Wednesday, January 31, 2007

For Faster Pain Relief...

 
I wonder if there are any herbal remedies that could be ingested the same way. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What I'm Reading These Days




Non-fiction:




Some will be especially appalled to know that I gave my Dad a copy of this book for Christmas.
Maybe I'll post later about what I think of the book, as I read more of it.
In the meantime, enjoy these splendid jpgs.

Tuesday Talkback

There is so much to moan about, and so much to talk back to.

"People, this is not the Indy 500. We live in Cleveland. There's snow, there's ice. Please slow down. Drive safe, drive smart and save lives." - Perry

We live in Cleveland. You live in Perry. They don't pass out potassium iodide pills in my neighborhood.

"Where did that slogan 'Best Location in the Nation' come from? Best location for what? Getting shot, robbed, raped, home foreclosures and taxed to death? - Parma

The Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company is credited with coming up with the slogan. No mention as to CEI's contribution in leading to the city's default in the late 70s. I think it is one of those sing-songy little phrases that are both cloying and untrue, like "Jesus is the reason for the season."

"What's up with the extra volume on all the network shows? The noise pollution is unbearable. If you turn off the sound, you'll enjoy the show much better." - No city

Turn down the sound? And miss slurring Paula? Nasty Simon? Bob Saget encouraging slightly camera aware Americans to "take the mob"? Howie Mandel egging on people who are obviously bad at math? Ummm, yeah, maybe you're right.

"Stop naming cars with numbers and letters. It's ridiculous." - Strongsville

Yeah.. bring back the Edsel! And the Pinto! But if I hear that "I live on the Edge" commercial one more time, I might kill. Boy is that a fugly car, and no matter how bad ass you make it sound, it looks like a Windstar with a thyroid problem. And when Ford does try the number thing, it can't get that right either: Ford Five Hundred. Not Ford 500. But Five Hundred. Bah, the names of their cars are the least of Ford's problems.

"As far as the two college students who sneaked into the OSU game, they have already received their punishment by getting into the game and having to watch the beating that OSU took." - North Ridgeville

And the people who paid good money to get in... what, they should receive a refund?

"Why don't people or companies identify themselves? It would be correct for them to do that before they start asking the question." - Euclid

Sounds like someone's been getting collection calls in Euclid...

"My moan is funeral homes that don't give discounts to seniors." - Berea

HA! Seriously? All seniors die eventually -- not like they need to give discounts to attract people into the idea of it. Don't give me that "living on a fixed income" line -- you're dead and you can't take it with you.

"Why do so many people, including the media, use the phrase 'waiting on' when they mean 'waiting for?' Waiting on is what the wait staff does in a restaurant." - Cleveland

I've thought about this, and I think I figured out the answer. Think about all the people in America who, at some point in their lives, worked at McDonald's. I read somewhere once that more Americans have McDonald's in the work histories than any other company. And what do you hear them yell behind the counter whenever there is a missing part of an order? Waiting on a Big Mac. Waiting on a six piece. Waiting on a large fry. And usually it is directed to whoever is making that item -- to let them know that you need to get that thing to me yesterday. So, it is something you take with you when you leave. People still say that. I say it. And still use teriyaki sauce when I grill onions, just like I learned when I would make the Cheddar Melt.

"Why are some of the restaurants upping their prices when the minimum wage hasn't even gone in yet? - North Royalton

The new minimum wage went into effect on January 1. Why did the PD even run this?

"With all the concern with United States dependence on foreign oil, why isn't there equal concern about United States businesses dependent on Chinese labor?" - Brook Park

Because the terrorists on those planes weren't Chinese. And because we could get our labor elsewhere. Interesting that you would say "Chinese labor" and not "foreign labor."

"I think we need to hire new people to take care of the Ohio lottery because the ones taking care of it now are doing a very lousy job. I don't like their show and I don't like their new game." - Cleveland

And if the lottery were more effective, it would fleece more from the poor. I can't get worked up over the lottery not fleecing more poor.

"I'm tired of reading about what may, might, should or probably will happen, in Iraq. Just keep quiet until something does happen." - Akron

You just want the death count? Or do you just want to stick your head in the sand and wait to be told that the mission has been accomplished (again)? The leading issue of the day, and you are tired of hearing about it. How selfish. I normally don't go running around telling people "you don't support the troops," but I will make an exception for you.

"One would wonder how safe our banks are when one can get away with embezzling $40 million." - Middleburg Heights

It amazes me how Keybank got burned like this again. It wasn't the first time.

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Blog Links

I updated my "Blogs I Enjoy" list.  Long overdue.  If you haven't posted to your blog in a long time, I took it down from my list.  If you start blogging again, let me know, I'll put your blog back.  And if you want added -- just let me know.
 
Also I reverted to blog titles -- instead of your first names.  Although some of you blog under your first name, so you won't notice a change there.
 
I have also reordered some of them.  My reordering is quite arbitrary -- so don't look for any significance to it.  There isn't any.
 

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Gina Ventre Published

Gina's short story, Prom, has been published.  Read more HERE.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Wisdom from Andy Griffith

Due Process of law? What do you mean we can't bug private conversations? We need an Andy Griffith to slap down the present administration. Or is Andy Griffith just a bunch of liberal nonsense? Yeah, that's probably it.

Kenny Chesney -- to hell with that

Dear Cleveland Browns:
 
I am a Browns Season Ticket holder.
 
I like to get emails about BROWNS events and SPORTS events at Browns stadium.  If there is a concert event, and we've had too few of them -- ONE FLIPPIN EMAIL ABOUT IT WOULD BE ENOUGH.
 
If I never see another email about the Kenny Chesney presale it will be too soon.
 
STOP IT!
 

Fwd: REMINDER: Exclusive Kenny Chesney Presale Tomorrow!

Christ, they just won't let up!  A thousand times, no!!!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Cleveland Browns < Browns@browns.ed10.net>
Date: Jan 26, 2007 10:32 AM
Subject: REMINDER: Exclusive Kenny Chesney Presale Tomorrow!
To: [audient]
To view this email through your web browser, please click here.
Cleveland Browns ePlaybook Instant Update

Saturday, July 14th - Kenny Chesney Live!

The Kenny Chesney Flip Flop Summer Tour 2007 makes a stop at Cleveland Browns Stadium on July 14, and as one of our most valued customers and loyal fans, the Cleveland Browns want to offer you the opportunity to purchase tickets for the concert during a special online presale period.
 
Tomorrow morning, Saturday, January 27, the following URL and password will allow you to purchase tickets for the concert.
 
URL: http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/05003E31F60F816D
Password: STIX07
 
This presale period runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. that day.
 
Ticket prices for the show are $96.50 for floor seating, $89.50 for club and lower level seating, and $59.50 for upper level seating.  ADA seating is available in each price category.  There is a maximum of 6 tickets per purchase.  The Cleveland Browns welcome Visa cards.   Click here to view a seating chart.  
 
In the meantime, feel free to contact the Fan Squad at (440) 824-6284, toll free (888) 891-1999 or via e-mail at fansquad@clevelandbrowns.com if you have any questions.


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--
http://audientfiles.blogspot.com/

The Once and Future GLV

Gina has moved her blog.  Or renamed her URL, more specifically, and with that, changed the name of her blog.  Move, rename, what the dif?   
 
I guess this means I really need to update my blogroll now, which has fallen into quite disrepair.  People who no longer blog will be moved down the list or removed entirely.  I have other blogs (like Jenny's) that I need to add the new URL for, and just haven't. 
 

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Why Do the Browns Think Their Fans Are a Bunch of Dumb Hicks?

I keep getting emails from the Browns giving me the password to the presale to the Kenny Chesney Concert at Cleveland Browns Stadium this July. 
 
Why do they think I care?  Indeed, why do they keep bringing in hilljacks to sing the national anthem at Browns games?  There is nothing that grates on my ear more than some twangy hillbilly that can't sing a straight note warbling his or her way through the national anthem.  Last time I checked, Cleveland was still north of the Mason-Dixon line, and this is the so-called Rock-n-Roll capital of the world. 
 
Singing the anthem straight, with no modulation, is a real challenge, and only the best singers can do it.  People who jazz it up do so because that is the only way they can sing it.
 
But I digress.
 
If you want to see Kenny Chesney, down below is the link and password to participate in the gawdawful presale.  You know, when U2 came to town, they didn't get to play at Cleveland Browns Stadium, but Kenny Chesney does.  Why is that? 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Cleveland Browns <Browns@browns.ed10.net>
Date: Jan 25, 2007 3:50 PM
Subject: Kenny Chesney Ticket Information!
To: [audient]

 
To view this email through your web browser, please click here.
Cleveland Browns ePlaybook Instant Update

Saturday, July 14th - Kenny Chesney Live!

The Kenny Chesney Flip Flop Summer Tour 2007 makes a stop at Cleveland Browns Stadium on July 14, and as one of our most valued customers and loyal fans, the Cleveland Browns want to offer you the opportunity to purchase tickets for the concert during a special online presale period.
 
On the morning of Saturday, January 27, the following URL and password will allow you to purchase tickets for the concert.
 
URL: http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/05003E31F60F816D
Password: STIX07
 
This presale period runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. that day.
 
Ticket prices for the show are $96.50 for floor seating, $89.50 for club and lower level seating, and $59.50 for upper level seating.  ADA seating is available in each price category.  There is a maximum of 6 tickets per purchase.  The Cleveland Browns welcome Visa cards.   Click here to view a seating chart.  
 
In the meantime, feel free to contact the Fan Squad at (440) 824-6284, toll free (888) 891-1999 or via e-mail at fansquad@clevelandbrowns.com if you have any questions.


Fan Squad Footer

To ensure that you continue to receive your e-Mails from the Cleveland Browns, please add _Browns@browns.ed10.net to your Address Book or Safe List. Thank you. For help with this click here.

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Cleveland Browns - 76 Lou Groza Blvd. - Berea, OH - 44017.
Purchase a Browns Pink Hat Home NewsTeam TicketsGame Day FansMultimedia CommunityPromotions EventsTeam Shop Fan Squad logo

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I Really Can't Stand That Guy, But Here Is...

...A compelling argument for taking the Kucinich presidential campaign seriously. 
 


 

Cat as Room Decor

I did not have him stuffed and mounted, honest!




Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tuesday Talkback

Another Monday Moaning, another Tuesday Talkback.

"Every time I go to the I-X Center for a show, there is never any hot water in the rest rooms to wash your hands. Where is the health department?" - Cleveland

The health department is in Parma. But that said, I recall filling out a survey card at the I-X Center a few years ago. The card set forth the question, "what would you like to see at the I-X Center in the future?" I wrote, "a runway."

"To Channel 5, who broke into live programming every 15 minutes blocking out the entire coverage of the Golden Globes, only to show and tell us about a very light snow and wet roads. This is not breaking news and you are not the Weather Channel." - Chardon

Chardon moaner is hardcore. She doesn't need Channel 5 to tell her it is snowing. She has a window, and she lives in Chardon -- where it is news if it isn't snowing.

"If they're going to raise the sewer prices that much for the work that needs to be done, I don't expect any of these city employees standing around leaning on a shovel or sitting on their butts or in their trucks all the time. I'll report every one of them." - Parma

As if they'll care. But have fun with that.

"Cuyahoga Falls wants a downtown lifestyle center. I will sell you all of downtown Cleveland for a buck. I know it's way overpriced at a buck, but I'm willing to part with it." - Cleveland

It may seem like a bargain for a buck, but don't forget the three important factors in real estate: location, location, location.

"Why do we need to buy two and three of an item to take advantage of manufacturers coupons anymore? Or to try a product for the first time?" - Seven Hills

You don't need to buy anything. I pick on Parma too much and Seven Hills not enough, I think.

"I'm glad gas prices are going down. Now we will have money to pay for orange juice. I'm sorry there is a freeze in California, but why is the juice on the shelves now jumping so much in price?" - Maple Heights

If you are experienced with the replacement cost method of pricing used by the gas stations, then an immediate spike in the price of orange juice should not surprise you. The rules of supply and demand -- these were taught to me in elementary school. Did you think they'd let all the available OJ sell at the old prices if the supply has really (or even seemingly) been reduced? Hahahahahaha.

"The city of Mayfield Heights is allowing new office buildings on Lander Road, but they don't do anything about the ugly-looking Mayland shopping center." - Mayfield Heights

Office buildings and shopping centers. Apples and oranges. Or maybe that's dead California oranges and living Brazilian oranges.

"Senators reach a deal on lobbying. Lobbying is the embryo of greed in our government. Shame on you, Mr. Senator. Here we go again." - Hudson

"Lobbying the embryo of greed..." I am not sure about that. (Probably an abortion joke in here.) Isn't it more like the spermatazoan? Or the fertilizer? Or the tapeworm? Yeah, I like that. Lobbying is the tapeworm of government, sucking out precious nutrients. Or maybe that's the Iraq war. (Bah, should have gone with an abortion joke.)

"Am I the only person who is totally irritated at the $1.50 charge to call 411 to get a number? It's one thing if you're too lazy to pick up your local phone book, but if it's a number you can't get any other way." - Maple Heights

No, but are you are only person left who would rather call 411 than look up the number on the internet? Oh, you don't have the internet? Fine then. But the occasional buck-fifty a number isn't much compared to even low cost dial-up access (and the cost of a computer). Besides, if the number isn't in the phone book, you just shouldn't bother. Who do you need to call so badly that they are not in the phone book? New business? Really? The only new businesses out your way are at that methane leaking shopping center, and it doesn't sound like anyone should want to set foot anywhere near that thing.

"What is the purpose of a Golden Buckeye card? I have yet to find a store that honors it." - South Euclid

You've got it all wrong – the Golden Buckeye card is for older adults, not adult orientated businesses. No one at the Executive's Den wants your card. Note that it is also for (and by) people who can't spell.

"Channel 3, 5, 8 and 19 all claim to be the official school closing network. Who bestowed this upon them and who is the real one?" - Brook Park

Who wants to be responsible for being the official cause of closing down a school? Maybe these networks should move out to the Heights and explain to the parents at Coventry school why it is being closed....

"With the recent kidnappings going on, whatever happened to the Lindbergh law? I thought that was enacted years ago when they got the person definitely responsible, they were automatically executed. I think they need to bring that back." - Cleveland

Automatic execution? Maybe you should go to Iraq if you want to see such a swift brand of "justice." Your recollection of the Lindbergh Law seems a bit off.

"Why do people feel the need to crowd around an ATM when someone else is using it? Can't they just back off and wait until the person is finished, instead of looking over their shoulder." - Olmsted Township

You've got a deal – just so long as you stop trying to complete Wall Street mergers from the ATM terminal. Get your money, and get out of the way. There are these people who appear to be balancing their checkbook while standing there ... now where is that Lindbergh law?

Labels:

Monday, January 22, 2007

A Monday Moan of My Own

A pet peeve, anyway...
 
...Is when I call someone's house to leave them a message. 
 
The person who picks up and answers says "____ isn't here right now." 
 
I ask if I may leave a message. 
 
Uh-huh, he says. 
 
I clearly speak my name. 
 
Uh-huh, he says. 
 
Then I say, "and my phone number is --"
 
Hold on, I need to get a pen... he says.
 
(NOW you need a pen?)

Lizard Party

Saturday night, Gina and I attended the Winking Lizard World Tour of Beers party at Thistledown. It was a well planned and entertaining event. I had not completed a World Tour since 2002, so it had been awhile since I had attended such a party.

Tourists from four different locations were the guests of this party. There was an excellent buffet which included ribs, pot roast, mac-n-cheese, chicken parm, jumbalya, caesar salad and more. And the draft Labatt and Hoegaarten was included as well.

Entertainment was provided by the Spazmatics, whom I had never heard before, but whose set of 80s covers and silly ubergeek costumes made for good fun, even if they were maybe a little too loud from where we were seated for dinner. They did an excellent job of faithfully reproducing both new wave and hair band hits. (oldies? can I call 80s rock oldies now?)

There were several doorprizes, of which I won one: a gift certificate to Great Lakes Brewing Company. When my name was called over the loudspeakers, apparently Carmen heard it as well. And not too long after, Carmen located Gina and me and sat with us for awhile and chatted. Carmen told us all about how the Spazmatics are a franchised or licensed band, and that there are other bands by the same name in other cities. I had heard of such a thing in theory, but never had seen one up close. Seeing Carmen by pure chance was great fun, and really made a good night out a great one.

There was a separate room with separate buffet for people who wanted to do the off track betting. We never got over there ourselves.

On the way out, there were tables of glassware being put out for the taking -- various pint glasses and the like from past beers of the months and others. I took a few glasses, included two Unibrou belgian style beer glasses, since that is one style of glass I have next to none of.

Next year's tour jacket is actually a jean jacket. Nice for what it is, but I think I'll skip the tour this year. I don't really see me completing two tours two years in a row, especially when I had to play catch up in December to finish it. Maybe in 2008, we'll see.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Beefy Vegan

Spotted yesterday at the Cornell parking garage at UH:


A vegan with a Volkswagen Beetle -- no big surprise. But...




!!!

Love it.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

PSLs for sale

I've put mine up for sale HERE on Craigslist.  I don't expect anyone to bite.  The Browns suck, have sucked, and they are just going to keep on sucking. 
 
And when they stop sucking, I'll watch them on my 3-D holographic television with my elderly bionic eyes.

The Power of Lard

Nowadays, most of us need someone
To run our personal life
Someone to see that
The plants are watered,
Someone to make sure the place is clean,
Someone to make sure dinner is waiting,
Someone to call for theatre tickets,
Someone to make up those cheap excuses

What we need is...Lard...
The country right now just wants to be
Soothed, and told it doesn't have to pay or
Sacrifice or learn
No one is over the hill
When the mountain comes to Mohammed

We love to eat
We love to pray
Mold over mind
Hooray!
 
--Jello Biafra

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Waiting...

Three very anticipated CDs for release this Spring...
 
Marillion - Somewhere Else -- this is the album for which we'll be attending the listening party in New York next month.
 
Porcupine Tree - Fear of a Blank Planet -- "The album features six (mostly lengthy) tracks, and is the band's most ambitious and cohesive work to date. ... The lyrical content of the song-cycle on the album is a 21st century cocktail of MTV, sex, prescription drugs, video games, the internet, terminal boredom, and subsequent escape."
 
Rush - Snakes and Arrows (working title) -- Interviews with Neil Peart have stated that religion in America will be the primary lyrical topic.

Tuesday Talkback

They moan, and I talk back. They don't give it rest, so why should I?

"Let's give the Browns' management a message. Let's quit filling the stadium by buying so many tickets. Then they'll get the message, and I'm betting they'll improve the team. As long as they're making money, there's no incentive for them." - Middleburg Heights

An inspired idea, except for one small detail: Personal Seat Licenses. Most season ticket holders had to purchase PSLs in order to acquire the right to buy season tickets. The trick is that if you ever fail to renew your season tickets, you lose your PSLs -- and the thousands you spent to acquire those PSLs is gone too. Yes, you can sell your PSLs, but anyone who would buy them must turn around and buy the tickets in order to keep the seats.

Maybe what I will do is write a letter to the Browns, and offer to sell them back my PSLs for the going rate. And when they write me back to decline the offer, I can then say, A-HA, you admit that you don't want to go watch these awful games either! Somehow, it is less satisfying.

"With so few live TV shows from Cleveland, it's a shame that Channel 8 scheduled its new program the same time as Channel 3." - Rocky River

I just can't get worked up over this. Doesn't every local station have local news at 6pm? And if this new show is at some other hour, what's the big deal? If you really want to watch them both, get a TiVo -- and hope that no one ever looks at your "Now Playing" list to learn what a dork you really are.

"The thieves that would stoop so low as to steal a little girl's playhouse. She wants to know, 'Why would God let anybody steal my playhouse?' " - Massillon

Children in India and children in New Orleans whose real homes were washed away also want to know why God would allow the little girl in Massilon to lose her playhouse.

"The Cavs brought excitement to Cleveland, but seniors and people who can't afford cable can't enjoy the games on TV." - Bedford

If you cannot afford cable TV, then maybe your time is better spent doing something other than watching millionaire athletes playing a children's game.

"The women who think that walking around with no stockings and high heels and dress shoes is fashionable. It's tacky-looking. What if men decided to walk around with no socks and dress shoes?" - Highland Heights

Then the Miami Vice would be back in style, finally!

"All the manufacturers and/or dealers used to adjust the headlights on a car before it was sold. Why don't they do it anymore? Night driving would be a lot more comfortable." - Rocky River

Ah, another moan about the lost art of headlight adjustment. I can't speak for all cars, but there are knobs on my headlights that allow me to make my own adjustments. Just park the car with the lights on facing a wall, and adjust away!

"I can't understand how my news paper delivery person manages to leave a card with his name and address before Christmas, but never acknowledges or gives thanks for the gift." - Maple Heights

Why do you suppose the PD prints a moan like this? To somehow scold the independent contractors who deliver their paper?

"With Dennis running for president and OSU losing the game, what else is there to moan about?" - Berea

Well, so far we are still moaning about headlights, going without socks, money, ingratitude, and how God could be so unfair to one little girl who lost her house. No, I'm sorry, her playhouse.

"For those municipalities that are unaware that the American flag should be flown at half staff for a period of 30 days when any U.S. president dies." - Brook Park

OK, who blew that one? I haven't seen any flags not at half staff.

"How is it that the government can charge the veterans $8 (soon to be $9) for a 30-day supply of generic drugs, when any veteran who goes to Marc's or Wal-Mart or Giant Eagle can get them for $4?" - Strongsville

Overhead. Also, the government doesn't believe in "loss-leaders." Though they've got "losing leader" covered.

"I guess it's easier for the city of Cleveland to stick it to the little guy at $100 a pop for 'red light' cameras, than collect legitimate parking taxes from businesses who can afford it." - Cleveland

The message is clear either way -- come to Cleveland, and we'll stick it to you.

"The obscenity of continuing this war is knowing its ultimate failure, and driving through the stop sign." - Bay Village

Perhaps Cleveland could put a camera on it, and fine the president $100...?

"When you buy a product at Best Buy with an extended warranty, they want you to keep the receipt. However, in that time period, the printing on the receipt fades away so that it can barely be read." - Hudson

Anyone who buys an extended warranty from Best Buy is a sucker.

"Now that the Ohio lottery is getting rid of the Lot'O Play, they should plan on getting rid of the Make me famous, Make me rich game. It is absolutely the worst." - Strongsville

I've never played the game, and I don't know how it works. But this much I know. If being famous or rich is your goal, then know that no one else will make you famous or rich. You have to do it for yourself.

Labels:

Monday, January 15, 2007

Renewal

Yesterday Gina and I resumed work on a project I abandoned some time ago -- restoration of the master bedroom.  I have been sleeping the guest room since I moved into my house, except for maybe the first couple of nights.  The previous inspired but misguided color selections for the walls and ceiling have been changed.  Still makes a statement, but a much nicer one.  Thank you, Martha Stewart.
 
While we worked, we had the small TV rolled out into the hallway so we could listen to the football games.  Is anyone really surprised that Marty Shottenheimer choked again?  I really hoped that he'd throw the monkey off his back this year, but not even having LT on his team was enough. 
 
On Saturday, we went out for sushi with BMac and AG at Shinano.  Sushi in a strip mall may sound questionable -- but I think it is some of the best sushi around, and I've been to all the bigger places in town.  I am not knocking the other places at all.  Just that Shinano on Wilson Mills by the mall is fantastic, and not that well known.  People rave about Shuhei, Ginza, Sushi Rock, Sushi on the Square, etc.  Shinano is at least as good as any of them, and may be better.  The volcano roll was fantastic -- they brought that out first, and we all enjoyed it.  It was served warm, with scallops, roe, octopus and spicy mayo.  And everyone enjoyed the unagi (eel) nigiri sushi.  Not that you can't get eel elsewhere, but their's was just perfect.
 

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Where did my blog go?

Is it back yet?

Friday, January 12, 2007

Spam, spam, Kristen and Spam

OK, just for Kristen, I have turned off word verification. So, if she is so inclined, she can comment on my blog with her Sidekick, which for some odd reason, cannot handle word verification.

But if the Spam starts flying, word veri is back on. And then it will be too bad for you Bloeser.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Barcelona

The Barcelona exhibit just ended at the Cleveland Museum of Art on January 7.  It was a really good exhibit, your loss if you did not make it out.  The exhibit did a fine job of reflecting the intellectual and artistic rise of the city, and the downward turn it took at the point of the Spanish Civil War.  Works by Picasso, Gaudi, Dali and others were on display.
 
Gina and I went, together with Gina's mom and Gina's sister, Giovanna.  The art museum is a little bit of a mess, what with all of the new construction.  Since it has been closed in its entirety for awhile, I allowed my museum membership to lapse.  I renewed it when we went to the exhibit on Saturday, December 30.
 
Saturday at the art museum over the holiday was busy.  Which is no surprise.  We had to wait in line for about a half an hour just to be let into the exhibit area.  That is not a complaint, not by any means.  I would rather the museum regulate the number of people going in so you aren't all crawling all over each other once you are in.  Still, it was not without its waits for certain pieces of art, and as long as people remain courteous, this is no problem.
 
And that is the rub, for you see, it isn't easy for some people to be courteous of others.  Indeed, I think it may be contrary to their very being. 
 
As we were leaving the room with the Gaudi exhibit, there was a rather loud and snooty know-it-all voice that was entering the room.  And as he hollered his nonsense, I just hoped that he would stay far enough behind me so as not to disrupt my viewing of the art.
 
But this was not to be.
 
Gina and I waited in line to see a particular Dali.  This one.  And we waited patiently for others to view and enjoy -- after all, there is so much to look at when looking at Dali's surrealist work.
 
And that is when the loud pretentious voice, once disembodied, barged right in front of us, wearing his tan pants and brown tweed jacket.  And he informed Gina and me quite authoritatively that we had to step aside, because he had a group of about thirty-five people here to see the Dali, and we could resume our viewing "in about 10 minutes."  As if we hadn't paid to be there, hadn't waited patiently in line to view the painting, and had somehow less of a right to view it at this very moment.  And indeed, we apparently did have less of a right, for just as I was about to tell him that no, he and his people could wait in line just like everyone else, I spotted his Cleveland Museum of Art ID badge on the lanyard draped around his pencil neck.  So, Gina and I stepped aside ... but no more than about three feet.
 
Having already suffered this fool's lack of couth, I decided to stick around to see if perhaps he would at least have something enlightening to say.  Instead he yammered pedantically about Freud and Oedipus -- as if only an art history major would know who they were!  And he spoke down to his little crowd as if they too had never heard of them, and would never have spotted the Freudian symbolism of the painting if he had not led their little piggie faces to the trough of his psuedo-intellectual slop.  
 
When he was finally finished, he asked if anyone had any questions.  I looked at Gina, and said:
 
When you majored in art history, did you minor in being an asshole, or did you develop that skill elsewhere?
 
Gina gave me a little punch -- as if to disapprove, but only a little.  Perhaps because I didn't say it quite loud enough for Mr. Pretentious Pencilneck to hear me.  And if I didn't say it louder, it was only because I didn't quite feel ready to cause such a scene in front of my future mother-in-law -- who by now was in the room.
 
There was not much exhibit left after this point -- but I heard this Mr. PP droning on and on through the rest of the exhibit, and it was enough to inspire me to write a little comment about it in the comment book at the end of the tour.  Well, a rather lengthy comment actually, that we all paid to be there, and that if you are going to take tours of people through like this, don't be rude about it.  Because as much as I enjoyed the exhibit, and support the musuem, it did leave a bad taste in my mouth.  Bad enough that here I am, almost two weeks later, writing about it.
 
I am awaiting my renewal membership card in the mail.  Perhaps I will take that opportunity to let someone at the museum know that they ought to review their policy and practice regarding this, and change it. 

Nordica

I am eating Nordica Cottage Cheese for lunch.  It is awfully good.  They don't sell it in Ohio -- or at least not in Cleveland.  No, I picked this up the last time I was in Pennsylvania. 
 
It just tastes better than other cottage cheese.  I can't tell you why.  But it does.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Marillion Listening Party

I won!

My name was drawn for the pre-release listening party of Marillion's new album, Somewhere Else.

I got this email from the band's management today:

Congratulations!

You have won a place for you and one friend to attend the advance listening party for the new Marillion album 'Somewhere Else'.

This will take place from 6.30pm on Saturday 24th February

The albumplayback will take place at around 7.30pm. The event will finish at10.00pm but you probably won't have to leave until the bar closes later!

Steve Rothery and Pete Trewavas will be present for you to chat to after thealbum playback and may even play a couple of songs!
At:
Kenny's Castaways
157 Bleeker Street
New York NY 10012
(212) 979-9762
http://kennyscastawaysnyc.com

Please email me to confirm that you will be attending and also let me know the name of the guests that you are bringing. Feel free to bring cameras etc but we would ask (and will enforce) that you don't record the new album when it's played - we don't want this uploaded to the internet! Best wishes and wish I was coming!

Lucy x


I'm excited! I'll be taking Gina, and we'll be making a weekend of it.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Tuesday Talkback (Gator-bait Edition)

Buckeyes fans have plenty to moan about this morning. I'm not what I'd call a college football fan. Sure, I was hoping the Bucks would win, but mostly because so many other people I knew were rooting for OSU.

Last night's game reminded me why I prefer NFL football over college football. In the NFL, you have to play tough every week. Every team is a contender. In college, the elite teams play schedules that are padded with all sorts of lesser opponents. The only team of any consequence that Ohio State had to play this year was Michigan, and Michigan put up a good fight. Texas, it turned out, was just a shadow of its former self. So, despite being number #1 from the preseason to the national championship game, OSU went down in a game in which they were completely and shockingly outplayed. Even Gators fans bought into the hype -- the ones who thought their team would win thought it would be close. 41-14 is not close. 14 points is what Brady Quinn's "pathetic" Notre Dame squad put up against LSU. And Heisman winner Troy Smith scrambled, fumbled, got sacked and was intercepted like the second coming of Charlie Frye. I guess he passes his audition for the Browns, huh?

Seriously, there are going to be a lot of long faces around town today.

So, here are a few other moaners from around town, I'm still going to talk back to some of them.

"All of our young soldiers are dying for Iraqi freedom, yet we support communism by buying all the products made in China." - Medina

Does this pass off for deep thinking? You can find a wide range of opinions on why we went to Iraq and why we are still in Iraq, but I challenge you to find anyone who would say that the reason we are in Iraq is to fight communism. Even Bush hasn't tried that one yet.

"The morning special at our local restaurant increased by 20 percent. However, the minimum wage boost my grandson got still allows him to buy me breakfast." - Brecksville

You cheap old coot. You live in Brecksville, and you make your minimum wage earning grandson buy your breakfast?

"To the person that found my coin purse at an East Side license bureau really caused me a big inconvenience. It was OK to keep the money, but I wish you had returned my personal papers. I'm 83 years old and I'm really in a bind. Shame on you." - No city

Who keeps personal papers in a coin purse? How would they even fit? Did you wad up your social security card in a little ball? You are in bind, when you don't even know what city you're calling from.

"And I'm telling you, that second TD by the Gators -- he was down!" - Table 6, The Winking Lizard (Coventry)

Ohhhhhh...

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Seasons End

Thinking about how glad I am to have paid for snow removal service this year... easy money for the plow driver so far this winter.

For those of you reading this from far away -- it is 48 degrees Fahrenheit right this minute here in Cleveland, and weather.com forecasts a high of 52 degrees. We didn't have any snow for the holidays, not that I am complaining. And while one unseasonably warm winter is not proof positive of global warming, any more than one especially cold and snowy winter disproves it, the following song is still on my mind...

Getting close to seasons end
I heard somebody say
That it might never snow again
In England

Snow flakes in a new-born fist
Sledging on a hill
Are these things we'll never see
In England

We'll tell our children's children why
We grew so tall and reached so high
We left our footprints in the earth
And punched a hole right through the sky

We'll tell them how we changed the world
And how we tamed the sea
And seasons they will never know
In England

So watch the old world melt away
A loss regrets could never mend
You never miss it till it's gone
So say goodbye, say goodbye

We'll tell our children's children why
We grew so tall and reached so high
You never miss it till it's gone
So say goodbye, say goodbye
To seasons end

-- John Helmer

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Morning After I Met Her

You can only hope to someday meet someone with whom time just stops. You can sit there for hours and talk and be together and not realize it has been hours. And then when she is gone, she is all you can think about until you see her again. There is an intensity, a passion. A sense of mutuality. A sense that one complements and completes the other. A sense that you could never grow tired of the other. A sense that now that you know of the other's existence, you could hardly bear living without each other.

I have met someone.

We met through mutual friends. We started to chat online. We agreed to meet up -- and you never know how that will turn out. Having things to say on AIM is not the same as being able to converse.

But the AIM paled to the fireworks that was our conversation.

We met at a little restaurant we both knew in Ohio City. It would be familiar ground to us both. We would both be in our element. And were we ever.

We drank a pitcher of mojitos and ordered dinner. We talked about our lives, our dreams, our goals, our desires. We finished dinner and spoke of the need to walk off the drinks. We were soon holding hands, fingers interlocked. We walked by the brewery, and heard the sound of jazz. She was beautiful, more beautiful than I imagined, even though I had seen pictures. In the shadows of the old warehouses, we created our own light. By the glow of streetlights we walked and touched and held each other close. Even though we had both been to this same party months ago, somehow we didn't meet, or maybe we just didn't connect then. But last night, I felt inside of me a feeling I had long forgotten. The feeling you get when you've met someone simply breathtaking. By that I mean, I think sometimes I forgot to breathe. And this one time, I think maybe she feels the same about me. It was intense as if I had never felt it before, and was feeling it now for the very first time.

Real life is far more complicated. Real life is dirty underwear on the floor, mowing the lawn, paying the bills. Real life is a drag. I should know better than to be enamored by someone beautiful when we've both put forward only our best foot. The man she met last night is the man I like to think I am. Smooth, assured, witty, erudite, confident. And last night, she was ... pure magic. She took my breath away...yeah, I said that already. And I would give her my heart. I would give her whatever it took to win her heart. And what the hell will we both do if we accomplish that?

I should know better. I am too old for this. I should know better. But this feeling. I had never fallen in love at first sight. I always used to think the very idea was foolish and impossible.

We told each other we had a wonderful time. I kissed her on the cheek. She said we must do this again soon. Yes, we must. How can we not. There is no other way. Inconceivable.

Ghost of a Chance

Like a million little doorways
All the choices we made
All the stages we passed through
All the roles we played
For so many different directions
Our separate paths might have turned
With every door that we opened
Every bridge that we burned

Somehow we find each other
Through all that masquerade
Somehow we found each other
Somehow we have stayed
In a state of grace

I don't believe in destiny
Or the guiding hand of fate
I don't believe in forever
Or love as a mystical state
I don't believe in the stars or the planets
Or angels watching from above
But I believe there's a ghost of a chance we can find someone to love
And make it last...

-- Neil Peart

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

2006 was full of highs and lows, but the biggest high for me -- without question -- was meeting and falling in love with Gina.

Over the holidays we made a big announcement to the family and friends we saw at the events we attended -- one that should make 2007 an even bigger year for the two of us. We can't tell anyone to save a date just yet, but we are looking at this summer.

It will be an easygoing and casual event. No limos or tuxes or dresses that are worn just once. More like Hawaiian shirts and shorts, and maybe a little cookout in the park. That sort of thing. A summertime cookout with a brief ceremony.

We haven't known each other that long, but from the moment we met, it was as if we had always known each other. Is that cliche? It also happens to be true. We have something that I didn't believe was really possible, not for me anyway. I never looked at her and thought, "I could marry her if ______." I only thought, "what are we waiting for?"