Friday, February 29, 2008

They Find It All a Different Story

I can't begin to say how much this song meant to me back in the early '80s--I played that 12" single of it, well, I was going to say to death but that seems wrong in the case of poor Mr. Curtis. So here it is in 4 versions, because I can.

1984 New Order style, when they were young and punky and snooty and said things to open a show 3 hours late like, "You paid for it you waited for it and now you're fucked." Sorry for the annoying intro ramp.

Then Dean & Britta play it like it's Joy Division's "Atmosphere" for an adoring crown in Taiwan.

While Radiohead give it more oomph for the BBC.

And then our heroes New Order are back in 2002, looking positively middle-aged and chubby. But they opt to rock anyway.

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I Double Dog Couch You

For Dog Blog Friday: I promise, we didn't Photoshop this image. I also promise this pose didn't last for more than 2 minutes.


Friday Random Ten

Parkas "Start Your Own Country" Loose 4: Start Your Own Country
The Clash "London's Burning" Clash on Broadway
T Bone Burnett "Fatally Beautiful" Twenty Twenty: The Essential T Bone Burnett
Glenn Gould "Partitia III in A minor, BWV 827: III, Courante" Gould Plays Bach Partitas Nos. 3 and 4
Jon Rauhouse "Untitled Pedal Steel Guitar Riff" Down to the Promised Land: 5 Years of Bloodshot Records
John Wesley Harding "Here Comes the Groom" Here Comes the Groom
The Mekons "We're Just Outside London" Pussy King of the Pirates
Dr. Lonnie Smith "He's a Mighty Good Leader" Boogaloo to Beck
James White & the Blacks "Contort Yourself" (original version) Rough Trade Shops: Post Punk Vol 1
Charlie Parker "Wonderful Work" Be Bop Revisited

Lucinda Williams "Words Fell" World Without Tears

Compared to the past few weeks, this is a masterpiece. A bunch of quick blasts that couldn't be more different (Gould, Rauhouse, Mekons with Kathy Acker), classic punk and post-punk, two of my faves by T Bone and JW Harding, a weirdo cover of Beck, and I haven't got to Lucinda or Charlie Parker or the Parkas, thank you, Ahab.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dear Dairy

It was on February 29, 1848 that Neufchatel declared its independence of Switzerland, and boy were the Swiss cheesed.

You know, I really can't go on with this one or I'd been spreading it on too thick and that's not my way. I'd like to be curd of the problem, but I'll even resort to misspellings to milk a joke. So before you all have a cow about my pun run, I'm going to send it out to pasture.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

INOTBB Offers Wendy McCaw a Few Poynters

Since I've already agreed with George Bush this week, might as well go in for a penny in for a pound. I'm now going to agree with Wendy McCaw, who regular readers of INOTBB might have noticed I'm not too fond of. I subscribe to the great service PoynterOnline, which provides all sorts of state-of-the-art news about news. In an article posted Feb. 20 they included the line, "Surveys have told us for years that a growing number of people don't trust the media." This is something Wendy and her attack dog Travis Armstrong have harped on frequently to justify the paper's meltdown as some sort of cleansing, although instead of saying people don't trust the media, they say people don't trust journalists (and since neither of them are journalists, they're exempt of course).

But PoynterOnline then explains what one paper is doing to build back that trust. Spokane, Washington's Spokesman-Review has created the "transparent newsroom." Wendy-watchers can already see the problem, as she assumes anyone watching her newsroom--besides her hired private dicks trying to make sure there's never heard an encouraging union word--should be sued.

Here are some of the highlights of what that means:
  • a written ethics policy
  • that is discussed in an open town meeting at the local library
  • a blog by the editor discussing how decisions are made
  • live webcasts of the paper's daily news meetings, when they decide what to cover and how many resources to bring to bear upon any story
  • the hiring of dozens of lawyers

OK, I made that last one up so if Wendy was reading she might stay interested. But it is really worth looking at the full plan. The article goes on to say:

The goal is not, [Spokesman-Review editor Steve] Smith said, for the public to start controlling the press or the content it produces, but rather to strengthen the relationship between the press and communities it serves.

"Journalists always retain the right to say no. Transparency is not the same as passivity," Smith said. "When you’re as open as we are, it's possible to engage in a debate with readers in ways that we couldn't in the past. When people pitch us an idea it still has to be vetted in all the ways that stories do: Is it important enough? Does it match up with our values?"

Speaking of values, here in Santa Barbara, of course, one might argue whether "I own it, damn it" is a value.

What's more, this paper in Spokane isn't some oddball frontier of whacked-out journalism. The PoynterOnline article goes on to discuss other examples of varying degrees of transparency, even at a Coral Gables, Florida Fox TV affiliate. Wendy really has to start wondering what's up when she gets out-thought by a Fox station.

According to the article, the station's news director Forrest Carr said the station aims to uphold democracy, "giving voice to everyday people, in all their diversity, and helping them to hold the powerful accountable. We state what we stand for. And we hold ourselves accountable to the public."

Imagine that.

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Flying in the Face of the United States

"What's going on, America!" I say, grabbing America by its wide lapels, since America is never quite up with the trends.

First 60% of you say the Iraq War is a mistake.

Second, John McCain, the man who will be the Republican nominee for president, said in response to President Bush claiming we would be in Iraq for 50 years, "Make it 100...that would be fine with me."

Third, according to an LA Times/Bloomberg poll "half of registered voters said McCain -- a Vietnam vet who has supported the Bush administration's military strategy -- was better able to deal with Iraq."

I guess the educational system in this country is in even worse shape than I thought.


Flying in the Face of United

I like donating money to causes important to me, from Planned Parenthood to the local Food Bank, from Direct Relief International to the Nation Associates. I don't like my employer and its representatives harping on me to give. I don't like giving to an organization that then gives my money out as it sees fit.

I don't like the United Way.

There, I've said it. I'm sure most of the people involved are genuinely altruistic, good-hearted, kind to puppies, recyclers of all their paper scraps, etc. Still, the organization drives me nuts. It makes giving seem corporate, somehow. Or that we need an intermediary to get between us and our possible goodness.

For instance on their SB site they write:

If you want to give a one-time gift directly to one charity, it might be easier for you to do so directly – United Way supports your desire for charitable giving no matter how you choose to make it. But we truly believe that partnering with us, by donating to our community care fund, is the best way to help the most people and your gift through United Way will bring real, meaningful change to issues affecting quality living for Santa Barbara County residents who need help.

So I guess my direct donation gives unreal, insignificant change. That I don't care about my community. That I'm niggardly with my partnering skills. That when I give on my own it's the worst way for the fewest people.

Yeah, I guess part of what irks me is that to do what United Way does they have to turn on the marketing BS and that in and of itself cheapens things. After all, I'm in the business, so when I'm given the business I get a bit touchy. Particularly when they come in twice weekly emails from a coworker roped into being a department rep for the campaign. It does seem as if you don't belong if you don't take part--like maybe you're not even worth working where you do if you don't cough up the cash.

Ultimately it's so very corporate--too much a product of our age. We can't even be charitable without an entire apparatus of middle-people pushing us to give, planning our benificence, hyping us up, repackaging our hope as something we can not just believe but truly believe.

I, for one, in my own far from united and stubborn way, believe I won't.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Look, I Do Agree with George Bush on Something!

This speaks for itself, no? (hat tip, Crooks and Liars)


Monday, February 25, 2008

Half Truths Are Wholly Empty

I got into a pissing war over at BlogaBarbara last week that I haven't had the time to finish up with, plus trying to do so in comments is pretty much impossible, especially because the person I was responding to, so cleverly using the nom-de-net Look for the Union Libel, was standing up for Wendy McCaw, of course, to start, but somehow took that as a way to attack all unions, particularly teacher unions, and Barack Obama too.

Eventually Libel replied:

Prop 13 did not destroy California's educational system. Plenty of money pours into the system with gold-plated benefits every day for teachers.

Unions have made teachers lives very cushy and kept us from firing the worst of them for their decades of incompetence.

That is what brought down the schools - the strangulation by the unions and their primary goal bar none: job protection regardless of outcomes or any possible accountability besides producing failing students year after year.

Of course, it's easy to argue when you make assertions and fail to offer any facts to back these baseless claims up. So let's go to the facts...for instance, if teachers' unions have made things so comfy cozy for teachers, why is it true (look, you can read it in the Washington Post) that 50% of teachers quit before their fifth year in the profession? I can see Libel wanting to claim that's because they realize teacher unions are bad, but I'd have to counter it's hard to make things cushy for your rank and file and make them bad at the same time.

To act like teachers aren't accountable is also bunk. First, love it or hate it, NCLB is full of standards and testing. But year's before George Bush asked "is our children learning?" California set up standards. In 1997, California’s State Board of Education adopted content standards for K–12 schools in five academic areas. You can read about that here.

As for Prop 13, I have to admit it certainly helps us afford the house we own, so I'm openly conflicted about it. The people who tend to defend Prop 13 beyond anti-taxers are folks like the Cato Institute, where right-wing business money goes to bathe in libertarian "thought" that makes every excuse for the marketplace and none for government. That said, read any serious research in education and you'll quickly learn about how California went from first to worst in public education--there's more info about that decline here. Just as one example, Georgia and Oklahoma can have universal preschool, but CA can't afford it. (And I know, I know, I'm risking an attack by the virulent folks who think universal preschool is the fluoridation of the education system, but when the people on their side are the super-religious, home-schoolers, Ayn Randites, and VDare, I think it's safe to say the other side is the place to be.)

But Libel also doesn't realize the biggest problem with Prop 13 isn't the cuts in the education budget. It's that the proposition also shifted educational control from local communities to the state. So education got less responsive to on the ground activities--teachers and principals and superintendents and yes, parents, got less of a say about how things could be done--and the state took over, which made things even more politicized (heck, we have both a State Superintendent of Public Instruction, elected and a Secretary of Education, appointed).

Indeed, anonymous with a nickname, you have libeled unions.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

It Came Upon the Midnight Clarinet

Originally uploaded by bassbillflickr

Stephen Foster juvenilia: "Oh Santa, oh don't you cry for me, you've come from the North Pole with a banjo on your knee."

Monday random Flickr blogging explained.


Week at the Knees

Originally uploaded by OpenEye

Sure, Thursday sold out, but Tuesday held strong to its principles. Whether its art is any good is for others to judge.


Things We Did on Grass

Originally uploaded by Penny Velvet Lane

Penny hoped that getting on grass would rouse her from her black and white world.


Cause I'm Not Not Not Not Not Not Your Academy

(4: 50 PM)
In an effort to lighten things up--plus we have 3 growlers full of beer to drink and the women are all at their bookclub Oscar party us men weren't invited to, a bunch of us who just happen to blog are getting together to watch the Oscars ourselves. And I will try to live blog a bit, just like last year. Because I have no new ideas, and there's no better way to celebrate the end of the writers' strike than by rehashing old ideas.

Look, I've thought Tilda Swinton was a babe and brillant actress since Orlando. And love The Deep End, which is an excellent film in its own right but reminded at least 13 people of Max Ophuls' Reckless Moment, too, which is another personal fave. But that dress Swinton is inside--wearing it doesn't seem accurate--looks like a rejected part of the Humphrey Dome outfield wall. (Woo-hoo: first dig of the evening, and it combines baseball and Hollywood!)

(4:58 PM)
Here's Kenneth Turan in today's LA Times:

Anderson, a modern cinematic visionary, is happiest when he is out on the aesthetic edge, using a ferocity of approach to involve audiences in distrubing, difficult narratives. If "There Will be Blood" were to win, it would validate the "one genius, one film" approach to moviemaking that goes at least as far back as Orson Welles and "Citizen Kane."

Except Welles didn't win the best director Oscar. And "Kane" didn't win for best film. And if "Blood" wins anything, it might be for the one genius in the film, Daniel Day-Lewis.

But otherwise I totally I agree with Turan.

(5:45 PM)
More dog blood (see entry below) and guests, so not as much attention to Stewart, who actually seemed to be funny. Which is a good thing because he is.

You do know that animated segment that opened the show and ended with a shot of Ahnold would have ended with Fred Thompson for a more national appeal, but the animated Fred was asleep....

(6:00 PM)
Marion Cotillard gets to be very happy--she might not win, but her make-up has.

(6:25 PM)
First, let's hear it for the musical numbers as they give me time to blog. Second, how do you do a "bad dreams" montage, even as a joke, and not include Jimmy Stewart waking up in Vertigo? Third, I comment, in my snooty way, that I've read the book The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, only to have Dave at the party say, "Casey Affleck gave a great performance in that book."

(6:33 PM)
So they're doing the jokes about Jerry Seinfeld as the Bee appearing in other films, and they show the clip from The Swarm. Instantly Dave at our party says, "They should have a an arrow pointing to him." Which of course they then do. So it seems Dave at our party is actually Bruce Villanch.

(6:41 PM)
So we have a huge upset, perhaps just to have Tilda Swinton's dress get airtime. It is going to be hard to top her acceptance speech--I mean she got both a butt and nipples into it.

(7:04 PM)
During the sound editing award, which we all agree we don't understand, I ask has anybody seen this when they show the clip from There Will Be Blood. None of my guests say yes, but I say, "No, I mean has anybody seen this?" As we laugh, the clip from Transformers comes on and one guest says, "I've seen that." And we all laugh again.

(7:23 PM)
Is Nicholson the only person who can say "touches the humanity" and make it sound dirty?

(7:43 PM)
Poor Penelope Cruz--something has gone and died on her bossom.

We also joke that all the awards so far seem to have been Foreign Language.

Also, be thankful I left out all the tasteless jokes when poor Robert Boyle won his award and fought his way through his speech. It is possible he was played by Julie Christie....

(8:01 PM)
No snark. Just a very classy moment, bringing back Marketa Irglova.

(8:19 PM)
How nice of Elton John to show up with his hairdo tribute to There's Something about Mary.

(9:39 PM)
So it's sort of best to leave this with an inconclusive conclusion to honor this year's best picture.


Mook Predicts: There Will Be Blood

Yesterday we were out of the house for a good long while helping Big Table move into his new ocean-view estate and when we came home it looked like someone had been slaughtered in our house.

OK, it wasn't that bad, but there was blood on the kitchen tiles, on the living room wood floors, the living room rug, the sofa, and most lovely of all, on our bed. The odder thing was both dogs seemed more or less fine.

The problem is Mookie hasn't been fine for a bit. It sort of seems that turning 10 meant he had to start acting old. Starting this calendar year he developed some weirdness with his paws--we at first joked he had gout--and the vet keeps testing and trying and even dragging out big books to look things up. Our unique dog has opted for a unique malady. Seems in addition to a new thryoid problem, which requires pills, he's got some auto-immune disease in which his body rejects his own nails. So his feet get swollen and red, and that's the best part. For so far he's lost 3 nails, which have pulled up off the quick, leaving tender, bloody little nubs. And, at times, a true mess all over the house. Because if you're a dog, there's no medicine like your own saliva, liberally applied with your own tongue.

The vet prescribes other things, of course. Mook's been on steroids for the auto-immune problem, and was on an antibiotic, and has to get a 10-20 minute foot soak in medicated water once a day, too. All the pills leave him extra-thristy, so he's drinking a ton of water, which means his usually voluminous bladder fills mighty fast, so he wakes up twice a night needing to go out.

But in some ways saddest of all, there's a greyhound who is gimpy. This is a magnificent machine meant to run, and he sort of just hobbles about, a true tenderfoot.

So there's yet more reason the blog has been a bit neglected of late--the combo of doing more for Mookie, feeling ever-anxious and unsure of what's the best way to help the poor guy, and not wanting just to blabber on about an unhealthy dog.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Random Ten

Patty Loveless "Sounds of Loneliness" Songcatcher
Buena Vista Social Club "Orgullecida" Buena Vista Social Club
Brian Eno "Ali Click" (Darkly Mad Mix) Ali Click ep
Sleater-Kinney "Funeral Song" One Beat
Tommy Page "I'll Be Your Everything" Just Say Sire: The Sire Records Story
Pavement "Grounded" Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain: L.A.'s Desert Origins
Lloyd Cole & the Commotions "From the Hip" 1984-1989
Built to Spill "Car" There's Nothing Wrong with Love
Gumball "Butterfly Potion" Wisconsin Hayride
My Morning Jacket "Anytime" Z

The Clash "Ghetto Defendant" Clash on Broadway

Built to Spill takes the best of show prize--all that great guitar and a wonderful woozy lyric--then there's an odd take on some elsewhere better presented Pavement, a raucous Eno remix, solid Sleater-Kinney and Lloyd Cole.

But that Tommy Page. I've got a lot of digging to do to get out of that uncool hole.


Home, Hearth, Hounds

For Dog Blog Friday: Rickey looks forward, Nigel looks confused.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Different Bruce, but This Is Boss

I guess I really shouldn't complain about all the work when all I have time to do is tell you about the beer I've been drinking, but you really need to get some of this stuff:

Totally delicious. Make that lenny-licious! And yes, this sort of connects with the Roy Scheider entry and All that Jazz, too, so I might not be writing a lot, but everything I do write connects.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What the Ale!

Depending on how you want to read things, the picture above, captured by my new iPhone, is either:

1) a rainbow, symbol of peace, unity, and some sort of new covenant;
2) a meteor crashing through my life and leaving a swath of pretty destruction.

I was at a marketing conference last weekend, ensconced in the San Diego Sheraton that is lovely if you own a yacht and the middle of nowhere if not, but of course I wasn't supposed to leave the hotel anyway as I had to learn about DDD and Web 2.0 and ROI and why Millennials think I'm an old fart for actually using email and not Twittering or texting. Afterwards I did get to spend time with my wonderful wife and her family in Escondido, featuring a Sunday that included consumption of, more or less in order (and you'll see why I maybe can't remember): Stone Imperial Russian Stout, Pizza Port Hop 15, Green Flash Fifth Anniversary Double IPA, Alesmith Grand Cru, Alesmith Speedway Stout. So, somewhere between busy and blotto, I didn't much care to blog.

Now back in Santa Barbara, it's been the regular craziness of the jobs that have kept me away, plus fun stuff like having to go in person to renew my driver's license (and admit that the weight listed back in 1994 isn't exactly my weight now--see list of beers above for explanation).

But I do want to write you things. So thanks for still checking in. Both of you.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Blogging with Myself

If you go to the JoJo Blog, you can read a post of mine that you might have already read here at INOTBB. And so I said to Mr. Moebius, "Strip."


Monday, February 18, 2008

Femme-ing at the Mouth

This one's for Marty, although it doesn't quite apply, but when forces as wonderful as the Velvets, Alex Chilton, and Yo La Tengo converge, it's got to be a sign of some sort.

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Ain't It Pool News

Originally uploaded by DanielN

Sure they're laughing now, but as the real estate market collapses and global warming gets worse too, this scene will become the sad norm.

Monday random Flickr-blogging explained.


Tons of Topless

Originally uploaded by ari_nyc

Hundreds of Americans watch and wait for their $600 refund checks after having the shirts taxed off their backs.

(And that title better score some cheap Google hits.)


I Don't Know Why You Say Goodbye I Say Halo

Originally uploaded by princessangel

Joe turned out to be only half smart. While dressing up like St. Francis for hunting season made it much easier to take aim at deer and rabbits, fellow hunters were confused by his brown tunic with nary any orange. Joe now knows St. Francis a bit more intimately than he would care to.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Friday Random Ten

James Brown "Prisoner of Love" The CD of JB
Prince "I Wanna Be Your Lover" The Very Best of Prince
Feist "The Limit to Your Love" The Reminder
The Silos "Tell Me You Love Me" Bloodshot Records Sampler 7
The Holmes Brothers "Love Train" Speaking in Tongues
Matthew Sweet "Beware My Love" In Reverse
Chet Baker "I've Never Been in Love Before" The Best of Chet Baker Sings
The Candyskins "I'd Love to Take You Home" Astrosheen
Mint Juleps "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" The Big Stiff Box Set
Bill Nelson "Love's Immortal Shining Angel" Heartbreakland

R.E.M. "The One I Love" Document

OK, it's not really Friday and clearly it's not just random--for the old iPhone, where I can fit only 10% of my music, I've been making playlists. This random list comes from the smart search for "love" since we just had Valentine's Day.

More on the lack of posting and the delay in this post going up eventually; it's nothing bad, just a conference for work.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Burning Bus Lines Give You So Much More

As the latest evidence partisanship is alive and malicious, a group of anti-eco-terrorists claimed responsibility for setting fire to the Clean Air Express as it made its way from north county Santa Barbara to Santa Barbara itself yesterday morning. The self-declared leader of the group Hugo Succit said in a videotaped statement dropped off at the local Fox affiliate, "We will take down every one of their attempts to force people to use mass transit. America is about baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet, so we all must drive in our own cars or they'll come after apple pie next. It's just like those socialists to want to make us all be social in a bus. But have you seen the people who ride buses? It's so hard to know which ones of them are legal."


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Great Entertainer, A Great Humanitarian, and My Film Friend for Over 25 Years....

So Roy Scheider passed away the other day, and beyond his being another Jersey boy, I've got to offer up an appreciation 'cause it's hard to imagine my teens without him. Of course there's Jaws, for which it might be hard to describe the impact in a post-Star Wars blockbuster world, but it got all of us to the theater and out of the ocean and in my case got me to read the Benchley book too, for as a kid I'm not sure I understood any experience unless I read about it. (If the internets existed in the 1970s I might never have left the house.)

But everyone had Jaws. No, for me the Scheider experience really got cemented by Marathon Man (yep, read that novel, too), and not just for slumming Lord Olivier's hammy "Is it safe?" questioning that still is a goofy thrill to parody. Marathon Man was the first R-rated picture I ever saw in a theater, on a ski trip to Killington Vermont, in fact. So it was both an exciting film and a charge for Marthe Keller's breasts, too. Thanks Marthe. That Roy was part of the film was just gravy.

Actually, though, the Scheider film for me was All that Jazz. My inner gay man (c'mon, we all got 'em, guys, so fess up) was particularly a sucker for the musical back in my teens, so close to NYC and the TKTS both in the day when less than 20 bucks could get you into a Broadway Saturday matinee. We're talking the late 70s here, an era of A Chorus Line, and John Cullum in it seemed millions of things, and the original, diabolically dark Sweeney Todd. Hell, even The Magic Show was fascinating, though I knew even in my young heart magic should be Houdini and not hippie Henning. (That Stephen Schwartz would still be taking over the world is an entirely different story.) So the point is I was primed for something like All that Jazz as it had the musical numbers, it had the complexity I knew had something to do with smarts.

It's also got a central male figure--Scheider doing his inhabitation of Bob Fosse--that makes all too much sense to me. If nothing else, he's a bad father who tries to patch things up with his kid, and that certainly hit home for me given my situation. But he could also sing and dance and still be all man, flirting with the delicious death played by Jessica Lange like he could do death like a one night stand. Of course I didn't quite know what any of that meant at a still virginal 16, but I was damn well interested in figuring it out. (The "Take Off with Us" number, no doubt, helped. You can watch the whole NSFW segment on YouTube if you need to be reminded. Don't miss Scheider's eyes over that flashlight early on--brilliant wordless acting.)

Here's to Roy Scheider, for getting me to care about Bob Fosse when I didn't know who he was yet, and for leading me to Lenny Bruce, if nothing else to Fosse's film Lenny, and to finding the humanity in someone easy to hate. It made creation seem like some whirlwind, and while I was never able to dedicate myself to that life so wholeheartedly, the glimpse was worth a grin. Plus till this day, when something major's going down--that big job moment, say--I never fail to take one last look in the bathroom mirror on my way out to face the day and say, "It's showtime, folks!"

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Monday, February 11, 2008

A Delicate Balance

Originally uploaded by aBuzzi

It didn't take the town very long to realize that giving Rube Goldberg an architecture commission wasn't the brightest of ideas.


That Fare Is Criminal

Originally posted by knittinglizzie

After the Goldberg mistake, and a lawsuit or forty, the town had to figure out ways to save money. Alas, the Cop-Cab tended to confuse both patrons and criminals alike.


Fine Feathered Feet

Originally uploaded by Jenny Lewelling

Sadly, the depleted police force was so busy providing rides that they couldn't crack down on crimes of fashion.

Monday random Flickr-blogging explained.


Friday, February 08, 2008

A Decade of Hounds of Love

For Dog Blog Friday: It was ten years ago this coming Thursday (yes, we adopted him on Valentine's Day) that Mookie became part of the family. Here he is with his sister Julia that very night. And yes, we almost wound up with two greyhounds right from the very start.


Friday Random Ten

Ernest Phipps & His Holiness Singers "Shine on Me" Anthology of American Folk Music
The Pogues "The Old Main Drag" Rum, Sodomy & the Lash
Lou Reed "Sad Song" Between Thought and Expression
Mott the Hoople "All the Young Dudes" [Alternate Version: David Bowie & Ian Hunter vocal] All the Young Dudes
Jack Logan "Would I Be Happy Then?" Bulk
Shirley Horn "Return to Paradise" Verve Unmixed
Built to Spill "Fling" There's Nothing Wrong with Love
Stephin Merritt "At Madam Plum's" Showtunes
Bettie Serveert "De Diva" Log 22
Split Lip Rayfield "Honestly" Should Have Seen It Coming

Memphis Jug Band "Memphis Shakedown" Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music, Volume Four

Not exactly a stunning return to randomness. That "All the Young Dudes" is probably the best cut, with the Pogues coming up on the outside (but stumbling a bit), and Jack Logan surprising.


Thursday, February 07, 2008

I Invented a Cosmology and All I Got for It Was This Lousy Public Execution

Friday is the 408th anniversary of a very bad day for Giordano Bruno. After all, few of us have had a day that means nine days later you're dragged into the town square, naked, your tongue in a gag, only to be burned at the stake. (The church likes its heretics well-done, it turns out.) It was embarrassing enough to be naked in the town square with a gag in my mouth, but that was in my impetuous youth and I simply trusted the wrong people (they said they were a frat but turned out to be gypsies). Poor Bruno, instead, messed with the Roman Catholic church (much scarier than Ryan Church, as the Mets will learn), and to top it off, denied the virginity of Mary. You call the church's mom a whore, you're just asking for it. He didn't even wait for the seventeenth century to do that and in the sweet sixteenth century, the Church was all about the Inquisition. Hold an erroneous opinion about Christ--perhaps suggest the Canaan wedding wine he created from water was plonk--and there'd be hell to pay. In a heavenly, Catholic, painful way, of course.


Johan's the Mahn

He even makes the dump that is Shea look good.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Julie Christie, the Rumors Are True

One more reason to love Julie Christie, as if we need another. She said this: "But who could have dreamt that we’d get to the point that the world is ruled by a kind of impish privileged monkey?"


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I Miss You, Too

The festival might be over, and at some point I have to write about what a weird thing super-celebrity is--check out the otherworldliness of this video to get a hint at it:

For I was one of the people wrangling the photogs on the other end of that barrage of flashes. Press check in was at 6, but most of them were there at 3, in the press pen even though we still had to build risers and label their spots. Once that got done we let them back in and they rushed the line as if they were claiming their acre of Oklahoma. And we're talking the real photographers here, not paparazzi, from AP to Wire Image to Berliner. But that's their job.

Oh well, in the meantime while that one job of mine is done (except for the 40 or so thank yous I have to write--they're coming folks, promise), the other two jobs are angry I ignored them for 11 days. So here's what it was like to have the best wine I'll ever drink in my life.

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Monday, February 04, 2008

Song in the Key of Dear John

Sure, you've probably all seen this already, but it just cracks me up...


Don't Raise a Stink

Originally uploaded by UncleFlo

This week in rock history: Toad, the infamous unshowered drummer, could crash his cymbals with his b.o.

Monday random Flickr-blogging explained.


Feeling Fried

Originally uploaded by Captain Smurf

Only the manliest of fisherman can handle the monster calamari.


I'd Trade My Onion Collection for a Good Cry

Originally uploaded by Seetwist

It's good news that the writers' strike is almost over, as Fox was just about to air "When Crazed Graffiti Onions Attack!"


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