A Glass of Chianti

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


for those who suspect The Yankee is the most insane (yet, greatest) man in the world:
if I ran a maternity hospital, the little knit caps we gave to the newborns would be Team Zissou caps.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Penguin fun

What would happen if Mickey Mouse wouldn't stop poking a penguin?

What would happen if penguins got really angry at invaders from space?

What would happen if Sarah had a yard, some plywood and really bad taste?

All of this in honor of how snowy and cold it seems to be in the rest of the world.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

You know what would be really cool?

If you (you!) would go here and sign my little map. It would really make my day. I'm thinking that approximately 10 people read this little blog... how about we shoot for 80% of those sticking a little pin in it? That's probably reasonable, right?

Don't think that there's nothing in this for you, because there is! I'll stop complaining about the weather for a whole month if we get there. I won't mention that I'm hot or that I am really longing for a nice rain. I won't grumble about the lack of white covering on the ground. There won't be any mention of how uncomfortable it is sitting here at this point in the year driving around with my windows down and wearing a short(ish) skirt. I won't even talk about how I have some really great coats that are just sitting around gathering dust and making me sad because it looks like they'll be going unused for yet another year. I'll be Little Miss Pro-Sunshine for the entire month of December.

I give you my word... but only if you sign my map.

Weekend Odds and Ends

1. Boy am I glad I didn't go to Mass this morning with the purple face paint to celebrate the beginning of Advent - I would have been soooooo out of place. I knew about the whole "people might get Advent and Lent confused, so let's go with blue" thing, but even my "progressive" parish figured out that was just goofy after a few years. Apparently, this news hasn't quite reached the thriving metropolis where I was housesitting. So, yeah, narrowly avoided fashion faux pas #1 of this rather warm fall. (How warm is it, you ask? I'm still drinking chilled white wine.)

2. My Christmas gift for my cat (this, in red) is already under the tree.

3. I am much better at consuming M&Ms than making Advent wreaths.

4. I've been baking little care packages for my students (a yearly tradition for after All-Region auditions and before finals). This year there are sugar cookie eighth notes and round oatmeal raisin cookies. I'm attempting to fashion a clarinet-shaped cookie cutter so we can have gingerbread clarinets. I think I have it figured out, and I'm very glad that I teach clarinet and not something like bassoon.

5. I have a big presentation on Tuesday. I'm a little nervous about it.

6. My Thanksgiving was pretty restful, I hope everyone else's was, as well.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

They're just so, so groomed

Do Raymond Arroyo's eyebrows bother anybody else?

It's just me? OK. Sorry. (No more EWTN after midnight, then.)

Friday, November 25, 2005


I was up at 5:30 this morning. I'm housesitting for some friends of the family and apparently their dogs don't quite grasp the meaning of "no asking to go outside before sunrise."

Since I was already awake (and my attempts to fall back asleep were frustrated by the chilly air), I briefly considered going back into town to see what exciting things the stores were offering. Because, however, it seems that everybody in my family is born in November and I was thinking ahead this year while getting birthdays covered, my Christmas shopping list is pretty much taken care of. I have gifts for both of my sisters, my mother and my brother already purchased and stored away and I know what I am going to get my father and will buy that when my lazy bum sisters give me their share. I do still have a few gifts to figure out (and a couple that I'm making that are going slower than I'd like) but there just didn't seem to be any urgent need to necessitate being elbowed around by other shoppers.

So, even though it wasn't terribly post-Thanksgiving-y, I went upstairs to the movie room and watched The Godfather this morning. I think that Badlands is on deck for this afternoon and I'll probably do some Western this evening, thus covering the country in my own Lewis and Clark-type adventure. Seems like a fairly good plan, right?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Not commenting on the Yankee nature of the day

I know that I tend to use this space to grumble. Today, however, there will be no grousing about the weather! You just get a list of pretty great things that I am grateful for this Thanksgiving.

I'm thankful...
that I have a happy family.
for instant messengers.
for chips and salsa.
that I live in a pretty great country.
that my Coco is a dog in disguise.
for Texas.
for economies of scale.
for the sacraments.
for perfume that smells like strawberries and vanilla.
that I have the most wonderful students in the world.

Happy Thanksgiving! (cue the Vince Guaraldi)

UPDATE: P.S. I guess The Yankee is pretty great, too.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I ran across the American Music Awards show on TV tonight

I ran across the American Music Awards show on TV tonight
I ran across the American Music Awards show on TV tonight
I ran across the American Music Awards show on TV tonight
I ran across the American Music Awards show on TV tonight
I ran across the American Music Awards show on TV tonight
I ran across the American Music Awards show on TV tonight
I ran across the American Music Awards show on TV tonight

I didn't realize that Philip Glass was holding down a lyricist job these days.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Any ideas for my Thanksgiving menu?

I'm looking for suggestions for what I should make for Thanksgiving. I know I'm going about this the wrong way (I should have had my main dish nailed down before picking out the other stuff), but I'd really like to have French onion soup on my favorite Yankee holiday. Does anyone know things that go well with that*?

These are things to consider when making your (hopefully numerous) recommendations:
1) It's just me (and my cat, Coco) so things that are easy to scale down would be ideal.
2) I'd like a main dish and a dessert to go with my soup.
3) I'm not an incredibly skillful cook, but I can follow a recipe or basic instructions.
4) I'm allergic to cottonwood pollen and cat dander so if the recipe calls for either, I might not be too likely to make it.

That's about it. I kind of feel stuck here, and I'd like to have a nice Thanksgiving meal.

*I already asked Coco. Her suggestion of tuna popcorn was vetoed on the spot.

Can I get something off my chest?

Actually, I guess the more accurate question is "Will you listen to me get something off my chest?" as it is my place and all.

Walk the Line kind of bothered me.

They clearly spent a lot of time getting the music right. Reece Witherspoon succeeded in not annoying the heck out of me*. Her voice was exceptionally clear and very pretty. Actually, the performances across the board were quite nice. And yet, even with very nice acting and music, the movie just falls flat.

There is a particularly nice Thanksgiving scene late-ish in the movie. In it, Mother Maybelle asks John's mother if she learned to sing by the hymnal. She says that lots of singers don't know how to read shape notes anymore and thinks it's a shame. The problem is that she's the character I wanted to know more about. She's the only one around the table who seemed real. That was the problem. I cared more about a character with half a dozen lines than I do about the man at the center of the movie.

I don't know how the movie got there. Maybe it was the conventional handling of the drug scenes. (Quick, what percentage of movies that include drug use include a scene in a bathroom where there is a violent outburst? When you're shown a shot of a bathroom, don't we all know that it will end with the sink being pulled from the wall? Do we really need to see it again?) Maybe it was the fact that the Cash father, important enough to bring back for big plot points, wasn't important enough to develop into anything but a one-dimensional abusive and raving lunatic. Maybe it was the fact that we hear pedestrian selections from the Johnny Cash canon. (I mean, if you're going to expend that much energy to make it sound right, why not select things that drive the story?)

It wasn't terrible, but it certainly wasn't an interesting movie. It wasn't telling an interesting story and it wasn't doing it in an interesting way. With each new biopic I see, I become more and more glad that I'm an unexceptional person. Because I'm pretty average in every way, my grandchildren won't have to sit through a boring movie about what I did as opposed to what I was all about.

*Sorry, Jamie. I know she's a pet interest of yours. Looking at her generally makes my face hurt for some reason.


I went to see the new Johnny Cash biopic this afternoon. There are nice moments (the Thanksgiving dinner scene with Mother Maybelle; the background business of the band in the audition for Sun records). The music is very well done. Overall, however, it's just incredibly conventional and I feel that it misses the point. The movie has you believe that Johnny Cash's story is compelling because he loved June Carter's spunk and because he sang about jail. *sigh*

Seriously, though, the music is quite nicely handled.

More thoughts tomorrow.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Who doesn't want random facts about Walker, Texas Ranger?

My favorites thus far:

"When Chuck Norris sends in his taxes, he sends blank forms and includes only a picture of himself, crouched and ready to attack. Chuck Norris has not had to pay taxes ever."

"Chuck Norris is currently suing NBC, claiming Law and Order are trademarked names for his left and right legs."

There's some... um.... blue language there. If you're bothered by that... well, Chuck Norris probably wouldn't like you anyway.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A question for the Catholics

When a Cardinal acquires a nickname does it go before or after his title?

Is it Francis "I will not now pronounce and say never guitar" Cardinal Arinze
is it Francis Cardinal "Much of guitar music may not be suitable at all for the
Mass" Arinze?

Both are fairly awesome, of course. I just want to follow protocol.

Thanks, Holy Whappers.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

So, what do we think?

Most impressive material for sculpture construction:
Playing Cards?

Look under the archives on the sidebar

WeatherPixie has lots of cute clothes when the temperature is reasonable, apparently. She gets cuter as it gets cooler - just like me. I didn't know how much we had in common! I'm inviting her to Thanksgiving dinner next week.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

It's Autumn-matic

I'm falling for fall! I was really tired of summer. Nobody should be sitting on their bed uncomfortably hot while watching a football game when it is well into November.

Unless they're in Argentina, I guess. Even then, they'd be watching the wrong type of football.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

We try to sell out quick here in Texas

The name change is part of promotion by Dish Network to award 10 years of free cable to all the residents in the city that becomes the first to permanently rename itself "DISH."
"If you've got a gimmick and you want to change your name to DISH, do it," said Ms. McDaniel, a cable customer who aspires for satellite TV one day. "How's it going to hurt you? Ten years of Dish for free? Go for the brass ring."
The town is currently named Clark, after founder and former mayor L.E. Clark. The proposed name change is surely driven by only the most pure of motivations. Surely there is no petty grudge fueling this movement.
"I think it's a good idea to change the name," said Clark resident Hazel Pennington. She said the name Clark "has kind of a bitter taste."

Small towns are great. Really.
Link here (annoying registration required)

This is the reason I get less work done than I should

Friday, November 11, 2005


I think we all know why.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

I watched Once Upon a Time in the West last night

Couple of thoughts:
1. Ennio Morricone knew exactly how long John Cage is good for - a little less than 4 minutes a dose is perfect.
2. Main characters should have instantly recognizable themes, preferably with electric guitar.
3. The only thing as interesting as Henry Ford's eyes is Charles Bronson's face.
4. I'm really glad I've seen High Noon and Shane.
5. I have no idea what someone who hadn't seen the former would make of this movie.
6. Claudia Cardinale makes me feel a little unattractive by comparison.
7. I like this movie the more I think about it. I found it pretty good last night after I finished it, but I couldn't stop thinking about it today.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

It's Election Day!

Not on the ballot: an amendment to the state constitution to ban temperatures above 85° in November.


Monday, November 07, 2005

Be Jackson Pollock

Unfortunately, your palette is limited to orange.

Friday, November 04, 2005

It's the trombone gliss that really makes the piece

For the last week and a half or so the theme from Matlock has been visiting me. I've never needed to formerly invite it to come over as it just seems to show up and take residence in my ear for a day or so at a time. I like the Matlock theme but I really think it's time for it to go away for an extended bit. Any ideas on how I can tell it nicely to leave me alone for a while? Anyone want to babysit?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Grumble, grumble

I was under the impression that it was fall for some reason. Clearly, I was mistaken. Highs just short of 90° today and tomorrow (and every day in the near future)?

December better be very cold to make up for this pseudo-fall. *sigh*

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Overheard at Mass this morning

Little Girl (5ish) to her mother: "Why aren't there fireworks today?"