Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thank God for YouTube

Is it 1969? 1980? 1985? 2010? This is ageless. At least post-war ageless. Oh, hipsters. We never change.

PS: It's 1980. The year I graduated from Vernonia High School and was the Second Most Cool the I have ever attained. (Most Cool: the year I spent at the Hayward House for Wayward Women - sophomore year at the University of Oregon.)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

In Which We Learn About the Captain's Early Years

So we were heading home from the store with hamburger fixins, and Drew says, "Remember that cartoon we saw the other day? The one with the stand-up comedian talking about the mentally challenged couple crossing the street?"  (fair warning - the cartoon is adorable but the language is NSFW)

I said yes.

"Well I saw them the other day."


"Yes. There was a little round lady and a skinny guy walking along, and they were looking at each other, all romantic, and he lifted her little hand up and kissed it."

"Ahh. So then nothing bad could happen that day after you saw that."

And that made me think: "What a joy it must be, after being made fun of all your life, and after so many people treating you like a retard, to finally find somebody who thinks you are awesome."

Drew: "That's how I was in high school when I met you."

Me: "No, really. What would it be like if everybody around you was like a nuclear physicist and you couldn't understand what people were talking about unless they went 'SIGH' and talked slowly and pretend-patiently at you?"

Drew: "That's how I am now."

Monday, March 08, 2010

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Real bears playing Hockey

I think my position is pretty clear about bears being the cutest vicious deadly animal.

This bear hockey seems to be a thing they used to (I'm hoping used to) do in Russia. I don't think bears should be treated like slave-clowns. But this video is fascinating nevertheless.

Just look at those bears playing hockey.

Cocktail Hour

There are some people who, when they like something, like it too much.  These people, when not lumped together under Asbergers, are called nerds.

I have a long history of nerdism, although the subjects of my nerdism may not be science fiction, super power or gaming related.  Some of my passions over the years have included volcanology (I was young; I got over this when I started having dreams about being overtaken by a lava flow), Peanuts (I have all of them), Calvin & Hobbes (I have all of them), Monty Python (I have a lot of them), Bloom County (I have all of them), Edgar Allan Poe (I have the Complete Works), John Irving (I have read all of them), Blackadder (I have all of them in VHS plus a book with the complete scripts), and dogs (I would have all of them if I weren't married). Those close to me may be able to name more.

I am well aware of my nerdist tendencies.  That is why I steer clear of cocktails. I love cocktails. Cocktails (with the exception of gin and tonics, which are some sort of dare) are sweet, punchy treats. I love cupcakes, too. But it is wise for me not to make them, because I feel more pain having to quit at two cupcakes than I would if I had never tasted one.

Wine I can sip and be comfortable stopping at two or three.  But two or three cocktails seems like an appetizer for more cocktails.  If I weren't such a lightweight, this wouldn't be such a bad night out every so often. Unfortunately, I am fun after two, sleepy after three, and comatose after three and a half.

And cocktail making is such an art form these days that I'm afraid I would get sucked in to the excitement of trying the next best one. I would have to try them all, which is a recipe for a trip to Serenity Lane. If you're asking yourself if that is a name for an alcohol rehab center or a funeral home, it really doesn't matter.

So I'll stick with my cheap wine. Unless you insist.

Monday, March 01, 2010

By Individual Demand: My Awesome Vinyl Collection

Dean, being in his 20s and living in Portland, has no choice at this point but to get himself a turntable and start a vinyl collection.  We, being in our 40s and living in the suburbs, have a garage full of stuff we don't need anymore, including an old turntable.

So when Dean and Jenny came over last weekend to claim their birthright garage award, I took out the box of vinyl that we have been heaving around with us on every move since the last time we bought any, some time in the 80s. I thought maybe there would be a few nuggets of vinyl in there that Dean would like to hear.

Opening that box was like taking the lid off an enormous can of springy prank worms of memory. Most of the albums in the box were purchased during my high school days, since I was too poor in college to afford vinyl and opted, if I opted at all, for cheap cassettes, now long gone.

As my high school career spanned the height and the heat of the disco era (and as my music choices gravitate toward the danceable in any era), I, of course, have the full set of Village People masterpieces, as well as the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, some Black Michael Jackson, and even more some level two or three disco, like Yvonne Elliman. More importantly, you will notice Amii Stewart's Knock on Wood. In fact, you may want to step over here for a moment to get a better look at the album cover.  No, you can't buy it.

Amii Stewart's awesomeness aside, my most prized vinyl possessions: a full set of Queen. A full set of Elton John. A full set of Alan Parsons Project. And a good-enough set of Earth, Wind and Fire and Ohio Players.

Also notable:  a smidgen of Hall and Oates, Bob Welch, Steely Dan, Bruce Cockburn, Linda Ronstadt in roller skates, the original Blues Brothers album, Peaches and Herb, and some Redbone.

The whole collection is not here. Many good pieces ended up sold back to record stores in Eugene during college when I needed food money: - some early Michael Jackson albums including Thriller, some Teddy Pendergrass, Marvin Gaye, Pablo Cruise, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd and pretty much all of The Who. Oh, and a copy of Peter Frampton's Frampton Comes Alive, because, as both The Captain and I were in high school in the 70s, we were required by law to each buy a copy. One, of course, remains in the collection. As required.

I don't anticipate setting up a turntable any time soon, nor selling the contents of the box. I would feel a little like I hear hoarders feel when they consider getting rid of some of their most prized back issues of the Nickel Ads - like some part of me would be ripped out along with them. I suppose I will keep heaving them around with me until the end.  I guess they are good for a jack-in-the-box thrill every few years.

Pop goes the weasel.