Wednesday, November 25, 2020

    TALES FROM SUBURBIA
PT. 1: GOBBLED

I appreciate these little traditions that seem to be a thing around our subdivision. Last week, for instance, I got gobbled. 

No you pre-verts, not that kind of gobbled. I'm talking about this:


Apparently "gobbling" is the Thanksgiving practice of leaving a treat bag on a neighbor's doorstep with a sign and note asking them to anonymously pay it forward and do the same to another neighbor. It was a fun little surprise, and our treats included some Nestle miniatures, a few caramels, some biscotti, and a small pack of Twizzlers. I'd enclose a photo but everything was consumed pretty quickly; John and I hadn't yet detoxed from all the leftover Halloween candy we'd been scarfing up and were badly in need of a sugar fix.

The attached instructions said I was supposed to "gobble" someone within two days. I promptly forgot. Then yesterday--two days before Thanksgiving--I remembered. I searched through the cupboards but all I came up with was a half empty bag of Community coffee, some loose tea bags, a couple sweet potatoes and a pack of Harvest Snaps. And I was NOT about to part with my Harvest Snaps. Fuck that noise. 

So then I hit the supermarket. Ever been to the supermarket during Thanksgiving week? It's a clusterfuck. I grabbed a bag of Airheads and went looking for something besides candy to include in my gobble bag, like a little festive button with "Happy Thanksgiving," on it and maybe a seasonal pencil topper to throw in there. You know, just trying to be original. But being Thanksgiving week and all, I soon found myself just needing to get the hell out of there. 

In the end, these were my offerings:


Yeah, that's orange cookie icing and a wax moustache. It was the best I could do.

I packed up the gobble bag and chose one of the smaller ranch houses a few streets over from us, one that didn't show any signs of kids living there. I thought maybe a single person or some elderly retiree might get appreciate being gobbled.

I feel like I've now fulfilled my suburban neighborly obligations for the fall season, anyway.    


 

  

 

Saturday, November 07, 2020

AND TAKE YOUR WHORE* WITH YOU!


*Oh simmer down folks, I'm talking about Pence!


And speaking of bitches down on their knees for Dear Leader....


I've watched the above video approximately 75 times over the last few days, and it's still just as funny as the first time I clapped eyes on it. Here's a link in case the new Blogger format fucks with the embed. 

I have much, much more to say about the blessed events of this glorious day, but right now I'm gonna go celebrate. In the meantime, here's a cheerful little ditty I'd like to dedicate to Trump & Co.


 

SMELL YA LATER, CREAMSICLE!


Thursday, October 22, 2020

"That you are here, that life exists....that the powerful play 
goes on and you may contribute a verse."

Well it seems 2020 has turned me into one of those weepy middle-aged fraus who are perpetually hand-wringing over relatives and friends who are sick, dying, or deceased, but in the words of Hard Harry, SO BE IT.  

Two days ago I got word that Mr. Duane Verkamp--my favorite teacher from my beloved alma mater Marian Heights Academy--recently passed away from pneumonia. Fuck this fucking year. 

Me with Mr. Verkamp and his wife Maureen
at MHA Alumni Weekend, summer 2000.

In truth, Mr. Verkamp was so much more than just my favorite teacher, but it's near impossible to explain what that means to anyone who didn't know him. The only way to sort of explain it--to people from my generation, anyway--is to picture Mr. Keating from Dead Poets Society, but like a mellow hippie Boomer version. And instead of a New England boys' prep school in the 1950s, the setting was an all-girls Catholic boarding school in rural Indiana in the late 1980s - early 1990s. (Also, we weren't sneaking into the woods at midnight to read poetry to each other; we were sneaking into the woods to smoke and/or make out with our townie boyfriends. But that's another story.)   

A few photos from my high school yearbook, 1990-91 (junior year)

Jeez, could they have made the faculty photos 
look any more like mug shots? 

In addition to teaching English, Mr. V was also my forensics coach.
(Forensics club was what most other high schools called debate team.)

And then there's me at 17. 
I was a naughty Catholic schoolgirl before it was cool.


There's really not much I am able to put into words at the moment; grief has made me its bitch. All I can say is that an amazing human being is gone and I'm heartbroken and I didn't picture it happening this way. In the words of that song, I always thought that I'd see him again. 

I think I've earned the right to post this:


Thursday, October 15, 2020

"All hands on deck at dawn, sailing to sadder shores...."

On August 28th my brother-in-law Roger (my sister's husband) passed away from colon cancer at the age of 47. He was just diagnosed in June, so it took him pretty quickly. Despite the giant COVID tornado down here in Texas, I ended up flying to Indianapolis so I could be there for his wake and funeral. In the end I was glad I went. Sometimes you just gotta throw caution to the wind and go with your gut instinct. This was one of those times. 

I've been playing Echo and the Bunnymen's Ocean Rain (from the album of the same name) a lot over the past few months. I don't know if Ian McCulloch intended for it to be a mourning song, but it has that feel. It's melancholy without being maudlin, and it's brought me some comfort.  




I hope that better times are ahead, but I don't know. I do know that if a certain right-wing fascist and his cronies are voted out on November 3rd that it would at least give us all some hope. It wouldn't fix everything, but at this point nothing will.



Monday, July 27, 2020

RESCUED FROM OBSCURITY 

"And I don't know which end to burn..."


I won't comment on any real world shit going on, because fuck it. We all know 2020 sucks. We all know everything sucks. 

So take a break from the bullshit and escape with me to 1985, a comparatively innocent, COVID-free time when Julian Lennon's debut album Valotte was riding high on the music charts in the US and UK and the first two singles, the title track and Too Late For Goodbyes, were in heavy rotation on MTV with videos directed by.....Sam Peckinpah. (Seriously!)

But the Julian Lennon track I'm most fond of is the less remembered and woefully underrated third single, "Say You're Wrong." It's not groundbreaking or anything, but it's a fun little song and video (this one directed by Tim Pope). The thing I love about this tune is that while Julian's vocals are of course very reminiscent of his father's, the song's melody is quite McCartney-esque, an observation duly noted by someone in the YouTube comments. Incidentally, another commentator remarked on Julian's "nice figure," like he's a contestant in a Star Search spokesmodel competition (hee!), but I kinda know what they mean. Julian is adorable in this and I'm digging the '80s northern English vibe with the hat, boots, and long black coat. What can I say? It's definitely working for him.





Aw hell, let's just stay in the mid-80s. Pretend like 2020 never happened. Sound good? Cool.

Here's "Valotte," my second fave and also a damn fine song.



And also, there's this:


Smash Hits could always be counted on to stick John Taylor on the cover.
Julian was a bonus.











Saturday, April 11, 2020

KEITH OLSEN 
1945 - 2020

Last May I got the chance to hang out with Keith Olsen at his home in Genoa (Nevada, not Italy). My friend Pat was close with Keith and his wife, and I tagged along when she and her boyfriend Frank stopped by to see them one beautiful sunny afternoon. 


I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to meet Keith. I got to see his home recording studio that featured a wall of artists he's worked with: Rick Springfield (Keith produced "Jessie's Girl"), Fleetwood Mac, Journey, Pat Benatar, Foreigner, Heart, Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake, The Grateful Dead, and countless others. Anytime you tune into one of the classic rock stations on Sirius, you're almost guaranteed to hear something Keith produced.

The four of us hung out in his living room, drank some iced tea and listened to Keith reminisce. I was full of questions, of course, and Keith had some really amazing stories about his years in the music business. 

Just before we headed back to Tahoe, Keith called us all outside so we could help him feed the deer that had shown up at his property for their daily snacks. All these deer, just hanging out in his yard. He handed us some buckets of whatever he fed them (deer chow?) and about a dozen of these little cuties gathered around us, waiting patiently for their treats. 




It was a magical afternoon. 

Keith passed away at his home last month at the age of 74. Cardiac arrest. He is survived by his wife Janice, three children, and two grandchildren. You can read his NYT obit here.



Rest in peace, dude. You are a fucking legend.








Monday, March 30, 2020

ADVENTURES IN SCAM BAITING PART VI:
HOW CAN WE BE LOVERS IF WE CAN'T BE FRIENDS?
(OR: Love in the Time of COVID-19)

Just a quick one to give us all a few laughs while we wait out the Apocalypse.

This is a guy who contacted me on Instagram yesterday. The thing about this one was that it took me a while to notice that he was claiming to be a celebrity. I guess I wasn't really paying attention, I just accepted his message request and started right in quoting some Kate Bush lyrics at him. 

Heh. I love that crazy ass song.


He's got a lot of chutzpah to call me out on a fake photo. How does he know I'm not Kate Bush?

Okay, below you can see the moment where I realized he was pretending to be Michael Bolton. The '90s balladeer, obviously. Not the character from Office Space.




An aside: I assumed that his bogus Instagram would be set to "Private" like 99% of these scam accounts are, so I was surprised when I checked and saw that the dude actually made an effort to swipe some pics from MB's official social media, like this one of homeboy wearing a scarf and enjoying a matcha. Poor Michael. I bet he had no idea that this very photo would one day be used by some random mouth-breather to try and dupe some unsuspecting soft rock aficionados.   


So once I realized who the dude was claiming to be, I decided to hop on that pony and ride it into the dirt.


Okay I should provide some backstory on my OJ Simpson comment above. Paula Barbieri (C-list model/actress and OJ Simpson's paramour during the time of the infamous murders) wrote a book called The Other Woman: My Years With OJ Simpson. I tracked down a copy around the time of that OJ miniseries--I wrote about the show here BTW--(jeez, was that really four years ago?) and it was a tawdry but enjoyable read. Some of the random stuff from the book I remember is that Paula was with OJ in the early/mid-90s and while he wasn't physically abusive, he was given to throwing tantrums and acting like a petulant asshole if he didn't get his way (big surprise there). He also either cheated on her a lot or she suspected that he did, I can't recall which. OJ was also buddies with a certain pseudo-billionaire hanger-on by the name of Donald Trump, and there was a anecdote where Paula was with OJ at a golf tournament somewhere and Dumpcake creepily put the moves on her as soon as OJ turned his back. Paula told OJ about it later and instead of actually doing something constructive with his psychotic roid rage, OJ just sort of shrugged it off like, "yeah well, that's just Donald being Donald." Ugh. Wastes of oxygen, the both of them.
An image from the book: 
Paula stands between a future murderer
and a future fascist cult leader.

Anyhoo the relevant bit here is that after a lot of on-and-offing with their relationship, Paula finally decided she'd had enough and, during the weekend of the murders, she told OJ sayonara and flew to Las Vegas for a rendezvous with Michael Bolton, as she had recently appeared in one of his music videos and had been digging his chili ever since. The song is called "Completely" by the way, and hoo boy, is this a giant gooey hunk of Velveeta right here.

Sorry, but why does he always sound so constipated? Dude, senna leaf tea. Natural and effective. Just sayin'.

So Paula's in Vegas all set to ride Michael's Bolt-on when news of the murders hits the airwaves, and in a fit of guilt she decides to return (oh gurl NO!) to stand by OJ, a misguided decision I'm sure she still regrets even though her relationship with him went down the toilet for good as soon as his trial was over.

And that brings us up to speed.     





Come on, I don't really think Paula and MB's hookup--whether attempted or successful--had anything to do with OJ killing his ex-wife. I was just being facetious.


As above: I assume "Telegram" (?) is some sort of messaging app currently popular in the scamming community, but I've never heard of it.

So below: The dude kept me hanging for a while and I was itching to just block, report, and forget about him, so this is how I ended it.



It turns out that Michael Bolton is a man of many talents; while doing a search on his name I discovered that he wrote a children's book in 1997. It's available on Amazon, and the description makes the story sound suspiciously similar to that of Siddhartha Guatama:

"An award-winning singer and songwriter pens his first children's title in this charming story of a king's son who, disgusted with the greed that power can bring, leaves his father to travel the kingdom as a commoner."


I want a framed poster of this to hang up in my guest room. 
Seriously. It's awesome.

It has mostly favorable reviews, too. Back in 2012 an Amazon user named Gail rated it five stars and wrote: "I got this for my granddaughter. Michael Bolton did a great job with this story and she loves reading it."

Really does sound like the perfect book to read to a youngster while you wait out the End of Days, doesn't it? And the good news is, you can get a used copy for under 10 bucks! Go for it.





Wednesday, February 05, 2020



Well, we all learned a valuable lesson last week when Kobe Bryant decided he was too important to drive in LA traffic: if a rich male celebrity of a certain caliber buys the farm in a "tragic" manner, the great unwashed are absolutely not to bring up details that paint a less than saintly picture of the recently deceased. I mean seriously people, have you no decency? THE MAN HAD DAUGHTERS FOR FUCK SAKE!!! THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING!!! 

So I'll go ahead and say this now instead of later: Rush Limbaugh is a rancid piece of shit. See, he's still alive, so I can say that. 

I never listened to Rush Limbaugh, but I know enough about his type of "humor." Here's a little taste. 

WARNING: the following footage features acres of horrific early 90's hair, JC Penney Botany 500 suits, and the fugliest ties you ever did see. Viewer discretion is advised.


I won't talk about Rush Limbaugh calling 12-year-old Chelsea Clinton a dog, because everybody already knows about that. And you probably also know how he referred to Michelle Obama as "Moo-chelle," and Barack as "the Magical Negro," and how hilarious he thought it was when someone famous died of AIDS, playing Dionne Warwick's "I Know I'll Never Love This Way Again," when announcing the news of their deaths? Yes? And I personally give a whole SHITLOAD of credence to the rumor that Rush is a closeted queen, a rumor that has been around so long that I think it can safely be called an open secret by now. And don't even try to argue that he can't be gay, because no gay man would have such execrable taste in interior design and this monstrosity PROVES that he's straight because no, that's a fallacy. There are gay men with bad taste. I'm from the Midwest, I know. They exist. Loudly and proudly. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

And I don't believe that Elton John* playing at Rush's last wedding is proof that Rush is gay, any more than I believe that Rush marrying a woman proves that he's straight. You feel me? It's all just hearsay. But when those sort of rumors come out about a hypocritical Oxy-snorting right-wing radio hack who goes out of his way to mock and demean the LGBT community, well then.......you know. It gives one pause.

*Note: Elton John playing Rush's wedding is also not proof that Elton is friendly with Rush or that he condones Rush's nasty homophobic rhetoric. What it does mean is that Rush paid Elton John a million dollars to perform at his wedding, and also that Elton John is a whore. (C'mon now I like Elton, but seriously. Does he really need money that badly?) 

So then, FORGIVE ME PLEASE if I can't muster up any sympathy for Rush Limbaugh. I'm SO FUCKING SORRY, but I just can't. Maybe you can. If so, good for you. 

Lastly, you know the best thing about Malaria presenting Rush Limbaugh with the Presidential Medal of Freedom?

Save your prayers, asshole. God don't want 'em.   

That it was completely overshadowed by this event:


On a related note, does this mean that the Democratic party is finally growing a pair? Dare I dream? 






Friday, January 03, 2020

WOW. 
I MEAN....
WOW.

Lord help me, I watched all 11 minutes and three seconds of this. I have no idea what in the holy hell it is or why it exists, but I think I'm obsessed with it now. 


Some questions:

Why is Carol Burnett in this? And was she only there for the dorky intro and outro?

If so, bravo, 1982 TV execs! That was the most random, goofy ass shit I've ever seen. 

Why did Cheryl Ladd have her own prime time TV special? I thought she was only famous for being a replacement on Charlie's Angels. Was someone trying to make her "happen"?

This weird shot makes it look like she's menacing a tiny Rick Springfield!

Speaking of Rick, did he raid Simon Le Bon's wardrobe? 

Yes, it appears that he did. And I like it.

What the hell is with the extra verse in "I've Done Everything For You," (at the 7:55 to 8:15 mark)? I've never heard that before. And yes, I'm well familiar with the works of Rick Springfield. You got a problem with that? 

Didn't think so, bitches!

Now that World War III is about to happen, can this insane TV special just be broadcast on every channel and repeated on an endless loop forever and ever and ever? I think that would be the best thing for all of us. 

Namaste.




Tuesday, September 24, 2019

MEMO TO TRUMP 2020 CAMPAIGN: GET BENT


They sent us this bullshit in Reno too. WHY and HOW did we get on Twitler's mailing list? Ah well, at least I had a good laugh filling it out. 



 






Should I send this in Y/N? I'm afraid of ending up on some sort of list at the White House, although I'm probably already on a few anyway. Also, I really want to make them eat the processing fee. I feel torn.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

ADVENTURES IN SCAM BAITING PART V:
THE VERY MODEL OF A MODERN MAJOR GENERAL

You know, 98% of the wannabe scammers I encounter make me long for mr.lorenzodaniel (the Rowsdower guy). At least that one was kinda sharp and had a few brain cells to rub together. Sigh. Don't know what ya got til it's gone. I think Bon Jovi said that. (Oops, my bad. It was this dude.) Ah well, I suppose that happens when you don't pick and choose your scammers. I believe in letting them come to me, because it's more fun that way. And because I'm just an old-fashioned girl. 

This is what I got to work with, the latest scammer who contacted me about a month ago. And since he checked all the predictable boxes, he pretended to be:

  1. In the military. 
  2. Stationed overseas. 
  3. 'Murican, of course.





He's the very model of a modern major general! Funny, I wouldn't have figured this guy for a Gilbert & Sullivan fan. Incidentally, I thought I was quoting a song from H.M.S. Pinafore, which I actually saw live in Indianapolis about 25 years ago (it was good!) but turns out the Modern Major General song is from Pirates of Penzance, which I haven't seen--although fun fact!--I have actually been to Penzance, which should count for something but whatever. Both are Gilbert & Sullivan, both are comic operas, both have to do with seafaring type stuff. So my confusion is understandable I think, and should be forgiven.

Yemen. Yeah, right. I know shit's been going down in Yemen for a while but I also know that real military dudes aren't allowed to chat casually about where they're stationed and what they're doing there. In fact, a lot of times their loved ones don't even have the details. I was talking to my youngest cousin when I was in Tulsa back in May. She's married to a marine who was at the time deployed "somewhere" near the Persian Gulf (he's back now, thankfully). She didn't know exactly where he was and wasn't allowed to know. So yeah, I already knew this dude is full of shit, and now I get an idea of the degree to which he is full of shit. More on fecal matter in a minute.

Carry on.


Heh. Well, you know how I like to throw a little reality in there. John and I actually were having issues with a giant bush in the front garden that was all overgrown and blocking a window. So we hired a lawn crew, and they'd just shown up that minute to take care of it. Our giant bush. Heheheheheh.

Below: I'd just seen Airplane! on streaming a few nights earlier. I love that movie. 



You would never ever EVER hear a line like that played for laughs in a movie nowadays. That makes it even funnier.

Below: I quoted more Gilbert & Sullivan at him and he didn't catch on, so I guess he's not actually a fan of the theater. Oh well, nobody's perfect.




Below: he said DUTY! I always love it when Howard Stern cracks up over that word. Immature, but funny. I remember one time he played a clip of Diane Sawyer pontificating on her "duties as a journalist," and Stern deadpanned, "Oh my God I don't believe it. She's talking about her doodies?" (Yeah I like Howard Stern. He makes me laugh. Sorry not sorry, as the kids say.)



Above: one of the hazards of screenshots. I think I must've deleted one of them, but it wasn't anything exciting. He was saying something about how he liked "cabege stew" (HURRRRLLLLLL!) and asking if I'd make it one day for him (!) and I asked him if he'd been to Texas and he said no.

Onward....

Above: yeah, blah blah blah whatever. Although not gonna lie, Kenny Rogers really is THE MAN.


And 1970s Kenny is DA BOMB!


Above: He's familiar with countries in Africa. Big fuckin' surprise there. (But not familiar with the Toto song. Philistine!) 




Above: more blah blah blah, homoerotic banter that he doesn't catch, blah blah blah. This guy is so boring.

Above: Isn't it weird how everyone seems to know "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)"? Well, not this guy obviously, but everyone else, no matter when or where they were born. It's like seeped into the public consciousness. 


Below: He hung in there with me for quite a while (and over the span of a few days, if I remember correctly) before asking for my info so we could do Hangout. They all want to do Hangout. It's so tiresome.

Also, "I am number 6" is from the awesome whacked out 1960's British show The Prisoner. If you haven't ever seen it, be sure to remedy that ASAP. Back in 2017 when we were in the UK for my sister-in-law's wedding, John took me to Portmeirion, this amazing little Welsh village where The Prisoner was filmed. No one lives there, and it's perfectly preserved and looks exactly like it does on the TV show. Seriously, like something out of Alice in Wonderland with a human sized chessboard and everything. And it is just an astoundingly beautiful area of the country. I love Wales. 



ALSO also, 853-5937 happens to be the name of a Squeeze song I hadn't thought about for decades, and I forgot how much I love it. And the lyrics mention my name, (Angela, FYI) which is a bonus! It's from their later period and the album it came from was pretty Crowded House-y, which is always a good thing.   







And that's where I ended it, with my little non sequitur re: horticulture club. The guy was taking too long to respond and I was on a gardening forum reading about horsemint. I decided to copy and paste someone's reply to someone else's question about weed control. I figured inserting it at the end there made about as much sense as the rest of my conversation with georgemorgan260, so why not. Plus I was thoroughly bored with him by then.

So I blocked him and reported his account for spam. 

Smell ya later, lamesauce!