Wednesday, September 30, 2015

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!

21 years ago, Shawn Colvin put out an album of cover songs - Cover Girl. It was actually pretty good. She walked the tightrope of doing songs that weren't extremely well known to many people and yet still made them accessible.

21 years later, Shawn Colvin tries to replicate that model - but with less success with the release of Uncovered.

First off, I will go on record saying I did not purchase this, but it had been available for full streaming for at least a week prior to the album's release. After her last two mediocre studio albums, I wasn't buying this sight unheard. Not again.

With Cover Girl, I knew about one-third of the songs fairly well, so I had the advantage of not having too many preconceived notions of how the songs had once fared.

With Undercover, I know about 90% of the songs well. This doesn't bode well for Colvin.

While I won't say that some of her selections are classics, but to me, they are songs that I love, and some of them that were recorded are not easy to interpret and even less to surpass in greatness. And while I know she's probably working on a shoestring budget, the arrangements and musicians are sparse - leaving too many songs sounding too similar, just in instrumentation.

Let's start with the good:  Colvin does a decent job with Paul Simon's "American Tune". It's not Simon, but it is decent.  John Fogerty's "Lodi" fares ok. I'm not sure it's an acoustic song, but at least this selection has the most 'band' feel than most of the songs here. Robbie Robertson's "Acadian Driftwood" is pretty good.

The bad: None one could truly touch Neil Finn's "Private Universe" and get away with it. This includes Shawn. I know Finn is one of her favourite writers, but still, it's ambitious song at best and it doesn't make the mark.  Ditto with Springsteen's "Tougher Than the Rest". I'm not a fan of Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street" and I'll give her this, at least there is no annoying saxophone on it like Rafferty's version. I was hoping her rendition would show me that it was indeed a good song, but it just isn't.

And there are 10,001 versions of "Gimme a Little Sign" out there. And most of them have life attached to them. I know Marc Cohen is on the song, but he's so drowned out, I'm not sure why they bothered having him on.

If you want a better version of Tammy Wynette's "Til I Get it Right", even Tricia Yearwood has one with more heart.  It's a heartbreaking song and Colvin doesn't convey any of the emotion.

And that is what is really wrong with this disk - good to great technical readings of the songs, but no emotion, no heart and little warmth. A song evokes a feeling, and unfortunately, too few of these do.

Maybe one day I'll snag this from the library, but I'm not plunking down cash for it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

the Spoils of the Spoiled

I have to give credit where credit is due.

Magic Mike XXS (not a typo......well, I'm assuming) came through with his end of the wager, and while I made fun that I was getting cookies from an outlet mall consignment shoppe, I knew while his sense of humour wouldn't be beyond that, his ego would.

And I do say that in all niceness.  Honest.   Well, maybe not the "XXS" comment. That wasn't very nice now, was it?

First off, he endured the indignity of going into a branch of the USPS {oh, the horror!!!} - which is a real test of friendship. Then the man Priority Mailed the cookies.

Now the image below is where he makes it really difficult to be super-nice - which of course, I normally am!

The word(s) "supergay" might have slipped from my brain, past my lips and then to the keyboard of my iPhone. I mean, I am positive he had been saving this box from his Eau de Parfum manly cologne collection for months now.

Or - and this is just an 'or' - he was baiting me to say something and actually went out of his way to find a box like this to see what I would do or say. Though if this the case, it was a lot of effort as he knew exactly what I'd do and / or  say.

Mr. Mike (or Magic, as he allegedly likes to be called) did indeed ask me what type of cookie he wanted me to make - and I completely left it up to his judgement.

The man chose shortbread. They arrived intact, no breaks, no crumbles (well maybe a little at the tip of one wedge). Looking pretty - just the baker himself.

And of course, they are good. I knew they would. The combo of sweet, buttery and with a pinch of salt. I love the salt part in the cookies I make - I don't know why, but it give them that slight edge or bite.

I know I'll pay for this with some other contest, some other day. But for now, I'm reveling in the feeling of my win.......and shortbread.

Song by: the New Amsterdams

Monday, September 28, 2015

My Music Monday

It is almost impossible for me to not have a song from Blondie or Debbie Harry in a them with "shaking a tail feather" - and not just because she played Velma Von Tussle in the original movie version of Hairspray.

I love her group and solo work, but if I'm being honest, it's not all danceable. Listenable or singable, sure, but not always one that would make you wanna get up and move.

When it came down to it, I got my selections down to three: Harry's "the Jam Was Moving" from her album Koo Koo, or her cover of the Castaway's "Liar Liar", which she did for the movie Married to the Mob.

Still I went with Blondie and their song "War Child" off of their 1982 disk, the Hunter.

The song makes good use of guitar, percussion and horns. It builds quickly and stays there for the four minute duration. And Harry has a strong vocal presence, which isn't always the case.

"War Child" is 30+ years old and I never tire of it.

Blondie - War Child

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Top of the World

Well, we made it to the top.

I mean, not like in Everest, but to the top of our movie goal. And we didn't have to eke it out like most years.

We were done with said goal before the end of Q3. I will have to reassess the 2016 movie-going threshold.

Though I have to say, film selections for 2015 were pretty good - and we still aren't done. We already have tickets for the opening weekend of the Martian.

Anyways - for long time readers, or people who actually read for content - for decades, I've had an obsession with Everest. Reading, movies, well.......everything but climbing the mountain. The bathroom situation seems precarious at best. Oh - and the climbing thing.

Oddly, until seeing a movie a month ago, when we saw the preview, I had not heard a peep out this movie being in production. But having read the books (yes, the movie was culled from a few), and seeing the David Breashear's IMAX movie maybe 20 years ago, I was intrigued, though I was skeptical it would do any better than his movie or Jon Krakauer's book, Into Thin Air (though Everest does not use Krakauer's book at all).

Actually, as with most movies based on real-life events, liberties are taken. Everest is no different.

While it was briefly mentioned about too many teams ascending the mountain at once, when it came down to it, the movie makes it seem that there were only two, who combined into one.

While it was ever so briefly implied in a 10 second shot, but never explained if you didn't know the story, or infer it from those 10 seconds, many of the climbing teams were inexperienced.

While it was briefly described as a traffic jam of people ascending due to no fixed ropes, the actual bigger issue was people not being able to get off the summit due to multiple teams trying to get up and down the same passage, and added in would be those very slow inexperienced climbers.

Yes, the storm that hit the mountain was bad and ultimately caused the fatalities, but these other circumstances precipitated an inability for a quicker descent.

And since Krakauer's story was not used, his version of seeing a person walk off the side of the mountain in a blizzard is not told, nor was he really a dick by refusing to go help in a rescue effort.

David Breashera's and his IMAX team are mentioned once - barely - and never shown. While he is a producer of Everest, his actual (and real) footage of this climb was way more captivating than anything the director put to "film".

Oddly, the actual story itself would have been better than taking liberties. It's not like the events weren't exciting enough on their own.

Maybe because I knew the details of the 1996 climb, I felt the foreshadowing was extremely heavy-handed.

No offense to the cast, but no one was breaking any boundaries here. Jason Clarke fares better than the rest of the cast. Josh Brolin, was basically Josh Brolin, but in a parka.

Jake Gyllenhaal, as in the majority of his roles, could have been played by anyone - and if the character had "demons" they never explained them.

True that, Family Guy.  True that.

The reality is after the climbers get suited up in their North Face, it's hard to tell one character from another. Sure, they are unrealistic about taking off their gear so often so you can figure out who is who, as there is no other reason to do so.

We saw it in 3-D, which I think helped in some scenes, but you can never truly tell if it would have been less dramatic in 2-D. And there was actually a camera shot of climbers going up while the camera went downward, making it look like they were on an upward escalator. It was odd.

There were all of 9 of us in the theater (see cartoon Jake talking about being a box office drag), one being like a 8 year old who spoke the entire way through the movie and his parents answered every fucking question he asked.

I have to say, after the credits ran (yes, we stay for all the credits), one other guy remained, who goes, "do you think they took him home watch the Walking Dead?'.  I replied, 'probably Schindler's List'. We all laughed. I mean, the subject matter was a little much for an child.

The one thing the kid was spared some of the missing elements: like some of the survivors taking oxygen off of dying (not yet dead) climbers so they themselves wouldn't run out.

710 mentioned the movie, in a way, was a document of the events, and to leave them out was slightly changing history. I don't doubt that these people have to live with their decisions and to have it on the big screen would be horrendous for them - and that lawyers probably got involved.

Everest was ok. But just ok. I get that I had high expectations, but the filmmakers cut corners in a story where the actual story was fine in itself.

This is maybe a C+.  And I'm being a little generous.

2015 Movie Count / Goal:  12 of 12

Song by: the Dixie Chicks

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Soul Meets Body

Sophie has NOT been getting the love in these Saturday posts. Mainly, it is her fault for avoiding the paparazzi, but she does need to be seen.  I actually saved a few for next week in case she doesn't cooperate in the next seven days.

Petey meet-up with a newer neighbor dog, Emma.  Giving kisses to her too. He's such a flirt. 
We have to "Emmas" in the 'hood. And two Frankies. 

She makes a better door than a window, but that's ok. 
Though my face might not say it, I'm happy to have her there. 

One day I'll have to get video of Enzo barking and twirling as Petey approaches. 
He gets so excited for Petey visits. 

There is little better than her head resting on my hand in a beam of sun. 

Pete isn't much of a cuddler - we usually have to go to his level and show him the love.  

So when he jumps up in your lap, you have to cherish the time, and get a pic, because who knows when or if it will ever happen again. 

Song by: Death Cab for Cutie

Friday, September 25, 2015

Mercy Seat

Same-sex marriage nonchalantly comes to the funnies with a Speed Bump comic yesterday. 

But it came to the Cleveland Plain Dealer

Remind me to look for the foot-stomping Letters to the Editor insisting that the comic be dropped over this one. Srsly. 

Song by: Johnny Cash

Thursday, September 24, 2015

License to Thrill

As I rapidly approach senior citizenship, clearly I'm losing track of things. Nothing big - well, depending on who you ask - but just some points in time where 710 said we did x, y and z and I don't remember any of it.

I mean, he's going back years or even decades.

For anyone else you'd be like, "yeah, but that's years or decades ago". My friends will tell you I remember stuff, minutiae even, from any point in time. So, this might be a little blip, but one of those things to watch out for as I slip into dementia. Slowly, but surely.

Three days ago, I get a postcard from the BMV, telling me I'm more than 30 days late to renew my driver's license.


I've {almost} never missed something like this. But sure enough, I was 42 days overdue.

Since it was just 42 days, it wasn't a biggie. Had it been six months, I'd have to take both the written and driving portions of the driver's test all over again. Plus some kind of monetary penalty.

As it was, I just needed $25.75 and to pass an eye test - which was actually more difficult than it should have been. But I need a new prescription. I haven't forgotten about that - I've just been lazy about that.

Speaking of the eye exam - lord, that was tough. The blinking lights were fine, but focusing on what I was supposed to read was challenging, at least for one eye.

And the questions they ask. Honestly, they are new or I am truly not remembering these things:

Do you need contacts or glasses to drive?  Besides you just saw me eke through an eye test. Yes.
Have you always been a resident of Ohio?  Who cares. I have an OH license and just renewing it.
Outstanding warrants, or license suspended?  Wouldn't you have at least the latter in your computer?
Are you currently addicted to alcohol or prescription medication?  Even if I were, I wouldn't answer the question while tying to get a license to operate heavy machinery.

As you can see, those stories of the jam-packed BMV are tall tales. The last few times I've gone there has been almost no one. Though except for the license, most everything you can do on-line, so maybe that's the reason.

So, I got my license, but I laughed when reviewing the information that said my hair was 'brown'.

The woman corrected it, saying they now have a setting for 'bald'.

So...................there's that.

And now it's official.  I'm bald.

Song by: Billy Idol

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Cooking with Blobby

One pot or pan meals.  You kind of have to love them, if nothing else than for clean-up.  And it takes less than an hour. Closer to a half an hour.

I mean, we have a six burner stove and I'm not sure we've ever had more than three of them on. Usually just two.

As I think I said with my last cooking segment, I've been snagging more and more recipes off of the New York Times site.

They're seemingly doable, but not so pedestrian (or fancy, for that matter) that you'd be safe serving them to guests.

This time out: Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and Capers.

Boneless / Skinless Chicken Breasts - 4  (I had 3 because no package sells 4 - why is that?)
Olive Oil - 2 T
Butter - 2 T
Shallots - 6 T (finely chopped)
Garlic - 2 t (finely chopped)
Tarragon - 4 t (fresh finely chopped - halve the amount if dried)
White Wine - 1 c
Red Wine Vinegar - 1/4 c
Capers - 1/4 c (drained)
Plum Tomatoes - 28oz, drained and chopped
Tomato Paste - 2 t
Parsley - 1/4 c chopped

Heat the oil and butter in a heavy-bottom skillet. Add the chicken breasts and saute over medium-high heat, turning the pieces often until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the shallots and garlic around the chicken. Cook briefly.

Add the tarragon, tomatoes, vinegar, capers, wine and tomato paste. Stir to dissolve the brown particles adhering to the bottom of the skillet. 

Blend well; bring to a boil; cover and simmer for 9 minutes.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

The chicken was tender and moist. If there are fresh plum tomatoes, I'd probably use those instead of the canned for better flavour. The capers add a really nice touch, as does the tarragon.

The one thing I "screwed up" on, was seasoning the chicken. They said to use salt and white pepper. And while I had white pepper, I just used ground black pepper. I don't know it changed the taste or anything, but it is what it is.

The dish is fairly quick. It's fairly easy and everyone liked it. I'm sure I'll be doing it again.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


The Emmy Guessing Game™  is clearly important. Cookies are involved. Still it's not important enough to interrupt My Music Monday.

And let's face it, Mike has already calculated winners and losers, though he also needed Monday to double-check my results, as I did screw up once - for which he will not let me forget.

(update: he said he "trusted my work". Huzzah!)

Mike's choices are on top. Mine are below his. The winners / losers are fairly easily to figure out: - if his row is highlighted, he got the win, if mine is, then that's a win for me. If both lines are highlighted, we both got it. If neither are bolded, well, we both chose poorly.

Let's take a peek, shall we?

Drama series
Game of Thrones
Mad Men

Comedy series 

Actress in a drama 
Taraji P. Henson
Elizabeth Moss

Actor in a drama
Jon Hamm
Jon Hamm

Actress in a comedy 
Julie Louis-Dreyfus
Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Actor in a comedy 
Jeffrey Tambor
Louis C.K. 

Actress in a limited series or movie 
Jessica Lange
Frances McDormand

Actor in a limited series or movie 
Timothy Hutton
Richard Jenkins

Variety talk series 
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Reality-competition program 
The Amazing Race
Project Runway

Variety sketch series
Inside Amy Schumer
Inside Amy Schumer

Supporting actor in a drama series 
Ben Mendelsohn
Alan Cumming

Supporting actress in a drama series 
Lena Headey
Christine Baranski

Writing for a drama series 
Matthew Weiner
Matthew Weiner

Directing for a drama series 
David Nutter
David Nutter

Supporting actor in a comedy series 
Tony Hale
Keegan-Michael Key

Supporting actress in a comedy series 
Julie Bowen
Niecy Nash

Writing for a comedy series 
Jill Soloway
Alec Berg

Directing for a comedy series 
Jill Soloway
Mike Judge

Supporting actor in a limited series or a movie 
Bill Murray
Bill Murray

Supporting actress in a limited series or a movie 
Kathy Bates
Regina King

Writing for a limited series, movie or a dramatic special 
John Ridley
Jane Anderson

Directing for a limited series, movie or a dramatic special 
Ryan Murphy
Lisa Cholodenko

Writing for a variety series 
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Directing for a variety series 
Amy Schumer and Ryan McFaul
Chuck O'Neil

Let it be known that I did indeed give him credit for picking "Julie" Louis Dreyfus. So I'm not all bad.

I will go on record (and notified Magic Mike XXX early on) saying that I missed including the category of Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special. In theory - and it's just a theory, of course - had Mike selected correctly (as if!) and I did not (as if!), we would have tied.......again.

But going by his guesses for the Limited stuff, he was picking American Horror Story almost in a straight (as IF!) ticket. I was picking Olive Kittridge in mine. I would have selected that and then won this thing by two. (and really - WHO bets against Frances Fucking McDormand?)

I mean, we both missed 29% of the categories. In a class, we'd have gotten a solid D+.

As it is, I won by one.  But like Bush v Gore in 2000, a victory is a victory.

If you're a long time reader, you will know that usually we tie in these things. This is upsetting for many reasons:

A. potential of no cookies.
B. that Mike and I are not so different. And that one just cuts him to the core and keeps him up at night. As it should.

Once Mike saw his win whittle away, the bet of cookies started to dry up more than his over-baking skills. The prize went from home made, to store bought Pepperidge Farms, down to Nutter Butter knock-offs from Dollar Tree.

No one likes a sore loser, Mike.  No one.

Especially me. And especially when cookies (with no nuts!) are concerned.

Song by: David Bowie

Monday, September 21, 2015

My Music Monday

Week 3 of songs that make me 'shake a tail feather'.

I've always been a huge fan of Garbage's "Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go)".

In my mind, there just aren't enough songs about cross-dressing / drag / transvestism. Let alone with a beat. A dance-ish beat at that.

While the song has a great tempo (IMHO), it maintains the faster beat at the 2:15 mark. That is what would get me to move, should I ever find myself somewhere this song might be playing and that had a dance floor (which would be never and nowhere, btw).

The song is still pretty fresh, considering it is 14 years + old.

As for the video - I'm not thrilled how they bleep out 'shit' at the 0:20 mark. And Shirley Manson looks odd with blond hair. She is kind of a cross between P!nk and Kylie Minogue. I'm not saying that in a bad way - I always just like Manson's own look.

I still love the song. It's got a good beat and you can dance to it.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Grandma's Theme

The idea was to go see Everest.

As you might remember from previous posts, I used to obsess over the mountain and the climbs that happen on it.

Our timing didn't work out for the start - so it was go in late (never!) or wait another two hours for another viewing.

We opted for another movie, but the only one out that we could agree on was Grandma. This is not to be confused with M. Night Shamalamadingdong's the Visit, which has been advertised (at least here) out the wahzoo.

No, Grandma is an indie film with Lily Tomlin as a lesbian grandmother helping out - well, her grandchild. That's as close of a Spoiler Alert as I'm giving you.

It should be noted, that once again, we were the youngest folks in the audience. We were probably the only people there who didn't have grandkids - though I think these grandparents were most likely taken aback by the subject matter and tone.

Start to finish, this is Tomlin's movie. She is in every scene - and the rest of the cast isn't shabby: Sam Elliott, Laverne Cox, Judy Greer (who even if paid minimum wage must be filthy rich, as she is seemingly in everything!), Marcia Gay Harden (whom I love - her work, that is) and Elizabeth Peña - who is always great - in what has to be her last, or one of her last, roles.

As for the woman who plays Tomlin's granddaughter, until well into the film, I couldn't have told you if she was supposed to be in high school, college or beyond. With her hair and make-up she could have been 16 or 36. Since she was almost in every scene, I would have expected her to be a stronger actress. She was ok........but nothing past that.

All that said - the movie could have been stronger. It had all the elements and yet it didn't fire on all cylinders, and that's a shame. Peña, I get is a character actor, but she was almost wasted. Ditto with Greer. I got more true emotion out of a doctor than I did out of any of the main characters - though I thought Elliott played his part well.

I'm glad that into her 70s that Tomlin is getting a top-billed role, but I was expecting a little more out of the role itself. I think she did admirably with which she had to work.

As it turns out, the film ended just as the next showing of Everest was starting. Had we had the 3D glasses (I think it was in 3D), I just might have snuck into the theater to see it.

There's always next week.

2015 Movie Count / Goal:  11 of 12

Song by: John Mellencamp

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Get Him Back

Not a lot of time for pictures of the kids this week. We were gone most of it.

I hope it is my imagination, but Petey seems to be struggling a bit physically since this kennel visit. Of course, as I draft this, we haven't even had him home for 24 hours, so, maybe I'm just projecting a little.

Leaving the kennel. He's was very very VERY spry. 

We took him to the Polo Fields next. 

An adventure that wasn't encaged. 
He loved it. We could barely keep up with him he was moving so fast. 

My first clue he wasn't his normal self. 

Petey has sat in the car twice. Normally he just goes window to window, no matter how long the drive. 

Petey has gone full body down twice. Once after a long weekend in Columbus. And once on Thursday. He actually put his head down and slept the car ride home. THAT was a first. 

Then he slept for 5-6 hour straight after arriving home. 

Getting the Loch Ness Monster to sit still for a picture would be easier than capturing Sophie. 

She was happy to have Petey (and us) home. She likes her normalcy. 

Song by: Fiona Apple

Friday, September 18, 2015

Perfect View

Due to circumstances beyond our control, we went away last weekend, through Wednesday.

I say it was beyond our control, because we planned to go away a while a go and work issues just got in the way. When they finally cleared up, we literally planned a trip within four hours - including boarding Petey, hotels, etc.

Clearly, flying was out of the question. We don't have Trump kind of money, or a private jet. But on the plus side, we don't have multiple ex-wives, have daughters we want to date or believe that vaccines give children Autism.

On a slightly earlier version of this attempt, I did reach out to Tornwordo, as he is a newly licensed travel agent. His attempts were valiant, but ultimately all for naught, as 710 and I couldn't even solidify a departure date.

As it turned out, we just used the internets late Friday night and again the next morning. And we were off Saturday afternoon.

Our destination: NYC.   Possibly our favourite place. In certain ways, save the hotel and perhaps an event ticket or two, you don't need much planning. There are plenty of things to do in Manhattan.

We took the same hotel we did last time, though we got bumped up a few floors - well, 44 floors higher than before, to be specific.

The hotel "claims" to have "park views", but if they existed at all, the 18th floor doesn't show them. Or maybe you could see a blade of grass.

62?  Well, that is a different story.

Now, that is a park view.

Immediately, I was wondering how I could live with a husband, dog and cat in 300 square feet. And to be more specific, where would we put the cat box.

The hotel room had a microwave, coffee maker, slow cooker (swear to Yahweh) and a dishwasher. I could almost live-live there. And of course, to wake up to those views.

As we were 62 stories up, with floor to ceiling windows, we were too high for me to effectively dance in front of the glass, or spy on people. No building was close enough that had anything but daytime occupants.

Still.........the views.

Look one way and it's Time's Square. 

The other way is Central Park and the Upper West Side. 

Though you can't see it in the picture, you get the George Washington Bridge.

Straight ahead was the east side. 

The tall building with the curved top is One57. Currently it is the tallest residential building on the island, that can be occupied. It is also been the 'big ticket item' for real estate deals in the NYT almost every single week for the last 15 months.

If you look in the title image you'll see a taller residential building in progress over on Park Avenue. It will almost equal the height of 1 World Trade. Actually, if you take away 1WTC's antenna, this new one is taller.

And if you look at the park image, don't get too attached to the view. There are currently TWO residential buildings going up there, that will almost totally block said view.  It's a crime.

I'm glad we took this opportunity and even paid way more than we should have for one of the nights, because we won't be getting a view like that again.

Song by: the Graces

Thursday, September 17, 2015

the Television Set Waltz

It seems Mike and I (or any of you) didn't play the Emmy Guessing Game™ last year.

He probably was in a hissy fit back then and not talking to me or something. But now that a potential bounty of cookies are involved, he's all about the inclusion. So away we go.

Well, away we kind of go.

Where with the Oscars, they might be an educated guess, this is a full blown-out blindfolded pin the the tail on the donkey thing.

TV has changed - not that that is a bad thing. But it turns out, I'm not a good binge watcher. So many shows are now geared towards that method. I'm not a Game of Thrones fans (oh - some poor guys reading this just passed out!) and we just got Netflix, so.......since I don't binge, I haven't seen all of the shows here. Or many.

Crap that I watch won't get nominated.  Sorry House Hunters Off the Grid!  Sorry reruns of Law & Order: Criminal Intent!

So yeah. It's a guess. But I don't think Mike (or any of you who'd like to play along) are gonna do any better.

Prove me wrong.

(as it turns out, the Creative Arts Emmys were given last week, so anything in blue is a given for both any participant. They already won. We are really only counting the things in red.)

Drama series
"Game of Thrones"  "Mad Men" "Downton Abbey" "Orange Is the New Black" "Homeland"
"House  of Cards" "Better Call Saul"

Because it's time. 

Comedy series 
"Louie" "Modern Family" "Transparent" "Silicon Valley" "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" "Veep" "Parks and Recreation" Limited series "American Crime" "Olive Kitteridge" "American Horror Story: Freak Show" "The Honorable Woman" "Wolf Hall"

Actress in a drama 
Taraji P. Henson, "Empire" Viola Davis, "How to Get Away With Murder" Robin Wright, "House of Cards" Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men" Claire Danes, "Homeland" Tatiana Maslany, "Orphan Black"

Because it's time. 

Actor in a drama
Bob Odenkirk, "Better Call Saul" Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" Kevin Spacey, "House of Cards" Jeff Daniels, "The Newsroom" Kyle Chandler, "Bloodline" Liev Schreiber, "Ray Donovan" 

Because it's time. And the other nominees aren't that great. 

Actress in a comedy 
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep" Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation" Lily Tomlin, "Grace and Frankie" Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie" Amy Schumer, "Inside Amy Schumer" Lisa Kudrow, "Comeback"

I could got with Poehler (though not her best year in Parks and Rec). Louis-Dreyfus just nails it.

Actor in a comedy 
Jeffrey Tambor, "Transparent" Louis C.K., "Louie" Anthony Anderson, "black-ish" William H. Macy, "Shameless" Matt LeBlanc, "Episodes" Don Cheadle, "House of Lies" Will Forte, "Last Man on Earth"

Actress in a limited series or movie 
Felicity Huffman, "American Crime" Frances McDormand, "Olive Kitteridge" Maggie Gyllenhaal, "The Honorable Woman" Queen Latifah, "Bessie" Jessica Lange, "American Horror Story: Freak Show" Emma Thomson, "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street (Live From Lincoln Center)"

Actor in a limited series or movie 
David Oyelowo, "Nightingale" Richard Jenkins, "Olive Kitteridge" Timothy Hutton, "American Crime" Mark Rylance, "Wolf Hall" Ricky Gervais, "Derek: The Final Chapter" Adrian Brody, "Houdini"

Variety talk series 
"The Colbert Report" "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" "Jimmy Kimmel Live" "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver" "Late Show With David Letterman" "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon"

Reality-competition program 
"The Amazing Race" "Dancing With The Stars" "Project Runway" "So You Think You Can Dance" "Top Chef"

Variety sketch series 
"Drunk History" "Inside Amy Schumer" "Key & Peele" "Portlandia" "Saturday Night Live" Television movie "Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Curtain, Poirot’s Last Case" "Bessie" "Grace of Monaco" "Hello Ladies: The Movie" "Killing Jesus" "Nightingale"

Supporting actor in a drama series 
Jonathan Banks, "Better Call Saul" Ben Mendelsohn, "Bloodline" Jim Carter, "Downton Abbey" Peter Dinklage, "Game of Thrones" Alan Cumming, "The Good Wife" Michael Kelly, "House of Cards"

Because it's the only one I watch. And Cumming is great in it.

Supporting actress in a drama series 
Joanne Froggatt, "Downton Abbey" Lena Headey, "Game of Thrones" Emilia Clarke, "Game of Thrones" Christine Baranski, "The Good Wife" Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men" Uzo Aduba, "Orange Is the New Black"

Guest actor in a drama series 
Alan Alda, "The Blacklist" Michael J. Fox, "The Good Wife" F. Murray Abraham, "Homeland" Reg E. Cathey, "House of Cards" Beau Bridges, "Masters of Sex" Pablo Schreiber, "Orange Is the New Black"

Guest actress in a drama series 
Margo Martindale, "The Americans" Diana Rigg, "Game of Thrones" Rachel Brosnahan, "House of Cards" Cicely Tyson, "How to Get Away With Murder"

Writing for a drama series 
Joshua Brand, "The Americans" Gordon Smith, "Better Call Saul" David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, "Game of Thrones" Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner, "Mad Men" Matthew Weiner, "Mad Men"

Because I believe it's for the final series and the phone calls were just great.

Directing for a drama series 
Tim Van Patten, "Boardwalk Empire" David Nutter, "Game of Thrones" Jeremy Podeswa, "Game of Thrones" Lesli Linka Glatter, "Homeland" Steven Soderbergh, "The Knick"

ummmm....... ?

Supporting actor in a comedy series 
Andre Braugher, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" Adam Driver, "Girls" Keegan-Michael Key, "Key & Peele" Ty Burrell, "Modern Family" Tituss Burgess, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" Tony Hale, "Veep"

Like them all. It's total guess.

Supporting actress in a comedy series 
Mayim Bialik, "The Big Bang Theory" Niecy Nash, "Getting On" Julie Bowen, "Modern Family" Allison Janney, "Mom" Kate McKinnon, "Saturday Night Live" Gaby Hoffmann, "Transparent" Jane Krakowski, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" Anna Chlumsky, "Veep"

Wish Anna Chlumsky would get it. It'll probably go to Modern Family, but Nash is underrated and great in Getting On.

Guest actor in a comedy series 
Mel Brooks, "The Comedians" Paul Giamatti, "Inside Amy Schumer" Bill Hader, "Saturday Night Live" Louis C.K., "Saturday Night Live" Bradley Whitford, "Transparent" Jon Hamm, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"

Guest actress in a comedy series
Christine Baranski, "The Big Bang Theory" Gaby Hoffmann, "Girls" Pamela Adlon, "Louie" Elizabeth Banks, "Modern Family" Joan Cusack, "Shameless" Tina Fey, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"

I love Joan Cusak, but never saw it. Though shouldn't Tina Fey have one this just for the Marcia Clark make-up and hair?

Writing for a comedy series 
David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik, "Episodes" Will Forte, "The Last Man On Earth" Louis C.K., "Louie" Alec Berg, "Silicon Valley" Jill Soloway, "Transparent" Simon Blackwell,Armando Iannucci and Tony Roche, "Veep"

The show is so well done. I hope they get something.

Directing for a comedy series 
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, "The Last Man On Earth" Louis C.K., "Louie" Mike Judge, "Silicon Valley" Jill Soloway, "Transparent" Armando Iannucci, "Veep"

Supporting actor in a limited series or a movie 
Richard Cabral, "American Crime" Denis O'Hare, "American Horror Story: Freak Show" Finn Wittrock, "American Horror Story: Freak Show" Michael Kenneth Williams, "Bessie" Bill Murray, "Olive Kitteridge" Damian Lewis, "Wolf Hall" 

Supporting actress in a limited series or a movie 
Regina King, "American Crime" Sarah Paulson, "American Horror Story: Freak Show" Angela Bassett, "American Horror Story: Freak Show" Kathy Bates, "American Horror Story: Freak Show" Mo'Nique, "Bessie" Zoe Kazan, "Olive Kitteridge " 

Writing for a limited series, movie or a dramatic special 
John Ridley, "American Crime" Gina Rodriguez and Tatiana Maslany. Dee Rees, Christopher Cleveland, Bettina Gilois and Horton Foote, "Bessie" Stephen Merchant, Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, "Hello Ladies: The Movie" Hugo Blick, "The Honorable Woman" Jane Anderson, "Olive Kitteridge" Peter Straughan, "Wolf Hall"

Directing for a limited series, movie or a dramatic special 
Ryan Murphy, "American Horror Story: Freak Show" Dee Rees, "Bessie" Hugo Blick, "The Honorable Woman" Uli Edel, "Houdini" Tom Shankland, "The Missing" Lisa Cholodenko, "Olive Kitteridge" Peter Kosminsky, "Wolf Hall"

Host for a reality or reality-competition program 
Tom Bergeron, "Dancing With the Stars" Jane Lynch, "Hollywood Game Night" Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, "Project Runway" Cat Deeley, "So You Think You Can Dance" Anthony Bourdain, "The Taste"

Structured reality program 
"Antiques Roadshow" "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" "MythBusters" "Property Brothers" "Shark Tank" "Undercover Boss" Unstructured reality program "Alaska: The Last Frontier" "Deadliest Catch" "Intervention" "Million Dollar Listing New York" "Naked And Afraid" "Wahlburgers"

Variety special 
Bill Maher: Live From D.C. The Kennedy Center Honors "Louis C.K.: Live at the Comedy Store" "Mel Brooks Live at the Geffen" "The Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special" "Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek To Cheek LIVE!"

Writing for a variety series 
"The Colbert Report" "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" "Inside Amy Schumer" "Key & Peele" "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver"

Writing for a variety special 
"The 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards" "Key & Peele Super Bowl Special" "Louis C.K.: Live at the Comedy Store" "Mel Brooks Live at the Geffen" "The Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special" 

Directing for a variety series 
James Hoskinson, "The Colbert Report" Chuck O'Neil, "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" Amy Schumer and Ryan McFaul, "Inside Amy Schumer" Jerry Foley, "Late Show With David Letterman" Dave Diomedi, "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon"

Directing for a variety special 
Natalie Johns, "Annie Lennox: Nostalgia Live In Concert" Louis J. Horvitz, "The Kennedy Center Honors"  Hamish Hamilton, "The Oscars" Don Roy King, "The Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special" Glenn Weiss, "68th Annual Tony Awards"

Song by: Matthew Penn

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

App of the Month

We are on a driving trip. Some smaller ports of call, but some larger ones as well.

Parking in a city like New York can be problematic. If you can find street parking, while there is always the issue of theft, break-in and scrapes, the bigger problem is alternate side of the street parking. This means every other day, you must find another parking space on the other side of the street.

Parking lots or garages can be a problem too. Just ask Ferris Bueller.

Seriously though - NYC garages are pricey! I remember when they were $26 per day. I would love to go back to those days. Many that I see now, you can get a great rate of $8.45................per half-hour!!

So, my cousin David steered me to ParkWhiz. An app that allows you to search for and book parking garages by rate. If you don't mind walking a few blocks, you can do pretty well. And it's NYC, it's all about the walking anyways, so what is 2.5 blocks?

The hotel we were staying at - you can park for $55 per day. That is a lot of beer!

Of course, anytime you let the hotel park your car the rate is jacked up. Last time we did it ourselves and I think we came out with a $37 per day.  We thought that was a deal.

ParkWhiz did better.

You select your preferred location (by dragging the map if needed) and enter the dates and time of your arrival and departure. It will bring up participating and available garages. 

Clearly, you can see there is a huge difference in price. 

We were staying on W. 54th, so I chose the $107 one. Hell, that's $26.75 per day. 

I booked the spot, I got the confirmation code and scanning data. We got the garage and boom - it was done. 

The garage was nice too - not one of those skeezy ones that it could have been. Hell, the first two parked cars were Maserati's  - so someone must trust these guys. 

The app is free, and even if I never use it again - it was totally worth it. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Site of the Month

Simple. Easy. Mean.

Three adjectives to describe Donald Trump.

Of course, if he were describing you, it would be: Loser. Disaster. and....well.....probably Loser.

He doesn't haven't a huge vocabulary for his put downs, not that he doesn't put down folks all the time.

He's the schoolyard bully.

Let's face it - Trump is Scut Farkas from a Christmas Story.  A big talker until someone really takes him on. And then you see he's just a shell of a man.

Still, for those people you know who can take a joke - or for those assholes you know who cannot, the Trump Generator might just be the site for you.

Really - all you do is type in their name, choose 1 of 5 or so backgrounds and well.......then it gets a little tricky. You can send it to your Twitter account or link it to your Facebook account.

OR - you can do what I did, and just do a screen capture of it and I posted it where I want without linking the site to anything. Because if FB has taught me anything, that people are assholes when it comes to politics and taking a joke.

The Trump Generator will come up with its own derogatory tweet about the person you typed into the placeholder. Though to be honest - it might A tweet. I'm not sure it generates much more than " a total loser".  

I could be wrong.

Sure, it's low-brow, but it's Blobby's Blog. This ain't Shakespeare. It's not even Christopher Marlowe. It's Blobby!

Monday, September 14, 2015

My Music Monday

Shaking Tail Feathers is what we are doing this month - according to Erik. (not that he's participated in his own theme choice, mind you.)

I think it's fair to say, what I'd "dance" to, and what most people might would be considered very different.

There was a day, when one could go to Wall St. (my oh my, it's still in business and with the worse website ever!) on a Wednesday and dance to songs that no other gay bar would play. While the Cure might be a favourite amongst certain homos, back then, on a Saturday night, it wouldn't make a DJ playlist because the fags (oh yes, I went there) had to hear Black Box's "Ride on Time" for the 128th Saturday in a row - or worse CC + the Music Factory.  Cuz that never gets old.

But throw on a Smiths song and I was out there. It just only happened on Wednesday nights.  Ruckiry (not Jon's boss), I drank most weekday and weekend nights, so it wasn't out of the question that I might be there mid-week.

Now it is 25+ years later and Blobby doesn't go out to gay bars much, let alone ones where dancing takes place. The Smiths only exist on vinyl, but Morrissey is still putting out music - some much better than others.

A good Morrissey song will have me belting it out in my car or kitchen. And it's always appreciated while doing cardio or lifting - and none more so than his "That's How People Grow Up".

True to his style - Morrissey does go on about how lonely and miserable he is, but it still brings a smile to my face.  I mean, how can you not almost laugh at a lyric that say: "I was driving my car / I crashed and broke my spine / so yes there are things worse in life / than never finding someone's sweetie."

It never gets old. And only he can write stuff like that and truly get away with it.

So you might not shake a tail feather to this, but I would.  Just in my own way.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 66th 12 of 12

Normally it is 12 pictures taken on the 12th 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, any number of random bloggers who then link back to him and vice versa. Chad is no longer doing this, nor is successor coordinating the linking of other 12 of 12'ers anymore. Now it's just Erik (and sometimes Jim) and myself - that I know of. 

I still continue to do this, because of all my consistent post topics, I actually like this one the most.

04:14. Bam. Bam. Bam. Bam. 
Naturally, I thought it was gunfire right outside our windows. Sad but true. It was pouring out, and someone was shooting? 

As it turns out it was a transformer blowing up two blocks away. I can't imagine what it sounded like next to those houses. 

 07:07.  No power. So 710 had to make coffee by heating water on the stove. Just like pioneer times.
He poo-poo'd my suggestion he go out to Starbucks. 

09:00. Petey walk. 4.5 hours after reporting the outage, the electric company showed up to fix it. There were downed live wires and all. 

09:45. Big Al's Diner for b'fast.  
The food is good. The service is beyond bad. 

14:15.  Road Trip!
Bags packed. Trunk loaded. 

14:40.  Saying bye to my sweet girl. 
I hate that she knows when we are leaving. 

 15:10.  Petey coming in for his boarding facility for the next few days. 

17:45. Crossing state lines. 

 19:27.  Driving past Beaver (hehehehe.......Beaver!) Stadium. 
We only went half-way on our road trip - and ended up in State College, PA. 

19:50.  Our hotel was pet-friendly. 
I wish we had them both with us. 

 20:30.  Note to self: do not throw head back in laughter whilst at dinner. 

21:55. At hotel. Gotta prep this post. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Well Well Well

It's a quick Petey Porn this week. Didn't even get a good shot of his sister.

Petey at the vet for his wellness visit. 

Petey's probable last rabies vaccine.  
They last three years. I mean, I hope he's with us at 16-17, but you never know.  He's so frickin' handsome.  

In play mode. Hiding behind sofa cushions. 

Song by: John Lennon