Ruminations & Rants

Profound Thoughts, Miscellaneous Minutiae  & Garbage 

Hey! Pop-Ups on TV?? What's with that? Is anyone else as annoyed as I am with those over-sized gizmos that shill upcoming shows in the lower right corner of the screen? They often obscure part of the picture being watched and are usually animated in order to annoy us even more??

This may be mostly boring - so if you have nothing better to do - read on. However, if computer solitaire beckons - you're excused.

In case you came to this page while googling some profound research project - could happen - rather than accessing it from my Home Page (see top of sidebar) - allow me to introduce myself. I'm an artist & sometime writer living in Central New York State.

The Fine Art of Being a Reverse Snob

This is part of who I am - and it happened quite without any effort on my part. One day I awoke to the fact that - if everybody else has it or wants it - I don't.  It's not good or bad or a conscious thing  - it's just me. For instance - back in the Neantherthal 50's, I became enamored of Southwestern Indian jewelry. There was a fine shop called Brate's in the Adirondacks. The owners spent their winters in Arizona and brought back work by Zuni & Navaho Indians. The genuine article - and the prices were about the same as those of good costume jewelry. 

In the 70's Indian jewelry became all the rage and the price zoomed. I lost interest - it was everywhere. I stopped wearing it - though it attracted considerable attention when I did wear it (price tag, you know). This is but one example - I'm sure you get the picture. I am an outcast from our 'must-have' society - every merchandiser's worst nightmare - a mutant. Many of my views on that 'must have' society are reflected in the Lemming Column at right.

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 People who pay a monthly fee to rent designer handbags on line must be desperate - housewives or not.

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Has it ever occurred to you that the people who create decorating trends DO NOT DO THEIR OWN CLEANING - that they must have live-in help - because no 'occasional' cleaning lady could cope with: kitchen cabinets without doors - dust & - eeew - greasy residue if they're near a stove; dark colored counter tops - we once rented a cottage in Maine on the ocean and were soon writing our names in the dust on the forest green formica - and we were on vacation; clear glass shower doors - you'd have to shower with a squeegee! Oh - and I must mention the photos of tables laden with shining silver vessels of various sizes. I don't know about you but mine would soon resemble bronze!

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 Our local Syracuse NY paper now charges for obituaries. One inch is free but after that - they sell death by the inch. You can bet the funeral homes are 'folding' that into the fees, too. Some of those suckers are running about a foot long - really

On the pro side - some are really interesting & have some historical relevance. Another plus - the size of the obit no longer depends on prominence or social standing - but there are those that make me flinch. One woman went to sit at God's side in order to help him - they didn't state what God's reaction was - extreme unease, I'm guessing.

My all-time favorite was a recent one - probably written by the deceasee himself. It started with this: "On February __, John Doe kicked the bucket". I'm not kidding. I just wish I had known him! He had probably read a few too many of these creative obits and was up to his gizzard with them....

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 Have you ever wondered why... people decorate their bathrooms with a seaside decor? For instance, our bathroom shower curtain has a pattern of seashells; the shelf over the toilet (or commode if that suits your sensibilities) holds an assortment of seashells, a couple of small shorebirds, etc. The artwork on the walls (what - you don't have artwork - what kind of bathroom is that) - includes 2 embossed prints of shells, a photo of the ocean and a reproduction of one my drawings - of a lighthouse. The colors are ocean shades of green/green-blue & lavender with a sand colored vanity.

So why do we use shore decor in the bathroom?  Is it the fact that - when there's a high wind - the water in the toilet bowl sloshes gently - like the tide coming in? Does the flush sound like a breaking wave? And - face it - sometimes the ocean smells bad........

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Speaking of Decor - let me tell you about our living room. I'm sure you've heard the term 'eclectic'? Ours is 'ecch-lectic'. A circular tour of our living room yields the following inventory: contemporary lamp on Craftsman style end table; traditional couch fronted by Craftsman style coffee table; 'Danish' modern end table topped by modern lamp; Danish chair fronted by antique (c. 1860) footstool; Danish chair; 'Catolog cheap' magazine table; Danish chair; pseudo-art deco TV stand topped by 'the gorilla in the living room' TV (CRT); genuine art deco cedar chest topped by ageless plants that usually need water.

There you have it. Oh - one more thing. Contemporary art in contemporary frames exist 'cheek by jowl' with traditional art in traditional frames. So - I'm available if you need an interior designer...

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Paul McCartney seems a decent chap and all - but when I read that in the divorce proceedings, he may lose a quarter if his Giga-million dollar assets - my question is - would he notice?...........

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

"Sony launches PlayStation 3 amid frenzy"

"NEW YORK (Reuters) - Thousands camped outside of stores on Friday to be among the first U.S. buyers of Sony Corp.'s new PlayStation 3 video game machine, but violence marred the debut when one man was shot outside a Connecticut store." 

This is actually a 'stand alone' item in terms of DUMB. It needs no comment here. Remember that this  misbegotten 'game' costs several hundred dollars.... words fail me......

 

 

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The Lemming Watch

Definition: Lemming

Any of various small short-tailed furry-footed rodents (as genera Lemmus and Dicrostonyx) of circumpolar distribution that are notable for the recurrent mass migrations of a European form (L. lemmus) which often continue into the sea where vast numbers are drowned.

In other words - if one does it - all do it! It's all about trendiness, folks - so this is where you'll find updates on the latest trends. Watch this column!

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Granite countertops are out! 'Engineered stone' is in! So rip those counters out - it's a dead-end trend.

But you can relax for awhile. You know those 'mall entrances' on all the new mini-mansions?

Lancaster Mall Entrance

Sure ya do - those spectacularly ugly arched entries that soar skyward? Well - they're still putting them on houses. (I won't even get into a discussion of the roof lines that look like a print-out from an EKG - & no - I didn't originate that line - I read it somewhere). They're still calling those houses  'transitional'. I haven't yet figured out what they're in transit from - or in transit to...

OK - let's hear it for the latest blatantly stupid trend. Salt. Yep - in a recent Newsweek TipSheet section - taste tests on salt were conducted - tongue in cheek, I'm sure. Turns out you can pay anywhere from about 75 cents for 26 oz. of ordinary table salt up to - are you ready for this - $17.95 for 16 oz. of Pink Himalaya Salt! Now - I don't want to put down the Himalayas (subtle pun there) - or the color pink - but how dumb is that? It presents a veritable saltmine of satire - a total collapse into the depths of dumbth. And to think I thought bottled water was stupid unless your water supply is entertaining an aquarium full of coliform. (At least Perrier bottles make good bud vases).

Ah - at last some trends I can live with! The color purple and any shade thereof is IN! Also - tunics are back bigtime. Those skinny runway models don't need butt covers - but in the world of real women? Oh - you bet!

I'm sure you're aware of those 'Barbie wannabe dolls' labeled Bratz. Have you really looked at them?? Our daughter-in-law calls them "Slutz". Mommies - what are you thinking? Do you really want your daughters to look like that? Barbie - with her disproportionate bazoom may not be the ultimate ideal but compared to - um - Bratz? Ole Barb is downright wholesome.

And that reminds me - at one point, Mattel decided to counter the - um - Bratz threat by creating California Girl Barbie. Sounds OK - but one day, walking through a toy department, I came to a screeching halt and did a double take! On the box were the words "Cali Girl Barbie"... need I say more? I wonder how long it took them to catch that?!