Monday, March 31, 2008

It's Opening Day (so be nice to your openings)

Baseball! Baseball today! Baseball in Chicago today! If the weather permits, that is. Yes, it's another classic Opening Day at Wrinkly Folds ... cold, wet, dark, and utterly futile. And there's a big band of gnarly showers on the radar headed this way. (I think it's the Benny Goodman Band, but that could be ground clutter, not clarinet. Trivia item: Benny Goodman was born in Chicago on May 30, 1909, so even he was not born early enough to have lived during a Cubs championship season.)

Meanwhile, the White Sox get started this afternoon in Cleveland, where the forecast is for ... rain.

Let me get out my crystal ball of Zanzibar here. (Wipe wipe, polish polish.) Ahem. Doody doody doo. I ... I see many double headers in our future.

I do have some breaking news, however. Big scoop. I might have to switch team allegiances, in fact, because the Cubs have just solved their shortstop problem by signing 95-year-young free agent "Tongue" Studs Terkel to an eight-year, $35 million deal. Let's play two four!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

"If tin whistles are made of tin, what do they make fog horns from?" Sunday Night No Particular Reason YouTube Post

So, who digs skiffle?


OK. But everybody digs Lonnie Donegan, at least, right?

(More crickets. And a few spazzy grasshoppers playing air crickets.)

Lonnie Donegan was the king of skiffle. Skiffle was a form of folk music that was popular in the UK for a while. This is all Wikipediable, of course.

When I was 4 or 5 years old, my mom had a 45 in her collection -- in the section with all the records marked "NO" in ballpoint pen, which meant I wasn't to mess with them (after I had scratched up her vintage copy of Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes"), which "NO" of course meaning that those were the platters to home in on, of course -- that was the first record I think I ever really flipped for. It was Lonnie Donegan's 1958 recording of "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour (On the Bedpost Overnight)".

When I played that song on the stereo in the basement, I used to utterly unhinge, freak out like a toddler monkey on caffeinated cocaine, and do a dance that consisted of facing the couch in our basement rec room and grabbing the cushions with both hands, bending at the waist, and slamming my head to the left and right, back and forth, as fast and hard as I could, onto the couch cushions, until I collapsed in exhaustion. Oy, I don't envy people with small children. But I do envy their kids.

Thanks to the magic that is the Tube of You, here's a video of Lonnie performing "Does Your Chewing Gum etc" on German TV in 1972, right around the time I was bashing my skull against upholstery to the studio recording of it.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Well, just got back / Been gone too long

Wasn't my idea, didn't pull the trigger
Oh, oh, oh
I, I, I
I'm just so glad
I'm just so glad to be back home

Cheap Trick - Just Got Back

I just got back from a three-day bidniss trip to our nation's crapital, which is still just as crapitalitastic as the last time I was there, albeit with somewhat better weather.

George Clinton - Paint the White House Black

More blogging, with renewed vigor and spirit, soon to come. That is my pledge to you. I am Stronger Than Dirt Pete Moss, and I approve this message.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Watching baseball / sitting in the sun / eating popcorn / reading Ezra Pound

Happy 89th birthday to Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

Baseball Canto

Watching baseball, sitting in the sun, eating popcorn,
reading Ezra Pound,
and wishing that Juan Marichal would hit a hole right through the
Anglo-Saxon tradition in the first Canto
and demolish the barbarian invaders.
When the San Francisco Giants take the field
and everybody stands up for the National Anthem,
with some Irish tenor's voice piped over the loudspeakers,
with all the players struck dead in their places
and the white umpires like Irish cops in their black suits and little
black caps pressed over their hearts,
Standing straight and still like at some funeral of a blarney bartender,
and all facing east,
as if expecting some Great White Hope or the Founding Fathers to
appear on the horizon like 1066 or 1776.

But Willie Mays appears instead,
in the bottom of the first,
and a roar goes up as he clouts the first one into the sun and takes
off, like a footrunner from Thebes.
The ball is lost in the sun and maidens wail after him
as he keeps running through the Anglo-Saxon epic.
And Tito Fuentes comes up looking like a bullfighter
in his tight pants and small pointy shoes.
And the right field bleechers go mad with Chicanos and blacks
and Brooklyn beer-drinkers,
"Tito! Sock it to him, sweet Tito!"
And sweet Tito puts his foot in the bucket
and smacks one that don't come back at all,
and flees around the bases
like he's escaping from the United Fruit Company.
As the gringo dollar beats out the pound.
And sweet Tito beats it out like he's beating out usury,
not to mention fascism and anti-semitism.
And Juan Marichal comes up,
and the Chicano bleechers go loco again,
as Juan belts the first ball out of sight,
and rounds first and keeps going
and rounds second and rounds third,
and keeps going and hits paydirt
to the roars of the grungy populace.
As some nut presses the backstage panic button
for the tape-recorded National Anthem again,
to save the situation.

But it don't stop nobody this time,
in their revolution round the loaded white bases,
in this last of the great Anglo-Saxon epics,
in the territorio libre of Baseball.


Also birthdaying today is Holger Czukay ...

... and Nick Lowe.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Happy Belated Birthday to Good Old Number 56

I have been remiss in failing to mention that Jim Bouton turned 69 on March 8. Well, now I've mentioned it. And I feel much better.

Here's a foto of Bouton beside yers trooly, STDPM, at the Vintage Base Ball World Series in Westfield, Massachusetts, last August. I know I look bloated and sick in this foto, but that's mainly because I was bloated and sick, having just narrowly survived a rusty-knife fight with a plate of One O Ball's habanero burritos the night before. Also, I was on vacation. I always look bloated and sick on vacation. Wouldn't you?

Out of the many interesting items of trivia from Bouton's life, this one is possibly my favorite:

[After the publication of Bouton's groundbreaking name-naming season diary, Ball Four,] Pete Rose took to yelling "Fuck you, Shakespeare!" from the dugout whenever Bouton was pitching.

And I believe this Bouton quote brings an end to a longstanding debate between various George Will and Andy Rooney contingents:

Baseball players are smarter than football players. How often do you see a baseball team penalized for too many men on the field?

Quick Friday New Wave Ukulele Get Up and Dance Like a Hawaiian Robot YouTube Post

Gugug - Are Friends Electric? (Tubeway Army)

Gugug - What Do I Get? (Buzzcocks)

Gugug - Jack the Ripper (not New Wave, but it's Link Wray, goddammit! Link Wray!!!)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Blog Neglect Is a Terrible Thing

Sorry, all youse few but important readers (quality over quantity, I always say, when I can't obtain much quantity), but my brain is still too flu-ravaged to be of much use. It's about all I can do to churn out the hackery, er, "value-added content" I spew for a living, let alone blog.

The worst has been over for a while, but the fog has not quite lifted. Suffice to say that, shit, goddamn, that was a muthafuckin flu jam. A tearing-the-roof-off-the-sucka virus, to be sure. And you know how it goes -- flu your mind, and your ass will follow. That is, if by "follow" you mean "shiver under a pile of blankets and watch weird TV shows while feeling sorry for oneself due to one's solitary existence in a world in which chicken soup does not purchase or heat up itself and in which one lacked the prescience to be properly stocked up on such favorite flu-time meals as ibuprofen and Sprite -- and then the diarrhea kicked in."

Annnyway ... watch weird TV I did. Specifically, about 20 episodes of "Red Dwarf" in Divx format, as well as a few Terrence McKenna lectures, because apparently I didn't feel disconnected from reality enough. But what really warped my gray matter was "Breaking Bad" on AMC. I only caught a couple of those, but they had a weird persistence, in that, in my fever state, I kept sort of hallucinating that I was Bryan Cranston's character, dying of cancer, cooking meth, and trying to work out about a million nonsensical chemistry formulas. I think I spent about two solid days obsessively mulling over an endless series of numbers and symbols that made no sense whatsoever. Ecch. So how the hell was I supposed to blog?

My brain is still far from what passes for normal. Here's an example. Last night I dreamed that I went back in time and attended a meeting of our old hippie-dumbshit club at NIU in the late 1980s, "The John Lennon Society," for the specific purpose of delivering warnings from the future, and two of my dude friends -- who shall remain nameless -- were sitting cross-legged on the floor, without any pants on, and they both had pussies, big gaping gleaming fur-capped vaginas. Which didn't seem to bug them or anyone else, so I shrugged and went on with giving all the hippie dipshits the lowdown about 2008.

IN OTHER NEWS: All video games and video game machinery should be seized by the government, wadded up in a giant bag made of cactus spines, broken wine bottles, and shredded paint cans, and rammed, repeatedly and forcefully, up my upstairs neighbors' unlubricated rectums. For a hundred years, continuously.


Harry Nilsson - The Puppy Song