Friday, January 30, 2009

Just meet me at the E.R....

No, this isn't another "Dad story"! This is actually from the New York Times Wednesday edition. Vixen, you should just go click on a different site right now...

This comes just in time for the Super Bowl! It's called the Bacon Explosion. You must go read about this. Even if you don't actually make this, the pictures are quite easy to salivate over! If any of you actually attempt this, I want to hear all about it!

Ah, hell...

Going out drinking with the conductor until closing was NOT part of the plan this week... At least he bought.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lots O'Wood HNT

'Tis symphony week, once again. On the plus side, I'm not a musician for this one. On the down side, I'm not a musician for this one. The orchestra will use fewer winds and brass, which means fewer chairs, stands and risers. That's a good thing. So what's up with the whining?

The marimba. One of the oldest, yet modern instruments in the orchestra. Crude predecessors have been discovered that are thousands of years old, carved and chipped out of stone. But not considered an orchestral instrument until the early 1900s. We've got a soloist coming in all this week to play a concerto for marimba. I'm very much looking forward to the performance.

Five octaves long. Sixty-one impeccably-tuned bars of the finest rosewood on earth. Seventy-one custom designed aluminum resonators. All that comes apart into approximately 15 pieces. Most of which are clumsy, heavy, and awkward to transport. And transportation is why I'm whining. Mostly. It takes between 45 minutes to an hour to deliver and assemble/disassemble.
  • Sunday - Road trip to Bozeman to pick up the instrument from MSU. Delivered to the back storeroom of the symphony offices.
  • Monday - Assemble marimba in the back storeroom so that the soloist can practice on Tuesday.
  • Tuesday - Disassemble marimba in the evening to move it to a private home for a small recital on Wednesday.
  • Wednesday - Transport marimba to older mansion in town, complete with narrow hallways, stairs and many doors into a room really too small for both a performer, big marimba and a small audience. Later evening - Disassemble marimba and move back to office overnight.
  • Thursday - Transport marimba to local high school for master classes. Later evening - Disassemble marimba and move back to office overnight.
  • Friday - Transport marimba to concert venue for afternoon rehearsal.
  • Saturday - Disassemble marimba after intermission to move to office after concert.
  • Sunday - Pick up marimba and deliver back to Bozeman, and be back home in time for Super Bowl kick-off.
Oh, we'd better not forget that I still have to pick up equipment and set things up for the concert in there too! The good part about this--I had a reason to get nekkid at the office so I could show you my wood!

People ask to be the Mystery Guest for a wide variety of reasons. Some want the 'exposure'. Others want to tie it in with their own HNT for the week. Some want to do it to celebrate.

That's what we have today! This young lady has been involved with HNT off and on from way back when (and she's hardly old enough to do that!). But today (Thursday) is her man's (he used to blog, too!) birthday, and what better gift than to let her owner pull on that bow and see what happens! Fortunately, she's letting us in on the gift, too! She's tying together all three forms of HNT for this week--as MG, at the OHNT, and on her own site. See if you can find her in all three spots!

In case you can't find them all, she'll be revealed Thursday afternoon!

In case you didn't find her, the birthday gift girl is Big Ed's infamous SubKit, TripleLLL, from Tastefully Obscene. Be sure to check out what she left for him over there!
Be sure to stop by "...the Other HNT" and check out some of your fellow HNTers! Leave lots of comment lovin', too! NSFW, of course!
BIG SPECIAL NEWS!!! - I was alerted to this by the always perky CoyPink. She hasn't been blogging a great deal recently (which means her milk bath pictures are still up--whew!!). But she has been online, and found something on Urban Dictionary. Most of us have used UD at one time or another. Well, now there's another reason to check it out! HNT has an entry in Urban Dictionary!! Go check it out right now! There's a little "thumbs up/thumbs down" thing in the upper right corner. I don't know exactly what it means or what it's for, but click on the "thumbs up". I think that is a good thing. If any of you know anything about changing information/citations ('naked' has nothing to do with HNT!), let me know how to do it. Congratulations to all of us--we're famous-like!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I'm slow at getting to this, but I was tagged first by (oh, how embarrassing...I don't recall whom...), and then AR, for that Honest Scraps meme. As I said on my Facebook page (which I never really use), I'm not doing the similar tag over there, and I'm not going to do this one. Sorry. If you need to read up on 200 things about me, you can find them here and here. Or the past 4 years of blog posts. Everything I write is honest! Well, most of it, anyway...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

TMI Tuesday #171 -Movie Edition

(posted by Vixen)

1. What was the last movie you saw in a theater? - I'm not a big movie fan. I'm more than happy to wait for something to show up on cable. I don't rent movies either. That being said, I'm relatively certain that the last person I went to the movies with was Rachel. Which means, unfortunately, that she dragged me, kicking and screaming, to "Brokeback Mountain". Really? It's been that long?? (hehe...that's what Heath said...) Rachel or Kamey--can you shed any light on this? Certainly there's been something since then....
2. What is your favorite movie theater snack? - I rarely am in the mood to pay such outrageous prices for snacks. I won't buy buttered popcorn, either (I tend to avoid 'messy' foods in public. Ribs, fried chicken, corn on the's a weird thing about me). However, I'm never going to pass up a giant box of Milk Duds! Lost many a filling eating those in my youth!
3. Have you ever snuck in 'outside' food into a theater? - Does beer count?
4. Have you ever made out in a theater? - Oh, yes. Before it was torn down, our theater (from the golden age) had a balcony, and if the movie was popular enough, then we'd make a beeline up there. Otherwise it was closed, and we'd scramble to get the back row. :-)
5. What is the 'farthest' you have gone in a theater? - I seem to remember slipping a finger or two up the bottom end of some short shorts and finding honey... And I believe my first touch of a girl's nipple happened in the balcony. Never tried the popcorn-bucket-in-my-lap trick, though. Now if we were talking about drive-in theaters, then there's very little that didn't happen.

Bonus (as in optional): What is one of your favorite movie sex scene? - OK, I'm just a softy here... The scene in the Tom Hank's movie "Big" where he and Elizabeth Perkins are standing in the doorway, and he feels her breast for the first time. I love his portrayal of a 12 year old kid in a 30 year old body--for a number of things, but that bit of awe as he's touching his first breast, while she assumes that he's a bit more experienced than that. Either that, or the Ned Beatty scene from "Deliverance". Weeeeeeee!

Be sure to check out the other TMIers!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Return!

Wow. Everyone wants to know how the gig went. Well, in a word---WE KICKED ASS! Perfect? Hardly. Polished? Not really. Adequate? Well beyond that.
  • We played in a new facility here in town. Nice, but we blew their circuits twice before we even got started. No problem once we got going, though.
  • Open bar. That's always fun.
  • LOTS o'people.
  • I didn't suck with my newly-learned keyboard parts. Yay me!
  • Played bass on while the bass player moved to banjo for a Keith Urban song. Opened up an entirely new sound for us!
  • First two sets didn't really use the horns that much, but when we got to the third set--we were back, baby!
  • Got inquiries from guests about our availability this summer. Something that might need to be looked at. If they liked us Friday, can you imagine how much more they'd like us if we'd rehearsed??
  • As anticipated, the horns were solid. With one or two exceptions. But those were later in the evening when the crowd was intoxicated, so no one noticed. Much...
  • A bit of an unexpected break came when one of the guests asked to sing/play. A kid that went to college here, and has gone on to pursue his dream of becoming a country singer. Rhythm section got together with him and whipped out three songs on the spur of the moment.
No much else to tell, really. It was fun. Definitely had forgotten how much it hurts to stand all night without much chance to sit. Old age snuck in where it hadn't been before. Not with me, but the others. I've always had knee problems after a gig. Will we play again? Hard to say. I suspect that we will.

Not much in the way of pictures. Could never get the camera at a good setting to work with the lighting situation. Too many blurry or dark pictures. But here are some (no apologies for blurriness or content--hoping to get some from the wedding photographer. Click 'em to big 'em!):

1. 2.
4. 5.

1. Me and a friend I hadn't seen in a couple of years
2. The happy couple. Gotta love a guy who changes out of his black tux and into a light pink one! "Artsy" shot taken by the sax player.
3. I love people watching, and mid-dance pictures offer all sorts of interest!
4. I'm sure there's a caption to be had here...
5. Hurry up and wait mode.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The weekend approacheth...

Well, I'm far less apprehensive about tonight's gig than I've been over the week or so. We had a pretty good rehearsal last night and brushed up on some things. We won't be as horn intensive throughout the night as we used to be...just no time to get those things put together. It's one thing to run through a song with just the rhythm section--run a verse and chorus, and maybe any "weird" sections, and call it good. As soon as you add the horns, everyone has to be on the same page regarding entrances, and stepping all over each other. In any case, I don't think we'll be embarrassing ourselves, by any means! All is looking good at this point. Other than the ear infection I think I'm getting...
Between a late Wednesday night (I wonder why?), and an intense, long rehearsal, I was out like a light when I hit the bed. So much so, that I slept right through my alarms. My phone rang when Rachel called me, just to give me shit. I complained that she was calling me so early in the morning. I had no idea it was as late as it was, and I probably would have been late to work if she hadn't. She forced me to commit to coming up to visit her in March, before I'm allowed to run all over the country again. So she got that out of me...
First thing tomorrow morning is the official start of my symphony week. It actually starts tonight, but I've got a gig! I get to run down to Bozeman on Sunday to pick up a concert grand marimba from the university. It'll give me a chance to take my niece out to lunch, too! Then all next week I'll be schlepping the thing from here to there (a couple of different places), as well as dealing with rehearsals and performance on Saturday. And we all know how I just love symphony week!
On a related note...I just received my music for our March concert. Bernstein's "Fancy Free" and "Symphonic Dances" (from West Side Story). Holy shit. Without question, some of the most difficult music we've ever done. Both as a group, and as an individual. The music from WSS is far more than what accompanies the musical. It's going to be exciting, but I'm going to have to work my ass off. Which isn't a bad thing! I've been watching YouTube videos of Bernstein conducting the "Dances", just to see how complex it is. I just LOVE reading the comments below the videos. "We played it better than this..." "My high school orchestra sounded better than this..." "Our director conducts better than this guy..." Leonard Bernstein, conducting his own composition, with the Israel Philharmonic. Yeah. Right, kid...
A reminder to all that you don't need to wait for me to ask to be the Mystery Guest. I'm always looking for MGs, so don't be shy! Just email me and ask!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Too Early HNT

I'm not one who really suffers from nightmares or scary dreams of any sort. I do have some recurring dreamscapes, recurring characters, and/or recurring themes, but nothing that I would consider scary, by any means. However, I find that I get fairly restless when I have them. I wake up tired (or wake up alot during the night), grumpy (who could tell?), my eyes can't focus for about an hour, bright lights bother me, but I always maintain my good looks! Need the evidence? This HNT was taken literally 30 seconds after getting out of bed Tuesday morning. I was going to make some sort of comment about the bedhead, but what's up with the bedbeard???

A white shirt...

Masculine or feminine...



With red lipstick or bow tie...

So tempting...

Nothing underneath...

Buttons to undo...

Bare skin to reveal...

Come back on Thursday afternoon to find out who our MG is!
The lovely MG this week is Amy from over at "Sex, Chocolate and Red Lipstick"! Stop by to see another picture from this series!

A nice crop of pictures (and newbies!) over at "...the Other HNT"! Be sure to stop by and check them out! NSFW (but for the most part, not quite as NS as recent weeks...). Be free with the comment love!
I have that "Honesty Scraps" thing that's been making the rounds yet to do. Tagged by two different people on that! I'll get that up as soon as I can!
The big gig is Friday night. Definitely a nervous excitement in the air! Mix in a bit of symphony week activity, and I'm good to go for the next 10 days! Hopefully will have some pictures from the gig!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's a Boy!

For those who know Sam over at Sam's Stories (or even if you don't), she finally had her baby this morning! Woohoo!

TMI Tuesday #170

1. Have you ever dated/married purely for money? - No. I guess I never knew any of the rich kids. Come to think of it, I don't think there's any one around here who would qualify as well-to-do, let alone rich. And lord knows I have no money, so that wasn't ever my strong suit.
2. What is your type? - Breathing..?
3. What is the best sex game you have ever played? - Never bothered with sex games, though I could deal a mean game of strip poker in the day. Ooh...there was the lengthy strip cribbage game on my 26th birthday. That was kind of fun!
4. Have you ever given or received an orgasm from a person whose last name you did not know? - I believe that would be yes and yes.
5. Have you ever masturbated in front of a sexual partner? - No, back in the day, that seemed like a waste of time, energy and particularly resources.

Bonus (as in optional):At what age do you think men and women reach their sexual peak? Do you think you have hit yours yet? - I don't have a clue as to when men do, but I think women definitely hit theirs in their 30s. They hang onto it longer, too. Men are more of a flash in the pan. I think mine sort of bypassed me.

Be sure to let the folks at TMI know you played!

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's My Birthday!

I made a wonderful discovery today! Today is the 4th blogiversary for "Views From the Back Row"! I had an inkling, though I thought it wasn't for another day or two. Four years ago. Almost 1200 posts. Over 748,000 visitors. Forty-three face-to-face blogger encounters. Close to 27,000 comments (thank you, Haloscan, for making it impossible to tell, exactly...). Not bad for this old dorky musician from the sticks! Who'da thunk it??

No witty title today...

Before I get going here, a little bit of trivia for your edification... The French word for 'paper clip' is 'trombone'. The French word for 'trombone' is also 'trombone'. Just thought you'd like to know.
Spent much of the weekend working on keyboard parts for the gig this weekend. Hope nobody's expecting to be impressed...
Made a rather large online purchase on Saturday, only to have customer service call me on Sunday to tell me that they couldn't verify my billing address. Not sure what the problem is. I've never had a problem with them before, and nothing's changed. Of course, their customer service isn't running 24/7, so I'll be making the call first thing in the morning. I really hope this is a minor problem... EDIT: As expected, it was a minor glitch that was easily resolved. Still don't know why a red flag was raised in the first place, though...

Went to bed WAY too late Saturday night. I'm not a big YouTube surfer, but I wanted to watch some videos of Leonard Bernstein conducting one of his more difficult pieces that we'll be doing in March. It was late, and I don't know exactly how I got diverted, but I must have spent 2-3 hours watching old Carol Burnett and Johnny Carson clips. They just don't have comedy like that on TV anymore...
How 'bout them Cards?!?
I find this sort of strange. I saw a commercial at some point this weekend for Martha Stewart's show, where she'd be showing us fun food ideas for your inauguration party. WHAT??? People are actually going to have parties before noon to watch the inauguration? From the way it's being talked about, people are making this a four-day weekend, culminating with the always-popular, pre-lunch inauguration party. I just don't have the spirit, I guess. Yes, I understand it's historic, but c'mon... Will companies allow their employees to gather around the TV in the lounge for an hour? Will all business take time off so that we can experience this? I'm sorry. If something great is said, it'll be on YouTube within 15 minutes. If not, within thirty.

Don't even get me going on how apathetic people are about MLK Day up here.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Springtime in the Rockies HNT

I hesitated about this week's HNT, but it really comes at the right time. To my friends in the midwest and points east...I apologize. And for what, you may ask? While you poor people are suffering in the midst of a nasty cold snap (thank you, Alberta), we have been basking in the spring-like temperatures as high as the 50s. The cold that WE experienced here in early December is just a forgotten memory. The snows that WE experienced have pretty much melted down to just where it was piled into 6-foot high banks, and those are now dirty and black mounds from being splashed with mud and road spray. Joggers are out in shorts, water drips off of rooftops like rainfall, and squirrels are scurrying around, able to stretch their legs after six long weeks of being cooped up in their nests (do squirrels have nests?). I'm certainly not naive enough to think that this is going to last, or that we won't get dumped with a foot of snow before spring officially comes, but right now, it's a nice respite from our early winter! And honestly, I watch the news, the weather channel, the football playoffs, and a smile slowly crosses my face, knowing that for the next full week (according to, we'll be in the mid to upper 40s! Springtime in the Rockies. There's nothing like it.

One of the things that is bothersome is that while the main roads in town are cleared of snow, the streets on the hillsides let their snow melt downhill, causing some wet streets. Not enough to really be wet, but wet enough to throw up a fine mist when driving behind someone. And here's the result. My windshield last night. And yes, to be a purist, I was half-nekkid behind the wheel. What? Can't see me? Click it to see a better filtered picture (sort of like those color blindness tests!).

"Bettin' that her skin smells
Better than the scent of
Every flower in the desert
Come on

Dirty little lady with the pretty pink thong
Every sugar daddy hittin' on her all night long
Doesn't care about the money she could be with anybody
Ain't it funny how the hunny wanted you all along

(You naughty thing)
You're ripping up the dance floor honey
(You naughty women)
You shake your ass around for everyone
(You're such a mover)
I love the way you dance with anybody
(The way you swing)
And tease them all by sucking on your thumb
You're so much cooler when you never pull it out
'Cause you look so much cuter with something in your mouth

She loves the night scene, bar queen
Just livin' for the fun
Takin' over every dance floor
Like she's the only one
In the spotlight, all night
And kissing everyone
And trying to look so innocent
While sucking on her thumb
You're so much cooler, when you never pull it out
So much cuter
With something in your mouth"
By request, no reveal of this one this week...
Some new faces (so to speak) over at "...the Other HNT" this week. Be sure to stop over and leave some comments! Definitely NSFW!
It came to my attention this week (as I was scurrying to find me a Mystery Guest) that many of you assume that you have to be asked to be one. Nay, I say! In the early days of the MG, I had enough names waiting in line that I would draw a name out of a hat (and yes, I was geeky enough to do that). Anyone who wants to be MG, will get there. If you're interested, let me know!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Interview #3

Another (and last, I believe) of the interviews. This time the questions are from M. I've got multiple answers for most of her questions. And like the last time, I'm not reprinting the rules!

1. What kind of car do you drive? - Currently, a maroon 1999 Buick Century. Nice and roomy! Other cars in my past (in reverse order--if my scanner only worked...):
  • 1990 Oldsmobile Silhouette (maroon, great for moving band equipment!)
  • 1985 Pontiac Grand Am (dark blue, first car with power windows and a trunk!)
  • 1975-ish Chevy Blazer (orange, piece of junk, but a great toy!)
  • 1983 Honda CRX (red, cracked the engine block and threw a rod with this one, but got almost 50 mpg on a trip to California and back!)
  • 1979 VW Rabbit (white, college graduation gift. Got 150,000 miles out of this one)
  • 1970 Ford Mustang (blue, previously owned by my grandmother. How cool is that? Also threw a rod with that one, too.)
  • The Mustang was my first car, given to me during my junior year in college. Up to that point, I drove my parent's cars. I won't bore you with the details of those...
2. Crawfish, crawdads, or crayfish?
  • Apparently another southern taste treat that I've missed out on (I'd never had catfish until I was 48!). There's a "crawdad festival" up here in early June where they bring in a couple hundred pounds, and keep the beer flowing, so I guess that's what Montanans would call them. However, the whole concept of twisting off their heads and sucking out the innards just doesn't float my boat. Gimme a bbq'ed rib any day of the week!
3. What's your favorite movie? (embarassing or not, fess up) - Gotta list a few here...these are the ones I'll watch anytime, anywhere:
  • The Quiet Man - John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara in Ireland.
  • Young Frankenstein - "He vould have an enormous schwanzstucker..."
  • Fantasia - Dancing brooms, water pails and Mickey Mouse!
  • The Ten Commandments - I'm a sucker for biblical epics, and there's nothing epic-er!
  • Star Wars - All six of them (some better than others, of course).
  • On the Town - Bernstein, Sinatra, Kelly, Vera-Ellen, Ann Miller, NYC...whew!
  • Always - Dreyfuss, Goodman, Hunter, Hepburn. Filmed in MT!
  • Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid - Newman/Redford I
  • The Sting - Newman/Redford II
4. Do you have a major regret in life? If so, what is it and why do you regret it?? - To me, regrets are something that I had control of in my own life, not things affected by others' actions. With that in mind:
  • Not taking piano lessons when offered. Mom should have just told me I was signed up for them.
  • Not taking my education seriously until my second year of grad school. Up to that point, I never really had much use for it (in spite of one college degree and three years of teaching).
  • Not taking those geeky computer courses in high school (only the uber-geeks did that in the day).
  • Not taking care of my body in my teens. The discipline of athletics and fitness were lost on me, and I'm paying for it now.
Anything else "bad" in my life came about because of other people, or because of bad decisions on my part. If I could go back and make some different decisions, I probably would, but I don't regret anything in particular associated with my decisions made. It's a moot point, anyway. Which is why I don't really spend any time looking back and wondering "what if..." That's basically a waste of time.

5. Boxers or briefs?? (and patterned or tighty whiteys)
  • Briefs. Tighty whiteys. And make no apologies for it!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Stuff sent by email...

A couple of notable things that came through my inbox today. This first one is remarkable in its overkill. The story is about the teenage girl who texted 14,528 MESSAGES IN A MONTH! Four hundred eighty-four messages a day (that's one text message every two minutes while awake). And a 440 page statement from AT&T. Total due?? $2,905.60 (unless you have unlimited texting, which her father did, which is why this isn't a murder story). Read the story for other incredible "averages" regarding texting. It's no wonder that the US is ranked so low among other country's productivity...

Tonight, I thought my husband was acting weird.
We had made plans to meet at a bar to have a drink.
I was shopping with my friends all day long, so I
thought he was upset at the fact that I was a bit
late, but he made no comment on it.

Conversation wasn't flowing, so I suggested that we go somewhere quiet so we could talk. He agreed, but he didn't say much.
I asked him what was wrong; he said,
"Nothing." I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset.
He said he wasn't upset, that it had nothing to do
with me, and not to worry about it.

On the way home, I told him that I loved him.
He smiled slightly, and kept driving.
I can't explain his behavior. I don't know
why he didn't say, "I love you, too."

When we got home, I felt as if I had lost him
completely, as if he wanted nothing to do with me anymore.
He just sat there quietly, and watched TV.
He continued to seem distant and absent.

Finally, with silence all around us, I decided to go
to bed. About 15 minutes later, he came to bed. To my
surprise, he responded to my caress, and we made love.
But I still felt that he was distracted, and
his thoughts were somewhere else.

He fell asleep - I cried. I don't know what to
do. I'm almost sure that his thoughts are with
someone else. My life is a disaster.
Missed a big deer today, but at least I got laid.

TMI Tuesday #169 - Back to TMI Basics

1. On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with your sex life? - I guess that when one has none, then that would rate as a 1. But I'll say a 2, even if I have to do it myself...
2. If someone shoves you up against a wall while kissing you, your reaction is? - That's always been pretty favorable! Always led to "I'm gettin' some tonight!"
3. What is the most romantic thing anyone has ever done or said to you? - Probably would be when Volcano Girl had a dozen red roses delivered to me at school. Fortunately, I was on my way home to lunch, so I didn't have to put up with the questions in the faculty lounge! It was the first (and one of the very few) times that I've ever been sent flowers. (also almost marks the exact moment that one of YOU was born!)
4. Where is the most unusual place you have ever had sex? - On top of the 9' grand piano on the stage in the recital hall of the university where I got my first degree.
5. How do you liked to be kissed? - Huh? Gently and all over, I guess. Preferably not like a St. Bernard.
Bonus (as in optional):Most embarrassing sexual moment? - The closest I can think of was when I took a young lady home after a party, and before anything really got started, I had to run to the bathroom to puke (because of the drinking, not her). Sort of put a damper on going further that night. Totally by coincidence, the roles were reversed about a month later.

Be sure to check out the TMI site to see who else played!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Interview #2

Interview time again! This time the questions are from Elisa at Fairy Flutters. Since I did this a week ago, and I'm such a rebel, I'm not going to include the instructions. I think you all know them by now anyway!

1) Tell me about a time when a meet up with someone from HNT went horribly wrong (or really right. ;) ) - Honestly, there hasn't been anything that could be considered horribly wrong. Or even minimally wrong. I go into these things with no expectations, other than meeting people and having fun. And we've been quite successful at that! As for 'really right', I would have to admit that there's a couple of memories that I won't soon forget!

2) How does it feel to be the great Os? (Regarding your HNT fame) - I sort of answered that in Queenie's interview. But to expound, I feel a bit silly. I'm amused by people who think of me as something more than I am. Fortunately, I think those who have met me will attest to the fact that I'm really not!

3) Do you have children? If not, did you ever want children? - I come from that generation that still thinks that children are a byproduct of a marriage certificate. I've never had one of those, therefore, no children. I've been able to enjoy my sisters' kids, which means that I've been able to give them back when I got tired of them. I do often wonder, however, what sort of a father I might have been (realizing that chances are slim to ever find out).

4) When (and if you ever do) feel sadness, how do you deal with it? - I find I feel disappointment far more often than sadness. And there's plenty of people who disappoint me (including myself). Bloggers are an unending source of this. Just yesterday, I found that something that was shared with a bloggerfriend in confidence has made the rounds. That sort of thing really disappoints me (though I'm not saying I haven't done the same...). But sadness? I don't often feel it. To me, sadness also involves a degree of loss. I can feel sad for someone else's situations (death of a friend/family member), but rarely to the degree that I have to "deal" with it. Probably the most recent, truly sad moment happened two years ago (see the post below this one). To deal with that one took alot of talking/chatting with others. Sort of spreading the grief, as it were. On a bit of a tangent...I've found that I can shed tears at the drop of a hat. For the most inane things (I can hardly go to a movie anymore!). Sad tears, happy tears, doesn't matter. Didn't used to be like that.

5) Where did you grow up and tell me a story about when you were really young that most people haven't heard. - I'm one of those people who have pretty much stayed close to home all his life. I was born in Helena, and have spent over 35 of my 50+ years here. Primarily because of a close family life while growing up. Story, huh? I taught myself to read before I was even in kindergarten. Since I was such a good reader, I was chosen to narrate our first grade Thanksgiving program. This was in front of the rest of the grade school (and parents) at the 7th Avenue Gym. I'll bet if I tried hard, I could find the script somewhere amongst my belongings (I learned my pack rat ways from my mother)!

Friday, January 09, 2009


From two years ago.
Still nothing.
Still sucks.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

My Blind Date

"Just wanted to let you know I'm going to be in Helena the first full week of January...the nights of the 7th & 8th. Didn't know if you'd be up for grabbing a beer on the night of the 8th. It would be an honor to meet the almighty Os!"
That was what I received in the email a few weeks ago. I was hesitant at first. This was, essentially, a blind date. Truthfully, with someone I was sure I wouldn't recognize. And the first time that a (former) HNTer/blogger had come to town and wanted to meet me. Dana was different. She and her son were passing nearby when I suggested they should take a detour. Which they did. No, this was quite different. They were coming to town, and wanted to meet me. The pressure was on...

We agreed to meet at the Brewhouse, where I do most of my beer drinking (check the archives). A nice, safe place (where everyone knows your name--our waiter came up while I was waiting and knew exactly what I wanted, and what size!), and only about a block away from the hotel. Little did I realize that God and everybody was there to eat, drink and watch the "championship" football game on the multitude of plasma TVs. But I was able to secure a table (I am Os, after all...), and waited for the meeting. They came in through the back door...

It was great! We drank beer, ate chips and salsa, calamari, and watched the football game (a little). We gossiped like schoolgirls. We talked about HNT, OHNT, bloggers, and a variety of other blogging subjects. We called a couple of people (only one answered...). We swapped stories and experiences. In spite of dropping out of HNT/blogging, they were still well-versed in lurking, so it wasn't too one-sided.

We lasted as long as the game (and a pretty good game, at that). Early wake-up calls and staff meetings prevented a longer evening. We said our goodbyes, but not before snapping a quick picture:

Many of you will remember DH, or have seen him in your comments. It was great to meet him! And he is officially #43 in the list!

"We're on a mission from God..." HNT

Did you guys find it as hard to get back into the swing of things here as I have? It was nice to use the archives and doing Christmas wishes, wasn't it?
"We’re getting the band back together!..."
That was the email back in November. There's a guy in town (friends with the bass player) who met his fiancée at one of our infamous gigs out at the lake (remember this young lady?--no, she's not the fiancée...). They decided that they HAD to have us play for their wedding reception. Of course, that meant putting back together a band that hasn't played together in almost a year an a half. But if the Stones and the Eagles and the Monkees and countless other bands can do it, then so can we!

Well, not completely. Without going into the vast internal drama and details, let's just say that we'll be playing with a different drummer. To tell the truth, it's a little bit scary. Now, I don't doubt for a minute that the horns will be able to walk in cold and play like we just had a gig last weekend (assuming that we've been keeping our chops in shape, and we have). The vocals might be a bit tricky--particularly background vocals. But that shouldn't be too bad. The rhythm section is getting together a couple of times to work things out with the new drummer, so that's a good thing. I'm a bit nervous about the drummer, because he'll be taking the place of a really good one. The really scary part falls on me. Again, without going into detail, I am going to have to play more keyboard than I usually did. I am not a keyboard player. I FAILED my keyboard test required to graduate with my first music degree FOUR TIMES in one day. This is not to say I can't play. I just can't play Brahms, Mozart, Liszt, or Chopin. But give me a lead sheet and a key, and I can support just about anything.

HOWEVER--it's been 16 months since I've even pulled my keyboard out of it's case (no, that's not a euphemism...). It's been sitting in my back room. Collecting dust. So I did that last night. It's heavier than I remembered. And my fingers are stiffer than they used to be. And there's little electronic things with the instrument that I'd forgotten needed to be fixed. But most of all, it's trying to cram all this extra music in my head. And there's only one way to do that. It's the dreaded "P" word--PRACTICE! So here I am, reacquainting myself with my keyboard. One finger in front of the other. The gig is just over 2 weeks away. I'll be ready! (To make it even more fun, I'm going to have to put in some time with my bass, as well!) More on this story as it develops!

For those who wondered: no pants were used during the taking of this picture...

going through the motions with the sound turned down
trying to stand up with your hands bound
running in place wearing blindfolds
and you're never contemplating what the mind holds
it tears me apart
this vengeant heart thirsts for love lived through art
both sides of the sword splintered
I'd walk for miles to taste your smile
these eyes see through denial
turn of a dial static sings
blue gray green
i can feel her eyes on me
This artist will be revealed on Thursday afternoon. If you think you know who it might be, feel free to stop by and say hi!
Well, I don't know if some of you knew who this was in advance, or if it's after you say her own HNT. In any case, this is the lovely B from "B is for blog". Stop by and check out some of the other pictures she took a the same time!

"...the Other HNT" is a tad bit more NSFW this week. Must be those New Year's resolutions or something. :-) Be sure to stop by and check out your fellow HNTers! Be generous with your comments, too!
Have you noticed that the ShamWow! guy is now hawking the SlapChop?!? Woohoo!

A little more info...the guy's name is Vince Offer (really!). After reading his bio, I'm less inclined to buy either, but damn, it's just like looking at a car accident...!
In an interesting development, I'll be going out for beers on Thursday night with a former HNTer! Coming to town on business. We'll be hitting the Brewhouse (duh), and I'll be sure to have the camera on hand. It's so much easier when bloggers come to me...!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

TMI Tuesday #168 -Would you rather...

1. Would you rather be stranded on an island alone or with someone you dislike/don't get along with? - Definitely with someone I dislike. I need to have someone to vent my sarcasm on!

2. Would you rather accidentally walk in on your parents having sex or have them walk in on you? - Since my parents have had sex a grand total of four times in their life (really...ick...), there's little chance of my walking in on them. On the other hand, if they walk in on me, then that means I'm getting some! Unless I'm alone again... (flashbacks to "Fast Times at Ridgemont High")

3. Would you rather be snapped by paparazzi during a nipple slip or while exiting a car with out any underwear? (guys, consider similar circumstances) - Actually, I'd rather not be snapped by paparazzi at all.

4. Would you rather not have sex for two years or not be able to use the Internet for two years? - Well, the no sex thing for two years has been no problem, so don't take my internet!!!

5. Would you rather find true love or 1 million dollars? - Again, at this point in my life, I'll take the million dollars!

Bonus (as in optional): If you had to choose *one* sexual position for the rest of your life, what would it be? Why?- Preferably one involving a second person of the female persuasion. I think that's would be self-explanatory...

Be sure to let the TMI people know you played!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

First Post of the New Year

Wow. It's been a few days, hasn't it? December always plays with my timing, but there's nothing like work 3/holiday/work 1/weekend/repeat to make one's internal clock go wacky. But it's a new year, and time to get back on track!
By the way, it's almost a full three days into the new year, and frankly, it doesn't seem much different than 2008...
Had a bit of a Dad scare on NYE. I called my parents around 10PM to wish them a happy new year, knowing that they don't bother staying up until midnight. There's no answer. I'm a bit panicked, but maybe they really had plans. So I call S2 to see if she knew. There's no answer. Now I'm imagining a family gathering at the hospital. I call S3. There's no answer. Until after the 5th ring. She's sorta tipsy. To shorten the story--my parents were in the bathroom, where my mother was taking care of Dad's legs (the entries into the femoral arteries haven't been healing right). Water was running, and they didn't hear the phone. So all was OK. But I was sure I was going to be ringing in the new year in the waiting room...
Did something I've never done before at work on Friday. I popped onto gchat with a young lady and decided to give the video chat a try. She had the little camera icon, and I've got it installed on the work computer, so we gave it a shot. I'm hooked. And smitten. The young lady in question is from England. After we both oohed and ahhed at the technology, I let her do some talking. She speaks the Queen's English quite properly, and I'm sitting there with a goofy-assed smile the entire time. She was charming and lovely, and if I didn't have phones ringing and co-workers and bosses walking by the whole time, I could have stayed there for a couple of hours. Alas, that wasn't to be. I don't know how often I can get away with video chatting from work, but I'll be looking for any opportunity to do it now!
I was channel surfing on Friday, I believe, and came across the Cartoon Network's Looney Tunes Marathon. I was in heaven. These were the classics from the late 50s and 60s. When they were at their finest. AND THEY WEREN'T EDITED IN THE LEAST!!! When the coyote or the bull (from the bullfight) were shot with a gun or blown up in an explosion, it wasn't hacked out of the cartoon (in order to not promote violence in our youth...). I miss the days when cartoons could be cartoons. When ethnic stereotypes were "ok". When sticking a finger in the barrel of a rifle meant you'd probably get covered in black, but you could still make a witty comeback. When falling off a cliff meant you'd land in a heap of dust at the bottom. At what point did "they" decide that all of that was bad for you?? Can you imagine what they'd do with the Three Stooges???
Finally, it's time for some thank-yous that didn't happen before the end of the year.
  • First off, to everyone who participated in the three themes that ended the year. Almost everyone joined in, which makes it more fun for the community. Not that those of you who didn't weren't appreciated (wow! another triple negative!), but I think we were all excited to see what the others could come up with!
  • Secondly, and this is for the full year--thanks to all of the Mystery Guests. For as busy as I get on Wednesdays putting it all together, that's one thing that slips through the cracks. Every one of you have contributed great shots, and I think that very few of you ever gets recognized before getting revealed. For some, that's quite an achievement, based on their "normal" style. I hope you've all reveled in the great comments that come through each week for the MG!
  • Next, to one particular HNTer who posted over at the OHNT. Her NY resolution for 2008 was to submit something every week of the year. As mentioned over there (you all saw it, right?), this was the first NY resolution that she's ever kept. Even submitting pictures when she was sick or on vacation! Thank you from me and all the rest of us for your dedication to it!
  • Finally, I was once again remiss in sending out Christmas cards this year. It's not going to happen. So to those who sent Christmas and/or NY wishes by text, thank you! To those I got an ecard from (I think that was just from the New England area...), thank you! Loved the pics of the kids! To the crazy lady from Missouri who constantly sent me some "off-color" forwards throughout Christmas, hope you had a good holiday (it wasn't so bad, was it?). And to those who sent me real Christmas cards--from Colorado (what a good looking family!), from the Dallas area (miss you too!), from Calgary (we MUST get that trip worked out!), from North Pole (really! North Pole!), from the Vegas area (thanks for the "extra" gift!), from western TN (I miss our chats!) and from deep in the sticks of MT (we don't have as much snow!)--thank you ALL for your cards!! And to the one who sent me an actual gift--you have no idea how cool that is! Yours will be coming, but nowhere near as cool...