Thursday, December 30, 2004


If your soul is floating out there in the ethereal mist (thereby negating everything I believe about the afterlife -- namely, there is none), happy birthday.

You would have been 45 today. Yeah I know, and I wouldn't have called you, because I never did, simply because I would have seen you at Mom's less than a week ago and wished you a happy birthday then.

As usual, you were missed at Christmas. Julie looks so much like you it's scary. However, she's got Brian's "tall" gene. Next year I may have to buy her a basketball.

But then, like I say, if you're floating around out there, you already know that.

However, know that no matter what day it is, you're never far from my memory. Even though we didn't talk more than once or twice a year when you were around, I still have to remind myself that you're not going to be calling me anymore. I was reminded of that when they interviewed Bob Dylan on 60 minutes a few weeks ago. I missed it, but I remember thinking if you'd been around to remind me I would have seen it.

So Kath, if you're out there floating around, go someplace nice for your birthday. Maybe you can tell me about it someday. But I doubt it.

Just in case though, Happy Birthday!


I heard one of the worst-written reports the other day regarding the tsunami. I actually heard a newsreader (I don't blame him, he didn't write it) describe the upturn in stock prices for disaster-related products as a "silver lining" to the disaster. On NPR of all places!

Do you think that writer got called on the carpet or what?


I see George Carlin's in rehab. That explains a lot.


Tomorrow night is New Years' Eve. We will be celebrating with the same bunch of pals we usually celebrate with. It's great fun, but the older we get the sooner a lot of these people poop out. Before I get too much older I want to throw a huge bash on New Years of some sort, with lots of rampant nudity, s&M demonstrations, live music and, just to be different, a ping pong table.

The odd thing is that in my group, the hardest thing to procure from that list will be the Ping Pong table.

Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 21, 2004

This week's improvisational utterance:

"Bilbo the Wonder Monkey!"


So the FDA says that Aleve can kill you if you take it more than 10 days in a row.

You mean,a drug can KILL me if I ABUSE IT???? WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS COUNTRY COMING TO!!!???

This just in -- fat can make you fat if you eat too much FAT.

Have we simply run out of news? Is that the problem?


The Phoenix Suns should appeal to the NBA to find them a team that might be able to beat them. All reports that they're trying to add the word "FUCKING" to the team name officially (The Phoenix FUCKING Suns) are false.

Can you believe the end of that game last night? Yowzah!


Happy Holidays!


Friday, December 17, 2004

Don't ask me why, but I think this is the best Christmas song ever written by a homeless schizophrenic from Chicago. (Okay, it's probably the ONLY one ever written by a homeless schizophrenic from Chicago.)


(That's what Wesley Willis was; a street musician who needed drugs they don't have yet. He passed on a couple of years ago but not before recording a bunch of certifiably odd CDs. Here's his Christmas Song. I have no idea why he suddenly decided to plug All State insurance at the end, but like I said, Wesley was weird.


Tonight! One night only! Me and Nancy Freeman will attempt death-defying stunts! Feats of strength! Well, okay, the only really scary thing we're gonna try is an entire set of COVER SONGS. But how can you miss that?

Fiddler's Dream, 8 pm. Be there. 17th St. and Glendale.

There could be nudity, if any of you show up naked.


Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Good Evening, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to:


Tonight's celebrity airhead: Actress Tara Reid...


(Look at these pictures, come back and then answer these questions.)

A): How big of an airhead do you have to be to not realize, for what was apparently a few seconds, that YOUR DRESS IS FALLING OFF?

B): Let's consider some possibly mitigating factors here. I'm presuming Ms. Reid is just arriving for the party, and she hasn't been out all night boozing -- yet. Or has she? How big of an airhead do you have to be, even inebriated, to not notice the sudden change in temperature?

C): Actually, is that a clue? Her nipples (what's with those things, anyway?) do not appear to be reacting to the cold, so maybe P Diddy had enough money to make sure that the temperature at his birthday party was PERFECT. The kind of perfect where if your dress suddenly fell off, you wouldn't even notice because you're just so damn comfortable.

Yeah, that's it.

Supposedly there's a video out there of this little event and it is by all reports hilarious. I'll have to find that.

Somehow I think if P. Diddy's PANTS had fallen off, he'd have noticed. After he tripped over them. Or tripped over something else, har har.


Monday, December 13, 2004

It's official: Our office has the safest microwave in the world.

God knows you couldn't possibly BURN yourself from the heat, which is NONEXISTENT.

Somebody needs to get a clue. Or a new microwave.


You heard it here first, or maybe you didn't: Mark your calendars for Friday. Me and Nancy Freeman will actually attempt, without the benefit of free food or nudity, to entertain you all for nearly three hours at Fiddler's Dream. Starts at eight.


We went to a christmas ornament and light-hanging tree party or something like that at our friends Pete and Donna's house on Saturday and it's amazing how quickly a tree goes up when multiple hands who know what they're doing put it up. And clumsy dolts like me stay safely away.


This Saturday night is like Party Central for us. We're going to attempt to hit 3 (count 'em, 3) parties over the course of the evening. Our apologies to those we're missing but our clones are booked, too.


My mom sold her house in Fountain Hills. She's moving in January to an apartment in FH closer to my dad, who's in an assisted care facility -- read "Old Folks Home." (He's got Alzheimer's and lasting effects from a stroke.) Don't get me wrong, it's a very nice place, and he NEEDS to be there.

We went over to Mom's yesterday to take possession of some things that she doesn't want to move with, because she won't have room for them in the new place. We laid claim on a bookshelf. Now: How do we get it to our house? That remains to be seen.

My mom's a real brick regarding most things but yesterday I could see that living in that big house has too many connections to my dad's current condition. She's going to be a lot happier in the new place.


Radio programmers are chickenshits.

No more so chickenshit than the Program Director of a certain local radio station where a certain local friend of mine has, since pretty much the PLEISTOCENE ERA, put together and hosted the finest Christmas Radio Show in existence. Hours and hours of Christmas songs you WANT to hear, by everybody from Tom Lehrer to Cheech and Chong to Elmo and Patsy to the Fab Four to...well you name it.

NOT this year. No, chickenshit program director -- who DOESN'T EVEN LIVE HERE -- decided people don't want to hear this extremely popular show anymore.

But you can hear it if you have a computer. Tune in starting on Christmas Eve evening and check out the show on www.radiofreephoenix.com -- it will change your life -- or at least how you spend Christmas.


Friday, December 10, 2004

Two of my prized possessions in my CD collection (not to mention one of my vinyl LPs) are the albums by a group called Big Daddy.

Put together by Rhino records back in the 80s, Big Daddy was (supposedly) a '50s rock and roll band who made the mistake of playing a gig near the Bay of Pigs on the day of the invasion. After 20+ years in Cuban prison, they were released, and continued their tour.

Problem was, they only knew how to play 50s music, and people wanted to hear 80s music.

See where this is going?

What Big Daddy did was take familiar songs and stuff them into arrangements that started out and sounded remarkably like another song.

Think Guns n' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle" performed like "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."

Think Sinead O'Connor's (Prince-penned) "Nothing Compares To You" stuffed into "Great Balls of Fire."

Well, eventually, Big Daddy recorded their "Sergeant Pepper" album. It's the entire album, done up like the way they do it. For example:

A Day in the Life: Imagine Buddy Holly doing it: "I read the news today, uh-oh Boy (Dum-de-dum-dum, Oh Boy)...

Benefit of Mr. Kite: Think Freddie Cannon doing "Palisades Park."

Which brings me to what I wanted to talk about.

While Big Daddy has apparently gone into mothballs, the Fab Four are still here.

The Fab Four have been called the ULTIMATE Beatles Tribute group. One of the guys does an imitation of Paul McCartney that is positively scary.

Which brings me to their website for their Christmas album:


Check out the six 30-second samples here. "Good King Wenceslas" stuffed into "Tell Me What You See?" I just about wet my pants...


Work has been very strange this week. Usually December is a slow month around here but this week it's been pretty much non-stop; except for the few minutes I get to write stuff like this.

Being a copywriter in an agency like this, trying to predict when or if you're going to be busy is a tough deal. Clients will say they want something and then after you've worked on it for hours, you'll get the message, "Oh, yeah -- we WANT it, eventually. We didn't mean NOW."

Advertising would be more fun if there were no clients.


Just booked a gig at The Trunk Space on January 28 at 8 p.m. There could be dancers. I'll keep you posted.


Thursday, December 09, 2004

Has it really been 24 years?

Yesterday was December 8. That's how long John Lennon's been dead. 24 years ago yesterday.

I don't believe in ESP or telepathy or shit like that but I remember 12/8/80 because one of the weirdest things I've ever experienced happened to me that night.

Aside from being a lifelong Beatles fan, I certainly didn't know JL any better than any of you probably did. Only that he helped shape my life musically, philosophically and culturally.

Other than that, we were in no way connected.

However, if you were one to believe in subconscious messages, you might think that John sent me a message. Personally I'm sure this story is coincidence, but YOU BE THE JUDGE:

On Monday 12/8 I was where I usually was at night, at my future wife's house, mooching dinner off her parents. Afterwards, Jan and I went into her room and just sat around not doing much; maybe reading.

I usually went home about nine o'clock, 'cause I had to work the next day. But at about 8:50 MST, 10:50 New York Time, I remember feeling a need to look at my watch, and then I heard a voice in my head that said, "PLAY A BEATLES RECORD." I've never had an experience like it before or since.

I told Jan that I HAD TO HEAR a Beatles Record. She thought I was crazy. It's time to go home, isn't it? Not tonight, I said.

So I pulled out Sgt. Pepper and put it on. I played the whole album. I remember not moving from where I was sitting, just listening to this album that the voice in my head told me to play. I only got up once to flip the platter (this was pre-CD days for you young whippersnappers).

When it was over, I suddenly felt sated. I put the record away, kissed Jan goodbye and got in my car.

Then I turned on the radio.

"Let It Be" was playing. That's a coincidence, I thought.

Then they played another Beatles song. And Another. Then "Just Like Starting Over," JL's single that was big at the time.

What the hell's going on, I'm thinking as I'm driving. Is this "Beatles Monday" or something?

Then, finally, the very upset announcer came on.

I nearly fucking drove off the road. In fact, I think I did. I was shaking so hard I must have.

I am not a big drinker. I have never had a drink to calm down after even the closest of relatives have died. But that night, I knew I needed a drink. I drove to a bar near my place and ordered a beer. Fortunately, there was another musician friend in the place, watching the report on TV. No need to drink alone, right?

The news was still trickling in. When did it happen, I wondered. I remember the TV news guy saying it occurred at about 10:50 p.m. New York time. That's what time it was when I remembered looking at my watch. That's when I played the album. And realizing that, that's when I ordered up another beer.

Like I said, I'm sure it was coincidence. But it sure was weird.

Tonight, like every Thursday night, I'll host the open stage at Fiddler's Dream. But we all agreed last week that we were going to all sing "Happy Xmas" tonight. For John. For everybody. It's a great song, even if it is just a ripoff of "Stewball was a Racehorse." And its out-chorus is never more pertinent than now:

War is over if you want it. War is over now.

Thanks, John.


Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Weird things in weird places department:

This morning I stopped at a Shell food mart to buy bottles of water. This said food mart is a bit larger than most gas-station-related foodies so it had a SLIGHTLY BIGGER amount of space for food items.

But I couldn't help notice a lone, solitary jar sitting by its lonesome on a shelf with other condiments like mustard, ketchup, etc:


Imagine if you will, what might make ANYBODY go to the gas station to buy CAPERS.

RICH LADY: Oh, Peckingham...

BUTLER: Yes, Milady

RL: I fear we've run out of capers for the salmon-mousse-stuffed squab. I shall never hear the end of it at the party. Do run out to the GAS STATION and pick up a jar, will you?

BUTLER: At once, milady.

I wonder who the sly salesman was who persuaded the store manager that he needed to stock CAPERS.

CAPERS, fer chrissakes!

Will somebody please get rid of Donald Rumsfeld? I can't believe, with all the rats jumping ship (either by choice or by Capt. Bush tossing them physically) that's this stupid jerk is sticking around.

Did you see him answering questions from the soldiers yesterday? Somehow I think they were expecting better answers than what ol' Donnie gave them, which essentially boiled down to "You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred."

I do like the fact that he has a short fuse and he constantly looks like he's about to cry. One of these days his head is going to explode like "Scanners."

If I ever win the lottery I think I'm buying citizenship in Canada.
For everyone I know.


First warning: Nancy Freeman and I will be playing an entire night of music at Fiddler's Dream on Friday, December 17. We have decided to break it up in three segments:1) Nancy solo 2) Us and 3) Me solo. It will be fun so everybody come on out! Mark yer calendars and such!


Tuesday, December 07, 2004

The other night I got a really worn 1928 Buffalo nickel in my change. Nice to know there are still some of those floating around out there. Anybody got a Mercury dime?


This is the time of year when I wish they would stop trying to make new Holiday specials and just stick with the stuff that works. If "A Charlie Brown Christmas" comes on while I'm watching TV, I'm totally there. It's 39 years old, I've seen it probably 30 of those 39 years and it still works.

"Frosty the Snowman?" Okay, maybe. "Rudolph?" Damn straight. "I want to be a dentist..."

But "Christmas with Clay Aiken?" WTF is that? You want Christmas music? Dig out the old Sing-Along-with-Mitch Christmas specials!


And speaking of annoying shit around Christmas time, who decided that "My Favorite Things" is a Christmas Song? It's NOT A Christmas song! It's from the "Sound of Music!" It's a "We're scared shitless and running from the NAZIs" song!

Besides, John Coltrane made "My Favorite Things" an anytime song just by recording his instrumental version of it. If you've heard it, then you know there is not, nor will there ever be, a better version of "My Favorite Things." Any time of year.


Now for generally annoying shit: Who decided that "sick" and "wrong" are now euphemisms for "amazing" and "preferable," respectively?

"Kobe Bryant is averaging 40 points per game. That is just sick and wrong."
"The Boston Red Sox finally won the world series! How sick is that?"

Reminds me of the fifteen minutes in the 70s when "Bad" meant "Good."

I think the only slang term that still means what it meant when somebody started using it differently is "cool." "Cool" is part of our constant vernacular now. I thought "hip" might do that too, but I haven't heard anybody say "I'm hip" or "That's really hip" in ages.

But that's cool. You hip?


Monday, December 06, 2004

Why are about 50% of all the people at the post office obviously weird?

I was there today to mail a package and one lady was holding things up by insisting that she could only use a particular 37-cent stamp to mail her stuff; that the others don't work.

Another guy went up to get a package that he could see behind the counter, and when the Post Office guy started walking toward it, the customer said, 'WHOA! WHOA-WHOA-WHOA-WHOA! As if the guy wasn't going to find it.

Maybe it's just me but I don't like to call attention to myself in places like post offices and banks.

Don't get me started on banks. If my business at the bank is going to take more than two minutes at the window, I won't go. Anything more complicated than a deposit and I'm doing it at home on the phone, where I'm not bothering people. However, I invariably end up behind some clown who wants to see all of the money he has in the bank. Now. In pennies. And he wants each penny counted out while he stands there.

If you're a problem banker, do us all a favor. Stay home and do it over the Internet.


"Drawn Together" on Comedy Central is sick, sick, sick.

And I love it, love it, love it!


The first wave of Christmas Cards is out...for a Jew I sure have to send out a lot of cards...


Friday, December 03, 2004

Actual headline on Internet News:

"Report: Unemployment Causes Suicide"


Jesus Christ. What's next:

"Report: Alcohol cited as chief cause of alcoholism"

"Report: People frequently die in head-on collisons"

"Report: Sky blue, experts say"

Unbelievable. How much money went into that research?


Here's a way to mildly annoy someone you've never met and will never see.

Go to the store and flip through any magazine until a subscription card falls out of it. Now, take the card home, and sit at your computer. Log on to www.WhitePages.com
and make up a name. Make it a common name so you're not there all day: Michael Mooney. Robert Smith. Joe Jurgensen. Whatever.

Type in the name and put in states until you come up with somebody. You will get their full address.

Fill out the subscription card with your new friend's address and send it in. It's free. When the magazine starts showing up at his house, the guy can either cancel or keep getting it, if he likes it.

Imagine the confusion: "Harry, did you order Turkey Basting Monthly?" "No, Wilma, I thought YOU bought it!"

No one gets hurt and you have the satisfaction of knowing, with very little work, that you're confusing the hell out of somebody.


TV Shows you're not likely to see:

"Let's Masturbate!"
"George Carlin: The 'I'm not angry anymore' Special"
"Former 'Apprentice' Smack-Down Wrestling"
"This Fucking House"
"Antiques, My Ass!"
"The Tonight Show Starring David Halberstam"
"All Zappa, All Night!"
"NBC Nightly News with Cheech and Chong"
"Meet The Press" hosted by Weird Al Yankovic
"The Shopping Network Sex Toys Hour" with Rip Taylor
TV Movie: "The Littlest Teamster"


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?