Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What's New Pussycat???

Despite my best intentions, I like Tom Jones. I can't help it. The song "What's new Pussycat?" (1968) is catchy, it brings me back to the late sixties, and it's Burt Bacharach!! Didn't he write some of the best 'easy listening' songs of the sixties and early seventies???
Walk on By -1964
Wishin and Hopin- 1963
I'll never fall in love again- 1969
I say a little prayer -1967
The look of love -1967
They long to be, close to you.. -1970
Anyone who had a heart -1963
Do you know the way to San Jose? -1968
One Less Bell to Answer -1967
This Guy's in Love with you -1968
Love it.

Link below to listen to Tom Jones.... What's New Pussycat? Classic..... Hilarious!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


This elephant seems really happy

Today I read about Twiggy the water skiing squirrel. That got me thinking about how obsessed humans seem to be about anthropomorphoism. Anthropomorphoism is the attribution of human characteristics, qualities or behavior to non-human beings---usually forces of nature, inanimate objects, or animals.
Hence, we 'name' our cars, talk to our computers, call the wind "angry," and are immensely amused when
animals act like humans.
Why are we so amused and compelled by talking cats, elephants painting pictures, squirrels water skiing, dogs watching t.v., and chimpanzees reading the newspaper?
((aside: one of the most
EFFECTIVE advertising techniques (besides naked ladies & babies) is cute talking animals)).

Well, I don't know. But here are some further thoughts..... Is anthropomorphosizing animals a way of confirming our superiority? Or it is our way of
loving these fellow creatures?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

He Man Meets Queenie Boy

I was immensely saddened to hear about Steve Irwin's (a.k.a. the Crocodile Hunter) death. I didn't really watch his shows per se, but did know enough of him. The man was full of life, & in his prime! Also, despite the occasional sensational antics, the man truly loved animals.

Here's a very funny clip from Jay Leno's Tonight Show of Steve interacting with a
creature of the wild that (at first) he has no idea how to handle....
Watch Steve Irwin and the
Queenie Gay Boy (a.k.a. Ross the intern ) frolic in the jungle!!
Can you say "Pineapple?"

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Men Look at Crotches

Men look at crotches, women faces

Here's a study, referenced by a friend, from the Online Journalism Review. This finding seems to support my "Average Male Brain" T&A (tits & ass) visual field indicator theory. However, now it will have to be the T&A&C visual field indicator......

posted March 14, 2007 at 08:29 am

Among the many interesting things in Online Journalism Review's article about using eyetracking to increase the effectiveness of news article design is this odd result:

Always look crotch
Although both men and women look at the image of George Brett when directed to find out information about his sport and position, men tend to focus on private anatomy as well as the face. For the women, the face is the only place they viewed. Coyne adds that this difference doesn't just occur with images of people. Men tend to fixate more on areas of private anatomy on animals as well, as evidenced when users were directed to browse the American Kennel Club site.

On the Road

Motoring Pet Peeves
(OKay, here's my bitching)
Riding about on my scooter, (and in Massachusetts), I've developed a few motoring pet peeves.... Despite my patience and perpetual Buddhist chants, these occurrences remain forever annoying.
1. Huge SUVS with black tinted windows, right in front of me. I CAN'T see anything ahead of me.
DANGEROUS.[What's with the tinted windows anyway? Is there a drug lab in your back seat? A parlor of ill repute? A row of severed heads? What do you have to hide? ]
More than likely, a bag of groceries, or some soccer gear.
2. People shoveling snow and throwing it in the middle of the street. VERY annoying for those of us on bikes or scoots or motorcycles. ESPECIALLY in the dark.
3. People parking IN THE MIDDLE of the roadway with their "hazard" lights on. Hazard lights are for emergencies, not for picking up a pizza, dropping off the dry cleaning, or herding hoards of children into your van. ((The HAZARD in this case is all of the traffic being diverted into the next lane during rush hour. ))
4. Not using turn signals. On a scooter or motorcycle, you can maneuver around cars, but it's VERY HELPFUL if you know a car's directional intentions. It doesn't seem to involve much effort to signal. It makes EVERYBODY's ride safer.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Part of the fun of having a hobby like scootering is the endless amount of gear that you "MUST" buy. Every ten minutes the is sending me emails about clearance specials and tons of gear that I must have.
Of course I start perusing the ads and quickly find ten items
I NEED. (only kidding)
But seriously, I do require riding pants, and boots. If I'm going to scoot all winter like a maniac then I'm going to need warmer (and safer) gear.
Well, I've got my eye on a few items. Here some of my 'true' choices and some amusing alternative choices....Which one would the baron choose?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Queer Women's Literature Quiz Part 1

1. Virginia Woolf wrote “Orlando” as a tribute to her lover. Who?

A. Vita Sackville-West

B. Angela Buckingham

C. Nicola Bloom

D. Nina Hamnett

2. Willa Cather was born in what state?

A. Nebraska

B. Ohio

C. Virginia

D. Vermont

3. Who wrote La Batarde?

A. Anis Nin

B. Margaret Lowe

C. Violet Leduc

D. Simone de Beauvoir

4. According to Anais Nin’s diary, both she and Henry Miller had

an affair with this woman…

A. Lily

B. June

C. Beatrice

D. Ana

5. What is the famous novel written about two French schoolgirls?

A. Natalie and Jeannie

B. Therese and Isabelle

C. Aimee and Lula

D. Claire and Elena

6. Who wrote “Surpassing the Love of Men?”

A. Nella Larson

B. Jane Rule

C. May Sarton

D. Lillian Faderman

Answers: 1. A 2. C 3. C 4. B 5. B 6. D

Queer Women's Literature Quiz Part 2

7. Who owned the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in


A. Kay Boyle and Renee Vivian

B. Sylvia Beach and Adrienne Monnier

C. Jean Rhys and Bessie Waterson

D. Shari Benestein and Djuna Barnes

8. Alice B. Toklas was Gertrude Stein’s distant cousin.

A. True

B. False

9. Colette wrote the following:

A. The Pure & Impure

B. Gigi and others

C. Kiss Life

D. My Days in Arles

10. Who wrote “Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit?”

A. Nancy Cunard

B. Janet Flanners

C. Jeanette Winterson

D. Rita Mae Brown

11. H.D. stands for:

A. Hermine Doyle

B. Helena Dickenson

C. Hilda Dolittle

D. Helen S. Dooby

12. The main character’s name in “The Well of

Loneliness” is:

A. John

B. Stephen

C. Jeanette

D. Phillipa

Answers: 7. B 8. B 9. A 10. C 11. C 12. B

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Grammar Rocks!

Does anyone remember the SchoolHouse Rock?
For those of you that don't know, it was a series of educational cartoons and songs that taught grammar & history facts "in a fun way" to unsuspecting children growing up in the 1970's. Like Sesame Street and the Electric Company, Schoolhouse Rock apparently taught me something... (I know what a noun is)
I guess Schoolhouse Rock continued until the 1980's, and has even been revamped now (in the 90's, 200o's ) on computer software, but by then I was 'too cool' for school.
Still, the Schoolhouse Rock taught me a lot of fun filled facts.

My favorites lines/ cartoons:
"I find it quite interesting, a noun's a person, place or thing..."
"Conjunction, conjunction, what's your function??"
"Lolly, Lolly, Lolly get your adverbs here...."
"I'm just a bill, up on Capitol Hill...."
Check out this old cartoon link:

Monday, March 12, 2007

Amusement Data

Anatomy of the Laughing Reflex
Amusement Statistics
Subject Name: The Baron

Report Date: 3/12/2007

Company: Silly Incorporated

Start Date: 11/2/2006

End Date: 2/28/2007

Number of Incidences Mean

Nov. 06 Dec. 06 Jan.. 07 Feb. 07

Giggles 10 23 16 44 23.3

Smirks 2 33 4 16 13.8

Whoops 7 14 15 8 11.0

Sarcastic Sneers 5 5 4 5 4.8

Knee Slaps 2 0 2 2 1.5

Grins 14 5 4 3 6.5

Chortles 3 5 4 3 3.8

Cackles 44 56 3 5 27.0

Convulsing howls 93 3 28 8 33.0

Hee-Haws 0 4 4 5 3.3

Guffaws 5 22 0 2 7.3

Spitting titters 2 3 1 0 1.5

Snorts 3 0 1 1 1.3

Tee-hees 3 1 3 0 1.8

Yah- Yahs 17 5 20 1 10.8

Persistant Shrieks 3 4 22 3 8.0

Yowls 4 3 0 2 2.3

Twitters 0 3 4 1 2.0

Snickers 4 2 12 2 5.0

Heaving Chuckles 4 20 0 2 6.5

Gasket Bursts 2 3 1 4 2.5
2nd Quarter Report
Tee-hees and sarcastic sneers can be merged during the 3rd quarter, to save time and breath. Cackles, giggles, and grins are inherent, remain critical to functioning, & are effective amusement indicators. Knee slaps and convulsing howls are potentially embarrassing amusement indicators, and should be tapered off during the next quarter. Spitting titters are ill advised for social success (see manual p. 123 A-Bx). Studies suggest that snorts, heaving chuckles and gasket bursts cause potential health risks. These indicators should be phased out. Finally, as reported last quarter, yahs-yahs act as engaging & effective conversational buffers.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Travel Bug

I've got the travel bug. Want to go SOMEWHERE. Here's where I've already been in the US. It seems the MidWest is calling for me. Add Georgia.

create your own personalized map of the USA

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Two of My Great Grandparents

My parents are getting ready to move. Thus, they've been 'cleaning out the rafters,' so to speak.
My mother
literally found these photos in the rafters of the attic. She had forgotten about them.

May I present from my ancestral past, one set of my maternal great-grandparents:
Mary Margaret Lowe 1885 --1953 Born: Rathkeale, Ireland

Henry Raymond Downing 1879-- 1930 Born: St. John's, Newfoundland

Indeed the portraits are in bad condition (they were desperately taped together by my grandmother at one point).

But, they are over a 100 years years old!
These photos were taken in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. I would guess the date would be shortly after the time my great-grandparents were married (1902).
How strange it is, that with scanners, and photoshop, and other marvels of the digital world, we can preserve the past.
I'm hoping to have my artistic friend clean the portraits up.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

The Pearls Upon My Shelf

Djuna Barnes 1937
Virginia Woolf 1929
I collect books. See my library thing:
I do not always buy books I am going to read. I collect books because they are objects that captivate me. Here is some of my criteria for my "pearls on the shelf."
a. age of book (20's, 30's, 40's preferred)
b. rarity of find
c. queer woman writer- a plus
d. classic literature
e. the art/ design of the cover
f. condition of book
g. hardcover

(it's also a plus if I discovered
the book in a cozy, over-flowing
used book store in a shit-kicking
town in Maine, on a brilliantly
sunny October day, with a live-in
but rather unfriendly cat & a bizarre,
verbose, proprietor smoking cigars)

A. M. Lindbergh 1955
Colette 1955

Gertrude Stein 1933

Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Average Male Brain Part 2

The Composition of the Average
Male Brain Part 2

A. Drooling
B. Size Anxiety
C. Beer Choices
D. Instinctual Barbecuing Methods
E. Auditory Nagging Resistance Loop
F. Football Stats
G. T & A Automatic Visual Field Indicator
H. Gadget Fondness
I. Excessive Hair Growth

Thursday, March 1, 2007

My Own Private Idaho

If I lived in my own private Idaho, this is what it would look like:
1. potatoes wouldn't be the staple, tofu would
2. no SUVs, just scooters & bikes & small hybrid cars
3. open land & lots of hiking
4. 75% of the state budget would go to education
5. artists would get 'cost of living' stipends from the state
6. universal health care
7. high literacy a HIGH priority, yep
8. meditation & yoga emphasized in all school & workplaces
9. equal marriage for same & opposite sex couples

Well.......I guess there's another word for my Private Idaho---- --SWEDEN

Check out the B 52's singing Private Idaho:

The Yodeling Queens

The DeZurik Sisters, a.k.a. "The Cackle Sisters," were a popular singing duo in the 1930's and 40's. They appeared on such radio shows as the Grand Olde Opry, the MidWestern Hayride, and the Checkerboard Time. Their debut was on The National Barn Dance Radio show in 1936.

Mary Jane (b. 1917-1981) and Carolyn DeZurik (b. 1918) were farm girls raised near Royalton, Minnesota. They were two sisters from a large, talented, musical family. Their father played fiddle, their brother accordian and guitar, and several other sisters were also adept singers and yodelers.

I first heard of "The Cackle Sisters" on an NPR program in 2005 that covered their lives and music. To hear the story, and hear a sampling of their songs, click on this link:

The "Cackle Sisters" were unique amongst other yodelers and singers of the time. First, they were the first women to achieve stardom on both the National Barn Dance and Grand Olde Opry shows. Second, their yodeling talents were far ranging. Not only did the sisters incorporate the bleating, cackling, and warbling sound imitations of farm animals, (this is where they earned their nickname-- as they could 'cackle' like hens) but they imitated musical instruments like trumpets, the mandolin, and the Hawaiian guitar. The DeZurik sisters also mastered many yodeling 'tricks,' such as the 'Swiss triple tongue yodel,' 'the cackle trill,' and the 'Hawaiian yodel.'
The 'Cackle Sisters' are not like anything you've ever heard in the world.
Below is one of their very funny songs. I chose it because it's two women singing about the lost love of another woman (I know--not really), but the song also features some classic 'warbling/ chirping sounds.' Enjoy!
The Dezurik Sisters - I Left Her Standing There.mp3