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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Best. Costume. Evah!

Okay, so it's the Halloween weekend and lots of folks are prepping their Slutty Nurse, Slutty Librarian, Slutty Slut Slut costumes for one party or another. I have several friends who come up with really cute costume pairings with their kids. Go-togethers like cookies and milk, peanut butter and chocolate, Xenon and the practical application of Xenon in the form of a flash lamp.

Note: That last one is a real combo my Special K bud, K-Schnikes and his boy are whipping up this year. His son's an adorable science nerd. I'm banking on him to perfect that cloning thing.

And then there's this... perhaps the most perfect pairing on the planet.

"this is how daddy makes the pain go away"
BFFs Forever
HaHaHa! This shit just got real, Yo. The only thing missing is bitter regret.

Clearly, this fam ain't Ozzie and Harriet and Papa Bear ain't gonna win Parent of the Year, but DAMN! That is hysterical! That is covered in awesome sauce! (Is that made-up phrase one or two words? Does it even matter? Aaaa, first world problems.) If we had little kids, I would totally steal this idea.

Halloween. The holiday of hand outs, hangovers and hilarious getups.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Because Americans Just Aren't Lazy Or Douchey Enough 

What. The. Hell.

I don't even know what to say. 

Okay, so I saw this in a commercial break during Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It's a joke, right? Please tell me it's a joke. In the words of Archer's Lana Kane,


As if the world doesn't already think Americans are fat, lazy and stupid enough, here comes Snuggie 2.0 to confirm that belief. Let's examine the selling points that would convince one to drink the Kool Aid of the fashionably damned, shall we?

"It's the best way to stay warm outdoors!" (If you've lost every modicum of self esteem)

Hi. I'm Mary Margaret and I'm not wearing pants.

"It will be the talk of your next tailgate!" (um...yeah. everyone will talk about what a ginormous DORK you are)

I'm too sexy for my cult robe.
Have some. It's grape.

"Oh Oh! Gotta go? No worries. The Forever Lazy has zippered hatches in front AND back." (because nobody wants to be downwind of your backside bidnez all smashed up in your honking, shocking pink, adult-sized, baby onesie)

Oooops. I just crapped my pants!
Good God, man! What happens when the zipper sticks, people!!?!

But by far the best part of this YouTube posting by far is the commentary stream.

Me neither, zkree. Me neither.

Friday, October 21, 2011

"I Think I Will Miss You Most Of All, Scarecrow"

last morning shenanigans

Okay, so one of my favorite people on this crazy blue planet, Jimmy McParkway is leaving for greener pastures in the Boston television market.


That's my lame attempt at an emoticon of me, crying. I'm bad at emoticons.

breaking news...
"two monkeys are still at large"*
*actual newsfeed statememt

I've been stalling all week cooking, cleaning a bit, grocery shopping... Okay, so I should be doing those things ANYWAY, but the point is I just couldn't bring myself to sit down and write this farewell. I even took a yoga class, for Chrissake!


People, I must have been desperate. I am not that flexible. And it was hot yoga, too. Steam room heat AND my own personal waves of summer? I was literally combustible. I kept waiting for my flaming-red hair to ignite. That is some huge denial. I suppose it was my misguided belief that as long as I didn't commit his departure to virtual pen and paper, he wasn't leaving.

But he is.

And I miss him already.


Jimmy brought a youthful exuberance to the Special K. Six years ago he walked into our studio and breathed life into the stale atmosphere. He's loud, boisterous and energetic even at 4:30 in the morning. His humor is delightfully skewed.

CSI Special K
Rug Installation Division

We hit it off right away.

Sushi face with my cohort in crazy

He was always entertaining us with his rapier wit, impressions of Sean Connery, Al Gore and Minnesota accents as well as a perfectly executed Elaine Benis dance.

who's leading this mess?

Traffic A-Go-Go

Jimmy is also a magnificent klutz at times. I used to lovingly refer to him as our golden retriever pup because he couldn't quite judge the size of his large paws when he walked. Some mornings there would be loud crashing noises coming from his area behind the set during the show. He'd fall off his chair (he was young and pliable, ergo no hip fracture), trip on a chair leg running for the four-shot or send an unsecured set piece flying in a thundering boom live... on the air.

That STILL makes me laugh out loud. I love him...

no, that is not a tampoon


Stay... Stay...

"Trim Mon"
our Rasta cam 

time to get rid of the little cap'n in him

He was the one who introduced me to the wonderful world of social media via Facebook and Twitter, is everyone's IT person for the iPhone and is my main source for hilarious YouTube videos like Get Your Betty Ready, Sofa King and Conan's hilarious Power to the V. Not to mention this guy.

I can't hear this without thinking about Jimmy and I dancing in the chroma key like a couple of big ole dorks. "It's just like meenee mall."

I got all my greatest blog fodder from him.

Between shows we'd dance around the studio, record hoola-hoop antics and be just plain irreverent. He was usually the instigator of the the marvelous mayhem. We call this one, Absolute Ball Room.

It was always quiet in the studio when he was on vacation. It's deadly still now. Although we're trying to uphold the high standard of malarkey set over the last six years, it's just not the same without Jimmy.

happy 30th, Dorf
traffic with a side of lieder hosen

On-air talent come and go in this business. It's a fact. I try not to get attached because it hurts too much to say goodbye to the ones I care about. But occasionally someone comes along who is too special not to embrace. Someone who's silly antics makes any day better. Someone who is not merely a coworker, but a friend.

So thank you for brightening my world, Jimmy. Thank you for your boundless humor, your indomitable spirit and for one particular Kingpin-inspired video that will forever be on my iPhone to cheer me up when I'm missing you. You know which one I'm talking about.

dude, your prom dates a hootchie
Yes. I think I will miss you most of all, Scarecrow.

Although it pains me to see you leave Pittsburgh, I know this is the right move for you. Please know you will forever occupy a special place in my heart. All the best to you always, friend. See you soon.


P.S.: You're gonna be wicked awhesome in Baaahston.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Take It To The Bridge
or the connection between two concerts

Okay, so every year my sister and her hubby generously allow Geo and I to crash for a week at their beach house on the Jersey Shore, sans Snooki or the Situation. It's a charming little cape cod on a lagoon perfect for washing the sand out of your hoohah. It's damned relaxing to spend the afternoon idly floating on the gentle tide, too as long as you can ignore the jumping fish swimming all around. Bleeeeech!

Cocktails help. A lot.

First of all let me say one thing. We suck at packing.

Packing FAIL

Seriously, what is with us. It doesn't matter how long or short our trip, we CANNOT pack light. We fill every square inch of the Rita mobile. It looks like we live in our car down by the river. We are retarded. And get this, we actually had to go back out for groceries because there was absolutely no room for food. I am not even kidding. There was literally no room for food.

But we did find room for vodka. There's always room for vodka. Priorities, dude. And man, did we hit the mother load of liquors on the way to the island.

soooo pretty


And this is just half of their selection. No shit. The opposite aisle was packed to the gills with sweetly fermented potato goodness.
our personal pool to get the shitz out yo muffin

Over the years, Geo and I have developed a shore routine. Most days we take a nice long walk on the beach, he heads back to buy fresh caught seafood for dinner before imbibing, I hang out by the surf soaking up the sea breeze until I cannot stomach my own stench (or another piece of sand in a sensitive area) at which time I head back to dive into our personal pool to rid myself of the days glorious grime.
just me and my brella

I think this shit-o-matic followed me from Coney Island

After getting sufficiently pruney, I do one of my most favorite things on God's green earth. I shower outside.

Ohmigodjesus! It is the most freeing, exhilarating and delightfully naughty feeling to be outdoors, with the heat of the sun beating down on you, watching gulls fly by, totally nekked. Okay, so there's a thin plywood stall to stand in, but still, hellooo...NAKED.


Who wouldn't want drop trough and lather up under that gorgeous sky?

But I digress...

Since my days start hours before the butt crack of dawn, I'm usually up much earlier than Geo. In years past, I'd get up, make coffee and read on the pontoon or attempt to will my every-lovin' awake with my mind, AKA a finger poke to the face. But that just led to annoying bloodshed. And who wants to clean up that kind of mess on vacation.

So this year I started a new morning tradition. Behold... (cue the chorus of angels)

The Pee Wee Herman Adventurer 2011!

Dude, it has a basket! I love this bike! It's so wonderfully retro with no gears for me to jam in a completely uncool, spazzy way. Every morning I ventured out to procure breakfast treats, take a long spin around the neighborhoods and document a sight a day.

september by the bay
Ole Barney piercing the sky

everything is happier at the beach

queen of the long, shadowy legs

ridiculously large house 
after the morning catch
lagoon vista
So. Much. Fun. And the best part was, I could placate my ADD while letting sleeping spouses lie. Now everybody's a winner. Woot!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What We Did On Our Summer Vacation
or Rhett Miller and the case of the lesbian hair...not that there's anything wrong with that

(Part 2b of 3)

Okay, so when we last figuratively spoke, Geo and I were venturing south to Annapolis on the death trap known as I-95. I hate this highway. It doesn't matter on which part of the eastern seaboard you drive, there always seems to be bumper-to-bumper traffic consisting of the most inept motorists who inevitable muck up the flow by crashing haplessly into each other like bumper cars at Kennywood.


Anywho, we decided to drive to Maryland right after the concert so as not to miss the 1pm Rhett show (1pm?!? Who the hell has a rock show at 1pm anyway, and an all-ages show to boot?!?) or the special Ram's Head breakfast with $2 Bloody Mary special.


Speaking of winning, we met up with Steph and three of her delightful friends, Michele, Melissa and Sheila, putting Geo in the position of lone Y chromosome at the table. Just the way he likes it, right Honey? We sat on the patio where the staff was raffling off junk, er...I mean, collectibles to lucky patrons. Guess who is the proud owner of a big-ass bottle cap tray?

"You're a bottle cap away, from pushing me too far..."

Go Steph! Go Steph! Go Steph!

We made her carry that monstrosity into the venue herself, because that's how we roll. Tough Love, baby. Tough Love.

Anywho, the room was not as full as it would have been had the show started at 8pm instead of 1pm, but there were a fair number of cool parents present with their progeny to witness the best performers around. The kids were having a great time.

I love how children just react without worry of protocol, embarrassment or ridicule. They have a boundless joie de vivre. I envy them. If they want to sing, they sing. If they want to dance, they dance. If they want to make your life a living hell by pitching a right-royal fit in front of the Queen of England, they do it. They are who they are, fearlessly.

How did we as adults lose that sense of elan?

This little cherub could only contain herself for four songs before she just had to leap from her Mom's lap and busta move to a spirited rendition of Victoria. At one point I thought for sure she was going to jump on stage with Rhett.
party on, Viv!
Completely adorable!

A lover of children, Rhett took time to spar with the youngsters to comedic effect. Seriously. This conversation is HILARIOUS!!

Unlike the night before, the stage was less than two feet above the floor and literally right up against tables in the front row. This level of intimacy lent an air of familiarity with the audience. He changed up his original setlist to fulfill a couple of requests from the crowd including another rarity, Curtain Calls, from a shy little girl in the front row.

The setlist from this show was outstanding. A terrific mix of deep cuts, rarities, popular favorites and one amazing cover. The night before, finding out we and Steph were going to see him the next day, Rhett invited us to send him requests for the setlist. Geo and I sent him three suggestions, Stephanie sent two. We all thought he'd pick one or two total. He played all of them.

All. Of. Them.

Again, do you see why I love him. He's just the bestest.
(Me: Gush Gush  You: Gag GAG)

Geo's old favorite, Pt. Shirley:

Geo's NEW favorite, Manhattan (I'm Done):

One of Steph's favorites, Weightless:

Several months ago, Rhett announced he would be releasing a CD of covers he recorded in 2005 or 2007 maybe. Ever since Steph discovered her absolute favorite Wilco song, California Stars was on the CD, she's been jonesing to hear Rhett's interpretation. With cheat sheet on the floor, Rhett sang it for her.

Dream fulfilled. She had tears in her eyes. Of course there wasn't a dry eye at the table (except for Geo) when he sang his latest heart tugger, Picture This. We gals were a puddle.

I know I shared this song in the last post, but I like it. So sue me.

Michele, Melissa and Sheila have been to a number of Old 97's shows, but never experienced the blue-eyed one perform alone. It was fun to watch Melissa in particular be converted into a solo fan over the two hour afternoon. Somehow I think this will not be her last show.

Once again, he patiently greeted everyone, took photos and hugged a few chillins before climbing in his get-away car and heading for his pastoral Hudson Valley hamlet.

The perfect capper to a perfect week away from our daily grind.

Here's the uber fun setlist because I'm a ginormous dork and a half:

The El
Dance With Me
The Grand Theatre
Help me, Suzanne
Terrible Vision
Curtain Call* (request from little girl in the audience)
Cryin' Drunk* (request from said girl's momma)
State of Texas
Like Love
Picture This (new song possibly on next solo record)
Visiting Hour
Pt. Shirley
Manhattan (I'm Done)
Champaign, IL
Ray Charles* (request)
California Stars (complete with backstory)
Lonely Holiday
Melt Show
Our Love
Barrier Reef
Murder or a Heart Attack
Time Bomb

So what does all this have to do with lesbian hair?

I got my auburn locks chopped prior to vacating our zip code. As you can see in the above picture, it's pretty damn short. But when I let it curl, it's not just short, it's Dana-Carvy-Church-Lady-Lesbian short.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

So all of us in this photo are standing around outside of the venue chit chatting before we go our separate ways. Facing the street, I noticed two tipsy girls, arm-in-arm with flowers in their hair pinched from one of the many planters lining the street, stumbling towards our group. Girl #1 is trying to steer Girl #2 clear of our posse. Girl #2 locks eyes on me and dragging her buddy, beelines straight for me to hand me this.

Dude. Turns out I'm a babe magnet.

Yuuuuup. Lesbian hair.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Monday, October 10, 2011

What We Did On Our Summer Vacation
or still recounting the last good week of the season (Rhett Fest I)

(Part 2A of 3)

Question: How do you top a perfect week at the beach? With a double shot of your favorite singer/songwriter, of course.

Okay, so I'm going to jump ahead to the end of the week because quite frankly I can't wait to share some videos of guess who.

As much as I enjoy traveling to witness the pure power of an Old 97's concert, I loveloveLOVE Rhett solo season. For those unfamiliar with the routine, when the full band takes a hiatus from touring, the blue-eyed lovely packs his guitar and hits the road alone to entertain his adoring public, i.e. me and a bunch of other crazy chicks. As James Taylor always sang, Daddy loves his work. He also loves to pay his bills.

Lucky for us.

The thing I like best about his solo show, besides the passionate performance, is the intimacy with the audience. When it's just Rhett, a mic and a guitar in a darkened room, we get stories and interaction to go with the music.

iPhone image courtesy of Julie Strehle

It's magical.

Plus Geo, who suffers my obsession, comes along for the solo ride. He might not directly admit it, but he has a very good time. I have proof. I have video with him laughing.

cutest face dimple in rock

Anywho, we made the short jaunt from New Jersey to Wilmington, Delaware for Rhett's show at World Cafe at the Queen.

Opera House with duck face facade

We've never been to Wilmington before. It's a charming little city in a bit of a revitalization with cool old architecture, trendier restaurants and a tavern teeming with microbrews where we met up with our New York friend, Marcy. I was so excited to see her! We had such a great time catching up over cocktails. I have met so many lovely people through this man and his band. Marcy is just one of the few I adore.

The afternoon flew by too quickly. Before we knew it, it was time to part ways until show time. Geo and I set off to a terrific tapas bar (trendy, right?) near the venue to nosh with my dear buddy, Stephanie and her friends. You can read her fabulous retelling of the weekend here. Hmmm... Is it pronounced See-Rah, Shee-Rah or SheeutTheFuckUp? (you have to read her blog to get that)


One of our favorite up and coming bands, The Spring Standards opened the evening. They're a delightful trio of enormously talented musicians fronted by Heather Robb who has one of the clearest, most angelic voices. They've released three CDs and are working on their fourth, obtaining funding from fans via Kickstarter.

Geo and the lovely Heather

And they could not be any sweeter. These three are going places.

"Please stop singing so loudly, yo.
You're hurting my soul."
With his signature glass of whiskey on ice, Rhett took the stage and Steph, Marcy and I took our places in front of the stage, mole side. As always, he gave his all during his 23-song setlist of old standards sprinkled with a handful of more recent tunes, the crowd bellowing along to Barrier Reef, Big Brown Eyes (sung for a little girl named Katie) and Singular Girl.

Katie, being adorable

"I've got issues... YEAH!!"

Then he surprised everyone by singing the rarely performed Nineteen.

The biggest treat of the evening came after the encore break when he introduced a new song, Picture This, from his upcoming solo effort due out next year. As Heather tells on the video, the Spring Standards wrote it when they were 15 and Rhett reworked the second verse.

"I'm tired, but I'm not too tired for you."

That line is destined to make all the girls in the room tear up. And seriously, how beautifully do their voices blend? Thank goodness for videotape. That song is too gorgeous to have to wait until Spring to hear again.
 Another great thing about solo shows is Mr. Miller usually hangs out at the merch table to chat and graciously sign whatever, except boobs. He won't sign boobs. Not that I asked, because I didn't. Pinky swear to Gawd! C'mon! I'm not that far gone. Seriously. Sheesh!

Signing Swag. Schwing!

He did sign some pretty sweet, sweet items for a special little person the details of which I'll share at a later date.

Alas, the evening ended too quickly, but it certainly was a great first night of two to finish off an outstanding week away. On to Annapolis!