Web Sites to Make You Giggle Like A Little Schoolgirl

Here are a few web sites that I've recently come across that everyone should immediately go visit, right after you finishing reading all MY blog posts:

Second Rate Snacks – This appeals to my serious foodie side and my fun-loving making-fun of everyday things side.  The site is surprisingly thorough in their reviews and they are all well-written, but with fun, snarky comments peppered throughout.

Tripcart Road Trip Planner – I haven't done an actual road trip with it yet, but I tested it in the usual way I test any travel web site… see what it says about a local city that I know a lot about and it did a good job.

Garfield Minus Garfield – Take out the main character and you have a comic strip full of ennui and dispair that will make you laugh.  Almost assuredly more than the original strip.

Married to the Sea – For those with twisted senses of humor, here is a collection of old – some VERY old – clip art paired with hilarious new captions.  Great for those who enjoy My New Fighting Technique is Unstoppable and Get Your War On.

Bacon Today – Last but not least, a web site for keeping up on all your bacon news!!!  Special bonus irony points: the entire site is covered in diet ads.

A Guide to (Chinese) Democracy

In case you haven't heard, the new Guns N' Roses album, Chinese Democracy, came out this past weekend.  I really didn't think it was going to ever happen – even when I had the CD case in my hand, I was half expecting to get to the car and find nothing in it but a note that said "ha ha! Gotcha!" 

So after seventeen years (or is it fifteen or thirteen?), everyone else is going to be picking apart the album song by song, and I'm content to let them do that.  Instead, let me offer up a listener's guide that will help prep you for your listen:

1) Sorry to disappoint, but this just isn't classic Guns n' Roses.  Got it?  The album is NOT going to be Appetite for Destruction Part 2.  (though "Bigger Appetite" would have been an awesome name for it)

2) If you want to hear retro music, then listen to something that came out then.   Rose has been sitting in a studio full of computers and post-post-modern guitarists for the past decade.  The stuff isn't gonna sound like Los Angeles, circa 1986

3) It is never, ever going to be as good as you want it to be

4) No album is ever going to be as good as it should be after 10+ years of tinkering with it

5) Songs from Use Your Illusion I & II to listen to in preparation of the new album: "Breakdown" "Locomotive" "Estranged" "Garden of Eden" "Coma" "Civil War" "You Could Be Mine" and of course, "My World."  That will pretty much put you in the right mindset.

5) Give it time.  With all those instruments and over a decade of writing and re-writing, the album is going to be like an oyster: a bit of work to get inside, but worth it… if you like oysters.

As far as what I think, I've listened to it in its entirety twice so far, and while it doesn't have that immediate energy and throat-grabbing sound of "classic" GnR, this does NOT mean it is a bad album.  There is some good stuff on there, and not just the easy ones to point out, like the rockers "Chinese Democracy" and "Shacklers Revenge."   I'm on my third go around now, and instead of being sick of listening to it, I'm finding more and more to like.

No, its not Appetite For Destruction, but I think that another AFD is nearly impossible – that was a drug- and alcohol-fueled ball of energy that was on the verge of running off the tracks, which was pretty much the point.  It was a reflection of a particular time and place in the band's life and in culture in general.  

Maybe Chinese Democracy is the same, with its electronic loops and editing.  Or maybe that's what Rose wanted, and after 17 years of culture moving faster and faster, he just couldn't keep up any more and this is the best he can do.  Maybe if we can do the next one in, say, two years, it'll get only better. 

Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote Vote

Do you get the idea I want you to vote??  Seriously – regardless of who you're voting fore, get out there and VOTE!

If you're undecided about the Presidential campaign, try one of these sites to take a little survey and see who should vote for.  Some of the questions can be a little funky, but if you do all of them, I think you'll get a good idea of who you agree most with:





And if those don't do it for you, go to Project Vote Smart which collects all the information it can about every candidate, including state senators and representatives.  You can spend hours sifting through the information if you're so inclined!

Don't forget to vote tomorrow!!


Wow, I suck as a blogger, eh?  Over two months since my last post and only four since July.  Ugh.  

Let's start again, shall we?  Here's a little update and an offer at some excuses as to why posts have been sparse:

First of all, I got married at the beginning of October.  Woot!  But that took up the vast majority of our time.  In fact, we're just starting to remember what it is like to NOT have a wedding to plan and not come home to our version of Martha Stewart's workshop, with tables covered with ribbons, stamped cards, things to fold and stuff to cut.  I thought that planning a wedding would provide lost and lots of good material for blogging, which it probably did, but I really only had time for three posts

So between our wedding and me being in the wedding party of a friend a month before ours, things were pretty hectic this past summer.

Secondly, after the wedding comes the honeymoon!  We had a great TWO WEEK trip, going to Las Vegas, then Lost Angeles and Malibu, then driving up the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco and Napa/wine country.  That WILL provide some fodder for some posts once I get my head around it all and sort out some photos I'd like to post. 

So besides wedding related stuff, what have I been up to?  The usual: reading, listening to music, cooking, NOT blogging…  a couple of highlights of stuff that I'm into recently:

  • Posting and reviewing on GoodReads.com

  • Speaking of reading, the last few books I've read have been: "Good Omens" by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, "The Ridiculous Race" by Steve Hely and "The Watchmen" by Alan Moore

  • Currently reading: "The United States of Arugula " by David Kamp

  • Also been poking around on DancingSpoon.com (for foodies) and JamsBio (for music obsessives).  Also finally starting to understand Facebook.  Kind of.

  • Saw Ryan Adams for the second time back at the beginning of September.  Great show!

  • Enjoying the new Ryan Adams CD, Cardinology and the new Metallica CD, Death Magnetic.  Also enjoying heavy rotation in off the iPod: Ryan Adams, The Shins, The Raconteurs, Tool, Cream, and my annual Halloween mix featuring Iron Maiden, Type O Negative, Motley Crue and a few other "scary" metal songs.

  • Catching up on TV: Mad Men, The Amazing Race, The Simpsons, Family Guy, Dirty Sexy Money, Survivor, Kitchen Nightmares, and looking forward to Top Chef starting in a few weeks and Lost starting up in January.

So that about wraps up what I've been up to recently… I promise I'll start to post more often now!!