Thursday, March 29, 2007

Hello Spring

Hello Spring
Originally uploaded by Kodamakitty.

Today is a little on the chilly side, but the sun is out and Spring is well and truly here. I was a little concerned there, what with an inch of snow one day and 70 degree weather the next.

I finally brought my little fuji finepix Z1 in for servicing and got it back earlier this week. It's a great digital camera, even better now that the zoom is working properly. I am pretty sure it's taking better pics now that when I was just dealing with the zoom error. I would get an error the first time I turned on the camera and then it would go away.

I took this pretty photo in our front yard. There's a bunch of leaf debris that still needs to be cleared away, but with both of Geoffrey's grandparents in the hospital (Grandma) and nursing home (Grandpa), cleaning has only been something I do in manic spurts.

Today is not a manic day. In fact, I'm struggling to push my fingers along, so I'm off to grab a cup of coffee and contemplate my day.

Happy Spring, everyone!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Jonathan Coulton Soft Rock Infomercial

Ok, after the last two posts, I needed a bit of a laugh, and here is this gem of a soft rock mock infomercial. And for the record, yes, I am an Air Supply fan.

^_^ Liza

Monday, March 12, 2007

Farewell, Platypus Man

Richard Jeni
Originally uploaded by crissy0244.

I was saddened, though not necessarily shocked to hear that Richard Jeni had died of an apparent suicide on Saturday, March 10. He was apparently found by his girlfriend, fatally shot in the face.

The news is apparently such that you can still buy tickets for some of his scheduled shows and there's aren't a huge number of articles about his passing out there yet. Maybe there won't be a huge amount of media coverage, which will only fuel the speculation that Jeni was perhaps despondant about his lack of fame. I guess that would be a part of it, but I am guessing too that there were deeper and darker forces at work. At least some of the comments on the two postings I found (Elayne Boosler on The Huffington Post and Joel Keller on seemed to indicate that Jeni struggled with depression and possibly other serious health issues.

When I was growing up and we finally got cable (which would be sometime in high school, circa 1992), stand-up comedy was everywhere. Every other show on Comedy Central, all over the place on HBO, Comic Relief every year, and so on. Richard Jeni was easily one of my favorites. He was cute, intelligent, and so much fun to watch. I used to repeatedly watch a VHS recording I had of "Platypus Man," his first HBO Comedy Special (he had four altogether). He was that lovable geek before geeks were considred lovable. The male counterpart to being a bridesmaid but never the bride, Richard Jeni had a one season sitcom (also called, "Platypus Man") that never saw the success of "Home Improvement" or "Everybody Loves Raymond."

Of course, the show was probably doomed from the get go. The show aired in 1995 (when people were starting to OD on stand-up, or at least the networks were starting to pull back) and the show was on the brand-new and untested UPN. Richard was not playing himself, but a chef with a "cooking show for guys." It was probably not a true reflection of himself and didn't ring true with his fans. According to Aaron Greenhouse, who has a pretty impressive episode guide for the show, the last episode in 1995 was pre-empted a few times by "Legend" and "Star Trek: Voyager."

I, myself, am guilty of not being as rabid of a fan as I could have been. After "Platypus Man" (the HBO special), I didn't really pay too much attention to what was going on with Richard's career. I'd experience a little thrill when I saw him in a cameo or wonder why meteorologists watch the weather and not meteors. To this day, I still use the National Geographic theme whenever odd phenomena occur that really should be documented by an adventurous and winsome tv personality brandishing a microphone and leading a film crew - "So join us, won't you?"

Thanks for the laughs, Richard Jeni.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Goodbye, Winter

Originally uploaded by Kodamakitty.

The snow is finally starting to thaw around here and the air seems fresh and promising. I am really beginning to appreciate the idea of spring cleaning. I want to throw open all of the windows and wipe down all of the dust and grime from the lazyness of last summer through the tedium of a cold gray winter.

I tend to think of Winter as a selfish season. It's a great reason to cocoon away from the rest of the world and to be introspective and sleepy. The cold is numbing and things move more slowly. Spring is still a little selfish in that I tend to focus on trying to get things in order - using the tax return to clean up the bills, using the better weather to clean up the house before it gets muggy and impossible, hoping that this time I'll be able to establish better habits to make life healthier and less stressful.

Many people make their resolutions in January. I tend to make mine in the spring - it seems like a point where my intentions can match my actions. Spring is more about renewal and the change is more pronounced, more profound.

So here's to soon being able to put away the mufflers and boots and to new beginnings. Take a breath of fresh air and smile at the promise of spring.