Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Hup! It's Robert Crumb's birfday today!

Happy birfday, R!

Naguib Mahfouz, 1911-2006

Esteemed Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz -- author of many books, including Midaq Alley, The Thief and the Dogs, Miramar, The Harafish, and the famous Cairo Trilogy -- has died at the age of 94.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I hate meeces to pieces

They're back, after a hiatus (as far as I know) of more than nine months -- little rodents -- in my apartment. I guess I should get a cat. That, or fall back into the habit of carrying a broom around and announcing myself every time I enter a room. "Here comes the angry human! Better not be any goddamn mice in here!"

It might be a coincidence, but it seems like whenever significant carpentry work is being done on one of the apartments in the building -- as is happening now -- the mices appear. And considering that almost all the work here is done by immigrant laborers ... holy shit! I'm being invaded by Mice from Aztlán! No wonder that one I surprised in the kitchen last night around 4 a.m. was screaming "¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! ¡Ándale! ¡Ándale!" as it fled behind the stove. They're trying to "reconquista" the southwest region of my apartment! Except the kitchen is in the northwest corner. Hm. Theory needs more work, I guess.

At any rate, a certain nervous guy had a hard time falling back asleep last night, under the circumstances, and when he did, he had unrestful dreams about voles, marmots, and possums nipping at his heels, so ... the whole "this time for sure, I'm a-gonna get up extree early tomorrow morning (maybe even before 10) and a-get a jumping start on finally advancing my stalled life out of this rut and onto the fast road into actuality-land!" plan sort of went by the wayside. Also, it's raining. I dunno about your house, but around here, a period of insomnia + a rainy day = sleeping late. Especially when telecommuting is added to the equation.

P.S. This post would include a snappy stolen cartoon image of Mr. Jinks the cat and Pixie & Dixie the mice, but it doesn't, because Blogger sucks and isn't working right again. Or should I say still isn't working right? Because it never works right. Welp, I guess that's what you get for nothing.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Are we no longer there yet?

Contrary to the hopes and prayers of Matt Drudge and the Wall Street Urinal's Bernard Lewis (and, sometimes, my own self, but for different reasons), the world was not destroyed yesterday by Iranian Preznit Ahmedashanananashananananashanananashananananashana-

Allegedly, yesterday was to be the day on which the "Hidden Imam" (al-Waldo) returned from his trip to the corner store for cigarettes or wherever he went centuries ago and started some kind of Penalty Kick Phase of global history involving such well-loved characters as Gog and Magog, and not to mention ZOG, Kermit the Frog, and Gothmog, Lord of Balrogs. All wearing beer goggles, no doubt. And jogging togs. Drinking out-of-season egg nog and pausing from reading their favorite blogs, all the world's peoples would stand agog -- bug-eyed -- in a fog. "We did our best to shut them out and banish them to a vague netherworld," an ecumenical council of religious elders would exclaim, "but they tricked us by claiming to be a plumber here to fix a clog." I personally was hoping they'd at least settle the argument once and for all -- what sounds better, digital or analog?

But nothing. Not even a Chapstick-related air travel delay.

Well, the Tigers did shut out the White Sox, beating them for the second time in a row. So it wasn't such a great day after all. Prophesy fulfilled!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sad Day in Polka: Walter E. Jagiello, Aug. 1, 1930 to Aug. 17, 2006

"Lil' Wally the Polka King" -- co-writer of the "Let's Go, Go-Go White Sox" theme song (an mp3 of which does NOT appear on this blog, despite daily visits from Google-searchers looking for such an animal) -- has died at the age of 76. The Chicago Tribune's obit is here.

As we all know, there is no beer in heaven, so I hope you drank plenty of it here, Wally. And I'll try to pick up the slack for you in your absence.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Scumbag Worm-meat Idiots

Well, that was pretty fun.

This was covered so heavily that if you care about it at all, you already know about it, but after doing crappy throwaway posts about the firings of Bobby Skafish and Larry Lujack, it would feel wrong if I didn't at least superficially cover the surprise impromptu reunion of Steve Dahl and Garry Meier yesterday. Also, I've gotten half a dozen hits from searches on Steve and Garry-related keywords, thanks to coincidentally having mentioned them in the Larry Lujack post from the other day.

So, yeah, it happened, and I thought it was pretty entertaining. Garry was pretty funny, and Dahl seemed kind of sparked by it. Buzz Kilman didn't seem 100% happy, though.

Podcasts are available at for a limited time. So download lively, radio nerds!

Also -- it's an embarrassment of multimedia riches -- the bizarre demon monster that is YouTube supplies the following:

Friday, August 18, 2006

It's Friiiiiiiiiiidaaaaaayyyyyyy!!!

The Sweet - Ballroom Blitz

Thursday, August 17, 2006

It's, It's The Ballroom Blitz: Intro the First: Deep Background

Careful readers (hah) of this blog now know what I did with my summers during the late '80s. So now I'm setting myself up to deliver a treatment of what I did during the school years.

I was an honors student, graduated Magna Cum Laude, and got a bunch of academic awards that I don't think I even saved, but that's the last time I'm going to mention studies, because they were highly secondary to my main occupation in college: Outlaw Media Mogul.

OK, maybe I have to mention studies once more, briefly, to make sense of that. I double-majored in print journalism and international relations. The latter was my real major; the former I threw in because ... well, there aren't many Political Science shops in my neighborhood to work for.

It's hard to get rich as a newspaper reporter, too. But I was a newspaper junkie from early childhood, and I had been writing for publication off and on since I was 15, so it was a pretty natural choice, and I tend to make the lazy choices in life, coach.

My first paying job was writing a "chicken dinner" type column for my hometown newspaper, which I did for about two and a half years during high school. A "chicken dinner" column is more or less what the nickname suggests -- ultralocal stuff. Church suppers, junior high basketball results, birthday announcements, civic booster stuff. But they would pretty much print anything I wrote -- and paid me 30 cents a column inch for it. Not that I tested them much, but I did write a few personal and probably narcissistic columns about weird stuff that happened to me and my family -- like stumbling into an FBI bust of a crooked beef racket (transporting under-grade beef -- due to cancerous tumors in the meat and the like -- across state lines from Pennsylvania to Maryland) and enjoying the experience of looking at a bunch of cops with big shotguns making the decision whether to shoot first and ask questions later, or maybe instead let the nice nuclear family from Illinois just pick up that black and white portable TV from crazy Uncle Dave's apartment over the butcher shop and leave in peace, because the family's Number One Son can't get through a week in the mountains without television. ("Screw you, coppers! I want to watch Letterman!") So, in a way, it was kind of like an early blog experience. Hell, if you had a blog -- or a chicken-dinner news column -- you'd probably write about that, too.

I've always had one problem fitting in when it comes to the newspaper biz, though. Put diplomatically, the problem was this: That profession is full of idiots, jerks, and dullards. There's no bias in American media, I'm telling you -- unless stupidity and hopeless squarenosity is a form of bias. Well, I tried to be diplomatic. Believe me, I could have said worse.

An exception to this basic truth -- and the one that hooked me on mass media foolishness -- was my experience in the spring semester of 1987 -- the year I spent at College of Lake County for two reasons that made sense at the time: my freshman year at Northern Illinois was a drag; and I wanted to stay in Lake County so I could stay shacked up with The (academically disinclined) Stickler in my parents' basement. Anyway ... that semester I was the News Editor of the campus weekly -- which was, to be frank, a piece of shit, although I had fun with it, and I think I did some decent reporting. Except for the time that I tried to cover a Board of Trustees meeting with the Editor in Chief, Tony, after we'd smoked a big hunk of hash in the paper's office (which was housed in a small trailer on the outskirts of campus) and we kept busting up laughing so hard that we had to leave ... after about 20 minutes.

That was a wild bunch, the staff of the CLC Chronicle. None of them had professional aspirations -- which is what probably made it fun. Luckily, we only had to put out about 8 tabloid pages a week, so there was plenty of time for underage drinking, petty vandalism, and even pettier feuds with the dorky uptight student government and their Dean Wormer-like staff adviser. I pissed them off the most when I decided to completely ignore the student council election that year -- although they did prevail upon Tony to slap a lame box graphic on page 1 with the candidates' names at the last minute.

I did some actual news reporting, too -- just not irrelevant bullshit like student council crap. The best piece I did was a two-part, lengthy piece about ecological misdeeds and political shenanigans by a nearby landfill that was trying to ramrod a permit through the county board allowing them to expand against the will of most of its neighbors.

Anyway, I went back to NIU the next year, along with The Stickler, and I immediately joined the student paper there. I had a pretty lackluster career in which I wrote zero stories and was on the staff for about three days. The contrast was just too much to take. During my first year at NIU, the student paper there did a really hard-hitting, meticulous expose of financial crimes by the university president (the details of which escape me now), which brought about his ouster. When I joined the paper, I was all revved up for war ... but instead I found a building full of bland and scrubbed little young Republicans, full of ambition to "give Reagan a fair shake in the media" and other twatty horseshit.

The difference between the CLC student paper and the NIU student paper was like the difference between Delta House and Omega House. (In nerdy journalism terms, that is.)

So I quit ... or was I fired? I think it was mutual. I said some pretty nasty things to the editor and managing editor that pretty much burned the bridge, although I don't remember what they were. At any rate, that paper, its building, and its staff were enemy territory from then on.

Trouble was, I still sat through half my classes with these assholes. For a while, it was a one-way hate-stream, though, because nobody knew me from Ratso Rizzo ... until I started publishing my own paper.

The story of The Public Address System (nee MUSH!) deserves (and would require) its own obsessive memoir, but it factors heavily into the saga of The Ballroom Blitz, so I think I've gotta set it up right. But flashing past a lot of details, during the last two years of my five-year college burgoo, I was pretty well known and disliked among my journalism student colleagues as a Crazy, Irresponsible, and Possibly Dangerous radical weirdo. Which was just what I set out to accomplish.

The Public Address System. The basic facts: A small rotating group (de facto editor and publisher, yours truly, under the pseudonym "Mr. Newspaper"; de facto business manager, advertising director, layout editor, photographer, and all-around good sport, The Stickler; and de facto art director and cartoonist, Kurt "Kirby" Kiesel were the most consistent staff members) published a handful of 8-page issues of a tabloid rag (print run of 5,000). We didn't have a computer or any budget for any equipment at all. I typed every word we published into little columns and rubber cemented them onto pasteboard sheets. We took headlines to Kinko's to blow up to size, and pasted them down. We were about 75% satire and 25% news. It was a hell of a lot of work -- laying out an issue took two all-nighters, all-dayers in a row, and then we'd drive the masters to a very good-natured printing plant in Naperville, get up the next morning at 5, and guerrilla-dump copies in every building on campus. Then catch a few hours of sleep and get ready for the fallout. It was, in short, the most fun I have ever had in my life.

Aside from the labor and a chronic shortage of good material, the biggest problem was money. And that's where the Hustling came in. Which might have been the most fun of all. I didn't care for selling ads -- I had nothing against it, but I couldn't handle the Jackie Gleason "hat in hand" routine of asking a business to part with $20 or $50 for some farkakta pretend newspaper bullshit. We sold a few ads, thanks to The Stickler and Kurt, which helped, but that only accounted for a fraction of the cost of printing.

The way we paid for the paper was by promoting rock shows in the basement of the campus Wesley Foundation. The Wesley Foundation basement was actually a pretty vital venue at that time. The Smashing Pumpkins played there, and Jesus Lizard, and The Didjits. Those shows were sponsored by a couple of dudes named Dan Grzeca and Greg Dunlap, who were putting out a rock zine called THIS. It occurred to me that if Dan and Greg could finance their mag that way, so could we.

Only Dan and Greg were mostly interested in hobnobbing with the Chicago punk boys, whereas I wanted to publish a newspaper. So my focus was on maximizing profits. First of all, we'd only get bands that would play for free. This eliminated anybody with a name, but there were zillions of desperate bands out there, and local high school kids were desperate for entertainment. Second thing, the band would have to use their own amps as a sound system -- no dropping $150 on a P.A. (No pun intended. We did break this rule once or twice, and we probably even paid one or two of the bands a few bucks when it was necessary.) Third, no guest list. None. No girlfriends, no "plus ones," nothing. I was ruthless about that. I have never been so ruthless about money, before or since. I was homing in on damn near 100% profit, and nothing was gonna stand in my way.

It was a successful strategy. At least, we got the cash we needed to pay the printer. The shows also served as pretty huge promotional events in themselves, and were ... well, not dull or boring at all, as far as insane harrowing adventures go.

The story of The Ballroom Blitz is about what was going to be the biggest, best, kickingest assingnest Public Address System show of them all. We were building up a head of steam as a newspaper, accumulating readers, getting a lot of encouragement. And we had Our Man in Hoboken, Otis Ball, coming back to town on his first Midwest tour after being signed by a label that he'd probably prefer I leave nameless.

Otis had headlined our very first benefit, for our first issue, which was actually a sort of predecessor under the name of MUSH! (I came up with the name, I'm sorry to admit -- it played on the fact that the NIU sports teams are called "The Huskies" -- as in, "Mush, you Huskies!"), which was a whole nuther story. Let's just say that Otis played the first newspaper benefit show at the Wesley. I bet he doesn't even remember.

Also on that bill was June Bug Massacre (for you documentary completists out there) and somebody else I can't recall, a woman folksinger.

That show went okay, although it was really more of a learning experience than a successful fund-raiser. A foot wetter. An introduction to the art of crowd control, collection of admission fees, and cleaning up afterwards.

I have an anecdote about that last item, and then we'll call this monster a blog post. After that show, I was stacking chairs and picking up cigarette butts and beer cans along with six or seven others, and generally winding down. Somehow I got cornered by this goofball bus driver and gay activist guy, Jim Mc_______, who was in the mood to chat. Jim Mc_______ was a piece of work ... he eventually was fired from his bus driver gig for waving coat hangers around while driving the bus and delivering monologues about how abortion would not be a problem if the genders would just fuck among their own.

"I'm a bisexual," Jim Mc_______ announced.

"Oh," I said. "I guess that does double your chances."

"Yeah," he said. "You know, I don't get people who are exclusively straight or gay. I mean, they're all just hung up on genitals."

"But that's where all the nerve endings are," I said.

That got rid of him.

Today's Fired Radio Personality News Today: The Colickiest of Them All

It seems like anymore, when I wake up, the classic old-man-type question is coming to my mind more and more: Who died? Earlier this week, the first email I opened alerted me that Bruno Kirby had gone to the great Character Actor Stable in the sky. But if nobody died, the next question is: Which veteran Chicago radio personality has been fired?

Today, Robert Feder reports, it's Larry Lujack's number that came up.

This came as no surprise, as it was well documented that his most recent station, WRLL-AM 1690, was strongly considering changing from its oldies format, which had been a pretty resounding failure. The station's weak signal was no help, either.

"I really think that [oldies] format could have worked and could have been very profitable," Lujack said Wednesday. "But as long as we were on a signal that went nowhere, it never really had a chance."

Lujack had been in (and briefly out of) retirement for several years before getting hired by WRLL to revive his ancient partnership with Tommy Edwards (who, by the way, claims to be the guy who started the trend of playing Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part 2" at sporting events, but that's perhaps another blog item for another time). They set him up with a studio in his home in Santa Fe because, as Lujack explained to Bob Sirott in a slightly bizarre interview a year or two ago, he hated every minute he spent in Chicago.

Yeah, he's a cranky bastard. He's the crankiest bastard in radio, in fact -- Don Imus notwithstanding. As his Wikipedia bio puts it, Lujack was "known for his world-weary sarcastic style." That's a pretty severe understatement. Lujack was gloom on a microphone. He left no doubt that he hated radio, hated you, and hated himself.

In fact, I think Larry Lujack is partly responsible for influencing me to become the colicky baby I am. I was a radio freak pretty much from birth, and I followed "Superjock" around the dial (well, back and forth between WCFL and WLS) all through the '70s and '80s. He was my morning wake-up voice on the clock radio all through high school, giving me that first dose of "I hate the world and everybody in it" that I needed for another hard day of surliness and pessimism.

By the end of his primary tenure in Chicago radio, Lujack's attitude had soured to the point where, in 1985, he actually broke into the studio during Steve Dahl and Garry Meier's afternoon show and threatened to "punch out" Steve and "break Garry's other leg." (Garry -- who, with Steve, had been mocking Lujack pretty hard for a long time, had a broken leg from a motorcycle accident or something.) I probably have a tape of that somewhere -- that was one of the most remarkable on-air breakdowns I've heard. Unfortunately, Dahl and Meier fled the studio like little pussies, or else it could have been something truly memorable. (There's audio of this available on the web, but you have to pay for it. So, forget it.)

By that time, Lujack was not just "world-weary" and "sarcastic" -- he was pretty full-blown nuts. He was kind of like Emil Cioran meets Doctor Johnny Fever. The general gist of his show was grumbling "This sucks" repeatedly. Daily, he would threaten to walk off the job and become a forest ranger in Idaho. He had also taken to pronouncing his first name "Lorry" ... which is one for the psychologists out there, I guess.

In 1987, WLS canned him. He was off the air until 2000, when he was hired by WUBT until 2001, and then off again until 2003, when he started his latest, and probably last gig. Somehow, I don't think he'll miss it.

Link to Larry Lujack's Radio Hall of Fame page here. Includes aircheck audio.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Is there any other way?

New York Dolls - Dance Like a Monkey

Pretty quiet here in CBRAT land lately ... and with the low hit-count to match. But ... coming soon, I think -- because a flurry of Site Meter referrals from hyah tell me the demand is there -- we're finally going to dive deep into the saga me and One O Ball like to call

The Ballroom Blitz

Starring One O Ball, Killer, and Bluntie as "Otis Ball And The Chains"; Zipgun, No Eraser Head, and Mr. Newspaper as "The Loose Cannons"; and Reverend Touchy, Larry Bowels, and The Stickler as "The Wet Blankets Kleenexes." With a supporting cast of hundreds, including Jim "Dude" Moran, Greg "THIS And That" Dunlap, Ryan "Kissy Viper Fish" Jerving, Shalini "I Ain't Sayin' She A Gold Digger" Chatterjee, John "Unfathomable" Pagageorge, Steve "Self Googler" Laux, and some very frightened Chinese banquet waiters. Not to mention an assortment of mutant two-dimensional sex freaks.

Tears, property damage, genital warts hangups, angry Trotskyites, angrier Christians, bad sex on LSD, financial ruin, underground outlaw journalism, (literally) underground outlaw rock and roll, campus hijinks aplenty, and a whoooole lotta trubba, fellas.

It's "Cotton Candy" meets "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest." And kicks the hell out of it.

Stay tuned. And stay toweled.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Happy Divorce-iversary to Me!

Wow, that was a fast nine years. Except for the slow parts. Anyway, I think August 15 was the day it became final. It was somewhere around there. As my attorney at the time, I advised myself to accept a default, and I didn't have to go to court or anything, just sign some papers. There wasn't really anything to fight over, luckily. The cats were divided amicably. Well, we did fight over some records, and I still think she stole my copy of American Splendor #1, but I can't prove it.

Now, if you will, join me in having a beer and enjoying a Divorce-iversary ritual: The reciting of one of my favorite snips of dialogue from the movie "Lenny" (starring Dustin Hoffman):

CHINESE RESTAURANT DUDE: Where Missis? She's the prettiest girl I ever see. She sick? Here the fortune cookie, and say "hello" to her. She a wonderful wife.

LENNY BRUCE: We're divorced.


Monday, August 14, 2006

Cor blimey! Me eyes!

Hey! The Prime Minister of Eng-a-land has stolen my physique! And my hairline!

Give em back, Tony!

Wait a second. No ... no, you keep them.

Friday, August 11, 2006

I thought it meant a-squared plus b-squared equals c-squared

The secret ingredient is love.

Baseball is such a weird fucking game. I learned a new thing tonight: some mentally damaged people keep track of a baseball stat called "The Pythagorean Winning Percentage." I noticed this stat while looking at a page about the 1983 White Sox (OK, so I'm mentally damaged too, focusing on nostalgia disorder), which stated that the team's record that year was 99 and 63 -- with a "Pythagorean W-L" of 96 and 66.

What the fuck is a "Pythagorean Winning Percentage"? Well, thanks to the magic of Google and this autistic website, I now know that it means this:

Pythagorean winning percentage is an estimate of a team's winning percentage given their runs scored and runs allowed. Developed by Bill James, it can tell you when teams were a bit lucky or unlucky. It is calculated by

(Runs Scored)^1.83
(Runs Scored)^1.83 + (Runs Allowed)^1.83

To the 1.83 power? I can't explain why, but this is the sort of thing that makes me love baseball ... kind of like the way I loved that ugly dog that made all the news last year.

Ah. The baseball Rain Men go on to explain:

The traditional formula uses an exponent of two, but this has proven to be a little more accurate.

Sure. So there's not only a stat called "Pythagorean Winning Percentage," but there's a traditional version of it that has been improved upon. And people say America lags science-wise?

Not to pick nits, but what can they mean by "more accurate"? Wouldn't the most actual winning percentage stat be ... how many games the team won out of 162? I mean, the whole point of a faux Greek mathematician warpage here has to be to indicate some kind of speculative bullshit like "How many games would you expect this particular team to win in a given season," or even worse, "How many games did this team deserve to win"? And then, what insane voodoo pretend metric do you use to measure accuracy of your farkakta numerology?

And also -- if 1.83 is just "a little" more accurate, does this mean there are undiscovered exponents that would be even more fictionally and derangedly accurate?

Are they homing in on the quantification of luck?

Oh man, this is gonna keep me up nights.

POSTSCRIPT: Predictably, the Wikipedia entry on this mishegoss has even more on the exponent madness. I really wish I had worked harder at math. It seems like a medium with great comic potential.

This should come straight out of Blagojevich's pocket: Today in Video Gamer Rage News Today

Video Game Industry Wins Over Half A Million Dollars In Attorney's Fees From State Of Illinois

The State of Illinois must pay the video game industry $510,528.64 in attorney’s fees for its unconstitutional effort to enact a law banning the sale of violent video games, Judge Matthew F. Kennelly, United States District Judge, Northern District of Illinois, ruled yesterday.

Thanks, Rod. That's half a million bucks this insolvent state doesn't have, but I'm glad you got a few minutes of precious TV airtime out of championing this ridiculous law. It was totally worth it ... it's a small price to pay for you to be able to vapidly waggle your coif for the cameras and insipidly proclaim some vague victory for something something, blah blah blah, mindless platitude etc. etc. You dimwitted pretty boy.

Not that I give a shit about video games, personally. But here's a guy who does -- and I'm pretty sure he could actually be Rod Blagojevich's chromosomally challenged nephew, but I'd need a DNA test to be certain:

`Saved by the Bell' star in scuffle with woman

OMAHA -- Dustin Diamond, who played geeky Screech on "Saved by the Bell," says he got into a dust-up with a woman at a hotel this week.


He said that the woman pounded on his hotel room door for a while early Monday so he called security. Later, he said he was opening his door to catch a ride for an early flight, and there she was.

The woman was holding a can of Mace, he said. "I'm freaked out and jump back and she says, `Where's the money, come on, tell me where it is,' and she's trying to look through my bags."

Then, he said, "she grabs my PlayStation Portable games, said, `This will have to do,' and goes running out the door.

"I'm a big gamer, and you don't mess with the D-man's video games."

(Emphasis added.)

Word. You don't tug on Superman's cape. You don't spit into the wind. You don't pull the mask off the ole Lone Ranger. And you don't mess around with the "D-man's" little plastic toys that go "beep" and "boop" and make the pretty bright lights on the teevee.

If only this had happened last July. Maybe then Gov. Hair -- the "B-man" (or should that be "R-man"? It's unclear, because "Dustin" and "Diamond" both start with "D" ... but I digress) -- would have realized what powerful and twisted forces he was messing with.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Oh yeah, that oughta do it: Today in "Drop in the Bucket" Radio News Today

Phil Rosenthal of the Trib reports today that aging baby-boomer FM rock mainstay WXRT has fired aging baby-boomer disk jockey Bobby Skafish in an alleged effort to "convey to listeners that we're still trying new things" and to indicate "to people that there's something new and exciting going on at WXRT."

Hah! Oh ... kay.

No word on how -- or whether -- this will affect weird (and apparently retired) '70s and '80s semi-prominent mostly unsuccessful Chicago rock wessonality Skafish.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

You are just a thought that someone / Somewhere somehow feels you should be here: Arthur Lee (March 7, 1945 to August 3, 2006)

Farewell, sweet insane Love frontman.

A House Is Not A Motel

At my house I've got no shackles
You can come and look if you want to
In the halls you'll see the mantles
Where the light shines dim all around you
And the streets are paved with gold and if
Someone asks you, you can call my name

You are just a thought that someone
Somewhere somehow feels you should be here
And it's so for real to touch
To smell, to feel, to know where you are here
And the streets are paved with gold and if
Someone asks you, you can call my name
You can call my name
I hear you calling my name yeah all right now

By the time that I'm through singing
The bells from the schools of walls will be ringing
More confusions, blood transfusions
The news today will be the movies for tomorrow
And the water's turned to blood, and if
You don't think so
Go turn on your tub
And if it's mixed with mud
You'll see it turn to gray
And you can call my name
I hear you call my name

Friday, August 04, 2006

Ma & Pa Moss Say Hello, from the Past

Still remote-bloggin' from the village that, in the 1970s, used to call itself "The Rural Community of the Future." Now I guess it is the future ... and the community's not so rural anymore. It's not urban ... but the suburban sprawl swallowed it here years ago, and the suburbs somehow manage to hold none whatosever of any of the charms of the city or the country ... the suburbs just seem to sit there like a dead husk of obnoxious charmlessness, with no liveliness and no personality at all. (Kind of like most Republicans I know.) But the proprietors of CBRAT are is having a lazy, lonely, but not unpleasant little Friday evening up here in the Far North Suburbs, regardless, rural-future-community style. (What is a "rural community of the future," anyway? It brings to mind George Jetson crossed with Oliver Wendall Douglas. "Liiisa!!! Stop these crazy hotscakes!!!!") Making use of the rurally futuristical back yard at Casa del Moss's Parents tonight, yer CBRAT staffers grilled a steak and some sweet corn, fixed a little bruschetta salad, watched the White Sox beat the Blue Jays on cable TV, and drank a few beers. (Still working on that last part. Plenty of beer left.) And went through some old snapshots laying about the place.

Here's one of Ma and Pa Moss (parents of STDPM, in case that isn't clear) that I found and ran through the Rural Scanner of the Present and jpegificated. The writing on the back says it was taken in 1979, which would have made Ma and Pa Moss 38 years old in this picture, which happens to be Yer Humble Blogger's age right now, in the present. (Or is that future? Now I'm totally confused. But that's okay. I was confused in the past, and I'm sure I will be confused in the future. So it's all all right.)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

They Don't Call Me Colicky for Nothing: Wednesday No-Cat Blogging

Here's a foto of the wuvwee widdle cat I don't have:

And after a few days of feeding, cleaning up after, and attempting (without much success) to dispense pills to my mom's three ancient cats (correction: my mom's two ancient cats and my dad's one skittish one-man scaredy cat), I think my petless condition is going to persist for a long time, if I have anything to say about it. I've lived with cats most of my life, and I had my last cat for 16 years, but I think I'm done. I don't miss the hair, the litter box, or the ammonia smell of cat piss.

And since I needed a break from the geriatric monsters (plus, I needed to pick up my mail and make sure my apartment hadn't been burglarized by burglars or gutted by fire or eaten by rats or disparaged by Mel Gibson), I am in Chicago for the night, but will return to the suburban wasteland tomorrow to finish up the lonely zookeeping stint. Feh.

Maybe after this heat wave breaks I won't be so goddamn colicky.

Also -- for all you white-on-black template hatahs out there: This blog's "look and feel" is staying the same, dammit. At least until baseball season ends. I've been thinking for quite a while about revamping at that time. And I don't just mean when the White Sox season effectively ends ... which could be pretty soon, the way things are going. I mean October. In the meantime, anybody having trouble reading anything in a web browser should know that you can increase the font size. Instant Reader's Digest Edition for the Blind. As a visually impaired person myself, I find this useful sometimes. Also, if you really hate someone's template, shit, why not just copy and paste the text into a word processor and format it however the hell you want? Same goes for the writing -- don't like what you're reading, fix it. Then post it in a comment. Your help will be much appreciated.

Wup ... there's some thunder. And there's some more. Relief on the way, I hope. And then I can get back to some actual writing, maybe.

But until then, here's something different and multimedial -- an unusual version of an old favorite, accompanied by some irrelevant but harmless animated crud:

She Cracked - Modern Lovers 1977 demo

Click on the play button to play!