Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Something has been sticking in my craw for a couple months now and I am curious to get the opinions and experiences of others to help determine if I am being:
b. righteously indignant
c. just a whiny little bitch
d. barking mad
One of the few blogs I used to read daily was removed from my blog roll recently. The reason? The blog owner had a couple meltdowns (one major) over finances and - in my opinion - held the blog for ransom unless the readers of that blog started funding the blog.
Now - again, in my humble opinion, if you choose to write and host and manage a blog to the exclusion of having any other means of employment or money-making, doesn't it seem rude to ask the folks who read your blog to give you money to keep your blog afloat? And if you have a large enough blog community who could contribute writing and other services in your stead, doesn't it make sense to leverage that instead ?
I have to confess, I felt really bad for walking away. I enjoyed the community and had begun to participate regularly. But when we were suddenly treated to regular prods and entreaties (contribute or we''ll shut down!) to contribute to keep things afloat, I had to stop participating.
I read a number of blogs where the main blogger/owner also works at a job and has a community of folks who post information and help manage the site. Pam's House Blend is a stellar example. Pam's site offers a variety of contributing voices and focuses on important issues - all without material support from readers. Or if there is material support from readers, it's being provided quietly and not marketed out to the rest of the community.
So - I'm curious. Are any of the blogs you read important enough to pay for?
Have you ever walked away from a blog you enjoyed for a similar reason?
If you choose to create a topical and non-commercial blog and it becomes a successful blog with a huge audience - would you feel comfortable asking for money to keep it going?
I welcome all thoughts and opinions.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
(tongue planted firmly in cheek)
Ed, Farrah and Michael weren't enough....
Now you had to take Billy Mays from us!!!
Billy changed TV advertising forever - he was a pitchman GOD!!!
His commercials will live on! He was not a joke! He was a STAR!
One day, your grandchildren will ask you "Where were you when you heard that Billy Mays died, Grandpa?"
And you will reply...
" I was beating Vince - the ShamWow! guy - to death with a VHS tape of 'Thriller' while he choked on a DVD of Season One of 'Charlie's Angels,' - All while ramming a monster fake check up Vince's backside while asking him how he likes to smack a hooker now, eh? How about NOW, Vince!!?!"
Damn. At least Billy was cute - loud, but cute.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
I'm feeling a tug of something - something uncomfortable - something annoying.
What is it?
Oh - yes - it's my total lack of patience with humanity in general! Yay!
This morning, I ran across a statement that I had fully expected see that, much to my surprise, had not appeared sooner. The inevitable question -
"do you remember where you were when Michael Jackson died?"
Jesus Christ on a zamboni, of course I do - it was Thursday!!!! Two days ago!!!!!!!
I mean - come on. Let's get some perspective here.
I remember where I was when some truly major events took place. When man first stepped on the moon, when Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assassinated, when the Iranian hostage crisis occurred, when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded, and when the Berlin Wall fell.
A hundred more things that happened in my lifetime, I remember vividly.
And two weeks, a year, a decade later - the date and time of the overdose of a talented yet terribly tortured musician who lived in a cocoon of self-indulgence and fantasy will not be among them.
I'm truly sorry that Michael died. And Farrah. And Ed McMahon.
And maybe a hundred thousand other people on the planet earth who didn't have a TV show or a hit record. I'm sorry for them as well.
Simply my opinion, of course. But there it is. Fire away.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
You know, I was once there on crutches - yes, crutches! And as I was exiting the elevator, a South American rugby team nearly dogpiled me. I swear! Strike me dead if I tell a lie."
"We'd cab from Potrero Hill to the Mark Hopkins or the Fairmont Crown - God, remember that one time we saw Bob Goulet staggering down the hall at the Fairmont when he was appearing in Camelot in the 1990s? Oh dear - that was so depressing - even more depressing than that 1972 black and mauve fleur-de-lis carpet he was about to vomit on. And that actual crown, dear - oh - tragic. Like some sad left over from a church revival of Gulliver's Travels."
"Anyway, then we'd taxi down to Izzy's Chop House in the Marina. You know, dear - where the Steak au Poivre was served with that delightful cream sauce and the creamed spinach? Oh my dear - it was simply to die for. And the waiters - you never SAW such wine knowledge. And they were oh so cute - and oh so amenable to a pinch or tickle."
"Dinner was usually followed by dessert in North Beach and a night cap at some corner bar off Broadway. Near Big Al's, you know? Right before the strip joints. Oh, it was magic. The seedy clientele mixing it up with the upper crust, topped by the man who stood on the traffic island and screamed at oncoming traffic. Oh - the memories."
"Oh my dear. The young today don't understand the concept of what it means to be 'seen' in society, you understand? "
"That's why today we continue to be so glamorous and in demand."
And yes - it's all true.
Or lavender - who knows?
Anyway - it turns out that a vigorous hot exfoliating shower and a good night's sleep with clean high thread-count sheets and a favorite blanket made all the difference in the world.
My hideous deformation has begun to ebb and I'm only occasionally forgetting not to tear my flesh from bone.
It's a beautiful morning, breezy and sunny.
It's going to be a fantastic day.
P.S. And a shout out to Lou over at The Quiet Life - hope you are feeling better and best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Monday, June 22, 2009
We had a fantastic time in Vermont - lots of great friends and family about. Got to spend time with some of the most wonderful people in our lives.
But I forgot one cardinal rule about me being in the Green Mountain State. Wear kevlar.
You'd think being as far north as we were, carnivorous bugs would be the least of our worries.
But, alas. It isn't so.
Mosquitoes, black flies and deer flies. These ravenous critters abound.
And I am their filet mignon. Their smorgasboard. Their $5.99 all-you-can eat buffet on the Vegas strip. There's something magical about my chemistry that brings 'em from all over the state.
I thought I was being cautious, but to no avail. I am covered in bumps and bites and lumps. I am itching like a madman and my limbs look like I've been hit with scattershot from a shotgun.
Not to mention, I came back to a full plate of work stuff.
I want nothing more right now than to crawl into bed with my tube of Benadryl cream and whimper softly.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Our once innocent, sprite-like and "off with the fairies" nephew and godson we didn't think would survive puberty, let alone graduate - is graduating high school. Now replete with a beard, shot-put record, thrash band, and a pair of snakeskin-patterned and **glittered** lycra pants that I made him promise he'd never wear again while I'm alive - he's ready to go make his mark on the world.
So - we're off to Morrisville, Vermont - the town so beautiful, it only has one postcard view. (and one traffic light - still....)
Morrisville - nestled along the mighty Lamoille River - the river that eats mens souls - stupid men who kayak between Johnson and Route 108, where the rapids are.
Yes, it's maple syrup and regulated liquor stores. Black flies and watching for moose at dusk again.
And it should be a phenomenally awesome time.
See you in a few, folks. Thanks for stopping by.
So - here's the thing. I may be stating the bleeding obvious, but I have a few issues with this. Let's explore:
- Okay - I personally don't get the whole tattoo craze thing - but if you like it and want to permanently decorate yourself with something that's going to look like fresh hell when you get old, go ahead! I support you.
- Don't tattoo your face. Only crazy people and musicians tattoo their faces. And hookers. Hookers on dope.
- Who SLEEPS through a tattooing session??!??! Are you narcoleptic? Do you randomly drift into slumber while some person with a sharp electric face poker needle thingie is repeatedly jabbing your face?
- Even if you are not a musical hooker on dope, don't you think that fact that YOU and the ARTIST who is about to repeatedly jab inked needles into your FACE during your nap DON'T EVEN SPEAK THE SAME LANGUAGE IS A PROBLEM!?!?!?
- I tried Babelfish for a while but can't seem to find a language to language translation turns "3 stars" into "please turn me into a circus freak."
- 56 stars. Tattoos. Needles. Damn, woman, you must have been tired.
- I guess musical hookers get pretty tired some times.
- Hey - she might have a future playing that animated musical hooker - Jem? Remember her? She was kinda cool, And had stars on her. Sometimes. And I think she was modeled after a foreign singer who actually might not be able to say "3 stars" in her language without being immediately anesthetized and scarred for life either.
- But she'd have to dye her hair pink. Let's hope her hairdresser speaks the same language. I can see it now:
"I'd like my hair dyed pink, please." (in foreign language of course)
(what stylist hears)"I am very tired and would like to nap in your attractive styling chair. While I slumber, please use your sharp implements to make me male."
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
New catch phrase: "Sweet Jesus in a coffee cup!"
Jerry Stolfi of Ravena, NY says the inside of his coffee mug appears to bear the image of Jesus wearing a crown of thorns. He says he hopes sharing his story will help others.
God on a Wheel!
"Excuse me sir, my margarine has an orifice."
in multiple languages. Let's begin.
"Entschuldigen Sie mich geehrter Herr, meine Margarine hat eine Öffnung."
"Scusilo signore, la mia margarina ha un orifizio."
"Excusez-moi monsieur, ma margarine a un orifice."
"Excuseer me de heer, heeft mijn margarine een opening."
"Извините меня господин, мой маргарин имеет отверстие."
"Excúseme sir, mi margarina tiene un orificio."
Translations and political correctness presumably provided by Yahoo Babelfish.
In assembling this piece. it has come to my attention that there is a shocking LACK of originality in the design of national flags. Upon closer examination, it appears that many countries have taken the easy way out and simply rotated or otherwise f*cked with the French flag.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
...no one has mentioned Susan Boyle in days.
Good news - she's begun her Britain's Got Talent tour to the tune of $164K a performance and has signed a $13M holiday CD recording deal.
Congratulations to the woman who finally made her dreams come true.
Susan - we love you. Now buy a bra.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Replica ships of the period, including a recreated Half Moon, Henry Hudson's famous sailing ship, docked at the Rondout Waterfront in Kingston. They spent the night there and are open to tours this morning.
Brian and I ventured down to check them out last night - and what a crowd! Fortunately, the worst traffic was during the day - and we went somewhere around 9:30 pm.
The boats were surprisingly small - but I guess in those days, function determined form. And things were pretty basic back in the day.
It was gratifying to see just how many people were interested in seeing these boats - attendance was amazing, according to local folks we talked to.
The flotilla began their journey in New York City and are sailing north to Albany as part of the multi-day event.
We didn't spend much time at the docks - being somewhat driven away by the "authentic folk music" (always a bad idea) being played full blast - but it was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience that puts in perspective the real-side of history.
Hey kids - what's more fun than poking a dead frog with a stick till it pops?
Ignorant white trash redneck outrage!! That's what! YAY!
Former Republican Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin. recently appeared at an Autism Awareness Fundraiser in New York. And I say, good on you, Sarah for using your popularity to help raise awareness of such an important issue.
However, StyleList.com had the absolute NERVE to comment on Ms. Palin's unfortunate choice of a "ghetto-fabulous" toe makeover. The treatment of her nails appears to have included orange-red nail polish and rhinestone 'bling' that she wore with open-toed shoes to better ensure that it would make the Baby Jesus cry.
Okay - personally, I have never heard of StyleList.com until now. They seem pretty innocuous and - in my opinion - a little vapid (Try Lindsay Lohan's Self-tanning method - what, do you smear heroin and orange Jell-o all over yourself?). Unless you dig taking quizzes about your nail polish preferences - " I prefer Bright and Perky!"
So given the rather low seismic impact of this site on the world in general, it's indicative of the fragile balance between order and chaos that we are currently seeing here in the US that the WINGNUTS ARE LOSING THEIR MINDS OVER THIS!
In among the toe-kink fetishists and the style Bambis who obviously missed the point - "Couldn't she find a pair of shoes THAT FIT?" - come the gun-totin', grammar-destroyin', spittle blowing, bad perm, chain-smoking, trailer-dwellin', scooter-pant wearin' PRIDE OF AMERICA.
And this has "what" to do with stylish Summer nails? At least Danafra5 mentions the topic at hand:
Palin in 2012.
Obama is Destroying America and needs to be stopped.
Who ever heard of so many Cazrs in This day and age, and in America? whats up with that?
Impeach this nazi wannabe and Bring back America to it's once Greatness.
GOD Bless America!
Why don't you get off Palins backside and get on that socialistic, muslim backside and that side kick wife of is. No
to scared to, but if he was white, brown he's just a man doing wrong, no GOD MAYBE a little demon . Whats wrong with you people, you got more to worry about then Palin's toes. YOUR FREEDOM, YOUR CHILDRENS FREEDOM and He doesn't even make a good Muslim letting his wife do the things she does.We need to get rid of some of these Senators who sataround for years just sucking up the honey.
Let the woman alone, let them wear what ever, they look good in it whether its Mrs President in her funky $588.00 T-Shoe or Palin's toe polish.
Personally, I'm betting we're going to see a lot more of the 'Palin Pedi' this Summer.
Just check out the WalMart, gun shop, trailer park or truck stop nearest you. And experience Summer 2009's hottest trend.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
For those of you outside of New York State - here's a not-so-quick update on why I am considering putting my head under a pillow and crying quietly until it's all over.
- in 2008, NY Democratic Governor Eliot Spitzer steps down after being indicted for utilizing the services of an exclusive and high-end prostitution service. Assistant Governor David Patterson ascends to role of Governor, becoming NY's first African American and visually impaired (legally blind) Governor
Long-time NY State Senate leader and anti-same-sex marriage Republican senator Joe Bruno steps down from the positions of Senate Majority Leader and "temporary president of the senate", but remains a State Senator until resigning in July 2008. In January, 2009, Bruno is indicted on eight counts of corruption, including mail and wire fraud.
- in 2008, New Yorkers elect a Democratic-led senate, breaking a 40-year regime of Republican rule
- from the beginning, trouble brews with the 'gang of three' (or 'four' - depending on which day you checked or which senator was under arrest or investigation) Democratic senators that holds the Democratic leadership hostage unless they a) are given positions of power and b) agree not to bring same sex marriage up in the session.
- Democrats move ahead and continue to employ the same shameful and secretive budget and decision making processes that made the Republicans infamous - punishing the Republicans
- Governor Paterson pushes for a same sex marriage equality bill to be introduced. It passes the state Assembly but Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith refuses to bring to the floor until he is sure it has the votes to pass.
- Gang of Three members become much more well known.
- Hiram Monserrate is under investigation for slashing his girlfriend in the face and then dragging her and beating her - which he claims was an "accident" despite being caught on security camera dragging his bleeding, screaming girlfriend out of the apartment.
- Pedro Espada, also known as the Bronx's "Teflon Pol" - stands accused of failing to file some 41 campaign reports since 2002, making it impossible to know how he raises, and spends, his campaign cash. The State Attorney General is also investigating whether Espada used a nonprofit he controls - Soundview Health Clinic - as a personal piggy bank for his campaigns. In 2005, six Soundview employees were convicted of misusing the clinic's taxpayer funds to aid campaigns for Espada and his son. Finally, , the Bronx district attorney is investigating allegations that Espada doesn't even live in his Bronx district, but instead beds down in another county entirely.
- Ruben Diaz, one of the most vociferous opponents of Malcolm Smith as Majority Leader - and seen by some as the most ready to flip to the Republican side. A vocal anti-gay conservative and evangelical minister, Diaz leads a protest on behalf of the Hispanic community against legalizing same sex marriage in New York.
Diaz becomes the opposition focal point of the same sex marriage debate - New Yorkers assume he will defect to the Republican side if the Gang of Three deal is broken.
- Vermont, New Hampshire, Iowa and Maine pass same-sex marriage legislation, joining Connecticut and Massachusetts. Washington DC passes a measure to recognize same sex marriages performed in other states.
- Same sex marriage bill sponsor Senator Tom Duane claims to have enough Democratic AND Republican signatures to pass bill; Malcolm Smith refuses to bring to floor.
(starting to sound interesting, right? well, hang on...)
- With just two weeks left in the session, two days ago, the Republican minority with the defection of Espada and Monserrate, retakes Republican control of the Senate through a procedural maneuver, leaving the Senate in chaos.
Breakaway senators claim to now have a bipartisan "coalition."
Same sex marriage opponents have a collective orgasm.
- Now, Gang of Three member and Democrat Pedro Espada is the Senate President in the newly Republican - led Senate.
And - as it turns out - Espada is the co-sponsor with Tom Duane on the same sex marriage bill. And he want to bring it to a vote before the session ends.
- Then news comes out that additional Democratic senators are ready to jump ship to the new coalition.
- Governor Paterson approaches Joe Bruno to gain his support (remember - anti same sex marriage Joe?) and to urge the Republican senators to support a same-sex marriage amendment.
- Bruno agrees (!?!??!!??!?) and publishes his supported statement, although he won't agree to calling senators one-on-one.
- Now - news breaks that bill sponsor Tom Duane has signaled he may join the coalition in order to get "the work of his lifetime" passed.
- And - OH THIS IS GOOD - little mister homophobe Ruben Diaz WAS NOT INVOLVED in the coup, apparently, and is now sticking with the Democrats in the minority with absolutely NO SAY SO as to whether a same sex marriage bill is introduced or not.
Ruben has been screwed, rode wet, hung out to dry AND - if there is a God - will shortly be on public view as he makes his walk of shame home from the encounter.
- And just today, the Governor has asked the Senate to reconvene to vote on just who the hell is in charge.
- And we're not done yet....
Jesus Christ on a biscuit, is anyone else tired? I know I am.
P.S. A disgruntled NY billionaire businessman helped orchestrate this entire coup from behind the scenes - forgot to mention that!
Stay tuned - this is only going to get better.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
But - I struggle on. Turning technically proficient people's English into real English.
And I've got six Cirque Du Soleil CD downloads playing on shuffle on my laptop.
Honestly, I'm sitting here staring at 600 or so assorted words that I am writing for people like this:
When in my mind...
Varekai is by far my favorite Cirque Du Soleil show. We saw it in Montreal when it premiered.
And I get totally lost in the vocals. Truly.
And the muscle-y flying hot twins are a nice touch.
I need to go find a geek to slap.
Saturday, June 06, 2009
This is not only applicable to racist remarks - it is also appropriate for sexist, ageist, homophobic and just about any kind of nasty bigoted or inappropriate comment.
Friday, June 05, 2009
Anyway, I thought I'd share a little of the beauty with you. Click 'em to see more detail!
So - to close out yet another busy week - please sit back, relax and enjoy my personal favorite operatic performance.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
I've always been "nasally-inclined," with a sharp sense of smell and - sometimes - hyper-violent reactions to odors (read: vomiting). I can only last about a minute in most cutesy home decor and candle shops before needing an exorcist.
I also have the stupid habit of jamming something right up to (and sometimes into) my nose when taking a whiff. This led to the infamous Glade air freshener/fainting/split forehead on office desk incident of 1987, which we don't discuss.
But I can lose myself for hours, sitting under a lilac bush, wandering a rose garden or nuzzling a wisteria. I just love gorgeous, fragrant flowers.
Beginning in February/March, when the gardening and home improvement stores start carrying potted hot house daffodils and hyacinths (my favorite!) to keep snow-blind and winter-weary Easterners from killing themselves as a result of cabin fever - a steady stream of hyacinths begins to appear on my desk and at my bedside.
Brian knows that - more than anything - I love to drift off to sleep with the heady aroma of flowers surrounding me.
As a floral designer for years, he never used to even notice the smell. Now he does and has come to appreciate my passion.
Our garden is packed with gorgeous flowers - the hothouse hyacinths of years past have joined the denizens of our gardens and now produce dozens of gorgeous hyacinths each Spring. Joining them in their scent-sual glory each year are magnolias, lilacs, tulips, daffodils, peonies, mock orange, autumn-blooming clematis, sages and bushy herbs.
We also seem to have cornered the market on David Austin roses - those lovely, cabbage-y old English roses. With scents so deep and so musky and so ... I'm at a loss for words. But they are beautiful and they are fragrant. At last count, I believe we have 17 Davids Austin roses on the property - plus another three tea roses.
So it's always a big deal when the first in-house arrangement arrives from our garden.
This year's first bedside arrangement consists of garden and pineapple sages; poppies; and Abraham Darby, Geoff Hamilton and Double Delight roses. (click photo to embiggen)
The desk arrangement feature garden sage; peonies; and Winchester Cathedral and Falstaff roses.
I have a ton of new garden photos to upload to Flickr. Ah well - as Scarlett O'Hara always said, there's always tomorrow.
'til then - don't forget to stop and smell the flowers!!
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Presenting 'Miss Colombia.'
How did our paths cross?
Well, in the summer of 2005, my parents flew in from Nebraska for a visit. Their first visit to New York and the Hudson Valley.
(I know - this is gonna be good, right??)
As part of their visit, we took a Hudson River cruise on the Rip Van Winkle - an exciting outing as evidenced by the joyous, happy smiling faces here.
This is my "I need vodka - stat!" face.
The reason my mother looks so wary is that as we were boarding the sparsely populated boat, a DayTop bus full of folks in rehab pulled up and began to get off the bus.
Among this group was a rather 'colorful' and majestic individual wearing a dazzling array of fabrics, laces and what appeared to be Koosh Balls, hanging from a homemade mantilla. The crewcut blond hair peeking out from underneath appeared to have been dotted with multiple colors of those round bingo markers.
A coterie of highly effeminate men circled and kowtowed and minced their way around this strangely regal figure - fawning and calling "Ooooh - Miss Colooombia!" Miss Colombia waved royally to the others on the boat and proceeded to hold court on the fantail.
The rest of the crew from the bus was a crazy all-sorts mix - from people you wouldn't look twice at on the street to a gentleman who resembled Jabba the Hut in a sleeveless t-shirt that read "Crystal Free Sex Pig."
Hence the look on my mother's face. Brian and I were required to flank her when seated.
The group itself was highly amusing. Mostly city folk - they were galvanized by the sight of a deer - gasping and reeling with wonder - on the manicured lawn of Golden Age mansion .
Not fascinated by the mansion, mind you. By the deer.
You'd have thought it was freaking Bigfoot.
Meanwhile, Brian and I gaped at an eagle circling overhead. My parents, overrun by eagles where they live apparently, were nonplussed. But they did enjoy watching the deer revival going on in the rear of the boat.
The handlers - er, chaperones - sat quietly, apparently enjoying the first peace they'd known in a while. The gentleman seated behind us in the photo opened a book which he used to deflect and shoo the others away, whapping them with it and saying "get away - shoo - go look at some sh*t."
Eventually, Miss Colombia sat - alone. Her mincing entourage - the Colombiettes - scattered.
She seemed forlorn and sad to be alone. It must be tough to go through rehabilitation while still projecting such a positive and regal and joyous demeanor.
I guiltily snapped the photo here - and I think I captured that sadness.
So, it does my heart good to know that Miss Colombia made it through. And she has once again found that joy and that self-esteem after surviving her ordeal.
Jeff's picture made me smile.
Miss Colombia is A-okay.
I can't wait to tell my parents.
I've been up since 6:30 - working away - responding to e-mails from other parts of the world that snuck in over night. Sneaky buggers...
I just went to refill my coffee cup and peeked into our room to make sure we didn't have any puppies requiring immediate attention - it's Brian's day off and everybody but me gets to sleep in today.
Here's what it looked like:
Our old dog, Sophie, and I were the only ones not snoring away. Well, actually Sophie was - she was just passed out on the guest room floor.
Ah well, lucky dogs all.
At least I can have a little more quiet - listening to the rain.
Monday, June 01, 2009
Here's the lovely quarter-sawn oak Mission server/sideboard we scored two weekends ago for a mere pittance.
Apologies for the quality of the image - I've had more digital camera anxiety over the last few days than I care to go into. Let's just say that "Sunny" at Eastman Kodak did not leave me overjoyed with my support experience.
Okay - now I'm angry again.
The server is in good shape - a couple small bubbles in the finish on top - a bit of a scrape on the lower shelf. But all in all, sturdy and quite lovely. And it's measure-made for the wall space next to the doors to the sun porch
We've never been much for pristine antiquities. Had we, I'd have expired from sleep deprivation long before now. ("Do you think the dogs are chewing on it?")