Thursday, December 31, 2009

I want to do right, but not right now

Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we diet. Happy New Year wishes whether you are running around with your ragtop down or cozied in and behaving yourself as we will be.

I quit making resolutions as I always break them. Wondering if I should use reverse psychology on myself... resolve to do the opposite of what I really want to do... would that work?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

This Modern Ailment

There hasn't been much political content around this place for awhile. That's because I'm suffering from

The amount of crazy is overwhelming. It's hard to know where to start sometimes.

This Modern World blog

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sixties birthdays today

Today is the birthday of Ray Thomas, founding member of the Moody Blues and retired from that band just a few years ago. Not many bands stay around long enough for band members to be able to retire from them. Ray is best known for his baritone singing voice and his flute-playing. Here's a sixties video of the song he's best known for, "Legend of a Mind," which you might think of as "Timothy Leary's Dead".

A friend of mine (someone I have traveled and shared rooms with while going to the Moodies' shows) got married to Ray during the past year, and I am tickled pink for the both of them. (Should that be "tickled blue"?)

Ray shares a birthday with sixties rock icon, Marianne Faithfull. I read her autobiography, and enjoyed what seemed to be a great level of honesty and frankness in it. I rate it above some other rocker memoirs that I've read. Here is a fairly recent interview with her:

And this is part 1 of a BBC documentary about Marianne Faithfull. Fascinating stuff if you are interested in 60s pop culture.

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Monday, December 28, 2009

A product whose time has come?

Had to laugh when I saw this... still didn't buy it though. It's big (it's silly big like a clown remote), and that would make it easier, but something tells there would still be multiple remotes needed. Skeptical...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

What we've been watching

Holiday reviews (so far)
My last work day before winter break was Dec. 18, and let me say that having a winter break from a job is a great benefit. Aside from all the x-mas frenzy of gift-wrapping followed by visits to the Post Office, it's been calm. We've been getting some rather obscure videos from the Public Library and local indie video stores. Aside from a wine video from John Cleese, a short stack of Doctor Who videos from the 70s and 80s (which are new to us), we got music stuff like Cocksucker Blues and White Stripes: Under Blackpool Lights.

Cocksucker Blues is a backstage documentary of the Rolling Stones' 1972 Exile on Main Street tour. It's like watching rough-quality home movies that happen to show quite a bit of skin (including Mick's) and band/groupie antics. "Debauchery" is the word used most often to describe the goings-on. There's concert footage too, which includes Stevie Wonder. I believe this disk is a bootleg (was not legally released) but you can find it if you want it. I saw 2 shows from that '72 tour (on the same day).
Cocksucker Blues on Subterranean Cinema

The White Stripes disk is a rare and out-of-print one. It's shot on grainy film but captures the energy of the show. Jack White is amazing. I have missed a couple of opportunities to see him live, need to remedy that.

On the 24th, we went out to the IMAX theatre to see Avatar in 3-D. Stunning, awesome, incredible. Here I am standing out in 30-40° with strong winds, waiting in the line. That's about as much cold as we have to endure down here in the daytime, but it was so worth it. I am not going to present plot spoilers here, but I strongly encourage you to see this in 3-D and at an IMAX if possible.
{I think I look like Darth Maul's granny in that getup}

The next day (Christmas Day) we went to the Alamo Ritz to see Sherlock Holmes, and even though Avatar was a hard act to follow, we really enjoyed this one too. It's an action movie and period piece with good acting (rapidly becoming a Robert Downey Jr. fan here) and a puzzle or two to solve - and all set up for a sequel. I wouldn't mind that either.

My friend wanted to join us at the sold-out showing, so she found a man on craigslist who had 5 tickets to sell, tracked down the woman who bought the 5 tickets from him, found out that she only needed 4, so we met up with her at the theatre and bought the spare. Now that's Tenacity with a capital T.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Many Happy Returns

I ordered something online to send over the pond for a December birthday, and after sending I located the receipt just in case it would be needed. It was folded in half, and I had a laugh when I opened it up. Those guys at T-Shirt Hell are such cutups!

Happy Boxing Day in the UK, and Return Your Gifts Day everywhere. We are headed to Target pretty soon and certainly will observe the festivities in progress.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Show us yer...

{MrB sent me this. Don't know where the pic came from but supposedly the cow's in Marfa}

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Grinch, Unlimited

I always post a lot of snarky Xmas stuff, the more irreverent, funny or bizarre, the better. It helps me get through it.

Christmas is hard for me. I have a lot of bad memories that are directly associated with this holiday and all its traditions. In my first year of this blog (2005) I laid out my long explanation for all my troubles in a post called "Get out the violins." My goal is to get to December 26 without some kind of meltdown... beginning with me, and sometimes taking down people or situations I care about.

It has really helped me to have lived in Austin for these past 9 years (we moved here the week before Christmas so it's an anniversary of something positive) because I am a holiday-orphan here. I am not required to attend family gatherings (some with gift-exchange rituals) that make me crazy sad. My apologies to those who are unfortunate enough to have ended up being related to me in some way, especially my poor, long-suffering husband, but believe me... nobody should even want to put me through that kind of thing. It is quite painful.

There are some Christmas gift exchanges, but only a few and all are done through the mail with no ceremony or ritual of traditions (at least on this end), and those are fine. I don't need to be medicated to do it. ;-)

We have no tree in the house, in fact, no decorations at all indoors. I've got a little bag of them, but this year didn't even bother to hang stockings for the kitty-cats. (sorry kitties.) Usually I put together a holiday e-card and send it all our friends, but this year I didn't even do that... and I do feel bad about that last one... I may have just gone too far this time. Anyway, I'm pretty sure that I'm going to make it. I'm very happy that it's almost here... and gone.

Read other people's shared hellish stories on My Miserable Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jesus and Elvis

Sent to me through a mailing list. The similarities are uncanny, don't you think?
Jesus said: "Love thy neighbor." (Matthew 22:39)
Elvis said: "Don't be cruel." (RCA, 1956)

Jesus is the Lord's shepherd.
Elvis dated Cybill Shepherd.

Jesus was part of the Trinity.
Elvis' first band was a trio.

Jesus walked on water. (Matthew 14:25)
Elvis surfed. (Blue Hawaii, Paramount, 1965)

Jesus' entourage, the Apostles, had 12 members.
Elvis' entourage, the Memphis Mafia, had 12 members.

Jesus was resurrected.
Elvis had the famous 1968 "comeback" TV special.

Jesus said, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink." (John 7:37)
Elvis said, "Drinks on me!" (Jailhouse Rock, MGM, 1957)

Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights.
Elvis had irregular eating habits. (e.g. 5 banana splits for breakfast)

Jesus is a Capricorn. (December 25)
Elvis is a Capricorn. (January 8)

Matthew was one of Jesus' many biographers. (The Gospel According to Matthew)
Neil Matthews was one of Elvis' many biographers. (Elvis: A Golden Tribute)

"[Jesus] countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow." (Matthew 28:3)
Elvis wore snow-white jumpsuits with lightning bolts.

Jesus lived in state of grace in a Near Eastern land.
Elvis lived in Graceland in a nearly eastern state.

Mary, an important woman in Jesus' life, had an Immaculate Conception.
Priscilla, an important woman in Elvis' life, went to Immaculate Conception High School.

Jesus was first and foremost the Son of God.
Elvis first recorded with Sun Studios, which today are still considered to be his foremost recordings.

Jesus was the lamb of God.
Elvis had mutton chop sideburns.

Jesus' Father is everywhere.
Elvis' father was a drifter, and moved around quite a bit.

Jesus was a carpenter.
Elvis' favorite high school class was wood shop.

Jesus wore a crown of thorns.
Elvis wore Royal Crown hair styler.

Jesus H. Christ has 12 letters.
Elvis Presley has 12 letters.

No one knows what the "H" in "Jesus H. Christ" stood for.
No one was really sure if Elvis' middle name was "Aron" or "Aaron".

Jesus is often depicted in pictures with a halo that looks like a gold plate.
Elvis' face is often depicted on a plate with gold trim and sold through TV.

Jesus said: "Man shall not live by bread alone."
Elvis liked his sandwiches with peanut butter and bananas.

Jesus was regarded by some to have been an extraordinary prophet.
Elvis was regarded by some to have made an extraordinary profit.

Image below taken from First Church of Jesus Christ, Elvis.

Upon this Jailhouse Rock, I will build my church.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Snarky Fark

Do you love Fark as much as I do? If you aren't familiar with it, it's a collection of real news links posted by users who come up with creative headlines. Every year they enable voting for favorites, and here's the top list for the first 3 months of the year. Go to that link if you want them all, or want to find the real stories. Partial list below.

Marilyn Monroe hormone discovered. Or should it be called Norma Gene?

Missouri Neo Nazis allowed to participate in Adopt a Highway program. The group may need additional help since they have requested to only pick up white trash

Octuplets doing well, breathing on their own, squirting ink

Barbie turns 50, finally accepts she will die childless and alone

Peephole in door of girl's dorm room reversed; police are looking into it

Woman arrested for having dead baby in carry-on luggage. Everyone knows that carrion needs to be checked in

Two-year-old refuses to sleep during day, may get charged with resisting a rest

Earliest chocolate has been now dated to between A.D. 1000 and 1125, still on sale at Walgreens

Woman trapped in bathtub for 4 days. "The woman's condition was not available." Submitter's not a doctor, but I'm going to guess "wrinkly"

"Cardinal Mystified by Child Sex Probe"; apparently the directions were missing from the package

Headline: Alzheimer's drugs doubles death risk. Apparently your risk of death is now 200%

Plane crashes in Florida panhandle, no pilot found. Well there's your problem

Man shoots himself through the heart with nailgun to scare his fiancee, gives love a bad name

Man driving a Kia leads police on a chase exceeding 100 mph, everyone's expectations of the Kia

Man plays electric guitar so loud that neighbor's fish jumps. It must have been a bass guitar

How to win friends and influenza people

Carpenters face higher-than-average asbestos death rate, higher-than-average resurrection rate

Man who robbed gas station made no threats, displayed no gun, simply offered an apology as he fled with a fistful of cash. Authorities on the lookout for a Canadian

Prosecutor receives kidney from rival defense attorney after learning they have the same blood type: cold

Man finds ten human teeth in wallet at Walmart. That's just decadent

Twittering encouraged in church. Submitter still afraid of being text-communicated

Study finds that a man looks into a woman's eyes for 8.2 seconds if he is attracted to her, 4.5 seconds if he is not, and 0.0 seconds if she's a C-cup or above

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The true meaning of Christmas

Another religious nut attempts to teach the true meaning of Christmas by putting up a holiday display showing Jesus gunning down Santa with a double-barreled shotgun. Rudolph is also dead and strapped to the hood of the truck. This display is right across the street from a school bus stop.
[LINK with video]

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

This week in live music

I just realized that I didn't cover last week's music shows, so here goes. Last Monday night we went down to Flipnotics to see Kimber and Dennis Ludiker, a brother/sister pair of fiddle champions. I don't have track of all the awards they have between them over their young lives (it's a stack), but Dennis is the Texas State Fiddle Champion for 2 years running, and Kimber is this year's National Old Time Fiddle Champion. Dennis lives in Austin and plays with MilkDrive (as does Matt Mefford, playing bass in these videos, although the camera really doesn't pick up the bass much). Kimber lives in Boston right now and plays with Della Mae, Broken Blossoms (and others, I'm sure). This was our first time to see her play.This was a free show at Flipnotics, a coffee house on Barton Springs Road with a living-roomy atmosphere and great music all the time. It was wonderful.

After a long and very busy work week, I was really glad to see Friday roll around and a show from Del Castillo down at the Armadillo Xmas Bazaar. For a very small price ($3-6) you can see great music every day and night (12 hours a day!) through December (and shop the funky art and crafts if that is your thing). Check out the blazing guitars! Del Castillo always brings me a lot of joy.
Over the weekend I developed some kind of stomach ailment, and was out of commission for most things, but we did make it out to Waterloo Records this evening to see David Rawlings (with Gillian Welch and members of Old Crow Medicine Show). Another free show although it being an instore with the band headed over to their real venue, they just played for a half hour. It was awesome, most definitely, and we got to chat with the Jarosz's (Sarah Jarosz, brand new Grammy nominee, is opening for Rawlings/Welch for 2 nights downtown). Wish I had more time, money and energy to do all the things that I want to do.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

No War on Christmas Here!

You can't become righteously indignant because this product doesn't use the proper Christian-approved Holiday greeting. Buy it here or browse the rest of the tacky products.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Toys For Tats

Not a typo.

Donate a toy and get a free tattoo.

I remain un-inked mainly for 3 reasons:
  • I'm afraid of pain.
  • I don't like needles (the weekly allergy shots are enough for me).
  • I change my mind too often.

Trying to think back through the years to wonder what images I would now be stuck with had I decided to make a commitment. There's the ex, and the other ex, etc. Then there's my favorite band... du jour... and my favorite movie or TV show, the one I will love more than anything for ever and ever... or maybe not (Curse you, George Lucas, so very glad I don't have a Star Wars tattoo right now.)

I'm such a fickle fangirl.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Lay low and chill

That's pretty much me this weekend. I am tired from the head cold or other sinus hell I've had all week. Feeling better but not wanting to make it worse. MrB is headed down to Waterloo Records to see Rosanne Cash at her free show there this morning. That's a sweet deal (and usually includes free beer to boot). Then he's going to Eco-Wise for some accent color paint to put on the tray table that goes with this bench. We adopted the pair of them this summer off the side of the road on bulk trash day, and now they are being spiffied up some. We went with intense green and orange instead of "aubergine" as originally planned.

It got to a hard freeze last night (goodbye mosquitoes) so we are in our dead of winter here - all stocked up with firelogs and DVDs from the library (mostly documentaries) and I'm working my way through The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. I love the Library.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Rambling update

Posting has been light over the past week, I know. I took Thanksgiving week off and spent most of it cleaning out the junk room, which you can't call a bedroom at all since we haven't been able to see the floor in there for a couple of years at least. It's chock full of stuff I've collected over the years (mostly music memorabilia) that had gotten out-of-control disorganized during the 60 hr workweeks. At least those are much less frequent this year.

It wasn't all sorting little bits of paper and dust bunnies, we also went out a couple of times. On Thanksgiving Day we went to see The Road, which reminded me of a lot of dreams I've had (no wonder I had trouble sleeping!! who wants to go there?). We do recommend it, but don't go expecting any humor. It's not a feel-good movie (and describing a movie as "feel-good" is a sure way to keep me away from it, anyway) but it should get some conversations going.

Also over last weekend was another show featuring our beloved Band of Heathens, this time at Momo's, where they got started. The show was absolutely great, and they had a bunch of guest stars (Brian Keane, Seth Walker, Warren Hood), here's someone else's video of the band with Guy Forsyth.
This week brought a return to the office commute, and also some sinus hell (maybe a cold, maybe just allergies) but it's been kicking my ass hard all week with sniffy nose, clogged head, ear pain and trying to stay awake in an antihistamine fog. Couldn't really take sick time because of workload either, {gripe} but it's Friday... nuff said.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Samaritans spring for pricey designer purse

You've probably heard that tasty tidbit about Sarah Palin's book tour that she's doing by bus... except that her traveling on the bus is a hoax and is really using a $4000 per hour private jet to get from place to place, then riding the bus to and from the airport and bookseller for appearances' sake. [daily beast]

They don't know exactly who is paying for the jet, except for one little jaunt when Billy Graham's son, Franklin, allegedly used funds from his Christian charity Samaritan's Purse to fly her over for dinner. I wonder how their supporters feel about that?

More at raw story.