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Kitty Dunn

What does Kitty have to say?


 
Posts from December 2012


How much would you pay for this ugly ugly lamp?
Apparently there's no accounting for taste.

Amazon just came out with a list of interesting stats for the holiday season. Among them: people bought enough Christmas Story leg lamps to reach the top of Mt. Everest.

That's 20,320 feet of "major awards" like the iconic lamp the dad won in the movie A Christmas Story. 

Now I'm a fan of the movie, but I certainly wouldn't want one of those lamps to be part of my shabby chic decor.  But apparently people were buying the thing like wildcakes!

Now they didn't do the math, and I won't either, but that would be a whole lot of 20 inch leg lamps at $47.96 each, or not quite as many of the 45 inch variety that cost $145.99.  I'm not sure if they counted all the leg lamp mugs, night lights, cookie cutters or Christmas tree lights in their measurement comparison, either.

Needless to say, somebody made a lot of money, and hopefully a lot of folks were please on Christmas morning. At any rate, it's safer than a Red Ryder BB gun. It's pretty hard to shoot your eye out with a lamp.


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Better than all those annoying holiday ads on TV..
Am I the only one who rushes to the remote to hit mute when a certain cell phone commercial comes on the TV? 

I really thought I had it with all television commercials after the onslaught of political ads pre-election, and now the extra annoying holiday ads with insipid grating music filling my head with malicious thoughts.

But then I saw this out-take reel of a couple of old folks cutting a commerical for a restaurant in Maine.  Now I want to see the finished ad!

As long as it doesn't start with a jingle that says "you got a new cell phone...blah blah blah blah blah...."

Enjoy!  And would somebody like to bake me a pie?
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Holiday spirit from Bob Dylan...
If you're feeling like the holiday spirit has passed you by this year, I highly recommend you spend a little less than three minutes with Bob Dylan.

Watch  the video for "It Must Be Santa"  and you might even feel drunk with happiness! 

The song came out on Dylan's Christmas album, "Christmas in the Heart," in 2009. Some folks thought it was pretty weird that Dylan, who is Jewish, would put out a Christmas album, but a lot of critics found it to be charming.
 
This video is extra crazy. I've posted it in my blog every December since it came out, and I have no intention of stopping!

Take note of the reindeer's names near the end of the song. It might give you a good little chuckle.

 
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10 Great Keith Richards quotes
Today is Keith Richards 69th birthday. During his many years on the planet he's said a lot of pretty interesting stuff--albeit you can't always understand what he's saying!

Here are ten of my favorite words of wisdom from the surliest Rolling Stone.

“Music is a necessity. After food, air, water and warmth, music is the next necessity of life.”

"Rock 'n' roll's great weapon is humor."

"Poison's not bad. It's a matter of how much."

“I hate predictions. They never turn out when I make them.”

“I’ve never turned blue in someone else’s bathroom. I consider that the height of bad manners.”

“If you're going to kick authority in the teeth, you might as well use two feet.”

“The rock's easy, but the roll is another thing...”

”Playing live with the Stones is like living in your own separate country. It’s like having an empire but no land.”

"Sometimes I think songwriting is about tightening the heartstrings as much as possible without bringing on a heart attack.”

“We age not by holding on to youth, but by letting ourselves grow and embracing whatever youthful parts remain.”
 

(Above picture from www.keithrichards.com where you can find more fascinating info about Keith..including his incredibly readable autobiography Life.)
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For any one who's ever gotten a bad gift...
Gift giving can be a serious challenge. I try my best to always give presents that people will really like, or will at least make them laugh.

Sometimes I miss the mark.

One year I got my younger brother a special T-shirt at the mall, at one of those kiosks where they will iron on just about any message or image. He was interested in becoming a pilot at the time, and the shirt said "Flying" and featured a picture of an airplane. It was hideous.

He never wore it.  I actually gave it to him for his birthday, and because he hated it so much I stole it out of his drawer, wrapped it up and gave it to him again, this time for Christmas! It's now become a running joke between the two of us.

But I digress. The main point of this blog was to tell you about an awesome website that asks "Why Did You Buy Me That?"  It lets you upload pictures of your crappy gifts for all to see.

Some of them don't seem that bad. Some are just helpful hints. Like the home marijuana testing kit or rolls of breath mints.

Others are just unconscionable. Justin Bieber alarm clock, I'm looking at you.
Check out all the crappy gifts here. And feel free to add your own!
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What Mayor Dave and Michael Stipe have in common
Every December for the last several years, Dave Cieslewicz, former Madison Mayor and current blogger extraordinaire, has come to Triple M to share with us and all our listeners.

What does he share? His thoughts on the current political situation? Of course not. He plays for us his favorite Christmas carol, "Good King Wenceslas," as sung by Mel Torme.

What does that have to do with Michael Stipe you ask? Well ever since he broke up R.E.M., Michael has reportedly been sitting on a shelf on the set of the Stephen Colbert show. But given the chance to croon this particular tune along with Colbert and actor Mandy Patinkin, he was inspired to sing! He must have some love for that same beloved carol, or he wouldn't have joined in.

I'm hoping when Dave comes in next Friday to play "Good King Wenceslas" he picks this version to celebrate his new kinship with the R.E.M. singer.

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New Rock Hall Class: At long last, Rush

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its inductees for 2013. Drumroll please! Here you go..

Performer Category:
• Heart
• Albert King
• Randy Newman
• Public Enemy
• Rush
• Donna Summer

Ahmet Ertegun (non performer) Award:
• Lou Adler
• Quincy Jones


What's that? Did we read that correctly? The Canadian power trio Rush is finally getting in? Rush fans have been ticked off for years, as this was the first time the band was even nominated, even though they've been eligible since 1998. Will their nomination quiet their fans?

Geddy Lee tells Rolling Stone the band won't pull a no-show like Axl Rose or the Sex Pistols, because they're nice Canadian boys.  He says they'll show up smiling.

I've never been a huge Rush fan, probably because I get annoyed with Geddy Lee's singing voice, but I certainly think they're qualified to make it in...at least as qualified as the Beastie Boys or even Blondie!  It seems every guy I know of a certain age (let's say 48-48) has seen them live, at least once...and their musicianship and songwriting displays real talent.

Of the other inductees, I'm glad to see bluesman Albert King make the list.

And to be honest, I thought Heart made it in years ago.

 

Here's a Rush song about something they have a lot of in Canada....TREES!  Be sure to make note of Alex Lifeson's amazing guitar work.


 

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Contact lens wearers MUST READ
No, I'm not going to warn you about the dangers of sleeping in your contact lenses, or about what happens if you use lens solution from a bottle that's been open longer than 90 days.

Scientists are perfecting technology that would allow them to beam text messages right to your eyeball--on your contact lens!
Researchers at Ghent University in Belgium  have developed a curved LCD display that can display text and images on the tiny surface of a contact lens.

While practical application of this technology is still a few years off, the researchers say it could eventually  be good for sending messages about driving directions for example.
 
Some other messages that might be useful, from my perspective: "Stop crying, you big baby ."(But then it would also need tear sensing technology).  It could also tell me when I've been up to late and really need to get some shuteye.

But the most useful application would be to assist me when I've somehow lost a contact lens. The display could read "I'm over here, you dummy." If it could also beam a searchlight in my face, that would be even more beneficial.

More info about the research here.
 
 
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Kitty's Christmas list circa 1970

Compiling my Christmas wish list was something I took very seriously back in the day.

I did what every one else did, circling items in the Sears or Montgomery Ward catalogs. I was also highly influenced by all the toy commercials on TV.

There were years I got what I wanted. One year I asked for a lobster, and I got a red one made out of fur that would curl up when you petted it.

Other years I was not so lucky. The only year I asked for a Ken doll was the year that no Ken dolls were produced. My sister said she and my mom looked all over town to find out, to no avail.

Then there was the year my dad had to call me from ShopKo for clarification on one of the items I had listed. I still remember the phone call, as clear as if it were yesterday.

"You have an item on here that says 'don't cook your goose.' Is that a game or something, or do you just not want me to spend that much money on your presents?"

Since the idea of helping my parents watch their spending was completely foreign to me, obviously it was a game!

 

"Don't Cook Your Goose" was a 1970 game produced by the Minnesota company Schaper, in which players would spin a spinner and then place their little geese on the pan, trying to balance them so the pan didn't tip and cook them.   I do remember playing that quite a bit, but it was not as much fun as one of the other games I got that year.

Nobody called to ask what I meant when I asked for "Kerplunk."

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Travolta and Newton-John reunion--cute or scary?
I'll admit it. I used to lip-synch to my double album Grease soundtrack. I paid to see the movie in the theatre, twice.

I still know all the words to "Hopelessly Devoted To You."
 
But I just wasn't ready for this.

John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John (aka Danny Zuko and Sandy) are back together again, for a Christmas CD. They were on Ellen the other day, and they genuinely seemd to enjoy each others' company. 

But for some reason, I felt awkward. Travolta has held up pretty well, but the natural beauty of Olivia was hard to spot.

And then there's the song. It's called "I Think You Might Like It."

You might like it. But then again....


("This Christmas" is available now.)
 
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Free beer for Christmas!
Who wouldn't want beer for Christmas?

If you know somebody who really likes sampling a wide variety of beer, and loves traveling to Wisconsin's many brewpubs and breweries, you really ought to be a kindhearted soul and buy them this book.

Kevin Revolinski's book "Wisconsin's Best Beer Guide" is now out with a revised edition..and includes some breweries that haven't even opened yet!  Not only does the book give you the lowdown on the breweries' locations and offerings, it also gives you some tips for enjoying other activities in the surrounding area.

But the real treasure of this book is located in the back. That's where you find a list of the brewers that will give you something free if you bring the book along and have them sign it. Kevin says 85 percent of the establishments offer something free..and usually it's a beer!

My boyfriend Mike and I have used earlier versions of the book  on our beer excursions across the state, and highly recommend it. Since the brewpub/microbrew industry can be tricky--you might want to call ahead before venturing long distances. Then you won't walk into some sort of Amway-type  meeting going on in a closed brewery, like Mike and I did several years ago in Watertown.

Find out more about Kevin and where he'll be doing book signings here.
 
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Sandy benefit keeps getting better
It's going to be hard to miss that Hurricane Sandy benefit that's happening 12-12-12 at Madison Square Garden.

Organizers have announced that the star-studded event will be aired live starting at 6:30pm (Central time) online and on television all across the world, with up to one billion people watching.

In the United States, that includes 34 different TV channels, including CBS, HBO, Showtime, and a bizarre hodge podge of other networks, from the Cooking Channel to the Hallmark Movie Channel.

The most recent additions to the lineup include Chris Martin of Coldplay and Eric Clapton. Previously announced: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Paul McCartney, the Who, Kanye West, Roger Waters, Bon Jovi, Alicia Keys, Eddie Vedder, Billy Joel and Dave Grohl.
 
 
Proceeds will go to the Robin Hood Relief Fund, which has already been working non-stop to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy in the tri-state area, Due to help from sponsors, concert organizers, and the foundation's board, 100 percent of the money raised from ticket sales and donations will go to serve victims of Hurricane Sandy.
 
At least that commitment goes for those who bought their tickets from the original source. Tickets sold out within minutes and were promptly being sold by online ticket brokers for $515 to $9000. Hopefully outrage over that won't adversely affect people's willingness to donate to such a worthy cause.
 
And perhaps the scalpers will throw a bone to the charity effort as well.   Yeah, like that's going to happen!



 
More info here.
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Quiz: Are you obsessed with Christmas?
Five signs you may be a little bit too obsessed with Christmas:

1. You have a holiday themed shower curtain.

2. "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas" is your ringtone.

3.  You have personlized license plates that say '"EGG NOG"

4. Your kids are named Rudolph, Hermie, and Yukon Cornelius.

5. Your holiday sweater lights up...and cars are lined up around the block to see it.
 
 
(And for those of you who are wondering, yes, I am the dorky girl dressed as a Christmas tree. I may have been a little Christmas obsessed).
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