Sunday, May 31, 2009


Above is a picture I managed to take of a beast the likes of which have never been seen before. I dubbed it "The West Texas Basseagle". As you can see, it's a two-headed beast whose habitat is loveseats, chairs and sofas. The beast appeared on my loveseat yesterday; but, like the Yeti, took off when it heard the "snap" of the camera. This is my first sighting. It has a disjointed, lumbering gait; and the two heads each make a unique noise, like a "barking" of some kind. I have no more information than this. To my knowledge, this sighting is the first one in West Texas. Loch Ness has its monster, the U.S. has its Yeti, and the Northeast Coast has the Montauk Monster. I fear this is only the first report we will see of the Basseagle. Please let me know if you have seen such a creature; and post any photos you may have.

Cry Me A River

Take a moment and listen to Diana Krall's rendition of this great bluesy torch song. This is not to be confused with JT's "Cry Me A River".

I first heard this as a very young child when Julie London had a hit with it. She was an actress as well as a singer; married to the great jazz artist Bobby Troup who wrote "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66", one of the best songs ever written. Miss London was beautiful, and had this lovely, wispy, smoky voice.
Her version was a hit in 1956-57 according to everything I can find. It's hard to believe a song could make such an impact on a 3-year-old. Actually, I think I heard music in the womb -- I can remember listening to old rock from Buddy Holly, Elvis and Ray Charles.

I rediscovered this gem while watching Joe Cocker's rock interpretation at Woodstock.

Several stylings of this song are on the web: from the great Ella Fitzgerald (she's really rockin' it at the end, and adds an extra verse), Julie London (soft and sad) and Barbra Streisand (way too bombastic for my taste). Diana Krall takes just the right tone, combining blues and jazz for a bittersweet take.

All these songs, except Miss London's, are really gritty by the last verse, the sadness turning to this side of anger with a whole lot of "Your bad, dude; I'm out". Interesting phrasing, too; puts me in mind of Willie Nelson's unorthodox singing style. The jazz guitar is mighty tasty, too.

Sit back, and enjoy. And, please let me know of any other versions out there.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


The Big Guy came in the other night, and proposed a theory about why people prefer dogs over cats as pets. Very interesting. He says dogs have round pupils, like humans. Cats have those very cool-looking oval pupils that close horizontally. They do, however, go all round when the kitties are feeling playful. Goats, as he noted, are "sideways". Have you ever looked at the old Stones' album Goatshead Soup? That goat is positively demonic which is consistent with the Stones' raison d'etre of that era. Some religious sects believe the goat is of the devil. Big Guy has always emphatically said, "Please don't tell me you want to keep goats." Now, I never wanted a goat (to raise) in my life. I enjoy barbeque goat once in a while (I have a story to tell about that one day), as long as someone else barbeques the goat that somebody ELSE raised.

I assured BG that I only want horses. Another story, another time.

The reason BG never wanted goats had nothing to do with any religious or vegan beliefs. You see, BG's parents raised goats for awhile when he was just a young'un. Guess who milked the nannies before school and in the evening. Yeah, BG loves every animal (rattlesnakes, much?) on this earth; he just doesn't want to have to milk them morning & evening.

But they do have some wicked-looking eyes. Now look at a dog. Their eyes are kind. I read of an actor, forget who it was; the actor was in his first major show on Broadway. Understandably nervous in his big debut, another more experienced actor told the newbie to focus on a pair of eyes in the audience that (a) he could see despite the stage lights; and (b) looked sympathetic to him. The actor assured the Broadway virgin that he would find a pair of sympathetic eyes in the audience with which he could connect.

Early in the first act, the young actor found just such a pair of eyes. They were focused, seemingly just on him, something any actor craves. They were also suprisingly sympathetic as if the person knew he was a young actor in his first big role. He felt most surely that the person must be a woman, so empathetic and engaged was she. He remembered seeing a young, pretty brunette sitting in the front row while checking out the audience before the lights went down.

Throughout the play, her eyes mesmerized him; and he felt his performance was energized by their glow. He gave even more than he felt was possible as he played to her beautiful eyes.

When the final curtain came down, he was pleased with his performance. He gave his all; for once, he felt he inhabited the role -- he was no longer acting, he was the role. At curtain call, he searched feverishly for the beautiful brunette with the bewitching eyes who could see into his soul. He looked in the front row, spotting a gorgeous brunette, chatting with the male next to her, oblivious to everything but herself. The actor re-focused back to the spot to which he played all night. Disapointedly, he realized there was nothing but an old man there, holding a cane. Next to the man, beside him on the floor was his companion dog. The dog's soft, bright eyes watched everything, filtering those items of interest that might affect his master. For a moment, the dog focused on the actor; her eyes a soft, warm laser beam.

The old man picked up his cane and stood up. Immediately, the dog jumped to attention, looking around while waiting for the man's cue as to where they were going. They proceeded up the aisle, the dog moving purposefully, guiding the old man.