HAIKU TIME: AIRPLANE

O, Silver Bullet!
You smell of stale air, fuel,
Burnt coffee, always.

Floor lighting! Air mask!
Floatation device! In that
Event, we are toast.

Captain! Turn off the
Seatbelt sign NOW! Or I shall
Pee my pants in shame.

O, Peanuts! Pretzels!
You salty time-wasters, you.
Now I need water.

BAM! In getting up
To let child go pee, I bruise
My leg on seat arm.

The in-flight mag is
Always greasy-feeling and
Creeps me out a lot.

I drop my earbud
Case, and drop to the floor to
Retrieve; I look nuts.

Clueless passenger!
Your carry-on won't fit and
Never, ever would.

A newborn baby
Behind me the one time I
Fly first class...of course.

"Cruising Altitude?"
A misnomer. Better phrase:
"Really eff-ing high."

Almost home, green and
Water; if my bags made it,
We are good to go.






IPHONE PHOTO ROUNDUP: MISS ELEVEN'S PRETTY PLANT PICS FROM FLORIDA!

Remember that day that Monica, Miss Eleven, and I went to the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Florida? Well, my daughter grabbed my iPhone and took photos, too! I've uploaded them to her own nature photo blog, All Flowers Have A Story. I hope you will take a moment to view them and enjoy her own take on such tropical beauty. Thank you!

All Flowers Have A Story
























21 MORE WEIRD RECORD COVERS & KNICK-KNACKS FROM SOUTH FLORIDA THRIFT STORES!

Well, I'm back home in Washington after a leisurely 18 DAY vacation in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area, the laundry is running, the dishwasher is running, Miss Eleven is back in school, and I've mostly unpacked the four fat suitcases I brought back! But I've got one more thing to do to wrap up my visit, which is bring TO YOU the last bunch of strangeness from my Florida thrift store jaunts! Please to enjoy!

Who wouldn't want a ceramic plaque of a freaked-out naked dude with a toupée battling a nasty towel-stealing Dachshund?




PHOTOS: JACUZZI BOYS & CAVE OF SWIMMERS @ GRAMPS, MIAMI, FLORIDA 4/18/14

Just whyyyyy does one extend a vacation in Florida, hmm? Well, in my case, it was lots of good reasons INCLUDING the chance to see the fab Jacuzzi Boys perform in their hometown of Miami, Florida again, and at one of my favorite cool places, Gramps!

10 REASONS TO AVOID DRIVING IN SOUTH FLORIDA

(DISCLAIMER: OK, so yes, I do have my own anxiety issues with driving, but THIS IS ALL TRUE! Really. Ask any resident or scientific survey!)

Raise your hand if you love driving on the streets and highways of high-density urban America! Come on! Anyone? Hello? Anyone? Well, of course no one does, and everyone complains about how traffic gets worse and worse, commutes get longer and longer, and people on the road are crazier now than back in the day. But, I AM TELLING YOU, the craziest of the craziest are in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale metro area. Here's why!

1. Getting cut off constantly. It's every man or woman or manatee for themselves on these roads, which means the concept of "defensive driving" is EXTRA important. You will find that if someone wants to get in front of you to go to Publix, or cross 4 lanes of traffic in 2 seconds at 70 MPH because it's FUN, or go completely horizontal in front of you and just SIT, they will. Constantly, all day and all night.

2. No one uses turn signals. You are supposed to read all the minds of all the other drivers and adjust your driving accordingly. Also, the slow drift to the right from the car in front of you may turn into the sudden veer to the left at any moment.

3. Motorcyclist death wishes. There's no other way to explain the bro with no helmet wearing shorts and a cutoff t-shirt weaving in-between cars on I-95 in speeds in excess of 100 MPH. This is not uncommon, by the way.

4. The invisible nighttime bicyclist. Apparently, there are legions of men wearing all black clothes on black bikes with no lights and no helmets that weave all over the roads the second the sun goes down.

5. No pedestrians use crosswalks. If I had a nickel for every person I have seen crossing the street in the most dangerous way possible, even when a crosswalk is just a few feet away, I would be unimaginably wealthy. This jaywalking proclivity includes all cultures, ages, and ranges of mental stability. Diagonal through a busy intersection? Sure, take your time! Crossing 4 lanes of traffic, including maneuvering over a large grassy median strip, pushing an empty grocery cart with one hand and holding the hand of a toddler with the other? Why not? Stepping off the curb in front of a line of speeding cars just because the place you want to go is just right there in front of you across the street and you want to get there NOW? Efficient! 

6. Horns. BEEEEEP! BEEEEEP! BEEEP BEEEEP! For any reason, any time. Maybe just to announce, "BEEEP! Hey, it's great to be alive today! BEEEEEEEP!" Also, swears.

7. French-Canadian bicyclistsNous ne se soucient pas de vos règles de trafic américain stupide!

8. Hummers. Hummers are ridiculous anyway, but add a Hummer and the diplog who bought it in with all the rest of this and it's extra intolerable. 

9. Hoards of Tourists and Very Very Very Old People. They don't know where they are going.

10. Flooding. Rain = flooded streets = a mess for drivers. Eventually, global warming will solve this problem by just covering the entire South Florida area with many feet of water so you don't have to worry about driving here at all anymore!

I love coming down here to visit all my cool pals, but do I drive here? NNNNNNNOPE!






24 MORE WEIRD RECORD COVERS FROM SOUTH FLORIDA THRIFT STORES!

Tomorrow we fly back to Seattle, but I've got one more THRIFT EXPLOSION for you from our Florida forays! Please to enjoy these funky finds from the dusty past!

Hey, couples, here's your next Halloween costume idea!


PHOTOS: FAIRCHILD TROPICAL BOTANIC GARDEN, CORAL GABLES, FLORIDA 4/11/14

What a cool day Miss Eleven and I had yesterday here in South Florida! Our friend, the talented photographer Monica McGivern, kindly offered to take us on an afternoon outing of our choice, and we all agreed on where to go: the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in lovely Coral Gables. I can't recommend it enough -- it was so peaceful and beautiful. We strolled around the pathways through the gardens for a couple of hours, passing by lakes, giant gnarly trees, crazy-colorful flowers and darting lizards, had a delicious lunch in the cafe, and hung out in the "Wings of the Tropics" butterfly conservatory, marveling at each new discovery. We all took photographs along the way, and here are mine to share with you. Thank you, Monica! Please to enjoy, and click on the images to enlarge!


18 WEIRD KNICK KNACKS AND GEE GAWS FROM SOUTH FLORIDA THRIFT STORES!

OK, pals! I've rested my weary traveler thrifter bones for a bit, had a tiny mason jar filled with sake, and am ready to bring you some of the unusual items I've come across in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area thrift stores in the last few days. I love people. Please to enjoy!

INFINITE ROLLEYES.




GO SEE MY PHOTOS (AND READ DAVID VON BADER'S REVIEW) OF THE ZOMBIES LIVE IN FLORIDA 4/8/14!

What a great treat to be able while here in South Florida on vacation to see a truly fantastic show by British Invasion legends The Zombies AND photograph it for the Broward - Palm Beach New Times AND to work with my friend, writer David Von Bader once more! Please go and click RIGHT HERE to read David's excellent review and see my photos, won't you?

Many thanks to Liz Tracy, David Von Bader, all the very nice people at the Mardi Gras Casino, and of course, The Zombies!! Don't miss them if you have a chance to see them!


25 WEIRD RECORD COVERS FROM A THRIFT STORE IN NORTH MIAMI, FLORIDA!

Oh, MAN. This was an intense thrifting experience, to say the least! This store, close to Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood, was SO busy! People here were serious shoppers, even waiting at the work bay doors for more huge carts to be wheeled out from the back as to pick through them even before the workers could get things on the shelves! Carts pushing everywhere! AIEEE! But I persevered through the record bins for YOU! Here's today South Florida selection of silliness! Please to enjoy!

This should've been called "The BAD Surprise Box." Yeesh!


50 YEARS LATER, A LITTLE UNEXPECTED BEATLES MOMENT

As regulars of Popthomology know, I love to hunt for strange and wonderful things at thrift stores as often as I can; there is always something that makes me smile. A few weeks ago, I picked up an old Christian kids' book, mainly for some of the graphics and illustrations to use in a future art project:

























PLEASE GO SEE THE NEW WEBSITE FOR THE INTELLIGENCE THAT I MADE!

You may not believe it, but it's true: sometimes I can be a bit of a pest. Oh yes, once I get some goal set in my cranium, I can be rather relentless until my vision is realized, and this sometimes includes bugging other people. Around this time last year, I started pestering Lars Finberg,  lead cranium of one of my favorite bands, The Intelligence.

"Lars!" I said. "Your band really needs to have a website!"

"Yes!" he replied. "That's true!"

"Hey! Lars!" I continued. "You know what? A website for your band would be a really good thing!"

"I know!" Lars agreed. "That would sure be nice!"

"LARS!"

"YES?"

"WEBSITE!"

And this went on pleasantly enough for awhile with me making faces of determination at Lars and Lars making faces of affirmation at me, until I decided, WELL, maybe I can actually DO something about this rather than just pest around. I am not a website designer and code makes me jumpy, but am relatively not dumb and thought "something is better than nothing, so just try." Lars encouraged my hesitant-but-hopeful effort, and through lots and lots of trial and error and emails and me nervously making changes in template code, we've come up with a website that is definitely better than nothing, and that will serve to host all kinds of info about the band, which was heretofore scattered all over the interwebs. It will continue to be a work-in-progress and likely replaced someday by a more "pro" version, but for today, goal realized! Thank you for checking it out!

The Intelligence (http://www.theintelligenceband.com)




PHOTOS & SHOW REVIEW: BLACK LIPS, THE COATHANGERS, & UNIVERSE PEOPLE @ NEUMOS, SEATTLE, WA. 3/28/14

(I am super-stoked to bring you this awesome coverage by Seattle writer/photographer AJ Dent, who stepped in for me last-minute. THANK YOU SO MUCH, AJ!!!! And click on any photo to enlarge, of course! -- Marianne)

“Wear a helmet!”

While walking to Neumos this past Friday night, I received this text message from a friend about the show I was about to attend. The Capitol Hill establishment boasted a mosh-tastic lineup of Universe People, The Coathangers, and Black Lips. The fact that it was sold out only sealed the deal on how insane I knew it was going to get. I responded to my friend with gratitude for the warning, and a “haha” remark.

“I’m not kidding!” he sent back.


I MADE YOU A CHILDREN'S BOOK NOT FOR CHILDREN: "CAN WE EAT IT?"


IS YOUR RELIGION NO DAMN GOOD?: A CHECKLIST

Sometimes it can be hard to tell whether or not something is good or bad for you. Take packaged powdered donuts, for example. They are so sweet and tasty and make you feel all fluffy and cozy, yet in fact they offer no nutritive value, are filled with nasty chemicals, and will sit like a lump in your stomach for hours while it puts fat on you. Sometimes you have to rethink your choices.

Following a religion is a very popular choice -- most people across the globe, when queried, will state that they are religious. Religions can and do offer people lots of positives: a social network and support, a sense of belonging to something big and important, lessons of grace and service and humility, answers to the Big Questions of Life, and pretty good basement potlucks. But what if your religion is just like those donuts? What if it seems to be offering you everything you need and want, but is actually just terrible for you? What if your religion is using your good faith to guide you into bad thinking? How can you know if you've been had? I have made up a super-simple checklist so you can know if your religion is telling you the wrong things so the wrong people can control you and your brethren for suspect purposes:

1. Does your religion tell you that you are a worthless sinner and born bad and must strive to earn your way into God's graces/heaven?

2. Does your religion tell you that you should be ashamed and guilty most of the time?

3. Does your religion tell you to not trust or even hate those people who follow a different religion or have no religion?

4. Does your religion tell you to have as many children as you can, even if you do not want to have children or cannot afford them?

5. Does your religion tell you to shame other people?

6. Does your religion tell you to shun or hurt those outside your religion, or who might disagree with your religion?

7. Do your religious leaders ask you for money to help the poor, but they themselves lead lavish lifestyles?

8. Do your religious leaders threaten you with Hell, excommunication, social banishment, or worse if you question its tenets or wish to leave the religion?

9. Do the legends and stories that your religion is based upon quickly fall apart under the microscopes of reason, logic, and science, and if you mention this you are told to "have faith" or "believe that God has a plan we can't understand" or that "you are the Devil's doing?"

10. Does your religion ever make you feel angry, anxious, depressed, fearful, frightened, or hateful?

How many did you check? Any one of them is cause for concern. If a religion is used to generate the worst that is in people rather than the best, you can be sure that the organization isn't there whatsoever for your well-being or enlightenment, is telling you a big bunch of lies, and is wasting your precious time on earth, all to gain power and control.

Can we have a powdered donut every so often and be just fine? Indeed we can. But one doesn't really approach religion in the same way -- you should be in or out, otherwise you are simply picking and choosing which rules you want to follow or stories you want to believe rather than adhering to its overall principles. Compartmentalizing is such a human trait, is it not? It's how we can say, "Oh, I'm fine with gay people, my stylist is gay!" yet still attend a church that actively discriminates against homosexuals. It's how we can blame one religion for all the evils of the world, while turning a blind eye to the death and destruction caused by our own. It's how when you grow up, you know that your religious instruction was damaging to you, yet you go ahead and instruct your children in the same way so they have "a good foundation" and you don't have to disappoint your social set. Infinite ways to rationalize, yes? And there are infinite measures taken by some religious leaders to keep their follows right there, spinning away.

It is something to think about.