(no subject)

When I watched "In Bruges" with my wife, I said I'd love to go back with her so all my memories of the place will be with her and not my previous family. When I re-visited Minnesota to meet more friends, I went back to several of the places I went to with L. It helped heal the wound, if that makes sense. That way I don't think of some St Paul restaurant as a place of failure or regret.

I have been re-watching "The Marvellous Mrs Maisel" and it is so much fun. If you don't know about it, it's an Amazon Prime series about a New York Jewish housewife getting into stand-up comedy. Miriam (Midge) Maisel is played by Rachel Brosnahan, best known as Rachel Posner in House of Cards. Her 1958 approach to being a perfect housewife doesn't work the way she expected. Every moment Midge is on screen, she shines. She's fun and sarcastic and caring but playfully bratty. She makes a point of knowing the name of all the elevator operators and cabbies. But she worries her daughter's forehead is too big.

All of the supporting characters are brilliant. Tony Shalhoub can do no wrong. Kevin Pollack steals every scene he's in. Alex Borstein (MadTV, Lois Griffin) plays an even more witty but acerbic Village club employee who wants to be her manager.

This is all fun and all, but to get back to the beginning. A show like Marvellous Mrs Maisel is important. Not only because there's a demand for Gilmore Girls dialogue and camera techniques, but because it's great to see love-letter depictions of New York, especially Jewish, which aren't written/directed by that little guy who abused his daughter and married his stepdaughter. Every year I watch Christmas Vacation, I lament how Mae Questel is in one of the funniest film segments of the 80's (Oedipus Wrecks in New York Stories) and I'll never be able to enjoy it again. I'm not Jewish, but seeing New York Jews NOT being in a Woody Allen work is important to me.



(no subject)

Wife: OK. This is great. I'm not gonna stress about today?

Me: That's great!


I'm much more mellow in appearance.


(no subject)

I can't make anything work, or anyone work. Anything I do displeases someone. I'm getting to the point where I'm just not going to interact with anyone, as it feels like I just disappoint more than bring value to any interaction. Even this whiny post feels like I'm being a wet blanket. Oh, poor me. Middle-class white man. What right do I have to be unhappy? Anyway, who wants to be friends with someone who is constantly unhappy? Or when I'm not, it takes minutes before I sound like a cocky douche and offend someone and boy I won't do that again. Interacting with me is a negative sum game. No, I'm not all right. I'm lonely and sad and everything is an effort or a reminder of my failings.


Favourite cover songs

Best of Sacramentalist, 2004-11-29 (with a few edits):

Here is a list of my ten favourite cover songs.

Of course, there were a bunch of rules. There always are.
1. Must prefer cover to the original
2. The original song must be reasonably well known
3. Nothing by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, because that is too easy
4. Nothing that would be considered a standard. No Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, etc.

1. Hurt - Johnny Cash

Hurt takes a slow-paced (and annoying) song about drug abuse, and turns it into HIS song. His swansong. Extra points for the video.

2. One - Johnny Cash

I hated U2's original. I hated it quite a lot. But Cash's interpretation made me actually LISTEN to the song, and when I let it in, it broke my heart.

3. My Favourite Things - John Coltrane

Yes, it's Jazz. And it's a standard. So there.

4. Crazy Mary - Pearl Jam

I could not care less about Pearl Jam, but this cover of a Victoria Williams song is wonderful. It plods, then soars, and has a frustating syncopated lyric. I think I'm cheating, because nobody knows Victoria Williams. I certainly didn't until this song showed up on a tribute album of her work. She sings backup in it too.

5. Take me to the River - Talking Heads

I want to get into Al Green. Too bad this song reminds people of singing fish heads. But that was very effectively used in Season 3 of The Sopranos.

6. Dear Prudence - Siouxsie and the Banshees

Serious. This as their song.

7. Smooth Criminal - Alien Ant Farm

This is a great catchy tune. I wish Jackson didn't write it.

8. Tour De France - Kraftwerk

I hated their original song. This recent remix/cover is great.

9. Hallelujah - John Cale

THIS is the definitive version of the song. Who are these Rufus Wainright, and Jeff Buckley characters, anyway? Okay, okay. They all have great covers, but that just shows how wonderful the original song is, eh?

10. Oops, I Did it Again - Richard Thompson

I didn't know this existed until (the day of the list-making) while I was googling for cover tunes. Sweet Jesus it's great!

Honourable Mentions:

Only You - The Flying Pickets

This a capella band takes on a Casio CZ-101 and wins. Blows it up the Yazoo, if you will.

The Devil Went Down to Georgia - Pump

The devil should be playing an accordion.

Kiss - The Art of Noise

Think I better dance, now...

This Wheel's on Fire

Not obscure, but probably not well-known enough, but it means a lot to me

Song to the Siren - This Mortal Coil

Same as This Wheel's on Fire. Anyone who counts know it. Hahaha!


(no subject)

1. Good on the US with elections, yesterday. Opinions seem mixed. Maybe more women should run. Maybe more minorities. Or maybe just more people should run. Dems are a mess, but it's nice to see a #resitance wave.

2. Re: the Texas church mass-shooting: Trump says mental health is a problem at the highest level. He's the example of mental health issues at the highest level. (Dear NSA: I hope this joke doesn't make me unwelcome in the US. I love your country and people.)

3. C brought Ella in for a check-up and her mobility is better! She's more reactive and the original vet and the second one (who suggested we had a week to decide on her quality of life) agreed she seems better. Then the vet saving the blood work to December... which means they think our dog is going to live over a month! I kinda sobbed on the phone in relief. I am not proud. Poor little Ella Muffin.

4. I saw my shrink where I listed at least 6 things I'm neurotic about (dog, car, money, flood insurance/repair, family). He says I'm good because I'm not phrasing things better that the way I used to. I'm less self-blaming and self-effacing. However, THERE ARE 6 THINGS I AM NEUROTIC ABOUT.

5. When I read in bed, I'd hear this random hissing sound. I thought it was my air conditioner leaking or settling as it gets colder. After weeks of this random sound I realized it stops when I stopped breathing. That's right, it's me that's leaking or settling as it gets colder. I better see a doctor. Could be heartburn. Or asthma. My dad has COPD. Honestly? I suspect I'm allergic to Oliver. And I'm snoring myself awake. So, 7 things.

6. When I say "read in bed", I mean "play solitaire-like games on my ipad until I fall asleep", because I can't read. I have to hold things at arms-length to focus, and then the text is too small. Plus, my eyes burn (see 5. about allergy to Oliver and general tiredness from apnea). I need glasses. Sigh. See 4 about money. So, 8 things.

7. Peaky Blinders is a gorgeous show filled with talent, but mired by a ridiculous name.

8. I miss you. All of you. Things are the same, but everything's changed, and I feel the distance.


(no subject)

Whew. I can breathe for a minute.

- Ella is not well. However, she seems better than the last vet made us feel. She has good days and bad days with her legs. Up until Tuesday, C was all "are you sure you're dying?" and Wednesday, she was limping and dragging her leg. Then yesterday, she jumped on the couch and standing steady on the hardwood floors. I bet the setback was her hurt her leg getting on or off the couch when we weren't around.

- I'm avoiding my basement flooding stuff - I still have to contact my adjuster to submit my damages... after I list them. I guess eventually I'll get the floor and walls fixed.

- I do not like the shorter days. When I leave work in the dark, I just want to go to bed.

- The Good Place continues to amuse me. I need these characters in my life. I hate these weekly waits, however. Marathoning it was much more fun.

- Netflix's Big Mouth really surprised me. I solely watched it to spite some sanctimommy (ActivistMom, FYI) spearheading a boycott against it. It's a gross, but hilarious take on puberty of a set of kids -- more or less the experiences of the writers of the show. Their nascent sexual ids manifest as Hormone Monsters/Monstresses who, while menacing and vulgar, are encouraging and hilarious.


(no subject)

Ella has been moving funny. It was subtle at first. She slid more on the hard wood floor. She stumbles when she stands/squats.

We can't tell if she's sore somewhere or it's something neurological. It could be a return of the tumour removed from her hind legs a couple years ago. Suspicion is degenerative myelopathy, which is a permanent progressive loss of limb use. It usually shows signs of pad or nail damage from dragging feet. E isn't dragging, but she does seem to be pulling her legs in more when she walks. She always has, so it's hard to tell. We will have to bring her in. Sigh.

Estimated 5 years old 8 years old Shih Tzu, people aren't going to want to fight for a 13 year old dog. C seemed really unhappy when I left her yesterday, and didn't contact me last night. She may just be stressing about work, but she's worried about her little darling. It took her a long time to get over Cheeky, and that was with the help of having a dog to focus on.


coworker lurkers

My wife says she has this conversation every once in a while:

"Your husband is hilarious online"

"He thinks he is"

"I hope you don't mind I was going through his Facebook"

"What? No! Friend him. Yeah, he's funny on the Internet Yes, he's funny but just don't tell him TOO often."


(no subject)

"I'm going to x for a burger" "Oh, if you want the best burger, you gotta go to y" (20 minutes away)

"We're going to x" "On Erie? For the best Italian, you gotta check out y" (in the US)

"Someone gave me a bottle of Scotch" "You gotta try this 15 year old single-malt called Balrochenluvinmore" (vaguely pronounced 'Balrmore' but spitting on me)


"So I know this guy who is a one-upper..." "Oh man, I know someone worse than that."

This is face-to-face, BTW. LJ is different. Do you know people like this?


Oh, Trump

I wonder what Trump would say at a Girl Scouts Jamboree

"Hello ladies. Future mothers of America. I love moms. I have the greatest respect for women. All three of my wives have been moms. And I have a beautiful daughter. Have you seen Ivanka? But you don't have to be a mom. Looking around, I see some of you could be models."


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