Sunday, August 31, 2008

Speak In Secret Alphabets

Oh yeah, The Time show Friday night at the 5th Street Stage down on the beach. As out of it and monstrously depressed as I was, I still managed to lug my bedraggled ass down to the oceanfront on a busy, touristy Labor day weekend evening, thinking I was going to be late for the show, but actually just in time to catch opening act En Vogue, who did a short set of pretty much every hit they had. And if you dig En Vogue (and lipsynching, which I guess they were but I might be wrong) I guess it was, well, what it was. Some hot middle-aged chicks in sequins dodging seagull poop in synchronicity.

And a "jumbotron", just to remind us which chick was singing what, and when. And then let us, the audience, decide whether or not it even mattered. (answer: it didn't)

What did matter, apparently, was that the event sold beer. Or at least some schmuck was, down by the water's edge. I don't know why the "Beer Here" flag high over the crowd's heads amused me so. I guess as the sun was setting I felt I needed to get as many pictures as I could before was no longer available to me.

And yaa... can you see? NOPE! Not that it matters anyway, because right after the En Vogue set finished, and Joe and I were all hyped for The Time, flipping BELL BIV DEVOE hit the bleedin' stage! Guuhhhh... whadda surprise -- and whadda letdown! The last sentence I expected to hear from anyone that night was "WHOOOO THIS SONG IS OFF OUR HOOTIE MACK ALBUM!" Not much to see, really, except for Biven's electric-white Good Humor Man suit... or wast it DeVoe? Or Bell? Maybe Johnny Gill slipped out there without our knowledge, looking for a gig that will have him. Errrr... Ralph Tresvant?

The worst photos of The Time ever taken!! WHEEEE!! Luckily you don't have to see them, so I picked the best, ahem, 'jumbotron" shot of Morris Day, who asked the audience if they liked his pimp!suit. "I'm glad you do, cuz you folks just bought it!"
Overall it was a short set, with such greats as "Cool", "The Walk", "Gigolos Get Lonely Too", a few Morris solo tracks like "Oak Tree", and of course "The Bird" and "Jungle Love". And the band was tight, and, you know, they were owwn it as only The Time can be... but I think Joe was too tired from work and I was too weepy from the events of the day to really allow myself to enjoy it to the fullest extent. Plus En Vogue and Bell Biv DeVoe can really suck the soul

outta ya, which is probably the opposite effect that they were going for but damn these one-hit wonder track-acts never did much for me. I go see The Time because they were famed for their live performances, and then they zap the crowds' energy (well, mine really) with limp studio concoctions that so obviously look and feel out of place in a live situation. But once the show was over and the fireworks display over the ocean kicked in I was definitely ready to haul out of there and crawl into bed with as many covers over my throbbin' noggin as I could manage. Maybe in time things will settle down inside me. I can stop crying, stop moping. Sleep better, or get my appetite back. I wish I had the week off. Then again the company did say I could use the rest of my vacation time for this year, what little I have. I'm going to try and make that trip to New York City in October to see The Residents with my friend Paul. I think I need to see a live show where I don't have to dump sand out of my sneakers for a change.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Sun 31: 11-5
Mon 1: 10-4
Tue 2: 4-cl
Wed 3: 4-cl
Sat 6: 10-5

Never thought I'd be typing up another one of these again. Only 5 hours less than usual. Ah, well.

Friday, August 29, 2008

And Moreso...

I gulped down that bitter ball of pride in my throat and took the company's offer of part-time work, with part-time insurance without benefits. The more I thought about it, the more I talked to my friends and family, working part-time while finding a new job is much better than being jobless with no unemployment money coming in and having to pay out of pocket for COBRA while searching for new work. Dear God, I held it together the entire time I filled out my new part-time insurance forms, but I went straight home and bawled. I haven't cried this hard since my grandmother died. All that hard work. All that.... God... I don't even want to think about it.

Thanks to everyone who talked me down from my hysteria tree this afternoon, and I'm sorry for all the phone calls and panic-stricken emails. You all know what you're worth to me. I love you.

Welp. Ahh... anybody need a washed-up middle-aged single white female who knows everything from Snoop Dogg to The Bonzo Dog Band? Clean, dependable, doesn't eat much, won't be in your way, and has her own transportation. Wow, easiest resume I ever wrote.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

And So It Goes

So. The moment that I have been dreading. The inevitability. And yet, I was not as prepared as I thought I would be.

Basically, I'm being canned.

Today I was told by my general manager and my district manager that my full time position was being made redundant. They offered me a part time position instead. With, they said hopefully, the opportunity to work my way back up to my former manager's position again, when one becomes available.

I told them I needed a day to think about it. My manager told me I could take a 15 minute break to collect myself. No, he said generously, take a nice long 30 minute break instead.

I promptly went home and called out for the rest of the evening.

And I did see this coming. And it's been the primary reason why I have been fretting so much about work over the last few months. With new management changes, new store changes... and then I learned that my friend Tony over at the Norfolk store, who has been working in record stores for as long as I have, was also offered a part time position after they terminated his manager's position. Same thing with this girl named Noel, who has been working for the company for 14 years. Both stormed out, furious, but returned a day later to accept the part time position, with pay cut, because they couldn't afford to lose their jobs.

And the truly funny thing about my situation is that they kindly offered to not give me a pay cut. Why? Because they haven't given me a raise in three years, and I still make barely more than I made when I first started there. The company currently hires newbies for more than what I get now as a manager after 4 years on the job.

And although I knew this was coming, dear God, it still hurts. It hurts how hard I bled for that company, for no money, for so few perks, coming in sick so that the skeleton-crew staff wouldn't be in the weeds, busting my butt while everybody else was taking their umpteenth cigarette break. And the district manager told me that they just did an employee evaluation on me this week, and I got a rave review (which I get every single time anyway) "and that means you are so close to getting that desired full time managers position, if one ever becomes available!" Yes, one's available right now as a matter of fact, because apparently I no longer have it anymore.

God, I loved this job.

I'm sorry, folks. I guess I need a moment to myself for a few days.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

She Cracked

So due to work scheduling conflicts it appears that I will not be attending the Regurgitation Tour tomorrow night, which is just as well I suppose. Nothing makes me feel older, and dorkier, than sitting with a bunch of other middle-agesters watching Naked Eyes sing a Burt Bacharach song and then leave the stage. I think it would at least be mildly amusing if they did somebody else's big hit single from the 80's instead of their own. Like Naked Eyes surprises everyone and sings, like, "I Ran" by A Flock Of Seagulls and then leaves that stage. Then A Flock Of Seagulls comes on stage and goes, "Eh, erm... well, we got nuthin'. HAVE A GOOD NIGHT PORTSMOUTH!" And that would be a good night. A very good night indeed. Plus, I've already seen A Flock Of Seagulls, back when they opened for The Go-Go's in 1982. And now it's just Belinda Carlisle this time around, and I hate her solo stuff with the heat of a thousand eardrums exploding. Maybe she should sing "Always Something There To Remind Me" instead, right before the Naked Eyes set. See? If people only did things more my way than theirs.

But I do have tickets for something else Friday night... YAYSSSS!

Sometimes... sometimes, the 1980's did have some pretty wicked shit.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Tue 26: 3-cl
Wed 27: 10-6
Thur 28: 3-cl
Sat 30: 9-5

Monday, August 25, 2008

I Love You So Much It Hurts Me

First 20 tracks on my (drumroll) *IPOD* now that Joe found it for me Friday evening as we were packing for the beach, which had been lost for probably a full year (lets never fight again, Penelope!)

1. "What's My Scene?" - Hoodoo Gurus
2. "I Love To Fuck" - The Nobodys
3. "Stick It Where The Sun Don't Shine" - Nick Lowe
4. "No Use In Crying" - The Rolling Stones
5. "Liontamer" - Faithless
6. "Winderlicker" - Aphex Twin
7. "Mumblin' Guitar" - Bo Diddley
8. "I Ain't Got Nobody" - Emmett Miller & His Georgie Crackers
9. "Soul Sloshing" - Venus Hum
10. "Get Up Offa That Thing" - James Brown
11. "Alice Crucifies The Paedophiles" - Rudimentary Peni
12. "Sweet Memory" - The Belle Stars
13. "Selim (take 4B)" - Miles Davis
14. "Supermodel" - Jill Sobule
15. "Herido Da Sombras" - Ibrahim Ferrer
16. "Let's Get It On" - Marvin Gaye
17. "Smartbomb" - BT
18. "Ain't Nothin' You Can Do" - Van Morrison
19. "Lovely Day" - Bill Withers
20. "Coming In A Girl's Mouth" - Momus

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Are Friends Electric?

Melissa feets be GONE! I'm back from Nags Head, NC (technically Kitty Hawk, since I believe mile post 4 is still KH territory) after spending about a day and a half holed up with eleven people and a lot of sunburned tootsies. Yes, the tops of my feet and the back of my neck (I had my hair pinned up while at the beach) were the only two places on my body I forgot to slather with sunblock. That shit's SPF is like a fuckin' sherpa's chuba compared to the spots left untouched. Whooo doggie, I learned my bleepin' lesson.

Mr. and Mrs. Connelly from the breakfast bunch aren't exactly the beachy types, but we encouraged them to at least meander down with us to the shore line, and watched as they daintily prowled the outer edges like cats weary of getting their paws wet, stopping to gawk curiously at all the alien objects (shells, seaweed, a human ear) that rolled up to their feet.

This beautiful black lab followed her owner down the the beach to park next to us, and Al went over to pet her and watch in amazement as she proceeded to dig into the sand with a truly impressive determination. The woman said that "Sally" finds the tiny crab holes in the sand and proceeds to dig and dig until she unearths the little bugger from its den. I couldn't stop laughing at that dog's ass in the air, her barking becoming a faint echo as her face a near 45 degree angle deeper and deeper down that hole...

But Sally's efforts pay off. Although her new playmate wasn't too thrilled about being displaced, and she did get nipped in the nose and tongue several times for her trouble. She was having such a ball that Al's friend Tim grabbed my camera and got down on his belly to capture this moment as Sally and crustacean catch a breather in between their Dance Of Deaaaaaath (uh, for the crab, that is -- it didn't survive for more than two minutes. Sally lived.)

A couple of young girls, friends of Al, stayed with us during the weekend. Both very sweet, but very quiet and subdued, especially compared to all the other loud, obnoxious louts in the house (well, I suppose that would be me really). Spent a lot of time sunning themselves and reading quietly. Meanwhile, in the background, Sally is ass-up again in another crab hole.

Back at the beach house, Al's busts a move to The Bee Gees on Joe's iPod. TRAGEDY! When your rubber breaks and your sperm escapes it's TRAGEDY! (don't look at me, Al says this is how he used to sing it when he was a kid).

Joe and Al slow dance to the piano and strings opening to Springsteen's "Jungleland". Joe had made a playlist of everybody's favorite music for the weekend, and Al was livid that Joe forgot to include his all-time favorite Bruce tune. But wheeeee, Joe lied! Al was so surprised and overcome to hear it pop up on the iPod that he and Joe embraced and all was forgiven. Meanwhile, everyone continues to ignore the Olympics on the television.

While Tim was outside grilling the tuna and veggie kebabs, Dave and Hunter worked on the salad with all fresh ingredients from the vegetable stand on the drive down to the shore. I always love the strange and sweet way they communicate with each other, like some kinda twinsspeak shorthandy thing that couples seem to pick up over the years. Hunter barely had to use words to explain to Dave how to pluck the cilantro stems -- or maybe Dave's just unwrapping a miniature candy bar from our collective table of community junk food that everybody brought to the house with them. We were all pretty much on a neverending sugar high that entire weekend. Explains all that dancing, I suppose.

Mmmm, Hunter's homemade kamala olive and squash torte! Wasn't much left of it after dinner, even serving eleven hungry beach-weary epicureans. Most of the gang are all so used to having breakfast with each other every Sunday we don't even know how to function around dinnerstuffs. If we can't pour syrup or ketchup over it it fails to register as anything remotely edible to us.

Can't remember what Hunter's dancing to on the iPod here. Then again she might have been just stoked that the torte that she had made only once before came out as expected. At least it didn't turn out like the lump of mysterious charred "evil" turning in the rotisserie oven that she and I laughed about for months.

As night settled over the beach house, we wound down from dinner with our now-traditional game of iPod charades, in which Tim here, seconds before, trumped the previous year (and probably every year after) by dropping his shorts and baring his naked ass to mime the word "moon" in a song title. Meanwhile, I think the Jamaicans won something at the Olympics. Running or whatnot. Whatever. I just saw the bare ass of the man who roasted my tuna kababs. It's offically time I turned in.

Sunday morning at 7:30am, and Mike is already up and struggling with the Wii, of which I still haven't gotten the hang. And that damnable trivia game was rigged to make me lose on purpose (I know, I know... aren't they all?).

Another last dip in the waves, which were rougher this morning and exhausted all of our old-people bodies within minutes of being tossed about like the breakable playthings we are. Still strange how I live within 15 minutes of the beach at home, yet the only time I actually get into it is when I leave home and drive over an hour away. At least Tim and Hunter appear to be enjoying themselves (as they dash for their lives screaming towards the shore).

And I suppose no weekend of middle aged cranks hopped up on sunburn and torte would be complete without April (one of the two younger girls, who is the girlfriend of a concert promoter mutual acquaintance) comped us with some Regeneration Tour tix, which I think means that the likes of Howard Jones, The Human League, Belinda Carlisle, ABC, Naked Eyes, and A Flock of Seagulls all sing their one hit and leave the stage, and then Melissa spends the rest of that time at the hot dog stand wishing she was back at the beach playing iPod charades with naked man-ass again. But good times were had! And I'm home and I'm as tired and as hungry as a black lab ready to tear the limbs off a sand fiddler! Two days without sleep -- let me rest, my lovelies. Let me resssssst......................................

Friday, August 22, 2008

Your Moment Of Zen

I'll be in Nags Head, NC until Sunday evening, so I'm sure you kids can find something else to do to wile away the hours 'til then.
NO COMPUTERS!! So I'll read your messages when I return. IF I return. *insert bwahaha*
Kiss xxx

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Use Your Fists

A couple of used acquisitions this past week. Revisiting old punk like this is precisely why I want to stick an egg beater in my ear canal whenever some little twerp gets nostalgic for Blink 182.

The 1983 Death Church album from UK Anarcho-punksters Rudimentary Peni was probably the record that really brought the trio together as a complete, cohesive band, and one of the early avatars (along with the similar Crass) of the British hardcore movement of the early 80's. Primarily the brainchild of guitarist, lyricist, and lead singer Nick Blinko, who also drew all of the cover art for his albums (Blinko had spent some time in a mental institution, and his artwork was often the result of the times when we wasn't taking his medication), the music may herald from the Orange County California hardcore sound, but there is something still so intrinsically British about Peni's sound. Something they just have to touch once and make it their own.
Radio Schizo by Rudimentary Peni
(m4a file, available for 7 days)
Purchase this CD here.

And I suppose these Long Beach, California natives The Humpers aren't so much "old punk" as revisiting old punk themselves -- but in a good way (and there is a difference). Their first full-length 1993 album Postively Sick On 4th St. is a throwback to the sleazy good fun of the Dead Boys and Heartbreakers era of punk, and knit together with a tightness that isn't always necessary in punk, but welcome as hell when it's done so deliciously.
Murder City Revolution by The Humpers
(m4a file, available for 7 days)
Purchase this CD here.

Not to mention that I lucked out in also getting The Humpers 6-track EP from the 10" vinyl The Dionysus Years, which includes murkier productions of Positively's "Insect Liberation" and "Cops And Robbers". Nice to finally have so much Humpers, when all I've have since the mid 1990's was a little 7" single that I bought at their show, which by the way was probably the last ever concert I ever saw at the legendary old King's Head Inn in Norfolk (not counting The Candysnatchers, since I was in the parking lot the entire time that night). I think I even have that entire night written down in one of my old journals. I should find that and reprint it. If I'm not too horrified by my own youthfully florid prose from that time.
Black Cats by The Humpers
(m4a file, available for 7 days)
Purchase this CD here.

And now for something relatively different, yet probably punker than anything I have bought in the last few weeks. Yes, that legendary jazz pianist who once performed for President Carter at the White House -- Cecil Taylor and his 1966 release Unit Structures, which compiles some of his most noted free jazz works from the 1950's through 60's. Also includes Eddie Gale Stevens Jr on trumpet, Jimmy Lyons on alto sax, Ken McIntyre on alto sax, oboe, and bass clarinet, Henry Grimes and Alan Silva on bass, and Andrew Cyrille on drums.
Steps by Cecil Taylor
(m4a file, available for 7 days)
Purchase this CD here.

Is There An Echo In Here?

Happy birthday. Yes, you.

In other news, I think I might go to Monster Fest this year.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Contempt Before Investigation

Whoa, nellie! The Courthouse Cafe in my hometown of Great Bridge got torched last night. I ate there constantly with my family, often ordering take-out whenever I'd breeze into town to visit my folks. And I worked there as the resident dishwasher back in 1990, right when I turned 21 and was on a 100% liquid diet so I never got to eat any of the food they served during that period. But I used to spend my afternoons with my elbows in bleached water, rockin' the lunch rush while "The Humpty Dance" blasted on the little portable radio over my station. I suppose they'll open again, what with the insurance money they're bound to collect. I'm just glad that nobody was hurt. Funny how the Mister Jim's sub shop next door, which has been in Great Bridge probably longer than any other establishment, is still standing.

So we had a customer at work who heard the legendary male Brazilian musician Caetano Veloso do a cover of "Body And Soul" in Sirius Radio and desperately wanted us to order the entire CD for him. This Veloso album, A Foreign Sound, is a collection of covers that contains many lovely old American songbook standards, like Cole Porter and Jerome Kern. A few days later the customer calls back, wanting to cancel his order. Sirius radio just played another track from the same album, Gershwin's "The Man I Love", and the customer told us that the only way he could relate to another man singing about "the man he loves" is if "he were wearing a dress and a wig and lipstick and I was very, very drunk." So apparently he would rather not get that coveted version of "Body And Soul" because it is featured on an album where he also sings about loving another man, even though it's just a cover of another famous song? Christ. This is how I felt back when I worked at Ticketmaster and sold Broadway rubes tickets to Rent, only to have them call back days later wanting to cancel, furious to discover that the play was about "those goddam homosexuals". See what chuckleheads I gotta deal with sometimes?

In other news, congratulations to Ellen DeGenres and Portia De Rossi. Anybody got some pics floating around on Vance in a wedding tux (grrrrrowl!)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What Now, Lech Walesa?

It's been a rotten night. The bitter taste of gall still in my mouth as I signed my name to something I cannot support, even though my job depends on me enforcing it. Maybe I shouldn't care so much. Maybe, as my boss likes to remind me, "it's not big enough a deal to even argue about it". But still, I have a feeling I'm going to be the only one signing my name. That I crossed the picket line, broke our united little unspoken Solidarity thingy, and any number of likewise analogies that apply. And I know I'm being cryptic, but I hesitate to discuss it further in a public forum like this, sooooo let's just say that in light of everything I said the other night I'm feeling a little down on myself right now. And I need cheering up. Fee Waybill style. *bananadevilhorns*

Yeah, never thought I'd use that sentence in any sort of context in my lifetime. But there it is, "Prime Time" , a video that used to get played a lot on MTV back in the summer of 1983 when I first got the channel, and later bought the Remote Control album at a flea market while I was back in college. Joe and I used to sing this song to each other all the time. I've always loved it. It always makes me feel good inside.

Well now my left breast is bleeding. I think I'm going to go lay down for awhile.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Sun 17: 3-cl
Mon 18: 3-cl
Tue 19: 3-cl
Wed 20: 3-cl

Friday, August 15, 2008

Just Visiting This Planet

The reason why I get up every morning and go into work, the reason why I do what I do, and have done for more than half of my lifetime, has nothing to do with the company for which I work. Or the entire music retail industry as a whole. I do what I do because I love what I do. I truly, genuinely do.

My systems are set to a single function: To help people have access to the music that they want, and to also hopefully introduce them to something that they might enjoy.

I don't clock in every day hoping that I make a lot of money, although certainly it would be nice. But if I was looking to make money I'd be doing something else, and would have been doing something else from the very beginning.

I don't struggle to line the pockets of the CEO. Or to climb the ladder myself, in hopes that some other poor schlub out there struggles to line mine. Being rich is undoubtedly a cozy prospect. But being merely set for life isn't necessarily a life.

I do what I do because I live to hear that squeal of excitement when that girl finds that rare, out-of-print CD in our used section that she has been searching for since she was twelve years old. To see the smile spread across the face of a boy who listens to a new band that I helped him discover, and finds himself resonating strongly with it. The man who joyfully, tearfully finds the perfect song to dance to with his daughter at her wedding. The small child who spins across the room in ecstasy, clutching the beloved album that will provide the soundtrack to her young life.

I just want to take account of my feelings on all of this, to put it out there, and explain who I am and what motivates me, and why I do what I do whenever somebody enquires.

Because from here on out, if something happens to my job, or to my position, or if for some reason I wind up losing everything I had worked so hard for over the last four years alone, I want somebody -- anybody out there to know that everything I did, I did it all for you.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Leave Your Mind At Home

First 20 tracks on my iTunes waiting for my new tires to be installed and looking at photos that I took of my mother's cat last night.
1. "Try Again" - Big Star
2. "I Like Hubcaps" - Brak
3. "France Culture 1970 (II)" - Albert Ayler
4. "R.A.D.E." - Prince
5. "I Remember" - Suicide
6. "Starry Eyes" - The Records
7. "I Love You Sweetheart Of All My Dreams" - Thelonious Monk
8. Anti-Funky World" - Nation Funktasia
9. "2000 BC" - Basehead
10. "Shut 'Em Down" - Gil Scott-Heron
11. "Searching" - Wanda Jackson
12. "Just One Of Those Things" - Lee Morgan
13. "The Junky's Christmas" - William S. Burroughs
14. "Drive" - Treva Jackson
15. "Change" - Fishbone
16. "Debonair" - The Afghan Whigs
17. "I'm Going Straight To Heaven" - MC 900ft Jesus
18. "Fishy Swa Ska" - Fishbone
19. "Afterbeat 1966 (IV)" - Albert Ayler
20. "Bowels Of The Beast" - The Raveonettes

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

One Thing Leads To Another

I had a dream last night that Nick Kershaw's 1984 single "Wouldn't It Be Good" was the number one song in the country, and it was being discussed and played everywhere I went in my dream setting. One wispy little emo dude was showing me a belly button ring that he just had done with a tiny music clip on the bead that played that song every time he lifted up his shirt and exposed his stomach. But he was planning on suing the piercer because the music chip died shortly after he left the parlor.

Why did I dream something that ridiculous? Maybe it was a combination of somebody my store mysteriously playing this CD every day at work and me laughing at this right before bed last night.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Double Plus Good

Eerie to see this promo of Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes together. I think it was for some kind of movie that they were working on together for next year. Bernie was probably the funniest part of the Original Kings Of Comedy film, which I saw in the theaters back when it came out, and remember the audience just howling during his set. You're a good fella, Mac Daddy. I gotta lotta love for you.

When Joe and I were first dating during the late fall of 1987, we bought a picture sleeve 45 single of Isaac Hayes' "Ike's Rap". One of many that he did, but this one in particular was hands down the funniest anti-drug slow jam that we had ever heard. "Uncle Ike" tut-tuts his strung out lover for hocking everything in the house to feed the monkey on her back ("Baby I can't even watch the Beverly Hills Cop -- the VCR is gone!") and for awhile I even had the two of us on tape listening to the song for the first time and roaring with laughter in my dorm room at college, so loud and so hard that our friend passing by my open window could hear us three stories down.

Somehow I always thought our Uncle Ike would out-live us both.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


Sun 10: 3-cl
Mon 11: 3-cl
Wed 13: 10-5
Fri 15: 10-6
Sat 16: 3-cl

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Mark Of Gideon

Something about the song "Blue Ridge Mountains" by Seattle's Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop) sweeps me away whenever I'm feeling particularly sad. It reminds me of those solitary Saturday mornings in college, hiking through the Blue Ridge Mountain foothills, feeding Pop Tarts to the fish in the streams, and sleeping out on the giant river rocks in the sunshine, feeling a million miles away from everything, and loving that feeling more than anything.

No internet. No cell phones. No money, and no need for it. Just me and my Pop Tarts. How I wish this song had come out while I was still in school.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Church Signs That Won’t Make You Go To Church

Monday, August 04, 2008

Weapon Of Choice

Triumph The Insult Comic Dog goes to Comicon '08. Says pretty much everything I'd be secretly thinking to myself the entire time.

Damn, dónde está wemblee all up in dat? Send up a flare, baby!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Noon Witch

I've been receiving emails from my brother throughout the week in light of my recent blog post about TV shows and movies that scared us as kids, and during the discussion about old school Sesame Street skits that gave us nightmares he hipped me to some old segments that I had partially forgotten about, or more likely tried to forget about over the past thirty years, thank you very much. Revenge, I assume, for the traumatic childhood I inflicted upon him, to be sure.

I remember that there were a few variations of this one skit on the show -- one about big objects and I think one about some other kind of shape as well, but it was the one about the small objects that sent my brother and me bolting from the room. At least the two of us could agree on some things in life.

This one was kind of scary to us, perhaps more so for my brother than for myself. Jim Henson's been pulling this gag for almost 15 years before this skit came around, but you know us kids and how we're a sucker for the same old horrorshow. I think it was the final scene with the monster and the creepy synth music that left me unnerved, but watching it now just cracks me the fuck up. I mean, how could it not? "OH YEAHH!" :D

And how could I forget the most traumatizing Sesame Street skit of all time? For me at least. Curse this evil Swedish porno knock-off song and everybody affiliated with it as far as I'm concerned. This original Sesame Street version from 1969 I found far scarier than the more well-known version that aired on a prime time variety show that same year, or the similar version from The Muppet Shows's first season in 1976, with its rudimentary muppets and unsettling energy, especially at the end with its subtle "dun-dun-dun" bass rumble that makes you think the scary muppet is going to do something horrible, just when you think its all over. JUST WHEN YOU THINK IT'S ALL OVER!

Luckily Sesame Street stopped rerunning this skit after a few years, but there were times when I wouldn't even watch the show for fear that this segment would come on suddenly and I'd have no time to escape. Having never told anyone this, when my friend Just Dave was over in Germany visiting his girlfriend back in 1990 he saw this very same skit while skimming Sesame Street on German television, and he was genuinely disturbed by what he saw. He told me that it was so weirdly scary to him, even as an adult, that after a minute or two he could no longer even look directly at the TV screen, laughing nervously as he told me this. In fact he told me this almost as soon as he got back from Germany, that mental image out of everything else fun he got to do in the olde country more vivid in his mind than beer and the Brandenburg Gate. If that tells you anything.

And YESS! I felt vindicated. I wasn't a batshit kid after all. This skit really once was pure, 102% nightmare fuel! And I am pleased to help spread the horror to you all once again. Because Auntie Melpsie loves you all. Yes she does. To pieces.

Happy Sunday, everyone. I'm off to Hell's Kitchen for brunch.

*devil horns*

Verities & Balderdash

I'm missing a lot of people right this moment. Missing them very much, in fact. Wherever they are this evening, I just hope that they are happy and well. And that I love them. And I wish that I had told them that more often.

In other news, I'm thinking about buying a bicycle.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Sky's Gone Out

A few newish, but significant changes to the store during our ongoing, never-ending, yod-help-us-when-it-does store renovation. Probably most significant of all, the old Classical room has now been converted into the Used room...

...although people do still seem confused as to what we keep in this room, apparently. Folks are constantly asking what we did with all the used product, even while standing immediately beneath the "Used" sign itself. I'm guessing that since there is no arrow pointing downward directly into the room, nobody quite gets that the room contains used product. I would concede their point if it wasn't such a continuous issue with our core customer base who make it a habit of not comprehending any sign we have in our store, from the giant "Information" sign hanging over the Information table, to the lady who bitched me out Thursday because we didn't have a huge sign that pointed to our unedited rap section, which is the rap section itself -- save for the last 5 rows, which are unedited, and clearly marked as such. I am repeatedly reminded every day at work of the Mike Judge

movie Idiocracy, with the scene of a sign that featured a human stick figure sitting on the toilet over a public restroom door, because apparently in the future this and this are no longer specific enough for the ignorant masses to indicate that this is where you go to use the toilet. Anyway, sorry it's so dark, but my days have consisted of making bazillions of backer cards for each and every artist in the used room. Though luckily I am only in charge of the music side on the right, as the DVD side is on the left. It took me over two weeks to finish the Pop/Rock section seen here, but when it comes to CD organization I am curiously anal about precise placement. Even more so than I am with my own collection at home. Maybe perhaps because I'm not trying to sell my collection at home to anybody. Well, not yet, at least (sigh).

The other significant change, although probably less so in my opinion, is... dun-dun DUUUUN! -- Die Zone... or the "Danger Zone" as we've been prone to calling it these days. It was Stacey's idea for when it opens to have Kenny Loggins' "Danger Zone" song playing at all times inside the area, and she will greet customers at the orange gates here saying "Hello! And welcome to The Zone..." to which then Laurie would jump out behind the barriers wearing an aviator jacket and shades, make devil horns with her hands and go "Tha Daaaaaan-gah Zoooooone!" And yes, note the none-too-subtle "f.y.e" sign posted above. We're not quite f.y.e. yet, which confuses people even more and makes them sorta freak out a little, hater of change we American-types seem to be. I think the name change is the final step

in all this, but not quite there yet. Oh, The Zone! It's going to be a place where people can come and burn their own blank CDs from the various computers being installed here, as well as a docking bay for iPods and other MP3 players to upload new tracks. Why I think this is less significant is because if you already have an MP3 player it stands to reason you already have your own computer, so why would you trudge down to your local wrecka stow at nine in the morning and pay a service fee to do what you can already do sitting naked with a cup of coffee at your own desk, like I do? Perhaps the burning station part of it could be a boost in a sense, if anything for the less techno-savvy of us who only want one song but have never heard of the term "iTunes" before, and hey, I'm all for that. But how much of our revenue will that wind up being in time? Even if burning sales increase in our store over the next ten years, I think by that time a vast majority of citizens will have their own home computer and a station like this in a music store is practically obsolete as it's being built. But I dunno, apparently other f.y.e.'s are doing it around the country, so it must be working to some significant degree.
I am curious though, if anyone has seen these in and around their area music stores, and if they've seen people actually in "The Zone" doing... zone-y things, or whatever it all entails. If 44% of our stores sales are still compact disks, then I wonder how much of that will boost itself when a portion of that disks are filling up blank ones. Thoughts I've been chewing on as of late.
Speaking of late, I gotsa go, yo.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Double "D's" and Steinski

First 20 tracks on my iTunes this afternoon eating a lime and cilantro chicken salad for lunch and giggling over what a friend of mine thinks I'd look like "Simpsonized".
1. "The Rabbit-Proof Fence" - Peter Gabriel
2. "The Blue Danube" - Spike Jones
3. "Tezeta" - Mulatu Astatqé
4. "Be Alone Tonight" - The Rays
5. "Take A Chance" - Jerry Nolan
6. "Confession Part III" _ Weird Al Yankovic
7. "At This Moment" - Billy Vera & The Beaters
8. "Touch Of Class" - Roy Ayers
9. "Slowfire" - Scifier
10. "We're Gonna Make it" - Little Milton
11. "Rollin' With My Homies" - Coolio
12. "Corrina, Corrina" - Rising Sons
13. "Troy" - Sinead O'Connor
14. "I Know A Place" - Jay Reatard
15. "Wish" - Nine Inch Nails
16. "Evil Hearted You" - The Yardbirds
17. "White Discussion" - Live
18. "Cash On The Barrelhead/Hickory Wind" - Gram Parsons
19. "Planet Earth" - Prince
20. "Absolutely Cuckoo" - The Magnetic Fields