Saturday, February 24, 2007

Today in TV Show Review Blogging Today

Man vs. Wild, Discovery Network

In short, it's Jackass, crazy limey special forces style:

"Here Aye yam, alone [except for the camera crew], on a glass-eeyer in Alasker, and Aye'm going to die if I cahn't find food and shelter soon ... Uh oh, here comes a polar bear ... I had better pee on me own head ... it's an old British commando technique ... cor, yeah, that's a right solid stream, eh? ...

"In 1922, a hiker in these parts named Brad Fidgepoddilaparbadoobadoo peed on his own head and froze to death in a solid block of yellow ice. So Aye've got to keep moving.

"Ay've surveyed me position, and eaten some raw disgusting animals alive, and peed on me head again, and given the wally a right shake for good measure, so I will survive the night in me improvised shelter made of me own eyelashes and blocks of frozen pee chiseled off me forehead with me own feces, honed razor sharp by repeatedly scraping against me own frozen sphincter.

"Tomorrow, I must find civilization, or die. One thing I know from my training is to follow the KFC signs, which from my vantage on top of this vedddy dangerous but picturesque iceberg -- and which I am totally alone upon despite the fact that I am now being photographed from 300 feet in the air by a circling helicopter full of paramedics and tea -- are only a day's hike away. For two fings invariably go togevver, civilization, and KFC. And now a word from our sponsor ..."

Friday, February 23, 2007

If you can't beat them ... next time try a chilled copper bowl with a little cream of tartar




Shoot me ... it's a food blog post. This is what I made for dinner tonight. Baked "bubble and squeak" -- a savory cake-like mixture of mashed potatoes and hashed brussels sprouts with sauteed onions and carrots, garlic, ham, and swiss cheese given the treatment for 25 minutes at 375 degrees. Half of it is now in my tummy.

Recommended wine: Black cherry Fresca, 2007.

Musical accompaniment: Loudon Wainwright III, "Living Alone":

You sit at a desk and you squirm in a chair
You stretch out on a couch, you could fall asleep there
But you lie in your bed and you try not to think
You put on your bathrobe and you stand at the sink
And then you look into the mirror and you unplug the phone
You re-read the letter, you're living alone.

You clear out a closet and you listen to a clock
You wipe off a table and you pick up a sock
And then you put up your feet and you stand on your head
You hate what you did and you regret what you said
And then you gaze at a spapshot and wait for the tone
You talk to yourself, yeah, you're living alone.

You were always alone, but you just didn't know it
You tried living with someone but then you had to blow it
And if there's one thing you learned after living with her
Is that you're not the man now that you never were.

So you turn up the heat and you fight off a cold
You thumb through the Bible as you sit there on hold
But you're your own boss you can do as you please
Open a window and let in a breeze
You sit down to dinner, yeah, you cooked your own
You light a candle, you're living alone.

You think about her and how did it end
Your cleaning lady has become your very best friend
You're back in your hometown, you're living in fear
They wonder where has he been and why is he here
You're watching the reruns of the Twilight Zone
Your life in a nutshell, you're living alone.

You were always alone, but you just didn't see it
You tried to be someone different but you just couldn't be it
And if there's one thing you learned after all of it
Is that you're usually fired before you can quit.

What you need is a dog, some goldfish or a cat
A boa constrictor and a laboratory rat
The end is at hand now and you have the means
A roll of toilet paper and the right magazines
Your parents are dead now and your kids are full grown
You're 53 now, you're 53 now, you're 53 now
You're living alone.

2007 Baseball Preview #1
Cubs' Field Boss, Lou Piniella: Labor Hero

Here's the first in an intended series of posts related to the upcoming MLB season, and specifically Chicago's two teams. I'm not going to clutter things up with the same old speculative crap about Marks Prior and Buehrle, Derrek Lee, Kerry Wood, Jermaine Dye, or even Ozzie Guillen, because every other one of the 80 million baseball blogs out there are doing a damn good regurgatative job of that. I'm going to try to come up with some unusual stuff and see if I can get any long-tail hits out of it. Or not.

Anyway, the first one is, in a roundabout way, about the Cubs. Here it is.

In my last post, I referenced Jim Bouton's book, Ball Four, and my own post inspired my own self to start reading it again. Early in the book is a passage that relates niftily to the upcoming '07 season, about new Cubs manager Lou Piniella.

The book begins just before the start of the 1969 season, with Bouton at age 30 and in decline as a sore-armed former fire-thrower about to join the short-lived Seattle Pilots (who became the Milwaukee Brewers in 1970) in an attempt to revive his flagging career. Also joining the Pilots that Spring -- a young Lou Piniella.

In chapter 2, Bouton describes reporting for training camp on February 26, six days late, due to a brief players' strike. He talks about how, when the strike was called, he had intended to live up to his contract and report on time, because his position on the team was insecure, but then:

What made me change my mind was a phone call I made to Lou Piniella, a twenty-six-year-old rookie who'd been in the Baltimore and Cleveland organizations.

Since the Pilots were not a team yet we had no player representative, so the three or four Pilots at the meeting at the Biltmore [in New York, with players' representative Marvin Miller, where the strike was called] were asked to call four or five teammates each to tell them what happened. I reached Lou in Florida and he said that his impulse was to report, that he was scared it would count against him if he didn't, that he was just a rookie looking to make the big leagues and didn't want anybody to get angry at him. But also that he'd thought it over carefully and decided he should support the other players and the strike. So he was not reporting.

That impressed the hell out of me. Here's a kid with a lot more at stake than I, a kid risking a once-in-a-lifetime shot. And suddenly I felt a moral obligation to the players. I decided not to go down.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Jim Bouton's Vintage Base Ball Federation

Eventually I'll put this link into the seldom-utilized sidebar, when I update the "National Pastime" section for the long-awaited (by me) resumption of MLB action, but for now, here's a regular-type post. Check-outable is this:

http://www.vintagebbf.com/

VBBF MISSION STATEMENT

To spread the charms and values of vintage base ball, and accelerate the formation of vintage clubs and leagues around the world, by codifying the rules and equipment of the game's 19th century roots, and organizing competitions that include an annual, six-team Vintage Base Ball World Series tournament.


The Vintage Base Ball Federation was co-founded by one of my favorite dudes, Jim Bouton. Jim Bouton, for those of you who don't know, is the author of the best baseball book possible in the known universe, Ball Four, which, I have it on good authority, is a fun read even for non-baseball fans. He has been a vigorous advocate for several years for good, old-fashioned baseball and the yards in which it is played. Plus, he's extremely funny.

Jim Bouton's homepage is at: http://www.jimbouton.com/.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Le Chiffre est mort



Now what I am I going to use as an excuse to continue refusing to donate money to my alma mater (juris doctorally speaking)? I guess I still have a couple fallbacks, such as the fact that I pay taxes, dammit, and I'll be paying for law school for another 20 friggin years.

Let's see. That's three years of law school, one summer ruined by studying for the bar exam, nine months of practicing law, and twelve and a half years of being a writer/editor. And a 30 year payment plan. Sure, deciding to go law school instead of grad school to study southeast Asian politics worked out great. Actually, that course of action probably would have had more than its share of disasters, as well. Although I would have studied southeast Asian politics at NIU, whose mascot is a huskie dog named Victor E. Oh well, road not taken, etc. etc., and so forth.

In meta news of the blog, in one week, we'll reach the one-year anniversary of the commencement of Stronger Than Dirt Pete Moss as an honored symbol of pointless blog nonsense. (Not a mascot! Honored symbol! Honored symbol! Honored symbol!) In other words, CBRAT turns one year old. Maybe I'll update the template in celebration of that occasion. Or not. Probably not.

POSTSCRIPT: I haven't seen the new "Casino Royale" flick yet, but I'm 100 percent sure that this version will remain my favorite, no matter what. Does the new one have Peter Sellers? No? Forget it, then.

Friday, February 16, 2007

And Now a Word from Cole Stoma

It's time to introduce a long-running character to this blog ... a long-running character, I mean, in such print blogs as That Long Newspaper Spoon and such failed (-to-be-finished-being-written) novels as Cole Stoma. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, now presenting his first contribution of his non-semi-famous way of doing whatever it is he does, ladies and gentlemen, here is Cole Stoma:

My life is completely fucking stupid. In my life, in this phase of it, my idea of a good time is to cook some really good scalloped potatoes, with good cheddar and some cayenne pepper sprinkled over the top, and then to eat it in front of the TV with a nice bottle of beer and watch a Jacques Pepin cooking show. That is what passes for a good time in my stupid life. It’s like I’m some kind of old maid, but I’m a dude.


Thank you, Cole Stoma. We look forward to your future submissions of abject failure, you straw man of fictional loserdom. Or not.

Waiting in the wings: John Kitchener, Helen Hiwatter, Don Fazool, and Parsley Garnish.

Refused entry to the theater, but in a facetious manner: Noam Crosby, Feng Shui, and The Swami, Davis, Jr.

"What about the what? Oh ... yeah ... shit ... good point ... I guess I'm wrong ..."

I wonder why there aren't any "first drafts" extant by classical bigwigs, like Plato. Like, how many dialogues did Plato write where he painted himself into a corner and the antagonist voice in the dialogue ended up beating Plato in the argument? It had to happen sometimes ... I mean, haven't you ever thought you were onto something and then thought about it for a while and realized you were wrong? Unless Plato just switched up the characters based on the roll of the dice, he must have tossed out some dialogues.

(excerpt from my upcoming book, "Standup Comedy for University of Chicago Students, as told by Dr. Milton Rosenberg, Ph.D.")

Unsolicited semi-personal factamazoid post, issue number one

CDs currently on my CD changer (literally on it, as in sitting on top of it): Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy, John Coltrane, Sun Ra. When did I become a goddamn jazzbo?

I have entered the bizarro world

Wow, I just realized I ordered a pizza before getting drunk.

(We also would have accepted the same sentence, except replacing "ordered a pizza" with "blogged a blog.")

OK! Pizza's here! Time to rectumfry the non-drunk portion of the evening.

Preznit's Day Weeeeeeekend, hell yeah!

Meh: Credit Where It's Dued

Today Slate has an article about various meaningless interjection words, which I didn't actually read, except for what it has to say about the word "meh."

What it doesn't say about "meh" -- and what I'm going to get into the record right now -- is that I honestly believe the term was, if not coined outright, at least firstly or nearly firstly popularized by my good friend, Mr. Insert Namehere, aka, Foojang, who started using "meh" as a stand-in for pretty much any situation calling for a resigned expression of mild "je ne sais quois"-nitude, at least as early as the early-to-mid mid-1980s -- much, much earlier than the episode of The Simpsons that is credited with meh-ing the term to Internet meh-pularity. Take note, linquists. Uh, I mean, linguists. Linquists sounds like a family of Swedes. So take note, linguists. Or not.

Meh.

Gravity City: Rambling Angry Digression Edition

I almost missed this "stuff falling off of other stuff" item from the other day, but thanks to Steve Rhodes's must-read "The [Day of the Week] Papers" column at my favorite Chicago-oriented website, The Beachwood Reporter, I didn't miss this David Roeder columnar item in the Sun-Times ... although, as the source text itself questions, is it really a "stuff falling off of other stuff" item or something a bit more Chicagoly shady?

Scaffolding popped up last week around the Farwell Building, 664 N. Michigan. It is there to keep pedestrians from being hit by falling facade pieces, said Dave Bayless, spokesman for the owner, the Terra Museum of American Art.

You might remember the Farwell, a 1927 building that got an unexpected reprieve last month when the city landmarks commission said developers couldn't hollow it out to make it part of a condo project. The decision threw the project by Prism Development Co. into confusion. Without the Farwell part, Prism would have to drastically alter its plans next door for condos it is marketing under the Ritz-Carlton name.

If you know the way the game is played in Chicago, you might side with Michael Moran, vice president of the group Preservation Chicago, and call this a "scaffolding scam." Moran wrote: "This is a typical ploy to get a building demolished. 'See, it's decrepit,' owners claim. 'I even had to put scaffolding around it. Now don't you see why I have to demolish it?' "


By the way, why don't they just change the name of this town to Chicondo? Before much longer, this town will be nothing but. Although I suppose I should save my "Chicago has been ruined" colicky posting for some other time. But, long story short, Chicago has been ruined. It sucks. I mean, it has always sucked in many ways (it's 1 fucking degree Fahrenheit outside, and it has been that way for about 18 thousand days in a row -- just to name one sucky characteristic of this location), but in the last several years, the good things about Chicago have gotten scarcer and scarcer. Unless, that is, you like extreme blandness, cheaply constructed overpriced housing, and cutesy post-post-PoMo "urban tchotchke" shops ... lots of "urban tchotchke" shops (because everyone needs a sculpture of a labradoodle made out of baling wire and rusty antique 7-Up bottle caps, not to mention a six-piece set of hand-blown cocktail glasses in various colors to match every type of adulterated pukishly-flavored "martini" you love to drink so much ... green for apple, black for chocolate, orange for St. Joseph's Children's Aspirin, etc.) -- in which case you probably love it. And you are probably a 23-year-old investment banker from rural Wisiowindiasotachigoura who thinks Wrigley Field is a kickass place to score (i.e., drunkenly scream at) chicks (female version: you think a martini is permitted to contain any liquor other than gin or vodka and vermouth -- which is such a misguided viewpoint that I would need a whole separate blog to address it) and, dude, you got soooooo drunk at Barleycorn last weekend, dude, and you think Simon's Tavern is a "dive bar" and .... well, I wish you well, if by "well," you mean, "would go away forever." If you're not a person like that, and you're thinking about moving here, don't bother. It's over. Seriously. Chicago is over. It's not a "pretty soon" or "in the near future" thing -- it's past tense. History. The end has taken place. If the suburbs didn't suck harder than all that has ever sucked, simultaneously and in unison, with the fervor of the universe's champion sucking enthusiast ... gahhh ... again, let's post on that topic some other time, when I feel like working myself up into a frusternated pissed-offness. Which I prefer not to do now (editor's note: too late), cuz we gots a three-day weekend coming up -- woo! Preznit's Day off this year! Bartender! Rambling digressions all around, on me!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Chicago Wrestling Promoter Bob Luce Dead at 79

I'm not much for pro wrestling these days, other than the occasional relapse into reminding myself of why it's no longer entertaining, but I enjoyed it a lot back in the 1970s when, way up in the northern boonies, I would jiggle the fine-tuner to bring in fuzzy black and white UHF broadcasts of whoever the current behemothal fake-fighting apes were at the time, and laugh my pre-adolescent head off.

And, of course, I, Stronger Than Dirt Pete Moss, got my start in the world as a fake wrestling manager, so my heart will always be a little bit in the grappling game ... or, whatever you call it.

I don't think I've ever heard the name Bob Luce before reading his obit today (thanks to One O. Brawl for the tip), but I think his passing deserves a mention. I don't recall being aware of him as a personality, but I dug his work.

He brought noted grapplers such as Andre the Giant, Dick the Bruiser, Buddy Rogers, Gorgeous George and Verne Gagne to Chicago, showcased them in appearances, including his weekly local TV show leading up to his events, and introduced them with elaborate music as they entered the arena.


I'm also reminded by the obituary of how cool the old International Amphitheater used to be. Mang, Chicago was Chicago then. Along with the old Stadium, the Amphitheater was about as City of Big Ugly Acne-Crusted Hair-Capped Shoulders as you could get. Here is what Luce said about his preferred venue:

"If wrestling has an odor, as some suggest, it is not readily detectable in this arena that also caters to livestock shows and political conventions."


Indeed. Rest in wonderful mayhem, Mr. Luce.

You know yer a nerd when you think about pro baseball as a game played by general managers rather than players

I don't think the Cubs or the White Sox are going to get anywhere near post-season play this year, but I do think it's going to be a season that's fun to watch. For me, the interesting contest will be between Cubs GM Jim "Never Saw a Buffet He Didn't Like" Williams and Sox GM Ken "I Brought You a World Champsionship, Isn't It Time to Stop Calling Me Kenny?" Williams, and their divergent spending philosophies.

To sum it up very briefly, Williams has gone the cheap route for '07, whereas Hendry has been spending like a neocon at an imperialism party. I would like to come up with a better metaphor than that, but in the meantime, that's what's going in the draft version.

Anyway, I think it's kind of ironic that the Cubs have been so free-spending lately, because perhaps more than any other team in Major League Baseball, they can count on putting 3 million asses in seats (or their fully paid no-show ghosts, at least -- since attendance is measured these days by ticket sales, and not, you know, attendance) regardless of which clump of bums they put out on the field. I mean, I'd be willing to play second base for them this year, for the league minimum of $327,000 (hell, I'd even give them an under-the-table cut rate deal for, say, $100 grand), and I do not think it would affect their bottom line one bit. And I'm a really bad second baseman. I mean, I'm pushing 40, and way past my peak ... which was, I think, when I was 8. And I wasn't very good then, even though I was close to leading the little league at drawing walks from 3rd grade pitching.

But I digress.

The specific reason for today's "nobody cares" baseball post is that I have to believe that Ken Williams is laughing his fine ass off right now. The sports sections in Chicago's daily papers (OK, their websites) today were plastered with the news that Cubs ace starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano has decided he wants him some of that moolah the Trib Co. has been showering on the likes of Alfonso Soriano like ... uh ... a urolagnia specialist at a FloMax convention ($126 million over 7 years). The Tribune quoted Zambo as saying he wants a contract extension inked before opening day, and he wants a big one:

"I'm ready to sign, and I would do my job anyway with the Cubs this year," Zambrano said. "Whatever happens, I don't want to know [anything] about a contract during the season. I want to sign with the Cubs before the season starts. If they don't sign me, sorry, but I must go. That's what Carlos Zambrano thinks."

...

"[Cubs general manager] Jim [Hendry] spent a lot of money. I hope he has more for 'Big Z.'"


Gotta love the self-referential third-person usage there.

This is exactly the type of thing Ken Williams said he wanted to avoid when he traded Freddy Garcia for a few prospects. A few days in advance of that trade, here's what Williams said about current major league salary levels:

"I'm worried about the industry, and the industry affects everything that the White Sox will be able to do," said Williams in a recent interview. "You simply, if you are practicing any fiscal sanity whatsoever ... I'm just disgusted."


So whose approach is going to work out better, Hendry's or Williams's? Or will they both fail? And how will we know? The Cubs are likely to draw a ton of fans no matter what, but it remains to be seen whether the Sox can continue the box office success they enjoyed last year in the aftermath of the '05 championship season.

Anyway, I'm not an economist, Captain, just a humble baseball fan, so it beats the hell outta me. The White Sox might do better than the Cubs in terms of wins and losses this year, or they might be getting themselves on track for another World Series run by '10.

And the Cubs -- hey, with this bold strategy, they could win it all. Who knows? New field manager Lou Piniella sez it's time.

HAH!!!! I crack myself up sometimes.

Friday, February 09, 2007

My Asperger's symptoms are not going away anytime soon

In this one, I believe Ian Dury kinda anticipates Jon Langford and the Waco Brothers somewhat. It's jaunty.



Ian Dury and the Blockheads - Dance of the Crackpots

Equinoxical Harbinger 2: Palehose Seven!

Yes, in the words of Larry Sanders, "It's fleezing! It's fleezing!" but we all know that it's a transient condition. A few weeks from now, we'll barely remember. Plus, a few weeks from now ... yeah, here's the part where I pimp the White Sox yet again, for no profit and virtually no reward of any kind.

Sure, there's not really much to do in regard to baseball right now, even if you're a geek. The big trades and free agent signings are pretty much over. The Cubs and Sox both raised the prices of their tickets, which soon will go on sale and sell out to mysterious, shadowy, and evil ticket brokerages (at least one of which, in the case of the Cubs, is owned by the team's parent corp. itself) in short order, and once again, I'll be lucky to go to two or three games this year. So, aside from whining about how the local teams are going to finish somewhere between third place and the basement yet again (sorry, Kenny, I'm not buying this revamped bullpen just yet), but you still can't attend many games (especially the Cubs, who I now hate, largely because I live three L stops from Wrigley Field and I work at home on Fridays, and I cannot spend Friday afternoons getting drunk in the bleachers due to the goddamn contradictions of capitalism) ... well, it's a bit of a lull at the moment.

Was a lull, that is. Because now there's this: Carl Skanberg's Palehose 7, a comical strip in the vein of last year's excellent Palehose 6. Already, three installments are up. Go, go go! Obscure cartoon humor awaits you!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

NatLamp? Yumpin' yiminy, I t'ought yew wuz dead! or Read This Blog or We'll Shoot This Dog

Nobody watches the YouTube videos here, but I thought this one was semi-noteworthy anyway. It's a fairly predictable mashup of 24 and Aqua Teen Hunger Force, a little satire on the Boston Mooninite Lite-Brite scandal from last week. What I thought was semi-noteworthy was that it's allegedly produced by National Lampoon ... which I wasn't sure even existed anymore, despite the generally awful website. I still remember when they used to be funny. It's still just a memory, alas.

Wag the Dog?

Anna Nicole Smith's untimely death (just 27 days younger than STDPM) is knocking crazy astronette Lisa Marie Nowak out of the headlines. Nobody wins from this double tragedy. Except maybe Bobby Trendy.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

"I am the king of the divan" — Today in Advertising Today Today

I noticed last night that a new Pepsi commercial features a version of the old Plastic Bertrand song "Ca Plane Pour Moi" (best Belgian punk song ever!), which turns out to have been a cover version by The Presidents of the United States of America ... although I'm sorry to say, their version kinda sucks. There are several much better versions of the song out there in "out there" land. Besides, it's in "foreign" -- not too edgy, Pepsi! Woulda been better to go with Elton Motello's lyrically modified English version, "Jet Boy, Jet Girl," with its spit-take-inducing refrain, "He gives me head!" Now that's marketing.

Too Cold To Blog

Sorry, but the heating is just inadequate in this joint, and it's very drafty in the computer vicinity. This weather is driving me the rest of the short distance to crazy. Got a batch of cheesy scalloped potatoes in the oven now (be careful with the scalloped potatoes -- they call them scalloped, but they're really potatoes) and after I eat them, I'm hunkering under a big blanket and camping out in front of the warm glow of the television for the "Naked Trucker and T-Bones" show. Until May.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Nostalgia for the Early Mashup Era

We were so naive in 2001, weren't we? We could still be surprised then. We weren't yet jaded and callused by the death of western culture.

Yeah, OK, I don't know about any of that, but the best song that came out in 2001 was a fairly rudimentary mashup, by today's standards, of The Strokes and Christina Aguilera by Freelance Hellraiser. Yeah, you got yer RIAAs and yer Kleptones and yer Danger Meeces in more recent times, but "A Stroke of Genius" still hits on all cylinders.



Freelance Hellraiser - A Stroke of Genius

Friday, February 02, 2007

Groundhog, feh ... I gotta harbinger for yez right here, buddy

I can sense the end of winter approaching. White Sox pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training in two weeks. Position players show up five days later. Approximately one minute hence, Ozzie Guillen offends the media for the first time in '07.* Let's play ball!

Yeah, yeah, I know ... Chicago has its collective head up its ample ass right now over the trademark-protected "Big Game" allegedly taking place this weekend, and the upcoming obscene yet ponderous spectacle is all anyone is talking -- or, more accurately, being talked at -- about. So, in the spirit of ... uh, that ... here's my prediction: The score of the aforementioned "Juego Grande" will be 27 to 12.

* Not counting his mangled pronunciation in an interview the other day of "Urlacher," which was just freakin' hilarious.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

"Like a butter lamb born into a world of hot knives" -- The Cole Stoma Notebooks, part one

Long ago, in a time before broadband, I used to lounge on the couch a lot at night with these obsolete analog things we called "notebooks" and write stuff down in a really inefficient and painful process we called "longhand." Then, after I filled up a bunch of pages with mostly crossed-out chicken scratches, I would select out 300 to 1000 words or so that didn't make me want to puke, and make a "zine" out of it ... which is sort of an antique kind of blog thing, in a way, only printed on paper and reproduced on the work photocopier at lunchtime. (Some of the titles of those defunct samizdat publications are in the banner up top.)

I recently stumbled on a pile of these notebooks in my disused "dining room" (scare quotes employed because I have never eaten a meal in there; it's pretty much a storage room, aka, place to throw junk when I don't want to look at it so much anymore), and the first impression I got while flipping through them was, "Wow, I used to smoke some really good weed in the '90s."

Maybe too good. Toward the end, chronologically, of these notebooks, I was clearly spending a lot less time fleshing anything out, because they devolve from full pages of text to pages filled mostly with goofy little cartoon faces and vague, jotted notes that I apparently intended to make into a story someday, which day never came. For no particular reason at all, here are a few, vintage 1999 or thereabouts:

~~~~ cupola --- stoned artist -- 3 white housewives ---- "I'm fucking him" -- fucking him now? or future? -- both

Steve Allen confronted by a talking cat ~~~~~ hypnosis, telepathy, pickled herring, Bergman movies

Take me to your desires.

Onion-assed man
-slammed in door
-makes dogs cry

I was not long thereafter consulted in my capacities as a solicitor by an aggrieved man with an ass for an onion. "My soup is ruined," he wailed. "A total loss!"

Warning: Service Interruption Imminent

OK, I'm fed up with Blogger and I'm looking for a new place to engage in this pointless toy bloggery, or else I'm just calling it quits entirely. The new setup is garbage ... error this, error that, glitches, constant difficulties in posting, can't view the blog, blah blah blah. If there's anything I don't need, it's more headaches for no good reason.

This is today's thing, and the reason why I can't look at anyone's blogger blog at the moment (so this post comes to you courtesy of Rene Descartes, I guess):

We're sorry, but we were unable to complete your request.

When reporting this error to Blogger Support or on the Blogger Help Group, please:

* Describe what you were doing when you got this error.
* Provide the following error code and additional information.

bX-vjhbsj


Sure, put the code on the "Blogger Help Group," if it makes you feel better. I've never seen anyone from the assholes in Mountain View (i.e., anyone from Google) provide any answers or even make any appearance at all in that forum. So it's more of a "Helpless Blogger Emotional Support Group" than anything else, where you can go to say "Me too -- same problem here" while you waste yet more time fretting over your point-free nerd activity.

I need a better hobby. I'd take up knitting, but apparently it's obligatory to blog about it, so never mind that.

UPDATE: Service interruption downgraded to "empty threat watch," which means that conditions are right for empty threats to develop. If you see an empty threat on this blog, please take refuge in the nearest comments section.