Saturday, September 30, 2006

What's Your Name?

When PGirl and I lived in Florida, our friends were spread out around Broward and Palm Beach County. Occassionally someone would move and I'd have to write down new directions to their house or apartment. I wasn't into Mapquest, so I'd usually jot down my notes onto a sheet of paper or a notepad. Many things I needed to remember made it onto small pieces of paper.

One day, I found a post-it note with two names written on it:

Lefton Crest

Ron Highridge

For the life of me, I did not recognize who these people were. I racked my brain and could not recall their faces. When P-Girl came home, I asked if she knew who they were. She looked at me like I was crazy and asked me why I wanted to know. I showed her the piece of paper.

She frowned, shook her add and said, "These are driving directions to Susan's house." In my haste I had scribbled the directions down without proper spacing.

Lefton Crest = Left on Crest

Ron Highridge = R on Highridge or Right on Highridge.

I felt like a total ass.

A few months later I found a rough draft of our wedding invitation list that PGirl had written. One name was unfamiliar to me.

Clive Nickel

Sounded British to me. Again, I was misreading the note. PGirl had a German friend named Uwe Nickel. For some reason, Uwe looked like Clive to me.

I've since put the names in a notebook to use as characters some day.

And while I'm at it, I've heard of many variations of figuring out your pornstar and drag queen names. My favorite is:

Middle Name + Name of first street you lived on = Porn Name.

If this is the case then my porn name is Anthony Bonaparte.

Bonaparte was the street I lived on in Long Island. If I used the street I grew up on, my name would be Anthony Arbor.

I like them both.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Body Rock

Thirteen Things Adorning My Body...In Real Time!

1. Gap denim blue jeans. One of the belt loops is not attached on one end.
2. A very old Gap black leather belt. Paint stains and tarnished belt buckle.
3. Pair of black and tan Vans.
4. Black, button down oxford. Purchased at Value City.
5. Silvery Fossil watch. Courtesy of PGirl!
6. The words "Read Grant" in black, Sharpie marker ink on my left index finger. A reminder.
7. Gold and platinum wedding band.
8. Silver claddagh ring. Right ring finger.
8. Honey colored, plastic eyeglasses.
9. Black socks. K-mart.
10. Flannel boxer shorts.
11. Gunmetal gray hanes t-shirt.
12. Poland Spring water bottle in right hand.
13. A grin on my face!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Rattled By The Rush

Pavement was a band that I did not get to see live before they disbanded. They pretty much rank in my revolving top three artists with Uncle Tupelo and The Minutemen. Though they've not been together for 7 years, their cool-ass record label, Matador, has been reissuing their discs. Every two years or so, the world gets to revisit the noodling guitars, absurd lyrics and shout-outs that defined the band. And the new sets are oh-so-cool! So far, "Slanted and Enchanted" and "Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain" have been reissued in deluxe, 2-disc editions containing upwards of 50 tracks.

Now, at long last, their greatest (in my humble opinion) album, "Wowee Zowee" gets the deluxe treatment! I urge you to give them a try. I can't guarantee that you'll love them as I do, but even P-Girl has learned to sing along to "Range Life" from Crooked Rain.

Favorite Song? "Father To A Sister Of A Thought"

Favorite Lyric?

Getting off the candelabra
We call her barbara
Breeding like larva
She rabble rousing
Dental surf combat
Get out those hard-hats
And sing us some skat
Blade gushers gush
Chained and perfumed
I don't need a minister to call me a groom

from "Rattled By The Rush"

November 7 it arrives!

Warning! The comments posted contain mad-suggestive lyrics. Continue at your own risk!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Wedding of Jimmy McJamestown and Marsha

1. Jimmy married Marsha on September 24, 2005 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
2. Due to financial constraints, PGirl did not attend (and she was sorely missed).
3. I discovered a margarita made from Blood Oranges. Very tasty!
4. I attached several cans to the back of the newlywed’s rental car with dental floss and shoe laces. All items were found by, or purchased from various hotel staff where everyone was staying.
5. The priest was very old and had a memory lapse on the day of the wedding. He never showed.
6. Jimmy’s future brothers-in-law and myself sped about town in a desperate search for a replacement priest – tuxes and all!
7. We finally found a deacon who agreed to perform the service.
8. The tuxes were very classy.
9. Mrs. McJamestown had a dispute with the hotel regarding the open bar that was quickly resolved.
10. Jimmy and Marsha danced to Wilco’s “Far, Far Away”. Beautiful song and beautiful couple.
11. Among the well wishers were the founder of Harvey Finklestein’s Sock Puppet Theatre. Jimmy was a cast member of that company’s production of “Showgirls”. Featuring puppets. I kid you not.
12. Journey’s “Separate Ways” was the last song played at the reception before everyone was shooed back to their rooms.
13. Jimmy took Marsha for a hot-air balloon ride the morning after to begin the honeymoon.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Not Getting Hassled, Not Getting Hustled

I'm it.

Boone just tagged me to come up with a story about our days in grad school. Head over to his post first and read up on a couple of our L.A. friends.

Now that you're back, I'll hash out a real quickie here. Boone, Roundtree and Beammeup were a pretty tight bunch. I was living about twenty minutes from where they lived when most of the pranking went down and they were still in school together, so I wasn't around for most of it. Roundtree would tell me stories some times, and I was pretty jealous of the fun they were having. Whenever I would hang out with those guys, I was kind of intimidated by their chumminess. I could never tell if what they were saying was sincere or not. And Boone is such a teddy bear, that when he did cut loose with something funny, it was out of left field.

Anyway, one night, I went to Roundtree's place to hang out. Soon, Beammeup had arrived, and the three of us decided to go into Rountree's room (he had roommates, some whacky-weed was present, you get the picture). We cracked on each other for awhile and played new music for each other. After a while, we kind of stopped talking and just listened to the music. The silence was making me paranoid and every time one of the guys looked at me, I thought they were trying to mess with me. They assured me they weren't.

This set us to giggling and trying to psyche each other out. Out of the blue, Beammeup looks over at a guitar leaning on a wall, he then asks Roundtree a question:

Beammeup: Is that your guitar?

Roundtree: Yup.

Beammeup: Why don't you play us something.

Roundtree: Okay.
Now, as far as Beammeup and I knew, Roundtree did not play guitar. We both thought he was bluffing. So Roundtree picks it up, places his fingers on the frets, and starts to play. It wasn't great playing, but there was music coming out. Beammeup and I just look at each other, marvelling at this new found talent. No sooner had our jaws dropped, when Roundtrees playing begins to fall apart and he collapses in a fit of laughter. He couldn't really play. Miraculously he managed to strum something out that resembled a tune. Roundtree had won. We all lost it.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

It's Raining Men

I've checked out just a few profiles of the blog-buds of PGirls. They mostly seem to be women and have graciously commented on my blog. I don't return the favor as much as I hope to, but I do read often! I haven't noticed too many guys commenting.

That might change. In the span of 12 hours, Brother Tim, GalootSr. (from now on known as "Kentucky Colonel") and Daniel Boone (a buddy from grad school and a proud team owner in the AFFL.) have all invaded blogger! I'm pleased as punch (and will probably get punched in the arm for such a "gay" response).

Sr. hasn't posted yet, but when he does I'll link him up. He's commenting on my blog as Len. Dammit Dad! You told everyone our first name!

Check them out!

He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

Brother Tim has published his first blog. Here are 13 things you should know about him.

1. He's 4 and a half years younger than me.
2. His wife, Krissy, is very cool and went to the same high school as me.
3. He's a bit of a daredevil having broken limbs (including neck and fingers).
4. He played several sports over the years, including soccer, basketball and football.
5. He plays in a rugby club in the Cincinnati area.
6. He works in insurance, but has had other interesting jobs such as auto-detailer and pizzeria manager.
7. He has two alter-egos that I have witnessed - Captain Nautical (a superhero) and Lonnie Warchild (a martial arts instructor).
8. During my wedding weekend, he wrestled on the floor of a bar with one of PGirl's bridesmaids.
9. He has a penchant for urinating in public places when the need arises.
10. Galoot Jr. seems to have inherited the daredevil genes that Brother Tim owns.
11. He his 6'4" tall.
12. He is adept at video camera work and editing.
13. He is named after great-grandfathers on our mom's side of the family.

Check out his blog. The folks in the first post are his rugby kin. And yes, that man is pooping in a bucket. Mind you, he's just starting out with this...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Islands In The Stream

I have longed for a job where I can spend part of my day at a desk, working on my computer and listening to radio. My job at the arts council allows for this and I quite enjoy having music or talk radio play underneat my work.

The Dan Patrick Show on ESPN radio is pretty entertaining and informative. From 2pm until 3pm, Keith Olbermann joins him in the studio or by phone. By 3pm, I usually am listening to WGR550, sports radio from Buffalo. A lot of good Bills talk occurs on this station. Alternately, I listen to Fresh Air or World Cafe during this time.

I listen to streaming radio throughout the day as well. I-Tunes has many fine streams for just about every musical taste. is still my favorite source for alt-rock, old and new. Sadly, they'll be shutting down on Friday due to lack of funding. I am saddened by this, but another door has opened...

Walt, who you may recall from my recent Maniacs blog, told me to check out Well, I a-looked-a and I a-liked-a! My god this thing is amazing. You sign up for free (all you incur are a spate of pop-ups in the browser), plug in the name of an artist you enjoy and one of that artist's songs begins to play. The entire song is played. What follows is a string of songs by similar artists whose music is linked together by many shared elements. If you plug in "The Specials", Pandora will cull together a list of songs that have "electric rock instrumentation
punk influences, reggae influences, a subtle use of paired vocal harmony, mild rhythmic syncopation, acoustic rhythm piano, repetitive melodic phrasing
demanding instrumental part writing, mixed acoustic and electric instrumentation
paired vocal harmony, minor key tonality and prominent organ".

You can create up to 100 music streams, each named after the first artist you choose. If you don't like a song, you can give it a thumbs down or skip ahead up to 6 times an hour. Otherwise, just sit back and enjoy the tunes!. And it's free!

If you want to try it out, check out the sidebar in my blog.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Drink For Two

First of all, Bucky Phillips surrendered yesterday after a 16 hour cat and mouse game that began at 2am on Friday. Over a hundred law enforcement folks spread out around the town of Akeley, PA. Bucky had been spotted near a golf course in that area and was soon spotted in the woods. My mom, who lives up the hill from Akeley spent most of the day in her house with a shotgun and her two dogs, listening for intruders. No one was allowed up or down the road on which she lives. Eventually, the cops figured Bucky was in a corn field and at 8p, the fugitive walked out and gave up.

In other news, the Maniacs show was nearly a sell out, which is a good thing for this little city. PGirl and I hit the bar at Forte before hand to hang out with the band and a hundred other folks, including some politicians, artists, old schoolmates and musicians. Bud, Bud-Light and Mich-Light and some wine was free to guests, but we started off with a local beer for PGirl and a martini for me. We also had some crabcakes. Good stuff. We eventually started on the free stuff. That is when the fun began.

The show started at 7pm, with opening acts, but the Maniacs weren't supposed to go on until 9:30. So we hung out at and around the bar. I spent the first part of the evening, talking with an artist who I'm working with to do a "flash" exhibition downtown. Then I reconnected with some folks I hadn't seen in a while. PGirl and I wound up talking a lot to a fellow named Walt, from MTV/Viacom. He's an old friend of the band and has a place over in Ashville. He was pretty candid, talking at length about some shake up over at MTV (Tom Freston was fired) and the future of the civic center.

We finally made it up to the balcony about two songs into the Maniacs set. What can I say? They were really good. Oskar Saville has a powerful voice and can get the crowd moving. Dennis gets into the songs, making a lot of gestures and faces. He's into the music. My next door office neighbor, Jeff, is the replacement guitarist and very true to the band's style of music. Original guitarist, Rob Buck died six years ago. The crowd was pretty into it.

And PGirl, well, I knew she loved the Maniacs and was familiar with all of their songs, but I had no idea what this concert meant to her. She was moving the whole time. Whooping and hollering. She even got acknowlegement from the band when Oskar introduced on of her own songs.

Okay, she did drink more than I did last night, but I don't think she was ripped. I believe her "good times" were courtesy of a mix of drink and sheer joy! On the way home, she was talking like Anthony Micheal Hall in "Weird Science" (Well, my nuts are halfway up my ass, but other than that, I'm perfect!") She is sleeping in a bit right now, but is in a good mood. I wish I could remember some of the jive she was talking last night. It was pretty damn funny!

Friday, September 08, 2006

This Be The Day

Dennis Drew - Maniac!

The building is all abuzz today. Tonight, the 10,000 Maniacs will be performing a 25th anniversary concert in our civic center. John Sebastian of "The Lovin' Spoonful" is performing with them. For those of you not in the know, original singer Natalie Merchant left the band several years ago. The most recent vocalist, Oskar Saville of "Rubygrass" is performing with the group tonight. She has a powerful voice and a playful stage presence. Should be a good show! PGirl and I will be in the balcony and at a pre-show party downstairs at Forte!

Concurrently, our county has been dealing with an escaped fugitive, Ralph "Bucky" Phillips. This dude was serving 90 days on a parole violation when he used a can opener to break out of the jail kitchen he was working in. He had less than a month to go, but was unaware of this.

Bucky Phillips - Maniac?

Since escaping he has:
- allegedly shot a cop in the stomach
- robbed a gun store
- robbed several hunting cabins
- allegedly ambushed two cops with a hunting rifle (one is in critical condition, the other has died from his injury)
- taken refuge with family and friends throughout our region of New York and Pennsylvania

It is very easy to travel throughout the county and into PA without hitting main roads. The state troopers have over 100 men and women on each shift, searching, setting up roadblocks, arresting Bucky's boarders, etc. But the dude stays free. Sad thing is, several folks around here hate the cops and are keeping Bucky on the lam.

Bucky made the FBI's top ten yesterday.

Dateline NBC is supposed to be around today to cover the whole mess and one of our county executives is trying to get them to tape some of the Maniacs show and some of our other culture. All to make sure Chautauqua County doesn't come off looking like some hayseed, backwoods area.

We'll see...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

All Shook Up

A Word Jumble, if you will...

13 Random Words and Phrases I that I can see from my office desk. All exist within the confines of my room.

1. Panegyri
2. Trachtenburg Family Sideshow Players
3. The Copywrighter's Handbook
4. The Complete Atlantic Recordings
5. Taking Stock
6. The Zombie Survival Guide
7. Roundup
8. Get Fuzzy
9. Ask me to tell you the story of The Kissing Hand.
10. Daler Mehndi
11. Food Is Good
12. If he gets the community all riled up, we could be in trouble!
13. Speak for yourself.