April 26, 2007

Oh, come on, now…

…the painting of Dogs Playing Poker that never fails to give you a chuckle, the stack of Slim Whitman LPs that you just can’t bear to part with, that pale turquoise polyester waffle-weave necktie with the square ends--YOU know you’ve got them.


This week, America’s Most Entertaining Blog Meme Thing, The Axis of Weevil Thursday Three, explores those nasty little secret proclivities that give us great pleasure in life, yet we still can’t quite admit it. The untoward, and awkward, and uncomely, and downright uncool things we all cling to, in spite of the snickers they evoke amongst the hip and trendy sorts who look down their noses (conveniently located beneath their high brows) at our favorite articles of unseemly pleasure.

SO THEN, get out your keyboard--you know, the one with the WordPerfect 3.0 plastic template pasted over the keys so you can remember the shortcuts--and answer the following three questions.

1) Art! Name one (or more) pieces of highly unsophisticated artwork, literature, music, etc., that you have in your possession that you’re really sorta ashamed of, yet love too much to get rid off.

2) Science! What bit of embarrassingly faux high-tech machinery do you keep around your house simply out of some sort of geekly love affair you had with it in the past, even though there are better and more efficient alternatives around that you could replace it with?

3) Fashion! Okay, you know you’ve got something from a completely different fashion era that no one in good conscious would dare to wear today, except as some sort of postmodern mockingly ironic sort of way, yet it’s something you love and enjoy wearing, even though it causes small children and snotty po-mo pseudointellectuals (but I repeat myself) to laugh and point. So, what is it?

GO NOW AND ANSWER! Either leave a comment below, or a link to your very own “weblog” that are becoming so very popular amongst the youngsters these days!

As for me--

1) Well, it’s not mine, actually, it’s Miss Reba’s, but in any event, we have a cheapo rectangular Chinese silk embroidery picture thingy of butterflies and bamboo hanging on the wall of our bathroom over by the water closet. She’d gotten it from someplace like “Cheap Chinese Crap and Things,” and then took it to be framed in a marvelously expensive frame, and it turns out that the dipwads at the Framin’ Shoppe put the hanger wire on the wrong half of the rectangle, and so now it’s hanging upside down.

But you don’t really notice it at first.

Or, rather, I didn’t notice it at first.

Until one day, when I was contemplating all of life’s little indignities as I sat upon the privy throne, and after looking closely at the artwork, thought to myself, “Dang, those bamboo leaves look really peculiar. And those butterflies are flying down toward the bottom. Stupid Chi--oh, WAIT A MINUTE!”

After finishing up my one square wipe, I stood up and found the picture was upside down. But have I ever fixed it? Nah. It makes me laugh, sometimes. Which is a nice break from the constant uncontrollable sobbing I usually do whilst on the pot.

2) Well, aside from the Volvo, we don’t really have much in the way of embarrassingly obsolete machinery lying about. Which is kinda weird given what a Luddite I am, but when it comes to tech stuff, we might not be the cutting edge, but we aren’t quite that out of date. Although I guess the IBM Aptiva the kids use downstairs (running a crippled version of Windows95) is probably getting a little long-in-the-tooth-looking. But it’s good enough for the kids.

3) Well, first thing, every time I see the word “pseudointellectual,” my mind says “suedointellectual” and I think of smelly professors with suede elbow patches on their jackets. ANYway, as far as fashion, I still cling to these Florsheims I’ve been wearing for years. All the smart young men have recently been wearing those terrible square-toed clod-hoppers that look like security guard brogans (although I have no love for the newest style, either, with the ridiculous pointiness more suitable for wearing by Witchypoo), but to me, there is something calm and comforting about an old-timey pair of shiny black wingtip oxfords with the nice round toe. They look even better when I hike the waistband of my slacks up to my armpits.

Anyway, that’s about it.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at April 26, 2007 08:00 AM

I don't really have answers for questions 1 and 3 (since I have impeccable taste--just kidding) but I actually have you beat re question #2: I still have an old Compaq that runs Windows 3.1 AND a Sinclair ZX-81. At least the Sinclair has not been turned on in decades; I am not that much of a geek.

Posted by: Stan at April 26, 2007 08:42 AM

Wow--that Wiki article is VERY comprehensive.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at April 26, 2007 08:52 AM

1. Besides the old albums rattling around my closet (like skeletons), I'll digress slightly to pump up a site: wolfgangsvault.com. You can stream all kinds of old (60's - 80's) concerts for free, and you can now download some of them. I am by no means a soft-rock fan, but I happened to listen to an America concert, and it RAWKS! Strange but true, it's my guilty pleasure. Ventura highway, in the sunshine ...

2. I have an original box of Access 1.0 (did not come bundled with MS Office initially) on about a dozen floppies. I bought it to impress a boss who later turned traitor on me. I also have my first "stereo" (~35 yrs. old), a Radio Shack box. Not sure if it still works though.

3. I have grown out of any clothes I may have kept from olden days. I still have a Rush concert shirt (the band, not Limbaugh) from about 30 years ago. Wonder what it'd get on e-Bay?

Posted by: Marc V at April 26, 2007 10:34 AM

1. Have a painting by a former neighbor. It's an overly dramatic picture of a not quite extinct Chesapeake Bay boat called a "pungy schooner." (reproduction: http://www.schoonerman.com/lmary.htm).

2. One side effect of working at NASA is preferring old technology away from work. Of my 4 cameras, one is older than I am, and another is from the sixties. I also own 6 sextants, 3 of which are usable (also have the associated books of tables for celestial navigation). Still have my slide rule from college.

3. Keep putting on weight, so no old clothes fit me.

Posted by: steevil (Dr Weevil's bro Steve) at April 26, 2007 10:40 AM

After reading Marc's comments, I'm reminded I have some souvenir clothing. A Mayflower driver's shirt--I've gained about 60 lbs since the time I actually wore it to work.

Posted by: steevil (Dr Weevil's bro Steve) at April 26, 2007 10:43 AM

1. You'll spend a while finding something tackier than this guy, but I like him. He hangs above the toilet in the master bath (which only we use).

2. It's not ancient, but we still have the worthless Roomba. I dusted it the other day.

3. While the styles aren't dated I wear some sweatshirts that are past time for discard -- painted, holey, cuffs fraying right off.

Posted by: Janis Gore at April 26, 2007 10:47 AM

Janis, when I clicked on the link I was expecting to see the Phi Krappa Zappa poster!

Posted by: steevil (Dr Weevil's bro Steve) at April 26, 2007 10:57 AM

Uh-oh. I LIKE America, and have a couple of their 8-tracks. I wonder if this means I'm not at cool as I thought!?

As for the Rush shirts, Marc, it looks like from my research that, depending on size and vintage, your shirt might be worth an astonishing $20 or more!

And Steevil, I bet your shirt is worth a lot, too, ESPECIALLY if it really came over on the Mayflower!

And Miss Janis, I sorta like the lizard, but I think if I was visiting, I would be rather startled to see him eyeing me like that. Then again, that would probably teach me not to go snooping in bathrooms I've not been assigned to use...

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at April 26, 2007 11:00 AM

And that's why he isn't in the guest bath.

Posted by: Janis Gore at April 26, 2007 11:04 AM

Aw, it's aw-right, dawg, if that's what you dig. In the past they didn't do much for me, but like I said their concert was surprisingly rocking. The notes with the concert at the Vault were interesting too.

I didn't want to look up the value of the Rush t-shirt, as I liked maintaining my fantasy of thinking I owned something REALLY valuable. Oh well, another one bites the dust. It's a light blue shirt with the 2112 logo printed on a large black square. The print covers most of the front and is solid/non-permeable, so if it gets hot you get the dreaded stomach-chest sweat. I hate when that happens, so I never wore it.

Posted by: Marc V at April 26, 2007 12:41 PM

I also have 2112 on 8-track.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at April 26, 2007 01:22 PM

Oh, I like America too. Ventura Highway is a great tune.

Anyway, I'm up!

Posted by: Sarah G. at April 26, 2007 02:48 PM

Never fear! I'm up!



Posted by: Chef Tony at April 26, 2007 05:41 PM

1) Art!
This J. H. Lynch print is on the wall in the bungalow at the beach house. It was there when I bought the place and I left it there.

I just can't figure out why she's up the tree. She kind of looks like a cat waiting for the fire brigade to retrieve her.

2) Science!
Any remote control. I prefer to get up and turn sound up or down manually, change channels manually, eject things manually and switch off manually. Remote controls are mankind's worst invention. Children chew them and they get lost and they need batteries. Remember the channel-changing chunk-chunk-chunk of the old television dials? Kids, you're missing out.

3) Fashion!
I have two shirts - short sleeve, muted checks, front pocket - that I bought at the David Jones stocktake sale in the 'eighties. The checks were soft enough and the cut classic enough to have simply not dated. Proof that they date to the eighties? The labels read Made in West Germany.

Posted by: kitchen hand at April 26, 2007 07:24 PM

That poor, poor woman--got chased up a tree after going outside naked to get her washing off the clothesline. When I was young, a remote control was when my parents gave me a pair of pliers and told me to go change the channel.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at April 26, 2007 09:16 PM