Oh my goodness, have we a jam-packed HUUUUUGE police blotter for you this month! Loaded with character, surrealism, and stupidity, is our America! Enjoy!


Burglary: A 27-year-old Kirkland man was disturbed by being unfriended via Facebook by another Kirkland man and came to that man's house, punched him in the face, and broke into the residence. The suspect then destroyed the inside of the residence and was charged with burglary, assault and malicious mischief.

Criminal trespassing: A woman took to her Facebook status to report a male intruder that she saw in her bedroom in the middle of the night.

According to the police report, Crystal Rossey, 30, 419 Summit Ave., told authorities that she was out with her boyfriend on March 27 drinking from 6 p.m. until the 2:30 a.m. bar close. While out, they ran into a Hispanic man they have seen before, but didn't know his name. They walked home and invited the man to join them. Once at the residence, Rossey changed her mind about having company and asked the man to leave, which caused an argument with her boyfriend, who also left. Rossey said she locked the doors and went to bed. She woke up later when she heard someone in the bedroom and felt the covers get pulled back, and realized it was the Hispanic man who had been there earlier.

The woman said her cell phone was out of service, and she had no landline. Instead of going to a neighbor or contacting police some other way, she went on Facebook and posted about the incident on her status and then went to bed. Her cousin saw the posting and called Rossey's father, who came over at 7 a.m. and discovered a screen had been removed from an east side window.

Bail-jumping: Police are seeking charges of bail-jumping against a 22-year-old West Allis man for allegedly violating the terms of his bond.

The conditions of the man's bond requires absolute sobriety and prohibits him from possessing or consuming alcohol as well as from being in bars, taverns and liquor stores.

According to the report, the man had posted on Facebook his intention to purchase alcohol for a party. Since he signed his felony bond, there were multiple photos of him on Facebook in an Oconomowoc bar with alcohol in his hand, according to the police report.

The Sheriff's Department had been contacted by numerous individuals regarding his violations. The man was located with a drink in his hand at a bar and had consumed alcohol. He was transported to Waukesha County Jail.


Harassment: A Kirkland man was unhappy with construction across the street from where he lives with his mother. During the early morning hours the man set up a high intensity projector on his front porch, pointed it across the street and turned it on. The victim advised the suspect that he will obtain an anti-harassment order against him.

Harassment: Four women who are simply unable to live peacefully in the same community phoned police to report they were being harassed by various other members of the group. An officer told all of them their problems would likely be solved if they simply quit talking to one another.

Prancing: A female, who was very drunk, told police that a Hispanic man was allegedly “prancing” in the parking lot of a North State Street apartment complex at approximately 2:28 a.m. on Saturday. She had questions regarding the incident.

Harrassment: A 21-year-old Brookfield man reported he found two notes taped to his vehicle's windshield in reference to it being his birthday that day and to him losing his virginity while it was parked in a parking lot at Waukesha County Technical College, 800 Main St., on April 13. There is a suspect. No permanent damage was done to the vehicle.

Injury, Child: A concerned citizen called to report that a small child in a vehicle at a local convenience store was bleeding from the nose, ears, and other spots on the face. Authorities found the child, and determined that they had been eating a candy bar.

: Two very drunk men in shorts were seen yelling at one another while walking in Evergreen.

Dispute: An Olney resident called to complain that a neighbor sprayed her with a garden hose and used profanities against her. Authorities helped them work it out.

Dispute: A man was washing his car on Fairfield and his neighbor was upset because the water was hitting his rose bushes.

Child Neglect, Harassment: A complainant reported having received three hang-up calls from the same number in the past hour. When he called back a woman answered, saying she was babysitting and there was no way anyone there could have called because the kids were locked up in the closet.

Dispute: Two Rose Avenue residents reported that their neighbor was playing loud music and spraying their flowers with weed killer.

Arson: On Oakwood Drive, a resident reported that she was unhappy with her husband for setting the rear lawn on fire.


: Police received report of a man punching himself while walking along W. Reagan Pkwy. around 7:35 p.m., April 6. An officer located the man and spoke with him, making sure everything was fine.

Menacing: Menacing was reported on Kenville Road when a woman, in her 30s, dressed in all red clothing, was chasing people in the street with a fork. She was taken home.

Potential Suicide
: A woman called police because she said she had a headache and was going to take several bottles of aspirin to settle her down. Upon police arrival, officers observed her shoveling Smarties candies into her mouth.

: A disorderly person was reported outside a Transit Road business jumping up and down, not stopping. He was taken home.

Information: A Transit Road resident called police to tell them he had a bat in a plastic container and would be leaving his residence shortly for an appointment.

: Police responded to a call from a Walden Avenue hotel that a man who was not staying at the hotel had been wandering around and smoking a cigar all day. The man stated “Mr. Millenium” told him he could stay there anytime. Police escorted him off the premises.

Disorderly: Police stopped a 23-year-old Park Place resident who was running in the middle of Main Street. When police approached the man, he reportedly turned around, ran backward and said vulgar statements to the officer while punching the air in front of him.

Public Soliciting: A solicitor, described as a 25-year-old white male with bleached blonde hair, wearing a leopard print shirt, was on North French Road attempting to sell magazines. The man, who was missing most of his teeth, was advised by police.


Recycling violation: Police cited Gerald Plymesser, 70, of 529 Merton Ave., for violating the village's recycling ordinance, as he was seen taking cans out of bins.

According to the report, someone saw Plymesser taking aluminum cans and called police. An officer located Plymesser in the 200 block of West Capitol Drive and warned Plymesser that he is not allowed to do that. Plymesser drove off on his motorized scooter, and the officer saw Plymesser continue to remove cans; he was subsequently cited.

Theft: Employees of the The World’s Largest Laundry in the 6200 block of Cermak told police they observed an “older” man fleeing east on a bicycle, while balancing three iron trash can lids.

Nuisance: A noise complaint was reported on Pin Oak Drive. Police responded and found a 50th anniversary party. The seniors were advised to turn down the Frank Sinatra music.


Vandalism: At 5:15 p.m. March 20, an officer responded to the DNR lot at the end of Frog Alley Road after receiving a report that a memorial plaque on the north end had been pushed over and spray painted "save the deer" as well as some profanity. Anyone with information should contact the Town of Mukwonago Police Department.

Vandalism: Apparently, someone beat up a house on Meadow Lake Drive in Columbia Falls.

Trash: Someone found 20 to 25 packages of half-smoked cigarettes wrapped in aluminum foil on Blanchard Lake Drive.

Domestic Violence
: A 43-year-old Depew woman reported that her 41-year-old husband hit her with a hot dog during an argument.

Retail Theft: A security guard of a Depew grocery store reported that a man grabbed a 12-pack of beer, some powdered drink mix, a can of sardines and a box of condoms and ran out the door.

Suspicious Actions: Someone was reportedly riding a bike with a milk crate on the back in Columbia Falls. The reporting party somehow found this suspicious.

Suspicious Actions
: It is suspected that an individual climbed into a Whitefish motel and possibly slept in one of the beds.

Theft: Someone on West Reserve Drive reports that their sister stole something from them, though it is unknown exactly what.

Trespass: A Hamilton Boulevard resident reported that his lawn furniture and garbage cans had been moved and sandwiches were found in his backyard.

Suspicious Actions: A complainant called from Hopkins Road saying he could smell drugs coming from workers at a restaurant. Patrol responded and reported they smelled nothing but pizza.

Mischief: Occupants in a muddy Jeep on Arlington Road were reportedly throwing eggs at parked cars. Police responded and found they were actually throwing large, pink marshmallows. No damage was found.

Suspicious Actions: A Sundown Terrace caller reported a ladder up against the window of a darkened house. Patrols reported a resident painting.

Damage: A pedestrian on Kings Highway reported a water main break in front of the middle school. There was no break. It was raining.

Vandalism: A house on Dellwood Road was egged overnight and three slices of bologna found on the windows.

Drugs: A Lakewood Parkway resident reported a white powder at the end of her driveway, which she believed was drugs. Patrol determined it was road salt.

Criminal Mischief
: Police responded to a report of criminal mischief on Seneca Street after a caller reported that her vehicle window was smashed and the culprit could be someone who is harassing her son. Patrol determined footprints around the car may have been the complainant’s. The caller then stated that she may have been dreaming.

: A youth hooked a shot at the Brighton Golf Course and it landed into another game. The men it landed near thought they boys had done it deliberately.


: After dialing 9-1-1, hanging up, and calling back, a West Valley Acres man indicated that his wife was “ragging” on him. Authorities escorted the intoxicated fellow to jail for disorderly conduct.

Misuse of 911
: A 911 hang-up call was placed from a Somerton Avenue residence. When questioned, a babysitter said she was watching a video on YouTube which mentioned Brittney Spears’ cell phone number and the group tried calling it. She said she hung up when realizing the prefix of the number was 911.

Misuse of 911
: Union Road woman called 911 because she didn’t know how to use her phone.


Theft: A suspect was stopped by store personnel at a Harlem Road supermarket when he was seen leaving with two 30-packs of Miller beer without paying. When asked if he was going to pay, the man said he wanted to exchange the beer for a different brand. The employee informed him it is against state law to exchange beer and invited him back into the store to discuss it. The man then said he was not actually there to exchange the beer but steal it, as he did not have any money.

Possession: A motorist burned his jeans after being pulled over by police. He panicked while smoking a marijuana joint and stuffed it in his pocket.

Theft: A Southcreek Court woman reported that she let her boyfriend borrow her truck to
run a brief errand, and he never returned. The woman said she had only known the man for two weeks and does not know his last name or his address.

Vandalism, Gang Activity
: In the 1200 block of East, a black Ford SUV was found with a broken window. The victim told police he has been feuding with a street gang with a silly name, though not as silly as the nicknames of its members. The feud specifically involves two characters known on the street as “Chaos” and “Potato” who live in the 1400 block of Grove and are known to hang out on their own block and at 21st and Grove.

Drugs: Police served a warrant on a Main Street and after taking the suspect into custody, police saw another man trying to flush items down a toilet. The toilet, however, was not connected to the floor drain, so the water and the contents of the bowl poured onto the floor, revealing two small plastic bags. An officer pulled the bags from the water with a coat hanger, and the contents of the bags field tested positive as cocaine.

: While on patrol, officers observed three individuals entering yards as they walked along Center Road. They appeared to be intoxicated and gave conflicting stories as to why they were walking in people’s yards, including that they were looking at deer, jumping over a ditch and heard a dog barking. One of the individuals began using obscene language. He fought with the officer as he was being placed in the patrol car and said, “Go ahead, mace me.” The officer complied.

A-B-C, EASY AS 1-2-9

: West Seneca police responded to the Route 219 South entrance on Ridge Road, where a vehicle was off the road. The driver smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and could not produce the vehicle registration or insurance card. Though the driver said he had not been drinking, he failed field sobriety tests. While attempting to recite the alphabet for the second time, the suspect said, “My mouth doesn’t work right.

Speeding, DUI
: A patrol pulled over a vehicle on Ridge Road after he observed the car traveling 76 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone and stopping in the middle of an intersection. The driver did know what street he was on, but said that he was coming from his girlfriend’s house and drank eight or nine beers. When asked if he knew the alphabet, the driver said no.

DUI: A patrol stopped a vehicle after observing it weaving and turning into the oncoming lane of traffic on Seneca Street. There was an odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from the driver. He said he drank a couple of beers. The officer asked the driver to recite the alphabet, and the suspect said “A,” then “T” and started laughing.

DUI: A patrol responded to a report of a loud party on Forestall Lane. Upon his arrival, the officer heard a bang and saw a vehicle up against a Dumpster. The vehicle backed up and then pulled forward, striking the Dumpster again. When attempting to recite the alphabet, the driver got to G, but then mixed up the letters. He tried again, but continued to confuse the letters until finally he got to T and said, “Oh, you know.


Domestic Disturbance: A Sable Palm Drive resident complained her boyfriend was intoxicated and urinating on everything.

: A suspect was stopped in traffic on Seneca Street. When approached by the patrol, the driver had a strong odor of alcoholic beverage on his breath. When asked for his license and registration, the suspect gave the officer a pizza menu, thinking it was his registration. An open bottle of Michelob Ultra was in the car cup holder. The suspect failed field sobriety tests and the alcosensor with a .25 percent blood-alcohol content.

: Evidently, someone put paint thinner in a towel and urinated in a trash can at a local church.

Resisting Arrest, Obstruction, Aggravated Assault, Disorderly Conduct: Police saw a man urinating in an alley in the 2400 block of Clarence and asked if he lived at the address. Benjamin J. Lugo, 30, of 22nd Pl. in Cicero, allegedly responded in a belligerent fashion, “No, I’m just taking a p@#$ in here, what the f@#$ do you want?” When Lugo refused to submit to a protective patdown, police noted a strong odor of alcohol. At that point, Lugo reportedly began yelling, saying, “You want to lock me up, b@#$%, go ahead, I don’t give a f@#$! I’m a %% Boy [name of street gang] from Cicero. I don’t care if I go to county, b@#$#, I’ll f@#$ you up.”According to the report, Lugo became combative, spit at the officers and threatened their wives and mothers. Three officers grabbed him “in a control position” and placed him on the ground face-first to prevent him from spitting again.

Disorderly, Resisting Arrest, Obstruction
: An intoxicated man was Tasered after belligerence toward police officers who were advising him to leave the area of El Corral tavern in the 6300 block of 26th St. “I was a little buzzed up. That’s where beer balls comes in,” Lorenzo Barrera, 23, of the 2400 block of Clarence reportedly explained later. Police responding to a bar fight asked Barrera to leave, but he protested, saying he lost his $400 phone in the bar. Events allegedly escalated into a shouting match in the middle of 26th and Highland, where Barrera allegedly told police officers “F#$% you b!#$%es, Berwyn cops are nothing but b@#$%es and n@#$%rs.” He refused to be handcuffed, so an officer deployed his Taser, striking Barrera in the chest and stomach with the prongs. An ambulance brought the suddenly subdued man to MacNeal.

DUI: A patrol responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle on Connor Court. He located and stopped the vehicle. As the officer approached the car, the suspect opened his door and could not comprehend requests to close the door and roll down the window. The driver failed to put the car in park, and the vehicle began to roll backwards. The officer had to reach in the car and place it in park. When asked for his license, the driver handed the officer a credit card.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident, DUI: Police responded to an accident on Northwood Avenue,where a car had run over a metal sign. The suspect had abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot. He was located on a nearby street and admitted he had been drinking. After failing his third field sobriety test, the suspect said, “Let’s just call it a day.


Animal Control: A woman on Grover Cleveland Highway reported a large animal was behind her dryer and making a lot of noise. A large rat refused to come out of the hole. All were advised.

Animal Control: A one-legged turkey was reportedly in the middle of Willow Ridge Drive. The complainant said the bird was unable to move to the side, but it chased the patrol car that responded.

Animal Control: A goose was tapping on windows at the library on Audubon Parkway. The goose left.

Loose Animal
: A stray donkey returned home after an excursion to a Creston subdivision. The owner was overjoyed at its return.

Injured Animal
: A reportedly injured duck in Evergreen was actually quite content, and was simply mating with another duck.

Assault: A Lancaster woman reported she suspected her husband, with whom she is in the middle of a divorce, put bird droppings on top of the coffee grounds in her coffeemaker.

Disorderly: Two people in gorilla suits were walking around an Amherst subdivision “smacking passing motorists and yelling obscenities.” They were located while sitting by the side of the road and advised to put the suits away.

Loose Animal: A chicken was reportedly running in an area on Klein Road.

Animal Control: A Lake Avenue resident told police a turkey flew through her garage apartment.

Animal Control: A Delaware Avenue resident reported that her neighbor might be harboring a rooster.

Animal Control: A man called from Maple Road to report an encounter he had with a raccoon the previous night. He said the raccoon challenged him.

Loose Animal: A Casey Road resident wanted advice about the neighbor’s dog. The complainant wanted to know if it was OK to hit the dog with a baseball bat or shoot it when it got loose. He was told it was not all right.

And finally…


Vandalism: A Depew man, who is a registered sex offender, reported that someone had spray-painted the words “sex offender” on his front lawn.

Disorderly: A male was reportedly yelling and screaming in his Randolph Avenue driveway. Police reported he actually was trying to rap.

Domestic Dispute: Police were called to a dispute on Creekside Drive where a 15-year-old girl was out of control. The mother controlled the situation by sitting on the daughter.

Vandalism: An Orchard Park resident reported that someone dumped ramen noodles in their hot tub.

?: An East Bentham Parkway resident reported someone tasted her meatloaf. No evidence of such crime was found.

Property Damage: A Bayberry Avenue woman reported that someone entered her vehicle, rummaged through items and broke a Bon Jovi CD.


I have this frequent daydream, common to harried nerd moms the world over. Sometimes I allow myself to close my eyes for a moment and I imagine myself in a charming tiny cottage by the ocean in a sunny and sparsely-populated funky beach town – maybe Florida, maybe California, maybe somewhere I’ve never been before. It’s warm, but not blisteringly so, the soft breeze off the water gently blows through the cottage windows just enough to move the curtains. I can smell fresh flowers and Coppertone, hear the roll and crash cycle of the ocean, seabirds, the occasional car, flip-flops on a creaky wooden boardwalk, a child’s excited chatter. I dress as I please, in nothing more substantial than cut-offs and a t-shirt, barefooted, no need for makeup or a watch. I get up when I like, go to bed when I am tired. There’s nothing more I have to do than make myself a sandwich for lunch, and sweep the sand that travels in on my feet out the doorway again.

In my living room, there is no television, no phone, no internet, no newspaper with “Hell In A Handbasket” splashed on the front page. There are books – as many as I can haphazardly stack – oh, how there are books! All the books I’ve wanted to read, all the books I should read, all the books I want to read again. Every day, I select one to take with me to the beach, with a towel and some sunscreen and a big bottle of ice-cold water. I read, and think, and read more, watch the seabirds dive for fish, take a swim, towel off, maybe doze for a bit, then pick up the book again. When I am sated, I pack up my things and return back to the cottage, take a cool shower, and sit down to write. The days go by, quiet and thoughtful and unhurried and alone but for thousands and thousands of words coming in and going out, uncomplicated by schedules or traffic jams. I think about this scenario and I feel comforted, happy, peaceful, glowing from the inside. And then I think, well, good luck with that, honey, because by the time you ever get to do that your eyes will be totally shot and you won’t be able to read jack shit, and California will have fallen into the ocean. And then my laundry buzzer goes off, sounding a lot like “HA HA! HA HA! HA HA!”

Ah, but really, our daydreams are so useful. They tell you something about yourself, and maybe even inspire you to actually do something about making them a reality. In some cases, they aren’t impossible, but would you have the determination and the focus to achieve them? What would you be willing to sacrifice in order to do the one thing you always wanted to do? And if you decide it wouldn’t be worth it, I guess that tells you something about yourself and your life as well. Think about it this way: what if you could do one thing you always dreamed about, for one year, and it would have to be based in some kind of even vaguely-real possibility. No “hookers and Jack Daniels and 200K poker tournaments with a robot butler and a jetpack” for you, sir, or less likely in that example, ma’am.

Would you travel the world? Do nothing but work on your golf game? Volunteer to build homes for the indigent in Mexico City? Start a business? Write a novel? Go to school? Sleep? Teach English in Japan and stuff yourself with sushi? Work out five hours a day and get the perfect body? Rent a theater and see the top 1000 films of all time? Train for an Ironman competition in Hawaii? Become a political activist? Paint? Find the best apple pie in all of America? See, this can get tricky, picking just one thing do to, because there are so many excellent activities. But for semi-reality’s sake, we can say that picking only one thing makes it more likely to be able to achieve and appreciate at the end of the year. My literary beach world does mash-up reading, writing, and suntanning, but I think it’s a reasonable combo. Adding in some of my other big passions like making music or photography would confuse the effort and value of that particular sabbatical. But would it be too hard to give everything else up to focus on the one?

And, we might point out, this is not a family-and-friends deal. This is you, just you, on your own, doing your own thing. And this is what would stop most people cold, far past the hardships of trying to save money to pay for your dream, losing career momentum when you left your job for a year, or being able to choose what to do in the first place. Could you leave your kids for a year? Could you count on your friends still being there when you got back, or wouldn’t you want to risk it? Would you have a spouse or a significant other that wouldn’t say, “see ya, JERK!” and take a hike? Could you put aside all those connections and roots to satisfy a different piece of your soul? Determining when it is appropriate to call in the village for support or buy the single-fare ticket is difficult and risky. Sometimes you just aren’t going to be able to know what was right until you’ve lived with a decision for awhile. Hindsight, baby, hindsight.

Something I would love to do for a year would be this: director David Lynch’s Interview Project. It’s a simple premise: travel the United States and make tiny video profiles of random people you encounter. To make it more than a home movie, though, takes an intuitive sense of whom to select to interview, how to shoot it to be both honest and visually-beautiful, and how to edit it to achieve the most emotional depth. Lynch’s son Austin is one of the people driving the project and it is clear that he has inherited his dad’s quirky style and gifted vision. There is a poignancy to this effort that is always inherent in the idea of the unheard voice: that most people will live and die known by few. I always side with the view that underneath the mundane, if you dig, you will find the most compelling stories. The Interview Project is in the running for a Webby Award and today is the last day to cast your vote. I encourage you to register and vote for it, and let them know that you appreciate what they are doing.

For now, my daydreams are back-burnered, sort of. Every so often, I do get that beach thing, albeit with Slushie-mouthed children wanting to bury me in the sand. I read books when I can, at about a page a week it seems, but I do get to write, as might be noted here. Heh. I try to do what I need to do and try to do want I want to do, and that takes effort. It doesn’t ever just fall into place, so don’t count on the lottery or fate or Aunt Swiss-Bankaccount to make things happen for you, although that in itself is a sweet, sweet thought.

Think about your daydreams a little bit. You might just be able to figure out one or two along the way.


The best thing, I think, to any given day are the little surprises that come my way – the good ones, not the crappy ones like a tax audit or a tsunami. Today’s unexpected fun came from some Twitter banter, which turned into @Gbowdish tossing some rather mind-boggling German advertising my way. I usually count on Japan for the inexplicable and peculiar in almost any medium, but today I am going to pass along a few of these ads, some completely bizarre, and some rather beautiful in surrealist strangeness.

Let’s just start right off with the COMPLETELY BIZARRE. From the Krugmann Markenspirituosen family distillery, we are brought “Little Krugy.” From their site:

“Hello y'all,
My name is Krugy.

I am the delicious Vanilla-Caramel flavored cream-liqueur (alc 15% by vol) in its unique
bottle. THE TRUE ADULT BEVERAGE. I have become the "Talk of the Town" and
"the Hit of the Party".
I am traveling around the world one country at the time - and now

I have arrived in America.

You find me in trend setting cities to see and be seen; "swing'ng the
slopes" and "riding the waves" at the best resorts; see me sailing all the cruise- and party
ships; catch me "krug'ng" to Key West, danc'ng in the Streets of New Orleans and
leaving my heart in San Francisco.

Do your friends know about me yet? Why not let them know by sending
them a cute little email card from me?

In the meantime, have fun visiting my website and I'll see you soon in
your favorite hang-out place.

"little Krugy"

Forget the clumpy strangely-dated English. Want to see what the “Little Krugy” mascot looks like?

Yes. Yes, that’s right. Little Klugy is a smiling sperm cell. Now, you tell me: would you be enticed to purchase a beverage associated with the MALE REPRODUCTIVE EMISSION? Oh, how I would like to have an awkward broken English-German conversation with the person responsible for this ad campaign. The only problem would be that I might laugh a lung out, killing myself, and thereby never be able to experience the…the…possibly unique taste of the Little Krugy beverage. Let’s move on.

Not mentioning the war, we have this film for Schall und Rauch German cigarettes, from 1933, by animator Hans Fischerkoesen. This is one of the most weirdly artful commercials I’ve seen, with classical music, silhouettes, and plumes of tobacco smoke that become swirling apparitional dancing ballerinas. I’m assuming Schall und Rauch wasn’t cut with opium.

Continuing with the dramatic and weird, we have another Fischerkoesen production from a German ale manufacturer, a mini-movie from what looks to be the 1950s. We see a young woman trapped in a terrible nightmare, with drapey ghosts and violinist skeletons chasing her, only for her to wake to a sunny morn and the golden glow of a freshly-poured Underberg Beer. Is the idea, escape the nightmare that is post-WWII Germany by starting to drink at 7AM? Seems reasonable to me, really.

We will finish up here with this mod and disturbing German AFRI-COLA commercial from 1968, featuring creepy music, topical sexual social commentary, and hot chicks. Afri-Cola??? Do they sell Deutsche-Drink in Nigeria?

God, I hope I don’t dream about Little Krugy tonight.


Because I'm swift and such, I am reminding you that April is National Poetry Month here in the ol' U.S. of A., with only a few days left in said month. I do realize that it's likely most people find poetry a bit, well, snoooootaaayyy; it can seem impenetrably dense, overly grand, silly, simple, pretentious, academic, not for the regular folk. But I am going to stick up for poetry here, even though I myself don't write a lot of it, unless you count funny haikus or drippy teenage song lyric laments. Poetry is both a very disciplined art as well as very open and liberating process. A gifted poet crystallizes a moment and reveals human emotions in a way that few other artists can. Whatever you think of it, take a day this week to poke around and appreciate the wonderfully diverse world of poetry before May comes and it's National Incredibly Dull Technical Manual Month or something.

Just a quickie trio...

I love Austin Kleon's ingenious idea here -- "found" poetry via The New York Times, a black marker, and the thoughtful art of selection. Visually punk, but sweet, sly, and Sharp-ie. Click the link on his site and buy his newnewnew book!

Film critic Scott Jordan Harris shows us that anything sounds diginified recited with a British accent:

Last word goes to my homie Mark Twain, because I dig his whole vibe. Dude is layin' down a BURN here in "Genius."
Genius, like gold and precious stones,
is chiefly prized because of its rarity.

Geniuses are people who dash of weird, wild,
incomprehensible poems with astonishing facility,
and get booming drunk and sleep in the gutter.

Genius elevates its possessor to ineffable spheres
far above the vulgar world and fills his soul
with regal contempt for the gross and sordid things of earth.

It is probably on account of this
that people who have genius
do not pay their board, as a general thing.

Geniuses are very singular.

If you see a young man who has frowsy hair
and distraught look, and affects eccentricity in dress,
you may set him down for a genius.

If he sings about the degeneracy of a world
which courts vulgar opulence
and neglects brains,
he is undoubtedly a genius.

If he is too proud to accept assistance,
and spurns it with a lordly air
at the very same time
that he knows he can't make a living to save his life,
he is most certainly a genius.

If he hangs on and sticks to poetry,
notwithstanding sawing wood comes handier to him,
he is a true genius.

If he throws away every opportunity in life
and crushes the affection and the patience of his friends
and then protests in sickly rhymes of his hard lot,
and finally persists,
in spite of the sound advice of persons who have got sense
but not any genius,
persists in going up some infamous back alley
dying in rags and dirt,
he is beyond all question a genius.

But above all things,
to deftly throw the incoherent ravings of insanity into verse
and then rush off and get booming drunk,
is the surest of all the different signs
of genius.


I guess the most fascinating thing about the internet for me is the opportunity to instantly just drop into different cultures with a single click. It’s the ultimate fly-on-the-wall experience. It is something that completely did not exist prior to the series of those electronical tubes being constructed along the Alaskan Pipeline, running all the way to the North Pole, where Santa’s Elves act as online customer service agents for Comcast on the off-season. The internet has made the world truly visible, and more people are more known to more other people than in any other time in history. The Yanomamö probably have a blog, the President of the United States has a Facebook page, and frustrated 35-year-old men pretend they are all-powerful super killers on Xbox Live. You can drop into a message board or a chat room or one of a zillion blogs or any social network and watch the interplay between people’s strong needs for connection and validation and the cold steel wall of digital anonymity. The internet has not only changed how we receive information, but is rapidly changing us as human beings. That’s what this little four-eyed-fly thinks.

I got to thinking about this today as I was writing something else and keeping an eye on Twitter. It’s only relatively recently that I have paid much attention to Twitter because the name “Twitter” is painfully fey to me, and I am not much interested in hearing that anyone is at Starbucks eating a muffin or expressing that I myself am at Starbucks eating a muffin. But something has happened over at Twitter, other than stupid celebrities misspelling their every move. Twitter, yes Twitter, is where you are going to get information FIRST, and I mean real information that is actually important. No television news or even online news can move as quickly as the real-time, on-the-spot posts from people all over the world. There is no filter – it’s raw and sometimes inelegant and always brief and sometimes scammy – but if you want to be on the front lines, Twitter is your place. Depending on whose “tweets” you follow (god, I hate saying “tweet,” that’s even worse than “Twitter,” shudder), you are gonna get some useful stuff.

You are also going to probably be entertained, angered, bored, and learn more about some people through their 140 character Twitter limit than you would ever imagine one could, and not necessarily from the info they mean to give. What lies underneath the online persona is often not at all what you would expect. It all plays out over time, the phenomenon of the micro-burst-celebrity. Everything moves so fast as millions of people are submitting information, everyone vying for the attention of the world in some way, and the ticker keeps rolling and rolling and rolling, 24 hours a day, every single day. The last people you would imagine would even be there are there, and some of them are there a LOT and care a WHOLE LOT about how many times they get “retweeted” (there we go again, ewww), how many trends they generated, how many followers they have, and their general importance in the Twitterverse. They self-promote constantly, argue with internet idiots, and try to build an empire from hits and clicks and comments, all those 0’s and 1’s stacking high into the imaginary sky.

No one, I am learning quickly, is immune to being sucked in and consumed by the internet. It promises so much, fills assorted mental and emotional holes with distraction and flash, and unless your power goes out, it will never leave you or come to an end. You can be anyone you want to be: a digi-star, an internet warrior, a silent lurker. How many people now have a best friend that is a computer screen? Is one of them you? Is one of them me? Is one of them that last person you think should care or would care about any of it? Why is it important to have the attention of people that, in real life, you probably wouldn’t even be friends with and might actually cross the street to avoid? Why did you end up there, Twit-heads?

Watching so many personality fractures online is oddly compelling, and sometimes scary. Someone is one type of person here, another there, yet another somewhere else, and all of them may be absolutely nothing like that person is at home or at work. Is it all harmless play, or some kind of metaphor for painful social impotence? I have more questions than I will ever be able to answer, and the more I observe over the years, all I really know is that we are asking for more knowledge and less real humanity, in real-time, 24 hours a day, never-ending.

In the most head-shaking modern mash-up of the banal and the profound, even DALAI LAMA tweets! Yes, I’m a follower.


I like InStyle magazine, I really do. It’s the only fashion mag I buy on a regular basis because it’s got a great visual style, has lots of usable and up-to-date info, and doesn’t fill out the magazine with slimy sex articles or anything at all to do with Oprah. But forgive me sometimes if I take their suggestions my way. These, from stylist Nicole Chavez, are the ten things she thinks all women should own. Hmm, I said. Hmmm.

Black blazer

"A tailored blazer is classic, feminine and looks great on all body types. Pair it with anything: jeans, little dresses, trousers, skirts. Make sure to find one that fits you well and accentuates your waist--you don't want it to look like it's swallowing you!"

I’ve had a lot of black blazers over the years – vintage, new, tailored, baggy, girly, butch. The common feeling I have when wearing all of them is that I am destined for an important funeral.

Leopard print scarf

"Even if you're wearing a basic T-shirt and jeans, use accessories like a printed scarf as the 'bright' piece to complete your look."

Nothing says “old bat covering up a crepe-y neck” faster than the leopard print scarf.

Red Flats

"Black is the obvious choice, but red flats provide a pop of color and work for every season. I love to pair them with a striped shirt and a trench coat."

Hey,Dorothy…save the Wizard of Oz fashion for Halloween. And the suggestion to wear red flats, a striped shirt, and a trenchcoat sounds like you should add in a baguette and a pencil mustache while you’re at it. Too obnoxiously French.

Striped Shirt

"This timeless classic is having a comeback. It looks great paired with brights or prints or peeking out from underneath a blazer.

Nothing says “I am trying to convince you I am not short and fat” more than vertical stripes. Horizontal shirt stripes are too ‘80s, taken from the mod ‘60s, taken from jail.

Statement Necklace

"I believe in having basics in your closet and playing with your accessories. The statement necklace can make a simple outfit look strong and feminine."

I believe no one should ever use the phrase “statement necklace.”

Little Black Dress

"Every woman knows she should have a little black dress, but it's important to invest in one that's special. Look for a dress with a detail--an interesting sleeve, an embellished belt--that makes it unique. And remember that finding the right fit is important!"

I have a little black dress. I broke it in by kicking some creep in the ‘nads at a concert a couple of years ago. Is that enough detail?

Black Opaque Tights

"A great pair of tights can make your legs look slimmer and help you get away with wearing a dress that's a little too short. Double them up for a more opaque look -- and to keep you warm in the winter!"

You know very well that underneath those black tights there’s 3 weeks of leg hair growth and spider veins. Black tights are the equivalent of wearing the Hat To Cover Your Greasy Hair Because You Didn’t Shower This Morning.

Oversize Watch

"A watch is as much an accessory as it is a timepiece. A gold watch is a great way to dress an outfit up -- try leaving it loose so it looks like a bracelet."

An oversized, gold watch. That doesn’t seem tacky, no.

Flared Jeans

"This is a flattering shape for most body types. Pair them with platforms or wedges to get extra height while keeping the look casual and comfortable."

If you’ve already been through the fashion cycle of flares with platforms, beware: you can’t just dig out the 35-year-old stuff you wore. On a 20-year-old it looks vintage cool. On you it looks like you never actually stopped wearing it and still have a Peter Frampton poster up in your bedroom. Yes, I am talking to myself here. Next.

Classic Trench

"Think of this as an investment piece -- you'll wear it forever, even if you fluctuate in size. Look for a classic A-line silhouette that will cinch you in at the waist and wear it over everything from suits to jeans."

Generally, the trench makes you look like a man. A fat man, hiding guns or selling oversized gold watches.

By the way, I own all of these things.

HA 29

Best laugh of the day, courtesy bannedinhollywood, a very amusing place.


Me: Welcome to Popthomology, Arizona. I’m so glad you could be here today. I know you’ve been very busy recently.

The State Of Arizona: That is very true. We’re not really used to all this media attention down here. You know, no one even really lived here until air-conditioning was developed. And by “no one” I mean “regular normal” Americans, like our John McCain and our Steve Allen and our Wayne Newton. You know what I’m sayin’.

Me: Oh, indeed I do, Arizona, indeed I do. Let’s talk about this immigration bill controversy that’s going on. Can you explain a little bit about it for the readers here?

AZ: Of course. We have too many Mexicans here. They need to go home.

Me: Excuse me?

AZ: Mexicans. You can’t drive down the street without hitting a few of ‘em anymore. Can’t use bear traps. Can’t napalm no one no more. Gotta do something; they’re fast breeders.

Me: Oh, my. May I remind you that a third of your population is of Hispanic descent and that until the mid-1800s, Arizona belonged to the Indian natives, the Spanish, and Mexico?

AZ: What’s your point, sister?

Me: My point is that Uncle Sam’s 15-million-dollar payout to force-purchase Arizona from Mexico back in the day doesn’t at all change that fact that the state’s very foundation is based on native and Hispanic culture, with roots that thrive even in the desolation of the place.

AZ: Desolation! We’re known for our lush golf courses here, I’ll have you know!

Me: Don’t get me started. Nobody should really live in a place that has no water, where the sun broils the skulls of its residents for half the year, and where you might find a scorpion in the baby’s breakfast cereal.

AZ: My rattlesnake boots are sweet.

Me: I bet, Howdy Doody.

AZ: Well, you’re one to talk, Miss High-And-Whitey. You lived here.

Me: Yes, I did. I also chose to move away after 18 months.

AZ: You can’t tell me that you didn’t see some of the problems we are facing. Those illegals are draining all our resources, they bring in crime and poverty and all the headaches that a transient population makes. They take and take and take and pay no taxes. It’s wrong!

Me: Let me guess: the guys that do your landscaping are not Irish, and that you haven’t exactly asked what their immigration status is because they do nice work for cheap.

AZ: Well, OK. Those guys are cool. The rest of them gotta go. The police are finally going to get their rightful authority to kick these leeches out!

Me: I’m just going to go out on a limb here and guess that not every member of Arizona law enforcement has border-crosser super detection radar powers, because that is what it will take to determine an illegal person of Hispanic descent from a legal person of Hispanic descent. When you have identifiable visual qualities to a group of people, how can you ever claim you won’t be racial profiling? It’s impossible.


Me: A border state has different problems than other states, especially when the country it borders has a great deal of problems. I understand that. People want to protect what they perceive as their country, their morals, their rights. They worry that there isn’t enough to go around.

AZ: Now you’re coming around. Want to come to a Tea Party meeting with me? It’s close to ASU so there’s lots of hot dumb chicks around to ogle.

Me: No, thanks. I’m good.

AZ: Let me tell you how it is. The reason we passed this law is so someone would finally pay attention to us down here. We knew it was going to go straight into a court fight, and that’s exactly what we wanted. We want to make the Fed finally pay to shut down our border once and for all. They are supposed to be supporting us, and they do nothing. Plus, while this law stands, all of those Hispanics are going to get the idea that Arizona doesn’t want them. The illegals will not want the increased risk, and the legals will get tired of making sure they have perfect documentation every time they go out of their homes. We’re sending a message to the world. They aren’t wanted, they aren’t valuable, they aren’t respected, and we are going to do everything we can to make them know it.

Me: That’s pretty hardcore racism, Arizona.

AZ: Nothing you can do about it, baby.

Me: You think?


The time has come.

Diarrhea Island
will be no more.

I'm saying goodbye to my fecal friend, my crap companion, my bowel-y buddy, with a little tear in my eye and a cramp in my gut.


I'm just re-naming the blog. HA HA, like I'd stop writing shit.

After two years and almost a thousand posts in, it's time for a change. The name "Diarrhea Island" still makes ME laugh and other folks too, but other people find it too scary to even click on. I get that. This is the internet, and GOD KNOWS WHAT YOU ARE LIKELY TO SEE when you click on anything that has anything to do with bodily emissions. Furthermore, I am more than ready to stop getting so much traffic from people who LIKE loose poop, or answers on how to deal with loose poop, or scat porn. Thousands of people have landed at DI after a Google search wondering "why Chipotle causes diarrhea," did you know that? Poor them -- I'm no help, although I did write one entry on diarrhea to throw them all a bone...or, rather, some toilet paper.

It's also kind of a drag when I am talking to "normal people" and they go all "OOH! WHAT'S THE NAME OF YOUR BLOG? I'D LOVE TO READ IT!" and I have to say




And then I do a little tap-dance of an explanation that "" is NOT a filthy place all about rotovirus problems -- or worse -- while watching their somewhat-contained cringing horror. Sigh.

So, if Blogger has informed me correctly, Diarrhea Island will still be here, like right HERE with all the old entries and such, the RSS feed will still work for you subscriber types, but the new address will be:

I hope you appreciate it will now cost me TEN WHOLE AMERICAN DOLLARS PER YEAR to now be able to say my blog name without blushing and tap-dancing in public. In the coming days, I will re-design the site with a new layout and titles and such, so expect that. Don't expect the writing to change, except hopefully to always improve. I do love trying to bring you something you might enjoy every day. Thank you for being here on the Island with me.

So I'm packing up the Kaopectate, the sandy towels, the flip-flops, and the Solarcaine, and leaving "Diarrhea Island" to digital history, somewhat. I sure will never forget my stay.


I’m crabby because I am getting the family viral illness, so earlier in the day I was considering posting nothing but old Anacin commercials with screaming housewives just to cheer myself up. But lucky lucky you, instead I decided to go ahead and write my semi-annual Unwanted Advice rant. This time, I am going to break down to the very nib the things you need to do to fix most of the chronic crap in your life that makes you whine and cry and sigh and punch walls and stare at a TV set blankly for 6 hours a night. I could have parsed this out for a series of three incredibly successful self-help books with me ending up giving Oprah the stink-eye on national TV, but I really, really hate self-help books.

What makes me qualified to dispense such valuable wisdom? Nothing, but you don’t have to be licensed to post on the internet, so here we go…body, mind, soul. You can put on some spa music in the background if you like.


It’s true what they say, because they are smart and we are dumb. They say that if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything. Try doing anything fun or useful when you have a cold or your head is exploded or something. It’s really miserable. So why is it almost all of us treat our bodies like garbage dumps? I know why. Because we can. We can do all kinds of nasty things to it, and yet it forgives us so many times, and for so long. You say, well Grandpa Kauffenhacker smoked for 128 years and he was fine, right until the end when he mutated into a 6'-tall Kool Lights butt. We take it all for granted, and we say, ehhhhh, whatever, I’ll deal later.

Yes. Yes, you will. And when you get there, regret will seep so copiously out of your pores that the even-older crank down the hall at the hospital will yell at you to keep your loss down.


Don't smoke. Not only is it terrible for your health and the health of people around you, it stains your fingers and teeth and clothes and furniture, and makes you look like a complete weak idiot standing outside your office building in a blizzard puffing away. How do you quit? Don’t buy cigarettes and light them up and put them in your mouth. I know this is novel and radical, but there isn’t actually anyone forcing you to purchase cigarettes. You may feel pretty uncomfortable during the process of quitting, but you won’t die. Suck it up, Smokey.

Move. You have to move. Moving from the couch to the fridge for a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich is not exercise. You have to do more than that, although you don’t have to run a marathon or look like one of those bronze crustacean-like bodybuilders. We are not biologically set up to be sloths. Nature prefers us to be using the muscles we have all vigorous-like on a regular basis, which has more benefits than just better-looking muscles. You will sleep better, feel happier, have better and more sex, and have more energy -- exercise improves all of your systems. It’s like keeping your car in tip-top condition, you can tell the difference when you drive it, can’t ya? And, importantly, you are banking good health for the day when time starts to weigh a little bit more heavily. You won’t be the one with a horrible knee-replacement surgery, a broken hip that won’t heal well because you have too much weight on it, or the lack of stamina to get through grueling chemo.

Eat well. Watch your portions, and eat a variety of actual fresh foods, not processed irradiated corn-syrupy gloop. It’s not really that hard. I love love love food, but I don’t need to stuff myself until I feel like I have to puke. Anymore.

Watch that pesky substance abuse. Drugs n’ alcohol are bad, mmmkay, if you do too much, too often. Your body doesn’t like toxins, you know, and things add up. Your liver and lungs will revolt someday, and you need your liver and lungs quite a bit. If you are getting high and/or hammered a lot, you should probably be asking yourself why that is. “Because it’s fun” is not the real answer, Comedian.


Your brain is a fabulous thing. It’s more powerful than the blastiest volcano, the most clever supercomputer, or Justin Bieber’s hair. It wants you to USE it and you need to keep it entertained, or it starts getting sluggish and unhappy, making you forget where your car keys are or at what rate to tip a mediocre waiter. Your mind begs you to remember that you are a born scientist, artist, and engineer, even if past childhood this translates to creating a new dinner recipe from scratch, knitting a scarf, or figuring out how to hot-wire Grandpa Kauffenhacker’s ’78 Olds.

It wants you to do things that are novel and satisfying, for you to be genuinely interested in the world. Do everything you can to find a job that sparks your brain up, a hobby that challenges you, conversations with others that are stimulating and productive. Make something. I don’t care if it’s the Taj Mahal or a scrapbook detailing your Ozark vacation. DO STUFF.

Nothing will make you more unhappy, more restless, more questioning of the point of your existence than BOREDOM. Fight it.


Not that I think there’s really a soul per se, but you know what I mean. Your emotional self, your lovely “you.”

#1 MOST IMPORTANT THING: Do not waste one more single MINUTE of your time with people who disrespect you, treat you poorly, are thoughtless, are abusive, are neglectful, use you for money/sex/attention, threaten you, who say they love you but clearly don’t like you, who are bored by you, and who don’t really care all that much about anything about you. I don’t care WHO this is: a girlfriend, your BFF, your BFF’s real BFF, your mother, whatever. Spend your time with people who value your company, who want to be with you without changing you into something else, who appreciate you and can tell you that often. Cutting these parasite/vulture people off might be one of the hardest things you will ever do, and you will grieve. And then you will breathe again, and the people who truly like you will still be there. If the only “person” left is just a cat, that’s better than a crappy person. Unless you have one of those crappy cats that hiss whenever you go by and scratch you when you put their food dish on the floor. Consider a dog.

Be both less fearful and more fearful: care less about what other people think of you, and be more afraid of spending years and years in a rut. Extend your hand, but watch your back. Give more to those who are in genuine need, and don’t look for praise. Be your own friend first, and then it is remarkably easy to find compassion and time for others.

Love stuff, without worrying whether you should or whether it will go away someday, but go Buddha-style and want stuff less. Endless want makes unhappy souls. You were born rich, even without a super-absorbent diaper.

And that’s about it. Have I said this stuff here before? Sure. Will I keep saying it? Yes. Why? Because if even one of you does one of these things, your life will be better, and that is just a really cool thing.

I’m still getting sick, not quite as crabby as I was, and I still want to see that Anacin commercial.


Last week, I was checking out a online travel essay site getting ready to launch later this year, thinking about submitting a piece or two. As I read the extremely-lengthy submission guidelines, I started shaking my head. Oh. It’s one of those places, where they want the wri-tahhhh with “I TOIL GRIMLY FOR MY ART” written on their precious, bulging, gifted foreheads. I kept reading, and even started chuckling to myself. The site's two editors were more than blunt about how good they were and how much you were going to need their guidance, and that if they bothered to consider a piece from you, you had better expect it to be torn to pieces…and they weren’t expressing this with any sense of humor either, although they claim to luuvvv pieces with hu-mahhhh. Get this: “Any work submitted with two spaces after the period will be sent back to have the extra spaces removed before it is even read.” And this: “Question: Will my work be edited? Answer: Well, is the sky blue? Yes. Yes, your work will be edited. A wise man once said, "Behind every great writer is a great editor." If you disagree with this aphorism, then we suggest that you stop reading these guidelines and submit your work elsewhere. That said, [Pretentious-Plus] prides itself on providing top-quality editorial support to all writers whom we select to work with us. (Authors will be able to make final decisions on any piece before publication.)

Oh, get f-ed, you two. You haven’t even started your site yet and you sound completely unbearable. “Top-quality editorial support…” oh giggle giggle, THAT’S US, and you MAY get the CHANCE to WORK with US! Goddamn. From one of the editor’s bios: “[Snottella] is full of disdain for the general dumbing down of journalism and the gradual loss of the art of writing. [Pretentious-Plus] is her effort to combat the affronts she falls victim to as a result of the frequent overuse of Twitter-appropriate language, poor spelling, and factual errors.” Oh, reeeeeaaaa-laaaaay. Well, thank gawwwd for people like you and your exceptional grasp of the English language and your generosity in offering your relentless criticism towards absolutely every other writer now living. Thank you so much. What an inspiration.

This is one of the main reasons I will never go into an academic writer’s program. They tend to produce turds like that and, I honestly think, people who come to believe the process of good writing can be nothing but long and painful and who question their every terminal period space. No thanks. I’ll take inelegant and enjoyable over crafted and miserable every single time. As a matter of fact, I may start using THREE spaces after a terminal period, or I might be INCONSISTENT with my use of tense! HA! God.

It’s not like I don’t understand some of their points. There’s an exceptional amount of really poor writing out there, even from places not named after an unfortunate bowel occurrence. We are assessed quite often through our lifetimes over the quality of our written expression, and we should at least be able to choose to write competently when required to do so. What bothers me more than technical errors and grammar fails and shoddy organization, however, is lack of voice. If you are writing a news article, this is a plus – I come from the old-school journalism idea that a reporter’s job is to report, not form language to twist facts. But in other things…I see so many technically well-written pieces that end up being forgettable. There are many good writers. There are not so many that can deliver their unique voice and make words and ideas sing.

All writers benefit from having other eyes go over their work, mainly to see if what you are trying to say is being clearly expressed and if your expression brought about the change you want to see in your reader. For that is what writing is about, or any kind of creative effort that you put to the public – you want the person who experiences it to take something from it, something they did not have before, or something that is meaningful to them. Perspective is gained by sometimes leaving work sit and reading with fresh eyes later. But I will never be OK with the concept of the endless revision, that what you do can never be good enough or smart enough, and dammit, people won’t like it. Sometimes your first ideas are the best, and to rework and revise without a strong sense of who you are as a writer is to probably kill off your voice, to be replaced by your ego-mad editor’s snooty overworked prose. Heh.

A good editor is a rare thing. By nature it should be an ego-less job, not an opportunity to show off how smart and superior you are. You point out the tech errors and flow problems, sure, but most important is trying to help your writer be who they are, through their own words and own process. This is tremendously difficult, for sometimes a brilliant voice can be so shoved down by expectation and rejection and all the other lovely things the world can bring that it takes great insight, patience, and nurturing to bring it out as it should be, shining and defiant against those who think there is really only one “write” way. A writer who has been fortunate enough to work with this kind of editor knows how lucky they are. Not all good editors are right for all writers; not all writers need as much coaching and guidance as others. It’s all quite individual, and a good editor knows that, too.

If you are a writer and you keep unhappily laboring over your work and inflating its importance far past anything reasonable, looking for someone else to always tell you what to do or working only for the praise of others, maybe you’d be happier doing something else. If you don’t enjoy the process, the meat of what you do, what you spend the bulk of your time doing, how is that successful? Why do it? It’s not noble to suffer; it’s just stupid. Then again, maybe you are just a miserable bastard anyway, and would make a surly cook, disagreeable cowboy, or petulant podiatrist regardless.

Period.[space space space]HA!


You know.

When you get a presale code for Ticketbastard.

And wait patiently until 10AM to buy your very very very expensive show tickets.

And then see through many page refreshes that your presale code only allows you to buy the WORST SEATS IN THE PLACE because they aren't even releasing the others, apparently.

You wonder.

You do.




(Blue Monday by New Order comes on the car radio. MissSeven reads the dash display.)

MissSeven: HAHAHAHAHA! Blue Monday??? What does that mean? HAHAHAHA!

Me: I dunno.

MissSeven: A Monday can't be blue! What were these guys doing? HAHAHA! That's crazy! Were they crazy? HAAAA! (pause) It sounds cool, though.

Me: (big smile)


Hey, Republican Tom Schweich, Tea Party Pal and candidate for Missouri State Auditor! I have a suggestion about WHERE SOME OF YOUR OWN MONEY SHOULD GO -- straight to The Dandy Warhols' pockets.

It's bad enough that you ripped off their "Bohemian Like You" song for your painful right-wing "Gimme Back My Freedom" song and then deny it, but MY GOD YOU SHOULD NEVER EVER TRY TO SING AND YOU PLAY GUITAR LIKE A MONKEY WITH BOXING GLOVES ON.

I don't know about you, Missouri, but I guess some qualities I would like in the person watching over my tax dollars would be NOT TO BE A BIG FAT BUSH-CRONY LIAR and A LOUSY RIP-OFF ARTIST. Just sayin'.

UPDATE: 5/1/10

OH HO HO HO HO HO. Turns out Tom HAD asked permission to mutilate "Bohemian Like You," and the Dandies DENIED, and this fine public servant JUST WENT AHEAD AND USED IT ANYWAY. Tsk tsk tsk.

OUTCOME: As you can see below, video removed for copyright infringement. I'm just sorry I didn't make a rip of it for eternal taunting's sake.



1. "Well, I've never heard of that band/that song/that kind of music before, so it can't be any good."

2. "It's time we take back America!"

3. "I'm bored."

4. "Oh, I could never do that -- what would everyone think?"

5. "knowwhatImean?"

6. "Things happen for a reason."

7. "I'd like to have just a minute of your time to tell you about this great new offer."

8. "One nation, under God."

9. "I'm saving it for a special occasion."

10. "Internet's down."


Of course not. Arizona, a very politically-odd state, is not going to get the “immigration problem” solved by its new ham-handed legislation, which now awaits the Governor’s signature to go into law. It will get signed, and then will immediately be challenged by any number of civil rights groups for what will likely be another long court mess. Fun in the sun!

A summary: the new law will require all U.S. aliens to carry their registration papers on their person at all times, and mandates police to question any person they suspect might be in the country illegally. HA HA! GOOD LUCK WITH THAT, ARIZONA! A 2008 United States Census tells me that 33% of your legal residents are of Hispanic extraction, about the same number do not speak English as their primary language, and SURPRISE SURPRISE, Arizona has the nation’s fastest-growing Hispanic population. Let’s not pretend this law is about suspected Arab terrorists or intolerably-hip French youth who have outstayed their college visas. It’s about MEXICANS, where the word “Mexicans” is used as a slur.

Oh, I can hear it. Rep. Whitey McDesert, when safely away from a media outlet microphone: “DAD GUM MEXICANS! BREEDIN’ LIKE UN CONEJO! TAKIN’ AWAY ALL OUR GOOD ‘MERICAN JOBS LIKE LAWN MOWIN’ AND TOILET CLEANIN’ AND LIFTIN’ HEAVY CRAP! WE GOTTA DO SUMPTHIN’ ABOUT IT!” No surprise – in tough economic times especially, the “damn foreigner” is to blame and gets the first shove out the door. And with Mexico’s violent out-of-control drug cartels sliming their way into Arizona, people are freakin’.

But get real, Arizona. It’s not going to work, and you’ve just wasted everyone’s time here and you look even more obnoxiously racist that you already were perceived to be. Why this law cannot work, because apparently you need someone from “Diarrhea Island” to tell you, you dumbasses:

1. If you require all aliens to carry their documentation, expect a surge in reasonably-priced and beautifully-forged papers. Tech-friendly capitalists will always be one step ahead of any anti-forgery measures the government might build in.

2. If you require police to question anyone who may LOOK like they are an alien, i.e., A MEXICAN, then all U.S. residents or legal aliens with any kind of Hispanic attributes had better make DAMN sure they have their proof with them at all times as well. This seems just a tad, oh, HITLER-ISH, hmm? What’s next – tattooing legal Hispanics with a smiling cactus and the illegals with a sad-faced burro?

3. Your police are not trained for this, but you are going to have to spend the money to try, Arizona. You are also going to now magically find massive amounts of government funds to pay for more police, more jails, more investigators, more lawyers, more everything that you cannot possibly provide to deal with the amount of CRAP you just bought your system. I have this sneaking suspicion that might be an issue with your constituents. Passing laws without the money built in to fund the reality of them – it’s a classic government fail.

4. The new law also re-states the federal position already in place against those who hire, transport, or hide illegal aliens. Arizona hasn’t been able to enforce that adequately yet; why think adding even more on will make it happen, when the system will be bursting at the seams?

Some “hello” moments: People in desperately-poor countries will always try to survive any way they can, at nearly any cost. People in not-so-poor countries will spit upon them in public and hire them in private, because people like to save money and Whitey McDesert’s kin don’t want to work those crappy MEXICAN jobs anyway, right? And the drug dudes? Supply and demand, baby, supply and demand. We make America their dream, too, don’t we?

There are so many larger issues at work here, which makes us take a hard look at both the physical and Constitutional nature of America. Who are we? Well, we are a nation that borders other nations with an invisible line in the dirt. We are also a nation who claims inclusion and tolerance and diversity as things to cherish and uphold. We are also not able to take on the problems of the world and solve them all, either. There are realities to what we are, what we are not, and what we can be without becoming an entirely different country. We must be very, very wary when the legislature and the judiciary and police are given the power to close ranks on a racial group, no matter what reasons are given for such actions.

This famous quote, from Pastor Martin Niemöller, should sit on every desk of every American lawmaker, and each should study it carefully before proceeding with their decisions that affect us, and the world.

"THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

and by that time no one was left to speak up."



A young woman strides down the sidewalk, dolphin-grey tights on her long legs, her rich red coat billowing softly around her, unbuttoned, long baker’s-chocolate-brown hair bouncing with every step, all the colors deepened by the overcast skies. Post-War French Vogue, boarding school old-money, incongruous walking past the modern suburban public elementary.


She has that orange-y home-bleached-blonde hair, so tightly pulled back into a bun that not a single strand falls to soften her aging face, her posture utterly upright, unusual in a very tall woman. Business dress, from 20 years past: a too-long black trenchcoat with too-wide shoulder pads, everything black… gabardine pants, bracelet, shoes, purse. In her left hand, she clenches a single car key so firmly, held with the metal jutting out between her middle and index fingers, that her knuckles are shiny white. It’s a self-defense tip, I recall.


As I drive past the crosswalk where the teenager and her toddler sister were hit, I see the baby’s pale pink blanket lying in the gutter, even though it is no longer there.


Like a starving feral cat on a fat juicy mouse, I pounced on my opportunity to get tickets to see TELEVISION’S VERY OWN pasty Irish beanpole, Conan O’Brien, as he made his way into Seattle on his “Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television” tour. If you are perusing this review, I know that you not only can read English at a high school level but also are likely to be aware of O’Brien’s recent trouble in TV land, hence the tour name. You see, once upon a time a few months ago, Conan O’Brien became the host of NBC’s very own “Tonight Show,” which is possibly one of the most influential programs in broadcast history. Do not look at me askance for my assertion, nor tell me that I have suddenly slipped into college-level alliterative prose. Even in its dotage, “The Tonight Show” is often the last place American eyes rest for the night, other than on a snoring corpulent blanket-hogging spouse or the flashing neon sign that reads, “ALL-NITE LIQUOR,” sadly blinking you into sleep. The “Tonight Show” monologue, a mix of jokes and topical observations and jokey topical observations, often has quite a lot to do with the national pulse – politics, scandals, whatever is going on in the world that you can poke at and make a little lighter for that moment. Millions of people watch the host, and the host becomes a friend of sorts, trusted to bring some truisms via comedy, which is always the sneakiest and best way. It’s kind of a big deal, that job, because what you do and say becomes something of the barometer of the common American, and is noted by all, including kings and lords and gods and presidents and members of Congress and all kinds of powerful folk. Yes, even Triumph the Insult Comic dog has some kind of clout – you better believe it.

So, when NBC decided to return the “Tonight Show” to host Jay Leno (after not giving it to David Letterman all those years ago when Johnny Carson retired and against Ol’ Johnny’s wishes, those bastids), and move Conan back a time slot and way back in prestige, you might see why O’Brien was more than a little upset – he was devastated. He had moved his entire “Late Night” crew and their families to Los Angeles for the “Tonight Show,” then after a few short months, poof! It was taken away, and a poor substitute offered. You work for years, get the KING LORD GOD slot of big television comedy/talk shows, and aren’t even given a reasonable chance to build your new audience and your spin on the franchise.

Welcome to showbiz.

A showdown then occurred, no doubt via very aggressive, unpleasant, expensive, and brutally competent lawyers, and similarly-featured managers, publicists, executives, accountants, and their minions. The result? Conan gets 30+ million bucks to take a hike, probably losing a good chunk of 17 years of what NBC termed their “intellectual property” from both his stint on the “Tonight Show” and “Late Night,” and the caveat that he not show up on TV, anywhere, until the end of this year. Leno gets his “Tonight Show” back, and public sympathy lies strongly with O’Brien. “Team Coco,” as his loyal fans are now known, rallied to his defense, certainly buoying O’Brien’s spirits and confidence that his career would survive the bump.

Which brings us up to today. O’Brien announced last week that he will be hosting a new show on TBS. And in the riding-high rally spirit of Team Coco, we have this new comedy tour featuring Conan, his TV show band, sidekicks La Bamba and Andy Richter, and a few of those contested IP features. I was rather surprised when I heard about it. Damn, I thought, that dude should chill out in Fiji with his family or learn how to play canasta or spend his time writing and figuring out this new show, why a stage tour now? I wasn’t unhappy about it, obviously, just curious. I didn’t know how he would have the time to get a live traveling show together in such a short time. But hey – the guy has been getting together a show every night for many, many years…he’ll work it out, I knew. Maybe it was to keep the momentum of Team Coco going, keep to interest high, keep in the press. Maybe it’s fun to do something visible when you’ve got a gag order on you elsewhere. Maybe Conan cannot tolerate “downtime.” Maybe he thought people missed seeing him, and maybe he missed connecting with and playing off of an audience. Probably all of that.

Conan is such a likable guy, goofy yet lightening-fast, smart without being snotty, willing to do what it takes to MAKE THE BIT HAPPEN. Like David Letterman, Conan’s closest counterpart, you get the feeling that they live for the monologue and comedy bits on the show. The guest interviews are generally a necessary evil. I always felt this bursting razory energy from O’Brien when I watched his show – like he was containing himself and would be far more edgy if he could be. This was my expectation for the stage show: CONAN ON FIRE!

I had great seats – about 9th row back on the right side. McCaw Hall is really a nice place, all fancy ‘n stuff. (They also have a lovely restaurant with elegant yummy food that served me with amazing lightening speed. Honestly, I gave my order to the very nice waitress, and it was on the table in about the time it would take for her to walk to the kitchen and walk back. It made McDonald’s look sluggish.) The Hall was filled with happy giddy Conan fans, many getting their pictures taken by the front the of stage backdrop, and a few wearing orange party hats in honor of Conan’s 47th birthday that day.

The show began with comedian/musician/beatboxer Reggie Watts. I didn’t realize there was going to be an opener, so in my mind I was all Homer Simpson saying, “Oh…alley ball!” in mild disappointment. But OH MY MY, what a wonderful surprise Mr. Watts was! It would be hard to explain what he does, because it is such a seamless integration of humor and hiphop and surrealist raps that flow into concise commentary, done in such a unique way. He is not only funny, but a ridiculously good singer and someone who has an incredible feel for timing and musicality. I love that he is mixing up all these things and doing it his way. He absolutely won over the Coco-nuts, and he gets my highest recommendation. Wish I would have recorded some of what he did, but this gives you some idea. Go see this guy!

After Reggie and a short intermission, Conan’s old “Tonight Show” band compadres roared onto the stage and then out into the audience for a big high-energy start to the main show. And then there he was – Conan himself – as tall, thin, pale, geeky, and totally swell as you might imagine him to be, and the crowd went wild. He seemed very comfortable onstage with only 4 of these shows under his belt, and noted that his wife and some of her Seattle-based family were in the audience. There were lots of bits incorporating local humor – always a smart thing to do to win over a crowd – but it did seem that Conan had a real fondness for our town, which he said he visits often.

There was quite a lot of talk from O’Brien about “the situation” with NBC, most of it leading to bits. The filmed ones were quite good of Conan as a mental Ernst Blofeld-style TV executive and as a bloated hairy sloth of an unemployed talk show host. I got the impression that O’Brien was still processing what had happened to him, and that behind all the funny of it, there was still some…something. But that did not interfere in the least with anyone’s enjoyment of the show, as costumes were changed, songs were played, and Conan joked and giggled and mugged for his peeps. He seemed genuinely happy to be performing again.

Fie on intellectual property disputes! Watch the infamous Masturbating Bear magically change into...The Self-Pleasuring Panda!

Conan likes to play guitar, and did so quite often during the show. Here's his take on the '60s hit "Polk Salad Annie," including some fine dancing at the end. My poor little camera couldn't get a good read on that white face of his. BWAHAHA!

This giant inflatable bat looks like it was designed by a kindergarten boy in 1967, which of course makes it awesome. If it used to be Meat Loaf's bat, PILE ON THE SWEET SAUCE!

Andy Richter really is a funny guy and a perfect companion to O'Brien, and show writer Deon Cole came out and told some mostly-racial-humor jokes, which he delivered pretty well, considering they were fresh off of notecards.

Famous Seattle rock dude Dave Matthews was a special guest, and sang "Bartender" for the assembled. He also joined in on the Chuck Norris/Walker Texas Ranger clips, because he could.

So...was Conan ON FIRE? Not exactly. The stage show was mostly, well, very like his TV shows with some Conan music and a few non-network-friendly words. The crowd ate it all up, and it certainly was lots of fun, but it wasn't quite the show I thought it could have been. It's hard to say if O'Brien will ever have this kind of opportunity or completely focused crowd-love again, which is why I don't understand him not coming into the tour wanting to WOW people or try out all the bits he wishes he could've but couldn't get past the censors over the years or say everything about "the situation" that he would like to, and I think he should've. I don't know that any of the musical bits were all that entertaining, and the "Conrad Bain" song should be axed ASAP. The whole "Different Strokes" meme is just too old now to flog.

Conan's original Twitter post which alerted a semi-awake me to get my great seats said this: "Hey Internet: I'm headed to your town on a half-assed comedy & music tour. Go to for tix. I repeat: It's half-assed." No no no, Team Coco, don't hiss at me; I'm not going to agree with him. The show was a good three-quarter-assed, and very enjoyable. Here's to Conan gaining a quarter-ass over the rest of the tour. I love the guy, and wish him all the best best best. Yes I do.

The show ended with a version of Ronnie Hawkins rockabilly classic "40 Days" and as Conan plows his way through the crowd, you see many very happy faces. And that's what it's all about, Charlie Brown.