Tuesday, September 28, 2004

I saw this news item and I have to pass it on...

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- An unexplained radio signal from deep space could -- just might be -- contact from an alien civilization, New Scientist magazine reported on Thursday.

The signal, coming from a point between the Pisces and Aries constellations, has been picked up three times by a telescope in Puerto Rico.

...and the radio message is:

A) Hey, Puerto Rico! Tell Sister Bertrille to stop flying around like that! She could get hurt!

B) Hey, Puerto Rico! Those "Buena Vista Social Club" guys are really bitchen! Do they tour?

c) Hey, Puerto Rico! Wait a minute--you're not a state, but you still get electoral votes? Howzat work?

D) Hey, Puerto Rico! I bought a taco from a street vendor when I was visiting. How do I fix this "Dysentery", as you call it?

Funny, but I didn't know telescopes could play radio signals. I have no memories of my folks telling me how they used to gather around the telescope to hear FDR give a fireside chat.

How do you tune a telescope? What if you don't LIKE what Pisces is putting out? Does Aries have the same kind of radio stations?

Wouldn't it be horrible if we actually made contact with another civilization, and we got there via some magical speed method, and discovered that the popular music there really, really sucked, just like here?


Monday, September 27, 2004

The last two Sundays, I've been shopping with Jan when the muzak in the grocery store starts playing this rather stock dance song of recent vintage. I can't make out a word of what the girl is singing, but what's interesting about this song is that there's a counter melody running through the song on a synthesizer: "Gymmopedie 1" by Erik Satie. It adds a very melancholy feel to this otherwise upbeat song. Now I'm wondering if the words are profound, too. It's fascinating. Has anybody out there heard this? Do you know what I'm talking about?


This weekend, this old nudist is finally going to do something he's always wanted to do: Go to Shangri-La.

The big holdup is that Jan never wanted to go. Now she HAS to go--she's booked! Her dance troupe is scheduled to do a show there, so of course I'm going.


Then on Sunday at 10:20 a.m., I'm playing at the Prescott Folk Festival in the Sharlott Hall building. For 20 whole minutes! Woo Hoo!


Friday, September 24, 2004

I woke up this morning and saw my old nemesis and former employer, Don Lapre, on TV hawking a health product.

Listen. Please. If you are one of those people who actually buys the shit I spent years writing shows about, AVOID ANYTHING WITH DON LAPRE'S NAME ON IT.

I would sooner set up a pork fajita stand in Fallujah than give Don Lapre a penny of my money. At least with the pork stand, I'd know what I was getting into.

I haven't seen him on TV lately and I know he once again filed for bankruptcy a few years ago. I thought we were done with him.

I shoulda known better. I did a little research and found out that this new program is co-funded by a guy even MORE dishonest than Don.

On the upside, Lapre looks puffy and sick.

Or drunk.

Couldn't happen to a more deserving guy. What a dick.

(Since I stopped doing work for Lapre in '95, I have run into more people who have since worked for him who have told me stories that are positively scary.)

Remember, "Don" is the first three letters of "Don't."

Don't Lapre. Okay?


Stuff you should know about if you're my age:

Good music exists on the radio: KCDX 103.1; comes out of Florence and is best heard on the east side, or up by my house. Great mix of 60s -- 80s music, and only the good stuff, PLUS album cuts. Not just the stuff that got played on the radio all the time. Very cool. And commercial free!

Good music exists on the internet: www.radiofreephoenix.com. An even better selection than KCDX, and again, commercial free!


Six hours to the Tom Chapin concert tonight at Fiddlers' Dream, and we're about 60% sold. So you all have plenty of time to get down to Fidd's and pick up a ticket and enjoy Mr. C. If you have kids, bring them to Tom's kids' show tomorrow morning at 11. 17th St. and Glendale.


Tomorrow night at Fiddlers' Dream, I'll be closing things up after Sue Harris goes on at 8 and Dry Kindling goes on at 9. I'll be funny. You all show up.


Thursday, September 23, 2004

We can't find Bin Laden.

We can't find this Zarqawi fuckwit.

But we CAN find...

Cat Stevens!

Ooooooooh...I feel so safe now.

On TV they showed Stevens/Islam coming out of a makeshift interrogation room at the Bangor airport being trailed by official-looking NSA guys in suits. In other words, "He's being followed by a goon shadow..."

If they REALLY wanted to make him feel bad, they should have left him in Bangor.

What is happening to this freakin' country?


Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Minnesota police just arrested a guy for traveling over 200 mph on his motorcycle.

Now, I don't particularly want to ever be in Minnesota either, but if you go the speed limit, you'll eventually get out of there. Patience, sir, patience.


I'm feeling old.

Back in 1979 I came home for spring break from NAU and went to see my old high school girlfriend Anji, who had just had a baby.

And when I mean just, I mean JUST. She hadn't been home too many days from the hospital and was nursing fresh stitches from a vertical caesarian scar. Seems the kid was not only big, but she tried to get out through Anji's ears, so they had to go in vertically.

Anji's hubby at the time, and new dad, Andy Olson (yes, the Andy Olson who for more than 20 years has been the sane voice of radio in this city--check him out on KSLX or on his own internet station, radiofreephoenix.com), was working nights at the time so it was just me, Anji and the kid.

At about 11, baby Heather finally went down for the count and I decided to leave. Anji walked me to the car, I got in and we continued to chat.

At this point, her neighbor, an Hispanic fella in a pickup truck, pulls up into his driveway. Anji waves and as he gets out of the car, she says, "Tom, meet Tom!" His name was Tom too. However, as I quickly found out, he was a very drunk and confused Tom.

See, it seems that in his drunken stupor, even though he KNOWS that Anji just had a kid, even though he KNOWS that Anji is stitched up like a cheap football, somehow, he gets it in his mind that Anji and I have just finished a marathon round of sex, and it is HIS duty to stand up for HIS FRIEND ANDY.

So he throws a huge rock at my car. Before I can say "what the f..." this guy is in my face and through pure drunken rage, PULLS ME THROUGH THE WINDOW OF MY CAR, throws me to the ground and starts kicking the shit out of me. He's accusing me of fucking Anji, he's telling Anji she's a no good cheating bitch, and I'm on the groud with my head between his boot and my back left hubcap.

He's pummeling my head repeatedly, I'm screaming for him to stop, Anji's screaming for him to stop, and now drunk Tom's wife comes out of their house and SHE's screaming for him to stop, and of course, being the drunk we now know him to be, turns around for a second and screams "Shut up, bitch!" before returning to my head.

Strange things go through your mind when you're getting kicked in the cranium. It didn't really hurt, since enorphins and adrenaline were pumping pretty good, so my primary thought through all of this was, "where the hell did my glasses go?" I saw them about the time Psychoboy got back to business. They were waaaaaaay under my car.

Finally he starts screaming at me to get the fuck out, which of course I can't do without my glasses, so after I calmly explain this to Mr. Shithead, he starts banging me up again. I'm so half-conscious by this point that I don't even do anything. Finally, he stumbles off, I crawl under the car for my glasses and get in my car and go. I'm not thinking, 'gee, Anji's still standing there and he's directing his anger at her now,' no, I'm shaking in shock and I want to get the hell out of there. Which I do.

To make this long story short, before the night is over, drunk Tom threatens Anji with death for cheating on Andy. She calls NOT the police (good call; I couldn't get one to take a report until about 4:30 the next morning), but a friend in the Dirty Dozen Motorcycle Club, who comes over to stay with her till Andy gets home. In the meantime, drunk Tom picks a fight with the biker.

Bad move.

The next morning, he wakes up to two screaming neighbors in his face, a screaming wife in his face, various bruises and scars from a fight he doesn't remember, a motorcycle gang with his name on a list, and a pending lawsuit from yours truly. He remembers NONE OF IT.

I wake up with five stitches in my head. And a good story.

Life went on; Anji and Andy split up. Heather grew up. While I remain friends with Anji and Andy to this day, and frequently visited Andy's house after that, I never saw the neighbor again.

What does this have to do with my feeling old?

Baby Heather is getting married this Friday. She's 25; not exactly a spring chicken age for marriage. And while I will be there, drunk Tom will not. He drank himself to death a few years back. And he probably looked and felt a lot older than I ever will.

Still, 25 years ago! Shit, I feel old.


Please. PLEASE. PLEEEEEEAAAAAASE come see Tom Chapin at Fiddlers Dream this weekend! He's playing at 8 p.m. on Friday (all ages show) and doing a show for the kiddies at 11 a.m. on Saturday. $20 per on Friday, but $12 for adults and $8 for kids on Saturday. He should be making the rounds of morning shows hopefully; I know we're hoping to get him on Channel 3 on Friday morning and Channel 12 on Saturday morning.

For more information, go to www.fiddlersdream.org as well as www.tomchapin.com.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Well, THAT was an interesting weekend plus...

Friday night my wife's dance troupe, Unity in Motion, danced to a PACKED house of more than 150 people at the Paper Heart Gallery. It was great. I was part of the festivities as the second half kicked off with a rendition of a song I wrote for the troupe to perform, a pirate song.

Oddly enough, the stage was already altered to look like a pirate ship for a benefit happening the next evening, "Mermaids and Martinis." So that was pretty serendipitous.

Unity's next gig is Shangri-La on October 2. I'm finally getting my wife to go to Shangri-La. Will wonders never cease.


Just another reminder--Tom Chapin is coming to Fiddlers' Dream on Sep. 24-25 so go there and buy tickets. It'll be great!


Hypothetical situation based on the best story of last night: You're at a ball game, minding your own business, when the hecklers around you irk one of the bullpen pitchers for the opposing team so much that he takes a metal chair and hurls it into the audience, caroming off the head of one guy and hitting you squarely in the nose, breaking it but good. Do you:

A) Call the Personal Injury Lawyer BEFORE going to the hospital;
B) Have the Personal Injury Lawyer MEET you at the hospital;
C) Figure that the first PI Lawyer who hands you a business card in the stands is going to be your lawyer, so he ACCOMPANIES you to the hospital;
D) Contemplate your good fortune as you realize that you now OWN both the Oakland Baseball Stadium and the Texas Rangers;
E) Immediately file an injunction against the guy whose head was ultimately responsible for breaking your nose, so that he doesn't get any of the fortune you're about to collect;

Choose all that apply. Add more if you want.


I skipped out on hosting open stage last week in order to go over and play some music with my friend Nancy Freeman. We sound really good together, plus we've gotten along for more than 20 years of music making which is why I'm glad we never got super serious about forming a band. We'd probably both be addicted to heroin and sniping about each other to Rolling Stone.

Oh, and now that I have this public outage for my musings, please spread the word:


Don't get me wrong; I love the girl to death. I consider her to be one of my best friends.

Yes, we've known each other a long time.

Yes, we have been known to walk around together at folk festivals where both of us are playing.

Yes, we sometimes perform together (don't miss our gig in December at Fiddlers' Dream! Woo hoo!).

Yes, we've seen each other naked.

But No, we're not married. Really. Just ask my wife. (Who, by the way, thinks it's hilarious. Frequently when Nancy calls, she'll say, "It's your wife.")

By the by, me and the wife--er, I mean, Nancy--are both scheduled to play at the Prescott Folk Festival October 2 and 3. I'm playing on Sunday this year so I can go be naked with my REAL wife at Shangri-La on Saturday.

Election day falls on my birthday this year. Give me what I want for my birthday-- a new President!


Thursday, September 09, 2004

Things I'd like to attend at least once in my life:

An opera with somebody famous in it

A World Series game

A nude wedding

An orgy

A factory where they make baseball bats

The Kentucky Derby

The Grammys


Ever noticed how poorly men write erotica, and how well women do it? I think it has to do with the fact that most guys view sex from a "get it over with" or a "me, me, me" mentality, and they don't stop and smell...well, anything.

When a woman writes about sex, it's all about details; the setup, the location, the colors, the smells--not of the actual act so much, but the cookies baking and filling the room with a sweet aroma that means this quickie had better be over soon or there was gonna be burnt cookies, etc. The only problem with this sort of thing, of course is that it's easy to overdo it.

When I was a kid I had a friend whose mother was really into a trashy writer named Jacqueline Susann. She was one of those modern-romance writers who really got into the late-60s/early 70s "everyone's-in-love-and-on-drugs-let's-all-fuck-each-other-senseless" mentality. In a Jacqueline Susann novel, everybody eventually gets high, naked and laid.

My friend's mom used to leave these books out around their house and being early teens, we were always trying to find the "good parts," which was easy with a JS novel because every other PAGE was a good part.

However, they did make me wonder if everybody, once they reached adulthood, was in fact pressured into behaving like sluts.

Indeed, Jacqueline Susann definitely was a sex writer who "overdid" it. If there's a male counterpart to her I would guess that it was Tom Robbins. I never could make it through "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues," and while I did read and enjoy "Still Life with Woodpecker," I realized about halfway in that I was being had.

I don't want to be "had" when I'm reading erotica. I want to be horny.


Boy, do the Diamondbacks suck.


Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Boy, do the Diamondbacks suck.

Latest reason why all advertising should be created without any participation from the actual client: insisting that "everybody knows what a probabilistic consumption model is!"

Reason above is why the MBA is the most evil and horrible degree one can possibly wish to attain.

My car got stolen Monday morning. With my briefcase in it. My bad. Spent all day calling, cancelling, rearranging, etc. Defeated all possible credit card fraud problems. No sooner had I done this that I get a call. They found my car. With everything in it. Except the iginition and the steering column. Now I'm out a car for two weeks and until the banks send me new cards I can't so much as rent a CAR to replace my broken car. Don't let this happen to you.

My wife has a black lace bodysuit. She looks fantastic in it.

Speaking of my wife, Jan will be appearing with the rest of her troupe, Unity in Motion in a dance show at the Paper Heart Gallery, and Grand and Polk, this Friday night starting at 7:30. I will be making a special appearance in the second part of the show. The show contains adult themes and nudity, none of which, lucky for you, involves me. $5 admission and if the dress rehearsal last night was any indication, it's worth twice that.

I cannot believe how busy our weekends are this month.

Update: Some minutes have passed. The Diamondbacks still really, really suck.

Stay tuned.


Thursday, September 02, 2004

I don't know about you, but I own a jealous dog.

If anyone in my family hugs anybody else in my family, my dog Dweezil goes batshit until he, too is included in the festivities.

Sometimes, it's funny. We do it to get a rise out of him. Sometimes, it's annoying.

Once, he snuck into our bedroom while we were being frisky. I didn't know this until I felt a rather odd sensation. I quickly devised that one of three things was occurring in the darkness of our bedroom:

1. Janice had grown a second tongue. Highly unlikely.

2. Janice had invited a friend of hers over to play with us and said person had just now crawled out from hiding and got to work. Not entirely unlikely, but improbable given the time.

3. The dog was licking my balls.

Boy, talk about a mood killer. We laughed for minutes.

A couple days later Jan related this tale to a friend who said, "Oh yeah, dogs LOVE to get in on the action. It happens to us all the time."

Wonderful. Personally I'd rather it never occurred again. Now, we make sure the Dweez is not able to enter the room before gettin' down.

Dweezil can't watch me give massages, either. He props himself up to the massage table and licks the oil off the person I'm massaging. Bad dog.



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