Get Your Mind off Wintertime

That's my dad (Bobby Lee Quasar) on pedal steel, playing with Manzanita Moon. They play better now than they did when I was a kid! Must be all of that practice. I'm pretty sure he's been playing with Michael Kane (on fiddle) for almost my whole life? Every dance, private party, outdoor shindig, county fair, or wedding in the 1980's in Sonoma County, it seemed like my dad would play with Michael Kane or some outfit like this, some of these same songs, and I was there, mooching root beer from somewhere and sitting on a fencepost, trying to find some other kids to play with, but usually talking with my dad's fans instead. They always said the same two things: "Your dad's amazing," and "You look just like him." (Unfortunately, they weren't talking about his looks when they said the first part.) All history aside, it's a nice set they do here. I'd hire them. :)

Avoiding Sex with Frenchmen: More Idioms!

The goat is happy because it doesn't see the cabbage there.
The cabbage is happy because the goat can't see it,
and it may live another day.

The cat is between the dog and the wolf.
The cat is not part of this idiom.
I just like to draw cats.

When trying to figure out how to illustrate knives flying low,
I thought they should cut something.
Now I see it has turned out a bit gruesome.

This Episode Brought to You by: The Mean Angry Shark Who Invaded the Summer Cottage That One Time

This is a print of a cottage that I found at a thrift store. I liked the ovular shape of it. And then I immediately thought something wanted to jump out of the water. Something hungry.

The Legend of the Giant Chicken

When my daughter was little, she used to watch "Dora the Explorer," and in Dora, there's this big red chicken that's Dora's friend, but Big Red Chicken is actually as big as a house.

 Knowing chickens as I do, I always thought that, in reality, if a chicken were as big as a house, that would be just about the most terrifying thing that I could imagine. So when I bought a landscape painting at a thrift store a few weeks ago, I knew exactly what I wanted to paint into it. I now share with you my greatest nightmare:

1990's Commercial for "The Facebook"*

I tried it myself! And you can, too. It's easy! (FYI: wishing me a "happy birthday" in a message is not the same as sending me this in a package.)

* Yes, I realize this is a hoax, but it's so clever. I love it.

Two People Who Make the Internet Better

I dropped the ball this month on my "blog of the month" award! I'm sorry. But I've been thinking about my rule of not giving it to anyone who is too popular. And I stand by it, because my whole purpose in the blog of the month is to popularize little known blogs. However, there are two blogs that are amazing and also amazingly popular, and I would just like to recognize them, here and now.

Maria Popova
The first is Brain Pickings. Maria Popova reads and reads and reads and reads, and then she processes this information, and she writes and writes and writes and writes. She just picks out the best, most relevant quotes from the books that she reads, and writes little essays about them. I wouldn't say she reviews them. She basically only writes about good books. A lot of the books she reads are really old. Most of the stuff she reads and writes about is somehow to related to the meaning of life. Her web site never fails to fascinate me. Today, she has an article up about Susan Sontag's essay, "Against Interpretation," which very much relates to one of my favorite themes, "What is art?"
Popova teams up with artists who make these beautiful illustrations,
which compliment her articles, like this one by Wendy McNaughton.
I would recommend signing up for Popova's weekly newsletter, and reading it. It's just lovely. It always makes me think about things in new ways. Art, life... everything.

Doug Muder
The second too popular blog (but amazing in every way blog) is The Weekly Sift by Doug Muder. Muder also reads and reads and reads and reads, and processes the information, and then he writes and writes and writes and writes. But Muder reads current events. It's basically a news blog. Muder takes the news of the past week and analyzes it. His slant is most definitely liberal, but even if you aren't liberal, I encourage you to give him a try. Sometimes I honestly don't know what to make of things going on, and then I read what he's written, and everything is much, much clearer. This doesn't sound like the greatest review, but I mean it to be. When I read the news I just feel like going and crawling into a hole somewhere and expiring of my own existential angst at the HORROR, but if I read it in the Weekly Sift, I feel more hopeful. Although, honestly, Muder doesn't really seem all that hopeful. Let's just say he puts things in perspective, one week at a time.
Muder often includes charts like this one, to help us understand the news.
Muder also has a "subscribe" button. 

Another Saturday Morning

Big Z did her first pet-sitting gig and got $80! (It paid $100 to watch three cats for two weeks, but I charged her $20 for transportation.) With her money, she has now purchased two fake banana slugs, which are sticky and gooey and realistic looking, and she keeps putting them places around the house and saying, "AH! A SLUG! HOW DID THAT GET THERE! YUCK!" Of course, once you've heard that gag once, it gets old. So, we kind of put up with this slug thing. Oh, that's really funny honey. I thought that was a slug, but it's not. Yeah. Really funny.

So, this morning, when Bad Assed Husband (BAH) got up and walked around and stepped on something squishy, he naturally thought it was a fake slug. Ha ha, very funny, he thought, and didn't even look down. After stepping on it a few times, he thought that the slug felt a little bit too squishy, and he looked down to see that he was actually stepping on a decapitated mouse, with its guts pouring out under the side of his foot.

The cats like to bite the heads off of mice and leave the bodies for later clean-up. They fight over who gets to bite the head off. The whole time, the mouse will be there, trying to get away, while one of them pins it onto the floor with one paw and fights the other cat with the other. Tigery generally wins the battle and bites off the head, but occasionally, she'll give it up to Bodkay.

Sweet kitties.

Bodkay usually loses the fight.

They fight over mouse heads, but they love each other.

The cat dreams in black and white.

This is Yao Ming, who fell asleep while eating:

Translation: The cat dreams in black and white.