Thursday, December 27, 2007
I'm working on a piece about Billy Joel's The Stranger (yes, I'm still obsessed with this record). In the course of researching Mr. Joel I came across an interesting tidbit on Wikipedia. Apprently, after his parents divorced in 1960, his father moved back to Vienna, Austria. First of all, I can't think of anything more sad than a parent moving away from his child. But more importantly, it's given me new insight on the first song on Side B "Vienna". OMG! "Vienna waits for you" he talks about some ambitious kid who doesn't seem to know how to relax and enjoy life. Is he talking to his father? That's deep.
Check out this a cappella version by these kids. (They are good!)
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
This is an amusing, challenging vocabulary test to waste some time with.
Words are neat, after all.
It's also, weirdly but happily, a mechanism for raising money for the UN to fight hunger. (Every word you identify correctly = 20 grains of rice contributed.)
I know some super-geeks who have scored as high as 50. That's way outta my league.
Shall we have a little contest, Lake Effecters?
I'll get us started: 42.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
My journey began on craigslist, as so many journeys do. With this ad:
Do you LOVE Harry Potter & rock music?
No, I can't say that I do, but I know David and Ella do, probably Nick, Mike, Alice, Eva, Liza, Jimmy, Tony, Paul, Brendan (!) too, so I kept going. Which led me to this:
Yes. Wizardrock. With their very own .org domain and whatnot, like they were actual people who had something important enough to say that it was worth $30 to say it. Unbelievable. (Example - Here you'll find a song clip from the "first known" wizardrock band, Harry and the Potters, called "This Book Is So Awesome"). Am I the last person to hear about these freaks and geeks?
But it did get me thinking. (or maybe it was the coffee.) Simo, it's time for you to lay claim to the Adventurerock idiom, and tell the budding little adventurerockers that it's ok to rock like you're going somewhere, in a hurry or majestically, and that it's fine to be inspired by Journey, Queen, Rush, Kansas, Loverboy, et adventurum. Seems like the perfect thing to start on while you lounge poolside or roofside or wherevah.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
“I was aware that the loosening of mortgage credit terms for subprime borrowers increased financial risk,” Mr. Greenspan wrote in his recent memoir, “The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World.” “But I believed then, as now, that the benefits of broadened home ownership are worth the risk.”
But so much so that it required zero regulation? You couldn't have dialed it back a little tiny bit?
An examination of regulatory decisions shows that the Federal Reserve and other agencies waited until it was too late before trying to tame the industry’s excesses. Both the Fed and the Bush administration placed a higher priority on promoting “financial innovation” and what President Bush has called the “ownership society.”nytimes: Fed Shrugged as Subprime Crisis Spread
I'm sorry, that was awful and boring, I know.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Paul called me with a dead Gordo message instead of Fogelberg. I googled it immediately to see if by some macabre cosmic coincidence both minor talents had expired on the same day, at which point I discovered that today is, in fact, Gordo's birthday, and that he is indeed still among the living!
In celebration I offer you, wait for it...an SCTV spoof!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Before last night's Shellac show, Tony and I got to see this terrific band called The Bitter Tears. They were funny and kind of Tom Waits-ish, ad here's their song "Murdered At The Bar".
The Bitter Tears - "Murdered At The Bar"
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
In Utah. In me.
I have decided to take the mantle thrust upon me by the drivers of Utah. Though I did not seek this nomination, I will accept it.
For the second time in 6 weeks, a truck attacked me on I-80. This time, my improved stunt-driving skills came in handy, as I avoided contact with any objects, through ice and snow, successfully avoided heading into oncoming traffic (though I did make half way onto the shoulder of said approaching vehicles before the wheels grabbed), and landed safely in the salty, half-frozen Utah mud at the bottom of the divided highway. No one was injured, and I am very excited by the chance to deal with insurance companies again.
If I could only get a couple ramps set up at the edge of all these highways out here; I could catch some righteous air!
Hope you're all well; I am! Can't wait to see you all and get back to the safety of Chicago streets during the holydaze!!
Somewhere, Buzz Lightyear is reveling in his victory over Charlton Heston.
Monday, December 10, 2007
This mostly just makes me sad, but The Hitmaker's favorite Republican spokesmodel, Dana Perino, had the classiness / humility to appear on NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't tell me ..." and admit she didn't 'really' know what the Cuban Missile Crisis was about ... beyond, you know, Cuba and missiles.
Appearing on NPR's "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me" over the weekend, Perino said she "panicked" when she got the Cuban missile crisis question because she wasn't exactly sure what the Cuban missile crisis was. "I really know nothing about the Cuban missile crisis," Perino said. "It had to do with Cuba and missiles, I'm pretty sure."
Perino said she went home that night and asked her husband, "'Wasn't that, like, the Bay of Pigs thing?' And he said, 'Oh, Dana.'"
Next time the movie Thirteen Days comes on cable, she should really watch it.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Friday, December 7, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
NEW YORK — This was REALLY not kosher. A grocery store in Manhattan made a food faux pas, advertising hams as "Delicious for Chanukah."
Chanukah -- an alternate spelling for Hanukkah -- is the eight-day Jewish holiday that began Tuesday evening, and hams -- as well as pork and other products from pigs -- can't be eaten under Jewish dietary laws.
A woman who saw the mistake over the weekend at the Balducci's store in Greenwich Village took pictures of the signs and posted them on her blog.
Jennifer Barton, director of marketing, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the signs were changed as soon as the error was noted.
She issued an apology on the company Web site, saying the company would be reviewing its employee training.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
And no, David, it ain't fake. Everyone knows that the Kaohsiung Zoo doesn't have Photoshop. And even if he did, that's the zookeepers mouse-hand (lefty!).
(props to Brooke Myers for this; woot woot!!)
Communism isn't just over. It's capitalism's pimp now.
Witness this print ad featuring Gorbachev and his large, luxurious Louis Vitton duffel bag.
It'd be funny if it weren't so depressing.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
Clearly life is a little less entertaining with the Singers on their Grand Tour. So how about we pass the time with a lake effects presidential poll? Ok, good.
If you lived in Iowa - and it were January - besides being really depressed, and possibly more polite, you'd have the chance to vote in some crazy caucus thing for president ... and thus exercise inordinate influence over who our next Supreme Leader will be.
and if that were all true: Who would you vote for today?
Kucinich, Gravel and even Ron Paul are acceptable (if pointless) choices.
Al Gore is not, dammit. He's not on the ballot.