Recent Posts

Thursday, November 30, 2006

People Like This Stuff?

I used to listen to a morning sports talk show, called Mike and Mike. Good guys, knowledgeable about sports...but also funny and quirky and deft. I enjoyed them very much; they made my (looooong) drive into work bearable, if not bareable. This being Cleveland, of course, they were dropped by the local radio station and replaced with a couple of sneering, snide, sarcastic, superior jackasses who live to mock.

What is it with people today (and GOD do I sound like an old fart) that they are drawn to reveling in bullying and self-congratulatory nit-picking? Is our collective self-esteem so sadly low that we can only feel okay about ourselves if others are, somehow, identified as lesser beings? Whatever happened to "there but for the grace of God", so forth? Whatever happened to the power of compassion? When did empathy become seen as the refuge of the weak?

The sports geeks this morning were talking about two guys who had gotten into a fight over a football game -- after (duh!) drinking a wee bit....and one guy ended up shooting the other guy (his best friend) and killing him. Now, I don't have too huge a problem with identifying these tools as pretty stupid, although I'm not sure how we were edified by hearing about it. But the morning geeks told the story, and then managed to laugh and spin joke after joke about it.

This was a man. A husband, father, brother. He left behind children. I'm don't see how the actual human lives that were torn apart by this can be fodder for anyone's humor -- outside of the 5th circle of Hell. They not only laughed about the guys, they specifically mentioned the children, and said the children would be better off without this guy.

They, in effect, cheered this murder as a good thing.

I'm not sure what chills me more -- the fact that "entertainers" can and do feed off this bottom; or the host of follow-up calls they broadcast, each laughing and mocking more.

Maybe, I dunno, I've become a weenie. Maybe life is meant to be spent in a vacuum, not caring about anyone else save as rocks to be stepped on to lift oneself up.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Gates is Broken

I just got my first Mac.

Well, my second -- I did have an old Mac classic (back when it seemed pert near incrediblous to have 128 k of memory).

Still, this MacBook is fast and light and easy and cool -- everything Bill Antichrist wishes the Intel/Microsoft world was. I started playing with iMovie, and it makes the DVD generating program I've been using (Roxio) look a little like cave chalk.

The MacBook even has a built in camera, so I can take pictures (or movies) of the office, or out my window, or of me (God and Stevie Wonder forbid) with ease. It's pretty fun.

Don't worry, though -- the boxer pictures are much better left untook.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Film Redux

I saw "Deja Vu" last weekend. It was really very good.


I saw "Deja Vu" last weekend. It was really very good.

Fugit Fugit

Last week flew quicker'n a giblet to a thigh.

Hmmm. Even I have no idea what that means.

Wednesday night, my sister and I continued our tradition. For at least 8 years (maybe more (at my age you lose count (and you also lose, um, huh?)) we've gotten together on the day before Thanksgiving and baked the Thanksgiving pies. We use my mom's recipe (which really is (by fiat and acclaim) the best pie recipe in the contiguous 48 (and half of Mexico)).

We baked three of 'em -- one apple, and two pumpkin. After dinner I, of course, had three pieces of pie. The math seemed to dictate it.

There's (probably) no such thing as a bad pie (Sweeny Todd be damned), but these particular three were among the best pies I've ever had.

Between the feast and dessert (and post-holiday gut-stuffing), I juuuust might have to break out the Tai Bo dvd, huh?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Teensie Stuff

So, in the interest of posting the minutiae that are the cornerstones of boredom and blogsenselessness:

I ate at the glowing pantheon of decadent, river-styx-bound, golden archified fast food dungeonhood. I had a "Big and Tasty", which was the former, if not so much the latter.

I feel like I ate a shih tzu.

Why Blog?


It's an interesting process, this whole expose-yourself-yet-stay-clothed process known as blogging. When I started mine, it was meant to be nothing more or less than a journal.

For me.

I didn't have to try and entertain or enlighten or be witty/erudite/naked. I didn't expect (nor did I particularly want) others to come read it.

So. Witty it wasn't.

But a few wretched souls showed up here anyway -- boredom-gluttons that they clearly are.

So, should one (well, if not one, at least me?) therefore try to actually, you know, entertain 'em? I mean, I know a couple of jokes; and I can sing and juggle a bit (although the latter skillages don't translate so very optimally to a blog).....

The question (for which I have no real answer) is this: how does the awareness of someone else's eyes change what you write? How does the possible reaction to a post infect and inflect the post itself?

What the hell is the sound of one testicle clapping?

Ponder ponder.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I really am a li'l weirded out, all in all. Or, mayhaps, just weird.

Here I am, in a bit of a lull (for me). No shows going on -- although I still have my normal choir commitment and bell choir commitment; and I'm performing (a small thing) every week in Advent at my church; and I'm directing the Sunday School Christmas Pageant....and I'm busily working on a play that I'd like to see performed next fall.

Still, by my stupid standards, I'm not so very busy.

So. Why is it that I find myself rattling around at night? When I get the occasional hour of (relative) free time, why can't I simply chill on the couch and luxuriate in some down time?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Nice, I think

Yesterday I was clearing some gutters, and almost fell off the roof.

Well, that's a bit of an overstatement -- wasn't that close -- but still gave me that shot of adrenaline. Just enough to remind that I do, in fact, still want to live. I guess.

Kinda wrenched my neck, but that's another story for another posting.

I came in the house when it was done, and mentioned to my daughter that I almost fell, and she got this scared look on her face. She told me that she had had a thought about a week ago about what she would do if I died.

She told me she didn't think she could take it.....not only because she and I are quite alike, but because I am her idol.

What a nice thing to hear.

Not so sure that I want her spending a lot of time cogitatin' my demise, but still.

Something Productive

In typical me fashion, I stripped the wallpaper off the kitchen walls last spring -- or late winter, even. Long long ago, in any case.

In my defense, when I stripped it, I hadn't intended to do anything at that time in the kitchen. I was working in the family room, and the same hideous wallpaper was in both rooms, so while I was stripping the family room, I went ahead and stripped the kitchen, figuring I'd get to it soon.

"Soon" is, apparently, a relative term.

The kitchen walls have been pocked and ugly and leper-like for close to a year, for crap's sake (and does crap actually have a sake worth cogitatin' over?).


I finally took myself by the scruff of the neck and decided to do somethin' about it on the weekend. I was awake (per usual) at around 5:30 Saturday morning, so after sucking down a coffee or 5, I started repairing and prepping the walls.

Spent much of the day Saturday and yesterday on it. Lotta cutting in, what with cabinets and appliances and such, so that part took a long time. By last night, it was done. Smooth, lovely walls with actual color that actually matches the actuality of the rest of the first floor. Concept, what a!

Felt good to finally be something resembling a productive human being.

Movie Magic

I went to see "The Prestige" last night. What a terrific movie. Christian Bale and Michael Caine were amazing, and Hugh Jackman wasn't far below the (very high) bar they set. Written and directed by Christopher Nolan (he of "Memento" fame), it takes you down roads you can't imagine.

Nolan likes to mess with your head, that's for sure. Like "Memento", the story is not told chronologically....but it is told in order. By that I mean you are told what you need to know when you need to know it, and if what you need to know happened 4 years ago, so be it.

It seems to me that movies shine brightest when they happily embrace the medium. Movies are not stage plays; nor are they literature or concerts or any other entertainment. They're celluloid moments of directed attention. In this, they are much like magic itself -- your attention must be directed in a particular direction for the trick to work.....and we willingly allow it since, really, we don't want to look.

High talk and foo-foo philosophy aside, "The Prestige" is monumentally entertaining and thoughtful, and among the best movies I've seen this year.

See it. Bring your brain.

Friday, November 10, 2006

I. Hate. Cars.

So. I'm on the highway, last night, enjoying the speed limit ride in my new (old) Volvo....when the check engine light comes on.

Okay. Not necessarily a horrible thing...sometimes they come on for the most mundane of reasons....and it was running fine. I figure I'll take it over to Rick's on the weekend. Then as I was merging and needed to slow down, I took my foot off the gas, and it didn't slow down.

I'm thinking "Hey, is the cruise control on? How could that be?" Well, it wasn't. And as I'm trying to stop, I can feel the car fighting me. I slowed down to about 30 MPH, and when I took my foot off the brake, the car sped up. Not a good thing. I popped it into neutral (where the engine, of course, just raced) and tried to kick it down by spearing the gas. Nope. Finally, I put it back into gear, and after a few moments I felt the engine relax. At that point I wasn't sure if it was a mechanical thing with the linkage or something else, but I decided just to take it directly to Rick's. I called him and he said bring it over, no sweat.


So I swung up 77 to 490, and as I was getting onto 90 (and into a HORRIBLE traffic jam), I finally had to come to a complete stop. Fine. As I was sitting there, foot on the brake, the engine suddenly started to race again, fighting me as I was trying to keep it it's not a mechanical/linkage thing. Good thing I'm on the way to Rick's, I think. Then, as we're crawling along, suddenly the radiator lets loose, steam pouring out from under the hood. Wonderful. I'm in the left lane, so I flip on my turn signal and try to make it to the berm. Of course, the other drivers (seeing steam pouring out from under my hood) can't be bothered to give me a break. Anyway, I did get it over pretty quickly and got it shut off. Called for a tow and got it towed to Rick's, where it sits now.

Didn't get home 'til 'bout 8:30.

God, I love cars.