Saturday, July 31, 2010

On the Monkey Drop

Gaggle of girls (and crape myrtle, up close)

Oleander, up close

Jasmine, up above (with intersecting wires and curlicue clouds)

Tree with yellow rope

Jasmine, up close

Delilah and me

Bowl of cherries ("Life is like...")

June, Georgia, and Sriracha

Swim meet

Sharpened pencil and dog figurine

Summer storm

Friday, July 30, 2010

Poetry Friday: Primed and Ready

I made
Up a new
Poetic form in
Which each line contains a prime
of syllables, proceeding from least
To greatest, in sequence: a bit haiku-like, only
Much geekier and sillier and harder. After the ‘teens it starts
To get ridiculous. And don’t even talk to me about when we get to
Fifteen million, four hundred and eighty-seven thousand, two hundred and seventy-one.*

* I assume here that "million" is pronounced with three syllables, "mill-ee-yun", as opposed to the two syllable variation, "mill-yun". (Also, depending on various techno-whatevseries of your browser, this last line may break funny, sullying the pristine mathematical structure of the form. O bla di.)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What I'm Drinking: The Negroni

Our intermittent series continues:

Campari is a divisive substance, inspiring both passionate praise and pucker-faced disdain. There's no accounting for this business—it simply is what it is—and your first taste might send you skittering for one camp or the other pretty quickly. I'm in the passionate-praise camp, and if you are too (or are still weighing your options), stick around.

The question with Campari is: What do you do with it? As much as I love it, a big tumbler-full isn't the thing. Cut it, though, with some soda water and squeeze in a big wedge of lime, and we’re suddenly in delicious bitter-sweet summer-drinking bliss. But I'll argue that Campari reaches its finest culmination in the ruby red elegantly complex classic cocktail, the Negroni.

The Negroni (easy as falling off a bike):
1 oz gin
1 oz Campari
1 oz sweet vermouth
twist of orange peel

Fill a rocks glass with ice. Combine the gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth—a divine trinity—in the glass. Stir. Squeeze the orange twist over the glass (to extract the oils), run it around the rim, and drop it in. Weep with joy and that your life includes such sweet bitter ginny bliss.
Bottoms up!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hurricane Mary(‘s Birthday Party)

Tropical Storm Bonnie may not have been much, a “shoo shoo” as Annou would say (I’m writing it phonetically because I have no idea how it’s spelled—or even if it’s ever spelled), but the night was a hurricane of another sort, one eternally seared in my memory, which we shall call Hurricane Mary(‘s Birthday Party). The storm first developed in the humid tropics of our house (really, it was very warm), a dense mass of diverse folks, fueled by Sarah’s cooking (pork buns, a variation on these) and my mixologing (Gin-Gin Mules), but it reached full force when the party moved en masse downtown to the Chris Owens Club for that eternal diva’s show.

The night was extremely edifying. Things I learned:
  • My lady is the best good cook this side of anywhere. (Actually, I already knew that.)
  • Gin-Gin Mules do have gin in them (though just the regular amount; not sure about the “gin-gin”), but they contain absolutely no mule.
  • Gin-Gin Mules are delicious.*
  • Even chaotically disorganized former tropical storms still make really cool clouds.
  • Chris Owens is amazing. I confess, my expectations were low (she is, to put it bluntly, not a spring chicken), but that lady is an entertainer of the sort they don’t make anymore, able, with the assistance of her well-trained team of minions, to whip a room into a giddy happy silly frenzy, the audience members laughing and dancing as they’re dragged, in turn, onto stage to make good-spirited fools of themselves for each other’s gut-busting amusement.
  • Famed Channel 4 news personality Angela Hill has been married to her husband for ten years. I know this because the other large group at the event was their anniversary party, a good couple of dozen folks, including other Channel 4 on-air personalities such as Dennis Woltering and Meg Farris. (In a bizarre confluence of minor celebrities, regional and otherwise, Gennifer Flowers—yes, that Gennifer Flowers—was also in the audience.)
  • Seeing Angela Hill and Dennis Woltering in person is more exciting than I would have thought. (The couple of stray out-of-town tourists were clearly mystified by the hoopla.)
  • I can shake my ass better than Dennis Woltering (though he was a very good sport).**
  • Walking around the French Quarter in the drizzle of a dissipated storm having just witnessed a whirlwind of flash-bang hilarity is oddly compelling: the wilting ladies carrying their high heels in hand; cooks leaning at kitchen side doors, smoking; glimpses of fancy galas; buskers under awnings; lights reflecting on the streets...
  • It’s fun playing paparazzo. (It’s also fun saying “paparazzo”: pa-pa-raz-zo.) Pictures, please (because really, words fail):

These clouds rolled in right around sunset, a uniform line stretching from horizon to horizon.

Mmm, cake.

Angela and Mary

Johnny and Mary, dancing to the sweet sounds of Chris and her sidekick. (I don’t really know what else to call that guy. He worked up the crowd beforehand and then kept things going as Chris did her thing.)

Mary, shaking her maracas

Mary and Chris Owens’ boyfriend. (They don’t make them like Chris anymore. They also don’t make them like him anymore.)

The sidekick and Dennis, busting their respective moves

A conga line of sorts: Mary, Meg Farris, another lady, Angela Hill, Gennifer Flowers, and another-nother lady

Whoomp, there it was.

* Gin-Gin Mule:
2 oz gin
¾ oz simple syrup
¾ oz lime juice (approximately half a lime)
sprig of mint
ginger beer
Muddle the simple syrup, lime, and mint in an empty rocks glass. Fill the glass with ice. Add the gin. Top the glass with ginger beer. Give a slight stir, and serve.

** Afterwards, Ms. Owens told me, “That was a hot dance, baby.” I can die happy.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dream, Dream, Dream

I had a dream last night. I don’t remember anything about it except that, in the dream, someone said to me, “You must be dreaming!” (in the sense of, “You’re out of your mind!”), and I remember thinking, “How ironic.”

Monday, July 26, 2010

Beardolala Redux

Round One was fun, but we missed a few. On to Round Two:

The Soul Patch: I went for a maximalist soul patch (y’know, ‘cause I’ve got so much soul), the big kind that extends the full length of the chin.

The Frenchy: “Eh, quelque frwa frwa!”

The Neck Beard: This one seems to persist in popularity amongst certain twenty-something gents. I don’t quite understand why. (Unless you’re Amish. If you’re Amish, go for it.)

The Village Person Biker/East Village Hipster: This mustache can say various things, but whatever it says, it says it loudly.

The Don Johnson: Remember that? That was really the thing for while.

If I'm still missing any, that’s probably just as well, they can stay missed. (Even I can't stand it anymore.) This blog will now revert to its usual clean-cut, close-shaven self.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Poetry Friday: I'll-Show-You-My-Nonsense-If-You-Show-Me-Yours Edition

My favorite thing about this Poetry Friday feature is that I have absolutely no idea where it’s going, a one-off joke run amok.* Today’s poem—which fell out of my brain like a baby falling out of a bicycle basket**—won’t clarify anything:
Poems can be short,
And poems can be long,
But this ain’t a poem:
It’s a song.


Poems can be sour,
And poems can be sweet,
But this ain’t a poem:
It’s a beet.

(I can only think of two things that are ever described as “beet red”: #1 Embarrassed people, #2 Beets.***)

Poems can be silly
And make no sense,
But this ain’t a poem:
It’s a fence.


But poems can’t alternate
Short verse and parentheticals.
Such a thing
Would be heretical.

(Um, yeah. I got nuthin’.)
Your turn. What poem falls from your brain in a baby-from-a-bicycle-basket manner?

* Does anything ever just “walk amok”?

** I made that up. It's called a simile. Poets can do that sort of thing. It doesn't make much sense. Poets can also do that.

*** And really, I don't think I've ever actually heard someone describe a beet as "beet red", because that would be pointless; I can only imagine someone remarking that a beet was not beet red, such as: "That beet's not beet red. It's yellow!" ("Beet yellow"?)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


One of the great advantages of this new digital age, in my opinion, is the ability to text-taunt one's significant other at his or her job:

Sarah is neutral on the subject of facial hair in general but opposed to it on my particular face. And because I'm a cruel and vicious husband, lately I've been drawrin' up various beard-options* and texting them to her while she's at work (preferably in some very important meeting where laughing out loud** would be wildly inappropriate). Thus far:

It ain't gonna happen, but if it was, it would be this.


No no.

This one terrifies me.

Hmm, I'm kind of digging it. Whatchya think, Sarah?

Have I neglected any options?

* Digi-drawrin', actually—the facial hairwith this handy dandy doo-dad on my shiny old toy (a sort of narcissistic digitized version of that old Wooly Willy game with the metal filings and the magnet).

** She knows they're idle threats. I'm also neutral on the subject of facial hair in general but opposed to it on my particular face.

Monday, July 19, 2010

And so the big lil' miss turned nine today. My, my, my, my, my.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Name/Deal? V-Neck Sweater Edition

Time for another round of Name/Deal? What's his name? What's his deal? I'll go first:
His name is Taylor Swift, he's a professor of Progressive Jazz Studies at Berklee College of Music, and his life was reasonably fine until 2007 when that other Taylor Swift came to prominence. He's remarkably humorless on the subject, responding with harsh rebukes to anyone who ventures a joke. He now makes all his purchases with cash or online, unable to abide the smirks of pimply cashiers when he presents his credit card.
Your turn. What's his name/deal?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Poetry Friday: Thick and Dumb... erous

Some days the brain is frothy,
But other days it’s slumberous.
Some days it’s smart and lively.
Some days it’s thick and dumb... erous.

I’m partial to the former,
But this ain’t one of those,
And even though it’s Friday,
I ought to stick to prose.
Your turn. Whatchya got?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Louise, front porch

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"Life Is Like..."

I've never seen "Forrest Gump" (and having made it this far, I probably never will*), but we all know what he has to say about a box of chocolates, life being like one and whatnot. Let's take that as the start for our own pseudo-poetic little non-game (replete with non-poetic non-prizes), The Life Is Like... Game. Create your own simile for life, long, short, funny, serious, profound, profane, whatever. (It just has to start with a "Life is like...", have some other words, and end with a period. Actually, it doesn't even have to end with a period. Really just that first part.) I'll go first. Life is like...
...listening to an AM radio signal late at night, and sometimes it comes in with alluring clarity, but often it recedes into indeterminate garble and dreamed up meanings, and then sometimes white noise; but the moments of clarity happen just often enough to make it seem possible that soon—very soon—you'll hone in on the signal and it'll all be perfectly clear.**
It's like that. Your turn.

*I have a similar thing with Disney World: never have; consequently, probably never will.

** Which also reasonably describes the last season of "Battlestar Galactica".

Friday, July 09, 2010

Poetry Friday: It's Not Exactly Fun to Do

Poetry Friday is here at last! Rounds One and Two were such a blast, but the past is gone, we're on Round Three. We need a theme. What will it be? Bricks or bats? Or ticks or tats? Tocks or brats? Clocks or gnats? Knees or toes? Fleas or hoes? Shoes or hats? Socks or spats? I can't decide, it's such a quandary! Eh... I'll write a poem about laundry:
It's not exactly fun to do,
But laundry must be done.
The heaping mass of well-matched socks
Has dwindled down to one,
That stripey one with the hole in the toe
Whose partner's long since parted.
My feet protest, "That's no way to be dressed.
Let's get this laundry started!"
Your turn.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Fresh Pickins'

A new crop of fresh photo pickins':

The ongoing shadow fixation

on-ongoing shadow fixation

The ongoing shopping cart fixation

on-ongoing shopping cart fixation

The ongoing cloud fixation: But really, we do have
amazing clouds this time of year. (Shame these were marred by the grit in my camera.)

Maybe it's the former waiter in me, but I find a just-served meal very pleasing to look at. This one, dished up here, was also very pleasing to eat.

The ongoing domestic light fixation

This sign-in-a-bush makes me laugh; I don't know why.

The ongoing rainbow fixation: I saw this rainbow
fragment (faintly there in the middle), and it was weird—it was near the sun instead of opposite it like usual, and it was only on that one scrap of high-up ice-crystal cloud, and I could barely see it with plain eyes but saw it very clearly through polarized sunglasses—and I got kind of bugged out and wondered what freakish and perhaps evil portent it was, but then this website explained it all, and I felt much better. (Thank you, Mr. Google.)

Sleepy Papa Slimbo supervising cake decoration (Photograph by Sarah)

I decided I like this one better than that other photo I posted: I like the linear red, white, and blue of the flag against the non-linear yellow, green, etc. of the Mexican oil cloth (which undoubtedly also functions as some sort of metaphor for our nation's contemporary cultural melange/gumbo).

Whoomp! There it is. (I just recently realized that it's "Whoomp", not "Whoop", and I've misquoted it here about a bijillion times. Why didn't you tell me?)

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy 4th, y'all! (The flag cake has returned: baking by Sarah; decoration by the gals and yours truly.)

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Domestic Light

In which we attend to the games light plays in and around the abode: