Monday, November 28, 2005

I'm Engaged—Film at 11.

Well, people, I'm engaged.

Pictured is my mom's Star Sapphire, which I gave to Lucy—via waitress—at the Causeway Café at Wrightsville Beach, NC on the day after Thanksgiving 2005. I love Miss Lucy and certainly have a lot to be thankful for this year. If you want to see pictures and words, here are pictures and words. Extra credit to Wyn and Lolli who correctly sussed what the Sapphire entries on my blog must mean.

By the way: We don't know The Date. Deal with it. ;-)

BUT we both love our many glorious friends, far and wide, and look forward to coming up with a special occasion for us all to convene.

The Golden Age Star Sapphire

The star sapphire is that variety of sapphire in which, when the stone is cut and rounded off horizontal with the dome of the crystal, the light is condensed across the three lines of crystalline interference. Three cross lines produce a star which moves as a source of light, or as it is moved from the source of light. Star sapphires very rarely possess the deep blue color of the fine blue sapphire; generally the color is somewhat impure, or of a milky-blue, or else a blue-gray, or sometimes almost a pure white. The blue-gray, gray, and white stones frequently show a much more distinct star, possibly from the fact that there are more inclusions between the layers of the crystals than with the darker blue stones, as it is the set of interference bands that produces the peculiar light.

The great Oriental traveller, Sir Richard Francis Burton, had a large star sapphire or asteria, as it was called. He referred to it as his talisman, for it always brought him good horses and prompt attention wherever he went; in fact, it was only in those places where he received proper attention that he would show it to the natives, a favor they greatly appreciated because the sight of the stone was believed to bring good luck. The fame of Burton's asteria travelled ahead of him, and it served him well as a guiding-star. De Boot, writing in the seventeenth century, states that such a stone was called Siegstein (victory-stone) among the Germans.

The remarkable asteria, known as the "Star of India," in the Morgan-Tiffany Collection in the American Museum of Natural History, has a more or less indefinite historic record of some three centuries, but after its many wanderings it has now found a worthy resting-place in the great Museum. Its weight is 543 carats. (The subject of the origin, development and reform of the caratweight has been fully treated by the author in the Trans. of the Soc. of Min. Engineers, 1913, pp. 1225-1245, "The New International Metric Diamond Carat of 200 milligrams.")

The asteria, or star sapphire, might be called a "Stone of Destiny," as the three cross-bars which traverse it are believed to represent Faith, Hope, and Destiny. As the stone is moved, or the light changes, a living star appears. As a guiding gem, warding off ill omen and the Evil Eye, the star-sapphire is worn for the same reasons as were the oculus mundi and the oculus Beli. One of the most unique of talismanic stones, it is said to be so potent that it continues to exercise its good influence over the first wearer even when it has passed into other hands.

What's this?

It's a Star sapphire.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

On the road and geekin' the Best Western

Another trip across the mid-south, folks, what does it mean? It means more blogging from the road, that's what! This used to be hard. Now it's getting easy. That probably means I'll soon grow bored with it. I hope not. My dream is to find something that I'm so obsessed with that I never grow tired of it. No dice, so far. But I can dream, right? Actually, blogging seems to be in first place for a while now. Especially during traveling jaunts. Incidentally, I'm sitting in the lobby of the Chapel Hill Best Western, amid the fetid florid furniture. "but why, mick, aren't you in your room on the back of the deserted hotel?" you must be asking. Well, it's like this: Lucy, she gotta watch Lost. And I'm not proud—I've got to watch it too, but I'm behind and cannot watch it right now. Must. Avoid. Thus, The Lobby Technique. So got the frick out. First stop: Whole Foods – Durham! A dreamland, I tell ya, of granola-esque deliciousness! I went in to get a variety of items (okay, okay—sauteed kale, tofu pad thai, barbeque turkey burgers and all kinds of olives) and a bottle of cheap red wine. I actually found it: Cheap Red Wine. That's what it's called. Perfect. We've been kind of wrapped up in "Two Buck Chuck," and I think it's sinking in. Me? Looking for wine? God help us all. Talk about The Next Thing…this one could last for years if it takes hold. Please—don't talk to me about wine. I don't want to. I don't want to talk about wine. I just want to drink it.

Monday, November 21, 2005


Lucy and I goofin' at the fabulous Lexicon Project Mobile Studio, in front of the Dame after the recent Mecca benefit! Thanks, Lexicon Project!

The benefit went swimmingly. Mecca—who's home has been in the heart of downtown lex for six years—has recently moved to their new home. The cost of that moving—we're talkin' new dance floors, y'all—has not been small, and so a benefit was in order. Interestingly, in spite of all the wonderful things that Mecca has done for the arts community, I can't recall there ever being a previous benefit for Mecca. And talk about a shoestring budget… sheesh!

Let's see, we had the always-fabulous Rakadu performance, as well as more super-duperness from Big Maracas, Club Dub and Big Fresh, who get extra props for including a lecture on prime numbers in the middle of their set, with guest lecturer, Stereo Apple and Marble Robert Schneider. I learned so much, guys…

My favorite part of the evening was kind of a hilarious come-uppance that could remain private, but I want to share because Carlin and Chan said they actually read my blog, so I gotta offer up…um, something.

There have been a variety of Mecca related events at The Dame where I get to DJ. I love to DJ, and when it's a Mecca thang, it's usually a vaguely Middle Eastern Bossa Nova techno affair. Then afterwards, it's not unusual for me to be asked to DJ for a bit to the loyal crowd. Last time I did this, I got to play 70's disco to a very appreciative dance floor until 2am or so, and it was such a feeling, to quote-unquote rock the dance floor.

So I'm thinkin' 'yeah, some more dance dj action,' gettin' some tunes queued up (blondie? no, no… Pilot? what? what?!)… I'm standing in the soundbooth next to Mikey Tev, who's poised to flip the board over to the DJ as soon as Big Fresh finishes up their wackiness. Nick, the Manager, is standing behind us and when BF wraps, he's gonna cue Mikey to swap over to the DJ. I'm considering my first song choice once more (this is all on laptop, by the way, so I can change my mind pretty quickly). Then, my time has come: Nick cues Mikey Tev and he moves this slider and that and I wait for Pilot's "Magic" to come boomin' across the PA—what a sweet sound it's gonna be—but instead I hear…Heart? Magic Man??! What the fuh?!

I glance around the club, everybody's rockin', and I look over to see…my nemesis! Mikey Turner, friend, RFL hipster, Warmest Milk, on the wheels of steel at DJ station #2!



I had to laugh. Apparently, I was the only one that thought I was DJ'ing after the show. And I realized that I hadn't actually bothered to ask. What's that about 'assuming?'

Never mind, I got it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I can't explain it, but I'm strangely transfixed by the Bet On Iraq web site, where you can buy Iraqi Dinar for fractions of a penny on the dollar—I mean, dinar.

"So, as long as we've already invaded Iraq, it's alright to invest in the currency, since our invasion will cause it to one day rise again?"

Is that it? Is this a vote of confidence?

I don't know but I might need to buy some Dinar. You know, just in case…

Fear and Loathing in the Mystery Machine

All hail the Internet! Where else can you find Hunter S. Thompson insinuated into Scooby-Doo? Nowhere, that's where! Take a break. Read Fear and Loathing in the Mystery Machine. If HST were alive he might say: "I've never met those iowahawk kids, but if I ever do, I'll set them on fire!"

Wildwood Inn

Well, this looks like my dream hotel. At the very least, let's hear it for some fabulous interior decoration at Northern Kentucky's Wildwood Inn! Check out the 360 degree panarama views!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Public spontaneous pillow fight. Now that's my kind of fun.

The latest rendition of the "flash mobs" phenomenon is one of public pillow fights. Ya just gotta love that, right? Excerpt from the rules: No hard pillows! Only hit people with pillows! Don't hit people with cameras!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Friday, November 04, 2005


Welcome to the world of Cover Pops, a concept developed by artist Jim Bumgardner. Just look at this coverpop of MAD Magazines. It's pretty engrossing. If you want to know "why? how? what?!" as I instantly did, go check out the faq

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Mick turns 40. Film at 11.

People—I have just had the most excellent 40th birthday…season. One of the things I like about my Oct. 25 birthday is that is five days after my sweetie's and seven days before Halloween. Lots to do. And it's in the height of autumn, my favorite season. Until Spring, that is.

Well, I turned 40 this year. No real drama to speak of. I think it's too easy to dwell on these things, and I've probably done my share of hand-wringing over it in the "lead-up," but not really so much. I mean—what do they say?—beats the alternative. Yup!

And I've got so many friends. They threw me a surprise party under the devious organization of Lucy. Back to that later.

There was breakfast at the Meadowthorpe Café; there was the New Pornographers (early, true, but I really highly encourage you, gentle reader, to celebrate your birthday season.) There was Lucy's birthday. There was a trip to the drive-in.

And there was my wonderful and rainy actual birthday which featured thrift store visits and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Then sushi and friends. And, as I said, then there was the surprise party. Which didn't come until friday, just long enough that I didn't suspect a single thing. I mean—hadn't I already had quite enough fun for one person? Well, I've always been a bit of a glutton for fun.

So, friday, the plan was to meet Jennifer and Travis for a drink, which sounded like plenty of fun. I was kind of stressed because of my impending yard sale, the next morning. Ad in the paper, yada yada. Had to do it! Lucy had proclaimed repeatedly her desire to go out dancing to The Big Maracas, Lexington's fine fine salsa/samba outfit down at The Dame. I had been caterwauling about the yard sale, the yard sale, but in the end had finally conceded that dancing seemed like a better idea than walking around Bassett house, wringing my hands over the coming morning.

We walked the breezy fall night air stream a few blocks to The Dame and right inside the door, a chorus of mashed-up "Surprise!" and "Happy Birthday!" And—I've got to tell you—I didn't know what to think. My first thought was "Oh! How nice to have everybody at the bar wish me a happy birthday. I wonder how they pulled that off…"

mick is surprised
So let me get this straight—
Originally uploaded by mrtoastey.

I actually had to first realize that I knew basically every person I saw, and then talk to a couple of people before grasping that this was a surprise party for me. My next thought was: Woo-hoo! TT was there to instantly hand me a Gin and Tonic. T'ank yoo, dahlink…

The rest of the night was spent dancing and laughing and talking. Well, here's some pictures, if you're curious. Oh yeah—I got to bed at about 3am, got up at 5:30pm and shagged my sorry ass over to Bassett for my yard sale. Hurtin'!

Of course, it was so very worth it.

Thanks to all my wonderful friends. Thank you!