Saturday, May 29, 2010

I Wore Him Out

I'm into the rough stuff.

This should come (so to speak) as no surprise to the 7 of you who've followed my comings (so to speaking) and goings (so to speak) through the various iterations of this blog.

Because I've said on more than one occasion that when I Ride Morrissey, My Recumbently Effeminate Exercise Bike, I GIVE IT TO HIM HARD, which I bet a lot of you thought was an exaggeration, but it's not.

And I can prove it because the other day, I broke Morrissey.

That right — I BROKE the little BITCH!1! With my HARDNESS!1!

I was riding him — HARD!1! — and I noticed he was squeaking and moaning and shaking from side-to-side more than usual — BUT I DIDN'T STOP BECAUSE I WASN'T SATISFIED YET!1! — and then when I finally "got to where I was going" (so to speak), I checked him out and I noticed the joint between the front wheel and the base of the bike had cracked1 and was causing the whole thing to wobble like a CRACK WHOO-WER who was ... well, doing whatever it is crack whoo-wers do. I wouldn't know. Because who needs a crack whoo-wer when you got Morrissey?

Turns out I do now because Morrissey is temporarily out of service until I can get his joint soldered (so to speak).

And so, for the benefit of those of you who haven't been keeping score at home ...here are my Exercising Highlights since I got my new exercise area in the garage:
  • I dislocated my shoulder (this technically happened a day or two before Ian & Teh 'Bride set the area up, but to my mind it still falls within the penumbra of Teh Haunted Exercise Area because they were already working on it by that time)
  • My stupid fucking iPod started acting up and even the standard IT Procedure of chucking it at the ground till it bounced back up into my waiting hand didn't fix and and so I ordered a new nano online and then, when I reinstalled the software on the old iPod, it started to work again, but I stand by my decision to use physical violence on it first ... which physical violence was performed right in front of Morrissey, which is how I Keep Him In Line, because if this is how I treat my iPod, whaddaya think I have in store for YOU, BITCH!1! So BE MORE SUBMISSIVE!1! MORE!1!!1!
  • Etc.2
And so today's not a running day, but I need to figure out what I'm gonna do, exercise-wise, since I can't ride Morrissey (HARD!1! BITCH!1!). I guess I'll just do some yoga, exercise and the like. Can't do much with weights because of the injured wing.

Then, later this morning, we have to go up to Teh 'Bro's place in the Poconos to spend the day with him, his wife and my two sisters who are coming in from MI for the weekend and that certainly promises not3 to be a tension-filled day of unresolved family squabbles and accusations-arising-childhood-conflicts-somehow-working-their-way-to-the-forefront-of-the-agenda FUN AND GAMES!1!

In other words, a Typical Irish Catholic Family Get-Together.
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1 Yeah, I guess I could take a picture of this and upload it but Morrissey knows that I alone get to see his naked joints. The rest of you? Get your own Submissively Recumbent & Effeminate Exercise Bike ... if you're MAN enough to handle one!1!

2 There was other stuff. I just can't remember it right now.

3 The well-placed "not" is what makes this statement such quintessentially enjoyable sarcasm. BITCHEZ!1!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Reich This Way, Ms. Gitler

I'm working on pages for various branches' children's events for the Summer Reading Program, which is less than a month away, and it's making me a bit punchy, which may explain why I pert-near wet myself laffin' when I noticed the last name of the presenter of one event:

Gitler.

Pictured above: Gaydolf Gitler,Teh First Log Cabin Nazi. (It's about time!)

(The actual presenter is female. Poor, unfortunately-named girl. Because I think Adolph ruined all names that end in -itler, not just Hitler1.)

UPDATE: The program is on Marine Science. Which Whale Tail pic should I use on the web page?

UPDATE II: The names are conspiring against me today because now I'm doing a page for an event featuring a magician whose last name is Vagias and I challenge anyone to type that name without feeling the need to insert an n.

Hey, baby, can I stick my 'n' in your Vagias?

Tee-heeI Okey-doke! Sure thing, hon!
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1 Except Titler. That's still a good name. Why aren't more people named "Titler"?

"I Still Hear Music" ...

... sez Teh 'Bride to me as I walk in the kitchen door after this morning's 5.47-mile run at a truly craptacular 9:30 pace.

She's referring to the fact that my iPod is still playing ("The Dirty Jobs", if you must know, since it's All Who All The Time with me lately because I'm a Who-wer — HAR!1!) even though I've been running for 51+ minutes.

And so it was ... still playing.

And here's why:

Yesterday, I got my Macintosh to recognize the iPod even though the latter had locked up; and I noticed that one of the options iTunes gives you is to Nuke The Whole iPod If It's Acting Fucked (I'm paraphrasing) and then reload everything, from iPod operating system software to your last, lonely podcast. And since iTunes is Teh Mothership — it doesn't matter what gets deleted from teh 'pod itself because it'll sync with my iTunes the next time I connect Teh 'pod to Teh Mac — I figured: Why the fuck not nuke it? I mean, what did I have to lose? I'd tried everything else, including the Advanced IT Professional Technique of literally throwing the iPod at the ground — which I did in my new garage workout area that has the rubber padded floor, because that's where the iPod froze on me yesterday — so that it bounced back up 2-and-a-half-feet in the air and I was actually able to catch it before it landed again1 ... and, predictably, that did not work.

But it made me feel better. And gave me a bit of a chubby. Because it's a man's game beating up on technology.

Long story short, nuking the iPod and reloading everything from scratch seems to've worked. Teh 'pod has been behaving ever since. We'll see how it goes from here.

Now, those of you who read my post the other day — the one in which I fantasized about kicking Steve Jobs in the n*ts@ck even though I knew if I did so that his sister, Bleau2, whom everyone wants to date for obvious reasons, would never go out with me — are probably asking right about now, Hey, Glaven, don't you owe Steve Jobs an apology?

To which I answer: No, I do NOT; and: I regret, and retract, nothing.

Because here's the thing: Steve Jobs doesn't want my apology. He wants my money. And yesterday he got it.

Because, impatient asshole that I am, I went online and ordered myself an iPod nano because I was sure the old iPod was permanently fucked and there is no way, just no way, I'd be able to run without music because running, not to put too fine a point on it, just utterly blows. And you're thinking, Well, just return the nano. But I can't because they offered free engraving, an offer I took them up on, and so now there's that signpost up ahead saying: Noreturnsville, 1 mile; Population: Glaven.

Unless Apple can find another customer who wants a green nano that's engraved No1 can love w/o the grace of some unseen & distant face3 — which seems highly unlikely.

But that's fine; I want the nano anyway. It's smaller and it has a few new features and I can afford it and it was my birthday just a few days ago and this iPod can be all mine and I won't have to share it with Ian and Teh 'bride and if you're wondering why I'm making so many excuses for having purchased this thing it's because, if Teh 'Bride reads this post, that's how she's finding out I bought this thing. I really hope she doesn't read this post, because then I'll have a few more days left to live.

But my real point is ... Honey, I love you. I love how you're so forgiving and you rarely get violent and when you do I just tell people I ran into a door and I think they buy it. Like when I dislocated my should "running". Yeah ... "running" ... sure sure ... that's how it happened.

But I'm keeping the nano.

I really hope Teh 'Bride doesn't read this post.
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Since I talked about The Who's great three-part harmonies yesterday, here's another example: "Tommy, Can You Hear Me" (even though, what with this nano kerfuffle a-brewing, maybe I should be playing "My Wife"):


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1 If you are not an IT Professional, do NOT try this at home.

Try it some place more public so the people around you can laugh at you. Hopefully, I'll be one of them, because, as an IT Professional, I know that this Advanced Professional IT Tactic never works, and I love to see the look of disappointment in an amateur's eyes when it doesn't work.

2 Pronounced "Blow". Get it?!?1? "Bleau Jobs"? Har!

3 And in case you're wondering ... yes, it does bug me that I had to use those fucking IM abbreviations to make that quote fit.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lori is Free!

A long time ago, back in the mid-1990s, I learned of the case of Lori Berenson, a young American woman who was being held as a political prisoner in Peru. After researching her case on my own to satisfy myself that she was, indeed, a political prisoner, I became actively involved in the efforts to secure her freedom. I attended many support rallies, met her parents a number of times, corresponded with them and, through them, with Lori, and just generally did what I could to contribute to the effort to secure her release.

I remember attending a rally for Lori in New York in either late 1999 or early 2000, at which one of the speakers was Amy Goodman — for whom I have the utmost respect: she is what all journalists should aspire to be — and Amy said she felt sure that, because of our efforts, Lori would be freed within a year.

Lamentably, Amy was wrong.

At the time, I agreed with Amy's assessment; there was reason to be optimistic. We had gained a lot of ground and when others attacked Lori — claiming she was a "terrorist" on the basis of her leftist/progressive political beliefs and that she therefore deserved the punishment that had been meted out to her by a tribunal of hooded Peruvian judges who did not allow her a lawyer or a chance to defend herself — we responded quickly and, I think, effectively.

It really seemed as though Lori might soon come home to Rhoda and Mark, to both of whom my heart went out. At around this very time, my wife and I were in the process of adopting a child — it would be Ian, though we didn't know that yet — and I was starting, just starting, to understand how unique and strong are those feelings a parent has for his child; not yet quite a parent myself, I was seeing Lori, and what happened to her, through the eyes of a parent — a parent whose child was in trouble, in pain, and the child was looking to the parent to rescue her and there was nothing the parent could do to end the child's nightmare, a nightmare that, as any parent can tell you, must also become the parent's own. When you are helpless in the face of your own child's pain ... there is no worse feeling in the world.

During the adoption process — which took over a year — I became intimately re-acquainted with my own lachrymal glands; the very thought of bringing my own child home would cause me to break into tears on the (at the time) short drive to work, and left me having to explain to my co-workers that, yes, a person could have allergy attacks in January and February, because something was certainly shooting pollen off into the air ... how else to account for these inexplicable red eyes I came to work with every morning?

It was through those eyes that I looked at Lori's situation; with the eyes of a parent whose child was suffering unjustly.

After 9/11, when our own government adopted many of the inhumane tactics of Fujimori-era Peru — torture; secret detention; suspension of civil and even human rights — I allowed myself, much to my shame, to drift away from Lori's case. It seemed pointless to ask my government to use its moral suasion to convince Peru to release Lori on humanitarian grounds when my government had adopted many, if not all, of those very tactics.

Today, Lori was released.

I wish the Berensons all the best. I am sorry I abandoned the cause. I never stopped believing in Lori's innocence.

You have your little girl back.

Please give her a long hug for me.

Off Script: Who's Funny?

In yesterday's Who post, I discussed a little bit, at the end, The Who's impressive harmonizing skills1. But as someone once said, "Talking about music is like dancing about architecture"2; and part of the reason that is so, to my mind, is because we talk about aspects of music — in my own case, I tend to stress lyrics — as though they existed separate from the rest of the music, or, to put it more accurately, from the totality of the integral musical whole, be it song, album, opera, symphony, or chant.

And that's a bit of a shame because no matter how insightful the exegesis, it will still give a false impression because of what it deliberately excludes or unknowingly fails to include. The music itself speaks better than any words about it could.

That caveat in place, I nevertheless intend, in this post and future ones, to go on discussing aspects of The Who's music. There are aspects of their music that I lack the competence and technical expertise to discuss — for example, my observations regarding the actual musical aspects of Who songs are noticeably cursory and rudimentary because I am woefully deficient in knowledge in this area: I love the music but lack the education, training and vocabulary to discuss it in an even halfway intelligent manner. In all likelihood, many of the observations I do make are flat-out wrong or so obvious as to be not worth making. In this post, however, I am going to attempt to address a facet of The Who's music that I think anyone can understand but to which I've been particularly guilty of having given short shrift — viz., the humor of The Who's music3.

As I was exercising this morning, this Pete Townshend demo for a song the Who never recorded came on — "Lazy Fat People" — complete with its penny-whistle lead riffs:



This is not a particularly good song and it is understandable why The Who never recorded it for release. But it is funny.

Here's one from John: "My Wife":



My life's in jeopardy
Murdered in cold blood is what I'm gonna be
I ain't been home since Friday night
And now my wife is coming after me

Give me police protection
Gonna buy a gun so
I can look after number one
Give me a bodyguard
A back belt Judo expert with a machine gun

Gonna buy a tank and an aeroplane
When she catches up with me
Won't be no time to explain
She thinks I've been with another woman
And that's enough to send her half insane
Gonna buy a fast car
Put on my lead boots
And take a long, long drive
I may end up spending all my money
But I'll still be alive


All I did was have a bit too much to drink
And I picked the wrong precinct
Got picked up by the law
And now I ain't got time to think


O, man! I been there!

"I'm a Boy"




"Squeezebox"



This song, incidentally, is the anomaly on The Who by Numbers album, which is not infrequently described as "Pete Townshend's suicide note" because of the bleak and self-lacerating nature of most of the songs' lyrics.

That is just a random sampling of humorous Who songs — there are plenty more where that came from!

Enjoy!4
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1 Obviously The Who were/are successful professional musicians and you might think it kind of a job requirement that they be able to achieve, at the least, competent harmonization. But you could be a pretty successful group and still be borderline incompetent at harmonizing. Listen to the harmonies on just about any Rolling Stone recording, for example. "Let's Spend the Night Together" is my favorite — especially the "doooooooo"s in the middle, many of which are not only ear-abusingly flat, but a few of them seem to come in late — just slightly, but noticeably, off-beat.

If you've misbehaved particularly badly one day and feel you need to punish yourself especially severely to atone, why not listen to the Stones trying to do this song live? Note in that linked example that they don't even assay the middle-of-the-song "dooooo"s. When speaking of the Stones' live harmonizing abilities, it's best just to drop the qualifier "borderline" and head straight to "incompetent". Don't worry: Mick's live lead vocal abilities will already be there to meet you. (If you go to see the Rolling Stones live, it better be to see Mick's dancing, because his live singing, to my ear, invariably blows.)

But "Let's Spend the Night Together" was, and is, a successful song — deservedly so. I myself love it, despite the occasional shaky, even risible, harmonies.

Then, of course, there are other successful groups who did an end-around on competent harmonizing by virtually never doing any — like Led Zeppelin. On their records, Robert Plant occasionally multi-tracks a bit of harmony vocals, but apparently Page, Jones and Bonham were all, for all intents and purposes, just incapable of any singing, much less harmonization.

2 Someone said it first, I suppose, but good luck discovering who. You'll hear it was Thelonious Monk or Louis Armstrong or David Byrne or Elvis Costello or Igor Stravinsky or Frank Lloyd Wright ... or any number of people. It's one of those quotes the first utterance of which everyone wants to attribute to somebody specific but nobody can do so with any authority because when you try to trace the source, you invariably find that either there is no solid evidence that the person credited with the quote ever actually said it or, if she did, the source material clearly shows that she was repeating it as a quote by someone else that she had heard before, not claiming it as an original.

3 I see nothing wrong with discussing humor in the abstract — that can be rewarding and helpful when you're trying to understand or work your way through something — but a humorous thing itself is pretty self-explanatory and nothing — nothing —takes the funny out of something humorous like trying to discuss why it is funny. As an undergraduate English major, I would immediately dismiss as unworthy of being taken seriously as an educator any prof who would hover over, say, a passage in Mark Twain that the class had just collectively guffawed at and ask, "But why is this funny?" ... and then spend the next 15 minutes sucking all the funny out of the passage and, seemingly, all of the air out of the room. I had one dickhead professor who was especially adept at this and I'm pretty sure he ruined for all time the experience of good, humorous literature for more than one student ... and remained smugly oblivious to the fact that he was doing so.

It's hard to overstate how soul-crushingly tedious and painful it is to be enjoying the humor of an essay like Twain's "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses" one minute, and then, the next, to be forced to listen to someone anatomize, for a full quarter hour, what allegedly made a particular part of it funny. When you take a funny thing apart, what you are left with are its decidedly unfunny constituent parts, just as when you take an automobile apart you're left with multiple chunks of metal, rubber and plastic that won't transport you anywhere.

There is no better way in the universe to ruin "a good read" for a reader.

4 Hahahahahahaha! As if! I bet no one read this far! You all hit Next post in your Google Reader as soon as you saw it was yet another Who post, didn't you? Hahahahahaha! Don't worry ... I already know no one reads this shit!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Who Script 4

Tommy1

Tommy is the Who’s first full-length rock opera and it deals in a serious manner with the same themes that “A Quick One While He's Away” deals with comically, plus a few others. The plot of Tommy is pretty simple:

Captain Walker is missing and believed dead. His wife takes on a lover. Captain Walker comes home, discovers his wife with the lover, and kills the lover. Young Tommy witnesses the killing and is told by his parents he didn’t see it, didn’t hear it, can’t tell anyone about it. Psychologically traumatized, Tommy becomes deaf, dumb and blind. We, the audience, know from the music (“Amazing Journey”, “Sparks”) that Tommy is leading a very active inner life2; his parents, however, worried about his eternal soul (“Christmas”), try various ways of curing him (The Acid Queen; The Doctor) none of which work. Meanwhile, Tommy is discovered to have a talent for playing pinball and he gains some “disciples” based on this talent. Tommy is abused sexually by an Uncle and physically by a cousin. Tommy’s mother, tired of his constant staring at himself in the mirror, smashes the mirror and Tommy is finally brought out of his state of catatonia. He becomes even more famous because of this “Miracle Cure” (he was already famous for his pinball talents) and believes himself the Messiah. He gains even more followers and preaches that they must make themselves deaf, dumb and blind – shut their senses down – to reach enlightenment. His disciples, learning this, abandon him.

And that’s the basic story.

In Tommy you see the usual Pete Townshend obsessions on display. Child abuse. Inside/Outside/Mirrors/Reflection. Generational conflict. Betrayal. The search for spiritual enlightenment. The question of personality – who’s really there? Is Tommy a false messiah? Truly enlightened? Exploiter? Exploited? An abused victim? An abuser? All of these things? Why does anyone follow him? Why do they so suddenly abandon him (at roughly the 1:06 point of the 7:09-song in which he tells them how to follow him)? Are any of these issues resolved at the end of the opera?

Play “Christmas”, “Go to the Mirror!” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It”






Note the structure of both “Christmas” and “Go to the Mirror!” The tempo slows down as the song becomes more contemplative, as we are given an inside view instead of looking in from the outside. Often in Pete’s songs this structural shift and shift in view is accompanied by a literal change in voice: In "Christmas", “Tommy Can You Hear Me?” (Outside) is sung by Pete, while “See Me Feel Me” (Inside) is Roger. This structural arrangement of songs becomes more pronounced in future songs like “Bargain”, “Dr Jimmy and Mr. Jim”, “Behind Blue Eyes”, etc. (Although in the latter two, Rogers sings both parts. The literal change is voice doesn't occur; but the figurative change does.)

In “Go to the Mirror”, Pete sings the slower “See Me Feel Me” part (the “inside” part), while Roger sings the “outside” parts of the doctor and the father. Note that the father’s lament:
I often wonder what he's feeling.
Has he ever heard a word I've said?
Look at him in the mirror dreaming
What is happening in his head?
could be any parent’s question about his or her adolescent child, right? (I’ve wondered this on many occasions about my own 10 year-old son and I know my parents asked me these questions roughly every day of my life after I turned 12 or 13.) These are at heart generational questions, not just the kind of questions a parent of a special needs child would ask. Indeed, aren’t they questions anyone could ask about anyone else?

Tommy's response:
Listening to you I get the music.
Gazing at you I get the heat
Following you I climb the mountain
I get excitement at your feet!

Right behind you I see the millions
On you I see the glory.
From you I get the opinions
From you I get the story.

which he evidently sings to himself in the mirror is, oddly, what he later sings to the backs of his retreating followers, who have just abandoned him, during the album's coda.

What are we to make of this?

The three-part harmonies in the "Listening to you" sequence are astoundingly good, especially the version sung at the end of the album3. Few other popular groups of the time could match The Who for elaborate harmonies – The Beatles and The Beach Boys come immediately to mind, but after that ...? Nobody in The Who has an outstandingly good voice (Roger is a great rock singer, but not an especially good singer overall), but their voices blend well. Not just on this song, but also on "Tommy Can You Hear Me?" and "Do You Thinks It's Alright?" and many others.

I also happen to think the final lyrics on the album Tommy are some of the most inspirational lyrics Pete ever wrote and the irony of their being sung by a "Messiah" who has just been abandoned by his acolytes and followers should not be lost on the listener.
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1 Yes, eagle-eyed (and most likely imaginary) Rabid Who Fan/fourinoneblog Reader: I skipped right over the Magic Bus album. Perhaps some other time. I like the song "Magic Bus" – with its slowed down Bo Diddley-beat and trippy lyrics and the way it O-so-unsubtly rips off the Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour". But the album is not the greatest, and I really just wanted to get to Tommy.

2 "Sickness will surely take the mind/ Where minds can't usually go" ("The Amazing Journey") is one of the more bizarre claims made on this album. I mean that in the good sense. It's true enough, I suppose – I've had one or two grievous agues in my time that have caused me to pert-near hallucinate, but I never viewed those hallucinatory episodes in a positive light, afterward ... or at the time, for that matter. But Tommy's "sickness" – psychosomatic deafness, blindness and inability to speak – is affirmatively asserted, in "The Amazing Journey", as a positive boon to Tommy's intellectual and spiritual well-being ("Come on the Amazing Journey/ And learn all you should know").

Of course, in the 1960s, the belief that you needed to go inward to discover the real meaning of what was out there was a commonplace, to the point of  being nearly cliché . "Thinking is the best way to travel," the Moody Blues assure us. (Personally, I used to like to change these lyrics to "Drinking is ...etc.") "Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream," John Lennon counsels us. Eastern meditation became Big back in the day, and the recently converted are always the most ardent proselytizers:
Deaf Dumb and blind boy
He's in a quiet vibration land
Strange as it seems his musical dreams
Ain't quite so bad.

Ten years old
With thoughts as bold as thought can be
Loving life and becoming wise
In simplicity.
Still, lyrics such as these set up some of the essential conflicts in Tommy: Should we pity him, or he us? Do we, with all of our senses, have a better connection with what is "real" or does "poor" deaf, dumb and blind Tommy? Denying or overcoming the desires of the flesh and withdrawing from the society of others is one of the paths, if not THE Path, to enlightenment in a lot of religions that are still extant (hello there (e.g.) Ascetic Christians and Anchorites!). Tommy does a pretty good job of exploring that ... without totally buying into it or entirely rejecting it.

3 The harmonies were never quite this good live, but reproducing of this level and quality of harmonization is really asking a lot, even of The Who, whose concerts tended to be pretty exciting and high-quality, even when on record. (Listen to the live album Live at Leeds to get an idea of what I mean; but really, just about any live recording of The Who will prove my point.) Still, The Who's live harmonizing was pretty impressive, too — and it was typically the mixes of the voices that tended to be off: Somebody's harmony vocal, e.g., would be too prominent, burying the lead vocal a bit and rendering the sound just a bit off.

But vocally, The Who had incredible range; John Entwistle in particular. John sings the high/falsetto, nearly contrapuntal "You are forgiven" harmony in "A Quick One While He's Away"; but that is also John singing the super-low, proto-death metal "Borrrrrr-is the spiderrrrrr" growl of that song. Neither of which is easy to do.

Clutch-'S@ck Post

Er ... possibly I meant "Grab-Bag Post".

I just finished plotting out a 6.3-mile run for myself on Dr. Nic's Nemesis, MapMyRun, and I'm wondering if my iPod will work for me on this run; because lately the fucker keeps cutting out on me, annoyingly1 informing me that I should stop trying to transfer files to it via a firewire connection2, which I am decidedly not trying to do; in fact, the only thing coonected  to it at these times is my earphone plug. And then, even though fully fucking charged, it'll shut down or lock up or some shit.

I swear, if Steve Jobs were here right now, I'd kick him in the n*ts@ck with all my might and say, "So, how d'ya like them Apples, geektard?!1?" Fucking Apple has been coasting for too long on the corporate motto: "We're better than Micro$oft." Big fucking deal if you are! That'd be like me marketing my new cologne, Eau de GlavenI3 with the tagline: You'll smell better than shit! O, at least, no worse.
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Post-run: The run turned into a 7.22-mile run at a 9:18 pace. But that's not what I want to talk about.

I spent most of the first 10 minutes of the run wrestling with the iPod — trying to get it to work. As an IT professional, I know how these delicate and temperamental machines should be treated to coax them back to functionality, and, accordingly, I banged it hard against the palm of my hand whilst informing it in my loudest outside voice (I was outside, after all) that it was a cocksucker4. This was a really stupid thing to do while running — i.e., spend most of the time looking at the stupid iPod instead of where I was going. Especially since a lot of the wrestling with the fucking thing happened on the very trails behind the very school where I fell not two weeks ago and dislocated this very shoulder which you can't see but I'm looking at very it right now.

Because running + calling electronic equipment a "cocksucker" = potential fall. And the fact that the electronic equipment is a cocksucker is no excuse.

Long story short, the iPod did start working — told you I'm an IT professional! — and I was able to listen to music for about 50 minutes of my 1:07:25 run. The iPod cut out again when I was less than a mile from home, during "Pure & Easy", and even when I brought my Advanced IT Professional technique to bear — viz., I called it a buttfucking cocksucker — it still wouldn't work. It insisted its battery was drained5.

In any case, the iPod is re-charging now and I'm taking it to work as usual, and it better not cut out on my walk the way it did yesterday because ... well ... are there any other IT professionals out there? Because what do you call your electronic equipment when "cocksucker" and "buttfucker" no longer do the trick?
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Monday I went to my first shoulder physical therapy session. Guess what?

Both Andy and Tony are still there6! Andy worked on my shoulder Monday — which mostly consisted of his yelling at it, calling it a "cocksucker" and a "buttfucker".

I asked him if he'd ever thought of a career in Information Technology and Computer Repair. Because he'd be a natural.

They estimate I'll be in therapy for a month, two times a week.

Andy's last name, I see from the printout, is "Overman"! My shoulder is being worked on by Teh Nietzschean Übermensch! This has got to be a good sign!

So Declaimeth Zoroaster!
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1 Even more annoying: "annoyingly" is not the word I want here. I sat here for a good thirty seconds, staring blankly ahead, trying to force the word I really want to use here from the back of my brainpan up to the part that comptrols1a quick-thought, reaction, typing and erection-throb frequencies. So far, no go.

1a I'm using "comptrols" here instead of "controls" to compensate for not being able to pull up the word I want and am currently using "annoying" as a placeholder for to show you just how linguistically out of comptrol I am this morning. Plus, I wanted to announce my intentions of running for comptroller general of New Joisey. Not because I always dreamed of becoming a Comptroller — even my dreams are more interesting than that; but rather so I can find out just what it is a Comptroller comptrols. If I win and it turns out Comptrollers spends their day going over Workman's Comp Claims made by Trolls, I'm going to resign immediately, "to spend more time with my family. Really. It has nothing to do with all those whoo-wers secretaries I had on my payroll and the bondage comptrol fantasy games we used to play."

2 *Sigh* This is your life once you reach 50: even your electronic devices say to you: "No way! You're not sticking that in there!" Which is demoralizing enough, but even more so when you weren't even trying to stick that in there.

3 Pronounced O! De Glaven!

4 If anyone from the Garden Apartment complex I was running by at the time of this outburst is reading this post, I apologize and assure you that I was not calling you a cocksucker. But — unsolicited word of advice, here — you should really rethink your decision to live in the Cocksucker Garden Apartment Complex, because you're really asking for it. Especially when there are still plenty of cheap condos for sale in Buttfucker Acres, just down the street.

5 Pffftt! Well of course it was! Wouldn't yours be after all that cocksucking and buttfucking?

6 There may be about 3 people out there reading this who know what I'm talking about.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Who Script 3: Glaven Sells Out

Two of my seven faithful readers1 yesterday revealed themselves to be under the mistaken impression that, just because we decided to truncate somewhat the Who Program I'll be doing at the library in July (truncation was inevitable because the script I was working on would've taken like 7 hours to read, and that doesn't even include time to play the actual Who songs, which I think I'd be pretty much obliged to do), I was going to discontinue inflicting all my Whosearch(= "research on Teh Who") on you all.

Hahahahahahahahaha! As IF!1! I did all this work ... somebody's gotta suffer for it, because it sure ain't gonna be me. Or at least not just me. And I'm not merely copying-and-pasting my script here each time — I'm also editing it, which in my case usually means adding to it2, so you're getting the longer, thicker, ribbed-for-her-pleasure director's cut3.

Hahahahahahaha! I don't blame you if you feel you stumbled into some Blogospheric Inner Circle of Hell! Bwa-hahahahahaha! Your precious Jebus can't save you now4!

But my Who posts are always clearly labeled as such, so it's easy enough to ignore them if you so choose. So, if you ain't into Teh Who, start ignorin'!
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[A lot of this first part, below, was covered in an earlier post, a month ago, on the Who song "Little Billy". This should explain any deja vu feeling you might get. And you ought to get a nice deja vu buzz because I totally plagiarized that post here.]

The Who Sell Out was The Who’s first full-fledged “concept album” – the idea behind the album being to reproduce the experience of listening to "pirate radio", which Pete loved and that the British government had just legislated out of existence. Pirate stations were actual ships that broadcasted good, current rock 'n' roll music into Britain from just outside British waters, i.e., in technically international waters. This was necessary because BBC radio — the only "legal" alternative in England at the time — restricted the broadcasting of rock music to an hour a week or something absurd like that. (There was a movie starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Boat That Rocked, aka Pirate Radio — which no one saw — that told the fictionalized story of one pirate radio station, Radio London.)

In any case, The Who Sell Out is an album of "pirate" music (from a pirate station that features only Who songs, naturally) that includes commercials recorded by The Who for actual products like Heinz Baked Beans and the Charles Atlas Muscle-Building Course; it also includes station promo jingles and other miscellaneous stuff. "Odorono" is a song that is a "commercial" for a product that I just found out recently really did exist; the protagonist in the song misses her chance at becoming a Big Time Singer when her unfortunate body odor offends an important impresario who has come to hear her and is impressed by her voice, if not her scent.

Play “Odorono/Tattoo”






On the album, “Odorono” and “Tattoo” are connected by a Radio London jingle [I couldn't find a vid on youtube that included the two songs with the jingle connector]; this gives you a flavor of how the whole album sounds. “Odorono” is a weird hybrid in that it’s an actual song, and a pretty good, albeit comic, one; but it’s also a rather crass commercial for a deodorant product. Here we are introduced to a girl who wants to be judged by her talent, her inner essence, her ability to sing, and is instead doomed by that less essential, though more overpowering, outer characteristic: her body stank. The last lines kinda comes out of nowhere; you almost get the feeling that they should be followed by a comedian’s rimshot: Ba-dump-dump-CHEEE! (Thus, the theme of Inside/Outside ("5:15") is touched on in a comic way.)

“Odorono” is directly connected to the next song, “Tattoo”, by the Radio London jingle. “Tattoo” tackles some of Pete’s usual obsessions, but again, in a comic way. It literally asks, “What makes a man a man? Brains? Brawn? Astrological sign?” What makes you what you essentially are? The identity issue.

The two brothers in the song decide that tattoos will sufficiently assert their masculine identity – and each ends up getting beaten by a parent for different reasons based on their new outer appearance:
My dad beat me cos mine said 'mother'
But my mother nat'rally liked it and beat my brother
Cos his tattoo was of a lady in the nude
And my mother thought that was extremely rude.
(Again, inside/outside. Also, the whole child abuse issue that seems to crop up everywhere in Pete's songs.)

The final verse of this song is really weird, indicating that the narrator’s fate is kinda sealed by this first tattoo and now both he and his wife “are tattooed all over”; and it ends – and this is a direct quote – “A rooty-toot-toot, rooty-tooty-toot-toot/ Rooty-toot-toot tattoo too/To you”.

Then, on the album, a reminder from the pirate radio station to “go to the church of your choice.”

Weird. But interesting. And entertaining. And pretty much what pirate radio was like.

Sell Out also includes what many, including Pete, thought was the ultimate Who song: “I Can See For Miles”. Pete had this song in his back pocket for quite a while and was saving it because he was sure it would be their big breakthrough song. The Who first started working on it in London in May of 1967, again in New York in August, and then again in LA in September. It was finally released as a single in mid-October of 1967 – unquestionably one of the most elaborately-produced Who songs ever, with numerous overdubs and effects added.

Play “I Can See For Miles”



Note the themes of Identity and Deception in the song: “You can’t fool me because I have these magical eyes that can see past all your deceptions to the real truth that lies underneath.” Note also that the guitar solo on this most musically elaborate Who song – hours of studio time was lavished on this song over the course of months – consists of all of one note, a middle E, played over and over (starting at 2:11 into this video). It’s said Pete was intimidated by all these other great guitarists who were showing up on the mid-60s London music scene, particularly Jimi Hendrix, and rather than try to out-do them, he kind of capitulated to them by getting about as minimalist as you can get. It really doesn’t get much more minimalist than one note. Yet because of the varied rhythms and picking patterns Pete plays on this one note, it seems to be more than it is. He gets a lot of different tones out of that one note.

Yet in every other way, "ICSfM" is probably one of the most extravagantly maximalist songs The Who ever recorded; to the point that they never performed it live while Keith Moon was alive because he couldn't reproduce the difficult, layered drumming live. Oddly, they did do it a couple of times after Kenney Jones joined the band.

Since "ICSfM" was released in 1967, it is perhaps inevitable that, given its theme, it would be seen as a drug song. Pete denied this: "The words, which aging senators have called 'drug oriented,' are about a jealous man with exceptionally good eyesight. Honest."

This could be seen as disingenuous on Pete's part – I supposed it's possible to read "ICSfM" as  mainly a drug song – but I think the lyrics to the song pretty much support Pete's contention: The song pretty concretely lays out a scenario in which a jealous lover accuses his girl of running around behind his back. Other than the narrator's claim to possession of extraordinary eyesight, there's nothing really trippy going on in this song: No Girls With Kaleidoscope Eyes or Elementary Penguins Singing Hare Krishna; no Dormouse Telling You to Feed Your Head. In comparison with other songs of the era, the lyrics to "ICSfM" are pretty concrete.

Of course, there is still that pretty trippy claim of being able to see the Eiffel Tower and The Taj Mahal from quite a distance, so if you, Dear Reader, want to see a drug influence here, I will not fight you. In fact, I encourage you to toke it and smoke it as much as you care to before listening to this song.

Grooooovy.

Pete was giving a lot of interviews at about the time “I Can See For Miles” was to be released because he was so sure it would be The Who's First Gargantuan Blockbuster Hit. He touted it heavily, saying things like [I'm paraphrasing here] It’s the heaviest song ever; the Beatles never did anything this heavy, etc. Paul McCartney wrote “Helter Skelter” in response to reading this quote, to show PT that the Beatles could out-do anyone. ("ICSfM" is still a better song than "HS", though.) So “ICSfM” inspired “Helter Skelter”, which in turn inspired Charles Manson and his followers to commit the Tate/ LaBianca murders. So The Who, not The Beatles, were truly the inspiration for Charles Manson.

Discuss.

Incidentally, “I Can See For Miles” topped out in the UK charts at #10 and #9 in the US. Pete was bitterly disappointed by its performance on the charts and reacted by saying: "To me it was the ultimate Who record, yet it didn't sell. I spat on the British record buyer." In fact, it did sell, just not as well as Pete had anticipated. He was so dejected by this, he told people the next Who album was going to be a compilation of their singles and he was going to title it The Who's Greatest Flops.

This remains The Who’s highest-charting single in the US.

Reproduced below is a chart of how late 1967 singles charted in the UK. Take a look at some of the songs that charted better than "I Can See For Miles" – Tom Jones' "I'm Coming Home"? Dave Dee ...etc.'s "Zabadak!"?

No wonder Pete wanted to hork a loogie on the British Record-Buying Public.

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1 Yeah, I know there are more than seven of you who read this shit, but I said my faithful readers, which is not the same as saying all my readers.

Because the rest of you are perfidious whoo-wers!1!

Yeah, you know who you are.

2 Yeah, go figger. Bet you never saw that coming.

3 "Cut" because, yes, this Who research has been circumcised. Mazel tov!

4 Idle threat null and void where considered blasphemous. Threat is always good in Texas, because Jebus ain't saving any Texans, now  that Molly Ivins is gone. The last good Texan. O, wait. And Jim Hightower.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Small And Random (No Spoilers)

Two things, unrelated to each other:

1. I am going to miss Lost.
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2. Micro$oft products are fucktarded. Tonight while I was on the desk, a woman called in saying she had lost - here at the library on Saturday or Sunday, she thinks - an envelope with her DL, her credit cards, and her library card. It did not get turned in to the Circ desk lost-and-found ... but I sent out an e-mail to all Ref and Circ staff, just in case. It included the line below (that's a jpg pic of how it actually looked in Outlook):
As you can see from the green line under "remember", Outlook thinks I committed some sort of grammatical error.

Its suggested "correction"? "... in case it turns up or you remembers anything."
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UPDATE: Third Bonus Random Thing!

The July Who program just got easier because the guy I'm doing it with (not in that sense, pervs) suggested we each just pick 6 or 7 songs and talk about them.

I won't even have to tie all this shit together thematically! Woo-hoo! Because I wasn't doing a very good job of it!

Mammarian Epistemology And Metaphysical Ta-Tas

I have been a very lazy book-reader of late, taking forever to read things after I start them. I allow myself to be too easily distracted by other, easier things: blogging; reading blog posts; listening to music; watching TV; hell, even just staring into the middle distance at nothing in particular. All of these things have taken precedence over real1 reading, of late.

For instance, Teh 'Dad always spoke highly of Friedrich Nietzsche, and not just because his name contains the truly impressive and rare tzsch run of consonants. Because we — "we" being teh fruit of Teh Dad's Overactive Irish Loins, i.e., his children — always thought it was weird that Teh ÜberCatholic 'Dad would have a soft spot in his heart for the originator of the concept of Teh Übermensch. Generally speaking, Teh 'Dad, who spent the early 1940s fighting against the guy he likes to refer to as "Easy Al" Hitler, has little sympathy for Nazis or their philosophical forebears, such as "Frisky Fred" Nietzsche.

And so I always wanted to read me some Nietzsche to see what exactly it was that Teh 'Dad sees in Teh Profoundly Deep Fried. Nietz.2. There's gotta be more to Friedrich N. than the proto-Nazi Master Race-ish stuff like the Übermensch, right? So I took Thus Spake Zarathustra out from the library over a month ago; but it's really not the kind of book you should read 5 pages at a time in bed just before — wait for it! — going to sleep3. Which is largely how I've been doing it.

So here it is over a month later, and I'm still reading it. And yesterday, I took Ian fishing, so I sat and read it while he was doing his thing and I actually got to read about 40 pages of it and now I think the guy's a fucking genius because yesterday I came across this moving and profound passage that seemed to speak to me directly:
There are on earth many good inventions, some useful, some pleasant: for their sake is the earth to be loved.

And many such good inventions are there, that they are like woman's breasts: useful at the same time, and pleasant.
Wow. I can't wait till I get to the chapter in which Zarathustra Spakes on the issue of Vagina-Aesthetics and the etiquette of Surreptitious Whale-Tail Spotting. Because he is sooo right! Woman's breasts are useful. If I had a dime for every time I forgot my house key and had to use a tit to jimmy the lock, I'd be a rich man4.

God Bless all you women out there and Double Bless Your Useful Breasts!1!
Friedrich Nietzsche (above): Knew How to Appreciate a Nice Rack When He Saw One (Or Two)
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I start my shoulder PT today. I don't think I'll need it for long because the shoulder seems to be healing pretty well on its own. I just want to learn a few exercises that will strengthen the muscles so I'll never dislocate it again. NEVER.

Later today, I intend to go on a 6.5-mile run.

Who posts resume tomorrow or maybe later today if I get really bored. I know you all can't wait!1!

UPDATE 10:15 a.m.: I actually ended up running 7.72 miles this morning at a 9:24 pace (took me 1:12:25), which is not nearly as bad as it sounds because I included a sprint up teh foothill to Teh Schmatterhorn in this morning's run. PLUS, facing down my demons, I ran the trails behind the school for the first time since falling and dislocating my shoulder back there. I got to the steps that lead down to the school parking lot ... lightly touched the top one  ... and turned around unscathed.
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1 Pffttt! No your stupid fucking blogs don't count as real reading. And mine doesn't count as real reading for you, either. Go read a real book, for chrissakes! You're as bad as I am.

No, not you, SteveQ. You're good for now. You need to go do something stupid (I mean, something stupid other than running 50-mile or -kilometer races). Like ride an ATV and post a picture of yourself doing it on your blog.

You too can be an ATV whoo-wer.

2 Mmmmmmm ... Deep Fried Nietz ...

3 Admit it: You wanted me to say the Nietzsche-reading was some sort of weird sexual foreplay. But it's not.

That's what Hubba-Hubba Hegel is for! Hey baby, I'll show you my thesis if you show me your antithesis ... Oooooooo, baby, you really put the "tit" in antithesis! ... O my god O my god O MY GOD, DON'T STOP, THAT'S SOME GOOD DIALECTICS!!1!!!11!! — I think I just achieved the best synthesis of my LIFE!1! Was it World History-Ending for you too, baby? 

Wanna invade Poland? 

4 Rich in the sense that I had just convinced some skirt to let me man-handle her tit to "jimmy" a door that was already unlocked! Score! They fall for it every time! Everyone knows you need a penis to jimmy a locked door because a keyhole is female!1! That's why God put Adam and Eve in the Garden, not Bob Villa and Handy Manny!1!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lazy Rainy Sunday

After I got home from the race yesterday, I immediately changed into my workboots to cut the lawn. It hadn't been cut in two weeks because last weekend was my birthday1 and I didn't feel like doing it (the lawn, perverts! Alternate acceptable assumption on your part as to what "it" referred to: sex; because I have this lower back thing ...) so I let it go for a week but it really needed it (THAT's NOT What She Said!1!) this week so I did it.

And Teh 'Bride was all: "You can wait till tomorrow because we're going to see Teh 'Dad in like an hour and you just ran a race and we have nothing on tap for tomorrow."

Which was true. But I said, "No, it might rain tomorrow and I don't want to let it go for another week and this way I really won't have anything for tomorrow and I can really veg."

Of course, there's actually tons of stuff that needs to get done on days where you have "nothing to do". Today, for example, I have  to fuck the dog waste time writing this post; do my workout (Morrissey, prepare for me to GIVE IT TO YOU H- ... aw, fuck it. I have a headache); go to the CSA place and GET OUR FIRST BOXED SHARE of the season (Woo-Hoo! Fresh veggies!); get giant bags of salt for our water filtration system (our town's water blows and we double filter it: once to soften it and once to take out the various toxins that just seem to be a part of life in Joisey, Teh Landfill of Your Dreams); possibly take Ian fishing, if it stops raining (he's been randomly hugging me all morning and telling me how much he loves me because I've told him whether or not we go fishing depends on how he behaves; he's also — no lie — been telling me how he thinks we need to spend more time together, just us, Dad and Son, and while we're spending that time together, why not go fishing? This is very subtle and I can't even see that I'm being emotionally manipulated because he's that good); plus etc.

So there's my Lazy Rainy Sunday.

So far, the only part of all this that I've accomplished is this here fuck the dog write a post part, which isn't even hard (THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID!1!2).

So time to get at it.
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1 Happiest words of my life: "Today, I Am A Geezer!" O, sure, I've been referring to myself as a "geezer" for awhile, now, but that's only because all you zygotes out there don't know that "geezer" is a technical term with a very specific meaning and you're not officially a geezer until you get your first 10 mail solicitations from the AARP — which, conveniently, all come on the same day (THAT'S What SHE etc.!). Up to that point, when you call yourself a geezer, you're kinda like that guy with a Casio keyboard playing variations of "Louie Louie" who calls himself a "musician". Show me your Union Card, Poseur! Well, I am no longer a Geeseur! I am a true Geezer, because AARP wants me!

In related news, I declined to join the AARP ... 10 times (THAT's What SHE ... etc.1a!)

1a Now that I'm a real geezer, that classic line will have to follow slightly different set-up lines, such as: "Wow, I'm tired. Now that I'm in bed, all I want to do is sleep (THAT's What SHE ETC.!1!1!) or "Leave me alone! I have a headache (THAT's What SHE ETC.!1!1!) or "Leave me alone! I have a lower back issue (THAT's What SHE ETC.!1!1!) ... I could go on, but you get the point. I must make this correction because that's what post-50 realism demands. Plus, ignorant zygotes, THIS is what's known as mature comedy.

Now leave me alone! I have a ... (let's see what you people have learned):

a. Boner

b. Trouser pup-tent

c. Early-bird special coupon and it's nearly 4:30! Gotta hurry!

d. Rent-a-Tranny on Speed Dial

Correct answer for Typical Geezer: C.

Correct answer for me: Secret 5th option D: ALL of the above!

EAT IT, zygotes!1!

2 Now there's a classic post-AARP Geezerly TWSS!1!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

5K Trail Race Report

As promised earlier today, here's my 5k Trail Race Report.

Short version: I hate trail races.

Longer version: Trail races suck big dick.

Longest version:

Back in August, roughly three blogs ago, I ran a trail 5k at night. You might remember it because I reported it on my then blog and it was called the Flying Pig 5k and the only reason I ran it was because Teh 'Bride wanted the race shirt because it has a piggie on it and she has this thing for piggies which probably goes a long way toward explaining how she ended up married to me1.

Anyroad,  I ran that race and remember wanting to stop running roughly every 10 paces. But I never stopped, despite getting repeatedly chicked, boyed, and old manned2. I ran it in 26:16, which I was relatively happy with because the race experience itself kinda blew, and not in the good, knob-gobbling sense.

But it seems, since become an official Geezer last week, I have lost some of the oommmph I used to have3 in my step; because I ran today's 5k trail race in 26:26.

Now, in my defense, I was weighed down by this giant penis4.

The trail was in Deer Path park, a local park which also happens to be the park where Ian won that fishing tournament last week while I was busy sucking in a road 5k race a little farther south. In today's race, we ran right around the very pond that Ian caught his 27 fish in. In two hours! Next highest number? ELEVEN! Can I get a WHAT-WHAT for the I-Dawg?

Yeah, but while things went well for non-geezer Ian at DP park, meanwhile back at the Geezer Ranch ...

I actually felt pretty good starting out. When I hit the one-mile mark, I turned off the iPod so I could hear the volunteer give me my time. I probably shouldn't have because she said "7:49" which I knew was too fast and not a pace I could sustain on this day.

Hahahahaha! Or any day! I was just fucking with you with the implied meaning of the phrase "this day". Hahahahaha! And you fell for it! Wait'll I tell my dildo5!

Anyroad, I was okay for about a tenth of a mile after that but then the grass and gravel and the roots and the inclines began to take their toll and I slowed down significantly and then, as I already mentioned (previously-revealed plot point alert!), I ended up finishing in 26:26 (8:30 pace), which is not even a trail 5k PR.

It was very low-tech, so I don't know if they will ever even have the results online, but here's what I know.

Two shirtless guys with no body fat came in one and two with times of 17:something.

I was 16 in a field of 60 and I have a feeling Teh 'Dad may have lost a step or two himself because when we went to visit him in Philadelphia today after the race, I said, "Dad, 16th in a field of 60! Top quarter!" and he didn't even correct me.

The only awards they gave out were for first three males overall, first three females overall; top three male high schoolers; top female high schooler (there was only one); top three male grade schoolers; and top three female grade schoolers.

No idea where I was in the geezer AG or where I fell in my gender group — other than being in the top sixteen!

Faithfully submitted, with a dildo, by

GQH.
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Welcome back to Lauren — of Baton Rouge Jogging fame — whose blog disappeared from the blogosphere some time ago. She has not, lamentably, brought it back, but she has found mine and is commenting again. Good to have you back, sister! Come for the race reports; stay for the gratuitous dildo shout-outs!

Wait. Shouldn't the "come" part go with the "dildo" part?

ZOMG!!1! I'm still a PIG!

Some things never change
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I brought it home in 26:26 as this apropos song played:


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1 That and the fact that I had her family held hostage. I'm thinking that, in a year and a half, for our 20th anniversary, I may release them. Then, if she stays with me after that, I'll be handing out a WHOLE BIG BUNCH of "FUCK YOU"s to people who were all "Glaaaaven, you can't build a real relationship on a foundation of extortion!" Fucking busybodies! The jury's still out on that issue, asswipes! What the hell was I supposed to use? Charm? GET FUCKING REAL!1!

2 And that's just the sex! HI-YOOOOOOOOOOO!1! Thank you! I'll be here all week! Be sure to tip your waitresses — they work hard. Tip them big and you may get lucky!

If that doesn't work, I recommend kidnapping their families.

3 Pfffffftttt! As if.

4 Minds out of the gutter, people. I'm referring to my lucky dildo, which I carry during every race I run. (The less said about where I carry it the better. Also, the less said about why I carry it the better. Just stop talking abut the dildo already! Geez! Pervs!)

Also: I have a giant penis, so the extra weight of that should probably be factored in.

 5 I thought I told you to stop talking about the dildo? GET YOUR OWN!1!

Everything But The ...

Hey, here's a head-scratching visual puzzle for ya:

What's this?

Can't tell? I'll give you a hint: It used to be the bane of my existence.

Need more? Okay, here it is from an angle you may be more used to seeing it from:

Yeah, yep, you got it! Fuckin'-A right, it's that sink1! Can you tell where it is?

It's at our front curb2 waiting to become some other luuuuzer's problem! Because today is our town's town-wide garage sale day and last night Teh 'Bride also put out a curb alert on freecycle for this thing, so all the local hoarders (and there are many, Teh 'B herself being Their Leader) will have a chance to come take it and add it to their collection of cat hair, balls of string, n*ts@ck cozies, etc.!

Woo-Hoo!

So here's me (aka, "I", when I'm being grammatical) giving my approval to this whole shebang:

See how erect and upright that thumb is, ladies? Yeah, it can stay that way all night long!1! Am I turning you on?

Sorry, though, girls! The thumb's attached to a married man!

Hahahahahaha! I mean a married PIG!1!

Later today: A 5k trail race. Report probably this afternoon, after visiting Teh 'Dad.
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YEAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!
Totally stole this from Comixed. (Click to Embiggen.)
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1 For those of you unfamiliar with the back story of Teh Sink, here it is in a n*ts@ck nutshell:

Well over a year ago, a neighbor got a new sink and put this one out at her curb as trash, because that's what it was even back then: Trash.

But Teh 'Bride decided that what was missing amongst the piles in our house was some actual garbage plopped in the middle of our kitchen counter; garbage from which we could draw the water we drink and and use to cook our food. Because water from a tap? Yeah, that's good enough for the little people. But important people like Brad, Angelina, Lady Gaga and us? We deserve Garbage water.

So Teh 'Bride took the Garbage Sink with the intent of replacing our sink with it.

She never did and it sat outside by our shed for over a year, where it became a mosquito-infested malarial swamp for a while.

So now we drink quinine all the time instead of Garbage Water.

2 Yeah, it's a "curb" in kinda the same way that the bullshit coming out of Sean Hannity's mouth is a "logical argument": the latter's made up of words, and has all the parts, seemingly, of a rational utterance — save the actual rationality, possibly due to the speaker's constitutional inability to engage in actual thought2a, and therefore cannot be said to be rational, valid or in any way persuasive to anyone other than fellow-traveler douchebags2b; while the former, while made of cement and residing at the juncture of lawn and street, lacks the formal property of being uncrumbling and therefore cannot actually be said to be an actual curb.

And Fuck ME if I'm paying a grand to have some guy come and pour a new one — because the cheap fucking town isn't going to do it.

But you know what really gets on my tit? NOBODY else on our street has a collapsed curb! it's the same fucking curb but when it gets to the front of our house, it fucking collapses! Then, it becomes structurally sound again starting at the property of the neighbor after us! DUBYA TEE FUCK?!1?!1

I blame Obama. Because sometimes I'm a fucking douchenozzle asshole so WHERE'S MY "NEWS" SHOW, FAUX NEWS?!1?

2a It is, in other words, usually an ad hominem attack (not unlike the one I use in the footnote above, but, ya see, people (and I use that term loosely in Hannity's case) who engage in such invalid argumentation, and their supporters, are not in a position to credibly complain when their own methods are used against them — even though they will ... O they will ...  because, essentially, they're fucking douchenozzle assholes — because by using those techniques, they tacitly accept their validity), or a straw man argument, or, on days when Seannie's just being lazy, an outright prevarication, which is liberal-speak for "lie".

2b Rush? Are your ears burning right about now? That could be because I was thinking of you ... or it could be yet another side-effect of Viagra- and Oxycontin-abuse.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Tranny B*tch On Wheels!1!


Hahahahahaha! Don't worry, SteveQ! Even if she does delete it from her site, it'll always have a home here NOW!

I Am a Man Who Looks After The Pigs

Since I won't be uploading Who Script 3 today, I figured I'd post this song – "The Dirty Jobs" – because it happens to be one of my favorites1 and it come from my all-time favorite Who album, Quadrophenia. Also, you're all jonesing for some Who, aren't you?2

I'm posting it now because it won't be one of the songs I'm going to discuss in the program when I get to Quadrophenia3.

As should be clear by now, I am an unapologetic worshiper at the altar of Pete Townshend. I think he is unmatched as a lyricist and I'm amazed by the fact that while he seems always to be thinking narratively – his songs seem always to tell stories while a lot of other popular music seems incapable of attaining so much as coherence – he can still be remarkably poetic4 and richly dense in meaning. "The Dirty Jobs" is a song that subtly adds the issue of social class barriers to the already heady mix of issues being developed in Quadrophenia ... and does it well – with subtlety, not with soapbox tub-thumping.

Yet Jimmy's personality issues are right there, too, as well as the issue of generational conflict and misunderstanding (I am a young man/ I ain't done very much,/ You men should remember how you used to fight./ Just like a child, I've been seeing only dreams,/I'm all mixed up but I know what's right).

In short, Pete Townshend awes me with his compositional excellence.



I am a man who looks after the pigs
Usually I get along okay.
I am man who reveals all he digs,
Should be more careful what I say.

I'm getting put down,
I'm getting pushed round,
I'm being beaten every day.
My life's fading,
But things are changing,
I'm not gonna sit and weep again.

I am man who drives a local bus
I take miners to work, but the pits all closed today.
It's easy to see that you are one of us.
Ain't it funny how we all seem to look the same?

We're getting put down,
We're getting pushed round,
We're being beaten every day.
My life's fading,
But things are changing,
I'm not gonna sit and weep again.

My karma tells me
You've been screwed again.
If you let them do it to you
You've got yourself to blame.
It's you who feels the pain
It's you that feels ashamed.

I am a young man
I ain't done very much,
You men should remember how you used to fight.
Just like a child, I've been seeing only dreams,
I'm all mixed up but I know what's right.

I'm getting put down,
I'm getting pushed round,
I'm being beaten every day.
My life's fading,
But things are changing,
I'm not gonna sit and weep again.

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1 Currently, one of my great fears concerning this upcoming Who program is that I will inadvertently and unconsciously say, before each song I play, "This is one of my favorites"; because I find myself thinking that after listening to each song, and when I come across one that I haven't heard for awhile, like this one, I play it over and over before moving on, thinking to myself, each time, "This is a great song."

But if I introduce each song with a "This is one of my favorite Who songs", I can't expect to have much credibility, can I?

That said, this is one of my Favorite Who Songs.

2 Is it Who in here or is it just me?

3 At the moment, it looks as though the Quadrophenia songs I do discuss will be:

"The Real Me"
"5:15"
"Drowned" and
"Bellboy"

I may add to that. But I won't add this one because there's really too much to say about it.

4 In the middle of "Helpless Dancer", e.g., he casually inserts this jaw-dropper:

No one can love without the grace
Of some unseen and distant face

... a line that strikes me every time as beautiful and elegant and true and it just appears like a jewel in a Quadrophenia song that is pulling triple duty by supplying yet more insight into Jimmy's dilemma as well as summing up the personality of The Who's lead singer, Roger Daltry. ("Helpless Dancer" is Roger's Theme; "Bell Boy" is Keith's; "Dr. Jimmy" is John's; "Love Reign O'er Me" is Pete's. Quadrophenia's name alludes to the fact that the character of Jimmy is supposed to have 4 distinct personalities, each personality being that of a member of The Who. This is one part of Quadrophenia that doesn't work: Jimmy's quest is really more one of trying to integrate the shards of his personality into one coherent whole. He doesn't have multiple personalities – he's trying to assemble one from parts, more or less. (Significantly, there is a song on Quadrophenia titled "I'm One". Also – say it with me – one of my favorites.))

Who-us Interruptus

I know I promised Who Script 3 today, and you may still get it, but it'll more likely be tomorrow because ...

Last night was Teh Boy's Spring Festival performance and, as is the norm with these things, it was incredibly cute and unintentionally hilarious.

It didn't start till 7 but we had to have Ian there by 6:30, so we were sitting around in the hot and humid gym for a half hour before the performance started and I hadn't even had a chance to change into shorts because we were so rushed1. So as usual, I'm looking at my fellow townies and I don't recognize a soul because I have cultivated an air of obliviousness which really doesn't take all that much cultivating because not noticing things pretty much comes to me natural-like. And of course my peopley-personable spouse, Teh 'Bride, is all "That little girl used to be in my storytime ... That fat bald guy? Yeah, he was the quarterback on my high school's football team. He's actually nice, unlike most football players ... That little boy over there? He was in my special needs storytime ..."

And I glance over to where Teh 'B. is indicating the little boy is, and it turns out he's right in front of his mother, who, at the moment kinda bends forward in her chair and what does Mr. Oblivious see?

WHALE TAIL!1!


And I look back at Teh 'Bride and get all Ian-y (i.e., I mouthed the words "O MY GOD!!!") and Teh 'Bride's all embarrassed because she didn't realize that she was pointing my eyes toward a rare spotting of a woman in mid ass crack-flossing, and for a full 30 seconds I couldn't stop giggling and I whisper (at least I hope it came out as a whisper2): "Looks like Mom has some 'special needs' of her own! Tee-hee-hee!1!" and it's like I can't help trying to sneak peeks over there to make sure I didn't imagine this, but I didn't, because there the whale tail is every time, in all its dark burgundy glory.

Hahahahahahaha! Best. Mandatory. Attendance. School Event. EVAH!1! Hahahahahaha!

The woman eventually left and lamentably took her flossy ass with her3.

Anyroad, one of the songs Ian and Crew did was "Papa Loves Mambo", which included little dance steps AND — we knew this because Ian thought doing it was weird — a PELVIC THRUST accompanied by a grunted "UNH!!"4

And here it is (Ian's in the long-sleeved shirt with the tail out, next to the kid with the tie):



That was Teh Awesome.
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1 Not that it's any of your business, but the reason we were rushed is the county clerk's office is open one night per month and last night was that night and we needed to get there to renew Ian's passport because kids' passports are good for only 5 years, not 10, and this summer our Big Vacation is a cruise to the exotic Isle of Kanadia and Teh 'Bride was worried that if Ian didn't have his passport, he'd be seized by Evil Brown-Shirted Kanadian Storm Troopers who would throw him into an Igloo Dungeon and force unspeakable things on him: "Here, Young Hoser — eat this Kanadian Bacon, eh?"

Don't do it, Ian! It's a trick! It's HAM!1! 

And so we had to eat dinner first, get the passport, then get Ian to the performance.

Just getting him to eat dinner was a trial. "Can I go outside?" "No, Ian, we're in a rush! We have to do your homework, get that passport, get you to school for the performance ..." "So I can't even go out and PLAY!?! O MY GOD!!!!!" [Yeah, we're the worst parents ever.]

"Eat your dinner, Ian." "But I'm not hungry!" "If you don't eat, you'll have a total freak!" "I won't freak at school! O MY GOD!!!!!" "I know — you'll wait till after the performance and we'll have to deal with all that loveliness at bedtime."

"O My GOD!!!!!"

And the only reason I'm telling you all this, which as I said is none of your business, is I'm killing time till the video I want to include above finishes uploading to youtube. It's done now, so you'll get no more Heisenberg family secrets in this post!

2 It was probably more a breathy yell.

3 Her ass wasn't that great — Teh 'Bride's is way better; it was probably a 6 or 7, tops. But I'm giving it a TEN because spotting it at a school event? That is deserving of being graded on a curve!

And WHAT a curve!1!

Plus I can't be blamed for looking because Teh 'Bride pointed her out! Am I right, ladies?

4 So perhaps thongs were appropriate attire.

UNH!1!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Who Script 2

Albums

The Who’s first “concept” album was their second one, titled A Quick One. The so-called “mini-opera” – “A Quick One While He’s Away” –  closes the album. Pete had been kicking around the idea of writing a rock opera for a while and when this album came up short on material, he wrote “A Quick One While He’s Away”1.

The plot of “A Quick One While He’s Away” is simple and comically absurd. The heroine’s man has been gone for a year and is one day overdue returning. She becomes inconsolable over this and for some reason the people of her town send in Ivor the Engine Driver2 to comfort her. She has an affair with him. Her man comes home. She confesses the affair and is forgiven.

Play “AQOWHA”



“AQOWHA” is usually referred to as The Who’s mini-opera, but it might be even more useful to refer to it as their comic opera. Pete’s future rock operas had a far more serious tone to them. In “AQOWHA”, you can see some of the themes Pete usually addresses being handled in a more comically overblown fashion: Love. Betrayal. Deception. Redemption. That last one, redemption, especially. In fact, when The Who performed “AQOWHA” live, Pete would frequently address the audience at the end of the song, saying “You are ALL forgiven”.

The opera expands almost immediately, but in a ridiculously over-the-top and improbable way.

Down your street your crying is a well-known sound
Your street is very well known, throughout your town
Your town is very famous for the little girl
Whose cries can be heard all around the world

The expansion goes from crying girl to street she lives on to town she lives in to the whole world in four short lines! She is world famous for her grief, we're informed, despite the fact that her man’s been missing for exactly one day.

Note also how quickly and easily she gives in to Ivor’s blandishments, which are about as oleaginous as it gets:

Please take a sweet
Come take a walk with me
We'll sort it out
Back at my place, maybe
It'll come right
You ain't no fool, I ain't either
So why not be nice to an old engine driver?
Better be nice to an old engine driver.


They're also vaguely threatening, it seems: "Better be nice ..."

Also of interest: When she admits her infidelities to her man, she says she “kissed a few” … but when? All during that same one day with Ivor? Or was she less than faithful to her man the whole time he was gone?

Who knows?

The mini-opera contains what must be the best-phrased infidelity admission ever:

I missed you and I must admit
I kissed a few and once did sit
On Ivor the Engine Driver's lap
And later with him, had a nap

Priceless. Had ... a ... nap!

Did you notice the background vocals at the beginning of the concluding “You Are Forgiven” section of the opera? They’re singing cello cello cello. That's because, originally, Pete wanted this section of the song scored for cello but Kit Lambert, The Who’s co-manager and producer, said they couldn’t afford it3. So Pete just had the band sing cello cello cello instead, which works better in a comic opera than actual cellos would have, I would argue.

Play “Happy Jack”



This song was included on the US version of A Quick One and is interesting for a number of reasons, but I just want to touch on one story about it.

The Who had recorded a version of “Barbara Ann” with Keith Moon singing lead vocals, which they released as a B side on an EP ... and it went straight to number 1 … in Sweden or some other Scandinavian country. This convinced Keith that he should be The Who’s lead singer, or should at the very least be allowed to sing background vocals. Keith, however, had a horrible voice.

The next single The Who released was this one, “Happy Jack”, and when they were recording the vocals, Keith kept trying to sneak his voice in there, ruining take after take, either with his singing or his antics, which caused Pete to crack up. Finally, Pete told Keith he had to go into the control booth and lie on the floor so that he couldn’t ruin another take. But at the end of the vocal take they finally did use, Pete saw Keith’s head pop up over the mixing board in the control room for just a second. Pete just managed to keep it together long enough to finish the take, but you can hear him at the end laughing, “I saw ya!”
______
Tomorrow, Who Script 3
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5.9-mile run this morning in 45 minutes = 8:48 pace.
_____________________________________
1 Incidentally, the album came up short because the other group members – Daltrey, Moon and Entwistle – were supposed to write two songs each for the album for odd contractual reasons having to do with this album alone – reasons I never quite understood – but only Entwistle supplied two, the other two submitting but one each; and it turns out Entwistle was the only other group member with any real song-writing talent. His first song, "Boris the Spider", was improvised on the spot when Pete asked, during a recording session, whether he'd written a song yet. "Sure," John replied: "it's about a ... spider! Boris the spider." Then he improvised the descending scale melody that anchors the song. He exited the session as quickly as possible so he could write down the melody he'd just improvised before he forgot it; then brought the finished song in for the next session.

Pete's sense of humor could be weirdly, darkly off-beat ("I'm a Boy", "Pictures of Lily", "Squeeze Box", "Happy Jack") but John's was just macabre; so when The Who needed a twisted lyric, they generally turned to him. For the rock opera Tommy, John wrote both "Cousin Kevin", about the sadistic cousin who tortures Tommy because he knows Tommy can't tell on him; and "Fiddle About", the song in which Uncle Ernie sexually molests Tommy. Although John's vision is decidedly darker than Pete's, it is often congruent: the issue of identity shows up in Entwistle songs such as "Whiskey Man" (also on A Quick One), "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde" and a lot of others.

Roger's vision is decidedly incongruent with Pete's. His song, "See My Way", while not a bad song, is an assertion of power and identity, not a questioning or probing of it:
Some way, some day, I'll find a way
To make you see my way

Even if you don't think like I do
You know that it's true

...
I'm glad it's goodbye
You don't have to ask why
Come back another day
Come back when you see my way
I know what I'm all about – the problem is you. Roger is obviously not dealing with doubts as to who he is or who is right.

The song Keith submitted, an instrumental called "Cobwebs and Strange", lives up to its name because it is just strange and – BONUS – pretty awful. Although it does show off the fact that Pete had one of the fastest right hands (the strumming hand) of any guitarist.

2 Ivor, incidentally, is the only named character in the mini-opera. The hero and heroine are just "he" and "little girl". But Ivor is given both a name and a profession along with a theme that is highly rhythmic, insistent (it speeds up a LOT),  and, obviously, very sexually suggestive.

3 The Who should have been relatively wealthy by this point in their career but they were still in the red because they kept destroying their equipment in the live shows – something they were pretty well known for – and therefore were forever having to buy, or steal, new gear. Pete tells a story of running into an instrument store, grabbing a guitar off the wall, and running out with it while promising, over his shoulder, to pay for it later. The for-profit corporate entity “The Who” didn’t make it fully into the black until Tommy came out in 1969, by which time they’d been recording and releasing music for nearly 5 years.

Another reason they had a difficult time making it into the black: They tended to destroy their hotel rooms on the road. Moon was the biggest culprit in this regard. He blew up toilets, tore down whole walls, drove cars into pools. He and the band were banned from numerous hotel chains in the US. Luckily, The Who found a hotel chain that was happy to take Moon. Good hotels tend to be renovating all the time and so all this chain did was make sure they booked Moon into whatever room was slated to be torn apart for renovation, anyway. Perhaps he even saved them money.
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BONUS ENTWISTLE! (added later)

"Trick of the Light" is classic hilarious Entwistle from Who Are You. The narrator spends the night with a whoo-wer and is worried that he hasn't ... let just say "satisfied" her:

Was I all right? (Was I all right?)
Did I take you to the height of ecstasy
Was I all right? (Was I all right?)
Did a shadow of emotion cross your face?

Or was it just another trick of the light?



Wide awake in the middle of the night
I wonder how she's feelin'
Is it just a trick of the light
Or is her ceiling peeling?

She's sitting up in bed, shakin' her head
At a copy of "True Confessions"
Ooh, it must seem like a fairy tale
To a woman of her profession

But was I all right? (was I all right?)
Did I take you to the height of ecstasy?
Was I all right? (was I all right?)
Did a shadow of emotion cross your face
Or was it just another trick of the light?

But was I all right? (was I all right?)
Did I take you to the height of ecstasy?
Was I all right? (was I all right?)
Did a shadow of emotion cross your face
Or was it just another trick of the light?

Come on, tell me
What's a nice girl like you doin' in a place like this?
They don't make girls like you no more
And I'd like to get to know you
On closer terms than this
But I guess you've heard it all before

Lady of the night
Won't you steal away with me?
Lady of the night
Won't you steal away with me?

The money's lyin' on the floor, she looks at me
Shakes her head and sighs
Out of time, out the door
Red light shinin' in my eyes

But was I all right? (was I all right?)
Did I take you to the height of ecstasy?
Was I all right? (was I all right?)
Did a shadow of emotion cross your face

All right?
But was I all right?
All right?