Friday, August 27, 2010

In Defense Of The British Male

I'm sitting here, in our office, at 3:44 PM.
The second pot of tea today is on the brew. I am here alone, the cerebral sounds of Sean Lennon's Friendly Fire album are floating wistfully out of the full-sized Bose (which we have named Roger), and I'm polishing off the last of the first pot of tea in my favorite British mug... it's got the Union Jack on the inside of the cup, with a beefeater, and a Queen's guard, and.... well, anyway.
All of this is happening, and I'm planning out this post in my head, still wondering how it's going to work itself out.
We'll do the best we can (and by we, you all know it's just me and my multiple personalities).

Yesterday, my sister and I were talking about The IT Crowd (season four is on IFC right NOW! Go set up your DVRs!).
She said to me, "The guy that plays Roy is cute, but he's not from Britain."
I said, "You're right, he's from Ireland."
She said, "Guys from Britain are homely."
Well, that was the gist of it, anyway... I'm sure we did a lot of awkward word-kerfuffling, which I have taken the liberty of editing out to make the two of us sound a little bit smarter.
I have been thinking about that little telephone chat in the back of my mind ever since. It's been boiling there, like that pot you were going to cook the macaroni and cheese in, but then got distracted by MyLifeIsAverage, and all the water boiled itself out. Just like that.
I'm not sure of the exact origin of her opinion...
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Oh, well, if you're taking this train of thought in THAT direction...
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That being said, I've just got one thing to ask her: Did you ever see the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice, darling sister?

Some Bridget Jones fan you are!

Or, more to the point (since we can never do ANYTHING on this slice of the Internet without him)...
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You bet he can rock polyester trousers, a sweater vest, and a sateen jacket all at once. You bet.

I told my mother about the conversation, and she suggested I send my sister a list of all the good lookin' Brit Boys. I wondered, "Why in monkey hell did I not think of that myself?", only to realize that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. It wouldn't matter if I sent her the best of the best, because that's my own opinion. So, that was out.
This, in turn, reminded me of something that my loverly sister posted on Facebook about a year or so ago (elephant's memory, dear children).
Her Top Five Celebrity Crushes (I love doing these kinds of lists, it makes me feel like Rob Gordon).
I remembered a couple of them, but not all five, so, naturally, I went through all of her Facebook posts to find it... just to see if any Limeys made her list.
PAYDIRT!

Drum roll, please...

Thank you.

IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:

Jensen Ackles, AKA Petie Go Round from Sundance (if you have not idea what I'm talking about, that's OK, neither do I)...
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Nathan Fillion...
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(What sort of television does she watch at night?)

Simon Baker...
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(I had to look him up, as I've no idea who he is.)

Chris O'Dowd (Roy, in IT Crowd-land)...
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And... WAIT! STOP THE PRESSES!
Colin Firth...
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I guess she DID see Pride and Prejudice.

Point? Blanket statements suck.

It got me to thinking about my own list, which you shan't be seeing. If you don't have a sibling, you may not realize that this is the kind of information that we use against each other (if you say "Exhibit A", she shall have words). It just is. It isn't right, but life's tough, get a helmet.

YES! It's that!

As the youngest kid, with a very large age gap between my older sister and I, these are lessons you learn so as to prevent injury. Plain, simple fact... it's a self-defense mechanism. I still don't speak of such things, because I am positive that they will come back to bite my arse... hard.
I shall, however, say that, as I was compiling my own list, I found that I had exactly the opposite problem from my sister. Go figure. The beefeater and the guard on my mug are quite homely, though, so I'll give her that one.
So, respectfully, my darling sister, I have to say...


Want confirmation? Ask a Spice Girl.



That's OK... at least the Weatherman didn't make either of our lists (2:29 time stamp).

(You'll notice that Gia dropped out of the competition right before the Weatherman's turn. I do not think this was a coincidence.)
You know you're happy someone got voted off a stupid reality show when you pause their limo-ride-of-shame footage to do an elaborate happy dance.
This may or may not have happened Monday night.

AND THAT'S WHY I DON'T LIKE THE WEATHERMAN!

Post Script -
I have my mother proof read everything. From blog posts to college assignments, she's always there to make sure that whatever I say makes sense to you "normal" folk out there.
When she got to the bit in this post where Bobby-Bob-Bob does his Cricket Dance, she said, "You need to add a line that says 'THAT'S EXACTLY THE DANCE I DID!'"
She then proceeded to imitate the dance in her own fashion.
I love her.
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Monday, August 16, 2010

Petit Fours From The Sky!

There are two weather phenomena that, not only are a rare occurrence in our area, but are so rare, that I feel the need to go out and be involved when they pass this way: rain, and snow.
It's the middle of August, so guess which one we're going to talk about today?
It's been raining pretty much all day. Now, when I say raining, I mean it's actually been raining; not a slight drizzle, or one of my granddad's "twelve inch rains" (where the sprinkles are twelve inches apart, titty-boom), but real, steady rain.
It's been lovely, like petit fours from the sky!
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Anyway, couple that involvement with my love of nature photography, and whuddaya got?
A well exercised macro muscle, and several mosquito bites (they love me, it's awful.)
Would you like to see a small sampling of what I shot?
Oh, come on, eleven photos out of the ninety-one I actually took?
Well, you're going to have to scroll past them, then, if that's the case.



Now, wasn't that fun?
Just nod and smile, it'll only take a few seconds.
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Thank you.

And now, on to Annoyance Of The Week!
Today's subject? Concert/performance footage.
(You knew we weren't finished until we talked music, didn't you?)
Why is it that, during performance footage, if the camera man does a shot
of the guitar, he shoots the body only?
I don't understand it... it's like no one informed him that the action is up on the fretboard.
Remember the half-time show The Who did for the Super Bowl?
As quoted from that particular post
(for those of you who really could give a monkey's tit about the Super Bowl half-time show):

"...I would have sacrificed the shots of Zak Starkey
for a close up on Pete's fretboard during Baba O'Riley."


Not just the guys who run the football cameras are at fault...
even Paul's own crew have a tendency to make this mistake from time to time.
Some of the Space Within US footage I've seen of late show close ups of just the body
(though, since they're Paul's crew, they shoot at an angle,
so you get both body and neck, but it's not a close up):
'Till There Was You (at the 1:40 and 1:50 time stamps),
and I Will (1:09 and 1:16... which is such a pity,
as he was changing chords when the first body close up happened
[evident from that lovely squeal fingers make on the strings as they move
up and down the neck of the instrument])
are just the first two examples I thought of.
What brought this on, you may be asking.
The third video in this article (while you're there, check out their Dion and the Belmonts cover...
it's just gear to see kids enjoying actual music).
I had seen similar footage from GMTV last week, but it didn't intrigue me the way this one did.
Why?
In that third video in the article, you'll see that, most of the time,
the camera is focused on the body of the guitar.
This annoyed me greatly.
Why? (Yes, I'm getting 'round to that in my own mystical time.)
From what you can see of his left hand, there's a little bit of warble action
(I'm sure this has a more technical term, I just don't know it)
on a couple of the bottom strings on the chord right after the refrain.
It reminded me of the "Real Love" video for the Anthology series
(time stamp 2:23, if you don't care to sit through the whole song)...


I, being interested in such things, wondered which strings were being manipulated;
and I, having poor eyesight, couldn't tell if they were the B, G, or A notes.
Fortunately, there was another video (this one makes three) that answered my question.
(Because, really, what should you be doing at 3:30 of a morning?
Which brings up another question... why do we inherit all the terrible stuff from our parents?)
The point I'm trying to make is this:
To all camera men filming a musical performance... FILM THE FRETS, PLEASE.
Thank you.
Sincerely,
Me

Oh, and, by the way, they were the B and G strings.

I'm gonna go put Bag Balm on my buggy bites now.
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If you don't have a tin of this, do yourself a favor. Trust me, you won't be able to live without it.
I don't know how you've managed so long, actually. Go! NOW!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Looks Like I Ate The Chicken With My Glasses...


Yes, I was conducting band research, what's your point?

I couldn't help thinking of this little clip as I wrote this post. The clip, coupled with a picture (to follow shortly, should you care to see it), really got my bloggy senses to tingling again.
It's rather funny, actually; I say "I feel a blog coming on", and people know to clear off for a few hours while I put on my Snark Cap, and use my awesometastic Google Images skills.
This is what happens when my mind is left to wander, so hang in there, we'll find a point somewhere around here.
Are you ready?

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I guess I started in on my own "look" earlier than most kids, if only because I was afforded the opportunity to discover who I was/am (as this post will show, I've never ruddy changed) without being trodden on by unimportant opinions from my peers (those bastards).
That being said, extreme light sensitivity runs in our family (I promise, there is a tie in, here); my maternal grandmother wore sunglasses, my mother wears sunglasses (ironically, MG's children and grandchildren wear sleeping masks out of sheer necessity), so it wasn't long before I continued the tradition of wearing sunglasses every time I stepped out the door.
Over the years, my glasses have become a trademark of mine, so to say. It took a while to get exactly what I wanted, and here's that story, should you care to read it.
When I was six years old, I found a pair of sunglasses just like Ralphie's in A Christmas Story. (Watch the clip. You'll thank me later.)
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I wore those for so long, I had to buy about three more pair (that, and, when you're six years old, you're a little harder on glasses than you should be... crushed in coat pockets, scratched and scuffed, et al).
That is, until I discovered the Jackie O./Audrey Hepburn glasses (about age eight).
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I had these for a few years, and really liked them.
Then, one day, I discovered the wonders of the cat glasses.
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No, not like these.

And I've worn them ever since.

My first pair were very large, simple - what I would call 'dirt basic' - frames.
Oh, but I loved them.
They were very hard to find, though, and I actually broke both pair, forcing me back to the Jackie/Audrey glasses for a time.
Why just for a time?
I found a wonderful costume pair of cats, with rhinestones on the wingtips (yeah, believe it) at a Halloween shop, and actually thought ahead, shock of the year, buying two pair.
That year for Christmas, I got that same style in different colors (white, pink, red, black, checked), and, after that, continued to collect various off-the-rack cat glasses whenever I found them.
A few Christmases later, my sister gave me my magnum opus (non-prescription) glasses; the entire frame was encrusted with black and white rhinestones.
Just when those were on the verge of collapse, I discovered I was near-sighted (thanks again, maternal grandmother!), and gave them up for my prescription vintage glasses, which I've had for about three years now.
They are my favorite glasses in the whole wide world (besides the pair that aren't tinted, of course, 'cause I need real glasses, too), but, since they're older than my dad, the hinges are a little testy, and I'm always afraid they're going to break.
Needless to say, I'm constantly on the hunt for glasses (unfortunately, so is the whole underground vintage community, who are willing to fork over large sums of money to scoop up effing awesome specs).
That being said, I have recently discovered that there's some kind of misconception about cat glasses.
Get ready, 'cause this was the picture you read about at the beginning of this absurd post.
You see these?
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THESE ARE NOT CAT GLASSES.
This was the 80's getting sick on a vintage approximation of Jetsons-esque "style".
You know, just in case you were confused, or something like that.
As I understand it, the hip cats are sporting these under the guise that they're somehow related to the superior vintage originals.
Let me tell you something, Chicken, they've got it all wrong... they aren't even second cousins, twice removed.

That being said, what could we call these new frames instead of using this improper term?
After careful consideration, the best I can come up with would be to call 'em Squares. I realize that, technically, they aren't actually square, but at least that's a name that hasn't been taken!
Hell, as long as they give them a proper name, they can call 'em Philip, so far as I care.

I can't believe this is the only clip of this I can find on YouTube... come on, kids, we're the YouTube generation! Get working, you ruddy layabouts!


If you want some great examples of real cat glasses, give this video a look (though, it's ten and a half minutes long, so I don't blame you if you don't watch the whole bloody thing)... not all of them are cats, but most of them are.


And now, a word from my Main Man...


Oh, and here's some chicken.
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Friday, August 6, 2010

Breezin', Waxin', Flaxin'

It seems like I've spent a decent portion of my youth envying Emma Watson for something or other; whether it was knowing people I wanted to know, going places I wanted to go, or, perhaps it was just the general feeling that she was having more fun than I was.
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You mean to tell me that you've spent the past seven years locked away in your bedroom, toiling away over algebra?! Pffffttttt.

Of course, the older we've all gotten, the more I think that the fact that she's got more than enough money to buy herself a nice estate in the countryside to hole up in for the next sixty years or so doesn't sound like too bad a prospect, either.
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She's from England, why isn't it raining GBPs?

Regardless, in some odd way, it feels like we've grown up together; after all, she's only a year older than I am, so we pretty much did, in that weird "you-were-a-child-actor-I-watched-all-the-time" kind of way.
So, besides the fact that she's from a different country, grew up in the public eye, and is pretty much the polar opposite of my life here in Nowheresville, USA, I kinda-sorta understand where she's at in her life. We're all in the same boat, life experiences, and all that drivel that nobody believes.
So, let's be frank about this.
Emma, what the hell happened?
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I realize life has changed a lot in ten years. I understand the transitional phases one takes at this time in our lives.
You know what I did for my last one?
I drank copious amounts of tea, and compiled a playlist to write homicidal short stories to.
I didn't set out to imitate Judi Dench.
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So, really, my advice for your next psycho phase would be to buy yourself a pretty ring. Or a nice new dress. Or one of those adorable pygmy pigs.
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You bet your sweet arse those are Paddington Bear's wellies.

As long as she's happy with it (and, by the sounds of it, she is), there's nothing more to be said. It was just quite a shock, to say the least.

Oh, and just one more question to chuck out into the cosmos...
who in monkey-hell wears knee-high boots to Glastonbury?
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Speaking of Emma and her boots, as I was clearing out my closets the other day (what, you didn't think I was going to?), I found an old magazine clipping my sister had sent me.
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(Yes, it's fuzzy. Yes, we have a scanner. No, I don't know how to use it.)

The card reads:
I thought you would enjoy this clipping most of all.
Enjoy a good laugh, then feel sorry for the poor girl.
What was she thinking with those boots!!! Not that the dress is much better, but WOW!!


It all prompts me to ask... Oh, Emma, Oh, Why?


You know, as we were looking at this latest picture, my mother once again told me how much like Emma Watson I apparently look (I get this often, actually).
She asked if I wanted to whack my hair off, too.
In the same breath, she said, "Although, with your ears, you'd better not."

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I just hope she remembers that I'm the daughter that gets to put her in The Home.


That's OK, though, I've gotten my temporary revenge by getting this song stuck in her head...

Is It A Subscription Box, Or Something More Sinister? (It's A Subscription Box. Maybe.)