Monday, September 30, 2002

Can cat vomit make you sick?

Last night I started to get a scratchy throat. Today it hurts to swallow and my head is all stuffy and I got a slight headache. Poor me. I wonder if I got it from that cat vomit I cleaned up the other day. That stuff can't be free of germs. It didn't look free of germs, that's for sure. I am in the process of deciding whether or not to go or home or not. My co-workers who would prefer not get sick have encouraged me to go home. I believe I will bow to demands of my people. On their advice I will go home and recurperate.

I made it home and I am glad I did go home. I feel worse now. I am a walking petri dish. Come by later and I'll breathe on you and you, too, can miss work for a day or two. I wonder if I'll feel better if I get drunk? Probably not.

What I smelled on the bus

Generally bus riders have pretty good hygene. I would say about 95% of them bathe regularly. Now, if only I could improve my hygnene we could bump that up to almost 96%. My only complaint so far with bus riders is that the guys tend to liberally apply really shitty cologne. Today was different. This morning a semi-homeless looking guy sat in front of me and somehow he managed to smell like a pile of old magazines. I have to commend him for his originality. Maybe there's a new cologne called "Old English Professor."

Friday, September 27, 2002

Cat Vomit Stunts

I have a cow-colored cat called Pippin. He vomits like he's a beauty contestant or a jockey. Last night he puked all over the computer and the computer desk and an ashtray. I tried to reconstruct thie incident through careful observation and he appears to have been perched atop the monitor when he let loose. I have to say that I have no evidence that it was Pippin who left this gift but I have to judge from previous behavior and I have already established his purging habits. Judging from the lay of the vomit he was perched on the left corner of the monitor facing west/southwest. The ashtray was sitting to the left of the monitor and a majority of the goo landed in there. A goodly sized chunk went beyond the ashtray and hit the top of the desk. I assume that when he pulled back a bit of came back with him and stretched across the upper corner of the keyboard. He finished the manouever by stringing a small bit on the screen of the monitor. I can only expect so much from a cat who will climb inside a litter box and then hang his ass outside the box and dump on the floor.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

London Fog

Wasn't there a goth band from the UK called London Fog? Whether or not that band existed we got a good dose of it now. I am working the evening shift here at the library. I can gaze out the window here in telelphone reference and barely make out the police station across the street from the Spirit Square parking lot which stretches before me like some pavement-covered flat area. The red-bricked old folks home is in the mist, its ten stories rise up like a squared peak. People move about on the
sidewalks, the fog having deprived them of their detail. Their colors gone, they are shapes and nothing more.

Today I made my performance debut. I do a voice on the Storyplace website put together by the library's children's staff. The voice I do is the character that the main character, Little Red Hightops, meets on the street. You can be wowed here.

My life is still being heavily affected by Tropical Storm Isidore. There was a light rain this morning when I was waiting for the bus. Will my suffering never cease? I had a hell of a time reading my book. I had to hold the book with one hand and the umbrella with the other. I got water droplets on my shoes and the first seat I almost sat in on the bus had a small puddle. Damn you, Isidore! Damn you to the gray waste that spawned you!

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Tropical Storm Isidore

Today it was drizzling outside. As usual I am waiting for the bus. I have a dilemma, should I open my umbrella and keep this tiny bit of precipitation off me or should I continue to read? Standing at the bus stop can be boring even when you are readning. Just standing there under an umbrella just plain sucks. Today I got a little moist and kept reading.

I am currently reading a 'Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" by Mark Twain. Like all true Americans I have read both Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, that short story about jumping frogs and various quotes at the front of books and outside buildings. After seeing the Mark Twain documentary on PBS I realized that I had not read enough material by the person considered the first true American novelist. So far I have been able to determine that Mark Twain didn't like government and organized religion and royalty and other people.

Speaking of Tropical Storm Isidore that dampened me this morn, there is a Roman Catholic church in northern Michigan that dampened my spirits as a child called Holy Rosary. It was located at a crossroads outside a small town called Cedar. The crossroads was called Isidore! Wait there's more. The media has been referring to Tropical Storm Isidore as 'Izzy.' My favorite member of Gun 'n' Roses: Izzy Stradlin'
It's a crazy mixed up world.

Monday, September 23, 2002

Festival in the dang park

Jessica and me went to the park festival in Freedom Park called Festival in the park which Wendell calls Freedom in the Park. A co-worker's college enrolled daughter used to call it vegetable in the park. We call it Festival in the Park.

The first thing we did was get some teriyaki chicken on a stick. A stick full o' chicken costed five dollars and they gave you a butt load of chicken on that stick. It was like eating on of those turkey legs. I was happy. We strolled around, checked out the art, listened to some live music and cursed these roving bands of teenage mimes. Mimes are Satan's dingleberries, as we all know. These mimes were especially abhorrent since they were obviously still learning their craft. We counted four packs of four! That's a lot of goddamn mimes. Mimes of the Serengeti? What we needed were some rodeo clowns to come stomp their ass. Mimes, the wildebeasts of clowndom.

I am a big fat pig. I sweated my butt off yesterday at the park and it was only in the mid eighties. I need to re-evaluate my lifestyle. Staying up until three playing geetar with the gang probably didn't help. Big fat pig, me be.

Saturday, September 21, 2002

Festival in the Park

I went to the Festival in the Park today which is taking place at Freedom Park. I went to see the singer/songwriter Christy Snow. I road my bike down there and it had been a while since I had been out on the bike and it kicked my butt for the first half mile or so. My body was begging me to stop and go back home and relax. I made it to the park though.

Christy Snow has a lot of lesbian fans, it seems. The ladies there were pretty butchy, not the classic type of American beauty that is glorified in our media. I noticed how content and happy most of them seemed. These ladies looked to me to be the big homely type of girl that used to get married off to the alcoholic old farmer down the road. Now they have a choice and can live happily among other women like them. Made me feel good.

Christy Snow is a good singer and very good guitar player. Her voice and her guitar work well together and she writes nice melodies. I was a little disappointed by her lyrics. They were competent but a little pedestrian. I'd see her again but I don't think I will be buying any of her CD's.

Little Sugar Creek runs through the park and there has been a lot of work done on it. The park service has removed all the concrete that used to line the creek in order to give it a more natural appearance. By doing that they hope to allow the natural ecosystem to thrive. It does look much more natural now and it is approaching beautiful. Now it is more than a drainage ditch and has the chance to be a real creek. That also made me feel good.

Friday, September 20, 2002

How do you live without a microwave?

How do you eat that macaroni and cheese you made the night before? How do you warm up your humus? What do you do if you leave a beer in the freezer and you need to drink it right away? Microwave popcorn? Microwave pizza? How about leftover pizza? What about exploding small frogs? Not having a microwave puts you one step away from savagery. You might as well spend your sundays spearing neighborhood squirrels and frying them up in a pit in your yard. You could invite Robert Bly over and he could bang a drum while you dance naked as you munch on blackened squirrel.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Hamburger Helper

According to the many years of advertisements I have sat through Hamburger Helper helps hamburger make a great meal. What they fail to mention is that grilling said hamburger and slicing up some tomatoes and onions, lightly toasting a bun, and slapping some ketchup and mayo on that bun also helps make hamburger make a great meal. Don't forget potato chips. They help also.

Being a single American guy I must prepare a dinner of Hamburger Helper every three or four months. Especially in the winter. In the winter it's the lazy man's chili. Sometimes I use ground turkey when I am feeling fat. Last night I prepared some Hamburger Helper. I made the one with potatoes and I used beef, not turkey, even though I was feeling kinda fat. Potato Stroganoff, I believe. The style of Hamburger Helper doesn't matter all that much since they all taste pretty much the same.

What I am trying to say is that Hamburger Helper tastes just as good the next day as a lunch dish as it does the evening before as a supper dish. A little tip from me to you. Don't feed that leftover Hamburger Helper to your dog, take it to work. It'll keep you warm while you are in the cold clutches of The Man.

TV good

They showed the Keith Hernandez Magic Lugie episodes of Seinfeld yesterday and the day before on cable channel 8. I hadn't seen those particular episodes in a while. God, that show just makes me laugh and laugh.

TV bad

There is only one thing I hate more than commercials: clever commercials. It drives me crazy when I see an intelligent, dramatic or funny commercial. All the combined talent and lifespan that is wasted in the quest to elevate the awareness of a product. Commercials are bearable when they are bad. When they are bad, those that made it weren't busting their ass. But when a commercial is brilliant a little piece of all who worked on it died. Except for infomercials. They are satanic art and those who work on them are serving sentences for evil doings in earlier lives. I am sure Hitler is a cue card holder for various infomercials.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

The Big Takeover

This spring, up in Durham, I discovered a music magazine called The Big Takeover. I bought the most recent edition this weekend up in Asheville. This magazine seems to be the pet project of one Jack Rabid. I bought my first copy this spring because it had Iggy Pop on the cover. The editor interviewed Iggy. It was a fantastic interview. Rabid was intimately familiar with Iggy's career, asked smart questions, allowed Iggy to talk and alloted quite a bit of space to the interview. It also had a large number of reviews in the back. It has the most reviews that I have ever seen in any magazine. Even more than Mojo. They have a unique format for their reviews. The reviews are sorted by reviewer, not by band. This allows reviewers to write about the same albums occasionally, giving the reader different view points. Since this is a 'zine-style publication the reviewers tend to review music they like. There are very few negative reviews. If it's not reviewed, they probably didn't like it. If you like indie and/or alternative music pick up a copy of the Big Takeover the next time you are in a 'cool' book store. It'll keep you entertained for hours.

Last night I decided to make me a Big Takeover mix CD. I sat down in front of the computer for a couple of hours and scanned the reviews and downloaded a song or two from bands that looked interesting. I got a lot of good music and made a 79 minute long CD and listened to about half of on the bus this morning. I think there are a couple of bands that I will have to pursue later. It was a fun project, I actually got more material than I could use. Too bad you can burn more than 80 minutes on a CD. I need an mp3 player with a buttload of memory.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Idiocy in government

Kind of a pointless and redundant headline, I know. The more I put links to stupid government acts, the harder it will be to come up with an original headline. Maybe I'll just add numbers on the end. Keep a running count.

This report in the London Times outlines the administrations intentions to start a $200 million advertising campaign to convince people we need to go to war against Iraq.

The monies being spent on an advertising campaign to increase the mob's desire to murder is obscene in so many different ways. The mere fact that there are, right now, people sitting around deciding on how to put the best possible spin on killing others. "Let's see, how about we dehumanize them?" "No, no, let's glorify our potential actions." "Can we make it light hearted?" "Light hearted dehumanization? You mean like reality TV?" "Exactly!" "I love that! Run with it!"

$200 million is $75 million less than the annual budget of the Charlote public school system.

I have to imagine that this is unprecedented. Has there ever in the history of the world ever been a marketing campaign for war? How can you possibly portray this? I have an idea: How about a bunch of America-hating peace protesters walking around in a cordoned "free speech zone" somewhere in the vicinity of the white house, holding signs and chanting anti-war slogans. Then the camera zooms to a tight shot of a soldier standing off to the side and a single tear runs down his face?

Free Speech Zones

When we were up in Asheville this weekend I was reading an article in a monthly newspaper who's main concern was preserving the forests of Western Appalachia. A noble goal. The article mentions some protests that were organized during a recent visit to the area by the EPA. I was shocked to learn that protesters were limited to areas euphemistically deemed as "free speech zones." These ridiculous areas even exist on college campuses now. Notice that the student activity center is nice enough to supply their students a map to the free speech zone. Any protest worth its salt should be held not on the free speech zone but somewhere it can stop traffic and get people arrested.

I wonder if George Carlin is familiar with this term? He loves dumbass euphemisms.

Monday, September 16, 2002

I didn't hear nobody pray

Jessica and I went to Louisville, KY this weekend to attend the wedding of a friend of hers. We left Friday right after work and drove for eight hours or so and got in about three in the morning. I don't reccomend doing that. That's the kind of trip that requires three 22 year old guys with a case of beer, a carton of cigarettes and some speed. "Are we there yet" was the theme of that leg of our journey. I drove the second leg and only the White Stripes album "De stijl" played very loud kept me going.

Coming back yesterday we decided to drive to Asheville. NC from Lousiville so we could bum around Asheville for a couple of hours last night and this morning. I can't say enough good things about all the independent shops in downtown Asheville. I could have spent my paycheck there and still wanted more.

Getting to Asheville from Louisville was an adventure also. It was raining about the whole way. Not a bad rain, just showers interspersed with drizzle and occasional breaks in the precipitation. The Smokey Mountains during a rain spell are beautiful with the clouds wrapping themselves around the tree-covered mountain tops. What wasn't pretty were the three wrecks we saw. A couple weren't bad but one had traffic on I-40 down to one lane in each direction. From what I could tell a van clipped a semi and wound up upside down on the middle barrier. I don't want to sound like a wussy but driving on the interstates scares me sometimes. There are so many trucks and so much traffic it really can be dangerous. More than once I was tempted to just pull of the side of the road and breathe.

Friday, September 13, 2002

Let's talk bigotry

Have you ever read one of those articles on a minority's struggle in a major sport? I just finished a nice piece on Sandy Koufax in the September 9th Sports Illustrated. I have read many similar articles and have seen documentaries on the tube. Usually on Classic Sports. Most of these stories that I have seen and read have focused on the exeriences of black American baseball players. The reason for this is simple, I love to read about baseball and the history of the people of prevalantly African descent in this country is unique. Oh sure, you may say that all history is unique. Nobody asked you. I'm writing this, now get your own blog if you want to complain.

I have noticed that the writers of these stories never interview or mention by name those that treated people like Sandy Koufax, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron and Bookpimp badly. They are known as "certain guys" or "a couple of the fellas." Who were these people? Why won't they 'fess up? I do remember one player from the Dodgers of Jackie Robinson's era was interviewed once and he was known as a Robinson hater. I wish I could remember who it was. I do remember that he shrugged his attitude off to his upbringing. Just once I would like to see some guy interviewed who once harrassed a minority player and have him say something like "Yeah, I called him a (insert favorite racial epithet here) and I still hate all (pluralize previous epithet) and I think they have ruined (whichever sport we are discussing)."

I do know that the name Dixie Walker often comes up when Jackie Robinson is discussed. Supposedly he circulated a petition among the Brooklyn Dodgers players during Jackie Robinson's rookie season in an effort to get Jackie thrown off the team. Obviously it failed.

Out of all this mess comes one of my favorite baseball stories. It concerns Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson and a screaming mob. You can read about it here. It's definately a better story than the one about Ty Cobb beating to death the guy that tried to steal his wallet. Now there would be a funny beer commercial. After Cobb beats the guy to death he could go home and discover his wallet on his table and realize he had killed another human being for no reason at all. Then he could tell the story to his friends and they could all laugh about it over a nice cool Ham's.

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Funniest Video Ever

Nope, not that Michael Jackson video where he smashed a bunch of cars and grabbed his nutless crotch. Not that one. Oh sure, it was funny. Funny as W. Bush reading a speech but that's not the one I mean. I am referring to 'Smoking Banana Peels" by the Dead Milkmen. Give it a shot, it'll put a smile on your face.

I saw the Dead Milkmen a few times at the old 1313 club here in Charlotte. It was the first place I ever saw a band in this town way back in the summer of 1990. The first band I saw there was a band that, I think, was from the Chapel Hill area, Johnny Quest. They were a P-Funk band. Not too original but loud and fun. I went because I won free tickets from a radio station. It was probably 95.7 back when it was called 'The Rock.' I will always remember the Dead Milkmen for having the only slam pit that I ever really participated in. You will never meet a nicer but of slam dancers than you will at a Dead Milkmen show. It was more like a kindergarten recess than a punk show. If you fell, you got picked up and no one ever tried to jack you. Peace and love while slam dancing. They had a lightheartedness along with an ability to attach very funny and often astute lyrics to catchy melodies. They did, honest.
I don't even consider the Dead Milkmen a guilty pleasure. KISS is a guilty pleasure, the Dead Milkmen are cool.

Just in case you were wondering here is a graphic from a Johnny Quest T-shirt and tape cover. That's right, tape cover. This is some old school shit. Bands used to hawk tapes at shows, not CD's.

There is a reference to Johnny Quest in this article about mid 90's Carolina bands here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Mr. Big Shot

I see 42short guy has a letter in today's Creative Loafing. Defender of the rights of rock girls everywhere, he is.

I also noticed that our prez, in his speech in front of the Pentagon, pledged for a record 100th time since last November 11th to win the war on terrorism. I believe he said something about heroes not victims, this will not stand, great country, freedom, yada yada yada yada no substance no substance empty rhetoric empty rhetoric, smile and wave a flag.

Warmongering on the hallowed ground

"As long as terrorists and dictators plot against our lives and our liberty they will be opposed by the United States Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and Marines!" Bush II

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Busy day, so far

Came across Ted Rall. I have seen his stuff before but I forgotted about him. He's capable of more bile than Tom Tomorrow.

Saw the

Monday, September 09, 2002

The Cabarrus County Fair

I love fairs. I went to the Cabarrus County Fair with Jessica and Ms. Sachs. We got there in the late afternoon on my suggestion. I like to get there while the sun is still up so we can be there as darkness descends on the fair grounds.

We did all the usual fair stuff. We walked around, ignored the carnies and their crooked games, drank sugar-filled drinks, ate deep fried food, gazed upon cow butts, petted the goats, watched the piglet races, watched people scream their lungs out on creaky rides, oggled teenaged girls dressed like Britney, road the bumper cars twice and saw about ten cops haul away some skinny redneck guy for fighting.

The piglet races had a new twist this year. They had two groups of four pigs that did one lap around a fenced in track. Each group participated in two races. The second time they came out they were forced to swim through a shallow pool of water about fifteen feet long. The crowd screamed. I saw the show twice and each time one of the pigs in the first group just had no interest in the water and had to be coaxed in. He was a crowd favorite each time which caused me to wonder if they purposely included a pig that was terrified of water so the monkeys in the bleachers could have a good laugh? Did you know that pigs aren't really dirty, that we just force them to live that way? Sounds like our country's attitude toward the third world, don't it?

I was disappointed in the low redneck turnout. There were more last year. Maybe Concord is slowly losing its redneck population like south Charlotte did over the years. Kinda sad, they add color to any event.

The fair will be up and running through the 14th and anyone in the area should go. County fairs are unique and local. Two better reasons exist they do not.

Thursday, September 05, 2002

White Stripes on Bob Dylan

In an article about the White Stripes in Mojo Magazine they allowed the white stripes to do a list of musicians that influenced them and this is what they said about Bob Dylan: "Important: do not trust people who call themselves musicians or record collectors who say that they don' t like Bob Dylan or the Beatles. They do not love music if those words come out of their mouths. They love record sleeves and getting attention for their hobby but they do not love music." Amen, brother.

By the way, if you have never read an edition of Mojo magazine you should if you love music. It's printed in the UK and since Spin and Rolling Stone have sucked for a very long time now, Mojo is the best out there right now. You can buy it at Borders. It's not cheap since it's imported but they know they're shit.
god bless Jimmy Carter

Finally, a voice of reason.
Ah, Autumn

Or almost Autumn or not quite the dead of summer or the sun's aspect is not so much like the head of Satan's cock as it has been since late June.

I see that the big ole Greek fest started today. My bus route goes by the Greek Orthodox church and traffic is already picking up. The Caburrus county fair starts this Saturday and Festival in the Park in coming soon. Autumn in Charlotte is wonderful, it features breathable air and mild temperatures and fun things to do. I can go outside again! Ah, joy.

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Another reason to hate the recording industry

I was going to add this rant to my michaelspasm article but I had sent in a few updates already and I don't want to stress him out.

Anyway, how many CD's do you buy a month? I know there are some wackos out there that buy ten or more but I usually limit my purchases to about 4 a month. I usually buy less. More like one a payday. Now, how many CD's do you pirate a month? Way more than 4 if you are any good. So, if you only buy 4 cd's a month and pirate 30, how is the recording industry losing money? You are actually building more interest and will, in the long run, spend more money on shows and CD's. If I buy 4 and pirate 30, I am merely getting more involved. Sounds like a good reason to lower prices to a reasonable level and another way the industry is twisting words.

Lunch sighting

A guy who's voice sounded like a transistor radio turned up too loud.

Monday, September 02, 2002

Ah, the Penguin

Many of us know of the Penguin. Such a cool little diner on Thomas Street here in town. Someday I am going to have to go there and not get the Boss Hogg sammich that I usually get. Hard to pass up though, grilled onions, ham and mayo. Mmmm, mmmm.

The usual cast of oddballs were there, the tall flabby guy in glasses drinking 24 ounce Budweisers, playing songs on the jukebox, peeing every ten minutes and apologizing to the waitress for the loud Stooges song that came on.

The awesome and friendly wait staff. Former and current goth girls one and all.

The Gwyneth Palotrow look alike having a Corona or two.

The family in the corner booth.

The regular drunks in the front corner hugging each member of their group that came in.

The skinny girl with nice legs, huge honker and sunken eyes drinking booze with the regulars.

The rockabilly lookin' guy with the black t-shirt and black hair.

The three year old boy screaming in delight after figuring out the cd jukebox will flip the cards with the songs on them if he smacked enough buttons. He was unable to discern which button did the flipping so he hit as many of them as he could. Each flip was a delight which he expressed loudly.

The two young girls at the side bar with all the piercings and a wardrobe very carefully assembled at thrift stores except for the shoes. The shoes were new. One had her toenails painted robin-egg's blue.

And Wendell.

Hell no, we won't go.

I am starting to think, no matter how badly our prez wants to kill kill kill and kill some more, that we may actually not attack Iraq. Colin Powell, in an interview I read today, very carefully laid down a most oblique line of opposition. Or was it reserved concern? Either way, it gives me hope.