Saturday, June 26, 2004 at 00:38:46 (EDT)

There's got to be a way to get out of here
The people have spoken. A wider variety of cats has been commanded. Why is it that I prefer to post pictures of my roommate's cat rather than my own pets? Well, mostly because Mr Bones is a wee bit more photogenic. It's not their fault. They just don't know how to strike a pose like El Behemoth. See these examples:

Hubcap: The hunter stalks his prey.

Hubcap: This one is pretty good.

Decatur: Looking a bit pensive.

She may be testy because the screen with the hole in it has been replaced with the above cat door. It's a simple device, a frame that snaps over the screen and then you cut the screen for the door. As you can see, the problem is the bars on the window; the door doesn't open as far as it should, so the cats have to squeeze through. I'm thinking of bending one of the bars back a little more, but I fear extremely thin burglars.

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Friday, June 25, 2004 at 15:12:10 (EDT)

Mr Bones: All You Can Eat

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Friday, June 25, 2004 at 12:19:58 (EDT)

For these last few days leave me alone, cats
Hey, who's gonna be here next weekend? I think we're finally gonna have a barbecue that people know about more than an hour in advance. I can't think of a theme for it besides "fuck the mulberries" so we're just going ahead with the basic BBQ paradigm. To that end, we gotta do a lotta work on the yard. We can't do much about the mulberries but with any luck by next week the tree will have exhausted itself.

The main project for the week will be erecting a fence to replace the "fence" that separates our yard from the boarded-up crackhouse next door. It's just a piece of plywood and it's disintegrating. It somehow escaped my memory that we've had some fairly nice fence panels stored on the side of the house for years, but for some reason never thought to use them. If I play my cards right, we'll have a partial fence for the BBQ, thus making our yard look at least a little more presentable. The panels were stored in the small space between our house and the neighbors, and it was filled with junk. Cleaning it out has deprived the cats of a way to climb onto the roof. I'm not sure why this concerns me much, but I spent a long time yesterday building some shelves in the little alleyway so they'd be able to get up there more easily. I guess it's all a way of giving the cats something to do besides bug me. I think that's a large part of cat ownership.

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Thursday, June 24, 2004 at 10:34:39 (EDT)

They wanna put guns in the sky
Okay, I'm out of blogging practice right now, so I'm sorry that this is the best that I can do: CBS Joins Reality Hunt for New INXS Singer. They're doing a show whose goal is getting INXS a new lead singer. If you recall, the original lead singer, Michael Hutchence, committed suicide way back in 1997. Apparently the band has had no luck at getting a new singer on their own. Well, they did work with Terence Trent D'Arby for a while ... I rest my case. They need the help of Mark Burnett and his reality TV empire.

What confuses me is why they're doing this now when it's been nearly 7 years since INXS lost Hutchence. I feel that if your band hasn't reached its necessary level of success (which in this case is just finding a damn singer) after 7 years, maybe it's time to hang it up guys. I suppose if this works out then next year's edition will involve finally finding a new lead singer for Joy Division, who have been without lead vocals since 1980. Or maybe they'll just have a contest and the winner can win the house in which Ian Curtis bought the farm.

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Monday, June 21, 2004 at 15:40:17 (EDT)

Earth to Grandma
My grandmother died yesterday. While it happened rather quickly, it was not that much of a surprise; still it feels really weird to think I'll never talk to her again. My dad is in St. Louis now with our other relatives, putting her affairs in order. I didn't know it until I spoke with my dad yesterday, but Grandma Betty had a lot of stipulations concerning her demise. I knew (because she would constantly remind us) that she did not want to ever live as a vegetable, hooked up to life support machines. What I didn't know is she had made arrangements to have her body donated to the local medical school at Washington University. Also she didn't want a funeral. I find this fascinating because I've never wanted a funeral, either. Yet we never discussed this with each other. I guess it's genetics. But funerals are depressing and cemeteries take up prime real estate. So despite the sadness surrounding her passing, I am again reminded that my little granny was still wicked cool.

Grandma was a serious motormouth. Ever since I was a kid I remember her launching into anecdotes (from her life, her children, something she read in TV Guide) at the drop of a hat, never seeming to care much if anybody was listening. I'm not sure where she got this from, but maybe when stuff popped into her head, she wanted to get it out there as soon as possible, in case she'd forget it later. Because of this, conversations with her could be frustrating since she'd start babbling about something my uncle did when he was 12 while I was trying to tell her about something really important, like how I was emceeing a dog costume contest. And it could be frustrating for her if people interrupted her as well. Then we got her a computer.

In email, Grandma found an outlet for her raconteurism like no other. It provided her uninterruptible monologue time, plus the written word allowed her to collect her thoughts a little more clearly. There was still no rhyme or reason to what she would write, but this disjointedness was a good match for the asynchronicity of email. She got an AOL account and learned how to send mass mailings, so no one would miss out on her observations.

The emails I received from her fell into a few categories: Stories from the Past, Annoyances with Doctors, Amusing Things that Happened Today, and Our Evil President Must Be Stopped. The latter was the most fun for me, since few of my elderly relatives seem to take much notice of politics. Although a registered Republican, Grandma Betty never made a secret of her loathing of W and sent out countless emails about how much she disliked him. Below is a sampling of both her political vitriol, as well as some of her random anecdotes, which I feel give a pretty good indication of her personality. I'm gonna miss getting these emails.

Our wonderful president should be tried for murder.

Here is an idea: When they make another Mars Rover attach Dubya and he can make a little hut.

In today's news they are saying about kids using cough medicine to get high. I think it must be 50 years ago when Sally [my aunt] worked at Milburgs' Pharmacy - 50 years? Sally and the pharmacist had take the cough medicine off the shelf. This is News?

I do not believe I will stay sane for the 216 dates until the election with all these spin doctors--and they said that Missouri and St Louis is VERY important for the eeeeeeeelection so we will get more than any other state!--------------I may just take the batteries out of my hearing aids!

I think George W. read (or had someone read it to him) his Daddy's book where he said he did not go after Saddam Hussein because it would be messy like it is and figured he could do it and all the people of Iraq would welcome him with open arms.

Apropos of nothing at all: On the today show they showed clothing that is absolutely waterproof. When wash and wear came out our cousin Richard Smith took a shower in his.

Hurrah!!! At last people are talking against the "war".

I heard a very early Chris Matthew's program (with panelist) and they spoke as if Bush was a shoe-in. I was very nauseous.

As I said before the president should be tried for murder.

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Monday, June 21, 2004 at 13:08:57 (EDT)

Like a rolling stone
I spent hours on Friday trying to clean up all the mulberry gunk off the back patio, only to have strong winds shake out an equal amount of effluvia from the evil tree. And so of course I scooped them up again. Sisyphus was a wussy.

More shoes and summer parties this past weekend. Electric Turn to Me kicked out the jams again, this time at The Hook, which really isn't as far away as I initially thought, unless you get lost like MRK. He made the mistake of asking a Brooklynite for directions. Nobody who lives in Brooklyn knows where anything is. If you're lost in this borough, find a tourist, they have maps! The Hook was especially nice because it was a smaller show, so it wasn't packed. And they broke out the grill and gave everybody hot dogs! Also we met Tim, formerly of The Dazzling Killmen (!) and David of Nova Social, who just happens to be Blake Fleming's neighbor. Makes me wonder how many bands live in my neighborhood. I know a few, but we'll probably find out someday that Chuck D lives across the street or something.

Tracy had her lovely housewarming party, and MRK ate all the mini-cannolis. The boys of Pink Steel were in attendance but they were in civilian clothes so they just looked like your average party crashers. Sunday we had an early barbecue at Zack & Abby's place. Abby is very pleased that she has grown a pumpkin (the small bump on the plant in the photo at right). Very impressive.

Many more party and plant photos can be found here.

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Week of June 20-26, 2004

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