Tuesday, August 03, 2010



Is this thing on?

Is anyone still out there?

I am thinking of resurrecting this blog once again, as a place to post links to cool stuff. Stay tuned if you are so inclined.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I am not a quitter! This time.

So I promised you blog posts all month, and you didn't get them. Shame on me, I know.

But seriously, I have an excuse. What had happened was, at about the same time I started this blog project, I started talking with my totally awesome editor Chad at Richmond Magazine about doing a blog on their site as sort of an online version of my Parental Rites column. So the blog over there starts next week, look for it!

As for this one? Don't count it out yet. But it's gonna have to go on the back burner until we get that one up and running, at least. So check me there for now.

Monday, October 13, 2008

As I mentioned on Facebook yesterday, I was excited -- no, totally stoked -- to find the 5-DVD box set of the second season of Pee Wee's Playhouse at Five Below yesterday. Five Below! I've had it on my Amazon Wish List since before Suley was born. And now I own it for only five bucks. How great is that?

I've been a fan of Pee Wee since the original Pee Wee Herman Show first appeared on HBO. I have all of his Letterman appearances on VHS. "We're gonna get Pee Wee some Darvon and we'll be right back after these messages." The kids' show didn't start until I was in college and I was so excited. I dragged myself up every Saturday morning to watch. Getting me up by 10am on a Saturday was even harder when I was in college than it is now. But Pee Wee! On network television! It was awesome. I had a mean crush on Cowboy Curtis, and to this day Lawrence Fishburne will always be Cowboy Curtis to me.

I think part of what has always appealed to me about Pee Wee's oeuvre, and in particular the TV show, is that the whole retropunk design of the set and the props and set dressing are one hundred percent my taste. The vintage floral tablecloths, the deco kitchen, the red glitter Naugahyde -- all of that is stuff I either have, used to have or aspire to. Three of the main animators for Playhouse, David Powers and Phil and Christine Trumbo, are old Richmond art punks. David got his head split open with a billyclub at the Iggy Pop concert riot in 1981 (trivia fact: Tad and I got married in the room where the Iggy Pop concert riot of 1981 took place). Phil Trumbo was one of the original members of The Orthotonics, a local avant punk band that blew my still-developing mind when I was in middle school. And of course, Gary Panter's style has always been all over Pee Wee. ThroTTle, the local alt monthly I interned with in high school, used to feature his art and art from local illustrators with a similar style (trivia fact the second: Throttle also featured strips by Kaz. Kaz is probably now best known for the twitch-inducing Spongebob Squarepants and Camp Lazlo, proving that it takes more than nostalgic memories of my Richmond Artpunk days to make me a fan of your kiddie show).

But anyway! My whole point with this post was originally gonna be that I had forgotten how off-color Pee Wee managed to be on Saturday morning network TV. Unloading a grocery bag, he names each item as he lifts it out: "Milk, milk, lemonade...." and just when you think he's going to be satisfied slipping that much past the censors, he sneers at the camera and blurts "....around the corner fudge is made!" Oh no you didn't, Pee Wee! And when they have the charity drive, Globey announces that he's donating his dickey. Tito, the perpetually underdressed pool boy, blanches and says "Your what?" It's not all cheap shots, though -- I was still laughing at that when Globey revealed why he was giving it away: "It makes my face look too round." Oh, Pee Wee, I didn't realize how much I'd missed you. Let's never be apart again.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I think I am suffering from post-fair mental exhaustion. I can't think of anything to talk about. Hard to believe, right?

For lack of a more substantial post, I'd like to take this opportunity to mention the three cases of books that UPS dropped off on my front porch yesterday. I'll have to get out the boxcutter to check, but I think it's one case of hardcover copies of Snake Hips and a case each of hard and softcover copies of Nerd Girl Rocks Paradise City. That's what my publisher promised me, anyway. Just in time for Decemberween, right? $22 gets you hardback and $15 gets you paper, domestic postage included. Order at the website; be sure to specify which book you're ordering in the Paypal comments.

I'm sure when y'all's book orders come rolling in, I'll suddenly find the inspiration to write something both meaningful and brilliantly witty in tomorrow's entry. No, seriously.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

This is hard stuff, this regular public blogging! What do I talk about? How long do I make my post? What tone should I take? Oh, the questions, they make my head hurt.

In the interest of full disclosure, there is a twinge of crankiness about the fact that I am starting a remedial blog here in late 2008. (I had a hard time choosing my word there but I think crankiness fits. I axed "resentment" and "bitterness" as being too strong because, come on, it's just a blog. But there's definitely a feeling there, and it's not a great one, so cranky it is.)

The backstory to my crankiness is that I have a blog elsewhere, on another online blogging site, that I started in 2000. And I update it frequently, usually daily. But when Snake Hips came out, I had some local unpleasantness around some posts I'd made on that blog, so I locked it down to where only folks I "friended" could see my posts. At last count I had over 400 people on my friends list, so it's not private-private but it's not public by a long shot, either.

The "friends only" blog is a strange animal. It lulls you into a sense of complacency because you feel like you have an intimacy with your readers -- and you do, to an extent. My friends know my slang, my "cast of characters," my pet peeves and my politics. I can speak my mind and only occasionally will someone storm off in a huff. I feel relatively okay posting family pictures, potty-training anecdotes and stuff that would be too personal for a public blog because who reads it? My friends. But if I look at my friends list in the harsh light of reality, I don't know all four hundred and thirty of my friends as well I tell myself that I do.

So what do you do when your private blog starts to feel not so private? I have friends on that site who have snuck off and made secret blogs under new names with only their nearest and dearest on their friends lists. I started to do that once, but I couldn't bear to pare down my list. A friend is a friend, virtual or otherwise, and even if I've only exchanged a few words with my blog friends, I feel like they're a part of the little party I'm throwing and I can't imagine bouncing them for no reason.

I have other friends who use filters that allow one group of friends to see certain posts, and closer friends to see others, and so on and so forth. I don't have the patience for that and I'd probably screw it up besides.

So my solution, because I do everything backwards, is to start a 100% public blog, open to everyone, no filters, no friends list, no cover. Come on in, everybody. Make yourselves at home. Drinks are over there. Hope you like the music.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Look at me, slacking on the second day! Yes, I didn't post at all yesterday, after promising a post a day. I guess my true nature will be revealed to you right off the bat -- where there is writing involved, I will procrastinate. Yes indeedy, I certainly will. But here I am now, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on a Saturday morning and ready to blog!

The thing I was doing other than posting yesterday was cleaning the bedroom. In doing so I rounded up some dresses from the back of my closet to take to the thrift store. They were all from the '90s, stuff I hadn't worn in forever but that I either liked too much or spent too much on to give away yet.

I noticed a definite pattern with these dresses. I guess I had a signature style and didn't know it. There was a lot of black velvet, and a lot of vintagey florals, dark roses and baby's breath on black backgrounds. Usually some kind of crinkly-wrinkly fabric. All of the skirts were long, too long, really; I'm 5'2 so that's a given. I had a thing for patchworky skirts -- a square of the vintagey floral stuff, a square of black velvet, a square of some random art deco-ish print or something vaguely Asian....oh, and some black lace somewhere. Maybe peeking out from a hem or in the V of the neckline. And a bunch of those little elastic clip things you use to nip the waist in. I wore these dresses with black leggings and black boots, always black boots -- cowboy boots, motorcycle boots, granny boots, but definitely black boots. Apparently I either thought I was Maria McKee or Molly Ringwald. At least I didn't wear them with a big straw hat with a cabbage rose on it.

One of the dresses was gothy-goth black but still the patchwork, and with mismatched vintage buttons. I bought it for a Type O Negative concert in 1996 where I was supposed to interview the band afterwards but for reasons I can't recall, the interview did not happen. There was one pants outfit in the whole bag, a dark green Indonesian (guess what) patchwork outfit with coins sewn onto the hem and used as toggle fasteners. My dad bought me that at a little boutique sometime around 1992 on the condition that I never wear it in public with him. He also suggested that we leave the boutique and go to CVS to buy a Spiderman costume, which he felt would make the same fashion statement for a lot less money. Shopping with my dad is always an adventure.

Guess what? They're all going. They're in a Trader Joe's bag by the door. Look for them soon at a thrift store near you.

(Day two and it's already come to posts about cleaning out my closet. This is going to be one fascinating blog.)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Yeah, I know, it's after midnight. I'm cheating a little. I plead Vice Presidential debate, and a couple of tantrums from a headstrong three-year-old who just got a double whammy of Outer Banks/State Fair and is all out of sorts.

One of the things I love about working in Real Estate is that you get to meet a lot of cool people who are doing cool things. Sometimes you get to hear about cool things before they happen and if you are a nerd like me, that makes you feel all tingly and speshul. So a while back, one of my clients tipped me off to the plans in the works for the old Robinson Theater on Q Street -- and now, courtesy local poet & musician Todd Waldo (who is also a client -- I told you I get to meet the cool people), news that the marquee is up -- with photographic proof!

It's looking great. Very exciting for Q Street. Now that you're all impressed, I'd like to note that I have a fabulous house listed just two blocks up from the theater. Call me.

I still am not sure what direction I am going to try and take this blog in, but I am committed to posting something on it every day in October to help me decide. I missed a day so I'll post twice today. Anyone who knows me knows what the first post will be about -- The State Fair! We've been twice so far and had more fun than we should be legally allowed to have.

I am not excited at all about the Fair's move to Caroline County. No sir, I am not. The Fair just isn't the Fair anywhere but on Laburnum, and I say that because I am not old enough to remember it anywhere else. I know from this book (which someone should buy me) that the State Fair moved to Laburnum in 1946, and before that it was on the Boulevard where the Diamond is, and prior to that on Broad at the old train station site. Originally it was in Monroe Park, imagine that!

So now, after 154 great years, the State Fair is dumping us, Richmond. And I'm going to be heartbroken, I will not lie -- but I can't let the emo tears fall just yet, because I am having too much fun picking ducks and eating elephant ears and riding the Tilt-a-Whirl.