Monday, April 28, 2008

Dream of the Late-Nite Pesto Pizza Fiend

I had a dream last night that the angel of death was chasing me down a long, wood-paneled hallway. He didn't look like the standard Death character, with the skull head, robes, etc. He was very tall and skinny and was wearing blue denim pants and jacket. His skin was kind of yellowish. He had long, braided light-brown hair that was tied together in the back in a sort of pony tail, and his face was blurry, like one of the bystanders in a "Cops" show. I reached a door at the end of the hallway that I knew was the exit to the place I was in, but I didn't open it, because I knew the death guy would be waiting outside if I did. But I also knew he was still behind me, chasing. So I panicked for a few seconds and then woke up. Actually, it wasn't that terrifying ... I think I realized it wasn't real. It wasn't real, was it?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Saturday Afternoon Bad Joke Post

This is my favorite bad joke. I never get tired of it. I have no idea who wrote it. Here's how it goes.

Fella sez to his friend, "Hey, pally, yer never gonna believe this dog I picked up at the pound! He can talk! He's a talking dog!"

His friend sez, "Aw, that's bullshit. Prove it to me."

So the fella sez to the dog, "OK, Spot, what's the texture of sandpaper?"

Dog sez, "Rough!"

Fella sez, "Still not convinced, eh? Well, watch this," and he sez to the dog, "What do they call the thing on top of the house?"

Dog sez, "Roof!"

But the friend still ain't buying it. So the fella with the dog asks one more question.

"Hey, Spot, who was the greatest ballplayer of all time?"

Dog sez, "Lou Gehrig!"

Friday, April 25, 2008

This is one of those posts where I got nuthin but I pretend there's a lot more to come real soon

Man alive, there are a lot of cheap jokes that I'm missing out on here because I don't use my real name for this thing. I ... uh ... I mean I don't use my fake name. The fake name I gave the gubbermint as an infant and as a 16-year-old rookie driver. Anyway, I can't say any more than that about that.

In other news, provided you have very little going on in your life, you can look forward to some Colicky Baby posts soon, on topics such as (1) Lou Piniella's physique vs. Jim Bouton's physique and (2) how much jury duty sucks ass -- and (2)(a) how much being a captive audience in a jury assembly room while the Whoopi Goldberg Show is on the damn TV sucks assssssssssss.

Can't wait? Too bad. You have to. I'm neither energetic nor drunk enough at this time to service you. (That's what she said.)

Oh just one more thing. Here's a Friday Night UkuleleTube cover tune video set.

Keonepax - Little Red Riding Hood (Sam the Sham)

Keonepax & Kanagawa G - Everyday (Buddy Holly)

Keonepax - Here, There, and Everywhere (Duh)

Keonepax & Yoshi Takenaka - Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (Duh, also, too)

Keonepax - You've Got Your Troubles (The Fortunes)

Keonepax - Edelweiss (Rodgers & Hammerstein, duh)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sweet Merciful YouTube Chaser Post

OK, I really need to get that horrible thing off the top spot. Ucch. Get thee below the bottom of the screen, Satan!

Perhaps indicating just how awful the preceding video was is the fact that I'm considering John Cale to be a nice, palate cleansing chaser. Well, this song is, anyway, in my opinion. I seem to be hearing it a lot on college radio lately, and the video -- although it does have a lot of John Cale in it, who many consider quite scary and distasteful -- features absolutely no mass murderers or hideous fake boobies, and it definitely has zero talking-head appearances by Bill Kurtis, thank the monkey jesus.

John Cale - Paris 1919 (live in Amsterdam)

Severely Sick Saturday YouTube Post

You think I was kidding the other day about that Richard Speck prison video? OK, even if you didn't, I still can't resist posting this excerpt, via the suppository of all that is right, wrong, and really really wrong, OoyayUbetay. I think the whole Bill Kurtis documentary might be on there, but this is all you need to see, if you are a sick fuck. Seriously, though, don't. Run! Save yourselves!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Do over! Do over!

Damn it, I slept through the earthquake. I don't really wanna have a building fall on me or get swallowed up by a crack in the earth or anything (OK, sometimes I do), but I've always been curious about what an earthquake feels like. And I blew it. Stupid zzzs.

We seem to be having a lot of scary "California" things happen around here lately -- wild mountain lions, earthquakes -- and I wonder what's coming next. Mudslides? Santa Ana winds? Bruce Vilanch?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

For the wishywashy ambivalence of the game

The more people insist (usually in a very yelly outdoor voice) that I have to pick one team to love or, more crucially, hate, the more I refuse to unequivocally pick one. The White Sox get the edge, I guess, because I'm willing to publicly display an affinity for them. Cubs appreciation, on the other hand, is a shameful indulgence, for several reasons. But, still, I'm unapologetically wishywashy.

Evidence thereof: Quick inventory of MLB merch in the house:

White Sox - 1 t-shirt, 1 baseball cap, 1 toque
Cubs - 1 baseball cap, 1 toque, 1 big framed foto of Wrigley Field on dining room wall

Hm, looks like a tie. Although I didn't pay for the foto, or even ask for it (it was a gift). I paid for the frame, though. Cheap frame. Target. And I won't wear the Cubs hats in public, except to a Cubs game, which means I've worn them about five times, in total.

Do I hate the Cubs or not? Yes, to both questions. Do I hate the White Sox? Never, even when they suck.

Do I need a less ambivalent hobby? That would be a yes. I think. Maybe.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Can't Has Cheezburger

A 150-lb cougar (aka puma, mountain lion, panther) was shot and killed in an alley in Roscoe Village tonight. I can understand that a city like this one doesn't have the resources or experience with wild animals to deal with a big cat like that one running loose, but the pictures are sad. I don't know if that was some kook's pet that was set loose or escaped, or if wild cougars are really ranging this far into urban areas due to diminishing habitats or what, but it was just trying to get by, man. Just trying to eke out a damn puma existence in this cold world.

In recent days, there were sightings of a big cat up in North Chicago (which, incidentally, I know has a pretty wide variety of wildlife, from working up there years ago, when I myself sighted several coyotes, a fox, and what looked to me like a badger, along with the frequent skunk, woodchuck, deer, and snapping turtle appearances), and then more sightings down the Metra line a bit in Wilmette. Those types of reports are almost always debunked -- eyes play a lot of tricks, and a bobcat, or even a feral tomcat, can look bigger than reality in twilight conditions -- but perhaps this time they were accurate.

Yesterday I saw an Animal Control vehicle prowling around outside my place here in the brackish zone betwixt Andersonville and Uptown, which probably was something completely unrelated, but ... maybe not. At any rate, if it's not the last one, I don't want anyone's kids or pets to get hurt or anything, but I wish we could come up with another way to solve the problem.

On a lighter note, here's a classic Smothers Brothers bit with a little something to say about pumas. "Take it, Tom!"

Boil That Cabbage Down

"He hates these cans!"

This just in:

Malcolm X College was evacuated Monday morning after a threat was found written on a bathroom wall, a City Colleges of Chicago spokeswoman said.

It's starting to look like all schools with an "X" in their names should think about closing for a while, preemptively.

Or else ... maybe the solution is to eliminate bathroom walls. If you can't get rid of the underlying problem, get rid of the medium for expressing that problem.

It worked for the Illinois penitentiary system after the infamous Richard Speck "boob job, blowjob, and coke party" tapes were exposed by Bill Kurtis about 12 years ago. The answer to that public relations debacle: Ban and seize all the inmates' camcorders (which had the unfortunate side effect of setting back American indie cinema for untold years, not to mention all the potential YouTube prison insanity we're missing out on). So, for all we know, Stateville is still fulla big tits and blow, but if nobody sees it, it might as well not exist.

Therefore -- get rid of the bathroom walls, Academe! Isn't the expression "Groves of Academe," anyway? So the kids can shit in the woods, with the bears and the Pope. Although that would just lead to a lot of threats carved into trees with jackknives. OK, everybody can just shit in a trench in the middle of the quad then. Problem solved!

Do college kids shit in the quad? In the near future, they do.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Anything Chicagoist can do, I can do more stupiderly (and with no pretty fotos) -- Local Interest Grab-Bag Post

By now everyone knows has been on a lameward trajectory for a long time, consisting almost entirely of links to Tribune and Sun-Times stories and snipey arguments in the comments section by a handful of shrill and tiresome characters.

So what’s an under-the-radar Chicago blogger to do while spending the rump end of this ceaseless winter holed up in his subterranean lair (aka, “The Dirt Cave”)? The answer, of course, is to post up a Chicagoist-style set of short local-interest items consisting mostly of smartass remarks about journalism done by somebody else.

1. Reports of his death were greatly erroneous, unless you’re talking about his career. Although he’s surely suffering from lacking access to cute J-school students on which to use his favorite pickup line (“Hey, baby, wanna come back to the office and watch me write my column?”), Bob Greene did not die this week. Well, one of them did. But not the one I was thinking of when I heard the report. And I wasn’t alone, judging from this snip from Bob Greene’s Wikipedia entry, which tells it all:

Erroneous Reports of His Death

It was reported on this Wikipedia page that Bob Greene died on April 10th, 2008 after a long illness. In truth, that death was Robert W. Greene, the pioneering Newsday reporter and editor.

Whew. We almost lost a ... one.

2. "What's This?" It's a Skafish report. Careful readers of this blog (hah!) know I’m an appreciator of early Chicago punk-esque entertainer Jim Skafish. So I was glad to read in Time Out Chicago that Skafish has released a new CD of unreleased old outtakes, titled What’s This? 1976-1979.

OK, I don’t really have any smartass remarks about this item, but I think it’s good news. I might even (gasp) buy a copy. For info and song samples, go here. Worth a look and listen. Over on YouTube, there’s a clip from the movie Urgh! A Music War featuring Skafish’s “Sign of the Cross,” but embedding is disallowed, so you’d have to click over there to see it (which is worth doing). In addition, Skafish is blogging.

3. I say we close 'em all, forever. I don’t think this has made national news, so transplanted former Chicagoans might not have heard that the campus of St. Xavier University, on the southwest side, has been closed “indefinitely” after threats were found written on the wall of a dorm bathroom. Which means, I think, that it’s definitely closed, but for how long, no one’s saying yet.

I guess they didn’t have much choice. It seemed ridiculous when similar threats shut down Northern Ill. U. for a few days late last year (this is all it takes to paralyze a university, some knob with an El Marko? And do mass murderers usually leave cryptic warnings ahead of time? Who are these people, The Riddler?), but then a couple months later some presumably unrelated drool-bone swiss-cheesed up a lecture hall, so I can understand the public relations pressure they’re under when this sort of thing happens now ... as it seems to do every other day, at some campus somewhere.

I dunno, maybe this is just a good start. I’ve long believed that college is a waste of time and money, and is good for nothing other than putting a four-year delay (give or take) on the entry of dimwitted and impudent brats into the workforce. Maybe if college becomes simply impossible, our society will finally have to route around it. Which would be preferable to the current modus of encouraging more and more post-pubescent cementheads to pony up the hardcore loan money for the pyramid-scheme charade of higher book-larnin’. But then, I think all children should be segregated in labor camps until at least the age of 21 (age 30 for any of them that might pose a physical or financial threat to me), so I could be a little outside the mainstream hyah.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Saturday Morning Roland Kirk Nose Flute Post

I had a ton of writing for money to do this week, and I've been feeling pretty tapped out. But I have a few ideas for posts that I'll try to get to this weekend. Teaser Keywords: Bob Greene, Jim Skafish, Saint Xavier University. Until then, here's this.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Happy birthday, Hag

Born in Bakersfield, California, on April 6, 1937, ladies and gents ... Merle Haggard.

Mama Tried

Ramblin' Fever

I Take a Lot of Pride in What I Am

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Thursday Night Esoteric YouTube Set: Danny Kirwan's Fleetwood Mac

So Feral Mom’s talking about getting a Fleetwood Mac cover band together – Rumours-era, naturally. Which set me to thinking about all the early stuff Fleetwood Mac did in its various incarnations, stuff that’s largely forgotten nowadays, except by rock geekmos like myself. And, thought leading to action, as it does about 1 in 1,000 times in my case, I threw together a quick YouTube set featuring one of the great songwriters and guitarists from the pre-Nicks/Buckingham days.

As everyone knows (they still teach this stuff in school, right?), Fleetwood Mac is regarded as having three major phases – the early blues band formed around Peter Green, the “transitional” period, and the Mac lineup we’ve all been overexposed to for most of our lives. Tonight's subject, Danny Kirwan, factored heavily in the “transitional” phase. Kirwan, in my opinion, is one of the big “shoulda beens” of rock and roll – solid songwriter, great guitar player, but he just never became a household name.

Danny Kirwan joined Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac in 1969 and played on this Peter Green–written single from 1970, shortly before Green left the band:

Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac – The Green Manalishi

Here’s a blues song in the early style of the band, written by Danny Kirwan and recorded in 1970:

Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac – Like It This Way

Unfortunately, there isn’t much YouTube material from the first post-Green album, Kiln House, where Kirwan really begins to make his presence felt. But here’s a pretty good live performance from 1975 by the best-known lineup of the band, of the song “Station Man,” (co-penned with Jeremy Spencer and John McVie), which originally appeared on that disc.

Fleetwood Mac - Station Man

I can’t find anything from 1971’s Future Games LP, and until a few days ago there was nothing from 1972’s underrated Bare Trees, either. That album heavily featured Kirwan’s songwriting, including the following (a personal favorite):

Fleetwood Mac – Bare Trees

The following trippy video from 1971 is notable for the early, if … overly trippy images of the band in what I call its “middle period.” The song is "Dragonfly," released only as a UK single and turning up on a “best of” compilation or two:

Fleetwood Mac – Dragonfly

And, to round out the mix, here’s a solo single released in the UK in 1979:

Danny Kirwan – Only You

Kirwan’s health reportedly declined in the late '70s and he’s been out of the music biz for a long time. According to that unassailable font of truth, Wikipedia, there have been rumo(u)rs of a reunion by the early members of Fleetwood Mac. John McVie was quoted as saying that Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer might be up for it, but Danny Kirwan probably would not participate.

ADDENDUM: I can also toss out a Bob Welch post, if there's any sign of interest.