Monday, April 30, 2007

Guestlist: Top 8 Driving Songs

by Guest Blogger RJA

As a younger man I drove for a living. I transported packages across town as a courier and shuttled people as a chauffer. One of the delights of these jobs, other than spending the days free of four walls, was listening to the radio. This is a list of the Top 8 Driving Songs that I can remember from my time as a professional driver in the early to mid-90s. These aren't songs that are necessarily in my own music collection, nor would I necessarily listen to these while sedentary on my couch, but they're tunes that would pop up on the radio, prompting me to take the long way around. They made the list due to their length or their indubitable drivability. Songs are in no particular order.

1) Paradise By The Dashboard Lights --Meatloaf
2) American Girl -- Tom Petty & the Heartreakers
3) Walk On The Wild Side -- Lou Reed
4) Sympathy For The Devil -- Rolling Stones
5) Can't You Hear Me Knocking -- Rolling Stones
6) Bohemian Rhapsody -- Queen
7) Panama -- Van Halen
8) The Boys Are Back in Town -- Thin Lizzy

Friday, April 27, 2007

20 Things that Make ME Happy

1. Making lists
2. Sketching
3. Coffee
4. Licking the yogurt off of the inside of the yogurt lid
5. Overhearing conversations among my nieces and nephews
6. Having a stack of New Yorkers to read at my leisure
7. Clean sheets
8. Office supplies
9. Grids
10. Peanut butter & jelly sandwiches
11. Coca-cola light
12. Revolving doors
13. Terrazzo
14. Hearing T laugh at a show I'm not watching
15. Sorting
16. The smell from the Wonder Bread factory
17. This sign

18. Scarves
19. Finishing a painting
20. Sleeping late

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Where in the World is Elizabeth Alley

1. Well, I'm here and here as often as possible. Also here.

2. On Urf!

3. Friday night I hope to be at all the openings on South Main.

4. This Saturday, April 28th from 1:00 to 4:00 PM I'll be at 1910 Frame Works, 2029 Union Avenue, signing Memphis in May posters.

5. Next Friday night, May 4, 6:00 to 9:00 PM, I'll be at the opening of my show Please don't leave anything behind, at Marshall Arts, 639 Marshall.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Lists from High Fidelity, the Movie

1. All-time top 5 breakups
2. Top 5 Monday morning albums
3. Top 5 musical crimes perpetrated by Stevie Wonder in the 80's
4. Top 5 side 1 track 1
5. Top 5 dream jobs
6. Top 5 things I miss about Laura
7. Top 5 songs about death: a Laura's dad tribute list
8. Songs at my funeral
9. All-time top 5 favorite records

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Listmania! with Stacey Greenberg

As part of Get to Know Your Blogger, I sent Stacey Greenberg of Fertile Ground, Dining with Monkeys, and Chop Fayn a list to make lists out of. And even though she's been all over town leaving lists in other people's comments, the following is what you get when you ask someone adept at writing things like sentences and paragraphs to make a list:

List 1: 3 Things I would do if I won the lottery:
Well I never buy lottery tickets so this is an impossibility. If given a large sum of cash, I have no idea. I imagine I'd pay my bills, save a little, and then establish some sort of foundation. Ok that's boring! I'd buy MRD their own warehouse with everything needed to host top notch bouts. Then I'd totally trick out Evergreen Montessori so that it would have the best materials, best playground, best teachers, low tuition, etc. If there was anything left, I'd probably quit my job and spend a good deal of time traveling. (In the VW Camper Van of Warren's dreams.)

List 2: 3 Famous people that I'm totally in love with:
I'm not totally in love with any famous people I don't think. I used to have a thing for Parker Posey. Once I met her and had my picture taken with her it fanned the flames a bit. I also used to be madly in love with Patrick Stewart, but really only in his role as Captain Jean Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise. (My sister actually met him and told him I was in love with him.) I think lately I prefer to develop crushes on people I see in real life. It's more satisfying.

List 3: 3 Favorite blogs:
Well beyond my inner circle (Listwork/Sketchwork, Urf!, Sassy Molassy, Bar-b-log, Click Daily, Secret Agent Mom, Chockley blog) I have to say that I really enjoy Mel's Only in Memphis blog, the Gates of Memphis, My Midtown Memphis, and Squirrel Squad Squeeks. I also like crafty blogs like Soule Mama and helpful blogs like Parent Hacks.

List 4: 3 Things the average person does not know about rollerderby:
The average person I think has no idea how much of a time commitment it is with practices, committee work, league meetings, etc. and how much each girl gives of herself to make it work. Also, I'd say that the average person probably doesn't get the satisfaction that we feel when we get a big ol' nasty bruise or how much one's body aches after a practice/bout.

List 5: 3 favorite dishes that I've reviewed:
Ooh another sneaky one!! Fish tacos at Las Tortugas, Spicy tuna pizza at
Blue Fin, and Bacon Wrapped Stuffed shrimp at Cafe Ole. (These were actually the first three I ever did!)

List 6: 3 Things I enjoyed about having a 5-kid slumber party: was really fun just to say it and see the fear in most people's eyes! It was fun seeing how everyone interacted (Satchel & Jiro knew everyone, but not all of the other kids knew each other). I enjoyed having an excuse to get Memphis Pizza Cafe. I enjoyed getting to see our nice big yard get a LOT of action. I enjoyed seeing my boys enjoy themselves.

List 8: 3 Things I regret about having a 5-kid slumber party:
I didn't like getting up at 6:30am on a Saturday morning!! (Even my early birds will sleep until at least 7:45am.) I worry that some precedent has been set and that soon we will be having slumber parties every weekend! (The parties where the parents come and then everyone leaves before bedtime are much more fun! ha!) Uh...I can't think of anything else, which is a good sign. Besides the lack of sleep, it really was fun! Oh, I guess you could say I regret that all the other midtown bloggers got together
w/o me and that Kristy even cooked dinner. Losers!!

Auxiliary List - By the Author:
3 Things that I know about Stacey:
1. She still limps, with her left foot sort of out to the side. I'm not sure if she knows that she does this.
2. She is incredibly easy to talk to - I think mostly because she likes to ask a lot of questions, which just leaves me talking about myself a lot, which I really enjoy doing.
3. She seems to bring the same amount of enthusiasm to all of her efforts: being a mother and wife, being a writer, playing for the Memphis Roller Derby in the Legion of Zoom...even organizing get-togethers!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Things in My Studio

1. Pins & Phone

2. Notecards

3. Movies & CD's

4. Paint

5. Pencils

Central BBQ

You would think that being married to The Saucier that I would eat BBQ all the time. But, alas, he does a lot of his research solo or with friends at lunch. So last night when Thursday night family dinner coincided with The Saucier still being out of town, we went to Central BBQ without him. Other bloggers joined us! Hello other bloggers! Anyway, here are some (not so positive) observations about Central BBQ:

1. They had a band playing. On the deck that is a couple of hundred square feet, at 6:30 in the evening when all of the families are still out, they had musicians shoved in a corner with all their gear plugged in. I have nothing against music - I love it! - and they were doing nice covers, but why does there have to be live music? Playing? While I'm eating? While I'm trying to visit with my nephews and nieces? And the Chockleybloggers and Secret Agent Mom, each of whom I maybe said 2 words to?

2. Maybe we should have moved it inside, you say? Well, the weather was lovely, which is one of the reasons we went there, but also the floor inside would've been dangerous with all the kids (5 walking) because it was as slippery as an eel (not that I would ever walk on an eel, but it's the only expression I could think of). Seriously though - it was slick! - I slid twice and I was wearing tennis shoes!

3. While waiting for my food, one of the owners (I think) was outside bussing tables, and was having a conversation with someone about the health inspector's visit. I did not hear what he said but it was not: "We got a 100!" Hearing talk about the health inspector while eating at a restaurant is the equivalent to hearing talk about mechanical problems while in an airplane. I don't want to hear it.

4. The bun of my BBQ chicken sandwich was so cheap they might as well have given me a BBQ chicken plate without a fork, as the bun did nothing but disintegrate in my hand.

5. Okay okay that is a lot of complaining, but I do have something positive to say - I usually get the vinegar sauce there (they have a choice of 4 sauces: mild, hot, vinegar, mustard), but last night I decided to branch out and try the mild sauce, and it was DELICIOUS.

6. Will I go back? You know I will - it's still BBQ.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

What I Did on My Day Off

Yesterday I took the day off to paint. Here is my day, not really in order.

1.First, right before I woke up I dreamed that in conjunction with Memphis in May, I was going to get to show my paintings for one day in New York City. I don't know where, just "in New York City" was enough to make the dream exciting. In the dream my Mom even wanted to come to New York to see them! Of course the dream ended with me stressing out about what to wear.

2. Got everything ready for the plumber to come over. Called the plumber twice to see where he was (he was not feeling well and came later). The plumber came over, and while we were talking about what needed to be done in the bathroom, I saw that he had a bee on his back, and then I got the bee, which was already half-dead, off of his back. That was weird.

3. Gessoed some paper. Made an emergency run up to the Art Center for 5 different blue paints and more paper. Painted a whole painting. Sketched out the remainder of what I have to do to finish up for my show. Started a painting, then realized it was not working like I wanted it to, so I started over.

4. Listened to a couple of hours of "Homicide: Life on the Street" while painting. Damn that was a good show. It makes me think, "aaaaahh, the 90's..."

5. Took a break from painting and sat on my porch swing reading Bluebeard. Then finally looked up the word "chromo," after first reading it in the book when I was a teenager. It is short for "chromolithography," a printing process using different plates or stones for each color. If we'd had the internet when I was 16 maybe I would've known that already.

6. Visited with my brother when he brought over a copy of the Punch the Clock bonus disc. Forgot to call my sister back - sorry, Katherine!

7. Watched (actually just listened to - still painting!) the new, not-Trinny-and-Susannah, British What Not to Wear and I gotta say - I don't like it. They don't give them rules! They just say stuff like, "Don't dress like a slut. Okay, now go shopping! Bloody hell." (I added that last part so that you would read it in a British accent).

8. Talked to T who is still in stupid Scottsdale. Talked to myself a bit because I have been in the house mostly by myself all day.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Guestlist: The Skinny on Scottsdale

By Guest Blogger The Saucier.
The Saucier of Bar-B-Log has spent this week checking out the scene and has a list to share.

20 observations about Scottsdale, Arizona, in no particular order:

1. Lots of folks here ride motorcycles. There are no helmet laws. It's weird. And, stupid.

2. They have a lot of interesting church architecture, at least from the outside.

3. Frank Lloyd Wright loved this place. So much so, he built Taleisin West in the mountains. To me, this is further proof that he was a complete nut job.

4. Light brown gets really old, really fast.

5. Everyone here seems to drive as if they were simultaneously in a drag race and had nowhere to be. I can understand why they have problems with road rage. Also, changing lanes in order to make progress is less effective here than anywhere else I have ever driven.

6. I like golf as much as the next guy, but jeezy creezy! How many damn golf resorts does one city need?

7. It is impossible to get lost here. The entire city is a big grid. There are no trees, and the streets don't curve. So, you can usually see where you are going no matter how far away it is. Almost all the streets connect and everything points due north, south, east or west. I've gotten lost three times.

8. Point to anything in Scottsdale. 99 times out of 100 it will either be a strip mall, a car, a rock, a cactus or a golf course.

9. They seem to love Fat Tire in these parts. I do too.

10. Many cacti appear to be flipping me off.

11. There are a lot of bicycle shops here.

12. The Old Town Tortilla Factory does not have particularly good tortillas. Their other food sucks too.

13. On a related note, I was very excited about the whole New Mexico/Arizona green chile phenomenon. At most every restaurant I've visited, I've ordered some sort of green chile something. I still have no idea what green chiles taste like – unless it's watery air.

14. If you are interested in purchasing an extremely ugly painting, go to Main St. There you will find the ugly painting of your dreams. However, due to the overwhelming number of galleries (I counted close to 4 million) I did see a few interesting pieces.

15. Cool desert nights kick ass!

16. There are bold jack rabbits living outside my hotel.

17. I've seen quite a bit of white hair in Scottsdale this week. Also, I've seen an abundance of white pants and white shoes.

18. If you don't mind dining with the ladies who lunch, the tuna melt at El Chorro Lodge is fantastic. The basket of cinnamon rolls they put on every table is a nice touch, too.

19. Canadian accents are funny. This is not an observation aboot Scottsdale, but there have been several Canadian presenters at the conference I'm attending.

20. I've actually been having a pretty good time.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Say Anything

These are things I either forgot or have never noticed about the movie Say Anything, which I watched last night at about 12:30, since I could not sleep, as T is in stupid Scottsdale. By the way - these are not criticisms, just sleepy observations.
1. Diane Court had a mother. I thought she didn't.
2. Jeremy Piven is in it. Just kidding, I knew that already.
3. Lots of scenes in that movie take place in cars and not ONCE are they wearing seat belts! (I'm speaking only of the actual driving the car scenes.)
3. During THE scene - when Lloyd is outside with the radio - Diane does not get up out of her bed to look out the window and see what's up. I guess she just knew.
4. When Lloyd is practicing the kickboxing and Diane walks in and he gets kicked in the face (one of my favorite scenes, by the way) - I really don't think he would be sparring without some sort of protective gear on his head and face area. Of course he didn't wear a seat belt, either, so I guess he was just more dangerous than I remembered. Plus I don't know anything about the kickboxing, except the bare feet make them look like they are doing it wrong.
5. Say Anything could contain the first recorded use of "finger quotes".

Friday, April 13, 2007

Things I Might Do Tonight

1. Continue to silently mourn Kurt Vonnegut.
2. 5-7pm see the Cynthia Knapp/Ray Kleinlein show at Perry Nicole Fine Art.
3. 5-7:30 see the MFA Thesis exhibit by Nancy Cheairs, Jada Thompson & Gena M. Serey at the Art Museum at the University of Memphis.
4. 5-8pm see Jeni Stallings at L Ross Gallery.
5. 5-8pm see the juried student show at Clough-Hanson Gallery at Rhodes College, including work by the fabulous Rachel Thompson.
6. 5:30-8:30 see work by my buddy David Hinske at Askew Nixon Ferguson Architects.
7. 6-8pm go to the Powerhouse for a show by Matt Ducklo.
8. 6-9pm see Stephanie Sobierski & Tommy Foster at Monty Shane Gallery - especially because Tommy said that since it's Friday the 13th it will be bad luck not to go.
9. 6-9pm visit the pottery sale at Seize the Clay, featuring work by Bryan Blankenship (this will be smarter to do in conjunction with the Perry Nicole show, as it is right next door).
10. 8-10pm end up at the P&H Cafe for a show by Jason W. Cole. Y'all know I'm not doing this one, right?
11. End up at home wearing my fat pants, eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and watching 'Best Week Ever' with T.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Visual List

(in chronological order, or course)

& Kurt Vonnegut Books That I Need
1. Welcome to the Monkey House
2. Wampeters, Foma, and Granfalloons
3. Fates Worse than Death
4. God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian

I Will Always Love This Man

For Kurt Vonnegut:
1. Listen. The book Bluebeard changed my life.
a. It was the first Kurt Vonnegut book I ever read.
b. It was given to me by Robin in the 11th grade, which really sealed the deal on her becoming my best friend.
c. It is about an artist, and I think I learned more about art history from that book than from any of the art history books I've read.
d. I made myself memorize part of it, in the hopes I'd get to use this against one of my teachers: "To anyone who can draw, the idea of putting the appearance of something into words is like trying to make a Thanksgiving dinner out of ball bearings and broken glass.
e. When I went to New York for the first time, I wanted to see the Museum of Modern art because that was such a climactic scene in this book, and I think of it everytime I go there.

2. Slaughterhouse Five
a. I tried to talk my high school English teachers into letting us read that book instead of all the damn Shakespeare.
b. At MCA when I was a freshman, we did read the book, thanks to the fabulous English teacher, Ed (I wish I could remember his last name).
c. We also watched the movie in class. I did not like it, but I understand that Mr. Vonnegut did.
d. I re-read that book last year.

3. Cat's Cradle
a. What can you say about this book but holy shit?
b. RJA has some interesting theories about this book.
c. A former bat-shit crazy roommate stole my best copy of this book.

4. Sirens of Titan - holy shit. This book still blows my mind when I think about it.

5. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
a. I read this book, which is freaking hilarious, in the car alone with my stepdad from Panama City to Memphis.
b. I kept laughing out loud, but was unable to explain to him why, because the book is just too nutty, and I didn't think he'd agree on the hilarity of it anyway.
c. I memorized something from this book, too - Mr. Rosewater's favorite poem, which he saw on a bathroom wall: "We don't piss in your ashtrays, so don't throw your butts in our urinals." Or something to that effect.

6. Breakfast of Champions
a. I'm with you on this one, Dwayne.
b. I did enjoy this movie, which had Bruce Willis and Nick Nolte in it. Albert Finney as Kilgore Trout. Mr. Vonnegut himself had a cameo.
c. Love the drawings in this one.

7. Slapstick
a. I still sometimes think about how in this book gravity stopped working for a few seconds, and how that changed all of civilization, and how much that idea freaks me out.
b. I love how his books have subtitles, this one is: Slapstick, or Lonesome No More!

8. Deadeye Dick - blam.

9. Jailbird
a. I read this one in 11th grade - I would read it during class and totally space out - I felt like I was in New York instead of in my American History class.
b. When I went to MCA, Amy Carter was there also and I always envied that her father (Jimmy Carter) was mentioned in a Kurt Vonnegut book.

10. There are plenty of his books that I have not read. I have been saving them all for this sad, sad day. So it goes.

I gave this to Robin when she moved away when I was in 12th grade (I'm still a bit peeved at her parents for that). Now, however many years later, we do not know what my note means.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Things I Am Happy to Get to Wear One More Time During Our Cold Spell

1. Corduroy pants
2. Knee socks
3. Tall Boots
4. My favorite sweaters
5. This awesome orange raincoat from the H&M in Chicago

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I made a rule for myself that a list must consist of at least 3 things, however I must break my own rule just this once.
I just found this list that I wrote, and I have no idea what it means:

car - dress, painting
1st floor - CSP drwgs

Sunday, April 8, 2007

One of the Funniest Lists Ever

from The Jerk
1. The Lord loves a workin' man.
2. Don't trust whitey.
3. See a doctor and get rid of it.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

TV This Week

1. What Not to Wear - the British version - is one of the best shows ever, but I discovered today that for this new season they have 2 new presenters: Not Trinny and Not Susannah. While I'm terribly upset, I figure they at least have to be better than these two.

2. Speaking of (or hyperlinking of) those two , I accidentally came across a new show called Shut Up! It's Stacey London. Why would you watch a show called that? Here is the description from the TLC website: "Shut Up! It’s Stacy London is an "as-live" hour long Friday night chat show. Like Stacy, it’s sassy, stylish, inspirational, cool and a little bit naughty. It is the perfect Friday night cocktail!"

3. Enough of the complaining... I am loving this new show called Raines. I am pretty sure that it is mostly because I am so in love with Jeff Goldblum.

4. Did anybody see Lost 2 weeks ago - March 28? That was like the best episode of any show ever. (That was the lamest portion of a blog entry ever)

5. It sounds like I watch a lot of TV. Maybe I do, but through the magic of Tivo, I don't have to watch any commercials! However, last week while T was fast-forwarding through some commercials, something caught my eye and I rewound it to find this piece of temporary public art by Marc Quinn as the backdrop of a guy on a cellphone in a commercial for Cisco (no, not Sysco the food delivery company, or the rapper Sisqo).

The sculpture is called Allison Lapper Pregnant, and is part of the Fourth Plinth project in Trafalgar Square in London. I just thought it was odd that it was in a commercial. I checked to see if any of the funding came from Cisco Systems but didn't see any mention of them, but did see that FedEx is a sponsor of the Fourth Plinth project. Go FedEx! I also had to google the rapper Sisqo, and I felt really white when I initially typed in "cisco rapper".

6. Speaking of all things British, I seem to be able to watch shows on BBC America that I would not watch if they were on plain ol' American TV, because of the accents. Shows like How Clean is Your House or How Not To Decorate would just get on my nerves with American accents, but put British folks in there and I'm all over it.

7. Speaking of commercials, if I did watch them I'd like to see this one - it sounds funny.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Leave My Sister Alone!

Here is a list of additional comments that my pregnant sister has received since the ones last week. She says she might stop going out in public.

6. In CVS – “You’re not going to have that baby in here are you?!?!”
7. At Blimpies – “When are you due? In May?!?! That’s going to be a BIG baby!”
8. At the Salon – (In Katherine's words) This woman was the worst ever. She was just relentless.
W: When are you due? Any minute now?(another woman sitting there starts laughing so hard it sounds like she’s cackling.)
Me: No. In May. (I answered her slowly and deliberately)
W: OH? So you still have 4 more weeks??
Me: No, I have 7 more weeks.
W: Oh wow! Is it just one baby in there or two?
Me: (already I have my phone out texting Elizabeth what this woman is saying but I look up to say:) One.

People, please think before you speak. Sheeeeesh.

Monday, April 2, 2007

My 6 Favorite Elvis Costello Albums

*Get Happy!!
*My Aim is True
*Blood & Chocolate
*When I Was Cruel
*Punch the Clock