Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Big Mouths

Lookin' pretty darn official that Vance is a new member of Cowboy Mouth. As the ever reliable Youtube provides:

Vance walks out on stage ("Somewhere Over The Rainbow")
Fred introduces Vance to the audience.
New Years Eve 2006 countdown (Fred kissing Vance?)
Vance strumming out the rhythm to "Auld Lang Syne"

Still wondering what's up with The Pies now.

Monday, January 29, 2007

She Comes In Colors

First 20 tracks on my new iPod "Penelope" while I attempted to go walking for the first time in months today (and I clocked in a full hour, which is amazing since I haven't done this in months. I probably could have gone further if my legs weren't ready to shatter like ice from the cold):

1. "Hope Leaves" - Opeth

2. "Partyup" - Prince

3. "I Got Dat Feeling" - DJ Kool

4. "Ladykillers" - Lush

5. "Fucked Up City" - Zeke

6. "Lifeless Wandering" - Bargain Music

7. "Now" - Meat Beat Manifesto

8. "Cold Wave" - Korekyojin

9. "D's Car Jam/Anxious Mo-Fo" - Minutemen

10. "Hot Dog! That Made Him Mad" - Wanda Jackson

11. "Love Makes A Woman" - Barbara Acklin

12. "South Is Only A Home/Blueberry Boat/Birdie Brain/Inca Rag" - The Fiery Furnaces

13. "Mason City" - The Fiery Furnaces

14. "Political Song For Michael Jackson" - Minutemen

15. "Sex And Dying In High Society" - X

16. "Inca Roads" - Frank Zappa & the Mothers Of Invention

17. "Lonely Weekends" - Wanda Jackson

18. "Gett Off" - Prince & The New Power Generation

19. "Top Of The City" - Kate Bush

20. "Kanisa Elise" - Adikwa

Hi, Resolution

I realize that the month is almost over and I still haven't posted anything concerning my new year's resolutions yet, and I've meant to do it for some time but I just haven't had much time for sitting and writing at length these last few weeks. Or rather, writing in the blog, because most of my writing has been for other people and projects and so forth. Detailed emails and IMs and message boards have taken over a lot of my venting space, of which my blog used to serve. But now that I haven't felt so crushingly lonely lately it doesn't quite feel like I'm just throwing this all out there into the wind hoping that someone can hear me. I love blogging, however. It feels good. It's cathartic. It keeps me in practice, even if I rarely have anything of interest to say. And whenever I actually write down my new year's resolutions they have a remarkable way of actually getting done -- like last year's buying a house, getting promoted, etc. And I don't really have that many resolutions this year so it makes for keeping them (hopefully) easier, and staying focused. Ahem... so anyway, the most pressing issue that needs to be addressed. The only issue, really:

The Job Thing: Again the numero uno issue of last year as well, and for diametrically different reasons than what I was attempting to achieve in 2006. This, by the way, was probably also the main reason for me freaking out so much last year, and as a result a lot of the control I so proudly had in my life slipping out of my hands (depression, sudden weight gain, lack of writing or drawing or any creativity whatsoever, etc). And I'm talking about ever since I was promoted to lead I have become increasingly doubtful as to my abilities to do the job effectively.

I only jockeyed for the position because it was the only next logical step up in this company. I was already full time, but I figured I could use the scant bit of money they'd offer as a lead, even if I don't really have as much ambition to rise much higher in the company, thus taking me away from what I love most (the music aspect). But I was willing to challenge myself, to step it up, to take myself further than where my comfort levels kept me reeled in. I like pushing my limits and discovering what I'm capable of. I was eager for the opportunity.

But I've discovered that, during this time, it's been nearly impossible for me to break out of my old habits when it comes to interacting with other people. I am intrinsically introverted, and when I'm at work I stay very focused, sometimes going a full day without barely speaking to a fellow co-worker. I've always had a hard time delegating responsibility, one because the last time I was in a position of leadership it backfired on me so drastically I had to quit my job, and two because I'm so used to just doing it myself, thereby insuring it gets done right. Breaking this habit is something I've been working on over the last year, and I feel like I really have something to prove. I am a dependable worker. But can I be a dependable lead?

Sadly, I'm beginning to think I can't. And I don't believe in saying I can't, so the fact that I just did hopefully shows how much I have been agonizing over this over the last year. For the first time in my long, long career in the music business, I feel as if I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. And I don't know why. I've been a manger before, several times over, for different companies. I know what needs to be done and have done it a thousand times over. But somethings holding me back this time. And as much as I struggle with it every day, I come home feeling exhausted, unhappy, and a dismal failure.

And I think a large part of what's holding me back, other than my own ineptitude, is the general state of the recording industry right now as it is. Our store is gradually weeding out music, making way for, well, frankly anything else we can stock on the shelves that will drive sales. No, the CD isn't going away anytime immediately soon. But ultimately somebody like myself is becoming increasingly obsolete in this business. Of course I can change. I've changed with the times fluidly ever since I've been in this business back in the 80's. But now, with the way business is changing the question is: Do I want to change this time around? Will it ultimately be worth it all in the end?

I know I've nattered on and on about this issue for ages and I know it's still too soon to tell which way the winds blows presently in this biz. And that's what makes this resolution so frustrating. There is no clearly defined objective for me to pursue, because I don't know whether to continue struggling with my difficulties being a lead when I feel our company may be changing soon in a way that will eventually nudge me out, unless I choose to adapt. And do I want to adapt? My resolution poses more questions than solutions. Which I guess is why I have avoided trying to write it all out until now, hoping that I'd have an answer at this point.

But I feel this issue has a lot to do with my own doubts about a lot of other things in my life, like my creativity, my health maintenance, and everything else associated. I can't, however, neglect these other issues while I'm still trying to hash out the big one.

The Health Thing: Get back to walking every day (now that I have my new iPod I hardly have any excuse anymore). Cut back sugar to former regulations. I already don't drink sodas or eat fast food. I have lived without sugar before. I know I can get back there again.

The Creative Thing: Draw a little every day. Even if it's just my finger in the air. Blog more often. Even if you have nothing to say (you guys are pretty much used to that).

And...?: W ell, we'll see how the rest of the year goes, shall we?

I Painted My Teeth

I just placed my ticket order to see Jandek in Richmond on March 11th. Yes, that Jandek. I've been corresponding with an intriguing gentleman from myspace (yes, there are actual gentleman on myspace) who booked the show, which means yes, he actually got to talk to Jandek on the phone. So I figure, well, better to see him now before he sees his own shadow and finally evaporates for good this time. You know how these enigmas are prone to be.

I'm actually surprised that there were still ticket available. I got two in case Joe wanted to come along, but if he can't make it maybe I'll see if Leslie in Richmond wants to join me, since we haven't hung out in ages. If she can't either... well, I gots an extra ticket. Anyone wanna share my company? A few drinks, light conversation, and outsider music?

Saturday, January 27, 2007


Sun 28: 11-7:30
Tue 30: 3-cl
Wed 31: 10-6:30
Thur 1: 3-cl
Fri 2: 10-6:30

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Little Packages

My birthday isn't until next month, but seeing as how it's possible Joe won't be able to have that day off from work to hang out with me on my actual birthday he took it upon himself to treat me last night to a movie and a gift and just said "Tonight, let's pretend it's the 20th". Well shucks. I can get with that.

The movie: Pan's Labyrinth, which I have been dying to see for nearly a year since I first read about its production. And I wasn't disappointed.

The gift: I'm a mommy again!

I haven't named it yet. "Rodney" brings back a deluge of bittersweet memories. But this means I can go walking again. Well, you could always go walking, you lazy bitch. But it's a lot more fun to have a child to show off to to the other soccermommies out walking/running with their 'lil sweetykins. This also means that I have absolutely no excuses anymore.

Thank you, my love.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Get Pissed. Destroy.

A belated birthday wish to my old friend Just Dave, who has since moved to Portland and has become the lead singer of a rather political thrash band called Nux Vomica. And apparently they do pretty darn well for themselves. They serve themselves better having such a famously funny guy out in front like that, even though Dave is a generally a drummer. Check out rock star Dave in these clips from a recent live performance.

Oh, and Just Dave is the friend that I mentioned in the last post who told me his theory on Phil Collins. So you pretty much have him to thank for pointing that out to all of us. Next time he breezes into town I'm going to choke him furiously for that with one of his own natty dreadlocks.

Room Silencer
Why Are They Laughing
All The Clocks Have Different Times
Persuasion Of Extreme Commuting
The Uninspired
The Final Election In A Crumbling Empire

Friday, January 19, 2007


Sat 20: 11-6:30
Mon 22: 10-6
Tue 23: 3-cl
Wed 24: 9:30-6
Thur 25: 3-cl
Sat 27: 10-6:30

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sussudio Uber Alles

Phil Collen, the guitarist for Def Leppard, was in my store last night with his wife and two-year-old daughter looking for a recently remixed copy of Randy Crawford's version of "Cajun Moon". Very nice man. Adorable little girl. And yes, technically this means that I have been "Collins" once again today.

Okay, no. Technically it wasn't a real Collins-ing. But... well, okay. Maybe it's been since my last blog, so I should explain the situation again.

Several years ago, round about in the early 1990's, a friend of mine once pointed out to me that the average American cannot go one single 24 hour period without being exposed in some way to Phil Collins from Genesis. And ever since he's mentioned that he's been almost more or less correct. Of course back in the early 90's Phil Collins went through a streak of ubiquity: On the radio, movie soundtracks, billboards, beer commercials, SNL skits. He was pretty much on a world domination kick for awhile. Of course he's a little less prevalent these days as he once was. But still, I have a hard time not walking into an elevator, or sit in a dentist office, or even go to fucking Morocco and drive around the city at night with Khalid without hearing "Another Day In Paradise" on his tape deck, or even being in Paris and ordering a mixed drink at my hotel called a "Phil Collins" (hey it was either that or a "Belinda Carlisle"). And this also extends to the several degrees of separation concerning Phil Collins -- Genesis, Brand X, Brian Eno... and Joe insists it should also include non-Phil involved Genesis splinters like Mike + The Mechanics and Peter Gabriel. But no, I say leave my Peter Gabriel out of this. I want to listen to Peter Gabriel. There is a difference. Oh yes, there is a difference.

So anyway, since I mentioned this to several of my co-workers they have also noticed the trend. Then again we all do work in a music store were we pass by the Phil Collins section at least thirty times a day. But now they've taken to "Collinsing" me and each other on purpose, like directing me to customers who are looking for Nonpoint's version of "In The Air Tonight", or photocoping dozens of the No Jacket Required unironically satanic-looking album sleeve and and having them tumble out of each other's lockers when they least expect it. I keep telling them "No no no, that's instigated Phil, you guys! That doesn't count!" But I have to admit I've gotten into the fun myself, plastering their myspace comment pages with one sweaty, shirtless jpeg of Phil Collins at his drum kit after another. And Christmas Eve.... man, there was freakin' full-on Phil Collins war going on that night. I gotta say, it's gotten right ridonkulous.

The jury is out on whether or not Phil Collen was considered a proper "Collinsing" last night. Unless.

Unless... Phil Collen has his own plans for world domination and mind control.

Gadooks. Somebody go play "Pour Some Sugar On Me" backwards and tell me what the hell it's saying!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I guess they made a film about Ian Curtis. Actually I was going to say that the first half of 24 Hour Party People was already a film about Ian Curtis, and probably the only one you'll ever need. But I suppose I'll check this one out eventually.

Oh, before I forget, I acquired a few more articles of entertainment this past week:

Hag: The Best of Merle Haggard. I've been in full-throttle Hag-phase for nearly half a year ever since his 60's releases were put back out this past summer, and I was almost tempted not to get this since I had planned to try and get them all anyway in dribs and drabs. But when I told my friend David that this just came in used at my store he convinced me to snap it up because of the more recent duet with Toby Keith titled "She Ain’t Hooked On Me No More" and I'm mighty obliged t' him for that. Awful swell stuff here, David. And so are you! ;)

Virginia Beach natives Clipse and their new album Hell Hath No Fury, produced by Virginia Beach natives The Neptunes, who pretty much produce everything else in the world these days. As is typical of the Neptunes sound, it's trademark sparse, minimalist funk-click lays down the bedrock for the group's sound which has lately been picked up by many other hip-hop artists making it big with it right now. It's been called one of the best albums of 2006 too. Ugh... if I ever get to it in my listening stack it will be well on to 2008, which would be typical since I'm known to be the last to latch on to anything in the mainstream or otherwise.

Scottish 80's New Romantic Euro-popsters Associates Sulk, featuring the late Bill Mackenzie on vocals and remastered by former Cure bassist Michael Dempsey who also played with the band in his early post-Cure years. My first time hearing them. And the sound, wow... that takes me back. To my early teens. To forlorn synth-sorrow on the radio. To a time of no responsibilities. To gleaming swimming pools on moonlit nights. To when there were still... possibilities. This music makes me kinda sad.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Apple Scruffs

First 20 tracks on Joe's brand spankin' new video iPod this morning (named "Ernesto Lesabre").

1. "Celestial Chant" - McCoy Tyner
2. "Well Did You Evah?" - Deborah Harry and Iggy Pop
3. "She's Always In My Hair (12") - Prince & the Revolution
4. "Paradigm Shift" - Candiria
5. "Strangelove Addiction" - Supreme Beings Of Leisure
6. "No Bulbs" - The Fall
7. "Monk Time" - The Monks
8. "Happy Pal Stomp" - Roy Johnson's Happy Pals
9. "Bobby Jean" - Bruce Springsteen
10. "Riot In Cell Block #9" - Wanda Jackson
11. "Nu Matrix" - Matthew Shipp
12. "Rocket To Nowhere" - Webb Wilder
13. "Don't Call Me White" - NOFX
14. "Napalm Brain/Scatter Brain" - DJ Shadow
15. "I'm Not In Love" - Talking Heads
16. "Kansas City Man Blues" - Mamie Smith
17. "Alabama Song" - Dagmar Krause
18. "Knoxville Girl" - The Louvin Brothers
19. "Je Vous Aime (I Love You)" - Donny Hathaway
20. "Six Pack" - Black Flag

Friday, January 12, 2007


Sat 13: 12-7
Sun 14: 11-6:30
Tue 3-cl
Wed 17: 10-6:30
Fri 19: 12-6:30
Sat 20: 11-6:30

My mother took a hard dive off the back door steps last week onto the brick patio and shattered her left wrist. She just had the surgery Wednesday to have the steel pins put into her arm and surprisingly it wasn't as hopeless as the doctors feared, having a woman my mom's age break so many brittle bones without having to reconstruct everything completely. She'll still need physical therapy, but other than that it looks good that she'll regain most of her former mobility in that hand. Right now she's experiencing the hilarity of having to dress and bath and even brush her teeth with one hand. She says the bathroom sink is always lousy with toothpaste after trying to squeeze the tube while alternating between her nose and her elbow. Interesting. I may go visit this weekend just to see that all go down.

In other news: Still sick with a cold. Apparently that one that's been going around where everybody has it for 4-6 weeks straight. Well, that seems to be my deal. Pretty much have had this since the day after Christmas and I gotta tell ya the whole thing's getting pretty old. Then I think about my mom and I feel like shit for complaining. I really should go over there this weekend and help her squeeze the toothpaste, not just laugh at her for using her nose. I'm a cold, cold bitch.

So I spend my downtime at home mostly reading. Boring, I know. On top of the whole cold bitch thing I've also become a dull, dull old biddy in my encroaching middle age. But I am at least reading some rather choice stuff:

The Areas Of My Expertise by John Hodgman. I meant to get this a long-ass time ago back when Hodgman was a guest on The Daily Show plugging this book, and just remembering how funny in general the interview was and everything. Especially funny now that I get it and look at Hodgman's picture in the back and recognize him as one of the more recent correspondents on TDS these days. Anyway, it's kind of like an almanac. An almanac of... gasp... lies! Liiiies..... okay, half truths. I'm always burning with optimism's flame.

And this just arrived from Amazon this evening...

Castle Waiting, a hardbound collection of graphic novels by Linda Medley, consisting of her sharp black and white artwork and engaging storytelling. This volume collects her humorous, slightly more feminist retellings of Sleeping Beauty, The Canterbury Tales, and several others, and although I've yet to crack the spine on this volume I have been sort of getting into her more recent comic book issues from one of the guys that works at Trilogy (not Jerry, but the red-headed guy with glasses who's always there when Jerry isn't) who kept foisting it upon me until I finally started buying them on my own. So I'm hooked now. Thank you, red-headed guy with glasses who works at Trilogy. Just what I needed; something else to obsess over once every else in Strangers In Paradise finally goes freakin' belly-up.

Oh OH! And before I forget, go see Children of Men. In theaters now. Just GO. Goooooo....

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Airing Out The Girl

Maybe it was the weather, or maybe it was a combination of that with my gradually increasing robust good health returning to me that put the streak of spring cleaning in me and lit a fire under my lazy ass to get up on the ladder and cut down the dead vines from off the trellis, pull the weeds out of my pitiful attempt at a garden, and hand-scrub the hard wood floors to get the tiniest flecks of grit out of the hair-thin crevices... okay maybe that's getting a bit anal, or anal for me at least, but I can't express how simply marvelous it feels to go through the motions of getting things done for a change, after so many weeks of exhaustion from work and bed rest from illness. Over half my weekend to-do list is nearly complete, and now I need to write a review for Damon & Hunter: Doing It Together as well as the most recent release by Papa (loooong overdue), catch up on my email, and I think I'll be about done for, well, the next time I fall behind on everything. But I'm caught up! And it's a good feeling! And I'm loving this weather! I freakin' love the New Year!!

Got some resolutions I need to make note of, but first -- last night's booty. No, not my booty (sorry, sports fans). I'm referring to the massive amounts of store credit Joe and I received last night taking advantage of our short-term "Get 20% cash and 50% credit on your next used buy-back" so after selling off a large chunk of our surplus DVD fodder we made off like little bandidos and I managed to free up some of the schtuff I had sitting on hold since, oooh, last year. Specifically:

The Rain Parade Emergency Third Rail Power Trip. Got this used, just like I originally bought the used cassette almost 20 years ago when I was in college. Ah, the old Record Exchange in Roanoke, VA. No other record store in my life shaped me into the figure that I am today like the diversity I encountered in their used bins back in my formative (and pitifully poor) collegiate years.

Joanna Newsom Ys which I have heard nothing but outrageous hype about more than any other album in 2006, although most of the hype was coming from friends and respected critics whose word I follow to the letter, so now that I am hearing it I'm thinking... okay, yeah... They're right. Me likey. Don't know what it is, specifically. Her weirdly Bjork-like voice? Maybe. Her flaky stream-of-consciousness prose? I haven't bothered with the lyrics sheet so I can only pick up words and phrases here and there, which is pretty much how I always listen to music, and I kind of like that. Anyway, she plays the harp, and I just don't have enough harpists in my collection, so home she goes with me.

Merle Haggard I'm A Lonesome Fugitive/Branded Man, part of the double-album reissue of the Hag's amazing 60's output from Capitol Records that were releases this past summer. Came in used this week, along with Hag, which I need to go back and rescue Monday if I am able.

Okay, you know how all almost CDs put out on Zorn's Tzadik label have that little black paper sleeveover the spine of the jewel case that tells you what the CD is? Well I bought this disk new thinking that it was Keiji Haino's Tenshi no Gijinka which is what it said on the sleeve. But upon removing the sleeve it was revealed that the CD was actually Mamoru Fujieda's The Night Chant, also put out by Tzadik. Normally I might have been disappointed but seeing as it was someone I had never heard of before I was instantly intrigued and to say the least his music is sparse and hypnotic, like listening in on a quiet religious ceremony taking place out in the desert. Then I go read about him over at allmusic.com and according to the reviewer there the chants are based on some Navajo sand-painting ceremony mixed with a little bit of the Orient, and that pretty much nails it right there. Fujieda has a Ph.D. in music at the University of California, and he's worked with Morton Feldman, which instantly caught my attention. Anyway, not Keiji Haino. But not bad, either. I was introduced to a new artist, and I didn't have to pay for it. Sooooo, whizbang.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Playing Catch-Up

The High Hat put out a supplemental issue featuring several Best of 2006 lists from its on-staff columnists, including "2006 At The Movies" by film critic George Wu, "The Year In Tights" best (and worst) superhero comics of 2006 by Jon Morris, and Gary Mairs counts down the best Youtube clips from the past year, among several others.

Oh yeah, Joe's birthday presents came in last week. All DVD's, natch. It's getting more and more difficult tracking down classic film noirs that he hasn't already seen so I went with things that I knew he would like outside of the genre, and dammit, I was interested in them too. Not everything good on celluloid has to contain your precious Richard Widmark, pun'kin. ;-)

Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge: The Complete Series. Steve Coogan's Alan Partridge character, also from earlier last month's divine purchase of I'm Alan Patridge, and his trainwreck of a (parody) chat show didn't quite live up to the consistent guffaws of the previously mentioned series, despite some interesting ideas and the always engaging Mr. Coogan. But a majority of the gags were already well-trodden material and a few skits seemed to never quite launch quite effectively. A show that if I had stumbled upon it in on some oddball cable access program at three in the morning I might have possibly found it surreally charming. But it never quite gelled for me. Maybe it could have used more Richard Widmark.

I also bought him The White Diamond, Werner Herzog's documentary of British airship engineer Dr. Graham Dorrington's invention of a fully maneuverable helium-filled mini zeppelin and his tests taken over and around the glorious Kaieteur Falls in the heart of the Guyanan jungle. The story that unfolds, rather, has more to do with Dorrington's apprehension and lack of confidence in his work as well as his abilities after his previous flight experiment left his good friend dead. Herzog caught some unbelievably breathtaking shots of the balloon's silent journey over the jungle's misty canopy and thousands of swifts diving behind the waterfalls to seek shelter in the mysterious cavern that lay behind. Lovely and touching work from one of Joe's favorite directors.

I would now, however, like to bring to your attention a DVD that will be released this Tuesday -- a movie that was only released in no more than seen cities nationwide...

Written and directed by Mike Judge, the creator of TV's Beavis & Butthead and King Of The Hill and the cult hit film Office Space, Idiocracy is finally making it to the stores this week but I finally caught a glimpse of it this past Wednesday. I've heard nothing but rave reviews heralding it as one of the best unseen movies of 2006, and yeah, I liked it the first time I saw it. But I liked it even better the second time. And then the third. And the reason isn't because I found the acting all that great (it isn't) or the jokes all that funny (they aren't), but I am in absolute awe over the sheer ambitious scope of Judge's future creation -- a vision that takes multiple viewings to fully absorb and fully appreciate.

Luke Wilson plays mild-mannered army librarian Joe Bauers, a man of average intelligence with little ambition who in 2005 is selected for a top-secret military hibernation experiment where, forgotten once the project was disbanned, winds up 500 years into the future where the U.S. is populated entirely by idiots, making Joe and fellow test subject, streetwise prostitute Rita (played by SNL's Maya Rudolph) the two smartest individuals in the United States of America. Everything our future holds for us is based on the theory that people with lower intelligence, education, and income are more likely to overbreed and combined with the gradual decline of quality highbrow American culture the nation is now populated entirely of people who speak in nothing but monosyllables, vulgarities, and moronic pop culture catchphrases. A few mega corporations run every aspect of the country (one of which owns both the FDA and the FCC and has replaced the nation's water supply with some electric green Gatorade-like substance) and the president of the United States is a former pro-wrestler and porn star (played by the always-a-hoot Terry Crews) with all the macho posturing of one and the over-the-top libidinous behavior of the other.

This is a future that Judge obvious invested a lot of thought into. His evident disdain for modern pop culture and corporate greed run unchecked colors every shade of this future new world movie set as detailed as Blade Runner for retards. It took me several viewings just to pick up on all the things that I missed -- like a TV news crawl that ran left-to-right instead of right-to-left. A dilapidated highway where cars continuously drive over the edge one-by-one, landing in an ever-increasing pile of twisted metal. And a public restroom sign that forgoes the universal image of a female figure on the ladies' room door to a figure of a female sitting on a toilet. The fact that in the future humanity has grown so helplessly ignorant that one must actually have to have an image of a person sitting on a toilet in order to process the information that this is where you go to sit on the toilet is both hilariously and tragically funny to me in so many layered intricacies.

Anyway, check it out Tuesday and get back to me with your comments this week if you can. I'd love to hear what you guys thought. And maybe some of you might help me understand why throughout the movie there appeared to be an unsettlingly large amount of Hispanic people and last names being bandied about in the Idiocracy future world. I was hoping maybe it was just my imagination.

Friday, January 05, 2007


Mon 8: 11-6:30
Tue 9: 3-cl
Wed 10: 10-6:30
Fri 12: 10-6:30
Sat 13: 12-7

This Wasn't My Idea Of A Vacation

When I complained that I needed at least a week's bed rest after rubbing myself down to a nub after the holiday shopping deluge at the store this season, I hadn't exactly dreamed of spending all that time so sick I was almost physically unable to climb out of bed for an even week the day after Christmas due to strep... or bleh, whatever the hell it was I had. My regular doctor wasn't in the office last Friday so one of her fellow medical associates checked me out, gave me a strep test that came back negative, but looked down my throat and said "Well if that isn't strep I don't know what is." So she told me to stay away from work and take antibiotics and in 24 hours I should start feeling better. Well come Sunday New Years Eve I was still in agony and being it Sunday I went instead to Patient First (one of those walk-in ERs that are open every day of the year) and he told me that I didn't have strep but just a bad cold, and that's why my antibiotics weren't working. I still wasn't sure if I was completely convinced that this kind of swelling and pain was just some rinkydink cold passing through -- I'm not this much of a puss about throat pain -- but he did prescribe some Tylenol 3 which I, being so grateful for some relief after six straight days of misery, proceeded to eat like Chiclets. Which of course, made me even sicker, because I'm a idiot like that. But at that point I was willing to take nausea over pain and I do admit as ill as I felt I wasn't feeling a damn thing from the neck up all night. I vaguely remember being bundled up in bed surrounded by Kleenex, one eye open at the TV and experiencing a slight sense of horror at how Dick Clark never blinks his eyes and must therefore be an android (I predict next year he'll just be a head in a jar of formaldehyde a'la Futurama) and that Joe came into the room right at midnight to give me a smashing New Years Eve kiss, even more so for having spent the week keeping one room away from him so that he wouldn't get my cooties. I was pretty deprived of human touch and physical affection by then, and I'm convinced the healing powers of that kiss alone was what made the sore throat pain evaporate instantly by early the next morning.

Now I'm back at work, and pretty much just have a rotten cold. So yeah, not exactly the downtime I had planned for myself once the season was through. But I can't say I didn't get enough bed rest. Too much, in fact. I didn't feel much like sitting up at the computer and things got a little squirrely once I started running out of reading material in my house, with every book on the shelf read and every comic book turned over and over. I did manage to sneak out to Trilogy last Wednesday (new comix day, yo) with wool coat collar pulled up over my mouth to keep my germs containable while I picked up the latest issues of Love And Rockets, Strangers In Paradise, and American Splendor. But the thrill of new comix dies rapidly once read. Luckily my Amazon packages arrived with emergency backup literature:

Luba: Three Daughters (Love And Rockets) is the final compilation book from Gilbert Hernandez from his Luba serial, all of which except for the last two issues I have already read but here at least I get the loose ends tied up to the storyline to the continuing adventures of Luba and her relationship with her two half-sisters Petra and Fritzi. Incredible as always. Anyone who knows Los Bros Hernandez knows that when it comes to weaving intricate storylines with beautifully flawed flesh-out (and how!) female characters Beto can't be beaten.

Ellen Forney's I Love Led Zeppelin, a compilation of this hilarious Seattle-based cartoonist's solo and collaborative work with the likes of Margaret Cho, Dan Savage, and even (unknowingly) Camille Paglia, among many others. Forney has a fantastic wit about her style, and I envy her ability to somewhat alter her technique from story to story with ease, something that I have never had success with in all my years as an sketcher. Topics in this book include illustrated guides to how to be a successful call girl, how to sew back an amputated finger, and even how to rollerskate backwards, along with many other intriguing stories and humorous anecdotes.

Can't forget my new tunes, too. Roots of Rumba Rock: Congo Classics 1953-1955, a 2-disc set compilation of Cuban-tinged Congolese rumba rock (or "soukous" as they called it) from the early years. Short, succinct tracks, beautifully sung, and thoroughly groovy.

Back to work today. And I'm off again tomorrow. And as I am learning this morning, when you don't take three or four Tylenol 3's at one time, the effect can be rather... rather.... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....

Monday, January 01, 2007


Tue 2: 2-cl
Wed 3: 10-6:30
Fri 5: 2-8:30