Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Let's get right to it! On the spur of the moment tonight, my friend Beth Lee called me to go with her to Drag Queen Bingo at a local boƮte. For those of you who are shut-ins or Republicans, Drag Queen Bingo is where a drag queen calls out all the letter and number combinations for a few rounds of Bingo, interspersed with some lip-syncing and arm-flailing. She tells filthy jokes and demands cocktails and every now and then awards a prize to whomever managed to decipher the letter/number combinations she apparently yelled out in between filthy jokes. It's free and it's spectacular.

Our hostess this evening was the Pantomine Rage, Miss Bianca Paige. She has a voice that makes Harvey Fierstein sound like Dawn Upshaw...seriously. I waited tables with Bianca years and years ago (she was plain old Mark then) at a dive restaurant and I was flattered that tonight she almost remembered me. We made a lot of money back in the old days at that dump even though all we did that whole entire job was drink peppermint schnappes nonstop. She's now blind in one eye because she was having "safe sex" in her armpit with a gentleman acquaintance who, hmmm, climaxed into her eye and thus blinded her. I'm sure it was awful, but it's a funny story when she tells it, I swear, even though she had to wear an eye patch for like a year. MOM! You can quit reading now!

I won the second game. The prize was two tickets to a Nashville Sounds baseball game. Yes, a Wild Turkey-drinking drag queen awarded me two tickets to a baseball game. I'm sure I'll get called out onto the, uh, mound and recognized. I do like a baseball game, so that worked out. Other prizes throughout the night included edible pasties, Virgin bubble bath ("It grows your lips back together!") and some other borderline filthy items. I was surprised how tense Bingo can make a person. I've never wanted to hear N-41 so badly in my whole life. Also, you got a free beer every time she called out "O-69," which she managed to do about four times every round. We drank a lot of that and also Maker's Mark.

You'll be surprised to learn that this is not my first run in with Drag Queen Bingo. A few years ago, I went to visit my friends Jeff and David in Washington DC, just after 9-11, and we went to some crazy-assed steakhouse where the exact same thing was going on. That night, I won the first game and received a hideous ceramic napkin holder, which I insisted Jeff and David keep. They subsequently moved to Tulsa, where I'm sure it's the chicest thing within the city limits. ANYWAY. Standing date now, anyone who comes to town on a Tuesday: you're going to see a sexually-blinded one-eyed drag queen yell Bingo numbers for a few hours. Consider yourself warned blessed.

(photos: Beth Lee)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Oh God, the Moon Pie Festival

I can't really explain it. Really. Just put all these words in your brain: Moon Pie, RC Cola, Goo Goo Cluster, Holy Grail, Wading Pool, General Hospital star Lane Davies, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Queen Bowel-ina, Mother Goo, and Jazz Hands. Now: mix them up and try to come up with a plot for it all. No matter what you invent, it will never approach the sheer insanity of the Moon Pie Festival.

Here I am! I'm the one with the shapely legs!

World's Largest Moon Pie. Bigger than it looks.

A woman dressed as a Goo Goo cluster, frolicking in the Holy Grail with two shirtless teenagers. You know: the usual.

RC and Moon Pie: 2gether 4ever!

Jazz hands.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Garden of Eden

I went out to lovely Bon Aqua yesterday afternoon to my friends Suzy and Jason's farm to celebrate the birthday of Jason's oldest daughter Kelsey, who lives in Australia now and looks just like Olivia Newton-John, which she didn't like me saying over and over. Jason has struggled for years getting the garden to really work. He's on the road a lot being a rock star, so a lot of the work is left to Suzy to do and well, sometimes things get away from her.

For the past two years, though, Jason designed the garden as a series of raised boxes. And it's perfection - there's landscape cloth down under the entire garden and then each box is filled with produce of various sorts. Not a single weed. It's surrounded by a mildly-electrified fence to keep rabbits and raccoons out. I wish I was a better picture-taker, because it really does look like a magazine layout. Jason built all the out-buildings from scrap lumber, including this little garden shed. It's the sort of garden I always thought I could handle if I could ever figure out how to do.

By the way, the Americana Music Association is honoring Jason and his band, Jason and the Scorchers, this year with a Lifetime Achievement award. It's a big deal.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Kitchen Update

I know. You're on the edge of your seat. But we selected the tile for the backsplash and it's on the way. Zen Moonlight. that was almost a dealbreaker, that name. Not stupid expensive, $15 per square foot. We don't need much...somewhere around 25 square feet. Should be here next week.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Blackboard Bungle

So! Making a chalkboard wall is easy. But messy! I looked like a dalmatian when it was all over, desperately looking for my parents, Pongo and Perdita. Also? Putting a vase of sunflowers in a room makes everything better. We're waiting on backsplash tile samples to arrive but I think it might be a combo of clear white and grey, but I can't say that out loud or Sister Meg will choose the pink.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Consumer Report: Kitchen

Some of you may know that Chez Strong has been undergoing a double bathroom renovation for over two years. I'll post more about that disaster one day, when I can do it without typing "motherfucker" over and over for three weeks. What you might not know is that we decided to do a kitchen update - on a whim! - about six weeks ago. In contrast with the bathroom nightmare, i's going along swimmingly so far - we're doing it through different people, and they seem delighted to show up the other contractor. The new counters and sink went in yesterday. Before:

Annnnnnd After:

This weekend, the chalkboard paint goes up on two walls. We're back to the drawing board on the backsplash. Our initial selections looked a little "off-the-shelf" and we want something, um, specialer. So we're on the hunt for some white glass tiles that aren't $35 per square foot. It'll go all the way down to the counter - we got rid of that stupid little two inch thing that was at the back of the counter. Why do people have that?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Yeah, About That Guide to Life

Yesterday, after posting How To Fold a Dishtowel, my wheels got to churning and I decided to dedicate a blog solely to that. It seems like a different animal than this Observation blog. So here ya go....bookmark away if you dare!

The Psychopedia: Crazy Stuff Everyone Should Know

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

DG's Guide to Life: Episode 1

The first in a series! Once a week, I show you how to do something. I know...you're on the edge of your seat. This week...folding a dishtowel! Thank me later, when harmony has been restored to your household. Click to make it printably large and suitable for framing.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Monday, June 2, 2008


Yves Saint Laurent died yesterday. I have no real personal connection to him, though it does seem like someone who was truly a giant in his field is gone and that's always sad. ANYWAY! Here's a picture from the Elkin (N.C.) Tribune of my mother with Saint Laurent back in November of 1965, less than a year before I was born. She was in "Fashion School" in Atlanta and YSL came to visit. When I first saw this clipping, I briefly entertained the idea that they had had a torrid affair and maybe - just maybe - he was my father. Wouldn't that have been fun? But I already knew who my father was so perhaps there was some wine involved when I cooked up this theory. And also for that to happen, I would have had to be an eleven-month pregnancy and also YSL would have had to, you know, like women that way. But if he was gonna switch over...just look at her! Va-va-voooom!