"What is Simple by the Moonlight"

"...by the morning never is."

I headed out to Joliet this morning to complete the final step in my prosecution for driving 14 godforsaken mph over the speed limit. More on that later, but I was lucky enough to have the accompaniment of Dark Was The Night on my way there and back. I was curious about the compilation after Don't Forget to Dance introduced me to Yeasayer's Tightrope (very fun song), and now I'm sold thanks to this one ("Lua") by Conor Oberst and Gillian Welch, and an overflowing handful of others that made me sit in my car even after I'd arrived home. Then I remembered that the great thing about CDs is you can actually eject them from the player and take them with you. Technology's really something.


Wake Up and Smell the Signs

I wonder if it’s common to only suffer stomach issues upon one’s return from Mexico. I’ll spare you details, but mine are serious enough that D recommended I eat nothing today, save a banana, and I-whose-vocabulary-doesn't-include-“fast”-unless-it's-referring-to-speed reluctantly concurred. But after this morning’s Tokyo Express ironed my puffy coat into something more closely resembling a banana leaf and left me breathing straight out of a stranger’s hot mouth for ten minutes, I felt deserving of some latte goodness. So much for those good intentions. I'll just take the elevator straight down, thanks.

I was getting near 15 minutes late for work, so I opted for one of the two Starbucks a stone’s throw from my office. It was pleasantly empty when I walked in, save for the conspicuous hurdle between me and the register in the form of a lady carrying way too much stuff. Trying to carry, I mean. Her bag was precariously balanced between her and the food case, with most of its contents starting to spill out onto her arms. She managed to slide herself over to the register where she continued a clawing search within the bag's depths whilst profusely apologizing for the delay. I’ve been accused of always having too much stuff, so I gave her plenty of empathetic space and silenced all passive-aggressive sighs.

After an awkward minute or so, and with a gusty exhale of relief, she finally excavated a wallet the size of a stick of gum from the recesses of the bag. We had lift-off. Bag lady all paid up and out of the way, I moved in and was paying when I noticed a curious little book on the counter. It looked like a pocket bible, so my first thought was that Starbucks had really crossed the line this time with its book of the month mumbo-jumbo. But a slight tilt of the book later, and I was pretty sure this wasn’t one of them books that had just slid out of its display or something.

No, there it was, clear as day, "Alcoholics Anonymous." A bible of sorts, I suppose. As if she wasn’t having enough of a rough go, she had to leave that of all things behind her at the counter. So much for the anonymous portion of the program, I decided the presumably alcoholic portion could probably use it, so I handed it over to her as if I was handing her a dropped mitten. It was delivered with such nonchalance it was... entirely... chalant.

She thanked me like I might thank someone who'd just told me my skirt was tucked up into my undies, and then we both headed over to the fixins island, where I was too distracted to notice that I put nutmeg in my latte instead of cinnamon. If you’ve never tried nutmeg in your coffee, I’d recommend you keep it that way. Unless you enjoy dry heaves. So much for my coffee treat, something was clearly trying to tell me to just.put.it.down. It wasn't my day for coffee. Not down the hatch, anyway.

So it was that this junky in search of her own fix almost purchased this print today. That is until I realized shipping cost 8 pounds and the checkout process required me to enter mysterious information about my credit card, including “issue number” and “valid on,” which is not to be confused with “expires on,” found on the line right below. I figured the level of confusion caused by such an ordinary process was a good sign to forego on that sign afterall. If only they were always so easy to interpret.

Bird Confetti Over Manhattan

thx ateotl

Les Poupées Russes

Here's a cute tune by Seti from the movie I watched for the second time around last night, Russian Dolls. I liked it more last night than I recall liking it a year or so ago. This is probably for reasons that have little to do with the movie itself and much to do with misdirected anger. I'd venture to say it's not quite on par with its predecessor, L'auberge Espagnole, but I was thoroughly entertained all the same. Romain Duris, who takes the lead, is your consummate everyman and an excellent actor to boot (if you haven't seen Le Peril Jeune or De Battre Mon Coeur S'est Arrêté (The Beat That My Heart Skipped), I recommend them). In fact, I'd say that every other actor chosen for the movie has real chops too. The expressions, intonation and overall timing are so spot on, it's a small joy to watch it all come together.

Xavier (Duris) ends the movie comparing the search for the so-called "one" to my beloved nesting dolls...

If I think about all the girls I've known or slept with or just desired, they're like a bunch of Russian dolls. We spend our lives playing the game dying to know who'll be the last, the teeny-tiny one hidden inside all the others. You can't just get to her right away. You have to follow the progression. You have to open them one by one wondering, "Is she the last one?"

As my sister and I used to say (in master-of-the-obvious tone): "Hence, the title of the movie."


Pretty as a Parapluie

A random photo I saved onto my desktop that I've opened more than once to take another peek. Problem is, I can't remember where I found it. Blasted.

"I Wanna Love You"

"...but I'm growing old."

Hola amigos! Boy did I hear that a lot over the last week. Boy how I'd love to hear it again, but I'm back in the Chicagotown. A shade or so darker (woo hoo!), though you can hardly tell under the glow of these flourescent lights. I had a grand time, indeed, and will elaborate pronto. We were greeted by an unseasonably warm couple days upon our return, which was helpful for my predictable post-vacation melancholies. Mere forties compared to Meheeko's eighties, but something to hold onto. Thanks, global warming.

Yesterday was an 11 hour day of billing, and I need to bill 9 more for the next 3 days (including Saturday), which will still leave me 10 hours shy of my monthly minimum billing requirement. Fun times. Needless to say... I'll really be back when that's all sorted.

In the meantime, here's a little tune I played three times en route to work this morning. More Mando Diao albums have arrived, and I'm not disappointed. No, not at all. I like the flow of the chorus in this one.


"I Used To Think Life's a Bitter Pill..."

"... but it's a grand ole time."

Dangit. Of course the actual video disabled embedding. This here's just the making of, so GO HERE to see the actual video for this gem by The Rapture. It's good times, it's catchy, I never get enough of it. Makes me dream a little dream of sunny sunny days and cutting a rug. Seeing as I've got a few to look forward to, just thought I'd throw one more song on here and end on an upbeat note. Plantin' the seed of fun to come... woo! alright! yeah!

Packin' It In and Packin' Up

This time tomorrow I'll be en route to Puerto Vallarta for some sunny weather relief and relaxinumination. I cannot wait. Today I'll be working for it, though, on account of the laundry list of things left to do here at work. A little overwhelmed. Then there's the other list awaiting me when I get home. So... time to put shnoz to grindstone. I bid adieu to you and you and you until my return on Tuesday (god willing). I hope everyone out there has a lovely week, and if I don't look like I got an ounce of sun upon my return, I beg you to please lie.

"The Naked Bone Of An Echo Says..."

"...don't walk away."

So purty. Sorry for the accompanying photo collage, try to ignore. I would have posted a shaky live version, but this is a band I actually prefer recorded over live. Not to say they're bad live, they're not, but somehow the full effect of Nick Urata's voice gets lost. And that's not the part to lose. Here's the equally beautiful but better known "How It Ends" set to scenes from Everything Is Illuminated, a fantastic movie if you haven't seen it.



Thou Shalt Not Covet a Closet

To end today’s en FUEGO barrage of posts (someone will be working all weekend) on a happy and superficial note, this closet is so pretty. As compared to the feeling one gets when gazing into the parade of neutrals otherwise known as my closet, I can’t imagine facing this color explosion every morning with anything other than sheer glee. This person must be independently wealthy. Or have the best job in the world.

Parlor Games

I don't heart conversation hearts. They're not terribly creative, and they taste like Tums. So I was pleased when a coworker engaged a few of us in a friendly game of "Desecrate the
Converation Heart." It started innocently enough, with said coworker asking for everyone's vote for funniest conversation heart. It ended with the following submissions:

love is lame, I heart dick, rock my vag, and fist me.

Classy bunch. And the hands-down winner (offered by a girl who's been mistaken for a Mary Kay rep more than once):

milk my prostate

Slow day at the office.

Blog Down Memory Lane

I Heard Tell also gave me a laugh today with her post on this Homer Simpson quote:

“What have I done with my life? I’m 38 years old and I only have three memories! Waiting in line at the movies, getting a key made, and this conversation we’re having right now!”


“I wonder if it’s possible to have a love affair that lasts forever.”

-Andy Warhol

Friday Funny II

The bunny-comic puts out a week-daily comic that's been giving me consistent doses of the inner laughs. I chose this one in honor of my own coulrophobia. Though I wouldn't say I fear clowns so much as think them deeply disturbing and creepy and prone to child molestation.

When I was a kid I'd ride my bike a couple miles from my house to the Sunoco to buy candy. I went with a list to look as if I was buying the candy for more than just myself, but really it was all for me. Thank goodness for good metabolism (back then), but that's not the point. The point is that I'd pedal fiercely there and back to maintain enough speed to evade any rusted-out black vans filled with clowns. I was pretty sure there was one lurking around my little suburb waiting to abduct and molest me.

I blame one of those after school specials. I ended up with my own abduction visualization embellished with clowns as a result. I was pretty much never the same again, always looking over my shoulder for a van full of pedophilia. And I wonder where I got that good metabolism.... unreasonable anxiety and frantic pedaling are a good start.

I Take Issue

...with the ginormous screen-spanning American Apparel ads that turn a bunch of my regular website stops into gross NSFW close-ups of asses, side-boobs and crotch. So I found this sketch pretty hilarious.

"Without The Tight Little Denim"

"...your virtues would all go unknown."

It's a girly kind of day over here. Plus, the Tierney Gearon photo below keeps making me think of this song.

Happiness Is a Pair of Retro Summer Heels

I am loving these so. Maybe it's the thought of the kind of weather that would accompany me as I wore them - No ice allowed. No gusty Chicago winds either (TIMMMMBERRRRR!). Or maybe there's something vaguely reminscent about them. I'm getting flashes of playing dress-up, actually. If splurging wouldn't take kibble out of the dog bowl and I wasn't worried about looking a little more hobbling hooker than hip, I might just go there. As it is, I think I'll stay right here in my two point fives.


Tramp, Hold the Lady

All the more for him.

c/o dooce


I Second That

Sorry to mention eating so soon after those new human pics, but I felt compelled to move those babays down a little. And stat.

c/o ffffound

Jolie Laide

Bashful, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy.... is that you?

Thierry Bouet.

if you dare, see more at lifelounge via cup of jo

"Nothing Left To Gain From Remembering..."

"...faces and worlds that no one else will ever know."

This comes on the recommendation of GTA (thanks, deary!). I'm only just beginning with Antony and his Johnsons (well that sounded gross), but the chosen vid is "You Are My Sister." And here they are doing "Kiss My Name" (gorgeous! but not great quality sound), "Hope There's Someone" on Jools Holland, and his breakthrough performance on the Leonard Cohen documentary, I'm Your Man, singing Cohen's "If It Be Your Will." Part of me wants to compare him to other singers (at first it was Aaron Neville. Sorry, Antony), but he really does have a sound of his own. A kinda breathtaking one. Apparently he can make Lou Reed cry, and from what I hear of ornery Lou Reed, that's talent.


Bedknobs & Broomsticks

I try to avoid job talk on this here blog, lest a work folk ever discover it (shuddering at the thought). At the very least I could say I rarely talk about work. And that's something, yeah? Or maybe it's all the worse. Regardless, when a partner likens you to Angela Landsbury in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, you share.

Miss Landsbury joins the ecclectic company of Wendy (think square hamburger), after sporting a blue-striped ruffle top, and Heidi (think Swiss braids) on account of a twisted updo or two. If you're thinking this guy doesn't get out much, you're right.

Looking Forward?

Tierney Gearon via lenscratch


Looks like Harold Eugene forgot to glue in his dentures again. And look at him going straight for the tough rind, poor guy. Blind as a bat.


Not Everyone Can Carry the Weight of the World

Fancying some elder REM, I tried to find "Texarkana" but came up with "Talk About the Passion" instead.

Lego My Thoughts

I've had New York on the mind since watching Hannah and Her Sisters last weekend (NY is practically its own character in the movie) and Subway Stories last night. Time for another visit to the brother. A few of these Lego creations are universal, but the creator had New York on his mind all the way from Berlin as he watched his kid play with Legos. Cute.

As for the movies, Subway Stories kept my attention (which is saying a lot after a 12 hour workday and 6 hours in a car with my boss), but I can't help feeling there's a lot more potential with the subject than comes to light in the film. It's not bad, but I'd hoped for a little more when the focus is odd encounters on the NY subway.

Hannah and Her Sisters, on the other hand, was a winner. I don't know how I managed to overlook this Woody Allen movie, but I'm glad that's now been remedied. It portrays familial and romantic dynamics in spot-on fashion, highlighting flaws and blunders that don't necessarily become known to all parties. Leave it to Woody to make it all okay, mostly free of judgment, and even an expectation. Of course there are so many classic lines speckled throughout that I hate to pick a few and ruin them without context, but... (c/o IMDB)...

Frederick (pretentious artist):

You see the whole culture. Nazis, deodorant salesmen, wrestlers, beauty contests, a talk show. Can you imagine the level of a mind that watches wrestling? But the worst are the fundamentalist preachers. Third grade con men telling the poor suckers that watch them that they speak with Jesus, and to please send in money. Money, money, money! If Jesus came back and saw what's going on in his name, he'd never stop throwing up.

Woody's Dad:

How the hell do I know why there were Nazis? I don't know how the can opener works!

Mickey (Woody, hypochondriac) - on a suicidal urge:

A week ago I bought a rifle, I went to the store - I bought a rifle! I was gonna, you know, if they told me I had a tumor, I was gonna kill myself. The only thing that might-ve stopped me - MIGHT'VE - is that my parents would be devastated. I would have to shoot them also, first. And then I have an aunt and uncle - you know - it would've been a blood bath.

Mickey (Woody) - watching joggers in Central Park:

Look at all these people, trying to stave off the inevitable decay of their bodies.

Yeah, it's far superior delivered by the actors, but I couldn't help. Just see it for yourself if you haven't already.


Pretty as a Parapluie

On the subject of shoes... I love this photo. My archiving skills have gone straight down the shooter lately (rush, rush, rush), so I'll track down the source of this ("Streetdance") later tonight. Or tomorrow. Or never.

King of the Bongo

This weekend I played drums on a drum set for the first time ever. They said I was "pretty good for a first timer." Maybe they were just being nice, but nevermind that. gg, I'm officially ready for tsk*tsk!

Come On Feel The Illinoi-ance

I know of this wrongdoer who learned the irritating way that the glorious State of Illinois takes a driver’s license as bond after doling out a measly speeding ticket (14 over on the highway? Isn’t that just doing everyone a favor?). In the esteemed County of Will (a.k.a. jolie Joliet), the wrongdoer pays the ticket plus another fifty bones to sign up for driving school in the hopes of keeping her sins off the record books. Once the wrongdoer’s all paid up and feeling 10 feet tall, Will County gives her the false sense that they are in the process of mailing her driver’s license back to her.

In reality, to make that 14 mph folly complicate her life as much as humanly possible, they never actually mail the license back. Instead, there’s a city employee who throws it atop a mound of seized licenses, occasionally glancing at the pile with a look of mischievous pride before setting fire to it. Alternatively, the license is mailed to a random address plucked from the phonebook. Just for fun. Those phonebooks don’t get enough use these days anyway, and this maneuver has the added consequence of leaving the evildoer with (1) a visit to the DMV (the horah), (2) the fear that her identity is at risk for theft (good luck getting credit with this identity), (3) multiple paranoid printings of her credit report, and (4) a credit protection bureau membership that will raise the complication levels to ever more dizzying heights. Mission accomplished, Will.i.am. You think you’re so smart.

I popped in to the DMV on my way back from court today. It seemed the prudent thing to do. Of course nobody just “pops” in to the DMV. More like wading through smelly garbage. Or drowning. But I put on the ole patience cap, which I save for very special mind-numbing and nerve-plucking occasions.

In line to verify my documentation, I made a friend. He was queued up behind me, but I could hear his breath as if I had him on piggyback. He was a sweet guy with a disability of some kind. Prone to intense staring, he found and spoke his words at a slow and steady pace, and there was much repetition. But he eventually managed to tell me that he liked my shoes. see above. He liked them very much. So much that he couldn’t stop staring at them for even a split second.

He asked me where I got them (Wisconsin), when I got them (last summer), what brand they were (Franco Sarto), and then asked if he could “see them” (record scratches). He could see them just fine from where he stood, but I didn’t want to be rude, so I struck a little jazz pose with my left foot. The lady behind me giggled. When I realized he meant that he wanted to see them OFF my foot, I politely declined.

After my friend’s documentation was approved, he found a seat directly in front and to the left of me where he sat and promptly craned his neck around to continue his shoe gazing. I had ticket A080. Friend had A081. DMV was on A060. I was pleasantly surprised when it took just 60 minutes for me to make it to the counter (and twenty recitations from my friend that he was “now XX turns away from getting a new license!”).

Once my ticket was called, friend and my shoes said their good-byes and went their separate ways. They exchanged a few more friendly jazz points and stares as they passed each other in line at the cashier and then at the photo stand. But that was that. Parting is such sweet sorrow.... Unless you’re at the DMV... in patent leather heels.

Is It Honestly Abe?

I'm a little fascinated by this daguerreotype, which might be the earliest known surviving image of Lincoln. You think it's him? Go here for the full story and to compare to the Lincoln we all know and love. I for one didn't know (or forgot) that a horse kicked Abe in the head as a youngster. Who knows, we just might have that horse to thank for some of Abe's novel ideas.

c/o a photography blog

Bombs Away!

I'm assuming this is a front angle view of one of those canine long jump contests where canine sprints across dock, makes wind and belly flops into lake. I'm also assuming this here canine was having a little more fun than his bug-eyed expression might imply. Who knew terror and keeping one's eyes on the prize could be so easily confused. I wish I had such powers of concentration.




Awe, shucks. Something tells me this guy gets what he wants.

thx allcreatures

I Second That

Of course I can't help but notice that the tat is ever-so-slightly off-center. That would drive me cUrAzy. Good thing it's on her back.

tracking down the source...



Happiness is a Marquee Ampersand

Obviously. I mean, oversized ampersand & bulbs, oh my! I'm glad I have neither the industrial loft space to display it nor $175 to waste on it. Because something tells me it's a character from a sign that would tell people I'm crazy. As in... well... "this girl's crazy & you might wanna stay away unless you like crazy." Which reminds me of my longstanding theory that every girl is a little crazy and every guy is a little clueless. This theory tends to offend girls more than guys, but personally I think crazy is a little underrated.

Get Up Get Out and Get Gone

This would be a good song to wake up to in the morning. I've been having a little problem lately known as "trouble waking up in the morning." Lately as in several years now, maybe decades, possibly from birth. I'm pretty sure I was born in the morning, which means I must have come out all glistening and grumpy. But I refuse to surrender hope that one day I'll magically tranform into one of these mystical bright-eyed and bushy-tailed morning creatures. Prior to attaining senior citizen status, preferably.

My last attempt at a morning remedy ended in the purchase of an overpriced alarm clock so complicated I couldn't figure out how to set it let alone turn it off when it randomly sounded. So much for waking to the pretty sounds of nature, I finally admitted I'm better off with my trusty cell phone's adult contemporary elevator music ring that I currently force myself to hear every 5 minutes for an hour before I finally face the fact that I must rise or face an imminent sacking. Whoever the hell LG employee thought a 5 minute snooze interval was a good idea needs to be tortured. By shitty adult contemporary elevator music, preferably. Surprisingly, the current routine doesn't exactly set the stage for anything other than a day of "the misanthropies," so I'm in the market for my next morning wake-up cure. If anyone out there has any, I'm all ears for idears.

A Thing for Buck Teeth

I have one. Even if they do reside on an animal that just predicted additional winter hell.

thx fuck you, penguin

I Love a Good Stretch

Apparently so does this guy, doing his foxy rendition of down dog. He's even stretching his tongue. And his toes. Those are some surprisingly big toes.

Is it weird that I always thought that a medieval body stretching torture device (think Princess Bride) might feel kinda good? Until appendages start popping out of sockets, anyway.



"Because it's a rare example of -perfect- modern creation/production of traditional pop/rock! It may not be art, but it's definitely well-crafted."


Whatever you say.