Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sometimes, You Just Have To Wonder....

I have a very good friend out here in the land of Os. Well, lots, really. This one, in particular, has undergone more pain and loss in the past two weeks than just about any of us. Tragic proportions, actually. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond the control of either of us, I can't really go into any details. There's that whole anonymity thing.

She is someone that many of you know, especially if you've been around for awhile. Do me a favor and send the prayers or good thoughts or whatever you believe in to her and her family. East of the Mississippi, and south of the Canadian border, if you need the general direction.

Edit--A message from her: "Please call your mom or dad and tell them how much you love them, because one day you'll wish you had told them one more time."

OK, so maybe I am old...

Well, my last post wasn't intended to be anything more than just a thought put to screen. I didn't expect some of the responses. I certainly wasn't looking for compliments. Q and Stealth think I don't act my age (which is probably true, and they've seen first-hand!). I even got nutritional advice about aging. And I've got others depressed about the prospect of getting older. Let me make it clear here--in no way did I mean to imply that they were turning ugly or something... Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. I just noticed the wrinkles.

However, I might be old. I have found a new obsession. Well, an old one rekindled. Some of you may remember that my cable company gave me a free upgrade digital on-demand. I've had it now for over 6 months, and have yet to order a movie. I pretty much ignore movies that I can get. I have no use for the HD stuff, which I can't get anyway. But my fingers slipped while pushing buttons one night and I ended up in the music channels. I landed smack in the middle of the Latino pop channel. While that caught my attention for the moment, I thought I'd try out the other channels. And on channel 934, I've been stuck.

Channel 934 is the Big Band and Swing channel. I am in heaven! I LOVE big band music. I've loved it since high school when my mother forced me to dance with her in the living room. Hated it at the time, but it has served its purpose well over the years! When I was in college, our jazz band director owned a VERY large book of dance music. The original arrangements--not the glitzier versions of more recent years. A distinction should be made at this point. The traditional big band (think Glenn Miller) was formed for the playing of dance music. Similar to your neighborhood rock band, they would play their own songs, and then also play the popular music from other big bands. But make no mistake about it--they were formed for, and survived because of, dance. Stan Kenton's band (and others) started playing arrangements that became less danceable, and over time, big bands moved from the dancehall to the concert hall. Today's big bands (the few that exist) rarely play dances, and almost all music written for them now is intended for concert listening, or at home on a music system. Of course, it's not that cut and dried, but it's a good generalization...

Back to college. A couple of times a year, we would play for various functions, and get to play those original dance arrangements. My education was served in these situations as much, if not more, as they were in the classroom. And it continued in smaller groups too. I was a member of the "Stardust Five"--we played standards, and had a regular Friday night gig at the local Elks club. May sound hokey, but we would fill the place with the members, and a large number of college kids too. And the money wasn't hokey! I miss those days. And I consider myself fortunate for the opportunity to play in those groups. It's a "going back to the roots" sort of thing. Most young jazz musicians today have never played in a dance band and don't grasp the concept or tradition.

Back to channel 934. The recordings playing 24/7 are wonderful! Most of them are original recordings of the old bands. Glenn Miller, the Dorsey brothers, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, Chick Webb, Lionel Hampton...the list goes on and on... In the couple of weeks that I've kept it on (shunning my iTunes!), I'm not sure that I've heard more than one or two songs repeated. My only complaint is that the still shots they have in rotation in the background are too repetitive, as are the single sentence trivia blurbs with each of them. But it's meant to be listened to, not watched, per se. And the sound quality--there's something about the slightly tinny, low fidelity sound from the originals that makes it "warmer". There's a few remake or tribute bands that make their way in the rotation, complete with their perfect high fidelity, and frankly, I don't like the sound. But that's a small sacrifice to pay to be washed over with this wonderful music.

I often have told my mother that I was born 30 years too late. But that means I would have been born before her and that just seems messy in a time/space continuum sort of way... I would have loved to live during the heyday of the big bands. Listening to all this music has gotten me to thinking of its origins. The musicians playing didn't go to college to learn how to play swing or jazz or the other forms of the day. They learned by listening. By experiencing. By asking questions of those who were doing it. And then playing for them. Over and over and over. True education. Not sitting in a class you don't want to be at, but actively seeking out those who can teach you, and by actually doing it. In a way, that's how it was with the dance band in college, and the "Five". Doing it. There's no better way to learn.

I've been fortunate enough to have seen a few of my favorite bandleaders in the sunset of their careers. Stan Kenton's band was in the state during my sophomore year in college. We were jacked because we were very much into his music of the past ten years. What we got was not a concert, but a dance. Going back to what started it all. And it was interesting to hear "In the Mood" (a Miller signature tune). Not the Miller arrangement, but the Kenton arrangement. And to hear the other old hits of the 30s, 40s and 50s. Not a single "concert" arrangement all night, but still mesmerizing (and my mother's dance lessons came into play!). I've heard Woody Herman and Buddy Rich (many times!). I've heard the Ellington and Basie bands, both shortly after the deaths of their leaders. I've seen the Maynard Ferguson band, who has adapted the sound from the early days to current jazz fusion (also known for the best version of the "Rocky" theme!). Most recently, it was Harry Connick, Jr., and his band. All sort of like getting to see the Stones a few years ago before they start dying off...

Damn. I thought I was going to be able to tie up these half-dozen thoughts into a nice coherent package, but I can't. Must mean maybe I am old.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


I met up with two friends from high school for belated birthday beers at Chili's (let me say this right off the bat--if Chili's expects my business, they'd better get a decent selection of beer on tap!). We try to get together around our birthdays and a couple of times in the summer. I love these girls. We were good friends in junior high, not quite as good once we hit high school, drifted apart for about 15 years, found each other again, and it's evolved into this beer drinking that we do, when we can. Note that I called them girls. Some of you would call them something much more respectful (like you're supposed to do with your elders!).

And there's where my thoughts lie today. D is about 5 months older than me, and K is about 2 months younger. D has been married/divorced three times, and has a 20-something daughter. She has smoked for years, and isn't afraid to throw back the drinks. In school, she had probably the second largest set of breasts in our class. She still has a great shape, though a few pounds heavier than when she was 18. Hey--it happens, you whippersnappers! K doesn't smoke, but also was a happy drinker in her day. She's got a couple of boys in their 20s--I think one of them might be in his 30s (she started young). She's also divorced and remarried. Both of them has spent the past 30 years working in some form of government job, and have done quite well for themselves in that area. So Os, what are you getting at???

As we drank and caught up with each other, I spent alot of time looking at their faces. I was sort of saddened. Both of these very attractive women were showing their age. Not just laugh lines around the eyes, but the wrinkling of skin that comes with growing older. Lines that formed from years of stress and worry and joy and laughter. Wrinkles which belie their true age. The same look I remember of my grandmother (which both of them happen to be). Then I noticed their hands. Not the soft smooth hands of someone younger, but the hands of women who might very well have the onset of arthritis or bone degeneration. But hands that have seen both pain and happiness. I hate to say it, but they looked like women who had reached 50. Or at least what I always imagined "50" to look like. Still very attractive, but in that "whendidthathappen??" sort of way. I'm not being shallow here. Just stating the facts.

We didn't stay as long as we would have liked. We all had places to be later in the evening. But the first thing I did when I got home was run to the bathroom mirror to check to see if I had ignored my wrinkles, or if I didn't really have them. I guess one of the perks of being overweight is that wrinkles don't get to form early. I don't have them. And my fat pudgy hands don't look like an old man's. And I came to the conclusion that I'm aging quite gracefully, thank you! Yeah, my knees are shot, I'm overweight and my eyesight is on a downhill slope, but I don't look 50 (ok, 51). I don't feel 51. I certainly don't look/feel like I think 51 should. I cringe every time I read that someone in their 50s has died of "natural causes". There's nothing natural about that!

My hair might be gray, but it's all mine, and it's all there! Same with the teeth (at least the ones I still have...). Sure, certain body parts don't work the way they used to, but that's due in part to lack of use (feel free to assume which parts I might be referring to). When people try to guess my age, the most common answer is late 30s. I can live with that. Whether it's because I look that age to most, or if they're just being polite to an old guy, it doesn't matter. I like it. I'll take it.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Celebrity HNT

One of the wonderful things about my birthday last year in Dallas was the chance to meet some of my favorite bloggers face to face. Among them was the very sexy and very fun Tara Tainton! In spite of the fact that she writes a sexblog, she struck me as a little bit shy, but eager to meet all of us as well. She was great with the birthday presents though! So what could she do for me this year??

Well, if you missed out on her HNT last week, you missed out on the news that she's spotlighted in the July '08 issue of Hustler magazine! She got her copy on my birthday and promptly texted me to tell me the news. And what should I get in the mail today?? My own copy, signed by Ms. Tainton herself! Complete with a little sticky note bookmark to her page, so that it would be the first thing I'd look at! Congrats, Tara, and thank you SO much for the birthday present! Can't wait to see what you come up with for my next one!

This week's Mystery Guest is not only new-ish to HNT, but to blogging in general. She's an avid reader, constantly learning new things, and will kick your butt at Trivial Pursuit! She's not quite nerdy, but she likes the science channels on TV. She likes playing doctor and she likes older men. Her career circumstances allow her to pursue an active social life while away. My personal favorite HNT from her involved a wardrobe malfunction, which was pretty cool! Oh, I just found out she's a Mac girl! How can you not like that?? She will be revealed late Thursday afternoon, so be sure to come back to find out who she is! Of course, if you think you know, stop by and say hi!
Our lovely MG with the cute tush is none other than Ms. Inconspicuous! Be sure to stop by and see another view from this series!

"...the Other HNT" continues to attract quite a large number of visitors, but a small number of commenters. I guess that's the nature of the beast. Be sure to check out this week's participants--they're your fellow HNTers! And don't be shy to let them know that you like them! As usual--definitely NSFW! Something for the boys, something for the girls!

THEME ALERT! - As you can see at the top of the sidebar, the third anniversary of HNT will happen in mid-May! The theme for that week will be "Three". I don't care how you express that--three candles, three balloons, three people, three legs--somehow get "three" worked into your HNT. Be creative! I'll have a special "something" for you that week as well! Don't you love surprises??

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's a Biscuit Birthday!

I'm going to make this one sort of short and sweet.

Today is Biscuit's birthday. I'll be polite and not mention how old she is this year, but one year ago, she turned 40! When you look as good as she does, it doesn't really matter, does it?

She's been one of my longest blogger buddies, and we've gone through all sorts of things together. The picture up there to the left is the one that took my breath away so many months ago, and there's been plenty of other pictures to pique my/our interest, but my all-time favorite is the one below. This is what I think of when I think of Biscuit. My friend, my confidante, my occasional partner in crime!

Happy Birthday, Biscuit!! You're the best!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

"Oh, fuck me."

Those were the first words out of my mouth this morning. But let me backtrack...

We had another long, busy weekend with symphony. Our last concert of the season was a staging (minimal sets/props/costumes) of Donizetti's opera "The Elixir of Love". A nice, light, romantic comedy sort of opera. As symphony productions go for this season, it wasn't too terribly demanding, other than the logistics of going to Missoula and fetching a "fortepiano". Similar to a harpsichord, and a precursor to the current piano. The only one in the state. But that really wasn't much of a problem. The only real complaint during the week's rehearsals was how warm it was. The building we play in is old, and doesn't have any air conditioning (it's Montana, after all...). There's ventilation, but if it's not blowing heat, it's blowing the outside air, which was very warm.

Until yesterday. Our morning rehearsal started out chilly. By our first break, the snow was sticking to the ground. It went downhill from there. While not a steady snow, it never got above 25° all day. But the wind blew all afternoon, so it looked like it was snowing. By the end of the opera, the snow had started, the temperature had dropped, and the wind was blowing. And I had equipment to load into a truck. By 12:15 AM, when I finally got in the 10' U-Haul with the fortepiano to go home, the temperature was 14°, the wind was steadily blowing, but the snow had subdued. The plan was to drive back to Missoula on Sunday to return the fortepiano.

Fast forward to this morning.

"Oh, fuck me."

Not said in the early morning light to a partner. Not because of my headache, or my neck and muscles hurting from working in the cold last night. But in a "you've got to be kidding me" voice to no one in particular. It was STILL snowing. And still in the teens, temperature-wise. I'm from Montana though, so driving in the snow is no big deal. Drive slow, drive safe, drive smart. Unless your in the cab of a 10' U-Haul lacking snow tires and having NO traction whatsoever. I started on the highway, but couldn't even start up the pass west of town without sliding out of control. The decision was simple. Find a place to store the instrument (out of the cold!), and try again later in the week.

So that's where I'm at. An unanticipated afternoon to myself. I've already chatted with someone I haven't chatted with for a few days. I've got a pot of chili started. And I've got my blankie nearby to get me a little sleep. That's the way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Friday, April 18, 2008

She's Go-o-o-o-o-o-o-ne....

Ever have the feeling of security about your friends? The feeling that they're right there when you need them? Sort of like seeing someone available on IM--you might not want to talk to them at the moment, but it's nice to know they're there? And available to you with the click of a mouse?

I didn't see this one coming. Maybe I played it the wrong way. Maybe I should have protested a little harder. Maybe I should have begged. It happened in the short span of a couple of weeks. One minute she's here, the next, she's gone. She's snuck off before--I'm used to that. But this time, it seems, it's for good. Change-of-address cards. Two weeks notice at work. Fully loaded car with a full tank of gas. The Works. She's gone...

And it's not just me that's feeling the effects. My family loves her more than they love me. She's the one that knows the "me" that you guys know. Not the "me" that they've known all these years. She's the one to embarrass me in front of them, knowing that she's omnipotent in this arena. Her boss, her family, her friends--they too, will be feeling this emptiness as well.

I'm not sure who made the first move between us. I remember that just over three years ago she asked if I lived in Helena, and that she did too! My first memory of her was a post about someone stealing her blue bra and panties from the clothesline. I knew I was hooked. We first laid eyes on each other at the opera. Our first date involved the drinking of alot of beer. Sort of set the tone for our relationship.

So who am I referring to? Rachel, of course! She took a job in Kalispell, which is about 200 miles NW of me. We'll probably be in touch more now than we have been recently! Add to the mix that Moose will be interviewing for a position up there next month, and I'll probably be spending more time up there than I have when I actually lived near the area! On a serious-ish note--I will miss having her around. Not that we were attached at the hip, but there was that security of having her right here. Truthfully, things won't really be much different than before. She's got reasons to come back down here on a somewhat regular basis, so I'll end up seeing her as much as I usually do. Cell phone and IM will take care of the regular chit-chat, much the way it has all this time. The only thing missing will be that sense of security of having her just down the street.

So she's gone, but it's not goodbye. Not even a tear shed. She's got a dream job in a dream location. She's starting new dreams in the part of the state that she loves. She'll be back in 3 weeks. How can I wish her anything but the best?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Birthday Card HNT

Another birthday down. This one seemed a little different. It's common knowledge that Evening temporarily lost her mind this past winter, and sent me a birthday e-card in November. She was good enough to send me a Thanksgiving one last week, just to even things out! That should have told me that things were going to be different this year. Next thing I know, I got a birthday card in mid-March. What's going on with that?? I didn't mention it to the sender, but she partied with us in Dallas last year, so she should have known the date. Two days later, two more cards.

Yes, my friend Q, in her demented way, celebrated my birthday for a full month, spamming me with 4 or 5 cards per week! I've never gotten birthday spam before! Below you can find just a few of the cards she sent me! Plus one each from Jessica and Phain! For those who must know--yes, I'm in my birthday suit here! Once again, many thanks to all of you for helping me celebrate!!

We have another new face, so to speak, as this week's Mystery Guest. She caused some minor confusion when she first joined us by having the same blog title as another former HNTer. I'm not even sure she realizes it! But she's certainly left her own mark on us! She's another teacher--middle school this time. I certainly don't remember any of mine looking quite like her (though I did have a crush on my junior high Spanish teacher...). Here she is--relaxing after a long day, studying her textbook and working on next week's lesson plans in her head. I'll be revealing her Thursday afternoon, so be sure to come back! The studious MG this week is Madame X from the Madame X Files (no, not that Madame X, the other one!). Stop by to see what she's working on!

"...the Other HNT" starts off its 3rd year in fine fashion. Of course, it's NSFW!! Stop by and leave a comment or two!
THEME ALERT! - Check the top of my sidebar for an announcement regarding our next theme! (it'll be there in the next day or two...)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Birthday Report

Yesterday was the fourth one I've celebrated here in Blogland. What a variety of parties! In 2005 (pre-HNT), the dozen or so readers I had were bombarded for 2 weeks that I had a birthday coming up, and, even though I didn't suggest anything in particular, I reminded them all that it was "all about ME". I also celebrated by taking a music stand in the chops, and splitting my lip just hours before a gig. I still have the indentation!

In 2006, HNT was almost a year old, and alot of people took note of it. For the first time in ages, I actually received birthday card and gifts in the mail from friends! Lots of new friends! Including a well-placed cupcake. Then I ran off to the Caribbean with the family. Not to celebrate my birthday, but who cares??

Last year was the big party (parties...) in Dallas. Wild and crazy times with wild and crazy people! Who would have imagined that I'd go to Dallas, let alone having friends fly in from New York and Las Vegas to share the weekend? Certainly a time that I'll always cherish, and a great way to turn 50! From those who couldn't be there, I got alot of nice birthday wishes online, and phone calls and texts while away. It was sort of a secret leading up to it, but once down there, we let everyone in (well, for most of the good parts...).

This year was different. Easter was early. Spring has been late. Fifty-one isn't a "banner" sort of birthday year. I made no mention of it on my site. I had no real plans. And then it started...

At 3:50 AM, I got my first birthday phone call from one of those eastern health freaks who goes to the gym for an hour before work. But it was nice and appreciated, and I knew that I could get back to sleep quickly. Then right around 5 AM, my phone gives me a text alert. Someone had written on my Facebook wall. Well that was nice. Ten minutes later, another text alert. Someone had written on my Facebook wall. Ten minutes later, well, you see where this is leading... I finally decided just to get up for the day.

My huge thanks to all who sent in birthday wishes, cards, texts, emails, attachments, e-cards, and either did special posts, or at least mentioned it. And while I'm sure to miss somebody, thanks to Rachel, Q, Biscuit, Cowgirl, Dana, Stealth, Vixen, AR, for the posts. This year, without any public announcement, I think I got the biggest birthday response so far! It's actually deeply humbling. Once again, my bloggiefriends stepped up and showed me that they mean as much to me (and in many cases, alot more) than real life ones!

The day was quite laid-back, with a small bit of symphony work during the afternoon (and a frantic phone call at night, which I blissfully ignored!). Rachel (you really need to check out the video she did for me!) and I went out for pizza and beer. It wasn't really a birthday dinner (I had to pay!!), as it was a last meal for us. She's moving away on Friday, leaving me high and dry... Well, it's not that bad. She'll be back alot, and she's only a few hours away, so there will be visits up to see her, too. But we had Howard's pizza (our favorite meal!), and watched Biggest Loser on the TVs. Gotta love a pizza/beer place that has that on! The evening ended with some drunk chatting, some phone calls, and general tiredness after a full day. Once again, THANK YOU, EVERYONE for celebrating along with me!

On a sad note--in my final bit of surfing last night, I saw that Summer's mother died of cancer yesterday. The impending death wasn't something she had blogged about yet, wanting to wait until the entire family was informed. But it happened very fast. Too fast. Keep her and her family in your prayers...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Concert review and horn tootin'

Quick overview of the Elton John concert--in short, it was fantastic. He left stage for all of 90 seconds during a 2 1/2 hour concert. And he didn't waste time between songs. He played, he bowed, he acknowledged all corners of the venue, then he'd sit back down and start the next song. And other than the five minutes he spent signing autographs for those in the front row, it was all music. Elton doesn't hit the high notes like he used to. Doesn't even try. But that's OK--the 8000 fans took care that for him. Didn't play any of his Broadway or movie songs (thank God). Played literally every song off of the first greatest hits album, plus some others from his earliest albums. All in all--a GREAT concert!! Sorry--no pics. Would have needed the big camera for anything decent. No way they were allowing those in!
I'm certainly not the type to toot my own horn (oh, who am I kidding? I'm EXACTLY that type!). Anyway, this post, according to Blogger, is #1000. I suppose it's supposed to be something profound. Not gonna happen...
Also, not in the spirit of tooting my horn (that sounds rather wrong, doesn't it?), you should go check out Rachel's post.

Friday, April 11, 2008

My Weekend

Road trip check
Equipment pick-up check
Elton John check
Return home after midnight check
Set up rehearsal asscrack of dawn check
Deliver equipment check
Rehearse check
Nap check
Load equipment oops...moved to later check
Sleep check
Load more equipment check
Unload equipment check
Set up for week's worth of rehearsals check
Shower check
Family BBQ check
Pass out in alcohol-induced/sleep-deprived coma almost there

That's my weekend. What's yours gonna be like?
I won't be around much--have a good one!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Secret Handshake HNT

I haven't really written about what I do during the day for a steady paycheck. I think I've mentioned it once, way back when. My 7 years of college and two degrees in music education find me working for a local sandwich restaurant called the St@gg3ring Ox (I don't want to be googled...). Not on the food production side, but in the office. It's a Mac environment, which is part of the reason I was hired. I spend alot of time on the computer. We're in the process of franchising (look for us!), so I've been reading up on the varying laws of each state (and realizing why attorneys get paid so much--WAY too much BS and words in a contract!). In addition, I've dabbled in graphic design, done some of the bookkeeping, book music for the weekends, answer the phones, print t-shirts, enter invoices, yadda, yadda, yadda... The only thing I really haven't done is make sandwiches!

I often question why I stick around here, given that it has nothing to do with my education, I have no benefits, and am not getting rich. Easy answer--the bosses/owners. The president of the company was two years behind me at the same high school. I didn't know him, but S1 did. His sophomore picture in my senior yearbook looks like he was a troublemaker. Well, perhaps a little. But he started up this company 25 years ago, and it is truly a "local kid makes good" sort of a story. He's laid-back, funky, liberal, and still sort of stuck in the 70s in alot of ways. His partners are also just like him. The restaurant and the sandwiches are just like him. He owns trademarks and patents on his sandwich designs. It's a hip place to be associated with. I am able to take time off when I need to, generally without question, which is handy for my musical endeavors. And frankly, it's not brain surgery working there, and the best part--I don't take my work home with me.

On Sunday, I got a phone call from him asking if I was doing anything, and that he and some friends (most of whom I've met) were going to find a place to drink some beer and play pool. I don't normally socialize with these guys at all. They drink much more than I do, dabble in an occasional recreational drug or two, and I'm usually busy with music stuff anyway. But for some reason, I figured I'd join them. When I got there, there were about 8-10 others there. The short story, one of the managers and I were the guests of honor. Both of us had been employed at the Ox for 5 years (something that's not common in the food service industry, regardless of your function). I had no idea! Instead of a cute little certificate, we were each given a silver ring, designed by a local jeweler. And everyone else there also had a ring. I was previously unaware of this new clique I was now a member of, but it's a group of guys who have been a major force in the development of the Ox. Not all necessarily working there, but investors, friends who have helped out with construction projects, and those who have shared the dream over the years. And every five years, there's a new ring. Just for this small group of friends.

So I drank too many beers on a Sunday afternoon. And played alot of pool. And smoked cigars. And generally had a great time. Sort of like a fraternity, but without the naked ass-paddling in the basement. And I wore my new ring. I have to get it resized, obviously, but here it is. Sorry the detail isn't there, but it's an ox head, with garnets as the eyes. I'm not much for wearing jewelry of any kind, but I'm going to wear the ring. As hokey as it may sound, it represents appreciation for my work. Something I rarely got while teaching (well, I did from the students, but not the parents or administration...), and rarely get with the symphony. Now all I need to get is the key to the executive restroom and learn the secret handshake!

of life.

Life is
a combination
of the two
in varied
doses and degrees.

more of
the bitter
- sadness;

other times
more of
the sweet
- gladness.

Whichever way
it may be,
the two sides
are there

to balance
each other out.

The MG this week also celebrated a birthday on Monday! It's Bittersweet! She's been gone all day, so she hasn't been able to commment at all, but go over to say hi anyway!

"...the Other HNT" celebrates its 2nd anniversary this week! I find that equally amazing as the run that HNT has had. While it's not everyone's cup of tea, it's something that many HNTers have found fits a certain niche. http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifThere are some who have become quite regular over there, while many are just occasional contributors. But a wide majority of HNTers haven't felt the need to be more nekkid than they are on their own sites. And that's fine too! Hopefully you'll stop by and check out the variety this week! There's a few more than usual. Of course, it's still definitely NSFW!
As you've seen in my header, I've been featuring different views of what I would consider the most beautiful 365 acres on earth - Augusta National Golf Club. Site of the Masters golf tournament. Before I die, I shall walk the green grass at Augusta (Q? -- keep working on that for us!!!). In the meantime, between symphony rehearsals, an Elton John concert, and a birthday BBQ with the family, I'll be glued to the TV. If you wanted to know more about the tournament and/or the course, check out these FAQs!
Be sure to stop by and check out Hollz' site. She couldn't stay up late tonight.
How about Brico, Crimson or Muse??

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Gotta Watch "Ten Commandments" Tonight...

R.I.P - Charleton Heston
Oct. 4, 1923 - April 5, 2008

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Gettin' My Geek On!

Watched Episode I last night, Episodes I & II tonight, and am about to pop Episode III into the DVD player. Geez, I need to get a life...

Conflict of Interest, or Brilliant Marketing?

Does anyone else find it odd that an automobile insurance company (Esurance) would be pimping out the new "Speed Racer" movie??

And as a side note--the girl's name is Erin Esurance, and you wouldn't believe the number of nasty images of her out there, and the things that she'll do!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Answering Some Questions...

Here are some answers and some comments to the various comments left to me over the past week, in no particular order:
  • The pickles were, in fact, consumed. Not just immediately after the picture. Very astute of those of you who know me well enough to assume that.
  • Surprisingly, no, the pickle juice didn't burn or sting the nostrils.
  • Also surprisingly, there wasn't a lingering smell afterwards. Probably due to the use of a wet paper towel up the nostrils afterwards. Or I still have a bit of a cold and can't smell anything.
  • It IS a sin to waste a good pickle. Fortunately, I don't have to worry about that!
  • There is a fine line between extreme creativity and hopelessness.
  • I'm working on ways to make it up to you...really!
  • Yes, I like to golf, and yes I LOVE the image up there.
  • Yes, that's Augusta (16th green, from the tee).
  • Yes, I'm working on a HNT project, but it's a surprise. None of you are involved. Curious???
  • Not propositioning anyone, per se, but I need a date for the Elton John concert next Friday (might have that taken care of...).
  • The "HNT Refresher Course" was not intended as a back-patting thing for me, but I appreciate the kind comments.
  • The 5-second rule did, in fact, apply to the kitchen floor shot. It was a 2-second timer on the camera!
Just found out that symphony hell starts up again in full force on Monday. Hadn't expected the really obnoxious BS to start until next weekend. Ah, well. It's been a slow couple of weeks, so I guess it'll get my blood running again (hopefully only figuratively!).

On the Tip of My Tongue HNT

Ever have that experience where you hear a particular word, and all of a sudden, you hear it all day, and in conversations, and on the news, etc.? It's happened to me in just the past couple of days. I think it started on Sunday, when I was listening to John Philip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever" (as an aside--the finest march ever written). Nothing quite like the piccolo solo to stir the patriotic pot!

Then I had to stop off at one of the local music stores on Monday. The name of the store? Piccolo's Music. Can you see where this is leading? Not quite? I continue...

I was talking on the phone with Jessica yesterday. Out of the blue, she asks me if I've seen the Orbit Gum commercial. The one with the following script:
woman 1: you son of a biscuit eating bulldog
man: what the french toast
woman 1: you think I wouldn't find out about your little doodoo head cootie queen
woman 2: who are you calling a cootie queen you lint licker
woman 1: pickle you kumquat
man: your overreacting
woman 1: no Bill overreacting was when I put you convertible into a wood chipper, stinky mcstink face
woman 2: you hoboken
Orbit Girl: fabulous, new orbit raspberry mint cleans another dirty mouth, for a good clean feeling no matter what!
No. I don't know what it means. But it seems pretty nasty. And a word that seems so familiar. I'm beginning to feel like Richard Dreyfuss in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind". Things seem to mean something, and it's almost clear, but not quite there. Then I go to Q's site. She had a post up earlier in the week about watching "The Grand Ole Opry" to catch the performance of Kellie Pickler (and some other hick...).

I just don't know what it is, but something has been on the tip of my tongue all week (or tip of my nose, as the case may be...).

(no, I didn't eat them right after this. really!)

This week's Mystery Guest is someone I've been following since late 2005. She was sort of hit and miss with HNT, and then she moved from the east coast to the west. And she disappeared.
Until one day I was perusing blogs, and lo and behold! There she was! I left a comment wishing her a Happy Chinese New Year, which must have caused a spark, because she's been back with a vengeance! She's no longer the east coast college graduate, but now a west coast artsy-fartsy type. She even listens to Rachmaninoff! In spite of what you see here, she's a fan of "interesting" underwear, and we've gotten the benefit of seeing some of it... She's also described a most sensual version of eating a hard-boiled egg. None of this "peel and eat" for her!
We'll reveal who she is Thursday afternoon, but as always, if you think you recognize her, stop by and say hi! Ooh! This one stumped most of you! These pretty hands belong to Lucia at "Living the Change". Stop by, check out her site, and welcome her back to HNT!

"...the Other HNT" continues to draw all sorts of people. And the comments are getting more frequent. Yay! Be sure to stop by this week's and let them know your appreciation! And yes, it's NSFW over there!
Ran across an interesting site today. There have been feable attempts over the years to mimic or spoof HNT, but this one makes a pretty good stab at it. Unfortunately, I don't think he's going to want to keep it going...
Do the names Foxglove, HappyKap or Shora ring any bells?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


April is here! By far, my favorite month of the year, for so many reasons! It's going to be a busy one, with an opera to put on, a project to complete for HNT, a short road trip for a concert (you interested in going, he asks her...?), and a couple of other things happening.
Have any of you gotten an email from Anuj Agrawal, offering a stream of his photos to embed on your site? I got one to both my regular gmail, and the anonymous gmail. It's got to be spam, but I won't check. Did any of you?
Over the past week, a new musical passion has been rekindled. All worthy of its own post, but I haven't listened to my iTunes on my computer since this rediscovery. I've decided I was born 30 years too late, but then that would have been 8 years before my mother was born, so that would be sort of weird....
Great news on the router situation--three days, and absolutely no problems. Yay!
Watch out today--don't let anyone fool you!