Sunday, April 29, 2007

Tom's Mom Requests A Little Help with Her Computer : Tom to the Rescue


Tom's mom explains the problem she is having with her computer:

"In the middle of the night, the computer starts to scream...

Aaaaaarrrchghhgrgle. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaacchchchggggggaaaaggg.

It's chilling. We have to shut down before we go to bed."

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Tom and his PS3: World Series Performance... Except no.


Tom was happy. After weeks of strike outs and flailing around in the outfield, his baseball team had finally scored a couple runs.

After two blissful innings, Tom suspected the game maybe, possibly, was running in demo mode. In denial, he played the third inning fervently, convinced he was mistaken. A little anger and some bargaining followed. Finally, at the top of the forth, he found acceptance.

Tom lay down the controller and watched the game go on without him.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Live Music Review : Tokyo Police Club

The Lower East Side Mercury Lounge floor shuddered under the weight of a sold out show. While the rest of the skinny, shaggy band collected on stage,TPC's lead singer and bass player, a blue-eyed hottie, charged through the crowd.

(The oddly positioned green room nestles the whole way on the other side of the club.)

Amped up sound flickered, swelled, and burst into a burning conflagration of wild staccato rhythm clamped together with barbwire melodies. Right then, according to me, a chair would have sucked like a jail cell.

The drummer wailed. Tambourines splintered under the weight of the beat. Literally. The guitarist shattered at least two. He chucked them at the curly haired synth player. Who didn't look up much.

TPC's frontman couldn't contain stray wisps of jubilance and his fans loved him for it. During their crescendo of a standing ovation, my boy mentioned it was his band's first standing ovation. Ever.

Tokyo Police Club: Hemoglobin-flavored rocket fuel for the likes of me. Can't get enough.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Songs for Astral Travel

This week, I learned the following:

A Rosicrucianer, as well as master tailor from Barbados, explained to someone I know that a couple of experiences he'd had while listening to Coltrane were astral travelling and that the tailor and his buddies did it all the time.

If I were to take a little Astral Travel, my theme song for the journey would be The House of Hopes...Dreams...Wishes by Unwed Sailor. I would trim the sails on my clipper ship and glide across the crystal clear ocean.

Play Unwed Sailor / The House of Hopes...Dreams...Wishes

Friday, April 20, 2007

Movie Review : Scratch

NetFlix says: "This energetic, insightful film which was a big hit at the 2001 Sundance Festival, traces the birth of turntablism." 2002: 1 hr. 32 min.

I would not label the flick particularly energetic or insightful, but I did learn some important vocab words:
  1. Turntablist: A kind of DJ who understands record albums cannot just be stuck onto a record player and left unattended.
  1. Digging: DJs on the prowl for the good beats. Most of the time, the good beats are on records in the basement of the record store.
  2. Break: Some good beats.
  3. Clarinet: Instrument a lot of DJs played in fourth grade.
  4. Crew: Like a band, except everybody plays the turntable. Most crewz likely comin up short. They cannot afford to buy a vowel. For example, the Invisibl Skratch Piklz.
  5. U gots 2 B what U drop: Rule to live by.
  6. Routine: The song played by a Battle DJ at a DJ contest.
  7. Your DJ Name: It's gotta represent. Alliteration goes over well, like Mix Master Mike and Cut-Chemist. Others are just kewl, like Q-Bert or Afrika Bambaataa or DJ Shortee.
SRank: 6.75 (out of 10). I watched the whole thing, but considered bailing at least twice.

Alex the Wild-Ass Cat Part 3 : The Emergence

We brought Alex home from the shelter. He immediately raced into a hole in the basement wall. He wouldn't come out. For three days. Tom gets serious. He stays home from work and sits in the basement staring at the hole.

The Stand Off


Mid-afternoon, Alex emerges and descends to the basement floor. Tom has craftily placed a bowl of delicious wet food some distance from the duct hole. Alex slithers in the direction of the delicacy. Suddenly, he stops and sniffs the air. He surveys the area. He sees Tom. Their eyes lock. Time freezes.

Battle of Lightening Reflexes

It was a race to the hole. Man vs. cat. Biped vs. Quadruped. Lightly Hairy vs Really Furry. Thinking quickly, Tom lunges toward a stray basketball fortuitously lying in his path. In an adrenaline-fueled wild ali-oop, he slam dunks the basketball into the hole in the wall, just nanoseconds before Alex reaches it. Blocked! Alex shrieks in horror and dashes off across the top of the furnace.

Alex: Basement Dweller

Alex doesn’t come out of the basement. He lives arboreally in the ductwork. Months pass. This is not my idea of pet ownership.


Tom: Cat-Whisperer

Tom descends to the basement every evening. He speaks quietly to the cat. He patiently wiggles delectable treats. He dangles irresistible hot pink feathers on a string connected to a large fishing rod. He lures Alex closer, closer to stairs out of the basement.

A minor setback occurs when Alex wrenches the hot pink feathers, the string, and the entire fishing rod, from Tom's grasp and barrels for cover under boxes of yearbooks and tax returns. Neither the feathers, the string, or the fishing rod have ever been seen again.


Alex the Wild-Ass Cat: Get Down with Your Bad Self

Eventually. Happily ever after.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

75% Movie Review: Tenacious D - Pick of Destiny

The movie begins with some foreshadowing. We are titillated by an animated fart sequence, clearly an allegorical reference to Gass, specifically Kyle Gass, who could be the evil twin of David Crosby if he had more hair and more hits.

In the first scene, we watch JB (Jack Black) rebel against a strict upbringing. JB's dad (Meatloaf), displays some clear admiration for Neidermeyer's performance in that Twisted Sister video. Subsequently, JB takes the long way to Hollywood, meeting up with his future band mate, the aforementioned Kyle Gass. Crazy hijinks abound while the two search for the tooth of satan in the form of a guitar pick.

I keep waiting for the Mystery Machine to pull up.

During the daring heist of the Rock n Roll History Museum, I learn two important lessons:
  1. First, picking all the dried cranberries out of Tom's special trailmix requires focused concentration.
  2. Second, focused concentration on alternative activities hinders movie reviews because you lose track of what's happening onscreen.
Tenacious D: Pick of Destiny: 1 hour 10 minutes (of 1 hour 40 minutes) reviewed.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Alex the Wild-Ass Cat Part 2 : The Situation

This story began when we brought Alex the Wild-Ass Cat home from the shelter. He immediately vanished into a hole in the basement wall.

Houdini Alex


Despite the alluring aromas of canned tuna, chicken livers and the most expensive cat food money can buy, Alex refuses to come out. Sometimes in the dead of night, we hear the clang of ductwork, ringing inside the walls. The house is a giant bellows amplifying the sound. At least we know the cat is alive, for now. Tom worries about the future. He graphs time elapsed without food or water and the proportionate acclivity of the rotting flesh smelliness curve.


Tom Breaks Out Power Tools

Tom cuts some big and fruitless holes in the garage drywall.


Tom Masterminds a Better Plan

After Alex’s third day in the wall, Tom stays home from work. He has contemplated and discard multiple schemes including flushing out the cat with smoke. In the end, he calls upon childhood experience with the Indian Guides and goes in for a plan of patience and stealth. Tom sits quietly in the basement, his steely gaze fixed on the hole.

(Keep holding on to your seat. To be continued....)

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Alex the Wild-Ass Cat Part I : The Origin

It began and ended within the hour. Sunday during breakfast, Tom notices a flyer stuck in the newspaper advertising the local animal shelter and their one-day-only adopt-a-pet extravaganza. Today. Right now. We decide to go down and pick up a cat.

The Cat that Looked Just Like Jay Leno

Not up for adoption, we discover upon inquiry.

Alex Comes Home

We lug Alex, whimpering inside his cat cage, through the garage and into the basement. We set up his new litterbox by the furnace. We decide it might be wise and probably respectful to show Alex where the bathroom is before we take him upstairs. Tom opens up the door on the top of the cage.

Alex Shows Right Stuff for Pro Basketball Career

Alex, in a feat defiant of gravity and all expectation, executes a ten-foot vertical leap. After a brief scramble on or about the ceiling, our new cat vanishes into a little hole near the ductwork. Tom and I stare at the point of disappearance. We are frozen with befuddlement.

Calling Norma at the Pound

We decide not to call Norma at the pound for help. She would probably report us to the Pet Abuse DYFUS Hotline or something. How exactly do you explain that within two minutes of bringing home your new pet, the cat has become lodged inside the wall?

(Hold on to your seat. To be continued....)


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Friday, April 13, 2007

Live Music Review : Ra Ra Riot

Unmindful of their uniformly can't-be-comfortable blue jeans, Syracuse-based Ra Ra Riot bounced around onstage with nimble ardor. They were happy, happy, happy to be in the big city. Within minutes, their infectious music and exuberant frolicking had won over a skeptical crowd.

For a burst of the unusual, the band featured an electric violin and an electric cello. Their melodic sound added a symphonic undercurrent to the rambunctious pop. Toward the end of the set, I began to wonder if the cellist and violinist only knew one song. I swear I kept hearing the same exact notes over and over again. It got boring. Maybe I have ADD. Or maybe I have no culture. Or we could always blame the soundman.

The lead singer reminded Tom of a young skinny Roger Daltry. He had some signature microphone moves that utterly captivated the three short Asian chicks in the front row.

Unfortunately, the guitar player needed to turn up. Even though you couldn't hear a note he played, I say he scored a perfect 10 in the cute geek category and either had springy sneakers or a very impressive vertical.

The bass player rocked.

Ra Ra Riot teeters on the verge. Gems mixed with rough stones, but watching their ebullient journey is recommended by me. Thumbs up.

Ra Ra Riot / MySpace


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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Ironman Sethie


Seth, on preparation for the triathlon:

"I’m gonna go hairless for the triathlon. I’m gonna go into a salon before the triathlon and say, “Take it all.”

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Live Music Review : We're Marching On

We're Marching On hails from Toronto, where the entire band apparently caught tremendous head colds. Despite the snot, the show went on.

I summarize my reflections on their set as follows:

Two Modest Mouse songs mashed together. Minus the chorus.

I will toss the band style points for fortitude and for managing to play instruments under the influence of large doses of Benadril. I may possess enough sportmanship to neglect to mention the marked amount of talking amongst themselves, conferencing really, throughout the performance.

Recommendation: I would give them one more chance.

We're Marching On / MySpace

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Coloring Eggs with Mary

"Some people see their name in lights, I see mine on a bag of pita chips."

"You know like Goya kosher food has its own section in the supermarket? They have the same thing for Dominicans. Except it’s beans."

"When I get overstimulated, I just start calling things out. Look at that! Look at that!"

"They have blue tile in Turkey. It’s real famous. Specific to the region. They decorated those arches with it. The Romans. Brought tiles back from Turkey."

"Oh. Tooshy tooshy."

"If you have plastic covers on the seats, you can Windex your furniture."

"I’ll clip out this recipe and put it on my fridge. You know, just to cook some straight up beans."

"Remember Stryper? They started this whole Christian music rock… Worship anthems."

"I’m gonna be up maybe even 5 times tonight. I drank way too many liquids. My record so far is four times. Sometimes I wake up and the back of my kidneys are sore. From the pressure. Pressure on this side and pressure on that side."

"Where did everybody go?"

"I didn’t know Jeff Bridges had boobs. He needs the Manziere."

"My egg is speckled. It’s speckly. I like the speckles."

"It’s so weird that the governor of Virginia can’t be re-elected. It’s so weird. Corrupt governors started it probably. It’s such an extreme measure. I mean, what if you get someone really good. You’re screwing yourself. I just think its so strange. I mean. I just think it’s so strange."

"Good gravy."

"Oh look who it is. Sanchez. His name’s not really Sanchez. I don’t know why I called him Sanchez just now."

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Raccoon Chronicles: Tom Employs High Technology

(If you haven't already, you might want to check out the The original Raccoon Chronicles first.)


"To kill, you must know your enemy, and in this case my enemy is a varmint. And a varmint will never quit - ever. They're like the Viet Cong - Varmint Cong. So you have to fall back on superior intelligence and superior firepower."
~ Carl Spackler


Tom Purchases Critter Blaster Pro Electronic Animal Repellent

"This device is laboratory tested. It is ultrasonic. I got it online. The Pro version."

"I think it emits a high frequency sound that humans can't hear. There are little pictures of animals around a dial. I selected RACCOON."

"If I set it really low, I can upset insects."

"I think the RACCOON setting might also be the CAT setting. So I'm going to put it on a timer so it turns on at night."

"Take that, little bastards."

Monday, April 02, 2007

Attention Lipsynchers!

This video is the zenith of the lipsych; the pinnacle of my aspirations.

If I had more ambition, I would gather together with others of similar mind (Tom, for example) and maybe even practice for the upcoming Lypsynch-o De Mayo to be held May 5 at the home of Andrew and Tracie. But I do not aim so high.

I hope Tom does not watch the video. He would become titillated and insist that we reenact the performance so he can show off his special moves on stage. He is a spark plug on the dance floor.