Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Perhaps they had been watching too many DVD's of Johnny Depp's escapades and had convinced themselves that "Pirates of the Caribbean IV-The Somali Adventures" was already filming and they would be extras in the production. I can't explain it. All I know is that I and my maties are sitting pretty on the decks of the MV Faina waiting for our $35 Million payoff. A T-72 tank, anyone?
Monday, September 29, 2008
Short Road to Perdition
With all due respect, the only way that (Bush getting respect) could possibly happen is if perdition goes below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Santorum with Lipstick
The train wreck that is Sarah Palin will most probably be the undoing of McCain's chances to win this November.
If nothing else, this year's election has been quite interesting, capped off so far by the "Do I cancel? Do I not?" behaviour last week of the man of action, Mr. McCain. But who really decided to go through with that cheap move? His handlers had to have had a say in the matter; this doesn't seem to be all McCain's doing.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Beating my Drum
All will not be on the down low. I'm sure I'll be kicking in some Ry Cooder and new albums by Dr. John, BB King, and Randy Newman. All of the latter had New Orleans on their mind, it seemed, when they put out new work in 2008.
Minimum talk, maximum music, no advertisements. What more can you ask for? Sorry, I don't deliver Sunday morning coffee.
9/28/08 Addendum: Play list for the day has been posted here.
Labels: WVUD 91.3
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
No Tears (Except of Joy) Shed
Our Girl in Chicago (OGIC), writes in this entry of the loss she felt when she stopped using a typewriter. I feel no empathy nor recognition with her finely written piece. I, instead, recall the continuous pain, remorse, and invention of new curse words when I think back on the college days when (Warning! Dating information coming) typewriters were the only alternative to arthritis-inducing handwriting.
Ms. Demanski (OGIC) must have been a wizard on the typewriter keys. Speed, no errors, no need for quick editing. My experience was not that romantic. Countless reports that had to be re-typed. Endless nights roaming the streets looking for open stores selling typewriter ribbons. Re-typing pages because a word had been typed incorrectly so many times that there were holes in the pages. Electricity going out in our student apartment thus shutting down my electric typewriter as I was half-way through finishing a paper due the next day. No, a typewriter was a soul-sucking machine that simply served the purposes of the reader, not the writer. The writer became a key-puncher (and letter eraser) shuffling the too-many drafts around on the floor, searching for the bon mot page that was chucked 2-3 drafts ago. My typing skills were so bad that if a professor offered the option of a hand-written paper, I immediately broke out paper and pen.
It wasn't that my typewriter was to blame. My folks, proud to have their first born trudge off to the Big Time of Schooling, scrimped and saved to send me off with an electric Olympia, a low-humming beast that built up my pecs as I lugged it around the dorm room. It was such a beauty that other dorm mates "borrowed" it. Let's just say that it was not the best decision on my part to lend it out. The Olympia was returned with some keys loosened and the typewriter ribbon bled of any black color. Somehow, it was an expected practice that freshman keep their machines fully maintained for the upper class folks who did you a favor by using your equipment. That lending practice ended halfway through the first semester, before the Olympia was totally inoperable.
I'll give Ms. Demanski (OGIC) one point. The low hum of the Olympia and the striking of the keys were soothing sounds. At first. When those striking keys ended up striking not so clear sentences, sounds of a non-soothing nature tended to erupt from my lips. Thanks God for great Croatian curses!
There is no nostalgia from this guy about typewriters. I was more than happy to donate mine to the local zoo so that the chimps could have their chance to write Shakespeare. I'd even throw in the barrel of White-Out and those nasty whiting strips, although I believe the monkeys' typing skills were far better than mine.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Which doesn't mean we should be following their investment advice. Or, maybe we shouldn't be following anyone's investment advice. Take to the mattresses!
Link, thanks to The Consumerist.
Labels: Only in America
Monday, September 22, 2008
They're talking/complaining/cooing about their beau du jour.
I spread out my daily NYT, sorting the different sections in my particular reading order. Sports section first, followed by the Arts and then the Editorials a the end of the first section. On Tuesdays, the Science section jumps in front, while on Friday, the Weekend and Movie reviews are on top of the pile. I read with a deep pose, shoulders haunched, eyes poring over the news print, while chomping at a slice of pizza. I take on the pose both to ward off interruptions from other customers who want an ear for their troubles along with my self-serving need to immerse myself into subjects having nothing to do with work. Lunch is my hour of outside information intake. While most days that I'm at the pizza joint, I can concentrate fairly well on my table's offerings, other days finds me being drawn into the wait staff's conversation.
Heather, let me call her Heather as her birth decade was abloom with "Heathers", is one of the young women striving to get through her days overburdened with responsibilities at too young an age. She probably was quite pretty when she was just a few years younger. Lack of sleep, lack of stability, lack of a faithful mate, and no lack of two kids aged her in a punishing way. I again raised my hand to just below my ear and rubbed down the goose pimples that arose when I saw "Charlie" tattooed, like a rainbow, just below her right ear. "Charlie" had already spread out, as if the bluish ink were dissolving down her neck. A small heart dotted the i, posing the question of which "Charlie" was loved. Was "Charlie" a man’s name or a woman's? Not her own name, that was discounted when she was addressed by another of the young women. Was "Charlie" a son? A previous boyfriend/husband? A current boyfriend? My ears strayed while my eyes remained glued to the newsprint gradually fading into the background.
Over a few weeks’ time, Heather had shared her life, or at least the last 5 or so years with her fellow workers and anyone within earshot. "Charlie" was graduating the year she was a sophomore. A very smitten sophomore who soon was smote and then a junior high school mother. "Charlie" hung around for a while and then left the small town for work in Florida. Or so he said, which was the last he ending up saying to Heather. "Charlie" the tattoo arrived in that junior year when her small world became oh so large. "Charlie" the tattoo stayed when "Charlie" the graduate became Florida-bound. She had nervous hands and nicotine fingers, nothing a cigarette could help her with in the No Smoking restaurant. So she scraped and puled at her fingers' skin while she talked, always brushing the peelings off the tables before she left.
She dated after Charlie's southbound departure, even had some serious relationships. One resulted in another child, but no additional tattoos.
The tattooed dream was something she'd already let go off, wondering now how to erase what had been such a tangibility only 2-3 years ago. A family came through the entrance.
A puzzled look amongst themselves and then a nod by the mother, setting the feeding confusion aside. Heather was the next server in line. She pulled up the collar of her white shirt hiding all but the bluish heart on "Charlie", sighed, and drew herself out of the booth, a menu in hand and a smile slowly tugging on her face.
"Follow me, please", she said to the travelers as she turned into the family dining section.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Back in the Saddle
Well, the summer's about over and things are getting back to normal. I'll be d.j-ing next Sunday's 9:00 to 12:00 EST show, "The Morning After". Whole new bunch of releases since the summer began. I've been beating the dead horse of I, Flathead; I'll be playing some earlier stuff of Mr. Cooder's as well. The newest (and last) release of the Esbjorn Svensson Trio will be on the CD platter as will some releases by those Old Masters, Randy Newman, B.B. King, and Dr. John, all three having something to say about the aftermath of New Orleans. Other items, like TK Webb & the Visions and a band from Philly, Dr. Dog, will be on ears-play if the mood fits.
So, here's hoping you drop in on the Internet, on the last Sunday in September, a last bite at the summer that was.
Labels: WVUD 91.3
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Timothy McSweeney is devestated and lost. There was so much richness in his life; that's the part that is beyond me. "He was a beautiful, fantastic, brilliant"* and ultimately very fragile man.
* Deb Olin Unferth from here.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
A pang of empathy surged up my body and out through the remaining follicles on my head straining for purchase on my pate. ...a particularly fraught piece of real estate. I felt for the guy. Our state's very own senator and here he is in newsprint not getting respect for the planting and re-planting he had done quite a few years ago in attempts to densify the crop on his top.
Ah, how things can change in one's life. I sifted the remaining wisps on my own head and paused for one of those Mr. Mulliner reflections.
I started out as a blonde and bony kid who sported the popular buzz back in the day. Then, as my world mood darkened, so did my hair, to some combination of brown, red, and dirty blonde. The shortness lengthened to scary proportions that had neighbours locking their door and taking in the cat.
My overall appearance commenced with chubby cheeks (both areas) and then, with growth spurts, into your classic Slavic cheeks, wherein passers-by plied me with food to fill in the hallows of my face. My body type stayed fairly constant, a bit on the squirrely side, this all thanks to lack of a cornucopia of tv channels, tons of friends in the neighborhood to spend all hours of the day and night with, and a diet of three home-prepared meals.
Throughout my life, my temptations were minimal, not due to any religious nay-saying, but rather due to the preciousness of occasions where my temptations were in play. Certain toys, usually made either in Italy or Germany were temptations that later on morphed into albums and cd's. Books became a passion from early on, but were usually contained within the palaces of local libraries. It wasn't until after college that an accumulating nature took firm hold, a temptation that's now, I admit, a vice. There are more books in my house than I could ever possibly read, even if my wits were to stay within the confines of my head.
One temptation, however, has kept its place as the carrot I follow in my life.
The loveliest of our mono-syllable words. Say it slowly and you are swallowing the last crumbs you've licked from your fork's tines. Say it quickly, and feel your ears prick up, as if to hear the gurgling of the icing in its slow melt down the coated sides of the cake.
It is the most soothing of drugs, even when ingested in the melee that is the last scene of a 4 yr old's party. Kids and cake, chocolate lipsticked drooping in chairs with fingers splayed and spiked with bits of cake innards. A mother's cleaning horror, this. But, the kids? The cake was working its way through their system, first introducing that thought that will follow them forever. I'm.....getting...older...
That's why there's cake. And that's why tv's should be turned off, kid's soccer/hockey/football/baseball games should be ignored, lawn care farmed out, and house repairs ignored. Cake should be re-introduced to your life's regimen.
By cake, and please excuse my elitism, I don't mean those bathtub sized monstrosities one is forced to partake of at the innumerable office birthday parties. Set up your standards!
Start with this simple question. Is there butter in the cake? 95% of the time, the answer is a quick "No" or a forever "uuuhhhhhhhhhhmmm", which is worse as the person has no clue what is in the cake.
No Butter. No buy cake. Simple. Cake is for the soul and the soul demands butter.
To save you some eating time, I strongly suggest that you seek out a true bakery. A bakery that bakes cakes. Not cakes, bread, rolls, pizza. No. A cake bakery, preferably (Notice: Political Incorrectness Alert), where the head baker is from Northern Italy, Austria, or certain Slavic countries. Sometimes, 2nd generation will suffice, but check to see that they have pasted pictures of their European ancestors on the door leading to the ovens. These are referred to as their "Baking Papers".
God has not been smiling down on my little state for a long time. It is to the USA what Newfoundland is to Canada, what Sicily is to Italy. Now, we have our senator only 50 or so days away form possibly being the elected VP of this country. Only 3-4 years ago, all the great cakes in our state were imported from Pennsylvania or New Jersey (o.k., save for the mighty fortress of culinary arts that is the DuPont Hotel...but their cake is still rather unreasonably priced).
Wilmington has its own Sweet Somethings, a clean and delightful little paradise run by bakery chefs of Czech descent, whose birthday concoctions make aging a respectable pastime. A group of friends have been investing in their soul's pleasure with monthly visits to this emporium of butter, nuts, flour, and heat.
We are carefully working our way through The List, exercising caution to not overeating in pleasure and driven by fear that such a mecca in Wilmington could possibly go under before we made it to the final line, Assorted Mousses by the pound (No, Alcessa, not those kind of Mooses!)
n.b.: I previously blogged of the Infamous Frankopanska Torta of Crikvenica (Croatia) here. I am, yes, planning another pilgrimage, this time armed with a camera and a more open schedule.
Election TIme: Cause for Worry #3, "Canada, not a Foreign Country"
The whole foreign policy thing and Gov. Palin is beyond strange for me. Her continuous mentioning of Russia and its proximity "just on the other side of the Bering Strait" is her continual harangue as to her foreign credentials. I've yet to hear or to read anywhere where she mentioned that other rather large country that is not seperated by water or walls.
Come on, you know, that humungous tuque of a country resting on the top of our heads. There is not body of water nor a man-made wall seperating Alaska from the Great White North. Gov. Palin has even dealt with the Canadians, specifically a Canadian construction company, to build the oil pipeline that the US oil companies have not built. (Please read the link as it gives a detailed account of the confusing "Pipeline that may not be built" and the tax consequences on the Alaskan citizens. Hmmm, hasn't she boasting about her fiscal conservancy?) How is it that she hasn't discussed her "foreign" dealings with our next door neighbour which, yes I just checked it, is still a sovereign FOREIGN country. Is it possible? No, surely, she realizes that Canada is a country seperate from the US of A?!
Is something strange brewing? Will we soon be seeing the 51st state?
Whisky Prajer, help out a Canuck-lover, eh? What's the dissing that Palin's giving you folks?
**Addendum**: NYT's conservative David Brooks on the tough job that is governance from the Monday 9/15/08 edition.
Labels: Only in America
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Election TIme: Cause for Worry #2 Staying on Message
"The more the New York Times and The Washington Post go after Sarah Palin, the better off she is, because there’s a bigger truth out there and the bigger truths are she’s new, she’s popular in Alaska and she is an insurgent," Feehery said. "As long as those are out there, these little facts don’t really matter.""
So, the fact that the message is in regard to "the little facts that don't really matter" doesn't effect the truthfulness of the message? We're living in a temporary alternative universe. Marshall McLuhan's spinning in his grave. The Medium is not the Message. The Medium is Getting Massaged.
Note Bene: The $233 million given to Alaska for "The Bridge to Nowhere"? $40 million has already been spent on a road leading to the un-built "Bridge to Nowhere"....meaning that a possible bridge to somewhere is to be built or $40 million of asphalt has been used to build something where Everybody Knows This is Nowhere.
Labels: Only in America
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Election Time: Cause for Worry #1
Here, on Amazon, there is an Amazon Meter measuring the popularity of Obama and McCain based on the completely objective measurement of Halloween masks purchased. As of today, it's 35% for McCain and 65% for Obama. Seems like an insurmountable lead for the Dem's, right?
OH SO Wrong!
Considering that McCain has readily admitted he couldn't tell a PC from a toaster and you may (tongue-in-cheek) assume that his followers would have similar Luddite thinking, it's scary that 35% were actually able to post their Halloween night masks purchase choice on Amazon.
Maybe I have it all wrong.
180 degrees wrong.
Maybe the folks buying the Obama masks are the folks (the 65% folks) that think Barak O. is such a scary guy that a facsimile of his face will strike horror in any person of voting age. So, the 65% winning mark for Mr. Obama reflects the percentage of Amazon presidential mask buyers who do not admire him but, rather, are in deep fear of him and of his potential win on November 4th (two days after the Day of the Dead). The buyers are hiding their McCain votes behind an Obama mask.
This is getting seriously scary.
Monday, September 08, 2008
One, it concerned the NJ Devil, an alleged creature that graces my favorite hockey team.
Two, it introduced me to the potentially widely used word cryptozoology. Per the definition, cryptozoology's chief object is "to consider (an animal's) unexpected nature" The Jersey Devil would certainly fit within this definitive range. In addition, I believe, using the practices within cryptozoology, it may be possible to find a Presidential candidate to satisfy over 50% of the potential American voting public.
Just like Sasquatch and the (NJ) Devil, this PrezCand is a shy and crafty creature, carefully hiding in the backwash of these US of A states, waiting for a change in the current non-accepting non-believing American public.
I Have a TOTAL Lack of...
Again, the Times notes "It emerged today that Daniel Mudd, the departing head of Fannie Mae and Richard Syron, who is set to leave Freddie Mac, will share in a combined payoff of $23 million (£13 million) when they leave the mortgage groups.
Mr Mudd is expected to receive $9.3 million in pay and retirement benefits under the terms of his contract, while Mr Syron could walk away with $14.1 million. ".
I particularly love the understated use of emerge, suggesting a wart or huge pimple suddenly appearing. But, for these two fine gentlemen, it is a wondrous wart filled with incredible amounts of cash. If only I could be stricken with such a rich malady... Wonder what other perks these failures will receive?
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Anchorage Daily News points out some peculiarities here and here, while the Wasilla Frontiersman laments what the press is doing to the small town Gov. Palin used to be a mayor of, here.
Meanwhile, the Alaska State Trooper's organization is a bit teed off at being the whipping boy of the still current Alaska governor. Wonder if this divorce/child custody case will go Federal.
All in all, it is interesting times we live in.
Alice Roosevelt Longworth
Teddy Roosevelt, replying to a question from a visiting dignitary who asked if he could better control his daughter, Alice.
She was certainly a character in Washington, D.C.
Googling for images of pit bulls with lipstick (or is that Rudy Giulani in heels)has not yet located the first Photoshop version of such. Unless, of course, some owner is willing to take on the wrath of the SPCA and actually use real lipstick on a real dog. Still searchin'....
Now I'm thinking what make-up Joe Biden will have to don to counter the "lipstick" thing and still remain dignified and masculine. Hmmmm... How about the Rottweiler in Rouge! The VP cosmetics war! Fascinating.
But, the big thing tonight is......NY Giants v. Redskins. Fall is almost upon us.