Thursday, December 25, 2008

Putting the Christ back in Christmas...



And now that we've successfully restored our Lord and Savior to His proper spot in His own birthday celebration, Jesus and I wish you all a Happy Christmas! And a blessed New Year!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Putting the Christ back in Christmas...

...with Gumby and Jesus holding hands! Isn't that what this holiday is all about?



By the way, this is a parody of the "Otters Holding Hands" video that I featured a while back.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Holiday Gift From Me to You!

You had to know this one was coming. I mean, really.

Since I've been giving the gift of music for the holidays here at the Eddie-torial HQ, it was inevitable that one of my gift-giving days would feature my beloved Goddess of Music, the inimitable, ineffable Emmylou Harris.

She's spoken a lot in interviews and concerts about how she is drawn to songs that reflect the more moody, melancholy side of life. As a person prone to both moodiness and melancholic phases, I can totally relate. I love happy fun music too, but the stuff that truly resonates and sticks with me is the darker stuff.

I think that explain the appeal that Americana music has for me, especially songs based on bluegrass and traditional tunes. Like a lot of people, I sometimes look to entertainment media as an escape from the pressures of life. More often, though, I look for entertainment that actually helps me cope rather than escape. You can only escape for sho long, eventually you have to return. I tend to prefer stuff that sticks with me and reminds me that not only to other people have to put up with a lot of shit too, but that they can and do survive and cope.

In that spirit, I give you Emmylou Harris:

This duet with John Prine is a hoot. He wrote the song, which is a little off-color, and originally sang it with Iris Dement. The video is totally crappy, but it's worth enduring to see Ms. Emmy do that hip shake on the chorus! She really hams it up!



This is from her latest release, about which I have more to say later. That's Buddy Miller playing the guitar with her. The doomed love of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A.P._Carter was probably one of the first celebrity scandals in country music. BONUS: Go here and see the family tree of this legendary family.



An oldie, but an absolute favorite--"Rose of Cimarron."



You know when Steve Earle and Emmylou get together the results are going to be: a) extremely good and b) extremely sad.



Happy Holidays from Steve, John, Emmylou (the Goddess of Music) and me!

Putting the Christ back in Christmas...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Putting the Christ back in Christmas...

it is absolutely appalling to everyone here at the Eddie-torial Headquarters the way that Jesus has gotten pushed to the side during the celebration of His own birthday. This whole insistence that there are other celebrations taking place this time of year, most of which are older than Christianity is galling to the core. In an effort to combat this encroaching liberal, secular war on Christmas, we have scoured the YouTube to bring you the best in videos expressing the proper sentiments of reverence for our Lord and Savior. From now until December 25, we will be presenting one each day to restore the Christ to Christmas. We hope that they bless you richly.



Happy holidays, indeed.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Merry Christmas Bully!

Been watching quite a few cartoons lately. More than in years, in fact. Part of it is that there are some shows on Cartoon Network that I'm enjoying right now. Part of it is that Cartoon Network has been showing some longer animated features I've wanted to see. And part of it is my old friend Boomerang and the nostalgia thing. I've even been dipping into my stack of unwatched anime DVD's. But all of that is a subject for another time.

Nevertheless, all of this consuming and thinking about animation has made me think about one of my favorite bloggers, namely Bully, the Little Stuffed Bull. Bully's one of my blogging heroes. Not only is he the cutest blogger out there (sorry Dorian!), but he writes with a combination of wit, innocence and insight that continually supports the central tenet of his blog: Comics oughta be fun, and if they aren't, then shame on them! He's also incredibly well-read.

Many bloggers have a regular weekly feature or two that keeps content flowing to their blogs, but Bully may actually have more than anybody else: Wodehouse a Week, Separated at Birth, Ten of a Kind, and my favorite: Saturday Morning Cartoons, a celebration of the best and most fun animated material YouTube has to offer. (now you see where this post is going...)

So, when I started to think about saluting some of my favorite bloggers and giving them gifts for the holidays via my blog, Bully was easy to "shop" for. I'm giving him one of my favorite video--Chicos de Barrio doing the Mucha Lucha theme song, featuring a gazillion clips from the show.

¡Es la tradiciĆ³n!




Merry Christmas, Bully!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Let's not cop out again, shall we?

So much that I really want to write about, but I can't because it's work-related. Discretion is the better part of valor sometimes. Not that all of it is negative, mind you. I'm in the midst of getting a promotion and a permanent slot under a director I've been trying to work with for over a year now. Still, there are some long shadows hanging over our department, leftovers from really bad choices for management, and the economic situation is starting to hit us hard. We're not out of the woods by any means, but things look a damn sight better at the end of the year than they did at the beginning.

This Christmas will mark seven years in the house for us. We moved in Christmas Eve 2001. We gave the movers a ginormous tip to get us in the house as soon as humanly possible. Then we set up the bed, took a long nap, and got ready for Christmas. Since we had no tree, we bought two Santa statues at a department store and set them up on a little cart the previous owner had left in the house. We put our presents on the cart. It was a sweet spot in a chaotic spot.

Keith freaked me out this afternoon, returning from his camping trip with a huge gash on his head. (Who camps in December? Not me for sure!) He slipped on some rocks in a lake bed and gashed himself on a sharp rock. He's a little sore, but seems to be okay. He's now banned from wintertime camping.

This is going to be one of those weeks where getting work done is a challenge. We have a holiday party for our department tomorrow afternoon. I've got a pot of chili going for it right now, and I still have a cake to bake. On Wednesday, I have an out of town meeting for the new position. Thursday, there's a retirement lunch for a colleague, then I have to do a training all afternoon. Friday is a staff meeting for the new position, where I'm going to be introduced to the team I'll be leading. This is followed by yet another holiday get-together. Compounding this is the fact that I moved inot a new office right before Thanksgiving, and I'm still unpacking.

When I start in the new position in January, I'm going to have to hit the ground running. I've got several slots to fill, a renewal grant to write, a report to prepare, and an evaluation to conduct. My predecessor would stay until 9 or 10 at night to get everything done. I don't intend to do that.

Hopefully, I'll get my baking started (and finished) this week. I've got the ingredients assembled. I just need to get my pans and racks up from the basement and get started. I'm hoping to make some new hard candies this year. This is also going to be the year that I'm going to best my nemesis: old fashioned chocolate fudge. It's been two or three years since I've been able to get a batch to set up right. We'll see. If I remember to set up the laptop in the kitchen, I might liveblog one night of baking. Or at least live tweet.

Despite the lazy tone of my tweets today, I did get a lot of cleaning in the kitchen done today in preparation for the baking. I still need to vacuum though. I also need to get the living room straightened so that we can get the tree. Last week was so crazy, though, that I really did need the rest this weekend.

My, what a Chatty Cathy I've been tonight. With such a boring post. This is what I mean when I say "rambly" in the blog description. Oh well.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I Got Nothing People!

Absolutely nothing!

Not even a video.

That's sad.

But I'm braindead. Really.

Come back tomorrow.

Bye.

Good night.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Holiday Gift From Me to You!

Okay, so it's not exactly classic rock, but it is the music of my younger days. There's just something about 80's pop that both cheers me up and calms me down after all the stresses of the day. Partly, it's nostalgia (of course), but partly i think it's because there has never been another period where mainstream Top 40 radio was so much sheer fun.

Since I know that this is a busy time for everyone, I offer two classics to release your mind from the cares of the day and send you on a trip to your happy place.

The Bangles:




The Go-Go's:



Love the headband Belinda is rocking in this one!

Of course, if the 80's music brings with it such a happy, fun vibe, why are my two fave Top 40 bands from the period groups who sent through such rancorous break-ups?

Ah, but that is a question for another time. In the meantime, enjoy the music, dance a little, and enjoy best holiday wishes from Belinda, Jane, Charlotte, Gina, Kathy, Michael, Susanna, Vicki, Debbi, and me!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Can't Believe I Forgot Hazel!

Keith called me at work this morning to point out that I had forgotten to include the great and ever fabulous Hazel Dickens on my list of legends I've seen perform. Not sure how I managed to do that, but I did. I was as excited about seeing her at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass a few years ago as I was to see Emmylou. (Believe it or not.)

In penance, here's Hazel herself in action:



Forgive me, Hazel. No offense intended.

I'm all done in and off to bed for the night.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

RIP Odetta

I was really shocked to read about Odetta's death a few days ago. We were fortunate to see her in concert a couple of years ago. It was obvious then that she was feeling the effects of age--she wasn't able to leave the stage and come back out for an encore, so she graciously accepted our applause onstage and then launched into her encore--but her voice was strong and she was wry and witty the whole night.

Her death has got me thinking about other "living legends" of music that I've been lucky enough to see, as well as the ones I never got to see and wish I had, and the ones I would still like to see while I still have a chance. Which then got me thinking about posting about it. Which then made me say, "Oh why not?"

To make one of these lists, a performer has to have been alive and performing during my adult lifetime. No fantasies about time traveling to see Patsy Cline, Hank WIlliams or Buddy Holly. I'm limiting to my adult years to focus in on the time when I have both my own income and the ability to decide how to use it.

The "legend" part is harder to pin down. For me, I think it would include someone whose career began either before I was born (1964) or within a few years of that blessed event, whose career has continued to the present, and who is regarded as having had a significant impact on music. I think that's a workable definition for this purpose. I know it's all still relative and we could argue all day about who is or is not a "legend." But I wanted to limit the boundaries a bit so that this would not turn into laundry lists of my favorite artists.

So here we go:

ARTISTS I NEVER GOT TO SEE

Bill Monroe (who performed for free in a park down the street from our apartment a couple of years before he died. I still kick myself for not going. Keith went. I didn't. I am an idiot.)
Lily Mae Ledford
Johnny Cash
June Carter Cash
Utah Phillips


THOSE I HAVE BEEN FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO SEE

Odetta
Ralph Stanley
Bob Dylan
Doc Watson
Jean Ritchie
The Holmes Brothers
Earl Scruggs
Homer Ledford

THOSE I WOULD STILL LIKE TO SEE WHILE I HAVE A CHANCE

Willie Nelson
Loretta Lynn
Joan Baez
Pete Seeger
Rambling Jack Elliott
Richard and Linda Thompson

Actually, I guess I've pretty lucky overall. I have gotten to see some great performers from previous generations. My regrets list is short (although missing Bill Monroe will be such a mark of shame for me). And my still to see list is manageable as long as everyone stays in good health.

The most interesting part of doing this little exercise was dealing with my arbitrary dividing line. If I had just shifted it another decade, I could have included so many influential favorites on the seen list: John Prine, Kris Kristofferson, and of course Emmylou Harris, But then my not seen list would include both Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt. And my regrets list would have to include Townes Van Zandt.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Under the weather

I'm not feeling well. Came home from work early to get some sleep. Going back to bed. Have a video of a cat fighting a printer to tide you over.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Small Talk

Don't feel like writing a lot tonight, so I'll be doing some links and bits instead. For anyone wondering after yesterday's post, the forgiveness phase has apparently kicked in, although Kosh is still very clingy.


Last night was Bardstown Road Aglow, which is one of my favorite times of the holiday season. I'll probably write it up tomorrow. I took the camera, but it was too cold and windy to mess with.


Roger is giving away some free stuff
, and you still have time to sign up for it!


Top Shelf is having a holiday sale. So is Bloodshot Records. One ends this weekend, but the other one goes on until the end of the month. One of them is one of my favorite comics publishers--home to talents such as James Kochalka and Jeffrey Brown. The other is one of my favorite music labels--specializing in subversive country bands and home to Justin Townes Earl, The Gore Gore Girls, and the my much beloved Meat Purveyors.


If you're looking to make some socially responsible choices this season, Alley Cat Allies is a cause I support. They work to protect feral cats by educating community leaders, lawmakers, and local governments about the effectiveness of Trap-Neuter-Release as a humane way to control stray cat populations. A feral cat that is captured and sent to a shelter will inevitably be euthanized, because ferals are difficult if not impossible to socialize to humans, which makes them unadoptable. You can make donations as gifts in honor of friends and relatives here.

World Wildlife Fund has a fabulous selection of gifts that educate about endangered species and the risks to the environment posed by climate change. You can adopt a species in someone's honor and receive an adorable plush toy version to give your honoree!


And just because I feel like it, here's a video of the Cherryholmes step dancing:



Good night!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Merry Christmas Bennie, Kosh, and Chiquito!

We had to board all the cats yesterday, so we could have some stuff done on the house without worrying about them getting out. None of them like these little ventures to the vet, especially Bennie, who sits in her cage and does the feline version of cursing at us the whole way there. You don't have to speak feline to know when your sweet, stripey little baby is telling you to let her out of the fucking cage or there will be hell to pay.

We're about to go pick them up, which means another car ride with Bennie in her cage telling us to go fuck ourselves. Honestly, the mouth on that girl. She didn't learn it from me, I swear. This will be followed by a period of hiding from us every time we move, lest we lose our minds again and shove them back in their cages.

Next will come the shunning, which is something to be experienced. You know you've pissed off your cat when he comes room, looks right at you, sits in the middle of the floor and turns his back to you. Nobody pouts like a cat, I'm telling you. Kosh and Bennie both can be prone to drama, so sometimes we have absolutely no idea why we're being shunned, only that one of them has some sort of beef with the management.

Somewhere in here will come the acting out. Kosh and Chiquito will get into a fight or two and run wild through the house. Then they'll jump on Bennie. This is their way of showing us how upset they are. "Look what you made me do. You put me in the cage and took me to that place, so I just have to be bad right now. It's your fault. Yes, it is. Not me. You." That's what they're saying.

Finally will come the clinging. No lap will be empty and Kosh will climb into someone's arms to be held. There will be lots of purring and rubbing and stroking. This is actually the bargaining stage. "If I love you lots and lots and never, ever let you out of my sight, then please please please don't ever do that to me again."

Yes, there's nothing like the after effects of cat trauma. Really.

So, in an effort to appease the furry little critters, I'm offering this gift of a video about a guy who maybe loves cats a little too much. Kind of like a couple of grown men who shall remain nameless.

Merry Christmas, babies!

Friday, December 05, 2008

A Holiday Gift From Me to You!

Kasey Chambers is one of my favorite singer/songwriters. I love so many of her songs, but this is my favorite. In fact, I'd probably include it on my list of absolute favorite songs ever. I'm drawn to songs that are both incredibly beautiful and incredibly sad, and "The Captain" certainly fits that category. It's both disturbing and captivating. We saw her i at a club here in Louisville a couple of years ago and she did a solo acoustic version as her encore. It still makes the hair stand up on my arm just thinking about it.

Every so often over the past couple of years, I'd do a search on YouTube for the video, but could never find it. So, I was really surprised to recently turn up not one, but two different videos.

The first one features the version most folks know from The Sopranos. I'm a little annoyed that it's so badly synched, but I'd still like to offer it as a holiday gift:



This version features Chambers and her husband Shane Nicholson. They released an album together this year, which I think is easily one of the best of the year. While Chambers' original version is moving, this stripped-down, understated cabaret-style version is heart-wrenching. I can't get enough of it.



Happy holidays from me and Kasey and Shane!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Fan Entitlement....

Dorian's post comparing video game fan-entitlement and comic fan entitlement got me to pondering something that has bounced around my brain for a couple of years now. I honestly think that when it comes right down to it, neither group can hold the overly-developed sense of entitlement candle to another sector of rabid obsessed fandom: soap opera fanatics.

I'm being serious, here. I don't care how many comic nerds there are pissed because DC won't honor the continuity they established in their Teen Titans/LSH slash fanfic. They simply cannot hold a candle to the hordes of women who grew up watching All My Children while their grandmother was baby-sitting them, skipped high school every time Erica Kane got married, scheduled their college classes around the show, and have named their boys Eric, Kane and Lucci because they didn't have a daughter they could name Erica Kane.



Oh yeah, and they're pissed because ABC won't honor the continuity of the Adam Chandler/Palmer Corlandt slash fanfic they wrote.




Reading soap mags can be pretty annoying these days, since they're full of the same complaining about the same couples not being together any more. Hell, the editor of one mag has a weekly column that serves as nothing but her fan entitlement forum.

What puts soap fans in a league by themselves is their mastery of one particularly annoying technique of self-expression: the fan campaign. These folks take going overboard to a whole new level. Whereas your pissed off self-entitled comics nerd puts a petition up online and rants on every forum he can find, soap nerds devise new ways to give postal carriers back strain.

Let's say that on the venerable soap As the Years Go By fan favorite couple Joaquin and Marguerite are split up. JoaMar* fans group together online to bitch and wail and gnash teeth and a plan is born. They will show those producers and writers! They will teach them to split up a favorite couple! They will convince them to put JoaMar back together posthaste! And they will do it by mailing them something that will express their anger, their frustration, and their dreams for a happy ending for the couple. They will mail them...toothpicks!

It might be that Joaquin is known for having a toothpick in his mouth. It might be that "Toothpick" was his pet name for Marguerite. It might be that the sharp ends of the toothpicks represent the agony that pricks at the heart of every true JoaMar fan. Or it might be that toothpicks were the first thing someone thought of.

Regardless, soon these pissed-off entitled fans are flooding the mailboxes of the studio, the networks, the producers, the writers, and even the actors with boxes and boxes of toothpicks. And they will keep it up until their beloved couple are reunited...or until some other offense raises their ire and sets off a new campaign.

I'm sorry, but there's nothing in comic nerd world to compare. A true self-entitled soap fan can set off a campaign at the drop of a hat. All it takes is a break up or story development they don't approve of. My favorites are the campaigns to keep certain actors on shows. Like getting boxes and boxes of cotton swabs will make someone change their mind about leaving a place where they don't want to work any more.

Sadly, like in comics, it seems like producers are more and more willing to pander to this group, resulting in big event-oriented storylines that run out of steam, endless retreads of past plots, and constant attempts to lure past popular performers back to shows that inevitably end up not using them or trying to recreate twenty-year old love stories that are always less interesting than the originals. And the ratings continue to decline.

Soap opera nerds. Fear them. Avoid them. Like Dorian says, "Nerds ruin everything." It doesn't matter what kind of nerds they are.

*Where do you think tabloids got the idea for combining names into stupid combos like "Brangelina"? They got it from soap fans who've been doing it online for ages!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

On the 3rd of December, my favorite infrequently updated blog gave to me...

...Dolly Parton singing songs for Captain Kangaroo!



I mean, really, what more could you possibly need? I kind of miss the days when Dolly played her own guitar all the time.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Monday, December 01, 2008

30 Days Hath December!

ITEM! It's cold and snowy here making it the perfect night for a pot of beans! Mmmm! Beans!

ITEM! Yes, I know thst most of what I'm writing tonight, along with most of what I wrote over the Arkansas trip would have made better updates for the Twitter thingie than blog posts, but I'm trying to get back into the habit of posting again. Please bear with me.

ITEM! Speaking of the Arkansas trip, it ended quite well. I met parts of Keith's family that I had not met previously. I discovered the wonder of shopping at Fred's. We found a coffee shop that makes a decent latte in small town western Arkansas, believe it or not. Keith mother is having a lot of trouble with her knees and a recent surgery has not seemed to help, which was hard to watch. I think it's the first serious indicator we've had that she's getting older. I was glad I was able to go this time. I really do treasure his mom.

ITEM! Meeting the other sides of his family made me think about how similar our upbringings actually were. We've both known for years that we're both small town rural boys who went to the big city to become who we really are, but I don't often actually see him in that setting very often. Or vice versa, for that matter. We met in Louisville, so we didn't see each other in our settings of origin until much later. Even the meeting of the mothers took place up here, so I always tend to think of us in terms of who we are and who we have become instead of where we came from. It's comforting to me somehow to know that there's such similarity to our backgrounds.

ITEM! We were so tired from traveling that our own Thanksgiving was kind of anti-climatic. We slept very very late and didn't eat until even later. But it was very yummy, nonetheless.

ITEM! Not to Roger Green: I'm not oing any more!

ITEM! The annual day after T-giving shopping was kind of anti-climatic as well. I stood outside our beloved Half Price Books for their gift certificate giveaway, only to watch them run out about six people in front of me. Still, their 20% off early bird special allowed me to pick up several hefty graphic novels for less than ten bucks each, which was nice. My comic shop also had a 25% off special on Friday, so I dropped in there too. otherwise, it was a dull day. There were no lines anywhere we went.

ITEM! December is going to be nuts this year. In addition to the usual holiday whirl, including the baking spree to come. Saturday is Bardstown Road Aglow, one my favorite events of the season. I'm in the midst of changing jobs at work, trading in my current position of uncertainty and instability to a new more stable job, that even brings a slight promotion with it. The switch is not official until January 1, but I'm learning the ropes right now, plus doing my old duties, which includes traveling weatherization trainings around town to help our clients prepare their houses for winter. In addition, I'm teaching an adult ed class for our school system. Thankfully that ends soon, but I still have my last lessons to prepare.

Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo...................

In the midst of all that, I've decided to try to blog every day this month, because things weren't quite crazy enough, you know? Whatever. So, this month, look for holiday gifts for my readers (ha!), presents for my favorite bloggers, and some other stuff, including a bunch of rambling babbling crap passing for writing.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Six days on the road and I'm going to make it home tonight

Okay, not really. The six days part, that is. We will be home tonight. We set out from Arkansas yesterday. Made it to Nashville last night. Going to do some outlet shopping today and then point the old Buick towards the homestead.

I've been missing my kitties something awful. We had to board Chiquito due to some of his more anti-social tendencies, and I'm afraid it might really freak him out. Plus, I've been seeing black cats everywhere, which almost seems like some sort of sign. So, I'm worried about Kosh. Our cat-sitter says everyone is fine, but I'm still a little concerned. The last trip we both made to Arkansas ended with Basil being put to sleep a few days later. I'm a little nervous. I can't help it.

In thanks to Keith for handling to driving chores so well, here's Lucinda Williams singing about one of the places we passed through on our journeys:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Arkansas Traveller

I've found the place where the people telling the racist jokes are actually Obama supporters. Seriously!




Zen Party trail mix rocks! Rice crackers rule!




Seen on church signs:

"God loves you and sent His Son. He approves this message."

"God's economic policies never fail. Let's talk."

It's touching to saee how politicallly aware these Arkansas churches can be.




We blew a breaker in our hotel room last night. Too many devices recharging while the heat was running.




Believe it or not, you can find a place in small town western Arkansas that serves a wholesome, yummy vegan meal.




I love visiting with Keith's family. I hadn't been able to go for the past couple of years, and I've really missed them. I'm glad I was able to this year. We've spent last night and today with his mother and visited two of his aunts today. Tomorrow, we're going to try and squeeze a little shopping and photography in with the visiting.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Some thoughts while traveling to Arkansas

Where did November go? This month has been a surreal whirlwind. I think I worked more hours this month than I ever have. I have three major tasks happening at the same time at work, plus a second job, and a new position that I'm starting to transition into. And now it's time for the trip to Keith's mother's.




Seen on a bumper sticker:

"I started out with nothing and have done a pretty good job of holding on to it."




Why is it that we can never get out of town until at least 2:00 p.m.? Even when we plan to do so much earlier?




Tennessee has more state parks than anywhere, I think. Or at least it seems so by the signs on the interstate. I swear we passed an exit last night that had signs for something like a dozen parks.




If they're all that close together, then why not just lump them all together in one mega-state park?




Which Jackson were Johnny and June singing about? I always thought it was Jackson, MS, but given that he was from Arkansas and they lived in Nashville, it very well could have been Jackson, TN.




Keith's growing tendency to shout "Loser!" at every car we pass that has a McCain/Palin sticker is starting to become worrisome.




I'm surprised that internet travel sites haven't put them out of business, but those free magazines with hotel coupons in them that you get at rest areas and restaurants along the interstates are the bomb! Especially, if you're not sure how far you're going to make it in the first day of your trip, so you're leery of making a reservation somewhere.




Welcome to the South, where there's a Waffle House at every exit!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I'm Michael Edward Mitchell and I approve this birthday present

Dear USA,

Thanks so much for the lovely birthday gift. It's exactly what I wanted! You've finally made up for that awful 16th birthday gift you gave me in 1980.

Love,

Eddie

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Highway 60: The Yard Sale! (Continued)

Okay, so here's the run down, in as condensed a form as I can put it.

Somehow, despite our best intentions, it was after well after 10 before we were on the road Saturday. Even though Highway 60 runs through Louisville, the sale didn't start until Meade County, which is to the south. So it was after 11 before we were in sale territory. We clearly had a lot of territory to cover and not a lot of time to do it in.

Since we knew we'd be coming back on Sunday, we decided to limit our stops to our side of the road. We planned on hitting whoever was still set up on the other side during the return trip. We also didn't plan on trying to make every stop, but we'd play that by ear. I had looked up info for the main stops in a couple of counties, but I stopped with Hancock, which was as far as I thought we'd get.

A couple of things to understand about these 100+ mile sales, for the uninitiated:

First, it's not 100+ miles of shoulder to shoulder yard sales. I think every person who lives in those seven counties would have to have a sale for that to be possible.

Second, this is mostly rural territory, which means it's not densely populated. It also means that large stretches of 60 are your typical country road with lots of hills and curves and narrow spots where it wouldn't be safe to set up a table full of junk to sell.

So what you get are lots of places where several folks have set up together, followed by several miles of no sales whatsoever. Then you have the towns, where there are lots of set ups all over the place. And you also have the more traditional front yard set up from time to time.

Still, even though it wasn't mile after mile of endless sales, it was still pretty slow going in spots. We were on the road for well over an hour before we even left the first county.

We ended up not hitting every single sale, which is a good thing, as we'd probably still be out there if we'd tried. But we hit so many that it all seems like a fantastic blur.

I do think we saw every kind of set up possible: in the service bays at gas stations, in front of abandoned stores, in fields, beside fields, under huge trees in the yards of farm houses, grocery store parking lots, and on and on. There were private sales. Group sales. Benefit sales. And every other kind of sale you can imagine.

And not every sale was on the highway either. There were countless signs directing bargain hunters off onto side roads. We passed those up for the most part, since you just can't do everything.

Probably the hardest part of the day was spotting sales far enough in advance to plan to stop. Traffic was heavy in some places and there wasn't always a place to run around or back up. Many of the houses are set back from the highway and it was easy to miss a sale set up near a house with a huge front. Still, we did make plenty of stops.

And the stuff! Old stuff. New stuff. Junk. Crap. Cool treasures. And the totally unexpected. (More on that next post.) And the prices were simply rock bottom. I only bought one or two things that cost more than a dollar and most were a quarter or less. There were quite a few folks who were obviously out for the bargain shopping and found it--trucks full of furniture and vans full of clothes and stuff.

We had tons of fun. We got yummy cider from Spencer's Orchard and kettle corn fresh from the popper. We actually heard a woman yell for Billy Bob to go get Butch because someone wanted to buy his lawn mower! (You can't make stuff like this up.)

There was a little bit of a worry towards the end of the day Saturday, since we weren't quite sure where we were going to stay the night. We were trying to get into a state park, but the one in Owensboro didn't have a campground, so we were pushing on to another park in Henderson, trying to get there before the park gates closed. This meant that toward the end of the day we passed up a few sales. But we did get to the campground in time, found a spot and even got set up before it got dark.

Sunday, on the way back, we spent more time in Owensboro and Henderson than the day before, and then repeated our pattern on the way back. All told, we hit five of the seven counties, which is pretty good for a spur of the moment thing. In fact, that was two more than I orignally thought we would get to.

I did hear from one of the vendors that further down the road in Union County there was so much yard sale action that traffic was backed up for hours, but we missed that fun. Still, there's always next year!

Next: The scores!

(EDIT: Your Eddie-tor went back in 10/8 and cleaned up some of the text to make things a little clearer and neater.)

Monday, October 06, 2008

Keith and Eddie's Excellent Yard Sale Adventues!

Narrator*: It all started last week, when Keith came home from camping.

Keith: Hey! They're having a yard sale on Highway 60 next weekend.

Eddie: Really? I didn't know they did that.

K: Yeah. I saw the signs on the way back.

N: So Eddie hopped on the internet a few days later to check it out.

E:
Hmmmm....175 miles.....seven counties....sounds like fun to me!

N: And so, a few days later...

E: Honey, why don't we do the Highway 60 Sale this weekend? We can just go until we're tired and turn around and come home.

K: Okay.

E: Really?

K: Yep. I'm game.

N: The counter-proposal** came the day before they left.

K:
Honey, what would you think abut making an over-night out of it?

E: What do you mean?

K: Go until we're tired, find a place to camp, and spend the night, then come home on Sunday and hit some more sales.

E: Do we have enough time to get everything ready?

K: It's already ready. I haven't put the camping stuff away yet.***

E: What about food?

K: We'll get some stuff tonight and take it with us.

E: Okay.

K: Really?

E: Sure. Sounds like fun.

N: And so the next day, the boys loaded up the car and set out west looking for bargains.

More to come!

*This works best if you imagine the narrator sounding like Waylon Jennings, a la Dukes of Hazzard. Waylon frequently makes guest appearances from beyond to narrate our trips.

**There's always a counter-proposal. And sometimes a counter-counter-propsal!

***Truth is, in the summer the camping stuff never gets put away!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Overslept....

I'm having a hard time getting it together today. I'm still half asleep. I have to scoop the cat boxes, feed everybody, get cleaned up and dressed, and then hit the road. There are a couple of "book lover's paradise" yard sales today and I wanted to get their early, but, man, is my ass dragging.

I need something to perk it up, like....I don't know...Green Day doing Ramones covers...



Got to Blitzkrieg Bop on! See you in a bit.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Dark Bailout

I've been working with families in foreclosure long enough now that our whole economic situation has too many names and faces for me. I am extremely skeptical of the plan put forth by Bush, which seems to act to safeguard the investments and assets of the people who created the mess in the first place.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

WE HAVE POWER!

And all of a sudden I feel a lot less like running up and down the streets with an axe chasing elderly nuns and sweet woodland creatures.

I'm starting to think that there may be something to that whole "amount of available light has an impact on your mood" thing.

I also afraid I may have to become a monk, if I really do want to hold up my end of that light-deprived bargain I made with the powers (get it?) that be.

Oh well, just call me Brother Edward the Commenter!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Good Morning from McD's!

Still in the dark. I have a dentist appt in an hour, so I'm taking advantage of the time and WiFi connection.

The worst part about being without power is not the boredom. It's the oppressive feeling. I've been in the most foul mood ever since this started. Sitting around in the dark every evening doesn't help. Waking up is really hard in the morning. I never realized how much turning on the light was a part of the starting the day ritual.

And don't get me started on the lack of coffee....

Kosh isn't dealing well with the darkness. He has his freaked out face on most of the time. Since we have a shotgun house, in a 'hood full of shotgun houses set very close together, there aren't any windows on the west side of the house, which means that the place is already getting dark in the middle of the afternoon.

At work, we're up to our armpits in emergency food distribution for folks who lost everything when the power went out. We've been eating out all week, which is making me feel sluggish and out of sorts, which is adding to my bad mood.

I told Keith the other night that they had more light than we have right now on Little House on the Prairie! Ma could always sew at night. I can't even read. I miss reading, much more than I do TV or the internets.

Almost 300,000 homes lost power when Ike blew through. (Keith said that he read that the winds were severe enough to say we had a class-1 hurricane come through. I don't know how accurate that really is, but it certainly feels right.) Nearly half of them still don't have power. Lots of businesses are still closed. There are trees down everywhere and roads that are still blocked. And many intersections without functioning traffic lights.

And I know that there are athousand ways this could be worse and hat there are a thousands of people worse off right now in other parts of the country. And, honestly, I'm sorry for all that, but I'm also damn sick and tired of sitting in the fucking dark.

Yes, I'm a lousy disaster victim.

Off the Grid

I'm posting this from a coffee shop, since we've been without power since the remnants of Hurricane Ike blew through on Sunday. We're all okay and we didn't have any wind damage to the house but I'm getting tired of sitting around in the dark.

More at some point when the light returns....

Friday, September 12, 2008

This is for Keith

A few weeks ago, Keith was feeling a little blue, so he decided to check out my little blog for some cheerful thoughts. However, what he found was this post. So much for cheerful thoughts. I am glad I did all those disclaimers! (And despite all that, his comment to me was: "Honey do we need to talk?" The perils of blogging!)

Anyway, I've decided to do a semi-regular post just for him to make up for it. (But you can read it too.)

Most likely, it'll be a video, since that seems to be what I do best. Here's a new one from Keith's favorite singer-songwriter Todd Snider, who has a new CD out in a few weeks! (I don't think Keith knows about it, so it will be good news for him!)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Album of the Week: David Ford

This was an impulse buy after trying the CD out at a listening station in a store. I'm glad I didn't judge this one by the cover, because the cover definitely said "WARNING: Mopey Singer-Songwriter Guy!"

For my money MS-SG is the only thing worse than Mopey Singer-Songwriter Girl--cliche ridden, stuffed with tortured metaphors, anguished lyrics and melodies that all sound the same. It's enough to make me want to either put the singer out of his/her misery or put me out of mine! Honestly, it's the kind of stuff that gives acoustic music, singer-songwriters, and folk music a bad rap.

Thankfully, this wasn't the case with Ford. He takes all the MS-SG cliches and turns them on their collective head. He can be witty, acerbic, scathing, political, bitter, ironic, and even a little sentimental, but never sappy and certainly never sound-alike dull. This one was definitely the musical discovery of the year for me.

From Music for the Road:




"Go to Hell" the album opener.



"Requiem" wherein Ford channels Dylan without coming off as derivative.



"Song for the Road" where he gets tender and emotional without going overboard with the sentimental nonsense. Next time I make a CD for Keith, I'm including this one.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Monday, September 08, 2008

Monday Morning Already?

I start leading a class for some of our clients tonight, so I'll be working over. I've never quite figured out how a couple extra hours work on Monday makes me so tired the rest of the week, but it does.

We had contractors in last week to look at the kitchen ceiling where it's falling in, but haven't gotten any estimates that we like yet.

Keith went camping over the weekend, but I stayed home. Kosh was a velcro kitty all weekend as a result. Could not get more than two steps away from him. He came to us from a home where he had been left behind and even now, nearly five years later, he still gets a little freaky when someone goes away.

Keith took the car, so I did yard sales by bike, which is always interesting. There weren't too many going on for some reason. I picked up some really cruddy looking issues of Groo at one. Mostly everything was pretty lame.

God, but my life is really boring when you type it out. Sigh!

And now....

My favorite cheesy Latin pop song:



"Tu" by Noelia

Friday, September 05, 2008

These two are for Keith

Well, and for me too.



John Prine and Emmylou Harris "Angel from Montgomery"



John Prine and Emmylou Harris "In Spite of Ourselves" (I cannot believe she sang the line about the big brass monkey!)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Album of the Week: Ditty Bops!

I missed this one when it came out last year, so I'm making up for lost time. This is one of those that I have to listen to at work, because the Ditties get on Keith's nerves. I love their mixture of vaudeville stage show and modern "take no shit" attitude. So enjoy "Angel with an Attitude" from the Moon Over the Freeway CD.



And here's my favorite song from their first CD:

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Happy Tues-Monday!

The only thing I don't like about the three day weekend is the Tuesday that feels like Monday all day. It's like having a weird jetlag or something.

I'm trying to go into work early, so I'm going to just babble about some stuff and then go in, I guess. None of this is going to make a lot of sense or even be that relevant.

Went to the state flea market on Sunday. Was really surprised not to see any comics dealers. Well, there was one, but he wasn't there. It was just his empty booth. I didn't think he'd be there because he's also a pastor, which means other obligations on Sunday. I always like to shop at his booth because he's got great selection and great prices. Oh well.

I did get some cool old religious statues though, including two St Christophers!

You know, I've been going to that flea market for over twenty years.

We've been doing a lot of cleaning and rearranging around here of late. Still have a lot to go unfortunately. Our junk room overfloweth! I'm in the midst of the great graphic novel purge of 2008. We got some cast-off bookshelves to put in our living room, only to find they're like two inches too large. So now they've become an item on the to do list. Sigh!

We kind of let the flowers and veggies get away from us this summer, which makes me a little sad. Oh well, there's always next year.

I'm determined to get back in shape. I cannot believe how heavy I am given how much I ride my bike. I'm trying to think of a way to work walking back into my routine again. I'm also heading back to my exercise class for the first time in ages. I am heavier than I've been since the year before my dad died.

I found an old textbook from my undergrad days at a yard sale recently and I'm now re-reading it. Is that strange? How about if I tell you that I never took a class that required that book? I just bought it at the bookstore one year and read it because I thought it was interesting. Now I'm doing it again!

And that's all there is from the sad, strange life of Eddie Mitchell!

Sometimes, I just need a little Hedwig....

Because going back to work after a three day weekind is difficult, and my boss doesn't like it when I hit my co-workers...



Happy day after everyone!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Weekend Agenda

Hmmm....

Three day weekend coming up! What to do?

How about this? I'm sure I'd have enough time to get them all in over the course of three days...



Maybe not. I'd most likely get stuck at sloth and never get out of bed.

Then again, what's wrong with that?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Album of the Week: Amy Ray

By the way, the album of the week is the one I've been listening to the most during the week, not necessarily what I consider the best of the week. I actually had a harder time getting my head around this one than her other two releases. Her last CD, Prom, was so personal and hit me so deeply right from the start that I was geared up for more of the same, when I should have come to this one without any expectations.

Interestingly, once I stepped back and just listened to this one, I found it does have the same kind of impact on me as its predecessor. It just makes its mark differently. It's not that it's more subtle--Ray always pretty much wears her heart on her sleeve--but it comes from a different place.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Peter Parkour?

Being as perennially out of touch as I am, this stuff has probably been floating around the blogosphere for years already. However, I just found it and thought it was pretty cool. It's kind of hard to watch and not think about all those super-hero comics in your closet. And then you wonder if one of them would put on a costume and come over to your house and...

...um never mind.



Here's the same crew doing another one.



Some folks will go to any lengths to get a boyfriend!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Album of the Week!

Or should that be CD of the Week? Whatever!

From A Larum by Johnny Flynn



"The Box"



"Tickle Me Pink"

Monday, August 18, 2008

This kind of post requires disclaimers

Which would be as follows:

1. I am not depressed or melancholy or moody or any of that stuff. (For right now at least.) I'm not sure what brought this string of vids to mind. Sometimes, I start out mindlessly surfing and end up on YouTube. A song will pop into my head and the video will lead to another and another and another. This time they all seemed to center around break up songs. You gotta go with the flow, man.

2. NOTHING in my personal life inspired this I swear! It's just that after looking at four or five of these things, I just had to post them for some odd reasons.

3. I know I owe some posts on other matters. They're coming, honest. It's just that there's another major one that's blocking them and, while I really should not post it due to potential repercussions, I'm convinced I can find a way to do it. The idea has gotten hold of me and won't let anything else in or out until I either vanquish it or figure out a way to post it. (I've posted some links recently that hint at the contents.)

4. Yes, I know my taste in music has its cheesy dimensions. Oh lord, how I know, especially when the 80's are involved.

So, anyway, it started with OMD:



For some reason this song was very significant for a group that I hung with in college for a while.

That led to Green Day and a song that actually did help me through a major depression about ten years ago. (one of these days I need to do a post of my personal depression-buster songs.)



Which somehow led to my favorite Pat Benatar tune. I'm telling you, the eighties, man. I can't shake 'em loose sometimes. I love the children's choir in this one. It's the perfect cheesy touch.



And if you're going to do cheese, you have to have some hair metal, in this case Poison:



And then this led me to my trifecta of high school break up songs. First ABBA:



Then Barry Manilow (My secret shame: I am a closet Manilow fan):



And finally, The Commodores, and a song I used to sit with two or three female friends and cry over. (And there were people I went to high scholl with who were surprised when I came out of the closet. Go fig.):



And that's the bunch this time. You survived. I survived. And somehow, maybe, your opinion of me survived too. If you thought this batch was maudlin, you should have seen what didn't make the cut!

Monday Morning Yummy Yummy



The Queers: "Punk Rock Girls"

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I'm Having Trouble Sticking to My Diet

Think I can get them to install vending machines like this at the office?



I need all the negative reinforcement I can get!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Recovery in Progress!

Brief Updates:

Old hard drive has been extracted from dead laptop. Now hooked up externally to new laptop.

Rescuing files.

Next step: making back up. (Finally!)

Still can't figure out how to rescue old emails and bookmarks. Sigh!

Regular posting resumes tomorrow.

In the meantime, enjoy Kentucky Sassafras, third place finisher for Kentucky Bluegrass Band of the Year. (And in my opinion got ripped off...)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Roaring Back!

Just got back from a weekend camping trip and attending the state fiddling championship. On the way out of town, I bought a new laptop, which I am now using to post this. It's quite nice. I just need to see if there is any way to recover all my old files (and post drafts) from the old one and I'll be back in business!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Technical Difficulties!

My laptop seems to have up and died, leaving me with two options, neither one of which is conducive to lengthy posting posting at this moment. I'll be back as soon as I can.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Calling Roger Green!

I spent some time on my vacation planning and writing up several posts for the blog, but decided to hold off on posting any until I was back at work. I figure that it’s better to have a little bit of a stockpile built up. I’m not likely to ever become a daily blogger at this late in the game. Hell, it’s not even a goal of mine at this point. Still, having several things I can put up with a little tweaking here and there can’t hurt anything.

Every solstice
, Roger Green, much beloved blogging figure and presidential candidate, opens his blog up for questions from his readers. I actually had several things I wanted to ask him this time, but the timing didn’t work for me. However, I know that by the time the next solstice rolls around, I’ll have forgotten what it was I wanted to ask. So, I’m going to try and call him out with a post.

It’s all for you and it’s all about you, Roger! You can answer in the comments or on your own blog.

You’ve done some writing about biking, including a really good post a while back with tips and such. As someone very new to biking, I had some additional queries I wanted to bounce off you. I started riding again last year, and currently ride just about every day, usually to work and back, if nothing else. I’ve started doing lots of my errands and running around on the bike as well. Anyway, I’ve had some questions related to things that come up when I ride. So, here goes:

1. Distance-wise, how much do you ride on an average day? What is the most you’ve ever ridden in one day? (Either all in one stretch or in smaller increments with stops in between?) When you ride a lot in one day, how tired are you the next day?

2. Speed-wise, how fast do you go, on average? Do you feel pressured to try and go faster than you are able to or than you feel is safe when you are riding in traffic?

3. How do you deal with nerves when you’re riding in traffic? Do you ride on streets that are typically very busy? Do you try to plan routes around heavy traffic areas?

4. Do you look at weenies like me, who will ride on some streets but not the ones that are really busy, with contempt?

5. I have a hard time keeping a steady course when I have to look over my shoulder to check traffic and sometimes when I signal turns. It’s gotten better the more I ride, but do you have any advice? I’m afraid of drifting into a parked car or into the other lane on narrow streets due to this.

6. Does Carol ride too? Keith and I have a lot of fun riding together.

7. Why is it on windy days, that no matter which way I turn, I'm always riding directly into the wind?

And, in the spirit of your post a few days ago, a list. You just did the EW "modern classics list" this morning, forcing me to re-write this part of this post at the last minute, but there's another recent EW list I'd love to hear your opinions on. If you’ll do me the pleasure of looking it over and devoting a post to them, with notes indicating which ones you own and what you think of them, I’ll do the same in return, for both lists. Deal?

EW’s top 25 country albums you have to hear, even if you don't like country music


I will say in advance that there are some choices that I find highly dubious, but I’d like to hear your thoughts too.

Friday, June 27, 2008

All I Ever Wanted...



Last time we met, I had a major work event coming and an Emmylou CD to buy. Well, since then, the event went extremely well--it was well-attended, my boss was happy, and, more importantly, her boss was happy. But it was also extremely stressful and demanding.

The day after it was over, I came down with an awful cold that settled right down in my chest. I'm still coughing stuff up. It left me too wiped to do much besides work, sleep, and eat Cap'n Crunch, the miracle cure-all.

However, today, after working like a madman for a week to get ready for it, at five p.m., my vacation starts! Ahhhh!

And what a vacation it will be! I'm going to read, watch Batman DVD's, visit my favorite thrift stores, drink coffee, take pictures, ride my bike, clean house, work in the yard, go camping, find a theater that's still showing Iron Man, and sleep!

I'm also going to blog, since I have quite a bit to say about the new Emmylou, yard sales, old posts, Roger Green, comic books, Days of Our Lives, and some other stuff.

But for now, there's one more day of work to do, a report to finish, a recommendation to type, data to correct, and a boss to meet with.

And so I must depart....

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Today is E-Day!


The "E" of course being Emmylou!

Well, life, they say, is what happens when you are making other plans. I had to drop one countdown post from my plans, because I didn't have time to finish it. I'll try to get to it this weekend.

I'm going to get the CD today, but will not have time to give it a good listen until Thursday because of work. I'm also most likely not going to be able to post again until the weekend.

In the meantime, go here and check out some of the tracks, plus video interviews, etc.

See ya!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Emmylou Count Down #3: Share the Love!

It seems like practically every interview, article, and spotlight about Emmylou Harris makes mention of the many artists she's worked with and the many others she's championed over the years. Her reputation as a musical collaborator and a supporter of other artists is legendary. This countdown post pays tribute to one of the many things that makes me love Emmylou so much.

Enjoy!

Gillian Welch:




Patty Griffin:




Iris Dement:



The Louvin Brothers:




Guy Clark:




This hardly scratches the surface,of course. There's also Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Nanci Griffith, Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill, Rodney Crowell, The Whites, Delia Bell, Buddy Miller, Sam Bush, and so on and so forth....

Next: Take a left!

Been feeling like this a lot lately...



And like this:

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

I really needed this, more than you could imagine!



Jame Kochalka, "Monkey versus Robot"

When Eddie Met Emmy (Emmylou Countdown Continues!)

Part 2 of a series of posts to prepare the way for the release of the new Emmylou Harris CD in June. See Part 1 here.


(Yes, I know the CD drops in a week. Yes, I know I've gotten behind again. oh well...)

It all started with one song, my love of all things Emmylou Harris. Interestingly, it wasn't one of her songs, which is kind of fitting if you start to think about the long history of collaborations she has.

I'm pretty sure I've written about this in the past, but my mother was a huge Linda Ronstadt fan, which meant that I in turn became a Linda Ronstadt fan. In fact, by a the time I was about 13 or 14, I was listening to those albums more than she was. The stereo was in her bedroom, so I had to have permission to listen to them. Sometime after my parents divorce, she sold most of her albums, but she kept the stereo and gave it to me, along with all of her Ronstadt albums.

My favorite Ronstadt album is Prisoner in Disguise, which has some great songs on it. I used to play it over and over and over. One of the songs, a traditional tune called "The Sweetest Gift," had the most beautiful harmony vocals. I asked my mom if she knew who it was, and she gave me the name, Emmylou Harris, but not much else.

Later on, I noticed the same lovely harmonies on other Ronstadt songs: "I Never Will Marry" (from Simple Dreams), "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still In Love With You)" from Heart Like a Wheel. I was hooked. I had to find out more.



The first ELH solo song I heard was "Two More Bottles of Wine", which actually kind of shocked me a little. My sweet little harmony singer was singing hard-rocking, twangy country drinking songs? What was this? It took a while to grow on me, but it did. Obviously, this was an artist of great versatility, much like Linda Rondstadt.



At some point, the public library began to circulate LP's for patrons to check out. One day, I found Blue Kentucky Girl in the "new arrival" bin. And, that, as they say, was all she wrote. I checked that album out dozens of times and played it endlessly. It remains to this day one of my favorite ELH albums.

There probably isn't a better overview of who Harris is musically than BKG, an amalgam of hard-rocking country, traditional music, old time country, lovely harmonies that all work together because you can feel the love she has for the music in every song. Several of my most favorite ELH songs come from this album. (More on that later.)



BKG burned Emmylou into my brain for sure, and I've been a mad crazy fan ever since!



Next: Emmylou loves other artists!