Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wouldn't You Like To Be A Pepper, Too?

She might be just a little bit spoiled.

Just a little.

And....what the hell, right?  If you can do a little something for your kid once in a while, you should.

So tomorrow, Halloween, I am taking my kid to a show--specifically, The Academy Is, The Diva's all-time favorite band.

At a bar.

On Halloween.

I'm sure I've mentioned before that I'm not a big fan of going out to a bar on Halloween night.  It's one of those "Amateur Nights" out on the town.  Mostly just assholes go out on Halloween night.  The rest of us either stay home or go to a party at the home of someone else who is staying home.

So, I expect to be surrounded by assholes.

Well, either assholes, or other parents, like me. 

Parents who might also be assholes. 

Hell, I might be an asshole, too, now that I think about it.

Anyway--it should be fun.  The Diva gets a good close look at Mr. Beckett, and I get to...uh...stand around and be the old person at the show.  It's a parent thing...please come, so I'll have someone to co-miz with, and drink grown up drinks, and hang out in the smoking section...with all the other people trying not to be assholes at a bar on Halloween.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Teenage Runaway

This little darling likes to make me cry about once every year and a half. He has a bit of the wanderlust...

So, Sunday morning, despite his life of leisurely indoor-ness, he decided it would be fun to have a little field trip. He just got home today, with the help of some wonderful fellow animal owners.

I hope you had fun, Bailey, because you are soooooo GROUNDED!

Much, MUCH thanks to our neighbors who found him and caught him and called! We love you!

Most Envied Person of the Week...

Isn't it funny how I declare a most envied person of the week, implying that I will be declaring one EVERY week?

I think we all know that I'm not that ambitious...

I might as well tell you that next week, there probably won't be a most envied person. Or I might declare myself the most envied person. Either/Or.


I'm calling it for this week--Brian Oake...he's all calm and relaxed on the radio in the afternoon while a lot of us are out there, examining close up, the social experiment that we call the afternoon commute.

(I'm actually much more calm driving home than I am in the morning...I guess I don't care what time I get there. So, I'm fairly relaxed. Except for swearing at people who don't know how to merge. You are now free to picture me driving in a leisurely fashion at 4:55PM on a weekday, angering every other person on the highway. Enjoy.)

Brian, I'd like to say that I would love to have your job, and I would, but you definitely out-geek me in the artist info department, so you just keep doing what you're doing--and I'll be over here, trying not to incite any road rage.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Just A Number

I'm so old where I work.

Actually, I'm about average, age-wise, in the building, but, it's a damn big building.  It's one of those big buildings with lots of granite and marble and thoughtful hotel-like touches, so, it was pretty much designed with "old" people in mind, cuz we're all about granite and marble and thoughtful hotel-like touches.  We've earned that shit, haven't we?

I'm not old in real life, I'm just old around some 5 or 6 of the dozen or so people that I work with directly--those 5 or 6 are the ones who party and go to clubs on the weekends.  Good for them.  But...I'm old.

Not that I don't party on the weekends.  When you reach a certain age, you just do it differently.  For example, this Saturday night, while my younger co-workers were paying way too much for some weak, foo-foo drinky-poo, I was relaxing with a bourbon and water (cough-cough) that only a bonafide drinker would enjoy (read: strong), and, I didn't have to tip anybody or dress up to get it.  Somehow, I worked it into my regular errands.  Cool.

I also ate "good" food--some semi-incredible ribs with amazing sauce, that some lovely person (me) prepared just for me.  Also Cool.

The best thing was that there was some semi-intelligent conversation to go with that drink and food, and very little drama.  Cuz when you're old, you don't "do" drama.

Let's re-cap...granite and marble, thoughtful hotel-like touches, strong drinks, good food, delightful conversation, no drama.  Hmmm....with that added perspective, I think I will agree to be old, just for the time being.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Diva Is....A Punk Rocker

Diva got a new hair cut and color...

...and for some reason, did not fully appreciate it when
I referred to her as "The Late, Great, Johnny Ramone". I right? Or am I right?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

You're Almost As Paranoid As I Am


It's gettin' so a girl doesn't want to talk about things anymore.  I talked about Michaels, then discovered Michaels checked up on me to make sure I didn't say anything bad about them...

What are they going to do when I show up at the door waving money?

The presidential election conversations have been similarly observed.  Only, the fabulous tracking devices used by those who's job it is to secure the safety of high-level political candidates can't be seen by my lowly stats counter. 

But I know you are out there, Secret Service Agent Whomever.  Don't worry, I'm probably not going to do anything rebellious. 

Except vote.

I know that may be frightening for some candidates.  Good luck with that.
Mostly, I say nice things around the blog-o-rama.  I'm not a meanie.  If I feel like telling someone off, I contact them directly, whenever possible.
Besides, like Olympia Dukakis said in Steel Magnolias--if you can't find something good to say about anyone, come and sit by me.  We'll talk privately.  Catty bitch conversations are for enjoying with your girlfriends, not sharing with the world...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day, with this year's focus on poverty.  Check out 88 Ways To Do Something About Poverty Right Now on the Blog Action Day site.

And note the recurrence, throughout the list, of the one most important thing...Don't Be Lazy!

We tend to be complacent here in the United States, because many of us have more we need.  The very fact that you can read this web site at all is a clear indicator that you have more than most people on the planet.  You have access to a computer, and presumably, electricity, and a roof of some structure covering you.  Kind of a big deal, when placed in proper perspective.  Large population groups on this planet don't have that.

The thought of having all that we need, and having it without having to buy stuff has come up in several amazing ways this week.  For example, while I've always been a bit of a freak about frugality, having my soon-to-be ex husband tell me, over the phone, that I was "right" about not needing so much stuff in our lives was not necessarily gratifying to hear, but gave me some hope that when the going gets tough, even the avid shoppers can get by with less.

( might get tough here in the U.S.  Some would say it's tough already.  Don't be scared.  You can handle it.)

Later in the week, while watching a PBS program about life on a Minnesota farm in the early part of the 20th century, my friend and I reflected upon those "olden days"--how they survived with "nothing", and how it was incredibly difficult sometimes, but they did it anyway.  They heated their homes with corn cobs and cow pies, had to preserve most of their food because there were no freezers, and had to deal with incredible weather conditions, but when they interviewed the people who lived through it, what they remembered was not burning cow pies, but the good food, visiting friends and neighbors, and family gathering around the piano.  Nobody complained.

Lastly, at a get-together, Barb and I discovered that when we were kids, we both had to "make the milk"....what a strange childhood recollection to have in common!  My father drove a truck, and there wasn't much money, but there were six of us kids.  My mom would buy a half-gallon of whole milk, and mix it with a half-gallon of powdered milk. 

Barb's dad sold insurance, and when it came to milk, her mom went "full powder". 

Somehow, we both managed to survive this indignity and become productive members of society...(sarcasm intended)

It seems fitting, thinking about the economy in the US, and the poverty situation worldwide, that we should come together today and discuss this issue.  Some will take the information they receive today and use it to shrink their personal economic and ecological footprint.  Others will use it to help those in desperate need.  Either of those things will help, so go for it.

My best recommendation to you regarding poverty is simply to use less.  There are only a billion ways to do that, so to keep you from losing your mind and being overwhelmed with choices, I'll just give you my NUMBER ONE thing, the most important thing in my life, that I do in order to be happy and save money....ready?  Here it is...

Get a useful hobby. 

Seriously--that's it.  Get a useful hobby.

My hobbies tend to be utilitarian, and all involve making stuff, like painting, knitting, gardening, etc. 

I can buy a packet of tomato seeds, for example, and have a kajillion tomatoes for less than the price of one little bunch of tomatoes at the grocery store.  More importantly, however, it brings me great joy and a sense of accomplishment to do this.  I'm contributing something, even in my relaxation.  And usually, there are more than I can use, so I give a lot away.

I can also take a pretty cool photograph, blow it up and frame it for less than I could buy a similar item, and it will ultimately mean more to me and my family than something I just bought. 

Knitting, of course, always creates something of use. 

Very often, I look at a clever idea and think, "That is so cool!  I would like to have that!"  Even more often, however, I think, "That is so cool!  I should MAKE that!"

So, that's my something you love, that produces a usable result or item.  Use just what you need, and give the rest away.

About a million years ago, I wrote about all of this stuff, and you can read all about it here, but if you don't mind, I'll just pull some of the good bits for you:

I'm stuck hard in the notion that buying something that you could easily (or even not so easily) make yourself is practically sinful and definitely wasteful.  I'm tired of looking like the weirdo because I'm not a big "shopper".

Doesn't everybody know how to make their own soap? Can't ANYONE grow tomato plants and everything else under the sun from seeds you stashed safely away last fall (or bought from a catalog)? Or spend the winter enjoying all of the food that you put up from the garden? Isn't knitting a normal thing that people do just for the hell of it because they CAN? Don't "normal" people wear clothes that somebody MADE for them by hand and then just gave it to them to wear? Are we not supposed to cover ourselves with all of those quilts and afghans?

But, most importantly, aren't all of these things useful? Or do they only become useful when there is a crisis?

So, why the hell do I do this, even though nobody around me really appears to care one way or the other? (Gedney pickles sure are WAY better than mine, I can tell you that...) I don't know. I guess it is the feeling of knowing that no little kid in a far-off country had to have a shitty day because I wanted, no, NEEDED to have something that they could produce for pennies and I am too lazy to make myself, or hunt for something that is already made but just harder to find. That would be a good start.

And I suppose that we could spend some time in deep thought about our environmental footprint--you know what I am talking about!

But really, I think that I am into it for a lot of reasons:

) The giving. Making a gift of something that you made yourself is awesome, and usually very appreciated. ( Every year at Christmas, two or three ladies from my office give everybody a jar of jam that they made. It is my favorite gift, every year, and so clever! They are able to have enough of a thing on hand to give a nice gift to LOTS of people, and it costs them practically nothing...) You feel so much abundance when you can make a thing that is really special and then you give it away.

) Politically, well, the politics of being a massive consumer SUCK. Please make the effort to watch "When Walmart Comes To Town" or order a tape of it from PBS--go here for the broadcast schedule in your part of the world--you will never want to buy a thing that you don't ab-so-freaking-lute-ly NEED ever again, especially anything made in China.

) To be my own person and not blindly follow trends like some f*cking drone, and to be a good example for my children. This is probably the biggest one of all.

) To be able to have a good laugh at all the people who ARE f*cking drones...

) And, finally, though I have not really made much use of this one, to join a community of others like me, who think that all of these same things are important--to gather ideas, enjoy creativity at it's finest, and reap the benefits of just being around all of this--where people are creating and producing and giving and giving and is a beautiful thing.

Thanks, all, for your contributions to Blog Action Day!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Just Write Something, Boogerhead!

I've got the "house crowded" syndrome--nobody's fault, just no down/alone time for writing.  (Lucky you!  No way-too-deep reflections on way-too-deep topics!  Wooo-Hoo!)

I wonder what I'm going to be like when I actually AM alone all the time...Hmmm.  I'll probably be spending a ridiculous hours at Michael's, Williams Sonoma, and the various yarny-type shops all over this town.  Then hustling home to work on projects and food.

A couple of light items in lieu of actual content:

Speaking of Williams Sonoma, here is a little bird starter for ya--I usually concoct my own turkey brine from, uh, stuff I have around the house.  I usually have stuff like onions and oranges and apples and seasonings and sea salt around the house, so its OK...  However!  As you can see here, brining has been compacted into this neat and tidy little bottle of stuff, with most of what I would normally pull in a brine, and a few other things. 


See?  I need to go there.  Brine and $6000 worth of cook wear.  I NEED IT!

I thought it would be fair to also visit Michael's online, but was so distracted by that thing they have there call The Knack that I couldn't do any actual shopping.  Everybody knows that The Knack has little to do with arts and crafts and everything to do with pop music.  I'm just sayin'.  Take your Service Mark and go home....but please don't stop selling me paint and stuff...

Looking for some other merch this week?  BoDeans, Live Acoustic, is available on their website, here.  And people are drooooooooling over this thing. 

Of course, now that I have actually ordered something from somewhere, this would be the perfect time for my mailman to take a vacation or retire.  Oh yes, he did.  The old mailman wore a cool hat and shorts, and parked on the street behind my car (in front of the hydrant) while he ran around our neighborhood.  The new guy (who I'm sure will be up to speed in no time) is quite a bit slower and larger, not inclined to park in front of fire hydrants, wears a baseball cap and was bundled up like February when he finally found us at about 1:30 this afternoon.  I know, I know...he's new.  But dude, don't lose my CD...Necesito eso.  Thank you.

Finally, I do have some stuff on the needles.  A few projects, actually--all Things Made With Cotton.  Here is the deal...I live in my friend's house.  My worldly possessions, save my children and my French Press, are in boxes in the garage.  Remember the box marked "Bedroom Misc" that contained a guitar amp and yarn?  Yeah, I still have that.  Tons of yarn, stashed in boxes in the garage.  It makes a lovely padding for the amp.  Of which there are now two.  ANYWAY...I got bored being project free and did a little digging--found my Denises and a couple of SPOOLS of cotton, so, I'm making kitchen cotton stuff for my soon-to-be kitchen--dishclothes, bag-bag, etc..  Thrifty, right?  Of course, I'll move in and the colors will be distractingly off, but, that's when I get to buy more yarn, right?  Cuz I'll need it...

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Citadel Of Our Power

This is a link to our friends at Perfect Duluth Day, with a couple of cool old photos, but I was mostly interested in the quote on education from President McKinley.  Check it out!

Cool archival shot from 1899

Sunday, October 12, 2008

If You Care

American Politics can melt your brain.

If you are not a hard-line Republican or Democrat, and if you actually care enough to listen to ALL of it, and try to make a decision on what to do with your precious vote based on the information provided to you, information overload will follow, all of the months leading up to an election.

In the end, you have to go with your gut.

If you care, it's not about one guy's ability to make the other guy look bad, it's about whether that one guy actually looks good.  Because, personally, I don't want to vote for A because B appears to be an asshole and A is my only other option.

If you care, you try to look past finger-pointing, eye rolling, name-calling and the like.  If you care, you watch it all go down and realize that one side is doing a lot more finger-pointing, eye rolling, name-calling and the like, and that disturbs you greatly.

If you care, it scares the living hell out of you to watch video footage of political rallies in which your fellow citizens suggest killing a political candidate with whom they disagree.  If you care, it also bothers you that "their" candidate has NOT made an extremely strong effort to dissuade them from making such suggestions. 

C'mon, John....aren't you going to say something?  I mean, out loud?  To the entire nation?  Not just in a Lakeview High School gym?  I'm sure Obama's Secret Service detail would appreciate the support.

I started off this election season with an open mind, watched and listened to everything I could, and have come to my decision.  I knew that eventually I would.  I knew that sometime before November, the glaring spotlight would reveal some things that were an insult to my personal sensibilities, and it would make my decision an easy one.

Because in the end, you have to go with your gut.

Senator McCain, or at least his campaign, is starting to remind me an awful lot of someone that I used to know...a real-live scary person that I wrote about here.  She is the mother to my stepchildren, and is a narcissist.  I don't mean she's a bitch, I mean, she has an actual personality disorder that causes her to do unspeakable things because she is incapable of taking other people's feelings or experiences into account.

I suppose one could say that I have become hyper-vigilant to narcissists after my experiences with my stepchildren's mother.  They would not be wrong.  That doesn't make the signs any less obvious in the case of this particular candidate.  Narcissists like to re-write history in their favor, lie a lot, and are rather consistent with their "pot calling the kettle black" ways.  They abuse you and label YOU the abuser.  They are so fearful of being revealed as less than perfect that they will say, and do, just about anything to maintain a facade.  Even let their supporters talk about killing their opponent.  After all, it wasn't THEM who said it, so they assume no blame.

My stepchildren's mother liked to claim that her three husbands all abused her, that her children abused her, that the system abused her and that she was an all-around victim.

Kinda like Senator McCain likes to say that Senator Obama's campaign has been the most negative in history. 

Nobody knows the trouble they've seen. 

The reality?  Quite the opposite.  Julia was the abuser, to all of her husbands, and all of her children.  Her temper was legendary, and erratic. 

Remind you of anybody we know?

Yet somehow, she was able to present herself well enough to convince a lot of people that she was innocent.  Heroic, in fact.  Narcissist present well.

While the McCain campaign has been painting themselves the victim of Obama's "attacks", those like me, without a particular agenda going in, have noticed something disturbing...the old "pot calling the kettle black" business.  Who is doing the negative campaigning, really?

Also, the "Wink-wink I'm not sayin' but I will imply..." method of getting you to think bad thoughts about Senator Obama is classic narcissism.  The McCain campaign is free from accountability for what YOU think, so they are safe in letting you go on thinking awful things about Senator Obama.  They imply something sinister about Obama, and say all kinds of things to lead you in a negative direction, but don't actually go on record with anything.  They let you conclude that thought on your own.  That way, they have plausible deniability.  Classic narcissism. 

After all, it wasn't McCain or Palin who said "Kill him".  They just didn't disagree

And clearly, they don't disagree, or, they would have said something by now, don't you think?

Are we really going to elect people who won't come out strongly against KILLING a fellow political candidate?

I don't think I will.  You lost me, John.  I was an undecided voter who paid attention.  I cared enough to listen to it ALL.  In the end, the truth was revealed by what was NOT said.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sexsomnia? Really?

Things we study here in Minnesota...taking your libido out for a little sleep-walk.  Who knew?  And, is it possible to train your partner to become a sexsomniac, in case that's the only kind of sex you can get?  Juuuuust askin'.....

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Little Perspective, People!

I don't know exactly where this started or where it came from, if the credited author actually wrote it or anything like that, but, my brother sent it to me, its excellent, and, I'm sharing...

By Charlie Reese

[Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the   Orlando Sentinel]

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason.  They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? She is the leader of the majority party. She and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.

If the Army & Marines are at war, it's because they want them at war.

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

They vote their own pay raises for themselves because they want it that way.

There are no unsolvable government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like 'the economy,' 'inflation,' or 'politics' that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees.

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

That could very well be the last thing anybody needs to say about politics this week, or this month, or even this year....

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Better Days

I went from a sh*tty Monday to a Total Effing Rock Star Tuesday, juuuust like that, and, it's a beautiful thing.  In celebration, I stole another meme from Cursing Mama, who's eternal indulgence of my thieving ways has spoiled me rotten.

Answer each question with a one word answer....Ready, Set, Go!

1.  Where is your cell phone?  Desk

2.  Where is your husband?  HA!

3.  Where is your mother?  Home

4.  Where is your father?  Home

5.  What is your hair color? Uh...

6  Your favorite thing?  Food

7.  What did you dream last night?  Dunno

8.  What's your goal?  Domination

9.  What room are you in?  Living

10.  What's your hobby?  Knitting

11.  What's your biggest fear?  Failing

12.  Where will you be in 6 years?  Dominating!

13.  Where were you last night?  Patio

14.  What you're not?  Gregarious

15.  What's one of your wish-list items?  ...  (Ahem...I don't recognize this "wish list" thing of which you speak)

16.  Where you grew up?  Dakota

17.   What's the last thing you did?  Bath

18.  What are you wearing?  Robe

19.  Your TV?  Off

20.  Your pet?  Aggravating!

21.  Your computer?  Dell

22.  Your mood?  Happy

23.  Missing someone?  No

24.  Your car?  Large

25.  What are you not wearing?  Underwear!  (Wooooo-Hoooo!  TMI?)

26. What's your favorite store?  Target

27.  Your summer?  Weird

28.  Love someone?  Certainly

29.  Your favorite color?  Green

30.  When was the last time you laughed?  Today

31.  Cried?  This week

Monday, October 6, 2008

Like An Incurable

My friend got a song stuck in her head, and was seeking a cure.  It was the type of song where, if you are out partying, and somebody plays it on the jukebox or the band plays it, even in your most drunken state, everybody in the entire place knows all the words and, because of the aforementioned drunken state,everybody feels the need to sing along at the top of their lungs and, perhaps, dance.

Well, everybody but me.  I am what you would call a "stick in the mud", meaning, while you all are dancing and singing and having a good time, I'm looking at everybody thinking, "Oh dear God...this is sooooo embarrassing..."

To exorcise the Song Stuck In My Head demon, my friend decided that she must hear the song in question, and after that she should be fine. 

The song was Reminiscing.

Oh, hell...

....Reminiscing...catchy like the flu and no preventive vaccine on the market.  If somebody plays that song, anywhere, at any time, you are Completely.  Screwed. 

My friend's boyfriend, trying to help her, located the appropriate Little River Band collection, and popped on Reminiscing.



Immediately upon hearing it, I had it stuck in MY head.  Its a much worse condition for us sticks-in-the-mud than it is for you normal people.  (Yes, I do know all the words.  Every single one.  I don't actually know any homo-sapien on this planet who doesn't know all the words to that song.  It's also right in my key, so, I kick ass at the singalong.  Most of us white girls do.)

What followed after the LRB cure was an hour or so of ticking through and playing some "great old songs", all in what I would call the Adult Contemporary format, that all of my friends agreed were just "the BEST" and they wish people made music like that now, etc., etc., Blah, Blah, Blah.

I even caught my friends, on the very next evening, sitting through an info-mercial for an Adult Contemporary song collection being offered by Time/Life.


It's not that the songs weren't good, or the artists weren't good.  It's that when you say "Music, 1978" to me, I think about The Police, not the Little River Band.

Apparently, I have some slightly funky wiring.

I still listen to Outlandos d'Amour--working on my third or fourth copy by now--and, still love the hell out of it.  I'm listening to it right now, as a matter of fact, to try to wash that info-mercial out of my hair.

I think that the thing about all those huge hit songs boils down to this:  They are easy.  Just like it is easy to love a star quarterback, with all the hunky athleticism, it is easy to love a huge hit song.  It takes very little effort on the part of the listener.  It's everywhere, and, all your friends are doing it.  (So, if all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do that, too?  Sorry, I couldn't resist.  I'm a mother.)

One could say that it is a pretty neat trick for a song-writer, to be able to come up with something like that.  It may be, or, it may be just a timing thing.  In 1978 and for several years after, we were in the mood for what LRB was serving up, and most of us didn't get into a Police mood until we were into the 80's.  By then, the Police had finished much of their snarling (except at each other) and were all driving nice cars and such.  While Synchronicity is brilliant, Outlandos d'Amour screamed "We've Got Nothing To Lose By Trying", which I find so much more appealing on a personal level.  The band didn't have any money or a record contract at that time, so, they made the particular brand of art that one makes while nobody is watching.

And...that's very much like you dancing around your living room to your favorite song when you're the only one home.  It's all you, for better or worse.  Very telling.  But what do most of us do when we catch a friend dancing when they think nobody's watching?  Laugh at them.  No wonder hardly anybody dares like things that aren't hugely popular...there are some consequences involved with doing your own thing.

I wish I wasn't a weirdo like that, and I wish I listened only to hit songs instead of what I actually listen to.  I think life would be easier if I did.  I wouldn't have to explain every band, every musician and every song--there would be no effort involved with me enjoying music.  I could just drink the fucking Kool-Aid and zombie out.

Except, I am the weirdo, and the stick in the mud, and the one equating listening to nothing but extremely popular music with jumping off a bridge.  I'm the one, where, when people get in my car, they say things like, "What the hell are you listening to?" or, at concerts, they destroy all of what I consider delicious musical moments by complaining to me that it "doesn't sound like the album."  I'm the one who, when I put together a mix or playlist for a party or something, its a bunch of tunes you don't know, and most people are incredibly surprised when they actually like all those scary songs that don't get played on the radio.

I'm the one secretly referring to you as a lemming.

I'm not sure there is a cure for musical snobbery (of which I have only a very mild case...), but I think we can all get along.  I know I'm a mutant--I spent 14 years working in mostly Top 40 radio and you didn't.  I had to smile through a lot of songs I was sick of playing, that I heard 17 times a day, that you never got sick of because you only heard them maybe once a day.  Consider yourself lucky when you get one of those songs stuck in your head.  At least you are treatable.


Nothing to do with anything, but since we are talking about The Police, let's peel off the Best Damned Police Songs, Ever, as determined by me...Ready? No particular order, and, as always, feel free to chime in...

Can't Stand Losing You--"...and your brother's gonna kill me and he's six feet ten." Sting writes about the potential for having the shit kicked out of him on a few occasions in my immediate memory. Don't know why that's so charming...

Next To You--Loud. Fast.

So Lonely--Somewhere around an Eleven on the Cool Song scale

Does Everyone Stare--I like the construction of this, and, the fact that it is a pre-"Every Breath You Take" stalkery song. I also don't know why that is so charming. I don't think people are used to singers talking about themselves as nervous wrecks that stare at girls from a distance--we're so used to songs that involve actual relationships...

Man In A Suitcase
Bombs Away
Canary In A Coal Mine
De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da--
Huge pop appeal, infinitely listenable.

Hungry For You--I don't speak French. Don't care...

Secret Journey--BEST drum part on any Police song. Yeah, I said it...

Wrapped Around Your Finger--Perfect lyric. Again.

Miss Gradenko--It's one of those examples of a relatively light song--the guitar and bass work together but are so separate that you almost don't recognize them as being part of the same song.

Synchronicity I--NOT II, I. :-) It just flies faster...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Somethin' To Grab For

Man...tough week, seriously.  I'm looking for a couple of gallons of white wash to clean the graffiti off of my soul.  (Jeeezuz what a lame, melodramatic line that was!  Somebody please shoot me...)

It's the weekend...Use yours wisely.

What I wanted to ask was, how much debate did you watch...? 



I watched this in the same way I watched the giant spider scenes from the Lord of the Rings trilogy--with my hands over my eyes.  I watched The Grudge in the same way.  Both giant spiders and freaky Japanese ghosty thingies scare the living hell out of me--they could jump out from the screen and grab me at any time. 


(I realize as I type this that I must have learned the "cover your eyes" trick from my mother, who used to "watch" the Johnny Cash show with the sound turned up, but the TV turned to black.  She wanted to hear it, but...he scared her?  Hmmm...Ahem, that's a true story about my mother, by the way...)

The potential for disaster last night was so high that I didn't dare watch.  Of course, it didn't turn out as bad as we might have imagined, but still, the lead up got me ready for all kinds of horror.

I guess I'm just very sensitive to other people's suffering.  Though I probably won't end up voting for the Republican ticket, it doesn't mean I like to see anyone being trampled.

See?  I'm such a nice person...

Before I go, a couple of things...first of all, I don't want anybody thinking I was drawing a comparison between Joe Biden and a giant spider, or Sarah Palin and Sarah Michelle Gellar, for that matter.

OK, maybe I was.  My reaction to them is about the same.  He's in his element, and that's kinda scary cuz he's gonna get ya!  And...she doesn't know what the fuck is going on and the movie is way more interesting because of it.  Frankly, I hope she never figures it out.  And keep that fucking spider the hell away from me.

Lastly, completely off topic, but, everybody stop over and visit Brian, and wish him well.  Karma is King, Brian, and for all you've done for everybody else, let us think a few good thoughts for you and do a few good things.  Speedy recovery and a healthy life.  You Rock!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


brought to you by Viva Chuck Todd and Viva Rachel Maddow

You know John McCain is going to be tipping back more than a few tomorrow night, so why not join him in spirit while enjoying the most-watched Vice Presidential Debate in history. As only the
Viva Chuck Todd and Viva Rachel Maddow people could do, we've put together a drinking game complete with recipes of the official drinks for each of the candidates plus the official Rachel Maddow libation and the much-anticipated, Chuck Todd-y - the official drink of Viva Chuck Todd.

Prior to beginning the game, the group must pick an official arbiter who will make all official decisions. Their word is law.

Sarah Palin

Anytime Governor Palin says:
  • "Gosh"
  • "9-11"
  • "Y'know"
  • "Well Gwen"
  • "Islamic Fundamentalists"
  • "Russia" and/or "Pootin"
  • "Job-creation"
  • "hockey mom"
  • "Joe six-pack"
everyone drinks.

If Trig is being hoisted around in the audience, take a drink.

If Trig get's a another spit-makeover by his sister or father, take 2 drinks and do the same thing to yourself.

Every time you see the "First Dude", take a drink and do a jumping chest bump with someone.

Anytime the television audience nervously giggles at a Governor Pal
in non-sequitur, everyone yells "Katie, I'd like to use my lifeline!" and drinks. Arbiter will have final say as to what qualifies, though not a hard call to make.

If Governor Palin should break down in tears and leave the stage prematurely - chug every last drop of booze in the room, doff your clothing and run naked through the neighborhood hooting in a schadenfreude-induced celebration.

Joe Biden

Anytime Senator Biden says:
  • "Aw c'mon"
  • "Malarkey"
  • "Scranton"
  • "Well Gwen"
  • "The policies of George Bush"
  • "Dick Cheney"
  • “John's a friend of mine” or a variation thereof
  • "Joe six-pack"
everyone drinks.

Anytime Senator Biden looks up to the rafters, audibly sighs OR raises his voice beyond an appropriate level out of sheer exasperation, everyo
ne drinks. Arbiter will have final say as to what qualifies, though not a hard call to make.

Anytime Senator Biden makes an inappropriate reference to Governor Palin's gender, everyone drinks. Arbiter will have final say as to what qualifies, though not a hard call to make because you probably will hear Biden's handlers slapping their foreheads and blurting "D'oh!".

Anytime Senato
r Biden makes the sign of the cross and asks for God to grant him patience, everyone drink from their partner's drink as if being given communion.

When Senator Biden looks at Governor Palin and says "Get the hell off this stage, you're an insult to the process!" or any variation thereof - chug every last drop of booze in the room, doff your clothing and run naked through the neighborhood just for the hell of it.

The Chilla from Wasilla - The official drink for Governor Palin

Scale ingredients to servings - Serve in a Mason Jar

3 oz amaretto almond liqueur
1 pint beer (preferably Midnight Sun Kodiak Brown)
2 oz Coca-Cola®

Pour the amaretto into the jar over crushed ice. Follow it up by pouring a chilled beer (Alaskan if possible). Then top it off with the Coke.

The Moji-Joe - The official drink for Senator Biden

1 1/2oz. Light Rum
1 oz. Lime Juice
1/2 Cup Delaware Punch or Hawaiian Punch
3-4 Mint leaves Club Soda

Combine lime juice, mint and punch in a Collins or highball glass.
Stir gently to bruise the mint.
Fill glass 3/4 with ice.
Add the rum.
Top with soda. Stir well.

The Perfect with a lemon twist - The official Viva Rachel Maddow drink

1.5oz sweet vermouth1.5oz dry vermouth
lemon twist
over ice in a rocks glass

Watch Rachel personally whip this juicy bit of heaven up by clicking here

This drink is smooth and easy, as smooth and easy as “the Chuck” himself. Nothing harsh, or cloying or bitter. Just cool, baby. Smooth and cool, just like “the Chuck.”


Fill glass with ice and add

1 oz Malibu Rum
1 oz Parrot Bay Rum
½ oz Grenadine or Crème de Almond
Top off glass with equal parts orange juice and pineapple juice.
Shake and pour into glass.

This drink was designed by Patrick - Official Viva Chuck Todd Mixologist,
who can be found in the summer months manning the spirits
at the
Dragonfly Deck Bar in Kill Devil Hills, NC