Friday, April 29, 2005

Looking for Petrol, Darling

This searching for cheap gas can easily become an obsession, especially in our current torn-from-naiveté world of the upward spiral. Lucy's always had the tic, but now, I'm getting it worse, too. I left the house, this morn and took a minute before walking out the door checked prices like some people check the weather. It's getting like that, is all I'm sayin…

So on a nearly bone-dry tank, I headed over to the reputed loss leader this shady BP station across town, and as I crested the hill—can it be true?— yes! $2.07 in a $2.24 market! As I pulled up, something wasn't right. I thought there was a line, but it turned out there was an unmarked cruiser blocking the entrance. And scattered here and there, a half a dozen other cop cars. Nobody in sight. No other cars. Huh?

I couldn't stand it.

I pulled in this back way and rolled up to the island. As I opened the door, a cop walked out and—with no condescension—said: "Sorry, they're not open right now." I'm thinkin' What? Are they in trouble for selling gas too cheap? II called after him, "Um, so what's going on?" I'm always reluctant to ask this of cops, for the chance that they'll get pissy about it, but I couldn't resist. He looked over his shoulder and tossed back: "There's an investigation under way." Damn, that's all I got!"

But still, isn't that weird?

Even weirder, I was bummed because I wasn't going to score the cheap gas and as I pulled out, I looked across the way to this Citgo, tucked off the main road. $2.07!

So I filled 'er up over there, where it was fairly bustling. I kept wanting to query my fellow gassers....

Feels like a secret...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Junk art re-confribulations

If the only thing you love more than thrift store art is modifying thrift store art, then you need to hop on over to The Wurst Gallery!

The Player Piano—XBox to a by-gone generation?

I know, I know— It's not true. Certainly, it's the Atari 2600 thats the XBox to a by-gone generation, but I have my reasons. I just got a shout from cousin Karen, and it brought back a flood of memories of family trips to Evansville, to see the Evans. I never thought that was funny when I was a kid, but now, I love it. The Evans' from Evansville. Some of my fondest memories are of unsupervised play-time (I don't know if 'supervised playtime' ever even figured into the picture) in the basement, which had that total 'we've finished out our basement into a bar slash TV area slash let's-put-the-exercise-bike-there-too area,' look. And did I mention Air Hockey? Yes, yes… and it was one of those heavier tables, wasn't it? Not the dinky ones.

But off in the corner was my delight: the Player Piano. It was magic, and to me, as captivating as Pac-Man (though maybe not Defender). Well, for short periods anyway. I mean— I guess you can only pump out Sister Golden Hair so many times before your eight-year-old legs are worn out. Sitting on top was a boxful of rolls for the Piano, and we made our way through them on every visit, basicaly looking for songs we'd heard on the radio. I think Bad, Bad Leroy Brown was in there, but mostly I remember the America song.

The thing about Sister Golden Hair was this: The lyrics said "damn." Which was a cuss word. and we weren't allowed to say such words. Even, "damn" was definitely on the no-no list. But part of the magic of the player piano was that, not only did it miraculously play assorted songs, right before our eyes (and pumping legs) but that it gave us permission to curse, if only within this very narrow parameter. Also S.G.H. featured the line "I got myself undressed" which tweaked some shadowy pre-adolescent titillation, although now, I see that it was more of a clinical depression kind of thing.

Usually we would play the piano as a group. Me and Christo, and cousins Karen and Becky would combine our resources to operate the big musty barroom upright, with at least one of us leaning on each of the bellows pedals, sometimes using hands instead of feet, just to add to the fun.

And speaking of musty— That smell… no weblog can convey that Wood of the Ages smell that would invisibly roll out when you played it, the way Cold billows out of an open refrigerator. I guess that 's what happens when you push modern air though the time machine of a decades-old bellows. It comes out old.

We would gather around this huge thing, this lumbering machine of wood, and we would bring it to life, because we could. The wonder of this to the eight-year-old mind… it was like raising the dead or levitating an object or some other fantastical achievement that normally could only live in my imagination. It was a thrill, however brief, that returned every time we visited Evansville.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Originally uploaded by mrtoastey.
At cemetery flower beds the world over, they nervously whispered her name: "Bango..."

"Font Foul—Penalty: 6 Feet Under."

Lucy and I were browsing tombstones the other day and she spotted this. We both agreed this was Unacceptable Graveyard Fontography.

We took it to say: "Being dead is fun!"

Which it certainly is not... It's boring and lazy, is what it is..

Friday, April 22, 2005

What Color is your Poodle-chute?

If you're tired of your same ole, same ole poodle, well brothers and sisters, there is an answer, and that answer is Pet Esthé. If you ever saw that Simpsons episode where Bart turns the dog into this monster, well, here's yr. Life imitating Art. This bit of foppery direct to you from rockin' cool Alyssum.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Rachel Brice, belly dance soopa-star

Rachel Brice, belly dance soopa-starA shot from Mecca's 6th Birthday Bash, at the Dame, featuring Rachel Brice, who's cool enough to dance like a snake, listen to Squarepusher, and preach the gospel of Strong Bad.

More pictures are here!

Grape Hyacinth

Grape Hyacinth
Originally uploaded by mrtoastey.
Every spring, it seems like I notice something different. This year, it's tiny little glories like these violets and Spring Beauties. It's a lovely time here in the Bluegrass.

Day of Great Things

Okay, so here's all the great things that have happened to me today. Okay, here's some of the great things that have happened to me today
  1. Woke up. Always a plus
  2. Posted some pictures of Mecca's 6th Birthday and Gallery Hop. (yours for the viewing)
  3. Went to Gamelan practice.
  4. Had major compliments paid and received more work from my favorite private school client, for whom I'm now doing much marketing.
  5. Got a car wash.
  6. Sat in Lori's back yard and schemed good copy for her great boutique and Lexington at large in hopes of attracting major publication press.
  7. went to a cookout with the Lexicon Project folks. (okay, okay that was last night)
  8. Got some superfly new sunglasses from previously mentioned great boutique.
  9. walked with my sweetie in the fully-in-bloom Lexington Cemetery and got stalked by assorted ducks.
  10. got my first facial from Charlotte Webb, including a crazy rock-solid mud mask.
  11. rode my bike around, feeling the spring air and smelling bergamot, dogwood, and much more.
  12. celebrated the day with the first official gin and tonic of the season.
  13. THE CAPPER; Had a guy drive up and hand me a $500 check to me that had been mis-delivered to his house on the other side of town.
I ain't kiddin' ya, it's been a banner day.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Gizoogle - Transizlatin' Page

Dag. I can't get nothin' done today on account of Gizoogle, the site that translates the Web iinto the language of Snoop Dogg.

Check out the Gizoogle Translation of the Campsie Blog, and you'll see what I mean.

(Here's The Real Campsie Blog.)Link


Assorted quotes are treated like viruses at meme. Find your favorite or enter a new one. Click the "plus" or "minus" symbols to denote your embracing or rejection of any given quote. (I think that moves it up or down the ladder.)

LeetSpeak Star Wars (or l33t $t@r \|/@r$)

I was fiddling around this morning and saw the word "leet" twice in less than a minute and thought, "WTF?" Well, that's leetspeak right there. Short for "elite," as in Internet gamers and such who get their kicks by replacing le77ers in emailez, you g3t the idea.. I had to check out the Wikipedia entry to get it to really register. 'Cause everybody probably does it a little bit, IMO.

Admitting to said ungrammatical behavior, this Star Wars trailer with leetspeak subtitles is laugh-out-loud funny.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Oh, That Enneagram...

EnneagramSunday, Lucy and I went to Scott's Enneagram discussion group. It was a great way to wrap up the day. I feel kind of like a crackpot saying this, but based on my Enneagram Type, my immediate enthusiastic reaction to it as "the answer to all my problems" would make sense. But that aside, it's totally fascinating stuff, especially as Scott relates it. One girl there said that she'd read many books, but had picked up more in the 2 hours that we sat around gabbing than in all the books.

If you go to the Enneagram, you can do a free quickie profiling test.

Or you can go get your wisdom from Strong Bad instead.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Akiyoshi's illusion pages

If you loved (still love!) M.C. Escher, or spent your childhood in the library looking at books of optical illusions, there are so many things on the Web for you! And me. Okay, I certainly have better things to do than sit around looking at Akiyoshi's illusion pages, but sometimes I need a break. Looking at some of these is like looking at blooming spring flowers. And looking at others is like looking at blooming spring flowers after doing too many tours on the Tilt-A-Whirl at the carnival.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Damn, I love my coffee

Most days, I spend at the Toddy Cafe. That's my house, I guess, although it can be portable. I felt like a fool when I dropped the $34.95 for a big plastic funnel and a carafe, but I have never looked back. I keep my coffee in the refrigerator now. I heat it in the microwave, add boiling water, and my coffee is almost certainly the best you've ever tasted. Unless you, too, are a Toddy person. This is one of my favorite things in daily life. And my coffee drinking, sadly, has increased dramatically. I'm okay with that.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Pen Points

Hey, look, the inestimable Dr. Ron Pen has begun da blog. Teacher, learner, mustachionado, and relentlessly groovy transplanted Chicago hillbilly, don't miss Dr. Ron's perspective, over at Pen Points!

Friday, April 01, 2005

Hammer Time!

Today is the big day! My first performance with Dr. Han's Gamelan. I've been to three practices, all basically concerning our Gamelan version of Stephen Foster's "Hard Times Come Again No More." And then, at the last practice, Dr. Han gives me THREE pieces of music, saying "You need to learn these pieces. We already know them, so you will have to learn them quickly!" Uh, yeah. Actually it's so hilarious and charming that Dr. Han will even let me do this. And this morning, I came in and practiced the pieces in solitude. It really helps to count out loud, I found. What a delightful experience this is.