Thursday, September 30, 2004

John, you ignorant slut!

It's 9:11 CDT, and I'm saying that Kerry has Bush on the run most of the night. Bush kept hitting the talking points (he was Capt. Sputter most of the night), but it didn't sound like he was engaged in the "discussion". It seemed like he was simply looking for opportunities to "plug the product", to get the message out- you even saw (and heard) him on multiple occasions jotting notes with a Sharpie, where Kerry didn't seem to be. To me, it seemed weaker to retreat into the talking points than it does to engage in the topic at hand. Bush's 'Luudes did seem to kick in right as I began this at 10 after.

Closing statements? It was interesting there how Bush mentioned all-volunteer armed forces when Kerry didn't touch it. First time I've heard the democrats own an issue for a LONG time.

It seemed to me that Kerry was working to the center, and Bush was working to his base. Obviously, the GOP thinks they have the numbers. That's a little scary, for a whole pile of reasons. One example would be the Alan Keyes debacle here in Illinois. (GOP pretty boy gets taken down by scandal, and Keyes becomes the choice after Coach Ditka.)

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

SMiLE!

Sort of a piece of crap. I say that not as a snarky little bitch, but as a fan who was hoping for far more. Very disappointing. Also please to note that I listened to the whole thing.

  • It's patchy sounding. The Amazon.com review calls this "modular," I call it not having the focus/discipline/clarity to finish/polish the songs properly.

  • Stereo?

  • It sounds like a fucking kids' album.

  • The harmonies sound artificial, like they've been corrected. Especially when you can actually hear Brian over the Wondermints. Give it a rest, huh?

  • It also kind of sounds like an over produced Christmas album. Sort of a "New Kids and Mannheim Steamroller do the Serious Classics" kind of thing.

  • It's a shame he has that whistle/lisp on his 's' sounds. Makes him sound older than he should.


    In the end, my impression is that the people doing this album simply don't "get" Brian Wilson or the Beach Boys that preceded this. You don't feel California, or Murray Wilson screaming at them or the demons or the beach or the drugs or even any emotion at all. It sounds to me like they got bogged down in the "sound" and forgot to work at all on the "feel". You know, gotta have more cowbell?


    Don't fear the reaper.

  • I need one of these



    http://www.thecouriermail.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,10917596%255E10369,00.html

    Why I'm not an astronomer

    My brain hurts!

    Geezer

    Spent the birthday super-rapid-cycling on the ol' mood-o-meter. Every 10 minutes was a new and unexpected challenge. I've never quite experienced it like that. It was almost like that dream where your brain is a countertop blender. Completely out of my mind. I went to dinner with my dad, and even the beer tasted funny. Miller Lite should not taste like Sprite, and Rolling Rock Green Light should not taste the same way. Now that I think about it, I may have been having a stroke. Last night I went to dinner with my mother and I had one of the best Mexican meals I'd had in a while. Carne Asada Zamora. A skirt steak with the arbol sauce and some beans (whole) on top. Also two cheese quesadillas, some of that avocado goop and some tortillas if you want to cut the steak up and make fajitas. Delightful!

    Saturday, September 25, 2004

    AFL Madness!

    Minding our own business last night, we found ourselves in a bar filled with Australians watching the Australian Football League grand finale. Take the good parts of football, hockey, volleyball, basketball, rugby, darts and soccer, blend them all together and you end up with this game.

    The rules: obtain 20 Australians, put them on a criket pitch. Give them a ball slightly larger and slightly less pointy than a football. Tell them to play football and two hours later they'll tell you who won.

    Well, it's mostly like that. What I learned while watching the game: On either side of the field there are a set of poles. Two tall ones about 15 meters apart, and two shorter ones another 15 meters on either side of the two middle ones. Get the ball through the middle ones and you get 6 points, through the side ones you get one. The play progresses mostly like soccer/hockey but you can use any means to move the ball. It seemed like it could hit the ground and be picked up by anyone, but if you brought a guy down before he could get rid of the ball play stopped and it looked like a free kick could be had. Lots of elbows, shoulders and fights.

    The bizarre thing was that I can't remember ever even meeting an Austrailian, and here in Chicago was an entire bar full of them, ruddy-faced and curly-haired all.

    Apparantly, I witnessed history.

    Wednesday, September 22, 2004

    Another useless blogging tool

    This site is certified 21% EVIL by the Gematriculator

    Bosomacious Melodramas

    Russ Meyer, dead at 82.

    In 1992, Meyer published his three-volume autobiography, "A Clean Breast: The Life and Loves of Russ Meyer" with such chapter titles as "Mammaries Are Made of This."

    Tuesday, September 21, 2004

    You have GOT to be kidding me

    Oh wait, he was. Funny guy.

    Sunday, September 19, 2004

    Unbelievably bad

    The Washington Post lays the memo 'controversy' all out there. What the hell was CBS News thinking? I can't believe anybody is talking at all about the intricacies of typesetting when they are simply and obviously fake at first glance?

    Signed,
    Leonard Pinth Garnell

    Saturday, September 18, 2004

    Separated at birth?



    That's Macauley Culkin and Paul "Pee Wee" Reubens. Culkin was arrested on various drug charges, including Zanax. That's bad shit because it is long enough acting that it changes your perception of what "feeling normal" is, and all you have to do is pop a pill to feel normal. Or at least closer to normal, since you haven't changed what was making you feel anxiety because you were too busy obtaining pills.

    Journal of Ridiculous Hair

    They reappear! I wandered into a bar one night last winter with some of the people, and this band was playing. They were strangely dedicated to authenticity. During an intermission, I had to make a bathroom run and the hair guy was in my way. The hair is even more ridiculous when it is six inches from your face. The hair guy also had what looked like red snakeskin cowboy boots.

    The band, dressed similarly, consisted of the snare drum player and the stand-up bass player. He was a big guy, and one of his tricks was laying the bass on its side and riding on it superman style while continuing to play it. The whole band also sang through these microphones. The whole thing sounded awesome- especially the bass, which has such a rich tone that really hits you.



    The freakiest thing about the experience was that they had groupies. Women done up, with even greater authenticity, to be a late '50's teenager. Bobby sox, poodle skirt, cardigan sweater, hair style, makeup style, etc. These people were so committed to the gimmick that I was a little freaked out.

    Friday, September 17, 2004

    Food!

    I've been digging the shit out of the tofu lately. I'm trying to knock off a few more pounds, as well as trying to be a bit more healthful in my eating. I've decided that I must embrace eating like a responsible adult before it is forced upon me by some hack doctor. Anyway, the tricks are two fold:

  • Pretend it's noodles. Don't listen to them and try to pretend it's meat. You'll never be happy. Buy the super-firm stuff.

  • Do not smell, taste or even really look at the stuff until you're fried it up a bit. Perhaps in some butter?

    Once you've done those things, they make a great sauce media. I've been enjoying the Kraft Alfredo sauce, and also the Double Cheddar (which I would drink as a beverage were it socially acceptable) which makes a fine mac-n-cheese clone. And a whole tub (which could be, depending on the level of self control, 1, 2 or 3 meals) only contains 5 grams of carbohydrates, if that's what gets you off.

    ITEM!! Nacny Travis has always been a sexy lady to me. Especially as the sister in Quackman.

  • Sad.

    Laura Bush heckled during campaign speech

  • What's Laura Bush going to do about it?

  • The kid joined the army all by himself.

  • The kid was diffusing a bomb.

  • The heartless bastards in the crowd respond to a distraught mother's protests by yelling "four more years"? That's cold. And it also shows that the game is working- actual issues are almost invisible this year, and the voters that count only care about being on the right side.

  • Thursday, September 16, 2004

    The Ramones...

    Johnny Ramone is dead. That's a good obituary, I think I learned more there about the Ramones than I'd picked up anywhere else. The author seems to think the Ramones sparked the european punk explosion, which is opposite of what I'd thought was conventional wisdom; that eurpoean imports drove the US punk 'scene'. Who knows? I enjoyed their music, and I hope I'll always remember my father spooling up the reel to reel with "Do you Remember Rock and Roll Radio." Back when pirating music involved a record, a patch cable and a spool of tape.

    Speaking of that, do you know they have a laser record player now? They've had it for a long time, just nobody buys them. Behold!

    Tuesday, September 14, 2004

    Food for thought.

    Sorry, that headline was awful. At least regarding the subject. Is every obsession a disease? "Mind over matter" is laudable when it's used for something acceptable, but when it's not socially acceptable it becomes an illness?

    Another thing to ponder is how the almost negligible barrier to entry in publishing has a dark side- the fractionalizing of society. For example, a relative of mine (in Pudunk, IL, mind you) subscribes to the Washington Times, watches Fox News and reads only the conservative books. A once open minded person now can feel completely informed and well read, without all the messy inconvenience of information/spin contrary to the outlook they espouse. I always thought the mass media did the world good by knocking down all the sharp edges of society, by exposing forces that work in the darkness of ignorance. That happens at the expense of some diversity, admittedly. But I think we undoubtedly live fuller lives in exchange.

    Monday, September 13, 2004

    Ridiculous

    http://www.zynet.com.tw/

    Misleading quote of the week

    For the first time in a month, there will be a series at Sox Park that has postseason implications.


    From here. If I weren't working I'd go, it's not often a ballgame is priced correctly. And Jack McKeon is hilarious: after spanking the Cubs yesterday, they interviewed him on TV. They mentioned that he and his wife had been married for 50 years, setting him up to send a shout-out to the wife. He said (roughly) "Well, yeah, it'll be 50 years come October, and I think after all that time with Mabel, you know, really, I think I deserve a medal." See what he did there?

    Just saw a news report about the above quote. The had a ballplayer saying "yeah, it's a hassle, but you can't beat the weather here in Chicago." Instant cut to nighttime hurricane footage. Hilarious.

    Finally, I watched the best baseball game I ever watched Saturday. Flipped on WGN late in the game: it was a beautiful day, the crowd was charged, they did a 'crowd' [boobie] cam and the announcers were sounding good. The Cubs pitcher stared, wound up and delivered a strike. Game over, Cubs win. 45 seconds, tops.

    Sunday, September 12, 2004

    Font-gate!

    As a blogger, I feel it is my duty to present my opinion on the whole document/president/Times New Roman/IBM Selectric smokescreen. And so, I present my evidence. The following is absolutely a forgery:

    Friday, September 10, 2004

    Huh?

    It's amazing what you find in the Jewish press. For instance. I just read a troubling article in this month's Skokie-based World Jewish Digest about the Presbyterian Church, which I thought was a rather benign group. Wrong. Not only is it supporting sham synagogues -- complete with Torah scrolls, Hebrew prayers and ministers posing as rabbis -- trying to lure Jews to their faith, but has become the first Christian sect to decide to withdraw their investments from Israel, because they support the "right" of the Palestinians to overwhelm Israel and destroy it. Scary stuff.

    Thursday, September 09, 2004

    Nirvana found!

    As some of you know, I am a man of multiple obsessions. From my father, I picked up the need to have professional office equipment and supplies at all times. Often to such an extent that Office Max/Depot doesn't quite hit the sweet spot, ever since they started selling Sanford pencils in the blister packs instead of the dozen box. From my grandfather, and also my years at McDonald's, I have a restaurant/kitchen products thing going. Grandpa always had a properly stocked home. The bar was stocked complete with the 4" square coctail napkins, martini stirrers, the brandy glass full of matchbooks, and those pour spouts for the booze bottles. Meals were always served with paper restaurant napkins (not like Burger King, but like a proper catered affair), and the meal was cleaned up with full-sized bus trays, complete with the grey four compartment flatware tray. And so on and so on. It was always fun.

    Now I really never thought about where he got his fix from- I know he worked for a restaurant for a while in his not-quite-retired phase, and I suppose I just assumed he embezzeled the stuff. Or that he "knew a guy"- like most of the WWII generation, he knew everyone. Turns out there is a store that sells new and used restaurant equipment and supplies. I went in there today. Fantastic! You need a case of 5000 sugar packets? $9.32. Sleeve of cold cups? $2.50 Used Wolf six burner stove with 250 sq. in. griddle? $1499! In addition, the proprietor was a little shrimpy guy with the biggest (by height AND weight) mullet I've ever seen.

    Wednesday, September 08, 2004

    Stereolab:

    People actually like this?

    Also. I listened to the 1 minute iTunes preview of the David Sedaris book. Jesus Christ, I wanted to kill myself. Now we know what Andy Rooney was like 150 years ago.

    Tuesday, September 07, 2004

    Another fast fun fact:

    "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" is a waltz. No wonder people screw it up.

    AC/DC

    Hey now! Nothing beats the hair-raising thrill of swapping out circuit breakers while the panel is hot. Turns out both bedrooms are on the same circuit and I was overloading it, and also overtaxing that phase of the panel. So some swapping was in order.

    [insert ridiculous electrocution stories]

    Actually, I've got a good one. I was working at McDonald's one night, and felt that the kitchen was intolerably dim. So I opened up one of the fluroescent fixtures to see what was what. Ahh! The insides were dirty. So, I commenced to cleaning. The metal, grounded fixtures.

    Speaking of hot, Diane Neal.

    Tom Skerrit Alert

    He plays an angry, corrupt judge on Law and Order tonight. Get some! Also, a shockingly realistic Jay Mohr graces the nbc website.

    EDIT: This one is star studded! Becky #1 makes an appearance as an innocent imprisoned mother.



    Barry Bostwick!



    The man himself!

    Health!

    Bubba is doing OK. It's amazing how you can be so quickly reduced to "breathing on your own again" as a triumphant success. I bet that's why people sometimes get depressed after the surgery. No surer sign of getting old than going in for the ol' bypass.

    I bet in the next 5 years there will be horrified news reports of 30-somethings needing bypasses. Invest in pigs now, we'll be needing their valves and veins...

    Friday, September 03, 2004

    Russia

  • Why doesn't Russia just let Chechnya go? It that where they get their oil, or is the access to the two seas important? What? What about that region makes it better to keep this insanity going on than to just give up?

  • Why are we printing more and more graphic photos of wounded children? Making me feel sad isn't going to help the situation one goddamn bit, and I understand horror of "hundreds dead and wounded" without having to see pictures of it. The perverts who want to see dead children can go to rotten.com.

  • I was going to temper my criticism with the thought that maybe printing the photos would discourage any future lunatics from engaging in mayhem like this, but then I realized that those are the people who go to rotten.com to whack their willies to fake pictures of Chris Farley's corpse.

  • Before I get serious...

    This...

    As always, my comment is, "Illinois!"

    Review: Wicker Park awkward, contrived

    Yeah, but what about the movie?

    [clicky]


    From here:
    http://www.cnn.com/2004/SHOWBIZ/Movies/09/03/review.wicker.park.ap/index.html

    Wednesday, September 01, 2004

    Zell Miller:

    I guess we know who he's voting for.

    Jesus, what a nut. It's been a while since I've seen a sweating, sputtering, pounding lunatic on my television. Being "the North", we don't get the good preachers on our television.

    "Selfish hedonists"

    It always amazes me the things that come out of people's mouths when they are attacking the homosexual crowd.
    Illinois GOP chairwoman Judy Baar Topinka said today that her party’s nominee for the U.S. Senate, Alan Keyes, should apologize for what she called his “idiotic” statement that vice presidential daughter Mary Cheney and all homosexuals, are “selfish hedonists.”
  • It seems like the next line in diatribes like this would be "Who wouldn't like to have homosexual sex with other men? But it's irresponsible and God says 'Nope', so we can't."

  • I like Judy Baar Topinka. She is like that aunt that teaches you dirty jokes.

  • Finally, The Governator had some big quotes from his speech floating around today. For example, "My fellow immigrants, my fellow Americans, how do you know if you are a Republican? Well, I tell you how. If you believe that government should be accountable to the people, not the people to the government, then you are a Republican." Or "Now, there's another way you can tell you're a Republican. You have faith in free enterprise, faith in the resourcefulness of the American people and faith in the U.S. economy. And to those critics who are so pessimistic about our economy, I say: Don't be economic girlie-men."

    That sounds great to me. Now, what party are you people representing? 'Cause it doesn't seem to me like you're living up to your speeches.