Monday, August 28, 2006

Somewhere between Kraft Macaroni Cheese and Cheetos

I really wanted to paint something in my house orange. Over the weekend, I decided on the walk-in closet off my new studio office. The color is Behr's "Orange Spice" but reminds me of the cheese packets that come with Kraft Macaroni or perhaps Cheetos. Painting it burnt my retnas and gave me the munchies.

Dogs on a couch

It's a good thing I work by myself. I might drive my coworkers nuts. My latest fun has been taking the film title "Snakes on a Plane" and changing the nouns. Dogs on a Couch. (snicker). Cats in a Hamper. (snicker snicker). Eggs in a Pan. (I crack myself up).

This isn't the first time this has happened to me. Some fellow mooseheads and I used to do this to a song. It's an infectious little tune from a Northern Exposure episode called "Toy Cows in Africa" by Chance. So we were replacing the lyrics with random things. Spare Rolls of Toliet Paper, Spare Rolls.

It's like an earworm -- a little song that gets stuck in your head. Try it. It's fun. Computers on a Desk. Squirrels on a Fence.

Bats in the Belfry.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

In celebration of a short but happy dog life

This past weekend one of my nephews (a two-legged one) tried to come into the world a little too early. Labor was stopped, his mom was pumped with steroids to get his little lungs to be fully cooked, and she was prescribed rest for about another week. So far he’s behaving himself and staying put.

At the same time, another nephew (a four-legged one) left this world for the great doggie Beyond. Gunner was a big, goofy German Shorthair that my youngest sister adopted from the breed rescue. He had been returned twice (once by a prominent, well-known business man/politician in Colorado whom we don't like, mainly because he returned a rescued dog). It may have been because Gunner was not a hunting dog, even though that was he was bred to do. He was a big, loveable couch potato except when it came walks.

Gunner came to my sister and her husband defective. He had tumors. They found this out after he was adopted, but follow the same philosophy that I subscribe: you adopt a four-legged for life. They gave him lots of love and vet treatments. He won out over the tumors then and has had a happy and spoiled three years. But recently a tumor came back -- this time on his liver. It cut off his stomach and he was unable to eat. There was nothing that could be done, and they had to make the heart-wrenching decision to end his pain and suffering and let him go.

Mollie, his English Pointer sister, loved to tease him, but also loved to snuggle with him. The family bought a new home last Fall. The first winter proved the older house was colder than the rental they had before. Gunner made do by sleeping in front of one of the large floor vents in the dining room. Mollie, wanting that same primo spot would pretend to see something of great interest out the large front window. Eventually Gunner would lumber over to see what the fuss was about. Then speedy Mollie would steal his heated spot.

Gunner had a rough life his first several years, but my sister, her husband and Mollie gave him the best three years in the end. They adopted him "as is" and gave him the best life possible. Three years with them was not enough but in return, he gave them lots of stubborn, goofy, happy dogness. We will all miss him dearly.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Snakes vs. Chapstick

The new film, Snakes on a Plane (a good example of “name it exactly what it is”) shows what happens when a cargo of live snakes breaks loose and they slither havoc all over the plane. Seems pretty far-fetched but given recent events since 2001, you have to wonder. Maybe snakes wouldn’t be so bad.

First it was the frightful “Eyelash Curlers on a Plane,” immediately following September 11th. Okay. There was a long list of items you could no longer bring aboard, but eyelash curlers really stuck out to me. Granted I’ve pinched an eyelid or two with those torture contraptions but trying to attack someone else -- how do you get them to stand still long enough?

Now it’s the ultimate terror, “Chapstick on a Plane.” Okay. Again, I do understand why and I understand the immediate response. But all I can think about is a flight without my chapstick and my water bottle. I have a touch of Monk (and a sensitive tummy). I can’t do the shared water bottle thing -- especially if the rumors are true that some airlines just refill that bottle from the airplane tap. My tummy is grumbling and my lips are chapping just thinking about this. Dude, I need my chapstick.

It will always be something. I think that terrorists’ ultimate goal is to slowly drive us insane. Maybe kill us with chapped lips. Only then can we be converted from our evil ways.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Aren’t we all just a little famous?

Fellow blogger and friend, Nichelle, posted her brushes with fame and asked for readers’ stories. I have thought about the many brief encounters I’ve had with “famous” people.

The earliest I can remember is meeting Walt Morey in the fifth grade. He wrote a book called “Kavik the Wolf Dog” which was high on my list then. He signed my book.

In junior high, the band Three Dog Night came to my school to tell us not to do drugs and did a concert. I got to interview them for the school newspaper. (A sidenote, the only drug issue at my junior high was chewing tobacco). This moment begun my dream of writing for Rolling Stone.

In high school, I was in a dance company and quite often a famous dance troupe came to town. I got to do a lot of master classes with the Royal Canadian, the American Ballet, and many others. Definitely showed me I had a much better chance of writing for Rolling Stone than prancing on my toes. But it was fun.

At graduation, my aunt and a family friend took me to Chicago. While there we tailed Oprah Winfrey through the stock exchange. We took in a show at the Second City where a young comedian named Mike Myers was a hoot singing a lawnmower revolution. I got to meet him after the show. About six months or so later saw him on SNL for the first time.

When I hit college, my love of music and the Rolling Stone goal led me to the program council to work security at the campus concerts. I was personally flipped off by John Lydon, one of the other members of PiL tried to get up my skirt. I hung out with That Petrol Emotion and their opening band at a bar on the Hill in a raging blizzard. I denied Flea’s request for a blow job (apparently the reason some women go back stage??). I was roped into pretending I was the lead singer’s fiance of a band whose name escapes me. (Ah, the golden years). I had a pleasant conversation with the B-52s. In my 4+ years of college concerts, I met dozens of popular musicians (and got autographs) from Butthole Surfers to Pete Townsend.

(If you haven’t figured it by now, that Rolling Stone gig never happened. No worries. Life changes constantly.)

Working concerts taught me how to try to meet bands at other concerts. Once I took my then 11-year-old sister Annie to her favorite singer’s show – Randy Newman. After the show, I talked our way backstage and had a long conversation with the singer. Along the way he offered me a job to be a PR assistant. "Does that require moving to LA?" I asked. Of course it did, and I politely declined. I wouldn't have been able to breath there.

I took another sister to a Howard Jones concert and talked our way back stage there. After a fantastic show, it was wonderful to meet one of my favorite singers. I animatedly talked with him about his Macintosh computer used on stage. My sister stood there with her mouth hanging open. Later she told me I was a geek. I mentioned that yes, but I had a long conversation beyond “can you sign this, please?” Other times it was pure luck, accidentally walking in on a meet and greet of my current favorite, the Barenaked Ladies last December (except Kevin). I got a couple of sentences exchanged and had them all sign my BNL santa hat.

In the past 10 years I have been a fan(atic) of the tv show Northern Exposure. Since 1997, I’ve attended a fan festival in Roslyn, Washington. I've gotten to meet at length several of the show's stars. One of the most intresting contacts: I've had many pitchers of beer with Barry Corbin, and listened to many stories in his Texas drawl. Many other of the stars, guest stars and extras have come to the fest.

The past four years, my husband has worked for a local culinary festival group. I’ve been able to meet up with many celebrity and up-and-coming chefs. It’s a hoot to hang out with someone, have some drinks, really get to know them, buy their cookbook, then see them on the Food Network or Travel Channel.

But probably the best encounter I ever had was two minutes with author Maya Angelou (after four hours of standing in line). An incredible writier and speaker, Maya exudes class and positive energy. I was the second to the last person she would sign. I got to touch her hand, feel her energy and thank her for everything she does. That one rules out all the others.