Strep Tease

That was no scaby, that was my throat. Har har har.

Seriously, several of my biological processes started to work again today, so surely rational thought can’t be far behind. I’ll be back on the blog wagon soon. Apparently I’m excused from grumphing about Valentine’s Day, so that’s my silver lining. No I don’t have a date, thank you for asking.

But Saturday Valentine-night late I’m heading up to Boston – Dedham actually – for the 29th Annual 24-Hour Science Fiction Film Marathon, which takes sedentary place every Presidents’ Day. I’ve been going since the early ’80s, on and off. So my geek is bigger than your geek, nyah nyah. Sometimes I’ve even had a date for it, which takes some doing. Nearly did this year too, but Max(ine) went and headed off to Florida. Something about working all winter on boats. It’s hard to argue with that.

Posted in General Musings |

I Was Wrong!

It’s not the dawn of anything, it’s the twilight. Or perhaps the gloaming.

“This cardiomyopathy was a real bugger.”

quoth the New York Times in an article about Dr Atkins’s state of health before his death. And they worry about a sun-spangled mammary on TV?

Oh, and by the way, Scientific American, since when is Mexico not in North America?

Every winter millions of monarch butterflies make their way from North America to Mexico in search of warmer climes.

Posted in General Musings |

‘Tis The Dawn Of The Age Of … er … something

The BBC reports today that Japanese doctors have found a way to use stem cells to make natural breast implants. Proof positive, if any more was needed, that the world has left the Age of the Machine and is entering the Age of Biology.

Posted in General Musings |

Sinus Friction

Everything was fine this morning until some devolutionary nasal gasket slipped its housing a couple of hours ago. Now my brain is spooling through its Star Trek countdown message routine with the rest of me, and it will not listen to reason.

Brain: Left sinus malfunction detected. Transferring operations to right sinus. Commencing headache.
Linus: Brain, the sinus was fine this morning. We had orange juice. Brain? Vitamin C, right? Stop causing trouble.
Brain: Headache initiated. Now commencing tissue-inflammation protocol. Mounting sensory subroutine simulating insertion of garden claw into distal nostril. Sensory subroutine initiates in two minutes from three, two, one … MARK.
Linus: Brain, the nostril is fine. Please stand down.
Brain: Command system disabled. Suffer circuits engaged.
Linus: All right, all right, I’m making tea.
Brain: Coolant leak! Coolant leak!
Linus: What?
Brain: Prepare to eject warp core.

This is the part where the containment doors in the engineering section slide down.

Posted in General Musings |

Stale Pint Bug

The venue has only one tap and is packed just about every night, you figure the beer’s going to be fresh; and even though it’s only Bass, a product of Megabrew Manufacturing Industries, it could be drinkable. Wrong! It is stale, with the aroma of wet cardboard and bone glue characteristic of oxidized beer. At $6 a “pint” that looks like 14oz at most, quite possibly even less? The Bitter End sucks. I know, that’s not news: the staff is surly, the drinks overpriced, the layout unpleasant, so why bother?

Stargazer liliesWell, Stargazer Lily like the place. This estimable Philadelphia quartet hardly ever plays anywhere else in New York, but perhaps they’ll change their mind, now that someone stole Stephanie’s harmonica right before the show… Anyway, once in a while I do find myself slumming on Bleecker Street. As usual, a splendid set from the Lilies, which was followed by an uninspiring one by NJ native and CO resident Christopher Jak. To be fair, he was just recovering from laryngitis, so I’ll hold my judgement.

Randy “he’s only 15” McStine is only 15, but he certainly can play his guitar. Sure, he hasn’t yet learned the vertues of silence yet, of notes suggested rather than actually played, but that will probably come in time and meanwhile he still delivers a solid performance. I’m not thrilled by his songs, played in a radio-too-friendly “light metal meets pale funk” circa 1980, and his drummed was a dud –if you’re going to schlep a kit bigger than Ginger Baker‘s, with a bass drum fit to house a family of Saint Bernards, you better know what you’re supposed to do with all that shiny hardware– but there is something there that I would like to see mature in a more interesting direction. Time will tell.

Computer pun. Don’t sweat it.

Posted in About Last Night |

Death By Chocolate

Sometimes, the edge is just that place, when you take a step, you fall off. The supposedly edgy SuicideGirls burlesque troupe does not have a steady footing.

The evening started in splendid fashion with Stupid, one of the most consistently exciting New York bands these days –and not even an hour late, a record of promptness at the Knitting Factory in my recent experience. On the front row, an annoying would-be neopunk in a duo-tone Richard Barone haircut started spitting. How so passé!

Next on stage, the SuicideGirls’ constant-companion band, Bloom, from Gainesville, Florida. Or, as they seem to prefer it, bloom. with a period and no caps. Whatever. A power trio in the usual rock format, they’re loud and they bang out their songs, the girls come out and boogie on the last number, and they’re gone. Competent but not earth-shattering. Nice red Gretsch, though.

The eight or so SuicideGirls are young, and not well versed in the art of modern burlesque; one routine stood out, though, a cheerleader/bad-girl catfight ending in mutual wedgies that was peppy and fun; most of the rest was rather routine and bland, like a high-school production, except for the grand finale, a free-for-all melee with whipped cream and chocolate syrup that ended with most goo flying into the audience, and especially on the spitter, who was the target of several blasts of whipped cream and of a whole squeeze bottle of chocolate. Chocolate syrup in the hair or on the glasses is no fun, especially when the culprits committed the unforgivable solecism of using Hershey instead of Brooklyn’s own Fox’s U-Bet. What a faux-pas!

Oh, and, girls, the five-o’clock shadow went out of fashion with Richard Nixon, you know…

Posted in About Last Night |

Fallout of the Out-Fall

Our Ethan Lipton CD has just come in from the Great Northern Factory, and there’s plenty of ooo-ing and aaah-ing and moving things from one box to another, so we’re sparse for a day or two. The CD, A New Low, is a very wonderful thing. You should hear it. It will be up at CD Baby in a week or two; meantime you can order from us directly if the urge strikes. Drop us an email. We take Paypal.

But this about that: fuss or no fuss, I myself am rather fond of breasts, in person and on TV as well. Janet Jackson‘s would not have been my Boob Of Choice, but what the hell. Nice jewelry. Now can everyone who is outraged on the subject please move someplace where the rest of us will never hear from you again? Swaziland, maybe, they seem to like breasts over there, maybe they offer a remedial program. Thanks for playing. Sheesh.

High Fidelity, by Nick HornbySo who’s next? I call Britney. You know she wants to.

Speaking of Sheesh, there I was checking in with a pithy sardonic blogger who shall remain anonymous (oops) the other day. She commented that the movie High Fidelity drives her crazy because the asshole gets the girl in the end.

“JOHN CUSACK WAS NOT AN ASSHOLE IN THAT MOVIE,” I proposed, caps in original. Her swift response that “he certainly was” got me thinking. To my surprise he kinda sorta is, in an endearing puppy-dog wait-how-does-THIS-work way. A little. If you take a particular point of view, which I never had. I’m not sure how I feel about this discovery; another role model down.

The book is always better than the film, of course, but this book is way better. The movie is like a postcard from the book that says “Wish you were here.”

Posted in General Musings |

Wetware For The Geek

‘Jon Blake Cusack, from Holland, Michigan, told local newspapers the US practice of adding “Junior” or “II” after a boy’s name was too common.
So, when his son was born last week, he decided on the name Jon Blake Cusack 2.0, as if he were a software upgrade,’ the BBC reported today.

It is not yet known whether progeny support will be outsourced to off-shore nannies or baby sitters, but there’s already been mention of problems with worms and viruses.

Posted in General Musings |

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Everyone but everyone out there in Blogville, USA has gone to World 66 (no relation to World 666, which would be something different) to make nifty little maps of where they’ve been. There’s no telling when a brushfire will turn into an Internet blaze, but these little doohickey apps have got the fire inside – at least for this week.

Home is where the heart is

So here are mine. Red is where I’ve been, green is yet to go. I’ve been more thorough in the States, courtesy of a couple of years of fanatical hitchhiking back when the world was kinder and gentler. I even recall a couple of the places I traipsed through in one or another car, though I’m not sure – apart from Alaska, Hawaii and Florida – that I actually wasn’t in the green states. It’s reconstructive guesswork, from this vantage. Make your own Visited States map by clicking on the link.

Home is so remote

The slim worldwide pickings are indicative of my idiosyncratic travel style: I go slowly and like to stay until I can taste a place. This has been known to drive people pretty crazy. The red spots in Europe are temporal shorthand for five scattered years spent in and around Italy, Germany, England and points nearby, with a six-month jaunt out to India and Nepal for good measure. I’ve never been to Mexico, Bermuda, or anywhere Club Medish. My loss? Maybe so. The first time I ever had an umbrella drink on a tropical beach, I was in Las Vegas. Sure was fun, though. Make your own Visited World map by clicking on the link.

Posted in General Musings |

It’s Monday Again

Today an “outsource copying” company came by to woo us Day Job folks away from our usual trusty copy guys. They brought doughnuts and those “Box of Joe” coffee contraptions from Dunkin’ Donuts – the caffeine equivalent of wine in a box, I guess – to win over the sweet of tooth and the weak of belly. I artfully missed the presentation but was in time for doughnuts.

In the Kitchen: A Dialogue

Leah: I had three doughnuts. I love doughnuts.
Linus: This is my one-and-a-halfth. Doughnut.
Leah: Why don’t you have another half and make it two?
Linus: Well, there was already a half one there, so I just took it.
Leah: I thought you said you had one already.
Linus: I did.
Leah: But that’s just half. You should at least have a whole one. I had three.
Linus (under breath): Must … not … answer … must … not … lose … control …

Yet another reason that they have to pay us to come in to work.

Posted in General Musings |