Saturday, July 28, 2007


I am in an unusual situation currently, in that I am at work early and I have my computer. That is a good thing, because we're leaving for Dog Camp tomorrow, and I may not be ready to post for a few more days.
The week has been good. I am pulling giant cucumbers from the garden daily, and passing them out to friends and co-workers. Scared the hell out of a couple people who thought they had encountered a giant snake in the cooler (yeah, I don't know either). Saw The Mooney Suzuki on Thursday night. Wow. That was a rock show. Afterward, they took about nine years to load out, and when we were finally able to leave, we heard a cell phone ringing somewhere in the dark bar. As we scrambled around trying to find it, it stopped ringing. I pushed open the back door to see if the band was still around. They were. Was that their phone? It was. Call it again. Okay.
So we get back inside, and when we are finally able to locate the phone, it is attached to one very passed out and very confused bass player. It's a good thing they called when they did, Five more minutes and he would have been there until he woke up on his own, and something tells me they wouldn't have made it to Florida on time.

We pre-ordered the new Okkervil River CD online, which allowed us to download it immediately. It's pretty fucking awesome. Looking forward to hearing it in the car tomorrow, actually. Other than that, I have nothing important to say. Desperately need a couple days off, and will hopefully have fun stories and good pictures to share.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

He's Always One-Upping Me.

We were out to dinner with the b.h.'s mom, and while enjoying a bite of bruschetta, the b.h. dropped a bit of olive tapanade in his lap.
"Tapacrotch?" I asked. "Or should it be "Crotchanade?"
"I don't understand why you don't have a career in marketing," he replied casually, shoveling the last bit into his mouth and brushing off his pants.

The Popular Restaurant is okay so far. Lots to learn and quite exhausting, but I always enjoy learning new things, especially when those things involve food and wine.

I finished the new H@rry P0tter book. It was great. No spoilers or anything, just in case any of you care, but I will say that Ms. Rowling has done an excellent job of wrapping things up. I also recently read The Nasty Bits, by Anthony Bourdain. It was mostly hilarious. I skipped the first piece entirely after watching the b.h., an unafraid eater of all meats, turn green just from reading it. I am about halfway through A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, which I somehow got through my entire academic career without reading. I'm enjoying it. Also a good ways into The Mulching of America by Harry Crews, but as it is not exactly uplifting I have only been reading sporadically.

Not much more to tell. Just got back from a long walk with the boys and we're all lying about panting in front of the fan.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Happy Harry Potter Day, Everybody.

I am very generously allowing the b.h. to monopolize the copy that arrived this morning via Am@zon, so I have time for a quick weekly roundup. (He's going to band practice later, so I will be catching up then).
This week I stared a new job at a Popular Restaurant. It is interesting because I am learning new things about food and wine and whatnot, but it is also incredibly frustrating because I have no idea what I am doing and the setup is not convenient. Ah well, we'll see how it goes.
My cucumbers are coming along nicely. So many, in fact, that I may be able to go back to the Farmer's Market soon. The Armenian Cuckes are especially impressive. None have fully matured yet, but it seems that we will have an abundance here pretty soon. The tomatoes seem to be in a holding pattern- they're here, but they aren't ripening very quickly. The few that have have already split by the time I found them. Last night I weeded, picked a few pickling cukes, and watered after walking the dogs at dusk. After they ate, I let the dogs out one last time before leaving for work. A few minutes later, I got that weird, spider-sense, somethings-wrong-but-I-can't-quite-put-my-finger-on-it feeling. I ran to the door to call them back in, and KG came bounding into the kitchen, all wet and smiling and reeking of Tomato Plant. I guess I should have known that the three foot garden fence wouldn't be much of a deterrent for him. Bastard. No visible damage, though, so he gets to live another day. He's lucky he's so cute.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Change in Plans

Okay, I didn't catch up on my blogging while I was off. But we did see the new H@rry P0tter flick. It was great- big, dark, and way cooler than it was in my head.
We're postponing the California trip. Too much on our plates at the moment. Instead we're going to hit the mountains in North Carolina for a dog friendly vacation. The campground has air-conditioned cabins. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it is too bloody hot (and I am a delicate flower) this time of year to sleep outside. So get this- the place is totally equipped for dogs - fenced in off leash areas, an agility course, a pond for swimming - and on their website, they discourage children. In a friendly way, of course, but they do. Very cool. Those of us who have dogs instead of kids need a place to go, too, and now we have one.
I also got a new job. Or rather, a second job. Bartending, but somewhere else. Looking forward to it.
That's all for now. Watching season two of Extras on DVD, and it has to go back tonight.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

I wear a seven, and you're out of order...

'Cause I can tell from here you're a seven and a quarter.*

Yep, it's time to break out the tinfoil hats,** folks. I just finished watching B0bby, the movie about the other people in the Ambassador Hotel who were shot when Robert Kennedy was. I probably should have Netflixed it, because I wasn't really ready for it, but it had to go back tonight so we did anyway. It was fantastic. And despite knowing exactly how it was going to end, I still found myself completely devastated by the ending. It was gut wrenching. I can't help but wonder what the world might be like right now if that had never happened. The state of things at the moment is weighing heavily on me, and the weight was compounded by a bout of insomnia (slept too late yesterday) during which I read way too much news and political nonsense. Sigh. Where are we going?
On a lighter note, I discovered a new blog that I found highly amusing. It's called Clublife, and the link is over there on your left. I have also been catching up on A Free Man In Preston (also see left), whose posts about his trip to Northern California are very entertaining (such a brilliant photographer!) and may prove highly useful if the b.h. and I manage to get our shit together enough to take a trip out there at the end of the month.
Ooh, and I discovered yet another British show to love. I know this will come as a complete shock to some of you, but until two days ago, I had never seen an episode of Doctor Who. I have been aware of its existence for ages, but have somehow never gotten around to it. And now, lo and behold, Christopher Eccleston as the good Doctor. Neat. And an actress that looks like she actually consumes food as his co-star. Wow.
In the books department, I have been tearing up a bunch of Roald Dahl, thanks to both a gift(back on my birthday-or was it Christmas?) and a recent loan from my good friend K, who reads at least twice as much as I do. I also started Harry Crews' The mulching of America, but as it is less than uplifting, my progress is slow.
Saw Black Snake Moan on video last week. Fucking fantastic. And it was even written and directed by the same guy! That is almost always a sure sign of indie movie disaster for me. Christina Ricci is way more talented than I ever realized, and it was beautifully shot and did not go where I automatically thought it was going to go, which was a very special treat. See this movie. All four of you.
Got to see a preview of the new Transf0rmers movie as well. It was incredibly well done as far as the whole car-to-robot transformation. There was the expected amount of cheese, and some nearly hilarious, Top Gun-esque moments of sheer military recruitment obviousness, as well as seeming at times to be a very expensive car commercial (Hey Ch3vy, why not just build a C@maro that runs well? Ever thought of that?), but overall it was very entertaining. And that Shia Leb0uf dude is really fucking good, even if his co-star was the oldest looking high-schooler since Beverly Hills 90210. So see that one, too. And see it on the big screen, because g0d damn, there are big ass robots and car chases and stuff.
Maybe next week we'll get to see H@rry P0tter.
Other than that, I have mostly been working and attempting to weed the garden. Have almost completely given up on watering the flowers because we are now in a LEVEL THREE DROUGHT, but the tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers are really booming. I gave several plants away to my friends K and B today, because I actually managed to grow way more from seed than I had room to plant. We are off for the next couple of days, so hopefully I'll get the yard back in order and oh, I don't know... vaccuum? It looks like a bomb went off in here. A dog hair bomb. I also intend to finish the St. Louis story. I have more photos and some hilarious moments to share. At this point, however, I am off to get another beer and turn off my brain.

*Anybody who can tell me where that quote came from will get the remnants of a six pack of extremely cheap powdered mini-donuts, absolutely free, by mail.
**That's a clue

Not Exactly A Mensa Convention.

It's been a long weekend. Hell, it's been a long six weeks. Friday night we had a band that thinks they're more important than they are. They have played before and bitched about money after not bringing almost anyone to the show (can you say "pro-duc-tion", you dipshit?). Fortunately, I think this weekend was probably the nail in their coffin. They brought their own "security." The genius in question stopped us on our way into work by standing in front of the door and giving us an expectant "How you doin' tonight?" When one of our co-workers leaned over and said "They work here" as I walked past him, he said "Are they working tonight?" He was quickly set straight on the policy of not charging employees to get in, and then an hour later he told one of our door guys
"Man, I'm antsy as hell! I just wanna kick somebody's ass!"
Ugh. This is why we hire Door Guys and not Bouncers. Sure, you should be able to handle yourself if somebody takes a swing at you. But that's a lot less likely to happen if you aren't a meathead douchebag with something to prove. The best part? After he stood there for an hour and a half and nobody showed up, he bailed and our guys had to do his job. Idiot.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

St. Louis, Part Four.

We slept in on Thursday, and then decided to visit the Arch. As a claustrophobe, I have mixed feelings about the Arch, but it seemed like something we had to do. Neither the b.h. nor K had been before, and besides, I kind of enjoy controlled fear every now and then. So we went.
The elevator is tiny. When you get in (with four other people), you have to sit down and kind of lean forward. This photo doesn't really say much, but that doorway is less than five feet high, I think.

Coincidentally, they put us in a pod (that's what it felt like) with two other guys who were from Georgia. While we waited for the elevator, one of them was expressing some doubts about the size of the pod.
"It's not that bad," I reassured him. I'm claustrophobic and I've been here before."
He seemed reassured, until the door opened and we all squeezed in. Actually, it was the closing of the pod that caused him some alarm.
"Not that bad?!" he said. ("My ass!!" was implied in his tone, but remained unspoken out of either Southern Gentility or fear of looking wimpy.) It took a few minutes to get to the top. It was a beautiful and sunny day, so I got lots of cool pictures.
Here's a shot of East St. Louis, on the Illinois side of the river. Some of you may remember it from the movie National Lampoon's Vacation starring Chevy Chase. My understanding is that it is just as charming today, which is why this is as close as we got.

By the way, Wilco fans, that boat is the Casino Queen made famous by the song of the same name on the album A.M..

This is the view straight down. I had to kind of crawl up into the window to get it. Those specks are people.

We were starving when we left the Arch, so we headed to the club for lunch. K was enamored of our waiter, while I was busy raving about the root beer. It was a local brew, and the club was across the street from the company, so it was fresh and fabulous. Best of all, it was made with sugar instead of corn syrup (which I have only recently discovered is in fact, evil). I got a veggie burger and fries, and we ordered onion rings and fried cheese balls for an appetizer. I don't normally eat like that, but hey- we were on vacation. Everything was unbelievably good. We vowed to have another meal there.
When we finished eating, we headed to a record store across town to see Blue Mountain, who had not played a show in six years.

Suddenly Feeling A Little More Patriotic...

Thanks to Keith Olbermann.

I am thankful to live in a place where you can still publicly say things like this. Not that the President is listening or anything.

Anyway, sorry for getting all political on you. Happy 4th, y'all.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Wild wildlife.

Courtesy of Andrew Sullivan:

How Italian police discovered a secret mountain-top marijuana plantation:

Locals in Trento began telling tales of the abnormally high-spirited animals, while forest rangers began to wonder why the normally shy and straight-laced cervine population was letting it all hang out by day and "making great leaps on the mountainside"...

Despite the seemingly damning nature of the prosecution's case, defence lawyers say the charges may yet be dropped since the deer had eaten most of the evidence.

And several hundred packets of Snackwells.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

St. Louis, Part Three (We Finally Reach St. Louis)

So after two hours of thrift shopping, we headed back to the interstate and on to the city. Our hotel was next to the airport, and even though it was what should have been rush hour, we had a smooth ride all the way. The directions, via Mapquest, required something like six right turns at the end. We called ahead to the hotel to confirm the directions and got a non-native English speaker on the already spotty cell phone.
"It's a left at Linder," the b.h. said, hanging up.
Several exits passed.
"You mean "Lindbergh?"
We all laugh.
We exit at Lindbergh, get completely turned around IN the airport in a matter of seconds. We're all punchy and a little tired. From the Park and Ride lot, we see the highway. On the highway there is a sign:
"Linder Street, 2 miles"
We laugh more. Though we are within spitting distance, we crawl through several lights before finding the entrance ramp. We exit at Linder and turn right.
"Now you're going to make a right on Peeley."
"Do you think it might be Seeley?"

When we finally reached the hotel, we were all famished and wanted to eat right away. One of the reasons I was sold on this particular hotel was the Indian restaurant ("Voted the Best in ST. Louis!") on the eleventh floor. We ordered like it was our last meal. Everything was fantastic. Since the b.h. likes to cook and is very good at it, I often find myself disappointed at restaurants. Not this one. We ate a LOT of food. They served a fantastic spiced tea (chai-like, I suppose, but not exactly chai) that was really amazing. Just when I thought I couldn't eat more, they brought us complimentary Mango Pudding. It was awesome- not too sweet and just a taste. I thought I might die.
After we ate, we waddled back to our room for a nap.
Now with two beds,the sleeping was even better. We got ready about an hour later, and got on the internet to get directions to the club.
The highway was dark and under construction, so the ride was a little hairy. We had to stop and get cash and batteries for the camera, and ended up in a scene straight out of Larry David at the grocery store: thirty people in line, two checkers, and one poor old guy who just wanted some chocolate milk. Of course, there wasn't a price on the chocolate milk, so while we were all waiting (mostly) patiently for the woman with the bad perm and the fake nails to ring us up in express, we were treated to a verbal lobby between the stock guy and the other cashier over the loudspeaker about where the chocolate milk was and whether or not it was in fact still on sale. Fascinating stuff.
When we finally got out of there, we raced over to the Schlafly Brewery, only to find that the show that evening was at the Schlafly Tap Room. And the guy behind the counter at the Brewery didn't know what Twangf3st was and couldn't tell us how to get to the Brewery. When he finally found somebody who knew, they gave us the wrong name of the exit. The good news is that ST. Louis, like so many Midwestern cities, is built on a grid and is easily navigated by simple logic (unlike say, Atlanta, which was obviously designed with the help of hallucinogens).
We got there during the first band, whose name I do not remember, since I only saw a couple of songs. I of course needed a beer immediately, because no matter how zen I try to be, getting lost in a strange city and driving around fearing that you are missing a band you drove nine hours to see is a bit stressful. I turned to the bar, which was about eight feet long and manned by two guys. There were twelve thousand people waiting for beer.
The beer was excellent. Centro-matic was present. We said hello and chatted with them a bit. I ran into a couple from Rotterdam, whom I have now met three separate times in three different cities (in three different rock clubs) over the past five years. C and C are obviously as insane about music and the b.h. and me. The show was transcendent.