Saturday, June 30, 2012

Shirt Them A-Tear Up, Trousers Are Gone. Don't Wanna End Up Like Bonnie & Clyde.

Updated to add:  It turns out we were watching all this stuff while the rest of the Netflix using world was Netflix-less.  I'm pleased to live in a magic house.

Last night we gave Borgia another try, and frankly, I'm not loving it.  It's hard to follow and there's a bazillion characters speaking in whichever damned accent they feel like and there's nowhere near as much head-lopping as there is on Game of Thrones.  Meh.

So we decided to look for something light and frothy on Netflix and ended up watching The Rebound, which turned out to be a lot better than I expected.  It doesn't end up going exactly where you're expecting and it's quite entertaining while it gets there.  There's a blind date scene involving a Port-a-potty that's truly inspired.

Anyway, at one point, Desmond Dekker's Israelites shows up as background music and I remembered how much I always liked that song.  I also remembered that I had no idea what the lyrics were. (I was 8 years old when it came out and I'm sure I thought it was about Jews.)  Anyway, you can Google the lyrics if you want.  Otherwise, just enjoy.*

Oh, by the way, there are a bunch of covers out there, but this one by a Japanese group, The Ska Flames is too cool not to include.

*I looked for a live version, but they were either all cheesy, or they were TV lipsynced (out of sync), or they were part of much longer videos, so you're getting the one with audio only.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Morning Crop Report.

Parturient Peppers.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dr. Seuss Tree

Incipient Cucumber

And Future Tomatoes of America.

Not to mention...Incoming Iris! Oops! Latent Lily!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Monty Python Is My Life Coach.

Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle*
And this'll help things turn out for the best...

And...always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the light side of life...
                                                              -words and music by Eric Idle
 Occasionally, I'm reminded that I use this space to whine a lot. In fairness, I think my whining is mitigated by the common, frequent, quite a few, one or two examples of me finding the silver lining (no matter how thin). In that vein, let's talk about the weather.

According to those who know, it's about to be very hot here in NY for a few days.  If that graphic doesn't give you the idea of how hot it's going to be, let's try something a bit more visceral.  How hot is it going to be, Matthew?

Normally, I'd use this as an opportunity to bitch, moan, carp, kvetch, gripe, beef, grouse, bellyache, grumble, grouch, and et cetera, et cetera, but I'm not going to do that. I'm going to find the bright side!  So, steamy, hot, sizzling, oppressive do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.

1. It gives meteorologists something to get excited about.  The ones here haven't been so excited since the last Snowpocalypse (that didn't really materialize).  I swear; Al Roker was nearly peeing his pants this morning!

2. The humidity has some labor saving aspects.  Usually, after I get out of the shower, I grab a towel and I have to do a great deal of wiping all over my body to get it properly wet.  I'm confident that tomorrow morning, my towel will still be quite damp from this morning's efforts.

3.  Anent item 2, I will have the opportunity to conduct some ground breaking research into the benefits of mildew.  It's one of those things that really easy to produce and I'm sure there are some uses we've overlooked.

3. Anent item 3, it's already given me a reason to look up "anent".

4. Anent a number of spots above, the weather has already given my thesaurus** a workout.

5. Many recipes call for extended cooking times with moderate, moist heat.  I plan to put some meat in a covered pot in my backyard.  Without turning on the oven and further heating our kitchen, I should have a delicious meal waiting for me some time tomorrow evening.

6. Free Sauna!

7. Sauna is a funny word and can be pronounced in a number of amusing ways. Saw-Nuh. Sowwwww-Nah. Sah-Ooooo-Nuh.  I bet there's more.

8. Wrinkles will effortlessly fall from my clothes!

9. You can make the occurrence of "frying an egg on the sidewalk" videos into a drinking game.

10. The workmen making all that noise across the street from my house will either take a couple of days off because it's too hot, or they'll be sharing the hell they've been making of my life.  I can live with either.

There's no end to the benefits this heat wave is going to bring.  Feel free to point out some more that I may be overlooking.
*No matter how hard I've tried, I've never been able to learn to whistle.

**"What's another word for thesaurus?" - Steven Wright.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

And Then, The Goddamn Marching Band Showed Up.

So ... recently I was kvetching about how FUCKING NOISY IT IS HERE with all of the construction going on around us. And over the last week or so, the work has actually been moving closer and closer to our front windows and now it's LOUDER THAN IT'S EVER BEEN before.

But every night around 7ish, they break for lunch and we get a blessed 45 minutes or so of quiet before they start up again.  You know how your entire body unclenches when you know the dentist has finished drilling?  Well that's what it feels like when they stop breaking up the masonry with every power tool known to mankind.

Tonight, they stopped.  I was able to turn the volume on the TV down from 725 and hear it just fine.  Anon GF and I were able to converse from a distance of three feet without hollering.

It was bliss.

And then a FUCKING DRUM CORPS started playing right across the street.


 Now, I've gotta tell you, under normal circumstances, I'd have found this highly entertaining. An unusual occurrence breaking up the usual routine.  But these ARE NOT normal circumstances.

The constant hum of drilling and jackhammering and concrete rubble dropping down a three-story chute into a dumpster with excellent acoustic projecting characteristics may have me just a tad on edge.  Right now, the sound of giggling children is enough to make me want to throw puppies at the offenders.  A car driving by with a Brahms Concerto playing a little bit loud makes me homicidal. The gentle gurggling of my coffee maker brewing a pot would be enough to make me throw it out the window...if only I didn't need a cup of coffee first.

You know that thing about unicorns farting rose-scented rainbows and pooping fresh-from-the-oven cinnamon buns?  Well he'd better do it quietly near my house or I WILL BLOW THAT MOTHER FUCKER OUT OF THE SKY with a stinger missile right up his multi-colored sphincter!

It's just possible we're losing it here.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Are You The Keymaster? I Am Gozer!

If you're walking up Myrtle Avenue and you look down as you're crossing Washington Avenue, you'll see this key embedded in the asphalt.  This key has been driving me batshit for years now.

Did it belong to one of the guys repaving the street?  Did a couple have a fight and one of them tore the key off of his (or her) keyring and threw it there to solidify their breakup?
Did it fall out of someone's pocket moments before the Steam Roller squashed it into the pavement, never to be retrieved? (And what the hell do you call a steam roller these days since I haven't seen any steam powered vehicles lately?)

What did this key open?  Someone's front door? A padlock on a gate? A Treasure Box? 

Did the person who lost it ever discover its current whereabouts? Does he pass by frequently, thinking, "If only I could pry that key out of there I could open the treasure box Granny Esmerelda left me and then I'd be rich, rich, rich instead of delivering pizzas!"

Or maybe, if you could pry the key out, it would open something inside that manhole cover next to it.  Maybe it opens a portal to another dimension where...uh...STUFF HAPPENS!

The possibilities are really endless.

P.S. Guess where I was last night?
All I can say is that there were SEEKRETZ told and a bunch of SWEARING TO SILENZ and now I know stuff that you don't know and I'll NEVER TELL.  Except if that SWEARING TO SILENZ included a prohibition against admitting the very existence of SEEKRETZ, then I already blew it and I now have to lobotomize myself with a power tool or some other punishment of dire consequences.  If I start posting things with a complete absence of vowels, you'll know what happened.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

No Fruit For You.

We're surrounded by fruit trees and it doesn't do us a damned bit of good. 

One neighbor has a cherry tree that overhangs our yard.  Every year, it looks lovely when the cherry blossoms are in bloom.  Then the petals fall all over our patio -- in one big Whooompf -- and they're next to impossible to sweep up. (If it's dry out, they just fly around as you try to sweep them. If it rains, they weld themselves to the patio.)  I'm assuming all of those blossoms must produce some cherries, but I've seen roughly three of them.  Ever.

The same neighbor has a pear tree and part of that overhangs our yard too.  It gets totally loaded with pears every year.

I have no idea whether or not they're any good.  Before they get a chance to ripen, the squirrels get at them.  We tend to find a bunch of them on the ground with one squirrely bite taken out of each one. Here's one that made it all the way across the yard to our fire escape.

We've got a fig tree.
I like Fig Newtons. I've never even thought about making them.  I don't know what else has figs in it that I might like, but the figs usually get given to whichever neighborhood restaurant we want to be nice to us.

The neighbor on the other side has an apple tree.  Well, to be technical, the tree is two houses away, but 99% of the tree leans over the next-door neighbor's yard.

Again, I'm not sure what variety of apples these are, so I don't know whether or not they'd be any good. 

But it's a moot point.  1. Nobody can reach the apples.  2.  They tend to fall out of the tree before they're ripe.  3. They explode when they reach terminal velocity and hit the ground.  I'm not sure what causes them to fall -- could be wind, or squirrels.  Or vibrations from cars in Pennsylvania.  Of time travelers stepping on butterflies.

But that's not important. What's important is that they do fall.  Imagine you're hiding in a large iron pipe.  And imagine that someone is throwing hand grenades at the iron pipe at random intervals.  That's what it sounds like when the apples fall.

On the good side, for some odd reason, the squirrels allow us to keep any radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers we can grow.  And those are both reachable and really, really tasty.  It won't be long now before the first crop is ready.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I May Have Posted This Before, But...

It's funny and Marisa Tomei is way cuter than Dee Snider.
























Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Snail Edmund Hillary

"Because it's there!"*

At this rate, Dee is gonna be off the front page in no time flat.
*with profound apologies to George Mallory, who actually said it, but if I had named the snail after him you wouldn't have had a clue what I was talking about, would you?

Arrrrrgggggh! Arrrrrrgggggggh! Arrrrggggggghhhh!

As I mentioned, the post below this one MUST be moved off of my front page as soon as possible.  That image of Dee Snider haunts my dreams and bedevils my waking hours.

That image is, quite possibly, the reason for coinage of the phrase, "Kill It!  Kill It With Fire!"

So here's a post. I think it's taking up space quite admirably.

And apropos of nothing, I'd like to mention that a certain catchphrase had (mercifully) completely fallen out of my head until this morning.  Due to certain events in Australia yesterday,  IT'S BACK!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Trouble With Foreigners

I hate to sound like a jingoistic 'Murikin, but I seem to be running across issues with foreigners quite a bit lately.  It's not my fault.  They're coming here and stealing my sanity.

We'll start with the easy one.

Issue #1:

I keep seeing ads for the movie Rock of Ages which is opening in a week or so.  I have no idea who this movie is for.  First, there's the cast.  Aren't you supposed to cast people who are the age of the people they're portraying during the time period of the movie?  I suppose that's a quibble, but if you want to be creeped out by Dee Snider at his present age, you can watch this commercial.*

Edited to add 6/12/12: I find this image so horrifying and disturbing, I will be trying my damndest to put up enough new posts to move it off of my front page as quickly as possible.  Feel free to perceive that as a good or a bad thing.

Then, there's the music; The film will feature the music of Bon Jovi, Guns N' Roses, Def Leppard, Foreigner (I bet you were wondering about the "foreigner" connection, weren't you?),  Journey, Poison, Europe, and Twisted Sister.  Fine.  I realize these bands all had rabid followings in their day, but I'd hope that some of those fans would have seen the error of their ways in the intervening years. Hey, I loved The Archies, but then puberty set in.

The only thing that will redeem this movie for me is if we later discover that anyone who went to see it was transported to another dimension when they entered the theater and never heard from again.  I can live with herd-thinning that shows a profit.

Issue #2:

It's a bit of a paradox, but Americans are simply mesmerized by Royalty.  We fought a series of long and bloody wars to free ourselves from them, but we're strangely obsessed with them.  Granted, at the time, we were saddled with a King who spent part of his time issuing edicts that effected our daily lives and the rest of his time carrying on serious policy discussions with foliage.  Obviously, he had to go.   I suppose we've gotten the best of both worlds in the end; we get to watch pageantry and vicarious "living large" and somebody else pays for it.  It's fairly benign and nobody forces us pronounce our "zees" as those silly "zeds".

But secretly, we want to have a servants' wing and to need a golf cart to get from the Receiving Room to the Casual Dining Pavillion.  We want to be people who have no difficulty navigating the use of 27 items of cutlery at a single place setting.  We want to like sports where the spectators wear huge hats and volunteer to clean up horse shit between periods.  We want to "summer" with people named Mimsy and Kipton.

We want to have people cheering for us and paying us bucketloads of money for nothing more than having been born into the right family.

But do we really want people like that running the country.  I think not.  Ergo, I'm having major difficulties figuring out why Mitt Romney is polling so well?  That, and there's at least a touch of irony in the rabid anti-immigration crowd wanting to elect our first Mexican president. Or our first Unicorn president.

Which brings us to what actually got me going in the first place...

Issue #3: 

The people who live on the third floor next door are French.  They have a cat.  A Siamese cat.

A French fucking Siamese Cat!

(The actual cat is a big fat Siamese cat and I'm way too lazy to stage a stakeout merely to get pictures of him, so you're getting random internet cats as illustrations.)

 And the French fucking Siamese cat is an asshole.

 Le Chat Francais, Travis Bickle.

And the French fucking Siamese cat who is an an asshole in my backyard.

"Obtenez-moi une autre bière. Et frotter mes pieds pendant que vous y êtes."**

More specifically, the French fucking Siamese cat has decided that my backyard is its litter box.  And he keeps leaving me gifts of French Siamese shit.

I've tried yelling at him, but I don't speak French.  Or Siamese. (Which I suppose is actually Thai, these days. But I don't speak Thai either.  And I'm not a huge fan of Thai food either, so this is doubly, triply, quadrupally vexing.)

I saw somewhere that cats will leave their shits unburied as an aggressive display of territoriality, so I took one of LuLu's shits*** and plopped it on top of the area where the DoucheCat has been leaving deposits.  Moments later, DoucheCat came over the fence and pissed on the LuLu shit.

I'm going to blow up this picture and post it in the backyard. It seems like something a French Siamese cat might understand.

*I'm also offended by this commercial because it's done so badly.  Couldn't the director get Dee to look like he was actually head-banging a bit.  The sound track has him screaming the lyric and he looks like he's crooning sweet (horrifying) nothings into that woman's ear.

**"Get me another beer.  And rub my feet while you're at it."

***LuLu is the most pungent of our cats, so she got elected.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Insufferably Pleased With Myself.

Anon GF and I like to watch Jeopardy and a few years ago, I developed a delightful quirk annoying habit.  When Alex announces the category for Final Jeopardy, I holler out what I believe will be the answer.  Anon GF loves has, so far refrained from throwing anything at me when I do this.

Who is James Fenimore Cooper!!?!

What is Zip-a-dee-doo-dah?!!?

Who are the Kardashians!?!?
Needless to say the odds of me ever being right have always been fairly slim.  So, last night, the category shows up --

Women in Entertainment

...and I holler, "Who is Lillian Gish"?  

As usual, Anon GF rolls her eyes and ignores me.

But I wasn't done yet. I said, "'s gonna be that woman who started United Artists with Douglas Fairbanks.  Who was that?  Oh, MARY PICKFORD!"

Anon GF said, "If you ever get one of these right, there's gonna be no living with you."

Fade back in from commercial and Alex reveals the clue -- ONE OF TWO WOMEN TO BE THE FIRST OWNERS OF MOVIE STUDIOS.


And just for extra points, I knew that Lucille Ball was the other one!

I really think Alex should be recruiting me for the show instead of making me take that damned test over and over again.