Saturday, April 30, 2005

Spring Cleaning

My, how the clutter does pile up! OR, what was I thinking?!
To dispose of this mess, I will attempt to free my brain of these pointless thoughts that have be rattling around in my dusty cranium all winter. Here goes:
Ornaments: Shiny, Christmasy, poigant reminders of childhood. Hurt like crazy when stepped upon while barefoot on Xmas morning...
Vagus Nerve: A big old nerve that runs around in your body and helps you throw up and have an orgasm. Not at the same time. Well, maybe once. (We won't be discussing that incident today.)
You Smell So Good: You know who you are...
Sebum: Some things about being human are not talked about much...probably for a reason...See previous entry...
Urine Donor: What was once an absurd Monty Python skit is now reality, I am not making this stuff up...another fun thing about being human...
Nice Cars, Mean Cars: Nice - Civic. Mean - Viper. Nice - Accord. Mean - Matador. You get the idea, now forget I ever brought it up. I'm trying to...
Blogger's Block: You're looking at it...
"Lingonberries! The Musical!": I had better stop now...

Whew! I feel better. Not nearly so much worthless noise in my head. ..Just remember...tonight...when you are trying to fall asleep......sebum...sebum...sebum...




Comments: 1


Friday, April 29, 2005

Reverse Vacation

Usually, if one is at all concerned about one's finances, the destination and duration of a vacation (holiday) is circumscribed by the amount of disposable income (or available credit) one has. Now just suppose, the potential traveler had sufficent facilities and an abundance of "trip-worthy" activities in his or her native environs, wouldn't it make just as much sense to bring various people from different parts of the world there as to travel to various other part of the world? Depending on air fare, and the number of people, it would probably be a wash as far as expense. Hmmm...let's see, Anoka has a Halloween festival...a half-dozen cruddy antique shops...a feral cat colony...pair of rivers that would not be called "swimable"...acres and acres of sand...a less than glittering night-life scene...If we had a mountain, or an ocean, or spectactular canyons and deserts, maybe...
OK, that might not work in my case.
My 'bed and breakfast' would be alright...the guest bedroom even has its own sink. It's quiet and homey, and the folks here are pretty friendly. All the in-laws that stay here comment on the relaxed feel of the place. Maybe they're just polite. There is even an inflatable bed for the pine-paneled den with internet access (its only dial-up, but has a dedicated line) if we had more than a couple visitors. And the Mall of America is 45 minutes away. And in Minneapolis there is major league baseball, and several fine museums, and dozens of theatre groups, and hundreds of places to hear live music, and...
...I guess it might work, if the right people came with the right attitude...
...your room is waiting...




Comments: 1


Thursday, April 28, 2005

What is the Meaning of Life?

The Correct answer is: 42.




Comments: 2


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Love And Happiness Revisited

Who ever said that you can't have happiness without having sadness got that idea right. The closer you get to someone, greater is the loss when you are separated, temporarily or permanently. Love is the boat that keeps us from drowning in a sea of despair. The boat of longing. Happiness is Love unmoored. Sadness occurs when Love is lost. "All Is Full Of Love" - so sings The Girl From The North Country, and she got that idea right, too.

A kiss from an angel, a kiss good-bye?
The joy and fear of a new mother-to-be, mixed together in the most intimate fashion possible.
A fallen giant, still loving, still loved.

The singer still sings her songs, the world stops to take note, but only for a second; then it continues on, and on and on and on.




Comments: 2


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Erin, Aaron and Me

On a pleasant spring day about a year ago, I reluctantly boarded Icelandair's flight FL653, Keflavík to MSP, thus ending a fantastic vacation in Iceland. Finding my seat, I was greeted by two young people in the seats next to it and a young woman on the aisle smiled impishly and said: "We've been waiting for you." In that second I knew that this was not going to be a flight spent in stony silence, trying to ignore my row mates. They let me sit down and after I got got settled we exchanged introductions. Erin, the young woman, and Aaron, the young man, had flown from Paris that morning, and had evidently started their trip on a positive note already.

We spoke of our adventures, and as we took off, we were already beginning to explore each others' psyches, with almost a complete naturalness and no sense of inhibition. Our coming-of-age stories had many things in common. Our recreational drug of choice was the same. (Note: it has been MANY years since I indulged in that kind of activity!) Then came the Dead Poet's Society recital. Erin started first, with a tender reading from Wordsworth, Then Aaron, with a few rocky patches, did some very nice Longfellow. Erin mentioned something by Lewis Carroll that she liked but did not have committed to memory. As it so happens, the ONLY poem I have ever memorized is "The Jabberwocky", which I reeled off, to the amazement and delight of my fellow-travelers. The congenial Icelandic flight attendants(!) came by to see if we wanted to purchase any duty-free goods. I opted for the Icelandic "Brennivín" (a caraway flavored schnapps which is neither as bad as people say it is nor as good as people say it is - no hákarl to go with!) and that, along with some French Liquor that Aaron had picked up in Paris, gave a new dimension to the conversation. I noticed a book peeking out of Aaron's bag - "Four Arguments For The Elimination Of Television" by Jerry Mander - one of my all time favorites, I hadn't seen a copy in 25 years! The coincidences kept piling up. After what seemed like a couple of hours (it was really five and a half) we landed at the Lindberg terminal in Minnesota, the end of the line. We split up in customs and then went back to regular routines, enriched, refreshed with new insights into our lives.




Comments: 1


Monday, April 25, 2005

mannequin

And the prettiest girl at the party pities those who aren't so pretty, but dress nice.

She'll go home alone tonight by choice, or choose one of the boys to lay down with if she's lonely, horny, or human.

-Owen, Skin and Bones




Comments: 3


Yay or Nay?

According to an article I read today on CNN.com, the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian group which obviously promotes family values, led a rally last night to prevent further Democratic filibusters from taking place. These would prevent Dubya's picks for federal judgeship from being elected. Since the Senate is already a Republican majority, Bush now craves a similar flavor for judges. Naturally, the Democrats feel this isn't fair, arguing that his choices are "too far to the right."

However, the FRC is proclaiming that the Donkey party is causing "judicial tyranny to people of faith." Am I the only person that finds that just a tad on the loony side? I'm certain there are conservative Democrats just as there are liberal Republicans, and faithful Christians in either party but that's not my point. Where's the separation between church and state? This isn't a theocracy, or at least it shouldn't be.




Comments: 0


Sunday, April 24, 2005

Time Out

Time must have a stop - Aldous Huxley

In this whirling cyclone of current events and everyday life lived in turmoil, most of us find ourselves as some of the lucky ones. Sheltered from the savage face of war, disease and famine, we live our lives as if we are God's chosen. But each of us has the same destination, just different paths. Are we, as individuals, personally responsible for the suffering that goes on in the world? And if we are, what can we do about it? And if we are not, what then is our responsibility? Noble questions. No answers. We can live our lives in ignorance and fear, or we can expand our awareness, and interact in a positive way with the world and the people within it. Our personal time will have a stop. We will use what we have left as we may, for good, for bad, or just indifferently.
It is really the only thing we have. And then it stops.




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Saturday, April 23, 2005

Deathless Prose

...Scurrying about with my scatter-brain at the library, I happened across a tome which I have been looking for - although I didn't know it until I read it. "Internet Annoyances - How to fix the most annoying things about going on line" by Preston Gralla. Some of the stuff I knew, other things I didn't need to know, but all of it presented in a readable, usable fashion. But the top tip of all was The Wayback Machine - a separate archive of web sites (and blogs!) going back to 1996. Pages that have been stored there can be accessed if you have the URL - EVEN IF THE SITE IS DEFUNCT! It doesn't have all pages, and only some graphics are supported. But a quick check revealed an embarrassing biography of one of my alter egos that I had assumed (hoped) was lost forever. A few other searches revealed similar effectiveness. Not every page ever made is there, but usually something turns up, including a favorite post that I thought I'd never read again.
Just for fun, I searched for this blog, and I found about two weeks worth of posts from last year. It was in an older format, with long-gone links listed in the sidebar.
And then it hit me. With its expanding database (over 1 petabyte, and adding 20 terabytes daily), everything anyone ever writes here will likely end up in some server somewhere, forever...

Cool.

Uh-oh. I'd better pay a little more attention to my grammar.

...And I'd better make sure that all my elisions are faithful...




Comments: 3


Thursday, April 21, 2005

Sub - Basement

In Warwick Castle in England is a fully equipped dungeon. Located in an underground area, it has several rooms. One room contains an oblitorium, a small (about 1 cubic meter) chamber in the floor, wherein particularly dangerous or threatening enemies of the Lord were placed, and 'forgotten' about.
In downtown Minneapolis is a large department store, a relic of retailing's past. Two floors below street level is the sub-basement, where merchandise is received (via a large chute from street level) and processed, then sent to the appropriate floor (or other store). This is where I misspent many a youthful hour, working for the 'man'. I suffered the usual degradations and insults from my 'superiors' all for the express purpose of making money for someone else. Lord knows that my $1.40 an hour wasn't going to amount to anything. But I persevered, earning the title "working supervisor" (still at $1.40 an hour) and getting some of my friends jobs in the same sunless cavern. One of my younger protogés was Sensitive Boy, a good worker. Then I made the mistake of hiring my old friend A____. He was a cut-up, a rabble-rouser and general misfit. Production declined. I noticed A____ having surreptitious conversations with Sensitive Boy. The topper came one day, I had been in a 'meeting' (getting chewed out) and upon returning to the work area I noticed a bit of graffiti, in Sensitive Boys hand: "Batty is a slavedriver!" I was the torturer, this was the oblitorium!
My spirit broken, my authority undermined, my days in this lower circle of hell were numbered.
I left that job for an even worse job, in a police property room - with rotating shifts, handling bloody evidence and dangerous weapons, and hardened criminals as customers - but it was above ground and I did have a window.




Comments: 1


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Sex Ed 102

For some (or perhaps no) reason, taking the step from junior high to senior high caused all the boys I knew to lose all previous knowledge, behavior traits and/or social conditioning they had accumulated since birth. The nadir of this new paradigm had to be the after school make-out parties at JC's. His parents were never home, he seemed to have an infinite supply of junior high girls; and so, in our own inept fashion, his squalid tract house became the Playboy Mansion of North Minneapolis. This was not an initiation nor was it 'serious'. It was, however, a bit odd...
Some how, over the course of a few weeks, just about everybody got some "face time' with everybody else. It never went beyond a little light petting, and although we all knew that what we were doing was 'bad', it really was just an attempt to get comfortable with the idea of general intimacy with someone of the opposite sex. And then it was over.

What did I learn in this 'class'?

#1 All girls are very nice, each girl in her own way.
#2 Just kissing, without dating or talking gets to be boring after a while.
#3 Younger girls are pretty silly.




Comments: 0


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Sex Ed 101

"Okay everybody, the sirens have stopped, but there is another storm headed out way, everybody go home NOW!" The park director didn't need to say it twice, the sky was an ominous green, with black clouds coming in over the western horizon.
"Com'on over to my house, it's a lot closer than going home..." When you are fifteen, and she is fourteen, the logic of that argument is irrefutable. We hopped into her car and her Mom drove us to her house, just before the rain started up again. I called my Mom: she told me to stay put; that the radio had said that a tornado warning was coming for our area, and as she spoke the sirens started up again - this time they didn't stop. The two of us, being safety minded, went down into the basement. Her parents stayed upstairs, listening to the weather reports.

She was a big girl. We were sort of an item, it was her idea to be a couple, I was still pretty clueless on this boy-girl stuff. I was glad to be with her, she was pretty smart and could play guitar better than me. Tonight we were going to have more than a guitar lesson. As the storm raged outside, a different kind of storm was brewing in that cellar.

After about an hour, the sirens stopped. I called my dad, and he came to get me. What would have been a 10 minute trip took a half an hour. I went out to the car and noticed that except for the block we were on, it was black all over. Seven tornadoes had ripped through our city, thousands of trees and power lines were down. We had to backtrack through a maze of streets until we could find a route home. We went to help out a elderly couple that my Dad knew, and then went home. The next day, the paper told of widespread damage and several fatalities. The tornadoes had all gone around my girlfriend's house - it was one of the few neighborhoods left unscathed.

So what did I learn in that basement that night?

#1. Always seek shelter during tornadic conditions.
#2. Sex is a dangerous force of nature.
#3. Big girls can be very nice.




Comments: 3


Monday, April 18, 2005

Jealous!

So close yet so far...the cuter half of the Olson Twins came into work today with a big smile. "Guess who I saw Saturday?" As is my wont, I was clueless...Godzilla? O.J. Simpson? The cookie monster? I knew that she had been volunteering at the Walker Art Center, which was reopening after a multimillion dollar expansion... " It was (Certain Icelandic International Superstar)!" I had spent Saturday remodeling the Flippist Studio, listening to the afore-alluded to (CIIS), not dreaming that she was less that 20 minutes away, with her son and her famous-artist lover (who had work exhibited) in tow, hob-nobing with the hoi-polloi inside some high-concept architecture. "And I spoke to her!" ...continued Ms. Olson; " She asked me what time it was!"
Well. Some people have all the luck! I swallowed my jealousy and said, "That's nice..." I missed out this time, maybe she'll come back to Minnesota again (it was ten years since she had been here last - the nearest she came on her last tour was Colorado).
Of course, my ridiculous infatuation is completely misplaced. I respect her too much as a person to ever dream of insinuating myself into her presence. If she ever did speak to me I'd just stand there and stammer anyway. .

I've often wondered about the fascination I have for her and her music: its uniqueness, the depth of emotion, the intimacy, the poetry, its composition. I don't get that way about any other recording artist. It may well be that there has never been another like her. Certainly others have written better songs, some can sing as well, many have greater stage prescence, but few, if any combine all these things with the direct honesty and willingness to expose her innermost thoughts that she has show us in so many ways.




Comments: 3


Sunday, April 17, 2005

War Work

With economic uncertainies swirling around me, the not-yet-ready-for-retirement professor (what, no tenure?) put his little pink toe in the current job market last week - visiting a job fair. Held at the local tech school, the job fair seemed like a giant gill-net, dozens of employers trying to ensnare hopeful workers in the labor pool. Many positions were offered, some right up my alley, others were not even in the same universe. But one was especially intriguing. Modern machine-operators have a whole new world of options beyond the old drill press and press-brake operationsn (or, in my case photo enlarging machines). One outfit did custom, computer-controlled laser machining and even more esoteric - water machining. High speed streams of water (with abrasives) created intricate parts in a variety of substrates. Regular grids of hundred of square holes set in at compound angles in a saddle-shaped piece of alloy. Modern art. Looking at the display closer I realized that this was a part of a fighter-bomber, and that most of what this company did was defense department work.

The war comes home.

My mother did war work, first during WWII, in an arsenal, making bullets. Then, during Vietnam, she worked in a metal plating factory, racking parts of anti-personnel grenades. She contracted Parkinson's syndrome, and suffered with it until she died, twenty years later. Some forms of Parkinson's are thought to be envirionmental.

Situational ethics made real.




Comments: 0


Saturday, April 16, 2005

Chaucer and Spring Fever

"O blisful light, of which the bemes clere
Adorneth al the thridde heven faire!

O sonnes lief, O Joves doughter deere,

Plesance of love, O goodly debonaire,

In gentil hertes ay redy to repaire!

O veray cause of heele and of gladnesse,

Iheryed be thy myght and thi goodnesse!


In hevene and helle, in erthe and salte see

Is felt thi myght, if that I wel descerne;

As man, bird, best, fissh, herbe, and grene tree

Thee fele in tymes with vapour eterne.

God loveth, and to love wol nought werne;

And in this world no lyves creature

Withouten love is worth, or may endure.
.."

"Ye holden regne and hous in unitee..." (The sense is that Venus, goddess of Love, holds all the world together in unity.)

-From Geoffrey Chaucer's Troilus & Criseyde, Book 3, lines 1-14 and line 29.

Middle English is still not my specialty, but every now and then, I thought I would share some of the book learnin' that I experience while I'm here in the big city. I assumed it would be appropriate for this time of year. Chaucer seemed to enjoy using Spring as his backdrop for most of his courtly love tales, so why not?




Comments: 1


Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Flippist Eight-Fold Path

#1. There is no beauty greater than an inter-dependent man.
#2. There is no beauty greater than an independent woman.
#3. Silence is deafening.
#4. We are all in this together.
#5. It is not about yourself.
#6. If you love someone, let them know.
#7. If you love someone, let them be themselves.
#8. The end is always the same, let the means be glorious!




Comments: 0


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Buddhist, well that clinches it.

You scored as Buddhism. Your beliefs most closely resemble those of Buddhism. Do more research on Buddhism and possibly consider becoming Buddhist, if you are not already.

In Buddhism, there are Four Noble Truths: (1) Life is suffering. (2) All suffering is caused by ignorance of the nature of reality and the craving, attachment, and grasping that result from such ignorance. (3) Suffering can be ended by overcoming ignorance and attachment. (4) The path to the suppression of suffering is the Noble Eightfold Path, which consists of right views, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right-mindedness, and right contemplation. These eight are usually divided into three categories that base the Buddhist faith: morality, wisdom, and samadhi, or concentration. In Buddhism, there is no hierarchy, nor caste system; the Buddha taught that one's spiritual worth is not based on birth.

Buddhism

88%

Paganism

83%

agnosticism

63%

Islam

58%

Christianity

54%

Hinduism

50%

Satanism

50%

Judaism

38%

atheism

29%

Which religion is the right one for you? (new version)
created with QuizFarm.com




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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Childhood's End

The Others
                     Laurie,            Me,            Tom,             Andy

We lost Tom last Sunday. We are The Others, the rock band I was in when I was a teenager. Tom was the lead guitarist, the shining light, and the only one of us that knew anything about music theory and composition. Tom had suffered with juvenile onset diabetes since he was a boy; he finally succumbed after having spent most of the last decade in a nursing home, dying a bit at a time as he lost toes, fingers and limbs. In the competitive world of garage bands I grew up in, the highest praise you could give someone was that "he could play". Tom could play. We had gone separate ways after high school, I only saw him a few times between then and when he went into the home.
We got the old band together, along with every one else we could find from our class that had played rock, for our 30th reunion about seven years ago. Tom made it too, in a wheelchair, helped out by his sons. He was his usual self, wisecracking, critizing our "stiffness" and I'm sure that he wished he could be up on stage to show us how it was really done. He taught us all how to play, to make every note count, and give it our all. We were kids together, and in the halls of memory we will always be kids. But he is gone now, absolutely and for ever. And with his passing that part of my childhood has come to an end.




Comments: 1


I'll be back.

During the golden days, elementary school was filled with A’s given out to children just about for anything. If you sat up straight, you got a bright star sticker that glowed on the board next to the door to the classroom. In junior high, there were no more stars, but cramped locker spaces and wandering aimlessly through the hallways. High school beheld the same bouncing around like hormonal tumbleweed in a desert (and a little bit of dating), but you had a real purpose: preparing for college.

College, the final frontier. Sure, I’ll admit I’ve become the stereotypical lazy student. My bedtime varies anywhere from 1 AM – 8 AM, and I have plenty of “free time” for loafing and dining on pizza at the new, modernized dining facility. Yes, I know this is the last step. My days of lounging are over. Normally, my grades are fantastic. I expect A’s from myself, and always have, even when the green and red stars were enough for most of the kids. My first semester I walked out with a 3.75 GPA; not bad for a scared rural gal in the big bad city.

I guess I got too cocky. Maybe I should’ve asked more questions. Math has never been my specialty, and I never thought that I would cry over inequalities or even radicals. Yet, I’ve received quite the slap in the face. I’ve never had to repeat a class before. Nope. That’s not my style. But, when the autumn comes, I will face this math again. Not only will I face it, but you’re going to see an A. I may even buy myself a few sticker stars. Observe my motivation, my drive. Rowr! Hear me roar. See me cringe in fear...




Comments: 0


Monday, April 11, 2005

Let Me In!

I can see the dancin'
...hi, it's me...
The silhouettes on the shade
...it's been awhile, I guess...
I hear the music, all the lovers on parade
...I don't know what I did or said...
Open up, I wanna come in again
...that made you want to send me away...
I thought you were my friend


Pitter patter of the feet
...I'm not mad...
Movin' and a-groovin' with that beat
...Oh, I guess I'm doing alright...
Jumpin' and stompin on the floor
...If you wanted to hang out or something...
Let me in! Open up!
...that'd be OK, too...
Why don't you open up that door?
...you know, it really is fun talking to you again...
LET ME IN!

I hear music - let me in!
...maybe this week-end...
Oh I wanna come in again...
...we could get together...
Let me in - I heard it just then
...or go to a movie...
I thought you were my friend
...I thought you were my friend...




Comments: 1


Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Byrd

"The Byrd Theatre, named after William Byrd, the founder of Richmond, is one of Virginia's finest cinema treasures.

The 1400-seat theater, the first in Virginia to be equipped with a sound system, opened to great fanfare on December 24, 1928. The first audiences paid 50 cents for evening shows and 25 cents for matinees. Children were admitted for only 10 cents.

The Byrd's creators spared no expense in creating the theater. Among its many features: mythically-inspired murals, imported Greek and Italian marble, spectacular crystal chandeliers, hand-sewn velvet drapes, fountains, a central vacuum system, and its own Wurlitzer (which is still in use and plays every Saturday night).

Another interesting apsect of the Byrd is that it contains a natural underground spring in its basement. Water can be pumped from this spring for use by the building's air conditioning system.

In 1978, the theater was designated a state landmark. And the following year, it was named a National Historic Landmark.

What may be the most remarkable thing about the Byrd is that the theater has somehow survived the past seventy years largely unaltered—in appearance and function. It still shows movies to this day."

Whenever I crave a true cinematic experience, I head to see Richmond's favorite Byrd. $1.99 to see a first-rate movie. On Saturday nights, Bob Gulledge, plays the mighty Wurlitzer, and on special occasions, he will lead the audience in riveting sing-alongs. Tomorrow night, I'm taking Nikki to experience this magical place for the first time. The movie being shown? Phantom of the Opera. Here's to cheap, genuine entertainment! If any of you are ever in the area, I highly recommend visiting the Byrd, and while you're at it, take me with you!




Comments: 1


Saturday, April 09, 2005

Grrr!

The bachelor blues. The weaver is with her mother, doing respite care for her father, which is a good thing. I am left to my own devices, told to "amuse yourself", which can be good. #2 son has the car, no problem. I'll bike four miles to the cineplex, to catch the latest Drew Barrymore flick. (Why does she always get stuck with SNL cast-offs as her leading men?) The wind is blowing in my face, the road is uphill, and for the first time this year it is warm enough that I work up a sweat. Persevere! After being restricted in my movements for 5 weeks with a cracked rib, it feels good to be able to do vigorous physical activity again. I get to the cinema, pay my $8, and find the right theatre. I settle in, watch a half-dozen nearly incoherent previews, and the show begins. Jimmy Fallon, likeable enough, looks like he's still reading cue cards. A trimmer, more mature Drew is fun to watch; she usually takes me into her character right away. After Jimmy asks her for a date (still reading cue cards) the scene shifts to a gym, where Drew and her girlfriends are provocatively riding exercise bicycles, discussing her fear of dating. And then the movie stops.
This theatre has an automatic slide show of advertisements that plays whenever the projector is not running. Cheesy Musak starts playing over the sound system. After a couple of minutes the projector starts, but no sound, only the cheesy Musak. The mood is broken. I take my ticket stub, go to the lobby and get a refund.
Motion picture technology is over 100 years old. Syncronized sound is nearly 80 years old. If $8 is not enough to insure a complete performace of an entertainment that hundreds of people spent months making and millions of dollars on, how much is? Grrr. I ride home, cool off, talk to the weaver on the phone and write this post. Oh well, I guess I'll read a book (Under The Glacier, by Halldór Laxness.) I know that the book won't break down...hmmm...It's almost 10:30 - I wonder who's on SNL tonight? Maaybe it's The Best Of Jimmy Fallon!




Comments: 1


Friday, April 08, 2005

1967

'58 Chevy, a hundred miles per hour down highway 100, someguy you never saw before behind the wheel, laughing...a gig with a pick-up band in a basement, driving a '63 Tremolux with a 5U4 rectifier tube into overdrive on 'Smokestack Lightin', Hubert Sumlin himself never played it finer...girls with too much mascara and too little clothes smiling with sinister overtones...it's all too much, can't get any closer to IT than this; a definition of the moment? Keep on playing, the Johnny Walker Red pushing you out there, but in a coarse, manic way - where is the finesse? Louder, faster, they're dancing the dirty dog now, only a few layers of clothes between the flesh: its real, its real, take it further, you got it, you got it! You've been good too long, is she really only 16? Her breath is as intoxicating as the whisky...It's real, it's real, oh babe something's gotta give...




Comments: 0


Thursday, April 07, 2005

I Heart The Shaggs



Around and around, the shop talk at work goes around, an attractive veneer laid over the work experience. Talk about music is common, the Olson twins who work with me have wide tastes (excepting that Don is allergic to Country) and that helps the day go by a little easier. Eventually, the Shaggs came up in conversation. They were a group of girls from Fremont, New Hampshire, who recorded an album of original songs unlike anything made before or since. The complete story is here. My co-workers' minds were suitably blown by the girls' unique musical vision. the thing that keeps me intrigued is the philosophy (implied and overtly stated) that comes through:
It doesn't matter what you do
It doesn't matter what you say
There will always be one who wants things the opposite way
We do our best, we try to please
But we're like the rest we're never at ease
You can never please
Anybody
In this world

-Philosophy Of the World, by Dorothy Wiggins

With titles such as:
What Should I Do?
Things I Wonder
Why Do I Feel
Who are parents
-and the ultimate Shaggs song-
My Pal Foot Foot

-the Shaggs give an honest inside view of the world from an adolescent perspective, free of pretense, influence or accepted musical conventions. Flippism at its finest.




Comments: 0


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The Great

The pope is dead. Long live the pope. John Paul II's hagiocracy has ended, but his hagiolatry has only begun. The latest drum beat from the fawning media is that Pope John will be refered to as "The Great". If greatness is measured by the effects of one's beliefs put into action, I am not convinced. Normally I refrain from religious topics, and here I am more concerned with power and politics than theology. The late pope portrayed himself as a champion of the common people, and used his bully pulpit to great effect in a series of world travels. He frequently lectured world leaders on the need to raise the masses from poverty. And yet, after a quarter century, the gap between the haves and the have-not is growing at a faster rate than it has in over a hundred years. The fall of communism (actually Soviet socialism) is sometimes credited to him, yet many Roman Catholic leaders have strong Marxist leanings. Human Sexuality is probably the area that he has made the most impact. In actively resisting ANY reproductive innovations, he has thwarted or made many couples attempt to bear children difficult. His opposition to ANY birth control technology, particularly ANY safe sex measures has increased the suffering of millions.
Oh. Now I get it. He was the pope of suffering. Everything he did was to support the idea that we are meant to suffer in this life. So, in that respect, he was The Great. Infallable. God's direct representative on earth.

All God's children gotta suffer. But not because of some crank in a robe and a pointed hat making perverse declarations.




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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

I tote the world in my bag!

As with any urban college student, I am daily plagued with exams, drug dealers, and frisbees thrown by frat boys. Such hassles produce a few premature gray hairs, and looking for an apartment/job is not the easiest task either. Math is a cruel little dog, nipping at my heels. Most friendly-looking stores won't hire a person with my amount of job experience (zilch), and I can't gain any experience unless I'm hired (Catch 22!). A few floormates have misplaced DVD's of mine. My roomie's parents dislike the fact that I'm not Christian, and they firmly believe me to be a horrible influence on their only child. I tell ya', as many goat sacrifices as I've put her through, she still won't convert! Everyone's ill from either Spring Fever or Hay Fever. I haven't slept in days in favor of caffeine and textbooks.

Yet...

Despite the chaos, I now carry something with me that brings inspiration and stirs curiosity to all that see it. Thanks to the kindness of a Minnesotan, I can carry my heavy schoolbooks with pride. Here's to Professor Batty, who has shown me that the world is never completely clouded over with gloom and doom. I salute you sir, and your token of esteem means more to me than you'll ever know.




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Monday, April 04, 2005

A Brand New Bag

Come down sister.....yea she's in the swing
She be hip...about that new bag babe
It ain't no drag
She's got a brand new bag

Come here mama....and dig this crazy seam
Its not too fancy....but its line is pretty clean
It ain't no drag.
She's got a brand new bag

She's doing the Flip....
She's doing the Fly
Don't play her cheap 'cause you know she ain't shy
She's ain't no Monkey, she's a hot tomato, Jump back Jack, See you later
alligator.

Come here sister
yea she's in the swing
She's way too hip now
but I can dig that new breed;
She ain't no drag
She's got a brand new bag

Oh baby! She ain't no Jerk
Baby...she's got that smirk
And here's the twist ... just like this,
She's just too Fly ev'ry day and ev'ry night
The thing's....like the Boomerang.
Hey....come on
Hey! Hey.....come on
Hey! Hey....she's up tight...out of sight...
Come on. Hey! Hey!
She ain't no drag,
Ame's got a brand new bag!

... with apologies to James Brown




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Friday, April 01, 2005

Pray For What?

So in the contest of the feeding tube twins, the score is one down, one to go. The media/political frenzy continues, with video clips of the true believers standing vigil, fingering their rosaries and mumbling ritual incantations for...what? The resurrection of the patron saint of bulimia? The salvation of God's infallible representative on earth? If John Paul needs prayers now, either he was a very bad man, or nobody gets into heaven. And what possible resolution could there otherwise be in Terri Schiavo's case? More pointless suffering? Of course, rituals for the dead and dying are meant for the living. No words of consolation will ever make you miss a loved one less, but if their usage is a subterfuge for other intentions, it becomes an abomination.




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