Archive for September, 2007

Rubber Tree

Continuing today’s trend of short posts with links to some of my favorite sites, I am coveting this:

It’s a lamp that you wind up.  A wind-up lamp.  That works.  And it looks incredibly chic, to boot.  The wind-up lamp can be found in all of its glory here at Geekologie.

Other things which I am currently coveting include:

  1. The original Monkey Island computer game.  This was the first game to make me nearly piss myself laughing.  While the other middle-school girls were experimenting with mascara and prank-calling cute boys, Yours Truly was sitting alone in a darkened bedroom insulting rogue pirates and using rubber chickens as escape devices.  And people wonder why I was so unpopular in junior high.
  2. Some Thin Mints.  Or some Grasshoppers.  Just something that’s dark chocolate and minty.  Like, a whole package or two of them.  With a glass of very cold milk.  WHOLE milk, dammit.
  3. Vacation time.  Yeah, sure — I’m getting two weeks off for the wedding.  But while I’m not saying it won’t be enjoyable, it certainly won’t be a vacation.  I want deserted strip of beach-azure waters-ice cold beer-warm sun-maid service at the hotel in which my room has a beautiful balcony with French doors that you leave open the entire time-style vacation time.
  4. And a gold-plated Delorean.  Because, why not?

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From a short but awesome — as always — Tomato Nation post on a topic I’ve always questioned:

…how in the hell anyone is supposed to believe the Devil didn’t beat Johnny’s ass in “The Devil Went Down To Georgia”…

Read the entire post here.  And then go and read the newest Girls’ Bike Club installment while you’re there.

Go.  Now!

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I love how the Houston Chronicle has chosen to word the headline to a story about the myriad woes in the Acres Homes neighborhood of Houston:

Acres Homes residents tire of weeds, crimes

Because, really, at the end of the day, it’s the weeds — first and foremost — that need to be dealt with.  Crime — including, but not limited to, ubiquitous crack houses, syphillis outbreaks,  and dead, naked bodies turning up in ditches every few days — can be handled after any offending weeds are properly killed.

The Houston Chronicle: prioritizing your life in ways you never thought possible.

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Isn’t it funny how the most unexpected things will get to you sometimes?

I haven’t really cried since my grandfather passed away.  I cried a little and then quickly looked away after I saw him in his casket, looking so small and withered by time.  I cried briefly on the drive home, distraught about leaving my poor Meemo behind on her own for the first time in years.  And I cried a little tonight, while watching The War on PBS, thinking about all of the war stories Granddaddy told and which I’d never hear again.  I wouldn’t say that I’m being stoic; I’m just trying to keep myself occupied with other thoughts until I’m able to think about him without the grief overwhelming me, until I’m able to think straight.

So, I was shuffling around YouTube tonight as I’m wont to do when I need to keep myself occupied, and I came across this clip.  I found myself bawling before the timpani even came in. (more…)

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I haven’t the foggiest who this kid is, where he comes from or what he’s all about.  I just know that I stumbled across him on YouTube and found myself weirdly enjoying his music.  His style and voice bears a strong resemblance to Nick Drake, if Nick Drake had been on the appropriate anti-depressants and had listened to the Beatles.  Take a listen:

There’s so much I enjoy about this kid: his dreamy, unfocused voice; the layering of instrumentation (that I believe he does himself); the refreshingly shameless, soul-baring lyrics, but done in such a straightforward, amiable manner that you don’t get the feeling that he’s running around town in Hot Topic shirts and heavy eyeliner; the fact that he’s out there, finding his own audience and sharing his talents with the world sans a music label or any kind of record deal.  I know people do it every day (Kate Walsh, anyone?), but it’s still exciting and new to me.

I kind of wish this kid luck, that he’d get signed to a fantastic contract and put out a beautiful record and be the next Conor Oberst.  But I also kind of don’t.  I love what he’s doing right now and I think that in 25 years, when he looks back from whatever path he’s taken, he’ll see that right now was the best time of his life and these little pieces were most honest and true things he’s ever done.

But good luck, nonetheless, kid.

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For Now

Until I feel up to writing more, here are a few things I’ll miss about my granddaddy:

  1. Some of his sayings:
    1. “Cowboys are tough!”
    2. “Close the barn door!” when actually referring to the garage door
    3. “Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets” when referring to my grandmother
    4. “It’s R-U-N-T, ruint!” instead of ruined
    5. “I tic-a-locked it!” which was his way of saying that a certain food item was off-limits because he had great plans for it later; this usually involved chocolate
  2. His thick Texas accent:
    1. Fire was pronounced “far”
    2. Temperature was pronounced “temp-a-ter”
    3. Get was pronounced “git”
    4. Palo Pinto (where he was born) was pronounced “Pal-a Pin-a”
    5. Help was pronounced “hep”
    6. Can’t was pronounced “cain’t”
  3. The smell of his cigars, even when he wasn’t smoking them but was just chewing on them all day until they were ragged, wet stumps
  4. The sound of the light next to his rocking chair being turned on and off via a little metal chain
  5. How much he loved The Price Is Right, which he called “Come On Down”
    1. One evening a few months ago,  I called him to let him know that the Bob Barker special was on TV so that he wouldn’t miss it.  He answered the phone and quickly hollered, “Can’t talk! ‘Come On Down’ is on!” and hung up on me.
  6. Hearing stories about his aircraft carrier in World War II and his childhood in Mineral Wells.
  7. Getting cards from him with his distinctive penmanship — in all caps — and always signed S.G.D., an abbreviation of my nickname for him: Sweet Grand Daddy.
  8. The way he could not only name any Big Band song, but also the songwriter, the bandleader, the singer and every single one of the band members and their instruments.
  9. His meticulous filing systems, for everything from his painstakingly compiled collection of old 45s to the hundreds of cards he would send out to friends and family members every year.
  10. The way he always answered the phone when he knew it was me calling: “Well, sweet Katie girl!”

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Star Dust

My very beloved Granddaddy passed away this evening.  I am writing his obituary tonight, in between some deeply reflective periods and some drinking.  It is no easy task.

Here’s to Joe, a great man.  I am a good person…but he was a great person.

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