Friday, January 22, 2010


So, I made a new mix CD recently that I've been passing around to buddies and kin. I do try to avoid including anything risqué assuming that there will be kids in the car at some point, but boy did I FAIL.

One of the songs I put on there was Britney Spears' latest song "3", and a couple mornings ago while I was waiting in a drive-thru, I tuned into the lyrics. Slowly it dawned on me that the song could be about nothing other than a threesome. My initial shallow/surface listen made me think it was a sorta cute electronic drone song about counting or computers or something.

But, no, it's pretty clear what's going on. Here is an abbreviated version of the lyrics:
1, 2, 3
Not only you and me
Got one eighty degrees
And I’m caught in between

1, 2, 3
Peter, Paul & Mary
Gettin’ down with 3P
Everybody loves [orgasmic "oh!"]

Babe, pick a night
To come out and play
If it’s alright
What do you say?

Merrier the more
Triple fun that way
Twister on the floor
What do you say?

Are - you in
Livin’ in sin is the new thing (yeah)
Are - you in
I am countin’!


Three is a charm
Two is not the same
I don’t see the harm
So are you game?

Lets’ make a team
Make ‘em say my name
Lovin’ the extreme
Now are you game?

[Chorus and repeat of lyrics]

What we do is innocent
Just for fun and nothin’ meant
If you don’t like the company
Let’s just do it you and me
You and me…
Or three….
Or four….
- On the floor!

[Chorus, lyrics repeat, play out]

When I told a buddy of my gaff, he said that whole album of hers was kinda blue, pointing out that another song was entitled "If You Seek Amy" that, when you sound it out, is "F. U. C. K. me."

And that's kinda how I feel after this: Well. fuck. me.

One of the songs I included on the CD was this short piece of fun filler from a Stampede Beer commercial; the tune itself is G-rated, but the commercial itself isn't. Enjoy it here.
Go To Hell

I don't remember where I encountered this link anymore, I just had this info stored in my "future blogs" bucket. But anyway if you want to take an internet quiz that cheerfully and arrogantly inform you that you are going straight to hell, here ya go.

It's put together by Kirk Cameron of the 80s sitcom "Family Ties" and his fundie buddies.

As it states on the site:
This test is designed to answer 2 questions:
Are you a good person according to God's standards?
And if so, are you good enough to go to heaven?

It's crap like this that made me write my old Christianity FAQ which used to be the #1 hit on Google before Yahoo turned of Geocities.

Btw, my old Geocities vanity site, and the Christianity FAQ (including my answer to "A 'Christian' told me I'm going to hell. Am I?"), were rescued by a group who call themselves ReoCities. They thought it was wrong of Yahoo to pull the plug on so much historical web content, so they've made a point of restoring it and making it available again. How cool is that?

If you had a Geocities page, just replace the "g" in the link with "r" to see if they've brought it back. If they haven't, you can ask them to!

I can think of a few folks who aren't going to hell for sure. I'm not so sure about Kirk and his buds, though.
No Country For Old Men

Finally watched this recently and my reaction when the credits rolled was: WTF?

I went out to The Movie Spoiler to see if what I'd actually seen what I thought I saw.

And, yes, it turns out


that the movie really does end with everyone the bad guy was hunting being slaughtered and Tommy Lee Jones telling a weird story about someone carrying a fire in a horn


then the credits roll.

To borrow from Ebert: I hated hated hated that movie.

And, I've now had it with Cormac McCarthy.

I didn't really like the Kafka I had to read in college when I got past the morbid interest, and I see no point in anyone trying to out-Kafka Kafka.

I see less point in reading it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Don't Stand So Close to Me

(I must point out that this title is ironic, because The Police have to be the best self-documented band that I'm aware of.)

Had the happy accident of happing across Stewart Copeland's Strange Things Happen: A Life with The Police, Polo and Pygmies, which is a sheer joy. It's even a great companion piece to his must-see insider's documentary: The Police - Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out, still my favorite rock-doc to date. (Oh, and the little doc on the DVD on the Certifiable set is a nice third component, if you have the money or interest; however, their older Police: Live is a better example of what they there were like in concert when they were kings.)

Between the two (or three), you get a real good sense of what it was like to be a huge rock star, and just how funny, charming, and decent Stewart Copeland really is.

You also get a feel for Sting and Andy Summers. Apparently, Sting is truly a gifted musical genius - almost savant - so maybe his seemingly arrogant public pronouncements are actually humble. Exactly what Andy Summers does on the guitar is wonderfully articulated as well.

For music nuts like me, this is nirvana. (Which reminds me Mr. Grohl, sit down at your computer someday and tell us the story, k?)

If you want a taste of what the book is like, this interview comes close:

Since Copeland mentions both Sting's and Summer's books, I leaped to my library site and procured Andy Summer's book. I'll report on that when I'm done. Don't intend to read the Sting book though, based on the comments on Amazon and the fact it stops before the Police get started.

Besides, thus far I've noticed that people as gifted as (Copeland says) Sting is aren't very good at conveying themselves, and thus far any attempts I've come across from Sting of that nature appear to support my theory. (I read a bit of his book online.)

Copeland, however, is as gifted at articulating his life and times - and being entertaining about it - as he is at drumming and film scoring.

One thing that puzzled me was no mention of his post-Police band: Animal Logic. He mentions Stanley Clarke once, but other that that, nada. Wonder why...


I forgot to include one of my favorite things from the book - Copeland's dislike of jazz, as he puts it: "jazz, a music that elevates dexterity over spirit."

How true! I do like myself some classic jazz, and sometimes am even in the mood for modern "smooth" jazz, which is muzak's pretty sister, but for the most part Copeland coins what I've thought about it for a while.

And, I wanted to continue and refine my thought about The Police being the best self-documented band by stating the obvious that the Beatles are the most documented band. However, even though Lennon and McCartney have both explained who really wrote which song, and who did which parts of songs they wrote together, they didn't necessarily self-document like The Police have.

To that end, there's some interesting stuff going on in that space, known as "Charting the Beatles." Here's a blog, and here's a flickr group devoted to it. I discovered this via both and
This just in…

Obama still President, apparently for three more years at least. Democrats still have the majority in House and Senate.

So why is there all this (practically uniform) media crowing about how DaBomba has failed?

As usual, "The Daily Show" provides some actual perspective; the whole thing is funny, but the real fun starts at the 6:35 mark - "Democrats, Meet Me at Camera Three":
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Mass Backwards
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

I love the fact that he points out how badly the Democratic campaign was run, and how Massachusetts actually already has a better healthcare plan that being proposed nationally - meaning more progressive and encompassing than - so they could care less about the rest of the nation.

So perhaps -- just perhaps -- it's not really a Republican victory, but a Democratic loss.

Gotta say it, "The Daily Show" is still the only news that's informative and not just a Conservative/Wingnut dogpile. Now that Charles Gibson is gone, replaced by a former member of the Nixon administration, there is no news that even attempts to stay in the middle - they're all variants of Fox anymore. To me, that's much darker news than the recent election in Mass.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Yet, there's hope

I complained in this post about how pathetic, pathetic, the bestseller charts in music are anymore.

Then I happened across one of the Denver radio stations that's kind of reinvented itself lately to play the best in modern rock - No Lady Ga Ga, no Black Eyed Peas, no Rob Thomas (all good music mind you), just rock, thank you. It reminds me of my favorite stations from the 70s and 80s. Check it out: 93.3 KTCL - they stream over the web!

Within a half hour of listening, I had one of those epiphany moments where you hear a song you immediately love and know you'll love forever, like (for me) Smells Like Teen Spirit and Hey Ya!.

The song started and I thought, "That sounds like Eddie Vedder, but this is way too hooky for Pearl Jam (and I loves me some Pearl Jam, don't get me wrong, but their tunes are usually not as "major key uptempo" - to borrow a phrase from an old work buddy). It even had a yeah yeah yeah chorus! So, rushed home, found the site, and bless them they had a "what we're playing now" list on the web. Sure enough it was freakin' Pearl Jam; the song is called The Fixer.

I've provided two versions of the video in case one of the links dies or the vid is removed.

Pearl Jam - The Fixer

Pearl Jam | MySpace Music Videos

Isn't that just one of the best songs you've heard in while?

Another song I heard and liked was "Girlfriends" by Single File. The song should start playing when you follow the link.

And you've probably heard it, but the new one by Weezer is a hoot.

Rock lives! Even if it lives under a rock right now.

So, I didn't even consider seeing Terminator Salvation given the critical response, but there it was at the library. Insomnia struck on a weekend night, so I got up and fired it up.

I enjoyed it a lot. It was much better than the third flick, for sure.

If you like the franchise, do check it out.

**** Tiny Spoiler ****

Even the Ahnold Terminator makes an appearance, but it's completely computer generated, which is kinda cool. All these years there's been a prediction that an older or dead actor would be placed in a movie this way, and here it is.

**** End Tiny Spoiler ****

Watched Every Little Step about the revival of A Chorus Line (which I haven't seen for years and forgot how overwhelmingly gay it was - NTTAWWT), because Peter Travers, whom I know follow because of this test, said it was good. (And because I usually dig "behind the scenes" stuff.) Peter is my other go-to critic besides Ebert - I agree with him more than Ebert these days - but I wasn't that impressed with this flick.

Oh well.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Well, that was nice

I slogged to the end of the year bone-tired, dropped into a week of vacation around the house (as wife's job does not allow vacation), living in jams and losing track of the transition from morn to noon to night.

Been a tough year at work; probably facing a worse one. The bad economy turned nearly everyone into a bad contestant on Survivor, so half of everyone's time is wasted putting up with everyone else's panic over possibly losing their job randomly in a layoff. So everyone's trying to look useful and taking on too much (as early retirement and other attrition has reduced staff), even stuff they've shouldn't be doing, and they do it badly because they don't know how. Never having been at the upper-management level where layoffs are decided, it seems futile to guess what the motives and decisions are based on who stays and who goes, so this Lord of the Flies environment is aggravating, because anyone who has paid attention - or been through it before - knows that treating everyone as a threat only makes things worse - and seemingly makes no difference with the HR ladies start escorting folks into conference rooms.

So, I settled into vacation with the happy surprise of getting Stephen King's new weight-lifting challenge (over a thousand pages) from the reservation list at the library on day one. That being Under the Dome.

It kicks off in grand form, and after getting past the "didn't I see this in the Simpson's movie?" dubiousness, it keeps the pedal on the floor for most of the duration; it dragged a bit in the 600 page range, but recovered and ended spectacularly. Glad I read it rather than eventually seeing the inevitable movie, because children die, and I can kind of handle reading about it, but can't face it in a movie.

The best way to describe it is the inverse of King's The Stand, where rather than facing grim survival in the wide open world, our pro- and antagonists face grim survival in a closed-off township terrarium. Also, King finally steps up and gives John Irving a run for his money, showing he can do quirky, funny, yet socially relevant commentary, too.

Not often have I spent the majority of a novel pissed off. (Vague memories of Crime and Punishment and one of the Dickens' melodramas where some guy falls in a well and dies for no reason other than the "isn't that sad?" factor, come to mind.)

The bad guy is drawn so clearly - we've all met this son of a bitch at some point in our lives - so each time he succeeds, it pisses you off. A lot. If I had ever been a smoker, I would've doubled my intake during this read. As it was, I had to put it down and decompress so I wouldn't snap at the kids. I bet many copies of this first printing get dashed on the floor a couple times.

I was honestly impressed at how King commanded the story, and how much it got to me. Put it on your list for the next time you've got time to spare - because it's hard to put down - and when your folks can manage you running a little hot under the collar for the duration.

Got a date night with my lovely wife to go see the new sensation: Avitar. It's everything they say it is.

Including the fact that it's three hours long. I can see why it's that length, because while a third of it is story development and character background, it would seem truncated and less rich if it were missing. And if you finally got the DVD with that extra hour reinserted, you'd be a little miffed you didn't get to see it in 3D.

Nonetheless, my wife and I did glance at each other about the two-hour mark and mentally sigh - even though we were enjoying ourselves at the time.

The plot is kind of The Abyss meets Dances with Wolves plus a quasi-famous (among sci-fi readers) short story about the concept of someone ensconced in a pod "driving" a grown, perfect, appropriate body for some large corporation. I will never remember the name of the story or the author, but basically this amazingly deformed woman is hired to drive an avatar of a beautiful Hollywood starlet (think Meagan Fox) and when the connection is severed, the man in love with the avatar goes looking for the actual person behind the puppet, only to discover the horror that raises from the pod to embrace him (because she loves him, after all) is so horrific, I believe he kills her reflexively. (If anyone can remember the story, help a brother out.)

Bladder issues and babysitting dues aside, it was one of those movie-going events you'll always remember, so get thee hence.

Happy New Year.

Hope it's a good one.