I cannot think of anything better to close out the year than another monthly look at some local police blotters across this fine nation of ours. Happy New Year!


Assault: 8:30 p.m., 10800 block of N.E. 121st Street. A 15-year-old Kirkland male was arrested for assault after he struck his mother with a power cord, causing her to feel pain.

Questionable Actions: 6:26 p.m., 400 block 110th Avenue Northeast. An unknown person phoned Bellevue City Hall and made lewd and threatening comments regarding the bikini-clad baristas at a Bellevue coffee stand.

Questionable Actions: 2:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., 4900 block Highland Drive. A van slowed down near the victim for a short while before driving off.

Assault: 1 p.m., 15000 block Northeast Bel-Red Road. To gain the victim's attention, the suspect touched the victim's knee.

Questionable Actions: 11:10 a.m., 15000 block Northeast Bel-Red Road. A student was found with a lighter at Highland Middle School.

Possible Theft: A resident called to report that while she was at services at the Holy Rosary Church, her wallet was removed from her pocketbook. However, she called back later to report that the wallet was on the pew and nothing was missing.

Questionable Actions: A Golden Drive resident reported that a person known to her was banging on her door.

Questionable Actions: Someone saw several kids walk out of a local cemetery. The reporting party felt that there might still be kids on the site.

?: Someone at a local propane vendor was soaked when the sprinkler system went off. There was no fire on the premises.

Questionable Actions: A Somers resident reports finding a cut-off corner from a dollar bill. The reporting party found this highly unusual.

Questionable Actions
: Someone on Whitefish Stage Road was alarmed to see a front-loader poised to demolish a home. The home was in fact scheduled to be leveled and all was well.

Questionable Actions: Someone on Solberg Drive heard an individual crunching in the snow outside their house, as if they were running away. Authorities found no footprints in the area.

Questionable Actions: Apparently, a white vehicle drives by a home on Riverside Drive at approximately 1:30 every morning.

?: Someone has a problem with their neighbor in Happy Valley.

Questionable Actions
: A woman in Evergreen reports that her son called her from jail and asked her to do something she didn’t find acceptable.

Disorderly Conduct
: An intoxicated subject attempted to leave a Coram bar in his vehicle but was stopped by other bar patrons. Verbal mayhem ensued.

Quesionable Actions
: Someone reports that their teenage daughter received a photo of her face on another individual's naked body via cell phone.

Questionable Actions: Someone in Bigfork called to report that they had found brand-new luggage in the middle of Grand Drive. The caller also wanted to complain about kids throwing rocks into the bay.


Warrant Arrest
: 4:54 p.m., 400 10th Street. A 15-year-old girl was contacted after she got into an argument with her boyfriend about him calling her four times that day after being released from jail. The girl was subsequently arrested on her three outstanding, no bail juvenile warrants.


Disorderly: Police are recommending the Waukesha County District Attorney's Office charge a 74-year-old man after he allegedly created a disturbance at a senior housing facility.

According to the report, police were called to Wyndham House, 1109 Cecelia Drive, Nov. 10 at about 10:10 p.m. for a resident who was assaulting facility staff. The man had slapped and hit staff members, the report said.

When police arrive, the man was uncooperative and resisted police, including trying to take the badge off one officer. The man was eventually taken into custody and brought to the Police Department, where three officers were needed to calm the man down, the report said.

The man was taken to Waukesha Memorial Hospital where he again was uncooperative, and village police were assisted by a Waukesha County Sheriff's Department deputy, the report said.

The man was then placed in the county mental health facility for observation.

Police are recommending the man be charged with disorderly conduct and resisting an officer.


Dog at Large
: A resident in the 100 block of Small Farm Road was cited Dec. 21 for having a dog at large. It was the third time the owner was cited for this violation.

At Risk: A 61-year-old High Point-area resident called 911 to report that someone was rummaging around in her attic. Officers found no signs of anyone and no signs of tampering—and no sign of the speakers and wire that the woman claimed were draped throughout her residence. The officers also gently informed her that the cat on the living-room floor was deceased and that she could stop her attempts at CPR. The woman admitted that she might have forgotten to take her mental health meds because she had been trying to care for the cat. Her house was orderly, she had food, and was not feeling like she wanted to hurt herself or others, so officers allowed her to remain at home. (She promised to keep a medical appointment later this month.) They did, however, alert outreach mental health professionals to pay a visit.

Animals at Large: Four horses have been running amok on Haywire Gulch since Christmas day. Authorities have been unable to locate the owner of said horses.

Animal Theft: Someone on Foys Canyon Road reports that their neighbor stole their dog and chained it to a tree. Authorities encouraged the neighbor to give it back.

Accident: A vehicle struck a moose in Marion. The driver was fine. The moose ended up at the food bank.

Dog At Large: A big brown dog chased cars in Bigfork.

Animal at Large: A black and white cow escaped its fence and wandered about near Highway 2. The creature’s owner took it home.

Dog at Large: A man on Harmony Road was walking his daughter to work when they were chased by a vicious dog.

Dog at Large: A Rottweiler and his nondescript cohort attempted to attack a man in Columbia Falls.


Disorderly conduct
: Police are recommending the Waukesha County District Attorney's Office charge a 29-year-old Big Bend man for disorderly conduct, domestic abuse after an argument with his wife Nov. 20. During the argument the man threw several items around a room, including a mattress, which unintentionally struck the victim, according to police.


Drunken driving: A 21-year-old Wind Lake woman was arrested for drunken driving at about 7 a.m. Nov. 15 after she was found sleeping behind the wheel of her truck that was stopped in the middle of Villa Drive with the engine running. Police noticed the woman appeared to be intoxicated and was subsequently arrested.


Battery: A 38-year-old Cicero woman told police she was waiting for a bus at Harlem and 18th when she was attacked by three women wearing fur-trimmed hooded parkas. The victim said the attackers punched her in the head and body, tore away her backpack and fled eastward. The backpack contained $60 cash, two rings, a debit card and a Guatemalan driver’s license. The victim described the attackers as three female blacks, all around 6 feet tall and 170-180 lbs.


Theft: A 22-year-old Cicero man told police he was eating at McDonald’s, Cermak and Ridgeland, with friends when a man approached and hugged him. The victim told police he advised the man to get away from him and leave him alone. The hugger accordingly walked away, but stayed in the restaurant. After finishing his food, the victim said, he walked to the bathroom, leaving his black leather coat on his chair. The coat contained $40 in cash as well as the victim’s prescription medication. When the victim came back to the table, the jacket and its contents were no longer there. Another customer told police he had not seen who took the coat, but knew where the hugger lived. Police went to the home of Jose Sanchez, 59, of 2144 Elmwood. Sanchez answered the door and let officers inside, where they could see the victim’s leather coat on a living room chair. The victim was summoned to that address, where he positively identified his coat as well as the prescription medication in the pocket.

When asked whether he had been drinking, Sanchez told police he had. When asked how much, he reportedly stated, “I drink 24 hours a day every day.” He was charged with theft; police also learned he had an active DUI arrest warrant out of Cook County.


Attempted robbery: A woman reported a man approached her in a vehicle and displayed a handgun as she exited Dollar Tree, 723 W. state Route 22 Dec. 4. The report states the man drove off when she said she had no money.


Child Abuse
: Two adult sisters were arrested by police here early Saturday after they were accused of serving alcohol to girls between 7 and 11 years old, then tying two of them up when they started to “get crazy.”

The sisters, Jessica Jordan-McVey, 26, and Rachel Amelia Jordan, 22, were arrested by Eaton police on numerous charges, including child abuse, serving alcohol to minors and false imprisonment. Rachel Jordan's bond is set at $20,000, while her sister Jessica Jordan-McVey's bond is $7,500.

Eaton police Capt. Art Mueller said Monday police learned of the incident after one of the 11-year-old girls told her parents. The parents contacted Eaton police and the investigation began early Saturday morning.

“It appears the two 11-year-old girls were given quite a bit of liquor,” said Capt. Mueller. “Including vodka and Watermelon Puckers, at a barbecue at the suspects' home Friday night.”

The 7-year-old girl was also allowed to drink alcohol.

The captain said the two 11-year-old girls became sick, then, according to the suspects, began “acting crazy.”

The sisters then tied the wrists of one of the 11-year-olds, gagged her with a cloth and attached the rope to a nail in the garage to keep her there, according to Eaton police reports.

The other 11-year-old was also tied up by the wrists and feet. The sisters are also accused of putting the minor girls into the shower to try to sober them up before they took them home.

One of the 11-year-olds was walked home by one of the suspect sisters, and that girl told her parents what happened at the sisters' home.

…and my favorite this time…


Grafitti: A police officer in the 2100 block of Lombard observed graffiti on a garage door, done in silver spray paint. The graffiti read, “F^@% YOU HOE” with “HOE” underlined three times.


Bradley Cooper's next role is apparently that of a hot plumber.

Hetero females and gay males, you are welcome. Hetero males and gay females, forgive me.


In the midst of all the Christmas slog and obligation, there sometimes is a bright little spot. I have heard over the years that I am a thoughtful gift-giver, because I take the time to try to find things I think the recipient would truly like, and I try to make it a surprise. My mom and dad had that skill and generosity and I am glad they passed it on to me. And maybe, maybe, I have passed it on to Couch Teen. He is old enough now to venture out into the big world of buying options all on his own at Christmastime, and this is what he bought for me this year, “PUNK: The Definitive Record Of A Revolution” by authors Stephen Colegrave and Chris Sullivan:

Now there’s a kid who knows his mama. He sincerely said to me that he hoped that I would find the time to read it and that I would enjoy it. He really wanted me to like it, and of course I did, because I would, and that he knew that makes me smile. It’s a very cool book, an overview of the history of punk music with a chunky, good-looking layout, layering photographs and quotes and text in a very fresh and visually-appealing way. I like to see music books look this good; so many just aren’t done this well.

The cover of the book of course features the image of the unlovely and untalented (and dead) Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols. Now, Sid was dumber than a bag of rocks – in fact he was dumber than a gallstone in a baggie with a broken Ziploc – but he is surely the most iconic visual representation of punk music. His bandmate Johnny Rotten could arguably take Sid’s place as the most recognizable punk face, but since he sells butter now and is not at all dead, that’s a bit diluted.

Is it more punk to kill your scummy girlfriend and die of an OD at 21, or live to keep making the music you want and profit mightily off The Man? Both? Neither? I don’t know. The real, genuine, and lasting force behind punk is the idea that you are going say what you want in the way that you want to, and take something that was marginalized, ignored, suppressed, forgotten, or reviled to public attention. You do it your way, whether you are Frank Sinatra or Sid Vicious, and damn the torpedoes.

The stereotypical view of punk – some vile spitting safety-pinned monsters thrashing away and yelling about killing guys or something – is really just a small part of a much bigger movement. It isn’t punk at all to form a band like that 25 years after the Sex Pistols or Black Flag or Fear; it’s just copying, which is anti-punk. Punk included artists and poets and fashion designers, the young and the old, transvestites and fresh-faced farm girls. It spread from the speed-thrash of the Ramones (who had an almost-sweet reverence for the classic pop music of the ‘60s) and the roaring glamour/camp of the New York Dolls, to The Damned and the Dead Boys and The Circle Jerks and The Clash. So many different kinds of people and different ways of expression…Patti Smith, Television, The Fall, Joy Division, Siouxsie and The Banshees. Punk pushed forward Elvis Costello, The Go-Gos, Joe Jackson, The B-52’s, Devo – all artists that might never have gotten a minute of exposure in the AOR morass that was the mid-‘70s rock machine.

Punk gave people the idea, like Elvis Presley did in the mid’50s and the Beatles did in the mid-‘60s, that you can be a regular person, be who you are, and have your voice heard. Sometimes the messages aren’t pretty, popular, or compatible with life. Assholes have voices, too, we know. But however you define it and however you see punk’s influence, it certainly is a fascinating idea as a concept and a cultural phenomenon. I am glad to have my new book to add to my musical library, and even happier that my punk kid bought it for me.


As I am driving in my car at dusk tonight, a young woman steps out in front of me in a crosswalk, causing me to brake hard.

Me: (frustrated) AHH! You know, ma’am, wearing all grey at night and not taking an orange crossing flag like you should is NOT GOOD! RRR!

MissSeven: She was busy talking on her phone. She wasn’t paying attention.

Mr11: You could have hit her, but you didn’t. She’s lucky. She never even looked over here. She’s still talking.

MissSeven: I bet Ellie would have been all excited if you hit her because she would like all the meat inside the woman that would spill out.

Me: I don’t think the dog would eat a pedestrian.

MissSeven: Well, I don’t want to see it, that I know.


An article on about American health and health care by David Frum spoke today about a topic I have often HARPED about on here: that of making good choices when it comes to your body, and how what you choose to do impacts others. Now, I don’t think I would regularly be reading Mr. Frum’s work because he is a former associate of Dubya and that is never a good sign at all. But I pretty much agree with what he has to say in his brief article, which is worth looking at. The gist of what he is saying, in a not-too-terribly-obnoxious Republican-agenda way, is that no amount of health care/insurance reform changes the pathetic fact that we Americans are a bunch of undisciplined fools who expect the health care system to make us well as we smoke, drink, and eat our ways to hell. I am including myself in there as well, because I have enjoyed way too much of my mom’s delicious holiday Chex Mix this season. But I will finish it and get back to regular non-Chex Mix life very soon. I can sure tell you I ain’t going back to hell anytime sooner than is necessary, which with luck will be when I am 100 and attending my grandson’s concert at Madison Square Garden II. His band will be called Monkeys Fling Poo, and I will die happily as he strums a mighty E chord to his hit song, “Grandma, Your Nursing Home Smells Like Old.” Anyway.

A quote from Mr. Frum’s piece:

“If you eat too much, exercise too little, drink too much, smoke, take drugs, fail to wear a seat belt or ignore gun safety, there is only so much a doctor or hospital can do for you.

And Americans do all those things, more than other people (in advanced countries).”

Denial and excess, excess and denial. We do want we want to do because we WANT TO, like spoiled little babies, and then expect Mommy to make it all better. Why, it’s American to choose to ruin your own health! Don’t tread on me, man! Just give me a pill, doc, and shut up! We crap on our own floors and then complain about the smell. It’s ME and YOU who clog up the American health system NEEDLESSLY from self-destructive behaviors. That’s the bottom line. It is selfish, short-sighted, and arrogant to imagine for even a second that, hey, back off, it’s my life, doesn’t affect anyone else. Oh, but it does, it does. Our medical system is broken, due in substantial part to the fallout from folks who treat their bodies like garbage dumps.

Why is this happening notably to America, and not other developed countries? Because we more than any other country hold on to our individual rights, including our rights to be assholes who mess things up for everyone else. Our agricultural society moved to an industrial one, then to gobbling out-of-control consumerism. Personal responsibility and sense of community were replaced by gimme gimme more, a nation lost in the passive worlds of TV and the internet, and cheap, easy ways to get quick satisfactions. When did weak and ignorant become the American Way? Maybe it wasn’t avoidable. But now everyone pays and pays and pays, as the government struggles to find some kind of answer to the nightmare of ever-spiraling health care costs, as families go bankrupt because someone got cancer or insurance won’t cover the treatment that would help Grandpa feel more comfortable in his last days. YOU walk in with your PREVENTABLE illness, and suck up the resources that others desperately need. Is this your RIGHT?

Oh, waah waah waah, you are so MEAN, you say to me, people aren’t PERFECT, they aren’t always going to make the best choices. It’s HARD to not smoke, it’s HARD to not overeat, it’s HARD to lock the gun case. Sure it is. It’s a lot harder to live in a nation teetering on serious financial problems as you struggle to breathe from advanced emphysema and your beautiful, sweet preschool grandson finds your unlocked handgun one day.

You don’t have to be perfect (see: Chex Mix). You don’t have to run 10 miles a day or give up a Friday beer. But think about this: what about not leaving your fate up to a bunch of lawmakers and insurance companies and drug companies? How about YOU, just by doing SOMETHING to take better care of YOU, help to fix the problem that is affecting us all? What if you chose to do just one thing to help ensure that you won’t be a drain on others? One thing, I don’t care what it is. Make one change, and stick with it. Now imagine everyone doing that, and the HUGE impact it would make. Who can solve the health care crisis? YOU.

That is what I like to think is the American Way.


50% of the adult population has them. Well, 100% really, but no one wants to think about man breasts, just lady ones. The ideas that they are naturally and utterly common and that I am a heterosexual female combine to confuse me to the great appeal of the mam. What’s the big deal? They’re all over the place! Everywhere you look, there’s women, and they all have BREASTS. Some are bigger than others, some jiggle more than others, and some are made of plastic. Some have cleavage, some have little, and some have…well…um…err…uh…a life of their own.

I seem to be in the minority of people who Don’t Think About Boobs All That Much. Boobs are important to many people. Men ogle them and want to honk them, and women fuss over them tremendously. They worry that their hoots are not awesome enough which decreases their overall attractiveness, or that they are far too awesome and no man listens to anything they say because they are staring. Nips too big, nips too small, sag, stretch marks, unevenness…not having the perfect rack is a bummer for a lot of ladies. But if you have boobs you have to deal with them, so you might as well make the most of it all. Outside of surgery (which can make things worse sometimes; see Half Of Hollywood and All Of Porn) or years of therapy, here’s a few things you can to do optimize your funbags.

1. Take good care of yourself. Drinking, smoking, rapid weight gains/losses, too much sun all add up to premature skin damage and collagen/elasticity loss. Breasts are covered with skin. Thank you.

2. Do a proper monthly breast self-exam (and yearly mammogram if advised). You may not have much of a say if you get breast cancer or not, but you are the person most likely and able to catch it early, which may very well increase your chances of keeping your nice breasts and more importantly, keeping your life, which is attached to your breasts.

3. Wear the right bra. The right bra for you changes over time, you know. You have to actually put some thought and effort into picking one. It’s best if you go for a proper fitting from a Certified Not-Too-Creepy Bra Lady at a good department store, but if you aren’t up for that, there are things you can remember. Here’s some tips from a British TV show called “How To Look Good Naked.” The Brits are a bit wacky.

I would add that underwire should fit flat and close to the body and should NOT poke you cruelly, you should be filling out the top of the bra without falling out of it, and that you need a bigger size if the fat rolls created by your bra’s tension completely cover the strap. You want to avoid the dreaded “back boobs” at all costs. Don’t get hung up on what size you think you should be; get the size that you actually ARE. If you can spend several years looking for the right jeans, spend an hour looking for the right bra. Your clothes will look much nicer over a well-fitted bra, and you won’t be so crabby because your bra is torturing you. David Beckham wouldn’t stuff his package into a youth-size jock strap; don’t you bother with 34B if you are a 38C. Also, even if you are small, wear a damn bra, otherwise it’s just Too Much Information for the rest of us. What if David Beckham didn’t wear anything at all? Hmm? HMMMMMMMM.

4. Have a nice gay man follow you around all the time and tell you that you are fabulous.

5. Accept that life on earth includes the effects of time and gravity and someday your perk shall shirk. Que sera sera; just think of it as science in action. And get a decent bra. Aretha…move to the head of the line. PLEASE. GOD. PLEASE.

My first bra, which I had to beg my mother to take me to buy, was a little nothing stretchy red and white number, and after that I think I moved up to a white Playtex “Almost A” bra and then moved up to “Almost B” for my teen years. I felt kind of bad for the girls at school who developed early and/or hugely. They never heard the end of it from the rest of the kids. There were usually three outcomes: shame and giant sweatshirts; joining in with the jokes, or; Town Slut. I wonder if the Town Slut is currently wearing a properly-fitted bra now.

I’ve had many bras and been many sizes over the years. But whatever they were, they were good enough for me, served their purpose(s), and have also provided me with some embarrassing and humorous stories at times (most related to the breastfeeding “Cow Years” or the Major Bra Malfunction In A Public Venue). I don’t go ah-OOOO-gah over breasts, but they’ve been good pals to me. So, here’s to boobs and the good care of such, and those who go ah-OOOO-gah over them. You can’t argue with a little global warming.


When I lived in Chicago, I so wanted someday to live in one of the wonderful old brownstones on the North Side. Or a greystone or a redbrick, but you get my point. A few hours to the north of the North Side where I grew up there were just old plank farmhouses (which may have received new white aluminum siding from Sears), dull long ranch homes with massive picture windows, or some tri-level monstrosity that passed for modern cool, with long gravel driveways and a basketball hoop on the garage door. When I finally got to the CITY, the brownstones just seemed so different, with history before 1963 and that weren’t splattered with manure spreader remnants. I had visions of settling into one of them, with the warm oak floors, small rooms with tall windows, steep stairways, long hallways, an iron gate out front, maybe sitting out on the front stoop on a pleasant summer evening with a hipster baby cooing and bouncing on my knee, watching people walk by and cars circling to try to find a parking spot on the narrow tree-lined streets.

Well, that didn’t happen. It’s expensive to live in the Lincoln Park/Old Town area of Chicago, and the rents on those charming old places were crazy and completely out of my very modest league. So some readjustment in charm was needed to be able to stay in the neighborhood, and Rienzi Plaza was my first Chicago apartment, at Clark and Diversey.

There was certainly great novelty in living in a high-rise, which I had never done before; I had never even lived in a building with an elevator or a communal laundry room. It was a small one-bedroom; just two white boxes of rooms with a tiny kitchen and a bathroom with shower water that was so bleachy you thought you’d come out of there as Edgar Winter. The windows looked out over some chain restaurant and the roar of their HVAC system added to the city ambiance. Unfortunately, the rental agent did not inform me at the lease signing that half the building was designated for Section 8 occupants, and after a year of sketchy people in the laundry room drinking beer and wild children running around the halls at 2AM, it was time to look for a new place.

I wanted a home with more old character, and walked the streets up and down most of the spring trying to see if some magic low-rent sign would go up in one of the brownstones. I waited and waited for something great to come by, and it wasn’t coming and we’d already given notice that we were bailing from Rienzi. So what did I do on a snowy April night? I put a panic deposit on a mid-century yellow-block place further south on Clark Street by Fullerton – a 3rd floor walkup above some stores and a very busy bus stop. This was very close by.

It was bigger – 3 rooms! – but with a vile brown-and orange roach-filled mini-kitchen that was so unappealing I cooked no meal in it even once. The laundry was located down in the creepy basement in one of the other buildings, so you had to go outside down the 3 stories of slippery metal fire-escape-style stairs in all weather, which means I tried as often as possible to take copious loads of laundry back up to Wisconsin for my mom to do. She actually would smile and be happy about this. The bus at the stop massively rattled the old single-pane windows ‘round the clock, the TV and phone reception was piss poor, and the stairs got real, real old.

Next spring, another house hunt, down Fullerton by the El stop at Sheffield right by the DePaul University campus. This was a major step up – a large and totally renovated former monastery (or nunnery, something religious and maybe celibate) called The Sanctuary. For $1100 a month we had a nice 3-room ground floor apartment in a historic building with a stacked laundry in the galley kitchen, TWO bathrooms, AND a dedicated underground parking space AND cable TV! There was still a rumbling bus stop, but at least there were better windows to muffle it. Heaven! It really was more than we could afford, but hey.

Fate either kindly or cruelly stepped in at this point, because a few months after we got settled into this new joint, DePaul bought up the whole building for student housing and we received notice that we HAD TO GO. I had kind of figured out that my vision of the homey-yet-elegant yuppie family brownstone life was completely not happening, and I was looking for a major change. So that last spring as I turned 27, we piled into the NEW Toyota Camry station wagon which we also couldn’t afford (thanks again Mom, that ’68 Firebird was a hazard) and drove across the Plains with two screaming, shitting cats to move to Colorado, a place I had visited briefly only twice. We stayed for 15 years.

The entire inspiration for this post was this recent interview with Ray Davies from NYC’s NBC station. It takes place on a old Brooklyn brownstone apartment stoop, hence the segment’s name, Talk Stoop. He says some very interesting things, as he usually does, and some of them are probably true. He also kisses the interviewer and gets a kiss back, which is so totally a Ray thing to do. And it's a very me thing to do to take one thing and make it into another thing, huh.

View more news videos at:


The Pope got knocked on his Eve Mass ass
The Obamas went to Hawaii all First Class.
Some fartknocker on a plane lit some fireworks
Now he’s not gonna get his Frequent Flyer perks.
Big storm in the Midwest, well I’m just shocked
Brittany Murphy is now loaded and locked.
Musician Vic Chesnutt OD’d and died
Maybe Ashton will Tweet “c u on the othr side.”
NBC chartered a plane to Brazil for Goldman and son
Professional journalism is on the run.
Jeebus was born, we got presents
Happy Christmas, you blog-reading peasants.


All in all, not a bad December 24. MissSeven did come into my room at 6:48AM to ask, IS THIS THE DAY WHEN SANTA COMES? and I went MMMPH GUHH NOT UNTIL TOMORROW, GO BACK TO BED, and she said OK. I did not suffer a hangover from last night's Festivus celebration, although my eyes look like some kind of disturbing sushi item, maybe bagfish. Most of the gifts are wrapped and under the tree, save a few more that I will deal with after the kids are asleep tonight. I am going to have to figure out how to stuff a very loud squawking rubber chicken into a stocking. I was thinking of putting a whole stick of butter into MissSeven's stocking because she asked for that. It would be a classic moment to have her reach in there, all aglow with Christmas excitement, and then squeeze the warm mushy butter stick in her hand, confused and possibly appalled. I would so do it except that I would have to clean it all up. So many good things are ruined because of clean up and/or jail time.

It was sunny and pleasant here today so late in the afternoon I went to the OOGCP for a gingerbread latte and a yummy piece of quiche. After that, off to Walgreens to get a few small last-minute picked-over items along with the rest of the holiday fail folks like me. I paused to look at this item, and would have bought it for Couch Teen's stocking if it weren't 20 bucks:

I stood there for a minute, grinning at the pic of the old dude on the box. He looks so supremely happy to be able to leak into this device, doesn't he? AHHHHHHHHHHHH!

The girl at the Walgreens checkout took my items with a chubby impassive face, some kind of plastic Christmas greenery attached to the side of her head. She brightened up considerably when she saw my shirt:

"Ooh, The Dandy Warhols!" she smiled at me. I smiled back and gave her the thumbs-up. She said no more about the band, and I gratefully slunk off with my purchases.

Then it was off to the very very busy Whole Foods, where all of hipsterdom apparently was shopping for holiday foods. Their pre-packeded sushi will do for Christmas Eve dinner, as everyone here is full of Grandma's Chex Mix and assorted chocolate extravagances anyway. Three bags of food = $182.78.

The house is trashed out with shipping boxes and wrapping paper remnants and the last two loads of laundry to be done, the kids are happily watching a Simpsons DVD, Couch Teen is asking me to wrap a box of chocolates for his girlfriend's parents. He knows I do a pretty shitty job of wrapping, but that he is even worse at it. The dog is sniffing around for dropped food, our one strand of blue Christmas lights glows sarcastically in the night outside, and no one has a cold or the flu or is in jail.

Come on down, Santa; we've ready.


Did you know that Festivus, celebrated every December 23rd, is not just a reference from Seinfeld? No, it is much more, and with no proof whatsoever, Festivus (or the spirit of it) dates back to ancient Roman times. Common folk would be crappy and unrestrained on official holidays while the upper classes would be extra snooty. I would say as an aside here that Zooey Deschanel is not at all snooty. Anyway, Festivus as outlined on Seinfeld is celebrated by the erecting of an aluminum pole, airing of grievances, and showing feats of strength. I can't think of a better trifecta for a holiday, really.

I spent my Festivus wrapping Christmas presents, then going to a Happy Hour with friends. We did not erect a pole (to our knowledge), we did air grievances, but did not mud wrestle or anything like that. I would have mud wrestled though, because I had three large beers and mud has wonderful healing properties for the skin.

I'm going to stop writing now before I get myself into trouble.

Jerry Seinfeld: "And wasn't there a Feats of Strength that always ended up with you crying?"
George Costanza: "I can't take it anymore! I'm going to work! Are you happy now?!"
Frank Costanza: "I've brought one of the cassette tapes."
Frank Costanza (on a tape recorder): "Read that poem."
George Costanza (on a tape recorder): "I can't read it, I need my glasses."
Frank Costanza (on a tape recorder): "You don't need glasses! You're just weak, weak!"
Estelle Costanza (on a tape recorder): (shouts) "Leave him alone!"
Frank Costanza (on a tape recorder): "All right, George. It's time for the Festivus Feats of Strength!"
George Costanza: "No! No! Turn it off! No Feats of Strength! I hate Festivus!"
Frank Costanza: "We had some good times."


Why oh why oh why
December 22nd
Do I shop Target?

There are no carts there
There are no parking spaces
Civility lost.

I search the store now
Trying to get ideas
I buy underwear.

Jeans! Who wants some jeans!
Boot cut! Slim fit! Distressed! Wow!
Everyone needs pants.

Shiny beeping mess
Toy department to my right
I will not enter.

A woman bumps me
Excuse me! she says; I say
It matters not, ha!

Man in a parka
Rocking a muddy mullet
Smells like beef jerky.

Oh no! A cart jam
Now in the CD section
People buy music?

Should I buy that black-
And-white striped dress that I liked?
No! It is too sheer.

Wrapping paper is
Very expensive, really
For two seconds on.

Cheese, crackers, cashews
These things remind me that I
Didn’t eat today.

Haw haw I blab at
The register with the guy
400 bucks? SHIT!

VISA card pays and
I must take my leave, going
Into bad traffic.

Goodbye Target! I
Will see you again when I
Recover someday.


I swear, I have tears running down my face LAUGHING at this incredibly over-the-top Christmas tale from Red Sovine of "Convoy" fame. PLEASE TO DAMN ENJOY! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!


Yesterday, MissSeven found an old Beatles poster in the basement, a crappy copy of the famous Palladium one, and decided she wanted to put it up in her bedroom. I smiled because I had the same poster on my bedroom wall when I was a little girl.

This morning, as I was in her room helping her get dressed for winter break camp, she kept giggling and glancing towards the poster.

Me: What???

MissSeven: Hee hee hee! The Beatles are looking at me getting dressed!

Me: Oh, you are so silly.

MissSeven: No, really! You know that Mona Lisa painting where it looks like she is always looking at you? This is like the Mona MAN-SA! Hee hee!


MAKING SOMETHING what I do, so there's another song up on the almighty MySpace player! Go December! Anything not to have to sit and wrap more presents, I say. Anyway, the song is called "I Made You Something," which I did with help from a sample from a very cool local funk band from the late '60s called The Black On White Affair. Funnily enough and terribly timely too, it's from their amaaaaaazing version of "Auld Lang Syne," which is beats out Guy Lombardo by a mile in my book. If you can locate a version, you will be a lucky listener, as I was. I popped out a couple of loops for the backing, wrote some new words, and got up and sang in the morning while my voice was all gritty and cracking. I love the guy from TBOWA who is going WOOOOOO! He's my new best friend.

It's fun to have fun, it's fun to have funk, and it's a wrap.




Give and take, take and give, give give give, take take take. This is something that people very frequently mess up. Learning how to be kind and generous, avoiding thoughtlessness and assholery while also not becoming a passive-aggressive dirt-encrusted doormat is somewhat tricky, especially for women. Women are generally the nurturers in society – not to say that men can’t be – but most men are not, let’s say, as connected to others’ needs. Let’s set up a scenario wherein a women is returning home from grocery shopping, which usually plays out in one of two ways:


Woman: (struggling to carry six grocery bags full of meat, beer, chips, dip, and more meat) MMMPHH! URRGH! UHHHHHHNNG!

Man: (glances up at her, continues watching TV)

Woman: (carries in second load of groceries, this time stomping feet) MMMMMPHHHH! URRRRGH! UHHHHHHNGG!!!!!

Man: (changes channel)

Woman: (begins to put groceries away, very loudly) SIGH! POUT!

Man: Could you keep it down? There’s gonna be a live building implosion on channel 14 soon.

Woman: (small blood vessel spontaneously bursts in brain, reminds herself to withhold all “favors” for the foreseeable future)


Woman: (struggling to carry six grocery bags, etc.) MMPHH! URRGH! Could you help me bring in the groceries, please?


Woman: (throws economy-size can of cut corn at head of Man; video production team from “COPS” arrives at front door)

Those folks aren’t going to change, so what can you do to get it right? How do you give without depleting your own resources, and how do you take without being a selfish creep? You gotta walk a FINE LINE, my friends, a tightrope, do a balancing act, and other tired clichés.

How To Give Effectively:

1. Know yourself: Know how much time and effort you can give out to other people. Set the cut-off point right before you start to feel put-upon, used, or exhausted. Practice saying, “No, I can’t, I am sorry,” with a real smile. Practice saying, “Sure, how can I help?” with a real smile.

2. Know what you are good at giving: If you try to give something you don’t really have to give, you will quickly get in trouble. Don’t give money if you are not doing so well yourself or if you actually expect to get it back, don’t offer to help a kid with math if you are unable to add yourself, don’t give your time if it means you will be chronically sleep-deprived trying to fit everything in, causing you to drive into a tree. Do offer to share any special talents or experience that you have, unless it is illegal in most northern states.

3. Praise specifically: Give praise that is meaningful. “Oh, that’s wonderful! Everything you do is great!” quickly becomes unheard. “I like the way you structured that paragraph,” or “The colors you picked are so pretty together,” or “I am so proud that you didn’t impregnate that slore of a girlfriend, son, way to go!” gives real feedback to the recipient.

4. Be aware: Not everyone is good at asking for help when they need it. Do a little daily survey around you. If you have a friend or family member festering on the couch, and when you ask them how they are doing they blurt out, “FINE! JUST FINE! THANKS SO MUCH FOR ASKING!” you might want to offer some kind of assistance. You also might want to ask them if you should just leave for a few days.

5. Recognize the Soul-Sucking Vampire: There are people in this world who will take and take and take and take, and then they will take and take and then take, until you cut them off. It’s never enough, and they will go from person to person with their sob stories until they have left a trail of human piles, just dusty folds of skin and clothing plopped there, all dried up. Don’t be fooled; you are the Titanic survivor and they are a 5000-lb. weight looking to tie on to your ducky float ring.

How To Take Effectively:

1. Ask specifically: Even your mother isn’t a mind-reader. If you need help, don’t expect anyone to necessarily recognize that and all white-horse swoop you. Define what you need, figure out the right person to ask, and set a limit to it. Asking “Can I get a ride to work from you this week? My car is in the shop. I can help with gas,” will get you a much better response than “WAAAAAAAA! MY LIFE SUCKS!”

2. Be humble and gracious, but not unctuous: Thank people for what they do for you, but don’t smother them with gratitude. It’s annoying to be over-thanked.

3. Ask nicely: Obviously, “Can you help me with the toilet? It’s stopped up,” is much better than, “CHRIST! IT REEKS IN HERE! GO FIX THE SHITTER ALREADY!”

4. Observe and learn: Pay attention to the people helping you. If you can learn to do what they are doing, then the next time you screw up, you can help yourself.

5. Don’t be a Soul-Sucking Vampire: We all know how nice and comforting it is to have people coddle us and tell us that we are grand and listen to us whine while making us a nice dinner and giving us 50 bucks. However, if all you do is look to others to solve your problems and make you feel better and give you stuff, you aren’t going to have anything but dusty inanimate piles of human around you and you will have to put “Professional Selfish Creep” on your tax form. Fix your own shitter sometimes, baby.

Make sure your tightrope is securely fastened on both ends. Start walking.


I could not give more hearty support to the fine citizens of the United Kingdom who are campaigning to make a Rage Against the Machines song #1 on the British sales charts for Christmas. The British are a funny bunch when it comes to music; they make music that is some of the best ever, yet also have a real fondness for incredibly silly garbage pop, even worse than here in the US. But they get fed up with stuff faster too, hence this backlash against the TV-show-pop-pap that is largely driving the entire music industry now.

This "what's #1 at Christmas" thing is apparently a big deal over in Limeyland, so this is getting a lot of attention. I implore all British fans of D.I. to go to the Facebook page where it all started, and purchase the RATM single TODAY!!! Beyond this delightful F U, the group is also providing a link to donate to Shelter, which is a charitable organization dedicated to improving conditions for the homeless and others. They have raised almost sixty-thousand pounds already via the RATM fun, which is fantastic. If I could join in, you can bet I sure would.

Piss off Simon Cowell and house the homeless for Christmas! GO GO GO BRITS!

HA 23

("Chewy Chewy" by the Ohio Express is playing on the car radio.)

MissSeven: Hey! This song is kid-friendly!

Me: (smile)


Man. Everyone is listing and counting down and tallying and such this time of year. I really only pay attention to music lists, because I don’t give a crap about movies or TV or most anything, really. But I do listen to an awful lot of music over the course of a year, not anywhere near as much as I would like to but I sometimes have to eat and let the dog out and sleep.

I don’t like “BEST OF” lists because that is a silly concept. But I can tell you the songs that were released this year that I went mental over, the ones I played over and over. These were the ones that I not only loved, but they sparked some kind of strong emotional connection or inspired me to think about what was possible to create, and certainly greatly added to my life. I am always so genuinely excited to know that every year brings me more wonderful music and surprises. Bring it on, 2010!

In no particular order, because I SAY SO.

What Would I Want? Sky -- Animal Collective
: From their Fall Be Kind EP, this is the sound of December 2009 for me. I really feel this one, more than even I, Wordy McBlart, can say. Beautiful.

Ain't No Rest For The Wicked -- Cage The Elephant: Great bluesy sound, freshly updated, BIG sound, and lots of fun.

The Longing – Eels: Hombre Lobo is a masterpiece of an album, and if I had to give a “best” award, it would go here. Every song on there is remarkable. This one is heartbreaking.

You've Got The Love (Xx remix) -- Florence + The Machine
: This remix by the equally-indie-awesome band The Xx is so hot it isn’t even available for sale yet. So cool and artfully put together, like if you had Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell as a high-tech robots, in the best way possible.

Sinfonia Agridulce -- Mexican Institute Of Sound
: Yes, this is a traditional mariachi version of The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony.” And yes, I think it is funny and incredibly cool and somehow very sweet, too.

Leaving California -- PJ Harvey & John Parish: PJ is one brave and strange artist, and I am sure she would agree. A Woman A Man Walked By is a strong album, and this song made a great impression upon me, about taking risks and trying to do things you think you couldn’t.

Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh -- Say Hi
: Another inspiration! Local Seattle band Say Hi, in the recorded sense is really just one guy and a computer, and I loved the clever pop construction of this song from the album Oohs And Aahs. Here’s a live version – I was in the audience, yay!

Answer To Yourself -- The Soft Pack: Formerly known as The Muslims (you can see why they bagged that name), this is a RED HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT song from their upcoming album, TONS of energy YAYAYAYAYAYA! Love it. Love it so much that I popped a harmony on top of it and put it on my player, if you want to hear what that sounds like. Go go go The Soft Pack!

Cousins --Vampire Weekend: These guys can do no wrong it seems. They sell out all their shows, and people are frothing at the mouth to get more songs like this from their soon-to-be released new album, “Contra.” They have an instantly-recognizable sound, and can actually play this perfectly live. Whoa!

Wilco (The Song) – Wilco
: This is just pure fun pop, with a little sarcastic twist, and a lot of heart too.

If I Were Zooey Deschanel –- Marianne
: If you would have told me in 2008 that I would record a song completely off my laptop mic and it would be played on the radio and sold on iTunes and Amazon I would have said OH HALE NO, WUT YOU TALKING, THAT CRAZY. But there we are, and it sure has been a LOT of fun for me and I think for others as well. I also learned a whole lot about Zooey Deschanel fans this year. Man. I regret that I did not have the opportunity to play this at her wedding, which was HERE in Washington. Oh, the pain.

So that’s that. I gave up a nap to write this, and now must navigate my vehicle to pick up my spawn. Rock on, y’all.


I did a quickie cover of the wonderful and silly "Christmas In Jail" by The Youngsters, and you may find it on my player here. I used the dog's "let me out" bells from the back door on it. The More You Know. Merry Christmas!

Here's the original for ya, too.


Don’t ask your doctor, don’t look in the mirror, don’t go try to find your birth certificate. Take my quiz, answer honestly, and I will let you know. If you wanna know.

These are all simple yes or no questions. Let’s begin.

1. Do other people tell you regularly that the volume on your TV is TOO LOUD?

2. Do you often block the supermarket aisle with your cart, and are completely surprised when you see several people waiting to get around you?

3. Have you purchased and/or actively listened to no new music since your teens or 20s?

4. Have you not danced in at least 10 years, even by yourself in the bathroom?

5. When you are driving, do you decline to use your directionals and just slowly drift wherever you would like to go?

6. Do you take an increased interest in the state of your lawn?

7. Do you routinely fall asleep in a chair in the evening, wake up around midnight and go to bed, and then get up for the day around 5AM?

8. Do you find yourself talking about your medical issues or your friends’ medical issues more than 70% of the time?

9. Do you become very upset when your favorite jeans, sneakers, or makeup items that you have used for the past 20 years are finally discontinued, and then are compelled to go on a quest to hunt them down at Ebay or the Dollar Store?

10. Have you not changed your hairstyle in the last 5 years?

11. If you bend down past the waist, do you hear pops, or can you not bend that far?

12. Do you write out checks at the grocery store?

13. Do you not know how to send a text message or play a videogame?

14. Do you have more hair in your ears, nose, and upper lip than on your head?

15. Gray pubes?

16. Do you think the world is going to hell in a handbasket?

17. Do you write letters of complaint to newspapers, government officials, and businesses?

18. If you attempt to do more than one thing at a time, do you have a mini-stroke?

19. Do your pants and/or underwear come up past your belly button?

20. Do you like to eat dinner at 4PM?

21. Do you make a list so you don’t forget things, then forget where you put the list?

22. Do you vote?

23. Do you drive a large Lincoln sedan or another vehicle that is referred to as a “land yacht?”

24. Do you need reading glasses?

25. Do cruises, crafting, early-bird buffets, a rub-down with Ben Gay, or senior junkets to Atlantic City sound like fun to you?

All done. Give yourself one point for every “yes” answer.

0-5 points: You are practically fetal, you shiny new penny.

6-10 points: Age is creeping in, although you might bop your head to some music on commercials now and then.

11-15 points: If you aren’t in the middle of a mid-life crisis now, it’s going to be arriving in the form of a shiny new Corvette or 100 units of Botox soon.

16-20 points: You are old. Not a little old, like OLLLLLLLLD.

21-25 points: You are already dead and viewing this from Hell, which is located in Handbasket, New Jersey.



I can't post it here without annoying autoplay, but trust me. Click the link. Or this one!


Oh, I tell ya, I tell ya, some things get me irritated, including the news that the blandest, lamest pop group EVER, which is ABBA, is getting into the Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame. Aw, come ON people! Why not nominate The Singing Nun or Raffi or this?

Yes, that’s the 1968 winner of the annual Eurovision song contest with (wait for it) “LA LA LA.” Pretty powerful stuff, I know. I think the winning song the year before was “DEE DEE DEE” and the year after was “DOO DEE DOO DEE, LA LA LA.” Clearly, the four Swedes that made up ABBA took a page from that book to come up with their very own Eurovision entry, the deeply-introspective and hard-hitting “RING RING.”

Just get the two fairly hot girls to sing along together, say the same words over and over 5000 times in a row, and squeeze the sound through a 1” aluminum colander into a bowl of tin foil. Repeat until wealthy.

Actual titles of ABBA songs:

Conociéndome, Conociéndote
Dame! Dame! Dame!
Dum Dum Diddle
Free As A Bumble Bee
Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
Hey, Hey Helen
Honey, Honey
I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do
I Am A Musician
King Kong Song
Money, Money, Money
On and On and On

In my ideal world, fellow 2010 RNR HOF entrants The Stooges would run onstage during ABBA’s induction performance, make out with the girls, kick the guys’ asses, then push them all off the front of the stage and perform this:

It could happen.


I saw this and went BAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Please to enjoy.


I had to make a stop at the ATM today to continue the Annual December Depletion Of The Monies, dragging MissSeven and Mr11 behind me in the dark rainy afternoon. Ten feet to right of the cash spewer is a Salvation Army bell ringer; ten feet to the left, a young man in a dirty parka leaning against the supermarket wall, smoking.

Little change little change little change little change…

“Ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding…”

Little change little change spare change got any spare change…


The competition for my spare change – and they knew I had it, considering they watched me withdraw a wad from the ATM – was fierce, Bell Ringer vs. Panhandler. I gave each kid a buck and told them to pop it in the red metal bucket, even if just to stop the incessant ringing for a few seconds.

As we walked over to Starbucks to get a snack, MissSeven piped up.

“Mom, why did we give money to the one person and not the other person?”

I could have given her a long-winded talk about seasonal charities and the ever-widening social underclass and that there for a few paychecks could go us all, and the unpredictability of life, mental illness and more, but she was more interested in eating her Starbucks brownie so I kept it short. Short-ish, OK, OK.

“If I have some spare money to give, I like to give it to an organization where I know my money will help people who need food and clothes and shelter and such. The Salvation Army has been around a long time and they have a good structure. Sometimes people who are on the street have serious drug or alcohol problems; not all the time, but I still don’t want to take the chance that my money might go to buy someone things that are unhealthy for them and won’t help them get off the street. There’s just no way to know. It’s sad. There’s not a right or wrong answer about it; some people don’t feel like I do about it.”

Mr11 chimed in. “Why doesn’t that guy just get a job? He didn’t look sick to me.”

“Yeah!” MissSeven brightly concurred. “All he has to do it walk up to Microsoft or Taco Bell and ask, and I bet in a week he would have a job!”

I allowed myself to enjoy her vision for a moment, and then responded.

“Well, you have to be qualified to get certain kinds of jobs. And he might already have a job, but it doesn’t pay enough. It’s just not quite that simple.”

On the way back to the car with the coffee and brownies and pumpkin bread, we passed them again.

“Ding ding ding ding ding ding…”

Little change little change…

I nodded at him, thought about the teenager I saw yesterday holding a sign that said “Pregnant and Homeless” who got into a landscaping truck that pulled up next to her on the road, thought about how some things are predictable and how some are accidents of fate, and how some things, change little.


I had a spectacularly-brief time in my life when I was a “skier,” for about 3 months the winter I was 14. It was the cool new thing to do in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, as the town had been recently blessed with the addition of a ski hill. It was actually just a very large amount of dirt all piled up to make a few ski runs, making anyone who had been to Colorado or Vermont or Utah laugh and point, but it was our dirt hill and hanging out at the ski lodge beat drinking watery Blatz in someone’s smelly paneled rec room. Skiing looked cool and fun, all the rich kids skied, and I was pretty desperate to get out of the house for any reason at all. I ditched my red parka from Sears for a sleek black ski jacket (fifty dollars it was!), put my smokes in my wool socks, and begged enough money from my folks for a day pass, equipment rental, and some hot cocoa and a cheeseburger in the lodge.

I should have taken ski lessons, but that was deeply UNCOOL. Most of the other kids had been skiing for awhile, and I figured if I just watched them I could figure out what to do pretty quickly. How hard could it be? Snap those boots in the bindings, get on the lift, go down the hill. Sigh. I spent most of the first few times falling three seconds after I started trying to even move towards the lift, then trying to pretend I had skied already and needed a break in the lodge. A lot of hot cocoa and a lot of Marlboro Greens, which I am sure looked completely ridiculous – some librarian-looking child smoking in a fifty-dollar jacket clomping around in ski boots.

Eventually, I made it ON the ski lift. Oh, dear. How do you get OFF? SHIT. How I got off was pretty much fall off at the last minute and try to scramble out of the way of the next chair before I got clocked. I remember looking down from the top of the snowy dirt hill for the first time, thinking that perhaps this was a very bad mistake on my part, because if I wanted more cocoa or to ever return home again, I would have to SKI DOWN THE HILL. I think it took me about 30 minutes freezing up there with my friends coming and going and laughing and encouraging before I decided, well, alright, get on with it. I pushed off and I did not fall. What I did was pick up speed at a very alarming rate. Something I also had neglected to think about was TURNING and STOPPING. I had a vague idea that you were supposed to make big S-turns and then dead stop in some kind of a cool sideways spray of glittering snow. My vague idea was completely replaced by the realization that skiing was much harder than it seemed and I had not too much time to figure out how not to die. Down the hill I went, zipping past other skiers in one straight bullet line, faster and faster. I was terrified but also thought it was terribly funny and started laughing. Good to go out with a smile.

At the bottom of the hill were a couple people who had set up a large camera on a tripod. I would like to now, many many years later, apologize to these photography enthusiasts for ramming into their expensive equipment, sending it flying into the air as I rolled and tumbled to a stop in a mess of skis and poles and crushed cigarettes and Bonne Bell Dr Pepper Lip Smacker. Fear is a great motivator – as I heard them yell at me I ditched the skis, one of which was quietly sliding down towards to the bunny hill anyway, and clomped away as fast as I could, red-faced with snow covering my glasses, to hide in the ladies’ bathroom. Eventually my friend Linda walked into the stall next to me, and assisted in my rescue. She located and returned all my rental crap, got my regular boots from the locker, and borrowed a bright pink ski jacket and a pom-topped knit hat from one of the rich girls so I could make it out of the lodge and down to the parking lot where my parents were going to pick me up. The disguise worked, and of course I am still friends with Linda today. I did rescue her a few years later from a toilet stall at the Milwaukee Arena during an Aerosmith concert, climbing under the door even. She was a bit out of it, heh.

You would think I would’ve learned my lesson about skiing, but it took a real accident a couple of months later to get it through my concussed and ambulance-transported skull. The lesson was that I had no business being on skis and that I was a danger to myself and everyone else. Another thing learned was that I really wasn’t all the interested in skiing, and that trying to hang out with the rich kids wasn’t all that exciting except for that one time I gave Bill Johnson a buck to eat a cigarette and he did. So, to recap:

1. If you are going to ski, take lessons until you feel fully in control of your bad swift self;
2. Wear a helmet ALL THE TIME (RIP, Sonny Bono);
3. Don’t smoke;
4. Don’t try to be someone you aren’t because that never ends well;
5. If you mess up, atone for it or at least throw a twenty-dollar bill in the air and run.

This is pretty much what it looked like then, except there were no mountains. I totally love the blue-shirted lift guy.



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Why may refer to:

* A request for an evidential reason.

REASON (argument)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In informal logic, a reason consists of either a single premise or co-premises in support of an argument. In formal symbolic logic, only single premises occur. In informal reasoning, two types of reasons exist. An evidential reason is a foundation upon which to believe that or why a claim is true. An explanatory reason attempts to convince you how something is or could be true, but does not directly convince you that it is true.


Reason why, reason is because Redundant. Omit needless words. They canceled the contract because ... Not: The reason they canceled the contract is because ... Also: The reason for the decision is ... Not: The reason why the decision was made is ... Other simpler alternatives: is caused by, is that.

REDUNDANCY (language)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the study of language, redundancy is the construction of a phrase that presents some idea using more information than is necessary for one to be able understand the idea...The use of obfuscating, tumid linguistic constructions in vocally or graphically expressed communications (as in that phrase, which could more simply be expressed as "being longwinded") is also a form of redundancy, with several names. Two rather formal names for it are prolixity and logorrhoea. It is often done with manipulative intent, e.g. to confuse and mislead the audience, to disguise the actual nature of a position or fact, or to persuade in politics or religion. In such cases it is often also fallacious. Comedian George Carlin was famous for criticizing the politically—and socially—motivated abuse of logorrhea to hide the truth or manipulate public perception.

Logorrhea rhymes with diarrhea.

So. Think again before you ask me why.


After more than a year after their rain-delayed-and-thusly-quite-shortened KEXP BBQ show, the lovely and talented Dandy Warhols returned to Seattle last night, playing this time at Neumos. They are one of those bands where I like just about everything they do, so I POUNCED yes POUNCED on tickets for this as soon as they were announced.

“This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Caffe Vita will help us to celebrate a Fellini inspired Italian Holiday fete…Vita will be providing free espresso at all three shows, and free gelato at the Seattle show.”

Is that just the nicest thing? Band comes and plays and gives ya espresso and gelato for Christmas! Thank you, The Dandy Warhols. May Santa bring you many sweet licensing opportunities and stockings filled with royalties and shiny new guitar strings. I love you.

I late-started from home last night and was hungry past what I thought gelato could fill, so once again stopped for a quick salame pizza at Via Tribunali. The very pretty young waitress did not know who the Dandy Warhols were, she said, but wished me an excellent time and got the pizza out to the table in record time. She said she works every weekend and therefore has no fun. We agreed that there are pros and cons to that. There were no pros to the situation I faced at VT’s bathroom, when I discovered that the fashionista who had preceded me had decided to pee all over the toilet seat. I hope she gets violated by a reindeer.

As expected, Neumos was packed as I arrived about 15 minutes before the Dandies were to begin their set. A view spot opened up on the floor close to the stage so I grabbed it, which meant there would be no leaving for espresso and gelato. This was a sad thing, but we do what we must. The stage looked pretty with little white strings of lights around the mic stands and thin diffuse smoke, thankfully not from stank cigs. It quickly became obvious that tonight’s Ruiner was about 3’ in front of me: a loopy woman in long brown pigtails who perhaps had been on an Ecstasy drip. It’s never a good sign when you have someone dancing like a whirling Woodstock hippie to the pre-show audio over the PA. She smiled and smiled and bashed herself all over everyone standing next to her, completely clueless that people were getting upset. The nice couple in front of me got into it a bit with her, and the tall dude next to me got into it with them, cursing was had, and the nice couple gave up and left their spots.

When Ruiner looked at me and sloppily said, “Isn’t anyone here to see the DANDEEEE WARHOLLLLLLSSS??” I looked at her with the most blank expression possible, rendering her very essence invisible. The band began playing, she did her “my arms are forks in the sky!” dance for a few songs, looked at me again and said, “This isn’t the Dandy Warhols show I thought it was,” and drifted away permanently, hopefully to join Fashionista Fail Pee in the alley with Blitzen.

The Dandies sounded great. They know their stuff and their sound and they've got it down. They did not continue the Italian Christmas theme to their show, and I was very mildly disappointed by that – I was hoping Zia would come out as Sophia Loren and Courtney would be Marcello Mastroianni or Pope Paul or something. But they did play a cool version of “Little Drummer Boy” (you can download that for free at their website), which I did not catch on video because my arms were completely tired after shooting these. It's really hard to hold still like that, you know.

It was a long set – must have gone over two hours – with no encore. I don’t blame them, what with the generous regular set and a drive back to their home base of Portland still to come that night. The sound varied from crunchy garage to pep pop to swirly synth-psych in the Dandy Manner. Courtney’s voice was starting to shred a little towards the end which seemed to concern him a bit, but he’s all pro and worked it out. The crowd was for the most part happy and enthusiastic save for a few tired hack hecklers who thought their brand of funny was adding to everyone’s experience. I actually think these guys go to every show I go to just to shit on the band. Have I got a reindeer for them, the lesser-known “Donger.”

I left Neumos happy to have seen one of my favorite bands again, sweaty and tired and caribou-free, which is just how it should be.