Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Class Starts At Midnight

I sat for a minute wondering which one to choose. Princeton or Berkeley? I weighed my options carefully before deciding that it would be a shame to deny myself the educational benefits of one by choosing the other. So I chose both.

I now have several hours of lectures from both schools on my iPod. There'll be no degree earned, but I'm cool with that because there will also be no tests. It's just nice to have lectures available to me with the click of a button. It's 12:40 AM and I'm listening to Berkeley's Lew Feldman teach General Biology.

It's fascinating to hear him explain reciprocal altruism among animals. Next up is "LSAT Logic in Everyday Life" at Princeton.

I love going to college via podcast. One thing about it, beer is always allowed in the classroom.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Have ESL Needs?

Have I got the guy for you.

No No No (or Get Your Politics Out Of My Guitar Licks!)

In today's New York Times, the Quotation of the Day is as follows:
"No, no, no to Satan! No, no, no to America! No, no, no to occupation! No, no, no to Israel!"
MOKTADA AL-SADR, the populist Shiite cleric, speaking to worshipers yesterday on his return to Iraq.
Whatever. I'm numb to the shouts of anger from people thousands of miles away. I read the quote and the first thing I thought of was the old Def Leppard song entitled "No No No" from 1981's High 'N' Dry album. Listen to High 'N' Dry and you can almost forgive them for the dull ballads they gave us throughout the 90s. "No No No" is almost the perfect rock song. It's loud, fast, and I don't know what the hell it's about.

I prefer guitar licks to politics. When an artist gives me both, the emphasis better be on the music. Apparently, the new Ozzy touches on global warming. As long as I only learn that by reading a lyric sheet, it's cool. First and foremost, I never want to feel preached to when I listen to rock 'n' roll. Even in Neil Young's famous "Impeach The President" from last year's Living With War, he had the good sense to keep the guitars loud and blaring. And at least he was yelling about President Bush and not singing to me to buy compact fluorescent light bulbs or to save the rain forest. I care about that stuff (Cool People Care), I just don't want it on my iPod when I'm trying to bang my head.

Folk music gets a pass. With folk music, the more political the better. The music always feels like a distant second for the folkies. I never learned how to play the guitar, but I bet a good teacher could teach me how to strum along to most of that stuff in no time. It's all about the words there anyway. I like it all; I just need my Geoff Bakers, Woody Guthries and Pete Seegers to be worlds away from my Dokkens, Judas Priests and my Ozzy Osbournes. I guess I'm a musical separatist like that.


So Nashville's Bluebird Cafe is now represented in Second Life.

Great. Now I can get shushed while online.

Friday, May 25, 2007

And Now, In Music News

Cream to reunite later this year.

The article spends more time documenting Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce's history of not getting along than revealing any significant details on the upcoming "show or shows." I hope to read better details on this later.

Speaking of Cream, I'm remembering fondly 1993's "Sunrise on the Sufferbus" by Masters of Reality featuring Ginger Baker, Chris Goss and Googe. Man, that album went unnoticed by and large but rocked as well as anything else that was out at the time.

Now it's out of print so I've got to stalk the bins of Phonoluxe if I want to get it back in my possession. Any locals have that CD? I'd really like to borrow it for about 20 minutes or so.

Take This Job And Blow It

In the tale of The Trooper and the Porn Star, the final chapter (or so it seems?) is that our humble state employee has been fired.

Seriously, was it worth it?

Play The Pipes of Peace

It's a happy night for people like me who subscribe to Rhapsody for their digital music streaming needs.

All of Paul McCartney's back catalogue is up and available on Rhapsody. "Say Say Say" sounds fantastic.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Too Much News

If I had a dollar for each time I saw a headline about the Predators being sold today, I could buy the team myself.

Maybe it's time for me to paraphrase John Prine and:

Blow up my laptop
throw away my paper
Go to the country,
build me a home.

Plant a little garden,
eat a lot of peaches
Try an find Jesus on my own.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Well, I Give It Points For Being Weird

Paul McCartney's new video, in which he receives a mandolin instead of the cricket bat he ordered and then proceeds to chase Natalie Portman's ghostly image around his home. Beyond that, the song is very simple and a lot of fun.

I've Got Scooter Envy

First Jeffraham, now Ben at Pet Peeving. More and more, I see other scooter riders around town. I only live a short five miles from work and the speed limit is never more than 45 MPH for my commute.

I'm looking at Ben's Yamaha Vino 125 at Epinions.com and the feedback is excellent. The tank is tiny at 1.2 gal capacity, but it boasts somewhere around 70-80 mpg. (I'd be looking at spending about $4/week on gas.) It comfortably cruises along at speeds of 45-50 mph which would suit my needs just fine.

Now if I can just justify the expenditure. It only costs about $2,000, but that's about $2,000 more than I have. I have an old Honda Civic I haven't started in a few years. Maybe it can play some minor role in a trade.


Keyshawn Won't Play

I was hoping that the Titans would be able to sign Keyshawn Johnson. Alas, after considering a two-year contract, he has decided to retire from football and will instead work for ESPN.

He would have been an automatic upgrade at wide receiver for us and would have given Vince Young an extremely dependable target. Oh well. The search continues.

Lots O' New Yorker Links

  • President George W. Bush has said of Condoleezza Rice, “Whatever she says, it’s like talking to me.” ... more>>
  • The female hip-hop trio Yo Majesty, from Tampa, Florida, is composed of Shunda-K, Jwl. B, and Shon-B, who bill themselves as “the only openly lesbian rap group.” ... more>>
  • Taxation is bad and Communism is evil. ... more>>
  • When, in late 1948, his play “Summer and Smoke” failed on Broadway, Williams’s confidence dipped still further; he felt, he said, like a “discredited old conjurer.” ... more>>
  • “Today I Got Married” is a jaunty and highly idiosyncratic celebration of nuptial bliss (“She’s just like Wal-Mart when it comes to loving / She’s got everything I need”). ... more>>
  • Then, as the movie began, I realized that a child with a cell phone represents what DreamWorks Animation, the producer of this most lucrative of franchise animated features, envisions its audience to be—tiny, pre-corporate techies who live far from the fairy-tale emotion of enchantment. ... more>>
  • I have been called a voluptuary, a sybarite, a hedonist, a creep. I am all of these things. ... more>>
  • In Prison ... more>>

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

"Talk Radio" Casts Perfectly in Liev Schreiber

One day in 1990, I was given a small stack of promo tapes from the Capitol Records rep. Judging by their covers, I chose one above the rest for an immediate listen. White background, black text: "Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll." Caught my eye.

I was expecting to hear a band but instead was drawn into my first spoken word experience. Eric Bogosian was the artist behind the fascinating characters and their world weary voices as the cassette reels spun in my Ford Tempo tape deck. I was a fan not just of this man Bogosian, but of a new (to me) art. Monologists were my new favorite rock stars. I sought out the works of Spalding Gray, Bob Carroll, etc.

Anyway, I have watched Bogosian's masterpiece of a screenplay, "Talk Radio," countless times since then. Directed by Oliver Stone and starring Bogosian, the movie absolutely mesmerizes me every single time I see it. It's perfect. It's intense from the beginning and it just tears at my comfort more and more with each beat. The pacing and the build-up to the terrifying climax are so well crafted that knowing what comes next doesn't dull the experience but only makes it more gripping. (A part of me always seems to hope that this time, it'll end differently, more peacefully. Hope against hope.)

In what is now old news, Liev Schreiber is playing the role of Bogosian's Barry Champlain in the Broadway version of "Talk Radio." I've been a fan of Liev Schreiber since 1996's "Walking and Talking" and can't think of a better actor to pull off the challenge of the acerbic and doomed talk radio d.j. Schreiber's voice was made for the part and his eyes are simply dynamic. There are a handful of actors who just seem to get it right with each and every role. I have no doubt that Mr. Schreiber was born to play Barry Champlain.

Story link: Variety

Related: NPR

Healing the Divide: A Concert for Peace and Reconciliation

If there is a higher purpose to this CD, I admit that I am only in for the star power. Tom Waits and Kronos Quartet collaborate on four of the nine tracks to perform three of my favorite Waits tunes, "Way Down in the Hole," "God's Away on Business" and "Lost in the Harbor." The final track is the previously unreleased "Diamond in Your Mind."

The recording is from a 2003 concert and CD sales will benefit the health care of Tibetan Buddhist monks and also will serve to raise awareness of humanitarian crises.

Waits' always wonderful quotes on his participation in the Buddhist cause:
"I'm no fool. It's a spiritual insurance policy. Hell, at my age, the next group I put together, everyone may be playing a harp. All kidding aside, I owed His Holiness a favor. He did all my papers in school."

Sunday At The Park With Granddad

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Ya Think?

"I haven't told her yet that the wedding is off, but I think she can put two and two together."

I Hope You White Stripes Fans Had Fun Last Night

I was tempted to call off work and secure tickets for the show. But I was a good boy and played the part of company man, instead.

I won a Wal-Mart gift card in excess of $100. I was tempted to buy toys for me, but we're tight this month. I'll buy music or computer related stuff another time. We'll get groceries with this one.

All's well. I'm listening to The Beautiful South in this peaceful time after work and before bed. The new issue of Paste magazine came in for me today. I'm thankful for my simple pleasures.

This is just writing for the sake of writing. I've been content but uninspired lately. Doisneau's famous shot is on one wall and I'm thinking it's been a while since I've kissed my wife like that. (I'll remedy that soon.)

As late as this past afternoon, I finally discovered Death Cab For Cutie. I'm the last person to do so, I know. I downloaded the recent All Songs Considered podcast and was treated to a live show by them. That band is awesome. I'll have to dig into their body of work now.

If I could vacation anywhere right now, I'd not hesitate in driving to Montreat, N.C. with family, camera and notebook. There's more to write about that wonderful retreat later. It deserves better than this midnight stream of consciousness approach.

For now, I'll keep clocking in and parking cars.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Joss Stone Fans Take Note

Early, early Thursday morning (12:35 a.m. CST), Joss Stone will appear and perform on Last Call with Carson Daly. She'll be the sole guest and will play her new single, "Tell Me What We're Gonna Do Now."


Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Beautiful Mom

For The Beautiful Moms

1. Mother And Child Reunion - Paul Simon
2. Lady Madonna - Fats Domino
3. Mama - Electric Light Orchestra
4. Ooh! Mother - Unicorn
5. Mother Stands For Comfort - Jane Birkin
6. Calling My Children Home - Emmylou Harris
7. Mama Didn't Lie - Jan Bradley
8. Brooklyn Roads - Neil Diamond
9. I'm A Woman - Peggy Lee
10. Stacy's Mom - Fountains of Wayne
11. Breakfast In Bed - Dusty Springfield
12. Mother, The Queen of My Heart - Lonesome Standard Time
13. Angel From Montgomery - John Prine
14. Don't Step On Mother's Roses - Johnny Cash
15. Loves Me Like A Rock - Paul Simon

And for the beautiful moms with a touch of crazy:

1. Mother - Danzig
2. Mother - The Police

"Did I say no? I meant not him."

Me: Ari, do you want your sandwich?

Ari: No. No, thanks.

Me: Joshua, do you want Ari's sandwich?

Joshua: Sure.

Ari: I want it! I want it!

And for the last ten minutes, she has clutched the sandwich closely to her body. She has yet to take a bite.

Never Put Rice In The Garbage Disposal

Others learned the hard way. I learned by reading the mistakes of others.

An other:

I hunkered down last Friday night, hell bent on restoring order to my house. First on the agenda: clean out the refrigerator.

A bowl full of rice! I'll just throw it in the garbage. No, wait, all that food in the garbage, yuck; I'll put it down the garbage disposal instead. Grind, grind, tra-la-la, grind...

Hm! Why isn't this rice going anywhere?! ... more>>

Titans Building Better Football Foundation, One Brick At A Time (Literally)

Plenty of frustrated NFL position coaches occasionally want to throw something other than a football at their players

Graves, the Titans new receiver coach, has been throwing bricks covered with white tape at his troops, forcing a new level of concentration for an unproven group out of which the Titans are hoping a few productive players emerge.

Miss one and take a brick to the chest. ... more>>

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Music Makes Me Happy

12 Hour Virus Hits Family of Four, One Day At A Time

Tuesday night through most of Wednesday: Ari sick (Paige stayed home with her)

Wednesday night through most of Thursday: Joshua sick (I went to work late to stay with him)

Friday all day: me sick (I worked half a day and was sent home early)

Saturday morning: Paige not feeling so good

What a week!

This I Believe: Why Don't You "Act" Black?

Being Content With Myself
by Kamaal Majeed

All Things Considered, May 7, 2007 ·

"Why don't you 'act black'?"

Since my middle school years, I've been asked this question more than any other. It seems to me that too many people have let society program into their brains what should be expected of me, a black person, before ever interacting with me. But I believe in being who I am, not who others want me to be.

On my first day of high school, going into math class, two of my classmates pointed and laughed at me. I initially thought my fly was open, or that something was stuck in my teeth. But as I took my seat, I heard one of the students whisper, "Why is a black person taking honors?" So my fly wasn't open. An honors-level class had simply been joined by a student whose skin was an unsettling shade of brown. ... more>>

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Sibling Dynamic

Joshua (3 1/2 years old) was in great spirits all day today. Ari (just over 2 years old) came home from daycare and they were so sweet on each other, you would have thought the whole thing was scripted. He was telling her how much he loved her; she was replying that she loved him too. Cute to the point of sickening.

And then, out of the blue, he had a meltdown. She was playing with her ball, the one with a princess on it. He decided that he wanted it. He tried to take it from her and she held her ground. He fussed and we sided with Ari. We reminded him of all of the other balls in the house, but he wanted the one with the princess. Hers. Go figure.

He whined and he fussed. His good manners were history and he was behaving terribly about the whole thing. At one point, I placed my hands on his shoulders and gave him a very stern but controlled talk. I told him that his behavior was making me mad and that he could either play nicely or go to his room. Still focused on not getting his way, he kept at her to let him have the ball. (I felt like I was dealing with Keyshawn Johnson here.)

And then the moment came. Sternly and simply, his little sister gave him a good talking to. She didn't raise her voice. She kept her cool. She was grace under pressure. "Joshua," she said, making strong eye contact with her brother who was being anything but cool. "Stop crying. You're making daddy sad."

For the briefest of moments, all was quiet. The youngest in the house had just put him in his place. Paige and I were stunned and looking at each other, trying not to laugh, but also loving that we got to watch one of those defining moments in the dynamic of sibling relationships. Of course, she had gotten it wrong. He wasn't making me sad; he was making me mad. He was eventually sent to his room over not much more than rights to a toy that he didn't even know he wanted until he saw her playing with it.

I can't say I blame him much for keeping the bad mood going for a while. He was acting like a baby and received no sympathy from his mother or his father. That was bad enough, but then he got a professional scolding from a girl who didn't even know how to talk not too long ago. I imagine that he was half expecting the family dog to tell him that she was disappointed in him, too.

I hope tomorrow's better for him. We've all had days like that.

I Saw The White Stripes On Sunday

Made ya look.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Would you believe I hung out with her in a van once?

I'm not entirely sure I believe it either. But one night at the record store where I worked in the 90s, a very sexy and cool young woman came in to buy some Prince CDs. We got to talking and she said that she was going up to Minneapolis to record some tracks with Prince and wanted to get more familiar with some of his deeper catalog.

Manic Prince fan that I was, I asked her all about how they met and what the plans were. She asked me if I wanted to hear her demo tape. I couldn't play it over the in-store player, so she invited me out to her van to listen to her music. I liked what I heard, but most of all I liked hanging out with this mesmerizing and luminous beauty. We talked about a lot of Prince's varied styles and I think I pretended to like some pop radio stuff a bit more than I really did. Tiny, white lies, but you should have seen her. The record shop on Nolensville Road didn't see magical eyes like this very often -- she seemed absolutely destined for photo shoots and videos. I have no idea what her name was or if she really did meet Prince or not, but a year or so later, someone who looked very familiar by the name of Carmen Electra started appearing with Prince and released an album on his Paisley Park Records.

What I didn't know until today was that Carmen is a Cincinnati native. The Cincinnati Enquirer has a story about her upcoming return home to promote her new book, "How to Be Sexy." In the interview, she speaks of her love for Skyline Chili and King's Island's famous rollercoaster, "The Beast." As a frequent visitor to Ohio's Queen City, I have a great love for both. In fact, if I had the time and money, I'd make a drive up to Cincy right this minute for some of that great chili.

Whether or not Carmen and I ever listened to music together in her van on Nolensville Road in Nashville, TN, I'd like her to know that if she ever wants to hang out with me, I'll be happy to oblige. You know...for old time's sake.

[Special note specifically for Carmen: The chances of my wife being cool with us hanging out will be much improved if you can arrange for a certain Mr. Bon Jovi to take her out for dinner. Thanks.]

Sheryl Crow Would Be Aghast

"Prince Charmin, you may now squeeze the bride."

It's time for the 2007 Toilet Paper Wedding Contest. Contestants are required to make wedding dresses with nothing more than toilet paper, glue and tape.

Last Year's Contestants

Found at BoingBoing

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


I have two wonderful boys. I also have this other child who has this finger that I am wrapped around. In recent months, I've been lucky to watch her little personality start to make its grand entrance to the world. Age two finds baby left behind and little girl find and stand her ground around these parts. "I do it myself" is a phrase that accompanies absolutely every task. Her big brother is happy with the status quo that finds his parents assisting in daily doings, but Miss Independent is preparing for a life of self-sufficiency. It seems that the only time she demands government interference is when big brother is bothering her. "Joshua pushed me!" she cries from across the room, and we parents investigate. Sometimes he is guilty as charged, but sometimes he is rooms away, playing quietly and falsely targeted. (Gonna have to watch this one.)

When Joshua is moved to cry about something, he makes a big fuss about it. He gets like a Tony Scott film and just goes all out, displaying no subtlety or gentle nudges to the viewer. Ari, however, gets her direction from a more quiet and independent production. Sometimes minutes go by before I figure out that something might be less than wonderful for my little sweetheart. I'll look up from whatever I'm doing and find her back turned and her arms covering her face. I move around to approach her and gently move her arms away and see tears streaming down her silent face. And, of course, I am crushed; I pull her to me, hold her and ask what's wrong. Her mute button is pressed once again and the volume is loud as she sobs her concerns to me. I simply console. For all of her independence, it gives so much more value to the times that I can help her with a simple hug.

A recent highlight for me is her appreciation for my song choices as I sing her to sleep on those occasions when I am home at night.
  • "You Are My Sunshine" - Gene Autry
  • "Octopus's Garden" - The Beatles
  • "Golden Slumbers" - The Beatles
And then we sing a few that I've made up just for her. There is no doubt that we'll have tough times ahead. It's guaranteed. Hopefully, these are the days that will keep us strong forever. She's two years into a life where she'll find so much to deal with. She'll have successes and failures. She'll laugh a lot, and she'll cry more than she deserves. What she will always be able to count on is unconditional love from her family. I'm proud to be there for her.
We would be warm below the storm
In our little hideaway beneath the waves
Resting our head on the sea bed
In an octopus's garden near a cave
We would sing and dance around
because we know we can't be found
I'd like to be under the sea
In an octopus's garden in the shade

-Octopus's Garden
© 1969 Northern Songs. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured.

It's...ya know, love

And Speaking of Physics...

Albert Einstein's This I Believe contribution:
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the Mysterious — the knowledge of the existence of something unfathomable to us, the manifestation of the most profound reason coupled with the most brilliant beauty.

I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, or who has a will of the kind we experience in ourselves. I am satisfied with the mystery of life's eternity and with the awareness of — and glimpse into — the marvelous construction of the existing world together with the steadfast determination to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the reason that manifests itself in nature.

... the rest >>

Monday, May 07, 2007


by Charles Sinic

Everything about you,

my life, is both

make-believe and real.

We are like a couple

working the night shift

in a bomb factory.

Come quietly, one says

to the other

as he takes her by the hand

and leads her

to a rooftop

overlooking the city.

... the rest >>

The World's Biggest Particle Accelerator

CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has been fascinating me ever since I first heard about it a month or so ago.

Some links:

NPR: Massive Particle Accelerator Revving Up
This fall, physicists plan to throw the switch on what is arguably the largest and most complex science experiment ever conducted. An underground ring of superconducting magnets, reaching from Switzerland into France, will smash together subatomic particles at incredible force.

Physicists say they're not sure what will emerge from those collisions. They're hunting a mysterious, hypothetical particle called the Higgs boson. It is also possible they will make miniature black holes, or discover new dimensions of space-time.

NPR: The World's Largest Particle Accelerator
Trucks roll by carrying big, superconducting magnets that look like missiles, and other brightly colored pieces of scientific equipment. The pieces are all taken to warehouse-sized buildings, where they disappear down shafts that reach 300 feet into the earth. The work is all part of an $8 billion project at the international physics laboratory called CERN.

The New Yorker: Crash Course
The opening sentence of the paper declared, “With the upcoming turn-on of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), high energy physics is on the verge of entering its most exciting period in a generation.” (A later sentence noted, “As the reader might find intuitive, we can tremendously improve our scheme over the constant approximation by including the leading order near-threshold behavior of matrix elements.”)

CERN: What is LHC?
As well as having the highest energy of any accelerator in the world, the LHC will also have the most intense beams. Collisions will happen so fast (800 million times a second) that particles from one collision will still be travelling through the detector when the next collision happens. Understanding what happens in these collisions is the key to the LHC's success.

The New Yorker and this week's highlights according to me

By the time she was fourteen, young Karoline was expert at becoming whoever her johns paid her to be. But she always kept her eyes on the stars: she dreamed of becoming a performer. To that end, she moved to Zurich, in 1914, where she studied classical movement and the Dalcroze method of dance—a bit of modern gymnastics whipped, like an egg, into the soufflĂ© world of tutus.Determination marked her days. (“As soon as my feet hit the stage—I am safe,” she wrote.)

by Roger Angell
Horsepresence took another hit last month, when the ancient Claremont Riding Academy, on West Eighty-ninth Street, closed its doors, reducing our equines to that redolent line of tourist-pullers on Central Park South. A few older city types (this writer among them) can remember cloppier times. The appearance of flower venders, with their brilliantly hued horse-drawn wagons of blooms, was once a certain sign that another city spring was at hand.

BANKSY WAS HERE by Lauren Collins
Whoever he is, Banksy revels in the incongruities of his persona. “The art world is the biggest joke going,” he has said. “It’s a rest home for the overprivileged, the pretentious, and the weak. In February, Sotheby’s presented seven works by Banksy in a sale of contemporary art. “Bombing Middle England” (2001), an acrylic-and-spray-paint stencil on canvas, featuring a trio of retirees playing boules with live shells, was estimated to bring between sixty and a hundred thousand dollars. It sold for two hundred thousand. (click here for slide show)

CRASH COURSE by Elizabeth Kobert
Just as it is possible to convert mass into energy—as in a nuclear explosion—the reverse is also true: energy can be transformed into mass according to the Einsteinian equation E=mc2 (c being the speed of light). In this way, new particles can be produced that are more massive than those that entered the collision in the first place. The process might be compared to smashing two high-speed Priuses into each other and finding that they have rematerialized as a tank.

True Words

In The New Yorker, the following advisement precedes the concert listings:
Musicians and night-club proprietors live complicated lives; it’s advisable to call ahead to confirm engagements.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Nashville Sounds, Super Hero Night

Last night, we ventured out to Greer Stadium for a little baseball. It was Super Hero Night and various Sounds employees and several little fans were all dressed up.

And then it started to rain.

That's when everyone broke out their ponchos and it seemed that the most popular hero of all was that of Bruce Willis' David Dunn from Unbreakable.

A Quote

"Ordinarily he was insane, but he had lucid moments when he was merely stupid." - Heinrich Heine

Setting The Mood

Waiting to see and hear Tom Waits on Conan.

Sipping quietly with a manifesting purpose from a bottle of Kendall-Jackson Merlot (not pictured).

Factotum, starring Matt Dillon and based on Charles Bukowski's book of the same name, is next.

I dedicate the night to that long gone bookstore that I walked into on Nashville's 2nd Avenue some seventeen years ago. I browsed and I picked up "Women" by Bukowski. I had never heard of him, but I liked the title and I liked the artwork on the cover. Sometimes judging a book by its cover works out nicely. I now have shelves of books by him. Black Sparrow Press is represented well in my home.

Goosebumps. Tom is on.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Free Comic Book Day

I just read that May 5 is Free Comic Book Day. I'm not much of a comic book guy but I remember well those family road trips from my youth when my brother, sister and I would read from our stacks of Archie comics and Superman comics that our dad supplied us with to keep us occupied and quiet in the station wagon as it made its way down the interstate.

I may go to one of the participating comic book stores tomorrow and see what they're offering. I wonder if there is anything that my three year old might like. He's not quite a reader yet, but maybe he'd enjoy looking at the pictures while I read a continuing storyline from Mickey Mouse or Spider-Man to him.

Rick's Comic City isn't too far from us. Maybe we'll stop in tomorrow.

Iggy, Henry, Tom, Conan

Tonight on TV:

Iggy Pop on The Henry Rollins Show at 10:00 PM IFC

Tom Waits on Late Night with Conan O'Brien at 11:37 PM NBC

What's The Blue Book On That?

John Schneider's General Lee sells for $9.9M.

Wanna buy a 1991 Honda Accord station wagon from a guy with a blog? Bidding starts at $1M. OBO.

Tamara the Trapeze Lady

photographer: ChrisB in SEA

Virtual Suzanne Vega Sings "Tom's Diner" in Second Life

Seemingly So Wrong, And Yet So Perfect

Sacha Baron Cohen ("Borat") is set to play Freddie Mercury in a new Queen biopic. What I didn't know, and what seems obvious now, is that Cohen based his Borat look on Mercury.

... more>>


I'd be no good at typical water cooler conversations. I work nights and never watch TV when most of America does. I have no TiVo or any other kind of DVR. What I know about pop culture is what I read about in blogs ("Yesterday's news, tomorrow!!")

For a year or so, people at work have gone on about a show called "Lost" and I have had no interest in it at all. That is, until last week, when a co-worker said something about a new arrival to the island and a certain thing she said to the stranded characters. Now I'm intrigued. But it's probably too late for me to try to start watching it and follow it properly.

This is the first season that I have not watched "The Sopranos" and I am feeling like I am missing some of the best television out there. For the first few seasons, I had HBO and watched it weekly. For another season, I dated a girl with HBO for the exact length of its run. Perfect. Then, for a couple of seasons, I didn't have HBO or a girlfriend but I was a bit of a gym rat (no evidence of that anymore) and I timed my late night workouts to watch it while on the treadmill. Last season, a friend taped it for me. But now, I have no resource for it at all and I feel a void. (Help? Somebody?)

I've been home with the kids for the last three days and while I can't engage in conversation on topics ranging from "Survivor" to "American Idol," I can tell you exactly what's going on among the characters of "Maggie and the Ferocious Beast" and "Go Diego Go."

Oh, and "American Idol" fans will be pleased to learn from me that a guy named Sanjaya is coming to Nashville Arena on July 11. I guess I do know something worthy of water cooler talk after all.

The Page Turner

Stephen Hunter, Pulitzer Prize winner and movie critic for The Washington Post, says:

What "The Page Turner" lacks in scale and ambition, it makes up for in precision. It's a small French delicacy, tart, acerbic, cynical, that focuses on three or four characters and yet manages to bring them and their dilemmas to vivid life.

The milieu is classical music at the professional level, the backdrop refined, the subject revenge, the methodology meticulous. When it's over, some lives have been destroyed, somebody has enjoyed the taste of vengeance served with a decade's worth of chill, and barely 85 minutes have passed. Who knew the French were so efficient?... more>>

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Room

by Stephen Dunn

The room has no choice.

Everything that’s spoken in it

it absorbs. And it must put up with

the bad flirt, the overly perfumed,

the many murderers of mood—

with whoever chooses to walk in.

If there’s a crowd, one person

is certain to be concealing a sadness,

another will have abandoned a dream,

at least one will be a special agent

for his own cause. And always

there’s a functionary,

... more>>

Dylan Goes To Kindergarten

From RollingStone.com:
But now we’re realizing the best time to be born would have been about five years ago in Calabasas, California. That way we could be in Jakob Dylan’s kid’s Kindergarten class where Dylan doing “Wheels On the Bus” covers... more>>
If he performs anything like he did when my dad and I saw him at Memorial Gym, those kids won't come anywhere close to recognizing his renditions of popular kids' songs.

Judge sues cleaner for $65M over pants

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Chungs, immigrants from South Korea, realized their American dream when they opened their dry-cleaning business seven years ago in the nation's capital. For the past two years, however, they've been dealing with the nightmare of litigation: a $65 million lawsuit over a pair of missing pants.

Jin Nam Chung, Ki Chung and their son, Soo Chung, are so disheartened that they're considering moving back to Seoul, said their attorney, Chris Manning, who spoke on their behalf.

"They're out a lot of money, but more importantly, incredibly disenchanted with the system," Manning said. "This has destroyed their lives."

... more>>

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Sign Of The Times

If you can't read the sign, it says:


$5.00 FINE


Borderline late for work today, I found myself driving behind someone in compliance with the above sign.

My Man Sasha Frere-Jones on Tori's Latest

Shutting off is not often a problem for Amos. “American Doll Posse” is aggressive and, occasionally, overstated; Amos fans who have complained that they haven’t heard from “the real Tori” in a while will be relieved. In the past three years... more>>