Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Feeling silly?

Ever wonder about the logistics of dealing with an eighth of a ton of Silly Putty? Ever wonder what occupies the minds of young internet professionals? Check it out.

Friday, December 16, 2005

I could tell a million stories about "The Cruise."

Once I went on a cruise with 3 friends. I always theoretically disdained the idea of a cruise. So cheesy, so tourist-y, so…well, you get the idea. But the fact remains: I went on a cruise with three friends and we had some crazy fun.
The thing I loved was this: We went on Holland-America because it's all oldsters. Fuck Carnival or any of those lines that cater to "young people." I don't want that. I want:
  • no screaming kids (or screaming anybody, really. Except me—I reserve the right to be the Screaming Guy)
  • lots of quiet oldsters
  • many many interesting conversations with above-mentioned oldsters
I may have to come back with some cruise stories. but the thing I was waxing about today was the prat fall. For some reason, I was addicted to this around the time of my cruise. Probably because I was in the company of Jason, a friend and one of my favorite physical comedians of all time.

Anyway, the ship, of course, was gi-normous. And around its hulking gi-normousity, my favorite activity, undoubtedly, was wandering with a drink in one hand and a smoke in the other. Looking for a piano. And there were pianos all over the place. My dream come true. Even now, I want a drink and a smoke and a piano just thinking about it. (these days, I'll have to settle for a drink—some eggnog—since I quit smoking and my piano's in storage.) The decks and decks and promenades and promenades…these ships are very nearly cities on the water. Most everywhere—especially the lido deck—there were miles and miles of teak loungers, exactly like this.

And we would just be walking around—like ya do— and I would come across a run of unoccupied teak loungers. And the temptation would be irresistible to… TRIP AS HUGELY AS POSSIBLE ACROSS AS MANY CHAIRS AS POSSIBLE.

I would approach my target casually, continuing the conversation at hand. Uh-huh…oh, sure! Hey, I totally agr—blam! crash! tumble! And then there I was lying across the top of of pile of wrecked deck chairs.

We'd set them back up—kind of like bowling pins—and continue on our way.this was a nearly sure-fire recipe for nearly deadly peals of laughter.

And so, today's lesson: the Prat Fall. A wonderful way not to take yourself to seriously (because you will be laughed at by strangers), and entertain others at the same time.

Inspiration and recollection credit to the great Jules— Vettro, Professor Emeritus.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

From the archives: Mick's Big Fanboy Moment

One the main purposes for my blogging is to chronicle some of the more memorable moments in my life; There are lots of stories "upstairs," but getting them into written form is a task that will likely never approach being completed. Nonetheless, I'm making an effort. Here, for instance is a story that I stumbled across while trying to make some sense of the piles of paper around my office.

(from an email to Jennifer and Jill—Oct. 8, 2002)

Oh, man-- this is funny. Last night, I actually kind of had dinner with Victoria Williams!

Sort of.

victoria williams "water to drink" CD

She played at the Kentucky Theater, see—and I was so excited, I went down there several hours early and sat in the theater, working on my laptop, mindin' my own beeswax..... waiting for…my moment. The time came, and I basically schmoozed my way into her presence and ended up escorting her to a nearby chinese jernt and sitting and chatting with her while she sucked down some hot and sour soup. Just me and Vic. She was mighty funny in a "bless her heart" kinda way.

For instance, she got some tea. It was about to be served up in a styrofoam cup, and she politely and somewhat anxiously smiled and asked if there was another kind of cup. The owner—an Asian gentleman who was almost certainly perplexed by this request— said that was all they had. But she coaxed him into letting her use his personal ceramic mug, volunteering to wash it in exchange for the privilege.

Kind of a dream come true really, you know, as fan boy moments go. She was exactly how I imagined her to be: Sweet; more than a little dizzy; kind and courteous to all around her. An authentic person. She and husband musician Mark Olson live in the Mojave Desert. Also, neither she nor Mark seem fond of hair brushing.

The Harmony Ridge Creekdippers played on the Woodsongs Radio Hour. They did some cool stuff, including "Moon River" and before the last song she said "I said I'd play a request for somebody" and played "Love." That would be a request for ME. :-) I asked her, as we were leaving the chinese joint if she'd play a song for me.

Vic Williams and me!

I am such a goober. But what a big thrill for me. I'm such a lover of her voice and songs and general demeanor. and I really REALLY don't act like this anymore. ;-)

a couple of addendu

  1. After the soup and before the show, I dropped her off at the dressing room, and she said, "thanks, Mitch" and I gently corrected her and that led to one of my favorite party questions: "When people get your name wrong, what are the most popular variations?" Then I backed up, thinking out loud: "Oh, maybe that doesn't happen to you, since you're kind of a celebrity. <duh>" Anyway, she laughed and said people got her name wrong all the time, but truth be told, I was so happy to have gotten a laugh out of her, that I didn't hear what she said. 20 minutes later, Michael Johnathan, that stooge, calls her "Victoria Wilson," into a live mic, not once, not twice, but thrice
  2. Lucy and I had barely been going out for any time at all at this point. And when I called her in a delighted panic to let her know that Victoria Williams was in town and I was going on a special errand to get soy milk for her, Faced with this side of my personality, Lucy was the portrait of well concealed trepidation. To this day Lucy insists, of VW: "She thought you were a stalker." I have a picture of Vic and I that Lucy took and—okay— she does have a strange look on her face. Like, maybe she thought I was a stalker.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Egg Nog of the Stars

I don't know where I got the recipe.

It's been lying around for at least a year, maybe two. I think it either came from ReadyMade or Real Simple. But it purported to be The Finest Eggnog, and I had to give it a whirl. The kicker for me was the last bit of the recipe: Refrigerate for three weeks.
Three weeks?! Jeez, that better be some pretty damned good eggnog.

Well, December has snuck up and I nearly panicked when I noticed the recipe collecting virtual lint in my Palm pilot. I finally got out today and got the incredible amount of booze required, and the other things and got home and set to work in the lab—I mean—kitchen. Temporary kitchen, that is. (Fortunately, the eggnog does not require an oven, as do not any of the dishes that Lucy and I cook in our "temporary kitchen.")

Mixing, mixing, separating eggs, mixing assorted dairies… mixing assorted boozes…

So I got it all together without any curdling (a great mystery to me, that curdling), and decanted it for it's sleepy incubation period. But you know, I couldn't resist it. I had to try it. And I did. And verily and forsooth, it is suh-lammmin'! And that's after only 10 minutes!

By Christmas time, it'll be good enough to slay. I mean "sleigh."

Then we'll see what makes Santa jolly…

Oh, you want the recipe? Here y'go…

The Finest Eggnog
  • Separate 12 eggs in 2 cups of sugar
  • Dissolve egg yolks until creamy
  • Add 1/2 pint of light cream
  • 1 quart of milk
  • 1 fifth of bourbon
  • 4 oz. Meyer's Dark Jamaican rum
  • 4-8 oz of cognac (use good cognac)
  • A pinch of salt
  • Refrigerate for 3 weeks.

The Power of Lint


Well, I threw away my lint ball today. Really.
Yes, I have—had—a lint ball. I'd been collecting lint since learning—at some manic point in the past, during one of my many minor obsessions—that one could make paper out of dryer lint. I mean—hell—some people make sculpture out of lint, so maybe I could eventually, you know, make some paper. So I started saving for the magical day when I was going to make dryer lint paper; and I guess I've been saving for three years. But I tossed it in the mind-draining Bassett house moving effort. So I didn't make the paper.

That was hard to accept, like so many moving moments. A few weeks ago, I tried to purge my file cabinet of "unnecessary things." Wow, that was anxiety producing. Just like moving. For me the challenge lies in confronting so so many things that are reminders of forgotten passions, imagined yearnings, intended explorations. I've got jillions of 'em. I want to do everything. Everything. And I've got scraps of this or that for the special occasion, should it arise ever. Hence, the lint.

I like the cartoons where the protagonist has a tiny devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other; Me, I've got just one familiar, one who's only sentence is: "you might need that!" Whether it's some lint or some running shoe inserts or a box of bolts. Really, these are all things that I have had to ponder—seriously ponder—whether to keep or not.

I guess it's liberating, too, though. "Okay—he's liberated by throwing away a ball of lint. Check." you might be thinking. But mostly it's the occasional realization that I can come up with more passions and yearnings, and it's likely some will be even more gratifying than making paper out of lint. So I'll just continue clearing house and wait for the next truckload.

PS: Fortunately, I found at least one person on the net who cares about lint as much as I (thought I) did. I pass the crown, then…

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Morning reading

Morning reading
Originally uploaded by mrtoastey.
Look closely: This is an actual candid of my sweetheart having breakfast, reading a picture of the side of a box of cereal.

Hello, is this hilarious to anybody else but me?