Wednesday, January 26, 2005

I am one of the seven heterosexual men on earth who likes to watch modern dance. (There used to be eight, but Sven died last year in Stockholm, surrounded by his family.)

Which is why it thrills me to see that Momix is coming in March to the Scottsdale Center with a piece called "Baseball."

See, back in '94, the Scottsdale center commissioned the group's choreographer, Moses Pendelton, to come up with a dance celebrating the opening of the then brand new Scottsdale Stadium just down the street. The dance he created, "Bat Habits," proved to be such fun for the troupe that over time, Pendelton stretched the 20-minute piece into an evening's entertainment, which has traveled all over the globe and is now coming back to the Scottsdale Center.

Me, Janice, a bunch of rich old people and scores of gay men saw the original "Bat Habits" in '94 and I'm kinda tempted to go see "Baseball." I'll let you know if I do.

(You only have to know me about three seconds to know that I am one of millions of heterosexual men who like baseball.)

The Songwriter's festival in the park last weekend was fun! I saw a bunch of folks I hadn't seen in a while, and I played a bunch of newer stuff to see how it would go over (good). So good to see folks like Larry Jolly and Human Jones and Andy Hurlbut and Nancy Freeman of course. I caught the last half of the Jenny Yates concert at 3 and the first half of the Hans Olson show at 3:30. Both fantastic.

Next big to-do: Me and the Kindred Spirit Dance Company at the Trunk Space, 15th Ave/Roosevelt/Grand intersection, next to the Bikini lounge! This Friday, 8 p.m. $5. Worth it. Please. Need. Money. Yes.

Best story of the day: A Greek man was treated for a slight heart attack after he called for a hooker while on a business trip to Athens. When he answered the door to let the prostitute into his hotel room, it turns out he knew her.

It was his daughter.

Ah, Greece...


Monday, January 24, 2005

I'm trying to remember my favorite Johnny Carson moment.

The marmoset bit, where Joan Embry brought a marmoset from the San Diego Zoo, stands out, simply because Carson found complete absurdity in it.

Marmosets, like most primates, seek the highest point they can get. So when Embry handed Johnny a marmoset it immediately headed to the highest point it could find: the top of Carson's head.

It was silly, of course; but after the laughter died down, Carson said something to the effect of: "I am willing to bet you, with all the money I have that at this very moment, in all of the world I am the only person with a marmoset on his head."


No truth to the Carson "Zsa Zsa Gabor" story by the way (supposedly Gabor brought a cat on with her and asked Johnny "Would you like to pet my pussy?" Carson reportedly said, "Yeah, move the cat!" -- Never happened).

Nor the Arnold Palmer story about telling Johnny his wife kisses his balls before a match. Never happened.


Friday, January 21, 2005

Looking at all those signs against Bush yesterday along the parade route, it's no wonder he didn't get out of the car until he was well past them.

It would have been interesting with all those signs if just one person would've had a sign that said, "HEY LAURA! YOU'RE A BITCH, TOO!"

That way she wouldn't feel left out.

For the life of me I can't understand how we ever elected this guy the FIRST time.

Tomorrow is the Songwriter's festival at Encanto Park all day, 10-4. I'm in the boathouse at 12:40. Don't miss it.

Of course, most of the people I really wanna see will be done long before I get there.

Oh well.


Just heard a plug for my Sunday show on Radio Free Phoenix. So I'll plug it here: Zappa Universe, 6pm MST on radiofreephoenix.com!

Last week, Cox Cable, who carries the station (or something like that; I know NOTHING about how computers work), fritzed out and the station was unavailable for a couple days. So the show you hear this weekend was supposed to be on LAST weekend but hey, I appreciated the week off.

We're actually getting listeners, which is nice.


Just in case anybody asks, I feel I should pass this information on to all of you, since the girl behind me at the gas station the other night obviously felt that this info was important enough for everyone to hear within a five mile radius as she blabbed loudly on and on into her cell phone:

Henri is gay.

Obviously this is important because the whole damn store heard it.

Henri is gay. Pass it on.


Thursday, January 20, 2005

I've been thinking about writing a song using the subject heads of my junk e-mail but it's amazing how few of them rhyme! I have about 30 this morning. Let's see what I can do:

Become a travel agent in just one week
Can you feel the power?
Are you into penny stocks?
We hunt young virgin girls to deflower!

Hey, at least it rhymes.

Go here. Sign this. Thank you!



Tuesday, January 18, 2005

One of our clients sent us an email last week informing us that they were taking the Martin Luther King holiday off.

No biggie except that this company has virtually no black employees. (I don't use "African-American" because all blacks aren't of African descent. My apologies if you're offended by "black" but it beats the hell out of what the racists used to call them when I was growing up in Indiana.)

In all our time working with this company we have seen exactly one (count 'er, one) black employee.

They have repeatedly told us not to use black people in the pictures for their brochures.

Their CEO lives in a house once owned by one of the biggest racists ever to be president of this country.

You be the judge.


Steve Nash: Get well NOW! Your Suns NEED YOU!


I was so busy last Sunday that I didn't watch any football. And more remarkably I woke up Monday and realized I didn't care. Especially after finding out the Colts had lost. I thought they were going to go all the way. Oh well.


I am not a Christian. However, this weekend, the Valley is being visited by one of the most forward thinking Christian writers and thinkers I've ever had the pleasure of reading, John Shelby Spong. He's a retired and controversial Episcopal Bishop who, among other things, has been trashing the fundamentalists for the backwards cavemen that they are, all the while trying to make some sense out of the scriptures that can be explained and considered useful today, given how far we've come technologically and sensibly.

Among Spong's beliefs (fasten your seatbelts):

1. Jesus was not God. God is God. Jesus was the most "god-like" person who ever lived; therefore if you are a Christian it is a good thing to want to live your life as much like Jesus as possible. (Yeah, I know, if you put the word "Buddha" in there you get the same thing, but shhh.)

2. Both testaments are, for the most part, works of fiction, written by people of the time (NOT inspired by God, by the way) as the best explanation of why things are that they had available at the time. As man has progressed, most of the stories in the bible have been revealed as just that -- STORIES. Anyone who thinks otherwise doesn't get invited to dinner at Spong's place very much.

3. The new Testament, the gospels of which were written 30-100 years after Jesus left this swingin' sphere, are pure HEARSAY. The miracles are all probably stretched truths, or complete fabrications to get folks excited about this new Judaism spin-off, which is what Christianity was. The writers said what they had to say in a way that got the religion rolling.

4. Anyone who takes the bible completely literally is an idiot. (My words; his implication.) Sadly, one of those idiots is President.

Interested? I'm gonna try to go see him on Sunday. On Saturday, he's at Asbury United Methodist Church (I think that's the one at 16th Ave. and Indian School that's shaped like a muffin). On Sunday he's in Scottsdale at a Boys and Girls club that doubles as a methodist church on Sundays. Get all the information at www.bishopspong.com, where you'll click "Calendar" for the info.

This is apparently his "farewell" tour; he's gonna retire so if this interests you at all now would be the time to go see him.

If you CAN'T go, by all means check out his books. The one I read that had me going "YES! YES! ABSOLUTELY YES!" is entitled "Why Christanity Must Change Or Die" and it's available pretty much everywhere except religious bookstores. LOL


After you curtail your Sponging activities (to paraphrase Mr. Cleese) this Saturday, and you've found yourself a nice piece of cheese, you might want to venture over to Encanto park, because it's JANUARY and this weekend is time for the annual SONGWRITERS get-together! Scores of songwriters get 10 minutes each to entertain and dazzle you -- many of them with different songs than they did last year!

Two stages and tons of fun. I'm in the boathouse at 1:40. Special half-hour concerts by Jennifer Yates (Garth Brooks' Phoenix-based songwriting partner) at 3:00 and the always fan-fuckin-tastic Hans Olson at 3:30.

Other folks you need to see (so come out in the morning and stay all day): Nancy Freeman, Larry Jolly, Tom Whitlock, oh hell, EVERYBODY's good. It runs from 10-4.

ALSO: Next Friday, the 28th (I'll bring this up again but mark it now) I'll be playing the Trunk Space at the corner of Roosevelt and Grand, just north of the Bikini Lounge. There will also be belly dancers, thanks to the Kindred Spirit Dance Company. You should be there to give us money. $5. 8 p.m.


Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Earthquakes, Mudslides, Tsunamis...are we undergoing a bunch of natural phenomena or ordering drinks in a bar?


I got an application in the mail today for the Tucson Folk Festival -- the only festival I've ever heard of (not that I look around much) that requires you to APPLY for admission.

I played there four years ago as part of a group consisting of me, Nancy Freeman and another friend of ours, Susie, who was then Williams and is now Andrianov.
We went over well. We called ourselves "Threatened by Folk Art," and thought we were "in" for 2001. Not so. So, in the meantime, I sent in an app on my own in 2002, in the midst of massive (har har) airplay of my CD, ESPECIALLY on the radio station that co-sponsors the folk festival, and I don't think I even got a "Thanks but no thanks" letter back.

Just my luck that now that I'm out of CDs, if I DO apply, I'll get in and have nothing to sell. (Again. Last time, I was about two months shy of recording my FIRST CD. Part of the reason I did was because lots of people in Tucson asked me if I had a CD.) Well, I'll have to think about it.


Speaking of Nancy Freeman, which I was about a minute ago, I saw her do her set at the Fiddler's Dream Anniversary Show on Saturday and she was rather magnificent. A new song or two, the voice is in great shape and all is right with the world. Well okay, no it isn't but you should definitely check Nancy out when you have the chance.

And we still sound like gangbusters when we sing together.



Speaking of singing, I actually got a call at home last night from someone who wanted to buy my CD. To myknowledge, there are only about 15 left on the open market and I don't have any of them. You can get them at:

www.cdbaby.com -- Just do a search for "Something to Sell at My Gigs" and it'll come right up.

Tower Records Online www.tower.com (they're working from the same stock as CDBaby; it'll cost you a little more from here)

Borders Books and Music at 24th St. and Camelback; last time I checked there was one left in the comedy section and one left in the "local artists" section.

and finally:

A CD store whose name escapes me on Rte 66 in Flagstaff at either Leroux or San Francisco streets. They have like five or six copies and for reasons that would be far too stupid to explain here, I can't free them. You must go buy them.


Upcoming Gigs: Encanto Park Songwriter's Festival; 1/22, 12:40 in the boathouse.
The Trunk Space, Roosevelt and Grand, next to the Bikini Lounge. 8 p.m., with the Kindred Spirit Dance Company. (Think Belly Dancers! Oooooooohhhh...)


Thursday, January 06, 2005

We had dinner with a friend on Tuesday night and the subject of hot springs came up and to make a long story short...

GOD I wanna get naked in hot water. We need to head out to the hot springs in Tonopah ASAP. The problem will be finding time any time soon to do it. We are in the middle of much-needed unanticipated rains (more on that in a minute). Some prognosticators say we could be seeing a lot of this right through our USUAL rainy season, which most of you know as St. Patrick's day.

On top of that, Jan and I are both busy bees with our belly dancing and music hobbies (don't be scared, SHE's the bellydancer), so free time to drive for an hour just to doff one's duds and soak, no matter how wonderful that sounds, is in limited supply at the moment.

(For those of you who are reading this from areas north of Arizona, the concept of getting naked in January, outside, may be fairly foreign unless you live in an area of major Scandinavian influence, like Wisconsin or Minnesota, where home spas, while not common, are at least known to exist, and the idea of getting hot, then jumping in the snow, then getting hot again is not only not crazy, but seen to have actual health benefits.)


As I mentioned, it's been raining cats and dogs --think Garfields and Great Danes -- around here lately. Day before last we even had a tornado warning and hail. I can't imagine the earthquake in Asia had anything to do with it, could it?


My kids are both now officially back to school after winter break. I don't even hear sighs of disgust anymore -- they're just resigned to it by now.

I can't believe Brendan is 14 freakin' years old. Neither can he. And Adam is going to be 20 at the end of May? Who are these people and what have they done with my kids?


I don't think it's proper to say "Go Suns!" anymore. I think now it's "Keep going and going, Suns!"
Amare's reverse dunk last night was a beaut, but Nash's bizarre shot -- where the ball bounced off the top of the backboard, then bounced off the FRONT of the hoop, then traveled backwards into the net proved one of two things:

1. Some extra-terrestrial being is watching over the Phoenix Suns this year, or:
2. That big earthquake, which actually caused the earth to start spinning JUST THIS MUCH faster, is playing havoc with hoops.


Which reminds me -- whatever happened to Hoppity Hooper? Remember that show? Jay Ward, I think.


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