Monday, March 26, 2012

Rising up to the challenge...

...not of my rivals, but of Blogging A to Z for April 2012!

I told y'all I was gonna do it, a while back, and now I'm poised to make good on my threat promise. Beginning this Sunday, April 1 (no foolin') I'll blog on subjects spanning the alphabet, in order, one day at a time (skipping all Sundays but the first, 'cause even us lunatics bloggers need a day of rest).

Blog posts during the A to Z challenge could be themed or not, but I do enjoy the coherence of a good theme, so I've chosen to blog along the lines of something ever near and dear to my heart - music.

I mentioned in my last post that I've got the dream of rock stardom simmering away on my mental/emotional back burner, and it's true. Since I was knee-high to a fire hydrant (no, fire hydrants don't have knees, but I'm suburban girl, work with me, here) I've loved to sing and perform for an audience. I was a music major in college and work in a somewhat related field now, but haven't performed (or even sung seriously) in ages. I miss it terribly.

My as-yet-unfulfilled-dreams aside, music, along with writing, is my passion. And, speaking of passion, that's more or less how I've themed my A to Z blogs - around songs that I find to be some combination of passionate/darkly romantic/simply romantic/just plain dark/sexy woof!  (That last bit's a technical term.)

Every day of this April's challenge I'll blog about three tunes which start with that day's letter and that have touched me on one of the above levels, though not all songs will necessarily be about love/romance/sex. For instance, the lyrics of a particular tune may not be hot but some aspect of the music rocks my internal casbah, if you will. (Your casbah-rocking mileage may vary.) But all songs have resounded with me, at one time or another, and I hope some will grab you viscerally as well.

Of course, some letters proved deucedly difficult for satisfying my theme, so I reserve the right to use band, and even album names, to meet my goals for the Challenge. Also, I called upon some of my dear friends for song ideas when I got stuck on a letter (curse you, Q!!!!!) and will be sure to give them credit when their suggestions appear. (PS: Dear Friends Upon Whom I Relied - I heart y'all!)

Thus, if you want to get into the groove, please check back on April 1 and be prepared to shake it right along with me. (Just not at me, 'cause I'm fundamentally a very shy and modest goth gal.) (No, really.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My First Bloggy-Blog Award!!!!!

OMG! My new friend Mark K over at The DM's Screen nominated me for "The Versatile Blogger" award!

And, apparently, a nomination equals a win, which is super groovy as I don't like to have to work too hard for things. (If you're a regular reader, you may have noticed.)

When I first saw his note about the nomination I was all, "Quelle surprise!" 'cause I like to pretend I can speak French, even if no one's around to hear me. I've been blogging for just about four months, give or take, so I'm still a n00b but I do try to vary my goofery so, my congenital sluggishness notwithstanding, I think I've earned this thing. So YAY, ME! And cheers, Mark!

But alas, with great honor comes great responsibility - "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown," and whatnot. This award comes with some RULES.

Here's what a newly coronated Versatile Blogger's gotta do:
  1. Nominate 15 fellow bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
  2. In the same post, add the Versatile Blogger Award.
  3. In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog.
  4. In the same post, share 7 completely random pieces of information about yourself.
  5. In the same post, include this set of rules.
  6. Inform each nominated blogger of their nominations by posting a comment on each of their blogs.
OK, so I've knocked out numbers 2, 3, and 5. (PS: On the side I'm posting the nifty award badge devised by Mark K, as I just like it more betterer than the original green one.) (I totally use "more betterer" ironically.) (The more I do this, the more I have to remind myself that it's actually incorrect.)

Now as for Rule # 1...Dudes, I'm sorry, I'm not hep to every versatile blogger there is in Creation, so I can't possibly nominate 15, but here are the ones I do know*:

*Um...some of y'all have already been nominated for this award, and I totally geddit if you're not up to going through the whole rigmarole again, just wanted to give you props.  :-)  ALSO - if I didn't nominate a particular blog it's either because:
  • I've got Momnesia (mothers' amnesia, where exhaustion and stress make you forget, like, super important stuff), OR
  • Your blog is themed around one particular subject and I wasn't sure it fit the "versatile" aspect of this award-whatsit. No offense intended, honest. (I saved that for Random Fact #3, below.)

I'm fairly confident that, after I've gone through my fellow bloggers' Blogging A to Z Challenge posts this April, I will know PLENTY of versatile cats and kittens. Uh, bloggers. C'mon, you know what I mean.

And NOW for...

Seven Completely Random Facts About Moi
  1. I developed vitiligo after an ill-advised marathon tanning stint in my parents' native Portugal when I was 16. Since then I've had white splotches on the backs of my hands and some white eyelashes on my right eyelid. (I know; that's so HOT, right?????)
  2. I prefer to do/buy things in 3s, or, at the very least, in odd numbers. (I nearly had a panic attack when I could come up with only 6 nominees earlier...thank God I thought of a 7th!)
  3. I'm extremely prejudiced. No, really. I'm deeply suspicious of folks who exclusively prefer: a) Pepsi to Coke; b) white wine to red and; c) Cheese Doodles to Cheetos. It's not that I hate y'all, I just don't trust y'all, and I may feel compelled to cross the street, should we ever chance upon one another in our daily travels.
  4. My very first career aspiration was to be one of Charlie's Angels.
  5. After that, I settled on the more mature and realistic vocation of Rock Star. (Still haven't given up that dream.) ('Cause it's so common for rockers to embark on their careers when they're middle-aged, you know.)
  6. Since I quit taking sugar in my coffee (though I won't give up cream), I've become an insufferable coffee snob. (Some might say I was insufferable long before that.)
  7. According to my Kid, I'm the only person in the world who actually goes, "ah-CHOO!" when she sneezes. (Though I can't confirm this to be a true statistic.)
Woo, that was a LOT of unanticipated writing I just did there! And I still gotta tell them 7 folks above that I done tagged them for awards! Gah! Je suis fatiguée, y'all!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Non Sequiturs Part Deux ~ Goth Mom Strikes Back

I mentioned in a previous post that my teenaged son, Balthazar (a.k.a. The Kid) likes to throw these mind-blowing non sequiturs at me out of the blue in order to mess with my wits, such as they are. Over the years I've learned to under-react, either by pretending I didn't hear him or going along with whatever nonsense he's spewing. For example:
The Kid: Knock, Knock.
Me: Who's there?
TK: To.
Me: To, who?
TK: To whom, Mom!
Me (roll my eyes and shut my mouth)
And like that. OK, that one wasn't too bad, and a harmless bit of fun, at that. But I realize that all this time suffering from his intense assaults on my (questionable) sanity have left me punchy. Case in point -

An old high-school chum, her toddler, and I were at the local Target with The Kid to shop for his then-girlfriend's Christmas gift (though it was already late January). I was mildly annoyed that his procrastination on this task was tapping into my afternoon with my friend and quickly came to understand that Balthy hadn't given the matter too much thought beyond getting himself to a Target.
Me: So what do you plan on getting your girlie?
The Kid (with a shrug): I dunno. A scarf, I guess.
Me: A scarf, you guess?
TK: Maybe something else too.
Me: Like what?
TK: I dunno. Something feminine.
Me (with some asperity): Tampons?
I think I made my poor friend snort some of her latte up into her sinuses. (Sorry 'bout that, Dude.) But never fear - old Balthazar got me back soon after.

One Saturday afternoon he was out with some pals and didn't respond to my text asking for his whereabouts (not longitude and latitude, or anything, I just wanted a rough idea of where he was). He didn't reply so when he came home -
Me: I sent you a text, why didn't you answer?
TK: Didn't get it.
Me: Humph. Where were you?
TK: Around. (At my glare.) At the park.
Me: What were y'all doin' there?
TK: Oh, you know. The usual. Walkin' around. Exploring. Meth.
Grrr...Of course, he totally wasn't doing drugs. (I don't think.) (Please, God, let him have been yanking my chain.) I made a mental note to strike back at the earliest opportunity, and here's how that went -

I kicked Balthazar off the PC around 11pm and sent him to bed. The Kid came at me all growly and testy teen-like so I give him a big hug and kiss.
The Kid: Ah, I farted.
Me: Is that what you do when your girlfriend kisses you?
TK: Euw, that's gross.
Me: Which part; kissing your girlfriend or farting while you do it?
And that, I am thrilled to inform you, successfully shut him up. Until he farted again. 'Twas a small victory for Goth Mom but I'll take what I can get.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Dark Romance #4 ~ The Legend of Old Gregg

You'll find SPOILERS below, so if you haven't seen this thing, but intend to, you may want to give this blog post a miss (though I do link some wee snippets of the episode below, if you're interested in checking it out).

The Legend of Old Gregg is an episode from the second series (season) of the British comedy show The Mighty Boosh. I first became aware of the Boosh on a Jet Blue flight from, I think, Texas to California - thank God for those little tellies on the seat backs! It was featured on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim and I'm oh, so glad I tuned into that. The one episode I saw stirred me up enough to buy the Boosh box set on Amazon, for a really sweet price, and I haven't regretted the impulse buy for a moment.

The two Boosh, if you will, are Howard Moon and Vince Noir. Moon, a painfully uncool wanna-be hepcat, plays comic straight man to Noir's super cool, "King of the Mods" wide-eyed simpleton. (I'm over-simplifying, of course - Noir's a canny character but can come off as a bit goofy, now and again.) The show follows their escapades into some often sublimely surreal environments, and The Legend of Old Gregg is one of my favorites.

In it, Moon and Noir flee London after a spectacularly unsuccessful music gig (largely because their disgruntled audience threatens to visit violence upon them). They travel to the village of Black Lake and arrive at a pub (which is as good a place as any to recapture your "edge," I suppose). While there, they're advised to go fishing on the lake in order to sort of clear their heads and reconnect to their creative muses. They do so but when Noir proves to be a more successful fisherman than Moon, Moon sends him away in a fit of pique. Back at the pub, Noir shocks the locals by detailing where he's been and, too late, learns of the dangers of the lake on a full moon night.

Moon discovers the danger for himself when he gets his first bite of the night - Old Gregg. How, in the name of all that's holy, to describe Old Gregg? He/she/it is a humanoid monster with seaweed hair, a sort-of mustache, and a "downstairs mix-up" frequently referred to as its "man-gina." He alternates between stereotypical gender roles, first aggressively male, then submissively female - mostly, he comes off like a scale-covered dude who also wears a tutu and, later, a wedding gown, so pinning a sex on Old Gregg is a bit tricky. Oh, and he paints watercolors (naturally) and likes a glass of Baileys (for which I can't say I blame him - yum!) Anyway, Old Gregg develops a crush on Moon and whisks him away to his underwater cave/cocktail bar/quasi-disco. Moon's hardly up for a seduction but, when Old Gregg's attraction seems it will take a turn for the fatal, plays along in the hopes of escaping. This he eventually does, with a little help from Noir and their friends - however, unbeknownst to them, though the tide is high, Old Gregg's holding on.

The dark romance of it all: When Moon does his about-face and invites Old Gregg's advances, he explains his reversal by saying that, sometimes, when people begin to have romantic feelings for others, they hide them by playing games. "Love games?" Old Gregg asks, which launches them into a funny, freaky, and funky duet. Really, it's the music in this episode that enamors me, as well as pathetically lonely Old Gregg's single-minded (and, admittedly, homicidal) determination to win Moon's love.

You can find the entire episode in snippets on YouTube, though, if you dig bizarre British humor as much as I do, I strongly recommend you buy the DVD, at least series two, if not the box set. (Hey, you can even watch just this episode on Amazon's Instant Video for only $1.99!) Too, you can check out more clips on Adult Swim's Web site, if you wanna try before you buy. These fellers got the sea funk - don't you wanna get it too? I think you do.