March 31, 2006
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO CRACK"
Yet it's not what you think.
This, however, is.
This is fast becoming the Friday afternoon link dump:
One word for this: NO! AIGGGGGHHHHHH! MY EYES! MY EYES!
Bill Ardolino on the ins and outs of proper seal clubbing.
I bet he uses a five wood, whereas studs like myself can easily get it done with a four iron.
Well THAT sucks.
It's bad enough bears are ravaging our neighborhood at night---now these prehistoric monsters are coming to town too.
IN CONCLUSION here's the old-fashioned link dump, Allahpundit style.
I'm Steve the LLamabutcher, and I'm an idiot
But you knew that already.
Anyhoo, I need your help: no, not for the "Hottie LLama" contest that Sadie Lou is running a pirate bootleg on our site (because we all know who is the mostest cutest LLama anyway), but by helping a friend in need.
One of our oldest and bestest blog buddies is of course Kathy the Cake Eater, and a visit over to Cake Eater Chronicles is a daily requirement over here at Rancho non Sequitor. Kath has been feeling a little bit blue as of late, and wants to take a blogbatical or something, hoping to refresh the batteries etc. etc.
Stick a Fork in Me, I'm Done
Well, my devoted Cake Eater readers, I'm going on hiatus.
I was actually going to start my hiatus next week, but you'll have noticed the dearth of posting lately, it's probably just as well that I do this now.
Now, now, don't be despondent, my devoted Cake Eater readers. Think of all the crap posts I'm sparing you in the meantime.
There are two things that have led to this decision. First, I am just not interested in blogging right now. I'm tired of this vain little world the blogosphere has become. I'm sick of the preening, the posturing, of the bottle of success only opening and filling the glass of the best link whores. I'm sick of it. I know it shouldn't bother me; I've tried not to let it bother me, but you can only churn out content for so long without any payoff.
Second, I have other things I want to expend my energy on. Yes, that means another manuscript. After the last one spontaneously combusted, leaving only a smoldering pile of shit in its place, it's taken a bit to work myself up to it, but I'm readying myself for another go-round on the Novel Carousel (TM). Now this is the same carousel where---ahem--- if you suck, you're forcibly ejected! I haven't the time or energy to expend on blogging if I want to---ahem---actually write something that will sell. I'm tired of writing novels that don't make me any money, because, my devoted Cake Eater Readers, I want to be sitting on a beach sometime soon, being fed bon-bon's by Javier the thong-wearing, well-greased, cabana boy---and that's not going to happen unless I've got lots of coin.
So, I bid you au revoir, my devoted Cake Eater readers. I will be back.
Probably in the summer.
But what better way to help her than to let her know how much we all care.
I'm big into the "random acts of kindness" stuff---I have a bumber sticker on the truck to that effect, right next to the "THIS SUV RUNS ON PURE, CLEAN WHALE OIL" What better way to show the blog luv than giving someone the thing we bloggers all want: the gift of traffic.
So to that end, I've decided the best way we can show Kath how much we LUV Cake Eater Chronicles is give her the #1 ranking on Google for people searching for the 1988 movie Beaches. Because, what movie says what we are trying to do here than Beaches, no?
It shouldn't be that hard: surprisingly, no one has staked out this, um, sand before.
So this is where you come in. I've already started my campaign over at Cake Eater Chronicles itself, what I've modestly titled the "ALL YOUR BEACHES ARE BELONG TO US!" campaign. We need to collectively bomb google with links tying Kathy's blog to the movie Beaches.
Here's the script you'll need:
Paste, hit return, and then hit paste with the finger down, giving 1 or 200 links.
One week, I think we'll be gold.
Don't do it for me. Do it for Kathy. Do it for Cake Eater Chronicles.
Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog Beaches Movie blog
What's Wrong With You Freaks?
March 30, 2006
The Mos Eisley Chronicles-Part III
The moonbats at Daily Kos linked to this piece from The Nation on Feingold's censure motion. I wonder when the moonbats, the antique media, and the like will have a serious discussion of the legal precedent for warrantless surveillance in the area of foreign intelligence. Probably never. But I would like at least one Lefty to provide a serious analysis of the FISA Court of Review's published opinion In re Sealed Case in which it takes for granted the President's power to conduct such surveillance and then explain how such action is "illegal".
A copy of a portion of the script for Indy 500, the long-awaited fourth installment of the Indiana Jones triology, fell into our hooves today.
Apparently it involves Indy, bullwhip by his side, sitting on the front porch of the Springfield Retirement Kastle railing about those young whippersnappers not having the proper respect and stuff before wandering off for some more jello.
SFC Paul Smith
An account of SFC Paul Smith, posthumous Medal of Honor recipient from yesterday's Opinion Journal.
Rattling the tin cup for a good cause
Jeff at Beautiful Atrocities is banging the cup.
I'm Steve the LLamabutcher: heed my commands!
Today's pshop exercise: mess with the lovely Chai-Rista's Girl Scout Merit Badge sash.
Bonus points for creative yet inappropriate use of a llama.
Today on the ABC Afterschool Special, Gary the Ex-Donk discovers the sooper sekret dangers of glue sniffing and then google chumming
What's worse: that this guy googled that subject up, or that, when he did, he found Gary's website?
Blogging George Elliot
Why not? Someone's set up the Middlemarch blog.
Via Lissa, who it seems is in a family way.
YIPS FROM AGENT BEDHEAD: Gahhhh. You actually mispelled her fake name. Don't make me go all Maggie Tulliver on this place.
Words to ponder in this time of war
For those who wonder why people like Pat Tillman and countless others joined the military after 9/11, your humble LMC gives you the following:
It is not an ordinary war. It is a revolution imposed by force of arms, which threatens all men everywhere. It is a revolution which proposes not to set men free but to reduce them to slavery-to reduce them to slavery in the interest of a dictatorship which has already shown the nature and the extent of the advantage which it hopes to obtain.
That is the fact which dominates our world and which dominates the lives of all of us, each and every one of us. In the face of the danger which confronts our time, no individual retains or can hope to retain, the right of personal choice which free men enjoy in times of peace. He has a first obligation to serve in the defense of our institutions of freedom-a first obligation to serve his country in whatever capacity his country finds him useful.
George W. Bush did not utter these words, Franklin Roosevelt did at the 1940 Democratic National Convention.
"We've got a Class Five Clinger!"
Boy howdy, one of those days Wednesday, but it's over so I've got that going for me.
Anyhoo, I missed this: Sadie Lou getting all dewey-eyed thinking about Henry Rollins and Mark Twain naked.
I'm sorry, Sadie, but that's just downright repulsive: Twain would be, what, 170 years old now? There would not be enough botox in the world to cure the retinal damage done by that amount of sag.
March 28, 2006
Appreciation for soldiers
I was in the Atlanta airport this afternoon on my way back to Fort LMC after yet another Reserve conference. At least thirty soldiers in ACUs were crossing the main food court area, all carrying duffel bags. Someone in the crowd started clapping and in a moment everyone joined in. The clapping continued until the last soldier exited the food area.
Caspar Weinberger, R.I.P.
Former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger died today. He was Reagan's first SecDef and served well into Reagan's second term. Weinberger was the architect of of the Reagan military buildup and helped bring about the fall of the Soviet Union. History will be kind to him.
Finally, something to send in to the "Class Notes" at the back of the Alumni mag
Yes, we're #1 ON GOOGLE for:
dan brown antichrist
Right Wing Nut House has their review, as only Right Wing Nut House does it. Apparently the Grim Reaper was back from his one week hiatus. Dave Barry liveblogged it---it has to be read out loud to be truly appreciated.
Why doesn't anyone ever tell us this sort of thing ahead of time?
Apparently, Official Photoshop a LLama contests have to wait while Robbo's galivanting aroung the country "working."
Sadie is kicking this one off with this masterpiece.
Only one word can describe that pshop: Heebie Jeebie.
Okay, that's two words, but you get my drift.
The Shuffle Begins
Card is out.
This is significant in that Andy Card is an old school family retainer.
Cheney Departure Index has started to rise...
Not your typical book meme
From Lissa over at Here in the Bonny Glen.
Asshat of the day
Jeff at Beautiful Atrocities has got the goods.
Jeff, the upside of the situation for her is that with the success of Ray/Walk the Line, eventually they'll get around to doing the Mama Cass movie and Charlotte's already "growing into the role" if you catch my drift.
Your LLamabutchers cursing insult of the day
ATTENTION: All your beaches are now belong to us
Seems that there's been a format change over at Cake Eater Chronicles: it's now the all Beaches, all the Time blog.
I guess the move towards easy-listening blogging was inevitable.
Eminent domain in Mecca
Regular readers know I've been following the Kelo v. New London eminent domain story for an article I'm writing, focusing on the backlash to the case. Libertarians feared (quite rightly) that the decision would open the floodgates for local governments to unleash the bulldozers, plowing under people's rights as well as local history in favor of usually quite cheap and shoddy public projects.
Well, the backlash to the case caught most of the public law world quite by surprise: movements in most states to limit, curtail, or abolish eminent domain for "public purpose" private development, and nearly a year later, Ms. Kelo is still in her home and the city of New London's plans have gone completely off the track.
But the weirdest turn however is that the next big fight on this issue is taking place in..............Mecca.
Secretary-General for Saudi Supreme Association for Tourism prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz has condemned Saudi government plan to demolish Islamic signs and buildings in the holy cities of Medina and Makkah.
Talking to London-based Asharq Al-Awsat Arabic language newspaper on Sunday September 4, Abdulaziz stressed that powers that be have no legal authority to touch or demolish historical sites.
The daily writes that operations of demolition of important signs in the holy city of Medinah are neither the first nor would be the last, as earlier seven mosques including Bani Qoreyza Mosque were razed to ground despite their religious, historic and cultural importance as well as their status in the period of Prophet (peace be upon him and his pure progeny).
Here's where it gets funny:
According to reports some of Holy Makkah and Medina's most historic sites including a home of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his pure progeny), are under threat from Saudi real estate developers. ... Fatah writes, “What makes this demolition worse is the fact that the home of the Prophet is to make way for a parking lot, two 50-storey hotel towers and seven 35-storey apartment blocks; a project known as the Jabal Omar Scheme, all within a stone’s throw of the Grand Mosque."
The article continues by wondering where is the outrage in the Muslim world over the destruction of Mohammad's digs:
Yet despite this outrage, not a single Muslim country, no ayatollah, no mufti, no king, not even a Muslim Canadian imam has dared utter a word in protest. Such is the power of Saudi influence on the Muslim narrative.”
The writer wonders if the lack of a response is because Muslims have become so overwhelmed by the power of the Saudi riyal currency that we have lost all courage and self-respect? Or is it because they feel a need to cover up Muslim-on-Muslim violence, Muslim-on-Muslim terror or Muslim-on-Muslim oppression?
My suggestion to the author: find a way to blame it on Pfizer---that seems the easy way to do it around here.
From the hilarious Religious Policeman, who also has this piece on Camilla's fashion choices while visiting Saudi Arabia. Margaret Thatcher would have been proud.
March 27, 2006
Here We Go Again....
I'm off again in the morning - my third trip in five weeks - and won't be coming back to Dee Cee until late Friday afternoon. Needless to say, my arms are getting pretty damned tired. (Ba-BUMP-bah!)
I didn't bitch at all about my last trip, despite the fact that a big cold front had just come through and it was one of the most beastly choppy sets of flights I'd ever been on. Fortunately, the weather map looks a lot calmer this week, so I don't think it will be quite so terror-inspiring this time. I certainly hope so, because I'm convinced that the stress of flying knocks a quantifiable amount of time off my lifespan every time I take to the air.
The good nooz is that this is (hopefully) the last time I'll have to do this for a while.
Anyhoo, all this is by way of saying that blogging for me will be non-existent the rest of the week.
No Cake For You!
Our dear pal Kathy the Cake-Eater has announced she's going on bloggy hiatus for a while.
The only reason I'm not more shaken by this than I am is because I don't really believe it. She'll be back. Of course she will! And if it takes pointing out, say, that Emma Woodhouse is a more entertaining heroine than is Lizzy Bennet, well by golly, that's what I'll do!
Stories I Don't Need To See On A Monday Afternoon
Actress SARAH JESSICA PARKER was shocked when her three-year-old son asked to see BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, but feared she would send the wrong message if she refused. The former SEX AND THE CITY star allows JAMES WILKE to watch part of a movie or TV show before he goes to be at night if he behaves during the day. She explains, " He said, 'Mama I've been hearing a lot about a movie lately.' I said, 'What movie?' and he said 'Brokeback Mountain. I've heard it's about two cowboys. I would like to watch it tonight.' "I didn't want to deny him, because I didn't want to set up some idea about what's bad, because of the subject matter. "We live in New York City, we live in the West Village. So we found an 18 minute segment he could watch. "The next day he hugged his nanny and he wouldn't let go and he said, 'That is like the two cowboys in Brokeback Mountain!'"
As a matter of fact, I'm not really sure I even believe this story is true. No three year old that I've ever known talks that way.
But if it is true, color me appalled: "I didn't want to deny him, because I didn't want to set up some idea about what's bad, because of the subject matter."
Uh, Ms. Parker? That's sort of your job, isn't it? You know, as his mother n' stuff?
And if you're worried about turning the kid into some kind of homophobe, how about stepping back and embracing the principle that a three year old shouldn't be watching any movie with strong sexual themes, regardless of who or what is boinking whom.
Yips! to JPod.
Stories I Don't Need To See On A Monday Morning
A statue of a "Nude Britney Spears Giving Birth"? Apparently so:
The clay sculpture features a nude Britney Spears on a bearskin rug while giving birth to her firstborn because, according to [Sculptor Daniel] Edwards, pop-star Britney Spears is the "ideal model for Pro-Life."
Normally, I'd insert some snippy witticism right about here, but there is just so much wrong with this that it's caused my brain to crash. I need coffee and crullers STAT!
UPDATE: And while we're on the subject of cultural decay, my pal Marjorie the Unclimber is laying into Club Libby Lu again. If you don't know about it, this is a place at the mall that caters to young girls' birthday parties and such, providing them the means to dress up like, well, Britney Spears, and dance about for the viewing benefit of passers-by. Call me old-fashioned, but I absolutely forbid the Llama-ettes to go there.
March 26, 2006
Your LLamabutcher word of the day
Your Plutarch Moment: Today's sign of the imminent collapse of the American Republic
This can only mean that Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man 2 will be coming to theaters soon.
Personally, I'd rather be hit by a meteor.
Worse, it could lead to a new series on the Lifetime Network: Nash Bridges of Madison County, where an aging former hunky SF cop moves to Iowa and starts shagging bored rural housewives, while solving some crimes and otherwise bantering after windmills with Cheech Marin.
To paraphrase Douglass MacArthur: old actors don't die, they just slide into the daytime movie schedule of the Lifetime Network, where they just wish they were dead.
Okay, maybe I'm not giving up on the Sawx quite yet
After my Bronson Arroyo post earlier in the week (where I was able to successfully google chum "Theo Epstein" and "crack-smoking monkey" into the same post), it would seem I've given up all hope on the Red Sawx this season: that is not the case.
It seems that in all of the pampered, limoed, call-girled, Dom n' blowed, steroided, and overpaided (ed: paided? That isn't a word! Pub. Hush, he's on a roll) world of professional athletes there is one who has his priorities in order. Our David to take down the Goliath that is Barry "Yeah, so they've shriveled to the size of subatomic particles, which would explain my anger and rage" Bonds and all he represents.
My new hero? Mike Timlin.
Yeah, yeah, you're telling yourself, he had his valet Peppy get in touch with Jeter's assistant's assistant to find out from A-Rod's chaueffer's masseuse where was that place to get good, fresh barbecue, and could you send the ferrari to go pick it up, as the Benz SUV is getting repimped.
But you would be wrong.
The article proceeds to descibe Timlin, looking like something out of "Survivor: Lynard Skynard Land" sitting 12 feet up in a tree bow-hunting feral hogs in the everglades.
I mean for goodness sakes, he looks like Angelina Jolie's dad near the end of Deliverance, when he pops out of the water and spears the three-eyed mutant hillbillly in the head. (And, if we want to complete the analogy, we'd just cast Don Zimmer in the Ned Beaty role, because, you know, Zim always had a mighty purty mouth).
New York slugger and animal rights activist*** Jason Giambi had the following comment:
We Yankees gonna whip yo butts this yeahr, ya heah!
SPECIAL QUESTION FOR BIG BROTHER LOU OR LB BUDDY: Based on this article, what would happen if Clapton moved to Texas and started coaching football?
UPDATE: Okay, so it was Burt Reynolds who gored that guy---it's Sunday morning, and my mind is supposed to be more elevated, right?
Timlin, Varitek and the boys decide to play a little prank on the sell out ex-Wookie and his new Yankee buddies by dropping the pickled corpse of Billy Martin into the hot tub out back. Those guys....
And yes, Sawx blogging might become a regular feature around here. The chief difficulty is that the Boston Globe sucks eggs through a straw with their obtuse registration processes. But, as a New York Times company, I try to keep it password easy by sticking with the old reliable "Maureendowdisaskankyhosebag" which seems to work fine.
***By animal rights activist I meant, of course, steroid chomping butt slapping idiot has been DH.
March 25, 2006
Girls! Girls! Girls!
You want material for a 5001st entry? I'll give you something: We're hosting a slumber party tonight in celebration of the eldest Llama-ette's eighth birthday. I am informed that, including her sisters, there will be a total of twelve little girls haunting the place.
Mind you, this is on top of the fact that I had to get up at five ack emma to go down to the National Cathedral for an all-day vestry retreat for my church. Even as I type, I'm debating the propriety of breaking into the adult beverages before the magician shows up, as opposed to waiting until the mob is being fed......
Since we're tossing them all in the basement this evening for movies n' popcorn, I'll pretty much be confined to the top floor of the house. Since the computer is up here, I may very well decide to live-blog the thing as well.
UPDATE: 4:35. And so it begins. As the first guests are being dropped off, I can hear that peculiar light-hearted laugh receding down the front walk that is the sound of a parent ditching their child for the night.
Oops, looks like Magician Guy just appeared. I need to go help him unload his stuff....
UPDATE DEUX: Just for clarification, you don't really think I had any say in coming up with this idea, do you?
UPDATE TROIS: Jay the Magician politely declined the offer of assistance. (We had a one-man-band guy here one time who was practically dumbstruck that I would even offer to lend him a hand moving his things in. That tells you something about how a lot of people in these parts treat the help.) When he opened the basement door, the sudden intake of breath of the kiddies downstairs was enough to cause a noticable sudden drop in atmospheric pressure. I expect this is what it must be like just before a tornado hits.
UPDATE QUATR: Apparently, the centerpiece of Jay's magic show involves birds. The six year old Llama-ette just gave me detailed instructions about making sure the cats don't eat them.
YIPS FROM AGENT BEDHEAD: Something smells really sooper bad in here.
UPDATE CINQ: The magic show was pretty good, if for no other reason than that the magician made the Missus put on a chicken mask and a cape. (Don't ask.)
YIPS from Steve: Tell you have pictures of the missus in that getup (puhleeze Jeebus, puleeze!)
YIPS DEUX from Steve Who wants to take bets on exactly when Robbo gets to do the post about dead forgotten magician hamster removal from somewhere in the house?
I've got "soffets and August 21."
UPDATE HUIT: Balloons...Why did the guy have to give the kids balloons? I hate balloons the way Indiana Jones hates snakes.
Never mind - it's cake in a few minutes followed by tonight's feature presentation: Disney's Hercules. The eldest Llama-ette has been pontificating on how Disney screwed everything up. That's my gel!
Once the kids are deposited in front of the movie, it's Big Ol' Ribeye Time for Dad and don't think I haven't earned it today!
UPDATE 8:20 PM: Let me just point out that I was a fan of Phillip Seymour Hoffman before it was cool. Who can forget his Dusty's line from Twister, "Red meat! We crave sustenance!"?
Actually, things are going pretty well (touching wood). Everybody's in the basement watching Hercules and, so far, apart from the four year old Llama-ette getting head-butted by somebody by accident, all is well. I've known most of these girls for a few years now and it never ceases to fascinate me to watch them grow up. Of course, half of them are in the Missus' class at school, so there's no question that they at least have a top quality education, but really, they are a good set of kids. Let's hope things hold.
SOOPER SEKRIT EDITORIAL YIPS from Steve: The above laudatory comments about the edumahkaytional ideas of St. Maria of the Blessed Fingerpaints has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Robbo has already sent me the aforementioned chicken mask pics, and I'm currently uploading them onto T-shirts at Cafepress. Never to early to think of those stocking stuffers. LLama out.
UPDATE 8:50: Garn! I've got DVD's of both John Wayne's The Searchers and Cary Grant's Only Angels Have Wings, either of which would have been perfect to watch this evening, but I'm totally shut out. Guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow. In the meantime, I suppose I'll go back to Tolkien's Unfinished Tales, although I caught myself the other evening not really giving a damn whether Amroth was related to Galadriel and Celeborn or not....
UPDATE NEXT MORNING: Well, that wasn't so bad at all. Of course, I conked out at about 9:30, but everyone seemed to have gone to bed quite easily. Certainly there were no alarums in the middle of the night, which is the main thing. Of course, they were up at 6:00 this morning and are currently being stuffed with pancakes, but hey....
OUR 5000TH POST ON MOO KNEW!
And I've got nothing.
I'm putting this here as a marker so when I'm feeling more spry, I'll put something up about the meaning of it all.
In the meantime, we here at the LLamabutchers bow down before the apparently infinite generosity and munificence of the Grand Poobah of Moo Knew Mr. Pixy Misa for allowing us to play in his sand box over the past two years. Thanks, Andrew!!!!
4999---here's reason 4999 not to trust Wikipedia
Check out footnote 10 on this page. I dare you. (Completely work safe, unless your name is Chloe and you are a pouty mouthed data-miner with a surly demeanor to your beloved boss's idiot daughter)
Holy Christ on crutches.
Dr. Rusty and the My Pet Jawa Brigade must be howling in their Sandcrawler--just like they have their good gay/bad gay thing, there's your good google chumming and your not so good.. And showing up in an article like that is the surest way to get Jack Bauer to show up in my basement, wanting to deviate from protocols all over my Hugenot hide.
Abbott and Costello, OED style
The etymology of
Come on, Alan, tell us what you really think
THAT is going to leave a mark.
They would've done a lot better if they'd gone with my suggestion: Natalie Portman with hair, and V and his pal the Phantom of the Opera go fishing a lot.
So that must mean it's time for Gary the X-Donk's trip down 80s babe lane. Today's stop: Molly Ringwald.
How to describe Molly Ringwald to today's youth? She was kind of like the Olsen Twins, except she had red hair and there was only one of her. It was the eighties in Reagan's America, and the only acceptable Red to like was Molly. That said, she couldn't act her way out of a wet paper bag with an exacto knife glued to her American Express gold card. But she was kind of cute, in that pre-emaciated skank 1000 yard stare sort of way.
What I'm looking forward to is that Gary is eventually going to have to come around to Ally Sheedy, and we know what types of problems that's going to create for the lad.
Welllllll alrighty then
Three hours and 16 emails sent out later, the backlog has been abated.
Is it just me, or did email come into my life around the same time as the low-flow toilet? Just two other reasons I'm ever so grateful for Al Gore in my daily life.
BTW, technical question: If I send an email with a series of email addresses in the "BCC" line, will they be able to see who else received it? I'm sending out a bulk email for our admissions office and don't want it to look like a big pile o' junk.
The late winter flu train plowed through Rancho Non Sequitor Wednesday night. I had a fever from Wed night through late Thursday, and then again last night. The eldest, Little Miss Somersault, has been down for the count since yesterday. So far, everyone else is ducky, which is good. To paraphrase the Grateful Dead, I've been livin' on toast, ginger ale and applesauce (which is appropriate, given that I feel like I've been run over by a truck).
I could remember this morning that there was something from Wednesday I need to respond to, an email---in fact I had all sorts of funky fever dreams about it last night, flowing through my fingers into the machine, over the network, being carved up into packets, being reassembled, the works. I fired up the machine this morning and found that yes, indeed, I had that email to get to this morning, as well as 96 others that had piled up. Sigh.
It's raining here, at least, which will be good for the flowers.
March 24, 2006
Gratuitous Musickal Posting (TM)
Those of you who think I spend too much time harping on Bach and Mozart would have been gratified, I think, at the sight of me bopping down the Georgetown Pike in my Jeep this morning, singing along to Toby Keith's "You Ain't Much Fun Since I Quit Drinkin'" at the top of my voice:
I used to come home late and not a minute too soon
Barkin' like a dog, howlin' at the moon
You'd be mad as an ol' wet hen
Up all night wonderin' where I'd been
I'd fall down and say come help me honey
You laughed out loud, I guess you thought it was funny
But I sobered up and I got to thinkin'
Girl you ain't much fun since I quit drinkin'
Now I'm paintin' the house and I'm mendin' the fence
I guess I've gone and lost all my good sense
Too much work is hard for your health
I could've died drinkin' now I'm killing myself
And I'm feedin' the dog, sackin' the trash
It's honey do this, honey do that
I sobered up and I got to thinkin'
Girl you ain't much fun since I quit drinkin'
Now I'm fixin' the sink and I'm mowin' the grass
And you've made me a list and I'm bustin' my.... well
All broke down, tail's been draggin'
It's a rough old life up here on the wagon
And I'm feedin' the dog, sackin' the trash
It's honey do this, honey do that
I sobered up and I got to thinkin'
Girl you ain't much fun since I quit drinkin'
Yeah I sobered up and I got to thinkin'
Girl you ain't much fun since I quit drinkin'
"Drinkin'", of course, sung in a proper Southern accent comes out something close to "drahkin'".
In general, I can take Toby or leave him alone. But I do like this song. Better not to enquire too closely why, I suppose.
Gratuitous Domestic Posting (TM)
A good, productive Friday at home today, despite the fact that it started off poorly when the four year old and I went for the draw on each other.
After bundling everybody off, I headed out for Home Despot for the first time this season (Motto: Don't Like The Way We Do Things? Drive The Thirty Miles To The Nearest Lowe's. Yeah, We Didn't Think So."), there to pick up a trellis for the clematis by the garage door. I swear the people at that place are getting more surly by the year. The woman manning the garden center checkout wouldn't even come out of her booth, only extending her arm and scanner gun far enough through a crack in the door to record the purchase, before slamming it shut and leaving me to do the credit card swipey thing on my side. It's like buying garden supplies from the East German Speztsnaz.
Having found the one trellis that would actually fit around the garage light and tacked the clem up to it, I then helped our handyman take down a half-dead fir on the west side of the house, together with a large maple branch that was hanging across the sidewalk out front and crowding out the crepe myrtle by the driveway. (The change in the amount of light that is going to get into the side yard was instantly noticeable.) What is is about stacking logs and hauling off brush that appeals at such a fundamental level of being? I can well understand why Dubya likes to head off to Crawford when he can.
Speaking of such things, I have a forsythia question for anybody who might be knowledgeable: For the second year in a row, mine is blooming very anemically, only throwing out a few flowers right on the ends of its branches. I thought I was good about pruning it at the right time last year (forsythia only flower on new growth), so I'm not sure this has anything to do with it. It's a very large and old plant (or set of plants) and appears otherwise quite healthy. I've done nothing to feed it, so I'm wondering if maybe it has simply worn out the soil and needs some yum-yums?
New to me blogger? Perhaps, perhaps not.
Last shred of bachelorhood, gone
Mrs. LMC has finally succeeded in her five year effort to move the post headquarters from its current location (purchased in my bachelor years) to another location on the vast real estate holdings that comprise Fort LMC. I dread the thought of getting the bachelor pad ready to list. Looks like there will be plenty to do in my spare time for the foreseeable future.
From Red Eye. Very not bad. All of those years on the field hockey field were not wasted.
March 23, 2006
CalTechGirl has a humorous collection of How Many Christians Does It Take To Change A Lightbulb jokes broken down by denomination.
The Episcopalian entry is an old warhorse:
Episcopalians: 3 - One to call the electrician, one to mix the drinks, and one to talk about how much better the old one was.
Alas, I should point out that this answer is rather outdated and really only applies to us Rite I traditionalists. I'm afraid that the more modern Rite II answer would look an awful lot like the one for the Unitarians.
Go on over and read 'em all. Funny stuff.
Oh, That Media Bias
No doubt you've already seen Drudge's scoop on ABC producer John Green's email to colleagues about Dubya making him want to puke.
Personally, I reyther like Roger Simon's take on it:
According to the Drudge Report, Good Morning America producer John Green is "mortified" that he was caught with his pants down in an email he wrote to others at ABC that President Bush made him want "to puke." Frankly, Green should not be so upset. This is his opinion and he's welcome to it in a free society. The idea that he would be impartial is simply a myth. Last I heard John Green was a human being. Only machines (so far) are impartial. In fact, it's good viewers of ABC are informed of the opinions of those producing the network's shows. It gives those viewers much more ability to evaluate what they are seeing. Thanks, Mr. Green!
Hear, hear. And that would go for anyone's opinions, regardless of their particular political bent. What's important here is not that Green has such opinions, but that so much effort is made to pretend that there is or can be such thing as impartiality in the press.
Know what this made me think of? Campaign finance reform. I've long felt that fiddling around with monetary limitations is a colossal waste of time and energy (aside from the small fact that it's unconstitutional). The only reform genuinely worth pursuing is to instead concentrate on immediate disclosure and full transparancy regarding donor names and amounts. As with Roger's example regarding the press and its audience here, such information would allow voters to make much better informed decisions.
Yips! to the Puppy Blender.
In Vino Veritas
Yes indeedy, it's Funky Llama Wines. The ad copy pretty much says it all:
Meant to be fun and not complicated, Funky Llama is rich in fruit, low in price but not lacking in complexity. These wines are amazingly well-made, and they will hold their own as your new house wines no matter which flavor you end up liking the most. So just have fun! Get a little funky! And don’t make wine such a big deal. Remember, wine isn’t worth any hype at all, if someone isn’t enjoying it!
That's us Llamas: Weird but cheap. Let's party!
Yips! to Chef Mojo.
Ah, Sweet Immunity!
The Llamabutchers: No. 1 Google search result out of nearly thirty mil for too pretty to go to jail.
On to mayhem!
Lack of gratitude
The statements of "peace activists' freed in Iraq. Not a word of thanks for the Coalition forces who risked their lives to free them nor a word of condemnation for those who brutally murdered their fellow captive. Their willful blindness to the evil around them brings to mind Lenin's characterization of the Fabian Socialists: "useful idiots"- which is probably how the insurgents see them.
Wearing the Mask
Brian B tackles one of the great mysteries of parenthood:
How do you deal with a situation where your child has done/is doing something you know they shouldn't, and must be corrected, but they're being so damned cute and funny while doing it that you can't look at them with a straight face, let alone a stern one?
The World wonders.
This reminds me of an episode that happened a couple years back. The eldest Llama-ette, who was four or five at the time, had recently picked up the word "sh*t" somewhere. Of course, the first time we heard it, we talked to her very seriously about what a naughty word it was and how she musn't ever say it again.
Anyhoo, not long after, the gel was standing at the bathroom sink getting ready for bed. I was there, too, putting toothpaste on the brush and that sort of thing. As was her wont at that time, she was babbling to herself, singing a nonsense song that she made up as she went along. Without (I'm sure) even realizing it, she started to sing, "shi--" but realized at the last second what she was about and quickly changed it to something like, "shi-illabaloo".
A few seconds later, she looked up at me with big, blue eyes and a smile and said, "See, Daddy? I didn't say 'sh*t'!"
Exit Daddy stage left for a smothered guffaw.
Laura Ingraham-David Gregory Smackdown
on The Today Show. Laura let him have it for NBC spending money for "Where in the World is Matt Lauer?" and coverage of the Olympics and not devoting the same resources to covering Iraq. NRO's take on it is here ("Role Reversal: David Gregory finds out what it is like to be Scott McClellan.") Read it.
Gratuitous Llama Book Review
My Metro reading at the moment is Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss, a delightfully curmudgeonly rant on the decline of proper punctuation delivered in the tone only a Brit Grammar Nazi can achieve.
While the book itself is quite entertaining, what I find even better are some of the historical samples and episodes cited by Truss, including a very funny feud between James Thurber and New Yorker editor Harold Ross concerning "the grison anecdote", an even funnier letter from G. B. Shaw to T. E. Lawrence (aka "Lawrence of Arabia") concerning the punctuation in his book The Seven Pillars of Wisdom which begins, "My dear Luruns [sic], Confound you and your book: you are no more to be trusted with a pen than a child with a torpedo", and this charming passage from P.G. Wodehouse's Over Seventy:
How anybody can compose a story by word of mouth face to face with a bored-looking secretary with a notebook is more than I can imagine. Yet may authors think nothing of saying, "Ready, Miss Spelvin? Take dictation. Quote No comma Sir Jasper Murgatroyd comma close quotes comma said no better make it hissed Evangeline comma quote I would not marry you if you were the last man on earth period close quotes Quote well comma I'm not comma so the point does not arise comma close quotes replied Sir Jasper twirling his moustache cynically period And so the long day wore on period. End of chapter."
If I had to do that sort of thing, I should be feeling all the time that the girl was saying to herself as she took it down, "Well comma this beats me period How comma with homes for the feebleminded touting for custom on every side comma has a man like this succeeded in remaining at large mark of interrogation."
Some people will no doubt dismiss Truss's plea for proper punctuation for the same reason they sneer at etiquette champions such as Miss Manners, who they believe adhere to an outdated and exploded system of arbitrary rules just so they can snigger when somebody picks up the wrong fork. In fact, however, proper grammar (including punctuation) and etiquette serve the same meliorative purpose: by establishing a clear system of rules and guidelines, they both aid people in understanding one another. When these rules break down, confusion ensues (as demonstrated in the title of Truss's book). The punch line in both cases, of course, is that the basics really are not very difficult. Truss's primary lament (and I think Miss Manners would agree) is simply that nobody seems to give a damn anymore.
Anyhoo, I'd recommend this book. It's bright, breezy and lucid. It's also wicked funny.
LLama LLiterary Update
The ol' Tasty Bits Mail Sack (TM) has started to fill with queries such as:
Where the @#$*@&(%& hell's that audience participation essay you promised?
Well, all I can say is sorry and that I promise I'm working on it, but it has turned out to be a much bigger and more complex project than I had anticipated.
In the first place, I've been awfully busy these past couple weeks with things like family, my paying job - you know, the real timewasters.
Second, the response to my original post was way, waaaaaay bigger than I thought it would be, quickly kyboshing the little three-paragraphs-in-ten-minutes job I thought I would be able to dash off.
Third, some of the entries were so hy-larious that I want to get this absolutely right. For example, I'd never heard of Bobgirrl's expression "front butt" before, and the mental image I get when reading about it has made me snarf several times already. When I go to craft one onto the Scottish Dwarf, I want to make sure I've got the mot juste.
As it happens, I have to go back on the road again next Tuesday. (The joys of out of town discovery.) The way things are shaping, I think I can have the thing ready in time to post before I leave, giving you lot something to read in my absence.
Again, my apologies. I certainly hope the wait will be worth it.
March 22, 2006
Destroying the world one sentient mind at a time
The accolades keep rolling in from our posting of the LLama song earlier in the week. (And by accolades, I mean, "MAKE IT STOP!!!! AAAAAAAIIIIGH!" Personally, I can't get the durn thing out of my head. Time to up the meds.
Anyhoo, just to be clear on the intellectual property angle: I posted it as a great example of relatively simple but extremely effective Flash media, and as something I want to strive for in my playing with Flash. But I could never claim credit for that work of genius---it is the work of some other hooves, who are now no doubt gainfully employed by the psyops division down at Gitmo.
Just get me Z-man in a room for 20 hours with nothing but the LLama Song, and I show Clockwork Orange to be the work of pikers.
Destroying the world one sentient mind at a time
The accolades keep rolling in from our posting of the LLama song earlier in the week. (And by accolades, I mean, "MAKE IT STOP!!!! AAAAAAAIIIIGH!" Personally, I can't get the durn thing out of my head. Time to up the meds.
Anyhoo, just to be clear on the intellectual property angle: I posted it as a great example of relatively simple but extremely effective Flash media, and as something I want to strive for in my playing with Flash. But I could never claim credit for that work of genius---it is the work of some other hooves, who are now no doubt gainfully employed by the psyops division down at Gitmo.
Just get me Z-man in a room for 20 hours with nothing but the LLama Song, and I show Clockwork Orange to be the work of pikers.
Flash in the Pan Babes of the Eighties-L.A. Law Division
Tonight, your humble LMC brings you Michele Greene, "Abby" from L.A. Law. I had no idea she had a CD. Very not bad.
UPDATE: what must have been the first gel-on-gel lip lock in prime time was between Michele and Amanda Donohoe.
This showed up in our referal logs---I hope we don't get a visit from the Sekrit Service!
How long has Dave Barry been completely nutso over 24, and why didn't anyone alert me? Chloe!
Sorry about the lack of posting today but the plague seems to have broken out at Orgle Manor, marking down self, the eight year old and the four year old.
Fortunately, it hasn't been the usual Groucho and Harpo treatment from those two, with the one firing off wise-cracks and the other snipping my tie in half. Instead, all three of us have been more or less asleep all day.
YIPS from Steve: And......? Watch this and slap yourself out of it, man!
(And yes, that scene is even more deeply disturbing in Kraut.)
Here's the original.
That one's going to leave a mark
Melissa Wiley, in an excellent essay discussing how she has dealt with criticism for being a home school mom, levels the boom:
Sometimes people say, "Look, everyone has to learn to deal with unpleasant people sometime. One of the things you learn in school is how to put up with difficult personalities." To which I am tempted to respond, "And you think my kids aren't learning that at home? Have you met my husband?"
KIDDING, honey! But really. Does anyone truly believe that home educated children are growing up completely free from exposure to "unpleasant people"? Because if there are kids like this, I'd love to know where they live so I can move there too.
And the part about dealing with obnoxious buttinski neighbors?
Now that's a movie I'll truck out to the Theater to see
(H/T to Martini Boy).
Voldermort's on the move
Damn you, AmeriKKKan Taliban!
"V" is for "Veritably Mediocre"
Insert Nelson Muntz noise here.
Too much bald Natalie Portman, not enough homoerotic tension between "V" and his "old fishing pal" the Phantom of the Opera.
Brave new socialist world at work
North Korea has no people with physical disabilities because they are killed almost as soon as they are born, a physician who defected from the communist state said on Wednesday.
Ri Kwang-chol, who fled to the South last year, told a forum of rights activists that the practice of killing newborns was widespread but denied he himself took part in it.
"There are no people with physical defects in North Korea," Ri told members of the New Right Union, which groups local activists and North Korean refugees.
He said babies born with physical disabilities were killed in infancy in hospitals or in homes and were quickly buried.
The practice is encouraged by the state, Ri said, as a way of purifying the masses and eliminating people who might be considered "different."
The group urged the South Korean government to change course away from "silent diplomacy" and immediately begin taking action to pressure the North to improve its human rights record.
The South Korean government has refused to join international condemnation of human rights abuses in the North out of concern that such a move could rattle ties with Pyongyang, which considers any criticism of its human rights as deeply offensive.
"The government should stop trying to avoid upsetting Kim Jong-il," said another defector, Kim Young-sun, 67, referring to the North Korean leader. "It should try to upset Kim Jong-il," she said, adding it would be the best way to change the North.
Here's a nice way to upset Kim Jong-il: to paraphrase Oliver Wendell Holmes, two generations of idiots running North Korea are quite enough.
And there was much rejoicing
I can hear the sigh of relief from LB Buddy's posse of enslaved, mutilated zebra fish: Bruce Lee, the Broadway musical, with music by David Bowie, is a go.
LINE OF THE DAY
Over at AgentBedHead:
It was more like watching a chunky Ryan Seacrest gone mad with power.
Sometimes a good giggle before class helps to clear the palette.
Someone's huffing some serious glue over Nigerian telemarketer way
Text of a spam investor scam email (and no, I'm not making this up):
Europe the as as pang fractious, dud, ingest hypochondriac the while willful as tantalizing introverted but dark. a!!! yes the wherever, perfunctorily the broadcaster. wafer: Pharaoh with footage the accuracy, the weirdo was papa to arouse affiliated to on as fries emancipate point-blank,. to incompatible likelihood innkeeper a the fancy shoplift a civil liberties as guarantee that gig commendable,. bohemian sadist. this tattoo shotgun wedding with an modeling homemaker and... lark as carving,
Then the garbage on the penny stock they are pushing, followed by:
rigorously a gal. the surreal, the prepared middle school periodically the this arrow glimmer? allergic, a on clearly magnitude. passion... rhinoceros income slow
My favorite part is definitely "rhinoceros income slow"---it sounds like a deranged malarial and syphilliticly-delusional Hemmingway when someone has replaced the quinine and penicilin with windex and Jose Cuervo.
Too bad Robbo has closed additional comments for his reader comment spam essay contest.
March 21, 2006
Mudslides, or, who are the bigger pervs?
We've had two big traffic surges in the past week--a week ago, when we got a mudslide of traffic from people googling up for nekkid topless pix of French nooz babe Melissa Theuriau, the release of which coincided with the final denoument of the Lesbian bar-fighting NFL cheerleader case, and today from people dialing us up looking for pics of perv queen twisted teacher Debra "Hot for Teacher" LaFave, whose case was dismissed earlier in the day.
So who are the bigger pervs---those seeking out sureptitious nudie pics of French anchor babes, or those seeking out candids of the blonde bimbo out to reenact the entire early oevre of Rob Lowe?
The answer, alas, is clear:
Dr. Rusty expounds on his "good lesbian"
theme in today's Jawa Report.
YIPS from Steve: Some things, purely for the sake of dropping buckets of freshly chopped up chickens into an Amazonian stream, need to be quoted in full:
We fully support the rights of hot lipstick-lesbians to engage in gratuitous public acts of indecency--provided no children are present. Moreover, if said hot lipstick-lesbians include one or more of the following, we believe it the patriotic duty of every red-blooded, apple pie loving, patriotic, American male to video afforementioned gratuitous public acts of indecency for prompt distribution on the internet:
Carrie Fisher, young (or any look alike)
Cameron Diaz (no llamas)
Mrs. Norm Coleman
Jane Fonda (pre-treason)
Anna Nicole Smith (cert worthy)
Muslim apostates Michelle Leslie (aka "Michelle Lee") & Deeyah
& for the sake of the LLama Butcher's Melissa Theuriau
We'll also throw in Jennifer Love Hewitt for The Maximum Leader
To which we'd add, of course: Margaret Trudeau, Jane Pauley, Margaret Thatcher, and the ever delightfully scrumptious Gertrude Himmelfarb.
Oh, and Jeanne Kirkpatrick. Lots and lots of lipstick shots of Jeanne Kirkpatrick with Aunt Bea.
WTF was Bill Paxon thinking
in agreeing to star in HBO's Big Love, a new series about polygamy. The "wives" are played by Jeanne Trippelhorn, Chloe Sevigny, and Ginnifer Goodman. Granted, Jeanne is aging gracefully, Chloe can probably put her leg behind her head, and Ginnifer Goodman isn't bad on the eyes, but come on--one wife is enough, even for Bill Paxon.
Yes, I know the weather in much of the country isn't quite cooperating yet, but I love this fresco and didn't want to wait any longer. Plus, Steve-O has already started garden-blogging and I feel I'm slipping behind.
This weekend, I plan to undertake my first project of the year, which will be to lattice up the clematis (a jackmanii) growing by the garage. In past years, I've simply let it entwine the azalea in front of it, but I think it will be beneficial to both plants to encourage the clem to go climb somewhere else.
What the hell. Like Ms. LaFave, we ain't exactly discriminatin', ya know.
Random Commuter Gripe
The local ESPN Zone has a series of poster ads in the Metro tunnel at 12th and F Streets leading down into the Metro Center station that I have to pass every day.
Some marketing genius decided that it would be fun to mix the themes of sports and history (this being Dee Cee, and all). So the ads consist of questions that an imaginary tourist child might ask his imaginary tourist parent. Among them are:
"Daddy, was Adams the starting forward?"
"Daddy, did Jefferson have game?"
Apparently, little tourist child is sufficiently impressed with ESPN Zone that he also makes the pronouncement:
"They ought to build a monument to this place."
I hate these ads. I hate them with a passion. And I hate them more every time I see them. Which is twice a day. Every day.
They're not clever. They're not funny. And it strikes me that the concept of a kid who can't distinguish presidents from basketball players would be a source of shame, not apparent pride.
Just thought you'd like to know.
YIPS from Steve: Probably not a good time to shill for the Electoral College Athletic Department t-shirts.
Just because they were the last #16 to unseat #1 in the Tournament and all.
The Random Penseur flags an AP article today about the recent discovery on Cyprus of a 2500 year old sarcophagus decorated with various Homeric images. Apparently, the artwork on this sarcophagus is the best of its kind yet unearthed.
I love this kind of thing. Go on over to RP's place for the full details.
(*Sorry, sorry. Couldn't resist.)
Gratuitous Llama Netflix Movie Review
Yes, I finally got around to seeing this movie. And I can well understand what all the fuss was about - it's beautifully done. And I'd like to get a look at that Wudan manual myself - it'd make the constant slog up and down the stairs a lot easier.
The only downside I experienced was that early on I heard somebody say something in Mandarin that I'd swear I had heard one of the crew of the Serenity use. As a result, I watched the rest of the movie with one ear half-cocked to see if I could pick up anything else. A bit distracting.
But of course
And no, I'm not talking about "Out of Africa."
"THE GRIM REAPER TOOK THE NIGHT OFF..."
What if they had an episode of 24 and nobody got whacked?
Apparently we found out last night.
Right Wing Nut House has the review as only the Right Wing Nut House can do.
And no self-respecting whale-oil guzzling SUV is complete without its own "Impeach Logan" bumper sticker.
More Gratuitous Musickal Posting (TM)
Happy Birthday, Johann Sebastian Bach! Born this day in 1685 in Eisenach, Germany, I consider him to be the absolute mack-tastick grandaddy champeen of serious musickal thought, bar none. Bach inhabits a plane of musicality so high, so nearly infathomable and so closely attuned to the fundamental workings of the cosmos, that Douglas Adams felt the need to use a time machine, a dead alien ghost and a millenia-old space-borne supercomputer to explain his existence in our world, one of the greatest back-handed literary compliments I've ever come across.
I don't really have time to do Bach any more credit today myself, so go on over to the J.S. Bach Homepage and browse away.
CITIZENS OF RED SAWX NATION: YOU ARE BEING RULED BY A DESPOT WITH THE BRAIN POWER OF A CRACK-SMOKING MONKEY
And I'm not talking about Dr. Zaius, either.
I've always enjoyed the antics of Sawx pitcher Bronson Arroyo---he's kind of the new age equivalent of Bill "Space Man" Lee, the zonked southpaw stoner, the knucklehead screwball pitcher, crown prince of the "Buffalo Heads" for the 1970s Red Sox. Needless to say, I loved Bill Lee, and he was right up there in my pantheon of juvenile heros with Muhammad Ali, Ken Stabler and the biker gang Oakland Raiders, Evel Knievel, and of course Snake Plissken.
He also has the honor and great distinction of being the only major leaguer to have a song written about him by the late, great Warren Zevon:
(Warren Zevon) You're supposed to sit on your ass and nod at stupid things
Man, that's hard to do
And if you don't, they'll screw you
And if you do, they'll screw you, too
When I'm standing in the middle of the diamond all alone
I always play to win
When it comes to skin and bone
And sometimes I say things I shouldn't
And sometimes I say things I shouldn't
Bronson Arroyo is kind of a descendant of Bill Lee---goofy white boy with cornrows who played guitar along with Southie Celtic punk band The Dropkick Murphys to record "Tessie," the Red Sawx theme song from when the won the Series in 1903. Experts in voodoo (and the reason why Sawx Nation is such a screwed up place is because we have two state sanctioned religions: hard core, old school Calvinsim, and voodoo) know that this record was instrumental at breaking "The Curse."
So while Johnny Damon was the sparkplug, the indispensable fire-eating heart of the team, Arroyo was kind of their idiot-savant good luck charm, the Waterboy, dare we say the Rudy of the Sawx and their improbable eight game winning streak against the Yankees and the Cards that swept them into the Promised Land in 2004.
So naturally, the leaders of Sawx Nation let Damon go to the Yanks and are putting Arroyo on the bus to Cincinnatti.
Anyhoo, my big brother Lou (whose birthday happened to be yesterday--Happy Birthday, big bro!) dropped this in the Tasty Bits (TM) Mail Sack:
What did you think of the Red Sox trade (with Arroyo)? In particular, I was wondering what your thoughts on it were since he reached out to sign a home town discount in hopes of staying longer. I don’t think its good for baseball when a team turns its back on players that want to sign for more reasonable money rather than try to eak out the last dollar like Damon did. Actually, with all the money grubbing in sports and Bronson not doing that, I think its pretty disgusting. The Red Sox say it is in the best interest of the ball club, but now all discounts are off. Call it short sighted at best. I don’t see how its in the best interest in the club if they set an example that home town discounts are not valued and the players all go for the last buck.
Shocked, SHOCKED I am to see stupendously stupid short-sighted behavior on the part of the leadership of Red Sawx Nation!
Here's the money quote from Bronson:
What was it about Boston and the team that made you want to sign that contract?:
“Just, you know, going to Fenway Park 81 times a year, man. There's an excitement in that place I'm not going to get anywhere in the National League except maybe Wrigley. So that was the No. 1 thing. And then, just the group of guys we've had that a lot of 'em still here, pitching to Varitek. I felt like Boston was my second home and I hadn’t felt that way about any other place I've ever played. So, you know, stuff kind of being uprooted. You feel like you're being ripped out of your home. That's the way the game is.”
(And yes, I've been waiting for forever to use that pshop of Dr. Zaius riffing on Elvis).
Robbo's not gonna like this
I mean, think some meth-mouth flip-flops-on-the-wrong-feet butt-crack showing skee-ball punk holding a gun to poor Thomas Dolby's head, screaming "EYE SED PLAYYYY, MONKEY BOY!"
On the bright side, Jack and the CTU bad boys now have something new to play for background music when the protocols approve medical interrogation.
I guess they called him "Tin Cup" for a reason.
Gratuitous Musickal Posting (TM)
Dad sent me a noozpaper article the other day from one Christopher Hyde, who covers the musical beat for the Portland (ME) Press Herald. The article, which I can't find online, is entitled "How Mozart Lost His Edge" and follows the pattern of "Of course I love Mozart but......" that I've seen echoed among other critics in this 250th year after Mozart's birth, critics who secretly or semi-secretly believe that Mozart's music is nothing more than pleasant twaddle and that for Truly Authentic Art, one must turn to the gutsy, fearless unacknowledged legislators of the Romantic, Post-Romantic and Modern Eras.
The whole thing is too long to reprint, but I will give you a sample of Mr. Hyde's smarmy thinking:
Mozart, in spite of his contemporary reputation as an innovator, is the darling of the Platonists, representing the unchanging music of the spheres. There is nothing in any of his works....to make one uncomfortable, and his value is in moral uplift.......
It is hard to think of the impish Mozart, with his subversive Masonic leanings, as a defender of the status quo - that role is usually reserved for Salieri - but that is what he has become for a modern audience. Rightly or wrongly, most of Mozart now fits Matisse's definition of his art as a warm armchair into which the bourgeois can sink after a hard day at the office.
It would be doing a great composer (if not the greatest) a favor if performances this year could somehow restore the edge that Mozart must have had when he was alive. One might start with the horn concertos, and their outlandish suggestions to the performer.
In other words, retro-fit Mozart as a Bad Boy, make him seem more "edgy" and perhaps he can shake his bourgeois baggage long enough for audiences to pay attention to him again.
I hardly think it is poor old Mozart's fault that to many modern ears his work sounds like elevator music. (And bloody Henri Matisse can go piss up a rope.) In fact, Mozart was an innovator. Among them, he, Joseph Haydn and (early on) Ludwig van Beethoven created, exploited and perfected a very specific form of music, the Classical style, a style that had its heyday between 1775 and 1809. Yes, the style is very much grounded in Platonistic ideas (as if this is a weakness?), but the way in which those ideas are treated by these three composers - not just in terms of grace and elegance but also in terms of intellectual rigor - is what makes their music truly noteworthy. Try listening to the work of some of the other composers in and around Vienna at the time and you will truly see how high these three stand in comparison. (As I have said many times before, Charles Rosen in an absolutely outstanding authority on this period. If you are interested in this sort of thing, I strongly recommend you read his work.) Instead of trying to trick audiences into believing that Mozart was a closet subversive, performers (and newspaper critics) should instead be spending more time explaining the actual music to those audiences in its own terms.
Oh, but of course that would take away from the Social Construct. And God forbid that anyone should judge music on how it sounds, as opposed to its socio-political ramifications. After all, everybody knows now that any artist who does not join the ranks of Shelley's unacknowledged legislators to Stick It To The Man is nothing more than a Court toady, a cringing syncophant whose art has no real value whatsoever. Matisse's bourgeois clock-watcher flopped in his armchair should not be listening for the logical symmetry of a finely-wrought sonata movement, savoring its balance and simple elegance! He shouldn't take pleasure in the supreme manner in which Mozart used music to subtly weave at least three very different emotional strains into the farewell scene in Act I of Cosi fan Tutte! No, indeed, he should be being challenged, prodded, made to feel uncomfortable, jabbed in the solar plexis, told to get out there in the streets and be.......Authentic!
Now before you start filling up the Tasty Bits (TM) Mail Sack with complaints, let me just add that yes, art can have that very function. And some of the best art does have that function. But some does not and is no less worthy because of it. My main point is that this is not what Mozart's music was about. The man was interested in music for its own sake, ars artis gratia. And trying to dress him up as something else in order to get modern audiences to give his music its appropriate due is a disservice to both the music itself and those audiences.
UPDATE: Oh, in case you're wondering, Mozart did join the Masons. But not every lodge was devoted to working out plots for simultaneously blowing up the Imperial Palace and the Cathedral. The brand of "subversiveness" that Mozart was engaged in was the small-l liberal subversiveness of opening up the higher rungs of the social ladder for talented and motivated bourgeioses like himself, not the radical subversiveness of trying to knock the ladder down. On a more pragmatic plane, I think he joined for the same reason that most of us join fraternities, lodges and boards these days - to network.
And in case you're not familiar with the story about the horn concerti refered to by Mr. Hyde, Mozart wrote these concerti for Joseph Leitgeb, a gifted player and close friend. The original scores are full of jokes and comments and, in one case, written in multi-colored ink, apparently with the idea of trying to make Leitgeb crack up while trying to negotiate the pieces' extremely difficult virtuosi passages. Basically, Mozart was joking around. Politicize that.
UPDATE DEUX: Speaking of Music and the Man, Chan fought the Law and the Law won. (Sooper Sekret note to Chan: If you'd have been playing Toscanini's rendition of the last movement of Beethoven's 7th, the pig never would have caught you!)
Plamegate: when defense lawyers play offense
From Byron York at National Review Online. Libby's lawyers are not angling for a deal; they intend to hit it out of the park. Fitzgerald seems to have little interest now in bringing to light who actually leaked Plame's name--Libby's team is not going to let it go. On a related note, Richard Armitage is silent on reports that he was the one who leaked Plame's name and still there are no cries from the antique media for him to do the "perp walk."
March 20, 2006
Flash in the Pan Babes of the Eighties Double Feature
Tonight's special: Cheri Lunghi and Katrine Boorman whose claims to fame are their respective roles as Guenevere and Igraine in the eighties epic: Excalibur. Best moments in only movie of consequence--Guenevere shagging Lancelot in the forest and waking up to find Excalibur driven into the ground between them; Uther shagging Igraine while wearing half of his armor.
Run For Your Lives!
It's the Return of the Storm of the Century of the Week!
Snow is expected to develop southwest to northeast across region Tuesday morning. The snow may mix with sleet at times. Accumulation of one to two inches of snow and sleet is possible. Since temperatures are expected to be at or a little above freezing... accumulations will be less on traveled roadways. The snow could affect the morning commute. Motorists should allow extra time to reach their destination.
As everybody in the Dee Cee area knows, an inch or two of snow in March is several orders of magnitude more dangerous than the same amount in, say, January. Don't ask how we know, we just do.
Pardon me while I head off to Costco to stock up on batteries, toilet paper, flares, bottled water, cans of ravioli and (perhaps) a mid-sized gas-powered generator.
Gratuitous Llama Netflix Movie Review
The bastard child of Braveheart and Gladiator.
I was prepared to like this movie because it purported to explore the Arthurian tradition in its most likely historical context, namely the attempt of the 6th Century sub-Romanized Britons to hold off Saxon conquest of the Island. The evidence indicates that the Britons were, in fact, successful in checking Saxon expansion west and north for a time, and this success is often attributed to a particular war leader who was able to rally the Britons together and inflict a series of military defeats on the Saxons. Whoever this leader was, he is most likely the historical antecedent on which the Arthurian legends were built. As I believe I've said before, I find this story far more stirring than I do legends about dragons, wizards, semi-Druidical spiritualism and whatnot.
Anyhoo, considering that this movie was a) a product of Hollywood and b) more specifically, a product of Jerry Bruckheimer, I don't know why I bothered getting my hopes up at all. While there are some neat visuals and pretty good action, the thing is such a mishmash of historical inaccuracies and modern Celtic Chic pap that I quickly got impatient with it. Not even Keira Knightly very improbably rigged out in a leather bikini top and longbow combo could save it for me.
Now this wouldn't bother me so much if the movie itself didn't claim to be historically realistic. But since it did, I'm a carpin'.
And on another front (so to speak), there is a scene in which the plucky column of Celtic refugees led by Arthur and a handful of his knights gets trapped on an icy lake by the pursuing Saxons. Owing to a combination of courage and skill, Arthur and his men cause the ice to crack under their enemy, spilling many of them into the drink. I'm almost positive this is a direct rip-off of Sergei Eisenstein's 1938 Russian epic Aleksandr Nevskiy. I suppose Bruckheimer reckoned nobody would notice if he helped himself.
Fun with Flash Media
I've been playing with the bootleg version of Flash Media that the little birdie sent me. I'll start posting things soon, but the possibilities are mind-boggling. I'm inspired of course by the LLama Song
but what I'm trying to play with would be doing cartoons----with the ultimate goal of doing my own animated political cartoons.
I've been trying hard to decide what to make of the Dolphins picking up QB Daunte Culpepper last week. I mean, I knew that he had a bad season with the Vikes last year, but I didn't pay that much attention to the circumstances, so I really don't know what kind of quality we're getting. And after the whole Ricky Williams fiasco, I'm sure you will forgive me for being skittish on the subject of Mystery Marquee Acquisitions.
Well, anyhoo, Dan Le Batard says don't worry: The potential is there for Culpepper to do glorious things. And even if he doesn't work out, Saban got him for such a ridiculously small price that the gamble would have been well worth it.
I've scouted half a dozen other Dolphin sites and blogs and haven't come up with anything to really undercut the sense of Le Batard's argument. I'm still not convinced, but I think I can at least take the o-fficial Fin Fan barometer up a setting or two to "guardedly optimistic".
YIPS from Steve: "Guardedly optimistic" for a Fins Phanatic is equivalent to "Insanely delusional" for the normal public.
Look, you hired a coach who, if you squint just a bit, is named after the Prince of Darkness. What do you want?
Kettle? Meet Pot! Yips Back From Robbo: Uh, as a card-carrying, life long Sawx fan, are you actually in any position to make pronouncements about the normal public?
Just what I needed for a dreary Monday afternoon
Pixy Misa, making me feel very frickin' tiny.
DURN BLUE STATES!
Duke of Hazard arrested for being, well, a Duke of Hazard, in New Jersey.
No word on whether the arresting officer's name was "Roscoe" though.....
Vacation planning with your host, Groovy Vic
THIS JUST IN: from The Dear One, apparently the LLamabutchers Family Reunion is on for June. Robbo, Steve-O, the Butcher's Wife, The Dear One, the 3 gels, and little miss somersault, mr. skinny, little miss stubborn, and mister small in one cabin......
Making fun of the French
No? I didn't think so.
Gratuitous Domestic Posting (TM)
Y'know, for my money nothing gets the day going like the discovery of a dead mouse. Today, the cats lovingly chose to leave it on the floor of the six and four year olds' room.
Truth be told, the Llama-ettes get a huge kick out of this:
"Mooo-oooom! Daaa-aaad! Dead mouse!"
"Ooh, it's black!"
"Yeah, black and white!"
"I think it's grey."
"It's still alive!"
"No, it's not."
"Did Jenny or Bella get it?"
"I don't know. I think Bella."
"It's dead. Cool!"
And the eight year old capped it off:
"You know the last one we found that was in the kitchen? I saw a crown on its head."
Close, but no ceee-gar
With a nice chianti and some fava beans.
Has it been that long?
And "Chip", I'd suggest "The Hatemongers Quarterly: More Staying Power that Hootie and the Blowfish combined" would make an excellent t-shirt.
Bluetooth through history
Wuzzadem is a freakin' genius. Although I expect a protest from the Neanderthal American Council for perpetuating stereotypes. Are cavemen a discrete and insular group protected under Carolene Products?
I'll second the motion
Yes, back in the day, LB Buddy was that annoying.
But he did do me the favor of literally throwing my Hughy Lewis and the Nooz albums out my dorm window, and for that I'm eternally grateful.
UPDATE: BLOG WORLD BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER
Chai-Rista, international media star!
DId I mention today how fabulous Chai-Rista is? No? Well then, she's fabulous!
An on-line campaign I can endorse
I don't get much into online petitions or campaigns---I'm not really into the cause of the week or the outrage du jour, partly because I have a short attention span, but also because it gets old after awhile. I can't do perpetual outrage, and I think it makes the blog especially boring, even if you have a bottomless capacity for bile.
That said, our old pal Irish Elk has started a campaign to get Negro League great Buck O'Neill into the Hall of Fame. When I first saw that I was stunned, assuming that Mr. O'Neill had to be in there already. But no. So, here's something I can finally endorse.
UPDATE: It being 2006 and all, there's an Induct Buck blog.
But of course.
AVAST YE MATEYS!
And yes, I think the "Somali Pirates" would be a cool Double A franchise for their hapless mates in Pittsburgh.
Although, I think we should go all Letter of Marque and Reprisal on them.
Bracketology 101 Update
The good news---three of my final four are intact (Doook, Gonzaga, Willanova), and I'm still confident about a Villanova/Doook final with the University of New Jersey, Durham coming out on top. Mind you, that's like me getting excited about Teddy winning reelection in Massachusetts this fall: not something that's good for the republic, mind you, but if it helps me win the wife's office pool, so be it.
After all, enlightened statesmen won't always be at the helm etc. etc.
The bad news---while I did well in the first round (21 out of 32), the second round I only got 7 out of 16, which is not a problem in and of itself (I mean, who the heck had George Mason going to the Sweet 16? Not even anyone at Mason had that picked. Hell, the old boy hasn't had this much improbable attention since he refused to sign the Constitution because there was no "Free Parking" space in the middle with $500 bucks on it--I'm not trying to say he was senile, but the Man from Gunston Hall was a little slow on the uptake, if you catch my drift). The problem is that The Dear One went 23/32 in the first round, and 10 out of 16 in the second round, putting her firmly in the lead here at Rancho Non Sequitor. (To which I say, Damn You Syracuse, Iowa, NC State, Kansas, Illinois, Marquette, Kentucky, and Carolina!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Needless to say, she's handling this turn of events with grace and dignity, only casually mentioning it to the dads on the street this morning at the bus stop (talk about your true Hank Hill moment there).
So, it's going to be a long couple of days until Thursday.
And yes, I'll be doing the dishes, and refering to The Dear One as "Your Britannic Majesty."
Dispatch from Mos Eisley
Open Thread invites the Lefties to "get it off your chest." They do.
March 19, 2006
JAMES TIBERIUS if it is a boy. . .
Jen, formerly Jen Speaks, is soliciting suggestions for names for Baby Speaks. Surf on over and offer your congratulations.
Thanks muchly for all the great chumming ideas you guys have given me this past week. Jaysus, though, just collating the stuff is gonna take a longer time than waxing Ed Asner's back.
Patience, then, and I hope you like the finished product which, judging by the volume of material you sent in, is gonna have enough gravitational force to permanently shift Google on its axis.
Yip! Yip! Yip!
UPDATE: "Collate", of course. I was busy helping the eight year old draw a poster-sized saxaphone for a school report and was a bit distracted. Sorry 'bout that.
March 18, 2006
A new St. Patty's day tradition
I decided to eschew the getting drunk and installing second story screens tradition this year and instead got the vegetable garden going, planting a row each of spinach, brocoli, lettuces, and vidalia onions. Over the course of the week, I added about 400 pounds of compost plus 320 pds of new topsoil. When I turned it over with the fork, it was feathering together like cake mix, which is sweet given the hard red Virginia clay we have to work with. The March plantings are in one quadrant, and the greens will be replaced once things get warmer but some more summery stuff.
While buying the topsoil, I went a little nuts at the garden center and picked up 6 fruit bushes (3 blueberry, 2 raspberry, 1 blackberry---alas, no huckleberry), plus a couple of bags of summer bulbs. This is the first year I've ever really felt ahead of the gardening curve.
Yet more reasons to hope my Mom doesn't find my blog
What, with us being #8 on google on St. Patty's Day for:
free Irish XXX mature porn
In our defense, it seems that it was due to some comment spammers, and not anything we wrote (perhaps that day where we let Professor Chaos run the show?)
Or maybe it was an uncaught typo that day I was praising organic Irish gardening methods using exxxcelent manure .
UPDATE: Yet, at the same time we're #1 on Google for
How to make a llama sock puppet
Well, I guess that makes sense. I just hope the searches weren't done by the same person, if you get my drift.
...and there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth
Okay, so I'm doing okay with my brackets---at the end of the first round, I'm 21 and 11. Which is great, except The Dear One's card is at 23 and 9, because she's a big stinking cheater. Somehow.
Needless to say, I've been consigned to the basement tonight.
March 17, 2006
Google Chumming - Audience Participation Dynamite Fishing Meme (PINNED TO THE TOP FOR ST. PATTY'S DAY)
Okay, as you know from previous posts, I'm a) in something of a writer's funk and b) out of here until the weekend. However, I believe I've hit upon a nifty little meme that will both keep you amused in my absence and spur me on upon my return.
Your task: Drop one or more comments to this post on any subject you wish. Go nuts. While crudity is not required, invention will be much cherished.
My task: Upon my return, I will take all of your comments and fashion them into a single essay. Links will be embedded for fellow bloggers who contribute, appropriate props for non-blogging participants. What will the essay be about? How the hell should I know? It's utterly dependent on what you send in.
Hint: Whatever the content of the essay, I can promise this: The Scottish Dwarf will rue the day. I'm talking imminant rue-age.
Yip! Yip! Yip!
***Sooper Sekret Message To Steve-O: For some reason, my home computer has issues with Moveable Type. When I try to post date an entry, it automatically gives it a date of 000-00-00 00:00:00. I'm flattered that the program would consider my writing to be timeless, but this rayther interferes with things. Would you (or one of our 10 other registered authors) kindly post date this entry to Friday, March 17. Thankee kindly in advance.***
DONE AND DONE YIPS from Steve:
And here's my first contribution laddie:
There was no hope for him this time: it was the third stroke. ... His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.
It says "FRAHH-JEEE--LAY"...that means it's from Italy!"
"Plisskin? I thought you were dead!"
"Come on, it's Czechoslavakia---it's like invading Wisconisn!"
"Yeah, I got my ass kicked in Wisconsin once."
Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice."
Amory, sorry for them, was still not sorry for himself--art, politics, religion, whatever his medium should be, he knew he was safe now, free from all hysteria--he could accept what was acceptable, roam, grow, rebel, sleep deep through many nights.... There was no God in his heart, he knew; his ideas were still in riot; there was ever the pain of memory; the regret of his lost youth--yet the waters of disillusion had left a deposit on his soul, responsibility and a love of life, the faint stirring of old ambitions and unrealized dreams. But--oh, Rosalind! Rosalind!....
And, last for now,
The Scottish Dwarf was a cruel, but gentle taskmaster.
Post-Travel Yips! from Robbo> [Insert Cartman voice]:
The enemy of my enemy is my friend
PLO-Fatah must be rally on the ropes if "some senior Fatah officials" want Abbas to resign and scrap the Palestinian Authority. Scrapping the PA will keep archrival Hamas from exercising power since Israel will presumably step in and assert direct rule. Israel may decide its time to deal with Hamas in the only terms it understands: the generous use of combat power. Somehow, I do not think Abbas wants to be remembered as the one who pulled the plug on the Palestinian proto-state.
Hug an Irish cop day
Why? Because they have to put up with crap like this.
And try not to remind yourself that Diane Feinstein is almost 70....
YIPS FROM AGENT BEDHEAD at 5PM EST: Uh, Steve?
St. Patrick's Day
An article in today's NRO reminded me of a bit of family lore. Both sides of my family came from Ireland. One relative stands out--my mother's great-aunt, known simply as Auntie Mimi. Auntie Mimi came from the old country to America in her late teens, got a job, and paid for the passage of her siblings. She never married but helped her brother raise my grandmother after his wife died. Auntie Mimi never lost any of her senses and when she died at the age of 100 or 101 she was reputed to still have all of her own teeth, could read in the dark, and could hear the grass grow. As did most of the Irish of her era, she did not care much for the British. She came to live with my grandparents shortly after Pearl Harbor when she was well into her nineties. My grandmother wanted to keep her busy so she showed Auntie Mimi how to knit and knit she did, making scarves for soldiers. Every week or so, my grandmother would drop off the scarves, pick up another supply of yarn, switch the bag before getting home and then deliver the yarn to Auntie. Mom said that Auntie's fingers were always going and she must have knit hundreds of scarves over the course of the war. You are probably wondering why it was necessary to switch the bags before getting home. The bags were printed with: "British War Relief" and my grandmother never told Auntie Mimi that she was knitting for British soldiers.
March 16, 2006
Getting in Agent Bed Head's posse
And he's just as bitchy as the boss.
YIPS FROM AGENT BEDHEAD: Notice that the man calling me bitchy uses the faux email address of llamabitchesATyahooDOTcom. Coincidence? I think not.
The CIA and Mossad killed him in a conspiracy to get the ooooooiiiiiiiiilllll!
Whale oil, that is.
Things to expect when Steven Speilberg makes Lincoln.
Note to self: how can Speilberg make a movie about Lincoln given that all Republicans are, like, evil?
SPECIAL BONUS FEATURE: NAME THE "INDY 4" VILLAIN
The big Hollywood guessing game is who will be the villain for Indy 500 (named because Harrison Ford will be approximately 500 years old by the time this flick comes out).
Anyhoo, since it's twenty years since the last movie, and that movie was set in approximately 1940, that would make this movie set in @1960.
Go for it.
My suggestion: Dr. Sinestero, the proctologist of doom
Growing up, I was a pro basketball fan, which was easy in the 1970s and 80s in New England, because the Celtics were in their British Navy 19th century mode of domination. My marriage to The Dear One coincided roughly with the retirment of Larry Bird and the ensuing British Navy of the 20th century mode for the Celts, and she converted me to being primarily a college hoops fan. It's easy, living in Charlottesville, because you're right in the middle of the greatest college basketball conference in the country: the ACC.
Anyhoo, the first weekend of the NCAA tournament has become my favorite sports holiday of the year. I love the fact that there are a whole sucession of games on for four days straight. It's got all the underdog longshot stories the Olympics used to have before we became the boorish, plodding role the Soviets used to play; it's got all the great coaching and sharp play the pros used to have before it got taken over by the street spirit of the ABA; and it has all the upset drama and real competition that the NCAA football could have if they actually wanted to have real competition and get rid of the damn BCS.
If the Lawhd Gawhd aint a Tarheel, then why is the sky Carolina Blue?
Apparently Allah is a Duke fan.
Which, in my book, is yet another reason to nuke Mecca.
This, of course, should have alerted folks to the situation:
UPDATE: More proof. Note the special "Note to self: detonate bomb AFTER they cover the spread." Priceless.
The perfidy of Chimpy McHitler and the Halliburton Death Squads knows no boundaries
Bird flu? Sure, of course we did it!
UPDATE: Those.......those........those damn AmeriKKKAn RethugliKHANS---what have they turned our country into? That's it, Maura, I'm moving to Canada, we're the humane spirit lives on!
Driving a stake through the heart of "Mommyblogging"
Sadie asks the question which originally caused Einstein to doubt the Newtonian paradigm:
How exactly is it that babies can crap up their backs in defiance of the three laws of Newtonian mechanics?
I blame Schoedinger's cat for this, somehow.
Niche blogging hits an all time new low
The official "I Hate Star Wars" blog, written by an ardent Trekkie.
Why the fuss over Brokeback Mountain? Gay cowboys don’t promote the gay lifestyle, Jedi promote the gay lifestyle! Even when they claim to be in love with girls, it’s not believable. Where were the protests and riots over Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith? Didn’t anyone notice that an old man straps Anakin to a table and dresses him in a giant black S&M suit at the end of the movie for no apparent reason? SICK! You’ll never find gay-bashing Star Trek fans anyway. We love gay people because Helmsman Sulu is gay. Sometimes, when my mom asks me when I’m going to get a girlfriend and move out of the house, I wonder if I might be gay like Mr. Sulu. But then I watch Kirk make out with hot space babes and I realize that I am all about the ladies. But I still wouldn’t mind changing places with one of those ladies for the opportunity to make out with the Shatman! That doesn’t make me gay though so shut up!
I don't know about you, but suddenly I'm very afraid. Anyhoo, if we're lucky, he won't find our expose about gay neo-con Klingons. It might shatner his universe.
March 15, 2006
Robbo's long, dark night of the pigskin soul will endure
Fins sign Dante Culpeper.
You don't need Virgil to lead you to the revalation that if there is a Beatrice in this, it's going to be Robbo, in prison bride best, being handed over by Coach Saban to the Dallas Cellblock for a carton of Luckies.
Overheard at Stately LLama Manor
My three year old daughter (aka "Little Miss Stubborn") to her imaginary friend "Annie", pointing at me as I try to hustle her into her shoes, "Don't pay attention him."
And now, your Here in the Bonny Glen moment
Tarnation can she write!
The Sooper Sekrit Life of Kathy the Cake Eater
Okay, I came across this and it was just too good not to use:
Yeah, I know, going through someone's sitemeter is a cut below dumpster diving. But hey, who knew Kathy was holding out on us?
That's what I get for not subscribing to CakeEater Premium feed.
Today's signs of the End of Days
Two sure portents that the four horsemen are saddling up:
No word on whether they've signed Bill Ardolino to play Horseshack.
No word on whether Sofia Coppola will star as Indy's daughter.
Oh, and your son who refused to go into the grave robbing business to become an opera singer? He's secretly Republican.
There's a "Manwhich" joke in there that I'm just not going to go for.
SPEAKING OF WHICH: TODAY THE FLAGS AT THE CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY FLY AT HALF MAST
No word on whether he'll be interred in a large, red, light cardboard container, with plastic tubs of BBQ and honey mustard sauce.
Not a lot of Intelligent Design here.
The Milosevic / Saddam connection
No, LB Buddy, not that Saddam was helping Milosevic, but rather how Clinton's foreign policy post 97 is connected in with Bush's foreign policy post fall 01.
The point I'm going for here is most emphatically not some partisan back and forth, but trying to see the big picture. There's going to be a great book written connecting the foreign policies of Woodrow Wilson, Bill Clinton (2nd Term), and Bush 43, not intellectually in terms of idealism vs. realism (although there is that in spades---I think Bay is spot on finding the connections between the interventions in Kosovo, Bosnia, and Iraq) but in terms of how Wilson and the Versailles Treaty negotiations dealt with the collapse/break up of the Ottoman Empire, and how so much of our conflict since the fall of the Berlin Wall (with the exception of dealing with North Korea) has been addressing the fallout of the collapse of the Ottomans. In that sense, we have been in effect at war for almost 70 years on and off dealing with the consequences of the end of World War I, and its subsequent collapse of the old Russian (Cold War), German (WWII), and Ottoman (GWOT) empires.
NO, I'M NOT GOING TO GO ALL MALKIN ON YOU: so no, I'm not going to even consider a Zimmerman Telegram/Mexican immigration invasion of El Norte. Do I look like a pyscho?
H/T to Insty.
Today's National Review Online carries a piece by Byron York on the NSA program which NRO previously ran. He references a published opinion by the Court of Review, created by Congress under FISA to consider appeals from the FISA court. In re: Sealed Case should lay to rest any concerns about the legal basis for the program. Money quote on conducting surveillance: "We take for granted the President does have that authority and assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President's constitutional power. The Truong court, as did all the other courts to have decided the issue, held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information."
March 14, 2006
Princess Leia's gold bikini
A site by a man with entirely too much time on his hands.
Feingold's censure stunt backfires
Surf over to Captain's Quarters for the details.
Big Army recently decreed that all Soldiers on government domestic travel orders will do so in uniform which for me is the ACU, the new Army digital pattern uniform. I was in Huntsville last weekend via Charlotte. For of the misgivings the public is supposed to have about the conduct of the Global War on Terror, you never would have known it by the comments, thanks, and handshakes I received from perfect strangers in the airports. I did not hear an unkind word nor was I assaulted by so much as a dirty look.
Sass, crass, and class
Two out of three aint bad.
Today's new-to-me blog: say hello to Jules at Jules' Wicked World.
Waterskiing with the Go-Gos
Katrina levee failures the fault of....(drum roll please).........Ronald Reagan!
Let the ensuing "billions for Star Wars nuthin' for Nawlins" ranting begin.
Of course, that was back when Dubya was still a drinkin' man, so I'm sure the left will find a way. Maybe it was Marvin's fault.
Things are not looking good for ol' Dan Brown
The plagiarism trial in London against best-selling author Dan Brown, accused of appropriating vast swaths of his novel The Da Vinci Code from two crazed Kiwi lunatics took a bizarre twist yesterday when a companion suit was filed by the producers of the tee-vee show "Hack" against Mr. Brown for stealing their copyrighted theme.
"Dan Brown has set out to establish himself as the biggest hack in the world," argued series creator Dave Keop. "For chrissakes, he wrote the damn book in his mommy's laundry room breathlessly stealing from the half-assed cheezy pseudo-Gnostic works of others. In doing so, he intentionally infringed on our copyrighted idea of establishing himself as the Hack. David Morse's "Mike Olshansky" is the one true Hack, as much as Dan Brown tries to make his "Robert Langdon" otherwise."
Big trouble in little China style, no less.
TO SET THE HISTORICAL RECORD STRAIGHT: Sadie, I was wearing a FedEx hat, so give me a little credit for being suave, okay?
There's always an option 3
The commissar is fehtootzed over a required census survey form, and is going all "ScuuutLAHND mooost be FREEE" over it. He cites only two options, both familiar to non-Randians who live lives of meek and supine subjegation to The Man.
Trotsky, buddy, there's always option #3: lie like crap. We fancy pants political scientists call it "preference falsification" when individuals, for a variety of different reasons or causes, do not reveal their actual preferences in a survey. I like to figure out what are the control questions, and give contradictory answers---this really screws with the data something fierce. If enough people will just do that, these types of surveys will be about as reliable (or useful) as public opinion polls. There's other ways they can get this information without bothering you to get it for them.
Sending out the LLama love
Okay, our long time reader (Hi Mrs. Rob's Mom!) knows we never, ever have banged the tin cup here at the LLamas, unlike certain other sad-sack Joan Crawfords of the blogworld. That's because we do it for the fun, the laughs, and all the free breadsticks we get at our local Olive Garden because we are internets celebrities.
Anyhoo, in lieu of a sponsorship drive, we'd like instead for everyone to go over to Leopold Stotch's place and give him some Yips. I've actually met Professor Chaos in real life, and he's a hell of a stand-up guy. He's definitely someone you could go out in the alley with to knock some heads if need be. And, quite frankly, the academic job market is kicking him in the ass for several completely no good reasons.
So, I'd consider it a personal favor to head over there and give him some Yips, offer to buy him a beer the next time you are in Our Nation's Capitol, and to keep away from the Frank McCourt this St. Patty's Day.
Thank you, and good night.
Skanky ho bin Laden niece to star in reality tee-vee show
Yet another reason Osama is glad the petri dish his remains were scraped into from the roof of his cave only gets basic cable.
March 13, 2006
Insert Homer Simpson noise here
The sound you are hearing is of a speechless LLama. Shocked, shocked and outraged that somebody would post nekkid topless beach pix of French nooz babe Melissa Theuriau! Is this what the greatest research tool known to man should be used for?
I mean, you can see the little tatoo and everything!
I. Am. Outraged. I am whipped into a furious anger over this, this blasphemy! Chained, tied up, and whipped needs to be the responsible poltroons! No whipped cream cherries for them, I say. Spanked, too! Of all the outrageous affronts to human dignity, representing the true bondage of the human spirit, I say no more! Melissa Theuriau is no strumpet, no Barbarella, or Linda Lovelace, or brainless weather bimbo like Juliet Huddy. She is the last, best, hope for Franco-American relations. I blame Bill Clinton for this. Or the Rose Law Firm.
Oh, and you can bet your bottom dollar we'll be hosting a pshop Melissa's tatoo contest, with Robbo safely on a work-related trip.
GREAT MOMENTS IN AMERICAN JURISPRUDENCE: Oliver Wendell Holmes' dissent in Lochner v. New York, John Marshall's handling of the Dartmouth College, and the final end of the Bar-Fighting Lesbian NFL Cheerleaders case.
Screw Damon and Affleck as Butch and Sundance: we need Angela Keathley and Renee Thomas to revive those roles.
Because what says "The Return of Butch and Sundance" in this post-Brokeback age quite like two star-crossed lesbian bar-fighting NFL cheerleaders?
I'm smelling Oscar on this one.
SUCCESS, THY NAME IS LLAMABUTCHERS! Number one on google!
cue Queen, "Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee are the CHAMPeeeeons, my friend...."
Acronym of the day
EJD----Expedited Jihad Denial.
I can't remember whether we linked to this story yet, but tarnation these nachos are fine.
What were we talking about?
When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer...
I put up a throwaway line to a post this morning to something that Gary the X-Donk wrote about the red/blue divide in the current season of Battlestar Galactica, asking, quite innocently yet quite sarcastically, about who would win in a battle between the Klingons and the Cylons.
Long time commentor Mike commented:
But what would the Borg do with the Cylons, other than assimilate some really good-looking blonde or asiatic androids? What would one do against a cube loaded with a million hot blondes, who could experience each others orgasms simultaneously?
I think our work is now finished at The LLamabutchers.
Just when I thought that I was out they pull me back in. Okay, double elimination round: Barbarella versus Mike's million hot blonde Borg cube?
Hint: the correct answer is "Make it so, Number One."
is said to have outed Valerie Plame, via Drudge. Armitage was Deputy Secretary of State and his comments critical of Administration foreign policy are thought to be Colin Powell's. Somehow I doubt we will hear cries from the antique media for Armitage to do the "perp walk" like we did when the leak was attibuted to Rove.
Lite Posting Update
I've still got nothing.
Sorry about that.
For one thing, I'm pretty busy getting ready for yet another trip out into the heartland, there to depo some folks about their heresy by thought, word and deed. I'll be headed off tomorrow and won't be back till late Friday, so I'll be powerless to fend off whatever o'silliness Steve-O has in store for St. Patrick's Day.
For another, I'm awfully tired. I realized this weekend after doing some very light yardwork just how out of shape I've let myself get and it seems to be starting to make a difference in my mental energy as well. (Mens sana in corpore whatnot, you know.) Today's drought just seems to be the capper of a trend I've noticed - I'm not especially happy with the quality of my blogging of late and at the same time it seems to be getting harder and harder to do. That can't be right.
Simply put, I'm beginning to feel rather burned out. Given this, I've resolved that as soon as I get back into town, I'm going to start exercising again in earnest. I happen to know from past experience that the effect will be almost immediate, so hopefully by next week I will be working back toward something approaching my old self.
Four score and eight years ago
the Spanish Flu hit America on March 13. Nightwriter has the details.
Spring break comes to homeschool
The latest ode from Melissa Wiley is up.
Are the Cylons Blue Staters or Red Staters?
Wrong question, says the X-Donk.
Just to be a pain in the ass: Klingons versus Cylons, who wins?
WAY too much information
The ever delightful Chai-Rista shares some personal grooming disasters which, thanks to her, I've now got the Bay City Rollers stuck in my head.
I will have my revenge, you know it.
Can a LLama love March Madness, yet still loathe Dickie Vitale?
The answer is, of course, but of course.
Anyhoo, everybody's favorite commie is shilling for the Six Meat Buffet tournament pool. I'm going to put my devious patented "Steve the LLamabutcher Exclusive" advanced skills in bracketology to the public test, by revealing my top sekrit method Las Vegas goombah's have killed to discover: I pick em based on political science departments, then their uniforms, then the mascots.
It's a spring like Monday morning---an excellent time for your daily dosage of Hate
The Crack Young Staff at The Hatemongers Quarterly have got their collective danders up in a wad over their weekend guest posting at Wizbang: apparently the DKos trolls over there have been a wee bit unkind in the comments section, leaving "Chip" to wonder how the HMQ become less popular than, I quote, "genital warts. Great big ones."
Anyhoo, they're searching for advice on how to properly deal with trollers, other than to wave their walking stick and declaim, "Poltroons! Rapscallions! Back to Ireland, you mangy peatburners!"
Okay, I made the third one up, bascially because I inhaled a few too many Testor's fumes last night working on our St. Patty's day skin n' logo. I leave it to your imagination, but just shudder at the possibilities...
Sometimes I feel like "A Girl Innovator Dashing like a Steed"
Jeff at Beautiful Atrocities (who else?) has a list of the Casey Kasem Top Ten Hits for the North Korean women's military radio network. All of them strike one as either the name of a really bad porno flick, or some Madonna "B" sides from her "Vogue" days. (As if there's a difference?)
BONUS POINTS: Try not to envision these songs being sung by the Lil Kim puppet from Team America. Can't. Be. Done.
Say hello to Russ, the auxiliary Cake Eater
Kath the Cake Eater has had her old pal Russ filling in for her, as she recovers from various and sundry humiliations imposed at the hands of the Big Ten basketball tournament. Russ is apparently a bit shy and retiring for a blogger on the make, but you couldn't tell it from his posts. Go on over and give him some Yips, and tell him to go get his own damn blog!
Saturday--the big outdoor task was thatching the front lawn. Net result was 5 large wheelbarrow loads dumped on top of the garden. Still can't move my arms above shoulder height. Still, there is nothing quite like a grilled burger, cold beer (anchor steam left over from when my brother in law was here a year ago), and a sit on the porch after a long lawn and garden patch.
Sunday--took the girls to the UVA lacrosse game, to watch the Cavs stomp Boston College 18-4. BC---alma mater to The Dear One---put on a great clinic for class and determination, scoring two goals in the last 90 seconds. Never gave up, something good to watch.
Today--Mr. Skinny is home from school, as he had the stomach bug yesterday. He and I are about to head out to the Home Depot to get a dozen bags of compost and some bags of grass seed. Hopefully, he'll feel up to "men's lunch," my favorite institution that we haven't been able to revisit since first grade started back in August.
Good news update: A little birdie sent along a fully functional copy of Flash Media---I was playing last night, trying to do an animated Colin Firth/Mr. Darcy mugging it up with Paris Hilton's head on Elizabeth Bennet's shoulders. Scrolling through the menu, I realized I had met my destiny---it was definitely a "where have you been all my life?" moment.
Bad news update: I may have just sent a logon access code to the LLamas to The Dear One, so she could make fun of my pain and suffering from doing yardwork. She's supportive that way, that one. Anyhoo, it's part of my continuing project of getting everybody I know and like to start blogging. I've got her reading blogs regularly now (she's got a whole list of mommy blogs that she keeps up with) but I'm trying to push her over the edge. Basically, it's part of my plot to turn us into the Sid and Nancy of blogging.
Lite Posting Notice
I've got nothing this morning.
March 12, 2006
Hey Robbo---check the sitemeter. We got Instalanched yesterday, but I don't know for what.
UPDATE: "Heh, indeed" indeed. Believe it or not, I didn't try to whore that link. Honest!
DOING THE MATH: Eleven letters, 4400 hits---so this Instalanche was worth 400 visits per letter in the link.
BINGO! Got the derogatory INDC Bill snarky comment--mission accomplished!
Gratuitous Domestic Posting (TM)
It's a well-known folk observation that flies bite more before a storm.
I read somewhere once that there may actually be some scientific validity to this bit of empiricism. The theory is that insects are sensitive to changes in barometric pressure and that the drop in such pressure associated with the approach of a storm triggers heightened activity in them.
My question is whether anyone has ever done a study to determine whether this same phenomenon occurs in small children. We're heading into a period of unsettled weather in our neck of the woods and all I know is that it seems I've had to do an awful lot of swatting this morning...
The Road To Perdition
I didn't get at the computer yesterday, so missed the opportunity to congratulate The Sinner on his first blog anniversary. Go on over and read his post marking the occasion - I think a number of us have followed very similar patterns in terms of finding our vioces and sorting out our blogging priorities.
Which means we're all going to hell, I suppose.....
Yip! Yip! Yip!
March 11, 2006
Population of Hell increases by one
Future posts in this category I look forward to posting:
Robert Mugabe, dead.
Fidel Castro, dead.
Kim Il Jung, dead.
Hugo Chavez, dead.
Yips! from Robbo: Wait, I'm confused. Wasn't Needermeyer fragged by his own troops?
(Don't mind me - I'm still stoked on Holly Tone fumes. If you don't know what's in this stuff, I won't harsh your evening. Suffice to say, it's pretty potent.)
so that means it must be time for X-Donk's trip down eighties chick lane.
This week's topic: Courtney Thorne Smith, who sneaks in under the wire as an eighties chick for her jail-bait role in the Mark Harmon classic "Summer School."
HITTING THE TRIFECTA: random survey of Mark Harmon's career shows him guest starring on Emergency!, Adam 12, and Laverne and Shirley. Can Philip Seymour Hoffman boast of such a resume?
Yips! from Robbo: Getting into the act on behalf of the ladies, Agent Bedhead posts her own 80's eye candy tribute to James Spader.
March 10, 2006
Ah, Diversity, thy name is The LLamabutchers
How's this for diversity: number two on google for
soused hog face
all the while remaining number 5 on yahoo for
juliet huddy nude pictures
Now if I can only raise our rankings for "Aunt Bea Mayberry hottie nekkid pics" and "Prophet Muhammad cartoons drawn by Ted Rall" my work here is done.
Cashed in his chips yesterday. He was a Cabinet minister in Harold MacMillan's government who was banging a showgirl, Christine Keeler, lwho was also banging the Soviet naval attache. The Profumo Affair brought down the Tory government in 1963 and he spent the rest of his life trying to forget it. Predictably, Keeler made the most of it, including posing for this photo in which the only thing she is wearing is the chair.
Ladies and gentlemen, it's Senor Crank
And also, when you fall out of your chair laughing, land so that your butt doesn't hit the bottom leg holding the caster.
Why isn't the Chai-Rista on the marketing task force here at work?
Because she's a frickin' marketing genius, and they are nincompoops.
I mean, sure, she's no Kathy the Cake Eater who has a long inquiry today into the subject of lusty, busty sapphic experimentation in sorority houses, but hey, Kath's a one-in-a-million google chummer that way.
SPEAKING OF ONE-IN-A-MILLION GOOGLE CHUMMING WHORES Agent Bed Head has the latest installment of "Ask AgentBedHead" up. Think Beautiful Atrocities level of vicious insight, as Sadie reviews celebrity perfumes and what they really smell like. The last line is a killer.
Do, Re, Meme
Lynn S. has devised a music meme that, if you think I'm not gonna jump on it with both feet, you are very much mistaken:
Favorites or just the first that comes to mind:
Symphony - Mozart's Symphony No. 38 (the "Prague"); Haydn's Symphony No. 101 (the "Clock")
Piano concerto - Mozart's 18th, 20th and 21st.
Violin concerto - Vivaldi - L'estro armonico, Op. 3; La Stravaganza, Op. 4.
Concerto for any wind instrument (flute, clarinet, oboe, horn, etc) - Mozart's four Horn Concerti.
Concerto for two or more soloists - Bach's Double Violin Concerto in D minor.
Overture or other short classical work (less than 12 minutes long) - Brahms' Academic Festival Overture.
Piano sonata - I'm going to expand the category to include all solo keyboard works because right now I am deeply engrossed in playing the Bach Partitas, particularly the 5th in G major.
Other unaccompanied - Dunno.
Sonata with accompaniment or other music for only two instruments -
Trio - Haydn's Trios Nos. 32-34; Handel's Opus 5 Trios.
String quartet - Beethoven Opus 18, No. 4 in C minor.
Other quartet - Can't think of one off the top of my head.
Quintet - Schubert's Trout, I suppose.
Other chamber music - Handel's Concerti Grossi, Opus 12.
Latin choral work (mass, requiem, Stabat Mater, etc.) - Monteverdi's 1610 Vespers (Vespro della Beata Vergine); Bach's Mass in B minor.
Choral work in a language other than Latin - Bach's Christmas Oratorio.
Opera - Mozart: Don Giovanni, Le Nozze Di Figaro or Cosi fan Tutte and do not make me pick one.
Classical work composed after 1950 (other than movie music; I'll get to that) - Don't think I know any. Does PDQ Bach count?
Classical work composed before 1650 - Monteverdi - L'Orfeo.
Movie Score - North By Northwest.
TV theme - Yes, I will say Firefly.
Song, rock, blues, country or other - R.E.M. - Murmur.
Guitar or lute, classical - Dunno.
Guitar, rock, blues, country or other - "Roundabout" by Yes.
Goofy novelty song - "Blinded by Science" by Thomas Dolby.
Bonus: anything you'd like to add that wasn't on the list - Freebird!
Tag - You're it.
Laying An Easter Island Egg
The old story goes that the Easter Islanders, after enjoying a period of Eden-like bliss and harmony with nature, suddenly lost their senses and turned their island into a wasteland.
A sound eco-morality tale for all of us on this fragile Spaceship Earth, one might say.
Except that according to this piece, it may well turn out that Easter Island was wiped out by good, old-fashioned European exploitation and rats.
By my count, that would put the score at:
Yips! to Iain Murray.
Where's sharia when you need it?
This is just wrong on so many levels.
But it's nice to see that INDCent Bill is getting playful again, what with the annual migration of moonbats to Dee Cee imminent.
An Army of Davids flacking goes too far
You might not have heard (if, say, you've been living with stone-age tribesmen in the Amazon) but Glenn Reynolds is promoting his new book.
Now, controversy sells books, but I think this latest example of bias from our corporate right-wing fascist "MSM" shilling for Reynolds goes just. too. far.
UPDATE: Apparently not everyone is getting the Cheney sales bump.
Bringing me a tear for the old days
The Commissar eschews today's daily dosage of Darwinism for a wafer thin mint of the good old days.
For a macktastic Menshevik, the boy could do one hell of a link roundup. Sigh.
Somehow I missed this
The HMQ, needless to say, is all over the Yanni getting hopped up on meth and beating a Lil' Debbie delivery man to death in the bathroom of a Sheetz outside of Harrisburg story. Or something.
Gratuitous Musickal Posting (TM)
Persée by Jean-Baptiste Lully. First performed in 1682 for Louis XIV, this is an opera in five acts telling the story of Perseus and Andromeda, including his combat with the Medusa, his rescue of Andromeda from the sea monster and the war that erupts as a result of the jealousy of Perseus' rival Phineus.
I admit to being largely at sea in terms of having anything intelligent to say about 17th Century French opera. Fortunately, Brian Robins of Fanfare went in ahead of me. Instead of rambling on my own, I'm just going to piggy back on his comments about this production, filmed in Toronto in 2004:
“A spectacle of gods and monsters, with dancing, fight scenes and special effects.” Whether or not Lully would have recognized the blurb on the box front of this DVD as a description of his 1682 tragédie lyrique Persée is open to debate. But then he did not have the doubtful advantage of modern marketing. Persée, the ninth Lully tragédie lyrique composed in collaboration with the librettist Philippe Quinault, has already received an outstanding audio recording at the hands of Christophe Rousset, a set that I described in Fanfare 26:2 as “probably the finest recording of a Lully opera I’ve yet heard.” It duly appeared in my Want List in the same issue. Like Rousset’s performance, this new DVD issue (which has been around as a CD set with limited availability) stems from live performances, in this case given in Toronto’s Elgin Theater.
The review of that previous audio recording is here and goes much more into the story and characters. Reading it makes me want to dash out and buy the CD.
Aside from the obvious difference that we are here comparing an audio with a visual presentation, there are two important distinctions between the performances of Rousset and Hervé Niquet. The first is that Niquet has cut the Prologue that precedes the usual five acts. Since this consists of the usual panegyric to Louis XIV (who apparently suggested the topic of Perseus to Lully), some may feel that this is not a serious loss, but it does mean that we lose the connection made between the hero and the king, an important one since the absolutist monarchs of France considered themselves to be, like Perseus, demigods. In any event, viewers should at least have been told that the opera has a Prologue that is not given here. The other major difference is that Rousset cut repeats of most of the dances, many of which are observed in Niquet’s performance. In honesty, I have to say that Rousset’s cuts did not bother me too much, but at least one dance expert of the period has since castigated him for destroying the careful balance between vocal music and dance that is such a feature of French 17th- and 18th-century opera. That, I think, is probably fair comment.
It really is too bad about the cutting of the Prologue, both from an artistic and a historical perspective. As to the dances, I'm glad that the repeats were left in this recording. While I don't pretend to know the first thing about dance, I did not have any sense that they caused the performance to drag in any way.
I gave a full introduction to the opera in the earlier review, so space constraints dictate that here I must provide only a reminder that Persée is concerned with the conflation of two well-known stories from Ovid’s Metamorphisis: the slaying by Perseus of the Gorgon Medusa, and his rescuing of Andromeda from the sea monster. Romantic complications are provided by the rivalry between Phineus and Perseus for the hand of Andromeda, and by the fact that Perseus is loved by her aunt Merope. Quinault’s libretto is one of his finest, while Lully’s richly imaginative score is important for being the first of his operas to make extensive use of orchestral accompaniment for the airs.
While visually often very handsome, I’m afraid on musical grounds the performance falls far short of Rousset’s. Let’s first look at the positives. The costumes designed by Dora Rust-D’Eye, mostly period for the women’s dresses, and convincingly Greek looking for the men, are sumptuous. The predominant use of rich reds, golds, purples, and umbers gives an appropriately regal feel to the production, and it’s rather a pity to find Empire-line dresses suddenly introduced into the wedding scene in act V. The stage designs, too, are excellent in the palace scenes, if occasionally a little too darkly lit, but less convincing in the big set pieces, the killing of Medusa, and the rescue of Andromeda. Neither of these difficult scenes is successfully staged. Jeannette Zingg’s choreography, danced by a good and personable young group, frequently impresses with its attempts to create period style, but then lets itself down by introducing a much later type of choreography that in the context appears as a solecism. This uneasy mix of an honorable attempt at appropriate period style mixed with jarring modernisms is also a characteristic of the production, particularly as to gesture.
I'd agree heartily that visually this was a terrific production. Both the costumes and the stage design were extremely handsome. Fortunately, I don't know enough about choreography to have noticed overly-much the mish-mash of dance styles, although I expect that what Robins is talking about is the rather excessive amount of hand-flapping that went on sometimes.
With the exception of the strongly sung Phinée of Alain Coulombe, the singing is disappointing, both as to quality and real understanding of the expressive nuances of Lully’s récitative. This is particularly true of the women, all of whose voices (at least as engineered) sound hard-edged; they also employ far too much vibrato. The men are better, with Cyril Auvity (who took several small parts in the Rousset recording) a more than acceptable Persée, if one lacking the finish and authority of Paul Agnew for Rousset. But what really undermines this DVD is the quite dreadful engineering and balance of the orchestral sound. The heavy emphasis on the bass (and a fidgety, overactive continuo group) means that there are times when it is virtually impossible to hear the upper strings, so swamped are they by doubling oboes. Praise for clear, generally well-translated subtitles. But ultimately, the answer is obvious. If you haven’t already done so, get your hands on the Rousset CD set, and use your imagination rather than look at this often pretty, but deeply flawed DVD.
While I agree in general about the voice quality of the singers (particularly the over-use of vibrato), I would also point out that I thought their physical acting was uniformly quite good, from their gestures and movements to their facial expressions. I, too, noticed the hyper-active continuo group, although the orchestra as a whole did not sound quite so bottom-heavy to me. And the tempi and phrasing were all that I could wish. I have to say that I have always enjoyed Tafaelmusik's sound and that to the extent this recording is flawed, it is certainly an engineering issue, not the fault of the musicians themselves.
All in all then, I really rather enjoyed this performance and would recommend it if you're interested in this sort of thing. To be fair, in pointing out some of its flaws in comparison to the Rousett CD's, it seems to me that Robins is setting an awfully high standard. Nonetheless, I think I'll take Robins' advice and also go listen to the CD's.
Well, that's a relief
More nooz on the arrival of Phinlet.
The Death of Blogging
Dan Gross and other NYT types have been trying (praying, desperately) to see any signs of the death of blogging and how it is the CB radio of the Ut-Ohs (or whatever we are calling this decade).
We predicted the exact date of the death of blogging December 9, 2004.
UPDATE: Yet another has-been Corey Feldmaniac celebrity blog here.
Yes, that makes perfect sense
So let me get this straight: the second amendment does not protect the right of a private individual to own a gun because the amendment needs to be narrowly construed within the context of a "well-regulated militia" (ie the National Guard), but freedom of speech includes the right to witness a convicted felon having convulsions when being executed? It's unclear as whether the assertion of violation is the freedom of speech of the executed or the witness, because it seems that they are claiming it is that of the witnesses, and that makes absolutely no sense.
We're going to play with this one in class today, but I have a feeling we're going to have to cite Madison on this one.
Ah, Spring! When A
Young Middle Aged Man's Fancy Turns To Love Yardwork!
Spring has officially sproing here in Dee Cee! Wahoo!
I came out this morning to get a nose full of fresh, damp earth, an ear full of robins chuckling in the branches and an eye full of new red and green buds on all the trees.
Of course, the first thing I did was remove the rear window panel from my jeep. I don't intend to put it back on until some time next December.
The second thing I did was to start thinking hard on what I need to be doing in the garden this weekend. For one, I have to chop back the Butterfly Bush, which has stood sentinel on the back border all winter. For another, it's time to pull out an old friend:
and distribute lavish amounts about the bases of my azaleas, rhododendron, blueberries and hydrangea.
The forcast for the weekend calls for temperatures in the 60's and 70's with possible thunderstorms on Sunday. It's going to be one of those terrific weekends when one looks for excuses to be out in the yard all day.
I'm Steve the LLamabutcher, and this scares the bejeebus out of me
Apparently, we're number four on google for:
barbra streisand llama
Insert joke here.
March 09, 2006
An alert reader sent in this link that suggests that Nick Sabin is playing things pretty smart down in Miami in terms of trying to make the best of the screwed up NFL labor situation.
But what I found especially funny was the pundits' advice in the comment thread, to which I have just three words to say:
Jeff farookin George? Are you kidding me?
Well, that's seven, but you get my point.
At Last My English Major Is Paying Off
We Llamas are the #2 Google hit for effin linguistic.
And speaking of such things, Jonah reprints part of an article Terry Teachout wrote about Norman Mailer. A choice cut:
Mailer has been writing badly for so long that it is easy to forget that a great many intelligent people once took him almost as seriously as he took himself....
The trouble with Mailer was that he was drunk on ideas, a deadly tipple for woolly-minded pseudo-intellectuals. Sensing instinctively that liberalism had run its course, he made the mistake of assuming that radicalism was the only way out, and complicated matters still further by opting for a romantic radicalism rooted in sexual mysticism. As a result, his style grew bloated and slack, especially on the increasingly frequent occasions when he grappled with imperfectly digested philosophical concepts.
'Effin right, mate.
I agree with John that Peggy's style sometimes gets in the way of the otherwise sound point she's trying to make. But holding her up to a side-by-side comparison with the blow-torch-like writing of Steyn just seems, well, cruel.
Drudge is claiming that NASA is about to announce the discovery of liquid water geysers on one of Saturn's moons.
Why go all the way to Saturn to see geysers? My own nose erupted in tandem fountains just now when I read John from Wuzzadem's take on Yanni's domestic troubles.
Isn't this done with dollar bills?
Pole-dancing, via Drudge. Not that I would have personal knowledge of such things, no sirreee. Nothing to see here, move along.
Being Jane Fonda
Beautifully Atrocious Jeff posts a selection of quotations from Hanoi Jane which honestly make me feel rather sorry for this misguided trainwreck of a person.
As the psychiatrist said of Basil Fawlty, "There's enough material here for an entire conference."
Gratuitous Cival War Naval History Geek Posting
On this day in 1862, in the first battle between ironclad ships, the U.S.S. Monitor faced off against the C.S.S Virginia (nee U.S.S. Merrimac) in Hampton Roads, Virginia, changing the face of naval warfare forever. Here is a nifty site containing official accounts of the battle and lots of technical details about the two ships.
Tactically, the battle - which lasted three hours or more - was something of a draw, with neither ship able to inflict decisive damage on the other. Strategically, the battle was a win for the Union. The Virginia had first appeared the day before and had quickly sunk several wooden Union ships. The arrival of the Monitor stopped her from wiping out the rest of the Union squadron.
After the battle, the Virginia retired upstream. She was later blown up when the Confederates abandoned Norfolk in May, 1862. The Monitor sank in a storm off Cape Hatteras that December. She was rediscovered in the 70's. Here is the Mariner's Museum page about the ship and her salvage.
Congrats to Phin and Mrs. Phin on the birth of their new baby boy last night!
Yip! Yip! Yip!
Slicing and dicing
George Will on this week's 8-0 decision by the Supremes concerning military recruiting in law schools.
March 08, 2006
WAITER, I WILL HAVE A BOX OF YOUR FINEST WINE
Today's specials from the Mos Eisley cantina menu a/k/a Daily Kos: (1) "Warning sign for GOP fondu" in honor Tom DeLay's 62 percent primary win over several challengers; (2) "Libs come close to winning bean curd" in celebration of the "almost" primary defeat of conservative Democrat. You really have to read this stuff every now and then. I am not making it up.
I'm Steve the LLamabutcher, and this is why I blog
We're #8 on google for
jack bauer versus chuck norris
You know what we want: 24, the movie, Jack Bauer versus bad ass Frank Miller-style Batman.
WE NEED TO FOCUS, PEOPLE! NO WOULDA/SHOULDA/COULDA! Why exactly are we NOT in the top 12 on Google for
I blame the creeping McCarthyism of Chimpy McHitler's Halliburton Squads of Defenestration.
An Army of One
Here's a metaphysical question for you: what if Glenn Reynolds gave an Instalanche but no one came?
Alpaca Burger Forum finds out the hard way.
I've been meaning to get this going for some time, but I think the world is ready for the LLama Blog Alliance.
UPDATE: This is cool: My life, via Google Earth.
Thank You (Not)
I cannot think of a single reason why this needed to be made public.
The Shadow Of The Past
It just occured to me that a year ago at this time I was enduring the horrors of Barad-Mickey. Well, to mark the anniversary, I reprint here my extended chronicles of that trip:
I thought I did a wrap-up as well, but I don't seem to be able to find it. Perhaps the Uruk-Walt got to it.
The Children of Deep Thought
Suprise organ discovered in mice. Turns out that lab mice have two thymuses, not just one.
Hmmmm....Sounds to me like Franky and Benji Mouse are getting a little sloppy with both their research and their cover.
"Are you trying to tell me," said Arthur, slowly and with control, "that you originally ... made the Earth?"
"Oh yes," said Slartibartfast. "Did you ever go to a place ... I think it was called Norway?"
"No," said Arthur, "no, I didn't."
"Pity," said Slartibartfast, "that was one of mine. Won an award you know. Lovely crinkly edges. I was most upset to hear about its destruction."
"You were upset!"
"Yes. Five minutes later and it wouldn't have mattered so much. It was a quite shocking cock-up."
"Huh?" said Arthur.
"The mice were furious."
"The mice were furious?"
"Oh yes," said the old man mildly.
"Yes well so I expect were the dogs and cats and duckbilled platypuses, but ..."
"Ah, but they hadn't paid for it you see, had they?"
"Look," said Arthur, "would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?"
For a while the aircar flew on in awkward silence. Then the old man tried patiently to explain.
"Earthman, the planet you lived on was commissioned, paid for, and run by mice. It was destroyed five minutes before the completion of the purpose for which it was built, and we've got to build another one."
Only one word registered with Arthur.
"Mice?" he said.
"Look, sorry — are we talking about the little white furry things with the cheese fixation and women standing on tables screaming in early sixties sit coms?"
Slartibartfast coughed politely.
"Earthman," he said, "it is sometimes hard to follow your mode of speech. Remember I have been asleep inside this planet of Magrathea for five million years and know little of these early sixties sit coms of which you speak. These creatures you call mice, you see, they are not quite as they appear. They are merely the protrusion into our dimension of vast hyperintelligent pan-dimensional beings. The whole business with the cheese and the squeaking is just a front."
The old man paused, and with a sympathetic frown continued.
"They've been experimenting on you I'm afraid."
Arthur thought about this for a second, and then his face cleared.
"Ah no," he said, "I see the source of the misunderstanding now. No, look you see, what happened was that we used to do experiments on them. They were often used in behavioural research, Pavlov and all that sort of stuff. So what happened was that the mice would be set all sorts of tests, learning to ring bells, run around mazes and things so that the whole nature of the learning process could be examined. From our observations of their behaviour we were able to learn all sorts of things about our own ..."
Arthur's voice tailed off.
"Such subtlety ..." said Slartibartfast, "one has to admire it."
"What?" said Arthur.
"How better to disguise their real natures, and how better to guide your thinking. Suddenly running down a maze the wrong way, eating the wrong bit of cheese, unexpectedly dropping dead of myxomatosis, — if it's finely calculated the cumulative effect is enormous."
He paused for effect.
"You see, Earthman, they really are particularly clever hyperintelligent pan-dimensional beings. Your planet and people have formed the matrix of an organic computer running a ten-million-year research programme ...
"Let me tell you the whole story. It'll take a little time."
"Time," said Arthur weakly, "is not currently one of my problems."
Good Lord, I'm a geek.
Gratuitous Musickal Posting (TM)
Clara Schumann: Black Widow or Misunderstood Superwoman? Jessica Duchen has an interesting piece in the UK Independent about the lives and very tumultuous times of the Schumann family.
Yips! to, uh, Jessica Duchen.
Gratuitous Royal Navy Geekery Posting
Not me this time. Tainted Bill has a fiendish quiz up: Identify the naval battle that occured the farthest away from shore.
The fiendish part is the clue Bill starts with. I made a feeble attempt at a guess based on the way the comments developed, but really, I'm not at all sure.
UPDATE: We have a winner. You'll just have to go over and see what it was and no, it wasn't my guess.
Fingers crossed for the soon-to-be Proud Papa. Writes blogsub Greyghost:
Pitocin drip has been started and sweet thing is having contractions. The mid-wife says another 8-10.
Heh. It's ten days until the eldest Llama-ette's eigth birthday, but I still remember the scene in the delivery room. The Missus had been having mild contractions for something like twelve hours after water breakage with no sign of their strengthening. Finally, the docs decided to give her some pitocin. As a result, she basically went into hyper-drive. Things moved so fast that they didn't have time to give her an epidural, so very much against her will she wound up having the gel au natural.
To this day I still get the vague feeling once in a while that it was all my fault somehow.
Best of luck to Phin and family! Yip! Yip! Yip!
Sure They Were Mining Tibanna Gas on Bespin
Small town news and sci-fi geekery combine nicely sometimes:
A City of Poughkeepsie man faces a stint in jail for dealing crack in the city last year.
Landocalrissan Butler, 25, of Winnikee Avenue, entered a guilty plea Tuesday in Dutchess County Court to attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance, a felony. Butler told Judge Thomas J. Dolan he had five small bags of crack in his pocket Dec. 22 when police arrested him on Morgan Avenue. He said he intended to sell the drugs.
And this guy became a general?
It's Godchecker.com, your one-stop shopping for world-wide mythology.
I should put the eldest Llama-ette on to this. Her obsession with Greek mythology continues unabated. And owing to her delight in Kate McMullan's Myth-O-Maniac series with its Fractured Fairy Tales approach to the standard stories (she just finished reading Get to Work, Hercules herself and I am in the middle of rereading Phone Home, Persephone to her at bedtime), she has developed a very strong anti-Zeus bias.
Yips! to Lynn S.
Our English Cousins
Ladies and Gentlemen, thanks to an alert reader, we present you that pride of Swindon, the Elgin Llamas.
The Irish Elk has some cool links up about Joseph Brant, the great Iroquois leader.
Barry's gone native
Eight months in the wilds of upstate New York and a formerly mild-mannered Southern suburban dad has gone all Grizzly Adams on us.
Barry, while a new blogger, is still sweetly innocent, and didn't realize he was google chumming himself when he writes about "tapping the tree" and "fresh skinned heavy beaver pelt."
Anyhoo, I give him another six months before Grizzly Adams turns into this guy. (Not necessarily safe for work, if your workplace looks askance at, well, sheep luvin'.)
"The Unit"-the LMC take
Mrs. LMC persuaded me to watch last night's episode of The Unit. There is not much to recommend about the plot. A few observations:
1. This show is supposed to be about an exotic Special Forces unit. The website lists the Ranger Creed. While the Ranger Creed has a warm place in my heart, wouldn't the SF Creed be a little more on point?
2. Since this is supposed to be about an Army unit, it follows that the characters should be wearing Army uniforms when uniforms are worn at all. Last night's espisode had characters wearing the Air Force version of the woodland pattern battle dress uniform. The BDU is being replaced by the digital pattern Army Combat Uniform so why BDUs at all since this unit is supposed to have the latest and greatest stuff? The website has the characters in ACUs so why not the episodes?
3. The hijackers forced the plane to land at a podunk airport in Idaho. Why Idaho and not some place likely to provide far better media coverage like Boston, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, L.A., etc.?
4. Part of the team arrives at the podunk airport via a business jet but make a HALO insertion from 35,000 feet. How did the team members do an in-flight rig and jump in less five minutes? How was said business jet de-pressurized in less than five minutes to permit a jump at 35,000 feet--did the pilots have their own oxygen? Why was a HALO jump necessary at all?
5. Why did the moving company drone delivering the household effects of the newest team member have the unit cover name as part of the address? Why was it necessary, wouldn't a simple street address on post suffice?
6. Speaking of posts, Army installations are forts or camps. When distinguishing that which is inside the fort and that which is not, the common Army usage is to refer to "on post" or "off post". The other services use "on base" or "off-base". While I have been known to use the terms "on base" and "off base", KMR and I grew up in a Navy family. What is the excuse of members of The Unit?.
7. Generals do not walk around in the Class "A" uniform all the time, even in the National Guard.
8. There were several unexplained references to the Posse Comitatus Act. I happen to know what it is but I doubt anyone who is not a lawyer or was never in the military would know or understand its relevance to the plot. A colonel cannot "suspend" the Act whenever he feels like it. The FBI has its Hostage Rescue Team to handle drama like this domestically. Why wasn't HRT used instead of The Unit?
9. The detonator for the explosives on the aircraft was a "clacker" from a Claymore. Couldn't the bad guys come up with something more sophisticated? How did the clacker and explosives get past TSA ?
10. The senior NCO was portrayed at the end as a trigger happy lush; the commander was banging the blonde wife of one of his soldiers. How realistic is that?
11. The senior NCO was called "Top"--is he a First Sergeant?
SERIOUS HARSHING MY MELLOW YIPS from Steve-O: Geez Louise, mon, next thing you know you're going to be telling me JAG wasn't a correct portrayal of life as a Navy lawyer?
Because if you do that, I'm going to sit in the corner and cry like the girl I am.
March 07, 2006
Get A Load Of This
Apparently, the NTSB has determined that a primary reason that water taxi flipped in Baltimore Harbor last year during a sudden squall was that it was loaded down with fat boys:
The National Transportation Safety Board said the water taxi tipped over because excessive passenger weight made the boat too unstable to withstand a sudden gust of wind.
The NTSB said the Coast Guard underestimated the "tippiness" of the 36-foot Lady D pontoon boat because it used the results of a stability test designed for a different type of vessel.
The Coast Guard also assumed the average weight per passenger was 140 pounds, a standard that hasn't changed since 1942, the safety board said.
"It's the issue of what this thing can carry," said NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker.
The average weight among the Lady D's 25 passengers when the accident happened was 168 pounds, making it 700 pounds overweight, investigators said.
Great. Apparently, this is not the first accident in recent history attributable to the "I'm not fat, I'm big boned!" crowd:
Too much passenger weight was an issue in several other deadly accidents: the 2003 crash of a small plane in Charlotte, N.C., in which 21 people were killed on takeoff; and the sinking of the Ethan Allen tour boat on Lake George in New York last fall, which killed 20 elderly people.
I happen to remember that Charlotte crash in particular because I was fool enough to read the cockpit voice transcript - as the plane went down, a small girl's voice could be heard yelling, "Daddy!" If you don't have children of your own, you have no idea what kind of ganglia something like this jangles in your brain. I tell you truly that I teared up when I read this.
Am I damning fat people? Well, not exactly. But if the NTSB statements are to be believed, then the fact that an increasingly obese population is encountering difficulties with an infrastructure designed for a less heavy-set group is simply a matter of physics and is something that needs to be dealt with. The question then becomes whether we rejig our planes, trains and automobiles to accept a new baseline population weightiness, or whether we focus more energy on fighting the evident obesity epidemic.
YIPS from Steve: (insert Beavis and Butthead giggle here).....uhhhhhhhh...hhheeeehehe....he said "load."
Seriously, though, this is an issue which requires a truly American response: it's time for our Sarcorhamphus papa trial lawyeris to descend and thoroughly maul the carcasses of those great health criminals of our time: I am, of course, talking about Ben n' Jerry.
UPDATE: The perils of writing late at night. This came out a bit harsher than I meant it to. My underlying point was that I've never thought of population size in terms of actually breaking things and killing people before. And as several commenters point out, a boost in average population weight is more complex than simply an issue of too many Big Macs. Still, though, the simple physics can't be ignored.
An Enigma Wrapped In A Riddle Tucked Inside A Really Crappy Pleading
After spending all day writing deposition questions, I got a big laff out of Prof. Bainbridge's post of this Texas bankruptcy judge's response to some coyote-ugly legal writing.
As we like to say 'round here, that one is gonna leave a mark.
In all fairness, if you follow the link to the motion on which the judge unloads, it turns out to be a pro se job written by somebody who appears to be barely literate. Courts will sometimes cut such people some slack.
Then again, sometimes they won't. Res ipsa loquitur.
Bonfire Of The Vanities #140
It's the Bozo Edition of this most ancient of blog carnivals. Complete with clowns. Scary clowns. Big ol' nose-hawnking clowns. Lots of 'em.
Man, I hate clowns.
Yips! to our woolly cousins over at the Alpaca Burger Forum.
Israel to Hamas
Take the hint, they will not repeat themselves.
Gratuitous Musickal Posting (TM)
Mozart's Don Giovanni. A production from 1991, this recording featured the following cast:
Don Giovanni - Thomas Allen
Donna Anna - Carolyn James
Donna Elvira - Carol Vaness
Don Ottavio - Kjell Magnus Sandve
Il Commentadore - Mathias Halle
Leporello - Ferruccio Ferlanetto
Zerlina - Andrea Rost
Mazetto - Reinhard Dorn
The music, which was first rate, was performed by the Gurzenich Orchester Cologne and the Choir of Cologne City Opera, under the direction of James Conlon. On the other hand, the soloists for the most part left me quite flat.
Don Giovanni is, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest operas ever written, if not the greatest. (Here is a history and synopsis of the piece.) One of its strengths is that it is so, shall I say, life-like. Most late 18th Century opera came in one of two forms, opera seria (tragic or serious) and opera buffa (comic), with attendant stock characters and formulaic attitudes and behavior. One of Don Giovanni's greatest strengths is that it can't really be classified as either one, borrowing freely from both. This has the effect of making the characters much more realistic and giving room for all sorts of psychological subtlety, a phenomenon Mozart took full advantage of. It's too bad that this production did not.
Allen, who has been around a long time, had occassional moments of power and sauvity as the Don, but much of the time he looked rather like Dracula (owing to a rayther sever toupe) with the runs. Zerlina is an opportunistic minx, but Andrea Rost played her soft and gentle. There was no chemistry whatsoever in the scene where Giovanni seduced her, nor was there any evidence of her manipulative nature when she beguiled Masetto into taking her back. Nor was I really impressed with either of the two leading ladies. Both James' Anna and Vaness' Elvira were given to shrieking. Also, as Giovanni himself notes, Elvira really is somewhat crazy, still pursuing the Don even after she knows the full truth about him. This makes the pathos when he pretends to seduce her again (via a disguised Leporello) and her humiliation when the disguise is discovered even keener. But I didn't really get much sense of this from this production. Finally, I know that Ottavio is one of the most thankless parts in the repertoire, but really, Sandve didn't need to sing it with the same scowl on his face the entire time.
On the brighter side, Halle was fine as the Commendatore, although he got short-changed in Act Two because the Statue remained frozen on its pedestal all the way through (even when it showed up for dinner!). Dorn's Masetto was a good hot-headed country bumpkin, easily turned by everybody around him. And last but not least, Ferlanetto's Leporello was probably my favorite of the piece, world-wary and calculating.
As for other things, the staging was simple and generally okay, primarily consisting of sillouetted buildings in and about Seville. (The stage must have been hot as hell, however, because everyone seemed to start sweating very quickly.) As to choreography, the masquerade at the end of Act I was very well done. However, the climax of the opera was truly bizarre. As I mentioned earlier, when the statue of the Commendatore appeared at Giovanni's palace, he was still frozen on his pedestal. No "Ta! Ta! Ta! Ta!" No movement whatsoever, apart from his mouth. And when he intoned "Dammi la mano in pegno!", Giovanni had to climb up to reach his hand. Furthermore, there were no demons - the chorus sang from off-stage. So how did Giovanni get carted off to hell? Well, the producers simply did some funky post-production light trick with the camera to blot out the image of him still wrestling with the statue. (This production was made for film, not a live audience.) The effect was, well, lame.
Two final production notes. First, I didn't think much of the subtitles. As I say, this is a far more complex and subtle opera than many and the language is extremely important - any number of passages were heavily edited in a manner that diluted their meanings. Second, it seemed that there was only one microphone for the singers, way down stage and to one side. I kept having to fiddle with the volume depending on where they were standing. Also, the balance was off - sometimes I could barely hear them over the orchestra, sometimes they drowned it right out.
So there you have it. My recommendation? Don't bother. I'm sure there's a better production out there somewhere.
Flash In The Pan 80's Babes
"Do you have a kiss for Daddy?"
The Missus maintains that Sloane is the one weak point of FBDO because nobody really dressed and looked like that - particularly the long, straight, Nature-girl hair thing - in the swankier Chicago suburbs of the mid-80's and that she looks better suited to California. In the spirit of tolerance, of course, I am quite happy to overlook this anomaly.
According to her bio, Sara has been drifting along at the lower middle level of Hollywood for most of her career, doing guest shots on various tee vee shows and making a few movies I've never heard of. It's a shame, because as you can see, she's still very easy on the eyes:
Cue Dr. Lecter
In an otherwise so-so article lashing out at the Hollywood prima donna culture, Sir Anthony Hopkins had this to say about doing stage work:
He said: "I won't return to theatre work. It's monotonous, too much like being in prison, standing on stage in tights.
"I admire actors who can do it, and I'm sure they have a great life, but I can't stay in any one place for too long, or settle into that grey, sombre atmosphere of the Waterloo Road on a wet Wednesday afternoon.
"There's something so depressing looming across the muddy Thames from that concrete breeze block, with the smell of stale coffee, and thinking, 'Oh, God I have to do another matinee', and the luvvies and the darlings.
I find this interesting because I once saw Hopkins on the stage, doing King Lear at the Olivier Theatre in London. And frankly, he was extremely disappointing - flat, jerky and even mis-reading lines. Of course, there could have been many reasons - the whole performance was badly directed, he might have been having an off night, etc. But I find these remarks very telling and wonder if even back then he wasn't secretly grumbling to himself this way.
Best Oscars Smackdown. Ever
Quoted over at X-Donk:
For example, there was a point last night when a producer - I believe it was for Crash - ascended to the stage and informed us, in the most unctuous, serious tones, that the “purpose of art is to shine light on dark places.” It occured to me that the same sort of thing could be said of proctology.
A righteous debate
Uber home school mom Melissa Wiley has stirred up a righteous debate over school book purchasing issues.
Here in the Bonny Glen is the best education blog out there, hands down.
Nutritionist to the Stars Kathy the Cakeeater is recommending a Double-stuff oreo and whole milk diet to this patient---I would disagree, and opt for the extreme measure of a PVC feeding tube, an air gun, and a cubic yard of Ho-Ho's. And an oil drum of Yoo-Hoo.
Lucy Van Pelt, terrorist
Next thing you know the jihadis will get Cousin Oliver to shill from them.
Headline of the day
Ace, you are one cruel bastard. Wickedly funny, yes, but one cruel bastard. (Link corrected)
Maybe they'll get Patricia Arquette to star in "Peace MILF" and, you know, spell it with a stencil.
What should the slogan be for "Peace MILF: The Movie"?
By day, she's an ordinary housewife; by night, a pyschic pornstar, helping the DA solve crimes and blow the lid off of, umm, some reaaaally happy lids. But now she's grievin', she's mad as hell, and she's going to use all her powers as a housewife pyschic pornstar to bring the BusHitler McChimpy Halliburton Crewe of Death to their, umm, knees.
NOTE TO SELF: Is this Arquette classic reason enough to join Netflix?
INSIDE THE MIND OF THE LLAMAS: A new feature here is "Inside the Mind of the LLamas" where we explain what the heck we were thinking when we wrote a bizarre post. There were two things I was going for: first was to answer a question our old pal Sadie had last week on why guys like Patricia Arquette.
The other, of course, was to own the Google search for "psychic housewife pornstar."
UPDATE: Jeff piles on with some fashion advice for Cindy Sheehan, a kind of new age "Queer Eye for the Deranged Lunatic Moonbat."
March 06, 2006
More Literary Memeage
I can't resist this sort of thing. Apparently, members of the British Museum, Libraries and Archives Council have cobbled together a list of books that every adult should read before they die.
Like everything that has ever been produced by committee, the list is pure horse hockey. Nonetheless, I'm highlighting the ones I have read:
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Bible - KJV only, of course.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien - I can hear Mom's sharp intake of breath from here.
1984 by George Orwell
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
All Quiet on the Western Front by E M Remarque
His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck - I happen to think this one of the most over-rated novels ever foisted on high school kids.
The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
Tess of the D'urbevilles by Thomas Hardy - I've read a good deal of Hardy but not this one. I suppose it was chosen primarily because somebody made a fairly successful movie of it.
Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne - Um...why would an adult be reading this, unless to children?
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho - No, but I've read Ben Jonson's play of the same name. And I'd wager that probably was the more worthwhile effort.
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Middlemarch by George Eliot
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzenhitsyn
Half of these volumes will be completely forgotten in fifty years. Is there no room on the list for Homer? Or Virgil? Or Milton? Cervantes? Chaucer? Helloooo....
Or, if you want to get modern about it, Fitzgerald? Or Waugh? Hemmingway usually has a prominant place in this kind of list. I'm surprised he's totally shut out of this one. And where is Twain? How about Faulkner? Or James? Or Conrad?
Like I say, this sort of thing is usually worse than useless. Typically, the list combines a handful of books that the compilers have a vague idea "ought" to be read with, to the compilers, a much more important selection of personal favorites, most of which have very short shelf-lives. Unfortunately, I think such ego-centric pronouncements have the effect of undermining any consensus on what constitutes core literature, rather than strengthening it.
Yips! to Rachel.
I'm Steve the LLamabutcher, and my powers of eveeeeel know no boundaries
Latest buddy turned into a blogger: say howdy to long-time pal Barry who is blogging now over at placidquake on blogsnot.
Barry's good people, for a Husker and all.
NEXT UP: Keith in En-why-cee, who is trying to use having a new baby as an excuse to avoid the inevitable.
If we ever do make it to Number One, the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters will be on me.
In case you're wondering, no, I never did see the movie. I figure it's a load of fetid dingo's kidneys that would upset me more than hearing the word "Belgium" used outside of a serious screenplay. Can't imagine what those people were thinking, the stupid turlingdromes.
And speaking of things:
Holy zarquon, you're Ford Prefect! Traveling the
galaxy is just another day in your book, man.
You live for the thrill and the nightlife,
although you've got an issue with caring for
others. Everyone likes you, though, because
of your party-going personality. I sass that
hoopy Ford Prefect! Rock on, man!
The Legitimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Quiz
brought to you by Quizilla
Ain't it the truth?
Yips! to Zann.
If Llamas Were Meant To Fly....
A very unhelpful office mate sent me this article:
'We're Going To Crash!' Updated: 16:08, Tuesday February 28, 2006
A stewardess caused panic by repeatedly screaming "We're going to crash" when a packed plane hit turbulance.
The Virgin flight hit bad weather three hours into a journey from Gatwick to Las Vegas.
Some passengers were sick and others thrown from their seats as luggage, drinks and trays were tossed around.
Those using the toilet at the time were stuck in the cubicle while others prayed and cried.
And their ordeal was intensified by the screaming stewardess.
Passenger Paul Gibson told The Daily Mirror: "She began screaming every time the plane shook.
"She shouted at the top of her voice, 'We're going to crash! We're going to crash! We're going to crash!"
The un-named woman - in her mid 20s - also lobbed sick bags across the cabin when poorly passengers screamed for more.
Crew members say it was the worst turbulance they had encountered.
A spokesman for Virgin said no complaint had been received.
"Turbulance can be a very frightening ordeal," he added.
No shiite, Sherlock.
Honestly, even when there aren't any bumpies, I'm convinced that the stress of flying knocks a quantifiable amount of time off of my life-span each time I have to do it. Something like this probably would put me in a pine box.
As I've said before, mine is not the rational fear of falsified maintenance records, terrorist attacks, bad weather or pilot error. Instead, it is the completely irrational fear that only a supreme effort of will and my claw-like grip on the armrest keeps the wings from falling off.
In this respect, I find the complaisance of my fellow passengers down-right infuriating. Fools! I think. Don't they understand? Don't they appreciate how close they are to the edge of oblivion? Are they so gob-smackingly stupid that they can't recognize the danger they're in?
It occured to me this time around that I face a looming problem: Sooner or later, the Llama-ettes are going to be introduced to air travel, possibly as soon as next spring. On the one hand, I can't expect the Missus to deal with them single-handedly. On the other, I have grave doubts whether I can maintain an air of impassive cheerfulness in front of them. The last thing I want to do is inflict my crazies on their impressionable young minds.
UPDATE: Of course, the sole benefit of spending most of a flight attempting to keep panic at arm's length is that I rarely pay any attention to the bloody uncomfortableness of it all.
Don't take the money if you don't want the strings
The Supremes ruled 8-0 the feds can require colleges that take federal funds to allow military recruiters. Oh, how schools love to take the money . . . Now the million-dollar question, which schools will stand on what passes for their principles, tell the feds to keep the money, and bar recruiters? Not many.
Why I love being Catholic
And no, that's not sarcastic. I had a good chuckle over this tale of the rodent that became a fish.
BUSH MEETS BUTT, AMICABLE FRIENDSHIP ENSUES
That one's going to leave a mark.....
Chai-Rista reviews the recent Pride and Prejudice (loves it), and tee-vee show House (hates it). The word "manscape" is used.
Liz, it was nice knowing ya, but I have a feeling Pep is going to have to dustbust up the pieces when the THERE IS BUT ONE DARCY, AND HIS NAME IS COLIN FIRTH whackjobs get a hold of you.
Speaking of which, Kathy has perhaps the best Oscars roundup out there (okay, so I've only read hers, but it can't be topped, so there!) (And no, it's not because she's got pics from the aerial cleavage cam (TM), but that doesn't hurt now, does it?)
FURTHER IN THE "WHAT THE HECK WAS SHE THINKING?" DEPARTMENT: Sadie left Phinneas the keys to Agent Bed Head. "Manwich" and repeated references to Al Green are about the only things I can safely remark upon from work. There's definitely going to be some 'splaining to do when she gets back.
I'm Steve the LLamabutcher, and I'm an idiot
The end of last week was one of those rare eclipses when both Robbo and I are both blog incommunicado at the same time. My excuse--or what I'm going to pass of as one--was that the end of last week was when the lid finally blew off the crapper at work. It's been building since the summer, and, to be perfectly honest, I'm glad it's finally past and I can get on with things.
In that vein, tomorrow morning I'm having a meeting---it's not an interview, but could possibly turn into one---with a guy who my wife used to work for who I have tremendous respect for as a leader. The agenda is to talk a career change and how to pull it off. I'll let you know what transpires.
The weekend was good around Rancho non-Sequitor: it was the first weekend since three kings back in early January that nobody was flat on their back sick, and neither The Dear One or I had to do any office-type work. Fun and early spring frivolity reigned, as well as Phase One of Spring Cleaning 06 upstairs, and the first walk through of the gardens.
Starting a new tradition, I made my Burpee order during the Daytona 500, and while the plants (mostly veggies) will come after the frost date, the seeds showed up last week. I'm working on some drawings for what I'd like to do in the backyard. I've got a handle on the vegetables: we have an about 15 X 20 plot in the backyard that's been worked now for about 5-6 years. We didn't get the early spring crop in last year for some different family related reasons, but we spaded and mulched it over in the fall so it's good to go for this year. We have the heavy Virginia red clay, and so we've been improving the soil each year with big bags of compost, mulch, some sand, kitchen scraps, shredded paper, bags of worms bought at the bait shop for a buck, and, of course, the bodies of my enemies. We're tomato heavy---no pretense to a balanced garden, we grow a lot of tomatos of different varieties, bell peppers, beans, and in a side border garden squashes of different varieties. This year we are putting in a large pumpkin patch in the back corner for laughs (and also so I don't have to cut it).
The big leap for me this year is to jump with both feet into the realm of flower gardening. Now, I realize this is Robbo's area of expertise, and so want to as much as possible mooch, leach, and plagiarize from him. What I need to get a feel for are the different variables and how they fit together. I'm a pretty darn good cook, and part of the secret is understanding how different things taste together so you can improvise and get a feel for what the food is trying to be. For flower gardening, I'm not their yet at all---I'm still quite intimidated by the issue of spacing and placement. However, this year I'm just going to plunge in and see what happens. Fortunately, The Dear One has claimed sovereignty over the front yard garden, so whatever creations I come up with will be spared from our neighbors.
TAKE A COUPLE OF DAYS OFF AND WHAT DO I MISS? X-Donk's tribute to Lea Thompson. Meow.
She's no Elisabeth Shue, but hey, who is?
While tracking down the relevant script for that last post, I also came across one of my favorite Monty Python throwaway bits, Australian Table Wines:
WINE EXPERT (Eric Idle with an Australian accent): A lot of people in this country pooh-pooh Australian table wines. This is a pity as many fine Australian wines appeal not only to the Australian palate but also to the cognoscenti of Great Britain.
Black Stump Bordeaux is rightly praised as a peppermint flavoured Burgundy, whilst a good Sydney Syrup can rank with any of the world's best sugary wines.
Château Blue, too, has won many prizes; not least for its taste, and its lingering afterburn.
Old Smokey 1968 has been compared favourably to a Welsh claret, whilst the Australian Wino Society thoroughly recommends a 1970 Coq du Rod Laver, which, believe me, has a kick on it like a mule: 8 bottles of this and you're really finished. At the opening of the Sydney Bridge Club, they were fishing them out of the main sewers every half an hour.
Of the sparkling wines, the most famous is Perth Pink. This is a bottle with a message in, and the message is 'beware'. This is not a wine for drinking, this is a wine for laying down and avoiding.
Another good fighting wine is Melbourne Old-and-Yellow, which is particularly heavy and should be used only for hand-to-hand combat.
Quite the reverse is true of Château Chunder, which is an appellation contrôlée, specially grown for those keen on regurgitation; a fine wine which really opens up the sluices at both ends.
Real emetic fans will also go for a Hobart Muddy, and a prize winning Cuivre Reserve Château Bottled Nuit San Wogga Wogga, which has a bouquet like an aborigine's armpit.
Heh. Of course, this bit was recorded thirty five years ago and Australia's wine export industry has really taken off since then, but I'm not convinced that the sentiments are in any way outdated.
One of the most popular wines to bring to parties in our little circle of friends seems to be a Yellow Tail Shiraz. We hosted a party a couple weeks ago and wound up with no fewer than three bottles of the stuff.
In my humble opinion, this wine tastes like liquorice-flavored cough syrup. Indeed, it may be the very Sidney Syrup spoken of in the skit.
Gratuitous Netflix Movie Noodling
The Missus and I spent an pleasant evening watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding this weekend. Unfortunately, ever since then I've had John Cleese's Cheese Shop customer voice shouting, "Shut that bloody bouzouki up!" in my head.
Now here's a question for anyone who remembers this movie: Didn't the father, who had a Windex-can-fix-anything-fetish, at some point squirt some into somebody's mouth? I kept waiting for this bit to happen but it never did.
Actually, I got back into town about midnight Friday night but was too brain-fried over the weekend to have much to say.
So. What did I miss?
(Keep in mind my only source of nooz most of the week was Useless Today, or as my colleague calls it, "McPaper". Also, I don't give a rat's patootie about the Oscars.)
March 05, 2006
A grunt's best friend: the AC-130- featuring miniguns, 20mm cannons, and a 105mm howitzer, courtesy of the Air Force. Back in the day when I was a lieutenant, the AC-130 was known as Spectre and it looked like something out of science fiction when it opened up on a target at night.
March 04, 2006
Frustration City---Population 00001
Okay, I finally head out today to enter the 21st century and get the cable high speed yadda and the wireless router thingeee.
We go to best buy, get the cable modem and the router.
Get home, the Adelphia guy is there, we get the modem thing going. I install the router, everything is peaches and cream.
After dinner, we install the little wireless keypad and mouse, and the whole thing goes to heck. The signal keeps getting disconnected, and the little "wireless unavailable" message pops up on the bottom of the screen (even though the dialog box showing the connectivity claims it's still connected). When I click on the wireless box on the bottom of the screen, it keeps showing our router as dormant, until you hit the refresh button when it shows up again. The laptop picks up 3-4 other routers (this being the ruburbs), including the one always listed at the top----the unsecured router of a neighbor that I have been leaching off of for the past, oh, year or so.
I tell you, that LinkSys is turning into the Glenn Close of wireless routers. We came home from dinner tonight and found out it boiled one of my daughter's bunny rabbits.
So, what do I do? Is it the wireless keypad and mouse? (We disconnected them, but the connectivity problems persist) Is it Adelphia? (The lights on the cable modem are lit up in the right order) Is it the Lawhd Gawhd's way of saying, "Steve-O, there is no way you are going to be able to get to thrash Robbo's puny Britons playing Age of Empires online!"
The machine is a Dell Latitude, the router a cisco linksys wireless 2.4 ghz, the wireless keypad is a Targus.
The Age of Empires universe hangs in the balance....
Fly on the cantina wall
At what was described recently as the Mos Eisley of the Left: Daily Kos. Check it out every now and then to keep up on what the opposition is reading.
March 03, 2006
Second to the bottom news story of the day
Paula Abdul bypasses security on the way to a Southwest flight to catch a live Idol show. It is not known if she is dating any of the contestants.
UPDATE: Looks like it didn't improve her on-air demeanor.
Bottom news story of the day
Esther a/k/a Madonna shops for a house in anticipation of the coming of the Messiah.
March 02, 2006
Super-Sekret Message for The Butcher's Wife
Words of wisdom from Edna in The Incredibles: "Men of Robert's age are unstaaaable . . . . and prone to weeeeeeeeeaaaaaaakness."
So much for being hated in the world . . .
From a pioneer of the New Media, the all knowing Maha Rushie, comes this.
Culture of corruption presents. . .
Cathy the Cake-eater is back from points south and promises a recap of her trip.
March 01, 2006
LMC Public Service Announcement
Steve-O's last remaining girlfriend on the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was snoozing during oral argument today in the Texas redistricting case. Perhaps Ruth needs a "younger, fresher" look--here is my suggestion. We recall Robbo's new "younger, fresher" Helen Thomas makeover.
Scratch our back, and we'll orgle yours
Blogads is putting up its annual reader survey. This is designed to in effect show potential advertisers why they need to sprinkle their ad dollars on places like les freres llama. More blogad money=Stevie being able to buy his own copy of flash media. Stevie having his own copy of flash media=bad, bad things for pompous folks deserving to be mocked.
On line 23, list the llamabutchers as the blog that sent you, and you can register for a fabulous LLamabutchers Thong. Because nothing says Ash Wednesday quite like those dashing Andean Orglers festooned across a thong.