Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Yaye Tames Her Beast with a Rake

Well, I've got blisters in some strange places, but it's worth it. I've been raking and hauling and clearing for the past couple days. We are SPRUNG here in New England at last, and I am cleaning out my garden beds - which are all over the place! I tried taking some before-and-afters, but I don't think you can really see a big difference in the photos. For instance:



Doesn't look too impressive in the picture, but in person it's a dramatic difference. And then there is the incredible fresh scent of soil and new growth. Here's where the leaves and pine needles end up...

...the compost heap in our vegetable garden. I want to build a two-bin surround for the compost so it's not just a hard-to-manage heap like this. I just have to get up the nerve to fire up the ol' power tools in the garage.

Here's the best part of cleaning out the beds: uncovering the crocus.

Tallulah Spiraling out of Control

Yesterday I finished several lessons in my Illustrator for Dummies course. It was a LOT of fun. However, I found myself mesmerized by the tool box and its tool slot of preset shapes in conjuction with the tilde key. You see if you select a shape let's say a star and press the tilde key while moving the shape you get a spirograph effect. This simple little function reminded me of yesteryear when I would spend hours creating spirographs at the dining room table. I can remember my exceitement when my cousins were finally sick of their spirograph set and gave it to me. Yesterday, I literally wasted an hour creating spirgraphs in Illustrator.

I like Illustrator now...I have conquered my fear and find that the Illustrator monster in the closet was merely a CD wanting to play.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Tallulah gets Home Schooled

It's a well known hypothesis that constantly learning can potentially fend off certain neuro-diseases. Since my mother upon retiring at the tender age of 62 developed some neurological issues of her own, I have been on a quest to keep my head busy at all times. Personally, when I think about what I did to my brain in my teens and early twenties, I worry that perhaps I may become like my mom at a much younger age. Trying to stave off having to take Aricept daily, I have decided that I must really excercise my brain for potential cash and profit.

Today, I embark on learning a computer program that I have put on my resume in the past thinking I could fake it, knowing if I ever got called on it, I could pull in some favors. I have opened this program numerous times trying to dive right in but alas it only made my entire being quiver uncontrollably and to put in terms like Monty Python's Gumby: IT MAKES MY BRAIN HURT. The standard of the print industry....Illustrator! A beast of ungodly proportions and it is my goal to conquer my fear of this beast! So here we go. I purchased a Dummies book because well, this program makes me feel like a dummy though I have been proficient at Photoshop for many many years, it is well overdue to update my skill set (shoulda dun it years ago).

So off I go into the wild adobe yonder. If you don't hear from me send the calvary.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Yaye Memorial Library

Tallulah and I had ourselves a serious little stroll down Memory Alley this week. It wasn't the Lane we usually travel, this place was much darker and more secretive than that. And after nearly 30 years of friendship, we discovered that there were things about one another we didn't know -- and some things we had forgotten over the years. It's startling to realize there is soooo much to know about another person. We're not chapters, books or even comprehensive sets of encyclopedias, we're each whole libraries.

When you talk about your life with a long trusted friend, you uncover fragments that become whole pictures that link to stories which turn out to be parts of books that have been stored on hidden shelves housed in locked wings of your library. And like cleaning out a musty basement (something I non-metaphorically spent time doing last week), this can freshen the air and get rid of some garbage, but its also shines light on some nasty corners. You can find yourself startled by your own stories, unsettled by your revelations.

As far back as I can remember, I've had a recurring dream. I'm in a house -- sometimes I live there, sometimes I'm just visiting -- and through chance I discover a door, elevator or stairway that leads me to rooms and floors I've never seen before in the house. I'm usually surprised and delighted by the discovery. Yet, there is always a point in the dream where I wonder why I didn't already know about the spaces or wonder if I once knew and somehow forgot them, and that I must be very short-sighted indeed not to have noticed them before. Have you had this dream?

Well, that's pretty much how I'm feeling right now.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Tallulah is haunted by Ghost of Leland Palmer

It is hard to believe that the television series, Twin Peaks was 16 years ago...16! I was pregnant when Mr. Tallu and I would go to an undisclosed home at the top of the Hollywood Hills (off Laurel Canyon) to watch David Lynch's boob tube spectacle every week. I loved the show so much, if little Yayo would have been born a girl, the name would have been Audrey much to Yayo's chagrin it's Yayo Agent Cooper Kazu. I collected Twin Peaks memorabilia, forced Mr. Tallu to purchase the playboy with "Audrey" way back when which oddily enough when I moved across country, I came across the Playboy and gave it to Yayo. As I handed the Playboy to him, my head was playing "Pictures of Lilly".

This brings me to Leland Palmer, I mean the actor Ray Wise. For some strange reason, Mr. Tallu was under the false assumption that he, Ray Wise that is, was dead. In the last few episodes of 24 (I love Jack Bauer and kind of have the hots for Curtis), the Vice President character has emerged. When the VP came on screen, I exclaimed: "Hey that's LELAND!!" After being shushed until the commercial, Mr. Tallu looked at me sympathetically and said...Hey Doll, Leland died 10 years ago I think.

I was saddened and confused cause the guy on the screen looked just like the guy who played Leland. I had made a mental note to self to look up the actor to verify the validity of Mr. Tallu's statement. Sadly, my brain does not come with post it notes, so I forgot until TODAY! Early this morning, we put in our Netflix (Good Night and Good Luck) cause I was just too excited to wait until this evening. And there low and behold was the guy who looked exactly like Leland and the VP on 24 playing the part of Hollenbeck.

Mr. Tallu exclaimed "Hey, that's the guy on 24 who looks like Leland who is dead!"

After the movie...whew it's incredible...kudos to Mr. Clooney, I logged onto IMDB and low and behold...HE'S ALIVE! ALIVE! I was so happy to be right on my assumption that I just had to ramble and share. I know I'm deeply disturbed, but I really love it when I'm right and can prove to Mr. Tallu he's wrong.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Tallulah's Daffy-Dill

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tallulah see's signs of Spring Too..

Yes the first daffodil of spring has blossomed outside Tallulah's bedroom window. But for some reason blogger won't let me upload my pic....why?

Though it's snowing right now, Tallulah is frolicing wildly at the new hope that a Spring Fling always brings...even though you can't see the picture.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Yaye's Evidence of Spring

The Ravages of Winter

An apocalyptic aftermath, no?

Overgrowth Left from the Fall

Gotta trim that guy.

The Peek of Green

My favorite color - the freshest green of Spring.

The Brave First Flowers

From the decay of last season comes something beautiful.
Just makes you want to breathe deeply, doesn't it?

Friday, March 17, 2006


Love may be like Oxygen...but there's nothing like a Little Willy. Cause you know you can't push Willy down cause Willy won't go.

I love the Sweet!


Like his wife, Mr. Yaye (a.k.a. Progboy) is a major music enthusiast. Assembling yet another in a long line of 70's music anthologies, he solicited my help yesterday to track down a list of downloadable tunes he is missing from his collection. It was fun, but took up a sizable chunk of my day. In fact, I was working on a post about Top Chef and had to abandon it to scavenge for such gems as "Hair of the Dog" by Nazareth (which he had on his list with the title "Messing with a Son of a Bitch") and "Go to Hell" by Alice Cooper. Soooooo Spinal Tap!

But the one tune that got stuck in my head and rattled around on an endless loop as I cleaned out our disgusting, spider-webbed basement this morning was Sweet's "Love is Like Oxygen" (click the play button on the video link above to hear the song and view some lovely creme-rinsed blonde hair). The song just has an impossibly catchy pop chorus with ELO-esque vocals that you can't wait to come around again when it gets to the dead-in-the-water, hack verses.

I'm singing it as I type! Heeeellllllp!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Boat on the River Epte

A Yaye Review: This One's For Apple Cheeks!

I watched the Oscars this year without a clue. Despite being a movie freak, I hadn't managed to see a single nominated movie before the ceremony. This placed me in an unaccustomed position: I had to rely on second-hand opinions (not something I usually place any trust in - I never read reviews until after I see the movie), the track record of nominees, and the general emotional thrust of the evening to inform my own response to the outcomes. Based on pre-show buzz, I was surprised that Crash was the big winner, but I assumed it was a worthy recipient.

Over this past weekend, I finally saw Crash and Walk the Line, and now... I just think the Academy was looking out for Reese Witherspoon. In the wake of a rash of Hollywood divorces, no one wants to see the apple-cheeked Reese and Ryan Phillipe's marriage fall apart because of professional jealousy, so they threw Ryan's movie an Oscar bone to help keep the kids together. I'm crediting the Academy with this worthy sentiment, because I can't figure any other reason for Crash to have won Best Picture.

Overwritten, overstated, overwrought. Yes, it has some excellent performances from an interesting mix of actors, what a relentless series of stereotypes (racial, ethnic and socio-economic), trite character reversals, and exceptionally unlikely situations. Selling itself as gritty realism - and some of the brutal bigotry depicted is realistic -- it requires the audience to abandon what it knows of actual human nature (people don't usually shout their prejudices over megaphones) and the law of averages (no way would all of these people keep encountering one another in the vastness that is Los Angeles) in order to buy into this ham-fisted morality tale. And do I have to mention the shameless pilfering from other overlapping multi-storyline movies? Magnolia, Grand Canyon, Traffic, Short Cuts. Sheesh!

Crash is not without artistic merit, having some finely rendered moments, but it broke no new ground. It certainly did not make me think about its MESSAGE (clearly its flashing neon PURPOSE) - it just made me wonder about the Academy's puzzling voting pattern. Do they ever reward subtlety? Tell me, do they?

And then I thought about Reese, who was layered and soulful and sparkling in the imperfect, but lovely and haunting Walk the Line. Now there's a well-deserved Oscar.

So, I hope they did it for Reese.

We've been working very hard with our lawyers...

Whilst my Yaye has been in a Gervaisabyss, this Tallulah has battled and won a serious flu (104 degrees for two days and on her back eyes closed for a week), continues to hold breath waiting for internet to be cut off and as of Monday major plumbing issues (Tallulah is beginning to concur with Yaye on Old Houses).

Yesterday we receive this ridiculous email from (Tallulah hates) Skycasters stating that the lawyers are diligently working on the "issues" with DirectWay. So it seems we will continue to have internet for a "little" while longer. What a bunch of crap.

In the meantime...seeds have been started, epoxy resins discovered, glue sticks found, house very messy. I think I'll need to catch up on this Gervaismania that has consumed my Parco for far too long.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Yaye's Been with Ricky: Confession of a Delinquent Blogger

I'm here to confess. I have not updated this blog since last Thursday. Today is Tuesday. I believe that is the longest I have gone without a blog entry since beginning this dalliance with the Internet on New Year's Eve. Why the neglect? It's Ricky Gervais, friends.

This is the second time I have engaged in a Gervais feeding frenzy since discovering the original BBC's The Office about six months ago. Yes, I was late on that one. I'll explain why another time. Back to my point... I fell hard for Ricky and his wantonly inappropriate, squirmingly uncomfortable, brutally truthful comedy. And being a compulsive researcher I immediately went in pursuit of all things Gervais. I gorged myself on the Office DVDs, including every second of every Special Feature, repeatedly. I mapped out viewings of Extras on HBO. But I really hit the jackpot when I plonked my nickel into the Internet.

Hours and hours of Gervais with cohorts Stephen Merchant and the much-abused Karl Pilkington doing their freeform, simian-laden radio programs and podcasts available for download from Xfm (British radio station) and Guardian Unlimited (British newspaper) and via iTunes in controlled quantities (and now, for a fee). Additional related segments, articles, clips and animation can be found on Gervais' own eponymous website. I love this stuff so much, it's....mental!

I took a breather for a few months after my first bout of Gervaismania, but one little streaming podcast last week led to another, and next thing you know, I'm whiling away whole days listening to Ricky and the Boys, making gluey crafts and tweaking graphics projects. And regrettably, I turned my back (oh so briefly! you must admit) on you, my beloved Internet.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

Busting Out The Butt Crack!

Our American fascination with yards of billowing boobage has been steadily traveling south for a few years now with all the low slung, tattooed & pierced abdominal flesh on parade across the nation. And lo, this mighty gestation period has apparently yielded a new cultural phenomenon: The Butt Crack in a TV commercial!

Watching Project Runway (yay Chloe!) on a weekly basis has subjected me to painfully repetitive advertising patterns that have managed to break through my usual anti-marketing defenses:

1) Yes, I get it, Top Chef is the between-Project Runways Project Runway
2) Please don't subject me to more of that freaking housewives & hedges Orbitz commercial starring Wink Martindale all through the run of Top Chef
3) The Butt Crack of

You might think it's effective advertising since I remember Bluefly, but actually, when I set out to find the above graphic from the commercial, I typed "" into Google. That's because there was nothing about the commercial (called "The Dinner Party") that specifically told me what they were selling. Coulda been an airlines, why not? You can click on the pic above or right here to watch the spot for yourself.

Alright, maybe it was obvious to you that it was women's apparel (why "bluefly" anyway?) - I can be dim . But I really think I was just so traumatized by The Butt Crack that I was unable to put the twos together. Is this the new cleavage? Is this the first step toward totally nudie commercials like they have in Europe? Do I care?

Having grown up in an era when an ad for the industrial strength, cross-your-heart bra gently hinted at its illicit cargo with a busty actress like Jane Russell, but certainly didn't display any of it - I have a hard time adjusting.

And it's not like I don't enjoy looking at beautiful naked bodies, I do. But not while sitting next to my grandma, you know? And okay, so my grandma is dead, but somebody's grandma somewhere is still alive and they just might be watching Project Runway together, dishing on the fashionistas and wondering how Santino made it to the Final Three. Do they really need to look at The Butt Crack together? Is that really what it takes to sell women's clothing? Meh.

I know, I know, this is the Victoria's Secret, runway nipple slip, visible thong era and I just have to get used to it, right? Now that it's here, we're stuck with The Butt Crack, huh? Just accept it and look forward to The Butt Cheek and Mons Pubis commercials just around the corner. Granny and I can't wait!

Monday, March 06, 2006

It's Official: Yaye Can Join Mensa Now!

I took the Tickle Classic IQ Test and this is what it told me:

Congratulations, Yaye! Your IQ score is 133

This number is based on a scientific formula that compares how many questions you answered correctly on the Classic IQ Test relative to others. Your Intellectual Type is Insightful Linguist. This means you are highly intelligent and have the natural fluency of a writer and the visual and spatial strengths of an artist. Those skills contribute to your creative and expressive mind. And that's just some of what we know about you from your test results.

Find out more in your personalized 15-page IQ Report. It's ready right now! (For a small fee of $12.95, of course!)

No I didn't buy the 15-page report, I'm too smart for that! However...I was plenty stupid enough to waste several minutes of my time trying to find out more about this "Insightful Linguist" monicker via my usual quick-fix reference tools: Google and Wikipedia. All I found were links to lots of other blogs by people who also took the Tickle Classic IQ Test and were also trying to find out what the hell is an "Insightful Linguist"!

So, it would seem to be the default category for all the less mathy, more wordy types, which is probably the most common element found here in the blogosphere. So I'm right at home with all you other insightfully brainy bloggers! Weeeeeee!!!!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Solution to Tallulah's Skycaster Dilemma...

...just might be Jack Bauer. Read this.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Tallulah HATES Skycasters!

Livin' way out in the boonies errr I mean country, there are very few options for internet service: You have your basic dial up (yuk) or satellite service. When we moved out here almost two years ago, we opted for the highest speed service possible (yeah I know dumb city folks). So we dipped into our nest egg and coughed up $1,500.00 for set up and equipment to get satellite internet. Not to mention paying OUTRAGEOUS rates. ($119.00+ per month). We felt it worth it as my job demands high speed access.

Around Christmas time, we get this call from a sales rep at Skycasters. He offers us the moon, better upload time, more reliability (cause let me tell you, if it rains or snows hard you have NO access) and LOWER MONTHLY RATES, the only glitch is that WE have to come up with $800.00 for new equipment. My heart dropped, I asked if they would tack on a fee to each month to offset that cost. We just don't have $800 bucks to give to this company. He said No. I asked, well will you be continuing your service that I currently have. He said OF COURSE, you'll just have to keep paying your outrageous monthly bill.

Talking it over with my old man, we opted to stay where we are. Though we're clearly paying a lot, at least we didn't have to come up with $800 or heaven forbid move back to dial up.
Then between January and February, we would lose email capabilities for a week at a time. This is very bad when you're running your business on the net. We are suspicious that Skycasters was deliberately doing this.

And now for we get the email that as of March 8th, we will no longer have internet access through Skycasters (they worded it in such a way that there was a slim chance that it may not happen) So we get on the phone in a panic...I start calling DSL companies begging and I do mean begging, for access, which of course is not going to happen.

Regaining composure we call the company that Skycasters resells for at this point in time, DirectWay. Here's what they have to say...if any one is in the same boat as I, please continue to read.

1. Skycasters are going to shut down their DirectWay accounts!
2. Call Directway and work out a deal. I think our solutions will end up saving us about $50 a month.
3. you may have to purchase new router and get someone out to repoint satellite. It may cost around $199.00. A far cry from $800.00, plus the monthly savings I say...let Skycasters FAIL.
4. Call Skycasters billing right away! We;ve just paid for another month of skycasters 2 days ago. I know they will owe us money.

What Skycasters has done is inexcusable! The whole, you've got to pay $800.00 bucks right now with no payment plan is just EXTORTION. SHUTTING DOWN our access with a 5 day lead time, is simply Bull Feces. They are an evil rotten company.

Yours truly,
Tallulah "She who HATES Skycasters" Kazu

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Lily & Gatsby and the SBT Incident

Lily and Gatsby grapple with life's injustices as represented by a Soccer Ball Thingy.

bok bok bok bok

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Breaking My Videoblog Cherry

This is my first, possibly lame, attempt at videoblogging starring my dog Gatsby (with a cameo by my other dog Lily - don't worry, she'll get her own video soon). Actually, this is also my first attempt to use Windows Movie Maker. It was a lot of fun, but like anything I try the first time, I was not as patient with every little detail like I will be going forward, I swear. Click the pic, or right here to watch.

I' asked Bobby Dylan, I asked the Beatles, I asked Timothy Leary, but he couldn't help me either

However geeky this might be...
Happy Birthday Roger Daltrey!



Please don't tell anyone...I once did sit on Ivar the Engine Driver's lap...

Tallulah -

All I can say is........ KEITH MOON.....

Yaye -

Absolutely Keith...but really, for me...PETE TOWNSHEND. Sigh. The best white pants wearer EVER! I remember the Pete 8 x 10 glossy I had above my adolescent bed, where I would gaze at his luscious thighs and dream.....

And hey, how fun that this clip has some of the "Circus" portion of the show. I've only seen the footage from "The Kids Are Alright," so that was a tasty, cheesy bonus.