Monday, January 30, 2006

His Name is Alive in Cleveland.

Monica and I went to see Low and His Name is Alive at the Grog Shop on Saturday night.

I have seen Low a few times but have never got the chance to see HNIA. They didn't play very long. Although the very last song they played is one of my favorites. It's on their most recent release called Detrola. The song is called "In My Dream".

Okay...I like to see bands live. I love it actually, but I cannot deal with shows not starting til midnight. The headliners that is. What the hell is up with that? What would be so horrible if the show started at 8pm? That way the headliner would start around 10ish.

Am I bitching about this because of my age? Nah. I have never been a night person. My going to shows that start around midnight would be the equivalent of all you night owls going to a show that starts at 5:30am. A Rock and Roll breakfast show. That would be interesting. The bar would serve coffee and Mimosas. Instead of french fries you could buy pancakes.

I think the only kink in this plan is talking a band into doing a breakfast show.

After HNIA finished their set Monica and I went and sat down in the back of the Grog Shop. Rebecca and her pal Megan joined us. Eventually Neal from the station came back there and introduced me to a guy that wanted to meet me. He said I inspired him to do his radio show on WJCU. He was a nice kid. Neal is always bringing people up to meet me who listen to my show. That makes me very nervous.

Other WRUW people at the show were Tom, Tran and someone else whose name I don't know. She is standing next to Tran in the picture.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Spaghetti Squash

Last night I made spaghetti squash for dinner. It was sooo damn good. Ya cut it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and the inside guts part. It looks a little like a cantaloupe with pumpkin seeds. Get 'em all out.

Put the half squash in a glass pie plate or something with sides. Put in a bit of water, like a quarter cup or so. Place some plastic wrap over the whole thing and stab a couple of steam holes in the plastic. Then put it in the microwave oven for 13 minutes on high.

Okay, now go into your livingroom and turn on the TV. Channel surf a bit. Stop at "RoomRaiders". The MTV show that features bimbos and himbos repeating trite phrases back and forth to each other.

Bimbo: "He sure likes blue shirts!"

Himbo: "Yeah...I like blue shirts!"

Bimbo: "I'd like to take off those blue shirts!"

Himbo: "yeahhhhhhhh...I'd take off those blue shirts!" Followed by a bunch of awkward high-fives.

Hear the microwave beep. Skip into the kitchen and get the spaghetti sauce out. Pour some of it into a coffee mug that you do not love (just in case of tomato sauce staining), put a napkin or coffee filter over the mug.

Open the microwave to put the mug 'o spaghetti sauce in and realize that the squash is still in there. Put the mug 'o sauce down. Go to take the squash out and use some choice interjections,(DANG! JEEZ! RATS!) as you touch the glass that has been in the microwave for 13 minutes. Get the potholders and CAREFULLY remove the squash. Ya don't want any of that leftover water spilling out on ya.

NOW put that spaghetti sauce in the microwave, tuck the napkin under the mug so it doesn't slip around during the microwave's spin cycle and hit 1:30 on the timer.

Okay, now grab a fork and an oven mitt. Carefully flip over the spaghetti squash using the fork and yr mitted hand. Take the fork and start scraping out the squash guts. It really does look like spaghetti. Put all the guts in a bowl. Grab some dried pepper flakes and sprinkle them in the spaghetti squash. Don't be stingy with the pepper, sprinkle, sprinkle! Stir it around with the fork.

Get the spaghetti sauce out of the microwave, stir it in the mug a bit and pour over your delicious bowl of squash.

It tastes sooooo good. Almost better then pasta I think. The texture is a kinda crunchy and fresh.

After I finished with my Cucurbita meal I did another rubber stamp carving. I call it: Windham Skyscraper. I printed it over a CHEEZY watercolor sunset.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Yet another view of Kozmo's penny.

One would think I am quite the anal Capricorn.

Not really, I just had this drawing handy so I used it for my first go with the "Cuts like butter" Mastercarve Carving Block.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


I stopped at the local beer/wine/lottery ticket store on my way home from work Friday. It's a small place with not a lot of selection. No wait...they have a plethora of lottery tickets on sale. Not whole lot of import beers though.

Anyway, as I parked my car in front of their door I noticed a big poster right next to the entrance.

If one finds themselves at this sad little beer/wine/lottery ticket store on one of Cleveland's typical cold, wet, gray, January could they NOT want to sign up for this study?!

I was NOT depressed until I saw the poster.

(I'm not really depressed. I thought it was funny more then anything. Sorta "ha-ha" sad.)

Thursday, January 19, 2006


A Close-up of Kozmo
Originally uploaded by bitterbutter.
I've gotten to a point I never thought I would be at. I am so afraid of what's going on in this world that I am avoiding the news.

I have always scoffed at people who tell me, "Oh, I don't read the newspaper or watch the news, it's too depressing!"

God...that's me now.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Take the Romainians bowling, take them bowling.

On Saturday night Monica and I went out to eat at an expensive restaurant. We spent about $50 more then we had expected to. The meal was good, but not THAT good. My favorite thing about the restaurant is that I felt like a teen while I was there. I was probably 20 years younger then the youngest patron in the place.

After dinner I found out that Monica had NEVER been in a bowling alley. So of course I had to take her bowling.

When we got there it was packed. It was league night. We were told to come back in about an hour and we could get a lane. We decided to go get a drink somewhere and comeback. On the way out to the car I found something else out about Monica. She had never been inside a rollerskating rink before!

There was one right next door to the bowling alley so we went there instead of drinking. I knew that we would have to pay to even just walk in so as we did I told Monica to "play along".

When we got in I told the woman at the door that my friend from Romainia wanted to see what a roller rink was and could we just go in a look around.

The woman said "Where is she from?"

I said "Romania"

She shrugged and said okay.

The music in that place was just THUMPIN! Monica loved it and wanted to rent roller skates. She has never roller skated before. She ice skates quite regularly, but roller skating I think is a bit different.

She rented the skates and teetered around the rink a few times. I don't think she will be joining the Ohio Roller Girls any time soon. It was fun to watch the 13 or 14 year olds dancing on their skates to the music. They were really good.

After that we went back and hit the lanes. I think my high score was 70-something. Monica's was 33. Sad. Very sad.

Trying on the Angry Bunny Hat

When I finished the Angry Bunny hat I realized it was too small and had to give it to Audrey. She loved it.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Leslie and I went to Leprosy Village the other day. She bought me a Crate and Barrel gift card for my birthday. A dollar for each year. Even though I am very very old, that still doesn't buy much at Crate and Barrel. Why is it so costly to purchase good design? I guess for the same reason a really good painting costs more then a crappy "over the couch ocean waves" painting of the same size.

Anyway, after milling about in C&B for an hour we went over to Joseph-Beth bookstore...more like a "gift shop" if you ask me. As we were walking in, a youngish woman, probably early 20s, had a baby in one of those car seats that turns into a little crate you can carry yr kid in. The baby was tiny.

She walked in ahead of me and let the door fall on the baby crate. The crate was stuck. She jerked it out and looked at the books that were for sale in the lobby between the doors. It seemed as though she didn't want to make eye contact with Leslie and I.

We went in, walked around, sniffed bathsoaps, looked thru overpriced niche magazines and laughed about Joseph Beths having Halloween cookies for sale. Mmmmmmmm FRESH!

The whole time we were doing all that, we noticed the woman with the baby continuing to knock her baby in the baby crate against bookshelves and chairs. I don't know if she even realized she was doing it. Leslie and I went to have a cup of coffee in the store's cafe. Coffee that had the delightful flavor and temperature of a morning cup of Burger King or a BP gas station's brew.

As we sat on the overstuffed and stained couch, Leslie noticed that the woman had LEFT THE BABY in the crate near the magazines. We were just sure at that point that she was going to leave it there. Leslie kept a lookout and noticed that the woman eventually come back to retrieve her child.

Sunshine in January!

We don't see much of that here in Cleveland. But alas! I rode my scooter in to work today to celebrate this tiny spring tease. Look at that blue sky over the Cleveland Museum of Art. I just can't believe it. I have not seen that color for a looong time!

The only bad thing about riding my scooter is that I wanted to stop and get coffee. It's hard to carry coffee on the scooter. I think this summer I may rig up some sort of thing to keep from having to jam everything against the cup to keep it from moving around. It really doesn't work. I hit a pothole on Superior just before the Detroit-Superior bridge and had to pull over to see the caffeinated damage. It wasn't too bad.

As I was surveying the flood, a well-heeled woman of about 50ish came up to me in a frantic state. She needed quarters to park and asked me if I had change for a dollar. I had a quarter and just gave it to her. That didn't seem to help. She was still spazzing. She needed more.

I had more quarters in my backpack but was thinking I did not want to go digging around in it. I was sitting on my scooter and was all zipped up to stay warm.

I decided to search for change anyway and came up with 4 more quarters. She was VERY happy!
"You are heaven-sent!" "You are an angel!" "And I love your scooter!"

Guess which comment made me the happiest.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Isn't this weather amazing? Ya gotta love that global warming! Ugh.

It is in the 50s today and just MIGHT be in the 60s tomorrow. I feel wacked out when this happens. I get an EXTREME case of spring fever. I do baaaaaaad things. I think this happens to a lot of Clevelanders. When we get a warm weather tease anytime between January 1st and April 1st we sneak out of work, listen to music too loud, wear inappropriate clothing, kiss strangers, etc.

I may ride my scooter to work tomorrow. I took it out last night for a quick buzz around the neighborhood. I stopped at Deb and Eric's house and dropped off a mixed cd I made for them. Deb was asking me what Holly Golightly was like so I threw a few of her songs on the cd, a couple of Headcoatees and 2 of my favorite Headcoats songs. It's a great mix. Perfect for this premature spring fever breakout.

I think Holly Golightly should be the official band of this whole RollerDerby resurgence.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Olive Garden Snobbery

I hate chain restaurants, but sometimes they are the perfect thing.

Saturday night Monica and I went to the Olive Garden. We were going to go to Corky and Lenny's for some Mish-Mash Matzo Ball, but at the last minute decided we wanted expensive dessert drinks and the anti heart-smart menu choices that we love so much.

The place was packed. We found a place at the bar and ordered drinks. We waited for about 30 minutes or so for a table and it turned out to be a lot of fun.

We (and when I say we...I really mean "I") made fun of a really big butch guy coming up to the bar and ordering a strawberry-mango margarita. He then stood there and sipped from the straw. I wanted to beat him up for being too faggoty. (I am allowed to say that since I am a dykey homo myself and just looooove my faggoty gay brothers.)

We finally got a booth across from a couple (photo at left) that at first I assumed were brother and sister and then thought that they were on their 3rd date....or he was gay. I could not tell. I don't like it when people I am eavesdropping on send me mixed messages. Not fair!

Monica and I had way too many drinks. Actually...I did not have too many..just too fast.

For some reason during the dinner, Monica was showing me how gypsies in her old country of Romania used to beat each other up with their own babies. THAT cannot be true.

Friday, January 06, 2006

If ya HAVE to eat a frozen microwaved meal...

Chicken Vindaloo
Originally uploaded by bitterbutter.
You should check out Trader Joes frozen meals. Oh my good. They make eating with a plastic spoon almost bearable.

Angry Bunny

Angry Bunny, take two.
Originally uploaded by bitterbutter.
I spent most of last night working on my Angry Bunny hat. This will be the patch for it. Now I just need to decide what colors. Pastel lavender and black or pastel lavender and gray?

I think the latter.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

G, D, C

This past Saturday morning I went to visit my brother and his kids. My brother wanted me to help his son Alex learn a few chords on his new electric guitar. He promised breakfast in payment.

Alex got bored really quick with the lesson. I tried to make it fun and easy but he was not having it. After a while Mike took the guitar and we tried to play together a bit. Mike knows nothing but the first 5 notes of Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin. After he did that a few times, a few dozen times... I taught him a few chords and we "jammed".

We made up a song called Pony Girl for his 3 year old daughter Emma who is turning out to be one of those "horsey girls". She will be the first one I have ever been related to. Most horsey girls seem to come from rich, thin, Protestant families. We are none of those.

Emma loved the song and played the tambourine to it. The photo is of me and the horsey girl.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

41 is not as funny as 40

Yes. I turned 41 on December 28th.

40 was a sad/funny kinda birthday age to experience.
41 is just sad/sad.

The age that is. I did a lot of nice things to "celebrate". Monica took me to my favorite restaurant, Cafe Tandoor for some wonderful Indian food. We had a great time. A bottle of wine and Butter Chicken. What more could a 41 year old want. Oh. How about Tacos.

I went out with Leslie, Dan P. Ann and Edie for another birthday celebration. We went to $1 taco night at the Johnny Mangos in Willoughby. The one in Ohio City is the hip Johnny Mangos but Willoughby is very cool too. In fact I almost like it more.

Ann and Edie arrived on their bicycles after we had already taken a plunge into the frozen margarita pool and ordered a few tacos. We continued ordering tacos and drinks that night until we were all satisfied.

I did not want gifts but still got some. A delicious bottle of vodka from Dan, a gift card from Crate and Barrel from leslie with a dollar amount MOCKING my old age and wonderful homemade gift from Ann and her sister Joy. A fleece neck gator to wear when I am on my scooter and it's cold. I tried it out already. It really makes a difference. I rode for miles in 30 something weather.

After dinner when we were all getting ready to go and Edie and Ann were getting their bikes ready, Ann presented us all with a gander at her infected toe. She wanted to show us the the hardship she was about to endure on her ride home to Cleveland Heights. I think she also wanted to prove to me that she really "didn't" want to wear Teva sandals and heavy black socks but had to because of the infected toe. Sure Ann.....sure. it's 2006

I can't believe it. I think the only people that can't believe another year has passed are old people. Me. Old. Ugh.

The reason I have not been back updating my blog is because I have had some very serious back trouble. I have never really had that before and used to roll my eyes at people that complained about back aches all the time. I have now been schooled.

Christmas, my birthday and New Years Eve was very nice. I spent all three holidays with loved ones.

Christmas Eve, Monica and I exchanged gifts at her new fabulous place. She made crepes for Kozmo and I. Deelish. That night, on Christmas Eve, we decided we wanted to drive to downtown Cleveland and look at the lights on Public Square and then maybe go have a drink somewhere. Guess what....NOTHING was open. After driving around the square a couple of times we decided we were hungry and ended up at Diana's on W.117th street in Lakewood. A greasy spoon in an old Red Barn shaped restaurant. It is a hangout for AA folks grabbing a bite after their meeting. I think it's because there seems to be a PRO-smoking attitude there.

Anyway, the place was packed. We were there around 11:30pm. Our waitress was so nice, even tho her hair was pulled back into a very, very tight bun that was about 7 inches tall on the top of her head. It looked like a hair cactus.

I had a fish sandwich and Monica had a much regretted chicken fried steak. Happy Birthday Baby Jesus!