Friday, August 31, 2007

New release this week

It is a sad day for Jose. He has been crying on the couch. I Pedra, must speak now for Jose. His favorite performer of all time has just died. Poor Jose. Please help Jose by getting and listening to: Cha Cha Billy May.

Now that Cha Cha is gone, Jose's 'Cheeee!' will not be the same.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mid week siesta

Cheee! Soy feliz de expresar mis pensamientos en noticias de mundo.

Hello again. I Jose wife, and I translate Jose. He say "He happy to be able to share his....how you say?.....'thinks' with the people on world news".

Greece fire

Fire officials in Greece say progress is being made in fighting deadly wildfires sweeping the country but many fires are not yet contained.

The fires have claimed at least 63 lives and burned numerous villages and thousands of hectares of forest.

Estas personas son estúpidas. Haga ellos no saben que usted es supuesto poner bicarbonato de soda en un fuego de grasa?

Jose say, " Don't people know baking soda is best to use on grease fire?"

The answer is Owen in the wind

The incident on Sunday afternoon that landed actor Owen Wilson in the hospital was called in to police as a suicide attempt, according to Santa Monica Police Department phone logs.

According to the records, a call was received at 12:08 p.m. on Sunday for an incident listed as "attempt suicide." Wilson remains in stable condition at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills, California.

Este hombre es un cobarde. Cuán puedele más explica alguien que mira tan bueno que mi esposa lame su cartel como lo está hecho de frijoles refritos. El finalmente Le debe haber mirado Mí y Dupree. Eso es lo que lo manejó sobre la orilla.

Jose say,"Owen is a coward"- He is not!
Jose also say, "He good looking and I lick his poster at night like it's made of refried beans"- I do not!
Jose also say, "Owen must have finally watched 'You Me and Dupree' That's what drove him to try to kill himself.- Jose is sleeping on the couch tonight!

From Dog to God

Michael Vick

NFL star quarterback Michael Vick pleaded guilty yesterday to a dogfighting charge, then took his first steps toward what he hopes will be redemption. Saying "I need to grow up," the quarterback apologized to the league and to the "young kids that I've let down who look at Michael Vick as a role model." He also said he has found God.

Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!.

Jose say, "Michael Vick is a good and honorable man. Dog fighting an honorable sport. He bet all the time with his aunts, uncles, grandparents, nieces, nephews and children back in Mexico" He say, " Vick should be hailed as a hero not a criminal".....but Jose wrong!

Qué es usted le haciendo mujerzuela grande???

I say he should be locked up for long time- And don't call me a slut Jose. You are already sleeping on the couch remember?- If Vick has truely found God, let us pray that he doesn't drown, shoot or electrocute our heavenly father too.....

Eso es suficiente usted vaca gorda!!!!

Usted duerme mejor con el pene en una mano y el sissors en el otro.....usted pedo parcialmente calvo viejo!

Translate easily here.

Cross posted on Mitchievillisimo

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

YouTube Tuesday

Hi, my name is Pedra. I am Jose wife. Some you say you not understand Jose. I translate.

Los conejos son chistosos. Los pollos son chistosos, pero los pollos y los conejos juntos son muy chistosos. Especialmente cuando los pollos son policías. Ahora tengo hambre. Cheeee!

Jose he say, "Rabbits funny and chickens are funny too. He like when both together. Very funny especial when chickens are police. They make him hungry."

Sunday, August 26, 2007

El domingo por los números

Adoro los números. Sin números no habría los números. Así que los números son importantes. Aquí están algunos números buenos para usted. Cheeeeee!!!!

34 uses for a can of soda

10 cool films that never got made.

10 best f*@#ing short versions of movies.

10 great drunk pranks.

In memorandum: 10 of the best Tourettes Guy moments

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Hola!

Cheeeeeee! Bienvenido a mi página oficial de blog. Soy Jose Marrone y estará tomando para Chris Extraño que es ya no entre nosotros. Cuando un tributo a él yo ofrezco un capítulo del "Corazón Hecho" a mano novedoso. Goce. Cheeeeeeee!

Handmade Heart

Chapter Five - Funeral for a friend


Objectively I’d have to say it was a nice morning for a funeral. People are sad enough at the loss of a loved one, they shouldn’t have to deal with Mother Nature pissing all over them as well. Although, the mood was sullen the day was pleasant enough, not sharing in empathy. The sun shone with an expected brilliance from a cloudless sky, the leaves rustled effortlessly on the occasional nonchalant breeze, and the birds chirped away happily on their own top-forty. Far off in the distance a lawnmower buzzed like a low flying plane over the scent of new mown grass.

Actually, I couldn’t believe I was standing here in the middle of this ritual, amidst the weeping and the wailing, in a place I didn’t want to be, witnessing a demise I didn’t want to view. It was a small gathering for which I was thankful, as everyone who was close to the deceased took turns speaking. Humorous stories, odes of loss, or just words of praise filled the air in a symphony of prose. Finally, a man I did not recognize concluded the proceedings. He would have made a good clergyman except he wasn’t. I think he was the next door neighbor. He was tall and lanky with a wreathe of hair, losing the battle of the bald. A man gifted with a deep booming voice minus the monster-truck-rally speed. Yet, the reverberation of his speech was soothing— lulling almost. His voice carried like music blowing in from across a lake. It gave you a sense of longing and wonder like you were missing something special if you failed to hear it clearly. He spoke with steady even control, his inflections and pauses in all the right places. He wove delicately through the sobs and sniffles as he said his piece.

“We . . . are gathered here to celebrate the life . . . not grieve the death . . . of our dearly departed. Although in comparison to you and I . . . he was taken from us far too soon, he lived a life, satisfying, . . . eventful, . . . rewarding. He was important to us all and his loss will be . . . greatly felt. For his time among us . . . was one of caring . . . and compassion. Of knowing when his presence was needed . . . his fellowship treasured . . . his comfort valued. I feel . . . his companionship will be missed most of all. One cannot measure the depths of this loss to those gathered here in the simplicity of words. However, . . . I will try . . . by saying I believe the greatest asset was the love he showed . . . his family . . . and those of you assembled here that knew him . . . with that said we now commit the body to the ground. Ashes to ashes. Dust . . . to dust.”

I looked around at the family members, acquaintances and friends of which I was one. Some faces were familiar, some were unrecognizable but the grief was shared without measure as if all were connected to it by a conduit of sadness.

Amid a gentle rain of quiet tears, the man continued. “It is at the family’s request that we now hear his favorite song.”

There was a pause as the music began to play from nearby speakers. It was a poorly recorded vinyl version of, Pop Goes the Weasel, with its own pops and scratches.

“So here ends the time on this earth of one who had an extremely playful nature, who was always quick to show his affection, Mr. Mittens the best cat a family could ask for.”

I whispered out the side of my mouth. “Christ, Skids, if I’d known you were laying your cat to rest, I’d have made other arrangements. Your mother looks inconsolable.”

Skids shrugged his shoulders and continued to peer ahead. His swoop of hair had its usual twisting wave. I half expected to see a miniature surfer hanging ten off the edge of it. Chas, who stood to my left, said nothing at all. He was standing like a tower guard, unmoving, peering through his dark, horn-rim spectacles, while the sun beat off his already reddish, bald skull. He leaned forward slightly on his shovel, as the tiny coffin— a microwave box— of Mr. Mittens was lowered into a freshly dug hole in the garden.

Skids, Chas and I, began to scoop the dirt into the grave with our spades as the rest of the mourners began to clear out. They laid cat toys and his favorite mouse on the box of the departed. A line began to form as they thanked the balding eulogist for his words of comfort.

“All this for a cat?”

“Chas! Try showing a little compassion will ya.”

“I thought I was?”

“Mr. Mittens was no ordinary cat you know.”

“Skids! You make it sound like he saved babies from burning buildings for Pete sake, when probably his only major contribution was horking up some incredibly, grossly-huge hairball.”

“He deserved this ceremony. He was loved. He was a friend. He used to chase his tail to that song.”

The recording ended and the needle bounced in a playful skip of off-time, rhythmic jumps at the end of its vinyl road.

Chas rolled his eyes and shoveled in another mound of dirt. “When my pets die I just flush and that’s the end of it.”

“Maybe when you die, we’ll just flush you!”

“Careful Chas, Skid’s is emotionally unstable at the moment and wielding a shovel.”

“That’s OK Spark. There isn’t a microwave box big enough to hold me.” Chas stopped momentarily to wipe the sweat from his brow with his forearm, before pounding in another scoop of dirt.

Skids grumbled. “You know Chas. Sometimes you are so quiet and other times– like this– no one has the power to shut you up.”

“I think Skids likes quiet Chas best,” I said.

Chas nodded and grinned slightly. “I need a drink when this is done,” he said. “Rye. A double.”

“Sorry I drank the last of mine during the ceremony,” I jested.

I had met these two, years ago in the days after Wally’s departure. They had wandered down to our new rehearsal unit located under a barber shop in a tiny L-shaped plaza of small businesses. They were looking to share practice space with us. They and another who we came to know as The Mayor accompanied them. I don’t remember the name of their band, but I do remember Doc being concerned that we were being besieged by Christian rock fags again, (he was always on about it for some reason). But the guys proved to be all right and eventually we became close friends. They melted into a mold, becoming our road crew. Well . . . except for The Mayor, who always seemed to miss the bus, called away on last minute assignments for the news agency that rendered him obsolete during touring.

There was the zippered scratch of the needle on vinyl as the swing arm was returned to its cradle. From there the Mayor wandered up and looked at us as we continued to fill in the hole.

Skids, still angry from Chas’ words, looked at him in disgust. “You’re late.”

“I don’t eat animals and I definitely don’t like to see them buried. Besides I had trouble getting out of bed this morning.”

“Oh, really? Who was she?” I inquired.

“Someone I met last night.”

“Someone you’re going to see again?”

“I don’t think so.”

Skids shook his head. “Alright what’s wrong with this one? Her nose whistles when she breathes? She doesn’t like soy byproducts? Her little toe crosses over the one next to it?”

“Ugh!” I added. “I couldn’t date her either.”

“I was talking to The Mayor.”

“Too much bush if you really want to know,” The Mayor responded.

“Wow. Too bad Doc wasn’t here. He’d really be in his element,” I said.

Chas who’d been patting the dirt down with his shovel, ceased his action. “That’s it? Too much pubic hair? They have wonderful inventions called razors and waxing you know. Besides I thought you like those tree hugging, au-naturale types?”

“Yeah. Every time you bring a girl around I half expect her to grill me on the library books I never returned,” Skids said. He knelt down and poked a makeshift cross into the mound of earth. It was just two sticks tied together but it sufficed. He could feel Chas looking down at him with disapproval. “What? This is just temporary. Until we get the headstone.”

“I’m not saying a word,” Chas said, as he jammed his shovel into the ground next to the grave and brushed his hands off. He paused and pushed his glasses back up his nose from where they had slid to. “You know,” he said. “I once dated this girl with a massive bush. Like the frickin’ Amazon . . . ”

“Doc used to call it ‘bearded clam’,” I maintained.

“...But I kept dating her and every time we got together she’d trim it back a touch. Her Ludwig Von eventually became last of the Mohicans and— one day. Poof! Bare as a baby’s bottom. A man-in-the-boat exposed to the elements. Clitoris glorious if you prefer Latin?”

“That’s not Latin, you knob.”

Chas ignored Skids and continued to chirp happily. “Then when we finally made it official. You know, an exclusive relationship. She suddenly lost her drive for personal hygiene and it was welcome to the jungle all over again. Man! The hours of my life I’ll never get back because I was too busy trying to untangle myself from that afro after sex. I just don’t understand women.”

“Can we talk about something else?” Skids motioned to the grave. “It doesn’t seem . . . appropriate . . . you know . . . in front of Mr. Mittens.”

“Skids! We’re talking about pussy here! How much more appropriate do you want?” Chas giggled. Skids shot him a searing glance.

“I feel the same way Chas,” I said.

“About pussy?”

“No about women. I don’t understand them either. I sometimes think there’s no such thing as a soul mate.”

The Mayor looked at me. “First of all, you have to stop dating all those L’s. The Lona’s, the Laura’s, the Lulu’s.”

“Yeah Spark. Especially the Lulu’s.”

“Chas do you mind?” The Mayor returned his attention to me. “ Listen why don’t you focus on another letter of the alphabet for a change. In fact, avoid the whole middle, K through P. You’ll meet the right person.”

“Sure! When?”

“When you stop looking and don’t settle.”

“Advice from a man who has a revolving door on his bedroom,” Skids offered.

“Hey, I can’t help that in order to see the inner beauty of a woman I have to go in through the vagina.”

“Let’s change the subject. I’m getting depressed,” I said.

Chas gave his glasses another coax with his index finger. “Well, you were telling us about getting the Oral Blondes back together, weren’t ya Spark?”

The Mayor butt in. “Chas, why do you still call John, Spark? Don’t you think we’re getting a little old to use nicknames?”

“We call you The Mayor and him Skids.”

-“Good point. Sorry, continue. You were talking about the old band.”

-“Before I was commandeered to inter the bodies of deceased house pets. But I’m not sure that’s going to be any less depressing. Besides it’s a one time thing at the moment. Don’t go packing your bags for the road just yet. But Wally said yes. That accounts for everybody.”

“Wait a minute. Last night you told me, ‘No one’s said yes other than Wally’ You haven’t even talked to Skunk or Grub.”

"Nick names..."

"Shut up Chas."

“Doc said he was in if I could get Wally to agree . . . ” I said.

“...and everyone else?” The Mayor reminded.

“That’s the beauty of it, guys. They don’t know what each other has said. We haven’t been in the same room together for years. It’s a little trick I learned from Alice.”

“...She used to book the gigs. Right?” The Mayor interrupted like he was being tested. “And she has sisters,” he said, pointing at me like he was just coming out of a bout of amnesia.

“That’s really good for a guy who was never there. Identical sisters. They were quadruplets.”

“How’d you tell em apart?”

“They all had slightly different feet.”

“Fuck, Spark. You and your foot fetish.”

Skids moaned. “Shit! I couldn’t tell them apart and that’s after spending three months sleeping on their couch.”

There was a round of laughter.

“Remember the gig we did with Matt Tallicas?”

“The guy who did Metallica covers like a lounge singer?”

“That’s the one Chas. He was huge in Cleveland and Syracuse for some reason, but nowhere else. We wanted to do this gig with him in upstate New York. Everyone had to say yes in order for us to open for him— the manager, the agent, the event coordination. The amazing thing was Alice made them all believe everyone else was on board until they gave the ok. When in actuality, no one did. That’s all I did with Wally and Doc. I don’t think Skunk, or Grub will be a problem. It’s what Wires would’ve wanted.”

The Mayor asked. “Have you seen him lately?”

“Who Matt Tallicus?”

“It’s just Matt Morgolis now but it should be Matt Moredonuts. He dropped the Tallicus and the Metallica but that was all he dropped. He’s as huge as a house now. Fifty pounds away from being a shut in.”

Chas was amazed. “No shit?”

“Can we stay on track for a change?” Skids protested. “I want to hear about the studio.”

“We’re booked for a weekend at a studio up in Ernie’s Bay.”

“Couldn’t they get you a studio closer? I mean, Ernie’s Bay, that’s a hell of a long way to go to record. A two-hour drive up the interstate, at least.”

“It’s what I was told. It was the closest studio they were affiliated with. I meet with one of their lawyers next Wednesday for the final arrangements. Then Doc and I will pick up Wally Thursday afternoon. Skunk and Grub can arrive together Friday morning. We’ll have until Monday to get it done.”

“You better get Skunk and Grub to agree then. I hear crow doesn’t taste so good. I though this was supposed to be an entitlement?”

“It is.”

“John, they don’t usually come with time constraints and deadlines. If Wires wanted to help you so much, you’d think he would have left the time table up to you as well as your choice in recording facilities? Correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like Wires’ L.A. legals are making it awfully tough to do this. Are you sure this is what he wanted?”

“Christ Mayor! You're not at work right now. Not everything is a conspiracy you know. If we don’t follow through with these exact details then the money goes to a charity.”

“What’s the name of the charity?”

“I don’t know— 'Time for Tykes'. Something like that. I don’t remember.”

“Never heard of it.”

“It’s some Big Brother type organization for underprivileged kids....from unwed mothers....of.....of ex-Olympians I think. Along those lines anyway. It’s a good cause. It’s a charity Mayor. Apparently he already left them a considerable chunk. -Look! Wires wanted us to have this chance and I’m going to do my damndest not to let him down!”

“Can we come?”

“I don’t think that would be a good idea Chas. Remember what happened the last time you guys came into the studio with us?”

***

We’d bonded quickly with the Christian rock fags as our paths crossed between rehearsals. Soon they were hanging with us instead of practicing. We were preparing for our first foray into the recording studio and invited them to join us. It was a high and exciting time in The Oral Blondes budding career. We had a new drummer, we had a slew of what we felt were great songs and most importantly, we had the fresh breath of new management. At the time, Blake Cole was a manager starting out in the music business like us, but he had already made inroads with some of the major record companies. He arranged a sweet deal with one of the biggest studios in the city. His primary band was in recording their second effort for RCA and we could go in at night to use the downtime after they left.

The studio was state of the art and the best money could buy. We could not contain our mirth and felt we should repay the faithful who had stood by us as we forged ahead. So we also invited other friends, and family, and girlfriends, . . . and chubs, . . . and hangers-on. We might have well put up flyers. The turnout was larger than most gigs we’d played. Even Wires had showed up to witness the blessed event.

It was bedlam from the get-go. Like kindergarten at recess. Video machines were assaulted, fridges were raided, and platinum records were removed from walls and used as frisbees. People were strewn about the place like corpses on a battle field, mostly drunk in puddles of their own vomit. In the control room the plush couches supported the bodies, in places two deep, and the mindless chatter the onset of an alcoholic daze will induce. Someone even brought a monkey. Several times the sound engineer had to turn around and tell people to, 'shut up', between takes. The air was blue with the thunder clouds of a smokey haze, and the sound console was a virtual bar of rye, rum, gin, and vodka mixtures.

I was busy mixing myself a new drink when the door edged open and Wires’ head slowly made an entrance. I was ecstatic and ran to welcome him. I put my hand on his shoulder and coaxed him in. “Wires! You came. It’s great to see you man.”

“Wouldn’t have missed it Sparky.”

“What you been up to? Still with the old band?”

“Naw. It finally died its death. I’m in charge of the house-sound for the Golden Horseshoe now.”

“That’s cool. What about the drawings?” I gulped a mouthful of my drink. Some spilled on the carpet and I used my foot to blend it in. “Still as creative as ever?”

“I still make time to do them. In fact, the local paper in Beaton wants to run my comics in the Saturday issue.”

“The Beaton Path? Wow. That’s great! You should talk to the Mayor he works for a newspaper. Maybe he can get you an in with them as well. He’s a fair-haired guy, vegetarian. You must have passed him on the way in.”

“I passed a lot of people on the way in, Sparky. What exactly is a vegetarian supposed to look like? There was a bald guy with glasses almost comatose on the couch. Is that him?”

“No. That’s probably Chas. You know once I saw him sleep perpendicular across two bar stools.”

“Well, I think Chas fell asleep on the remote. The TV was flipping channels and no one was watching. There was another guy in a room with some half-naked girl.”

“Now that sounds like the Mayor.”

“He was eating something but I don’t think it was vegetarian. Oh and I think there’s some record executives here. I heard them discussing you guys out in the lobby before I entered.”

“Record guys? Shit!” I looked at Doc who had been pushing buttons and yelling, “bulk erase!” My eyes darted to the madhouse around us. “Everybody Hide! Quick!” There was a terrible commotion as bodies got up and exploded into one another in an effort to find concealed spaces in a room barely big enough to contain those within it. I felt as if our parents had suddenly come home unannounced in the middle of the party they told us not to have.

Wires moved to the side and reached for a cigarette, as a girl I did not know crawled under the sound console between the legs of the stunned engineer. Four others ran into the sound booth and put on head phones as they crouched down in a corner behind a bass amp. The rest elected couch cushions for their cloak of invisibility, thrusting their heads under, and remaining partially hidden like obscure human ostriches. Skunk slept through it all. She was still slumped against the track machines in the far corner where she’d been for the last two hours after finishing her guitar pass. There was an empty bottle of Jack jutting out from between her legs like an erect penis. Wires struck a match with his thumb nail as he leaned against the wall. He still preferred to use the old wooden ones. He lit the end of the cigarette as the door to the control room swung opened. It was our new manager Blake Cole. He looked around, shook his head, and silently motioned for Doc and I to join him in the hall. The come hither motion of his finger was like some hypnotic fleshy fish-hook and I knew we’d soon be in the frying pan over the fire.

We stood in the protective culvert of the Laquer Channel where the master discs were born. For now it provided some muted solitude. Despite the clamor and clatter of everything falling apart around us, Grub walked calmly by, toward the studio, with a cup of tea in his hand. Blake waited for him to pass. “What’s going on here guys?”

“Uh . . . We were excited to be here and decided to have a few friends in to share the moment . . . that’s all.”

“A few friends is one thing, but legions of inconsiderate malcontents is another.”

“Things may be getting a little out of control I’ll admit but . . . ”

“...A little out of control? A LITTLE OUT OF CONTROL!” Blake’s voice rumbled like thunder to be quickly swallowed by the acoustics of the room. “Have you seen the lounge? It’s a mess! There’s a gold record being used to serve cheese and crackers! Someone threw shit against the wall, as in human excrement, and there’s a monkey with the TV remote changing channels. Last I saw, he was jumping up and down on a bald guy, who’s passed out on the couch.”

Doc spoke. “It’s a gibbon.”

“A wha?”

“The monkey. It’s a gibbon. Probably responsible for the shit on the wall too. Don’t know about the cheese and cracker tray, they are mostly herbivores, but definitely the shit on the wall.”

Blake glared at him.

“OK . . . I think I’ll just shut my trap now . . . ” Doc trailed off.

Blake boomed. “Just because you pay for the time doesn’t mean you can do whatever you please with it, gentlemen! I have one of the A&R people from RCA out in the car. I was bringing him in to hear you guys. That’s right! But this unprofessional behavior.” He shook his head. “I can’t take a chance. This already makes me look bad and you worse.”

“Blake I don’t know what to say?”

Blake held up his hand to silence me. “Let me finish. You have a golden opportunity to step ahead of others. It’s in front of your face and you’re blowing it. I think you’re going to look back on this one day and regret you missed this window. In this business you don’t get too many second chances. You have to capitalize on them when you do. It’s there for those who really want it, but if you’re just using it to play rock star then....I have no sympathy for you. Go get a day job. Now! I suggest you get busy putting this place back in order. Understand? Spic-and-span, or it’ll be a long time before you find yourself in a situation like this again, if at all.” After his tirade Blake paused for a moment to collect himself. He tugged downward on his blazer and strangled his tie to center, then turned and calmly walked off. His vocal blast had shaken the very foundation of my being, melting my soul from it’s empty shell. I’m sure it was now nothing more than a cuckold aura pooling about my feet.

Bug joined us. He sipped his tea and placed it back in the saucer. He seemed somewhat concerned yet his register remained monotone. “ There’s four peoples ass’s sticking out of the couch in the control room. There’s no place to sit and I can’t find my monkey.”

***

“Blake wouldn’t even take our calls after that day. He was right. We did live to regret it. Shit.”

“What did you need Blake the Snake for anyway?”

“Skids! He went on to manage Bone White Oblivion. To this day I can’t listen to their music. It reminds me how we failed. That should have been us doing videos, being on the radio, signing the big contract.”

“Blake manages them? They’re big-time.”

“Used to,” the Mayor corrected. “Now he’s a talent scout for one of those musical reality shows.”

“No shit?” Skids mused.

“But at that time, he took them on right after us,” I injected. “The rest is history. Christ, even Wires saw what we were doing to ourselves but didn’t feel it was his place to say anything. Maybe that’s why he’s given us this second chance. So . . . no . . . I don’t think we should have anyone in the studio who isn’t going to be performing.”

“Does everyone know Wires is behind this venture?”

“No Mayor, they don’t, and they are not to know just yet. Doc knew he’d passed on and thought initially, it was why I was there to see him. Wally had no clue.”

“It’s too cloak and dagger if you want my opinion. Very peculiar. You can hide behind the excuses of for the greater good and it’s what Wires would’ve wanted, but you’ve already lied to two of your former band-mates. These are people who once were your best friends and still respect you. This is a dangerous game you’re playing John. The type you used to curse others for playing on you.”

“It will work out Mayor. You’ll see. It has to.”

In the distance I could hear a phone ringing and the morose voice of Skids’ mother as she answered. I was reminded of the call I had received almost three weeks ago. The one putting everything in motion.

Friday, August 24, 2007

New release this week

Given the events of yesterday, I'm not sure I should be posting today. I can't run forever, but I can take precautions like change my name.....That's it!.....Goodbye Chris Strange. Say hello to....Jose Marrone! Cheeeee!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'm a dead man....

You've probably wondered where Ol' Strange has disappeared to over the last day or so?....OK, maybe not. I'll tell you anyway. I've been in hiding. Click this and it will all be self explanatory.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Michael Angelo Batio Double-Guitar Solo

Today is my Son's birthday and if I were allow him to post any video on my blog, I'm sure it would be this one. Personally I would rather see a double dong solo, but what the hell, it's his birthday. Happy 18th T.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Chocolate Rain revisited

I don't usually post specifically for one person....unless that person is me....then I guess you can say I do it all the time.

However, today's post is for Reg who seems quite creeped out by the song Chocolate Rain, which I'll admit is probably the worst tune ever written. It rates with other obnoxious musical fodder such as Lovin' You by Minnie Ripperton and the Macarena.

Yet, I feel Reg should take another look at it from a different perspective to appreciate its audacity fully. I feel this is so important, I've totally disregarded my weekly post of news and reviews. Forget the Elvis anniversary. Forget the plethora of unique and diverse incredible stories of idiocy you will now never know. Reg must come first.

This for you my brother.



Cross posted on Mitchieville

Saturday, August 18, 2007

HMH #4

Chapter Four - Shoulda got a large

“So you see, it’s because of Apples I found you Wally. No one else knew where to start looking. Doc said you just wandered off. ‘Walked into the wilderness like Man-Mountain-Dean,’ he said.”

Wally listened as he started to unzip his way out of his dirty overalls. We stood next to our respective transportation in the parking lot of a greasy-spoon diner named Ethyl’s. Even in the daylight I could see the neon E blinking and hear the intermittent surge of electricity.

“Running into Apples was mere coincidence Wally. Blind luck. I hadn’t seen him since the disastrous showcase. It has to be ten . . . twelve years ago . . . at least. It’s miraculous Wally. Like thinking winter’s never going to end and then suddenly . . . ,” I paused. “ . . . the strong cold clutches lose their grip to the warmth of a spring thaw.”

“God! That’s awful Sparky! No wonder you’re not published.” Wally smiled- more of a smirk really. He rolled his work clothes into a ball and tossed them on the driver’s seat of his truck. He was now dressed in tan Bermuda-shorts and a grey checkered shirt minus a button at the belly. He must have lost a little weight because the buttons seemed less stressed of losing their second in command. In all, his appearance had improved dramatically, even with the sweat stains under his armpits.

I looked at the diner. “You sure it’s safe to eat here?”

“Ethyl’s is where I come for my shore lunch when I’m out fishing.”

“Shore lunch? I don’t see any lake.”

“Come on, Sparky. I’m hungry.”

The interior of the restaurant looked like a collection agency for junk. The walls were covered with licence plates from all over. Trucker hats of various colors and logos hung from the rafters like New Year’s balloons. There were also dusty, mite infested, busts of dead animals from moose, to deer, to bear, to beaver, in various corners. It seriously made me question my desire to continue as a carnivore. I mean come on. Who mounts the head of a beaver? There was a thick fried smell in the air like gristle remnants of French-fries long since dead and a glossy sweat of grease glistening from the kitchen walls.

Wally motioned for me to sit and I plunked myself down at one of the many wooden tables with red, checked, plastic covers. They were nothing more than picnic tables really, still streaked with the wipe-down tang of vinegar and water.

Wally grabbed two laminated menus from their holder on the table and tossed one across to me. He buried his face deep into his, as I continued to glance around at this living time capsule. Technology seemed to miss the great leap out of the twentieth century as evident from the diner’s log cabin interior. The jukebox in the corner had visible 45's and the faded yellow placards of Country’s finest. There were dirty hand prints on the men’s washroom door where it had been shoved open repeatedly, and the wooden pillars sported thousands upon thousands of business cards. Yet, other than Wally and I, an old woman doing a crossword in the corner, and a short-order cook who simultaneously picked at a scab on his chin and flicked at flies with a dish towel, the place was empty.

I looked back at all the business cards and thought about Apples’ card being up there in the labyrinth. One tiny billboard lost in the business card jungle of traveling salesmen, fertilizer manufacturers and haulage entrepreneurs. An unnoticed paper brick shouting out to the ho’s that would never come and the local clientele that couldn’t give a damn.

“Lot of business cards for not having much business.”

“You should see this place on a Tuesday . . . packed.”

“Really?”

“Two for one moose burgers and all you can eat wings.”

“I guess that explains the moose head on the wall . . . but where’s the chicken’s? What’s with the dead animals in the corners anyway?”

“Direction.”

“What?”

“North, South, East, and West, Sparky. I’m surprised as a wannabee writer you didn’t pick up on that?”

“Oh yeah? Which direction is the beaver supposed to be?”

Wally looked up at me and tilted his head slightly as his lips pursed and his eyebrows raised.

“South,” I said, answering my own question. “I get it. Sorry I asked.”

Wally coughed his wheezy laugh again and we started to rehash our past together. We were interrupted by the old woman and her cheap perfumed fragrance. She had traded in her crossword for an order pad.

“What can I get ya’s?”

“My usual Mable.”

“And for you?”

“Cheese burger, hold the scabs, and coffee . . . black.”

“Outa towner?”

“What gave it away, the cheese?”

“No, the smart ass comment.” She flipped her pad closed and gave me a stern look of disapproval as she meandered toward the kitchen. I heard her voice bellowing out the order, “Earl, we got one to run the gauntlet and an outa towner special with a side of mud hold the road salt.”

“Outa Towner Special? Christ, they’re not gonna spit on my burger are they?”

“No they’re good people. Besides you’re with me Sparky. You gots nothin’ to worry bout. It’s just...well... they don’t take kindly to city folk. Probably just want to put a little fear of God into ya.”

“You know me, Wally. I’m not much for the whole God rigamarole. Although, this place is the perfect venue to sit down and talk. It’s like being on the road again.”

“Except back then you couldn’t afford to order anything.”

“I’ve got news for you— I still can’t.”

“Hey remember that restaurant in the Midwest— ?”

“Yeah— oh, what was it called? The waitress looked like Nancy Reagan . ”

“Right— ”

“— and Doc kept calling the cook Dabney Coleman.”

“That’s right, and when the waitress asked you what you wanted, you said, ‘hard core porn’.”

“— Except she was hard of hearing and thought I said, ‘hard cardboard’, and brought me a plate of it cut up, covered in gravy.”

We both laughed. “Oh man Sparky, Those were the days huh?”

“Now they are, but they weren’t at the time.”

As we waited for the food to arrive, we continued our conversation of the past, right up to the day Wally had quit the band. I remembered it well. We were playing a little hole in the wall called Stranko’s, also blessed with many a hole in the stage. In fact, my leg had gone through one, on an over zealous charge onto it to do an encore for the seven people who had showed up to see us perform. I’d fallen flat on my face.

The club owner, had not been pleased with the turnout and vowed we’d never play his place again, like he did every time we played there. Good thing for us, he didn’t have much of a memory. We’d change the name of the band to something else absurd and would be back again next month, but tonight would be the last performance of Gilligan’s Eyelid in more ways than one.

After the gig I had sat nursing my wounded appendage when Wally approached me. He dropped his guitar case at my feet. “I’m quittin’ Sparky.”

With those three words everything had stopped, suspended in time. I could see our lead guitarist Skunk and her unmistakable plume of black hair with a white stripe down the middle sitting with a few friends at the side of the stage. I could see Doc pestering our new baby-faced, drummer Grub at a table behind us. All traffic outside ceased; all noise sucked into a vacuum. No clinking of liquor bottles, no murmur of undistinguishable voices, no steaming swish of beer mugs on their assembly line through the dishwasher. There was only Wally telling me, he was quitting the band. The punch of the exclamation point imbibing the breath from my lungs. Slowly the world began to move again. Sound and motion.

“What? Wally you can’t.”

“I can too.”

“I didn’t mean it like that. I meant, we’ve done so much work. Six months of writing and rehearsing with a drum machine up on that damn farm of yours next to that creepy cornfield. We just found the right drummer for Christ’s sake. We even have someone interested in managing the band. Why quit? Why now?”

“It all sounds the same to me now, Sparky, and I’m not sure this is what I want. I don’t know if I could stand being . . . ya know . . . well known anyways?”

“We’re a long way from reaching anything resembling famous, Wally.”

“I know but I like my life like it is. I don’t want the speculation. Am I gay? Do I have sex with barn yard animals?”

“Well do ya— ?”

“— Don’t you judge me ” He smiled. “Look . . . you guys don’t need me for one. Skunk can handle all the guitar work. And I feel we’re going nowhere fast. As it stands now, we’ve got no management, no agent, no gigs outsida playin’ in this dump once a month. Just a bunch of songs no one wants to hear because they want to see tribute bands. I’m tired, Sparky. I’m tired of people yelling, Guns N Roses and Aerosmith at us all night. I’m tired of playing under stupid band names other than the Oral Blondes. Tired of hauling my gear up on the stage to play for six people and the money we get from the door.”

“Actually there was seven people tonight and the door guy didn’t show, so we played for free.”

“Whatever. I’m tired.”

I could hear Doc behind me starting to run through his knowledge of coffee with our new percussionist. Grub tried his best to look interested. He had passed the audition with us, without playing a beat. We had all been fatigued by the parade of drummers and what seemed like, endless days of auditioning them. We were more intent on watching Grub’s father do magic tricks. He had driven our soon-to-be drummer to the tryout and had pulled several coins and one egg from behind Wally’s ear to our communal awe. Thank God, Grub could actually play the drums.

Wally continued. “I’ll be twenty-nine next week, Sparky. Now I know that’s not old but it’s old enough to start making decisions on what you should be doing with your life and I don’t want to do this anymore.”

I could hear Doc rhyming off, “Chicory, Mocha Java, Espresso . . . A lot of people call it ex-presso but they’re wrong . . . ” Grub sat silent, listening to him.

“Maybe one day you’ll feel differently Wally.”

“Sparky, remember when we first started this? We stopped at that café near the farm to get coffee. We all get regular sized coffees and then this guy walked out of there with this giant cup. Well . . . I shoulda got a large.”

“What’s that got to do with you leaving the band?”

“I want the large. I don’t want to settle for the regular anymore. It’s the grass is greener effect if you’d like? I’m afraid I’ve wasted too much time and money already. I’ve got a wife to think about now.”

A waitress approached Grub’s table as Doc finished up. “Ahhh and the succulent aroma of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. You really should start drinking black coffee little grub man.”

“Last call. Can I get you guys anything?”

Grub spoke at last. “Tea please.”

“Is there anything I can say to change your mind Wally?”

“No.”

“OK, then I wish you well. Go get your large if that’s what you really want. You have my blessing. Just be happy wherever you end up . . . But before you go I have something for you. I know your birthday’s next week, but who knows when I’ll see you again.” I gave him his gift. “It’s from all of us really.”

“Is it what I think it is?”

“Open it and see.”

Wally opened the red gift bag. Inside was a white chocolate rabbit. The pink candy eye had long since fallen off and still rattled around inside the package. It had become a bit of a joke or, perhaps tradition in a good luck omen sense of the word? Wally had bought the thing in the middle of nowhere on the last gig we’d played while touring with the old band before we quit to form The Oral Blondes and had never eaten it. Christmas had come and being hard up for money he’d simply presented the rabbit to Doc as a gift. It was a selfless act considering Wally and his boundless love for food. Doc in turn, had wrapped it and given it to me on my birthday. I had handed it off to Skunk on Valentine’s Day, (nothing says I care, like five-year-old chocolate). Skunk had slipped it back to me on Easter. Now I was completing the circle by giving it back to Wally.

He smiled as he looked at the critter still encased in plastic. “I guess we won’t be passing this around anymore.”

“That’s up to you Wally. I hope this one last gesture will bring a change of heart?”

“Sorry Sparky, my minds made up.” He grabbed his guitar case. “You’ll tell the others, won’t you?” He turned and left.

Wally had been right. Skunk did an admirable job of filling the vacancy and somehow his departure gave us renewed vigor. Things pressed forward falling slowly into place. However, he was still Wally and he was missed.

***

“Hey whatever happened to that white chocolate rabbit? You had it last. Did you every eat it?”

“It got eatin’. But not by me.”

“Really? Who the hell was bold enough to attempt feasting on that?”

“My brother Glib gave me a dog as a weddin’ present . . . the second marriage I think. Anyway, damn dog snagged it off the kitchen counter one day when I was at work— dumb old hound. Probably thought he was out huntin’?”

“Fuck, that chocolate had to be ancient? Nero probably fiddled over it?”

“It was. Didn’t agree with him much. He dragged his ass all over my nice black carpet. White lines of chocolate crap everywhere, Sparky. It was awful. It caused my third divorce don’t ya know.”

“I thought you said the dog was a wedding present for you and your second wife?”

“It was. And that damn hound wrecked that marriage too, but I wasn’t tossin’ a perfectly good carpet. I guess I shouldn’t have told my third wife that story? — Don’t worry, I finally did get a new rug.”

I laughed as Wally sunk his teeth into the roast beef sandwich. It had come after the fish and chips and had been the chaser for the black bean soup. He now eyed the wedge of cherry pie as his next target.

I looked at him fascinated as I might at a sharp shooter piercing the paper heart on a target range with four consecutive shots. “So that’s running the gauntlet? Or does the term apply to later when all the shite has worked its way through your system? Maybe your dog was trying to tell you something? Come to think of it— I’m not sure your new carpet’s safe either, Wally.”

“Good old Sparky, forever the funny man. Well I know you didn’t come here just to talk about the past with me and make jokes, or tell me how much you hate brown fruit. You said you had a purpose or idea?”

“A mission Wally.”

“Mission . . . whatever. Let’s hear it.”

I told him the plan. The potential studio time. The one song and how it wouldn’t cost him a damn thing. However, everything else depended on all the players agreeing to get back together.

“Let me ask you Wally, what keeps you from doing what you want with life?”
“My ex-wives.”

“I was thinking more along the lines of fear, but ex-wives will do. Don’t you see this is a second chance for you? For all of us. It’s the look into the river below. The rush of the water and you’re frightened to jump in Wally. I know. We all are. But to take the step . . . to feel the adrenaline coursing through your veins . . . the emptiness in your balls . . . in your stomach as you surrender to the air. Then . . . the cold purge of water drawing you in. The deafening crush of
churning on your eardrums. But you come up and you can breathe. You suddenly realize the jump wasn’t as far as you thought, the water wasn’t as cold— ”

“— You can’t swim and you drown. Yeah, yeah. You made your point Sparky. Just do me a favor OK?”

“Anything.”

“Don’t try to write any more books.”

“Then you do me a favor Wally. Think about what I said. I’d hate for you to miss out on the high of doing something with your life. Pull the shit out of your own outhouse for once, instead of everyone else’s.”

“So much food for thought yet, I’m still hungry.” He plowed a fork into his cherry pie. “This is an awful lot to digest Sparky.”

“What I’m telling you, or what you’re eating?”

“Har Har .... I don’t know. It’s not like I’d be needed. You guys didn’t miss me when I left.”

“You were missed Wally. It’s just that you weren’t there to see it. Believe me when I tell you now. It’s with you, or not at all. Everyone is waiting for your response.”

“Why do you have to know this minute?”

“Because it’s a time sensitive issue Cinderella and you’re already starting to look like a pumpkin. A limited time offer Wally that’s all I can say. You’re in, or you’re out. If you’re in . . . alert the media, I’m the happiest guy in town. If you’re out . . . then it was a long drive to see a dear old friend, chat about the past, and eat a shitty cheese burger.”

“I’ll think about it Sparky but I can’t say you’ll like my answer.”

“If you had one opportunity, one shot, Wally, wouldn’t you take it? Shit, listen to me. I sound like Eminem.”

“What’s chocolate-covered peanuts have to do with this?”

“Look! Everyone else has said yes. It all rests with you.” I dropped my business card on the table. “Give me a call one way or the other before you put it up there on one of the pillars next Billy Bob’s Bug Busters and Clem-a-doodle-doo’s Chicken Ranch, will ya?” I tossed some money on the table and got up to leave. “Whatever you decide, it was good seeing you again.”

Wally looked at the card and then back up at me. “And all this is because of Wires?”

“Yup. It came up when I was talking with him. Met him...oh...a couple of years ago now. He was doing really well for himself. Asked about all you guys. Urged me to seek you all out and give it another try. He’s the reason I’m here Wally.”

“And it took you two years.”

“I’m such a procrastinator. You know that.”

“Damn it! Fine! I’ll be there, but I’m not making any promises beyond the studio.”

“That’s great! I’ll tell the others.”

“So, is Wires joining our little party? I know he must be a busy man and all, but he’s the one to push you into doing something.”
“No Wally, he won’t be there. Wires died two weeks ago.”

Friday, August 17, 2007

New release this week

In keeping with the theme this week, I recommend: Boned- Up at the Crack.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Detachable Penis? Sign me up!

An oldie but a....you know the rest. This little diddy by King Missile fits right in on Penis Week.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Iron penis? Sign me up!

Hot chicks with tongue tricks

That's what it said. So if some of them look like guys in drag don't blame me. I'm just the messenger.

Put them together and it all leads to....

This

Who the hell is that?: Answer

The answer to last week's "Who the hell is that?", is E: None of the above.....say who the hell is that anyway?


You may notice with the tasteless cartoon of the week and our anonymous friend pictured here, there seems to be a theme forming for this week? Yes that's right. This week is all about the penis. Your penis, my penis, everyone's penis.....OK not women.....well most women.....and over sized clits don't count.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Tasteless cartoon of the week

This one's for you Uncle John.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

It's all death and destruction

DEATH:

Studies now concur, women who have had breast augmentation.....here's my chance to insert a picture of a overly large breasted woman

......are three times more likely to commit suicide or to die from drug or alcohol dependence.

Really, I can empathise with these women. Why, after I had my penis extension I thought about ending it several times. Personally, I think their mortality rate is tied in to the fact they get given more free drugs and alcohol than their budgie-sized-breast counterparts. But that's just me and my giant penis talking.

Squeeze that OJ

O.J. Simpson must pay the family of the late Ronald Goldman any money he earns from a video game featuring his likeness , to satisfy a $38 million wrongful death judgment, a judge ruled Tuesday.

The game, All-Pro Football 2K8, features Simpson's likeness and a team called the Assassins playing as one of 240 former football greats.

I had this idea back in the early 90's. No! Not about an O.J. football video game, but to have a game where you could play teams and stars from past eras against one another. However, do you think I could get anyone at EA Sports to listen to me and my giant penis? NO!

As far as I'm concerned O.J. owes me money.


Back to school...don't forget your Kevlar

It’s back-to-school time so load up with those pencils, notebooks, rulers and, of course, a bullet-deflecting backpack, if you buy the pitch of the security accessory’s Danvers inventors.

Dads Mike Pelonzi, 43, and Joe Curran, 42, dreamed up the bullet-proof backpack, which also blunts knife attacks, to protect their own children after witnessing the Columbine massacre in 1999.

The backpacks, which will cost $175, have a super-lightweight bullet-proof plate sewn into the back which weighs no more than a bottle of water. Pelonzi said the material used is a secret.

“We have tested and tested this product and we are very excited about it. We researched every school shooting since 1900 and found that our product is resistant to 97 percent of all bullets used,” added the father of two.

OK, so how long before some kid decides to see who has this product and who doesn't and goes to school with a gun to find out?

" Would ya look at that? None of the 1st graders had the backpack. Let's try the second grade."

Might as well sew on the bullseyes now.


Send us your tired, your hungry, your huddled gang members

A rumour that's been circulating in Brampton for the past 18 months has created a stir.

The rumour said people from the Jane and Finch area of Toronto are being paid between $5,000 and $10,000 to relocate to northwest Brampton. It has spawned complaints in the form of emails and telephone calls to city hall and police from people who think gang members are moving into their neighbourhoods.

Mayor Susan Fennell, a trusted politician, has assure the public the rumour is not true.

A trusted politician huh? Note to self: When house hunting- cross Brampton off the list.

Get the lead out: Part I

Lead poisoning can cause vomiting, anemia and learning difficulties. In extreme cases, it can cause severe neurological damage and death. Just ask the Chinese. They've been exporting it to you in your children's toys.

China said yesterday that it has banned lead-tainted exports by two toy manufacturers whose products were subject to major recalls in the United States, Beijing's latest effort to repair its reputation as a safe supplier.

Now if they'd just do something about the lead tainted sex toys.

I see dead people

Over at Myspace where there is a morbid fascination to view the pages of recently deceased members.

Is it any wonder I can't get anyone to view the Sector page?

Dead portrait's society

A Canadian artist has come up with a new way to memorialise cremated loved ones: a portrait, drawn with a pencil created from their ashes.

Lucas Seaward, an Edmonton, Alberta, portrait artist, says he has developed a process for incorporating about a tablespoon of ashes into a type of pencil that can be used for drawing a memorial portrait in shades of grey.

OK, that just creeps me the fuck out!......Uncle John? Is that you?


DESTRUCTION:

A Polish woman came back from holiday to find the local council had built a traffic island and a new road in her back garden.

But when Alicja Ziemowit, 48, complained she was told a change in the law meant local council officials could use private land for road building without consent and without paying compensation.

A spokesman for the local council in Lodz said: "I don't know why she is complaining, it is not a busy road, and she can still get to the back of her garden quite easily."

He added: "She still owns the land, it just has a road on it now."

If it were me, I'd be setting up a toll booth on that baby and paying gang members to move to Poland. In your face local council officials.


We've been expecting you Mr. Bonds

756? Big deal. From a juiced-up, obnoxious clown. Go compete in the Tour De France Barry, you'd be more at home.

Speaking of records being broken

Nationwide, sales of canned beer are up 10 per cent over last year, and a whopping 27 per cent in Ontario alone, according to a recent report from The Brewers Association of Canada. Not to mention sales of wine and tequila have also spiked.

I think I better have a little talk with GIGC?

Speaking of records being hidden

Adolf Hitler, the most notorious champion of Richard Wagner and “racially pure” German music, banished Jewish and Russian musicians from the concert halls of the Third Reich — but apparently listened secretly to their work.

Want to know what Adolf would take with him to a desert island?

Tchaikovsky, Borodin and Rachmaninov. Also, the Austrian Jewish pianist Artur Schnabel, whose mother was killed by the Nazis, had his work included in Hitler’s personal collection.

Get the lead out: Part II

A 59-year-old German woman has had most of a pencil removed from inside her head after suffering nearly her whole life with the headaches and nosebleeds it caused, Bild newspaper reported on Monday.

Margret Wegner fell over carrying the pencil in her hand when she was four.

“The pencil went right through my skin — and disappeared into my head,” Wegner told the newspaper.

At the time no one dared operate, but now technology has improved sufficiently for doctors to be able to remove it.

Now she can have it used with a dead ones ashes.

Sector electrifies crowd with acoustic set but causes near riot



Private Sector performed a surprise acoustic set at Sibbald Point last weekend sending a near capacity crowd into a frenzy.

The band opened with a rendition of Midnight Oil's, Bullroarer and Pink Floyd's, Comfortably Numb, before ripping into the meat of the Sector catalogue which included The Cure, The Torture Never Stops, Heart of Darkness, The Mask, Sleepless, Holdin’ Out, Where Were You, Standing on the Edge, The Gardener, Colder the Compromise, and Handmade Heart.

Also performed were a scattering of cover songs like Superman’s Dead, Hurt, Brown Eyed Girl, and Desire.

Some who believed Sector’s set was too short started a small riot, burning several tents and picnic tables in a display in disappointment. Park officials said they did not intervene as the campsite's fire ban was not in effect between the hours of 8pm - 1am.

Cross posted at Mitchieville

Saturday, August 11, 2007

HMH #3

Chapter Three - a meeting of the mimes

Doc Barlow and I had been through a lot together, the dives, the barroom brawls, huddling and shivering together with no money in no-man’s land. We’d watched the endless stream of abandoning musicians pole-vaulting their way to greener pastures, yet we had persevered. Doc and I had been there to the bitter end with the Oral Blondes trying to make a go of it, sticking our fingers in a dyke full of holes, leaking badly. Finally, we had given up the ghost to accept the end even while our newest members, a guitarist named Serge and a drummer named Tony, argued over our musical direction.

“Serge, play dat note.”

“No Tony. Do dat beat.”

“Play dat note!”

“Do dat beat! Ah forgetta bow-dit ya mamaluke.”

Now I needed a yes or no answer from a man I had not spoken to in years, hoping our history together would somehow yield a future.

I’d driven up to his house, met the wife, and sat next to the hydrangeas in the backyard. I drank the fresh brewed, and reminisced with Doc much the same way Wires and I had done two years ago, when he’d blown through town on his tight schedule.

Doc still appeared much the same— his curly dark locks of hair now peppered with gray, his tall physical presence and his lanky appendages. He had put on some weight, but hadn’t we all? Gone however, were the glasses and the mustache, bowing to contacts and the electric razor. It was as if, like the rest of us, he was trying to turn back the clock a notch or two. Even with the physical changes he was still Doc— more visceral than visual— and I took strange consolation in it.

We sat under the cedar shingles of a covered deck where a hot-tub churned and bubbled underneath its lid like a boiling pot. The aromatic drift of coffee invaded the nostrils and stimulated the senses. How could he say yes? Why would he say yes? I shouldn’t have come. The doubt was creeping back in and dragging fear with it by the ankles. He’s embedded in this world now. The life of Better Homes and Gardens. Talking about the good old days isn’t going to change that . . . However, I was about to find, although the concrete had been poured long ago, it had not yet set.

Somewhere between the buttered scones, the third cup of java, and an hour-and-a-half of light-hearted conversation starting mostly with, “Remember what Wally did?” he took me down to a room in his basement. It had the comfort and placement of a feminine touch. A knitted afghan was draped across the couch with a pattern to match the curtains, and the square cushions were turned on their points to diamonds near the armrests. There was a plush carpet reminding you to remove your shoes and rows of shelves with stuffed animals, amid delicate things, marshaling chaos to order. The smell of potpourri with a hint of cinnamon emanated from a tiny
dish of leaves and pine cone on the coffee table. It was guarded by a glass unicorn pinning down a quartet of coasters. I found myself fighting off a sudden drowsiness overcoming my rebel instinct to scream.

Yet, in a room to the side was a portal to the past, a place where cables hung, crossed and connected like bloodlines to a different time. It was a domain where the marriage between the ivory keys and the nickle wound strings still existed. There were solid panels of gently blinking lights— a studio cockpit in need of a pilot. A microphone, perhaps still with the subtle reek of beer, jutted out from the long arm of a metal stand and radiated with the low razor hum of electric life.

“Doc, all your equipment . . . it’s still set up? I’m impressed. I’d have to fight my way through layers of cobwebs in the ass-end of a storage room, to find my stuff.”

“I like to play around on occasion. It’s a nice sanctuary away from the mundane daily routine at the book bindery I’ll tell ya. Some days, it’s all that keeps me going.”

“So . . . you still have the music in you . . . fuck. Forgive me. That sounded so lame.”

“Of course, don’t you? And you’re right Sparky. It sounded extremely lame.”

“You know, a couple of months ago I wouldn’t have even thought about picking up an instrument, Doc. But now . . . things have changed. I have the urge to know for sure. The Oral Blondes didn’t end in a natural order and I think it’s up to us to see they do. We worked too hard to get nothing out of it.”

“Oh-oh... Sparky’s got a hankering to throw his money away again— sleep in a crusty old bed— eat grilled cheese off a hot-plate. You really want to watch the locals kick the crap out of one another while the police stand by and place wagers? Maybe I should get that agent on the phone . . . what’s his name? Murray Sleezak? He’s probably still booking that shit. Although, I’m not sure if he’d be interested in a band of one?”

“I knew you wouldn’t be excited— ”

“— in what? Touring again? Of groupies invading our inner sanctum and fucking things up royally. Shit no Who would? We have bills to pay and families to think of. The days of reckless abandon are long gone, Sparky.”

“I know but— ”

“— Spit it out Sparky. Why are you really here?”

“Touring . . . no way. Nothing that extensive Doc. A little recording. Maybe play live again. Nothing we can’t do ourselves. It’ll be fun. You, me, Skunk, Grub and Wally. The original five Blondes.”

“Wally? Je-sus How the hell you going to find Wally? Even Wally doesn’t know where Wally is.”

“That’s the way it has to be Doc, all or nothing. He was there in the beginning. He should be apart of whatever end.”

“Sparky you may have not noticed, but we’re all old now.”

“Christ Doc, you make it sound like we all need walkers, or Viagra, or something?”

“No, but we’re in our forties.”

“Grub’s still in his thirties . . . ”

“Even so, It’s a little late to be contemplating a comeback as a, boy band.”

“Don’t let Skunk hear you say that. She’d kick your ass.”

“What are we going to call ourselves, The Fat Five? Shit, I have trouble getting out of bed in the morning my knees hurt so much.”

There was a moment of silence between us until Doc Barlow spoke again. “Sparky did you know that babies grow into their eyes? Really. It’s the truth. The pupils are the same size at birth as the are when they become adults. They just lose that innocent look. It’s the years of being lied to. The broken promises, no Santa Claus, no Easter Bunny, no sex after marriage. You and I, we both have lost the look of innocence. You seem to have forgotten all the knee-deep crap we went through, but I haven’t. Aside from that....I’ll tell you this. If you can get everyone else to agree, including Wally wherever he is, I’ll do it for old-time-sake. I’ll take it as divine intervention, or whatever, and give it one last try with childlike enthusiasm. Dust off the moth-infested, doctor stage clothes and everything. Why not? The house is paid off. I’ve got all the toys I want. I need some excitement in the Ol’ libido burrito— even if it is a little creaky in the joints from time to time.”

I couldn’t deny, it was encouraging to hear him announce he was on board. Even if it was only with one foot on the band-wagon while the other dragged in the dirt behind. I’d take the comfort however cold. It had gone better than I’d expected.

Driving along the capillaries of highways on my way home from Doc, I felt very much like being in the blood steam of some massive creature— insignificant and minuscule. I realized how hard this was going to be. Writing one song was a piece of cake compared to getting everyone to agree to record it. They all had their own lives now, removed and sheltered from the dreamlike past of music with its tiny victories and massive failures. I still knew where to find the others. But Wally? I hadn’t even considered the logistics.

“I hope you know what you’re doing Wires?” I mumbled. I took a ramp off the highway and pulled into a service station for gas. I rolled up to a pump and mechanically ran through the motions of obtaining fuel while I was lost in thought. Doc’s words ran laps on a track in my head. Wally doesn’t even know where Wally is. “What have I gotten myself into?”

A voice interrupted the sequence and jolted me into the waking world. It was low and raspy, yet strangely familiar. It came from a vehicle pulling up along side of me.

It said, “Hey white boy you gonna be long pumpin?” It was followed by a curt laugh.

“Huh . . . ?”

“Relax Dog. I ain’t gonna pop a cap in yo ass.”

“Fuck me ...Apples?”

“Fuck you? I ain’t missed ya that much fool,” he laughed again. He extended his hand out of the driver side window as we touched fists. “And it’s just ‘A’ now, Bro.”

“ . . . A. . . . Wow This is such an unexpected surprise. How are you? What you been up to? You’re still performing right? So many questions. I don’t know where to begin?”

“Move out-da-way. Let me get my shit, and then I’ll sit down witcha. Give you the 411.”

I finished my task and paid the attendant. I moved into an abandoned parking space next to the near empty diner. It was away from the pumps and the mind numbing intoxicant of gasoline. There I waited for Apples to fill his vehicle— a Hummer with chrome plated bumpers and tinted windows.

A light drizzle began to fall bringing a cool freshness and glistened on the tarmac like a wet black pool. Once he was finished, he pulled into a spot three spaces down and got out. He approached me with one of his entourage.

His companion was a small guy with baggy pants below his waist, leaving his boxers exposed. His shirt was loose and open, divulging a tattoo of an arrow pointing down with the words, “Big is relative,” written in Gothic print. He also had a string of gold chains hung around his neck. There was a Red Sox baseball cap swung to the side and a bandanna tied tight around his head beneath it. It almost concealed his eyes. In fact, he had to keep tilting his head back to look forward as they approached. Must be fighting the weight of all those chains, I thought.


Apples in contrast, had an air of wealth about him. His clothes were stylish and well made. His grill of diamond inlays twinkled from his open smile and I knew whatever he’d been doing, he’d done it well. He popped open an umbrella as they approached.

Swaggering up to me Apples spoke. “This is my home-boy Oranges but just call him ‘O’ Bro.”

“O? That’s not Oranges, unless he’s gone Michael Jacksonese. From what I remember, Oranges was black and taller. This guy’s short and whiter than I am.”

“Who you callin’ white, bitch?” This O guy seemed quite upset at my description of reality.

“Get a leash on your guy, Apples. Geesh . . . ”

“...It’s just ‘A’ Bro.”

“Yeah, yeah Just ‘A’ mutherfucka, ” O mimicked.

Whatever the name he went by, he’d always be Apples to me.

Apples continued. “Don’t pay him no mind Bro. He’s just tryin’ to get into the lifestyle.”

“What, the pissin me off lifestyle?”

“Gangsta on yo ass Bro. You know— 'The lifestyle'. Dat’s what I’m talkin bout. I’m rappin’ Gangsta in my baby momma’s house deez days. You know what I’m sayin’?”

“Gangsta rap? What the hell happened to the reggae?”

“Gotta change when the wind blows Dog. Gotta go where the bling is. No-doubt-bout it.”

“Ya, ya, motherfucka. Bling! Bling! Like a bullet to the brain.” O went so far as to put a finger to his head. He mimed pulling the imaginary trigger while he peered out at me from under his bandanna with one, big, wide eye.

“I did notice the retirement plan in your mouth, and your ‘boss pimpin’ ride . . . A’,” I said, as I quoted the air.

“Sweet tain’t it? It was time I bonded wit my peeps. Sing about my brother’s gettin’ righteous. Injustice in the ghet-to. Bitches, bang and blow, Bro. It don’t hurt to make some cha-ching in the process.” The last part of his statement he recited as if it were the beginning of a new rap.

“You’re not from the ghetto Apples . . . sorry . . . ‘A’. You’re from a prestigious neighborhood in Cambridge. Your father was a professor at Yale— for God’s sake. In fact, I can still hear a hint of Bostonian when you speak. And I know your crazy-cracker, banker’s son here, can’t be from anywhere other than Riverdale....Right Jughead?”

O folded his arms across his chest and cocked his head to the side, but not before sticking his fingers in my face and saying, “I’ll fuck you up!” He accentuated each syllable with see-saw shoulders and the twisting of his fingers.

“Easy nigger,” Apples cautioned him. “Me and my Bro here, go way back.”

“So that’s what it’s come down to now? Music is all sex, money, guns, dying young and leaving a rebellious corpse? Changing direction every time your dick gets hard? What happened to the good old days when musicians sang words of substance and meaning? Are there no songs left about mystical journeys to the fairy king of the woodland realm? Kubla Khan and the pleasure dome? Houses of the Holy? Tales of Topographic Oceans?”

“The wha– Bro?”

“Oh forget it. I’m just lamenting how out of touch I am. So much has changed. It’s very disheartening. I don’t even know why I’m contemplating getting back into the life?”

“You gettin’ back in the life Bro? Sweet!”

“Ah . . . Fuck it. I’m too old now.”

“Do it for the bitches. It’s always da bitches.”

“Maybe years ago but as you get older, for me, integrity comes first. And I’m not sure I’ve got much of that left either? So . . . no offence to O but what happened to the original Oranges?”

“Bitches, it’s always da bitches.”

“You just said that.”

“I know Dog, but you asked me about Oranges and I’m tellin’. Bitches, it’s always da bitches.”

“Yeah, yeah. Bitches muthafucka!”

“Is there an echo?” I teased, looking around the near empty lot.

Apples continued after O interrupted. “Oranges met dis psycho bitch in a bar on slice night,” (Slice night, is what Apples called Ladies night.) “She messed with his mind real good. Gettin’ all jealous on his ass. She tell him, 'Nigger! I will cut your seeds if you fuck some other ho.' He’s all 'yes', and, 'No way baby. I loves you.' Then she dump him for some brother from another mother. Fuuuuck. She might as well drive-by and shoot his ass. He all fucked up, can’t perform, can’t do nuthin’. I tell him, 'chill Bro. Take a trip to the islands. Clear yo mind. Get yo groove back wit some other ho. Take care of bidness with a little somethin’ somethin’.' But he was still on about his girl. How see got all this junk in the trunk— Big ol’ ass like two ripe melons ready to bus itsel open. But it’s not like she was all that. My Bro Oranges coulda got better trim. But when he finally listen to my shit and go to get some sun and sand, there’s no comin’ back. They find his ass dead as Tu Pac Shakur.”

“That’s awful. He took his own life over his woman?”

“Fuck no, Dog. Rental car they gave him had no air-conditioning. He wasn’t used to the heat. So he was drivin wit his ass out the window tryin’ to stay cool. The roads there, ain’t very wide Bro. Bus coming in the other lane, erased his face. Took his head clean off.”

“Yeah, yeah. Clean off mutherfucka! Mess him up real good.”

Apples looked at O with disgust and made a sucking sound through the glitter of his molar jewelry. “Dats when I moved my crib to gangsta. Been rappin Westside ever since. Apples and Oranges are history. We’re just A&O in the now. Dats what I’m talkin’ bout.”

A&O? It sounds like a specialty channel, I thought.

“Yeah, yeah. A&O mutherfucka!”

I continued to ignore O. “Walden still booking you?”

“Fuck no Dog. Left his ass shortly after you did that big showcase for all the record companies. Remember the one?”

“I’d rather not. It didn’t go too well, or did you forget?....How’s Beeje?”

“Gone. He in jail for bigamy. He had eight bitches wit families set up all over before they caught up wit his ass. Twenty-two kids. He was one busy motherfucker. I don’t know how he found time to manage us. Chico Savarious handlin’ my career now.”

“Chico Savarious? Sounds like a shortstop for the Cleveland Indians?”

“Chico’s big time Bro Surprised chu ain’t heard of him? Gots all the connections.”

“Like I said I’ve been out of the life for some time.”

“Only one way to go wit Chico, and dats up. If it’s gold, he knows it. That boy can smell success. You know what I’m sayin’? I got no complaints. Damn straight. No-doubt-bout it.”

Once all my questions had been exhausted, I began my tale of events both past and post mortem. I filled Apples in on the recent conversations with Doc Barlow, and what I knew about Wires. He seemed intrigued by my intentions to track Grub, Wally and Skunk down.

“I’m just returning from Doc Barlow’s now as a matter of fact. Really the only one I’m going to have problems finding is Wally. No one’s seen him in years. But I have to try. Wires has really set a fire under my ass.”

“Well, relax Dog. We know where he is.”

“You shitting me Apples? You know where I can find Wally?”

“Just ‘A’ Bro.”

“Ya, ya just ‘A’ muthafucka! Respect da man!”

“OK OK ‘A’ You know where Wally is?”

“Damn straight. Me and my nigger O was doin this fest up north off the I- 90. Smokin’ bill, Beastie’s, and Snoop Dogg in the house.”

“Ya ya cool Muthafu . . . ”

“...Nigger will ya let me tell the man! Shit! I’ve been wit yo ass fo too long.”

O hung his head. “Sorry. Please continue.” He suddenly sounded more like a Wall Street broker than a homey from the hood.

Apples continued telling me about Wally. “Damn if I didn’t spy that MF cleaning the outhouses in the VIP area. He’s put on pounds, but still the same W A double L Y.” Apples looked at O. He still had his head down but sensed the gaze and made a zipping motion in front of his lips. “I didn’t have time to talk to him. We had a set to do. When we got off, he was gone. In and out, the boy is fast. Hope he ain’t like that wit the ladies?” Apples chuckled. It was soft and more like a staggered cough this time. “Anyways, he got into a truck said, Grissim & Sons, or Grizzly & Sons— something like that, on the side.”

“He’s working for a sanitation company?”

“No-doubt-bout-it Bro. Shouldn’t be too hard to locate his ass. Can’t be too many companies suckin’ shit up that way.”

“Thanks. You don’t know how important this is to me . . . to Wires.”

“If you guys are serious about doing it, let me know. Maybe I can get Chico to come and listen to yo shit.” Apples flipped me a business card. “Got my personals on it Bro. Just call when you’re ready and I’ll hook a brother up.” He took a pen from his vest pocket and wrote the name Chico Savarious across the back in short quick strokes.

“Cool,” I said.

“You lucky, Dog. Dis here card reserved for the ho’s. But it’s the least I can do for you guys and my main Bro Wires.”

“Great, I’ll be in touch.”

“Stay real baby.”

“Yeah, yeah, Peace out mutherfucka— ”

“— O what did I say to you about layin’ off dat shit?”

“Sorry. Nice to meet you,” O responded. Solemnly he turned to leave.

Apples gave me one final wave before he joined him and scolded O back to the Hummer. “You better be practicing yo Marcel Marseau the rest of the night before I can your sorry ass.”

I watched as A&O mounted up and peeled out of the station, kicking up a wet spray. On their way to meet the crew at their next gig somewhere down the black ribbon of road no doubt.

God, Doc was worried about us being too old. Apples had to be pushing fifty and here he was with his little posse, still performing to the masses. You had to admire the man getting up there like Dorian Gray and tackling the physical demands of his musical genre. Somewhere I still had Apples and Oranges first album on vinyl, back in the days when they were doing R&B for a living. They used to sell them at their gigs saying, “Give your girl the best twelve inches she ever had.”

It seemed so long ago now, like I hadn’t been there at all. A story passed down through the generations. But if ever there was a time when doubt left me it was the moment I watched the taillights of the Hummer disappear, swallowed by the night, hauling my reverence with it. I now knew where to start looking for Wally. Wires must have known. This was just meant to be.

Friday, August 10, 2007

New release this week

With the Taste of the Danforth on this weekend I'm left to ponder my good fortune of not living in that area and having idiots cut off access to my driveway, urinate on my flower bed, and have sex on my front porch. However I still feel the pull to the sweet burning smells of souvlaki and so will you with this next recommendation: Ultimate Spinach by The Box. And to think Sector was supposed to open for them once....*shudder*

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Who the hell is that?

It's time for another edition of "Who the Hell is That?", a.k.a. "Pottahockey".

This time "Who the Hell is That" asks, "Who the hell is that". Is it:

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

There is no joy at Strangedaze

To most people today was Tuesday, a day to return to work after a long weekend of speeding up to the cottage, having drinking competitions with your liver and crawling home bumper to bumper. It was garbage day. It was another day where bills had to be paid and the rent had to be earned. It was hot. It was just Tuesday.

To me, it was my Uncle John's funeral. A funeral that sadly, I was unable to attend because I was camping over the past five days and he passed away last Thursday.

I know people lose family members everyday and their grief is no less. Yet I can't help feeling the loss here is greater. Sure John fought a courageous battle with cancer and it should have taken him a few years ago. And sure, some would say he lived a long life, fathered four children, had grandchildren and experienced the world to the fullest. Yet, for all his achievements some will now not come to fruition.

You see, Uncle John was a great story teller and in the last years of his life he set out to write many of those stories in a book. Pages of which he entrusted to me for my opinion from a novel that will never see completion. His stories were not only rich with detail, they were side-splittingly hilarious- funnier than I could ever hope to be.

In time I will endeavor to reproduce some his material on these pages. I some how feel he would not be displeased, for Uncle John loved to make people laugh.

However for all his mirth, today there is no joy at Strangedaze.

Goodbye Uncle John.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Tasteless cartoon of the week

With the rampant arson that has plagued T.O. of late I thought this might be appropriate?

Friday, August 03, 2007

New release this week

Before you go digging through the cupboards looking for your Carabana firearm for this weekend, you need to get in the mood. This next offering should do the trick?

HMH #2

Chapter Two - One Song


It was one of the last things Wires said to me the day I’d met him and chatted about the old days. “One song,” he said. It had been somewhere between a puff and a blink of his eyelids over a freshly lit cigarette. I had been there at his invitation, to enjoy the opulence of the lifestyle and the man’s company. He’d traveled a different road than us and been successful at it too the lucky bugger. I had inhaled the moment and held my breath, hoping it wouldn’t end while I listened intently, digesting every word. After all, I had nowhere else to be.

I was inspired by what he had to say, but not in the way he envisioned. Wires urged me to return to the music business. Give it another shot. Know for sure. Conclusive, perhaps the word he used? I don’t remember precisely. But instead I had written. I had gone home and banged away on the computer keyboard til my fingers hurt and my mind was empty. It had been a collection of short stories and novellas mostly. What can I say? I was caught up in the moment. I’d thought what I was writing was absolute brilliance, simple genius, like adding cream to coffee except I still drank mine black. I remember reading my maven material the next morning with shock and revulsion. Suddenly the adept story of a time-traveling green bean didn’t seem so plausible even from a child’s perspective. There would be no need to send out queries and wait for a long line of rejections to surely come. However, I had awakened the long dormant seeds of creativity and felt purpose in their growth. So I kept at it.

“All it takes is one song Sparky.”

Perhaps with the music I’d felt it had run its course— jumped the shark, to borrow a Hollywood term. Or maybe I knew how much work it would entail and simply procrastinated? I think deep down I was afraid. The fear of failure. To me, getting rejected as a writer, a vocation I had no idea about, made a lot more sense than being torpedoed over something I put my heart and soul into for so many years.

Over the past weeks I’d been thinking a lot about Wires and his accomplishments— his discipline to achieve success without pretension— his ability to be down to earth, twenty floors up. Now I wanted to set the record straight. Like he’d said, know for sure, take the leap of faith. In his own way Wires had removed a lot of the obstacles for me, taken away the reasons and excuses to not pursue it. If it meant putting my ass out there to fail, so be it. At least I could move on with clear conscience and peace of mind. Even without Wires in my life he was still fixing things, just like he’d done all those years ago when he’d been the sound-man for the band I’d played in. I could still see him in my mind’s eye, twirling knobs, boosting equalizers and repairing flash-pots. I could see him peering through those mop-like bangs of his, getting us out of the tight spots and log jams that impeded forward progression. The man had been forever restoring equipment and our lives to a working order.

“All it takes is one song . . . and it doesn’t have to be a good one either.”


He was right. There were songs I hated, yet hummed ad-nauseam, like the song for the feminine fresh feeling and the one for home improvement products. I couldn’t even remember the precise items being pitched but I knew those damn jingles. I guess it goes back to what our manager had said, “Be hated or loved, nothing in between.” — his little mantra from his list of little mantras. With me however, I would have to be loved. I would settle for nothing less. It would need to be something special, something memorable, a time capsule to instantly transform people back to the point in their life when they heard it for the first time. A song like, Boys of Summer . . . or, Back in Black . . . Songs forever trapped and churning in the grey-matter rapids of the populace brainpan.

“Write the damn song already Sparky!”

I could hear Wires almost shouting it in my head now, which was strange, because in all my memories of the man I rarely heard him raise his voice. But who was I kidding? The business had twisted and corrupted, changing further from when I’d been mired in the bog of its malodor. It was all product placement, movie soundtrack tie-ins, and hundred dollar concert tickets now. A business where the executive collective huddled like nuclear scientists in their impenetrable bunkers developing new technologies. Revenue streams to render the current obsolete and sell you the same shit over and over and over.

Many times I had been close to making a dent in the webs of success, but like a would-be thief, I’d never made off with the money. I was always apprehended two steps from freedom. The very spot which had tended the garden of a blooming career was now a million miles away in all directions. It was a spot you didn’t blatantly decided to leave. You had to be definitive, choose to walk away with foresight and perhaps a little malice. I had chosen.

Now with my time removed on the outside, I could see all the mistakes and blown opportunities. Wipe the age-caked dust and dirt from those rose colored glasses—

“— SPARKY !”

“Yes Wires.”

“Stop wasting your time with all this mumbo-jumbo. Follow your gut and write the freekin’ song!”

“OK— OK!”

This time Wires had given me a new attitude and cause to chase down the rainbow. I had to know one way, or the other, if it was meant to be. Right place, right time? I was going to make it the right place and the right time. I was going to dig the extra two feet to find gold, step over the line of freedom to daylight, glimpse the success or, if ordained, the black hole of failure. Wires was the closest I had been to someone who had achieved celebrity and I wanted to breathe the air— which I guess would be the air of stale cigarettes, but I digress. I wanted to know with an unquestionable absolute, this was the way it would be. I was going to do whatever it took.

I owed Wires that much, and Doc would be the first one I spoke to.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Sector gossip

Whispers are Private Sector may play a surprise unplugged set this weekend at Sibbald Point provided drummer Brian Christopher has recovered from his drunken stupor when he enraged an entire nieghborhood with insensitive comments made up at the bands super secret rehearsal space last weekend.

Negotiations are ongoing with Sector's management team.

If this isn't exciting news then here are some more stolen pictures from Pottahawk.