Archive for December, 2002

Memebusting the 12 days of Xmas

December 31, 2002

Leading up to Christmas this year I was several times sent chain mail claiming that the lyrics to the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” encoded forbidden Catholic catechistic information under Anglican repression.
Something smelled fishy about this, not least because it was presented without any evidence, and the correspondence seemed fairly weak for most of the attributions.
Asking around about this on the Well, I was directed to this Snopes article on the meme: Urban Legends Reference Pages: Christmas (The Twelve Days of Christmas)

Memebusting the 12 days of Xmas

December 31, 2002

Leading up to Christmas this year I was several times sent chain mail claiming that the lyrics to the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” encoded forbidden Catholic catechistic information under Anglican repression. Something smelled fishy about this, not least because it was presented without any evidence, and the correspondence seemed fairly weak for most of the attributions.
Asking around about this on the Well, I was directed to this Snopes article on the meme: Urban Legends Reference Pages: Christmas (The Twelve Days of Christmas)

Stormy Monday

December 30, 2002

I stood out back in the shed listening to the wind pick up and drive the light rain against the walls and fences and trellises. Rose bushes lash the windows even now. The cat and I agreed to go back inside.
Working on a longish blog entry about losing my wallet in New York and the catch-22’s around the need to show I.D. to get on an airplane these days. Starring the Tell Me system.
It’s the end of the year and I’m trying to clean out my basement of equipment from my old downtown office. I’m getting rid of a UMAX dual-processor supermac (PowerPC) clone, a 486 with monitor, and a 386/doorstop. Also, some keyboards and mouses. Mice? There seem to be a few good places right here in Oakland that will reuse or recycle them responsibly.
Live 1975B and I agreed no gifts this year, but I took it upon myself to get us the Beck CD she’s been wanting since we saw him at the Paramount and the new Dylan bootleg series release, from the Rolling Thunder Revue tour. B saw a show on that tour in a high-school auditorium in Augusta, Maine. Apparently no one taped that show but I did once find her a bootleg recording of the show just before it, in a slightly larger New England venue. This tape included the performances of all of the musicians, not just Dylan’s set.
Anyway, we just got back from New York and still haven’t listened to either of the records yet (though we did listen to a little of the Dolemite LP “This Ain’t No White Christmas” my brother A gave me the first night we got back—it survived being checked), but this part of a chockful Ken Layne update really whets my appetite:

My favorite gift hasn’t been out of the office CD player in days: the two-disc set from Bob Dylan’s 1975 Rolling Thunder tour. Fantastic. “Just Like a Woman” is on right now, showing off this crazy band: Mick Ronson’s spidery lead guitar, pedal steel, violin, Roger McGuinn, T-Bone Burnett, Rob Stoner’s bass anchoring the whole thing.

Every song is beautifully done. A bunch have completely different arrangements (normal for Dylan), but what’s astounding is how perfectly these new arrangements work. Dylan’s voice is at its best: clear, passionate, every word enunciated. He jokes with the crowd, gives friendly thanks for applause, and sounds utterly delighted to be doing these shows. This double CD quickly became one of my all-time favorite live albums … and it’s now one of my favorite Dylan records (along with “Love and Theft,” “Blonde on Blonde,” “Blood on the Tracks,” “Desire” and “Nashville Skyline”).

From the first track, you know something good is happening. It’s “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You,” transformed from a country ditty to an absolutely rollicking “Beggar’s Banquet”-style barroom beauty.

Something similar happens with “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall,” a song I’ve always dismissed as preachy. Not here. It’s a roadhouse dance tune, with a freight train rumble and a singalong chorus. You can almost smell the goddamned whisky fumes and taste the BBQ ribs. (How the hell did they pull this off in New England?)

The recording is so crisp and alive, it sounds like it was done last week, not a quarter-century ago. Highly recommended, and not just for Dylan fanatics (which I’m not). This is a record for anybody who likes Ziggy Stardust, Wilco, “Exile on Main Street,” Beck, the Texas Tornadoes, Johnny Cash, Son Volt, the “O! Brother” soundtrack, Ryan Adams, the Flying Burrito Bros., Jimmie Rodgers, Robert Johnson, the Pretenders, Hank Williams (Sr. or III), and pretty much any good, raw American music.

Stormy Monday

December 30, 2002

I stood out back in the shed listening to the wind pick up and drive the light rain against the walls and fences and trellises. Rose bushes lash the windows even now. The cat and I agreed to go back inside.

Working on a longish blog entry about losing my wallet in New York and the catch-22’s around the need to show I.D. to get on an airplane these days. Starring the Tell Me system.

It’s the end of the year and I’m trying to clean out my basement of equipment from my old downtown office. I’m getting rid of a UMAX dual-processor supermac (PowerPC) clone, a 486 with monitor, and a 386/doorstop. Also, some keyboards and mouses. Mice? There seem to be a few good places right here in Oakland that will reuse or recycle them responsibly.

Live 1975B and I agreed no gifts this year, but I took it upon myself to get us the Beck CD she’s been wanting since we saw him at the Paramount and the new Dylan bootleg series release, from the Rolling Thunder Revue tour. B saw a show on that tour in a high-school auditorium in Augusta, Maine. Apparently no one taped that show but I did once find her a bootleg recording of the show just before it, in a slightly larger New England venue. This tape included the performances of all of the musicians, not just Dylan’s set.

Anyway, we just got back from New York and still haven’t listened to either of the records yet (though we did listen to a little of the Dolemite LP “This Ain’t No White Christmas” my brother A gave me the first night we got back—it survived being checked), but this part of a chockful Ken Layne update really whets my appetite:

My favorite gift hasn’t been out of the office CD player in days: the two-disc set from Bob Dylan’s 1975 Rolling Thunder tour. Fantastic. “Just Like a Woman” is on right now, showing off this crazy band: Mick Ronson’s spidery lead guitar, pedal steel, violin, Roger McGuinn, T-Bone Burnett, Rob Stoner’s bass anchoring the whole thing.

Every song is beautifully done. A bunch have completely different arrangements (normal for Dylan), but what’s astounding is how perfectly these new arrangements work. Dylan’s voice is at its best: clear, passionate, every word enunciated. He jokes with the crowd, gives friendly thanks for applause, and sounds utterly delighted to be doing these shows. This double CD quickly became one of my all-time favorite live albums … and it’s now one of my favorite Dylan records (along with “Love and Theft,” “Blonde on Blonde,” “Blood on the Tracks,” “Desire” and “Nashville Skyline”).

From the first track, you know something good is happening. It’s “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You,” transformed from a country ditty to an absolutely rollicking “Beggar’s Banquet”-style barroom beauty.

Something similar happens with “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall,” a song I’ve always dismissed as preachy. Not here. It’s a roadhouse dance tune, with a freight train rumble and a singalong chorus. You can almost smell the goddamned whisky fumes and taste the BBQ ribs. (How the hell did they pull this off in New England?)

The recording is so crisp and alive, it sounds like it was done last week, not a quarter-century ago. Highly recommended, and not just for Dylan fanatics (which I’m not). This is a record for anybody who likes Ziggy Stardust, Wilco, “Exile on Main Street,” Beck, the Texas Tornadoes, Johnny Cash, Son Volt, the “O! Brother” soundtrack, Ryan Adams, the Flying Burrito Bros., Jimmie Rodgers, Robert Johnson, the Pretenders, Hank Williams (Sr. or III), and pretty much any good, raw American music.

Bush/White House comment line: 202-456-1111

December 30, 2002

GWB HOTLINE 202-456-1111
1 PHONE CALL EQUALS 10-20 PEOPLE WHO DIDN’T CALL, PLEASE PASS ON TO FRIENDS
{source this?}

Bush/White House comment line: 202-456-1111

December 30, 2002

Is this meme for real? I got in email today:

GWB’s Whitehouse Comment Line: 202-456-1111 Please make a call, it only takes a minute.The Bush White House has an comment line for us to call. Now that the response to the Iraq report is in it is very important to let him know if you oppose the proposed war in Iraq. Since the experience of Vietnam, our government is very causious about going to war without the consent fo the people. CALLThe line only accepts calls from 9-5 EST., Monday thru Friday. Call the White House at 202-456-1111. A machine will detain you for only a moment and then a pleasant live operator say White House Comment Line and you can tell her/him how you feel . She/he will then ask you where you are calling from. It will only take a minute. Note that the weekends are closed for calls.The president has said that he wants to know what the American people are thinking. Let him know. Time is running out. Then please forward this e-mail Tell them what you think: 1 PHONE CALL EQUALS 10-20 PEOPLE WHO DIDN’T CALL, PLEASE PASS ON TO FRIENDS

Ishle unplugged

December 30, 2002

While I didn’t manage to stay long enough to see all three bands (I missed Zmrzlina and Sonny Smith) at Watchword‘s Dec 8 event at Café du Nord, I did catch Sam Tsitrin’s new combo, Ebb and Flow, who presented a fluid velvet beefheart groove style, and I heard all three poets (Ishle Yi Park, Maw Shein Win, and Stephanie Young) perform. They rekindled my love of words and sense of belonging to a community of people who care about writing and art and human expression and partying and uncomfortable truths and love.

Stephanie Young repeatedly conjured miniature worlds of writing and day-to-day life, her poems at times plaintive like worksongs put me in little wordplay reality trances.

But it was Ishle who rocked the house, moving the podium and microphone to one side and singing out her poetry in a street-informed voice, defiant, sensitive, and funny.

I believe she has a new book of poetry coming out, or you can buy her self-published Girl Fish at her website.

Also included at the site are a few of her poems (including her showstopper, “Pussy”), a list of upcoming events, and a journal:

i used to be a corporate paralegal, saving poems on disks between photocopying depositions for this fat ass farting white republican lawyer. i got paid mad loot, but jesus christ, thank god i left! and i used to live in the bronx with my ex-man, watching blockbuster videos every night and fighting. once every three months I’d go to a poetry reading. quitting that job, and quitting that man, gave me time and energy to dedicate to myself, and my writing, and going to open mics, which became features, which eventually became this crazy, blessed life.

New reading series in San

December 30, 2002

New reading series in San Francisco.

Wednesday, December 4th at 7:30 pm
2390 Mission Street Suite #10, at 20th and Mission
$2

New Series    New Writing///a creative//    new series of readings by some of the BayArea’s most talented writers   plus a free chapbook at every readingtonight’s fabulous readers:Chaim Bertman, Sasha Cagen, Stephanie Young, Liz WorthyFor further information contact Jenny Bitner.

Who wants to bukkake a millionaire?

December 30, 2002

Recently I did a few technical favors for this friend of mine and to show her gratitude she offered me a little gratuity, some of the spillover from her enormous pr0n collection. Today the USPS left a box on my doorstep and it brought to mind that old song:

And it’s just a box of porn
I don’t know who put it there
Believe it if you need it
Or leave it if your dare

If nothing else, it should give my partner and me the chance for a little hotel-room-type amusement or even a “you like that?” conversation. From the box covers, it looks to me like the middlebrow stuff with relatively high production values and a semblance of a plot.

This reminded me of something I was thinking over the holidays and planning to mention to the Kowgirl: When are we going to see “Reality Porn”?

Who wants to gangbang a millionaire?

Actually, the real cutting-edge approach would involve not just sloppy sex but also conception, questions of paternity, decisions about whether to bring to term, etc.

Who wants to give birth to a millionaire?

Who wants to conceive a millionaire?

Who wants to sire a millionaire?

With better promotion than the Guinness Book-style gangbang contest movies, a reality porn series could easily include a $1,000,000 pot going to any child conceived (or the pot could go to the female actor and/or the “successful” male actor, the possibilities are endless). But would the producers be willing to risk the condemnation and wrath that an inherently gonzo culture-war blitz would entail?

Discuss among yourselves.

Where SBC Pacbell Customers Opt Out

December 29, 2002

From a letter in the business section of today’s Sunday (S.F.) Chronicle thanking columnist David Lazarus for bringing out SBC Pacbell’s process for obtaining permission (or making it difficult for you to withhold permission) for sharing your personal information.
Rather than suffering through a phone-tree thicket, go directly to http://sbc-pacbell.com/rescpni to opt out directly.