Archive for September, 2009

Ode to the Yes Guy

Posted: September 30, 2009 in nostalgia, random

I am a huge I Love Lucy fan… Ever notice how half the stuff I write starts with “I’m a huge ______ fan”?  Would that make me fanatical? Definition: possessed with or motivated by excessive, irrational zeal. 

I think yes.

So I wake up late this morning, and I’m trying to be mad about having to work on one of my normal days off… But somehow, I just can’t muster the bad attitude I longed for.  I caught every green/yellow light, I coasted to work on a mysteriously trafficless highway, and I had a great song stuck in my head (‘Cupid’ – Sam Cooke.)  By the time I got to work I was feeling absolutely jovial.

It’s funny how confused my co-workers get when Mary and I switch a day.  We never get to see that our schedule affects how other people look at their work week.  IE: I work Monday and Tuesday and Mary works Wed, Thur, Fri, which means: I’m the “it’s the beginning of the week, we’re not even close to the weekend” girl… and Mary is the “yay it’s the end of the week and we’re happy” girl!  So you can only imagine how many times today I’ve heard, “It’s Wednesday right?” 

I love freaking people out.  It’s why I like to cut my hair off 6 inches at a time.  The shock factor.  Maybe that’s another reason why I’m in a great mood today.  I get to be the “Yay!” girl.

Only after I replied “Y-E-E-S-S-S.” to a friend… did I realize that I may need to tone it down a wee bit.

So let me start this blog again, I am a huge fan of ‘The Yes Guy’.  You know…. the guy that no one really knows.  The guy that has the pencil thin mustache and replies, “Y-E-E-S-S-S.”  He’s famous I tell you, but does anyone know why???

If you know me, you know I’m a huge fan of Wikipedia too… so this morning I set off to find my answer to the question: Who is The Yes Guy?  And the answer?  I probably fell in love with the Yes Guy from an I Love Lucy episode, that or the Simpsons (<-BIG fan).  Isn’t it funny how pop culture references end up connected in the strangest ways?

So here’s to you Yes Guy!  Now that I know who you are… I’m gonna spread the word!

From the Simpsons:
Name: Frank Nelson Type aka ‘The Yes Guy’
Gender: Male
Hair: Black Widow’s peak
Age: 48
Job: Various
Relatives: Unknown
First Appearance: Mayored to the Mob
Voiced by Dan Castellaneta
Biography from Wikipedia: Frank Nelson (actor)
Nelson first found fame as the put-upon foil to Jack Benny on Benny’s radio show during the 1940s and 1950s. Nelson’s typically portrayed a sales clerk or customer service worker. For example, needing airline tickets, Benny would call the ticket agent, “Oh Mister? Mister?” Nelson’s appearance began with his catchphrase, a bellowed “Yeeeesssss?”. The two men would banter, with Nelson gleefully delivering one-liners such as “Is that a hairpiece or did someone plant moss on your head?” and sarcastic responses like “Do I work at this airport? No, I’m a DC-4 with a mustache.”

Nelson continued to appear on Benny’s television show in 1950, doing the same “rude clerk” shtick. His other catchphrase, that would be worked into every routine, would have Benny asking something mundane, such as, “Do these shirts come in a medium?” and Frank would bellow, “Oo-oo-oo-ooh, DO they!” He also appeared on several other radio programs. Nelson’s sudden appearances usually led to spontaneous laughter or applause on the part of the audience.

After Jack Benny, Nelson continued to work in sitcoms in similar roles, most notably in The Hank McCune Show and I Love Lucy during the 1950s and Sanford and Son during the 1970s. In 1981, Nelson did a string of commercials for McDonalds doing his trademark “Y-e-e-e-s?” catchphrase. Garfield in Paradise in 1986 was the last recorded time he used his signature phrase.

Frank Nelson: (May 6, 1911 – September 12, 1986)
My Aunt Pam gave us THE COOLEST GIFT EVER!!!
Vintage concert tickets that she attended…. they are AMAZING!
She had them framed for Lathan’s room THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Check out the date on the Jimi Hendrix Ticket… it’s from Peter’s Bday!  Also see: Led Zeppelin, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Traffic, Jethro Tull, and the ROLLING STONES!
My Eric Clapton Autograph

Mark Knopfler Strat

Posted: September 28, 2009 in I Painted a Mural, music
I am a huge Dire Straits fan… due, in no small part, to my dad who owned numerous Dire Straits records that I would regularly burn into my brain via his cushy old-fashioned bonafide ‘record listening’ headphones.  It’s funny, those headphones sort of remind me of the oversized cell phones of the 1980’s when you think of how comparatively small a set of iPod ‘earbuds’ are.  But the sound quality of my dad’s headphones remain unparalleled. 
I remember how cool the Money for Nothing video seemed to a kid just discovering the wonderment of MTV.  And solidifying their coolness even MORE: Sultans of Swing… the epitomy of a Rock ‘n Roll song, Romeo and Juliet… the most memorable lyrics you’ve ever heard… and the rest of the Making Movies album that I had on constant repeat when falling asleep throughout high school.  I actually got into arguments with friends when I would state that I thought Mark Knopfler was the best guitarist ever…. you know, over the likes of Hendrix, Page, B.B. King, Clapton, or Duane Allman.  Oh how young I was.  At that age, one favorite song or even one section of music could effectively put my blinders on to anything else by comparison. 
So this one’s for you Mark Knopfler!  You’re still my hero! 🙂
Mark Knopfler Strat    
‘Money for Nothing’ Video
(click below)
Getting there!

Rock On

Posted: September 15, 2009 in family and friends, favorites, I Painted a Mural, music
Without giving EVERYTHING away I would like to present the premature stages of Lathan’s rock ‘n roll mural.  When my oldest baby said he wanted a guitar hero room… I ran with the idea!  And something that started small got real big, real quick.  With everything from guitar/amp bedding (that we found online) and a guitar mural, to my dad offering to give Lathan some of the most precious album covers in his collection!  Deciding what kind of guitar to paint on the wall has turned into a full scale dilemma… I know musicians play different guitars for different sounds… but which is the best:  Fender Stratocaster or Gibson Les Paul?  My obsession at the moment, Dan Auerbach, usually plays a Gibson.  BUT a Fender is SO ‘Rock ‘n Roll!’  So I decided to paint Fenders over the lightning and grid pattern that you will see more of later, and thanks Amanda for your baby gate contribution!   Not to say that a Les Paul or Epiphone won’t be on another section of wall… I mean, Lathan did say, “Mom, EVERY part of the wall needs a picture!”
So here’s a break down of the mural…
Stage One: Lightning
Stage Two: Circle Grid Pattern
Stage Three: Stars
Stage Four: Guitars

(The red is a Mark Knoffler Strat!)
The more I read about Ryan Gosslings band the more excited I get about the music I have already fallen in love with!  Inspired by ghosts, imperfections, and children? AWESOME.  I hadn’t realized that the ‘Name in Stone’ video I posted previously was recorded in only two takes.  I am giddy for October 6th… not only because of the Dead Man’s Bones self titled album release, but it’s also my Papa’s birthday!  I really have the urge to watch Ghost Hunters in a Halloween costume, while listening to Dead Man’s Bones… as soon as possible!!!

Click here: to read the intriguing bio about the band, including the story of how they met, and how they came together to create a play about monster/ghost love stories… and even why they decided to incorporate children into their music and never take more than three recordings of a song.

Lathan loves this video…

First and foremost,
01. Intro
02. Dead Hearts
03. In The Room Where You Sleep
04. Buried In Water
05. My Body’s A Zombie For You
06. Pa Pa Power
07. Young & Tragic
08. Paper Ships
09. Lose Your Soul
10. Werewolf Heart
11. Dead Man’s Bones
12. Flowers Grow Out Of My Grave

The Suburban Jungle – Revisited

Posted: September 7, 2009 in favorites, nature, texas
I was in the mood to look back at all of the interesting things I’ve seen around my little corner of suburbia.  Of course, this is not the complete roster… I’m missing another roadrunner picture, and I’ve also seen tons of opossum, a racoon, a few coyotes, snakes, praying mantis, cicada, and the 16 other widows that I did not photograph.  Oh, and my Yucca is blooming!!! 🙂

The 2nd to Last Black Widow (#20) 
from NEW House

Wooly Jumping Spider – (Phidippus clarus I think)
from NEW house
Probably the 10th or 11th Black Widow (Latrodectus hesperus)

and a Gulf Coast Toad (Bufo nebulifer)

Common House Gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus)
Cave Creek House
Mature Male Whitetail Dragonfly (Libellula lydia / Plathemis lydia)
from Renthouse
Baby Bunnies from Rent House

Western Spotted Orb Weaver (Neoscona oaxacensis)
from Rent House

3rd Black Widow from Rent House
Juvenille Coopers Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)
Eating a Bird at What-a-burger
Lunar Eclipse
Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) on Our Fence
NEW House

My Monkeys

Yucca gloriosa?
Yucca in Bloom!

My Little Texas Garden

Posted: September 3, 2009 in Little Texas Garden, nature, texas
The Scorching Summer Edition
My little Texas garden has gone through so many changes over the past year!  I remember this time last Sept when a neighbor saw me attempting to pull up a Holly bush (with a blunt shovel) for over an hour, with my little flat of Dianthus flowers baking in the sun just waiting to be placed in the cool soil.  She immediately rolled over a wagon full of supplies.  None of which I had myself.  She brought a bag of topsoil to add to my gardening mix, plant food, a trowel, a large POINTED shovel, and a three pronged hoe.  These are all items that I now know are manditory when gardening.  I cannot believe that I was roughin’ it with a spoon (I kid you not), and a bag of soil.
I’ve come a long way from the hopeless amatuer gardener that I was.  I can identify twice as many types of flowers, I’ve redesigned two flowerbeds, and most of my plants are now flourishing… Meaning: they are not dead! 
For awhile there it did look as if some of my flowers and plants would burst into flame from the scorching Texas heat.  My Mandevilla required too much water and it was one of the first to wither into a lifeless bone dry shell and die.  Next was the Grace Ward Lithadora… this plant did well in a container and then as soon as I moved it to my rock garden (since the care tips said it would be happy there,) but it started sagging and browning to a crisp within days of the move.  I lost my pretty red Verbena in one of the bad July storms when our basketball goal fell over and shattered the planter it was in, and then the poor little flower was washed down the drive in a smear of soil, roots, and hail.  My Chocolate Mint was the worst… I tried so hard to keep that smelly guy alive!  But no matter what I did, even spraying the leaves with water to try and keep it cool on the 103-105 degree days, it still didn’t make it.
I also have a mysterious spot in my garden that is determined to remain barren.  Any flower I have planted in this spot has died within weeks.  I have NO idea why.  I thought maybe bugs, or poor drainage???  I finally decided to put a pile of the practically unkillable Gold Lantana over it.  We shall see… we’re at two weeks and counting with no death as of yet.
Most of my Texas native and drought tolerant plants haven’t skipped a beat!  Like the Salvia Greggii, Dianthus, variegated Society Garlic, dwarf Coreopsis, and my pretty white cup flower (Nierembergia.)
AND my yucca (ie: the big spiky plant in the center of our garden) has a HUGE flower stalk that is about to bloom.  I can’t wait!

MY FAVORITE AT THE MOMENT??? Is the Black Heart Impoea that I resurrected from the dead.  I bought it for $2 at Walmart to add contrast to a planter full of New Guinea Impantiens and Hibiscus.  Well, we skipped town for a 4 day weekend and, wouldn’t you know it, when we came back everything in the planter had fried in the 107 degree heatwave that had struck while we were gone.  Literally everything was crispy, but as I was ripping out all the carnage I noticed the two little heart shaped leaves that were still alive.  I wish I had taken a picture of it in the big ol’ pot all by itself… it was sadder than a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.  But don’t feel too bad for the little Black Heart, because without all of his little buddies crowding him out… he EXPLODED!  ( Yes, I sometimes refer to my plants as male…everything else I have is a boy so why not!?!)  Within two weeks the Impoea was twice it’s size.  Now after a month it’s taking over my front patio!
New Edition – Star Jasmine
(has tiny sweet smelling flowers when blooming)

Spanish Lavender and Firewitch Dianthus (both look totally different when blooming!)