Wednesday, June 29, 2005

My web-frustration post from last week actually elicited a couple of responses, including a wonderful one from my new friend and Zappa Universe listener Miz Ducky in San Diego, with easy-to-understand instructions on how to change my website.

Of course, I STILL can't change it, for reasons you can read about in my responses to the responses on the entry below this one.

And from what AOL tells me, unless I delete the whole thing and start over, I'm NEVER going to be able to change it. And I don't want to start over. Especially when I look at some of the crap I DID create when I tried to build a website 6 years ago using AOL's publishing stuff. I can write but I can't design worth squat. No patience.


If I ever do figure this out, I have a neat idea for a site. Anyone can do this I imagine:

Sit down and write out the names of literally EVERYBODY you can remember, who you can assume is still living. Group them however you like; relatives, friends, by school, workplaces, whatever.

Next, create a page with the header: "IS YOUR NAME HERE?"
Then write a paragraph explaining that if your name is here, I caught you google surfing! We know or have known each other at some point in our lives. Write and let me know you saw this and what you're up to.

Then, post this page on the internet with an email address. I bet I'd get answers almost immediately.

As you get them you can add checkmarks or something to indicate that you "found" these people.


I like finding out what happened to people. Sometimes the guy who you KNEW would be dead by the time he was 30 turns out to have had an epiphany, quit the drugs and is fine now. Sometimes you find out the health nut is a drug addict. But it's still fun to find out!

There are people out there who I'd REALLY like to know what became of them (I realize that's a bad sentence, but screw it). Especially some of the kids I knew growing up in Brookfield, WI.

Like the first girl I ever kissed, for example. Or the only guy in the neighborhood with a pool. Or for that matter, ADULTS I knew back then. I know what became of my fifth-grade teacher; we've even corresponded. But my sixth-grade teacher? No clue. And she was one of those bizarre people where you'd really like to know what she did with herself.


Well, until I can change my gig schedule, here's what I'm doing in July:

I'm playing Mama Java's Coffeehouse at 36th St. and Indian School on Friday, July 8 from 8-10! Admission is free but buy coffee!

Then I'm at Fiddler's Dream, 17th St. and Glendale on Saturday, July 23 with Gavan Weiser and Steve Decker. That'll be fun. And I'm almost always hosting the Thursday night open stages at Fiddler's Dream, so come on down for that.

I just realized it's only 3 months until the Prescott Folk Festival again. SHEESH! Where's the time go?

I completed the tougest portion of our upcoming vacation recently: I bought the tickets. That Priceline.com really works. Took my bid and got me the tix for less than I thought I was gonna have to pay.

Of course, we're flying to Atlanta by way of Reykjavik, Bora Bora and Tierra del Fuego, but the price is right! (Okay, actually it's Milwaukee. But how weird is that?)


Thursday, June 23, 2005

I have bitched about this before but I'm going to bitch about it again:

I have got to learn how to change my own freakin' website.

Why is this so hard? Why will no one tell me what the hell to do? All anybody says is,

"Oh, that's not hard."

YES IT IS! IT IS FOR ME! Meanwhile, strippers named KeeKee with minus IQs are changing their websites while mine sits festering with gigs I played a year ago. And the reason for that is because the lady I used to have changing it moved away. And I feel like a dope sending her updates, 'cause then SHE has to find the time to do it and that's imposing on her time. It would be nice if I could learn how to do this. But it remains a secret mystery of geeks and strippers.

I used to own tomtuerff.com; had it bought for me, in fact, as a present, and it died a year later (I think -- hell, I don't know) 'cause I had no idea what the heck to do with it. I would plug in the URL and it would say, "There's nothing here yet." No shit, Sherlock! That's because nobody will tell me where the happy button is that will take me to Magic Web Land so that I can occasionally change MY FREAKIN' GIG SCHEDULE.


Even then I'm not sure what I'd do when I got there, seeing as how I've never actually seen Website Wally World. Are there rides? Is there a line?

I've had people volunteer to help. Then I tell them I have a Mac and it's like, "Oh, I don't do that." And then I tell them they're AOL sites and they say, "Oh I REALLY don't do that." (My business website hasn't been changed in nearly ten years because I lost the name of the person who did it and she also forgot how to get in and change it anyway.)

I bolded or italicized something on this blog, and I have no idea how I did that, since the browsers I use don't show all of the tools that you people with PCs get to play with. And when they do show up all they do when I push them is delete what I've typed already. (You're reading the second pass at this, by the way, for that very reason.)

All that proves is that PC people refuse to admit MACs are better and they want them to go away. But I'm NEVER going over to the dark side. You can keep your constant attacks from Darth Virus. I'll stay over here with Steve Jobs's Jedi fighters and be creative.

Of course I could be even more creative if somebody would tell me why everybody seems to know where the magic website changing room is and I don't.

Why can't I just go to my website and have the computer know it's me (I have a camera on top of it, after all -- isn't that like an eye?) and let me select and change the copy like it's a Word document or something? Or Quark?

Now a lot of you are saying, "look stupid, it doesn't work like that." No kidding. It should, though.

I once bought a book called "How to design a website." It had a neat CD with all kinds of cool stuff on it; I built the main page, I knew where I wanted it to be, and all the book had to say about putting it up was: "Now, just load it your site and you're on your way!" Like everybody knows how to do that.


I got very mad.

If somebody out there has a Mac and wants to show me how to break through the wall that separates me from my AOL websites, and who knows what the admission price is and how much food and water to bring, come and get me. 'Cause I want it. I need it. But for some reason the internet gods are laughing their asses off 'cause they don't want me to have it. And that's starting to piss me off.


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The brain is a fascinating thing.

You can be SITTING THERE, MINDING YOUR OWN BUSINESS, when your brain will produce, without request, without suggestion, a memory so abominable, so hideous, so unbelievably BAD that you find yourself contemplating it all day.

In my head, my brain does this in the form of "song leeches."

A song leech is a song that gets stuck in your head for DAYS. I never get good songs stuck in my head. It' always a dumb song that I haven't heard in years.

The last song to get really good and stuck was one I head on an internet radio station: "That's where I went Wrong" by the Poppy Family. Remember that one? Neither did I until the DAMN THING APPEARED ON MY RADIO/PUTER!

But that does not even compare to the one I cannot get out of my head now. It's a song that I bet most of you don't remember.

It's from 1966! The same year that gave you Monday Monday, Nowhere Man and tons of other great songs, but I get this one;

It's by a singer named Susan Christie.


Get ready...

...here it comes...

"I Love Onions."

Yes, there was a hit song in 1966 called I Love Onions. I hadn't even thought about it since oh, maybe 1980 or whenever was the last time Dr. Demento played it and I was an avid listener.

You don't remember "I Love Onions!" Let me refresh your memory and take you kicking and screaming into the lyrics:

I don't like snails or toads or frogs
Or strange things living under logs
But mmm, I love onions

I don't like to dance with Crazy Ted
He's always jumping on my head
But mmm, I love onions

Onions, onions, la-la-la
Onions, onions, ha-ha-ha
Root doot doot-doot, doot doot doot
Onions, onions, la-la-la
Onions, onions, ha-ha-ha
Root doot doot-doot, doot doot doot

I don't like rain or snow or hail
Or Moby Dick the great white whale
But mmm, I love onions

I don't like shoes that pinch your toes
Or people who squirt you with a garden hose
But mmm, I love onions


Onion is a tuberous vegetable, and is a member of the genus Stinkus Delicioso. It was highly prized by the ancient Egyptian pharaohs and their friends and cousins. It causes watering of the eyes and rubifaction of the skin but it is very, very tasty.


How vewwy, vewwy good


No, that is just vewwy vewwy WRONG.
And now I bet it's stuck in YOUR head, too.
You're welcome.


Monday, June 20, 2005

I am an eye guy.

You know how some guys are leg men, ass men, tit men, whole-body-men, hair men, foot men (footmen? My horse, please), and virtually any other body-part-readily-visible-on-women men?
Well, I'm an eye guy.

My first (and only) steady girlfriend in high school had intriguing eyes. They (and the rest of her face) implied an Italian heritage, as she looked a lot like the type of women you saw painted a lot by Italian painters in the renaissance.

Penetrating, Mona-Lisa-like eyes that I swear made me see past all of the atrocious things about her that did eventually break us up. (But not before we got back together again a couple years later to do the kinds of stuff her father tried so hard to keep her from doing, if you get my drift.)

Another girl I dated for years had eyes so beautiful that I actually had to QUIT A CLASS in high school because I couldn't stop looking at her and found it impossible to concentrate.

I am a sucker for Asian female eyes, as our friend Susie will attest. She's Korican -- Half Korean, half Puerto Rican, and all she'd have to do to get me to jump naked into a vat of acid to retrieve a penny she dropped is bat those beautiful eyes at me and I'm goin' divin'.

I married my wife for thousands of reasons but what attracted me were her eyes.
I have wondered for years why I'm an eye guy. I don't think I buy into that "portal to the soul" stuff. God knows I look in my wife's eyes every day and have no idea what the hell's going on in there.

I don't have a good inborn B.S. detector, so I can't tell by someone's eyes if they're pulling a fast one on me or telling me the honest truth. So that's not why.
I guess that maybe, to me, the eyes, more than anything else, define what you look like. They're responsible for defining the upper third of your face, and unlike the nose, which can look quite different from various angles, with the eyes, what you see head-on is what you get.

Asian eyes aside, it's not an ethnic thing, either. It's just luck. You either have eyes that make me drool like my corgi watching while my son eats Doritos or you don't.

I've also considered the fact that maybe because I'm a nudist, and I'm comfortable with my body, your body, anybody's body, and have certainly seen my share of people in the altogether, that the eyes simply have it when it comes to saying, without words, who somebody is.

Now, all of this said, I have a confession to make. I am, as far as I know, a predominantly heterosexual man. I am 47 and have seen more than my share of representations, paintings, pictures, and personal presentations of the naked female form and plan to continue in pursuing this activity when it presents itself.
Which is why I am happy that it's summer in the Valley of the Sun, where it's going to be about 110 degrees today.

My confession is this: Even though I am an eye guy, if you're female, and you're going to wear thin white shirts that let me see what your breasts look like, I'm going to look. And appreciate it. Thanks in advance, in fact.

I was reminded of this actually about three weeks ago. I stopped somewhere to pick up dinner after recording my online radio show (Zappa Universe! Sundays, 6 p.m. MST at www.radiofreephoenix.com!) and while I was waiting for the order to be filled there was this group of young people eating dinner in the restaurant. One of them was a woman, about 20, wearing jeans and one of those ribbed white, thin-cotton sleeveless men's T-shirts that are essentially transparent. Which she was. And she clearly didn't care that I or anybody else got a look at what Frank Zappa once so poetically called her "mammalian protruberances," so I fully appreciated every time she got up, walked by, or whatever. I'm sure the waiter did, too.

So welcome summer! Welcome you white-shirted promoters of the female form! Excuse me my lecherous leers and keep 'em comin'. If you have great eyes, the better.
One more thing: back in my dating days, I went out a couple of times with a girl who had an ENORMOUS chest. She said the reason she liked going out with me was because I was the only guy she'd ever dated who didn't appear to be interested in her boobs. It wasn't until that moment that I even noticed that she HAD a big chest.

I was too busy staring at her eyes.


Saturday, June 18, 2005

Last week at the Flagstaff folk festival I somehow managed to go up the hill with 5 CDs, sell two of them and come back with six.

Here's the deal. Recently, after not having ANY of my CDs anymore, I came upon 5 brand new ones from two sources. I took them to Flagstaff where Bob Zucker, who sells local artists CDs at festivals, has been bugging me for years to get him some. I sold him two. That left me three. Then I went to Gopher Music on 66 where I KNEW they had some CDs of mine, or at least they did last year, and FINALLY ran into the manager, who's about my age and realized that I wasn't going to have my recipt from FOUR FREAKING YEARS AGO so he gladly gave me my CDs back. Three of 'em.

So now I have 6 CDs. If you would like one 'cause you STILL haven't bought it, get ahold of me. Or buy one at www.cdbaby.com where THEY still have 6 left!


Friday, June 10, 2005

After watching quite a few Flash videos on line as suggested by my kids, I do believe that this one is the most cloyingly cute thing I've ever seen, even though it has a rather wicked edge to it and the song is actually pretty good:


The bunny is cute. There. I said it.


I am playing tommorrow at the Flagstaff Folk Festival, bright an semi-early at 10:40 inside the art barn at the Cononino Center for the Arts. We are experimenting tomorrow by bringing the dog with us. It's his first foray into a long-distance trip. So we're leaving extra early. Oh boy.


Lot of good people playing both Saturday and Sunday at the Festival; if you're there on Sunday, Don't miss Nancy Freeman and Ed Sloat. Saw Ed last night at open stage and while I certainly didn't need to be reminded about how good he is he is definitely worth checking out if you haven't heard him.

And you should go see Nancy 'cause A) She's a great songwriter B) I said so and C) You should acquaint yourself to where the Gallery stage is because it's the hardest one to find (Two years ago, I opened the festival on this stage and played to literally the passers-by and (thankfully) one of the people running the festival -- last year I had a better stage than I could have possibly IMAGINED) and you might otherwise miss out on some great stuff, like Nancy, Rick & Steve, Sue Harris, Lon Austin and more.

Plus, you get to see my goofy dog!


Monday, June 06, 2005

I'm going to tell you about one of my favorite blogs, but I'm not going to recommend that you run there willy-nilly.

It's called erosblog.com, and I have to say that if you are in any way offended/put off/shocked/etc. about virtually anything sexual then don't go there.

But if, like me, you find sex fascinating/fun/etc., then you need to check this site out. First of all, it's run by a guy with too much time on his hands (his girlfriend makes frequent "guest editor" appearances as well), but that's beside the point. Erosblog is sort of a reader's digest of the best, and worst, and weirdest, and provocative stuff out there on the net. One day's contribution might be a picture that your mother would slap you for looking at, while the next entry is a link to a very well-written treatise about some sort of sexual subject. It's a fun read, and I dare say more than once I've come upon a picture that's caused me to say, "WHOA!" on it, but that's a good thing. And the editor has a great sense of humor about it all.

It's all very interesting and worth checking out at least once a week.


Today, 24 years ago, Jan and I got married. It was a Saturday. It was 106 out. The air conditioner in Temple Beth Israel was broken. We labored on anyway. There is not a single picture, due to the heat, where my glasses aren't halfway down my nose.

My best man and groomsmen are all still great friends and/or my brothers. My wife's sister was her maid of honor and to be honest I don't remember who all else was over on the other side, but I'm fairly sure we don't know where they are anymore.

What's really interesting is that most of the people Jan and I hang out with now are people we met not 8 months after we got married. So if you missed our wedding, we're sorry we didn't meet you sooner! 'Cause boy, did you miss a party.

It was an interesting wedding. Catholics and Jews sweating together. Fortunately the A/C in the reception area of the temple did work, and we had one hell of a reception.

Then we went to a hotel near the airport (we were going to San Diego the next day) and checked in right behind Darth Vader. (There was a sci-fi convention going on in the same hotel that day. And what's really scary is that we actually know people who could, with nothing more than the phrase "Ramada Inn Airport, 1981" tell us which con it was, who the guest of honor was and why we should have just honeymooned there.)

Next year we're planning a 25th anniversary bash that should be a good one. Seeing as our silver anniversary will be on 6/6/6, we want to have a rather devilish to-do. We've been planning it for almost a year now and once some brass tacks are nailed we'll have more on that.

Jan, I love you more every single day. Happy Anniversary!


Friday, June 03, 2005

Umm...can anybody tell me what the hell this is? And if you have a blog, is there a page for you, too?


Weirdest thing I've ever seen, save that freak show trailer at the county fair as a kid...


Well, one of the biggest mysteries of the 1970s has finally been solved:

Mark Felt is the guy Carly Simon was singing about in "You're So Vain."

What a guy...I'll bet he thought that song was about him...


But seriously, I thought Jon Stewart had a good point: after all these years, Deep Throat turns out to be the guy that NOBODY EVER HEARD OF.

I was kinda hoping that Deep Throat would end up being Nixon. Wouldn't that have been weird?


If Mark Felt, what did he feel?
If Tom Waits, what is he waiting for?
If Aimee Mann, who woman?
Is Pete Best, or was Ringo better?
Did Keith Moon?
Does Gary Glitter?

Questions, questions, questions...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

My Son is 20! My son is 20! AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!


Hey, Here's a conundrum: Down in Australia, a woman lies in life support and her husband is doing EVERYTHING he can to keep the hospital from pulling the plug on her. Sound familiar? Terri Schiavo, right? WRONG! It seems that this time, the very same conservatives who were screaming and yelling at our government for pulling Terri's plug want this woman to go down, and go down fast. Why?

Because her husband, the guy who's trying to keep her alive, is responsible for beating the shit out of her and turning her into a brain-dead carrot. If she dies before he's tried for attempted murder, it becomes a murder charge with much harsher penalties.

So I guess -- in Australia, anyway-- your ultimate fate can ride on what will get your representative the most votes, eh?


Radio Free Phoenix is playing "I Can't Seem To Make You Mine" by the Seeds. When's the last time you heard that one on the radio?

Boy, the Seeds sucked. They literally knew three chords. Their keyboard player knew ONE decent lick, which he played in EVERY SONG.
Still, they got two or three hit singles out of the whole racket. "Pushin' Too Hard" is early protopunk at its best.


I want to give up my advertising job and be the guy who writes the color names for paint.

Ever go into a paint store and look at all the color names on the paint strips? They have to pay somebody to do that.

Who determines that "Wispy Green" is lighter or darker than "Sugarmint?" The guy who NAMES THEM, that's who!

And I want to do that.

My names would be really good. They may or may not have any correlation to the colors on the strips. For example, imagine a typical six-shade strip with various colors of yellow on it. My names would be interesting:



Andy Pafko

Summer Belch

Moroccan Plectrum


See how much fun this is? Whoever the guy is who names paint, he's got the coolest job in the world. And I want it.


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