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Dallas, Texas, United States

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Time to Pimp Da Radio Show Again

Well, I'm so over what happened at the Target yesterday. Now it's time to move on to something really fun and really cool imho.

Remember when I was part of the production team of RundgrenRadio and GroupieGear presenting An Evening with Kasim Sulton in Atlanta back in March? You don't? Okay, you've got a bye for now..but scroll down a couple of entries and you can get the idea.

Well - it's come full circle now and the DVD is to be released in a matter of DAYS. Days, people. Get your orders in NOW for the holidays, and by my calendar - that means AHORA!!!!! Check it out here: KasimStore

And tonight, girls, we'll have Kasim on da radio show at 8:30 pm ET. He's going to be a busy boy for the next month or so - so here's your chance to call and say "Happy Holidays" or "See ya at the ___ show" or ask that question that's been burning in you all these years.

Meanwhile - here's a quick taste....bon appetit!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Survey Says: F U

Listen up, you little cretin. It was effin' cold as hell today and though the fact that I wasn't dressed appropriately for the blue effin' norther that came to Dallas today isn't your fault - the fact that you blatantly made eye contact with me this afternoon in Target's ridiculously full parking lot - as if to say "You want my space? Here, follow me!" - it IS your fault that you effin' sat in your car for 4 minutes while I simmered and stewed. Four minutes! I counted! What the fuck were you doing in there? Balancing your checkbook? Programming your GPS? Getting your funzies from the lingerie section of the Sears catalog???? I waited and waited those long 4 minutes until I figured you were one of those who don't maintain your vehicle and couldn't start that piece of shit on wheels, gave up and pulled forward justenough to get 2 car-lengths beyond your space when you decided to put your car in reverse to go about your fa-la-la-la merry way - giving the redneck in the Dodge Ram truck who had just pulled into the lot a free ride into your recently vacated space. It took me another 20 minutes - 20 MINUTES - to find another space. Thanks for the holiday FUCKING you gave me. You're the reason they created the phrase "bah humbug" you TOOL.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Need Some Dessert With That Turkey Coma?

Well, TurkeyDay came and went. The bird I enjoyed was loaded with sleepy stuff - and I had the most amazing nap Thursday afternoon. Matter of fact, my nap went on for hours and hours, until I woke up in a darkened house and screwed up my body clock for the next couple of days.

Turkey coma = good!

It occurred to me that I haven't gushed about Kasim in awhile. Well, not really. But lately, there's been a flurry of talk about his new DVD from his Atlanta show last spring that RundgrenRadio and GroupieGear presented. The DVD should be just about finished and from what I've seen so far, it's going to be a very nice addition to any Kasim fan's collection (or Todd Rundgren fan's for that matter).

And speaking of Kasim, check out this video from 1982, from his adorable days. Not that he's not adorable still, mind you...oh whatever. Just watch.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


No, really, seriously. Caption this picture. It's a guy, btw.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Too Soon For NYE Plans, Yo?

You had to know it was coming. This whole RundgrenRadio thang is like an addiction that keeps on itchin' in da brain, baby.
Doug & I just couldn't stop at doing the Birthday Bash back at Labor Day. It's a frickin' freight train and the next stop will be a semi-private party hosted by RundgrenRadio in Philadelphia on New Year's Eve. And yeah, Todd & Company will be in da house!
We're gonna have a bunch of fun stuff - we don't half-ass these things. Gotta keep it special and awesome! There'll be a free custom etched champagne flute for everyone and a commemorative event tshirt and some fantabulous custom event martini shakers for purchase, if you want. And of course, Todd Rundgren and his band will take the stage in time to ring in 2009 with some good old-fashioned rock-n-roll from his new cd, Arena.
Oh and to top it all off we'll be having a wedding before the band takes the stage. Ain't that the coolest? Two fans who went to Toddstock last June want to make it legal in front of their Toddfamily. I'm giddy and twitching with glee! And the good part about being involved with this wedding is no butt-bow'd bridesmaid dress! Me likey.
EDIT: Kasim Sulton will be singing a love song to the bride & groom. Can ya handle that???? Oh wait - Prairie Prince will be donning the Pope outfit. Not tellin' what role he'll play...just yet.
So - just in case you want to be a part of this gala and will be in the Philadelphia area at New Year's....check out our website here. Would love to have y'all join us!
So - THAT'S what I've been up to lately. Sorry for the no-posting thing for awhile. If L will send me her photos from our cruise, I might be able to do another posting pretty soon about our exploits on the high seas. Hint, L!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Pick A Card, Any Card

Ugh. What a choice we've got this time around. In my voting adult life, I've never felt like I was given the ole "which one is the lesser of two evils" choice as I am right cheer in 2008. But of course, I made my choice when I early-voted two weeks ago.

The only thing to do now is sit back and watch the feathers fly.

Or not. Tuesday at 8:30 ET, join us on RundgrenRadio.com for something way more interesting than watching the pundits pund, or whatever they do. They're not going to give you anything useful until the wee hours anyway.

On the show Tuesday, we'll revisit Todd Rundgren songs that have mirrored Todd's political punding (have I invented a new word?) over the years. So mute that telly (you can watch if you must) and have some fun on Election Night.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Groovin' With The Gays

Hey, where ya been? Oh yeah, I'M the one who's been M.I.A.

I've been busy, my little chitlins. Busy, I tells ya! How do I know I've been busy?

1. Dishes piled up in the sink because the dishwasher needs to be emptied.
2. You should see my credit card bill. Oy vey.

No, I'm not all Todd, all the time. Sometimes, I'm not even some Todd, some of the time. Okay, I've got a Todd story awaiting a blog entry. Don't roll your eyes, they might stick like that.

Thursday night, I headed out to see a singer/songwriter I've come to love for the past few years - Jason Mraz. Have you given this guy a good listen? Not only does he have an unbelievable tenor thang going on, but he's one of the most gifted wordsmiths in music today. And he's really cute for a geek.

Yeah, you've heard of him. He had a hit a few years ago with The Remedy. ("Well, if you've gots the poison, I've gots the remedy...") Now he's got a full-blown monster on radio with his newest single "I'm Yours." Seeeeeeeee, I knew you'd know who I'm tawkin' about.

He played to a packed house Thursday night and I was fortunate to get me a third row perch, albeit near the bass speakers, but it was a good pain to carry for a couple of days afterwards.

Lemme tell you about Jason's fan base. I expected mostly 20-somethings, females, upper-middle, yuppie types. That's what I found. Mostly. But there were folks there of every make and model known to Man. I saw pre-pubescent girls, middle-aged couples, some goth freaks (or were those Halloween costumes?), several scruffy-looking musician types who looked like they'd kill to get their songs on Grey's Anatomy, and an entire row of "the gays" behind me.

Get off my case. They called themselves that when they apologized for singing every song at the top of their lungs into my ears. I could barely hear them over the bass, but it went something like this:

"Honeeeeeeeeeey, you should know bettah than to sit near the gays if you don't want a real show!"

Fine by me - that meant I could get my own groove on in an upright fashion and not piss anyone off behind me when Jason busted out with an oldie, but oh-so-goodie "Build Me Up, Buttercup."

Love those gays. I thought one of them was going to ask me to Carolina Shag with them for awhile, but they were paired up kinda cozy by then. Sigh.

Anyway - chalk this show up as a winner. Even if you're not a fan beforehand, you will be, my friend. You will be.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bigfoot Gets A Pedicure

The point of a woman going to a spa or a salon is to get a little pampering, a chance to treat one's self, to have an "I'm worth it" moment.

Or so I thought until last Saturday when I went to grab that L'Oreal moment for myself.

I went for a mani/pedi combo package. Yes, the deluxe package, please.

The bubbling foot spa, the massaging lay-z-boy chair, the lotions and potions....I wanted it all. I leaned back, let the shiatsu take effect, turned on my ipod, closed my eyes and let the flurry of Vietnamese bees do their thang to my fingers and toezies.

It was heaven and my esteem was blooming like ragweed in the fall. I felt indulged and a peaceful smile came across my face.

At this point, I felt a tap on my arm. One of the bees wanted to ask me a question. I took the earbuds from one ear and gave her a look that said "Why, yes, I'll take a glass of wine."

Vietnamese Bee: "You want eyebrow waxing?"

CruiserMel: "Sure. I'm worth it." (figuring I'd make her happy and put an additional $10 in her pocket to send home to her 100 year old great-grandmother.)

Vietnamese Bee: "You get lip waxed, too." (not in a question form either)

CruiserMel: "Uh, no thanks." (Did that once. Hurt like hell.)

Vietnamese Bee: "You get lip wax."

CruiserMel: "No. Thank you."

She got one of those looks on her face, as if to say "Suit yourself. Look like a monster for all I care."

I closed my eyes and went back to my music.

Then the "L'Oreal moment" passed. What does she see that I don't in my 10x magnifying mirror? Mother of God, am I growing a beard?

What will I say if the guys in ZZ Top want me to audition for them?

Kids will mistake me for Santa at the mall!

What if they do a remake of The Addams Family and want me to be in it?

So much for "I'm worth it." I'm apparently Sasquatch. But I've got rockin' toes. Sorry Great-Grandmama.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Caption This Pic ...

... because I seriously have no words.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Assistance Please?

Hey, you beautiful reader(s) you. I am working on doing polls over at another blog and I need your assistance. See that little poll in the upper right corner? Can you please vote so I can see how this thing works? Won't take ya a second. Meanwhile, bear with me with these new changes.

Oh and Happy Monday to ya!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Da Blog Had A Facelift...Or Was It Just Botox?

First, Blogger forced us to change. I didn't groove on it at first, but it's grown on me and now that I finally got the hang of all of those changes, they've gone and made this whole thing more simple to manage.

My mistake? I believed them when they said I could do all this cool stuff to my little corner of cyberspace.

Don't get me wrong - it is easier. Well, it looks easier. And perhaps it will be, but I'm a creature of routine and this thing has scraped my last nerve across an electrified barbed-wire fence with an exposed canine root and I'm pissed.

I want my RundgrenRadio playah back. I also want my music playlist thingy back. There's prolly other stuff missing, too, but I'm too cross-eyed to figure it out anymore; not tonight. I guess I'll be spending some quality time with da blog over the next few days to get it back to how I liked it.

Meanwhile - anyone else upgraded? What do ya think?

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Pretty Good Week Indeed

Hiya, my little chitlins! How's it hangin'? Really? Do tell! And the kiddies? How's the job going?

Oh wait - you're here to hear about CruiserWorld. My bad.

Life in CruiserWorld has been pretty groovy, baby.

Last week, we had two outstanding (if I may say so myself) RundgrenRadio.com shows. Tuesday, I hosted Denny Laine, who founded "The Moody Blues" and co-founded with Sir Paul McCartney "Wings." I reckon that will be as close to interviewing a Beatle that I'll ever get. Lemme tell ya, I was pretty nervous, but he was so gracious and mellow that I forgot all about my butterflies about a minute into the show. Then on Wednesday, we hosted our main man TODD RUNDGREN for an hour and a half! We've had him on before, but this was extra special as he was excited to talk about his new CD coming out - TOMORROW.

Let's see what else has been going on... oh yeah, I'm working myself out of a job and therefore taking some days off here and there to get things done. Important things like cleaning house, doctor's appointments, auto maintenance, and oh yeah - going to the State Fair of Texas.

If you recall, the 3 weeks of The State Fair of Texas are some of my favorite days of the year. I never liked the Fair as a child - it was dirty and stinky and when you're closer to the ground, it's most unpleasant. But now I'm tall (okay, taller than back then) and it's really cool. I'm not so much into the rides, though I did my annual spin on The Love Bugs ride, but it's the people-watching that's so fun. You see everything! Young, old, fat, thin, attractive and then there are the people who put the U in UGLY. And those are the visitors! Oh my.

I ate my self-required two Fletcher's corny dogs, drank a beer and had a homemade root beer. I'm a traditionalist. I'm not into the new best thing - usually covered in a thick layer of fried. (corny dogs excepted) They've got fried EVERYTHING. They've got fried oreos, fried pickles, fried ice cream, fried latte, fried cookie dough, fried olive balls (gotta admit, this one almost made it onto my "gotta try" list), fried corn, etc. Hmm, I just made myself hungry, but I digress.

This year's new food thang just makes my arteries harden as I type this: chicken fried bacon. You may ask yourself, isn't all bacon fried? Yes, it is. But this is CHICKEN fried. It doesn't involve chicken, but it does mean that it's been batter-dipped and then fried. Double death. Makes me shiver. I got a gander of it and it wasn't all that disgusting, but for the price and the risk, I'll stick with my corny dogs, thankyouverymuch.

I caught the Dancing Dogs show, which was cute and it was at a time that I needed to rest my bones for a few. As I watched these pooches doing rhythmic moves to Michael Jackson, I thought of my own little CruiserDog who can do all of one trick - and that's only so he can get a cookie. These little guys WORK for a living. I just glared at CruiserDog and he rolled over to reveal his privates and let out a fart. That's my boy.

After the dog show, I mosied (that's what we do in Texas) over to the petting zoo - one of the cutest things every year. They had goats, camels, donkeys, miniature horses, and all sorts of barnyard beings. As usual, the cutest of the cute award goes to those little pink piglets. I tried to force one into my purse, but they frown on that. And of course, one look at the size of his mother, I thought better of it.

Oh oh oh - there are several bands that play around the fairgrounds, one of which really caught my ear. I'd heard of them before and poo-poo'd the whole idea, but now that I've heard them, I'll be catching their shows in rotation with my other local acts. Stay with me - they are Celtic Rock. I know, I know. It probably draws a full army of dorks, but once you've seen this one guy rawk an electronic bagpipe in a KILT, you'll change your mind. Check 'em out: The Killdares.

Anyhoo - here are a few pictures taken last Friday on opening day. If you're in the north Texas area, I highly recommend hitting the State Fair. Afterall, it is the GREAT State Fair of Texas.

And while I'm thinking about it, fellow blogspot bloggers - I am helping someone get started on their own blog. I've found that the powers that be with blogspot have changed the template process. Has anyone with an establised blog tried to upgrade to a new template? I'm thinking about it, but what if I lose some stuff in the transition? Any advice?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Countdown to Todd Rundgren's "ARENA"

One of my favorite blogs to read is running a contest to win an autographed copy of Todd Rundgren's soon-to-be-released cd "Arena". It's free. It's easy. Go read his blog, give him your 5 favorite Todd songs (it's okay if you only know a few, you can borrow a song or two from previous entries in the comment section - but shame on you, you can do better than that!) and you will go into the hopper for the drawing.

And just so you know - if you don't win the autographed copy - you can buy your copy at your favorite music outlet beginning Tuesday, September 30th! You're gonna love it. Guaranteed!

Friday, September 05, 2008

RundgrenRadio Rocks Vegas

RundgrenRadio.com turned one last weekend. It's hard to believe we're still going strong, but we had some 60 rockin' guests over the course of 12 months - not bad when we only provide a bag of Doritos and flat ginger ale for our guests.

In celebration of our success, we threw what will probably become an annual Birthday Bash for 100 lucky listeners in Vegas. VEGAS. You guys know I dig me some casino action - and mix that with great friends and CruiserMel is in bliss.

But it didn't stop there...mix in an all-star concert tribute to the Sgt Pepper album, a Tubes concert, and top that with the biggest cherry of 'em all - Todd - and you've got the makings of an audio orgasm.

Here's how it went down (I hope you have time):

Friday, Day One: Put my happy butt on a plane westward bound. A couple of cocktails later, I'm in Vegas, meeting up with a couple of Toddheads at baggage claim, riding the shuttle bus past all my fave haunts and checking in at the Golden Nugget on Fremont Street, where RundgrenRadio's home base would be for the next 72 hours. Before long, there I was in the middle of a pack of Toddheads, bubbling with excitement and buzzing with cocktails. (This would be the start of many, but of course.)

Before long, we were whorin' up and catching a chartered bus for a drive to the Texas Station hotel (which kinda felt like it was as far as Texas) for the Sgt Pepper show, "It Was 40 Years Ago Today" - starring our Todd Rundgren, Christopher Cross, Denny Laine (Moody Blues, Paul McCartney & Wings), Lou Gramm (Foreigner), Bo Bice (wtf?), Greg Hawkes (The Cars), Jesse Gress, Prairie Prince, and ohhh, I know I'm forgetting some, but you get the idea. I'm not what you'd call a big Beatles fan, but that music is kinda in everyone's hard wiring and it was a fun show. Todd showed alot of personality and silliness with his "For the Benefit of Mr. Kite," a high point for me - picture Todd with fake eyebrows and mustache a la Groucho Marx and a top hat. Funny.

When the show was over, some of us went to the meet & greet and were mingling with the entire band and crew when I spotted Denny Laine and thought he'd make an excellent guest on the radio show - so I pressed my boobs together a little and approached. Turns out I didn't even need to do that as he was one helluva charming British fellow who was flattered and humble to be asked and he accepted right away. While I was visiting with him, the weirdest thing happened. The room went silent as Bo Bice (Mr. American Idol) burst out of the dressing room area and began screaming at the top of his lungs that we had broken into his dressing room and stolen his "shit, you goddamned assholes" (among other questionable phrases for a role model in his first 7 minutes of fame to be spouting). His concert poster he'd had signed by everyone was missing. He made a grown woman cry. Most of us were Todd fans - why would we want his stupid poster? Geez. Perhaps you should look at your redneck fans, Bo. Oh yeah - there were only like 3 of those there, jerk. When he was done ranting, he turned to go back in his dressing room and the door had locked him out. Serves you right.

Needless to say, the mood was a bit weird for a bit after that. So - we all piled into our bus and headed to the Palms, to a restaurant called Simon for an after party to end all after parties, hosted by Todd's merch gal, Cathy. It was incredible. Super chic decor, super chic food and bevs, and of course - super chic guests - US. The place is so cool that their signature dessert is an enormous ball of cotton candy, for grownups. Yup - Todd dug it.
After a few hours and martinis later, we all sloshed back to our hotel and CruiserMel hit a blackjack table at 4:00 am. Martinis and fatigue do not make a good combo when approaching the tables in Vegas, so I lost some amount of money, of which I'm uncertain. Somehow I found my room I shared with Sheri and floated to sleep, only to awaken 4 hours later to start it all over again. It's Vegas, baby - ain't no sleepin' going on in this town!

Saturday, Day Two: RundgrenRadio's Doug and I headed to some guy's house to watch a rough cut of the HDDVD made at the RR sponsored Kasim Sulton show in Atlanta back in March. It sounded unbelievable and Kasim looks like he could jump off the screen and into your lap. A good thing, if you're a girl. Notsomuch if you're a guy.

Then it was back to the hotel to whore-up for another concert night...this time The Tubes were playing at the Santa Fe Station hotel (felt like a drive to Santa Fe to get there - geez, this town is big!). Todd's drummer, Prairie was and still is a member of the Tubes, Todd had produced a couple of Tubes records in the 80's and Todd's wife, Michele, had been a dancer with The Tubes at that same time, so we felt we had to check it out. It was worth the trip as the show was more fun than I could have imagined - the singer, Fee Waybill, is one zany dude - check out this costume he wore for "White Punks On Dope". It was fun to turn around and see Todd in the audience and Michele hopped on stage a couple of times to get her groove on. When they played "Talk To Ya Later" I was dancing so hard, I almost fell off my shoes. It appeared all was well. Everyone was high on the show they'd just seen and the band came out to sign autographs. Doug put me on a mission to see if we could get Fee on the radio show. Once again, I pressed my boobs together, batted my lashes and went in for the kill via flattery. (History lesson: Fee didn't particularly like it when Todd produced his band - okay, then why did Todd produce TWO records, huh?) I knew it might be a tough "get" but a few cocktails and I'm fearless. He was thrilled I liked the show and I even got a wink, so I moved in a little closer and told him all about RR as he listened intently. Then WABBO! He pulled even closer to me (now you're kinda making me uncomfortable, Fee) and said: "I have nothing positive to say about that man. He ruined my career. I don't want to hear about your little show. Not until there's a TubesRadio.com." Say WHAT? He said no? Aw come on, please? Nuffin. Oh well, he did let me get a photo with him. One I plan to draw devil horns and wicked eyebrows on when I can figure out photoshop. That makes for two assholes in one weekend. Divas.

After the show, a few of us went to this jammin' penthouse apartment where my friend Steve was staying and lemme tell ya - I can see why Britney likes Vegas so much. What a view! Whoever owned this place was one lucky high-roller. Phuck!
Two guys brought guitars and we had a wonderful singalong of Todd songs which eventually degraded into replacing the word "love" in songs to "Doug". Doug is the Drug. All You Need is Doug. Doug is the Answer. On and on until someone sang the J. Geils classic Doug Stinks, and pretty much the party petered out. Sleep log: 4 hours.

Sunday, Day Three: This is the big day. The ACTUAL birthday bash day. The day that Doug, Darnelle and Steve and I had worked so hard on was finally here. And I had the hangover from hell. And nerves on top of that. Bad combo.
I hit the pool area where we hung out with some Toddheads, Prairie, ML, Jesse, and oh geez, I'm supposed to remember who all was there? I was hungover, remember? I sweated out my alcohol stash until I could take no more and then split away from the fray over to Binion's where I kicked serious tail at blackjack and made a mental note to gamble fairly sober from now on.

Soon it was time to get ready and go over to our venue and start the party. OMG, we done good on this one. The place was fabu! We had beautiful food brought in (I heard it tasted good), the drinks were flowing, we had 2 awesome cakes from the bakery of Cher and Celine Dion, we were amongst about 100 great friends, and the place was electric with excitement - both in front of house and backstage. The band was pumped, which was flattering. We heard Todd say backstage: wow, this is a REAL gig. Duh. We don't half-ass this shit. It's our birthday!
Uh-oh, look who got their lip on....
OMG, he came out into the audience to play in one song...seriously, at one point I thought he was going to poke my eye out with the head of his guitar. Talk about up close and personal!
Quite possibly my favorite picture I've ever taken of Mr. Rundgren. Sheer luck that I caught that photo.
That's supposed to be one of Todd's guitar picks. Clever, huh?
Very cool - the bakery put the promo poster for Todd's new album "Arena" on the cake (coming out September 30, btw - check out Amazon for pre-sale - JUST DO IT! NOW!).

Todd kinda likes cake apparently. And uses it for a facial moisturizer. Hey, if I can rock as hard as he does when I turn 60, I'll start spreading icing on my face!

Now, I've seen a Todd show or fifty over the years, but this one felt special. I parked my hiney on the first row (it's GOOD to be queen - and to have a reserved table) and was so bowled over that I stopped taking photos. I wasn't going to see this thing come to fruition through the lens of a camera. Not this time. So, I've stolen a few pics from friends who were there. Thanks, btw.

Jesse, Prairie, Todd, and Rachel had saved their best performance for us. Many thanks, guys!

On, and before I forget, Doug & I were given Olympic medals for our contributions to RundgrenRadio. Gold. Well - gold colored. It was cute and was very thoughtful. I'll cherish it forever. Right next to my "silver" medal for swimming at the country club 4th of July event when I was 6.

And just as quick as it came, it was over. I was on cloud #9 or maybe even #10. So was the photographer of this next picture.
...until that alarm clock went off after only 4 hours of sleep. And I had no voice. And I had to board a plane back to reality.

Cheers, RundgrenRadio! Same time, next year? (I think I've pimped RR enough in this entry - now it's your turn - go click on it and listen to some good stuff. Ya hear?)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I Hated That Picture Yesterday...

...so I had to take a couple of pictures of CruiserDog, fresh from getting his hair done. Isn't this better than that rodent pic?

This was CruiserDog taking a well-deserved nap. The beauty parlor is so taxing. It's hard to be this handsome.

This is the intense stare my sandwich got once he woke up. He seems to forget that he always gets the last bite, not the first.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Where's A Pied Piper When You Need One?

A month or two ago, a friend of mine had an up-close-and-personal encounter in my backyard during the day with a mother possum (and her babies - aw...how ugly) near some bushes that line my patio. I never saw "momma" or her little ones and figure they moved on to greener pastures, or at least next door. And that was good. Amen.
Fast-forward to yesterday afternoon...I'm chatting away on the phone and something grabbed my attention on the patio, poking it's little furry nose through a latticed brick wall that is between my patio and aforementioned bushes.
"It's a little bunny!", I exclaimed. No wait - aw for the love of Todd, it's a goddamn mouse. Phuckity phuck.
I've hardly had any bugs in this house that I bought 6 years ago (good thing!) and now I have a frickin' mouse. Gotta call some guy with a giant fiberglass termite on his car, I guess. It's not like I didn't blow a wad of cash on my trips this summer. It's only money, right?
I continued with my convo when suddenly cute little mouse steps through the hole in the brick wall and scampers towards my sliding glass door.
Oh hell no - that ain't no mouse - it's a RAT!
Needless to say, CruiserDog is now pottying in the front yard thankyouverymuch, until "Ben" is properly evicted.
I called today to get someone out right away and to my complete gross-out surprise, I was told rats travel in at least pairs and they can birth 10 micies (who will "do it" with eachother) every 45 days and so on and so on and they tell two friends and they tell two friends.... you get the picture.
I pondered selling the house briefly, but was told that my new superhero Joe (who surely drives a car with a gianormous fiberglass rodent on it's roof - which will thrill the neighbors) will be right out to put out a "bait station" which cannot hurt, nor even attract CruiserDog, but will make Ben and his family to have an upset stomach, not want to take it to the fam, go under someone's woodpile (of which I don't have - heh) and depart this world. (No worries, I asked about secondary death and this place is super-green and even if a neighbor's cat or dog were to find ex-Ben, they would not be made ill. I'm nothing if not a responsible pet lover.)
And I sit here wondering how many nights I took CruiserDog in the back yard barefooted and unarmed. My skin crawls as I type that sentence. There's only one word that comes to mind: eeewwwwwwwwwww.
Ratatouille anyone?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Being Platinum Has It's Privileges

Ahoy, mateys! Yes, CruiserMel has finally grabbed an opportunity to continue the rep of CruiserDiety. I was beginning to wonder why I was calling myself CruiserMel at all, frankly, since it had been a year (or was it more?) since I had hit the high seas. But as you know, my year's been wacky what with my madre's passing and all that goes with that, as well as some other shit that you needn't worry your warped little mind about, you four folks who actually read this lame blog.

It all started out with a lone, but oh so fun drive to Houston on Saturday. I plugged in my iPod to the AUX plug of the CruiserCar and shuffled my way through 4 hours of my favorite tunes, slogged through Houston's God-awful traffic (on a Saturday?), found my hotel and asked the front desk idiot where I could get some fresh seafood for dinner. (I'd been Jonesin' all day...) She pointed me to THE most touristy and overcrowded area of Houston (Kemah, actually) wherein I got mired in yet another hour of traffic before I could give up, turn around and hit a hamburger drive-through. I supposed I could've chosen the fish sandwich, but since it was probably processed in June somewhere in Arizona, I elected to go traditional and get a burger and headed to my hotel. *sigh* I think I talked on the phone a couple of hours and watched some Olympic action til I passed out.

Sunday morning was bright and shiny and I was on my way to the pier in Galveston, a mere 20 minutes away! There she was - the Conquest. My dear old friend who I've sailed upon 3 or 4 times prior, and she was looking perdy good with her red, white, and blue funnel towering over the city. I parked the car and waited in the heat for the shuttle bus to take me the 8 blocks to the ship, but punted that waiting idea to the curb when it looked like I would sooner melt into the pavement than get on a bus in the next hour. So I schlepped it. Yes, I ain't no pansy-assed little girl - I am woman - and I am pissy - so get me on that air-conditioned ship, dammit!

It didn't take me long to get those cruise muscles working again - first, dump my stuff in my cabin, then grab some of their great pizza on deck, boat drill (ugh), and then sailawaytime with a drink in my hand!!!! Goodbye Galveston! Goodbye reality!

I won't bore you with the minute details of each day, but suffice to say that here was my usual M.O.:

Awaken around noon.
Watch telly until 1:00 while hydrating from previous night's activities.
Shower and dress.
Emerge from room, pasty and pale around 3:00.
Go to Lido deck for nourishment and maybe a little sunshine. (Vitamin D, ya know.)
Hit casino from 5 - 7.
Dress for dinner.
Hit casino from 7:20 until 8:15 dinner.
Trudge through dinner with weird people who were assigned to my table. More later.
Hit casino from 10:00 until 3 or 4 a.m.
Cavort, if the opportunity presents itself. heh
Pass out.

Once, I went on a cruise where I swear, we spent every living moment in the casino, with a plan to get ourselves completely sunburned on the final day of the cruise so we'd look like we'd been on vacation. Naturally, that last day - rain. Lots and lots of rain. So - when I went back to work, my boss joked "Spend the whole cruise in the casino, Mel?" SOOOO - that's why I made sure to spend at least a few minutes in the sun each day on this one. No burn, but I wouldn't say I look like the vampire I truly am.

About my dinner partners.... I love assigned seating for dinner, particularly when I'm travelling alone, which I did on this particular cruise. When you're assigned to a table, you get to know the 7 or 8 others dining with you over the course of the week and I've made some very good friends this way. I still exchange Christmas cards with a couple I met back in 1992 to this day!

The first night, only 2 of us showed up for dinner. Myself and a man 2-plus decades my senior. He was nice enough I guess. I remembered his name because of a famous guitar player - B.B. He was from Arizona or California or something out that way. (Because he was clearly not going to be of romantic interest to me, I kinda zoned out while he talked a bit.) He seemed to be fairly hip for someone his age - using terms like "been there, done that" and "dude," albeit it wouldn't fly on BET or MTV nowadays, but he was trying. We had a nice dinner and then, natch, I headed to the casino to get my ass handed to me on a platter (nicely decorated with the Carnival logo). But enough of that.

The next night, my gentleman dining partner showed up, in a nice suit and a ... wait for it ... toupee to end all toupees! His real hair was grey on the sides but obviously his toupee-maker didn't get that message and the lid on his head was black as night! Ummm, kay. Mentally, I gave him a pass, thinking that the lighting in the cabins isn't so great, so it was possible that I had too much makeup on - and I didn't want to call the kettle...well, you know. I had one question about B.B., but didn't have the cahoonas to ask, so I'll just post it here and hopefully I'll feel better. B.B., if you don't call yourself a complainer, why do you always complain about everything and send every entree back (after eating 1/2) to order another one? Just askin.

There were 4 ladies who joined us that night! Yay - I don't have to sit here making convo with grandpa all alone anymore! They were a woman (about 70?), her daughter, and her daughter's daughters (17 and 19). They were lovely women from near Dallas, so we had some things in common.

Until.......they all ordered Caesar salads. Every night. Did I mention these were lovely women? Don't lady-like manners usually go with the term "lovely women?" Let me tell you - these ladies would sit there prim and polite, hands in repose in their laps until the exact moment they must've had some silent starter gun go off in their heads and they grabbed their forks like a joy stick, poked into the poor lettuce and hacked away with ferocity until there was little left but minced greenery. The din of the silverware clacking against the dish was deafening. I swear, I heard the Eagles singing in my head "They stabbed it with their steely knives, but they could not kill the beast." Swear! Every night without fail they would mince their salads into a puree before ever taking a bite. That song was the only thing that would throw a bit of humor into my thoughts which kept me from buying a copy of an etiquette book and forcing them to read it before each dinner. It was gross and funny all at the same time. Can you tell this sorta soured my original thoughts about these ladies. Uh - yeah.
I spent quite alot of time just gazing at the sea between naps, eating and blackjack. I would've gazed at the people, but if you'd seen them, you'd swear off all eating for life. You've heard of Doctors Without Borders? This was People Without Mirrors! Do they really make bathing suits in size 46? Some men had bigger back boobs than my front boobs. And let's talk about back hair, shall we? Somebody give me a barf-bag. One guy (or maybe he was a bear) got in the pool and he started to friggin' shed and scared a little girl. Uncool, dood. And there should be a law against wearing bikinis unless you look like a supermodel. I mean it. If you've got a jiggle - and that means just about anyone over 30 - I've got one word for you: cover that shit the fuck up! Okay that was six words. Tough.
I didn't get off the ship but once - Cozumel - but only to go to my favorite dive for some fabulous guac and a bottle of Mexican beer. Here's a question that floated into my brain as I was wandering through some stores: How come they speak perfect English in Mexico to us tourists, yet in Texas, they claim "No hablo"????? Huh???
Get a load of the color of this water! Does that color actually exist in Nature?

Here are some pics I took of the cute little towel animals my steward (Arjawa) left on my bed each night. They were a nice substitute for my precious CruiserDog - well, for a week. Towel animals are one of the little niceties about cruising. I know, it's corny. I don't care. Thwpt.

I'm a card-carrying platinum Carnival-holic, which means I've been on more cruises with Carnival than the Captain, which gets me some special privileges, some of which are pretty cool. After schlepping my luggage eight blocks and presenting my sweaty self to the pier - I got to bypass 2500 others waiting in line to get to the A/C. This was good. I also got special treatment by the giftshop clerks, barkeeps, and waiters when my sail & sign card (yes, it was platinum) was presented. This was good. There was a special cocktail party for previous cruisers and a special wink to the platinum cruisers, of which there were only 12 on board. Two nights I was surprised by beautiful plates of canapes and petit fours. I felt like I needed to invite company over for cocktails when these beauts showed up at my door. Check this out - pretty, huh?

Though I did alot of praying in the casino, there were times I prayed to be 19 years old and cute again. Here is just one example of the hundreds of specimens between 18 and 22 available on board. Girls - if you want one of these, go cruising the week before school starts. These guys outnumbered the girls 3 to 1. Oh. My. God. I'm feeling perverted just typing this.

All too soon, the week was over and I had a bartab that exceeded most of my past cruise tabs now that Todd has taught me to enjoy Martinis at $10 a pop. Yikes. But I was properly vacationed and now I am back to reality, working my way towards my next cruise. Ain't life grand?

Friday, August 08, 2008

Toddtopia Texas Style, The Next Chapter

I promised you kids a Part Deux to my Adventures in Toddtopia, Texas Style, didn't I? Easier said than done, now that almost three weeks has passed, but I'll give it the ole college try...

When we last left our heroes, Doug & CruiserMel were heading back to Dallas from a fantastic night in Austin seeing Todd Rundgren & his merry band (literally). We busied ourselves by brainstorming about how to best commemorate the upcoming one year anniversary of RundgrenRadio and oh shit, I can't remember.

We got home in time to freshen up before heading out to the House of Blues to meet up with more fans for dinner before the show. It was fun, once again, to meet up with like minds and to break bread over gumbo and cocktails for awhile.

Then it was time for the show. I don't know how many of you have been to the Dallas HOB, but it's a jewel! Very roomy and not a bad seat (or standing place) in the house.

I staked my claim down front on Rachel's side of the stage. I'm not sure why - I mean, yes, I usually take up residency on that side of the stage because Kasim's usually there, but I'm not married to that idea when Rachel's holding up the bass end of the show. But she's fascinating to watch! She's a tiny little pixie and she's just beautiful (according to the men in the crowd), but what's so exciting is the poise and ease she shows while hitting these booming basslines with panache while still looking great. Girl power squared.

A few songs into the set, Todd was warmed up and doing his signature spins and scissor kicks. Not friggin bad for 60, which is now the new 30 in his case. Can I get an amen?!?!?

It was the final chord flourish and Todd spun around to stage right and down he went into the audience. Yessir, he fell 6 feet to the floor and onto a barricade of sorts, while spinning with his guitar. And btw, the guitar sounded just fine. There was some commotion, Jesse Gress pulled him up onto the stage, then some "adjustment" done, and Todd approached the mic with an announcement that it's true - they are made of steel.

That fall seemed to give him incentive to push himself to the limit and Todd did not disappoint for a second at the Dallas show. Great fun - good stories - great licks - and an even finer honed body of new music thrilled the crowd.

Yup, that's Mr. RundgrenRadio himself, gettin his hug on with Todd's wife. Yeah, she looks like she minds. Uh huh. *wink*

Not to be outdone, CruiserMel got some snuggle on with the Missus. Take that, Dougie!

Oh yeah, I'd started with single malt scotch that day. So now I know what I look like when I'm a little lit. Niiiiice. Ugh.

Anywhooooo, moving on....once again, Pippi and I started the "raise the roof" dance move during "Mountaintop" - sure to become the next sports anthem at your favorite NFL games - and I was thrilled to turn around at one point to find most, if not all, fans raising the roof in unison. (If this will be my claim to fame, there are worse things to be famous for, right?)

All too soon, the show was over. So wrong. So wrong. I could watch this guy perform every night - same songs even - and I would be thrilled each and every time. I debated going to Houston the next day for his show, but passed on it. Now I regret that decision as it would be a matter of weeks (over a month, Todd dammit!) before I would get a chance to see Mr. Rundgren again. Wahhhh.

At the end of this month - yup, here CruiserMel goes again - I'm headed to Vegas to see Todd front the "It Was 40 Years Ago Today" tour - a Sgt. Pepper all-star show. Todd? Beatles? What could possibly make that better? Oh yeah - VEGAS, baby!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

My Favorite Restaurant

I always knew I loved their food. Now I know I love their attitude.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Adventure in Toddtopia, Texas Style

I promised you guys a recap of my Todd in Texas / Birthday weekend several days ago and I plan on making good on my promise. So, without further ado, I give you my Adventure in Toddtopia, Texas style.

Lil bro Doug flew all the way from Alabama (and boy, were his arms tired, ha ha) Saturday morning. I picked him up at the aeropuerto in the CruiserCar and we high-tailed it the 3 1/2 hour drive to Austin. Along the way we stopped for colaches in a town called West. The Czechs pronounce that like this: ko-lah-chees. Apparently, in Alabama, they call them ko-laaks. Woops, there go my eyeballs rolling back in their sockets. Boys. Tsk.

We finally got to Austin, threw our stuff in our hotel rooms, and made it to a late lunch with the mother of a Heisman trophy winner. I can't tell you who's mother it was or I'd have to kill ya, but suffice to say, he had roots at UT and is currently with the Miami Dolphins and is recognized by his dreadlocks and arrests. That vague enough? *wink* She was lovely and we had a good time while they discussed whether the Dolphins will emerge victorious or not this year.

Then it was back to the hotel for CruiserMel to take a nap and apparently for Doug to hit his bottle of Gentleman Jack pretty good. I woke up, whored-up, then met Doug as we began our Todd in Texas adventure. Doug was feeling very little pain at this point and I was anxious to get started medicating myself, as well.

Austin is one groovin' place - I'd say there's probably a bar for each citizen. Seriously, there are bars with live music everywhere you turn! I'm not sure how people live there - not that it's a bad place, au contraire; but it's just too fun! I suppose a person would have to occasionally work to pay for all that fun, but it sure would be hard to not make a personal goal-chase out of trying to go to each and every bar within a year or so. I thought New Orleans was hoppin' - but I believe Austin is a close second.

We met up with some fellow Toddstockers (and other Toddheads who weren't fortunate enough to go to Toddstock in Kauai back in June) at an Irish pub called Fado's. They'd held a special area for us and it was just great. Many of us ventured out to the patio though - to prepare for what was surely going to be a hot night - in many ways.

Then it was about time for the show, so we walked around the corner to Antone's, thinking we'd be able to waltz right in. *screech* There was a line wrapped around the building. Hmph, getting to the front of this crowd wasn't going to be easy, but to see such a great turnout for Our Hero was a very good thing for Todd. Austinites are really very nice folks. I wouldn't expect anything else from Toddheads.

Antone's very quickly filled to its capacity and being a little person, I knew that making my way up front was going to be difficult, if not excruciatingly hot, so we hung back at the side where we could breathe and yet have a great view of the band from the wings.
Kasim isn't playing bass on this tour, so I wasn't too heartbroken to not have my elbows on the stage this time. Besides, Rachel Haden is playing bass this time, so trying to get through the guys who are drooling and taking up space below her is completely futile. What do you guys think? She's cute, right?
Eventually, our friend Steve found us and asked our help in getting Toddtinis to the stage for the band. He'd brought light-up martini glasses for the occasion. We each took 1 or 2 drinks and it was amazing how the crowd parted for us. Taking nectar to the Todd takes precedence over having a good view if you're a true Toddhead. The band drank the Toddtinis like Gatorade. Then again, it was about 105 degrees in there, so you would, too.

I finished watching the show with my legs pressed against the stage between Rachel and Todd. Man, those folks were workin' the crowd. It was one of the best Todd shows I've seen in a long time.
I hadn't heard the new material since Kauai and the band has definitely been gellin' like felons. It was phenomenal. I'll do a separate blog entry about the new stuff later, but let me tell you - it blows the shit that's out there now AWAY. The cd hasn't come out yet, but there are enough bootlegs floating around that most people knew every word and crowd-participatory move to make without being instructed. Rhythmic fist pumps were common as the music just demands that.

That's me, next to Pippi (her Hawaiian name) wearing her Hawaiian lights in her hair. She's hysterical and crazy and she's a die-hard fan I met in Kauaii at Toddstock. Todd loved it when we "raised the roof" during "Mountaintop." Could this be the start of a new dance move? You bet it was! By the end of the song, I had a good part of the crowd doing it. Who knew CruiserMel would start a dance craze! Thanks, Pippi for helping me out. You get equal kudos, girl.

After the show was done, we hung out a little bit and then headed for Thai food, where we sang 80's songs at the top of our lungs until the wee hours and then headed for the hotel. Oh yes, this trip was worth it. No doubt.

The next morning, it was rise & shine and back in the car for the ride to Dallas.

Tune in next time for the continuing saga of Doug & CruiserMel's Adventure in Toddtopia, Texas style!