Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Week in Photos.

That's a week starting last Wednesday and ending yesterday. I am SO far behind. Anyway, enjoy.

Here's Robyn Hitchcock in all his purple-trousered glory:

This is the monstrosity that is growing across the street. I think they're really trying to get it done (or at least presentable) before the golf tournament here in a couple weeks. Too bad the people coming to the tournament all have to come past our little shack on their way. A.J. suggested a large "We're here, we're queer, get used to it" banner for our patio, which I would totally do if only our landlords didn't drive by here every day.

This is the goose that sleeps on what used to be our pier. I don't know if it's Marge or Homer (no telling the sex of a goose long distance, is there?), but it's one of the pair that has chosen us.

P.S> Z, working on that tag - been busy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Tagged by Z.

3 Things That Scare Me:
Enclosed spaces scare the hell out of me. Except when they don't. I have a weird and inexplicable claustrophobia that only seems to strike when I'm doing something boring. For example, when I was at the very top of the St. Louis Arch, I was crammed up into the window, taking a photo staright down at the ground, with people pushing against me to get a better view, and I was completely unconcerned. All I cared about was how the picture would turn out (it was before digital). Being seated in the middle of a row at a movie theater before the movie starts, or on an airplane, however, makes me crazy.
Drowning. This has been a fear of mine for as long as I can remember. I am perfectly capable of swimming and treading water, but I can never quite let go. I think in a former life I may have been a cat that somebody drowned in a bag or something.
Heights. Again, love 'em, hate 'em. I like to be afraid in controlled circumstances, I guess. When I went to Canyonlands National Park, for example, I belly-crawled out onto ledges that were hundreds of feet in the air, on giant wide rocks that were incredibly stable and would probably not move in an earthquake. Had another person been holding me up, I would have hated it.

3 People Who Make Me Laugh:

The b.h. Every day.

Terry Pratchett. The guy is just brilliant. Small Gods is a masterpiece.

Grand Buffet. Yes, this is two people, but they are one unit, and they are quite clever. Politics and culture and a spoon full of sugar. All of these with good beats and often hilarious dance moves thrown in.

3 Things I Love:

Driving. Whenever I am stressed out, or need some time to think, or want to listen, to really listen, to a new CD, I get in the car and drive. I'm not fond of say, driving to the store, or running errands so much, but a good stretch of highway always makes me feel better.
Dogs. Mine especially, but dogs in general. They seem eternally optimistic to me, and their energy is contagious.
Food. Lots of it. All things non meat-related, but especially chocolate, cheese, and fresh fruit.
Junking. Flea markets, goodwill, thrift stores, church rummage sales- name it. I'm there. I also enjoy antiquing sometimes, but since I know so little I often feel out of my league (and am usually out of my price range).

3 Things I Hate:
Sprawl. I moved out of trhe city to get a little air, and a little space. And now we're getting closed in.
Crappy food. This includes crappy beer, too. I'd rather go without, honestly. I almost never eat fast food, except when I'm on the road and starving. I never feel satisfied when I'm through eating, and I often feel sick. I just don't know why they bother, you know?
Traffic. Driving is good. Sitting still in your car sucking on two hundred tailpipes is not.

3 Things I Don't Understand: Almost anything to do with the computer. Mostly I can blog, write e-mail, and if it isn't too specialized, look up information.
People who "don't read." I mean, how can this be? I understand if you don't know how to read, but otherwise, I don't get it.
Fashion. I find it interesting at times, and I wouldn't mind being able to afford nicer clothes for a rare occasion out, but I am simply not wired for it. My uniform is pretty much a band t-shirt with jeans and gym shoes, and after that I need help.

3 Things On My Desk:
A Sealab 2021 clock/snow globe-ey type thing, purchased for the b.h. at a yard sale two years ago. I love it.
Two pennies that have been smashed (legally, in a machine) and imprinted at the top of Pike's Peak. They have been there for some time, waiting for me to put them in a frame with photos of the b.h. and me actually standing at the summit of said peak.
Bills and receipts and other things that need filing.

3 Things I'm Doing Right Now:
Drinking my second cup of coffee. At two in the afternoon. It has been warmed up twice, if that makes me seem less lazy. I dropped a couple cardamom seeds in it just for kicks. Yum.
Listening to The Jayhawks Tomorrow the Green Grass. I will never tire of this record. Ever.
Procrastinating. I should really be doing somethink productive and garden related, but I'm enjoying the down time right now. Yesterday I popped out of bed and started cleaning right away, since the b.h.'s folks were coming for dinner. I didn't get a chance to loaf like I normally do on a Sunday, so I'm making up for it now.

3 Things I Want To Do Before I Die:
Travel. I do travel quite a bit, but I still haven't been out of the country. (Unless you count Tiajuana, which I don't. It was absolutely horrifying and depressing and I never want to see it again. I'm pretty much just blocking it out.) There are countless other places I would like to see, however, and I need to get on that. Soon.
Write. For real, I mean. Like, a whole book. And maybe get published. Yeah, that would be good. I'll be sure and use longer sentences when I do.
Get my black belt. In tae kwon do. I left off just over a year ago, days before my green belt test. I am not very good at TKD, but I really enjoy it, and when I was practicing regularly, I felt a lot better.

3 Things I Can Do:
Bartend. I've been at it for a long time, and though I do not have special Tom Cruise in Coctail-type skills, I pour good drinks quickly, and I can deal with just about as many of any type of customer you throw at me. When I want to.
Bake. I am not the best cook in the world, and due to our limited kitchen space, I don't try very often, but my cookies kick ass.
Talk. Or rather, I can ramble. I am not a public speaker by any stretch of the imagination, but I can talk to almost anyone, and I often do. In the grocery line, at the gas station, the post office, garden center, public park, bar, restaurant, name it. I come from a long line of long-winded people, and I am a champion talker.

3 Things I Can't Do:
Floss. It isn't that I am physically incapable, or that I have a particular dislike for flossing, but I can not get myself into the habit.
Remember. I have a terrible memory. I can remember six drinks long enough to make them, add the prices, and go on to the next order, but that's about it. I never remember the names of characters on tv shows that we watch regularly, or the names of movies, or actors, or books I've read, or bands that I see every other month. I also can't remember the plots of books or movies after I've seen/read them. Perhaps it's information overload. I do, however, remember the Sesame Street Buster Brown shoes I had when I was five, and my best friends' phone numbers from as far back as fifteen years ago, and the face of a customer who once threatened to kick my ass. (We get along fine now, but i do like to remind him, every six months when I see him, that he made a complete jackass of himself). I don't know what this says about me, but it is something I wish I could improve.
Sing. I don't try and don't really want to, so it's no big deal. I have karaoked exactly one time, with a good friend, while on crutches and pain pills. Sorry you missed it.

3 Things I Think You Should Listen To:
Live music. Especially in a smaller setting. Stadium shows are just not the same. Hearing your favorite song is a totally different experience in person.
Older people. No matter your age, somebody knows more and has seen more than you have. Ask them about it.
Water. Rain, rivers, ocean waves... all very soothing to me.

3 Things You Should Never Listen To: Z changed this to ‘3 Things You Should Never Have To Listen To, and I like it better that way, too:
Construction. I'm trying to drown it out with The Jayhawks right now. It's kind of working, but not really. God I hate the sound of an electric saw.
Stupid people. Seven years into this administration, and I've really had about as much as I can take.
Starlings. At least, not in large numbers. There is a very Hitchcock (Alfred, not Robyn) feel to the sound of a giant flock of them in your yard. It's really cool for about ten seconds, and then you actually start thinking about how many of them are there.

3 Things I'd Like To Learn:
Auto Mechanics. I'm still pissed that they made me take typing in high school rather than auto shop. I still hunt and peck, and I don't know anything about cars.
More languages. I am functional in Spanish, but would love to know more. I will get around to it at some point.
Carpentry. It would make me feel so much more self-sufficient.

3 Favourite Foods:
This is just off the top of my head, since I could not possibly narrow it down to three items.
Pizza. Good pizza. Real pizza, preferably from (in?) Chicago. Real cheese, good, buttery crust, and fresh garlic. Oh damn, I just drooled on myself.
Fennell. This is a new discovery for me, just over the last year or two, but I adore it. Planted a whole lot, too. Cross your fingers for me.
Cannoli. You know that line from The Godfather? "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli"? Yeah. Right there with him. (And hat tip to Sarah Vowell, while I'm at it.)

3 Shows I Watched As A Kid:
Tom & Jerry. I watched a few cartoons religiously, but I think this is the one I remember best.
Monty Python. I know- As a child? Does not compute. But for some reason it did. I have loved John Cleese since at least age three.
Soap. Again, I just got it. And I still love it. Never got actual soaps, but I do love a good satire. Desperate Housewives, anyone?

3 Bloggers I've tagged:
I don't want to be that guy, so no tagging, but perhaps a polite request to Jason, A.J., and Jamie? If you want, I mean.

Monday, March 26, 2007


Whew! It's been a long week. So long, in fact, that it's next week already and I am only now blogging about the last one. So we've been having some plumbing issues of late, and since neither the b.h. nor I has ever lived in a house with a septic tank for any length of time, it took us a bit to realize what the problem was. We called the landlord last tuesday, and he said he's send somebody out. I awoke the next morning early (for me, anyway) and came down the stairs to use the loo. I was still in my pjs, which is to say that I was almost completely naked. This is usually not a problem because our property is really large, and the windows in the house that don't have curtains look out at the private sides of the yard.
Not so on this particular morning. As I hit the third stair from the bottom, I heard a voice. Since the eyesore- er, condominiums have stared going up across the street, I have often been awakened by the sound of voices, but this one was really close. And it was female. Of course, had I been awake, I would have just backtracked up the stairs and put a robe on. Alas, I was only sort of awake, and therefore by the time I stopped I was a few feet away from a non-curtained window, looking out at an older couple with a back hoe. Thankful that the sun was in their eyes at that moment, I leapt toward the wall next to the window, looking around to figure out how to get into the bathroom without being seen. Through the kitchen? No. Definitely not, though I did take a step in that direction first (again with the lack of wakefulness). Through the living room then. Around into the office, and reach for the bathroom door with my left foot while hiding behind the office door. Opening bathroom door, I poked my head out, realised that I still had to break cover for at least two or three feet, so I reached out and pulled the curtain which serves as a door to my laundry closet(which serves as a laundry room)* over to the office door, thereby creating a nudity barrier between myself and the poor innocent couple that came to empty our septic tank. This was all probably very unneccesary, as they probably couldn't see and weren't looking, but I am quite shy.
I went back to bed, woke up a couple hours later, and went to work. When we got back in the afternoon, the couple were just finishing up. They had dug up a very sizeable part of the yard in order to get to the tank, and they had cut the (very poorly placed) telephone wire in the process, but they got the job done.
That night I slipped down to the 40 Watt to see Robyn Hitchcock. He was fantastic. He was wearing purple trousers and a purplish shirt with lizards on it. The Venus Three, his backing band, consists of Peter Buck, Scott McCoy (does that man have eyes, by the way? Has anyone ever seen them? Because every time I see him- day or night, inside or out- he is wearing sunglasses. Weird), and the guy who currently plays drums for REM. They did some new stuff and played several of my old favorites. I saw a lot of people I know and didn't really hang out with anybody, so I actually got to watch and listen to almost the whole set. It was very, very pleasant. (Photos to follow, when I get them uploaded.) The Creepiest Guy In Athens was there, front and center, as usual, and he spotted me before I spotted him, as usual, so there was no avoiding him. I also saw a woman that I had not seen in a few years, who I assumed (hoped?) was either dead or just gone. She didn't see me, though. Thank gods.
The phone was working again before we even woke up. No funny story there, just a general sense of annoyance that they didn't talk to us and then went and put the line back exactly where it had been (on top of the septic tank, where it will likely get cut again the next time said tank needs to be emptied. Fortunately it is unlikely that we will still be here then).
The patch of yard over the tank is now fenced in (chicken wire), and will make a lovely (and likely lush) flower garden. Putting in the posts was hard work, as the ground is somewhat brick-like out there. I also planted some of my pole beans. They were getting too big for their peat pots, so I mounded up some organic garden soil, bought a couple tall stakes, and plopped them down next to the "garden." It's not a real garden yet, of course, but I have a space marked off and it is currently under a tarp to keep the grass from growing. I hope to have enough cash after this weekend to get a truckload of soil and some boards to build boxes and get things started.

Today I spent a good bit of time sowing another round of tomatoes, peppers, and some flowers. The others are looking really good, though I have lost track of which are which in some cases. The moonflowers, sunflowers, and some of the four o'clocks have been planted in their respective spots and pots.

My first batch of homemade root beer was a total failure. The yeast (I used two different kinds in different bottles) must have been old, because there were no bubbles to speak of. Bummer. All is not lost, however. Both J and I decided to freeze a bottle and eat it in popsicle form. Mmmm. I will try again later, but first I am going to give Ginger Ale a shot. Ginger is a lot less expensive than root beer extract, so that's what I'll do until I get the yeast thing mastered. Bought some new yeast at the store yesterday, so I may give that a shot tonight.

Other than that, everything is pretty much the same.

I realize that this isn't as funny if you haven't been in my house, and I apologize (and Z, if you're still with me, I apologise for my spelling of apologize).

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Pilgrimage, Part Two. Take Two.

Oh, my god. I am so pissed right now (That's anger, Z, for the record. I only wish I were the good kind of pissed. The British kind.)I just sat here and forced myself to finish the story I started in my last post. I was several paragraphs in, and suddenly my screen went momentarily blank. The next thing I saw was a "Your software is updating" message, followed by confirmation that yes, some software or other that I am *not* currently using has gone and updated itself. And in the process, it lost my entire post. Well, gee. I don't know what to say. Thanks? No. I think fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck is more appropo at the moment. The dogs are looking at me like I'm insane. They're the only ones who usualy get screamed at like that. I think they're laughing at the computer right now- "Oooooh - you're in trouble!!" So now I'm saving every two sentences. And now this is going to take a lot longer. Grr.
Anyway, Gr@celend is exactly like I remembered it: a gaudy, shaggy, hideous-in-the-best-possible-way time capsule from my childhood. I was disappointed in the tour guide, which is now a pair of headphones strapped to a small, multilingual box of electronically recorded blah. I guess it's practical if say, you only speak Mandarin, but I would much rather have an interesting, flesh-and-blood guide. Preferably one who knows some good (read: raucous and potentially bawdy) stories that you wouldn't hear anywhere else. My friend Christina had one like that once. He told their group that Elv!s like to fuck his way from one end of this white couch to the other:

Come to think of it, that particular guide is probably part of the reason for the headphones. *cough*

Anyway, it was a little dry. But the place itself is really cool. I took a ton of pictures, so those of you who don't want to make the trip and drop thirty bucks (including cars and planes - tweny-five if you just do the house. But parking was SIX BUCKS!!!) I will post a bunch of them below.

One of the things that really struck me this time around was how many gold and platinum records there are.

In short, there are a shitload. It is truly staggering. I couldn't even get them all into the frame. I think for me the Elv!s legend overshadows the music, so I don't often think about how many records he actually had.

In addition to these, there are about nine million outfits that he wore onstage. And yes, they are just as hideous in person (if not moreso).

I was taking pictures of everything, since our digital camera does just fine without flash (there is no flash photography alowwed anywhere inside the house). The best part was when I took this picture, I was holding my camera over the glass case. i had reached past the guard rail in front of it, and there was an alarm going off over the loudspeakers "Please move away from blah blah blah" over and over, and since I was listening to the tour on my headphones, I couldn't hear it. the b.h. grabbed my arm and pulled it back before I was able to get a better shot.

This room held a bucnh of stuff that had been pulled out of the "private areas" upstairs. Here's a somewhat fuzzy pic of the King's extremely fuzzy bed:

All I can say about this is eeeew. It made me sweat (in the bad way) just looking at it.
Also, this particularly terrifying statue came from up there. I wonder if it was in the bedroom?

This one made us all snicker a little:

I guess it's hard to see, but the sweat jacket has "D.E.A. Staff" embroidered into it. In the (sarcastic) words of Penn Gillettte: "Elvis didn't do no drugs!!"
His history with the DEA has always amused me.

One thing that had changed since my last visit was the fact that you have to exit many of the exhibits (car, plane, "Elvis After Dark," and the other non-house spots) through gift shops. I mean, there was a gift shop for each exhibit. Wow. And everything was made in China, and it was all very pricey. I heard that the estate has been purchased by some corporation, so I imagine this stuff is only going to get worse. Which is fine by me, because I don't really need to go back. It was fun while it lasted, but I think I'm gonna have to go Dollywood next time.

Finally, I don't know how well you'll be able to see it, but one of the King's horses was rolling around on his back in the field. And how.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

A Pilgrimage of Sorts.

Sorry I have been so absent. I know you've all been hanging on the edge of your seats and everything,dying to know what I have been up to that is keeping me away from my ever important blog duties. Well, I was in Mississippi. The b.h. has a grandmother whom I have never met, and who has been quite ill, so we took a couple days to go see her. We didn't even get to see her that much, really, because we got a late start on Sunday, due to the loss of an hour that we could ill afford, what with getting to bed at five in the morning and all. The drive was around six and a half hours, which were spent white-knuckled, due to the driving skills (or lack thereof) of our good friend M. M's mom and dad live about thirty minutes from the hospital where granny is staying, so we decided that we would all ride together, see our respective families, and then take a ride up to Gr@celand to see the King.
We got to M's house, and to our great surprise, M's mom had supper on, so we couldn't very well leave. We spent about two hours there, all the while very aware that the window for hospital visiting hours was rapidly closing. M's mom is a real hoot, and she really likes to talk. Really, really likes it. I think I counted to twelve once during a silence that fell in the living room, but that was as high as I got.
We left M and his folks, sped to Tupelo, and promptly got completely turned around (Thank you, mapquest!). We got to the hospital around seven, an hour before visiting hours were to end. There were several different visits from various doctors and hospital staff while we were there, and from their remarks we understood that gran had had a very bad day on Saturday, and that she let everyone know it. It was pretty amusing. We stayed for a couple of hours (aparently they aren't overly concerned about "the rules" for visitors).

***I interrupt this program to bring you a special report***
The biggest effing bluejay I have ever seen is outside my window at present, alternately pigging out at the bird feeder and calling for a friend. He is making quite a racket. There is also a tiny woodpecker who is pulling a "Crazy Neighbor Ed", which I would explain by link if I knew how to link, but since I don't I will try to give you the short version:
He is perched on a very thin branch, pecking at a spot on the branch that is closer to the trunk of the tree than he is. I hope this makes sense. He is not making a lot of progress (just like Crazy Neighbor Ed!), so he is in no danger of actually falling.
***And now back to my regular scheduled blogging***

So we hung out with gran for a couple hours, then went to find a hotel room. On the way, we stopped at a grocery to grab a snack. The b.h. got himself a sandwich in the deli, and since they had no vegetarian options, I chose to hold off. "No problem," I said in what would have been a foreshadowing moment if only this scene were from a movie rather than my own stupid life, "I'll just eat some cheese and crackers and one of the yogurts we have in the cooler when we get back to the hotel."

We found a hotel. We went inside. I was so tired as to be very close to tears. I opened the cooler while the b.h. sat down to eat his deli sandwich. The cooler is a the small squishy kind, an insulated bag rather than a big blocky plastic thing. We use it for road trips because it takes up so little room and holds plenty of snacks and a few drinks for a day's drive. It also has an extra piece of insulation that goes on top of the food and ice after you put it in, providing extra prtection from the outside, or perhaps providing a barrier in case there are foods in it that do not need to be cold (or cannot get wet). That piece of insulation had been packed, in the haste of a sleepy morning, between the food and the ice. Twelve hours later, the yogurt and the cheese were inedible, and the poor frazzled guy who had packed the cooler was enjoying a sandwich at the table in front of me. Again, I almost cried. Instead, I opened the box of crackers, eating them dry and trying not to say anything that I knew I would regret (I knew it was an accident, after all, and I felt bad enough for him already). I also took a chance on an Odwalla fruit drink thingie.
We slept some, and then got up in the morning and went back to the hospital. We brought our wedding album, which gran hadn't seen yet. She remarked that J, our friend who performed the ceremony, looked like "a gangster." She actually made that remark about half of my family members, which goes to show that stereotypes about Chicago die almost as hard as those about rural Mississippi. The funny thing is that my family is not italian. Nor are they Greek, nor are most of them terribly olive-skinned at all, but I guess that hardly matters to a rural Southern septaugenarian. It was quite funny.
When we left the hospital, M's mom dropped him off ouside and we all drove up to Memphis. M was again at the wheel, and I found myself relieved that my stomach was completely empty. I made a note (out loud) that I would be doing the rest of the driving. We stopped in Tupelo to see Elvis's boyhood home, which as you might imagine stands in stark contrast to the one he built after he got famous.

This isn't a trick of the photography, by the way. the house was really tiny. Looks like one room. (We didn't pay to go in and find out, but how much could we have missed?) There really isn't much at the site, but they tried to fancy it up with a scary statue of Elvis (age thirteen)
, as well as a chapel and "The Fountain of Life", which is not nearly as impressive as its name suggests. There were a bunch of quotes about Elvis from famous people posted on signs along one wall, and a walkway that went around the house that had a square for each year of his life. The early ones showed stuff like this:

In the later years, there are no words inscribed, just numbers. I guess "Addicted to prescription meds, Elvis performs completely wasted on live television and forgets words to songs" isn't what they want us to remember.Anyway, it was interesting. And free. And, most importantly, the weather was completely beautiful and the trees were in bloom:

Okay, folks. That's all I've got in me for today. I have a bachelorette party to attend before I go to work, and I look like hell. Tomorrow (or, barring that, Monday): We go to Gr@celand!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Rock, Lobster.

I am not prone to hero worship. I do not have an unspoken urge to be famous or even to get on television. I have rarely been starstruck, though I have waited on Kevin Spacey, Billy Corrigan, and Kurt Vonnegut (Okay, Vonnegut made me giddy, but I was outwardly cucumber-like), and I have met some fairly famous bands under various circumstances. And living in this town, you might imagine that one would have their share of encounters with 80's college rock icons. But last night was the first time I met The World's Nicest Rock Stars.
They were so fun, and very chatty, and they danced around and rocked out to Earl Greyhound, who are rock stars in their own right - or at least they're about to be. I was a tiny bit star struck by Fred Schneider. It took me a minute to decide if Kate Pierson was actually who I thought she was. Her hair was hot pink, but it was not in a beehive, and she is much shorter in person than I imagined.
All in all, a lovely evening, despite not being able to afford the My Morning Jacket show.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

My First meme!!

Ten things I like beginning with the letter L, as assigned by Z (who helped me figure out how to link in the *Evil New Blogger* - appropo that she is the first new link, no?).

Lavender. I don't remember when I first discovered it, but it is one of the best smells in the world. I mean actual lavender, by the way, the faux lavender scented nasty stuff. I plant it every Spring (one of these years it may actually come back), and I use the essential oil in my laundry. Oh, and soap. Love the lavender soap.
Lip Balm. I only ever use Burt's Bees. We always have at least four tubes of it - one in each coat, one on the nightstand, one in the medicine cabinet. I have been using it for over ten years, and since they put out the tinted kind, I will likely never buy anything else.
Lemons. Fresh lemonade, lemon pound cake, lemon slices, lemon vodka (Stoly). The b.h. makes a fabulous green bean recipe with lemon zest and carmelized pecans. I can't get enough.
Leeks. And garlic, and onions... has anyone noticed how much food is on this list yet?
Lindt Dark Chocolate.The bars with orange peel and almond slices are my absolute favorite, but I am also a big fan of the plain 70% Dark bar. Decadent. Yum.
Lyle Lovett. Does he count as two? One of my musical comfort foods. "If I had a Boat" is zen-like. The Road to Ensenada is a fantastic driving in the country record. And his live show is one of the bast I have ever seen.
Lucinda Williams. A woman who has been there, done that, and written some raw and painful songs about the whole trip.
Lake Michigan. I never lived on the lake, but it has always been there, just a quick drive away. It's huge - an ocean without the salt. It's scary - I jumped in the water in May one year, off of my friend's boat. Luckily he was a lifeguard, because my legs were numb almost immediately and I needed help getting back on. It's calming - living in the city can get pretty claustrophobic at times, but an afternoon at the beach will always set me straight. (Not that I'm sunning myself, mind you. I'm far too pasty and sensible for that). I didn't realize how much that lake meant until I moved to my new landlocked home. I really miss it.
Libraries. The local public library is loaded with good stuff, but unfortunately it seems to be a dumping ground for people who can't control (or even pay attention to) their children. I have often thought of going back to school and getting a degree in library science, but then I lie down until the feeling goes away. I guess it's good to know that it's there if I need it, though.
Loafing. Sometimes not doing anything is the best.

Monday, March 05, 2007


Is anyone else having trouble with this g.d. *New Blogger*?
I can only upload photos some of the time. I have to change the g.d. font every time I post (which is why this one is different than the last several). I am unable to make links within my posts. The script in a post sometimes runs into my sidebar. And as for making template changes? Hell no! If I were to do that, they promise me that they would save my old template so I could transfer information, but at this point I do not have much faith.
So out of curiosity, did everybody have to switch? Because I was forced to "upgrade" against my will. And is anybody else having these problems? Are there new instructions for creating links?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

From the "Well, No Shit" file.

An article from the Detroit Free Press, entitled "Study: College Students Get An 'A' in Narcissism"

Blogger is not cooperating with me on makling a link, but the address is

Money Quote: "As an example, Twenge cited a song commonly sung to the tune of “Frere Jacques” in preschool: “I am special, I am special. Look at me.”

Actually, I would like to see a much longer piece written about this study, but the results of the "research" are completely obvious to anyone who has lived in a college town. What bothers me is that they don't address serious issues like eating disorders and other problems that stem from said narcissism. It's not that I don't want to punch these kids in the face. It's just that I want to hug them afterward.

Progress (the good kind).

So the basil was the first thing to come up - no surprise there, since it seems like it will grow whether I pay attention to it or not. I wouldn't be shocked if I went into the garden store and found a basil seed packet with leaves poking out. That's how well it grows here. Also, the green beans, oregano, sunflowers, and a few peppers are sprouting. I couldn't be happier. Well, I suppose I could be if it weren't so cold today, but I'll take what I can get. I'll just have to start an indoor project.
Friday I went to all of my local thrift stores. Wound up scoring a pair of Frye boots that look like they have never been worn and make me about a head taller than the b.h. They are beautiful and soft and leather, and best of all, they were SIX DOLLARS. Also got a fancy red pair, with some sort of design on them, that are not quite as tall and not quite as leather. I suspect I will probably wear them a couple times and then sell them in the store. But again, SIX DOLLARS. In addition to my fabulous footwear, found some vintage Gap corduroys and several new cotton shirts. Oh, and two pairs of pajama pants. I think the total on this stuff was around thirty bucks. Score.
I never buy new stuff, really, unless it's a t-shirt from a band that I see live. I am a firm believer the best way to support low to mid-level bands is to buy stuff directly from them. I learned the hard way that even if I like a band that I see, unless I totally love them, buying a CD isn't practical, because I see so many bands that the CDs wind up lost in a stack and I look at them six months later and think "Who is this and why do I own it?" With a shirt, it doesn't really matter who it is. It works to keep their name out there. Whenever I leave town, I try to pack shirts from local bands here in Athens to get their name out in Chicago or Nashville or wherever I'm going.
Anyway, I'm gonna go get my day started. Yay sprouts! Yay new clothes! Happy Sunday, y'all.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Winnie the Pooh and Oh My Fucking God

So I'm standing outside the bar, and I see this guy in a Winnie the Pooh costume walking across the street. Though Halloween is far off, I am not in the least bit surprised. Frat boys have costume parties all year. No biggie. What was interesting to me was that this guy actually fit the bill, as it were. He was a little pudgy around the middle and he looked right for it. He filled that costume out properly. It was kind of cute. Then I noticed the guy he was walking with. Another, smaller frat boy, dressed all in baggy black clothes, with a big fake medallion and various other faux rap star accoutrements. And he was in fucking black face. No kidding. Which was horrifying in and of itself, but then it struck me: Winnie the Pooh and- what rhymes with Tigger?
Yeah. Total assholes. And there's no way that they intended anything else. White kids are always dressing up in rap clothes (or as "white trash," or bikers, or hunters, or business executives) for their very exclusive (lame) parties. I have never seen any of them in blackface, though. Every once in awhile they outdo themselves.
Sometimes I hate it here.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


That's all I've been doing that's worth talking about. I've planted two kinds of tomatoes, pickling cucumbers, basil, dill, oregano, thyme, fennell, moonflowers, and some mixed four o'clocks. So far. And our meyer lemon tree (which was a gift from J and her s.o. for our wedding) is blooming. The smell is nothing short of intoxicating.
I've also spent some time trying to tame the flower beds around the house, in hopes that this year I will finally plant all of them. The problem with renting is that it's difficult to want to bother with the whole blasted yard (it's pretty large, and not at all tended prior to our presence) that we will eventually have to evacuate. But I've been getting to it a little at a time for the past couple summers, and this year I'm feeling particularly ambitious. In the meantime, progress is being made on the ridiculously overpriced condos from hell across the street. The guys who are putting them up have taken to communicating with each other by whistling very loudly, which as you dog owners may guess, tends to rile up the dogs. Which would already be annoying if it were late in the day, but since it generally starts at the crack of dawn (about an hour or two after I have fallen asleep), it actually pisses me off quite a lot. That and the trash which is constantly strewn about and regulary makes its way across the road and into our yard are really starting to get on my nerves.
On a lighter note, the geese are back. I think these may actually be *our* geese - the ones we call Marge and Homer, who are not afraid of us, and who will make their way across the pond whenever they see us come out, in hopes of getting fed - but I don't know if geese actually return to the same place year after year. If anybody knows about goose habits, I'd love an answer.
Also, the ducks are catching on. They aren't quite as aggressive as the geese yet, but they do stop by at least every other day. Photos to come.