Friday, May 30, 2008

Not Just to Be Consumed by Rock n' Roll

This week's Random ten wasn't so great. As a way to fix that, and since it's my new weekly thing to steal something from Heather, it seems, here's what happens if you ask Pandora to create "Mekons Radio":

The Mekons "Hello Cruel World" On the Edge of the World
Minus Story "Gravity Pulls" The Captain is Dead, Let the Drum Corpse Dance
BIS "Sweet Shop Adventures" The New Transistor Heroes
Helen Love "MC5" Love and Glitter, Hot Days and Muzik
The Mekons "Amnesia" The Mekons Rock N' Roll
The Fall "Edinburgh Man" Shift-Work
Tralala "Yellow Taxi" Is That the Tralala
The Fleshtones "I Am What I Am" Beachhead
The Undertones "True Confessions" The Best of the Undertones: Teenage Kicks
The Mekons "East Is Red" Where Were You?: Hen's Teeth And Other Lost Fragments Of Unpopular Culture Vol.2

Dan Baird "I Want You Bad" Buffalo Nickel

Not bad--certainly more things of interest than my random list. Plus I didn't know Helen Love and Tralala and now hope to know more of both. Female-led power-punk-pop! How can you not love a band whose influences are "misunderstandings, love, debauchery, whiskey and pop music"?


Hounds of Bed

For Dog Blog Friday: The dogs worry a bit about where Amy and I are going to sleep.


Friday Random Ten

J.B. Lenoir "Alabama" The Soul of a Man
Luna "Broken Chair" Rendezvous
Ani DiFranco "Rock Paper Scissors" Revelling: Reckoning
Built to Spill "Don't Try" Ancient Melodies of the Future
Victoria Williams "TC" This Moment in Toronto
Birdsongs of the Mesozoic "The Fendamental" Sonic Geology
Neko Case "Outro with Bees" Blacklisted
Tommy Keene "Compromise" Ten Years After
Talking Heads "Mind" Fear of Music
Uncle Tupelo "The Long Cut" 89/93: An Anthology

Headless Household "News Flash" iTems

One brilliant song. My guess is you'll pick it out. Oh well.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

News-Press--Where Contract Is All Verb, Never a Noun

Craig Smith performed such a good take-down of Travis Armstrong's latest ridiculous anti-union screed that I was going to ignore it, but the other day I saw on my counter that someone from the esteemed law firm Cappello & Noel had been visiting INOTBB, and I felt bad there hadn't been any recent items about the News-Press for them to look at. So this is for you, whoever you are. It's good to know someone can bill $600 an hour and read my blog.

The tricky part is to know where to begin, as the editorial is the usual Travis mishmash of half-referenced claims--"the Internet contains sites...," well, it contains sites saying pretty much everything, that doesn't make them true--and unsubtle innuendo--"opinions reporters snuck into their stories," [emphasis mine] since, of course, the News-Press editors were all looking the other way, probably down the hall to see if the Angel of Death Yolanda Apodaca was coming to fire them.

There's also his love of the one-sentence paragraph, sort of the writing equivalent of saying something quick and staring at the person incredulously as if to say, "c'mon you have to get this." For Armstrong acts shocked that in negotiations: "The union last week refused to include the offense of writing biased stories as a cause for disciplinary action." Anyone knowing the News-Press saga and not named Travis, Wendy, or Nipper can't be surprised that the union would think this way. For here's how such disciplinary action would work if contractually permitted:
Steepleton: This story is biased. That goes in your file as a black mark.
Writer: Who says it's biased?
Steepleton: I do.
Writer: But how do you define bias?
Steepleton: Bias is what I say it is.
Of course a good editor would work with a writer to deal with bias--a good newsroom is a place of collaboration where a good editor can help a story get better by suggesting other sources, other ways to phrase something, other ways of seeing a topic. But the News-Press barely has editors anymore, let alone good ones.

Which gets me to another issue about editing--is there anything more tedious than Dale Ernest seems like a nice guy, so I hate to slag his work, but the live feeds on this site take internet video back about 40 years (yes, to a time before the web). Probably the worst offenders are the Table Talk segments featuring Arthur Von (of Physiology) Wiesenberger--there's a reason radio doesn't have pictures. The real problem is these live-streams almost don't have sound, for the mics in the shots are for 1290AM broadcast and not to pick up what guests are saying for the video feed. And while sometimes the guests are in studio, sometimes they're on the phone. That makes for even more compelling "tv."

Alas Armstrong himself writes, "Daily newspapers across the country are paring back as they try to adapt to the era of electronic news and advertising." Hiding all your local stories behind the pay wall doesn't seem the way to go--if it doesn't work for big papers like the New York Times, how could it work at the much smaller News-Press? Then again the N-P website is about as ugly and unfocused as a news site can be. Of course it's possible with all the recent firings, on top of previous firings and resignations, that no one is really putting the website together. That would be a brilliant adaptation that Wendy would surely love: journalism without journalists.


Burn This!

Here's hoping this doesn't get too titillating, but to keep abreast of history we must recognize the supposed 119th anniversary of the brassiere. Invented by the same person who created the Lays Potato Chip, the original ad line was "Bet You Can't Support Just One!" Sorry, just being a boob, there. Many different over the top stories about the origin of said undergarment exist, but few hold up; trying to determine when the corset morphed into a girdle and bra is as difficult as trying to figure out exactly how and why Uncle Tupelo became Wilco and Son Volt, not to mention trying to figure out if Jay Farrar is the bra and Jeff Tweedy is the girdle or vice versa is just plain weird, an area into which I prefer not to plunge. I do want to warn you to watch the possible confusion between brassiere and brasserie, and I don't just mean the words. So without padding this any further, let's just say today's comments flopped and I just can't stop it.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Scott McClellan Changes Name to Sherlock

Well, that should be the headline, because when you hear about his new book, the reaction has to be "no shit." MSNBC reports:

"The Iraq war was not necessary," [McClellan] concludes. "Waging an unnecessary war is a grave mistake."

Alas, even in this book he's still lying. It was a graves mistake--over 4,000 now. We'll spot him all the dead Iraqis, as we know trying to figure out their casualty rate is just too much work.

Speaking of that, it's great that he opts to follow Bush and his "disarming personality" only to realize Bush possesses a "lack of inquisitiveness" (if one possesses a lack). Seems those two phrases both add up to "empty-headed" to me, but then I never worked in the high pressure White House. After all, as Dana Perino, current lying sack of shit, uh, Press Secretary, put it: "The book, as reported by the press, has been described to the President. I do not expect a comment from him on it — he has more pressing matters than to spend time commenting on books by former staffers." Why read when a book can be "described" to you?

I guess I have to read the book myself to find out what MSNBC and McClellan are talking about in this line, though: "his administration early on possessed 'seeds of greatness.'" Was stealing an election greatness? Barreling through huge tax cuts for the wealthy at a time when the economy began to tank (but nowhere near how it has since)? Having a 50% approval rating 8 months after his election? Ignoring all the warnings that 9/11 was about to happen? Using 9/11 as a way to expand executive power, approve torture, and turn America further into a police state?

Perhaps most telling is this quote in the MSNBC article:

Said former top aide Karl Rove, in an interview with Fox News Channel, "If he had these moral qualms, he should have spoken up about them."

After all, there's little room for morals in the Bush-Cheney White House. Rove knows all about that. It's like that line from Paper Moon I'm sure I've quoted before, when Ryan O'Neal tells Tatum he has scruples, then asks her, "You know what scruples are?" She replies, "I'm not sure, but if you have them, I can bet they once belonged to someone else."

Sure enough, here's Scotty, "When words I uttered, believing them to be true, were exposed as false, I was constrained by my duties and loyalty to the president and unable to comment." Loyalty to the president? What about the Constitution, the country, the soldiers dying in vain? What about his Christian faith?

His god better be a mighty forgiving one. I'm no god, and I'm pissed as hell.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

This Joke Is Half-Cocked

Originally uploaded by photo hound

Everyone knows the Crazy Comics Festival isn't over until the rubber chicken clucks.

Monday (even if it's not Monday) random Flickr-blogging explained.


This Photo Stands Alone without a Comment

Originally uploaded by y-v-e-s


It's a You and Me House*

Originally uploaded by elbflorenz

The damn neighbors got a bit carried away with their treehouse for their kids.

*For all you I'm from Barcelona fans.


Friday, May 23, 2008

As Far as These Things Can Ever Be Pure or Innocent

Some heavy for your Friday. One of the best short films I've ever seen.


Friday Random Ten

They Might Be Giants "32 Footsteps" They Might Be Giants
Ed's Redeeming Qualities "Spider" At the Fish & Game Club
Ani DiFranco "Pulse" Little Plastic Castle
Silvio Rodriguez "Playa Giron" Voices--Hannibal Records
Ed's Redeeming Qualities "Blood Bank Man" It's All Good News
Duke Ellington with Charles Mingus and Max Roach "REM Blues" Money Jungle
John Hiatt "Everybody Went Low" The Tiki Bar Is Open
Fountains of Wayne "Radiation Vibe" Fountains of Wayne
Lester Flatt & the Nashville Grass "Intro--Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms" Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival
Salif Keita "Sumun" Folon...the past

John Hiatt "Crossing Muddy Waters" Crossing Muddy Waters

Back to the old double stutter. Still, these are two of my favorite John Hiatt's, and "Everybody" runs into "Radiation Vibe" surprisingly well, if not as well as it mixes with Eno's "King's Lead Hat" (do try that segue at home). Otherwise, more miss than hit, even when it pulls up a gem of an album like Money Jungle.


Study: Morning Light, Greyhounds, Kong Waiting to Be Swung and Cause Damage

For Dog Blog Friday: Nigel and Mookie enjoy vacation. Especially when they each pretend the other isn't on the trip.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Not Starring Chan and Tucker

Charles Simic read at UCSB tonight, and that got me thinking how my last few years of writing poetry I tried to do Simic poems. Not consistently, just when I wanted to be good. I'm not sure this poem (by me, not Simic) is good, but I like its spookiness, and I'm pretty sure it was an exercise that had to include 5 words, which five I can't remember (this is at least 12 years old). So be kind to it, you know how sensitive 12-year-olds are...


Luminous traffic passes the chalk
which outlines a complaint of what was
(can you believe this hushed thing I say?),
the commuters ashamed flames hoping to be home.
Ignore it, it's discourteous to look, like feeling
embarrassed for the blue asthmatic coughing
like a lawnmower with a knife in its clockwork.

Time is left to memorize your buttonholes,
the rustle of language in your throat.
Over coffee you told me of the first day
your daughter was sexy in nylons,
and I wanted to kiss your shadowy cheekbones.

Exclaim all your secrets as if we're flung
wreckage in the desert. These are just
my diminished wishes, my invisible heart.
These words are printed about my wrist
like an emergency medical bracelet, or maybe
just a rubberband, worn to remind
myself of something, but then I
wear it daily. In the winter schoolyard
pink children are shorn of their pigtails,
each and every one, by an aproned man.
There are too many stars.
There is too much crying.


A Clean Well-Lit Cliffs

According to the any-day-in-history list I use to do these, Friday is the 55th anniversary of the day Cliffs Notes first got used in schools, just in time for the end of a school year when students panicked to discover they didn't have time to read the tale of one city. Rumor has it that John McCain, having gone to school in an era prior to the printing press, I mean Cliffs Notes, only had time to read part of Tolstoy, and therefore knows the book, and the world, as only War. But I digress, something those handy yellow jackets buzzing with summary and commentary never do. Even better, now Cliffs Notes are on line, turning literature to twitter before your very eyes. For instance we learn "Sylvia Plath, a precocious enigma of the 1960s, battled perfectionism and precipitous mood swings while pursuing a career as a teacher and poet." We do not learn, however, that Plath would really rather ralph than write a run of ridiculous alliteration like the one Cliffs serves up. Luckily Cliffs does want us to think--if by think we mean proffer enough bull to please Miss Beasley on that final--as with this discussion and research topic: "Analyze the success of confessional modes in Plath’s The Bell Jar and poems from Ariel. Account for severe criticisms of self-indulgent neurosis." I account for it by attempting to ignore all severe criticism and be positive. Not to mention my neurosis tends to be very other-directed--I am simply fascinated by what makes everyone else wrong and me right. But enough about me.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Moan-ah in Sedona

ABC-TV has announced a new reality show:

John McCain - The First Presidential Candidate "Bachelor" - Sexes Up Sedona to Find True Vice Presidential Love, When The Bachelor Returns to ABC

New Bachelor Heartthrob Loves The Surge and All It Has to Offer, But Is Crazy about American, that is Republican, Politicians

McCain, the 72-year-old blue-eyed Maverick from Arizona, seeks the perfect running mate. His fondest dream is to share stories and a laugh with someone special at the end of the day after ignoring a Democratically controlled Congress, and his sexy good looks, intelligence, and wealth from his wife Cindy make him a perfect catch. The enterprising match might also consider that while McCain's a hale and hearty hiker, he also would be the oldest man ever elected president.

Among those hoping to win McCain's favors are Florida Gov. Charlie "Ruth's" Crist, Louisiana Gov. Bobby "Never Worked the Quickie Mart" Jindal, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt "CD-" Romney, a McCain rival in the primary, and Sens. Joe "AKA Zell" Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, and Lindsey " Don't Call Me Cracker" Graham, R-S.C. Which suitor McCain will choose is anyone's guess, as each man has something special to offer. That's what will make this programming so much fun.

Will McCain choose one of the Southern belles to take to the inaugural ball? Will Mitt lure him with his perfect hair and now less than perfect wealth?

And is it true that the series might have a surprise appearance by President George W. Bush, coming to claim Joe Lieberman for himself--after all Bush kissed him first?

McCain says, "That is the kind of devotion I'm looking for, although since Lieberman is Jewish, I'm not sure he's had enough experience on his knees."

ABC also is alerting all affiliates that the show will be on 7 second delay in case McCain likes any suitor so much he calls them the c--- word. That said, McCain insists he saves special sobriquets like that one for women.

Only time, and TV, will tell.

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F Is My Favorite Letter as You Know

No time for much, sorry. So in the meantime enjoy my Kathleen Edwards obsession. First there's her video for "Cheapest Key" from the new album. You'll want to go back to school, guys.

And here's a live version of Kathleen and Colin Cripps first telling a story and then nailing "Six O'Clock News":

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I'm Just Pretend Pretentious

I got non-tagged, so this is a non-meme but I've got no-thing to say since I was on jury duty (and escaped!) for the past day and a half.

But this is supposed to be my album cover, although it's shaped sorta funny.

Here's the rules if any of you want to play:

1. Click on this link. The title of the page is the name of your band.

2. Click on this link. The last four words of the final quotation on the page are the title of your album.

3. Click on this link this link. The third picture is your album cover.

4. Take the pic, add your band name and album title.

Thanks for keeping me from my work, Heather.


Monday, May 19, 2008

We Used to Blog about Girls Who Played Guitars

Sometimes we need cliches back. It's a shame that I can't say, "Kathleen Edwards rocked Saturday night at her Sings Like Hell concert at the Lobero," and have that mean anything anymore. But it does and she did. Leading a crack four piece band including her husband, guitarist Colin Cripps, she went for the jugular on every song, to the point where she pulled back about 2/3 of the way through, sent her band off-stage, and said something to the effect of, "I'm going to do a couple of songs acoustic--I think we're blowing you out a bit." Of course, she brought two band members back after one solo song.

But I'm not complaining. She tends to get lumped in with the folk-country-rock women like Lucinda Williams, but like Williams, she has a love for texture, for guitar, for a nifty riff. And that voice of hers, with its wonderful weariness that carries the dusks of many roads, whether she's actually lived them or just got there through her brilliantly detailed writing. This is a woman who named the second song of her first CD "One More Song the Radio Won't Like," who opened this show with the cut "Mercury," and its first line, "Want to go get high," which was a perfect invitation to the evening, as it turned out. That's exactly what she ended up doing for the audience, particularly as you just don't get to see a woman lead a rock band enough. You can't beat tough chicks who play guitars. Especially if they look a bit like Cate Blanchett.

That didn't mean the evening was one straight grind of guitar, though. That acoustic number was a lovely version of "Scared at Night," a song for her dad that's up there with Billy Bragg's "Tank Park Salute," and she nodded to obvious influence and fellow Canadian Neil Young with a fine cover of "Only Love Can Break Your Heart."

Then for an encore, she took out her violin again (turns out that was her childhood instrument) and dueted with husband Cripps on an intro over some sinuous bass that to these ears seem to be another Young classic, "Cortez the Killer," and to get truly musically geeky, sort of like that live Matthew Sweet version from the bonus CD of Girlfriend. But it's actually her song "Goodnight, California," the close of her fine new CD Asking for Flowers, one of the rise and fall, build and release numbers, and it certainly capped the night in a grand manner. Which, of course, she knocked away with more rock, as she ripped through the I'll-win-you-back-tune "Back to Me," singing it with such conviction no one could doubt she's got moves she hasn't used.

Oh, and I'd be remiss if I didn't say "Six O'Clock" news has to be one of the best songs of the past 10 years. Especially all gut-sied up live.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

You're Going to Need a Bigger Pole

Originally uploaded by h0ffy

It's best to go last in the exciting new sport of serial fishing.

Monday random Flickr-blogging explained.


You Bring a Smile to My Dial

Originally uploaded by lentremetteur

So I have this dream I'm paged to pick up the white courtesy telephone, but then I remember I do dream in color.


The Sky's the Ltd.

Originally uploaded by Mace2000

The practical jokes at lunch hour at Industrial Light and Magic started to get out of hand....


Friday, May 16, 2008

Gloria Greyhoundson

For Dog Blog Friday: "Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my...hey, get this other hound out of the shot!"


Friday Random Ten

XTC "Rocket from a Bottle" Black Sea
Elvis Presley "Tomorrow Night" The Sun Sessions
XTC "Chain of Command" Drums and Wires
Luna "This Time Around" Bewitched
Dave Brubeck Quartet "Take Five" Time Out
Neko Case "Set Out Running" Furnace Room Lullabye
Billy Bragg "That's Entertainment" Workers Playtime (bonus disc)
Graham Parker "I Was Wrong" Human Soul
Graham Parker "Release Me" Burning Questions
The Who "Rael 1" The Who Sell Out

Space Negros "Sweep" Dig Archaeology

Nothing like a :38 bonus. I never quite get the artist stutter iTunes likes to pull sometimes, but it's better when it takes me to my younger self; when I did college radio people joked the station should have been called WXTC. Oh, and if you don't know that Luna tune, you really really should.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Self-Inflicted Beery Nostalgia

I held a golden ticket to consume much golden brew, plus some amber, some red, and some pitchy porter and stout. Amy's family and I (all usual hosannas for in-laws cooler than I deserve once again apply) went up to Mendocino County as we try to do yearly, 5 people, 6 dogs, and a deep deep thirst. It's a land of milk and honey, except for milk insert beer and for honey insert wine. We attended the 10th Boonville Beer Festival two years ago and it was the best beer fest of our lives, and that says something--we do quite a few fests.

That means we were sort of set up for disappointment--how can you beat the best? Turns out the fest gets more popular each year, which makes sense as it's one of the few that lets you drink as much as you'd like--no pull off tabs on your wrist bracelet, no tickets, just you, a taster cup, 50 craft brewers with at least 2 brews each, and 3 hours under the redwoods. That growing popularity means this year a rumored 6500 people ran about the Mendo County Fairgrounds. To give you some perspective, the town of Boonville itself has a population of 1370. It's sort of the invasion of the beer snatchers.

Despite there being much more of a crush getting to the beers, the fest was still a hoppy place to be. All our favorites were there, from Alpine to Russian River, which actually wasn't very far as the two breweries were pouring right next to each other. It's that kind of wonderful, like seeing the Mekons and Yo La Tengo on a double bill (don't hate me, I have, for free in Central Park). Very few even mediocre beers got tasted (Bear Republic had some one-off that wasn't wonderful), but lots of wonderful stuff got drunk. (Like us!) Seriously, we paced ourselves, had a picnic table to chill at and eat chips and salsa by, and we got to enjoy the bands, including one drinking/semi-marching group that did a bit of everything, even if we missed a supposedly splendid "Miserlou." (Go bug Tom at If I Ran the Zoo about that, as he saw it.)

As for highlights beyond the obvious--like North Coast's Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout on tap is inconceivably better than it is the bottle, when it's just damned good--there was the run of deliciousness at Lagunitas. A Gnarly Wine that packed a serious punch yet kept its balance, which was a darn good thing since the pourers went well beyond the taster's suggested fill line. And their anniversary beer from last year, Lucky 13, that was so appreciated they made a batch again this year. And we were all lucky.

Yeah, it was this crowded, but people let you through. Until the beer started running out well before the festival's finish at 5 pm. That meant people piled towards the few folks with stuff to pour, and our bunch joined one last rugby scrum to get at something different Port had that wasn't Port's best, but we fought for it so enjoyed it anyway.

And in the meantime Amy and I are still drinking the growlers we brought back from Russian River as we stopped on the way home, even if it's a bit of a drive...oh, 7 hours, from Santa Rosa to Santa Barbara. For Pliny the Elder and Damnation, that's nothing.

P.S. The entry's title is a hint as to my reading material for the trip, and I'll get to a review of that someday soon, too.


A Can for May If I May

Friday is the 43rd birthday of Spaghetti-O's, and no doubt the original can is somewhere singing a toothless version of the advertising jingle that somehow is even more annoying than the food itself. That song was created by Jimmie Rodgers of "Honeycomb" fame--it seems he can only sing about food or perhaps I should say "food." It's also crucial to note that this Jimmie Rodgers is to Jimmie "Father of Country Music" Rodgers, as Spaghetti-O's is to real pasta. Indeed, in the early 70s that was a frequent analogy on the SAT. Less often asked is the question why did a company named Franco-American make pasta, but in Santa Barbara there was for a long time a store called Bonjour Bagels, so what do I know--I wanted to open the Shalom Crossanterie across the street. Of course Franco-American sold out to Campbell's after a string of failures trying to replicate their greatest success. Indeed, few remember Foie Gras-O's ("the neat new goose liver you can eat with a spoon!"), Sushi-O's ("now with that fresh fish taste!"), Donut-O's ("the folks working on the wheel are still in the shop!"), and the barely remembered Edsel-O's ("it s a car in a can!").


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I'm Not a Bad Driver, I'm Just Drawn that Way

I don't know if I should be comforted or not that I'm pretty much as bad a cyber-athlete as a real athlete. (Nobody beats me as an aesthete, but that's an entirely different story, the one the other 99.99% of this blog's entries are about.) So it should come as no surprise that the joy for most people that is Mario Kart Wii (and even more sorts of joy for some than others, evidently) is somewhat lost on me, as driving into many differently designed 2-D abysses is abysmal. If you know the game, and it seems the quarter of the world not playing the new Grand Theft Auto does, then you know what I mean when I say that I have a good shot at finishing 11th if I get the box with the rocket in it, twice. If you don't know the game, there are 12 cars in every race.

Now it's not too big a deal, beyond my bitterly competitive ways over the most meaningless things, to suck at Wii Golf. I have never played real golf in my life, so not being able to master the virtual game ends in virtual world. Who's uncoordinated in Wii-gas stays in Wii-gas.

But having spent too much time crashing into things in Mario land this past weekend, I have come to doubt my real world driving skills. True, a steering wheel responds better than a Wii-mote. Definitely you feel a car's drive as much as see it. Still it seems that someone capable of driving a Volvo (hey, no jokes!) could get a drawing of a souped-up dune buggy around a drawing of a mall without too many mishaps. Instead, I feel my klutziness spreading, something I fret the real me, not me as Donkey Kong, might get associated with my program.

Here's hoping they don't come up with Wii writing, unless Wii unemployment pays really well. Then again, those coins in the Nintendo games might be worth more than the U.S. dollar at this point.

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We'll Bend that Bridge When We Come To It

I was away. Now I'm paying for being away.

Sorry for the lack of posts, if you've noticed/cared. And if you have noticed/cared, sorry for blogging about blogging, which is almost but not quite as boring as hearing about the details of Jenna Bush's wedding. After all, we can run through all those details when we're sharing drinks with Tim Russert's dad in heaven.

There will be reports of much beer and festivities in Boonville. There will be four more days of Paris, I hope before I go there again. But if you'd rather send me to Paris this weekend than read about my last trip, I wouldn't say no.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Let Em Dangle

Originally uploaded by fox shots

The gang hangs around, waiting for its heads, silently planning revenge on the Chicago White Sox for stealing their dates.

Monday non-random Flickr-blogging. (I'm away, but wanted to play somehow. Here's how the random version works.)


Friday, May 09, 2008

Friday Flashback Non-Random 27

The meme the other day got me to thinking. I stopped that as quickly as possible. But I did realize that to figure out what I was doing 10 years ago, or __ years ago, I could probably dig up computer files, and more importantly, mixed tapes. So I went digging, and here's a blast from 1991 (not that the songs were all of that vintage, as you'll see). This is sort of all-over, which makes me like it all the more, a tiny present from 17 years ago.

Hearts Are Treacherous/Struggle for Pleasure

Wim Mertens "Struggle for Pleasure"
Tom Verlaine "The Scientist Writes a Letter"
Elvis Costello "Georgie and Her Rival"
Pere Ubu "Playback"
Sundays All Over the World "Open Air"
Kate Bush "Be Kind to My Mistakes"
Medium Medium "Hungry So Angry"
Brian Eno/John Cale "Been There Done That"
Feelies "Doin' It Again"
Marshall Crenshaw "Don't Disappear Now"
Spanic Boys "London Town"
Pixies "Winterlong"
John Hiatt "She Loves the Jerk"

Richard Thompson "I Feel So Good"
Joan Armatrading "Words"
Any Trouble "As Lovers Do"
Lloyd Cole "No Blue Skies"
Joy Division "Atmosphere"
Fiat Lux "Photography"
Devo "Beautiful World"
Bill Nelson "Giving It All Away"
Marc Ribot "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
Lou Reed "Legendary Hearts"
Replacements "Sadly Beautiful"
John Wesley Harding "The Rent"
The Chills "Sweet Times"
Bob Mould "Sunspots"


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Corporate Incest Is Just Another Way to Say You're Screwing Yourself

I waited, but if no one else is going to say it, I will--does it seem curious to anyone else that now that Mindy Spar, Life Editor, was one of the most recent firings at the News-Press, that leaves Charlotte Boechler, Scott Steepleton's wife, as the head of the the Life section? (She's not listed as Life Editor, but who would be doing the job ahead of her? There's no one else left.)

Purely a coincidence, I'm sure. I'm mean there's no evidence at the News-Press that sleeping with someone gets you a position at the paper, right Nipper?


Monday, May 05, 2008

Memed Myself I

Ben at a dragon dancing with the Buddha memed me. Genrally I bitch and moan, but I'll just suck it up and do it for a change.

Here are the rules:
A) The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
B) Each player answers the questions about himself or herself.
C) At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1) Ten years ago I was...

Ten years younger, but now that I'm ten years older I can't say for certain if my back hurt less then. I was enjoying just the first of my years of marriage with the wonderful Amy. Mookie was just a pup, so we did pup-loving things. Like bought a new, not chewed up couch. I was still teaching writing at the time but was writing for the Independent in a different incarnation as an arts feature writer covering things from David Sedaris to Mose Allison. I had a website for teaching that was a mini-proto-blog. I did not get rich from this.

2) Five things on today's to-do list:

Bring dinner to friends who recently had a baby.
Divvy up our wine futures for the cartel I front.
Go to work and not be consumed by the ever-needy website.
Watch the Mets stink playing the Dodgers.
Wash some dishes (this is on every day's to-do list).

3) Things I'd do if I were a billionaire:

Wake up from fainting after learning I was a billionaire.
Hire someone to download my vinyl into digital because I'm clearly never getting around to doing it despite buying that USB turntable, and that's even before the billion to worry about.
Set up a foundation to fund lefty stuff and make George Soros look like a piker.
Make sure a big part of that is funding some smart science folks so we might get alternative energy that works. That alternative energy is lefty stuff is something I would try to fix with my billion.
Make a reservation for whenever at the French Laundry.
There is the possibility I might buy some wine.

4) Three bad habits:

Buying too much wine. (Note I did not say drinking too much wine.)
Overusing the dash and parentheses.
Crunchy Cheetos on long car drives.

5) Five places I've lived:

East Hanover, NJ, Baltimore, MD, Iowa City, IA, State College, PA, Santa Barbara, CA (glad you didn't ask for more than 5--but the count of addresses in each locale, in order, is 1, 2, 2, 6, 4)(damn--did the parentheses and dash thing!)

6) Six jobs I've had in my life:

These are in my profile, actually: "A body guard for Jodie Foster, a walk-on dancer with French avant garde troupe Maguy Marin, a film programmer, a textbook author, a bassist in a rock band, a union president, a janitor, a delivery man to Plato's Retreat, a radio DJ, a rock journalist, a lab assistant for a company that made everything from mouthwash to super skin lubricant, and even, once, a poet." That leaves out food editor, teacher, marketing-publicity-communications maven. Got paid, at least something, for every one of those jobs except the body guard gig and the poetry. Nobody pays for that.

And, since I did this so non-grumbly-like, I am tagging 5 people to pass along the love. So, Amy, Queen Whackamole, Patrick, Tessitura, and Mike, you've been served by a sub-meme-peona.


Derrangement in Gray in Black

Originally uploaded by skumnjepf

Now that his presidential bid failed, Rudy Giuliani has been paying off his debt working as an artist's model.

Monday random Flickr-blogging explained.


You're So Going to Get Siouxed for Ripping Off the Early 80s

Originally uploaded by envisionpublicidad

Sometimes it's a bit too clear how they put the high in high fahion.


Bury My Heart at Wounded Neon

Originally uploaded by Schaffner

Here's a toast to mom and pop stores.


Friday, May 02, 2008

McCain Loses to the Turnip, Too

Two men share a microphone...and other things.

See if you can tell McCain and Bush apart at this nifty quiz.

And then find out how much better it would be to vote for a carrot rather than McCain.


Friday Random Ten

Talking Heads "(Nothing But) Flowers" Naked
Geoffrey Oryema "Payira Wind" Beat the Border
Big Star "Morpha Too" #1 Record/Radio City
The White Stripes "Take, Take, Take" Get Behind Me Satan
Nicky Skopelitis "Ghost of a Chance" Ekstasis
The Band of Blacky Ranchette "Under the Table" Still Lookin' Good to Me
M.I.A. "Fire Fire" Arular
Old 97's "Can't Get a Line" Satellite Rides
Galaxie 500 "Ceremony" On Fire
Habib Koite & Bamada "Wassiye" Ma Ya

The Band of Blacky Ranchette "Bored Lil' Devil" Still Lookin' Good to Me

OK, the repeat of the Howe Gelb side project is a bit odd, but otherwise there's a wide world of music here, something that doesn't always represent in my random ten. And it's as if the T-Heads to start got the old iTunes thinking that way.



For Dog Blog Friday: You'd howl too if there was a stone lizard on your nose.


Thursday, May 01, 2008

This Could Get Pflugly

Jo Ann Pflug turns 61 Friday, or should I say Pfriday. That means 1948 is the cut-off for when Hollywood realized some names had to change to be marquee-worthy (as opposed to Scrabble-worthy). And what a career the now motivational speaker has had--indeed the 1970s & early 80s might not have existed without her. Sure there's the film of M*A*S*H, but also Operation Petticoat, Dukes of Hazard, Love American Style, Charlie's Angels, Love Boat, Fantasy Island. It's little wonder those of us who came of age in that era are somewhat stunted, and Jo Ann had her Pflugs all over us (you can dust for pflugs, you know). Indeed, in some ways she's Fannie Flagg without the books, as both starred (if I may insult real nebulae for a moment) on Match Game and Candid Camera, too. It's a shame we couldn't merge them into one Fannie Pflug. I don't want to pull the woolery over your eyes on this one (uber-game-show host Chuck Woolery was her husband, sadly prior to his Love Connection days--Love Busy Signal? Love Dial Tone?), so instead I'll pull the pflug.


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