Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Swim Fan

You guys remember that bathing suit I bought a couple of months ago that, er, didn't quite cover me in certain hard-to-disguise areas? Today I decided what the hey and took it for its first real test drive down at the gym pool. And no, the breasts still don't fit any better into the top either, but I did manage to sort of cram them in on either side, pack them super-tight and creating this very unflattering illusion of a "uni-boob" growing dead center of my chest. But at this point I didn't give a hoot(er) -- more than anything this morning after spending half if it in the dentist's chair I wanted to go swimming, and at that point I couldn't care less if I flashed half the staff and old folks community, which are the only people using the pool at one in the afternoon anyway. Yeah it's a tit. Slightly smashed. Wanna make sumthin' of it, toots?

But one full hour of alternating laps of freestyle, scissor-kick, backstroke, butterfly, and kickboard and I was ready to croak. As hard as I work out my lower half every damn day I have leg and glutes of fucking steel. But I have thoroughly neglected my upper half -- my arms, my chest, my shoulders and back -- and I was winded about halfway through my first lap. Total mush. Even my once formidable lung power -- kapoot. Something tells me I'll be feeling this one come tomorrow morn, but I gotta admit right now I feel absolutely terrific. I just love swimming so much. And not just the physical exercise. Swimming laps puts me right into a sort of meditative state where my mind goes completely blank and from that moment on nothing else in the universe exists except the burn of my muscles and the sound of my lungs filling every time I surface, followed by that otherworldly silence of the water below when I submerge. It's so wonderfully relaxing. And I love how even after a shower I can still smell the chlorine all over my bare skin. Heaven.

So anyway, on to news that will only probably interest myself as well as Connie and maybe Emily too, tomorrow's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show looks back on her 25 years in comedy, and according to Allison from The Cold website it might be worth checking out, wink wink nudge nudge. Now knowing Allison like I do she must have some insider 411 so I might expect a certain less-recognizable DeGeneres sibling making a "surprise" appearance on the show in some form or fashion. Could the possible return of Mr. Hands be at, er... hand? Count me there, my lovelies. Count me there.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Hey! Rise Of The Robots

You old timers remember BMG Music Club? Get all these CDs for a penny and whatnot?

Meet the BMG Music Club... of the fuuuuuuturrrre! {{insert spooky theremin noises here}}}

I saw an article on it in a recent ish of Ice magazine. Basically it's all owned by BMG so yeah, the music selection is very "catalogue" so it's not exactly the place to go to track down that one missing Les Rallizes Denudes CD for your collection or anything. But they still appear to be building stock. And here's the deal: All CD's are $5.99. That's it. No shipping or handling, and apparently no sales tax either. If you buy a double CD, or even a box set, it's $5.99 for each disk. So if you get the Miles Davis 7-disc box that's currently retailed at Amazon for $117, it will only be $42 at YourMusic.com.

To join, you are obligated to buy one $5.99 CD a month. That's it. You can cancel at any time. Tracy told me that she is already setting up 12 CDs in a queue so that they will automatically send her one CD a month in the order that she has them listed. Like they do at Netflix, I guess. She's a big collector of Blue Note jazz titles and this will help her fill in the blanks in her collection cheaply and without bargain hunting or heck, even thinking about it. $5.99 is even cheaper than most of the used CDs we sell at our store these days (Chris you can back me up on this, dude -- things haven't changed a lick since you skipped town).

I'm still thinking about it. I can really beef up my jazz collection as well. Get mainstream new releases, and maybe even replace some of the lost/stolen/botched schtuff that I've always meant to get around to if I ever, like, won the lottery one day and had absolutely nothing left to squander it on, or something. I don't quite know.

Anyway, if this works I can see maybe Columbia House or others jumping in and competing with even better offers down the road.

Is this the only thing of it's kind out there? Is anyone else aware of something just as similar, if not better? I'd actually be interested. It's starting to make a heap more sense to me to go this route than waiting for that damn Fiona Apple album to come floating in used. And that was $9.99!

Friday, November 25, 2005


Sat 26: 3-10
Sun 27: 11-4
Mon 28: 3-8
Wed 30: 11-6
Thur 1: 1-8:30
Sat 3: 10-4

Well the least I can say is that the day flew fast.

Oh, and as a PSA for all you locals who are coming to the store with their flyer from today's newspaper, we are currently out of the iPods for $249.99, the 20-packs of batteries for $4.99, The Harry Potter Scene It! game, True Crime: New York City on both PS2 and XBox, the Johnny Cash 3-CD set, and the following DVDs: The Austin Powers 3-set, the Lethal Weapon 4-set, The O.C. 7-set, Saw, Unleashed, Chicken Run, and Meet The Fockers. That was as of 4pm today when I left, so I have no idea what will be gone by tonight.

Joe is taking me out to dinner tonight, and then later I might go to the pub with some of my fellow associates for drinks.

Out of the red and into the black. At least for today, that is.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Good For The Blood

WINE: You've poured yourself a glass of wine. While
everyone else scrambles to get the best things
on their plates, you have poured yourself a
glass of relaxation. You can go through the
feast at your leisure after everyone has filled
their plates, and casually take what you like
without feeling rushed. The wine puts you in a
festive relaxed mood, and even helps you deal
with the inlaws! NICE MOVE.

The ThanksGiving Day Feast !!
brought to you by Quizilla

Oh, thank God. I'm not stuffing again this year. Maybe today will be the day I finally get myself good and properly sauced. I think maybe for the first time in my life I truly need it. One final toss off toast to this thoroughly weird year, for certain.

Have a good day, my friends.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Toy Story

Does anybody else besides myself find this pumpkin just a little bit disturbing? I mean, I don't want it to just be me that gets the squiggens over the sight of its evil leer and heavy-lidded menace. I feel silly whenever I point it out to friends, neighbors, landlord, pizza man, Jehovahs Witnesses, and they don't appear to react with the same degree of unsettling anxiety that I experience. It reminds me of the kinds of boogins that invaded my dreams as a child. Like the Vermicious Knids. Well no, this thing isn't anywhere near Vermicious Knid terrority, and those scare the ever-lovin' piss outta me on their own. But the Knids are a whole 'nuther story. This is the story about the pumpkin.

Joe, always the strong, sensitive one of the two of us, tells me that I am out of my gourd and that there is no evil spirit dwelling within the pumpkin. That no, it doesn't hover over me while I sleep, that it's not peering over the shower curtain while I am busy scrubbing soap out of my eyes while singing loudly to "Joey" by Concrete Blonde - but the more this damned thing sat on our piano the more I was convinced that it was either him or me, one of us would have to leave. After careful consideration Joe decided that he'd rather part with the pumpkin and came up with the idea of trying to give him away to a professional wrestler. He figured what better home to go to. And we had tickets to the WCW World War 3 1996 Pay-Per-View in Norfolk that week, too. Front row, even. O, Fortuna!

My boyfriend, btw, is a wrasslin' freakazoid. Me? Well... its intrinsic humor is not lost on me but I am hardly a follower (or, ah, at least not like I was as a kid in the 80's ::cough cough::). But one thing we do have in common is our habit of trying to foist off completely random, unrelated objects to entertainers and celebrities. We always used to stand front row at concerts and hand the musicians Moist Towelettes, then make note of their reaction and subsequent usage (still can't grind out the mental image of David Yow from The Jesus Lizard cleaning his penis with the one I gave him). We figured, pumpkin + wrestling = pretty damn Dada, so channeling the spirit of Tristan Tzara we snuck our evil lil' pun'kin through Scope security, which I suppose they figure if signs are okay, why not pumpkins. So no hassles so far.

Oh, and you can actually see us in the front row of this pay-per-view. With the exception of a few front aisle shots when Roddy Piper would walk past us, most of the show was shot from behind our seats so it's mostly the back of our noggins, but we are sitting towards the far right of the screen, dead front row, our matching dark curly heads next to each other, and our pumpkin raised aloft every so often. Just biding our time. And we would know it when it comes.

And then the time came. The show ended with a totally riotous 60-man "battle royale" with, as the title might already suggest, 60 scantily clad men in one ring beating the snot out of each other until the last man standing in the ring wins. And every time a wrestler was thrown from the ring he had to walk right past us, and Joe would stretch his arm to hold out the evil pumpkin to the losing wrestler as an offer to take. As a consolation prize, perhaps. Either way, we were growing disappointed that each wrestler turned down our sweet gesture. As Loser # 18, 19, 24, 26, 31, 49 passed us over we were seriously beginning to think that maybe this pumpkin truly was cursed. It wasn't going home with anyone? I would be {{gulp}} forever stuck with it?

And then we caught the attention of a wrestler who was just tossed from the ring by The Giant (nowadays known as The Big Show). I can't remember which wrestler it was -- Joe, help me out here -- but he looked pretty not-pleased to be taking that Walk O' Shame past the cretins in the pit (i.e. us). When Joe held out the pumpkin the guy angrily slapped the bottom of Joe's hand upward, causing the pumpkin to go catapulting backwards behind us, far, far back into the audience.

Ach! We had failed in our mission. But at least the pumpkin was ever to be seen again. Or so we thought. Not long afterwards I got a tap on my shoulder. It was a fan sitting behind me, and he handed me back the pumpkin. Apparently after the wrestler slapped the pumpkin far back into the stadium the fans picked it up and crowd-surfed the little fella back down to the front row to return it to us. Ain't that a kick in the head.

Or OR! It came back by... other means. I'm still not entirely ruling out the supernatural here. I mean, look at those eyes! By the pricking of my fucking thumbs, boy-o!! It will always find me. It always, always knows. Damn its eyes. Damn its toothy grin. Wait... pumpkins don't have teeth. PUMPKINS DON'T HAVE TEETH!

So obviously we took Evil Pumpkin back home and set him in his rightfully earned spot on the piano once again. We have never attempted to get rid of him again, and I think at this point I am fine with it. Whatever his intentions, he's made it clear that he won't be parted from us. I have grown to accept his presence. But I still catch him... looking at me from time to time. {{raising one eyebrow}}

Now if I can just find a way to get rid of Joe's Spiderman pillow that looks just like a Vermicious Knid.

Lost In The Supermarket

I swear some days it's like I'm 8 years old again and my mother needs to pin my every possession to my clothes for fear of me losing them. Yesterday on the way to work I nearly lost my debit card again, somewhere between removing it from my wallet and putting it into the ATM. How does a card disappear between Step 1. and Step 2.? Luckily it turned up a few minutes later in the back seat of my car (what? huh? what?) and I was able to take out my last $10 to put into the tank to carry my ass to work. But then I made the second mistake of stopping at Walgreens along the way and locking my keys in my car... while the motor is still running. Friends, I have never -- repeat never -- leave my car unmanned with the engine running and whatever possessed me to do it yesterday will forever be beyond human comprehension. But I wound up spending two hours waiting for the locksmith (and the car to run out that last $10 worth of precious petrol) puttering around the Walgreens, which I've decided is something that I'd rather not if ever do again if it ever came down to options.

But I'm an eternal optimist, and I like to see every experience in life as something to learn from. And I learned quite a few things about killing time in your local neighborhood Walgreens:

* If you pace the aisles with your hands in your coat pockets mumbling angrily to yourself, mothers will very quickly pull their children out of your way. Sometimes they'll even clutch them protectively.

* There are things in the freezers. It is hard to determine what these things are exactly because they are heavily coated in a thick layer of "protective ice". All the better to hide the expiration dates, I reckon.

* Do grown women actually read Cosmo? Well, I just did. And I have now learned 101 Ways To Use Your Hands To Let That Handsome Stranger Know You're Interested. And not one of them gave instructions on how to snap a neck in a thousand places with my little pinky. I knew I should have joined the Marines when I had the chance.

* Rule of thumb: Every one of the perfume testers at the Walgreens perfume counter will only make you smell, well, like a Walgreens perfume counter. I can't imagine these poor souls working here coming home smelling like that every night. Then again I guess it beats all the times I came home reeking of nag champa and yesterday's contact-high back when I worked here.

* And as always, no matter where I go, or what I'm wearing, or even what I'm doing, somebody is always going to think that I work there.

Thank Yod I have Thanksgiving off. But of course that means I'm there fresh as a daisy early on the Black Friday morn. Feh. I'm an old pro at this. Lemme at 'em.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Misanthrope

I'm numb. Absolutely dead from the neck down. The neck down. No, wait... nope, actually the head's dead, too. It's all dead, baby. How did I manage to get through this day? Or the day before? Two freakishly insane days at work and it's not even Black Friday yet. Seven hours non-stop on my feet and I feel as if I've just been beaten repeatedly with a stick. I don't even remember the car ride home, or the feel of the steering wheel in my hands. Ahhhh..... {{{bangbangbang}}} I can't even feel the keyboard under my fingertips. People told me all day today that I was nuts for busting my ass so hard over so little in return. I suppose I am. But at least my boss saw me busting my ass all day. May this all pay off in the end come January. And what nobody else there knows won't hurt 'em.

I don't want to go lay down because I know I'll just zone right out and I'll never fall asleep tonight at a humane hour (which these days is about 4 in the morning). It's Saturday and all my favorite music communities are dead. Razzafrakkin' people with their... their lives and shit. Not like I have the energy to carry my ass out of the house at this present state. I wonder if S. is home. Maybe she'll wanna go do coffee or tea or something.

I was gonna say something else but I forgot it already. Man, my head really is dead. My everything hurts.

Trapped In A Mindset

The many faces of Paris Hilton.

Weirdly hypnotic. Almost soothing, in fact.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Thur 17: 12-7
Fri 18: 5-cl
Sat 19: 10-5
Sun 20: 11-5
Mon 21: 3-cl
Wed 23: 10-6:30
Fri 25: 8-4
Sat 26: 3-10

Meeting In The Ladies Room

Okay, fellas. Girl talk here for a sec. Go ahead and turn up the volume on the football game if you're not interested. I'll be back to your regularly scheduled musical snoozefest by next post, I promise.

So. The doctor visit yesterday. I can do one, or all three of the following:

Get me one of these. Which I just did a few minutes ago. Sleeping or relaxing with it around the house should help with the pains. Or so she claims. I pretty much thought that my pain was attributed to the fact that I was wearing a bra, since the pain comes from the moment when I remove the bra at the end of the day. But we'll see, won't we.

I could have myofascial chest wall pain. Due to my rounded shoulders and heavy breasts I have a slightly slumped posture and physical therapy might fix that. However, it's possible that I might not have that at all (I am always careful to walk and stand with my shoulders back and keep my posture ramrod straight) , and therapy could be very long and insurance will likely not cover it. So, uh, nope.

Or I could DING-DING-DING!... have breast reduction surgery. Of which she says I am a perfect candidate. So finally, a sound medical recommendation! But after speaking with Claire, my plastic surgeon, one of the best in the state (second photo, woman on left) I learned that I still need to keep going to the doctor for the next 6 months to a year to convince the insurance company that my pains are ongoing and that I've tried every possible option before resorting to surgery. So despite the recommendation I still need to keep up this silly semi-charade for the benefit of the people that I pay out the whazoo every month to take care of situations like this.

Or there's a fourth option -- one that that only I've considered, and that's just bypassing all the red tape hooey, going into the kitchen right now, getting one of those plastic picnic knives, laying down some newspaper, and with a bottle of whiskey on hand perform a little frontier medicine of my own (frankly I don't know why I haven't thought of this sooner). Heck, after years of art classes and practically being born with a silver X-acto knife in my mouth I wonder if I could make a perfect incision, remove the tissue, raise the nipple, and mold myself a couple of ducky little C-cups without making a bloody hash of the whole thing. I'm sure there are a number of informative step-by-step websites out there that I can follow along.

I guess I'm going for the bra option for now. But I gotta tell ya my idea is starting to look better and better over time.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Alright alright alright alright. This... I swear I mean it... will be my last ever indulgence purchase of 2005. Because, well, anyone who knows me (from my last blog, at least) will know precisely why.

Allison from The Cold website just sent out this press release from Top Pop Records in New Orleans:

The Cold has previously released two CD's: Three Chord City, a 26-song collection of studio recordings, and Cold Sweat, a 26-song collection of live recordings. But there were still some unreleased songs, and alternate recordings of songs, that remained "in limbo".....until now.

"Limbo's Getting Crowded"

is the title of a 22-song collection of 1980's recordings by The Cold. It features 14 previously unreleased songs including "Parnell Pitcher", "Memories", "You Don''t Look at Me", "Talk to Me", "Agnes English", "My Way" and "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry (Over You)". It also features alternate recordings of "Working Girl", "Hot Ride" and "Cleveland". In all, there are 16 studio recordings and six live tracks.

Now I do already have a few of these previously unreleased tracks as old demos, first takes, and live versions that date back to the era (1980-1984) but this looks to be a complete, perhaps final compilation of these rarities remastered and released on an official capacity, the way I suppose they were intended to be. Plus I have never heard "Agnes English", "My Way", and "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry (Over You)", nor was I even aware that they ever existed. Apparently I am nowhere near the resourceful Cold-diggah I always fancied myself to be.

So I'm printing out the order form that Allison sent so that I can mail off for the disk. Man, I can understand keeping things forever in the DIY spirit of the times in which they reigned, but damn if I didn't wish Top Pop Records would finally get themselves a website where you can order directly online.
Oh yeah, and it goes without saying that there will be no band reunion this year. For once, I'm not going to protest.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Funk In The Hole

So besides Brett's book and these used CDs (and er, Papa's new movie coming out on the 21st) this will probably be my last big indulgence for the rest of the year so that I can finally start planning for the holiday gift-giving season. One disk came in Saturday afternoon that I literally pounced all over -- Roy Ayers Virgin Ubiquity II:

Tracy hipped me to these "Virgin Ubiquity" tapes which she has been featuring on her website ever since they were released in the US earlier this year. Previously unreleased funk-jazz material dating from 1976 - 1981 just gathering cobwebs in his vaults, Ayers allowed UK label Rapster/BBE to root through, remaster and release these slightly "uncommercial" tracks that never made it to official album release throughout his career. Now if only Volume I will make its way through our front doors. Um, hopeful not until early next year, that is. {{crossing fingers}}

And I went ahead and snagged Fiona Apple Extraordinary Machine.

I've had the leaked Jon Brion version for several months, enjoying it quite a bit, so it was only a matter of time before I got up the gumption (and wait for it to come in used) to sample the Mike Elizondo official release version, and from what others have informed me it's pretty obvious that a highly stylized hip-hop producer got his mitts on it in a way that that has either alienated the fans of the original fractured funhouse merry-go-round ride of the Brion version or won over fans of the straight-forward previous work as a return to former form with a brand new perspective. Haven't heard it yet, either way. And it doesn't appear to be the dual disk version either, but you know, beggars and choosers and all that.

Tomorrow is my first of probably dozens of doctor's appointments in my ongoing breast reduction quest. I chose a female doctor in hopes of maybe getting a touch more sympathy from her side on this issue. I'm nervous. Not about going to the doctor, but just.... praying this is all going to work out in the end to my benefit. Somehow.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A Worrisome Trend Indeed

Hey look! An actual article from The Onion that's even funnier than the headline...

Metal Council Convenes To Discuss 'Metal Hand Sign' Abuse

And the photo is even funnier than the article.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Santa Baby Sucks And I Don’t Mean Maybe

You gotta be shittin' me. They're ALREADY putting up Christmas lights and crap all over the new town center across the street from where I work. Right. In. My. Line. Of. Vision. And they expect me to have to endure that for the new few weeks, let alone do my part to help inspire the spirit of the annual holiday fleecing of the customers a full three weeks before Thanksgiving?

Oh hells no. Just put me in the back warehouse now. I will cheerfully unload trucks until January 1st if it means not having to deal with lights and tinsel and fake snow spray on the windows and women in reindeer sweaters with so-cute-you-could-yak Christmas tree ornaments for earrings and Harry Fucking Connick Jr. singing "The Happy Elf" ad nauseam... oh, definitely no Harry Fucking Connick Jr. singing "The Happy Elf" this year if I can help it. They better let me put on the Dr. Demento Christmas album every once in awhile if they expect me to play nice-nice with the ornery reindeer sweater-wearing bastids and no no no no no no no no no no nononono NO find some other schlub to wear the Trans World antler hat this year. Put me down for the Grinch suit instead. Because every season that we start instigating this shite earlier and earlier my poor heart shrivels three sizes too small (my voice already bears an unsettling resemblance to Boris Karloff's, plus friends tell me I live in a cave anyways).

Well, since I suppose everybody else is getting into the... sigh... spirit of the season early again this year I guess it's time to start thinking of new ideas for this year's annual Christmas mix disk -- or should I say semi annual, because I never got around to making one last year due to all that was going on at the time. I'm very pleased that I have somehow managed over the years not to repeat myself on any of these disks, but now it's gotten to where I can't remember everything that I have put on the disks from the past so this is either where my mnemonic prowess comes into play or I actually have to start scrounging up old disks to remember what went on where. I did stumble across my mix disk from 2003, so I at least have that guideline to follow:

"Blue Xmas" - Miles Davis w/Bob Dorough
"Don't Believe In Christmas" - The Sonics
"I Wish That I Could Stay (The Christmas Song)" - The Raveonettes
"Christmas In Hollis" - Run DMC
"Another Lonely Christmas" - Prince & the Revolution
"Long Way Around The Sea" - Low
"Hey America" - James Brown
"What Christmas Means To Me" - Stevie Wonder
"Lonely Christmas Call" - George Jones
"Santa Claus Is Smoking Reefer" - Squirrel Nut Zippers
"Father Christmas" - The Kinks
"Christmas In New Orleans" - Louis Armstrong
"Merry Christmas Baby" - Otis Redding
"Last Christmas" - Wham!
"Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight)" - Ramones
"Be Thankful" - Nate Dogg
"Jingle Bells" - Etta James
"Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis" - Tom Waits
"Who Took The Merry Out Of Christmas" - The Staple Singers
"Christmas Time For My Penis" - Vandals
"Fairytale Of New York" - No Use For A Name
"Home For Christmas" - Kate Bush

This is the second time I have put "Fairytale Of New York" onto a Christmas disk, the first time beautifully and heart-rendingly performed by The Pogues and the second, more pedestrian version by No Use For A Name. If I can wrangle up that thoroughly surreal version by The Irish Tenors then that would make the perfect Christmas triumvirate (or perfectly awful, take your pick). Too bad it's lyrically truncated at all to heck. Hearing Ronan Tynan call Finbar Wright a scumbag and a maggot would have really made my holiday complete.

At least I'll have an excuse to use Vance DeGeneres' "The Greatest Christmas Song Of All" this year. If anybody has some other bright ideas, place a comment and make a suggestion. Yes, YOU can be a part of this year's disk-making festivities! And I'll even send you one in the mail, howzzat?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Thur 10: 10-5
Sat 12: 10-5
Sun 13: 11-7
Wed 16: 3-cl
Thur 17: 12-7
Fri 18: 5-cl
Sat 19: 10-5

The Little Red State That Did

Tim Kaine won. It was a real squeaker, but it sure did happen. Therefore not a total slap in the face to President Bush, because I think the 2% that went to Independent Potts may have been the defining factor in Kilgore's loss. Still, who knew that my people still knew how to vote Dem every so often?


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I Got Bananas!

Do you have any idea how hard I've been fiending for some bananas in the last few days? Well sister, I gots me some. And they are RIPE brownish-yeller nanners too, not those greeny things sitting in the grocery store that you have to wait a few days to eat. Naw, these are old bitches, yo. And they were marked down for being old bitches so I can eat these bad boys right-the-fuck-NOW. In fact I'm havin' me one. Mmm! Damn, I'm in potassium heaven. I'd snap a picture of me so that you could see how freakin' happy I am right this minute but I'm thinking once I start posting photos of me deep-throating long slightly curved fruit with a look of utter ecstasy on my face I'd have to start either making this a pay-site or get busted for violating my own visage under the grrr substantive due process grumble US Section 2257 code. Just rest assured that I look like quite the content little monkey-girl right his moment with my yummy ripe banana. I'd get another one, but my keeper wants to see if I'll build a rudimentary step system out of blocks to reach the last one hanging from the ceiling. And baby, I ain't giving him that satisfaction. Ook ook. {{scritch-scratch}}

What else did I get today, besides nanners. Ah yes. Kate Bush's Aerial, which just came out today.

This double CD is the long awaited follow-up to 1993's The Red Shoes after Kate's 12-year baby-havin' hiatus (my word, her son is a pre-teen already!), filled with songs that she wrote and recorded periodically throughout that time away. The first disk, "A Sea Of Honey", is supposedly mostly the eccentric Kate-tinged pop that she is known for, while the second disk, "A Sky Of Honey" (I guess these titles explain the amber tones of the haunting album cover art) is bird-themed, where Kate allegedly performs in blackbird song. Kate has been known to turn into animals in several of her songs in the past so I suppose the blackbird is her current animal animus and I'll be interested to see how she pulls this one off.

Plus two used disks. One being Yma Sumac's Legend Of The Jivaro.

Although I only have a few of her songs, I've never owned a full album by Yma Sumac (that's Amy Camus to you dyslexics) until today, and this looks to be intriguing, if anything else. Yma, who always claimed to the descended from Incan kings, explores the music of the ancient Jivaros, neighbors of the Incas, who had their culture raided and decimated by the Spanish conquistadors and forced them to move into the mountains and revert back into a stone-age existence, practicing head-shrinking and trying to exist free from the influences of the outside world and the newly imposed white European rule. Each track on this CD documents the spiritual music of the Jivaros, like the "Sejollo (Whip Dance)" and "Yawar (Blood Festival)" including some original instruments, and of course Yma Sumac's remarkable four octave voice that never fails to impress. Looking forward to turning out all the lights and getting my exotica on with this one.

And the other, to my surprise, is ShelleyDevoto's Buzzkunst.

This must have come in last night after I left work because it sure wasn't there when I was working in the afternoon. I had heard word of a Pete Shelley/Howard Devoto project some time ago but have since completely wiped it from my memory until I saw this sitting in the used bin (that I just spent all of yesterday and Sunday cleaning out) for $6.99, not counting my 20% discount. And Amazon appears to have this retailed at $30, so something tells me this might already be OOP. Seems to be a live album, and I think it has two videos on it. Musically, um... wow. If the CD itself didn't say 2002 I could have sworn this was circa 1982 just from the first four tracks that I heard in the car driving home. From Shelley's early-80's New Wave Homosapien-era synth pop to, er, mid-80's Depeche Mode-y techno-funk to, urm, hey Pete just remembered that he knows how to play guitar so let's just feed that into the computer with everything else shall we? So far nothing revolutionary, but it is two of my favorite boys doing what they have pretty much always have been doing -- Shelley writing catchy hooks and Devoto spewing that ye olde schoole getpisseddestroy punk vitriol that some kids just don't ever outgrow. Well heck, good for them I say.

Help! We've Gone On Holiday By Mistake!

I'd like to give a shout out to my pal Brett Bayne and plug his new book, The Dog Ate My Gun, which the formidable man himself states, "This unique publication includes all my best email pranks, plus cartoons, jokes, comedy sketches, pet peeves, idiotic short stories, various odds and ends...and best of all, I got my friends JAY STEELE and NOAH BELSON to contribute their funniest material as well! It's a comedy smorgasbord (assuming your definition of "smorgasbord" is dried ink on paper in the form of various words and sentences...many of which make perfect grammatical sense!)." The book will soon be available for purchase on Amazon for $19.95 but it can be ordered right now directly from AuthorHouse for $15.70. Brett is a funny, intimidatingly intelligent fellow whose pleasure I had the company of last time I was in Los Angeles and I am both happy and proud to see him find a way to support his debilitating crack habit his formidable talents get the proper venue in which they deserve. Go-go-GO, Bretty-Spaghetty! It is, as they kids say these days, yo' birthday.

So after two days back at work from vacation I think I have finally repaired the damage done to the used CD section that was soooo considerately left for me to take care of once I got back from vacation. I mean really people, would it absolutely kill you all to take the vaguest initiative onto yourselves? Then again I don't know why a lazy sod such as myself would even concern herself so much with the maintenance of of one section of the store when her own personal CD collection is in such an embarrassing disarray in her own home. For some reason I am just such a stickler for order at work. If I could just apply that to the rest of my life... damn, I don't even want to think about where I could be in life right now with that kind of fastidious attitude. Would I even have a blog in which to bitch about life the universe and everything? Or a place to quote from overly-quoted British sci-fi novels? And would life really be any more fun as a result? I'd like to think not. Or at least I have to keep telling myself that, because what the heck else am I gonna do at this point? I reckon I'm stuck being me just as I am. Ain't that a kick in the head.

I put Blueberry Boat by The Fiery Furnaces up on my employee pick wall this week. I guess it's about time, anyway. Plus something about these kids remind me of The Residents phase I went through back in the 80's. Sometimes you just gotta get yer quirk on.

Kate Bush's new one comes out today. I suppose I need to pop in at the store this morning to snap it up. Ugh. Like I really want to go back there right now.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The Revenge Of The Nerd

You knew it was coming. I've been doing it every year in my old blog for the past 5 years. It happens every second weekend of November, but this year I feel compelled to get it over with a little more quickly; It's the season when Melissa starts getting nostalgic for Sci-Con again.

But this year I'm not going to recount the good times. The hijinks. The useless crap we bought. The Lovecraftian junk being sold at the Huckster Room. The swordfights in the hallways. The two strange men who came into the Holiday Inn wielding dirty socks, running through the lobby hitting us over the head with them before quickly departing and never returning. The colored smoke bombs S. and I used to throw into the elevators to send back to the lobby to open and pour green and blue smoke all over the first floor. The Coke machine's ride to the roof which ended up later in the pool, from said roof. Charlton Heston's hilarious reaction to S.'s boyfriend throwing the broken green glo-stick into said pool, after turning it an astonishing shade of plutonium bright enough to be seen from the moon.

Instead I just want to sit back and remember the weather. I want to remember the parking lot of the Holiday Inn at 3 in the morning, bundled in my heavy sweatshirt against the bracing November winter winds. I want to remember lying back on the hood of my car and looking up into the bright winter starry morning sky, remembering how silver the clouds looked as they passed. I want to linger on that moment because I can distinctly remember thinking, at that one frozen point in time, how happy I was to be alive right then and there. I'll never forget loving every bitter cold breath I took that burned my lungs and nostrils. I'll never forget how sensitive my skin felt, how even the brush of my curly hair across my forehead felt at that moment like the central point of the entire universe. I'll never forget the faded yet oddly comforting rhythms of the 80's music being played in the hotel ballroom during the Saturday night dance. I'll never, ever forget the sight of that electric sky.

And I'll never forget the smell of the doughy, wobbly middle-aged man in the Green Lantern body suit who staggered out of the dance into the parking lot to stop and vomit violently right next to my car. How I always miss Sci-Con this time of year.

Friday, November 04, 2005


Sun 6: 3-cl
Mon 7: 10-5
Wed 9: 4-cl
Thur 10: 10-5
Sat 12: 10-5

These Friends Of Mine

So about a month or so ago my pal Mike comes into the store about 20 minutes before we are ready to close to buy the new live Primus DVD. Since I am sort of multi-tasking, getting things ready for closing, I am scurrying around while talking to Mike and not really looking right at him while doing it. I mean, it's Mike. I've known him for 15 years. I know what he looks like, right?

Well after about 20 minutes of this Mike gets miffed and says, "So I noticed that YOU have not noticed my spiffy new hair-do yet."

So I finally look at him. And he has... uh, a faultline shaved down the middle of his head, from front to back. And down his face, between his mustache, and parting his beard.

"Mike!" I bellow.

"Supercuts did it!" He replies happily. "I asked her to split me in half."

"Nooo," I roll my eyes, "I mean why didn't you ask me to do it for you? I shaved Joe's hair down the middle the same exact way almost 10 years ago, and I did it perfectly even. I'd have done yours for free, yo."

Mike may not have remembered back when Joe had his hair like that during the Nsect Club years (haha Mike's old) but after a month or so of not seeing him I figured he might have gotten over the novelty of it and let it grow back out.

Bzzzt... Wrong! Mike comes over to my place Wednesday night still sportin' the reversed mohawk look, now even more pronounced because he has let the remaining hair grow out considerably further around it, punctuating the fault to the point where even a known nitwit like myself could pick up on it after more than 20 minutes of interaction.

I still think the back looks a little lopsided, though. I don't think it can be anything I'd have the skills to fix without just widening the fault beyond the "subtle" stage. Not like he's going for subtlety anyway, I'm certain.

Oh who the heck am I kidding? There's nothing subtle about this as it is! But I will have to show the pictures to S. this weekend, if only to hear her say, "Hey, remember when Joe had his hair like that back in the Nsect Club days?"

And speaking of S. I've been spending the past week beating myself over the head trying to figure out what to give my best friend for her birthday this Saturday (trying at least to out-do the playing card shurikens I got her last year) she calls me last night from her boyfriend's house to tell me that she has already opened the one of three "big" gifts that he got her this year -- knowing full well that I would be the only friend she has who could truly appreciate the value:

A first printing of Love And Rockets #1. No, not "Music For Mechanics", the original Love And Rockets #1. This is some kind of a promo #1 called "Music For Monsters", a story that I am familiar with from the "Music For Mechanics" issue. Also featuring the stories from issue #1 like "Mechan-X", "How To Kill An Isabel Reubens", etc., and the cover art has what looks to be a robot peeking through a hole made out of its claw. Apparently only 800 were ever made.

And he bought it for her on eBay for $1,500.

Holy Christ on a bicycle!! How does she even hold the damn thing without fear of... of breaking it, for crap's sake? "I haven't even touched it!" she cries, no doubt staring at it from a safe distance across the room as she's speaking to me, "I can't even read it! It's... it's... I feel unworthy just to look at it!" I asked if I could come over to look at it with a tiny hole cut into a paper plate but there's talk of maybe all of us getting together for dinner on her birthday and then maybe she'll usher me into the special secret acid-free comic book isolation chamber that she no doubt has constructed in her backyard for her most valuable of titles. And she promises me that she won't make me turn the pages with tweezers like my brother does with his comix (he really needs to stop being influenced by The Simpsons so much).

Welp, there's no pressure of topping that this year from my end. So without much in the way of money or bright ideas, I am making her homemade cookies for her birthday this year. Yeah, I know! I know. But she does like my cookies a bunch. But to be honest, cookie-making is kinda special to me. I don't do much cooking in general, so when I make cookies by scratch it's sort of -- this is gonna sound hokey -- a bonding moment between myself and the person for whom that I am making them. When I am mixing the ingredients, stirring that thick batter with my horribly insufficient rinkydink little spoon I spend a lot of that time thinking about the person that I am making them for, thinking about how they usually like more chocolate chips, or less chocolate chips, or more of this texture, or less of that, just from years of experience in making cookies for them, and I work hard to make them just how they like them. Every blister on my finger (and boy do I get blisters) is a mark of love, a reminder of the physical effort I put into something specific for them. When I hand S. her box of fresh-baked cookies she always notices the Band-Aids all Michael Jackson-style up and down my fingers and she always comments with that aw-no-you-shouldn't-have-not-your-drawing-fingers-awww but she always knows, or at least I pray she knows, I do it to show how much she means to me as a friend. And I have a lot to make up to her for this year. The pain is always worth it, as long as my sentiment shows through.

And of course I had to make some cookies for my love... my Joe. I'm just brimming with the milk of human kindness this week, aren't I? Try and catch me while I'm like this now, compadres. I'll be back to my old crankypants self by the beginning of the working week, to be sure.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The New Face Of Zero And One

Just had two teeth filed down into little fangs, then capped, then temporarily crowned. Took about, oh say, two hours tops. Didn't feel a thing. Sang along loudly with Hank Williams in the car ride all the way home.

Now the novocaine has worn off.

Holy cats, do I hurt. Like the dickens. Like, I actually cried. How humiliating is that.

I think I'm going to go lay down now.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

I haven't done one of these since my last blog. Here's a short list of stuff that I've been sort of getting into over the past month or so:

Barcelona, Spain: This city has been fast surpassing my older obsession with Budapest over the last few months as the next European city that I want to visit. The history, the culture, the MACBA... too much to list and so little money to get me there. But a girl can dream for next year, can't she.

Deviant Desires: Incredibly Strange Sex by Katharine Gates: I have been collecting books from the JunoBooks-V/Search-RE/Search Publications for years and this is one of the most recent that I added to my ever-extended bookshelf. Ms. Gate's essays on such sexual interests as "sploshing", crushing, ponyplay, chubby chasing, furries, fanfiction, and numerous other kinks and proclivities that have broadened and expanded since the advent of the World Wide Web. Not a lot of stuff that floats my boat personally, but a fascinating read nonetheless.

Small Club, 2nd Show That Night by Prince: A live recording from one of Prince's many "after shows" that he's known for, this one during his 1988 Summer Tour in Europe. The show started at 3am and there were only 300 people present. I've had this 2-disk bootleg set for eons but I was just listening to it again recently while burning a copy for a friend and I still can't get over how much this thing rocks my socks. Haunting versions of "Just My Imagination" and "I'll Take You There", and the unbelievably scorching "R.A.D.E" that still can't hold me down in my chair all these years later.

Peter Bagge's Apocalypse Nerd #2: Just picked this up today, actually. New 6-issue storyline about post-nuclear Seattle and two friends trying to survive in the Northwest wilderness with very little frontier skills and a slowly growing disdain for each other. Hilarity! And sharp character development in only the way that my beloved Mr. Bagge can pull off. Each issue will also feature a short historical vignette on the life of an American Founding Father, and Peter's skewering of Thomas Paine in this issue is a real stitch.

Ruth's Chris Steak House: Sure, it's a bloody chain. But they just opened one in my city and damn if they don't char the best New York Strip I've had in... who the hell knows anymore. I'm always looking for a place that makes a kick-ass steak, and this place does NOT do you wrong. Plus five-star service and a very convenient walk from my work place so I don't have to valet park my damn Taurus.

Wizard Of Oz 3-Disc Collector's Edition: Unless you are so much of a purist that you'll be up in arms over the original B&W Kansas scenes being painted over in warm sepia tones (personally I rather like it) this collection has just about anything a Wizard of Oz trivia nerd like myself could ever desire: gobs of extras like outtakes and deleted scenes, original trailers, several documentaries, audio commentary, and booklets containing reproductions of original premiere programs, invitations, tickets, and a collection of beautiful postcards. Just to name a few. Probably as definitive as one can get. Or enough to tide down the likes of me for awhile at least.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Count Basie Orchestra On Triangle

Alright y'all (eghad I just said "y'all" -- I can't even disguise my suthun' accent in my own damn blog) be sure to tune in for Jack's "big scene" in NCIS on CBS tonight so DON'T RING MY PHONE between the hours of 8-9pm... actually make that 8-10pm because I suppose I'm going to watch The Amazing Race right after it since I am addicted to that show despite how comparatively boring this "all-family" edition has grown to be. Not that I don't enjoy the idea, and not that I don't mind the keeping it all primarily in the United States this time around either. I watch the show for the travel, as I do so love to travel, and there are plenty of neat things to see and do in America as there is in India or Iceland or Afghanistan... but really, climb the World's Largest Office Chair? Roadside attractions are interesting, AT TIMES, but aren't there other places to go to and things to do all over the country? Heck, come to Virginia Beach and give the big happy Ronald McDonald statue sitting outside of the McDonalds located at the local Wal Mart a lap dance, for Pete's sake (oh wait I've already done that myself).

So does anybody remember this album, Mr. T's Commandment?

I got this Special Limited Edition picture disc at a dollar store nearly 15 years ago, and you know, I don't remember a damn thing about it. But I sure do have a fond affection for it. Well, because it's Mr. T and he bears a remarkable resemblance to my former roommate in this picture shortly after he got out of the Marines and grew a beard. Er, and a mohawk. And started wearing a lot of gold chains and different color tube socks. And the song titles listed on the sticker include:

Mr. T's Commandment
Mr. T's Commandment (Instrumental)
Don't Talk To Strangers
The Toughest Man In The World

Now I admit I'm a bit baffled as to the "instrumental" version of "Mr. T's Commandment", for aren't commandments something to need to verbalize? Unless, of course, he means to command us to "bust a move" out on the dance floor with his phat beats and dope BPMs. DID SOMEBODY SAY DOPE? Clubber Lang says "nope" to "dope", as is immediately evident on the picture disc where his commandments are laid out in little "buttons" orbiting around his imposing figure. Small, circular "No!" symbols with rudimentary drawings of a cigarette, a pot leaf, a bottle (alcohol? or is he preaching the evils of soda and caffeine? is Mr. T Mormon?), a spoon full of sugar to help the medicine go down (wait, that's not sugar... THAT'S NOT SUGAR!), a hypodermic needle, an evil-grinning smiley face in a big black David Byrne suit holding a lollipop, and the letters "PCP". The other blue buttons hold what I assume are Mr. T's "positive" commandments, like an open book, a prize ribbon, a crossing sign I guess (oh wait, a man and woman holding hands with a child in a dress), a valentine, a star (incandescent gas is a positive thing), a musical note, a plant, and an A+. Mr. T appears to be threatening to put our porchlights out if we don't follow his simple commandments, but the so-called positive blue buttons come off a little abstruse to me. Even some of the "negative" buttons are a tad vague. Am I suppose to be stringing these along into some kind of linear pattern, like don't smoke while reading? Or uh, don't bogart that prize-winning cannabis crop? Don't let alcohol factor in between your bitter child custody battle? Mr. T, help me to understand! Should I be playing the instrumental version backwards for further instructions?

The back photo has Mr. T hanging out and "rappin'" with a small cluster of well-scrubbed kinder, some of which are kept behind the chicken wire fence because they are no doubt the very problem children that is the focus of Mr. T's concern. You can tell because one kid is wearing his baseball cap... backwards. Your classic textbook troublemaker. I pity the poor fools.