Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Out with the old...

Wow, it seems that another year has passed somehow, hasn’t it?

In the interest of starting with a fresh slate, it’s time for a quick purge of thoughts that I may or may not want/need in the New Year.

The Ting Tings – “That’s not my name”: Front-runner for being my favorite guilty pleasure pop song for the year. Additional points are gained because this song conjures up memories of screaming down the Fox River in a ski boat at dusk with said song cranked.

Detroit Lions: The Lions went 0-16, officially making them the worst team of all time. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. If they had gone 1-15 or 2-14, we would have just dealt with the knowledge we always have – and that is that the Lions suck. But now we can have it on the books that the Lions are, in fact, the worst team. Ever.

Batter Blaster: Don’t buy it.

From the first moment I saw the Batter Blaster in the store I wanted it. TFN was not as keen on the idea. Then, while we were doing the apocalyptic stockup (more on that to follow), I picked up the can of Batter Blaster and played the “but it’s Christmas” card. She relented.

For the record, Batter Blaster sucks. It doesn’t behave like normal pancake batter, bubbling to let you know when to flip it, so all of your pancakes are goopy or burnt, and the can ends up in the garbage.

Apocalyptic Stockup: In Michigan, liquor sales are suspended from midnight on Christmas Eve until the morning of the 26th. Don’t ask me why, it has something to do with Jesus somehow.

As a result, there is always some internal fear as this deadline draws near that, a.) liquor sales will for some reason not resume, or b,) we will somehow run out in those few hours. As a result, we irrationally stock up. This year’s stockup consisted of:

Maker’s Mark
Rebel Yell
A case of Labatt Blue Light
3 bottles of champagne
3 bottles of wine

I know, right?

Cooking up a Storm: One of the gifts that Santa brought TFN for Christmas this year was a copy of Cooking Up a Storm: Recipes Lost and Found from The Times-Picayune of New Orleans.

After Katrina, among all of the other devastating losses that NOLA suffered, many people discovered that their treasured family recipes were also lost. And whether or not you’ve been to NOLA, you’re probably aware that New Orleans cooking is exquisite.

In the wake of the storm, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans was a swapping spot for people to reclaim lost recipes, and the paper compiled them into a book.

We made a pot of chicken and sausage gumbo the other night, and it was amazing. It was so good that I don’t mind that the house smelled like gumbo for three days after.

Be a Dick, Do the Time: It’s sad that we as a people need a law for this, but since we do, I’d like to see it passed everywhere.

In Brighton, they passed a law that allows police to ticket and fine anyone who is annoying in public "by word of mouth, sign or motions."

Enforcing that law would be enough to make me want to be a cop.

New Year’s Plans: This year, all is as I hope it should be. We are going to Geekfest 08/09, which essentially involves friends, booze, a living room and video games. I look forward to bringing in the New Year with good friends.

I also hope that 2009 will be the year that Detroit – and Michigan - turns itself around. Unfortunately, I’m thinking it will be 2010 at the soonest. We’ll see though.

Happy New Year, all! Check out my list of the 10 best albums on 2008 if you’re inclined, and don’t forget to put a penny on the sill tonight!

P.S. - If you were taken aback by my favorite pop song of 2008 being, you know, too poppy, let me point you to this video from my favorite album of the year, so you know I've not gone too soft:

Hope 2009 brings you all enough.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Just pointing this out...

Just to make you aware, this is why you can never hope to be as cool as my friend Heather.
I figured you needed to know.



Just wow.

This little video made we want to laugh and go home and hang myself at the same time.

I hope everyone's holidays are going wonderfully, and you send some cheer my way on Christmas Eve. You know, while I'm at work.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Digging out...

Thus far, we have around 10 inches of snow outside... I am not overly pleased by this.

I'm not hot weather person by any means, but I do want some spring weather now. Which made me think of this song, a song that reminds me of days when I lived in the student ghetto, and the first nice days of the year meant walking to the store for some beer or wine and sitting around, just being happy we'd survived another winter.

Did you realize it's not even technically winter yet? This is going to get old quickly.

The hardest part about taking an extended break from the blog, for whatever reason, is that inertia sets in. When one hasn't been writing for a while, it's simply easier to not write. The inverse is also true, once I get into the rhythm of making words, it's easier for me to make them than to not. The words pile up until I get to full of words, and they need to be disposed of somehow, in a great glorious regurgitation quite linguistic in nature.

But, having taken time off, my body drops into verbal starvation mode; words have been so hard to come by, the body begins to hoard each calorie of consonant, and there is little to go around.

And so, you need to begin to force those words out and about, that they may seed themselves, and create bigger words of greater culinary sophistication, until one's vocabulary is one for the gourmands again.

The main way to do that is to talk about those things that rankle one's limpets.

For example, there was a grocery store that refused to decorate a 3-year-old child's birthday cake, carrying the child's name. Why? Because the kid's name is Adolf Hitler Campbell. First off, why the fuck would you name your kid this unless you were an unaplogetic racist, an overly flaky artsy douchebag or just a simple moron?

Giving these parents the benefit of the doubt (although I'm not sure which of those distinctions is the least resentful of the three), reading the rest of the article reveals that little Adolph's baby sister is named
JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell. Seriously.

Who let these people have kids? In Pennsylvania no less.

For those of you who feel sorry for little Hitler, fear not. A store did decorate his cake. A Wal-Mart no less. Go figure. Why am I not surprised? (Link to Story)

Another thing that happened in my absence was a shoe-throwing incident. Apparently a journalist tried to bean the lame duck pres with a shoe, this being a symbol of great disapproval in the Arabic culture. I would like to applaud the guy for standing up for what he believes in. Honestly, one can't go about hurling shoes at other people to express disdain, even when that person happens to be one of the worst things to happen to the U.S., and many other parts of the world, in quite some time. It's sad, but you can't.

It's sort of like, when you capture soldiers and leaders of countries that you are at war with, you have to treat them in accordance with the guidelines set aside in the Geneva Convention. You can't just treat them however you like, and make up a new classification for said soldiers and leaders so that you obtain a loophole. I'm sorry, but this is also not allowed.

What you can do, however, is latch onto the idea of the shoe as a symbol of disdain. Take your old shoes, box them up, and mail them here:

George W. Bush Presidential Library
c/o SMU
6425 Boaz Lane
Dallas TX 75205

Wouldn't it be nice to bury that place in old shoes?

I guess I can't be too hard on the old man, he did just approve the emergency auto loans today, but I still seriously hope that, should this help fix everything and make it right, nobody loses sight of the fact that he is really not a good person.

The auto loan approval leaves me with a feeling of "great, but now what?" - the same feeling I had when I found out Obama had been elected. It's good, it's a step in the right direction, but man, are we so fucked for the time being.

Honestly, I have never lived in a time before where everyone I know, regardless of occupation, was in fear for their jobs at the same time.

Wandering off that subject, the cop that I mentioned in this post a while ago is facing charges, so at least the world appears sane somewhere, even if the rest of us are not on an even keel right.

I don't know. It's almost Christmas, so I better get to work and being merry now, no?

Friday, December 12, 2008

RIP - Bettie Page

The terms and reasons for my seclusion are still ongoing, but I needed to take a moment to express my distress over two items:

1. The bailout fell through. Worse times are most likely ahead.

2. Bettie Page passed away.

Bettie Page is a woman whose... body of work... is something I have always greatly admired. Granted, she's been out of the public eye for a great many years, but her contribution to pop culture and the dreams of teenage boys is without compare.

RIP Ms. Page. Thanks.

There's a memorial here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Going AWOL for a while...

Heidelberg Project
Originally uploaded by alpharat
All apologies for my seriously decreased presence as of late. I will be laying low for a bit longer, posting sporadically if at all for about another week.

Then it will be time for some of the awesomeness you know and love me for. Pockets and buckets full of awesomeness.

Until then, we apologize for the interruption of broadcasting; and ask that you just bear with the alpha for a bit as a transition occurs in the realm known as the "meatspace" (as opposed to the cyberworld)...

As a musical interlude, I offer you "Into My Arms" from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Meet the Labbit

This is the Labbit. He's our new traveling buddy. His favorite things include car rides, extended time within carry-on luggage, and smoking in nonsmoking areas.

You can see some of his adventures in Ireland here.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Who Killed Amanda Palmer?

So, yeah, we're back from Ireland, and it was positively brilliant. Photos and video will come soon, as we get organized, but I wouldn;t hold my breath waiting for it, as this thing called Christmas is sneaking up, and there seems to be some things that need to go with that.

But tonight, I am positively giddy, because we will we be seeing the talented, beautiful, positively manic Amanda Palmer play tonight!

If you've paid attention to posts here over the years, she may look familiar. She's the lead singer of the Dresden Dolls and the leader of the punk cabaret movement, whom I professed to having a crush on way back when. She's playing in a tiny little theater here in F-town, and we're going.

While we have been traveling the world as of late, TFN is putting me to shame this weekend when she jets off to Cancun. I am jealous simply based on the fact that I am not ready for winter, and it's cold and yucky here.

In the news 'round here, the person responsible for the hit-and-run death of a cyclist that I mentioned a while ago has been charged. Innocent and proven guilty and all, if she is the killer, not only did she hit and kill the cyclist, she then drove to a drugstore and crashed into a parked car to cover up the damage. If she is the one, I'd like to see her get the book thrown at her (story).

That's the nutshell for now. We're back, we're safe, we're busy and Amanda Palmer rules.