Friday, October 31, 2008

Top Ten (or so) Favorite Scary-ish Movies

I was going to redo my template with a Halloween theme, but time caught up with me and I didn't get around to doing it. Instead, I'm re-posting something I did a couple of years ago. Nothing's changed, so it's still pertinent! I have edited little bits of it though... If you're partying for Halloween, have fun but be safe (yes, Dad...). I'll be home all night watching scary movies and drinking beer!
As promised earlier last week, here's my top ten list of my favorite monster/scary movies. They may not be the goriest, or most hi-tech, but I prefer them this way. They are far better movies than gorefests. I will almost always watch these to their conclusion if I happen upon them while switching channels. I got to see a couple of these over the past week while watching TCM's "Underground"--a series of old sci-fi/monster movies hosted by Rob Zombie (how cool is that??). I had no idea Mr. Zombie was such a skinny little guy. But I digress...

Here's my top ten faves:

#10-The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)--"Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!" Perfect example of substance over flash. Effects not all that good, even for 1951, but I suspect that in its day, it was quite discomforting. If a spaceship landed in D.C. today, no one would be allowed within miles. In 1951, you could bring the family down to look at it from no further away than 30 yards! EDIT: The remake of this, starring Keanu Reeves, opens Dec. 12th. Curious to see how it does.

#9-Tales From the Crypt (1972)--No, not the cheesy HBO TV series. The original movie. Five tales of impending fate for five imperfect strangers. They are given the option of avoiding their fates - by avoiding living out the rest of their lives. Many memorable moments, including a young Joan Collins being murdered by Santa Claus. Also brings to mind the movie "Asylum", also from 1972.

#8-Frankenstein (1931)--The granddaddy of them all. Not the first monster movie, but the first that truly made the genre such a hit. Frankenstein's monster was grotesque, the story was horrifying, and it was eaten up by the public--at least those who didn't faint! The attempt by man to play God once again fails. But at least he launched a whole new series of movies! By the end of the movie, you actually feel some pity for the monster. Perhaps the mob outside burning down the windmill was the real monster??? Hard to believe that the same guy who could play the monster would go on to narrate "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas"!

#7-Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954)--I can't remember exactly when I first saw this--grade school, I'm sure. I love this monster! He lives in the Amazon, swims around among some gorgeous scenery, and then falls in love with the girl on this boat. He swims a few feet under her as she's out in the water. He's just shy and horny. This movie was originally filmed in 3D, so there's lots of harpoons and bubbles and swimming towards the camera action going on. As with many of the monster movies from this era, you sort of have feelings for the monster by the end of the movie.

#6-The Omen (the original trilogy)--Creepy little kid is born as the anti-Christ. This is one series that I actually liked all three movies. Following Damien as a little boy, to his teenaged years, to his adulthood. You don't feel sorry for him in the end... EDIT: The remake of this last year was a huge disappointment. Which is about par for the course, I believe. Very risky to mess with proven classics!

#5-Night of the Living Dead (1968)--This movie shows what you can do on an incredibly small budget. Yeah, the make-up is cheesy, and the dialog pretty cliche, but the story not only scared you, but also touched on race relations, family relations, distrust of government and the like. Great scene of zombies munching on intestines, organs and limbs at the burned out truck!

#4a-Young Frankenstein (1974)
#4b-Mars Attacks! (1996)--OK, so they're comedies. But fine examples of movies based on the genre. "Young Frankenstein" used some of the original movie's lab equipment, and used references to it and other Frankenstein classics. With a healthy dose of puns and laughter. Someone called in alot of favors for "Mars Attacks!". Patterned on the UFO movies of the 50s, its cast included over a dozen big-name, big-buck actors, including Jack Nicholson (in 2 roles), Glenn Close, Michael J. Fox, Pierce Brosnan, Jack Black, Paul Winfield, Rod Steiger, Natalie Portman, Annette Benning and Danny Devito. And Tom Jones. Among numerous others. While it could have become quite cartoonish, the movie was played seriously, and even had a couple of grotesque moments!

#3a-Poltergeist (1982)
#3b-Poltergeist III (1988)--Another trilogy that worked pretty well. Except for #2. And #3 was a little weak, but the concept of evil characters in the mirror (or any reflective surface) was a bit freaky. No, the scariest part of the movies are the deaths of those associated with the movies, in particular, the death of 12 year old Heather O'Rourke ("They're heeeerrrreeee....!). The real life stories are far scarier than the movies (though that clown in the picture still gives me chills...

#2-The Shining (1980)--"Heeeeeerrree's Johnny!" Stephen King's novel as envisioned by Stanley Kubrick. As mentioned in an earlier post, the music to this movie is amazing. The scenery outstanding (for the little bit that you get to see). While the movie's best scenes involve Jack, there are plenty of others. The tidal wave of blood from the elevator. The two very disturbing twins. Danny holding a large knife screaming "REDRUM! REDRUM!" This movie has just about all the good things that a horror movie should have. Great story, just enough blood, twists and turns. And Jack is phenomemal.

#1-The Exorcist (1973)--No real surprise here. This movie scares the bejeezus out of me to this day. To the point that I have only seen it all the way through without breaks twice in my life. I usually have to get up at the point where she first hears "rats" in the ceiling. Having been raised a good Catholic, I definitely remember the outcry that followed this movie. Crowds stood outside the theaters to pray for the souls that the devil would take from those who watched the movie. Some scenes were so disturbing that people got physically ill, or fainted. Certain scenes never made it to the screen as they were deemed "too graphic"--one of which is the famous "spider crawl" scene depicted in the b&w picture.
On the other hand, I spent an evening with Moose and watched "The Exorcist". She just laughed.

So there you have it. I would recommend all thirteen movies (yeah, I know. That's more than ten. Deal with it.).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Choices, Choices, Choices HNT

Wow. There's so many different things I could have gone with today. The obvious route would have been a Halloween HNT, but I'm not feeling it this year. No party plans, no trick-or-treaters that come by, no reason to bother getting dressed up or costumed. I'll probably just watch scary movies (old school stuff, thank you) in the dark.

So, if not Halloween, what else is there? Lots of football going on, but nothing really jumped out at me.

I could do something like early January, 2007, where I took a picture in front of a gas station, with the sign showing gas for $1.99/gallon. Today, it's dipped down to $2.48, and should keep going down. It's nice enough weather to do it to--temps in the mid-60s for most of the week. But I didn't want to rub that in the faces of the poor people in the New England area (heehee...). Speaking of England--did you hear that it snowed in London??? What's up with that? (Please notice I touched on three or four different subjects in this paragraph alone!)

I decided to settle on the election. One week from today, ballots will have been cast and counted, and a new US president will probably have been determined. As well as over 400 Congressmen, almost 20 Senators, and innumerable state/county/local officials, referendums, initiatives and the like. Like all of you (well, stateside, anyway) have been subject to all sorts of billboards, news reports, junk mail, radio/TV ads, etc., all trying to get you to choose their specific candidate or cause. And if you're like me, you're ready for it to be done with. Well, the good news for me? I am!! I went and voted on Monday!

I've never voted early. Nor have I ever voted by mail (new-ish concept in Montana). But I've voted in every general election since the time I was able! I don't know that it was drilled into me that I should vote, but I am constantly amazed/appalled by the number of people who claim to have voted in only one election, or none at all!! What's up with that?? It's the basis of a democratic society to be able to let your opinion be heard! The concept that "my vote doesn't count" is a crock! There's only a few days left to register to vote, if you haven't already. If you're unsure what to do, don't be afraid to ask for help! It's easy!!! And once you're registered, be sure that you use that right!!

So my choices? It's a secret ballot, so I'm not going to tell. Though I think I voted for the winner (and doesn't that just seem to make sense? why would you vote for someone you thought would lose??). And for my choice for a picture for HNT, I chose to show myself listening to the archive of my web radio interview with Turnbaby! Nothing like listening to myself drone on for 90 minutes to put me to sleep! Oh, with my "I Voted!" stickers too!

Like how I was all over the place this week??

A dozen girls’ chemises
drying on a line,
floral lace at the breast
like rose windows in a Gothic cathedral.

shield Thou me from all evil.

--excerpted from
Czech poem

This particular Mystery Guest will not be revealing herself. She might let you know if you're right, if you think you know who it is!
Another good collection of pictures over at "...the Other HNT"! Be sure you stop by to check them out. NSFW, as always!
Don't forget to help console poor BTExpress next week! He turns 60 on Election Day--double whammie there! Help him out of his funk with your boobs! Send him a picture of your boobies with some sort of short birthday message on them! Those of you with bigger boobies can leave a longer message! :-P Or better yet--post it as your HNT for next week and share with all of us! Boobies 4 BTE! Don't forget!

Something brewing in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Turnbaby Talks! - aftermath

Well, that wasn't so bad! She made the mistake of thinking it could all be done in 60 minutes though. You've seen how verbose I can be here--just imagine what I might be like in a live conversation! She ended up extending the show to 90 minutes. And still didn't get to ask all the questions she wanted! If you want to listen, go here. No guarantees as to whether you'll be disappointed or not!

EDIT: Oh, hell. We went so long I spaced out the "Great Pumpkin"!!! Ah, heck, it was worth it!

Turnbaby Talks!

Don't forget to tune in tonight! I'll be Turnbaby's guest for the evening. Click on the button to go directly there! Apparently we'll be half-nekkid for the hour, though I don't know if you're required to be as well. You're more than welcome to! And if you feel the urge, call the number to join in on the conversation, too! I hope you all realize the apprehensions I have--my dorkiness is something I try to keep a tight reign on. It might all slip away tonight!

TMI Tuesday #158 - Firsts!!!

First names and approximate age is fine too many of you aren't anonymous and too many of you wish to stay anonymous.

1. Who and when was your first crush? - Janice F. in the 4th grade. She gave me a great marble at the end of the year, and told me to hold it for her until next fall. Unfortunately, her family moved to Denver that summer. They came back three years late, but the flame had died. She still lives here, her parents and mine are best friends, and though we don't socialize, we see each other from time to time. She is a very high-level attorney within state government. Yes, I still have the marble (somewhere...). Ooh! Edit: I forgot! She was Miss Montana one particular year (gotta keep that part secret).
2. Who and when was your first date? - Hmmm... Must have been Diane N., sometime in the 8th grade. Probably went to a movie or something. Probably a "group" activity, too.
3. Who and when was your first kiss? - Most definitely was Diane N., in her driveway, early August, 1970 (just before 8th grade). I was visiting her and her best friend, who had just invited me to my first "co-ed" birthday party. I was on my bike and about to leave, and Diane tapped me on my shoulder. I turned around, and she grabbed my face and planted a kiss on me. I lived about 10 blocks away, mostly uphill, but I pedaled my Stingray bike (with banana seat, thank you) home in about 4 minutes!
4. Who and when was your first partner while "fooling around" in car? - Well, until I could drive, Mom was my chauffeur, so there was precious little "fooling around" for a long time. Don't recall any while riding with friends, either. So that would mean sometime after I started driving (16), which would probably mean Julie U. Many times. In the back of an Oldsmobile station wagon. Haven't seen her since the day we graduated.
5. Who and when was your first partner while "fooling around" in a house? - This is easy--Kathy H. while she was baby-sitting. She was a year younger than me. She took my virginity. I didn't take hers...
6. Who and when was your first love? - Well, I thought there'd been a couple, but the REAL true love was Volcano Girl, 1980. All others, before and after, are compared to her.
Bonus: Who's blog did you first comment on? - Probably would have been Moose, but she's the one who got me into blogging, so she doesn't count. So the first "stranger" I commented on would have been Lizabeth, who actually commented on mine first (she recognized my band!). She's also the first non-local blogger that I've met in person (#4 on my list)!

Go check out the TMI site to see who else participated!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tuesday Night Entertainment (and other thoughts)

Don't forget! I'm going to be Turnbaby's guest tomorrow on her weekly radio show! Sixty minutes of questions and answers, pontifications, and opinions! I might even let her get a word in edgewise! The fun starts on Tuesday, 8PM EDT! Click on the "Turnbaby Talks" picture to get directed to the radio show!
After you've been amazed and thrilled by the witty dialog that Turnbaby and I promise to deliver, then head over to your TV and watch "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!" on ABC! There are certain shows that should be seen on a yearly basis, without fail. This is one of those!
For those who might be interested, my triangle debut was perfect! The entire concert was pretty darned good, too! I did have a scary moment. As I mentioned originally, I also had bass drum duties in this concert. The short story--I lost control of a timpani mallet (needed for some precision drum rolls), it flew up and behind me, and I was able to grab it out of thin air and still come in correctly on time with my next roll. All in the span of about 2-3 seconds. Didn't miss a beat! A maneuver that would make the Concord Blue Devils drumline go ooh and ahh! (I'll be impressed with anyone who knows what that means!). In short--a job well done by everyone! Next up--the Messiah, and two performances of the Nutcracker, all within 7 days. Can you smell the excitement?
Is it just me, or are the word verifications starting to look like real words?
There's an entire generation or two out there who don't know how to pop popcorn the old-fashioned way (and I'm not talking about those air poppers we had in the dorm rooms...). Do YOU know how?
Is this not one of the most attractive women you've never seen??

OK, I'm not a fan of video games. Seriously, the only one we ever had was Pong (which kicked butt!!). I've never bothered with anything since. I've attempted Guitar Hero, but found it grossly lacking (great music, less than exciting action--I think musicians have a harder time with it). But this commercial for the new Guitar Hero coming out is pretty good. Alex Rodriguez, Tony Hawk, Michael Phelps, and Kobe Bryant. Channeling Tom Cruise. Say what you may about star power (or Kobe...), it certainly looks like these guys had some fun!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

"My Butt Broke the Internet"

As mentioned on Thursday afternoon, the MG for the week was Becky (Hello Haha Narf). In addition to her fine booty gracing my site, she also posted two pictures of her ass for her own HNT. Unfortunately, as noted in the comments, her site was unavailable for most of the day. At first she wasn't aware of the problem, which caused great anxiety, as one can imagine. Sitting in front of her computer, waiting for emails to let her know that someone commented, yet never getting any... Does wonders for the ego.

When she finally realized the problem, she emailed me. I, of course, would mention that her site was down when I revealed her. The problem...Blogger was unavailable for awhile that afternoon. This convinced her that her butt broke the internet. I mentioned that would look good on a T-shirt. And a star was born...

She's opened up an online store where you can purchase your own Hello Haha Narf "My Butt Broke the Internet" T-shirt! It appears that there's a variety of colors, styles, and sizes (all the way up to 6X!!), as well as ladies, kids and baby styles. And there's some other Midnight Cliff items, including refrigerator magnets and a beer stein! Hurry over and be the first of your internet buddies to buy something! Only 2 months until Christmas!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My Little Ding HNT

It was mentioned about a week ago that I'm in the midst of symphony week. Which, of course, means that I'm insanely busy this week. Equipment moving started today (Wednesday), and I'll be in constant work mode through Sunday afternoon. But if you've been around this blog at all, you know I thrive on this stuff!

A wrench that's been thrown into the works (and an incredibly HUGE wrench) is that, at the same time that I'm setting the stage for rehearsal, we expect the delivery of this:

That's right! Just under 9' of ebony and ivory goodness! The Steinway Concert Grand Piano Model D. Argh, argh, argh! An anonymous woman, after hearing us at the summer concert this year, offered to buy us a brand new, built-for-us, never-been-played Steinway! Purchased in NYC, shipped to Boise for assembly, and trucked up to us as you're reading this! There's a deeper story as to why she's doing this, but the main point is that she's footing the bill for the piano, the transportation, technician's expenses, and two days of adjusting and fine-tuning it specifically for our concert hall. I can't give you a definite figure, but the piano alone sells for several thousand over $100,000. I hope I don't let it roll off the edge of the stage...

As for the concert itself, I mentioned that one of the two pieces we're playing doesn't require any trombones or tuba (Gustav Mahler's 4th Symphony). That's Mahler, below, looking like a cross between John Lithgow and Christopher Walken. So I volunteered to play in the percussion section if they needed me. And they did. While I've played percussion in the past, this will be my debut with the triangle. Which is a big deal, mainly because of an incident with the kindergarten Christmas show. I'd rather not go into that... So far, it hasn't been too bad. There's even a place in the music that calls for the "dinner bell" technique (that's for you, Q!).

It was mentioned in earlier comments, possibly as an ego boost, that the piece wouldn't be the same without the little dings. In fact, there were many comments regarding my little ding. To the point that it became apparent that it had to be the subject of my HNT this week. However, I felt it best to keep it hidden behind Gustav. So be sure to click for my little ding...

We had some troubles getting the MG pics delivered to me, so I didn't have time to come up with anything poetic or sweet. So here's a partial list of attributes:
--She's Irish/Polish. And a redhead.
--She bleeds black and gold.
--She has her own barrel of Maker's Mark bourbon!
--She thinks like a guy.
--She drinks like a fish.
--She swears like a sailor.
--She hates feet.
--She's asked a store clerk about anal bleach.
But most of all...
--She's wonderful!

She'll be revealed Thursday afternoon, but if you know her (and lord knows I gave enough clues!), stop by and say hi!
This week's MG broke the internet! She's Becky (Hello Haha Narf) over at Midnight Cliff. As you might have seen in her comments here today, her site is down. She doesn't know why. Just go over and see if she's back up, and tell her it's not her butt that broke the internet!!! Edit: After having Blogger go unavailable as I'm trying to post this--makes me think that maybe she did...
Many new "faces" over at "...the Other HNT" this week. Stop by and check them out! And leave a little comment love for your fellow HNTers! NSFW, as usual.
I think the oldest participant in HNT would have to be BTExpress. He's been around since the early, early days. He's going to be faced with a double whammy in a couple of weeks. His birthday falls on Election Day (Nov. 4th). As if having to share your bday with the circus that is the election wasn't bad enough, he's going to be turning (are you ready for this?) SIXTY YEARS OLD! So, I'm reversing myself about themes. We'll have a theme for the Nov. 6th HNT. "Boobies for BTE!" Post a picture of your boobies, with some sort of mention of BTE! Painted on, Photoshopped on, with a sign, whatever... We need to raise this man's spirits! I mean, he's close to ancient!! Guys, I know for a fact that he's not interested in yours, but you should do it too! I'm sure he'd appreciate the gesture!
Exciting news! I'm going to be Turnbaby's guest next week on her weekly radio show! For those who haven't checked out her show before, they're all archived on her BlogTalkRadio site, "Turnbaby Talks!" (click the picture, over here on the left). It promises to be sixty minutes of riveting questions and answers, pontifications, and opinions! It probably won't be ALL half-nekkid, as I'm sure that we'll touch on some other subjects--music, in particular. We'll also get to do the popular QuidProQuo--where she asks me some sort of thought-provoking question, and I get to turn around and do the same to her! Other than that, it's all a crap shoot! We might have 60 minutes of awkward silence. Who knows? Come check it out! Next Tuesday, 8PM EDT!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

TMI Tuesday #157

1. Have you ever felt guilty or ashamed after a sexual experience? Yes.
2. Did you ever own a fake ID? Never needed to. Drinking age was 18 at the pertinent time, but I'd been buying beer at the same store since I was 16. Honestly, the first time I was ever carded for buying alcohol (beer) was about 2 months ago (store policy to card EVERYONE)!
3. How often do you tell white lies? Is it with or without thinking? I used to do it on a regular basis while I was teaching. Anymore, not as much, simply because I can no longer keep the lies straight!
4. On a scale of 1-10, how well do you receive constructive criticism? Depends on my attitude towards the person giving it. If I think they're incompetent or complete morons, I'd say about a 2. If it's someone who obviously knows what they're talking about, and I can learn from them, I'd say a 10. I'm either one end or the other.
5. Have you ever shaved your pubic hair? Nope.
Bonus: What percentage of women do you think are capable of handling being in a "friends with benefits" relationship? How about men? After reading blogs for as long as I have, I think women can do it much better than men these days. Men can definitely do the one night stand better. But I think many men, for as macho as they might think they are, will generally want a FWB relationship to develop into something more. Personally, while I love the concept and wish I were young enough to have taken advantage of the it, I would not do the FWB thing well at all. I'll deny it, but I'm a hopeless romantic. So back to the percentages...women--75%/men--30%.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Movie Cast

OK, I've been stewing over this one for awhile, and put it off in the back of my mind, hoping it would disappear. But no, it's raised its ugly head again, and demands my facing it straight on. It's that damned movie cast meme that B tagged me with a couple of weeks ago.
"The idea is to select celebrities/actors to play the parts in the story of your life today (including yourself!), who would it be and why - this can be based on looks or personality!"
The basic premise of this is the assumption that I have a family, kids, a significant other, close friends, or others that I've mentioned over and over here. Hence the reason for putting this off. It wasn't too hard to come up with someone to play me, but who else would I include? I think I've finally come up with the answers...
ME - I've always liked John Goodman (but not when he was in "Roseanne" or as the football coach in "Revenge of the Nerds"). He's a big lump of a guy that is likable, enjoys life, is occasionally self-effacing, and would be the best friend you could ask for. I think that's alot like me. My favorite roles of his (and I certainly haven't seen a great deal of his movies) were as "Al", Richard Dreyfuss' sidekick in "Always", and as the voice of "Sully" in "Monsters, Inc."

The SYMPHONY - This organization has been the main musical force in my life over the past 15+ years. I'm not saying we play as good as these guys, but in a fantasy, wouldn't you want the best to portray the characters? I choose the Chicago Symphony over the other major ones, simply because their brass section has historically been the best of any others. Here is the 1906 brass section:

IN CAHOOTS W/THE MOB RULES HORNS - Even though we haven't played together in over a year, this movie couldn't be made without including them. Again, I choose to cast us with the best. That being Chicago. The core of our horn section for all those years was similar to theirs, both in instrumentation, and the fact that it hasn't changed since the beginning.

MOOSE, RACHEL and KAMEY - These are the girls I drink beer with whenever I can. Which is more difficult these days, since two of them ran off to Alaska and the third moved 200 miles away. Collectively, they know just about every single secret I have (but not all of them!). Interestingly, I don't think the three of them have sat down together more than two or three times. Some might find my choice as mean or something. Those that know me would recognize it as a choice of endearment. I'll let you decide who's who...

YOU GUYS (youse guys/y'all/all of ya) - This was both particularly hard, yet obviously easy. There's no question that I'm much closer with some of you than I am with others. And you know individually who you are. To make characters of each of you would make this meme FAR too long. And you KNOW that I'd leave someone out. So how could I find a character that would represent all of the friends and acquaintances I've made online? And it hit me! Those mystical, fictional (do any of you REALLY exist??) denizens from the Land of Os:

As usual--no tags from me on this one. Do it if you want!

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's still Breast Cancer Awareness Month

As we're all aware, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And even though Boobie-Thon is over, the month continues on. And as October is over, the disease continues on... As a reminder, and totally by chance, I got two emails today to share:

The first one is from Sarah. None of you know her. She's a friend in my offline world. She sent out a link to this site. The Boobie-Thon site also mentions this site. It's offers free mammograms. Not like you can sign up for free ones, but the sponsors of the site contribute money towards mammograms, based on the number of visitors who click on the big pink button. You don't have to do anything other than click on the button. No forms, no names, no email addresses. Just go and click! And you can stop by and click once a day, so I encourage you to do that...

The second email I got was from former HNTer Zoely (we all remember her!). This is a bit more localized to her (New England). Hope is the mother of one of Zoely's son's friends. She has not had good luck with her treatments for breast cancer. An excerpt of a note that was emailed out to friends:
From Hope:
I received the results from my second scan this weekend, and it is not good. The cancer has spread into my bones, (Lower Back, hip, back of my legs and the middle of my chest) which is causing me all these horrible body aches. My liver has gotten worse too.
They have started radiation today, and I will have to continue that for 10 days straight. (M-F 1:30 everyday) I also started today a new chemo seeing the last one "stopped working".
Her friends have started signing up for car rides, food deliveries, etc. And there's also a $20/day copay for her to continue alternative treatments. As Zoely stated in her email, maybe this is too "local" for any of us to care about, but any and all prayers, good vibes and good juju that is sent their way certainly can't hurt! If any of you are inclined to offer more, or want to know what else you might be able to do, just email me and I'll forward some details.

It's an ugly disgusting disease, and any little thing that we can do will help.

Moving on...

Yesterday's post seemed to elicit alot of soul-searching it seems. Almost like I did that on purpose... I was heartened by the emails and comments since Wednesday night. A couple of responses to comments, and then it's time to move on...
  • I think the main focus of the post was missed by many. I'm not a prude. There's not much that I won't go back and look at again! This was not a rant against full nekkidness. Heck, the first two guidelines say that nude is OK, as are sex acts! That pretty much leaves the door wide open, doesn't it? So I say, go for it! But only if you feel comfortable doing it!
  • My rant was directed at the misrepresentation of HNT "out there" recently, and at those who push that misrepresentation. Sadly, I don't think it will be much of a deterrent, though now that it's been brought to light...
  • There were many comments and emails, from both men and women, saying that they had felt pressured to show more. Or that they weren't aware of the guidelines. Many more than I had realized. Those were an affirmation that the post needed to be written.
  • (added edit) My comment about being sorry was not for writing the post (because I wasn't), but for the disruption in your HNT "routines" (**coughcoughVixencough**). I know that many of you in the Eastern time zone stay up late, just to post your comments, so I'm sure my name was taken in vain at least a couple of times. That's OK. It's not the first time, and certainly won't be the last!
  • I urge you to check out Figleaf's pre-HNT post for the week. He writes far better than I, and gave his opinion/view. You'll have to scroll past his cut/paste of my rant to get to his. Just look below the picture of the heel.
  • Speaking of the heel--that was my first HNT from May 2005. After 18 holes of golf. Mother's Day. I shot a 77 that day! Not sure why it blistered, but it hurt like a bugger!

The price of gas dropped to $2.999/gallon yesterday $2.899 this morning! Yes, I know that some of you are paying 40-50¢ less than that, but let me rejoice in it up here! Sad how over-inflated prices from the summer make you excited to see this benchmark...
There was a Jack Ryan marathon on AMC last night. I would have liked to have seen Harrison Ford in "Hunt for Red October"...
I stepped into Shopko for the first time in probably over two years on Wednesday. And there they were--the Christmas trees. And ornaments. And other knick-knacks. Over two weeks before Halloween. The clerk disgustedly said that they'd been up since late September. I walked away with my head hung in shame, carrying my bag with the TWO Christmas items I purchased from her...
Symphony week is going to be an ass-kicking next week. Very busy. My triangle skills are improving, however!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Refresher Course HNT

Comments have opened up!
Sorry, but it needed to be done.

couple of things caught my attention over the past week or so. Two instances of a growing HNT problem. I sort of addressed it not too long ago over here. Unfortunately, it's like preaching to the choir. The people who need to see it never do. So I put it here on the day that everyone's going to be stopping by...

The problem--"Is HNT a sex meme?" Since I'm the one calling the shots, I can emphatically declare that NO, it is NOT. Never has been.
  • Instance 1--a particular sexblogger sees this HNT thing going on, complete with boobies and butts and hoohaws, and decides to jump in. With no idea what it's all about or that there's guidelines. And when said blogger finally DOES read the guidelines, they make the comment that it's totally different than what they were lead to believe. That's happened a few times... It's apparent that HNT is being misrepresented "out there", and that, more than anything, pisses me off.
  • Instance 2--actually a lump of instances. Bloggers who recruit others to join in HNT. No mention of guidelines. Just an invitation to show boobies in what's been a "safe" environment. And that's all it is to them--the boobies. Or more. One has even said that they wouldn't follow the guidelines anyway. My response to that then would be to quit calling what you do HNT. Because it's not.
Before I continue--I have NOTHING against the showing of boobies, etc., for HNT. I welcome it, trust me! I'm not suggesting that people quit doing it. But the constant pressure to "show" just a bit more, or a lot more, or that NOT showing somehow is not the "HNT way", really needs to stop. HNT should never infringe upon a blogger's personal comfort zone. Push it, and maybe stretch it more than they thought possible, but even that isn't really necessary. That seems to come with each person's experience. There's no question that literally scores of HNTers have quit participating over the years because of the sexual nature that seems to be emphasized and pushed by too many. This is not to say that sex bloggers (and there's many of them) aren't welcome. EVERYONE is welcome! And frankly, they aren't much of a problem. But there's still too many that think that HNT is nothing but sex and boobies. It seems to be worse now than it's been in the past.

So for everyone's benefit, I again post the guidelines below. These appeared after the first week of HNT in May 2005. After 3+ years, some of the guidelines have lost their effectiveness (no faces/no multiples), but the essence certainly never has. Too many of you have never read these. Many of you have forgotten. Consider this your refresher course.

The Guidelines

I offer these guidelines for "Half-Nekkid Thursday":
  • In that North American, Puritanical way that most of my readers think, "Nekkid", or its variations, somehow insinuates sex, or its variations. WRONG!! The purpose of "Half-Nekkid Thursday" is not to see sex acts! It is the celebration of exposure. Of your big toe. Of your breastbone. Of your knuckles. Of your uvula. Whatever. Of course, sex acts can qualify, so if you want to post those.....
  • "Nekkid" is not the same as nude! Again, nude qualifies, but it is not a requirement!
  • Pictures should be taken of you or by you. Don't be going to some internet site and downloading "Half-Nekkid" pics. And don't use Uncle Bob's pictures from Spring Break '72, either. Let's try to keep this fairly "real".
  • You don't necessarily have to be the subject of the picture. By the same token, if you're not, then the subject(s) should be known to you. No fair going to the beach and snapping pictures left and right. Yes, they might be "Half-Nekkid", but they don't follow the spirit of "Half-Nekkid Thursday".
  • While animals can be included in a "Half-Nekkid Thursday" picture, they are not the focus, therefore cannot be the subject. If an animal is all that keeps your picture "Half-Nekkid" rather than "Full-Nekkid", that's OK.
  • You are allowed a very limited number of cute-kids-in-the-tub type of pictures. We're interested in YOU!
  • Use some originality with your shots. Facial shots should be limited. Artsy body landscapes, conversely, are highly encouraged. If a partner/family member is needed to take the picture, that's OK.
  • Props can help you with creativity, and their use is encouraged, but not necessary.
  • As we get into this, you may find that you want to post more than one picture for "Half-Nekkid Thursday". I would discourage this practice unless absolutely necessary. You should hold some pictures in reserve, in case you find yourself without a new picture down the road.
  • While I can hardly control when you post pictures on your own blogs, let's try to keep "Half-Nekkid Thursday" special, and post "Half-Nekkid" pics only on Thursdays. If you feel the urge to post them more than once a week, I might recommend just emailing them out, rather than posting.
  • Tattoos are certainly an acceptable subject, regardless of location. Scars are also acceptable, but please respect the others who visit "Half-Nekkid Thursday" on a regular basis. Spread out the scar pictures over a few weeks' time, please!
  • Speaking of scars--If you use a picture of a scar, it must be accompanied by some sort of humorous anectdote as to how you got it. For a long, but good example, go here.
  • Other skin conditions might not be acceptable, due to good taste. These include, but are not limited to warts, zits, lesions, ingrown hairs, boils, open sores, peeling skin, scabies, rashes, or any other assorted gross things. I'm not saying that you can't post them. Just use your best judgement, for the sake of the rest of us.
  • When referring to "Half-Nekkid Thursday", please spell it correctly! Not Naked, not Neked, not Nakid. It's "Half-Nekkid Thursday".
  • It's very important to not be dissing other's submissions! We're all going to have half-hearted entries from time to time. None of us is better than the other. One the other hand, it's completely acceptable to heap praise upon those that deserve it!
  • IMPORTANT!--Remember to visit my current "HNT" post and leave a comment indicating that you've posted a picture for "Half-Nekkid Thursday". Consider my blog as the informational kiosk for "Half-Nekkid Thursday". You'll be able to see who is joining the tradition. Commenting is much easier for all concerned, rather than updating my blog each time someone posts their picture. I will try to keep the Blogroll in my sidebar updated each week.
So I leave you with the first official HNT picture. No sex. No boobies. Let's try to remember what the original intentions were!


One more thing to emphasize the seriousness of this, particularly for those who just stop by to say they're up...I'm keeping comments disabled until Thursday noon-ish (Eastern time). Hopefully they'll stop long enough to actually read my post!
Wishing you always—
Walls for the wind
And a roof for the rain
And tea beside the fire—
Laughter to cheer you
And those you love near you—
And all that your heart might desire!
~Traditional Irish Toast
This week's Mystery Guest is making her very welcome return to HNT this week. She might even take you by the hand to show you what's behind the door! She'll be revealed on Thursday afternoon, but if you already know how to find her, stop by and welcome her back! She's been sorely missed!
The lovely returning MG is Naughty I. She's just started up on her site again, but the site is invitation only. If you're interested in getting access, feel free to email her at

Lots of good pictures over at "...the Other HNT"! Be sure and stop by to leave a comment for your fellow HNTers! NSFW, as usual!
I've been asked if there was going to be any sort of theme in the upcoming weeks (Halloween/elections). Nothing official going on theme-wise until the usual ones in December. More on those next month!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I was recently tagged by M, who sort of insinuated I might try to talk my way out of it or something (I promise, B, that I'll get to yours!).

Of course, after posting 200 things about me, it's a bit harder to come up with 7 more weird/random facts, but here goes:
  1. I so rarely use the U.S. Postal Service that the only unused stamps I have at home are the 37¢ ones (currently 42¢ for those of you not in the U.S.).
  2. One of the most calming moments in my life was standing on the bow of a ferry (cue Celine...) on the way to Victoria, B.C. The sights, the sounds, the smell, the wind blowing through my roguishly long hair--for an hour, I didn't have a care in the world!
  3. I used to keep a sprig of mistletoe pinned to the roof of my car when I was in college. It was pretty dry and withered by the time June rolled around, but it still worked like a charm!
  4. My upper lip has not seen the light of day since New Years Day, 1977.
  5. My VCR bit the dust about 3-4 years ago, and I haven't replaced it. I don't Tivo, and I don't own a DVR. And I love it!
  6. I still have two full boxes of Christmas cards that I was going to send out last year that I never got around to doing. I prefer to think of it as having my cards ready for this year...
  7. I still use the putter I've had since my early teens. Go ahead and take that any way you want...
As is my style, and since I'm probably the last person in blogland to do this one, I'm tagging no one. But feel free to steal it!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

TMI Tuesday #156 - Foresight

1. What do you do that sends a clear signal to your partner that you're interested in an intimate evening? Showing up?

2. How important is foreplay to an exciting evening?
Assuming the foreplay is a prelude to sex, then it's quite important. Unfortunately, most of my exciting evenings don't require any sort of foreplay. Which is good, because society tends to frown on such things...

3. What is the first thing you do during foreplay or what is the first thing you like done to you?
As I remember, I think the entire "dance" before the bedroom (or wherever) can be as sexy as anything else. But to answer this the way it's intended, it's the rubbing, the massaging, the feel of the person under the hands. And not the "sexy" parts. The neck, the shoulders, the palm of the hand, the fingers, the foot. And the temples. Oh, the temples!

4. Are you a one and done kind of partner (20 minutes or so) or do you like intimacy sessions longer than 60 minutes?
The longer, the better.

BONUS: If you are interested in sex with a same-sex partner, what would be the first thing you'd like to touch on that other person, and why? (For those already in same sex relationships...what was the first thing you touched, or if you were interested in a relationship with the opposite sex, what would be the first thing you touched?)
No need to answer this one.


I mentioned earlier that symphony week is starting early this time around. What caught me off-guard was rehearsal tonight and Tuesday nights, and staff meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Wasn't mentally prepared for that. On the other hand, my triangle debut in rehearsal went quite well! Maybe I'll give up the trombone for this!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Did Columbus make it to Ohio??

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends! I might have to learn all your funky holidays and lingo. I'll be moving there if McCain somehow is elected president. No worries--Sassy has already started the lessons!
I hope you all enjoyed the nice weekend. We had cold, wind and significant snow. Not as bad as other parts of the state, but nasty enough. Mid-50s to 60s by Thursday, so winter's not here quite yet!
The cold made a nice excuse to stay inside, watch football, and eat chili. And that's exactly what I did!
Speaking of football--I feel absolutely no shame about the fact that I have NO idea who's even left in the baseball playoffs. Nor do I care.
Sort of a rough week last week for some of my friends. Life-altering sort of rough. Sucks.
But my two Alaska girls had birthdays last week! I'll hoist beers in their honor later...
Symphony week starts this week, a little bit earlier than normal. I've been working on my mad triangle skills...
Chocolate milk is the greatest thing God ever made!

Friday, October 10, 2008

I hope this ain't permanent...

Like most of you, I use Blogrolling to manage my (duh) blogroll. And also like many of you, you've found that your blogroll is missing. This is the reason. Some jerk-off with WAY too much time on his hands hacked into the Blogrolling site. I really hope they can fix this...
EDIT: Well, the blogroll is back, but the site is "down for maintenance". I think that's a good thing. Hope I didn't lose anybody!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Dichotomic HNT

one side sees the light knows whats
right but the other side is dark
and you wanna be bad when everyone
sees you for what you are

light vs. dark
good vs. evil
angel vs. demon

one side wants peace and quiet
the other side wants out of control
the light shines in on you as you
fall to your knees and pray

light vs. dark
good vs. evil
angel vs. demon

Angel in a Nightie

You walked in
wearing a pink, cow nightie
and a halo,
slightly skewed.

I was on my way out,
halfway between sane
and quick-get-the-Haldol.

Armed with a bowl
of chicken and noodles
as your weapon
and the tenacity
to fight any adversary,
you waged war.

Amid nutrition and nursing
I returned;
with the knowledge
that angels
don't always have wings.

Our lovely MG this week is Cowgirl! Stop by to check out her lovely silken legs over at her site, and say hi!
Quite a few submissions this week over at "...the Other HNT"! Definitely a good showing! And definitely NSFW, as usual!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


I'm sure she'd back me on this, as I'm too tired to go back and check, but I think this is the first time I've actually done a special bday post for Moose. She's getting settled in Alaska. The high in Fairbanks is supposed to maybe hit 34° today. And she's up there alone, so she'd love to get some birthday lovin' from you guys. It will warm her cockles! By the time this posts, I will have already called and sung to her. :-)

Instead of alot of pictures of her or the both of us, I leave you with one of my favorite pictures of her...

TMI #155 (my first!)

With more than a bit of trepidation, here is my first foray into that mystical world known as TMI Tuesday. Thank God this first week didn't ask any of that weird sex stuff!

1. Prudence: When do you feel it is most important to exercise prudence? When is it acceptable to throw practicality out the window? I think I've lived a life of prudence. I've generally been someone who's been in the public eye most of my life. Not like a politician, but as a person that many people recognize. Same here online. I generally weigh the consequences of just about everything I do. By the same token, I've been known to do things that have NO practical basis. I think it's good for the soul to abandon the "safe" route from time to time. I think it's always acceptable to abandon practicality. I just don't choose that option too often.

2. Justice: Is a sense of justice really a virtue, or is only a tool that allows us to pass judgment on others without feeling guilty? What do you feel is the greatest injustice facing the world today? I don't see how justice is a virtue. I have a big problem with the concept of justice. Simply because it means different things to every individual. Who's version of justice can be deemed "right"? The majority's?? I think not. I have NO faith in what's known as the "justice system". As for the greatest injustice in the world? I think it's the gross diversity of social class across cultures and the world. Humanity really takes it in the shorts.

3. Temperance: All things in moderation. Should we allow ourselves a few excesses? How well do you restrain yourself when faced with your deepest desires? Moderation is not something I've ever done well. I overeat, I drink too much (when I drink), I spend far too much time online, I drive after drinking (shut it), I spend money I don't have. I generally go all out when I put my mind to it.

4. Courage/Fortitude: How well do you confront fear and uncertainty, or intimidation? Does facing the little things make you as brave as facing the big things? I've faced some very nasty things in my past, and I think I learned to meet things head-on. Head held high, chin up, and all that. For all things. I haven't really faced anything "big" recently, so I'm not sure if I've lost any of that bravado. I do think that being a musician, and having to be in front of crowds on a regular basis, has helped me early on in facing whatever fears I might have had.

5. Faith: Is it important to have faith? How steadfast are you in your core beliefs? Do your core beliefs equate to faith in something?
I place way too much faith in others. And it always burns me in the ass. But it doesn't stop me. My core beliefs? I don't really dwell on them too much. I know when something goes against my beliefs, and I'll generally stick to my own. After all, I'm always right... Do they equate to faith in something? I am a card-carrying, but not participating, Catholic. My Catholic grade school education pretty much sums it all up.

6. Hope: Does having hope for the future help you deal with the present? How good are you at finding the good in the bad? What is the thing you hope for most?
I think most people think I'm a pessimist, but I really think that things will be better tomorrow. I DO think that I find good in the bad. As a teacher, I saw many diamonds in the rough. Interestingly though, I generally play devil's advocate in almost all organizational things. Not so much because I'm looking for the bad, but because I want to have the bases covered for all situations. What do I hope for? I suppose that would be good health, long life, someone to share it with, etc... Yeah, the faith question comes in here. I believe I'll have all that. If you're asking about hope for the rest of the world--common sense.

7. Love/Charity: How easy is it for you to give selfless, unconditional, and voluntary loving-kindness? How easy is it for you to receive selfless, unconditional, and voluntary loving-kindness? Probably too easy for me to give it. Probably easy (but not quite as easy) to receive it. That hasn't happened too much, though.

Hmmm... that wasn't too terribly difficult. I guess I'll do it again next week!


Sunday, October 05, 2008

Hmmm....What to talk about...?

I think many of us agree that music has the power to remind us of specific events, or times, or people. It can stir all sorts of emotions, from love to rage. Last week I heard the song "We Are Family" on the radio. And what's the first thing I associate with it? Sister Sledge? Nope. The 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates? Uh-uh. I think of Gene Hackman in drag...

Speaking of baseball... Did you know that the playoffs have started? And why would anyone really care?
Speaking of sports... My Griz sucked it up pretty bad on Saturday. If you're going to lose a game, it's better to do it early in the season, but anyone who watches this game are going to find that it might not be too difficult to beat them. Lord, I hope this isn't the start of a long season.
Speaking of boobs... The Boobie-Thon still has 2 more days to go. If you haven't donated your $50 to take a peek at the bare boobies, then you're really missing out! Lots of your fellow HNTers participating this year! A bit of a disturbing thing--as I was checking out my stats the other day, I found that someone came by with the search "2008 boobiethon password". That's just sad. Just pay your $50!
Speaking of poll results... The public has spoken. Seventy-two of you participated in the poll, and there were 2 distinct choices that emerged--either TMI Tuesdays, or the option to not do anything at all. TMI outlasted the other option by one vote, 23-22. So, starting this week, I'll be playing TMI. Anyone want to tell me how to do that...?
Speaking of blogs... I spent a great deal of time working/tweaking a handful of blogs. I have to admit that I enjoy doing the tweaking. I continue to learn how all of "this" works!
Speaking of family (back to the top)... We had a little BBQ at my sister's place. Sort of a post-bday dinner. We were missing the two older nieces, so the third one, N3, had to take her rightful place in the adult conversations (Palin, economy, voting, discussing whether BBQ was strictly a noun, or also a verb). I have to admit, she held her own pretty darned well. Much better than I ever did at that age (15). But she'd never heard of Schoolhouse Rock, and was more than amused that my sisters could still sing "The Preamble"! I brought my camera, but didn't really take much. Here's my mother, and N3. Best I could do for a Sunday night.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Thoughts in the Grocery Store

  • Ever notice how long you can stretch the lifespan of a roll of toilet paper when you realize it's your last one? Yet if you didn't realize it, it seems to have only lasted a day?
  • I bought a 12-pack of Charmin toilet paper. Sometimes you have to splurge...
  • Is it wrong for me to laugh a little when I noticed that all of the Paul Newman's Salad Dressings were marked down? Was this as a tribute, or a panicked sell-off?
  • Does it seem wrong that the package of meat labeled as "Manager's Choice/$3.00 Off" was also the brownest package of meat in the cooler?
  • I must be stuck in the old days. I've been using a double blade razor for almost my entire adult life. My regular store no longer carries double blades. There's triple blades, quadruple blades, quintuple blades, blades for razors with batteries, disposable blades. I miss the old days.
  • My mother isn't really known for her recipes, but one of the things she does quite well is spaghetti sauce. A crucial ingredient to that recipe is Spice Island Spaghetti Sauce Seasoning. According to their website, it's no longer made. :-(
  • Where do Imitation Krabs grow?

One more day to vote in the poll in the sidebar!
Go check the boobies over at Boobie-Thon! And pay the $50 to get access to the bare ones. Lots of good ones!
Fun times ahead with symphony. One of the two pieces this concert doesn't use trombones, so I've been recruited to play percussion! Bass drum AND triangle. Go ahead. Make the jokes. These happen to be crucial,exposed and difficult parts. And frankly, will take more practice than the trombone parts in the second piece. I'll keep you updated.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Boobie-Thon '08 HNT

This year marks the 4th Boobie-Thon since I started blogging. So much could be said, but others do it so much better. There are those amongst our HNT community who are breast cancer survivors. There are those amongst us who have had radical surgeries to stop this disease. There are those amongst us who have had to watch loved ones suffer and die (or suffer and live) from/with this disease. Or its cousins.

People often wonder if it's worth it to raise a little money to donate to a cause that needs SO much money fight the battle. The answer is a resounding YES! It may seem like a drop in the bucket, but there's lots and lots of drops that eventually start to fill the bucket. And that needs to continue.

For those who have never heard of the Boobie-Thon, click on the button below to see how you can help. A small donation of $50 is all it takes to get the password to see the uncovered breasts of those who are helping out. You'll see many of your HNT friends over there, both in the 'covered' gallery and the 'uncovered' gallery. Of course, higher donations are accepted! And if you feel that you want to help out by baring your boobies for a very wide audience, they'll be accepting photo submissions through the 7th. All the details can be found on their site.

I count myself fortunate that, in my predominantly female family, there has not been a history of breast cancer (or any of the other 'big' cancers, either. Knock on wood...). Doesn't mean that it couldn't happen. I'm donating to do what little I can to help. Can I afford it? Iffy. Probably not. Am I doing it to see boobies? Actually, after this many years in HNT, no. Will I get a good feeling in my gut for doing it? Absolutely! And truthfully, yeah. There's boobies...

"She was more like a beauty queen from a movie scene
I said don't mind, but what do you mean I am the one
Who will dance on the floor in the round
She said I am the one, who will dance on the floor in the round"
This week's Mystery Guest is in the midst of a move, as is her partner in crime. Yep, sneaking away in the night and leaving Blogger in the dust. Not to fear! By the time she's revealed Thursday afternoon, she'll have gotten her new place well on the way to her liking! In the meantime, there were some last minute pictures that had to be taken in the old place!
This week's MG is Rage! She and Temper have defected and run over to Wordpress. Be sure to check out their new digs! You won't be disappointed!

Not quite sure if there was a battle plan or not, but there's definitely more 'maleness' over at "...the Other HNT" this week! Lots of stuff for everybody! It's NSFW, but stop by and say hi to your HNT buddies anyway!
Today (Wednesday) is my mother's birthday. Normally, I'd plaster a picture of her up here, but that just doesn't seem right in the HNT post. No mention of her age, but I'm 51, and she was a second grade teacher when she was pregnant. You can do the math. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!!!