Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday Night Videos - Clapton




'Layla' (live)
Eric Clapton

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'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' (live)
Eric Clapton

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'Tears In Heaven'
Eric Clapton

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Friday Night Videos - Bad Religion




'Sorrow'
Bad Religion

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'Infected'
Bad Religion

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'Supersonic (live)'
Bad Religion

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving


I woke up this AM with a bit of a migraine, didn't feel too well, and just ended up resting much of the day. We headed over to my MIL and FIL's for dinner and the evening, and while we were there I placed a call to my sister in North Carolina, who is laid up in the hospital for observation after being taken in by ambulance the night before. I guess that because of the holiday they aren't able to do the stress test until tomorrow, so she stays put. I trust and pray all will be well with her. As for me and my house, Mrs. Muzzy is working tomorrow, and I'm going to be on Daddy Duty, but she's working the evening shift so she won't go in until mid-afternoon, and I'm going out shopping for just a little while in the AM. We're having my brothers and their families over for dinner on Saturday evening, and we've got alot of house-cleaning to do over the next couple of days. Anyway, reflecting on the day, as a good melancholic, I'm inclined to see the glass half-empty - or else fail to see the glass at all - but on Thanksgiving I try to remind myself to be grateful for blessings, big and small, for friends and family, for life and liberty, for house and home, and especially I'm thankful to Al Gore for helping invent the interweb, 'cause with out it where would *would* we be? So, Happy Thanksgiving, folks. Count your blessings. God Bless. (BTW, the photo above was of the centerpiece on my MIL's dinner table tonight. Just thought I'd share.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Visiting


I stopped over at the U of M hospital on my way home from work, to check in on NCB's mom. She been there for nearly three weeks now and seems to be in good spirits, but I can't imagine living in a small room, undergoing chemotherapy and bone marrow tests is a pleasant time.

What's more, it seems her husband had some mishap last weekend - I think - and took far too much Comadin, ended up bleeding on the brain, and was rushed to a hospital in Saint Cloud, so both husband and wife are in separate hospitals, in separate cities, about 60 miles apart. Not good at all.

Anyway, it was good to get to visit a bit, and I'm glad I went.

(Oh yeah, her daughter RS is coming up from Virginia on Thursday to spend a few days visiting, and I really hope I get the chance to see her. RS one of the sweetest souls in the world - a cancer survivor herself. Since she got married and moved out east we don't see her very often, so she will be invited to join the extended Muzzy family for Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday. I hope she can come.)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Music Monday - Even More Vague




‘Blue Monday’
Nouvelle Vaugue

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‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’
Nouvelle Vaugue

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Weekend Stuff


I've been on Daddy Duty again this weekend, and it's getting to be a more and more difficult thing to do, as the years go on.

In the early days there was just AE, and as a baby she slept most of the time. Yes, I had to run her downtown to her mommy at work to nurse three times each day for several months until she would take a bottle - it was even longer for her baby sister - but it was a relatively easy proposition. When her sister came along I had to go through the same business with taking her downtown for nursing, but with both of them, I did my part without complaint because it was important for them, and I want the best for my kids.

But as I said, it became more difficult with time. LK was never much for napping, and when she was a baby it would sometimes take an hour or more of walking and rocking to get her to sleep, even longer with bedtime. And as the girls have gotten older, they take more time and trial and effort.

Look, I'm a parent, it's my job, I'm not complaining, but it's not always an easy thing to keep them both entertained, to keep AE on-task with her homework, to keep them fed, to monitor the time they spend with friends, to get them to bed at a reasonable hour.

I love both my kids as unto death, they are two of the sweetest little ones I could imagine ever having, and I feel fortunate and blessed to get to be their daddy, but there are more and more days when I'm on Daddy Duty that when I get to the end of the day, all I want to do is blank my mind completely, shut out the outside world and just be alone with my thoughts.

Then again, being a depressive and a worrier, that's a terrible thing to try, so last night I just went out for an hour-long late-night walk, and as soon as I'm done typing this, I think I'll go do that again.

Walking is my drug, my therapy, my lifeline, and I just need to remember to do more of that.


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Speaking of the kiddies, nearly 5 year-old LK cracked me up yesterday. I was in the family room on the futon, and she was in the study next-door when her Mommy's computer's AOL automatically logged on to check the email, announcing 'You've Got Mail!' LK ran thru the kitchen and out into the garage to the postbox, then rushed back in, and declared 'Mommy's computer is not right, Dad. There's no mail.' Ha!

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I hate dreams, even good ones. Or maybe it's that I never have any good ones. Yeah, maybe that's it: they are *all* nightmares.

I always have the same old ones, and if you are a regular reader of this blog, you know about the one where I'm stuck in a room, trying to find someone I know is there, always being just out of reach, never connecting, never quite getting there, like some kind of real-life Zeno's Paradox.

Well, anyway, I didn't have that one last night, but the one I did have was equally annoying and disturbing.

I was on a beach of some kind, watching a solar eclipse by myself, I think, or maybe it was just a sunset, but anyway, the sky became slowly darker and darker, and then the sun just winked out, altogether. The darkness was an inky black, and the temperature plummeted, and a wind began to howl. I was trying to seek shelter, but I couldn't see a thing, and I felt an oppressive sense of impending doom.

I was stumbling about, like I was blind, without any guide dog, without a cane, without someone to offer an arm, when I became aware of people all around me, probably in the same predicament, but utterly unable to hear me, or help me, or me them. I had started out alone on the beach, so I don't know where they all came from, but it was like being in a crowded carny while being deaf, dumb and blind.

I was becoming more and more frantic and agitated when suddenly I woke up, heart pounding and hyperventilating.

Who says dreams aren't real? Or least nightmares?

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It's cold out, and it's late - was snowing earlier - but I really think I need to go for a walk. I've already got 9300 steps on my pedometer today, so it shouldn't take much to get the stepage up over 12K. Would anyone care to join me? Fine, be that way. I'll go alone. At least it's night, and I don't have to worry about the sun going out.

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Made Up Meme: 4 Things X 4


Four Mixed Drinks You've Tried:

1) Fuzzy Navel

I learned about this one from my first serious girlfriend, she loved them. We'd sip them while eating pizza and watching MASH. They're a little sweet for my taste, but I still like them, nonetheless

2) Pina Colada

I only had this once, didn't like the coconut taste, but that's the point, innit?

3) Rum and Coke

I don't remember where or when I had my only one, but I didn't like it.

4) Wine Cooler

Okay, I know this isn't a mixed drink, really, but it's a mix, and it's a drink, and it's kind of alcoholic. Actually, I haven't had one in a long time, but I really liked them, since I'm quite the lightweight when it comes to these things.


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Four Places In California You'd Like To Re-Visit:

1) The Huntington - Pasedena

One of the loveliest spots on earth, with two art museums, a rare books library and perhaps the finest gardens I've ever visited. I have a twenty-something friend in LA who says she wants to get married at the Huntington someday. I can see that.

2) Hearst Castle - San Simeon

It's an architectural nightmare, an un-integrated riot of styles, but it's still an amazing place, perched on a lovely hill over-looking the Pacific, chockfull of great art. There's nothing else quite like it in the world.

3) The Queen Mary - Long Beach

I didn't really see most of it, though MM and I snuck into the Great Ship and went below decks to see what we could see. She and I escaped unscathed, sat out on the pier and watched a gorgeous southern Cali Sunset. If there had been the slightest spark between us - there wasn't - it would have been one of the most romantic evenings ever.

4) Disneyland - Orange County

I know that Disneyworld is bigger - I've been there, too - but I've always liked the charm of the original park. The last time I was there was over 20 years ago on a cold November afternoon. Half the rides were closed for repair, but the chilly weather kept enough other patrons away that the park was nearly abandoned by evening, and the lines were thin as a supermodel.

+++++


Four Board Games You Enjoy Playing

1) Monopoly

This is a game of chance *and* skill, easy enough to learn, and very difficult to master. Some of the shortcuts that have evolved make the play go alot faster, but either way, it's a game that can take alot of time.

2) Checkers

I love the simplicity of the game, much easier to learn or master than chess, but with a huge variety of play options that may it a wonderful pastime.

3) Backgammon

Very simple game, even a young child can learn it, but the level of skill required to master the game is astounding. When I play with those of any level of ability, I usually lose.

4) Chess

Actually, this is a game I *wish* I enjoyed playing, but I'm kind of lousy at it. I *get* it and I'm not a horrible player, but I just don't see moves that should be apparent, and I end up losing in a blood-bath.

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Four Songs That Connect With Your Inner Sadness:

1) All Apologies - Nirvana

Most of the lyric is rather obscure, but when I'm really down, this is pretty much how I feel about most of the rest of the world:

"I wish I was like you,
Easily amused,
Find my nest of salt,
Everything is my fault..."

2) River Of Love - Sam Phillips

I listened to this song alot when I was going thru a very difficult time in my life after a horribly painful breakup a couple of decades ago, and the following five lines seemed to describe perfectly how I felt at the time. Even now, reading them makes me get teary-eyed:

"I had to run before I knew how to crawl
The first step was hard but I have had trouble with them all
But now the night grows darker and the day grows dim
cause I know I never will see you again
And I almost made you happy"

3) Hurt - NIN/Johnny Cash

I've never been a 'cutter' but I the idea of hurting myself to feel something, or even anything at all, doesn't sound so far-fetched to me. The entire lyric of this song is a perfect exposition of the melancholic state, and I'm hard-pressed to pull out one line that is more powerful than another, but this bit of the refrain nearly always chokes me up:

"What have I become?
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know
Goes away in the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt"

4) Scratched Inside - The House Of Love

An obscure THOL song available only on an out-of-print compilation, this song resonated powerfully with me the first time I heard it, and the following line describes well how I've felt at so many stages of my life: a sense of inadequacy that's oddly nonetheless inspired alot of what I think is my best writing:

"I feel the best I've ever felt,
So how come I feel Scratched Inside?"

Indeed.

+++++


Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday Night Videos - Nouvelle Vague




'Don't Go'
Novelle Vague

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'Eisbaer'
Nouvelle Vague

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'Dance With Me'
Novelle Vague

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Found Meme - ABCs Of Music


List your favorite artists/bands from A to Z.



A. - A-ha
B. - Beatles
C. - Coldplay
D. - Drake, Nick
E. - Enya
F. - Foo Fighters
G. - Gonzalez, Jose
H. - House Of Love
I. - Innocence Mission
J. - John, Elton
K. - Killers
L. - Led Zeppelin
M. - Madness
N. - Newman, Randy
O. - Oasis
P. - Pink Floyd
Q. - Queen
R. - Radiohead
S. - Spektor, Regina
T. - Triffids
U. - U2
V. - Violet Indiana
W. - White Stripes
X. - XTC
Y. - Young, Neil
Z. - Zevon, Warren



I don't know where this originally came from but I found it here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Perchance To Dream


From NBC5i:



Study: Sleeping Pills Don't Provide Much More Sleep

POSTED: 2:36 pm CST
November 13, 2007

FORT WORTH, Texas -- A new study suggests that sleeping pills may not work as well as previously believed, NBC 5 reported.

The study published by The National Institutes of Health tested a group of people using sleeping pills and fake pills. It found that with sleeping pills people went to sleep 12.8 minutes faster. The group on sleeping drugs also got 11.4 more minutes of total sleep than the other group.

"Eleven minutes per night more sleep, which you would think over a long period of time, really wouldn't make that much difference when it comes to sleep deprivation," said Dr. Matthew Moreland of Baylor Midlothian.



Read the rest here.

For My Christmas Wish List




From Despair Wear


Life's A Female Dog


From AFP/Google:



Indian man marries dog to beat 'curse'

2007-11-14

CHENNAI, India (AFP) — An Indian farmer has married his dog in a bid to overcome what he believes is a curse caused by him having stoned to death two mating dogs in his rice field, press reports said.

The 34-year-old farmer, identified as Selvakumar from Sivaganga district in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, fell on bad fortune 15 years ago after killing the dogs and hanging their carcasses from a tree.

A few days later, his hearing and speech were impaired and he was unable to walk.

Doctors were clueless, but an astrologer finally told him he was cursed by the spirits of the dogs he had killed. He could undo the curse only if he married a dog and live with it, the soothsayer said.



Read the rest here.

From The WTH Files


From NY Times:



October 18, 2007
3:49 pm

A Guide to Recognizing Your Chocolate Saints

By Sewell Chan

Cosimo Cavallaro, a Canadian artist, whose life-size sculpture of a nude Jesus caused a bit of an uproar in March when it was put on display in Midtown during Holy Week, has a new show at an art gallery in Chelsea. Joining the figure of Jesus are life-size chocolate sculptures of Our Lady of Grace, “Mary of Jesus,” St. Anthony, St. Augustine, St. Firman, St. Francis, St. Jude and St. Michael.

The show, “Chocolate Saints…Sweet Jesus,” will be on view from Oct. 27 to Nov. 24 at the Proposition gallery in Chelsea.

As amNew York and Reuters have noted, the Jesus sculpture — which shows a resurrected Christ suspended in the air as if flying, rather than crucified on the cross — first attracted widespread public attention in the spring, when the Roger Smith Lab Gallery, an exhibition space in Midtown, placed the work, entitled “My Sweet Lord,” in a ground-floor window. The representation shows Christ nude and without the loin cloth with which he is traditionally depicted.





Read the rest here.

This Is Pretty Cool


From Wikipedia:



GOOG-411 or Google Voice Local Search is a tool that allows users to make a business search in any U.S. city, by calling a toll-free telephone number. Graduating from Google Labs in September 2007, the service uses voice recognition technology to connect users to their desired business. When the user calls 1-800-466-4411, they are told that the call is being recorded to improve results and are then asked to say the city and state of their search. They can then search for a business by name or category, which generates a list of businesses that match their search. If desired, the user can then select a business on the list by saying "number" and then saying the number that corresponds to the business or they can press the desired number on their phone. Once a business is selected, Google will automatically connect the user to the business or send them an SMS. Alternatively, the user can listen to the address and phone number by saying "details".

Search can also be invoked by using the phone keys if the system misses the spoken query multiple times. This works in a similar manner to the phone predictive text input (T9).



Read more here.

Aw, He Found Her


From News.com:



NYgirlofmydreams proves just that

November 11, 2007 12:00am

AUSTRALIAN Camille Hayton says she usually avoids the New York subway, but after her home burned down she was forced on to Manhattan's No 5 train so she could spend the night on a friend's couch.

It was Sunday night, and romantic Patrick Moberg spotted her on the subway, instantly falling for the 22-year-old from Melbourne.

His extraordinary search to find the mysterious brunette he saw, then lost, on the subway in a crush of commuters led him to set up the http://www.nygirlofmydreams.com website in a bid to locate her.

On Thursday night, Ms Hayton and Mr Moberg, 21, met for the first time.

Twelve hours later, they were still getting to know each other after being mobbed by desperate American media outlets keen to tell their tale.

So far, they've discovered they were both born in March, are creative and like drawing, and their favourite colour is blue.

Mr Moberg, a web designer, said that when he met Ms Hayton, it seemed "like we knew each other".

He added: "It felt very comfortable; neither of us was very nervous.

"I mean, it was a little quirky at first, but we hit it off right away.

"This is the first Australian girl I've ever met.

"She has a lot of really interesting things to talk about."

Ms Hayton said her subway Romeo "seemed really lovely and not insane - not a stalker, or anything like that.



Read the rest here.

News has a full list of stories here.
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Here's a GMA/ABC News video package, from YouTube:


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Okay, however this turns out, I suppose John Cusack is too old to play the part of Patrick in the inevitable movie, and that girl who plays Bree, from LonelyGirl15 is too obvious for the part of Camille, so - Hollywood being what it is - I'm guessing it'll end up being Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, then. I'm just saying.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Music Monday - Mozart On The Bottle




'Mozart's Symphony No. 40 in G minor, 1st movement, 1st theme'
Some guy on roller-skis

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Thank You


Please re-read Ben Stein's moving piece Visiting Hours, first reproduced here last year in 2005 by kind permission of the American Spectator. And on the occasion of this Veteran's Day, to all members of our Armed Services active and retired: 'Thank you for your service.'

Friday, November 09, 2007

Friday Night Videos - Francisca Valenzuela




'Muedete La Lengua'
Fran Valenzuela

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'Dulce'
Fran Valenzuela

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'Peces'
Fran Valenzuela

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Okay


I haven't written much since the Duluth Trip several weeks back, and there's little good reason for that. I guess I've been lazy, I dunno, but it’s strange: I can sometimes write and write and write, almost as if I were incapable of *not* writing, and yet there are times when the well goes dry, and there's next to nothing that can prime the pump. I suppose the key is to just keep at it, but once the momentum is gone, it takes a certain amount of energy just to even get back on that mechanical bull. Of course, part of it is that I'm just so tired after work that I end up falling asleep on the futon after the girls get to bed, and pop goes the evening.

Anyway, to recap the past week or so:

I received news this past week that I'd been promoted, though actually my work duties aren't much different. The amount of the pay increases, and I get to keep my old desk, so I guess it's a good thing. Of course the downside is that I'm on probation for the first six months, and it's a weird feeling. I haven't been on any kind of probation in well over 15 years.

Of course, with the good comes the bad.

Last Friday I heard from one of my closest friends NCB that his mother had been rushed from the western part of the state to the U of M hospital with an ultra-low platelet count - later determined to be leukemia - so he flew up here from the East Coast last weekend, and stayed with us while he got his mother settled in for what will likely about four or five week of treatment and recovery. It's obviously hard on the family, and on her, too. In any case, it was nice to have NCB stay with us, even if the reason for his visit was not a pleasant one. (Additionally, a friend from work and a good net friend both had members of their immediate family pass away this past week, so it's been a hard week for many.)

The weekend was uneventful, although my left hip was paining me something fierce. I broke it in an accident nearly fifteen years ago, and I seem to have developed a bad cased of bursitis at the spot where the injury occurred. What’s more, when it flares up, I’m afflicted of a rather severe pelvic pain that only seems to abate at night. I have seen a sports medicine doc who ordered up an MRI and found nothing, and I most recently saw one of the top orthopedists in the state who examined both the MRI and his own x-rays and diagnosed the bursitis – he gave me a shot of cortisone and sent me on my way rejoicing. I’m not being facetious: it really *did* work for about two or three months. I wasn’t pain-free, but it was much improved, but after a while the pain seemed to come roaring back, worse than before. I may go for another shot of the cortisone, but then again, I try a course of acupuncture, since I got good results from it when I was dealing with tennis-elbow a few years back.

(I must say that I think the traditional theories underlying the how and why of acupuncture are clearly buncombe, but the ancient art does seem effective in some cases.)

I was off work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week on Daddy Duty, since Mrs. Muzzy had some work-related training she had to go to. It's fun to hang out with the girls, but I almost got to the point where I'm looking forward to going back to work in the AM. LK can be particularly trying at times, but then again, she is usually so utterly charming and sweet. heh

Oh yeah, I was checking out my Kitty's foot on Tuesday and noticed it was bleeding a bit, so I took him into the Vet, and was told the cat has an abscessed paw. I have no idea how that happened, but the Vet irrigated the area and gave him shots, and now we are dosing him at home with antibiotic pills every day, and soaking his paw in some blue solution that will keep the infection from coming back. Sigh.

I don’t get the time to watch a lot of movies these days, but I recently watched the wonderful Linklater movie ‘Before Sunrise,’ and I’m going to watch ‘Before Sunset’ next. ‘Before Sunrise’ is the kind of movie that guys will often refer to derisively as a ‘Chick Flick,’ and unfortunately, many of such films deserve the derision. But this film was absolutely charming and lovely, and had me smiling (though not laughing) right up until the bittersweet end.

Well, that’s enough for now. Check out Friday Night Vids later. Cheers.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Way Too Long


I know I've been ignoring this little blog of happiness a bit during the past week or two, but I've been busy with, um, well, uh...okay, I've just been lazy as h*ll. I actually started writing several clever and witty posts during the past few days that went absolutely nowhere, but I'm going to try to write a bit tomorrow.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Friday Night Videos




'In God's Hand's'
Nelly Furtado



'Land Of My Dreams'
Anna Domino


<