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.

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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

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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