Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More Memphis Malarkey

One of the other things that we have here in spades is good radio.

Check out the following.

WEGR-FM 102.7 classic rock

WKQK-FM 94.1 funk soul r&b

WEVL-FM 89.9 hawaiian slack key guitar the best rock show ever is on friday evenings susan does a show with louisiana music there is apparently a metal show on sundays that i keep forgetting to listen to because i listen to enough metal already and they do all sorts of things that you have and have not heard all of which is of extraordinarily high quality

WKNO-FM 91.1 is our NPR/classical

I'm not kidding. If you skip around between those four stations, you don't ever run out of something to listen to.

Look Into This.

I just watched this when I was watching dinner tonight.

It was totally amazing.

And actually came down to the last trick.

I'm in.

These are the terms of the deal.

Literary Conflict

I'm trying to read Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury (for the second time.)

I'm not that far into it, but am having a really hard time figuring out what's going on.

I have two possible explanations:

1. I'm a Yankee.
2. Dave Mustaine's autobiography, which I just finished, actually was that good.

Can anyone offer a few pointers on what I'm supposed to be getting out of this?

Maybe I need to go to Oxford first. I just added Dexter McCluster to my fantasy team, which I'm hoping is a start.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I just got finished listening to Back in Black. The song, not the whole album. I'd forgotten how slow Angus plays that solo. It's pretty awesome. Sometimes I forget how heavy slow can be. That's why the first Sabbath album is so great. Sludge. Angus is playing the blues, which is why we shouldn't ever forget that metal is the child of the blues.

That's also why there are certain moments of greatness in some of the stuff that came out of Florida.

Al, when you read this, I want to hear your take on Florida metal.

Chuck Shuldiner RIP

Photograph: Erwin Olaf. Used without permission, but respect.

Zep just came on the radio. I love it when the universe throws a perfect pass.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

In Summation...

"No, no, I’m a lowbrow. I read that material, more out of obligation than enjoyment. For enjoyment, for me, it’s a beer and the football game."
--Woody Allen

"Oh, yes. But I don't distinguish between being laughed with and laughed at. I'll take either."
--David Sedaris

"Hey, Bartlett. Suck it."

Shake My Money Maker

I'm not the most inventive person in the world, but every once in a while I really convince myself that I have a good idea, one that will make me such a pile of cash that even Scrooge McDuck will want to come over for a swim.

These are my top two, which I submit to the interwebosphere in that hopes that I am not bamboozled by some parasitic capitalist bastard looking for an idea to exploit for its potential for the generation of filthy lucre. By which I mean if you steal this idea I'm going to sue the crap out of you like your name was Mark Zuckerberg. (Me getting sued for picking a fight with the FaceSpace? Unlike.)

1. The "You're Welcome" card. Everyone knows that we are a species governed by social grace and obligatory obligation. It's what separates us from the monkeys at the zoo doing a Nolan Ryan with their aftermath. But, did you ever give a gift that was so awesome that whosoever was the recipient immediately sent a Thank You card? And, since you were their friend, you thought "Hey, man, no dilemma." "No sweat." or "Of course I bought you a thoughtful gift. We're pals."? Hence the "You're Welcome" card. Easy peasy. Just fire back an Adrian Duran Industries patented "You're Welcome" card. No obligation to thank me. But, since you've gone through the social motions of saying thanks, I, by the transitive property of expectation, am supposed to brush off the gratitude in a very self-deprecating Max Weber Protestant work ethic sort of way. Hence the "You're Welcome" card.

2. The no splash urinal. This is sort of gross, but every one of you with a phallus will understand. Sometimes, just hypothetically, because none of us have ever done this because we're all professionals here, you find yourself about three pints into the night with a bladder suited for two. What then, you ask? Naturally, as the Aussies say, you're busting for the dunny and end up with a stream to strum about as loud as a Kerry King riff. And, since porcelain is neither absorptive nor textured, there is the inevitable threat of backsplash. Gross, isn't it? So, some ceramics engineer (and I'm thinking about that building at my alma mater the illustrious University of Delaware) should create a way to divert the inevitable physics of the equation away from unsuspecting pant legs or bare, flip-flopped feet. Sort of like those fancy suits the speed skaters wear. You can kill two birds with one stone. Relief and dryness. Like a chaise-lounge in the desert. It's just a question of changing the mold, I would presume. But, since I'm an Art Historian and not a materials engineer, I'm just going to throw this up for grabs. Especially since the shuttle program is being shut down and someone somewhere has been spending their career perfecting heat-resistant reentry tiles and probably needs something to do.

The other one that I think might be worth mentioning, Genius Idea 2.5 if you will (even if you won't), is the temperature regulator on those amazing Xlerator hand dryers. Explain to me why it doesn't make sense that you should be able to make cold air shoot out of those things. Nothing is less enjoyable than a blast of hot air during the summer. Cold air would be great. You could dry your hands and air condition simultaneously.

That's what I'm talking about. Innovation, people. It's what makes America great.

Ask Bill Gates.

Or P.T. Barnum.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Quit Hatin'

I am sick and tired of people bitching and moaning about Memphis.

This city is great. Sure, we're apparently violent and sedentary, but we've got lots of things going on. Here are my Top 5. There are more, but I'm starting to fall asleep.

1. Music. Where else in the world, in a period of just a few years can you see, among others, James Brown, Booker T and the MGs, Government Mule, Chicago, KRS-ONE, Blackalicious, Exodus, Megadeth, Testament, Amy LaVere, the Cowboy Junkies, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, 38 Special, Lord T & Eloise, High on Fire, and Nachtmystium? And I haven't even been trying that hard. I just recently missed Blondie and Nancy Wilson, simply because I was being lazy. Try and beat that. And when you can't, I'll meet you at Wild Bill's. Oh, wait a minute. You don't have Graceland, do you? Or Sun Studios, where they sort of invented rock and roll? Or Beale Street, where WC Handy sort of invented the Blues? Do your local Hip Hop legends have an Oscar? No? Then shut up, hater.

2. Fried food and BBQ. I don't give a damn what any of you other states say. I've eaten 'cue in Texas, North Cackalack, and Kansas City. Ours is better. And if you find a better fried chicken joint than Gus's, I'll buy. And then I'll take you out for some meatloaf, mac and cheese, greens, cornbread, and sweet tea. Maybe my friends will give us a ride in their 'lac, like we did this Sunday. Don't sweat the technique.

3. We've got all the stuff you have, but easier. Ballet, opera, symphony, I just saw that Wicked is playing here and, even better, so is 9 to 5. There's a brand new theater three blocks from my house, just a bit past the local brew pub, the southeastern Italian restaurant, the Cajun place, the movie theatre, the place where I get my haircut, and a fairly good massage spa. How far, you ask. Less than 10 minutes on foot. Beat that.

4. Sports. Sure, the Grizzlies suck and the Calipari era was crooked as a bent stick, but we got hoops all day. And two semipro football teams. And the Memphis Redbirds, who have swept three PCL AAA championship series. And roller derby. And those people who joust in the park on Sundays. And, the cherry on top of all of this is the Liberty Bowl, one of America's most beautiful football stadia. Google it. Never before have I seen such a beautiful, graceful profile of a football stadium. And I went to Notre Dame, so that's saying a lot. Blasphemy even. Hell, there's probably a jai alai team here that I just haven't heard of yet.

5. Memphis is cheap as a mother. For less than $100 more than we paid in Philly for a studio apartment with crap carpet and a view of a parking lot, we've now got a sunlit, 1920s-era three bedroom place literally across the street from a park, in which there is a museum, a bandshell which has free concerts during the summer, and the zoo. And I can walk five minutes from my house and get a Peroni on tap in a glass as big as my forearm for about $4. And the guys working there know us all by name, give out hugs if we've been away for more than a week, and will turn the tv on whatever game we want to watch. Best $4 ever.

So, if you don't like it here, go somewhere else. I ain't got time for your whining.

I'm the New Peter King

Not yet, maybe, but who says I can't dream big? If he can watch all the games and say things that get him on tv, why the hell can't I? All that separates the two of us is a big ass contract with Sports Illustrated, a half-time show, and millions of readers. Well, that and his connections, but I don't care. I watch just as much football as he does and see things with two eyes just the same.

So, here's my version.

1. Soft corners suck. Notre Dame, I'm talking to you. Press. I always vote that getting burned is more acceptable if the guy beats you fair and square. If you get jerked just waiting for the guy to run into your five yard cushion, you're a schmuck.

2. I hereby retract all bad things I've said recently about Vince Young. Until he screws up. But I was really impressed with ol' Vince's poise and presence in the pocket, like a 6' 5" wocket. Nice distribution, none of the typically stupid decisions he tends to make late in the game on third-and-longs. By the way, where the cow is Kenny Britt? One more week of this, and I'm dropping you off my fantasy team, sucker.

3. Albert Haynesworth is a punk. If you gave me that much money, I'd shut my fat face and play whatever position I was told. 4-3. 3-4. Get on the field and quit making grumpy face. If Tennessee spends a single cent or draft pick on this jackass, I'm going to drive to Nashville and give Bud Adams a piece of my mind. He's a overgrown, lazy whiner. And if you've got an issue with that, Fat Albert, bring it. I'll bet you $100 million that you'll kick my can, but I'll put in more effort. Sucker.

4. If Mark Sanchez throws one more check down, I'm so not going to the prom with him.

5. Those Philly throwback uniforms are the coolest. Best. Helmets. Ever. And Michael Vick just turned into the greatest moral dilemma this side of trading McNabb.

6. Speaking of which, nicely done #5. Don't hate. Congratulate.

7. Don't even talk to me about the Jets not being that great. Sure, their offense was dull as dishwater, but that defense gives me tingles where they don't belong. Did anyone else see that eight man blitz? That's what I'm talking about. All in, gentlemen. Sure, defense alone won't win championships, but it sure is a good start. It's only Week 1. If the Sanchize can get his act together, there's still much to be seen.

8. I'm not comfortable with the increasing use of the word "violent" to describe football. I'm not so naive to think that it isn't a violent game, but we need to reconsider. Football is also a game of finesse, whether it's the footwork of a pulling tackle or the touch of a ball dropped in between double coverage. It's just that I can't figure out how violence is a virtue. I love watching Ray Lewis drop some unsuspecting back as much as the next guy, but violence isn't the thing we should be concentrating on. Sure, F=MA, but what the hell ever happened to technique?

9. Legadu Naanee is a name you need to learn, and not just because it's fun to say. He's the newest member of my fantasy roster, mainly because I can't justifiably fantasize about Andre Johnson actually having a good week next week after all of that coverage.

10. Speaking of which, every player on the Chargers and Chiefs should be heralded far and wide. That MNF game in a downpour is one of the best things I've seen in a while. And I saw Slayer just over a month ago. I've never been to a game at Arrowhead, but those Chiefs fans look like a great bunch. I haven't seen that much red since May Day. Love it.

11. Dexter McCluster should never be allowed to rap again. His Cellular South commercial stinks more than a cow pie. That being said, at least someone is addressing all of these idiots who are texting and driving. Memphis, I'm talking to you. Guy driving past my apartment today, I'm talking to you.

12. Randy Moss needs to shut up and play ball. He's as bad as Haynesworth, just less expensive. If he doesn't quit this crap by the time I get famous, I'm not voting for him to go to Canton.

Baker's Dozen: That Calvin Johnson no catch call is malarkey. Especially because it cost them the game. And would someone please keep Matthew Stafford intact? He's getting paid too much to get broken like that again, for the third time. Speaking of which, Bob Sanders gets hurt so often that I actually can't remember if I think he's any good or not. Shame.


Seriously, what the hell is a Big Red?

Someone from Western Kentucky hit me up.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Think or Two

Well, I'm still waiting to hear from Rich Eisen and the people at NFL Network, so I thought I'd give them a reason to not forget about me.

And, since I'm sure you are all tuned in to the NFL, here are a few things you might consider as things progress.

  1. Tim Tebow isn't going to suck. Overall. There will be times when he really sucks. Or gets himself damn near killed. But he's going to do some pretty slick things as well. He might lose them a game or two, but he'll break even with the other stuff he does. Kyle Orton, by the way, needs some damn respect. I'm not saying he's Joe Montana, but his stats are fully respectable.
  2. The NFC West is crap. The Cardinals are looking such a mess at Quarterback that even Derek Anderson is starting to look good. The Seahawks are just as dull and will have the inevitable new coach growing pains. Nobody's fault, but it'll just happen. That leaves us with the 49ers, who at least have a group of compelling personalities, and the Rams, who are at the point of pathos. I'm intrigued as to what Sam Bradford is capable of, cause I've seen him look pretty solid at certain points.
  3. Vince Young can't ever seem to look to me the number of years he's been in the league. Somehow Vince has managed to slip into the slow-developing category or something that keeps him from being a total bust. I know Bud likes him, but look at what's happening to Matt Leinart. Other than his rookie year, Vince isn't really blowing anyone away. I hope he finally has a huge breakout year this year.
  4. LaDanian Tomlinson has been looking good. I wonder if there will be some crow eaten somewhere in southern California.
  5. Joe Flacco. You better recognize.
  6. The Eagles remind me of the Memphis Grizzlies. Young. Lots of really highly drafted talent. Maybe going to come together sometime soon here? Sure would be great if it were this year.
  7. The NFC South bores me.
  8. Brian Urlacher should just retire if he gets a bad injury again. Nobody's going to forget that he's one hell of a linebacker. Chicago certainly won't. Speaking of which, which one of these Bears WRs is going to surprise all of us?
  9. I don't really want the Bengals to win the Super Bowl, but I certainly will be taping whatever the hell Ochocinco and T.O. will be talking about. I really couldn't care less about the Bengals, cause I really just want to see the Ravens win that Division in perpetuity, but this lineup is really powerful. They certainly have the talent. And I want to see what happens when those two meet the President.
  10. I'm tired of Peyton Manning. I get it. He's great. He throws a million passes to a million guys who catch them all. He wins lots of games every year. He moves his arms around a lot at the line of scrimmage cause he understands football better than all of us. He's boring. His only redeeming quality is that he's hilarious in commercials. I'm tired of all of this talk about him and best quarterback ever. No. Way. You ask me, we need to talk about rings. Best quarterback ever? There's three possibilities. My vote is for Otto Graham. Look him up. If you didn't think of him first, you probably said Joe Montana or Terry Bradshaw. Except for all of you that said Troy Aikman. The first two would have made my top three, and I hate the Cowboys. I was just telling my students today in class that they needed to be more critical of greatness. I reminded them that Peyton has exactly as many rings as his brother. And one fewer trip to Disney World. So, enough with the Peyton Manning already. Blah blah blah.
  11. What the hell is going to happen to the Raiders this year? Seriously. Does anyone know?
  12. Mark Sanchez is, unfortunately, becoming less interesting. But The Jets keep getting more and more fun to watch.
There you go. A dozen. I'm tired now. Let the games begin.

Music Recommendation

You should listen to Nachtmystium's CD Assassins: Black Meddle Pt. 1.

I've only just gotten it (from my Wife, who gives the best presents ever) and haven't really had enough time to digest all of the lyrics, so I'm not going to hold your hand when you go and turn Satanic. You're grown. That's on you.

But, if you like really heavy, smart, forward-thinking metal, I'd give this one a shot.

Lucky for me, they're playing in Memphis on the 27th at the Hi-Tone.

I Volunteer for this One

We might have a problem. And, if they form a committee to help figure this one out, I hereby nominate me.

See, the Catholic Church is in it pretty deep. I don't know how deep in the grand scheme of things, but deeper than in a while. Numbers were down even before this madness over the priests started. And all this new wave Jesusism is drawing people in other directions. And I certainly wouldn't disagree with someone who said that the current Pope is less cuddly than the previous who, while one formidable footballer, might not have been super progressive.

And I'm not wishing the end of the Catholic Church, if only for Notre Dame Football reasons.

But here's the rub. What the cow in the manger next to the baby Jesus are we going to do with all that art?

Let's just, for the sake of me being a paranoiac on the level of a two thousand year old religion coming crashing down to the ground sort of way, say that La Chiesa cade, eventually all the Catholics will go where all the Catholics go and there will be a whole lot of buildings with a whole load of art in them.

How are we going to take care of that stuff? Presumably someone in the Vatican should form a commission to consider the issue.

I volunteer to be on it.

Wir brauchen Solomon.

Image: Time Magazine. Photo: Jodi Bieber.

I'm in a moral quandry.

I've talked to a few people about this and it came out awkward no matter how I tried to put it, so forgive me when I say something absolutely unbelievable.

I think I've found a loophole that might make human trafficking justifiable. See. That sounds insane. Seeing it written down is even worse.

Anyway, I was reading a Time magazine article in a magazine I picked up in some airport at some point towards the end of this summer. It reported on an Afghan woman who, in some insane form of what was claimed as justice, had her nose and ears cut off by her husband as a punishment for running away from him.

And somewhere else, where I cannot remember, I read about women who were being sold into marriage. And for prostitution and who knows what other horrific things.

So, let's just say that I was someone with some extra cash. Why should I not snatch up these cruelly unfortunate people and bring them somewhere safe and help them get set up on another path? We adopt kids for those reasons all the time. Why can't other people catch the same break?

Yes, I realize that it's a mess to participate in, let alone condone, the buying and selling of humans, but what happens when it's done for the sake of betterment?