Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Gun Rights in America

The New York Times on a time when Malcolm X had a gun:
Malcolm X may have a deservedly mixed reputation, but the famous photograph of him standing at the window, rifle in hand, insisting on black liberation “by any means necessary,” is about as American as it gets. It should be celebrated just like the “Don’t tread on me” Gadsden flag. By not making that connection, the movement is losing touch with one of its greatest triumphs and forsaking a prime illustration of why its cause is so just and so crucial.
I think the important thing to remember here is that when a white guy brandishes a gun he is a patriot, one of the "good guys", while a black man with a gun is of course a thug.

In America. 2014. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Kissing Greetings

Many years ago I wrote:
7) I am terrible at greeting women when they walk into a room. I never know whether to get up and do the ol’ fake-cheek kiss, get up and shake their hands, hug, no idea. So I usually do that thing where I crouch about 8 inches above my chair, hover back and forth for a few seconds, then panic and sit down. Meanwhile every other dude moves effortlessly and glides in graciously doing the right thing. I’m an asshole sitting in my chair; so now I have to pretend to be distracted, like I didn’t see her. Cause I’m…retarded. ANYways. I’m almost 34 years old, you’d think I’d know how to greet a lady when she enters a room. Christ. I guess my big fear is I’ll go in for the kiss and all of a sudden she’ll be horrified, and scream that I’m disgusting and embarrass me in front of everyone. Sigh. Life 2,788 Xmastime 0.
I'm not the only one who's confused anymore.

Monday, October 27, 2014

RIP Alfred Wertheimer

A few years back, I pointed you to amazing photos of Elvis' trip to Richmond.

Apparently today Alfred Wertheimer, the photographer of those amazing pictures, has died.

Teaching 101

I can't claim to know more than Matt Damon about teachers, and I'm certainly not as eloquent, but I feel like he does them a disservice with this line:
“A teacher wants to teach. Why else would you take a shitty salary and really long hours and do that job unless you really loved to do it?”
As I probably sexily remarked years ago when I was running for President:
But oh, we tell ourselves, teaching is a higher calling, teachers do it cause they love it! They’d do it for free; they’re thrilled to be getting anything! Meanwhile we pay janitors at these schools twice as much – I guess we think of janitors as being an ambitious, money-hungry conniving bunch, so it’s okay to pay them. We applaud Wall Street hotshots who sit at a big desk moving money around on the internet and own three Porsches, but get bent out of shape whenever the people that stay with our children all day, teach them how to read and write, try to teach them right and wrong, protect them and drive them to away games get uppity and demand a real salary. We expect them to do all the above for almost nothing cause that’s the way it always has been (ie has historically been a woman’s job), and then we wonder why we’re getting dumber and dumber every year. It’s not that Johnny can’t read - it’s that instead of becoming teachers, the people who COULD teach Johnny to read took the job of placing those cakes in the urinals since it pays more and you get pissed on less. So instead of turning on some crocodile tears and inventing an aunt who "dedicated her life to teaching", I will bust my hump to make being a teacher a desirable career for the first time since "Wild Things."
See the full Damon joint below.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Turn It On

I am in no way anything close to being Flaming Lips fan but I remember this song when it came out and have always loved it...and, 20 years later, I'm still madly in love with the girl in the orange sweater (as is I presume every dude who's seen this.)

Friday, October 17, 2014

RIP, Earf Dawg

Via "Town Characters" a few years back:
THIS SITE HERE tells how to be a "local character"; there's the town drunk, the truly bizarre guy, the guy that's always around etc etc. My hometown growing up had a few. There was Ringo, who lived in a tree and ran for mayor a buncha times (couldn't have done worse than our real mayor.) Ace, a fat fuck who rode his bike around town 24 hours a day. I can't remember why. And Earth Dog, obviously pronounced Earf Dawg, who took pleasure in racing our basketball team bus on his bike, with us cheering him on/flipping him off until he'd finally peter out after about half a mile. And he'd cut "doughnuts" on his bicycle when we'd be hanging out in French's parking lot. Then there's a million others you remember when sitting around with anyone else from town after about two pops. I still love hearing about Harry Lee Fitchett countering the vet's offer to put his coon dog down for $25 by saying hell, a round of buckshot's only a nickel and then doing it himself.
Just saw this on Facebook. Sad.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Du Jour du Jour

This story from Op on whom was surely the Matthew Barber of his class made my day.
i told Luke about the time my music teacher pulled out his clarinet on the first day and said I can make it laugh [makes it laugh] and I can make it cry [makes it cry] and how the kid behind me said Can you make it shut up? the point being, i said to Luke, that kid wasnt long for the school but that crazy motherfucker lives forever in my heart.

Monday, October 13, 2014

13 Years Ago Today...

...Jeter's Flip Play happened:
This season, I asked one of the great defensive shortstops of this generation, Omar Vizquel, for his thoughts on The Flip.
“That’s the play that I always think (in) my mind because as a shortstop, we never practice a play like that,” Vizquel said. “He just came out of nowhere to make a great play, and the ball just happened to fall in his hand, and he made an unbelievable flip to home plate, and they got the guy out. That ended up being the play of the game. As a shortstop, I know how hard it is to go all the way from there to make that kind of play, so that would be the play that sticks in my mind the most.”
Of course years ago I pointed out Jeter claiming he did in fact practice the play.

How Brooklyn Has Changed Onscreen

Not in love with how quickly they gloss over Welcome Back Kotter, but still cool.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Happy Birfday John Lennon

Happy Birfday...


Here's Marley ROCKING OUT WITH DT AND THE SHAKES on their classic hit, Seconds.

Or, as my camera work suggests, Marley solo  :)

Happy Birthday

To my mother, who would've been 71 today :)
One small memory I've always kept for some reason, even if it was only a small moment, was one afternoon after Sunday dinner. I might've been oh, 10 or 11. I was doing the dishes by myself, the kitchen empty except for my mother sitting at the kitchen table, just relaxing looking out the window that was in front of me over the sink. I'm scrubbing dishes etc, neither of us is saying anything. I quietly start humming something, just kinda bopping my head ba-dum-bum-bum-bum-ba-dum-bum-bum-bum, just kinda bebopping for no reason. This shortly changed from humming to to pshaw-ing out loud the same rhythm with my lips, I had forgotten my mother was sitting there and was getting noisier. Then from outta the water in the sink I happened to pick up some brush, shaped like a paintbrush, as for putting a glaze on a barbecue I guess. I'm bebopping out loud, bopping my head, rinsing the brush off and without breaking rhythm all of a sudden thrust the brush to the window and give it a few slaps, as if I was painting on a large canvas, my slaps with the brush accompanied by even louder scatting A BOW-BOW-BOW! All of a sudden I hear my mother behind me cracking up, I turn around and she's laughing her head off. "Oh god, Greg," she laughed, "you're too funny." Looking back I don't know if it was that funny, and it's a tiny moment in just any ordinary day, but I'll always remember it.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Float Away!

Marah's Float Away with the Friday Night Gods was their "will they or won't they" break-out or breakup record that rather predictably served as the dividing line between the fans that were there from the beginning and those who would only hear them after they "sold out"; ie Let It Be vs. Tim. I mean hell, there's still people furious that The Beatles outgrew The Cavern Club and resent that the rest of the world became privy to their little secret.

Float Away is still my favorite Marah album - while Kids in Philly is one of the defining albums of my lifetime, when listened to objectively Float Away hits harder and closer to me personally.   Leaving in particular is a desert island funeral slice - the catching of breath going into the final verse is one of my favorite rock 'n roll moments of all time (yes, that's Greggumz with a Z.)  

You can hear the entire thing at the end of this comically long post; in the meantime let's go back in time to Paddy Mac and Theodore, the Republican Bear, debating the album's worth:
Welcome to the first in our new series of “Paddy Mac and Theodore Discuss Albums.” This week’s album is “Float Away with the Friday Night Gods”, by Marah. Released in 2002, the album created a sort of firestorm amongst its most hardened of fans coming on the heels of its critically acclaimed sophomore record “Kids in Philly,”; many fans feeling that the “huge arena rock” sound of the record was too much of a stretch from the urban-Stonesy feel of “Kids in Philly.” This was also their first recording done outside of their home base above an auto shop in South Philly, as David and Serge Bielanko joined forces with Owen Morris (Oasis, Blur etc) in Wales. Also a factor was the appearance of Bruce Springsteen on the title track, to whom the band had been constantly compared to and some felt a bit TOO much of an influence. So we sat down with Paddy Mac and Theodore and got their thoughts on the record.

Paddy Mac

16 weeks old. 11 pounds. Likes baby food, watching college football with “The Wilson Boys”, and shitting himself.


Age unknown. 1 pound. Likes George W. Bush, corporate welfare, and, for reasons unknown, Kirk “The Barber” Henderson. Presumably cause they’re the same height.

XMASTIME: Guys, thanks a lot for meeting. As you know, we’re discussing Marah’s third album, “Float Away with the Friday Night Gods.” Your first thoughts, please.
PADDY MAC: I love this record. It’s what a rock n roll album should be: loud, rocking and loud. The perfect follow up to “Kids in Philly.”
THEODORE: First of all, I’d like to say Ann Coulter, I’m disappointed in you and your trashing President Bush this week about the Dubai ports deal. I was into you, thought about us starting something together, but now you’ve fucked it up and I want you to know I am NOT interested anymore. Do not call, do not write, do not try and talk to me if you happen to be in Xmastime’s room and I’m on the couch. You will receive a frosty, frosty stare from my dead, plastic eyes.
XMASTIME: Umm..that’s great Theodore, but you didn’t answer the question.
THEODORE: What was the question?
XMASTIME: Your thoughts on “Float Away” by Marah
THEODORE: My “thoughts”? Well, I “think” it sucks. It’s loud, too fast and, let’s not forget, was done BEFORE The Barber joined the band. I can barely be bothered to listen to it for this lame-ass discussion.
PADDY MAC: You’re insane. Look at all the great songs: “Float Away”, “Soul”, “Leaving”, they’re all classics.
THEODORE: Isn’t this the one with that fucking pinko commie Springsteen?
PADDY MAC: Hey, I love Bruce!
THEODORE: That’s great - looky here, America’s newest pussy liberal. 4 months old, "Brokeback Baby." Christ.
XMASTIME: Let’s focus on the record, fellas. What do you consider your favorite cuts? Paddy Mac?
PADDY MAC: Definitely “Leaving”, which I’d put in my Marah Top 3.
XMASTIME: I love that one too. How bout you Theodore?
THEODORE: Ah, lessee...(looking over song titles) no. no. no. this one sounds gay. No. No. No. Gay. No. This one should be called “My Brother and I Will Be Homeless If We Keep Putting Out This Crap.”
PADDY MAC: Nice. Why don’t we just call them names and insult their mother?
THEODORE: Sounds better than having to talk about this “album” (Theodore asked me to note that as he said the word album he was making air quotes...or would if he had fingers...and could raise his arms)
XMASTIME:What about the big falling out with the fans, the large sense of betrayal that the fans railed about on the band’s message board?
PADDY MAC: I can sort of understand their feeling that, but I think as some times passes they’ll look back and realize what a great album it is, what great songs are on it.
THEODORE: Why don’t we all take a stab at how many times I’ve hit the Marah message board. I’ll give you a hint: it rhymes with “This band sucks, and Bruce is gay.”
PADDY MAC: I don’t think that rhymes with a number.
THEODORE: No, but Bruce sucks.
XMASTIME: Well, I think we’ve heard about enough. That’s one “thumbs up”, and one “thumbs down” an-
THEODORE: ...and one “this album is gay”
XMASTIME: Theodore and Paddy Mac, thank you for your time. Join us next week as we discuss DT & the Shakes debut ep “Smooth Studio Crafted Teen Fodder.”
THEODORE: Ann! Call me! We can work it out!!!!!!
PADDY MAC: ohoh. Code brown down below.

Calton Banks, Bitches!

One of my all-time favorite supporting characters, and he's back!!!  :)

No Shit du Jour

According to studies, smart people like curly fries. The correct response to that is of course no shit, Sherlock.” If you choose regular fries over curly firs than yes, you are a fucking idiot.

Now please feel free to enjoy a classic Xmastime recipe:

Spicy Curly Fries
Ground Chuck
White American Cheese

Cook frozen fries in oven as instructed. Give them about a 10-minute head start, then start browning meat – breaking it up as if you were making tacos. I like to use a lot of Country Crock when doing adds flavor, and guarantees I won’t live long enough to catch the “Sopranos” finale. Finish cooking meat, drain (optional.) Check fries – keep in mind, you want them crispy. Let em go as long as they can before burning. Like love, it’s almost impossible to overcook potatoes. When they’re done, lay them out nice and put a layer of cheese on top. Now put on the ground beef, and then another layer of cheese on top of that. This way, cheese should be touching everything. Now stick back in the oven. Don’t turn it back on, it’ll be hot enough to melt the cheese. Voila!

Next time, I might try adding Hormel too.

I Will Always Miss Joey Ramone


Monday, October 06, 2014

Newest Superslice

Darren Boyd, whom I recently stumbled upon in Whites,  crushes it again, this time in my newest Hulu via BBC superslice, Spy. His look in the pilot when his kid suggests he hopes he gets abducted is priceless.

Hey Thanks for Nothing, Ladies

Derek Jeter played better when bitches weren't locking him down, making him shop with them at Zara's.
In a relationship (14 seasons):
1948 Games, 7993 AB, 2415 H, 185 HR, 896 RBI, 1361 R, 770 BB, 49.2 WAR
For a 162-game-season average of:
201-665 (.302), 15 HR, 74 RBI, 113 R, 64 BB, 3.5 WAR
As a bachelor (6 seasons):
799 Games, 3202 AB, 1050 H, 75 HR, 415 RBI, 562 R, 312 BB, 22.6 WAR
For a 162-game-season average of:
213-649 (.328), 15 HR, 84 RBI, 114 R, 63 BB, 3.8 WAR
"No, you smell MY finger, El Capatino!!"

Aaaaaaaaaand This Wins

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Thoughts. I Have Them.

Just me, or is it funny how closely "reckless" and "recluse" sound alike?

What the Hell Happened to the Food Network?

As I mentioned years ago, the Food Network turned from something I love to basically showcasing hot chicks with great tits. Which is why I was pretty thrilled to see this article listing great cooking shows that indeed include many of the early greats, before food shows became less about cooking and more about game shows and titties. I agree with just about every one, and it's nice to be reminded that at one time Emeril Legasse wasn't just a punchline, but the Elvis Presley of food tv.

Shows from this list I love:
Home Grown with Justin Wilson
Molto Mario
Early Tyler Florence
Emeril Live!
The Naked Chef
Two Fat Ladies
"But Xmastime", you say in the voice of Craig “Ironhead” Heyward from those soap commercials (RIP), “don't you have other favorite cooking shows?"

Sigh. Yes, faithful readers. Yes. In no order:
Cookin' Cheap!
Culcina Amore
Anything with Julia Child
Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsay (UK only, NOT THE US!!)
Gordon Ramsay's The F Word
Good Eats
America's Test Kitchen

Sara Moulton's Cooking Live
and of course one of the originals,

The Galloping Gourmet!  

I'm sure I'm forgetting some; meanwhile here's my "Fuck you!" letter to the Food Network from 2008:
You can accuse me of becoming a snob about this since me and Gordon and BFF now, but after almost nine years together I am officially breaking up with the Food Network. If you've noticed, and I know you have, I've removed it from my links. Back when I started watching it was great chefs demonstrating how to make great food. And no, "great" never meant "fancy." Now it's new show after new show of "Look at my tits!" wherein we learn how to open a package of Toll-House cookies. The nadir being this fucking "At Home with the Neelys" show, where a fat black couple try to out-sass!/out-black! each other, showing us how down home! they are while making sweet potatoes over and over; apparently their contract states they cannot go longer than 4 minutes without remarking that something they're making is gonna make everybody wanna slap their mammas. Great. Also big offenders: Paula Dean's sons who slimed their way into taking over her show. Wow, yet another "let's drive around and look for the best cotton candy!!" show. Thanks, total fucking assholes.

There's way more better shit on PBS nowadays anyways; just right now there's a 3-hour run of BBQ University/In Julia's Kitchen/The Complete Pepin/America's Test Kitchen (super-slice!)/Simply Ming/Lidia's Italy, for instance. Sara Moulton's got a show there now. And with YouTube, you can look up anybody/thing you want anyways.

What started out as a wonderful thing ended up turning itself into MTV. Is this now an inevitability for every thing that starts out great? 

I noticed on Facebook just now it's the 9th anniversary of the death of the kid from Boy Interrupted, an oddly intoxicating documentary I stumbled into watching a few years ago. Enjoy my probably-about-to-win-a-Pulitzer "review" HERE.

Having your kid kill himself must be horrifying enough, but these poor people had to deal with his obsession over suicide every day of his life. Exhasuting.

You can watch the entire doc in the video below.

State du Moi

I'm ruled by laziness   every second of my life  in at least two different instances every coupla days. For one, every day I wear a button-up shirt I roll the sleeves up; when I come home, instead of taking a few seconds to unroll the sleeve, I immediately ditch it in to the  floor  hamper.  So by the time I do laundry I have a bunch of them I hafta untangle, throughout which I bitch and on about how long it takes.

I also don't bother putting a trash bag into the garbage can. Instead I just throw shit in there until it's full and then eventually drape a trash bag over the top and overturn the whole can, praying that the entire can gets within the confines of the bag and doesn't flood my kitchen with garbage jiuce. All the while bitching and moaning why didn'y I just take the 3 seconds to put the goddam bag in the can in the first place?

Sigh. Me - I'm really happening, aren't I?