Sunday, July 27, 2008

The World Is Full Of Stupid People

I'll admit it.

I'm not the best speller in the world.

In fact, I'm not even as good as I used to be, because spell check has made me lazy and I know, if need be, I can correct myself. However, if I'm writing something by hand, I check words I'm not sure of before I proceed. I'm not stupid, I'm just a poor speller.

So, if I were a tattoo artist, I'd keep a Webster's handy. You know, just in case.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Goodbye Dolly

Click For Better Detail
Dolly missed us by a good bit yesterday. She went in well South of here, just above the Texas/Mexican border. As far as these things go, that was a much better place than just below the border, because the surge up the Rio Grande might have cause a devastating levee failure. (Sound familiar?)

It came in as a category II storm, so today we will start seeing reports of the damage it caused, which could be pretty severe in a small area.

Here - We really didn't receive all that much rain yesterday. Most of the day we were in between the major bands of rain. It started raining in earnest about 7:00 or so last night, and as I write this ( 6:30 AM) it is still raining. We were under tornado watch all day yesterday, but I didn't hear of any. All in all, we were spared, and got some much need rain in the bargain. Hell, I'd settle for a few days of heavy cloud cover to break the heat.

Thanks to all of you who showed concern.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hello Dolly!

Oh, I forgot to tell you - I've got this to worry about. (Click to see detail)

Sorry about the quick and sloppy photoshop, I'm at work and very busy.

Work Sucks

I want to quit.

But I can't.

That's all I have to say right now.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Seriously, WTF????

OK, trust me. Just trust me. I can't get this to embed, so go see it. Then come back and read my comments. The video is about 2:18.

It is here.



Does Eric Cartman know about this shit?


Earth calling.

It would be one thing if it were in a controlled environment, like a salt water tank, or hell, even a netted-off cove or something with trained dolphins, but FSM on a pogo stick, these people are giving birth IN THE FREAKING OCEAN WITH WILD ANIMALS. I love that this father of the year candidate is assured that, if something does go wrong, he's sure the dolphins will take care of it.

OK, this next take is a bit graphic in nature. I'm a Dad. I've witnessed the birth of all four of my children. There are a lot of fluids and, yes, blood that is part of the process. So let's think for just a minute. Is there any reason you wouldn't want to put a bunch of blood into warm coastal waters??? Hmm, . . . what might that possibly attract? Hmm?


I go pick up the kids today. They have been visiting their Mom for a couple of weeks. I am WAY past ready to have them home.

Here's to hoping I can take off a couple of days and enjoy them before we get into the hassle of back to school prep. It's pretty close.

Meanwhile, here's something to enjoy, and by all means, please do. The film was very, very disappointing to me when it came out, but it's growing on me, and this song was done very, very well. It translated to film beautifully.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I'm Going To See It Anyway. . . . .

Rarely have I enjoyed a film review that trashes a film I want to see, (and hope to love), as much as I enjoyed this one.

I knew I was going to love this bad review when I read:

The musical numbers look like they were choreographed by Corky St. Clair

I mean, after that, she's just daring me to see it anyway, right?

Well, I am an unabashed fan of musicals, be they on stage or forever embedded in celluloid.

So, have any of you seen it yet? Bee liked it. I'll bet I do to.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I Miss 8 Tracks

I know, I know.

I'm dating myself with this one.

Do you remember 8-tracks? If you're over the age of 40, you should. If you're over 44, you probably had some, or at least your parents or siblings did.

I loved 8-tracks. I loved vinyl as well, and I had both, but there was something so appealing about putting in a tape and letting it play on and on and on. Those of you who have only had music on CD or ipod can't understand the thrill of that concept. During the heyday of the 8-track, cassette decks weren't self repeating, which meant you had to turn the tape over to hear the other side. Same thing with an LP. 8-tracks on the other hand, would play all night long without any attention. Of course, sometimes the tape would start to squeal a little (over tensioned - goes with the technology of the mobius strip), and you would have to pull it out and slap it on your leg a few times to loosen it up. How many of you had a little book of matches in your car to wedge under the tape when it started to drag? (If you smiled at that memory you are old btw.)

I'm listening to my ipod right now, and I'm listening to an album I first owned on 8-track. To this day, I still expect to hear the click in the middle of La Fiesta when it changes tracks.

Are there albums you still remember as strictly an "8-track album? Along with the previously mentioned Maynard Ferguson, there are several I remember from high school that were constant companions in the car; Journey : Evolution comes to mind. Remember how there was no break between Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' and City Of The Angels? It's not the same hearing it on CD. REO Speedwagon's High Infidelity is another one I remember as an 8-track.

Supposedly, Fleetwood Mac's Greatest Hits (1988) was the last major label release on 8-track. I had let them go by then and moved on to CD's. I pretty much skipped cassettes altogether. I kept buying vinyl until CD's came out, and taped them myself for the car. The last 8-track I ever bought was Bob Dylan's Slow Train Coming.

My kids have never owned a tape or an LP of any kind. They look at my LP collection as something from the dinosaur age. I wonder, will their kids look at today's ipods with the same bemusement?

Yeah, probably.

More Things That Make Me Happy

This Interview makes me happy, and this quote in particular:

AVC: When does being opinionated and having ideas become being high-maintenance?

MG: [Laughs.] Yeah, that's interesting. Well, I think it depends on what you're defending. If you're defending something artistic and something that you believe is really important to the work that you're doing, and you're able to listen and you're able to be wrong, then I don't really see how that can be a problem. But if you're defending your right to have an assistant and a big trailer, then of course that's a problem right away. Some people would probably disagree with that and say you need what you need to work, but I need very little to work, because I learned how to make movies on tiny movies. It's all kind of easy for me.

In case you're wondering, I do think that's a sexist question, but she answers it with class.

The fact that she replaced Katie Cruise in this film doesn't just make me happy, it makes me ecstatic.

Who in Hollywood has more class than this lady? Classy and talented.

Oh, and yes, she's a Democrat.

I think I'm in love.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Rough Weekend

Where do I start?

My sister came to town. I went to see her at her friends. You shouldn't have to take a Xanax before you visit your family.

I'm just sayin'. . .

Sunday, an innocent afternoon boating trip turned potentially fatal. Everyone is fine, but it could have ended much, much worse than it did.

I took the day off yesterday to recover.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I Knew It.

See Bob, I told you so.
Your results:
You are An Expendable Character(Redshirt)

Click here to take the "Which Star Trek character am I?" quiz...

Things That Make Me Happy

This post made me guffaw out loud at my desk. (It's short - go read it, I'll wait.)

Well? Did you guffaw? Or gasp?

btw - Is there a more perfect word to describe a sound than gaffaw? Very underused word in my opinion.

Things I Love

Bob Geldof

Read it all.

He's talking about the UK, but everything he says applies in the USA, and then some.

Still today, 800 years later, Magna Carta resonates: "To no man will we deny, To no man will we delay, Justice and Right." Is that not grand, worthy of your vote? Is habeas corpus to be traduced in one sad moment of political expediency? Do we not clearly deny and delay Justice and Right when we imprison a person for 42 days without charge?

What existential threat do we face greater than those of the past 800 years? What great terror exists today that not civil war, not world war, nor recent other terrorisms could make our forefathers change the fundamental basis of this state? What is so dangerous that our oldest statutes could be upended for such a ha'p'orth of momentary panic?

What terrorises the terrorists is our civilisation. What those unthinking fools of fundamentalism fear most are the freedoms our representatives now strip away. This "war on terror" is against Islamist forces that reject the Enlightenment.

How can we ever succeed, if we side with our opponents in rejecting those ideals? Every moment we are spied on by the invisible watchers, every time we are monitored, every time we are logged on databanks, they win. And every time we accept it, we lose.

What's not to love?
Oh yeah, and he did this too.

Like I said, what's not to love?

I Don't Get It

Is there something you don't "get"? I don't mean quantum physics, or the meaning of life - I mean is there something the rest of the world just goes nuts over, that you just don't get.

Of course there are the obvious things like taste in music and such, but that isn't necessarily what I mean. I'm not a fan of Hip Hop, or most of what I call chuga-chuga-chuga music, but I can see how some of it has a catchy tune or hook line, and I understand that one generation will rarely enjoy the music of the next generation.

That being said, I am going to talk about a musician.

I don't get Justin Timberlake.

I don't think he's attractive. I mean, even as a straight guy, I can see that Brad Pitt is attractive. I get it. I even get why some girls dig Matthew McConaughey. Well, girls who don't care about hygiene anyway. But I just don't see that whole Justin thing. Talent? Musical taste aside, the dude can't sing. I mean, really, he can't sing.

I don't get it.

While I'm ranting about musicians. . . .

Marilyn Manson -

Musical abilities (or not) aside. This dude pulls some serious A-list talent for girl friends. WTF?? I understand that some girls are groupies. Fine. I don't get that either, but that's another post. Look at this list:

Dita Von Teese

Rose McGowen

Evan Rachel Wood (That hurts my feelings, seriously!)

But these girls could probably have any rock star they wanted if that's what they are into. Seriously - Ewww. I don't get that.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Just To Let You Know . . . . . .

Yes, I'm still here. No, I'm not doing that.

My 4th of July was very, very nice. D&L had a party at the bayhouse and it couldn't have been any nicer. We had a much needed thunderstorm roll through that morning, and it remained cloudy most of the day. The weather was substantially cooler than normal for this time of year, and the clouds rolled away just in time for sunset and fireworks. There were upwards of about 70 people or so by my count and there was BBQ, boating, fireworks and a wonderfully diverse group of people. I had a chance to see a few people I haven't seen in a long time. It was nice.

Saturday and Sunday, I was a bit under the weather. Sunday, I did manage to watch that epic Wimbledon battle. I was pulling for Federer, but my hat is off to Nadal. To be that good on clay and on grass is beyond impressive.

Yesterday after work, I went to the grocery store, and I felt really, really old. The in-store music was early-mid eighties new wave.

In the grocery store.

I was out of high school when those songs were popular and now they are deemed unobtrusive enough to be background music in a grocery store. The Clash, the Police, the Motels, the Romantics, the Talking Heads for Christ's sake!! I enjoyed the music, so I guess I'm officially in their target demographic.

I wish I could remember all of the songs they played, but I remember this one was playing as I walked out of the door. It was always a favorite, but I'm not sure I'd call it New Wave. I know he wouldn't.

Is he really rocking a mullet? Shit, I am old. I remember thinking how cool his hair looked in that video.

Have a great humpday.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I know Someone Like That

Interesting reading to be sure.

I don't know if articles like this should reassure me or make me feel even more stupid. Caroline Presno has obviously dealt with this type before.

To whit: (emphasis mine)

When I advise women and men about how to avoid someone with sociopathic tendencies, I tell them don't expect a monster; instead expect someone oozing with charm. Yet, underneath the heat and charisma are cold thoughts and actions devoid of empathy. Impulsivity, thrill-seeking, and constant boredom are characteristic.

Relationships are used as stepping stones to get them where they want to go. They have an uncanny ability to push someone to the brink, but then suck them back into the relationship again. It's drama, and they love it.

Boy, it's like she was there.

Maybe This Is Why I Work So Hard

This was on Writer's Almanac this morning and it really spoke to me.

The Rider

by Naomi Shihab Nye

A boy told me
if he roller-skated fast enough
his loneliness couldn't catch up to him,
the best reason I ever heard
for trying to be a champion.
What I wonder tonight
pedaling hard down King William Street
is if it translates to bicycles.
A victory! To leave your loneliness
panting behind you on some street corner
while you float free into a cloud of sudden azaleas,
pink petals that have never felt loneliness,
no matter how slowly they fell.

Wonderful poet. I was introduced to her a few months ago, and I just can't get enough of her.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Long Live Pappa

47 years ago today, Ernest Hemingway took his life.

He had suffered from depression for several years, and had undergone Electroshock therapy as a treatment. The treatment took away his memory, and ultimately, left him more depressed than before. He killed himself with a shotgun blast to the head. In what surely must have been a genetic condition, his father, 2 of his siblings, and his grand-daughter also committed suicide.

It always saddens me to think of such a lion of a man being undone by his own mind. He lived his life with what I would consider the very definition of “gusto”. He was a man who spent his life in dangerous and exciting places, and duly recorded the human drama that played out in that quickened world of war and adventure. We men of today are soft. I have no allusions that I would have lasted very long in his world. Many consider him misogynistic. Certainly, his writings are full of protagonists who aren’t exactly icons of feminist enlightenment, but at the same time he doesn’t romanticize those traits. His characters were flawed, and he portrayed them as such.

As I’ve alluded to before, Hemingway will always be special to me. Last fall, Rene’ and I read his entire work together, every bit of it, from the short stories, to the play, to the non-fiction, to the poetry, and of course, the novels. His writing has been described as sparse, but I think efficient is a better word. He managed to convey in his short declarative sentences the emotion, the feeling, the very sense of the place he was writing about. More than any other writer, he gave me a feeling that I knew the place he was writing about. Be it Spain, Africa, Italy, France, or his beloved Florida Keys, he captured the essence of what those places must have been like to me.

His world is gone now. The Festival of San Fermín still goes on, but it has become a squalid tourist attraction, over taken by drunken, well to do Americans, guide books in hand, checking off yet another item from the tattered copy of 1000 places to see before you die. Gone are the humble bars of Key West, home to local fishermen and men on the edges of the law, replaced by chain restaurants and theme bars, resplendent with spring breakers and girls gone wild. He and his world may be physically gone, but they will forever live in my mind, and in the minds of millions of others thanks to his writings.

That is immortality.

Not bad for a guy who killed himself before I was even born. Thank you Pappa, thank you for keeping that world alive for all of us.