Tuesday, March 31, 2009
(and I promise to get get things properly embedded soon...I forget why I haven't set this blog up that way. But by the end of calendar year 2010 [if EMP hasn't rendered all computers useless - including the loathsome Kindle] I will have vid links properly, modernly in place)
Monday, March 30, 2009
Why, Angelina Jolie, natch!
Friday, March 27, 2009
Her latest thing is to sit in the bathtub, with its incessant drip, and wet her head under it, so, upon her later leaping bedward, a scant touch reveals her little noggin to be drenched.
Now - she's getting up in years. Whatever comforts she takes are fine with me.
But I remembered reading that Nabokov, in his dotage, had said that one of his greatest pleasures was to sit in the tub and squeeze a sponge of warm water over his head.
1. Her mental acuity is on a par with, and often exceeds, that of Vladimir.
2. In her youth, she was quite nymph-y and coquettish, as VN would likely be in reincarnation...and if a butterfly were to make it into our apartment, she would likely follow it around.
3. Nabokov wrote Pale Fire; Biscuit has pale fur, particularly around her nose and chin...and he also wrote the story "The Vane Sisters" and both of our cats can be quite vain, at times.
4. VN died in 1977, Biscuit was born in 1994 (estimate)...so there is NO overlap.
5. Martin Amis is obsessed with them both
Although maybe I exaggerate? Think so?
Well, read this:
“Existence is a series of footnotes to a vast, obscure, unfinished masterpiece.”
Think fast of Biscuitmarie. Now think of Nabokov.
Which one said it?
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Now 9 gazillion pages of birdwatching scratchings will be made available online:
These notes would be interesting in the sense of placing them in historical context: "I was coming back from seeing the Pineneedle dodo when a little street ruffian came breathlessly running to me with the news President Cleveland was dead..." or "At just-gloaming I spotted my query, and behind the Maine speckled tern I caught, along the horizon, a glimmer of the Soviets' manmade moon they have sent into the heavens..."
Plus Roger Tory Peterson always seemed so nice!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
NB that I can see you, the young and happy ones, allowed with nature's benison to embrace the day's rapturous glories, while here I must toil, dumping my random impressions in the bottomless hole of space and time.
I stood up to get the car insurance paperwork out of my satchel to glance at it and was away from my fresh morning glass of H2O for no more than, what, eight seconds?, when a certain hellish PigBeast hopped right on the dining table and KA-PLISH! went water, glass and ice everywhere.
Now, I know my part in all this. I had the unmitigated temerity to pour a glass of water and think I could safely leave it on its own for less than ten seconds.*
What was I thinking?
* squiggly writing is important!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
King Kwik commercials:
(and, yes, Southside [where?] was once a King Kwik, and the atmosphere IS just like the commercial STILL, and SS would be better if you could by a Barq's Creme Soda, a Hostess Suzy Q, some Planters Cheese Balls and a copy of Fantastic Four.)
This morning, though, he was subbing for the injured Matt Lauer, who had fallen from his bike avoiding a deer and has even had surgery. Lester held up a copy of one of the tabloids with its clipart of a deer and said "Look, it's got that 'Matt in the headlights' look."
That, right there, would be a career for anyone else. But no, Holt will soldier on, even up against that obnoxious mouthy Saturday Today girl (Jenna?), pausing here and here to wryly drop crumbs about how his college-age sons sleep until 2 in the afternoon, etc.
But what will you do?
Monday, March 23, 2009
Just look at this picture of my family in 1958. Not only can all these lucky folks pile in the car and go see Vertigo at the first run drive-in, but check the poignant light on the floor of a type they don't make anymore and the general good taste of my aunt and uncle's house. Not that I grew up in a hippie pad decorated with god's eyes, though it was the 70's. But my mom (2nd left, standing) and dad (on floor with baby on lap) actually look happy. When I arrived it was all neighborhood divorces and SALT II talks.
I also like the mysterious sleeve at left of photo. Not sure who this was, but now I realize it is actually the spectre of DEATH! Death would wear such boss cuff links. And he's gesturing like "Boy! Bring me a Grant's!"
(click on pic to enlarge, if you dare, and see that my dad is trying to enter a Me lookalike contest)
Plus, anyone who gets Charles Burns in to do an LP cover is okay with me! Well, except for Iggy Pop's Brick by Brick (shudder). Or a great facsimile of M. Burns...this is when I need an INTERN!
Pete Doherty has been told he is allergic to cats. The Babyshambles man's love of
the animal is well-documented, and he allegedly has 16 of the feline pets at his
Wiltshire home. But doctors prescribing Doherty medicine to help him beat his
drug habit have told the singer to get rid of the pets after blaming an allergy
he is suffering from on them. Sources say Doherty is distraught (Daily Star).
Plus he's allergic to crack cocaine!
Well played on the sixteen cats, however! Well inspiring!
Friday, March 20, 2009
Is there anything more wonderful than the Monday morning train - the 8:22? The
weekend - say a long weekend like the 4th - has left you rested. There have been
picnics, fireworks, excursions to the beach - all the pleasant things we do
together. One Sunday we had cocktails late and a pickup supper in the garden. We
see the darkness end the weekend without any regret - it has all been so
pleasant. In the garden we can hear, from the west, the noise of traffic on the
parkway rise to a high pitch it that will hold until nearly midnight, as the
other families drive back to the city from the mountains or the shore; and the
sleeping children, the clothing hung in the backseat, the infinity of headlights
- the sens that we take from these overcrowded Sunsay roads of a gigantic
evacuation, a gigantic pilgrimage - is all part of this hour. You water the
grass, tell the children a story, take a bath and get into bed. The morning is
brilliant and fresh. Your wife drives you to the train in the convertible. The
children and the dog come along. Fromt he minute you wake up you seem to be on
the verge of an irrepressible joy. The drive down Alewives Lane seems triumphal,
and when you see the station below you and the trees and the few people who have
already gathered here, waiting in the morning sun, and when you kiss your wife
and your children goodbye and give the dog's ears a scratch and say good morning
all around the platform and unfold the Tribune and hear the train, the
8:22, coming down the tracks, it seems to me a wonderful thing. - [Journals of John Cheever]
Cars falling from those trucks cause 1 in 4 deaths in the United States.
Not just auto-related fatalities, either. One in four deaths.
This isn't talked about because the weaker ones will panic.
Holden's name is given as Holden Morrisey Caulfield. With one "s." But still, who knew this hero to the young disaffected would bear as middle moniker the same mobriquet* of Mahatma of Mope?
Also, the guy on break from Andover the kids see at the Lunts, the one who calls the Lunts "angels?" Here his name is George Harrison.
So, how could they have not known that Chapman would try to kill a Beatle? With all the googles and stuff we have now, it would have been a cinch to decipher this!
* yes, it's actually sobriquet, but "alliteration! Had you noticed? It is my least vice."
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Behind my friends was a gaggle of businessmen who had to be out from out of town because they were in good suits and weren't grossly obese and looked like real people. One of these butted in and said "Sounds like my wife!" Then turned away and didn't say anything else.
But, with his natty navy chalkstripe suit, he was wearing one of those 1991-looking Ralph ties like the one at left. It left me with a sort-of post Gulf War I malaise.
But it's passing.
Saw mention on Inside Edition (!) last night (during a story on whether it's safe for kidz to go to Mexico on spring break, given that it's WAR down there) of something that I (being near retirement age) missed out on entirely: a drinking game called Edward Fortyhands!
Yes, strap two forties to your hands with duct tape and you can't take them off until you have consumed all eighty ounces (aka 6.67 standard 12-oz beers!)!
And they say there's no such thing as progress! All we had was shit like Quarters!
Oh, and my favorite drinking game: Iron Lung. How to play:
[repeat to blackout]
(also: the decade being half over, I think I can safely say this is the best album of the first half of los 00's)
Seriously, I need to get my blood pressure checked because I must have lost a half-pound of blood.
Eventually, with pressure applied and elevation being kept, the blood stopped. Could use a couple of stitches, but it was just a nice slice at the wrong spot.
I, of course, let out a "Goddammit!" as it happened, but after that was just sort fascinated at the amount of the blood. It throbs now, but you know what? At least I'm not Pope Formosus:
Pope Stephen VI, the
successor of Boniface, influenced by Lambert and Agiltrude, sat in judgment of
Formosus in 897, in what was called the Cadaver Synod. The corpse
was disinterred, clad in papal vestments, and seated on a throne to face all the
charges from John VIII. The verdict was that the deceased had been unworthy of
the pontificate. All his measures and acts were annulled, and the orders
conferred by him were declared invalid. The papal vestments were torn from his
body, the three fingers from his right hand that he had used in consecrations
were cut off and the corpse was thrown into the Tiber (and later retrieved by a
So, yeah! No one is setting my corpse on a throne for a show trial! YET!
Also, speaking of thrones, check this Ethipoian emperor:
Execution of criminals in Ethiopia under Emperor Menelike made missionaries
wince. Each leg of a condemned man was attached to one of two saplings growing
near each other and bound together. When the saplings would be cut loose, they
would spring away from each other, and tear the victim apart.The missionaries
had long talks with Menelike (who preceded Haile Selassie as emperior) in which
they told him about the electric chair. They told the emperor of the ease and
smoothness with which it dispatched those condemned to die.Intrigued by their
descriptions, the dark-skinned ruler ordered an electric chair delivered from
the United States. When it arrived, Emperor Menelike was delighted and couldn't
wait to "try it out." But, suddendly, it dawned on the missionaries that it
could never be used in Ethiopia. The country didn't have any electricity!Emperor
Menelike was a bit disappointed by this turn of events. But not too much. Still
enchanted by the electric chair, he proceded to use it as his throne!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Quick, get ready for inflation, as per Milton "dry as a rewind*" Friedman, ca 1977:
Inflation is just like alcoholism. In both cases when you start drinking or when
you start printing too much money, the good effects come first. The bad effects
only come later...That's why in both cases there is a strong temptation to
overdo it. To drink too much and to print too much money. When it comes to the
cure, it's the other way around. When you stop drinking or when you stop
printing money, the bad effects come first and the good effects only come later.
That's why it's so hard to persist with the cure. In the United States, four
times in the 20 years after 1957, we undertook the cure. But each time we lacked
the will to continue. As a result, we had all the bad effects and none of the
Also, in case you ever start thinking the Fed is actually a branch of the government, which it's not:
* GQ, September 1992
Answers are astounding...CHECK IT!:
On whether to buy a tuxedo jacket:
First, look at the tuxedo you already own.
On "Can I still look chic while buying cheap?"
The most important thing is to sleep well. Try to have sweet dream and no
Here are some general caveats to employ in your life:
To reinvent a newly impeccable you in the most modern of outfits, don't
[sic] on makeup, and be sure to have flawless skin and hair.
has to be impeccable as well - that helps a lot. If it's not
buy small sizes
and less food.
Black, like white, is the best color! They both look
great with added
color touches like red.*
Seriously, someone needs to make a Grey Gardens-style musical about this guy. Like, act one would be old school "fat" Karl and the second act would be the modern thinnish model. Songs can include "Only Coke Zero Forever" and "You Put the Lead in My (Cobalt) Pencil."
* he's right - just look at how a dram o' red tarted up this post all pretty-like!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
On the second night, in the Winnebago, backstage, Bernard was lying on the bed
with a sign on his chest: "Don't wake me up until it's time to go on stage." He
used to have to drink Pernod to fire him up. And a bucket beside him to be sick
I'm fine with this, I suppose. I just hope someone in the group has the stones to come right out and say "No, no - it's not that we felt it was time or that we had more to say artistically...we pretty much went up Jimmy Page's arse on that last one. No, la' - it's that we're all skint."
So why are the Republicans now the party of country music and NASCAR bullshit?
It all goes back to Lee fuckin' Atwater and his blooz guitar (rest in peace). Look, we can boogie! We can cut loose! We don't have to get CRRRAZY on just that one weekend of the year when we get a sitter 'cos Buffett's coming!
See, this is wrong. Republicans should listen to old Glenn Miller comps and maybe pre-'67 Beatles if they are really "far out." EXCLUSIVELY.
Nothing stays the same, but the co-optation of old Southern democrat mores and tastes is why these dorks find themselves so marginalized. When Sean Hannity touts his Big Amurrican Concerts or whatever and it's all Lee "I Look Just Like Yakov Smirnoff" Greenwood and other faux-yokels, it's pandering to the basest, crassest populace. Barring those folks with the tattooes necks, natch.
So, anyway, when there's only one party eventually and no debate on anything at all (like there is now?, he pondered) just remember that it all started with Lee Atwater.
Let not my soul faint under Thy discipline, nor let me faint in confessing unto
Thee all Thy mercies, whereby thou hast drawn me out of all my most evil ways,
that Thou mightest become a delight to me above all the allurements I once
Yes, good luck with that!