricky.

Yeah, you want to be honest, but you have to balance with pride, their right to know, and keeping the status quo with a client who not only really doesn't care, but is in a very very conservative business or location. And it is my work and not my personal life that is what I'm there for.  So yeah, now and again, I skirt the issue.

It doesn't help educate them or become more tolerant when I avoid (but not lie), but it is a balance. My company didn't hire me to be a spokesman for anything other than them.

Don't get me wrong, I've had staff members say vague gay comments (not the good kind), and I will call them on it and tell them I am gay as are many others in the company and how inappropriate they are, but in general, I don't announce my gaydom just to announce it.

I know guys who do and will and that's fine. I don't think we should all be the same in that regard. There are the fierce advocates who must tell everyone all the time, there are the do-nothings and then there are those of us in between.

But unlike the straights, there isn't a time we're done telling people who we are, because others just assume....and you know how that goes.

Song by: Curt Smith

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Rescue Me

Brian Williams is a lot funnier on 30 Rock than he is on the NBC Nightly News.

Still, who can resist a good dog story - and better yet, that it is a beagle one?  Yes, I might be playing favourites here. 710 said if we ever get another dog, it should be a beagle.

I can't argue with that - they are so cute.  ...and it seems he's brand loyal. Not a bad thing to be.

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I'd be one of those guys who'd want to pet the worker-bee dogs, but I won't interfere with their work. I can show restraint, but I would stop to watch them.

Song by: Madonna

Tuesday, October 09, 2012


One's vote is supposed to be - or allowed to be - private.

Mine?  Not so much.  I'm giving it to you right here. Not that any of you assumed I was voting for Mittens.

Gary Johnson had a better shot getting me to fill in the little circle - whoever the frick he is.

Yes, I am voting early and via absentee ballot, again. Besides never being sure if I will be on the road when election day comes around, I tend to play it safe and request a ballot in September.

I haven't voted electronically since 2006. Not to feed into the conspiracy, but I don't trust the system.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not horribly confident my mailed-in ballot will be tabulated either. That is kind of a sad statement, no? But considering Cuyahoga County, where I vote, had boxes of uncounted ballots sitting on a loading dock after an election, the level of trust just isn't there.

Still, the selection is made and will be mailed today. Hopefully things will go my way. I don't care what Mitt's ads say, we can stand four more years.

But if they wanted to do right by any election season, somehow RFID my voter mail and scan it into my TV. Cease all political ads to those who have already voted. I'm sure the Geneva Convention would see the continuation of those ads are cruel & unusual punishment.

Song by:  Joy Division

Monday, October 08, 2012

My Music Monday

Some of Marshall Crenshaw's work could be classified Pure Pop for Now People had Nick Lowe not already used it as an album title (though the UK version was called Jesus of Cool).

While folks might recognize he played John Lennon in Beatlemania, more than likely you really only know him from his only top 40 hit "Someday, Someway".

But I've liked Crenshaw's work as an artist and a songwriter, but what was probably considered a throwaway song is my favourite.

I found "Mary Jean" on a $0.99 cassette tape of Warner Bros. B-Sides (the only other song worthy of note from that was Take 6 and k.d. lang's "Ridin' the Rails"  - lord, what my memory captures and retains!).

But clearly Crenshaw eventually released the song on a disk, Mary Jean and 9 Others.

There is no true video for "Mary Jean". He wasn't an artist that any company was plugging down money for that kind of investment - which is a shame. Still it's a great song (so says I) and it's on all of my variations of iPods and iPhones.

It's four minutes of pop goodness.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Light My Fire

Fire pits. Food. Football. Friends. ...and alliteration.

This is what we did last night: celebrated Rebecca's birthday. It was a faux surprise. Her daughter leaked the info days before, though she might not have truly known I was showing up.

'Twas cold out....but the fire helped. And of course, the alcohol thinned blood made me think I was warmer than I was.  That is how one would freeze to death, had there not been a domicile 200 feet away - which is where I eventually went into.

I'd have put 'Felines' into the top list, but Rebecca & co currently do not have any cats, but they do have two doggies. I almost brought Petey with me, then 710 decided to stay home, so he was his primary caregiver. Or Petey was his. Or both.

Barkley, their bigger dog, is a sweetie. He's a love lump.  But their puppy, Lily, i so fricking cute - though she has razor sharp puppy teeth.

Ditto was telling folks the more poorly behaved dog, the better I like them. Not really true, but Lily is a puppy, and cuteness lets you get away with a lot.

Now it is off to breakfast.....well, eventually. At least in the near future.

Song by: the Doors

Saturday, October 06, 2012


Yesterday was my parent's 56th anniversary.

Amazing how time goes. It was only six years ago that we hosted their Golden Anniversary.

I didn't forget their special day, but it did coincide at dinner at my sister's.  So we combined the events.

710 was great enough to pick up a cake to take over.  He was telling me about how they decorated the cake for him:  Happy Anniversary Bob & El.

It made me chuckle.  Kiddingly I said, "so, the cake is from you?"

He looked confused.

I said, "well, the rest of us just call them 'mom & dad'". 

He found it funny too. If my parents noticed, they didn't say a thing. And in reality, all the grand kids call my dad 'Bob'.  It was a lot easier to say for a toddler than "grandpa".

It was low key. Maybe it shouldn't be. 56 years is pretty amazing. Then I started thinking of it, 710 and I have been together half as long as my parents. It's hard to imagine we started seeing each other at their 28th anniversary.

710 is hoping we make it to 56 - I'm not so sure. I mean, I'd love to be with him that long, it is just that I'm not sure I want to live that long. Morbid?  Perhaps.

...and no offense to 710, but the cake wasn't all that good.  If he wants me to stick with him for another quarter century plus, he's got to pick up his game when it comes to selecting dessert.

Song by: Suzanne Vega

Friday, October 05, 2012

the Logical Song

It has been one tough work week.

No, I don't want to talk about - but thanks for asking.  So I'm just posting a funny (all relative, I suppose) pic.

...and it's funny because it's true.

Maybe you have to have a cat to get this.  If Sophie sees silver, I get yelling of a lifetime.

Song by: Supertramp

Thursday, October 04, 2012

People Talkin'

I suppose it would be the right thing to tell you all I watched the debate.

I didn't.

It's not that I am not a responsible voter. Under no circumstances can I imagine a scenario where anything Mittens says or said will make me change my mind to fill in a little dot to help make him the next President of the United States.

And like air shows, NASCAR and American Idol - one has to watch far to long and pray to hard to see someone crash and burn. The payoff just isn't there.

Since this is my first election using Facebook, I get to see all these "friends" recap the debate for me real time - which I can't say is a good thing.

To be fair, I did turn the debates on for about three hours minutes.  How do they pick who'll have the red tie and who the blue? Is purple or orange even an option? Are we so stupid to think if they don't show red, white and blue that we consider them unpatriotic?

Was Obama considered on the left because he was "stage left"?  Was putting Romney on the left just to fuck with us on where he doesn't stand politically?

I know I should care - or at least pretend to - but I don't. As soon as it's over, if not before, the spin will start. There will be two winners (and two losers) depending on which slanted news organization you prefer. I can't imagine there is a rhyme or reason to these things.

...and then there are the questions. OMG, the lame-ass questions so you can get lame-ass answers. If you saw Newsroom, Aaron Sorkin had a bit about making it a real debate and changing it where they had to answer specific questions and never let off the hook and calling them on their past shit.

THAT I would watch.

Since we don't have that forum, I'll just scroll through all the stuff on the DVR.

Two more to go - plus the VP ones.

Song by: Lucinda Williams

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

A Comet Appears

2012 S1. That is the name of a newly discovered comet headed right toward earth!!!!*

As astronomy goes, I can take or leave solar flares, black holes or super novas. Comets are where it's at.

Since I was in 4th grade and hearing about Halley's comet, I was excited for the arrival of 1986 and the return that big ball of ice hurtling towards the sun where it would burn and illuminate as it passed by.

...alas, I'm not so sure I remember 1986 or ever seeing the comet. I'm also pretty sure I won't see it in 2061. Actually, I'm very sure of it.

But I was a big fan of the Hale-Bopp comet. Not enough to get a pair of Nike's, a purple blanket and some vodka. Still, each and every night, I would stand outside and just watch the nighttime sky.  For hours.  ...and it was cold out!

Night after night it would just seemingly hang in the sky, even though I knew it was moving at enormous rates of speed, it was just like suspended animation. I never got tired of just staring.  But Hale-Bopp is now I have to wait until November 2013 for 2012 S1.

It is possible 2012 S1 will get too close to the sun and flame out. But if it doesn' could be the brightest comet ever to be seen from this little blue marble, possibly even visible during the day and brighter than a full moon.

Seriously, how cool is that?  Or hot.

Just remind me in a year, so I don't miss it.

*37,282.715 miles from earth, actually.

Song by: the Shins

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

On the Greener Side

I promised at least one cooking post this week and this might be it - we'll see.

I had planned to make soup on Sunday and then it turned out to be a great, warm day. It didn't seem like soup weather.

Of course, that broccoli and spinach I bought at the West Side Market wouldn't last forever, so soup was to be made sooner than later.

America's Test Kitchen did a segment weeks back on Broccoli Cheese soup (BCS from now on, I'm not typing that out over and over again). I like this kind of soup. To be fair, they warned viewers that true BCS isn't orange like you see at places like Panera (though it is really good there!), but green.  And green it is.

One uses the broccoli florets and the stems. But the green colour comes more from the spinach.

Since you use unsalted butter and low-sodium chicken broth, and there are two different kinds of cheese, I took it easy on adding salt. But after it was all done, I did need to put some in for flavour. ...still it was missing something. I can't put my finger on it.

The recipe also calls to use a blender. America's Test Kitchen used one and it was a smooth soup. That's great, but I do like some texture, and if you remember, sometimes the blender and I are not compatible. I used an immersion blender.

I would probably serve to guests. It is healthy (no cream), clean-up takes longer than prep. You can cook it and blend it all in one pot. It makes 6-8 servings, so we'll have it for a little while, but I suppose I'll be eating it for lunch this week.

It doesn't photograph very well. And the green isn't horribly appetizing (remember when they tried green ketsup?)  and it looks like pea soup. But the rustic bread was good, and hearty enough to dip into the soup. It all definitely tastes better than it looks.

Song by:  Michelle Shocked