Monday, October 31, 2005
This One's About Ass So Scoot, Scooter and Take Your Roving Eye With YouOkay, I'm officially sick of hearing, reading and talking about the Scooter affair. I'm sorry I prolonged it with two consecutive posts. I may never mention it again until after the conviction and subsequent presidential pardon.
Today I'd like to talk about ANYthing else so I'll fall back on my current obsession with getting into better shape. I'm not in bad shape at all. I just want to fine tune so I don't look like a complete blowfish in my video due to be taped December 14. When you are a short guy, there are only so many places to hide five pounds. With me it's the gut and the face. I can hide stuff behind my guitar but I don't think I'd perform well in a full rubberized mask.
I can put on five pounds in a single day. No problem. It takes me six weeks of very intense work to lose it. I'm not wasting time or psychic energy carping about that biological injustice. What is just is and I'm dealing with it.
On Friday's we have an very trim and fit yoga substitute teacher from the Czech Republic. She's both adorable and very tough. It's a different form of yoga. Kind of like concentration camp style. Difficult poses are held much longer and then repeated. Her favorite refrain is, "Okay, we do five more." When I discovered that she is also a physical trainer, I hired her on the spot. Now two mornings a week she does the , "Okay five more," routine one on one with me on various torture devices. I balance on a large rubber half ball while lifting weights in various directions. I do sit-ups and crunches in so many different ways, I need an illustrated guide to recall them.
On mornings when I watch her working out from my perch on an stationary bike, I'm humiliated to see this girl who weighs fifty pounds less than me, lifting more weight in more reps than I can. And she doesn't bulge. You only notice her muscle when she is lifting. She is a wonder. An inspiration. And a source of amusement to my twisted mind.
Her English is perfect and her accent is charming. Before I understood what sounds she makes for certain letter combinations I was the victim of a very funny misunderstanding. She glided into Yoga in a outfit that betrayed her 3% body fat. Which is to say, she looked splendid as usual. She announced, "Peeeple assk me howw to get gooood ass." I thought, "Isn't that cute, nobody every explained to her that you don't say 'ass' in a mixed group when you don't know them that well." I was so amused that I probably missed everything else she said. We were quickly directed into a series of postures during which I was firmly intent on watching her firm ass. I didn't get what these moves would do in any extraordinary way to my ass. I figured I must be doing them wrong. So I watched even harder.
Out in the parking lot I told my wife, Cathy, that I was really surprised nobody ever explained to our yoga teacher that you probably shouldn't use the word "ass" in a public speaking situation if you don't know your audience that well. And that I didn't think the postures we did affected my ass at all. Cathy kind of smacked me around a bit and told me, "It was abs, you moron, not ass." Oh, yeah, duh, I knew that. That would be why I feel like I have a hernia.
We've been laughing about this ever since. Now fast forward a few weeks to my first training session with this young lady. After the evaluation she says to me, "Okay, let's go to cage. But first I need rope." Here we go, I'm thinking. Ass, cage, rope. Weee! The cage and rope turned out to be a stretching device. She explained that like most moronic macho gym rats, I don't stretch properly. She showed me how in the cage. She didn't lock me in. She has me on the road to buff. I may even get to wear one of those backless leather chaps in my video.
posted by Bud @ 7:47 AM
Saturday, October 29, 2005
A Song I forgot About and One for Yesterday
Here's a lyric I never thought I'd let see the light of day, Written in February of 2004. I forgot all about it and strangely enough started another by the same name about a race horse after yesterday's entries. When I found the dog one I stopped writing the horse one. I guess they're both country tunes, given the subject matter. There's two strikes against me. I have no desire to become a political writer. My politics are pretty obvious but I don't have a compulsion to put it out there. I think what's going on in Washington could be anybody. This is about who's there now. I do think it's amusing to listen to the outrage over the fuss everyone is making and cries of self righteousness from the right. Somebody even had the nerve to carp about how much the Plame investigation costs. All this as if they never had run Clintongate up into the multimillions over a BJ. There are already lots of amusing songs about that.
Goowby was a wise ass dog. The Family took him in
He'd raise hell with a carefree smirk and swear it wasn't a sin
He wasn't known for brains, but he came from a fortunate litter
When his father went down before his time, Goowby was the pinch hitter
Goowby would do just about anything to gain your affection
He could steal your money, he could steal your mind,
He could even steal an election
Like all dogs he found friends who'd wink and pay his way
To look at him you might not see who gets whom to fetch and stay
He could get away with chewing things up and pissing where he stood
With that clever smile, people figured it could do them good
He lived by taking care of his richest friends
He'd lie and steal to do it without ever making amends
He had a way of making war crimes look just like salvation
He figured if it was good for him it must be good for the nation
Chorus and out
At the end of yesterday's post, I made some horse racing analogy and this popped out:
Goowby was a Race Hourse
Hanging out in the paddock I saw him before his first race.
Other dumb and nasty colts nickered, ate the feed he left behind
They all ganged up on the favorite and he won with a sneer on his face
From that moment on they knew he'd get whatever he had in mind
Goowby was a nasty horse who'd do anything to win
Paid homage to the god of power, said he never sinned
Let the connections do the dirty work, win every race
They bet him heavy and he won with a sneer on his face
Yeah, Goowby always won with a sneer on his face
I'd go on but I think I'd like some feedback. Which one? Or just back off? You could change the name and apply it to the politician of your choice these days. But it does seem to be a tight fit here.
posted by Bud @ 6:26 AM
Friday, October 28, 2005
Today's UpdateThe spin on the Scooter affair is utterly predictable. I shouldn't be surprised but I really can't believe that the same people who were horrified that Clinton lied about a BJ, now shrug off perjury and obstruction of justice and the endangering of our covert spies. Those guys don't surprise me. It's the roughly 32 per cent of the country who agree with them. I guess when you backed these guys so vociferously, it's easier to scream and holler irrationally than to admit you backed the wrong horse. I used to see that behavior at the betting parlors when I was into that years ago.
posted by Bud @ 1:46 PM
Power CorruptsI wonder if it's even possible to stay clean in the highest reaches of government and business? I don't say that to forgive anybody for what's going on there today. A scum bag is a scum bag is a scum bag. We've elected lots of them on both sides of the aisle.
I have always believed that an oral affair with an intern does not belong in the same category with lying about the justification for war where 30,000 civilians and 2000 of our brave young soldiers are killed. This is coming while there is a $300 billion deficit, an inability to respond to emergencies at home (like three chicks named Katrina, Rita and Wilma), loss of our best jobs to overseas interests, the denial about our rape of our natural resources, loss of respect from the rest of the world, and a theocracy on the verge of taking complete control of our lives. And there is so much more. Who would want to get elected to fight and change all that? What kind of a person wants to do that job? More to the point, what would that person have to do to get that job? Probably play dirtier than the party in power. Dirtier than Karl Rove? Is that humanly possible? And yet I find myself tempted to root for just such a person to balance things out. I feel so soiled.
That's really what my song Underground is all about.
I guess I'll update this when I see who gets indicted today.
posted by Bud @ 5:28 AM
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Vidstone! I Thought of This First
I had this idea 30 years ago, damn it all. I hate it when my outrageous ideas make money for somebody else. It shows a certain lack of conviction I have in some of my ideas. It happens to me a lot. Some body also had the idea recently and is marketing it as Vidstone. A tombstone with a built in video display that runs a memorial loop about the departed loved one. This came on the inspiration I had about fear of death. I think it isn't death we are afraid of, it's fear of people forgetting us. So this is the answer if that is your particular hang-up. I think I'm over it by now but it's still a good idea for those who feel the need. Often it's the survivors who feel the need.
If you fear death for other reasons, I'm not sure I have an answer for you. Fear of pain? Set it up with Hospice before hand, they will keep you pain free until you expire. Fear of the hereafter? Look, if you believe in an after life, what are you afraid of? If you don't believe in an afterlife, why waste time worrying about it. You really need to appreciate every breathing second you have:
I have no fear of nothingness as long there's a now
I love my life for what it is and for all it will allow
Gloom and doom beliefs are of no threat to me
I'm not afraid of dying but I'm afraid that you'll forget me
I wonder how long our blogs will live in cyberspace?
Speaking of Blogs that should be read and hailed as one of the best, check out Lois Lane at Home Fires. And while you are there, please help her out by going down the right side and clicking the whozontop button and giving her a nice vote of approval. Why? Because some low life has been going on every day and low-voting her. She's checked on this and if she would webstat his identity, I'd go to his blog and give it a 1. I'd give it a 1 every day. I hate people like that. If you've never read Lois, she is quite unforgettable. She won't need a Vidstone but she deserves one.
posted by Bud @ 6:14 AM
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Hurricane Farts and Intelligent DesignNo we didn't lose power. No damage of any kind here. As of noon yesterday, all we were feeling was what I call Wilma's farts as she sped out to sea in front of us. It does take a lot of time to prepare for the hurricane and then to dismantle your preparations. Besides making four liters of coffee in case we lost power, we had to take everything that was outside and bring it inside. We had to prepare a safe room. We had to pack in case we had to flee. We had to bolt down the garage doors with these special beams that prevent it from getting sucked open. You get hurricane force winds in your garage and you can kiss your roof goodbye. Then you have to undo all that stuff and make four hundred phone calls and e-mails to assure everybody you are not in that part of Florida the TV tabloids keep showing. Over and Over. The only concern I have is when our luck will run out. An uncountable ass load of storms in the past three years and none of them have roughed us up.
But what I'm really worried about is this startling news out of California about USC scientists creating a micro chip that will be inserted into the heads of soldiers to make them "more intelligent and deadly." some might argue that there is an oxymoron in there. The disturbing part is that this research seems to be focused on the art of war rather than the art of say, medical science. How about planting this in the heads of medical students to make our doctors more intelligent and life saving? How about implanting it in the heads of teaching students to make them more intelligent and life giving? How about implanting them in the heads of singer songwriters so they can remember their own damn lyrics? Okay, I'll gladly wait in line behind any number of professionals for my brain chip. So far USC has tested this thing in dead rats. They plan to work their way up to live rats. No word yet on when the USC Trojan football team gets theirs. Apple, it is already rumored, is developing a cranial iPod that will present music, video and phone calls directly to your brain. Tune the sucker with a raised eyebrow or a snicker, I guess.
And I suppose we won't have to wait very long at all for the intelligent design folks to claim this as evidence of some sort.
I suppose a song called Wired or Hardwired could come out of this:
I love you with every fiber of my brain
I know how to soothe your pain
I rock you and I never get tired
And I'm not even wired
On a more serious note. I'm working on cleaning up some demos to post. And I'm collaborating with Kathy Feeney on two new songs. Also a song collaboration with Helen Avakian is percolating in my head. I gave her words. She gave me music. The note is on my staff, so to speak.
posted by Bud @ 6:56 AM
Monday, October 24, 2005
Report From the Edge of the HurricaneHere in Venice, we are fine. What you're seeing on TV is not happening here. We have winds in the forties now and it'll last about another hour. No damage. No power loss so far. I have to say the the Natiional Weather Service has been right on the money with their forcast. We got exactly what they said . They said that it was possible for us to lose power and maybe we will. So besides doing all the usual storm preps we go through around here, I made four liters of coffee and put it in the fridge. Blow my roof off but DO NOT deprive me of coffee. Thanks for your concern. I'll post something later.
posted by Bud @ 7:48 AM
Friday, October 21, 2005
Thoughts on Evacuation for Wilma.
At best this can only be a bet that she isn't coming here and if she does, she won't blow the house down. Now it's becoming obvious what happens in this kind of Do-I-stay-or-Do-I-go situation. I have a car. I have a strong house. I don't have a real job. What could possibly prevent me from going?
Peer pressure? Everybody is saying it's not coming or that it's only gonna be cat 3. Or 2 or 1. Fear of being caught in traffic jam on Interstate? Fear of what happens to property if it's damaged and I'm away? I have three gigs so is it
fear that if we go and it doesn't hit, my bookings will suffer?
How does this look if we stay and take a big hit, threatening life and limb? About as weak as those who stayed in NOLA. Now I understand it better. Those who lived through that say we should run far and fast. I guess you have to live through it to have that perspective.
I'm delaying the decision another day.
Haven't run into anybody around here yet who is concerned. The rumor that it's only gonna be cat 3 or less has taken hold. People need to latch on to that form of denial. Traffic up I75 is very heavy already. So people south of us aren't buying that rumor. But they've been projected to be in the path for a couple of days now. This is going to be a fascinating study on how people process information. How the info is managed by the media How people react when it hits. And of course the aftermath. The finger pointing. The excuses. All that high drama. The president desperately needs a photo op this week. The week so many of his colleagues are either being arrested or indicted.
So last night's gig was a street thing organized by the merchants group in downtown Venice. Venice Main Street it's called. There is no Main St. in Venice. It's a common Florida custom to name things after stuff that doesn't exist. Street names and subdivision names are notorious for being named after things that they aren't remotely related to. I love Venice, I truly do. But naming a town on the Gulf Coast after a northern Italian center of culture, known for it's canals and liberal ideas, is more than a little pretentious. We do have a hunk of inter coastal waterway here that was actually dug out. It's no canal. The idea of putting sights to see and gondola rides on it has so far escaped the imaginations of our city fathers. They have instituted a design code that enforces a northern Italian style on buildings within a certain district. Many of the subdivisions have a slightly Italian theme. I live on Tuscany Boulevard, for instance in a place called Pelican Pointe. Let us explore that overloaded gondola of pretension. A boulevard is a wide grand thoroughfare with stately buildings on either side. Isn't it? We have a sidewalk down only one side of the street. It's just wide enough for a car and a UPS truck to pass each other. There are only homes. Not exactly cookie cutter but all within approved designs, sizes and colors of our deed restriction. We also have automated gates that have never worked for more than a week or two before they just stop closing or opening. Depending on how desperate you are to get in or out. Pelicans are found only along the coast. Not two and a half miles inland where we are. They like their fish salty. And a pointe perhaps is a point that is nowhere near a body of water into which it points. Despite all this over priced silliness. I have grown to love it here. The majority of my neighbors are terrific people despite the fact that most of them are quite different from me. Maybe that's why they're terrific. I won't judge.
The gig was fun once I moved my location to avoid getting rained on. Now we're watching Wilma taking her sweet time tearing up the Yucatan and deciding how far right to turn. I find myself wishing for the first time in my life that anything will go to the extreme right. But the projected path has been consistently away from Venice. This means that those south of us who are evacuating have clogged the interstate. If we have to leave, we'll leave Saturday or Sunday. My gut feeling is that we won't have to leave. I won't post on the weekend in any event. Look for me Monday. And again, thanks for your concern. It's very comforting to know I have such solid friends in the blogging community.
posted by Bud @ 7:04 AM
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Wilma!!!!Okay so I don't have to keep answering the are-you-safe question. I think my house is safe even if we take a direct hit. It's new and under the strongest codes. I'm two and a half miles from the Gulf. Not in a flood zone. ANYthing can happen but here's a map of the latest track and I've marked where I live in Venice. You can check that for future reference. You can also go to this site and see what the latest track is. They update every six hours at 5 and 11.
I have three gigs this week. Should be interesting to see how THAT turns out. Especially the Saturday gig. We should be into at least some wind and rain by then. If it's not much, I'll have a light crowd. Or I'll be canceled if it's worse.
I'm not worrying yet so neither should you. There are people with MUCH BIGGER problems. Just ask Blue.
posted by Bud @ 6:47 AM
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Swinging Before the BreezeHurricane Wilma looks to be making a visit here or near here sometime early next week. I'm keeping an eye on it. Like every six hours. But in the meantime:
Cathy and I attended our first Swing Dance Class of the season last night. We had taken a bunch of different ballroom classes last spring, learning and promptly forgetting the basic steps of swing, salsa, fox-trot, waltz, rhumba, cha-cha, and if there was anything else, I forgot the name. It is not my idea of fun to have to memorize a sequence of steps. That's too much like school. I was a much better teacher than I was a student. When I got to teach stuff that I wasn't that good at as a student, I suddenly got it. So teaching makes you learn stuff better. With that in mind, I will try to find somebody to teach swing dancing to. Because it is pretty cool.
But I will never go near line dancing with goofy little fake cowboy outfits and only the most insipid music that can be found. I needed to get that straight.
Now back to our originally intended blogcast. I doubt I can find anybody to teach swing to. So I may have to resort to an imaginary friend or I could drug Cathy and move her about the living room like a zombie. She's gotten much better at following my lead. Unlike last year when she tried to lead all the time. This caused one of our very few arguments about anything. Cathy has a natural tendency to want to control things, having been a primary school teacher for so long. At yoga, I have to put my mat away from her most of the time so I don't have to try to listen to two sets of directions at the same time. We have different learning styles. I don't multitask well, or at all. Cathy can read War and Peace, and balance her checkbook at the same time, filling me in on what I missed on a video because she was talking to me about something else. This ability of hers seems superhuman to me. But I'm told it's just a chick thing.
The whole discussion of different learning styles is something that occupied a very large proportion of my professional life. I got to understand it much better by the time I retired. But understanding it and teaching a class of 30 different learning styles is quite a different thing. Before you criticize a teacher, try to think of it that way. You have to get all these kids who learn in sometimes vastly different ways to pass the same standardized test. You have to do it on schedule. Between all their special classes, lunch and various pullouts like violin lessons. You have to do this even if they have just witnessed their mother being abused. You have to do this when they're hungry or when they are running a temperature because they have no childcare. You have to do this even if they are unattractive or unaccepted and are the brunt of peer abuse. You have to do that when their hormones kick in. You have to do that when their pets die. You have to do that when they don't even speak English very well yet.
I got pretty good at it. Damn, dancing ought to be easy.
posted by Bud @ 8:05 AM
Monday, October 17, 2005
Outsiders MusicAll photos by my Cathy. Cathy Lewis. My better half and center. I know, my geometry is a bit off there but Cathy inspires a new way of thinking. She's all that and has a personality too!
The Sarasota Folk Festival was a mixed bag of fun this weekend. We heard everything from traditional folk to Texas Twang. From a Robert Goulet type guy to wise ass parodies like Puff the Magic Drag Queen. My favorite act of the day, though was my friend Jackie Mosely. She put together a band for the occasion with a fiddler, stand up bass and mandolin. She played artful guitar and sang her ass off as usual. This is a pic of them rehearsing at Stir the Soul Coffee House.
I didn't play this event because I wanted to see where my music fit in. I'm kind of folk rock when I'm doing my material solo. My CD has a cool backup band but my real sound is much more spare. This is what my NY fans claim they like best. Mark Zampella, who produced my CD listened to Underground which I posted here last time. He agrees that I should go more acoustic and stripped down on the next CD. I'm certainly not traditional folk and not sure how I fit into this folk club but I'm gonna run my stuff past them at events and see if I can get any heads to bob. Any feet to tap. Any jaws to drop. If I don't see any yawns or hear any conversation, I'll take that as a sign of acceptance. I've found that musicians are generous with their time for each other and many have given me the stage over the years. But not that many are quick with the compliment. I don't know why that is. We all live for it but most of them have a hard time coming up with one for another musician.
We had a fantastic day spending time with our two favorite people down here, Mark and his wife Nancy, who is our extremely gifted yoga teacher. We had three meals together and many laughs. Mark agreed to shoot my five minute promotional video on December 14. It'll be a montage of my live stuff at Bella Luna Cafe, most likely. I'm gonna print it up on those DVD's the size of business cards to give out to venues and promoters. But I'll certainly post it here. No idea how long the editing and production will take. I'm sure we're looking at January at the earliest.
Work continues on a song Kathy Feeney and I are working on called Inside the Night. When she's not studying physics at Swarthmore College or running Cross Country, she sends me terrific lyrics to work with. She says there are more coming next week so I have to get this one off to her. I have an idea draft done to bounce off her. But I won't post it until we've had some time to listen, sleep on it and do a second draft.
The music for "Afterthought," the lyrics I posted last week, is starting to take shape. I have a general chord progression that will change as my ideas about the melody change. This is a three gig week for me so I don't know how much will get done on new music. I have to organize some drum machine tracks to play one outside gig where I need to make a lot of noise. Street fair gig for Venice Main Street. Have to compete with a clogging dancers routine on one side and a wine tasting/DJ on the other. These people usually have no idea how loud they are. I know from working with two Irish Step dancers that they need to hear the music over their feet. Since their feet are a lot closer to them than the speakers, they crank it up. I expect louder from a whole group of Cloggers. DJ's are just incorrigible in my experience and nothing short of a well placed rocket grenade will discourage them from blasting and screaming as if what they have to say is a vital part of the entertainment. My pal Bruno the Singing DJ is a welcome exception. I hope it's him and not some wannabe.
Working on the street is a challenge I don't always enjoy. Fire engines never screech in my key. And I've been unsuccessful matching theirs.
An altogether interesting week. It's Monday. I'm smiling because it takes less energy. Try it.
posted by Bud @ 5:37 AM
Friday, October 14, 2005
Underground Found OvergroundI'm a cheerful guy even if a bit pessimistic when it comes to the state of the planet and those who seem to run it. I guess that means I don't have any doubt we are on a course to either poison ourselves, blow ourselves up. Or just run out of resources to help all the people who get battered around by various unnaturally caused natural disasters mixed in with the unavoidable ones like earthquakes. But despite this grim realization, I'm confident I can keep my own head up high no matter what. I only have so many minutes left on the planet so I'm gonna smile through most of those minutes. They're the only minutes I have. Yeah, I know, la la la la la. But I paid my dues. I took all the risks I'm gonna take trying to change things. A description of that would take several posts. Let it be known I graduated from college in 1969. Make whatever assumptions you want. Even if I filled in the details, you'd make assumptions anyway, so have fun with that.
My morning routine is generally: up at 5, write, post, bike for an hour and half, yoga, work on music and whatever. While biking down the intercoastal to the Gulf of Mexico, I try to erase the news I read on-line and see what lyrics will pop into my head. So this lyric is one of those. And this time I'll supply a little work tape so you can hear where I'm heading musically. Remember, a work tape is a doodle pad. A one take deal hot from my mind and fingers and vocal chords. It'll most likely undergo a lot of changes. But I'd like first impressions if you feel up to it. I'm smiling anyway.
I tried for two days to upload just a segment of this. This seems to be the only way I can get Blogger to take it and I'm out of time and brain cells to load a dial-up version. I'm deeply sorry for that. But I'm busy recording other stuff now.
Click Underground%20Bounce%20H%231D31FA.mp3 to listen to take one of Underground.
Bud Buckley copyright 2005
Parrots on a stop sign. Honeysuckle wall
Sweet smelling conflict, another subtle fall
Blinding sun in the East, storm clouds occlude West
Ride it down the middle, You can't tell what comes next
But when you're so confused you don't know what you've found
Take who and what you love and head for the underground
The air is getting filthy, so we'll call it nice and clean
The rivers run with mercury the fish are turning mean
There's killing done for freedom, we call it democracy
If it's in the name of God, you can't call it hypocrisy
When your head is split with pain from all that sound
Take who and what you love and head for the underground
It's fine to get rich unless you're working with your hands
Ask for more money, your work goes to other lands
You buy that line and take pride in your work
'til your job is gone and you go berserk
When you're down so far you can't rebound
Take who and what you love and head for the underground
When you've got no place to go but down....head for the underground
Just before you come unwound......head for the underground
When your life's no better than a homeless hound.....head for the underground
When you can't sit and watch another one get crowned....head for the underground
When there is no up and there's nothing good around.....head for the underground
posted by Bud @ 5:16 AM
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Afterthought on Growing UpI hear less and less from former students as they grow older. I remember sharing their anguish about dealing with middle school and then later high school. Most of the problems were caused by the quest for acceptance. Most had a hard time understanding that even the so called popular kids felt isolated at times. I tried to talk many many kids through this. Tried to get them to rethink their wanting to behave outrageously just to get attention. Some of them already understood this and just needed my reassurance. Some of them needed to be talked out of doing idiotic stuff. Some of them didn't listen at all and cut me off. I've had this lyric bouncing around in my head and in and out of several notebooks for years. I have a few older kids struggling with various issues now. A few who survived the wars and are leading normal lives. But they remember our discussions. There are a few who I can only guess about. But this is for all of them:
By Bud Buckley, Copyright 2005
Ignorance is bliss unless you're the one ignored
I just want some of this, don't have to be adored
I'd set my hair on fire to show what I can do
But you're inspired to say, Oh, it's only you
What's a guy have to do to get on your A-list?
In your mind, I'm in this blue and gray mist
It's not with me or about me when you laugh a lot
I'm only an afterthought, an afterthought
I try so hard to show you what I got but I'm only an Afterthought
I sing your praises, I sing your theme
I turn clever phrases, I'm on your team
But I fall on deaf ears and your eyes are blind to me
I've spent my best years and you just malign me
You think I'm gonna dissolve, you think I'll evaporate
You think the world revolves in your lap for a taste
Well here's a news flash that you may find disgustin'
But I refuse to crash and burn, don't mind if I bust in
chorus and out
posted by Bud @ 5:39 AM
Monday, October 10, 2005
The Naked Half TruthI'm a weird news junky. I used to be a straight news junky but it got too weird. So I decided if I want to read about weirdness, I'd rather read about low life people getting weird instead of politicians and other formerly respected professionals. It's less shocking. You expect weirdoes to act strange. You don't expect the president telling people God made him do it. And then denying it. Lucky he had a fundamentalist Arab to cover for him.
So the weird news sites I haunt are amusing but I've been seeing a trend lately. It happened even before I did the naked tickler post and aborted lyric. Go ahead and search naked in the Google News. You'll see a lot of nakedness going on out there. Naked guys in stores seems to be a popular trend. Just check here and here and here. Naked guys trying to pick up young chicks seems to be catching steam too. Or old chicks in the case of the naked tickler. Live nakedness as artistic statements in public places has been getting some play too. Women are now taking the trend to make some ballsy money out of the naked guy trend. And I understand Janet Jackson is getting naked on purpose these days.
I'm trying to understand what this trend means. More importantly, I'm trying to squeeze a lyric out of it. Nakedness is often used as an allegory for truth and disclosure. Unless you get all biblical, then it's shame and guilt. It can also indicate freshness or newness, like babies.
I'm so tempted to write a parody of the Emperor's New Clothes where President Bush appears naked at a press conference and proclaims that God told him to wear this new outfit. Railing against the liberal media who he is certain will report otherwise. There, I said it. But I'm not gonna write it. Be my guest if you want. Maybe it'll turn up in the Borowitz Report.
For a serious lyric, I'd attempt to write something about either truth and disclosure or guilt or newness without ever using the word naked. I love that kind of a challenge.
I want you to believe me I've shown you all I've got
There's nothing beneath me, I'm done and I'm caught
I need you to discover me, be my lover and cover me
Stuff like that off the top of my head is just meant to get me started. It rarely ends up in the same form. When you can't think of anything to write. Just write anything. You never know what'll happen.
posted by Bud @ 5:16 AM
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Rapture or Rupture?Back in August I was alarmed about environmental concerns and wrote a song called Swim Away. It is an acknowledged fact that red tide in the Gulf of Mexico is so bad it is killing everything and tourists are starting to catch on. The booming housing market will most likely collapse. It is an officially unacknowledged (read Jeb Bush is riding out his term) but obvious supposition that red tide is caused by the the results of over development, over fertilization by home owners and farms and the phosphate mines. It is an observable past experience that as long as certain styles of government can make the argument that there is money to be made, nothing will get done to stop it.
It is hysterically ironic that the party in power got there by pandering to religious fundamentalists who among other things, preach that we are in the final days. They are preparing for the rapture. They want you to prepare by following their beliefs. Help follows. Hang in there.
I'm not taking any official public position on all this. I'm just pointing out some interesting occurrences. If there is any cause and effect here, well I might get a song out of it. If it's all total alarmist nonsense, well I can still get a song out of it. Hell, dumber songs have been hits.
Okay so Florida has to worry about red tide and now my friend D-Man in New Zealand has to worry about rock snot. Canadian rock snot, no less. When the Canadians can be blamed for something, surely the end is near.
The English are now concerned with the possible emergence of crack squirrels. I didn't know that was already a problem in some of our cities. I hope to Christ the fire ants and alligators don't get into that stuff here in Florida. We already have to worry about foreign pythons attacking everything in sight. Maybe they're on crack!
Some Swedish scientists claim they can retroactively predict earthquakes. Earth shattering hindsight, so to speak. It seems the only way they can tell if the method will accurately predict future earthquakes is if they get a lot more data. That is, a lot more earthquakes. I can hear a chorus of "I Knew that!" in Swedish.
But there is some encouraging news. It seems some scientists is Massachusetts have discovered a cure for food poisoning found in seafood. It's a combo of oregano and cranberry. I dislike fish enough already to never try THAT combination but it does point to other possibilities. Maybe all the aforementioned calamities can be cured with odd combinations of herbs and various foods. We could all forgive anybody seen applying generous portions of peanut butter and haggis to try to kill off the New Zealand rock snot. Maybe the cure for woodland animal crack addiction is something as simple as fish and chips and Metamucil. Maybe the Swedes will get enough earthquake data if they monitor the intestinal tremors of people who try that concoction.
If all else fails there is at least a way to prepare for the end and the rapture. Even a way to escape getting trampled if you aren't saved during the rapture. See there's an answer to everything.
posted by Bud @ 5:00 AM
Thursday, October 06, 2005
From Pornland to The City of Big Shoulders: Why I Love Chicago Part 2
Cathy is a compulsive gift giver. This is never a bad thing. Unless you have to go shopping for her. Our trip to Chicago was planned. And since our host Keith is a major collector of ancient tools and pre-Columbian pottery, we'd have to settle on bringing him something more reasonable like an antique tin filled with Cathy's pecan tassies and a few bottles of wine. He didn't complain. Then Cathy took a careful look at Andy Martello's Blog and discovered that his three loves in life after his adorable wife, April, are cigars, martinis and naked woman. April truly deserves some kind of reward for tolerance, don't you think? Okay I was dispatched to go off and find these gifts for Andy. The cigars were easy. We have a local cuban who rolls these terrific cuban style cigars. Gin and olives were also no problem. The naked women thing had me stumped. Cathy asked our haircutter about this while I was asking around. My barista friend, Deja, told me to try the porn shop. I went home to discuss this with Cathy only to discover that she had beat me home. From the porn shop.
So this is how Cathy got to make her first porn shop visit. My wife is no prude by any stretch of the imagination. She just never got very interested in porn. If you teach first and third grade your entire adult life, you just don't get involved with such things. The same could be said for me but I have at least a passing familiarity with the subject. Just shut up, okay? I don't want to hear your wise ass comments. So Cathy, who is often compared to Mia Farrow, arrives at a black door with white lettering that warns, "If you are easily offended, do not enter." She hesitated just long enough to see a twenty something chick open the door to go in, so she bravely followed. Once inside she acts like a guy in that she does not ask for directions. All she wants is a pack of naughty playing cards to give to Andy as a joke. She wanders about the aisles and sees all manner of toys. Dildos and vibrators of every size and description but no naughty playing cards. Inflatable dolls "interacting" with one another but no naughty playing cards. Racks of videos with a decidedly wet theme but no naughty playing cards. There were things she could not identify nor did she care to. And she finally stumbled on the playing cards. Gathering dust. Cathy had to decide between Hard Core, Playboy and Vivid. She reasoned that Andy only admits to liking naked chicks not gynecology exams, so she discarded the Hard Core as perhaps too academic for his tastes. The Playboy deck involved too much clothing. Vivid was the clear winner. She took them to the desk. The clerk didn't know the price as they hadn't sold this boring stuff in recent memory so she had to endure her yelling to another clerk across the store, 'Yo, how much for the nudie playing cards? " The answer came in the form of a question, "The hardcore?" And the answer of course was, "No, just tits and ass." This discussion went on for way too long while Cathy got to watch a segment on a huge plasma screen behind the counter featuring a spanking session. I didn't ask her if her little third grade teacher mind remembered the days when corporal punishment was legal in our classrooms. She eventually paid for the cards. She has no recollection of the price. It may show up on our credit card as an overdraft for all we know.
Andy, in return, gave us a Johnny Cash CD and proceeded to show us how he sings current hits in Johnny Cash Stlye. He also gave us a Doctor Demento CD on which he appears and his Louie Louie Collection CD. Then he proceeded to turn the red tissue wrapping into hand folded flowers for the ladies at the tble. When I joked about his baloon sculptures I was relieved he didn't go to the mens room for condoms.
But this is how far Cathy will go for me and a friend she hadn't even met yet. After the time we spent with Andy, we both agreed that it was worth it. So, Andy, you've corrupted another one. I hope you're satisfied. When we met Becky and Doyle and Bitchitude out in Hawai'i, the gifts didn't get any more wild than a rubber alligator. But if they had been into something kinky, Cathy would have delivered. That's my girl!
The last picture is another amazing shot from Cathy of the skyline reflected in the new sculpture at Millennium Park. Interesting how you can see the old style against the blue sky and the image of the new style in this modern polished sculpture. This shot captures a lot about the physical charm of an amazing city. A pleasant blending of old and new. They call it Second City because it rose again after the fire. I guess Phoenix was already taken. "Chicago" does have a nice ring to it, even if it does mean "stinky onion" in whatever native dialect it comes from.
posted by Bud @ 5:46 AM
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Why I Love Chicago Part 1Chicago! How did I miss out on going there all these years? We're still exhausted from our trip. We spent the better part of four days craning our necks looking at cool stuff, laughing a lot and eating way too much. We linked up with my old pal Keith who I have known since the first year of college. He's a very big deal now and lives in an amazing brownstone in the Gold Coast. We stayed with him and he gave us this tour which included art museums, boat rides, art shows, architectural tours. And an amazing ribs joint in a neighborhood which required it to have bullet proof screens between it and the "customers." Amazing food. Lem's on 59th street.
Andy Martello arranged for us to get free tickets to see Blue Man Group. That was amazing fun. Andy met us after the show for drinks and snacks. This is the first time Andy and I have met face to face and we each admitted we were relieved that we are who we say we are. So far every blogger I've met has turned out to be the real deal. Andy is as much fun in person as he is in print. We spent the entire next day with him at the Brookfield zoo. He is not only a patron of the penguins but of the entire zoo and holds a membership pass to prove it. He and his wife, April, even adopted a wombat. A very horny wombat but that would figure if you know Andy. Later he treated us to a typical suburban Chicago traffic jam and the most amazing pizza I've ever had at a place called Lou's. April joined us for dinner as well. She didn't seem to be as impressed as we were when Andy did his fire eating act in the parking lot. I hope it didn't ruin the taste of the pizza.
There are many stories but I'll just stay awake long enough to tell one. The night we arrived we had a late dinner at some outrageous Mexican place in midtown. We flagged a cab and one zipped across four lanes of traffic to stop in front of us. Wow, this dude was one enthusiastic East African gent. As we pulled away from the curb another cab pulled up next to us and the Indian driver yelled out the window while shaking a fist, "You are nothing but a dirty bastard," in a pronounced accent. This is truly one of those you-had-to-be-there moments but I think what still makes me laugh is that the phraseology the man used to curse out our aggressive cabby was not something he had figured out on his own. I tried to imagine the language school that taught him this exact phrase, "You are nothing but a...? In return, our cab driver responded nonchalantly for him to, "Go back to India, you..." and finished with a common expletive suggesting a crude form of incest. We had only been in Secoind City for under three hours and we were already getting treated to a live comedy sketch.I love this town.
posted by Bud @ 10:26 PM