SONG: "THIEVING ASS CHICKENS," BY ME!

Recently, my friend Heather from the awesome Seattle-based band the Riffbrokers had a rather unfortunate experience. As she enjoyed an evening out at the movies with her husband, a criminal element couple sidled in next to her and suspiciously bolted as the movie ended and the house lights went up. Heather's bag, which she had set on the floor next to her, was gone, including all the crucial stuff one puts into a purse. Major bummer. Tonight, as she was giving an update to us via Facebook, she referred to the nasty stealers as "thieving ass chickens." This expression instantly delighted me, and I threatened to make a song from the phrase. Here is the result of that musical threat, written, recorded, mixed, and uploaded in WARP SPEED as to cheer Heather and use as today's post goodie. Please to enjoy, and feel free to download it at Soundcloud if you'd like; you don't even have to BOTHER to steal it! Woo hoo!


Me and my guy were going out for the night
Everything was super, everything was tight
Went to the movies, going to see “Lincoln”
Then what happened was really kinda stinkin’

Sittin’ in my seat , everything was groovy
Eating on some popcorn just watching the movie
A couple came in and sat down next to me
Lights went up and my purse was nowhere to be seen

Thieving ass chickens, they stole my bag
Thieving ass chickens, turned a good time into a drag
Thieving ass chickens, they stole my purse
Thieving ass chickens, it’s to you I send this curse

Oh just great, there went all my money
Bumming out me and bumming out my honey
Gone are my credit cards, gone is my phone
Now I gotta call my bank and everyone I know

I hope when they stole my bag and ran down the street
That they were hit by a bus and turned into burger meat
I hope karma gets ‘em, and kicks them in the ass
And next time I go anywhere I ain’t bringin’ cash

Thieving ass chickens, they stole my bag
Thieving ass chickens, turned a good time into a drag
Thieving ass chickens, they stole my purse
Thieving ass chickens it’s to you I send this curse






CHECKING IN: A LESSON LEARNED FROM THE DOG

I truly have one of the most maintenance-free, mellow dogs on the planet. Ellie is our 6~yr. old Newfoundland mix and is as calm and gentle as her literary ancestor, Nana, from James M. Barrie's Peter Pan. She spends most of her days just chillin', resting on the floor near my office, or outside in the backyard in the cool dirt of the garden in the summertime. She does her wiggle dance when it's time to eat, greets people at the door with polite friendliness, and barks one WOOF to go outside and barks one WOOF to come back in again. 

But once a day without fail, she "checks in" for her very own one-on-one "Ellie time." She will stand there and smile, then look at me with her big brown eyes, and dip her head to nuzzle in, her way of saying "PET ME!" Pet pet pet pet pet pet pet, I go, and if I stop too soon she will whip her head around and look at me and nudge me again, or roll on her back and wave her huge paws. Pet pet pet pet pet pet pet, rub rub rub rub on her ears, scratch scritch on her belly, until she is satisfied and wanders off again, content for another day.

TODAY'S CAR CONVERSATION FEATURING BEARS VS. DOGS, IMMORTAL JELLYFISH, & CAPTAIN COOK

(It is without question that our best family conversations occur on the car ride home from school.)

Miss Ten: Are bears in the dog family?

Mr14: No!

Me: No, bears are...um...ursine, dogs are canines.

Miss Ten: Bears look a LOT like dogs. I think they are related to dogs.

Mr14: They aren't related. They are totally different.

Me: Well, I can see what you are saying. There are similarities.

Mr14: Bears are omnivores and dogs are carnivores.

Miss Ten: (peeved) So, what...you eat everything too, does that make you a bear?

Me: Ha! Now here's something interesting! Today I read this great article from the New York Times about this one species of jellyfish that is able to completely regenerate itself! If it is injured or stressed, it can morph its cells back into being a baby jellyfish again! The scientist who studies it thinks that if it is fed and has the right temperature of water and doesn't get eaten, it probably lives forever! Anyway, the article also mentioned that most of human DNA is shared by the lowest, simplest lifeforms, like jellies and flatworms.

Mr14: So...we are related to jellyfish??

Me: Well, yeah, in that it seems that all living things are in some way related to all other living things.

Miss Ten: Dogs don't just eat meat! I've seen Ellie eat corn! Ha!

Me: Dogs aren't strict carnivores. They can eat other things, too.

Miss Ten: SO! They are actually OMNIVORES, like BEARS ARE!

Me: Hmm....yes, but there are also items that they can't eat that are non-meat, like chocolate and onions and grapes.

Mr14: Why would anyone give a dog an onion to begin with?

Me: I've never thought about that.

(A pause in the conversation ensues for a minute or so, as the sky darkens to night, and the November rain reflects the many car headlights on the road.)

Miss Ten: (giggling conspiratorially) Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh...Captain Cook...irony!

Me: What??

Miss Ten: Heh heh heh heh...Cook? Get it?

Me: What?? Huh? What are you talking about??

Mr14: HA!

Me: WHAT!!!

Miss Ten: That Captain Cook was killed and cooked by the Hawaiians? COOK? WAS COOKED?

(We all dissolve into horrible loud black humored giggles, and continue on our way home.)































WHAT TO GET THE OLD FOLKS ON YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING LIST: A DESPERATION PRIMER

It's coming.

I feel it in my bones.

No matter what I do, no proactive, preventative measure can stop it.

Like a shiny, tinsel-choked tsunami tumbling ominously forward with packages of all sizes and shapes, sharp-edged gift cards, and brutal red cast iron Salvation Army cash pots, the surrounding air reeking of gingerbread and peppermint...DECEMBER IS COMING.

And with December, the holidays, and with the holidays the task of buying gifts for 8 trillion people, including the elderly members of the family. This, as we all so sorrowfully already know, is the HARDEST THING IN THE WORLD, having to think of what to get Methuselah Hasitall once AGAIN. I feel I have extra-good life experience here to offer you here, as I was born to already-old parents who had old parents. I've been trying to please the ancients all my life. So I've written up here a brief Elder Needs List that you can print out and take to your local shopping establishments or to your filthy laptop computer this December, and I hope it eases your burden a bit so you can get back to watching a crappy Christmas movie on Lifetime while eating stale sticky candy canes and dreaming of far-away, holiday-free tropical islands.

To know what to buy someone, you have to know who they are first. This is commonly called "being thoughtful" or "being hopelessly infected with terrible stereotypes." Either way, whatever, brah. Let's begin.

OLD PEOPLE ARE COLD

Old people complain all the time of being cold. It doesn't matter if it's 90 degrees outside; they will either crank up the heat, suffocating all other inhabitants in the house, or whine endlessly about a mysterious soul-sucking "draft" that can never, EVER, be located.

BUY THEM...

-- a damn sweater;
-- a damn Snuggie;
-- a lazy-ass small pet, like an overfed cat or tiny dog so dim-witted it doesn't know how to get off the elder's lap;
-- a supply of bite-sized super-hot peppers (with an Epi-Pen).

OLD PEOPLE ARE HOT

Menopausal women and aging alcoholics of both sexes often feel flushed with rushes of heat. It doesn't matter if it's -15 degrees outside; they will crank up the A/C, turning all other inhabitants in the house into blocks of ice, or whine endlessly about their defective furnace and/or Satan.

BUY THEM...

-- a damn fan;
-- moisture-wicking bedding;
-- a frozen margarita machine;
-- a carnival water dunk machine and a swimsuit.

OLD PEOPLE CANNOT HEAR

Age-related hearing loss is very common, which leaves your elder loved one frustrated by your incessant mumbling and whispering and total inability to SPEAK THE HELL UP.

BUY THEM...

-- a monogrammed Victorian Ear Trumpet;
-- a megaphone, for you;
-- a trucker hat that says "WHAT??" on it;
-- a DVD with all the "Bad Lip Reading" videos on it.

OLD PEOPLE LIKE TO WATCH TELEVISION

In every house of every old person I know, the TV is never off. The TV's function, therefore, can be thought of as a benign and chipper constant companion or endless garbage-babbling distraction from looming death.

BUY THEM...

-- another TV, because theirs is either from 1980 or they keep burning them out because they are NEVER TURNED OFF;
-- Visine, because their eyes can get dry from watching 72-hours straight of the History Channel;
-- a new remote control, with only FIVE BUTTONS: On/Off, Volume, and three channels ONLY (FOX News, the Oprah Winfrey Network, and the Weather Channel).

Good luck, and don't forget to duck!




VIDEO: "LOVE CLOGGED MY HEART" BY MELVIN G. FROMM, JR.!

You may recall a few months ago I was rather joyous to have discovered the fabulous "found music" site, The Other Side of Music. This led me to the marvelous monotone of Melvin G. Fromm, Jr., and I was so moved that I made a video for his song, "Bowled A Strike." Well, I am delighted to say that another song of Mr. Fromm's has again touched my creative heart, so today I bring to you his own "Love Clogged My Heart." Besides having an undeniably unique way with words, you must admit that Fromm may be the most consistent singer in the world. Note: if you have a sensitive constitution, as I myself do, you may be somewhat upset by a particular visual in this video, but, well...you'll see why it really had to be included. Please (try) to enjoy!

Melvin G Fromm, Jr., "Love Clogged My Heart"




THE VERY SPECIAL MUSIC STYLINGS OF KRISHNA SHIVA

I came across this today, and felt I needed to share. Compelled to share. MUST. SHARE.

From Krishna Shiva's CDBaby bio:
Grew up in Seattle, Moved to near Lake Tahoe for awhile, Now near Quincy Illinois.
Besides a real passion for music making, also much like horse ativity.
And above all else, a total passion for the ladies who I see as beautiful!
My preocupation of coarse, is music making; singing, songwriting, 
playing guitar. I'm also a strong carnivore spirit. Lamb and buffalo, and 
venizon. Also a bow hunter, and like to practise shoot also. 

Ewok? Yeah?

Shiva, "Down To Heavenly"



Shiva, "Honey Twilight"



http://www.myspace.com/Krishna_shiva

http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/Shiva

Much love to http://othersideofmusic.blogspot.com/. Visit their site for more interesting music.



THREE AWFUL TEEN FASHION PAGES FROM THE SEARS 1980 SPRING/SUMMER CATALOG

I'm never going to come to terms with the fact that I came of age in the two ugliest fashion decades in the history of Earth: the 1970s and 1980s. I feel bitter and cheated still that instead of sharp mod gear or classic sleek lines, I was offered up the design efforts of people who apparently GAVE UP ON LIFE COMPLETELY. How else can you explain the overwhelming sadness of the Sears 1980 catalog?

I mean, WHAT? What young teen girl would want to look like a 40-something middle-manager of the world's most boring Midwestern corporation??







































I MADE YOU ANOTHER CHILDREN'S BOOK NOT FOR CHILDREN: "WORK AND WORK"






































POST-THANKSGIVING-GLUTTONY NOSTALGIA: VINTAGE ALKA-SELTZER COMMERCIALS!

I hope all of you out there who celebrated Thanksgiving today enjoyed a fine day of family, friends, and food. If you are like most Americans this evening, you will be laid out on on the couch right about now with a bloated stomach wondering why and how you jammed so much STUFF down your gullet, waiting a few moments until you can JAM down a hunk of pie with ice cream. Internally, your entire system is on full alert: "OVERLOAD! OVERLOAD! ALL SYSTEMS MAXIMUM TO GASTRO SYSTEM, STAT!" Which is why you now have the brain power of the turkey you just ate, and cannot think or move, other than maybe lift YET ANOTHER FORKFUL into your SALIVA SLOT.

Thoughtfully, I've hunted down these old Alka-Seltzer commercials for you to enjoy, before you spend the rest of the night in the bathroom. I really hated Speedy Alka-Seltzer, but hated that horrid Snuggle Fabric Softener bear even MORE, just for your information.

Please to enjoy!

The New Cook



"Spicy Meatball"



"Stomach Argument"



"The Blahs"



"Buster Keaton"



"I Can't Believe I Ate The Whole Thing"



"Plop Plop Fizz Fizz, Oh What A Relief It Is"



"No Matter What Shape Your Stomach's In"



"Sammy Davis, Jr."



"Prison Protest"





TEN COOL SONGS OF "THANKS"

Since I have already made a Thanksgiving menu for you, I thought today I might add in a playlist to further enhance your special day of gratitude and gluttony. These are from my own collection, mind you, and not EVERY DAMN SONG THAT HAS THANK YOU IN THE TITLE, THANK YOU. In fact, some of them might have absolutely no lyrical content about being thankful at all! I like the idea of you being confused over a heaping portion of Rage Mashed Potatoes.

Please to enjoy, and remember that if you've had a little too much celebratory alcohol, be sure not to drive. I am sure Grandma June won't mind at all if you throw up on the pumpkin pie and pass out in her Laz-E-Boy while your liver processes your happiness!

From one of my favorites, a moody, majestic little valentine.

Reigning Sound, "I'm So Thankful"



If this doesn't make you think of ping-pong tables, popcorn, and toast, I don't know what would.

Vince Guaraldi Trio, "Thanksgiving Theme"



Some Philly soul for you, reminding you not to perseverate on your lack of "gangsta whitewalls." Brilliance.

William DeVaughn, "Be Thankful For What You Got"



Ty Segall will blow your turkey to nicely shredded sandwich leftovers with this one.

Ty Segall, "Thank God For Sinners"



Sometimes I think Sly & the Family Stone might have been the best thing ever. Mull that in your wine.

Sly & the Family Stone, "Thank You (Fallentinme Be Mice Elf Agin)



This has kind of a crazy folky Shaggs vibe that gets in your ear and sprouts Gerber daisies.

The Sandwitches, "Thank You For Listening"



I can't tell you how many times I've sung this song (BOTH PARTS), because I can't count that high. Early days Fabs at their Everly Brothers best, and for giggles, here's the first studio take of the song, slower and missing the harmonica in the final take, and in that wicked split stereo. I still nearly faint in lovesick Beatlemaniac swooning when I hear the "ohhhh...ohhhh...mmmm" part.

The Beatles, "Thank You Girl (Studio Take 1)"



This doesn't really have a lot to do with thankfulness, other than that I am thankful for the Intelligence, of course.

The Intelligence, "Thank You God For Fixing The Tape Machine"



The Dandies channel the Kinks' "I Need You," a song which we all should gratefully honor with another similar song.

The Dandy Warhols, "Thanks For The Show"



And finally, a song SO COOL that W*rn*r  M*s*c Gr**p will remove it if I upload it to Y**T*b*, so I made a static-shot vid for it JUST so YOU could hear it here!

The Fl*m*ng L*ps, "Th*nk Y** J*ck Wh*t* (For The F*ber-Opt*c J*sus Th*t You G*ve M*)"

video




BS STATEMENT OF THE EVER: "I'M NOT RACIST, BUT..."

How many times have you heard someone say this? From the braying mouth of a politician hellbent on turning the civil rights clock back 100+ years to a close friend in conspiratorial whispers at a party, know this: if you hear people say the words, "I'm not racist (prejudiced, bigoted, discriminatory, etc. blah blah), but.."...THEY ARE.

We seem to have a great many out n' proud racists these days, all fired up and mad about President Obama stubbornly continuing to be half-black and all, but it's the "I'm not...but..." people I'd like to address today. Directly.

Please don't tell me how I couldn't possibly understand the cultural or geographical experiences that have led to you feeling justified in saying racist things, even though, needless to say, you are not a racist.

Please don't pepper your speech with racist talk, and then try to excuse it away as "a joke" or "c'mon, it's funny because it's true" or "those people say the same stuff, so I can too," because, of course, you are not a racist.

Please don't blanket claim that a group of millions of people are "savages," "stupid," "evil," "beyond hope," because that is exactly how millions of people like you are able to mentally turn fellow human beings into "the other" and slaughter them without a second thought, whether soldiers, women, or children, even if you have others do the dirty work for you.

If you have enough self-awareness and semi-compassion to know on some level that prejudice is a horrible thing when you start your "I'm not racist, but..." sentence, GO NO FURTHER. Man up, take out the "not" and replace the "but" with an "and" and try saying your thoughts again more sincerely. See how that works out.

What About Prejudice? - 1959 Educational Film






LIKE IT? LOVE IT? SAY IT!

A couple of weeks ago, I received a phone call from my mom, a not-unusual and always-welcomed thing. What was remarkable about the conversation was coming away with a confirmation of a belief that I have long held as a simple, lovely truth: that our small kindnesses may go on to have a lasting effect on another person, which makes it even more important and worthwhile that we are mindful to be generous with our words of support and admiration as we go through our days. This is just a small story, but it certainly means the world to me.

When I was back in Wisconsin last summer visiting my mom at her home, my daughter and I decided to stay on another week to hang out, go to the small town beach park, shop at some thrift stores, eat big bowls of ice cream, and watch the Olympics together on TV at night. It was really nice. One afternoon, we had some errands to run and my mom offered to drive us in her car. To be honest, I was a little nervous; after all, she is now almost 86 years old and I was concerned that her driving skills would be compromised with age. It worried me a bit, as I sat in the passenger seat next to her as she carefully started her immaculately-clean 20-year-old Mercedes station wagon, and even more so with my young child in the back seat, chattering away. Well, I thought, if it's really bad, I can just offer to take over, right? It's the inevitable, dreaded conversation every adult has to have with a parent at some point -- when it's time to "take away the keys" -- but I was hoping it wouldn't be, like, now.

I was waiting for compromise, signs of failure -- too slow, too fast, not smooth, not seeing things, running signs or lights, bad parking, anything. And as we drove along for awhile, I realized that she was actually doing a really great job. She had already made some adjustments to her driving of her own accord -- no more driving at night, no highways, careful to take quieter roads, and no radio on in case it would interfere with hearing an emergency siren or other important sounds. So as we finished up, and she pulled into her garage once again, I thought I would tell her that I thought she was doing an excellent job with driving, giving specific examples of why I thought so, and that I was really genuinely impressed. She looked so surprised at first, and then broke out into a huge smile, and thanked me.

Which brings us to the recent phone call. She got right to what she wanted to tell me.

"I just wanted to let you know how much what you said about my driving meant to me. I know that you would never say that unless you really meant it, and it's made me feel so much more confident. I feel now like every time I get in the car to drive, you are sitting next to me and smiling -- like you really are there! -- and it makes me feel proud and very good. Thank you."

What could I possibly say to that? It was hard not to cry. All I did was TELL her what I was already thinking, and I am so glad that I did.

It costs nothing to express our appreciation toward others, and it can mean everything to someone you know.

The new employee who nervously wonders if he is doing OK.

The child who struggles at school, but keeps trying to make a little more progress every day.

The senior on a fixed income who still manages to dress so nicely.

The teen who took hours and hours of her own time to train a puppy into a fine, loving companion.

The friend who has suffered great tragedy, yet can still find humor and light in each day.

All around you, amidst all the chaos and discord and discouragement of life, there are these small triumphs. Let them know you see, and let them shine.



GOAT 20

As a storm with heavy rain and high winds is predicted to arrive into the Seattle area this evening, my response, naturally, is to post up some more GOAT videos! Right???? AMIRITE??? GOATS! Thanks to my fellow goat aficionado Dena for sending me the first one. Please to enjoy!

The expression on this assertive goat's face proves that goats are not of this world. Nope.

The Annoyed Mule and the Goat



This goat sounds JUST like Eric Cartman from "South Park" whining at his mother!

Loud Goat At Lake Tobias



Oh, look, it's the Playground Bully Goat!

Crazy Goat At The Fair Making Loud Noises



Pig rescues Goat!



This is why babies and petting zoos don't mix, IMHO.

Goat vs. Baby Screamfest



He's trying to suck out your SOUL!

Goat Trying To Communicate With People



Hahaha! This one reminds me of Aunt Bee from Mayberry!

Funny Tulsa Zoo Goat


And finally, from NBC News...

Paperboy Terrorized by Gruff Goat Named "Voldemort"


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy




UNINTENTIONAL METAL VIDEO HILARITY: "THEY ALL LIE & CHEAT" BY W.A.S.P.'s CHRIS HOLMES (NSFW)

I kid you not -- when Mr21 brought this video to my attention today, my jaw dropped open in utter disbelief for the entire running time of six minutes, twenty-six seconds.

"GAWWWWWW," I exclaimed, "This CANNOT be REAL!"

"Yup," nodded Mr21, grinning.

"I gotta put this up!"

"Yup!"

If there's any musical genre that provides us with unintentional humor, surely it is the over-the-top aggressive trashery of METAL. Bless those poor mullet-haired players of ugly-shaped guitars; they never change as the years go by, and neither does my horrified appreciation of their craft. We have something particularly special here in "They All Lie And Cheat" by ex-W.A.S.P. guitarist Chris Holmes and his CHP project, and for SO many reasons:

-- this song features Mr. Holmes in a "singing" capacity;

-- it is set against a wrinkled, askew green screen backdrop that is never utilized;

-- there is a digital drumset in the background with no drummer;

-- the first notes on Holmes' out-of-tune, sickly-phased electric guitar made me guffaw;

-- the backing of the song is yet another hacky metal ballad rewrite of hacky rewriters Guns n' Roses, Bon Jovi, and Poison;

-- jean vest as shirt, a slew of faded arm tats, ratty mullet, missing teeth;

-- graphics by 1985;

-- and the BEST WORST thing about it, the sour-faced pudgy "skank girlfriend" who steps in to lip sync her evil bitch spoken word drops, featuring potty-mouthed litanies including her promise to "drag your d*ck through the dirt" and sleep with "all of your friends."

Sheer. Brilliance. Please to enjoy!!!

Chris Holmes (CHP), "They All Lie And Cheat"




RIP HOSTESS...HERE'S MY MOM'S HOMEMADE TWINKIES RECIPE!

Ding Dongs, the company is dead, the big bad debt-choked company is dead.

After 82 years in business, Hostess Brands, makers of iconic sugar-laden packaged snacks like Twinkies, Ho Hos, Dolly Madison fruit pies, Snowballs, and the aforementioned Ding Dongs, as well as that texture-free staple of picky children everywhere, Wonder Bread, is no more. The company announced today that it was closing immediately and completely, and would be selling off its brands and remaining assets in bankruptcy proceedings. On the Hostess website, the company rather nastily blamed a current strike and demands by the baker's union for "crippling" Hostess and delivering the final nail in the company coffin. The union claims gross mismanagement by Hostess bigwigs (this is the second bankruptcy for Hostess in ten years) even after 100 million dollars in labor concessions at the bargaining table. The bottom line: 18K+ folks are out of work now, and Hostess will try to find someone to flog their nostalgic but irrelevant food to a more health-conscious public. After all, sure, I loved Hostess products when I was a kid, but I have never once fed them to my own kids, and I think that's really what the problem is -- changing times, changing tastes.

Anyway, Hostess may or may not resurrect again sometime, but in the meantime I can come to the rescue, via my mom! She makes her own "homemade Twinkies" that are SO SO SO SO much better than the packaged ones that if you miss them on the store shelves, try making this, and then you are SET FOR LIFE. They won't be in that little handheld tube shape, true, but you gotta give up something for freshness. Please to enjoy!


Mom’s Homemade "Twinkies"

Ingredients:

1 box yellow cake mix* 
eggs
vegetable oil
milk
flour
sugar
stick butter
shortening
salt
vanilla extract

Grease a 9” x 13” baking pan and then line with greased and lightly floured wax paper. The wax paper should extend up 1” over all sides of pan, to assist in lifting the cake from the pan once cooked and cooled.

Prepare cake mix as directed on the box in large bowl with eggs and vegetable oil. Pour batter into greased and lined pan. Bake according to box, remove from oven, and cool completely.

While cake is baking, prepare cake filling. Bring 1 cup milk and 5 level tbsps. of flour to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring constantly with a whisk  to avoid lumps. Turn off burner after it comes to a boil and stir constantly while still on the burner until mixture is thickened and smooth. Cool completely in refrigerator. In large mixing bowl, cream 1 cup sugar, ½ cup  stick butter (softened), ½ cup shortening, ½ tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. vanilla extract with a mixer. Add cooled milk and flour mixture to creamed ingredients and beat until white and fluffy.

Carefully flip cooled cake pan upside-down on large cookie sheet and slowly remove the wax paper from cake and pan.  Make extra sure cake is completely cooled before cutting!

Slowly cut the cake in half lengthwise (try using a bread knife). Slip the top layer to a second cookie sheet, supporting the layer very carefully from underneath with both hands to avoid breakage.

Evenly spread the cake filing onto bottom layer of halved cake using knife or spatula. Gently slide top layer of cake over and onto cake filling. Refrigerate several hours before cutting into Twinkie size bars and serving.

(You may cut individual slices, wrap with foil or saran wrap and freeze for a lunch box treat which will thaw by lunchtime.)

*Alternative: use chocolate cake mix instead in place of yellow cake mix for Ho Hos!

Howdy Doody Hostess Twinkies Commercial, 1950s



WHAT DID THE MUPPETS HAVE TO DO WITH SMOKIN' HOT '60s GARAGE ROCK? THIS!

I think I was four years old at JUST the right time in history, because in my world it was utterly normal to see weird fuzzy puppets on national TV pretend to play some of the coolest, grittiest New York garage rock around. When you combine that with all things Batman, the Monkees, miniskirts, Rock Em Sock Em Robots, and that my home state of Wisconsin finally allowed yellow coloring to be added to margarine, 1966 was a fantastic year for a preschooler, I think.

In explaining the title subject and my opening sentence, here's some interesting trivia for you: the first television appearance on CBS-TV's Ed Sullivan Show of Jim Henson's Muppets was on September 18, 1966, and they were then featured on the show regularly until the show's end in 1971. The chance that I didn't see this episode when it aired is almost nil, for watching Ed on Sunday nights in our house was as regular as church, provided we had been the type of family to attend church regularly and all. I would flop on my dinner-filled baby tummy in front of our console set with the rounded screen corners, wait for it to warm up (if you remember that or the teeny white dot in the middle of the screen after you turned the set off, you are reasonably ancient), and watch the entire one-hour variety show, every minute. Ed always had something for everyone, including the kiddies, and the Muppets filled the bill this time.

The song Henson chose to use for "The Rock And Roll Monster" segment for the Sullivan show was by the Bruthers -- four real brothers (Alf, Frank, Mike, and Joe Delia) from Pearl River, NY. They issued exactly one single -- one -- for RCA Records in the same year, "Bad Way to Go/Bad Love," the A-side a nutty Farfisa-fueled beehive stomper reminiscent of the 13th Floor Elevators and the Standells. It didn't chart and the band broke up the next year. Where Henson got "Rock It To Me" is unknown -- perhaps some kind of connection through the Bruthers' manager of the time, the famous New York promotor Sid Bernstein, and Sullivan? The song remains to this day unreleased, apparently lost, so the Muppets have the honor of holding a cool little place in garage rock history, and the Bruthers have the honor of having their song used by what soon became one of the most beloved entertainment troupes of our time. I love it, and as we know, have remained in the garage 4life.

Ed calls it "Jim Newsome's puppets." Oh, Eddie.



The Bruthers' "Bad Way To Go" can be found on "Pebbles Vol. 8." should you want to hunt around for that, but in 2003, a CD was issued on Sundazed Records included the Bruthers' 45, their unreleased songs recorded for RCA, and a few demos. You can buy the vinyl HERE or digitally on iTunes HERE.















SPAM POEMS 19

(This one survived making it into my email inbox rather than go straight to the spam folder, so I am rewarding its digital determination by simply structuring it into a poem for you.)

Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890 - 1969), speech, April 2, 1957 

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at Canada based pharmacy.
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Save your money, buy pills immediately!

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"I may be bringing you something else in a day or two, 

Alyona Ivanovna
 - a valuable thing - 
- silver - 
a cigarette-box, 
as soon as I get it back from a friend . . ." he broke off in confusion. 
"What do you want?" the old woman said severely, 
coming into the room 
and, 
as before, 
standing in front of him 
so as to look him straight in the face.


A THANKSGIVING MENU FOR DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILIES

Thanksgiving is coming up fast, and families all over America are making their travel plans to reunite with their loved ones, criss-crossing the country by car, plane, train, or god forbid, bus. The host and/or hostess of the feast must begin making preparations in order to purchase, prepare, cook, and serve the guests that have high expectations for a delicious meal. Because I am both thoughtful and practical, I thought I would help out the 40-70% of the population that experience holiday meal gathering with their terminally messed-up families as a nightmare on par with getting a root canal with no anesthesia or being forced to watch a Honey Boo Boo TV marathon while cradling a used adult diaper. Here are my suggestions for Dining With Dysfunction on Thanksgiving Day! Gobble gobble, one of us!

MENU


Appetizers

Several large bags Ruffles-brand potato chips, so your dad won't lose his shit again that you didn't buy Ruffles

Individual cups of Ranch dip, because the kids will whine about the "icky gross onions" in French Onion if you buy that, and germophobe Aunt Linda freaks out if she catches anyone double-dipping

Cheese-and-sausage plate for the dog to steal off the table at some point

Veggie plate so you can listen to a 45-minute intensely-detailed story from Grandma June about how broccoli really helps her bowel function

Coma-inducing amounts of red wine for the adults; cherry-flavored Kool-Aid for the kids (both make for superior carpet stains)

Main Meal

The largest possible turkey you can fit into your oven, so that it will take five hours longer to cook than you expected while everyone bitches that they are starving and close to death from hunger, and then will complain when you serve it that it's "a bit dry"

Several pounds potatoes to boil and then mash in a furious tension-venting rage

Five different kinds of stuffing because there's some bitter "best kind of stuffing" competition for 30 years between your mom and aunt and Grandma and uncle and sister-in-law, all of which taste strange and will end up thrown out into the backyard to be consumed by crows

Sweet potatoes and yams because Grandpa Carl insists one of them is a fruit and you need both

A bowl of kosher dill pickles because you have a weird four-year-old that won't eat anything else

Pan-made drippings gravy, which will be lumpy and burnt, and canned gravy, which will taste like a salt mine and a plastic animal

Homemade cranberry sauce from your sister Maureen with undercooked berries that are inedible, and canned cranberry jelly, because your spouse hates any texture in food

Cooked carrots, which Grandpa will mistake for "the most tasteless yams" he's ever had

Corn-on-the-cob, so your nephew Jayden can point it at your daughter and say, "this is really a spy gun and I'm going to blow your head off," making her cry and run from the table

Warmed dinner rolls to make everyone fatter than they already are

Dessert

Pumpkin pie purchased pre-cooked from the grocery store, because at this point just eff it all

Whipped cream from a pressurized can, which the kids earlier in the day will find and secretly consume in a great giggling fit in the basement, returning the can completely empty when you need it

Pecan pie for Grandma June, so you can hear her intensely-detailed story about how she once had the best piece of pecan pie she ever had in her life at a hotel in Altoona, PA. in 1961, and this sure doesn't come anywhere close to that, what a shame

Coffee, which will be spilled by your brother-in-law who has had too much red wine, causing a mild burn that requires him to stand up and take off his entire shirt at the table, revealing his hairy bloated gut

Cheese Course

Cancelled when everyone is completely grossed-out after the dog throws up the cheese-and-sausage appetizer plate all over the floor and then stress-poops on Grandma June's purse