Friday, February 27, 2004

But Seriously Folks/Some SERIOUS odds and ends

OK, if I read one more barnyard joke, I'm going to hurl. Actually, I think that they are pretty funny.

I ate some spicy tofu for lunch today. Not my usual fare, but it was rather spicy, which is good for my sinuses. Strange thing about my head, if I go to the Doctor's office, they give me a lot of drugs, tell me to "get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, blah, blah" and my sinus situation doesn't change. If, on the other hand, I eat something particularly spicy, my sinus situation virtually disappears and I'm left able to breathe. Ah, the joys of fresh clean air. Oxygen is so under-rated these days, espcially with extasy and smack running around.

Speaking of "breathing" this is a word I simply cannot spell. Breath? Breathe? I get too confused. For some reason, I just have a mental block and cannot remember which is which. As the great philosopher Calvin (from Calvin and Hobbs) once said, "any noun can be verbed but it sure weirds the language." What's true for gerunds also holds for pluperfect tense, I suppose. And there's just not accounting for spelling. Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking, "quit getting all philosophical on us, go back to talking about sex, and pass the tofu." (Well, I got yer tofu right here, buddy.)

Have you heard The Mavricks re-make of the old Hollies song, "Air that I Breathe?" (Assuming I'm spelling that correctly, which is a rather large assumption.) It's great. I love The Mavricks. Seem to be one of my favorite bands as of late. Them and Los Lonely Boys, who are local, but gaining national attention, most notably for opening up for Willie Nelson. Yes, I have to admit too that I rather like Clay Aiken. He's got a great singing voice, even though I don't particularly care for his choice of song. The talent is there, and that's what counts. I also have to run out and get the new Norah Jones album. Love her stuff. She's so relaxing, and I just love her compositional style, but then I've always been a sucker for smooth jazz. Although, I do exhibit a strong preference for sax and the smooth jazz, I could listen to her all day long and not grow tired. I can always go for really nice piano playing. It's kind of like pictures of flowers. Everybody takes them, everybody says they hate them, and everybody hangs them above their couch. There's just no escaping "the pretty" in the world. (Unless, of course, you are an ostrich, but that's a blog for a different day.)

Here's something I bet you didn't know about me (or maybe you did): While I don't have pretty pictures of flowers hanging above my couch, I do have them in my hallway and bathroom. I've got nothing hanging above my couch. Not "nothing special," I do mean absolutely nothing. It's bare wall. Go figure. I probably won't hang flowers there, rather I'm leaning towards some kind of a wall shelf to hold CDs but you never know. All that and I'm dying to do some giant abstract poppy paintings, once I get my studio setup. Actually, I'm dying to get my studio setup so I can paint again.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Thursday, February 26, 2004


With all this talk of frogs, ducks, ostrich, Tedmund, and the like, it's getting like a barn yard in here. EIEI-Oh (in case you weren't counting, that's the fourth "O" for the "mooo.")

Mating Habits of Ostrich and Other Journal Entries

I've concluded that, if I ever want to become "non-single" (not that I do, mind you, I'm "just saying") I would have to study extensively the mating habits of the ostrich. Yes, it's true. There's little ole me, with head firmly planted in the ground. Whenever anything "pops" up, whenever any possible cabana boy comes along, I just plant my cranium firmly into terra firma (or should that be terror firmer?) and hope that danger passes.

So, this has me thinking. What exactly are the mating habits of the ostrich? How do they attract each other if they're always running around with their heads in the sand? Maybe there are a lot of single ostriches out there and I just don't know it? Hmmmm. I'll have to google.

And, have you noticed that the old saying, "Hmmm. I'll have to get back to you on that" has now officially been replaced with, the newer, more "hip" and happening, "Hmmmm. I'll have to google." Do please notice too that there are now four "m" in my Hmmmm's. Anything less would be old-fashioned. Not that I'm an old fashioned kind of girl, mind you, but I'm "just saying."

Ha! They probably mate at like blindingly fast speeds with feathers flying. Maybe they ram into each other like goats. Yeah, that'd be my guess. And speaking of guessing, I'm guessing that you've noticed there are now comments available throughout this weblog. Yes, it's true, you can "go back in time" and comment on my old blogger entries. I always feel kind of peculiar digging through my old journal entries. Sometimes, I feel like it isn't even me I'm readying about. Like I'm sneaking a peek into somebody else's world. Yes, that's me, once again, reduced to a spectator status. But, I suppose I did have something to do with it all. If nothing else, it was fun for a while and, unlike some folks as of late, I do remember what fun is.

Have you seen the new Aflac commerical with the animated duck? He runs around with Bugs Bunny and Wily E. in toonland. At one point, they show him falling off a cliff and yelling, "Aflaaaaaaac" on the way down. Trouble is, ducks know how to fly. Not that ostrichs do. Hmmmm. Somebody should tell the folks at Aflac (and the duck, for that matter.)

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Big Trouble (with frogs) in Old Cabana

So I've been talking with a few folks recently, fantasizing that I would like to have my very own cabana boy for various reasons (most of which you could guess) and the talks turned to the usual "where would you go?" and "what kind of drinks would you have?" Interestingly enough, I seem to have this strange approach-avoidance "thing" happening with my cabana boy.

On the approach side, I'd love to have my very own cabana boy to go off and do cabana boy-like things with. I could easily picture myself sitting on a beach someplace, with a cool half-empty drink by my side, snapping my fingers to motivate a tall, blonde, handsome young thing into bringing me fresh drinks. Imagine the coastline, as it gently curves along the enlivened row of palms that line the shore. Imagine the almshores, gently creeping up onto the beach. Imagine the wet sand, the sun, the surf, the gentle island breezes, the lulling sound of distant thunder to cool my tropical nights. Maybe even the sound of raindrops dancing onto a thatched roofed hut, while I recline alive only in the splendor of a magnificant back rub. I'm so there, OK?

Trouble is, I wouldn't know what to do with a cabana boy if I had one. Sure it'd be great to have access to such a fantasy and I'm sure it'd be fun to live it , even if only for a few moments. But the problem is, when reality hits, I'm kind of like the guy in the talking frog joke. You know the one...

So this computer geek is walking along the beach and he hears a voice say, "Pppst. Over here. Hey you!" He looks about only to find a frog. He continues down the beach, thinking, "ah, it must have been the wind," when the frog again says, "Psst. Over here. It's the frog."

The geek says, "A talking frog!" to which the frog replies, "yeah, and that's not all. If you pick me up and kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess." The geek picks the frog up and puts him into his pocket, continuing down the beach. After a short walk the frog croaks, "Hey! I said, 'if you pick me up and kiss me I'll turn into a beautiful princess."

The geek says, "I heard you the first time."

The frog replies, "Dude. If you pick me up and kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess and have hot, steamy sex with you all night long. You don't understand. Get me out of your pocket!"

To which the computer geek replies, "I'm a computer geek. I don't have time for sex, but a talking frog is way cool!"

Unfortunately, I feel the same way about a cabana boy. The problem with geeks is that they really can't mate. It uses up too much energy and, on the whole, they'd rather be playing video games, working on open source code, designing new web sites, or some such thing. While I don't admit to be a geek, I guess it's safe to say I have "geek-like tendencies." And, I do really think a talking frog would be "way cool" (but not as cool as a 20 hour marathon of Sim City with a lot of money in the bank and a pre-built subway.)

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

It's So, Like, Obvious

When you think about the blogger community and all the brackets running around in the great land of HTML, do you ever think that much of the content of most weblogs is, in fact, obvious? Just when you think you've seen it all, do you happen upon something more interesting? Sometimes I feel like my blogger content is so obvious, so lacking in direction, so boring but then, BAM, comes along an email telling me somebody new is reading the weblog or how I should talk about this or that, or "did you hear...." This makes me feel like you're watching, your engaging, your wanting to contribute, which makes it more fun for me, which in turn makes me create more obvious content (and possibly some that's no so.)

Sometimes there's genius in the obvious. Sometimes it takes a lot of courage to say what is plain in front of our faces but that which nobody wants to admit. Sometimes, the turn of a word, the lathe of a sentence can crystallize our thoughts and bring them together into some kind of collective gel that, for one brief moment, harmonizes. I wish I were that kind of wordsmith but, hey, I do the best that I can with what I have. And so too do most of the weblogs out there. I've said it before, I think there's room in the blogging universe for all types of weblogs, not just the sites or those created by the most gifted writers in society.

But all of this leads me to ask what more would you like to see? What are some of your favorite web logs? What are some of your favorite web sites? And what attracted you to them? It's a curious world, this web we weave. As an aside, I've recently starting thinking about putting some of my photography on this site. Sure it might have to change, if not programatically then stylistically, but isn't that all just part of being on the web? We get dynamic content and get to live it up while others are busy downloading.

I'm looking for an easy way to include some of my work into this blogger without disrupting the usual flow of things, plus also I have all the technical crap to content with. I don't want to host pictures on my own site. I would really like to display about 10-15 images but it may grow over time. Sigh. It's just too much to think about right now, so I'll probably pass, but the thought is there. One of the fun things about blogger is that you can always think about what it is, plus what it could be. And you know I'm always open to suggestions.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Monday, February 23, 2004

By the way...

I'm told that the Sex in the City chick actually choose the Mr. Bigs (Big? Bigs? Mr. Big? I don't know) in Paris. And his real name is John. So now you know what HIS name is, don't be thinking I'm going to tell you my secrets. Maybe I'll paint HIS likeness in a fresco instead. You'll just have to find the shadowy features beneath the curls and I'll leave you guessing. Because that's just the type of world in which I live. No caller ID for you today!

I'm Wanting to Do It al Fresco

I woke up at like 3 am this morning (couldn't sleep) and decided to put the TV on in an attempt at lulling myself into dreamland. I happened upon this TV special on some PBS-like channel about the Renaissance. They were talking about frescos in particular and about the relationship of Michaelangelo with the deMedicci family of Popes that were in power at the time. Interesting thought was that the artists of this period (Michaelangelo in particular but also others) cited that "anybody could paint in oil, but frescos were the true test of an artist." Because of the nature of the wet plaster, and the technique of the medium, the artist was left with about 12-15 hours of painting time. In addition, the technique provided that the artist become not only an efficient (downright speedy in fact) painter, but somebody who was a master plasterer.

"Hmm," I thought to myself, "now I really, really, really want to do a fresco." In case you're wondering, no, I'm not in fact, comfortable with being a fast artist. No, I'm not content in just producing a cohesive body of work. No, I actually want to put myself to this new test. To see if I have what it really takes, if I have true chops as an artist. Yes, now I'm wanting to do a fresco.

Sure, photography is somewhat like a cop-out. I mean, a lot of photographers (myself included) become photographers because of the very nature of the medium. I view a photograph as something akin to a blank canvas. I paint if you will be taking pictures. The technology of optics has allowed me (a frustrated painter actually) a faster, more efficient method of creating a painting. It's not big coincidence that my paintings look like photographs and my photographs look like paintings. But now I'm wanting more. This little PBS special has provided me with a meter if you will. It's a scale that was available to the great masters, and it's been hiding for me to stumble upon. I can test myself, my merit as an artist, by crafting a fresco and seeing if I can live up to this little test from the Renaissance. Nothing too complicated, nothing too complex, just a little pop quiz if you will. Try to make a fresco and paint myself out of this one.

Yes, I know it's really about the vision not not about the chops. Yes, I know it's the creativity that counts. No, I won't give up photography, as I enjoy it too much. But there's something about doing something timeless, something about recreating some art form that existed hundreds of years ago, that really appeals to me. Photography has a big flaw in that it's a new medium; by technology's sake, it didn't come around until the last hundred (OK hundred and fifty or so) years. This robs it of a certain sense of place within other art forms. Piano players can play Bach and enjoy music from hundreds of years ago, and from this they gain a sense of kinship. They are in some ways cananocially entwined with their predecessors. Some could argue that all of the music in all of the world comes down to a single note: "the next one" they would say. Photographers have only work that dates back to 1858. It's a built-in shortcoming if you ask me. Don't get me wrong, I still love the medium, but I miss the extended continuity of the message.

If nothing else, working in a new medium will grant me a new appreciation for the media in which I feel most comfortable. I'm looking forward to diverging down a new, strange path if, for nothing else than to gain a new appreciation for my choosen work. Sometimes you can get yourself back on track by wandering off the chosen path and carving out a new frontier. I plan on enjoying the scenery along the way to make the most of the trip.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Tales of a Well-Hung Man

You must be living under a box somewhere if you have yet to hear about William Hung the, ahem, "gret singing sensation" from the American Idol try-outs. In typically great American capitalist fashion, William has already been offered a record deal and a $25,000 check to become an entertainer. Some people are outraged, some are enraptured, some are just befuddled. I'm happy as a clam. Why? Well, for one thing, William is happy. He looks happy, he's dances happy, he sings happy, and he's not overly concerned with looking bad. He doesn't care if he isn't the next great Josh Grobin, he enjoys singing and dancing. I say, "good for him." Isn't that what art's supposed to be all about? When did it become some kind of pissing contest, where people like Christina Aguliera boast about their 3 octave ranges while running around looking like human Barbie dolls? Why isn't there room in the great gallery of music and entertainment for somebody like William?

I guess another part of his appeal is that most people are happy for him. He comes from a family of immigrants and works hard as a student in California. He said he was proud of his audition because he "gave [his] best." Truth be told, what more could we ask? And he does have persistence, you have to give him that much.

So, I say, "Go William Go!" Go enjoy your 15 minutes of fame. Go make your family proud. Go enjoy your art and self-expression. To Hell with what the Latte-drinking, "like fer sure" Hollywood flakes have to say. Go do you dream and happiness will follow. Worst case, you could end up singing back-up for Poi Dog (and that wouldn't be so bad, would it?)

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

French Kisses and Poi Dog

Since we've been on this rather odd quest for the perfect cup of coffee at work, I've started drinking a French Vanilla variety called (I'm not making this up) French Kisses. It strikes me as odd that they would name a coffee after this. Usually coffees have names that sound rather stout, like "Grande Slam MochaChino Delux" rather that something more delicate, like "French Kisses." But it's good coffee, if you can get past the name.

And speaking of odd names, I happened upon a special set of Poi Dog Pondering in the car this morning. It was rather incongruous to be listening to music from Hawaii while driving across the windy Texas plains. Today is an especially windy day, which makes me wonder what exactly is planning on blowing in with the dust. I just have this strange fear of some kind of great impending yet unknown doom. Perhaps, as Ken suggestes, I should stop listening to Cowboy Junkies CDs and tune into more Poi Dog. You have to love that kind of attitude. I mean proudly singing lyrics like, "if I should die in a car wreck/may I have Van Morrison on my tape deck." It's the sort of pick-me-up kind of music that Ken really hates. Not that I listen to music specifically to irritate Ken.

While we are on the subject of irritating Ken, he's emailed me to inform that he's "got a new Kanchan." What he actually means by this is that, at a former employer, we had opportunity to work with a pleasantly crazy woman named Kanchan. Kanchan is very vibrant and friendly but she had this one strange fault. She lived for irritating Ken (shhh. Don't tell her about the Poi Dog.) She used to go to Ken's office area every day and shout at, interrupt, badger, or otherwise irritate him. It was like she was genetically engineered to drive him crazy. And he used to fall for it every time. I finally had to separate the two by suggesting that Ken and Kanchan were actually lovebirds, which annoyed both guilty parties, stuck me in the middle of the entire mess, but got them to stop ripping at each other's throats long enough for me to write code that would compile.

Back to the subject of the "new Kanchan." Every few months, Ken seems to find "a new Kanchan" in his life. Somebody to irritate him, grate on his nerves, drive him bonkers, etc. What he doesn't seem to understand is that the Kanchan factor as I call it, is actually good for him. It makes him think, keeps him on his toes, and provides a much-needed sense of relief. Kanchan, while she is inherently crazy, was full of fun. And Ken could always use more fun in his life. So, Ken, next time you complain of "a new Kanchan" just think of it as a big French Kiss with a Poi Dog. It doesn't taste good going down, it's hard to swallow but, on some level anyway, it's supposed to be fun.

You do remember what fun is, don't you?

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

RIP Maxwell Silver Hammer

Sad news today. It seems Maxwell, AKA "Maxwell Silver Hammer" better known as Mom's dog, had to be put down. He was suffering from Cushing's Disease and was losing weight, was unable to swallow, couldn't stand up, and the like. He was 14 and a half. We got him as a puppy of about six months from two ladies living together in Mass. who thought he had gotten too big to use their cat door. They were more "used to" cats, but wanted Max to have a good home. (Yes, if you must know, they were gay and did keep several cats in their shared home. They named him, in case you couldn't figure it out, after the Beatles song.)

He survived several cold winters in NH, along with one time getting stuck under my patio deck in the frozen dead of winter. He made the trip down to Texas in the back of my parent's sports car, although this did not surprise me, as he loved to travel, especially in the car. He used to go every day to get the mail with my father, sitting in the front seat, barking at anything out of the ordinary. He loved kids and hated cats. He will be missed.

No word yet on how Charlie is taking this. The past week or so, Max's been pretty sick and we've kept yelling at him. "Get away from Max," and "leave him alone," have become standard musings around the house lately so, no doubt, Charlie's initial reaction will be curiosity. He'll probably run into Mom's house, like he always does, run to the back door, to be let out, come back in, take a big drink of water, again like always, and then sniff about, wondering where "puff Daddy" went off to. (If you must know, Charlie's rap name is "Scooter.")

Max and Charlie were an odd couple. Charlie was a friendly sort of dog, the kind of dog happy to know you but wanting always to be pet or fed. Max was rather stand-offish. He tolerated Charlie, although you could say he was rather fond of him, as he did actually tolerate him. He didn't bark so readily at poor Charles, despite the fact that Charlie was always jumping and smelling about. This was Max's own little way of liking him, however, seeing as Max would bark loudly at the slightest of provocation.

Max, I hope there's dog biscuits where you are. And lots of cats for you to bark at. Woof.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Sex in the Shopping Mall

Barbara Walters, Diana Sawyer, or one of the other "news notables" is having an interview featuring the gals from Sex in the City. They are sitting in some shopping center-looking kind of place, really some kind of outdoor pavilion, talking about the show. One of them starts crying. They probe into the impending "end of the era episode." This whole interview really has me crazy. I mean, we have a war going on in Iraq, a primary election to be held, the city of San Francisco has been issuing same sex marriage licenses much to the dismay of the voters of CA, we have a rover on mars, and all sorts of other "real" news on which to comment. And what does Barbara do? Interview the chicks from Sex in the City, glorifying their last episode.

Aren't these the same women who go about complaining, bitching, and griping, that "women aren't taken as seriously as men" and that there aren't enough women in science? That women journalists have to "overcome some glass ceiling" which their male counter-parts don't? So what exactly are they doing about the problem? Interviewing Sarah Jessisa Parker about her "fab" role on Sex in the City and prying to see if she will reveal the secrets of "Mr. Big." Yeah, that sounds about par for the course. Here's a hint: if you want to be taken seriously, you should cover more serious topics, ladies. We know you're smart enough, we know your capable, you're just intent on demonstrating to the universe that you can be all things to everybody. That you have "the cool factor" so you have to be able to interview a NASA scientist one day and Sarah Jessica the next. Don't bother. If you want fluff, go ahead and have your fluff. But don't try to push off on us that you're really "serious journalists" under the covers. We ain't buying. Like Jack said, "Go sell crazy somewhere else."

For those of you who thought that this blog would be about sex during a Presiden'ts Day sale: shame on you. Shame on you for tuning into this silly "fluff" we keep airing on TV. Shame on you for having those oh-so-dirty-minds. Shame on you for laughing at Mr. Big, whoever he is, and drooling over Sarah Jessisa Parker's $600 shoes.

Actually, I know of Mr. Big, as he once played the part of a detective on Law and Order. I know Mr. Big, I've seen Mr. Big and, friends, you are not Mr. Bigs. Go back to your petty differences, your soap operas, and you hip hop, your wannabe lifestyles. Think fast, a suburban shopping mall is missing you. Act now, you may have already won....

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

It's Valentine's Day, Have an Olive

So, once again, I've had an exhausting Saturday, driving all over the universe on my quest for the ultimate home improvement project, waiting, matching colors, picking out tile, and the like. I'm tired. You can't say you blame me, I've had a big day.

It snowed in River City this morning and I, pretty much, slept through it. Yes, another blizzard chalked up to the "yawn" factor. I instead got up late, let the dog out, noticed the melting sn*w, and then jumped in the shower. I was running late and didn't eat lunch until after noon, which makes my mother have some kind of fit. But that's a blogger for another day.

So, we drove to tile place, met with Dreaded Tile Man again, and picked out more tile. We added up more "pricings," I looked at carpet and the like, and then we stopped at Olive Garden on the way home. I ate way too much Chicken Marsala and spent the afternoon packing and getting ready for Dreaded Tile Installation, which begins on Wednesday.

I really have quite a lot of work to do between now and then. If I stopped to add up all the hours, there's really not all that many, so I'm really starting to stress about the whole "tile" thing. Sure, once it's finished, it'll be great and I'm sure I'll love it but, until then, I'm going to be a complete basket case. That and, if you see me, please tell me I've to do laundry. I have so much of it piled up, I just don't know what to do with it. Laundy here, laundry there, it's nuts.

Did you ever notice that they don't really grow olives at Olive Garden? There's no garden and there's no real olives to speak of. That and today I noticed that my tile seems to have olives in it. Yes, it's true, I've got some hand-painted tile that looks like it has pepper or chiles or something, one that looks like it has olives, and ones that's just sort of blue.

I'm starting to see olives now in the strangest of places. One would almost think I was drunk or something. One too many martinis, perhaps? Whatever happened to cocktail onions anyway? Why do they put olives in drinks anyway?

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Where Exactly is the Great Wall of China?

Please don't tell me it's in China, silly.

So today, after a meeting on the other side of the building, I was walking along and I happened to stop off by the cafeteria (they don't serve food where I work but they have a cafeteria, go figure) when I happened to notice one of the jigsaw puzzles near the windows. (We actually do jigsaw puzzles and play ping-pong in the cafeteria.) One of my co-workers pointed out that, in fact, the puzzle was called "The Great Wall of China" and it featured lots of tea cups, saucers, and the link (yes, we get the pun.) But the back of the box claimed that the "real" Great Wall of China was hidden somehow, somewhere in "The Great Wall of China" (teacups and the like). So, naturally, I started looking for the wall.

After a long and futile search, I gave up. "There is no wall," proclaimed one of my co-workers. "Screw the wall," said another. But I decided to google it and , low and behold, here's what the great Gods of Google have to say about the wall...From :

Where is the Great Wall of China hidden in the Great Wall of China Impossibles/Bepuzzled 750+5 pieces jigsaw puzzle?

It is in the upper right hand corner, in a section of lace surrounded by a tea cup, a large pear pattern plate, a small black plate, and a large multi-colored plate.

So now you know. And now I can safely go back to work, resplendent in the comfort of knowing that The Great Wall of China is hidden in some lace and teacups. Hey, at least it's safe. I mean, nobody can even find the dang thing, let alone knock it over.

Have you noticed how many people have been signing weblogs, on-line journals, and the like with the slogan, "just saying?" I'm, yes, you guessed it, "just saying."

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Attack of, oh Hell, Just come on in

I have declared tomorrow "Attack of the Dreaded Tile Man." You see, home improvements are way too costly and addictive. I know, I know, I said I was going to just put hardwood floors in my new office space and then stop and get myself a new G5, but I can't resist. I want to re-do my entire home, the way I want it, right now.

So, last week we went out looking for flooring materials, like we have been lately, and I found this place out by the lake that specializes in "really big homes." It had a huge selection of cool tiles, that I could just pick from for hours. There were all sorts of Mexican tile, handpainted Italian tile, Brazilian tile, Spanish tile, you name it. It was amazing. So, the Dreaded Tile Man is coming over tomorrow to show me some stuff, take some measurements, and give me pricing. I know what's really going to happen here. He's going to show me some "pricing" (which is Dreaded Tile Man speak for "items costing more than body parts") and I'm going to fall out of my chair, onto my horrible carpet, after which point I will decide it is indeed softer than I had anticiapted and I really don't need to replace it. Not at that cost anyway. But, alas, I must try to put up some kind of a front. Yes, it's true. I'm going to invite the Dreaded Tile Man over for tea and try to stomache the price of tea in China, let alone the "body part-like" items on his price list. Rather than try to fight off the Dreaded Tile Man, I'm going to invite him right in for some tea and shallow conversation.

So, I've picked out this tile, which I think is "way cool" except for the fact that, it's sort of, heck I'm going to come out and say it. It's pink. Yes, it's true, my friends, Sautillo tile is indeed pink. You can call it "terra cotta" or neutral all you want. You can try to take the "girly girl pink" out of the picture, but BAM there it is. Pink. Pink as cotton candy, pink as ribbons in little girls' hairdos, pink as flamingos. Pink. Terra cotta my ass, it's pink as pink can come.

Which leads me to my next question. Is there really a problem with a man owning a home that has pink flooring? What happens if I try to sell my home, some "manly man" type of dude comes in and goes "Ewwww?" Even if I label it "authentic Mexican Sautillo terra cotta tile?" Is that really a bad thing? Will he fall for it? I'm sure I'm missing some grand philosophical expression in all of this pink. I just don't know what it is. It's not too profound to be pink, I suppose. Pink is just not an intense color. Now, If I'd said purple.

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Attack of the Boob Tube

Several people have asked my response to the recent hoopla surrounding the Super Bowl half-time show. By now, the results have been aired, the greviences have been laid, the late night talk show demi-gods have had their fill of fodder, but I have yet to say much of anything about the incident. Since I've been asked, and pressed to provide my, ahem, "insight," here goes (just please remember you asked for it.)

We live in a strange country in intersting times. Yes, I saw Janet Jackson expose her right breast during the Super Bowl. My response is one of "hold on here, let's back up and look at the big picture." IMHO, we (collectively) spend way too many waking hours fussing over organized sports. We as a society provide copies of Playboy magazine at almost every newsstand (although usually obscured with the obligatory "brown band" of paper) yet we view breast feeding as a vulgar act which is rather repulsive and should be confined to private moments. We provide athletes to colleges and universities around this great land, despite the fact that many cannot read or write and have no intention of gaining an education. We refused to air the ad because it may generate "too much controversy" yet we find it amusing that a beer sponser provided an ad featuring a farting horse and shocking that Janet ripped open her top.

We as a society place way too much emphasis on organized sports. Why is the "Super Bowl" so big, yet the recent events of NASA landing on mars passed over so easily? Why is a farting horse not considered "too much controversy" when a "wardrobe malfunction" permitted? My sincere hopes are that this entire incident will allow our society to regain some of it's lost perspective and look at the larger picture. Why are we placing so much emphasis on the Super Bowl in the first place? Many people were quick to comment on the exposed breast, saying things like, "millions of kids watch this game. For some families, it's the only program on TV that they watch together." Why do we allow our children to watch a televised game featuring athletes who cannot read or write yet proudly display their collegiate background? Isn't that more shocking than an exposed breast? Even more importantly why is it that almost every 40 year old and most teens are out of shape, if now downright overweight?

Next year, we would all be better off if we boycotted entirely the super bowl and instead went out and looked at the starts. But that will never happen so, in honor of Jay Leno, I'll close with this thought, "she's given new meaning to the boob tube."

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004


I've been told this blog is providing much needed entertainment for a man who is inherently interested in the price of kegarators. "Blog about the cost of kegerators," he writes me in a desparate email. Sure, no problem. Just please stop emailing senseless bits while intoxicated.

These are a few of my Favorite Somethings

To answer the pressing question, some of my favorite words all seem to have dealings with nature: sycamore, willow, sumac, wistful, and macintosh. I really don't care for any word which I cannot easily pronounce or for which the pronounciation confuses me (Greenwhich is one, Worcester is another.) I don't know why I like words having to do with nature, it's not like I spend all day every day out hiking; like I've got a beard down to me knee, hiking boots, and a walking stick and I spend my hours traversing the globe with a map and compass. No, I actually sit in an office and type all day. But I do like the sound of some words. Some, like sycamore, just seem to roll off the tongue. They just sound pretty. I suppose it's the same reason I dislike a lot of nature photography. If it's too pretty, and it's a nature photograph, I hate it. But, if it's a word, I love it. I love the lyrical sound of words like sycamore. I suppose it's why they name a lot of street names after trees. They're just names that sound pretty without being semantically offensive.

As an aside, I discovered sometime this week that, this year anyway, Valentine's day falls on a Saturday. This makes it entirely more appealing to me. It will be a day during which I may actually get some work done or, worst case, sleep. If there's a horrible day out on the horizon, I like it all that much more if there's a possibility that I can sleep through it. In this way, I suppose this makes Valentine's day a bit like a tornado. Ok if you can hold onto somebody you love, better taken asleep. It's always best to be the guy who wakes up on Sunday morning, looks around, and says, "Dude, what happened to my house?" than the guy who holds onto the roof joists and preys through the storm. And that, my friend, is my philosophical statement for the week. "Avoid roof joists at all costs and instead enjoy good naps when you can." Confucious would be proud.

On the photographic front, I happened upon a oddity of a camera. Calmut Photo is now offering a Holga camera with a Polaroid back. Strange but true, it's kind of like dressing Spam with Cheese Whiz and calling it what happens when "two gourmet worlds collide." Yes, my friends, they have coupled a plastic camera complete with a plastic lens alongside a film type that doesn't offer true color and escapes any kind of quality in resolution imaginable. I have decided I want one of these if, for nothing else, to support insanity around the world. Hey, somebody's gotta do it, right?

Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in "Carol's Little World" signing off.