29 November 2008
Yesterday was "Black Friday", the day after Thanksgiving that is traditionally the busiest retail shopping day of the year...The day when we waddle around the malls and parking lots of America, working off some of that cornbread stuffing and sweet potato pie while we add a few hundred, or thousand, more dollars to our credit card balances...
I stayed home and worked on next month's EVERYTHINGATHON! , although I did go to the grocery store for coffee and catfood in the evening...It was about 7pm, and there were more employees standing around than actual customers, and COPP'S is a huge grocery store...I checked myself out...The four employees standing around bullshitting at the checkout seemed like they were having a good time, and who am I to mess with that...
Anyways, the holiday season is now officially upon us, nevermind that Madison's oldie's station WOLX, has been playing Christmas music since Halloween.
As I've no doubt written here before, I don't particularly enjoy this time of year, simply because my mom died on Christmas Eve 1987. Now, 21 years have passed, and I've certainly made my peace with her passing, but that does not mean I take any great joy in this season.
Well, that's not exactly true.
I do enjoy those pictures of children screaming and crying on Santa's lap...And I think pictures of naked Santa are funny...Likewise, pictures of Santa in sexually compromising positions are awfully titillating to me...So are pictures of large groups of Santas doing un-Santa-like activities, like downhill skiing or dancing the Frug...I like the Toys For Tots campaign, and always stick a couple of things into the box at work every year...I look forward to rewatching SCTV's various Christmas specials every December...I like year-end best-of lists...I like baked ham...I like giving and the idea of giving...And while I no longer consider myself a Christian, I do believe the historical Jesus Christ was probably a pretty cool dude, or at the very least a damn fine showman...Either way, a celebration of his birth is alright with me...I just wish it didn't have to last 1-2 months of the year...
A Word With Moshammer's Ghost
28 November 2008
Something 4 The Weekend # 95
27 November 2008
Something 4 Thanksgiving
Well, this is about the most cliched track I could post on Thanksgiving day, isn't it?
But you know what? I listen to this recitation by WSB every Thanksgiving, to remind myself that we founded this country through genocide, and we built this country through slavery, and that those with money and power always have and always will fuck over those without.
25 November 2008
Tuesday's Fortune: 25 November 2008
24 November 2008
22 November 2008
He Was The Indian Of The Group
In the years after he played with Zappa, Jimmy Carl Black also played with Captain Beefheart, Eugene Chadbourne, Arthur Brown, and a variety of different bands featuring other former members of Zappa groups. Some of them were Zappa tribute bands, like The Grandmothers, but most were original R&B-influenced rock bands, because in the end, R&B was Jimmy Carl's thing...
While Frank Zappa himself is inducted into the Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame (once again, I leave it to you to decide how important the RNRHOF is), The Mothers Of Invention as a group, have not been inducted, and there's been a fairly strong and vocal contingent within the music industry who have been lobbying to correct this...
Which seems fair enough to me. As I mentioned yesterday, Jimi Hendrix was only able to reach is own potential and realize his own vision by surrounding himself with other players capable of "keeping up" and actually contributing their own formidable skills, and that is true of any notable musician, including Frank Zappa. Frank needed great players and colorful performers to achieve his vision, and The Mothers of Invention were that great and colorful band that Frank led through the early, formative years of his professional career, providing the R'n'B, roots Rock, and Doo Wop that would remain the foundation of Zappa's music to the end, no matter how sophisticated it could get...
Rest In Peace, Jimmy Carl Black. I'm sorry this took so long.
21 November 2008
Something 4 The Weekend # 94
20 November 2008
Huddled In Storms
Casserole Is Friendship, But Soup Is Cheap Eating
Stephen Colbert is right, as he usually is - the "soup wars" are indeed heating up. With the economy currently collapsing, and the coming winter here in the midwest, there are soup commercials at every break on television, sometimes more than one per break, and yes, that commercial Colbert plays in the clip above is the most prolific, second only to that "Saved By Zero" Toyota commercial overall...And I'll tell you what, the very first time I saw that commercial, and heard that blindfolded woman say "the Petersons-Jacobs farm, I believe", I vowed to myself that I would never eat Campbell's Select Harvest brand soup, which is an easy vow because I never eat soup from a can. That's what a crockpot is for...
18 November 2008
ROUGH RYDERS 2008: Week Eleven
Tuesday's Fortune: 18 November 2008
A Second Word With Moshammer's Ghost
Etymology: Middle English viscouse, from Anglo-French viscos, from Late Latin viscosus full of birdlime, viscous, from Latin viscum mistletoe, birdlime; akin to Old High German wīhsila cherry, Greek ixos mistletoe
Date: 14th century
1: having a glutinous consistency
2: having or characterized by viscosity: "Boy, that's some hot, viscous poop."
A Word With Moshammer's Ghost
14 November 2008
And Now For Something Completely Sideways
What I love about YouTube, and the internet in general, is that stuff like this finds me, I don't have to go looking for it...I mean, I don't have a tickling fetish, although I do admit that this is an exciting and entertaining 83 seconds that I'm glad I spent...
No, it just so happened that the #6 RISING VIDEO in the FILM-ANIMATION Channel is a different, longer Tickle video than this one, and when I saw it there, standing out on the page, I just couldn't resist...A quick tickle video can hit the spot from time to time...
Anyways, thanks to the lone, sublime tickle tag, that video led me to this particular video, which has been viewed 17,000 times since it was uploaded 13 days ago. Now, tickling may not necessarily be my thing, but it makes me glad to know that there are that many people out there who do make it their thing, frequently, and with great vigor.
What's Up, Sideways Maneuver?
This is Fatlip from The Pharcyde, starring in one of my favorite videos of all time, cuz sometimes in life yr nothing more than a clown taking a kick to the nuts for entertainment purposes.
But the song itself is sadder than that. In fact, it's one of the saddest songs in Hip Hop...
ALL CAPS SIDEWAYS VILLAINY
Something 4 The Weekend # 93
13 November 2008
HANK RANKS No. 19
You know the scenario - If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would you choose?
This has long been one of my favorite little daydreaming activities, just sitting around with soft music in the background, thinking about interesting combinations of personalities and the kinds of conversations that might arise...And also being able to ask questions of historical figures, to sift the myth from fact...For this reason, alot of my favorite combinations are dead people, but I sometimes wonder if Beethoven would be any more enlightening or fun than Philip Glass.
So, anyways, I've written down dozens of these combinations of Dream Dinner Guests over the years, littering the margins and open spaces of countless notebooks and index cards...Here are my favorite nineteen cuz I'm self-indulgent like that...Here comes some blather on a lazy afternoon...Just remember, as always, this information is not knowledge...
19: John F. Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby...Uncomfortable! For the meal, I'd serve a variety of "Five Dollar Footlongs" from Subway, assorted bags of Frito-Lay chips, and whatever Coca-Cola brand soft drink flavors they've got on the self-serve machine...
18: Lewis Carroll, Theodor Seuss Geisel, Fred Rogers...This dream dinner best represents my childhood, I suppose...Now, if I could have a dream dinner with fictional characters from my childhood, I'd probably choose Grover from Sesame Street, Leroy "Encyclopedia" Brown (or maybe even Sherlock Holmes), and Paul Bunyan (or maybe Bigfoot)...Anyways, for the meal, I'd serve grilled cheese sandwiches, tater-tots with tartar sauce for dipping, cottage cheese, celery with peanut butter, and ice cold 2% milk...For dessert, warm oatmeal raisin cookies and more milk...Marjory The Trash Heap???
17: King George III, Marie Antoinette, Thomas Jefferson...Three prominent figures from the late 1700's, and the revolutions in America and France...For the meal, Chinese take-out from China Wok, where I get those messed-up fortunes every Tuesday at lunch...
16: Abraham Lincoln, Audrey Hepburn, Richard Pryor...I think this dream dinner is pretty self-explanatory...LOL...For the meal, I'd serve soft-shell steak tacos, heavy on the guacamole and onions...Pitchers of Horchata, and soft snickerdoodles for dessert...
15: Meg White, Rosario Dawson, Monica Bellucci...What can I say? This dinner party is all about the company of three luxurious, voluptuous ladies...For the meal, Oysters Rockefeller, caviar, steamed artichoke hearts, Pernod, Absinthe and Champagne, strawberries and chocolate sauce, butterscotch pudding...
14: "The Leatherman", Tom Waits, "Johnny Appleseed" Chapman...The Leatherman was a famous vagabond who travelled western Connecticut and the length of the Hudson River in New York in the latter half of the 19th century...He was that rare famous hobo, famous because he wore nothing but handmade leather garments from head-to-toe = shoes, pants, shirt, suit coat, top hat...All dirty, stinky leather...Rather than re-tell his fascinating story here, I'll direct you towards a handy Wiki link...Johnny Appleseed was another traveller, though he had a more defined purpose for wandering around...Tom Waits is simply cool, and he gets around, you know? For the meal I'd serve tins of sardines, fancy crackers, loaves of thick-sliced bread to sop up the sardine oil, a five pound block of cheese, a large quantity of hot apple pies, Thermoses™ of hot, black coffee, flasks of Korbel brandy, and one pint of beer for each of us. For dessert, more hot apple pie, a la mode...And a bushel of apples for each of us to take with us afterwards...
13: E.E. Cummings, William Carlos Williams, Frank O'Hara...I've got 11,640 pages of half-baked metaphors and dull images from my 20's sitting in boxes in my closet that my two cats take turns protecting...At 32 I burned myself out on a few meager accolades and 12 credits of Poetry labs on my transcript ...Nowadays I contemplate burning some of those volumes while I try to figure out how to hot poop...These are my three favorite American poets of the 20th century, tokens of the years before my own millenial crash...For the meal I'd serve all-beef hot dogs with ketchup, Peppadew mustard and diced onions, a huge pot of baked beans, salt & vinegar potato chips, and 4 gallons of creamy root beer...For dessert, Bananas Foster...
12: Piet Mondrian...Max Ernst...Bill Griffith...This dinner party would satisfy the comic-stripping, MUCKO-ing artsy-farter in me...Mondrian was part of the De Stijl movement in the first half of the 20th century, and his colorful geometric paintings wholly satisfy my right-brained tendencies...Ernst was a German Dada/Surrealism artist in many different mediums...Griffith is the creator of the Zippy The Pinhead comic strip, my favorite strip of all-time, and loaded with tons of absurdity (and stellar art)...For the meal, I'd serve porcupine meatballs, mashed potatoes and sweet peas, ice cold milk, and for dessert, hot apple pie leftover from a previous dream dinner...
11: Woody Allen...Terry Gilliam...Joel & Ethan Coen...After music, movies are the biggest passion in my life. I watch tons of films, and I take alot of notes cuz I've got Final Draft on my computer and farfetched dreams of screenplay glory in my head. If I had to choose my three favorite filmmakers, it would have to be these four because the Coens come as a pair, natch...What I like best about all of these guys is that they write most of their own scripts, which is what kept Scorsese from making this table...For the meal, I'd put a pitcher of ice water and an enormous bowl of Cobb Salad in the middle of the table and just let everybody have at it...
10: Amelia Earhart, Joni Mitchell, Emily Dickinson...This is a strange one...A WTF? kinda dinner party....But I'd really like to find out what happened to Ms. Earhart...And Joni Mitchell because she wrote a beautiful song called "Amelia" , and simpy because she's Joni, you know?...I am fairly ambivalent about Emily Dickinson's poetry, but I always understood the reclusive life she led...For the meal I'd serve ham & cheese omelets and potato pancakes, warm buttermilk...For dessert, coffee and cigarettes.
09: Hunter S Thompson, William S Burroughs, Ulysses S Grant...My best guess is that we'd talk about guns, and probably shoot off a few rounds...Maybe go hunting for our meal before actually sitting down to eat...Grilled rabbit, squirrel, pheasant, wild turkey...Maybe some venison...Mashed potatoes and sweet corn...Heavy mugs of dark lagers, possibly some port wine...Scotch and cigars and LSD for dessert...
08: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill...The Yalta Conference revisited, around my kitchen table...Nuff said...For the meal, I'd serve cheeseburgers, onion rings and milkshakes of many flavors...For dessert, a very large platter of assorted Hostess products = Twinkies, Ding Dongs, HoHo's, Snowballs, Chocodiles, Suzy Q's, Pudding Pies...
07: d. Boon, Jimi Hendrix, Sonny Sharrock...My three favorite dead guitar players...Kurt Cobain was a close fourth, and then there's Eddie Van Halen and Jeff Beck still among the living...I figured this dinner party would be a good chance to get some guitar lessons...For the meal, fucking corndogs on sticks (Minutemen fans will get the reference) and a vat of ketchup to dip 'em in, plenty of tater-tots, and a fridge full of bottled pure-cane sugar Coca-Cola that you can only get at the Mexican grocery store and/or during Passover...
06: Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, John Dos Passos...Paris after the the first World War...The feast moves to my dining room, if only for a night...Racks of roasted lamb with carmelized shallot and thyme crust, a sizzling casserole dish of Gruyere Potato Gratin, a big bowl of steamed cauliflower, and bottles of fresh Beaujolais Nouveau...Crème brûlée and dark roast coffee for dessert...
05: Jesus Christ, Siddhartha Gautama, Lao Tse...I was raised and confirmed Catholic, before lapsing into Buddhism for awhile and finally falling into Taoism...For the meal I'd serve a good old-fashioned Wisconsin Friday night, all-you-can-eat fish fry = An endless serving of delicate pieces of deep-fried perch filets and piles of golden french fries...Tubs of creamy coleslaw and bowls of tartar sauce, tall stacks of buttered rye bread, and a never-empty pitcher of Spotted Cow Farmhouse Ale...
04: William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, King Henry VIII...The "Bard Of Avon" and two of his most famous and interesting subjects...A chance compare stories, so to speak...For this dream dinner I always imagine a spacious hall of feast befitting kings...Perhaps a small troupe of actors would perform the two relevant plays for us...Perhaps the four of us would simply do a table read...For the meal, a fat pig, roasted on a slowly-turning spit, roasted turkey, duck, and chicken, racks of lamb, grilled venison tenderloin, baked potatoes, carrots and turnips and onions...Mead and milk and heavy lagers...For dessert, prostitutes...
03: Philip K Dick, Brian Eno, Winona Ryder...PKD is perhaps my favorite writer, if I had to choose one...Eno is one of my favorite producers and the name of one of my cats, and I believe he would have some interesting things to discuss with PKD, able to bridge that gap into the esoteric and metaphysical sci-fi...And Ms. Ryder? I think we all ought to be surprised she isn't on the #1 guest list...For the meal, I'd set about 50 kinds of cereal on the counter in my kitchen, and gallons of ice cold whole milk on the table...
02: Frank Zappa, Groucho Marx, Salvadore Dali...Three smart and funny men in the vanguard of their respective fields, all sporting distinctive facial hair configurations...Strange, dry, trim and sarcastic...For the meal, I'd serve fried leftover spaghetti, baked garlic bread soaked in butter, bottle after bottle of robust red wine, and amaretto cheesecake and espresso for dessert...
01: Ben Franklin, Mark Twain, Bob Dylan...What can I say, when I think of America, I think of these three men probably more than any others...Ben Franklin, the witty and ribald statesman, inventor and storyteller of the 18th century, Mark Twain the wittier and more sardonic storyteller and world traveller of the 19th century, and Bob Dylan, folk poet and singer of American myths in the 20th century...Man, I gotta believe this dinner would be wild and drunk and loud...And between Twain and Franklin and me, I bet we could get Dylan to smoke a pipe...For the meal, I'd serve roasted Cornish game hens with wild rice stuffing, steamed asparagus, sweet iced tea, and bread pudding for dessert...
12 November 2008
I don't wanna dwell on this whole "Cocaine Miley" thing, but I think these pupils can be accurately described as "dilated", made even more suspicious considering the bright lights
11 November 2008
ROUGH RYDERS 2008: Week Ten
It all started early, on Thursday night, with Jay "Fucking Cuts" Cutler lighting it up in Cleveland for about 450 passing yards and 3 touchdowns, good for a whopping 67.78 FP, which was only his second highest FP score of the year...Since Denver has lost about 3 dozen RB to injury so far this year, I'm counting on the Broncos offense to be 98% passing plays the rest of the season, which is nothing but golden for our beloved ROUGH RYDERS....Woot!
Meanwhile, all three of my running backs had great games, especially Thomas "Green Moses" Jones, who rushed for about 150 yards and 3 touchdowns. Finally, Mangini is using Green Moses the way Green Moses oughta be used.
Frank Gore was slightly off his game, but still managed to rush for 100 yards, though he didn't find paydirt. Thankfully, I didn't need any TDs from him this week.
And my most recent free agency pickup, Kevin Smith, is looking like a GENIUS move, as the powers that be in Detroit have finally figured out that Rudi Johnson is old and in the way. Sorry Rudi, but yr time has come and gone...
And Saints WR Marques Colston finally had a big game this weekend, after suffering a broken thumb through most of the season. If I can get my other two WRs on track, I feel confident in saying that our beloved ROUGH RYDERS are gonna be tough to beat, and have a solid chance of winning the FICL championship...
Speaking of the Saints, I picked up Jeremy Shockey to play for my usual starter, Chris Cooley, who had a BYE this week. Shockey caught two passes for a total of 16 yards, which means he was a total bust. I didn't see the Saints game, but supposedly Shockey was his usual dickish self, screaming at his QB, Drew Brees both on the field and sidelines during the game. I never liked Shockey, but thought in the Saints powerful offense, he'd have a solid game. I was wrong. The dude half-asses everything. No hustle, shitty hands, and a piss-poor attitude...What was I thinking? Again, I'm very glad I didn't need better numbers from him to win this week...Anyways, I'm very glad to have Cooley back in the lineup next week. Adios, douchebag Shockey!
Finally, my defensive unit continues to play well. Of note, beloved Green Bay Packer Nick Collins intercepted a ball which he ran back for a TD...Great stuff, even though the Packers eventually lost to the hated Minnesota Vikings...Man, that sucked. The Vikings are not a very good football team, and yet they sit atop the NFC Central right now. That's fucked up.
Anyways, our beloved WINONA ROUGH RYDERS are now 8-2, and sitting precariously in first place in the FICL...Onward to Week Eleven, and the always dangerous NEST OF DEATH...This one should be a barnburning nail-biter...Stay tuned!
Tuesday's Fortune: 11 November 2008
10 November 2008
They Say It's Spring, I Say It's A Sideways Maneuver
Manhattan Is Going To The Dogs
Well, I'm not sure what this video is supposed to be about, especially in relation to the song, but I won't quibble, cuz it allows me to use the FURRY ANIMALS tag, which is one of my personal favorites. Anyways, this is the charming and gifted Blossom Dearie, doing her wonderful rendition of "Manhattan".
08 November 2008
Something 4 The Weekend # 92
More than half of America and countless people around the world are ecstatic about President-Elect Barack Obama. I'm rather excited too.
But this ecstacy can't last, because reality can be a stone-cold bitch sometimes, and aside from whatever other woes currently exist in our world, the fact remains that despite Obama's best efforts, I believe the economy is only going to get worse for America and many other countries around the world, and the recession/depression isn't going to disappear anytime soon.
So yeah, I'm wearing a happy face right now, and maybe for a short while longer, but eventually, this emotional high has got to end, and we've all gotta face facts once more. So, enjoy your happiness while you can, because it can still get worse before it gets better...
Enjoy yr weekend!
06 November 2008
Last Days Of Sideways Humanity Maneuver
While searching for a Pig Destroyer video for this week's Sideways Maneuver, I happened across this...Good luck making it through all 150 seconds...
FYI - The band is called Last Days Of Humanity, and the song is called "A Divine Proclamation for Finishing the Present Existence"...
A Word With Moshammer's Ghost
Etymology: Medieval Latin, from Greek plēthōra, literally, fullness, from plēthein to be full
1: a bodily condition characterized by an excess of blood and marked by turgescence and a florid complexion
2: excess, superfluity, also profusion, abundance
05 November 2008
My Election Story
The Two Party System Can Be As Sad As One...
In a different year, I might have voted for Ron Paul. If I had to describe my own politics, I'd say that I fall somewhere in that nether region between Libertarianism and traditional Liberalism, a place where extreme conservatism (small or no government) swings back around to meet the extreme liberalism. It's a tough place to be because while I believe that government should stay the fuck outta the way of progress and personal liberties (we ought to legalize drugs, prostitution, etc), I also believe that we have a moral obligation to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves, and for better or worse, government programs and money are the quickest and easiest way to make sure that the less fortunate are provided for. So you see, it's a schizophrenic political philosophy that I've cobbled together for myself over the years.
Typically, I do not vote for major party candidates. Beyond my Libertarian streak, I believe the two party system is mostly a sham, and that both sides of the aisle are beholden to the true wielders of power in Washington - corporations and their lobbyists. I have voted for third party candidates with the idea, as silly as it sounds, that if enough people did likewise, we may someday be able to expand American politics beyond the two-headed beast we must suffer with today. I thought for awhile that the 1992 election might be a watershed moment in this regard, when Ross Perot garnered almost 19% of the popular vote (yes, I voted for Perot), but by the next election in 1996, Perot was only able to garner about 8% of the popular vote, and here we are today, back to the old comforts of the two party system.
So, anyways, I was struck by this picture of Ron Paul, and the loneliness and futility of the third party candidate. Ron Paul has plenty of crazy ideas (he is a Libertarian, after all), but he's been a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq since day one, and for that alone, I commend him. Like I said, in a different year, I most likely would have voted for him, but in this year's election, my biggest concern was that John McCain not become our next president (to say nothing of Barack Obama's impressiveness as a man and candidate) and so I cast my ballot for Obama. Let us all hope that Obama can run our country as impressively and successfully as he ran his campaign.
04 November 2008
ROUGH RYDERS 2008: Week Nine
If there's genius involved, it would be making a couple of quick, last minute dips into the Free Agency pool to grab Leon Washington and Kevin Smith off the wires...Because of BYES and injuries, I had no choice but to make some changes if I even stood a chance this week.
Now, Leon Washington is Thomas Jones' backup for the NY Jets, and second stringers typically don't put up great fantasy numbers, but if I had to use a backup, it only made sense to use the backup to one of my own players. Washington ended up contributing pretty much exactly what I expected him to, which wasn't earthshaking, but was better than the alternative, which was starting Darren McFadden and hoping beyond hope that he'd actually play with not one, but TWO, turf toe injuries. McFadden didn't play. GENIUS!
Then there's the rookie Kevin Smith, the best running back on the Detroit Lions, but not actually starting, because washed up veteran Rudi Johnson gets the nod for being, um, a veteran, I guess. You see, in Detroit, that kind of logic is often employed, which is why they are arguably the worst team in the NFL. The Lions were playing the Chicago Bears, who have one of the better defenses in the league, so pulling the trigger on Kevin Smith was doubly risky - not a starter, going against a staunch run defense - but he put up as many FP in my team's flex position as anybody else this season, and I consider that GENIUS.
On the other hand, LUCK played a major part in this week's victory. The WINOS' starting QB, Kyle Orton, only played about half a game because of an ankle injury, and if he had stayed healthy and finished his game, we definitely would have lost. Definitely.
Otherwise, most everything else went as planned. Greg "Brillo" Camarillo far exceeding expectations, and that certainly played a part. And then there's the Pittsburgh Defense, which had a huge game against the Redskins last night, and nearly doubled their projected score...
Consider this - I was trailing by 50 FP going into Monday night's game between the Redskins and Steelers, and I didn't really think I had a shot of actually winning. I had Chris Cooley, Pittsburgh's Defense, and James Harrison left on my team, and the WINOS had Troy Polamalu, and I knew I'd close that 50 point gap, but I never thought I'd pull out a victory...
But here we are...For me, it may have been the single greatest comeback (and unexpected victory) in my fantasy football life...
Having said that, I'm going to cut this week's recap short, because it's election night in the United States, and I'd like to watch Barack Obama bring it home.