Friday, December 22, 2006

I Am the Beast In Passionate Pain, I am the Grim Being of the Highlands

Boy, if you missed Zoroaster and Nachtmystium (spelled it right on the first try!) at the Bottle tonight, you are king heck bumming. Gauntlets up!

Why metal shows at the Bottle rule:

1) Smoke machines from the stage combine with Pot Haze everywhere to make the entire place a morbid, snack-fetishizing zone. My coat collar smelled like it had been born in the prop closet during the shooting of Cheech and Chong's Up In Smoke.

2) The five headbanging dudes that always stand stage right by the alley door swirling their mighty tempests of mid-back length locks IN SYNC. It is a sight both beautiful and terrible. I want long hair or a dece wig so I can join in next time.

3) Kevin Drumm, one of Chicago's noise/improv mavens, always shows up at the metal shows. I have never spoken, smiled at or made gestures at Kevin Drumm, in any communicative fashion, but the sight of him always warms my spirits. Maybe because he has roasted my eardrums so many times that my Aunts have to ask me questions three times over the table at Holiday meals and I still can't understand them and then I think *ah, Kevin Drumm, thine deafness delivered is so sweet*. Or something like that.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Saturday, December 02, 2006

If all you want to do sometimes is sleep, you may well be involved in a co-dependent relationship

Movie night! Whenever I get kinda bummed or too seasonally affected, I go to the multiplex and waste a whole evening on bad cinema. I've probably written about this recent phenomena of my empty life several times, but okay. Nothing makes me feel better about myself than rotten Hollywood fare or seeing yuppie couples (she in Uggs, he in Bears hat) on uncomfortable dates. AMC 21 on Illinois St. downtown is Boring Hearts HQ. Sometimes I like to imagine that I'm not the only person having a mediocre time on Friday night. This is borderline creepy, I know. But I'm not really doing some voyeur thing.

And, if I pay my 9.00 and then stay 'til 2 AM (with a sack of food purloined from White Hen), roaming from theatre to theatre as the whim strikes, it costs about as much money overall as it would to heat Casa Borracho for an evening. When it's really cold out.

New James Bond was not nearly as good as I wanted it to be. DCraig is kind of nasty and darker than Brosnan, Dalton or Moore (who is still, alas, my favorite Bond...does that make me a complete sod? Everyone seems to hate Roger Moore. I've always loved that smarm, and he was so good playing to type in Cannonball Run!) and the plot had lots of muscle. No islands full of villans wearing white berets and eye-patches hustling to and fro catching hand grenades tossed by the hero, thank goodness, but not so many gadgets either. Sucker for the gadgets, right here. Watches with lasers and shit. Submarine Lotus sportscar (was that from the miraculously named "Octopussy"?). Eva Green can fill a dress but she's got all the pizzaz of an order of Burger King Chicken Fries. She was in The Dreamers, remember, still one of my votes for worst flick of the epoch. She remains unforgiven, despite her canonical decolettage.

The Fountain reached for the realms of rarified metaphor, and ended up pretty much sucking the big donkey cock. Hugh Jackman is no lead actor, sorry to you X-Men fans out there. The Prestige sucked too, largely because of Hugh's rather limited emotional palate. Anyway, Aronofsky still obviously maintains, as many young-ish directors do, that a series of uninspired tics, half-baked visual synecdoche and grandiose stylistic grab-assing can make up for plot holes, underdeveloped dialog, reams of head-thwacking cliche, and so on. Requiem For A Dream's endless plot gaps, who freakin' cares emotional realizations and bad junkie tropes were not out of character, it turns out. But you do get to watch HughJack guzzle what looks rather like semen from the roots of the "tree of life" to save his wife (or queen or whatever) from dread disease. Which, back in the day, we used to call being on the "down low".

Are you surprised that I liked Marie Antoinette more than I thought I would? (I did see three movies last night. In a row. Don't make fun.) No. Are you surprised that still doesn't mean I liked it too fucking much? Coogan was okay, but not played to his strengths. Marianne Faithfull was a rather inspired bit of casting, admittedly, but she was under-used, too. I like Kirsten Dunst's face, in spite of myself, and she does well looking put upon and uncomfy in what is essentially a comedy of manners, but gravitas is not exactly her bag of kittens. Jason Schwartzman remains the drummer of Phantom Planet, which is about the best I can say for him. He should stick to it. (Ba dum cha!) God bless Rip Torn, though. You get Rip Torn, you get quality.

Then I came home and watched A Dirty Shame. Best movie ever.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Post Coitum Omne Animal Tristis Est

Halloween, costumes, trickery...heck, even slutty Rainbow-Brites aren't that interesting anymore. Actually, the slutty Rainbow-Brites can be kind of interesting, at least in the lizard part of the brain with a shine for misanthropic sexual terpschiore. But the rest of Halloween isn't really. I'm probably a dry sourpuss, yes. I've never been "into" costumes or role-playing or any of that shit, though, participation isn't unprecedented. I did Agent Cooper at Crystal Lake South once or twice, I could really channel him ("Diane, sexual feelings about cheerleader uniforms are not unknown among *cough* G-men"), but since then most of my costumes have been conceptual failures, except for Andy Warhol, and that white powder wigged flower only bloomed once (2000?). If you come to my house for Ginger Ale and Fruity Pebbles some morning I can show you the polaroid of me as the Pop Art Man Child himself posing on the Empty Bottle couch with the one and only Isaac Brock. I'm kind of a whole late 70's striped shirt and tie era there, didn't break character once the entire night, more Bowie than Glover. Rumsfeld After Dark (don't ask) and Gay Suburban Dad On The Down Low (Kids In The Hall channeled via Jim J. Bullock Too Close For Comfort) carried me through the last few years and now I am costumeless, and not missing it.

"Where is your costume" a friend barged into the bookstore and asked last night, when we were giving away free books to the kiddies (instead of candy) as is ancient Myopic tradition. My reply was, I am proud to say, gunshot quick: " I'm sorry. I'm still getting over this little virus called 'self-respect'." I was immediately, mercilessly and quite correctly booed by several 'Ween attired people, including three or four co-workers, a mom and her two small children, one of which was dressed as, I think, a telemarketer. Headset and clipboard? What else could it be? PA? Old Navy management? Good to see kids aim high these days. Oops, did I just pull a Kerry?

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Monday, October 09, 2006

Ben Franklin Was the Original Raw Dog

We have one customer at the store that the Dude can't abide. (The Dude being me, and not Lloyd Bridges, Jr.)(Although I'm more the Sam Elliott type, I'd imagine.)(Or hope to be. More than the John Turturro type, anyway.)He's a weird shifty stoner burb bra, always wears a purple shirt, Umbro shorts circ '94 mormon teen recovery summer camp, filthy mock Burberry slippers and no socks come rain or shine. His toes are grisly battlegrounds of germs. He has curly kind-of red blonde hair and a moderate staring/mouth gape problem, which in toto is pretty par for the typical bookstore habitue, but we'll call him E.E. Kummings Kreep 'cause there was a 'situation' where he bugged us for three weeks for some Cummings hard cover we had yet to price sitting in a pile somewhere that he wanted dearly, every single clerk at the store including the manager hassled multiple occs., which became A THING, instead of simple customer request, so STRIKE ONE on dude.

The other night near closing time, when I was shutting off the lights, turning off the air conditioners, making sure Leonard had food, avoiding the upstairs ghost (there is one! female!primarily benevolent but bristly!), tapping my "hoof" to the Darkthrone closing music playing downstairs and keeping one eye in a just-incoming copy of Garry Wills' short bio of Saint Augustine, when who should appear? Burberry feet diapers himself. "Hey" he sez, "do you know people in this neighborhood?" With no small amount of trepidation, I answered him in the affirmative. That I did, in fact, know some people in this neighborhood pretty dece. "Well, I'm really looking for something, man." By this point, my colon was churning pre-fart fear bubbles, but I did not flee. "I'm looking for a way to touch the sky, man". I must have stared at the poor bastard for at least 45 seconds, making no gesture. I had no idea what he was talking about, momentarily metaphoriacally incapacitated, mind racing..."is this a sex thing? a code among the young and actionable? I've only given one blow job in my whole life. Oops, I mean two. Mostly for show. Not prepared dear loving god, not me. wait. does 'reach the sky' mean he wants to stretch muscles more? calves tight, lumbars in square bricks, phalanges cracking? is he asking about a yoga studio? i know one on Division. The woman with the horse racing helmet and the elliptical little smile works out there and damn, Jackson, if she isn't foxy six kinds. Yoga pants are one of God's Great Gifts. I see her once or twice a week on her bike. he wants drugs! of course. Drugs! Hendrix! In the Sky! So easy." Brain banter over, and so much inner relief found, I told him to go to Rodan. You can't get "Legal Coke" (thanks Redman) passed your way under the table in a matchbook for 2 Jacksons, but you can get the white stuff that delays the sunrise (or ruthlessly makes it irrelevant). That guy, though. Still creepin'. And he'll be back. I bet you don't have to deal with people like that at your job. No, you deal with editors, or the bottled water dude, or the UPS guy or Lois Weinberg. Imagine how fucked up he'd be if he was really into Blake?

*******Quick notes*******

1) "The Departed" is C+ in the Scorsese pantheon, I guess. Crazy Jack Nich acting naners, Damon looking worried, Leo D wincey and tough and doughy, cheezy Joyce quotes from young teen toughs, nice Coat Rack stabbing at the convenience store. You'll like it. On DVD.

2) They were playing Franz Ferdinand and the Strokes the other night at the Continental. As in, from 4 years ago. What a dump. People. I don't go out for, like, 9 months and this is the best you can do? Can we at least get some Wipers? Do people listen to the same thirty songs over and over again and nothing else FOR THEIR ENTIRE LIVES? I'm not asking for Jandek here, or the Tall Dwarfs or something outlandish. Just, you know. A different Morrisey album.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

You may never get to touch the Master, but you can tickle his creatures.

Shit is real M.I.A. 'round here, and I don't mean the Sri Lankan singer or RAMBO. Actually, I do mean RAMBO. Anyway. It happens. I forget about the blog, or just don't feel like it most days. But, I'll try more in the future. Especially because Ozzie gets linked, and people seem to read it. Still. Which mystifies me. Because you could be listening to Tim Kinsella right now, bathing in the triumphal splendor of the Make Believe record that came out last Tues. Hometeam on some Edgar Cayce blue highways, y'all. Fate is knocking on the door. Did you read the thing in A.P.? I never laughed so hard in all my life. I LOVE THAT GUY.

Fantasy Baseball ended rather drably. 4th, 6th, 6th in the various Yahoo leagues. Josh tattooed my ass right out of the "Baseball Club" playoffs by the second week of "post-season" play. For a guy with access to a computer for less than an hour a day for most of the summer, totally without ESPN, Comcast Sports Net or access to Hawk Harrelson's "greased tee", that isn't too bad, I guess. I'm not playing fantasy football or basketball this fall/winter, because I'm trying to "have a life", which includes such gordian concepts as "going out with friends" or "meeting friends at the bar and watching them get drinky crow" and flirting with female representatives of my "peer group" at "parties" which might lead to acts generally consistent with or precipitating an (albeit) drastically amended form of "propagation of the species". My only make out partner the last few months has been the couch, where I fell asleep reading Spengler's Decline of the West on Thursday night and drooled on the armrest.

I'm a reading maniac now. Pure bookstore zen. I just hold a book in my hand and the ol' subconscious munches leitmotifs like a little bunny munching lettuce heads in the garden of heavenly deeeeee-lites. 2 minutes remaining on the terminal. Be back soon. XOXO.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Wow. I just lost a pretty decent post on this crappy library computer. Sometimes you have to take a sign from above and just not try. Peace out.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

What are the stars but points in the body of God where we insert the healing needles of our terror and longing?

Just got wind of this in the new Penguin Books Catalog the other day. It is called Against The Day. And I quote:

"Spanning the period between the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and the years just after World War I, this novel moves from the labor troubles in Colorado to turn-of-the-century New York, to London and Gottingen, Venice and Vienna, the Balkans, Central Asia, Siberia at the time of the mysterious Tunguska Event, Mexico during the Revolution, postwar Paris, silent-era Hollywood, and one or two places not strictly speaking on the map at all. With a worldwide disaster looming just a few years ahead, it is a time of unrestrained corporate greed, false religiosity, moronic fecklessness, and evil intent in high places. No reference to the present day is intended or should be inferred.

The sizable cast of characters includes anarchists, balloonists, gamblers, corporate tycoons, drug enthusiasts, innocents and decadents, mathematicians, mad scientists, shamans, psychics, and stage magicians, spies, detectives, adventuresses, and hired guns. There are cameo appearances by Nikola Tesla, Bela Lugosi, and Groucho Marx.

As an era of certainty comes crashing down around their ears and an unpredictable future commences, these folks are mostly just trying to pursue their lives. Sometimes they manage to catch up; sometimes it's their lives that pursue them.

Meanwhile, the author is up to his usual business. Characters stop what they're doing to sing what are for the most part stupid songs. Strange sexual practices take place. Obscure languages are spoken, not always idiomatically. Contrary-to-the-fact occurrences occur. If it is not the world, it is what the world might be with a minor adjustment or two. According to some, this is one of the main purposes of fiction.

Let the reader decide, let the reader beware. Good luck.

--Thomas Pynchon"

******FUCK YES******

Much as I wanted to love love love Mason & Dixon, it just never hit the spot for me, even though I was very excited in the weeks before it came out. Some of the Olde English tricks and invisible duck jokes and colonial schmutz blah blah never dripped into my brain pan in the great mental gardening system method that is the usual TPynch experience. Then again, I prolly wasn't smoking enough pot when I *tried* to read it the first three (3) times. Made it to around page 400 or so. Another shot at it before December? Pretty likely. After all, "Entropy", just a bare few pages of short story, pretty much did change my intellectual life 85% or more back in, oh, 1993?

But this NEW one sounds like some heavy zeitgeist-prix-fixe Gravity's Rainbow type blow up the sets and leave all dem shook shit. These times demand the action of true paranoids, negate-o-trons, deep water float-ees kicking legs close to the edge to keep from going under and other oddsmiths in the post-BBQ rictus shell of American dreams circa Ought Six. Heavy sacks of turd-en-flame (don't know no French) on the front porches of all the mighty and doomed should be, like, part of the ten day forecast. Against The Day indeed. Read that description again up above and tell me you don't feel some foreshocks....that the 110 doesn't look mighty perilous up Pasadena way.

I'm sure Thomas Ruggles is still a fisherman casting lines to yank our souls out of the muck.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Saturday, August 26, 2006

We're comic. We're all comics. We live in a comic time. And the worse it gets the more comic we are.

The reading at Quimby's last night was a blast, the best one I've seen yet. Don't miss the next Orphan Schlitz Reading Series (AKA Ready Set Relapse), because it's better than, like, Saturday Night Live. I'm not sure when the next one is, but go bug Logan since he's the only person I know real well that works there. And buy one of his Booty CD's while you are at it. The man mixes mighty.

Hearty congratulations to Al Burian, David Tortuga, Dan Gleason, Meg McCarville, and Marc Safetypin/Bubblebath for the yuks. Better yet, look up all these writers on Goggle and give yourself the fits. Here is where to start:

******Library Update*****

The brand spanking new branch on Milwaukee across from Johnny's Snack Shop is the titties. Tons of computers to use and not so many smelly people. The architecture sucks total butt wind, but it's not that much further of a walk than the Eckhart Park sort-of branch. And since Lincoln is in the ICU with severe theft damage, I need the exercise. Gotta burn off those Dolly Madison Zingers and Jalapeno Crunchers somehow!

If you expect me to talk about baseball without kind of dry-heaving and sweating profusely, forget it. I'm just glad I didn't get tickets for the game last night.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Letter from the Recently Indoctrinated, Part I

Dear Grandma Moses--

Summer bookstore camp is going great! The six corners (Milwaukee, Damen, North) are awash in art-school thunder. On Sunday night, Jon and I heard an advance recon of the Flat Iron Building Hair Cavalry banging on pots and pans and shouting slogans about their culturally isolated critical responses re: consumerism and low-wattage energy alternatives (we think) through old traffic cones. It lasted several hours, wafting into our open front door for a timeframe the stoned organ grinder drone kidz next door to Swank Frank (working the fertile fields for Sister Ray and Waldo Jeffers) can't usually muster, at least when it comes to the copious enthusiasm blasts needed for truly convincing bouts of on-the-street-freakery.

Regardless, we fought back with barrage after roaring barrage of the 1975 vintage John Tchicai/ Irene Schweizer Group Willie the Pig jazz missle system, but for naught. They out-hippied us by ,frankly, a rather daunting margin. They were probably drugged, and we were "working", making do with cans of Safeway Strawberry Pop and self-administered Cream Soda enemas. Summit meetings are being arranged via backchannel with Gene Gene the Dancing/Performance Art Machine (surprisingly normal and far less than annoying in one on one conversation than presupposed, star of Time Out: Chicago article a few weeks ago, drinks gallons of our iced coffee in the early evening, self-admittedly "obsessed" with some orange Calvin Klein boat shoes he saw at some dept. store downtown) in order to establish effective counter-insurgency techniques. Dean Rusk has the point on that one, as soon as we can agree on the table shape. Anyway, I spent most of the rest of the shift oogling a new book we just got about Winslow Homer, thinking that his sea scapes and studies of fishermen and duck hunters are incredibly boss. And his mother? I'd do her.

Next, I'll be picking my fire targets by throwing darts blindfolded at Frederic Remington prints clipped from Old West books, trying to hit the extremities of the cowpokes and ranch hands he painted incidentally, pointing toward lightning forks splitting seaweed green skies over the rained out Colorado plains, cattle spooked by mother nature running hither-skither akimbo. Art that serves the national design hasn't always been so manifestly destined. Although Aaron Copeland IS a ham, and Van Cliburn, after 1960, sounds like he has icicles for fingers.

I think I'll walk many blocks to a mediocre thrift store now.

Yours (hopefully) beneficially,
The Greasy Eminence

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Crucial point one day becomes a crime

Yesterday, at the end of my post, I asked if I had turned into "David Debby", which I'm sure led to some head scratching out there. I meant David Denby, the New Yorker film critic, but this seems like a fruitful mistake. Maybe I'll become a cross-dressing Pauline Kael of the oughts, with a name that means nothing to noone. Worth about half of one of Roger Ebert's tumors.

And then I'll join Robin Williams in rehab. He will coat me in his glistening fur.

uhhhhhhh It is really pretty outside. 84 degrees and Sunny like Cher's dick. Last night I finished Guns of August. World War I was, like, dumb and stuff. I don't have much for you today, sorry. Obsessed with our steady descent into global conflict? Check. Needing some Lupe Fiasco jamz? Check. Still in lust with Eleanor from Fiery Furnaces? Check. White boat shoes? Blazow!

I bought a little miniature Shortwave Radio at Walgreens the other day for 9.99 or so. Total impulse buy 9000. Now I can listen to German news broadcasts and Radio Portugal. My co-workers hate me. Even the dude from the Kills was bummed as I flicked through blizzards of satellite wash and airline beacons. Hotel represent! ULTIMATE AM GEEK.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

They were going to make me a major for this and I wasn't even in their fucking army anymore

Since seeing it in the theatre Friday night (before World Trade Center....after Talladegah Nights), I've been mildly obsessed with the teaser trailer for Marie Antoinette. Certainly New Order's "Age of Consent" has something to do with it. The full trailer ups the ante with Gang of Four's "Natural's Not In It", which is rather odd to hear pouring out of a Dolby Surround Sound system at a huge multi-plex, especially in a preview for what initially looks to be a piece of French royalist apologia. Of course, I haven't seen it yet (comes out later this fall sometime), but that would fit the usual S. Coppola profile.

My main problem with her films is not that they aspire primarily to the look and emotional content of a music video landscape, but that I am pretty cashed out when it comes to laying out 10 bucks so I can sit in the jury box for the exquisitly patterned bum-outs of the rich and existential chores of the idle. Whether your setting is Grosse Pointe or Versailles or a Japanese luxury hotel, the point of cinema should not be to elicit sympathy for characters who are quite fine without it. Miss Coppola seems not to have taken that under advisement. While some of her imagery is quite lovely (I'm thinking of a particular actress in sheer panties, but fill in your own here), and she does a good job of letting actors sort themselves out (Josh Hartnett strutting down the high school hall in stud mode, Bill Murray being Bill Murray and playing Bill Murray into the ground; neither characterization is so disagreeable), this doesn't seem enough framework to tell a historically important story. Maybe she'll surprise us.

Did I just turn into fucking David Denby?

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A squat black telephone, I mean an octopus

New killer bookstore prank, as perfected last night by Jon...Near the bike racks on sidewalk at the front of the store, place a perfectly mint box for recent-era iMac G4 laptop contaning, in fact, one new Chicago phonebook, the big fat yellow pages one, securely within foam packaging so it does not jiggle around, emblazoned with a post-it note advising "SUCKER" in big black magic marker. The amount of people that will check the box...just kind of touch it or knock it over, is astounding. The amount of people that will actually take the box around the corner and check it's contents and then look around sheepishly, laughing at the note, is higher still.

Until 12:35 AM, when the post-grunge Nirvana t-shirt wearing kids executed a perfect, and I mean perfect, walk around the block to case the score then hustle and slip n' grab the iMac box without bokstore staff *hardly noticing* at all...that gives me hope for your young American criminals of the future. Say my little friend!

Ummmmmm White Sox got edged by the Yanks last night (Randy Johnson you old fuck! Hate the unit! Hate the unit!), but conquered 175 more pages of the Vollmann (Europe Central, which won the National Book Award, you know. Holds up extremely well when compared to, say, Gravity's Rainbow) and am feeling heartened for the final push to the summit.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Chicken and chips and cider bread, Silicon Chips inside her head

16 minutes remaining on the library computer, so I'll make this snappy.

Scott C., booking magnate and fellow baseball freak, told me the other night at the Bottle (Headache City killed it, Ponys brought some dece clatter and by Art Brut it was so hot the spaces inbetween fingers were sweating) that OGFP has sounded "too angry" lately. Sorry. Now that the weather in Chi-Boggie permits a semblance normal human activity by it's residents, I'll try and get more "friendly" on you. No more ranting about crazy bums for a while.

Our top story today...the record shelf collapsed. After promising to anchor the damn thing to the wall for over ten months, and noticing a distinct list to the left for a few days, this last mighty memorial to my fallacy gave way at approx. 4:10 AM CST Wednesday morning. 25 U-Haul record boxes full of wax were spewed across the hall between kitchen and living room. I moved it immediately so that Miles would not be trapped in his room for the rest of eternity, a'la an Edgar Allan Poe short story.

In other news, drank my Ginger Ale at the Bottle bar last night next to a rotund, familiar looking man I later learned from doorman/neighbor's boyfriend Bob was none other than Horatio Sanz. He drank many Amstel Lights and seemed to enjoy A Silver Mount Zion. I, alas, did not, and not indulging in drink either, went upstairs and tackled some Vollmann.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Friday, July 28, 2006

Who hid in traitor grass their cunning cord may catch me as I pass.

I can't believe I was up before 9:30 AM today. My mouth still has that sour Lunesta taste. Welcome to the world of the (not so) heavily medicated!

Last night on Coast To Coast AM With George Noory was a real doozy, folks. Majestic 12 documents....greys and yellows....alien autopsies at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Air Force Colonels under suicide watch. Pretty amazing.

We have little other news to report.

1) The new white boat shoes are working out quite nicely, thanks. Today's mission is to see if we can't find a special electrically colored t-shirt to wear with said boat shoes and our dirty white pants. To a show tonight! Like actually going out in public!

2) Jimmy the extreme nut job neighborhood weirdo is now officially obsessed with me. Very regularly in the past he tried to sell me cheap plastic lighters and other...things. He raved at me for a full 25 minutes on the bus the other day about Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and various Hot Dog Carts he used to work for along Chicago Ave. Eating a slice of pizza at Bacci last night, Jimmy decided to come over for an unwelcome visit. A visit with Jimmy involves enduring an odd St. Vitus dance of shaking and physical tics, suffused with broken shouts about sales currently at Tower Records. On a more personal note, last night included some genuine-seeming confessions that he, Jimmy, might soon stop freebasing various hard street drugs. Then he went and peed on the door of the Library in full view of the Bacci patrons.

Summer 2006! Have fun at Pitchfork you pussies.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

In the Sky, Lord, In The Sky

I know you hate me for never updating this thing. Sorry. Really. It's's nice outside. Deep breath. Go get an iced tea and leave the internet to the deep hornballs. Stay up 'til 4 AM so you can listen to BBC Morning Update every night like I do, and get your news that way. Who needs email? I don't. The only email I've gotten in the last two weeks is junk mail from JennysoHORNY2008 about selling house pets for obscure sexual purposes I don't understand. Lots of exclamation points at the end. I noticed that, although I was shuddering uncontrollably.

*******>>>>>>>> SUMMER UPDATE <<<<<<<*******

The White Sox right now are like the bad news bears without Walter Matthau and his ever-replenished bucket of beers. NO FUN. I think Ozzie's gay-bashing comments last month are now karmically destroying the team. It could also be that the pitching staff is serving them up there for opposing hitters like a platter of Onion Rings at the fucking Steak N' Shake. If you've never been to a Steak N' Shake, I weep for you.

In other news, Wicker Park Summer 2006 officially sucks your trouser donkey. Last weekend was the whole "shut down Damen between Division and North and have a street fest" debacle. Sure, I bet Dead Meadow and Make Believe and Gris Gris were good. I even heard some of Kinsella and the boys when I was alphabetizing the Nature section Sunday night. (Yes, my life IS that sexy on the day-to-day).

Anyway, the streets were filled all weekend with insanity on a scale hithero known only to Bacchus, and perhaps Robert Evans. I went down to the Food Mart to get a Choco-Taco just after midnight and it was like Milwaukee Ave was the set of a really bad Fellini movie. Ambulances every thirty feet, carting sweaty fatsos away to the morgue...all the coked-up little gay hustler boys sassing around in their short-shorts and love beads (a look I secretly wish I still had the legs to pull off)... ladies falling from not being able to drunkenly navigate on heels, frat boys a' raging, crackheads a' weirding, and that baffling Asian guy who does his strange exercises on the six corners traffic triangle or in the park, wearing far too little clothing, and making most passers by VERY uncomfy.

Why Time/Out Chicago did a story on this bozo is far beyond the scope of human faculty. Then again, so is the Pissed Jeans record, and I love it to death. I'm just a grouchy old man who really likes songs based on single tone feedback. Just like Steve Albini! The circle is unbroken, dun! Like Too Short, I'm out.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

"I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but 44% of marriages end in divorce. And they're the lucky ones."

Your host just ordered a pair of "ice" colored Sperry Top Siders from an internet firm, due to arrive later this week from a warehouse in Kentucky. I am stoked and impatient for them to arrive.

White non-sneakered shoes are worn by either preachers and pimps, and not many in betweeen. People feel free to comment often about white shitkickers. Rock a pair of gleaming tooth-hued 100% fake snakeskin loafers for a few months, and you'll figure this out the hard way. Boat shoes, on the other hand, are in like flynn and the "ice" is going to be nice. No more socks for the rest of the summer.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Direction: Pleiades

At the bookstore tonight we had the All-Star Game on the radio, and it was very hard to concentrate on the mundane bookstore tasks (overstock) when Paul Konerko and the American League stars were rallying to an inevitable 3-2 victory over the Nationals in the late innings at PNC in Pittsburg. I'm always proud when White Stockings are heavy repping in the midsummer classic. 2nd half of the 2006 Whtie Sox campaign starts Friday at Yankee Stadium, where we usually play pretty well against the hated Bronx Bombers.

Greatly anticipating a visit from a representative of Corwood Industries at the Empty Bottle in September during the upcoming Wire magazine festival (esp. after last year's heartbreaking hurricane-related last minute cancellation) (not to mention this year's other stellar attendees...OM! William Parker/Hamid Drake Duo! Coughs! Steinski! Edan!), finally broke down and saw the Jandek documentary. A little heavy-handed in spots, and maybe a bit too respectful of the legendary recluse, it was also a splendid glimpse into the warped views of his fervent fanbase. Of which your host is an enthusiasticly recovering member, natch. I don't even bother trying to explain Jandek to folks anymore, though, so I'll save the prosthelatizing until after your 2nd briss. Don't bother trying to listen to his records 'cause you'll hate them, and then me for getting you at all associated with his bleak broken-chord meltdowns. Musically, it's all part of our new SLOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW program around here. If you like your songs benzidrine psych ward dripped onto your flaming brain pan by a cruel, lamenting God, then by all means we have xxxtra space on the trampoline. Or, go buy the new Lupe Fiasco instead. Same diff.

Another (unintended) side-effect of the Jandek viewing is that it has helped propel me further into a medium-serious jazz phase. The kind where I start whipping out the Marzette Watts ESP-Disks and fretting over the acres of Sonny Sharrock um.....fret discharge therein. Did you know that I own a shitload of bad early 70s Herbie Mann LPs just for the weird Sonny gtr soloz they flaunt? Mustachioed buttfuck flute hound is bopping along on the neutral bad cover-version highway in a peach convertible and suddenly Sonny jumps in from the back of a passing truck, turning things upside down and shaking the change from everybody's pockets, saying hurried, nasty things as he does so, stinking of gasoline and three dollar a pint gin. Sonny Sharrock's guitar playing is untoward. Why Herbie invited him on board in the first place is sheer jazz lunacy. He hijacks the musical scheme and in seconds you are snacking on your brains like Swedish Fish. Lovely circles turn into terrifying dive bombs, runs up and down the strings like knives against bone and then peace, solitude, reflection. Before you've picked up your hat up off the floor, the wheels of time have grown tongues like long, wet ribbons and a tawdry moon is rising over the dashboard. And only good jazz musicos will show you that barrage of explosive heat they have tamed. From Sidney Bechet to Illinois Jacquet to David S. Ware, the universe, I am happy to report, is still exploding three times every second.

In other news, favorite OGFP dad and east-coast academic type Ian sent us even more Bob Dylan Theme Radio Hour episodes. Ian is the cotton balls. Seriously, the Coffee episode is stellar. The Divorce episode starts off with the Tammy Wynette killer and then it gets HEAVIER.

Hold on, Famoudou Don Moye is in the middle of a six minute solo on duck whistles. I'll be right back.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Friday, July 07, 2006

That buck that bought a bottle could've struck the lotto

Ukranian Village no longer sounds like Beirut circa 1983. Last night it still smelled like a wet Wisconsin fireworks emporium, but the automatic weapon pop-pop-pops were all gone, as were the stumbling drunken burn-unit victims to be. Thank goodness. Five days in a row of low-grade munitions displays and the weird Eastern Euro/Puerto Rico fashion diaspora had me sitting in a corner of Casa Borracho feeling like Martin Sheen in the first 20 minutes of Apocalypse Now. Every second Charlie squats in the bush, he gets stronger. My only friend, the end. This Fourth of July "holiday" was the first one in more than a decade that I didn't spend in an absolute drunken stupor, trying to rub up on strangers and destroy any remaining shreds of my humanity, waking up on the Sunday after (or Monday, or Tuesday) with a nosebleed and a few open mystery sores. Mom is so proud of my newly emerging social anxiety disorder. My current version of "bar close" is Book 8 of The Preacher and either Coast To Coast AM or a career retro of Josef K I bought years ago and never bothered listening to. If only she could see her Diet Rite guzzling, Seymour Hersh article reading man-child now!

Actually, she can see me. She and Mom #2 are just too busy retiring and moving all their shit to Kentucky right now. I guess we're all going to have lunch on July 21 downtown. That should be fun, considering the last conversation we had turned into a three-way shout fest about the new Superman movie and how the script pointedly had a major character avoid mentioning "the American way" after "truth and justice" when re: Superman...when my Mom brought up that little nugget I just kind of casually mentioned that since, oh... around 8 PM EST December 12, 2000 or so, 90% of the world's population outside of our borders and a good 45% within them views "the American Way" as a morally vacuous floorshow combining the very worst ideals of faith-based cornpone hatred for the proverbial other and a series of corporate-buttfuck shenanigans that have turned most Americans into little more than pallbearers at their own economic funeral. This particular point did not go over like the proverbial "gangbusters". How very "blue state" of me.

So what. Last night I was the recipient of some truly excellent vegan vittles, courtesy of Erika, AKA the World's Best Cook. Seitan roast with yummable veggies and tasty hummus and amazing choco-banana pudding that brought tears to my eyes. It was like that. Then we watched Globe Trekker or whatever that youth oriented BBC travel show is. All about the Pacific Northwest, including PDX. Which is actually one of the only parts of the world besides the great state of Illinois that I have visiited at any length whatsoever. So that had some useful metatext for me. Traveling is for hussies. PBS is for hessians. The sexy flatscreen in Casa Borracho needs some Rabbit Ears. Miles threatens to get cable fairly often, but I feel like the sedentary lifestyle we currently rock like a sweatervest (I'm mostly speaking for myself, roommate actually still has a life) will engorge to truly Jabba The Hut-esque proportions. Soon I'll be eating frogs from a converted toilet on the side of the couch, threating to throw my enemies into a huge mouth-pit where they will be digested for thousands of years. Then Luke Skywalker will kill me.

I'm also looking for some jewelry that features likenesses of Abraham Lincoln. Saved the union and freed the slaves? Yeah that guy. If you see some, holla. Warren G. Harding, too. And Harry S. Truman. One love, Harry!

Peace out, Kenny Boy! Hold on! I'm comin'!

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Video: Putin Kisses Boy's Stomach -- As Astonished Crowd Looks On

I love the Drudge Report. Sometimes it makes me want to commit seppuku in the corner bathroom of a very public place, but I still read it every day. I have no idea how the internet works anymore, apart from my fantasy baseball teams. 2nd, 4th and 11th place, in order of importance. I still want to carve my initials into Ann Coulter's skull, though.

P.S. Last week saw Al Gore's environmental flick, and homie is making a move towards the electorate. Kind of a wave from the fruit stand across the street, really, letting folks know he's still there and not having anything much to do with Howard Dean these days. Story in the new Rolling Stone this (next?) week where he makes some shart comments about Senors Bush and Cheney, and we'll see what his next few moves are.

Superman movie? Who else wants to see it? Get in touch.

If you've sent me email you expect to be answered in the last few weeks and I haven't replied, don't take it all personal like. Internet connectivity is still tenuous, so use ye olde telephone, eh?

The White Sox just keep winning, bashing the shit out of National League teams right and left. Unfortunately, so do the Tigers of Detroit (remember them? Tyrus Raymond Cobb? George Kell? Jack Morris? Larry Parrish? Lou Whitaker?), who *seem* to have the whiff of destiny this year. I know that smell pretty well after 2005. Which would be okay by me, honestly. Their fans have had a rough time of it the last decade or so.

OK, I'll try and update more often. Bye.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Monday, June 19, 2006

First you think your fortune's lovely

Reading tonight at the Quimby's. It starts in about 25 minutes, actually. The Copy Max, where I'm at now, is the place to go when all the public libraries are full of computer users. Right across the street from the bookstore on Milwaukee near the six corners of ass.

This dude at the computer to my left (#6) is freaking out because a paper he wrote for a class is missing in the hard-drive and noone here can seem to find it. I feel bad for him. I write mostly in note pads these days, to avoid Mac/PC complications. How challenging it is to go back to pen and paper after having spent years type-type-typing away as the main feature of the compositional process. Miles and I were talking last night about getting typewriters. Maybe that would be boss.

Not much to say. Been working on this piece to read for the Quim, done busted my prose nut, and now I'm kind of on Veggie Patrol, giving a once-over to ABC's The Note and chillin' in the A/C. Maybe I'll type my reading on the web so you can oogle it, or maybe not. I'll let you know.

But swing by tonight if you can. It's for a good 'cause.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Monday, June 12, 2006

Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, But on the viewless wings of Poesy

Eckhart Park Library smells like chlorine 'cause there is a big pool here. I used to work for a computer place right across the street...and spent a few years there in various positions of "responsibility". It was the best money I ever made, by far, but in retrospect I integrated myself into the new economy of the early oughts by being incredibly skilled at slacking, most of all. I was laid off in early '02, but we all know what that means. I made myself irrelevant and therefore disposable.

Speaking of which, there is a reading at Quimby's on Monday June 19th at about 7 PM or so. The line-up is fab, and the $5 (suggested) cover goes to worthy charities, including a food pantry and rape crisis center. Writerly entertainment by Hopper, Amy Phillips, Brian Costello, Jim DeRogatis and, for some reason, little ol' me. I am trying to write a new piece just for the occasion, featuring the usual melange of disparate topics:

-my alcoholism and the merry-go-round called denial
-concepts of time and space in established musical forms familiar to this listener, but due to data shifts in his recently psychotropically medicated mind, how they have become rather "far out"
-Scott Walker's lacerating new album
-the fact that Sunn0))) was in the NY Times Sunday Magazine recently, and how this could be a sign of the impending apocalypse
-Mark Twain's sense of the bawdy
-the utter inability of language in America to signify anything other than our intellectual and emotional distance from one another since the *spectre* of global terrorism cemented itself as a political tool
-the utter decline of hand-jobs and/or "fingering" in the sexual repertoire of adults over the age of, say, 25.
-Turkish pirate films featuring dogs named "Kurt"

Some of these are lies. But, it shall be no less ambitious than the GodSpeed You Black Emperor/ Moby Dick piece we promised so many issues of Hit It Or Quit It ago.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

They go down to the lake of fire and fry; Won't see 'em again till the Fourth of July

Dog days of summer, hoo boy. They are here. Actually, this week has been overwhelmingly pleasant, Chicago weather-wise. You can't ask for better than mid-70's with few clouds and minimum humidity. So we'll count our lucky stars.

White Sox eeked out a slim win against the division leading Tigers of Detroit earlier tonight at the Cell. No, we were at the bookstore. But we were with the south side nine in spirit (and on the radio). Our boys have had a rough time of it the last few weeks, but we have faith things are about to turn around. The pitching staff has to get a few things in order, and Thome has to stay healthy, but October should see us again at the gates of St. Peter, if things stay on the current. Lots of season left to go, and the Detroiters could fade.

Does any one know where in Chicago to get a really good pair of white boat shoes for not a lot of crilla? We're trying to pull our summer look together. Lacoste has some that are manifestly fresh but also totally out of our current financial dimensions. Actually, wearing a pair of white paper bags is out of our current financial dimensions, but we're keeping our options open. Size 12, if you can help a brother out.

Ian of the great Northeast, thanks a million for the bootleg "Theme Time Radio Hour with your host Bob Dyaln" cd's. The timing could not have been better. If you haven't heard it yet, Dylan has an XM Satellite radio show where he picks a theme and then plays songs on the theme and then narrates all over the place. Kind of like This American Life in reverse. Of course Dylan is his funny, caustic, ambiguous self, and the musical selections are righteous. There are spoken word bits, snippets from movies, the works. The Baseball show (of course the first one we listened to) has a reading by Ferlinghetti of a poem that combines the political spirit of the sixties and the blazing nature of the sport in a way that is most happening; you'll never think of Juan Marichal in the same way again.

If you have a feeling that we're watching Ken Burns' Baseball in its entirety again right now in our free time, you'd be right. We know we promised to wait until the off season....but c'mon!

P.S. Happy 666 day! Ultimate metal melange at the bookstore tonight!

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Have you seen my wig around? I feel naked without it.

Opportunity of a lifetime, just missed!

Last night the new Dave Navarro/ Stephen Perkins vehicle (ahem) The Panic Channel played at the Double Door, and their stupid, giant tour bus was in our precious loading zone for 5 hours or so. And with about 30 hoochie-goth suburban community college chicks and plenty of goth/hoodrat yet gender-unidentified fellow dude grovelers in tow, annoyance factor behind the bookstore pulpit was high (and the register area really does look like a pulpit; if you've ever visited the store, you know how much taller we are than you when you buy your Edward Says On Orientalism). At least half as high, anyway, as the squeals that would slice through the bloated summer night everytime the accursed tour bus door opened slightly or one of the window curtains so much as twitched.

To be fair, the roadies were nice to the kids, issuing a few passes when they could and doing a lot of non-commital shrugging ("Can we pleeeeease come on the bus for a second? Pleeeeease? We just want to meet the driver."). After the show, the band paused for a bunch of photos and made a big scene of talking to pretty much anyone who wanted to and signing stuff aplenty with cell phone cameras flashing. But, still.

Dave Navarro is a cultural leech who has done very little for the world at large, aside from boning Carmen Electra for a while (remember that reality show fiasco?), mainlining lots of coke, doing a REALLY BAD solo on Been Caught Stealing (worst rock song ever? Barking Dogs? Ugh. Not to mention the video. Alternative Rock always did suck), and flashing his wang dang doodle in his home photo booth a few times. So, we made sure to call the cops every few minutes and inform them that we were being rock blocked like a motherfucker...but not a ticket was issued, nor even a Chicago po-po cruiser stopped by. Joe Shannahan must have some pull. Today, we're going to call Alderman Manny Flores, and see what we can get out of him as far as future promises go.

We figured if we couldn't combat this unacceptable situation in the usual fashion, we'd get some comp for the bookstore, so we had Nick, the store's adorable yet vaguely frightening 15 year old fake-I.D. toting, felony-having, retail theft ring-leading miscreant/street hustler get said Mr. Navarro to sign a copy of his book (one of which we just happened to have handy on our shelves under Musical/Artist (??)) for us to sell on our online store. Turns out the fuckkin' thing goes for like $40 jojos signed. Can you believe that?

To all the kids hanging out in the bookstore foyer for hours, we ask these pitiful small requests: not so much patchouli. That shit is for hippies and it leaves a pallor over any room. And what is with the piles of empty energy bar boxes and Gatorade bottles everywhere? It wasn't that hot last night. Were you trying to "juice up" for some acrobatic on the bus piss sex? Next time, go to House of Blues! At least they have a hotel.

How was your Memorial Day weekend? Ours kind of sucked incredibly hard. Highlight? Superman trailer. Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor looked cheesy amazing. It's going to rule. And the Mem Day Un-BQ. Thanks Jessica and Matt. One love, baby.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Daschunds and St. Bernards Going Mad in my Front Yard Big and Small

White Sox are sitting on thirty wins and Buehrle takes the bump tonight against the A's from the Bay. Should be "choice". Too bad we're due to be working or we'd be on the south side rooting away for our boys. Looks like rain, anyway.

Current fantasy baseball standings: third, third, third. At least we are first division in all three leagues, but we'd rather be kicking more ass. Hard to do with no home internet and only the library to compute from.

You know how you totally forget a band and randomly take one of their records to work then go crazy on them all of the sudden after they've been broken up for years and the kids don't know about them anymore and then you feel old and cool, like "yeah, I saw them play with Seam in 1998 and it was Beast City"? Fuck, that is what 32 so totally feels like, in a nutshell. Unwound is the obsessed upon, currently. What a doozy band! Go find your Unwound wacks and listen to them. Or go buy some Unwound. Nothing splashy in their rock jams, but always so totally in the cut. If you want to know where to begin, get in touch.

We are also now obsessed with Kiki and Herb after last night's apartment listening party. Thanks, Miles.

Today we were the recipient of a very fine email compliment from a friend, with whom we share a few of our phobias and social anxieties. These phobias and anxieties have kept our friendship with this person in a constant state of flux; weird text message feints and email withdrawls and all sorts of randomness over the years. For some reason, we wouldn't have it any other way. But thanks, friend. It means a lot.

Odd fixture of sobriety #73: Dreams. More on this in coming posts, but dreaming again is weird. Years of alcohol-fueled dead black sleep have left us unprepared for the subconcious (sp?) cannon fire tracing through the late night of our psyche. Do you dream? Are they good? Do you engage in coitus and then ride around alien planets in odd automobiles? We do. And we are not smoking weed, lately.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Pieced Up, Creased Up, Dressed for Success

Not too much time to blog; at the library peckin' quick and it's freaking amazing out! Summer.

Who saw the mighty wallop the White Sox placed on the Cubby Bears yesterday? Buerhle had shit on cruise control...Pods and Iguchi had Maddux sweating bullets, and the usual Thome Tater sealed it up. 6-1. Hopefully Pale Hose will be administering more discipline on the North Side 9 this afternoon. Go Sox!

Just reached 90 sober days. Last night went to see Country Teasers in the living room. That band is stoopid, hilarious, kinda good/bad, and very very p-r-i-c-k-l-y. Anyway, in order to celebrate the big nine-zero we were planning on wearing all our bling to the show. Cam'ron style. Like, 2 rings, 4 braclets, 12 necklaces, styles from "street grind" to "south florida grandma", all nice and shiny. Like, check us out wearing all this jive shit and drinkin' our Ginger Ale with 2 cherries while you stumble. (Thanks Jill.) But we chickened out last sec.

Tonight for Mahjonng (SP?) and then Club Foot might be a more perfectly suited venue. So if you see that mighty glow, shield your eyes from the glory!

On a different note, rest in peace, Samer. We're thinking about your friends and family today, although we didn't know you well ourselves.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Friday, May 19, 2006

Demons Present In Flames, Oath of Black Souls Found

Bookstore closing music last night was Immortal's umm...immortal album Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism. There were two shoppers browsing near U.S. History- General, but two minutes into "Call of the Winter Moon" the store was totes empty. Works every time.

We noticed something funny on the back of said album (CD tray version). You know how the black metal dudes always have on the white face make-up and the gauntlets with hundreds of nails on them and are carrying some kind of huge Medieval weaponry? This album is totally in that zone, except there is a dude that totally looks like he doesn't belong in the band. In fact, he looks like Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople; poofy hair, shades, everything, and he's kind of lamely holding this pathetic looking mace and def not wearing the requisite make-up. Jon pointed this out to us, and then we kind of wondered aloud...what is it like to be the one dude in the black metal band who is only kind of half-into what is going on?

"Um dudes, you know I think the whole 'huffing dead crows' thing is real cool and all for harvesting the essential power of the animal before shows, you know, for the sake of a 'kick ass' performance, but could you, like, not do it in my girlfriend's car and then leave the corpses in the glove compartment? She was real bummed when she called me from the car wash the other day. Keep that shit in the tour van, bra."

"Hey, could you guys next time not ritually kill my brother and turn his brains into a primordal lifeforce-feeding stew that somehow honors his memory yet feeds your lust for souls? Cause, like, Mom's mellow was seriously harshed the other day. And the kitchen smelled like total ass."

"Hey dudes? Instead of burning down that four-thousand year old neo-pagan early christian church, could we just nail the White Hen in Floro instead? I hear burning Pop-Tarts and Slim Jim's together smell righteous."

In other news, key OGFP NYC associate Doug-E-Fresh is coming to town this weekend. Mosurock is always on point, and we'll be real glad to see him.

In other news, OGFP NYC associate and close longtime pal Mike has a GNR review on the Illinois Entertainer magazine website! You should totally go read it, because M. Meyer is one heck of a scribe. Go here:


(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

OGFP Phone Update

Yes, the phone works again.



(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

You don't eat, you don't work, you don't grind, you don't shine

There are far too few joyous, triumphant (SP?) experiences in life that chance bestows upon us. Everyone has their faves. Here are ours:

1) Sucking titties. (Duh. Never gets old. Big, small, saggy, jouncy, whatever. Ask any man. Unless we are related to you, we love 'em.)

2) Really good burritos. (The Carne Asada with everything on it at the big La Pasadita on Ashland is as close to culinary heaven as we have ever come, apart from Antoine's in New Orleans when we were 16. Long story, different post.)

3) Record heaven. This is the most complicated and rarest joy of all, and it just happened again yesterday. To wit: you are walking down the street and your spidey-sense starts tingling. It's like a smell in the air, a haze of something in the breeze...records. You know they are close, and they are good. Who knows what it is? A chemical inbalance that corresponds directly to your nerddom? Pure love for the dig? Who cares. Go ask DJ Shadow. Or George Noory.

So there we are, walking down the street. And there it is, the brand new record store, all rough and unfurnished. We just kind of pop in. You know, to check it out. See if there is anything interesting to pick over. The first record we set eyes on is an I-Roy record on Virgin, an import we have never seen before. Oh, yes. The second is a copy of the first Run-D.M.C. record in dece shape, for a buck ninety-nine. Not a re-issue. Eric B & Rakim twelves for less than ten bucks. Eazy-E twelves we haven't seen since the Rose Records in Crystal Lake went out of biz. Not re-issues. More early house than you can stake a shit at. Farley Jackmaster Funk Jamie Principle Cajmere Instant Funk mixed by Larry Levan, it don't stop. Rack after rack of sweetness. This is better than sex, folks.

When the purchase is made, the owner asks us if we like reggae, seeing the I-Roy. Oh, yes sir. We love reggae very, very much, sir. He casually lets it drop that he has "boxes of that shit...dancehall, roots, everything" to bring out in the next few weeks. "Lots of rock, folk, jazz...I have thousands of records." Inside, somewhere deep and fragile, we start to whimper. A little bit of us is born again.

We have bills to pay. We have peeps we owe. So, we know the next few weeks are going to be a hard geo-political course of budget cuts, defecit spending and nerve-shattering financial self-negotiation. But we are so ready. 'Cause there are parties to be rocked in the approaching summertime, and the bad habits you have that DON'T kill you can be a privledge to indulge.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Rise the erudite and pentient to sky and to send.

Saturday night shift at the bookstore. Not much happening. Since it started raining, the nutters have been staying away.

Good, 'cause we've been blasting the new OM record at teutonic levels. And the Black Lips latest. And Mike Jones, Screwed and Chopped by Micheal "5000" Watts. Swisha House! 10% Sleep 90% Grind. You know how we do.

Aborted DJ session at Tuman's last night. Total equipment failure on turntable #2. Thought about doing the Victrola-style DJ set (a rowdy, filled to capacity house party equipment failure strategy previously employed with some modicum of success), but quickly realized foolishness and let the bartender's iPod rule the night (and play the same Cars song a few times). Fuck it, we still got paid. Bitches! Only track actually played: our traditional opener, Thin Lizzy's "Soldier of Fortune".

No more stitches. Wham! Gone. Now we have these little paper things that look kind of cool, but not really bad-ass. Level of interest from Ukranian lovlies towards your host rapidly tailing off.

Should we get started on Moby Dick again? We're feeling the old tug. Four times now we've been lashed to the white whale since high school, and this would make our fifth voyage on the Pequod. It's our favorite book ever, you know. Things might get a little nautical around here for a while, but we know you can deal. Cali and Betsy's book schedule makes us feel like maybe we can push ourselves a bit, and book club failures in the past month or two has us licking our wounds. Time to represent represent! Call me Rakim!

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Thursday, May 11, 2006

When the Blood was Red and the Lies Were Black and White

The Murphy's Law of Fantasy Baseball is that no matter who you start and who you have on the bench, the guys on the bench are going to get all the hits, homers and RBI's, and you will get no points in your league. You can start a stud like Garrett Anderson for a week of games and he'll hit a buck ten and do little more than take a few nature squats in the left field grass during Take Me Out To the Ballgame. Take him OUT of your line-up and he turns into fucking Joe DiMaggio on meth. Tonight is a perfect example. 3 RBI's against the White Sox, two hits, etc. Current OGFP Yahoo Fantasy League standings: First, Fifth, Fifth. Good news is that the Pale Hose are in First, and have the best record in the bigs. You are trembling with excitement out there with this news. Sorry.

Mere moments ago: tried to turn off the radio because the Halos just put up a three spot in the top of the Ninth to take a commanding lead over the Sox, and Jon quickly chastized us for our bad attitude. We have devotedly listened to the entire game, after all. Now the Angels are piling it on, 12-5 still in the top of the Ninth, and now Jon wants to turn off the radio and we are making fun of him for his Kerry-esque flip-flop. Hijinks are on at the Bookstore! Get the Chess Wizards down here, 'cause we fin to put on Danzig I and go a-raging!

It's cool to have two Moms. Its even cooler to have one who is a cop. (Now at least, a lot more so than when OGFP was a teenage waste bin who played N.W.A. on his stereo in his room as some sort of *statement* about having to clean the bathrooms on Saturday morning, and you know which song.) Mom #1 has half the Chicago Police Force lashed into a law enforcement frenzy over our little, uh, incident on Monday. Chiefs of Police and City Managers have called District Commandants and other powers that be. Of course, the bastard kids are going to get away with it, most likely, but it makes Mom #1 happy to be doing what she can, and a happy Mom #1 is good company policy.

We have come to grips with the fact that the RAZR is never coming back. Gone forever are the series of nude self-portraits that were going to get us a wing in the MOMA. Just kidding.

Fashion tip: Ukranian women seem to be drawn to men with hideous facial wounds. We've spent the last ten months living in a neighborhood where about 2% of the population speaks any non-Slavic language, definitely not getting smiled at by Slav-speaking women, at least those of our age group and um, casual interest. But that seems to have changed. We'll keep you updated.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Left the Party at 3 AM, Alone Thank God, with a Valium from the Bride

Wow. Getting mugged in broad daylight on the way to work sucks. Having your sunglasses shatter and carve a bloody line into your face from the force of a suckerpunch sucks. Getting twenty stitches under your right eye after a nice long wait in the Emergency Room sucks. Headaches that make you feel like your noggin' is a two week old orange sitting on the window sill sucks. We'd put up a picture to show you, but guess what? Someone else wanted our nice silver RAZR for themselves. Let me keep my wallet and my bag, but they just had to have that phone.

So, if we don't call you for a while, don't take it all personal like. Luckily there were some nice neighborhood folks around to help us back to our feet, call the Five- O, and maybe even be potential witnesses if it comes to that. Bookstore manager Cat totally saved the day...came by and took us to the Space Hospital on Division, stayed with us for the stitching and everything. Sorry Paul Wall, but she's the people's champ. Just do yourselves a favor and avoid Thomas between Leavitt and Oakley if you can. It's a bit salty over there.

2006 has been a real corker, folks. The White Sox are in first place, though, so things could be worse. But, damn it all. Death, disease, computer malfunction, bicycle theft, alcohol withdrawl, psychotropic drugs, assault...the entertainment at Casino OGFP keeps getting dice-ier, if you pardon the pun.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The martyred sun is discovered by Aries, a fellow craftsman

Whew! Almost a whole week...sorry about the hiccup.

Not too much interesting has been happening around OGFP HQ, anyway. Lots of reading, thinking and stinking. You know the drill.

If you haven't read Sir Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy yet (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass) do yourself a favor. OGFP has a pretty strict policy regarding not wasting our time and yours big-upping kid's books and toddler classics and so on, but these books are sweet to the bone and ultimately very adult in theme. The ending made us cry. Go ask the New Yorker! It was that fine publication's fault that we investigated HDM in the first place. And it's great summertime lit.

Daily bookstore bafflement: Zizek's The Parallax View holding sway over our college-aged youngsters. Why do so many copies fly out of here, or tip off the lips of so many customers wish lists? It's almost summer, people! We know you need your art school propers, but you should be out eating hot dogs or trying to get laid, not pouring over some zany brand of philo that lashes your brain to the Eastern European critical mush bandwagon. Seriously, go dance or something.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Moods are for cattle and for loveplay

Bookstore 3rd floor is chock full of chess wizards right now. A little warm weather, and presto! In they come, ordering pizzas from Dominos, arguing Fischer-ian strategy, bombing and strafing the bathroom with hideous regularity, complaining about upstairs smokers or is that smell cat pee I'm allergic to it and how the coffee tastes, weirding out shoppers and chowing on chex mix like they invented the damn stuff. You already know Frank Sinatra and Mr. Macrame AKA Dr. Shift Killer. Chess wizards of note you haven't yet been introduced to:

1) The 12 or 13 year old kid whose Mom waits for him in a parked car up the street, who only stays for a few hours but looks all sulky and depressed and teenager-y when it's time to leave. The Mom never comes in. Reports that this is due to the fact that she is terrified of knowing anything at all about her son's regular Wednesday night social set are uncomfirmed at this time.

2) Shouting Filipino Guy #1. Yes, there were two of them, but one doesn't show up anymore. Hard of hearing, once heard to bark "was that move legal?" at the sulky teenager, often doesn't play a match but sits observing others, nodding sagely or randomly chopping at the air after any move that seems disagreeable to him. Creepy factor: incredibly high. Only one is creepier:

3) The Wizard of Iowa. He always wears a U of Iowa sweatshirt and vaguely looks like Richard Harris with a serious crank habit and strong aversion to bath water. Spends a lot of time in the Sex section, thumbing tomes that make our imaginations shudder. Doesn't say much of anything, except a few weeks ago. Asked us if we had a "research problem" when we were working alone in the basement one night. Utter stupefication and Lovecraft-grade horror on our part. Man, we got out of there fast.

3) Dear John. So named because, according to sources, he has about eight of those letters in his past that he has obsessively lamented about to various co-workers. A fountain of nicotine-fueled board rage (AKA famous for arguing with other players), he spends most of the chess night outside, where he has been banished to smoke by:

4) Softee the Head Chess Wizard. The organizer and keeper of the chess equipment (a new steaming new batch of which arrived via US Mail today, mystifying Myopic associates temporarily), bringer of the chex, bearer of a mighty beard, and ultimate trafficker in the kind of middle-age male post-hippie gentleness and patience seemingly required in heading up a bunch of yoo-hoos who meet once a week to play the world's oldest game (after wang-dang-doodle and Hamlet on the Holodeck, natch) and hold grudges against one another that defy the understanding of mere mortals such as ourselves.

5) That Poor Girl. There's always a different one every Wednesday, innocently going up to the third floor to peruse...forever she will be haunted by the sad, depressing melange of chess weirdness she encounters on the way to the Mythology section. Down the stairs and past us at the store's front counter and out the door she inevitably hurries, never to return.

Here comes another pizza! Just in time...Mr. Macrame just ambled in. Chess night continues....

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

You want to blow my book sales in Europe?

Current fantsay league baseball standings: Fourth out of 11, First out of 10, second out of 18. Thome and Konerko have chilled a bit. Brian Hawpe, Austin Kearns (?!) and Moises Alou are hot to trot. As in around the bases. Hittin' lots of 'taters. Nice work Ol' Pee Hands! Keep it up.

White Sox are still atop the AL Central, even though Seattle punked them in the bottom of the 11th inning last night at just about Midnight CST. New winter acquisition Javier Vazquez takes the bump tonight against Joel Pinero. Strategy against the Mighty M's: keep Ichiro off the bases (if you can, by mixing of the best OBP guys in the game the last few years; only Bonds and Big Papi are better, but Ichiro can run like the freaking wind), walk Ibanez if you have to, throw Sexton fastballs up and in, and Beltre couldn't hit the side of a barn if he was swinging a canoe right now, so don't worry about him. Sox always play a awkward, rotten band of baseball on these west coast swings, but maybe we can reverse that a bit in '06. Go hose!

Documentary feast: Daniel Johnston and Charles Bukowski vehicles both in the last few days. Guess you couldn't find two more different chorizos in the meat section, but both flicks had their high points and moments du excellente (is that French?). The Daniel J was a real tear-jerker (and a surprisingly packed house at the Landmark...we thought he was dead and few would care otherwise) and very effectively done across the board, content and style-wise. For years we'd written him off as part and parcel of the whole phenomenon of hipster guilt/stupidy/flaggelation/exploitation of the helpless and "gifted" insane, which we'd participated in just a hair in our own early Chicago days (cough....Wesley Willis), but not the case. At least as far as this film was concerned. Maybe Lee Ranaldo and Thirsty Moore have different ideas, but they have their own discographies to worry about.

Hopper was helping us to congeal a plan to get cheap walkmen somewheres just so we could buy all the homemade Daniel Johnston tapes that you can internet any time you like for just 5 bux apiece, and roll like that for a few months on his deranged Beatle Bob brilliance. But that wouldn't work, 'cause the only things we listen to these days are Chopped and Screwed Houston boom bap sizzurp records (whooooo is Mike Jones?) and Cleveland proto-punk (Mirrors, Rocket From the Tombs...thanks Jonathan). Hopper even stopped by the other night and gave us the new Dem Franchise Boys record. Isn't she a nice one?

The Bukowski was a little more straight and straight-forward, not as well done obviously, but maybe we were more familiar with the topic beforehand and had some tall axes of our own to grind. Like he's the ultimate sexist ass to draw L.A. breath, obviously, but there was more to old Hank than meets the book turns out. Since we hadn't read anything by him in years, and most of his stuff was such mow ahead Autobio blather anyhow that we swerved towards our own self-wound chemical highway when dealing with him, maybe we had just as many misconceptions re: his drunken half-mast tomfoolery as we did about DJ's paranoid delusions and public celebrations thereof. A few things were obvious by the fin; that Charles could really write a poem to shatter your heart (go Google "Bukowski bluebird" and grab a box of tissues quick) and celebs in documentaries are usually real stoopid and take up valuable screen time with self-importance empty as rice cakes.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Mudbloods and murmurs

You know it is summertime when the OGFP editorial board hastily decided during the dinner break tonight to purchase a copy of Dre's "The Chronic" CD/DVD combo and then pump it from the bookstore speakers very loudly while supping on crazy hot noodles and tom kha khai soup from Penny's. People think the Booksto' can't get crunk. WRONG.

We also have a new loading zone parking spot on Milwaukee Ave. which allows for lots of Nietzschean displays of hithertofore unseen bookstore clerk power. So far we've gotten a fire red BMW convertible and a Hummer 2 towed, both on our skinny guy nightshifts. Yuppies, if you roll up on some Tapas and get that cherry ride took, don't look to us with your tear-stained, garlic-shrimp-arrugula-pate smeared faces. No damn mercy in the sizzummer '06!

Being forced to use the computers at the Chicago Public Library Chicago/Western Branch (right next to the new Bacci pizza storefront known for their new truly awful daily slice specials, including the Sunday "ladies day slice" which has chicken and ranch dressing among other ingredients!?) is not really doing the trick as far as keeping this blog properly refreshed. Many days you need a reservation and accompanying two hour wait in order to use one of the broken down computers. Blurg. Since last weekend, when our trusty chrome steed Lincoln got his freaking fork, handlebars and stem swiped in the deep dark of the night, we've been rolling on foot and Chicago is a streeeeeeeeetched out motherfucking city. And we wake up at 1 PM, on average. So chill, 'till the next episode.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Monday, April 17, 2006

Human contact, over my head, Make sense of your opinion

Wilderness last night at the Bottle was one of the best live bands of the century. We would say more, but you missed them, so you lose. We'll have pictures for you eventually.

Best Google searches of the week that led web-surfers to this blog: (which we are not making up)

1) "horse pisses"
2) "cowboy equipment underwear" (from someone in Cheyenne, Wyoming, natch)
3) "open gaping assholes" (why not just go to bro?)
4) "jake booty call game 4 life" (if this is something we can help you out with, please do let us know)

Someone just called the bookstore at 11:17 PM looking for any titles we might have handy on knot-tying. "Anything will do. Just good sturdy knots." Um, okay. Kinky motherfuckers. We know you aren't thinking of sailing a clipper ship on Lake Michigan right now Nathaniel Hornblower, not in this chilly weather.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Fast cars, Fine Ass, These Things, Will Pass

Happy Easter, douches!

Two chocolate lamb cakes have been eaten today, courtesy of Alliance Michelle. Now we feel kind of sick and oversugared. She is the other Myopic Michelle that we mentioned before. We have two Michelles; the other is Tuff Michelle who has lots of tats and only works Saturday afternoons and is a real lioness about the cash register and has pants tighter than shellac on 78s and generally is someone you don't want to fuck with. She puts peoples' heads through windows for fun at parties. True story.

Friday night, for the second time in less than a year, we watched The Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior, a WWE production, this time with some of Miles' out-of-town visitors. It did not get better the second time around. Wrestlers, wrestling, Vince McMahon, Bobby Heenan, Hulk Hogan, Sgt. Slaughter, etc. are all pretty bogus, esp. when taking themselves seriously. Not that we didn't love it as kids, but. Things change. We still plan on reading the Mankind/Mick Foley book, but that has been pushed back in accordance to the general distaste now felt towards Sports Entertainment. The only People's Champ we are intersted in is Paul Wall. He's no T.I., but we're coming around.

It has now been raining for what seems like forty hours in a row. An ugly, slate grey sideways stream of urine in the chops. Umbrellas snapping and useless, all the cute girlies that were running around in tiny skirts and cute little shoes the last two days making our blood pressure bop around like Whack-A-Mole are hiding away in their lairs.

Fantasy baseball update: 2nd place, 4th place, 8th place.

Real baseball update: Sox won again in rain shortened fashion today, tied for first with the Tigers of Detroit in AL Central Division. Some rough patches but Konerko and Thome are killing it.

On the docket for this week: Pistol Pete Adidas high-tops. A diamond earring. More white pants.

Closing music tonight: Dark Funeral. Bye.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The tiny cuts in your skin They let a little fresh air in

Bookstore associates can deal with what you are buying. Deep into White Power music of the 1980s? 14th Century torture gear? Whatevs, Jack. Some purchase combinations do raise eyebrows, however.

Pale, slightly mushy-looking male, age somewhere in mid-forties. Hair dyed obviously black. "The Magic of Sex", "The Good Vibrations Guide to the G Spot", "101 Nights of Grrreat Romance" and about ten different titles from the R.L. Stine "Goosebumps" series, which mostly serve adolescent reading needs, if you didn't know.

Only historical antecedent: 1992. Working as a bagger at Crystal Lake Jewel/Osco, often the early morning or late night shifts. Elderly people with shopping carts are infinitely hazardous. Anyway, midnight hour approaches register station 3, the cash-only aisle. Handsome man, nicely dressed, can't be a day over 30. Into his plastic bag we place one economy-sized bottle of "personal" lubricant, two white roses, a package of 12 Trojan ribbed propholactics, and a very large frozen Butterball turkey. It is mid-June. Either there is some serious apologizing going on or....well, you know. Not quite the stuffing Aunt Dot was fond of. Especially if you knew Aunt Dot.

Moments ago: Aggresively attired black gentleman with solid black outfit circa Eazy-E 1989, and black face paint applied psuedo-Darkthrone fashion is moonwalking up Milwaukee Ave., ghetto blaster on his shoulder pumping UGK quite loudly. He makes eye contact with no one else on the street. Jon hopes he comes back. We remain indifferent, fearing the genesis of another neighborhood tourism goodwill streetperformance outlet.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Monday, April 10, 2006

Gin my cotton and sell my seed, Gonna give my baby everything she need.

Quick as a bunny updates are the new shining path we walk at OGFP. We promise lots of in-depth meaty stuff when we come back topside. In the meantime, some facts you might be interested in:

1) Little Debbie Fudge Rounds are the shiznit. Oatmeal Cremes are not too bad. We have not had OCs since the many C.L. hours spent at the Meyer home, Nintendo and Lawrence Taylor, etc. The good old days.

2) New Myopic associate Michelle splits her working time at the booksto' and Alliance Bakery. You know what that means? Endless bags of day-olds. The OGFP diet plan is *almost* officially out the window this week due to the Alliance White Sox cookies, muffins, banana bread and other treats filling the fridge.

3) After starting out with a miserable 1-4 record, the White Sox have won two straight behind solid starting pitching and some taters by Crede, Thome and Paulie. The Cubs are ripping it up at 4-1, but who cares? Luckily two of our fantasy teams feature Cubs closer Ryan Dempster as a starter, through weird Yahoo! bylaws, and this is racking us some bonus points.

4) At the Unique Thrift Store way north on Saturday, the one near the DMV, we saw two '70s chick-lit novels that our Moms used to have on the "light reading" shelves at home (the other side of the house from the Ayn Rand/ Mary Renault section. You might be able to glean much about our family psychology from this info-nugget, or not). Oddly, both books featured sex and/or love scenes that we used to scan during the dark epoch before pubescence, on rare occasions when the house was empty and broken phraseology like "areola" and "his need was bursting" were titillating in and of themselves. We didn't buy either book, BTW.

5) Philip Pullman is a genius. More at 11.

6) Seymour Hersh is a genius. More at 11.

7) Please do not have long, labored and apparently brutal relationship-ending conversations in the philosiphy/religion/mythology back room when we want to smoke break back there. PLEASE. Your 21 yr old lives are so vastly unimportant compared to our nicotine intake, and besides, you have years and years of relationship drama to go through. Plenty of chances for ego-crushing and poisonous banter. Just end it quickly, and go eat some Little Debbies. It will all be better soon. You are creeping out the docile yet greasy dude who lives in a box behind the old Hito's and hovers around Women's Studies for hours at a time. Trust us, that is hard to do.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Now these blues, blues ain't nothing, Lord, but a doggone hungry spell.

Blogging at work is dangerous. Especially in these tempestuous times at the bookstore, so we are making this especially brief.

All the computers at Casa Borracho are currently on the fritz, so posts for the next little while might be on the cheap. As in not too doggone often. Internet cafe, neighborhood Chicago Public Library outpost, here we come. Our fantasy league baseball teams are taking this especially hard.

If you have a cheap computer to sell us, or a hard-drive for an early 00's iBook, or a smoke signal kit that we can use to signal the villagers in the next valley, let us know.

Who runs bartertown?

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Entertain by picking brains, Sell my soul by dropping names

For those of you who like reading fleshy and, uh, salty prose of a humorous and Id-rich variety, word is that Hookers On Stilts (AKA our blogging Twin Cities cohort and Attorney, Britt Lindsay Esq.) is back on the menu. Please click on the link to your right where her name appears, and ZAP! Internet magic will take over and entertainments galore will sustain you. We are lazy, lazy bloggers and won't put a link here in this post, but you can read and don't have a sub-standard education, right? We promised we'd help drum up some attention for HOS. Please don't let us down.

So, did you know that in, like, less than 12 hours, OGFP will be setting up camp in the U.S. Cellular Field nosebleed upper deck section and AC/DC will be pumping through the PA and we will be thrusting our arms in the air like an overcaffinated baboon in mating season as our world champion baseball team takes the field? True. There will be pictures, eventually. We're getting to it!

You know what stings? Spending $190 on a single bottle of medication. Adult Attention Defecit Disorder is expensive. This medicine makes us feel queer. And we don't mean in a way that makes us want to get our prostate jingled by quivering man parts. OGFP suffers from loud brain syndrome. Always yammering away in there, the gray inner-skull stuff makes our sleep patterns suffer, creates situations in which we are less than the ideal co-worker, leads us to the sauce, saps the creativity, etc. Our brain is trouble (but not quite troubled).

The costly brown pills do indeed help, but we feel re-wired and odd, and we suppose this is the point, but still. If your brain has been one way since you can ever remember and then things feel radically different, it makes you take pause. But if you can't really put your finger on why things are different, exactly, it vaguely feels kind of creepy. Medicine is fucked up. Weirdest blog post ever!

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Monday, April 03, 2006

A slight amount makes every man his own Napoleon.

10-4, Sox hammer the Tribe on opening night. Thome hits a monster 2-run tater, 431 feet into the the teeth of the rain and the wind to right, continuting his insane spring. Dye goes 3-3, Brandon McCarthy (otherwise known as the 6th starter) goes 3 perfect innings to shut down the Cleveland nine. The game started at 7:05 PM and ended at just after 2 AM, due to rain delays and hail the size of snow peas and all sorts of inclemency. Jon was mopping the basement like a madman, wearing the Judd Waders while we chewed our nails and listened to rain delay theatre (mostly the Headache City CD, so Jon wouldn't have to suffer the inane baseball banter).

The Cubs are playing right now, tied 5-5 in the sixth at the Great American Ballpark, see-sawing back and forth with the Cincinnati Reds. Pres. Bush 43 threw out the first pitch, and of course civil Cincinnatians cheered him. What is wrong with people in this country? Fucking Warren G. Harding out there, and people don't give him the raspberries? Now the Cubs are up 9-5. A few big innings for the north siders and Pat and Ron sound gassed. Opening day!

In a fit of excitement, we just bought one ticket each to the next two Sox home games, Tues. and Wed. Day games, so we don't have to worry about missing work, but we are stoked. Now we can get the replica champion ring and World Series trophy that they're giving away. Geeked!

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Who hated you in high school that wouldn't love you for your liver now?

Old friends in from out of town, a few shows at the Empty Bottle, lots of working at the bookstore, and some general muckity-mucking around. We've been so busy it hurts. And the sleeping in until 1 PM doesn't help. There simply aren't enough hours in the day. Work today was a motherfucker, too. It's spring, and Myopic was packed full of book sellers and rectal smellers from 11 AM on. Egads, the general public is obnoxious, especially on weekends.

That is our poor excuse for being woefully underprepared for book club. As in, we haven't read the book. Hopper, sorry about that. Apologies in advance, etc. We should be reading Master and the Mexican Mixed Drink right now instead of blogging, but the people demand service from OGFP. That and we got this kick ass book, Mao: The Unknown Story (by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday) that has eaten up our reading time. It's really hard to put down. Short story: Mao was an incredibly bad guy, it seems, and not just to those who hated him. Long story: read the thing, because it proves that one guy with insane ambition and unmitigated gall + tons of conniving can dominate the most populous nation on earth and limitlessly bend its national machinery for decades. Fascinating and horrifying and not an allegory to be found.

Tomorrow night at the Cell, a world championship banner is raised above White Sox fans for the first occasion in many, many lifetimes. Opening night vs. the Tribe of Cleveland. We have to work, but for those in attendance, it should be quite a sight. We'll be listening on the radio, of course. Mark Buerhle gets the pill for the Good Guys. Expect more pecking about this over the next few days, and an entire summer of White Sox news, gossip, head scratching, busy-bodying, nervous chattering etc. Just serving you notice that this blog is so named for a reason, and that reason is about to go into ultra high gear. Are we currently still v. pissed off that we couldn't get tickets for Wednesdays game, when the first 20,000 fans get a miniature World Series Champs trophy free of charge? You know the answer.

In other baseball news, it's fantasy baseball league draft week. We had three drafts in about as many days, and now have a splitting headache and some 9 hours of lost time to show for it. We've been doing this for three years now, and we never win any of our leagues because everything that makes us good baseball fans (undying Pale Hose allegiance, hatred of the Yankees and Dodgers and Angels and Mets among other teams, occasional weekday trips to Wrigley for N.L. scouting and Cubbie-related eye-rolling, excitement over rookies and prospects across the bigs) makes us terrible fantasy league players. We stick with old veterans that we adore and the third best White Sox relief pitcher all season even though our teams are hemorraging (sp?) points due to our sense of duty and blind stupidity. This year we sank so low that we drafted Derek Jeter, and not the flashy rookie Washington Nationals outfielder with the obscene spring training OBP. Maybe things will turn out better? We still picked Paul Konerko every time with our #1 pick, natch. Some old habits never die.

If you missed Submarine Races, CoCoComa and Miss Alex White & The Red Orchestra last night, it was raging full on. Three items of Merch were bought! That is a true rarity, friends. Our old grizzled heart does not often get so ferociuosly rocked upon in so short a time. Shit Sandwich Records really has their, um, shit together right now. It was so good from the garage that we're flagrantly blowing off Arab Strap pounding down below us, and taking our bleeding ears easy.

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The past is gone, it went by like dust to dawn

The official OGFP stance re: birthdays, especially of a personal nature, is decidedly anti. Your birthday is fine. Whatever you want to do, big nuts. Go get your frosty mug plastered and your brain trauma on.

About 32 years ago, at this very hour, our mother was in labor, so we should at least celebrate her efforts. Applause, Mom! Thanks for pushing back in '74. But we hate birthdays. We aren't too fond of being older and someone told us the other night that we don't dress our age, which we suppose is true somewhat, but we still see Wesley Kimmler at the bar, and he's like 85 or something and wearing weird-assed garb. We are still culitivating the Dark Stranger Look, circa summer 2005, if you must know. Heavy beard, bandana around the neck in kind-of mock ascot fashion, grey sportcoat, Sweet Cobra and Thin Lizzy buttons on the lapels. Relatively tight black pants. Sometimes our Steady B t-shirt. Often white shoes. Al Burian called us majestic a few months ago. Other Watergate babies weigh in.

Speaking of weight, tonight at the rare book distillery we had a mad Pizza Hut feast with Crazy Eddie and Jonathan. A large pie with onions, mushrooms and bacon, an order of out-bone buffalo wings (sorta huge chicken nuggets slathered in hot sauce) and these weird potatoe chompers with cheese and jalapano that resemble bastard cousins of tater tots but with yummy ranch dipping sauce. It sounds terrible, but you weren't there, so don't judge. You are the one who sees shadow rodents! Bookstore friend Laura also brought us a fancy basket of meatloaf with mashed taters and a cupcake that we are saving for tomorrow's shift. It is a thing of beauty, but we are already anticipating tearing into it.

It is in the forties and pissing drizzle outside, which is typical March in CHILL. Almost baseball time. This has been a salty spring for the White Sox, no other way to say it. Their Cactus League record has been noxiously below .500, the bullpen has more gaping holes than the orgy scene in Please Stop My Ass Is On Fire 9: The Next Penetration, Jim Thome is only just getting healthy and Scotty Pods keeps fritzing out and getting yanked from games with groin problems and shoulder boo-boos and he is the engine that makes the offense run. Bobby Jenks is pitching cheeseburgers out there and getting consistently rocked. 2005's glorious campaign will sustain our sense of Pale Hose devotion for years to come, don't get us wrong. But there is a slight feeling, just a twinge really, that all those nationally televised games on FOX this summer are going to have us scrambling for a cold compress and wishing for a sixer of Miller Lite.

Fuck the Yankees!

(<$BlogItemCommentCount$>) comments