Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Internet Is For Porn

Came home early today and caught Max in the act. Thankfully, his paws were in plain site.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Attorney Phaedra Parks

I'm not saying Attorney Phaedra Parks is a racist but she certainly is an ass. Here is Attorney Phaedra Parks speaking about her biracial husband:
I am a connoisseur of finer foods. You know, growing up in a white household, he's [her husband] not used to all this fancy stuff. He likes canned foods. He likes packed meats. He just doesn't care. But it's very important for me to feed people the way I like to be fed which is the best of the best.

How would that direct quote sound if you replaced white with black, canned foods with fried chicken and packed meats with watermelon? With all her college degrees, Attorney Phaedra Parks still manages to be stupid.

Here the mannequin-like ridiculousness that is the self-anointed Goddess of Lips (uh...Light) Attorney Phaedra Parks introduces her magnificence in the first episode of season 3, The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

We can pretty much surmise that there was no one on the other end of that cell phone. Attorney Phaedra Parks, you're playing yourself.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Memories from Massapequa

Some pix I took when my parents and I re-converged on Long Island (for the first time in thirty years) for my brother Andy's wedding to Angela.

The corner of our childhood

10 Tanwood Drive, Massapequa, NY 11758

Toby at Tackapausha


Jerry at White Castle

Adventureland on Route 110

Michael with his Mommy and Daddy

The Teger Men

The younger Teger Men although it's all relative now

Dancing with the Stars

Who knew?

Add Ava, Billy and Stephanie

Um - where's Lisa?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Musical Moments from I Love Lucy: LP to MP3

Musical Moments from I Love Lucy was Desi Arnaz's last project before his death. The album was originally intended for mail order only so had a very limited pressing. It was released in 1982 to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the premiere of I Love Lucy

Desi introduces each cut. The performances are taken directly from the I Love Lucy television series soundtrack and will be most familiar to those who know the series well. Personally, I was pleased to hear Lucy tell us about the friends of the friendless and to imagine Lucy listening to Babalu as the Maharincess of Franistan.

The medley that closes side one is, as Ethel says when introducing another song on the recording, the pièce de résistance of this soundtrack. Desi pulled a performance of There's A Brand New Baby At Our House (a song he wrote when Lucie was born) from a radio broadcast and created a medley with We're Having a Baby, the song he wrote for Little Ricky/Desi, Jr. and sang on I Love Lucy. Seemingly, there is now a song for both of his children on this record. Here is the track listing.

Side One
  1. I Love Lucy Theme
  2. Cuban Pete & Sally Sweet
  3. El Cumbanchero
  4. Straw Hat Song
  5. Guadalajara
  6. Medley: There's A Brand New Baby In Our House/We're Having a Baby

Side Two
  1. I Love Lucy Theme
  2. We'll Build A Bungalow
  3. Granada
  4. Mama Inez
  5. Babalu
  6. I Love Lucy Theme - Vocal

I've ripped these tracks with a turntable and Audacity and compressed them into a ZIP. As a 21st century extra, I've added a ringtone of the I Love Lucy theme so you can love the redhead when you answer your phone. Download the ZIP by right-clicking the album name in the first sentence and saving.

Since I posted the MP3s for download four years ago, the tracks have become available on YouTube in four videos. The LP is recorded using a video camera as the record plays so you'll get the best audio quality by downloading the MP3 files here.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Megie Megie Megie: An ABBAesque Ode

Although I wrote the lyrics to refer specifically to Meg Whitman, her greed, and the $140 million she is spending to become California's next governor because she thinks she's great, the theme can refer to any of the politically-new and wealthy candidates who are using their own money because they will do such great things when in office: like removing the capital gains tax so they can keep more of their money, like extending the Bush tax cuts so they can keep more of their money, and making sure we have to cut funding to public schools and services.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Soylent Pink Is Chicken!

Although it looks like a pink Lock Ness Monster, the paste in this image is the meat scraped from chicken bones using a machine. After manual cutting, leftover chicken bones are passed under a high pressure blade to scrape them 100% clean of meat. This paste goes on to become the main ingredient in hot dogs, bologna, chicken nuggets, pepperoni, salami and jerky. (This is also done with turkey and pig bones although they stopped using beef bones when testing showed that parts of the bovine central nervous system - which is where Mad Cow germs are - ended up in the meat.)

I ain't typing anymore. For more information, see Fooducate...or not.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Mad Men Elevator Waiting Area Fashion Showdown

We are in the middle of season 4 and Mad Men is still one of the best television shows on the air.

At the end of episode 9 (The Beautiful Girls), there is, what I call, the Mad Men Elevator Waiting Area Fashion Showdown between four women of the show: Joan (Christina Hendricks), Peggy (Elizabeth Moss), the incredible new character Faye (Cara Buono) and a brief yet pivotal appearance from Peggy's lesbian friend, Joyce (Zosia Mamet). Incredibly enough, there is no fabulously witty dialogue but I felt the scene mesmerizing enough to upload the clip so I can watch it whenever I want. Now you can too.

Thank you, Matthew Weiner and company for this incredible experience called Mad Men.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Rabbit Brush

I touched a $1500 cocktail dress designed by William Travilla at the Vintage Fashion Expo. He dressed Marilyn Monroe. Scoped out a few $400 lucite purses with antique metal clasps of all intricacies. Saw a $600 pearl neck collar that draped like flapper beads and a $1200 Coco Chanel suit - in which no figure that reflects back at me in the mirror would fit.

So I bought a hair brush.

The booth's curator walked over to me as I picked it up.

I knew this rabbit brush would go fast. Its fabulous.

I know. I replied. It reminds me of the horrible face Fiver made when he and the other rabbits were forced out of the meadow by man's tractors in the animated film version of Watership Down.

After an awkward moment of silence, I continued.

I can't stop looking at it so I think I should buy it.

I smiled, plunked down the cash and became the proud owner of a rabbit brush

After lunch I washed my hands so I could take my new rabbit brush out of the bag and look at it. As I turned it over, in the light of the cafe, I could see some etching. I mentioned this to my friend.

Michelle, there's some etching on the back of the handle.

What's it say? asked Michelle through the mastication of her veggie burger.

I need glasses. I anguished until my arms were as long as my eyes needed. Oh, wait. I can see. it says 'HARE BRUSH'.

Oh, hair brush, yea. said Michelle, still masticating.

Ohmigod. No. H-A-R-E brush - like the four-legged rabbit.

The Hare Brush. Now I get it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

All That Is Lady Gaga

Watch this red carpet interview and see all that is incredible about Lady Gaga.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Carol Channing Can Do A Lot For A Corset

The First Traveling Saleslady is the first film in which Carol Channing sang a song. The movie is not available on DVD.

For the INTERNET WORLD PREMIERE, I set up my camera in front of the TV and, until a better version can be had, here is vintage Channing (with some faux piano help from Ginger Rogers) singing A Corset Can Do A Lot For A Lady from The First Traveling Saleslady.

In the clip, actress Molly and saleswoman Rose (progressives) try to interest
a theatrical producer in adding a number featuring their corsets -
despite his fears of reprisal from the Purity League (conservatives).

Monday, August 30, 2010

Paris Hilton Denies Underpants Ownership

In other news, Paris Hilton was pictured getting out of a black SUV wearing underpants. According to Ms. Hilton, 'Those underpants were not mine. I was wearing them for a friend.'

For even more news, see The Day Paris Hilton Went To Rehab.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Incredible Turnout at Beck's Rally

Why is being able to hold Beck's rally in his chosen location despite its offense to a certain group of people different from being able to build a Muslim community center in THAT location despite its offense to a certain group of people? It's not; it's called FREEDOM.

More background regarding this allegory: Beck Tweets for White Power

Originally posted here but so good I wanted to reiterate. Thanks devilgrrl.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Brady Gaga Loves San Jose

I made a t-shirt, for Christ's sake. I was so excited to see Lady Gaga at the Monster Ball (HP Pavillion, Aug. 16, 2010) that I made a t-shirt. The last time I made a t-shirt for a concert I was 16 and went to see Heart on their first tour. It was a blue tank top onto which I had ironed red glitter letters that read Magic Man.

This time the shirt was white and extra large to cover my cell and my camera (on either side of my belt) and my paunch (right behind the buckle). The iron-on was Brady Gaga, an homage to the Lady herself as seen through the iconic Brady Bunch layout and font. (The photograph came on The Fame Monster USB Edition. Puff, puff.)

To put it simply, Lady Gaga was amazing. Forget about the excellent music and lyrics, the incredible production, the really phenomenal costumes, her poseur style of dancing and that she ACTUALLY SINGS AND PLAYS THE PIANO, Gaga, if I may be so bold, is this century's Aimee Semple McPherson (without the faked kidnapping and accidental overdose, of course). She preaches with a new medium, this Monster Ball. The Monster Ball will set you free.

Tonight is for everyone who has ever felt like a freak. My whole life, I was told that I wasn't pretty enough, wasn't thin enough, couldn't dance well enough, couldn't sing well enough. This is for all of you out there who have been rejected, marginalized, or cast out because someone thought you were a freak. Well, let me tell you what. Tonight, the freaks are all OUTSIDE, and I'VE LOCKED THE DOORS!

Montage from the Monster Ball Aug 16, 2010

She calls us by name too. Hello, San Jose. I didn't used to be brave. In fact, I wasn't brave at all. You have made me brave. Thank you so much for buying a ticket to the Monster Ball, San Jose, because you are what make it.

And every performance of the Monster Ball, her corporate sponsor gives $20,000 to Gaga's favorite charity, The RE*generation Campaign to help homeless GLBT youth. It is pretty incredible to be a fan and have your fan-dom validated by, arguably, the biggest star on the planet.

There is a sincerity behind Gaga and what she says. It made me feel good to hear an artist appreciate her fans so much. Gaga did more for me that night then some therapists I've known (and I've known some). And she's coming back to the Bay Area in March, 2011. I already bought myself a ticket. Yes, this 52 (by then) year old man is making another iron-on t-shirt because I'm going to see Lady Gaga at the Monster Ball again. And, even though I don't live in Oakland, I know she'll be glad to see San Jose. Paws up, little monsters!

Set List

Dance in the Dark
Glitter and Grease
Just Dance
Beautiful, Dirty, Rich
Vanity (outro)
The Fame
Inspirational talk
Boys Boys Boys
Boys Boys Boys (outro)
Money Honey
Charity, tank top, thrown gifts and fan phone call
Piano talk, new album
You and I
So Happy I Could Die (costume change)
So Happy I Could Die
Put Your Paws Up (video)
Poker Face
Bad Romance (encore)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Never Ship Air!

This past weekend I went into the garage to empty some boxes still packed for our move from Denver two years ago. Inside one of them, I found a box of band-aids - which was perfect timing because we needed band-aids.

When I opened the box, I saw an excellent representation of the mantra of good packing: never ship air.

No bird has been harmed in the packing of these band-aids.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

There Was No Body

I brought my car into the shop the other day and took the bus home. This particular bus route passed by the downtown San Jose County Court and Jail. At the stop in front of the building, two disheveled men and one trashy looking woman boarded and sat down in the seats behind me. I was oblivious to their conversation until I heard the woman say, "Yea, they let me out. There was no body. There was no weapon. What else could they do?"

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Left Closet is the Costco of My Room

I have two closets in the room in the front of my house that I use as an office. The closet on the right contains stuff I need on a daily basis. For example, my checkbook, the backpack for my laptop, a book I'm trying to get through and hard printouts of current projects.

The closet on the left side of this room contains things that I will need but nut necessarily on a daily basis: blank envelopes, blank media discs, and older fiscal records on the way to the shredder. Thus I decided the left closet is the Costco of my office.

In that vein, the dining room is the Costco of the southern half of the house including itself, my office and the living room (which has no storage space). The breakfront in the dining room contains games, extra vases, extension cords, pens and pencils, and a hammer, nails and screwdrivers.

To continue, that makes the mud room in the back of the house, the Costco for the upstairs of the house (garbage bags, cleaning supplies) so a daily trip to the basement is not warranted. I'm getting older.

And to complete this virtual trompe-l'œil, the basement is the Costco for the whole house - reams and reams of toilet paper so we never run out (Costco brand), reams of paper towels (not essential enough for reams and reams), sponges and laundry detergent. The electric tools and brooms are relegated to the backyard - the Costco of the property (cat litter, bird seed, buckets, hand truck).

I am writing now with the Costco of my brain - reams and reams of thoughts, really cheap.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Make a Free Ringtone for Your iPhone

You don't need to buy them if you have the song. Ringtones for the iPhone can be no longer than 30 seconds. This procedure was done on a MacBook Pro with OS X version 10.5.8.

  1. Open iTunes.

  2. Choose a song.

  3. Find 30 seconds of the song that you want to use as a ringtone.

    For example, I want to use 2:11 through 2:41 of 6060-842 by the B-52s. (You can also choose a short song; I also made a ringtone from the 20 second I Love Lucy Theme.)

  4. Select the song you've chosen.

  5. Right click the selected song and choose Get Info from the drop down box.

  6. Click the Options tab.

  7. Put a check in the boxes beside Start Time and Stop Time, enter the times you selected for the ringtone and click OK.

    For example, I used 2:11 for the Start Time and 2:41 for the Stop Time.

  8. Choose Create AAC Version from the Advanced drop down menu.

    The new, 30 second AAC version of the song appears below the original.

  9. From the Finder, search the song name in your iTunes folder.

    You are not searching in the iTunes application; you are searching the iTunes music folder on your computer's hard drive. Two files are displayed; you will be working with the one that has the smaller file size.

  10. Copy and paste the 30 second file to your desktop.

  11. Back in the iTunes application, delete the 30 second AAC version of the song.

  12. Double click the name of the 30 second AAC version of the song on your Desktop to rename it.

  13. Change the extension to m4r and press Return to save the change.

    My file had m4a as the extension so I changed the a to an r. A prompt will be displayed asking if you are sure you want to do this. You're sure.

  14. Back in iTunes, right click the original song and choose Get Info from the drop down box.

  15. Click the Options tab.

  16. Remove the checks from the Start Time and Stop Time boxes and click OK.

    If you open Get Info again you will see that the times have reverted back to the song's actual length.

  17. Click your Ringtones library on the left to open it.

  18. Drag the .m4r file from your desktop to your Ringtones library in iTunes.

  19. Sync your iPhone using iTunes.

To start using your new FREE ringtone on your iPhone just select it (Settings -> Sounds -> Ringtones) and wait for your next call.

Your number's been disconnected.
Your number's been disconnected.
Your number's been disconnected.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Find the Wrong in Right: An Idiocratic Music Video

The truth is crass.

Music by Michael Masser, New Lyrics by A Man with A Mouse

I believe that Glenn Beck is an asshole
Shedding tears that crocodiles won't shed
Wipe away the skid marks on your sallow cheeks
Have you no sense of right; I'll make it easier
For the people listening - your euphemistic words, newspeak

I believe that Sarah is a retard
I can use the word - it's satire
She's classified type 1 on the Bristol Chart
That's very hard to pass
But tea bagging depends on her

I decided long ago, never to listen to Ann Coulter
He is spoiled, He's a witch
But he don't care - he think's he's rich
Michelle Malkin is quite the shrew
Birth right American - hypocrite too.

And there's the spinning man himself
Traditionalist top,
O'Reilly is a fabulist who
Bottoms to Aesop
Yes, he's a story telling man
But loud and crude and coarse
And just like all the rest of them
Leaves no room for discourse

I believe that Hannity's a sphincter
Verbalizing 6 on that Bristol Chart
Using Christ in ways that He wouldn't condone
Has Sean no sense of shame; I'll make it easier
For the people listening - your fair and balanced cred is gone

I decided long ago, never to worry 'bout Dick Cheney
His heart don't work, he won't be mourned
Hell hath no fury like a heart that's scorned
No matter what his daughters think
His work in Wash-ing-ton did stink

Less we forget the false prophet
A hominal dildo
With trusted dingleberries; his name is Rush Limbaugh
Yes, he espouses crap he leaves
On hair around his hole
It's dung on dung on dung on dung on dung, ditto.

So if by chance, a special bill
You feel is worth the fight
Will not be signed into a law
Find the wrong in right

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Midnight on Bailey Avenue

You might think that this picture of Max taken around midnight on Bailey Avenue a few months back is what the title of this entry refers to but in actuality it refers to a cat that walked the grounds of Bailey Avenue, the street on which I live.

Being a fellow who works from home, I got to know this black cat who had no problems catwalking up the driveway and checking out the garden in our backyard - just like the four-legged creatures who live there.

Before I got to know the cat, I assumed it was a territorial stray that was going to take control of the area and browbeat the backyard's rightful feline owner, Lucy, into submission. (Max was not that interested except to chase any interlopers away.) Often I would let Lucy go outside in the early morning light and wait for the inevitable cat fight that would make my heart drop and my feet run outside (with Max a healthy step in front of me) to shoo the cat with violent tendencies away. That day never came.

Lucy's litter box

Soon enough I realized this black cat was just looking for food and fun. So whenever I saw him I laid out some treats and watched from inside the house as he ate. I watched from my desk as he walked around the houses, up and down the street and back again. I watched from the living room couch as he walked past the bird feeder in the front yard - giving the birds that ate there a total ignoration. He was a sweet cat.

It was midnight this past Saturday and I was walking Max for a late night treat. On Bascom Avenue almost to the corner of Bailey, I stopped in my tracks when I saw this black cat lying on the sidewalk dead. It was most probable that he had been hit by a car and crawled off the street onto the sidewalk to die. I started crying uncontrollably. How silly I thought; I barely knew this cat. But the heart knows what it knows. I ran home, tears falling to the sidewalk, to ask George what we should do.

Ultimately George (my ever loving vacuum lover) went and got the cat and we took him to the 24 hour clinic in Campbell. They have a program where, for $44, they take dead animals, cremate them and bring the ashes to a potter's field for animals in Napa, CA. As the receptionist filled out the paperwork he asked me some questions.

What's the cat's name?

The cat didn't have a name, I said. He didn't belong to anyone.

Well, I need to put something here.

Can you put two words?

Whatever you want.

Found Cat.

He typed Found Cat and moved on to the next field. After a couple of other questions, I asked HIM a question.

Can I change the cat's name?

Sure, he said.

Midnight. The cat's name was Midnight.

He typed Midnight and moved back down the form.

I'll miss Midnight on Bailey Avenue. I guess he belonged to me.

MARCH 19 UPDATE: Today I received a Certification of Country Burial from Bubbling Well Pet Memorial Park in Napa, CA affirming that Midnight had been interred in a country setting. I didn't know I was going to receive this but I was really glad I did.

RIP Midnight.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Two Stale Farts or, The Night I Met Madonna

I was in a Goodwill store recently and found a copy of the 7-inch single Two Of Hearts by Stacy Q. Two Of Hearts was a huge hit in 1986, reaching #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Seeing the single reminded me of the night I met Madonna and Sandra Bernhard. Here's how it went down.

Being more of a rocker Two Of Hearts never impressed me. The song was Madonna-esque and Stacey Q had unfortunately shucked her career as lead singer for the excellent synth-pop band SSQ for this piffle. My friend Russell was of the same mind and we made up lyrics that we sang whenever we heard the song - which in 1986 happened a lot.
Two stale farts
Two farts that stank the room
Two stale farts
We passed 'em, we passed 'em
Two stale farts
Two farts that stank the room
Two stale farts
Ka-boom, ka-boom
That year, Russell had participated in the Los Angeles AIDS walk and thus was invited to the after party; I was his plus one. At some point in the evening we found ourselves on stage standing behind Madonna and Sandra Bernhard. We were schmitten and wanted to say something but didn't know what that might be. (I was a huge Sandra Bernhard fan having experienced her oeuvre in July of 1984 when she walked on stage at The Bottom Line - to thunderous applause - and regaled the audience by saying Don't pull a Madonna on me. Don't push me over the borderline.)
As Russell and I poked, prodded and nudged each other, mouthing things like Go ahead and You say something, the ubiquitous Two of Hearts started blaring out of the speakers. The crowd on the dance floor roared its approval but Madonna leaned over to Sandra and said I hate this song. Russell and I looked at each other and when the chorus started, so did we.
Two stale farts
Two farts that stank the room
Two stale farts
We passed 'em, we passed 'em
Two stale farts
Two farts that stank the room
Two stale farts
Ka-boom, ka-boom
As we finished, Madonna and Sandra turned to look at us and busted out laughing. We hate this song, I said. Russell, ever the charmer, thanked Madonna for lending her support to the fight against AIDS. I leaned into Sandra and said I'm gonna pull a Madonna on you. I'm gonna push you over the borderline. Sandra cracked up while Madonna looked at her quizzically. I'll explain later, Sandra said. We then had a group hug, sang It's A Long Way To Tipperary, and disappeared separately into the night.

OK, so there was no group hug but I've often wondered if, in the limousine on their way home that night, Madonna turned to Sandra and asked What did that tall guy say to you?