Monday, October 30, 2006

Random 10, with notes

I just got an iPod. Loving it, but filling the thing up is time consuming, as I don't have a habit of saving music to my computer, so I'm kind of starting from scratch.

Anyway, here's a random 10 in shuffle mode:

"Underachiever": Jill Sobule: "She's an underachiever/She only passed Spanish and gym/She's not bad at essays/She can bullshit her way though them." Jill's Web site is here.

"Aguas de Marco": Elis Regina: "A stick, a stone/It's the end of the road/It's the rest of a stump/It's a little alone/It's a sliver of glass/It is life, it's the sun/It is night, it is death/It's a trap, it's a gun." (In Portuguese, by Antonio Carlos Jobim, but that's a not-very-literal translation. Still, in whatever language, this is one of the best songs ever written, IMO. Title means "Waters of March.")

"Traffic Light": Snow Machine: "I wait for you every night/Underneath the moon and the traffic light/But you're late or your car won't start/Or you lost your way or you lost your heart."

"Summer Snow": Snow Machine: "You'll come around some day, like summer snow/Just when I expect you least and need you most."

"Que Negra e Essa": Trio Mocoto (In Portuguese; couldn't find the lyrics. From a great album called Samba Soul '70!, which will have you dancing around the living room.)

"We Are Two": Swan Dive: "But you know what happens over time ... /Empty chairs, broken cup/Stupid fights, splitting up."

"She's the One": World Party: "I was her, she was me/We were one, we were free/and if there's somebody calling me on/She's the one."

"Shooting Stars": Mosquitos: "La fora, estrelas cadentes/E agora, fortes correntes/Voce e seus sonhos/suas luas, oceanos."

Call Me Up: World Party: "Whatever happened to those bits in the middle?/You know, those crazy piano bits/I used to think it went like that/When it really went like this ..."

"The Sound of Crying": Prefab Sprout: "Well who am I to tell you how to run your business/When you could strike me blind?/What kind of noise we gotta make down here/Before we destroy your peace of mind?"

Yeah, I've been listening to a lot of Brazilian music lately.

Push poll for The Velvet Blog

__ Do you like baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet? The Velvet Blog does! The Velvet Blog loves each and every one!
__ Were you aware that The Velvet Blog's adversary prefers midget wrestling, haggis, mincemeat pie, and Yugos? Do you even know what's in haggis? And don't even get me started on mincemeat!
__ Did you ever hear the rumor that The Velvet Blog's opponent once killed and ate a baby? And he wasn't even particularly hungry? Just slightly peckish.
__ If not, would you be willing to start this rumor?
__ Did you ever notice that The Velvet Blog's eyes are dreamy? Really, you could get lost in them, couldn't you?

Read this if you're not familiar with the push poll technique.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Further proof Martha Stewart has lost her marbles

I can't remember why I signed up to get Martha's newsletter, but now that I'm on the list, I can't get off it, despite numerous requests. Maybe I'll just give up and keep getting the damned thing, as it's often good for a laugh.

For instance, here's what I'm not going as for Halloween. I particularly won't be going as the jellyfish.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Queen Elizabeth has 10 times the lifespan of workers and lays up to 2,000 eggs a day

Regret the Error has the goods on the most entertaining news mistake in recent memory. (Via Gawker)

UPDATE: I see that link no longer works. The story is also here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Bad ideas for titles of Capra-esque movies

--It's a Wonderful Knife
--Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Cruises for Interns
--Pocketful of Miracle Whip

Monday, October 23, 2006

Boo, humbug

This photo of a neighbor's yard is little hard to read, so let me interpret. The wire things in front? Reindeer, never taken down after Christmas. The white things in back? Ghosts, just put up for Halloween. Surely a giant inflatable turkey will join them soon.

To be fair, the rest of the Christmas decorations came down in May.


Saturday, October 21, 2006

A not entirely successful experiment

Postcard from the 1960s brought back to its place of origin, Brightwaters, N.Y.

(Card courtesy of God Is My Codependent.)

Thursday, October 19, 2006


I'm wondering if Bush didn't know what the Tet offensive was, and thought instead it had something to do with Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl.

How to spot a maverick (or not)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Maverick

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Maverick

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Not a maverick

Still, Chafee is running a campaign that, like Whitehouse's, emphasizes his independence from Bush. Earlier this month, he campaigned in Rhode Island alongside the Republican Party's most famous maverick: Senator John McCain of Arizona, a frequent critic of the Bush administration. --Boston Globe

Other senators are wary of butting heads with the media-savvy McCain. Not McConnell. When McCain's reform proposals displease Republican Party donors, McConnell outmaneuvers the maverick. --San Jose Mercury News

"[McCain] is trying to balance his real nature as a maverick with what is needed to get nominated," Sabato said. --Daily News

Sen. Lincoln Chafee introduced Arizona Sen. John McCain to a dining room full of supporters as "a like-minded Republican." He said later they are both mavericks -- a term he said refers to "an unbranded calf" -- meaning both are independent-minded and not necessarily bound by party loyalty. --Kent County Daily Times

The rift among Republicans over the treatment of terrorism detainees appears to have closed, with maverick GOP Sen. John McCain telling NBC News on Friday that a deal reached with President Bush will lead to fair trials and interrogations but not torture. --MSNBC

Those comments supported maverick Republican Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and John Warner, whose opposition forced the administration to alter its proposal before a deal was reached. --KARE

McCain's maverick style has long been popular with GOP voters in New Hampshire... --Washington Post

Enough already! McCain is a conservative Republican who, in some ways, has disagreed with the White House but will do and say anything to become president in 2008. After he cast some harsh criticism Bush's way in the first term, McCain kissed W.'s ass at the last Repub convention and killed any way to justify calling him a maverick. Oh, and no matter how he wants to spin it, he caved on Bush's demand for extraordinary powers. Not very mavericky.

So let's stop playing along.

Oh, and if you call yourself a maverick? Sorry, that disqualifies you automatically, even if you're worth a gazillion dollars. Sorry, Mark Cuban.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Greetings from nowhere in particular

Oddly, there's nothing on this one, front or back, to indicate a location.

Pretty, though.

Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Reg Kehoe and His Marimba Queens

I guess this is circumnavigating the Internet, but if you haven't seen it yet:

That's entertainment!

"Saucer-eyed tot ingratiates self with shiny-domed war profiteer"

I love The New Yorker. Well, I love the nonfiction, the commentary, and the cartoons. The fiction? Eh, not so much.

Emdashes, your blog guide to all things New Yorker, pointed me to the Cartoon Bank, where you can buy prints (or very pricey originals) of NYer cartoons.

What I find amusing and odd--I'm sure there's an explanation for this, but I can't figure it out on my own--are the descriptions that accompany each cartoon: "Doorman talking to call girl as he prepares to announce her arrival." "Samson holding back the doors as he exits the elevator." Etc.) Visual descriptions for the blind??? I'm not sure they're big cartoon fans, in general.

I'm assuming my subject-line reference is obvious enough--how's 'bout you write the gags today and leave other deadpan descriptions for famous cartoon strips in comments?

One more: Prematurely bald, fashion-challenged child relates poorly to peers, especially while trying to kick footballs or direct Christmas pageants.

(For more cartoony fun, visit The Comics Curmudgeon.)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

How to use coupons: A four-step process

1. Check the local newspaper for coupons from manufacturers and supermarkets. You can save lots of money on your food budget this way!

2. Clip coupons and put them somewhere you're not going to miss--on the fridge, held up by magnets, is a good place. You're not going to forget them in an obvious place like that!

3. Go to supermarket. While there, realize you've left coupons hanging on the refrigerator. Swear quietly under breath.

3. Wait until expiration dates on coupons pass.

4. Throw away coupons.

Pushin' up daisies

I have mixed feelings about Montauk daisies. Yeah, they're pretty when they're in bloom. But the plant itself, when not in flower, is rangy and rather ugly. And when you trim it back, it stinks.

No, I didn't notice the bee on the lower right flower when I took this close-up, despite being inches away.

Click to enlarge.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Rejected slogans for The Velvet Blog

--Quality is Job 2
--Snap! Crackle! Flop!
--We will serve no whine before its time
--The Velvet Blog: We try ... well, not that hard, actually
--Melts in your mouth, not in your ... you know, this sounds a lot dirtier than I intended
--The King of Sneers
--Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed blog
--Dude, you're getting a blog!
--A day without The Velvet Blog is like a day without orange juice, which, in turn, is like a day without sunshine
--Aren't you glad you use The Velvet Blog? Don't you wish everybody did?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Smackdown!: El Santo vs. Santa Claus vs. Claus von Bulow

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting El Santo

WHO?: Beefy Mexican wrestler/crime fighter, and star of hundreds of very cheap movies.

PROS: Fights evildoers. Brings joy to Spanish-speaking children and wrestling fans. Gives hope to the full-figured that they, too, can fight crime. Impressively fills out a Speedo.

CONS: Poor fashion sense. His films are boring and poorly made. What is he hiding with that mask, anyway?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Santa Claus

WHO?: Jolly old elf and commercializer of Christmas. Subject of dozens of films, including Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

PROS: Delivers presents. Brings joy to children. Gives hope to the full-figured that they, too, can look good in bright colors.

CONS: Nagging rumors about those creepy elves. Presents often turn out to be underwear. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians marked film debut of Pia Zadora. What is he hiding with that beard, anyway?

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingClaus von Bulow

WHO?: Husband of socialite Sunny von Bulow. Subject of film, Reversal of Fortune.

PROS: Generous in giving sweets to his wife. Role of von Bulow earned Jeremy Irons an Oscar. Gives hope to the psychopathologically social-climbing.

CONS: Wife was diabetic and went into a coma. Whatever happened to Jeremy Irons? Why did Irons believe starring in a film of Dungeons & Dragons was a good career move? Also, do you think Irons has had some work done? Last time I saw him, he looked a little weird. I mean, not Kenny Rogers weird or Burt Reynolds weird, but still.

WINNER: Claus von Bulow. I love getting candy.*

*I realize he was actually accused of giving his wife an overdose of insulin, but that's just not funny. Sickos.

I believe he may be telling a serving wench not to put on the red dress tonight, but that's really just a guess

Wondering what Sting is up to lately?

I like early music, but this strikes me as silly. Is it just me?

(I can't understand a word he's singing, BTW, but the speakers on my PC are not great.)

Looks like the stream of this show will be up till the weekend, so if you're a lute aficionado--or a fan of absurdist comedy--move quickly.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

What the ...

Anyone know what the story is with this? Yes, it's TVB, but with a different URL:

If you go to, it appears as if this is supposedly a way around censorship in some countries ... but a) who would bother censoring this silly little blog that five people read? and b) is it legal to just grab someone's blog and give it a new URL without even asking?

Oh, and this works with all (or most?) Blogspot blogs--try your own (i.e., or


Monday, October 09, 2006

Odds that my toilet will overflow at the EXACT MOMENT the furnace-repair guy rings the doorbell

Apparently, 100%.

BTW, does the word "thermocouple" sound vaugely dirty to you?


Oh. It's just me, then.

Trust the experts

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: John Hodgman's The Areas of My Expertise is a very funny book. And now it's out in paperback.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Greetings from Dub's hernia

Sept. 6, 1960

Hello Mary & Rudy & All

Dub had a hernia (No. 4) this pass Wed. (removed or repaired). He is doing fine, hopes to get to go home Sat. I am at the hospital now, he is taking a nap. The hernia gave him trouble all summer so soon as we got our garden work and the house painted, he decided to have it fixed. Hope you all are in good health and things going fine. Give our regards to all we know. I think I'll get Dub a playtex to wear!

Dub & Gladys

Thanks to God Is My Codependent for sending this to me.

If sock monkeys sent incriminating IMs

[You can pretty much put any text you want right here.]

sockmonkey2000: Now, give me that banana.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The mystery of the human mind

Re: the latest poll numbers
Moreover, an eye-popping 41 percent say that the things they have seen and heard over the last few weeks have given them a less favorable impression of Republicans holding onto control of Congress. Just 18 percent say they have a more favorable impression. --MSNBC

Note to the 18% who have a better impression: WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?????

Greetings from Bayshore, L.I.

Actually, it's Bay Shore, though it's wrong on about half the signs in town. If you can't trust a postcard to get the facts right ...

Aug. 8, 1946

Dear Geanie,

Myrna told me you just had your appendics out. It must be awful hard to stay in bed. Please write.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Words online Merriam-Webster dictionary wondered if I meant when I checked if "widescreen" was a word

1. wide-screen
2. wiedersehen
3. widdershins
4. white cedar
5. white sucker
6. wood-carver
7. wide-spreading
8. widow's walk
9. wood-carvers
10. widow's peak

Wiedersehen?? Widdershins???

Still, the online Merriam-Webster's is very handy.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

In the clouds

Friends from church invited me to fly with them to Block Island yesterday in their Beechcraft four-seater. I'd never been in a small plane before, so it was really exciting--and beautiful.

The plane
Shortly after takeoff from the airport in Islip
Montauk Point
Block Island
On Block Island

It's pretty loud in there, so we had to wear these.