Thursday, January 31, 2008

Friday Non-Random Ten

Damien Jurado "Matinee" (demo)
Seam "Pale Marble Movie"
T Bone Burnett "Hollywood, Mecca of the Movies"
Garland Jeffreys "35 MM Dreams"
The 6ths "Movies in My Head"
Cracker "Movie Star"
Luna "The Moviegoer"
Yo La Tengo "Deeper into Movies"
Franz Ferdinand "The Dark of the Matinee"
Okervil River "Life Is Not a Movie or Maybe"

Kinks "Celluloid Heroes"


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Raise Johann If Your Sure

Nate Silver, Baseball Prospectus:

Santana’s WARP and VORP totals are essentially pure profit for the Mets, since some of the guys they were running out there last year were replacement level talents at best. And it’s hard to think of another permutation of team and player that does more to improve a team’s chances of reaching the playoffs. Considering that the Mets managed to achieve this without giving up a single top-tier prospect, this is a happy day for Mets fans.

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Playlisted Off 2 AM

Guess when this got put together. After a crazy full day ending with free Chopin vodka (seems it's worth blogging about them if you want to get some free), it's hard to go straight to bed. Plus certain themes suggest themselves....

New Pornographers "The Slow Descent into Alcoholism"
Fountains of Wayne "Mexican Wine"
Crooked Fingers "New Drink for the Old Drunk"
Lucinda Williams "Drunken Angel"
The Buckets "I'm Drunk"
Los Lobos "I Got Loaded"
Richard Thompson "Drinking Wine Spo-Dee-o-Dee"
Tom Waits "Jockey Full of Bourbon"
Helium "Ocean of Wine"
Minus 5 "I Was Drunk"
Magnetic Fields "Too Drunk to Dream"
Lloyd Cole "Weeping Wine"
Lou Reed "The Last Shot"
Uncle Tupelo "I Got Drunk"
Evan Dando & Sabrina Brook "Summer Wine"
Richard & Linda Thompson "Down Where the Drunkards Roll"
The Handsome Family "So Much Wine"
Nouvelle Vague "Too Drunk to Fuck"
Gillian Welch "Whiskey Girl"
Alejandro Escovedo "Pissed Off 2AM"


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fest No Rest

Hey, loyal reader(s), it's that time of year when George takes vacation time from his job (no, the other job) to work a third job that led to the entry last year called Wasted Blogs and Wasted Nights. That means little time to blog, to leave annoying comments on other blogs, to sleep, perchance to dream of blogging.

But I will be spending my time with this person and that, and her and him, and a bunch of other people. Throughout it all, I will only think of you folks, though, promise. And I will return to you February 4th tireder and snarkier. (And maybe I'll drop in from time to time if this guy lets me, but it's a coin toss what kind of mood he's in.)


Monday, January 21, 2008

No Jokes in Blank Humor, No Lines in Blank Verse

Originally uploaded by Dave Pinnington Photography

In his deliriuim at about the 23rd mile of the New York Marathon, Jonathan suddenly realized he wasn't in Central Park but a Thomas Hardy novel.

Monday random Flickr-blogging explained.


The Full Flowering of the Mad Media

Originally uploaded by

Lotus Paparazzi!


A Consonant Idea

Originally uploaded by Lemoox

Despite cornering the letter market, Sandy's dreams of becoming the next Vanna White always merely seemed to float in front of her like a teasing mirage.


Friday, January 18, 2008

...Not Even a Greyhound (As Long as They Had Comfy Beds and the Grandkids Left Them Alone, Not to Mention Their Small, Pesky Dogs)

For Dog Blog Friday: No recent pictures, but here's evidence the boys can be good, as they wait for the humans to finish opening Christmas presents so they can get theirs.

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Friday Random Ten

Otis Redding "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay" The Complete Stax/Volt Singles: 1959-1968
Psapp "The Words" The Only Thing I Ever Wanted
The Pretenders "Message of Love" The Singles
Gomez "Get Myself Arrested" Bring It On
The Mekons "Brutal" The Curse of the Mekons
Johnny Cash "I'll Fly Away" Unearthed: My Mother's Hymn Book
The Mekons "Road to Florida" So Good It Hurts
Remmy Ongala & the Orchestre Super Matimila "Mrema" Mambo
Kathleen Edwards "Back to Me" Back to Me
Lambchop "Nothing but a Blur from a Bullet Train" Aw C'mon

Bill Nelson "New Moon Rising" Blue Moons and Laughing Guitars

Had a good week last week, doesn't that count for something? Even the two Mekon cuts aren't exactly their top-drawer stuff. That's not to say classic if over-played Otis Redding is anything to sneeze at, or that Kathleen Edwards doesn't purr up a righteous storm, or that Remmy Ongala doesn't grind a mighty groove. And Bill Nelson, who I loved without musical bounds back in the early '80s, well, that e-bow of his always makes me feel young and stupid. I only get to use one of those adjectives about myself these days.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

What Your Average Nuclear Aircraft Carrier Gets You These Days

There are certain things that make you feel you've made it in Santa Barbara. Having John Palminteri know your name.

Or getting a big shout-out in "On the Beat," intrepid columnist/reporter Barney Brantingham's column in the Independent. You have to scroll down to get to the item, but there's INOTBB in all its Iraq War-bashing glory.

The pond is small, but this fish is puffing his gill todays.


You Can Ride the Dinosaur, Just Don't Ride the Dinosaur

OK, I realize it's silly for me to look for logic in a person who thinks humans rode dinosaurs (did we do it bareback or saddle?), but that Mike Huckabee can be considered a viable political candidate by a major political party for national office in 2008 simply stuns me. Here are two quotes from him from a recent interview with Beliefnet:

The Bible was not written to be amended. The Constitution was. Without amendments to the Constitution, women couldn’t vote, African-Americans wouldn’t be considered people. We have had to historically go back and to clarify, because there’ve been injustices made because the Constitution wasn’t as clear as it needed to be, and that’s the point.


And the same thing would be true of marriage. Marriage has historically, as long as there’s been human history, meant a man and a woman in a relationship for life. Once we change that definition, then where does it go from there?

So history was wrong about African-Americans being enslaved and women getting the right to vote, but the reason we can't re-think marriage is history is never wrong.

It seems some folks end up men of faith because they don't have enough sense to be men of reason.

(Please note I never even got to the part where he equated homosexuality with bestiality: "I think the radical view is to say that we’re going to change the definition of marriage so that it can mean two men, two women, a man and three women, a man and a child, a man and animal." That line is so offensive you might even miss the dig on Mormon Mitt in its middle.)


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

She Can Have Her Paper, We've Got the Truth

See you there!

Do you think Wendy will try to sue every person who ever sees the film?


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Writing Went That-a-Way

No time to blog today, what with 3 jobs, and then someone Googled mitt+romney+shirtless and ended up at INOTBB, so I have to shower, too.

In the meantime, go read something someone I know wrote about Michael Pollan, who all you Santa Barbarians should go see Thursday night at 8 pm in Campbell Hall.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Ronald Reagan Returns to Santa Barbara--You'd Think It Was a Ghost or Something

Two larger clumps of random thoughts from a random mind that seem to go together after a long day (I'm sort of working three jobs at once right now, so that's the best I can do)....

The LA Times maybe shouldn't wander up to Santa Barbara. Or should invest in a fact checker. Their Sunday travel section visited Santa Barbara (at least they say they did) and someone reported that SoHo has "two cavernous rooms." Now, if a New York City reporter who lives in a studio called SoHo cavernous that would be one thing, but in California we tend to know what the word "big" actually means. After all, what other state has its own sea? SoHo is a nightclub. People like Jonathan Richman play there.

Then, in an article about a from-market-to-plate cooking class, there's this priceless line, "We travel in a caravan to Hauben's home in Santa Barbara's leafy LaRoque neighborhood overlooking the mountains."

First, it's San Roque, not LaRoque (I guess we should feel good the writer didn't name our neighborhood after John Laroquette). Second, Santa Barbara is pinned between the ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains. It's a coastal plain. You can't OVERlook mountains unless you're in huge platforms or on an even bigger mountain or wearing good size shoes on a modest yet proud hill. That's not getting topography wrong, that's just plain dumb writing.

Then again, I guess I just don't know what news is. Here in town everyone is gaga because the USS Ronald Reagan is anchored off shore. I think it's wonderful our sailors get to enjoy our town and get a break from doing the terrible things empire makes them do. I just don't see why every news outlet has to cover it like it's a huge deal. Sure, the ship is ginormous. Sure, it's wonderful to know two nuclear reactors are now off our shoreline, making us like San Onofre without the need for a brassiere [edited 1/15/08 10:20 am--see comments]. Sure, the ship's motto is "Peace through Strength," the very inverse of Dennis Kucinich's slogan "Strength through Peace." (Given Kucinich's stature, he might rate a tugboat someday.) Sure, it cost $4.5 billion dollars to build, but that's a measly 18 days of the Iraq War, so a bargain.

It's just that I don't care it's here. I realize its massive size is supposed to be Viagra to my ever-flagging patriotism, but what's American in me would rather stand up and salute a traveling display of the Bill of Rights. Of course these days there's a provision that if you enjoy the first ten amendments for more than four hours, you've violated the Patriot Act. But you don't have consult anyone; they're listening to your calls and will know where you are.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Erik the Apple Red

Originally uploaded by progrium

It's not over till the skinny guy computes.

Moday random Flickr-blogging explained.


Burning Man

Originally uploaded by rmhall

The Donners knew they'd never be able to escape their family legacy when things went a bit overboard at the last tailgate party.


J.J. You Owe Me One

Originally uploaded by Bel Biv

Why I sometimes hate the inernets...I can't look at a photo like this, now, and not expect the Statue of Liberty's head to go bowling down the avenues.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Friday Random Ten

Ali Farka Toure with Ry Cooder "Sega" Talking Timbuktu
Brian Eno "Blank Frank" Here Come the Warm Jets
Eyuphuro "Oh Mama (Oh Mother)" Mama Mosambiki
Sex Pistols "God Save the Queen" (demo) D.I.Y.: Anarchy in the UK--UK Punk I (1976-77)
Truckee Brothers "Gritty Pretty" Double Happiness
Victoria Williams "Let It Be So" Musings of a Creek Dipper
Andrew Bird "Opposite Day" The Mysterious Production of Eggs
Joshua Redman "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore?" Timeless Tales (For Changing Times)
Wilco "Via Chicago" Summerteeth
Guided by Voices "Pimple Zoo" Alien Lanes

The Flamin' Groovies "Tallahassee Lassie" Groovies Greatest Grooves

Well, Flamin' Groovies two weeks in a row. There's certainly worse repeats than that, especially in a week with a wonderful world music flavor, the Sex Pistols anthem (in a slightly different guise), wonderfully weirdos like Andrew Bird and Victoria Williams, one of my favorite Wilco songs (and that means something), one of the Truckee's best, an Eno back from the fantastic first four, a fun Redman jazz workout, and 40 seconds of Robert Pollard doodling better than most people's finished compositions.

I'll take it.


Nigel, Big Fish in a Small Bed, with Rickey Remora

For Dog Blog Friday: Nigel and Rickey don't ask, don't tell.


He's Holding on with Both Hands

(Moshe Milner / Getty Images)

Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert gives President Bush a GPS device. Here he is seen pointing out to President Bush the "ass" and "hole in the ground" settings.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The P Word

Move over, "liberal," there's a new big bad buzzword out there. It seems the trendy card-carrying thing to be these days is a "populist," well, unless you're somebody who looks all scary like this:
Don't worry, he's not about to bite, he's just a businessman. That's Tom Donohue, President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. For some reason I thought the Chamber of Commerce had something to do with bodega-owners and bakers and ma-and-pa store-makers, but it seems once anything has "U.S." in front of it these days it has to get super-sized. The LA Times reports:

Alarmed at the increasingly populist tone of the 2008 political campaign, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is set to issue a fiery promise to spend millions of dollars to defeat candidates deemed to be anti-business.


"I'm concerned about anti-corporate and populist rhetoric from candidates for the presidency, members of Congress and the media," [Donohue] said. "It suggests to us that we have to demonstrate who it is in this society that creates jobs, wealth and benefits -- and who it is that eats them."


Under a system Donohue pioneered, corporations contribute money to the chamber, which then finances attack ads targeting individual candidates without revealing the name of the businesses involved in the ads.

In 2000, drug companies paid the chamber to run advertisements in Michigan to help elect then-Republican Sen. Spencer Abraham. Pharmaceutical companies that year gave the chamber additional millions to run issue ads attacking mostly Democratic House candidates. And large corporations paid $1 million or more to support advertising campaigns against judges deemed too friendly to plaintiffs.

So the Chamber of Commerce is corporations, not Bubba's Sandwich Shop or Arlene's Yarn Nook. For if anyone needs protection, it's Pfizer and Exxon.

I'm not ignorant to the ugly sides of "populism," a word that too often gets played fast and loose and of course can lead to nativism and Nazi Germany as easily as a world of cooperatives and trade unions. OK, even more easily, as the perfect populist state has never happened and the perfectly devilish one has.

Still, it's hard not to think that what's going by the name of populism these days--John Edwards' call for universal health care, etc.--is really a code word for arguing for, if not the poor, at least the poorer. Workers, people like that. Someone might argue to Mr. Donohue the actual laborers create wealth.

Or we could make a call for a kind of economic bi-partisanship. Maybe the corporations could think about how to create a world where the workers did well, too? Perhaps this supposed science fiction spectacle actually is more prophetic than we give it credit...


Why We Don't Know Shit (An Ongoing Series)

This study pretty much sums up our problems as a country and why our democracy is broken. The Project for Excellence in Journalism studied 2008 campaign coverage and discovered this about the topics of campaign stories:

Political Topics 63.4%
Personal Topics 17.3%
Domestic Policy 7.2%
Foreign Policy 7.5%
Public Record 1.4%
Electorate 1.1%
Misc. 2.0%

So most of the coverage so far, almost 2/3 of it, has been about who is winning and who is losing. Given a different person has won or lost at every stop so far (heck, let's even give Mitt his Gold Medal in Wyoming), that means there's plenty of horse race to talk about. Especially when the media keeps getting it wrong.

But if you want learn something about a candidate's positions from the news, good luck.

We're going to need it.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Bronx Cheer

In 2007 the New York Yankees traded for back-up catcher Jose Molina (one of the the 3 catching Molina Bros. in baseball but not the one Mets fans will hate in perpetuity) from the Angels of Angeles. For the season for the two teams, he was paid $1.35 million, not bad for a guy with slightly over a 1000 at-bats in 8 big league seasons. That is to say, he doesn't play much, which is good for the teams he's on, since his lifetime stats are .243/.279/.345. Heck, I might be able to beat him at Wii baseball.

Why does Jose Molina matter, you may ask (sorry, if you're reading, Mrs. Jose Molina)? Because the Yankees don't seem willing to give back a Jose Molina to the Bronx they're ruining. The Monday New York Times reports:

Several years ago, as the Yankees negotiated to build a new stadium in the South Bronx, the neighborhood faced the realities of a massive construction project in its midst: parks would be closed and moved, traffic would be horrendous, life would be, for a while, a hassle.

So, as one way to make up for these inconveniences, the Yankees and elected officials signed a community benefits agreement. It required that the team would give roughly $1.2 million a year, starting when the work began, to various community groups through a special panel. [...]

But nearly 17 months after construction began, as workers race to complete the new Yankee Stadium by opening day 2009, none of that money has been distributed, and the group responsible for administering it has never met.

You can go read the whole sorry tale, as the Yankees blame politicians, the politicians blame each other and the Yankees, and nothing gets done. For a Jose Molina a year.

So the bad-off South Bronx (which at least isn't as bad off as it was in the 1970s) can get worse, as far as the Yankees care. But at least the world will be safe from the mighty influence of PEDs and all the children who emulate baseball players, as Congress grandstands moves on that instead of doing some good about, well, anything. But for that argument, go read Gary Huckaby over at Baseball Prospectus for some true prospective.


Monday, January 07, 2008

The Media--Not Left, Not Right, Just Wrong

Don't know if you watched the Democratic candidates debate on Saturday night, but we did, and I admit I joined in with the derisive laughter at this moment (the key line happens at 36 seconds in or so):

As if the glasses halfway down his nose don't already scream patrician SOB, but what is Charlie Gibson thinking? Sure, he only made $7 million in 2005, so he feels the middle class pinch if anyone does. He probably has to limit the number of designer glasses to buy to perch on that nose to a mere three or four.

Inside HigherEd looked into Gibson's claim and wrote "the average salary for a full professor at Saint Anselm is just over $77,000 while the average for assistant professors is under $50,000. " So even if two full professors are married, they're still 46 grand short of the 200 grand point at which the wealthiest Americans would get taxed in most of the Dem candidates' plans. Indeed, the U.S. Census figures for 2006 put the median U.S. income at $48, 201, which would mean you'd need to be a Mormon supporter of Mitt Romney with 4 incomes in your family to sniff that $200,000 threshold. (Sorry to put the image of the Mittster and sniffing in the same sentence.)

All this economy talk wouldn't matter if the press's view of things wasn't the prevailing view of politicians, too. On January 4, when we heard the jobless rate hit a two-year high of 5%, President Bush tried to calm us by saying (according to CNN) "that while there is some uncertainty about slowing economic growth, the nation's 'financial markets are strong and solid.'" Of course, according to the Economic Policy Institute, less than 50% of American households own stock, and only 35% hold more than $5,000 of it. So while a stock market on the rise helps friends of George W. and Charlie Gibson, the rest of us might not be so fortunate.

Politicians live in the media, and it's not a pretty petri dish most of us get to swim in.

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Put That Back in Its Holster

Originally uploaded by Tales_of_Interest

Ever glad you can't take someone's word for something?

Monday random Flickr-blogging explained.


Tramps Like Us, Our Stockings Were Born to Run

Originally uploaded by icanteachyouhowtodoit

I just found this rare Roberta Bayely shot of David Johansen on Ebay.


She's Got a Foot in Her Mouth

Originally uploaded by smeltesen

Natasha sends a not-so-subtle image to her ex proving he's not the big shot he claimed to be.


But They Just Can't Flush the Beast

Originally uploaded by eduardo montepeque

So it turns out that the Eagles kicked out Don Felder as he'd always practice the guitar solo for "Hotel California" while in the can.


You Promised Not to Stair

Originally uploaded by *melkor*

Bobby, drunk on magenta again.


Friday, January 04, 2008

Imagine the USC Marching Band Accompanies this Entry

It's 104 years ago today that poor Topsy went turvy and thereby made execution and film history (you can go watch the film at YouTube, but I don't really want it on my blog). Thomas Edison always thought big, so figured if you're going to make the first snuff film, don't waste the celluloid on a butterfly. (That's why he invented collagen before filming his earlier historic film "The Kiss.") Although it is unclear if Edison was a Democrat, he decided to fry an elephant (it was eight years too early to go for a Bull Moose, after all, and there's no point in executing someone like Fred Thompson now as he'd just sleep through it). Yes, it all had something to do with arguing for safer DC versus scarier, easier-to-electrocute-giant things AC, and for beating out Westinghouse, and making money, but my guess is nobody asked Topsy how she felt about that. One day you're rumbling along Luna Park in Coney Island without a care in the world except where your next peanut is coming from, and the next day they're shooting 6600 volts through you. After all, you didn't mean to kill your trainer any more than he meant to try to feed you a lit cigarette. I'm sure it was all in good fun both ways. If nothing else, Topsy has a monument and made the list of famous elephants on Wikipedia. The trainer didn't even make the list of mean and stupid humans. Of course, that's a mighty long list.


Friday Random Ten

Stephin Merritt "The World Is Not Made of Flowers" Showtunes
Emmylou Harris "Waltz Across Texas Tonight" Wrecking Ball
The Flamin' Groovies "Between the Lines" Groovies Greatest Grooves
Uncle Tupelo "New Madrid" 89/93: An Anthology
Glenn Gould "The Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080 - Contrapunctus" The Gould Variations - The Best of Glenn Gould's Bach
Otis Redding "Come to Me" The Complete Stax-Volt Singles 1959-1968
The Pogues "Blue Heaven" Peace and Love
Tommy Keene "Something to Rave About" Real Underground
Johnny Cash "Do Lord" Unearthed: My Mother's Hymn Book
Richard Buckner "10-Day Room" Since

Ed's Redeeming Qualities "Sad" More Bad Times

"Rivers burn and run backwards, and for her that's enough." I always sort of felt that "New Madrid" was the song when Tweedy finally became equal to Farrar, and therefore it shook the group and couldn't bring it back. Just an idea.


The Old Coot Is a Real Hoot

For Dog Blog Friday: Post the holidays, Mookie doesn't look forward to going back to his grind as a Hooters waitress.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Seven Lies from Sundown

Gee, take a few days off and you get tagged more times than the Spears sisters combined. It seems Ben at Dictionopolis in Digitopolis says I have to play this one:

"Tell seven facts about yourself that aren't true. Unless they are."


1) I never blog at work.
2) I never work at work.
3) All work and no play makes George a dull boy.
4) I'm writing this listening to a cut from Black Sheep Boy by Okkervil River.
5) One of the reasons I stopped writing poetry is I got married and didn't need people falling in love with me for my brilliant words anymore.
6) One of the reasons I got married was so I could stop writing poetry for I didn't need to fall in love with my brilliant words anymore.
7) I finished this list listening to Okkervil River's "Don't Fall in Love with Everyone You See."

And one bonus that's not true--if you read this, you are tagged.

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38 for 2008

Mike, who hadn't blogged much at all the second half of 2007 as his new job has been very time-consuming and his computer was eaten by a virus (twice?), managed to poke his fingers into the internets enough to tag me with a meme that has 38 questions. In an effort to keep Mike blogging, I will attempt to answer. In an effort not to piss off anyone else, I will not tag anyone. Feel free to swim at your own risk...

1. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before? Work at an international film festival. Play Wii. Tie a cherry stem into a knot with my tongue.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I resolved to be resolute. Tell me if you think it's working.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No, I stay out of the maternity ward.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Alas, yes, my dad.

5. What places did you visit? San Francisco, Anderson Valley, Paso Robles, Los Angeles, Escondido, northern New Jersey, New York City all too briefly.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007? Common sense. Uncommon dollars.

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? September 12. See answer #4.

8. What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year? Survived the grueling 11-day SBIFF. Became Food Editor of the Independent.

9. What was your biggest failure? Not getting the new website at my real job up by year's end (but that's also because of the company we hired to help us do it, so I'm taking them with me into blamedom).

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Alopecia.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Can I say Amy's A3 (blond in photo not included)?

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? The dogs have been pretty good.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Pretty much everyone in politics. The New York Mets since September 1 (that includes the off-season).

14. Where did most of your money go? If I only knew.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Shoot, I think I only got up to two exciteds this year. With both parents now dead and a sore back most mornings, I get excited waking up each day.

16. What song will always remind you of 2007? That dreadful one that begins with the piano chords featured in the Zales ads and played on KLITE twice daily--I refuse to know its name or know who the "artist" is--which I can't help but hear from my co-worker's cube but I have yet to damage any of her teddy bears in revenge.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) Happier or sadder?
Both, depending on the moment. So, deeper.
b) thinner or fatter? I became a food editor and got a year older. Any guesses?
c) richer or poorer? Work a job and a quarter and take vacation to work a third and you do become richer. It's odd how that works.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Things in bed.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Go to funerals.

20. How did you spend Christmas last year? My mom died Christmas 2006. But I was with my sisters and niece, which was the one plus.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007? I fell a long time ago, and we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary this year.

22. How many one-night stands? Um, did you hear me an answer ago?

23. What was your favorite TV program? Probably Top Chef.

24. What did you do for your birthday in 2007? Went to a cheese tasting and then dinner.

25. What was the best book you read? Here's four: Then We Came to the End, Little Scarlet, The United States of Arugula, and The Year of Magical Thinking.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? Five on my own, as much as any discovery is solo: The Mendoza Line, Truckee Brothers, Detroit Cobras, I'm from Barcelona, and Okkervil River. Sure, I should have known some of these prior to 2007. Three thanks to Ahab: Loose music samplers, Damien Jurado, Sparklehorse.

27. What did you want and get? A powerful, recently elected Democratic majority that got us out of Iraq.

Sorry, thought it was April 1 for a second.

28. What did you want and not get? Ah, I just twofered!

29. What was your favorite film of this year? As has been our habit, I missed many of the films I thought I'd like best. Watched Born Yesterday, which I hadn't seen in years, with my in-laws and Amy over Christmas break and we all enjoyed it immensely. So for that warm watching experience, I go with Judy Holliday and William Holden.

30. Did you make some new friends this year? There's this guy Tony who lives in my mouth. Seriously, yes, I did. People I only know from the internets send me CDs now. How cool is that?

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? The Democrats achieving, oh, anything.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007? Try to be sure that fly is zipped. And I apologize to everyone for that one sloppy day....

33. What kept you sane? I'm crazy for Amy.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Can I answer which one I plain the most instead?

35. What political issue stirred you the most? Have you heard of Iraq?

36. Who did you miss? My parents. Although it might be good that my mom didn't have to suffer through the Mets' collapse.

37. Who was the best new person you met? I assume you mean "new to me" and that I don't have to choose an infant. Well, I'm not into ranking my friends like that. But I made a bunch this year in all sorts of avenues (and no dark alleys). So they're all best. Especially that one guy who owes me 10 dollars.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007. Hug Mookie every day, because he lets you, the sweet boy. And he's ten now.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy Grew Year!

It's January 1, 2008. We got these from our garden today before taking out the tomato plants and putting in lettuce, kohlrabi, kale, arugula, chard, parsley. Winter in Santa Barbara.

Nonetheless, INOTBB wishes all of you--Santa Barbarian or not--a 2008 full of succulent ripeness at all the best surprising times. And be sure whenever it arrives to bite down. Hard.


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