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April 30, 2005

Saturday Songs:
Music To Swing Sledgehammers By

The constant rain, cold and grey skies have finally gotten to me. Feeling restless, energy all pent up with no place to go, I've decided to spend the evening destroying my ear drums, or at least going through a few pencils as I drum my way across the desk or frightening my kids as I stomp my way across the living room. Oh yea. Cushions off the couch. STAGE DIVE!

Ultraspank - 5 (download)
The best band you never heard of that, unfortunately, doesn't exist anymore but was so fucking good while they lasted. Try singing this one while you're driving. Yelling "FIVE!!" in your best deep-throated heavy metal voice with the windows open will get you some stares. And you stare right back. Then bare your teeth and snarl. Maybe even let out a short growl or bark. That always shuts makes them turn their heads and pretend they never saw you.

Life of Agony - This Time (download)
Relentless. You could be in the best mood possible and not have a care in the world but when you hear this song you'll want to punch someone in the face just on principle.

Slayer - Stain of Mind (download)
Once I had this song on while I was washing the car and my neighbor came over and said "Dude, did someone piss in your Cheerios today? Don't you have any, you know, Simon and Garfunkel or something?" I knocked him unconcious, branded a pentagram on his chest with a hot needle and left him on the side of the road. Took his wallet, too.

Drowning Pool - Bodies (download)
Essential background music for playing shoot 'em up games. Especially something completely over the top like Blood.

Machine Head - Ten Ton Hammer (download)
So how do you know when you've reached middle age? When you hear yourself saying "GET OFF MY LAWN!" to the neighborhood kids. How do you know when middle age hasn't really curbed your enthusiams for kicking the shit out of people? When the snotty kid from down the block says, after you tell him to GET OFF YOUR LAWN "yea, are you gonna make me?" and you say "Like a ten ton hammer, son." And then you hog tie the kid, drop him down the sewer and tell him to wish Master Splinter a Happy Thanksgiving if he runs into him.

Shellac - Prayer to God (download)
Him - just fucking kill him, I don't care if it hurts.
Yes I do, I want it to,
fucking kill him but first
make him cry like a woman,
(no particular woman)

Gosh, I love Steve Albini.

And there you have it. Just some mellow musical musings for a Saturday night. Enjoy. Or not.

[links are now dead. stop by friday or saturday for more music]


The trailer is up for Romero's Land of the Dead. (here)

I'd say that's more of a teaser than a trailer, but it's still cool.

Dennis Hopper: Zombies, man. They creep me out.

I'll see it for that Hopper line alone.

Oh hell, I'll see it because it's Romero and zombies.

Basically, you have zombies taking over the world. Of course. The living build a walled city where (from what I can tell) a sort of class war exists. The zombies, who think and communicate (borders on blasphemous as far as zombie movies go, but I think it works here) are evolving and they're going to try to get into the walled city eventually. All kinds of chaos ensues.

LotD seems to be a mixture of zombie movies, social commentary and Escape from New York. It doesn't matter. It's a zombie movie. And you know how I feel about zombies.

Also coming up (maybe) for Romero is Diamond Dead: A young woman must kill 365 people with the help of a rock band that she accidentally killed and brought back to life.

The tagline is Death Rocks. It's been in production forever, I think. There's still not a cast listed. I hope this doesn't end up on a shelf. I am dying (hah) to see this one.

Anyhow, go watch the trailer for LotD.

For the zombie lovers: What's your favorite Romero zombie flick? Or zombie flick overall?

On this date in 1980: a retro playlist

If it were April 30, 1980. Or 1980 in general.

On my mix tape of the day (the iPods of 1980) was the following playlist:

AC/DC - "You Shook Me All Night Long"
Split Enz - "I Got You" (wrote about that one here)
The Clash - "Brand New Cadillac" (need I get into the whole LONDON CALLING ROCKS thing again?)
Kurtis Blow - "The Breaks" (and this wasn't the last Kurtis Blow song that would appear on one of my playlists - look here at #246)
Pink Floyd - "Comfortably Numb" (yea, everyone was playing Run Like Hell or Brick in the Wall, but the stoners mellowed out Gilmour's solo)
The Vapors - "Turning Japanese"
The Pretenders = "Tattooed Love Boys"
B-52's - "Dance This Mess Around" (here)
The Cure - "Boys Don't Cry"
Boomtown Rats - "I Don't Like Mondays"
Van Halen - "And the Cradle Will Rock" (I really need to get finished on ode to DLR in which I refer to him as the most underappreciated entertainer in rock and roll)
Ramones - "Rock 'n' Roll High School"
Steve Forbert - Romeo's Tune" (long story)
Utopia - "Set Me Free" (what an amazing album, saw them live three times, will never forget any of those shows)
Rush - "Spirit of Radio"
ZZ Top - "I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide" (which would have been my tagline had blogs existed in 1980)
Peter Gabriel - Games Without Frontiers (from a truly amazing album I should write more about)
Billy Joel - "Still Rock and Roll" (you know that village green he sings about in Italian Restaurant? we hung out there. It was required of us at that stage, and at that particular high school, to listen to Billy Joel. Thank jeebus that phase passed, though I still maintain that his early stuff [think Summer, Highlands Fall] is fantastic.)
U2 - "I Will Follow" (best debut album ever)
Queen - "Crazy Little Thing Called Love"
The Police = "Canary in a Coal Mine" (I just could not bring myself to sing that dodododadada song out loud. this one was far superior)
Judas Priest - "Breaking the Law" (ok, show of hands: how many of you automatically do the Beavis and Butthead thing when you hear this song?)
Black Sabbath - "Heaven and Hell" (Ronnie James Dio!)

1980 is also noteable for being, in my eyes, the year Led Zeppelin died. I don't remember ever being as disappointed in an album like I was with In Through The Out Door.

Note - some of these songs didn't come out until later on in 1980, so it's more of a "year" thing than an exact "on this date" thing. And some came out in late '79 but gained popularity in '80.

Anyhow, I thought this would make an interesting meme type thing. What would have been on your playlist in the year you graduated high school? (And I don't mean what was popular that year, but what were YOU listening to)

Defending London Calling

Well, I was going to write this morning on the virtues of the Clash's London Calling, as I was mystfied as to why so many people think it's overrated when it's truly one of the greatest albums ever.

Anyhow, there's no need for me to do that now, as Ilyka has defended London Calling in the exact way it should be defended, with her heart.

What you do have in London Calling, drunk producer or no, is an album that sounds like people having fun.
I think that's why some folks furrow their brows and complain they don't get it--because fun is individual, fun is personal. My fun and your fun might never meet. Your fun is not necessarily my fun. Your fun might be the very antithesis of my fun, and if your fun is spraypainting Grateful Dead logos on the back of your denim jacket, I can just about guarantee that it is.

Well, I did spray paint the cover to Steal Your Face on my denim jacket when I was in 9th grade, but then the Clash came and saved me.

Go read Ilyka while I contemplate what to write now that she did what I was going to do better than I would have.

April 29, 2005

It's Friday [updated with link whoring goodness]

Which means I've once again taken my rightful place on the Blogger's Match Game panel.

This week, I'll award points to anyone who goes over there and matches any of my answers. The points will be good for errr...something, in the future.

Go play.

Other important linkage:

Thanks to Mikey, the Gene Rayburn of the blogosphere, for having me on every week.

Enter Alex's caption contest here. It's got Spidey, Capt. America and Dr. Doom Rumsfeld!

(Got linkage? Leave it on the comments)

random camera phone picture

McDonald's, East Meadow, NY

I think I found my new tagline.

overrated albums III: Bat out of Hell [updated and all revved up]

Ok, I'll be honest with you here. I bought the album. I bought the hype that went with the album. I thought it was brilliant, amazing and a work of art. It was 1977. Elvis had just died. I was momentarily blinded by heartache. No, I was trying to revolt against the constant crush of Eddie Money songs being played on 99X. I was trying to drown out the disco craze. I was looking for an alternative to my friends' constant playing of Billy Joel's The Stranger. My local department store where I bought my records didn't have Elvis Costello's My Aim is True. I was suckered in by Meatloaf's amazing turn as Eddie in Rocky Horror.

I could come up with a million more excuse, you know. But the fact is, I liked Bat out of Hell when it first came out. Don't look at me like that. Like you didn't lay in the dark with the headphones on and just wait for the part...

Then I’m dying at the bottom of a pit in the blazing sun
Torn and twisted at the foot of a burning bike
And I think somebody somewhere must be tolling a bell
And the last thing I see is my heart
Still beating
Still beating

That was beautiful, man. Genius. See..he was telling a story. But set to music. It works on two levels! And you had to sing it just like Meatloaf, as if you were on a high school stage in the midst of some overwrought musical about love and loss and umm...motorcycle accidents.

Ok, that one hasn't really stood up to the test of time. What about...

On a hot summer night.
Would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?
Will he offer me his mouth?

I'm sitting here wondering how I ever thought that was good. Maybe when you're drunk on Boones Farm wine at a party in someone's basement that's decorated to look like some kind of art deco cave and that Canadian kid you have a crush on is mouthing the words to you...well, that's hot when you're 15 and stoned on fermented strawberries. Now, in 2005 - even with a glass of Chardonnay down the hatch - it's cringe worthy.

But it's not even those two songs that relegate this album into the annals of Insipid Moments in Rock History. No. It's the song I hate more than any other song that has ever been written, performed or copyrighted since time began and will always, forever continue to be the one song that can make me run screaming from a wedding, bat mitzvah or block party. The song that can reduce grown men and women to pantomiming actors in a surreal line dance of lust.

It was at my sister's wedding ten years ago when I realized that Paradise By the Dashboard Light was my kryptonite. As soon as the first note emitted from the speakers, the dance floor was flooded with revelers. All the people who sat on their asses for the great dance songs of the night (oh, like you don't want to dance every time you hear Funkytown) were suddenly lined up on the floor, males forming a line down one side, females doing the same on the other side. It was reminiscent of a movie musical, where somehow everyone knows the words to the song and all the lines to sing. Maybe I hadn't been to enough weddings or bars lately, but I had no idea that Paradise had become a line dance/interactive favorite. It was the new Hokey Pokey!

Let me tell you, even with a couple of shots of tequila under my belt, and even with the giddiness that comes with complete exhaustion, there was no way I was loopy enough to join that crowd on the dance floor. No, I just stood back and watched as grown men and women - including town councilmen and judges and the president of the local Kiwanis - took turns singing the boy/girl parts and totally acting the part of lust filled teenagers in a steamy car. One couple actually stood in the center of the two lines during the whole baseball announcer verse and acted the whole thing out. I kid you not. When my jaw dropped and a cousin realized I was stunned, she told me that this went on at every wedding, in every bar, every night of the week and I needed to get out more. No, no, I told her. I need to never leave the sanctity of my house again.

When my kid's religious ed teacher did a sliding split into the middle of the dance floor, holding up her hand and singing "STOP RIGHT THERE!" and my uncle twirled his way beside her and responded with the "let me sleep on it" verse and then all of them did the whole back and forth thing and this went on until the very end, where they all did some bizarre dance as they whispered glowing like a metal on the edge of a knife, I thought I had been transported to the ninth level of hell and Satan himself was going to rise out of the dance floor.

Yes, that was ten years ago and I remember every little thing as if it happened only yesterday (sorry, couldn't resist). It was such a horrid experience that not only is it etched in my memory forever, but it has made me loathe the whole Bat Out of Hell album and even Meatloaf himself (his man tittie turn in Fight Club notwithstanding), as they are all part and parcel of one of the most nightmarish experiences of my entire life.

So I got off on a tangent there and probably failed to convey why Bat Out of Hell is overrated, but that doesn't even matter anymore. I have Paradise stuck in my head and I have to go find a way to get it out of there.

[cross posted at Blogcritics]

: So maybe the whole album is worth it just to sing the last minute of All Revved up With No Place To Go (download)

April 28, 2005

portraits of amusement

[Taken with a Nikon 5700]

Click the thumbnails for large versions, but be forewarned that they are, indeed, large - 1000px wide. I'm really happy with the way these photos came out (and they do reflect more of what I want to do with my camera and any future photoblog I might have) and I felt that the larger size just looked better.

[pictures in extended entry]

Adventureland Amusement Park, Farmingdale, NY

random camera phone picture

Nassau Coliseum parking lot, Uniondale, NY

Nothing like the setting up of a giant fair to make you feel, once again, as if spring is being rushed into summer.

in which i tell you a ridiculous fact about myself

[Wouldn't hurt you to share one yourself, you know]

In 10th grade, I had the cover to Yes's "Fragile" painted on the back of my denim jacket.

[inspired by Marc, who wants to live in a prog rock album cover world. Don't we all?]

Update: Matt thinks Marc should be on this album cover, but that eschews the whole prog rock thing. Hell, it eschews both rock AND taste. But that's the point isn't it? I'm kind of seeing Matt living in this world:

(below, nsfw, maybe. or at least people who startle easy)

You knew that was coming, didn't you?

american idol talk below, ignore at will

I usually save my American Idol talk for over here, but I have to bring it here today.

Are there really people out there who claim to be stunned that votes can somehow be rigged or a reality tv show can be fixed? Yea, I vote every week, but I suffer no delusions that the results aren't somehow skewed to get the best possible final match up that will garner the most possible ratings.

Looking at the official AI boards, I'm taken aback about how many people invest their hearts and souls into various contestants. I don't know why it shocks me that some people are ready to either commit suicide or burn down the Fox building today, but it does. Even when I was in love with Leif Garrett - at the age of ten, I think - I never put so much of myself into idolizing him that my world would have fallen apart if his tv show went off the air.

Some of the people on these boards are grown, adult women. It's frightening. They are talking to him as if he actually goes to the boards and reads all the messages. Honestly, if he saw some of the stuff written there, he would fear for his life. Some of these people are not beyond sneaking into his house at night to cut off a lock of his hair.

I don't like Constantine and I'm glad he's gone (especially since he pulled the last straw on Tuesday - the only thing worse than Nickelback is Constantine doing Nickelback) but there are at least two contestants that, if the people voted on talent and the votes actually counted - should have been gone before Constantine. All this time I waited for this psuedo-rocker to get voted off, and now it's kind of anti-climatic because Jabba the Scott is still on board.

And why is Scott still there? This is why. That's just one of the pitfalls of having a reality show where the public votes. Things like this will happen. Is it fair? No. Is it legal? I'm sure there are no laws on the books regarding things like voting for ugly, mean, talentless hacks on reality shows.

I do think that this sounds a death knell for American Idol as we know it. Between LaToya and Jennifer (and to a lesser extent, Diana) getting voted off last year and Scott and Anthony staying in the running this year when they should have been gone long ago, a lot of fans are getting frustrated. Look for some new voting rules for next season, possibly a whole new format. Also, I predict Paula will be gone. This whole season has been like watching a train wreck with her. I don't know what she's on, but her behavior on the show has been so ridiculous that I cringe when she comes on screen. How can she not be embarrassed for herself? And after last night, with her crying those huge, snotty tears over Constantine, she has to be gone. She's a judge for chrissakes. Judges don't cry when contestants leave. Unless, of course, they have developed an unhealthy crush on them and/or having been sucking their dicks in the hotel room after the show.

Sorry. Anyhow, to recap: Face reality that the show can and probably is fixed; suck it up as far as the internet move to have Scotty the Body crowned American Idol because there's nothing you can do about it; get over Constantine because he doesn't really care about you or your poetry or your desire to run your fingers through his hair as you console him; and get ready to see a complete overhaul of the show for next season. If there is a next season. I suspect this was a jump the shark moment for AI.

Overrated Albums: Poll Winner

I finally closed the poll. And the winner of the coveted prize for most overrated album is:

White Stripes - Elephant

View final poll results here.

Now, I'm sure there was some rigging of the vote by one single person who is so offended by the sound of the White Stripes that he alone counted for 225 of the 226 votes. But that's the nature of polls (see, American Idol last night, for proof of that) and those are the results we shall go with.

wsel.jpgThat's not to say I disagree. Somewhat. I think. The whole White Stripes/Strokes/Hives thing baffled me. I suppose one could make the argument that the embracing of garage rock was in direct response to the proliferation of overproduced teeny bopper bands and flaky, yet hot, blonde singers and/or the rise in popularity of 30 year old men in nu-metal bands writhing in agony, still angry at their mothers for grounding them when they were 12. Who knows?

The thing is, after bitching and moaning for months about how much I hated the Stripes and that whole stripped-down-rock sound, they kind of grew on me. Not so much that I started to actually sing their praises, but enough so that I didn't turn "Seven Nation Army" down when it came on the radio. In fact, songs like "Ball and Biscuit," "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself" and "The Hardest Button To Button" remind me of what I first liked about rock and roll all those years ago and yes, the sound is quite reminiscent of sitting in Pat Henley's garage on summer evenings in the 1970's, listening to the band with no name play the same songs over and over again, but enjoying every chord, every beat. The simplicity of "Seven Nation Army" is it's beauty; there's hardly anything to the song, but yet it makes me want to do something - dance, or drum my pencil on the desk or tap my foot at least, much like the repeated chords in the Henley garage did. The band with no name's sound was born of pure desire to just play some music, and that's what I get with the Stripes.

However (there's always a however with these things), White Stripes are not the saviors of rock and roll. They are not the greatest thing since MC5. Elephant isn't so much a triumph of the simple sounds of rock and roll as it is a triumph of style over substance. The album is too simple to be anything more than a big, fat candy bar. Jack White's efforts to be everything to everyone in the re-emergence of pure rock bands is admirable; but his reliance on Meg White's mediocre drumming skills and his penchant for trying to do too much with too little overwhelms the sincerity within. It's a good, fun album. It's good background music for cleaning the house or pretending to do yardwork while you're just drinking beer and neighbor-watching or driving through rush hour traffic with one hand out the window and one hand on the horn. And there's nothing wrong with that. It's good music. It's rock and roll. But it's nothing that's going to change the world. Not even the music world.

I don't think Elephant is the most overrated album of all time. Not even close. But I just surprised myself here by what I wrote about it. I didn't know I liked the album so much until now.

You learn something new every day, even about yourself.

[Just because the poll has ended doesn't mean I'm done - I'll be "reviewing" some of the other overrated albums later today]

Update: Again, don't shoot the messenger! I'm only doing these albums because you people nominated them! If it was up to me, I'd just list every Dylan, Beatles, Eagles, Nirvana, Madonna and Stones album and be done with it. Maybe we should be doing underrated albums instead? Or just underrated bands in general? Anyone?

April 27, 2005

M-A-N Man

I've had this song stuck in my head for four days.

Now you can, too. I compel you to download this. Now.

Now You're a Man - DVDA

Lyrics below, so you can sing along.

Well come on, sing!.

♪♪Now you're a man, manny manny man♪♪

Hey guys? It's supposed to be horrible.


What makes a man?
Is it the power in his hands?
Is it his quest for glory?
Give it all you've got,
to fight to the top
So we can know your story

Now you're a man

A man, man man
Now you're a man

A manny manny man
A man man man

You are now a man
You're a man
Now you're a man

Live it, Live it

What make a man?
Is it the woman in his arms?
Just cause she has big titties?
Or is it the way he fights every day?
....No, it's probably the titties

Now you're a man

A man, man man
Now you're a man-man

Man-man man-man man
Now you're a man

M-A-N, man
Man, man-man man
Now you're a man

update on the album poll

I'm going to leave it up a while longer. I think Kid A may take the lead away from the White Stripes some time this afternoon.

In answer to emailed questions:

  • Radiohead's OK Computer was not on the poll because it's one of the greatest albums ever recorded. Gosh.
  • Weezer's Blue Album? Overrated? Are you serious? Get off my website, dorkass.
  • Stop asking me about stupid albums. This isn't the Dumbest Album Ever Made By A Good Band poll. It's the OVERRATED poll. Which means an extraordinary amount of people had to actually think the album was born of jesus or something. No one thinks Use Your Illusion was a masterpiece. That's why it's not in the poll.

Interesting discussion of The Wall post over here.

Which overrated album should I write about next? I could do Hotel California, Bat out of Hell, Nevermind or something not even on the list that may be overrated (as long as I also think it's overrated, so stop it with the OK Computer already).

Because both my bosses are on vacation and I'm feeling unappreciated

Happy Secretary's Day Administrative Professional Day to me
Happy Secretary's Day Administrative Professional Day to me
Happy Secretary's Day Administrative Professional Day to meeeeee
Happy Secretary's Day Administrative Professional Day to me

Thank you. I'll be here all day.

random list: WWF edition

For no other reason than I'm avoiding work.

My favorite wrestlers/wrestling personalities from the early 1980's, when wrestling was fun and I wasn't ashamed to say I went to Wrestlemania II and I actually had some cheesy talking WWF figures.

  • Rowdy Rider Piper
  • Big John Studd
  • Andre the Giant
  • King Kong Bundy
  • George "The Animal" Steele
  • Nikolai Volkoff
  • The Junkyard Dog
  • The Iron Sheik
  • The Wild Samoans
  • Bobby "The Brain" Heenan
  • Mean Gene Okerlund

Favorite running gimmick: Piper's Pit
Least favorite thing: Hulkamania

Overrated Albums II: The Wall

Before I get into The Wall, I need to clarify something in order to hold the pitchfork and torch crowd at bay. I did not randomly choose the albums that went into this poll. I pulled them all out of the comments here. Personally, I love London Calling - I wore out three copies (cassette tapes) in my car alone - and I feel nothing but pity for the people who can't understand what's so great about that album (and maybe later I'll do a post extolling the virtues of London Calling). Anyhow, White Stripes is currently holding a giant lead, so if you are really eager to see The Eagles win, get over there and vote. I'm closing the poll this afternoon.

thewall.jpgI love Pink Floyd. My relationship with that band goes way back. I mean, I was seven years old when I first heard Careful With That Axe, Eugene. And all these years later, I'm still listening. My 12 year old son is listening. My 66 year old mother listens obsessively. I guess PF is somewhat of a family tradition. So I feel comfortable in sitting here explaining to you why The Wall is overrated. I'm not some PF play hata throwing rocks at Roger Waters. I'm a fan who can admit when an album just over reaches.

First, I'm not a big fan of double studio albums (see, Frampton Comes Alive). More often than not, you end up with six or so good songs and lots of filler. Most of the time, that filler is a songwriter's narcissistic exercise in hearing himself think. And so it goes with The Wall.

Most of the album is an acid-fueled ego trip for Roger Waters. It personified angst before Cobain put on his first flannel jacket. It was emo before the guy from Dashboard Confessional ever shed his first heartbroken tear. It was the epitome of mother issues set to music before all those nu-metal bands made parental abandonment a niche market. It's a group therapy session at a drug detox center set to music.

And it is the music that saves The Wall from being nothing more than a pretentious, self-absorbed LiveJournal entry. From the frenetic pace of Run Like Hell to the sheer poetry of Gilmour's solo on Comfortably Numb, it is the sounds and not the words that held this album together and kept it from falling into the cut-out bins of record stores everywhere. Yet even the music in some parts contribute to the "what the hell were they thinking" aspect of this album, most notably the disco background of Another Brick in the Wall. The whole song is tedious - it's as if their goal was to come up with an anthem that the kiddies would sing along to, that would resonate with them and make them believe that this album was about them, too. "We don't need no education" was the Pied Piper line of The Wall. It suckered in millions of teens and young adults who shouted along with the lines and bopped their heads to the disco beat and never gave thought (at least not until their later years) to the fact that Waters and company were pounding out the disco beats (also on Run Like Hell and Young Lust, which makes the "dirty woman" line feel somehow justifiable) just a year after disco was declared dead. Was he being ironic? Was the whole album ironic? Who knows. The message sort of got muddled in between the Oedipal odes and the admonishments of eating your whole meal before you have dessert.

Don't get me wrong. I love Gilmour's work on this album. Comfortably Numb contains one of the greatest guitar solos in the history of guitars - Gilmour is able to evoke more emotion with the movement of his fingers than Waters managed to eke out in all the words within the album. I listen to The Wall mainly because I still get a rush from the inherent violence and anger unleashed in the short, yet powerful, Happiest Days of our Lives; but that's from the way it's set up musically, and not from the lyrics - which really hammer home the point that Waters had some deep seated issues with authority figures.

thewall2.jpgIt was when I finally saw the movie version of Waters' nightmare that I started to go from "what a work of genius" to "what a load of narcissistic crap." My god. Two hours of sitting through someone else's bad acid trip. That's what the movie was. I had enough of my own, thank you, without watching someone else have the freak out of their life. Not even the wretched depression of Brian's Song could top the depths of despair one feels when watching The Wall.

When taken apart, rather than listened to as a whole, The Wall fails on so many levels. Sure, when I was 17 and still finding genius in the lyrics of Genesis and the gaudy masterpieces of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, The Wall came off like a brilliant novel, a work of art, an anthem and a stoner's delight all in one. But years later, with the blinders of youth gone and the last joint stubbed out too many years ago and the knowledge that Roger Waters is a prick, The Wall just doesn't hold up like I thought it would. Oh, I still listen to it. Just not with the same awe I did in 1979. And that's not because I'm so far removed from that time that I can no longer appreciate it, because I still listen to Dark Side of the Moon with the same jaw-dropping awe I did when I first heard it at the tender age of 12. Which, coincidentally is the same age my son first heard DSOTM and fell in love with it. When I asked him how he likes The Wall, though, he said "I only listen to it for the guitar" in much the same way, a few years from now, he will say "I only read it for the articles."

So, did anyone else sit in their friend's basement with the headphones on and the bong water gurgling and try to find the deeper meaning in "if you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding?" No? Ok.

[cross posted at blogcritics]

April 26, 2005

Game Face

The bi-weekly baseball picture thing.

0 for 3. Ground out, pop-up, hard line drive caught at first. But his team won, so everyone's happy.

Overrated Albums I: The Poll

[I put the poll below the fold because it was killing the load time on the page.]

Vote early, vote often. Tomorrow, I'll give my reasons for voting the way I will.

random camera phone picture

Mannequin at Sketchers store, Roosevelt Field Mall.

I also have my first fashion(s) victim up at Inappropriately Dressed.

Overrated Albums I: Frampton Comes Alive

[see here for reference]

On my 14th birthday I received Frampton Comes Alive.

A few friends had chipped in to get me the album. They didn't have enough money left over for wrapping paper, so they wrapped it in tin foil.

fca.jpgAs usual for a late summer afternoon in 1976, we met that August 25 behind the local 7-11 to drink beer (hidden in Slurpee cups) and smoke cigarettes. They presented the foil present to me and I unwrapped it, knowing what it was, relishing the moment I had been waiting for all week since Lori spilled the beans about my present.

And there it was. The blonde curls, the look of holy ecstasy, the blue lights; I was finally holding the prize of my collection in all its vinyl glory.

I didn't let on that I didn't really like Frampton's music. I liked his hair. I liked his smile. I liked him. I held fast to the lie that I was all into his music, but at that point in my life I was really into Kiss, Zeppelin and Genesis and Frampton was, for me, just a pretty face.

Ok, I went crazy over three songs on the double album ("Show Me the Way," "Do You Feel Like I Do," "Baby I Love Your Way") and two of those songs I only liked because of the "couples only" potential at the roller rink, but the rest was crap.

However, I was cool for having it because everyone wanted a copy. So the troops gathered and we went back to my house and listened for hours to the stupid wah-wah pedal thing.

When you are 14 and you just smoked some pot and the record player is emitting sounds of "do you feel like we do" played through some voice synthesizer, all you think about is some Charlie Brown special where the teachers are doing that wah-wah-wah voice and you keep saying to yourself, if I had just asked for Thin Lizzy's Jailbreak instead, I'd be rocking out to The Boys Are Back In Town instead of pretending to like the music of just another pretty face.

Yet, for some reason, Frampton Comes Alive makes an appearance on every list of top albums EVER. It's not. It's two albums consisting of three overplayed songs, a bunch of crap and some pictures of a really hot guy.

And that's why FCA makes my list for most overrated albums ever (you can still make your nominations). Next up: Why The Wall isn't as grand as people make it out to be (and a big middle finger to those who think Dark Side of the Moon is overrated).

[cross posted at blogcritics]

TV Turn On

[I'll get to the overrated albums thing in a bit - I couldn't let go without presenting my annual rant about it]

From 2002, modified slightly for age

I was asked by another mother at baseball practice yesterday if I was observing TV Turnoff Week. No. I mean, Hell No!

If you want to turn off your tv, that's fine. More power to you. If you don't own a tv, that's great, too. That's your prerogative. I admire your staunch stand on the issue. Just don't throw your tv-less ideals at me, ok?

hearttv.jpgWe love tv. And no, I am not going to sit here and pretend that all the tv we watch is educational. Sure, we watch the Discovery Channel and the History Channel and National Geographic TV. We love that stuff. But we also watch cartoons and sitcoms and the adults in this house watch late night softcore porn on Cinemax and violent movies and infomercials. And sports. We watch a whole lot of sports.

Don't tell me that tv keeps us from reading. We are all readers. We read every single night. Sometimes together, sometimes alone.

Don't tell me that tv keeps us from enjoying time together as a family. We manage to cram plenty of family time into the few hours a day we have together. Yes, we get outside. We play sports. We take walks. We run around. We hike through the local nature preserve. We sit on the lawn and stare at the stars and talk. My kids skateboard or play the guitar for hours on end, with - gasp!- no television playing in the background.

We do talk. We talk at dinner, we talk in the morning, we talk at bedtime. We talk while we watch tv. And we listen.

Don't tell me that we are mindless sheep suffering at the hand of advertisers. My kids do not get, nor do they want, everything they see on commercials. We are not name brand whores. We aren't mesmerized by advertising. That's the beauty of a remote control and 200+ channels. Commercial comes on, we switch to another baseball game, another news channel and yes, another cartoon.

We like entertainment. Not every moment in our lives needs to be a learning experience. Sometimes we want to watch something for fun. Sometimes we want to just sit in front of the tv and stare glassy eyed at music videos as we let a rough day slip away. Not every moment in our lives is structured and organized and divided into neat compartments where each second is an experience that will somehow shape our future.

I will not turn off my tv. I most certainly will not turn off my tv during the baseball season. I will not give up the History Channel and Adult Swim and American Idol. They bring me enjoyment. Why does it matter so much to you what the source of my enjoyment is?

You can turn off your tv. You can throw your tv out for all I care. Good for you. As long as you don't preach to me that going tv-less makes you a better person than me, you can talk to me about it all you want. The minute you tell me that (even though you were fucking your neighbor while your husband was on a business trip) you are a better mother/person than me, or that your family (even though your son was expelled twice for punching a girl) is better than mine or that your home life (remember when the cops came to your house after your husband fired that gun at your dog?) is nicer than mine because you turned your tv off for one whole week out of the year, that's when I stop caring what you have to say on the subject.

TV I refuse to live without:

The Simpsons
Adult Swim
YES Network (Yankees)
American Idol
Family Guy
Food Network (Unwrapped, Top 5, Inside Dish)
South Park
History Channel
Disaster movie marathons on AMC
Saturday morning cheesy movies on Sci-Fi channel
Nick Toons (Angry Beavers!)
VH1 (especially those list shows)
The Weather Channel

There's more. So much more. TV is my friend. It doesn't mean that books or conversation or the outdoor world aren't my friends. To think that my life would be somehow enriched by throwing one of my best friends out the door for even just a week is preposterous.

If you take part in TV Turnoff Week, more power to you. Just so long as - like religion, politics and sports allegiances - you don't act all sanctimonious about it (like the baseball mother I encountered) and assume that your standards should be everyone's standards, then I'll applaud your efforts (knowing full well that you TiVo'd ).

*[image from the awesome but now defunct (and probably one season too long) "Home Movies" show, formerly of the Adult Swim lineup, now on DVD]

[Now get cracking nominating overrated albums, while I prepare myself by listening to the entire Frampton Comes Alive. The things I do for my craft.]

April 25, 2005

do you feel like i do: overrated albums poll [updated]

So an offhand remark in this post about Framptom Comes Alive sparked a flurry of emails from people either begging me to do a "most overrated album" poll or people wanting to lynch me for calling the album a piece of overrated crap.

I'll write tomorrow about why I think FCA did not hold up well over the years. For now, I'll take your nominations for Most Overrated ROCK Album Ever poll. I'll put up a poll type thing tomorrow, and add some of my choices - with some downloads - later on this evening.

Update: Here's two songs from albums I think are overrated:

Radiohead - Optimistic
Led Zeppelin - The Ocean

around the block

First, a PSA/sales pitch from one of my favorite blog crushes, Dr. Grosz: The good doctor is selling his car (that's Kathleen to you). It's not just any car. It's a classic, 1955 Ford Country Sedan which, if it could talk, would have amazing tales to tell, including being in A Beautiful Mind. Check out the auction here.


  • On this date in 1898, the U.S. declared war on Spain. Which is interesting in that today I have declared war on the humorless. I have also declared tomorrow, April 26, to be National Take the Stick Out Of Your Ass Day.
  • Remember Flesh for Lulu? I really liked that "I Go Crazy" song.

If you have any interesting links to share, leave them in the comments. I said interesting.

So, Sister Christian just came on the radio and my son yells out, "YEA, this song ROCKS!" It's the small things that make me so damn proud.

random thought, jedi edition

I don't know what's come over me, but I'm actually looking forward to Revenge of the Sith.

Ohh, I know what happened. That was no run-of-the-mill alien anal probe last night. I bet George Lucas ate my soul for real this time.

fun with camera phones

I knew I got a camera phone for a reason.

Please, put your hands together for a new group effort: Inappropriately Dressed.

Tired of seeing the underoos of dazzling young urbanites wherever you go? Find it hilarious when skeevy chicks wear miniskirts and stilettos to the zoo? Us, too.

This is the perfect time of year to start such an effort, too. The weather is turning warm and women and men are starting to get down to the bare essentials. Unfortunately, not all of them should be showing so much of themselves.

ID is calling for photos. If you've got a camera phone and spot a hideous dresser, check the left sidebar for info on sending your pics in.

I'm going to be like the Crocodile Hunter of fashion. Today I'm on the hunt women wearing high heels with sweat pants.

Update: The first reader contribution is up and it's a WINNER!

I will now to box and feel much shame*

Her reputation forever tarnished, her intergrity called into question, the blogger slinks off into the night, never to be heard from again.

No, that's not right. How about:

Her integrity called into question, the blogger heads out for the local watering hole at 3am to drown herself in Jack Daniels while she ponders what to do with the rest of her life now that her breaking news posts will never be taken seriously again.

Nah. Take three:

The blogger, having exhausted her supply of curse words and insults, leans back, opens a beer and enjoys the heavy odor of musky shame as it wafts over her blog. She belches and then falls asleep, comforted by her complete apathy about her blogging integrity.

But not before thinking "Hey, people who post private AIM conversations without asking permission from the participants really shouldn't be throwing the word integrity out there as if they own it."

I know most of you stopped caring about this about three days ago, as did I, but some people like to let things linger.

Anyhow, back to the part where:

The blogger contemplates whether write about how Star Wars is real and is actually a collaborative piece between God and Satan or how "Framptom Comes Alive" probably the most beloved album of her youth, was a piece a overrated crap.

Unless, of course, my integrity has been forever shamed and tarnished and my opinions on pop culture or even capital punishment mean nothing to you now. Just say the word and I'll tell you how little I care.

*From Slapshot, the greatest sports movie ever made, but which was a terribly vulgar movie filled with horrible curse words and was not like real hockey at all. Damn Paul Newman and his lack of integrity!

April 24, 2005

5 Albums for a Desert Island

Weezer - Blue Album
Faith No More - Angel Dust
Nine Inch Nails - All That Could Have Been (2 disc edition)
Clutch - Elephant Riders
Nick Cave - Boatman's Call

unhappily ever after

From a new study in London:

Young girls who read classical fairytales, like Cinderella are more submissive and likely to become victims of domestic violence in later life, a new report has revealed.

Psychotherapist Susan Darker-Smith said she found many abuse victims identified with characters in famous children's literature and claimed the stories provide 'templates' of dominated women.


The study, called 'The Tales We Tell Our Children', claims domestic violence victims fall into either the Cinderella category of wanting to be rescued or Beauty and Beast, believing they can change their partner.

Rather than go into a detailed rant about why this study is so much bullshit and why the Darker-Smith should be beat about the head with a volume of fairy tales (oh, the irony in what you just said! save it.!) I will recycle my revision of the Cinderella story.


nce upon a time in a great kingdom (which was a kingdom in name only because it was ruled by committee), there lived a very rich family (who always shared their wealth with others because they believed in socialism, to an extent). This family consisted of the King (who is henceforth known as the Peer Review Leader), his second wife (the first wife was executed just to show the citizens that beautiful people die, too), the wife's two hideously deformed daughters from a previous marriage (the wife divorced her husband because he expected her to clean the house while he was out hunting and foraging for food) and the Peer Review Leader's daughter, Cinderella.

On the eve of the great Community Spiritual Dance Festival and Banquet for the Poor, Cinderella was busy doing demeaning work such as sweeping the floor of their home, when her step-mother (which is such an ugly word. Let's call her Mommie Dearest instead) came into the room, her two hideous (but supposedly charming on the inside) daughters in tow, and told Cinderella that she may not attend the Spiritual Dance Festival and Banquet for the Poor because she was too beautiful and thus would steal the hearts of all the filthy pig men that would be attending because they saw beautiful women as nothing but objects to be desired and lusted after, and the ugly girls would just look even uglier by comparison, and no man would want them.

Cinderella thought it was great to be desired and lusted after and said as much to her Mommie Dearest. And Mommie Dearest flew into a rage and the two hideous sisters were duly horrified and made a little speech about how being ugly was a badge of honor to them because then they would know that any man who asked for their hand in marriage would not be doing so for superficial reasons, to which Cinderella replied "well I hear you are both sluts, so that should help in your quest for a husband," and everyone in the room, saving Cinderella, made that Macauley Culkin-Home Alone face and the tension became so thick that you could cut it with a knife, which would be a knife that was not so sharp as to harm anyone, because no one in their right mind would leave such a possible weapon laying around their home.

And then Cinderella yelled that she was not a submissive little slave girl and no one had the right to own her and she was going to the Spiritual Dance and Banquet for the Poor and she stamped her foot on the ground for emphasis. The two hideous (yet charming on the inside, I'm sure) sisters then decided that Cinderella, with her beauty and grace, would surely gain the eye of the Prince from another village, one in which people lived in peace and harmony and shared revenue, and he would ask Cinderella to marry him, perhaps give her a token of affection (but not a diamond because diamonds are carved out of the mine shafts by seven little dwarves who are being forced into working for less than minimum wage because the oppressing company that runs the mines won't let the dwarves unionize), so he would give her a necklace made of recyclable materials and she would swoon (but not swoon so much as to make her seem vulnerable to the charms and looks of a man), and they would ride off into the moonlight - no, they would walk, because it isn't right to make horses pull coaches - and live happily ever after.

Well, the sisters would have none of that, so they kicked Cinderella and knocked her to the ground and beat her with her own broomstick and the mother slashed at Cinderella's face with a razor until she was quite bloody and dead. Not to mention ugly.

But the hideous sisters would realize later that the joke was on them, because the Prince of that peaceful village was gay and he was just passing through on his way to the blacksmith to get his sword sharpened (because not all gay men hung around the village seamstress all day long) and he had no interest in them.

Which just goes to show you that being hideously ugly impairs your judgment and makes you commit murder for which the family of your victim will seek vengeance and most likely hack you into pieces and feed your remains to their dog , while being beautiful will probably get you murdered by jealous, ugly sisters.

And the moral of this new, improved version of Cinderella is this: The beautiful and the ugly both are destined to die at some point, which puts them on equal ground, and no matter how much you dumb something down and pretty something up, it still all comes down to the same ending: We are all the same inside, children. We are all just one angry mob away from death.

Oh, and ladies: always make sure your prince is a heterosexual before you kill for him.


Then again, maybe this piece of fiction I wrote gives credence to the study.

April 23, 2005

Latter Day Nice Guys

Mormons just knocked on my door. I've never seen Mormons walking around here, just Jehova's Witnesses.

So I told the Mormon guys - both young, good looking and dressed in dark suits that looked more appropriate for a funeral than a conversion - that we were atheists. The blonde guy replied "Awesome!" with this toothy grin and the dark haired guy shot him a look. I then told them that I wasn't interested in converting, but that they were both wearing very nice ties.

They smiled. Didn't even put up a fight or offer a challenge. The Jehova guys ususually hand me a pamphlet with the pits of hell pictured on the front. These guys just smiled politely and stood there looking charming and sweet and sort of sexy in a "how can I corrupt these young men" kind of way, then they wished me a pleasant day and left. I had the urge to invite them in for a glass of lemonade and some conversion of my own.

Are all Mormons that good looking and sincere? Because I think the Latter Day Saints just took the lead in my "Should I Ever Need To Start Believing" contest.

Sucky Summer Jobs

If it's Saturday, it must be a repeat. Sue me.

sucky summer jobs series: 1983

I tired of my job at the deli and wanted to move on to something more challenging. I needed to do something more worthwhile than slicing salami as a way to pay for my night clubbing and drinking. Something that wouldn't leave me smelling like head cheese at the end of the day.

A friend of a friend of a cousin told me about this place that was hiring. It sounded an awful lot like a telemarketer job, which I would never do, but it was for a charity, and therefore didn't count as telemarketing. Right?

The first day of the training seminar proved that point. Our team leader stood up in front of us and told us we were not to call ourselves telemarketers. We were activists. We were paving the way for change. We were catalysts in the fight against drunk driving. We were the few, the proud, the people begging for money for a cause. I left the seminar feeling like I was doing something useful with my life. My naive ideals were soaring.

The second day, the altruism took a back seat to the sales pitch. Sales? I thought we were activists! Our team leader spoke in basketball metaphors for two hours; driving to the basket, blocking the shots, finally hitting the three-pointer with just seconds to go. When I left the seminar, I felt less like an activist and more like Dr. J.

The third and final day should have clued me in on what I was in for. Our fearless leader drilled us on the fine points of clinching the donation. Cite statistics. Make them feel bad. Tell them stories. She then handed out photocopied news clippings of horrid, tragic car accidents resulting from drunk driving. We were to tell our potential donors some of these stories if all else failed. If we had them in tears by the end of the call, we would be the superstars of the office. My stinging conscience was kicking my naive ideals in the head.

I figured I would give it two days tops. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad. Maybe, because this was a worthy cause and one people were very concerned about, I wouldn't have to make the hard sell. Sure! People would just give willingly! I would never have to utter a harsh word or tell a tragic story or make anyone cry. This would be a piece of cake, and my conscience would be left intact.

I was directed to a tiny room in the basement, where the walls were lined with little wooden cubicles. I was directed to my very own cubicle. On the desk was a phone and a kitchen timer. The wall I faced was lined with the same newspaper clippings that were passed out at the seminar. Those people in those stories, I was told, they are counting on you. They are watching you. I was told to set the timer at the beginning of each call, and that I was to keep each caller on the line for a minimum of one minute of soft selling. After one minute, I should start the hard sell. I was given a list of 100 numbers to start out with.

I noticed that the neighborhood I was given was a wealthy one. This made me feel a little better. At least these people had money to spare. Maybe I wouldn't have to reduce anyone to tears.

After a half hour, I didn't have any donations. Apparently, all the people on my list had housekeepers. And none of them spoke English. At least not to telemarketers. The team leader came over and looked at my tally sheet. She was not pleased. I explained the situation. I can't reach anyone who speaks English, I told her. And even if they did speak English, they would say that they are just the housekeepers, that I should call back.

"They're lying to you," she said.
"The housekeepers are lying?"
"They're not really the housekeepers, you idiot!" Her breath stunk like garlic pickles. I tried to move my head back from hers, but she leaned in on me until our foreheads were touching.
"Are you going to believe every inconsiderate person who comes on the line and tells you a reason why they can't give? Are you a sucker? Are you that naive? Let them know you know they're lying.! These people depend on you!"She pointed to the tragic news stories on the wall.
"No buts. Tell them. Tell them if they don't give money, they will feel horrible next time something like this appears on the evening news. They will understand that. They will understand guilt. And trust me, they understand English."

I weighed my options. What was this job going to pay me anyhow? If I couldn't make a sale I would be bringing home less than minimum wage. It would barely pay for one night's admission to the club. I could go back to the deli. It wasn't so bad. The people were nice. I didn't have to make anyone cry in order to sell a pound of liverwurst.

I stood up and faced my leader. I told her I was done. This wasn't the job for me. Told her I'd rather smell like head cheese than spend another day with her poking and prodding my conscience. She didn't get the part about the head cheese. She probably didn't get the part about having a conscience, either.

April 22, 2005


If it's Friday, it's Match Game time!

Go on over and play. I've got a dollar that says no one can match ALL my answers plus the bonus.

And now, a random question before I leave on my search for a liquid lunch:

So, everyone knows that Optimus Prime is Jewish. What happens when he observes the Sabbath? Does he have to shut himself down?

birthday girl

Happy Birthday, Bettie Page.

Sexiest woman EVER.

[Image from thebettiepage.com]

Sometimes I..... [Updated]

Sometimes when a really annoying person is talking to me, I tune them out and chant "Ratamahatta" over and over again in my head until they are done.

Sometimes, when I am driving through an underground parking garage, I duck my head.

Sometimes I imagine I work in a jigsaw puzzle factory, and I throw away one piece from each puzzle just to fuck with people.

Sometimes, if I have to speak in front of a group of people, instead of imagining them in their underwear like most people do to keep from being nervous, I imagine that they are all dead.

Sometimes, when someone says that Magnolia is the best movie they ever saw, I want to kick them in their shins.

Sometimes, when we are looking for something different to do, I will take all the couch cushions and throw them on the living room floor, put on some old Sepultura and let the kids practice their stage diving.

Sometimes Belle and Sebastian will come on the iPod right after Rammstein and I feel like I want to kick my own ass.

Sometimes I wish life was a musical and that music would come out of nowhere and we would all break into songs that we know all the words to and dance in total synchronization. In an Oklahoma! sort of way, not a Cop Rock sort of way.

Sometimes I find myself watching a movie I profess to hate.

Sometimes I fall asleep with the remote in my hand, and I change the channels in my sleep and dream that I am on C-Span.

Sometimes I take the covers off the Sharpies just to sniff them.

Sometimes I think if I try hard enough, I really could make The Force work.

Sometimes I get really annoyed if people don't say "God bless you" after I sneeze, even though I'm atheist.

Sometimes I take a different way home, that's one straight road, even though there's more traffic and it takes more time simply because I'm feeling too lazy to make any turns.

Sometimes I let loose with a string of profanities for no other reason than to make people recoil in horror.

Sometimes I think my time and resources could be better spent.


Sometimes, when watching Seinfeld, I have to turn the channel when George is about to do something really stupid.

Sometimes I think I'm being watched n a giant tv screen by strange people in a mysterious, underground building.

Sometimes when we touch, the honesty's too much.

You Still Won't Hear

I know this couple. They have been married long enough to have accumulated children and a complete set of china. They met in college, brought together by the politics and heirarchy of fraternal university life.

I hear them on the phone sometimes. Rather, I hear him. I watch him. He talks into the phone when she is on the other end, but he looks elsewhere. He looks at papers, at the computer while she talks. He looks at his watch and the television and at the stain on the cuff of his shirt. Sometimes he sees me looking and he rolls his eyes as if the person on the other end of the phone was a telemarketer, not his wife. When he ends the phone calls, it's always with a declaration of love, but without the motions of his hands or his eyes or his distraction, his wife can not really know what exactly he is declaring to her.

She doesn't seem to read his voice well. I know, after all this time, the difference in his tones. Sometimes he just says "love you" and hangs up and the words are like machine gun fire, short and sharp. She hears "I love you today more than I did yesterday" because that is what she wants, expects to hear. I hear only the requisite answer to her words, to the "I love you" that she uttered to him with her heart. His words only serve to end a conversation he was bored of having.

Sometimes he says "I love you too," and she hears "I still feel the same about you that you do about me," and my fine-tuned easr hear only reciprocal words that are thrown out to close a deal. He is saying "will you shut up already" but she won't hear that. Her heart is not so jaded as one that can hear that frequency. It's a signal only the once-bitten can hear.

He talks about her often, but he never has anything good to say. I wonder what he says to her in the privacy of their own home. I wonder if he tells her to her face that he thinks she is dumb and naive and a bad mother. I wonder if she knows that he thinks she is a nuisance. I wonder if she knows all this and hears all this and chooses to put it somewhere else, where she can't see it or take it out and examine it too closely.

She is a beautiful woman. Not supermodel beautiful or that kind of beautiful that causes a man to whistle at her as she walks by. It's a different kind of beauty. She is pretty like an Ivory Soap commercial. She is crisp and clean and perfect skin and hair and teeth. Looking at her makes you think of mountains and clean air and running through fields of flowers. She could make a man's heart ache just by looking at him, just by flashing a sincere, warm smile at him.

I look at the pictures that line their walls, pictures of them together from college and the years beyond, down the hallways and up the stairs in timeline order. In every picture, she clings to him like a security blanket. Her hands grip his shoulders. They encircle his waist. She gazes at him with puppy dog eyes, never looking at the camera, just him. There are no pictures of her alone, no framed portrait of her, no snapshot where she is just laughing or playing or not attached in some way to him.

He didn't want to marry, that much is obvious. But his position in his firm is one where a wife and children are a natural extension of the job description. I'm sure that somewhere in the fine print of his employment contract, it says "family man" under requirements. Because family men are good in his field of work. Family men get promotions. Family men get raises. Family men come to the company picnics with their beautiful wives and Stepford children and they get the bonuses.

Sometimes I lie in bed at night and think of her. I think of her being home all day with her young children, doing her best to keep them in line and make them beautiful and smart and golden like trophies. I think of her wasted degree because the wife a family man doesn't work. She doesn't need to. Her brains serve no purpose outside of the home. She keeps her house clean and tidy and the yard green and filled with flowers, and she can bake and sew and go to mommy-and-me and be class mother. She can voice her opinion, but it's usually wrong. She can complain about the way her life is going, about the boredom and sameness of it all, about her loneliness and that place in her soul that is going unfulfilled, but he will only remind her of her stunning waterfront home and her expensive car and she really has no right to complain about anything at all. What more could a woman want besides the perfect family and the perfect home?

She calls me sometimes and she cries because deep down she knows. She says she doesn't know why she is sad, she doesn't know why she is crying. But I think she does, she just doesn't want to know the reasons. She is not a dumb woman. She just thinks she is because she is treated as such. She has let herself become what he thinks of her. She calls him fifteen, twenty times a day. About the car, the school, the plants, the water heater. It's as if she can't make a decision without him. Or she doesn't want to.

And he sits at his desk and marks off his calendar with dinner meetings and weekend golf and holiday brunches, anything to keep from going home, to keep from facing the life he has there that he doesn't want, but has to have. He has sacrificed the heart and soul of his wife for his place in the company. For a few more dollar bills in his pocket, the dollars that go to hookers and drink, he has turned a once shining star of a woman into a cardboard cutout.

He sits at his desk and she calls him and she tells him anything, just to talk to him. She asks him questions that she already knows the answers to, just to get him to talk to her. Just so at the end of the conversation, she can say "I love you," and she can hear him say it back, and it doesn't matter to her what he is really saying because she won't hear it on that level.

I only thought about this so much today because someone said to me "When do the words I love you become meaningless? When can you say them so often that they lose their definition?"

They never do, do they? Those words never lose their ability to throw your heart into high gear and make you smile or shake loose those butterflies, as long as they are true. I just wonder how someone can not know when the words are false. Or how someone can hear the words, know they are false, but accept them as if they were truth anyhow.

April 21, 2005

Party Time. Excellent. [Updated - Again]

Now that I know how to make the camera phone work, I am going to be an unstoppable juggernaut of stupid pictures.

Oh, don't forget about the radio show at three. I'll be on the road at that point, so I won't have to listen to myself be a complete idiot. (Did I mentioned my portion is taped?)

Update: I'd say that radio bit went well.

Don't think I'll be looking for a career on the air anytime soon, eh?

When I called it TWO DICKS and a chick, did you think I was being charming?

Update: Forget to mention for those interested who might have missed it live: the show is available at 5 after the hour every hour for the next 23 hours. Then you can hear again at intervals on the weekend.

According to witnesses, I either a) have no sense of humor; b) am a good actress or c) was completely ambushed in the interview. Or all of the above.

And yes, it was pre-taped, but only because I was on the road at 3:30 today. It wasn't rehearsed, I promise you that.

Plenty more comments on this post.

Update: It's Profanity Bingo!

Worst Lyrics Ever: My List is Better Than Yours Edition [Updated]

So this guy came up with the 100 worst lyrics of all time (with a little help from his friends). Personally, I think his list sucks. Which is why I'm coming up with my own. With a little help from my friends.


  • Songs from 1980 and on only. There are way too many songs before that with ridiculous lyrics. Let's keep it recent.
  • No novelty songs. Songs that were meant to be stupid, insipid, parodying, etc. do not count.
  • No more than three lines. That should be sufficient to prove stupidity.

I think that's it.

I'll start off with the first three that came to mind, and I'll add my own from here, then compile a list of the top 100. So don't worry if someone has already said yours. The count is weighted.

Remembering all the memories - Mest/Jaded
I love the way you smack my ass - Puddle of Mud/Control
Sex in the kitchen over by the stove, put you on the counter by the buttered rolls - Sex in the Kitchen/R. Kelly

Update: Added rule: D-12, ICP and Gwar lyrics don't count.

on the radio/picture phone question [updated]

I'll be appearing on Right Talk Radio with Bill Ardolino and Jeff Goldstein at 3pm today.

Topics: The state of political discourse; social cons vs. traditional conservatives; privacy rights vs. government regulatory functions; Atheist Americans; loose women.

Right. John Cole will also be appearing. My portion has already been taped. I'm betting that Mr. Cole doesn't get the line of questioning I did. And I'm thinking that "loose women" wasn't so much a topic as a hopeful description.

I'm calling this one Two Dicks and a Chick. Tune in. But not if you're near small children or anyone who has an aversion to the sound of a million beeeeeeeps.

And on completely unrelated topic - I just bought a Motorola phone, using Verizon service. It's a picture phone. But I can't for the life of me figure out how to send a picture to an email address. If anyone has a Motorola V265 picture phone and can walk me through this, that would be great. Because you really want to see my growing collection of "Girls? It may be warm out but that doesn't mean you have to waer a tube top and Daisy Dukes, especially since you've got rolls of fat hanging off your body" collection.*

*standard disclaimer: I don't care if you're hot and have a nice body and wear those clothes. And I don't care if you're fat. But those two things should never, ever meet.

Update: I got it to work! I think it just didn't like the gmail address. Thanks to Lisa for her help.

View from my desk (the cookies are for a co-worker's birthday)

Pleasure Seekers

Just last week, my sister invited me to one of those home parties. You know the kind I mean - a bunch of woman gathered around in someone's living room gossiping about neighbors, drinking wine and spending money they don't have on things they don't need. Tupperware, gourmet food, candles, you name it, there's a party for it. The one my sister so graciously invited me to happened to be for a company called For Your Pleasure or something like that. Basically, it's a sex toy party.

So I had to laugh when I received an email this morning from ASV reader Allison, who started her own blog. Her most recent post is titled Of Soccer Moms, Sex Toys, and Swingers [link safe for work] and contains this gem, from an email Allison received about a sex toys party she was invited to:
And for the bashful ones, they have items that aren't completely sex related. You can use the lotion as just lotion and your kids can use the swing as a play toy or at least that is what you can tell everyone you are doing with it.......purchases are made behind closed doors so no one knows what you bought.

Listen. I'm not uncomfortable with the idea of the women on my block having sex. I'm not even uncomfortable with the idea of them having kinky sex. I mean, we're not exactly Desperate Housewives, but we're no prudes, either. We have needs and desires and I am in no way uncomfortable with the fact that those needs and desires sometimes make a hardcore porn film look tame. What I am uncomfortable with is the idea that sex swings can perform dual use as a child's plaything.

There are two types of women who come to these home parties. One shows up at your door with a bottle of Vodka, her nipples made hard by the thought of five free hours without kids or husband. She'll be drunk before the order sheets are even handed out. She'll loudly ask the hostess if the strap-ons are ribbed for his pleasure. The other one shows up with a fruit/jell-O mold, wearing a house dress and smelling like broccoli casserole. She'll spend the night alternating between nervously glancing at her watch, talking about her kid's science project and avoiding direct eye contact with the hostess, especially when she demonstrates the nipple clamps. She'll be home long before the drunk women start giggling about the edible underwear.

When you're in a neighborhood - say somewhere in the Midwest - where the number of women of the jello mold nature far outweigh the women of Vodka, I suppose going with the dual-use sex toys angle is your only hope of making a decent living with the home party business. In fact, I can almost see how it would work; how otherwise demure and saintly women could be coerced into buying something meant for anal stimulation. For instance:

  • A 12 inch rubber dildos packaged together with some plastic handcuffs = a ring toss game.
  • Edible underwear? No...it's fruit roll ups! Put that in your kid's lunch box tomorrow.
  • That imitation vagina? It's a pretty in pink toothbrush holder!
  • Anal beads? Not! It's party wear for your little princess! Buy now and receive two cock rings/pretty princess rings free!
  • That's not a vibrator, it's a magic wand. Locomotor Mortis!

So while the vodka ladies are exchanging tips on which double action arouser is the best bang for their buck, the jell-O mold ladies can discreetly go into the kitchen, where the hostess will take their order for one ring toss game and one Pretty Princess jewelry kit. It's a win/win situation. Little Tommy will have enough fruit roll-up to share with the whole class tomorrow and Sheila from across the street will finally have that multiple orgasm. And, having reached the magic $200 sales mark, you will get that leather bondage set at half price!

Of course, it won't work out that way. Mrs. Housedress, offended beyond reason, goes home and calls the cops. A raid ensues, complete with blaring sirens, a paddy wagon and local press asking questions like "What's a backdoor rotator? I don't get it." No one is convinced that the sex swing is really for kids.

Which is why I'm happy to be living in a place that is closer to Desperate Housewives than Little House on the Prairie. No one's really uptight about sex. I hear sex talk on line in the supermarket that would make people in less evolved cities turn to stone.

I get invited to at least one sex toy party a month. I rarely go. Not because I'm uncomfortable with the party itself, I'm just uncomfortable with watching the PTA president vomit a bottle of vodka all over the bondage display. I always order something, though. And if this town should ever turn puritan and a police raid ensues, I will hold steadfast to my claim that what they found was nothing more than a ring toss game and a few magic wands. We just love Harry Potter, officer. Engorgio!

April 20, 2005

songs of the evening: just because edition

No theme for tonight. Just some songs that sounded good at the moment. Downloads expire in 24 hour, as always

Clutch - Soapmakers
I will go to my death trying to convince the world that Clutch is one of the greatest bands EVER.

Misfits - Some Kind of Hate
I heart Danzig. I want to make love to his voice.

The Queers - I Hate Your Fucking Guts

A 30 second anthem for days when you want to kill someone with your bare hands.

Crowbar - Planets Collide
The heaviest song you will ever hear. And I mean heavy in a "walking through a sludgy swamp in dense fog while wearing shoes made of steel and carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders" heavy.

I swear, all that hate is coincidental. Enjoy. Or not. Feedback always welcomed.

Update and off-topic: Does anyone know the song that's in the HP commercials - the ones where they put their photos over their faces?

not so random thought of the day

Tom DeLay is a tool.

The Pope Hates Rock and Roll!

Forget gay marriage, women priests, abortion and euthanasia. Here's the real reason why you should all FEAR THE POPE!

In a small volume published in 2000 called The Spirit of the Liturgy, itself an expansion of an essay Ratzinger wrote in 1986, the future pope argued," 'Rock'... is the expression of elemental passions, and at rock festivals, it assumes a cultic character, a form of worship, in fact, in opposition to Christian worship. People are, so to speak, released from themselves by the experience of being part of a crowd and by the emotional shock of rhythm, noise, and special lighting effects. However, in the ecstasy of having all their defenses torn down, the participants sink, as it were, beneath the elemental force of the universe."

Rock Snobs parses that as the Pope not liking rock festivals, with their fancy lights and what not. I think they are missing the point. It's obvious that the Pope is a rock snob. He digs the indie music. Think about it. He wouldn't be caught dead at Kiss concert. But I bet you any amount of communion wafers that he'd be up front and center at a Jack Johnson show. No lights, no real noise and certainly no emotional shock.

Besides, who does the big lights extravaganza anymore? Rush, Foghat...now those were bands that knew how to work the lasers. These kids today, they're all about the stripped down sets and mosh pits and grabbing the breasts of female crowd surfers.

Ok, so I can see where his Popeness gets the whole noise and ecstacy thing from. But as far as sinking beneath the elemental force of the universe? He's got it all wrong. No one I know ever melted into the ground and sunk to the fiery pits of hell at a rock show (except that one time at a Grateful Dead concert at the Meadowlands in New Jersey, but I still to this day insist the dude just got some bad mescaline). Hell, I've been in the middle of an undulating, worshipping, affected Satanic goth crowd for a Type O Negative show and if no one was struck by lightning during Christian Woman, then either God doesn't care or he's just not listening. Either way, the Pope needs to get out more. "Special lighting effects" is soooo 1979.

I wonder when we can expect a volume on backmasking. Dee Snider is the devil!

Update: The thought just occurred to me that the Pope, being German, might have accidently stumbled upon a Rammstein show. In which case (having been to three of those myself), I can sort of understand why he might have these feelings. Must have been the penis thing.

♪♪Six Questions♪♪ [updated]

[There's just no time for content today. But there's always time to read comments that will hopefully entertain]

1. What song did you once love, but can no longer listen to?
2. What's the most embarassing song you know all the words to?
3. What's your least favorite song by your favorite band?
4. If they made a movie about you, what song would play over the opening credits?
5. What's the best song for a very warm, sort of sunny spring day, when you're driving a little too fast and your music is playing a little too loud and you don't care because this weather is awesome?
6. Name one song you think I probably don't listen to or know, but should.

[You don't have to answer all]

Update: I suppose it would be nice if I gave my own answers.

1 Nine Inch Nails, Closer
2. Pick an Air Supply song, and I'll sing it.
3. Epic, Faith No More
4. Strapping Young Lad, Oh My Fucking God
5. White Zombie, Thunderkiss '65
6. YOU should all be listening to Clutch.


Be with you shortly, when I'll be writing about things like dildos, sex swings and children. Captured your attention, didn't it?

Meanwhile, Cartoon Fridge.

My work day will never be the same.

Update: It's gonna be a while until I get to the dildos. Too much work, too little time. But the Name the Pope thread is still going strong and if you need to laugh, go read the comments. Nearly peed myself this morning. PopeAkahn!!

In fact, I think you should all vote on your favorites so we can Photoshop the Pope in the right manner.

(I'm not going to hell because there's no such thing, so shush)

April 19, 2005

game night

Another win, another great game for the boy.

Hit. Score. Building.

Oh, AI blogging over here.

Five Other Names Considered by the Pope

2. Pope Duke Nukem
3. Pope Cliff Claven (*)
4. Pope Onarope
5. Pope Palpatine (
6. (bonus pick) Pope XXhitleryouthXX
7. (extra bonus!) Pope Rocky VI
8. (I can't stop) Pope Magister Mundi sum!
9. Pope I'mjustthetransitionguyuntiltheyfindsomeonewhocanrbingthecatholichurchinto the21stcentury
10. Pope Optimus Prime (he's really good at transubstantiation)

From Hubris: Pope Wrestlemania XVI

The comments are cracking my shit up.

Update: I'd like to send my sincere condolences to Devin. I really thought you were in, dude. Maybe next time. I don't think Pope Claven is on more than the five year plan.

Update again: Jiffy POPE! LOLROFLMAOBBQ!!1112!

Jimi Hendrix Elected Pope!

The younguns won't get it, I'm sure.

[Photo and joke brought to you by ASV Photoshopper Keiran]

Seriously. They elected a new pope. And I don't think it was the Biff guy. Or Hendrix.


Pope Jimi! Courtesy Keiran, of course.

jokes about jokes..

Are sometimes funnier than the jokes themselves.

From Something Awful, jokes with realistic endings.

  • How many people does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
    If you call up Steven Murphy Electrical Contractors on (08) 9284 7281 they can send over a qualified electrician to screw it in for you between 9-6 on any working day, guaranteed to arrive within an hour of your call or you get 50% off!
  • What do you get when you cross a chicken with a centipede?
    A media circus about the debate over the morals and ethics of genetic engineering.
  • What's the difference between a post box and a vagina?
    A post box is a public container for the deposit of outgoing mail, and a vagina is the passage leading from the opening of the vulva to the cervix of the uterus in female mammals.
  • Have you seen Stevie Wonder's new house?
    Well, it's really nice.
  • How do hedghogs have sex?
    Like all other mammals, the make inserts his penis into the female's vagina and moves vigorously in and out until the friction causes him to ejaculate.

Lots more here.

I don't know why I found these so funny that I literally had tears in my eyes from laughing. I think the point was supposed to be that they're not funny. Anyone besides me laugh?

I bet you can make up a few of your own.

April is still Poetry Month: James Tate

I mean to do more to honor this month, but forgot about it, as I am wont to do with things I mean to do. Follow?

However, I have discovered a poet whose poems speak to me in the way that new wave music or sublime comedies speak to me:

James Tate

From "How the Pope is Chosen"

After a poodle dies
all the cardinals flock to the nearest 7-Eleven.
They drink Slurpies until one of them throws up
and then he's the new Pope.

[whole poem here]

From "Restless Leg Syndrome"

My leg, for no apparent reason,
flies around the room kicking stuff,
well, whatever is in its way,
like a screen or a watering can.
Those are just two examples
and indeed I could give many more.
I could construct a catalogue
of the things it kicks,
perhaps I will do that later.
We'll just have to see if it's really wanted

"Teaching the Ape to Write Poems"

They didn't have much trouble
teaching the ape to write poems:
first they strapped him into the chair,
then tied the pencil around his hand
(the paper had already been nailed down).
Then Dr. Bluespire leaned over his shoulder
and whispered into his ear:
"You look like a god sitting there.
Why don't you try writing something?"

From an interview:

I've noticed in your more recent work that there's a move further out perhaps into the absurd and more non sequiturs. For example, the poem with the eland [giant antelope] from Teaneck, NJ…

It's really hard to talk about these things, but in that poem I actually felt I could go anywhere—of course I couldn't, but, you know, I had the idea of this eland watching television in Teaneck, NJ, who's obsessed with First Ladies [laughter]…

You've got to turn off your internal censors to get where you're going…
Exactly. Get rid of your censors. And then, you know, not unlike so many of my poems, the poem takes a turn and gets serious and sad and real. But getting there was amazing.

That's just how I feel about writing fiction, which I guess is why my fiction often borders on absurd. Feeling like the story could go anywhere is one thing - learning to let it go anywhere is another. Once I did that, I enjoyed the act of writing so much more. And I think once I started to do that, my fiction became somewhat less readable to people who don't know how to let the absurd be real in their minds, which is fine, because I write with an audience of in mind that's made up of people with wild imaginations and the ability to think of something like an "eland watching television in Teaneck, NJ, who's obsessed with First Ladies," and not think "how stupid, an eland can't watch tv," but "how wonderful, an eland watching tv!"

And that's why, after spending an hour browsing through the works and and thoughts of James Tate, I fell in love with his words and his ability not only to convey the absurd, but to write about mundane things and make them seem delightful. His poems are fantastic stories that I read in my head in a sing-song voice and not only does that make me feel absurd, it makes me feel happy, even if the underlying thoughts may be disturbing, if not sad.

Which is why I believe that writing, indeed, is the ultimate art form.

James Tate poems

[tate discovered via MeFi]

Update: I just found this:

James Tate's new book of poems, Return to the City of White Donkeys, from which he read at Adam's Hall in Cambridge on Friday, November 12th, can be summed up with a line from one of the poems he read called "It Happened Like This." The line is spoken by a police officer and reads, "God! This town is like a fairy tale. Everywhere you turn there's mystery and wonder."

That's wonderfully evocative of how I felt upon first reading Tate's poetry, and of writing fiction in general.

April 19th


My post from last year.

This is the end of innocence
Time Magazine OKC coverage
Official Oklahoma City Memorial site
National Parks Service OKC memorial site
Branches to Heaven
BBC archive
Youngest Bombing Survivor Moves Ahead With Life
Then and Now: Brian Espe
Ten Years Later
Murrah Building Tenth Anniversary - What I remember from April 19, 1995 - or start at the top and scroll down.
Ten years later

April 18, 2005

Guess the Antichrist!

Cardinal Giacomo Biffi is certianly a long shot (125-1) to win Pope Madness, but he looks to be the most interesting [Newsmax says his odds have dropped to 50-1, but it's Newsmax, so we'll say 100-1 and call it even]

Biffi told a conference meeting [in 2000] in Bologna that the Antichrist was a prominent philanthropist who advocated causes like human rights, the environment and ecumenicism.

Biffi said that this man – who he never identified – had a "fascinating personality" and espoused causes like vegetarianism, pacifism, environmentalism and animal rights.

Biffi added that this Antichrist would be a Bible expert who would discard its truths to prosletyze for "vague and fashionable spiritual values."

Who could it be, now?

My guess? Bono.

random photos

I'm busy and I have no dancing monkeys to keep you entertained (not that you don't get your entertainment in a million other places). Besides, if I keep doing posts like this, you'll be less shocked when, eight months and 13 days from now, ASV turns into a photoblog.

Y'all come back now, ya hear?

Your Linguistic Profile:

55% General American English
35% Yankee
10% Dixie
0% Midwestern
0% Upper Midwestern

10% Dixie? I have no Dixie in me, bud.

(cue the "but would you like to?" responses)

/via Rox

Stay Gold: The Great Suburban Gang War of 1975

[I think I might have broken a personal record for length here. If you get through this, more power to you. And thank you]

Friday night, the daughter and friends went to a school play in the next district over. After the play, they went bowling with the kids from the other school.

You what? You went bowling with the Mepham kids?
Uhh..yea? Is there a problem with that?
Well it's just that in my day...
Oh, god. Please don't.

I told her the story, anyhow.

I don't know how or why the rivalry started. I was born into it. By the time I was eleven or so, I knew that the kids from North Bellmore were bad, bad children and I should never associate with them. I heard this not from my parents, who remained completely unaware of the rivalry, but from the older siblings of my peers, who regaled us with stories of a rivalry so intense that I often imagined it would escalate into a bloody battle that would make headline news around the world. We're talking Sharks and Jets. Crips and Bloods. Yankees and Red Sox.

During the school months, the battle between towns was nearly dormant. Sure, we made fun of their school, their football team, their mascot, their heritage, their mothers. We made up songs about them and carved nasty rumors about them into telephone poles. They, in turn, did the same to us.

Our towns were separated by a two lane main road. The north side of the road was East Meadow. The south side, North Bellmore. We often straddled the yellow line that cut North Jerusalem Road in half, just for the shits and giggles of being in two towns at once. Hey, this was the suburbs, 1970's. Entertainment was not easy to find.

On the south side of that road was a 7-11. Unlike today, where there's a 7-11 on practically every block, there was just a lone store back then. And we had to cross into North Bellmore to patronize it. Sure, we had Carl's candy store. And Murray's. But Carl didn't have the array of candy that 7-11 did. And Murray had a vicious German shepherd in his store that left teeth marks in the candy. Besides, 7-11 was huge in comparison to the mom and pop stores. The huger the store, the harder it was to watch over. Which meant more opportunity for five-finger discounts.

Every once in a while, we would run into some Bellmore kids in the 7-11, especially during the summer when Slurpees were at a premium. Dirty looks would be exchanged. Stares would be met with icier stares. There might be a silent stand off. Someone might utter a whispered insult. There would be no scuffle, no yelling, no fisticuffs. Just a chilled silence coupled with the affected stares of middle class kids who weren't sure how to get a rivalry past the insult stage and into gang war territory. Or maybe we just liked it the way it was.

Things finally came to a head in the summer of '75. It started in June at, of course, 7-11, when I ran into Sissy Smith* at the Slurpee machine. Sissy was the youngest in a family of five kids. She was the only girl. Her brothers had a reputation for being tough, mean and criminally insane. When we talked of the North Bellmore kids, we talked of the Smiths. They were the ringleaders of every near-fight that almost took place. It was said that the oldest boy, Steven, was in jail, and that the three younger boys had all seen the inside of the juvie hall. They were legend. Sissy herself was two years younger and about three inches shorter than me. I wasn't exactly a giant, so Sissy's small stature (this was the first time I was up that close to her) surprised me. I had heard so much about this rough-and-tumble girl; I knew some older sisters of friends that were terrified of her. It was all in her demeanor and her voice. Sissy carried herself as if she were six feet tall and made of body armor. Her voice was thick, raspy and deep and you may think that would sound funny coming out of a tiny eleven year old, but Sissy, with her dark, short-cropped hair and permanently scowling mouth knew how to work that voice so that when she spoke to you, she was indeed six feet tall and made of body armor.

I'm not sure of the exact sequence of events that occurred that June afternoon. I just know that it involved me, several of the boys I was with and a perceived slight towards Sissy and it culminated with the lot of us running out of 7-11 as if being chased by fire. We crossed the two lanes without looking both ways and only looked back at the store when we had safely made onto our side of the street. Sissy and two of her brothers were standing outside the store, emitting a string of curse words I had previously only heard uttered by large, hairy men at fire department picnics. A sense of doom fell over me. I had this vision of my entire summer ruined, months of relentless heat that would not be washed away with Slurpees. I was never venturing into North Bellmore again.

Word of the clash traveled quickly. An non-existant exchange of words by the Slurpee machine was run through the machinations of teenage rumors. It became warped, stretched out, magnified and distorted until that one small instance became the shout heard 'round the towns. War was declared. It was going to be a long, hot summer.

Perhaps we were the product of suburban boredom. Or perhaps we had all read The Outsiders one too many times. Either way, we had quietly assumed the role of gang. We were no longer a group of friends, a gathering of kids, not even a clique. We were a gang. And we were going to have a gang fight. No, not just a gang fight. A rumble.

Now that we were tough gang members, we had to act it. We roamed the streets at night in packs, looking menacing and furious. We said mean things about cops. We loitered where it clearly stated NO LOITERING. We played handball against the wall that had NO BALL PLAYING spray painted across its surface. We went into the school yard after sundown. We were bad.

Two of the Smith boys met with a few of our older gang members to iron out the details of our rumble. At first, it was going to take place the first Saturday in July, but a few people couldn't make it because their families would be on vacation that week. It was moved to the following Thursday, but that was nixed because too many kids were going to summer school and had early curfews during the week. Finally, after much haggling and checking of family calendars, it was decided that we would rumble the second Saturday in August.

As the summer days went by, we busied ourselves by playing Kick the Can, swimming and practicing our loitering skills. We talked about the rumble only when a safe distance away from family members, especially younger siblings. When talk turned to weapons, I got nervous. I knew what happened to Dally in The Outsiders. Which one of my friends would be the one to die? Which one would have to choke out the words stay gold, Ponyboy? I was all ready to get melodramatic and put a stop this tragedy waiting to happen. . Scenes from West Side Story ran through my mind but in some odd way I thought it would be really cool to break out into song while one of my teenage friends lay in a pool of blood while his brokenhearted girlfriend from the other side of the tracks looked on and oh, the heartbreak! The drama! Then leaf subsides to leaf/So Eden sank to grief/So dawn goes down today/Nothing gold can stay.

Ed slapped me across the head. Hello? You paying attention? I snapped out of my dramatic reverie. They were asking if I could steal a lead pipe from my father's work yard. Sure, sure. No problem. Lead pipe. I never gave it another thought. I knew even then, despite my warped musical fantasies, that this rumble was never going to happen. We were chicken shit. All of us. We were middle class, whiter than white, suburban kids looking for some excitement. The excitement, of course, was in the talking about it, not in the doing. Who needs that anti-climax? The summer would just sail by if we spent every night getting worked up about hiding lead pipes in the sump. The anticipation of this would see us through right through August.

The day of the big rumble finally arrived. We met at the playground early that morning to map out our battle plan. But Ed showed up with a bag full of fireworks that he found in the bushes behind his garage (probably stashed there and forgotten by his older brother) and we spent most of the morning trying to light them off. They were all duds, made impotent by days of rain. The abject disappointment of not being able to scare the neighbors with early morning firecrackers put a damper on our spirit. We kicked some rocks around, played a game of handball and headed to my house for an early afternoon swim, forgetting all about our gang plan. Our plans wouldn't have mattered, anyhow. We were the little kids of the gang. Tag alongs. Hangers on. The real meat of the gang, the high school kids, had a last minute meeting scheduled with the Smith boys. While we were playing Marco Polo and eating PB&Js provided by my mother, they were hammering out rules for the rumble.

Finally, darkness descended and we - the younger members - met in front of Ed's house as planned. I had forgotten the lead pipe, maybe on purpose, but no one asked about it, anyhow. We walked as one towards the sump. Our hearts were racing, our adrenaline pumping, our fear meter ramped up just a bit because, for all our posturing about being rough and tough gang members, we were scared shitless. Still, I couldn't help but grin a little bit as I quietly hummed "Tonight" on our way to the sump.

We arrived at the sump expecting to see a crowd of people climbing through the hole in the fence. But there was no one. No Bellmore kids in sight. No one but Ed, sitting on the curb drinking a soda. Apparently, the fight was off. Again. The Bellmore kids wanted to change the venue to their sump. Our guys wanted it here. They almost decided on a neutral site in Levittown, but no one felt like walking all the way over there. So the fight was off. Again. Disappointed but slightly relieved, we headed back to my house and played Kick the Can until our curfews were up.

Two weeks later, the big end of summer event arrived. The local church fair, with its Ferris wheel and zeppoles and gambling tables, signified the coming of another school year and the end of our lazy days. It was as if the fair put a spell over everything; for five days we'd swim in the epitome of summer, riding the Tilt-a-Whirl, scooping fresh lemon ice out of a cup, begging the grownups to let us into the gambling tent. The noise from the fair could be heard blocks away; I spent many summer nights listening out my window to the DJ spinning Creedence Clearwater Revival songs, the MC calling out the names of raffle winners and the calliope music of the children's rides until 11pm, when everything would go suddenly silent and dark. And when the Sunday night session ended and the fair went dark not for the night, but for the year, the spell would be broken and mothers across town would wake up with the urge to go back to school shopping.

This particular August I was 13 (a week away from 14), and finally allowed to stay until the fair closed. No more listening from room. I watched the MC hand out prizes and danced to the Doobie Brothers and ate so many zeppoles I could feel the yeast expanding in my stomach. I watched as Ed, after sneaking three cups of beer from the ever running keg, shoved an entire sno-cone into his mouth and then proceeded to puke every color of the rainbow in the football field behind the church.

It was about 10:30 on the last night of the fair when I ran into Sissy Smith. I had exactly one quarter left out of my meager allowance and I knew what I wanted. A pickle. Not just any pickle, but one of those half-sour, half-crunchy pickles that had been sitting in a barrels of garlicky, salty pickle juice for days on end. The kind of pickle you could only get at the farmer's market, except during fair days, when the farmer's market guy brought his pickle barrels to us. My mouth watered just thinking about. And now the only thing standing between me and that half-sour was the mean, potty-mouthed, vicious Sissy Smith. Except she wasn't looking so mean. Her usual scowl was gone and she seemed to be frowning. The fact that she was apparently sad didn't bother me at all; it was like all air had been sucked out of Sissy's bully balloon. I felt empowered by her obvious sadness. I could go get my pickle without fear. When I got closer to the pickle guy, I could hear him telling Sissy that the pickles were a quarter, take it or leave it, her shiny dime was of no use to him. His voice had the edge of someone whose patience had run thin; by the time the fair ended all the vendors sounded that way. I approached the counter. Sissy looked me up and down. I ignored her, dug the quarter out of my pocket.

Give me your quarter.

Her raspy voice didn't have quite the roar in it that it did that day in 7-11.
I said give it to me.
I said...no.
I want a pickle.She frowned.
So do I.
She pouted, then. And I remembered that she was only eleven. Practically a baby. She looked tired and a little bit dirty and I recalled my father telling me about the Smith family and how the parents were hardly every home and the kids would just run amok with no supervision or rules, and that's why they got into so much trouble. In that moment I saw an eleven year old little kid who was way too young to take part in psuedo gang fights and smoke cigarettes and sneak beers and stay out this late by herself, and I felt instantly bad for her. I handed the pickle guy my quarter.
A half-sour, please. Cut in half?
He cut it in half, fat ways, and smiled at me as he wrapped each half in plastic deli wrap. I handed half to Sissy.

We spent the next half hour in the side alley of the church lot, leaning against the convent wall, eating our pickle and listening to the workers dismantle the rides. Summer was over. So was my stint in the local junior high; I'd be going to the Catholic high school come September. I knew that my days of hanging out with Ed and the gang were pretty much over. And when Gina and Lori, who had been looking for me, finally found me and I was giggling at some joke Sissy just told me and they didn't gasp or recoil in horror, but sat down and Gina took out her Marlboros and handed one to Sissy, I knew the rivalry was pretty much over, too.

When I finished telling the daughter the story, she laughed.

A pickle? You ended a gang rivalry with a pickle?

Well, we weren't really gangs. And it wasn't really a rivalry.

Times sure have changed, huh?
Yes, they sure have. When I was....
I mean, a quarter for a pickle? That would be like...a dollar now.
Is that all you got out of that story?
No..no, it was good story mom. Really.

I started to walk out of her room.

Mom? Wait...

I turn around. She smiles at me and says, Stay gold, Ponyboy!

Funny. Very funny. I bet some day she's telling her own kid a similar story. Or not. Kids are much different these days. But I'm going to hide the lead pipes, just in case.

*Last name changed to something less conspicous than the real thing. But it really was nicely alliterative

April 17, 2005

some guys have all the luck...or not

So, yesterday went like this for DJ:

His guitar teacher praised him (worth a million dollars to him, seriously)
He had the baseball game of his life.
His report card came and he made the scholastic roll for the third quarter in a row.
He touched the Stanley Cup.
He met Islander LEGEND Bryan Trottier.

An amazing day for a twelve year old, no? Well, it all evens out. About one this morning, he started puking and didn't let up until early this afternoon. Right now, he's in bed with a 103 fever. He's having delirium dreams; a little while ago he was yelling something about getting the car fixed and needing $19.

Nat just reminded me that when DJ was five, he had a high fever and woke up from a dream screaming "The zookeeper has no legs!"

Now he's just asking if he's making up for all the good luck he had yesterday. Nah. Just the luck of the draw. Actually, judging from the rest of his symptoms, I think he got some bad junk food at the Coliseum last night. Which he thinks was totally worth this:

yes, there was some very hasty editing out of people in the photos

Short Simpsons Review

Most bizarre episode EVER.

I really don't know what to make of it. Was it good? Was it bad? I don't know, it was just so oddly put together. And the jokes were kind of weird. I mean, I laughed. But I also tilted my head a lot, like a cat straining to hear a really weird sound. The show was so on its way to redeeming itself the past few weeks and then this.

Shorter review: What the fuck was that? Ahh yes. The sound of the last gasp of a dying tv show. Weird.



See, also. And here.

unchecked anger on a sunday afternoon

I, for one, am not going to be shedding tears in sympathy with Sarah Lunde's family because I believe they are totally at blame for what happened. That's not to say the murderer isn't to blame; of course he is. But her family, her mother specifically, blew it big time.

Sarah was last seen April 9, shortly after returning home from a church trip and around the time Onstott, who once dated her mother, unexpectedly visited the family's home. Sarah's 17-year-old brother came home to find the front door wide open and his sister gone, but the family initially assumed Sarah had gone to a friend's house. She was not reported missing until Monday

Gone on Friday, not reported missing until Monday. She was thirteen years old. Who just blows off their thirteen year old daughter not coming home for two days? That shows you right there what kind of family life this poor girl had.

Onstott, who once dated her mother,

You know, when you don't have kids, you can do whatever the hell you want with your life. Sleep with a different serial killer every night, for all I care. But when you have children, you owe it to them to not do anything that would ever put them in any kind of danger. Like, for instance, dating a convicted rapist/regisered sex offender.

Sarah's...brother Larry May said: "It's devastating, it's just unbelievable." "Everybody has things they wished they'd done — spending more time with their children or keeping in closer contact," May said.

Keeping in closer contact? That's something you say when your kids are in their 30's and off with their own families and maybe you kind of lose that closeness you once had. Who the hell doesn't keep in close contact with their thirteen year old kid? I'll tell you who. The kind of mother who would date a convicted rapist even though she had kids in the house.

This poor girl was spending every weekend going to the local church, without any members of her family, because she was looking for somewhere to belong. She never had a chance.

Shit like this pisses me off. Take better care of your children, people. There are so many things in this world we can't protect them from. Why take chances with those things we can?

[file under "rants to be deleted" and/or "waiting to be admonished"]

I know it's early in the season, but....

[click for bigger]

My lone commentary on yesterday's game.

Caption, Please

Via Fark and a million other places: Unintenionally sexual Star Wars coloring Book.

[click for workable size]

Captions, creative coloring, general commentary all welcome.


[click for bigger]

April 16, 2005

Please Help Me Find The Scary German Guy!

msquad.jpgI am desperately seeking a VHS copy of the stupendous, groundbreaking, seldom heard of 1987 movie Monster Squad.

The movie was never released on DVD. The only DVDs you can find on eBay are bootlegs of rips from a Japanese laser disc and I'm not shelling out money for something that's going to end up looking like crap. I can buy a VHS version from Amazon marketplace for $33 but I'm not sure if I want to spend that kind of money just to fulfill some kind of weird nostalgic craving to see the Scary German Guy again.

If, by some crazy change, someone out there has this movie on VHS and would make a copy for me, I would Paypal the shipping charges to you and pay you whatever you deem appropriate for your efforts, within reason.

Surely someone out there has at least seen this movie besides my husband and myself?

Just Humor Me

[click for bigger]

The kid running is about three times the size of DJ. But DJ stood his ground, even when the kid barrelled right into him, even when the kid's momentum knocked half of his body right into DJ's face (yes, it left a mark), he held on, tagged the kid for the out and kept the game from being tied up. I only wish I would have waited one more second before clicking.

They went on to win 7-4. DJ made two more excellent plays (one at second and one in centerfield) and got a clutch hit as well.

He's been playing over six years, through three seasons a year and this was his best all-around game ever.

I know. It's like I just opened a wallet full of baby photos and started blabbering about how cute my kid is (this version being - He's like a 12 year old Bob Horner!). Sorry. I blame Uncle Bob.

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y -

The new banner is courtesy of the incredibly handsome Hubris. Smokin', indeed. And yea, I know there's too much white space on the site. I don't design blogs, I just start them and abandon them.

Coincidentally, this week marks three months that I have been cigarette free.

So, today looks like this: Little League parade, Little League picnic/bbq, chauffer to guitar lessons (DJ) and work (Nat), DJ's game, FDNY/NYPD hockey game. We're looking at a 9-8 schedule there. It's all good, fun stuff, but I generally prefer my Saturdays come with a nap at some point. Doesn't look likely today.

Which is a roundabout way of saying that I won't be around the blog today, but I will be photoblogging tonight. I think my weekend blogging - at least until the end of summer - is going to be like going over to Uncle Bob's excpeting a fun night of cards and drinking and getting family vacation slides instead.

Except this Uncle Bob is going to load up the pictures, grab a bottle of wine and listen to the new (illegaly gained but soon to be bought) Nine Inch Nails album and hope, hope, hope that I am not disappointed in it.

Enjoy your Saturday.

April 15, 2005

the most awesome thing I have ever seen on the internet

Ever. Ever. Ever. I swear. Just. Fucking. Awesome.

[QT video. Windows version here. video game nerd alert. via MeFi]

Here's their website. And the audience reaction at some parts is priceless.

Friday Four: Bang Your Head Edition

I didn't have the patience for five tonight.

This is the Metal Up Your Ass version of the Friday downloads, dedicated to my fellow TotalFark metalheads, who were invited to stop by here tonight.

Not for the shy, easily offended (especially the Slayer song) or demure. Though I don't think anyone who hangs around here is either demure or wouldn't know to expect offensive lyrics by now.

Downloads available for 24 hours. Get 'em while they're hot.

Slayer - Exile (the lyrics to this, included below, are perfect for the mood I am in tonight) Download

Fear Factory - Shock (I've offered up FF before, but always something from Demanufacture. This one is from Obsolete) download

Machine Head - Ten Ton Hammer (I just may take a drive tonight so I can scream this one out without my family in earshot) download

Strapping Young Lad - All Hail the New Flesh (most of you seemed to like SYL the last time, so here's something different. It will kick your ass, take your name and send you home whimpering) download

Even though some things are better left unsaid
There's a few things I need to get off my chest
I need to vent - let me tell you why

I'm suicidal, maniacal, self-destructive
You leave me no hope, no life
Nothing worth living for
I've taken it, can't take it anymore
My worst nightmare
You make me want to slit my own fucking throat
Just so I'll be rid of you
Just to get rid of you

You self-righteous fuck
Give me a reason not to rip your fucking face off
Why don't you take a good look in these eyes
Cause I'm the one that's gonna tear your fucking heart
My hate is contagious; you've got no one to run to

Just tell me fucking why everything becomes an issue
Your opinion is always senseless - fuck this
You make my fucking skin crawl
I've lived with it - can't stand anymore
My worst nightmare
I want to take a bullet in the fucking head
Every time I think of you, every time I think of you

You self-righteous fuck
Give me a reason not to rip your fucking face off
Why don't you take a good look in these eyes
Cause I'm the one that's gonna tear your fucking heart
My hate is contagious
Anyone else need to vent?
You've tried my tolerance; I just want you to die

There's nothing more for me to say
There's nothing more for you to say
There's nothing more for us to say
I fucking hate you anyway

Can't count the ways that you light my fuckin fuse
I can't tolerate the sight of you, the thought of you or
anything about you
You know what I want to see?
How many ways can a loser fucking lose
I know you'll find a way
The humility awakening the idiot inside
You spineless fucking maggot - you're just wasting my
Get out of my face - Get out of my life
Out of my fucking way - Just die

I'm Loving It


Today is the 50th birthday of McDonald's.

I was going to regale you with stories of going to the first McDonald's on Long Island or eating things that have since been banned from the menu or getting my meals in styrofoam boxes that are long gone or green shakes or getting kicked out the local McD's several times one school year or trying to drive while completely stoned and eating a Big Mac or driving to dozens of McDonald's in one day, buying a ridiculous amount of Happy Meals, trying to complete the Power Ranger zord.

But, no. I won't, because my head is clouded with a potentially lethal cocktail of pollen, Sudafed and Excedrin. Instead, I'm going to walk across the street and go to McDonald's to get myself a #2, which is the two cheeseburger meal, which has been my favorite since they started offering it. And I'm going to supersize it, with a raspberry iced tea and lots of extra salt on my fries, no ketchup and maybe an apple pie on the side.

So I was going to have a contest, like I did for the Twinkies birthday, but I don't if anyone wants to write a poem about fast food.

So let's just talk about McDonald's, ok? Unless you feel like writing a poem, then have at it.

I'm loving it!

(such a slave to the jingle and fast food, I know)

Sheffield swings.......

Dude! What do you think? Is Sheff going to be suspended?

That was an email from a fellow Yankee fan this morning.

My thought? Sheffield should have clocked the idiot. The jerk wasn't grabbing for the ball (which is a really jerkass move when your team is the one hitting, anyhow); he was clearly taking a swipe at Sheff. Watch the video at MLB.com a few times and tell me you don't come away with the same conclusion.

Kudos to the Boston fans for pointing the asswipe out right away, and to Sheffield for showing incredible restraint.

As I wrote here, it looks like everyone - Yankee and Red Sox fans alike - are in agreement on this one.

Suspened? Hell, he should be lauded for not jumping into the stands and pummeling the jackass.

Update: Even if he wasn't taking a swipe at Sheffield, but just trying to distract him, he's still a jerk. And there are jerks like him in every single park, stadium and arena; people who think that having a ticket to a game entitles them some sort of no-fault behavior law, where they can act like freaking animals, interfere in the game, heckle to the point of ruining the game for every fan around them and just be complete assholes. It's not a Sox-Yankee rivalry thing. It's not even a Sox fan thing. It's just the nature of some people to be jackasses.

Update: A blogger who was at the game - a must read.

The "Culture of Death" Does Not Exist

I hated when I would go to my parents with what I thought was a life-altering problem (ohmygod, I have a ZIT!) and they would say to me, It's not the end of the world, you know. I do the same thing to my children and I often chastise myself for using that line on them, because I know that, to them, their problem is the end of the world.

But I'm going to say it now. To a whole group of people. It's not the end of the world. It's not even the end of civilization as we know it. It's not the dawning of a metaphorical ice age in which we start killing people willy nilly, based on our own random expectations of what life should be.

Paul at Wizbang wants to know why people are so passionate about the right to die issue. And I don't think he means passionate in a good way when he talks about the "other siders," or people who aren't agreeing with him. Honestly, it's not even Paul who has me annoyed this time, but his commenters. And loads of other people who have brought upon this ugly, dark "Culture of Death" label and dropped it on anyone who doesn't align completely and wholeheartedly with them on the issue of living wills and dying peacefully.

For all the people screaming about slippery slopes and Hitler and the killing of handicapped, elderly and retarded, you would think at least one of them would stop and listen to an opponent. No, really listen. Not just shake their head in a condescending manner and walk away when one of us starts talking. Just..listen.

But, no. They'd rather hold up their placards and chant their slogans and accuse every last one of us of being potential murderers. Of being part and parcel of the abortion movement. That they are tying the Schiavo case into the abortion movement speaks volumes. I'm sure it would be nice for them to have all their anti-causes packaged up into one neat little package (called the Culture of Death), but it doesn't work that way, because there are more to the issues than what these people are letting themselves think about.

"You and your pro-abortion zealots are looking at this as a boon to your cause...," is from one email I received when the Schiavo story was at its peak.

Zealot? I'm still, after all these years, not sure how I feel about abortion, so to say I'm a zealot is stretching it just a bit, and to assume that my feelings about Terri Schiavo had something to do with my feelings toward abortion is not only presumptious, but wrong.

Let's call this, instead of the Culture of Death, the Culture of Dying With Dignity. I know, doesn't have quite the ring to it, and it won't fit as well on posters, but it certainly does have more truth in it than the original.

See, I don't know anyone - not one single person - who was on my "side" in the Schiavo case who wants to turn this issue into a way to kill all the infirmed, the elderly or the handicapped. I do not know one single person who thinks it would be ok to kill someone just because they reach a certain age and aren't a productive member of society anymore. I don't know one single person who thinks retarded kids should be put death or grandmothers with broken legs should be shot.

This is about allowing people their personal choice, and within limits. I would like to see laws enacted that would allow, with specifications and limits, a person to choose death over instances where they may be dying, in pain and agony, for a long time. It's about dying with dignity. Dying without protracted, prolonged pain. About choosing the option to go quietly and peacefully rather than lingering in a vegetative state for years. My option. My choice. Again, within specific guidelines and limitations. I don't think someone should be able to say "I lost my job, my wife left me, let me check myself into a hospital and have them kill me legally."

Of course, things like this will never happen, because the Slippery Slopists will be there to say, IF...THEN. If you give a mouse a cookie, he'll eventually want your whole house. And if you give a person the right to die with dignity, eventually you'll be killing everyone who's not blonde haired and blue eyed. And those who aren't screaming about Hitler will yell about God. It's God's choice when you die. It's God's will when you die. Only God can choose when a life should end.

I do not belong to a Culture of Death. I am not hateful. Yet, that is what so many people believe. I've read a slew of articles and blog posts about how the Schiavo story is causing a great divide, not only between the left and the right, but between moderate Republicans and more right leaning Republicans, between Democrats and religious Democrats. Maybe, just maybe, there isn't so much a divide but a misunderstanding. Maybe, just maybe, blanketing everyone with the phrase Culture of Death has done more to create the appearance of a great divide than anything else. The world is not ending. The end is not nigh, just because we disagree on the manner in which people should or could die. Civilization is not coming to a halt because some lady in Alabama may or may not have her living will ignored.

No one - outside of a person committing suicide - can choose how or when they will die. I could be hit by a bus or die of cancer. It could be today, it could be 40 years from now. But if I can choose, if the circumstances allow, to make my death less lingering and less painful, why not?

That's all I believe in. Not aborting Down's Syndrome fetuses. Not pulling the plug on someone who has a cold. Not locking retarded children in a closet until they starve to death just so we can be rid of them. Not filling a grandmother with morphine just because she's old. There is no Culture of Death. It's a dark, ugly name given to people who disagree with those who think they form some kind of Culture of Life.

The Culture of Dying with Dignity. That's me.

April 14, 2005

Song of the day:
I am the ruler of these nether worlds

My Unitarian Jihad Name is:

The Atom Bomb of Compassion

Get yours.

Listen. I know and you know that ASV has been the home to major suckage lately. I think it's a combination of the semi-warm weather and my horrible, mind numbing, soul draining allergies.

Or, it could be that I have gone so far overboard in my new found appreciation of David Lee Roth that I have lost my mind.

Take your pick.

Anyhow, while Unitarian Jihadists may think I am the atomic bomb of compassion, I am going to take a pass on that name and just go with

Atomic Punk

[That's a Van Halen download for you. Get it? This whole post makes a complete loop. Cooool.]

The gettin' might not be that good - or frequent - around here these days, but at least it all comes with a soundtrack.

Safe Bet it's not going to be "Justin"
plus linky goodness


Tiffany, Heather, Cody, Dylan, Dermott, Jordan, Taylor, Brittany, Wesley, Rumer, Scout, Cassidy, Zoe, Chloe, Max, Hunter, Kendal, Katlin, Noah, Sasha, Morgan, Kira, Ian, Lauren, Q-bert, Phil

Hilary wants you to guess what Cletus and Brandine Kevin and Britney will name their baby. Winner shall receive fame (Hilary's claim, not mine) and an esteemed prize from eBay.


I haven't done a linkfest thing in a while. If I find something interesting, I'll put it here. If you have something interesting, put it in the comments.

Survey says, Part II: For the Ladies

Relax ladies, stop emailing me for fair time! Here it is.

Counterpart to the post below.

Today's survey says: Name something men NEVER say.

survey says: I just love when you have your friends over for poker night!

Honestly, I just don't have time for original content right now. I am swamped at work, my head hurts and my brain feels fuzzy and pollen filled right now.

I thank Roger and JP at WBAB-FM for coming up with audience participation surveys that I can steal for days like this.

Today's survey says: Name something women NEVER say. (Don't worry, males will get equal time later). Example from radio show: Oh, I don't need foreplay honey, I'm just all about pleasing you.

(I'll send the results to Roger and JP later, just so I feel less guilty about ripping them off)


Read any good books lately?

Seriously. I'm going to Border's later.

[note, I have already read everything Neil Gaiman had anything to do with]

dream sequence

Dream, early this morning:

The man was in the house; a Florida style ranch house, white shingles and stone, a palm tree in front, wide cement driveway, curved stone walkway.

He was yelling. His voice was trembling, loud, frightening. He was yelling at himself. He had no one left to kill, he said. He wanted to surrender.

I was looking at a pick up truck approaching the house. The back of the truck was open, but the sides were enclosed with splintery, yellow wood. Riding in the back were several people. They were in black and white, like a grainy photo. Everything else was in bright color, the contrast turned up. There was a girl, facing away from me, kneeling down, head in hands. I could only see her hair, her body shaking from sobs, her striped shirt rising up and down with the sobbing, the stripes making slow waves.

Every time the man in the house yelled, the kneeling girl screamed. Intrinsically, I knew what was going on. The man had attacked the girl earlier. She recognized his voice. She didn't want to hear it again. And then she said out loud, in words choked with fear, please don't make me go back there. And when I heard her, I nearly passed out, because her voice was mine. The kneeling, crying, scared girl was me.

There were cops and detectives and news cameras on the street and the man in the house finally stumbled out the door and when he did, he went from color to black and white, and he had no face. He had cut his own face off with a razor, was living to tell about it, stumbling out onto the perfectly manicured lawn, arms askew, face bleeding, and I knew that blood was dark red and oozing, even though it was just grainy gray to my eyes, and as the man fell to the lawn I suddenly found myself high above everything, so high above that I could see the shape of Florida on the map, but zoom in so I could see some children playing in a pool and I tried to yell for those children to get out of the pool because the bad man was coming, but they couldn't hear me. So I jumped from where I was, and fell, fell, fell, what seemed like forever, back into the bed of the pick up truck, where the world kind of zoomed in again, like a camera had just quickly retracted its zoom lens and now I was the girl, sobbing, kneeling, instead of watching me and the bad man on the lawn would not stop yelling or bleeding.

I woke up, couldn't go back to sleep and it's unlikely that I will be able think of anything else for a few more hours.

[added to the dream blog that I forgot about until just now]

April 13, 2005


I just got an email that read, in its entirety:

When did you become such an asshole?

Honey, I've always been an asshole. Some days, I'm just better at it than others.

And that's today's mailbag.

Hey, why don't you welcome my new advertiser, Pamela Anderson's nipples?

some days just call for boobies

Your Boobies' Names Are: Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding

Update: Thanks to ASV's Personal Photoshopper Keiran for the new hat.

Sesame Song of the Day

I think I'll start doing this every day. I am on SUCH a Sesame Street kick now.

CaptainVegetable.jpgOut of his secret garden somewhere in New Jersey comes your newest favorite super hero!

It is I, Captain Vegetable
With my carrot, and my celery
Eating crunchy vegetables is good for me
And they're good for you, so eat them too
For teeth so strong, your whole life long
Eat celery and carrots by the bunch
Three cheers for me, Captain Vegetable
Crunch, crunch, crunch!

My name is Andy
I love candy
And I eat it whenever I can
If it's handy
Gimme some candy
It's so good and sweet
The perfect treat
It's such a thrill
To eat my fill
And gobble till there's nothing on the plate
Candy is great, but wait!

Who are you, some kind of bad dream?
Do I look like a bad dream?

It is I, Captain Vegetable
With my carrot, and my celery
Eating crunchy vegetables is good for me
And they're good for you, so eat them too
For teeth so strong, your whole life long
Eat celery and carrots by the bunch
Three cheers for me, Captain Vegetable
Crunch, crunch, crunch!

My name is Eddie
I love spaghetti
So I eat it whenever I can
If it's ready
Gimme spaghetti
It's a lovely thing
It looks like string
It's such a thrill
To eat my fill
And gobble till there's nothing on the plate
Spaghetti is great, but wait!

What are you? Are you some kind of weirdo?
Do I look like a weirdo?
It is I, your newest super hero

It is I, Captain Vegetable
With my carrot, and my celery
Eating crunchy vegetables is good for me
And they're good for you, so eat them too
For teeth so strong, your whole life long
Eat celery and carrots by the bunch
Three cheers for me, Captain Vegetable

Gee, Captain Vegetable this is the best thing to come around since meatballs!
Three cheers for Captain Vegetable!

Three cheers for me Captain Vegetable
Crunch crunch crunch!

Download - Captain Vegetable (source)
[it's in wav format - I don't know how to convert it to an mp3]

Photo from Sesame Street Encylcopedia

Day of Silence

The daughter will be participating in today's Day of Silence at her hight school.

The Day of Silence, a project of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) in collaboration with the United States Student Association (USSA), is a student-led day of action where those who support making anti-LGBT bias unacceptable in schools take a day-long vow of silence to recognize and protest the discrimination and harassment -- in effect, the silencing -- experienced by LGBT students and their allies.

I'm proud of her for taking part of this, and her devotion to Gay-Straight alliance at her school.

Of course, where there's gay activism, there will be opposition. This article at the ever-tolerant family.org claims that Day of Silence is nothing more than a way to promote homosexuality. Of course. The kids will also be walking around with pamphlets on how to become a homosexual in just three easy steps! And if you join today, you bypass the initiation fee!

Conservative and Christian groups will be countering the Day of Silence with their own Day of Truth:

Irked by the success of the nationwide Day of Silence, which seeks to combat anti-gay bias in schools, conservative activists are launching a counter-event this week called the Day of Truth aimed at mobilizing students who believe homosexuality is sinful.

The teens participating the Day of Silence are trying to bring attention to the bullying and harrassment aimed at gay students. The Day of Truth people are, in turn, telling the gay students that they are sinners. That pretty much proves the point of Day of Silence, doesn't it? The Day of Truth FAQ is some interesting reading.

Kevin Jennings, GLSEN's executive director:

"The Day of Silence was an event conceived of by students themselves in response to a very real problem of bullying and harassment they saw on their campuses," Jennings said. "The Day of Truth is a publicity stunt cooked up by a conservative organization with a political agenda; it's an effort by adults to manipulate some kids.

That organization would be the Alliance Defense Fund, who want to bring you "the Truth" as well as "family values," and prayer in public schools. I guess praying in school also covers casting stones upon those who they perceive to be sinners in the eyes of their God. More on the ADF here.

You can find out more about the Day of Silence here, and the history of the day here. More here. And here's a blogger participating in the Day of Silence at his school.

Also: Darkness of Light, Common Sense Blog.

[cross-posted at blogcritics]

April 12, 2005

another one of these stupid things

That I can't stay away from.

I did one of these when I first started blogging and Stortroopers are back in action.

Me and Goth Me.

mestor.bmp fffff.bmp

I look remarkably like a female Danzig.

make yours here

Thanks for breaking my cow lamp!

You are homestarrunner.com You are funny and animated.  You have a large following, but many people still don't get you. You are flashy. You talk funny.
Which Website are You?

222 Lines about 22 2 songs

Seeing that way too many people complained about the lateral thinkign quiz yesterday (too vague, too hard, too depressing), I thought we'd go back to what we do best: 80's song lyrics.

I found this quiz, but it has no answers. So that's your department. Me, I'm going to lunch.

Just remember I didn't make it. So I am not responsible for wrong/cheesy lyrics.

1. Suckin on chili dogs outside the Tastee-Freez

2. I've done no harm, I keep to myself

3. There's a freeway runnin' through the yard

4. I've seen a million faces and I've rocked them all

5. Your mom threw away your best porno mag

6. Can you hear them? They talk about us, telling lies, well
that's no surprise

7. One that won't make me nervous, wonderin what to do

8. Are you more than hot for me, or am I a page in your history (book)

9. I can hear you comin, I know what you're after

10. And it's true we are immune when fact is fiction and TV reality

11. Don't go around breaking young girls' hearts

12. I've got my back against the record machine

13. You take me by the heart when you take me by the hand

14. A cloud appears above your head, a beam of light comes shining
down on you

15. I'm lying in the rain, but I never wave bye-bye

16. He's the one that makes ya feel alright

17. Are you happy, are you satisfied, how long can you stand the heat

18. I think I thought you were someone else

19. I tried my imagination but I was disturbed

20. I tell you one and one makes three

21. I'll be stretching my mouth to let those big words come right out

22. And though she will mess up your life, you want her just the same

23. You can listen as well as you hear

24. Think of the tender things that we were working on

25. They gave you life and in return you gave them hell

26. Knew he must've been about seventeen

27. I am the maker of rules, dealing with fools

28. Can't get food for the king

29. Step on a crack, break your momma's back

30. Her hair reminds me of a warn safe place where as a child I'd lie

31. You're like the sun chasing all of the rain away

32. Everyone you meet, they're jamming in the streets

33. I'm not internationally known, but, I'm known to rock a microphone

34. Every time I see you falling, I get down on my knees and pray

35. We'll take your car, yes we will, we'll take your car and drive it

36. I said to my reflection "Let's get out of this place"

37. Easy ready willing overtime

38. The five years we have had have been such good times

39. Didn't know how lost I was until I found you

40. People of the world today are we looking for a better way of life

41. You in that dress my thoughts I confess verge on dirty

42. I'm about to lose control and I think I like it

43. Write it on a pound note, pound note

44. We are strong, no one can tell us we're wrong

45. Out on the road today, I saw a deadhead sticker on a Cadillac

46. Caught up in the action I've been looking out for you

47. An invisible man sleeping in your bed

48. But somewhere sometime when you're curious, I'll be back around

49. I know her love is true but it's so damn easy makin' love to you

50. Oh mother dear we're not the fortunate ones

51. And incidents arose from circumstance

52. You know I like my girls a little bit older

53. You always live your life never thinking of the future

54. Now we're sharing the same dreams, and our hearts can beat as one

55. She don't need a man's touch

56. She'll get a hold on you, believe it

57. You're everywhere, but you're so hard to find

58. You want your percentage, but I'm the fool paying the dues

59. No April rain, no flowers' bloom, no wedding Saturday within the
month of June

60. There's a skeleton chokin' on a crust of bread

61. With my body and soul I want you more than you'll ever know

62. I used to think maybe you loved me, now I know that it's true

63. Animals strike curious poses

64. Religion is a light in the fog

65. I don't know where I'm goin' but I sure know where I've been

66. If you want to find all the cops they're hanging out in the
donut shop

67. And there's a heart that's breaking down this long distance line

68. I'm always workin', slavin', every day

69. Feel like I could run away, run away from this empty heart

70. Kick off your Sunday shoes

71. Daddy says she's too young, but she's old enough for me

72. He turned to me as if to say, "Hurry boy, it's waiting there for

74. Darken the city night is a wire, steam in the subway earth is a

75. She had the body of a venus, Lord imagine my surprise

76. I can't help recalling how it felt to kiss and hold you tight

77. Will you meet him on the main line, or will you catch him on the

78. Watching every motion in this foolish lover's game

79. You make the sun shine brighter than Doris Day

80. Loving would be easy if your colours were like my dream, red, gold
and green

81. They threw an American flag in our face

82. When I'm dancing close to her, I can smell the chemicals

83. She told me to come but I was already there

84. Streetlight people, living just to find emotion

85. It belongs to them, let's give it back

86. Everything you do is quite angelicate

87. Rolling like thunder under the covers

88. I don't know what you expect staring into the TV set

89. My eyes dilate, my lips go green

90. I touch you once, I touch you twice

91. To have you with me I would swim the seven seas

92. Crazy little woman in a one man show

93. Went the distance, now I'm back on my feet

94. Got in a little hometown jam, so they put a rifle in my hand

95. There is freedom within, there is freedom without

96. But whatever road you choose, I'm right behind you win or lose

97. I need fifty dollars to make you holler

98. So let's sink another drink `cause it'll give me time to think

99. Goddess on the mountain top

100. Couldn't see how much I missed you (now I do)

101. They even bother my poor father `cause he's down with me

102. Where can I find a woman like that

103. Paul, I think I told you I'm a lover not a fighter

104. Mine's an ordinary life, working when it's daylight and sleeping
when it's night

105. I had a whiskey on the rocks and change of a dollar for the

106. Just don't ask me how I am

107. Your lights are on but you're not home

108. Take your passion and make it happen

109. That little faggot he's a millionaire

110. I was wrong, now I find just one thing makes me forget

111. So if you're feeling low, turn up your radio

112. It's no better to be safe than sorry

113. Darlin' in my wildest dreams I never thought I'd go

114. The road is long, there are mountains in your way

115. The Salvation Army band played and the children drank lemonade

116. The more you live, the faster you will die

117. I've got a secret I've been hiding under my skin

118. I love you though you hurt me so

119. Wouldn't wanna be swept away, far away from the one that I love

120. The sheik he drove his Cadillac

121. She showed me the beach, gave me a peach, and pulled out the
suntan lotion

122. Two silhouettes saying goodnight by the garden gate

123. Have some more chicken, have some more pie

124. I asked the doctor to take your picture so I could look at you
from inside as well

125. Well it's all right riding around in the breeze

126. I'm just going to keep on counting until you are mine

127. Every time you call my name, I heat up like a burnin' flame

128. This is it boys, this is war

129. I can't understand what makes a man hate another man

130. I can't sleep at night, I toss and turn

131. I know you really want to tell me goodbye

132. Food is served and you're stone cold munchin'

133. Don't let go while I'm hangin' on, `cause I been hangin' on so

134. We can dance, everybody look at your hands

135. I know a place where we can dance the whole night away underneath
electric stars

136. I know a good thing must come to an end but it's hard to take
losing a friend

137. Well Superman looked up at me, he said "You rock so naturally"

138. You can say anything you like, but you can't touch the merchandise

139. You want a piece of my heart, you better start from the start

140. But when the wrong word goes in the right ear, I know you been
lyin' to me

141. I follow where my mind goes

142. What's your definition of dirty, baby

143. We'll leave the TV and the radio behind

144. All you sittin' in high places, the rain's gonna fall on you

145. I turn the switch and check the number, I leave it on when in bed
I slumber

146. So when the night falls, my lonely heart calls

147. So you better go back to your bars, your temples, your massage

148. Did you really think about it before you made the rules

149. So you think my singing's out of time, well it makes me money

150. Across the north and south to Key Largo, love for sale

151. Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama

152. I swear that I could see forever in your eyes

153. Nothing had the chance to be good, nothing ever could

154. Take my license and all that jive

155. Well by the force of will my lungs are filled, and so I breathe

156. Dreams stay with you like a lover's voice fires the mountainside

157. No huggin' no kissin' til I get a wedding ring

158. I don't worry `cause my wallet's fat

159. Sister's sighing in her sleep

160. Better make it fast or else I'm gonna get pissed

161. Wish I knew what you were looking for

162. What's your price for flight

163. I know a guy who's tough but sweet

164. And I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

165. Why do I find it so hard to write the next line, oh I want the
truth to be said

166. Every time he pulls me near, I just wanna cheer

167. Put the needle on the record

168. Whoa no, I've got to keep on moving

169. Once upon a time there was light in my life, but now there's only
love in the dark

170. I stain my sheets, I don't even know why

171. There were incidents and accidents, there were hints and

172. I can't get any rest, people say I'm obsessed

173. She dances like she's never danced before

174. Do your fancy dances

175. Your moves are so raw, I've got to let you know you're one of my kind

176. Get up, get up, get up, get up, let's make love tonight

177. But when I win your heart, I'm gonna paint it cherry red

178. All the doors I closed on time will open up again

179. Dream of better lives, the kind which never hate

180. You can feel the punishment but you can't commit the sin

181. I'm not the one to tell you what's wrong or what's right

182. He wants me, but only part of the time

183. People don't you know, don't you know it's about time

184. You were the first, you'll be the last

185. You think you're mad, too unstable, kicking in chairs and knocking down tables

186. Your heart's been achin' but you're too shy to say it

187. The only one who'll hang out with me is my dear Old Granddad

188. Things are going great, and they're only getting better

189. So you better treat her right

190. It's time to bring this ship in to the shore and throw away the
oars forever

191. We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let's start giving

192. We could dance and party all night, and drink some cherry wine

193. Dressed up like a million-dollar trooper

194. You've got to find a way, say what you want to say

195. Sail away with me to another world

196. I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on

197. Welcome to the big time, you're bound to be a star

198. Yo no soy marinero, por ti sere, por ti sere, por ti sere

199. Work all day to earn his pay, so we can play all night

200. Ever since you've been leaving me, I've been wanting to cry

201. Baby baby when I look at you, I get a warm feeling inside

202. And when we hear the voices sing, the book of love will open up
and let us in

203. Some of them want to abuse you, some of them want to be abused

204. He's licking his lips, he's ready to win, on the hunt tonight for
love at first sting

205. I have a picture pinned to my wall

206. I can see a new horizon underneath the blazin' sky

207. You'll flow down her river, she'll ask and you'll give her

208. Earth below us drifting falling floating weightless

209. Ooh baby, do you know what that's worth?

210. I know when to pull you closer and I know when to let you loose

211. Let me hear your body talk

212. Won't you pack your bags, we'll leave tonight

213. The beating of our hearts is the only sound

214. And if this world runs out of lovers, we'll still have each other

215. Is it so wrong to be human after all?

216. There is good and bad (mmmm-hmmm) in everyone

217. Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?

218. It's gonna take money, a whole lotta spendin' money

219. I'm not the kind of girl who gives up just like that

220. It must've been some kind of kiss, I shoulda walked away

221. You see it all around you, good lovin' gone bad

222. Ronny, Bobby, Ricky and Mike, if I like a girl, who cares who you like

Follow Up Movie Poll

See post below for reference.

[First - a HUGE thank you to Frank from Ohio for the Rollins DVDs. Super, man. Just SUPER!]

So, what movies are so, so very bad that you just have to watch them every time they are on. Or worse yet, own the DVD/videos of, just for the sheer novelty of it?

I think you tend to get more horror movies listed in answer to this question than any other genre, but any kind of film is acceptable.

Killer Klowns From Outer Space: Best bad horror movie EVER.

Update: People, people! Big Trouble in Little China in NO WAY qualifies as a bad movie!

The Horror!

George Lutz, the person who owned the Amityville Horror house and subsequently wrote a book about his terrible plight with swarming flies and a scary pig is pissed off about the new movie. Apparently, Mr. Lutz is miffed that the director and authors of the new film have dare to fictionalize his fictional account of what happened in those 28 days. Not only that, but they had the audacity to not call on him as a consultant.

"A tremendous disservice has been orchestrated here. The filmmakers have fabricated many incredibly inaccurate statements made during promotion interviews and press packs. These serve to misinform with a drivel that is pure sophistry. I am appalled at the lack of personal integrity in the name of hype and promotion."

Looks like somebody got themselves a thesaurus! I think if we translate that into everyday speak, it means: I am the only one who should have monetarily benefited from my lies and fabrications! How dare they add more special effects and frightening things to my completely made up, ridiculous story. Why, I had such personal intergrity when I used the tragic demise of an entire family for my own personal gain!

"This (film) is supposed to be about my family and the 28 days we lived in the house, instead it is something formed in the minds of others not concerned with anything more than box office numbers and self import."

Well, George, if they were to make an honest film about the 28 days you lived in the house, it would look like Project Greenlight, as none of this crap ever happened to you and it was all a product of your greedy imagination. Do you know that the day after the Lutzes fleed the house in fear, George came back to hold a garage sale? The hell with the demons in the wall, I must sell my old lawnmower!

Coincidentally, I wrote about the Amityville house just a couple of weeks ago. I've been there a couple of times and as I remarked in the earlier post, the only horror that permeated those walls was the horror of the original murders.

Lutz again:

"I was excluded from any participation that might have allowed for accurate depictions in this film. "There is a craft to acting... Some actors are more serious about their art. They take time to research a part. In the case of retelling an actual event, they look into the history and research the people involved. That just didn't happen here.

Hello? What is there to research? It's fiction. Made up. Nothing more than a ghost story conjured up by a man and his wife who thought they could paraly the deaths of a couple of kids and their parents into a movie franchise. Which they did, I suppose.

Oh, I watched those movies. All of them. They were horribly, mind numblingly bad, and the only reason I watched was for the local flavor. Admittedly, I tend to watch the first Amityville movie every time it's on, forgiving it's inherent badness and getting past the Margot Kidder factor for some reason.

Which leads me to a really off tangent question/poll (ASV is like your blogging breakfast cereal, FREE POLL INSIDE!), but a way in which to wrap up this post, which was going nowhere except into a tirade about gullible people who believe that "Based on a True Story" means Every Single Thing You See Within This Movie is Accurate and Really Happened.

Eh, I'm going to put the poll in a separate post, so as not to confuse the comments.

April 11, 2005

Gosh, I Love the Internet

This is the best thing I've read in weeks. Maybe even months.

25 of my favorite Sesame Street moments.

I would have had Put Down the Duckie at Number One, though. And included James Taylor's Jelly Man Kelly.

I have to go find my Sing Yourself Silly tape.

another "damn, I'm old" milestone
(and some unabated A-rod anger)

The daughter has her first real job.

The good news is, it's at the local bakery. My pignoli cookie obsession will never go unfed!

But man, I feel kind of old right now.

In other news:

grrrrrrr.jpg Grrrrr.

Freaking A-Rod. Another day, another runner left in scoring position. And don't give me that crap about how he got a hit today and three the other day.

There was once a player for the Yankees named Don Baylor. I'm sure you remember him. I hated him. And people used to say to me "Why do you hate Don Baylor? He hits home runs!" And I would say "Hitting home runs when there's no one on base or when the game is already decided means shit to me. Don Baylor is teh suck!" Well, I would say something like that. Because I don't think the guy every hit a meaningful home run in his life.

And A-Rod is going to end up being just as useless. Plus, he had an error today. Swing that purse, A-Rod. God damn waste of money.

[of course, I reserve the right to smile and applaud when A-Rod does eventually do something that benefits the team

Update, 8th inning. Oh. My. Fucking. God. Is it hockey season yet?

Put On Your Thinking Cap [updated with answers]

These are called Lateral Thinking Puzzles. Basically, you get a scenario and you have to explain how that scenario has come to be. Some of the are easy, some not, and some you may have heard many times before. If you get all of these, I have harder questions waiting in the wings.

You may ask me yes or no questions in the comments, I just can't promise immediate answers, as I'm here and there for the rest of the day.

Take your best guesses without Googling. Answers later.

Update and answer key below.

1 In the middle of the ocean is a yacht. Several corpses are floating in the water nearby.
2 A man is lying dead in a room. There is a large pile of gold and jewels on the floor, a chandelier attached to the ceiling, and a large open window.
3 A man and his wife raced through the streets. They stopped, and the husband got out of the car. When he came back, his wife was dead, and there was a stranger in the car.
4 A body is discovered in a park in Chicago in the middle of summer. It has a fractured skull and many other broken bones, but the cause of death was hypothermia.
5 A woman has incontrovertible proof in court that her husband was murdered by her sister. The judge declares, "This is the strangest case I've ever seen. Though it's a cut-and-dried case, this woman cannot be punished."
6 A man walks into a bar and asks for a drink. The bartender pulls out a gun and points it at him. The man says, "Thank you," and walks out.
7 A hunter aimed his gun carefully and fired. Seconds later, he realized his mistake. Minutes later, he was dead.
8 A man goes into a restaurant, orders albatross, eats one bite, and kills himself.
9 A man is found hanging in an otherwise empty locked room with a puddle of water under his feet.
10 A man is driving his car. He turns on the radio, listens for five minutes, turns around, goes home, and shoots his wife.
11 The music stops, and a woman dies.
12 A man is dead in a room with a small pile of wood chips and sawdust in the corner.
13 There's a flash of light, and a man dies.
14 A rope breaks. A bell rings. A man dies.
15 A man is lying drowned in a dead forest.
16 A woman buys a new pair of shoes, goes to work, and dies.
17 Two men enter a bar. They are served identical drinks. One lives; the other dies.
18 Hans and Fritz are German spies during World War II. They try to enter America, posing as returning tourists. Hans is immediately arrested.
19 Tim and Greg were talking. Tim said, "The terror of flight." Greg said, "The gloom of the grave." Greg was arrested.
20 A man dies of thirst in his own home.
21 A man gets onto an elevator. When the elevator stops, he knows his wife is dead.
22 An avid birdwatcher sees an unexpected bird. Soon, they're both dead.
23 An ordinary American citizen, with no passport, visits over thirty foreign countries in one day. He is welcomed in each country and leaves each one of his own accord.
24 A man wakes up one night to get some water. He turns off the light and goes back to bed. The next morning he looks out the window, screams, and kills himself.
25 She grabbed his ring, pulled on it, and dropped it, thereby saving his life.
26 A man sitting on a park bench reads a newspaper article headlined "Death at Sea" and knows a murder has been committed.
27 A man drives down the highway at 55 miles per hour. He passes three cars going 60 miles per hour, then gets pulled over by a police officer and is given a ticket.
28 A man tries the new cologne his wife gave him for his birthday. He goes out to get some food and is killed.
29 A man is doing his job when his suit tears. Ten seconds later, he's dead.
30 A married couple goes to a movie. During the movie the husband strangles the wife. He is able to get her body home without attracting attention.
31 A man ran into a fire and lived. A man stayed where there was no fire and died.
32 A woman tells her children to do something, but just one boy obeys. The woman says something to him, and he stomps away, sits down, and sulks.

Update: I can't keep up with you people, especially when I have to be in a million places at one time today.

So the answers are here. Note some have alternate solutions. Also note that I did not use all the questions, so the numbers are off.

Most of you are definitely lateral thinkers. I'm pretty sure that's a good thing. But I wonder what a vertical thinker would think.

And I know some of the answers are stupid. The point is to just get you thinking.

this day in yankee history

2005: Worst. Day. Ever.

Random Thought

It occurred to me this morning that I spent approximately 200 hours of my life watching the Doors cover band Crystal Ship.

That's very near the definition of sad.

[related, somewhat, kind of]


There's been quite a few posts around the blogosphere lately about people getting tired of blogging, especially the political/news blogging.

Been there, done that. And now I'm about to give up reading the damn blogs, too.

There seems to be this phase going on where people have forgotten what blogging really is, or have turned it into some kind of Internet vigilantism. Pretty soon they'll be donning capes, giving each other clever nicknames (Hindrocket is already taken, guys!) and emblazoning their blogs with the motto "Somewhere, in some newspaper in some shit town in America, someone got a fact wrong. And we will be there to right the wrongs!"

Hey, that's great, but most superheroes don't spend their entire existence flaunting their status or going on and on and on about that one great collar they had back in 2004. And they don't go out and actively search for people to rescue, and in the process maybe make a heroic stab at saving a little girl from drowning, posing for pictures with the poor girl, signing autographs and smiling for the cameras as they retell their daring deed, and then it turns out she wasn't drowning at all, but just out for a leisurely swim.

If I could stretch the metaphor to include something about pop-up ads on blogs, I would, but I'll just say something like the worst of blogging together with the worst of the Internet, at last!

Sometimes people ask me, how do you become a popular blogger? How do you make a name for yourself and get readers? I'll tell you. Controversy. Raging anger. Venom and spitfire. That's what sells, for the most part. If you aren't a forerunner in the specific area of blogging you want to get into (those guys have it good, they can just be themselves), you have to carve a niche and more likely than not, that niche needs to be carved with a serrated knife coated in lemon juice and salt. Leave some scars and some pain. That will bring them running (yes, I've been there, done that, too. And apologized for it I still haven't been able to wash the stench off my keyboard yet). Also, try to work ass-fucking into your posts. That will also get you a major book deal. And never, ever admit to being wrong about anything. When you're called out on something, just bring out a straw man, light him on fire, and hope that no one notices you're being a giant fucking asshole. Oh, and don't forget to bleat about how damn important you are and how influential you are. Hey, look! Not one single blogger made the Time 100 most influential people list! You mean you're not as important as world leaders and scientists? Ann Coulter made the list and not you? You're going to lose sleep over that, aren't you?

You can also just be a fucking idiot. Really. Write on subjects you apparently have no clue about, make baseless accusations, talk down to your commenters, delete their comments when they don't agree with you, never admit to maybe not knowing all you think you know and then whine about it when someone calls you out on your ignorance. Oh, don't do this on a blog of your own. Hitch your wagon to an already popular blog. Voila! You're Paul from Wizbang and you're a blogging phenomenon, complete with sycophant readers who follow all your guidelines for dealing with opposition.

Also, make sure you talk a lot about slippery slopes and how the world is going to hell in a handbasket and anyone who doesn't agree with you is not only leading the charge into hell, but is the reincarnation of Hitler as well!

Controversy, people. That's where it's at. Be a controversial vigilante.

Before you ask, this is not sour grapes or jealousy. I still get about 9k hits a day. I'm making decent ad money. And I am quite enjoying the blogging that I'm doing the past few months. I'm just sick of what the blogosphere looks like these days.

It reminds me of the days back before there was war blogging, before there was such a plethora of news blogs. There was this sudden phase where bloggers just started throwing rocks at each other. Who was saying what about who, who was being attacked in the comments, lots of he said/she said and a general eruption of bad blood. A lot of people stopped reading blogs or blogging all together at that point. And that's where I'm at now. It's ugly out there. And if there's one thing I learned from being stuffed in the cocoon of Internet politics for too long (most leading up to the election) is that it's never as bad on the outside as it seems in the vacuum of the blog world. It's like a tornado in here.

Which is why I'll stick to reading blogs that don't make me want to bang my head against the wall. I want to read things like Does Your Child Have Porn Face? I want to laugh and smile and not get bogged down in an afternoon debating creationism with someone who has their fingers in their ears all the time.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled blogging about controversial things like best guitar solos and such.

See also, Zombyboy. McGehee and AWS

Update/Paul related: Carnival of the Coward

April 10, 2005

portrait of a day/dream

I love taking pictures. I'll probably post tons of photos every weekend until summer's end, even if I'm the only one looking at them.

So today we ventured over to my sister's house. In back of her house is a wide, vast sump. For those whose venucular does not include the word "sump," substitute "landfill not filled with anything except dirt, broken glass, woodland creatures and remnants of teenage wasteland." We took a walk into the sump today to retreive a few lost wiffle balls.

Now, my sister has lived in her house about seven years, and not only have I never been in that sump, I've never really looked at it because of the high fence in their backyard. Today was my first ever look at the place up close. And man, was I in for a shock.

I have recurring dreams. Well, not really recurring dreams, per se, but recurring places and people in my dreams. So when I ducked through the bushes and stepped into this place, I nearly fainted. I recognized it right away as one of the more familiar settings of my dreams. Everything - the depth and width of it, the places where the ground crests and falls, the paths made by trodding feet, the grassy ledge that runs the circumfrence and the wide, dry crop of bush/trees in the middle of the space - it was all there, just as it had been in my dreams. Sometimes in the dreams, the sump was covered in snow and ice, yet I could still recognize certain hilly parts. I know, I just know, this is the place from my dreams. Yet, how the hell could that be? Weird.

Anyhow, pictures from the day, some of which are of said sump. I Photoshopped one to give it the coloring from the last time I dreamed about it.

Also, why so many pictures of the nephew? Easy. Because he's four and hasn't yet developed that "run from the camera" attitude. In fact, he gravitates toward it.

Sound effect: Grrrrrrr

I imagine that the number of times I post on the weekend will be in direct correlation to the weather. It is quite beautiful out today.

I did manage to find out (via Laurence) that there is a new version of South Park studio.


Amazingly accurate depiction of what I look like as I listen to the Yankee game today. Not happy.

Meet the Mets, Beat the Mets, v.2005

One of the after-effects of last year's World Series ALCS loss was having to listen to the insipid bellowing from Mets fans. You would think that fans of a team that has suffered from LOSER status for so long would think twice about berating fans of a team that actually made it to the league championships, but Met fans were never really known for their genius.

I mean, how ridiculous is it for you spend a winter doing the Nelson Muntz at me when your team has been a blazing disaster for so long?

And this is why I loathe the Mets more than the Red Sox, more than the Cowboys, more than Duke, more than any team in all of sports, world wide, professional or amatuer. Why I hate the Mets with a broad, sweeping hatred that knows no depth nor width, that is endless, black and unforgiving. Because their fans - my dear father included - tend to be assholes. Raging, hemorrhoidal assholes.

Met fans do things like this and this.

Of course, that's just part of the reason I hate the Mets. As I've mentioned before, there's also Gary Carter, George Foster, Howard Johnson, Keith Hernandez, Len Dykstra, Roger McDowell, Doug Sisk, Lee Mazilli and 1980's era Strawberry, Gooden and Cone. Old shit? Yes, but rivalries run deep. Oh, it started before that. Way before that. Approach me with the phrase You Gotta Believe and I'll vomit in your Mets cap. And how about that Mr. Met? Why make a mascot that just begs to have his head smacked in?

All of the above is why I take such great pleasure in walking up to my father and saying How 'bout them Mets?

By the way, you can go voice your opinion on the Greatest Yankee Ever, over at Coalition of the Darkside.

April 09, 2005

portrait of a day

Busy day. Baseball, birthday stuff, bowling.

For those keeping tabs (the whole two of you), DJ's team won, he had two bunt singles, an RBI, a run scored and played admirably at second, flawlessly at third and bobbled the ball during a one inning stint in the outfield. He redeemed himself with a fine play at third the next inning.

It was a great day. Filled with family, fun and awesome spring weather. I love this time of year. Even if it means a steady diet of Sudafed and Claritin, it's still worth every sneeze and itch.

And I'll have you know I bowled a 62. I think that's an all time high for me. Without bumpers, even!

Pictures below the fold.

what goes up...

One more thing before I go.

Here's the current fight in our house: We will be making an outing to Six Flags Great Adventure in June. The daughter can't wait to go on the new roller coaster, Kingda Ka, billed as the tallest, fastest roller coaster on earth (specs here).

Kingda Ka will break all existing world records for speed and height. It will rocket riders horizontally from 0 to 128 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds before vertically catapulting them 456 feet (45 stories) into the air.

Would you let your child get on that thing? Would you get on that thing? Ok, I know Keith would. But would you?

Go ahead, click the large size. Am I the only one who gets vertigo and a sick sense of dread looking at that?

She makes several trips a summer to Great Adventure with her father. I will be none the wiser if she goes on the coaster with him. But I am forbidding her to ride this thing when she's with me.

Unreasonable? Probably. Projecting my fears onto my children? Most certainly. Giving in? Nope. That thing is a disaster movie of the week waiting to happen and I'll be damned if my child is going to be played by some has-been actress in USA's version of Coaster!(aka Distaster at Six Flags).

[Armchair psychiatrists may determine that I am angry at myself for being such a fearful wimp and really wish I could ride this thing, and thus am subconciously depriving my daughter of the thrills she will have on this coaster simply because I cannot share the same thrill. Fine. Whatever. Maybe.]

Update: HAH. She looked at the specs and decided she doesn't want to go on it, because of the quick acceleration speed. She went on the new one at Hershey last year, which was then billed as the fastest coaster, and she didn't like the whiplash feel. I never even had to say a word to her about me not wanting her to go on it.

You Say It's Your Birthday

I'm feeling much better today - in fact, I felt better once I stopped taking the Vicodin. That was making me sicker than the pain from the extraction.

We have a very busy day today - guitar lessons, Little League game, sister's birthday. And I feel bad, but I'm just going to repeat my birthday post to her from last year, instead of writing a new one, because we're running kind of late this morning and guitar lessons wait for no one!

Today is my sister's birthday [this sister being the mother of the cutest nephew/pirate in the world]. She is my middle sister, and she comes with all the myriad sociopathic personality traits that befit the middle child of any family. We love her anyhow.

Anyone with siblings will find this familiar: We fought like cats and dogs when we were younger. We hated each other. She resented that I was older than her, I resented that I had to drag her around everywhere I went. Our parents would alway say to us "Some day you guys are going to be best friends." And we would laugh. And sneer. As if.

So here we are, adults and mothers, both middle aged and presumably mature and our parents' prediction has come true. We are best friends. I don't know what I would do without her.

Happy birthday, Jo. You'll always be younger than me, but people will always think you are older.

[Nelson] Ha-Ha! [/Nelson]

P.S. It also happens to be the birthday of one of the sexiest bloggers ever, Hubris.

And the twinkies are...

I mean the Twinkie Poetry Contest winner, of course.

All the entries were winners in my eyes, of course. It was a hard decision for the judges to come up with just one, but they did, and that winner is......(drum roll)

Hubris! His winning entry:

Shove thee more twinkies, in thy piehole,
Add to the fat roll!
Leave thy slender past!
Let each new pound, more ghastly than the last,
Lead thee toward "husky" jeans with a size more vast,
Till thou undergoes surgery for a fee,
Shedding thine outgrown gut through lipectomy!

For his efforts, Hubris will receive a box of Twinkies as well as a Twinkies bumper sticker, courtesy of McBoozo's Drunken Poetry Jam.

I'd like to thank everyone who entered, as well as the judges:
The husband

May your filling always be creamy.

April 08, 2005

you know you're a geek if....

So I wasn't aware that I shouldn't take Vicodin on an empty stomach. As such, I spent most of this morning lying on the couch willing myself not to throw up. I really don't know anyone who likes throwing up, but I have this bizarre, deep fear of vomiting. So every time a wave of nausea came along, I would take my mind off of it by reciting the text crawl to Episode IV: A New Hope.

By the time I got to "pursued by the Empire's sinister agents," the nausea would ease up.

So now I'm stuck in this weird place - I need to take the Vicodin for the pain (the amount of which I totally underestimated), but I need to eat to take the Vicodin, and I'm not really supposed to be eating anything. Catch 22!

I guess I'll start reciting the crawl from Empire soon.

And thank you to all who sent emails with advice and well wishes. And Keith, I'm holding you to that promise of pie.

It's pill poppin' time!

Rather than bore you with more dental blogging, I think I'll just go back on the couch and not turn the computer on again until this evening, when I will finally announce the Twinkie Poetry winner. I was told to watch silly movies. I shall obey.

April 07, 2005

you take the good, you take the bad

One impacted wisdom tooth pulled.

One prescription for Vicodin.

See you tomorrow.

mirrored self affliction

I have a dentist appointment at 3pm today. They will decide my fate then - either pull the offending tooth or do a root canal. I've been living with this pain so long it feels like part of me now. It will be weird to not have this throbbing sensation in my mouth.

Ewww, get your mind out of that place right now.

I've too much dental anxiety going on right now to post anything, except these few tidbits.

The Twinkie Poetry contest has ended. Judging is in the final stages and I will announce the winner tonight.

And just so you know:

Pope John Paul II is being reborn in a Colombian comic book as a superhero battling evil with an anti-Devil cape and special chastity pants.

I wonder if those chastity pants come in size teenage daughter.

Back tonight with tales of dentistry hell.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you who won my Comedy Final Four.

Here's a hint: Shut the fuck up, Donny.

Was there ever any doubt?

Oh, and this revelation: I have finally learned to appreciate all that is/was good about David Lee Roth.

bark at the moon
(may contain papal inaccuracies)

So I received an email last night asking:

How come you didn't write anything about the Pope? You write glowing obituaries for the most obscure of pop culture figures but this world figure dies and you don't say a thing?


Well, xxx, in case you haven't noticed, I'm an atheist. Do you think some guy who runs a classical music blog wrote anything when Joey Ramone died? Probably not. Get my drift?

After I returned an email to xxx, I thought, why not indulge this person and write something about the Pope. The thought crossed my mind again five minutes ago when I sat down to write this morning's post and realized I had nothing planned. So Pope blogging it is.

When I was in high school, I wrote a short story for my creative writing class called Ascension. In it, the Pope dies, giving way for the undercover anti-Christ to take over the reigns. Obviously, I was inspired by Nostradamus. In my story, good does not triumph over evil. In fact, the world ends with the anti-Christ in charge, which was a blow to the contingents of religious people who were trying desperately to right the wrong before the universe imploded, so we would at least all die without the taint of the devil on our souls. No such luck.

Suffice it to say that, this being a Catholic school, my work of fiction did not go over well. Although my creative writing teacher was a lay person, he still thought I should hand in something else to avoid conflict with the head of the department - a nun whose name I forget but whom I shall refer to fondly as Sister Mary Elephant. I demurred, giving an impassioned plea as to how he should judge my work on its merits and not on moral grounds and not in a way that made me think he was frightened of a nun who stood 4'8" to his 6'2". Honestly, I just had nothing else to turn in and my story was already a day late. And a good ending short, apparently.

So Mr. A. reluctantly accepted Ascension and lo and behold, Sister Mary Elephant did happen to gaze her eyes upon my work. I was called into her office, where she said that she concurred with Mr. A. that the story did deserve a good grade, based on the writing. Then she winked at me - a mocking, evil sort of wink, if you can imagine a nun with that sort of thing - and told me Ascension was comedy gold. It was a horror story. Touche, Sister Mary Elephant. I got my A, and Sister got her point across that I was a blasphemous heathen.

So what does this have to do with the Pope? Everything, obviously. In the Agora points out what all the tin foil Papal hat people are wildly gesticulating about: There will be a solar eclipse on the day of the Pope's burial! Whoa! Holy signs from above, Batman!

Well, it's a partial solar eclipse. And it won't be viewable in Italy. But don't let that stop you from quoting old Nostraman:

The greatest solar eclipse, the sign of calamities.

And then it goes on to say something about the Church's law and some say a comet will fall from the sky, followed by meteor showers and....wait, wrong soothsayer.

Anyhow, my fellow heathen Andy is all over this eclipse thing.

Let's move past the eclipse and onto birds, because Nostradamus mentions birds, too.

Unusual birds shall cry in the sky before the coming of the antichrist.

Now, we all know birds are evil, evil beings. As one person who knows about these things once said, They are evil creatures who carry the soul of the devil in their wings.

Coincidentally, before I read my email from xxx, I was going to write about birds and how much they annoy me and how evil, evil, evil they are, until I realized I have written that very thing before, many times (which is how I ended up with nothing else to write about and hence, writing about the Pope, in a roundabout way).

So you see, birds were reading my mind. And as I look out the window and see the strange birds and hear their strange noises, I can only conclude that the anti-Christ is nigh and we are all doomed.

Unless. There's always an unless.

See, when the Papal people go to their underground cabal and use the Ouija board to divine the prophecy that will declare the new Pope, they are falling into the trap the ant-Christ and his minions set up a long time ago. Inevitably, given all the portents going on (Hello? Federline/Spears reality program? Satan calling!) will ultimately lead to the new Pope being the bringer of death, evil and the end of mankind.

In order to avoid this catastrophe, the Papal committee must change horses midstream. They have to scrap whatever they were planning on doing in that dank cellar and come up with a new plan, to bring in a new Pope that doesn't have ties to the underworld. And that's where Dennis comes in.

Dennis is stumping for Pope. Pay no attention to the fact that Dennis is SINNED spelled backwards. Just an odd coincidence, much like the eclipse. Dennis seems heartfelt in his plea to be elected Pope. His platform is one of reaching out the people and affecting change in the church that will bring the kiddies back to Sunday mass. Less tithing, web based masses, women priests, acceptance of gays within the church, term limits - Dennis seems to have the good of the people in mind, instead of the good of the coffers. Dennis also has delusions of grandeur, but that's besides the point. Maybe he, like millions of us, just wants to wear a pointy hat all day.

If I wasn't so virulently anti-Catholic church, I would run for Pope myself. After all, a few years ago I came up with a list of things that would have churches all across the world packed to the rafters every Sunday, not just on Christmas and Easter. Yea, I know. People don't run for Pope. They're chosen. And something about having experience and a halo over your head and the secret code to get into the Vatican anteroom. None of which I have. But I do have ideas! And if they ever put the Pope vote to the people and if Dennis or any one of you should ever decide to run for the position, feel free to use my suggestions.

  • Cushions for the pews
  • Refreshments served intermittently in return for your gracious donation. Water and fruit will do. Nothing that crunches too loud.
  • The priest should sporadically interrupt mass to announce the football scores
  • Let the young kids come up to the altar to give "shouts out" to their homies
  • Have an opening and closing theme song. Something catchy, maybe a little free style rapping.
  • Mass should open with one of the altar boys shouting out "ARE YOU READY TO ROCK AND ROOOLLLLLL??"
  • The priest should have a catch phrase that everyone can say along with him. Like, "Jesus Christ on a Pogo Stick!" and then he can hop around on a pogo stick when he says it. That should get people laughing and feeling good.
  • Offer flavored communion wafers. Bubble gum, Strawberry, Pina Colada and Root Beer
  • Right after the homily and before the breaking of the bread, have the altar boys come out and do a choreographed dance routine. For the girlies.
  • Put the day's readings in graphic novel form
  • Give out tokens to each worshiper that shows up. When you get ten tokens, you get a Sunday off from church
  • Two words: Chocolate Jesus
  • Give out door prizes. First ten worshiper in the door get free jar of holy water

Yea, I know. The Catholic doctrine is pretty much etched in stone, carved in said stone by the albino clerks who live in the Vatican basement. How do I know that? I read it. In this story called Ascension.

Beware the 9th of April. Just saying.

And this has been my attempt at Pope blogging. Thank you, I'll be here all day. Leave your tips in the collection basket.


Contrary to popular belief, this man is NOT the antichrist. Please do not waste your time watching the tv and playing Where's Evil Waldo by looking for him in the crowd of mourners in Rome.


If he approaches you and claims to be the antichrist, just call him a fraud, remind him that he lost the plot after Mechanical Animals, and threaten to douse him in holy water.

April 06, 2005


The AI bloggers have their elimination picks up. Come join us for the snark and fun.

Oh, DJ's team lost the opener, 6-2, but he played second base (the starting rotation was changed) like an All Star.

Of course.

Real Baseball

It's the best night of the year, baseball-wise.

Little League Opening Night.

DJ is finally in the majors and he's the starting pitcher tonight.

A boy in his natural habitat.

I can't wait to start taking pictures this season. It's almost 70 degrees out. There's a game tonight.


(Hey, don't forget the Twinkie Poetry Contest. A new prize has been added!)

and baseball was never the same again

A dubious day in baseball history:

32 years ago today, the Designated Hitter became part of the game.

The Poetry Month/Twinkie Birthday Poetry Contest
Updated with Extra Prize Goodness!

[comments hae been closed on this post as judging commences]

Today marks the 75th birthday of the Twinkie.

I was once called un-American because I hate Twinkies. Not only is the filling much too sweet, it also has a granulated feel to it that makes me feel like I'm eating dirt. I don't like the sponge cake, either. Feels too much like real sponge.

But far be it from me to stand in the way of a birthday celebration for a beloved snack cake. I thought I'd combine National Poetry Month with the birthday of Twinkies in one delicious contest. That's right. Twinkie Poetry.

The rules are pretty open:

  • Almost any form is acceptable - limerick, haiku, free verse, couplets, anything but epic poetry. Please, no Odyssey as done by Twinkies and other Hostess products.
  • Enter in the comments. No email entries accepted.
  • The subject matter is wide open. As long as it has to do with Twinkies, I don't care if it's an ode, a love poem, a hate poem, a recipe in rhyme or a limerick about what you do with your frozen Twinkies when no one is looking. Parodies of well known poems/lyrics also acceptable.
  • You can enter as many times as you like, but each entry must go in a separate comment.
  • Contest remains open until some time this evening, subject to change without notice, depending on how many entries I get.
  • I will not judge. A judge's panel will be formed. If you don't want to enter the contest, but want to be a judge, email me. It helps if you have expertise in the Twinkie and/or poetry areas.

There is a prize this time. Winner will receive in the mail one box of Twinkies, of course.

UPDATE: Thanks to the generosity of McBoozo's Drunken Poetry Jam, the winner will also receive a Twinkie bumper sticker!


Can't beat that!

comedy madness

MSNBC has an NCAA style comedy movie tournament.

I was disappointed in some of the inclusions/omissions (Vacation, but not Christmas Vacation?), but overall it was a decent selection of 64.

[click for bigger]

My Final Four:

Big Lebowski, Caddyshack, Holy Grail and Spinal Tap

I haven't decided on the winner yet.

What does your Final Four look like?

[cross posted at Blogcritics]

April 05, 2005

it's gonna be too late to bring you back

In honor of the 25th birthday of REM, I pulled this old post out of my ass. Well, out of my archives.

You know how sometimes you will fall out of love with a band you once swore you would devote your life to? Well, maybe not in those extreme terms, but I think you know what I mean.

You hear a new band, you fall in love. The band woos you with a couple of good cds and just when you think you're in it forever, they start sucking. They change their tune or their direction and you decide it's just not worth the effort of pretending you love them anymore, so you put away all the cds and get on with your life and your pursuit of other bands worthy of your love.

As time goes on, you remember only the bad things about that band. You remember the third-rate albums that followed the good ones and you forget about the good times you had together. The memories, like the cd cases, gather dust.

And then one day you happen to be listening to an internet radio station that is playing songs from that long gone era when your love with that band was new and fresh. And suddenly it all comes back. Why you loved them, why you stood in line for tickets to see them, why you scrawled their lyrics in your journal.

Chronic Town and Murmur notwithstanding, Reckoning was one of the best cds ever made.

Go build yourself another dream, this choice isn't mine.

Sigh. Come back to me, Michael. I miss you.


I'll add, on the occasion of their anniversary, thanks for the memories. Especially for South Central Rain, Driver 8, Orange Crush, Nightswimming, Don't Go Back to Rockville.

25 years? TWENTY FIVE YEARS? Holy shit, I'm old.


Bottom of the 9th. 3-2 pitch. Tie game.

Who's the man?

Jeter's the man.

there's sad and then there's creepy

Ok, one thing, while I take a short break from work.

Last night I mentioned that I was persuing a thread over at Fark about sad songs. Well, someone posted something about Red Sovine and his description of the Sovine songs intrigued me. So I checked out the lyrics.

"Now, I'm not supposed to bother you fellows out there Mom says you're busy and for me to stay off the air But you see, I get lonely and it helps to talk
'Cause that's about all I can do, I'm crippled, and, I can't walk!"
I came back and told him to fire up that mike
And I'd talk to him, as long as he liked

There's sad and then there's pandering for the tears and tissues dollar.

And she told be again, That ours was a love.. That time could never erase.
And then I thought I heard a thousand voices singing
But I realized it was the telephone ringing.
And that's when I saw the halo
Surround her pretty golden hair.

Then there's this one, where he's singing about the dress he's burying his wife in. And this one about a boy buying roses for his dead mama.

And this one about a girl who knows damn well her daddy wishes she was a boy:

Daddys girl, Daddys girl.
I'm the center, of Daddys world.
I know I'm Daddys number one,
For he loves me like I was his son.
Daddys girl.

I think I have finally found something worse than Christmas Shoes.

blog snobbery

Ever have one of those days at work where you feel like you're drowning and there's no way in hell you're every going to see the surface? That's today. So it's unlikely there will be anything fresh for you until this evening.

But I would like to introduce you to a new blog that is automatically going into my favorites: Snobsite.

Graced with a beautiful Sekimori design, Snobsite is the home to the Rock Snob*s dictionary:

Welcome to the official home of Rock Snobbery on the Web. Though this site was conceived in part to promote the Broadway Books soon-to-be bestseller The Rock Snob*s Dictionary, we're also using this site to offer news and commentary of interest to Rock Snobs, and to give Nick Drake fans a special place to share their feelings.

Rock Snob explained here.

I think I've made it pretty clear how I feel about rock snobs. Which is why I made a little critic cocoon for myself.

You can peruse some of the blog snob entries starting here.

And you know why I'm not a music snob? Because I'm not afraid to tell you that I'll be back tonight to live blog American Idol.

Update: Whoa. I just realized that one half of the BlogSnobs was in a band that graces my top 500 list (at number 482). Neato.

rock of ages

[I'm sure this of little interest to anyone outside the New York area and even then, very few people besides me].

I haven't listened to the radio - in my car, at least - since I bought the iTrip. So I was in for a great surprise yesterday when, driving DJ to baseball practice, I decided to give the radio a try. I flipped on KRock and heard:

There's a place I like to hide,
A doorway that I run through in the night
Relax child, you were there

...and I did a total WTF? Queensryche on KRock? Surely Booker is playing some kind of joke.

krock.jpgFor those out of my area, let me explain. KRock (home of Howard Stern) is (or was) what one would call a "modern rock" station. Lots of new music - Jimmie Eat World, The Mars Volta, etc. - mixed with the core of recent rock and roll - Nirvana, Jane's Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc. It was an ok station and I listened to it mainly because the only other rock alternatives in New York (WBAB and Q104) play mainly classic rock and there's only so many times a day I want to turn on the radio and hear Freebird.

So, curious about why I heard Queensryche yesterday I pulled up YES.net this morning, a site which lets you see what a certain station was playing at a certain time (great for those what the hell song was that and why won't the DJ say what it was moments). I pull up the playlist from around 4:50 yesterday, when I was in the car:

04:56 PM AUDIOSLAVE Show Me How To Live
04:50 PM QUEENSRYCHE Silent Lucidity
04:46 PM NIRVANA Lithium
04:42 PM RATT Round And Round
04:37 PM HAWTHORNE HEIGHTS Ohio Is For Lovers
04:32 PM THE MARS VOLTA The Widow
04:27 PM TOADIES Possum Kingdom
04:21 PM SYSTEM OF A DOWN Chop Suey!
04:18 PM GUNS N' ROSES Used To Love Her

I don't think I have ever heard Hendrix on KRock. The other bands, yes, when they were doing the special hair metal weekends. Honestly, I never heard Hawthorne Heights (a new emo-ish band) on KRock either. So, what gives?

I went to the KRock website this morning and all that was there was this. If you fill out their little mad-lib form at the end, you get a similar page that says "thank you" with a graphic of a guy holding up a cigarette lighter. And nothing says "we're going to be playing lots of cock rock" more.

Why the format change? Well, if I want to know anything about New York radio, I can bet that Ed has blogged about. Yep, he has.

"K-Rock is always looking for opportunities to further connect with our listeners," said Rob Cross, Operations Manager of the station. "Enhancing our playlist, while simultaneously launching a web stream whose sole purpose is to feature breaking music, enables us to serve a wider audience with the music most frequently requested without changing the fabric of the radio station."

Well, I'm going to call this a little more than enhancing the playlist. It's an outright format change. And the seeds of it were planted long ago, probably before Howard Stern decided to leave the station.

It was obvious (to me, anyhow) that all those specialty weekends of 80's or 90's rock were the station's way of testing the waters. Obviously, those playlists got a positive response and the station acted accordingly.

How much did Stern's departure have to do with this? In a way, I can see the management trying to figure out ways to hold onto the demographic that listens to Stern (and lots of Rush and Black Sabbath will help with that), but I also think management realized the station was getting stale. How many times a day can you play Stone Temple Pilots before the listeners get bored? And how many times can you drag out the Toadies' Possum Kingdom in an attempt to appear creative before the listeners figure out that the "hip" playlist is etched in stone and boring? (I wrote about that here)

Before I get bogged down in the business side of this, let me just say what this means to someone like me: It means I will use the iTrip less. A station that plays Ozzy and Taking Back Sunday? Queens of the Stone Age and Iron Maiden? That was made for me. I'll listen to that in the car (and at least have the iPod so I don't have to listen to twenty minutes of commercials and promos) and the house. But I have to wonder, how many people are there like me, who crave both new music and old rock, both 90's techno and 80's hair metal? How many listeners who tune in for the modern rock playlist are going to stick around if they have to listen to Pink Floyd and Billy Squire to get to Audioslave? Especially when there are now alternatives like iPods and satellite radio?

I have to give props to the station for their new web format. First of all, you could never stream KRock before, which I thought was a bad move on their part. Now they've introduced streaming radio and it's format will be different than the radio format, which is a brilliant idea, really. The webcast will give bands like Taking Back Sunday and Arcade Fire more exposure and give fans of the more alternative side of KRock a place to hear their favorite bands without having to sit through Bohemian Raphsody.

It must suck to be in the radio business these days. I imagine it's hard to come up with a format that will keep listeners from moving over to satellite. However, if in the case of KRock, the listeners are getting satellite just to listen to Stern, a format change like this one (and stop calling it a tweak or a fabric change, it's much larger than that and we're not stupid) might the key to getting them to turn back to your station at 10am. I'm still inclined, however, to believe this is about way more than post-Stern ratings worries and more about figuring out what the people want. Apparently, it's not wall to wall Stone Temple Pilots (I swear to, they played that band every five minutes).

I know I'll be giving it a try. But the second I hear Freebird, I'm out of there.

More here.
Cross posted at Blogcritics.

April 04, 2005

songs of the evening: cryin' edition

Inspired by nothing more than a thread over at Fark looking for the saddest songs ever, two of my choices:

Stabbing Westward - Waking Up Beside You
Weezer - Only in Dreams

And yours?

i've got a secret

[click for bigger]


I actually had a more serious entry than this, but I'm not posting it here. Because there are some things that should just remain under wraps.

Besides, maybe this will encourage you to admit to your own dark secrets.

Here's one more.

Chips for Charity!


That's Mikey, aka the Gene Rayburn of the blogosphere, and he's selling his one of a kind Pac-Man potato chip (named Stan)! Golden Palace has yet to make an offer, so if you hurry you can win the bid!

Yea, I know what you're thinking. You can create your own Pac-Man chip with just a bite or two. But will yours raise money for a good cause? Sam will.

So, break out your checkbooks, ladies and germs and offer up a pence or two for Stan. All proceeds raised from this auction will be donated to AIDS Walk San Diego via Rock the Walk.

Chips for Charity. Yum.

a short book review

I read Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas yesterday.

I now remember why I generally don't read Dean Koontz books. Reading his stories is like having disappointing sex. It starts off good, you're really into it, getting excited...and then somewhere in the middle you roll your eyes and think This is it? You have got to be kidding me. But you lay there and finish it out just to see if it gets any better towards the end, but it never does. Not only do you not get an orgasm out of it, but you end up with a blistering headache and a vague sense that, even though you didn't pay for it, you were still ripped off.

The only good part is, the book reminded me of a horror story I started writing that I'd like to dust off and work on again. If I can't find a horror book that's going to scare me into sleeping with the lights on, I'll just have to write it myself.

So now, sitting on my shelf are three more books given to me by well meaning friends who insist that I read what they like.

I've got:

State of Fear
The Rule of Four

Any hints as to which one to go with?

And hey..did you buy a t shirt yet?

more dental blogging [with non-imminent death notice update]

In no mood to blog today. I'll be spending the morning finding a dentist who a) takes my insurance and b) will see my immediately (see here for previous whine). I think the entire right side of my face is paralyzed now (me, exaggerate? that's unpossible!) and I'm going to have to see my regular doctor after I see the dentist. If I don't die first. Because I swear to you, I am in the throes of an agonizing death right now. Remember, cremation, no burial! Spread my ashes over Yankee Stadium. Right over third base, so I can keep an eye on A Rod and haunt him when he leaves men in scoring position.

Ok, one quick thing. I had a dream last night that I was stuck in an episode of Leave it to Beaver, in which he contracts Avian flu and I told him "Wow, you're really ahead of your time, Beav!" To which he replies "Oh, not really. Some guy from the future snuck up on me and put tainted bird seeds in my lunch! That's how I got. Gee, that's kinda mean!" Sure is, Beav. Sure is.

I think the infection is eating my brain.

I'm going to amuse myself with the Singing Homer Simpson soundboard until I get to the dentist. [via Scott]

Update: Found a dentist! When I explained what was going on, the woman said "you should probably get over here right now." Umm..yay?

Update again: So, I'm not dying, I don't need any body parts amputed and it's nothing a round of antiobotics (and a move from acetaminophen to ibuprofen) and an extraction later in the week won't cure.

Though the idea of an extraction has me feeling a bit queasy.

April 03, 2005

Game On

What the hell. May as well give the voodoo a try again. It may not work, but it sure stirs up the shit. And I'm nothign if not a shit stirrer.

Update (a.m.): Well, that was a very satisfying way to start the season.

I heart Tino.

April is ,,,,

National Poetry Month

I never saw a Purple Cow,
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I'd rather see than be one.

-- Gelett Burgess

I have no idea why this has been my favorite poem for most of my life, but it is. I've always had a thing for funny or offbeat poetry.

Birdie birdie in the sky
Why'd you do that in my eye?

Like I said.

I considered myself somewhat of a poet in high school, much like every teenage girl before and after me.

I'll probably be revisiting this theme throughout the month, as I consider myself a patron of the art of poetry in that I've had many poetry contests right here, even if they were along the lines Helen Thomas limericks or odes to oral sex.

I do like "real" poetry as well (as opposed to juvenile humor aimed at children who like fart jokes). One of my favorite poems is below. What's yours?

Annabel Lee
Edgar Allen Poe

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in Heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the side of the sea.

i forgot to remember

A few reminders:

Today is daylight savings time. You just lost an hour of your life. Don't panic, you'll get it back in the fall.

Your spring wardrobe is not complete until you have an ASV shirt.

It's Opening Day Night. All your Yankee needs/Red Sox bashing can be found over at Coalition of the Dark Side. Today I rant a bit aboutoday I vented a bit about playing under the lights instead of under the sun.

teething [updated! more panic driven imminent death!]

I am in mortal pain. It's been creeping up on my for days. No, probably weeks. At first I thought it was a sinus infection. Then allergies. All the while, I knew in the back of my mind that it had something to do with my teeth and I kept pushing that thought away like a bastard stepchild.

My abject - if irrational - fear of dentistry has finally taken its toll on me. Never put off until tomorrow what can be filled/cleaned/pulled, etc. today, kids. I think I'm going to need oral surgery at this point, as my gum is so swollen that all the teeth on my right side hurt instead of just that the area by that one wisdom tooth.

I have gone through an economy size bottle of Excedrin Migraine (the cure-all miracle drug) in the past week. I'm sure if there's any such thing as acetaminophen overdose, I'm a candidate for it.

To make matters more interesting, my regular dentist has stopped taking my insurance. So now I have to go through the list of shady dentists in the area who actually take my insurance, call them all to see who is taking new patients, beg any one of them to take me in tomorrow and then pray that they are one of those dentists that do the "painless dentistry" thing and they don't model themselves after Steve Martin.

So if I'm extra cranky (even though today is opening day and I should be estatically happy), you know why. If I don't find a dentist to take me tomorrow, there's going to be carnage on Long Island. Someone has got to bear the brunt of my pain.


Self diagnosis is a terrible thing. In the space of a few hours, I've gone from abcessed tooth to raging infection to some debilitating disease that will surely cause my demise within hours. After Googlig some symptoms, I came up with the idea that I had a tooth infection that spread to my heart, lungs and maybe even my liver. Of course, I developed pnuemonia within minutes (this is somewhat based in part on the reality that I had about 10 sleep apnea episodes last night, which could very well be attributed to terrible sinus weather and not imminent death) and sat on the couch gasping for air and thinking about dialing 911. And then I did what I usually do in the throes of a panic attack - I picked up a book (this one in this case) and when I got about ten pages through without actually dying, I realized that I was probably breathing ok.

Still, the pain is not imaginary nor is the fact that the pain has moved its way past my mouth area and into my ears and on the right side of my neck. And there's not a dentist/doctor to be found on Sundays. Nor a psychiatrist, for that matter.

Just remember, if I should drop dead today, I don't want a funeral and I want lots of Nine Inch Nails played at my memorial service.

And no, you can't have my stuff.

April 02, 2005

Grooving on a Saturday Night

A little late for Carnival of the Playlists, but here's what I'm listening to right now.

The Winamp is on shuffle (just downloaded the EMP skin, by the way. I love it) and I'll give you the first 15 songs that come up, uh...my favorite song from that particular band, just for shits and giggles.

Life of Agony - Here I Am, Here I Stay (River Runs Red)
Deftones - Around the Fur (Mascara)
Tool - Intermission (H)
Beck - See Change (Soul Sucking Jerk)
Mindless Self Indulgence - Revenge (I Hate Jimmy Page)
Taproot - Like (I)
Vision of Disorder - Done In (Jada Bloom)
Crowbar - Planets Collide (Planets Collide!)
Black Label Society - Lost Heaven (Stillborn)
Hot Hot Heat - More For Show (Oh, Godamnit)
Portishead - Mysterons (It Could Be Sweet)
Brand New - I Will Play My Game Beneath The Spinlight (Soco Amaretto Lime)
Propaghandi - True (Anti-Manifesto)
Frank Zappa - Muffin Man (Joe's Garage)
Strapping Young Lad - Force Fed (Oh My Fucking God)

And there you have another installation of Blogging My Music Collection Because I Have Nothing Of Importance To Say.

Once Upon a Time.....

Today is International Children's Book Day. Not coincidentally, it is also the birthday of Hans Christian Andersen.

I had a volume of fairy tales when I was young; a vast collection of hard cover books that I could eventually recite by heart. One of the books (it had a green cover with gold leaf lettering) contained nothing but Hans Christian Andersen stories. My favorites were The Little Match Girl, The Red Shoes, The Tin Box and The Snow Queen. I especially loved The Snow Queen - which I read one winter's night when it was cold and blizzardy outside - and to this day I remember the pure angst I felt for Gerda and everything she went through to find her friend, and the pure faith she had that he was not dead. And now, reading the Tinder Box, I can remember exactly what I imagined the dog with the large eyes to look like - it's a bit strange to have such a vivid memory of something that existed only in your imagination.

Anyhow, in honor of Hans's birthday and Children's Book Day, some lists. Of course, I'd like to see yours.

Favorite books I read as a child that I have read over and over again into adulthood:

  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
  • Half-Magic (and other books in the series) by Edgar Eager
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  • The Witch Family by Eleanor Estes
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  • Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
  • The Pigman by Paul Zindel
  • The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
  • How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
  • The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  • The Encyclopedia Brown Series by Donald J. Sobol
  • Clues in the Woods (and others in that series) by Peggy Parish
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Children's books I read as an adult and enjoyed

  • The Series of Unfortunate Event books by Lemony Snicket
  • His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman
  • Holes by Louis Sachar
  • Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman (which I reviewed here)
  • Silent to the Bone by E. L. Konigsburg

Books I have enjoyed reading with or to my kids

  • The Day I Swapped my Dad For Two Goldfish by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean
  • The Captain Underpants Series by Dav Pilkey
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr.
  • Owen by Kevin Henkes
  • The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg(anything by Van Allsburg is good)
  • Strega Nona by Tomie De Paola
  • Strange Stories for Strange Kids by Art Spiegelman
  • The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by John Scieszka
  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  • Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
  • Tuesday By David Wiesner

I'm sure I'll add to the list as I think of more. Please, make your own.

April 01, 2005

Friday Five: mish mash of memories

[Note: downloads have expired]

Van Halen - Ice Cream Man (download)

[29 on the list]

My son has developed an obsession with VH. Having inherited his mother's impeccable taste, he only listens to DLR era VH and is fond of saying "If it's not David Lee Roth, it's crap!"

The constant sound of my son practicing his Eddie Van Halen guitar solos has made me recall my love/hate relationship with DLR. He was a buffoon. A clown. A side show freak in the circus of rock and roll. But he was a whole lot of fun, wasn't he? If rock and roll were movies, Ice Cream Man would be Karate Kid. Do you have any idea what I mean by that?

Korn - Dead Bodies Everywhere (download)

[#325 on the list]

Sometimes in my rush to distance myself from this band and its recent efforts, I forget how much I really liked Follow the Leader. It came out at a time when I was going through some things that made me just a little bit angry (ok, a lot) and the head banging that ensued with FTL was a great way to blow off some negative adrenaline - especially at their shows. Say what you want about this band, they know how to bring it live. Plus, I like remembering that adrenaline and the feeling that I could kill a small army with my bare hands, one at a time, if I had to.

Misfits - Attitude
This showed up on the iPod today and I got this weird flashback of some Danzig inspired dream I had about eight years ago. No, I'm not going to bore you with the details.

Have I mentioned how much I adore Glen Danzig? He gets no respect. None.

Monster Magnet - Space Lord (download)

I really like this song. I sing it often, as it's on quite a few mix cds I've made over the years. But did I ever really think about it? Apparently not. Because if I did, I might have been more careful about loudly singing these lyrics: Been stuffed in your pocket for the last hundred days/When I don't get my bath I take it out on the slaves/So grease up your baby for a ball on the hill/Polish them rockets now and swallow those pills I honestly have no idea what I've been singing all these years. Grease up your baby for a ball on the hill. I hope I didn't sing that in mixed company.

Sarah Mclachlan - Possession (download)

[#64 on the list]

You know that tune that holds so many intense memories for you that the first note of the song can put you back in that place as if it just happened, as if that time was now, and hearing it makes you feel like someone is ripping your insides out and you don't know whether to burst into gut wrenching tears or just force a bittersweet smile and try to be happy that you have those memories at all and you wonder why the hell you make yourself listen to this every once in a while when you know you will now spend the rest of the evening wallowing in whatever remnants of self pity are still kicking around inside your heart? Yea, that one.

songs, songs, songs

First: This week's edition of Match Game is up. See how many of my retarded, sexually deviant answers you can match.

Second: I finally added some new songs to the 500 Songs Annotation site.

And now, more songs and why I love them (as requested here today).

Wait. Before I write about more songs, I need to talk about the new Nine Inch Nails song. Not The Line Begins to Blur, which I posted about a while ago, but the new radio single, The Hand That Feeds. Well. It sounds like Trent dragged out the rhyming dictionary and then phoned in the resulting poetry. I hate it. HATE it. And you have no idea how it tears my heart apart to hate it so.

However, the more I hear the new Weezer (Beverly Hills) the more I like it. And I heard the new System of a Down song - never have I witnessed a band get so progressively suckier with each effort. Their first album was good. Everything else has been like a parody of that.

Anyhow. Onward.

334: Clash, Straight to Hell
So, I had this cassette tape of Combat Rock. I had a '77 Oldsmobile Omega. Combat Rock got stuck in the tape deck of the Omega. Not only did it get stuck, but part of the tape got eaten so that the only part of the song - the whole tape, in fact - that would play was it ain't Coca-Cola, it's rice. And we listened to it. Over and over again as we drove to the Meadowlands one night on our way to see U2. Everything's amusing when you're young.

63: Candlebox, Far Behind
You know how you just can't help playing air guitar to certain songs? Well, this is an air microphone song. Doesn't matter where I am - car, shower, office, supermarket. When this song comes on, I go into rock star mode. I'm standing on a stage, surrounded by thousands of fist-pumping kids and I'm all sweaty and maybe a little bit drunk and wearing something with leather and sequins and...

I said times have changed your friends
They come and watch you crumble to the ground
They watch you suffer
Yeah they hold you down
Hold you down

You kind of crouch down low at that point in the song, grimace a little, squint your eyes til they are almost closed, make your voice all guttural and full of pain and sorrow and longing and anger and then the kid mopping the floor in the frozen food aisle asks you to please stop or leave the store.

I'll add to this later. Any interest in a Friday five (downloads) tonight? If enough people HOLLA!, I'll upload.

Yea, I just said HOLLA!

this will disappear pretty soon


Frank Perdue, RIP.

spring fling fashion show!

shirt1.jpgHow many times have you said to yourself, gee, if only I had something to wear that would let the world know how cool, hip, trendy and sexy I am?

The wait is over, folks. I have your cool, hip, trendy and sexy clothing right here. That's right. It's your very own ASV shirt, brought to you by the fine folks at Rock'n Clothing.

For only $15, you too can exeperience the pure, unmitigated joy that results from wearing and ASV shirt. Just look at these testimonials:

Model 1: Wearing this shirt made my hair shinier, my teeth whiter, my boobs larger and increased the gas mileage on my car!

Model 2: This ASV shirt gave me the power and confidence I needed in order to kick my best friend's ass in Madden 2005! I also got laid the same night! Had to be the shirt. Nothing else explains it!

Women's shirts are available in a bright, cheerful green which will enhance your assets. Men's shirts are available in black because men in black are sexy.

Both are available with your choice of slogans printed on the back.

tag1.jpg tag2.jpg

If you want to be part of all the rage this spring, head over to Rock'n clothing (also home to fine Ace t shirts) and slip into something more comfortable.

Please note that the shopping cart takes you to PayPal, but you don't need a PayPal account to purchase a shirt - they take credit cards.

Note that this is a limited time offer.

Thank you for shopping ASV and have a nice day!

Update: If you buy one, I expect a photo of you wearing the shirt. Especially if you look ripped and badass in it.

it's just begging for a caption

[story here]

Believe me, the Buchanan bukkake jokes have all made their way into my head already. Don't bother to censor yourself on my behalf.

And somehow, this kind of works with the R. Kelly song from last night.

charting the demise of MJ through his music

I don't know if this had to do with my music posts (which I'll continue today) or something else, but I promised someone I would repeat this. So here it is.

mjben.jpgEveryone has seen those pictorials that mark the change in Michael Jackson's face from adorable little boy to scary elephant man. But isn't it what's on the inside that counts? Of course it is. And that's why I am going to show you the slippery slope of MJ's psyche over the course of his recording career. We'll skip over the Jackson 5 era; obviously his mental state was clearly controlled by his father during those years (which, by the way, lends great explanation to his behavior today).

Let's harken back to 1972, when the fresh-faced young boy released his first album, Got To Be There. Look at that face, that smile. You just want to pinch his cute little cheeks! At this early point in his career, Michael had yet to develop the large ego that would allow him to build Neverland later on. This is evidenced by the selection of songs on the album. There are quite a few cover songs. Obviously, Michael wasn't self-assured enough to put out a solo album of his own songs. And it's obvious from the song titles that Michael was ready to embrace life on the wings of love.

Just eight months later, Michael released Ben. Already we see signs of stardom going to his head. Eight months? Who releases two albums in the same year? Even more disturbing, the title song is an ode to a rat. An evil, fictional rat. Was this a precursor to his monkey fetish? The rest of the album is filled with covers and generic pop songs but people, enticed by the sweet sound of MJ's voice singing to his rodent, bought the album in droves. MJ had made his solo mark in the world.

And another eight months later (was Michael a workaholic, or was he being forced into Motown slave labor by a cartel of sequined-jacket record producers?) he released Music and Me. Here is where things start to get interesting, as if Michael was leaving a musical trail of his path to child-obsession. Two titles, With a Child's Heart and Too Young clearly show that MJ, just fifteen at the time, was starting on the downward spiral to Neverland.

Obviously weakened by dismal record sales of Music, Michael waited two years to release another album. Forever, Michael wasn't much of a chart-buster either. You can tell by the lackluster performance on this record that Michael wasn't feeling it. Clearly, there was an underlying force at work here; Michael was obviously saving up his energy for something. He spent the next four years plotting to take over the world.

And he nearly did. In 1979, Jackson released Off The Wall. Was that title trying to tell us something? Did Michael already feel like he was losing his grip on reality? This album was pure disco. It was Michael strutting his stuff and doing his crazy little dance. Get on the floor, girlfriend and burn this disco out! Jackson started writing his own songs on this effort. Obviously, his ego was growing. And, as his ego grew, so did his popularity and his ability to hypnotize people just by looking into their eyes and saying, don't stop 'til you get enough. Ah, yes. That's a little known fact about Michael. How do you think he got all those girls to scream for him even though he was clearly stealing Jermaine's style? It was at this point that the old, cute-as-a-button, sane Michael Jackson left the building.

The sea change for Jackson came in 1982, when Thriller was released. He no longer had the Jermaine fro, opting instead for some Luther Vandross love god look. Look at those eyes. They are saying, come hither.

This is where we part ways with Michael Jackson and say hello to the King of Pop. Thanks to this new-fangled invention called Music TV, Jackson became a meteor in the industry. And while people danced and made love to Thriller, no one was really paying attention to the subtle messages on the album. Paranoia, anger, illicit love all reared their ugly heads in the lyrics. Looking back at the video for Thriller, one thinks that Michael might have felt a bit too comfortable in all that make-up. The descent was in full swing. Out came the white glove and red leather jacket. There was the change in hairstyles, the lighter tone of his skin and all that jumping in the air and waving his hands around like Liza Minelli on a bender.

Things got even weirder with Bad, released five years later. Jackson spent most of the five years in between albums collecting awards for Thriller, developing an aging-celebrity fetish and morphing into a freak of nature.

The first line sung on Bad is: your butt is mine. Hello, ring-ring-ring, does anyone hear an alarm going off?

I know, I'm pushing this idea too far and I've probably bored you by now. But let it be known that the signs were all there, and not just in the transformation from cuddly kid to plastic surgery addict to adult man living in a kiddie world, but in the progression of his songs and albums. You can see the ego growing, the mania ensuing, the penchant to hang around little kids getting stronger and stronger. He built an amusement park in his backyard, people. Does this not remind anyone of a certain wicked witch who decorated her house with candy in order to lure children in?

Let us all learn a lesson from this story. Never trust a man who wears one glove.

[Ed note: This post was written a while ago (2003), before the latest trial. I'm sure it could have used some updating, but it's Friday and I don't feel like thinking]

Back to requests for the music posts.

Pick a number, any number.

[all picked numbers are good for one day only. If I don't get to yours, try again next time.]

it's a dirty job but someone's gotta do it

I would like to take a moment to call your attention to the fact that I am now a psychiatrist and medical director of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Hospital in Great Neck, New York and I am apparently quite concerned about this marijuana craze that has hit the streets. Of course I am. It's Reefer Madness time, parents! Lock the doors, hide the liquor bottles and take away those crazy rock and roll records!

Because, you know, I care a lot about the gamblers and the pushers and the freaks. I care a lot about the people who live off the street. I care a lot about the welfare of all the boys and girls. I care a LOT about you people cause I'm out to save the world. Yea!


If that doesn't thrill you, you can always try Boring!Boring! While you're drinking some Google Gulp! Or have some USB Fondue.

It's a Sidd Finch world, kids. And as I said a few years ago: This blog will not be participating in any April Fool's Day pranks. Most people think I am full of shit to begin with, so there is no point in striving for that extra level of bs. I just couldn't think of anything clever enough, anyhow.