Thursday, July 31, 2008

Two new bands

Wherein thunderstorms today so I took the car and heard some new music I liked

The first band, Windmill, from the UK, I'm loving and I'll end up downloading it tonight. I'm convinced the guy sounds like Rickie Lee Jones. The Wife disagrees and instead claims someone from Saturday Night Live. The album is Puddle City Racing Lights and you can stream the whole thing from Friendly Fire Recordings. Also available for download from, iTunes, and Zune. Here's a live version of the song I heard this morning, Boarding Lounges:

Second band is from Portland and goes by the catchy label of Swim Swam Swum. I'm not completely sold on these guys, but thought their song Not in your way was quite catchy has it had me head-bobbing down the road. It isn't on youtube, so listen to it on their myspace page. Here's their video for Without You French:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dinosaur cake

Wherein constructed from two round cake pans

Fascism report

Wherein small earthquake in California Didn't experience an earthquake the one visit I've had to California but we had one here a couple years ago: 4.9 earthquake in Alabama. Epicenter was about 100 miles from us and it felt like a car slammed into the side of the house Kind of an exciting way to wake up

These depressed me:
  • Carrie Rickey: "My sentiments about marijuana are pretty much like those about guns. I firmly believe in their control..." Of course in the preceding sentence she pretty much admitted to majoring in doobie rolling in a van down by the river while in college. Guess she's pretty much the same as George Bush.
  • Bruce Schneier: "This is just sad. The TSA confiscated a battery pack not because it's dangerous, but because other passengers might think its dangerous. And they're proud of the fact."
  • Radley Balko with another isolated incident: "This is really beyond outrage. The city of Minneapolis is commending and rewarding its police officers for firing their weapons at innocent people. A family of eight was terrorized, assaulted, and nearly killed, and it's the 'perfect example' of a situation that could have gone wrong?"

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Tootsday screw Sting version

Wherein not even UTFO can help me out with question 5: She said "Explain to me really what doctors must do."
I said "This is very rare because I don't say this every day
There's a million medical skills a doctor displays
Dermatology is treatment of the skin
Infected and you'll see me over and over again
There's anesthesiology, ophthalmology
Internal medicine and plastic surgery
Orthopedic surgery and pathology
A disease involves a change of the body."
She said "Ooooh, that's very unique."

The Police's Roxanne is crap. UTFO's Roxanne, Roxanne is gold and Roxanne's Revenge is solid gold. What, don't tell me you missed the Roxanne Wars? I think Steven Spielberg should cover this. It would be a greater epic than Saving Private Ryan.

1. Icarus. Oops, got this backwards.
2. Plymouth
3. Don't Know Much About History (youtube
4. Olympics rings in Chinese? But that wouldn't be a "who."
5. ???
6. Buster Brown. nope.
7. I have this idea that a couple of them are written by sons of the original artists, so that's what I'm going with. Final answer: strips are drawn by children of original artist.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday Ballet Monday: Summer

Wherein still a few years away and I should see about adding a tip/begging jar to this blog

Intensive summer programs are a big deal for ballet students. Auditioning often occurs from January to March and tuition for a five week program will be $2-5 thousand dollars with room and board. The ballet school we hang out at does a good job placing their advanced students. This summer, students attended the following programs (prices are rounded and unless otherwise noted tuition and room and board are combined):

The New York Times reports on the Bolshoi Ballet Academy’s 2nd intensive summer program. Quote:
The girls, clustered on point in one corner like giant water birds with pale faces and clenched lips, eyed the boys warily. They muscled through basic exercises, some doing just fine and others barely managing, while the three Bolshoi students did their best to romance the jittery creatures. Anton Maltsev, a 17-year-old Russian with bright blue eyes and a charmer’s smile, offered his hand to each girl with a dramatic flourish, leaving the girls flustered and Mr. Maltsev flummoxed at their skittishness. (His Russian Orthodox Church ring, which looked suspiciously like a wedding band, didn’t help.)

Two weeks later Ms. Gottlieb pronounced partnering “scary but exhilarating.” The Bolshoi students, now joined in the program by three Kazakh boys, were all offering their hands, but somewhat more casually, in deference to the independent American girls, who might have had something to say about Mr. Matsev’s assertion that in partnering, as in families, everything depends on the man. The wary stares had given way to meaningful smiles that would alarm many parents; Ms. Kirshner gave assurances that the dorms were well policed at night.

Bolshoi Ballet Academy. $5500/5 weeks

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Is it Wine or ween?

Wherein people are funny about not having a sense of humor

Let's isolate a thread in the recent Gene Weingarten chat (Washington Post).
Gene Weingarten: Good afternoon.
Do you remember Michael Savage, the poisonous right-wing radio talk show host whom I reported about in my piece on 24-hour punditry? Michael is back in the news for expressing the opinion, on the air, that "99 percent" of all children diagnosed with autism are "brats" who haven't been told to "cut the act out." He said: "They don't have a father around to tell them, 'Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life.'"
Savage is not retracting this, even though he admits it might be a little wrong. And I don't blame him. Getting things a little wrong is okay. I remain a supporter of Michael Savage, because I am a fan of his column "Savage Love," in which he deals forthrightly with the fact that he is gay and proud of it, and joyfully gives out highly knowledgeable advice on techniques for active, hedonistic, sexually adventuresome gay males like himself. I LOVE that column.

Washington, D.C.: Savage Love is written by Dan Savage, not the talk show host. Hax has met him and can set you straight. So to speak.
Gene Weingarten: Ohhhhhhhhh. Gee, I am so embarrassed.

Upper Marlboro, Md.: Gene, am I missing a joke or something? Isn't the Savage Love column you referred to in your intro written by Dan Savage, not Michael Savage?
Gene Weingarten: Yes, you are missing something.

Savage: Michael Savage of Savage Love is right wing? I never knew he was a radio host, I only know him from his column. But man, that's weird.
Gene Weingarten: Sigh.

Stanton Park, D.C.: Gene, when you set traps like this one, how long does it take before someone falls in? Also, can you give us an idea how many people take the bait?
Gene Weingarten: According to Chatwoman, we have had five so far.

Allow, ME: Folks: Michael Savage and Dan Savage are two different people. Gene KNOWS they are two different people. Michael Savage would be appalled to be confused with Dan Savage (and, really, probably vice-versa). Therein lies the joke.
You're welcome, Gene.
Gene Weingarten: Indeed.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Wink Wink Nudge Nudge

Wherein Subversive children's programming

Bert from Sesame Street singing Doin' the pigeon. Don't watch the video, close your eyes and pay attention to the audio. There's Bert filming his weird pigeon obsessions with an 8mm camera. I'm thinking the puppeteers were having a little too much fun here, especially when the grunting kicks in over th pigeon cooing. Doin' the pigeon, indeed.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Little closer than I thought

Wherein at least it would be easy to push

Filled up the scooter this morning. Gas has gone down a bit ($3.939), so the tank was only $6.72.

Ended up pumping 1.707 gallons in a 1.8 gallon tank. That's 191.7km since the last fill up, or 119 miles. I'm still getting 70 mpg and 70x1.8 = 126 miles. I should really stay around 150km between stops to give me a more comfortable margin of error.

In other scooter news, I'm due for a 11,000km tuneup this weekend and should be near 12,000km as I approach the two year mark.

"Great helmet at under 130mph, after that it begins to rattle your head"

Wherein a reader poll!

Time for a new helmet. The G-Max GM68s gets great reviews. WebBikeWorld says: So in a year which had us thinking that there wouldn't be a single outstanding motorcycle helmet, the GMAX GM68S came along at the last minute, and we're giving it the webBikeWorld 2007 "Motorcycle Helmet of the Year" award. Congratulations GMAX! So the only questions remaining are styles (Crusader or Dragon) and color.

*title is from one of the customer reviews at the motorcycle superstore.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My favorite Daily Show interview

Wherein I'd appreciate the return of the Freddy Fart Joke

From October 25, 2000

43 minutes for 49 cents

Wherein it's fookin' brilliant and if it wasn't because it it Paul Westerberg it would at the very least be fookin' interesting

  • Paul Westerberg has a new album thingy. Read for details and reviews.
  • It's a 49 cent download at
  • It's also a single file 43 minute file.
  • Discussion on the actual number of songs, what they should be called, and lyrics deciphering.
  • I'll give everyone a couple days to come to a consensus and then I'll load it in Sound Studio and split out the tracks so I have the option of listening to individual "songs."

Here's the email:

aul Westerberg News – July 21, 2008

Download "49:00" – new music from Paul Westerberg!

And you can download the cover art and read PW's liner note
about the music here:

For those of you who haven't heard about this yet, the original
concept here was that on June 49, (that's July 19 to you and me),
Paul would be releasing 49 minutes of music for just $0.49. As
you might expect (because aren't there always?), there have been
some glitches along the way. But things are progressing and the
download is up now on Amazon MP3. Some important notes:

** It's one MP3 file, with a whole mess of songs (literally), so
even though it's only one download, you're getting plenty of songs.

** In order to get the album for $0.49 (rather than the whopping
price of $0.89), you need to use the link I posted above and then:
- Click on the "Buy MP3 album with 1-Click" button
- Download Amazon's MP3 Downloader (takes 1 minute)
- Proceed with purchase

That has something to do with Amazon's system having problems with
a file that is both a song and an album. Always breaking the rules,
that Westerberg character.

** NON-US DOWNLOADS - Amazon MP3 does not accept non-US orders
and an alternate distribution method for international
downloads is being worked on right now. I hope that will be up today.
An apology to all non-US fans who are itching to get their hands on
the new music, I know it's incredibly frustrating.

** The 49 minutes of music is actually 44 minutes. Well, it’s
actually 43:55. That one, I don't have an explanation for but I
assure you that it's still well worth the money at 10x the price.

There's also news on the Sire reissues, check out the News page
for a track listing (including all of the bonus tracks).



man without ties

Hey! Joss Whedon has a new show!

Wherein it's sad because it's true

No, not Dollhouse. This is a new reality show he's created. The premise is that each week Joss Whedon will travel the country and spend time with a typical American family. At the end of the hour, after we've gotten to know and love this wonderful family, Joss will then rip the head off their adorable pet spraying them with blood. Roll credits. Working title is "I killed Old Yeller."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I miss Bill Hicks

Wherein he would've been entertaining to have had around these last 14 years

ALOTT5MA informs me that Jay Leno is leaving. Which makes me think of Bill Hicks. Interesting thing is, Jay Leno was a big part of his early success.

Artistic Role Call (audio) from the album Rant in E-Minor.

Shorter quote:
I'm kinda bummed because I'm missing my favorite cultural trainwreck, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. I'm like a rubber-necker, man. Every night it's the crash of *** metal when that show starts. Me and my friends have a little office pool, wondering exactly, which episode, which guest is going to be on when Jay finally puts a 9 millimeter in his mouth and blows his Doritos-shilling head off his *** body. I think it's going to be Joey Lawrence, from the show Blossom. Other of my friends bet to differ and think Patrick Duffy a more likely culprit.

Leno voice: So, hi everyone, welcome to the show. Tonight we have Joey Lawrence. Hi Joey, how are ya'. It's good to see you again and boy it was always my comedic dream to be 44-years old and interviewing a little Tony Danza-wannabe every three months. Boy, I'm fulfilled as a human spiritually. So, so, anyway, Joey, you're 16 now, you're sixteen years old?

Joey voice: yeah

Leno voice: That's great. You're sixteen. Got a license, you driving, you driving?

Joey voice: yeah

Leno voice: That's great. You got a license, you driving, you got a car? You got a car?

Joey voice: yeah

Leno voice: You got a girlfriend, hmm? You dating somebody, anybody special?

Joey voice: yeah, no, well she thinks so, I don't. hee hee hee hee

Leno voice: Good God, what have I done with my life?

Boom! His brains splew out, forming an NBC peacock on the wall behind him. 'Cause he's a company man to the bitter *** end.


Wherein my first thought was "Lazlo Toth" the Don Novello character Timeline was wrong though

1. English Patient
2. the guy who played Joey Wrong.
3. Draft dodgers
4. I thought that name sounded familiar. Should've remembered he was Easy Reader.
5. I'll guess bullfighters because they sound like Spanish names and I can't think of a more stereotypical Spanish profession.
6. four
7. what is I got plenty of nothing

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ballet Monday Ballet: spring season in New York

Wherein skipping the youtubage today If this is a problem find something cool send it to me and I'll put it up

Article in Sunday's New York Times reviewing the Spring season of the American Ballet Theater. I like the way Alastair writes and will look for future columns by him. Quote:
Such is balletgoing at Ballet Theater. The company keeps showing you that, though it could be great, it has deliberately chosen to fall short.

If you looked for choreography this spring, what did you find? Three of the eight weeks of the season were devoted to “Don Quixote,” “Le Corsaire” and “La Bayadère.” These are, at best, minor and extremely patchy classics whose first-rate choreography wouldn’t fill a single evening if you made an anthology from all three. Another week was “The Merry Widow,” which is a thin evening of forgettable schmaltz best suited to just the kind of Margot Fonteyn-like diva that the company currently lacks. The season’s one premiere, Twyla Tharp’s “Rabbit and Rogue,” was made to share a program with Harald Lander’s “Études,” which is a view of ballet at its most tackily sensationalist and musically repellent.

That leaves “Swan Lake,” “The Sleeping Beauty” and “Giselle.” The great dances for the corps de ballet in “Swan Lake” and “Giselle” are less becoming to these dancers than the “Beauty” ensembles; they’re well drilled, and in “Giselle” the famous unison hops in arabesque win waves of applause, but they don’t take us far into the realm of choral tragedy.

So everything depends on who’s dancing the lead roles. This spring Diana Vishneva had to cancel her every performance. Further injuries during the season felled other principals: I particularly regret that David Hallberg, who was so splendid in “Swan Lake” and admirable in “Beauty,” couldn’t make his “Giselle.” Herman Cornejo made his debuts in both “Beauty” and “Giselle.” Being short, he has had to earn the right to dance the princely roles that Mr. Hallberg seems to have by birthright. At present Mr. Cornejo is somewhat correct and guarded, keener to prove himself royal rather than heroic. But above all he is chivalrous, and his dancing has so many beauties that he more than justifies his arrival in this leading-man repertory. Wonderfully as he jumps, it is a greater pleasure to watch him land and to see the full, soft texture with which those legs arrive, gather themselves and then launch him back into the air.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dancin´ and singin´ and movin´ to the groovin´

Wherein I had another one but I can't remember what it was Also I've tried to come up with new campaign songs for Obama and McCain, using good music and making it nonsnarky So far, no luck For example, I want to use Song For The Dumped to describe the split between the Obama and Clinton camps

At Simply Skimming, one election them song was presented. It's ok, I guess it's reflective of the candidates and their ever shifting stance on issues. The song I'd like to recommend for an election theme song is more about what the electorate is looking for:

Tell Me Lies (mp3); Prudence Johnson and Gary Rue, from their PeRu album

Now another selection from Mark Helprin's Memoir From Antproof Case
She wanted me to be president. "Of what?" I inquired.

"The United States."

"Me?" I asked silently, my lips moving and my thum pointing at my solar plexus.

"Yes," she said, and went on in one of her semirhythmic fusillades. "You're a good speaker. You're totally honest. You're an experienced analyst of international politics. You have a fairly good knowledge of economics. You're a war hero. You're handsome. You were born in the United States, and now you count your dollars by the billion. Why not?"

"But Constance..."

"You went to harvard, like the Roosevelts and the Adamses, and Wall Street would back you, even though you would be a hypnotic populist."

"But Constance..."

"You could start with the Senate. I'll buy a few strategic newspapers and back you editorially. You have such a will to fight! What a marvelous idea! I hadn't thought of it!"



"I could never be president, even if I wanted to be."

"Of course you can, if you want to be."



"Because I'm a convicted murderer who grew up in an insane asylum, that's why."

As she thought about this, I could see that she was sifting through encyclopedias of history. "I don't think it would be an impediment, dear, do you?"

Despite her historical analysis, I did. Besides, deep in my heart I really did not want to be president of the United States. If you pay a certain amount that varies according to his political fortunes, you get to stand next to the president and have your picture taken, and he has to smile. The only other being that I have known who is paid to stand next to you as your picture is taken was a chimpanzee on the Boardwalk at Coney Island. His name was Tony, and he smiled only if he like you. Unfortunately, he liked me. I was twelve years old, and he must have thought I was a girl, because he kissed me on the lips. It was my first kiss....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Advance copies of Anathem are out

Wherein this will be a list of people I choose to hate since I am not one of them

I didn't read these -- just glanced at -- for fear of spoilers. I also read that there's a fuller description of the story up at that I will also stay away from. My plan is to know as little about the book, other than the name, before buying it. Ideally, I will enter Borders when they unlock the doors at 9am, immediately order a coconut latte from Seattle's Best, walk over to the register, grabbing the book without breaking stride, pay for it, and pick up the latte just as it's being poured. By 9:05am the cover should be cracked and I should be reading. That's the plan. Note to self: must call Borders and verify that the book will be out when they open the doors and not in a box in the back room waiting until someone decides to unpack it...because that would result in excessive latte cooling.
  • Threat Quality Press. Appears to be an early review so I quickly closed my eyes.
  • Andrew McKie just started and reports that it's big and he doesn't have to write about it until September.
  • Has also finished the book.
  • Another copy and will the novel come with a CD?

Somehow I missed the fact that Boingboing posted a video about Neal Stephenson lecturing on literary genres.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

W. P. Kinsella

Wherein not everything he wrote took place in Iowa, there's a lot in Canada

From the short story collection, The Alligator Report, 1985. There's a wiki page for this book and I suppose it would behoove me to sign up and edit it. Emptily factual, it reports "26 short stories" -- correct -- "134 pages long" -- not correct -- and "another short story" -- also incorrect. The wiki author must be working from a reprint because the original Coffee House Press is 125 pages and stops at 26 short stories. Not that any of this is meaningful or useful information. The wiki ends with Richard Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America was a major influence for Kinsella to write The Alligator Report.[citation needed]

Damn straight a citation is needed, or maybe you could just read the introduction:
Three days after I signed the contract for this book Richard Brautigan's death was announced. I can't think of another writer who has influenced my life and career as much. If I could own only one book it would be Brautigan's mysterious parable In Watermelon Sugar. I think Dreaming of Babylon is the funniest novel I have ever read.

Many of the sort, surreal pieces in this book owe a debt to Richard Brautigan. I publicly call these vignettes Brautigans and many have been published in groups of three or four as such. Brautigan's delicate, visual, whimsical, facetious writing appealed to a whole generation of us who were able to identify with the gentle, loving losers of his stories.

He also includes a letter he once wrote Mr. Brautigan and names one more book - The Tokyo-Montana Express. In a book dedicated to Brautigan and with stories called Brautigans, this would seem to be the most likely place to list Trout Fishing in America as a major influence and not the three books he did list. Perhaps I am practicing nitpickery, so I will stop.

The Secret
On a wet Vancouver afternoon, with rain tapping clandestinely against the brittle panes of my lone window, Grabarkewitcz tells me his secret. I am propped on my bed, my weak pillow doubled behind my head. Grabarkewitcz sits on the room's only chair, rubbing his long blue-stubbled face and neck. Grabarkewitcz occupies a suite on the ground floor of this decaying rooming house in East Vancouver. He shifts his long, pointed feet, which are encased in unshined black dress shoes, and in answer to a question about his past, begins to speak.

"I am a convicted felon," Grabarkewitcz begins, hunching forward, his hand on his unshaven chin making a crunching sound.

Felon is an odd word, I think. I have always associated it with those pale, moldy-smelling wedges of fruit one finds on second-rate buffet tables. I sniff. Grabarkewitcz smells of stale rooms and welfare.

There is a little known statute in B.C. which prohibits carnal and salacious activities with books. I was convicted of Second Degree Bookfondling," he says to the floor, then adds quickly "I hope this won't affect our friendship."

"Of course not," I say. "Why should your literary preferences affect our relationship?"

"I was born with the desire," Grabarkewitcz goes on. "I wasn't corrupted by an older bookfondler as society often supposes. As a child, while my friends were sneaking into their mothers' bedrooms, dressing in their negligees and garter-belts, I would scatter my mother's Harlequin Romances across her silk bedspread and fondle the book jackets." Grabarkewitcz stares up at me, his dark eyes full of pain.

"I tried to live a normal life," he goes on. "For years I was a closet fondler. I frequented dark areas in library stacks, special collection rooms, empty aisles in second-hand bookstores. I married, fathered two beautiful daughters.I should have moved to a province where the law doesn't persecute bookfondlers.

"Eventually my darker desires overcame my good sense. I would buy hardcover books, novels, coffee-table books, nonfiction, even children's books. I'd take them to a secluded spot, remove their dustjackets, and photograph them nude.

"I hid the photographs in a shoe-box in the top of my closet. That was my undoing. My wife found the photos; they broke her heart. Of course, she left me, but before she did she called the police.

"Second Degree Bookfondling carries a penalty of fourteen years to life. One of the provisions of the divorce decree was that I not even be allowed to know the whereabouts of my wife and children.

"When I released, after years in a segregated area of the prison, the John Howrd Society found me this suite, arranged for welfare. There are few job opportunities for convicted bookfondlers."

"I sympathize," I said.

"You don't believe me," accused Grabarkewitcz, shifting his feet, rubbing his bristly cheek.

"I believe you," I said.

"I only photograph my cat these days," said Grabarkewitcz. "Nothing kinky, though I sometimes dress him in doll's clothes."

The rain drizzled against the window.

Let's see Kevin Costner play that role in a movie.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Because I have a short at

Wherein see what I did there?

I agree with Jim Treacher

This has to be one of the most bizarre examples of logic I've come across in a while: "X equals Y because, well, X equals Y." I realize the guy was trying to be nice here, but given that he's basically accusing me of making my entry unbalanced and biased, I'd just as soon he had skipped the butt-kissing.

In Virginia alcohol news:
Yeah, if I wanted to suck on frigid yeast, I could call my ex-girlfriend.

A swing voter is someone not voting for Obama:
I know that the New Yorker cover is satire.

But I also know that swing voters are the stupidest, most gullible slackjaws ever to have stained U.S. soil. This is a group that bases its decisions on swift boating and illegitimate black babies and ambiguous bar-hopping-compatibility metrics. This election is too important and too close for the New Yorker to decide, against all evidence, that swing voters will spontaneously sprout the ability to grasp nuance and irony.

I'm sure this brands me as an elitist "just like" Obama. But the fact that swing voters view unusual skill and talent as a LIABILITY for presidential candidates just proves my point.

Maybe Leo would be interested in joining our search for a military boarding school in a country far far away:
“Hey, mom” asked 5, still performing acrobatic feats on the end of the cart, “do you know what a wiener is?”

“A hot dog?” I said, hopefully, as I reached the bread aisle. Please let it be a hot dog I prayed silently.

South Carolina is gay:
Upon reflection, I think we all knew at the time - even if we refused to admit it to ourselves - that this was where the Spoleto Festival would lead us.

Successful white coach somehow remains successful despite racist attitudes towards black players:
I've been sitting on this trying to figure out a way to explain why this article annoys me so much. Mostly because it promises more than it delivers. In the end, what we get is repeated references to a deranged 26-year old letter. And a big neon sign that the Boston Globe likes to submit FOIA requests on dead people just to see what turns up. You want to talk to someone about this, go see Henry Aaron about the boxes of vile letters he still keeps from his home run chase. Some people are fucked in the head, nothing new here. The paper spent a year and a half on this to basically inform us that Red Auerbach is a stand up guy. Great. Wonderful news. And also, in a bit of word and concept defining that the above commenter to the Washington Post would appreciate, not being liberal is a sign of racism:
[Bobby] Knight was a longtime friend of Auerbach, their relationship dating to 1962, when Auerbach drafted John Havlicek, Knight's teammate at Ohio State, to play for the Celtics. Though Knight's politics were not as liberal as Auerbach's, he was considered generally supportive of African-American athletes.

Things learned today

Wherein screw you trivia guy I'm taking a point for last week's answer of life

The lesson, as always: it's better to do heroin and then stop doing heroin and then lose the Home Run Derby after an impressive first round than it is to not do heroin and then keep not doing heroin and then win the Home Run Derby after a pedestrian first round. Of course, I'm not telling you anything you haven't heard a thousand times already.

1. I'm assuming he means baseball, football, basketball, and hockey, because NASCAR could probably replace hockey and I wonder if MLS is closing in at all. Atlanta & Denver
2. 6 days of the condor. I knew that was the name of the book, but only learned last week that Pollack was the director. Great movie.
3. One of those dinky Caribbean countries. All I'm thinking of is Dutch Antilles. Is that even a country or a collection of islands?
4. Can't think of any Jill Sobule songs and Katy Perry doesn't sound familiar. So I'll guess "I'm chopping my cat in half and fed it to the dogs." That sucked, I typed twelve words and not a single one matched any in the correct answer.
5. Buddhism
6. I've read a number of books about WWII this year, which are no help in trying to answer a question about WWI.
7. I've seen #s 1, 6, 7, 8; though it's been so long since I've seen YSH the memory is unreliable. I'll start my guess with thinking the distinction has something to do with a narrator leading me to go with "How I Met Your Mother." After thinking on it a bit and realizing it doesn't specify current TV show -- ACS, ARRTI, and TKAM are all adult narrators retelling stories of their childhood. This would be more "The Wonder Years" than "HIMYM."

Not bad, looks like four, possibly five depending on #3.


Wherein "who played Boo Radley" once was a great trivia question until everyone else also thought it was great trivia question and asked it enough until most everyone else knew the answer and it no longer is a great trivia question

Stanley Bing:
Pseudonyms are like Boo Radley. Living in the dark, peeping out at the world from behind louvered shutters … they can live. Hauled into the light of day and made to stand on the porch for all to see, they end up looking like a very young Robert Duvall when he still had a little bit of hair left. And then they die.

Wherein yeah FSJ wasn't as much fun once uncovered. It's like the NY Times poured salt on a slug just to watch it melt away.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Yo RIA, I got yer Leo Sayer right here

Wherein speaking of the Muppets

We're watching the season 3 box set of the Muppet Show and the second episode's guest is Leo Sayer.

1. Holy crap, could they have made this any weirder?

2. I think Jim Henson and company spent most of their time higher than the Rolling Stones.

3. Angsty Sayer as a mime. Brilliant career move or brilliantist career move?

Monday Ballet Monday: Trockadero

Wherein Damn those are some ugly women

Go For Barocco

Dying Swan

Behind the scenes

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Different song, same title

Wherein I'd swear I've done this before

Started here. Too many doubles, so I'm just listing triples and higher.

Tom Waits
Prince and the Revolution
New Order
Joan Armatrading

You Belong To Me:
Jason Wade
The Duprees
Anita Baker

Wendy & Lisa
Sweet Honey in the Rock
Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs

Nat King Cole
Laurie Berkner

Poor Boy:
Split Enz
Nick Drake
Leo Kottke

The Sandals
Nikka Costa
The Muffs

Loudon Wainwright III
Carol Channing

Tangle Eye
Talking Heads
Joan Armatrading

Happy Birthday (most of these were purchased to make a birthday CD):
Ingrid DuMosch
Zuzu's Petals
Stevie Wonder
Loretta Lynn
Jingle Cats
Concrete Blonde
Altered Images

The Muffs
Bonnie Raitt
Barbra Streisand

Prudence Johnson
Laurie Berkner
Hans Petersen (Trust Me comedy album)
Beatles (Good Night)

Jimi Hendrix
The Cadillacs with Jesse Powell Orchestra

A musical opportunity

Wherein unfortunately I'm trying to cut back on my deep-fried imitation crab meat intake

No experience necessary:
Reply to:
Date: 2008-07-07, 4:42PM EDT

I'm looking for a fat, slovenly, untalented person to jump up and down on a baby grand piano at Shootski's Bar and Grille here in Ball Ground. The key word here is "slovenly" - if you look like you just gave birth to something and you're a man, then you've got the look we need. Ability to play the piano is not required and is in fact discouraged. I reinforced the piano with Re-Bar and all I want is for you to jump up and down on it, bang your fists on the lid, and howl like a spider monkey. A big, fat, slovenly spider monkey. I am hoping to attract customers, business is slow and this is the best idea I can come up with. I don't know, maybe you could run around the restaurant dribbling a basketball. People would probably like that too.

There is no pay but free food for this gig, it's all deep-fried imitation crab meat.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Do you like American music?

Wherein or not

  • 80s music. I think "Clearly my 80s was extremely different than yours" works better than "Obviously."

  • 90s music. Obviously I like this guy's list of music.

Better than original.

As is this.

Like this not like this

Wherein I will never understand the appeal of the High School movies. Bad singing, bad dancing, bad acting, bad stories

Sometimes I read a post at another blog that seems to reference an incident or conversation on a different blog or at least somewhere else on the internet, but no further information is given nor a link.

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y (K)night

Wherein I prefer Seattle rap to Seattle grunge

The Saturday Knights -- new album here -- heard this the other day. Sounds fun.


An interview:

From another band known for "Saturday Night." Proving that just because you say you're "rockin' to the music" doesn't mean you actually are. Unless, perhaps, hopefully, though probably not likely, the music being referenced is not the music being played.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Back to Tuesday

Wherein there's a normal train wreck, then there's the falling off the rails going over the side of bridge killing most of the passengers and those that survive are eaten by wolves before the rescue party shows up kind of train wreck

1. The way this is worded I'm guessing it's a group of people, not necessarily a nationality; so Romania is probably wrong. Maybe the Basque? But don't they speak Basque? Bah, next question.

2. Haven't seen it, yet. How about Sandra-what's-her-name from Speed.

3. I can't come up with a 3-letter title, much less who sang them, so I'll guess McCartney.

4. Turing. That's my default answer for British mathematician.

5. Life.

6. Finland.

7. All are boring to watch.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Monday Ballet Monday: San Francisco

Wherein words and voices

An earlier Monday ballet highlighted the Anaheim Ballet and their video podcasts. The San Francisco also offers numerous podcasts, offering interviews with dancers and choreographers, and a couple of other features. What's also nice is that the interviews are transcribed.

Podcast Main Page.

I've only listened to a few, but here's two I'd recommend. Rita Moreno and principal dancer Lorena Feijoo discuss dancing West Side Story. Vanessa Zahorian left home at 16 to train in Russia:
I understand you also spent time studying at the Vaganova Academy in Russia. How did you end up there?

My sister and I started at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. I was 13 when I left. We were offered a scholarship to go to the summer program at the Kirov Academy in Washington, D.C., and that is the Vaganova training. They’re affiliated with the the Maryinsky Theatre, the Kirov Ballet in St. Petersberg. The director was Oleg Vinegradova at the time, and his wife was the director of the school in America at the Kirov Academy, and they really liked my dancing right from the beginning. I was there for three years, and my last year, the Prince of Monaco wanted a female dancer to have the opportunity to go to Russia and be an apprentice with the Kirov Company, and [he] wanted to give this full scholarship and chose me. It was a tough decision, because being very young, I was 16 and going to Russia, [and] didn’t know the language.

Tell me more about what it was like living in Russia.

Russia. Well, my first experience, all I could think of was how cold it was. And living in Russia was just fantastic. Everything was new and the language was difficult for six months, and then after a while I picked up the grammar in the studio very easily. Then of course, the training was just fabulous. It was just the best classical training; that is what I really wanted to get because where I grew up in Pennsylvania, we had a more Balanchine-American style. I loved watching the classic ballets of Don Quixote and Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake, and I wanted that technique and artistry. When I was in Russia watching the ballerinas onstage, I could go every night to the Maryinsky Theatre and watch Diana Vichnova and all these names that you hear of and you see on videotapes, and they were right there, in front of your eyes, just amazing. I learned a lot.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

A proposal: it's all about the toobs

Wherein one from The Wife and one from me

  1. The Mississippi river flooded.
  2. The southeast is in a drought.
  3. California is on fire.

Since the midwest has more water than it needs, why not run a couple hoses to the east and fill up the lakes and reservoirs of Alabama and Georgia. Then run a couple hoses out west for the seasonal forest fires. Everyone's happy. Probably too late for this year, but there's time to have everything in place for next spring's thaw. St. Louis to Atlanta is just under 600 miles, so that's a piece of pie to construct. St. Louis to the west coast is a bit longer at almost 2,000 miles, but if Azerbaijan and Turkey can construct a 1,000 pipeline, surely we can double that.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Still works in the past tense

Wherein pissing on a recently dug grave

Listen to the mp3: Why Won't Jesse Helms Just Hurry Up And Die? . No one said it better than MC Hawking
Big fat fuck from North Carolina state,
he's a worthless piece of shit, he's a paragon of hate,
he's a redneck, fuck-face, brain-dead waste of space,
two-bit, two-timing, motherfucking pool of slime.
Against gay rights, and funding for the arts,
tried to cancel PBS and tear Big Bird apart.
cut AIDS funding, corporate welfare for the rich,
he's a shameless money grubber, he's a two dollar bitch.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Two days late

Wherein close enough

1. The guy killed in Afghanistan
2. Piaf
3. Puce
4. no guess
5. I should know this
6. the second one (Asia)
7. McCain. remarried.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

My new Brett Favre headline

Wherein my old Brett Favre headline

If I ran a newspaper and this story is true.

Fudged, Packer?>

Let's get everything out of the closet

Wherein I will no longer be ashamed of who I am

I really can't go around saying I hate disco when I'd be more than happy to sit through a double feature of Car Wash and Thank God It's Friday. And I just lurve Bronski Beat.

It's a diversion

Wherein I don't know what happened to the Ken Jennings quiz. Did he announce he was taking the week off?

Poiser, a physics based stacking game. What makes this tricky is I don't see a pattern to predict what size box you'll get. I'll try to build a pretty solid and spread out base, then when I'm more than 50% to the top, I'll stack as quickly as I can before it topples. Kinda sloppy, but effective.

In Hedgehog Launch, buy more powerful bands, launchers, and rockets to send your hog into outer space as quickly as possible. I've played three times and have improved from 13 days to 8 days. Jason Kottke has it down to four.

"I dedicate this song to Apollonia"

Wherein serendipity is not just a word with a lot of letters

I was going to post this because it had been a few days since Matt Welch had added another installment of White Boy Prince Covers. Then when he put up this very nice Cyndi Lauper performance I decided to wait.

Then Undercover Black Man asks how gay do you have to be to think Sandra Bernhard is the shit?. Hmm, I don't think I'm gay, though I've always enjoyed Sandra Bernhard. I even have a couple of her albums, including the 1985 vinyl LP I'm Your Woman. She makes me laugh -- I even enjoyed Hudson Hawk.

So with Matt playing Prince covers on one side and on the other David taking shots at my woman, I got no choice but to play this. Sandra Bernhard with the definitive cover of Little Red Corvette.

"You heard it, you pay it"

Wherein I never understood what was the big deal with payola. So a record company wants to pay a DJ to play some records? Who is hurt in this arrangement?

I would have thought by now that the RIAA would have run out of feet to shoot. But I was wrong: Recording Industry Calls Radio 'A Kind Of Piracy'. In the RIAA's shotgun approach to make listening to music illegal unless you pay for each and every instance, I'm reminded of an Albert Brooks routine. It's from his 1973 record Comedy Minus One, specifically from the completely brilliant Memoirs of an Opening Act. For full disclosure, for years my only copy of this routine was copied onto a cassette from a radio show that played random bits of comedy albums. That's right, I'm a law breaker; scourge of society; evil-doer and malcontent. Boo!

Audio clip

There's no building large enough now, it seems. Three Dog Night just passed a law within their group, starting in two months: they will play no more buildings of any kind. They will just play states and do 30-32 concerts a year. Stand in the middle of Kentucky and everyone pays that day.

Appearing in Kentucky, Three Dog Night!
Liar! Liar!
I'm just going to Dayton.
You heard it, you pay it.

What could the ultimate of that be? They get on a jet plane in New York and fly to Los Angelos and play in the plane. Let the military promote the concert and have everyone in the country pay a dollar.

Excuse me, you two. See that plane?
Yes, we do.
Two dollars.
Let me treat you, honey.

Here's another quote from Memoirs of an Opening Act.

Also this.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A proposal

Wherein I'll deal with the winter Olympics in two years

Fact: The United Nations is a corrupt and morally bankrupt international organization premised on the fairy tale of international cooperation.

Fact: The International Olympics Committee is a corrupt and morally bankrupt international organization premised on the fairy tale of international cooperation.

Fact: Both regularly debase their original underlying purposes and habitually reward committee processes over fair play.

Fact: 90% of the world's population could not find the Canary Islands on a map. I made up that number but I'm 75% confident that it's 80% correct.

Proposal: United Nations and the IOC join forces to create a new body. Then they buy out a couple of the Canary Islands to create the independent Republic of Friendly Cooperation (ideals in mirror are further away than they appear). The UN no longer has to pretend to ignore New York parking laws and can freely invite any bloodthirsty dictator who pays for the privilege. The IOC now stages a neutral site where they control 100% of all licensing fees and graft generated by sponsorships and building contracts.

Upside: Not In My Backyard.

possible downside #1: Fewer Law & Order shows about law-breaking diplomats claiming diplomatic immunity.

possible downside #2: Opens the New York real estate market with the possibility that Donald Trump may build another ugly tower.