Wednesday, May 31, 2023

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! 

If I'm being honest, the title, First Two Pages of Frankenstein - the new album by the National  - might be the most interesting thing about their new release.  And it pains me to say it. 

I'd say "I'm a big fan of the band", but the last 2-3 albums have been in decline. And that decline was getting more pronounced until Frankenstein

It's not that it is bad. Objectively, it isn't. It is just repetitive in rhythm, style and sound. All that said, repeated listens have made it a little better,  The phrase that keeps coming back to me for the most part is:  "music for a resting pulse".  

But how bad can a disk be that mentions both New Order and the Afghan Whigs in separate songs? 

Oddly, the most interesting song on here, might not be on here. Their collaboration with Bon Iver last year (presumably from these recording sessions) might be better than anything on Frankenstein

This disk definitely has its moments.  The first release, "Tropic Morning News" is pleasant enough. 

The most original item is a collaboration with Taylor Swift, with "the Alcott".  I won't say it's a centerpiece, but the vocal arrangements are the most interesting on the entire disk. Almost all of them being Swift. After a while the band is purely secondary. 

The National has this triangle going on: bandmate Aaron Dessner has produced two of Swift's critical successful albums. One of those songs includes Bon Iver.  Bov Iver is part of Dessner's side project, Big Red Machine, in which Swift also appears on a song. And then of course, the aforementioned National / Bon Iver song. One begins to wonder if they can even function without each other at this point. 

I will say this:  Phoebe Bridgers - why? And on two songs? The word "milquetoast" comes to mind. Her vocals are not special or distinctive. I said it when she appeared on a Killers album: she must know where the bodies are buried. Other than that, I cannot account for her here....or anywhere. 

The band has its moments. I like "Grease in Your Hair" which has a semi-familiar vibe, but at least they pick up the beat a bit, once their into their song. But more often than not, it's a slow moving song like "Once Upon a Poolside", "Send to Me" and "Ice Machines".  "This Isn't Working" (which is an aptly named subtitle for this disk), has shades of songs from High Violet

Yes, there is a familiarity with this disk, but it doesn't really speak to me they way some of their disks have in the past. It's there! 

Allegedly, they recorded 20+ songs for this disk and whittled it down to 11. Kind of makes you wonder if what they left off was better than this - or worse. 

Frankenstein doesn't really leave me wanting more - it's leaves me wanting something! 

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

My Hometown

I grew up in a bucolic town. 

Safe. Pretty. Boring. 

Well, boring when you're 11-17 years old. Everyone loves the town when I mention it. They love it there. They like going there. 

They filmed a tv movie here in the '70s - the Gathering - with Maureen Stapleton and Ed Asner. A Hallmark xmas movie, before there were Hallmark xmas movies. I remember being on the 'bustling' streets as an extra. I believe my body of work was left on the editing room floor. 

It's also known as the hometown for Tim Conway and later where Bill Watterson from Calvin & Hobbes fame would live (he actually lives very near to us currently). 

But even as an adult, I avoided the place. I'd come to my parent's house in a roundabout way where I never drove through the center of town. 

There is a "historic" shop (shown here) that people love - popcorn and ice cream. It is cramped and hovers over - literally - a waterfall. In 50+ years, I've never been inside. 

Since my mother died, almost four years ago, I've been through town maybe once. There is literally no need to go out that way anymore. And no desire. I'm not the most nostalgic of folks. 

Memorial Day weekend, there is Blossom Time Festival.  Never mind that blossoms have already blossomed weeks or more beforehand. It's a place for carnies, funnel cakes, sausage and peppers and rides on the Tilt-a-Whirl and the ToothChipper. 

Naturally, there is a parade and a Blossom Time Queen. Why wouldn't there be?

We haven't been down there for 15 years, when 710 and I took three nieces / nephews to the event. I believe those kids are now out of college, though one might still be in. Clearly, I'm not keeping track. Or see them. 

Yet two days ago I returned.  Hardly prodigal. Prodigally? 

Weeks ago, when I mentioned to my brother-in-law I was attempting to run the half-marathon, he said I should run the Blossom Time Race. I knew it existed. I knew he ran it.  He even inferred he'd be running it and I should join him. 

Yes, I waited until four days for the race to sign-up, but it's not so rigid that you can't just sign up the morning of. I shot him a message, but he bailed saying he was doing a golf tournament that day, but maybe next year. 


Now I kind of committed myself and paid the $30. Trust me, the t-shirt wasn't worth three Hamiltons. I'm not even sure it is worth three Washingtons. Actually, I know it isn't. 

The run was ok. Not great. Maybe 1,600 participants. It started at 09:00 - so the temps started to rise. 72 for most of the run. That seems ok in theory, but you really have to add 10-15 degrees when you run. So it was hot. Starting at 07:00 would be better, but I'm guessing - houses of worship and such nonsense look down on encroaching on their time. 

I went alone. No 710 at this race. Honestly, the trip out and back would take almost twice as long as the run itself. Hardly worth it. 

After my post-race banana (not a euphemism) and bottle of water, I headed to the draw to the town, the falls.  Technically there are three, but two are man made. This one is not. 

There is a nice overlook - and lower overlook - to the falls, but I went out into the river to get the real photo op.  Luckily, some nice lady was down there with her kids and she agreed to be my photographer. 

We haven't had a lot of rain lately, but when it happens, the falls are pretty impressive. I mean, not Victoria or Niagara, but for a small mid-west town, it's ok.  I see the draw. 

When I got back to my car, there was a flyer for a 5k for B'nai B'rith. I guess I know what I'll be doing on July 23rd.  

Song by: Bruce Springsteen

Monday, May 29, 2023

My Music Monday

It's Memorial Day, but I have no military songs, other than Martika's "Tin Soldiers".    .....again, I kid about Martika. I most certainly do not have that song.  Or Martika's Greatest Hit cd single. 

The Pretenders have a new song out - with a new album on the way. 

Honestly, I have only purchased the first three of their 11 releases.  All very fine albums. Their debut is amazing.  ....and 44 years old !!!!

How does this keep happening to me?

And better yet, I am still amazed that 80s bands are making music four decades later.  Still, 12 disks (the new one will be #12) in 44 years, is a decent output, but not tons either. 

"Let the Sun Come In" is a good song. But it's nothing groundbreaking either. It sounds and plays like the group.  I'm guessing there is no need to stray from what you've done for so long. 

Sunday, May 28, 2023


Oh my! It's been a full two months since we've seen a movie - at the theatre or on any streaming service. How very bad of us. 

There isn't a lot to see out there that isn't big box office fare.  But Guardians of the Galaxy?  nein.   The Little Mermaid?  Fuck no!  Fast and Furioux CXVI?  FUCK FUCK no.  The Book Club? How many Golden Girls-like movies can Jane Fonda make in a year?

Even our art house theater was showing two of those. Those poor guys were so hit hard by covid, they are forced to show mega-plex movies to stay alive. 

But Julia Louis Dreyfus has a new movie, You Hurt My Feelings.  I kept seeing it pop up in my IG feed. 

Let's start with the elderly woman at the box office, shall we?   

Me: "Two for You Hurt My Feelings." 
Her: "I'm sorry honey, I didn't mean to!"


{laughs all around}

Touché, old woman.  Touché.

Hurt is a relationship movie. Plain and simple.  Slightly predictable, but fairly well done.  Nothing major happens exactly. Emotional conflict? Sure. 

It has humour for sure, but the trailer made it seem more of a comedy than it is. Mostly it's is upbeat and it has a good pace.

We could not think of who played Julia's husband. It turns out it was the guy who played Prince Philip in seasons 3 and 4 of the the Crown. And Stewie from Succession is in it too.  The former did an exceptional job. 

All that said, it might be a better movie for streaming. 

2023 Movie Count / Goal: 06 of 15

Song by: Nine Inch Nails

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Lick it Up

 We really have to get a cat. I love Shep and all, but we need to mix up Saturdays, no? 

Successful daycare pick-up. 

Car rides.  One of his favourite things. 

I learned absolutely nothing from getting bit the other week. 
99.9999% of the time it's pets and licks. 

Shep's fave place in the back yard is under a bush. He digs a little bed out and goes there to lay down .

Song by: Kiss

Friday, May 26, 2023

Running Towards a Place

I signed up for another race. Nothing major. But as soon as the payment went through, 710 got notification of a purchase. 

Yes, we share bank accounts and all, which is still a little weird to me, 30 odd years in. Buying presents is tricky, because he will look when I buy something - even if it's for him. At the holidays this last year, on a gift with which I wanted to surprise him, I went to great lengths to hide the purchase. Purchased gift cards and used them to pay for the gift. 


Anyhoo.........moments after the charge went through, I got this text:

I laughed. 

I screen captured it and sent it to Morty & Co. 

710 is smart enough to know that both Morty and I would take this as a compliment. 

The way I see it: it is, I get another t-shirt out of the deal and he gets me out of the house for a few hours. It's kind of a win-win, no? 

Song by: the Killers

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Overnight Sensation

As a Gay, I am contractually obligated to talk about Tina Turner and her death. 

Of course, it's sad. ...but 83. Not bad. Especially since she didn't completely come into her own until the age of 43-44. 

It was 1984 and MTV was new-ish and "What's Love Got to Do with It?" was in rotation every sixth song. Somewhere between Bananarama's "Cruel Summer", Madonna's "Lucky Star" and of course, John Waite's "Missing You". 

Yes, now you remember the era, right? 

But Private Dancer was her phoenix moment. Rising from the ashes of her marriage and musical arrangement with Ike. She somewhat dominated MTV for a while, and seemed to be on more than the Madonnas or Martikas of the world.  

Of course, I kid about Martika. 

It's been almost two years since an HBO documentary on Turner came out. I have to believe you can stream it, and of course, if out of rotation, they're never going to turn down an opportunistic moment to rerelease something if it suits their wallets. I say, look for it.

Even if you peripherally knew of her, the life she had was a difficult one at best. Of course, in the '80s, things got better for her, musically, monetarily, artistically, etc. And she was deserving. 

I think her 21st century moments came in a play that was about her, her solo induction into the Rock Hall o' Fame (she's also in with Ike), and the references to her in Schitt's Creek

I'll be honest, I know some of her songs, but not a lot, and not by heart. So when Patrick did an acoustic version of "the Best", I didn't know it was her song until the chorus. I knew none of the verses. None. And it wasn't just the acoustic arrangement that threw me. I just didn't know it. 

I love that Turner married someone like 20 years younger. I really love that she relinquished her U.S. citizenship and moved to Switzerland.  I mean, currently, that is exactly what I'd like to do.  ....and she did it before BLOTUS, so she lucked out. 

Thee is no great wrap-up here. I'm (read: we're ) of that age when the artists we grew up with are just aging out. are we. 

Song by: Tina Turner

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

the Song Remains the Same

The Right is right:  men in dresses are a threat to children being sexually abused while they also get indoctrinated at the same time. 

Turns out - shock of shocks! - they're not drag queens or trans folk. 

I'm so tired of the church with this shit. And 2000?  You mean, 2000 who have come forward. The actual number is exponentially higher. It has to be. 

But the abuse by religion is nothing new. The ignoring of it by political institutions is nothing new either.   ......until lately. 

The Right's inability to sate their appetite for tales of trans people and drag queens for some cheap, but seemingly effective political points is mind boggling. That they overlook actual fucking abuse - doing absolutely nothing! - because religion and religious leaders are A). Big Business.  B). the Endorsement the need to get. 

....and B, is really #1. 

And the ignoring isn't a Right thing. Let's see what Pappy Joe - a Catholic - has to say. You'll have to lean in really close to hear - but no worries, I'll tell you:   what you'll hear is nothing. 

The only difference between the Right and Left on this are the Drag Queens and Trans people. Oh, I don't thing the dems are much more progressive on either of those groups of folk, but they just keep their pie hole closed. 

In theory, if the Right (or Left) truly cared about 'pro life' {snicker} they'd care about this issue. But they care about this about as much as they do school shootings. 

No.  No.  Wait. They care less about this, because there are no guns to protect. 

The GOP is pro-birth. They are not pro-life.  The church is pro-boy cherry.  You know something - call it what it is. Say 'boy cherry' and watch heads spin more than Linda Blair in a Georgetown brownstone. 

But fuck you media - let's stop calling it abuse:  IT. IS. RAPE. 

Media skirted that word for Jeffrey Epstein and they do it for the church. And gymnastics doctors. And teachers. And coaches. Consent or not, anyone underage........RAPE.  It is kind of the law.  I mean, not in Alabama, but.........

So, yes, big sprawling headline that will disappear in a few hours along with the story itself. Even if it didn't the lack of comment from the Left or Right will hasten the death of the story.  Yet the problem remains.

Song by: Led Zeppelin

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Half as Much

For those following along........and with an ability to follow clues or at least have a good guessing gene, you probably figured out that with my running, and running group, I was training for something and not just running like Mr. Gump. 

Morty, whom you all know and love from here, and I had been discussing my running really since before my 5k last November.  The next logical step would have been a 10k. But in my training for that, I was running a few 10ks on a weekly basis so I started going longer, harder and faster (that's what she said!). On a weekly (or so) basis, I'd send Mort my status. He deftly texted, "this doesn't seem like you're looking at a 10k anymore."

He was not wrong. 

When I bought new shoes ("I-I-I-I can't wait") in November, the store had a Cleveland Marathon card and I picked one up. I pinned it to my bulletin board in my office above my computer. I knew I could not do a marathon, but at this point I was running 8.5 miles at a time and I thought......."well........maybeeeee.....". 

I signed up for the worst possible reason. Or maybe the best. The next day, the price was going up - an entire $10 !!!  Worst impulse item purchase ever.  Probably. 

But being someone who hates to part with money, after I hit 'enter', I was committed. At least in my mind. That is when I joined the training group. 

Fast forward 16 weeks, and two days ago was the half and full marathon. Until driving down before dawn, I had not been excited or nervous. Now I was both. 

It was a perfect running day. 54° and not a cloud in the sky. It would have been nicer if it stayed at 54°  but it did start to warm as the sun rose. 

I was lucky to run with a new friend that I met at my 10 miler. Well, most of the way. 

For the first 8 miles I kept a decent pace in the mid-10 minute / mile range. But coming out of a long stretch was some icky elevation. The first hill at mile 5 was usually my nemesis, but this time, I made it up that without a care. This one though......I was feeling it. The mind is much stronger than the body when it comes to shutting shit down. 

At mile 10, I was more of 10:47 / mi guy. know.....I can do this. But I struggled. Joe was losing his time so I told him to just go ahead. Don't let me hold him back. He only went when he made me promise I would finish. And yeah, I was struggling a little, but it never occurred to me that I would not go the distance. 

Joe and I passed what I thought was a Resusci Anne splayed on someone's front lawn. But Joe assured me it was a real person. Dehydration? Heart Attack?  In my head, I went, "well, at least I won't be last!".  After Joe left, I passed a parked ambulance where I could see feet, so I figured I'd beat at least two folks!

But then came 11.5.  FUCK. It was a brick wall - or so it felt. That was tough. I truly walked for my first time, but it was mostly to do my inhaler and recalibrate. It felt like forever, but I'm guessing it was 45 seconds of walking. Once I got to 12, I found my stride again, albeit slower. 

The thing about the last mile that people should know, and yet I swear to g-d, it never occurred to me: the last almost mile was lined with people 3-4 deep through the finish line. The rest of the course had people, but some areas had zero. So I didn't really think about crowds. 

People will tell you the crowd is a motivator, and in a way they kind of are. I'm vain enough, and proud enough, that no matter how badly I wanted to walk or slow down, I wasn't going to happen in front of throngs of folks. 

Someone had a "Give the Thumbs Up if You Have to Poop" sign.  I didn't have to, but I gave two big thumbs up. We all laughed. 

I will say at mile 12, the pacer, who I had NOT seen since before the start, was right next to me, and with the time I assumed I would get. (I wanted 10 minutes better, but statistically I knew where I would be well before race day.).  I kind of shook my head thinking he was lost, because I didn't feel I was on pace any longer for my goal. 

Yet I was. Actually, I thought I crossed over 3 minutes later than I wanted, but that was the clock time, not the chip time. I was exactly three seconds earlier than my goal. 

BTW - we ran into neighbors the following day (yesterday) and they asked if we had a nice weekend.  710 is just bursting with pride - "Blobby ran a half marathon".  Some chit chat and Mike asks, "did you have a good time?"

It turns out that question to a runner versus anyone else means something different. 

Neil, Mike and 710 had to explain to me, "if I enjoyed myself", as I tried to tell them my goal time and actual time. 

Save for some wonky lightheadedness after the race, I did have a good time. It was a lot of work. At lot of focus - which I'm not really known for, and a lot of stick-to-it-ness.  I think some of my earlier running posts I had the internal monologue of "what are you doing?" or "you can't do this!".  Normally my instinct is to listen to those voices. But with support from Morty, I got past those thoughts and they crept in fewer and fewer times. 

At mile 12 is when the full marathoners and the halves split to go different directions. But it was at that moment I said - out loud even -  "nooooo. no marathon for you ever". 

I have the right to change my mind, of course. 

BTW - one of the first things I blogged about on this here blog 20 years ago, was real-time trending of Morty through his first Boston Marathon. It seems very fitting he's part of this post. 

Song by: Patsy Cline

Monday, May 22, 2023

My Music Monday

It's been almost 50 years (this September) that Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks released their cleverly titled debut (and only duet) disk: Buckingham Nicks.  Listen, everyone can't be clever, right? 

The album, considering the time and their actual experience, wasn't horrible. It has a few decent tracks, and one really good one, "Frozen Love", which is the song that Fleetwood Mac heard which got them into that band. 

I would go on record, that is shows off Buckinham's guitar work more than it does his or Nicks' songwriting / singing. And honestly, Buckingham was the one Fleetwood Mac hired, he just insisted she come along too. that is on him. 

Buckingham would even repeat a guitar riff from this disk that would end up being his guitar work on "the Chain". But you can't sue yourself for plagiarism, I suppose. 

But I'm picking one of Nicks' songs anyway: "Races are Run".  It's been a long time since she's had a voice like this - or a range.  See kids, smoking and drugs (and age) are horrible for your body - and your career.  

Stay in school!

Sunday, May 21, 2023


I should have something for which to write. Alas, the Muses (or something like them) have fled the premises. Perhaps the state. It is tough to blame them on the latter. 

We are making our way though the final season of Mrs. Maisel.  I'm not not enjoying it. I don't know that it is their strongest season, but honestly, you cannot go wrong with Tony Shaloub.  It's a decent season, and unlike the creator's other show - Gilmore Girls - they'd doing some flash forwards, so we don't have to sit through a four show series in 10 years that sucks balls. 

I will say, the Friar's Club episode was well done and had a very different cadence, which was appreciated.  At least by me. 

We are behind in everything television.  Succession. Hacks. Somebody Somewhere. I haven't had the time or attention span to do these, but we want to. Somebody is probs next on the list, as it probably has the least time commitment.  Season 1 was fantastic. 

As usual, we started out the year strong in movies and petered off. Who has all this free time to see all of this content?

Maybe if I watched more, I'd have something to say to day. 

Stupid Muses. 

Song by: Depeche Mode

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Lounge Act

Because of 12 of 12, there was no pet pics last week.  Boo!  Hopefully this makes up for it a little bit. 

Happy Dog.  He loves car rides.

....and being up higher. 

We went to Chippewa Creek to let him splash around. 
A non-swimming water dog. 


We love her. We just had not seen her lately. 

Glamour shot.  Lounge dog. 

Song by: Nirvana

Friday, May 19, 2023

Honey for the Bees

We live in a very progressive part of the city - on purpose.  It's fairly liberal, ethnically and racially diverse, LGBTQI+ affirming and now with a young mayor, moving to do things a bit environmentally forward thinking. 

Last week, the city had an exchange program:  turn in your gas powered mower for a brand new electric one. I'm getting emails daily on our air quality - as I think there is some month thing going on with May being air quality month. 

But the mayor is also touting No Mow May. 

City workers aren't really cutting the public areas for the month. It's more than an air quality issue, it's a pollinator initiative. Let's give the beers a chance to thrive. 

So we are two-thirds into it and so far so fair. You can see on this major boulevard, they did do one swipe on the outside, while the inside fills in. 

In a way, we are participating in this no-mow thing as well. 

When we moved here, the old owners had people cutting their lawn and never cancelled the service. We ended up using them. I went from cutting an acre of yard to don't nothing.   .......which is about what this landscaping company does. 

Other services on our street have been our 4-5 times. Ours?  Once.  Well, 1.5.  Earlier this week they cut the front lawn but not the back.  No matter when 710 calls or texts them, "we'll get there tomorrow". But they don't. It's always a day away. 

Our garage is fairly small and no way we can fit in a mower anyway. We gave our old one to my niece. We had to borrow it last evening so we could cut our own lawn. No doubt they'll show up today. 

This is why 710 doesn't let me deal with vendors and service folks. I'd alienate them more than they do us.  I get it is a transient business - but FFS, stop making promises you can't keep. Should you answer the text or call at all. I'd rip them a new one and fire their ass, but I don't think they'd care. But wishing, hoping and praying that they might show up is a fool's game. 

I haven't seen any bees in our backyard, but who knows. Maybe our no-mow will save the planet. 

Song by: Alison Moyet

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Food for Thought

I'm all about the Cleveland Food Bank

We donate to it regularly - several times per year. And with their tie in to Harvest for Hunger, I never go to the grocery store where I don't donate $10.  Why that is only a promotion 1-2 weeks per year is beyond me. 

My thing is:  no one should ever go hungry.  No one.   
Ditto of doing without shelter, but one problem at a time. 

With work, we are encouraged to do volunteer time - something I usually haven't done, and mostly just relegated to cash / cheque / credit card. But you know, work is correct, we should be giving back to the community, so when I suggested the management team do something as a team, they ok'd the Food Bank as the area with which we'd work. 

Yesterday, we spent a few hours up there, along with other volunteers they had, assembling meals for children who don't have a way to eat regularly once the school year is completed. My employer actually does have a lunch program during the summer where kids and their families can get a free lunch - I'm always disheartened how little is seems to be used.  But it costs money to get there, right?  And that is not always something every family has. 

We all had jobs - but 90% were walking around an area collecting one item per table for each bag and tying the bag. 5% was putting it six meals per box and sealing it.  The other 5% (me) was making the empty boxes. 

I'd take the unassembled box, fold in all the necessary flaps, tape what needed to be taped, stack them in fives then move them over to the packing area. 

Naturally, I went at it. OCD comes in handy here. And I thought about autistic kids who need a job, and doing something like this probably is good and soothes them. It did me.  I think I was doing about 15 boxes every 5 minutes. I think. Oddly, I didn't time it or count how many I 

Have you ever seen Parks & Rec when Jerry / Garry / Larry just stuffs envelopes for 12 hours?  Yeah - that was me. I recognized it early and really leaned into it. 

Someone said, you're making too many boxes for what we have. And perhaps I was. But we wouldn't be the only crew doing this over the days, week or months. Someone, at sometime, is gonna need those boxes. 

We prepped about 10,000 meals yesterday. There were already a few dozen boxes made before I got there, but I made a bunch, and I hope it helps getting the good out the door. Everyone else got in a few miles of walking doing their thing. I stood in one place - and I was happy doing it. 

Song by: Squeeze

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Martha, My Dear

I dunno, man. 

Yay, that an 81 year old woman can score the cover of Sports Illustrated for anything - let alone being a swimsuit "model". 

Yes, Martha looks great, but that was a team of plastic surgeons, stylists, make-up artists, airbrushers, fishing line, lighting technicians and Penn & Teller pulling tricks out of their hat. 

I mean, she has the means (read: money) to be able to look like that, but let's face it, almost no other 81 year old can pull that off - even with the crew listed above. 

So, after 50 years, SI is dodging the annual criticism of porn on the newsstand, sold under the guise as "sport". Or propagating a body type that isn't possible for 99.9999999% of women. 

In reality, the same can be said about Martha. 99.999999% of 81 year olds can't have a body like hers either, because they don't have a bank account like hers. 

That said, I'm not sure SI is physically printed anymore, let alone on a newsstand - or even if newsstands still exist. 

710 and I were discussing the cover yesterday on our dog walk. With on-line porn, boys and men don't need to buy the swimsuit edition to jack-off to. And since it was like 78 degrees out, I then looked around and apologized if anyone had their windows open and heard what I said. 

Since her prison stint and her PBS baking show, I'm pro-Martha. I don't really get high anymore, but her pairing with Snoop Dog on so many things just makes me laugh. I'm not saying Martha partakes, but you know - why not? 

I don't know if SI or women think this is the advancing the gender needs or wants, and it won't generate Cheryl Tiegs sales (wow.........I think I just dated myself with that reference), but they're getting the media buzz. And that's what it's all about. 

Song by: the Beatles

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Cuts Like a Knife*

Let's just say there was an incident yesterday at dinner. 

I've made no secret of my love of pasta, and we were having a salad and tortellini for dinner. I've also made no bones about it:  pasta is nothing more than a cheese delivery system. 

If a waiter is going have me say "when" when he / she / they / them is grating parm, then they're going to wait longer at my table than they had at others. 

I don't think the other customers like parm less than I, it's just they're nicer about it and don't want to seem inconsiderate. 

That is not me. 

Last night, I was my own waiter, so I have no one to blame but myself.  Usually, 710 will grate the cheese for both of us, but somehow things got out of order and we did our own.  Luckily, for him, I went last. 

I was only 3 or 5 passes over the grater, with a brand new hunk of Parmesan, when it slipped, or I did. 
R-A-K-E my thumb knuckle right over quiet a few of the pointy thingies. 

I may have yelled an expletive.  Poor Shep was a bit out of sorts at that.  Honestly, it was hard to tell, on the grater, where the cheese ended and the skin began. Both were nicely shredded. 

At first, it didn't bleed, but I still washed it, neosporen-ed it and put a band-aid on it. But by the time I made it back eight feet to the table, blood already soaked through the bandage. 


I mean, I had to go back to eating and technically, I wasn't done putting the amount of cheese desired on my tortellini, but you know, I just opted to do with what I had. 

Yes, there was probably some of Blobby on my pasta, but what was I gonna do - throw it all out? 

Don't go all "ewwwww" on me either. Most of you watch the Walking Dead or Game of Thrones and see far more vile things than imagining me eating a little skin - and possibly, not even probably. 

Naturally, it is right on the knuckle of my dominant hand, so every time I bend it, I'm guessing the cut will re-break. Yay me!

My takeaway?  It's not my knees, hip or feet - so I'm good!

*'like' one. but not one

Song by: Bryan Adams

Monday, May 15, 2023

My Music Monday

Lucinda Williams has a new song out - songs, actually.  She has a new album, and a new memoir on the way too.  

2023 will be busy for her. 

I was sorry to read in the NYT that she had a stroke somewhat recently. She can sing, but isn't able to play guitar at this point in her rehab. 

Ironically enough, in the late to mid-2000s, her vocals were so muddied that you would have thought she had a stroke - or was perpetually drunk. I wasn't enjoying her music, though her last disk in 2020 started to reverse that course. 

With her new song, "New York Comeback", she kind of harkens things back to Essence, which came out in 2000 (?), and still ranks as an incredible album. 

I seemingly have a tendency to like female vocalists with extremely distinct voices - Williams, Emmylou Harris or Iris DeMent. I get they're not standard, but they call to me. 

"New York Comeback" also has Bruce Springsteen as a guest vocalist. It's nice to hear the grittiness from both artists together. The song itself isn't horribly special but I'm enjoying it. I mean, I can understand words. 

I'm looking forward to the full disk. 

Sunday, May 14, 2023


You might know we moved a little over three years ago. Not far from our old house. Just due to where I sometimes run, or where we sometimes drive to take the dog for a hike, we drive past it. 

The house sat on a corner lot, so we don't really drive into the old hood ever (or much), but we still got a view of the house or lot - depending on the time of year and if things were greened in. 

As it turns out they finally started construction on their new house, on our former lot. 

Yesterday, I went past the house twice. Now, when I drive, I notice little that isn't the road. When 710 is with me he'll point things out that I can't possibly see due to driving. Still, on my a.m. drive to my run, I think I would have noticed something had it been there at that time. 

Fast forward six hours.......the two of us with Shep, we round the bend and see......

A lady sitting on a chair, on the sidewalk, talking on a cell, while a car sits up on the hill in the trees. 

If you've been reading this here blog for any amount of time, you'll know that yard was a magnet for car wrecks. 90% of them didn't seem to have drivers. The cars would crash and then immediately abandoned. And those are only the ones we knew about when we were home. How many others were there to which we were unaware?

The only thing new to this scenario, of course, is the chair and person. 

It took us such by surprise, and honestly, I didn't see the car, that we circled around and went back again, and 710 filmed. 

Naturally, I somewhat back storied the entire thing.  Well, parts. 

First off, it turns out the card would have gone through part of our yard, but settled about 10 feet into our former neighbor's hill. 

The angle though. We cannot figure out how it got to where it is. And clearly the po-po had been there, as there is police tape around the site.  That's a new feature.  Well........that and the lady / chair. 

In all our accidents, there was never  police tape. Hell, so many times the cops never showed up. And a tow truck was always close behind. 

I'm not sure if the lady thought the car was going to be looted, so someone dropped off a chair so she could sit while she waited for Mr. Tow Truck? 

I am truly thankful we no longer live there dealing with that kind of stuff.  It's kind of sad I'm writing about this when it is no longer our place or problem. 

Song by: Dave Matthews Band

Saturday, May 13, 2023

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 157th 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. Erik is back and I think he's picking up 12 of 12 again. 

03:51.  Trim. 
Not an ideal time to do it, but the beard was annoying me. 

04:10.  Put away. 
I've made it my job to put back any dishes that were drying overnight. 

05:35.  Almost near the end of my recumbent bike ride. 

06:31.  Not a soul but me on my trek into work. 

10:48.  Window Wash. 
My first time in almost three years I've seen anyone clean the windows. 

16:52.  Heading out. 
Shitty work week. 

18:24.  Snack. 
Jarlsberg cheese with scallions on a triscuit triangle. 

18:32.  School's out. 
.....and someone wanted to talk about it. 

18:44.  As seen on dog walk. 
One of the, I'm guessing, field hockey gals must really love Taylor. 

19:44. Dessert. 
Just a few M&Ms. I'm trying to be better.  Not good, just better. 

20:02. Fizzy water
Yes. We have our own fizzy water device / dispenser. I use it daily. No more canned water. 

20:36.  Bumble Bee. 
....sets off the Ring camera. 

Friday, May 12, 2023

Bedtime Story

Honestly, I got nothing. 

I'm just tired. Possibly still blue, though trying to break out of that. But tomorrow is almost here - the end of the week, for what that's worth. 

My gym crush is back on my gym schedule, so.......yay. We actually chatted about his future, as he's finishing his residency at the end of June. His Fellowship will be elsewhere - shame......for me. 

He has no ties to the area - no girlfriend or wife, he said. He didn't say he didn't have a boyfriend. Or he was just telling me he was straight without telling me he was straight. 

I wasn't looking to marry him. But he's pretty to look least for the next month. 

Ok, off to bed. Gym time comes early. 

Song by:  Madonna

Thursday, May 11, 2023


Let's get your mind off of things like BLOTUS, debt ceiling and George Santos. 

For those who enjoy Hellraiser, the Final Destination series or the Hostel ones - I've got something much more frightening. 

Boy George as Wendy,  Peter Pan.  No..that's not it. Oh yeah Captain Hook. 

Apparently, Tinkerbell was already cast. 

Because Dustin Hoffman playing it 45 years ago wasn't camp enough. 

The 52 year old lady behind him is on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (which is more disturbing than Final Destination 1, 3 and 4. Apparently she''ll playing Wendy's maternal great-aunt? 

710 read up on it, and there are going to be four - count 'em....four - performances. 

It seems like a lot of work just promoting this soon to be car wreck for three performances. Yes, I'm guessing they won't even make it to four. 

What it is, is enough material for a two episode "arc" on RHoBH. What it is, is a small paycheck for George, but it might keep his utilities on for the next half year. If that. 

I'd say "good luck", but in reality, the I think the Hindenberg went down in less flames than this thing is gonna. 

Song by: PJ Harvey

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Rape Me

You know, when I first saw this years ago, the immediate reaction was to laugh. It takes a well know visual, and a well known sound byte (thanks Billy Bush) and mashes them up.

But you know what? It's not funny at all. 

My immediate second though it: this is something the GOP / MAGA lovers can finally equate to the disgustingness of BLOTUS. 

It is a cultural reference even the biggest retard (yes, I said it and stand by it) in that group of retards to which they can relate. They might actually see the sleaziness in said reference and apply to real life. 


But probably not, 

Somehow, this will all be the woman's "fault". It will be the jury's fault. Or the judge. 

I'll give it to the system:  the judge, defense and prosecutors didn't know the jury's names. The judge encouraged the jury not to share their names with each other. While they're not barred from talking to the press now, they've been encouraged not to do so. 

I mean, can you imagine the treats they'll get, the vandalism, the harassment and violence they'll experience. 

But the test will come with the GOP. Who are they going to support in 2024? They're so fucking scared of this guy - you know, like E. Jean Carroll was. No one has said 'boo' about this conviction or distanced themselves from him. It's very telling. 

And the ugly ugly truth?  Jabba was hotter less disgusting. 

A somewhat aside:  a fashion designer did her fashion week show (maybe not this year) based on how people at Fashion Week would ask, 'what are you wearing?'.  the designer, a sexual assault survivor had other survivors in the show, wearing what they wore when raped, as every single one of them were asked 'what were you wearing?'.  It was sad and a brilliant move - all at once. 

Song by: Nirvana

....and yes, I know I've used the song/title before, and no doubt will again. 

Tuesday, May 09, 2023

Ring of Fire

Now that I have, and am keeping, the Apple Watch, I'm still trying to figure out what is what. 

A lot, but not all, my apps come over to the watch. Am I going to read a New York Times article on my wrist?  I don't think so.  Ditto with checking stocks,  create Blobby emojis or get an audio book. 

I suppose it is nice to know I can do those things. 

There is a running app that is on my phone and my wrist. I'm sure I don't know the nuances of how to use them correctly - or maybe they are different enough. 

On my phone, and through my ear thingies, it will audibly tell me my mileage (at each completed mile), my time for that section, the split time and total time. I think it kind of helps me figure out where I am in the run. 

If I start the same app on my watch, there is no audible anything. The watch will "tell" me when I look at it the same data element, plus you see the stop watch like device buzzing along as you are buzzing along. 

In a way, there is something freeing about now hearing how one is doing and just enjoy the run. 

On the downside, 10 days ago, I was to run 12 miles, but we took 'detour' I know wasn't part of the route and it added 0.8 miles.  By the time I got to the finish / meeting area I had 12.9 miles.  Well, fuck it - I ran around the perimeter of the parking lot to get 13.1 

13.1 according to my watch.  13.07 according to my phone. Same app. Both on my physical presence.  

But since I have no fitbit to tell me my just daily shit, I'm now obsessing over the rings on the health part of Apple products. 

The exercise ring is almost always closed before I'm done with the gym, but the other two - total steps, and at least 12 ours of 'stand time' - are later in the day. I think save one day, all three have been closed, and sometimes lapped a time or two - meaning I've done 2-3 x more than the goal. 

My sense of accomplishments are weird, I get it. But it's some kind of closure - pun fully intended - that makes the day complete. 

I do need a life. 

Song by: Johnny Cash

Monday, May 08, 2023

My Music Monday

As a member of 10,000 Maniacs, I have seen Natalie Merchant twice in concert. As a performer, she is great. Or at least was. As a "public figure" I found her annoying as hell. 

Her stage chatter was relegated to how filthy your town was, and in interviews, she was high and mighty as well, while still deriding that people looked up to musical artists. A paradox, if you will. 

For the five studio disks she did with 10,000 Maniacs, I liked four of them a lot. The first one, was, well, they were still trying to find their footing. But I've never taken to her solo work. The guy in the Maniacs didn't get their deserved credit, and as time went on with both them and Merchant, I think it showed how much each needed the other. But it never happened. 

The last solo disk of hers I would purchase would be 1998's Ophelia. Though I do love the title track. 

My FB feed seemed to have ads for her coming to the 216, so I looked, and sure enough she has a new disk out, Keep Your Courage

I've sampled a few songs, and none of them are bad. Some draw me in more than others, but with what album isn't that state true. 

She has a few duets on the disk, which I like, but also enjoying today's selection: "Tower of Babel".

Sunday, May 07, 2023


My blogger meet up went just fine - thanks for almost asking. 

I'd say, Covid killed me meeting other bloggers, and it's partially true. What is actually truer: I stopped criss-crossing the country for work and having opportunities to meet men (and one woman) who take (or took) the time to blog. 

I have missed a few others along the way, never connecting. A few, I have seen a number of times - John (defunct), BosGuy, CB, Spo, Birdie (whom I adored!) and Mike - who could be argued, we've seen each other far far too often. 

Jimbo in DC and I haven't made it work, but he no longer blogs. I can't see myself in Arkansas (short of human trafficking) to meet Erik. 

But also on the short list was Cookie, from Doing Hard Times in Shaker Heights

I attempted to see him two years ago staying a night in Baltimore, but it didn't work out - not that I gave a lot of notice, and Covid was still running rampant. 

Cookie and I, on paper, have a lot in common. I live Shaker Hts adjacent, and my parents were from there. We are relatively the same age. We both lived in Columbus at the same time. We know one of the same people. 

He was coming back to Cleveland for a family visit and gave me the head's up. Cookie took me up on the offer to meet for a drink after work. 

I arrived 30 minutes early and he was already there waiting for me. I'm glad, as that gave us a little more time to get to know each other. 

I don't know if it is the bloggers I choose to meet or what, but I haven't had one that has gone poorly, or worse, awkwardly. Most everyone, Cookie included, are extremely easy to converse with and none of it seems odd or forced. For the most part, we almost never talk about blogs. 

Oh - and another common item Cookie and I have: the LL Bean flannel shirt he is wearing in the above picture. I'm sure I've posted a pic somewhere / sometime with it on. 

Yes, his picture is taken from behind. If you haven't noticed on his blog, there are no pictures of him. I respect that - as every blogger has their own style. Oddly, he is facing a counter / kiosk for On the Rise, which has some of the best chocolate chip Cookies ever. 

We discussed work a little. Family, a little. Cleveland, a bit. More about Columbus. It was the kind of conversation where you tried a little bit of everything, as you never know when / if you'd see them again. But it was natural and good. 

I am glad we took the opportunity. I think he is too, but I shouldn't dare to speak for him. When I'm back in the mid-Atlantic area, or he is back in the 216, I can see us grabbing another drink..........or two. 

Song by: Dave Stewart

Saturday, May 06, 2023

Twist & Shout

It was a trying week. But PJ still reads me and comments now and then, so it can't be all bad, right? 

We have some pics for the week, even a left over or two to use next weekend. I always try to keep a few in case I have a slow / bad dog pic week. 

Ahhhh.....the secrets of blogger life. It's not exciting.....or pretty. 

Our boy does like to roll. 

...and chase squirrels.  People all around point and smile at Shep when he's on the hunt. 
No squirrels were harmed. 

Shep meet Theodore. 
Shep could have been nicer. Theodore was adorable. 

THIS cutie deserved pets. 
I tried. I really tried. 

....but this dude came up and got in the way. I think he went to snap at the cute puppy to show dominance, but between the boxer and golden happened to be my hand. 

Two semi-puncture wounds. And some lost skin on the back of the hand. 
It's mostly my fault.  Years of petting these guys and never once did I have a bad interaction. But it doesn't means I should have been reaching over to play. 

Have I learned my lesson?   Probably not.  But it smarted. 

A beauty amongst the flowers. 

Song by: the Beatles