here’s some videos that we love (pt. 2, the Johnny Cash edition)

When Hiram was a little kid, his Grandma  Lucke had a patch of records next to the stereo.  The one that was out front was this one.  Later Hiram dated a girl whose grandmother babysat Mr. Cash as a kid back in Arkansas.  It’s a little early, but H’s grandma died right before Mr. Cash did and he’s been thinking of her tonight (along with anyone who has had to work very hard for a living and all those people Johnny had to dress in black for) so here’s some videos of Johnny for Edna Lucke and anyone else who loves a good country song ( I’ve never seen the movie and I don’t plan to–Johnny Cash does not exist to me as a movie star):

Hurt (don’t watch this if you can’t handle death… or crying)
Big River
Delia’s Gone
Sunday Morning Coming Down
Ring of Fire
Ballad of Ir a Hayes
God’s Gonna Cut You Down
Elvis who?
Walk the Line

holy balls

In a new personal and professional low, last night we opened for a dude reading poems about unicorns.

And while people talked, yelled, answered their phones, and all but threw cabbages at our heads during our set, unicorn dude got respectful silence.



cheap laughs

After having some recessionary setbacks this week in our little family, Hiram and I have decided to start ending every sentence with “in these troubled economic times.”  It’s the new “in bed” for our revolting Age.

With that in mind, some cheap fun:  I’ve played Playbabble pretty much since it first came online.  It’s free unless you want to spring for the deluxe version, $10 US, or the equivalent of a stick of gum and a kind word in Euros.  It doesn’t even need to be one of the big ones like “love” or “please” — I’m guessing even “nice weather we’re having” will do in these troubled economic times.

melissas I am not

I picked a gmail pseudonym that is my first name, Melissa, and a word that turns out to be both a common short word and last name. I do not suggest you do this.

Below are only some of the many misdirected emails I have received and my replies. My replies never get replies in return. Are people embarrassed? Confused? Or is this part of a coordinated effort to drive me insane? If so, nature already beat you to the punch.


October 7, 2008

Hi Melissa

We are doing our final harvest this Sunday followed by a slap-up Harvest Thanksgiving. Hope you can come!! Call me on xxx-xxx-xxxx. You can also check out the greenhouse which is in dire need of a clean out and replanting for the winter!



Hi Janey,

I am sorry. I am Melissa, but not the Melissa you are looking for.

Take care,

October 12, 2007

melissa, i can’t remember but did you pay me this month for the water bill? sorry i forgot.



Hi Melissa,

No I did not, because I do not live with you. I think you have my email confused for a different Melissa’s. That makes three Melissas total. It’s a wonder this sort of thing doesn’t happen more often.



March 30, 2008

i will be painting the front door tomorrow morning with paint from Moshe and some spots in my bedroom and stairwell. Just an FYI.

Please don’t move anything else into my room and bathroom for now. Moshe will need to look over my room when I move out.



Hi again Melissa,

God forbid we offend Moshe!



January 15, 2009
hi melissa,
i miss u so much. i cant wait until friday to come see you.
tell daddy that i love him and you. i have good news, im moving
back to conway. lol if you fell for that then that would be halarious.
im joking. im actually moving to dannys mothers condo. still in
lowell. guess wat? today i went to wal-mart and i got all new stuff.
im going to bring it tomorrow.i will show you all of it.

love you, love,


Hey alli,

I am so sorry, but I am not the person you think I am. I hope you can find the right Melissa’s email address because it sounds like you are good friends.



February 13, 2009

Hello Melissa,

This is Nicole XXX!
We met yesterday in the makeup room at the Bad Kittie Salon before the Fashion show at Redline.
You indicated that you might be interested in using me on the runway to model your designs,
as I am the “look that you go for.” (I was the pale red haired model with the braids, red dress, and plunging neckline during the scene “Falling in Love.”)

If you are still interested, I would love to work with you and to model your absolutely stunning designs.
I am available by e-mail “” or by phone “XXX.XXX.XXXX”

Spectacular work last night,

Nicole XXX


Hello Nicole XXX,

I’m afraid I’m not the Melissa you are looking for, because that person is having a far more glamorous life than mine.

I’m sorry — I wish you best of luck finding her and getting the job.

Take care,


hi melissa, so i listened to white wedding, so good. i cried a little bit. then i sent you guys something through your website, but it gives the wrong address for me. send me something here:

mark XXXX
new york, ny XXXXX

looking forward to hearing more.

all the best, mark

(Whoops, this email was actually meant for me. How did it get in here?)


October 9, 2008

Dear Volunteer Builders:

Thank you for coming out to our build today. For those of you who did not stay for the entire day, all of the walls were installed, and we took one final group picture with the property owner before we left.

Special thanks goes to our photographers, Janet Cravens, and Francie Zenner. You will find their pictures on the parish website in a few days.

Thanks to our hospitality team, Mitzi Noles, Chris Zenner and Diana Hayes.

T-shirt sales were handled by Ramie Zenner. There are still plenty available at $10, and they can be purchased in the Parish Information & Life Center after each of the weekend Masses.

Fortunately, it looks like our only “injuries” were sunburns and some callused hands.

When your friends ask you what you did today for the common good, you can respond, “not much, we just build a home for a needy family”.

Ray Sylvester


Dear Father Sylvester:

I am sorry, but I was not part of the volunteer build yesterday. I feel bad. Is this how Catholic guilt works?

All kidding aside, it is wonderful you are doing this for your community and I wish you luck finding the real Melissa.

Best wishes,


January 12, 2009

Dear Folks:

September 6, 2008 seems more than five months ago!

You’ll recall that on that day we met the owner of a Habitat home, and worked with her throughout that day. I reported to you that the house survived Ike, and the home dedication is now scheduled for Saturday January 31, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. I have attached the invitation which includes more detail.

Should you wish to attend this special ceremony please let me know.

Ray Sylvester

(No reply)


So, in case you didn’t know, Melissa and I used to write a lot.  Now, not so much.  But here’s a few places we’ve written a few things that are easily shown.

sing us your favorite tune: melissa, hiram

erasing clouds: hiram’s (woefully ignored by him) new to me series: steely dan pt. 1, the long ryders, akwid

circle into square: a new series hiram’s working on–Everybody Knows You’re Not from Here.  First installment is Steve Lieber and Sara Ryan.

here’s some videos that we love (pt. 1)

Paul McCartney–“Coming Up”

Talking Heads–“Burning Down the House”

The Bats–“Block of Wood”

The Clean–“Anything Could Happen”

Tall Dwarfs–“Nothings Going to Happen”

Yma Sumac–“Pachamama”

The Beatles–“Paperback Writer/Rain” (well, “Rain” anyway)

Kiiiiiii–“4 Little Joeys”

Smog–“I Feel Like the Mother of the World”

Le Saturnin (need we say more?)

Selda Bağcan–“Adalet…

The Embarrassment–“Celebrity Art Party (Live)

The Art Ensemble of Chicago

The Music Tapes–“Majesty” (one of my fave songs from last year, just so you know)

Black Sabbath–“Iron Man”

Renaldo and the Loaf–“Songs for Swinging Larvae”

TFUL 282–“It Wasn’t Me (Live)”

(so what are some of your fave videos?)