Tuesday, September 30, 2008

This month's NaBloPoMo topic...

...is VOTE.

Interestingly, TODAY is the first day official day you can vote in the State of Ohio. True!


If you haven't been registered before, you can register and vote all in one fell swoop. Another option is to go to your local Board of Elections office and fill out an absentee ballot, as there is no longer a long list of conditions to be met before one is eligible to be an absentee voter.

It's all in the hopes that no one will have to wait 4 or 6 hours in rain-soaked lines on Election Day to fulfill their civic and Constitutional right/obligation.

Particularly now that we no longer have Councilwoman Fannie Lewis to come around and raise a holy stink about abyssmal voting conditions, God bless her soul.


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, September 29, 2008

Pirate Bunnies!

WalMart has the coolest Halloween t-shirts. EVER. Most have cunning little skulls. Love!

My Honey Takes Me On Romantic Outings!

Rick pointed out the inflatedly exciting descriptions of toilets for sale in last Sunday's flyers. Seriously, read through them at your next opportunity! You'll be adding assorted Adam West-ish "POW!", "BIFF!", and "BAM!" to the copy. Not that it needs the extra color, mind, it's plenty colorful on its own! You'll do it for the sheer fun of it. Also, because it Just. Feels. Right!

Here's an example. We found a model by a well-known (ahem: clue!) AMERICAN company, and the descriptor was "ACCELERATOR".


I had to try THAT one out loud. Sure enough, "ACCELERATOR" came out in a "SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNNNDAAAYYYYYY!!! voice.

So my next thought was a sad one, that ZZTop blew a golden opportunity to follow up their Eliminator album.

Then I realized it wasn't the rock group's opportunity to blow...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Surprizing Tenacity

We have 2 daisies blooming in the tree bank. What a lovely, unseasonal bonus! The daisies we have are a spring-blooming variety.

Sunday's Injury Report

The Browns have placed QB Anderson on the injured reserve list. It's his forearm, all swollen and stuff; man! dontchaHATE when that happens??!?

Except, that's not all.

The swelling has been reported to have moved down to his hand. Heavens to Murgatroyd. TOTALLY exit, stage left.

So, NOW is when they start talking "quarterback controversy". WHAT CONTROVERSY? Put the second guy in, for crying out loud.

It's not likd Quinn can do a whole lot worse.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dude, Where's My Diner?

...now showing at a parking lot near you!

This guy has a very tiny diner in the back window of his car!

Seen on our way in to the Winking Lizard, Coventry, in Cleveland Heights.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

'K, NOW I'm worried...

*ALL* four Furries gathered peaceably on The Killing Fields (we Pinkies like to call it a "Dining Room" but that can never alter this room's true purpose) can mean only one thing: CONSPIRACY. Which means dire consequences for Rick and me.

We have such a crazy menagerie.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dinner for 2, make it to go, please!

Seen *ON* I-71 Northbound at the Rte. 18 (Medina) entrance.

Mmm. Bug juice, indeed. Dining for the lion-hearted. Or, at highway speed, cheetah-hearted.

Eggplant Blossom

I held my phone below the blossom, approximating the focal zone. Not bad; now I need some fill light and we're in biz!

I never realized before what a lovely flower an eggplant produces. I shall next have to find out what pollenates it, because it is not only most peculiarly close to the ground, it is pointed at the ground. Hence, the moody, backlit artyshot.

Waddayakno! They GREW!!

Hey, they were doing ju-u-ust fine with 2 guys and an occasional vocalist! But this fuller sound? Killer tomato. LOVE.

Andy and Band at Bella Dubby

The grainy quality of the cellphone picture complements the cool, jazzy, Iron Butterfly-like, jams of our friend's ensemble. This woman's voice is beyond SPECTACULAR: at once lampworked-delicate lacey glass, yet powerful and specific, like a nerve pinch that releases years of tension. Heartbreakingly full of emotion, hers AND yours. The whole band - yes, 2 instrumentalists, but it's all they need! - has a fantastic range of textures.

It's fun puzzling out who the influences are on these guys, because clearly they are legion.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Crazy Condiments & Running Bunned Meats!

The Sugardale Hotdog Derby is a hoot. Tonight's spectacle was part silly, part World Wrestling Federation antics, which compounds and underscores the "silly" label.


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fan Photographer at Progressive Field

Well? Turnabout is fair play! Sometimes, at least. She took my picture. Now I'm taking hers. I just don't have a card to hand her directing her to my website.

Nor would I charge her to print copies...

Gary Sh(EFFINGIDIOT)field, Humanitarian

Gary Sheffield, barroom brawler extraordinaire and sometime Detroit Tawney Kittaen, put his muscles to work proactively (for a change) and ended a going-no-where inning with an expertly placed ground out.

Bravo, Gary! Who knows to what heights you might hoist yourself, given the right guidance!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Aaarrgghh!! We need a pirate's 'tude!

We had a chance to plonk Gary Sheffield on the top of the 1st inning. While the option to NOT do it may be seen as good sportsmanship, and while I may approve wholeheartedly of that, the Indians *WHOPPINGLY MISSED* a strategic opportunity.

If Tribe pitcher Jeremy Sowers would have beaned Detroit batter Sheffield, he'd've reached on HBP, not by a double. No big deal right? Because nobody scored.

*HERE'S* the big deal: if Sowers had been the first pitcher to hit a batter, the Indians *and* the Tigers get a warning, and THE NEXT PITCHER GETS TOSSED.

How much you wanna bet Jim Leyland's coaching staff (mgr of the Detroit Tigers; though not he himself -- he's got a weekend 'discipline pass') took advantage of that as soon as White Hat Eric Wedge passed on it??

Wuss vs Puss.


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

ALMOST Green With Envy

Nice. A BASEBALL Wedding. *ALMOST* makes me wish we had one. But I loved our AntiWedding.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Yo Ho Ho! It's a Pirate's Lexicon For Me!!

Doug Savage is a very VERY funny man. CLICK to see more!!

All week it's been pirates, in honor of today being International Talk Like a Pirate Day. What -- you didn't know? Well, slap on some striped knee socks and swab the deck, yeh scurvy bilge rat!!


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It's 80s Music Night at Lava in Tremont

Hard, actually, to come to terms with high school tunes spun by a hip-ish 20something in a knockoff Stooges (the punk group, not the über funny nebbischer menschen Moe, Curly, Shemp, Larry - - was there a 5th Stooge? Perhaps that was Us.) t-shirt. I am more than the sum of some zit-addled kid's idea of what the good-old-days might have been. I've already been there.

I did that myself with the Beatles specifically and the British Invasion in general for a while, then specialized a bit in Pre-Baroque and English Madrigals. See what a dork I am? Yeeeaaahhh.


Here I am sitting in my fave Tremont bar with Rick and Dan, contemplating these kick-ankle tunes by Depeche, Echo, the Cure, we'll ignore Rick Astley, Talking Heads, Falco (!?!), BERLIN!!!, so many others.

The conversation was so good. Adding to that the fact to that we all are reconnecting with our high school friends via Facebook. So these tunes are already on the tips of our brains.

What a pleasant evening.

Enemies Are Close, but on MY SHOULDER?

Perhaps the cat pheromone plug-ins have had an effect, after all...

OR it could just be the bowl of meat-heavy food I had in my lap. So much for my vision of a revised Peaceable Kingdom.

New interesting thingy! ARRRgyle Sock pattern!

Here's the amazing graph!!

And good instrux on knitting argyle, skully or otherwise!!

It's also a source of blissful distraction. I am dangerously keen on knitting socks, now, and even argyle socks, especially argyle socks with a skull, are probably not outside of my skill level. God help me. All I need is the yarn. God help us all.


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, September 15, 2008



Sunday, September 14, 2008

I like freedom of speech. Really.

But THIS crosses the line.

I AM part (tiny part) Apache. I take pride in my baseball team's fighting, warrior spirit. I feel like the Chief Wahoo *LOGO* is less a slur than the hugely offensive Notre Dame Fighting Irish MASCOT (*HUGE* difference! ESPECIALLY when one narrowly missed a church bombing in N. Ireland!), and for the record, yes, I am also part Irish. In fact, I've got *ALL* the British Isles in me (plus mostly Swedish, but that'll be featured in a future "pirates v ninjas are SO iPhone v1; everyone should be a VIKING" post) except Welsh.

Anyway. I think a very thin line was already tread with Wahoo, but to juxtapos Wahoo with Liberty *decidedly* crosses that line.

How about ONE icon at a time?

Smurf Blue at the Indians Game

There's little in the world as durable as the food dye use in cotton candy.

Well, THAT'S New.

Bizarre. It's a full block away from the martini bowling alley.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Going home from The Race for the Cure

These drummers were so feisty and fun, they're worth another post!

We had SO MUCH FUN. I hope Rick chooses to make a tradition of running this race. If he does, I will join him and walk it!

Heck, I'd've done that THIS year, if I would have known I had the option!


Rick and some of his teammates amble down Lakeside postrace. The assessment? "We didn't stop."

Many cool shirts were seen on runners, like "does this shirt make my butt look fast?" and my fave, "got breasts?" on the front, with "check em" on the back. I like that one particularly because it includes men, for whom breast cancer is particularly lethal.

Drum Corps @Komen Race for the Cure

Wow! Rain can't dampen *these* spirits! Cleveland ROCKS!

CURE Parking

Rick admires the sign, seeming to sport (ahem) large cups, and we wonder if Robert Smith knows his band has parking in Cleveland, or that it's so popular.

It's a good day for Aquaman!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thankful Thursdays: Brad Meltzer and the Superman House

Superman was "born" in Cleveland.

Most people think he was a native of Krypton, but they're wrong.

Superman was born in a modest house in the Glenville neighborhood of the eastside of Cleveland, on a summer night in 1932. He wasn't born to bold Kryptonian Jor-El and Lara-El, nor even rural WASPish Jonathan and Martha Kent. He was born to a shy, inner-city Jewish kid named Jerry Siegel, on the night his father was either gunned down (according to one side of the family) or died of a heart attack as a result of being robbed at gunpoint (according to the other side).

I love my city. But this guy Brad Meltzer, an author of novels and comic books (which makes him cool "squared" mathematically, in my estimation), has made me feel very queasy-embarrassed about one way Cleveland has tragically fallen short.

Superman, the comic book, in its early form as produced by Action Comics, was written and drawn by Jerry Siegel and his neighborhood pal Joe Schuster. And Superman, the icon, has stayed relatively true to its original form. He's died a few times, but if you're going to be a legitimate comic book character, you'll do that more than once. In fact, you're going to die, be resurrected, have your history ret-conned, have your side-kick turn on you, meet yourself in a parallel universe, be drawn for several issues as a zombie or as a very small child with very small children superhero friends, have ridiculous animals assigned as your pets (or worse, peers), I mean the list is longer than Superman ought to have lived, and he's (given the number of lives he's lived) probably older than the United States by now. Just because that's mathematically impossible doesn't make it a feasible plot for a comic book...

What is sad, though, what has me so queasy and the issue which Meltzer has been shining the light on, is that the Siegel house is still there.

No one has built a Rite Aid on the site. Yet.

In fact, there's a family that lives there. By all accounts, they are remarkably friendly!! They know the history of the house. They've taken great pains to paint the house Superman red and blue. You can't miss the house on the street, it's said.

People visit them all the time, in fact, and they throw open their door, glad to invite them in to take a look at the house where Superman was born, to see the very room in which Jerry Siegel first conceived of the idea of The Man of Steel. They do this with a smile. Always with a smile.

The exterior may exhibit Superman, but the interior exhibits downtrodden, foreclosed Cleveland. I'll let this video speak for it.

Want to help??? Please do. You see the need. Click HERE.

I was first made aware of this "Save the Superman House" movement by Rick, and lately other people are taking up the cry. I'm glad to hear that. It would be a shame to let this landmark simply crumble into dust.

Here in Cleveland people come to visit the placque in front of the Heisman house (in Ohio City) and the Christmas Story house (in Tremont) and President Garfield's tomb (Lakeview Cemetery), and dozens of other important landmarks. Our friend Mike leads bike tours to show at least half a dozen interesting former auto manufacturing sites of long-past models (White, Studebaker, Peerless, others) that still exist, though in different capacities from their original uses. It's fascinating! It's all part of history. It's all part of what makes this city remarkable, and part of why I really love it.

People clearly want to see the place where Superman was born. It'd be a shame to deny them. It would certainly be sad to lose a cultural icon simply because of apathy.

The source of my queasy embarrasment is that the City of Cleveland is doing nothing to help save this landmark. They have been given opportunities. So it's falling to ordinary people. That's sad, really, because Cleveland does a good job of responding to needs of urgent natures; it's clear Superman's Birthplace isn't as urgent to the City of Cleveland as it is to potential visitors. Hence, it was the brainchild of an outsider, a non-Clevelander, Brad Meltzer, that sparked this movement.

I am deeply thankful on this Thankful Thursday that Brad Meltzer has taken up this great quest to save The Superman House.

It's Comic Book History. It's Jews-In-America History. It's Cultural History. It's Pop-Culture History. It's Movie History. It's Cleveland History.

It's OUR History.


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Joss Whedon's at it again...

So on Wednesday I finished a book I picked up on Tuesday. A nice, thick adventure/suspense book: The Book of Fate. Brad Meltzner sounded familiar, I was sure I'd seen his books on other shelves.

While that's likely enough, where I've seen his name at home is on the cover of DC's The Justice League comic books. This novelist has dipped his talented toes into the exciting world of serial stories. (MORE than his toes; his heart is chasing the dream of saving Superman's house in the Glenville neighborhood of Cleveland.)

He's good, too.

So, (again, because I know I began the post with "so",) to my amazement, our local NPR station has a local arts and culture program every weekday at noon, and on the same Wednesday as the morning I finished The Book of Fate, who do you think they were interviewing??? That last link is the podcast of the entire Around Noon show; don't freak! The interview with Brad Meltzer is the very first thing.

Fateful, indeed.

His new book is called The Book of Lies. He recommends that you listen to Mars from Holst's suite The Planets while reading. Not that the plot demands it, but hey! If you have an author recommending a soundtrack for his work, aren't you just a little curious to see how it goes along with the book? I think that's kinda cool.

Here's something else that's cool.

I love LOVE seeing Joss Whedon not only being cited as an "Authority," but the way they credit his authority-ness. Brian K. Vaughn, too.

Now, if you need me, I'll just be getting back to searching for Tooth Fairy cash. You know, it's not just bed pillows you should look under...


Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Fresh from the backyard!

Mmmmm. This is when "summer" becomes "yummer".

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Sunday, September 07, 2008

No Exit

The race is over and we would like to go home. We'd even heed the sign, but it's hard to return when one cannot leave.

Camp Manatoc is so scenic, we didn't mind that we had to backtrack to leave!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Monster Totem

Eventually, this guy would win the "Expert Vet" category of the afternoon race, the crowning event of the weekend's festivities.

5,4,3,2,1! RACE ON!

Big Valley Race, a mountain bike race that takes place at Camp Manatoc in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I'm seriously testing the limits of my cameraphone's telephoto capabilities with this shot! (At least I got it, though!)

Patti's Paladins: out of the sadles!

Such a nice looking group! I love these people. It is such an honor to fight alongside them against MS.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Our little kiosk

Here we are at the Big Valley Race.

My Champions.

Today, rather than riding, I am selling concessions at a mountain bike race. ALL proceeds to benefit the National Muliple Sclerosis Society. It's really neat to be here, but I sure hope people (besides ME) start getting hungry and thirsty, and BUY OUR STUFF, PLEASE...

Cheerful and Kinetic

Wow. Such glorious color! We need it on a gray day like this!

3 of the kids race categories

The first level is "MINI-MITES", for the kids who still use training wheels. SOOOO CUUUUTE!

Li'l Bike Warrior

"I Came, I Saw, I Kicked Up a Righteous Rooster Tail When I Squashed the PUNY Competition."

Seen at the mountain bike races

That is the cutest little mountain bike racer I have ever seen! And with any luck, since there are about a zillion other kids running around here today, he'll have some good competition.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Time to Update An Old Classic?


This was our one-and-a-half-minute-turned-half-hour-NO-KIDDING McDonald's food stop this afternoon.

Appropriately, it was immediately preceded by the boy in the drive thru window getting all snarky ("EXECUTION," he reprimanded us...) when we asked for a straw. It was lost among all the napkins and receipts.

You would think they could just hand me the chicken, right?

Nope. That would rob these artists of another fine opportunity to screw up my sandwich.

I asked for pickles on the original sandwich. Which was cold, by the way, but I don't really mind cold sandwiches. I mention that, however, because it was a very harsh contrast when the manager handed me the new sandwich: it was warm, but it had no pickles.

At that point, I was just happy to have 2 halves of a chicken sandwich I could be happy to eat!

I assembled it myself.

It wasn't hard.

Maybe they just couldn't find the chicken the first time.

Haunting my local Costco...

>giggle< It's like Cinderella died and went to hell, isn't it?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Thankful Thursdays

"God is on my side."

My Uncle Don wrote that in his gratitude journal. Aunt Arlene shared this with me in an email I received today. Today is his wake; tomorrow will be his funeral.

Many bloggers have adopted a "Thankful Thursdays" habit in their writings. I believe that, in Uncle Don's honor, it's time for me to take up that yoke. I sure am thankful to be his great-neice.

I don't know what sort of sides he was envisioning that God and he were taking up, or who was on the other side. But Uncle Don wasn't someone I'd want to have as an adversary.

He was a veteran of WWII, where he served in Europe. They often refer to the two major divisions of attention as "theaters", as in "the European theater" and "the Pacific theater", but I just can't imagine taking a bag of popcorn to sit and watch THOSE goings-on. Anyway, he was Over There from 1943-1946. They didn't decorate the 'theaters', but they tended to decorate the service-people: Uncle Don was awarded the Purple Heart and two Bronze Stars.

He ended up getting terribly, severely wounded during his service. On his cot in the triage he heard the medics say that he was too far gone, nothing more could be done for him. Amazingly, another voice, a voice he thought he recognized but just couldn't place, said, "Hold on a minute! I know that kid! He's a good kid. He's from my town! See what you can do for him, huh?"

He never found the source of the voice to thank him.

Fast forward years later to a teen-aged girl, sneaking into her uncle's bedroom. He'd've been out, oh, goodness knew where, but my mom was visiting her grandparents and curiosity took over. She just had to listen to those records again! My mom told me time and again how she would sneak into her Uncle Don's or her Uncle Frank's room to listen to their records -- they had all the good Big Band sounds -- whenever her parents took her to visit her grandparents and her uncles weren't around.

I kind of like that mischievous vision of my mom. I relate to the hero-worship of elder relatives who seem so cool.

As long as we're on that fast-forward button, leave it on til we hit the early 70s. That'll be my childhood.

Uncle Don was my Grandpa Kopsell's brother. I remember watching the two of them together when I was just a very little girl -- boy, they simply fascinated me! I tell you, they were giants!

They weren't just big for being tall (and they were very tall!! -- and lanky, so they seemed even taller), they spoke tall. The words that came out of their mouths were bigger than the words from other people. Uncle Don threw words left and right, like he was sowing fields, and he wanted to make sure it was a full crop. His words were ALL CAPS, and very colorful, and they came at you. It was like being wrapped up in the comics page when you were in the presence of Uncle Don's words, it was that bright and exciting. Grandpa sat back and pondered a bit before speaking, but whoo boy; you were glad you were there when he finally opened his mouth. It was something worth hearing when he spoke; and when he spoke it was with Title Caps and generally he used boldface. It was exciting when he spoke too; merely to be in the presence of these titans was awesome. I don't remember a word they said, but I know every bit was earth-shatteringly important. At least, it was on that day.

It was around that time that I first read the word 'bombastic'. I didn't know what the word meant, but I did know that Uncle Don had been a soldier in World War II, and I certainly knew that the word 'bomb' was in that word. I knew that they used bombs in the war (and in many wars), and it seemed like a likely word for a soldier. Plus, it rhymed with 'fantastic'. What could be a better word for my dear Uncle Don?

This was all in the mind of a little girl still too young for Kindergarten.

Now, I'd never shared that story with anyone before this week. I've known for quite some time now what 'bombastic' really means, though I often have to look it up to be sure (it never feels right to me). I finally shared this story with my cousin Sheila (Uncle Don's daughter), and they may be telling this story at the funeral on Friday. I had to provide a definition of 'bombastic' to accompany the story, and I think that's really wonderful, because it's just one of those words that most people use to describe a character flaw when it really should be a strength.

I'm so thankful Uncle Don was a part of my life. I'm so thankful that sad partings sometimes bring family closer together, even if only for a time. I am tremendously grateful for my cherished memories and the family I do have still. I'm thankful for my faith that feeds my hope of reunion. I'm thankful for the visit Rick and I made the last time we were in Illinois, and for the warm welcome we were given by Uncle Don and Aunt Arlene when we just showed up (well, we called ahead, but not by much).

And so, I dedicate my first Thankful Thursday to the memory of my Great-Uncle Donald H. Kopsell. I'm thankful, finally, that you reminded me that God, however we call upon God, is on ALL our sides, and when we get to that Other Side, we'll have a far better, deeper, more complete understanding of sides and of God.


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, September 01, 2008

Where We Parked the Boat

C Dock, at Put-In-Bay on Middle Bass Islands of the Lake Erie Islands. In the War of 1812 a very important naval battle was fought and won among these islands. Captain Oliver Hazard Perry (later Admiral) was single-handedly responsible for victory. It's a remarkable bit of history. That's his monument in the background. It was a glorious day of sun and fun and learning.

At the Perry Monument Visitor Center

We have GOT to come back and enjoy this another day, when we have more time. This sliver of history is simply fascinating.

This diorama of the battle is amazing - one of the nicest I've seen, actually. Not to be missed.

Oliver Hazard Perry said it famously.

Detail at the top of the Monument

You are HERE.

It's hard to get a good picture of this map, but we got the lay of the land.

Rick enjoys the view atop Perry's Mon't.

I'm having a Beavis & Butthead moment

This sign (at the Perry Monument) says the Federal Government participated in the erection.

They mean "OF THIS MONUMENT", of course.

I couldn't help snickering a little... Especially because it sounded so communal...