Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Mixing of Socks and Chandeliers

The only reason I mention the dark green sock dangling off the chandelier in our foyer is that it may be a fire hazard.

Tom and/or Sophie managed to perch the sock up there after brunch on Sunday. They took all the socks out of the ski clothes bin in the upstairs hallway and lobbed them one by one over the banister. Their stinky missiles were aimed at Sophie's mommy and me. We were minding our own business downstairs when the maelstrom of fuzzy socks rained down upon us.

The sock on the chandelier is the single POW captured during the skirmish. Hopefully it won't ignite the whole house.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Here on the B-List

Our neighbor across the street, once an ambulance-chasing lawyer, recently metamorphosed himself into a beautiful black-robed judge. The governor appointed him to the bench after some political hobnobbing paid off.

The invite was engraved. Lovely. Said to RSVP by January 18, but we only got the invite on the 19th.

Oh yes. Fillin' up the room with the B-listers. We certainly weren't imperious enough to not go. Never know when a judge will come in handy. Plus I wanted to nibble on rich hors d'vours with all the lawyers in their lighthearted "not-guilty" embroidered ties and scales of justice cufflinks.

It was delightful. Even if the judge's wife did ask us about the plastic rocket hothouse in our front lawn. I will have to take over some of my homegrown tomatos this year.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Pros and Cons of Kicking Your Own Ass

The somersaults she makes us do in jujitsu class at the YMCA froth my brain juices into a turbulent swirl of the vomitious dizzies. I only do maybe one somersault instead of the required three for warm up.

My sensai is on to me.

She says to the whole class that if we cheat we're only hurting ourselves but my piece of the mat gets the brunt of her stink eye.

One day when I puke all over her foot she'll know I was doing it for her own safety.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Music Review:: Louis XIV || Hot Hot Heat || Editors at Terminal 5

After the most logistically advanced night of my music review career involving late-night car services to places named Armonk NY, a La Quinta Inn, and three people from my office who picked me up at an ungodly hour on the way to Connecticut for a full-on business pitch Friday AM, I have successfully returned to tell my tale.

Terminal 5, the new venue on 56th & 11th, is much more solid in the way of structural underpinnings than the ramshackle fire traps in the East Village where the floors undulate after the music starts and the crowd gets bouncy. I'm a fan of cement underfoot... but kinda missed downtown's sleazy old world charm.

Two levels of balconies provide ample viewing angles for punctual ticket-holders who capture barstools up front. Linda and I salmoned around under them on the main floor. We sandwiched ourselves about fifteen feet off stage left in between a muscular black dude and some bitch who kept bludgeoning me with her enormous handbag.

Louis XIV played a peppy fun to watch set, despite their black and white outfits and matching black and white instruments. It was like staring at a pack of musical oreos. Linda remarked their music lacked intrigue. Even with the cello and the violin and the piano and the boys cheerful likability, the songs had a thinness about them. Kind of like the hollow ring of a half-empty keg of beer.

Hot Hot Heat achieved memorable with a flamboyant carrot-topped front man in impossibly tight jeans. The first time he squatted down underneath his keyboard I crossed my fingers there'd be some dicey denim-rending fleshy stage action. That would be something you don't see everyday at an indie music event. Except nothing happened and my wonder turned to what the hell is he doing down there under his keyboard? Snacking was the only thing I could come up with.

The music was good. A little small for the cavernous venue and bordering on semi-sloppy from a They Weren't Exactly "Tight" angle... but diverse and well crafted. I will purchase their new album. I dig their groove.



As soon as The Editors appeared on stage with their massive lights and massive sound, you immediately realized how big big is. They filled up every spidery space in the room and in your brain. Until the Uni-Song phenomenon kicked in and individual tunes coagulated into one fuzzy mass and you teetered on the edge of bored.

The only track that stands out is Lights. And maybe Munich. I would lodge both inside more of my playlists except their mp3s were recorded at such a screeching volume it would be a safety risk. Did you know more people go to the emergency room each year from blown eardrums than from chainsaw accidents?

The Editors have a solid following, including the requisite fat girl on the second-floor balcony mouthing every lyric with great emotion. I overheard a coolster compare the band to Interpol. True, both bands have rockin' bass players and a thing for Joy Division, but Interpol graduated and the Editors are in eighth grade.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

New Toilet Paper Holder Ready for Action



Over the weekend, I pounded out the finishing touches on the new toilet paper holder. It is not placed exactly where I wanted because we had to find a stud. Iron is a weighty substance.

My toilet paper holder is made from 1" x 1/2" hotrolled bar stock. It took me two days to hammer it down to 1/2" x 1/2" round in the middle there.

The average blacksmith strikes the anvil 1000 times in 4 hours, according to this dude named Randy I met at the Pig Iron Pig Roast. Randy mainly consisted of bicepts.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

You Can't Say You Don't Like It If You Never Tried It: Tom Discusses his Camping Opinion Credentials

"I don't want to go camping."

"No that's not true. I have gone camping before, so I am allowed to say I don't like camping. Growing up, every summer I went to summer camp."

"I hiked on the Appalachian Trail with the Boy Scouts. I mean the Indian Guides."

"I'm practically crunchy."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My Two Days as a Hells Angel

I became a Hells Angel as soon as I careened over a speedbump and knocked off a pipe under my car I now classify as one of the "Important Pipes."

I didn't look much different, but looks can be deceiving. You could hear the roaring sputtering fracas that became my vehicle coming for about ten miles. Which seemed like twenty miles because it took me so long to arrive. My speedometer topped out at 50 due to the major hitch in my giddyup.

I drove the whole way home on County Route 202 given my fear of getting shot driving 50 mph on I-287. I flashed my gang sign to all the bikers I passed except there were mainly SUVs and four-door sedans given this is créme de la suburbia.

When my guy at the garage told me he needed to order a part from Brooklyn so I should come back tomorrow, I said that it was a good thing I drove a decrepit VW bug in the 80s and was thus skilled in the art called Barely Making It Over a Hill By Getting A Running Start and Flooring It.

You should be happy to know I'm reformed. My wild days of mad chopper disorder are over. And it only cost me $324.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Deplorability of Taking Down the Christmas Tree in a Timely Fashion

Tom took out the Christmas tree today. For the first time in five years, we'll be on time for curbside pick up. Generally we wait until right around Easter.

I feel terrible about it. We have betrayed our tree. I strive to make sure the tree knows it did not die for short-term frivolity. But Tom isn't a big fan of my Long Haul Three Months of Tree Plan. He whipped our poor conifer outside in a very stealthy fashion. The only reason I figured out what he'd been up to was the conspicuous and lengthy trail of pine needles.

Sometimes I think about not getting a tree at all, but then I drive by one of the roadside stands on Christmas Eve and see all the homeless trees forlornly lined up out there under the cold grey sky. Condemned to die without ever completing their mission. We have to save at least one tree from such a woebegone fate! Plus they smell really good.

So we wait until the last minute and take home one of the orphan trees. We decorate it and say nice things about it and hope it feels fulfilled when it realizes its days of service have come to an end and we're going to put it out with the trash.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Cardiologist Fires Patient for Rampant Inquisitiveness : An Investigative Report

Working himself into a kerkuffle, Noel H Ballentine MD fires my dad, his patient, for allegedly asking far too many questions. The good doctor does not appreciate reckless meddling into the status of one's own health.

Proving he's no bedside chatterbot, Dr. Ballentine avoids more annoying "discussion" by doing the firing over email:
I am thinking at this point that I am not the right doctor for [you]. I do not feel trusted, or appreciated. I think it is time for [you] to find another physician ...

Then Dr. Ballentine and his crazy fightin' fingers really go wild west:
It would be my strong suggestion that [you] find a practice other than [the Hershey Medical Center]. I would not want to be in the position of having to cover for another physician in the future.

Let me boldly paraphrase: "This enormous hospital ain't big enough for the both of us. Since I work here, you need to get the hell out of dodge."

My pop, never one to back down from a fist fight, writes a rebuttal email counter-firing Dr. Ballentine. Pop says he doesn't feel comfortable going to a physician who possesses such low self-esteem, and/or who is so frequently remonstrated that he immediately construes questions as mistrustful attacks.

The story has a happy ironically twisted ending.

Dr. Ballentine failed to notice some heavy-duty aortic stenosis that showed up on pop's lab report. He let my dad travel to the remote outback of Alaska. Where Dad uneventfully passed out a few times.

Luckily, Pop made it home alive and paid a visit to a new doctor. Who took one look at the earlier lab report and immediately snapped my dad's ass to the hospital for a lifesaving valve replacement.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happida New Year!

Right in the middle of left foot yellow, Suzanne turned on a lightening elbow slam that knocked me ass over teakettle. It was the only reason I didn't win the Twister semi-finals over at Michael and Lynnie's on New Year's.

The evening was a grand affair. King crab legs, the tender loins of beef, some tasty lentils and an excellent playlist. No sauerkraut. Which I swear is lucky to eat on New Year's day, although no one believes me.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Who Brung Ya?

Xmas Gift Wrapped In Nixon Paper 02

Let me boldly suggest my beloved Grammy is thrifty. And a talented packrat. Witness exhibit A: one package from Christmas 2007 wrapped in newspaper from April 30, 1975.