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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Another Visitor

We destroyed this poor fella's home today:

We didn't mean to. I had no idea he was living in a pile of wood that was left over from when we had the huge pecan cut down. The wood was intended to be fire wood, but it had sat there for so long that it grew some scary mold so we finally tossed it. I'm sure Mr. Lizard will find his way into one of the other trees, or maybe the shed, which is apparently a haven for lizards, squirrels, cats and god knows what else.
He too is welcome to stay. The dogs didn't seem the least bit interested.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Reason My Mom Won't Visit Texas

This little guy was hanging out in the bushes right at the top of the fence the other day:

Personally, I think he's cute, but I know some people have fears of snakes. I have a rational fear of poisonous snakes and the large ones that could swallow me whole, but this guy's alright. He was just hanging out, minding his own business until the paparazzi (that would be me) showed up.
Just a sign that spring is here, which is nice, considering our first day of spring brought snow. SNOW!!! In TEXAS!!!
Yes, spring. My second favorite season after autumn. A time when neither the heater nor the air conditioning needs to be on. A time when long sleeves are still appropriate, but jackets are not needed. I can walk the neighborhood without freezing or getting sunburn.
Of course I love spring rain storms, despite the fact that it means muddy paw prints everywhere.
So Mr. Snake, you are welcome to sit on my fence when ever you want, just mind the dogs, They think you have a delicious flavor.
Toads and mosquitoes, however, please find somewhere else to congregate, you give me the willies.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New Page

I've added a new page housing all of the blogs that I had featured on the Your Blog Is Awesome site. The link is a little tough to see right now, but it's there, up at the top, right under the heading. I'll be changing the layout here soon so it should be easier to see.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Oh Hai-ku!

A Puppy's Lament:

The Shark's Tale:

Carb-less Indulgence:

Also Worth It:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

So If They Don't Go In The Ear, What DO They Do?

Admit it, you stick cotton swabs in your ears. I bet you even look at the swabs to see how much ear wax you pulled out. What? Only me? Well okay, but you do realize that despite the fact that the box clearly states that swabs are not to be stuck in the ear canal, most people buy them for this reason.
So if swabs are not for ears, what are they for? Let's look at the handy dandy pictograph from the back of my not-for-ear swabs:

Uh huh, I see. Detailing my tub. Like the little cardboard stick is going to hold up against lime deposits and god only knows what. No thanks, that's what the dollar store sells quick-erase sponges for. Seriously, those things are awesome. And if you are paying $3 a sponge for the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser then get your booty down to the Dollar Tree. You get two for a buck.
Wait, I'm not pitching products, I'm discussing swabs. What's next?
Cleaning the cookie crumbs from between the keys on the computer. Not bad, I can see doing that in a pinch, but really a can of air works a lot better, and you don't mash down the keys, inadvertently opening every help file and sending emails to your company's distribution list that say: gugsfgdhlfdhguyis....
Eye Makeup application. I've tried this, it doesn't work. Swabs will leave little Haley's Comets across your eyelid and you'll be blind from all the shadow that gets in your eye.
I'm going to say the next one is for applying antibiotics because the possibility that it's toothpaste or hemorrhoid cream bothers me. This one is okay, I do this as not to contaminate my antibiotics with cooties. Although, it's antibiotic, isn't it supposed to kill the cooties?
And finally...
What in the name of all things sugar coated is this? Either that's one huge swab or one tiny baby. In fact, I don't think that's a swab at all. I think this is what you call cross-promotion.
Let's take a closer look:

Ah ha! Mothers everywhere know that babies have wispy fly-away hair, but babies are far too young for Aquanet. By gently greasing your babies hair with a delicious chicken drumstick you not only get lie-flat hair, you get the added bonus of aroma therapy! Mmmm...chicken baby head!

*please note that I don't really eat chicken...or babies.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Music Theory

Somehow it seems appropriate to write about music while being aurally assaulted by the Flaming Lips. No joke, they are about a quarter mile from where I sit and damn they are loud! Yeah, I know, free concert, and hey, if that's your thing then cool, but they're not my thing. Especially the song playing right now.
You see here's the weird thing about me: My life ambition up until the age of sixteen or so was to be a rock goddess. I used to own over 500 cassette tapes (thank you Columbia House!). I married a rock star.
Clearly music has had a huge impact on my life.

But I hate music.

No really. I do. Not just new music either. As it happens, those 500 cassette tapes? Mostly crap from the late eighties that I cringe to think about now. I've probably switched gears musically about fifty times in my life.
But I didn't write this post to complain about what is wrong with music. I'm simply giving you the background needed to understand my point of view.
This post is actually about what makes a pop song me, at least.
Now, keep in mind that I'm skipping over the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Elvis, Michael Jackson and all the rest of the "legends." What I have compiled is a list of songs, at least ten years old that still get frequent radio play, that I think hold up.
By all means, feel free to disagree with me. I am certainly not claiming any authority on the matter (please reference my "technical speak" below).
On with the list!

'Love Song' The Cure
Not their best, but I'm willing to bet their most popular. It's been covered, what fifty seven times? But none of the covers come close.
The reasons:
Jangly-clangly guitars (see that's a technical term); trippy, acid days of the sixties keyboards; Robert Smith's semi-suicidal drawl.
Yep, I spent a lot of my youth wearing black and writing poetry, but I think this song has universal appeal.

'Whiter Shade of Pale' Procol Harum
Covered twice, incorrectly I might add, that I know of. This is the number one most played song of the last 50 years in English pubs so in a way it speaks for itself, but I'll speak for it anyway.
The reasons: Trippy acid organ, I have a thing for that; Fantastically confusing lyrics; elements lifted straight out of classical compositions.
I once had a friend who told me that my love of this song was "a phase" that I was going through. I was 23 at the time. Twelve years later I still love it. So there!

'Cars' Gary Numan
I know, this song is steeped in eighties elements that should make it as dated as jelly shoes and Rubik's Cubes, but it totally perseveres.
The reasons:
Intentional minimalism; Kickin' synth bass; Short and too the point.
Think about it, a lot of pop in the eighties did minimalistic synth, but the songs repeated for a full three or four minutes. This song is almost four minutes, but it doesn't get bogged down with key changes, repeating choruses or the like. It's simple, and I like that.

'Under Pressure' Queen and David Bowie:
As stand alone acts, these two are disqualified as being in the "legend" category, but I'm taking this one out as it was a slight departure.
The reasons:
The contrast of Bowie and Mercury's voices play well against each other; More intentional minimalism from artists not known for that; The Epic crescendo that takes us to the end of the song, yet still retains the minimalist feel.
It's now been 20 years since a certain rap reject sullied the good name of this song, yet every time it comes on the radio I listen very carefully and count out the first eight notes. If it repeats at eight I listen, if a bastard 9th note slips by I reach violently for the tuner.

'Losing My Religion' REM
They may fall into the "legend" category, but REM has been off my radar ever since 'Shiny Happy People' (which, if I remember correctly, was the next single from the same record?) so I don't really know what the general consensus is on them. Like The Cure, this is not their best, but it still gets airplay...a lot.
The reasons:
Guitar/Mandolin/Sitar or what ever the hell it is, it's got a pretty twang; Excellent use of simple rhythm; Subtle key changes as opposed to the eighties gimmick of simply repeating the chorus a half step higher.
To be honest, Michael Stipe has a voice that annoys the hell out of me. But I'm a sucker for plink-plunk*, jingle-jangle, swirly music.
*I lifted this term from a review of my husband's band. This is probably the reason I love them too.

There are, of course, many others, but I think I've carried on long enough. Besides, I also wanted to list a few songs that do not stand up to the test of time, yet still get heavy rotation. I promise not to be as verbose:

'Burning Down The House' Talking Heads: Everything that I previously mentioned as being wrong with eighties pop.

'Come Sail Away' Styx: This song embodies what is wrong with Prog Rock. Not that I hate Prog, well, some Prog, but this song is epic navel contemplation material.

And Jason's additions, that I agree whole heartedly with: Anything by The Cars.

So how about it? Weigh in on what you think holds up, and what doesn't. I'm curious.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Big Bloggy Mess

It's pretty obvious that I have not had a lot of time to spend writing about what ever happens to catch my fancy as of late. I wish I could say that I've been busy doing very important things.
The truth looks more like this:
I wake up at 6:30am to be to work by 8:00.
I leave work at 5:00pm and get home sometime between 6 and 6:30pm.
By the time I've finished dinner, exercise and what ever housework needs to be done it is after 8:00.
At that point I've got roughly 2 hours to relax and rather than crack open the laptop I tend to whip out the phone and catch up on Lovely Listing or You Suck at Craigslist.
I then get in bed and if I'm lucky I get a few minute of Ultimate Ghosts and Goblins in before getting to bed.

Weekends tend to be spent catching up on housework, shopping or just vegging about.

I started this blog back in July for the sole purpose of documenting my trip to Europe, and once that was done I decided to just keep in the habit of writing. I used to write a lot, and it seems that I don't do that anymore.

Then I had this crazy idea to set up another blog that would be a portal for all the great blogs out there. It worked well for a while, and I've discovered a wealth of awesome writers, but in the end I failed. It wasn't for a lack of awesome blogs. No, I still have bookmarks that haven't been added. It's my fault. My inability to manage time for these things.
So very soon I will be dismantling Your Blog Is Awesome! and I'll be adding it as a feature over here. All of the awesome blogs will be listed in a side bar or some creative widget. I'll post a note about the merger over there as well.

Although it was a silly in joke between me and my husband, I think I picked a great name for this blog. Crève means "to burst" or as we say on the interwebs, "to go all 'splody."
Around here, crève currently means "to blog" and "a crève" is a blog post. It fits, my blog posts are a bit of mental explosion. I never know from one day to the next what I'd like to write about.

I'm going to try to organize my random musings into better categories, give them silly titles and proper tags. I'm not sure how long this will take but I will do it. I do know that I will be writing about music next.

And since this has been the most boring crève ever, I'll end with a joke, compliments of The Oatmeal:

What was Beethoven's favorite fruit?


You know you laughed.