Monday, December 22, 2008

Meet Roo!



We now have a dog named Roo. A wire haired terrier/German Shepherd mix--she has kennel cough, is overly protective and has to stay in a kennel all day when we are work. She is a sweetheart and we are getting accustomed to each other. Viva is a bit intimidated but deals with her while Oscar growls and hisses and seems royally peeved that she has taken his place as the baby of the family.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Going back to Florida.



Well, it is a bit too soon, but at least it is Miami. Britten and I are going for the Harm Reduction Conference and because November 13th is the first day, I got Ryan a ticket for his present! So at least we can have some fun together and it will be almost 35 degrees warmer there. I have to admit, however, that I just recently was able to start wearing cool weather clothing and I am NOT looking forward to too big, boring Florida clothes I had to wear out for over a year!

But, I will look forward to the food, the water, Katrina and Bob and yeah, the SUN.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Ladia Yates is my heroine.

Just watch this and tell me if it doesn't cheer you up. Hope for our youth.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I OWN THIS!!!!


Bought my very first home. Ryan and I are officially residents of East Jesus. And loving its laid back style...much more laid back than this born-and-bred "Midtowner" ever imagined. One wonderful thing came out of this fucked up August.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bye Wicked Annabella.

April 21, 2007, Tampa, Florida-August 7, 2008 Memphis, Tennessee.

Fucking dumbass thieves. It won't even unlock or start without the key. I hope all four of you burn to death after your house catches fire from faulty wiring. I will wish your children and babies mamas to escape unscathed, however.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

It is about time.

Since Dior busted out the classic circa 1931 cloche all over the haute couture runways last week, I am hopeful for some knockoffs to start hitting the market just in time for fall. This one is stunning and if it weren't a priceless item, I'd snatch it up.

I was surprised at how wearable the French couture collections were this go-round. The Chanel and Dior ones in particular. I am just going from the 13 photos I just viewed at the NY Times Style site, but there were just some lovely items that were not indicative of something that Galliano used to try to pull off on a regular basis.

Brunch time at Umai! Will report back--this restaurant, located in the old Harry's On Teur location next to Kwik Shop, looks amazing and all have reported that lunch and dinner are wonderful, the sushi killer etc. I have seen the menus for lunch and dinner and it seems like a very French-Asian combo with lots of seafood, but also duck.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I'm Sleeeeeepy.


I owned a doll just like this one as a wee child; it was a Mattel popular favorite called "Drowsy". Note the pajama-clad body and narcoticized eyelids. Well, Drowsy also spoke if you pulled a cord coming out of her flank and my favorite thing she whined was, "AHMMMMMM SLEEEEEEPYYYYYY." I can still hear it today. And naturally, I still say it; far too often these days.

We are in Memphis and both working our pants off but in a much better mindset than we have been in quite some time. I wish I wasn't so damn tired, but them's da breaks.

Thank you, and Good Night.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Just Farr a Laugh 1&2...cue it!

We received out preorder CD of Earles and Jensen's JUST FARR A LAUGH: THE GREATEST PRANK CALLS (AND LINER NOTES) EVER! yesterday afternoon, 5 days in advance of the stores with a very posed and elegant promo poster that is completely wrong for the decor of any room of my home (at least any room in any home I have resided in since 1993). Yes, it is worth your money. While I have heard every call on disc one ad nauseum, disc two is delivering on the promises made on the knees of Andrew Earles. The liner notes are coy, self-conscious/-referential, funny, lazy and cute. Just like these men.

No self-respecting person who thinks they have and/or respect a rapier wit should be without this disc...so go to Matador.com and pony up or better yet, beg your local record store to stock it!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

OWWWWWWWWWW. It hurts.




Wow. A week ago, I was scrambling to buy a good ticket after realizing I really needed to be at home for the Final Four and I got there...and it was the best choice I have made in awhile. I interviewed for a job, got to know new and old friends, drank too much, toured John Griffin's amazing house and gardens, deeply searched my soul on how I am going to buy this house on Watkins that my great-great grandmother lived and died in and spend two beautiful sports-filled nights at the wondrous Buttermaker's Lounge (see above, yes that really is Coach Cal on the astral plane with Pierre Niles--sorry, Dave!). Thank you Tigers. You made my year and this visit wouldn't have been 1/16th as good without you.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Why is this gurl not a sportswriter???

I don't even think we know each other, but I "met" her via the infamous Goner Board. She is the eponymous "robin". Her Tiger fan-ness makes mine look like I am some sort of dilettante in that world. This essay she wrote recently for her blog (see "Dirty South Displaced") captured both Tiger fandom and being a Memphian in a way that I am so blown away by even an hour after first reading it, that I have to steal the copy and put it in my own. I am also sending it out to everyone I can think of, including sportswriters.

I am going to throw up on my shoes.

In less than ten hours Memphis will take on Texas in the battle to win the South Region in the NCAA tournament.

I think I am going to throw up.

I haven’t been able to sleep well for weeks solely because of basketball. I know this is a sore point of contention amongst my friends in Boston. People either think it’s annoying- because I make plans that revolve around my basketball schedule- or they think it’s cute and quaint because it’s Just So Odd for someone like me to be so invested in something like a bunch of dudes throwing a ball that swishes through a hoop at the perfect moment.

Let me explain it thusly.

My first memory of life is of shopping for the birthday cake on the day of my first birthday party. I was about to be a year old. I loved Bert and Ernie, and so they were to be on my birthday cake. I remember being tiny; I remember everything being huge; I remember holding my dad’s hand as I teetered through the parking lot of the Big Star on Summer Avenue, knowing it was my special day and that I was going to get a cake just for me. I recall looking at the fancy display of cakes, pointing out the one that was mine, and watching my daddy exchange money for My Cake. There’s a blur between then and the happy birthday song, but I remember blowing out the candles while my family sang the song to me.

My second, third, fourth, fifth and beyond memories are all of Memphis Tigers Basketball. Somewhere in there is a memory of my sister being born. In my child mind I rated them all as being of relative importance. For some reason that is beyond my grasp, my memory of meeting my baby sister for the first time is in the same mental file cabinet as watching Keith Lee take Memphis to the Final Four in 1985.

And that is how it goes. My childhood constantly revolved around the Tigers. Every game came on local syndicated television and we watched them religiously. I can still recite the local commercials (anyone remember the commercials for Big Daddy’s Bowling Alley in Poplar Plaza? They had a free dinner for the kiddies! I know this cos I can still picture the fat girl customer stuffing her face with corn from the all-you-can-eat buffet). I memorized starting lineups. I memorized plays. If I hear the announcers (Dave Woloshin and John Albright, bitches!) now on the radio my brain shuts everything else off. Their voices are comforting to me the same way it’s comforting for some people to go to their parents’ houses and cuddle with their childhood teddy bears.

There were many minor players, but as far as the major stuff goes here is the rundown.

Elliot Perry was a little too short to be an NBA phemonenon, but his goggles were cool and he was a fucking star. As a result of his amazingness I copied his style and wore my swimming goggles all over the place from about 1989 to 1991 (this was before contact lenses were the shit, you see), just cos Elliot Perry did it first. I lived too far out in the country to have a basketball hoop, so I wore the goggles Elliot-style and dribbled my ball in circles in the loop of our driveway, doing it so many times that I remembered where each large rock was in our driveway that could send my ball flying into the bamboo bushes or towards the catalpa trees.

Penny Hardaway was obviously the most amazing phenomenon to hit Memphis since Elvis, but he was cooler ’cos he was local and kept it real. The day he announced that he was going to play for the Tigers he got shot in the foot. Not that you would know this, but THAT IS SO MEMPHIS. It was fucking depressing. Plus his grades sucked, so his whole freshman year was spent on the bench. After that wait though it was magic. Memphis went all the way to the Elite Eight during his junior year- what was that, 1992? I remember peeling the shot from Sports Illustrated of David Vaughn going up for this amaaaazing basket out of the magazine and putting it up on my wall. Memphis lost to Cincinnati in their bracket, which was especially painful, but what a fucking year that was.

I remember regularly seeing Coach Finch at Ike’s at Eastgate Shopping Center and, thanks to my mom’s encouragement, waving at him and congratulating him on his good year while he pushed his shopping cart out to his car, politely smiling and nodding at everyone in his path along the way. I remember feeling like I was a part of something special because he thanked me for acknowledging him. I remember how his smile towards me felt genuine, and I remember how when I watched the next Tigers game it felt like I had something to do with it.

I remember my parents screeching and hollering about The Great Name Change, how it would always be Memphis State to them and how their diplomas would always say that. Sure enough, they still call it Memphis State from time to time even fifteen-plus years later. Haters call it Memphis State all they want, but it makes me smile every time I hear it. I remember Coach Finch being unceremoniously fired and how it made the entire city so, so angry. I also remember how Tic Price was the biggest douchebag that the city ever had the misfortune of dealing with, and how it was like the second coming of Christ once the Tigers landed Coach Cal.

I remember watching and watching, but nothing happening. Then I remember the 05-06 year, going to RP Tracks with Lauryn a month or so before I moved to Boston and sitting with her and Hillary and watching Memphis come So Fucking Close to knocking off Duke in the preseason. It was something. I remember watching this mysterious but amazing number 14, this Chris Douglas-Roberts character, and hearing everyone in the bar murmuring, "who the fuck IS this kid?" I remember doing the math in my head. These kids are all freshmen and sophomores. The next two years will be sweet, but 2007-2008 will be their year. Something big is going to happen.



In a lot of ways, Memphis is a crappy city. Segregation is still alive and well, and as a result the crime is out of control. The poverty is sky high and it’s easy to grow up there and have extremely low expectations for your loved ones and yourself. Honestly, I don’t think I don’t know anyone who hasn’t lost a friend because a robbery went wrong. That’s a horrible thing to have to say, but it is true. When you are raised in a town like Memphis you’re just set up to either be an incredible survivor via suffering horribly or to be an extremely sheltered and mediocre human being.

If Memphis wins the championship this year, it’s not just about a fucking ball going through a fucking hoop. It is about forcing the entire country to acknowledge what it means for a city in a shitty position to overcome mid-major status, financial obstacles, extreme racism and classism, and eternal underdog status. Memphis Tigers basketball isn’t just about a basketball program at a college in the city of Memphis; it’s a perfect emblem of the city itself. If the Tigers win, it’ll be like we hit the fucking lottery. It means some kids in Frayser and Orange Mound whose parents never graduated high school are gonna get a free ride to the University Of Memphis. It means that our parents and grandparents are going to get to experience something they never thought they would- seeing the Tigers cutting down the nets. It means that all these schools/cities/states that think they’re better than us will have to man up and accept the fact that on a basic human level, we’re all pretty much the same.

Memphis kids are in a class by ourselves. We grew up with our parents forcing their versions of their local hipster bands in our ears constantly, which turned out to be The People Who Fucking Invented Rock And Roll And Soul Music. As a result we have impeccable taste- basically, it’s in our blood to know when something’s good or when it sucks. Right now the entire city is rumbling like the big earthquake is finally settling in under its feet. We all know this is special, even when we’re a thousand miles away from home.

This is big.

I don’t think I’ll have to eat my words in a few hours. This feels real.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

March Madness!


Tigers? Precodes? Hmmm. Seems that is my only interest of late with this blogging thing; true, it seems that I am not really as interested in it as I was for awhile, but I don't think I will let it go forever; my mind is just preoccupied unless I am thinking about the possibility of the Tigers "winning it all" (the NCAA tournament for those who might be reading this who hate sports) or if Turner Classic Movies is deciding to bust out a bunch of glorious Pre-Code flicks to enjoy.

The best part of last months day of Pre-Code luxury is that Norma Shearer lived up to the hype in The Divorcee. That was my first time watching her after reading her biography and the great book on Pre-Code actresses, Complicated Women. She is a stunner on-screen and her voice was fantastic. I wish she had completed more and similar films during her career.

OK, well, back to my basketball obsession. It all ends in a couple of weeks...until next October, that is! At that time, we will have lived in Memphis for four months and while we won't have to be complaining about all the old people and ultra-aggressive, absolutely-no-manners-having assholes, I will be searching for the appropriate sort of bat to keep by the door and a place that sells pepper spray!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Pre-Code Extravaganza!

March 3, 2008 on Turner Classic Movies is going to be a real humdinger! Beginning at 6 AM we have the wonderful Social Worker Abortion movie, Ann Vickers. This is easily one of the best Pre Code films I have ever seen; its smart, gorgeous, risky, glamorous and sexy. And it is about a social worker! Just like me!

Then, beginning at 8 PM, we have an onslaught of Pre Code Madness beginning with the legendary Norma Shearer superstar-making vehicle, The Divorcee. I have never seen this, so best believe I will be planted on the couch at 7:59 PM!

After Norma Shearer tears across the world in a sex-crazed frenzy, we have the following; included are some of my favorite movies of all time (Night Nurse and Three on a Match):


The double standard destroys a liberal couple's marriage. Cast: Norma Shearer, Chester Morris, Robert Montgomery. Dir: Robert Z. Leonard. BW-82 mins, TV-G, CC
9:30 PM Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood (2008)
This documentary looks at how the social, financial and moral forces all helped shape one of the most intriguing periods in Hollywood history. BW-68 mins, TV-MA, CC
10:45 PM Night Nurse (1931)
A nurse discovers that the children she's caring for are murder targets. Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Ben Lyon, Clark Gable. Dir: William A. Wellman. BW-72 mins, TV-G
12:00 AM Three on a Match (1932)
A woman's childhood friends try to rescue her from gangsters. Cast: Joan Blondell, Bette Davis, Ann Dvorak. Dir: Mervyn LeRoy. BW-63 mins, TV-PG, CC
1:15 AM Female (1933)
A female CEO who's used to buying love meets her match in an independent young executive. Cast: Ruth Chatterton, George Brent, Johnny Mack Brown. Dir: Michael Curtiz. BW-60 mins, TV-G
2:30 AM Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood (2008)
This documentary looks at how the social, financial and moral forces all helped shape one of the most intriguing periods in Hollywood history. BW-68 mins, TV-MA, CC
3:45 AM Free Soul, A (1931)
A hard-drinking lawyer's daughter falls for one of his underworld clients. Cast: Lionel Barrymore, Norma Shearer, Clark Gable. Dir: Clarence Brown. BW-94 mins, TV-G, CC






















Friday, February 22, 2008

Whoop Dem Tricks.

Wow. This image is like a Xanax washing over all the anxiety and craziness about tomorrow's big matchup of my Tigers vs. the annoying johnny-come-lately's of the Div I basketball scene, the Tennessee Vols. Kirk and Keith. Together for the ages.

I have about 1/1000000000000th of a speck of conflicting feeling about this game. The only conflict is how to effectively trash the team of a school I used twice to gain college degrees from; a school that I chose after a simply horrid Freshman year at Memphis State. The best I can say is that I fled UTK to attend Memphis as a "visiting student" my Senior year because Memphis actually had a more varied selection of Art History courses. Now we had to actually study slides in lightboxes that looked like they were made by students at the Normal School in 1928, but those classes made the art history courses at UTK look pretty weak, as hard as it is to admit.

But, I digress, per usual. If you have any sense of reason, don't root for the Vols (I mean, fuck that dumb nickname too). Even if you don't know anything about sports, you gotta know that orange and white is a hideous color combo that should only be seen on a Naples, Florida retiree.

GO TIGERS!!!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Plush Club Beatdown?

So the Commercial Appeal writes that Robert Dozier of my U of M Tigers may be arrested for THIS.

Please don't let it be so.

I feel like the photo to the left when considering how wayward this final season of the The Wire is going. My pal A.S. Earles got it on the money when he said it had been ‘Bruckheimerized’ or ‘Wolfed’, even though he considers these verbs to be woefully inadequate.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

GIMME CAP.


This was a cap made in 1983 to commemorate my beloved Memphis State Tigers same-day ascent to #1/descent from #1. It is so perfectly Memphis: The foam "Gimme Cap" styling, the crowded, visually chaotic design and mostly, the utterly verbose and pontificating nature of the wording. Gawd love it. I'll be home tomorrow, Memphis. This time...we ain't losing, still and always!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I like the nightlife.



St. Petersburg. Sunday night January 7, 2008.