Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Punk Rock Mailman

He was attractive and had the kind of long hair that guys in New York bands work their asses off to achieve before shooting the video for their first single. Tattoos ran down to his wrist on his left arm, and somehow the way he wore his blue-shirt-and-shorts uniform oozed "I just don't give a fuck" cool. He was the most distinctive looking person I'd seen in Minneapolis, and the fact that he was an actual employee of the US POSTAL SERVICE made it even cooler.

"That mailman looks like an uber-hipster," I said.
"He's not a hipster, he's the real thing," responded Ethan.
"What, he's legitimately hip?"
"No, he's working class and from the South."
"Oh, THAT real thing."

The New Princeton Review

Another gem from the sis:
Do you suppose the Princeton Review puts out a list of the top Skank schools in the US as a companion piece to the Party School rankings? I think that's the list for the future.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Exotic and Cool

Imagine my frustration this morning when I took a moment to look at the New York Times and discovered that our papaer of record had decided to ruin my anticipation of the State Fair. Nothing makes me angrier than seeing my Midwest comrades disrespected by coverage that makes them seem as quaint and foreign as a bunch of Uzbek bridenappers.

Sure, not everyone gets their likenesses carved out of delicious salted butter(think of all the popcorn you could make to eat with that much butter!), but that's no reason to write about the girls who compete to be Princess Kay of the Milky Way in a way that makes them sound inferior to all the fashion slaves who appear in the Fashion and Style section. I'd much rather hang with a bunch of dairy farmers than the people who-

wear cowboy boots in summer
love to drink at rooftop bars
move to Philadelphia from Williamsburg
actually care about Anna Wintour.

I'm still pretty excited about the fair. I plan on stuffing myself with lots of fried food(including some fresh from the grease funnel cake), gigantic pickles, and cheese cheese cheese. Although maybe that's just the Wisconsin State Fair. I doubt it though. Yay for home!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Today I fly through the sunny skies to Minneapolis for a week of relaxation and a special-needs version of playing house, and then to the southland for some family quality time. Thankfully technology is kind and the Midwest has wireless, so posts will continue and the absurd will be chronicled, perhaps.

Oh, and a special aside to Liliana: Thank you.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Steve Coogan, how could you?

Steve, Steve, Steve. I know some people loathe 24 Hour Party People, but I loved it and I love you. You're obviously a total pimp(your vignette in Coffee and Cigarettes proved it), but COURTNEY LOVE? I almost lost my lunch when I saw this on Gawker. Tony Wilson married a beauty queen, Steve. I suppose all you can hope for now is that Courtney's aged and drug-scarred womb isn't strong enough to support life. My innocence is lost.

Blast off!

This is not a post about Johnny Depp. Yesterday marked six months to the day of Hunter Thompson's death(I raised a glass to him with Eric), and his friends and family said goodbye by blasting his ashes out of a giant gonzo-fist cannon. The whole thing sounds like it was rather maudlin, but the New York Times does have some poetic moments.

"two hours of alcohol-free tributes" Huh? I hope that doesn't mean it was substance-free

"What unfolded here in the Rockies just outside of Aspen was the complete canonization of Mr. Thompson." How clever, Katharine Q. Seelye! Canon-Cannon! No wonder they sent you. Clearly you have the Thompson gift.

Ed Bradley? Of 60 Minutes? Learning that they were friends is like learning one of your parents was at Woodstock. It just doesn't compute.

It's nice to see that Jann Wenner has some sort of heart, even if it's a twisted and envious one.
Mr. Wenner recalled his drug-crazed exploits with Mr. Thompson but spoke of his feelings as well, saying at one point that he had been jealous of how close Mr. Depp had become to Mr. Thompson.
The Gonzo Fist is taller than the Statue of Liberty-can you imagine if we replaced that old dame with the two thumbed pillar? Maybe after the revolution.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Cyclones everywhere!

I made it through the Cyclone, some disappointing funnel cake, and some scorching sun yesterday without any ill effects. Today it took only coffee and my favorite omelette to make the room spin. Does anyone else think this is backward? I like my rollercoasters on the beach, not in my stomach. One day was more than enough-what gives with a whole week?

In other cyclone news, a tornado ripped through the next town down the highway from my hometown. It even killed someone. Wisconsin isn't Tornado Alley, but it's disconcerting to hear that people I know were shrieking and bolting for the basement last Thursday night.

As has already been reported, Saturday at Coney Island was everything I'd been hoping. There was even a short detour to the Brighton Beach boardwalk and the Black Sea Bookstore(if only I could reproduce the Cyrillic!). Not a whole lot has gone according to plan this summer, but yesterday is enough. Thanks girls.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

On This Day

"...human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but...life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves."
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Happy Birthday Ethan. You're doing beautifully. I love you.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Blackest of the Black

I have to go to some strange corners of the internet for my new job. Most of the time it's all pretty tame(although my ears are bleeding slightly from all the hardcore I've had to blurb), but sometimes I'm fortunate enough to stumble on unintentionally hilarious things like dialogues between black metal fans. You can spare yourself most of it because the best part is right here:
black metal has nothing to do with being happy. it should make you want to live in darkness, perhaps with a babbling brook nearby that would mock you in the night. but i fear i am being too harsh. I realize you may not think that mysticum are a bunch of pussies but that is probably because you have yet to hear my band witch taint. i am generally against promoting my music because i think it goes against everything that black metal is about. in a perfect world, black metal would exist totally in the mind (as it does with me much of the time). we would hear the black sounds pouring through our brain as we sit in darkness (or maybe there could be a torch nearby). this is true black metal. a compromise might be just having bands play in the woods and there could be a bonfire and a select few would be permitted to hide behind trees and listen to the bands perform. i realize however that this is impractical and it would be awkward if everybody ran into each other later at the grocery store or something. it is hard to be truly black when shopping for groceries, which is why i rarely eat unless i absolutely have to. i would however permit you to release an album from my band witch taint if you think you could handle it. i must warn you- it is truly black, some people say unlistenable. it is so black in fact that when i played it for a "friend" recently he said "if you don't take this music off i am going to kill myself!" this is how black it is. i would also like to make t-shirts, preferably long sleeve. please let me know what you think of this. i think you are ready. i am going to send you my band's demos. i recommend not having any sharp objects or firearms around while listening because it is so black you may harm yourself. also, please play my music for the members of mysticum. i would like them to work for me and i think they should become familiar with the material. i would like to call my album "in dominus perineum satanus."

A reprieve

Guess who's on vacation? It looks like I'll have to find another explanation to why I can't keep food down today.

Drug Free means Sense Free

Never trust the G-man. He'll screw you every time. Now that all my dreams of writing anti-drug propaganda gonzo-style have gone out the window, I suppose I can take the crack pipe back out without fear. At least I can be thankful for some employment. Now that I have a little more free time in the schedule, I face the cursor of doom. Blast.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Queasy from the Rollercoaster

It's an exhilarating feeling-up and up, watching the ground recede in time with the "click-click, click-click, click-click" of the machinery. My excitement always builds to a fever pitch as I survey the intricately engineered track I'm about to travel at high speeds, and just before we reach the top of that first climb I silence for the last time the voice that warns repeatedly that I should have stayed on the ground; I'm already strapped in, there's nothing to be done now but enjoy. It's always a fantastic adventure, but it also always ends too abruptly. I disembark, confused by the solid pavement, questioning whether or not I was really flying so high just moments before, savoring every drop of my adrenaline rush. Then it hits me-overindulgence has consequences, and they're never fun. It's always such a nasty comedown that I immediately start searching for a bigger, crazier, wilder ride, and I repeat the process until there is nothing left to do but stand, exhausted and a bit ill, and remember how it felt to be so high and so free.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Liberia in World Politics

Found in a reading room on the 6th Floor of Butler Library:
Respectfully Dedicated to His Excellency Presdent Edwin Barclay and the Brave Men and Women who are Building a New Republic of Liberia without Doubting the Capacity of any Branch of the Human Family to Guide and Control its Destiny.
In 1934 Liberia was in the midst of what the author calls "The Period of International Mediation." 1934. My intrepid roommate just sent me a dispatch from an Ethiopian UNMIL camp. Glad to see the Liberians are so consistent.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Here there be Dragons...

An amateur photographer took some pictures while flying over Lhasa, and the pictures showed some strange shapes that suggest dragons! This is just like in one of my favorite children's books, Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like, except instead of a little boy saving the Chinese from invading Mongol hordes because of his faith in dragons, now the Chinese are the invaders and the poor Tibetans need the protection of these majestic magical creatures. It'd be great if there was a dragon kingdom high in the sky above the Himalayas. Do you think the Chinese will try to harness the power of the dragons to use as an alternative transportation methond? Then they wouldn't be dependent on foreign oil and they would crush us all!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

A Confession of Love

A major problem with this whole freelancing thing is that I don't get up early enough to catch the good articles before Gawker gets to them. In this case I can't help but be repetetive; my feelings are too strong. Girl Crush? Liliana, it's more than that-it's girl love, and I can only hope that your shiny metal heart will accept my affections. You're so stylish! You have such great hair! Such a pretty smile! You're so funny! And you love Faerie Tale Theatre! Also, your great forebearance during my "smart one, pretty one" phase was truly beautiful. I'd ask you to run away with me, but I know we face some serious obstacles. Europe and the Dark Continent is out-too close to your intrepid flame. We'll never make it West either-jealous yet well formed prose would catch us as soon as we crossed the Mississipi. Our only choice is South-will your native land provide a home and accept us? It'd only be transgressive if you insisted on bringing my sister along...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Great Moments in DVD Commentary

Little Sis' comment on the "Best Line Ever" was so good I'm not adding anything.
Oliver Stone gets it for his commentary on the director's cut
of "Alexander"

"Maybe in another time and place we'll have a fair treatment of

Its brilliance is too great to be put into words. Once you record how brilliant it is, those words written down would
outshine the sun, and our galaxy would be in trouble.

Pacman evolves

It's damn near impossible to get work done at the Tea Lounge. Normally when cafes are distracting it's because of cute boys, but not here. Here I find myself overwhelmed by the babies. They're everywhere. And toddlers. And small children. There are probably as many adorable, womb-enticing moppetts as there are adults.

There are two little girls, both about 4, engaged in heated competition right now. Caroline, the one in pink shorts who vaguely resembles a preschool Louise Brooks, is showing a mean competetive streak. She alternates between shouts of "I'm winning I'm winning! I'm gonna beat you!" and "Damn! Shoot Shoot Shoot!" I'm a little concerned for her future well-being, although her mother was appropriately mortified, but I don't know if "Hooray" will cover the range of things Caroline seems to want to express.

I hope I never have a child who's that obsessed with triumph, although I have a hunch that might not be in the cards. Anyone who ever had to listen to me bitch about how unjust my high school teachers were for leaving the "+" off of my A's would agree, I think.

Speaking of competition, this line from an article in the Times reminds me why it's important to win at all costs:
In 1999 the Kansas board drew international attention when it deleted most references to evolution from its science standards. Elections the next year resulted in a less conservative board, which led to the current, evolution-friendly standards. Conservatives recaptured the board's majority in the 2004 elections.
Now the winners get to write more than just history. I'd like to see Pacman eat Kansas-it's so flat and square he could use the highways just like the mazes in the game. The tractors could be the ghosts. Churches are extra points. It'd be easy! A live action version of the game already exists-it'd be a snap to adapt. Next time these guys have a game, I'm going, and I'm taking little Caroline with me.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Kick 'em while they're down

In addition to seeing her late husband's status as the world's most-admired quadraplegic challenged by the cast of what will inevitably be one strange Mountain Dew commercial(their Wheaties box is coming-it's only a matter of time), Christopher Reeves' widow Dana has lung cancer. And she's not a smoker. I guess things can always get worse.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Melting Clocks and such

The internet has special powers. All kinds of information floating around. It's enough to make you paranoid, like a constant buzz in your ears that always "meant" someone was talking about you. Nobody knows you're a dog in cyberspace, or so they say, so it's just a big mystery.

Back to more normal things, sort of. England has a serious problem with axe murders. The latest is much more disturbing than the first from several months ago. Apparently this one was a hate crime. Incredibly sad, really. Almost makes me lose my taste for random axe murders. Almost.

Friday, August 05, 2005

A BUST-y evening

Thanks to my very well rounded friend's blog stalking of the Village Voice's sex columnist, my favorite protocol droid and I got into BUST Magazine's "Men We Love" issue release party. Not surprisingly, there were a lot more overheard "when I was in Yugoslavia" stories than there were "Nina Hartley and I were talking about the best threesome dynamics" stories, and not nearly enough free drinks. We also didn't get gift bags. We did, however, manage to get onto the roof and mingle with all the green-tagged VIPs. Lousy schmoozers that we are, we spent the whole time in our own corner talking about our favorite, decidedly un-BUSTY topic, boys that give us fits of the Brontes. Not a single work connection was made, not one hapless hipster left flustered by our awesomeness. Missed opportunity? Or the only way to spend a Thursday night when you're unemployed-I mean freelancing?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Gospel according to Little Sis

Once again, my sister, the prodigal cheesehead and defender of infanticide in the service of Classical art, has proven just how superior she is to mere mortals. No references to 90210 this time, although I'd like to take a moment to reflect on the philosophical battle that was clearly going on when both 90210 and Saved by the Bell had their special summer seasons. Clearly drama is a more effective mode-Kelly Kapowski became Valerie Malone and the victory was complete!

That was not the point. The point is this:
Sister on her Strindberg-like depression-
I wish i had my little floating Helium now. those cute floating elements are never around when you need them. except Beryllium.....he never leaves.

Sister on her newly purchased material goods-
If my iPod were to cheat on my iBook with anything, it'd be these shoes. That's how cute they are.

Sister on some recent saccharine behavior-
You're going to play Scrabble? I have a good word for you from my Scrabble calendar. What is it? Tell me so I can use it! P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C.

It's hard to live with the knowledge that someone you love so dearly is so much cleverer than you.

What can the undead teach us of tolerance?

I learned something the other day. Something important. Something that changed me. Some zombies are not. all. evil. Yes, this is a big step for me. Luckily there are some plucky walking corpses north of the border who have taken as their mission the torment and defeat of history geeks. My new favorite person, Liz documented in beatiful detail all the beauty havoc zombies can create. There are even some pictures upon pictures of this beautiful day. I can't believe I've wasted so much time hating zombies-clearly I hate Ren Fair attendees more. It's a good thing there aren't any movies about them. That'd really scare me.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Pataki is going to veto a potential godsend of a bill because he thinks it'll get him elected President, but those Republicans aren't going to vote for you anyway, George! You're a Godless New Yorker, remember? Of course, only in New York would the Republican State Senate Majority Leader criticize him for all the right reasons:
"The bill would have given women more options to prevent pregnancies and, as a result, would have prevented abortions," Mr. Bruno said. "I was surprised by the governor's reason for a veto, given that under existing law, minors already have access to a far worse alternative than taking a pill to prevent an unwanted pregnancy."
That sound you just heard was my entire world turning upside down. Republicans being reasonable? Next think you know, someone's going to tell me not all zombies are bad!

Fuck and Run? I only wish...

I thought the title of this Times piece was interesting for several reasons: The Independence of Liz Phair? Hardly. I'll forgive Liz Phair a lot-I like Whip Smart, for Christ's sake-but let's not pretty up what she's doing right now. Poor David Carr is still so smitten with the possibility that Ms. Phair might actually do some of the things she sings about in "Flower"(I guess I do know a lot of guys looking for blowjob queens though, so I can't blame him too much) that he can't admit that what sucks about Liz Phair isn't that she sold out, but that her music isn't that good anymore. She's hot, I won't fault her for acting it, but I can and will fault whitechocolatespaceegg for having no standout songs and no coherent theme. I will fault her most recent singles for sounding so generic I mistake them for the latest slop by American Idol losers. I'm not the only one to notice this phenomenon by any means, either.

I love my angry girl music, even if I'm not so angry anymore. I know the argument-I grew up, why wouldn't they, blah blah blah. At least PJ Harvey still uses her guitar. That's all I ask.

Monday, August 01, 2005


John Bolton...Recess Appointment...United Nations...I'm sorry, I'd type more but the steam shooting out of my ears is obscuring my view of the computer screen. Let's review for a moment-George Bush appointed a man revealed to be unstable, unprofessional, and OPPOSED TO THE PRINCIPLES, AND VERY EXISTENCE, OF THE UNITED NATIONS to be our Ambassador to that body despite massive reservations on the part of the Senators whose duty it is to review qualifications. Bush referred to partisan obstructionism when making a statement following his appointment, as well as to "the up-and-down vote" that is code for "approval without a thorough review."

I really love this Rove-ian linguistic bait and switch-these "up-and-down" votes have never been the norm, and Republicans played any number of games with Clinton appointees(it's hardly necessary to bring in the appalling statistics on Judicial appointees in Clinton vs. Bush). The Senators that capitulated to Bush's desires in 2001(I'm thinking specifically of Russ Feingold and his whiny, snivelling, pathetic, completely uncharacteristic excuse, "I may think Ashcroft is awful, but the President has the right to pick his cabinet") opened the door to Bush's behavior now. By letting GW appoint incompetent thugs then, he thinks, nay, he knows, he can get away with it now.

This means we're stuck with Bolton until after the next Congressional election-hardly a nice thought when you consider that means he has approximately 18 months to blow the top ten floors off the UN building, or whatever the hell it was he said that made him sounds like such a jerk.

I've got to admit that there are a couple of images dancing in my head that amuse me-
1. John Bolton chasing President of the UN General Assembly Jan Eliasson as if he were a female underling in a Moscow hotel lobby, and
2. The Ali G interview.