Friday, June 30, 2006

Fitz Asks Lisa Madigan to Step Aside for Federal Investigation of Governor Hair

We briefly interrupt the service interruption to bring you this news flash from the Tribune:

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Gov. Rod Blagojevich's administration is the focus of an ongoing federal investigation that has "implicated multiple state agencies" in allegations of corrupt hiring, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has confirmed.

Fitzgerald said his investigation has yielded credible witnesses related to "very serious allegations of endemic hiring fraud."

His comments appear in a letter to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan that Madigan's office released Friday. The letter asks Madigan to halt her investigations into the Blagojevich administration because they might interfere with the federal probe.

This should give Lisa some spare time. Maybe she'd like to come over for a drink? Harveys Bristol Cream, maybe? I'm sure her hubby won't mind.

Service interruption

Due to a busy 4th of July weekend getting underway today with part 2 of the White Sox-Cubs conflict this afternoon, it's not too likely I'll post up any significant material until Monday evening. Just sayin'. Although now that the weather report is forecasting temps in the 90s tomorrow, I might be crapping out on the free Glen Campbell concert in Grant Park and staying indoors with my bestest buddy, Mr. A/C, and some writing might get done tomorrow. Pending any and all hangover conditions.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Tell Your Weird Giant Orange Moose God to Ready for Blood: GBV-in-Minnesota-Gate Part One

Minnesota is so cute. I just gotta say so, right off the bat. The clubs serve beer in big glass bottles, to wretched irresponsible drunkards from Illinois. At a Guided By Voices show. In big sweaty 22 oz. bottles. Made of glass. Did you ever notice that glass breaks? And did I mention the wretched irresponsible Chicagoan drunkards part?

They shouldn't oughta do that. As everybody's attorney, that's just standard advice I would be remiss not to give. Hey, they carded all of us. They saw our driver's licenses. Feral Mom was still a Chicagoan at that time (though she wasn't a mom yet, nor a famous blogger). They knew where we was coming from. They was on notice. But then Feral not-yet Dad didn't make the scene, and K.C., that rambler, probably had an I.D. from Arizona or Provence or goofus knows where, and I guess Des had moved to New Hampshire and probably had a N.H. license (and how can a state with an inordinate level of power over the selection of presidential candidates harbor wretched irresponsible glass-shattering spaz-dancing drunkards?), and the others in the party were bona fide Minnesotans, dontcha know, so maybe there weren't enough Illinois cards presented in enough time to raise the alarm. That's possible. In which case, I suppose the blame lies with ... us.

No ... that's unthinkable.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. On the other hand, I don't wanna reel back too far, either, or else we'll end up in Urbana in 1993 or something ... no, that's too much background.

Let's start here. Black River Falls, Wisconsin. June 28, 2002. Three knuckleheads in a 1997 Toyota Corolla unequipped with CD or tape player, hell bent for perhaps their last seriously stupid arrested-adolescent road trip in advance of various happy and/or sad pathways into actual adulthood. Perhaps the last time we were gonna be young enough to hear the high-pitched squeal of Rock And Roll from across state borders ... or at least the last time we were energetic, aimless, and foolish enough to heed the call.* FM and I left Chicago sometime that morning, making a detour in L-ville to rustle up The Des, and by Black River Falls, it was time for lunch. I was already suffering from my characteristic qualms and anxieties ... which I tend to have about everything and nothing. That is, until I saw this.

I dunno if this Google-snagged foto does this gigantic thing justice, but this monstrous object ... it seems to serve the Rock Gods as a booster siren, a relay tower of irresponsible mayhem-craving havoc-wreakery, because when I saw it from the Taco Bell parking lot, it gave me strength. Bad strength. Well, some. Maybe not enough. But enough to get to Minneapolis without puking from The Fear.

Not that The Fear went away. Oh no. The Fear didn't go away.


Maybe this will have to be a multi-part post. Like Feral Mom's multi-part post this week. Only instead of being gripping, inspiring, beautiful, and ultimately joyous, it will be ... colicky as hell.

Come back soon for part two, won't you?


David Foster Wallace Memorial Footnote Section:

*Well, not really my last time. Hell, I still get on planes a couple times a year to chase soul-damaging rock and roll punishment ... but I haven't driven that far to be pummeled by noise and anguish since.

They Don't Call Them Super for Nothing

Super Karaoke Funtime Band - God of Mentos

Here we see Otis trying but sorta failing to put a twist on the famous Mentos-Diet Coke Geyser Phenomenon. Maybe next time!

METADATA: This is post number 101! If things go according to not-so-firm plan, post 102 will tell the story of GBV in Minneapolis-gate, the 4th anniversary of which, Feral Mom reminds me, was yesterday.

In other anniversary news, Wednesday, July 5, will be the 20th anniversary of my first day (the beginning of a four-year hitch) as a Department of Defense Tractor Operator on the Great Lakes Naval Base golf course, which maybe I'll also bloggggg up sumpin about at some point. The life of a golf course tractor operator was always intense.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Blog stalled by flat affect

Sorry. Nothing has happened in the past few days that has angered me, amused me, surprised me, or presented itself as an easy source of jokes to me enough to blog about. As soon as the condition changes, more sparsely read posts will be popping up here like shady ads on a Hungarian porn site.

Or maybe I'll just change the blog into a shady Hungarian porn site.


COMING SOON: HOTS-CAKES! GABOR-GY!!! Zsa Zsa, Eva, and Magda compare accents in a pictorial feature that puts the "ooh" back in "goulash" -- and throws a "guh" and a "laash" in for free! We're not in Hootersville anymore, dahling!!!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Maht as wail jump, y'all

Diamond Dave - Bluegrass Jump

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The man in the red shirt said to the urinal, "Well, it's nothing two touchdowns couldn't fix."

The man in the red shirt was a good sport. As were pretty much all the people in red shirts I saw last night -- that is, those few who stayed after the third inning.

That's right -- Stronger Than Dirt made the White Sox-Cardinals game last nite! And, in contradiction to all the strange "Grinder Ball" slogans all over the ballpark this year (which I kept reading as "Gender Ball," probably due to ... uh JUST ENOUGH exposure to radical feminism over the last 20 years or so), this game was a slugfest, a laffer, a massa-cree.

Anyway, the score (20-6, ChiSox over St. Louie) isn't the point of the post -- it's the warm and cuddly message that the many, many Cards fans at the sold-out game were very likable, friendly, and cheerful -- and some of them even stayed for the whole thing. So I figure they must have all come up from Missouri. They certainly couldn't have come from Bloomington-Normal, or Champaign-Urbana, or Peoria, or Springfield, or Danville, or Decatur (or Clinton or Monticello or Tuscola or Arcola or Arthur or Charleston or Mattoon or Shelbyville or Mahomet or Rantoul etc. etc. etc. etc.), because every Downstate Illinois-based fan of the St. Louis Baseball Cardinals I ever met while living down there for six years was ... well, none of those nice things I just called the people visiting the ballyard at 35th and Shields last night. No, the Illinois Cards fans I came across were all pretty much jerks. Although hostile racist redneck Chicago-hating dickwads would probably be a more apt descriptor. Apparently those shitfucks all hate Chicago (or at least the South Side) so much that they stayed home. For that, I thank them.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Audio: Larry Bolles Presents: The Long Lost Public Address System Tape Zine: Ballroom Blitz Part One: They Break Butterflies on Wheels, Don't They?

Here now, for the first time in digital format (thanks yet again to the archives of O.O.B.), is a very early Colicky Baby Records and Tapes production, the cassette portion of a zine called "Pub ic Address System 23," originally produced sometime around May 1989. If I ever get around to buying a scanner, I'll post facsimiles of the 11-page xeroxed paper mag that accompanied the cassette, but the tape is the main attraction. It's a sordid tale of deranged youth, obscenity, rock and roll, censorship, and fighting the law and losing. Loving, living, fighting, drinking, drugging, rocking, radioing, and cartooning ... in a very dirty and socially unacceptable way.

I could write a book about the events covered by this zine, but instead of that, here's the gist: We, the publishers, editors, authors, drunkards, and sexual preeverts of Northern Illinois University's finest late-1980s-era amateurish alternative newspaper, "The Public Address System," booked a show in a local church basement to raise money so we could publish the 5th issue of the paper -- which was, all accounts corroborate, was going to be a true milestone in American cheaply produced bathtub journalism. Otis Ball was gonna headline along with one of the all-time classic Chains lineups (Glenn "Killer" Donaldson on bass, Steve Blunt on guitar, and Steve Laux from Kissyfish on drums), sharing the bill with Madison, Wisconsin's Kissyfish (Ryan Jerving, Shalini Chatterjee, John Papageorge, and I'm probably forgetting somebody else) and also various other bands and ... acts. Total rock and roll media circus. Paul Krassner meets Bill Graham, in miniaturized midwestern campus Methodist church basement mufti.

Promotional work was really our forte at the time -- in fact, I think we published the paper just to have a reason to promote stuff -- and this show was no exception. It was going to be our biggest show yet, and we were promoting the hell out of it, day and night.

Unfortunately, the promotion got a little out of hand ... to understate things a little. This audio program (which, incidentally, more or less covers the first act of a soon-to-be-produced motion picture from SMonkey Productions -- working title: "Ballroom Blitz") describes what happened next.

Rapidshare download, zip file, about 58 megs in size and about 50 minutes long in total, 11 separate mp3 files, the track listing for which is as follows:

Part One - WKDI 93.5 FM

1. Intro
2. WKDI News Update with Glen Zip Gun
3. I Don't Make Decisions Well / "Random Notes" Vandalism
4. DeKalb Blues / Unknown Noise in the Studio
5. WKDI Crap News Team Report with Steve and Glen
6. Steve Visits / "Who You Workin' Fo'?"

Part Two - One O Ball

7. (Ain't Got No) Show version 1
8. (Ain't Got No) Show version 2
9. (Ain't Got No) Show version 3
10. Walk on Water
11. Hidden Track (Hey Blues Singer)

Download link here:


Neko Case and Kelly Hogan on Letterman.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

And don't even get me started about the screamy birds ...

If my new upstairs neighbor wrote a book called "How to Set Up Your New Apartment," it would consist entirely of the following:

Loudly throw all your shit onto the goddamn floor, over and over, for three fucking days.

Friday, June 16, 2006

I'd jump for joy but I'm afraid I'd break a hip

Hot on the smoldering heels of Tuesday's news reports of a study from U. of Michigan (previously blogged hyah) claiming that people get happier than they think or than anyone else thinks they do as they age, comes a story in today's Sun-Times, with the merry tidings that ages 38 to 55 (aka, "midlife") are, like, the best, and all that kinda stuff. Kick ass! I just got started! So far, I have to say it kinda doesn't live up to the advertising, but then I just learned the other day that I don't know whether (or when or why or how or ... who) I'm happy anyway, so you can't go by me. Seriously. Don't go by me. Keep your distance. I'm feeling reclusive. Definitely call first, or even better, email. Yes, I'm feeling reclusive, but also grateful that I'm only a little over half a year into the awesomest goddamn fantastic phase of my fucking marvelous life. Who's for beer? Fuck yeah!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Free Plugola (Plugilleh?) Post: Let Us All Plotz Together, or We Shall Surely Plotz Separately

Genius cartoonist Drew Friedman has a new book set for release in November, and this is the cover. I can't wait.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Edamame so fat, when the food service industry markets edamame around the country, it markets edamame AROUND the country

Enough of the goddamn edamamezes, I say to McDonalds and Applebee's and various other shitty food purveyors, dammit. The little green soybeans have really hit the middle west with a marketing impact from hell lately. They're everywhere. Apparently if it's a new menu item, it's gotta have em. They're putting them in salsa now! I am more or less indifferent to edamame qua eats, but I am definitely sick of hearing about em. Pretty soon I'll be seeing commercials for the Pizza Hut Edamame Lover's Pizza. Ooh! Edamame! Hell-thheeee! Decadently healthy, in fact! Health to die for! Why don't you kill me how you reeeeeeeally feeel? You and whose army?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Your feelings may tell you you're unhappy, but they're wrong! Old man!

[Some crazy-ass study sez] both young people and older people think that young people are happier than older people — when in fact research has shown the opposite.

Am I happier now or was I happier then? Wrong! Survey says: Happier now! Regardless of what bullshit my stupid mood and affect spew! This is good news. I had no idea how goddamn much my life had improved with age and baldness.

OK ...

(EDITOR'S NOTE: I know I'm misreading and misconstruing the press release, but it helps my humorous premise to do so, so bear with me)

... so, according to this study, people are happier when they're older, but they don't know they are, and believe they must have been happier when they were younger? ........... uhh, something seems screwy here. You can be happy without knowing it?

I guess that makes sense. Otherwise, they wouldn't have written that song to go, "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands," because it would be redundant if you automatically know it when you're happy. And "If you're happy, clap your hands" fucks up the whole meter and other music-theory shit.

My personal version of the song would go something like,

If you're happy and you don't know it, act depressed
If you're happy and you don't know it, act depressed
If you're happy and you don't know it, then it's damn sure hard to show it
If you're happy and you don't know it, act depressed

Second verse! Stupider than the first!

If you're happy and you don't know it, mope around
If you're happy and you don't know it, mope around
etc. etc. and so forth

Maybe I shouldn't have had that second pot of coffee. I wonder if a third one will help my blogging any. Stupid blog! Be less pointless!

Yawwwwnnnn ... Good morning? What's good about it?

The best thing about morning is its supreme sleep-through-ability.

We here at CBRAT are taking some much-desired if not needed time offa the day job (16 hours to be exact) this week, which so far has been spent mostly sleeping and drinking coffee (not at the same time -- yet). And by "we" I mean "me." Or, "I," depending on the grammar rules in your jurisdiction. (And by "are" I mean "am," etc. Do your own copyediting. Or copy editing. Or copy-editing. I can't even remember which one of those is right ... which goes to show how rusty I've gotten at that ... but I digress.)

I'm feeling a little remorseful about being so slothy, cuz I have some things I really need to get done. Well, they won't kill me if I fail to do them ... except for one or two that might. Such as, I was gonna bring my car in first thing this morning to have the brakes fixed, cuz they don't seem to be working right, but I got too lazy, so I'll have to do that tomorrow.

When I plan a day off, I make all sortsa "job jar" type plans for myself, as if I am a stereotypical comic strip housewife (e.g., Lois from "Hi and Lois") treating my own self as a stereotypical comic strip husband (as in, "You'll be around? Oh good, you can do blah, blah, blah, and blah around the house, and then you can go and buy blah, and fix blah, and blah. Then catch up on laundry. And vacuum the damn floors," etc.), but when the day off happens, the do-nothing urge takes over. And since there is no actual stereotypical comic strip housewife around here, with a stereotypical comic strip rolling pin or other pop-cultural implement of negative reinforcement, Mr. Screw It Why Bother wins about 17 out of 18 times over Mrs. Imaginary Get Up And Justify Your Miserable Existence.

Later tonight, when the imaginary "Lockhorns" self-interactional dual-auto-role-playing begins, followed by a drunken and harrowing solo interpretation of "Andy Capp" ... well, it won't be pretty, I'm sure.

I want more coffee.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Putting the Shun Back in

Recently exhumed from a medical waste dump outside Batavia, Illinois, is this: The only surviving video documentation of one of the early 1980s' ... bands, The Abortions, performing their ... song, "Sex Is No Substitute."

Enjoy ... ?

(Thanks to One O. Brawl for the videoismificationizing.)

For background info, see previous post on these knuckleheads here.

COMING SOON (OR NOT): Dez and the Sappy Tones' blood-rare cover version, "Sex With Your Substitute Is No Substitute For Sex With Your Regular Teacher (Am I Right Kids? Am I RIIIGHT? Anyone? Anyone?)." I, for one, can't wait.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Heineken? Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon is what you'll drink tonight!

Oh boy. Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy.

Crain's Shuhcawgo Bezzness reports that "Pabst Brewing to move HQ to Chicago area," thanks, the magazine says, to nearly $1 million in bribes incentives (tax credits) from Gov. Rod "Not the Face! Not the Face!" Blagojevich.

When told of the deal, Mayor Daley was quoted as exclaiming, "That's just swilly! Swilly, swilly, swilly, swilly! I mean, it's swill! No one can tell me that that isn't swilly! It's the epitome of swilliness! How swilly can you get? It's swilly, I tell ya. Swilll-lee! Ho ho ho! Suh-will!"

Curly Howard, Jackie Gleason, Rodney Dangerfield, and Phil Silvers then came back to life and crawled out of their graves for the sole, express purpose of filing suit against Daley for stealing all of their personalities, and wrecking them.

FIFA Foe Fum (and Fall)

All right, listen up, team (that's Colicky FC to you, buddy). The big show starts today. Everybody be sure to put on their World Cup. Because if the world takes a bad hop and hits you in the nutsack, it's going to really fucking hurt if you don't have some protection.

But seriously, folks, who you pulling for? I'm rooting for Côte d'Ivoire, which put its civil war on "pause" for the tournament. Or at least until it gets eliminated.

BONUS FOOTBALL FUN: In case you need a little something to get you into the soccer mood, here's a clip of The Fall's Mark E. Smith reading the daily UK football results.

Also, here's the video to The Fall's evil soccer hooliganism song, Theme From Sparta FC. Hot.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

God with Go!

That's what I want! Screw this "go with god" shit! I want a god with Go! Oomph! Zazz!

I want a god with a spring in its step and a yes-we-can! attitude. I want a god with a tiger in its tank, except for the tiger's eye, which I want to be in its ... uhh ... eye.

I want a god that shows enthusiasm when I mount it.

Wait ... that last one was actually sort of a reference to a Chief Dan George line from the movie "Little Big Man" ... I'm not sure why that came to mind. It seems horribly wrong. But I ain't saying it ain't true!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

666 backwards is 666

I was kind of hoping, today being 6-6-06 and all, that these Damned Souls (aka, Cubs fans) hideously writhing in bronzy agony on the base of the Harry Caray statue near Addison & Sheffield would come to life and raze Wrigley Field in a cataclysm of hellish justice ... but no luck.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

How to fail at quitting smoking, the masochist's way

You won't kick the demon nicotine, but you will ensure maximum suffering if you follow my simple method.

Step one: Quit cold turkey. You'll be doing this many times, so it's a good idea to learn a couple tricks -- First trick: Always waste the maximum amount of cash by buying only single packs (preferably inside the Chicago city limits, where taxes on a pack of smokes are approximately $43,500.77), because each one is "the last one, ever." This accomplishes two things: you won't have a big supply sitting around that you feel obligated to smoke for reasons of frugality, and you will feel extra stupid every time you feed your habit, which will reinforce your desire to constantly torture yourself with the quitting process. Second trick: When you finish the pack, dump out your ashtrays as soon as possible (which will invariably make you gag with disgust at the stink and filth you've been imposing on your poor body, but that's normal). Dump them someplace that's hard or embarrassing to get into, such as your apartment building's dumpster. Because chances are good that in half an hour or so you will have an irrepressible urge to raid the trash for smokeable butts. And that's just pathetic.

Step two: While spending the next two or three days fending off drug-withdrawal-spawned suicidal impulses by yelling at everybody and nobody, breaking things, and sleeping 12 or 14 hours a day to escape the sheer hell that life on earth has become, comfort yourself with the knowledge that these physical and emotional symptoms are temporary. Yes, they go away relatively quickly. However, you can make them come back again by following step three.

Step three: As soon as your bronchial tubes clear up to the point where you no longer feel like you're being strangled to death by a tsunami made of roofing tar, and your emotional status is rehabilitated to the point where you almost feel like doing something other than dying alone, broken and dispirited, go to the bodega and buy a pack of cigs. But just one! It's your last pack ever, after all.

Return to step one, abandon all hope, continue to despise your weak self, repeat. Forever.

By the way, this has been yet another "step two" kind of weekend. Feh.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Glass Lined Tanks of Old Latrobe can go screw themselves 33 times, tenderly, as a tribute to my premium hairy ass

I don't know if I'm suffering from an even greater case of the self-loathings than usual, but for some reason I decided to drink some Rolling Rock tonight, which is pretty close to the beer equivalent of a hairshirt. Not only does it taste like diluted skunk, the manufacturers seem to have forgotten to put any booze in it. I think there is more alcohol oozing out of my sebaceous glands right now, just from a lifetime of exposure, than there is in this shitty beer. That's right! I'd be better off drinking my own sebum than this asparagus piss! Well, the night is young. It could come to that.

Hey bladder, bladder, bladder

People often ask me -- as well they should -- why I waste so, so much damn time on baseball. There are a lot of reasons that I love the game, but perhaps the biggest single attraction to me is a two-part thing: (1) the fact that they play nearly every day for over six months (and in Chicago, we're lucky enough to have two teams, so that's .. well, 162 times uhh you do the math) and (2) I enjoy the broadcasters. Bouncing around spasmodically, as I do, between radio and TV, and between the Cubs and the Sox, day after day, from April through October, and being a hopeless mass-media nerd ... geh, well, you either get what I mean by now, or you don't.

I love the game a lot, but ultimately the game is kind of an excuse for the real party: the radio and TV shows. And often the best part of the broadcast shenaniganery -- especially in a city known for perennially horrible clubs -- has nothing to do with baseball, or sports, or anything other than goofy middle-aged men filling air time.

I was first hooked sometime in the late 1970s, when Harry Caray and Jimmy "I'm Not Crazy (Yes He Is)" Piersall were announcing White Sox games on WSNS-TV 44 during the pitiful but colorful Bill Veeck era. Harry was not yet the cuddly archetype of senile dementia he was during his long tenure at WGN for the Cubs. No, he was still bitter and angry about being fired by the Cardinals for sleeping with the wrong man's (aka the boss's) wife (and how much I would give to hear some clips of Harry touting Griesedieck beer on KMOX ... OK, I wouldn't pay money, but I'd enjoy hearing it). As a kid at the time, I thought of him as a guy who was like the kind of drunken uncle who might threaten to backhand you if you got smartassy, but he'd also sneak you a can of Bud when your parents weren't looking and teach you a few dirty jokes. And Jimmy Piersall was ... Jimmy Piersall. In. Sane. Koo. Koo. By the time Piersall was suspended for calling the players' wives "horny broads," I was hooked, indeed.

These days, I generally prefer the radio teams for both clubs, but tonight the Cubs TV play-by-play guy, Len Kasper, in his second year in the job, scored some big points with me.

In the top of the 14th inning of what turned out to be a Cubs victory over the Cardinals in St. Louis, Kasper nearly made me fall off the couch with a reference to one of my favorite subjects in any context: peeing.

"I just want to mention that this game is approaching the five-hour mark," he said, "and I have not yet left this booth to ... do ... you know what. And you know me: I drink half a bottle of water, and it's all over."

Bravo, Mr. Kasper. It's not like you said "Dusty Baker is an aficionado of squatting nude with a wide open mouth on the receiving end of day-long sessions of gay Japanese bukkake." But at least I no longer think you suck.

Friday, June 02, 2006

You know what I like? Naps.

I think I'll take one right now, in lieu of writing anything for the blog. Especially since I have nothing today.