Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Straight Up Trippin'

Hope everybody had a swell Halloween. I suppose in light of tonight's festivities maybe I might offer a little something spooky-ookey, provided that it works...

Stare into the center of this spiral pattern for approximately 30 seconds or longer (the longer you stare the more pronounced the effect) and then look at the nearest object in your line of vision. Amazing! When I turned to look at the telephone the the entire thing appeared to vibrate. When I turned and stared at the bottle of Windex sitting on the desk the plastic bottle began to breathe in and out. And when I turned and glared up at Gay Batman he jumped down off the computer cabinet and proceeded to beat my ass. It's incredible! Try it at home!


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Pros And Cons

I really, really want to go to Nekocon next weekend. It's con season, and I'm seriously juiced for it. But I work Friday and Saturday. Don't know what my status is Sunday, although I have a friend who wants me to go see King's X with him that night.

God, I miss Sci-Con. I miss S. even more. And her birthday is that weekend too.

Should I mail her another rubber slug?

Friday, October 27, 2006


Mon 30: 9:30-5
Tue 31: 3-cl
Wed 1: 12-6:30
Fri 3: 9-5
Sat 4: 3-cl

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A Doodlin' Song

The Farm Fresh grocery store across the street from my house seems to be playing a lot of old Kinks music whenever I'm in there shopping, and by a lot I mean more or less two songs so far. Today I heard "Well Respected Man" and the day before yesterday they played "Dedicated Follower Of Fashion" And both times while I was standing in the gleaming white fluorescent light frozen food aisle. Do grocery stores have tapes they run over and over sent to them by corporate? Or one of those radio stations that only play in restaurants and other places of commerce? Anyway, it's been kinda nice. I love The Kinks. I whistled both songs walking home from the store with my groceries, the cold wind whipping my hair around my face and stinging my eyelids.

Time once again for my thrice-annual Amazon wish list pick-a-CD-a-book-and-a-DVD-and-finally-buy-it-bitch ritual, which has been getting harder and harder to do what with the holidays fast approaching so this may be it until the beginning of next year for me. First, the jazz...

Matthew Shipp, Equilibrium. I've been meaning to check out this free jazz pianist formerly of the David S. Ware Quartet, who has been making solo albums since the late 80's. This is a series of recordings from Thirsty Ear that include William Parker on bass, Gerald Cleaver on drums, Khan Jamal on vibes, and produced by electronics engineer FLAM. Shipp seems to meld a bit of avant garde classical into his jazz work, and while songs like the title track are bouncing and rhythmic with Parker's whipsmart basswork, "Nebula Theory" chimes like a haunted wind through an ancient church belfry. I think I need to get more of this cat's stuff.

Imagine Erza Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and James Joyce living in 1920's Paris during the height of it's post-war Lost Generation scene. Imagine also, that instead of writers and poets, they were actually struggling cartoonists. Picture an alternate universe where all the great classics of literature -- War And Peace, Crime And Punishment -- were not novels, but comic books. Then image everyone as dogs and birds. And there you have the basic set-up for Norwegian cartoonist Jason's latest 46-page graphic novel The Left Bank Gang, a funny, touching, and thoroughly charming story told through simple line drawings and spare dialogue. Few things I've read recently have held as much weight as the simplicity of Ernest's statement, brought back around a second time at the end of the story, where he promises Hadley that he'll never leave her. Take into context his eventual suicide (not addressed in this story), it nearly shattered my heart to read that passage.

And my DVD pick... The Criterion Collection of Ranier Werner Fassbinder's BRD Trilogy: The Marriage of Mario Braun/Veronika Voss/Lola. Comes with loads of scrumptious extras, including commentary by Wim Wenders, a feature-length doc on Fassbinder's life and career, and a rare 49-minute interview with the director made for German television. Actually I was only trying to get The Marriage Of Maria Braun because a friend of mine recommended it so highly, but I could only find it included with this package, which was hella expensive but I'm looking forward to all that this collection promises. Heck, probably have to spread this out over a a series of days. Plus every time I miss my long-lost friend (which is pretty much daily) I'll have something new to watch to link me to his presence. Hoping this actually might last me until, oh, Christmas this time around. Wellll, hoping in one hand, yada yada....

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Now I Know Where Vance Hangs His Canons

Another discovery for fans of The Cold (well, me that is). This Video Google link is an hour's worth of concert footage that was shown on New Orleans local WGNO-TV channel's program Homegrown back in 1981, with the band at the height of their popularity. Spliced with the live music are clips of random comedy bits involving the band. Early in the program, right after the song "Hot Ride", there's a few second-long clip of Kevin Radecker talking about Vance's former career as co-creator of "The Mr. Bill Show" on SNL (this is true) and a streetwalking Evangelical preacher (somehow I doubt it). Midway through, right after their cover of The Beatles "Love Me Do", the band participates in a satirical To Tell The Truth game show where Vance affects his best "pirate" accent. Immediately after the show as the credits roll Vance, doing a rather bang-up job impersonating Rod Serling, gets a little unsolicited help from the rest of the band.

Anita, remember that concert footage? Damn if I didn't spend all of 2002 watching the complete 2 1/2 hour tape of this over and over. I don't think Joe wants to hear "She Was Born To Drive Me Crazy" played in this house ever again. Probably because it will force him to sing along with it, as is what normally happens. Gotta admit, it's damn infectious.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Hello And Welcome To Suncoast

For the benefit of my regular VB expatriate readers (okay, Christopher and Erinita) here's a sample of a few of the changes we put forth these last two weeks in the store. The old DVD bins have been replaced with new tall wire racks, and the DVD section now extends all the way parallel to Musica Latina so those last few rows where Rap used to be are gone. Rap, as you can see in the bottom picture, has been moved towards the front of the store and placed in the old DVD bins, which are admittedly wider than the CD bins, but don't have the much needed understock shelves. All other CDs have been crammed into the right side of the store. Reggae is now in with Dance (oh God, don't ask) and Blues, World, and New Age have now been shoe-horned into the Classical/Jazz room.

The new racks... I dunno. Right now we have lots of space, which is great, because remember how tightly packed the DVDs used to be in those bins? But people are probably going to complain about how low the last rows of DVDs are and how they'll have to get down on their knees to flip through disks. Especially old folks. And people who pretty much just live for complaining. Which is basically the rest of all humanity.

Yep. So there you have it. Phase One of the eventual complete DVDing of the largest music store in eastern Virginia. Might as well begin hanging that giant "Planet Video" sign outside right now.

But hey, at least we still have our disgusting poop-stained carpets! Yay dysentery!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Eternal Return

Youtube was bound to start really paying off for me sooner or later.

Someone has posted rare home footage of The Cold rehearsing in drummer Chris Luckett's garage for the reunion show they did, I think back in 1989 or 1990. Of course longtime readers of my blog might remember The Cold being Vance's ultra popular new wave band from New Orleans that lasted from 1979 to roughly 1984, though few knew them well outside of Louisiana. Part One shows then running through their usual routine covers of The Buzzcocks "Ever Fallen In Love", Smokey Robinson's "I Don't Blame You At All", and a third original song that I'm actually not familiar with. Part Two has three original Cold songs, "Cleveland", "Too Damn Bad(?)", and "Memories" followed by a quick clip from the reunion show itself with the band performing one of their biggest hits "Three Chord City".

That's Vance on bass. The purdy one with the dark blue sweater and white undershirt. Huuuuuuhhuminahuminahumina....

Who says you can't upload porn on youtube?


Sun 22: 11-6:30
Tue 24: 3-cl
Wed 25: 9-5
Thur 26: 3-cl
Fri 27: 11-6:30

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Somebody Told Me Once

Monday, October 16, 2006

I Have Those Same Pictures Over My Bed

Well besides the whole graduating from M.I.T. bit I see they've finally made a music video running somewhat parallel to my own life. I probably walk just like that when I stride up to people to shake their hands. Reckon I'll never get to bowl with the gangstas now.

Saw The Departed last night, which I liked very much, and being that it's Scorsese I don't find myself all that surprised. Actually the irony is that the film didn't really feel all that much like a Scorsese film to me, in that I didn't get a sense of his usual camera and editing theatrics -- although I'm getting a tad tired of the overuse of "Gimme Shelter" in his soundtracks (how many movies has he put this in now -- didn't I even hear it somewhere during The Age Of Innocence?). Maybe in a way I enjoyed it more because I wasn't so self-conscious of it being a Scorsese film and I could just sit back, relax, munch my peanut M&Ms, and hold my bladder (okay I had to get up once but it was during a boring sex scene while Van Morrison was wailing along to "Comfortably Numb" so I doubt I missed anything essential) and just enjoy the picture on its own merits.

Picked up a few CDs this weekend as well...

Bob Dylan's Modern Times, his most recent (used) which has been coming back in droves but I'm still hearing it's one of the best things he's done in ages. I really enjoyed "Love And Theft" and I think this is supposed to be a part of that song cycle/trilogy of albums so if that's the case I'm certain I won't be too disappointed. What little I've heard so far rocks.

Serge Gainsbourg Vol. 3 came in used a few weeks ago and seeing as how for the past several years the only album of his I actually own anymore is the freakin' Comic Strip compilation I figure the time is good as any to start beefing up on my pervy French fatalists -- and I'm guess this is, uh, one of three other comps as well. Good thing I'm not the compulsive completist type.

And I just had to snatch this new, because hells ya'll, it's the The Future Is Unknown... Unknown Hinson! I've been receiving a lot of booking information from his agency in my email inbox over the last few weeks, and I've been long since admiring this album cover in my CD bins, with it's redneck vampire visage and song titles like "I Make Faces (When I Make Love)" and "I Cleaned Out A Room (In My Trailer For You)". Is it outsider art? An elaborate sideshow put-on? Who cares, it's durn funny. Deliciously politically incorrect C&W the way C&W used to be, before that dag blasted "K-mart Kountry" contingent took over the airwaves. And he's my friend on myspace! Iffin' that don't make me The Shit. Track 'em down, and check 'em out. Especially the one titled "Love On Command" (it ain't lettin' me link today, sorry 'lil chickens).

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Mon 16: 3-cl
Tue 17: 11-6:30
Wed 18: 10-5
Fri 20: 9-5
Sat 21: 3-cl

Friday, October 13, 2006

Oh Heavens No...

So apparently when the good folks over at MyHeritage did a digital scan of my face for recognition, it told me that I was Enya.

Great. Sooooo, anybody wanna hear me warble? (say no)

Bring Out The Gimp

I have somehow royally wrecked my knee. And this happened Tuesday, my day off, where I wasn't running around the store and lifting heavy boxes or kicking small children, so how I could have fucked up a part of my body this badly merely loafing around the house speaks volumes about how embarrassingly out of shape I've become this summer. My God, this time last year I was a war horse. Arms muscles, legs muscles... heck, I was even developing a solid muscle ass for criminy's sake. And I've never had one of those before, like, ever! Really shows how fast it can all go to seed when a ton of stress, a touch of depression, and lack of Avandia renders you a bed muffin for 6 months straight. I'm still up one pants size from last year, and not that much further from a second one if I don't start seriously throwing the covers off my limp form and get back to running again, especially now since I live in a much safer neighborhood than previous. And I gotta get back to eliminating sugar from my diet again. Once I get past that first week of withdrawals it's easy and I no longer crave it. But that first week is a killer, and now that I don't take Avandia anymore my body craves it more than ever since my insulin levels are probably higher than they were earlier this year when I went off of them. Which is why I'm tired all the time. Which is why I don't work out anymore. Which is why my freakin' knee is ready to explode.

Health, health. I have to stay on top of my health. That should be motivation enough. You would think, right?

But right now I'm more motivated to crawl back into bed and have four or five hands of ambiguous origin rub my swollen gams before I have to drag that limb around with me at work for 8 hours.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

(Strictly) Art Appreciation

I'm already booking my flight!

From Vance Degeneres' homepage:

Vance will have a solo show of his paintings at the Aidan-Savoy Gallery in New York City. The show is set for June 6, 2007 thru June 30, 2007. He is currently working on new paintings for the show.

Whee! More robots taking on naked women in go-go boots! How very Heavy Metal magazine circa 1978 (ah, my formative years).

Something To Offend Everyone

First 20 tracks on my iTunes shuffle this morning.

1. "Ain't Got No Home" - Clarence "Frogman" Henry
2. "You're Phone's Off The Hook But You're Not" - X
3. "Suspended Animation" - Darcy James Argue
4. "Somewhere Down The Crazy River" - Robbie Robertson
5. "Area Codes" - Ludacris
6. "I Got Dat Feeling" - DJ Kool
7. "The Flowers She Sent" - The Magnetic Fields
8. "Blue" - The Jayhawks
9. "I Never" - Rilo Kiley
10. "Grace" - The Time
11. "Interface/Stimulation Loop" - Praxis
12. "Pray For Life" - Velvet Acid Crush
13. "Teenage Letter" - The Count Bishops
14. "Hoops (And A Search For The Truth...)" - Cottonmouth, Texas
15. "No Use In Crying" - The Rolling Stones
16. "Melting Blue Delicious (St. Petersburg Mix)" - The Wild Swans
17. "Rock-A-Hula Baby" - Pop Will Eat Itself
18. "$165 Million + Interest (Into) The Round Up" - David Holmes
19. "X" - Sheep On Drugs
20. "Tightly" - Neko Case And Her Boyfriends

Monday, October 09, 2006

Checking In On The Boys...

It appears that Fu Man Jew has called out Hitler, and the battle in the squared circle in owwwn.

Meanwhile, the song playing in the background is "British People In Hot Weather" by The Fall.

I'll, uh, keep you abreast of developments as hey occur.

Bob's My Uncle

Well I've just thoroughly fallen off the Ramadan wagon. I've been feeling sickly the past few days, and taking water to keep hydrated, and then... bah, eating to keep from throwing up. So yeah, I'm a puss. But Khalid instructed me that it's perfectly okay to break the fast for the sake of illness, so he told me to lay off it for awhile. He's just happy and proud of me for sticking to it as long as I did, although I wish I could have continued all the way to the end. I used to love pushing my limits. Used to. Why am I so weak now. What happened to the warrior goddess I used to think I could be. She turned it all in for 8 glasses of water a day and the opportunity to think dirty thoughts whenever they come to mind. Which is more than 8 times a day, let me assure you.

Mike is over right now, as he is every Monday night, and he and Joe are playing their favorite Playstation 2 wrestling game Raw vs. Smackdown, which allows you to create, design, and detail your own wrestlers with their own exotic names. Over the years we've created everyone from David Letterman to Hitler, and more than often make our own version of ourselves (Joe made his version of me as a wrestler, complete with generous mammaries and one of the most hideous outfits imaginable, so yeah, basically me as... me). Joe is currently working on a new version of himself crossed with a Chinese guy with a long beard named Fu Man Jew, and Mike is, as usual, slapping together another idealized version of himself as a totally ripped badasssss black muthahfuckah that somehow always wind up looking more like Big Jim Slade from The Kentucky Fried Movie (probably subconsciously idealized). But as much as I love watching my two favorite boys gleefully beat the snot out of each other while the house rings with their battle cries of "POW! POW! Ha, ha, kick in the mush! Arggh, git off my neck! OW, my urinary tract!" after about 2 hours straight of this I gotta crawl away and return to the realms of the real -- in this case, the internet. Yes, I am aware of the irony.

My throat hurts, and has been for days. Not terribly so, but just enough to be vaguely distracting. The braised beef and tortellini I had for dinner at the Olive Garden is sitting like a rock in my stomach.

I'm wearing my blue sweatpants that are two sizes too big for me, and my old Dog Faced Hermans T-shirt from ten years ago which I just discovered about an hour ago in the bathroom glows in the dark. Huh.

It's becoming autumn here. I miss the sound of high school football games in the distance behind my parents house, and wearing my heavy green and gold school jacket on exceptionally chilly nights. I miss driving to Mackey Island at midnight with S. and the gang. I miss Sci-Con at the Holiday Inn, and dancing to "She Blinded Me With Science" in the hotel ballroom with Robin sitting on his lap in his electric wheelchair. I miss Halloween with Jeanne and Lee as little kids. I miss skateboarding on the halfpipe my next door neighbor built in his driveway back in the 70's, with my beat-up little wooden deck with "Dogtown" painted underneath and the trucks recklessly loosened. I miss not worrying about money. I miss my dog Vic.

What does the autumn weather make you miss?


Wed 11: 11-6:30
Thur 12: 11-6:30
Fri 13: 3-cl
Sat 14: 11-6:30

Friday, October 06, 2006

Strange How Potent Cheap Music Is

It appears that the inevitable day has arrived sooner than I expected. My boss received the call that the store remodeling that was scheduled for the end of the month has been moved up to, uh, Monday. Which means Sunday our store will be packing up hundreds of CDs into boxes to be shipped back to the distributor as well as several CD bins, to make way for brand new, double-wide DVD bins and several hundred more DVDs, reducing our CD stock and causing every CD and CD bin that you see in the top photo to shift to the far right hand side of the store in the bottom photo. DVDs are what's driving our sales, and sales being as pitifully poor as they are, we need to meet that demand. And as a result, reduce our music department significantly. The department, of course, in which I work.

As if I hadn't been sick with worry about this upcoming change for months as it is, I was positively nauseous all afternoon, and my boss admitted I looked pretty green in the gills so she went ahead sent me home early. Even though I have Sunday off I offered to come in later that evening to help pack CDs. "Do it if you feel like it, honey." she cooed assuringly, making me wonder if she's detected all along how much I've been secretly fretting over the status of the store all summer like I have been. Maybe I'll be able to handle things a little better by then. But today, today I just had to get out of there.

Before going home I walked into Barnes & Noble next door and bought Portnoy's Complaint, and when I got home I peeled off all my clothes and cocooned myself under the comforter, and found strange solace in Philip Roth's prose for some reason on this particular day, with the nor-easter coming in, and the winds and the rain pounding angrily against my bedroom window, feeling my stomach settle, and finding some peace for moment in the dark, still quiet of my home.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Laws Of Average

Lately I keep wondering how different my adolescence would have been if the internet had been around when I was a teenager back in the 1980's.

I'm sure kids today feel just as alienated as any other socially awkward young adult. But I keep thinking... wow, when I was between the ages of 13 and 17 I felt like such an anomaly. And again, of course every teenager probably thinks this way, just being the dramatic, solipsistic creatures that they inherently are. But I remember feeling so isolated by my interests, as in none of the other girls I hung out with enjoyed LARPing, or even considered to do anything so geeky. Or have any other interest in music other than the latest Lionel Richie song on the radio. And I didn't dare reveal my desperately lonely, obsessive preoccupation with a comic book character that still deeply affects me to this day. And there really was no way for me to reach out to people who may have had any similar interests at that time. Well for one, I was chronically shy, too shy to approach most people who looked as if they may have had something in common with me. And I grew up in a small town where deviating from the status quo wasn't exactly encouraged by either my parents or my peers. I had so few friends as it was, I wasn't about to make any more waves than necessary to lose what I already had, or else become an even bigger social misfit than I already felt.

My God. If I had the internet back then. My life might have been... so different.

Now I meet people every day who have my similar interests in music. And every little sub-fringe category of interest that I thought only I had ever thunk up has its own message board, its own newsgroup, hell, even its own national convention. It's a remarkable concept. I can now google my comic book character and find a dozen or so links about him, and I remember how the first time nearly brought me to tears. What would my life had been like, had I had something like this to remind me that I wasn't a complete and total freak for liking the things that I did? I can't tell you how... normal it all made me feel.

Normal. So much so, that I really started to begin to realize just how... average I really am. I hang out on music/movie message boards with people far more learned on the subjects that have always interested me, and I have now have had a myspace page for almost a full year, I think. So many people. Millions, all over the world. With almost identical profiles to my own. And as exciting as it all is, it's also a little, uh, daunting. Intimidating, even. Because now, in context of the world wide web, I finally do fit in with the crowd. So much so, in fact, that I disappear into the vast sea of similarity.

Myspace really exacerbates this point more so than any other example I can think of at the moment. I look at my profile and I think, other than the bazillion friend requests from bands I get each day looking to network off my page, what does somebody like myself really have to offer anyone in order for me to validate my presence clogging up all that valuable the meg space? (this probably also goes for my blog as well) More than ever I realize how truly average somebody like myself can be. I am an average woman -- average looks, average brain, average personality, with average interests and an average amount of knowledge in the things that I enjoy and the average amount of experience that I've accrued in life. In short, I'm pretty much okay. But you know... average. Just average.

And finally, after all these years, I think I'm okay with that. It's kind of a nice feeling, in some ways. No pressure to conform. No pressure to impress. None of the stigma that haunted me as a teenager in the pre-web 1980's.

Do kids today still feel that way, I wonder.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Goin' Out of My Head

Sorry about the glare.