Monday, February 27, 2006

Yaye Hates to be Paranoid, but...Umbria Listens

A week or so ago, on this very blog, I noticed that our right-hand sidebar was knocked down to the bottom of the main page because of an extra-long referral URL. This one:

I can usually identify the source of our referrals (the Blogger "Next Blog" button, Blogger Sign-in page, Blogher referrals, Google & Technorati searches, etc.). But I couldn't place this one, so I followed the link to investigate. I ended up at a blank white web page with no identifiers. Weird. So I shortened the URL to the root address .Com and found a sign-in page with the word "Umbria" in the corner and no other information. I found it odd, but decided not to pursue it further, until....

...that same URL showed up in our referrals yet again, knocking the sidebar to the bottom of the page. What IS this?

So I spent a few more minutes Googling different elements of the information until I found this article that reveals that we are being monitored by the Umbria Buzz Report:

Blog Measurement Company Refines Analytics

An excerpt: "Buzz Report, which monitors about 11 million blogs and 100,000 public message boards, already analyzes posts to determine writers' genders and ages. The new release will also measure such factors as geographic location, ethnicity, and income level."

Why and for whom are they measuring these factors? Marketers, of course! I found a Google link to Umbria's FAQ page:

An excerpt: "There are over 20 million bloggers and over 50 million blog readers (over 30% of the Internet population). They represent segments of the population with higher disposable income and higher education, and are important influencers relative to the general population. Observing what they are saying as it relates to your brand is an effective means of understanding your target market and recognizing early trends that may impact your business or agenda."

I've always known there's no such thing as a free lunch. We're just one big, burly focus group.

Whew.....crisis averted

Tallulah here, just got the good news over the weekend, that the person referenced in the previous post will NOT be going back to Iraq.....for now.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Yaye's Juvenile Contribution to the Cause

In support of my friend Tallulah's thoughtful post below, I offer this sophomoric, yet accurate, commentary:
Why does that feel soooooo good? :-)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Clash....I loved them sooo much...NOW HEED THE CALL UP!!!!

It's up to you not to heed the call-up
'N' you must not act the way you were brought up
Who knows the reasons why you have grown up?
Who knows the plans or why they were drawn up?

Tallulah here, I loved the Clash as a wee one. And still do as a matter of fact I'm listening to them right now. (Magnificent Seven at the moment oh now it's Washington Bullets ). I had an older boyfriend in 1982 and he tried to explain to me what they were singin' about. I sort of listened then as a 15 year old...but it would be much later that I would TRULY understand what they were talking about.

I've just been informed that a few weeks ago CNN had a report that the army would be calling up Navy personnel to go to Iraq on behalf of the army for some reason or another. (Ususally I'm up on these things...but oh well, I can't store everything in my head) Anywho, I have a person that may or may not be related to me who may or may not have received information that he or she may be going to Iraq. There is a 48 hour period with which we will know whether or not the aforementioned person who may or may not be related to me will go ON THE GROUND into the heart of insanity. (Runnin.......' Police on my back... I love the Clash)

The men in my family have all been veterans and carried or still carry the issues that come with war or that wacky phrase of the day "POLICE ACTION". Whatever.

Well, to troops out there now...My heart is with you, I want you home now. That person who may or may not be leaving in the next few days...I'm not sure exactly what I should say on this blog, except that I love you and if you need anything...just let me know.

Peace love and understanding....yours truly...Tallulah

Like Oh-Mi-GAWD is that us all grainy?????

Yaye -

Tallu, I can't believe you found this! How cool!! So, as 14-year-olds we...
  • Attended the Fleshtones/Go-Go's concert in full retrogrrl gear (I even wore a miniskirt - a rarely repeated phenomenon in my lifetime) at The Greek;
  • Spent the night in a hilltop mansion featuring a hot tub with its own gazebo-like room, wherein certain members of our entourage were busted for illicit indulgences by the scary grandfather of the house;
  • Went to the L.A. Street Scene the next day and were followed by a photographer mistakening us for the Go-Go's;
  • Saw the venerable Los Angeles Mayor, Tom Bradley, unveil the only statue of John Lennon created during his lifetime (where we were apparently photographed for posterity);
  • Met and became friends with the John Lennon look-alike who posed for said statue...
....all in less than 24 hours. Sacre bleu!


I'm tired just thinking about all that. And let me just say, I'm amazed that the aforementioned scary grandfather didn't send me home right then and there....Ooops just busted myself. I did nothing wrong.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The 8 Million dollar man....

Well, after a wee search I have found it! On October 9, 1981, Tallulah and Yaye the wee little teenagers that they was, went to the unveiling of the John Lennon Memorial in Los Angeles. Which I'm thinkin' wasn't supposed to be a memorial at all, cause it was the only statue made of John during his lifetime.

I think the article is saying this is for sale! I am calling for Yaye to join me in looking under couch cushions and husband's pockets to start our savings fund.

That Steve Green guy really did look like Lennon...a lot. We are goofy girls.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Can You Hear Them? They Talk About Us...

Okay, Tallu! How about you, me and three of our groovy friends going to the 1981 L.A. Street Scene festival, all wearing our Go-Go's concert T-shirts that we procured the night before at The Greek amphitheatre (my first concert), and being followed all day by a photographer who thought we were the band? Remember??? I can still see you doing a little ska dance in the street with your blunt cut and headband on, looking quite a bit like Kathy Valentine, actually. It was so sad when we had to inform the photographer that he had wasted several rolls of film on a group of 14-year-old Go-Go's fans.

That's the same day we met Steve Green, the John Lennon look-alike who posed for the bronze Lennon memorial at City Hall. To think, we introduced him to Beatlefest.

Clove cigarettes and Pointy Shoes

Wow, I wonder what ever happened to the Untouchables. I used to go to parties with them, well not with them, but they were always there at the party, nice boys they was.

An Editorial by Yaye

'Nough said.

Tallu-lolita and the Textones

My only comment is that my son at 15 is NOTHING like me!

Chalk up another for maniacal dancing

Tallulah still has this's very worn. Yaye do you remember this one?

I've a feeling that I Know you....HEY!

This wonderful record reminds me of chicken, cantaloupe and Yaye dancing feverishly!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Teenage Wasteland

I still feel expletives rushing to the tip of my tongue every time I think about that fact that Tallu's little Yayo is 15 FREAKING YEARS OLD!!!!!!!! Jesum Crow (as the Mainers say)!!!

Tallu, weren't we 15 like three weeks ago? Remember our own motley crew of retrogrrrls hanging out by the swimming pool listening to "Who's Next" and "Wham Bam Thank You M'am" whilst practicing our British accents and planning our next foray over to Moby Disc to torture Dana the Disc Monster and his staff of spiky-haired 30-something musicians in their dead-end day jobs? Remember how cool we thought they were?

Remember our band, The Anglophiles? Remember "Hey Jude"? My song "Love Hate Liver"? Your song "Purple, Green, Blue and Red"? Remember toe-crushing pointy shoes and black zipper pants and using hydrogen peroxide on our hair? The white Vans we painted into Union Jacks? Listening to Pete Townshend's "Empty Glass" album through headphones when we were supposed to be studying how to conjugate etre in French class?

Sometimes my heart just aches and aches with the weight of all these memories of togetherness and goofiness and believing that anything (even being The Beatles) was possible.

Tallulah's Motley Crew

My son turned 15 on Sunday...15!!! How in the world did that happen???? Anyway, for his birthday he wanted to have a little sleepover gaming party with his buddies from school. I was very excited about this, you say to yourself...ugghh WHY? Why would any self-respecting parent want a sleepover with a bunch of 15 year old boys. Well, it's because since we've moved to West Virginia, friends are hard to come by for my fine young son and the fact that he had more than one friend he wanted to invite over was a wonderful thing. He spent the better part of 12 months very lonely in a strange place.

You may wonder, what do 15 year old boys want to do at a slumber party. They want to drink mass quantities of Mountain Dew so that they can stay up all night gaming! They brought their sacred Playboys, looked at lots of boobs, giggled, and talked about fatherhood. That's right one of them is about to be a father. Infact, there was some speculation that I would have to get up in the middle of the night and take this boy to a central meeting place so that he could get to the hospital in time. Luckily, the girlfriend did not go into labor and I was able to get to sleep at 1am.

Yaye and I talked all night cause I had to make myself scarce. Overheard by Yaye:

"Hey kids help youself to anything in the fridge. "

"Ms. Tallulah, can I have some olives?"

"Uh-no you can have one, those are my sacred olives and I don't like to share them, but if you've got to try one, then have ONE. Allow me to rephrase kids: You can have anything in the fridge that's pizza." (Yaye on the other end of the phone giggling)

Overheard by me

Hey, Yayo, you're mom is really cool

Yayo: Yeah, people say that about her.

Hey Ms. Tallulah, can I call you Mom.
Yes, my little Trent Reznor, you may.
Cool, Hey mom...
Who's a better guitar player, Jimmy Page or Jimi Hendrix?
Hmmm, that's a good question (I then rattle on about my theory of who's better)
Ummm, okay like whatever, I think John Bonham is the best drummer.
Hmmm okay, what about Keith Moon

Yayo says to mom after all the kids are gone: Mom that was the best birthday ever!

I hugged and kissed my little boy of 15 years who's 6'2" with light facial hair.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Yaye Gets a Telegram From Heaven

Hey! I uncovered one of the Dead Sea Blogs lost in the Great Blogger Black Hole of 2006 a week or so ago. It's brief, but I thought it was worth saving, so here it is:

Tallulah and I were talking earlier today (or was it yesterday? we talk everyday, it's hard to keep track) about the meaning of success. As in: What equals "Success" in our lives and the lives of those we know? We were stumped.

And then like a Western Union from on high, I was given the answer while brewing my evening mug of Good Earth Green Tea. The teabag label had this to say on the subject: "Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome." -- Booker T. Washington (1856-1915)

Dead people are smart.

Y & T's Birthday-O-Rama Weekend!

Yaye -

My sister Lola had a birthday on Friday. She had plans with work friends on Friday night, so she and I celebrated together yesterday. We planned to go see "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" (because we are geeks) on the one commercial IMAX screen here in Connecticut, which happens to be located half the state away from where I live.

A couple of flurry flakes decided to multiply into a squall just as I was leaving home to pick her up, and as I drove, I ended up sliding through, not one, but two different hill-bottom intersections with my ABS pumping away uselessly. Luckily, no collisions. Traffic creeped, I saw a couple of fishtails and one poor bastard stuck in a grassy highway median, spinning in circles. By the time I got to my sister's 40 minutes later (it normally takes about half that), I was done with distance driving for a while.

"Harry" on IMAX was put on the "to do" pile, and instead sister and I decided to stay local and go shopping (lots of stores close to her place). We bopped from store to store, lunching and girling it up, buying her a new area rug and pretty jewelry boxes and mirrors for her new apartment. We created cool-looking homemade coasters for her coffee table. We dreamed up lists for future home-improvement purchases and projects. It was so much fun! And it allowed us to truly enjoy one another and being together so much more than sitting side-by-side in a theatre for three hours could have done.

That squall I struggled through proved to be the worst weather of the entire day. Although it was bitt-tt-tterly cold, there was no further significant snowfall. It was as though Mother Nature turned it up just to stop me in my tracks and ensure that I took in the beautiful sight of my sister in her current flowering and didn't miss the sweet, simple joy of sharing our little lives.

Yeah, I'm sure that's great comfort to that poor spinning bastard stuck in the snow. Thanks, man!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Tallulah's Battle with Apathy

I try very hard not to get political publicly. There are many reasons for this: 1) There are other bloggers who are way better at it than me; 2) I can only keep so many facts in my head at a time; 3) I live in a very conservative area, and well, they all thought Kerry was gonna take their guns. (I try not to turn purple in rage and chuckle at the same time with that last statement). However, there is one thing in the news that caught my attention and I can not silence myself.

It appears that the U.S. Committee of Foreign Investments are about to outsource port security to Dubai Ports, owned by....wait for it....wait for it...the United Arab Emerites! Home of a few of those pesky Hijackers! Yes that's right, this committee has approved turning over control of the following ports: New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, Miami, Philadelphia and New Orleans.

Op-Ed from Conservative Washington Times

Dubai Company's Control of Six Ports 'Boggles the Mind'

WHAT???? Okay, so China owns our debt and now, for argument's sake, UAE owns our ports. I think King George is selling our country right from under our feet and we're not doing anything about it! I mean, a select few are trying, I wonder what can I do?

I am so sick of form petitions to my senators, my vote does NOT count (we're about to get non-receipt electonic voting machines). Protesting doesn't work, but it keeps the posterboard companies in business (I wonder if the posterboards protestors use are really made in this country?). I am sick to my stomach. I am white hot with anger. I am apathetic, because no matter what I feel in the "privacy" of my own home, I am powerless to make a change, therefore I do almost nothing.

Any ideas would be helpful on how to make a change. But no suggestions on writing senators, protesting or voting, I do two of those things already. I mean, I went to a few No Nukes protests in the 80s and a hemp legalization thing...I'll never be able to run for office.

I'm glad I changed my party to Independent. Politics are ugly...I need some chocolate, and some potato chips with dip, some cheese and crackers, pizza with lots and lots of black olives....oohhh wait, kalamata olives. Artichokes with a mayo garlic dip, a big big salad with lots of feta cheese.

Current political issues are making me fat.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The First 10 Minutes (or So) of Yaye's Online Day

I woke up early this morning and decided to check out the First 10 Minutes site, which allows you to view the first 10 minutes of any movie in its catalog (all new/almost new DVD releases). I'm feeling pretty sure that the site is underwritten or is, in fact, created by Netflix as a marketing tool. Doesn't matter, I consider it a valuable public service.

First, the Sure Bets:

I started off watching the first ten of movies I know I like: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Lost in Translation. I was so engrossed in Eternal Sunshine, that it actually startled me when it ended at the 10-minute mark. Why don't I already own this DVD? Then I started Lost in Translation, but it was so dark on the tiny little viewing screen that I thought Scarlett Johansson's butt was a wing chair for a full minute before realizing what I was seeing. Too dark to watch, but no matter, I already know I love that movie.

Second, the Wretched:

Hidalgo, although it stars Viggo Mortensen (YUM!) and features beautiful horses and gorgeous landscapes, was not worth watching for the entire first ten. Don't yell at me, I tried. Back to Lord of the Rings for me.

Because I am a chick and I do occassionally crave an infusion of romantic comedy, I tried Must Love Dogs and Monster-in-Law. Is there any reason other than the chick flick monicker for me to lump together these two movies? Why yes there is, thank you for asking, as I found that the first 10 minutes of each movie to be soooo similar and completely ludicrous in the exact same way.

Serving as ham-handed exposition scenes with all the subtlety and humor of barium enemas, each movie begins with a gorgeous woman (Diane "perennial divorcee" Lane and Jennifer "too picky" Lopez, respectively) surrounded by family or friends deeply concerned that she has no man in her life and so they feel the need to stage a tough love intervention to help her along. Wow, I really buy that either of these women would be in danger of being dateless on a single Saturday night. Not even John Cusack or Michael Vartan ("Alias") can save these movies. These are Chick Icks. (Tallulah, this is why I hate most romantic comedies!)

Third, the Promising (and a surprise!):

Now on to a bit of fantasy that I could stomach: Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I wasn't sure what I would think, but this one actually looks worth adding to my Netflix queue. I realize the otherworldly beauty quotient of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie is a tad high for true believability (how many of us outside of Hollywood have ever met ONE person that gorgeous, let alone two of them), but the movie seems to have the right sense of humor about itself.

More importantly, until watching this clip I had no idea that Vince Vaughan is in it! With all the gossipy bits I've been subjected to about the Brangelina-Vaughaniston swaps and tribulations, I'm amazed that I never heard about this! Kinda makes me wonder if Vincie tipped off Jennifer to the on-set canoodling.

I just proved that I have totally succumbed to the senseless American obsession with celebrity. To make matters worse, I used the word "canoodling." I feel dirty in a Ted Casablanca way. I'm going to go shower and read some Dostoevsky or something. Morning shame.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Mystery Men Contest

Yaye -
Oh Tallulah.....? Do you recognize this Fuzzy little Rock n Roll Troll??? He cornered us after one of his L.A. gigs to regale us with tales of how he wrestled Satan for his toenails and made a necklace of them.

Tallulah -
Oh My!!!! I wonder what he REALLY looks like now...Oh how I remember Mr. Fuzzy's dissertaton on Bell Bottoms in the latter part of the 80's, sitting next to him on a recording studio floor in Venice, CA at 3am. At the time, we were both working on an album for a patchouli-wearing 60's psychedelic rocker who had a few too many psychedelics in his time. The aged psychedelic rocker obviously was "Pushing Too Hard" and his keyboard player was certainly "Born to be Wild" and had enjoyed a long, long "Magic Carpet Ride". I have "seed"ed this recollection, anyone who is not Yaye who guesses correctly all of the "rock stars" in this comment, will win something from Tallulah. Not sure what. Any guessers out there?

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Kor-een Eggs That Ham

Too sublime for words! MUST be experienced!!! The bizarre, seemingly non-commercial egg-centric Korean (the link is to the English version) site: iloveeggs. Chock full of silly, sometimes hilarious, often confusing little animations featuring a septuplet of morphing eggs in various egg-ventures! They don't speak. They frequently sweat. Oh just go check it out, then you will understand the power of egg. Fresh, white eggs!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Tallulah's like Ohmigawd, totally gross Heartthrob!

Your 80s Heartthrob Is

John Stamos
Who's Your 80's Heartthrob?

Like no way, John Stamos has like never been on my like mind. But like you know, when I had to like choose my like 80s TV show, I didn't even know any of them. I was like too busy like totally partying to like watch TV during those very very hazy days.

Further Evidence that Yaye is a Goob

Why do I keep taking these things? Clearly, because I am a Goob. So, why should I be surprised when my 80's Heartthrob turns out to be Billionaire Goob Bill Gates? I'm not surprised. Ultimately it makes sense, dunnit?

Your 80s Heartthrob Is

Bill Gates

Me Goob.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

El Nacho Muy Macho

Opening June 2, 2006 - Jack Black IS Nacho Libre, "a Mexican priest who secretly moonlights as a masked wrestler in order to save an orphanage from closure." ( Madre mia!! Visit the movie site and you can download one of the brilliant wallpapers (like the photo above) to adorn your 'puter screen. I did.

Finally, a movie with the cojones to take on Lucha Libre! Arrrrrrrribaaaaaaa!!!!! (Yayecita shoots her pistoles in the air!)

Isn't Jack Black the guy who annoyed you and your friends in Junior High with his relentless inane shinanigans, yet you secretly harbored a wee crush on him (disclosed only in code to your pad-locked secret Diary)? He. Is.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Yaye's Favorite New Referrer

A Google search for "Beeflulah Recipe."
That must be some spicy stew!!

Tallulah gets quasi political

Just for you Yaye....a little blanky for your political overload nappy nap.

Did you know that when Jimmy Carter was president he had solar panels on the White House...the actor that took over his position took them down, rat bastard. Imagine where this country would be if we continued down the self sustaining path d' energy that ol' Carter wanted us to go down. I try not to get political cause I get a little conspiracy nutty... just do a search on peak oil

I sure wish there was some hope of good leadership in this country, alas, as Benjamin Franklin once said...When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic. The current state of affairs leads me to think the end of our republic has long since arrived. Let's all learn to say in unison kiddies: Long Live the King.

But on a Happy note...I thank my darling Yaye for clearing my head and kicking my ass this week...I sure needed it..

I LOVE YOU YAYE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Yaye Goes Political...Again

I try not to make this blog my political platform, mostly because I get so emotional discussing politics that I require a nap with my blanky afterwards. So, I'll try to keep this brief: I LOVE JIMMY CARTER! I have since I was a little girl and he was President, and I've loved him even more since he left office. This is not a romantic thing. I love his intelligence, integrity and tenacious commitment to the dignity and value of humanity.

This man was a nuclear physicist in the Navy, engineered the Camp David Accord between Egypt and Israel AND Salt II between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, authored 20 books and STILL found time to build houses for Habitat for Humanity! His Carter Center is devoted to humanitarian aid and the pursuit of global peace. Other politicians pepper their speeches with these words, but this man actually devotes his life to making them realities. He ROCKS!!

Read what he has to say about our (grittted teeth) current (gnashing teeth) Presi-(stomach churning)-dent:

Ex-President Carter: Eavesdropping Illegal

I need a nappy-poo.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Yaye's True Identity REVEALED!

My pirate name is:

Black Ethel Bonney

Like anyone confronted with the harshness of robbery on the high seas, you can be pessimistic at times. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate's life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Making Sure We Can Still Post

Somehow Tallulah and I have lost 2.5 posts to the Blogger Black Hole, so I'm testing to see if this is a viable blog again.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Yaye's Cake Crisis

Ohhhhhh Tallulah, you got off sooooo easy! Let me tell ya sistah, in my refrigerator as I type are the leftovers of my husband's birthday cake purchased by co-workers. A SHEET CAKE.

PLUS several (well there are four left now) chocolate-on-chocolate cupcakes made by a lady in his vanpool. Do you see their chocolatey GOOOOOEY GOODNESS?

See, I was trying to be a good girl, so I bought his favorite ice cream to celebrate his birthday. He's really not a fan of cake anyway, and I can resist ice cream with little effort this time of year - a much safer choice for me. But they haven't invented a time of year when cake is off the menu.

I'm home with it, all alone. And my husband doesn't even like cake.

I've been doing the, "Oh I'll just slice this really skinny piece off the edge and that will give me a taste...(5 minutes later)...well, that slice was really very small, so I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to have another teeny-weeny piece..." and so on. I ate the "B" in Birthday.


Tallulah's food binge.

It started innocently enough: Apples and a small piece of cheese seemed like a good choice when reaching for a wholesome nutritious snack after the very healthy bowl of oatmeal sweetened with raisins and 1/4 cup of apple juice. But something happened somewhere between the first bite of apple and the consequent bite of cheese...Tallulah became a ravenous hedgehog rooting around for more.

Pacing nervously back in forth in her kitchen wondering what would taste good: Potato chips with french onion dip, pepperoni, black olive and fresh garlic pizza (Xlarge), giant bowl of pasta n' pesto, pickled peppers sprinkled over falafels with red pepper sauce and tatziki. Sadly, no ingredients were on hand for these items.

Tallu had to figure something out as her body was SCREAMING for something that didn't exist in her cupboards, pantry and fridge. Dubbed the Idea Queen, she took a deep breath opened the fridge a 10th time and figured out the ideal comfort food for her panic attack.

2 tablespoons of cream cheese (softened for 10 seconds in the microwave), 15 green olives finely diced and 2 small slices of red onion finely chopped. Mixed together. 8 Saltine crackers purely for dipping pleasure. And spoon just incase there was more dip than cracker.

Crisis overted...and it was soooooooooooooooooo goood.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Yaye's Godrays

I love living in New England. This is not something I (or anyone else) tend to say alot in January and February, although the rest of the year is fair game. But some winter mornings, when the air temperature warms and the snowcover lazily melts into mist, I get these amazing Godrays...

..peeking around my Biblical Apple Tree...

...tinting my garden blue...

...and casting soft, sleepy shadows.