Thursday, June 28, 2012

Six Dudes Walk Into A Cafe...

Last Thursday, we packed up the car, and headed out on a whirlwind mini-trip to the Texas Hill Country. You know, 'cause that's just the kind of thing we do around here.
I was grateful for the get-away, mostly because I have been going stark raving mad for the last month or so; this is the most "time-off" I've had in my entire life, and I have not taken well to it. They say a change is as good as a rest, and, in this case, it was true. Having a place to take some lovely photographs, somewhere to walk and enjoy the greenery -- something we really don't have where we live -- certainly perked me up a bit.
Would you like to hear some trip highlights?
Well, can you pretend?
Reginald Kitty is not amused.

*First off, I want to know who plans what time to do these meeting things that my dad has to travel down there for in the first ruddy place. Remember the Two Weeks Nightmare? It continues; not only are we going to miss Frank Turner on the next one we have to go to (by one day, no less), but we missed Warped Tour by five days.
Five. Days.

Also -- slightly connected rant -- why do we have such terrible Internet here in the middle of nowhere? I tried to watch some of the Warped sets that Fuse was streaming on YouTube, but it decided to stop working for the one set I actually waited eight hours to see.
I'll bet we could have streamed it if we were still in Austin, or San Antonio.

*Of all the times we have gone down to the Austin/San Antonio area, we have never gone in the summer. And, I suppose, there's a good reason for that.
Let's just put it this way: I almost died.
I don't tolerate heat well. Like, at all. I did really well, considering we were walking three to four mile stretches at one time, with temperatures in the mid-90s, and a matching humidity. Hell, I was dandy until I had to walk into the sun; we went for about a ten minute span smack dab in the middle of the death star's relentless rays, and similar conditions to the ones described. They later told me that if I had been in that sun for a single minute longer, I would probably have gone down.
Apparently, I get a little delirious in direct sunlight. Go figure.

Heat and death star aside, the crape myrtle trees were drop dead gorgeous this time of year. It also happened to be the prime blackberry season; needless to say, we've been eating blackberries for the last two days now.

*Are you wondering where we went on those three and four mile treks?
The first morning, we walked along the river in downtown Austin; we had never done it before, and it was well worth getting up early to do. That afternoon, we drove into San Antonio, and walked the River Walk both in the evening, and the next morning. What I found to be most strange was how many runners/joggers there were; maybe it's because I'm from The Internet, but I see absolutely no draw to running in the heat, or taking the chance of encountering the sun.

*We were nearly plowed into by four rogue squirrels. They bounded up a small set of stairs that we were just about to walk down. All four of them stopped so abruptly that you probably could have seen a cloud of dust gather behind their little haunches as they hastily ended their game; they looked at us, we looked at them, and they ran off at double speed. One little feller was very obliging, however, and ran up a tree to strike a pose before catching up with his friends.
I am the squirrel whisperer.

*If you didn't know, we come from a very isolated part of the state; or, more accurately, a very isolated part of the country. We heathens had never been to an IKEA before. Like, ever. Sure, we'd heard about it...

...but never been.
I'm also really annoying when I go to places like IKEA, much in the same way I'm practically intolerable with home improvement shows. I had outfitted an entire imaginary house: sinks, cabinets, counter tops, oven/stove, soft furnishings, you name it. My imaginary house was awesome.

It's time to put on a fun song to play in the Hill Country...

...and look at some holiday slides!
Oh, come on, I'm proud of these! They're in focus and everything!

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Circle Of Ed

Any time there is a Bachelor/ette/Pad related announcement, my mother and I gather around my shiny computer to enjoy the experience together. When I found out that the Bachelor Pad cast had been announced (very quietly, apparently), computer chairs were pushed closer in an attempt to include the two of us, plus the children, while still being able to see the screen. I contemplated not saying anything to her this time, simply because the day that the countdown for The Reckless And The Brave went live (and before Hopeless spoiled the surprise), she decided to cash in on a fangirl moment -- and, I suppose, see how healthy my heart was -- by pulling a terrible prank involving a fictitious announcement stating the Ed was going to be on Bachelor Pad.
Regardless, there we sat. She turned to me and said "I hope they've cast Ed this time" -- I knew there was a reason I include her in everything -- and, with those seven words, we began the usual ritual.

We scrolled through the photographs of the new cast members with our usual "who-the-hell-is-that-I-don't-remember-them-who's-season-were-they-on" gibberish; we laughed and reminisced about the wonderful times we've had while watching this stupid series over the last ten years. We bonded, enjoying our tea, and the warm fuzzies in the depths of our jaded widdle hearts.

The closer we got to the end of the slideshow, the more I thought that we wouldn't be seeing Ed on the next season; how it would be really terrible, since I very publicly predicted that he sounded like a pretty sure thing. I visually pictured sweeping that post right under the rug, and made a mental note not to include it in the annual blog anniversary post (see, I really do plan for this stuff in advance -- contrary to popular belief).
At about the third to last profile, I was thinking to myself, "they've probably saved Ed 'til last", simply because he was the fan favorite that no one would have expected to show up on the Bachelor Mansion's door mat again.
Imagine my reaction, then, when this is the very last contestant profile...

There are two major points to take away from this:

1) I am awesome.

2) We're all really enjoying this season of The Bachelorette...

...and we're for sure going to love this season of Bachelor Pad...

...but, Chris Harrison, can't we still get Ed to be the next Bachelor? You'd win all the awards.
Don't worry, Chris Harrison, you can be Bachelor in 2014.
Yeah, no, this joke will zombie-fy, don't worry.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"It's Like Mr. Schuman All Over Again!"

It was a normal Tuesday afternoon around Fusspot Farm: I was in the office, drinking my tea, and generally being an oxygen thief...

... and my mother was on a step ladder in a linen closet near our front door...

The way our house is built, we have an extra room at the front, which has an entire fifteen foot wall of closet space; this room is situated directly next to the front door, separated only by an archway, with the closets facing opposite the front door. There is one very small window on one side of the room, and a large glass block window overlooking the front porch/front door on the other.

We were each in our own little worlds -- no telephones incessantly ringing (have I ever mentioned how much I hate the telephone? It's my number one pet peeve), no company over for the day, dad away at the office -- it was a beautiful experience.

That is, until several things happened in very quick succession.
The telephone started ringing... which I shouted my usual obscenities...

...and hear this coming from the spare room...

...I run in to see my mother standing at the open front door. Now, I'm incredibly near-sighted, so I don't know if Jack Nicholson is on the other side, or what...

...until I hear our friendly UPS man with this look on his face...
...telling her to have a nice day.

I asked her what happened, but all she could do was laugh.
Then, I asked if it was our regular UPS man.
She could only shake her head, and said that she saw a big bald man peering in through the glass block, which was what made her scream.
So, not only did he hear my profanity-laden shouting, but when he decided to look inside at the ruckus, he somehow created a ruckus of his own.
And then, we both laughed about it, very much like this...

It's like The Mr. Schuman Incident all over again. They parallel not just in the fact that the two of us screamed at strangers at our front door, but that those strangers rang a door bell that doesn't work.
I guess maybe we'll get it fixed now, won't we?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Our Favorite Birthday Boy Is Seventy!

It's June 18th.
Do you realize what that means?
Do you?
Do. You.
Paul McCartney is officially seventy years old.
The Precious Baby is seventy.

How is this even possible? The man never changes.

He's been touring all over the world since March, not to mention playing for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee...
Look at that beautiful bass. And that beautiful human. I'm fangirling, again; I need a cookie.

He's working on a brand new album -- expected to land into our greedy little hands in 2013 -- among other things. Not including the album he put out earlier in the year...

...or his awesome side projects...

Now, I know that the universe is going to gradually explode with "happy birthday, Paul" stuff as the timezones of the Earth hit midnight (this post included). Let's be honest, why shouldn't they? How often does the greatest living musician turn seventy? It's not an everyday thing. Especially a man who has given the world so much, and is obviously not going to slow down that whole giving thing in the foreseeable future.
And it isn't like we don't all love him to death, either.

Not to mention the fifty years of fangirls...

...of which I am proud to claim part in, naturally.
On this very blog, we have celebrated Paul's sixty-seventh, sixty-eighth, and sixty-ninth birthdays, each getting progressively more elaborate. With that thought in mind, for the last six weeks, I've been wondering what kind of over the top cyber-party this slice of the Internet could give our Paulie-Pants.
It's only as I sit here, listening to my Chaos and Creation in the Backyard B-sides (that album was my baby, dammit; I was thirteen, and it was the first album that I counted the days down until its release. I also got to see Paul tour on that record, playing five of the thirteen tracks. That was really my point of no return) that I realize that nothing I do will suffice. It isn't a defeatist attitude bearing down on my writer's soul, but the mere fact that whatever I say -- or, more accurately, attempt to say -- cannot possibly do this man justice. It would also come out as so utterly fangirly that I would probably just curl into the fetal position and cry at the perfection that is Paul. There are so many threads that run through my life that can be traced back to Paul -- as you saw, I couldn't even say "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard B-sides" without launching into a story, and thinking of a few more (like when Paul performed "Fine Line" on that November 1st, and he messed up the very first verse, grinning nervously at Abe, hoping no one noticed the blunder. I did, Paulie; I did) -- that you would eventually tire of my tales.
So, tonight, when we cut into my famous pumpkin praline cake made in his honor, I will cheezily raise my tea cup to one of the most special people in my life (as dorky as it sounds).
Happy birthday, Paul; we love you, and expect at least another forty of these birthday things, OK?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Blog Casserole: Stella's Dental Adventure (Sorry, Suzanne)

As with any story that ends in an emergency hospital visit, it started out innocently enough. There we sat, Mother and I in our respective recliners, when I heard a concerned "oh, God, what happened, Stella?" When I inquired, I was told that Stella had hit her face on the coffee table, and that she may have lost a tooth. I looked on the floor, but the elusive little tooth wasn't there, so I figured she just swallowed it. Anybody with dogs knows, though, that it's never as easy as "they just swallowed it". When we pulled up her little lip to look, her tooth was sticking out the wrong side of her gum.
Call the Puppy Ambulance...

The waiting room was quiet, except for the radio propped up in a window sill, playing the dreaded country music one would expect from a rural vet (I prefer to call country music "farm emo", but that's just me). When the doctor eventually worked little Stellie in, she said she would have to remove the tooth. We handed over the little four pound wonder, terribly exaggerated images floating in our heads...

...when the radio cut to commercial.

"Have the killer smile you've always wanted! Dr. Schmuck has payment plans! He'll make your smile awesome. He'll make your teeth purdy. He's a doctor, so he can, you know, like, do that. People will love your fantastic teeth! Come see Dr. Schmuck for your fantabulous new smile today!"

All the while, I'm sitting there thinking of things like this...
Thanks, Dr. Schmuck.

Stellie is a trooper, though; she did it all without any anesthetic, to boot. Such a brave little girl.
We were instructed to give her a pain medication when we got home, as well as some gooey pink stuff; let's just say, we Anna Nichole'd her...

And, naturally, my mother asked to keep the tooth as a souvenir.

And now, it's time for another "He Really Looks Like..."
Reginald Kitty is not amused.

I don't know that we've talked about this particular period drama, but "The Duchess Of Duke Street" is one of my absolute favorites (side note/spoiler alert: even though there's half a season left to watch, I always stop the series when Louisa walks up the Bentink's staircase with the decorator after Charlie's death). So, when I saw this goat...
Photobucket instantly reminded me of Mr. Merriman...
It still isn't as funny as the Shep dog, though.

The other day, my dad brought home some left-over cookies from an office party earlier in the afternoon. Now, the secretaries in dad's office are some very sweet people, particularly the lady who made the cookies; but her cookies are hilarious compared to mine.
Look how dinky!
Hers on the left, mine on the right.

Mine on the left, hers on the right.

I thought it was quite a chuckle, truth be told. People always act shocked when they see my baked goods, and, after looking at a "normal" cookie, I can see why.
Really, though, I'm not insulting your cookies, Suzanne! Don't hate me!

Also, has anyone ever noticed that Vic Steele (the guitarist in the above video)...
...and Tom Higgenson...
...look remarkably alike? Consider this a "He Really Looks Like..." two-fer deal.

I have talked about my love of blogging statistics in the past, particularly the chuckles I get by keeping track of what people search to end up on this piece of the Webbyverse. For some reason or other, with the release of All Time Low's latest single (The Reckless And The Brave, go support some lovely lads between labels, enjoy the warm fuzzies self-empowerment songs can bring), there has been an upswing in related searches that are bringing folks here.

I screen capped it for the "gimp cats", the others were just a bonus to prove my point.

Now, I realize that, while most people were out forming social lives, I spent my time supersleuthing.
Some people may not know how to, and it's perfectly understandable why. If, however, you aren't any better at it than to end up here, you should probably practice this skill before a situation really depends on it (remember when I had to track down an AWOL teacher?).
I'll help you out this once, but, really, put some effort into your Internet stalking in future, OK? (Helpful Hint: to avoid scraping the bottom of the Google barrel, make sure you're searching for the proper things. For example, know who hit their head before you start Google-ing; I miss a funny search on my stats page, but you get what you're looking for.)

Here I am, fixing teeth/looking at goats/comparing cookies/explaining how to use the Internet, and a year ago today, I was here.

Did you spot the Ono Lennons?

Those aren't tears, it's just Paul in my eyes.

Also, what about that special Hofner for the Jubilee concert?

I. Love. It.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Especially Appealing To Those Who Love Their Grandmothers

It was a pretty typical Sunday at Fusspot Farm. We were all properly hyped up on caffeine, enjoying my latest recipe endeavor...
Almond Honey Cookies

...listening to the radio, and, in general, having a swell time.
There I was, browsing the Webbynet, when the thought occurred to me to check my blog statistics for the day (so what, I like to do that once a day, sue me).
Imagine my surprise when I saw this chart...
Side Note: the "Page Views By OS" pie chart looks like Pac Man!

It looked kinda like this...

Judging from the fact that there are eighteen views from the UK, and eighteen views in Internet Explorer, I'm going to assume that you are the same person. I'm totally fine with that, actually; I love that someone found my blog (side note: please, tell me you were the person that searched "kinks village green preservation society t-shirt" to get here), and enjoyed what they read while they were here. I generally try to write my blogs as if I were having a conversation with a single person, rather than going about it thinking that it's open property for anyone on the Internet to find; it seems to have struck a chord in at least one reader, and I greatly appreciate that.
That being said, let's hear it for the 2,361st visitor, lovingly called "Mr. UK"!


This event got me to thinking about first-time readers here; if you are like me, you end up arriving late to every party -- you miss a lot that way, too. I generally take for granted that either a subject will be very specific to what someone is searching for (the "Hipster Versus Anachronism" post is generally what people are here for, and I must formally apologize to them for that someday), or you are one of a very rare breed that actually looks forward to my updates. After thinking about it, though, I see that I have not done anything to aid folk that are trying to familiarize themselves with this slice of the World Wide Time-Suck. I mean, I've thought about opening up comments before, and even having you lovely people ask me questions (kind of like formspring, but not on formspring), but, alas, I have simply not done it. Whether it's lack of inclination, or fear that only my mother will ask me questions, I'm not too sure.
Either way, here are some things that newcomers may like to know.

*I have the cutest children in all of existence; by children, I mean dogs, and a canary.
Stella and Lilly

Nigel, my only fanboy. We have the same music taste -- almost exactly -- but his absolute favorites are Paul, and The Redwalls. He also gets particularly excited when he hears me sing; that's why I call him my fanboy.

*You will discover as you go through the archive (or, as I have called it, "Ricky The K's Solid Gold Time Machine) that I love to talk about music, and that I like to make it sound like I know what I'm talking about (even when I don't, which can sometimes result in my looking like a total ass).

*That being said, I do a lot of fangirling. A. Lot.
Short history of my fangirlyness: I went to my first Paul McCartney concert at age ten, and I've been lost to the world of my gut-reaction emotions ever since (over various things, naturally; I've been nerdy about a lot of drivel over the last, um, decade. Now I feel unnecessarily old. Thanks for that).

*I attend a second-rate community college, which I absolutely despise. It's not even as cool as Greendale.

*You'll also discover that I have a soft spot in my jaded little heart for Great Britain (good news for you, Mr. UK!). I also tend to have a more British sense of humor than an American one, which accounts for my presumed weirdness (what do I mean by "presumed"?).

*As referenced early in this post, I identify as an anachronism. If I didn't think I'd miss cheap pop punk, and the Internet so much, I'd hop into a time machine and head to a simpler era.

I really miss Community, OK? My Thursdays are boring in the show's absence.

*If you really-well-and-true want to see what this blog is all about, I suggest familiarizing yourself with this post. Of the 333 posts I've made since 2008, that one best describes the blog as a whole.

And that's about it, really.
Now, of course, you are free to go about your merry way. I, on the other hand, have to fulfill a long-standing promise to myself: I swore that I would post this content when I used the koala picture.

The joke around the fangirly sites I regularly visit is that a band is not a band until they've been photographed holding a koala.



And, of course, my favorite...

I highlighted some fun ones for me, but, if you want to see more, go here.

We all like legal free music, right? We all like cheap pop punk, right? We all like to support unsigned bands, right? If you answered "hell, yeah!" to any of those questions, get your butt over to, tweet the little message, and get their latest single, "The Reckless And The Brave". This is the third time I've played it in an hour; it's not getting old. Also, God bless the Theory of Twenty-Three.


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