Friday, December 19, 2008
Last night I went to the Thursday Night Live at the Dallas Museum of Art (or as I like to refer to it – the Dallas Museum o’ Fart. Who doesn’t like a good fart joke?). It’s free admission to the regular collection, and a jazz cabaret in the café space. Sweet. Two things I noticed:
- The Olafur Eliasson exhibit is two words: awe and some. There are a few photographs and some more-or-less traditional art pieces, but the coolest pieces are the installations. By the time we got to the end of the exhibit, my whole brain was overloaded from looking at things in weird ways. For instance, there was this (and I know this sounds silly) black fan, like the kind that you’d have as an oscillating fan in your house, that was suspended from a cathedral ceiling by a long cord. The way the fan blew, it would swing around in these random arcs. Part of the fun was just watching the way it would twist and spin as it flew over head. But there was also the way you’d catch a puff of breeze on your face when it would turn just right, and the strange hum and whir that filled the whole gallery from the motor. A lot of the installations took some time just standing there to figure out what they were doing. It was almost too much to see all the exhibits. I was almost in mental shut down by the time we were done. But if this one comes to your town, it’s definitely worth going to see, brain fry and all. (http://www.dallasmuseumofart.org/Dallas_Museum_of_Art/View/Eliasson/index.htm)
- I really hate jazz. I mean in an almost-to-the-point-of-violence hate. When we finished with the Eliasson exhibit, we wandered down to where the jazz combo was playing. I’m assuming this was good jazz. There were a lot of long hair types sitting around, rocking out to the funky tones. But what do I know about jazz? For me it was like getting hit over and over again with a dead catfish. Aaaaghh. Aaaaagh. Why do you keep hitting me? I realize this is a deficiency in me. Millions of Miles Davis fans can’t be wrong. And I understand the French love the jazz. But me? I’d rather listen to a quintet made up of a jackhammer, a cat in heat, a ’78 Ford Pinto engine, a string of bottle rockets and Weird Al Yankovic on accordion playing Stairway to Heaven. Backwards.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Okay. You know how you can tell that this isn't a "this is what I believe in" issue, and is really just a little jerk who likes to push people's buttons?
When have you ever, ever, in the history of birthdays, ever been to a party where a kid's FULL name was on the cake? Regardless of whether their middle name was Robert, Francis, Butterfly, Lesley or Englebert. In fact, the only time I ever heard my middle name as a child was when my mother was mad at me. And I don't even have a middle name. She'd just make one up to yell at me.
Adolph's daddy just gets his jollies making other people squirm. I'd almost respect him more if he was an honest rascist, rather than a dishonest pain in the collective ass. To quote James Tiberius Kirk speaking to Harcourt Fenton Mudd - "You are an irritant."
Poor kid. You suppose we could go to a local bank and start a fund for the therapy he's going to need eventually? I'm good for at least one session.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Okay. I have absolutely zero to say about Playboy putting a nekkid Mary on the cover of their magazine in Mexico. I'm not a Catholic, or otherwise of the Christian faith, I'm not Mexican and I'm not a porn connoisseur. I'm not qualified in any way, shape or form to comment on bare-breasted Blessed Virgins.
I do love that they got Father Cutie to comment on the story. Father Cutie. That's up there with Father Whatawaste, and it's his real name. Oh, my gosh. I just found his picture. He is cute as hell. So glad I'm not Catholic. I'd be going to hell right now for sure.
So last night, I get back to my home train station late. It’s been doing the freezing mist thing for a few hours. Barney the Wonder Truck looks like a glazed donut. I get in to start the engine and defrost my window. After 10 minutes, it’s not blowing hot air. I whip out the Super Duper Ice Scraper with Extended Handle and Brush. I go at the ice with a vengeance. And it reacts with indifference. I persist. It relents. And by the time I get the side and back windows, things on the bottom edge of the windshield have softened up enough that I’m able bang off the ice pretty quickly. Of course, I can no longer feel the tip of my nose. But no matter. I’m on my way.
Right past the big church (denomination will remain unnoted for reasons that will become apparent momentarily) on the corner. Who has their FUCKING SPRINKLERS ON! Spewing water right on to the sidewalk and street. It may be a long time since I was in a pew, but I do know this is not Christianity in action. What would Jesus do? JESUS WOULD PUT HIS GODDAMN LONG JOHNS ON, DRIVE DOWN TO THE CHURCH AND TURN THE FUCKING SPRINKLERS OFF! You know, so that people won’t be driving through a freaking death trap tomorrow morning. I know the church wants to help you get to heaven – but only eventually.
I wake up and it’s cold as hell. And my usual route is over a bridge that ices. So I take off a little early to go the safe (yet longer) route. And get to the train station late. I hustle. I’m not going to make it. I will be standing on the platform for 20 minutes waiting for the next train. Then I hear a ding-ding. The conductor is looking at me – the door is still open. I RUN.
I’d like to say right now – though I don’t even know your name – Mr. Conductor, I. Love. You. Seriously. Today you are my best friend in the entire world. I love you more than any other train conductor on this planet (even George Carlin, may he rest in peace). You are a gentleman, and a prince among men. May the tracks rise up to meet you. And may your days be merry and bright. And you look very nice in your uniform.
Monday, December 15, 2008
I’m kind of waffling this year. If I make a resolution to learn something, it’s going to have to be low/no cost. Belts are tightening, my friends. And learning to brew my own beer, while appealing, when it will probably cost me $20 a pint, and I could buy 3 6-packs of Miller High Life for that price, just doesn’t make good fiscal sense.
So that leaves me with 2 top contenders: learn to play the ukulele or write a book. Both have their own kind of appeal.
The ukulele I already own. And I have a stack of books. So really, it comes down to sitting my ass down with the uke in my hands and applying my fingers to the frets. And I making it my resolution could give me the push I need. I really like that feeling of knowing at the end of the year that I accomplished what I set out to do. And being able to pick out a recognizable song next December sounds doubly appealing. I have a few friends who are lobbying for this one. Mostly because they like the idea of a friend who can sit around the campfire strumming out a tune. I’ve pointed out that this would probably also be accompanied by me singing (a truly horrifying prospect), but strangely they are still backing Plan Ukulele. Masochists.
Then there’s writing a book. That one actually scares me. Because I think it’s very probable that I wouldn’t achieve it. And I’d really like to. I’ve always thought I’d do it some day. But I’m almost 40, and someday hasn’t shown up yet. I worry that this is just too big of a goal. And I’m not even expecting that I write a good book. Just a book would do. Here’s the thing – I know even bad books are hard to write. Lots of sitting your ass down and applying your fingers to the frets, metaphorically speaking. And, it’s truly cowardly, but I’m afraid to try because if I don’t, I will be phenomenally disappointed in myself. Is it better to try and fail, or not try and keep your illusions that you could if you really wanted to? Good question. Guess I’ll have to answer it by the end of the month. Unless I can come up with a third option.
Well, seriously, you could see this as offensive, or on the other hand, I suppose we could take it as a sign of how far we've progressed that a black, blind governor can become the new Gerald Ford. Because seriously, I've seen the sketch and it looked to me to be recycled jokes from the 1970s when Chevy Chase was tripping over podiums as Betty Ford's better half. Maybe it's SNL's attempt to go green, since the gags were all 90% post-consumer product. And it's pretty typical of my assessment of the current crop of performers that when they steal from classic Saturday Night Live sketches, they don't even go back and rip off the funny stuff. [FYI - if you're going to crib from the Not Ready For Primetime Players, always go with Dan Ackroyd or John Belushi as the sure thing. Samurai Tailor or the Bass-O-Matic this wasn't.]
I wouldn't take this as any indication of whether it's now okay for comics to take shots at a black politician. Can SNL be funny about race? Better question is, can they be funny at all?