Musicals.....

..... Philadelphia Story, High Society, Royal Wedding, and now Fiddler on The Roof..... good grief..... I've heard more singing and watched more dancing today than I previously considered humanly possible..... having said that, I will concede that Cary Grant was one handsome sumbitch..... but I still have to lean towards the chick who was digging Jimmy Stewart in Philadelphia Story over Katherine Hepburn all day long and twice on Sunday.... brunettes over redheads all day long.....and the Jews?..... they got the shaft big-time......... Fiddler on The Roof is a sad and heroic masterpiece.....

... and Jane Powell?..... she's just as cute as a little nubbin..... even if she is a blonde.......

.... and hey, don't even get me started talking about Elizabeth Taylor in her late-teenage years.... my goodness..... but I digress.......

... in other news, I am very happy & extremely humbled to report that a piece that I submitted to a Southern online literary journal has been accepted and published....... at Muscadine Lines - A Southern Journal...... my very first acceptance for a piece of fiction, good god....... so go forth and read if you so desire....... although the story may be one that y'all recognize from here on the blog...... it may still be new to a few of you guys...... and I hope that you enjoy it....

Read the Bullshit »

Eggs.....

..... it isn't often that I ask for help on this little blog, but tonight is a bit different.... bear with me, please, as this is quite tedious...... and hey, I don't have the answers...... but I suspect that you guys do.... and hey, you guys all came through like a house on fire when I was seeking answers to the glass-polishing fiasco that I was embroiled in a few years ago........ so, here goes.....

..... when one is making deviled eggs, the proper placement of the yolk inside the egg is highly important..... if it is too close to the shell, well, you end up with an egg which has an outer wall that is unfit for deviling...... so, it seems to me that there must be a way of shaking, spinning, or otherwise joogling the egg (prior to boiling) that will ensure that the yolk is properly positioned in the "center" of the egg...... and thus ensuring a perfectly positioned yolk within each boiled egg......

..... so, fess up, hammerheads........ any ideas?..... tonight's deviled eggs (there were only two) were pretty hit-or-miss....... one egg ended up perfect once it had been sliced, but the other yielded two halves which were exceedingly less than ideal.......

..... it may seem like something small, sure...... but when you only have two boiled eggs to make four deviled ones?....... you gotta make every shout count........

...... so...... what do I do to ensure that each yolk is properly aligned before boiling?...... c'mon, who has the magic?....

Read the Bullshit »

Hookah-sky....

.... there is a storm coming tonight.... and Townes Van Zandt is playing an acoustic set from the stereo behind me while I watch the wind in the trees outside..... the temperature has hovered in the mid-40s all day, but a steady 10mph breeze that has gusted to 25mph occasionally has made the day feel much, much colder.....

.... as it stands right now with dusk quickly approaching, we're predicted to get either snow, sleet, or rain after nightfall.... so our local meteorologists are covering all of their bases as they try to blab over Townes from the living room..... but one thing is for sure, the wind has absolutely howled all afternoon.....

... it's been one of those odd days bereft of clouds or blue..... just the hazy, shape-less grey.... like the smoke I once saw swirling in a Antwerpen hookah cafe.... thick, ashen, and contained..... impenetrable... a sky that is laden with moisture and is anxious to release it.... a sky which turns more and more icy-blue as the evening fades....

.... I bumped the button to turn the heat up about an hour ago.... from 74 to 75 degrees....and there are fresh flannel sheets on the bed for when cocktail hour is finished and bedtime has arrived....

.... damnation, I must be getting old...... once upon a time, I'd be sitting here glancing out the window while I rechecked my pack and laced my boots for hiking..... hoping that I could get my tent up before the snowflakes or the rain started arriving.... and now?..... I'm gleefully looking forward to snuggling under flannel and grinning while the wind groans against the windows.....

.... you know, I like to think that I'm not really getting soft.... that somehow I just find myself with much less to prove to My Self..... and you know, that may be correct..... perhaps I truly have finally arrived at some great and momentous understanding of Self, Life, and Happiness that is normally only achieved by the greatest yogis, scholars, and theologians......

... then again, I'm probably just getting soft....

.... but either way, there is still a storm coming tonight...... and while I won't be battling it like I once did years ago, I am still going to enjoy the hell out of it..... that's the most important part anyway....

Read the Bullshit »

Distance....

.... it seems that my quiet little neighborhood now has a jogger.... which is fine, I suppose.... I mean, it's good that some folks want to stay fit and healthy and all that..... the curious thing is that she doesn't seem to want to get too far away from home.....

.... Eagle Glen (my neck of the woods) is configured in the shape of an oblong loop with a few curves & fishtails thrown in to break up the monotony.... and if you walk the entirety of the loop (including the frontage to the main county road) it measures precisely one and one-half miles.... all in all, a fairly nice, round distance for anyone who wishes to put a little rubber to the road..... indeed, I myself have spent the occasional summer evening walking the loop to get the old heart rate up before beginning rib-grilling duties..... our jogger though, well, she doesn't do any looping that I can see.....

.... it's quite odd, really..... clad in earmuffs, gloves, sunglasses, a balaclava, sweatshirt, and sweatpants, she jogs past my house & down to the curve.... slows... turns... walks halfway back to her house and then sprints home..... at her furthest most, I reckon that she is only two hundred yards from her mailbox.... I tell you, for a nosy neighbor like myself, her road-running behavior is absolutely vexing... perhaps she is just trying to get in a little exercise whilst baking cookies or something... I just don't know....

.... the problem is that when I am perched in my usual television viewing seat all that I see is the top of her head bobbing along the bottom of my living room window... which, of course, forces me to rise from my couch, break away from my highly educational television show, and see what the hell the jogger is up to..... and she keeps this up (on and off - taking numerous breaks to disappear inside her house) for most of the late afternoon and early evening.....

.... why doesn't she just run the damn loop and get it over with?.... perhaps she committed some heinous crime and is under "house arrest"?.... and her ankle bracelet will notify the authorities if she gets too far away from home?..... hmmm.... that thought certainly adds a bit of edginess to the neighborhood.....

... then again, I do sometimes imagine that she has a kitchen full of treats, cookies, and cakes that are so incredibly yummy that no human on Earth could resist them... and that after she's succumbed to some scrumptious delight, she is suddenly overcome by a tsunami of angst and shame.... so she jumps into her sweat suit and jog-walks a few hundred yards in a vain attempt to work those donuts she'd just gnawed on off of her thighs.....

... either way, it certainly is odd behavior....

.... I suppose that I could go and check my mailbox the next time that she runs past and ASK her what she's up to...... but really, what would be the fun in that?.....

Read the Bullshit »

Glenn....

..... you know, I never realized it before, but Glenn Miller looks like one helluva sneaky fella with those puckered lips and those wire-rimmed glasses.....

.... anyway, I've been up to lots of things offline today and don't feel like posting.... and since I am off to cook some fabulously stuffed chicken breasts in a few minutes, I figure that the very least I can do is to share with you hammerheads what I have had on repeat here in the blogroom for the last little while as I sewed up some proverbial loose ends.....

.... enjoy......God knows that I certainly have.....

... the bit at 3:16 is the best part, if you ask me......

.... you guys have a nice night..... I'm off to bake chicken and mash potatoes.....

Read the Bullshit »

Nachos....

..... I ended up making a strange chili-esque meal for this evening's enjoyment - substituting frozen sweet corn for the usual kidney beans.......it wasn't intentional, of course, but sometimes the hiccups of grocery shopping make themselves noticeable in the strangest of ways.... thus, obviously, the sweet corn.....

... in truth though, it wasn't half bad..... the crunchy sweetness of the corn made a marked difference from the chewy "plop" of biting into a ripe bean...... oh, and I added about seven slices of Monterey Pepperjack cheese just before I ladled it all out into bowls....... I have a distinct feeling that doing so made ALL the difference..... well, that and all the sour cream that I topped it with......

..... all in all, it was pretty damned tasty.........

..... but hell, it never ceases to amaze me how that when one has corn chips and something that remotely resembles chili, you just can't go wrong...... it is absolutely impossible....... .and I suppose that it helps that the folks around here seem to be genetically predisposed to "dipping".... (that includes both myself AND my Scottish missus who had never seen a tortilla chip until quite recently..)....

...... wow.... dipping, tortillas, chili, and cheese?..... I trust that the rest of you guys are off huffing and puffing over the Presidential debates or whatever?...... in truth, I suppose that I should be right there with you instead of focusing on the cost of a gallon of salsa instead.....

.... then again, that may very well be the point......... and hey, that reminds me.... how is Obama on illegal immigration anyway?..... .I know that McCain isn't going to deny me my authentic (home-cooked) nachos on Friday afternoons..... but what say the Democrats??....... are they dippers or no?..... priorities, people...... we gotta have our priorities......

..... and remember, never elect anyone that you don't want to have dinner with........ even if it is just a huge plate of beef & cheese nachos served by the freshest immigrants around....

Read the Bullshit »

Jonesin'.....

.... it appears that I'll be attending another concert at the Tennessee Theatre next month..... and it should prove to be quite a bit different from all of the previous concerts I've seen there...

.... so far I've been blessed to have seen John Prine, John Hiatt, Nanci Griffith, Doc Watson, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Gordon Lightfoot, Hal Holbrook pretend to be Mark Twain, and various and sundry comedians...... but next month?.... lets just say that the concert isn't until the 9th of March and The Missus is already straightening out her unmentionable drawer in a frantic search for a suitable pair of panties to lob lustily towards the stage.....

.... that's right, folks..... in a couple of weeks I will be sitting in an audience - mild-manneredly sipping my Scotch and water - while hordes of middle-aged women fling their knickers over my head towards one Mr. Tom Jones... oh, I cannot even begin to imagine the sheer amount of pre-menopausal booty-shaking that I am going to be forced to witness.....

.... it promises to be quite a traumatic experience..... but it should make some most excellent blogfodder... good god, see how downright selfless I am for y'all?.....

.... I mean, just check this shit out, rubberneckers.....

..... mercy...... and hey, let us not forget this one.....

...... "come back here... stand on that chair.... oh, baby, that's right.... "

..... whoaaa.......

.... I'll be sure and try to sit near the back of the theater so that if there is a stampede towards the stage, I'll be safe.....

Read the Bullshit »

Birth....

..... a friend of mine dropped by yesterday for a civilized afternoon of hot tea & chocolate biscuits, and I ended up forgetting that I had an appointment in town..... he'd brought along a nice collection of Morgan silver dollars and they had me completely distracted..... so as I bartered, broke out my own collection from the safe, and generally tried to figure a way to separate a Man from his Silver, the telephone rang..... it was the receptionist from the business where I had failed to appear at the allotted time.... I explained that I had been minding my own business earlier in the day when I was suddenly struck by a severe bout of Walter Hustonism and had become absolutely & completely debilitated.... there was a short bout of nervous laughter from the other end of the phone, and my apology was accepted...... but personally?.... I don't really think that they got what I was talking about.......

..... but they were quite amicable about the whole situation, and I simply rescheduled my visit for this afternoon.... much like me, I guess, if the folks around here were any more laid back, they'd have to be in a coma........

.... so I am driving home from my appointment in town today and I turn right off of US Highway 411 onto the curvy county road which leads to my house...... (those of you who have visited my home during the October Blogmeets will know this road as the home of the 'Kaboom! Tree"..... named by Elisson, I believe, it is the small stretch of road which winds down through three S-curves over the course of 1/4 mile with a drop of 600 feet and then climbs immediately up the creek-valley over another 1/4 mile to a height of 800 feet..) .... actually, I posted footage once of that stretch of road..... it's buried somewhere in my youtube account, in case you are curious....

..... anyway, just as I passed the "Kaboom! Tree" and swept Sylvia down to the trough of the valley, there was a large cow laying beside the roadside fence with her back legs splayed out in a most painful-looking manner.... I slowed down and prepared to stop..... as I came closer, I realized that she wasn't as large as I had imagined...... she was probably only two years old and about 600lbs...... I rolled down the window and placed the Audi in park once I was alongside where she lay - heaving steadily......

.... her bulbous, jet-black eyes were drawn wide and were blinking wildly while her huge pink tongue lolled out from between her white, flattened teeth.... she was terrified and obviously in pain..... I checked the barbed wire fence with a quick glance to see if she was somehow tangled, but no, she was not..... I craned my neck back towards the farmhouse which sits at the top of the hill above the field - no movement there..... this was Mr. Miller's field, after all, should I go and tell him that one of his cows was down?..... and then, at that wonderful moment of complete indecision, I noticed the slimy nose, gooey mouth, and placenta-glazed eyes protruding from between her legs......

.... I watched for another minute or so, and the front hooves appeared..... and then, well, I knew it was going to be alright...... two more heaves and the shoulders would be out..... and then, hell, all she'd have to do is stand up and gravity would do the rest.....

..... it truly was a beautiful sight, in a way..... and in another way, it was absolutely disgusting..... but hey, that's life, folks...... Mother Nature is a messy, messy gal, ladies and gentlemen........ and there isn't really anything wrong with making a mess from time to time...... it's just natural...... actually, I suspect that if I had hung around for a bit longer, I would have witnessed one of the most tender moments of life - watching that new mother clean her newborn and gently nudge it to stand.....

... but, well, I didn't stay to watch...... once I knew that she was ok, I rolled up the window and headed towards home..... in reality, once I realized what was going on, I felt like a complete voyeur......

...... in the end, though, I am glad that I stopped.... and I am glad that she was ok...... and I am glad that I had a chance to witness my very first birth.... I've seen death many times.... and I have seen newborns the morning after hundreds of times..... but this was the first time that I actually saw a birth from the beginning (even though I didn't hang around the for the 'end')......

...... ahhhh.... Nature is messy, you know?..... and messy is OK... beautiful, messy, and real......

..... but hey, it did put me off my fish sandwich just a bit afterwards....... but only for just a bit.....

Read the Bullshit »

Fire.....

.... today provided me with a rather strange sensation - one that I had not felt since I spent two weeks deeply imbedded on the Indian subcontinent while attending a wedding ceremony about eight years ago..... and in short, it was a mixed blessing (the breakfast, not the wedding)....... but indeed, today afforded me the first opportunity to have chilies for breakfast while still safely cradled in the bland bosom of The Mighty Northern Hemisphere.......

.... yes, I know that first paragraph was weird, but hey, it is what it is......

.... anyway, one tends to imagine breakfast in The South as a festival of cholesterol..... which is good, obviously....... lip-smacking, mouth-watering, rind-chewing goodness........ for dead hog is the the chief ingredient in most morning meals...... but excruciating pain is never really considered part of the equation, right?.....

..... breakfast, after all, is the most wholesome of each of our meals (according to the FDA)...... but woe betide the adventurous man (or woman) who purchases the Southern Sonic breakfast feast...... really, in retrospect, the only things that were actually edible were the tater tots (which came as a side-order)......

..... and yet, there were Jalapenos...... great, giant, pulsing Jalapenos..... I ate it, sure, but I still don't truly get it...... the meaning, I mean.....

..... so, word up, folks..... never breakfast at Sonic..... sure, their coffee is wonderful - exotic, even..... and their commercials are gut-wrenchingly obnoxious, but their breakfast 'burrito' is absolutely toxic....... and trust me, it does not pay one (in the long run) to have so many Jalapenos mixed with anyone's breakfast......

.... but life, well, she is a cornucopia of lessons....

.... and it is absolutely amazing to me how many of these little life lessons that we forget so readily with each passing season....

..... it looks like at least SOME part of our bodies would hold some residual memory......

Read the Bullshit »

Shook.....

...... you know, there are moments that we witness that just plain lift one's soul....... some see these portents in the changing of the seasons or in the inimitable way that the morning dawns..... others, of course, may focus upon political discourse or debate.... and still others are enlightened by signs from the heavens..... equinoxes, wanings, waxings, solstices, comets, etc....... but tonight?...... well, I saw this........

..... and in the course of handling the vast turmoil surrounding us all lately, it just cheered my stony heart to see such a young man diving into a ribald song with such enthusiastic passion........ hell, it gave me hope....... and that, as we all know, is in short supply these days..... behold....

.... 12 years old, ladies and gentlemen....... I - as I am sure his Father is - am quite proud of the little guy...... he's holding aloft a banner that should be waved at every single opportunity........ and that, folks, is a fact.....

.... here's the original........ .

.... amazing, no?...... lookit, folks..... in these troubled days that we live in, the fact that a little boy is practicing his guitar (and doing incredibly well) to such a tune?..... well, if you ask me, that just renews my faith in humanity...... it truly does.......

Read the Bullshit »

Birds....

.... I wandered out to town yesterday and purchased a new birdfeeder.... unlike the shiny, stainless steel one at the front steps, this one is made of wicker and resembles some sort of miniature birdie tiki hut.... except with peanuts and sunflower seeds instead of hula dancers and Singapore slings......

..... while I find it slightly more pleasing to the eye than the stainless steel orb-like feeder, I don't particularly think that the birds mind one way or the other... at least they certainly haven't complained yet.... and the are currently visiting each location to the tune of 1/2 a pound of mixed seed per day......

.... so far the cats have been unlucky in making a meal out of any of them - but they do so enjoy giving it a try.....

.... yesterday evening late, just as 'The African Queen' was reaching its fever point on the television, the nuthatches made another appearance... they are my favorites for a number of reasons.... first and foremost, they only show up occasionally - which is nice..... they're not greedy & gluttonous like the titmice..... the titmice arrive en masse and flit back and forth for hours - but not the dapper nuthatch..... no, sir... they drop by in their evening-wear tuxedos, move with a stately precision, snatch a few choice seeds, and then continue on with their evening..... which probably involves an opera or a ballet.... or at the very least, an Arthur Miller play with a few martinis enjoyed afterwards.....

.... yes, nuthatches are just that cool....

.... the white-breasted nuthatches that visit around dusk remind me of The Penguin from the old Batman television show.... with their long, pointy beak and their coal-black top hat.... I half-expect to see one turn its head towards the window while I'm watching and see it sporting a monocle....

.... anyhoo, I'm off to scrounge for my own breakfast this morning... all of this bird-talk and navel gazing this morning has left me a bit peckish..... heh heh heh......

Read the Bullshit »

Growing Up.....

..... I don't really know what to say about this, but I do agree with it........ it reminds me so much of blogging...... and hey, you just gotta love Tom Waits.....

..... I think I should probably write him another song...... something gritty....... I suspect he's getting soft lately and probably needs a change of focus....

.... whoa.... nevermind...... he's still preeeeeety far out there....

... weird, sure... but his lyrics are actually pretty amazing........ if you can get past the high heels........ here, feel free to sing along...

Well, when I'm lyin' in my bed at night, I don't wanna grow up Nothin' ever seems to turn out right, I don't wanna grow up How do you move in a world of fog, that's always changing things Makes me wish that I could be a dog

Well, when I see the price that you pay, I don't wanna grow up
I don't ever wanna be that way, I don't wanna grow up
Seems like folks turn into things that they'd never want
The only thing to live for is today

I'm gonna put a hole in my TV set, I don't wanna grow up
Open up the medicine chest, and I don't wanna grow up
I don't wanna have to shout it out
I don't want my hair to fall out
I don't wanna be filled with doubt
I don't wanna be a good boy scout
I don't wanna have to learn to count
I don't wanna have the biggest amount
And I don't wanna grow up

Well, when I see my parents fight, I don't wanna grow up
They all go out and drinking all night, and I don't wanna grow up
I'd rather stay here in my room, nothin' out there but sad and gloom
I don't wanna live in a big old tomb on Grand Street, ooh!

When I see the 5 o'clock news, I don't wanna grow up
Comb their hair and shine their shoes, I don't wanna grow up
Stay around in my old hometown
I don't wanna put no money down
I don't wanna get me a big old loan
Work them fingers to the bone
I don't wanna float a broom
Fall in love and get married, then boom
How the hell did we get here so soon
Well, I don't wanna grow up

..... perhaps I'll not try to write another song for him after all....... it isn't necessary.....

Read the Bullshit »

Meats......

..... you know, in great and giant scheme of things, there are only certain things which actually matter.... which things those things are, of course, is a matter for great and eternal debate......

.... but in that vein, I take as a 'for instance' a conversation that I had the other day with my Missus while she was contemplating venturing outside to stroke her favorite cat - Fred.....

.... to the best of my knowledge & remembrance, the conversation flowed very much like this......

"awwwww.... I need to go and pat Fred!"
..... "no, actually, I fed him a can of tuna on the back porch this morning.... he is just fine, I assure you.... finish your broccoli..."
"nooooooooo, he needs me.... just look at how he sits and stares in that window on the kitchen door!..... he wants his mommy!"
....... "no.... he is sitting there because I just cooked a bunch of ham for you and he can smell it....... that is all..." ....
"nooooooo, little Fred loves me!...... he wants more of this morning's leftover bacon, I bet!! .... or maybe some of my ham!!"
..... ".... didn't I just say that?..... he doesn't want YOU.... he wants BACON.... he can SMELL it.... he is an ANIMAL..."
"awwww, he is so CUTE!..... yes, (pecking on the glass) yes, you ARE!...... you want some BACON, Fred?.... you want some HAM!?"
..... "you know, this is quite tedious, but I just have to say it...."
"what?"
..... "cats are the most mercenary of the pet species..... I mean, of the 'normal' pet species....... ".....
"what do you mean?"
..... "you see that animal out there?...... you feed him, pet him, empty his damnable litter box, and do you truly know why he loves you?"......
"he loves me because I love HIM."
...... "no, he does NOT...... he only loves you because YOU are made out of MEAT...... and in the end, his orgasmic pipedream is that you die in a heap one frosty morning while feeding him leftover bacon so that he can slowly and steadily gnaw on your carcass for days and days and days........your cat only loves you because you are made of MEAT.... and cats want meat MUCH more than they want a clean litter box or someone to occasionally stroke their necks....."
"You are so mean."
..... "no, not really..... hey, happy Valentine's Day..... did you like your card?"...

..... is it a good thing to burst someone's bubble like that?....... to focus them on the realities of life?...... that whole life, death, (lunch), and The Grave kinda thing?......

.... or is it more important to recline back and let your ears feast upon the sumptuous, liquefied, golden purring that comes from some domesticated beast absolutely and completely immersing itself in expressing pleasure?.......

..... the jury is still out here, obviously, but I am certainly leaning towards the side of the beast..... hell, I'd hate to imagine waking up to finding The Missus as a night-torn carcass that the lionesses had just finished with...... all in the name of "give Fred another kitty treat, I think he deserves it!"......

Read the Bullshit »

Bending....

..... I dreamt violent dreams last night and again early this morning, and I cannot understand why......

..... there are themes that run through them all that seem to tie them bindingly together.... but remembering back upon them during the early morning doesn't seem to pan them fully-out as the crisp light of day dawns.... but yet, they were.... and they are.....

.... I dreamed of the racked billiards balls being broken by a powerful breaker...... that 'crack' that you hear when everything explodes around you and chaos ensues......violence, pandemonium, misdirection, terror, anger, lustful action & reaction....... but even then, there was a certain calm that I felt when I sat upright in bed - sweating......

...... I've had that dream a hundred times before......

..... I got up and found myself a glass of water, checked the clock, and burrowed back under the covers...... and was asleep in five minutes.....

... the next two hours were filled with the strange, half-asleep dreams that woke me every ten to twenty minutes...... and at 7:15, I finally abandoned any thoughts of sleep and rose to greet the day....... cold, dreach, and misty..

...... but I awoke tired, angry, sad, and confused..... how is one supposed to function after a night spent dreaming like that?...... and why does a mind work in such ways in the quiet, pre-dawn hours?....... sure, I have been to scary places, but how do you reconcile that with what you wake up to?..... calm quiet, peaceful?....... but hey, check this out.......

..... if you sit on your floor with your legs out in front of you and raise your knees up so that they are nearly level with your pectoral muscles, lay your right arm forward across your knee...... so that the upturned elbow joint creates a fulcrum against your bent leg (at the knee)...... then reach out and press your wrist downwards with your other hand....... feel the pressure?...... feel the tightness of a bend that was never meant to bend?....... that is what I dreamed of this morning..... and it scares me every time that I think about it...... and I have no idea why that dream scares me so much.......

Read the Bullshit »

Fiction....

..... everyone's favorite Rube certainly has it goin' on..... and it is a gem to behold..... the only thing is, it actually makes me want to light one up.....

Read the Bullshit »

Lessons.....

.... the concert went off without too much of a hitch..... and it was very uplifting to see Mr. Lightfoot still filling theatres and coaxing applause out of audiences at the tender age of 69 years.... his sets were simple, his voice was unique, and he arranged his 'hit songs' perfectly between new releases and unknown 'oldies'......

... having said all that, however, the night was a bit tainted for my family and I..... not by the music, of course, but by four upper-class, middle-aged, & slightly drunken rude couples who happened to be sitting in the row directly behind us.....they arrived just before the curtain went up... and two of the wives talked incessantly during both the introduction and the first two songs using their 'outside' voices.... their conversation was quite varied.... covering everything from how much they had enjoyed their pre-concert meal, how much they 'simply adored' the service at The Regas, and how disappointed they were that Mr. Lightfoot didn't start off his first set with the songs that they had wanted to hear....

.... herein lies the difference between my little brother and myself...

.... neither of us are very mean people.... and we're both quite respectful, really..... however, I learned last night that his fuse is quite a bit shorter than mine.... and he, like myself, will not abide rude behavior..... we will address such behavior in an adult manner - face to face.... being both respectful and to the point.... and should you somehow take offense at being asked to "please be quiet, I can't hear what he's singing." and proceed to act like a posturing, pimply sixteen-year old out on his first date who is trying to impress his girlfriend by flexing his testosterone, then you are in for a very, very rude awakening.......

.... like I said, I am not a mean guy.... hell, I'm not even really that aggressive.... but if I'm quietly watching a mild-mannered Canadian - totally & beautifully enraptured while singing "If You Could Read My Mind" - and I hear you slosh your drink and mouth to your date "who the hell does he think he is? I ought to ask him to step outside.." .... don't be the least bit surprised if either myself or my little brother turn around, rise, look you in the eye, and call you on your words right then and there for being such a pompous ass..... and then ask you to make sure that you bring your wife along so that she can watch you get your ass beat as we want her to be sure that she doesn't miss out on your total humiliation......

.... you know, you'd honestly think that in these civilized times that we live in, shit like this would never, EVER be necessary.........

..... on one level, it absolutely breaks my heart to know that grown-up human beings would buy tickets to see an incredible musician perform in a breathtaking venue and then act like drunken teenagers in suits with dates sporting too much mascara..... equally childish, disrespectful, arrogant, and boorish..... and just mouthy-drunk enough that they'd like to try to pick a fight at a cultured event just so their shitfaced girlfriends/wives would want to hump them later for their Pure, Alpha-Manliness.....

.... I tell you, it is almost enough to make one stay home and watch television rather than venture out into the seething mass of humanity.....

... luckily, I suppose, I was able to be the voice of reason and harmony..... bringing an almost supernatural calm to the Waters of Life that crashed and splashed around our huddled group of concert-goers........ and after my brother was re-seated (and I had said "leave.... leave now.... before you get hurt.. go back to your bar, we're here to listen to music..), the evening was enjoyed by all.....

..... but still, I am continually amazed & absolutely disheartened by the number of complete assholes there are in this tiny little world of ours..... why can't we all just get along??...... heh.... because there are givers and takers..... and never the twain shall meet.......

.... in the end, some people just need to be beaten.... beaten severely...... and for lots and lots of reasons, really..... but mainly, simply because they have never been beaten once in their entire lives like they truly should have been...... and that gross oversight has left them hovering and poised above The Great Bowl of Humanity as assholes who assume that they can get away with anything simply because of who they are, who they know, how much cash they have in their sheep-skin wallets, where they work, where they went to school, who they might be fucking, or where they go to church hung-over on Sunday morning......

.... in short, they have never learned to respect their fellow human beings...... and for a select few, that lesson can't be taught with books, speeches, religious orchestrations, or television programs..... or even sober logic....

..... and while it makes me sad to say it, it is an absolute fact...... there are those out there walking this world who just need a good punch in the noggin and a kick in the ribs.......... it'd make them a much better person in the long run.......

.... God knows that I've had my share in the course of 35 years...... and there has been a life-lesson attached to each and every one.......

Read the Bullshit »

Sundown...

.... we're off shortly to catch Gordon Lightfoot on stage at the Tennessee Theatre..... and along with The Missus, I am also dragging along my little Brother & my Ma... it should be a nice night out full of food and good music... I love folk music... and hey, if he is just half as entertaining as James Taylor was when I saw him in Edinburgh, I will be greatly pleased.....

... the only downer is that it's just plain cold outside..... clear sky - baby blue - but still cold and breezy.....

.... I read somewhere that Mr. Lightfoot has a clause hidden away deep, deep down in his entertainment contract that requires venues to provide temperatures 'not to exceed' 32 degrees Fahrenheit.... this, of course, was verified by events at daybreak..... indeed, just as he jetted into Knoxville this morning, the Great State of Tennessee whimpered and knelt to his vile Canadian demands, folks...... hell, it was downright frigid this morning..... (well, comparatively speaking, that is...... I know that a lot of you Yankees have been frozen fairly solid this February, but for down here?.... below freezing is COLD).....

.... anyway, there you have it..... it is cold.... and I am off to enjoy dinner & a show in Knoxville..... y'all have a nice evening...

Read the Bullshit »

Legs....

..... you know, when seeking Truth, it is always best to first consult the Internet.... especially blogs..... even after more than four years of propping this beast of a website up every single day, I am still continually amazed by the wonders that I discover....

.. like this, for instance.......

.... good god, ladies and gentlemen, I do so love the Internet...... and hey, I look pretty good in a kilt!....

.... (but for the record, I have really only worn a kilt once..... and was banned early the next morning from every wearing one again due to behavioral problems the night before....) .....

Read the Bullshit »

Harlotry......

.... another day and another new species..... I'm definitely no Stanley Livingstone, but I do the best that I can....... and today - in between losing games of Scrabble miserably to The Missus - my lowly birdfeeder was visited by an American Goldfinch..... he wasn't gold, of course....... hey, it is Wintertime.... and evidently the goldfinch is only actually gold during the Summertime...... still, though, beautiful plumage!....

... thus far, he was only the second of the finch family to have visited..... and I must say that the finches are quite bold and fearless...... once they land on the feeder, they tend to stay until they have eaten their fill and then depart...... the arrival of other birds does not harry them in the least..... they simply stand, eat, and watch the other visitors with complete and utter disdain......they are not rushed, they are not spooked, and they are not to be trifled with...... it is the same with the House Finches.... when they arrive to feed, they are undisturbed throughout......

.... this is not the case with their wren-family neighbors...... their skittishness stares in breathtaking contrast to the fearlessness of their finch brethren....... I tell you, it is amazing what a 15 dollar birdfeeder can teach you, folks........

... anyway, I am rambling..... but speaking of 'species', I found an interesting article recently in the May issue of Smithsonian that I feel obliged to share.... it is in regards to Carl Linnaeus.... and for those of you who do not know, he is the guy who is currently regarded as the "Father of Taxonomy"..... that is, frankly, the classification of species....... ole Carl did it better than anyone........ and much, much more simply...... so simple, in fact, that we still use his order of classification now - even hundreds of years later.......

..... but regardless, here is the excerpt from the magazine's article.......

Linnaeus struggled to find universally acceptable characters by which to categorize the myriad manifestations of life. In classifying plants, Linnaeus chose to focus on sexual characteristics. He placed plants into classes according to the number, length and distinctive features of their pollen-bearing stamens, and into orders according to their pistils.

The approach earned Linnaeus the ire of his more prudish colleagues. They objected to his lyrical description of the love life of plants. Bad enough that a flower's petals should be compared to the "bridal bed... perfumed with so many sweet scents in order that the bridegroom and bride may therein celebrate their nuptials with the greater solemnity." But when Linnaeus defined polyandrous flowers as having "twenty males or more in the same bed as the female" this was too much. "Who would have thought that bluebells and lilies and onions could be up to such immorality?" jibed one critic, who dismissed the entire system as "loathsome harlotry" unworthy of the creator.

For animals, Linnaeus' criteria were less provocative. He grouped mammals according to teeth, toes, and teats; fish by fin bones; insects by wings; and birds by feet and beak. He recognized that his category for plants and animals were arbitrary and his classification no more than a crude stab at divining nature's patterns, but they would have to do. Despite their shortcomings, Linnaeus' names for the roughly 12,000 organisms he examined over the course of his life became the starting point for biological classification.

.... it isn't often that I laugh out loud when reading Smithsonian, but I certainly did when I read that......

... no 'system' is perfect, I suppose.... but I guess I just find the fact that scientists 200+ years ago were sneering down their noses at the 'loathsome harlotry' of the poor little onion....

...but one thing is for sure...... I'll never look at a lily quite the same way again.....

Read the Bullshit »

Thankful....

.... the storms that ravaged western Tennessee on Tuesday night had slacked slightly by the time they found their way here to the East..... so, for those of you who were concerned - I thank you..... and apart from lots of downed limbs and one tree that fell, my little corner of the planet survived fairly well.... we were hit with a huge lightning and wind storm at daybreak on Wednesday, but it did little damage.....

..... today, however, has been a beautiful day...... clear blue skies and a steady breeze..... and of course, the news of this...

.... as for me, I have not one single creative bone left in my body this evening..... I've been sapped, zapped, and tapped of all available resources........ and the tawny, freckled husk that is My Being is off to situate itself comfortably on the nearest padded horizontal surface and watch a television program or two......

... enjoy your evening, rubberneckers....... I'm off to attempt to do the same....

Read the Bullshit »

Wrists......

.....have you ever had one of those days where you just wished that you were Dean Martin's xylophone player back in the early 1960s?... well, check this out......

..... I bet that guy bagged ALL of the chicks...... I mean, just look at his wrist discipline!.....

Read the Bullshit »

Sips...

.... it rained off and on during the night and the morning dawned dreary and damp..... fog and rain are present now with the occasional peal of thunder off in the distance.... even the lichen on the tree's trunks is soaked - causing it to change from a greenish-gray to a darker olive drab.....

.... I wonder if the trees are able to make use of the cold moisture that streaks across their bark..... can they absorb any of it?... or do they solely depend on whatever water their roots can find?.... and is the wind-tossed rain simply useless to the bleached, dormant stalks?... wasted until it seeps through the muddy earth?....

.... I like to imagine that they could.... that they not only enjoy standing still and naked - rigid against the icy shower - but that the water also gives them a tangible & immediate bit of sustenance..... and that they can drink it in as it gently trickles down them....

.... strange thoughts on a formless winter day, I know, but it does help make the rain look a bit brighter.....

Read the Bullshit »

Reading.....

..... on top of yesterday's feast of quiche, Turner Classic Movie channel (TCM, for the uninitiated) has chosen today as the day to showcase old musicals that have either won or been nominated for Academy Awards..... which, of course, means that The Missus has been glued to the television all day long....

..... it all began around 10:45am this morning when she realized that "The Harvey Girls" was playing.... hey, she's a sucker for Judy Garland.... and I have to admit that seeing Angela Lansbury dolled up as a Lady of The Afternoon was quite surreal to behold.... but since then, I've suffered through "The Band Wagon", "Seven Brides For Seven Brothers", "Gigi", and now - "An American in Paris"..... yes, it is 7:30pm as I write this.... and I've borne witness to enough show tunes in the past eight hours to drive most mortal men to mayhem..... I think I need to go and fieldstrip my AR-15 and chew some tobacco or something......

..... I did put my foot down though when she absentmindedly channel-surfed during a commercial over to ESPN's coverage of men's figure skating....

.... in regards to "Gigi", I have to admit that I actually attempted to watch it.... it's has always been one of those movies of which one has heard of, and yet not yet seen.....

... after a half-hour of so, I broke ranks and went to the garage to grill the lamb chops.... once they were done, I sat down in front of the tube again and tried to catch up.... eventually turning to The Missus and saying... "so, what exactly is the point of this stupid-assed movie?"..... one or two clicks from the remote control later, and this is what popped up on the television screen courtesy of the DirecTV satellites....

Gigi 4:00-6:00pm Movie:Musical

Musical, Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier, Louis Jourdan (1958) An heir wants to marry a waif groomed to be his mistress in Gay '90's Paris (CC)

... a "waif groomed to be his mistress"???.....

..... weird, yes...... and no, I just don't get it......... but hey, I just walked through the living room a few minutes ago and was witness to this... check this out...

.... that, gentle readers, is a girl who likes to read....... a goofy smile, sure, but she sure was enjoying that book....... and hey, you just gotta love a girl who reads........

Read the Bullshit »

Picking....

.... the Missus and I drove up to Maryville this afternoon for lunch at Aubrey's and then a quick run through the local super Kroger..... this resulted in the purchase of tonight's and tomorrow's dinner..... it was a fair deal, I guess....... I picked something and she picked something else......

.... so what is for dinner tonight?..... HER choice, of course..... some sort of broccoli and cheddar quiche with a side of steamed cauliflower w/cheese sauce, and a Caesar salad.......

.... I chose lamb chops....... six nice, fresh, juicy, tender lamb chops.....

.... great bloody hell...... what the hell is quiche anyway?..... after 14 years, it looks like I would have trained her better by now...... y'all have fun..... I'm off to eat quiche........ pity me......

Read the Bullshit »

Birds....

... many thanks to Mark from over at KOTGD for proclaiming my humble blog 'excellent'..... and not just excellent for any ole reason.... but excellent for my poignant ruminations!..... so thank you kindly, Mark...... I'm honored..... you're pretty damn excellent yourself!....

... in other news, I am insanely happy to report that my birdfeeder has achieved nuthatch!.... indeed, four new species showed up today.... a White-Breasted Nuthatch, a Red-Bellied Woodpecker, a Dark-Eyed Junco, and a Downy Woodpecker...... so, along with the titmice, finches, cardinals, blue jays, and chickadees, our tally of local tree-flitting varmints (who have dined at the feeder) be currently holding at 9.... of course, there are other birdies that don't like seed, but I'm not counting them.....

.... and since I know that you rubberneckers 1.) Don't really believe me, and 2.) Are just all over yourselves with excitement to actually see proof of the existence of these tiny creatures, here you go..... this, ladies and gentlemen, is a Tufted Titmouse feeding frenzy with a couple of Carolina Chickadees thrown in for spice..... the chickadees are the ones with the round, whitish heads..... the pointy-headed ones are the titmice.....

....... I tell you, boys and girls, I truly never knew that a small pile of nuts could focus the attention of so many beasts....... those birds were just plain mental.....

Read the Bullshit »