Monday, January 30, 2006

There will be peace on mounds of teeth

It is just about 1 PM, CST. This morning we got up when we damn well felt like it, right about 10:45. A vision passed before our eyes of our office life we have left behind. We had a picture of our old desk lined up to show you, but this old computer we are working on from home doesn't understand much in the way of technology, and we can't seem to put a picture up on Blogger. And our real computer, the one that died in Minneapolis, although it came on for about half a second the other day much to our shock, won't even let us short circuit the whole bad monitor thing and plug into a TV/VCR so we can get some freaking serious stuff going. So, it is fair to say that we are hosed, technologically speaking, and sucking some very hairy balls right now. Oof. We are currently contemplating attacking the iMac with a bean hammer, just to make ourselves feel better.

But hey! We aren't at the corpo wack-job! Last night at the bookstore, Jon and I were talking about our heroes and what kind of ultimate dream jobs we would like to have. Jon has it in his heart that he could be an arctic explorer, and we don't doubt him. Conversation turned to Jon's favorite arctic explorer, who of course is Shackleton, of Endurance fame. Jon showed us a quote, attributed to a fellow arctic explorer named Sir Raymond Priestley:

"For scientific leadership, give me Scott; for swift and efficient travel, Amundsen; but when you are in a hopeless situation, when there seems to be no way out, get on your knees and pray for Shackleton."

If someone said that about us, we'd be pretty stoked. Cook up the sled dogs 'cause we're going for the Pole!

Our dream job would be also nautically based. We would like to be captain of a Iowa-class battleship of the United States Navy. They have all been decommissioned now, and are dry-docked around the world, but those ships were the toughest of the line. They are too fat, slow, and prone to attack from subs and air power to be very useful in this day and age. But take us back to the 1940's, when they ruled the seas...Nimitz vs. Yamamoto! Midway. America's greatest naval victory. You never know, the USS Wisconsin could be recommissioned for some type of amphibious assault support. Not that we're going to enlist or anything.

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Friday, January 27, 2006

We're heading for Venus (Venus), And still we stand tall

Four 1/2 hours left. Not that we are getting misty or anything, but we keep seeing things that have reminded us of why we do actually like the Loop a little bit. There is that feeling you get when you come back from being out of town, where you had just started to miss home like the dickens even though you've been gone only a few days, and you are driving in from the expressway back from O'Hare or Midway and the buildings rise, filling your field of vision with their brawniness and might. Words of Carl Sandburg hum through your head, and home has never felt so good and you love it here, and of course Algren was right too, loving Chicago is like loving a woman with a broken nose, splendid and fierce.

Last night we ran into our favorite troubadour of the Chicago subway system, Tampico. We bet you've seen her around. Here, have a look:

Tampico has played one song, and only one, since we have known her. In that regard, she is like Lungfish, for her song is very near perfect. She taps her feet, strums the guitar, saws the violin, and whistles at the same time, which creates an epic drone that only ends when it is drowned out by the Blue Line roaring by. We have stayed and listened to Tampico, dropping dollars into her guitar case occasionally, for the better part of an hour. Three and four trains have gone by, but we are hypnotized. We are afraid Tampico may even think of us as a stalker. But how could we not listen to the perfect song? We wish our words could do it justice. Something ancient, like gypsy music, or a lullaby, or some piece of inner-being stillness takes place. You have to hear it for yourself, friend. Ride the rails until she shows up.

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Third place is you're fired.

Blurry Pelican mid-shred:

Dark snap of Sweet Cobra raging:

Yes, we whiled away another night at the Bottle. 4 days in a row! Can you blame us? It was a metal avalanche. It was also very loud. God bless ear plugs. We have been going to shows since 1992, and our ears have suffered many musical pluckers mashing away. Constant ringing, like white noise-style for the last few years. Which shows really did us in like Ozzy and Jeff Beck and Roger Miller? The loudest shows we have seen:

1. Lightning Bolt at the Fireside. 2001? When Brian bass player hit his first booooom our stomachs literally flipped over. We were right in front, of course, and the Bolt was so loud it made us literally nauseous. Drew was wearing those ear cover things people rock when they SHOOT GUNS and he said his ears hurt.

2. Brutal Truth at the Fireside. 1997? 1998? Ouch. They were good as hell, though. Kevin Sharp is quite the showman. And the insaneizoid curly-haired guitarist was holding forth most speedily with his axe. Almost good enough to join the mosh-pit, but not quite.

3. Weasel Walter and that chick from Harry Pussy at the Quaker Goes Deaf. 1996? 1997? Old Wicker Park record store represent. Good god almighty, this quaker did go a little deaf that day. Ba dum cha. No, but seriously folks. Noize.

There have been others, which we will try to recall for you later.

In other news, 1 and 1/2 more days of the corporate wack job left to go and then shit is FAT CITY. Today we took a little extra lunch time and ate an asscrate of Taco Bell. The seven-layer burrito is a beautiful thing. Shovel, shovel in the mouth it goooooes!

Here is a picture of City Hall:

In other news, friend Bobby Burg informs us that if you like women with big boobs that are not fake, go to Houston. Is this true? Can someone verify these rumors of Texas boobosity? He just kind of randomly threw that flavor at us. Bye.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Shut your mouth 'cause its a hype thing

Friday is our last day working in the Loop, hopefully for a good long while. We're getting out just in time. We've begun a massive work withdrawl program consisting of Google Earth, SNL skits on, IMing people on different continents, Google Earth-ing their locations, water cooler breaks, text messaging British pirate radio DJs, texting our Moms, obsessively checking our MySpace bullitens, obsessing over how cool/uncool our ringtone is (Lil' Wayne's "Fireman") and if we need a new one, IMing complete strangers, becoming acquainted with the full workings of our camera phone, blogging, etc. Blowing mad shit off around the office. We're pretty sure our co-workers are aware of the situation, and are none too pleased with us. We hate this job, and that is our only defense.

One of the only things about the Loop we'll miss, apart from that first warm day of spring when all the cute office girls start wearing skirts again, is the I AM Temple. On Washington near Wells it sits, a strange white building with a huge American flag hanging above the door. This place, ever since we worked at Rock Records, has been a complete mystery to us. We used to see fleets of white Rolls Royces pull up a few times a week and dozens of ladies dressed all in purple and white enter the building for a few hours. There was the guy dressed in long white robes who would come out and spend hours cleaning the sidewalk in front. We assume it is a church of some kind, but we have not gone sneaking around the internet googling for clues, because it seems like cheating somehow. Nor have we brazenly walked in and talked to the attendant, asking for pamphlets and being a pain in the tush just because usually if it's a church they'll be nice to you to get you to come in and maybe give you a snack. We wanted to divine the nature of the I AM Temple by using our sleuthing skills, but now we're afraid they've kicked it up a notch. We need to know what this print, which just showed up in the window this morning, is all about.

Anybody want to weigh in? We're going to march right in there and ask for answers in a minute.

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She liked manhattans, they taste like mouthwash

Last night at the Bottle (yes, again) was sweet. First of all, Che Arthur is back in town for a spell from his new home in Austin TX, and he brought some sweet acoustic tunes with him. A tad depressing subject-wise, but cuts are mad pretty, and Che has a great voice which booms heartily. Even if you weren't a big fan of Atombombpocketknife, check him out when he hits your town.

Next, after another performer we weren't too interested in, was the debut (?) of the new Brokaw/Dicks/McCombs band. You've heard Come. You love the Nerves. Tortoise is your favorite drug band. At times both Doug and Chris were rocking the clear Black Sabbath guitars, and things were kind of rolling along in the fashion of a Television (the band, duh) manner with the double leads twisting around each other in a v. fine Verlaine/Lloyd style. And McCombs sang! We hope this band sticks around for awhile, 'cause they were mad bringing it. The requisite snaps:

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

What could you say as the earth gets further and further away, Planets as small as balls of clay?

Cold getting dumb at the Bottle last night. On the menu: Hopper's Paddington Bear-esque outfit. Moderate crush discussions. A Swedish disco band called Aluminum Babe. Cheese tamales laced with forbidden meat. A deal with the Wound Up crew to get mad heaps of fried chicken soon. With the wife's permission, of course. A Tundra, who were kind of a Joan Of Arc free-rock type of thing. Pretty dece. Post-photo booth topic: How many virgins do suicide bombers get exactly? What about female suicide bombers? Conclusion: Muslim feminist suicide bombers have it rough. No deep dicking for the truly righteous of Allah?!? Mad blowing up fools and no getting the gutter tore up? Damn. Truly all praises be to agnositc lifestyles.

This is Ericka kicking Mark in the tummy while Hopper makes love to the electronic game machine:

Hoppper casts a spell while Ericka looks on with shame. Note the Paddington:

Currently, we are madly pitching woo at the Chicago Reader so that we might write about 2 essential ZZ Top records being reissued with all the trimmings. We need to tell the world, set them straight, come correct, isolate and regulate on Tres Hombres and Fandango. ZZ Top are not a bearded joke for your yeasty ironic 1980's ways. ZZ Top are a premium rhythm death squad. 2200 pounds of prime cut American rock gristle. Total rosetta stone band.

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Monday, January 23, 2006

Retreat without fear, conquer without force

Baby pictures! We were formally introduced to Ethan Tohma Tucker on Saturday afternoon. Of course we took plenty of snaps. There are more (and better quality) pictures linked off Josh's website. Click to your right -------->

Anyway, without further ado:

Megumi (Mom) and Ethan.

Nate (Dad) and Ethan


Josh and Ethan.

Making a face!


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Friday, January 20, 2006

Free Jah Jah Children

Man, having a camera phone makes it really easy to be Mr. Lazy McBlog Blog 3000. See what we mean? Wouldn't you rather have a picture of super-friends Adrienne and Jon doing Tarot readings?

Or, how 'bout a random photo of Werner Herzog with a bear in the background? How'd that be?

Everybody's favorite flaming cowboy with Coast to Coast AM weirdo Art Bell?

How about the next book we plan on sinking our teeth into? Some alternate history, anyone? Doesn't Robert E. Lee look splendid with a scrub brush on his head? "Have another drink Ulysses! I heard Nero used you as a human cumrag last night." "I thought that was YOU coming out of his tent last night, Lee. I hear he has a thing for little boys!" Endless possibilities, folks.

P.S. Chronicles of Narnia is ultimate bitchin'. We totally rolled solo after the corpo-wack job to the River 21 on Illinois, and we are very glad to have had no company known to us 'cause we ended up bawling, like, nine times. The only two other patrons for the 6:20 PM showing were two girls behind us, probably in their mid-20's, also prone to fits of bawling and sniffling. We heard lots of friend-it's-okay-it's-just-a-movie hugging back there. That made us feel better. Here here to unashamedly crying at the movies!

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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Don't get excited, you've been invited to a quiet storm

So, we're a little too tired to do much writing around here today. How about a photo gallery?

The Empty Bottle, Sunday afternoon. Drinking buddy Art to our left, bloody mary en route.

CBOT from middle of LaSalle and Madison.

66 bus, going home. Remarkably uncrowded.

Grey Michigan Ave.

Roberto Clemente High School at Western and Division.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Glow worms show the path we have to tread, dreamers we should be asleep in bed

We have always wanted a tattoo or two or three. Yes, our flesh is virgin, we hate needles with a passion and aren't too keen on the feeling described by OGFP associates of our flesh ripping apart in the ink deposit process. But we've seen lots of tattoos that we thought were incredibly boss-a-roni, and have a few ideas for our own, a few of which we'd like to vet for you here:

--various Chicago Flag motifs: kind of played, but not without charm due to long immersion in Chicago punk/bike goon corps

--Ronald Reagan head-shot with scroll underneath that says "Dad": possible problems could result from bad portrait; witness Flea's Jimi Hendrix that now kind of looks more like the corpse of Redd Foxx. In addition, since we grew up idolizing the Gipper and had no Dad he was a sub in that realm

--planned OGFP/TinyLuckyGenius matching set: outlines of our home states with the words "Mercy Bound" scrolled beneath; idea emminently plausible

--Dan Higgs. Um, he could tattoo the phonebook to our cock and we'd be geeked.

--Myopic Books symbol matching tattoo with Jon Z. What do you say, dude?

--Finally the real kicker...we saw this book a while back, don't remember where, of Russian prison tats. Whoa. Intense and ugly and dark. We'll try to provide a link or two later. Possible problems could include the simple fact that, Uk. Village, where we live, is run by the Russian Mob. Not only that, but we are usually the non- Ukranian speakers in Rich's Deli everyday, where we buy our totchkes and such. Some bad misunderstandings could insue.

Since we have no idea of tat protocol, we need some advice from our inked-up brothers and sisters. Feel free to weigh in.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Losers, Boozers and Heroes

We've gotten enough worried calls and emails since this morning that we're afraid there is going to be some type of congressional investigation. Chill the dizzle out, peeps. Check out that photo above. Does he look like he's on some Howard Hughes shit? Are the Mormons feeding him a diet of only Mac & Cheese for weeks on end and wearing Kleenex boxes on their feet instead of shoes in their hidden lair at the top floor of the Sands in Vegas? No!

By the way, check the flannel. We are so bringing that shit back. Someone call up ed fROMOHIO 'cause we're flyin' it!

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Some words keep speaking when you close the book. Drank and just about smiled.

Category 5 Panic attacks are not fun! We have not had a drink since Sunday, and maybe that caught up to us a little.

Don't worry, we're feeling much better now. You don't need to send cards or cheesecakes with weird fruit toppings. We just need a little breathing room and maybe a few more Hot Dogs Chicago-style with all the toppings.

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Monday, January 16, 2006

You cannot front on this type of weapons-grade cuteness. Don't even try. More pictures of Ethan Tohma Tucker when you follow the link by his name, to the right. Do it!

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Granny, do your dog bite?

Bookstore Sunday night pizza poker party! Few things are finer in this world. We were hitting the Maker's Mark with Jon pretty good, so if we said anything particularly embarrasing, please pardon our drunken pizza poker party style.

On Saturday we were hanging out at the Bottle, having our Saturday Bloody Mary constitutional with Rob Lowe, watching the documentary Rize, which so totally blew our minds. We know that you are already on some crumping shit, know it backwards and forwards, but we are newbies. How does one exactly make one's body go eight directions at once? The battle scene? Where Tight Eyez busts out the insanity moves? Holy shit. Holy white hot shit that was amazing. We HAVE to watch the rest this week. Are you down?

Right now we are going to look at baby pictures, so leave us alone!

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Heap see, but mighty few know

We are very proud to announce that OGFP super-friends Nate and Megumi are now the proud parents of a 7 pound 14 ounce baby boy! We are so someone's crazy Uncle! Plans are already being hatched for Uncle-related kidnappings and trips to U.S. Cellular Field. Ethan Tohma, you shall grow up to be a White Sox fan! A life of torture and the hands of Cubdom you shall not endure!

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Friday, January 13, 2006

The ancient of days sat: his garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like clean wool

313 hits. As requested, a poem. Entitled:

Does anybody really know what time it is? (C.T.A.! C.T.A.!)

You wake up hard with a little of the vodka
still in your veins, but you are O.K. and you get cleaned up quick.
While the wind is a fist this morning, you'll never touch the canvas.
Neither will you join the 8AM soaks at the Ez-Inn,
lunging through their third drink of the half-hour.

The temptation is there, however.

The old Ukranian ladies with their big fleshy faces are already in line at Rich's, waiting to buy their bread for the day. After work you will stop in
and buy a bottle of Nemiroff instead of Gordon's, just like the young hoodlum, thick accent and all, advised you to do the day before.
It will taste clean and cold.

At Augusta, the crossing guard smiles and greets you, as she does every day. You feel guilty for a splinter of a second that you do not always respond.
At Chicago, waiting for the 66, you spot Jimmy, who used to hang out at Baci all the time and get mercilessly heckled by the angry, belligerent pizza slinger.
This was the same guy who one time, swear to god, said the grossest thing you have ever heard, about a female customer just departed. Someone's mother. And you wanted to sock him in the gut so bad for saying it.
Instead, you got a slice of sausage to go, with cheese and peppers, and tried your best to forget the look on Jimmy's face.

The bus sucks, of course. Already packed. Runny noses, no one looking anyone else in the eye. Typical commute. Misery pounds you and you have to do this ten times a week every week.
Two kids behind you, both young (under 10) are talking very loudly about what sports cars they want to own, and swearing every other word to boot.
"I want a motherfucking Ford Mustang! The new damn kind!"
"Fuck that, motherfucker. I want a fucking Porsche!"
Then you realize they are just trying to push the buttons of the old lady sitting to their left, across the aisle, who looks at them and then you, with pursed lips,
and a little wag of her head. You smile with sympathy.

It is so hot in the bus that you feel your armpits getting moist.
Your mood has suddenly turned foul and humanity has given you the hives. Everyone looks ugly today, even your secret C.T.A. crush, and you keep thinking of some of the truest song lyrics you have ever heard: "I'd probably kill myself, if I was in your shoes".

Then you look outside and see, right next to Eckhart Park on the sidewalk, a very young little girl kiss a very young little boy on the cheek,
then run away.

And you realize that the silent music, the great sweeping architecture of the universe, has taken you under its wing, and wants to lavish you with gifts. If only you would listen more often, you would see it in the broken sunlight through the trees, hear it in the sounds of your love-making,
and feel it in the caress of never-ending motion.
And your ears are open now, except when they aren't.

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Counting on the doctor that was keeping you down, now you don't have to spend another minute in this goddamned town

Isai Medina. That is the name of the man who died on his bike. The one I could do nothing to help. The little shrine in front of the laundromat, with the candles and bike wheel and can of PBR and the flowers is all that remains of that night.

Apparently the bike he was riding was one of the main joys of his life. I have now spoken to 3 different people who knew him in life, and they have given me some perspective as to who he was, and maybe why he is no longer with us.

Isai Medina, for your sake, I hope there is a God, and that he blesses your soul. I hope that where you are is better than here, I hope that you are full of light, I hope your burdens are eased, I hope that you have forgotten the final pain you knew.

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Thursday, January 12, 2006

We must blend into the choir, sing as static with the whole

So, we know we made a promise here a few weeks back regarding poetry. Specifically, we vowed that if we got 300 pagehits on the ol' Statcounter that we would post a poem about taking the CTA to the Corpo-wack job in the morning. Look out for that in a few days, for on Tuesday we got 313 hits. 313. Who are all you fuckers? Gee whiz! Are we really that popular? Does anyone want to give us a million dollars and a pony? Can our writing expertise translate into material goods? Maybe we'll always be like NPR from now on, begging folks for money a few times a year. Except that we can't offer you a priceless oral sex sesh where you give head to Nina Totenberg while she reads you Supreme Court transcripts. Total Google search of the day: oral sex Nina Totenberg Ozzie Guillen David Souter. Oh, the horror. Kinda better than Cokie Roberts Brian Williams Mike's Apartment donkey punch. Maybe not.

We are very glad that we did not watch Country Boys last night. And not just because it reminds us of where we grew up and/or various familial relations. We do not need that shit to remind us how to represent Southern Illinois style. Keep your cheese-ass coal train/school bus metaphors to yourself, dun. We lived them snaps.

Right now we are embarrassed to admit that we are reading a mad-bonkers piece of pop trash. No, not Jackie Collins' Rock Star or something with a little validity. In fact, we are totally reading Executive Orders by Tom Clancy, the one where Jack Ryan becomes President and the entire government is killed when a Japanese pilot crashes into the Capitol building during the State of the Union Address. There is all this formal/governmental/Presidential procedure shit that we are totally interested in and this novel feeds that part of us, the part that longs to be a secret service agent or special counsel to the White House, or Leo McGarry, or anything that gets us close to hot executive branch action. Google search #2: Hot executive branch action. Oh, John Jay, bounce with us. Check that. We want Senator Patrick Leahy to be our power forward. He offers the most delicious smackdowns!

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

When your knee bone's achin' and your body cold, Means you just gettin' ready, honey, for the cypress grove

We are taking the leap. We have just given our two-weeks notice to the bosses at the corpo wack-job. When we were making allusions to some big time life changes ahead, we weren't kidding you, folks.

We have enlisted for another tour of duty in the Myopic Wars. We are ready not to take CTA for an hour and a half on the daily (although we will miss some of our CTA girlfriends that we see every day). We are ready to work at night and write during the day and to sleep in when we damn well feel like it. Fuck bad, expensive Loop fast food. Fuck typing numbers into a computer database all day, day after day. There are some people at the corpo wack-job that we really like, and we'll miss them. But we won't miss emerging carpal-tunnel syndrome or the feeling we get when we royally fuck up an account and somebody else has to talk to the angry merchant and we feel all assed-out.

We miss the bookstore as our day to day. It is the opposite of the corpo wack-job. It fucking rips. In coming weeks we'll tell you about the joys of working at a used bookstore/neighborhood institution that is open all hours of the night and day where the crazies run free like some medicated safari. The basic thing is that it is the most bananas job of all time. Once you do it, you can do anything. No situation escapes your command. You are a regulator, and you can mount up. It is like being on an English ship of the line in bad seas, people are going overboard like ragdolls, and a French frigate is shelling you from 250 yards, and her guns are hot. Do you turn into the wind and risk ruin, or draw down your sails and fight? Do you fix the leak in the basement where the biography section threatens to become a mildewy paper swamp, or do you clear the rocks out of the drain and pray that helps? Do you take the possibly piss and or jizz soaked bum-change so that you don't have to go to the currency exchange later? Do you show the obvious schizophrenic who is spewing gibbresh at you and getting too close to the cash register the baseball bat behind the counter just so he knows just who is in charge here? Do you? Do you?

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The way the whispers bit like fangs in the last hour of the parties. Lord to be 33 forever.

Over New Years we were talking to one of our Minneapolis associates, who mentioned that people are constantly asking her if she is the inspiration for Holly (aka Halleluiah), the main protagonist of the Hold Steady's Seperation Sunday. Her perfect answer to that fully-loaded question is, of course, that we are all Holly, and that is the gift of Seperation Sunday.

Some records are about difference. We can play faster than you. We can play louder than you. We can wear carpet samples and jump off our amps and be dirtier in our tour van. We can do the Hall & Oates groupie jizz spray routine in every Motel 6 from St. Paul to Carbondale more than you can. We have a Windam Hill fetish and a big ol' bag of stinky weed and feel free to eat some choad while we noodle. This is not one of those records. This is some shared human experience shit. We are all addicted to something. Our cell phones. Watching the West Wing on A&E while we eat bon-bons and lust after Rob Lowe's magic wand. Booze. Butt-fucking strangers.

We all ache to be loved, when we are loveless. We have all fooled around with sketchballs like Charlemagne at 5 AM and out of desperation messed around with your little hoodrat friend. We have all put people through the ringer in a needless and wasteful fashion that has our karma riding the mystery train deep south. We have done our best to keep the cheap brutalizations at bay, but they come down the pipe, right over the heart of the plate, so sweet and there and true, and we have swung away every time. We have truly taken our cuts.

But we are not just another burn in the carpet at the Thunderbird, another cowboy who has been fenced in. No, we can breathe. We can feel the glory of the other side of hard days gone by. We can be redeemed and released, our hearts newborn. And that type of gift doesn't come just by ripping off Thin Lizzy and the Boss, Nelson Algren and William Butler Yeats.

Not to be all rock critic with our album of the year, but there it is. We knew you were curious.

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She stole it fast and with a multitude of casualties

What we did with our evening last night has already been summed up with far more justice than we ever could ever muster, by our friends over at the TinyLuckyTears office. If you read back a few days on her blog, you will also come across a v. beautiful ruminative post on the nature of life, death, new beginnings, etc. Our friend Jessica has always been a great writer ever since we have known her, but it is one of our great pleasures to note how she is always improving improving. We are very proud to be her friend, for lots of reasons, but she is at the top of a very short list of our favorite writers.

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Monday, January 09, 2006

Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter, heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley

Actual office conversation, from just moments ago:

Co-Worker #1: I can't believe they made a Barbie that says "math is hard".

Us: What does Ken say?

Co-Worker #1: Dude, Ken is Barbie's plaything. He's all dick. That's his job. He's so dumb that he doesn't even talk!

Co-Worker #2: What is the deal with all of Barbie's sisters?

Co-Worker #1: Those are totally Barbie's kids. They're not her sisters.

Us: So Ken is dumb, but he's not shooting blanks. Oh my god, I can't believe I used the term "shooting blanks" when talking about the Barbie Universe.

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Bring Dynamite and a crane, Blow you up start all over again

We were sad to learn of the death of Lou Rawls over the weekend. He was the ultimate in class. Mom #1 and Mom #2 used to watch his Telethon every year, and we loved it too. Did you know Lou Rawls made over $200 Million dollars for the United Negro College Fund? Mad respect that.

We used to have this DJing trick where we would go from Black Sabbath's "Supernaut" to "You'll Never Find" within three songs. We know Lou would have loved that one.

A few times we wrote joking pieces of musical criticism that referenced Lou Rawls, but we want you to know that our love for him is very serious indeed. In fact, at one of our lowest personal moments ever, when we were treating ourselves with serious disrespect and much of the humanity in our hearts was gone, we heard Lou Rawls on a distant radio. The horror within us was turned to gladness immediately, as if Lou had turned on a light switch in our heart. Ever since that night, we have had a bond with Lou that can never be broken.

You might think Lou Rawls is some kind of bland showman, just another guest-star on Love Boat or Fantasy Island re-runs, as somebody said at the bar the other night, but you would be wrong. We don't know if Lou Rawls is going to have a public funeral or not, but we would stand in the snow, in the rain, in a hail of bullets to honor him. Thanks, friend. You will be missed.

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The train from Kansas city is coming into town

This was a great weekend, folks. Truly epic. We played hooky. We've seen some horrible things and taken them to heart. Furthermore, we've used them to goad ourselves into making some serious decisions about our future, and are getting prepared for new journies.

We've bought some truly alien looking stuffed animals at the Village Thrift. We've eaten massive amounts of Thai Food. We've rediscovered the fact that Club Foot is, in fact, paradise. We've discovered that we have a vast and deep appreciation for the law. We've traded multiple photos of pinball machines with our friends, gotten our swerve on, and had a freaking blast.

We are on some super-takeover shit in 2006. Fuck the brutality of 2005. Everyone we know got beaten with the ugly stick in the '05. We are so over that shit, and we hope you are too.

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Saturday, January 07, 2006

Just a little house, not very much out on the prairie. Lying on the couch so out of touch.

Holy cow, last night was crazy. We have not really "gone out" in the past 6 months or so. We have done some drinking at home and in the living room (the Bottle) but not other venues so much, for fear of tipping delicate social balances. We brazenly decided to go to one of our very favorite bars for many years now, Club Foot (Augusta and Honore), at about 11 PM, but we knew no one there and left after two drinks and lots of staring at our feet. There was this super-cute foxy pants by the pool table but she was paying us no mind. She had red hair and the cutest pigtails and these darling glasses and some major firepower under her sweater, but you know. Whatever. As we were leaving, we saw Michelle, our promised New Year's Kiss #2, just coming in. We left anyway. We'll collect on that smooch later.

So then we walked to the Rainbo and what do you know? Myopic Associates! Full of drink and merriment! So we joined them. And we drank. And we drank until we were Drinky Crow. Jon and Adrienne can hold their A-L-C-O-H-O-L. We tried to flirt with random cuties, but we have largely forgotten how to flirt in our last few months of self-imposed social isolation. Blurting out "you are pretty" doesn't really suffice, nor does offering ourselves up as a chaparone to the photo booth. That kind of thing worked when we were a little younger and a little prettier.

When the bar closed, we went back to Adrienne's house for tarot readings and more of the sauce. Boy, it was great. Since we are seriously thinking of trashing our boring corpo-wack job and going back to the bookstore full time, last night was extra special. We have a second family at the bookstore, and it is good to be back among them. We would tell you what happened in our tarot reading, but that would be illegal! Instead we'll celebrate the fact that we can go out among friends and end up around a kitchen table, very late at night, fate literally laid out like a feast before us, with not a care in the world. It is very good to be alive.

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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Does any one know where the love of God goes, When the waves turn the minutes to hours?

Thanks Becky! We have liftoff.

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Keep on singing little boy, and raise your arms to the big black sky

I've never seen a dead body before, and I've never really wanted to.

Last night at Mark and Ericka's was fun. We watched the stupid college football game, smoked cigarettes and drank Miller Lite from cans. We were telling stories and laughing, and then Texas won and I went home. Just in time.

I was ear-witness to a fatal car accident right in front of the Bottle last night at about 11 PM. I remember Chris helping the young Asian lady who had almost been hit, saying over and over "I'm fine, I'm fine" and the weird old stoner dude twitching around being freaky saying "I could've been hit, that could've been me". I remember running to the guy lying in a heap in front of the laundromat and thinking that he could be helped. I remember Rob and then the cop telling me that nothing could be done for him and later, back in the bar, Rob telling me that his brains were all over the sidewalk. I guess I didn't see it because I thought he could be saved, and I wanted to do something. I can still see him in my mind, eyes half open, body twisted sideways as if sleeping on his side, bike a metal ruin beside him. I can remember wanting to check his vital signs, begging the cop and then Rob and then the fireman to do something, to fix what was wrong with him. It was awful. I've never felt so guilty. I stood there stupidly watching the firemen pry the other guy out of his decimated Cadillac (sp?) with crobars, and then I went upstairs and made myself a very stiff drink.

Life feels a little cheaper, and a little more costly today, and 2006 suddenly seems to have started on the wrong foot. You don't have to call or get in touch, because I'm okay, if a little shaken. I just wanted to share.

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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Exoskeletal junction at the railroad delayed

Hey, does anyone out in the internet haze have a copy of Mr. Gordon Lightfoot's "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" on the MP3 format? We've seriously been obsessed with that song since we were eight and never owned it for some reason. You could send it to us over AIM. Pretty please?

Did you know that we were once acquainted with a young gent whose Dad went down on that very ship on Lake Superior in 1975? True story. If you clean all that damn semen out of your ears maybe we'll tell it to you someday.

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Be strong, be wrong

Last night we were listening to AC/DC's "Thunderstruck", which we are prone to doing, mostly because it's the White Sox theme song and exciting pre-game intro music, but also because it pretty much kicks some major ass. Ask Mac, Jurko and Harry. About halfway in to our listen, we realized it might just be another wrong song!

You know wrong songs, right? Something in the lyrics is a mistake or just doesn't jibe with reality. Our favorite wrong song, of course, is wrong song numero uno "The What" by Notorious B.I.G. Biggie is laying down post-structuralist discourse on the nature of his, uh, manhood, and spits this timeless refrain: "Honies feel it deep in they placenta." Which is interesting, if you know much about anatomy. If Biggie were alive today, we'd politely explain to him that women don't really have placentas very often. Like only when they great with child. We would further ask him if he is really into pregnant honies. Not out of the question, but maybe a little strange. Honestly, it's a fetish we share. Biggie, we sincerely hope this wish of yours came true at some point during your brutally shortened life! We hope you tore that placenta up, chief.

We know if we did lay any of this honkie gibberish oh him in real life Biggie would tell us to shut the fuck up and clean the Cristal off his pinkie rings and we would be all like yes sir, right away sir. He would then tell us to read John Updike's Couples because at one point Updike compares a woman's recently fucked vag-unit to a kitten lapping up milk which is so heavy image-wise it could crash through the earth from Brooklyn all the way to China or some shit any day now. We say fuck John Updike! (Sasha! We know you are the hard rhymer and can bring all kind of heavy manners up in this. Please refrain from mentioning our existence at the next New Yorker office potluck. BTW, we hear Roger Angell makes a fab trail mix. Give him a headrub from us and tell him we're waiting anxiously for the new baseball tome.)

So you can't get actually struck by thunder. But you can be thunderstruck by relevation. So, is the rest of world wrong? Just AC/DC? Or only us? Is this truly a wrong song? Help us decide. Not being sure is killing us. Oh, and if you have wrong songs of your own, please send them to us with sample lyrics and we will post the best of them here. C'mon, all you rock critics crawling around like pubic lice. We see you out there!

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

To complain there was no need, she'd smile in Mama's understanding way

We are very concerned with the fate of the 13 coal miners in Sago, West Virginia. The prognosis for their recovery from the bowels of the earth does not look good.

There is plenty of family history with us and coal-mining. Many of our friends' daddies growing up hauled in the mines, or hauled it across the country in trucks or loaded it into barges on the Missisippi or Ohio, or worked on the railroads, all to light the fires of the world. Southern Illinois is prime coal country. We grew up in the shadow of the huge metal monsters that would tear at the ground ceaselessly, night after day, with wheels as tall as buildings, turning the miles and miles of fields behind our Aunt Grace's house into gravel strewn wastelands, scars hundreds of feet deep into the ground for decades. There are dozens of man-made lakes across Southern Illinois, several that we've swimmed in even, that serve as reminders of who really owns the land down there. Big coal.

People would have their land bought out from under them, literally. In Saline County, where we grew up, lots of politicians made it very stinky rich. Meanwhile, what do you think happened to the misplaced? You got it. Right into the arms of Big Coal. Insane work. No one you know has ever worked harder, or in worse conditions, than miners. They were among the first groups of working Americans to successfully unionize, just for that reason.

Tonight when you go to bed, think about the men in that hole and their families. They need it.

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Because there's no because has become every reason why

Annie, we are very sorry for your loss. So random and senseless the world can be sometimes. Please know that we are thinking about you and sending all the good vibes we can muster your way. We know how it feels to lose a friend.

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The party's already falling apart but we play along it's rolling along

This holiday weekend had some real highlights. If you think we're going to tell you about the really special ones, you can put a butter knife into an electrical socket instead and imagine our joy. Okay?

We still haven't received the new cell phone yet. Yes, we ordered a fancy silver Razr from the folks at T-Mobile and did the whole upgrade thingy. We are so not technology whores 3000 and if you truly know us you can easily verify this fact since we do not own our own TV, the computer is broken and we are the only person in Amerikkka without an i-Pod. We figured that we owed ourselves a treat since the Samsung E-105 was dying about every two days and we were interested in a phone cam so we could take pictures of all the gross people we see making out on the blue line. Sorry, but even if you look like Maggie Gyllenhaal in nothing but a thong and Fredrick's of Hollywood stilettos, when you have your tounge lathering someone else's tonsils on Public Trans you are super on the gross and we are not interested in having your bullshit flavor thrown at us (thanks Miles). Go in a photo booth or something. Have some A-S-S class, cheesecrotches.

Ok, we are now on the job and hating life. Zinch.

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