31 January 2007

Northern Invasion

Pearls Before Swine, by Stephan Pastis

I'm hoping Sheena brings wine, but those bottles could hurt too.

30 January 2007

Brrrrr, Nellie

James, by Mark Tonra.

Just checked weather.com and it's spoda get down to 19 degrees tonight (F, that's -7C for you Canuckers). Yikes! Sheena and Robina, better bring your warm woolies as you head southeast, as it'll be even chiller in the mountains. Hot cocoa in abundant supply is on tap. With whipped cream, natch. Yum.

Grammar Girl

One of the risks in having a big ass-vocabulary and a motor mouth is that I have a large reserve of words that I occasionally misuse, mispronounce, and (eek!) misspell. This is not to be confused with the myriad alternative spellings and made up words found on this blog - those are deliberate. I think.

Certain peeps ebulliently point out my verbal and written gaffes with justifiable glee, as it's my wont to identify theirs with what I'm sure comes across as a truthy air of superiority. But as I pull up my slipped aplomb skirt, face flushed, I am in fact grateful. I ain't perfect, I don't want to suck that way, and my druther is to keep the wheel of my squirrel cage on kilter as it's cranked by language and wit. So Boone, Mr. Pid, Sheena, and others, mea culpa. Mea culpa.

As a path to redemption, Cheek proffers Grammar Girl, a weekly Podcast and blog on word usage. Well written and full of useful examples for everyday readin' and writin', it joins the Links That Don't Suck honor list. If you have similar reference sites, share.

29 January 2007

Ollie Ollie In Come Free

James, by Mark Tonra

Blogmother Sheena has tagged me. Viral chain blogging somehow rates higher than chain e-mails. Go figger.

Cheek’s Weirdness, in Six Degrees

1. I can wolf whistle freakishly loud. Learned the skill from Grandma of Hampton University fame when I was 7. Running with urchins in the swampy neighborhood was limited only by being in range to return dad’s own “time for dinner” beckoning whistle. I forget its volume occasionally and wound the ear next to me (my apologies to Mr. Pid, the last victim). I can also whistle and hum at the same time. Fingers are required for both feats, and volume is realized only on the exhale. Using just lips yields a soft tune, accomplished only with inhaling (If I Only Had a Brain is my soft whistle tune druther).

2. I’m a recovering picky eater reveling in the discovery that it’s textures that wig me out, not tastes. It’s freed my palate to boldly go where Cheek hasn’t before. A recent first was oysters – cornmeal fried with cheese grits and remoulade sauce at Kool Beanz CafĂ©. Carolina Mom’s incredulity finds her not buying the oyster intake story until a witness testifies. Raw oysters score in the danger zone on the texture-ick-o-meter. not. gonna. do it.

3. I have never eaten a hamburger, steak, or any red meat. No vegetarian here (CheekierMeSly Passim), but digestion proves futile. Recent bidness travel found me seated next to the owner of the FatBurger chain – thanks, PW, for not dismissing me out of hand! I join Sheena in her condiment non-druthers: ketchup, mustard, straight mayo, pickles … ew.

4. My long-term recall is judged a peculiar shade of powerful by the average bear. Music lyrics and childhood deets in particular. But if I don’t put my car keys and phone in the same place every time I come home, I’m screwed. It’s all about balance.

(Props to online comic strip xkcd.com.)

5. My vocabulary is, well, let’s call it big-a**ed. And I get crap for it daily. JMU MC slammed me during freshman year midterms as a f*cking English major for calling a cafeteria offering “putrid”. His own vocab ain’t nuthin’ to sneeze at, but his twitty wit is infamous. Snobbery risk avoidance measures found me peppering my speech with choice mal mots. I wear my smartified grammarian badge of courage proudly now (f*ck ‘em if they have to look it up!), but that potty mouth action is here for life. Color me turned on by folks who – as a new acquaintance puts it – use three syllable words. Regularly. Strung together even. I have the most recent laugh on JMU MC – his utterance of “Buy our CDs, and go to hell” will not be lived down. A Freudian slip or Tourette's?. (MC, love ya, no sh*t.)

6. Stupid human tricks: I can touch my tongue to my nose. Can curl it too, but can’t flip it. I can pull my thumbs back to touch the bottom of my forearm. I have restless pinky toes, always moving out and in, unconsciously. My second toe is longer than my big toe. My largest mole is on the right side of my head. I’m green/blue-eyed, but my right eye has a streak of reddish brown. I hear noises at high frequencies that most can’t (some cash registers, monitors on with CPUs off). My knee caps have unusual wiggability by hereditary design of the patriarchal persuasion. And I make superlative, foodgasmic chocolate chip oatmeal cookies while whistling, rolling the squishy dough in perfect balls, not eating a f*cking hamburger, and thinking about my age 10 swim time in 50m freestyle.

Ready or not, here I come. Cheek tags:
Uninstalled MOCC

15 January 2007

Don't Want Your Love, Don't Want Your Money ...

Mo' better music is on tap for Cheek in 2007, both performing and attending. Bummin' that I missed Thomas Dolby last week in Atlanta. His tunes One of Our Submarines and The Key to Her Ferrari far surpass She Blinded Me with Science in my book. Had no idea that he played keyboard on Def Leppard's Pyromania album and contributed the synth sounds on Foreigner's 4 album for Urgent and Waiting for a Girl Like You.

Too bad my crack, hi-tech Pocket PC phone isn't one of the 500 million+ benefitting from his invention of polyphonic ringtone software. Thomas Dolby does not completely suck. If you don't catch one of his shows, keep an eye out for him as a speaker at a tech conference near you.

King Size Me, Baby

When Kimplified and the DogSchool 101 Diva divulged their Elvis addictions a few years back, I scoffed with eyebrow raised. Hell no was my initial reaction when invited to a tribute concert. But Kimlified's musical taste palette is superlative, and she lauded the night as an ultimato experience.

Well, color me Elvis sequins and stuff. Born as a small thang in 1996 at the Star Bar, the Kingsized spectaculah sells out the Variety Playhouse bi-annually on the anniversaries of the King’s birth and death.

Red’s tale of a Vegas-style act seemed promising as the scantily clad burlesque Dames A’flame strolled the crowd before the show’s start, including Li’l E (a height-challenged bloke dressed in older Elvis garb, plunging neck line and furry chest hair included).

Curtain opened to an Elvis in utero back drop behind a platform with go go dancers getting’ their King on. The smokin’ 8-piece band, 3 backup singers with great pipes, and the bald, smooth crooning Big Mike grabbed the audience from the start and never let go. Their encore had you wishing Elvis had lived to actually cover Bruce Springsteen’s Thunder Road and Born to Run.

Now proudly on Cheek’s list of how to do Atlanta right, you may find yourself drug to Dames A’flame performances at the Midtown Vortex or Tongo Hiti at Trader Vic’s Lounge. But you won’t be sorry.

12 January 2007

This, too, shall pass

That many of my southern family and peeps pronounce 'error' exactly like I'd say 'era' makes this even sweeter. Saw this as a bumper sticker on the drive back from knoshing with the DogSchool101 Diva.

09 January 2007

Ain't No Moralifying Me!

Another example of how truthiness sucks.

08 January 2007

What Happens in the Basket, Stays in the Basket

Used to only have one varmint that jonesed for naps in the clean clothes basket on the dryer. The leg sticking out identifies Stuey as the malkin whose habit led to injury. Leaping up once, he tore his ACL *and* his PCL, leading to his second knee surgery (tore ACL on his other knee in a flying leap off a bathroom counter). Add a surgery for a growth on his paw, and Stuey is one pricey critter.

New abode has no door on the laundry room, so a chair is a permanent fixture to support the Stouchebag's penchant. Bastard went and shared his bad habit with his brother Oscar this weekend. Perhaps it was only a matter of time, as Oscar is a container ho.

Urchin Nougat discovered the boys in their shared nap container during her visit chez Cheek to lend painting assistance. Two drab bathrooms no longer completely suck, in Restoration Hardware Silver Sage. Paid her an hourly wage equivalent in Sephora dollars - teenagers are so easy to please!

02 January 2007

Any on your list?

They may channel those of a 7 year boy, but they're worthy resolutions. Seem simple? Nigh on impossible to an urchin. From Robbie Schaefer's "Resolution Song" on his new release Songs for Kids Like Us.

I will finish all my home work, I’ll even do the math
I’ll stop throwing kitty cat in the bubble bath
I won’t stick peanuts up inside my nose
And blow them out to see just how far each one can go
And I won’t lock the babysitter out of the house
And climb up on the roof and pretend I’m Mighty Mouse
And I won’t take my hamster, the roof is way too high
I won’t put a cape on him to see if he can fly

I will be more patient, I won’t hit my sister
‘Cuz she’s really not that bad, one time I almost kissed her
I won’t put toothpaste into her pajamas
‘Specially cuz that one time, turned out they were mama’s
I won’t let my action figures swim in the toilet
They really love to do that, I’m gonna have to spoil it

I will eat more broccoli, I won’t hit my brother
I’ll drink less soda pop and listen to my mother
I’ll be a better friend, I will always try to share
I’ll be a better kid, now I swear I swear I swear

01 January 2007

Occam's Razor

Cheek's resolution for 2007:
Keep it simple.

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."
- Albert Einstein