Friday, May 29, 2009


Koi Pond
Koi pond at Penang Restaurant, Kennesaw.

Anyone who thinks of a koi pond as something Zen Buddhist-like - something ineffably relaxing, a source of quiet contemplation - hasn’t walked past a koi pond filled with hungry fish who think it’s Feeding Time.


Tiger Toes
Ready to reune. SWMBO shows off her Tiger Toes, complete with Class of ’74 logo.

It’s Friday, time once again for the Friday Random Ten, that insufferable feature in which I put up a list of Miscellaneous Melodies, horked out at random by the iPod d’Elisson.

This weekend, She Who Must Be Obeyed and I are on our way to Princeton, New Jersey, there to attend my thirty-fifth class reunion. It promises to be a Grand Old Time. There, the music will be coming from live bands, not little white boxes... and there will be hordes of people in varying states of bibulosity, gyrating to the best of their ethanol-fueled abilities. Joy!

But all that comes later. Right now we want to see what’s on that little white box. Here ’tis:
  1. Act I, Scene 2: “You Know We’ll Meet With Your Confrère” - John Adams, Nixon in China

  2. Grace - Mooonraker

  3. The Cold Part - Modest Mouse

  4. Father and Son - Cat Stevens

  5. Boodle Am Shake - Dixieland Jug Blowers

    This song, recorded in 1926, was written by Jack Palmer and Spencer Williams.

    The 1926 version could frequently be heard on Jean Shepherd’s radio show... and years later, it was covered by Jerry Garcia, playing with Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions.

    Boodle am, boodle am, boodle am, boodle am, boo
    Toodle am, toodle am, toodle am, toodle am, too
    Ring-a-ling, ring-a-ling, ring-a-ling, ring-a-ling, now
    Ding-a-ling, ding-a-ling, ding-a-ling, ding-a-ling, wow

    I know this song don’t mean a thing
    You just do that plain old Charleston swing
    When you sing
    Toodle am, toodle am, toodle am, toodle am, too
    Boodle am, boodle am, boodle am, boodle am, boo

  6. Marie’s Wedding - Van Morrison & the Chieftains

  7. Moggio - A Tribute Band for FZ

  8. Rum and Coke - Professor Longhair

  9. Act III: “I Have No Offspring” - John Adams, Nixon in China

  10. P.S. I Love You - The Beatles

It’s Friday. What are you listening to?

Thursday, May 28, 2009


...around the sun for Eli, hizzownself - my beloved Daddy - who turned eighty-four today.

Eli the Raconteur 1
I taut I taw a Tautology: Eli, father of Elisson.

Ya gotta admire a guy who celebrates his 84th birthday by going out and playing four rounds of racquetball... soundly walloping the Dreaded Opposition in the process. Yes, he’s in great shape both physically and mentally (keyn ayin hora). If he chose to, he could thrash me or most anyone my age on the four-walled court, through a deadly combination of physical stamina and Extreme Wilyness. Knows all the angles, he does.

She Who Must Be Obeyed and I will, Gawd willing, get a chance to celebrate with the Old Man in person: He and Toni are the next stop on our Thirty-Fifth Reunion Tour.

Onward... to One Hundred Twenty!





...but when you do so, be sure to wear your knee-high leather boots, in the event you should come upon one of these guys:


John - Donnie Joe’s brother - lives just a few miles north of us. He heard something rustling in the bushes and went out to investigate, and this is what he found. There followed a telephone call to Donnie Joe, paraphrased below...

“Hey, Donnie Joe - I found a snake in our yard!”

“Was it black?”

“No, it was brown, with a kind of pattern...”

“Holy crap - that’s a copperhead! It’s venomous - stay the fuck away from it!”

[Note: I have taken a few liberties here. Donnie Joe would never say “holy crap” or “fuck” in a telephone conversation with his brother. But if I had been on the phone... well, you get the idea.]

John is not the kind of person who willingly allows Dangerous Reptiles to make camp on his property. The landscape guys were working on his yard, conveniently enough, so he had one of them dispatch it with the edge of a shovel. The PETA folks may gripe, but tough toenails. You do NOT want the neighborhood kids stumbling upon one of these.

And besides, the meat’s tasty. Like chicken. Chicken that’s been crawling around on its belly all its life.


Thunder and Lightning

Cute for cuteness’s sake doesn’t usually fly here at Blog d’Elisson - after all, this is a place where I write about bowel movements and Taint Warheads, fer cryin’ out loud - but this was irresistible.

You’re looking at Thunder and Lightning, two dramatically-named kitties that were rescued from a dumpster by our friends David and Laurie. The Coke can is included to show scale.

David and Laurie’s dog Patches - a 75-pound Bandana-Wearin’ Dawg - has taken over the Mr. Mommy role. I’m trying to picture it...

Update: Friday Ark #245 is afloat over at the Modulator, with our Collection o’ Kitties in pole position.

If that’s not enough to satisfy your Kitty Jones, head on over to Three Tabby Cats in Vienna sometime after Sunday evening, where Kashim, Othello, and Salome will be hosting Carnival of the Cats #272.

Update 2: CotC #272 is up.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Stu Frogmore had lived in Charleston all his life, as befit someone whose family roots stretched back to the days when the Battery was first built.

He loved everything about his home town. While others might gripe about heat, humidity, and the occasional hurricane, Stu just smiled. When Northern transplants complained about the leisurely pace of life, he simply felt sorry for them.

And he loved the food.

Only thing he hated was the massive carbuncles that would grow ’twixt his scrotum and anus, owing to the sweltering heat. There were few things more painful than a Low Country Boil.


Stair-Top Hakuna
Upstairs: Hakuna guards the top of the staircase against Unwanted Intruders.

Chair Neighbor
Downstairs: Neighbor protects a comfy armchair against Unwanted Intruders.

No, it ain’t Masterpiece Theatre. Just our kitties, and their shaky Modus Vivendi. When one is upstairs, the other generally is downstairs... and vice versa. For when they find themselves in the same general area, complications ensue.

Servants and aristocrats would likely get along better than these two. Alas.


Princeton Wedgewood
1930 Wedgewood dinner plate featuring Princeton University’s Blair Hall - my home for two years. One of a series of twelve plates featuring Princeton campus landmarks.

Let’s go back to Princeton
At commencement time,
Sample each reunion:
That’s the life for mine!
Ramble round the campus,
Full of jollity,
Our location for celebration
Is New Jersee.

Going back, going back,
Going back to Nassau Hall.
Going back, going back,
To the best old place of all.
Going back, going back,
From all this earthly ball.
We’ll clear the track as we go back,
Going back to Nassau Hall.

(from Going Back to Nassau Hall - Kenneth S. Clark 1905)

Yes, beginning tomorrow, thousands of alumni will gather in Princeton, New Jersey for yet another massive bout of nostalgia, camaraderie, and drinkage. Reunions!

Reunions are held every year, but it’s been our tradition to attend every five years... and thus, we will get on the Great Silver Aerial Bus Friday morning and make the journey to that “one and only University, situated and celebrated In New Jersee” for my thirty-fifth Class Reunion.

Yes, Esteemed Readers - it has been that long. Gaaaahhh!

It’ll be different this year, because for the very first time ever, She Who Must Be Obeyed and I will be unaccompanied by Offspring. Elder Daughter attended her first Reunion in 1979 at the tender age of three weeks. From 1984 on, both girls accompanied us... until 2004, when Elder Daughter was unable to attend due to the demands of her job (!) It’s the inevitable result of the Passage of Time.

Highlights will include the one and only P-Rade, in which alumni and their families representing every class (up to and including this year’s graduates) march through the campus, each class attired in its distinctive uniform, and a fireworks show that is an out-and out extravaganza. But for me, the best part is seeing old friends... and getting better acquainted with classmates that I didn’t get to know as well as I’d have liked to Back In The Day.

Hey, I might even run into a blogger or two...

Monday, May 25, 2009


Mediterranean Orzo Salad
Laura Belle’s Mediterranean Orzo Salad.

Memorial Day.

A day to honor our Men-at-Arms, fallen in the service of our country.

A day to tie on the ol’ Feed-Bag - because that is how Americans observe moments of great solemnity as well as those of great joy. We eat everything that is not nailed down.

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, never mind that the actual solstice is still several weeks away. It is also the unofficial start of Grilling Season. Unofficial, sure: here in the Atlanta area, I grill year-round, despite the fact that winter temperatures here can flirt with the freezing mark, sometimes even letting it Go All The Way. And when the weather is a balmy 75°F and the sun is (mostly) shining, it’s hard to resist the lure of the Backyard Hot-Box.

Not everything we had was grilled, but most of it was. Here da menu:
  • Chilled gazpacho

  • Laura Belle’s Mediterranean orzo salad (recipe here) - as pictured above.

  • Grilled asparagus and Japanese eggplant

  • Roasted corn on the cob with roasted garlic butter

  • Grilled rib-eye steaks

  • Cedar-planked salmon with blueberry chutney

And what did we drink? The ladies had their Margaritas, and the gentlemen - a couple of the hardier ones, anyway - had Punt-e-gronis. This last is a variation on the infamous Negroni, one that utilizes Hendrick’s gin, Carpano Punt e Mes vermouth, and Campari. You can find the recipe here, in an article that describes the drink as being
“ gorgeously bitter that it almost stings the tongue. Drinking it is like being slapped by an ex-lover. It is such a deep ruby red that vampires would be drawn to it.”
All of that, and it packs a wallop, too.

The Punt-e-groni, pictured with its three components. The blood orange garnish is a perfect match for the drink’s hue.

The Punt-e-groni, as well as its cousin, the Negroni, are both tipples appropriate to the day, for they combine the bitter with the sweet. Bitter, the loss of those who gave everything for their country; sweet, the freedoms they fought to preserve.

All in all, a pleasant evening indeed. More Foody-Pics below the fold.

[Tip o’ th’ Elisson fedora to Nina for the link to this fine article on the Negroni.]

Cedar-Planked Salmon
Cedar-Planked Salmon with Potlatch Seasoning.

Grilled Asparagus
Grilled Asparagus with olive oil and piment d’espelette.

Grilled Rib-Eye Steaks
Grilled rib-eye steaks. Mmmmmm, meat. Meaty meat.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


A few weeks ago, a small mob of us converged on Greenwood’s on Green Street in Roswell for a Thursday evening dinner. It’s a down-home place, noted for being the home of the infamous Greenwood’s Holy Shit Chocolate by Gawd Cream Pie. Normally, dinner at Greenwood’s would involve a considerable wait, but with the economy being what it is, we had no trouble getting a table for our party of twelve.

It was after dinner, as we waddled with leaden bellies back to our car, that I noticed a powerful flowery scent, a scent that enveloped us like a cloud. Honeysuckle! There were honeysuckle bushes surrounding the parking area, and their distinctive aroma transported me back to my childhood. For back then, we had honeysuckle aplenty growing around our house, as well as adjacent to our neighbor’s garage.

One of the Childhood Rituals I remember was plucking honeysuckle flowers, pinching off the bases of the flowers, and drawing the styles out through the bottoms of the little yellow and white blossoms. The styles would pick up a few precious drops of sweet nectar, nectar imbued with that indefinable honey-like scent, and these we would touch to our tongues in order to taste that evanescent sweetness. The taste of honeysuckle is a sense-memory that I can still recall with perfect clarity - even after fifty years.

I was reminded of another Childhood Ritual just the other day as I was pruning our Japanese red maples. Maples have distinctive seedpods - samaras, they’re called - with a papery wing that extends out from the seed, causing the seed to whirl like a helicopter as it falls.

Seed pods of the Japanese red maple.

Back in the day, every kid knew what to do with these mapleseeds. You would crack them in half (like the one in the lower left of the picture above), split the thick end of the pod open, and affix the pod to your nose. The pod’s end, when split, exuded a sticky substance that acted as a natural adhesive... as if the pods had been designed with exactly that purpose in mind.

I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a single child anywhere in the northeastern U.S. who hadn’t worn a Pollynose at one time or another. It was a Childhood Ritual, something that had been passed down through untold generations.

She Who Must Be Obeyed was unfamiliar with this part of growing up, perhaps because she was raised in Texas. Mesquite trees just don’t have the right kind of seeds, I expect.

Do you remember pollynoses, and tasting sweet honeysuckle nectar? I do. And I wonder what today’s kids will remember fifty years down the road...


Swiss Chocolates
A happy assortment of Lindt chocolates.

Guilty pleasures are those which we enjoy apologetically... as if to say, “I shouldn’t really be enjoying this, but I do.” Watching American Idol, daytime soap operas, public executions; gaping at highway fatalities; and smelling one’s own farts fall into the Guilty Pleasure category - for some people, at least.

And then there’s Chocolate.

If I feel any guilt whatsoever as regards my enjoyment of chocolate, it’s purely a function of the unnecessary calories involved. But I make no apologies. I love chocolate.

As a young Snot-Nose, I was a devotee of the Hershey bar - who wasn’t? - as well as of the fine products of Nestlé. When we would visit the Grand-’Rents, they would sometimes trot out boxes of Barton or Barricini filled chocolates - the kosher-for-Passover alternative to the Whitman sampler. And I liked Russell Stover as much as I liked Smokey Stover.

Over time, my chocolatey experiences broadened. The fine chocolates of Europe beckoned: Godiva (the real stuff from Belgium), Corné Toison d’Or, Neuhaus, and Leonidas. I fell in love with Brussels, a city with chocolate shops on (seemingly) every corner. And twenty years ago, during my first trip to Switzerland, I discovered that the Swiss reputation for being among the world’s foremost chocolatiers was completely justified. (I’m convinced that they export their seconds and keep the really good stuff at home.)

These days, I’m partial to Lindt. That’s both fortunate and unfortunate, because I can get a Lindt fix simply by driving a few miles to the local Mighty Meaty Mega Mall. But I’m not overly picky. Hell, I’ll even condescend to eat a Hershey bar, despite its slightly off-putting sour milk pong. After all, that’s one of the flavors I grew up with.

About the only chocolate I cannot bring myself to eat is this:


I’m not sure if was a mark of genius or of Monumental Bad Taste to come up with a hunk of chocolate molded into the likeness of the first American president for whom chocolate is the perfect sculptural medium... but when I first saw these in the Baltimore airport a few months ago, I almost hurt myself laughing.

Get ’em here, if you are so inclined. Takes a licking and keeps on ticking pissing off Republicans!

Saturday, May 23, 2009


...why, then, it is time to wash it.

I refer to the hair, that protective layer of keratin filaments that sits atop our heads. Except for that rare soul among us who has Great Farookin’ Hair - you know who you are - the amount of said protective layer has been diminishing for many of us who have attained a Certain Age. Nevertheless, even in diminished amount, it still requires a certain level of maintenance.

Unlike Scottish journalist Andrew Marr, a noted champion of the practice of leaving the hair unwashed, most of use like to wash our hair at least several times a week - or even daily. It’s not a complicated process. All you have to do is apply an appropriate surfactant (“shampoo”) which helps emulsify and remove the oily residuum that is naturally secreted by the scalp, along with any filth that said residuum may have attracted.

Most men are not too picky about the shampoo we use - unlike the ladies, who prefer to spend amounts on their hair care products that equate to the combined GDP of several African nations. Hell, I’ll even use those little bottles I find in hotels... when I’m not packratting them, that is.

The first shampoo I remember using, back in my Snot-Nose Days, was Prell. As far as I know, Prell is still around, though I haven’t seen it in years. I still remember its distinctive aroma, its bright green color. It used to come in a clear plastic squeeze tube, the better to show off the transparent emerald goop within.

I have no idea what was in Prell, but what I do remember was its ability to remove every trace of grease or oil from the hair - including the natural oils you wanted to retain. Washing your hair with Prell was like washing your hair with Naval Jelly. It was the perfect shampoo to use if you had just spent a month living out of doors, rooting through dumpsters in the back of meat processing plants for meals, without having taken Shower One. One squirt, a little warm water, and you’d be ready for dinner at the White House.

Needless to say, I do not use Prell anymore. A month of that stuff and your average Han Chinese would look like Carrot-Top on a bad hair day.

These days I’m partial to Neutrogena T-Gel Extra Strength, with the bracing aroma of genuine Coal Tar. I alternate that with Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Oil shampoo, which gives the scalp a lingering tingly sensation akin to sticking your head in a vat of liquid nitrogen.

What do you use? Ivory soap? Talcum powder? Or that Clairol Herbal Essence that gives the ladies orgasms from ten feet away?

Friday, May 22, 2009


American Flag

It’s Friday! And not just any Friday... it’s the Friday preceding Memorial Day, which means it is the opening shot of a three-day weekend. Oh, boy!

Friday, of course, is the day for my Friday Random Ten, that infamous exercise in self-indulgence in which I put up a list of Choons coughed up randomly by my Little White Choon-Box. It’s a perfect way to get ready for a weekend that will see plenty of outdoor grilling, Hendrick’s gin-and-tonics, and general Good Times. The mood will turn more solemn on Monday as we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country... thus helping to ensure that we are free to enjoy those grilled foods, gin-and-tonics, and Good Times.

Having said all that, shall we see what’s playing? Let’s do:
  1. Falling Elevators - MC 900 Foot Jesus

  2. The History - Philip Glass, Notes on a Scandal

  3. Mound - Phish

    The old man knows very well
    Going down ’round the snowbank, there’s a mound
    A mound that an old man knows good
    Look who raises his shoe all over this mound
    Right over the world in another rewind

    And it’s time, time, time for the last rewind
    For a broken old man and a world unkind
    He buried all his memories of home
    In an icy clump that lies beneath the ground

    No one knows how far he traveled
    Oh! I heard he walked miles from the little mound
    Can he find some shelter?
    He doesn’t know to behold what the cold frost can do
    At the last till he realized he’d circled back around
    Round a back circle, round a back realized

    And it’s time, time, time for the last rewind
    For a broken old man and a world unkind
    He buried all his memories of home
    In an icy clump that lies beneath the ground

    Ice is all he was made of
    The bitter blue, it’s frozen through
    He went over to the mound
    Reclining down his final thoughts
    Were drifting to the time his life had shined

    And it’s time, time, time for the last rewind
    For a broken old man and a world unkind
    He buried all his memories of home
    In an icy clump that lies beneath the ground

    And it’s time, time, time for the last rewind
    For a broken old man and a world unkind
    He buried all his memories of home
    In an icy clump that lies beneath the ground

  4. Rain Dogs - Tom Waits

  5. Low Side of the Road - Tom Waits

    Two Tom Waits cuts in a row. What is this - Eric’s iPod?

  6. Memories of Professor Longhair - Dr. John

    It was six years ago this weekend that the Missus and I were in N’Awlins at the legendary Tipitina’s, musical shrine to the late, great Professor.

  7. 111 Arthur Avenue - Mark Mothersbaugh

    From the soundtrack of The Royal Tenenbaums. Mothersbaugh also was one of the twisted geniuses behind the New wave band Devo.

  8. Oh Atlanta (Live) - Little Feat

  9. Ticket To Ride - The Beatles

  10. Cherub Rock - Smashing Pumpkins

It’s Friday. What are you listening to?

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Suspicious Glare

Hakuna gives me a suspicious glare
As if to say:
“What are you doing with that camera there?
Please go away!
I’m shedding upon this bedspread here,
In solitude.
No ‘Hello Kitty’ phony cheer
To spoil my mood.
Still there? Is your head full of rocks?
I have no doubt.
Now take your God-damned Flashy-Thing
And get thee out!”

Update: Friday Ark #244 is afloat - check it out over at the Modulator.

Not enough kitties for you? Visit Artsy Catsy Sunday evening for Carnival of the Cats #271. Kitties to the max!

Update 2: CotC #271 is up... at - surprise! - House of the (Mostly) Black Cats!


Dead Mouse

Well, not Mickey Mouse precisely... but Wayne Allwine, who voiced Mickey beginning in 1983, inheriting the Mickey Mantle (as it were) from Jimmy MacDonald, who had himself inherited it from Walt Disney.

Allwine passed away May 18 from complications of diabetes - and from repeatedly having his nutsack squeezed in a vise in order to propel his voice into those upper octaves.

Requiescat in pace, good Mr. Allwine. You leave an enviable legacy: Your squeaky voice will live on for centuries after you, embedded in late 20th-century American culture like unto a fly in amber. It is no small honor.

[Tip o’ th’ Elisson fedora to Cartoon Brew for the background.]


A few years ago, the Georgia fireworks regulations were loosened up a tad, permitting the sale of certain types of fireworks here in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area. From the Code:
Specifically Permitted: Sparklers up to 100 grams each; fountains (items that say “Emits Showers of Sparks” up to 200 grams total for multiple tube items or 75 grams for each individual tube; snakes, glow worms, snappers, party poppers.

Specifically Prohibited: Firecrackers, torpedoes, sky rockets, roman candles, bombs, and sparklers [presumably, those over 100 grams].

In a nutshell, it means that we can buy bullshit kiddie fireworks. Meh.

Anyone wanting more bang than that simply drives the ninety or so miles to Tennessee, where pretty much anything short of a 25 kiloton tactical nuclear warhead is legal. Assuming you don’t get stopped and searched after you re-enter Georgia, you can then set off Blowy-Up Shit to your heart’s content - or at least until the neighbors get sick of their dog throwing up from all of the bang-induced angst and decide to call the shamuses.

Fireworks regulations seem to be a lot like drunk driving laws. Enforcement is spotty, and there’s a societal tendency to Look the Other Way. In the case of fireworks, the potential damage to life, limb, and property, while significant, is way less than that of DUI... plus, fireworks are fun. (Except for the toad that Tommy, the sociopath who lives on the next street, demolished by shoving an M-80 up its ass.)

But I’m here to tell you, there really needs to be more regulation of fireworks. I’m not so much concerned that little Jimmy will blow two fingers off his right hand and be legally blind in one eye - think of it as the cost of doing business, there, Jimmy - but there are other, graver issues afoot.

Looka dis:

Golden Shower

Good Gawd - the perverts have gotten into the business!

I know what you’re thinking. “Elisson, ya feckin’ eedjit - they don’t mean that kind of Golden Shower!”

Oh, yes they do. Because I also saw - and could not bring myself to photograph - the case underneath the one in the picture. It was a case full of...

...Cleveland Steamers!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


She Who Must Be Obeyed made the observation, while watching his performance during the “American Idol” finale, that Lionel Ritchie was not an especially handsome man.

“No matter,” I responded. “He has what women want. A big, thick...”



Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Roasted Broccoliflower
Roasted broccoliflower, Brussels sprouts, and garlic: your average kid’s bad dream.

To your average kid, this dish of roasted broccoliflower, Brussels sprouts, and garlic is the stuff bad dreams are made of.

But for me, it’s just Jim Dandy.

Broccoliflower is one of them new-fangled vegetabobbles. It’s a head of cauliflower with a light greenish tinge... the result, perhaps, of Mr. Broccoli and Ms. Cauliflower getting busy. Or whatever it is vegetables do.

Once you wash and hack up the veg into manageable pieces, a little olive oil, some kosher salt, a sprinkle of oregano, and a dash of piment d’espelette (Basque red pepper) is all you need. Plus about 45 minutes in a 350°F oven. (I used a convection oven, so I turned the heat down to 325°.) As for the garlic, I simply sliced the top off an unpeeled whole head, set it in the roasting pan, and drizzled it with olive oil. After the vegetables are done, you simply squeeze that roasted head to get the soft, mellow roasted garlic cloves out. (A zit analogy is accurate but unappetizing, so I’ll not use it. Oops.)

Yummy. If you’re a grown-up.


My recent post about Supermarket Signage elicited a comment from the ever-charming GuyK: Good price for Mangos...did ya get some?

Of course I got some. At two for a measly buck, how could I resist? That’s a very reasonable tariff in this neck of the woods.

I enjoy mango, a fruit with a sweet, yet strangely tangy flavor. Served with sticky coconut rice, fresh mango is a popular Thai dessert, one of the finest of any Asian cuisine. Compounded into Major Grey’s chutney, mango provides a sweet-sour note to Indian (and other) dishes; as the key ingredient of Indian mango pickle, it offsets the white-hot fire of that condiment’s chilli peppers.

The mango finds its way into drinks as well. Mango lassi, a yogurt-based beverage, is a fine hot-weather cooler; if you prefer something more spirituous, there’s always the Mango-Tini:

The Mango-Tini: Cran-apple juice, squeeze of lemon, and a hearty dose of Finlandia Mango Vodka, shaken and strained into a Martini glass. Garnish with lemon slice.

You can buy canned mango pulp (kesar) in any store that sells Indian specialty foods. Take some vanilla ice cream and dump some kesar over it... mmmmmmm, good! And if you have kesar on hand, making that mango lassi is a snap.

But you don’t need fancy preparations to enjoy a mango. Just slice the flesh away from that big-ass fibrous seed - careful, it’s slippery - and eat. Preferably over the sink, with a towel handy.

It’s the Mistress of Sarcasm’s favorite fruit, another reason why two-for-a-buck mangoes were irresistible. Try one today!

Monday, May 18, 2009


Originally, the May Guild Event was to have been our Annual Banquet... but plans changed, as they have a way of doing. (We don’t say “Men tracht und Gott lacht” for nothing.) And thus, the Banquet will be rescheduled for June, and with any luck, it will be for a Sunday evening when I am actually in town.

As for May, this evening’s event will consist of a tasting of American Pinot Noirs at Petite Auberge. Living in Georgia as I do, how can I complain about that? It’s the local favorite. Peanut Noir.


Houston Steve, alas, will not be able to attend, but perhaps Denny will... because who’d want to miss out on this?

Speaker’s Wine
Toad Hollow “Eye of the Toad” Rosé 2007**

Hors d’Oeuvres

First Flight
Van Duzer Willamette Valley 2007
Sineann 2007
Carabella Chehalem Mountains 2005***

Sautéed Salmon Piccata: Fresh sautéed salmon with braised leek and a lemon caper sauce

Second Flight
Kenneth-Crawford “Babcock” 2007***
Paige 23 Arroyo Grande 2005***
Talley “Rincon” 2003****

Chicken Chasseur: Roasted chicken breast on a grilled Portobello mushroom with asparagus spears and a cognac cream sauce

Third Flight
Robert Sinskey Los Carneros 2006****
Kistler Sonoma County “Kistler” 2005****
Dehlinger Russian River Vally 2003****

Tournedo Choron: Beef tenderloin served with Strasbourg potatoes, sauce bordelaise, and sauce choron in artichoke

Damn, this sounds good. Better start fasting now to make room...

Update: As usual, I’ve starred the wines I liked the most.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


The Deadly Negroni
Mr. Debonair enjoys a Negroni.

Anyone who has ever spent time with snakes can tell you, there’s a big difference between the king snake and the coral snake, despite their similar appearance. One is fairly harmless. One can kill you dead.

Likewise, don’t let the pinkish-orange color fool you. That’s no girly Cosmo in my glass. It is, rather, the insidious and deadly Negroni.

Consisting of gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth in equal proportion, this is no drink for lightweights. The traditional garnishes of an orange slice and a cherry have the effect of making it look even more innocent... but a Shirley Temple it is not. It is bittersweet - more bitter than sweet, some say - in many ways a metaphor for Life.

Nevertheless, it is a perfect beverage for celebrating the graduation of our friends JoAnn and Gary’s daughter Jennifer from the University of Georgia School of Law. Given that her undergraduate degree also came from UGA, this makes Jen a part of an elite group: the Double Dawgs. [That’d be people who have two degrees from UGA.]

JoAnn, Jen, and Gary
JoAnn, Jennifer, and Gary.

To observe the occasion, a small army of friends and family converged on Athens, Georgia, where the ceremonial activities were held out-of-doors despite threatening skies. We managed to stay dry, the clouds waiting until we had arrived at East West Bistro for a post-graduation luncheon to unleash their fury.

Jen Enrobed
Jennifer, newly-minted Juris Doctor.

After gulping down that Negroni, all I can say is, “Movvil Tozz (hic)!”


Grand Canyon 4

That’s the comic - and completely inadequate - description one hears of the Grand Canyon, one of the scenic wonders of our planet.

Last week, She Who Must Be Obeyed and Elder daughter spent a long weekend knocking about in Arizona. A night in luxe digs in Scottsdale, followed by three nights in Sedona, their Base of Operations from which they made a pilgrimage to the Canyon a week ago today.

They were, to put it mildly, Suitably Impressed.

I was not present with them on this trip, a Mother-Daughter Outing that served both as a celebration of Mother’s Day and of Elder Daughter’s thirtieth birthday. But I have seen the Grand Canyon, both from the vantage point of a speeding jetliner seven miles up and from ground level. Yes: I was a freshly-minted graduate when I saw the Great Big Hole as part of a month-long, 10,000 mile cross-country Post-Collegiate Trek.

I have never forgotten the awe I felt when I saw that horizon-to-horizon panorama of eroded rock. Now, SWMBO and Elder Daughter know that feeling as well.

Not everybody is religious, but it’s hard to look at such spellbinding natural beauty without feeling the presence of... something divine. And any time we see an especially dramatic part of God’s handiwork, it’s traditional to recite a blessing - and the girls did exactly that: Barukh Atah Ha-Shem, Elokeinu melekh ha-olam, oseh ma-asei v’reishit - Blessed are You, Lord our God, Source of Creation.

Elder Daughter observed that when we look at the Earth (or parts thereof), it is the the rugose - the eroded - that catches our eye. But these are attributes that are not considered desirable in people, where youth and smooth skin are valued over age and wrinkles.

Between Scottsdale, Sedona, and the canyon, the Missus came back with a boatload of beautiful photographs. I’ve tucked a few below the fold for those who care to take a look.

Cactus Flower
Prickly beauty.

Princess 1
View from the girls’ room at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. Yowza.

Grand Canyon 2
Late-afternoon rays paint the rocks.

The Girls at Sunset
Sunset in Sedona.

Grand Canyon 3
Evening shadows and deepening colors.

Red Rocks
Towers of stone outside Sedona.

Red Rock Loop Road
The view from Red Rock Loop Road in Sedona.

Rose Toilet
An old Elisson tradition: the Rose in the Toilet. Beauty in unexpected places, as Sissy Willis would say.


On the way back from Athens yesterday, She Who Must Be Obeyed spotted a pickup truck with some unusual Auxiliary Equipment:

Trucknuts! [Click to embiggen.]

Who needs a trailer hitch when you can have... a Dangly Nutsack!

I’d hate to think of a real nutsack dangling just above the highway, pavement flashing by, mere inches below, at eighty miles per hour. The occasional wayward rock... the random Bump in the Road... oy.

Friday, May 15, 2009


From the Department of Stupid-Ass Signage comes this little gem:

Stupid-Ass Mango Sign

Well, is it two for $1.00... or two for $1.00 each? There is a difference.

[It was actually two for $1.00. Which is 50¢ each. Or $.50 each. But not .50¢ each.]

Stupid, really. But not insanely stupid.


... and its name is WolframAlpha.

“Search Engine” doesn’t begin to capture what this thing can do. It will change the Internet forever: I shit you not.

Check out the introductory video here... but before you do, put a pillow on the floor. You don’t want to get a bruise on your jaw when it drops.

I found the link over at verbatim, for which a major Fedora-Tip is in order. Thanks, Karen!

WolframApha is supposed to go live sometime this month. Stay tuned...

Update: It’s up and running.


Welcome to yet another Friday Random Ten at Blog d’Elisson, the weekly exercise in exaggerated self-importance in which I post ten tunes, puked up at random by the iPod d’Elisson, on the assumption that you actually give a Rat’s Ass about what music I listen to.

I didn’t invent the Random Ten, of course. It’s a venerable meme, one that was floating around the Bloggy-Sphere well before I even owned an iPod. I’m pretty sure the first place I saw it was over at verbatim (my unofficial Blog-Mom), but it was also a regular item at Rox Populi - and twenty thousand other sites as well. Once I got my hot little hands on an iPod of my own, I thought, “Oh, boy - now I can play, too!”

But you don’t want all of this preamulatory palaver, do you? Of course not. You want Choons - and here they are:
  1. Invitation - Philip Glass, Notes on a Scandal

  2. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life - Monty Python’s Spamalot

  3. Get Behind the Mule - Tom Waits

  4. The Grotto - Bernard Herrmann, Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959)

  5. Bay Bondye Glwa - Boukman Eksperyans

    A group with whom I have a love-Haiti relationship.

  6. You & Me & the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight (Baby) - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

  7. Frank (for Frank Zappa) - Wolfgang Schalk

  8. Ssekota - Maritu Legesse

  9. Moby Dick - Dread Zeppelin

  10. Condorbird - The Klezmatics

    From their Wonder Wheel album, featuring lyrics by Woody Guthrie, one-time resident of Coney Island.

It’s Friday. What are you listening to?

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Boiled Shrimp Neighbor

Here, Neighbor demonstrates Position Number 47 of the Kitty Sutra: the Boiled Shrimp.

Update: The Friday Ark’s 243rd voyage is afloat at the Modulator. Also, this Sunday evening, be sure to stop by When Cats Attack! for a look at Carnival of the Cats #270.

Update 2: CotC #270 is up.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


As someone who is no stranger to Religious Observance, I can tell you that everybody is moved by the spirit of the Almighty in his or her own way.

Some people may be shaken by an encounter with God.

Some people may be stirred by an encounter with God.

And others...

Chapel of the Holy Cross

...prefer their God on the rocks.

You’re looking at the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a unique church crammed right into the red rock formations of Sedona, Arizona. Built in 1956, it was designed by Margaret Brunswig Staude, a disciple of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

It’s huuuuuge. The crucifix that forms the central motif of the chapel’s exterior is fully 90 feet tall.

Some say that size doesn’t matter, but I would encourage any such skeptics to visit Sedona and gaze upon this chapel whilst listening to the music of MC 900 Foot Jesus on their iPods. Tremendous!

[Tip o’ th’ Elisson fedora to She Who Must Be Obeyed for this fine photograph.]

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Every once in a while, I’ll find something visually arresting on my journeys through Blogland.

Yesterday, for instance, I stopped by The Dax Files to see what Mr. Montana was up to....and what should I find but a post about anaglyphs.

An anaglyph image is a two-dimensional image in which three-dimensional (stereoscopic) image data is encoded through the use of offset color layers. It’s one type of technology that can be used to create 3-D movies.

I saw an anaglyph for the first time about 40 years ago in a copy of Psychology Today magazine. It wasn’t too complicated... a spattery-looking assemblage of multicolored dots... but when you put on the special glasses (red lens on the left, cyan on the right), a sphere practically jumped out of the page. It was fascinating.

[Anaglyphs are not to be confused with autostereograms (“Magic Eye” images), which use repeating patterns, coupled with special viewing techniques, to create the visual illusion of having three dimensions.]

You can create your own anaglyphs if you have photo editing software like PhotoShop that allows you to manipulate individual image channels. Here’s how. It’s so simple, even I could do it:

Mars in 3-D
The surface of Mars. Image courtesy NASA.

Put on your 3-D glasses and it feels like you’re right there. (Except for the fact that you have a breathable atmosphere and are not as cold as a brass monkey’s nutsack.)

On a completely different tack, I stopped by El Capitan’s place earlier today, where I came across this fascinating video, a time-lapse film made by a tanker captain that shows his night run down the Houston Ship Channel, all the way from the Turning Basin to Morgan’s Point.

The landscape along the Houston Ship Channel was all too familiar to me for many years, although I never had the privilege of seeing it from the wheelhouse of a Panamax oil tanker. And that’s one honking big-ass ship, folks - 106 feet wide and 600 feet long. There are bigger ones out there, sure, but this one, at least, can squeeze through the Panama Canal.

Shooting one frame every six seconds on a digital camera allows a trip that takes about three-and-a-half hours to zoom by in three minutes. It’s just a bit surreal, that silent journey through the dark waters, with the sparkling lights of the petrochemical plants and refineries on either side of the Channel lighting up the clouds from below. At first it put me in mind of nothing so much as a trip along the River Styx with trusty Charon at the tiller.

All it needs is a Musical Background. At first I thought of lifting something from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, but that’d be wrong on oh, so many levels. And then I thought: What about the soundtrack to 2001: A Space Odyssey - that final section when Dave Bowman gets sucked through the Star Gate? For as I continued to watch the video, I began to see it not so much as a trip down the Styx, but as a voyage through some bizarro Hyper-Spatial Dimension... one that somehow managed to include the Fred Hartman Bridge in Baytown, Texas.

Try it! What do you think?

Update: This is the 3,500th post published here at Blog d’Elisson, which works out to an average of about two per day over the past (almost) five years. In unrelated news, “misuse of electrons” is now a misdemeanor in the state of Georgia.


OK, let’s review those poker hands, shall we?

One pair beats high card.

Two pairs beat one pair.

Trips beat two pairs.

A straight beats trips.

A flush beats a straight.

A flush’ll also beat a turd... except here in the Land of the Low Flow Toilet.

[Don’t forget to wash that hand when you’re done.]

Monday, May 11, 2009


One of the things I enjoy most about Bloggy-World is that it is such a bully pulpit for the storyteller. And if you accept that premise, you must also agree with me that my friend and EBP (Esteemed Bidnis Podnuh) Barry ought to have his own blog... for Barry is chock-full of interesting stories.

And since Barry does not have his own blog, it gives me a perfect excuse to mine his Experience-Lode for material.

I’ve told the story of how he got his first car - one of the few instances of someone buying a car by the pound. And in working order, yet!

I’ve also recounted the tale of his meeting fraternity brothers Simon and Garfunkel at Memphis State, where they performed “I Am A Rock” for the first time.

Barry spent his formative years in Memphis. One of his uncles was a session man who worked with Elvis Presley back in the early days and who insisted (to his eventual, everlasting regret) on getting paid standard session rates in lieu of a percentage. But Elvis, who clearly got the better end of that deal, gave Barry’s uncle a Cadillac after he hit the Big Time.

He also lived for many years in Israel, where he eventually became fluent in Hebrew despite some early difficulties.

But it was when he was visiting New York City twenty years ago that he had one of his strangest adventures. For how many of us can say we were saved from a mugger by Superboy?

It’s a true story... just like something out of Action Comics in the 1930’s.

It seems Barry was standing there in broad daylight, minding his own business, when a mugger knocked him down and grabbed the money right out of his pocket - a cool one hundred simoleons. Somewhat dazed, Barry saw a young man running after the mugger, so he joined in the chase.

As Barry later related the story, “ seemed like we ran for miles, but this young man had powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. He was stronger than a locomotive.”

The young man managed to corner the mugger at a construction site, where, with the help of a burly worker, they gently convinced him to return his ill-gotten gains.

That’s when the young man revealed himself to be actor John Haymes Newton, who was the titular Superboy of the television series at the time. [Newton played Superboy for 26 episodes in 1988-89 before handing the role over to Gerard Christopher.] He had been in New York for a photo shoot when he found himself witness to Barry’s mugging and decided to handle it much as his super alter-ego would.

Barry was skeptical, but that telltale curl in the middle of the actor’s forehead convinced him. And Newton - Superboy to the end - wouldn’t even accept a cup of coffee by way of a reward.

A few days later, Barry received a phone call from a reporter, calling to confirm the details of the event for a story he was writing. And what a story: Superboy Captures Mugger! What nonplussed Barry at the time was that the reporter worked for the Globe, a supermarket tabloid.

“Lemme get this straight - you’re fact-checking for an article in the Globe? The supermarket tabloid? That Globe?”

Supermarket tabs got fact-checkers! Who knew?

Saved by Superboy


Elder Daughter and SWMBO
Elder Daughter’s first day on Planet Earth: May 11, 1979.

Today represents a Lifecycle Milestone for us at Chez Elisson... for today, Elder Daughter is thirty years old.

Elder Daughter 1981
Me and my shadow: Elder (then Only) Daughter in Atlanta, 1981... when I was only twenty-nine.

My own thirtieth birthday does not seem all that long ago. How in the world did it come to this - me, the father of someone who is, technically, in (Very) Early Middle Age? It boggles the mind.

Am I feeling sorry for myself? Feeling the passage of time? Not at all. The passage of time is a natural thing, and the only way to not feel it is to become defunct. I am perfectly happy to experience as much Time-Passage as Fate, Star, and Pneuma will allow.

And yet, it makes you think.

Elder Daughter’s path in life - the sum total of her experiences to date - is different from what mine was at her age. She is still aloof and independent at thirty; by then, I was married with two (count ’em!) daughters, and was living in our third house. (In Atlanta, as it happens.) She has lived overseas (twice!); and she has traveled the world, well on the way to surpassing me in terms of number of countries visited.

I have accumulated thirty years of memories with her, some of the most enjoyable being of our trip to Japan thirteen months ago. It was a special father-daughter experience. And even as I write this, she is creating an equally special mother-daughter experience with She Who Must Be Obeyed on their trip to Arizona. It’s what she wanted for her Big Birthday, and how could I not agree wholeheartedly?

Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon, as captured by SWMBO Sunday afternoon on her iPhone.

She has wisdom beyond her three-decade span, our Elder Daughter. She is a keen observer of human nature, blessed with the common sense and clear vision of her mother. Her work - her profession, her Day Job - is more than a way to pay the rent; it is her way of repairing the world in accordance with the principle of tikkun olam, a principle very close to her heart. And yet she finds time to indulge her playful and creative side, producing shows and performing. A real Renaissance Lady, she.

I have told her that she is the kind of person I would want to know even were she not my own child... and I mean it. Deeply.

Elder Daughter on the Hakone Ropeway

Elder Daughter in Japan, April 2008.

Elder Daughter, I love you. I wish for you the best birthday ever... and with your wonderful Mom at your side, how can you miss?

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Venus de Smile-O

As I was wand’ring in the city
I caught a glimpse of iv’ry titty
A veritable Venus.
A sight that would attract the eye
Of any reasonable guy
Who owned a working penis.
Her back was arched, her arm was raised,
Her eyes were closed (but slightly glazed)
As though in throes of pleasure.
O, if I could but take her home
(I’d need a second mortgage loan)
A sculpture for to treasure!
But I suspect the Missus would
(If she is thinking like she should)
Think this idea’s no winner.
She’d say, “If you’re so fucking rich,
Enjoy your ice-cold plaster bitch -
Get her to cook your dinner!”


Ever wonder what Donald Duck asks for at the tattoo parlor? Wonder no more.

Donald, of course, is the pre-eminent avatar of syndactyly - fused toes. He’s a duck, fercryinoutloud. But people turn up with webbed feet too... and not all of them live in Louisiana.

He cannot get a nipple ring. He’s a duck, fercryinoutloud, and nipples are a privilege extended only to us mammals. And earrings, or those loathsome tin cans that some folks jam into their earlobes, are also off-limits, because a duck (fercryinoutloud) has no earlobes.

A tattoo? Don’t be stupid. You wouldn’t be able to see it under all those feathers... and since feathers are constantly falling out and being replaced, it makes no sense to tattoo them anyway.

But Donald can get one of these.

Two thoughts: One, Acidman would be appalled, were he still here. Doesn’t this girl know to apply some red toenail polish? Two, I’m surprised Velociman didn’t find this and write one of his patented diatribes about it. Maybe this post will inspire him.

[Cross-posted at Straight White Guy.]


Twitter has exploded in popularity in recent months, for reasons I cannot quite fathom.

Are we all such egomaniacs that we feel the World at Large is desperate to know what we are doing or thinking every fucking instant of the day?

Ermmm. I guess that question just answered itself. And it’s a somewhat disingenuous question, anyway, coming from a blogger. Bloggers, after all, are all about the Self-Aggrandizement. Didn’t Rob Smith used to say that his blog was “a ceaseless quest for adoration from people who don’t know me”?

Twitter has been around for awhile, but now the Hollywood Glitterati have adopted it en masse. And writing 140-character-or-less tweets is way easier than composing, you know, actual blogposts.

Even Crackbook Facebook incorporates Twitter-like functionality with its Update [“What’s on your mind?”] feature. Oy.

Not all Twitterers are twits, of course, and the technology has its good points. Keeping posts to 140 characters requires discipline and terseness, something I appreciate as a writer of 100-word stories. For that matter, there’s a site out there - Scrine - where posts consist of single sentences. Limiting one’s output focuses the mind tremendously. And it’s a perfect forum for witty people like James Lileks (twitter handle Lileks).

In at least one case, it’s brought a brilliant former blogger out of seclusion. Anna, who used to write at Primal Purge, now Twitters under the name - you guessed it - primalpurge, where she is as razor-sharp as ever. And since she no longer blogs, I’ll take what I can get. An example:

“Can't find Hallmark’s ‘Thanks For Not Strapping Me In a Car Seat and Driving Me Into a Lake’ card for Mother’s Day.”

There is a downside, of course. There’s always a downside to any newly-popular technology.

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of notes in my e-mail telling me that “so-and-so is now following you on Twitter.” As often as not, the Twitter pages of these individuals are packed with advertising and various spammy come-ons... in which case I simply block that “person” from following me.

Yes: Spam has come to Twitter. I call it Twam. Just remember - you heard it here first!


The King, as usual, was the first to show up, straightening his tie as he knocked on the door.

“Good morning, Kong! I’m so glad you could make it.”

“Wouldn’t miss it. You look wonderful! Oh - Mighty Joe will be here in just a minute - I saw him making the turn at the end of the street as I was parking the car.”

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms arrived right after Mighty Joe. Courtly as ever, he had brought flowers. A lot of flowers.

“These are beautiful, Beast! Wherever did you get them?”

“Aw, I trampled a few greenhouses on the way over. It was nuthin’.”

A few minutes later, Reptilicus showed up, followed closely by Rodan and The Giant Claw, the latter two having flown in from the West Coast.

Ghidra was a few minutes late, having gotten the address wrong. Red-faced, he said “Jeez, you’d think I would know better, what with my having three heads!”

Kong laughed. “Yeah, but you’re assuming there’s a brain in each of those heads!” Everyone cracked up at this, even Ghidra, who just blushed a little harder.

“Where’s Gamera?”

“Late as usual,” came Godzilla’s gruff voice from the kitchen, where he was warming up the breakfast casseroles with his atomic breath. “He called and said he was running behind. Hah! Whaddaya expect from a giant fucking turtle? But he said we should just go ahead and get started, not to wait for him.”

They took their places at the massive dining room table then, while Godzilla (with assistance from the Beast) brought out the steaming platters and the pitchers of Bloody Marys. And then - just before they all fell to their meal with a monstrous gnashing of teeth - Godzilla stood up and carefully tapped his water glass with a fork. The resulting “tink, tink,” combined with a strategic throat-clearing, silenced the murmuring conversation of the group.

“I just wanted to propose a toast to the guest of honor,” he said, with an impish wink and a nod toward the figure seated at the head of the table. “Also to thank everyone for coming.

“Happy Mothra’s Day!”

Saturday, May 09, 2009


Fabulous Fox
Interior of the Fabulous Fox Theatre, showing the view from the Dress Circle. Although this image does not capture its full glory, the trompe l’oeil ceiling has twinkling stars... and clouds that drift lazily across it.

Last week we caught a show - Ray Romano and Brad Garrett, if you’re curious - at the Fox Theatre in midtown Atlanta.

Over the years, we’ve seen many shows at the Fox. We’ve also been backstage, thanks to Elder Daughter’s friend Erica, who has appeared there in productions of Mamma Mia and A Chorus Line. Hell, we’ve even been onstage, getting an insider’s look at the Mamma Mia set an hour before showtime.

Built in the late 1920’s with a distinctively Moorish design, the Fox is now a registered National Historic Landmark. And it ought to be, for it is absolutely stunning. It’s a real Atlanta treasure.

[Moorish architecture is one of the handful of gifts bestowed upon Western civilization by the world of Islam, along with the words “algebra,” “alcohol,” and the happy concepts of jihad, female circumcision, and honor killings. I’d be perfectly happy if the world of Islam kept those last ones to themselves.]

It would be a great bit of history to say that Gone with the Wind premiered at the Fox... but, alas, it would not be true, for the movie most people identify with Atlanta had its premiere down the street at the Loew’s Grand. But Disney’s Song of the South did premiere at the Fox, introduced by Walt Disney himself. Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah!

Interestingly, back in the days of institutionalized segregation, the Fox was the only theatre that accommodated both black and white patrons. If you were a Person of Color, however, you purchased your tickets at a specially designated box office in the back (which still exists), you used a separate entrance, and you sat in a separate section up in the second dress circle. Presumably, you also had a separate opinion concerning Song of the South: “Uncle Remus? They oughta call him ‘Uncle Ream-Us’!”


Bachelor Father. Not the vintage 1957 television series starring John Forsythe. Me, this weekend. An Extremely Empty Nester.

Both of the wimmens that live here with me have flown the coop. The Mistress of Sarcasm is in Savannah at a wedding; She Who Must Be Obeyed is in Arizona with Elder Daughter.

Arizona? Whuffo Arizona?

The long and the short of it is, our globetrotting Elder Daughter - having just returned from yet another trip to South Africa - wanted to celebrate her thirtieth birthday by visiting a part of the United States she had never seen before. And she wanted to do it with her Momma, the better to celebrate Mother’s Day.

How could I disagree with a proposition like that? It solved the matter of what to get E.D. for her Big Birthday... and it would give SWMBO a chance to travel-bond with our daughter in much the same manner as I did on our trip to Japan last year.

And so I am envious, but I must swallow my envy. That trip to Japan was the trip of a lifetime.

After spending last night in Scottsdale, Da Gurlz will head up to Sedona for the next several days. At some point in the proceedings, they’ll take a spin northward, to that Great Big, Beautiful Hole in the Ground. I’m hoping they’ll come back with plenty of happy memories.

Meanwhile, I’ll be flying solo - at least, until the Mistress returns tomorrow evening. It will give me a quiet opportunity to ponder the joys of being the father of (as of Monday) a thirty-year-old daughter, and to meditate upon the Passage of Time, that most inexorable of processes.


Sometime today, this site should log its 350,000th visit. That’s according to Sitemeter, the generally accepted Gold Standard of blogometrics.


Thanks to all y’all Esteemed Readers who made it possible. You know who you are. Please consult a representative of your favorite Belief System for the appropriate penance.

Update: Made it... with five minutes left in the day, thanks to someone who did a Google search for “savannah blog.” Click on the thumbnail for the full details, if you really give a crap.

BdE Visit 350k

Friday, May 08, 2009


Hooray! It’s Friday!

Long-suffering readers of this site know that Friday is the day on which I post my Friday Random Ten - a weekly listing of Choons pooped out (at random, of course) by my Little White Choon-Box. It’s an exercise in self-indulgence of the first water... but after all, isn’t that what blodging is all about? I ask you.

So: What’s playing today? Lessee:
  1. Meant to Be - Squirrel Nut Zippers

  2. Reting’s Eyes - Philip Glass, Kundun

  3. Walk Away Renee - Four Tops

  4. Any Colour You Like - Easy Star All-Stars

  5. The Wall - Little Jonathan

  6. Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad? - Derek and the Dominos

    A rhetorical question, presumably.

  7. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window - The Beatles

  8. Act I, Scene 1: “Your Flight Was Smooth, I Hope?” - John Adams, Nixon in China

  9. Fearless (Trance Remix) - Pink Floyd

  10. Sign In Stranger - Steely Dan

    Lyrics here.

It’s Friday. What are you listening to? (And that’s not a rhetorical question.)

Thursday, May 07, 2009



Yes, Hakuna looks like she knows it all... but just what is it, exactly, that she knows all of?

Update: One piece of knowledge we share with Hakuna is that Friday Ark #242 is afloat at the Modulator.

Another is that the 269th Carnival of the Cats will be hosted by Smantha and Mr. Tigger at Life from a Cat’s Perspective this Sunday evening. That’s a perspective with which Hakuna is all too familiar!

Update: CotC #269 is up... right on time!


The Mistress of Sarcasm
The Mistress of Sarcasm.

The Mistress of Sarcasm sports her latest haircut. Check out them bangs!

No doubt she is contemplating whether to have a slice of Devil’s Food. Aw, why the hell not?

How often does food color match your hair color, anyway?