dimanche, juillet 27, 2008

Best. Excuse. Evarrr...

Ring ring.... ring ring....

Me: Hello?

Brother #1: Hey ah, need some help with something. Whatr'e you doing in the next 20 minutes?

Me: Dude, I'd like to help, but I'm drunk.

Brother #1: Where are you at?

Me: The Nomad

Brother #1: Where's that at?

Me: Brady street. And I'm drunk

Brother #1: Why are you drunk?

Me: It's my birthday, it's my God given right to be drunk

Brother #1: So ah, I guess you can't help me get my beerstein from Germanfest.

Me: Dude, it's my birthday and I'm drunk!


So um, why did it take all these years for me to realize that's the best excuse in the world?

samedi, juillet 26, 2008

Saturday: Closing out the Week with Little Ricky Skaggs

Ricky Skaggs and I have one thing in common. We both met Lester Flatt when we were kids!

Here are two great performances captured from the 50's. Ricky Skaggs is 7 years old in this appearance with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. This first one, Foggy Mountain Special, really gets good at about 1:18.

Secondly.... Ricky performing "Ruby". Dead on. What an incredible kid!

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vendredi, juillet 25, 2008


As James Brown would have said: "can I count it off?"

What a way to round out the week. Maybe tomorrow I'll post one more, you know, for the only bluegrass fan in my audience: me :)

Today is the always adorable, always hilarious, always talented. Roger Miller. Here's Roger with a short version of the Orange Blossom Special:


You've Heard the Term Chocolate Jesus

Now the London Times' Gerard Baker hath brought the story to print. Kinda.

Try not to miss this one, it's good.

jeudi, juillet 24, 2008

Life: Use it or lose it.

Either way, life is precious and you don't see that until you come face to face with it.

Life is a gift. It has it's exciting moments and it's mundane ones, and both have value. As do the really, really, really hard things that some of us have on our little life paint palette. Sometimes you wish you had more blue. Sometimes you complain about all the red, and sometimes you just want to paint a happy little tree. Even if it is with all of the surplus red you have.

Tonight I heard the news that my cousin, who had been difficult (at best) to deal with over the past ten years, passed away. He had a terrible history with hard drugs and despite all of the support and love around him, it just wasn't enough to cut through the grip.

Drugs are serious business.

I cannot explain what happens when a life is taken over and whisked away by drugs. But that's basically what happens. Poof, the person you knew is gone and they have been replaced with this wasted, angry, empty shell. If a person comes back they are lucky, but I don't think most do, or ever get that chance.

Part of me wants to believe that he was just like any of us, dealing with the hard parts of life. He was just trying to get through it, whatever it was. But because I haven't been where he was, and don't want to be, I can't relate to it or understand it. Nor do I want to. There is no closure because there is no explanation. Life is that precious - it defies reason, gravity, and our ability to wrap our minds around it.

All that we are able to do is marvel at the secondary reflection of how beautiful it is, and how quickly it's image can bounce off and away.

mercredi, juillet 23, 2008

Thursday: Going Way Back: The Wabash Cannonball

This is an awesome, true country song originally written and performed by the Carter Family. Here, it's masterfully performed by Roy Acuff and the Smokey Mountain Boys. I love Roy Acuff, this is confidence personified - he owns the stage.

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Wednesday: That High Lonesome Sound

Not sure if I can top this find....but I'll try. There is so much awesome bluegrass out there and thanks to the modern wonder of Youtube, you can sit back with a mason jar of whatever and surf it till you turn blue, or fracture your liver.

I digress.

Ladies and gentlemen, a fantastic rendition of "Nine Pound Hammer" by Jim and Jesse, recorded in 1977.

mardi, juillet 22, 2008

Stepping into the WE Energies Confessional

So many people I know had a terrible time with We Energies over the winter and spring, and are still paying off high balances from this past winter. I'm one of them. As I've blogged before, my energy bill was extremely high - hovering around 250 each month. Too much for a single woman who spent more time at work than at her home.

And if we had some type of Twitterlike or reality-tv type of confessional for people to talk about how much they've ended up owing WE at a time.... I seriously wonder what we would see and hear.

Well, as for me, my bill did get over $1,000 this past winter, and that's WITH making payments. With some diligence and some sacrifices I've gotten it down to $150. Imagine that, making sacrifices not to get yourself ahead in life, but to pay WE.

I talked with them the other day about my new place, and I can expect to pay anywhere from $31-$45 monthly, (for two people) even throughout the winter. The thought of not having that looming over my head anymore is really a massive relief. Almost $200 extra bones in my pocket each month...a manageable energy bill.

On the walking to work front, I filled my tank on July 1st. This weekend I'll fill it again. I did have to put four gallons in yesterday but on the whole, getting gas once a month is a pretty neat deal. Did a lot of running around on this tank of gas to get the new place together and get rid of old stuff, so maybe August will be better.

That my friends, is strategery!

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Rocky Top Tuesday

Okay, okay, it's a little country around here for a girl who lives in the city. I get it!

Here is a little Tuesday classic. One minute and 36 seconds of Crystal Gayle singing Rocky Top. Have always thought of this as one of the real country classics of the late 60's era. So many great recordings of it too... but Crystal Gayle really has a beautiful voice and I don't think history has done her justice.

Enjoy...I don't know anyone who can belt this one out without feeling happy!

lundi, juillet 21, 2008

The Media Is Not Helping

Tonight Fox 6 has a report extolling the virtues of $3.87 gas. Basically, they found a bunch of people who are dying for attention and camera time. Enough to go on camera and talk about how happy they are to see $3.87 gas.

You f'ing idiots! You're NORMALIZING IT! Stepping in it. Putting yourself at fault. Almost as much as the morons we elect on a regular basis who want to raise the federal gas tax by $0.10.

You're not helping, you're as bad as the idiots who want camera time.

Get a Move on!

It's Monday, time to get your ass up and go to work!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am proud to kick off the week with a classic from String Bean, Fire on the Mountain:

samedi, juillet 19, 2008

Saturday Tune

Dad29 blogs today on the passing of Jo Stafford, an incredible voice from the WWII era.

She reminds me a lot of one of my vocal idols, Paula Kelly, who sang with Glenn Miller's Modernaires.

This song will always make me think of Saturday evenings in summer :)

vendredi, juillet 18, 2008

If I hear one more Liberal "Lawmaker"....

....blame the energy problem on oil companies for not drilling in their current leases, I'm going to go to Washington and start banging heads together. Because apparently their brains are stuck to one side of their heads. Their load is unbalanced. They have sneakers tumbling around in the dryer tumblers known as their minds.

Really, the reason you have friends is so that they can, from time to time, set you straight when you're making an ass of yourself. They can quietly elbow you and say "dude, that sounded really stupid, stop talking".

This is quite possibly the EASIEST opportunity to push them into the pit of which they are teetering on the edge. The least we can do is give them what they're asking for.

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mercredi, juillet 16, 2008

Downtown Life.... better and better

So I had to walk home in the wind and rain. This was perfectly fine when I realized I wasn't going to melt and that my shoulder bag would keep everything dry.

A lady was accused of taking a wallet at the Metro Market. Four cop cars arrived....

My wonderful neighbor Ted helped me put up my curtain rods and now I have curtains. Ted has a great view of the city, so I has friends in low AND high places!

I can literally run to the store.

There are three ATMs and five bars in walking distance. And one totally 40's cafe :)

What's also great?

I won't tell you how many stories my building is, but running the stairs to the top and taking the elevator down about 12 times.....well there are days that I am overwhelmed at the fact that I can do that based on how many stories I'm looking at.

And in honor of all of the above, ladies and gentlemens, I present to you: some drunk chick doing the Joyologist imitation. Enjoy.

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lundi, juillet 14, 2008


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dimanche, juillet 13, 2008

Things I Don't Miss: Gunshots

Most of my readers know that I grew up in the city. I lived in what would later be called Washington Heights, right outside of Washington Park. I went to Washington High.... and I loved where I grew up.

But starting in the late 80's I heard sirens all night long - the sound carries for miles and miles and miles. Then around about the time after Troy Ashford was killed in 1987, it seems the city never went back and just went downhill.

I began sleeping in earplugs a while ago. I always liked sleeping with the windows open in the summertime. But since the sound of a gunshot report carries for miles as well, you have two choices: sleep with your earplugs in and block it out of your mind, or be woken up because you can't help counting how many are being fired in one shooting. And I want to tell you something. You might read about a shooting, but shots are fired constantly all night long in the city. I mean ALL night long.

As I laid in bed last night with my windows open I could hear some horns out on the lake. Maybe some people walking to their cars, and from time to time the sound of an ambulance since I am on a fire route. But I no longer hear gunshots anymore. I know they are out there, and I know that people I know and people that I love are living in Washington Heights, Sherman Park, the north side, and Riverwest. And they are just like me - all they want to do is live and conduct their lives without intimidation or violence. They want to have the basic joy of falling asleep without falling out of sleep because they are counting shots.

samedi, juillet 12, 2008

Tony Snow: Thanks for the Memories

What a surprise to hear that Tony Snow has died. I didn't realize the extent of his cancer. Tony and his unique, low key and witty style will be missed.

jeudi, juillet 10, 2008

Pre-Bastille Dispatches from the Urban Hang Suite

Au début....

Tonight is the start of Bastille Days, obviously my favorite fest. Although if you want actual French cultural performances, you have to go during the day. This year I hope to attend the French mass which is on Saturday - Dad29 can chime in on whether that counts as the weekly obligation. Touche!



From the rooftop deck, I watched the storm roll in. Now that, my friends, is really cool. Cloud to ground lightning, heavy rainfalls in the distance...there is nothing that compares to getting a full head on view of an incoming storm. I helped my apartment manager secure the furniture so it didn't go anywheres.


Storm the Bastille

The Bastille run will go right past my place, I think...so later I shall be outside with a glass of fine chardonnay in hand. Australian, not French, malheureusement. Although I really could crack open a bottle from France. I has them, tu sais.

I used to run the Bastille and have the time honored, slept-in shirts to prove it. But those days are past me for now. I have traded them in for deadlifts and squats.


Backing up....

On Sunday I woke up at 4:30 a.m. So what's an insominac to do? Go up to the deck and watch the sun rise over the city. The lake was placid, the light was glowing off the downtown buildings like heat from a low campfire. I love living downtown.

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Yeah, I Think They're Fake

Jesse Jackson. Seriously, does anyone believe this was real? I'm looking at this and it looks like a lot of playground politics between 11 year old girls. They'll say something knowing that they are being overheard. It's the exact same display.

How else do I think so?

Sure made up his mind to come out early and apologize - no deliberation. If he had no idea how he would handle it, he would have taken a lot longer to figure out his plan of apology. But he was out there pretty quickly, wasn't he?

Anyone who believes it was real can be led around by the nose.

lundi, juillet 07, 2008

No Blood For Ethanol

Nick makes the point well today.

dimanche, juillet 06, 2008

Chief Flynn: My Heart Pitter Patters at thems Fighting Words...

(What's with you people in Philadelphia, anyway?)

From the JS....
Police target Murda Mobb after shootings

A shooting early Friday morning that left four people dead on the city's north side was the result of an escalating gang war, sparked in part by the re-emergence of a violent group known as the Murda Mobb, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn said in a news conference this evening.

Killed in the shooting were Kendrick L. Jackson, 34, Jacoby E. Claybrooks, 28, and Theresa Raddle, 23, all of Milwaukee; and Mariella Fisher, 27, of Glendale.

Jackson and Claybrooks were known members of the Murda Mobb, Flynn said.

The group is responsible for about 24 homicides in Milwaukee over the past 10 years, he said.
The Murda Mobb is "the most organized, most vicious, and most aggressive gang on the north side of the City of Milwaukee," Flynn said.

Flynn said the Murda Mobb and other gangs will not be allowed to terrorize the neighborhoods they have tried to control.

"Today, the Milwaukee Police Department is informing the Murda Mobb that we are taking your neighborhood away from you," he said. "You are going to see more police officers in your neighborhood than you have seen before, and we're shutting you down."

Heh. Can you imagine Artie Jones, Little Tommy The Train Barrett, or Eeeek Michael McCann ever saying what needed to be said? And then doing what needed to be done?

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Awww Yeah!

God Bless Netflix.

Today I'm watching the first set of "What's Happening". My brothers and I used to watch this every afternoon and we could quote it. Ah, TV was so much more watchable in those days!

samedi, juillet 05, 2008

Prized Posessions: My Public Enemy LPs

I've decided to list my Public Enemy LPs on ebay. These are two very collectible albums that are in perfect condition. I used to carry these over to my friend Jon's house over on 37th and Lisbon and we'd rock that sht back in the day. The day was 1987/1988. I was the only person I knew who owned a copy of the 12 inch single called "You're Gonna Get Yours", which predated the uber platinum "It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back".

Back then, it was about having a good time and block parties....rap was just starting to get traction and was pre-mainstream. Who could rap best, who could dance best, who had some really funky moves...what high school you went to, and who had the Lincoln. It was fun times in the Black community. It wasn't about thuggery, black grandmas would pat my hands when I came by to visit my friends, it was ok for me to be at block parties with my records and my sista body, as I was told. Not everyone was ok with me but that's the way it was. I was just happy to be there and see living and expression as I had never seen it. I was in it, living it, part of it as much as I could be.

I miss those days sometimes, a lot. Gangs weren't a big thing, shootings were rare and tragic, and you weren't allowed to "act a fool", and mob beatings were unheard of and unthought of. Fire hydrants would be open some days... everyone would just kind of be together. It was good. The kids today are missing out on that goodness.

That's what these two records have evoked from me over the past day - my formative teen years spent with the black community. My high school years. I lucked out. I got to take part in something that no longer exists. It was not easy for me and I wasn't always ok, but I leaned into it and I think it made me a better person in a very unique way.

vendredi, juillet 04, 2008

And Now, Ladies and Gentlemen, We Present to You:

The Battle Hymn of the Republic. By our very own US Army Chorus. Enjoy the beauty of efficiency and hard work:

Happy Independence Day

The thought going through my head this year is the key word: Independence. We delcared our independence from Britain - no representation was just one of the reasons. Today, I feel that we are encountering the issue of independence yet again especially where representation is concerned. We have two candidates who do not represent what our independence is about. One of them is a severe departure.

On the whole our independence as people and citizens is threatened. Our ability to live, work and practice business and our American way of life is being threatened and dare I say, under attack. The slow creeping socialism fantasies of our elected body is a threat that is nearly to the scale of terrorism. Both threaten our freedom, our lives, and our God given gift of being responsible for our own lives. And yes, the sense of being responsible for one's own life is a gift from our Creator.

This is our country and I don't mean that in a noodley John Mellencamp kind of way. This year I put stress on the word Independence. Independence is who we are and we cannot let our country's spirit be eroded, ever. Put that in your bottle rocket and light it!

Downtown Dispatches - Fireworks and Long Walks


Ah, to watch the fireworks from the rooftop, and from my bedroom. The fireworks have come a very long way. From the rooftop I could see all four locations where they were being set off, and it was a pretty incredible vantage point. Although I had to have a blankie wrapped around me because dang, it was cold. Once I'd had enough of the fireworks that never ended, I went downstairs to my apartment. I walked in and could still see them perfectly and at eye level from my bedroom. I stood in the windowsill and watched the rest of them.

Much to the chagrin of people who were trying to make an early beeline to their cars :)

I do love it down here. Not so crazy about some of the people here to watch the fireworks but that's temporary.


So I am also getting used to walking everywhere. Now I'm not exactly in bad shape anymore, but boy, when you start walking a half mile to places or a mile and a half and then turn back around, you start to hurt a bit. I used to run a lot of miles and running is easier than walking. I guess I need to slowly ramp that up and walk half the time/drive half the time and slowly wean off the car. If New Yorkers can do it then so can I. I have a bike that needs to be fixed up and with moving costs, I just can't swing it yet.


Bring on Craigslist. There is never, ever enough downsizing and getting rid of crap when you move. Believe me, you have crap you don't even know you have. It's got to go. And it's not all crap, I mean, there are good things in there I've had for years. Like my record collection. Who do you know wants to buy my old records.....and before you say "don't sell them", you don't play yours, either!

mardi, juillet 01, 2008

Some Days Are Like That

Some days, I kind of miss my old boyfriend.

He was blind, hotheaded, kind of stupid and gullible and worst of all - Sicilian....but....

He was MY blind, hotheaded, kind of stupid and gullible Sicilian.

Oh, and he was a meathead, too.