Friday, July 28, 2006

Politick Friday

Found this wonderful clip from "The Colbert Report" the other night (Via the Truthdig A/V Booth). Part of his ongoing series to interview every member of the House of Representatives, Colbert interviews Wasington, DC congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, who has the patience of a saint with Colbert.

The penultimate moment comes at the 6:30 mark, when Colbert accuses Norton, who wrote federal sexual harrassment guidelines, of "undressing (him) with (her) eyes."

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Bridgeport Seasoning Video

It might have been because I didn't know any better, but I loved Whitesnake in high school. And not all of that love came from ceaseless viewing of Tawny Kitaen in a sheer negligee, leaving snail tracks while flipping around the hood of a Jaguar.

One of the reasons I love YouTube is that I can get nostalgic. I found this video a couple weeks back. It's from a Whitesnake album in '97 that never saw release in the States. What I like about it, besides the soulful blues rock David Coverdale's traded in for nearly thirty years, is that, since they had no chance in hell of getting airplay in the States, they felt free to record whatever they wanted.


Monday, July 24, 2006

Where's the Whale Rider?

The armchair quarterbacks on sports talk radio are starting to jump off the White Sox bandwagon. Some say that the White Sox have lost their edge. Maybe they should consider something befoe the game to raise the intimidation factor.

Something like this:

If I saw the South Side nine doing this before a game, I would not even think of having my pitchers throwing at their batters.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Guilty Pleasures on a Saturday Morning

I'm disappointed in myself. Summer's almost half over, and I haven't taken any photos of a shirtless Jimmy Sabbia shuffling down the middle of the street, yelling racial epithets at traffic. His skin looks like he fell asleep while sunbathing with butter, like Kramer in that episode of Seinfeld. I need to get on the ball.

Let's officially start this post by sharing this wonderful shot of a female Wookie, caught outside her native environment, doing her best Ann Margaret impersonation after being subjected to forty-eight continuous hours viewing Viva Las Vegas.

(Shea's gonna kill me).

So I woke up this morning and decided that I'd had enough of listening to the Def Leppard covers record, Yeah! It's their tribute to the British glam rock and FM radio staples that informed their early musical development. They're covering T. Rex, Blondie, Roxy Music (yes, Adam, Roxy Music), Mott the Hoople, ELO, the Kinks, Thin Lizzy, the Small Faces, David Bowie, and Free. This automatically makes Yeah! Def Leppard's hardest rocking album since High 'N Dry, back when Rick Allen had two working arms. In fact, it's Allen's drum sound that's one of the highlights of this record. In the near twenty years since Hysteria (Jesus, it's been that long?), his drum kit has evolved from a total Simmons digital pad set-up back to acoustic hardware, with the electronic foot triggers he uses in place of his missing arm triggering pre-recorded acoustic drum sounds. And Allen just smashes the skins, too. His drumming sets the tone for the album.

Anyhoo, on my sudoPod, I've set up a playlist called "Dusty", which automatically places every song I haven't played. It originally started at 1300 songs two weeks ago. I'm now down to les than 200. some of the songs I haven't played comfounded me. I could have sworn I played the first two albums in Dolly Parton's "mountain trilogy" at least once. But when I was looking at the updated playlist yesterday, there were twelve tracks that hadn't been played. So I've plugged in the iTrip Fm transmitter and am now playing both albums throughout the house. I highly recommend the first two albums in Dolly's "mountain trilogy". The Grass is Blue and Little Sparrow are two albums full of killer, bone dry bluegrass (on the third, Halos and Horns, Dolly starts giving in to the fromage; the album suffers accordingly). My friend Elizabeth, who now lives in Colorado, and I went to see Dolly play at the House of Blues the year Halos and Horns was released. The concert betrayed an impeccably rehearsed setlist, more rhinestones in one room than I've ever seen before, oversaturation of self-deprecating "Kornfield County" humor, and a teleprompter that only could have been more conspicuous in its presence if it was set up onstage.

But that was one of the best goddamn concerts I've ever seen in my life. In the patois of the street, Dolly brung it, kept it real, and didn't front. The crowd - a mix of white trash, urban professionals, music buffs, and drag queens - left worshipping her cleavage.

Friday, July 21, 2006

A Rose in the Gutter

I found out about last night, and have been toying around with it right now. Basically, it works like Pandora, only's software shadows your media player, copying the songs you're playing at that moment. Then it makes radio stations based on your listening preferences, or you can make a custom station.

One of the neatest features is a sidebar code that allows people to view or listen to what I've recently played. So for the one of you who asked me to write more about music, this is a way for you to find out where my tastes lie, for yourselves.

Hopefully I can cut and paste properly.

Update (4:23 p.m.): Looks like it worked.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

For Those In Favor of "Big Box" legislation

listen to what the Big Man has to say on the subject of Wal Mart.

(This is quite possibly the cleanest "Kid From Brooklyn" video I've watched yet).

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Charlie Has a Golden Ticket

Actually, I have two, thanks to a game plan, a dog that needed walking, and a very loud alarm clock. The early bird gets the worm; I was in and out of the Ticketmaster web site in under two minutes, once the tickets went on sale. A brief perusal of Craigslist finds that the beggars are out en masse. I particularly like the ad where the poster claims she needs Tom Waits tickets more than groceries or shelter.

Oh, if I were a greedy man...

This is What We Do With Our Freedom

What can you say? He's the Hoff!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Only in Bridgeport

The pony's handler got lost searching for a real good sasparilla.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

From Winchell's Donut House to the Brown Derby - A Step Up!!!

The title is a Tom Waits reference. Fans will know which album. After I'm done here, I'm going to apply my evil genius to devising a strategy for tickets to his show at the Auditorium, on August 9th.

When I start to write, it comes in spurts. This is one of those that I hope keeps on for a while. Look for a review of Cafe Bionda tomorrow on Chicagoist. It was one of those meals that just leaves a smile on your face hours after you finished the last ort.

A month ago, Emmy was in pain, having eaten some leaves from an African violet I've ben plantsitting, in order to get some fiber into her system. Today she's tearing through a giant bone I bought her last week. A step up, indeed.

Monday, July 10, 2006

To the Drunken White Trash Woman Outside Freddie's Pizza at 1 a.m. Sunday Morning...

I'm happy you think my dog is well-trained and pretty, really. But instead of teaching your one-year-old to run up to every dog she sees with her hands out, you should teach her that not every dog is Emmy, and that others might bite her.

For that matter, what were you doing out at one in the morning with an infant, anyway?

Monday, July 03, 2006

Stoop Down

There's a link missing, and a reason behind the rationale. I don't use this thing as a place to work out my issues; that's why I have a therapist.

Have a happy Fourth, everyone.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Saturday Bits

It's a relatively comfortable afternoon in the apartment, thanks to wide open windows, fans, and typical Windy City gusts, and big ass cups of water. Now on to my perusings:

  • Baseball season is a marathon, except when you get hot at the right time and win eleven of twelve playoff games en route to a World Series title, like the White Sox last year. Still, this year's cardiac Sox are close to giving me a coronary. If they concentrate in the early frames the way they do when their backs are against the wall, they wouldn't be pulling so many wins out of their ass in their final at-bat, and might be pulling away in the AL Central. I'll just be glad when interleague play is over and the Sox can hopefully make up some ground on Detroit.
  • As for the Cubs, it looks like there's the beginnings of a mass revolt at Wrigley. The crowd today sounded easily 50-50 between the teams. Let's see what happens if they make a stab at 100 losses, since their aspirations of being "like Houston last year" have all but vanished. As one who has given up his Cubs allegiances cold turkey, I find the level of fandom both amazing and asinine. We put our faith in our favorite teams to field a squad that's at least competitive. When that team (e.g. the Chicago National League Ballclub) doesn't return the favor, but is fully willing to exploit your faith, then you should have the good sense to extract yourself from the relationship. If the past two games - and the Cubs series with Detroit - are any indication, the die hards are starting to stay home, leaving the Friendly Confines for the masochists, visitors from Iowa, and amateur drinkers.
  • I'm late to the party on this, and I don't care. Is it just me, or did the focus of the Guillen/Mariotti flap switch quickly from Guillen's use of the word "fag" to how Mariotti does his job? Jay the Joke and Deadspin do spectacular jobs of covering the groundswell of writers criticizing Mariotti for being detached from clubhouses, and generally not doing his job. It started last week with the Tribune's Rick Morrissey, followed by Bob Verdi last Sunday, with a beautifully written "back in the day" piece. Rick Telander, Mariotti's rival at the Sun-Times, summarized it with a play on Jay's "I'm not the story" defense whenever it gets too hot in his kitchen for him. Melissa Isaacson touched on the Morrissey column by reminding readers (and Ozzie) that Mariotti will always "want the last word. Always. And forever.", which my friend Whitley from Ravenswood initially interpreted as a rebuke of Guillen until I made him read it more closely. ESPN's Jason Whitlock, a writer every bit as lazy and reactionary as Mariotti, called Jay a "knockoff of Mike Royko." "Pardon the Interruption" host Michael Wilbon admonished Mariotti for not having the convictions to stand behind his words. Finally, Michael Miner in the Reader wrote about the flap the other day, and it was insightful. Not content to call athletes names anymore, Mariotti called his fellow columnists "housemen", that they're "jealous of (him)", and that they need to "break some stories in town." You know, like Jay does between applications of makeup on "Around the Horn." Miner hands down his opinion in that subtle way he has. To wit: "...(W)itness is journalism’s irreducible core. And sportswriters are the most old-fashioned of journalists and athletes the most old-fashioned of other people. Clubhouses are where jocks and scribes circle and sniff each other. Mariotti boasts of his sources in other places, but he’s remarkably estranged from this environment, where the circlers and sniffers ultimately piss on the same hydrants." I've been on record here as stating I believe that Jay rehashes old columns: his Lance Armstrong mash notes from 2001-2004 could possibly be word-for-word reprints, just with the year changed. The only person to defend Jay? His father, in a letter-to-the-editor in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The writing is better than anything Jay has ever typed out, and you also get a sense of how Jay became the smug, delusional asshole he is today. The apple does not fall far from the tree, folks.
  • Speaking of my favorite monotesticled, angry super cyclist, Lance is not taking July off. He's just traded in the Alps and Pyranees for the undulating hills of Iowa (you bet your ass I'm doing RAGBRAI next year). Lance also picked a great time to retire from competitive cycling. A doping scandal has forced out Tour de France favorites Jan Ullrich, Ivan Basso, and Francisco Mancebo. Fellow contendor Alexander Vinokurov also had to withdraw from the race when five members of his team were also implicated, leaving him with only four domestiques. Those are the men who finished second, third, fourth, and fifth behind Armstrong last year, and it means that the sprinters will be passing the maillot jeune around like a hot potato for the next week. After today's initial time trial, Armstrong's fellow Discovery Network teammate George Hincapie is in second place, with Floyd Landis in ninth place. Those are two riders who are strong in the mountains. The sprinters will be dropping like flies as the peloton approaches the mountains next week. Should be a good Tour.
  • CLICK HERE IF YOU WANT TO READ ABOUT HOW NAZIS REPUBLICANS SPEND THEIR SUMMER VACATIONS. The latest bullet point in the far right's smear campaign against the New York Times claims that by writing about the vacation homes of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, we're putting the security of the nation at risk. If only it were that simple, people. Some people, however, think it is. One mouth breather went so far as to publish the address, phone number, and e-mail address of the photographer for the article. These are reprehensible actions, and if anyone is hurt by this, then folks like him have blood on their hands.
"Where's Jay" image from Jay the Joke.