Thursday, December 28, 2006


You know, I KNOW "Star Wars" came out a long time ago, but was it really this long ago?



My word, we're a busy bunch. Sunday, we're headed out to the hot springs in Tonopah with friends for a couple hours, then off to the annual New Year's bash at JD and Susie's. Which will be a little different since JD's mom died earlier this year. But we will remember her fondly.

Brother Pat and his girlfriend Cara will be by, so that'll be fun.


Who closed Tower Records and didn't tell me?



She's so quick to make dead jokes. Just the other day, we wake up to this news:

ANNOUNCER: Former President Gerald Ford died last night at age 93...

JAN: (Talking over announcer and not missing a beat): ...when the motorcycle he was riding in an attempt to cross the Grand Canyon missed the opposite edge by several miles...

ANNOUNCER: Mr Ford had been suffering from pneumonia...

JAN: (again, not missing a beat)...which he had contracted from James Brown. I SMELL CONSPIRACY!


Wednesday, December 27, 2006


The following was posted by The Old Geezer (a frequent contributor) on the Frank Zappa newsgroup (I edited for spelling and grammar):

A long time ago, back in the autumn of 1952, when Bing Crosby was
filming the movie "White Christmas" in New Hampshire, the mayor of
Nashua, NH thought it would be a great idea to have Bing visit their
fair town & present him with the key to the city on the steps of City
Hall. You know, a nice little photo op for the mayor's re-election and a
way for some of the town's dignitaries to meet the Great Bing Crosby.

Now, one has to remember, Bing Crosby at this time was at the peak of his
singing career. He was bigger than Elvis, the Beatles, Sinatra & the
Beach Boys all put together. He crossed generational lines, admired by
young & old as one of the "coolest cats" in the music world.

Well, word leaked out that Bing would be in town so hundreds of
teenagers skipped school to attend the little ceremony. The authorities
were not prepared for such a large crowd. There were only a few
policemen present, and things soon got out of hand. Pushing & shoving
began as the teenagers all wanted to get closer to see their hero. It
soon looked like the Mayor was going to a have a riot on his hands and
he was growing for frantic by the minute. All he wanted was a nice
little ceremony with Bing, and now he had a full fledged uprising
threatening to ruin everything.

Throughout all this Bing was seated in his chair, calmly observing what
was happening. When the crowd started to push through the barricades
that were set up, he had had enough. Bing got up, strolled to the
microphone & said in a commanding voice, "All right, everyone cool down
right now!" The rioting crowd immediately calmed down and the Mayor's
little ceremony went on without a hitch & everyone went home happy.

The next day the headline in the newspaper read: CROSBY STILLS NASHUA


Don't blame me, I'm merely the messenger...


That reminds me of something: Some years ago, there were t-shirts available in "odd" gift shops that had drawings of famous couples -- except that the couple wasn't quite right. For example, one was a picture of "Ike and Tina Turner," except that "Ike" was...President Eisenhower.

"Blondie and Dagwood" was Dagwood Bumstead with Debby Harry from Blondie.

You could DO "Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young" with Bing, couldn't you?


Monday, December 18, 2006


...Or did Colonel Sanders get a face lift?



Not that I would begrudge the old guy. He's been dead for 26 years, his company turned him into an icon LONG before that. He DESERVES an update.

I can eat KFC like once a year. That once was last week when I realized I had to feed a whole bunch of people who didn't want pizza. To give you an idea of how "good" -- and I use that term lightly -- KFC is, I bought the largest bucket they had and still ended up with three pieces of chicken that nobody wanted. I had to toss it after a couple days.

Is KFC like McDonalds, where you just grow out of it? I remember when I was a kid, the commercials all had Harlan Sanders doing the actual pitching, going on and on about the 83,000 herbs and spices in his secret recipe. He was usually talking to some kid in a ficitonalized idea of Kentucky, where everybody goes fishin', and then for some reason, rather than eat the damn fish, they settle down for greasy Chicken!

And the kids in these ads, who I guess were supposed to represent the Colonel's grandkids, would always have this look on their face, like "SHUT UP, Gramps, I KNOW! Herbs and Spices! Go F&*% yourself!"


I saw Penn Jillette on TV yesterday and had two great ideas for how to keep Muslim Terrorists from getting on planes:

1. Let everyone pack a weapon. Make the terrorist decide if he REALLY wants to try this...

2. Penn wants to start an airline called "Bacon and a Kiss" Airlines. Before you get on the plane, you have to eat a piece of bacon and kiss a member of the same sex passionately on the lips.


Went out for dim sum yesterday. Yum yum!


Thursday, December 14, 2006


My slot at the Fiddler's Dream 20th Anniversary weekend shows has been firmed up. The shows run Friday and Saturday, Jan 12 and 13, from 7-11, with a different performer every 20 minutes. I will be finishing the evening on Friday, from 10:40 to 11:00, right after Joe Bethancourt.

No pressure there.

The whole weekend will be full of great performers so you all need to be there.


Hannukah starts tomorrow night, and even though we're not very religous, it's one of those holidays that we "do." I think it's because it's not really all that religious. It's a traditional thing, another one of those holidays celebrated by Jews that can be described in three sentences: "They tried to kill us. They didn't. Let's eat."

It does allow for us to get together with Jan's sister's family, who we do like a lot. I can't say I like all of my siblings, but I do like Lisa and her husband Eric and their son (my nephew) Bennet, who actually had his head shaved for a HALLOWEEN COSTUME. Cool kid.

Latkes will be a-fryin' tomorrow night. I LOVE latkes. Also, Lisa's cooking dinner -- hot dogs and hamburgers on our Grill. Okay, THAT's not particularly Jewish or anything else but hey, I'm good!


I nearly burned our house down the other night, simply because I'm a guy.

Okay, the other day I'm in this Asian Market by our house. If you know me, you know that I am not afeared of strange food. I will boldly venture forth into restaurants with food from places I can't even find on a map to try the cuisine of Klopstockia, Freedonia or Azkaban. (A South African sandwich shop has been open in my neighborhood for months now; I need to get over there when they're open and try it.) Anyway, I'm in the store and I walk past an end counter with a pile of Vietnamese items on it. One is a packet of what looks to be tortillas with bananas stamped forcibly into it. The English translation says, "Banana Cracker." So I buy a pack.

I bring it home. I take one out. I take a bite. It tastes like bananas that have been fused to my wallet for a month.

I begin to think that maybe you're supposed to DO something with this before you eat it.

Jan and I both do some independent study on this stuff. Turns out it's bananas smooshed onto a wallet.

Not really. It's bananas smooshed onto a tortilla made out of tapioca!

Okay, so do you fry it? Bake it? Eat it raw?

Well, I finally find a website that explains what you're supposed to do with it: TOAST IT! Then break it up into pieces like a crackerized version of frozen Turkish Taffy.

So I pull out a sheet, pop it in the toaster oven, push the lever and wait.

Within minutes, the tapioca banana thingie is starting to smell pretty good. Smells like bananas in here.

Then, literally SECONDS after the bananas started to waft, smoke the color of burning bananas and tapioca starts spewing out of the toaster oven.

Being a guy, and more important, a guy with no knowledge of physics, I do what any guy would do: I OPEN THE DOOR OF THE TOASTER OVEN. Instantly, the internal workings of the toaster oven catch fire. Big ol' blaze in there. MUCH more smoke than before.

So, what does Mr. Guy do? Does he close the door, and let the fire burn itself out?

NO! He reasons that the way to stop the fire is to unplug the toaster oven. This of course, does nothing. Flames are leaping out of the front of the toaster oven. Finally, brainiac here remembers the last time he set the kitchen on fire; if he'd just put the damn TOP back on the pot...

...so I closed the door. Fire goes out, smoke continues to billow from the now trashed toaster oven.

Figuring my snack was probably moot, I don two oven mitts and head for the back door with the smoke-belching toaster oven. I figure I should get the damn thing out of the house before the smoke alarm goes off and scares the shit out of everybody...


Well, fuck that idea...

Undaunted, I head for the back door. I slide the door open, which I suddenly remember is a cue for our DOG to come running at 50,000 mph for an opportunity to BURST into the back yard to discover...he's in the back yard. So I damn near trip on the dog, and spill smoking toast crumbs on the rug by the door.

Forging ahead, I set the smoking, snack-destroying monster on the rocks off the patio. The dog, smelling BANANAS, immediately runs over to SNIFF THE VERY HOT TOASTER OVEN. He only does this ONCE, and then puts about 30 feet between him and the oven.

By now the entire family has come running out of their respective rooms, yelling, "WHERE'S THE FIRE?"

I'm yelling back, "THERE'S NO FIRE! I GOT IT!"

This is not good enough for wife and kids. "WHAT CAUGHT FIRE? WHAT'S ON FIRE!"

I follow back with the somewhat non-sequiturial "I was just doing what it said!"

Once the fans had been turned on to rid the house of banana smoke, Jan asked a question that hadn't occurred to me:

Jan: "How high did you have the toaster turned up?"

Me: "Uh...toaster level! I don't know!"

Jan: "You put a tapioca tortilla in a toaster and toasted it like a slice of rye bread?"

Me: "Uhhh...yeah."

Jan: "How do I ever leave you alone?"

We still have our house. Meanwhile, the toaster oven is still sitting out in the back yard snarling. Everyone's afraid of it.

Even the dog.


Friday, December 08, 2006


If it's not too much to ask, this holiday season, or at least sometime before the polar ice caps melt and we all drown, I would like:

- To see the Cubs get to the World Series. They don't even have to win, dammit! Just get there!

- To meet a Beatle.

- To go on at least one vacation where I'm basically naked the whole time.

- To teach at least one or two friends of mine how to give a massage so that I'm not the only one giving the massages all the time. I like receiving, too...

- To book more gigs next year. I am not happy with my gig-to-number-of-CDs-in-the-garage ratio right now.

- To get my jacuzzi fixed. (I just need a weekend with nothing going on. This is harder than you think.)

- To eventually try -- just once -- a small, harmless but effective amount of some naturally-based hallucinogen, like a mushroom, just to see what it's like. While listening to the Beatles.

- To be French-kissed by a woman with a tongue piercing, just to see what it feels like. (Men reading this are probably thinking, you're aiming way too high, but I'm trying to be REASONABLE. Plus, anything like that would have to be approved by Major League Baseball, and she doesn't let me do that stuff with just ANYBODY. You should SEE all the applications she throws away.)

- To own a Martin. Or a Taylor. Or both.

- To stop feeling like an idiot and talking like a dolt when I have to make small talk with women I don't know very well. (I am here to tell you, DON'T grow up Catholic. It's awful.)

- To play at least one instrument the correct way. Blow people's minds.

- To stop having buyer's remorse when I buy stuff I really need, like socks. Or food.

- To sell LOTS of CDs this month. (Hint Hint. They make great Christmas Presents. And I need to buy socks.)

- To have more people who listen to my "Zappa Universe" show write me a note about it.

- To have an eighth day added to the week.

- To get off my ass and send my new CD to more radio stations.

- To see my wife surprise the hell out of everybody and grab someone in her dance troupe by the lapels and kiss them hard on the lips like Daffy Duck: MMMMMMMMMMMAHHH!!!

- To eventually have the wherewithal to tip someone $100. Just to know that I had.

- You to have a great holiday.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006


My friend Shirley Runyon had a thing on her blog today that said what kind of universe she would be most comfortable in. I decided to try it as well and you know what? It was right! And all I had to do was give them my name:

In what alternate dimension would Tom Tuerff be most comfortable?
In a dimension where...

Everyone is promiscuous
'In what alternate dimension would you be most comfortable?'

Your results may vary.


Monday, December 04, 2006


I'm sure this was as much of a shock to you as it was to me, but:

Britney Spears has a VAGINA! Details...well, all over the internet, apparently...

Sometimes, I think that with the way the internet is, part of "getting famous" should require that you simply hand your publicist nude photos long before you're famous and get 'em out there. Because they're gonna show up anyway, so why not beat them to the punch?

I'm not famous but there are nude photos of ME on the internet. Okay, you can't see anything but I swear I'm naked.


Well, after an enitre MONTH where I didn't play anywhere, it suddenly occurred to me that gigs don't book themselves. So I have two engagements this week at two different places:

Wedneday, Dec. 6: Stop by the big red clubhouse at Encanto Park, on 15th Avenue just south of the golf course parking lot! I'll be one of three acts playing sometime between 7 and 9. The usual jam session takes place first at 7, as I recall, and then the acts start at 7:30. (I think I'm on at 8. But show up early just in case!) It's FREE!

Then, on Saturday the ninth, I'm playing at a new venue for me and a newer venue for the Valley's folk coffee house scene, the Music Corner. It's located in a rec room at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, on the corner of 15th Avenue and Maryland. If this sounds a bit like Fiddler's Dream, it should.

Since Fidd's rents space from the Quakers, the Music Corner does the same thing from the Lutherans. (However, there is no direct connection to the church. Anyone who's heard my act will know that!) Music starts at 7:30 with Jim Pipkin, who can write circles around you, me, and your dog without looking. He's really good. I'm on after Jim.

It's also run by former board members of Fiddler's Dream who wanted to do something like it on the west side. And they have.

And just like the Wednesday night gig, admission to the Music Corner is a big fat NUTHIN' unless you wish to make a donation to keep the place going!

Also, if you're looking for the perfect cheap-ass gift for somebody for the holidays, I will of course have plenty of my CDs available for sale. I'll even be singing the one Christmas song I know, the one on my latest CD! It's my version of "Christmas in Arizona," written by my good pal Bill Blankenship and funny as heck.


And speaking of Fiddler's Dream, my pal Nancy Freeman has the middle slot on Friday night. I'll be there, and she'll probably (I hope) drag me up to sing one or two songs with her. Show up!


FRANK ZAPPA: 12/21/40 - 12/4/93

As usual, at www.zappa.com, the family is marking the day by posting the virtual memorial candle. This year, they've added a soundtrack: "Watermelon in Easter Hay," from "Joe's Garage." It's perhaps Frank's most emotional guitar solo and one that literally takes your breath away. It is simply amazing and I hope you'll take the time today to go listen to it.


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