Tuesday, March 31, 2009

“A spring midnight pressed on the cold windows.”

It's spring, but it's cold. I love it. It makes me feel like I did when little. I remember walking up the little hill (hillock?) behind my house to tell my dad something as he cut the grass. Ah, the super-charged green...anyway, a song that somehow always makes the playlist this time of year because it makes me feel cold spring-y is below.


(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)

Chinese "special kill weapon"

Per some odd link on Drudge, the Chinese have a (wait, had to close window to re-look...)..."special kill weapon," designed to destroy aircraft carriers! Can't get through to the story(traffic), but I would hazard a bet that it's some sort of GIANT GUN!

Or, Dr Manhattan-style (remember they had that Watchmen movie?), maybe this guy?:

Monday, March 30, 2009

Wait, wait, wait! etc

You know what's going to happen, right? Octomom will continue to hover around the collective national consciousness, maybe getting a reality show here, a child neglect arrest there - until she finally expires, right? In this end-times speed-up we're all in, this should occur by around July. But, see, she will be martyred on the cross of YOUR lust for newsy nuggets and trashy sensation. Then some Milos Forman-type will get the wise idea to make a serious, nation-indicting biopic of this maniac. And who do you think will, by then having slipped a notch in the omnipresent nat'l overmind, be called upon to play the part?

Why, Angelina Jolie, natch!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sirin = Marge?

Half-day off to take my daughter Biscuitmarie for her followup - last week the vet had a personal emergency, so I hope that went well, he's such a good guy - but, thinking of Biscuit and her idiosyncrasies, I wondered if maybe she is the Reincarnation of Nabokov.

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?

Nick's Picks 3/27/2009

It's spring so that means baseball...need to add salt to a recipe or sauce mid-making? Try anchovy paste - adds depth of flavor and resonance but no noticeable fishiness...glad desert boots are in again, making things a bit more TE Lawrence...say what you want about his policies, but President Obama's teeth are beyond reproach...nothing feels as good as feeling better after being sick...worst band name I've ever thought up? That would be Hard Jeans/Genes (and yes, have to say them both)...local bodega has gotten rid of Cakesters, so expect an "accidental" four-alarm blaze shortly...nothing says "Christ is coming!" like biscuits...how long before Barry Bonds kills somebody?...just because I love music doesn't mean I wish to be bored with your insipid thoughts on Stevie Ray Vaughn...cats make great pets...no song reminds me of 1990 Spring Break in KW as much as "Enjoy the Silence" by Depeche Mode...

Nicky Wire

Woke yesterday thinking of Manic Street Preachers bassist Nicky Wire, because that's the sort of thing I do. More to the point, I was thinking of his comments at Glastonbury in 1994, at the nigh-height of Britpop's flowering, when everyone was all excited to be English and the pesky Yanks were being properly squashed under John Bull's cordovan sixteen-hole boot.

M. Wire looks out over the crowd and says into the mic: "They should build a fucking flyover* across this crap."

"Masses Against the Classes":

"Ocean Spray" (not angry, just sad):

* highway overpass

New depression get up and go!

Saw this sign on a bar on the way to work:




It's worked before!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

That sculptor dude

You know, the one whose name I'm too lazy to look up, who did the Britney Spears giving birth and Prince Harry's funeral and whose name I'm too lazy to look up? Well, he's weighed in on Octomom and it's a doozy:

Now, some people will scoff at this guy (I really should look up his name) but I think, and I'm in the minority, that his work reflects current events the same way Warhol doing portraits of newly-deceased Marilyn Monroe or grieving Jackie Kennedy reflected his, but Sculpy's outre beyond-Koons vulgarity is proportionate to just how much more gross the current times are. The Philip K Dickiness of a crazy woman (herself surgically sculpted) being famous for having eight babies at once is more than someone in 1962 would have thought possible. The creepy pink is great as well.
While on matters Suleman, saw a woman who looked like her, only worse, at Chipotle the other night - which begged the question: was she a shitty Suleman or a shitty shittier Jolie?
[Daniel Edwards is the dude's name]


I don't do it, of course, but there is something fundamentally comforting about the idea of birdwatching. Just the mellow folks who must do it - I picture dudes who look like Ed Begley Jr or Michael Murphy and women with vague Judy Davis-ness gathered at the entries of parks, murmuring about how they just espied a Northern Ringneck Grackle or something, before going somewhere nice for dinner in the dusk.

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

The view from MY window

Andrew Sullivan has that "View from Your Window" recurring feature where readers send in pics of scenic vistas that they are ignoring to keep their probosci glued to their flatscreens. I thought in interests of verisimilitude, I should do one from whence I writ(h)e:

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.

Nary a regret

(was gonna put video for "No Regrets" here, then remembered this insane thing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGqq1KbrIFk)

Breaking glass

Woke up at 4:30 this morning, with the firm, grim certitude that I was awake for keeps (fading now, of course). So I got up to troll the seas of the internet for various musical flotsam I "needed." All nice and legal. Yep.

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!

Even Drudge

has PSB fever!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"Kids on Coffee"

"...the Aguilar brothers!"



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.)

Also, Renaissance!:


The wit and wisdom of Lester Holt

I love my parents to bits, but, like most Americans, I do often wonder how things would have been different for me had my father been Lester "Ironpants" Holt. You know Lester: subbing on Today, then subbing the same night for Brian Williams with a Dateline still to come. How does he do it? His industriousness is a sterling example for mankind.

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?

It's the hair

SO last week's outrage (two weeks? carn't remember), but I kept thinking Bernie Madoff reminded me of someone:

This morning it came to me:

Yahweh willing they will never join forces to become


"Nick Eddy to fall asleep"

Elvis Costello to Release Americana Album - Pitchfork

I do like the rakish Olivier-in-decline 'stache, however.

Whilst we brush against the hoary old term "Americana," I need to tell all the sad sacks who are going to see Neko Case (who's talented, etc, just not my thing) that she will never, ever have sex with you. I mean, look, she knows it:


Charlotte Hatherley, whom I love, is going to tour as a member of Bats for Lashes, whom I have to venerate cos Natasha Khan can look eerily like the Bride* in certain pics. Per Maura Idolator: http://idolator.com/5181935/charlotte-hatherley-joins-bat-for-lashes

Watch both of the videos!

I may actually have to go see this. That "Daniel" song rips. This won't come within three hundred miles of us. It would be nice if they played in our building. It would cut down on the travelling time...no, on further introspection, I won't be going to see anything. Are my cats and books at some "venue" somewhere? No?


Monday, March 23, 2009

SO amazingly not timely

More proof things were acres better before my birth

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)

At last! My dream project is funded!

The story of the KLF told with dogs!

Come, exacerbate your Monday morning dread!

Yeah, this Fever Ray album - with its wailing-in-the-distance keyboards and banshee squawks from Karen Whatsit-the-singer - is eerie as all get out. But in a fun Monday morning way:

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!

Like the guy doesn't have enough problems!

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!

What the 80s were like, part the second


Friday, March 20, 2009

What the 80s were like



It's here! Taking the afternoon off. Here, commit this to memory:

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]
Also, as you have a brain in your head, you've been dying for the whole of this:

Panic any time

The Powers That Be don't want you to know this, but - those trucks that carry new cars to and fro, with tons of steel seemingly hanging by mere bike-chain-sized chains above the asphalt?

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 Morrisey [sic] Caulfield

"Slight Rebellion off Madison," right? The 1946 story that had Holden Caulfield going on date with Sally, only in third person?


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."

The saddest song in the universe?


Thursday, March 19, 2009


"But you'd like a million dollar bonus, woohn't ya? You could get a big new truck..."

"Sounds like my wife!"

Went to Indian buffet for midday repast with my goons and, while they were working along the line, goon 1 spoke of taking the afternoon off to go to Columbus to look for records and how, at the record store he was thinking of, there was a guy who "would eavesdrop on your conversation then tell you you're stupid."

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.

I'm old - OFFICIAL!

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)

He Hates Roses

Well, of course John Squire would scupper any rumors of a Stone Roses reunion.

After all, the name of his post-Roses band was The Seahorses, which is, naturally enough an anagram of


Things really could always be worse

Got up at 5:45 am this morning, thought I would do the dishes collected in the sink in advance of company tonight...promptly knocked over an empty Pellegrino bottle that was sitting on the counter which then dominoed into the blade of the food processor which then fell blade first into the top of my foot, so I am now a quarter of the way to full stigmata, which we had all presumed was coming anyway.

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!

He's everywhere!

Look! Acting in KBG capacity back in the day!

"They" are saying it's Putin! I'm not one hundred percent sure, could be anyone with a Soviet physiognomy...but whatever! Who doesn't love stuff like that?

What's freaked me out, however is this (check yellow circle):

Still not sure? Well, let's blow it up 500x:


Yes, you're right,

this likely IS the best album cover of all time:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Catch-all of economic flotsam

A good post should have a plot, right? Well, there's no time! They're on to me!

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
good effects.

Also, in case you ever start thinking the Fed is actually a branch of the government, which it's not:


* GQ, September 1992

Friggin fantastic

Really, the only thing missing from this is, well, Lagerfeld:


Took a break from making my brackets for the Final 5 (see? I do care about manly shit) to glance through an issue of Harper's Bazaar that The Bride brought back from the airport and therein was possibly the most insane thing EVER: a Karl Lagerfeld advice column!

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
recession nightmares.

Will do!

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.

The body
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

Nelson 1994 - 2009

My brother's beloved schnauzer Nelson died yesterday. This reminds me anew of the sweet misery of loving a pet. It's not an understatement to say this little guy was like a child to my brother and his wife. His name is my middle name so we also had that bond. And Nelson shared a birthday with our third, human brother.

An anecdote: Nelson has a sporadic fondness for getting into packages of stuff. Didn't do it all the time, but when he did he went balls out. Once, returning after being out for the day, his parents found a kitchen with every inch and surface besmirched with some sort of powder...evidently, the baby-proofed lazy susan cabinet was not sufficiently bolstered against canine cunning. The powder turned out to be belgian waffle mix. My nephew, trying to issue a triumphant "look what I did!" was so internally caked-up with flour he couldn't even bark: he just went "harumff! fuff! woomf!" and sent little clouds of dust from his wheezing trap.

Los gatos hang in, though. Biscuit has to be close to fifteen. Hyperthyroid, and the thyroid medicine is causing some hair loss, but otherwise she's quite content, if she can stay clear of her idiot sister. Biscuit is also releasing her autobiography/inspirational tome this spring:

Picci, though to call even her semi-literate would be a mite overgenerous, tries to emulate big sister in most things, so is also trying her paw at the art of memoir:

You KNEW I could do it!

Manchester trifecta!


This makes me smile, for some reason

From that article posted earlier with Marr/Tennant/Lowe interview, re: one Bernard Sumner at the brace of 1990 Electronic shows:

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

"Don't wake me up until it's time to go on stage." Haha! I love that. Sue me.
Plus two consecutive Manchester-related posts. Manchester, rave on!!, etc...

"Who?" say 90% of people you see every day

Stone Roses to reunite?

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."


The exact moment the GOP collapsed 4evs

When I was young, the GOP was all repp ties and George Will types, or so it is in my imperfect memory. Whatever you think of the policies, one could sort of tell what each of the parties represented, or purported to.

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.

St Augustine = badass

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!


Wow, I wasn't really surprised that someone had posted footage from Quark on youtube, but this is literally the first time I've seen this since it was on. A show about a space garbage truck? Created by Buck "I'm on the Periphery of Everything Cool Ever" Henry (early SNL, The Man Who Fell to Earth, etc)?? I remember seeing this on summer vacation at Lake Huron. Also remember reading a bio of Willie Mays then. And burying my Luke Skywalker action figure in the sand, going in for a sandwich, knowing that I will surely see the exact spot where Luke lay interred, then my dismay at realizing a beach pretty much looks alike at all points. He's still entombed up there, collectors!


Happy St Patrick's Day

Coincidentally, it's professional Irishman Bono's 300th birthday (apparently)!:

Monday, March 16, 2009