Sunday, December 31, 2006

Thomas Dolby, Kevin Federline, Ken Russell, and musician unions

Wherein of course I find out today he played in town two weeks ago

From NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday is a 15 minute interview with Thomas Dolby that's worth a listen. He's always struck me as an interesting--and potentially nice--guy. Maybe you can listen to it. I just tried and got nothing. There are four songs I could listen to, just not the entire show.

Your Karma Hit My Dogma is a more interesting story than a song. Some guy by the name of Kevin Federline sampled Blinded by Science on his Myspace page. Lawyers were involved and the song was taken down. Dolby said he was more offended by the fact that the song sucked than over the loss of royalties. Your Karma Hit My Dogma is Dolby's musical reply.

See also Freakonomics in action for "media spreading rumors."

In case the NPR show won't run, there's his blog post about scoring a Ken Russell film:
At about 2 minutes to 12, I had just made a couple of minor changes to a cue and was ready to run it one last time. “Er sorry Mr Dolby,” said the first violin, “it’s almost twelve and we have to go to lunch.” “Well they’ve almost nailed it, can’t we just add on the equivalent mintues at the end of your lunch break?” I asked, perplexed. “Sorry, Mr Dolby, that’s the rules.”

I was speechless.

They were just beginning to put down their instruments when the heavy studio doors burst wide open, and Ken Russell came storming in the room, flush with Burgundy, the veins sticking out on his neck. He strode to the middle of the floor, glaring around at the musicians. “You… fucking… BASTARDS!!” he screamed: “You have this wonderful gift—from GOD!” (hand outstretched to the heavens) “—to play your instruments, and all your can think about is your FUCKING TEABREAK!”

The reverberations died down, leaving a deathly hush in the studio. After a few seconds the silence was broken by the tap of the conductor’s baton on his music stand. “Cue 11a once again please, gentlemen.”

My Cincinnati Chili recipe

Wherein this was a damn fine meat sauce

I'm sure I'll end up tweaking this, but I'd better get this much down for posterity. Worcestershire sauce is a common ingredient that I forgot to add, so I'll probably try that in the next batch (maybe a tablespoon). Probably could've used a touch more allspice as well.

I think one of the keys to an excellent Cincinnati chili is to not brown the ground beef. Instead, let it simmer in the broth and spices. This gives it a much smoother texture.

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • .25 cup chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • .25 tsp ground allspice
  • .25 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1.5 T unsweetened cocoa
  • 2.5 cups beef broth
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 3 T cider vinegar
  • .25 tsp cayenne pepper

  1. Add everything, except the ground beef, to a large stockpot. Whisk while bringing to a boil.
  2. Add ground beef and break up.
  3. Return to a boil, then cover and simmer for 2 hours.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Last night on the Documentary Channel

Wherein I didn't watch that, but I am watching tonight's doc on the Pixies; being the band, not the small mythological creatures similar to fairies

On the Documentary Channel was Shave it, Baby, Shave it. Described as "Men shaving facial hair, and the fascination that certain women have with the act of men shaving." Here's an article about the director.

Just in case you don't believe me, here's a picture of the TV screen:

And a link to an earlier quoting of Cryptonomicon concerning shaving.

"Come to Cleveland, Mr. Soft Palms"

Wherein while Bourdain can spell "slaughterfest" his "Cincinnati" is pear-shaped (also his "chilli" -- 2 LLs refers to the vegetable and 1 L is the southwestern dish; he's still good TV

A taunting is answered:
Okay, Ruhlman. As you well know, I am taking you up on your challenge. There WILL be a Cleveland episode of NO RESERVATIONS. It WILL begin shooting almost immediately upon my return from Tahiti. And you will have the opportunity to show me that there are signs of life in Ohio--beyond cow-tipping and the World's Largest Rubber Stamp.. Oh...and you are aware of the drag racing scene? Me in a rented Vette--and you in the ol' wood panelled station wagon, public road? Loser has to eat three orders of Skyline 3-Way Cincinatti Chilli. No joke.
And the Chomsky-quoting fascist is coming along for a couple a you are in DEEP shit, my friend. Can you spell S.L.A.U.G.H.T.E.R.F.E.S.T?

Posted by: bourdain | December 28, 2006 at 09:52 AM

Noted: Cincinnati chili is not real chili. I still like it and it's easy to make. I can recommend this recipe.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

"the squirrels are nice here"

Wherein people can be the dumbest animals

From Bruce Schneier comes this tale of incompetence and dumb assitudiness. Here's a sample:
Subject: Re: Question for you or other Attrition members

Wow, I feel dumb now. I honestly cannot rember if
there were pigeons on campus or not. A lot of crazy
squirrels, but I can't remember pigeons. Just for my
own edification, why do you need to know that? I'll
find out for you.

--- security curmudgeon wrote:

> : I can supply all that. Forgive what I assume is
> dumb question, but what
> : are pigeons? I know you're not talking about the
> bird.
> Actually I am.

Then there's the news story: Congressional aide admits trying to hire hackers -- to boost his college GPA.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas morning conversations

Wherein other than that it was a great day

At 4am:
Wife: Was that thunder?
Husband, getting out of bed and looking out the window: Don't think so, it isn't even raining.

At 9am:
Husband, pouring a glass of water from the kitchen sink: Hey, there's a limb down on the patio! It looks big.
Wife, sticking her head out the back door: No, it's an entire tree.
Husband and Wife: Crap.

At 9:05am:
Insurance company: A claims adjuster will call you tomorrow.

Wind knocked over a neighbor's tree. It was just long enough to rip off the gutters. Looks like it didn't damage the roof or the side of the house. Somehow missed poking through the kitchen window. If the tree had been 5-10 feet taller, we'd be getting estimates on rebuilding the kitchen.

Oh well, we were probably going to replace the gutters this year any way, so I guess January is as good a time as any.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Audra Mcdonald

Wherein an excellent singer and music, not that Dreamgirl crap

Tonight Quintet (Sondheim Birthday Benefit)

What Can You Lose?/Not A Day Goes By

Conversation with Audra McDonald.

Charlie Rose show. Skip to 39:30.

Tosy and Cosh review


Wherein I hate collard greens; or pretty much any green once it's been cooked

I was sent a question; This is true and not the usually concocted crap:
I landed here while googling for a Christmas song I heard on WRFK blues program this morning. The singer is stayin' up all night cookin' for Santa - collard greens, turkey and gravy and SWEET potato pie! It was great - would you happen to know this song?

I have no idea and had no luck with Google. Heck, I couldn't even find WRFK. I recommended this person should just call the show and ask the DJ.

Merry/Happy [insert your favored form of celebration here]

Wherein socks? who the hell gives clothes for Christmas? It's all about toys and games. Personally, I'm a big fan of books, but since your idea of acceptable literature is vastly dfferent from mine, perhaps a gift card would be safest. Don't forget the Hickory Farms beef stick. It just isn't the holiday season without a giant tube of summer sausage.

Let's get the sappy schmaltz out of the way. Thanks for all those who stopped by--intentionally or accidently. For those who stopped by more than once I apologize for nothing. Except for that one thing...but I've tried to ignore it and no one has brought it up we're all good...right?

We're in the final countdown here--Finishing off the last couple of presents, need to make gingerbread cookies for Santa, and The Daughter has put in a last minute request for carrots. Seems she's worried the reindeer will be hungry. Yes, she is the cutest thing, ever.

Probably won't be anything--almost said "substantial" but that would have been a first--for a few days so feel free to bother someone else.

Happy holidays
Merry Christmas
Happy Chanuka
Merry Gravmas
Happy Kwanzaa
Hapy Festivus

From an interview with Dan O'Keefe, author of "The Real Festivus" is my favorite response to a question:
Gaithersburg, Md.: Where can I get a good Festivus pole?
Dan O'Keefe: Try the one up Bill O'Reilly's ass.

I'll have to work that into conversations.

Friday, December 22, 2006


Excess ain't rebellion

Wherein of their interesting website the most disconcerting bit is the posting [news section] of an Off the Mark comic. Back on the school newspaper, we bought these for something like 100 panels for $10. I called them the unfunny comics, as in "There's a hole on page 5, drop in an unfunny comic." As editor-in-chief, the first thing I did was to shitcan Mark Parisi.

From Cake is a song so bitter and cynical that I bet there's a story behind it. Now if they'd quit worrying so much about the environment and put out some new music. Al Gore's on the job, so I'm sure everything will be just fine. Excess apoplexy is also not rebellion.

Well, your CD collection looks shiny and costly.
How much did you pay for your bad Moto Guzi?
And how much did you spend on your black leather jacket?
Is it you or your parents in this income tax bracket?

Now tickets to concerts and drinking at clubs,
Sometimes for music that you haven't even heard of.
And how much did you pay for your rock'n'roll t-shirt
That proves you were there,
That you heard of them first?

How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?
How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?
How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?
Ah, tell me.

How much did you pay for the chunk of his guitar,
The one he ruthlessly smashed at the end of the show?
And how much will he pay for a brand new guitar,
One which he'll ruthlessly smash at the end of another show?
And how long will the workers keep building him new ones?
As long as their soda cans are red, white, and blue ones.
And how long will the workers keep building him new ones?
As long as their soda cans are red, white, and blue ones.

Aging black leather and hospital bills,
Tattoo removal and dozens of pills.
Your liver pays dearly now for youthful magic moments,
But rock on completely with some brand new components.

How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?
How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?
How do you afford your rock'n'roll lifestyle?

Excess ain't rebellion.
You're drinking what they're selling.
Your self-destruction doesn't hurt them.
Your chaos won't convert them.
They're so happy to rebuild it.
You'll never really kill it.
Yeah, excess ain't rebellion.
You're drinking what they're selling.
Excess ain't rebellion.
You're drinking,
You're drinking,
You're drinking what they're selling.

Passing judgements upon other people's work

Wherein I'm not sure what I expected, but I'm enjoying it more than I thought I would

I'm reading Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Here's a quote that tells you nothing about the book:
"Besides," said M. Norrell, "I really have no desire to write reviews of other people's books. Modern publications upon magic are the most pernicious things in the world, full of misinformation and wrong opinions."

"Then sir, you may say so. The ruder you are, the more the editors will be delighted."

"But it is my own opinions which I wish to make better known, not other people's."

"Ah, but, sir," said Lascelles, "it is precisely by passing judgements upon other people's work and pointing out their errors that readers can be made to understand your own opinions better. It is the easiest thing in the world to turn a review to one's own ends. One need only mention the book once or twice and for the rest of the article one may develop one's themes just as one chuses. It is, I assure you, what every body else does."

Since Ms. Clarke has worked as an editor at Simon and Schuster, I wonder if this more the author than the character.

Monday, December 18, 2006

"You have absolutely no boundaries do you?"

Wherein boo frick'n hoo, find something serious to complain about

Two and a Half Men. Leans towards lewd and crude, but occasionally very witty and well-written. The Christmas episode isn't one of the better ones, however it does have a couple of scenes worth watching. Predictable stick-in-the-mud, Donald Wildmon, wasn't amused. Not sure what he was doing watching the show in the first place. Here's the Christian Post story:
"CBS approved Sheen's adaptation of the favorite Christmas carol, making it into a vulgar sex song," said Donald E. Wildmon, Chairman of AFA, in a statement. "The network and sponsors paid Sheen to mock Christ, Christmas and Christians. Many in the Christian community are growing tired of this bigotry by the networks and Hollywood."

Lighting candles in preparation for his Christmas date, Sheen sang: "Joy to the world, I’m getting laid; I’m getting laid tonight. We’ll light the yule log, deck the halls, and then we’ll play some jingle balls. It’s been a real long wait – this is our second date! It’s Christmas Eve and I’m getting laid.”

That's pretty much that character's dramatic arc each week, does it really matter that one week out of the year is set to Christmas carols?

Thankfully, some kind soul has posted the entire episode on Youtube. It's in three parts. My favorite part would have to be when Candy tries to sing Christmas carols. Pure comedy (and nonoffensive, to boot). Skip to about the halfway point of the second part.
  1. One
  2. Two
  3. Three

Then there was the time we were almost kicked out of Disney World

Not that Disney would've been wrong

For more Disney related posts, see Althouse and Done With Mirrors. In one of the greatest essays concerning metaphors, Neal Stephenson riffs on Disney as an interface. While you download all of In the Beginning was
the Command Line
, here's two quotes to make you chuckle:
It simply is the case that we are way too busy, nowadays, to comprehend everything in detail. And it's better to comprehend it dimly, through an interface, than not at all. Better for ten million Eloi to go on the Kilimanjaro Safari at Disney World than for a thousand cardiovascular surgeons and mutual fund managers to go on "real" ones in Kenya.

Sophisticated people deride Disneyesque entertainments as pat and saccharine, but, hey, if the result of that is to instill basically warm and sympathetic reflexes, at a preverbal level, into hundreds of millions of unlettered media-steepers, then how bad can it be? We killed a lobster in our kitchen last night and my daughter cried for an hour. The Japanese, who used to be just about the fiercest people on earth, have become infatuated with cuddly adorable cartoon characters.

Two years ago, princess breakfast at Cinderella's castle. For some reason The Wife has a Maleficent costume, which she wore. From the hotel room to the car, on the monorail, through the main entrance, then through the park to the castle. Staff at the restaurant loved it. The manager, a big villain fan, came out to have her picture taken with The Wife. We had some trouble getting Sleeping Beauty to stop by and visit with The Daughter. Maleficent had to promise to be good.

Afterwards, in the park, a few people stopped to take her picture and she even signed a few autographs. Each time we were clear about her just being a guest and not a real character. A couple people were confused, though most knew it before approaching us and just thought it was funny. Eventually security showed up and suggested it would be best if the costume was removed. Not a problem, it was getting hot and we were worried about kids being confused. Also, they were filming the launch of some big promotion and it was the day for filming the Christmas parade with Regis. So not much tolerance for fakes.

Everyone was very nice and we do have this picture.

And the delightful Princess Aurora:

Happiness is a warm gun

Wherein shorter

Link to Dr. Frank.

It's the Feel Screwed story of the day

Wherein the story

Letter from New Orleans:
I agree with Alan Rubin. Folks are going to get fed up and quit fighting. I'm beginning to think that may be the ultimate goal. Why else would my award letter say I am entitled to nothing to help rebuild, but if I want to sell my house to the state, they'll buy it for $125,000? Umm, they will pay me to go, but not to stay. Doesn't sound like the Road "Home " to me.

From Poppy Z. Brite.

"I'm the Very Model of a Mega-Hyped Celebrity"

Wherein a new litmus test

Title is taken from the comments in Sunday Song Lyrics at The song in question is Wind it Up by Gwen Stefani. Sounds like she's off on a bizarre solo career that I'll need to look into. Never purchased any of the No Doubt music, though I did enjoy what I heard.

Adler, at Volokh, does not like the new direction. Nor do most of the comments. There's enough there to intrigue me--a Sound of Music mashup and previously she did Fiddler on the Roof? How am I not aware of such things?

Maybe for the same reasons that the comments at youtube are utterly without comprehension:
how cum i havent herd of this be4
its not my style bt kk

That's what I meant to say. Also carried throughout the youtube comments is the interesting idea that if you don't like something (being a "hater'), then it is wrong to say so and if you don't like something why are you watching? Somehow missing the fact that until the product is consumed, you won't know whether to drink the hatorade or wear the suck-up sycophant t-shirt.

A better comment:
This may be the single greatest music video I've ever seen. If I could write a thesis for a college degree on this video, I would. The Asian Lolita backup dancers, the gay icons of people dressed in nuns' habits singing along to the sound of music, the attempted female empowerment message of not bothering with a boy unless he knows how to "wind you up"... this is the stuff of which genius has made. We are witnessing the apotheosis of the music video. Gwen Stefani has transcended the genre.

Yeah, that's more my thinking. I don't think I'd survive too many listens of the song, itself. The video, however, is utterly fascinating. I'd also suggest there's a fair degree of Madonna mockery going on. I consider that a good thing. I'll have to do some more sampling and see if I can convince myself to spend some cash on her. Gernerally, I'm not a fan of overproduced studio efforts, but I am a sucker for an "all but the kitchen sink" approach.

Watch it:

  • Oh, so that's Hollaback Girl. Not so much. Interesting that in this and the song above, both would be easily adaptible by marching bands.
  • Also not so much: Rich Girl.
  • Looks like I'll end up more interested in Stereoliza than Ms. Stefani.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

You know what sucks?

Wherein other than my spelling...Gravity? Wormhole? Eating spaghetti? My job? Firing shitty contract writers?

That last one was deserved. No, what sucks is not drinking, leaving the party early, and still waking up feeling like I have a hangover.

Friday, December 15, 2006

What a day what a day for an Auto-da-fe

Wherein today's soundtrack

Let's pull a few lyrics.

Life is pleasant, life is simple.
Oh my God, is that a pimple?
No, it's just the odd reflection
Life and I are still perfection,
I am ev'rything I need.
Life is happiness indeed!

No doubt you'll think I'm giving in
To petulance and malice,
But in candor I am forced to say
That I'm sick of gracious living in
This stuffy little palace
And I wish that I could leave today.
I have suffered a lot
And I'm certainly not
Unaware that this life has its black side.
I have starved in a ditch,
I've been burned for a witch,
And I'm missing the half of my backside.
I've been beaten and whipped
And repeatedly stripped,
I've been forced into all kinds of whoredom;
But I'm finding of late
That the very worst fate
Is to perish of comfort and BOREDOM.

It's the usual bunch
To cremate and to crunch.
There's a dean and a queen
And a nun with a hunch!
See you soon, we must dash.
When they've swept up the ash
We can meet down the street
And have lunch!

Do like the natives do.
These days you have to be
In the majority.


We're neither pure, nor wise, nor good
We'll do the best we know.
We'll build our house and chop our wood
And make our garden grow...
And make our garden grow.

AND Joe Torre is a lousy manager

Wherein Jack takes a break from pissing all over country music

Instead, he takes a deserved piss all over the Iraq Study Group:
In a Universe where Gil Meche (rhymes with David Koresh) is worth $55 million, it shouldn't surprise you when several people in their 70's and 80's with roughly 500 years of international relations experience between them suggest that a country violently fractured among Kurds, Sunnis, and Shia should share oil revenues under some kind of opportunistic socialist model.

Any fourth grader who's watched David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia," and then followed that up with a trip to his local school or public library could tell you that the Sunni monarchies surrounding Iraq are never going to let the Shi'ites control all that oil; also, the Hashemite family is never going to let the House of Saud go marching into Baghdad to "protect the faithful" (just do a Google search for Prince Ra'ad bin Zeid, he's got a lot of nice things to say about Riyadh and pluralistic democracies, once you get past all the "I'm the King of Iraq!" quotes); it bears mentioning that the only "democracies" in this region are Turkey, Yemen, and Israel; and finally, Istanbul would send an armored division of tanks into Tikrit before they'd let "Independent Kurdistan" flags fly all over the place. And this analysis doesn't even include the Ba'athists in Syria, or the heroin rich warlords of Afghanistan, who do all sorts of cute things with guns and bombs on a daily basis. This is grade school world history, and having the largest, best trained, and best equipped armed forces in the world doesn't change it much. In fact, outside of the Abu Ghraib thing, our soldiers have done a fantastic job in Iraq. It's their bosses who are jagoffs, and make no mistake, EVERYONE in Washington, D.C. is a jagoff.

There there's the Joe Torre thing. Don't worry, he still pisses all over country music, too.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I blame the English

Wherein I never understood the ruckus over the tearing of a photo. She didn't like the guy, seemed like a pretty nonthreatening way to demonstrate it

XWL has a post I'm going to mostly ignore ( though it did occassion a reappreciation of Huey Lewis and the News) and highlight one sentence as a jumping off point: He's good at just singing the song, that sounds simple, yet so many artists nowadays can't do that simple task.

Simply singing the song is a lost art. For some reason this mostly affects female singers trying to emulate Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. Both are too busy trying to impress with their ability, the song is buried under a mountain of verbal pyrotechnics. Plus, I've always thought that while--Houston especially--is technically proficient, her voice is totally soulless. I'm tired of listening to singers sing entire songs with techniques meant to be used for emphasis or to cause a thrill. Overuse causes everything to be lost. It's like writing a letter in bold and ALL CAPS. I don't watch American Idol, that's The Wife's problem. But I'll hear snippets of people who with a lot of work might be good if they'd just shut the hell up and sing the goddamn song.

Which brings me to Sinead O'Connor. I've always loved her voice. Very powerful when she needs it to be and also does restrained well. Here's a few to enjoy. I can't find the one I really want--The Last Days of Our Acquaintance from her infamous SNL appearance. Honestly, it's the most mesmerizing musical performance I've ever watched on television. Helps that I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got is one of my favorite albums, probably desert island list worthy. Best way to listen to it is to crack open a bottle of wine, crank the volume as loud as it will go, then just sit there listening and building a slight buzz.

You Do Something To Me. Never knew there were videos made for Red Hot + Blue. great album, by the way, and this is one of the highlights.

No Man's Woman from Faith and Courage. An album that took me awhile to warm up to, but now has a handful of songs I really enjoy. This being one of them. Can't tell if it's the recording or her voice, but this does sound a bit rough.

Thank You For Hearing Me. Also from Faith and Courage. Always thought she was an attractive baldy, but she's downright cute with hair. I don't think it is, though it sure sounds like Jah Wobble on bass.

And just for fun, French And Saunders mock The Cranberries and Sinead. This one explains the title of the post.

So Quoted's famous broccoli slaw

Wherein don't fear the salt

It's perfectly fine, even commendable, if you want to julienne the broccoli and carrots yourself and it's not like a vinaigrette is hard to make, but it took me 5 minutes to make 4 lbs of this stuff for a department lunch. Seriously good stuff. I think for dinner I'll fire up a nice rare piece of salmon and serve it on a bed of leftover slaw.

There are no measurements. If this is a concern for you, just start with a little and add slowly with frequent tasting.

  • Bag of prepared broccoli slaw
  • A vinaigrette dressing; I usually use balsamic
  • Salt and pepper
  • Hot sauce; I recommend Crystals as it has more flavor than something like Tabasco, which is just hot.
  • Green apples

  1. Dump slaw into bowl.
  2. Pour in dressing, stir. I prefer a light coating, so don't make it too wet.
  3. Add salt (kosher) and freshly ground pepper, to taste.
  4. A few splashes of hot sauce. The goal is not to make a vegetarian version of buffalo wings. The goal is to add a slight bite to the flavor. This should not be spicy.
  5. Dice green apples. Green apples have a tartness that combines well with all the vinegary-goodness from the dressing and hot sauce.
  6. Eat.


Wherein Cute child story, feel free to move along

The Daughter, all of five, has had a best friend (BF) since not quite the age of one-and-a-half. Even at an age when verbal communication was still under development, it was apparent they were best friends and everyone commented on it. They have their disagreements, but they're about as close as two people can get. Definately not identical personalities, though they complement each other well.

The latest thing is calling themselves twins. Sometimes cousins, but mostly twins. They look similar enough that strangers often mistake them for sisters. I should mention that in their pre-K class are identical twins who dress exactly alike, every single day. The Daughter has known them for over a year and can't tell them apart. If you ask who one is she refers to her as "The Twin."

Shopping at Target the other night, The Daughter spots an outfit the BF wears.

"Mommy, can we get this. Then me and BF can wear the same clothes to school and be twins." She also wanted to call the BF and tell her to wear the same clothes the next day. Unfortunately, we got home too late for the girls to gossip. The Wife called and left a message with the other mother, but we never heard back if it was received.

Put the outfit on and head to school. Sure enough, the BF is wearing hers and great fun is had pretending to be twins. Here's the weird part. The BF's mother never told her. The BF had woken up in the middle of the night and pulled that outfit out of the closet to wear. When the mother walked in the BF was getting dressed.

We joke they have a psychic connection. Maybe they are twins, just separated by 22 days and four parents.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Let's see what's on today's calendar

Wherein OMFG!!!!!!

Says here, I have an eight-hour meeting. Guess I should've skipped that last slice of pizza, because I apparently died and woke up in hell.

While I'm away spend some time with the Virtual Tour of Hell. Yo, Virgil, wait up.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Legend of 1900

Wherein best performance by a cigarette

Tim Roth is an interesting actor and Legend of 1900 is an interesting movie. Tim Roth plays a piano prodigy who is born on an ocean liner and never leaves. Not a great movie, though it is beautiful and has a couple of great moments. My favorite moment can be seen here. Click the first item to see Mr. Roth play a piano as it rolls around a ballroom during a storm.

The centerpiece of the film--clocking in at around 14 minutes--is a showdown with Jelly Roll Morton. It's broken into two parts:

A moral traffic light

Wherein this is up there with the"Every day is the worst day of my life" speech from Office Space

From Terry Gilliam's The Fisher King, a bum, played by Tom Waits, explains his role:
Well, he's paying, so he don't have to look. See, guy goes to work every day, eight hours a day, seven days a week. Gets his nuts so tight in a vice...

...he starts questioning the very fabric of his existence. Then one day, about quitting time...

...boss calls him in the office and says: " Hey, Bob, why don't you come in here and kiss my ass for me?"

Well, he says, " Hell with it. I don't care what happens. I just want to see the expression on his I jam this pair of scissors into his arm."

Then he thinks of me.

He says, "Wait a minute. I got both my arms. I got both my legs. At least I'm not begging for a living."

Sure enough, Bob's gonna put those scissors down and pucker right up.

See, I'm what you call kind of a moral traffic light, really.

I need a snow storm

Wherein the other day it was 15 degrees above zero and it felt refreshing. It's a far cry from walking a mile or so to Lake of the Isles and skating in sub-zero weather, but it'll do.

Don't Eat the Yellow Snow, Frank Zappa
Dreamed I was an eskimo
Frozen wind began to blow
Under my boots and around my toes
The frost that bit the ground below
It was a hundred degrees below zero...

I'm A Little Snowflake, Laurie Berkner
I'm a little snow flake
icy and round
I fall from the sky
And I don't make a sound

Let's Build a Snowman, Cannibal: The Musical
et's build a snowman!
We can make him our best friend.
We can name him Tom or we can name him George!
We can make him tall, or we can make him not so tall.

Snow Days, Trip Shakespeare
It's coming down
Slow day for the teacher
And her wheels are spinning now
On account of winter, Mrs. Braintree
All the roads are closed
And the stores are loot for vagabonds

Sometimes It Snows in April, Prince
Sometimes it snows in April
Sometimes I feel so bad, so bad
Sometimes I wish life was never ending,
and all good things, they say, never last

Things Snowball, John Wesley Harding
When childish habits are slow to die
You might look up and wonder why
Things snowball in the twinkling of an eye

Winter Snow, Booker T. & The MG's
no lyrics

Winter Kills, Yaz
Green in your love on bright days
You grew sun blind you thought me unkind
To remind you how winter kills

Friday, December 08, 2006

Give Da Jew Girl Toys

Wherein what I'm listening to

Santastic is a holiday collection of unofficial mixes and mashups. I'm just a few songs in and so far not bad. Give Da Jew Girl Toys is a Sarah Silverman song crossed with Trio's Da Da Da.

Track one is the very pleasant Jingle Jane:
Jingle Jane - Divide and Kreate (Sweden)
Jingle Bells - Smokey Robinson And The Miracles
Sweet Jane - The Velvet Underground
14 cups of Jingle Bells
2 Eggnogs
1 Sweet Jane
1 1/8 Smokey Robinsons
2 teaspoons of the Beatles
4 cups peeled, shredded Velvet Underground guitars noises
1/2 teaspoon of Jackson 5
1 cup Charlie Brown

Go forth and download. I'm still working on my Christmas mix CD, and I'm thinking a few of these will make it along with some Bootsy.

The story of a girl named mary

Wherein what the hell?

Just watch through 1:12:

Kinda catchy, isn't it?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Science can take a break as soon as I can grow a bacon tree

Wherein nobody likes a skinny Santa

The poll in the Washington Post
  1. Do you favor or oppose the introduction of genetically modified foods into the U.S. food supply? Favor
  2. How likely would you be to eat genetically modified foods? Likely
  3. As far as you know, have you ever eaten genetically modified foods? I assume so, but can't say for certain. Then again, isn't the entire history of agriculture the story of genetic modification?
  4. Do you feel comfortable or uncomfortable with animal cloning? Comfortable

Ronal Bailey, at Reason, restates the questions:
I can't help but wonder how people might have answered poll questions phrased more like:

(1) Do you favor or oppose crops enhanced by biotech to protect themselves against pests and diseases?
(2) Do you favor or oppose crops enhanced by biotech to reduce the use of harmful pesticides and herbicides?
(3) Would you eat foods made from crops enhanced to protect themselves against pests and diseases using advanced biotech methods?
(4) Does it bother you to learn that you and your family have been eating foods made from such biotech pest protected crops for more than a decade?

My answers are still: favor, favor, yes, no.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Christmas tree redux

Wherein every year it's the same thing

This is great. No longer do I have to retype the whole damn thing because I misplaced last year's email.

It's A. Whitney Brown's Stalking the Christmas Tree.

If soul music is foreplay then funk is breaking the bed frame and cracking the downstair neighbor's ceiling plaster

Wherein for some of my favorite funk, see Poets of Rhythm and especially In the Raw, by the Whitefield Brothers

XWL is working on systems of measurements. For example: all comedians should be judged in milli-Pryors. That is what part of 1000 do they represent on the Pryor scale, with Richard Pryor being one, and all other comedians being a pale imitation that can only be measured in milli-Pryors. He then proposes that funkiness be measured against George Clinton. Sounds sensible enough; however as The Funk has the ability to take over one's body and then commit acts not normally discussed in polite company, I think a scale better representative of this power might be in order. For radiation there's the roentgen, which measures the lethalness of exposure time. Perhaps we could develop something called a "Pfunktgen" to anaylze the effects of prolonged exposure to extreme funk.

But that doesn't sound entirely correct. When I think lethalness I'm thinking along the lines of Barney or Michael Bolton. Exposure to either has been scientifically proven to cause brain clouds, so The Child is not allowed to listen to either. Even though Funk can be harmful if used on the wrong people or in the wrong situations, I think we're looking at an apples and oranges comparison. Some people are allergic to penicillin, but that doesn't mean we compare it the bubonic plague.

The concept does need some attention to detail. Until then, it is good to remember that not everyone is prepared for the power of funk. See Mothership Accidentally Descends On Hootie Concert:
The man who came out of the spaceship attempted to shoot me with something he called a 'Bop Gun,'" lead singer Darius Rucker told reporters. "Somehow I sensed it would be detrimental to my career as a singer."

Added a visibly distressed Rucker: "He also seemed to imply that if I let my mind go free, something would happen to my bottom."

Go read for a classic punchline.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Christmas is 4 Ever

Wherein who needs snow when Bootsy is playing

The christmas album of the year:

Now can anyone recommend which Amy Grant christmas CD I should get?

Update 1: I need newer and bigger speakers. I can't get Boot-Off (AKA Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer) loud enough. I need more power. I can ask for new ear drums for my birthday.

Rudolph the funky-souled reindeer--funking A, bubba

Update 2: From Citybeat, it's Local legend Bootsy Collins delivers some Jingle Funk for the holiday season:
The result of Collins' longstanding Christmas wish, Christmas is 4 Ever, was released on Halloween. If you're looking for traditional holiday fare wrapped up in Andy Williams' red sweater, keep walking. Collins started with classics like "The Christmas Song," "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Winter Wonderland," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and "Jingle Bells," beamed them up to the Mothership, ran them through the Rubber Band filter, subjected them to the critical mass of the Pinocchio Theory and translated them into "Chestnutz," "Boot-Off," "Winter FunkyLand," "Santa's Coming" and "Jingle Belz." In addition to renderings of "Merry Christmas Baby," "Silent Night" and "Sleigh Ride," and a thumping version of Donny Hathaway's "This Christmas," Collins and his Christmas crew have added their own originals to the holiday canon, including "N-Yo-City," the Snoop Dogg co-written "Happy Holidaze," a holiday reworking of "Rather Be with You" as "Be-With-You" (featuring keyboardist Zapp Troutman on a song dedicated to his brother, the late Roger Troutman) and the title track. It's a rollicking ride that is as much a legitimate Bootsy Collins album as it is a holiday album.

"I wanted to take people to Christmas the way I felt about Christmas, and the good spirit of Christmas," says Collins. "I wanted to not only take myself there but to take people there. Whether they're having a good Christmas or not, by hearing this music it will bring some kind of smile or joy. That's what I kept in my mind. When we was growing up, we didn't get more than a gift or two, maybe. But it wasn't just about the gifts, it was about the family and we enjoyed each other. If we didn't get nothing but a cowboy set or a train set, it was, 'Wow, this is Christmas ... Santa Claus was here!' It was the bomb! That's what I wanted to project in the songs."

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Music to decorate the tree by

Wherein alternate title that were considered:
  • Brain Salad Christmas
  • Tarkus? Tark you!

1971, it's Emerson, Lake, & Palmer bringing the holiday spirit. "The Nutrocker" does indeed rock.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Blog be a lady tonight

According to this algorithm I'm just barely a dude. Don't know whether I should go kill some animals or go with flow and buy some silky unmentionables

Use the Gender Genie to determine if your writing is male or female. Let's see if I can dig up some posts with actual writing. Scoring the six below, 4 are male and 2 are female. Checking the accumulative totals and my writing is 52% male and 48% female.

A quiz from cubicle row
Female Score: 246
Male Score: 297

When did I become the reasonable one
Female Score: 396
Male Score: 212

Barbie doesn't seem like such a bad role model
Female Score: 474
Male Score: 689

Board games: what I have
Female Score: 617
Male Score: 822

Notice of programming update
Female Score: 676
Male Score: 309

This is me and my energy
Female Score: 1898
Male Score: 2327

Jesus was way cool

Wherein it is true

If you enjoy King Missile:

See also Bong hits 4 Jesus