Monday, June 30, 2008

The Batman Who Couldn't Afford to Orgy

So IMDB points to an interview with Adam West on something called The Den of Geek, and I cannot turn away, for the 1960s Batman taught me about camp years before I read Susan Sontag. Plus Julie Newmar is hotter in a catsuit than Sontag. Alas, the site is The Den of Geek, which is not to be confused with the Geeks of Gossip. For they get West to give this answer about celebrity villains:

Frank Gorshin was always on the edge of anxiety and madness as Riddler. And I like that. I love to do scenes with people who are on the edge and who really explore every little nuance.

If there's ever an opening to ask about the much bandied about (go ahead and Google it, you'll see) rumor that West and Gorshin showed up at the same orgy--this is the 1960s when love was free and and I was goddammit three--and to relieve the tension, started doing dances as Batman and the Riddler. Got themselves kicked out for not feeling the right liberated vibe. Supposedly.

So, did Gorshin explore every little nuance of the famed West tool belt? The world may never know.

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I Wear a Cowboy Hat, It Is a Business Hat

Originally uploaded by Marrlinn

Obama in Washington, January 21, 2009.

Monday random Flickr-blogging explained.


Doggone Art

Originally uploaded by baddogwhiskas

Mookie and Nigel have taken to graffiti.


Ad or Subtract

Originally uploaded by davetrainer

Our last picture of Whiskers. If you know the whereabouts of our cat, please call us at 555-2287.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Necks to Nothing for a Week

Hey, anybody in here?!

OK, so I missed a bunch of time. But I also was playing host to my two sisters and niece from 6/21-28, so my life was more or less ruled by an 8-year-old. Sweet, whipsmart, a bit neurotic, and far too demanding. But in no particular order I got to be a tourist in my own land, doing things I haven't done in 14 years of Californiahood. That includes visits to both an ostrich and Shetland pony farm (and they had foals--yes, ponies having ponies on the next Oprah!), but also a lunch at Encounter in the Theme Building at LAX (food ok, but Jetsonian to the max), and a studio tour--the one at Warner Brothers is well-worth doing if your a sucker for film and TV like me.

I'll just try to jump back into regular programming without more blogging about not blogging, as the case might be.

I hope a few of you are still out there.


Monday, June 23, 2008

I Hope I'll Be Safe at Home!

Somehow when I was barely into my teens, my sister who is seven years older than I am gave me something for Christmas that I can't believe my parents allowed--George Carlin's Class Clown. There's a good chance it was the most formative event in my life. Lord knows how many times I spun that LP on my little white stereo, how many times I worked his riffs and jokes into chatter with my friends. Of course we were titillated (haha) by "Seven Words," and I can still remember much of that routine by heart 30 years later ("It's ok for Curt Gowdy to say, 'Roberto Clemente has two balls on him,' but he can't say, 'I think he hurt his balls on that play, Tony, don't you? He's holding them, by darnit he must have hurt them.'") But that record also meant language was play, that words were toys and tools.

It didn't hurt that so much of the record was about growing up Catholic, and although I didn't qualify on the Irish part, and although the church certainly had changed from Carlin's youth, enough rang true for this alum of the St. Rose of Lima Grammar School. I still love his Heavy Mysteries, like, "If God is all-powerful can he make a rock so big even he can't lift it? Got you there, father...." So humor helped me see. I was going to write "helped me see how religion was a creation" but it just helped me to see, period. And there's freedom in that, and what more could a teen want?

Carlin also probably started me down the road to being a lefty, back when I had no sense of what Vietnam meant, just young enough not to get it while living through much of it. But I certainly got the absurdity of his jokes about Muhammad Ali and his struggles against the draft, particularly the line, "Look, I'll beat people up for a living, but I won't kill them." And then that routine ended with Carlin's re-write of "America the Beautiful," which I still know by heart, and has only gotten truer in three decades as Bush and McCain plot to drill off our coasts, which is sad enough.

There's little wonder he got more bitter and pointed as his career went on, for what seemed playful and absurd solidified into absurd and deadly. Eventually there's nothing left but to rant.

Still, thanks, George Carlin, for helping a simple suburban boy see. Thanks for turning me onto words. We'll all melt away, but we'll always all have that.


With Dems Like These, Who Needs Enemies?

Originally uploaded by Beothuk

And then Steny Hoyer said, "If we just leave the Fourth Amendment in this pit, no one will ever be the wiser!"

Monday random Flickr-blogging explained.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Back Seat Boobala

For Dog Blog Friday: Mooks rides in and out of the sun.


Friday Random Ten

Spoon "The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine" Gimme Fiction
XTC "Omnibus" Nonsuch
Son Volt "Out of the Picture" Trace
The Mekons "Spit" Honky Tonkin'
New Order "Procession" Substance
Ito-k "Wishing" Freedom of Choice
Helium "Pat's Trick" What's Up Matador?
Laurie Anderson "Coolsville" Strange Angels
Richard & Linda Thompson "The Great Valerio" I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight
Bob Dylan "I Can't Get You Off of My Mind" Timeless: Hank Williams Tribute

Ella Fitzgerald (Layo & Bushwacka Mix) "Angel Eyes" Verve Remixed 2

Oh well, not the strongest of weeks, despite many favored artists and even favored albums. In some ways my fave here is the Helium cut, and that sort of says it all. And in a very high and funny voice, too.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

The SwimLawsuit's Price Is Right

As I'm sure most of you know, this Friday is the 20th anniversary of Barker's Beauty Janice Pennington getting knocked off the stage and knocked unconscious during a taping of The Price Is Right. Bob Barker, that dog, of course had a rep as a lech with the models on the show, which makes sense since the marketing demographic need for cheesecake on a daytime gameshow is sort of like imagining Comedy Central running Jimmy Choo shoe ads during the heyday of The Man Show, although it might be fun to see Jimmy Kimmel in a pair of Jimmy Choo's--and lord knows, Sarah Silverman has probably already made him strap some on, if only so she could make a joke about it. (Don't tell me comedians make things up.) (Yes, I meant to get strap on in there.) (So to speak.) Oh yeah, this was about poor Pennington, who in addition to this horrible meeting with a tv camera, also believed her first husband, mountain climber Fritz Stamberger, was dead, only to get remarried and then find out Fritz was with the CIA and helping fight the Russkies in Afghanistan. Indeed, that means The Price Is Right is a few steps away from Osama Bin Laden. Alas, terrorist cells know the price of your liberty without going over. And since Pennington, like so many Barker's Beauties, posed for Playboy, it's entirely possible that Bin Laden in hiding in the Playboy Mansion. After all, there are places there not even special ops wouldn't dare breach.


Give it a Wurlitzer

John Sellers pointed to a post by Holy Taco about 14 Songs You Should Never Play in a Bar. The list is on target, and the writing is funny, but it's also funny thanks to ultra-cool nastiness: let's belittle everyone who can't bother to have our impeccable taste (not only don't they appreciate bands we like, and think the over-played is somehow singular and special, they look odd, too).

So I thought instead of doing that, I'd try to build the perfect bar juke box. Now, this isn't just a list of favorite songs, as it's about songs to drink too, and contrary to opinion I don't drink 24/7 so the two periods of time do not overlap (exactly). And it's about songs to enjoy in public--they need to make everyone happy whether they know the song or not. As this is a juke box, and a dream, I'm stocking a classic Wurlitzer that plays 45s. As this is my dream, I get to create 45s that didn't exist--my only rule is that the disc has 2 cuts by the same artist. I'm sure there's stuff I left off, as I sort of just got to 12 singles and stopped, and I also admit I avoided at least one semi-obvious choice when I skipped the Pogues. Irish music and tippling--c'mon, we can all do better than that, can't we?

Tom Waits
a: "Clap Hands"
b: "Innocent When You Dream"

The A gives you his patented herky jerky and some fine Marc Ribot, the B gives you a closing time sing-a-long.

Brian Eno
a: "King's Lead Hat"
b: "Fractal Zoom (Mary's Birthday Edit)"

I left off the Talking Heads and will regret it, but at least I got a tribute song to them in (check the anagram in the A title) plus the pulse of that song will get everyone's head bobbing. The B is pretty obscure, but it's the closest to a dance track my juke has. I dance obscurely, you see.

Lucinda Williams
a: "Passionate Kisses"
b: "Essence"

Lucinda helps us get a little sexy, a little dirty. Good things for a bar.

The Mekons
a: "Memphis, Egypt"
b: "Millionaire"

The A let's you below "Destroy your safe and happy lives" as you down a shot. The B gives you Sally Timms all insinuation, singing, "Champagne was never cheap, but I could always find someone to drink it for me."

Frank Sinatra
a: "I've Got You Under My Skin"
b: "One for My Baby"

The A is perhaps the best recording ever--when Nelson Riddle brings the band up, I swear it rocks. The B gives you something to play at a quarter to three.

Old 97's
a: "Jagged"
b: "Barrier Reef"

Two country inflected rockers, the A more serious, for when the drinking is still perched between darkness and light, the B for those funnier moments, and people will sing-a-long and think about sex after drinking, which is what you want them to do, admit it.

Fred Astaire
a: "I Love Louisa"
b: "Steppin' Out with My Baby"

We need some class on the box, and the A is probably better known for its refrain "More Beer!" Plus you get bonus Oscar Levant. How hip is that?

Yo La Tengo
a: "Sugarcube"
b: "Tom Courtenay"

At times you just need to rock and these songs pack more hooks than a bait shop.

Elvis Costello
a: "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea"
b: "Almost Blue"

The A gets us a bit close to reggae and gives us something bitter to go with our bitters, the B is another closing time lament. (I really didn't spend that much time at 2 am in bars. Well, not in the past decade, at least.)

Amy Rigby
a: "All I Want"
b: "Time for Me to Come Down"

Criminally underrated Rigby makes songs of longing, and why else do those of us who can't sing drink?

a: "Sex and Dying in High Society"
b: "See How We Are"

Almost picked "The World's a Mess, It's in My Kiss" but with Ray Manzarek on it, that's like putting the Doors on my jukebox, and we can't have that. The A let's us be cynically self-aware as we punish the liver and brain, the B gives us a moment of political awareness and a beat to pound the bar.

Neko Case
a: "The Tigers Have Spoken"
b: "Letter from an Occupant"

The A gives us one of the best guitar figures of the past few years while the B--which I know is really a New Pornographers song, but can you imagine anyone else but Neko singing it?--is catchy pop, and there's a need to be caught in a bar.

Feel free to play along in the comments or turn these into a meme, if you dare. (Shoot, forgot the Replacements! How about a hidden bonus 45 with an a of "I Will Dare" and a b of "Bastards of Young.)


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Divine Secrets of the Minaya-ya Firehood

Today the LA Times got to jump on the Willie Randolph firing story, as it happened out here, far from New York. One of my favorites lines in Bill Shaikin's column was this:

"I don't believe in firing a manager at the game, in uniform," [Mets GM Omar] Minaya said. "That would be more disrespect."

What he failed to say was, "And I simply want to disrespect Willie, not provide him with more disrespect. If the Mets aren't going anywhere, then I figure he shouldn't be able to coach in the All-Star game either. Which just happens to be in New York. Come to think of it, the most disrespect would be to fire him out of uniform, as it's unseemly to fire a naked man. Although Willie did tell me he once had a dream of being at the game out of uniform, as it were, but I told him that as long as he had a Damion Easley to play leftfield and bat fifth he'd never be naked."

Minaya also reported that now that the Mets also fired pitching coach Rick "The Genius (If You Spot Me Hudson, Mulder, and Zito)" Peterson, he was consulting with Bud Selig's office to see if he could get the Victor "The Other" Zambrano for Scott Kazmir trade revoked. The Mets' beleaguered, but still employed, GM said, "By my watch, Peterson had well over ten minutes to fix Zambrano, and since he couldn't do it within his own self-imposed time frame, and since he isn't our coach anymore, we deserve something."

Indeed, there is something Minaya deserves.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Jumping with Symphony Cyd

Cyd Charisse died today at age 86, and if you're too young or too 'feard of musicals, you owe it to yourself to get to know her work. For Hollywood has never seen legs like Cyd's, and she knew exactly how to move them. There's something both beautiful and severe about her face, and it never seems quite as comfortable as her body does, but that makes her all the more fascinating; there's a sense that while dancing her body gets away from her, gives her up, exposes her in ways any actress now disrobing in an age of casual screen nudity doesn't come close to. It's both precise and a release, and how much joy that must be, and why, say, in The Band Wagon when she and Fred Astaire complete the worldess "Dancing in the Dark" number and slink back into that hansom cab, it's as if they've had the best sex of their lives. It's also why she's the perfect embodiment of the Soviet aparatchick [sic] in Silk Stockings, slowly giving herself over to the decadent pleasures of the West--her body moves decadently itself and simply, finally, found its place in Paris and silk (go YouTube that stocking dance, a dress-tease, as it were). Communism doesn't stand a chance. After all, as Pauline Kael writes about her performance in The Band Wagon, "When the bespangled Charisse wraps her phenomenal legs around Astaire, she can be forgiven everything, even her three minutes of 'classical' ballet and the fact that she reads her lines as if she learned them phonentically." In some ways she is the last great silent movie star, for she didn't have to speak a word to get us to feel many things.

So, while you need to see The Band Wagon, Silk Stockings, It's Always Fair Weather (I highlighted that for you last summer), and of course the way she turns Gene Kelly to jelly in Singin' in the Rain (good thing for Debbie Reynolds she only had to beat out Jean Hagen and not Charisse), there's also moments like this one in Party Girl, a musical, sort of, by Nicholas Ray, whose directorial skills are decidedly more atuned to the dramatic (ah, In a Lonely Place, The Lusty Men, and Bigger than Life). But even Ray knew enough to let Charisse turn her back on the Tula Ellice Finklea she was at birth and become a legend of the most decidedly motion pictures.


Monday, June 16, 2008

News Loses Its Bloom

This one's been going around, but if you haven't seen it, well, it sums up so much, doesn't it?


Misspoke the Truth

Catching just a few minutes of NPR this morning, I got these wonderful reminders about the perfidy of the leaders of our country and why I wake some mornings feeling hungover even though I didn't drink the night previous. Must be from banging my head on the wall the night before in agony over a day's news.

First, I got to hear our President make this quote that Reuters also included in its report:

"The free world has an obligation to work together, in concert, to prevent the Iranians from having the know-how to develop a nuclear weapon," Bush told reporters after the Brown talks. "Now's the time to work together to get it done."

Get 'r' done. It's good to know come February 2009 we'll be able to catch W. as part of the Redneck Comedy Tour. What's worse is that he's still tossing the term "free world" around, as if he has to rattle the Cold War saber to get us all nervous and acquiescent. But of course I'm flattering my fellow (sane, non-28%) countryfolk that Bush Co. gives a rat's ass what we think.

For there's Condi Rice making a surprise visit to Lebanon (do note this is the surprise visit administration--if they made it clear they were going anywhere it wouldn't be safe to be there), and her quote, "In any compromise there's going to be compromises." The AFP was kind enough to her to present this quote as, "Obviously in any (deal) there are compromises," but that's not that audio NPR played.

That might just seem like sloppy talking, but I think it truly represents the Bush Co. world view. For what Rice was really saying was, "There shouldn't be compromises, there should be everyone bending to our will."

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Of all the Gull

Originally uploaded by Rico Y

"You put your right web in..."

Monday random Flickr-blogging explained.


Mime and the City Solution

Originally uploaded by vantazy

The folks at Marvel sadly chose to nix the Idea of the Mummenschanz Avenger.


The Core Bride

Originally uploaded by photoshoparama

This line-up could have saved so many the arduous task of reading the Iliad.

(If you didn't get the Leda and the Swan reference last week, this one is sure not to be the apple of your eye.)


Friday, June 13, 2008

No More Years

To honor Tim Russert, who sadly passed away today, here's a clip from an interview with John McCain that he conducted on Meet the Press on June 19, 2005. Thanks for getting to the heart of the matter on this one, Tim:

(hat tip, Crooks & Liars)

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Nigel Is Swell

For Dog Blog Friday: Always adorable, always slightly out of focus.


Friday Random Ten

Crooked Fingers "The Rotting Strip" Bring on the Snakes
Memphis Jug Band "Memphis Shakedown" Harry Smith's Antholgy of American Folk Music, Volume Four
Marshall Crenshaw "Girls..." Marshall Crenshaw
The Magnetic Fields "Take Ecstasy with Me" Holiday
Deana Carter "The Cuckoo Bird" Songcatcher
Moby "I Like to Score" Songs 1993-1998
The Mekons "Chop That Child in Half" Original Sin
Alison Krauss & Union Station "Every Time You Say Goodbye" (live) This Is Americana
Passengers "Slug" Original Soundtracks 1
Superchunk "Under Our Feet" Indoor Living

The Magnetic Fields "How Fucking Romantic" 69 Love Songs

Now that's some mighty fine random, starting off with a true Sad Bastard Music (thanks for the term, Marty) anthem, if that's not an oxymoron. But it's one of those weeks were the songs I don't recognize as well are still quite good--Memphis Jug Band, Deana Carter--and then you have to admire the range, as even the two MF songs are about as different as they could be. And even Eno sneaks in.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Guilty Gets Its "Until"and "Proven" Back

The AP reports, oddly enough directly using some of President Bush's own words in its lead without claiming it's quoting him, not that the press ever parrots official White House-speak:

In a stinging rebuke to President Bush's anti-terror policies, a deeply divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday that foreign detainees held for years at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba have the right to appeal to U.S. civilian courts to challenge their indefinite imprisonment without charges.


Bush has argued the detentions are needed to protect the nation in a time of unprecedented threats from al-Qaida and other foreign terrorist groups. The president, in Rome, said Thursday, "It was a deeply divided court, and I strongly agree with those who dissented." He said he would consider whether to seek new laws in light of the ruling "so we can safely say to the American people, 'We're doing everything we can to protect you.'"

Bush continued, "Indeed, one of our main ways to protect you is to take away as many rights as possible. If you don't have something, then it doesn't need protection. See, we're clever that way.

"This decision, in fact, threatens to throw us back to the middle ages," Bush asserted. "Do Americans want to live in a time like 1215? Scary. That King John could have used some people like Cheney and Yoo."

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"I'm Not Saying It Was Stolen; I'm Just Saying You Can't Tell Me It Wasn't"

If you've got a spare hour, watch this. If you don't have a spare hour, make one. It's very depressing on one hand, but as Mark Crispin Miller admits, there is a happy ending, "We the people did not vote for this guy." Plus we get a twelve step program to fix the electoral mess we're in. Plus you get a John Kerry impersonation and a line like, "We're all addicted to the horse race and the horse race is fixed."

I haven't read Miller's books on election fraud, but his Boxed In is still one of the most incisive examples of television criticism and an elegant lesson in what close criticism can accomplish. Not to mention he was a teacher of mine at Hopkins, where he turned me on to Hitchcock, Kubrick, Peckinpah, and also Horkheimer and Adorno. Although their movies weren't as entertaining.


Monday, June 09, 2008

Mets Get My Goat in Petco

Warning: terrible Mets in photo are closer than they appear.

Dear Omar Minaya--

In general I've been a fan of what you've tried to do with the Mets. First, giving away Scott Kazmir wasn't your fault as it happened before your watch. Second, bringing in Pedro for too many years might not have helped on the field (I saw him pitch personally yesterday, and for all the guff Billy Wagner got and deserved for blowing the save, Pedro should have given up more runs himself, only a bullet from Endy Chavez in rightfield stopped the first inning from being a disaster), but it did help with legitimacy. It made the Mets a player again, and that was important. So then you could sign Carlos Beltran--for too much money and too many years, but it's not your money and won't be your years either. (My guess is that both you and Willie get it at year's end, but that might be wishcasting.) And finally you got Johan Santana, which seemed to be just what the team needed.

Except it also needs a whole new offense. At yesterday's game, your #5 hitter was Damion Easley. And visions of expansion clubs danced in fan's heads.

Look, you actually made a good move getting Ryan Church, you just forgot to get the harder head version. But this is a team with no Plan B's when all the plan A's seemed tenuous. Delgado has been hitting of late, but he's the shell of what he was in Toronto. Alou hits whenever he's able, he's simply never able bodied. Then a series of 4th outfielders become starters and all offense will never break loose.

That said, Petco is a lovely place to watch 2 games. You can get Stone on tap (for 9 bucks per). And seeing one game end on a walk-off in extras and the second won on a pinch hit 3 run job in the eighth--that's thrilling baseball.

Too bad the Mets can't do something like that.

After all, the Mets highlight might have been managing to hit-by-pitch the bases full Saturday in a 1-1 game and still get out of the inning. Or maybe it was Beltran getting caught in a thirdbase to home pickle, and diving safely back into third. Without that the team wouldn't have scored Saturday, come to think of it. But then again, how can one expect an offense to cope with fearsome starting pitching like Cha Seung Baek and Wil Ledezma. After all the first sounds like a very spicy dish you'd order at a Korean restaurant and the second sounds like a painful skin condition.

Omar, there isn't much left for you to do but learn for next time. And remember--Luis Castillo and four years are not words that should be found in the same contract.



What We Saw in Warsaw

Originally uploaded by adactio...

If you prefer yellow/purple men, look to the Hungarian across the street.

Monday random Flickr-blogging explained.


Cover Your Car! There Are Muzycznes Loose in the Neighborhood!

Originally uploaded by dElay

Pyotr knew business would be brisk, as no one wants to have to clean out the spit valve on his own muzycne.


Things Get Batter

Originally uploaded by meantux

Would you believe the falling giant squid from space missed me by this much?


Swing and a Myth

Originally posted by Marianne

"Look, I don't mind doing it, but you really have to stop shouting, 'I'm Zeus!' when you reach orgasm."


Friday, June 06, 2008

Blog's In for Summer!

It's time for you to help me come up with an idea, dear readers. The past two years INTOBB has run a summer series as a way to keep the pump primed.

In 2006 it took off from a post on the late lamented Berube Blog: "What little things, in the long history of human expressive culture, make life worth living? The catch is that they have to be little." For as I wrote then: "As someone who largely believes in living a small life, this thread was right up my philosophy's alley (see, if I thought big, my ethos would rate a boulevard)." So then I gave you moments through that summer.

In 2007 I opted to go an even easier route with what I billed "a video summer smörgåsbord, "Charlie Brown." And I also billed it "summer YouTubes don't mean a thing." And then I mostly shut up and embedded cool stuff.

So, my question is, what do I do for y'all this summer?


I Cherish with Fondness the Day Before I Blogged You

Not that I'm obsessed or anything.


Friday Random Ten

Pavement "Passat Dream" Brighten the Corners
Neo Psuedo "Rare Time" Laughing Symbols No So No
Neil Young "Red Sun" Silver & Gold
The Velvet Crush "Goin' to My Head" Free Expression
Duke Ellington with Charles Mingus and Max Roach "Solitude" (Alternate Take) Money Jungle
Philip Glass "Opening" Rare on Air, Vol. 2
Freedy Johnston "Until the Sun Comes Back Again" Blue Days, Black Nights
Suzanne Vega "Calypso" Solitude Standing
Okkervil River "Get Big" Black Sheep Boy
Wilco "At Least That's What You Said" A Ghost Is Born

Guided by Voices "Little Lines" Mag Earwhig!

Trying to do whatever the opposite of outdo is to last week, this list's best cut I won't even make you guess--it's the Velvet Crush (from a great unknown pop album, actually). But when you pull the Spiral Stairs cut from a Pavement CD to open, that has to be a hint, and sure enough, Ellington shows up (again) with an alternate take. The Okkervil River and Wilco are solid, but not even the 4th best cut on either album. And if any of you know Neo Psuedo, you win a prize.


Pup Tent-acles

For Dog Blog Friday: Mookie gets dramatic and considers the cephalopod.


Thursday, June 05, 2008

Paree Is for You and Me--Day Eleven

OK, so I went a whole month without writing another one of our days in Paris, and even with this one out of the way, I'll have 3 more to do, 2 of which I don't have notes for, but luckily have plenty of photos. You probably know how it is--after a couple of months the vacation slips into dream time, something it's almost hard to imagine you did.

But on Day Eleven, we went to the land of even harder to imagine, Versailles. This over-opulent palace proves it's good to be the king, until, of course, the mob arrives, drags you out, and beheads you. But that risk adds a certain frisson, no doubt. We RER there with only a tiny problem, as the computers are down to buy our handy rail-museum combo tickets for about 10 minutes. Versailles is also an odd approach--you make the left from the one road up from the train station, it all looks like suburbs, and then at the end of a road, it's Vegas or something, clomps of grandness beyond anyone's need.

Even with the throne made of paper, it's mind-blowing--you want to call it ornine, as it's beyond ornate (you might have to read that one aloud). Plus I'd get paranoid realizing in every room there are paintings staring at you from the ceiling.

And then I sort of like a bedroom to be a peaceful place, but then again I've never held court from my bed, either, so what do I know. And the poor queens had to give birth in public, years before anyone knew about epidurals.

What's more, most of the good stuff in the interior was at first sold to finance France's endless wars (if only Bush and Cheney had to use their personal wealth to finance wars), and then the Revolution wiped out what was left. Nonetheless, the Sun King left his mark on the place.

The recently restored Hall of Mirrors also impresses, all glitter and length, oh, and tourists. The mob came in 1789 and we've never quite left.

We also gape at the great salons, the chapel, but alas the opera is closed for restoration. Much of France seems closed for restoration; they're going to have some lovely country someday, unless they got the person who did Melanie Griffiths' plastic surgery to freshen the country up. We also spend a lot of time outside, where I'm suddenly remembering I'm missing Spring Training (this was taken on March 25 after all).

Now there'd be a uniform for oldtimers' day. Oddly while it's suburbs on the front of the "house," out in the gardens you're in country--much of it super-manicured, but even some pastureland with sheep and cows. This is a shot taken not out by the livestock; after all, three cows in the fountain is Rome.

Does it look cold in that picture? it should. There were flurries that morning, and it was a bad foot day for both of us, which didn't stop up, just made us really slow. Still we got to Marie Antoinette's compound, toured the Grand Triannon, and found out the Petite Triannon (enough triannon to fill the appetite of most hungry for triannon, to tell you the truth) was getting restored. Still, its gardens, complete with a Temple of Love (say that with a lascivious accent, please) and grotto and redwood tree (!) is lovely if reminiscent of Bouvard and Pecuchet (something for you Flaubert scholars).

To get back we wander through more gardens and are a bit delirious, worrying the statues are talking to us. This one said take my picture.

We said we'd had enough, and the tourists just kept piling in, as the line at 2 when we left was longer than when we arrived at 10. We wandered into town and a chain-type place (but this is France and even the chains are competent) selling crepes, and a bite and sit is very comforting, especially with a biere a pression each of some unidentified brand, but it was a Belgiany, malty, yeasty relief. And so we trained back to Paris and rested a bit at the hotel.

Till it was cocktail time. We went to La Lenox in the hotel of the same name not too far from our hotel. It's totally Deco'ed out to the point you expect Fred Astaire to tap his way in and banter with Edward Everett Horton over champagne. The cocktails are lovely, too: Amy had La Lenox their house champagne cocktail and I had an Americano because I never had had one. And I keep wanting to convince myself I like Campari as I desire to be that contintental.

We then strolled through St. Germain to Le Gorille Blanc, which was open this time. The waiter was an odd mix, physically resembling a character Peter Sellers might play but his voice sounded like T Bone Burnett's. He kindly guided us through the menu in the candelight of this romantic bistro. Amy went all specials all the time with the seafood farfalle to start, complete with perfect little cuttlefish, and then a pork with a mashed vegetable we never quite ID'd--maybe turnip and apple? Still, a lovely dish. I had a mushroom terrine that was rich and earthy and the restaurant's signature cuttlefish with risotto made with the ink from the cuttlefish. It was a bit too ripe with garlic for me but certainly tasty. For a wine we had a 2005 Domaine Auchere Sancerre, as I love saying Sancerre with an airy French accent (that I no doubt didn't use in Paris, for fear of being kicked out of the country as a mocking fool). Dessert we shared a fine hot apple pastry, all flake and super-thinly shaved apple, with pain d' epices ice cream adding a spicy sweet kick.

This was a long day, so we Metro'ed back to the Muguet and slept the sleep of those not in gaudy princely rooms.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Barack 'n' Roll

So the long national nightmare is over, even if Hillary seems to want to play the Black Knight till the very end ("what are you going to do, Ickes on me?!"). Sure, that means the next national nightmare will begin, as the Republicans will have to fight desperate, and dirty is their nature. While Obama's brilliant speech tonight kept calling for an America that is the best of America (it's practically corny), the Republicans only got, "Be scared--we can protect you. [barely disguised evil grin] But you have to give us your vote, and your right to privacy, and women must give us your wombs, and the young must give their lives to fight wars we'll make up reasons to start and then totally botch in execution."

What do you want, America? Are you ready to live up to your hype? Barack Obama is calling.

And let's not forget for a second what this already means about us--in a year when the Dems could have (should have?) played it safe and gone with a middle of the roader (hey, it's Joe Biden!), they decided to have a woman and an African American battle it out. That's either hope over-flowing its handbasket or idiocy, but right now I'm hopeful it's hope. The change word has been overused and abused, but dammit it is change--move aside, white guys.

It's time to get to work.


Monday, June 02, 2008

You Come for the Silliness, You'll Stay for Los Campesinos!

Don't ask Why 2K, just celebrate. With Los Campesinos! (Why am I always so slow to learn about the coolest things!?) If the last 15 seconds of this first video doesn't make you think rock still rocks (and it left desperate-to-want-to-believe me close to tears of joy, really), the whole second half of the second video will be sure to make you laugh.

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This is post 2,000.

That's in 46 months, so that's 43.47 entries a month.

And to think I feel I don't accomplish anything. (Hey, no wise-cracks!)

Thanks to any and all of you who have even read one of these. I appreciate you coming by, even if it's just because you thought you'd see Eva Green, Mrs. Jose Lima, or cat sex. I might not dish up a menage-a-paw, but I will be as silly as possible.


Hammered! I Got Mjolnired!

Originally uploaded by Mark Pringle

Suzy learned the hard way never to laugh at Thor's moves on the dance floor.

Monday random Flickr-blogging explained.


Like Robinson Caru-toe, as Primitive as Can Be

Originally uploaded by deji_01

If not for the courage of the fearless toes, the flip-flops would be lost.


A Sure Way To Piss Off the Munchkins

Originally uploaded by mike warren

MegaKarate sure sounded cool--after all, anyone can break a brick, but to break a whole wall of bricks, now that would be something.

Until one was buried under the wall of bricks, of course.


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