Sunday, May 31, 2009

British People In Hot Weather

I don't know why but I haven't stopped laughing my ass off at this concert review all night:

The Fall's Mark E Smith sings from wheelchair and dressing room at gig

Recovering singer adopts unusual singing position as he recovers from hip injury

The Fall played London's KOKO last night (April 1), with Mark E Smith performing most of the gig from a wheelchair - before he abandoned the stage altogether and sung from his dressing room.
Currently recovering from a broken hip, the frontman, dressed in a black leather jacket, wheeled himself around the stage to alter settings on the band members' equipment before moving to sit behind a guitar amp for most of the concert.
The last three songs were performed with Smith singing from the dressing room, and changing the lyrics to 'Blindness' to say: "I refused to go onto the stage at one point / You'll get over it in the morning".

Oh, Mark E. Smith.
And you know, coupled with that voice of his, this cartoon (by artist Jeffrey Lewis) is becoming more and more alarmingly prescient over the coming years.
Speaking of cartoons, I'll kiss the first person on the mouth that helps me find this online comic strip about the history of Mark E. Smith and The Fall that I had bookmarked years ago and lost. I'm not sure who wrote and drew it but it might be this cat Jeff Larue, since I think this sketch of Smith in Larue's photobucket file was from the comic that I remember. It was all the usual Mark E. Smith is a snotty bastard stuff and fires his band a lot, but kind of adorable at the same time. Oh, the things I once had bookmarked! I so miss PeoplesForum.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Science Gone Too Far

I think I need another vacation. Again. And I shouldn't , because I just took a vacation in February and I can usually go a lot longer than this before I start getting burned out at work. But I snapped at a customer today. He didn’t do anything wrong at all, and I feel terrible about it. I’ve just been going through so much stress these last few months and it’s starting to fray me along the edges.

Things were pretty touch and go there financially, and to a degree they still are. Right now I’m hoping that I have found a way to resolve my $4,000 colonoscopy bill that my non-existent health insurance refuses to pay ($1,000 outpatient max per year is utter hogwash) which, if this works, will be such a burden lifted off my chest I don't know how I'll even be able to brace myself for the possibility. But I guess I should count my blessings. My death cough is is in remission, and my stomach isn't hurting anymore right now. I'm eating healthy again to stay out of the hospitals, even though eating healthy is hardly cheap. C'mon people! If more folks would buy organic then maybe it wouldn't be so expensive anymore.

But you know, I try to live comfortably by my means. I don't make much money at all, but I make do with what I have in terms of my expenditures. I'm a pretty low-maintenance gal, coming from years of living like a church mouse in my starving artist 20's, when meals were instant mac 'n cheese and the only time I got new clothes was when I let some band crash on my floor and they gave me a free t-shirt for my troubles. I mean sure, I would love to get my hair done beautifully at Amici Style instead of the usual crap hatchet job at Supercuts. I would love to own a real Tory Burch handbag instead of carrying my stuff around in a tattered cloth Heritage shopping bag. And I would love to go somewhere on vacation, but... well, not like my own house couldn't use a thorough cleaning if I took a week off. But I can't afford to, now that I have no vacation time anymore. And I need so much work done, like de-poison ivy the backyard, and prune my pear tree since the branches are nearly touching the ground.

I try to save, and I try to be frugal. But more and more I'm coming to terms with the notion that I'm going to really have to find a new place to work within the next year.

At least someplace that offers better health insurance, for certain.

Friday, May 29, 2009

I Love My Label

The Friday Five:

1. What bad habits do you have?
Biting my fingernails and spitting them out at my friends.

2. What bad habit would you most like to break?
I've actually just recently broken my addiction to coffee. Although I seem to have replaced that with snorting purple marker.

3. Have you ever overcome any bad habits? What were they?
Shouting "RAPE!" every time one of my friends or parents hug me.

4. Do you have any habits other people consider bad that you rather like about yourself? What are they?
My insistence on counting first to "3", then to "6", then to whatever age I am at the time before I do something I'm hesitant to do. For me, it's a great procrastination tool. But the older I get the sicker other people are of waitin' for my ass.

5. What habit annoys you most in other people?
People who text in movie theaters, start their sentences with "Well" and end them with "So", and those who attempt to get out of the way when I spit my nails at them.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

He Looks Like Me, But Slightly Balder

What does it say about me when my father announces that he has his own Facebook page, and I still don't? Have I at last, finally achieved that blissful state of Complete Unhipness? Or does my dad's presence on Facebook mean the network has finally jumped the shark?

Totally Awesome Music Video of The Week #3

About two weeks ago Mike brought over this really poorly laid-out DVD game about 80's music, and if anything made it worth keeping it introduced me to the delightfully zany Peter Allen version of "I Go To Rio", the song made popular by Pablo Cruise but written by the late Australian songwriter Allen, who also penned "I Honestly Love You" for Olivia Newton-John, "Don't Cry Out Loud" for Melissa Manchester, and won the Oscar for writing "Arthur's Theme", sung by Christopher Cross (the theme to the 1980 movie Arthur which also starred Allen's ex-wife Liza Minnelli). They made a documentary about Allen called The Boy From Oz, which later became a musical play (recently starring Hugh Jackson in 2004). Anyway, dig this video, daddy-o's. I like where he starts fanning himself and gettin' a little nekkid near the end. Allen's long-time lover Gregory Connell sings back-up on this version too. Haha, Mike loves this song! He was quite excited when it came on during the game. I've only been subjected to Pablo Cruises's version over the spanse on my lifetime, but I find something so oddly endearing about Peter Allen's own take on the piece. And... well, how can you not smile and sort of shake your head in addlement watching him go-go-go like that. Love the maracas. Love the snappy leg-cross. Love everything. LOVE.

And check out Hugh Jackson playing the part of Peter Allen in The Boy From Oz! (Whoa Nellie... BOOT! There it IS!)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Fri 29: 4-cl
Sat 30: 9-5
Sun 31: 10-5
Mon 1: 5-cl
Wed 3: 5-cl
Thur 4: 10-5
Fri 5: 4-cl

Rat Salad

Tonight's Audio Junk: Global Phenom has your usual assortment of movie clips as well as tuneage from the likes of Prince, Queen, and a whole lot more, so get your download NOW! Remember Audio Junk is live every Tuesday night at 8:45pm EST on and again on Thursdays at 7pm EST on

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The New Face Of Zero And One

First 20 tracks on my iTunes this evening going through my old VHS collection.
1. "Renegade" - Styx
2. "Make Way For A Panther" - Paris
3. "Until We Burn In The Sun (The Kids Just Want A Love Song)" - Bedouin Soundclash
4. "Hold Me Up" - Velvet Crush
5. "God Damn Job" - The Replacements
6. "Down The Road" - Dr. John
7. "Snoopy Waves" - Deerhoof
8. "Karabali" - Herbie Hancock
9. "Go" - Pearl Jam
10. "Olori" - Alessi
11. "Ené Alantchi Alnorem" - Girma Hadgu
12. "Page One" - Charlatans UK
13. "Who Likes Jazz?" - Via Vagabond
14. "I Knew The Bride" - Dave Edmunds
15. "College Radio" - Consolidated
16. "Downtown" - The Cold
17. "Daughters Of The Kaos" - Luscious Jackson
18. "Power Of Love" - Deee-Lite
19. "Another Lonely Christmas" - Prince
20. "Across 110th Street" - Bobby Womack

Monday, May 25, 2009

Start Bitin' Off Them Chicken Heads!

Oh! Don't forget that today is Geek Pride Day on the Science Channel, all day long. Damn, and I have to go to work tonight!

Wisdom Fail

Wow, taking a digital picture from my Samsung widescreen TV actually looks... pretty darn decent. Joe and I were watching our copy of Inglorious Bastards tonight and I was holding my camera and he was like, "Hey, take a random picture of the TV screen." So I did. And I guess so long as you don't blow it up too much it makes a snazzy if a tad hazy cheapo screen capturing device. Good to know! Oui oui, très ghetto of moi!

Ah, Memorial Day. Sweet, strange memories of the annual barbecues I used to have at my old apartment in Ghent back in the 90's. So many people cramped into my tiny old place, with a gaggle of them watching Desperate Living in Goofy Steve's room and another gaggle watching Supervixens in my room. Grilling out on my fire escape. And the overall goofiness of drunks and the wacky things they do, and me trying to control the situations as they arose. Drunken Lou almost dropping a girl off the balcony until I grabbed hold of her ankle and reeled her back in. Drunken Gordon setting off fireworks in his mouth, and drunken Monrovia shooting a gun at the Farm Fresh sign across the street, until I wrestled the contraband out of both their hands. And drunken Ted putting a slice of American cheese stuck full of safety pins and thumb tacks in his mouth, and me screaming like a nellie with my hand down his throat trying to remove the prickly half chewed wad before he choked himself. Skeery times! No wonder I haven't had a Memorial Day party at this house since I moved here three years ago. I'm getting too old to be pulling cheese out of somebody's mouth.
Lately I have been coming to terms, more and more, about what I perceive to be my slightly autistic issues with socialization. Does that mean that I am autistic? Hmm, maybe not. My brother is autistic, and maybe I have a hint of it in my genetic coding as well. But I've never been one to chalk up my issues to conditions that would make me feel as if I can have no control over myself, whether I have those conditions or not.
But these days I'm beginning to see myself the way somebody else might potentially see me, and I could see how they might perceive me as being difficult to communicate with. My former boss at the store was probably the only person in my life who was honest enough to take me aside and tell me, "Melissa, it's just so hard to know you, because you are so quiet and you never talk to anybody and I can never tell exactly what you're thinking." And see, I was trying very hard to be quiet and not stand around chit-chatting and instead busy myself with work to prove my worth. But it turns out that standing around and chit-chatting, to a degree, is an unspoken acceptable means of climbing the corporate as well as the social ladder in workplace situations. And I'm beginning to realize that I am thoroughly inept at playing that game.
Yesterday while I was eating lunch at my desk, reading a magazine, my brand new assistant manager (third day on the job) came bounding into the office, iPod plugged into his ears, and rapping at the top of his lungs and dancing around -- but done in a way where I was... sort of perceiving him to want my attention in some way. Wouldn't one have that reaction when a 50-something year old man starts dancing in a circle next your desk, rapping thunderously to the music that only he can hear? But maybe I was wrong about this, as I usually am about these things. And fearing that I might be wrong, I regarded him for a second before returning to my magazine article and salad. Then I sensed my boss looking right at me, and then suddenly, silently leaving the office. A few minutes later he returned, apologizing for singing while I was reading, saying things like, "Sometimes, y'know, I just like to feel the rhythm in me and.. y'know, just let it all out?" Again, done in a way where in hindsight I'm thinking that he wanted me to start a conversation with him, or comment on him dancing and around and singing, the way a little kid wants your attention. And I realized, soon after, that once again I probably didn't "play the game" the way I was expected to. That I didn't interact the way that was expected of me. Especially to someone who has the ability to promote me from within, and on is first week getting to know me, too.
When I'm with close friends, like Mike or S., I don't have to try. But making friends is difficult for me, because I lack the knowledge of those essential social protocols. I think the few friends I have ended up becoming my friends in spite of my lack of social protocols. And over the years, it has forced me to shy away from people, even though I want nothing more than to get to know them better. I got burned a lot in the past for being too friendly, and now I might actually be becoming even more ostracized by showing more social restraint. I'm not learning any middle ground here. A part of me would rather not communicate than flub things up worse. And I long to socialize. I love being active and social and learning about people and connecting. But I think my lack of knowing how is what's turned me into the house hermit that I've become over the last several years, finding more solace in my books and movies and records than trying to reign in my nervous "chatter" in social situations. It's both a pleasure and a torment attending my Sunday brunches, even with people I've know for years, because I love the socializing but I always come away smacking myself in the forehead over the stupid things I said or how I behaved, or whatever it was that makes the women at the table look at me sideways, like the fat, unladylike Philistine who shows up at every breakfast in her band T-shirts and brays like an ass over every stupid This Is Spinal Tap joke.
Jeepers! How did this twisted internal monologue get started, anyway? I was just nattering on about Memorial Day and shit. Oh well, Happy Memorial Day, everyone! My old roommate Goofy Steve is stationed in Baghdad right now, and my CIA cousin is in Afghanistan. Holy smokes, thems some other internal monologuings right there for another time.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Where Do I Dance For A Wax Job?

Last night as I was leaving work and walking to my car I discovered that someone left a helium-filled purple balloon tied to my driver-side mirror, with words written in black marker that read, "Dancing In The Rain Washes The Soul". I have no idea what that means.

So did somebody "Phil Collins" me and I wasn't even aware of it?


Mon 25: 5-cl
Wed 27: 5-cl
Fri 29: 4-cl
Sat 30: 9-5

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Importance Of A Good Car

Wouldn't you know it.

I finally get digital cable installed in the house, which means I finally get access to all these killer movie channels that I've never seen except at my parents' place. And I finally get to Tivo Wise Blood, which has been on my Holy Grail list for Yod knows how many years, having only seen it a few times back around 1996 or so when Randy kept gushing about it, insisting that we rent it from the Naro video store or... gosh, I don't remember how Joe and I managed to see it back then. Either way, our old second-generation VHS recording got lost in various moving shuffles and I've been hunting high and low ever since, so color me stoked to possess the ability to recording it straight off the telly, to have it in my sweaty little mitts once again.

Of course, as fate would have it, Criterion would release the film on DVD two weeks ago.

Although I wish the Criterion edition had some audio commentaries by, well, just about anyone (John Huston gets a pass, understandably) it's still amazing to have this fabulous flick in my possession on such a luscious format. I used to have the above poster hanging on the back of my bedroom door in my old apartment in Norfolk for about two years before I had to move, and it tore coming off in the process. But Criterion always comes with those handy booklets that I love, and I had no idea the movie was filmed in Macon, Georgia because Joe and Randy and I used to swear the town in the film looked just like downtown Suffolk, Virginia (say nothing of its denizens). But holy smokes, the movie trailer included has to be one of the worst, most shoddily pasted together botch-job I've seen outside of a grindhouse theater. Then again by completely contradicting the tone of the actual movie, it does come off as surreal as the spirit of the picture itself:

Friday, May 22, 2009

Things In General

The Friday Five:

1. If aliens were invading, what would you do, hide or wait by your TV?
Watch the landing on TV, while making a beeping noise in the same pitch as the spacecraft.

2. The aliens have landed and they haven't blown the planet to bits, how would you react if they looked like us?
Have sex with them.

3. What if the aliens were disgusting looking (like a pile of rotten cheese), then how would you react?
Have sex with them, then spread them on some melba toast.

4. The aliens are about to make an announcement and all communication goes out. Your neighbor says that she/he heard that the aliens have announced they are going to destroy Earth. Do you believe him/her? Why?
Yes, because she has already destroyed my soul.

5. The aliens have announced that they will share their knowledge with humanity if a certain person has sex with one of them and they call your name. To make it more palatable, the alien can change into any porn star that you want. Knowing that your partner will find out if you say yes, will you do it?

The Weird Is Yet To Come

I think I've finally gotten myself back into "raw mode" with my diet once more, to the point where once I've crossed over that impossible first hurdle during that impossible first detox week I've finally shed myself of the urge for meat, dairy products, and refined sugars -- although I did crave a Godiva hot cocoa from Starbucks this afternoon, but managed to stave it off with some Goraw brand chocolate super cookies, just two or three to take the edge off the need a smidge. And it worked! I did really good today, and I'm hella proud of myself.

Actually since my stomach pains have subsided for the time being it really hasn't been that hard to get back into vegan raw, though I'm hardly one of those 100 percenters and may likely never will be. But that's not important. It's like what the nutritionist at the Heritage told me last month, that it's not so much about going raw or vegan or anything extreme. It's about balance, and finding out what's good for each individual and what brings each person optimum health. And I haven't made plans to be raw every day of my life. In fact this afternoon I had a small piece of roasted salmon with roasted brussels sprouts and asparagus for lunch. Not that in no way negates the raspberry/banana smoothie I had for breakfast, or the kale salad with hemp seeds and red peppers I had for dinner. And I may indulge in some parmesan cheese once or twice a week, depending on how often I crave my Bionature pasta (I used to eat this stuff by the bagfull but I have somewhat lost the taste for it since my stomach problems). And of course I can still brunch with my bunch once or twice a month and have anything I want at least one day a week. The key, I think, is to incorporate as much raw fruit and vegetables into my daily diet as possible, even if it's something as simple as lettuce and tomato on my hamburger.

And I already feel myself losing weight. Not that I look as if I've lost weight, but the important thing is that I can feel it on my body, and it's not quite significant enough but it's just enough to keep me encouraged.

And I don't feel that sugar crash that comes from refined sugar binging, where I get monstrously depressed and sleepy. In fact I've felt pretty darn super these last two weeks, and less hungry overall because I'm filling my body with nutrition instead of merely food. Although I am mighty famished tonight. But not painfully so. I can sleep well tonight and look forward to a half a watermelon in the fridge for breakfast tomorrow morning... ah, it's the little things in life, isn't it?

Now I just have all these medical bills I have to pay. Mother Of God, when I do the math I'm probably worth more dead than alive. Well, I haven't resorted to that quite yet, but I'll let ya know.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Thur 21: 5-cl
Sat 23: 4-cl

Totally Awesome Music Video Of The Week #2

I actually don't know a damn thing about The Electric Six, but I posted this here because I was telling Joe the other day about their video to "Danger! High Voltage!" and how it reminds me of one of those incredibly strange music vids from the early 80's that resembled a twisted Freudian nightmare -- and yes, there were many of them.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Ones On The Left Look Just Like The Pair I Sent Him Three Years Ago

Audio Junk, "Call It Duty" is up for the download, this week includes songs by Prince, Lard, and quotes from Harold and Kumar and more. Audio Junk is on every Tuesday @ 8:45 pm EST and every Thursday @ 7 pm EST on CTIRADIO.COM.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Can You Feel The Electricity In The Air?

First 20 tracks on my iTunes feeling like I'm getting my body back on track again.
1. "Can The Gwot Save Us?" - Kaki King
2. "Goldfinger" - Shirley Bassey
3. "Felon Of Troy" - Cows
4. "I Feel Free" - Cream
5. "Seether" - Veruca Salt
6. "Do It Do It" - Schooly D.
7. "It's A Real Time Thing" - The Damned
8. "35th Street Blues" - Charles J. Levy
9. "Submission" - Sex Pistols
10. "Little Sister" - Elvis Presley
11. "Sunglasses At Night" - Corey Hart
12. "Looking For A Kiss" - New York Dolls
13. "Theme From The 3rd Movement of Sinister Footwear" - Frank Zappa
14. "Remove Yourself" - Candiria
15. "I Hate Rap" - Confederate Railroad
16. "Pr2ki" - Tech N9ne
17. "Stomp" - The Brothers Johnson
18. "The Weight" - The Band
19. "Miente" - Bengala
20. "Hot Pink" - Meat Puppets

Monday, May 18, 2009

This Is Why I'm Hot

I got my ticket for June 16th!

You know, to this day, few things makes me think of Christmas more than holiday break from college, lying under the Christmas tree while "Looking For A Kiss" cranks from my boom box.

Now where the hell in my hometown can I get my hands on some black sapotes? They just opened a Trader Joes in Virginia Beach. I wonder if they carry them.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Catch These Men For $800, Alex.

Oohhhhh IwannagettickettotheNewYorkDollsinJuneattheNorva.

That being said (and it needed to be said) I kicked it old school used-style this week at work:

A German import version of Autobahn which I've had on vinyl for ages, and on cassette for even longer. I went through a touch of a Kraftwerk phase in 1987 around senior year of high school that segued into my freshman year of college, when Joe and I picked this up during the summer of 1988 and played the dickens out of the title track (and put it on friends' mix tapes, ptobably just to piss them off). That same summer Joe made this sample-crazy extended-o mix of his own using "Autobahn" as the foundation, throwing in a little Kinks, Sinead O'Connor and The Time for good measure -- all made with two tape decks patched into each other (this was 1988 after all). And we still have that mix! I should post it here someday. It still tickles me to death in 2009.

And I was particularly pleased when this young Richmond punk came into my store two nights ago and sold back the first Lard EP, because like Autobahn, I only have it on vinyl, and the title track "The Power Of Lard" brings back too many fond memories of driving around town with friends singing along loudly about how every time Jello Biafra "takes a crap it's a cosmic experience". Lard of course is Biafra's "supergroup" side project with Ministry's Paul Barker and Al Jourgensen and Nine Inch Nails drummer Jeff Ward, the first disk (above) of which was released in 1989, although I didn't get to actually hear it until about a year later. References to Ed Meese somewhat date the piece, although everything by the Dead Kennedys technically falls under that dilemma anyway. But like the DK's, it still doesn't change the music's energy or potency. And the twelve year old in me thinks it's still a real rip-snorter.
Wanna hear it? Sure you do.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

It's A Real Time Thing

The Friday Five (A day late):

1. What is your favorite girl's name?

2. What is your favorite boy's name?
Howard. Although I like it more as a girls name.

3. What is the weirdest/most obnoxious name you've ever given to a pet?

4. What is/was your favorite pet?
I can't say that any of my pets were more loved than the other. Although I do find myself missing Victor a lot more these days.

5. What is your most cherished dream for your future? To have a pet that I'm not forced to name Victor.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Smallest Weird Number

I don't know why it's such slow-going getting through David B.'s Epileptic, a book that I would have normally breezed through in two days, tops. It has everything I love about stories like these: reality blended with fantasy, great lines on the drawings, fascinating plot. Yet I can't seem to keep my mind on it, and it doesn't make any sense why that is.

But there have been a few graphic novels that I've found myself utterly lost in, and not really caring whether or not I ever returned.

I had read nothing but astounding things about Gemma Bovery, but I somehow came to first read Posy Simmonds' most recent work Tamara Drewe and found myself quite blown away by the art, the prose, and the marvelous way that Simmonds lays out her pages. But while Tamara Drewe was based loosely on Hardy's Far From The Maddening Crowd, the protagonist in Gemma Bovery finds herself living parallel to the heroine of Madame Bovary, whether she's aware of that parallel or not.

Though the parallel is only observed by the French baker Joubert, who becomes obsessed with the British Mrs. Bovery when she and her husband move to his quaint little village in Normandy and tries to intervene to prevent what he sees is a swiftly moving momentum towards Madame Bovary's tragic ending. Gemma herself is a bored housewife who grows weary of middle-class life in London and urges her much older husband Charlie to move with her to an old fixer-upper cottage in the French countryside. Gemma fills her new home with pretentious Yuppie farm house nick-nacks that she'll never use, and soon even the allure of leisurely shopping in family-owned French bakeries drives her squirrely enough to spend more time down at the super mega-mart in the heart of town. Overweight and frumpy, and bored out of her mind, Gemma loses weight, starts shopping in chic French boutiques, and takes a young lover. The baker Joubert is beside himself with concern, knowing from the book of her namesake that none of this promises to end well.

Simmonds prose is lovely, if a bit florid at times (at least for my tastes, but it is still wonderful to read), and there are some stretches of French dialogue with no interpretation while some is provided in other spots. But Gemma Bovery is an undeniable good yarn, and you don't need to completely familiarize yourself with the original source material to follow along. A lesson in life imitating art? At least it helps restore my former faith that art (and comics) is not dead.

Although I was prepared to enjoy Gemma Bovery, I completely didn't expect to like Life Sucks, looking and sounding from the cover alone like one of those cheap attempts to capitalize on popular youth culture with cyphers (reminding me with a shudder of that appalling 90's "Gen X" picture Reality Bites). Actually I do enjoy Jessical Abel's illustrations, but in this case Abel is one of the co-authors of the book along with Gabriel Soria (Warren Pleece does the artwork this time around). Seeing it sit on the shelf for months and passing it over every single time, I finally caved in out of desperation for something to read during lunch at work and found myself pleasantly surprised.

Turns out Life Sucks is a vampire story (hence the book's title, stupid Melissa!) with a twist and an approach that I don't think I can ever recall in graphic novel form before. Starting out similar to a Clerks parody, David is a young man working the night shift at a convenience store, often visited by his pal Jerome who works nearby and hangs out to crack wise and watch the goth club in the same shopping center empty out at last call, filling the parking lot with black cloaked, plastic fanged wannabe vampires. They pour into the store, beautiful pale girls in Hot Topic fashions buying OJ made out of "blood oranges" and not even registering David and Jerome on their beautiful people-vampire radar.

Only thing is, David and his friend actually are vampires. Real creatures of the night who live how modern vampires probably would have to survive -- by earning a living at slave-wage night jobs and, in David's case, stealing blood from a blood bank to keep from having to actually kill anyone for his sustenance (David was a vegetarian before he was turned and tries to maintain that lifestyle even as a member of the undead). Despite the pretentious posing from the goth contingent, David finds himself smitten with a girl named Rosa, a beautiful and sweet Latina goth who dreams of living in the world of vampires the way she always pictured it to be in the storybooks -- lithe, pale, beautiful aristocrats whose lives can only be so much more interesting than her own. David, however, is thwarted by his nemesis Wes, a handsome blond surfer-dude alpha-vamp who has his eyes (and fangs) set on Rosa for himself. The classic plotline of the jock and the wimp vying for the attentions of a female, but with a twist. And I found myself really, really liking it. Some of the dialogue is a little forced and stilted, and contains a few pet peeves of my own (I hate when authors overuse the phrase "Shut up" when responding to a jibe) but that's my own quirk and it shouldn't deter anyone from checking this out when they get a chance. A pleasant read, and even better, the more I go back to read it again, the more nuances I find myself absorbing. Heck, just the desire to go back and read it again is endorsement enough from me. I'm the ninny who despite its superior art and wit still can't get through all of Epileptic.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Sat 16: 4-cl
Sun 17: 5-cl
Mon 18: 5-cl
Wed 20: 10-5
Thur 21: 5-cl
Sat 23: 4-cl

Totally Awesome Music Video Of The Week #1

"Robot" by British Joe Meek "house band" The Tornados, who were mostly famous for Meek's seminal "Telstar" hit single in 1962. Meek was the epitome of the mad genius inventor, pioneering the use of echo, reverb, close miking, over-dubbing, and sampling in his compositions, and had written and produced works for The Honeycombs (the hit single "Have I The Right") as well as Shirley Bassey and Screaming Lord Sutch. Plagued with debt, manically depressed, pathologically paranoid, and homosexual during a period in England's history when it was against the law to be one, Meek took his own life (and he life of his landlady) on the anniversary of his hero Buddy Holly's death. "Robots" is a great example of Meek's signature sound. And a damn strange video at that.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Nightingale Test Pattern

Audio Junktion 5/12/09 is really for download, but check it live Tuesdays @ 8:45 pm EST on , Thursdays @ 7 pm EST on CTIRADIO.COM. This week features clips from The Wire, songs by Gordon Lightfoot and more.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Black Man Time

Blurry camera phone photo of Joe and Mike at Abbey Road pub in Virginia Beach.

First 20 tracks on my iTunes after playing the most truly awful 80's music trivia game with Joe and Mike in my living room.

1. "Don't Disturb This Groove" - The System
2. "Heroin Face" - The Cure
3. "Deeper" - Shelley/Devoto
4. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" - The Beatles
5. "I Can't Be Satisfied" - Big Bill Broonzy
6. "Arabesque" - Korekyojin
7. "Couldn't Get It Right" - Climax Blues Band
8. "Am I Wrong" - Love Spit Love
9. "Troy" - Sinead O'Connor
10. "Black Man Time" - I Roy
11. "Nobody Talk Everybody Listen" - Billy Goat
12. "Don't Talk" - 10,000 Maniacs
13. "What You Are" - Drill
14. "June 16th" - The Minutemen
15. "Train Train" - Blackfoot
16. "Big Booya" - Bad Boy Bill
17. "Showstopper" - Iron Knowledge
18. "Downtown Down" - The Famous Pies
19. "Holebones" - Ruins
20. "Today's Mission" - Cliff Montana

Monday, May 11, 2009

Pon Farr From Home

An interesting conversation over at my good friend Wemblee's live journal about (Nyota!) Uhura's mini skirt in the new Star Trek picture. Oh, and I'm mein_freund, in case you were all wondering.

After the movie Joe and Mike and I sat out on the patio at Uno's Grill and discussed the movie over lunch (and all of us other than melanin-man Mike got a little sunburned in the process).

SPOILERS BEWARE! (you've been warned)


I liked it. To quote Joe, "Stuff got blowed up real good", which is our sarcastic review of your typical summer action flick without much substance. Although in this case, I as a Trekkie really did enjoy what they did with the "reboot", so to speak. Aside from the usual plot device where the villain is some rogue element whose wife gets "fridged" and basically goes nuts and takes it out on the galaxy, yada yada... not to mention a touch of post 9/11 allegory and approach to terrorism, etc etc... I'm really quite interested to see where they go with this in future installments. And I am extremely impressed with everyone involved and how exquisitely they inhabited these well known and loved characters. Seemed a little "illogical" for Spock and Uhura to be all kissy-kissy on the transporter pad in front of everybody. And DUDE! I TOTALLY didn't recognize Winona Ryder as Spock's mom. I didn't even know she was even in the film until I saw her name in the ending credits and I wondered allowed who she played. I think what happened to her crushed me more than any other individual casualty in the picture. She was always such a doting, human anchor for Spock in a way where someone who doesn't need "doting on" would be secretly appreciative of it. I think this film handled Spock's longtime quiet, unexpressed attachment to her mother in a way that was truly effective... even during the moments in the film when he wasn't so "quiet" about it.

Thank God it's raining to day. With no air conditioning in my store, I need a break from this oppressive heat. And Mike's coming over with an "exciting" new video game tonight that he insists I must play with him. Sounds like my dance card is full for the evening.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Word To Your Mothers!

I doubt this will be up long, but enjoy while it lasts. Happy Mothers (Lovers) Day!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Brahms' 3rd Racket

Snipped from EW.COM:

From the U.K.'s Daily Mail we learned of the unlikely sight at left: The cast of the classic '70s British comedy Fawlty Towers (from left, Prunella Scales, John Cleese, Connie Booth, and Andrew Sachs) gathered to promote two documentaries airing on the British comedy channel G.O.L.D. starting this weekend (see G.O.L.D.'s clip about the Fawlty reunion event). What makes it a particular surprise is that, as the Mail article reports, series cowriter and costar Booth (she played hotel maid Polly) -- a former Mrs. Cleese -- ''has previously refused to talk about Fawlty Towers and yesterday left as soon as the photos were taken.'' Good times! But the mood figures to be a little more upbeat in the Fawlty Towers: Reopened doc (airing on Sunday in the U.K.), which she did participate in. The second doc, Basil's Best Bits (May 17 on G.O.L.D. in the U.K.), features Cleese revealing his favorite scenes. Can we have these shipped over to this side of the Atlantic, please?
Then again I could see these probably getting packaged up for video release in the US as well. Never count out the potential of milking this for all its worth.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Mercury Poisoning

The Friday Five:

1. If you could live in any period in history other than now, when would it be?
Without going too far back to escape the modern conveniences of our medically advanced times, I'd say the 1920's.

2. What knowledge or skills do you think you'd have to learn to be able to fit in your chosen period of history?
My mad skills at resembling a fringed Vienna sausage in a flapper dress.

3. If you could take just one thing from the modern world back with you, what would it be?

4. What period in history would you hate to have lived in?
Medieval times. All that damn jousting and no functioning toilets, and that's just the dinner show at the Excalibur Hotel & Casino.

5. What thing from the past would you like to see make a comeback?
The plague.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


Sat 9: 9-5
Mon 11: 3-cl
Wed 13: 5-cl
Fri 15: 4-cl
Sat 4-cl

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Cinco De Casa

Ready for this week's Audio Junk? Too bad, cuz here she be. And now Audio Junk is on every Tuesday night at 8:45pm EST at CTIRADIO.COM. Taking us back home again, y'all.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Be A Liar Everywhere

For some reason I woke this morning with the mental image of squibs going off repeatedly in Robin Gibb's chest.

The Week Of Living Dangerously

First 20 tracks on my iTunes hoping that after all the car drama this afternoon tomorrow turns out to be a considerably better day.
1. "A Lifetime" - Brothers of Soul
2. "Nobody Talk Everybody Listen" - Billy Goat
3. "Angels" - Robbie Williams
4. "Amoeba" - The Adolescents
5. "Mustang" - Link Wray & His Raymen
6. "The Basement" - Pete Rock & CL Smooth
7. "Hello Baby" - Barbara Mason
8. "Disney Girls" - The Beach Boys
9. "Cops And Robbers" - The Humpers
10. "Theme From Pigdom Come" - Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel
11. "What Is Love?" - Deee-Lite
12. "Bodyheat" - James Brown
13. "Handcuffed To A Fence In Mississippi" - Jim White
14. "Caravan (Live)" - Van Morrison
15. "A Dream" - Donny Hathaway
16. "Sly Cigarette" - Tiny Tim w/Brave Combo
17. "St 100/6" - Big Star
18. "Everlasting Love" - Rufus & Chaka Khan
19. "H2Ogate Blues" - Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson
20. "Wayfarer" - Kayo Dot

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Friendly Skies

I ganked this photograph from over at the Encyclopedia Dramatica because it reminded me of a certain phobia that I cultivated when I was little due to a dream that I had, involving giraffes and the fact that anything with long, long necks (or extremely long appendages of any kind) kind of sorta wig me the hell out.

I grew up on a dead end street, with my house right in the circle of the cul-de sac and my two best friends, Jeanne and Sheryl, living two or three houses down from me on either side, and as a result more or less facing each other. When I was about eight, nine or ten years old I dreamt that Jeanne and Sheryl went to see the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus while it was in Norfolk (which it was at the time) and had apparently both brought home these enormous life-sized giraffe balloons. Being life-sized, they were both forced to keep the balloons in their back yards. But their most distinguishing (and for me, disturbing) feature that kept them from being inside the house was the fact that the balloons had these incredibly long, long-long-long-looooong necks that hovered over the roofs of their houses and even hung over the streets, probably close to a hundred feet in length. Worse, they had these goofy grins and big googly eyes, the ignominy of all circus balloon characteristics.

I'd look out my bedroom window and see them both bobbing and swaying in the wind, silently, like long skinny brontosauruses, and remembering the shiver that went down my spine. As if in a lucid dream, I imagined them attacking me as soon as I walked outside, in the way that you think of something happening in a dream and then it actually occurs. And as I ventured outside, walking idly into the center of the cul-de-sac, trying to look casually to my left towards Sheryl's giraffe, head high in the clouds, I suddenly turned to my right and was CONFRONTED with the giant googly-eyed giraffe face from Jeanne's back yard, inches from my own. I could see that the body was still standing behind Jeanne's house, but it appeared that the wind had blown the neck down towards the street level, and just happened to be bobbing a fraction from my head, smiling at me with that stupid grin. The wind just happened to blow it there. Or, did it...

Now when I see this photograph I am haunted by the image of that same giraffe balloon, still seeking me out, always knowing where I am, even jet-bound to New York or Austin or wherever I feel inclined to hide, foolish mortal that I am. Except now his goofy face looks so.... so serious. So determined. He missed his chance to kill me in my childhood nightmares. This time, this time there will be no waking up screaming.

On a completely unrelated note, I have declared today the 8th Annual Talk Like Mark E. Smith Day. So get your slur onnnn-suh!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Greatest Thing On The Internets

Screw the diet. I'm going here immediately to get me some beer battered bacon!

And I'm sure my dogs will be barkin' from the long walk. ;)

(I am a little concerned about the ingredients in that one squeeze bottle labeled "FOOT". Something tells me it ain't kosher.)

Careful With That Wand, Dolores

Somehow I just can't see how this is legit.
But if it was, then hell son, sign me up. Not that I travel by air more than once or maybe twice a year these days. But I am a sucker for not standing in those security lines, especially since I always seem to be the one they randomly select to pull aside and frisk (Joe says "It must be those two very obvious bombs you're smuggling"). Only ten participating airports so far, but they include New York and Atlanta, both being huge, super-congested gateway hubs to both the west and overseas, so that's something to consider. Plus, iris image! Which uh, actually kind of actually creeps me the fuck out. There's that wee sliver of a Luddite in me that feels uncomfortable having too much of my DNA out there on record. Then again if I can show my tits on the internet I hardly have much room to complain.
And besides, who doesn't want to sleep in later?

Saturday, May 02, 2009


How much sugar is in it?

Fascinating. And I love the use of sugar cubes to put it all into perspective. Interesting that one Healthy Valley organic cereal bar has the same amount of sugar in it as a regular Nutrigrain bar of the same size. And both of them are bigger sugar bombs than one Pillsbury Toaster Strudel.

Whoa, dude.

Welp, there goes my whole bloody organic weltanschauung, right? Naaah, only kidding. Just read the labels, my friends. Nothing wrong with a toaster strudel every once in awhile.

Then again I haven't had a toaster strudel in years. Makes me kinda want one. Right now.


Must... get.... to.... watermelon... in... friiiiidge....

A Full Grown Adult Sized Bangaroo

So, um... how does one go about getting rid of a headache without the aid of medication?

I've had a non-stop headache pretty much since Tuesday night, and I've tried everything from drinking mass quantities of water (which I do anyway), cold presses to constrict the arteries, and lying down in a dark room because... well because people I know who have migraines say they do that. I wouldn't call this anything near migraine territory. But it's just so, consistent. It hasn't let up in four days, and uh, it's kind of worn out its welcome.

Steps To Relieving Stress And Regaining Control

  • Healthy eating. Yesterday was strawberry/spinach smoothie in the blender for breakfast. Raw beet salad and bananas for lunch. Baked spaghetti squash for dinner. Repeat pattern today.
  • Eating everything with chopsticks instead of fork. Makes me take smaller bites, and fill up faster.
  • Making to-do lists. Cross off everything as they are completed.
  • Select a goal each day, and strive to achieve it to the best of my ability. Even if it cannot be completed that day, feel good about setting the wheels in motion.
  • Find different ways of relieving my cramps or headaches without medication.
  • Go above and beyond to help at least one person once a day, if possible.
  • Begin easing my way into a new exercise regime. When receiving my pool pass, swim as many days a week as possible to strengthen muscles and lung capacity. Stretch daily.
  • Develop a system for paying bills. Stop freaking out over debt by staying on top of things before they escalate.
  • Breathe through it all.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Guess Which Answer Is True!

The Friday Five:

1 What was your first word as a child?

2. What's the weirdest dare you've ever taken?
Getting cartoonishly oversized, ugly fake boobs attached to my chest and spend the rest of my life convincing people they're real.

3. What are you allergic to?
My upper lip.

4. What was the last name of the person you first kissed?
Mr. JACKSON, if he's nasty (and he was).

5. Have you ever REALLY cried from happiness? What was the situation?
When I saw a small child fall and hit the ground HARD.

A Little Less Conversation

Sid Oman passed away this past Monday. Mayor emeritus of my hometown of Chesapeake, VA through three terms in the 1980's (as well as one year as the mayor of Elizabeth City, NC) and co-owner of Oman Funeral Home & Crematory, Sid was an old friend of my family, even delivering the eulogies at both my grandmother's and Uncle Biscoe's funerals. When he and his wife moved to the small town of Great Bridge in 1964, the town where I grew up, he often regales that neighbors immediately informed him that he should only buy his meat at my grandfather John Pittman's butcher shop, which resided in the tiny Great Bridge grocery shop next to the river and bridge itself. My dad lived as a boy in the apartments upstairs and worked as a shoeshine boy at the barber shop next door, and Sid befriended my family, watching my father grow up over the years. A few days after my mom and dad were married, my mother remembers sitting in the car at the Great Bridge Exxon station on the corner of Battlefield and Cedar while my father chatted briefly with Ray (then the long-time manager of the only gas station in town) and Sid sneaking up behind him with a measuring tape and jokingly "measuring my dad for a coffin" like one of those scenes in the old westerns where the undertaker measures the unsuspecting new hired gun behind his back.

So what other significance is there to post about the passing of a former politician and funeral home director? Well, Sid Oman was also once the drummer for The Nairobi Trio on The Ernie Kovac's Show from the 1950's, one of my favorite television programs of all time (Trenton, NJ-born Oman was at the time a mortuary student at Temple University in Philadelphia, where The Ernie Kovacs Show was filmed).

R.I.P. Mr. Oman. I'll be humming that tune in my head all week.