Friday, November 28, 2008
James May Doesn't Have to Worry About Thanksgiving
|It’s the day after Thanksgiving darlings. The office is as quiet as the crypt. Traffic this morning was full of over caffeinated shoppers whacking their way home from the six a.m. rush.|
I’ve got the Sansa player hooked to my head and fired up with some vintage music from Raul Malo and the Mavericks. They’re singing “Save A Prayer For Me.”
I have just been informed that I am the last person here from my team. By default this makes me Jeremy Clarkson. I am entitled to drive my chair around the office and yell “POWeeeerrrrrrr!” I’m also on the hook for any disasters which manifest themselves in the next two hours and forty five minutes.
Today marks the beginning of my “hibernation” season. I avoid malls, public gatherings, and all venues which may be overwhelmed with inane and insane holiday shoppers.
My holiday shopping is nigh on finished. This weekend I will empty out the santa-closet and double check that everyone has been provided for.
I have an inkling that my friend “D” will be hopping a plane to visit for Christmas. Her family has been treating her like a diaper this week, they’ve been dumping sh*t and taking a p*ss on her. Out of her two children and four grandchildren, none of the lot phoned her yesterday. They all were having temper tantrums about something. The whole lot of them need to put on their big-boy panties and grow up.
My Thanksgiving day was quiet. I took mom out for lunch and the restaurant wasn’t even crowded. This was a bonus. I was able to get mom to eat a few bites and the day was sunny. We cruised about. Mom was confused that all the trees looked “dead”.
She’s failing a lot faster now. She had trouble distinguishing which was a potato chip and which was a French fry. I spent about an hour cleaning out closets and cabinets in her room yesterday. I need to go back this weekend with a few more trash bags. Her clothes haven’t been getting washed and she’s been putting trash in the dresser because the trashcan was gone.
I’ve replaced the laundry hamper and the trash can with new ones. These have her name printed all over them in gold letters. I’ve asked the cleaning staff to bring them back to her where they appear in other locales.
If I think about this too much I’m going to come unglued and throw myself out in front of an ice cream truck.
Since there is no Turkey Day in the UK, I am going to give it a 100% cert that James May is having more fun than I am yesterday and today.
I’ve been tuning in to the Top Gear UK website for video outtakes from the show. James looks much better with his hair cut short.
I’ve newly converted “W” to being a “Top Gear” fan. He says James looks like the man on the cover of the Aqua Lung Album. He also mentioned that James looked like he should be standing on a corner somewhere bumming cigs and change.
He also commented that he though Jezza cultivated his image as an old dissolute. When the subject of Richard Hammond came up, “W” said he thought Richard was added as “eye candy” since James and Jezza were nobody’s rose bush.
“W” handily avoided the “isn’t Richard cute” issue. Richard and “W” appear to be about the same height and weight.
BBC America has punched up its “Top Gear” rotation on TV. Now they show “Top Gear” and “Best of Top Gear”. They ought to put the dang series on DVD and sell it for the U.S. market. The “American Top Gear” is going to suck with the ferocity of a Hoover. Of all the great motor journalists we’ve got in this country they picked assholes with no car experience to be on Top Gear U.S.
Seriously. Toss a little love towards “Motor Week” and recruit Pat Goss for the effort.
We’ve got Tom & Ray from Car Talk. We’ve got the Tappit brothers. We’ve got a whole stable of car nuts on the Speed Channel. Why do we have to get Adam Carolla as a “car host”? He’s an asshole and he can’t hold a spanner to Jeremy Clarkson for wit, personality, or knowledge.
Pardon me, I have to stomp my Sansa player. It’s set to “random play” and it says it has 469 songs on it however it insists on playing the same 20 songs in the same order over and over. If you have an old Sansa red, white, or blue keep it! The new Sansa Clip may hold 4 gig of data but it has dicey controls that only work half the time. It also doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “random”. The only good part about it is that it will work with “Rhapsody Music Service Channels”. With the push of one computer button you can load 4 hours of your favorite Rhapsody streaming music channel onto your Sansa. If you’re really luck you’ll be able to get it to play the whole 4 hours back.
Now that I’ve whacked the Sansa it is going into some Sarah Brightman tracks it hasn’t played all week. This is a relief. I thought it was going to play the same Ottmar Liebert songs until I ripped its hard drive out. When I load up the player this weekend I’ll know better about how to put stuff on it. I think the trick is to put songs into playlists and then select the playlists for shuffle playback.
On the up side. Today is sunny; I was able to wear my good leather dress shoes into work. I also got a primo spot right in front of the door. I showed up at the branch director’s desk with an answer to a problem she hadn’t called me about. The new Hugh Jackman movie is out; my buddy “C” gave me the pic of HJ out of the paper, so I have something yummy to look at over my desk. He probably has more fun than James May.
This evening will be spent doing laundry, baking bread, and catching up on the gajillion bills and insurance forms I have to respond to.
Tomorrow I’ll gear up and clean out mom’s room. I have to call this afternoon and speak to the assisted living about putting mom in a higher level of care. God help us both. I have no idea how this will get paid for. I have no idea how I’m going to keep going with this without dropping to my knees in tears. It’s going to take transcendence and miracles, that’s the only way I can see. I wish God would just pick me up in his arms and hold me like a baby and tell me everything is going to be alright.
As I tell my Hindu doctor- “In my next incarnation I’m not going to volunteer to have be so strong.”
My Christmas wish is that not James May and not anyone else in the world ever has to deal with a loved one dying from Alzheimer’s or dementia ever again.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Of course James May has more fun than I do. Everybody does!
|Last evening my Fiestaware collection grew tired of the physical world and leapt from the cupboard to its death on the floor. |
I had attempted to talk it out of suicide but it was too despondent over a tiff with the formal china. The best I could do was get out of the way and watch gravity take it to the concrete floor. All that remained was for me to sweep up the pieces and put them in the trash bin.
This morning I went to order replacements only to discover that one of the colors had been discontinued. To put my collection back the way it was I had to pay a five dollar per plate premium for a “discontinued” color.
If this lot leaps to its death I’m switching to plastic plates.
Rogn burned the Ferrari earlier this week in a funeral pyre. The dishes have gone un-corporeal. The holiday season starts tomorrow. Oh, and it’s raining again.
Tomorrow I’ll take mom out to lunch at our local hang out. The rest of the day I’ll sort through her clothes and clean out her dresser and closet. She’s having trouble getting dressed so I’m weeding her wardrobe choices down to six changes of clothes. Tomorrow I’ll also wrestle her into taking her shoes off so I can give her a pedicure. She is the only woman I know who doesn’t like a pedi.
This is the way of the world.
Autumn and winter are always so many things dead, broken, and gone.
I emptied the DVR of Top Gear episodes last night. Vicarious enjoyment isn’t cutting it any more. I’m tired of everyone else having the fun and not me. Life sucks and then you die.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Matchmaker, matchmaker, find me a find?
Find me someone I don't want to hit with an axe. ------ My version of the song from Fiddler On the Roof
Today it was suggested to me that I employ the services of a good old fashioned Matchmaker. Not a hopped up computer game with a sadistic vent, but a real human being who makes matches for a living.
This runs me smack into two issues. One, what does that cost? Two, who in their right mind wants a middle of the road old spanner-mobile who's taking singing lessoons, dance lessons, won't cook, doesn't have a second home, doesn't ski, and isn't rich? I'm not thin or tall either. I'm built like a nice middle of the road woman. No plastic parts!
That brings up a third issue. I have no self-confidence. Just wandering around work looking cheerful, smiley, and positively wears me out! Bopping around like "Ms Thing" would send me to the cupboard to take a quick nap! :)
So lovelies, if any of you are left, what do you think about a matchmaker?
Smooth talker with an export cigarette. . . . .
|Tuesday morning. This four day workweek is winding to the half-way point. |
I’m tranquilized, discombobulated, and at sea. This is, of course, getting to be standard operating procedure for me. Shortly I will get up and take my constitutional. At 2:30 I will go out to the auxiliary lot in the woods and move my car from the overflow parking lot to someplace within the boundaries of civilization. I will require my brush trousers and a sturdy shotgun to evade the wildlife out there.
That’s one of the odd things about where I work. There are armed guards patrolling the perimeter and they’ve put the parking lots in heavily wooded areas. Since the guards don’t appear to be armed with rifles it seems rather unfair to expect them to contend with trespassers coming out of the trees.
I am a good scout and I wear my little tag that identifies me as a “friendly”. But most of all I endeavor to stay out of the heavily wooded areas after dark.
J2 has emailed me that he enjoyed MPH immensely and that I am a total idiot for not moving the UK were there is “civilization”. He also knows that I would need to sell my house and pack my mother as well as a host of other paperwork to move to the UK. So he is smug in the knowledge that I won’t really appear on his doorstep one day with a rucksack and a smile. It would serve him right if I did. I’m a high maintenance girl and he’d be low on tea, biscuits, and patience. He should ask “W” how charming I am at continuous close range.
In a pre-emptive strike against Christmas morning disappointment I ordered myself a set of Top Gear tub toys from EBay. We shall see how much fun we can have with them in the Christmas diorama with the train, houses, and glass “lake”. I have a sneaking suspicion the James Mays Sail-Car will be “encountering a difficulty” at a level crossing during the holiday season. I may put a real water pond in the layout this year just to paddle the boats around.
I discovered some white polymer clay in my crafty items. I suspect there shall be a “Stig” added to the layout. Perhaps a whole army of Stigs. If I get the first one made then I can create a mold and churn them out with impunity.
Hmm, a Christmas garden with a farm, farm house, animals, trains, super cars, aqua cars, and manned by an army of Stigs. That should just about be right. I’ll post a pic if it all comes together.
I spoke with “W” last night. He was disgruntled at my mood. I merely mentioned that he and I are at the same impasse we’ve been at for the last quarter century. He and I live 125 miles apart and work different schedules. That’s what’s driven a wedge in relations time and again. He has his life and responsibilities that he is loathe to abandon. I have built a life for myself and my mother where I am now. There is no possibility of me being able to earn the money I do now if I moved to his town. If he moves here at this stage in his life he will be totally at sea.
This leaves us with a fine friendship. We have that comfort and familiarity of long acquaintance. We also sleep alone, eat alone, and live alone. There is no simple “day out” or “evening in”. It is difficult at best. It is lonely at worst. It leaves us at an impasse that we deal with day in and day out as if it were a gorilla sitting on the sofa; we ignore it.
It puts me in the same situ I have been in for my entire life. I’m left wanting for human companionship and comfort. Life is a banquet my dear friends and most of the time I am hungry to the point of desperation. I live my life “on hold” and in “half measures”.
This is by no means “W”s fault. It’s the un-luck of the draw.
Time for my walk and a few minutes outside in the cold air and the sun, so I will make my post.
James May is most likely having more fun than I am today.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Ferrari's, Funeral Pyres, Bullshit, & Pussywhips
|Monday morning fans and fiends. |
My Ferrari F40 is no more. Saturday evening he committed his final willful act on this earth and splattered a 12 point buck into the next kingdom.
Rogn is looking at him this morning and cursing in Swedish or some such. He is casting his ruemy good eye upon it and pulling a somber face. His pet wolf has been out, sniffed the bumper, and whizzed on it. That’s always a sign that the car has had it. The wolf doesn’t whiz unless it’s a death verdict.
The deer is at the butcher being turned into cutlets, sausage, burger meat, and other tasty treats. The head is at the taxidermist. One of the legs is in “wolfie’s” pen as a play toy.
My Ferrari F40 was “he” and not a she. His name was “Weasel” or “The Wheeze”. It was not one of the favorites in my stable, but I had to respect that big ole hunk of Italian sausage anyway. Now he is broken and low. Most of the damage is on the passenger side. I was lucky enough to catch sight of the deer moving early enough to turn and take it in the door instead of up the hood.
The Wheeze may be a total loss but I’m not too upset about it. Rogn may be able to dispose of it by parting it out. Since it’s a Ferrari, it may be set ablaze in a funeral pyre out of respect. Maybe we’ll kick off tonight with a combo car pyre and deer kabob roast. It’s too early to tell yet.
Rogn, my big Norse mechanic, makes the decisions on the final disposition of damaged vehicles. I just wreck them.
Last weekend I tossed Rogn the specs on the 2010 Mustangs and Camaros. I think Rogn used the Norse for “horse sh**” for the Mustang. The Camaro received a nice long look and a “We’ll see” nod of the head.
Rogn will give me an opinion on any car before I buy it. He’s stoic after I bring a new toy home to the garage. The only thing he puts his foot down on is Lamborghini’s He refers to them as “tractors” and won’t let one on the property.
Early on in his career I suspect he worked for a Lambo dealership and the experience scarred him.
That bit of news taken care of I’ll move on to Ms. FuFu. She has calmed down from a roiling boil to a simmer. I recognize a simmer when I see one thanks to the tender education of Alton Brown. He is the only man on the planet I would cross the street to meet, let alone stand in line to get an autograph from. Alton has taught me the joys of brining, the muffin method, the fine points of making custards, and the simple sin of the Mailliard Reaction . Alton understands my love of butter, fresh bread, the dark beauty of chocolate, and the lascivious simplicity of hard cheeses. He also has the most incredibly colored green-blue eyes of any human being I’ve ever seen.
I’ve looked for that shade of green when selecting the “eyes” for some of my dolls and have never been able to duplicate it.
Ms. FuFu is simmering. She’s feeling left on the edge of life yet again. As part of our “rewrite the story” campaign we had elected to stop waiting on everybody else to get their act together. We had also elected to have relationships in there “here and now” and not “someday”. Lately we find ourselves getting a lot of “you’re a nice girl but. . . “ and “I have responsibilities. . . “.
This being “more of the same” that we’ve heard from our parents, fiancés’, and everybody else for all our lives. . . well we’re feeling a bit “James Mayish” about the whole thing.
We are going to take our beat up Rolls Royce and our little vintage airplane and go play elsewhere.
I have a bucket of responsibilities myself and I’m tired of using that as an excuse not to have a life. I’m willing to pony up some time and effort. I’m tired of being everybody else’s “fallback plan” or “old stand by”. Divine discontent is shaking me to bits. Time to bark and hit the trail.
Do not be surprised is little Ms. FuFu and I take up the services of a matchmaker. We are most certainly tired of letting the “when you least expect it” blunderbuss of misaligned fate splatter gun our egos into a pulp.
It’s Monday and we’re definitely dissatisfied with the whole mess.
It looks like Rogn is building a funeral pyre for the Ferrari. I think I’ve got some emotional baggage to throw on that fire too.
Haven’t read this week’s James May column so I don’t know if he’s still getting pu**ywhipped or not. For today we’ll leave it at “James May might be having more fun than I am.”
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Ms. FuFu is having a James May Moment
|Little Ms. FuFu is in the house. She's kicked back in the office with a bottle or three of Killian's Red. She's got the telephone in her hand and she's getting ready to change the answering machine message.|
It will now say "Hi. We're not able to listen to your bitching, whining, crying, and crisis right now. Please call the Oasis Emergency Mental Health Center".
Ms. FuFu is begining to feel as though somebody tatooed "Welcome" between her shoulder blades whilst she was passed out.
Seems that everybody thinks of me as "Good Ole". I'm the one who listens to your problems and gives you the psychiatrist's ear.
Of course when you're right as rain then f**k me. I'm not fit to be included in trips to the casino, bowling alley, museum, or corner pub. Nope I'm little Ms Psychic hotline.
Hating your ex-wife? Ready to kill your children? Beau or Girl dump you? Well phone me up and dump.
F**k no I don't want to go out. Double f**k no I don't want to date or have a social life. I'm fine sitting on the shelf waiting for somebody to pay attention to me when they aren't having a full tilt nervous breakdown.
Who the flying f**k put the "bat signal for nut jobs" on my house? I'm going up to the roof right now with an axe and bust that thing up!
I'm having one of those frickin' James May moments. I'm always last choice, last call, and dead last in the race. I'll do when there's nothing else around. I'm the social version of RC cola!
In the last few weeks' columns James has complained about his "companion" forcing a juicer and a funky car on him. All I can say is "For God's Sake Man! Grow a pair and kick the woman out!"
It's been my lesson for the week. I think I'm down to 2 friends and pinball machine. But at least the bitching has stopped. I drive a car I picked out and there is no juicer on my counter top.
For November I seem to be having more fun than James May. And that says something sad about James May!
Friday, November 21, 2008
Grey, grey, grey, grey, and grey. . .
|This morning was grey. Grey like the inside of an old pillow case. Grey like the sky has been since I started this job. Grey like the wily cobwebs that plaster themselves on my synapses and drag me off to hibernate. |
The sky rushed down with choked jots of snow. Not quite snowflakes and not quite sleet, these tiny cloud turds whacked the windshield through most of the drive to work.
By the time I took my beltway exit and drove past the twelve foot high paper mache fox pointing at its genitals, the sky was tossing out snow globs like plastic shavings. It occurred to me how many things we say fall like “snow”. With as rarely as we see snow, it seems more appropriate to describe snow as being like something we see more often. It’s like clumped clothes detergent flakes, clumped salt in the shaker, Styrofoam upholstery pellets, or perhaps instant mashed potato flakes.
By noon there will be no bread, milk, or toilet paper left in the grocery stores. When snow falls in Maryland there is a rush for that trinity that constructs what we call “Maryland Casserole”. We haven’t had a “crippling” snow in six years but each time a flake falls from the sky, Marylanders go berserk and run to the grocery store. The dairyman at my local grocery store told me that when there was snow in the forecast the central warehouse automatically doubled the milk shipment to the stores.
About ten years ago we had a few winters where we got twenty inch snow storms but there hasn’t been much since then.
Because I’m on my own so much and if I get down sick I don’t have anyone to go to the store for me, I keep a “winter pantry”. I keep a stash of cold remedies, aspirin, Parmalat box milk, crackers, soda, extra paper products, and canned goods. I also have a stash of emergency chocolate.
Since I’ve moved into my house I don’t have to shovel down two flights of stairs, down a 30 foot walkway, and out of a driveway to get out in bad weather. Now I can park at the end of my driveway and have three feet to shovel out of. I have also discovered we have a snow plow driver living around the corner. I will make sure I have some large Styrofoam to-go cups and hot chocolate paraphernalia and some extra cash on hand so I might barter with this person should we get a catastrophic snow storm.
My house is also ½ mile from a hospital. This means they will plow the main road at the end of our local road.
I know being close to the hospital has meant that I have electricity 99.9999% of the time now. In my former digs I could expect to go at least 7 days a year without electricity.
As of 11:15 a.m. rumor has it that the snow has stopped. I am at my desk far away from any windows. I can sense that it is grey outside. Well actually I can’t tell but since I’m in here it’s been grey and precipitating 99% of the time since I've started the job it's a safe guess.
I will be glad to go home tonight and slip into bed. It’s hibernation time. It’s coming up on that devil month between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is the dark time of year.
Perhaps tonight I’ll find some solace in watching Jeremy Clarkson burn the tires off of some sports car. BBC America has doubled up its Top Gear reruns and I come home to find my DVR stuffed to bursting. Perhaps tonight they’ll show the Silverstone race again. Hmmm. Wonder how long I’ll stay awake.
The hibernation season is here my darlings and I’m not sure that even a Bugatti can keep me awake.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
James May Has More Fun Than I Do
|Ok, somebody has decided that because I live in the U.S. that I must be punished. They have decided that I can go to ITunes and see that the newest episodes of Top Gear are for sale. I can even put the episodes in my 'cart'. But I can't purchase them. The licensing police have a snarking fit. Why? If I pay for the program through legal channels and Top Gear gets their royalties what is the big whoop?|
American Top Gear is coming. It promises to suck with such ferocity that it will make Bernouli proud. Adam Carolla? Give me a break.
I want my Top Gear Brittish thank you! Jeremy Clarkson may act like a fool but he's a well spoken and intelligent fool. Richard Hammond is bright, gentle, and bubbly. James May is a species all his own but I respect, admire, and envy him to an obscene degree.
I wish they'd just slap all the Top Gear series on DVD and put them on Amazon.
I don't want to bootleg Top Gear, but I'm jonesin' and I want my fix!
I wonder if James May ever gets a hankerin' for American Television. I doubt it. Wouldn't it be a scream to find out that he was a fan of America's Test Kitchen or Good Eats?
My little Top Gear tub toys are on their way from the UK. I have a sneaking suspicion that my big crystal punch bowl will be on the breakfast bar full of water and little tub buggies for the Christmas season.
Perhaps I'll get out my slot cars this year too. I have the Jackie Stewart Set from the 1970's. My trains may make an appearance too. Come to think of it, the whole Christmas village is in the cabinet in the office. I may have a little happy weekend playing with my toys.
I bet James May doesn't have that much fun!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I Refuse. . .
|I absolutley refuse to have migraines.|
That's it. I refuse. I'm not going to add another "quirk" to the list.
Never mind that yesterday I had such a splitting heachache that I could hardly see. Never mind that it kept me in bed most of the day.
I'll cop to exhaustion but I'm not owning a migraine headache.
I'll bet the Stig doesn't get mirgraines! His head probably comes off for service anyway. I seriously doubt Jeremy Clarkson has migraines. He looks like he could give a few. James May and Richard Hammond are statistically not likely to get migraines either.
I'm writing it off to change in weather and sinus. Ok.
No I'm not acknowledging that I've had them before. Shush!
Monday, November 17, 2008
James May Has More Fun Than I Do
|Ok J, and you'll know which J you are when you read this. (I'm loosing count of J names.) But you'll know it's you because you'll be here sometime in the afternoon. |
You will find this page quite by "accident" when you are looking for "happiness".
I think I will have only 30 seconds to capture your attention so I will tell you the unvarnished truth.
You have been looking for me. Since July 2008 or so, you've known I was here.
We first met on an airfield in the U.K. There was a Spitfire or a Hurricane involved. I have trouble telling planes apart sometimes.
I wrote and spoke German as well as my native English. You may have called me "Margaret" or "Maggie". You were a pilot.
I wound up at B.P. and you wound up in the Altantic.
The last time I remember seeing you was in an October. Then you were lost.
We have been looking a long time. Please get in touch.
There is no doubt that these days James May has more fun than I do.
What Did I Have That I Don't Have Now?
|NaNo WriMo is over. After a Saturday spent burning with fever, freezing, and exhausted, I realized this year NaNo was no fun. It’s supposed to be demented, stressful, fun with abandon. It turned into something that hovered over my head like a vulture so I chopped down its “Vulture Tree” and tossed it out with the rubbish!|
I also dropped my sheet music for voice lessons into the rubbish as well. I’ll go along with the vocal exercises, I’ll go along with the Italian songs, but I am not singing “Fever”. I don’t like the song and I feel like a ninny singing it. There’s only so much “beginner feeling” I can stand! I have selected, from the choices, “At Last”. It’s fun to sing, it uses the “blue notes”, and I don’t feel like a 15 year old in heat when I sing it.
Saturday I also chucked some books from the “to be read” shelf. I had given them a start and they turned out to be abysmal. So they are in the bag to go to the used book store. Oddly enough, there was a used book sale at work two weeks ago. I stumbled up on a copy of “Many Lives Many Masters” and “Soul Moments”. I’ve got one on the desk at work and the other on the desk at home. “Many Lives Many Masters” is about a psychoanalyst hypnotizing a patient and having them remember past lives. It’s non-fiction. Oddly enough it sounds exactly like the plot of “On A Clear Day” which I just happened to throw onto the MP3 player last week as a lark. Tally those up with reoccurring dreams of living in London during the “Blitz” and I think I’m getting some kind of theme going. If I toss it in with being able to read German as a kid, I think I’ve got some “strangeness” going on. If I dream the floor plan of Bletchley Park, I’m going to move out into the desert and live as a hermit.
Oddly enough I read references to Emperor Constantine tampering with the original Bible canon. It is said that he edited the gospels and texts to remove any mention of re-incarnation in them. Of course, now I want to know what bits were cut out. I’ve been going through the apocrypha for a while and I love the Gnostic Nag Hammadi website.
There is more than meets the eyes. There is more the heart says that the mind refuses to hear.
“What did I have that I don’t have now?” is a song from “On A Clear Day” and it fits how I feel now. Today is a Monday and I feel like I’m a pale imitation of myself. I have missed something somewhere, made a misstep, or I’m not doing something I should. Things are out of whack and off kilter. Change and discontent are hard at my heels.
I watch men with their princesses and wonder when I fell. When did I loose my spark? When did I join the fringe? Will I ever go back? Will I ever be someone’s prize about rubies again?
Why does James May always have more fun than I do? How do I catch him up?
It is all a tumble darlings, this morning it is all a tumble.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Playlist for Cousin Tuesday
1. At Last - Raul Malo
2. You're Only Lonely - Raul Malo
3. For You - Raul Malo
4. Run To Me - Raul Malo
5. It Only Hurts When I Cry - Raul Malo
6. Dance The Night Away - The Mavericks
7. All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down - The Mavericks
8. Harmony - Elton John
9. Jamaica Jerk-Off - Elton John
10. Here Comes The Rain - The Mavericks
11. The Boys Of Summer - Don Henley
12. The Wide-Eyed And Laughing - Elton John
13. Welcome To My World - Raul Malo
Click on the "highlighted" playlist name above to here these songs as my guest through Rhapsody!
Hey Cuz, some of these are just on my current playlist. Some of these you will know well.
"Even though we've only been married three days, I know I'll love you forever". . Bernie Jean
Friday, November 14, 2008
Insanity Claus Is Revving Up
|Oh yes, boys and girls. Insanity Claus is getting ready for the holiday season. |
Despite gunpoint muggings and general hooliganism at the local mega-mall Christmas is coming anyway.
I started ambling in and out of my favorite stores in August. Not that I buy that much, but that I shop change of season sales. I have to open up my stash and see who hasn't been provided yet.
This week I bought "W's" present and goofed. I had it sent directly to his house. I told him he could open it early if he pleased.
I notice gifites for one person missing from the Santa Claus closet. That person would be me. I see a "Top Gear" wall calendar. I see a pair of slippers. But I don't see anything else.
Of course my wish list for Santa Baby includes an Aston Martin, a pair of bespoke shoes, and perhaps a Veyron. They've put a mirror finish version on display in the VW museum. (Check this link to give it a peek.)
Since old Santy is liable to find out what a truly wicked girl I've been this year, I better develop a fallback plan.
Scaling back from an Aston Martin, I'd also like a new full sized set of Sennheiser noise cancelling headphones. I'm using my small pair at work and they're doing an ok job of cancelling out the roar from the air handlers. I'd still like a little more silence.
A new XM radio for the car would be nice. Although this week XM and Sirius merged their channel lineups. They took off 6 of my 12 favorites. XM may be cut out of the budget for 2009.
There were a few books in the Christmas Closet for me, but I'm afraid I've read them already.
I'd like a copy of "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever" on DVD. (Call it a curiosity.) I'd love a subscription to Top Gear magazine but the postage is "Killer Diller".
The whimsy item for this year's wish list is not a boyfriend, a paid off mortgage, or the final payment on the furnace. Nope. This year's "Oh isn't that the cutest thing!" squeal goes to Marks & Spencer for this:
(Click here for the full info)
WHAT! What do mean you thought it was going to be a picture of Richard Hammond! I told you we don't "go there" in this blog.
But come to think of it. I would like to get to have more fun than James May just once in a while in 2009. But I'm not even going to try and make that wish. With my luck my "have more fun day" would be while he's having a gallstone attack or some such.
I suspect envying James May falls in as sin of some sort. Totalled up with my other foilbles, it makes it a pretty good certantity that old Insanity Claus will be skipping my house this year.
Think I'll see if I can order from Marks & Sparks online.
Ooo and they have "Stig" bubblebath. That would be a nice stocking stuffer for someone.
James May Has More Fun Than I Do
|It's Friday afternoon kiddies. It is raining here. There is fog and a heavy mist lurking up out of the woods around the building. This place is grey inside, outside, up and down. |
Somewhere in the world James May is having more fun than I do. I like to think that he's in the sunshine. Although if he's in England it's dark there by now.
J2 endeavors to keep me in sync with world time. Since computer systems truck along on GMT now, I should always know what time it is in the UK.
The MP3 player has Jessie Cook and Sarah Brightman keeping the mellow mood.
I'm having a difficult time trying to read yet another computer reporting software mannual. Even though they want someone to be fluent with the reporter, there is no definite task. It all feels nebulous and useless in the extreme.
I'm 13K words down on NaNo WriMo and properly torturing myself over it. The story is coming out in barfy, consitpated little segments. The whole thing is a pile of sick and it's making me sick. I'm not even amused with it anymore.
I will be glad when the closing bell rings here today. I want to slink home and fade into the darkness.
Being in glorious November, the house will be dark when I arrive tonight. I'll amble through in the filtered light from the street and head straight for the breakast bar. I'll like my pantheon of candles and spend the evening in the comforting darkness slamming out another thousand or so words on my spastic little story.
The protagonist has met the life changer. Now the action can begin. I suspect much wanton sex, extended dream scenes, and some gratuitous fast driving will be in order. I need something that will burn up the word count. 13K is a lot to come up with.
After reading the Laurel K. Hamilton series I've read enough multi-page group sex scenes between supernatural creatures. I should be able to cough up a few straight human frolics.
Another 2.5 hours my dears and then I can saunter off into the woods. Until then I'm going to tuck my less than stellar attitude under my cap and go back to work.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Mphhhhhhhhhh. . . .
|That’s enough change for the moment, thank you. |
It’s raining for the gazillionith day in a row. It’s rained at some point of every work day since I took this job in the digital plantation. The downpour was enough to overwhelm a slicker and umbrella this morning and I performed my first “creative parking job” at my new abode.
I’ve got rainy-morning-head. Everything is foggy and groggy.
Hips, knees, and ankles are clicking and clacking with alarming volume.
This morning I want nothing so much as a double pecan waffle, rasher of bacon, and jug of unsweet tea at the Waffle House. I want to be settled into a spot at the counter and munching and slurping away while watching the waitress brew fresh coffee. I yearn to see my own beautiful Aston Martin DB9S waiting for me to resume our journey to someplace warm and wonderful. I want to drive away from here to some warm sandy spot where computers are only good for word processing and ordering books. Someplace where I roll out of bed in the morning and amble out a set of French doors to my private beach. Perhaps “rj” is drinking coffee and reading a paperback on a chase in the sun. I drop my nightie and take a buff swim in the sea. The sky is cerulean blue. The water is a tumble of green and blue. The world is warm, wonderful, quiet, and rain free. I amble back to the house for a fabulous soak in the tub with mountains of bubbles. The day stretches ahead with nothing to do but lounge, soak up sun, tussle with “rj”, and clap a few pages on whatever I’m writing.
In that ideal place, somebody else would open the waist high stack of mail, pay the bills, deal with the collapsed vacuum hose on the car, and fill in the sink hole in the back yard. I would be uniformly tan, ache free, and perpetually lithe. “RJ” , my nickname for ideal-dude, would be level headed and as inclined to a life of tinkering and studying. My little private beach would be surrounded by sea grapes and wildlife sanctuary and be hurricane free forever. My Aston Martin would have a self filling gas tank, be self-servicing, and be eternally clean and shiny.
But this morning I’m in a dark cubie in a grey building on a rainy day. The MP3 player is pumping out Raul Malo singing American Songbook and Country Standards with big band flair.
Last night I went sleep walking. I could tell because this morning the house was in disarray.
I feel like I didn’t sleep a wink. I know I did sleep because I dreamed about having the skin from my abdomen removed. While the dream-doctors were at work they also removed uterine cysts while showing me on ultrasound what they were doing. Oh yes, I was “awake” for the whole procedure. They left me partially disassembled and I was forced to drive myself to the car mechanics to get myself put back together. Yes, in my wacky dream mind I took my broken body to the auto shop to get repaired. My favorite mechanic did a nice job of putting my skin back on. He smoothed me out and put on a top clear coat so everything matched again. Better work than they did on the bumper of the Sable.
I think perhaps I should lighten up on watching the “Top Gear” episodes. At least I didn’t dream the TG guys had modified me into a limousine or that the Stig was driving me around the track at top speed. Ick, that gives me chills.
Back to assailing the word count of NaNo WriMo and the mysteries of Omegamon.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
For You . . . .
|"I wanna be your sunrise |
I wanna be your blue eyes
I wanna be the white lies that you can tell another
I wanna be your story
I wanna be your glory
The secret that you're keeping that you can tell no other "
- - - From Raul Malo's "For You"
Per Cousin Tuesday's request, I'll be putting up a November playlist on the blog tonight.
This week's Rhapsody surprise is Raul Malo's album "You're Only Lonely". Raul has come a long way from being the front man for the Mavericks. In this album he even slides into "At Last", the Etta James standard.
I'm taking the "slide" into torch songs myself. Music lessons are a combination of classical Italian songs, vocalizations, and a few American Standards tossed in. My teacher has me working on "Fever", the Peggy Lee standard. She's picked it for the range it exercises. I'm having trouble not making up new words to it as I go along. It would be much easier to pant and warble to if it discussed things I could get passionate about. (Like Aston Martins and Bugattis instead of John Smith, Romeo, and all that yarf.)
I may ask to get switched to "At Last" but I think that is outside my range at this point.
I'm doing the olde standby "Caro Mio Ben" which I keep getting hopelessly intertwined with "O Babbino Caro".
I'm used to being able to pick up songs by ear. My teacher is used to working with people who can pick up sheet music and start cranking. She keeps suggesting that I just sit down at the piano and play the music first. Of course since I've never had piano lessons and don't remember much about reading music and I don't have a piano, the plan is problematic. The other night during out lesson I reminded her, "I'm not James May you know."
Of course she didn't know who a "James May" was so that evened out the conversation.
Meanwhile, it is practice, warble, listen to Rhapsody versions of the songs, and wrangle the sheet music. I will get there after a while.
On the dance lesson side of things, I'm still working on the strengthening exercises daily. I hope to go back to class after the new year.
Target shooting is on hold indefinitely. I need a single vision pair of glasses to do that and right now I'm having trouble getting my regular glasses made.
The NaNoWriMo front is still tense. I made up some word count yesterday but I'm still about 12K down. This weekend will involve a lot of applying seat of trousers to seat of chair and writing away. The protagonist has just caught the eye of the "it all started when" character. Wanton sex, werewolf chomping, and vampirism can't be far away. At least they can't be if I don't find something to fill 12K with quickly!
Last year I trickled over the 50k mark by putting a dog on a window washing rig and crashing it into the side of a hotel. This year I may have dogs driving ice cream trucks. Who knows???
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
|Thanks to cousin Tuesday's suggestions, I've taken a stab at making the blog here at the Tuxedo Inn more reflective.|
I found I could retitle it to the ever popular "James May Has More Fun Than I Do".
I also decided to change the pic. The auto shop pic is actually a family photo. One of the four guys is my beloved Grandfather when he was very young and just starting out in the business. He now is my guardian angel. On the day I depart this mortal plane, he will be one of the ones holidng my hand and showing me the way.
Lately I've been wondering how different my life would be if I'd had the chance to work with him and go into the family business. Would I be a NASCAR driver? Not likely, born the wrong sex at the wrong time. Would I be an engineer? A top mechanic? Possibly. I always had the yen to be an exotic car mechanic.
Of course I have to temper those daydreams with the hard reality that I am five foot four. It's nearly impossible for me to work on my own pinball machine because I have to have help to put the playfield up. It's not about strength it's about reach and leverage.
This is my NaNo WriMo makeup day and I'm getting a late start. I'll sign off now and re-submit my web page to the mighty search engines.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Teknikal Riters . . . . . .
|I have been in the “computer bizz” for over twenty years. I can construct a sentence. I can construct instructions that novices can follow to perform complicated computer tasks. I have written several dozen “User’s Guides” for applications I’ve created.|
I am not a technical writer. At least not according to any personnel department. No, they insist that a technical writer is someone who has gone to “technical writing school”. They can absolutely no idea which end of the computer goes up but they are considered qualified to write the manuals for it.
That is why I’ve been sitting here for two hours trying to figure out how the hell to run a simple reporting job in Omegamon XE.
Omegamon documentation used to be written by computer geeks. Now it is written by the finest “Tech Writers” IBM can dig up.
These people couldn’t successfully explain how to make a cup of tea!
Omegamon computer reports have been the same for the last 15 years. They had a simple format. Now they have been “improved” and are enigmatic creatures with inputs and outputs that no “Tech Writer” has been able to explain to me or anyone else.
I am the “new kid” on my team and as such I’ve been given the task of deciphering this crap. After lunch, I will go out to Google and look for a computer forum where someone explains how to run the reports. It’s obvious that the documentation isn’t going to give me a clue.
If I can read and understand Shakespeare then I think I should be able to comprehend IBM. But IBM must be cloaked in ISO standard document layout and this gives it an air of something the Oracle at Delphi spat out on a bad day.
I am fairly certain that James May has never had to deal with Omegamon. In this week’s column he discusses the shape of car steering wheels. He insists that on road cars they remain round instead of being “flattened off” at the bottom like those on F1 cars. I do agree with him. I also believe they should be mandated to have “spokes” that allow you to rest your hands comfortably at the 10 & 2 or 9 & 3 position. I’ve had some cars that got cute with “sport wheels” that were like driving holding onto a metal hula hoop.
This week Jeremy Clarkson rails against Donald Trump and his newest golf course in Scotland. As many times as Trump has bankrupted himself why do people keep financing his ventures? This man managed to loose money with a casino. For crying at loud, is no one paying attention?
Friday, November 07, 2008
Shall we dance?
|It's Friday. I am doing the Friday dance as I write.|
In 2.5 more hours I will be free to roam out of here and into the woods. My car is parked in the woods. The parking lots are disguised with trees. It will be pitch black outside by then. The car dashboard will glow with the unearthly light of the "check engine" indicator.
I shall stop in at red traffic signals with one foot on the brake and one on the accelerator to keep the engine revved. I will bark that car all the way up the road to the beltway. Once on the Beltway/NASCAR-Track, I will let that engine run! Once I get it past 60 I will have to take my foot off the accelerator to keep it from exponentially speeding up to 95 mph. With no pressure on the accelerator, it will merrily truck along at 65 to 70mph, depending on the incline of the road, until I get to my exit.
"Check Engine" is an understatement. There's a squirrel on crack in there. (That's what I get for parking in the woods.)
Today's topic at work is the 4 Elements of Virtual Storage for ZOS V 1.9 Did you know what if the ECSA and ESQA run out of room, they steal space from the CSA and SQA? They hog up space below the 16MB line and bring the LPAR down in what is colloquially known as a "dirt nap"?
Virtual memory addressing allows the system to convert virtual addresses into physical addresses. This permits multiple users to share memory efficiently and with the ability to extend their memory allocation via a GETMAIN?
Oh yeah, we are talking pure operating system porn here. I bet this is the stuff that James May dreams about when he's looped. Not!
Can't you just see the processor core now? It's shimmying around on its castors and rattling off its cover panel. The tape silo has its licentious retrieval arm precipitously close to the CPU cabinet ESCON channel connectors. Something lewd is immanant.
Techno porn enthusiast or not, James May wrote his column this week about a juicer. He is unhappy that his "Woman" put a juicer on his kitchen counter. This week I think James has a bolt loose and it's not in his juicer. If it's his house why doesn't he just toss the damn thing in the garbage instead of ranting about it? He started out writing about a Zonda, a fine and interesting subject, and ended bitching like a PMSing teenager about a juicer. Give that man a Midol and a few hours in a hot bath!
Once James and his Top Gear cronies trundle out of the post, I will mention that this is party weekend!
Cousin Tuesday has already had an invite. There will be carry out food, movies, trips to interesting locales, and some serious partying!
The guest room is neat and tidy. The kitchen looks hospitable. The living room is inviting and cozy.
Tonight is laundry and some last minute rest. Then it's party time!
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Changing Channels . . .
|Thursday at last my darlings. |
NaNo WriMo has been forgotten. The days have gone by as blurs of sitting in a dark room, hammering on a keyboard, and sleeping. For all the wondrous sea changes that have buoyed me up in the last six months, now I seem to be stalled on the neap tide.
I have been back within the system for only a week and the effect has been horrid. I am struggling to right myself and get back on course.
When I arrived at work today I realized that I had missed the NaNo WriMo Write-In last night. I even forgot about the one tonight!
The Write-Ins are my high word count social events of the NaNo WriMo calendar! I’m about 5000 words down at this point. Friday night and Saturday morning had better be lightning quick type fests! I had already scheduled next Tuesday as a devoted writing day. It will need to be a 7K word day to get me back on track.
I have my protagonist poised to meet the creature that will “change their life forever”. Can’t tell you much about this “creature” except that it owns a red Maserati Bora. There are dogs involved at some point and everybody gets drunk at least once.
Unlike many, I don’t outline the plot for this whirlwind. If I’ve got to bang out 50K words in 30 days, I need the story to keep me keying along to find out what happens next. Having to write the next page to know what happens next is the best way to keep myself going.
After all this is not writing deathless prose, this is about writing.
I have already earned my “procrastination” badge from the NaNo WriMo selection of merit badges. I suspect my continuous use of Maserati Bora instead of just saying Maserati or Bora also nets me the “word padding” badge as well. This weekend I will most likely earn the “abuse of caffeine” badge.
I have house guests this weekend as well. I don’t think they’d take to well to me popping in a DVD for them and then ambling off to the office to write for a while.
I guess it really depends on how much they sleep. I have a feeling by the time they wend their way down the road to my house, they will be tired puppies. I want them to get some rest, they’ve been worn out lately and I’m concerned.
Voice lesson again this Sunday. I’ve been practicing but I keep loosing my voice before I get through the song. My MP3 player is loaded up with half a dozen versions of the song by different artists. The best version is Luciano Pavarotti. His enunciation is pure and splendid. He deftly pronounces all the consonants at the ends of words. His is the only version where I can make out every word distinctly. That’s part of why he was as magnificent as he was.
On the way home from work last night, the car dashboard put on a light show. I’ve gotten it narrowed down to “emissions control element failure”. How exciting. I’m driving it until I can get it into the shop on Saturday. I don’t have any time off to take it during the week. If the shop is open this Saturday, then I’ll wind up taking it on Nov 11th.
I need to “detach” from giving a rats ass. As long as it runs and gets me to and from work, then I’m ok. I’ve got party plans for Sunday and everything else is going to have to go hang out of a tree until Tuesday.
Since I didn’t get to party on my vacation, I am reserving the right to party this weekend.
J2 has now decided that the new president looks like the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaton. He’s also decided that his “logo” looks like Akhenaton’s “sun disc” symbol. Considering what Akhenaton did to ancient Egypt, I hope the similarities stop there.
I’ve already lived long enough to see war planes flying patrol over my house. I hope I continue to live a long time and the country doesn’t have a military/religious coup like the one that took out Akhenaton and his son.
Well , it’s time to go “open a dialog” between myself and the garage. The Sable demands her sacrifices.
I almost forgot the Top Gear reference! Yikes! I’m slipping. In the UK Top Gear’s new series started last weekend. According to the Top Gear website they are going to be testing out Bond’s newest Aston Martin.
The new Bond flick is due out soon. I know I’ll go see the movie. From the clips I don’t think this Bond will have anything too redeeming about him. I liked how Casino Royale brought Bond up to date. It had to be done for the series to remain viable.
In the past I chalked a lot of Bond behavior up to the stories being “period pieces”. We’ll see how Bond evolves. He’s created for gentleman’s entertainment. He should stay the course. We’ll see if he remains someone I can stand as he metamorphoses.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Ok, now it's Wednesday. ..
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice
|The sickness that tells of things to come. . . . |
That was ye’ olde nickname for morning sickness.
So far I have escaped that malady and its contributing cause.
The worst morning woe I’ve had was a hangover.
But don’t they say if you dream it three times it will come true?
Last night I had the third loop of a reoccurring dream. It always begins with me at work taking my lunch to the break room to nosh. I notice that I am waddling along in “the family way”. My co-workers talk with me about “the baby” and “the husband”. I explain that I’m getting such a late start on a family because I just got married to Mr. X. (Always the same Mr. X) and he wanted kiddies.
What amazes me most about this little night fright is that I’m never upset in it. I’m just bubbling over with excitement at the immanent arrival.
I’ve never wanted children. I’ve never been married. Perspective affiances were advised that I was choosing the “no kids” option in life.
I still don’t want children.
I’m amazed at the idyllic life I dream about. Hubby and I are joyful expectant parents. We have a quiet home where we are domestic to a degree and we muddle along together without fist fighting. The only things missing are a Bugatti and a dog.
My good buddy “S” says that I’ve had so much death in my life over the last few years that now I’m dreaming about birth and life. She advises me to take it as a good omen for life changes for the good, a birthing of a new way of life.
Since “S” has an uncanny way of being right about everything, I’m going to take her word for it. “S” is also the one that tells me there are “good guys out there”. She claims to have seen them in person. I’m taking her at her word.
W, Cousin Tuesday, J2, et al, before you get fired up and send me caustic comment, let me temper my last statement. I met a few “very good guys” in the last century. In this century I’m not doing so well.
All of this leads me to wonder about Mr. X. Not exactly somebody you’d expect me to go ambling down the aisle with, that’s for sure. But who knows, stranger things have happened. Might be fun. I can definitely use more fun.
On another note: J2 has been ominously quiet about his supposed trip to the MPH show. I will be exceedingly jealous if he’s seen the Top Gear group in action. But I still hope he got to go anyway!
Hang on to that Camel!
If you get off the camel in the desert, you will die.
NaNo WriMo is taking a good chunk of my time.
Combine that with the new digs in an office complex larger than the campus of the university I attended and you have one tired correspondent.
On a bright note, I have house guests coming for the weekend. Party time!
For the obligatory Top Gear reference: In the road test of the Bugatti Veyron, James drove down a closed desert road. The film cut to shots of a herd of camels walking down the road. The camels were dromedary. James was British.
Monday, November 03, 2008
I Wonder If James May Has Ever Done a 2 Phased Commit?
|Has James May ever done a two phased commit while running under a Resource Limit Facility? |
No. If he’s lucky he hasn’t.
A two phased commit is the way every DB2 transaction resolves itself. It may roll back, go indoubt, or remain inflight. If the Resource Limit Facility is churning along, the transaction may be “terminated with extreme prejudice” if it exceeds its allocated resource allotment.
Oh yeah, I’m just overflowing with mystical and esoteric knowledge.
It’s the bizarre, arcane, and alchemical language of the initiate of the database path. We are those who began life with punched cards and have progressed to having keys to the server cages. We know the resync port numbers and we have the power to perform a “limited backout restart”. All these things allow us to work in the courts of the mighty kings. We are Jesters, we are pitiful magicians, and sometimes we are sad musicians.
Though the implication of lute players in Dutch Genre painting was well understood in the 1600's, the symbolism is lost in modern computer concerns. But they are still here as lusty lads keening under the guise “Young Technical Barracuda”.
I have held the place of Sage, Alchemist, Magician, and Interpreter of Dreams. I have been The Fool, The Empress, and the agent of The Tower. I have come in turns through the archetypes. Now I am come to Strength, the confident exercise of “soft control”.
Strength is shown as a woman holding shut the jaws of a lion with her bare hands. She’s more “shushing” the lion and gaining its acquiescence than defeating it with brute strength.
My friend “C” says everything is a test. This is a test. Wish me well gentle reader.
If Lawrence can make it across the Nefud. If James May can make it to the North Pole. I can make it through this with soul intact.
This weekend was the beginning of NaNo WriMo. Saturday saw me barrel out of the gate. Sunday was a little less enthusiastic.
I had my first voice lesson on Sunday. It was confusing and overwhelming, just like beginning at all things. As I stood with my sheet music in front of the studio mirror, I looked myself in the eye. “James May can do this.” I whispered. “Bloody well so can you.”
My version of the Strength Card
The traditional version of the Strength Card
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Nano WriMo - James May ought to have this much fun.
|It's NaNo WriMo time!|
As of midnight last night it was time to begin the month of noveling dangerously!
50,000 words in 30 days. Glorious abandon all around!
Today's word count is 1579. Of course since I spent my time begining my dangerously daring writing with abandon I didn't write an entry for my blog.
James May ought to come join us in Nano WriMo. It's his chance to write that WW II ace novel he's been dying to start! :)
How about you W? How about you J2? Come and join the frolic.