25 December 2008

Merry Ho Ho

From Mark Tonra's James

Holidayz at CarolinaMom's this year find Cheek in the happy chaos of toddlers. I wish you all glad tidings of comfort and joy and stuff.

Sarah Maclachlan performing Gordon Lightfoot's "Song for a Winter's Night"

22 December 2008

Welcome, Winter

From Mark Tonra's James

A strange fall. Chock full o' transitions. The fickle weather thwarted my usual April to October sandals / October to April boots pattern. The Merry Ho Ho toes saw sandals this past week.

Happily, a few days of brr Nellie cold will lend themselves to fires and hot cocoa ho-ness. Send some of your winter wonderland stuff down here, Sheena and MontanaMan.

"Feeling tired
By the fire
The long day is over

The wind is gone
Asleep at dawn
The embers burn on

With no reprise
The sun will rise
The long day is over"

Norah Jones, "The Long Day is Over"

19 December 2008

e.e.'s words of the day

To be nobody but myself -- in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else -- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.
-E.E. Cummings, poet (1894-1962)

From A Word A Day's "A Thought for the Day"

18 December 2008

Flowchart Explaining Flowcharts

Way, way too relevant to my work life.

From Randall Munroe's xkcd.com

15 December 2008

Boundaries. Latecomers are a b*tch.

"It is our choices that define us, far more than our abilities."
- J.K. Rowling

You're born to a family that puts the fun in dysfuntional. Let's face it: we all are.

You learn not to need. You learn to please. You succeed to please.

Fast forward decades and you learn at a professional workshop that your key conflict resolution methods are avoidance and accommodation. You are not surprised.

You spend years in a relationship with the kindest person you've ever met. You have needs, but are schooled to subvert them. He has needs, but is schooled to not voice them. You part.

You date. You meet compelling people. You learn. What you want. What you don't. What is compatible. What isn't. That it's a triple-punch of intellectual, physical, and emotional attraction (for you, in that order) that resonates with Clive Staples Lewis' idea: "What! You, too? Thought I was the only one."

You get distracted. The intellectual attraction is the bite. The physical attraction is the hook. But the emotional attraction? Continues to elude.

You get lost in the first two at the expense of the last. But the cost of the loss of that kindest person is the reminder you need. That if the collapse of that emotional attraction boundary was worth it, for anyone, it would have been for that kindest person.

You have intellectual and emotional chemistry with your peeps. You just don't want to jump their bones. You hope. That finding the attraction trif*ckta is possible. Until then, solace. With the peeps. Whose bones may not be jumpable, but whose hearts are unyieldingly authentic.

"There is good. And there is evil. Right, and wrong. Heroes, and villains. And if we're blessed with wisdom, then there are glimpses between the cracks of each, where light streams through. We wait in silence for these times, when sense can be made; when meaningless existence comes into focus, and our purpose presents itself.

And if we have the strength to be honest, then what we find there, staring back at us, is our own reflection bearing witness to the duality of life. That each one of us is capable of both the dark and the light - good, and evil - of either; of all.

And destiny, while marching ever in our direction, can be re-routed by the choices we make; by the love we hold on to; and the promises we keep."
- Heroes, 15-Dec-2008

08 December 2008

Thanks, Sheena

You cannot know how much your post, read today, touched me. Incredibly timely, and very relevant.

So much so that I have to share the same song. And hope its message is heard.

I know your fear, Sheena. I share it. But I also have faith, that we will have that happiness and peacefulness again. In fact, we already have it. If not in the arms of another, then in the hearts of friends.

12 November 2008

11 November 2008

I Will Remember You

Sheena's Remembrance post says it all.

Family members and loved ones who served, and who are serving; countrymen and countrywomen who have served, and are serving; I salute you.

21 October 2008

How to Win at the Game of Jazz

Special spanks to Pid for alerting me to this - on this, his horse's ass day.

I saw Wynton Marsalis last year in concert with the Lincoln Center orchestra - one of my top 5 concerts of all time. He does not suck.

Update: Apparently, Canuckians aren't worthy to view Comedy Central streaming: try here instead. Spanks to Cap'n Noise for the link.

20 October 2008

17 October 2008

Don't bugger it again, Florida!

Caution - potty mouth language in this most excellent video on The Great Schlep. Sarah Silverman rocks!

09 October 2008

Sleeping In

From Tony Carillo's F Minus

Sleeping in sure sounds good right about now. Need to work on that. Leaves starting to fall in Hotlanta, and color kicking in. Still very warm.

05 October 2008

02 October 2008

Tunage. Shows. Youth. Memories.

Cap'n Noise posted recently on concert attendance for a band from his past. Have not had the same reaction to seeing live music from youthful influences or enthusiasms. For me, these events incur positive nostalgia.

CarolinaMom and I saw Johnny Mathis at Chastain Amphitheater a couple o'years back here in Atlanta. Wow. That man's voice is still buttah: late in "Misty" when he sings "On my own" an octave higher than the rest of the melody gave me goose bumps. I cried a bit with "The Twelfth of Never," as it's one of my Mom's favorites. We sat next to two women my Mom's age, and the 3 of them waxed on about their teenage crushes, other popular music at the time, etc.

I've seen James Taylor many, many times. His music framed my childhood, and I shoved countless quarters into the jukebox at Anna's Pizzeria in Hampton to play "Handyman".

But these music tastes were my parents' and became mine by osmosis. The ones I sought out myself as Noise did, in 'tween and teen years, and seen recently? Many still bring it. But they weren't as frantic or punk or alternative as Noise's B52s. My sister and I saw Peter Frampton, and I heard no tales from her about feelin' old 'n'stuff, or that Frampton was any less intense as a balding older white dood. He still showed the way (just watch Almost Famous - he and Nancy Wilson wrote the original music, and the movie brings that time's feel back in spades.)

Crowded House last fall at The Tabernacle was one of my top 5 concerts, ever, and their musical chops had only improved with time. More subtlety and complexity. Neil Finn's age couldn't have shown more, what with his son opening the show and all. But it didn't have me finding Neil an old fart, nor did it make me feel similarly old-farted with being closer to Neil's age than his son's.

How much NEW live music do you witness, Cap'n? Vampire Weekend at Variety Playhouse in June drew a multi-generational audience vividly engaged to each of the 75 minutes played. Why only 75? Well, they've only the one album, dontcha know. Fans from age 10 to age 60 in the demographic spread, with density in the college-age. Plenty of boozing and dancing in the crowd. I was transported to 1983 and Coyote having me listen to the Violent Femmes.

Feist at Masquerade this Spring blew me away. No Kate or Cindy or alt punk feel, but I felt no age distance between myself and the teenage urchins I chaperoned. Neither did my concert consort, Kimplicated. The sound harkened be effortelessly back to Boone introducing me to "new" chick music during college: The Cocteau Twins, The Sundays, The Innocence Mission, Sarah McLachlan.

Sheena baptized me with The Legendary Shack Shakers in Tallahassee in 2005, and Cap'n, they done did bring zany. And let's not forget my aforementioned serendipitous newish crush.

Speaking of Kimplicated, another of my top 5 concerts is seeing 311 with her at Lakewood Amphitheater. They brung it hard, but my fondness for the event was witnessing Kimplicated's unmitigated joy and thrash dancing so hard that her specs went flying a few rows in front of us (rescued with a mad dash forward). The dancing was contagious. I bounced up and down and happily remembered the ghosts of shows past: A Flock of Seagulls, R.E.M., Oingo Boingo, The Cure, U2.

And then there's Eddie From Ohio. My passion for their music fully integrates my parent's osmossissing, my teenage discoveries, and my adult acoustic penchants. In their harmonies I'm back on a long trip in the station wagon, the 8-track player booming Peter Paul & Mary, The Kingston Trio, John Denver, and my folks and us urchins singing 5 part harmony. In their joy for entertaining I'm transported to meeting Robbie Schaefer in high school at a variety show audition, and seeing his band Knightly Jest whip teenagers into frenzied (albeit mostly sober) dancing to The Stray Cats and The Who. In their wit I'm hanging out with Robbie in college at JMU, meeting Michael Clem, and am in the thick of late night banter and Jellyfish Blues Band gigs. In their soulfulness and Julie's passionate voice, I'm back in Mr. Boren's choir at Cocoa Beach High School, singing 8 part a capella harmony with my brother and Otter and Coyote. And then I'm in The Swede's kitchen after an EFO gig at Variety Playhouse, drinking beers with the band and reading our names on the back of a high school regional chorus competition album: me, Robbie, Julie, Chad of Knightly Jest, and Robbie's peep Vern.

Mayhap it's my frequency of live music worship, but Cap'n my Cap'n, I'm not taken where you go. I lose myself in appreciation of the sound, the shared enjoyment, and a bevvie or two. The experience connects me philotically to youthful show going joy. It's a communion. It's part mind-, part heartf*ck. It's social object enthusiasm enjoyed best when shared, not solo'd, and always connects me with my peep music influencers.

Getting old does not *completely* suck, Cap'n Noise. It may *mostly* suck. But it does not *completely* suck.

30 September 2008

Swedish English

Today's Toothpaste for Dinner can't help but shout out to the Swede as well as to my longer-term Swedish stalking target.

29 September 2008


From Randall Munroe's xkcd.com


Rumor has it my folks took us urchins to see John Denver at the Hampton Coliseum. His tunage was part of my childhood's soundtrack, so I don't mind these earworms.

If you don't like him, just be happy you weren't RickRolled.

From Stephan Pastis' Pearls Before Swine

19 September 2008

16 September 2008

Flip Chart Art

Many peeps have alerted me to Demitri Martin's Flip Chart Art. Two of his bits shout out to Cheek peeps:

Sheena, does your own FUH2 survey data confirm Demitri's stats?

Coyote, this just screamed your name!

Watch the whole piece here:

29 August 2008

Who do I have to . . .

From NatalieDee.com

Seriously! Not a Burpee Ford nor a Turberville Melon to be found! R.L. would be VERY disappointed.

26 August 2008

Give me your cheeky. Your contrary. Your catalytic.

A society that gets rid of all its troublemakers goes downhill.
-Robert A. Heinlein, science-fiction author (1907-1988)

(From today's A Word a Day by Anu Garg)

Funny. Some of my best peeps are troublemakers. The good kind. You know who you are.

25 August 2008

One More Gold for Team USA

Michael Phelps hogged the gold medal glory for media attention. Don't get me wrong. This former tyke swimmer is all pro-Phelpsian and just about peed her PANTS when Jason Lezak pulled out the stops in the last leg of the 4X100 free relay in the ultimate assist in Phelp's quest for 8 gold medals.

/rant mode ON
The effing asshats at NBC won't post the footage of the race for our viewing pleasure, and has chased down any vidsters who posted it. Argh! But I digress. As is my wont to do.
/rant mode OFF

In case you missed it, Team USA won a gold medal in basketball yesterday, coached by Mike Krzyzewski. I may be a Carolina Tarheel basketball fan, but there's no dissing Krzyzewski's coaching. He rocks.

Nike's superlative ad fetting the team to the tune of Marvin Gaye's rendering of the national anthem: fantastic, and an unsuck listen.

And now, back to regular sleep cycles.

22 August 2008

Desperate Times, eh Cap'n Noise?

From Toothpaste For Dinner

Sheena, hope they don't come down the aisle with the tin cup on your overseas return!

11 August 2008

Luscious Mad Men

The best show you're likely not watching: AMC's Mad Men. I only fell into watching it in the last few weeks because of its copious 16 Emmy award nominations. Provoked to know what the buzz was about, at least once, I set the DVR.

Wow. Luscious is the best word. The sets, the costumes, the images, the dialogue, the story. It defines, to me, What Is Sexy. From like, before, you know?

What I like best? Scene after scene after scene with what is NOT said. What is left to us to interpret, to noodle, to recognize and go "Yes!".

John Maeda's Laws of Simplicity, Law #10:

"Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful."

Mad Men embodies this law. Check it out.

(Ok. So I'm in lust with Jon Hamm. Sue me!)

Bacchanalia, revisited

Sheena is returning soon to the kudzu. Many Atlanta institutions are preparing to roll out the red - er, animal print carpet - in her honor. One such establishment - Bacchanalia - was the scene of Cheek's F*ck Forty milestone, celebrated with Kimplicated. Sadly, I didn't do justice back in January to describe the foodgasm that is Bacchanalia. So Sheena, here's a hint of what you're in for. I can't BELIEVE you and the Georgia Peach are going to go without me while I head to setup for the gig that night. B*tch!

I missed capturing the first course, but the amuse bouche served afterwards was a lovely celery soup:

Scallops were my main. Only the third time I've had them since the food revolution of 2006, and these were the best ever. A hint of garlic, and a yummy light cream sauce.

A light salad with yummy stinky cheese was next. Sorry Sheena - it's been too many months for me to remember which kind.

Speaking of cheese, Sheena's like to really dig the storefront of the restaurant, better known as Star Provisions. Absolutely scrumptious finds of cheese, oils, wines, and more, as well as various cooking and kitchen accoutrement.

A warm cider and small cookie served as the taste after the salad, with no hint of the decadence to come:

Dessert was a three course affair. The ladies dining next to us ordered everything on the dessert menu about the time that our mains were served, so Kimplicated and I got the tour and diner feedback as to best selections. My poison was a warm apple-y cake with caramel and ice cream, while Kimplicated's was flourless chocolate goodness.

Next came a dessert course surprise - Bacchanalia's own birthday cake. Absolutely the best I have ever had, with a perfect proportion of icing to cake. It kicked the previous desserts' asses.

But wait! There's more! The final presentation involved tasty sweet bits, all of which were taken home as stuffed silliness was upon us. Delight the next day upon opening the box for breakfast to discover extra bits added by the staff.

Driving home meant light imbibing, so we didn't opt for wine pairings with each course. Our server steered us towards ordering a glass with the main and then the cheese/salad courses, splitting between the two of us each time. We shared a moscato d'Asti with dessert.

Enjoy, Sheena. I can't wait to read your review!

07 August 2008

Her energy policy doesn't completely suck

I wouldn't vote for Paris Hilton for president, but her energy policy does not completely suck. Definitely a Video You Should Know About (V.Y.S.K.A.). Spanks to Pid for sharing!

The XY Games

A fabulous op-ed piece appeared last week in the NY Times, entitled "The XY Games", by Jennifer Finney Boylan. The article details why the sex tests for Olympic athletes are profoundly flawed.

"The Olympic hosts seem to want to impose a binary order upon the messy continuum of gender. They are searching for concreteness and certainty in a world that contains neither.

Most efforts to rigidly quantify the sexes are bound to fail. For every supposedly unmovable gender marker, there is an exception. There are women with androgen insensitivity, who have Y chromosomes. There are women who have had hysterectomies, women who cannot become pregnant, women who hate makeup, women whose object of affection is other women.

So what makes someone female then? If it’s not chromosomes, or a uterus, or the ability to get pregnant, or femininity, or being attracted to men, then what is it, and how can you possibly test for it?

The only dependable test for gender is the truth of a person’s life, the lives we live each day. Surely the best judge of a person’s gender is not a degrading, questionable examination. The best judge of a person’s gender is what lies within her, or his, heart."

This article brought a great read to mind that I tripped across 2 years ago after listening to an NPR segment: Norah Vincent's Self Made Man.

Her writing about how men interrelate when women aren't around was enlightening and stereotype-busting. Definitely an unsuck read.

02 August 2008

29 July 2008

It Could Happen to You!

Don't let this happen:

"Official Energy Drink" from marriedtothesea.com

But it's ok if this happens - really!

From MoveOn.org

And since I'm on the subject of politics, check out Sean Tevis' xkcd-style campaign for a state representative spot in Kansas. Schweet!

18 July 2008

Love Leaps

From Mark Tonra's James

Happy anniversary, CarolinaMom.

09 July 2008

26 June 2008

'tis the season for flip flops

From Tony Carrillo's F Minus

Well, Zeke, they ain't got nuttin' on Pid's beer bottle opener flip flops!

Spanks, Pid, for supplying the snap upon request!

25 June 2008

Happily Unchaste, and Dreams

From Hugh MacLeod's gapingvoid.com

Today's What Is Sexy bits (W.I.S.B.s):

Words are, yet again, sexy.

Today's first sexy words came to me by way of my A.W.A.D. missive's thought for the day:

"There are no chaste minds. Minds copulate wherever they meet."
-Eric Hoffer, philosopher and author (1902-1983)

Just may have to pick up Hoffer's The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements. Reading Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point has me all a'twitter about societal cause/effect schtuff. If you haven't read The Tipping Point, RUN!, don't walk, and get a copy today. It's an unsuck read.

But, back to my unchasteyness. I may not have (yet) met Hugh MacLeod's mind in person, but his words have caused much copulation in my mind. Mental masturbation? I digress . . .

Hugh's post yesterday included this copulative nugget:

"It's good to be young and full of dreams. Dreams of one day doing something "insanely great". Dreams of love, beauty, achievement and contribution. But understand they have a life of their own, and they're not very good at following instructions. Love them, revere them, nurture them, respect them, but don't ever become a slave to them. Otherwise you'll kill them off prematurely, before they get the chance to come true."

Rock on, Hugh! Here's to not becoming a slave to your dreams. And, to not forgetting them.

From Randall Munroe's xkcd.com

21 June 2008

Duuude: It's okay

I shore do lurve Stephan Pastis!

From Pearls Before Swine

18 June 2008

R.T.L.B.: Don't be an asshole, illustrated

"It's easier to be an asshole to words than to people" is the hover over text when you view this cartoon on xkcd.com. Ain't it da truf?

Rule To Live By: Don't be an asshole!

16 June 2008

Summer Serendipity, Vol. 2

If you're ever in Brevard County, Florida - also known as the Space Coast - be sure to stop by the Green Turtle Market in Indian Harbor Beach. This place was the shiz when it opened in 2000 - the beach, much less the county, is known for gourmet market options. Great wine selection, with tastings on weekends, and they recently opened up a restaurant. FloridaDad had me pick up some Pinot Noir that's hard to find elsewhere.

Could *not* resist buying a bottle of red based on its packaging, with designs on quaffing it during my next Sheena sojourn.

Alas, dumassedness intervened to thwart shared quaffage. Cannot explain how my brain went so slack as to deliberately put the bottle in my carry-on. TSA asked to inspect my bag at the Orlando security screening, and I didn't bat an eye based on the copious electronics traveled with. Dismay descended when they pulled out the bottle. No! Say it ain't so!

Reached for my camera to at least have a snap of it, but I was thwarted again. Ucking camera has a mind of its own about whether or not it will deign to take a snap in low light. Was not to be.

TSA way cool chick to my rescue! And cute to boot. She wips out her camera phone, takes a snap, and asks me for my e-mail address. I viewed the snap on my phone not 2 minutes later. So Sheena, here's the bottle meant for you:

13 June 2008

That's What She Said, Redux

Can't believe I beat CountryMouse on this!

From Randall Munroe's xkcd.com

Original "That's What She Said":

12 June 2008

Happy Horse's Ass Day, CountryMouse!

So you're starting your forty-second year. Methinks this will be your best, CountryMouse. Everyone knows that 42 is the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Will you share your sage wisdom?

Pid is counting down the days of his forty-second. Funny. He doesn't seem all that wise to me, 'ceptin' for the wiseass part.

Summer Serendipity, Vol. 1

Hawaii was grand. Exploiting the bidness trip for a few days' siesta did not suck, at all. And FloridaDad and SWEJudy's place was swell, beautimous as always. But being back at the daily grind, no matter the lovely latitude, still sucked. Praise Allah for the weekend.

After a great knosh in Melbourne (FL) with Coyote, she allowed as how I had to experience something. Witness, if you will. We made our mosey over Eau Gallie way and strolled around the galleries and antique stores to see the "illegal" art flourishing.

And man, I mean FLOURISHING.

This stuff lifted me out of my descending work funk and slammed me back in the now. To being present. To feeling a high from the energy that this stuff evoked. I'm so glad I didn't stumble on it solo, but had a guided tour from Coyote whose innate artist's eye pointed out the cleverness. The freehand artistry combined with use of stencil and cardboard mad skillz. Equations stenciled atop graffiti - had not ever thunk it.

One of the artists is Clifton Chandler. Shortly after Coyote took me to see it, she ran into the father of a few of the other folks who are working on the piece. There are no coincidences!

Sadly, this ends the great series of snaps captured by the camera so graciously lent by Buckwheat. Dood, how's about I buy it off ya to fund yer SLR purchase?

09 June 2008

Get your airboat on!

Accompanied the 'rents to a shindig put on for an association end of year thang. Am feeling quite stoopid that I never knew you could take an airboat ride in these here parts to traipse around the St. John's River. Yes, you can, at the Lone Cabbage Fish Camp.

Here's the ride heading north from SR-520:

Many gators sighted, we stopped to spy one up close and personal.

Last bit of the half hour ride was South of 520 to Lake Poinsett.

Post-ride eats at the fish camp included fried cat fish, baked tilapia, slaw & beans, and yummilicious hush puppies. Seafood *always* comes with hush puppies. Northern climes often uck this up.

News to me in Southern styles is a Bloody Mary served, not with a stalk of celery, but with - ew! - a pickle. Cheek swoonage ensued, and not in a good way.

Head still spinning from the pickle ick factor, upon departure we spied the requisite Southern entreaty to return. Grrr ... Kernan the Grammarian's bile rose. Move that apostrophe, I do dee-clayuh!