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October 26, 2005

ASV HoF: Best Opening Winner
and a random, unrelated thought


Results here.

Polls for Cowbell AND 60's albums will go up tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I've just spent some time pondering why Mr. Belvedere is never shown in reruns anywhere. Or why Nickelodeon never brought back Eureka's Castle, not even in repeats.

Things that make me (probably not you) go hmmm.

ASV HoF: another new category
get your psychedlic grooviness on

Reminder that we still have cowbell nominations and other voting going on here.

In order to move this along at a better pace, I'm going to open up another category at the same time as cowbell. This one is going to be the first in an ongoing series of decade-related categories.


Do some Googling (or use allmusic.com) if you're not sure when an album was released. Don't make me chastise you in front of everyone! Here's a list of 200 to get you started.

oh look, it's another meme that lets me talk about me me me

I was tagged by Rox and this one had interesting questions, so I bit.

1. Of all the books that you have eventually finished after many starts & stops, which one took you the longest and how long did it eventually take?

I usually plow right through books. Sometimes, in the case of a really good book, I'll let it linger a bit just because I don't want it to end; I want to savor it. And sometimes I will keep putting a book down because it's painful to read. But, compulsive person that I am, even if a book is a piece of garbage that I loathe, once I've started it I have the need to finish it, no matter how horrid it is.

Case in point: Michael Chabon's Summerland. I had previously read his Kavalier and Clay and thought it was a masterpiece. Chabon is a writer who knows how to string a phrase together with such exquisite precision and flow, it's like his paragraphs are works of art. So I was excited to read Summerland, not just because of his wonderful writing and his storytelling skills. Summerland was touted as a children's novel of adventure and magic and baseball and I thought, what could possibly be better than those three things together as told by Chabon? In my review, I wrote:

The idea of taking all the things that made other children's fantasy books work and putting them into one story may seem like a genius idea at the start, but imagine it this way: taking all of your favorite desserts and sticking them in a food processor to make one uber dessert would not turn out well. Not only would you not be able to tell the peanut butter from the chocolate, but it would taste like ass.

Well, it took me months to trudge through the ass-in-a-blender Summerland.

It turned out to be a mish mash of half-formulated ideas that never gelled together. Despite Chabon's flourish with the pen, this story turned out to be dreadful - clunky, boring, tedious, cliche driven, etc. I put it down half way through and thought I'd just leave it at that, but I was compelled to pick it up again and finish it off. It took four months for me to read Summerland and, really, I could have gone my whole life without ever knowing the ending. It just didn't matter by the time I got there.

2. What great band (or album or song) have you heard so often, you wouldn't mind never hearing again even though you still think the band (or album or song) is great?

Faith No More, Epic.

My least favorite song on the least favorite album by my favorite band. It irks the hell out of me that a band with so many good tunes is known for the most pedestrian song in their catalog. Typical conversation:

What's your favorite band?
Faith No More.
Ohh, the fish video guys hahahah! or Yea, you want it all but you can't have it hahahah! or That weird dude with the high pitched voice - what is it, what is it, hahahaha!.

Epic comes on the radio and I literally cringe and jump to change the station.

3. Which cliché or often cited quote needs to be placed in quarantine for a few decades?

The whole "your mom" thing has got to go. From the internet to schools to even grown men using this phrase, your mom is everywhere. She's on coffee mugs and t-shirts, she's in songs and on tv, she's done everything with everyone, has fucked ten thousand different men and yea, she's hot.

Who took my soda?
Your mom.

I need a date for the prom.
Your mom will go.

Can someone help me with this presentation?
Yea, your mom will help hahaha.

Egads, stop it already. How do I know this cliche has reached the pinnacle of its usefulness? Just two days ago I was in a diner and I saw a man who had to be about 65 years old, paunchy, graying, thinning hair, the sheen of alcohol giving him that red-faced glow. He was wearing a shirt that said "Your mom thinks I'm hot."

This cliche is officially done. Your mom says so.

4. During the 1990s "Compassion Fatigue" received a lot of press, now the media is giddy with "Donation Fatigue". What will be the next trendy fatigue?

Disaster fatigue. No one will want to hear about earthquakes and tornadoes and hurricanes and blizzards anymore. They are so yesterday. Anderson Cooper and Al Roker will have to resort to covering things like Groundhog Day and Girl Scout cookie drives becuase no one will want to watch them wade through the remains of yet another disaster. Cable networks will see sinking ratings. Not even catchy nicknames (The Terror in Tennessee!) or flashy images (think animated fire engulfing Disneyworld) or spinnng logos or guest anchors (and now, Anna Nicole live from the scene of the donut factory explosion!) will make people tune in. 12 foot snowstorms will bring yawns. Tidal waves wiping out entire cities will bring a roll of the eyes. Imploding buildings will have people reaching for their remotes looking for repeats of Full House. Disaster, schmaster. Give us Kimmy Gibbler and Cut. It. Out. any day of the week over another (yawn) tragic act of nature.

5. What percentage of respodents will answer "meme fatigue" to question #4?

All of them. But I'll just tell them to STFU and turn the page if they don't like it. Booya.

I'm supposed to "tag" someone here, but I'll just leave it wide open for anyone to grab. I don't want to be forceful, lest I be accused of bringing about meme fatigue.

October 25, 2005

ASV HoF: Finalists and new category:
This Poll needs more cowbell!

Finalists for Song that is most recoginzed by its opening:

[this poll has been completed]

Vote early, vote often, etc.

And now, the new, heavily anticipated category, brought to you by Mikey and Christopher Walken:


If you need some suggestions, there are plenty here. The cowbell was used a LOT more than you realize.


/sings Don't Fear the Reaper

Let the nominations begin.

Speaking of NY


click and read!

do you remember rock and roll radio? [updated]

With the exception of David Lee Roth in the morning (starting in January), KRock will be offically dead to me as soon as the new "Free FM" format takes over.

"Infinity's FREE FM stations will feature an eclectic mix of personalities, whose distinct creativity, perspective, sense of humor, intellect and unpredictability do not fall under the guiding principals of any particular narrowcast theme or ideology," said Joel Hollander, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Infinity. "An entertaining hybrid of provocative, political, pop culture, news, music and lifestyle formats, our next generation of FM stations will be personified by their conviction, passion, originality, fearlessness and innovation which is not heard anywhere else on the radio."

Shorter press release:

Talk, talk, talk, more talk, more blabber about nothing, prank phone calls and "odd" news, bitching about the world with in a post-modern ironic kind of way, fluffy Hollywood interviews, thirty second sound bites about the top grossing movies, some Paul Harvey-esque dude giving you a humorous take on a news subject and, fuck you don't lie to us there will be no music.

Rock radio is dead.

There are now two rock stations left in New York (Long Island based WBAB and NYC based Q104) and both feed you a steady diet of Freebird, Stairway to Heaven and select cuts from The Wall, interspersed with a Nickelback song here or there to keep them current.

New York has no real rock station. That's a god damn pity.

Yea, I know. There's satellite radio.

Well, not everyone can afford a satellite radio in their car (this is where people do most of their radio listening). And whether one could afford it or not is NOT the point. The point is, free rock and roll radio is dead. Thanks to ideas like Jack - the worst thing to happen to radio since the beginning of time - FM "rock" radio is nothing more than an iPod stuffed with classic rock standards, set to shuffle. There is no innovation, no free form radio, no station that plays deep album cuts, nothing daring out there. There is nowhere on he New York metro area radio dial to get new rock music. Am I the only one that sees the pity in that? That the place that brought you formerly great radio stations like WNEW and WPLJ is now devoid of a station that spins the next big thing, the new bands, that introduces you to new sounds is gone, gone, gone?

Where did I first hear the latest Zeppelin song? Who helped me discover Van Halen? Who told me that John Lennon died? Where was the first place I heard the Ramones? Rock radio, all of the above.

The girls don't seem to care tonight
As long as the mood is right
No static at all, no static at all
FM--no static at all

It's gone. It's happening everywhere, not just New York. Rock and roll radio is dead. I don't care that there are alternatives. It's still god damn sad that the best thing about FM radio is no more.

Do you remember Murray the K,
Alan Freed, and high energy?
It's the end, the end of the 70's
It's the end, the end of the century

Do you remember lying in bed
With your covers pulled up over your head?
Radio playin' so no one can see
We need change, we need it fast
Before rock's just part of the past
'Cause lately it all sounds the same to me
Oh oh oh oh, oh oh

Will you remember Jerry Lee,
John Lennon, T. Rex and OI Moulty?
It's the end, the end of the 70's
It's the end, the end of the century

I know, out with the old, in with the new. It's just my opinion that the old was better. Curmedgeonly of me, probably, but kids today will never know the beauty of good FM rock radio.

If anyone is in any of the areas that started playing Free FM today, I'd like to hear what you think.


And another thing: What about alternative radio? There is no outlet for new bands, local bands, bands that don't fit into the Zeppelin/Skynyrd/Def Leppard mold prevelant on radio now. Any millionaires out there who want to give me money to start a new radio station?


There are some good college stations out there playing hard rock, current rock and alternative, but that's usually for only three or four hours at a time. And if I could get WSOU in my house and car all the time without static, I wouldn't be so unhappy about the loss of other rock stations (especially the first incarnation of Q104, which was a metal up your ass kind of thing).

I've been with KRock for a long time, through quite a few programming changes. The latest one sounded good on paper, but hasn't held up well. I think if they want narrower instead of broader, they might have hung onto enough listeners to make it worthwile to keep the station rolling as is. Instead, they tried to be like the Jack of rock radio - encompassing everything from Disturbed to Tom Petty - and it didn't fly.

What I want to know is, where is the audience for more talk radio? Are there enough people out there to make Free FM profitable? Who wants to hear this crap? No one I know.

And another update:

There's a great article in today's Daily News on this subject. And, as TC mentions in the comments, I'll probably listen to Penn Jillette's show as well as DLR's, but that's about it.

Update again:

I appreciate everyone who has commented about/sent me alternatives to radio (streaming stations, college stations, etc) - I'm not really looking for an alternative to listen to, so much as I am lamenting the passing of New York rock and roll radio. I know there are other places/ways out there to hear music, I'm just upset about KRock pretty much dying right in front of me.

I'm going to miss Booker.

Ed has something to say as well. I knew he would.

ASV HoF: Video Winner and Category stuff

Wow, this one was CLOSE.

Full results here.

I'll have the poll for the latest category up soon (you've got about two hours to get your nominations in). I'm going to try to get through these faster and not let them linger as many days because I have a lot of categories to get through.

Coming up:

Best live album
Best debut album
Best "supergroup"
Best albums of the 60's/70's/80's/90's
Best Weird Al cover
Best song sung by a chick
Best use of cowbell in a song

That's just a few suggestions from y'all that I have deemed ready for prime time. Which of those would you like to see up next?

October 24, 2005

random " i love the 80's" though of the evening


Chris Jericho is STILL smokin' hot.

i love the 80's

Ratt and Roll


DJ looking wistful about the 80's, a decade that began 13 years before he was born. How stuck in the 80's is he? Just look at his shirt. A moment before this (captures on film that I haven't yet uploaded) he was singing Bon Jovi's Livin' on a Prayer. Like he meant it.

He's also wearing the 3D glasses needed to view tonight's opening episode of VH1's I Love the 80's: 3D. Yes, we have been anxiously anticipiating.

[This has not been a paid advertisement]

Hall of Fame: Video Finalists AND a NEW CATEGORY [imp. udpate]

Final polling for best video:

[this poll has been completed]


That was to avoid any confusion, like there has been in the past.

This new category is brought to you by my sister Jo-Anne:

Song that is most recoginzed by it's opening riff.

NOTE: This is not the same as best guitar riff or even BEST opening. You are to nominate the songs that are instantly recognizable by the opening notes/drums/voice/guitar/whatever and are maybe even defined by that opening, as in Stairway to Heaven or Smoke on the Water or, in the case of my opinion, Running With the Devil. It's not so much a the best of category as it is a way of honoring a song that has a great, recognizable, defining opening.

Have I explained myself clearly? We'll find out soon enough.

Update: It doesn't have to be a riff, per se. It could be a voice or any other kind of tell-tale noise, such as in Black Sabbath's Iron Man. So we are just calling it OPENING instead of opening riff.

'neath the color of October skies

[Hall of Fame stuff coming up later this morning]

I've been slack in my Halloween posting. This is a piece from last year, I just added some new photos. You'll see below that I'm looking for some ghost stories to share with the kids, and with all of you in case you're looking for something a little spooktacular, too. Halloween is a week from today, so I'll have a bunch of stuff coming up this week in regards to that.

booWhile a good ghost story goes a long way all year round, there's no time like the season of autumn to hear tales of terror. It's not just the particular holiday of Halloween that makes it so; there's more to the spookiness of autumn than that.

Perhaps it's the way the branches of trees start to poke out from where they hid all summer under the leaves. They claw at the sky like bony fingers, making the baring trees look like skeletons rising from the ground.

Perhaps it's the way it gets dark so early and long shadows creep up on you in late afternoon, scaring the sunlight away.

Perhaps it's the crunching of the dead leaves underfoot, the crisp sound echoing in the open space of autumn like the cracking of bones.

screamPerhaps it's the bright harvest moon, whose eerie face seems to mock you as you walk alone down a dark street, or the sudden onslaught of flocks of sinister looking birds that swoop down by the hundreds with their cacophony of screaming caws and shrieks.

Or perhaps it's just the aura of death around you, as the grass turns a sickly brown and the summer's last hold on the once thriving flowers loses its battle against the cold, turning the flowers into dried out corpses.

I always loved a ghost story, especially if it was being told by a person who knew the art of storytelling; the pitch, the voice, the dramatic pauses all have to be done to perfection in order to make the story come to life. The right storyteller can make even a mundane tale seem frightening. Both my parents had this gift; to this day I get shivers whenever I think of my father's story about the evil Rigatoni. Sounds stupid, doesn't it? But it was told in early fall on a dark night in upstate New York, with bats flying into the window and trees rustling against the house. My father, by adding the right tone of creepy to what was some nonsense he had been ad-libbing, managed to freak us all out with the story of a renegade piece of pasta. That is a gift.

Of course, the way to ensure that any ghost story you are listening to will give you a good scare is to believe. Listening to my mom or dad share their tales of terror was even better when I was fully, 100%, unequivocally sure that the stories were either true or could really happen. As they recited the stories, I would mumble to myself I do believe in ghosts, I do believe in ghosts, like an incantation that would make sure the necessary goose bumps raised up on my arms. But believing in things that live in the dark has its downfalls, as once you actually got into the dark when the storytelling was done - in your bedroom, by yourself - you suddenly did not want to believe in ghosts. You wanted to believe in anything but. meyers 1Scary stories are a lot of fun when you're huddled around with your favorite cousins and few adults and the smell of popcorn and hot chocolate wafts out from the kitchen. Alone in the night with no one but a stuffed kitten for company and the ominous smell of autumn coming in the window, the stories take on a life of their own. Your bed is an oasis and your feet must not touch the floor or even peek out from under the covers or the dusty corpse of a long-ago buried witch would surely grab you by your toes and proceed to eat you alive, not stopping until she swallows your soul. And when the bed creaks or a branch scrapes against the window, you wish, wish, wish with all your might and your eyes squeezed shut tight that never said you believe in monsters and spirits and evil that walks the night because if you don't believe they can't hurt you. When daylight finally arrives, after a night of horrific dreams, you do it all over again because daytime has a way of making you naively brave.

And so it is time for ghost stories again. Ghost story, in this case, is all encompassing. It's a catch-all for tales that scare, creep, frighten or chill. There could be ghosts or goblins, witches or zombies, spirits looking for revenge or bloody limbs strewn across a graveyard. They could be tales that people swear to be true or tales that are too bizarre to believe, yet scare you nonetheless. They are stories read from books or orally passed down from generation to generation; stories that take place in locations we know or far away lands we hope to never go. Sure, they are all scary enough on any day of the year but, told in the thick of autumn, they take on a more sinister, terrifying tone. Just the way it should be.

Thomas Hardy's The Withered Arm

If you've got a ghost story to share, let me know. I can always use some new material with which to scare the children.

October 23, 2005

ASV Hall of Fame stuff

I didn't forget about the best video category, I just don't like to put polls up on the weekend. The polling will commence tomorrow, so there's still time to get a nomination in.

I've had a couple of suggestions for the next category. I've narrowed it down to either:

  • Best debut album
  • Song that is most recoginzed by it's opening riff (not the same as best riff)
  • Best album of the 90's (and we could do other decades if that goes well)

Which one of those do you want for tomorrow?

sunday catblogging


Kitty staring out the window at me. Those holes in the screen? Yep, she did that.

She's an awesome cat. A little freaky, a little on the psychotic side but, hey, she's a cat.


New autumnal photos.

lines grounded treetops fallen

October 22, 2005

One Word Movie Review: Batman Begins



The Pennsylvania Game Commission asks anyone who has seen a deer with a pumpkin head to call 1-814-643-1831.

i couldn't have dinner with grandma, 'cause i got high


Just tell your grandma you blew off dinner plans you made with her because you were stoned. She'll understand.

I don't know who I hate more - the people who made this commercial, for being so cheesy, overwrought and manipulative, or the imaginary guy who made his grandma sad.







October 21, 2005

random camera phone picture: rush fans only


rich get richer

I can't be the only one who hates when rich people play the lottery.

And win.

ASV RandR HoF: New Category
Living on Video

New, oft suggested category:


Also, must be from AFTER the dawn of MTV, meaning they must have been made/aired after August 1, 1981.

Notice the NOT A LIVE PERFORMANCE thing. First one to not pay attention and nominate a live performance gets kicked in the head.

This means no Nirvana unplugged. No rare concert footage. No Beatles on Ed Sullivan. Nothing from Woodstock. Again, for the hard of hearing: NO LIVE VIDEOS AND NO "VIDEOS" (like concert footage) FROM BEFORE 1981.

Also, they must be ROCK (and as we already defined, rock means any of the sub genres listed here. Basically, no disco, rap, country. And yes, Duran Duran counts as rock here.

Ok then. You may proceed with the nominating.

October 20, 2005

Hall of Fame: breaking with tradition

There were way too many suggestions in the cover songs category to even narrow it down to a poll. I think there would have been no point, anyhow. I'm just going to go ahead and name the winner without a vote.



(PS kept crashing, so no trophy tonight)

I have no new category yet, still listening to suggestions (what about best live album?). But here's one of my favorite cover songs ever. The last minute alone is worth the download.

Goldfinger - Rio

his name is dio....ronnie james dio....

Great Pumpkin!

How cute are they?

sillyhead punkinhead


This is a Flickr badge showing photos in a set called pumpkin patch. Make your own badge here.

Feel free to stop by, peruse, critique, comment, whatever.

Update/Denial on the Van Halen thing

Van Halen will not be taking INXS' lead by participating in a possible second season of the reality television series "Rock Star," according to the band's spokesperson. MTV News erroneously reported Wednesday that a source close to the program claimed that if "Rock Star" does return for a second season, that the core Van Halen trio — Michael Anthony and brothers Alex and Eddie Van Halen — would be the band auditioning potential singers. The band flatly denies any involvement in the show.

More here.

Everything I said about Eddie this morning still stands, minus the stuff about reality tv. At least I finally got the burden of carrying all that EVH strife around with me for so many years.

ASV HoF: Winner

In a surprise to no one, the best C band is:

Full results here.

I'll put the cover song poll up later. Busy now. Just didn't want to fall behind on this, because I'd get all confuzzled. We're still doing cover songs, right? Ok. Just checking. Gonna need a new category for later on tonight, too.

An Open Letter to Eddie Van Halen
On the Occasion of putting the final nail in the VH coffin

[please see update below]

MTV is reporting that next season's installment of Rock Star (the reality show that just placed a new lead singer for INXS) will be Van Halen. Apparently this was big news last night, as I received, oh, about 72 emails with various links to the many stories out there about this.

My first reaction? Ok, count to ten before you punch the wall. No, count to twenty before you hunt Eddie down and kill him.

[Deep, mournful sigh]

I'm just going to pretend to tell Eddie how I feel.

Dear Eddie:

Well, you're at it again. The road to ruin takes another detour as you try to find yet another way to hang on to your rock star status before you self implode and end up in an alley somewhere.

I love you, Eddie - in that rock-star god kind of way. I appreciate everything you brought to the genre and I am the first to bring up your name in "greatest guitar players" conversations. But come on, man. Stop wearing your ass on your hat, if you know what I mean.

I think any time a lead singer leaves a band, that band should not carry on with its original name. A new singer changes the dynamic, the entire face of the band. It becomes different. So I was a little taken aback when you all decided to carry on the VH name without Dave. But, hey - your band, your prerogative. And this really has nothing to do with Sammy or Gary Cherone.

Well, yes it does. It has to do with you (and we know it's you, Eddie, and not Michael Anthony or even Alex, who most people couldn't pick out of a lineup) and the way you have bastardized the Van Halen name ever since the first break up. I don't want to get into the whole Eddie v. Sammy/Gary thing, but it's just part and parcel of the bigger picture. The fact is, Eddie, that you have never thought of anyone but yourself, least of all the fans who bought your records, went to your show, lifted you to rock god status, and stood by you even when it was apparent that you had become a belligerent, drunken jackass.

I'm not sure what you're trying to prove by agreeing to do this show. Is it that you want to hang on to rock and roll lifestyle for a bit more? Or is that you are finally read to let go of the last shred of dignity you might have had and just go down in blazing flames finally? Really, this isn't so much about the band appearing on Rock Star as it is with your insistence on carrying on with the Van Halen name. Yea, it's your name. But how hard would be to change the band to Eddie Van Halen and the Nancy Boys? Well, that's just an example, but you know what I mean. To keep pretending to be something you are not - the Van Halen of old - just makes you look like an old man who sweeps those few remaining strands of hair over his balding scalp. You can look in the mirror and pretend you are VH all you want, it doesn't make it so.

People are laughing at you, Eddie. They are reading this article and talking about it many rock forums and the words being used the most are pathetic and washed-up and fucking asshole. And this isn't just DLR fans like me, but from the stalwarts who stuck with you even through the abomination known as Van Halen III, and even the newer generation of VH fans, the young kids like my son who recognize the band for what they were, not what they are now. How am I going to tell him? This will be worse than when he found out there was no Santa Claus, worse than when the Yankees lost to the Red Sox. Reality tv? Searching for a lead singer on a weekly show filled with drama, fighting between band members, wannabe David Lee Roth's and, jesus, man, Eddie Van Halen doing his guitar god thing on reality tv. It sounds like a joke.

You should have quit trying to resurrect VH a long time ago. You should have given the band another name and moved on. You have turned one of the most celebrated hard rock bands into an embarrassment. I would have rather seen VH appear on an episode of "What Ever Happened To..," than to have them brought to life again in this incarnation. Embarrassing, Eddie. For you, for VH fans, for everyone except the producers of the show who know damn well that everyone will be turning in to see this train wreck.

Thanks for killing whatever good name VH had left, Eddie. Why don't you just f-f-f-ade away like most rock stars?


A former fan of yours

Update: Yes, I know this has been debunked and VH will NOT be appearing on the show. See my new post on that here.

October 19, 2005

50 Halloween Stories: #s 8 , 9, 10 , 11 and 12

More creepy/stupid stories for Halloween, both taken from my posts at 100 Words, which I am reminding you to visit on a daily basis.

And yea, I'm not gonna make 50. My muse left me for a bit.

Five short stories for you reading pleasure (or otherwise) below the fold.

#8 Down in a Hole

My skin is walking off my bones. I’m uptight. Restless. I rub the skin on my arms until it flakes but it still feels like it’s crawling away.

I pace. Forward five. Turn. Back five. Five is all I can go in these shackles. I want to go ten, twenty, five hundred, home. I can’t.

It’s dark and damp and every sound is amplified. This place is cavernous. Yet I feel like I’m in a mousehole.

I hear footsteps, going away. A door slams, my heart jumps, my stomach drops.

I wonder when he’ll come back.

I pace forward five.


#9: Hungry Like the Wolf

I stay within the shadows
blend with the darkness,
go unnoticed
until it’s too late

A flicker of movement
bursts from the night
I am on them.

Surprise is their weakness
no time to defend.

In seconds
the flesh is hanging from their throat
muscles exposed
blood painting the ground

I drag the victim to a private place
I devour skin
until I am sated

I leave the remains
for the wolves;
more my brethren than humans.

I howl
then sleep

dawn breaks
I walk the streets

become me again

or leave me again

it’s hard to tell.


#10: My Cup Runneth Over

I know it’s wrong, but nourishment is scarce since the plague; healthy blood is hard to find and I’d rather not wither to dust.

I entered the church at midnight and located the sacristy. Still feeling uncomfortable about what I was doing, I did a quick sign of the cross (that does not kill us) and drank. Lucky me, it was blessed. I could feel the life coursing through me.

Then I saw the priest standing there.

He cut my stomach out with a pocket knife, squeezed and drained my fluids into the wine vessel.

Good thing I’m already dead.


#11: Escape Clause

“It was a dark and stormy night. I was in the cemetery, minding..”
“Looking for bodies...”

“I’ll wait for my attorney.”
“Will he be here soon?”
I glanced out the window. “Sun’s down. Should be soon.”

A few minutes later, a bat appeared at the window.
“Let him in.”
“Excuse me? The bat?”
“My attorney.”
“Oh come on...”
I bared my teeth a bit, let my fur stand up.

He opened the window.

The bat flew in and, in one small poof, became Dracula, Attorney at Law.

The officer fainted and Drac flew us out of there. Works every time.


#12 Season of the Creep

The Creeping Season lasts only two weeks but it feels like forever. It comes the morning of the first frost, has for hundreds of years now. We just pray a lot and peek out the curtains to watch the fuzzy brown stuff creep out the forest and over the stream and onto the street and the grass and our sidewalks. It moves real slow, like it’s taking it’s time, the bastard.

When it’s gone after two weeks so’s one of our young ones. The creep has gotta eat, I guess. Maybe after the frost is when kids are in season?

throwing rocks at boys


Well, that's what they were doing. What possesses a group of 12 year old boys to think that throwing rocks at each other is a good, fun thing to do?

That's the garage window they broke. They FREAKED out. So I told them that they would all have to come over on Saturday and work for the money needed to replace the windows - and they'd have to bring their parents with them to see what they did. I told them to be prepared to mow the lawn, rake the leaves, clean out the gutters and trim the hedges.

Did I mention the window is plastic and will cost about ten dollars to replace?

I just figured that making them sweat it out and nearly piss their pants at the thought of what their parents would do to them was good enough punishment.

Am I evil? Yes, I am.

This Day in History

On Oct. 18, 1985, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) first went on sale in the United States

I would just like to take a moment to commemorate this historical event.

Happy Birthday, NES. I still love you now as much as I did when on the day you were born. Twenty years later, you still sit by my tv, right next to your offspring, the Game Cube. We anxiously await the next generation of Nintendo gaming. And while I may play with and bestow affection upon the other Nintendo systems, you will always hold a special place in my heart and forver remain my favorite. Thank you, NES. Thank you for Mario and Zelda, for Metroid and Kid Icarus, for Ninja Gaiden and for everything that came after you - SNES, Game Boy, N64, Game Cube - Happy Birthday.


Hang on, I'm getting verklempt.

Feel free to share your NES memories. What were your favorite games?

Musical Chairs Wednesday: I love Richard Cheese!

Today is Wednesday, which means Musical Chairs day and today's mission is to write about a song that is currently getting a lot of play in your music player of choice.

My chosen tune works on several levels here; it's a cover song, and cover songs just happens to be the new hall of fame category, and it reminds me very much of Halloween, which just happens to be around the corner.

Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine - Down With the Sickness. (I think I uploaded the version from Conan O'Brien rather than the CD version - don't have time to switch it out, but it's just as good)

The song was originally recorded by Disturbed, a band that I happen to like, much to the chagrin of some of my music purist friends. I really dig the guy's voice. But what I dig more is Richard Cheese's lounge singer affectation giving "Sickness" a whole new vibe, a surreal, twisted tone.

Heavy metal in its true form is hard to sing when you're a middle aged white woman with a singing voice reminiscent of a dying seal. But when you take a hard, mean, angry, obscenity filled song about hating your mother and give it a cheesy, breezy, night club feel, everyone wins. Even I can sing along. And I do, often taking the typical lounge singer stance and using whatever is handy (pencil, shampoo bottle, cell phone) as a faux microphone. There's something so delicious about singing Here it comes, get ready to die in Liberace mode.

Some of you may recognize this from the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead. In my opinion, the scene in which this song appears is the greatest juxtaposition of music and film ever recorded. It's a perfect, and using this cover version rather than the original was an absolute stroke of genius.

Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine cover all kinds of rock (Radiohead, Weezer, System of a Down, RATM, etc.) /popular classics (Hot in Here, Baby Got Back and more). You can check out more Richard Cheese at his ugly ass website here, download some samples of his covers here and buy his records here.

ASV Hall of Fame: "C" poll/Fresh, New, Exciting Category

[New category below the poll]

This is going to be one hot contest. For the first time, I have no clear prediction of who will win.

[this poll has ended]

And now, the new category.

BEST COVER OF A ROCK SONG. Pay attention to the rules here:

The cover must be of a ROCK SONG. So a band covering some Broadway tune or 70's bubblegum song (I'm think Me First and the Gimme Gimmes here) do NOT count.

Also: for the first time, non-rock musicians can get nominated, by virtue of having covered a rock song (see, Pat Boone, William Shatner).

Please give original artist when nominating, thank you.

Category idea courtesy of Solonor.

Update: Some of my nominations (I'll add as I think of more).

My criteria for nominating on this (and this is just me, not necessary as a rule) is that the cover has to be so profound as to make the song different; I like when an artist covers a song and makes it their own, instead of just doing a carbon copy of the original).

I would like to also nominate

Goldfinger's cover of Duran Duran's Rio
Vanilla Fudge's cover of The Supremes' You Keep Me Hanging On
Cake doing Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive

Van Halen doing the Kinks' You Really Got Me AND Roy Orbison's Pretty Woman
Type O doing Seals and Crofts' Summer Breeze AND Neil Young's Cinnamon Girl
Gary Jules' doing Tears For Fears' Mad World
Marilyn Manson doing Eurythmics' Sweet Dreams
Joe Cocker doing the Box Tops' The Letter

I think out of all of those Vanilla Fudge does the most to make someone else's song their own. If you never heard it, get it. I'll see if I can find a copy of it.

synchronizing armageddon

I went to sleep early last night and dreamed about the end of the world. It was the usual apocalyptic dream; fire, screaming, death, destruction, me trying to find my kids. I woke myself up when it got to be too much, watched an episode of Futurama and went back to sleep.

At 11:00, my husband came to bed (I did not tell him about my dream. I was half asleep). Around midnight, he started talking in his sleep (a common thing) which woke me up. He said: "So this is how we are all going to die?" He sounded more bemused than frightened. "Seriously, this is how it ends? Wow. Oh well, what are you gonna do?" And he let out a resigned chuckle.

Weird. Anyone else have armageddon dreams last night?

Maybe I don't want to know.

October 18, 2005

QOD: $$ edition

Could money bring you happiness? How much money would it take to make you happy?

And for all those that say "I have my family, I don't need anything else" I ask: wouldn't not having to worry about bills make you a happier person in general?

I ask this because I really do think that money CAN buy happiness and when people are asked this question, they don't separate money from the material things you can buy with money. The question is not "can a big screen tv and a fleet of Mercedes make you a happier person overall?" If I had enough money where I didn't have to live check to check, that would make me a much happier person than I am now. I'm not talking a mansion and a yacht. Just enough in the bank to pay the bills without having to lay in bed at night wondering how to stretch the budget this month.

That's my answer.

[this question void for people who are already rich]

random thought of the day

There is not a more egotistical man on the planet than Howard Stern.

And his ego is inversely proportionate to his entertainment value.

Hall of Fame: Cake or Death

Ok, no death. Just felt like saying that.

Cake takes the trophy home, finishing ahead of Tool. See results here.

I'll put up the poll for "C" bands later.

October 17, 2005



I totally missed this milestone yesterday.

This was my 10,000th post.

Ten. Thousand. Posts.


I guess I should say something profound on this dubious occasion.

Thank you.

[and maybe i should start looking into an alternate hobby]


You can still vote for underrated artist/band here (Cake is currently leading) and I'm still taking nominations for "C" bands on the same link.

Raining on a Prom Night

My new hero is Brother Kenneth M. Hoagland, Principal of Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, New York (interestingly enough, we had thought about enrolling Natalie in Kellenberg but the price was a bit too steep for us to juggle with the new house).

"It is not primarily the sex/booze/drugs that surround this event, as problematic as they might be; it is rather the flaunting of affluence, assuming exaggerated expenses, a pursuit of vanity for vanity's sake -- in a word, financial decadence," Hoagland said, fed up with what he called the "bacchanalian aspects."

"Each year it gets worse -- becomes more exaggerated, more expensive, more emotionally traumatic," he said.

"We are withdrawing from the battle and allowing the parents full responsibility. [Kellenberg] is willing to sponsor a prom, but not an orgy.

I want to walk right over to that school and hug this man and then implore my daughter's principal to take the same stance as Brother Hoagland. It's time to stop the nonsense.

The real problem is that half of the parents who are doing these things for their children - the lavish cocktail parties, the Hamptons rentals, the thousand dollar dresses - can barely afford it but do it to "keep up" with the other parents. It stops being about the kids at some point and becomes a) a way for parents to live vicariously through their teenagers and b) a way for parents to prove something to their kids and their friends, (i.e., that they are the "cool" parent) or c) evidence that some people think throwing money at your kids equals throwing love at them.

When Brother Hoagland says "orgy" he isn't talking about sex. He means the lavishness, the absolute decadent way in which parents turn prom night into an extravaganza worthy of Donald Trump. The sad part is, it's not just prom night. Have you seen the MTV show about Sweet 16s? It's enough to make you sick to your stomach. What is it with this generation of parents?

My prom night - over 25 years ago - cost, in today's terms, maybe a week's pay. My pay. Not my parent's. I bought my own dress. We chipped in for a limo, which only brought us to the prom, not home, because we couldn't afford to keep it all night. The after prom event was a party at a friend's house and breakfast cooked by his parents at 5am. That was as decadent as we got. And we had a blast.

In addition to the lack of financial responsibility being taught, there's the culture of permissiveness that often pervades the parent/child relationship. I am not a fan of adult-sponsored drinking parties. I don't subscribe to the "they're going to do it anyhow, they may as well do it supervised" school of thought. I'm more of a "let's teach them that they can have a good time without being fall-down drunk" person. And that puts me squarely in the minority. Why open this door for your kids? Why teach them that drinking is fun? Why let them engage in an activity that loosens your inhibitions and robs you of control over your actions? Parents who allow drinking parties to take place in their house (and the parents who allow their teenagers to attend) are setting their kids up for a disaster. That is not responsible parenting. Did I drink as a teenager? Yes, and worse. But we never did it with a parent's permission. It was unheard of back then. What is it about today's culture that makes this ok, that makes parents think it's just fine to have a group of drunk underage kids going wild in their house? I get into this discussion quite often with other parents (and some non-parents) and, for some reason, I'm always made out to be the bad guy because I think it's irresponsible to be so permissive.

Nor is it responsible parenting to spend $5,000 on a prom dress and thousands more to host a booze cruise for teenagers, in much the same way that I think it shows a lack of responsible parenting to buy your child a brand new car the day he turns seventeen or to turn your daughter's sweet sixteen into a mini-wedding, complete with white glove service.

Brother Hoagland sees all these problems and does not want to play host to them, and I applaud him for that. Kellenberg is a school that, as part of its mission, teaches moral responsibility and humility, among other things. That parents blatantly disregard the wishes of the principal of the school is astounding to me, considering they spend $6000 a year to send their kids to a "better" school. To disregard the basic tenets of that school in order to give their kids what amounts to very expensive drinking binges is almost laughable. Ask any of these parents and they'll tell you they send their children to a Catholic high school not just for the education, but to give them a solid moral and religious backdrop to their formative years. And then this. It's not just hypocritical, it's revolting.

Many parents (as well as students) in the many articles on this story expressed agreement with Brother Hoagland's stance. Obviously, those aren't the parents who are causing the problems in the first place. It's more about people like this:

Edward L., the father of a Kellenberg senior, said he and other parents are discussing whether to organize a prom without the sponsorship of the 2,500-student school. "This is my fourth child to go through Kellenberg and I don't think they have a right to judge what goes on after the prom," he said. "They put everybody in the category of drinkers and drug addicts. I don't believe that's the right thing to do."

Mr. L. fails to see that a) it's not just about the drinking and drugs and b) yes, they DO have a right to judge what goes on after the prom, because the prom has always been sponsored by the school. What one does after the Kellenberg prom is certainly a reflection on the school and its values; if something scandalous were to happen to Kellenberg students on prom night and it made the papers, people will associate the behavior with the school. The fact that this parent thinks that Brother Hoagland's action isn't the right thing to do speaks volumes about him and all the other mothers and fathers and kids who think some god-given right has been taken from them.

I know how hard is to raise teenagers in this time of over indulgence and rampant materialism. But my own mother and father gave me the best parenting lesson of all: Learn how to say NO. It's easy once you get the hang of it and your kids will be better people for it.

October 16, 2005

♪in the clutch♪

I got two emails today asking me about Clutch. They've come up a lot in the HoF voting, especially in the underrated band category and now in the C category. The closest I can come to describing Clutch is: Frank Zappa meets early Black Sabbath. Or, imagine a funkadelic sort of heavy metal with lyrics that warp your brain.

I've uploaded three songs for those who want a taste.

Shogun Named Marcus

Clutch site

Enjoy. I really want you to like this. If ranked by the strength of my passion, they would be second only to Faith No More on my favorites list.

n-o-s-m-o-k-i-n-g noooooooo smoking

Today is nine months since I've had a cigarette.

I just need to remind myself every once in a while that I was able to accomplish that.

Especially on days like today, when a certain offspring has made me want to smoke 40 cigarettes at the same time while drinking a pint of Jack Daniels.

Nine months. I could have had a baby since my last cigarette.


I just slapped myself upside the head.

Hall of Fame: Underrated Finalists
New Category

It is, once again, official. We Built This City is the WORST ROCK SONG EVER. See final results here. I am VERY surprised at a) the amount of people who hate American Pie and b) the amount of people who don't hate Paradise.

Moving on, we have the finalists for MOST UNDERRATED/UNDERAPPRECIATED ROCK BAND.

I threw out some of your nominations. There is no way in hell Alice in Chains or Bad Company are underrated. Cream, underrated? Are you serious? TALKING HEADS?

[poll has been completed]

And the new category is something really simple for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Let's go back to the alphabet.


last names for artists, please.

Update: Enough with the lists. Please try to stick to one or two.

October 15, 2005

fire in the sky

Didn't really feel much like blogging today, but I sure did feel like taking pictures of the sky being in a not-stormy stage.

Tonight, it was on fire.

I am really quite pleased with that one, if may say so myself.

moon-out-tonight fire-2


And quite pleased with the sky's trying to get back in good favor by being pretty.

I may get back to the HoF blogging tomorrow. Or I may not. it just might be a pumpkin picking kind of day.

always the sun

What can that be? Is that......blue in my sky? And what is that great big yellow thing?

I don't want to sound ungrateful, Mr. Sun, but where the fuck have you been for the past nine days?

blue-sky blue-skies sun-spot

magic erasers + triumph = progress

I've been on a cleaning rampage this morning and I've been flipping through the digital cable radio stations while I go at it when I got knocked upside the head with this:

The world is full of compromise, the infinite red tape
But the music's got the magic, it's your one chance for escape
So turn me on - turn me up - it's your turn to dream
A little magic power makes it better than it seems

I'm young, I'm wild and I'm free
I got the magic power of the music in me

I haven't heard, let alone thought about that song or band in many, many years. And now I clearly remember my sister's Triumph poster and the fact that she named her car Emmet after Triumph's lead singer.

October 14, 2005

ASV Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:
Bad Song Finalist, New Category

Your finalists are:

Vote away. You may choose to write in if you feel your choice was not represented.

And now, the new non-negative category, courtesy of Jay:

Most underrated/underappreciated rock band/artist (past or present)

My obvious answer is Faith No More, though I also nominate The Toadies and Iron Maiden (yes, they are underappreciated)

among the living*

So Captain Tripps is alive and well and living in Turkey.

You going to Boulder or Vegas?

Me, I'm gonna hook up with Randall and head for the city of sin. If I'm going to go out, I'd rather it be in a blaze of glory than sitting on some old lady's porch whittling or whatever.

Come on down and meet your maker.................*

Vegas, baby, Vegas. Who's with me?

The amazing band Self does a tune called Baby Can You Dig Your Man, the refrain taken from the song referenced throughout the book.

ASV Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: One Hit Winner

We finally have a winner in the One Hit Wonder category. It was soooooooo close and I'm surprised (and happy) that Spirit in the Sky made such a strong showing. It's really a great song. The winner is:

[cliick for bigger].

You can see the poll results here.

For your listening pleasure: Vapors - Turning Japanese

The nominations for worst rock song are coming in hot and heavy; I have no idea how I'm going to narrow these down to finalists.

Meanwhile, suggestions for next category needed. And an ark.

October 13, 2005

who wants to ride on my boat of negativity?
aka, the ASV hall of fame now has a BAD SONG wing

I've decided to hold off on the guitar solos category for a while, for various reasons. And the voting still goes on for One Hit Wonder.

As we have RAIN RAIN RAIN and wind again today (that's seven days in a row and counting) I am in a MOOD. So I've decided, in honor of the black cloud hanging over my head right now, to open a wing in the Hall of Fame for all the bad songs and bads and whatnot. And we'll start with that baddest of bad categories:

What is the WORST ROCK SONG EVER? The song you hate the most, the song that makes you run screaming out of the room when it comes on the stereo, the song that you would stab somebody over, the song that has the worst lyrics, the worst beat, the most insipid melody or that reminds you of that whore that broke your heart or the band that didn't know when to call it quits or maybe you just have some vitriolic reaction to a certain song and you don't know why or don't care you just LOATHE it becuase it's BAD. Remember, it has to be rock. No Muskrat Love or Macarthur Park or anything from disco hell.

sweet tooth

It's October and a woman/man's thoughts turn to candy!

I think this is the fourth in my collage series, though I could swear I did more. This is also the easiest.

Some of the candies are old and nostalgic, some are current, some images are of the candy itself, some of the wrapper or logo. Have fun.

click for bigger.

[I'll be turning your guesses into white font - unless you know how to do that, then please do - in deference to those who may want to guess after you - so if you want to see someone's answers, just scroll and highlight]

Update: answers below

1. Dots
2. Bottle Caps
3. Big League Chewing Gum
4. Necco Wafers
5. Violet Gum
6. Candy Necklace
7. Kit Kat
8. Charleston Chew
9. Pez
10. Jolly Ranchers
11. Fun Dip
12. Life Savers
13. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
14. Good n Plenty
15. Runts
16. Sweet Tarts
17. Pixie Stix
18. Bazooka Bubble Gum
19. Sugar Daddy
20. Pop Rocks
21 Butterfinger
22. Hershey Bar
23. Now and Later
24. Tootsie Pops
25. Warheads
26. Milky Way
27. Twix
28. York Peppermint Patty
29. Snickers
30. Skittles
31. Lemonheads
32. Wax Bottles
33. Bit o Honey
34.Candy Cigarettes
35. Watchamacallit
36. Almond Joy
37. Red Hots
38. Razzles
39. Mary Janes
40. Zots
41. Smartees
42. Payday
43. Krackle Bar
44. AirHeads
45. Junior Mints
46. Whoppers
47. Bubble Yum
48. BB Bats
49. Boston Baked Beans

October 12, 2005

quickie movie review: Corpse Bride


One part Beetlejuice
One part Nightmare Before Christmas
One part Grim Fandango

Put them in a blender with a heaping servings each of love, romance and humor.

And that's Corpse Bride.

Wonderful movie.

ASV Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: One Hit Finalists

And finally, the One Hit Wonder finalists. Vote away.

[poll has been finished]

You can still nominate guitar solos here.

Going to see Corpse Bride in a bit.

complaining about something i can't do anything about


This is about day six of rain. It's going to rain right up into Saturday. And it's not just light rain or drizzle, no. It's pounding rain and wind that kept us up all night long. This is god damn depressing. It's ruining my Halloween decorating plans and the constant gray and wet is putting me into a funk.

I'm waiting for the ark to show up. Of course, they probably won't let me on board. Who the hell wants the responsibility of repopulating the world, anyhow? And how hard is it to have all that sex when you're surrounded by the wild kingdom?

I'll tell you what, though. I wouldn't forget the unicorn. I'll never forgive you for that, Noah, you incestuous unicorn hater.

Musical Chairs Wednesday: Going Solo!
with new Hall of Fame category goodness!

This being Wednesday, it's a Musical Chairs day (we took a break last week). Today's topic is a tried and true one, but one music fans never tire of talking about: Favorite guitar solo. [Favorite, not BEST, big distinction!]

You're waiting for something Eddie Van Halen, aren't you? Given my near religious devotion to the guy and his guitar work, you wouldn't be wrong for thinking that. But no, there is no Eruption here. Instead, I choose what some may call a cliche pick:

david3.jpgDavid Gilmour - Comfortably Numb

There's something that Gilmour can do with his guitar that so many of the others can't - speak to me. The solo in Comfortably Numb isn't just notes being played, it isn't just fingers moving up and down the board. It's Gilmour's version of poetry, of resonance and of emotion. It's singing without the words. What some artists can do with their voices, Gilmour can do with his guitar and that is never more evident than on the last minutes of Comfortably Numb, when Gilmour wraps up all the angst and sandess, the loneliness and emptiness of the song and emotes with his guitar. Each note is like a little pinprick in your heart. When I listen to CN and the solo begins, I almost sing along, as if each note was a lyric and not just music. That's what makes it my favorite.

Others considered here: Hendrix on Little Wing, for its emotion.. John Petrucci on Lines in the Sand, for the technical aspect. I'm not a huge Dream Theater fan but man, that guy can play. Clapton on Layla; poetry in motion. Dimebag on Floods, because Dimebag does not get enough recognition for what he could do with a guitar. Dave Navarro on Three Days, because it puts me in a place. Page on Heartbreaker because it was the first solo that ever kicked my ass. And, yes Collins/Rossington on Freebird. While that might not be a technical masterpiece, it certainly makes me want to stop whatever I'm doing and play air guitar. Can't ask for much more than that.

But my winner is, for all the reasons mentioned above (and please, please keep in mind this is FAVORITE and not BEST) Comfortably Numb.

I see one Tesco has already put something up on Gilmour before I did. Good taste!

So, while I have you all here and because you're going to tell me your favorite solos anyhow, I officially make this the next Hall of Fame category. Have at it.

Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb from Live 8 mp3

October 11, 2005

ASV Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: And the Winner is:


Depeche Mode slipped by Duran Duran to take the honors. Final standings here.

I'm not putting up the poll for One Hit Wonder yet as I've had a medical thing tonight (I believe the diagnosis is: an alien has burrowed into my collar bone and is going to pop its way out soon. Either that or tuberculosis) and I'm going to go sit on the couch and milk it for a while (Oh, I'm...so....weak, fetch mother a glass of vodak water, dear. OHHH it's the vapors, someone get me a pillow and rub my feet!). So you may still make nominations there.

Suggestion box for the next category officially open.

Anyone who says "fire Torre" gets a cockpunch

I'll start with NBCSports.com contributor JT the Brick: Enough's enough — fire Torre, Cashman

JT the Brick? You go through life calling yourself that? That's two cockpunches for you, then.

I am totally down with the Fire Cashman sentiment. But not Torre.

You blame the front office for trading off talent for that grab at instant gratification. You blame Steinbrenner for sitting back while the team is taken apart. You blame some of the players for their failure to come through when it matters most. You blame Cashman, most of all, who at one time was considered a genius but lately leaves Yankee fans questioning his moves rather than applauding them.

You don't blame Torre.

If they fire him I swear I will drain the Yankee blue out of my blood.

Update: Ed makes a valid point in the comments:

Cashman saved the season by bringing in Chacon, Aaron Small and Robinson Cano. He should stay, too.

Fine, he can stay. But I am still adamant about Torre not going anywhere.

vote early, vote often, and remember that your host loves depeche mode

Depeche Mode has eked out a very, very small lead right now.

Poll closes in ONE HOUR. Get those votes in now.

fright nights

I have no idea what I started searching for when I ended up in a roundabout way on this blog, which led me to an mp3 of Barnabas's theme music from Dark Shadows. Download and listen. Spooky! Creepy!

There's so much I miss about the old days of television, Dark Shadows foremost among them. A gothic soap opera about vampires shown in the afternoon on broadcast television? You certainly wouldn't see that today. Sure, today's tv gives us Charmed and Buffy and all kinds of sci-fi and otherwordly action, but it's all suffused with humor or irony or pop culture cliches that it never scares. I want television that scares me or at least makes me shiver.

Back in the day (in the stone age), it wasn't hard to find a good fright on the tube. We (in NY at least had the ABC 4:30 ,movie and very often they showed classic horror movies, most of the Vincent Price variety. Pit and the Pendulum. The Fly. Fall of the House of Usher. Masque of the Red Death. House of Wax.

Sometimes they would Japanese Monster week and I'd get to see my old friend Mothra. And a whole variety of monsters and creeps made their showing on the 4:30 movies: The Blob, Killer Bees, Food of the Gods, Terror of Mechagodzilla, Empire of the Ants, Creeping Flesh, Destroy All Planets and my favorite, Crowhaven Farm. It was a veritable feast of horror and sci fi and things that made your skin crawl.

And then there was Chiller Theater.

Chiller Theater aired from 1973-1982 on WPIX on Saturday nights. It showed mostly campy B movies like I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, The Tingler and Burn, Witch, Burn! as well as the usual plethora of scary/sci fi camp with cheesy names like Panic in Year Zero! or Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women, The Brain That Wouldn't Die! and The Navy v. The Night Monsters.

The best part of Chiller Theater was the opening:

Channel 11 on Saturday night: a drawing of a swamp with a dead tree in the background plus eerie moaning sounds. Suddenly, a huge claymation hand with six fingers appears while the words "CHILLER" magically grow in clay out of the animated swamp. The six-fingered creature then swallows the letters and when its appetite is satisfied, it lets out a deep and roaring...."CHILLLLLLLERRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!"

They just don't do tv like that anymore. They don't even make movies like those anymore. What was the last good movie monster or boogyman? Where' s today's scream queens? Everything is overprocessed, slick and too clever for its own good. I need a good B movie marathon.

So let's do that for this year's Hallloween movie suggestion survey. I've just decided that the theme for our 2005 Halloween party is going to be Back in the Day aka B Movies and Campy Horror or whatever clever name you can give it. I'm going to dig up ever scream fest film from my past I can find and make my own Chiller Theater. I hope they are as chilling as I remember them to be. I want to be scared, damn it, and your newfangled horror movies are JUST NOT DOING IT FOR ME!

There's a plethora (sorry, Iove that word) of classic horror movie reviews over at this blog. Let's hear your favorite old school horror titles (and I mean before 1980, preferably much older than that). I want mummies and gothic horror, vampires and sinister villians, the occult and towns where strange things happen behind closed doors, unbelievable monsters and women screaming in peril and insects larger than houses and titles exlamations points!!! Screaming! Terror! Chills and Thrills! You get the picture...

the saga of the yankees season summed up in one set of statistics

Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: A Rodriguez 1, R Cano 1, H Matsui 3
Team LOB: 11

Which is pretty much a microcosm of their season.

And now, allow me a moment to vent.

I hate you, Alex Rodriguez. Always have, always will. You are a fraud and a thief (figuratively speaking).

2-15. 0 RBI in the series.

A-Rod is the Don Baylor of his time - empty home run hitter that can hit them out of the park when the game is already won or lost, but when the game is on the line, he's a freaking liability to have at the plate. Someone get me a stat on how many runners A-Rod left in scoring position this year.

Let us now turn our thoughts to hockey.

P.S. In regards to gloating (see comments in post below): Of course, I deserve whatever I get. Such is the way of sports fandom. You dish it out, you take it back. It's all part of the game.

October 10, 2005


I'm going out and might not be home for the start of the game so I have to post this now.

I am so fucking nervous I am carrying a package of Tums around with me.

I'm going to watch the game horror movie style, with my hands over my eyes.


I don't know if I can watch.

Update [9:00] I swear, sometimes I want to kick A-Rod's ass. Hard.



Argh. I'm going to watch the rest of the game by not watching the rest of the game. I'll do laundry while pretending to pay attention. Feel free to comment on the game, as I won't be.

ASV Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: New Wave Finalists
And a New Category


I have a feeling this is going to be the most hotly contested poll thus far. The four finalists are New Order, The Cars, Depeche Mode and Duran Duran.

I like each band in their own right and, despite suffering from damp panties syndrome over Simon LeBon many years ago, I am voting for Depeche Mode, for quality of overall catalog.

[this poll has been completed. please see HoF link below for winner]


By popular demand: ONE HIT WONDER. Please remember, - this is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Rock and Roll, for this purpose, covering all these genres). And by ONE HIT WONDER, I mean:

In the music industry, a one-hit wonder is an artist who is generally known for only one hit (A base hit on which the batter stops safely at first base) single. It also applies to any group which charts only one single into the upper reaches of the (Click link for more info and facts about Billboard Magazine) Billboard Magazine album charts, or the relevant local album charts.

My immediate choice for this category is Seven Mary Three's Cumbersome.

PLEASE NOTE: This has been cross posted at Blogcritics, so I will wait for some nominations from that post and combine them before I make the poll for this one.

random camera phone picture: exploitation in b flat

[click for bigger]Guitar Center, Carle Place, NY

We went to GC yesterday to look at amps. DJ wants to move up from his Line 6 to a Marshall or Crate and we did some early Christmas/birthday browsing yesterday [we decided on the Crate GLS 1200 head and the G412st cab].

As always, DJ spent about two hours trying out various guitars and amps. GC on a Saturday or Sunday is a cacophony of aspiring guitar heros all playing different riffs at once. But a funny thing happened once DJ got into a groove. Everyone stopped playing. They all stopped to watch/listen to this 12 year old kids play the guitar. Teenagers, adults, customers, employees. They all at some point came up to me and asked a million questions. How old is he? How long has he been playing? Do you realize how good he is? What's his name so I can tell people years from now that I saw him play before he was famous? It was something to see the older teens and the 20somethings come over to watch him.

One 60ish man (who had been playing a beautiful tune on an acoustic and I forgot to ask him what it was) told me that I should "get him out there" now. Ok. So how do I do that? How does one go about being "discovered" by the music industry? One guy said something about getting him into a studio. Fine, but do you just record him on the guitar alone? Should he have a band with him?

I know there are quite a few of you guitar types out there. Help me out. I'd really like to make DJ rich and famous so I can exploit him while he's still young and marketable have DJ use his skills in a way that befits mankind.

[I'll try to record him playing later, if anyone is interested in hearing. For the record, he was playing Panama when the crowd formed]

October 09, 2005

song of the evening (new wave poll edition)

Yes, I count New Order as new wave. So do the historians, man!

This song is one of the best songs to come out of the new wave era. You might argue that if I were to choose a New Order song, it should be Blue Monday or Bizarre Love Triangle, but you would be WRONG, oh puny humans.

Up, down, turn around
Please don't let me hit the ground
Tonight I think I'll walk alone
I'll find my soul as I go home

Remember how last night I was talking about songs that make you feel like you are stabbing yourself in the heart? Well this has just the opposite affect. It makes me smile. It warms my heart. It reminds me of everything that was good about the early to mid 80's. It reminds me of working at Record World, of a winter spent in love, of Pat and the Dead Virgins and peformance art punk rock at local clubs and dancing at Spit. Not to mention that it's a bloody briliant song.

Oh, you've got green eyes
Oh, you've got blue eyes
Oh, you've got grey eyes
And I've never seen anyone quite like you before
No, I've never met anyone quite like you before

New Order - Tempation (mp3)
Thank you to Lesley for the file.

Now go place your votes.

tonight's random question

Via the husband.

What's your favorite movie that was released before you were born?

Here's mine:

on and the seventh day, there was sex

Today is National Porn Sunday, sponsored by churches across the nation and brought to you by the world's number one Christian porn site.

So dress appropriately when you go to church today. And you might want to leave the kids home.

Today's hymn: bow-chicka-bow-wow.

I will now refrain from making a thousand jokes about sex in church.

Happy Porn Day, everyone. While some of you will go to church and talk about America's "dirty little secret" and whisper about the morals of people who just so happen to like the pornography, I'm going to download some of the free sex stuff and bask in the visuals of dirty, deviant sex afforded to me by this great land of the free, home of the brave where adults can still look at people having consensual sex without it being a crime.

I am part of America's dirty little secret.

Update: Help yourself to some porn from my favorite porn huckster. Yes, I know a porn huckster. And need I say NSFW?

ASV Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Like, Oh My God, it's the 80's!

Looking at the track listing to Grosse Point Blank - and judging from responses to all these categories, plus several other times I've mentioned it here - you people love your new wave. Which is a good thing, as I love new wave, too.
So, yes. We are now going with the wide-open, generic categories of Best New Wave Band/Artis AND Best New Wave song. First, we shall define and set some parameters.

New wave is not punk. The Clash, Blondie, etc. are punk. If a band was defined as punk first, they don't count for this category. We're talking synthesizers and funny hair, here. Skinny ties. 12 inch dance remixes. Mostly 80's bands (though some did get their start as early as 1976) and only through about 1986 at that.

New wave covers a variety of sub genres including goth (Bauhaus, early Cure), synthpop (Depeche Mode, Soft Cell), and the new wave brand of Ska (Madness, the Specials). It goes from the Cars to Duran Duran, from Killing Joke to the Violent Femmes. (see here for more details on this). When you think new wave, you think Flock of Seagulls and Split Enz. You might also think New Order and Joy Division, Ultravox and the Boomtown Rats. There are literally thousands of new wave bands and songs to choose from. I, for one, don't think I could even narrow it down to one in this category, as this genre by far takes up the most room in my CD collection and I could go on about these songs and artists forever. But that's what you're here for. To do the choosing for me.

For further reference:

My favorite new wave songs
The punk v. new wave discussion
Punk v. new wave part II

For those unsure about the specificaitons, please click on the links provided in the post before you cast your vote to get some ideas and to make sure you are staying within the category. The artist thing is wide open, but for the song, try to pick one that really defines the new wave movement for you. You can vote for both categories or just one, doesn't matter. So, to reiterate:


I'll be right over here, going through my twelve inch remix vinyl and reminsicing about the nights dancing to Steven "Tin Tin" Duffy's Kiss Me on top of a speaker in a night club called Spit. I'll also upload some choice songs for you later.

October 08, 2005

random thought of the evening

So, you ever just sitting there listening to the radio or iTunes or whatever random music device you use and a song comes on that reminds you of something, or some place or somebody, but in such a specific, raw, terrible way that it feels like you are being kicked in the gut over and over and over until you just might puke, yet you keep listening anyhow?

Just wondering.

Oh, and I adopted a hedgehog.

adopt your own virtual pet!

Gave him the obvious name/color.

Haha keep clicking him. My god, I am easily amused.

A reminder about Boobies

Today is the last day of the Boobiethon. Head on over and give a couple of dollars for a very, very worthy cause.

If you end up being the 150th donor, you will receive access to the (uncovered) pay-per-boobies page regardless of the donation amount

I finally submitted my twins today. For the first time, I went uncovered.

boobie-thon 2005

Thanks to Robyn and crew for raising money once again for the Susan B. Komen foundation. It takes a lot of work to make these fund drives work and these gals and guys have pulled it off successfully each year.

ASV Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Soundtrack Voting
(New category needed)

[voting has finished in this category, please see HoF link below for winner]

And a bonus: Downloads of three songs representing various soundtracks.

Faith No More and Boo-Ya Tribe - Another Body Murdered (Judgment Night)
Incubus and DJ Greyboy -Familiar (Spawn)
The Jam - Absolute Beginners (Grosse Point Blank)

Still haven't decided on a new category. Surely someone can come up with something good?


October 07, 2005

the best movie I've seen that no one ever seems to mention, remember or acknowledge existing

Turk 182

Honorable mention:

Interstate 60


Am I gloating? You bet your god damn cleats I'm gloating. It doesn't even matter what the Yankees are doing right now or end up doing. I'm talking about right here, right now, the Red Sox being swept out of the playoffs.

This is for every comment I got last year, every email, every phone call I received when Boston beat the Yankees. This is for every gloat you threw at me, for every taunt and insult and laugh, for all the taunt and insults and laughs and smugness that lasted well into the winter and right through this season, for every person who emailed me the picture of that snotty little kid in the photoshopped Sox uniform giving the finger, for my father and every other Met fan that took it upon themselves to throw ridicule at the Yankees in the name of Boston, for every smug, nasty, vitriolic, asswipe of a Boston fan who felt the need to shove their series win in my face every chance they could even though I never did that to them when the Yankees won:

Update: Uh, in case you didn't get this part, I'll say it again: It doesn't even matter what the Yankees are doing right now or end up doing. I'm talking about right here, right now, the Red Sox being swept out of the playoffs.

Yes, the Yankees lost (though they're not out of it yet). But I'm not expecting big things from them, anyhow. In fact, I never thought they would even make it to the playoffs - I've picked the Cardinals to win the whole thing. I am just downright gleeful that the World Series champions couldn't even win one playoff game in their attempt to repeat. And I don' t think you understand why I feel this way. See, anytime the Yankees have won the World Series, I've concentrated my efforts on being happy my team won and celebrating that fact. About 90% of Sox fans last year spent way too much of their post-win energy last year (and into this season) acting like bullies who just shoved a kid's face in the mud. That's why I gloat when your team loses.

So you can gloat all you want if the Yankees lose this series and even think you are throwing my own shit back at me. Won't matter. I don't care. And don't for one second pretend that you wouldn't be doing the very same thing if the tables were turned. We all turn into jerks when we put our favorite sports' teams caps on. It's part of the game.

Rude Boys

Today is World Smile Day.

The website says time. "Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile."

I got your smile right here, buddy.

Didn't you hear? Good manners are dead. Forgotten. Gone. Kindness to strangers? Pfft. Courtesy? Extinct.

As a matter of fact, just yesterday I was making a mental list of all the rudeness I came across during the day. Now, I'm not saying I'm the world's most mannerful, polite person, but I do know how to extend courtesies to my fellow humam beings; hold open doors, let other drivers merge into traffic, hold the elevator for an approaching rider, - little things like that. They should be ingrained, done without thinking about it. But we seem to live in an age where people are raised to believe that they are the only person that exists on the planet, or at least the only person that matters. It's hard to have a World Smile Day when 90% of your day is dealing with stupid assnuts who think the rules don't apply to them and you are just an insignificant zit on their private planet.

And so, the mental list I made yesterday of how to know if you are the kind of person who annoys the piss out of me and have ruined whatever sentiments World Smile Day might have had for me if I were a sentimental sort of person:

  • Your cell phone volume goes to 11
  • You spend your entire time in the grocery store yapping into your headphone thing. Do we really need to know about your date last night and how it hurts when you pee now?
  • You talk during a movie. Worse, you explain upcoming plot points to the people you're with.
  • You wait until the cashier has rang up your order, bagged your order and is standing there tapping her fingers waiting for you until you dig through your purse for your wallet.
  • You barge into the elevator before anyone has gotten off.
  • You do not let people merge in traffic
  • You throw cigarette butts/garbage out your car window
  • You and the crony next door stand in your front yard at 6am blabbering at high volume while your bitchy little dogs bark at each other
  • You deliver newspapers in the morning (5am) with William Hung's version of that Ricky Martin song blasting on the car stereo
  • You beep five hundred times in front of your boyfriend's house instead of maybe beeping once politely or going to the door to get him, and you blast Loverboy while you do this
  • You have not taught your children basic manners like please, thank you, may I
  • You jaywalk and expect cars will just come to a screeching halt so your majesty can cross the street without paying attention to the rules
  • You proceed into interesections knowing full well the light is going to turn red while you are in the middle
  • You don't use turn signals
  • You pee on the seat in a public toilet. I understand if you don't want to sit all the way down on the seat (cooties and all), but have the courtesy to not leave your piss there for the next person.
  • You think "no parking any time" does not apply to you
  • You park in handicapped spots even if you're not. Mental handicaps do not apply
  • You sit in the aisle at Border's without so much as budging when someone wants to get through. Yea, I'm talking to you, fanboy.
  • You don't shower. In the summer. And wear the same shirt day after day.
  • You have a mouth like a truck driver. This isn't a terrible thing, but it is when you use it in public places, within earshot of everyone, including children and the elderly and maybe even a nun or two.
  • You nail your garage sale sign to telephone poles and tree trunks all over town and don't take them down when your sale is over.

I'll add more later. I'm sure you have your own to add.

Into the fire, again


Yes, I am giving this a whirl again. I did it in 2001 and 2002 and failed miserably both times. Maybe a two year hiatus is just what I needed.

I'm taking a different approach this time, one that I'm not even sure is qualified in the NaNoWriMo rules.

ASV Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: San Dimas High School Football Rules!

[click for bigger]

The truth is, Wyld Stallyns will never be a super band until we have Eddie Van Halen on guitar.

You can still make nominations for soundtracks; I won't be putting that poll up until later.

Next category? I'm thinking something to do with new wave. We haven't been there yet.

random snapshot


DJ getting a hit last night. Stole second, went to third on a grounder and was walked home. His (horrid) fall league team won their first game of the short season.

More recent photos here.

October 06, 2005

The Evening QOD

[as I steal yet another survey question from fark]

DeNiro or Pacino?

terror warning: rumor level is heightened!

Not being near a radio or tv and relying on people to give you information - solid, truthful information without hearsay or innuendo or editorializing - is about as useful as playing a game of telephone.

By the time I left DJ's baseball game, my combined "sources" confirmed to me that 25 or 19 or 2 people were plotting to blow up/gas the subway by putting bombs inside babies, or dress bombs as babies, and that these people were definitely from overseas but possibly from the states, and could be here already or they haven't arrived yet and their arrest is imminent, the feds are waiting at the airport for them already and that they are most likey Iraqi insurgents with ties to al Qaeda, but who could also be Americans with ties to that Sooner go Boomer guy and that the subway would explode either right before the Yankee game tomorrow night or next week, on Yom Kippur and that its all in retaliation for: our love of the Joooos, the war in Iraq, Jessica Simpson's impending divorce and/or a covert plot to make us drive cars instead of use the subway, hence making us use more oil; AND that it's all a pack of lies and a grand scheme to take the spotlight off of the fact that Karl Rove is going to federal pound-you-in-the-ass prison and either way, if you are in New York City you should report any and ALL women with strollers because any one of them could be terrorists in drag and you should probably poke their babies in the side or something just to make sure they are real and not bomb and we are all going to die.

Back up in your ass with the resurrection.

Changes to Fictional Band Poll
[Someone call Al Gore]

After much consultation with various experts in the field, the Blues Brothers have been taken off the Best Fictional Band poll.

Please revote accordingly.

[this poll has been completed] See Hall of Fame link below for winner.

ASV Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Fictional Finalists
New Categories:
Soundtracks and Movie Songs

Poll has been moved to the post above this one.

New category: Soundtracks. But, with an added bonus. Not only do I want you to nominate ROCK soundtracks (please keep in mind that this is a ROCK hall of fame and your disco/classical /other soundtracks are of no importance here) but I want you to also nominate a song: best use of a rock song in a movie. Your song does NOT have to be from the soundtrack you nominate, nor do you have to vote on both if you don't want to.

[added: for the purpose of this hall of fame, rock and roll can be defined as any music that falls into any of the genres of music that pertain in any way to rock, those being, and this is not a full list,: rock, metal, new wave, death metal, thrash metal, hard rock, grunge rock, techno, industrial, hair metal, classic rock, cock rock, etc. - I think you get it)


I'll start you off by nominating the Spawn soundtrack, for its amazing mix of metal and techno (Slayer and Atari Teenage Riot together at last!). I have listened to that CD, without exagerration, at least 1,000 times.

Also, the Singles soundtrack needs to be noted. It's everything good that came out Seattle without the crap. Listening to Chris Cornell sings Seasons can make me melt into a puddle of goo.

To be updated.

Also: Detroit Rock City. The ultiimate head banging soundtrack.

There Can Be Only One
Or, why the Warriors without baseball furies will suck

warriors.jpgAs you well know, I have issues with movie remakes. Sometimes, it seems all that movie industry is concentrating on now is remakes, updates, retellings and sequels. If you put all the people in Hollywood together, you might come up with one original idea between them. And this isn't it:

The Warriors is being remade by MTV Productions in conjunction with Paramount Pictures. This movie isn't really a remake at all since it is going to be set in Los Angeles in 2006 and none of the character names or gangs from the original movie will be in it.

Why? Why even call it The Warriors if it's going to be a completely different movie, except to cash in on the cult following of this pop-culture icon of bad movies? This is NOT a remake. Says director Tony Scott of the new Crips v. Blood version:

"You'll still get the same story, but we're reconstructing the family, reconstructing the characters, and I'm doing it in L.A. The original was in New York and everything went upwards; L.A. goes [length-wise]. And instead of 30 gang members, there's going to be 3,000 or 5,000.

Fuck you, Tony. That's not the same story. It's a completely different story with a stolen title and ready-made audience. The rumor mill says this is a rap-oriented movie and names floated around for starring roles include Ja Rule, 50 Cent and Method Man. You know what happens when you take a movie and try to make a full length MTV video out of it? You end up with Romeo and Juliet starring Leonardo DiCaprio.That, my friends, is not a good thing.

Warriors is the best in bad movies. It's cheesy, it's over-the-top, it's ridiculous in many ways. It was never meant to be a gritty urban drama about the dangers of gang violence and, according to interviews, it wasn't even supposed to be social commentary. Warriors was a fable. It was a fantasy. You can tell by the scenery, the directing, even the cinematography, that the movie was more of a nightmare dreamscape than anything based in reality. And now they are turning it into the very gritty urban drama it was never meant to be.

Scott prides himself on the fact that he is using real "gangbangers" in his production of the movie, referring to the real-life thugs as the boys several times. Ah, let's glorify gang violence and give it a nice Hollywood glow while we're at it. Fanfuckingtastic, Scott!

bfury.jpgIf you are of the same era as me, "Warriors, come out and playeeeyaaay" is part of your venacular. It pains me to think that years from now, I'm going to say something about 'The Warriors" and someone will say "which one?" You're not supposed to think Crips and Bloods and LA when you think Warriors.

And there will be NO BASEBALL FURIES. You hear that? They are taking the name of The Warriors for this blaspheme of a remake and there will be NO BASEBALL FURIES!

This is all part of a concerted effort to usurp every single thing from my childhood (did you know Weebles are back?) and pass ownership on to a different generation. Get your own damn catchphrases and stop ripping us off, man.

And I swear on everything that is holy in this world, if anyone ever tries to remake The Outsiders, I will kill them. Dead. With my bare hands. This I promise you.

Can you dig it?

October 05, 2005

50 Halloween Stories: #7

Yes, I'm very behind. And this one is on the longer side of short.

As always, keep in mind that this is a first draft, unedited, and read only by a friend who seemd to like it enough for me to post it.

As Luck Would Have It

"What's that on you?"
Chrissy looked down to where her sister was pointing. "I think that's a cricket!" She picked the bug up with her thumb and forefinger and held it in front of her sister. "Yes, I'd say it's a cricket."

Belinda examined the bug. "A cricket, eh? I hear it's good luck to find one in your house."
"I wonder if it's good luck to find one on your jeans as well?"
Chrissy dropped the cricket to the ground. "Probably not. Good Luck is usually very specific about its rules and whatnot."
"That it is." And the two sisters left the playground then and began the walk home, talking about Good Luck and its rules the whole way.

Later that night, after supper and homework and a particularly gruesome bedtime story from their mother, they whispered to each other in the dark of the bedroom.

"I didn't like that story much, Belinda."
"No, I have to say I didn't like it, either. I don't care for stories with bad endings."
"Do you think that the monster really ate the children or do you suppose they escaped at some point?"
"I don't want to think about it. Let's get some sleep."

They lay in the quiet for a bit, both contemplating the vague ending of The Monster Who Loved Children.

"What's that sound? Do you hear it?"
Chrissy sat up and listened. "It's a chirping."
"It's a cricket."
"Oh! Cricket in the house! Good luck!" Chrissy jumped out of bed and started searching for the cricket.
"I think it's outside, not in here."
"Hush, Belinda. I can't follow the sound if you talk."

The girls were whispering, afraid to let their mother - who was very strict with rules and regulations pertaining to nighttime - hear them up and talking.

So Chrissy and Belinda soft-shoed across the room in their stocking feet. They cocked their heads and listened like cats on the prowl for a renegade mouse and every time they thought they figured out where the chirping was coming from, the sound bounced and jumped and moved to another side of the room.

"Well, it's certainly in the house, not out of it," said Belinda.
"I don't know about that, Belinda. I think it's coming from the window."
"No, I'm sure it was coming from behind the dresser."
"No, over here..." Chrissy was pushing the window upward.
"Don't, Chrissy!" But she had already moved the window up and was scanning the screen, looking for a cricket hanging onto the mesh. Belinda came running, wanting only to get her sister to close the window, lest the draft come in and float under their door and into the hallway and down the stairs and into the living room and crawl right under their mother's blanket, chilling her bones and whispering to her that the upstairs window was wide open and her daughters were awake and out of bed.

Belinda tripped over Chrissy's shoe. As she tripped, she put her arms out to brace for the fall, but not wanting to fall onto the floor and shake the living room ceiling in the process, she instead propelled herself forward, arms outstretched, hoping to end up against her sister, who would break her fall and keep her from tumbling to the floor. Except that's not what happened at all. Instead, Belinda's momentum carried her too fast toward Chrissy and she crashed into her sister, which made her sister crash into the screen, which made the screen push out of the window frame, which, made Chrissy go forward and out with the screen and, Belinda being a force in motion that would stay in motion, she sort of tumbled into Chrissy who was already tumbling after the screen and they both sailed out of the window and they both fell hard to the ground below.

They ended up entangled in a crop of vines and leaves and assorted weeds. The screen was torn and when Chrissy tried to untangle herself rom it, the ragged pieces of metal bit into her arm like small cat scratches.

"Of all the bad luck...."
"What in the world were you thinking, Chrissy?"
"Me? You're the one who came flying at me like a crazy helicopter!"
"I tripped over your shoes!"
"You should have just let me get the cricket."

Belinda brushed soil and dried leaf crumbs from her pajamas. "What were you going to do with it when you got it?" She was whispering fiercely; she was mad enough at the whole scenario to yell, but they had fallen right outside the living room window.
"Bring it in the house, of course!" Chrissy looked at once frustrated and sad.
"Whatever for?"
"The luck! Belinda, we have to find a way to get Good Luck to come in our house. This was it, the cricket was it!"
"Shhhhh..." Belinda put a finger to her sister's lips. "Mother is right behind these blinds here." She glanced at the window.
Chrissy choked back a sob. "Haven't you had enough of Bad Luck, Belinda?"
"I don't know what you mean."
"Yes, you do. Start with grandfather and work your way down to right now, with us lying here all scratched up in the garden."

It was true, of course. Bad Luck had plagued them like an airborne, invisible disease for years and it was as if they were only now noticing, like a furnace had been leaking all their lives and they had just gotten a whiff of the poisonous, gassy smell that lingered in their home. And once you notice something like that, then you notice it in retrospect as well. Yes, yes, that smell has always been here now that I think of it.

Their beloved grandfather had, many years ago, stepped on the bottom of a rake and the handle shot up, hit him in the head in such a way that it knocked his brain out place and killed him. That was the first bad thing they remembered. And it wasn't just all death and horrible things happening to people ("I shudder when I think of the day Aunt Polly was hanging the clothes..."), it was a black cloud of defeat that engulfed their home and family, the way nothing at all would grow in their garden except weeds and viny plants and creeping evergreens that looked like dangling-armed ghosts ready to pounce. It was the way the trees always looked like the tail end of autumn, nearly naked except for a gathering of brown, crumbly leaves here and there; or the way the their mother never felt well enough to leave the house or how appliances broke down every other day and the mailman twice tripped along their walk, once breaking his ankle; how their friends stopped coming over after they all, in turn, fell ill or broke a favorite toy or, in the case of Sally Hanson, an arm, while visiting, or how a sense of weirdness pervaded the house, from the horrific stories their mother told them every night to the way she always seemed cold and aloof, even toward her own daughters.

Belinda knew this, had all along, but rarely gave life to these thoughts, unlike Chrissy, who took every flight of fancy she had and made them into living, breathing realities. She was convinced there ghosts living in the basement and gremlins under the eaves and that black cats brought bad luck and....
"BELINDA!" she shouted this and her Belinda clamped a hand over her sister's mouth. "Do you want her to hear you? Do you want mother to have an absolute caniption when she sees us out here at night, in our pajamas, with a broken screen? She will kill us, she will."
"Belinda," she whispered after prying the hand over her mouth loose. "Black. Cat. Bad. Luck." she said this slowly, deliberately, giving each word enough weight to sink into her sister's head. And then Belinda remembered, they had seen a black cat a few times roaming around their yard. The last time they saw it, just a few days before, they had snuck into the weedy garden at midnight to investigate a noise. The cat, who had a rather large, twitching bug between its teeth, dropped its prey and hissed at them. The girls ran inside the pantry door without looking back. The cat had given them the willies.
"You think that cat we saw is giving us bad luck? But the badness has been around since we were little, Belinda..."
"The cat did look old. He certainly wasn't a kitten."
"True. Maybe. I don't know....."

A noise erupted from inside the house; the sound of something being dropped an shattered. And then....

"OH! Did you hear that? It sounded like a cat!" They crawled through the weeds and brambles to the living room window. The blinds were drawn and they could hear clatter of things being knocked over. There was a small slat of space where the blinds met the sill, just small enough for the two girls to peer into and see...

"What in the world?" Belinda cried, not worrying about who could hear her. The girls stared into their own living room, stunned to see a cat inside their house. And it wasn't just any cat, no; it was also about five times the size of a normal cat, perhaps the size of a tiger or lion. The cat was running to and fro, jumping from couch to chair to television to coffee table, swiping vases to the floor and kicking photos and flowers around the room and carelessly tipping over anything its way while letting out screeches that like metal scraping against metal. Its long paws looked like crooked sticks beset with black, wiry hair and they flitted this way and that in an effort to catch something that was eluding its grasp.

"Belinda - mother" The girls ran to the back pantry door, no longer taking care to be quiet or clandestine about being outdoors. They ran through the pantry and through the kitchen and down the long hallway into the living room.

The cat was mid-pounce, claws extended, about to swipe at something on the couch when it spotted the girls. It changed gears and landed deftly on the floor instead. The cat immediately hunched its back up, raised its hair and hissed at the girls.

"I don't think it likes us much, Chrissy."
"I don't think I like it, much."
"Where's mother?"

She was nowhere to be found. Chrissy called out for her and when she did, the cat arched its back even higher and hissed even louder and then bared its teeth. It looked as if it were about to leap right onto Chrissy when it became distracted by movement on the coffee table. The cat flicked its head to the left and twitched a bit as it eyed a cricket writhing around on the table. The cricket was obviously injured and the cat was just waiting for the right moment to snatch it up in its paws.

"The cricket. It's the cricket!" Chrissy made a movement toward the coffee table before Belinda could stop her. The cat, which seemed to have become even larger and darker and whose growls and hisses grew to monstrous proportions, leaped at Chrissy, its claws aimed for her neck. Belinda, realizing what was about to happen, threw herself toward the animal and knocked it down before it could slash Chrissy. She landed atop the cat and immediately it started scuffling with Belinda, pushing its legs against her, nipping at her arms and legs, scratching at her pajamas.

Chrissy was close to swiping the cricket up off the table when the cat untangled itself from Belinda and pounced onto the table and, in one swift, balletic move, pushed Chrissy away with a heavy paw, rolled its long, rough tongue out and swept the cricket into his mouth. Belinda gasped,Chrissy screamed.

The cat stared at them, slowly backing away as it did, its gaze never wavering as it backed up to the wall.

"You ate our good luck! I hate you!" Chrissy lunged at the cat, beating it with small, ineffective fists as Belinda yelled for their mother. The girls were both bleeding from several scratches and their pajamas were torn and ragged. Belinda kept yelling mooother, mooother, moooommmmmmy come here! and Chrissy grabbed, held her tight by her forearms. As the cat glowered at the girls, and as Belinda tried to find something in the room with which to kill the beast of a cat, it started choking; a small, hairball sort of cough at first and then a definite hacking cough and then a retching, as if the cat was disparately trying to lodge something from its throat, not just a piece of food or a clump of hair, but, from the look in the cat's yellow eyes, something that was hurting it, burning it, causing it great pain and terror.

Chrissy had picked up a heavy statue of an owl - a statue she loathed because it seemed to stare right through her whenever she looked at it - and was ready to bring it down on the cat's head when it let out what sounded like a bark, its mouth wide open and in that gaping, choking maw was the cricket, crawling its way from out of the depths of the cats throat, and seemingly larger than when it first went down. Chrissy was too far into her swing to stop, even though something in her mind was telling her to do just that, and she swung the owl down, striking the cat between its ears. It stood its ground for a brief flash of a second, stunned, and the closed its mouth and fell to the floor. Chrissy thought she hear sirens but realized it was her sister screaming, loud wailing screams that should have woken the dead. She went to her sister, hugged her, told her it was going to be alright, the cat was probably dead and they would scoop up the cricket and find their mother and everything would be fine, just fine, a-ok.

And then Belinda saw the cricket, held tight between the teeth of the cat, half in and half out of its mouth, blood from the cat's wound streaming down onto it. It was still.

"The cricket is dead." She walked over to the cat, who had stopped twitching and dying and was now just a lump of hair and blood and claws. She bent down to remove try to remove the cricket from between the cat's teeth, clamping her forefinger onto the poor insect's head, trying to ever so gently pull it out from the mouth without tearing it in two...

The cat opened its eyes.

Belinda screamed. Not just because the dead cat had opened its eyes, but more because the eyes were not the yellow of the cat who had just chased them around the living room, but a greenish hue, flecked with gray. They were big and wide and familiar.

They were her mother's eyes.

That was a close one

As you all know, I have no love for the Beatles, so I was pleased as punch (and how pleased can punch be, really?) that when I went to close the poll, the standings looked like this:


sabbath bloody sabbath

I'm leaving the nominations on the fictional band thing open for a while, as that's going pretty good.

What should the next category be? Remember, it can be for a band/artist, a song, an album, an individual accomplishment or, really, just about anything goofy your imagination can come up with.

ASV Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: New Category:
Touch Me, I'm Dick (Fictional Bands)

Because the voting is oh, so close on the B bands poll, I'm going to let it linger a bit. Get those votes in! [thisisasubliminalmessagetovoteforblacksabbath]. Anyhow, while the tight voting rages on over there, I'm going to open up a new category.

Now pay attention carefully, because this category has fine print attached to it. The new voting is for:

FICTIONAL BANDS (that are not Spinal Tap)


  • NO SPINAL TAP. Why? Because they would win, I'm sure. Spinal Tap will get in on its own merits some day. There's going to be about 40 different wings on this hall when it is built (out of legos, construction paper and weebles) and they are assured a place in the future hallowed halls of the ASV Hall of Fame.
  • Cartoon bands count, as well as bands from movies, books and television shows. Even bands who appeared in only one episode of a show count.
  • Bands that may have ended up "real" but got their start as fictional bands count, i.e, The Monkees, The Archies, Josie and the Pussycats.
  • There is an entire compendium of fake bands here, should you need some food for thought. More here.

A few on my own short list: Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, Fingerbang and Citizen Dick. And yes, the Banana Splits!

H - E - Double Hockey Sticks

Happy Hockey Day!


Satan is on my team.

You'd do best to remember that.

The Red Sox got clobbered last night. The Yankees won. And the Islanders open the season today, with Satan on board.

I am a happy camper.

October 04, 2005

The "B" List Vote is On!

[sorry, this poll has closed, see the category link below for winner]

No stuffing the ballots this time, k? I disabled IP checking because sometimes people want to vote for more than one band, so I'm trusting you hear to not vote 100 times for the same band.

I almost put the Banana Splits in. I miss those guys.

just keeps walking...

I meant to leave you with this before.

Just so you are very clear on who my "B" vote is going to.

Black Sabbath - The Wizard

what's new: year, hockey season, baseball playoffs

  • Happy New Year to all my Jewish friends. I'll be doing the Rosh Hashanah thing tonight for my brother-in-law. Mmmmmm mondel bread.
  • I will not be partaking of any voodoo, hexing, jinxing or otherwise in regards to tonight's game. At least not here.


* Crank has his baseball predictions up and I'm gonna agree with the whole thing.

Oh, and:


the worst automotive fad(s) of the 21st century

The spinning hubcap.

All kinds of stupid, not to mention unecessary. Hey, thanks for making me think your car is in motion when it's not, asswipe. Yea, those spinning wheels look phat, dude. I bet your teeny dick doesn't spin like that, huh?

Goes right up there with colored headlights. Yes, people have colored headlights. They are annoying. Not to mention stupid and unecessary. I bet your teeny dick doesn't glow blue like that, huh?

And while I'm here: Anyone who has a CD hanging from their rear view mirror should punch themselves in the face Immediately. Thanks for blinding me, dickface.

I feel better now, thanks.

ASV Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Cover Winner and
"B" is for.....

london calling

In a hotly contested category, The Clash's London Calling got into the Hall of Fame for its album cover. And yes, we know it is directly lifted from Elvis's first album. There's a difference between rip-off and homage, and this is NOT a rip-off, k? Most everyone who loves this cover mentions that it speaks of the raw, aggressive power that is rock and roll. And so be it.

A new category for today. We're going wide open once again and randomly picking the letter B out of the sorting hat.

Yes, that's the only criteria for today. Bands/artists whose names begin with B. (Last name for artists, please). And remember, this is ROCK and ROLL. Leave Michael Bolton and the Bee Gees (not that there's anything wrong with them) out of this.

Update: I just want to mention tha you have a golden opportunity to correct a grevious wrong in regards to Black Sabbath

October 03, 2005

the best half hour on tv will be gone soon and it's YOUR* fault!

It's a damn shame when a show like Arrested Development is cancelled, brought back, put in a terrible time slot and will probably be cancelled again and a stupid, low-brow, unfunny, derivative, asstastic, poorly written, horribly acted, UNFUNNYX2 piece of craptastic shit like War at Home gets a prime time slot AND good ratings and will probably be renewed.

What the fuck is wrong with you, America*?

*and by America (and you*), I mean people who think that a plot like "my teenage daughter gave her boyfriend a blowjob and didn't get anything in return" is quality television or people who think tihs is what passes for good acting and writing. I liked this show better the first time, when it was called Grounded for Life, and even then, only before it moved to WB.

Oh, and Scott Baio was on AD tonight. Scott FUCKING Baio. That's right.

An Ode to The Poet Laureate of Television

nipseyrussell.jpgNipsey Russell, actor
comedian and poet
passed away just yesterday
he was 80 but didn't show it

he made some movies like Wildcats
and he played Tinman in The Wiz
But he was the BEST on Match Game
he could rhyme like nobody's biz

Here's to you Mr.Russell
from a saddened fan
even though The Wiz really sucked
you were always the man


If you are going to say anything about Nipsey in the comments, you have to do it in rhyme.

Also, let's not forget that the B-52s immortalized Nipsey in song: Roam, Nipsey Russell, roam around the world....

Of Costumes and Such

Halloween, 2002:

We went shopping for Halloween costumes today.

Me: Oh look, Natalie, Teletubbie costumes!
Natalie (who is almost 13): Mom!
Me: What about Bob the Builder?
Natalie: Mooooom!
Me: Fairy princess?
Natalie: I don't know you.

We look around a bit more and Natalie decides on wearing a black t-shirt that has a candy corn on it and says "sweet," black and orange striped stockings and a black skirt that used to be mine. I used to be thin. Sigh. She picks up orange hair spray and her outfit is complete.

Me: Now, what about you, DJ?
DJ: I don't know.
Me: Baseball player?
DJ: I've been a baseball player the last three years.
Me: Ninja?
DJ: No.
Me: Yu-Gi-Oh?
DJ: No.
Silence. Long pause while we look around.
DJ: Can I be Christina Aguilera?
Me: Umm....no.
DJ: You were going to let me be Britney Spears like two years ago.
Me: Thankfully you changed your mind.
DJ: Why can't I be Christina?
Me: Because she's a slut.
DJ: What's a slut?
Me: (stammer...stammer)
Natalie: A slut is a dirty girl who sells herself for money.
DJ: Like those girls we saw in the city last year?
Natalie: Yup.
Long silence. More looking.
DJ: Ok. I know what I want to be.
Me: What?
DJ: A hooker!!
Me: A baseball player.
Natalie: A baseball player in a dress?
DJ: Oh! Mike Piazza!


So, what was your best costume? Your worst (i.e, most embarrassing costume your mother forced you to wear)? What are you/your kids going as this year?

QOD: "i slip out of my pants, just for u"

Inspired by my favorite morning radio show:

Is cybersex cheating?

Let's make the scenario this: that your SO has been having cybersex with different people on a regular basis, most of whom he/she meets in chat rooms. So we're not talking about your SO having an ongoing (virtual) sexual relationship with one single person (which is a whole other can of worms), but just engaging in random cybersex with strangers.

Do you consider that to be cheating?

[you can also vote in WBAB's online poll about this]

* title inspired by: i put on my robe and wizard hat

ASV Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Cover Version

So I've discovered through a slew of emails that you can't really do a best album cover thing without making room for the worst. Below are the finalists for the GOOD album covers.

click for bigger

The Clash, London Calling; Stones, Exile on Main Street; Beatles, Sgt. Pepper; Pink Floyd, Animals; Led Zeppelin, House of the Holy.

Different rules for voting here: With each vote you make, you must also nominate a WORST album cover. BUT: because this is the ROCK AND ROLL Hall of Fame, please nominate ONLY rock albums. None of that Julie's 16th Birthday crap.

October 02, 2005

i couldn't let the day go by without acknowleding it

Today is the anniversary of the day Bucky Dent became Bucky Fucking Dent.

catch my fall

I tried to engage in some phototherapy today (to get out of a bitchy mood), but out of all the pictures I shot, only six made it to my flckr account. It's been that kind of day.

I was going for "signs that fall is here" though I got distracted by a shiny plane in the sky.

devil's rain corn If anyone can figure out why I call this one "Devil's Rain Corn" I will be your best friend forever.

moon over east meadow unfurled beneath the clear blue sky

life and death in the bush fall-3

fall-2 fall-1

This was my favorite of the bunch:


Go vote for album cover in the post below, nominations close in the a.m.

[What I failed to accomplish with phototherapy, I accomplished with steak, shrimp, Nick Cave and Captain Morgan]

The ASV Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: This Movie Rocks


I have to say, I'm surprised. I thought, given the audiene here, Spinal Tap would win for sure. Not only did it not win, it finished third, behind Tommy and School of Rock. Results here.

Let me tell you about my history with Tommy.

When I was all of eight years old, my cousin Michael (he was 15 at the time) brought this album into my house. For some reason, I remember this scenario exactly (I have amazing long-term memory. My short term memory - not so great). We were in the kitchen, standing by the counter. Michael had gone outside; it was summer, I guess he went out to swim with everyone else. I was alone in the kitchen and I picked up the album, more out of curiousity about the cover than anything else. The song titles intrigued me and I snuck the album into my room, slipped the vinyl out of the sleeve and carefully laid the record down on my cheap, kid-friendly turntable (removing the Patridge Family album that I had been listening to).

From the Overture on, I was blown away. Never before had I heard such powerful music (of course not, I was listening to David Cassidy and Bobby Sherman) and I was simply amazed at the emotion and the story behind it. I had barely finished listening when Michael snatched the ablum away from me; I later convinced my mother to buy it for me.

Five (maybe six) years later, the movie version came out. I was 13 years old. My mother dropped me and couple of my friends off at the movie theater (I'm pretty sure I saw this at what was then called the Jerry Lewis theater) and, well, WOW. We had to see it two more times before we could fully comprehend it and take it all in. So many things about this movie had an impact on us: our major crush on Roger Daltrey (which only lasted as long as his long, curly locks did, it was all in the hair) deepened. We loathed Uncle Ernie but thought Keith Moon did an amazing job with the role. We giggled at Ann Margaret rolling around in the beans and cringed at the scene with the lamp. We felt for Tommy for most of the movie, but he lost our sympathy when he became a prig toward the end (and later I would compare Tommy's journey to that of Jesu but my god was he CUTE.

Anyhow. Tommy was the first rock opera, setting the stage for the likes of Qaudrophenia, The Wall, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway and the greatest rock opera ever recorded, Jesus Christ, Superstar.

Congratulations to Tommy and those who voted for it (I voted for Spinal Tap). I have no idea what the next category is.

The next category is: ALBUM COVERS

The good ones. Not the bad ones. Good art, good concepts, etc. Whatever floats your boat in the album cover category. If you can, leave an image in the comments.

Update: Someone admitted to stuffing the ballot for Tommy, probably because he thinks that the only music that counts is the music he likes. It's probably my fault for working the ballot so that you can vote more than once, as I thought there was really no harm in coming back and voting again for your choice if it was slipping in the polls. I really didn't think anyone would take the time to stuff the ballot on a freaking weblog poll. But go figure. It happened. Not only did it happen, but he admitted to it in the comments on this post and basically gloated about it.

In the future, polls will be set up so IP checking is done and you can only vote once. Some people just have to a) ruin a good thing and b) take things way too fucking seriously.

October 01, 2005

presto change-o

The Halloween theme (a little different) will be back tomorrow.

Thanks to Stacy for updating my MT (MT 3.2 rocks) and getting the new digs all sorted out for me.

The evil clown will not be returning, due to unpopular demand.

The ASV Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Rockin' Movies Finalists

Vote early, vote often, if you have the time, leave a testimonial for your choice.


Click here for winner.





Let's go, Indians!

game time

No voodoo, no Photoshops today. Just game talk.

I feel it in the air today. It's going to be a good one.

I will hurl if this goes to a playoff, by the way. HURL.

Side notes: I think this new design is temporary, as I'll be upgrading to MT 3.2 soon and I'll choose one of the nifty new styles - it will still be Halloweened theme, but I'm going back to two columns. I know how much this all interests you.

Also, the finalists poll for Rock Movie will be up after the game is over.


too much?