3.31.2004

A Tale of Two Judys

A very cool confuence of events today. I was contacted by the sister of the late Judy Roderick, telling me of a new website for Judy that's now up and running. Cool!

I also am having an e-tango with Judy Henske. Granted, I stalked her first. But it looks as if she's going back out on the road. Hello, Billings! She's playing there on Saturday.

Both of these women are idols of mine, and if you don't already have their records, you'd best get cracking!
Whee, New England was fun. Plus, I got to careen down I-95 at 1 in the morning Sunday, courtesy of the Fung Wah Bus.

Our show in Portland was swell, and no harm was done by (or to) the McGarrigles.

Many thanks to Chris Darling: "The DJ who lives up to his name."

I just discovered this product and it's completely delicious.

3.24.2004

Okay, so off I go to Portland, Maine. I'll be on WMPG with Chris Darling early in the morning Friday, and then playing at Acoustic Coffee with Rebecca and Ken at night. Details here.

Just found out that the same night I'm playing, Kate and Anna McGarrigle will be appearing at the Big Venue in Town. Bring me my sword . . . I must impale myself. Those Canuck bitches! Of all the nights to play, in all the towns, they're choosing mine!

Well, maybe if we sing real fast, we can zoom across town and catch the end of their show.

3.23.2004

Pictures from a Birthday Party

Picture 1:
The table is set for six: six plates, six cone hats on the plates, six paper cups. A paper tablecloth is spread out, the Peanuts gang printed on it. The centerpiece: Snoopy lying on his doghouse. Six chairs with high, straight yellow backs and wicker seats. The table is in front of the window, and the thin curtains are flooded with light.

Picture 2:
Six kids sit at the table wearing Snoopy cone hats. The chair backs tower over their heads and their legs dangle from the seat. The cups are half-filled with red juice. One boy has his hand on another boy's back and is leaning in hard, as if he's about to impart financial advice. He is wearing a blue button-up shirt with a wide collar. One girl in a red plaid dress stares into space away from the camera. The girl at the head of the table looks toward the camera, eyes half closed, and smiles with Kool-aid lips.

A Fresh, New Voice

Coincidentally as I was roadtrippin' through Loserland yesterday, this piece appeared in Salon. And of course, the attack dogs were unleashed with due speed. I guess, rather than examine their own failings and frustrations, some people find it easier to cultivate the art of snark and then hope to get namedropped in the New Yorker . . .
On the stereo:

Serge Gainsbourg: Histoire de Melody Nelson
John Coltrane Festival on WKCR

I'm finishing the Sandy Denny bio that Helter Skelter ended up publishing. My favorite line so far: "Despite millenia of mothering instincts in her genes and years of longing in her loins, Sandy was simply not ready to have a child."

Listening to Serge, a light bulb went on: I see where Beck got the nugget for "Paper Tiger" (my favorite song from Sea Change). Which leads me to wonder . . . how often can you trace a song to its source so easily? Conversely, are you conscious of the sources for stuff you've written? I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours.

3.22.2004

Love Is . . . part II

Perhaps I'm trying to strike an imaginary blow to the Coolsters by deliberately blogging about kids and felines. But there's nothing like kids and animals to snap you out whatever brainfuck you're ensconced in.

Over the past few months, I've had what seems to be a steady unravelling of confidence. Maybe this had been a natural correction of the blinding hubris it takes to finish and promote your own record. You finish with a feeling of great hope and victory; you bask in it for a few weeks; soon enough, the feeling of victory evaporates and, as you get rejected by your fifth folk festival, you're left wondering if you just might suck.

In this new, loser mentality, I started noticing things that had eluded me during the hubris period. My ass looked kinda big and my hair was all wrong. I might as well have been fitted with orthodonture and made to wear acid wash jeans and go back to junior high.

The natural thing to do in these situations is drink, and drinking is what most people do to forget that deep down inside them resides a little loser. But I can't do that. I don't do drugs, either. I don't know where to find them.

I know where to find kids and animals, though. And even a smidgeon of their love makes me feel so alive and so high.

So on we go.

Love Is . . .

A sudden revelation of hope and good mood. Did it come as I was sitting on the floor yesterday, watching the guys play?

Big Nephew, facing the corner: OKAY everybody now I'm countinnnnng! One, two, three, fourfivesixseven . . .

[Closet open, shut, Brother-in-Law dashes into Little Niece's room, jumps in closet among baby dresses]

[Little Nephew, giggling, runs across hallway into off-limits bedroom where grandparents are staying for the weekend. He runs out and back across wearing a straw hat, still giggling]

Big Nephew: "Here I come! Ready! or Not! I am going . . . . to get you!"

Brother, with a heavy, deliberate jump out of bathroom: "Waah!"

Big Nephew: "Waaaah!"

[Little Nephew runs out of room still wearing hat, jumps up and down, still giggling, and dashes back into room]

Big Nephew to Little Nephew: "Hey you have to hide!"

A disembodied voice calling out from dress closet: "What about me? Helloooo! Lululu!"

[Big Nephew approaches closet, and Little Nephew sneaks up behind him and grabs him]

Little Nephew: "Ah gotcha!"

Brother-in-Law jumps out of closet: "Rowf!"

3.18.2004

Update

Hey.

Saro is home and fine. She drooled a lot in the car on the way home, but didn't cry as much. The doctor says she is "perfect."

We lunched at home, and I gave both felines some of my chicken salad.

Thus ends today's rampant cat-blogging. Thank you.
When I woke up this morning I had black-and-white cat earmuffs, as usual. Saro looked particularly elegant: as I rose out of bed, she elongated her neck, her front right paw extended. She looked sleepy and swanlike.

Unfortunately, I was about to betray her: we were going to the vet for some boosters.

I brought the cat carrier out of the closet last night so she could sniff it and check it out: she becomes alarmed at even the slightest shift in the timbre of the household. I had explained to her several times over the past few days that we were gong to have to make this trip, but she must have thought I was kidding, because when I opened the door to the carrier she made a break for the bathroom.

Poor Saro. I loped in after her, holding the big t-shirt I wore last night. She's pretty small and malleable so I scooped her up and bundled her in the shirt. Her 2 legs were sticking straight out -- no good. Hmmm. I lifted her out of the shirt, opened the hem, and this time put the shirt over her head. Tah-dah.

Through all of this Saro was purring. Cats purr when they're scared, but Saro also likes this kind of thing: She is a fan of the pillowcase and laundry bag. Before she could start wiggling, I hustled her over to the carrier and gently somersaulted her in.

As I had been walking with Saro-in-shirt, Rox crossed in front of me and scooted under the bed: "I-think-I'll-just-go-right-under-here-and-rest-now-see-you-later-thank-you."

Saro's little head was visible behind the grating of the carrier door. Then she disappeared, and the box rattled a bit. Thus commenced the soul-piercing cries. They continued in the foyer (echoing loudly, triggering Yappydog down the hall, which in turn made Saro even more terrified), in the elevator (where I ran into my lovely neighbor and her small daughter, who unfortunately seemed petrified of the yowling creature in the carrier -- as well as the explanation that we were going to the doctor), and in the cab (where I got stared down by a cabdriver who possessed a heart of stone).

There were brief moments of repose in the cab, when Saro was neither yowling nor hyperventilating, in which she and I just looked at each other. She really is extraordinarily beautiful: shiny black-and-white fur, huge, alert eyes that are a striking gold and kelly green, elegant white whiskers arching over her eyes.

The ride to the vet wasn't long. With any luck I'll see her after lunch. I'm quite worried about her right now. When I go on an airplane, at least I can throw back a Dewar's and ginger ale to calm my nerves. At least I know why I'm there, and what is going to happen afterward. Saro has neither the benefit of that cognizance nor Dewar's.

I love the folks at the Cat Practice, though, and they will take good care of Saro today.

For those of you who might remember Arthur, I have some sad news: he passed away in January. Even though he dissed me, I'll still miss him!

3.17.2004

So anyone (or anyone you know) at SXSW?

[If you were there, you wouldn't be reading this; you'd be drunk and music-sated and definitely less bored than I am now.]

Is there an acceptable way of pronouncing this abbreviation? In my mind, I keep calling it "Sex-wah."

3.16.2004

I'll do it -- will you do it with me?

A Sound of Silence for Madrid

RIP Lucinda Williams' mom.

Secret Heart, Parts I and II

A confession: in my secret heart, I was looking forward to a time when the culture would get a bit less pornographic. The way we had been going, it was like wearing stilettos as your everyday shoes. It just takes the fun and specialness out of it.

So now we're all supposed to tone it down a bit. But it's going all wrong.

This would be hilarious if it weren't so scary.

In other news, according to my sources two of you (or, possibly one of you, twice) were delivered unto me after visiting this site. And four of you after this one. Wow! I hope we're proving to be an ok comedown.

3.15.2004

I'm honored that someone with such exquisite taste would make poster girls out of my girls.

A polite bum-smack to all the Cooler than Thou who look down their pretty little noses at pet-blogging.

Thank you, all you commenters. I promise to stop my whining. Starting now!

3.12.2004

No Comment

I have comments sections here, but hardly anyone comments.

(No, nice deviled-egg person, I know you commented -- and I still appreciate it).

This is getting humiliating. Should I eliminate the Comments section?
For those of you reading today and onward, the Sloganator I linked to yesterday (via Wonkette) is gone. It's still worth gong through and reading all the Sloganator-related Wonkette articles, though. Make sure you take a pee first.

I never came up with my own good slogan to type in. I did get a kick out of finding out that there is, indeed, an Arab-American coalition for Bush. I thought he flew them all back to Saudi Arabia right after 9/11!

3.11.2004

Working for Peanuts, Living for Rock 'n Roll

I Windexed my desk today and that signals the beginning of a newer, healthier frame of mind.

(Perhaps it was the coffee stains -- or is that mouse pee?-- that was bringing us down.)

No one got laid off yet.

This is hilarious.

Come see the Ambulance tonight at Rodeo Bar. They will be sizzling. I'll be warbling in the background.

Eat. Drink. Be merry!

3.10.2004

My apologies -- the last post was rather cryptic. My frustration stems from the fact that I edit encyclopedias for a living. These books have no chance of going digital. In fact, no more encyclopedias are coming down the pipeline after the 2 I'm working on now. However, I carry on, secure in my demi-dinosaur status, assured by Those in the Know that I am impervious to the falling of the axe -- which, by the way, is rumored to be falling again today.

I bought cheap pink pumps.

Another strange thing is happening: I've been welcomed into the acid reflux club. It's interesting to be sitting at one's desk, or engaged in conversation, and suddenly spew bile. How can this not be psychosomatic?

3.04.2004

Bitch, bitch, bitch!

Please accept my humble apologies for the whiny entries as of late. I'm sure the 2 of you reading this -- Wendy, Rebecca -- will understand.

I had a horrible dream yesterday morning that someone compared my blog jottings to Amy Sohn's essays. Nothing wrong with Amy . . . I used to read her NY Press column regularly, curious about what other kids my age were doing. After a while, though, it started reminding me of when I was ten, secretly obsessing over the Guinness Book of World Records, fascinated by the pictures of the guy with the conjoined twin, the guy with gigantism. Only in Amy's world, they would be out trolling for hookups and clogging up toilets.

Soon enough, I stopped reading her column. And after awhile, her column disappeared. What happened to Amy? I remember wishing her the best -- as I had after hearing Elizabeth Wurtzel interviewed on the radio for the first time -- but expecting the worst. And sure enough, Amy reappeared. And, like the bug that got exposed to radiation, grew to 3,000 times its size, and started eating people, she was even more powerful and dangerous than before. She had graduated to New York Magazine. She now wrote for a magazine on glossy paper, in color.

So if you're in the mood for semi-embarrassing bitching, you can now go here. I'm going to try to, er, cut back.

I hope you're having a good day.

3.02.2004

No Delta Mommas Here

Great news: there's going to be a Townes van Zandt Tribute show this weekend in NYC.

Sucky news: of 21 listed performers, only 3 are women. (I'm pretty sure that's Mary Lee Kortes he means -- let's hope it's a typo.)
Ah, it's been so long since I had an encounter with a true blue New York wankah-boy. But now that the weather's warmed up, they're out and they're swarming.

I was on line at the salad shoppe: A former culinary mainstay, now reduced to an occasional indulgence due to recent budget cutbacks. The line spilled out on to the sidewalk. 2 guys stepped up behind me.

"Yo, do you think we have to wait on line." Pulls out cell phone. "Dude, we're outside, waiting on line like LOSERS."

The cell phone barks back like the teacher on Peanuts: wah-wah-wah-WAH-wah-wah.

"He says we ARE losers!" Guffaw, guffaw. Snaps shut cell phone.

Other Guy: "Dude what do you think of that."

"Bad outfit." I notice a trendoid fashion girl on sidewalk, wearing satin knicker-cargos and kitten heel boots. "But the bod makes up for it."

I wonder: if I offed them both, could I get a cool nickname like the Salad Shooter?

Yeah, I know: just jealous. Of the boots, at least. I swore off knickers in the fourth grade. Duh!

3.01.2004

Uncloudy Day

I don't know if it's because it's gorgeous outside or I came in to work late, but today totally rocks.

Re: the lateness -- it's not a result of my usual slovenly ways, but rather a visit to my apartment by the friendly appraiser, who tapped my walls and squinted out my windows. He had a bleeping handheld gizmo that sent the cats into a tizzy. For this I will ultimately be rewarded with a re-mortgaged mortgage and better financed finances.

Perhaps I'm so blissed out because I spent the weekend willfully ignorant of all news reports. Even ignored the Oscars. I checked the Times online today to get the scoop on the fashion. That's it. (For the record, the gowns looked pretty classy to me: I admired Julia Roberts' in particular. Unfortunately, I've never dug her; even in Mystic Pizza, I thought Annabeth Gish was way cooler. It might have been a dork-identification thing, though).

There was one development, though, that I did find pretty scary: the preponderance of Kucinich posters around the Lower East Side.