December 30, 2007

Chin Ho Kelly here to save the day!

Around Day 6 of my time on the sofa, I developed a new obsession.

As mrguy was digitizing our 78's, I began to wonder whether Hilo Hattie really was part of Harry Owens' band. The answer was yes, but my research also led me to a Hawaii Five-O fan site which listed her as a guest star.

Why had it never occurred to me to watch Hawaii Five-O before? It's chock-full of what I like: 1960's Honolulu, eye-popping aloha wear, kitschy lingo, and the occasional local guest star, like Hilo Hattie or Carol Kai. This is perfect viewing for the guy family. The first three episodes and the pilot were really great, and there are 69 more episodes available on DVD (278 in all).

Ask me about Five-O fansites :)

December 25, 2007

Mele Kalikimaka

Day 5 on the couch. I finally broke down and took antibiotics.

Mrguy tells me that I'm not allowed to drink porter when I'm taking them.

He is digitizing our Hawaiian 78's.

The tea kettle's whistle is in the same key as Andy Cummings' "In Spite of It All".

December 24, 2007

SOS

My captor has just forced me to drink the cherry-tasting fluid.

Last night I could not find where my captor had hidden the fluid.

Instead I took the extra-long-lasting cherry-tasting fluid.

Waaaaaoow...

I am frozen in time.

December 23, 2007

Wheezing in a winter wonderland

Thursday I just wasn't myself.

Friday I realized that getting out of bed was just a fantasy.

I've been flat for three days now, and I show no sign of getting up or getting better. I hate to say it, but I'm sick and I don't think I'm going to make it to Christmas this year. I hate to leave them in the lurch, but I'm so out of commission. And I don't want to get them sick.

Today mrguy had to take me to Santa's Workshop to pick up his tribute. He's been feeding me potent cough syrup and I can't drive by myself :)

I'm sick, but I'm lucky.

December 20, 2007

New York, odds and ends

We never did see anybody from SNL, and couldn't even find the picket lines. But we did find this awesome artifact of the writers' strike, which I just had to capture:



1) A note of apology from The Colbert Report
2) Misspelled graffiti correcting the spelling of the apology

Ah, New York.

New York, Day 3

Did I mention that this was my best birthday ever?

Sunday we went to an antiques show at the piers, where again my taste was entirely vindicated.

Three years ago I went to a warehouse sale. The people running it had bought an entire container of old stuff from Switzerland: everything from 16mm films from the 'teens, to painted cowbells and rugs and furniture. Dotted around the warehouse were these bizarre and quite ugly but stylish pots from West Germany. Blobby glazes, weird shapes, "off" colors. I thought they were so unusual that I should buy them all. I bought only what I could afford with the 20 bucks I had in my wallet, which got me one French pot and a tall German one with dents and blobs in contrasting blues.

At the sale in NY we met our first dealers of West German pottery and learned that the pots are now highly collectible. Kate Spade had just come through and bought a lot of the inventory for her stores. I found two very small versions of my blue guy listed for $145. And we bought some pots, and then some more.
We wandered around, looking for somewhere to eat and found the perfect restaurant. They sat us next to the piano, and the sweet teen Abe Lincoln piano player brought me almost to tears with his rendition of "Here's That Rainy Day".

Sweet.

December 1, 2007

New York, Day 2

Saturday was officially my birthday. We went to the Armory to see the Modernism show, where I learned that I have fabulous taste. Two months ago I almost bid on some Ed Wiener earrings, which later sold for $150. I saw them at the Modernism show, and would have thrown down for them (what with it being my birthday and all) if they hadn't been FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS. These are earrings, people, not etchings.

Then we went to Ginger Man to sample beer and dial up friends. Thankfully, we know some spontaneous types who came out and gave us the hard news: SNL actors were doing a live version of their show that night, tickets were completely sold out and acquaintances of ours were the musical act. Knife through my heart on that one, but good times with a good friend.

The richness continued! My sister and brother both called while we were at Ginger Man.

Off to Brooklyn, where we ran into friends from the forklift museum on the subway. Never has a trip to Brooklyn seemed more effortless. We met our friends Threads and Snappy at Yemen Cafe, and caught up on butter minutia while eating fried bread with butter, sugar and cinnamon. I wish we'd had more time or had not been on our fourth adventure of the day. We were snatched from them way too soon.

Undaunted, we *did* go the UCB theater in the hopes that we could get in. Denied, but we saw a part of town we wouldn't have otherwise. We raided the vending machines and ate junk food. My idea of a nightcap. And a birthday.

New York, Day 1


There was no joy in Mudville as respects our attempt to see Saturday Night Live in NY. But the tickets were purchased, and my birthday comes around no matter what you do. We went.

Took the red eye, dropped off our bags, got a Palm Beach shrimp sandwich with feta and white balsamic dressing at Chopp'd. I've been waiting 16 months for that sandwich.
Then off to my old haunt, the Museum of Modern Forklifts, where we spent some happy days in December 2005. Saw our old buds, eyed their new digs, and caught up, but not enough. I miss them.

Then quick! Off like bunnies to see our best friends from the city here, who now live upstate there. We shot the shinola while eating black pudding (o.k. *I* ate black pudding).


The night ended too quickly. Lacking additional companionship, we went back to the fancy bar at our fancy hotel and sipped passionfruit caipirinhas. Not a bad start to our trip.

Thanksgiving 2007


Thanksgiving brings out the McGuyver in the Guy family.

When the candles wouldn't stay put in the candle holders two years ago, Mom got the bright idea to knead a leftover Tootsie Roll like clay and stuff it in the holders before adding the candle. Worked like a charm.

This year The Man robbed us of our giblets, but Mom and I somehow made credible gravy by pan-browning the neck, some leftover chicken trimmings and the Pope's nose and using that for our stock. Boil, boil, boil, and before you know it, it's gravy.

No baking rack? Use a bed of celery stalks to keep the bird from sticking to the pan.

Need to keep the wings in place? Might I suggest tacking them down with clean steel nails.

Worked for us! And a good time was had by all.

November 30, 2007

Santa Barbara

If you're ever in Santa Barbara, eat at Arigato Sushi.

November 15, 2007

Las Vegas, Day 2d and 3

Then we went back to TI and found my true love, Hot Flashes.

This game is stupid and absurd, a romance novel in a slot. with cartoon brunette Fabio who says "My name is Maximus. Gluteus Maximus", and a woman who says "Uncle Ray, the love of my life is no more!" No deaths occur in Hot Flashes. Is Uncle Ray the love of her life? Eew.

We became addicted to this slot, both playing one machine. Ms S went to get some more money to throw down the hole, and just as she did I got a jackpot, with crazy video (ladies on swings, bubble bath flowing over the screen, more nattering characters).

The next morning, with a few hours to go before our flight, we went downstairs, had a breakfast gin & tonic (a first!) and resumed play. We got S's wish for three doghouses, and an animated Chippendale guy became the game piece on a board game that played out before us. Had this slot been gender-reverse, we would have set it on fire, but somehow it seemed funny.

We resisted the TI lady's suggestion that we get on the machine and dance.

So ends the story of Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Day 2c

The Antique Mall of America was on our mind, so we headed south.

I've never been to an antique mall that has a food concession, but if shopping for decoupaged Poker Dog puzzles in a mist of friend chicken grease is your thing, man this is the place for you.

Then we called Auntie Style, our ukulele buddy who happened to be in town, and drove to her place in Henderson. At the very moment we should all be in uke class, we were drinking Kona Longboard lager with Auntie and her husband and talking about Hawaii.

Ms Scandiwaiian is the ultimate shopper. I had no idea until we went on this trip. She also has an undiminishing supply of good humor and energy. I tried not to go slack-jawed when at 7:30, after a day of two museums, and an evening visit with a friend, she suggested that we go to one last Savers on the far end of the strip. But we did, and landed in Asian strip mall nirvana. Next time I'm going there first.

At the Savers, she found me yet another Ui Makai aloha shirt. This made two! And we witnessed an argumentative shoplifter causing a scene, and tried to leave before weapons were drawn. Japanese dinner across the street was authentic and delicious.

Then back to Mandalay bay to play penny slots.

Las Vegas Day 2b

Also on my hit list was the Neon Boneyard, and in this case it was a two-fer. The added bonus was seeing architecture by Paul R. Williams, whose La Concha Motel shell is being transformed into a signature entryway for the Neon Museum.

The tour of the boneyard was tremendous. My knowledge of neon or particular signs is sparse, but I was drunk with the visuals. My only wish was to touch the Sands sign (what with me loving Sammy Davis Jr. so much and all), but I kept my paws to myself. They only have a teensy bit of the sign.

The Boneyard turns out to have been close to the Ukulele Lounge, which I'd wanted to see. It is now closed. My new hat-loving friend at the 7-11 said that it had nothing to do with Ukuleles or Hawaiiana at the time of its closing, so we had no regrets.


Las Vegas, Day 2a


I always hoped that some day I would visit the Liberace Museum. Years ago they posted an archivist job, and I had fantasies of having a job where I'd be preserving hot pants and the world's largest rhinestone.

Before we went to LV, I sent the museum an email asking if we could possibly speak to their archivist, offering a tour of the forklift archives in exchange of a tour of the Liberace archives. They kindly agreed, so we not only got to see the great costumes and collections, but also got to talk to the nice man who cares for them, the clippings files, the recordings.

My idea of a good time!

Las Vegas, Day 1

I cannot think of a time when I've had more fun on someone else's birthday (observed).

Ms Scandwaiian invited me to go with her and Mr Finn, who had a trade show around the time of her birthday. I'd never been Las Vegas, I never go do girl stuff with a friend, this was deluxe.

I got to the LV airport a little before they did, hung out at baggage claim, pulled out my uke, and was joined by an older tweedy hippie man who offered me a pick. Victor had come to Las Vegas to visit his money. Knew Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie back in the day. I introduced him to my friends and we took off. I hope he won big.

We dropped Mr Finn off at his hotel, parked our bags at Treasure Island, consulted Ms S's annotated map of thrift stores and headed for the nearest antique mall. The first one was a bust, but payback was #2, a slice of resale heaven. There we found the foxy beer hat: slices of beer can stitched together with red yarn, accented with two home made pom poms. When I put it on, both the hat and I were transformed. I call it Holly Golightly meets the Lovin' Hands of Home. Almost immediately people were drawn to me...

I believe we found a Savers after that



and made our way to TI. We bought beer. We descended the escalator, which features a jumbo-tron sized video display of advertisements. It could not hold the gaze of fully half of the people on the escalator. It was as if they'd never seen a beer hat before. Smiles, points, frowns, punctuated by the occasional open fly-catching mouth. It was awesome. Never had ten dollars been spent so wisely. The pure entertainment value was beyond price.





At the taxi stand, a tipsy couple guffawed and initiated a conversation about the hat. The t-shirt guy at the Hawaiian mall loved it. The guys who shill for shows, ditto. Regular peeps. The lady at the ABC store. All a friend of the hat. As we left Las Vegas, the lady at the rental car return exclaimed "You are WEARING that hat!!" Yup.

We walked for miles, we ate dinner at Trader Vic's on their third day of business. We played Wheel of Fortune slot machines and made audio recordings of the sounds of Las Vegas. I stayed up later than I usually do.

November 6, 2007

My Disappointment in a Box

We're going to New York next weekend, because after three years of trying we finally won the ticket lottery for Saturday Night Live. On my birthday, no less.

Mrguy scored rooms at the trendy hotel where we stayed during the forklift exhibition. It was all coming together. Now, just like the last year that the Toronto Blue Jays were in contention for the pennant...a strike. That year I sat in the bleachers at the community baseball field in the Old Place and cried. This time I am just numb.

I get the strike. Doing work that's later reused in ways that make more money for other people and not you is a drag.

I know about this from personal experience. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about it, but I was the happy fan who answered the phone and came down to the studio to sing on a song that millions of people have since loved. Over the years the song has been on several compilations and now is a ring tone (a huge cash cow), but non-featured performers like me don't see any additional profit from new uses of the original work. I prefer to dwell on the happy part: I had the opportunity to sing with tremendous musicians whom I admire on a song that became huge.

Had I been trying to make a living playing music, though, I think I would have been mad enough to strike.

November 4, 2007

Novemberfest

It's been a month now, and I must shout out to one of the most welcome events in the Guy Family calendar, Oktoberfest.

It's held the first-ish weekend in Oktober by Mr and Mrs Randommeats, and attended mainly by their closest friends from college, and family. It's silly, it's fun, and there's beer. Contests for best traditional and non-traditional costume, trad and non-trad stein, food and guest beer keep it a very lively night.

There wasn't always a non-traditional costume category. Oh no. The non-traditional costume contest came about because of The Great Robbery of Oktoberfest II, in which mrguy and I, dressed as Ralf and Florian, half of the German band Kraftwerk, were disqualified from competing with the others. An outrage, I know. Now there's a place at the table for all costumed revelers.

After attending as Ralf and Florian, we have a reputation to uphold. The traditional costume we've been trying to pull off for three years hasn't come about, so by spring we were feeling a little pressure. Then one day this summer mrguy came home with a Heino record. Out of the cut-out bin, Triumph. The Kraftwerk turtlenecks came out of retirement, we bought 80's blazers, wore dark shades and attended as Beloved German Singer Heino (Now Retired) and Manager of Heino.

Thanks to the youtubses I found a Heino song I could sing, and during the ride to Santa Rosa I managed to craft a story that tied my bizarre stein (Freud-looking guy using snuff, with caption "Gesundheit!!") somehow to Heino. Needless to say, my story of poor little Heino Gesundheit who inherited nothing from Papa's tobacco factory except the stein to use as a tip jar while singing "Edelweiss" in the street helped me win the non-traditional stein competition. The non-traditional costume contest was won by a woman dressed brilliantly as a keg, who then did a self-stand. Whew. Mrguy took the best guest beer prize.

I leave you with this lovely image of faux Germanic suspender decorations lovingly crafted out of a six pack of Lowenbrau (caps, box) by youngest nephew.

October 7, 2007

Ginkgo


I thought I loved ginkgo trees.

Having tangled with one last week, I have to say I'm reconsidering!


While on a walk with our friends, we came across fruit on the ground under a ginkgo tree. I'd always wanted to try a ginkgo nut, and this was my chance. It was a hot day. They were warm and wrinkly, like grapes turning to raisins in the sun...and they smelled a little ripe, roasting on the hot Sacramento sidewalk.

Back home, I pulled the flesh apart to reveal the hard pistachio nut like seed inside. A rank stench filled the house. Mrguy rushed into the kitchen to open all of the windows and the back door. I will not be trying fresh ginkgo nut, it seems. Or growing a ginkgo tree.


And that's o.k.


Garden Report

The harvest has been bountiful. The pineapple guavas are huuuuge, and I made an excellent salad of grated apple, grated guava, ginger and yogurt.




And some of the Christmas cacti think it's November, and some don't:


October 2, 2007

Birthday Greetings

Our brother-in-law and mrguy have birthdays one week apart. Now that we live half the country apart it's hard to celebrate, get gifts together on time, etc. Yesterday, we received a movie of their baby cat playing with a ribbon on which "Happy Birthday Uncle MrGuy" was written. And this message, written by my sister and anonymized for the blog. mrguy loved it so much he read it over and laughed and laughed:

"We have devised a perfect system for the giving of birthday presents between Mr. Guy and The Little Man Who Lives in My House, which goes as follows: Today we went to Zipps and bought a beautiful bottle of Scotch, as though to send it to you for your birthday. We ask that you also go pick a bottle out as though to send it to TLGWLIMH for HIS birthday. But haha, this is genius! We keep the scotch. You keep the scotch. No trip to the post office & no postage costs! No possibility of breakage in the mail! What, we ask you, is not to like about this?"

Brilliant

September 26, 2007

Pizza

Overheard conversation between skinny girl with pink hair and man whose pant legs were so wide that each one could be her dress:

"I usually think of a threesome as being with two women. We can *try* it, but..."

Ah, youth.

September 23, 2007

Cheese



I hope that in a few years when I am old and have to stop eating cheese that I find something I like just as much to replace it. That's not going to be easy.

I grew up in a household of Colby cheddar, the cheese calendar punctuated by the occasional appearance of yummy smelly Liederkranz. As an adult I toyed with Limberger (favorite catapult projectile of the Little Rascals), and came to favor goat cheese during my restaurant years. When I was in the interview process for the forklift job, I remember thinking that if I got the job I would always be able to have a log of goat cheese in the fridge. Still love cheese that much. On crackers. On spaghetti. Studding my chili in a configuration that mrguy calls "Cheese Stonehenge".

Yesterday, when my travels to the not-open-on-Saturday typewriter repair place took me past the cheese store, I stopped in. Last time I went there I struck out with a cheese that seemed to be on its last legs: smelly, grainy, bitter Danish somethingorother. I hate to waste cheese, but I let it fester and then threw it away.
Despite my error last time, I took my chances on a runny round of La Tur. It sat in a cupcake paper inside a plastic cup that was further shrouded in saran. It looked dangerous.

Last night I opened it up and dug in. When I cut into the rind, the outsides disintegrated into rivers of smelly cream. The aroma filled the kitchen. I put it on some fancy crackers and mrguy said "You first". Oh my gosh it was good. Smelly but goaty, with runny outsides, cake-like insides (a texture that's not to be believed). I guess you're not supposed to accompany it with homebrew, but boy that was tasty.

This morning I woke up and all I could think of was that cheese. It wasn't so photogenic after I poked at it and carved it, so I offer a picture of the label.




September 19, 2007

The Peak


In this neck of the woods, and among the musical peeps of our acquaintance, a person's favorite burrito is a relationship-defining preference. I have sat through burrito meals at other places, like the place that has deep fried lard points, and the popular place that has peas in their rice and all sorts of citified meat substitutes, but nothing satisfies like The Peak. Nothing.

I went there on a first date with a boy who served me my first heartbreak. Relationship didn't last, but burritos are forever, or 23 years, whichever is longer. After the breakup I'd drive an hour from school just to come to the city, eat my burrito, go to Polly Ann's for an ice cream, and go to the beach.

After I met mrguy, the time came for our first burrito together. I played it cool. "Let's go to %^(* La Cumbre," I said. Big sigh of relief from the driver's side of the 1953 Plymouth Cranbrook. Turns out that there is no other burrito for mrguy. I already knew *he* was the one, but this was just another clue :) Turns out that this was the official burrito of his old band. And it is also the official burrito of his current combo with Mrguy South, who would kindly bring us our burritos across the bay when he'd come this direction. That's friendship.

These days we don't get to The Peak very often, but we had a burrito and electronic music evening a few weeks ago that reminded me why I love it so. Lipstick on burrito.

The vision of happiness.


Brew 4

I wish that the perfume of mrguy's hops for his Oktoberfest brew were transmittable via the blog.

I also wish that the rich egg-like stench of the beer which is either brewing or festering in the Man Room were similarly transmittable.

I hear that this is what this particular hops does when it's doing its magic.

Whew!

Solano Stroll

September 3, 2007

The Old Place. Labor Day Edition

Today's the anniversary of the following story. Could have been 1997, or 1998. Doesn't matter.

As I may have explained, the Old Place was weird and magical and sometimes scary. What was a lovely funky place to live in at first became denser and more marginal over the 7 1/2-but-who's-counting years we lived there. Some of the neighbors were pretty creepy, including the one we refer to as "Hair No Grow."

The story of the moniker came from my brother, who took a position as a traveling nurse in St. Croix. He cut off his manly mane before going, hoping to fit in, and soon after he got there, a stranger on the street turned to him and said pityingly "What's the matter, man? Hair no grow?"

A few months after my bro told us this story, an intense burly guy with a shaved head moved in kitty corner to us, and Hair No Grow is born. He had a girlfriendwife and a child and a really awful band that had precisely one song that had two chords, one of which seemed to be in the same tuning as our house and would rattle the walls. I had a little song I'd sing to the tune, which went like this: "I GOT no hair, and I GOT no hair, and I GOT no hair, and I STILLGOTNO hair" (please mind the syncopation on that last part if you're playing along at home). I was mildly afraid of him but wasn't sure whether I was more afraid of the sheriff who was really far away, so we didn't call in noise complaints too often.

One Labor Day morning, mrguy and I were drinking coffee in the back yard. HNG's back window was open. It was hot already and it wasn't even noon. One of his childpeople started messing around with the drum set. Then the words "Kids! Stay AWAY from the HEROIN" rung out across the tiny yard. I looked at mrguy. Did I just hear that? Before I could ask, we heard "Stay AWAAAAY from the HEROIN!!" Holy cow. We went back inside.

Some time after that, we were having a garage sale at my sister's old studio across the street. We could see a stack of papers blowing about, tacked onto HNG's front door. He didn't seem to be home. I couldn't help myself. I ran across the street, opened up his screen door and had a look. Seems he wasn't the only ne'er do well in the household. His dolly had a warrant out for hitting a traffic pole and then splitting on foot. I don't remember what the other notices were (probably eviction).

We never saw them again.

Day 2. Transportation by Eggshell


In the days leading up to our visit, I read most of the State Fair website so that I could develop a plan. Most of what's described here was on my hit list :)

First I wanted to see all the stuff on a stick. We saw teriyaki ostrich, hotdish, Pronto Banquet on a stick, gator, and Scotch eggs. For sheer cuteness and how'd they keep it on a stick-ness, this was my highlight:


Sadly, due to the events of the Scrabble party the night before, I wasn't in the mood for carny-fried mystery victuals, so I had nothing on a stick until right as we left I bought a frozen banana. I believe this is cheating, because I'd have that banana anywhere anyway.

I made a stop over to the Minneapolis Star Tribune shack to introduce myself to James Lileks, whose website I've enjoyed for almost as long as I've had access to a graphical web browser. Nice guy. Funny in person. Discussed moleskine notebooks, since I had my personal book with me at all times during the fair. Disagreed with me about whether the Headhunter category in the gladiolus competition was going to reflect headhunters or not. That was cool.

Moving along, we made a visitation to the Princess Kay exhibit to see a Butter Princess' likeness being sculpted. That was tremendous. The chilled booth rotates slowly, and the princess and the sculptress do their work.


The Ag-Hort-Bee building is where I pinned most of my hopes. There you find the bee exhibits, crop art, flower displays and vegetable competitions. We saw squashes so huge that they resembled large sleeping animals:


The bee exhibits featured a hive behind a screened off area. You can put your face near the screen and feel the wind of their wings and smell the bees' sweet grainy aroma. Who knew?

The seed paintings in the Crop Art room were worth a visit. The Colonel Sanders was the best of the bunch, but the political ones (Al Franken, running for senator, rendered as Stuart Smalley; Dick Cheney depicted in beans as the root of all evil) were pretty great too.


These were the expected pleasures, but there was more to love. We happened upon the tiny tiny tiny tiny horse judging competitions. I saw the most beautiful cow in the world. The craft booth had a dress someone had made in the theme of sock monkeys.
And there is a competition in which people collect post cards and arrange them around a theme. The loveliest was titled "Transportation by Eggshell," and was a selection of Easter cards in which chicks or little people were shown being transported via egg zeppelins, boats and carriages. So sweet.

A good time was had by all :)

September 2, 2007

Bras

To follow up on the mall shopping experience, I'd like to discuss bras.

I only ask that my bra do these things:
  1. Cover
  2. Keep items in place
  3. Not reveal itself to the unwary
This isn't much to ask.

Issue 1 is easy. Few bras sit atop the basic area without offering coverage. Issue 2 can be tricky, because strength of material sometimes leads to visibility, which is a violation of the third requirement. Issue 3 is a biggie. The bra item has to fit well enough that there isn't puckering, can't have so much lace that it looks like your frontals are warty, and must not have flappy straps that wander into the field of vision.

So at Nordstromia at the Mall of America I happily worked my way through the selection to find some good candidates. I passed on padded (at my size, who on Earth wants extra padding?) I passed on extra warty lace, or crazy colors that will show through anything. Eventually, I found two serviceable bras that I'm wearing quite happily. Now I need a new rule for buying anti-gravity devices:

I must be able to put it on myself.

Somehow I managed to get it on in the dressing room at Mall of America, where everything is beautiful and wonderful, but now I can't get the things on without an assist.

Too funny.

August 30, 2007

Day 4. Mall of America


For a good time, go to the Mall of America. It's large, but you can get your work done there.

Case in point: we went to MOA with a mission, a list (for focus), and a dream. For mrguy, a camera. For me, shoes.

Although we did not encamerate, I did emerge with three pairs of shoes, two bras, festive socks, some corporate hottie pants that somehow say "I'm credible *and* I'm having a good butt day" cheese curds and a tummy full of crepe. Not bad, I say. This is magic that cannot happen at home.

At home I am afraid of department stores: both the crowds, and hometown body dysmorphia that causes me to bring smaller garments into the changing room than I can possibly coax over my husky carcass. Switch to vacation time and I don't know what it is...the relaxation, the beer, whatever, but I can almost do no wrong in the changing room. Just set me up in the Nordstrom Rack in the Mall of America and I'm good.

I'm clothed, fed, amused (heard an overhead announcement asking for a woman named "Page Turner") and resisted the lure of the people selling pet hermit crabs in a kiosk called "Crabs of Hawaii."

August 29, 2007

Day 3

I've decided that I'm not prepared to speak of the wonder of the state fair, so I'm skipping on to day three.

On day three we foraged for ourselves in the city.

First we went in search of grub. We were hoping to go to Cafe 38, which has connections to Surly Brewing, but it was closed. We went instead to Rice Paper Asian fusion. I didn't come here for the Asian food. I came here for the herring, but that's o.k. I'd eat my weight in the green onion tofu wrap dealie I ordered if the opportunity arose.



After lunch we saw something that made me wish I had cameras in my eyes. The cutest little man, wearing a green checked tam-o-shanter that was larger than his bottom. With a red striped t-shirt, red shorts, and two different lengths of dark socks with street shoes. Wow. I love people.

Then we went to pay a visit to the final resting place of Tiny Tim. Even before I picked up the uke I followed Tiny Tim. Read his book, bought 78's of performers he liked... I finally got to see him play at a rock club many years ago. Glad I did, although in my passion to get a good view I positioned myself at center front, he was one of those spitty performers, and it was a little icky. But brief. He played about four songs, most of them twice.

After the mausoleum, we went to two guitar stores and a record store. This is my idea of a supremely good time. Yes, I bought vinyl.

And then we had dinner with our people at The Craftsman, where I had this tasty but unphotogenic beverage:

August 27, 2007

The Results Are In, MN-Style

Enjoy!

Soogee-Moogee:
3) A nautical cleaning compound used for cleaning boats

Sunny Side Up:
1) After a woman working at a big city pickle factory gets stressed out, she moves to the countryside to relax

August 26, 2007

Balderdash, Minnesota-style


We've only played Balderdash with the Guy family in the past, but last night we branched out and played with a room full of wascally rambunctious academics. It compared rather favorably, I have to say ;)

Here's a sample of the night's fare:


Soogee-Moogee:
1) A British dessert based on a classical Indian sweet
2) A loan word from Chippewa for a type of corn grown in what is now Nebraska
3) A nautical cleaning compound used for cleaning boats
4) In golf, a swing that fails to hit the ball
5) A Korean condiment

Sunny Side Up
1) After a woman working at a big city pickle factory gets stressed out, she moves to the countryside to relax
2) A woman named Sunny falls in love with a man named Sunny and hilarity ensues
3) A swimming instructor whose in vitro fertilization is exposed in a Florida resort drowns in a yellow pool
4) Two waitresses from a cafe hit the road and find true love
5) Two young men on a road trip learn about love and pharmaceuticals
6) A small town waitress is forced to turn tricks on the side to make ends meet
7) A railroad magnate takes over a chicken farm, in this hilarious industrial age romp
8) On a hot day in Philadelphia, two young girls learn a valuable lesson from a trucker

And there you have it. A good time was had by all and I won Balderdash, but only because we played a half game.

August 23, 2007

Minnesota Here We Come

When a scholar and a painter work at home together deep in thought, blog names are born.

Routinely, our brother-in-law manages to frighten my sister by existing.

He’ll walk through a room in a house that he owns, in which a pensive woman he’s been married to for twenty-two years is deep in thought, and he’ll mysteriously manage to frighten her.

“It’s just me, the little man who lives in your house,” he’ll say, and they’ll both crack up. Joke never gets old.

This weekend we go to Minneapolis to visit MrsMiddleGuySis and The Little Man Who Lives In Her House.

Can’t wait.

August 14, 2007

Not to Bragg, but...

Last night at dinner with friends, we were talking about vegetarianism and other nutritional pursuits. Ms X mentioned "...that amino acid stuff. What's it called?"

And I whipped my camera out of my purse and turned to the the last photo on it. It was of this:



Yep. That's the stuff.

That may be my favorite reference question / answer ever.

Garden News


Like I said, I had blogging on the mind and things in the camera.

This is my all-time favorite canna, blooming this week. I think I got it at an estate sale in this very neighborhood before we ever lived here. It was winter. I asked if I could buy the withered cannas in the side yard. They said "How?" I said I'll dig them up with the spade in the potting shed. $5 bought me some kickin rhizomes of the most beeyootiful cannas ever. I don't know what they are, but I look forward to them every year.

Then I repatriated them, moving them from Little House by the Refinery to The City of Pride and Purpose.

Ice

I bought an ice cream maker, and this is my first production: Meyer lemon lavender sorbet. The next week I made pear sorbet, and I don't know what next.

Yum.

Gizzards


My gizzards are not right.

I realized this after lunch, when my stomach repeatedly made gurgling noises that reminded me of the time when I ate those Pringles with Olestra. "This can't be good," I thought. And I did not perk up, so I went home while I still had my wits about me. I felt *so* cruddy, but I figured I'd catch up on my blogging while I was in the weeds.


I sparked up the computer to tell mrguy that I got home safely and commence the blogging, but before I could even do that, his car was in the driveway and he was making a quick beeline for the restroom. He was roughly the color of raw beef, his eyes were bloodshot and he was only room temperature. Not so hot.
Seeing him so sick, I really felt much better by comparison. We went to the doctor, got some antihistamines and an epi-pen, and called in sick to uke class.

For the record, I still feel like dooky.
However I always did want to go through the drive-thru pharmacy, and now I share it with the world!!

August 12, 2007

Trouble in Sumoland

My sumo boyfriend is on the ropes, to mix sumo and boxing metaphors.

Asashoryu, the first yokozuna from Mongolia, called in sick with an injury and then went to Mongolia to play a charity soccer match. He was captured on a cel phone video playing soccer, taking some hits and enjoying himself.

When word got back to Japan, he was suspended and put under house arrest until November 25th. He's depressed, but won't seek treatment. Here's the story from one of the international papers. And this from sumotalkdotcom

What is it with my sumo boyfriends?

My first sumo boyfriend was Akebono, the first foreign yokozuna (aka, Chad Rowan from Waimanalo). I still have such a soft spot for him. He must be on the outs with everybody in sumo because he wasn't at the big sumo tournament in Hawaii this year. And only the dinkiest picture of him appears in the program. And the Hawaiian media pretty much ignored his absence, which seems odd.

Oh well I guess I just like bad boys.

Here he is recently on Guam radio

Sumo. L.A. 2008. Oh yeah!

July 21, 2007

Watch out Brice Marden

In one of the best news stories of the day...this Thursday, an artist viewing a Cy Twombly exhibit in Avignon was inspired to plant a big old smoochy on one of the paintings.

I'm dying to know what lipstick she was wearing. The conservators will want to know too :)


I don't really care much for Cy Twombly, but I have a small dab of Rouge de Fete by Dior that I save for special occasions. Those Brice Marden color field paintings sure are kissable! Too bad the exhibition has moved on.

Artists. They're different from the rest of us.

[so concludes mrsguy #100]


Summer 2007

I know it's summer because:

I got an outrageous sunburn yesterday without meaning to. Yes, this is blurry, but you try to take a picture of your crisp chestular area in the mirror while maintaining a semblance of modesty!)



And we have wicked ants everywhere, including sometimes our pants. What the heck are they doing in my bureau?



And this morning I ate a juicy peach over the kitchen sink.

Summertime in the City of Pride and Purpose.

July 12, 2007

Hawaiian Love Thoughts -- A Correction

A survey of my collections reveals that I was incorrect. There are actually three titles for Hawaiian dollar records. One is Hawaiian Favorites, one is Hawaiian Holiday, and the third is Holiday in Hawaii. Holiday in Hawaii is the one that officially kicked off my love of "Hawaiian" music, although growing up in a town with a beautiful tiki restaurant didn't hurt, either.

My original Holiday in Hawaii:



And three records called Hawaiian Holiday. The last one credits British West Indian Airways for the photograph. Nothing quite says Hawaii like pictures from the West Indies!



July 9, 2007

Hawaiian Love Thoughts

The other day we went to The Last Record Store. So far their dollar vinyl bin has not let me down. This time out I bought a record called Hawaiian Favorites. Roughly 23% of all Hawaiian records you can buy for a dollar have this title, the rest are called Hawaiian Holiday. My first Hawaiian record was, in fact, Hawaiian Holiday, red vinyl, given to me by that nice boy.

This week's catch turned out completely fabulous: the recording itself is of pseudo Hawaiian wacky Speedy West style slurpy steel, and the music is a rip off of compositions that everybody knows, given titles that would not raise the eyebrows of someone looking for royalties. Would you suspect that Hawaiian Love Thoughts was Blue Hawaii? Anyway, the jacket is almost better than the music.

Did you know that recordings on the Curio label have tonal qualities paralleled only in the most expensive recordings? Well you do now. Curio is the kind of company that will tell you the brand of mics that were used to record, the specs for the lathe that was used to master, and will let you, the owner of a Curio recording, know to periodically clean the record with a soft cloth. They won't tell you which band made the sounds on the record, but whatever on that small detail. I can't wait to listen to side two.

July 7, 2007

Disastrophe

Disastrophe is a word that should exist that a dear friend of the family used today. It has nothing to do with the answers to Thursday's Balderdash questions:

Six Lessons from Madam La Zonga:
5) A Cuban night club owner causes trouble on board a cruise ship

Second Time Lucky
1) God and the Devil make a bet that if the earth was reformed, Adam and Eve would make the same mistake again.

Rant Mullens
1) 86-year-old mountain man who whittled large wooden feet so he could scare people with his Bigfoot prints

In other news, our nephew mr randommeats has asked mrguy to be a guest brewer at Oktoberfest. Such an honor.

It's so nice to be in the boosum of the family.






July 6, 2007

Balderdash. Answers, and Round 2

Round 2 commenced yesterday. What's remarkable about playing with the gene pool is that there is a certain stylistic similarity in some of the answers.

Six Lessons from Madam La Zonga:
1) The story of a child growing up with his estranged aunt in Spain after tragicaly losing his parents.
2) A twenty three year old kid headed for trouble is taken under the wing of his great aunt who gives him his last chance as a waiter in her New York City bistro.
3) A coming of age comedy about a riverboat psychic and a troubled teenager.
4) In this French foreign legion-based take, a high ranking soldier comes face-to-face with his destiny, foretold by Madame La Zonga.
5) A Cuban night club owner causes trouble on board a cruise ship
6) Depicts the events immediately following the end of the Spanish-American war.
7) An orphan is given over to a Baltic fortune teller for upbringing.

Second Time Lucky
1) God and the Devil make a bet that if the earth was reformed, Adam and Eve would make the same mistake again.
2) A former convict uses the law degree he earned in prison to overturn his conviction.
3) A comedy about a recently divorced bus driver who takes a trip to Atlantic City and finds true love.
4) A down-on-his-luck bookie wins the New York state lottery and uses his winnings to purchase a race horse that changes his luck and brings him fame.
5) A story of a blind daughter who helps her father and mother's business be the most successful fishing business in Florida.
6) In this rollicking comedy, a servant to an international real estate magnate dies and is reincarnated as the house cat.
7) Whodunit caper set in a divorced singles card room.

Rant Mullens
1) 86-year-old mountain man who whittled large wooden feet so he could scare people with his Bigfoot prints
2) The world record holder for the longest crabwalk
3) Held the world's record for hiccuping -- he hiccuped for two years and five months.
4) Owner and proprietor of The American Sanctuary for the Manatee in the Florida Keys.
5) Started the zoot suit craze.
6) Invented the nozzle used to dispense sodas in bars
7) One of Doris Day's husbands

Answers in this space tomorrow. Here are yesterday's answers:

In Arbor Village Maine, an old law prohibits a policeman from sticking:
1) out his tongue in the direction of a dog

Butwink
2) A variety of bird

[I would like to say that I can find no evidence that there is such a bird]

The Day the Fish Came Out
3) Sci-fi satire starring Candice Bergen about a plane that crash lands on a Mediterranean island.

July 5, 2007

Russodad -- Balderdash Round 1

It took three days for us to be ready for Balderdash.

Here are the submissions. Answers posted in this space later:

In Arbor Village Maine, an old law prohibits a policeman from sticking:
1) out his tongue in th direction of a dog
2) his billy club in the freezer to further harden it for use
3) a "condemned" notice on the front door of a residence
4) his horse's head through the window of a carriage without announcing himself to the driver

Butwink
1) The fifth Marx brother
2) A variety of bird
3) A shoe with its sole worn through such that water dampens the sock of the wearer during the rainy season
4) The metal fastener used to tie the ends of a salami

The Day the Fish Came Out
1) In this docu-drama, a pro bass fisherman snags a prized trophy, only to discover that he was not officially registered for the tournament.
2) 50's sci-fi thriller depicting the uncanny results of the H-bomb rests -- fish grow legs and seek revenge.
3) Sci-fi satire starring Candice Bergen about a plane that crash lands on a Mediterranean island.
4) Tells the story of Absalom Fish, a first year divinity student, who must decide between his faith and his talent for ballroom dancing.

July 1, 2007

Beans. Queens.

This week I learned that mrguy once ate beef stroganoff with the Ramones.

Brushes with greatness just don't get much better than that.


June 26, 2007

The Hair Blob

Rod Beck's sudden death is pretty shocking. He was my favorite pitcher when he was on The Sucky Team. I'll miss his intense gaze, the way he dangled his arm before a pitch and..the wild hair.

In the early 90's, there seemed to be a lot of amazing pitchers with holdover hair from the 1980's. Dennis Eckersley, Rod Beck, and Juan Guzman are three that come to mind. O.K., and Randy Johnson. Once you saw it, you started seeing it everywhere.

I called their "do" "the hair blob." Each of these pitchers had their own personal hair blob style, but the basic look was a big old patch of hair pooching out below their cap. A hair blob isn't just long hair. It has volume, as well. Eckersly's was stringy, Beck's was puffy, and Guzman's was emproducted. People used to ask me: it's the 90's and your baseball crush is still wearing jeri curls. How can you think he's cute? I guess the answer is: have you looked at him and watched him pitch? He's fine, and he's fierce.

I'm not that tuned into baseball these days, but it seems like there might not be as many good hair blobs around as there used to be.

June 23, 2007

Ants

It's that time of year, people. Ant season. I'm up early because there was an ant trail across my pillow and the ants were tickling me.

When I finally got up, I saw a huge mass of ants on the floor. They'd absconded with a piece of Nose's kibble and were trying to get it through a very small gap between the baseboard and the wall.

Very funny, my tiny friends.

They got a squirt of Begley's Best cleaner and a flush down the toi-toi.

Last year the ants were so bad that mr guy had to come home from vacation to clean up the ant invasion because it was freaking out the catsitter. I'm hoping he doesn't have to do that this year.

June 10, 2007

Haggis


And yes, on our last day at the deinstall Shee Jimmy and I shared some haggis. It had great mouth feel, and had nice crispy bits like a really great pan-fried hash, but the flavor was a little strong for me. If you like the taste of liver, this is for you.

Outside the restaurant, I made friends with two opposing flavors of older Scotsmen, and a young woman on the street who joyfully suggested I get my American or Canadian ass into Belushi's to do some karaoke. Next time, young lady, next time...

Day 3 and 4

Deinstalling the forklift show is best summed up by these photos. Lotta workin:




And a beer:

Offscreen: Dolly the Sheep, whose taxidermed loveliness slowly rotates in a plexiglas vitrine in another gallery in the museum. The employee entrance is just beyond her, so we passed by several times a day. This gave me great pleasure.



Day 2 -- Continued

Our feet took us other places: to the land of really awful Scots souvenirs:


and up for a closer view of the castle:



and the view from the castle.

We did the things that all tourists should do. We bought the products of Scottish sheep. We found the dog statue and ate at the restaurant named after the dog. With other Americans. One thing I learned on Day 2 is that there are so many clueless tourists in Edinburgh that the locals kindly put ordering instructions on the walls of their establishments in the hopes that fewer of us annoy them. I'll remember this the next time I go.

After lunch we went to the forklift exhibition, and then out for a cream tea.


Perhaps it was all the walking, but I was hungry often in Edinburgh and there's always something good to eat around the corner. It's a food town, and I was in heaven.

Somewhere after the tea we needed to get back to the hotel and do some work to prep for the following day. We proofed captions for the next venue and ate (again).

June 9, 2007

THE CRISP REPORT

O.K., let me digress a bit here to say that the crisp thing has gotten out of control in Britain.

I reported earlier in this blog that in 2004, England's Kettle Chips had port and stilton chips and our Kettle Chips distributors did not provide them to the American market. Sad, but a blip on the screen compared to the flavors we're missing now.

Currently there are regional ingredients and flavor combinations available to Scotsmen that we have no hope of replicating.


Taw Valley Cheddar and Carmelized Shallot crisps
Feta Cheese, Olive, Lemon and Thyme
Sundried Tomato and Basil



Honey Roast Wiltshire Ham



Firecracker Lobster

That's all I'm saying.


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