30.9.08

Song(s) For The Day

I've been listening to IndieFeed and the CBC Radio 3 Top 30 Countdown and Song of the Day podcasts on my way to and from work (in between episodes of Pseudopod, Wait, Wait! Don't Tell Me! and Car Talk, of course), trying to find new music to freshen up my stale playlists. I jot down the songs with potential and look 'em up on YouTube and LastFm when I have time (usually within 5 minutes of arriving at the office). I've heard quite a bit of great stuff, and wanted to pass on five of them. Just 'cuz!

First is a song I heard today, and would have missed had I known how to fast forward on my new 3RD ANNIVERSARY!!! car stereo (I'm so freaking spoiled!). I listen for catchy music first, lyrics second. This one, "Good Days" by the FemBots, has a positive message, "life is good," wrapped in a melancholy tune:

“All you Christian soldiers
You got it wrong
‘Cause life is good
Life is good.
And all you Muslim martyrs
You got it wrong
‘Cause life is good
Life is good.”

And THIS one is just the opposite: a melancholy, borderline morbid song wrapped in a catchy little tune. My favorite song on this list: Chad VanGaalen's "Willow Tree"

"When I die....
Take my body
Put it in a boat
Light it on fire
Send it out to sea"

Now THAT's my idea of a sendoff!

These two are catchy and folk-y and fun; in that order:

The Acorn - "Crooked Legs" and

Human Highway - "The Sound" which has a cute video to go with it:



And finally, for some even more silly fun,
Mother Mother - "Polynesia"

"I caught a mermaid looking right at me
I said, "Hey, baby, why don't you come up top?
You could flip-flop
While we cruise the Florida Keys!"

Great, catchy mindless running song.

I hope you enjoy these! Please send along any new stuff you've been listening to and loving.

29.9.08

Says Alot About A Girl....

....when she sees a shot of a celebrity and immediately looks past said celebrity at the house in the background, then returns to the celebrity and finds out who she is only so she can use her as a vantage point to figure out where they are:



That building looks all England-y! And the fact that she's wearing red plaid pants and STILL looks like a stick makes me think it's Kate Moss...one sec, let me verify....Yes! It is! It IS England!

Side note: If I wore red plaid pants entire zip codes would be blotted, not just a single license plate, so kudos to your productive cocaine habit. End side note.

I wish she'd move her skinny butt so I could get a glimpse of the license plate and more of the building behind her. OUTTA THE WAY, MOSS!!! There's something interesting behind you!!!

26.9.08

Are Those 10-Sided Dies He's Rolling at 3:55?!?!

They ARE!!!

Stephen Colbert proves that even the biggest geeks and nerds can grow up to be the most popular people on the planet. My favorite is the bit about the hadron collider about 3 minutes in, but this THREAT WATCH! countdown is pretty darned solid all the way through!

25.9.08

Killer Shoes

Rihanna was spotted out and about wearing the dreaded Spider Eating Hornet Shoes I'd posted about earlier. Well, it's good she's getting some wear out of them - they weren't cheap - but I really wish she'd donate them to the Arachnid & Insect house of the San Diego Zoo, or .... whereever they display arachnids and insects. Outside of Chicago. Far FAR from Chicago.




*Shudder!!!* EEW!!

But there is a picture of celebrity shoes I find even more terrifying.

Let me get this out in the open - I LOATHE Crocs. They are ugly. Hideous. I hate them so much, I EVEN HATE THE ORANGE ONES - THAT's how awful they are. They are a blight. Unless you're a nurse who's always running the risk of being splashed with bodily fluids and needs a shoe you can wash off and wear again, I will moc your Crocs. I understand incinerating a pair of shoes after a single wearing gets pricey and starts to cut into your so I cut you nurses some slack. I'll also cut those of you who wear them in the garden AND ONLY THE GARDEN some slack for the same reasons (only, replace "bodily fluids" with "mulch, dirt, and manure")

But I will NOT cut the president of the United States any slack.



Man I hope you're waving "It's not what it looks like! I have a day job as a nurse where I actually do useful stuff!!" because Crocs on you, Mr. Man, is unacceptable. OMG, what happened to the days where presidents had, oh, I don't know, social grace, class and HALF A SHRED OF SELF RESPECT??

And who are you playing footsie with?? What kind of sicko has a Croc fetish???


Are those Presidential Seal socks??
Could there BE a bigger faux pas than wearing Presidential Seal socks with Crocs??

Ferret Update!

I apologize for being so quiet on the subject of the new ferretses - until now! There have been a couple of reasons for this:

1) Ferretses are notoriosly difficult to photograph. As soon as you pull out a camera they try to take it from you (they LOVE electronic devices!). In addition, they have an uncanny way of turning their butts to the lens JUST as you snap the shot. The best you get is a fuzzy blur. Add to this the fact that Nos and Tessa are constantly swarming to try to take out a chunk of you, and your chances of getting a clear shot are just about nil.

That brings us to 2). It was only recently we decided we probably will keep them. For a while there I was ready to throw them in a box - holes optional - and ship them back the the breeder I'd bought them from in Ohio. She'd described them to me as "a laid back, gentle lap ferret!" (Nosferretu) and "a sweet baby who gives kisses!" (Tessa). Nos loves to attack feet and has a LOT of energy for a full grown male ferret. He is most defninitely NOT a lap ferret. He loves to bite people's waists; and if I carry him on my shoulder, he bites my neck. Hard. Hard enough to draw blood. So at least now I know why he was given the name of Murnau's vampire....

Then there's Tessa (short for HaegTessa - a neopagansaxon word meaning "Hedge Witch") Tessa ...Tessa is evil. Or was. She appears to be settling down a bit, but we still don't handle her without at least one leather gardening glove that her razerteeth can't penetrate. To say she bites would be like saying that waterboarding is like being caught in a gentle spring shower. My idea of giving kisses would be her licking my face or my ears. Her definition would be ripping off whatever part of my face she could clamp on. She doesn't just nip or bite - she clamps. And her jaw is like an iron vise. A vise full of razer sharp teeth that she then grinds. OMG - OWW!!!! She loves to bite fingers and toes, so between her and Nos, we can't approach them without wearing leather shoes (their teeth go right through trainers), and though we can pick him up if she hasn't gotten him all riled up, we cannot pick her up without wearing leather gloves.

Scruffing her to show her her behavior is "bad" is pretty futile.

It just makes her mad.

We also have to keep her AWAY from the cats. Nos is pretty good with them - he's not interested in them in the least. Tessa spotted Bou once across the room and ran across to chomp her. She wouldn't let go so Shannon had to wrestle her off while I grabbed Aethelred and locked him in the bedroom. By the time I got back to the dining room, Tessa had freaked out sprayed.

Now, I've been told pet ferrets usually come descented. This is not news to me. The breeder had told me she hadn't had Tessa descented yet because she was too young, but that we'd probably want to do that at some point. Until this moment in the dining room, I had thought that the descenting process reduced the muskiness of the ferret. Ferrets can get pretty stinky - especially when it's warm or if they've just woken up.

Now I know that the descenting removes a totally different stink. A stink so vile that I thought I was going to lose my cookies. I knew that ferrets were a member of the skunk family, but I didn't know that they sprayed like skunks, and that the spray is REVOLTING, a VERY effective repellent. It was all I could do not to flee from the apartment into the sweet, sweet outside air. So it turns out that descenting has nothing to do with the somewhat unpleasant muskiness of the animal and everything to do with its stomach-turning defense mechanism. We'll certainly be having her descented in November at the same time we have her spayed. (We're having her spayed for 2 reasons: 1) it's required by Illinois law unless your a licensed ferret breeder and 2) if you don't have a female ferret spayed before her first heat, she can become fatally anemic.).

That said, she does seem to be settling down a bit. We can pick her up without her immediately trying to reach the the top of the glove where she can then chomp onto the exposed arm. I talked to our vet and he assured us that this aggressive behavior is normal for some kits and that she should grow out of it (*crosses bandaged fingers*). It seems like she's just got TONS of energy and her definition of "playtime!" differs from ours in that ours involves chasing and toys and laughing and kissing and treats,

and hers involves blood.

NosFerret-2?

Here's a baby pic of Tessa until I get her to actually sit still for one. She still looks very much the same, but a bit longer with a thicker shiny coat, and her mask is darker. I adore her pointy little nosferatu ears. She really is a very beautiful ferret! Well, behind bars, anyway.

I Am Ninja! You Are Ninja! Cat Is Ninja, Too!

If you haven't seen Ask A Ninja yet, check it out. I think that the ability to download and watch the podcast while he's biking or running is the main reason Shannon's so thrilled with his 3rd Anniversary!!!! iPod Nano.

It is amazing how expressive this guy is despite the fact his face is completely covered save his eyes. Here's one of my favorites where he answers the question "If celebrities were weapons, what weapons would they be?"



If his manic energy has left you jittery, behold the stealth of the Ninja Cat!

Why Should the Debates Start Tomorrow Regardless of the Economic Crisis?

"It is going to be part of the president's job to deal with more than one thing at once. It's more important than ever to present ourselves to the American people."

-Obama

That pretty much sums up my thinking on this issue. We're going to have a new PRESIDENT in 40 days, not a new top model, not a new Survivor, not a new Best in Show beagle - a new president. A new most powerful person in the world. Somebody who's going to have things coming at him from every which way every day. I think the candidates should be able to prove they can handle stuff - like a debate while the mortgage crisis is being handled. I want to hear the candidates debate issues like, oh, I don't know,...maybe....Oh! I know! THE ECONOMY! Which McCain claimed a few months ago he knows nothing about. So, no, I really don't want him taking another week or so off to "help," unless he's learned something, which he can prove to us tomorrow! There's already a debate all conveniently set up!



I want him to hear him present what he knows. He's had ENOUGH time. Good LORD! He could have started preparing unencumbered when Obama and Clinton were fighting it out! He had MONTHS to prepare!

More Obama:

"It's my belief that this is exactly the time when the American people need to hear from the person who in approximately 40 days will be responsible for dealing with this mess. And I think that it is -- it is going to be part of the president's job to deal with more than one thing at once. I think there's no reason why we can't be constructive in helping to solve this problem and also tell the American people what we believe and where we stand and where we want to take the country.

"So in my mind, actually, it's more important than ever that we present ourselves to the American people and try to describe where we want to take the country and where we want to take the economy, as well as dealing with some of the issues of foreign policy that were initially the subject of the debate."

24.9.08

PLEASE Tell Me He Can Be Disqualified For This!!

...."Disqualified?" Whatever. I'm too excited to figure out if I've got the right term for what would happen to McCain if he blew off Friday's debate.

"US Republican presidential candidate John McCain has said he will break off from campaigning to help on a Wall Street rescue plan." Breaking off his campaign??? Now???!!!? OMG!!! You have got to be freaking KIDDING me!!!! There's just a month till the ELECTION!!!! Are we going to suspend that, too? Oh, why the hell not. The Bush administration has had fun trying to wipe its collective ass with the Constitution; why not screw with every other sincerely patriotic thing and activity we have left. Like....Voting! Cancel Election Day! Sends the right kinda message as to how it's gonna BE around here if this joke gets elected.

Oh, and I'm just so sure he wanted to suspend the debates out of the public interest and not because he's going to look like a complete freaking idiot next to Obama. Oh, absolutely. Sorry, John, but no amount of prep or postponement is going to help you there.

Seriously, if he wanted to "help" and do something about the housing crisis, he'd maybe sell one of his, um, ....oh, jeez, .....I forget how many ...? houses and give that to the bail out effort.

The best thing he could do to help is to continue on with his campaign and stop rubbing in our faces how close this election is despite his doing EVERYTHING WRONG. Seriously, next he's going to show up on Dancing with the Stars and have his pants rip right down the the middle exposing his big white butt while dancing to his song of choice: "You Dropped the Bomb On Me." And the election, if His Highness allows us to have one, will still be WAY too close. Because people -lots of people - are actually planning on voting for him. Whenever election day is, that is. He's probably running a poll RIGHT NOW to find out what day EXACTLY the most minorities and housing owners - WHO WERE SCREWED BY THE GOP's allowing of the raping predatory money-lending practices that led to this SUPREME ****-UP in the FIRST PLACE - will be UNABLE to vote. Then he's gonna try to change Election Day to that day. That's right, Jack - those rich dudes on Wall Street weren't the only one screwed. Thousands of registered voters were, too, and your bending over forwards to Wall Street ain't going to make you any more popular with them. Remember? The ones you're trying to screw out of voting in Michigan?

*UPDATE* - Obama's up 9 points since this announcement.

Maybe there is a God....

Jo(for O)Bama

22.9.08

I'm Sorry, But Am I Really Expected to Focus On....

....whoever this is, with Magenta and Riff Raff standing behind her???

19.9.08

The Four CHICAGO!!! Things I Miss Most

Oddly, they all have to do with food and drink....Imagine that.

In no particular order:

~1~


The Maxwell Street Polish sausages at the Old Maxwell Street market, pre-the 1994 move. They just don't taste the same as they did on Maxwell Street. For serious.

Heck, I miss the entire Maxwell Street Market shebang. What an....experience. No other way to describe it, really.




~2~

O'Rourke's Pub.

It used to be located across from the Steppenwolf theater (now it's some froufrou wine bar or something). The Steppenwolf actually salvaged the beautiful bar and they use it as a set prop at times. I actually got to see it in The Time of Your Life.

It was always quiet and dark inside O'Rourke's, even on a crazy summer Saturday night, with dim lights and gleaming dark wood; and the bartender served the best pint in the city.




~3~


Como Inn. It was and still is my favorite restaurant EVER in Chicago. Sometimes my friend Jess and I would get totally gussied up and go there for dinner. Just 'cuz. When I was a kid we'd go there for the most specialist of special occasions.

I still miss seeing it from the expressway (when I actually do drive into the city and get off at Ohio).



~4~


The Family House restaurant where I first got drunk on Ouzo. Actually, it was the only time I got drunk on Ouzo. I was, like, 7 or 8. My dad kept ordering Ouzo then he'd get up to go to the buffet. I loved the smell of it (black licorice!), so I drank it. YUM! My dad would ask the waiter about his ouzo as "his" empty glass was "still" sitting there, so they'd bring him a new one. Which I prompty drank as he went to fill his plate again. The third time he caught me but was too stunned (and maybe a little shock-proud in a dad sorta way) to stop me. I remember being really tired shortly after not-quite-finishing the third snifterful, and I remember being forced to walk around the block with Dad a few times when we got home, even though it was really cold outside.

They served. The BEST. Greek food. EVER.

Still can't drink Ouzo, though I do LOVE black licorice.

The Family House has been closed so long it doesn't even show up in a Google search. I'm sure it wouda had it been closed for serving to 7-year-olds.

5.9.08

Overheard at Starbucks

"I LOVE to splash hot coffee on myself in the morning! It makes me feel ALIVE!" - animatedly sung by My Favorite Barista as he upturned the cup of coffee that he was pouring for a customer all over himself.

To me: "HEY! HI! I didn't recognize you with your clothes on!" - Galter trainer standing behind me in line.

SO CLOSE!!!!

I was SO CLOSE to having my car killed this morning! I was driving along Shermer and as I crossed through Central at the green I heard a "SCRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECHHHHHHH!!!!!" I serenely looked around to see where that ghastly noise was coming from, and saw an SUV barreling towards me along Central. The driver was about to run the red light to hit my passenger side as she turned right. She BARELY missed me. We're talking, like, MAYBE 2 feet. 1/4 block of burnt tire rubber. My first reaction was "WHOA!!!! THAT was CLOSE!!" My IMMEDIATE second reaction was "DAMN!!!! I was THAT CLOSE to getting a new car!!!" My third thought was "What am I listening to that is so bad I thought that screeching was part of the music?" The CBC Canada radio podcast is pretty hit-or-miss. As I crossed Central I experienced two misses simultaneously!

Here are two songs from a different indie podcast that I want to share because both of them have a great beat and it's FRIDAY!!! The first one - "My Other" by i am jen - went straight to my running mix, (which, erm, I haven't used since the last 5K I ran - July 20! BAD, Jo! BAD!) The second song by an Australian band called Sneaky Sound System ("Goodbye" (below)) will be added to the playlist as soon as it's released on iTunes. It's got such a Kyle Minogue feel! Enjoy, and have a fabulous weekend!

4.9.08

"Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton."


-Gloria Steinem


From the LA Times:

"This isn't the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need. Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It's about making life more fair for women everywhere. It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It's about baking a new pie."

This extremely well written, beautifully thought-out article calmed me down from the indignation and revulsion I initially felt when McCain chose Palin as his running mate. Seems he believes she'll draw the Clinton "supporters" who vowed to vote for McCain when Obama received the nomination (on another post I suggested that Clinton should be allowed to skin those "supporters" alive and spackle them with brine). To insinuate that one woman can simply be swapped for another, simply because they share a chromosome, is as ignorant as it is offensive.