Monday, December 31, 2007

Love Me, Love My Music.

Each time I'd open the file so aptly named "2007Tunes.txt" and add another title and artist to it, I feared this year might not turn out such a mind-blowingly long list, but look...over 50 songs full of, "Yes, I heard that in 2007, and it got me through."

The links lead to videos on YouTube or official sites where the songs can be heard/read/looked at/listened to/telepathically inserted into your brain. I apologize for none of them, I love them all, and if you haven't heard them, and you have a lot of time to spend waiting out winter, I think you should give them a listen. Rawk on in '08, kids.

The first song I heard this year that I had never heard before was Dunder Mifflin Overdrive by Charles V. This was a mashup requested by R Stevens of Diesel Sweeties, and it is technically the first new and amusing song I heard this year. A new version of Across the Universe by The Beatles from the LOVE album was playing in the background on WFUV at the same time, so it could be a tie. Hmm.

Someday by John Mellencamp was the first new song I heard the whole way through in 2007, though.

You Got Me Up by Jamie Lidell (in the video, he sings this to his cat. I know the feeling, man.)

Sly by Cat Empire

Once Upon A Time by Air

Read My Mind by The Killers

Chips Ahoy by The Hold Steady

Over It by Katherine McPhee

Don't Let Him Waste Your Time by Jarvis (I was directed to the fabulous video for this one by dooce. Thank you, dooce, for everything.)

All My Life by Billy Joel

Shine On by Jet

Smiley Faces by Gnarls Barkley

She's My Man by Scissor Sisters

Falling Up by Rickie Lee Jones

Flathead by The Fratellis

#9 Dream by R.E.M.

Save Room by John Legend

Rehab by Amy Winehouse

My Humps by Alanis Morissette

Going To A Town by Rufus Wainwright

In The Sun by Donna De Lory

Kiss You Off by Scissor Sisters

Born To Please by Sound Team

Icky Thump by White Stripes

My Moon, My Man by Feist

For All My Days by Alexa Ray Joel

Working Class Hero by Green Day

Makes Me Wonder by Maroon 5

Capital G by Nine Inch Nails

Don't Stop Now by Crowded House

What's a Girl To Do by Bat For Lashes

U+Ur Hand by Pink

Paralyzer by Finger Eleven

Revelation by Prince

Stiff Kittens by Blaqk Audio

Everybody Loves by Constantine Maroulis

Leave by Motus

The Way I Are by Timbaland featuring Keri Hilson & D.O.E

Chocolate Rain by Tay Zonday

Whine Up by Kat DeLuna with Elephant Man

You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do What You're Told) by White Stripes

Kingdom by Dave Gahan

If by Joni Mitchell

Dreamcatcher by Andy McKee

My Dear Country by Norah Jones

Livin' In The Future by Bruce Springsteen

Comfortably Numb by David Gilmour with David Bowie

Let Go by Discrete Encounter

Into The Sea by Sivert Høyem

Rubber & Soul by Ane Brun

The Pretender by Foo Fighters

Under The Black Light by Rilo Kiley

Fuck Was I by Jenny Owen Youngs

Going Out by Mr. Uncertain

If I Don't by Amp Fiddler featuring Corrine Bailey Rae

Down In A Hole by Ryan Adams

The Temptation of Adam by Josh Ritter (which was playing as I won NaNoWriMo '07, you know.)

Anything from Rufus! Rufus! Rufus! Does Judy! Judy! Judy!, Rufus Wainwright's amazing re-creation of Judy Garland's Carnegie Hall concert.

Not Now But Soon by Imogen Heap, which you can only hear bits of in her vBlog right now.

Honorable mentions must go to Don't Stop Believin' by Journey, which came back to me in a most unusual way this summer, as well as Pink Floyd, Madrugada, and Warren Zevon, who I listened to quite a bit this year, hearing some songs I'd never heard before. As always, this list is tragically missing most of the favorites I hear on Echoes, mainly because I can't choose between them, but Anoushka Shankar and Japancakes were there in my head this year too.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

This Would Be Day Five.

All that marketing crap and radio bombardment about Christmas through Hanukkah and Solstice once again ended Christmas at around 5 A.M. on Boxing Day.

Screw that, here's a 12 Days of Christmas that goes totally frikkin' insane and ends up being one of my favorite songs ever.


Friday, December 28, 2007

Factory-Sealed Is Code For "You Want This."

Ripping off Taking a page from Dawn Meehan, I went nuts and wrote up an eBay listing for my aunt's factory-sealed 2-tape set of Titanic. I'm not going to explain why, that's what the listing is for.

Ooh, suspense.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy whatever you celebrate.

What're you reading a crotchety ol' blog for? Go be merry and enjoy whatever it is you do today.

That's what I intend to go do, now, even if it causes my head to crack open.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Traffic Was Stalled For At Least Half A Block.

I saw this truck on the same day I chopped my car out of a glacier.

I did not take this picture, this guy did.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Laugh, And Your Ass Will Be Kicked.

I probably already told the story about how the local A&P, when they were closing, set up a display of dozens of ice scrapers. Being the store was closing in the middle of August, it was hilarious to see a sale on ice scrapers. I didn't buy one, but I took a picture.

During the recent ice storm, I noticed the ice scraper had gone missing from the trunk of my car. That picture sure doesn't make a good icebreaker.

I am selling a print of my photo of the ice scrapers, so you can hang it on your wall, look at it and laugh. You can laugh at a grocery store for overstocking ice scrapers in the middle of summer, or you can laugh at the idiot who laughed at the grocery store for overstocking ice scrapers and took a picture, only to be left chipping away uselessly at her car a year-and-a-half later.

Summer Special, original photo by Lynda Naclerio, © 2005


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

If I Had Room For This Behind My Piano....

It would be hanging right between Obi-Wan and Cornholio.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Daryl Hall Says It's The Right Time, I Do Not Argue.

The media and stores have been insisting it's Christmas since October. The neighbors have had decorations and lights up since before Thanksgiving. This past week we got a ton of snow--and meterologists may frown upon my ballpark weight of the snow, but they didn't have to shovel it out of my walkway. Ton.

But it really isn't Christmas yet, it isn't even winter for another four days, even though Paul Winter's had his concert down in St. John The Divine already.

Today, however, I finally heard Jingle Bell Rock by Hall & Oates with Daryl Hall singing. There are two different versions, you know, and for some reason the station that went all-Christmas music before Hanukkah seems to only play the John Oates version. I don't have anything against Oates, you can't have Hall & Oates without him, but in 1983, the first year I decorated the tree mostly by myself, it was the Daryl Hall vocal I had burned in my head as my Princess Leia doll handed me red glitter balls and wondered if Han would make it for Christmas.

...I did say I decorated the tree mostly by myself. Tony the cat also helped.

But I digress, Daryl Hall has sung his song, and that was enough of a signal to get the stuff on the tree and start decorating.

Behold, videos for both versions of the song!




Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Best Ones Are The Ones You Won't Hear On The Radio

Nine Inch Noëls. I can't really add anything to that. Nine Inch Noëls. Wow.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Careful what you dig up.

Last year, the gang at Battered Hat Productions made this downright scary film called The Christmas Fairy. It's still freaking me out, man.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Happy Birthday, The Puppy.

Keep making me laugh, thanks for not eating me this year, and thanks for rescuing your brothers' furry butts with your pouncy skills.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Dear Drug Companies,

You suck. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful you pulled my mother back from the brink of gangrene, but you know, charging a woman who only has 52 days to go until her Medicare Part D kicks in $125 for ten days worth of generic antibiotics is rather cruel. But hey, it's not like she had to eat for the rest of the month or anything, and gauze, that's free, right? Sure, reusing the outer wrappings before had nothing to do with the infection she picked up.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I Can't Wait To See The Golden Compass.

I read the books when they first came out, right before I read The Hobbit and all that came after. His Dark Materials is not Lord of the Rings. It is not The Chronicles of Narnia. It is not Harry Potter. It is what it is, and I love it, and if one more movie trailer starts with, "In the tradition of" any other series, I am going to have to write my own damn series that has like, people in it, and pass it off as the next series of people going from place to place--possibly by broom--doing stuff that doesn't involve fart jokes.

Yes, coming soon to a theater near you, a band of orphaned curlers discover a tiny magical person prophesized to alter the fat content of donuts forever living in the ancient Scottish quarry of the sparkly granites and must go to space to rescue the chalice of chelation before the the queen (played by Dame Edna) eats the last donut made by the baker with the flaming hands, who is kept in a vegetative state in a burn unit until the skip returns.

Think I could get Annie Lennox to do the theme song?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Deep Thoughts.

The answer is no, the tree does not make any sound when it falls. The trees around it, getting smacked by the branches rustle and crack a bit, but the ground, the ground is the biggest whiner ever.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sunday still sucks.

I can't actually recall last Sunday now, but I'm pretty sure the general idea of me being of little to no use to anyone is alive and well. For instance, it is well-known that our dog is a lunatic. Her reaction to me being asleep involves knocking over my grandmother. On cement.

For roughly three days I have awoken to my grandmother crying, and still I fall for the idea that perhaps my mother's leg fell off during the night. But no, it is always The Puppy. Who, while covered in hair, has Nan convinced that she will freeze to death if left out in the 40° yard, where she stands like a deer in the headlights, refusing to move...until someone goes out there.

Our Woman, Holly, bless her, she didn't mess with Nan. No, Nan was her friend, Nan didn't leave her places to have parts removed, so Nan was safe with Holly. This one? All are alike to her, she will knock you over and eat you if she detects that you plan to feed her, walk her, play with her, give her a vitamin, bring her indoors, let her outside, give her a drink of water or otherwise prevent her from dying.

She fits in perfectly with this family, of course.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

My Eyelashes Are Curling Just Thinking About It.

The official Speed Racer movie website hasn't updated in a long time, so imagine my surprise when I found stories about it elsewhere. Yeah, why bother keeping the offical site up to date, guys. I mean, hell.

Empire Online is great, I find out about a load of movies that are years away there. A few weeks ago, they ran a story where Emile "I am going to have such a dirty old lady crush on you" Hirsch said that the sets will all be green screen, which most likely sent the purists who love the old days when people "drove" their cars in front of film of a winding road into a frothing crazy fit. Me, I'm optimistic because the movies I've seen filmed on green screen don't shake around like, say, The Bourne Ultimatum. What the hell was that movie about, anyway? I couldn't tell with all the jiggling.

USA Today has photos of the movie that make me wonder if I am going to need to take some drugs before watching it, but aside from a marked lack of pretty eyelashes, I'm digging it.

ComingSoon is pretty good too, they say there will be a video game based on the Speed Racer movie. The makers say you can engage in car-fu! I don't know if I can contain my excitement at the idea of car-fu. I think I may even be able to play it on my PS2. This makes me happy because I have that other Speed Racer game, but Racer X keeps telling me he never wants to see me behind the wheel ever again. Racer X doesn't want me to engage in car-fu because he's jealous.

Speaking of Racer X, Entertainment Tonight is doing a week of Speed Racer stuff that I have missed most of. They had Matthew Fox on as Racer X, but ET shouldn't be going around blowing Racer X's secret identity, do they want him to get into trouble? In the video clip they show his outfit, but more than that, they show the back of Speed. Hee! Yesterday I caught a glimpse of Christina Ricci as Trixie, and she's looking to tie Keira Knightley as record holder for people she's acted with that I have major dirty old woman crushes on.

But enough about unofficial previews, here's the trailer, which I saw thanks to Mr. "I'm going to enjoy this movie, and you can go to hell" himself. The quote may have been about that Star Wars thing, but sentiment works for me on this movie as well.


Friday, December 07, 2007

Some Call It Insanity.

This was written a few days ago for AC, but we both knew it wasn't exclusive going into it. My mum's leg--if anyone other than the people who love her care--is doing better.

The idea that anyone learns from experience what not to do is a common mistake among people who are too busy with their own lives to notice what is going on around them.

For instance, as a child I was always walking into doorknobs. My mother was concerned that perhaps I might be damaging the fragile egg that is my brain and mentioned it to my doctor. My doctor, who was maybe more than a little responsible for my habit of bluntly saying how I see things, told her that I would stop walking into doorknobs when I found out it hurt. This anecdote is pulled out by my family at random times, and only as I lay on the kitchen floor last week, after recovering the consciousness lost when I smashed my left temple into the metal doorknob that leads to the happiness and freedom known as my backyard, did I realize what utter twaddle he was talking.

I'm descended from people who continue to lift things like books, vacuums, dogs, and appliances despite having numerous hernias--the most recent of which is really, really making a lot of problems. I have a few ways I keep my hernias from acting up, and one involves taking a trip to the bathroom before I lift something. There, I said it. It's okay, just keep reading. Of course in the time it takes me to do this (98 seconds), one of the psychos I live with have gone and lifted The Thing I Knew Was Heavy because I took too long (90 seconds, on a good day). Later, they will comment on some odd ache in their body, which I know well because I get it too if I go lifting things like I'm in an Ironman competition. I will mention they lifted The Heavy Thing. No, I'm told, that's crap. These people, they are older than me. These are people who are not dumb by any means. These are people who know better than to bend over when a doorknob is in the path of their head.

People have the idea that some kids learn better the hard way, by falling off stuff, by getting hungry if they don't eat, or by getting arrested if they keep playing with the damn matches, but no, sometimes it doesn't work that way. Sometimes, even if they have a hen nested in their hair, pecking incessantly at them to not do things they know they shouldn't do, they will continue to go ahead and do it, for decades, even if that means somewhere down the line they will influence, piss off, or otherwise affect a future generation.

I stopped walking into doorknobs as a child because I got taller than the doorknobs. I always knew it hurt. And man, does it still hurt.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Christmas Came Early And We Can Start Being Thankful.

My mum's in the hospital. She's finally getting antibiotics for her leg, which is infected and going by the shooting pains she was getting probably would not have waited another 59 days plus however long the medicare supplement HMO-chosen doctor would take to set up an appointment. We can worry about losing the house later, but for now, yay modern medicine.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Waking Up With The Ill-Informed.

Any day I wake up and the first voice I hear is a crazy man on television ranting about Psychology 101 is destined to be...well...just a little more stupid. But this is what happens when I surface long enough to see early morning television programming. My mind is in an easily distracted state, and the sight of the people so full of energy that early fascinates me. The strange, and slighty alarming, news conference was followed by a hoarse Rachael Ray and then The View, which usually ends up on because Mum watches the ABC news, but I always seem to be the only person who listens to what they say on that show, because yesterday when I started screaming, "Did you hear that?" I got dead first.

If you're at all familiar with The View, you have an idea of who said this, and if you don't know the hosts of The View, it won't matter who said it, but what's important is that there are people, out in the world, who work in television, who make enough money to be able to live in Manhattan, and who are sure Jesus came before "The Greeks."

A discussion about the Greek philosopher Epicurus, who lived from 341 B.C. to 270 B.C. and was there at the beginning of science as explaining things without reasons like, "Zeus is pissed off at you today," coincidentally turned into Sherri Shepherd's astonishment that anyone could be happy without faith in their life. She wasn't going by Dante or Constantine or Lactantius, no, she was going by, "Greeks threw Christians to the lions."

I'll let that sink in for a second.

While that's sinking in, remember I spent every summer from the age of 5 watching Clash of The Titans almost like I lived during those times in a past life. (Yes, of course I mean the 1980s, what did you think I meant?) I saw Xanadu before Life of Brian, I used to read the comic strip B.C., and I still celebrate the Chinese New Year and Jewish New Year because, damn, that's a lot of numbers. I'm not over-reacting when I say it is not impossible to notice that some people were around before Jesus. I think, like, he saved a few and stuff, and lots of people turned away from other beliefs to follow his teachings. You know, after Cetus ran out of pirates to eat! John the Baptist was a ninja, you know. Yes. From space. The Vikings were laying low with the Incas in Australia around then, weren't they?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

My Theory on Seasonal Affective Disorder

It is difficult to write out holiday cards that should have wishes of joy and cheery declarations of love when all I want to do is put a hammer through my head.

The weather has turned frigid and I haven't seen the sun in two days. There is sad-sounding Celtic music wafting in from another room, and as a result I've turned my headphone radio up so loud I can heard Bruce Springsteen breathing down my neck. I like Celtic music, I really do, but outside of I Am Stretched On Your Grave, I don't dig the ones involving death and separation very much, because they get it more accurately than I care to notice when I see that I only have a handful of family cards to send out--which, btw, I'd love to do the card exchange thing, but believe me, you're better getting the thing I will post here...whatever that will be--and I can't keep anyone's name straight, especially my own, because honestly, I wrote it once, why do I have to keep writing it down? My mind does not know. Much like when I took piano lessons. You play one G major chord, you don't need to play it again in the same song, right?

I hope my meltdown is being entertaining, kids. I try. I really try.

Monday, December 03, 2007

I See What I Did There.

The other day, I was gushing about how great it was that I was getting a pack of six replacement springs for my Swiss Army Knife. Today, I got a spring. One spring, and was like, "Where are the other five?"

I say I was "like" that because the actual sound I made was not that coherent due to my sore tongue and not something I want to reprint in case children are reading.

The error was mine, however. I had been comparing springs on two sites, and the one I didn't go with had a pack of six springs for the price of the one spring I just got, but they charged more for shipping.

Have I ever mentioned I don't see very well? Yeah.

Ain't no replacement brains to be found on the Internet.

But I've got my red knife back, anyway, and the cancelled Yoda stamp on the envelope wasn't too shabby, either. When this spring goes five years from now, if they still sell replacements, I guess I'll get that six-pack.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Sundays suck.

There, I've said it. I hate Sunday. This Sunday has done nothing to change my opinion of its predecessors, as LiveJournal is down, and that is a wrench in the cogs of my life so large that any venting I might have done elsewhere, in a moderate false sense of privacy, cannot happen now.

It snowed today. It wasn't a lot of snow, it was pretty, and were I younger and healthier, the sight of the first snowflakes would have carried me through a dozen Sundays on a sparkly patch of icy glee. But no. Now I’m old, and the only place I’m allowed to enjoy the snow is in my backyard. We live on a street many people walk down, and so being a vampire with a hernia tends to clash with the idea of not causing people to slip. The neighbor next door, bless him, shovels the street in front of his house and our house. But he's got tendonitis and pins in his leg. Is it fair for him to have to shovel the street in front of our house? Of course not. But he does it, without asking or expecting anything in return, and that is why he rocks.

My tongue is sore and my head hurts. The psuedoephedrine-based allergy medication I took last week in order to understand the English language is leaving me unwilling to do much, and were breathing not an automated process I probably would not have bothered to be here to force this post onto my unsuspecting readers. I’m sorry I’m not funny today, I’m not funny a lot of the time, and if I plan to write something every single day on here, my charade is going to become more apparent than I’d like.

The usual reasoning behind posting emo vents like this is to let other people who feel the same know they aren’t alone. But we are, aren’t we? A dozen people avoiding human contact, unwilling to damage the smooth surface of the new fallen snow on a cold, dreary Sunday, are all, in their own square-footage, alone. We like it that way, too, don't we? No one would appreciate the snowballs I throw anyway, they end up looking like Italian ices from my bloody cracked hands.

I think Morrissey wrote a song about this. Far more entertaining, too.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

How to tell what day it is.

Tate is on vacation, so one of the few things I looked forward to in December is...well, done in one frame.

Not to fear, there is a less-cute, but just as handy tool for people who just aren't sure if it's Christmas yet: It even has an RSS feed.

As for me, I shall try to write something here every day, because I have been neglecting my blog duties almost as much as my own sanity. However, I think you'll agree that it's much better I spend my hour freezing in my yard not writing posts. The double letters are a bbi to backspace over.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

MS Word Underlines My Name In Red.

It should surprise no one who used to get e-mail from me that I am capable of churning out 50,000 words. But all on one subject other than myself, for an entire month? This has never happened before. Until late last night.

Official NaNoWriMo 2007 Winner

I'm not done with my story, it may take another 30,000 to get it to the point where it doesn't read like CSI: Dick And Jane, but--and I like big buts, I cannot lie--I probably won't finish it until January, as I've got other things going on that really need me.

More things in life whould declare you a winner after you've put in enough time on them. Blogs should like, declare you a winner after you post. That'd kick ass. Cars should declare you a winner after you drive them ten miles. There's a toothbrush that smiles when you've used it long enough, but that doesn't count, I want to win at something like raking. There's gotta be 50,000 leaves outside.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I Watch Shrek For The Wrong Reasons.

I like Puss, the little Antonio Banderas cat, and I'm guessing a lot of people do, because ABC used Puss to bribe me into watching Shrek The Halls, some odd holiday fart joke that was on TV tonight.

I realize they only had about 19 minutes to work with, and so they focused on the one winter holiday that has a costume, so everybody could dress up and Puss could become mesmerized my the jingly pom-pom on the end of his hat and.... My feelings for Puss In Boots are special ones. I have to clean up the drool now.

I just...I just thought there'd be one character in all of Shrek's friends who celebrated something else. You know, so Disney could market a plush Donkey with a dreidel, Fiona with a sun gong, or Puss with Kwanzaa books. But no, we get another meaning of Christmas story that's like, don't kick your friends out in the snow, because apparently they have no place else to go.

If only Puss was in the Chrismahanukwanzakah ad, then I could just watch that and be happy.

(For as long as it stays up, YouTube has the best part of Shrek The Halls, Puss telling his tale of Christmas. Enjoy. I know I did. I've...made a mess again.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I love the Swiss.

A magazine psychic once told me I'd end up living in Switzerland--the same guy that told me I left my king in India and had a wonky pancreas--and I can understand that, because I *heart* snow and all, but what I love even more than Swiss Miss hot chocolate and puddings are their knives. Not the ones with the corkscrew, just the classic little knives like the one I hid in 2-XL in case I had to battle ninjas.

My Swiss Army Knife bob haircut was sorta legendary in my family, you know. Yes, I gave myself a straight, even, total Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction hairstyle (of course I have a picture of it). It was a long time ago, I don't have that kind of patience anymore. It should come as no surprise that the scissors--or rather the spring that makes the scissors work properly--broke. It was a very sad night, during the Powerpuff Girl doll project of 1999, just...poof, right in the middle of Bubbles' shoe.

The scissor to my second knife, the red one, finally went on Friday. It was just one of those days in general...I was on Sudafed, I had PMS, I was 7,000 words behind on my NaNoWriMo project, my hands were cracking and bleeding on family members and flatware, and I still had yet to smash my head into a doorknob. No, not deliberately, but it happened. I'm not proud. Or at least, I wasn't proud when I woke up. I was proud of the cats for staying by me to make sure I wasn't dead. Unless...nah, they weren't that hungry.

The hands will be okay in March, the bump on my head went down, the hormones and psuedoephedrine left my system, and I not only caught up on my story I'm only 2,000 words off the goal, but my scissors, they are all still broked. I was sad.

But no, the brilliant, genius Swiss...they make replacement springs.

I would like it to be known that of all the things I was given on Christmas Eve 1993, that black Swiss Army Knife is the thing I have used consistently, and not even to slice the tips of my fingers off or hack holes in my walls, really. The socks? Don't get to wear those colors often. The...Eh. I think that was all I got that year. Socks and my black Swiss. This year I get my black Swiss back! And my Red one! I thought after Helio won Dancing With The Stars my day could not possibly get any better...but I am going to get both of my scissors back. That'll be handy, eh? EH? Suzie Swiss Scissorhands.

edit: I will have extra springs for the "small" classic knives, so, y'know, I can hook you up.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

72 Days

It's 72 days until my mum is eligble for Medicare, and today we both--at separate times--saw the delightful new anti-smoking ad with the guy in a park...with one leg. He goes on about how many colors his leg turned, and how he ignored the smell, and apparently cigarettes migrated into his leg and clotted there and now he has no leg, but he started smoking in the park 40 years ago. Don't smoke, kids.

Gosh, thanks, Ad Council, I want my mum to see a one-legged version of Aqualung while her leg is all weird. Thanks.

Oh, um, that reminds me, happy Thanksgiving everybody! No, really, I mean that, I probably won't get the chance to wish you a happy Thanksgiving tomorrow because I'll be unconscious. Pie.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Good Reason To Keep The Floor Clean

You never know when you might have a party. Here's the top of my head showing the top of my neice's head where we keep the glasses. She's an excellent drummer.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Injuries, when set to music, are fun.

It's been a while since I gave you some music videos to watch...right? These are like, the best videos ever. I saw them all around the age of ten and they changed my life. Not really changed, I guess, because having watched Laurel & Hardy and Benny Hill from the time I was three, I sort of always dug people getting hit by stuff. Much like my love for intoxicated characters in movies and TV shows, things are just better if stuff is going crazy. For other people.

Love's Been A Little Bit Hard On Me by Juice Newton shows why you should never trust anyone to close your car door.

Cold Shot by Stevie Ray Vaughn shows why it's okay to love your guitar.

She's Right On Time by Billy Joel has to be seen on YouTube, but it is so worth the trip over there...emphasis on trip. If you like madcap slapstick with explosions and good music, this is for you. Yes.

I used to laugh so hard at these videos. This should give you some insight to why I think it's funny when stuff falls on me.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Cleaning Ninja: Episode 1,986

I cleaned the kettle.

Holy hell I can't believe we drink from that thing.

I bet the coffee will taste horrible now.


Did not wear the nice gloves to clean the kettle; now I have steel wool splinters in three of my fingers.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I should start by pointing out that yes, I do have a certain degree of OCD, but I am my own walking cognitive behavior therapist and can control it, within reason and with the use of the kick ass colorist gloves I found under the sink. I don't say this often because I have been told I either cannot possibly control it all by myself, or that I just don't have it. I no longer get into quibbles about that, I don't care. It's like when the neighbors see me standing up and think I'm just not cutting limbs off my trees because they haven't pointed out those limbs to me enough. Same thing. I know me better than anyone else, and I don’t expect anyone else to get every little thing about me (like how much I love those gloves I found under the sink)—I wouldn’t want them to, just like I also don’t want people to take the fact that I don’t have an ice pick sticking out of my head as evidence that I’m perfectly fine when I say I have a migraine.

That said, I cleaned the bathroom today.

The bathroom wasn't horrible or anything, no, but the rug had died years ago and was decomposing all over the place. We have a ceramic tile floor in the bathroom, but potential frostbite and the drawback of having an echo chamber led us to put down the nice plush gray bathroom rug, which at the time of its death had a sort of reddish polka dot pattern and had lost its non-skid backing. The backing wasn't actually lost as much as stuck to the tile. So I scraped the floor after I'd folded up the rug and stuffed it all into a bag just like the last victim. Having scraped and swept the floor, I then got it into my head to wash the floor. Only, I don't use a mop. I use a sponge and bucket of water and whatever chemicals I can find (hence the greatness of the gloves). Electrasol dishwasher gel is fabulous for the kitchen floor, btw. It gets that crunk off dishes, and it gets that crunk off the floor under the fridge.

I always liked cleaning. Hell, I used to have to be physically removed from the stove on holidays because I loved cleaning so much. I have the chemical asthma and dermatitis to show for it. The side effects of my misspent youth can be a drawback, especially when my hands crack and start bleeding all over the nice clean curtains.

Those who have been inside my house may think I'm spouting lies because maybe it doesn't look that great. I'm all heaving acid and breaking out and keeling over and for what? There's still a wisp of a cobweb in the left corner of the hallway that I either missed or left because I believe spiders have squatter’s rights. I will tell you why that is. Part of the reason I even brought up the OCD in the beginning is because as a child, I was really obsessive about cleaning, but the dirt, it would come back. Again and again. I would vacuum the hallway, and some yutz would track pine needles into the house and not even notice or care what he’d done. It was pointless, and eventually I gave up because no one cared. From then on, I vowed I would clean, but not at the expense of my skin and lungs. It was superficial and half-assed and as I like to call it, “The illusion of clean.” There was no point scrubbing the bathroom when every morning after the first person to use it was done there was toothpaste vapor all over the mirror, and drips, and stains, and hair that I could not identify as coming off of any part of me.

The Sparkling Wave Pine-Sol I used on the floor reminded me of his cheap aftershave.

Why was there a tiny bottle of fruity Pine-Sol under the sink anyway? We didn't buy it. Was it planted there, knowing I would be the only fool to try using it to remove the stains from the tile behind the toilet? That has to be it.

I have reclaimed the bathroom once more. I even threw the shower curtain into the washing machine. I can come on here and brag about it for roughly three more minutes, and then I expect the tiles to start gathering dust again. I'm not the only one who cleans the bathroom, mind you, but this time around, I'm the one who did, so you get to relive it with me in a random crazy kind of way. Nan has thrown her knee out of whack and my mother...well, read back a few posts. To quote Warren Zevon, it ain’t that pretty at all.

November 15 is the day all the women bloggers who are childfree come out and say, well, whatever they want, but I'm using this post to give you a very good idea why I am, as they say, childfree. I have my cats, of course, and they're very clean and they don't track crap into the house or draw on the walls or exhale while they're flossing their teeth, plus they like my taste in music and movies and games, and I can dress them for under $5. If I need to show why I prefer cats to humans any further, my Fluffy One came in when the floor was dried and I was finishing with the curtain. He looked around, sniffed the air, stood up to the toilet and the sink, inspected every corner, and then looked at me and said, "Brrm?" There isn't a human I know who ever said anything so nice to me.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I'm not sure Darth Maul should be the innermost Sith nesting doll.

I like Star Wars. You know this well, I'm sure. Right? Right. Yes, I loves me the space opera, and had my ISP not dropped, the newsgroup I created to honor the greatest character to come out of those movies, my love would be very apparent indeed.

These days I limit my collection to looking at and saving the pictures. Aye, hard times = no new little plastic friends for me. But it's okay, because my display was starting to take on the look of a Japanese subway car.

Now, Nan and her thing for Russian nesting dolls rubbed off on me. We've only gotone nesting doll between us, a bunch of black cats holding pumpkins that we found in Woolworth before they closed. (This post is full of injustice, first Woolworth, then afp, oh, it's unfair!)

Looking at it now, I realize it was only a matter of time before someone came up with Star Wars nesting dolls, but I never, ever, ever could have expected them to call them Chubbies.

Will someone really go bragging, "I've got Wookiee Chubbies!" and not get arrested? Time will tell.

I for one would very much like a nesting doll of X-Wing pilots, featuring the chubbiest of all, my man Porkins.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

It only makes sense if you know why.

Things like this happen for a reason. I'm sure of it.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Fixating on the stupid.

Secure Horizons, the HMO affiliated with AARP in this area, had promised my mother they'd rush an information kit to her...three weeks ago. This week, she got a big envelope from them, which contained a postcard she could fill out for her super-duper information package which will be rushed to soon as they get the postcard with all of her address and everything all over a postcard for anyone to read.

I understand the concept of *headdesk*, I really do.

My mother has to enroll in a Medicare supplement by December. When she was on the phone with Secure Horizons (three weeks ago), they told her their least expensive plan required her going down to Chinatown. In my head, I heard a line from GTA III, and because I'm tired right now, and because you may know the line I'm tallking about....

"Somebody call a medic!"

Do I give a crap about AARP at this moment? No, I do not. Poking around on the website (because I am not waiting for the next information kit), it doesn't even look like she'd be able to go to the local hospital, only the hospital with Towel Lady, the woman who transferred from the late lamented Pelham Bay General and told me it wouldn't be such a big deal if I lost my breast when I was 14. (I mean, I get that, I got that then, but it's an insanely stupid thing to say to a child you don't know. It's an insanely callous and stupid thing to say to anyone.)

Oh, modern healthcare in America, you give me so much material.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I cannot blame the planets.

Thursday, the day Mercury went direct, returning us the cosmic normality level of a probability factor of one to one, my car died. This was a normal occurrence up until a few years ago, when I realized that the car alarm designed to keep the car from being driven was so eager to do its job, it didn't know when to stop. After we got a new battery, I never had a dead car again. Which makes this latest drain all the more tragic. There's a button, on the doorframe, which lets the car know the door is closed. It never occurred to me--and maybe you've never thought about this either--that the button could break, and when it did, the car would sit in the driveway doing the automotive equivalent of yelling, "Hey! Hey! Hey!"

The car, however, is soundproof, and I failed to wait the full ten seconds after I slammed my door to see if the interior lights had gone off. This day the button broke, I guess they didn't, because the lights came on when I recharged the car (OMG, my uncle rocks, he gave me a charger 12 years ago and it has never gone to waste) and continued to stay on. The car also kept telling me the door was open. Loud dinging to me is like I suppose being hit over the head with a wet screaming baby who is holding bells and a cuckoo clock that scratches its beak down a chalkboard every second to a person with a severe migraine. That is, I almost shot my car on the way to the service station. This is similar to the reason I don't do well with a metronome, but that's another story.

While the button was repaired--I love my service station so much for all they've done over the years I would hug them but that would be weird and I'd get smudges on my back--my mother and I had to walk to the store I was planning to drive to, because to put it bluntly, we were out of toilet paper. Those who know us very, very well know what an odd, out-of-character thing this is, and now I fully understand why my mother stashes those two rolls that always fall down and wedge in the dispenser. I also learned not to lose my temper with the toilet paper dispenser any more, but that too is another story.

Now, my mother has what I refer to as a bad leg. What it actually is, is a series of hernias that has cut off the circulation so bad that she breaks out in leg ulcers, and this year, she's got two fighting for the title of more annoying section of the ankle. She's eligible for Medicare in three months, and she's hellbent on not doing anything radical like having a doctor check it out and possibly make it all worse until she has coverage. AARP still has yet to send her either package of information on Medicare supplements they swore they'd rush right out to her a month ago. I will not forget this, AARP.

My mother should not be walking, and I actually should not be lifting. I not like to whine, but you all know of my hiatal hernia, and generally how that goes away is if you don't lift anything. Like, say, a 24-pack of toilet paper. So last weekend my mother and I sort of spent dead. My car, upon being picked up by the two of us, laughed. I swear, I heard it. Luckily, the service station did not ask me if I was fit to drive, because had I said more than, "Thank you," they would have detected the slurring. My eye has also been closing lately, and I can joke and say it's my Forest Whitaker impression, but if I was on the road with me, I'd change lanes and get as far away from me as possible as soon as possible.

Monday I drove into a pole. It wasn't a surprise, I mean, I saw the pole, and my eyes were both open at the time, however I didn't see that the pole--holding up the great big light over my car--had a base that extended out far enough that my lovely Empire State license plate got bent. The plastic frame also got cracked, and that is why I choose plain, unremarkable frames for my license plates, because while I remember all the good times we had together, it's not like I'm going to, you know...glue it back together and put it over my computer.


Being descended from Nan, I know we're not so dainty that little things like hernias and ulcers and dizziness and total inability to carry on a conversation are going to take us out that easy. Nan pretty much does double the amount of stuff Mum and I do, and she still has time to write and make out with the cats even when her legs fall off, which the dog enjoys because she's a maniacal foot-licker. I've convinced myself that everything will be fine. Even if I had trouble swallowing a French fry tonight because my esophagus has that pesky stomach wedged in it.

I also signed up for this year's NaNoWriMo, because I had a book to write anyway, and this gives me a pretty good excuse reason. I have 9,596 words written and not one person has been stabbed in the eye with a beer pretzel, been possessed by a transvestite vampire, traveled to another dimension, or engaged in random sexy hook-ups. Yet. I think it even all makes sense, which is wild.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Yo, Holmes!

Oh, I'll never get tired of that joke. There's a new comet that just appeared seemingly out of nowhere. I read about it the night it rained, and figured the cloudy weather would continue until this new comet was long gone. But no, I've seen it! I've photographed it! I'm about to subject you to one of the photos I took!

Comet Holmes

What? This is what it looks like. Until I get an attachment for my camera to hook to my telescope, this is my official photo of Comet Holmes. And a UFO.

No, no, it's not a UFO, that's a splatter of my brain, caused by too many lights polluting my view.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat?

If you watch TV for longer than three minutes, you might be familiar with the ads for the new 3 Musketeers Mint candy...thing. The ads show a woman eating a long candy bar that makes it snow or something because mint means snow! Very much like Peppermint Patties bring on hallucinations of ski lifts.

For a few weeks, we looked in our stores for these seemingly wondrous things, because if there's anything we need, it's candy. And possibly a blizzard. I finally found a bag of bite-size 3 Musketeers Mint candy things at the Rite-Aid Halloween sugar-fest. Me, buying candy? Something is wrong with the planets.

3 Musketeers Mint taste exactly like Peppermint Patties.

However, even the small Peppermint Patties are bigger than these 3 Musketeer Mint things. The name is bigger than the candy. The candy is a one-inch square. That's unfair, if you ask me. I just get into eating candy and it's gone.

I have eaten five 3 Musketeer Mint things in the past hour. It's not snowing yet, unless you take my perpetual seborrhea into account, and I wish you wouldn't, because it freaks me out. Now all I can think of is how many Peppermint Patties I used to eat as a kid, and I wonder what happened to the wrappers. I was going to use them as tiny book covers, man! Anyone who has seen B. Original must realize how ahead of my time I was to consider making books out of candy wrappers. Retro '70s candy wrappers at that, it would've been fabulous.

Happy Halloween, I hope your sugar buzz makes you as high as me!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dear flashy television show,

You know who you are, you crazy show. Stop it. Just stop it with the bright white flash at every cut. Your sponsors need to stop that too, because I don't want to watch your show anymore. The flashing patterns are telling me to kill, they're telling me to maim.

I'm coming for you, horrible television flashiness. If I can get off the floor.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Is it cannibalism if it tastes so good?

And a hundred more! (After all, hazmat crews aren't happy unless they have loads of smoke to dance around in. So I've heard.)

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Great Tragedy.

The one I looked forward to seeing first thing in the morning, that always guaranteed to wake me up and warm my soul has lost its handle.

Twenty-three years is a pretty good record for a coffee mug.

Sure, with all the problems in the world, an out-of-season reindeer and bunny mug that was probably coated in lead paint seems small and unimportant, but that was my mug, and that mug fueled most of what I've done since 1984. I remember the Christmas it was given to me, I'd made a load of Pillsbury sugar cookies and for some reason I had the song Free Nelson Mandela running through my head all day. At that point I wanted to be some sort of 5th grade crime-fighting Martha Stewart karaoke champion, and the fact that this mug came with its own coaster that doubled as a lid turned me on.

You know I glued it back together. But I have no faith in the Krazy Glue, and not wanting to get completely intimate with a cup of boiling hot coffee, my reindeer mug now sits on top of my computer, but now the something hot and black it contains is a little plush cat.

I shall never love another mug the way I loved this one. No really, it's...not healthy.

The cake pictured was what my mother came up with for my birthday this year. It was a slice of white cake, lemon pie filling, strawberries, Cool Whip, sprinkles, and pure pain for anyone with their own teeth. I had said I liked all of those things, and I have to admit they did not taste entirely bad together.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pining for the little birds.

Halfway through my puppy's walkies, I heard the squawking of many crows. I haven't heard that in a while, lack of trees and loads of West Nile Virus have made my neighborhood vulture-less for quite some time. I happened to look up to see if they were heading right for me, and they weren't...they were busy having a fight with a red-tailed hawk.

I think I have noted every time I've seen a hawk on the Internet, so it never gets old. The fact that this hawk was involved in a noisy smackdown in my pine tree just made it that much more interesting to me.

I did not get a good picture of the hawk, as it flew away while this one of its butt was saving. Behind those pinecones, I assure you there is a bird that was so big, I could see it a block away.

I...can't say I'm sorry it left, but it was nice to see.


Monday, October 15, 2007

I Like My Environment.

I became obsessed with not mucking up the planet at a very young age. No one told me to, but I heard some catchy songs about acid rain and people starving in the desert, and my favorite movies were Blade Runner and Planet Of The Apes, plus I had a weird interest in fallen civilizations, so little by little I turned into the flaming hippie I am.

As a teenager, I sat around in a darkened room, not because I was moody (even though I was), or because I dug watching the bouncy lights on my stereo (even though I did), but because my house ran on two fuses and if I wanted my stereo and my computer, I couldn't have light. To add light would overload the circuit. My house taught me to be a conservationist. It also taught me to develop a little obsessive feeling that the house would burn down, but I see that as a good thing, because how else would I have seen all those episodes of Monty Python over and over if I wasn't up until dawn all alone every night?

My house isn't perfect, there was the oil spill of '04, when the oil tank under the patio disconnected itself from reality, and that followed the frozen pipe of doom that wasted a ridiculous amount of ice cold water, but overall this house has taught me what I need and what I don't need.

I don't throw out fallen leaves, I mulch them. My plants need the mulch, might as well use my own leaves. I can't afford loads of chemicals to treat anything, so I ward off the aphids with light oil and kill the weeds with boiling water.

I don't drive much. That's one way I've managed to not pollute. In this way, my migraines helped me save the Earth. Many people in my family haven't seen me in years, but hey, I prevented emissions!

I unplug everything I'm not using, not only to save money, but to keep my house from shortening the lives of the electronics. Even though the house was changed from two fuses to proper circuit breakers nearly twenty years ago, the wiring still demands a sacrifice once in a while.

I can stretch a three-inch scrap of paper to contain the notes for an entire month. It's not that I don't have paper to write separate things on, it's that I don't feel the need to write all big so everyone can see I need to remember to remind myself that I have to tape a movie and get the lotto numbers.

I'm still on the same four sets of rechargeable batteries for my radio, going on five years. Considering my radio uses two AAA's worth of power every three days, that's a lot of saved batteries. Yes, I have to recharge them off my house electricity, I'm not perfect. I haven't sent seven hundred-and-fifty alkaline batteries to the dump, though, that's something.

The low-wattage light bulbs we're all switching to with trace amounts of mercury in them are something, too, I just haven't figured out what, yet. They may make all my photos without a flash look green and creepy, but they've saved us a chunk of change we've used for...well, I guess not enough for healthcare, but we can eat!

Happy Blog Action Day, everyone. This post made me feel petulant and I'm sorry if it came through, but the whole purpose of Blog Action Day was to raise awareness for the environment--which some people think is perfectly fine and that thinking crosses over into places in my head where I am not funny and friendly and I don't want to go there because I do think the environment's going downhill as fast as my own house, but like with my house, I can only do what I can do and hope it helps. Another point of the day was to donate the day's earnings to charity, and well, from here? There are none. But I reused some packing today, and I still haven't gotten my faucet repaired, so I didn't waste any water today because no water comes out unless I use the sprayer. It's also cooling off so that's less power used to keep me from melting. Yay for natural air conditioning.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Putting the new in news since....I forget.

I haven't really had anything very interesting to tell you. I mean, last week I aggravated my hernia, and that's not confetti-worthy. I tried to make it funny one night, but if I so much as thought about giggling, my dinner was all up in my ears, and spaghetti sauce does not feel good in the ears. I can't even say it's an aquired feeling.

While I wasn't writing I did add three things to the overflowing sidebar, first off is a link to subscribe to an RSS feed of the comments! Why? Um...well, I know I subscribed to remind me how much replying I've got to do (and I will, if I do it when I'm 90, I will).

There's also a link to the one article I've written on Helium. My writing is worth exactly one penny as of this moment, and that would make me very warm and fuzzy indeed if my hernia was not giving off more heat that my chest knows what to do with.

Hot chests right into nerds. What will happen next? The Formidable Nerd knows what will happen next, yes. RASSM's pea-farmer has become a reporter of nerdly news, and his site loads really fast, you could lightspeed.

That brings me to the tangent about the sky looking way better when it's freezing out. Not that it's exactly freezing, but one weekend I'm wearing shorts and the next weekend I'm wondering why I'm wearing shorts because my knees have caught cold.

This is Venus and Saturn in Leo, and it was over my house this morning. I'm pretty sure it was over everyone's home, so if you didn't see it, this is what was up there (with the exception of my phone line, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't have that where you are):

(This post is what happens when I don't plan what I'm going to write ahead of time.)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

An important lesson for us all.

Do you know what to do when you start feeling funny? This gem from Japan will make sure you never forget what it means when your bottom feels funny.

I am a pants man, you know. I...take pride in that. It's not much, I know, but some days it's all I have.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Friday Freakiness

Okay, I forget if I've mentioned that the neighborhood, having gotten uppity about stray cats, has seen a lot more field mice lately. This is dodgy speak for we had a few mice in the house. They came for the catnip, and stayed for the dog kibble. I swear, they threw catnip all over the place one morning. Which, I guess, is why my slinky guy was so kind to the one mouse he carried out of the house and let go a few weeks back. I never knew a cat that believes in catch and release, whatta guy.

We've got these "humane" traps that tip and lock closed when a breeze blows past them, and for a while we've had no takers on the bits of muffin or cookie or cheeto or kibble we put in there, but there were so many ants in the trap that it tipped closed.

Why I didn't take a picture, I don't know. You would have screamed along with me. I don't know why I scream at the sight of loads of ants in places I don't expect them, but it's one of those nasty side-effects of being a girl, I guess. It all started when I picked up a paper cup that had juice in, it's too disturbing to go back to.

I can't believe that many ants can hang out and get along, really. Ants rock. Outside of my house. Far, far outside.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Three Thursday Thingys

Generally I try not to get attached to services on the Internet because they are upgraded to crap or taken away entirely two seconds later. Like the TV listings on Yahoo, which used to tell me what was actually going to be on and it would do it so fast, I'd have time to catch the movie we wanted.

I digress. Here are three things I've been using, and I'm not claiming I love them utterly because, you know.

Christian Montoya made a neat little timer, and if I type in say, "30" and hit go, it will let me know when I've taken too long looking for the letter that comes after N in my name.

Vixy is a service than converts FLV videos, like those you find on YouTube, into DVD-ready AVI and MOV files, or just grabs the audio as an MP3. It's free, and before the RIAA and MPAA takes interest in me, I've only used this to save copies of my neice eating her chair and taking out a water bowl.

Speaking of certain snoopy corporations getting stuffed, Anonymouse is a rather helpful website that lets you visit websites without those websites seeing your IP, and you know, possibly blocking you. I'm just sayin'.

You can easily picture me with a self-imposed time limit, watching Tay Zonday on YouTube, can't you?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Wayback Wednesday

If you're like me, your entire life revolved around a show called Soild Gold. Well, okay, maybe not my entire life, that distinction went to the videos on U68. I may not be able to readily tell you why 3 × (d + 4) - 11 = 321 - 23, but by God I can tell you which video had Robert Palmer making the really cool house of cards.

Even if you're not like me, the SNL parody of Soild Gold needs to be seen.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Things I Learned Tuesday.

The first thing I learned today is that I no longer speak Spanish. I am ashamed. I had a conversation with one of our neighbors, and as he was leaving he said, "Hasta La Vista."

I will demonstrate, in handy emoticons, what my reaction to this was:

:D "Okay, you too!" :D

There is a point when brain auto-pilot just doesn't hack it, and I now feel like more of a mindless hick than I did that time the eye doctor asked me my address. Because, you know, eye doctors don't usually ask where you live unless they want to come to your house and remove your corneas.

The next thing I learned is that grass will grow better in areas where it is not needed or wanted. My driveway, for example, had grass high enough to hide a Snapple bottle full of urine (I know what urine looks like, trust me) and when grass gets that high, it's time for fire.

I learned that I don't own a flamethrower. I don't even know a fire eater who I could aske to come blow on the junk growing in the cracks.

I learned that boiling water or vinegar and salt works great to kill leaves, but not always roots.

I learned that everybody misses Alexander's.

I also learned that my puppy loves our neighbor up on the corner more than me. The little furry hussy.

But the best thing I didn't really learn today was that my neighbors are frikkin' lovely people. No one had to tell me my crappy stubs of dead grass looked better than the bamboo field we had there, but they did. I mean, yes, slighly improved crap does look better than utter crap, and it's nice that they see that.

I earned my pizza.

:D Okay, you too, everyone! :D

Monday, October 01, 2007

Notes from Monday.

I get my comic strip done while whatever the primetime show o'the day is on, today that's Dancing With The Stars.

The only reason for that set-up is that you'll understand why I burst out, "Mais Que Nada is a samba, how can they dance a mambo to Mais Que Nada?! The words are 'Get out of my way, I want to dance the samba,' what kind of treachery is this?!"

I never did have the temperament for watching competitions. Depending on what entertains you, I'm either no fun when watching figure skating, or I'm full of comedy gold. The year the Miss America contestants sang the Prince song Play In The Sunshine I think was the most disastrous. I was asked to never be present when another Miss America pageant was on TV. I can't say that saddened me.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Sounds and Smells of Saturday.

This week the neighbors around the corner got their roof done. For three days, we took guesses how long it would be until the huge palettes of shingles would slide off the roof and kill someone. As far as I know, they never did. It could be the roofers used some of the extra flashing cement they bragged about having to tack the palettes down.

I really did consider yelling over to the roofers that they might like to come over here if that extra flashing cement was really burning a hole in their truck. But I did not.

I did discover a ridiculous amount of pokeweed growing behind my shed, however (THREE!), and I listened to the cacophony known as the neighbor's kid as I was pulling the pokeweed (not an easy thing to do considering poke has the defense mechanism of falling apart if you tug on it once it grows higher than three inches).

For an hour, he kept telling someone that something was, "RIGHT THERE!" like his ass was chained to the ground and he couldn't go fetch it himself. I later presumed that he meant his soccer ball, because a little while later, he asked someone to get his soccer ball fifty-three times.

The child was then allowed near the lawn mower. My dog, who is terrified of everything from the electric cake mixer to the Shop-Vac, paid no mind to this. This doesn't surprise me.

"I'm on the roof!" he screamed roughly twenty times before someone (other than me and everyone else in the Tri-State area) noticed him.

"I like it here!" he argued when anyone would tell him to get down.

"I can see the church from here!" he screamed as I thought to myself that might be where he'll be buried out of when he smashes his fool melon head on the ground.

"I'm falling!" he screamed twice when I guess no one was paying any attention to his antics anymore.

He then sounded as if he was being murdered, and kept saying, "Let go of me!" so all I can hope is that the creature from the blackest lagoon of rain gutter build-up ate the damn noisy fool.

I do believe this is the child that yelled, "Ma!" non-stop for four years. I'm not kidding.

I will say this: I enjoyed killin' stuff growing out of the ground while that kid was screaming. I pretended it was his vocal cords. Are vocal cords actual cords? I'm thinking no. Then again, my eyes are not water fountains, yet try telling that to the mosquito that landed in my eye.

I think the moral of this story is that if there are small noisy humans around, lock up your ladders. If not, respond to the stupid kid on the roof within the first ten times they make a noise, preferably by removing the ladder and saying goodbye. It works faster than, "Getta down-a here!" If you are the kid on the roof and you like it there, keep your mouth shut, and you can stay forever!

Happy weekend, everybody.

Handy gardening tip: vinegar, salt, and dishwashing liquid makes a better vegetation killer than Round-Up. So what if the back of my shed smells like (I say) salad dressing or (Nan says) douche? It's environmentally friendly to whatever it's not killing! And it kills. It kills well. Boiling water also works, but for stuff that is above your head, it's probably not wise to fling boiling water around.

I've worked it out to a tablespoon of salt and a half-teaspoon of dishwashing liquid per cup of vinegar, like 2 cups of vinegar, 2 tablespoons of sait, 1 teaspoon of dish liquid. I only used half of that, because that's all I have in the house until next month.

Homemade weedkiller impresses me. Next spring no unwanted things will grow in my cracks. That's a nice thought.

Now if only I could find something that makes Waffles the dog not poop in our driveway. Aside from a cannon aimed at his owners, who deliberately walk him to our house. I have video.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Press Any Key To Continue, But Only If You Use The Correct OS.

Ah, the '90s. Back on this date...or around this 1990, I got my first PC. It had a clock speed of 3 and no hard drive. I had to buy an extra serial card port in order to use the mouse and the modem. I loved that damn computer.

It came with DR-DOS. Prodigy couldn't run off a disk formatted in DR-DOS. MS-DOS was $80 to buy. Luckily, my neighbor let me bum a copy.

Man, did I learn a lot about PCs right off the bat.

It's odd that I can recall the date I fired up my Kaypro 8086, and my first Prodigy account number (BSSR04), and the second (RPWS67, and that was because I didn't know the 0 was a zero!), but I can't remember if I was supposed to get out of this chair and go do something.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

But Has It Also Been Seven Hours?

Fifteen days since my last post? Shameful. I didn't mean to take my love away. I have, like a good little woman of olden days who thinks herself into a tizzy, been doing crafts. You see, my blanket came's one of those velour thermal blankets, and it's black, and I've spent a great deal of time in bed with that blanket, so I couldn't just toss it. No homeless people would appreciate the flaking black fuzz so it's not like I can go down to the subway station and say, "Aww, here, it'll keep you warm! Like it kept me warm all those nights!" No one wants to hear that.

No, I am making things out of my late blanket, and many of those things are cat-shaped. YOU KNEW THAT WAS COMING! What else is there to do with a roughly 5'x4' section of black velour? I also made a printer cover, but the cat climbs up on the printer, so that also counts as a cat project.

Other than that, much of my time has been taken up thrashing about trying to escape the flicker of the TV, keeping painstaking record of every annoying ache in my body for future archaeologists, and being unpleasant to mosquitoes. I cannot read my records, so I can't tell you how I've been. I just don't remember.

But I've missed you. I want to make it up to you. I know this doesn't really cover it, but here's a video that made me consider laughing. Instead, I just had a few cups of coffee and ran back and forth to my monitor in the hopes David Bowie was walking past. He wasn't, but a flower grew in the yard where none had been the day before. It was yellow, and closed itself at night, which means it's dangerous to walk the street when the lights are out.

(Someday, I will watch all of Twin Peaks.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I don't really sit around analyzing myself.

I read an article called Caring For Your Introvert, and it spoke to me, man. And not at great length until I fell down, either.

I am an introvert! I would go out into the streets and shout this, but really, no one needs that.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Me, I'm Just A Lawnmower, You Can Tell By The Way I Walk.

No, I've not been hanging out in Peter Gabriel's wardrobe, but look, say hello to my leetle friend!

And I do mean little. This mower fits between all the various hedge arrangements the Knights of Ni decreed we plant and it's only 35 pounds, which means I am not completely dead the day after I mow, and I found it on, which is technically an eBay store so I get to pay it off in my magical eBay ways. I also realize I've said the word the Knights of Ni cannot hear several times already, but that's too bad, I cut my lawn with a Pup now. Better than a herring, that thing.

There's also a cute little basket that catches the clippings so I can fill in the excavations by our fearless lawn raider. Not that I recommend filling in puppy holes with only rocks and leaves, because the snake loves it. Have I mentioned we have a garden snake? My fluffy little cat carried it over to me in his mouth the other night, like, "Human, please dispose of this." I was unable to dispose of the snake and I learned that snakes move away from anything capable of picking them up very quickly. Unlike baby field mice.

When my little slinky cat carried a mouse to me the other night like, "Hey, I found this, can you put some butter on it for me?" I was able to carry the mouse to someplace safer. I have been told no such place exists, but I read too many Serendipity books as a kid. Plus, dude, I only let my cats play with fake mice and sticks!


Friday, August 31, 2007

I Understand.

Sometimes tastelessness is the only path to sanity.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Sound of Going Crazy

Yesterday, I was in the middle of lots of technical difficulties, and off in the distance, I heard the sound of two Mr. Softee trucks, playing their music...just a little out of sync.

Then my older computer decided to join in with its alarm, signalling that it was overheating, and it wanted ice cream.

I think that's what it wanted, anyway.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Lunatic Is On The Grass.

Well, actually...I don't want to think about grass...I want to think about eclipses! I was up in the window for this most recent lunar event, because not only was I in the middle of a game, it was 4AM and by that time the only way to see the moon over the trees and rooftops was from the window.

(Clicking on the pictures gets the full-size versions, I highly recommend the first one.)

So there was a full moon on Monday:

Then there was an eclipse:

Then it got cloudy:

But the eclipsed moon peeked out just long enough to say goodnight before it fell into the neighbor's chimney:

It could be that my drooling love for the moon comes from the sign I was born under, or possibly from the multiple dog bites over the years, but I love eclipses. Throw one of those at me twice a year or so and I can live happily for at least two weeks.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

You Can't See It, It's Electric.

Hey Home Depot! Yeah, I'm talking to you, you big bastards that took over Pergament and Rickel and Channel and basically any place I could have gone ten years ago to buy a lawn mower. Not everyone wants a lawn mower that runs on gas. Not everyone wants a lawn mower they need to sit on to control. Crazy, I know, I mean, what kind of American am I to not want to feel the hum of lawn care at work under my ass on a hot sunny day as I cross my 20x50 yard? Those hedges and rock gardens have it coming to them if I should just drive over them. No, maintaining an engine on something I use once a week ain't my style baby, just ask the car I drive three times a year.

When I perused your online selection of mulching mowers yesterday, I must have hallucinated those four Black & Decker models you had listed alongside the John Deere equipment, because somehow they all disappeared the next day! How can that be? I wasn't able to mow our mushrooms into an inhalable dust, how could I possibly have imagined that you had what I wanted in stock for three hours? What was I comparing? I think I was clicking around on your website, after all, there were huge ads telling me I wouldn't have to pay six months if I used my Home Depot card. Hey, do you know some other mysterious place selling electric mowers is offering to accept payments with the Home Depot card?

Your employees in New Rochelle require instruction as to what department they actually work in, because after the fourth person got on the phone and did not know why they were talking to us, we decided that probably none of them had ever seen a lawn much less a mower. After all, your Bronx staff has never seen a storm door, and don't know why the glass would ever need replacement.

Can it be that in all of the Bronx, Yonkers, and New Rochelle, no one has a lawn that continues to grow until November? Is it just me? Am I the only person who recognizes that grass will continue to grow even after the kids have gone back to school and it's time to stock the snowblowers? What the hell are you trying to pull, Home Depot? You have taken something as simple as purchasing a lawn mower and turned it into the equivalent of walking into Rite Aid and asking for an iron lung. You know what? Even if you did find a mower that runs on electricity, I wouldn't buy it from you now. You have fun selling your emission-spewing tractors to the borough that has the highest rate of mentally handicapped people and the smallest back yards, I'll be giving my money to some .com that'll be out of business by the time I'm ready for my next mower, just like I did last time.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Dear Neighbor With The Weedwhacker, August Edition.

I bet you laughed when my mower died and I had to finish the lawn with my trimmer.

Did you laugh when the yellow jacket got in my shoe and I smashed it as it stung me? I didn't. I had visions of having to find my way out of Antarctica with an unconscious FBI agent and a serious case of frostbite.

MM525, RIP. I have never written better than when I mowed with you. The Black and Decker designer of your power handle ought to be thrown under a properly functioning version of you, because if not for the cheesy plastic, you would still be here with me.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Windin' Your Way Down on Baker Street

I first noticed the Gerry Rafferty song Baker Street on a hot August day in 1988 riding to the White Plains Galleria in a car with no air conditioner. Towards the end, my radio kept getting interference from the parking garage we were in, so for a long while I never knew how it ended. The sax was mind-blowing enough, but the story grabbed me. That, and, hell, I was crazy about Sherlock Holmes. The Jeremy Brett series was just running on PBS in those days and so this song was like some crazy trifecta of, "How did I not hear this before?"

I didn't know Gerry Rafferty was from Stealer's Wheel, as a matter of fact I had yet to hear Stuck In The Middle with You and I didn't know Raphael Ravenscroft was the sax player on The Final Cut, because I hadn't heard that yet, either.

I didn't take the words literally, because I was going through all the mental things a 14-year-old goes through...with metal in their eyes, and I took the end as a sign that things would be okay, you get to go home.

It's been getting a lot of plays on the local smooth jazz station, and the recently returned CBS-FM, and I don't mind it at all. The fact that it keeps turning up in movies and TV shows just makes me take solace in all the other kids who heard it a long time ago, and included it in their work.

The Foo Fighters version ain't too shabby, either.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

You Know What They Say About Food And Art

This video was meant to go up yesterday, Pa's actual birthday, but due to progress and technology, and that I only started encoding it yesterday because I mistakenly thought progress and technology would make things faster instead of making me learn new things, the world had to wait one more day for this.

When we got our first video camera, we made about ten art house movies in the first day. There was a nature documentary about cats and boxes, a documentary about the parts of the canine, a trippy reel of everyone turning into Geraldo Rivera, which had its sequel in the blockbuster, "Is the zoom working?"

The Man Who Has to Hurry Up and Eat was by far the funniest. I mean, listen to us. You don't hear the Zucker Brothers enjoying the making of Airplane! as much as this, do you?


Thursday, August 23, 2007

I Do Not Support Scaring The Children.

I grew up with fear. Fear instilled in me by the mistake I made sitting in front of the television the night The Day After played. OMG, everyone could just totally die! The '80s were big on that, I used to listen to Dancing With Tears In My Eyes and feel ill because, Midge Ure, he was going to blow up. No, dammit, it wasn't fair. Sting became my friend the second I heard that Russians song, and it was there, being exposed to the movies and songs about the fears of people who were out there living in the world but had the same fears as me that the seeds of my hippie peacenik non-proliferation beliefs were planted.

But twenty years down the line, I realize my fears, and the fear that was thrown at my mom's generation ("Get under your desks and kiss your ass goodbye, kids!"), are nothing compared to what kids have to look at now, because the idea that something bad is going to happen is everywhere.

Over my coffee cup today, during one of the cooking shows, after a reminder that kids need to sit in booster seats if they aren't 4'9" because they have a future, and they should ride into that future safely strapped into whatever monstrosity their parents drive, comes a PSA very much like the booster seat one. At first it was all, "Mom, what do I do if you're not there to pick me up from soccer?" and I think anti-drugs. "What if something happens?" okay, maybe it's an ad about not getting into cars with strangers. I'm all for that. But then creepy voiceover guy tells everyone to come up with a plan in the event of a terrorist strike.

It was the first time I'd seen this, and Paula Deen was back on eating whatever she'd cooked before the ad really hit me. These kids don't need a movie, they just have to be near a TV over the next few weeks and they'll see IT happened. IT could happen again. There's no one assuring them IT can't happen again. Cripes, no wonder everyone overeats and takes pills for nerves.

I feel bad for kids growing up now. Sure, they're kids and they'll figure it out and most of them will do a better job of it than I did--sooner, most likely--but it still makes me mad that somewhere, some kid is out in her backyard, looking at the sky, twitching and thinking she probably isn't going to live to the age of 13, because she has seen no proof that it's all going to be okay.

I never would have made it past the eyes in the jungle on the Ready Kids website, you know. The majority of the website has nothing to do with the terrars, though, it's basically the same as the ads that used to tell kids to have a plan for getting out of the house during a fire which...yeah, those were well-meaning. "Not now, you just get out of the house, that's all you need to do."

Did anybody else really ever do that? Because I think I'm the only person who had a bag packed ready to go if the house caught fire. I should update the underwear in there, the clothes are probably size 8, too.