Friday, December 25, 2009

Joyeaux No(way in h)EL(L)!

Bon Jour Mon Amis!
I had vowed not to blog at all while in France, just to try really hard to have an actual vacation. But I cannot resist the urge to share with you the miracle of Christmas Eve. Broken record: I can't stand Christmas. Yesterday, though, on the eve of, we tromped through Paris in the cold, cold, wet, wet, rain for THIRTEEN HOURS. At the Village d'Noel in front of the Eiffel Tower, I was accosted and groped by Pere Noel, who was very nice and spoke perfect English. It was actually a power hug. Warren (a Jew, just like Baby Jesus!) captured the whole thing with his camera. Later, we tromped up the Champs Elysees and on to Notre Dame where we heard the French Children's Choir sing Silent Night to a massive, SRO crowd. Today I am far too exhausted to whip myself into my usual annual holiday disdain. I'm just gonna sit and knit and eat.

Oh, and I was delighted to see that, after role modeling for the world for the past twenty Christmases or so, some of the world is catching on to my suggestion of non-celebration. Check out this article in the Times-- bonus points, my friend Hank Stuever, author of Tinsel, his new book about the insanity of Christmas in Frisco, TX, is quoted heavily in the story.

Joyeaux Noel Y'all,

Sunday, December 13, 2009

One of These Years...

Bubbles is going to stop putting up with my amusement at her expense. I think she's been plotting revenge for years. Get a load of at that pissed off look on her face. But she let me get away with it

at least one more time. And despite my usual holiday gloom-- or more likely courtesy of a plane ticket that's taking me out of here very soon (thank you Warren!), or possibly just that this damn holiday is so pervasive, I find myself doing odd things. Just one example: yesterday, as I was preparing my fix of caffeine, running the coffee grinder, I realized that I was stopping and starting it to the tune of Jingle Bells. It went like this:

Grind grind grind
Grind grind grind
Grind grind
Grind grind grind.

This reminded me of the year Kat strong armed a bunch of us, present company included, into going caroling with her. I must've been on Vicodin or still drinking back then, because I went along. With us, a number of foreigners. I hung back with the Bulgarians, the Italian, and a Frenchman named Ree-shard, a man who loved me to teach him American idioms like this:

It's as hot as two rats fucking in a wool sock.

The foreigners either had a hard time keeping up with the lyric sheets (written in English) or possibly just were flummoxed by the the whole activity. All I know is, at some point Ree-shard muttered, with a perfect French sneer:

Zheeeeengle bells? What is zees Zheeeeengle bells?

Yes, Ree-shard. I wonder the same thing. Grind grind grind, y'all. And Joie Noel. I'm outta here.
Feliz ano nuevo!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sad News: Andrea Burden 1969- 2009

Last week, Andrea Burden, a wonderful Austin artist, died very suddenly. She leaves behind two very young daughters. Like so many of us, she had no health or life insurance. The hospital bills need to be paid, and a fund has been set up to help take care of the girls. I ask that you please donate what you can to help.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Chappy Chanukkah and All That Jazz

No secret that a) I can't stand Christmas and b) I do love the Jewish holidays (no baggage, lots of good food). I'm getting less miserable with each passing Christmas, especially since I started leaving the country just about every December for the past six or seven years. (Next week: Paris here I come.) I remembered today that last year (when I was stuck here courtesy of surgery recovery) I cheered myself up some by making an alternative holiday mix CD. I'm 99% sure I posted this list last year, but let's call it tradition (TRADITION!) I'm posting it again. I must say, upon revisiting this mix, I am quite pleased with myself. Please hold while I give me a big hug. I highly recommend you make this mix for yourself and listen to it good and loud.

Bah! (the mix)
1. Christmas The Who
2. Father Christmas The Kinks
3. Dreidel Erran Baron Cohen
4. Blue Christmas Bright Eyes
5. Please Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas) The Decemberists
6. Xmas in Jail Asleep at the Wheel
7. Little Drummer Boy Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
8. Driedel, Driedel Meshugga Beach Party
9. Feliz Navidad El Vez
10. Happy Christmas (War Is Over) Neil Diamond*
11. Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah Erran Baron Cohen
12. Do You Hear What I Hear Chaka Khan
13. The Chanukah Song Adam Sandler
14. Fairytale of New York Kirsty MacColl & The Pogues
15. Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem Bright Eyes
16. Dreidel Jingle Punx
17. What a Friend We Have In Jesus Tiny Tim
18. Baby, It's Cold Outside Tom Jones
19. Christmas Time for My Penis The Vandals
20. Heat Miser Lushy
21. Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah (Hora) Brave Combo
22. Don't Shoot Me Santa The Killers
23. Chanuka Jingle Punx
24. White Christmas Stiff Little Fingers
25. You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch Thurl Ravenscroft
26. Silent Night Jingle Punx
27. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) Joey Ramone
*a nice Jewish b-oy!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Picture This!

Good lord this town is more fun than sixteen barrels of drunken monkeys. As ever, I've been running around too much to actually slow down and blog with any regularity. I mean, blog here. I am busy daily cranking out new posts for my JetBlue JetAustin gig. Here's a link to my glowing review of East Side Cafe, which is SO AWESOME. And now, I resort to pictures of what else has been going on, to show you what thousands of words couldn't capture even if I could find the time to write them. (Okay, I will throw in a few captions.)

Today, I went to Joe Cooks for lunch, to hang out with my buddies Connie and Doris Ann, who were making the most beautiful cookies ever. Joe Cooks is this catering place at MLK and Chicon. A few months ago, they also opened a cafe-- same location-- called Joe's Place that only offers lunch, M-F, 11-2. Besides the menu, they have Especially Special Specials, which means they invent new and great stuff to try out. I went for the veggie lentil soup and a fresh veggie sandwich on homemade bread and it was magnificent. Y'all need to check this place out. And Connie, who is one of the owners, is looking to do events at the space and in the groovy backyard. So I'm going to say it here-- the first one of you to throw your wedding at Joe Cooks, I'll give you 50% off my officiant fee. Think about it.

Last Friday, I threw Henry a surprise birthday bowling party. Just what every nineteen year old wants-- his 45 year old mom to call all his friends and then drag him to a bowling alley in the middle of the day and pretend that it's just going to be Hen, Mom and Warren, knocking down a few pins.

Saturday, Warren and I got our candyasses out the door. I was having serious cabin fever and even though it was below 50, we convinced ourselves to walk around Town Lake. This is Training For France, as I seriously doubt they are going to turn up the global warming for me and heat the country up to my preferred 85 degrees F. We stopped to roll in the grass (not a euphemism) and look up at the sky (that tree is shot from the ground up.) And we listened to our separate iPods-- Warren is totally addicted to his new iTouch. This, after mocking my iPhone for nearly two years. Ha, I told you, Warren!

Saturday evening, Warren and Garreth and baby Z and I joined Ann Woodall at Blue Genie Art Bazaar, which is happening over at the Monarch Event Center. Ann's got a booth up-- her cards (featuring her photography) are most excellent, as are her Mixed Media crocheted hats. (Okay, so they aren't mixed media, but they are really wild and warm and wonderful). Ann and I posed on the big Jackalope in the lobby-- Blue Genie has a bunch of really cool sculptures for sale, including enormous sushi.

And today, Rebound, the dumbest dog in the world (but so CUUUUUUUUUTE) ate half a dollar bill. Not to be confused with the yogurt she rooted out of my bag yesterday and ate (that was actually sort of clever), or the expensive skein of yarn she chewed on until it was totally tangled. Warren thinks I'm the one who needs training, as in don't leave out dollar bills/yarn/yogurt. I think Warren needs to shut his piehole.

As for that lovely photo at the beginning of this post? I call that one: Isn't it GREAT living with a photographer who captures every single moment? I'll spare you the shot of me on the john with the dog sitting at my feet, but trust me, it exists.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tis the Season and All that Crap

Well, if you ask me, it's the most shittiest time of the year! Actually, miraculously, so far my holiday-induced depression has remained at bay. I am hoping it does snow today, though I would prefer for that to happen after 6, as I have some driving to do before then. This is a random post, not much to report except, OH YEAH:

Warren is taking me to Gay Paree for Hanukkah!

That's right, we are spending two weeks in France, starting very soon. We've got a week on the Mediterranean and a week in the City of Lights and I am peeing my pants in excited anticipation. I can't wait to get a Joie Meal at the Louvre for starters. And maybe a side of Freedom Fries.

Here are a couple of pics-- how relaxing it is to have a domestic partner with a surgically implanted camera in his hand. Below we have Hank Stuever and me at his recent book signing at BookPeople. And me and my little twin friends. And me receiving a surprise award at last night's Austinist holiday party. I also was the temporary owner of a super kickass hat. When it was my turn at White Elephant, I chose to steal the hat from its original recipient rather than open up a new gift. I later suffered karmic justice, as the hat was stolen from me. Goddammit! I want that hat back.