March 30, 2007


crabbish- adjective: to be grouchy, irritable, easily upset. (word invented by rachel.)
do a google image search for the word "crabbish" and my pic comes up!!! LOL!!! and why am i crabbish? just ready for my vacation to start (and it's been delayed til tuesday.) work has been stressful, but in a good way i guess. i think i am just overwhelmed trying to get stuff done at work (including going for a promotion, attending high level meetings with intimidating managers, and missing my old jackass boss...) and there's so much i want to do around the house (spring cleaning, dogs to vet, set up an office in the spare room, plant flowers and trees and tomatos.) ok, enough! writing this blog post is making me more crab-ass!
you know what cheers me up? dumb stuff. like going to subway with dan and trying out the fancy touch-screen ordering system. or sitting out on the back porch while the dogs bark at the church- goers next door. fighting with copaX on IM. wallking around the yard seeing the flowers great aunt ruth planted pop up for spring. (dan's great aunt ruth worked at a nursery and brought home all the unwanted and neglected plants. so all spring and summer different blooms come up all over the yard and it's so fun to see what blooms and where.)
also, talking to my friend tim in columbus was eye-opening. he's a friend of mine and david's from way back. we used to have so much fun acting goofy, taking pics and talking crazy. he's been catching up on blogs and youtube videos and he said something that really made me think. he said, "jen, i miss having weird fun! watching all the videos and photos you have posted, i see how much FUN you guys have." he made me realize how lucky i am to have so much weird fun with family and friends. (but i am still crabbish today!)
some random thoughts, having to do with nothing..........
i have been clothes shopping for spring and i realize i have some hard and fast rules about clothing. i've blogged before about hating turtlenecks (mock turtle necks especially.) i also hate:
  • 3/4 length sleeves
  • the color navy
  • polka dots
  • shirts or pants that lace up
  • pointy high heels with wide leg pants
  • hats of almost any kind
  • tunics
  • vests, all vests!
  • any kind of holiday sweater or appliques

you get the idea. i see girls in the office with the pointy high-heeled shoes with wide-legged pants and it looks so weird. like a tent being held up by stilts. not that my fashion sense is anything to be copied. i was once described as "the girl with her own sense of style" and it was not meant as a compliment!

and finally, i bought some cool super hero stamps, and the one i'd never heard of was plastic man. he has a friend named woozy and they fight crime and have all kinds of wacky fun. per wikipedia: "Plastic Man can stretch his body into any imaginable form. His adventures were known for their quirky, offbeat structure and surreal slapstick humor. In issue #65, writer Joe Kelly revealed that Plastic Man has a 10-year-old son as a result of a fling with a stripper." yeah!!!!!

March 26, 2007

music geek- part II
10 of my favorite (but mostly obscure) albums.....

these are some favorite albums by bands you've probably never heard of. some of them are "one hit wonders", some never even had a hit. most of the albums came and went and no one paid attention. some artists did other albums, but none that i bought. this is just a list of some albums i have loved, that i am guessing most folks haven't heard. and now, in no particular order......

fairground attraction, "first of a million kisses", which i still own and listen to occasionally. this album came out around my senior year of high school and i loved it. the band never released another album, but the lead singer went on to record solo albums, although none has interested me. t his album is so light and airy and kind of romantic. it mixes pop & jazz, and something about eddie reader's voice captivated me. the album reminds me of that famous robert doisneau photograph of the lovers kissing.
yes, i had this poster on my wall in college! thankfully i outgrew this phase (like some girls outgrow their love of horses) and moved on to more substantial (less french) things...

prefab sprout, "two wheels good." my friend mark mentioned this album on another post (about guilty pleasures.) he's the one who introduced me to this album (and many others on this list.) this album went on to be considered one of the best pop albums of the 90's. i don't own a copy but would be willing to be it still holds up. according to wikipedia i am in luck, because the entire remastered album is being released next month!

the sundays, "reading, writing and arithmetic." this band was supposed to be some kind of cocteau twins knock off band, with some smiths jangley guitars thrown in. then the cranberries came around and sort of took over. but i think this sunday's album is far superior and a lovely little gem that most folks have forgotten about. they had 2 albums after this one, including a great cover version of the rolling stones "wild horses", but this first album remains a favorite. 9my copy skips, so if anyone would like to provide me with a new one, i'd be most grateful.) also, i wanted to be just like the lead singer (harriet wheeler) and i think i had the cuffed jeans down just about right......
(nice cuffs!)

poe, "hello." this is a more recent (only a decade old!) album. it was pegged as another "angry female" album at the time, but was much more. it was an odd mix of female vocals, electronica and soul. i don't own this one and would be curious to see if it still stands up, 10 years later.

david sylvian, "secrets of the beehive." this is still a favorite album that i love listening to when i go to bed. this one came out around my senior year of high school, like others. but it still seems otherworldly, and has no sound with any frame of reference. in other words, it doesn't sounded dated to me. it sounds like it could have been recorded 20 years ago or last week. sylvian has a deep, dreamy voice and the songs are atmospheric and lush. strings accompany most of the songs and the entire album has a haunting quality. i found this art book created by the folks from V23 (they did the album covers for all 4AD bands, like cocteau twins) that anyone is welcome to buy for me!

crash vegas, "red earth." if anyone knows of this album, i will give you a dollar! i saw a video for "smoke" on canadian music television, back in 1991. i was visiting my pal stacy and they got much music if you angled the tv antenea just right, around 2am- 4am. i can't even remember the entire album, but i loved that "smoke" song. it was sad and dreamy and had lush female vocals.

matthew sweet, "girlfriend." out of all the albums on my list, this one is the most "rocking". it's just an almost perfect album of pop-rock that was always great to listen to in the car. this guy has released a number of albums since, and all get rave reviews, but "girlfriend" for me is a classic.

everything but the girl, "idlewild." ok, there's a theme. i dig the mopey music, with a tendency to enjoy quirky, british female vocalists. this band had a number of albums before "idlewild" and more after. (they had a huge hit with "missing", which you'd know if you heard it.) but "idlewild" for me remains an all-time favorite. it's hard to describe this one..... lots of acoustic stuff, male/female harmonies.....a good sunday afternoon listen.
sara hickman, "shortstop." this was an odd album by a quirky folk singer out of texas. i remember loving this album, but haven't heard it in over 10 years. it was a favorite back in my college days, and after reading the wiki, i might have to go out and see what her more recent work is about.

jane siberry, "bound by the beauty." yet another quirky female vocalist, and another canadian. she had a few hit singles in canada before this album, and went on to remain popular with the adult acoustic crowd. for me though, this album is timeless. with songs about dogs, and beauty, and trains, it's lovely and strange and stands the test of time. she's recently changed her name to "issa" and is living on some kind of commune. but a lovely album none the less....
honerable mentions:
david & david "welcome to the boomtown" (i loved this album!!!)
toni childs, "union" (rachel and i were obsessed with this one) she had the strangest voice...
charlie sexton, "pictures for pleasure" (this one might have been somewhat based on his cute factor....)
tanita tikaram, "ancient heart", she had a deep, dreamy voice and the song "twist in my sobriety" was mesmerizing.
(if i think of any more i shall add them as well)

March 25, 2007

Happy Birthday glittermom!

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LUCY!!!!! they said she was a "diamond in the rough", so now she's "lucy in the sky with diamonds"..... i think she's part cat, part chow, collie, and some hyena. she's so sweet and hopefully sophie will come out and play soon.
so far it's been a lovely weekend. i should have new dog pics to post later tonight. for now, go to my mom's blog to get a look at her new girl. i think her name is "lucy"!

March 22, 2007

bye maggie.........
(here's maggie back in january, looking sad curled up on dan's coat....)

(maggie with her pal sophie, who drove her crazy. sophie just wanted to play, and by "play" i mean she liked to chew on maggie's head.)

i think we let everyone know that maggie passed away yesterday. i wanted to let folks know before i blogged about it. she got very sick (with what we now know was "bloat") and passed away before the vet could try to help her with surgery.

my mom got maggie back in 96, after my stepdad passed away. she was a crazy puppy who loved to chew on everything and everyone. she was a handful and made us all crazy at times (like when i house sat and she ate 2 different tv remotes, a metal coffee mug and other assorted items.) i sometimes referred to her as "the pink nightmare", he he he....

but she was also funny and smart and sweet. she didn't mean to eat those paper towels! she didn't mean to lay on the wood frame i was painting purple, she didn't mean to give herself purple racing stripes! ah, i wish i had a pic of that.....

this weekend i (and when i say "i" i mean "dan") am going to scan some pics of maggie for another post. she was so photogenic! like one of those wegman dogs, but better, because she could eat pop cans......

March 20, 2007

this man is trying to kill me........

"New bite-size CHEESY TOTS feature a golden, crispy outside and smooth, melted mozzarella and cheddar cheeses with potato bits inside."
"New CHEESY TOTS are the ultimate, craveable side item. When we were testing them, we always had to make them twice because the first batch would disappear. They are unbelievably good."
(this image also came up on my google image search for CHEESY TOTS....coincidence? i think not!"

March 18, 2007


this giant puppy is only 6 weeks old! we met him at dan's mom's house and he belongs to the nieghbors. he's a st. bernard and i wanted to steal him and bring him home...

March 17, 2007

i haven't updated the blog in a few days, and really need to get that dirty herbie mann album cover pushed down a little. i am embarassed to open my own blog! so i've been home sick since thursday. i won't whine about it, although i love to bitch and moan when i am sick. just ear aches and bad sinus infection. i missed work and seeing some friends, so now i am home being sick & sad and watching silence of the lambs on cable. i own the DVD, and on cable it's edited and cut up. so why do i get sucked in to watching it every time? something comforting about the couch and a favorite movie.....

March 10, 2007

guilty pleasures.....
flutist herbie mann (i want a poster of this album cover)
fast food (especially mcdonald's)
tabloid magazines
counting crows
7th heaven
billy joel
will ferrell movies (anchorman especially)
sandra bullock movies
meg ryan movies (pre-plastic surgery)
dr. phil
religious talk radio (am, of course)
working on my blog at work
lawry's season salt on almost everything (corn on the cob)
videos of kittens and puppies on youtube
white bread

March 6, 2007

music geek part I

who's your favorite band???

that was a question i started asking in junior high. we all had our favorite bands, we'd write their names on our paper-bag covered text books. and as an adult, i still love music and am interested in finding out what music people are listening to.

recently i asked a girl at work what kind of music she liked and she answered, "oh, whatever's on the radio!" i was stunned. i asked, "well, if you had to pick a band or an album, what would be your favorite?" she looked me right in the eye and said, "i'm not that into music. i don't pay attention. i guess U2 or coldplay. aren't they what's popular?"

i knew then that there was something very wrong with this girl (but i'll save that for another time.) her disturbing answer got me to thinking about how i came to like the music i listen to now. what influenced me? what did i like early on?

my earliest memories of music are from when i was about 5 years old (1975) riding around in my parents van. i remember not liking the modern country music they played (good old WGAR in cleveland.) but i loved the 8 track they had of hank williams (senior, not junior!) i'd beg them to play "jumbalaya" over and over. i can remember loving his strange, high lonesome voice. around this time we moved to kentucky and i remember driving through the hills and asking my dad to play the jim croce 8-track again and again.

in 1978 we were back in cleveland and in a new house (in willowick). i got my own alarm clock with a radio too. i can remember being blown away at the idea that i could turn the dial and hear all kinds of music, people talking, and on clear nights a spanish station! i became obsessed with the local rock station and even called in to win a fleetwood mac album (i don't think they knew i was only 8!) i remember my mom and dad driving us into inner city cleveland to try and find the radio station. we gave up and i went home without my "rumors" LP, devastated.

i got my first stereo around this time. i went to "peaches" record store with my dad and bought my first album, olivia newton john's "have you ever been mellow". i remember having the soundtrack to "grease" and every wacky k-tell album of songs like "monster mash" and "my ding-a-ling". my mom tried to slip in a few leif garrett and andy gibb albums (she claims that's what other little girls were listening to) but i wasn't interested.

there were 2 songs that really got me, that blew me away and had me obsessed. blondie's "heart of glass" and billie joel's "honesty". i am guessing this is around 1980 (10 years old...) these were the songs that made me save my paper route money and start spending it all at the record store. the blondie album and the birth of MTV got me interested in "new wave" bands like thompson twins and berliin. billy joel just possessed me. i eventually taught myself to play piano and my parents gave in and bought me a piano.

i loved billy joel's music and collected every album, dragged my mom to shows and evetually learned to play his music on piano. this lasted from the late 70's well into the early 80's. his marriage to christie brinkey and subsequent sell-out, bullshit song "uptown girl" broke my heart. i put billy joel aside, but a few albums since then have yielded some decent songs. some day i shall blog my "super excellant billy joel song list", another time.

continuing in my "new wave" interested, i got interested in duran duran, INXS and REM. the "pretty in pink" soundtrack came out and introduced me to the smiths, which lead to the cure, cocteau twins, and siousxie and the banshees. by junion year of high school i was considered "the weird punk girl" because of my affinity for black clothes, leggings, and cure t-shirts.

around this time i stumbled up tom waits, on an old episode of "night flight". i saw the video for "in the neighborhood" and couldn't believe what i was hearing. that strange raspy voice, and a song that sounded like a weird old german oompa- marching tune.

from here i went off to college, with my tom waits cassettes, morrissey posters, and a cassette tape my friend mark had made me; one side was nanci griffith and the other lyle lovett. these 2 were part of a folk-country-rock revival out of texas. maybe it was my early days of hank williams and jim croce that made me love this music so much. it was country music, but more folky and alternative. i came to love nanci and lyle, and discovered musicians like john prine, lucinda williams, and john hiatt. this music still remains a part of my life, along with "newcomers" like ryan adams and hem.

bands like the cure and the smiths broke up, and i found new bands like his name is alive, radiohead and moloko. and in the last year, groundcat and i were able to see tom waits and lyle lovett in concert!!! it's funny to think i've listened to their music for 15-20 years now....

so that's my musical journey...... i'd like to see what everyone else comes up with for their own. get to blogging!!!!! and you're welcome for all the damn links!