Monday, June 30, 2008

Waterboarding or bacon withholding...your choice.

Chowhound (or in its sleeker moniker, Chow) tells us how we're cooking bacon all wrong (link). Good advice, but "be prepared to cook the bacon for 20 minutes"?! That is surely a typo. No human can smell bacon cooking for that long and not have any.

I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor

Well, it was an eventful weekend, Lone Reader. Friday night was a dance party at my house. It was good, but not great. I think it suffered from lack of people – there were about 14 people, and we needed another 5 or so to make a dancing core that really busts it. There were good times, though, and now I have enough left over beer and snacks to feed an army. Plus I have three new CDs of dance music…ex-cellent.

The kids were at the ex’s house for the weekend. I missed them so much. Why am I still not used to it? I know it’ll get easier, but when? So, I had a pretty low-key weekend after the dancin’. On Saturday night I stayed in and watched The Spiral Staircase, a 1945 film with Dorothy McGuire and Ethyl Barrymore. It was pretty dang creepy, about a serial killer picking off women with disabilities one by one.

Yesterday I went to hear the Stan Bann Big Band at Centennial Lakes in Edina. You know what? I know it’s an artificial landscape meant to evoke a reverie of Venice, but I kinda enjoyed it. The weather was lovely and people were in paddle boats, listening to fine tunes in the open air. There were also racing boats like in Stuart Little. (No mice in natty nautical wear, though.)

I finally finished the biography of Elvis Costello, Complicated Shadows. Elvis was apparently not such a nice guy back in the day. That whole “angry young man” thing wasn’t too far off the mark. The book did give me an appreciation of why he does projects like recording with the Brodsky Quartet or country music. I had seen it as the work of a dilettante or a man with too many sycophants around to stop himself from vanity work. I still don’t know that I want to listen to it, but I do think it’s the work of a man truly passionate about many, many forms of music. Now I’m starting the book She is Me by Catherine Schine. The NYT described it as “tragedy and farce in the age of Ikea.” Well, we’ll just see about that, Claire Dederer.

I’m very tired…am I not sleeping well again? I hope not. That’s the first sign of the apocalypse of my fragile state. Overly dramatic? Perhaps. Too many question marks?? Always.

With punctuation and adoration,

Friday, June 27, 2008

Reviews n' Tots

Well, it’s taken me a long time to get back to the blog, Lone Reader. Parenting with an ex-partner who has mental illness is not a cake walk. :sigh: There’s enough crazy to go around, if you know what I mean. Things are gradually getting back on track, however. Here’s what I know:

I watched The Savages a few nights ago. Philip Seymour Hoffman & Laura Linney are amazing actors. The movie was good, with some very funny lines, but generally pretty slow-paced and a downer. (These are usually pluses in my book.) Recommended with a caveat: not to be watched while depressed or sleepy.

I bought tickets to go see the Ting Tings in August at the Varsity. I know, they’re kind of a UK flavor of the month, but I don’t care. I’m looking forward to it.

The new Fratellis CD is great! (Here We Stand is the name.) Just what a sophomore effort should be: a bit more polished, a bit more depth and swell tunes all ‘round. Some songs are little heavy on the Mersey beat, but overall lovely.

Here’s what I don’t know:
Italian (although I can say, “Where can I change my baby?”), trigonometry, who moved my cheese, Latin, why do birds suddenly appear, who'll stop the rain, oh lots of things, really.

And here is my promised TRUE STORY plus a spare:

1. Okay, so I sang at a friend’s wedding a few years ago. I had live accompaniment, back up singers, and everything. It was really quite grand. Afterwards, a man came up to me to compliment me on my performance, which was sweet. He then asked, “Do you have any CDs?” I thought, who the hell DOESN’T have CDs? I said, “Yeah.” He said, “Can I buy one?” Then, because I’m cool like that, I burst out laughing and said, “Oh, you mean CDs of me? Nah.” Yeah, I’m smooth.

2. Many moons ago when my daughter was a toddler, I went to Don Pablo’s with some friends. At the time, they served all kids meals with alphabet-shaped Tater Tots. I knew that if my daughter saw those, that would be all she’d eat, so when I ordered her meal I asked for no tots, please. (I know Napoleon, you want your tots.) The waitress disappeared for a very long time. Someone brought our food out to us and left, but it was for the wrong table. We had to flag someone down to say, “Ummm, this isn’t our food.” When our food finally arrived, much later, there were the Tater Tots. I said, ‘I ordered this without the Tater Tots…could you take those back and just leave the rest of the meal?” She said while walking away, “I’ll just bring you an extra plate to put them on.” And she never came back. Guess what? (and a bit of self-defense here: I always tip generously. I’ve worked food service – it’s hard.) I took the tots and spelled out the words, “no tip” on the table when we left.

May your tots be hot and your tunes cool. Happy weekend!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Back and badder than ever!

Hello and welcome back, my patient reader! This has been truly a bizarre two weeks. I had a pretty crummy health incident that set me back, way back. It was hard to work and function, let alone blog. But I’ve missed you so.

Here are some things:

My children have been gone for a week with my ex. He took them on a road trip and I am sooo glad they’re coming home tonight! I’ve never been apart from them for this long and it’s been grueling. I had lots of big plans of ways to keep busy, painting the living room, etc. but none of those things came to pass. I worried a lot and cleaned their rooms. And worked a lot. And ate cruddy foods and slept weird hours…is it my kids’ responsibilities to keep me on a schedule, eating lovely organic veggies and playing outside? Apparently so. If left to my own devices I kind of ramble about. Oh well.

I got a haircut and got my do dyed dark – in the sun it turns kind of freaky reddish, so now it’s a glorious espresso brown.

Lately I’ve been jonesing for a super big house remodeling project. Do I have the cash for this? Not so much. How swell would it be to finish the basement? (Ah yes – the Legos will no longer be constantly underfoot…who am I kidding?)

In concert news, today They Might Be Giants tickets went on sale. I’m all over it, man. I know that many, many people find TMBG to be too novelty, too silly to be listening music. Not me. I’ve seen them several times and have always loved it. They are funny, smart and true to their strengths as musicians. Yum. I’m also going to be going to see Sharon Jones at the State Fair. This is a show that you cannot miss, dude! I don’t know who I’m going with yet – maybe it’s too far away for people to commit? I dunno. I do know that I’m going to be there, both nights if I can swing it.

I might take ballroom dancing this fall. Those who know me well, stop laughing right now. I’ve always hated that kind of stuff – it seems too showy, too look-at-me for my liking. Well, while I was out listening to some fine music a crazy Russian man asked me to dance. I said no, but he wouldn’t hear it. It was a waltz. I said, “Really, I don’t dance.” He said, “Let me teach you.” Dude, it was embarrassing. Yeah, I learned the box step and all that stuff in gym class, but this dude kept yelling at me, “Look at my eyes! Don’t look down! Now we spin!” Anyway, I think maybe just learning a few things might spare from embarrassment at the hands of the next deranged Russian.

This weekend I’m going to the new restaurant in Rosedale, Flame. A swell architect I know designed it and I’m going and taking the kids. They’re going to be in rare form. They’ve always had re-entry problems after a vacation, but to be away from any sort of routine and nutrition while on the road will make for a difficult week ahead. I don’t care…I love ‘em like crazycakes.

Thanks for your patience, Lone Reader…It’s been a really, really bad time for me and I’m so glad to now see the light of day. More tomorrow, including a beyond silly TRUE STORY. Stay loose and groovy, baby!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Hey, you know what? I'm not well.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Long night...lots of envelopes...must sleep...must apply for job at Ikea tomorrow.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Hey y'alls! Well, it was a crazy busy weekend. I helped a friend move, taught a kids art class, lost BIG time at a trivia challenge and had some sweet down time, although maybe not quite enough of it. Now I'm swimming in a sea of envelopes again as I prepare a gallery mailing. Have I had any bacon lately? No. Have I had a tremendous quantity of caffeine? Abso-freakin'-lutely. Something's gotta get Velma through the day, man.

1. I didn't go to Grand Old Day, despite the fact that it's two blocks from my house. I really don't like it...too much garbage, too many crowds, etc. Do I sound like a curmugeon? Maybe I am. I'm currently preparing my music list for my hot n' sweaty dance party later this month. It's gonna be sweet, dude. 4ril.

2. Interestingly, I've had many looks at my Speed Racer review...many folks disagree with my assessment. That's okay with me. I stand by my original point of view, but I do think I might have felt differently if I had not seen it as a parent trying to make of sense of it for my kids.

3. So, school's out this week. Scary...lots of unstructured time ahead of me, yet still trying to work. yikes. pray for me, man.

4. Today I got the new Al Green record, Lay It Down - the man's still got it, people. Yummmm.

5. When I get this mailing out, I'll have a funny story for you, Lone Reader. Will it be about cannibals? Disney heads? My time traveling with the nomads of Oklahoma? Who can say...

Ciao, bella!