Progress

There is no real good reason for posting this.  At least I don’t think.   I could have told you where (roughly) I came out on the scale without ever actually taking the 40 question quiz.  Not only that, I swear I have taken and posted something like this before, but with over 180 posts that could be determined ‘political’ it was too hard to find.

With 126 unaccounted for points – it seems that the term ‘very progressive’ would be overstating it, unless if you got to 400 they just branded you a Sandinista.

Most of the questions are clear cut, but sometimes the phrasing of it made me carefully chose my answer(s).   If the word ‘always’ or ‘never’ appeared, I wasn’t so quick to pick the number I initially might have, so I tempered my level of agreement.


I could not find a way to embed this sucker into the blog, so all you get above is a .jpg of my score.   However, if you would like to take your own quiz of this – you can get to it by going here.

Song by: Laurie Anderson

Weather Channel

If February and March ’09 teaches me anything, it will be to not be too hasty with posting my Site of the Month during the first week of the each month.  Some months I struggle to find one that is even palatable enough to throw up here.  And yes, you can all make the argument that none of them are, and you might be correct.

Shortly after posting my February one, I found the one for March…and had to hold on to it for another four weeks.   Ditto for March – except I had an additional two.  And now I decided I cannot wait until April or May to bring you one of them.  I just can’t.  I’m like a frickin’ kid at the holidays!

The internets have brought us Weather, WeatherBug and even NOAA for you hardcore atmospheric buffs and cumulus cloud fans.

FINALLY, they have come up with a site that I can relate to: The Fucking Weather.

A site where  you put in the zip code and it tells it like it is.   You do have to deal with an apostrophe situation, but if you can get past that, you are golden!

The site also gives you some helpful hints to deal with your weather situation, though they are in a much much smaller font.

….now you just have to wait two more weeks or so for my April Site of the Month, though I know I should hold out at least one week into said month to post it, less I forget the lessons of February and March.   Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.


Song by:  Sheryl Crow

Shower the People

I noticed from day one, but there is an art to the gym locker room. Mostly the shower. 99% the shower.

I have been in communal locker rooms before, and there probably is an overriding theme to how things work, or should work, in getting in and out without any…………issues.  Nor is there a spoken directive on this.  Someone made it so and others, like lemmings, follow.  Myself included.  Eventually.

For the life of me, I do not remember this being a concern in the dorms. Granted, there were a limited number of people who lived on my side of the hall (it was broken into two wings), and then factor in times of the day guys showered…..blah blah blah. I would say, nine times out of ten I never encountered another Park Hall resident there. Ditto with my fraternity.

Of course, let’s not discount that some note got passed around room to room, that said not to be in the shower with me at the same time. Anything is possible.

Maybe now I am hyper-aware of my surroundings.

The actual locker room proves no difficulty. Technically, neither does the shower, so maybe that is the wrong word to use.

There is a shower area and apparently a drying off area. The two activities, apparently should not mix. Who knew? Not me. Not the first two or three times I was there. Not that anyone said anything to me. One just notices the flow of how things are done.

At home, I dry myself off in the shower. I like it that way….and let’s face it, I have a pattern. I have self-diagnosed OCD. I have to have it my way. But this isn’t home – even if I now shower at the gym more often than I do at my domicile.

The showers at the gym are open, which I guess is fine – as long as you don’t have any privacy issues. And while I don’t, I somewhat worry that others might. There are pseudo-partitions that separate one shower area from the other, but they are all of 12″ deep and hide nothing from the person next to you – and even less if the other showeree (it could be a word!) is across from you.

My dilemma? What to stick out while soaping up? My front or my back? What do people want to, or not want to, see? I thought about taking a survey, but that might just look like I’m coming on to them.

I tend to face in when I shower, but when lathering, mainly the legs, that exposes parts of me some might rather not see, especially when I bend over to do the shin/calf areas. And they are parts I don’t really want to show off and make me feel a bit umm….vulnerable. But then if you turn me around and I show off Blobby Jr., it is something in which others might not want to see (though really – who wouldn’t want to see that!).

Yes folks, this is what I think about four times per week (five this week, if you include this blog post). I guess it keeps me from seeming like I’m a perv to notice how other guys do it. I’m not looking to get kicked out of the gym for lewd behaviour. Just trying to do the right thing here.

Which brings me to other things I find are a no-no, but where the OCD kicks in. I shave in the shower. The face people, the face!

I have yet to see anyone else do this, but I do. I’m not lingering. Just shaving.  I do this at home and in hotels.  I am not an at-the-sink kind of shaver.  I use soap and not shaving cream.  It’s all part of routine.

Last but not least is the drying off. The first days I dried off right there in the shower area. I think somehow knew immediately that I breached protocol. Unknowingly, for sure – but ignorance of the law does not exempt one from breaking it.

However, to get to the drying area, you walk past the door to the locker room which has some kind of blower on it and makes you fuckin’ freeze to death. It is kind of amazing they don’t have a gym full of flu victims.

Now I go grab my towel and do the nelly run past the cold stream of air just to towel off.  Just so I don’t do anything one of the normal guys would consider “fruity”.


They say working-out is just as tough mentally as physically.  I just didn’t think it would be due to all of this stuff.

Song by: James Taylor

She’s No Lady, She’s My Wife

Let’s face something right now: I probably would not have even started a blog if it weren’t for Rebecca.

I won’t go as far as to say she made me to it, but she encouraged me to and I love that I caved to her wishes. She also got me to join Twitter and helped goad me into that entire Facebook vortex (George’s description, not mine – though he is 100% correct).

If she has her way (and Jon too), and I get a new MacBook, you might see vlogs here. MIGHT. That is months away, unless my PowerBook gets hit by space debris falling to earth.

Morty, Jon and Dith get some exposure here, but Rebecca probably gets a bit more. I don’t mean to play favourites, but she does have a novel (!) and actually has provided me with some great bits to use here.

I waited for a few days for her to post this – but she didn’t, so I am claiming it as my own – though it is totally hers. Except for the writing and posting part. She provided the link. But really, that is about 67% of it – right?

It is nice to see that lesbians don’t have it all together, like they are usually portrayed. It is usually us pansies that get the bad rap for homosexuality. We put things in places they allegedly do not belong. I mean, except for Morty George.

You can certainly read the article, but I’ll just tell you now the highlights are:  lady same sex marriage, getting ‘all liquored up’, brother’s semen, turkey baster, and attempted forced insemination.

Whooo-hooooo.  Liquor in the Front, Gamblin’ out Back!!!!

Seriously, how tragic…….and yet hilarious.   Yet I’m sure come election time, it will be a reason for the Right to campaign to repeal same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.

And as it turns out, this is a post Becky could have never written.  She lives to close to this, what I can only assume is a double-wide.  Those “gals” could come over and do some major damage to her if they ever found her.

I’m assuming they’d hold her down and draw some new eyebrows on her as their revenge.

Song by: Lyle Lovett

Hard Times

How much tougher can this economy get?

GM. Circuit City. Madoff. U2 selling only 484,000 copies of their shiteous new disk in a week. The horror of it all!

Now word on the Street is that Mr. Hooper, Gordon and gang are cutting 20% of their staff. Yes, the folks on Sesame Street are getting the axe.

I guess Mr. Hooper doesn’t really have to worry, as he’s been taking the big dirt nap for a decade or two now. I have no idea if Gordo and Susan are even still on the show. They must be grandparents by now, no? And what has become of Bob McGrath?

Not that they are asking for one, but if the Children’s Television Workshop ever asked for a bailout, it should be turned down. Flat. No one on that block ever pulled their weight

To be fair, after Hooper died, the only one on that block who had a job was my personal favourite, Grover.

Oh, Grover might not have been the most competent waiter – but he tried. It’s more than I can say for the rest of them.

Where did Cookie Monster get cash for his habit? Maybe that’s why he always stole his sweets? And while I love the Count – just counting things isn’t a job, unless you are a mathematician. I don’t think he was.

Of course, they were frivolous with the clumsy waiter who would always drop the 10 banana cream pies…..or whatever the sponsor number of the show might have been that day. But on a daily basis, they lost tons of food due to waiter error. Not Grover.

I’m not even going near Ernie & Burt. Two confirmed bachelors, sharing expenses with their disposable incomes are rarely affected by such an economic downturn. Too bad Mr. Noodle’s brother, Mr. Noodle died a few years back. I’m sure he’s turning in his grave.

The only one not feeling a change of course would be Oscar. He’s already used to living on the street and eating scraps.

Elmo however, can rot in hell.


Song by: Emmylou Harris

Album of the Month – Classic

Another installment of a disk I have enjoyed over the years. I’m trying to keep the Record of the Month posts to be fairly new releases. Classics are going to be ones that are at least 5 years old.


There are not too many artists (if any) the likes of Gillian Welch.  In the big scheme of things, she is fairly unique.

Parts folk, bluegrass, hill music and all talent.   She and partner David Rawlings put together their most cohesive disk with Time (the revelator).

‘Spare’ is the best adjective I can think of for the album.   The music is stripped down to its most basic, but that makes it no less appealing.   It brings out and shows off the talent of Welch and Rawlings.

Welch is an incredible songwriter and can translate those from paper to tape….or probably computer these days.  Maybe tape back in 2001.

The title track is without a doubt my favourite on the disk.  It is almost a shame that it leads off the set, as it could make it hard for others to live up to it.  The good new is, the rest of the songs are equally as strong.

“April the 14th, pt 1”, “Elvis Presley Blues”, “Everything is Free” and “I Dream a Highway” are all stand-outs, but the rest ain’t filler.

While not a household name, nor probably ever will be – she has achieved commercial success in the ways of compilations and songwriting – performing on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack and writing the title track for Alison Krauss + Union Station’s New Favorite.

Granted this music will not appeal to everyone, but even those who might not buy it I think can appreciate the talent there that the two possess.  I really have found myself liking bluegrass and folk music, so it works for me.

I will say this, months after I bought this and someone stole a number of disks out of my hotel room – it was the first one I went out and replaced.  Yeah, it’s that good.

Mr. Sandman

I have this friend, Sal. Honest.

He’s not like lame sitcom dialogue, in “I have this “friend”, way.” He’s an honest to g-d living, breathing, human being. He lives in Philly. So maybe he’s not “living”. For g-d’s sake, he lives in a town that has a National League team! ewww.

Anyhoo, we were talking the other night and he starts laughing. Like many of us do while on the phone, he was multi-tasking. With Sal, that means going on-line to look for…well…..some might call them ‘dates’. Most would call it, a ‘hook-up’ or ‘bootie call’ or something.

Let’s call it what it is;  he was cruising on-line.

I know which site he was on, but won’t reference it here. Let’s just say there are legitimate aspects to said site – not that finding tail isn’t a legitimate aspect. But they have articles and information about lots of things. But that’s not what Sal was looking for/at.

So why was he laughing? Because of this profile:

Visit me in upstate NY expenses paid-jerk me off with pliers, sandpaper, and steel wool, burn my dick, beat my balls, and ream my pee hole with an electric drill, send a private message!!

Allllllllllllllllrighty.

Actually, Sal had me laughing so hard reading it, I made him promise to copy the text and email it to me – which is why and how you have it right this very second.

At first I thought he was making it up, but really – who could do that? It fell off his tongue too easily to be fabricated on the spot. Our conversation deteriorated right into me asking him to ask the guy what grade of sandpaper would he require. Sal shot back with, Palm, Orbital or Belt? He actually sent the guy a message – to which the guy did not seem to get the question. Or the joke.

There were some things about fiberglass too – on our end. Well, we thought it was funny. Maybe it had just been a long day.

So, naturally I knew this would end up here eventually, but I shared it with my trusted email group beforehand. It ran the gamut of comments actually. Jon had the best worst ones – ones I am not willing to share here. Let’s say he gave me the same initial reaction I had when Sal read me the posting: to cross my legs and cover my genitalia.

If my sex life is vanilla, so be it. I don’t need a Brillo pad or a Dewalt power drill to spice things up. Why anyone would wanted to do that to their schwing-schwong is beyond me.

Dity of course, cursed us for our conversation. Not because of the graphic nature, but because Gooooogle started sending her ads that said www.aaabrasives.com/catalog . If you haven’t noticed, Yahoo, Google and the likes will tailor their ads to what you’re writing or reading. It is so 1984.

Anyway, back to Sal’s potential suitor:

On one hand the ad is completely sick and twisted. But on the other, it is an all expense paid trip!


Song by: Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton & Emmylou Harris

Ice

Becky already posted her picture that she took on our way to lunch the other day. Now, you have mine. (as always, click to enlarge)

It seemed funnier when I took it. Becky liked the chin hair on the gal guy.   Of course we would have liked it to say:  Feathers. Sequins.  Plunging Necklines.  …and then there are the women’s outfits.

But you work with what you’ve got – and nothing says “men’s” skating like “attitude”.  Style goes without saying!

Song by: Sarah McLachlan

Rodeo

Believe it or not this has nothing to do with ropin’, ridin’, and whatever else one might do at a rodeo, save staring at cowboys in chaps.

But no, this has nothing to do with that either.

My sister (or one of them, I should say), is selling their Isuzu Rodeo via Craigslist. A side note: 12 years or so ago I had one of those trucks too – and it was one of the best vehicles I ever owned. I should have kept it.

Neither here nor there though. This is one of the responses she got back from her ad. You actually have to click on the image for it to embiggens. I don’t think you can read it otherwise.

Names & email addresses have been changed to protect the innocent…..or the weird.


I got the email from her right before having lunch with Becky and Andrew on Saturday. I passed the iPhone around the table and we laughed and laughed.

My response back to my sister was:  hold out for a 12-gauge.


Song by: Garth Brooks

Old Friend

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of dining with world state county famous author, Rebecca Flowers.  She being in town for her father’s birthday; me just being in town for my every day.  She is one of my oldest (not in age) friends….and one of the best.

Becky was staying a posh-like hotel that had little air conditioning and no cold water – just scalding. This is how the rich and famous live apparently. It is a life I’ll never know, as we can’t seem to get more than tepid water from our spouts. But I do imagine getting 2nd degree burns while trying to brush your teeth in that environment.

Becca had to remind me that we had stayed in that same hotel before. Morty, Becky, Dith and myself. I had totally forgotten. I remember being at her parents, then mine, while Becky was at a wedding reception at the country club where my parents belonged (did you follow all that?). Naturally after that we ended up at a gay bar. Those poor girls and what they had to endure for and with Morty and myself.

I remember Morty being drunk (duh) and putting a dollar down some random guy’s pants – and me going back in and retrieving it.

Poor Mr. Becky, just sitting there listening to this story while we tried to eat our lunch.

Oh – there were other stories too. Houston. New Orleans. New York. Even Dallas, a trip of which I was not apart (“nice car!” “yes, you mentioned that last night!”). Mr. Becky said he wished he had some of these experiences, but that is the talk of a crazy man.

Then we went into who had the more crazy family – her or me.  I think it was a draw – for different reasons.

Becky’s husband is great and I really liked him from the moment I met him.  Her kids are great too.  Four is extremely cute these days.   I got to see her parents too and wished her father a happy day.  Even after five hours together, I still got to beat a path out of there without encountering all I may have had to.

Yes, I’m being vague here and sorry for that.  Sometimes it is a necessary.  It will speak to some, but not to most.  I apologize.

Becky did another podcast that is coming out at some point.  The host asked her about the blogs she reads and mine was mentioned specifically.   I don’t know if it will make the edit for the actual podcast, but if and when it does, you know damned sure I’ll post it here.

We took a few pics too, but none of them are that great.  By the time we got to pic #4 we both decided we were trying too hard and just stopped.

Song by: Loudon Wainwright III