Thursday, October 31, 2013

Behind the mask

Now here's something you may have noticed today.  I went to a coffee shop (ABP) today, which was of course Halloween. One of the baristas had a witch hat and some creative makeup.  Another had black cat ears, fairly cheap and easy retail stuff.  A third had what looked like devil horns, but she had painted cat whiskers on her face, maybe to avoid offending anyone.

That was the girls.  The guys weren't into it, apparently.  Well one guy had an army uniform on, but it looked like he might actually be a reservist so that wouldn't actually be a costume.  If you're going to dress as a soldier go for something outlandish like 19th century cavalry officer.

It just seems to me that one of the few perks to working in retail is the permission to be a goof now and then.  Why not take advantage of it just because you have a Y chromosome?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ah good, the lights are still on

Logging into Blogger looks different now but seems to work the same as it did before.  Which is good, I guess.  Anyway, I'll be doing stuff soon, including responding to comments here.  Keep Kool with the Gang!

Monday, October 28, 2013

The New Yorker

Lou Reed was reputed to be an absolute nightmare of an interview, more than Dylan at his worst. Actually "reputed" isn't the word. We have evidence. And obviously this sucked if you were a journalist assigned to talk to him, or if you just wanted to do so. But he might have legitimately thought that he gave enough in the studio and onstage, that there was no more after that. And as you can see and hear here (Hear hear!) he did give an awful lot.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

It's not just the music that's loud in this Friday Random Ten

Well as it happens my cold is pretty much gone.  What's left is a tickle in my throat that can potentially cause coughing jags any time of day or night.  Is this more annoying to me or to people around me?  It's a tossup.

1. Talk Talk - My Foolish Friend
2. R.E.M. - Sitting Still
3. The Bird and the Bee - Witch
4. Love - The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This
5. Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band - Equestrian Statue
6. Gogol Bordello - Start Wearing Purple*
7. Nellie McKay featuring Cyndi Lauper - Beecharmer
8. Taj Mahal - Take a Giant Leap
9. Morphine - Candy
10. Dinah Washington - Invitation

* Strippers love this song.  Googling "start wearing purple burlesque" brings a ton of video results.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Warning: Demonstration in first paragraph

This is the first new post in a few days or is that a few nights because between one thing and another and one thing always does seem to go between two other things doesn't it?  But yes between one thing and another I've found myself for the past several days too drowsy and muddle-headed during the peak or is that peek no actually I'm pretty convinced that it's peak blogging hours too tired and uninspired at that time to do any actual blogging so I made the choice to just get a relatively early bedtime in order to get up on time for work which worked out if you'll pardon the expression which regardless of pardoning or choosing not to forgive it's there now and there's nothing anyone can do about it so we might as well move on but anyway the choice to say screw it and go to bed instead did at least ensure that I'd get to work on time substantially early on at least one day and that's good not that I'm usually late but well work is like a never-ending suspense movie in that sense.


One thing I've discovered recently is the value of energetic half-assed writing.  Something like you see above, say, with run-on sentences and maybe a repetition here and there and also here (ha).  It makes writing sessions more fun and at least for me can make them more productive too.  If I try to go in a regular A then B then C route odds are I'll run out of steam no matter what kind of setup I give myself.  If I make a mess, like the artist who sketches in big strokes with the arm always straight, that means freedom.  It means that a 1000 word per night output goes from being barely conceivable to fairly trivial, although most of this initial burst won't be usable as is.  More than that, though, it means that in the middle of one of those broken sentences or poorly-planned paragraphs I might find some new direction to go in, more interesting than what I'd thought of at first.

Anyway, my process continues to evolve and this has grown to be part of it. 

The non-blogging over the past several days is true, of course.  That's part of the reason for no FR10 today.  Probably another Saturday Random 10 tomorrow.

Monday, October 21, 2013


It's a funny thing, because I say it is.  Shakespeare passed away before Ben Jonson.  At the time Jonson was more considered a major writer. The balance tipped in Shaleseare's favor in a big way during the 19th cnentury.  Now the Bard is praised and Jonson is domestic and forgotten.  Yet there's that whole authorship question, as silly as it might be.  Everyone knoss who Will Shakespeare is, and thousands refuse to believe he wrote anything. 

I wonder if there's a lot of teasing that goes on in  the afterlife over things like this.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Natural sound FX Saturday Random Ten

There are crickets chirping outside.  I don't remember telling a joke, but if I did it obviously bombed.

1. Edith Piaf - Mariage
2. Dinah Washington - I'll Close My Eyes
3. Arcade Fire - Ocean of Noise
4. Morphine - Buena
5. Nellie McKay - I Will Be There
6. Lou Rawls - Your Good Thing (Is About to End)
7. Yo La Tengo - Black Flowers
8. Metric - Breathing Underwater
9. Radiohead - Knives Out
10. Bonzo Doo-Dah Dog Band - Piggy Bank Love

Friday, October 18, 2013

The T.O.

Did not get around to posting anything last night.  Sort of hoped to.  Yesterday was the birthday of one of my faithful readers and all.

I've been a little waylaid by some kind of autumn sickness.  For now let's call it a cold, as it certainly feels like one.  Which is kind of a curveball, thinking you have allergies and dealing accordingly and suddenly you have something heavier.  Good news is once I'm over this, history suggests the allergies won't bother me as much either.

No FR10 today.  I'll see if I can pull one together for Saturday.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Conservative agonitstes

This writer is a conservative trying to expose the failings of the conservative media in its relations with the Tea Party and other populists. To be honest it's kind of hard to tell who he's talking to.

Perhaps because, having nodded along with Limbaugh for eight years, it would be a blow to confront the fact that all along you were also blind to Bush's excesses, and your blind partisan loyalty played a part in enabling all you presently decry

Simply put, if conservatives have a problem, Limbaugh isn't it. Oh, he's probably hurt or at least de-motivated his side's debating skills, because he's taught his listeners that you can win an argument by not having anyone there to disagree with you. But that was always part of the culture, and Friedersdorf's complaint is more connected with misinformation. And in that respect Limbaugh figured out the market, but didn't create it. The mass of conservatives want to hear that they're winning all the time. That they're on the verge of final and absolute victory, which apparently exists. That's the commonality between believing that Bush was an epoch-making president ten years ago and that a government shutdown would work out great for the shutter downers today. Yes there may be inconsistencies between these beliefs, but they serve the same demographic. No surprise, then, that some are making money off both messages.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Great Tourist

We had a three day weekend here in RI.  Meaning, for example, that garbage pickup will be tomorrow morning where most weeks it would have been this morning.  The 3dw is because Columbus Day was Saturday and they still needed a holiday for it.  I'm curious as to whether Columbus Day is as big a deal in the rest of the country.  I suspect it's not in most of it.  The Italian thing seems to make him sort of a local celebrity here.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


It occurred to me recently that I hadn't been to Waterfire during the summer at all.  Not a biggie, but generally I like to see it at once during the year.  So I went downtown before sunset, spent a little time reading, then writing, in one of our city's many fine Starbuckses.  After it was dark I went to the river, and by this time the fires had been set. 

One of the side attractions was a living statue.  A living statue is not, to the best of my knowledge, an actual statue come to life.  Rather, it's a performer who stands still for an extended period of time, and then makes swift and/or subtle movements.  This one was dressed as a gargoyle, with long, demonic fingers.  Does make quite an impression when something looking like that starts moving.  I mean, I think it's kind of hard, getting harder, to get people's attention out in the street.  Our garoyle demon boy did the trick.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Odd thought or the (Fri)day (Random Ten)

Is it possible to think like a spider? Do spiders have thoughts that are compatible with human consciousness?  Or do they mostly just count their leg joints?  The questions just popped into my head unbidden.  I need to sleep.  I'm going to put them off until it's light out again.

1. Yo La Tengo - Beanbag Chair
2. R.E.M. - Perfect Circle
3. Gogol Bordello - Think Locally, Fuck Globally
4. The Bird and the Bee - Ray Gun
5. Roxy Music - Angel Eyes
6, Love - A House Is Not a Hotel
7. Morphine - Cure for Pain
8. Metric (featuring Lou Reed) - Wanderlust
9. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Highway Chile
10. Dinah Washington - For All We Know

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Near-weekend funniness

Duncan Carson at Cap City Comedy Club, 5/20/13 from Duncan Carson on Vimeo.

Here we are standing at or near the end of another week. I'm reminding myself "near" so that my body doesn't get tricked into thinking it can sleep in tomorrow.

And I'm putting this comedy bit I just found up here because the guy's funny (from the first audience scolding) and actually speaks pretty intelligently.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Trouble comes to a head

I thought that maybe I might have - yes I see the redundancy, it's for emphasis - blogged about something, anything last night.  Then again I was thinking of that when I was half-asleep, so it's not too surprising I didn't follow through.

This past Sunday I went out grocery shopping.  At the supermarket I stood behind an older guy with no hair at his temples and very loose hair on his scalp.  Loose, I mean, in that you could easily slide a ballpoint pen under it.  There's a lesson here.  If you respond to your receding hairline by shaving your head, you've crossed the rubicon.  No use wearing a toupee then, it will just look foolish.  Full wig maybe, but it won't fool anyone.  Just adjust to your new life as a chrome dome.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

... and see all the people

Static Gathering from Michael Ditchburn on Vimeo.

This is an installation that was done recently in the English countryside, in Thaxted, Essex. I love that it's calming if only because of the bucolic surroundings, yet could also be quite unsettling because the figures are realistic in some ways, yet stylized half out of existence. For me the ideal audience would seem to be hikers or cyclists who hadn't been told this was an art project.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Indian Summer Friday Random Ten

We're in that period, that "warmer than expected, even if you did sort of expect it" part of the fall. The real thing will be happening pretty soon. Which is a'ight. We'll be seeing leaves turn. And by that logic, seeing terns leave, although they're welcome to stay if I have anything to say about it.

1. Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band - Trouser Press*
2. Beck - Broken Drum
3. Rasputina - Hunter's Kiss
4. Gogol Bordello - Santa Marinella
5. Metric - Youth Without Youth
6 Jimmy Smith - Memories of You
7. Neko Case - The Next Time You Say Forever
8. The Bird and the Bee - Baby
9. Yo La Tengo - The Race Is On Again
10. Dinah Washington - This Bitter Earth

* With then-bassist and token Yank Jason Druckman on spoken word vocal.  Just learned about him recently.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Soaking in It

Okay, here's an amusing juxtaposition. Once and possibly future Senator Scott Brown says this:

Speaking to reporters Monday night outside a function hall, where Brown addressed Republicans at a fund-raiser for local candidates, he criticized Shaheen for raising the specter of a matchup between the two in a recent campaign e-mail. The fund-raiser was closed to the media.

"I think it's shameful for her to do that, for one, because I'm not a declared candidate," Brown said. "I think she should be addressing the government shutdown problem."

But it turns out this happened a few years back.

Of course even without his hypocrisy being exposed, it's a little hard to see what he's bitching about. The e-mail said that it was maybe possible he'd be running against Shaheen. When asked directly he says "I dunno." So basically they're in agreement. But without the words "shameful", "disgraceful", and "inexcusable", political discourse would be filled with a lot of ums and ahs.