Saturday, June 29, 2013

Going Green (Day)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         I’m happy to report that after several delays, a cancellation, and a flight change, Ken was finally able to make it to Omaha. Has anyone else noticed that flying is getting to be more of a hassle than it’s worth? I’m glad we started driving to Florida once I stopped working. Road trips are much less stressful, and it’s fun to see some scenery and maybe find a fun and different place along the way for lunch and dinner. Traffic jams are annoying, too, but it’s better than sitting on your ass in an airport. Anyway, he finally made it!

I got a good workout in today, and even managed to get an hour in the sun before the clouds and rain rolled in. I’m sorry I didn’t get to spend more time outside, but, right?

I’m also sorry if I seem to be fixated on Green Day right now, but I kind of am. I was writing to Shane earlier today and told him how much I was enjoying this album trilogy (although I haven’t gotten to “Tre!” yet). I said that I really liked them back in the Dookie-Nimrod days, and then it was like I just moved in another direction and kind of left Green Day behind. *sob* I’m so sorry, guys! I don’t know what I was thinking! I continued to like them when I heard their songs on the radio, but just wasn’t as much into them. My loss, because as I’ve gotten back into them, it’s like I’m re-discovering them all over again and I am LOVING IT.

Hey, Billie Joe, why are you wearing my pants?! Take ‘em off! No, really…take ‘em off.

55888316KW037_greenday“Dos!” strikes me as having a little more of a ‘50s/’60s feel to it...some almost doo-wop harmonies and rhythms, but with a harder edge, of course. I’ve only listened to it once all the way through, so I look forward to playing it many more times. I was immediately struck by the opening song, “See You Tonight.” It has a folksy feel to it, with sweet harmonies and a gentle sound. I was like, “Well, THIS is different, Green Day!” Then...THEN...the next song starts up almost immediately, and I laughed out loud. That’s my Green Day! It’s a sweet little love song called “Fuck Time.” Haha! Man, this is just pure raunch and roll, with that rolling rockabilly guitar riff, Billie Joe’s moans and laughter and shouting “Baby baby, it’s fuck time!”, and a kickass guitar solo. But still some nice harmonies, don’t you think? What a great contrast between these two songs, and a great kickoff to the album. This just makes me grin, and I could listen to it over and over again—and I have been! (I think they got some of the lyrics wrong in this fan-made video, but don’t nitpick!) You know I’d be on the dance floor for this one, jumping up and down, hands in the air, and singing along! This is music that speaks to the Inner Lizard!

In my book, the #1 companion songs are still “Shoo-Be-Doo/Candy-O” by the Cars, but this baby just skyrocketed up the charts to #2 for me. With a bullet! I really think it’s the juxtaposition of the sweet folksy song immediately transitioning into a balls-to-the-wall song with the completely unsubtle title “Fuck Time.” Man, that just delights me! Billie Joe, you’re a little maniac! What would you like to do first? (Does anyone get that reference?)


Friday, June 28, 2013

Your Girl Friday

Skull Friday fanWelcome, Friday!

Even though I don’t work anymore, there’s still something special about Friday and the weekend. It just brings the promise of FUN™! And happy Skull Friday, by the way (note the headband)!

However, any fun I have this weekend is going to be on my own. Ken is off to Omaha for a Monday meeting with some potential clients, and he went out early to spend a little time with our good friend Mark. Ken has been instructed to give Mark a big hug from me, and he promised to deliver! We’ve been friends with Mark for a long time (we met through blogging), and I know Ken is looking forward to seeing him. Have fun, you guys!

I’ll miss having my hubby here, but you guys know I can always manage to find things to keep myself occupied. very afraid. Haha! Nah, I just plan on hanging out, I’ll probably watch some Walking Dead, I’ll listen to lots of music, do some reading (still working on From Here To Eternity), and just kind of putter. To remind me of my hubby, I think I’ll drink those last two Pre-Flight Pilsners that he ordered for me a while back. Some women like flowers; some like jewelry; my husband gets me premium beers. He gets me! He totally gets me!

Speaking of beer, after a quick beer run this morning (I ran into our UPS driver, Mike, delivering packages at the store, and it was fun to see him somewhere other than our front deck!), I came back, did a quick workout, and got to spend some time in the sun. It wasn’t quite as hot today as it was earlier in the week, so it was good to get out there a little more. Possible rain tomorrow, so I’m glad I got some good deck time in.

The fan I’m holding up there came from my super cool Aunt June. We were all in Kentucky last Labor Day for a family outing, and it was beastly hot and humid. She’d gotten fans for all of us, and let me tell you, it was a lifesaver! I would never have thought of getting a fan, but I was happy to have it, and I still use it on occasion. In fact, I might take it to Florida with me. If I run into Norman Reedus in Georgia on the way back, I will definitely need it. I’ll be fanning myself so hard, I’ll probably take flight! Ha!

David Morrissey tweet4Speaking of “The Walking Dead” (I’m all about the segue today), I had another tweet from the Governor, guys. [click to embiggenate] Yes. David Morrissey, the actor who plays the Governor, posted that he had just finished The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. Speaking of presents from Ken (YES! The segue trifecta!), he bought that book for me several years ago for Christmas, and I loved it. In fact, I was so fascinated by it that I bought several MORE books about the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, the Columbian Exposition, in which Chicago became the “White City,” and in which the book’s story takes place. I tweeted back to David and recommended a couple of other of Larson’s books, including Thunderstruck and In the Garden of Beasts, and wrote that I think Larson is a great writer.

He tweeted back and wondered what the latter was about. I wrote back that it was about the U.S. Ambassador in Germany in the lead-up to WWII, the rise of the Nazis, and that it was FANTASTIC. I really hope he reads it, because I actually enjoyed it more than The Devil in the White City, and I didn’t think that was possible! It is a chilling book, chronicling the slow restriction of freedoms and the clampdown of the Nazis. I would recommend it to anyone, and I would love it if David Morrissey picked it up on my recommendation! I hope he enjoys it.

You know, he really is...charming. Great taste in books and music, great actor, seems like a really nice guy, and he’s really tall, and...[shaking my head] NO! Beth! Remember Andrea! And Milton! And all those Woodburians on the road! You can’t fool me, you charmer! Ha!

Although I’m still totally in Green Day mode, one of my favorite driving songs is this one, by The Rapture. Speaking of charm (Another segue! I’m on fi-yah!), “I'm fired up... the engine is running/All my charm and all my cunning girl...I wanna brake it with you.” In my-my-my-my Mustang Ford!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Let Yourself Go

LA la-et-green-day-uno.jpgI am admittedly a bit behind on some music. A while back, Shane played Green Day’s “Uno!” for me when we were in his car, and I loved it...but I hadn’t gotten it until recently. I now have that one, “Dos!”, and “Tre!” is on its way.

This is some primo punk-pop. It’s got that punk drive and edge, but also genuine melodies, harmonies, and lyrics. Major props to Green Day for being around all these years and still writing infectious and fun songs! I’ve added them to my “watch list” for concerts, because my new goal is to see them in concert. I had always been content to just enjoy the music, without any real desire to go see them. That has changed for me now. They’re really kicking ass, and with a newly sober Billie Joe, I suspect that they will be touring and making music for quite a few years yet. I’d say that they have as much staying power as some of the great groups from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Seriously...MAJOR respect to these guys. This is everything I love about punk rock: the attitude, the rage, the sneer. But it also has some real musicianship behind it, and a sense of pop that was often missing from pure punk bands. Not to take anything away from that, and I still love punk! It’s just cool to see it evolve a bit. I love it! Love Billie Joe, too...a punk for the modern age!

I listened to “Uno!” while I worked out today, and my favorite song was “Let Yourself Go.” I laughed out loud when I heard the lyrics. It’s actually a pretty good message, too!

Shut your mouth 'cause you're talking too much
And I don't give a damn anyway
You always seem to be stepping in shit
And all you really do is complain

It's your lie, tell it how you like
Small minds tend to think alike
Shut your mouth 'cause you're talking too much
And I don't give a fuck anyway

Let yourself go, let yourself go, let yourself go [x4]
Gotta let me go, gotta let it go [x2]

Cut the crap 'cause you're screaming in my ear
And you're taking up all of the space
You're really testing my patience again
And I'd rather get punched in the face

You're getting on my every last nerve
Everything you've said I've already heard
I'm sick to death of your every last breath
And I don't give a fuck anyway

Let yourself go, let yourself go, let yourself go [x4]
Gotta let me go, gotta let it go [x4]

Always fuck fuckin' with my head now..
Always fuck fuckin' with my head now..
Always fuck fuckin' with my head now..
Always fucking with my head and I gotta let it go!

Let yourself go, let yourself go, let yourself go [x8]


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

One Step Beyond

Rainbow cakeThis won’t be a lengthy post. I just want to say how pleased I am that the Supreme Court’s rulings today on marriage equality were as good as they were.

Certainly not the absolute best outcome; that would have been SCOTUS saying that any state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. However, I didn’t really expect that. This was a pretty darn good outcome, though, and I truly believe that the tide has turned in public opinion, and that same-sex marriage will no longer be a political issue with any voters except for a small group. They seem to be dwindling in numbers and influence, don’t they?

I’ve said before that I believe we’ll see marriage equality for all in my lifetime. I think it’s going to happen much sooner than that, possibly even within five years. Any states with same-sex marriage bans (I’m looking at YOU, Indiana! Shame on you!) will face challenges, and as long as we keep conservatives from gaining a seat on the Court, we should be in good shape. This is why it is very important that we elect another Democrat to the Presidency in 2016 (I’m looking at YOU, Hillary Clinton!). The next President will probably appoint a Justice, and we’ve got to keep Thomas (ugh), Alito (double ugh) and Scalia (super triple viper ugh) from gaining anymore ground or influence. This matters, people. This matters a lot.

Again, no big long entry about this. I’ll just say that I was cheering this morning along with my LGBT friends and family. I stand with them and support them 100% on this. It was a good day for them, and for those of us to love and value them as much as any other human being.

This wasn’t a full step towards equality, but it is certainly one step beyond what we had before. Turn it up!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Just Kidding!

Just kiddingThis phrase always bothers me, and it goes back to high school. (Yes, some things linger!)

One of my classmates—a popular girl—had a tendency to say hurtful things to people and then quickly add, “Just kidding!” She seemed to think that that little addendum took the sting out of her words, and negated the hurt. It did not. Everyone feels insecure in high school, especially someone as shy as me, and her comments were really hurtful to me and to other friends.

Some of us had finally had enough, and I remember sitting in Physics class—this would have been our senior year, but there were a couple of juniors in the class, too. I think we’d all been subjected to this for too long, and yes, we ROSE UP! We were all sitting around bullshitting and talking about stuff one day (Mr. Hanni was super cool and groovy and enjoyed letting us talk once in a while, even if it wasn’t about Physics!), and she started in on the insults, followed by “Just kidding!”

We let her have it. There were several of us, and we leveled insult after insult at her, following each one up with a cheerful, “Just kidding!” After just a few minutes of this, she was slunk down in her chair, her arms crossed, with a pouty look on her face. Mr. Hanni said, “Wow, you guys are mean!” but he was also laughing a little bit, too. He was a smart and perceptive guy, and I don’t doubt that he had noticed that a lot of her comments to others were hurtful. One of us—I don’t recall for sure, but it might have been me—said, “See how it feels?”

That was over 30 years ago, and I hope she finally managed to see how words can be hurtful to others, and that saying “Just kidding!” afterwards is not an excuse for cruel remarks.

Of course, close friends kid each other all the time, and I often say, “You know I’m just joshin’ ya!” But I only do that with those who know me best, and know that I truly would never say anything mean to them, because I...well, you know...I love them! Even then, it is never anything seriously mean, more like sarcasm, as in, “Really? I didn’t know that!” I’m really not the kind of person that levels insults, whether followed by “Just kidding!” or not. I just don’t operate that way.

Insults or hurtful remarks to others is something I see as a form of bullying. The phrase “Just kidding!” reminds me of that, and I don’t like hearing it. I know that everyone is different, and I definitely see a difference between men and women on this. Guys slag off on each other all the time, and hey, go for it. But I don’t enjoy doing it or being the recipient of it. For the record, I don’t find short jokes insulting. I know I’m short, and I learned long ago to not be insulted by that. But don’t go too far on it, okay? Because I may be short, but I have my limits…and I also don’t lack in fury! I WILL bite your knees!

As I’ve said before, love yourself and love everybody! Each to their own, but I prefer to be kind, and to be treated kindly. “Just kidding” is a reminder of remarks that were not so kind, and it bothers me to this day.

Monday, June 24, 2013


Adventure of the SeasI’m awaiting the start of the hockey game at 8 pm, and then “Under the Dome” at 10 pm, and I’m feeling oddly antsy, so that seems like a good time to write!

Over the weekend, we booked our second cruise, a 7-night Southern Caribbean. In 2007, we did a Western Caribbean cruise, and really enjoyed it; we’ve been thinking about doing another one soon. We were out having dinner with Ken’s Mom a while back and talking about vacations, and it turns out that she has always wanted to do a cruise. So right then and there, we decided to go on one with her, and I started doing some investigating.

I was really more interested in a Southern Caribbean, because the stops strike me as a little more exotic than the Bahamas and places like that on Eastern Caribbean cruises. The particular cruise that intrigued me the most was the one with only a couple of sailing days and the more exotic stops. It’s fun to lounge around on board, but stopping at the ports and experiencing new places is a lot more fun, in my opinion. We will fly down a day early to San Juan and enjoy a day, then depart from there. The stops are St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Aruba, and Curaçao. The final day is a sailing day, so I think that works out pretty well. I’m most excited about Aruba and Curaçao. Exotic, am I right?! For our adventure on the seas, we will be aboard Adventure of the Seas!

We booked a family oceanview aft cabin. It can sleep up to six, so I think three will find it comfortable! I’m excited to be taking another cruise, and I’m excited for Ken’s Mom to be going on her first one. I think she’ll really enjoy it! I wish we could take my Mom, too, but she refuses to fly, and we kind of have to fly to get to San Juan!

I look forward to exploring the various excursions we can take at the ports of call. I’ve already said that I’d love to do a zipline! There are always plenty of things to choose from, and I’d like to find a couple of cool tours. We really enjoyed the plantation tour in Jamaica, and I think Ken’s Mom would like something like that, too.

So next March, you can tell me “Bon voyage!”

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The excitement builds…under the dome

Under the DomeWhat has two thumbs and is excited about the premiere of this show tomorrow? THIS GAL!

Doesn’t that picture just break your heart? Aww.

We still have good times ahead this evening with a couple of T-bones and a couple of episodes of “The Sopranos” (no sports on tonight!), but I am super psyched about this show Monday night. I loved the book, and I think there is a lot of potential there for a fun and creepy series. (So does Stephen King. He has said that he never got to cannibalism in the book, but if the show continues long enough...gahhhh!) King isn’t one of the writers, but he does have input, and that’s a good thing. I can see him steering it in a very dark direction.

We’re both so interested in watching this that we agreed that we will watch it instead of the end of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals. We’ll get to watch a couple of hours of the game, but then we’ll switch over to “Under the Dome.” (No, we don’t have a DVR, and have no plans to get one. Shut up.) This is going to be a summer series, and if it gets picked up for a second season, my concern is that it will be going up against “Bates Motel” on A&E, another of our favorites. But things can change, and “Bates Motel” usually plays the episode again immediately afterwards, so that might be a work-around. Fangirl will find a way! We did that with “The Walking Dead” for a while, but we got so hooked on the show that there was no way we were waiting till the later showing, especially once “The Talking Dead” expanded to an hour. I love it that cable shows are often willing to do a same-night repeat showing of the episode!

Anyway, I think this could be very good. Post-apocalypse stories are hot right now, because there is much depravity and creepiness to be mined there. The reason I love “The Walking Dead” so much is because it asks the question “How will YOU react in the post-apocalypse world? How will you keep it together?” Some go the dictator route (The Governor), some go the badass survivor route (Daryl Dixon), and some are a combination of the two (Rick Grimes). It is a fascinating study of the human psyche.

And you know...zombie heads goin’ all splodey! YEAH!

No zombies in “Under the Dome,” but there will be lots of shit goin’ down all the same. Power struggles, idiot politicians, jerks, liars, and ineffectual lollygaggers.

Hey! Kinda like far too many in our Congress!

So there you go. “Under the Dome” is a metaphor for our dysfunctional Congress. You heard it here first.