Monday, October 31, 2011

Charlie Brown's got The Great Pumpkin.

But at my house we have something better to usher in the first day of Thankshallowistmas: The Big HalloWeenie!

Whee, doggies! Do I look delicious or what?

Yesterday my sister Jenny took me for a stroll to give the neighbors a little peek at the well-dressed pup:

Here, Jen. I'll show you a trick for anyone who doesn't give you a bodacious treat!

Note to my long-time readers: I know that it seems out of character for me to wear something besides the occasional hat. But this thing actually feels pretty good . . . downright comforting. Maybe I can wear it the next time we have a bad thunderstorm. Also, I'm not really doing any trick-or-treating tonight, since I'm not supposed to have candy.

After we got home from our walk, M and J helped Jenny with her costume. Hers isn't for trick-or-treat, either, but for an office party. This year she's decided to dress up as Axl Rose, one of the founders of an old rock band named Guns N' Roses:

Here she is belting out a G N' R song called "Welcome to the Jungle." I think it refers to a different jungle from the one I used to live in. M asked her to be careful not to scuff his boots.

In other Halloween happenings, M found an article that was supposedly written by one of his favorite economists, Paul Krugman, on a website known as the Onion. The piece is entitled "This Sure Is A Spooky Time For The Economy." If you'd care to read it, just follow this link. You'll probably understand it better than I did. What I liked the most was the picture of Dr. Krugman dressed up as Dracula:

Well, it turns out Dr. K didn't write the article. He obviously has a sense of humor, though, as evidenced by his blog post setting the record straight. In it, he Halloweenishly misquotes another famous "K" economist, John Maynard Keynes, by noting that "In the long run we are all undead . . ."

Boy, economists are a riot.

Have a safe and happy Halloween, everybody!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy birthday, Auntie Julia!

Today is my Auntie Julia's birthday, which means it's time for a little concert by the Fab Four. So here they are, all the way from England . . . the Corgi Sisters!

To which M and J add their own warm wishes!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My card, sir.

One of the nice things about my daily walks around the neighborhood is getting to meet new friends. So far I've met at least a gazillion--a couple dozen more if you count the ones who fed me while I was still living on my own.

Just when I think I've met everyone there is, somebody else pops up. Our "stop-and-chat" almost always ends with M telling the new person about my blog. This week, as a little reminder, we've started handing out my very own business cards. Take a look--first the front side:

And now the back:

Pretty cool, huh? I wish we'd thought of it about half-a-gazillion people ago.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Now THAT'S a country song!

M fusses that much of what passes for country music these days . . . isn't. Instead it's slick, overproduced soda pop that tries to boost its audience by attracting fans of every other genre. This doesn't mean a lot to me, so today I asked him how you can tell if a song is truly "country."

"You can just feel it," he replied. "For one thing, the music isn't something you're apt to hear in an elevator. And the lyrics speak the language of real down-to-earth people. A country song taps into your rawest emotions. It reaches into your chest and rips your heart out."

This was starting to sound dangerous. "I don't think I could listen to many of those," I said. But because I'm always eager to learn about the human condition, I asked him to help me find a good example. And what he showed me just blew me away. It's by a band called The Notorious Cherry Bombs, which doesn't seem to exist anymore. (However, a couple of its members, Rodney Crowell and Vince Gill, do have successful solo careers.)

The name of this genuine country song is "It's Hard to Kiss the Lips at Night That Chew Your Ass Out All Day Long." After listening to it a few dozen times, all I can say is, "Bring back The Notorious Cherry Bombs!"

(For a great full-screen version, follow this link.)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happy birthday, Grandpa Dave!

Today is Grandpa Dave's birthday. The party animals will please come to order! Okay, now, on the count of three, everybody get wild and crazy. One, two . . .

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I'm a lucky ex-hobo.

I used to live in the woods with a homeless man. When he died, some people took him away, and I was left on my own for a long time. Fortunately those days are over for me. Unfortunately they're not over for lots of dogs, cats, and people.

M says that when he was a kid, homeless folks were known as hobos and that they sometimes moved around the country by hitching rides in railroad freight cars--or often underneath them! This might sound glamorous, romantic, and even fun. But I think it's most likely just miserable and dangerous and I wouldn't recommend it.

Here's a good song about hobos. It was written by a man named Goebel Reeves and made popular by many folksingers, especially one named Woody Guthrie. This particular version is sung by Woody's son, Arlo. I hope it will help you see that homelessness, whatever you name its victims, is a terrible thing. Contrary to popular belief, it's not a lifestyle most of them choose for themselves, but one that's been forced on them through bad luck. If you are living in comfort, please do whatever you can to help those who are not.

(To see the bigger version at YouTube, click here.)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

"The Dixie Swim Club"

My adoptive sister Jenny likes to perform in community theater. Most recently she's appeared as "Dinah Grayson," one of five characters in a play called The Dixie Swim Club, by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten. The production, which ended its two-and-a-half-week run today, was an Awareness Event connected with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Some of the ticket proceeds were also donated to that cause.

The play was staged by the Sands Theater Company at the Athens Theatre, a newly renovated local landmark.

Here's a publicity picture of the cast (that's Jenny/Dinah on the right):

And here's the old theater:

M and J went to see the play last weekend and said that it was very enjoyable.

"What's it about?" I asked M on one of our recent walks.

"About two hours," he replied.

I gave him a "Don't-make-me-use-these-teeth-on-your-leg" look, and he smartened right up. The play, he informd me, is about five ladies who are good friends and former teammates on their college swim team. They get together for a long weekend every August at a beach cottage on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The story takes place in four acts in the cottage's living room, over a period of 33 years.

"They stay at the beach?" I said, my stomach suddenly feeling a bit queasy. "So it's a horror story?" (As you may have seen elsewhere in this blog, the beach--or more properly the ocean, or any large amount of standing water--sort of terrifies me.)

"Not even close," he said. "It's a comedy--and a very funny one, with just a tinge of tragedy for people who like to keep things realistic." He went on to explain that the script was full of great laugh lines, thanks in part to playwright Wooten, who spent some years as a writer and producer on a popular TV sitcom called The Golden Girls.

Here are several photos from a couple of the performances:

M and I had lots of pictures to choose from, but these will give you the general idea that the ladies really enjoy their reunions. One thing that struck me is that in most of the photos I saw, Jenny seems to be awfully thirsty. I wonder if she ought to try drinking a large bowl of water before she goes onstage.

Aside from that, though . . . well done!