Monday, July 31, 2006

Hey, At Least The Place Is Air Conditioned

For all you local readers, Pharrell Williams is going to be in my store at 6:00pm tomorrow signing copies of his new album In My Mind. You can bring your own or purchase one there if you'd like.

In other news, once again I can't seem to stop hurting other people's feelings and making them go away.

I'm tired of hurting, too.

Live Your Daydreams Out Loud

I was rooting through boxes of used CDs at my store this week and I stumbled across a $1.99 copy of Spool Forka Dish, the second album by quirky Minneapolis pop-rock group The Blue Up? which was produced by original Prince & the Revolution drummer Bobby Z. in 1995. Predominantly the brainchild of lead singer/guitarist Rachael, aligned with bassist Carolyn Rush and drummer Renee Bracchi, this cassette didn't leave my player for nearly a month back when I first received it in the mail that year, and once I got the CD a few months later I still couldn't bring myself to remove it, to part with those loopy grooves and Rachael's compellingly child-like voice. Joe booked them at Mango Tango's years ago but I was away at a family funeral, and I think he told me how he talked to them briefly about how they knew Prince, with Joe being a ginormous Prince fan and all.

The Blue Up? (m4a files)
"Breathe You Out"
"Sugar And Gold"

Available for 7 days.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

These Things Take Time

I'm missing my grandmother right now. And Tom. Hell, I'm missing a lot of people right at this moment.

I've lost so many friends this year, from untimely deaths, distant relocations, or just having them carried away by the wind. My phone hasn't rang in forever. The halls of my new townhouse echo from my own lonely footsteps.

These feelings get noticeably worse at night. Especially around this hour.


Anyway, they're making an Off-Bway musical of Evil Dead. What do you guys think? I do like what work I've seen from Hinton Battle.

Terror On Two Track

I suppose when most folks think of hip-hop from the early 90's names like Ice T., Ice Cube, Public Enemy and Wu-Tang Clan may pop instantly to mind. But me, I'll always have Paris. Specifically his 1990 debut album The Devil Made Me Do It, a tense, political, and exhaustively humorless album if there ever was one. And yet this erudite, angry young man's voice, the low baleful growl of a panther being pushed into a corner, rests on a bed of infectiously funky grooves wound as tight as a string around your finger, digging in almost painfully under the flesh. The title track brings back memories of that album's debut year when Joe was DJing at the old Friar Tuck's down by the ODU campus, when he'd toss that track in between Black Flag and Metallica sets and it never once felt out of place. Although Paris' subsequent albums lacked the fire and funk of his debut, this record remains a classic to my ears and based on this work alone one of my favorite rap artists of all time.

Paris (M4a files)
"The Devil Made Me Do It"
"The Hate That Hate Made"
"Break The Grip Of Shame"

Available for 7 days.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Pass Me Some Suma Dat Dumbass Over Der...

Whattaya think, fellas? A week or so of temporary music files posted at random? I'll try and keep it a relatively mixed bag.

One of the reasons why it was nice having a recently new (used) CD copy of the Butthole Surfer's Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's Sac was getting a fresh, unscratched version of "Lady Sniff", strictly for old times sake. Years ago it seemed that every friend who ever received this song on a mixed tape from me would first call me up to complain about that annoying-as-fuck monstrosity slipped (I thought) inconspicuously in between the other, far lovelier pop melodies, only to have them call again a week later to tell me that now they admit the more they actually listen to it the more outright funnier it gets. And yes, the song is obnoxious as hell. But it's the Butthole Surfers, not Noel Coward. It's not meant to be nuanced, highbrow humor. It's just a bunch of nonsense Gibby-nese punctuated by juvenile sound effects, all of which remind me fondly of long road trips to Washington D.C. with friends where we'd play this song and I would try and physically imitate whatever sound effect came up at random, much to the humor (and sometimes nausea) of my fellow passengers.

So anyway, here's my arbitrary music memory of the day. Let me know if any of youze have trouble with the link, and maybe I can attach it in an email for ya.

"Lady Sniff" - Butthole Surfers (M4a file)
Available for 7 days

Friday, July 28, 2006

Say My Name, Bitch

The Friday Five:

1. Are you named after anyone? If so, explain.
No, not that's I'm aware of. My parents had been arguing over naming me either Amy or Leslie for months before I was born, and then finally the first time they held me they both said "Melissa" at the same time and looked at each other with astonishment. So the name stuck. My mom said that there weren't too many girls named Melissa back in 1969 anyway. Apparently it's also Greek for "honey bee".

2. Do you have your children's names picked out already? If so, is there any significance?
Well, I consider Tyler my son, and he's named after a friend of Joe's and mine from college who on the last day we ever saw him told us that if we ever got married and had a kid to remember to name it after him. Our son Tyler does sort of remind me of his original namesake a bit, except my son's much shorter, considerably grumpier, and doesn't constantly quote The Princess Bride every chance he gets.

3. If you were born a member of the opposite sex what would your name have been?
My folks had already picked out the name Michael for me if I turned out to be a boy. They can't tell me that there weren't any Michael's back in 1969.

4. If you could re-name yourself what name would you pick and why?
Howard. I dunno. I like it. I like it as a girl's name, too. Then I heard that Anne Rice was originally named Howard when she was born and that made me feel like some lame pretentious gothchick so now I'm leaning more towards Lady Ethel Adelle Nighshade Blacklily-Crowley.

5. Are there any mispronunciations/typos that people do w/ your name constantly?
I sure do get called Michelle an awful lot.


Tue 1: 11-6:30 (RB)
Wed 2: 3-cl
Thur 3: 3-cl
Fri 4: 11-6:30 (RK)
Sat 5: 9-5 (RK)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Walk And Don't Look Back

Today I thought I'd mark the moment of the one-year anniversary of this blog, and honestly I'm sort of quietly freaking out that I managed to make it to this point. After putting my old long-lived raving-mad Old Yeller blog down last spring I swore I'd never do anything like this again, what with all the writing I lost compounded with all the people whom I care about that I may have hurt. But I suppose the hiatus had done me some therapy, spending a week alone in Los Angeles clearing my head, and best of all receiving so many compliments and encouraging words from the friends that I've made online over the years who had read my blog regularly, many of which are themselves incredibly talented writers and artists whose work I admire and respect. All this praise coming from all of these great people was immensely overwhelming, and might I add, touching. And inspiring. I got back into it again on July 25th, 2005 with the expectation that at any moment it would be okay to pull the plug on the whole thing if I felt that I couldn't do it anymore, and strangely enough I think it was with that expectation that allowed me to feel like I could continue going, knowing that I had that escape hatch easily on hand. It's been more than therapeutic, and I can't ever begin to thank everyone who continued to read over the years and left me comments and sent me emails and kept me thinking that I can get back out there again. It was you good folks, much more so than this monster on a rope, that did me a world of good, and I really do love all of ya's.

Having said all that, I've been wondering lately if it really is time to finally pull the plug on this blog as well. I mean, I don't know what I really contribute to it anymore to make it worth reading, if there really ever had been anything to begin with. I started it as a place to personally vent, still feeling monstrously depressed over personal issues in my life with my friends, feeling lost and confused, and it worked as a little closet in cyberspace where I could lock myself away and scream my fool head off until I felt better, and never had to bother anybody about my problems or drive them batty with my behavior. After I started feeling better I thought about reverting this blog back into a music blog, but over the last year due to finances I haven't been able to buy much music like I once did, so I found myself with less and less material to work with. I found myself just... writing about myself, and few things in this life I can imagine could be anywhere near as boring as hearing me gripe about my weight loss and stains on my driveway. I suppose I could do what Joe does and start reviewing all these movies I watch every night since he brings home dozens of free rentals as well as new releases on the weekend before they hit the stores. But lately I've been feeling... um, I don't know... like I've lost my touch with writing in the last few months. Not that I don't enjoy it, but it's getting more and more difficult to put the words together that I want to express my thoughts and feeling accurately. That dusty little corner of my brain feels fragmented, disconnected, like the one and only time I ever took acid and I couldn't hold a thought for too long because it felt like an idea-egg splattering over my head with the thought-yolk slowly sliding down over my eyes. It's no wonder I've lost a lot of readers since the beginning of the year. But really, as far as this blog is concerned in the year 2006, it's served its function. I've proved to myself I can do it again. Does it still need to exist? Or more to the point, do I still need it to exist?

Basically I just don't know right now. And I'm not saying this is the last post or anything, but I'm probably gonna go think about it for a spell. It won't be like last time from the old blog where I wrote this whole post about the Star Trek episode "Mark Of Gideon", complained of feeling overcrowded and needing solitude, and then blipping out of existence. I'll let folks know if I go for good.

And as always, thank you for reading.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Say, Is It Hot In Here Or Is It Just Me?

First 20 tracks on the iPod while Duke and the Human Torch take a spin around the living room in the Mach 5...

1. "Devided" - Ruins
2. "Down In The Park" - Marilyn Manson
3. "Intergalactic" - Beastie Boys
4. "Sejollo (Whip Dance)" - Yma Sumac
5. "Last Caress/Green Hell" - Metallica
6. "Weather One" - Michael Gordon
7. "Pressure Drop" - The Maytals
8. "Bowels Of The Beast" - The Raveonettes
9. "The Gift" - Roy Hargrove
10. "Never Never Gonna Give You Up" - Barry White
11. "Cholly" - Fishbone
12. "The Tale Of Mr. Morton" - Skee-Lo
13. "Crazy Blues" - Mamie Smith
14. "Hourglass" - Grotus
15. "Chalte Chalte" - Lata Mangeshkar
16. "Am Jock Sim Silbrige Hochzig" - Zauerli
17. "The Love Gang" - The Raveonettes
18. "Time" - Ryoji Ikeda
19. "Doreen" - Frank Zappa
20. "Two Bass Blipsch" - Burnt Sugar

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Bustin' Out The Duran Duran LP's

As anyone ever been to any of their high school reunions? I managed to dodge my 10 year reunion, and now I'm getting hammered with reminders to make my reservations for my 20th next year, and now I'm wondering if I should actually go this time. I mean I don't really have all that many fond memories of high school. Not that it was absolutely horrible or anything. Well, sometimes it got pretty damn bad. But mostly it was just... meh, unmemorable. I suppose if I retained even the vaguest memory of high school 20 years later I'd be more amped to go. Maybe that's what reunions are for.

Anybody have any reunion experiences they want to share? Help sway me? Deter me?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

What Up, Holmes?

So I actually had a phone conversation with "Papa" yesterday afternoon. Yes, that Papa. The dashing German gentleman that I've been corresponding with for over a year via email, and whose cinéma vérité I both rent and purchase on a regular basis for his highly dexterous, immensely talented presence alone (and ooohh whatta talent). Other than myself being an utter basket case and my voice as a result of my cold sounding not unlike Lauren Bacall after swallowing Quentin Crisp we had a very nice conversation together, and Mr. Holmes proved to be just as delightfully charming, funny, courteous, and perverted as I had always pictured him to be on and off camera. We talked a bit about his career, his family, his philosophy on sexuality and body image, and uh, how talking to me over the phone was making him horny. Heh, incorrigible libertine to the end. And you know, as long as I've been in the business of music and any number of the various arts, there are people whose work you admire so much that when you finally meet them you just hope that they are as cool and swell and gracious and wonderful as their creations inspire, no matter where that inspiration comes from or in whatever physical form it takes. Thank you again, Mr. Holmes, for your kindness and indulgence with me, and for always being such a pleasure to correspond with. And um... I'll try and get some more cheesecake pictures for you as soon as I'm able. Heavy on the cheese, that is. ;-)


Sun 23: 11-6:30
Mon 24: 10-5
Wed 26: 9:30-5
Thur 3-cl
Fri 28: 9-5

Friday, July 21, 2006

Life. Job. Haircut. GET THEM!

The Friday Five:

1. What talent(s) do you have that could make you famous?
I used to dream of writing and illustrating my own graphic novels since I was a little girl. How famous that would make me, however, I guess would depend on how many coke-bottle goggled nerd boys would be waiting in line to have me sign their Sailor Moon outfits at Dragoncon each year.

2. If you could be famous for one day, what would you do?
Decide who lives and who dies. (edit: preferably at Dragoncon)

3. If you were so famous that money was no object, where would you live?
Hell, as hot as its been these days I'll just carve an igloo in my own damn backyard. Then recline naked in a bundle of polar bear pelts with three huskies curled on top of my feet. And I'll be suckin' on strawberry popsicles, baby. With bronzed naked slave boys that all look like Jack Stehlin fanning me with my own cash-cow graphic novels. My needs are simple.

4. If you could meet any famous person, who would it be?
I know this sounds a tad strange, but I have always had this weird fantasy of William Shakespeare falling into some space-time continuum wormhole thingamajig taking him into 2006 where I'd find him wandering the streets like a scruffy homeless man, sick and scared, and I'd take him back to my house and, like, give him chicken soup or something. I don't know why. I guess it's just the nanny in me that secretly longs to nurse 16th century poet/playwrightes back to health.

5. What would be your famous catch phrase/quote/motto/last words?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Please Don't Let Friends Drink And Link

Still feeling too ooky to blog much right now, so here are a few links that have kept me occupied over the last week or two.

A rather engaging roundtable discussion about the famously controversial film Salò by the late Pier Paolo Pasolini by David Ehrenstein, Saul Symonds and Noel Vera (of which Vera and Ehrenstein I have conversed with on occasion over the last several years and whose opinions I respect). This is a movie that I have been extremely eager to see after a friend mentioned it to me but it has long been out of print and the Criterion versions of the DVD fetch a meaner sum than anything I can afford at the moment, or heck, ever at this point. But I love to read about the subject as much as I can.

1,500 music videos from the 80's. Like holy guacamole. I didn't even know they made that many videos in the 1980's. And to add to the embarrassment, some of these people I've never even heard of before. But hey, I'm geeking out. Having fun.

On a somewhat related topic, another critic I respect, Steve Dollar, likes the new Scitti Politti. Hm! Although it should be noted that he was never a big fan of theirs to begin with. But I likes 'em, I do, so onto the wish list they gooooooo....

Mystery Science Theatre 3000 scribe and post-Joel host Mike Nelson has a new site called RIFFTRAX where you can buy and download his own audio commentary on bad movies to play while watching the DVD. Right now you can download Mike "riffing" on one of my own personal favorites, the Patrick Swayze stinkeroo Road House, pop it into your iPod, and play the Road House DVD while Mike tears into the picture with all the potentially evil cartoonish menace that Ben Gazzara tears into the movie's scenery. Wait... why am I not doing this as we speak? Goddam I'm fuckin' drunk on Nyquil right now.

Before I go do that, any fellow Jeeves and Wooster fans might appreciate my palie Careena's skillfully crafted haiku's about Bertie's Drones Club. Witty as anything Plum himself would have raised an elegant eyebrow to. And why, some of them are right charmingly... gay!

Do enjoy!

Have I mentioned that I am heavily medicated at the moment?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Be-Bop Abulia

Called in sick from work today. Because I am. Sick, that is. Or rather will be in another day or two. I have my bodaciously bad, fevery, sore throaty thing that I get right before the head cold hits. Commonly followed by The Dallas Hack, which I pray pray pray doesn't strike this time around. A freakin' cold. In this weather? It just shouldn't be.

Bleh. Anyway, whilst I go crawl back into bed, please enjoy this lovely live performance of "Tank!" by The Seatbelts.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Monster Mash-Ups

Anybody old enough to remember when Basil Wolverton's Ugly Stickers were made into puffy stickers called "Monstickers" or something like that from Topps card company back in 1979? I had my paper Trapper covered front, back, inside and out with those little buggers when I was in 6th grade. I'd race to 7-Eleven every day after school to buy new packs and dig through them for new names and monsters, and some days my dad would return home from work when he went out of town with dozens of packs for me to root through, thinking that maybe they sold different ones in different states or parts of the country. And I remember Ricky Roberson stealing a few from inside my Trapper when I let him look at them on the bus ride to school. Creep. I Don't know why I let that little punk-ass juvie "go steady" with me for three weeks.

I seem to remember there was a "Melissa" monster but I don't remember what she looked like. I sort of recall someone with really, really bad skin. I think. If anyone finds one of those online anywhere I'd love you to pieces, because I haven't had a lick 'o luck so far.

Another thing I remember about 6th grade -- during lunch hour we were allowed to play records in the cafeteria while we ate. Some kid was our official designated DJ and he'd sit up on the stage at the front of the dining hall and play whatever was hot in 1979/1980. "Celebration" by Kool & the Gang. "Whip It" by Devo. But boy did those kids really hate Carly Simon's "Jesse". Whenever those first few words of the song, "Oooooh, mother say a prayer for me..." floated into our ears the entire cafeteria would erupt into an cacophony of boos and a massive shower of cookies and little milk cartons would suddenly descend upon the stage, pelting the poor DJ who obviously must have loved the song enough to endure this experience nearly every day. Either that or he wasn't very deft at picking up on subtle hints. What's worse was that I actually liked the song myself so I learned to keep my yap shut. And I still like it, so you can keep yer cookies 'n milk ya buncha poopypants.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Sun 16: 7-2am (INV)
Tue 18: 3-cl
Wed 19: 10-6:30
Thur 20: 3-cl
Sat 22: 9-5

Wishing For The Light Of Day

First 20 tracks on my iPod this morning:

1. "Sound System" - Operation Ivy
2. "Wasteful Pigs" - Buttsteak
3. "I Concentrate On You" - Fred Astaire
4. "Missing Hit Man" - The Cold
5. "Adventures Of Grandmaster Melle Mel" - Grandmaster Melle Mel
6. "Invasion Of The Flat Botty Bitches" - Too Short
7. "Dancing In The Moonlight" - Thin Lizzy
8. "Necromancer" - Gnarls Barkley
9. "Better Version Of Me" - Fiona Apple
10. "Sunshine Day" - Osibisa
11. "Bertie" - Kate Bush
12. "Sumac Soratena (Beautiful Jungle Girl)" - Yma Sumac
13. "Fairground (soulpower remix)" - Simply Red
14. "Marky" - The Cold
15. "Faith" - Violent Femmes
16. "Here We Go Again" - Ray Charles
17. "Living For The City" - Stevie Wonder
18. "You Get What You Give" - New Radicals
19. "Ibanuje Mon Iwon" - King Sunny Ade
20. "Excerpts From Balloon Man" - Bill Morrison

Friday, July 14, 2006

Name That Stain!

Okay, given that I am a new homeowner and everything and as about as naive as most ditzy girls who don't know a their way around the if-it's-broke-you-fix-it-chump lifestyle that comes with it would be, I was wondering if anyone has the slightest clue what's going on in the photo above.

That's my driveway directly in front of my front door, and at first glance it appears to be that my Taurus is leaking. But it's not. At least I don't believe so. I park in that position every day, so what would be leaking out of my car right in front of my driver's side rear tire? Let's also keep in mind that I know next to nothing about the automotive underbelly as well. I should also mention that when Joe parks his Taurus (yes, we have his-n-her matching Tauruses which is too disgustingly sweet for words, I know) in the exact same spot the stain remains. In fact the stain never goes away, ever. I took this picture in the 98 degree heat of the late afternoon without it having rained in over a week. In other words it never dries. Ever.

Although it appears watery in essence, there's a bit of viscous greenish substance to it in places. I can't help but wonder if it's coming from that crack in the driveway instead of my car. At one point Joe suspected that it was sewage and imagined that maybe the stain got larger whenever we flushed the toilet. But while Joe ran inside to flush one of the toilets while I crouched over the stain I didn't really notice it leaking or spreading very much, and if it did it was so nominal that I may have even imagined it. Plus it has no odor that I can detect at all. And I'm too squicked out to touch it.

Anyway, if anyone has ever seen anything like this before please advise. I don't know whether I need to call a mechanic or a plumber, or quietly lock myself in the closet and bash my brains in because the new house I just bought is shoddy goods.

I would invite S. over to check it out but knowing her she'll just keep repeating that line from the movie Dune where Brad Dourif keep saying that bit about "... the lips contain the stain, the stain serves as a warning..." which she always does when she is confronted with any ominous unexplainable stain and that serves me no purpose whatsoever other than make me laff my ass off.

I've Got A Love-a-ly Buncha Coconuts

The Friday Five:

1. What about you makes you unique?
I don't really know if there is anything about me that makes me unique. I can always say that I draw somewhat decently at times, but so do a lot of other people, and far better than I can pull off. I can say that I own an abundance of hip records and CD and DVDs and such, but Jeez, these days who doesn't? I have average looks, average smarts, average capabilities. And my personality is probably no more or less one of about seven various human personality templates that you'd pass on the street on any normal day. So I guess you can say that what makes me unique is the fact that there isn't really anything unique about me. Except for my ability to bend the fabric of Space and Time with the aid of a shoestring, two coconuts, and my indomitable will. Other than that I got nuthin'.

2. What aspect of your physical appearance do you think makes you stick out from the crowd?
You mean besides the fact that I always wear a red feather boa and a Viking helmet wherever I go? Or the fact that I don't wear anything else with it? No wait, that's what makes me clear a crowd.

3. What do you always have with you while out in public? (for example, earrings, purse, wallet, watch, etc.)
My underwear. Although I told my fellow employees I didn't wear any this week in solemn observance of Basic Instinct 2 being released on DVD. They'll just have to take my word for it. But I did promise them I'd dress up as Madea when the next Tyler Perry movie comes out.

4. Is there anything about your body that you think isn't normal?
Have I mentioned the thing yet about the coconuts and the indomitable will?

5. What are you complimented on (looks, smarts, anything) the most? Why do you think that's the case?
What am I complimented on the most? That's easy. My ACTION FIGURE COLLECTION. Why do I think that's the case? Because they so obviously RULE.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

To Everyone (And No One) Specifically...

I miss you.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Slow Change Is Lasting Change

This week I start my LIT (Lead In Training) at the store, and in another week after I should be promoted to full time Lead. My stress over the last three days has been positively volcanic. But I think I've been doing okay so far. Despite a few minor failings in my part. Not big enough to count, but *I* notice them.

Also tomorrow I start Core diet. I have to get back on track. And pick up my exercise regime again. If I can at least drop back to one pants size again I'll be back where I started before I temporarily lost the reigns and then I can feel ready to continue down to my ultimate goal of 165 pounds before the year is over. And make up for lost muscle mass from slacking off on my workout.

Anyway, wish me luck. On both endeavors.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Game Theory

I forgot to mention that after the game yesterday Joe and Al and I walked down through downtown Norfolk where I finally got to check out Relative Theory that everyone and their emo grandmother have been telling me about. Sort of reminds me of a cross between NYC's Mondo Kim's Video on St. Mark's and Bleecker Bob's, being very "Kim's" in store layout and very "Bob's" in the way that the sales staff writes humorous little notes on the covers of their CDs describing the band's sound or just wacky whatnots in general. I remember the last time I was at Bleecker Bob's Joe bought a CD by a band's whose name escapes me but someone in the store wrote on the cover "SOUNDS LIKE BABY BEING THROWN INTO WOOD CHIPPER!" and we went by that selling point alone. At Relative Theory yesterday they had the new Soul Asylum album on the shelves with the words "OUR NATION'S LONG WAIT IS FINALLY OVER!" and that made me snerk.

Didn't make me buy the Soul Asylum album, however.

Is This Your Card, Sir?

Zidane( x2 = 2) + headbutt(eix = cos x + i sin x=butthead?) - reputation+classy(A(1 + 1/4 + 1/42 + 1/43 + ....) = (4/3)A=HA-ha!) /previous redcards (xn + noxn-1 + (nn-n)/2 ooxn-2) = SCHADENFREUDE (x=raisetheroof) GO ITALY!!!

When I spoke to my Moroccan friend Khalid the other day about why he hated the French team so much he told me that he couldn't stand Zidane. When I asked why he just sort of made it vaguely understood that underneath that "classy" exterior the guy was a bit of a prick. "Trust me, hobi (his Arabic term of endearment for me)." he says. Well, well, wellll.....

But after following World Cup all season long it was a pleasant culmination to the final at a Norfolk sports bar with Joe and Al and about two dozen other enthusiasts, most of whom were cheering for France, with the exception of Joe and myself. Unbelievable save by Gianluigi Buffon against Zidane. And after the headbutting incident Al made me laugh my remarking that even when soccer players get into fights they still never use their hands.

Anyway, rescheduled inventory at work is next Sunday so I made the move to empty out my hold bin this weekend. Some of the used product that I've been sitting on include:

Goldie Lookin Chain "Straight Outta Newport" , the first musical recommendation I took from a porn starlet who just happens to be as Welsh as these Newport, Wales scruffies. This collection from previous albums is a little bit more "Americanized", as in it leaves out some of the more topical Welsh tracks that might fly over some Yanks' heads, but other than that so far as I've heard they sort of remind me of a more Euro Bloodhound Gang, as in white boys rappin' silly over thumping grooves. But I tend to actually like The Bloodhound Gang (well, at least I liked their first album, and that was about it) so I'm giving these munting Darrens a good go-around and see wot sticks.

Two Butthole Surfers re-releases, Locust Abortion Technician and Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's Sac. I've already had both of these albums on vinyl for several years but both being my two favorite Butthole albums and both filled with so many hilarious memories of times past that I couldn't just let two used copies slip from my greasy grasp like that. One cannot possess too many copies of "Sweatloaf" or "Lady Sniff" for my personally notorious refined tastes.

A "new" copy of the slits Cut, which I will be right embarrassed about purchasing once I find my long-lost burned copy that some nice young lad on the internet made me in trade for the House Of Schock video over a year ago. Someone might wind up with this in their stocking next Christmas if that ever becomes the case. And knowing my luck it will be.

As far as DVDs I snagged the used copy of the Star Trek Q Fan Collective, which quite honestly I'm not exactly certain as to why I did since this pretty much makes all my seasons Of The Next Generation somewhat obsolete. Plus having been discussing it with my fellow long-time Q enthusiast Wemblee we both decided that the scant amount of swell extras on the disc didn't really make it worth owning if you had already owned every episode in other places. However the only Q episode I do not have on DVD yet is "Q2", which I wasn't really a big fan of since it was from an episode of Voyager, which I also wasn't a huge fan of, and it was during the more pussified Q years which I really wasn't a huge fan of, so I'm sort of glad I didn't have to pay full price for a whole Voyager season that would have otherwise gone to waste on my bookshelf for the rest of my days. Still, it's sweet to have all my cherished eps in one big nifty foldy-outty thingy. And I still love the Q, I do.

And one more new DVD... Walt Disney's The Island At The Top Of The World! I swear to holy heck this has got to be the movie I saw in the theaters when I was a kid back when it came out and it scared the living crap outta me. Later my father bought us one of those old home projector machines (this was the 70's, yo) that had a clip from this movie (if it is indeed the same movie) where the Viking king is delivering a speech in front of a flaming wall and you can see the flames in his eyes as if the back of his head were hollow. Man, that image has been lodged into my brain like remembering an old childhood dream. I really, really hope that this is the same movie. Does anybody have any memory of this flick, and the scene in which I was talking about?

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Complex Sessions

Here's to the incomparable Jack Stehlin and his cast and crew of the Circus Theatricals on the opening night for their latest production Complexity, which begins tonight after a few weeks run of previews. So wish I could be there tonight. But I have been showing my solidarity by wearing a photograph of Mr. Stehlin on one side of my name badge at work all week. Well there's that, and just having something purdy to look at to brighten my day.

Dig the groovy article (with pictures! purr!) of Jack and Jeannine in the latest issue of LA Stage.

Friday, July 07, 2006


Mon 10: 3-cl (NR)
Tue 11: 12-7:30
Wed 12: 3-cl
Thur 13: 10-5:30
Sat 15: 12-8:30

As Safe As Yesterday Is

The Friday Five:

1. When you were a child, what was your favorite game to play?
During the summer months my friends and I sort of made up a game called Spotlight Tag, although in actuality it was just Hide & Seek outside in the dark with a high-powered camping flashlight. I grew up on a cul-de-sac (where my parents still live) with all my childhood friends living in nearly every house in the circle, and my friend Jeanne's older brother Lee was always "It", just because he enjoyed being "It", and anywhere outside the cul-de-sac was out of bounds, so we had options of hiding behind houses, in the hedges, up the trees, and best of all, all the spooky little shadowy places that we'd discover under the moonlight and street lamps. I remember sitting still as a sparrow in a shadow pocket on a picket fence under a pine tree while Lee walked with the flashlight less than 5 feet away from me and never once saw me. I'm not convinced that there's a drug on the market today that can compete with the exhilarating high of a 13-year-old girl's adrenaline rush during a moment such as that.

2. What is your favorite game to play right now?
Currently getting myself in shape for the 2012 Olympic 100-meter cotton ball toss.

3. Can you share a good story about playing with others or yourself?
Around about the same time as Spotlight Tag, around the same age as well, I somehow got it into my head that I was strong enough to stop a person on a bicycle coming at me at full speed. I made Jeanne ride my old dirt bike into me while I stopped her each time by holding out my hands and grabbing the handle bars. I made her come at me a little faster each time, and finally she was really tearing at me with all the speed she could muster, and when I braced myself and grabbed at the handle bars the bike lurched forward and all 98 lbs of teeny-weeny Jeanne went sailing over the bars and over my own head (as I was hunched forward braced hard with both hands outward) and apparently doing a pretty impressive flip before landing with a skid across the pavement of the cul-de-sac. Miraculously she stood right up, dusted off her clothes and announced she was okey-dokey. Later that night while hanging out in our clubhouse (my parents backyard shed redesigned with couches and rugs and lamps) with some other friends Jeanne lifted the cuff of her jeans and noticed some blood on her leg. She dropped her pants and all of us were alarmed and mildly horrified to see long rivers of thick, dried, caked-on blood running from her entire left hip all the way down to her ankle. I guess when she skid she sliced into herself a little deeper than even she suspected, and maybe her side was so numb she hadn't felt it happen. Amazing that the blood never once soaked through her jeans. We sure were tough cookies back then.

4. What do you do for play time fun now?
Tyler-Toss. Typically far more entertaining when Tyler isn't particularly in the mood to be tossed. He finds the whole scenario appallingly ignominious.

5. If you were able to invent a game, what would you call it?
ORFBALL!!! But it's far to convoluted to go into here. But someday, when we have enough players. And enough vehicles. And enough money to bail us all out of jail afterwards...

Andy Rooney On A Recent 60 Minutes...

Andy Rooney says: As I grow in age, I value women who are over 40 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:

A woman over 40 will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask," What are you thinking?" She doesn't care what you think.

If a woman over 40 doesn't want to watch the game, she doesn't sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And, it's usually something more interesting.

Women over 40 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won't hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.

Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it's like to be unappreciated.

Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 40.

Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 40 is far sexier than her younger counterpart.

Older women are forthright and honest. They'll tell you right off if you are a jerk or if you are acting like one! You don't ever have to wonder where you stand with her.

Yes, we praise women over 40 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed hot woman of 40+, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year-old waitress. Ladies, I apologize. For all those men who say, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free". Here's an update for you: Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage why? Because women realize it's not worth buying an entire Pig, just to get a little sausage.


I've always appreciated Rooney's satire, and pretty much just satire in general, as it purposely goes broad to make us all laugh at idiosyncratic generalizations. But what I find sort of ironic here is that, although I'm only 3 years shy from the 40 mark, I've found myself relating more and more to several bullet-points mentioned above over the last few passing years, and I've come to notice this long before I had ever read the script from Rooney's segment from 60 Minutes. The big thing specifically: having less time and patience to put up with things that might have really bothered me a lot (or even just a little) in the past.

And I'm not talking about ridiculously insignificant things like my boyfriend wanting to watch the game, because as much as I often make hoary old jokes about being a "Redskins widow" every football season it's never once bothered me, because yeah, I have plenty of other things to do with my time. Not necessarily more interesting things in general per se, but they are interesting to me, and that's really the whole point of it all. I'm not the 18-year-old who'd sit and watch the game with my boyfriend to prove what a cool, hip, understanding girlfriend I am. Hell, I don't give a care if anyone thinks I'm cool or hip. I've long been over caring what anyone thinks of me anymore. Sure I want to be liked. Maybe even loved from time to time. But I'm not out to impress anyone or win anyone over to me by putting on any acts. I find myself greeting every instance of potential inconsequential bullshit with a dramatic roll of my eyes and a barely mustered "whatever", if I even have the time to make that much of a spectacle of my feelings on the subject these days.

And I do tend to lavish big, thundering, overflowing avalanches of praise on people if I genuinely believe that they deserve it. But by no means because I want their friendship or anything else they might have. If you don't want to be my friend, then for the love 'o Yod, please try to keep out of my way. I don't have time anymore for perfectly capable people insinuating themselves into my life in order to get me to me do things for them or take advantage of my admittedly detrimental easygoing demeanor. I fell for that quite often in my life, over and over. I'm less inclined to be that much of a pushover these days. When my bullshit siren blares, prepare to eat my dust. I'll leave you in my wake. Or, if you're particularly persistent, you'll get the truly rare opportunity to see a side of me that most aren't often privy to. I will actually get... angry.

What worries me, though, is how this new-found anger inside of me is going to go over once I'm made a manager at my store. I've recently caught myself handling potentially powder keg situations with less than the diplomacy that I'm used to initiating. I'm concerned that my new-found self-assuredness that comes naturally from age doesn't also automatically equate maturity, as well as poise and most definitely tact. I suppose like with any newly acquired weapon in your arsenal, one must familiarize themselves with it close and personal before figuring out a system to best work it in with the rest of your utility belt. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't have it all figured out yet. I need to realign myself. Need to become more centered. I need balance. I need... GAHHH! Do I really need this freakin' job??

Ho boy. That's another post for another time.

Feh, {{eye-roll}} whatever. Guess I'm going to go shower now and put some, I dunno, pants on or something. Then my 37-year-old ass is gonna go find something to do. And you best believe, babycakes, that it's going to be, um... ummm... interesting? :-)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Cool For Cats

First 20 tracks on my iPod today while going through my photos from my visit with my parents:

1. "The Playboy Channel" - Negativland
2. "Another Girl Another Planet" - The Only Ones
3. "Funk In The Hole" - Roy Ayers
4. "Night And Day" - U2
5. "Beauty Knows No Pain" - Frank Zappa
6. "The City Sleeps" - MC 900ft Jesus
7. "Where'd You Go" - Fort Minor
8. "Fuck de Boere" - Peter Brötzmann
9. "Shut Em Down" - Public Enemy
10. "Fairground (Soul Power Remix)" - Simply Red
11. "Naked Burn" - Mastodon
12. "Major Tom (Coming Home)" - Peter Schilling
13. The Jones Laughing Record" - Spike Jones
14. "Stool Pigeon" - Kid Creole & the Coconuts
15. "Big Daddy vs Dolemite" - Big Daddy Kane
16. "Falling Through Your Clothes" - The New Pornographers
17. "I Like It" - The Rezillos
18. "Baby Let's Play House" - Arthur Gunter
19. "Goo Goo Muck" - The Cramps
20. "Ghar Raya Mera Pardesi" - Lata Mangeshkar & Chorus

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Hey Baby, It's The 4th Of July

Happy Fourth, y'all (I've given my distinctly suh-thun' accent a chance to seep through for just such an occasion). I suppose that means its time to finally suck it up and accept that summer is technically here, despite the fact that the weather has been decidedly forcing the issue every day for the last several weeks. I'm not a big fan of the heat, and pretty much do what I can to dodge it in its most extreme instances. Like trying to swim every day when possible, which if anything has given me some rather intricate looking tan lines due to the weirdly twisted structure of my swimsuit. But hey -- I at least look vaguely healthier than I have all year, and it's funny seeing my brown legs stopping just short of my terminally white, white-white-white booty. At least I'm not scorched. Cancer's just around the corner, sweetheart! Whee.

So after work I'm hoofing it down to my parental units for a backyard weenie roasty thing and then the subject will probably come up as to why nobody thought to drive down to North Carolina to buy some fireworks that are otherwise illegal in this state. What other use is there living so close to the NC border for us southern Virginians? Somehow my father always knew how to get the hook-up, and childhood memories were filled with neighborhood kids piling into the very same backyard shrieking and squealing as we'd hit the dirt every time one of my father's errant roman candles whizzed precariously over our heads. And I remember the weird spiny-thing which gave off ferocious sparks that he lit on the back patio that sent me, Cullen, Jeanne, Sheryl, Lara, Lisa, Mark, Ron and Gary scrambling for the wooden picnic table which collapsed under our weight on one side, making everyone slide to that side and pile heavily on top of me, being the one furthest to that edge of the table. I think after that year we started taking the firework shenanigans out to the front street, where we were instructed to sit quietly in a line and merely spectate -- making Smurf noises of appreciation in unison with every firework display ("Ooooooo... ahhhhhh!"). Not quite as exciting as Roman Candle Keep-Away, but fewer picnic tables were harmed whilst in production.

Last night at approximately 12:01 am Joe and I were startled to hear explosions already in the works in our new neighborhood. At least I assume that's what they were. In my old 'hood we'd have more than likely chalked it up to gun-play, or another dope deal gone horribly awry.

Oh, how I love my new neighbors. Toot your illegal fantoozlers all you want, my little Who's down in Whoville. Have a happy -- and safe -- Independence Day.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Feeling Out Of The Outsider Loop

Oh, why doesn't Jackie Harvey update his blog more often?


Saturday, July 01, 2006

Sorry, Miss Jackson

Well, fudge. Serves me right trying to take a clear picture with my light source behind me like that. Didn't I take away anything from those three years of high school art class? Then again I never took photography so, er ah, let's just chalk it up to that then, shall we? I mean do we really need to hammer the point home what a terminal ninny I am? I'm already tragically self-effacing enough as it is.

Anyway, remember Luscious Jackson, anyone? Put out on The Beastie Boys Grand Royal label (LJ drummer Kate Schellenbach was the original drummer for The Beasties back during their early pre-rap hardcore days) and had a hit with "Citysong" off their first full-length 1994 album Natural Ingredients, an album that had its moments but didn't feel as consistently strong and punchy as their first EP In Search Of Manny did to my ears. But this record put them out in the mainstream for about a year or two, as well as a 30-second TV spot for The Gap and a few videos, namely "Citysong" getting a bit of top-of-the-hour rotation if I'm not mistaken. "Naked Eye" got a bit of play off their next album, but after that I haven't heard a note from them since.

I do, however, remember them putting on a darn swell live show at the Nsect Club that year. Probably one of the most girl-friendly gigs I've seen at that mostly male-dominated venue. I watched with my friend Rachel up in the balcony overlooking the back of the stage so that I could see the looks on the audience's faces. For once a sea of young girls not getting clobbered over the noggin by frat boys so that they can gank their spot against the stage in order to check out Jill Cunniff's breasts. And they were a darn super group of gals to meet. I wonder what those chicks have gone on to these days? Anybody heard anything? Anything?

I stepped out early this morning with Joe to check out this new flea market held in a parking garage in old town Portsmouth. We couldn't find the guy that we had heard about who was selling new DVDs at an astoundingly fallen off the back of a truck affordable price, but we did pick up a few cool tchochkies, namely these nifty toy cars...

to which I gotta ask... does anybody remember these things from someplace before? Are they old toys? Because I seem to have a somewhat vague memory of owning something like these when I was a kid, back when I was collecting Matchbox and other toy cars smaller than these. Or are they more recent? I'm not finding a serial number or manufacturer date on any of them. Not even the company name, other than "Made In China". Anyhoo, that's a blue Ford Cobra on the right, and a turquoise Chevy Bel Aire on the left, and that one Ford truck in the back is a Seven-Eleven promotional thingamabob with pictures of Slurpees and Big Bites (Big Bites... a sure sign that these we made before my childhood, to be certain) and the back doors open to the words "Oh, Thank Heaven!" In fact all the little doors on these cars open and close, some of the hoods open to reveal cute little engines, and even the stick in the Bel Aire shifts a little -- or maybe it does now, after I forced it a bit. Anyway, small things: Adorable! Then click the pics to make the small things BIG!