Monday, June 29, 2009

Pink crape myrtle, pink house

Saint and Sinner

Through a slightly complicated series of events, June has acquired a little pocket-sized book of blessings.* Through a rather straightforward series of events (namely, swiping it from my bar shelf), June has a acquired a little pocket-sized book of cocktail recipes. They both perfectly match her Criteria for Totability, and as a consequence, she can often be seen traipsing through the house, humming some little ditty, with the two little compendia, one in each hand.**

I can only assume this means she will grow up to be a honky-tonk chanteuse, knowingly singing songs of both Saturday night revelry and Sunday morning regret.

* "Book of Blessings: 52 Graces from Around the World"

** An almost literal embodiment of that gag from old cartoons where an angel perched on one shoulder and a devil on the other (respectively) whisper virtuous and nefarious advice.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

June in sunglasses, with sister Louise, and my left hand


Forgive the bloggy-lull. Extreme heat plus a low grade flu-bug (which has now thankfully passed) makes Slim a dull boy:

Meet Pearl, the newest addition—all 1 lb. 1 oz. of her*—to our boisterous multi-species househould:**

Pearl's ultimate origin is unknown, but her proximate origin is as follows: The other evening, there was a commotion down the block—a bunch of kids and their pet pit bull (on a leash but with no one holding the other end) were all whirling around some unseen (to me) cause of the commotion, shrieking and laughing. A small commotion-eddy broke off from the larger commotion-vortex—two boys racing up the sidewalk and then up our walkway. At the foot of our steps they stopped and thrust a small kitten at me. "Can you take this cat?"

I'm not in the habit of taking kittens from strangers. I answered with caution, "Where'd you get that cat?"

A (near-)breathless story tumbled out:
"Wefounditaroundthecornerunderthathouseand [gasp] wetookitcauseitwassosmallandtherewasn't [gasp] ..."
I missed some of the minor details, but the basic facts were clear:
  1. The kitten had no traceable ownership.
  2. A bunch of unsupervised kids and their pet pit bull did not make a particularly good foster family for the little creature.
I acquiesced, "Alright, give it to me. I'll figure it out."

And then, of course, well, she was really teeny-tiny and really cute. And then the girls saw her. And then, within the hour, I'd named her.*** And then, well, that pretty much sealed the deal...****

So Pearl is here to stay, keeping busy with a long list of kitten-ish activities:
  • Frolicking amidst our pillows while we try to sleep.
  • Growling her teeny-tiny growls when Penny tries to maternally nuzzle her. (Penny, dog though she may be, is a devoted feline-lover.)
  • Receding submissively when Delilah hisses at her. (Delilah, cat that she is, feels absolutely no love for any feline upstart that hones in on her well established kitty-territory. But she'll get over it.)
  • Squirming, wide-eyed, as June lugs her from room to room. (Pearl is precisely the right size to match June's Criteria-of-Totability, though she is somewhat wigglier than the typical objects of June's tote-fixation.)
  • Squirming, wide-eyed, as June rocks her like a baby, coo-ing at her.
  • Attacking books as the pages turn.
  • Attacking feet as the toes move.
  • Attacking just about anything and everything within her teeny kitty reach.
I think she'll fit in just fine.

* As of a few days back. She's been eating ravenously since then, so she may have put on a couple of additional ounces.

** Though our household may be diverse in species, it is trending towards extreme asymmetry in gender, I being the lone male, now outnumbered six-to-one by the fairer sex: one lady-human, two girl-children, one lady-dog, one lady-cat, one girl-kitten. But I will stand tall as a Bastion of Testosterone in these ever-encroaching Estrogen Seas.

*** We're partial to giving our animals old lady names. (We're also partial to giving our kids old lady names. And in fact, we briefly considered "Pearl" for our second-born but decided we couldn't quite pull it off. But it's perfect for a cat. (And weirdly, I was flipping through the channels last night and briefly settled on some random movie with Sylvester Stallone and that-red-headed-actress-whose-name-I-can't-remember-right-now, and prominently featured in the scene was a calico cat named Pearl.))

**** The rule is simple: Don't name any animal you intend to give away. (Just like back on the farm we had the rule: Don't name any animal you intend to eat.)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My lady, feeling the beat of the rhythm of the night. We went to a wedding last night, and Sarah, if I may brag a little, was a force to be reckoned with on that dance floor (as she usually is). If the low-income-housing-thing ever falls through, I'm pretty sure she could get a job as one of those people party planners hire to get parties revved up. (I snapped this photo during one of the interludes when I wasn't staring obsessively at the band. Wedding bands—with reason—get pegged as purveyors-of-cheese, but I confess, I was smitten with admiration as I watched them: hard-gigging work-a-night musicians who never missed a beat, knew exactly which song to play at which moment to bring the party to full fruition, and importantly, seemed to be having a rather fine time in their own quirky insular little corner of the big-elaborate-shindig.)

Hot as Frak

It's hot as frak here right now, and not just in our usual every-summer always-hot-as-frak way but as in extra-frakkin'-hot, like an-extra-five-or-six-degrees hot, which pegs us somewhere just around a hundred, which combined with our typical heavy-duty-humidity and an atypical lack of summer showers makes the out-of-doors pretty damn miserable. Even the pool is less than adequate consolation as the water turns bathwater-tepid and the pavement sears the feet. I confess, it's put something of a damper on my usual summer-fetish. But this too (hopefully) shall pass (though if the forecasts are correct, not any time particularly soon).

Daddy Yo

Happy Daddy Day, daddy-os. All the best to you and yours.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Crabby crab

Genuine Conversations with Little People: Honky Tonk Edition



"Why do you always listen to songs like this?"

"Like what?"

"Like... like country guitar songs about men who love sassy women?"

"I don't know. I guess they just speak to me."*

* Those who know my lady will know, she is nothing if not sassy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Petty's Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church. (This is this.)


Is there any sight sadder than that of a cat leaping towards some intended destination, miscalculating, and missing—falling short of the table top, smacking awkwardly against the edge, clinging for one wide-eyed moment with splayed claws, sliding backwards, before tumbling chaotically to the floor, landing with an inelegant whump, and striding away with an excess of poise that fails to hide its profound humiliation?*

When a dog goofs up—rushes over-eagerly to greet a visitor and skids into the doorjamb—it's, honestly, funny. Dogs are supposed to do stuff like that. But when a cat messes up, it's just wrong.**

* This rumination was prompted by the sight of our little Delilah—an exceptionally capable creature, even by feline standards—suffering exactly this sequence of indignities. Poor D.

** Though also, still, a teeny-tiny bit funny. But wait until the cat has left the room before you start laughing.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Frenier, LA

Like Dan Rathers in a Simile Storm

The other day, for some reason, I fell into using folksy Dan Rathers-esque similes all day long.* At work, our server was running slow, and I told our sysadmin that it was running:
"like a turtle on cough syrup"
I have no idea where that came from, but I was rather proud of it. (Good Slim. [pat, pat]) What folks-isms do you like to kick around the ol' vernacular patch?

* I do stuff like that sometimes; I don't know why. I think it's a specific, intermittent sub-varietal of my Beat-Dead-Horse-itis.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mustache #3

We've had a hard time finding an unambiguously un-ironic mustache. What about this guy?
Can we safely peg him at the sincere end of the Ironic/Sincere Mustache Spectrum?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

"Jesus Is Lord"—"Now Open": Speaking of hand painted signage, this little white church is a remarkable specimen. I hope the painter got paid extra (in monetary or spiritual dividends) for working on that decidedly non-planar stone surface.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Funny Word Swap

New week, new game.* This week's amusement: "Funny Word Swap", in which we each, in turn, present the funniest word we can think of. No competition,** just:
  1. I offer up a funny word. We chuckle and snort.
  2. You offer up a funny word. We chuckle and snort.
  3. He/she/it offers up a funny word. We chuckle and snort.
  4. Rinse and repeat.
The funniest word I can think of at this particular moment in time is:
Okay, your turn. Whatchya got?

* Not that we're necessarily throwing in the towel on our Investigations into the Mysteries of the Ironic Mustache. But that topic has proven far more complex than we ever imagined and is clearly beyond the scope of a frivolous bloggy-game.

** Since, of course, the International Panel of Funny Word Judges was disbanded in 1993 (following Z.D. Sprachen's brilliant and devastating "Proof of the Non-Ordinality of Funny Words").

Friday, June 05, 2009

"Gizzards • Livers • Turkey Wings": In some necks-of-the-woods hand-painted signs are an endangered—or entirely extinct—species, but around here they're alive and well. And what they may lack in crisp convenience (changing hours or prices involves a brush, a deft hand,* and a couple of cans of paint) they certainly make up for in personality. This particular sign advertises the amenities of our funky local BP where all our beloved neighborhood drunks go early in the morning to get their big beers, cheap eats, and cigarettes. I like how the painter has added his own loosey-goosey rendering of the official BP logo in the top left, an attempt at corporate conformity that seems woefully mismatched with the rest of the sign.

* Check out that link. It's super cool (at least if you're geekily into hand-painted signs).

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Mustachioed Irony (or Lack Thereof) Revealed! (Except Maybe Not.)

So I asked, is this guy's mustache ironic or not?
And you answered:
a) ironic – 3 votes

b) not ironic – 3 votes
a dead tie. Now I'll go ahead and tell you, I intended for the correct response to be "b) not ironic", and I had the back story all lined up:
"Tom Selznick is an agoraphobe and social recluse who, despite his spacial and social anxieties, has risen to the position of manager at his local GNC. He grew his first (rather tepid) mustache in 1981 at the age of fifteen, inspired by Tom Selleck, because:
  1. Magnum P.I. was cool and looked pretty sharp with that mustache.
  2. Due to their similar names, Tom has always felt that he shared a mysterious and powerful bond with the star and sought to make this bond manifest in his facial hair. (He was, unfortunately, wrong. There is no such bond.)
If pressed, Tom would confess that he's never been exactly sure what 'irony' means."*
But when I read the arguments for the "a) ironic"-camp, I confess, I began to doubt myself. His glasses are a tad too nerdy. The mustache is decidedly "Reno 911". Had my own ironic-attitude-towards-ironic-mustaches—a troublesome meta-irony—unconsciously affected Tom's creation, infusing him with cheeky knowing qualities I never intended,** for though I am the Prime Mover of Tom's sketchpad universe, I am far from omniscient, a mere frail and flawed human (utterly lacking a fulsome and sincere God-beard). Maybe I'm the least qualified to judge his mustache's irony or lack thereof. Maybe I'm not even capable of drawing an irony-free mustache?***

And then I thought, frak it, let's just play another round. What about this guy?
Is his mustache:
a) ironic?

b) not ironic?
Of course it's a package deal, so if the mustache is ironic then so is the mullet and the t-shirt and, no doubt, his very soul. But on the other hand, maybe he's completely sincere, just that dude who's really into the Eagles and hasn't updated his look since he first saw them in concert. I don't know. You tell me.

* If pressed, I would confess I'm not always sure I'm exactly sure what it means either. It's one of those words whose meaning is sufficiently nuanced—and overused and abused—that it sometimes slips close to meaning very little at all. (And as Matt points out, what begins as knowing hipster appropriation often trickles down to straightforward mainstream trendiness.) But at present, I can't think of a better word, so we'll just stick with it—and continue to overuse and abuse it.

**This was supposed to be the easy round. Later, we would tackle more complex and confusing mustaches that danced maddeningly around and across the Ironic/Sincere divide.

*** Actually, yes I am. This guy's mustache is entirely sincere.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

June, self-reflecting on staircase

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Tooth Fairy Cometh

The tooth fairy descends upon our house for the first time tonight.

Louise got her baby teeth way late. And she's losing them way late. Finally, at the grand old age of seven (almost eight), she's lost her first one. And even it took its sweet time going, wobbling in ever wider gyrations for at least two weeks. (We were tempted to try the old string-to-the-door-handle.) Finally, this morning, it yielded to its fate. Louise was quite pleased:

Apparently, in the decades since my youthful tooth-shedding, the rewards have gone up—as high as $10, according to the word on the schoolyard. But our own resident tooth fairy says "Hell no!" to that and has settled on $5 for the first tooth an some to-be-determined lesser sum for those that follow.

And June, sharing in the excitement, decided to compose her own note for the new visitor—illustrated by herself, dictated to and transcribed by Louise:

Can you make that out?
"I love you tooth fairy. My siters name is Louise. We have a very Prettey house. This is a picture of you. I have a blue Elphant tape musurer* and a polly poket phone**. bye. my Name is June"
Oh Lord, those kids are funny.

* A "blue elephant tape measurer". Yeah, it's weird, but that's exactly what it is.

** A "Polly Pocket phone"—a trashy little pink plastic toy phone that spits out teenie-bopper sayings, which we bought for Louise at the drugstore in the rattled days immediately after Katrina when we were stuck in Memphis with next-to-nothing in the way of toys. In the subsequent years, it has somehow refused to get lost or run out of batteries and has passed down to June who now proudly marches around the house with it, practicing her bopper-chat.