Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Monday, December 25, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
I was at swinging Holiday parties, but now I own the DVD, and have made up for lost time. However, after all these years, I feel I have been repressing a lot of things that have always bothered me about the show, namely that it is a cesspool of exclusionism, homophobia, male-chauvanism and Eurocentric Colonialism ( okay, I don't actually know what that last one means, but I bet it applies).
I don't know, maybe it's that I'm emboldened by the recent Democratic take over of the House and Senate and the demise in credibility of the Republican Military-Industrial Complex. Maybe it's that, deep down, I'll always be a whiny, Boston Irish Catholic-type Liberal Democrat (a la Whity Bulger). In eithe case, I'm compelled to speak out now, out of conscience. For example:
Exclusionism/Diversity- just because Rudolf's nose was, how'd you say, exceptional, he was categorically excluded from all reindeer games, not only by his innocent peers, but also with the complicity of all the adult reindeer, who enabled the pattern of discrimination to continue. Santa himself, was responsible for perpetuating this pattern by encouraging his underlings (Donner) to hide Rudolf's 'non-conformity' in order to maintain status quo, and keep the 'Santa' corporate machine chugging along, squeaky clean image intact. Only at the last second, when the threat of an impending storm threatened to cancel the Greedy Bastard's Christmas Eve campaign, did he have a token change of heart, and invite Rudolf to guide his sleigh. How patronizing can you get. Suddenly, everybody in Fucking Christmas-Towne realise they had been 'hard' on the misfits. Really.... Here's what I would have said if I was Rudolf: 'stuff it up your big red bag, you big fat hippo-cryte. If you think you and your kind are going to drive me out of town like a Leper, then when it's convenient for you, all of a sudden make nice, and expect me to just go along for the ride, you must have visions of fucking sugarplums dancing in your fool head. You can buy a fuckin' Ever-Ready to light your way, because you can count me out'!
Homophobia- okay Hermie the Dentist: let's honest with ourselves. He's gay. Gayer'n aLiza Minneli and Cher concert. Look, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, as Seinfeld would say, except in the cold corporate world of Christmas-Towne. The inconvenient truth that Hemie wants to be a 'Dentist' (Hellloooo..metaphor...anyone?) is completely lost on his Elf straw boss, who is obviously a henchman for Santa and a fierce guardian of the dominant paradigm, a la Donald Rumsfeld. This insensitive bastard insists that Hermie's dreams of singing show tunes on Broadway...errr, no, I mean being a dentist, are bad and unnatural, and he should stick to 'making toys' like all the other Elf boys. Again, only at the bitter end, when his affiliation with Rudolf makes it convenient for him to be accepted, is he appreciated for what he truly is.
Chauvanism- I paraphrase from Scene#36, when Yukon Cornelious crashes over a cliff along with the Abominable Snowman, apparently to his certain demise: 'well, they were all very sad at the loss of their friend, but they knew that the best thing to do was to get the women back to Christmas-Towne'. Hellloooo. How paternalistic can you be? Considering this animated film was made in the mid-sixties, at the height of civil rights rennaisance, lines like these are an obvious slap in the face to the Feminist movement of the day. Come on! Earlier in the film, when going to look for Rudolf, Donner told his wife, in no uncertain terms, that going to 'rescue misfits' was 'man's work'. Come on. Who was it that, out of all the residents of Christmas-Towne, saw something in Rudolf that was unique and good? Clarise, that's who. A woman. And what happened to her? She was instantly shut down by her abusive ogre of a father, who forbade her to see any more of Rudolf. Indeed. As if any Reindeer Doe doesn't have the right of free association in this day and age. This is just another example of how the dominant power structure of the North Pole keeps down women and minorities.
Oh there's so many more examples of the aggregious nature apparent in this insensitively anachronistic animation by Rankin/Bass. Don't even get me started on Yukon Cornelious, who's main goal in life was to exploit the indigenous population of the Upper Arctic (Christmas-Towne) and it's rich natural resources of Silver and Gold (Siiiiiiiiilver!). Or don't get me on the subject of the talking snowman narrator, played by Burl Ives. Despite the fact that Mr. Ives was then a famous Folk Singer, thus a known Communist, he sang about the virtues of Silver and Gold as decorations, not as material treasures to be exploited, while at the same time he lauded the efforts of Santa and acted as spokes-snowman for the Uber-Capitalistic delivery of toys on Christmas Eve. What a big fat snowy phoney!
Oh there's more examples, like that whole 'Island of Misfit Toys' angle. What a crock. But alas, don't get me going. I say something needs to be done. I was talking to some aquaintences at the University Peace and Justice Center, and we're contacting not only NOW, but the Rev. Jessie Jackson. I don't know what he can add to the dialog, but he's alway availible to jump right in these situations. I think a boycott is in the works. Just don't ask me to give up my 40th anniversary DVD edition of Rudolf just yet. I will be forbidding my kids from watching it , though, you can rest assured. I suggest you do the same.
Happy Christmas,...oh Jees, I'm Sorry. I meant 'Happy Holidays'.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
10. Ray LaMontagne - "Til The Sun Turns Black"
9. Jenny Lewis And The Watson Twins - "Rabbit Fur Coat"
8. Golden Smog - "Another Fine Day"
7. Sparklehorse - "Dreamt For Light Years In The Belly Of A Mountain"
6. Belle And Sebastian - "The Life Pursuit"
5. Bob Dylan - "Modern Times"
4. Paul Westerberg - "Open Season Soundtrack"
3. Calexico - "Garden Ruin"
2. Drams - "Jubilee Dive"
1. Neko Case - "Fox Confessor Brings The Flood"
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Friday, December 15, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
In Keeping with the season I started a little ditty- you can add your own lyrics.
I'm going to rub the paint onto my ass -
Rub my Bum Bum-
I'm going to smear the paint onto the canvas..
Rub my Bum Bum-Rub my Bum Bum-Rub my Bum Bum-
I'm going to soak my balls in hot turpentine
Rub my Bum Bum-
It's going to hurt like hell but I don't care, I don't care, I don't care
Rub my Bum Bum, ..........................
Ad by: Jim Miller.http://millerart.com
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Friday, December 08, 2006
Woke up, sat up in bed. Deedie brought me a latte. It was later than it should be. Why?
School's delayed an hour, because of the snow.
Because of the what?
I put on my glasses and looked out the window. And THERE IT WAS. The whole world, overnight, had been covered with snow. It was still faintly falling as I sat there in bed looking at the morning. One boy off from school, the other enjoying an extra hour of goof-around time before the bus.
Each tree branch covered with soft white. Frost upon the windowpane. From outside, the soft scrape of the plow going down the street.
the dog was standing by the window looking out at the changed world.
It took about 20 minutes to find the boots and the snow-suits and the gloves and the hats for the various members of the family, including me, before everyone was suited up and ready. All those things stashed wherever they'd wound up last April when they were last used and we figured, we'd never see them again.
I found the scraper for the car, and got into my big big winter coat, so fluffy and huge, I feel like the fat lady from the circus. a big big scarf I got in rome, swirled around my face. My puffy blue gloves from L.L. Bean.
After boy number one was safely on his school bus, I put boy number two in the car, and we drove over to his friend's house. When we got there, there were three other ten years olds out in the street (this is really a dirt road) And when they saw us coming, they started to run toward our car. And they all slipped and fell on their asses, one two three. got back up again and started to run and slipped again. I stopped the car, and sean jumped out the door and he and his friends were slipping and sliding and throwing snow at each other. My friend Victoria, sean's friends' mom, came out and we stood there in the road talking for a while, watching the boys. they got down in the snow and started making snow angels: no kidding, actual snow angels. As the snow came down and gathered in our hair. Nobody else on Victoria's road. In the distance the frozen surface of the lake, now covered with snow, the green mountains all around us now covered with white. Snow on the phone wires, snow on the mailboxes, snow on the weather vane on top of the barn.
and victoria and I stood there and gave each other a big big hug, like we were the luckiest people in the world. she's a nurse, and at 9 AM she was just getting off the all-night shift. we looked at the boys and said something like, well. We live for this, don't we.
left sean there and drove to the Hyundai dealer, took a long time, because of course everything is in slow motion now. Everybody all goofy because the world is upside down. stopped in the general store for a coffee and the cashier said, ach the snow, I hate it, I hate it. I said, yeah, but it's pretty isn't it? she said, ach does it matter if it's pretty?
I know what she means. I know I will be sick to death of it by mid-january, and there are surely many ugly days ahead-- when it freezes, or rains, or slushes, when dirt from the road gets on the snow, when the limbs of the trees snap in two, when we lose power. Ach is right.
I like a warm beach as well as anybody. Honest I do. Some day I won't live here any more, and when that day comes I will spend many months of the year somewhere warm, like arizona, or somewhere.
But look: here comes the solstice. Up here it is getting dark now at 4 PM. There are poinsettias everywhere. Just yesterday bought a wreath from a neighbor with actual holly berries on it, berries she picked from her own holly, a wreath made from the trees in her own woods. I'd hung it on the door last night, and now there is cold white powder on each green needle.
And so I say this: yes it matters that it's pretty. Here we are in these dark days, and I am glad for the snow, and I am glad for this life. And very, very soon now, the days will begin to get longer again, and the light will return.
Merry Chirstmas everybody.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
It had been a long time since I had seen Edward Albee, my old teacher, and as I waited for him at the bottom of the escalator at the Portland Jetport, I hoped we would recognize each other.
I shouldn’t have worried about that, though. As he descended the escalator, his eyes fell upon me, and his face crinkled into a smile.
“Ah,” he said, embracing me. “There you are.” It was as if it had been fifteen minutes, instead of fifteen years.
I bundled him into the car and drove him north toward Waterville, where he was scheduled to speak to the students the next afternoon, on “Improvisation and the Creative Mind.”
He’d been my teacher, back in 1986, when he produced a play of mine called “Big Baby.” This was when I lived in Baltimore and I was a student at Johns Hopkins. He was a terribly tough teacher, but I loved him. He seemed to know just how to turn a phrase on stage that opened up a character’s heart.
My play wasn’t very good. It was about a baby who, somehow, grows to be really, really big. By big, I mean, the size of a Buick. On stage, the baby—concealed inside a huge bassinet—growls and screams and throws bowling pins at his parents.
After the first performance, Albee sat down with me and asked the question for which I had no answer. “But why,” he asked, as if the question pained him. “Why is the baby so large?”
In the years since then, I’ve asked questions like this of my own students, and they’ve given me the same look that I gave Albee back then, the look that says, Why are you demanding so much of me? Why is the thing I’ve written not good enough?
Albee gave his lecture to a packed house at Colby the next day, and got a standing ovation. As he signed books at the podium, a young man came up to me. “Excuse me,” he said. “Jenny? I don’t suppose you remember me?”
Of course I remembered him. It was Nick Malick, class of 2004, one of my better students. He’d been a writer of short stories when I knew him, a man of promise and imagination.
“What have you been doing, Nickles?” I asked.
He smiled. “I’m a teacher now,” he said, proudly. “In New Hampshire. I came here with my students.”
For a teacher, there are few pleasures like the knowledge that someone you have taught is himself becoming a teacher. There really is a sense that a torch is getting passed, from hand to hand, down the generations.
As one of my children observed, later that day, “So for your student, Edward Albee was kind of like, his grand-teacher.”
I felt self conscious, though, in my old student’s presence, and for a moment I wasn’t sure what to say. I glanced for a moment over at the podium, where Edward was surrounded by his fans.
When I looked back at Nickles, he was gone.
I took Edward back to the airport the next morning, dropped him off at the check in for United.
Just before he headed into the terminal, Edward took me by the shoulders and smiled that elusive smile of his.
“We have done well,” he said. “You and I.” Then he kissed me on the cheek, turned his back, and was gone.
I thought about that moment all the way home, so grateful for everything the man had taught me over the years. I thought about my Baltimore days, about trying to become a writer, about that question I’d asked, and been asked, again and again since then: Why are you demanding so much of me?
And I thought about my old student Nickles, a teacher himself now, working with his students.
I hoped that someday, Nickles will take one of his students by the shoulder, and say what I should have said to him the day before.
“We have done well. You and I.”
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Aries- March 21/ April 20-
You are meticulous and organized. A 'Can-Do' attitude this week gets you far. Yeah, I've got your 'can-do' attitude, right here: 'Can' I get a big glass of 'shut the fuck up' for my Aries friend over here?
Taurus-April 21/ May 21-
You are an effete intellectual. You put the 'Man' in 'Manicure'. It's time to take off your shirt and embrace your man-crush on Mark Foley. Oh yes, and financial opportunity arises on Friday.
Gemini- May 22/ June 21-
Special moments with a romantic partner are in store for you this week. The stars point to sizzling love matches and rekindling old flames. It's a damn lucky thing your wife is out of town on business. You go, Dog!
Cancer- June 22/ July 22-
You are ebulient and effervescent. You will go all racial with a friend at work a la Micheal Richards. Later in the week, you will beg the Rev. Jessie Jackson for forgiveness.
Leo- July 23/ August 23-
Suprising good news changes your plans this week. Follow your muse. This week, you will come up with an idea for a James Brown/Howard Dean Duet Album titled 'Yeeeeaahhh!!' Brilliant.
Virgo- August 24/September 22-
A pet will come into your life this week, even if you hadn't been considering buying or adopting one previously. On Saturday, you will drop Acid with Donald Rumsfeld and seriously consider becoming Liberatarian. Beware of cheese over the holidays.
Libra- September 23/ October 23-
Timing is everything this week. Blackmail may be in your future. It's about time to dig out that 'sex video' you made with Brittany Spears when you were both in High School. Money.
Scorpio- October 24/ November 22-
Hey, wasn't there an old Al Pacino movie named Scorpio. I don't know. I could be wrong. I'm kinda running out of jokes here. Uuuuhhh, oh yeah, call an old friend on Thursday. Yea, that's it.
Sagitarius- November 23/ December 21-
You will plan an excellent Holiday party, but at the last minute, Iraqi insurgents will totally ruin it. Damn terrorist bastards!
Capricorn- December 22/ January 20-
Hey, did you know Jesus was also a Capricorn? Pretty sweet, huh? Except no one worships you, you filthy Pagan bastard. Good fortune arrives Friday in the form of free beer.
Aquarius- January 21/February 18-
You will play the Handy-man at home this week. But, watch out. You will pinch you bottom lip in a folding ladder. God-Damn, that hurts!!! And by the way, it's 'Nu-Clear', not 'Nu-Cu-Ler', you dumb bastard.
Pisces- February 19/ March 20-
You will surf the net for Porn this week, but your wife will catch you. Why, oh why, can't you get it through your thick skull how to erase your 'History' button? Your old buddy K-Fed looks you up to see if he can crash at your place for a while. Two words: don't do it! Wait, that's three words. Two words would be 'Vanilla Ice'. Doooow!
Anyways, that's your Horoscope. Don't say we didn't warn you.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
You know, there's not much these days that does not make me feel kind of old, seeing that I'm 'pulling 40', but on some days more than others events present themselves as more profound, or germane, or something, as to how fucking old I've gotten to being these days. Case in point: I'm listenning to my favorite sports radio station out of Boston ( case in point: I'm listenning to Sports-Radio! Dude!!), when I hear that The Who, that's right, The Who is commencing their North American Tour at the TD Banknorth Garden sometime coming up this winter. Okay, for one thing, the building where the Celtics and the Bruins play is NOT the TD Banknorth Garden, nor is it the Fleet Center, or the Olive Garden Arena... it is the fucking Gaaaaaaahdin! for Christ's sake. Hallowed ground for Havlichek, Bird, Russell, Cousey, not to mention Orr, Esposito, Sanderson and Cheevers. Even if it's not the same building it'll always be the Garden to me. But I digress. Frequently. My point is that the Who, or at least the two decrepit surviving members who have not since croaked from overdoses, will be rocking the Garden, O2 tanks, hearing aids and all, this winter on their, 'Loud and Unrepentant' Tour, or something to that effect. Is there no shame? What's next? ..."That's right this years at the Skowhegan State Fair, free with your Midway admission, British Invasion Rockers, The Who, along with Herman and his Surviving Hermits and Gerry and his Pacemakers!! Don't miss it"! Won't get fooled again, my wrinkly ass!
Anyway, later in the day, I'm out at the mall with this teenager, who is showing me around a store called Hot Topic, a seemingly trendy shoppe for wannabe Goths, Dungeon-masters and Baggy-pants wearers who like Marilyn Manson et al. Anyway, bemusedly, I'm looking through all the 'Angst-a-phanalia', mostly all in black, when I spy a CD on the shelf. It is 'Dead Kennedys, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables 25th Anniversary Edition'. Holy Crap, 25th Anniversary Edition! Man, back in the day I used to rock College Radio in Central Maine with those very Dulcer strains of the Dead Kennedys' wax. They were the all high holiest of Hardcore Punkers. They were the most controversial and most pertinent, we thought, band ever, completely obsene and completely caucophonous. To hear that my landmark album, with such hardcore standards as 'Riot', 'Winnebago Warriors', and California Uber Allies' was approaching a quarter century of existance was just depressing. I showed it to my young apprentice, and he was totally not impressed. He was too busy getting a free listen to Blink 182's newest CD. I felt totally irrelevent.
Anyway, I'm not sure what my point was, except maybe that proves my point. I do that a lot: ramble on, that is. Usually about the old days, when 'real' bands like the DK's or the Who still had something to say. In fact, they probably didn't, but there you have it. In either case, it reminds me of a song I wrote one time when I used to be in this band. It's called 'A Punk Looks at 30'. It made a lot more sense back when I was looking ahead to 30 instead of looking back at 30 as my halcyon days, but it still hits the spot. It goes a lil' somethin' like this:
When I was young, I was angry every day,
A lot of things were on my mind, I had such a lot to say,
Now the years have ground all the Punk out of my brain,
I just try to cruise along, never cut against the grain,
I used to be a punk, but I ain't no more.
When I was back in school, I was quite the Anarchist,
Always trying to break the rules, shaking my tiny fist,
Now I'm holding down a job and I let my hair grow long,
Can't even get mad enough to write a decent protest song, well,
I used to be a punk, but I ain't no more.
Didn't take me long to learn that the world was full of shit,
But I guess that after a while, you kinda get used to it,
I hardly even take the time to slam-dance anymore,
When I really think about it, I guess I was just a great big bore,
I used to be a punk, but I ain't no more.
Gabba Gabba Hey
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
New Rule: Stop giving me that pop-up ad for classmates.com! There's a reason you don't talk to people for 25 years. Because you don't particularly like them! Besides, I already know what the captain of the football team is doing these days--mowing my lawn.
New Rule: Don't eat anything that's served to you out a window unless you're a seagull. People are acting all shocked that a human finger was found in a bowl of Wendy's chili. Hey, it cost less than a dollar. What did you expect it to contain? Trout?
New Rule: Stop saying that teenage boys who have sex with their hot, blonde teachers are permanently damaged. I have a better description for these kids: lucky bastards.
New Rule: If you need to shave and you still collect baseball cards, you're a dope. If you're a kid, the cards are keepsakes of your idols. If you're a grown man, they're pictures of men.
New Rule: Ladies, leave your eyebrows alone. Here's how much men care about your eyebrows: do you have two of them? Okay, we're done.
New Rule: There's no such thing as flavored water. There's a whole aisle of this crap at the supermarket, water, but without that watery taste. Sorry, but flavored water is called a soft drink. You want flavored water? Pour some scotch over ice and let it melt. That's your flavored water.
New Rule: Stop screwing with old people. Target is introducing a redesigned pill bottle that's square, with a bigger label. And the top is now the bottom. And by the time grandpa figures out how to open it, his ass will be in the morgue. Congratulations, Target, you just solved the Social Security crisis.
New Rule: The more complicated the Starbucks order, the bigger the asshole. If you walk into a Starbucks and order a "decaf grande half-soy, half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one sweet-n'-Low, and one NutraSweet," ooh, you're a huge asshole.
New Rule: I'm not the cashier! By the time I look up from sliding my card, entering my PIN number, pressing "Enter," verifying the amount, deciding, no, I don't want cash back, and pressing "Enter" aga in, the kid who is supposed to be ringing me up is standing there eating my Almond Joy.
New Rule: Just because your tattoo has Chinese characters in it doesn't make you spiritual. It's right above the crack of your ass. And it translates to "beef with broccoli." The last time you did anything spiritual, you were praying to God you weren't pregnant. You're not spiritual. You're just high.
New Rule: Competitive eating isn't a sport. It's one of the seven deadly sins. ESPN recently televised the U.S. Open of Competitive Eating, because watching those athletes at the poker table was just too damned exciting. What's next, competitive farting? Oh wait. They're already doing that. It's called "The Howard Stern Show."
New Rule: I don't need a bigger mega M&Ms. If I'm extra hungry for M&Ms, I'll go nuts and eat two.
New Rule: If you're going to insist on making movies based on crappy, old television shows, then you have to give everyone in the Cineplex a remote so we can see what's playing on the other screens. Let's remember the reason something was a television show in the first place is that the idea wasn't good enough to be a movie.
New Rule: No more gift registries. You know, it used to be just for weddings. Now it's for babies and new homes and graduations from rehab. Picking out the stuff you want and having other people buy it for you isn't gift giving, it's the white people version of looting.
New Rule: and this one is long overdue: No more bathroom attendants. After I zip up, some guy is offering me a towel and a mint like I just had sex with George Michael. I can't even tell if he's supposed to be there, or just some freak with a fetish. I don't want to be on your web cam, dude. I just want to wash my hands.
New Rule: When I ask how old your toddler is, I don't need to know in months. "27 Months." "He's two," will do just fine. He's not a cheese. And I didn't really care in the first place.
New Rule: If you ever hope to be a credible adult and want a job that pays better than minimum wage, then for God's sake don't pierce or tattoo every available piece of flesh. If so, then plan your future around saying" Do you want fries with that?"
Friday, November 24, 2006
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
T'was the night befo' Christmas, and all through the Hood,
T'weren't no Pimpin', no Bangin', no, it was all good,
Now the dead bolts were hung by the front door with care,
With my Glauk by my side in my big easy chair,
Me and my Boo, and a big bag of Chronic,
We had just settled down for a nice Gin and Tonic,
I jumped up from my chair to see what was the Dizzle,
What did I see out in my front do',
I could tell right away that the man was a pimp,
By the clothes that he wore and how he walked with a limp,
He had gold in his grill that looked like a retainer,
In his mouth was a crack-pipe just like Dwight Gooden,
On his head was a Kango, on his neck a Gold Rope,
He blew on his Crack-pipe and the Ho's they got busy,
Then he shouted out loud so his Ho's they could hear,
And he made a Peace sign and said, 'Bitches we outa here",
"On Keesha, LaTreesha, on LaWanda, on Whitney",
They got back in his Benz and they rolled out of sight,
But I heard him exclaim, the night air, it did fill,
"Merry Christmizzle to all, and to all stay well Chilled".
Monday, November 20, 2006
Friday, November 17, 2006
Somewhere in the night . . . Ivan Doroschuk sipped the sweet wine of vindication.
It is now safe to laugh.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
The album is the latest in the successful series of “The Most…Ever!” albums and promises to break sales records set by “The Most Freaky R&B Album In The World…Ever!” and its successor, “The Most Repetitive Blues Album In The World…Ever!”
Turner has plans to extend the series with new releases each quarter. Titles already slated are “The Most Clichéd 60s Rock That Evokes Vietnam Album In The World…Ever!”, “The Most Songs From Teen Comedy Soundtracks That Are Mostly ‘All-Star’ By Smashmouth Album In The World…Ever!” and “The Most Songs That Hipsters Pretend To Like Album In The World…Ever!”
Courtesy: Rock & Roll Confidential
Friday, November 10, 2006
To read about a real pioneer of the Intronet, go back to this old issue of Wired Magazine, and get a new found respect for our old pal Muddah. Al Gore di'nt invent jack-shiiiit.
Speaking of K-Fed (we were weren't we?),
What with all the unwarrented notoriety given to Kevin Federline, nee Mr. ex-Brittany Spears, nee K-Fed, recently other erstwhile political figures, formerly full of Hubris but now lugubrious, have decided to spice up their images by taking up spiffy new 'Gansta' knick-names, just like K-Fed(since it's done wonders for him).
See if you can match the new Rap Monikers to the disgraced public figures.
A. Donald Rumsfeld
B. Mark Foley
C. Jack Abramov
D. Ted Kennedy& John Kerry
E. Ted Haggard
F. Ken Lay
___ 'Dem-Boys', featuring Pac-I-Fist and Cut n' Run
___ Rummy-D, or Da-Bomb
___ K-Ped (as in '-ophile')
___ Cash Money
___ Meth Man
___ Notorious D.E.A.D.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
I really thought those crazy kids had a chance at love. But it wasn't to be so.
I opened up the Bangor Daily this morning(all the news that's fit to line your birdcage), and before I could get to all the exiting election news, I was stunned to find on the celebrity section that Brittany Spears, erstwhile Mouskateer, turned pole dancer, was filing for divorce from her 'long time' mate Kevin Federline, AKA K-Fed. I know, I know. I was as shocked as you. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I read the news. In this crazy, jaded, cynical world of American pop culture, one doesn't expect that these 'celebrity marriages' will last. But I for one, and I'm sure I'm not alone, thought that those lovebirds could stand the test.
Was it the stress of raising two small children under the unblinking eye of People Magazine et al? Was Brittany jealous of K-Fed's skyrocketing rap career? Reports had circulated over a bevy of groupies at recent WWE appearances he had made. Rumour also had it there has been friction coming from K-Fed after the "Booster-Seat-Gate" incident last year. One never knows. It has been recently speculated that Brit wanted 'Fed' to start sporting an old-fashioned Mullet, like all her old boyfriends used to do down in the Bayou, which, of course he vehemently refused to do, because it would interfere with his new 'Gangsta' image. Hard to say, but I, for one, would love to get a peek behind the velvet rope to find out what the real deal is. One thing I do know is this: If those two kooky love-birds couldn't make it work, then what does that say about the rest of us? It makes you stop and think, dud'nit?
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Friday, November 03, 2006
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
to play some songs, maybe have a drink, maybe catch a little twing...
Well, it's alright now, I learned my lesson hard,
You can crash out on the couch, or you can sleep out in the yard..." 1.
The usual line-up of suspects turned out for the 50th annual Hudson Halloween jam last Saturday night. As you can see, you're never too old to Rock and Roll, though you may LOOK too old to rock and Roll. Laissez la bon temps roulez!
1. Host Tomcat Hudson and Bonvivant Bigfoot Chester
2. Big Scotty and Stix Spaulding
3. Who the Hell does that Chicken think she is, anyhow?
4. Hostess (?) Laura Hudson and Biggus Tommus
5. J-Bo basking in the shine of Bigfoot's mighty chin
6. Ronnie, who brought the Brownies
I don't think he was the first person to think the poor and uneducated young people go to war but he's the 1st politian to say it. Next he may let the cat out of the bag about recruitment efforts in the inner cities. ooops I may have spilled the beans.
Your a music lover- What are some verses to songs that say that same thing? "Rich kid goes to college - poor boy goes to work" - (kinda the same idea).
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Then, a minute later, all the leaves have been blasted out of the tree by a Nor’easter, and it gets dark at four in the afternoon and there are guys in the woods with shotguns.
And there’s no more baseball.
The only thing that raises my spirits is the thought of the blessed holiday season ahead. Christmas, you think? Nope: Halloween.
Sometimes it seems as if Halloween and Christmas have swapped places.
I don’t mind the fact that Halloween is getting more Christmasy all the time; that’s fine with me. But the way in which Christmas is getting to feel more like Halloween? I’m less crazy about that.
I have one neighbor who puts more effort into his Halloween display than his Christmas one. He places a Grim Reaper in his front yard, complete with scythe.
At Christmas, he puts one austere yellow light in his two upper windows.
Last Saturday I went over to my friends Tom and Laura’s for the all-night jam in their barn. I wore a gorilla suit for the occasion, which was hotter than you’d think. We all sang songs together, and then we took “a cup of kindness, yet.” For Auld Lang Syne.
On Tuesday night, I was up at Colby, just as I have been each October 31st for the last 19 years, reading ghost stories for the students with my friend Charlie Bassett in Lorimer Chapel. This year, in addition to Charlie and me, there were a number of singing groups, who joined me in a group performance of the theme song from The Blob.
Beware of the Blob! It leaps and creeps
And glides and slides along the floor
Beneath the door, it’s over on the wall
A blotch, a splotch, Be Careful of the Blob!
By the morning of All Saints, the Boylan household was exhausted from a month of disguise and celebration and the ingestion of a mountain of Kit Kats and Mars Bars and Chunkies. We love Halloween.
Christmas, meanwhile, is a macabre holiday when the dead come back to haunt us.
It was Dickens, of course, who most famously observed that Christmas is the most haunted of holidays, and the older one gets, the more haunted it gets. It’s impossible for me to set up the tree in my mother’s house, for instance, without thinking of the Ghosts of Christmas Past—the father who isn’t there, the sister who doesn’t speak to me any more, all the memories of being a child, back in the prehistoric 1960s, when virtually all of my Christmases were Christmas Futures.
It’s become a cliché, now, for people to speak of their depression at Christmas, but it’s true. So many of us at this time of year, wind up haunted by the ghosts of our younger selves, laid low, as we approach the end of another year, by a sense of the speed with which time slips through our fingers.
The only thing missing from Christmas, sometimes, is a Grim Reaper in your front yard with a scythe.
I love Halloween, and I love how happy my children are at this time of year. Their wild energy makes me feel young again.
But is it too much to ask of this season, that Halloween return to October, and let Christmas be a season of light instead? Would it be so crazy if this year, Christmas was a time of joy, of looking forward, of people celebrating peace, and love, and singing songs together?
It’s a nice wish. But I have a funny feeling I already know what carol I’m going to hear, when I start, once more, to decorate the tree.
Beware of the Blob! It creeps and leaps
And glides and slides along the floor
Beneath the door, it’s over on the wall
A blotch, a splotch…
Be careful of the Blob.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
I was up to Hunting and Fishing camp the other day, with my Father-in-Law and his brother. We had just enjoyed a splendid day of Grouse hunting, basking in the crisp Autumn air and Golden sunlight of possibly the finest October day in recent memory. We were sitting around the wood stove, aglow from cheap Carlo Rossi wine and too many carbohydrates. We had just settled in to talking politics, when, suddenly, I remembered: the baseball play-offs. Of course, as you know, the beloved Olde Towne team is currently out of the picture. But, the next best thing was on: the Yankees of New York possibly going down in flames against the Tigers of Detroit. I just had to tune in. Which is easier said than done. Being within a Moose's sprint of the Quebec border, most respectable English speaking radio stations are way out of range. But thank God for AM Radio. I tuned in to 880 WCBS just in time to hear the last few innings of what turned out to be the latest play-off choke from Steinbrenner's overpaid minions of the mitt. I thoroughly enjoyed, all too much, hearing all the gory details of the latest melt down, and dire ramifications for next years' team. I could almost hear over the radio, the faint rumblings of Mount Steinbrenner, about to erupt, like Joe Pesci in Good Fellas, waitin' to fuckin' whack Joe Torre as he stepped from the clubhouse, after the loss.
I'll admit I felt a bit ashamed and petty sniffling back my baseball tears of joy, unwept since the miraculous Bosox banner year of '04. It seems, if the Red Flops cannot win, the next best thing would be for the Yankees to lose. As the saying goes, I root for two teams: the Red Sox and any team opposing the Yanks. I maintain that if you don't know what I'm talking about, if you don't feel the same petty way, you are not a true Red Sox fan. We're not used to winning, I'll admit it. But we are used to vendetta, revenge, curses: bizzare ways to explain why it is the baseball Gods are so unfair to us, Red Sox nation. I remember back when I was a kid, at my Grandparents' house, years ago, we were watching the Red Sox play the Yankees at Fenway. It was the bottom of the 9th, tie score, and my old Italian Nanny put the 'Mal Och', the fucking 'evil eye', on Thurmon Munson, a veritable Red Sox killer. "So it's down to this", I thought to myself, "the evil eye. Okay, I'm in".
Anyway, let me put it to you in terms you kids can understand. Let's say your Kevin Federline. And you're married to Brittany Spears. You've had your run; you've cut your album. You've been to all the A-List parties. But eventually, you know it's going to be over. So you and Brittany split up. You hop on the next train to Lonesometowne and watch on TV how Brittany is on tour in Australia, how Brittany is on the cover of People magazine, how Brittany is spotted at Spago's with George Clooney. It eats your fucking heart out. Wouldn't you rather hear that Brittany was dumped by Clooney? Wouldn't it be great to see her get caught for lip-synching on Saturday Night Live? Wouldn't it be awesome to hear her latest album is going down the toilet, especially after how hard you worked on your CD, and how it bombed so miserably? Look, for whatever reason, people seem to think Brittany Spears is hot, even though she is vaccuous and banal, where as you, Kevin Federline, are an aquired taste, a true original. You see where I'm going with this? I thought not. But nobody likes to see their ex- doing well, and I'll be damned if any Red Sox fan wants to see the Bronx Boners do any thing but choke like Mama Cass on a fuckin' chicken sandwich. That's just the way of the world. Pretty or not.
So now, I set my sights on the only other New York team that has a shot at greatness, the Metropolitans, and I remember with great bitterness the World Series of '86. I remember Buckner's Bungle, and I remember Mookie Fuckin' Wilson. I say now what only true Red Sox fans would yell out in a situation like this: GO TIGERS!!!
Oh yeah, and YANKEES SUCK!!
Monday, October 02, 2006
"The, ah, diffarence, my distinguished collegue, is ah, that the Democrats , ah, generally use a bookmark, where as, ah, the GOP prefer their Pages 'bent over' "!
I opened the door and found one Abby Holman, Candidate for State Representative, standing on my porch.
She was about my age, blonde, an intelligent face. Abby gave me one of her campaign brochures. “I hope you’ll be voting in November,” she said.
“I always vote,” I said. “Are you a Democrat or a Republican? You look like a Democrat.”
I can’t tell you exactly what I meant by that, but surely it’s not a very nice thing to say to someone you’ve only just met.
“Republican, actually,” she said.
“Oh, what a shame,” I said. “Okay, well so long!” I began to swing the door closed.
“Wait,” she said. “You’d never vote for a Republican? Ever?”
“Of course I’d vote for a Republican,” I said. “I used to BE a Republican. But you know how it is.”
She raised an eyebrow. “How is it?”
“Well,” I said. “Let me ask you some questions. Your position on abortion?”
“Civil rights and legal protections for gay, lesbian, and transgendered people?”
“I’m for civil rights for everybody.”
“The war in Iraq?”
I took another hard look at Abby Holman, Candidate for State Representative.
“Dude,” I said. “You’re a Democrat. Didn’t you, like, get the memo?”
“I’m a Republican,” she said, “because I want to improve the business climate in Maine. Because I want us to be more responsible with the taxpayers’ money.”
I rubbed my temples. “You heard about the budget deficit, right? You know that when Clinton left office, we had a surplus? And now we have the biggest deficit in history? Cause they just HAD to give Bill Gates a tax cut?”
She nodded. “I’m running for the Augusta State House. Not Washington.”
“I don’t know,” I said. “You still sound like a Democrat to me.”
“I used to be a Democrat,” she said, in kind of the same voice a woman might say, I used to drink a lotta tequila. “But then I left the party in the 1980s. You can be pro-business and still take socially progressive positions.”
I thought about this. “Ya think?” I said.
“What do you think of Olympia Snowe?”
Well, to be honest, there are times I am kind of fond of Olympia Snowe, and Susan Collins too. It’s discouraging for me, as a dyed-in-my-pajamas Democrat, to know that they contribute to the Republican majority in the Senate, but then there are other times I’m delighted that my home state has two moderate, female Republican Senators. There have been plenty of times that Snowe and Collins have been all that has stood between their own party and something I disapprove of, like that time, for instance that the Republicans thought it might be clever to actually impeach a sitting President on account of him having yanked on somebody’s thong underwear.
Not that I’m for that, actually. I just didn’t think he should have been impeached for it. I also wasn’t crazy about having to listen to everyone talk about the man’s kielbasa for a year and a half, considering that there were, like, other things going on in the world that were just possibly more important.
“I like Olympia Snowe all right,” I said.
“I was her press secretary,” she said.
I was getting pretty tired of not disagreeing with her. There were Democrats I had less in common with than this Abby Holman. I’d VOTED for Democrats I had less in common with than the woman on my porch.
“Okay, fine,” I said, a broken woman.
“Thanks,” said Holman, and headed back to her car.
I don’t know who I’m voting for in November. I’m kind of hoping the Democrat turns out to be a single mom who has all of Abby Holman’s positions.
Did I mention she’s a single mom?
But as I stood there, I wondered this: What’s more ridiculous, a woman with all of Holman’s positions, running as a Republican?
Or a woman like me, who wouldn’t consider crossing party lines, even to vote for what she believes in?
Saturday, September 30, 2006
It happened to me again today. I'm down in the cellar, puttering with one thing or another, and find myself with an urgent need to be upstairs in the kitchen. There was something I definitely needed there, but, for the life of me, I now can not remember what it was. There I am, standing in the middle of the kitchen, unable to recall what brought me there. So I walk back down in the cellar, by the work bench, as if that would jog my memory. It did not. So I go back up and pour myself a cup of coffee; plausibly, that is what brought me to the kitchen in the first place. So I'm sipping my coffee, and I'm thinking of a report I read one time where it said that every day you lose like 1000, or 10,000 brain cells every day. I can't remember. I used to know. Anyway, it got me to thinking about how the human mind works. At least how mine works sometime. I can't remember an apparently important errand I was suppose to do for my wife today, but go ahead and ask me who was the last Red Sox player to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in a season. Go ahead. It was Tommy Harper. I think. Speaking of, I can probably tell you the names of all the players on the '75 Red Sox, but I can't tell you the names of any of my kids teacher's names, the names of their friends, or the names of their friends parents. We were at a Cub Scout function one time last year, and I was shmoozing and chatting with one of the parents. Me and my wife walk away, and she says, sarcastically, "$100 if you can tell me their name". I didn't get the money.
Every time I hear the song 'Brown Eyed Girl' by Van Morrison, I have a distict and clear memory. I am back in 1983, I am in Baltimore, and it is a beautiful sunny day. I am working for my Uncle Frank in the big construction tour of '83. All the other guys are hard at work. Frank pulls me aside and tells me that he needs me to go to the Lumber Supply store 45 minute away, and pick up a big order with the company van. He tells me, additionally, that I should make an all day project out of it. In other words, take it easy and don't come back 'til quitting time. So it's 85 degrees, I don't have to be anywhere, I don't have a care in the world, every girl in Bal'more is wearin a halter-top and shorts, and, oh, did I mention I had a styrofoam cooler full of ICE-cold's nestled beside me in the ZVI van. I'm just thinking to myself how could things be any cooler, when on comes 'Brown-Eyed Girl'. I'm singing, sipping, enjoying the sun in the City Park. Life is good. That's what I remember every time I hear that song. Now, ask me 5 people I graduated High School with.
Now ask me where me and my old friend Barely Spragged were when his Monte Carlo turned over 70,000 miles. Frankfort, Maine. Right in front of the General Store. Now ask me my wife's eye color. Uuuhh....Hazel? Not that I don't love my wife dearly. I love her so much, in fact, that I can even remember her telephone number when we started dating, fifteen years ago: 827-3845, thank you very much. Now if I could only remember her cell phone number, so I could call her and ask her what I need so badly in the kitchen. Anyway, I digress. Frequently. It's like my old Buddy Shag asked me one time: "Remember the time we all got drunk".
At least I can put on my resume that I can recite all the lines from "Subterranean Homesick Blues", by Dylan. Course it wouldn't matter, because I'd forget about the interview. And if you need to know the chronology and lineage of any Norman Lear TV show in the 70's or 80's, from 'All in the Family' on, I'm your man. Relatedly, did you know that I used to have a hat just like Jimmy Walker used to wear in 'Good Times'. Fact. Also, did you know that I once ate dinner with members of the band Oingo-Boingo at Legal Seafood in Boston. True story. I just remembered that. My wife says I repeat myself sometimes and tell the same stories over and over again. I don't know what she's talking about. Reminds me of the time I was dining with Oingo-Boingo. Danny Elfman was telling me about a movie he was doing the soundtrack for. I think Rodney Dangerfield was in it. But again, I digress. Any way, I guess it just goes to show how the Human mind works. Maybe it's a matter of attention. Maybe I remember the things I want to remember and ignore the things I find trivial. You see what you want to see and hear what you want to hear, knowhatImean? I didn't think so.
Anyway, I just remembered what brought up to the kitchen in the first place: the smoke alarm was going off. Lunch is ready. I'd better call my wife and tell her. What the hell is her Cell phone number anyway?
Friday, September 29, 2006
To(11) make(12) it(13) even(14) worse(15) I(16) didn't(17) have(18) much(19) time(20) to(21) drink(22) beer(23).
half way there..take a breather...
did(26) have(27) a(28) good(29) time(30) this(31)summer(32).
They(33) spent(34) most(35) of(36) their(37) days(38) in(39) pools(40).
pant pant..must continue..10 more to go...I
(41) was(42) hoping(43)Karin(44) would(45) find(46) a(47) lesbian(48)lover(49).
I'm sitting here drinking a BEER and pondering what I did over my Summer vacation....(15)Those who
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Friday, September 22, 2006
Monday, September 18, 2006
As my son and I wrestled the tuba into the bathtub, I had occasion to consider how far we’d come in just a few weeks.
At the end of August we’d closed up the camp, and slowly drove up the dirt road from the banks of Long Pond and back to our “normal” house, the one where we live the other ten months of the year.
In no time at all the endless summer had become a vague, happy memory. The boys came back from Messalonskee Middle School and Belgrade Central with backpacks full of urgent missives: broadsides announcing the dates for Picture Day and Curriculum Night, requests to sell t-shirts for the annual fundraiser.
And along with all this start-of-year stuff, there was a note from Mr. Califano, the middle school band instructor, concerning my son’s future as a tuba player.
If he was going to practice at home, he said, we were going to need to find Zach a tuba. The “district” tuba could stay at school, for lessons and concerts. But we’d need a second one for the house.
We’d already learned you can’t take a tuba on the school bus. As it turns out, it’s easier to take a fully grown Angus beef on the bus than a tuba.
Unfortunately, a good tuba is hard to find.
You can’t rent them, like you can almost every other instrument, including glockenspiel, wood block, and oboe. So we made a quick call down to Al Corey’s to find out how much a new tuba might cost.
The answer: over five thousand dollars. D’oh!
Briefly, I checked ebay. A man in Bejing was selling a “Chinese tuba” for three thousand dollars.
I don’t know how to say “D’oh” in Chinese, but if I did, I’d have said it then.
Then—a miracle! Mr. Califano found another tuba, at Messalonskee High School.
I stopped by the school on the way back from work, and brought it home, and Zach and I opened up the case, and there it was.
The Haunted Tuba.
This tuba clearly had not been played for a hundred years. It was covered with an odd red tarnish that I soon determined to be “tuba rust.” Zach looked on in horror. “It looked like the last person who played this died,” he said. “While playing.”
Refusing to be beaten down by a tuba, we got out the brass polish, and set about scrubbing and rubbing. How long does it take to polish an antique tuba, you wonder?
Longer than you’d think.
At long last, we began to rinse off the polish. But as we did this, the toxic foam sloshed onto the floor, burning a hole in the rug. So instead, Zach took his shirt off, and hauled his tuba into the bathtub. Where he gave the tuba a bath.
Soon, we were drying the instrument with bath towels.
The only problem was that now there was water in it. Everytime Zach played it, it sounded like the tuba was gargling.
So my son carried the tuba onto the front porch. Where he gave it one vast, majestic blast.
At this exact moment, my spouse returned in the mini-van with our other son, Sean, just in time to see a gallon of grey water blasting into the air.
Deedie and Sean looked at Zach and me, covered with water and brass polish and foam. “Are you two all right?” said Deedie It was clear enough, she feared we’d lost our minds.
The next morning, I was woken by the call of a barred owl in the woods. “Who cooks for you?” it said.
Later, after the boys had headed off to school, I drove down the dirt road, back to the camp, and looked at the lake.
I was sad summer was over, but then we’d made a good start. Sean was selling t-shirts. Deedie was coaching soccer. And Zach was playing tuba again.
It was haunted when we started. But in less than a week, we’d made that tuba shine.