Tuesday, October 31, 2006

BTW South Song of the Day
The Aquabats!, "Monsters Wedding!" from The Aquabats! vs. The Floating Eye of Death! and Other Amazing Adventures - Vol. 1 (Mt. Love)
The Stars My Destination
Victory for ZIM! And by "ZIM," I don't so much mean the evil yet inept Irken Invader bent upon the annihilation/subjugation of the human race as much as I mean that self-same human race. Hooray for us! And hooray for U.S., as we must remember that Hubble, the man, was an American and the Hubble, the wicked awesome instrument of scientific exploration, is an American triumph. U-S-A! U-S-A! Thank Bog NASA has committed to a Hubble maintenance/repair mission before the retirement of the Discovery, the Atlantis, and the Endeavour.

And now I must shower and don the uniform of Captain Thumbs-Up, Aqua-Cadet No. 0003432, in preparation for greeting costumed trick-or-treaters. Happy Halloween, ghouls and gals!

Monday, October 30, 2006

BTW South Song of the Day
Reel Big Fish, "Boys Don't Cry" (live) from Our Live Album is Better Than Your Live Album, Disc 1: More Shtick Than You Can Shake a Stick At (T.L.A.M.)
No, I'm not going to blog about that. It wouldn't help anything and people would get the wrong impression. And before I rail against self-censorship in the context of bloggy blogs, I'll remind myself that I am free to write whatever the flock I want in my journal without fear of offending anyone or, worse, inviting their help and advice, which to my way of thinking always reeks of pity. So, I'm not going to blog about that, though surely it will slip out later.

Despite all my TLAM bravado, I've always been highly impressionable and avidly imitative. Finishing up The Real Odessa of course prompted me to think about Avi Ducret, the Spy Smasher, and his new neo-Nazi archenemy, codenamed the Sea Lion. I had expected A Long Way Down to make me think about The Perfect Girl (a placeholder title for In Search of the Perfect Lesbian), but instead it has refined and sharpened my focus on Polis.
It's four in the morning and I can't sleep; so, I'm reading Nick Hornby's A Long Way Down. Or I might have that bass ackward. I might still be awake at four in the morning because I'm reading A Long Way Down and I love Nick Hornby's novels, they make me love the world, they make me excited; so, reading one "to go to sleep" might have been a daft move. Intention schmintention, six of one, half-dozen of the other. I'm awake, it's after four o'clock in the morning, and until I woke my HAL I'd been reading A Long Way Down, the latest by British novelist Nick Hornby. These facts may be in no way related. Who can say for sure?

Moments ago, the character Martin made a passing reference to the inability of Daleks to traverse stairs. Until quite recently, I'd never heard of a Dalek much less had the slightest inkling that for all their dread might they couldn't mount a flight of steps. Knowing what little I know about Daleks enhanced my already considerable enjoyment of A Long Way Down. My thanks, then, to Doctor Hee Haw for bringing the Daleks to my attention. Thanks, Seth!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

BTW South Song of the Day
Simple Plan, "You Don't Mean Anything" from No Pads, No Helmets... Just Balls (Mt. Love)

Honolulu Blue Forever
Today was one of my favorite Sundays of the whole year, the Sunday of the Lions' bye. There are only two Sundays during the NFL season where a Lions defeat is an impossibility: bye week Sunday and the Sunday after the Thanksgiving game. So, yippee for one of the two best Sundays of the fall!

22-65, Mr. Millen, 1-6 on the year. Have you no decency?
Every Hero Worthy of the Name Must Eventually Fight Nazis
I am nearly finished with The Real Odessa by Uki Goni. It's taken me so long because a) it's a serious non-fiction book, not the fabulously light essays of Sarah Vowell and b) I took a few weeks off to do some heavy-duty reading of comics. And now I'm reading the afterward, an addition that did not appear in the original hardcover printing, and it's all about the shameful role Holy Mother Church played in shielding Nazi, Ustashi, and sundry war criminals from justice after the Second World War. Amidst all the sadness, an interesting moral question has arisen, or rather a series of such question:

Were the United States and the British Empire morally right or morally wrong to ally with Josef Stalin's murderous Union of Soviet Socialist Republics against Adolf Hitler's fiendish Greater German Reich? Opposition to the Nazis was a moral imperative (one that we in America ignored for far too long), but was cooperation with Stalin right? I'm not asking if an alliance with the USSR was necessary, I'm asking if it was moral.

If the Anglo-American alliance with the blood-stained and blood-thirsty Reds was on the moral up-and-up, was the "rescue" and recruitment of Axis war criminals for use as anti-Communist operatives and officials morally right or morally wrong? If it was okay to name as our friends the butchers who ran the GULAG system in order to defeat the architects of the Holocaust, was it okay to name as our friends the butchers who ran the death camps in order to defeat the architects of the starvation of the Ukraine and the enslavement of all of Eastern Europe?

I know the alliance with Stalin was necessary to defeat Hitler, but I don't know if it was right. I know opposing Stalin's clearly expansionist post-war agenda was both necessary and right, and I can accept that recruiting "former" Nazis to aid our cause was necessary, but was it also wrong? I havee far more questions that answers. Any thoughful comments on the subject would be appreciated.

And on a similar topic...

Flash and Circle
No fascist (nor Fascist) am I, and so well founded are my democratic credentials that I am completely at ease making the following statement and posting the following picture: the British Union of Fascists were traitors to the highest aspirations of Western civilization, but their logo, the "flash and circle" was as pleasing to the eye as the ideology behind it was displeasing to the the mind and soul. Why don't respectable democratic institutions ever have such striking and inspirational emblems?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Victors
The news of the day, of course, it that the overrated University of Southern California Trojans fell to the scrappy Oregon State University Beavers; so, the valiant University of Michigan Wolverines are now the undisputed No. 2 team in the country. We didn't look very good against the scholarly Northwestern University Wildcats in today's contest, but school spirit demands that I push aside any doubts floated as a result of such an uninspired showing. And I do believe with all my heart that any victory you can walk away with is a good one. Go Blue!

Victory for Hockeytown
Last night, the Mountain and I drove into Dallas to watch the Dallas Stars host the Detroit Red Wings at the American Airlines Center. Woot, the Wings won 4-3! It had been literally years since I'd attended a hockey game; I hadn't forgotten how much fun they are, but it was nice to be reminded just the same. Hee hee! Of course, the very notion of an ice hockey rink in the State of Texas is an abomination, and no NHL venue can match the joyous frenzy of Yost Ice Arena (nee Yost Field House), but a good time was indeed had by all.

Which leads us to...

At least one team from Detroit won on Friday night. Ha! I loathe baseball, especially Major League Baseball, but for the benefit of the City of Detroit, I did want the Tigers to win the "World" Series. Still, I have to give the dark bastard his due: part of me enjoyed the defeat. I used to work at Comerica Park in the service of the Squirrel King. Never in my tenure did I see the stadium filled to capacity. Everybody loves a winner, but where was the love for the almost record-settingly bad Tigers of just two years hence? I am sorry the true-blue faithful of the Olde English D were denied a championship, but I am glad the fairweather frauds who only discovered their "love" for Detroit baseball this past summer were denied a cheap thrill.

But a win in the pompously named World Series (Seriously, when was the last time a Cuban or Chinese team was allowed to compete? The world is bigger than just the United States of America and the Dominion of Canada!) would be good for the perpetually beleaguered City of Detroit, the jewel (tarnished, but the jewel nevertheless) in my cherished Michigan's crown; so, there's always next year. Here's to next year. *toast*

BTW South Song of the Day
Dance Hall Crashers, "Triple Track" (live) from The Live Record (T.L.A.M.)

Friday, October 27
OK Go, "Get Over It" from an OK Go sampler, title unknown (Mt. Love)

Friday, October 27, 2006

We must complete the International Space Station, we must save the Hubble Space Telescope, we must unleash wave after wave of robotic rovers and probes throughout the solar system, and we must achieve Project Constellation's goals. How do we accomplish all of these things on NASA'a paltry appropriation? With great difficulty. (We should increase NASA's budget fourfold, that would fix a lot of problems.) Effecting life-extending repairs on the vererable Hubble would be a good start.

A victory for freiheit in the most unlikely of places, Germany: freiheit!
*** Test ***

This is a test, this is only a test. Well, it's not only a test, it's also the flag of the Canadian Coast Guard. Dare I hope that those charges (hooray for a rudimentary knowledge of heraldry/vexillology) are narwhals? Dolphins? Wolphins? Some great fish and/or generic sea monster?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

BTW South Song of the Day
Dance Hall Crashers, "D.H.C." (live) from The Live Record (T.L.A.M.)

Wednesday, October 25
Oh My God, "The '60s" from You're Too Straight to Love Me (Mt. Love)

Tuesday, October 24
They Might Be Giants, "Mammal" from Apollo 18 (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: More often than not, we listen to the Song of the Day off the Mountain's laptop on his desk in the living room. Today, it seemed to be taking a little while to find "Mammal;" so, I jested, "Or I could just go get the CD," pointing toward my room. This was not well received; David chose Oh My God, a band he knows I deplore, out of spite. Spite! I can get behind that, even though nobody likes being on the business end of spite. Bog, I hate Oh My God.

Also, the full title of DHC's live record is
The Live Record: Witless Banter and 25 Mildly Antagonistic Songs of Love. Boy howdy, I love Dance Hall Crashers!

Hat Day!
This evening, the Mountain of Love wore his transparent green visor emblazoned with "Las Vegas" and I wore the dark blue tuque my mother gave me last Christmas. Mom, I rarely wear a hat during the winter, and when it is cold enough to require a hat I wear the glorious Finnish ushanka I inherited from Grandpa Wilson, may he rest in peace. I love Bob & Doug McKenzie, but what use have I for a tuque?
The Endorsement
If you subscribe to Netflix or a competing internet-based video rental service, run don't walk to your HAL and place the motion picture Brick at the top of your queue. If you do not use such a service, run don't walk to your car and make tracks for your local video purveyor and rent Brick. Brick is an oddball film noir set in an Orange County, California high school. Wicked fun. You'll thank me later.

Proud Europa
Three items in the news: another blow to the bad guys in the ongoing Battle for Boeing (hyperlink ein), the powderkeg in France (hyperlink zwei), and a victory for the free exchange of ideas in Denmark (hyperlink drei).
Remember, kids, always stare directly at the Sun. Hyperlink. There are so many new and exciting NASA probes probing the solar system that it's difficult to keep track of which tribute to Man's ingenuity is visiting what celestial body. And even more probes are probing even more phenomena when one counts our European, Japanese, and Russian friends' space programs: Hyperlink: The Next Generation. Ex astris, scientia. Science!

Nicknames are apparently very popular in the Polis of Detroit: the growing list of Snowmen includes Harriman "Hotspur" Fitch and Millicent "Mayday" Sung. As might be guessed by their adventurous aliases, both are high-spirited. Other sobriquets include the vile gangster the Levantine and his henchmen the Vizier and Abdul Abulbul Amir.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Fat Man Running
For reasons unknown, today's recently concluded run was awful. My feet felt like anchors, my legs had no strength. I've been running almost every day for well over a month now and I'd never struggled so futilely. I just couldn't run at the same speed as I ran yesterday. I got plenty of sleep last night, I had the same balanced breakfast and lunch as I did on Monday, I don't know why today's results were so dramatically different. Let us hope this was just an aberration.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Proud Europa
Trouble in Hungary and a powderkeg in France as we approach the anniversary of last year's nationwide riots by mostly Muslim youth. Oh, and the neo-Nazis are getting feisty in Germany. Wunderbar.

BTW South Song of the Day
Dan Potthast, "Oil Change" from Eyeballs (Mt. Love)

Sunday, October 22
John Linnell, "Iowa" from State Songs (T.L.A.M.)

Saturday, October 21
Harpers Bizarre, "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)" via iTunes (Mt. Love)

Friday, October 20
Fountains of Wayne, "Valley Winter Song" from Welcome Interstate Managers (T.L.A.M.)

Thursday, October 19
Simon and Garfunkel, "Homeward Bound" from Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme (Mt. Love)

Wednesday, October 18
The Hippos, "Summertime" from The Hippos (T.L.A.M.)

Tuesday, October 17
New Found Glory, "It's Not Your Fault" from Coming Home (Mt. Love)
Honolulu Blue Forever
"I feel like there is no defense in this league that can stop us, and I thought their defense was OK."
--Detroit Lions wide receiver Roy "Not the Good Roy Williams" Williams after Sunday's 31-24 loss to the mediocre New York (New Jersey) Jets. For his part, Williams proved that no defense can stop him by catching two passes for twenty-nine yards.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Victors
Great googly moogly, yesterday's game was more nerve-racking than it needed to be. So, yeah, the wily Indiana University Hoosiers are a markedly different team from any other Indiana squad I've known in a decade and a half of following football. Also, the tenacious University of Iowa Hawkeyes had a bad day last weekend; every team has bad days, Iowa just happened to have a bad day simultaneous with Indiana's good day. And once again, the valiant University of Michigan Wolverines triumphed over the Hawkeyes by the slimmest of margins. I hate playing against Ferentz's teams, they never quit. They don't know how to roll over and die. So, hail to the victors, woot, and Go Blue!

Next up, the scholarly Northwestern University Wildcats. We shall see how they respond to their humiliating and record-setting defeat at the hands of the dastardly Michigan State University Spartans.

Honolulu Blue Forever
22-65, Mr. Millen, 1-6 on the year. Have you so decency?

To achieve 2005's and 2003's 5-11 record (there is no hope of equaling 2004's "glorious" 6-10 finish), the Lions will have to go 4-5 in the last nine games; I am sorry, my friends, but we simply are not up to the task. Mirroring Marty Mornhinweg's abysmal records will require: 2002: 3-13, Lions go 2-7 in last nine games; 2001: 2-14, 1-8 in the last nine. I just don't see 4-5 as realisitic; so, Rod Marinelli is going to be, on paper, a worse coach than Steve Mariucci. Will he turn out to be a bettter coach than the villain Mornhinweg? Looking at the last nine games, 2-7 looks highly probable, and the 3-6 necessary to best 2002 looks tough. Dear Bog, we're actually getting worse. For pity's sake, Millen, have you no decency?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Victors - Half-Baked Halftime Analysis
The reports of Iowa's demise have been greatly exaggerated, blast it all. Also, wow, did you guys see Penn State's escape against Illinois? What's great about Joe Paterno is that he didn't even hesitate to say that his team should have lost the game. Sad, perhaps, that a man should be praised for simply telling it like it is, but I choose instead to focus on Paterno's positive example.

Three measly points in the first half? Come on, boys, let's get it together. Go Blue!

BTW South Song of the Day
We'll try to get back on track tomorrow.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Mountain of Love and my sister-in-law-to-be are in Waco with the rest of the Fwopera troupe and my sister-in-law-to-be's sister is staying with a friend in Dallas; so, I've got the run of BTW South all to myself tonight. I watched the touchy-feely show Six Degrees tonight because I'm man enough to admit I have a hetero crush on the actor Campbell Scott. Specifically, the oddity in his voice.

Job "Snow Job" Snow - founder of Snow Endeavors, Ltd.
Scheherazade "Zadie" Khalid - junior of Snow's two personal Snowmen
Hiram "Hotspur" Mellon - Snow's loyal second
Bramell "Bram" Frost* - senior of Snow's two personal Snowmen
Sydney Lamont (probably a stage name, I have yet to devise her real name) - the chink in Snow's armor

I really like the world I'm creating for Polis, I like how it's taking shape. The fall of the nation-states, the rise of the city-states, the coming of the ice; the Bailiwicks of Reprisal, Light & Power, and Husbandry and the Mayor's secret Office of Foreign Adventure; the Foragers and the Constables, the Windsor Boys and the American Club; the burlesque clubs and the churches, packed to capacity on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings, respectively; the struggle to shine the bright lights of the polis on the darkling underbelly of the city.

*Yes, Frost is one of Snow Job's most effective Snowmen (agents; the job description falls somewhere in-between private detective, cat burglar, and hired goon), but for your continued health and prosperity I advise against calling him "Frosty the Snowman."

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Super Wilson Bros. Siblings
The L.A.W. The Mountain of Love. The Last Angry Man. My sister and brother are wicked cool.
Vote For Kodos
I received my absentee ballot in Saturday's mail, voted last night, and sent the ballot out in today's mail. Just like Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, "I love democracy." I would never say I get high on voting, I've made fun of far too many people for claiming to get high on life for that, but voting does make me giddy. Hee hee!

BTW South Song of the Day
Monday, October 16
Katia, "Perfect Night" from Can't Stop the Love Sled (T.L.A.M.)

Sunday, October 15
The Hippos, "So Lonely" from Forget the World (Mt. Love)

Commentary: The Mountain of Love and I make the time for the Song of the Day on Sunday; so, both yesterday's and Sunday's Songs of the Day were selected yesterday. The Mountain was prompted to select "So Lonely" by Sting's guest-appearance-within-a-guest-appearance on Studio 60. ("So Lonely" was originally written and performed by The Police.) Even though Sunday's Song of the Day was selected on Monday, I object to the selection of Sunday's Song of the Day as a triute to a happening on Monday, something of which there was no foreknowledge on Sunday. It's Sunday's Song of the Day, not Monday's! Obviously, the Mountain disagrees.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Fat Man Running
As much as I enjoyed Lazy Sunday, it felt good to get back to the old grind today. Sadly, the woman we've dubbed Oprah was in the "fitness center" when we arrived; so, we had to endure harrowing fifteen minutes of Oprah before the treadmill became available. Gah! But I had a good run after she left and was able to catch all of Pardon the Interruption. An episode of Seinfeld I had never seen was on while I finished up my run and lifted. Do you know how rare a previously unseen Seinfeld is? It's not like finding five dollars, which is pretty awesome, it's like finding buried treasure!

After the episode proper concluded, I quit the weight room and ran to BTW South in the hopes of catching the end credits scene. (In a purely and pathetically relative way, of course, but) Man, I flew! I've never been fast, and I'm still not, but I'd never moved so quickly with such ease. Yes, I've run faster, the most prominent example being the flat-out, running-for-my-life sprint through the dark woods around Laura's dad's house when I acccidentally triggered the security lights during the one and only TP-ing to which I have ever been a party, but this dash was so effortless! It felt grand, folks, just grand.

And then I found five dollars.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Lazy Sunday
I have invoked the ancient franchise of Lazy Sunday; so, we shall neither run nor lift this afternoon. I am enjoying too much the dulcet tones of Dan Dierdorf's analysis of and commentary upon the Pittsburgh-Kansas City game. Of course, it's not that lazy since we already went grocery shopping and later on we shall have to clean and vacuum BTW South ahead of the future Mrs. Mountain's visit. I love that we work out and that we work out so regularly, but I also love Lazy Sunday.

The Victors
I was so scared last night when the ferocious Pennsylvania State University Nittany Lions scored their touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Joy of joys, the mighty University of Michigan Wolverines held on for the win! Woot!

And yet I find myself frightened and infuriated by the constant predictions of an undefeated Michigan and an undefeated Ohio State meeting in the sinister Horseshoe (a.k.a. Ohio Stadium, even though it is home to the hated Ohio State University Buckeyes, not the overlookled Ohio University Bobcats; so, shouldn't the Horseshoe be called Ohio State Stadium, and shouldn't the fascist-looking OSU marking band form a script "Ohio State" instead of "Ohio"?) on the last Saturday before Thanksgiving. As far as personnel, the '06 Wolverines are very similar to the '05 Wolverines and thus perfectly capable of losing to the tenacious University of Iowa Hawkeyes, the scholarly Northwestern University Wildcats, the spheroid Ball State University Cardinals, or the wily Indiana University Hoosiers before facing the hated Buckeyes. Are the Wolverines capable of besting Iowa, Northwestern, Ball State, and Indiana? Yes. Do I believe, based on what I have this season, that the Wolverines will beat those teams? Yes, I do. But don't say it will happen! You'll jinx the whole thing!

Still, it's good to be seven games into the season and already have seven wins, the same number we won in twelve games last season. Let the good times roll. Go Blue!

Honolulu Blue Forever
The Lions beat the Bills! Huzzah! Still, the awful truth must be articulated, ritual must be observed: 22-64, Mr. Millen, 1-5 on the year. Have you no decency?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Year of Our Lord 1066
Nine hundred forty years ago today, on October 14, 1066, William the Bastard, the Duke of Normandy, earned his place in history as William the Conqueror by defeating and killing the last Anglo-saxon King of England, Harold II, at the Battle of Hastings. Without the Norman Conquest, England would not have been so closely tied to France and would not have been so involved in the affairs of the continent. Had England remained isolated, she might never have conquered all of Great Britain, might never have built the British Empire, might never have invented liberal democracy as we know and love it today. Had not Britain been Britain, the world would be an unrecognizable place.

Many, many things happened both before and after the Norman Conquest to make Britain what she was and is, but the fate of all the wide world turned on the fulcrum of William the Conqueror.

BTW South Song of the Day
Mu330, "Hoosier Love" (live) from Oh Yeah! (T.L.A.M.)

Friday the 13th of October
My Chemical Romance, "Welcome to the Black Parade" via ye olde internet (Mt. Love)

Editorial: "Hooiser Love" was chosen in honor of the surprising victory by the wily Indiana University Hoosiers over the tenacious University of Iowa Hawkeyes. I hated "Welcome to the Black Parade," remarking to the Mountain that "someone needs to tell these clowns they aren't Queen." This is the only My Chemical Romance song I've ever heard; so, i have no idea if it is representative of their music.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Victors
Hey, awesome, Drew Henson has been cut from the Minnesota Vikings' practice squad. Bwa ha ha ha ha! Even John Navarre is still in the league! Waa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Honolulu Blue Forever
There's good news and there's bad news. The bad news is that the Lions have to play the Bears again near the end of the season. The good news is that the Lions only have to play the Bears once more.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Hat Day!
During this evening's dinner, I wore my U of M Rec Sports ballcap from my halcyon days as an intramural sports supervisor and the Mountain wore his one-of-a-kind "Smith & Winkler" ballcap. Was that from around the time of Smith and Winkler: The Final Hoe-Down or Smith and Winkler Save Christmas? Man alive, I love Hat Day!

BTW South Song of the Day
Reel Big Fish, "Kiss Me Deadly" from Our Live Album is Better Than Your Live Album, Disc 2: Move Fastly With the Fast Music (T.L.A.M.)
Deep in the Heart of Darkness... er, Texas
And Ki-El is also coming to Fort Worthless for a comic book convention on Armistice Day. The L.A.W. and Ki-El are making work trips (he works for Wizard magazine); the Buckeye sisters are coming on a short holiday. Regardless, four more people I know are about to be afflicted by the ailment otherwise known as Texas. (Yes, the entire state is a disease, a corruption.) Still, I'm looking forward to seeing all of them.

The War for Civilization
There are those who argue that jihadist terrorism, while not a reasonable reaction, is at least an understandable reaction to American hegemony and villainy. How do we make that theory square with the horrific reality of the Bali bombing? Hyperlink. What do Aussie vacationers in a tropical paradise have to do with the Israeli-American alliance or any of the other "grievances" of bin Laden and his ideological ilk? Oh, wait, NOTHING! The Wahhabi perversion of Islam is evil and four years ago we saw that evil in evidence in Indonesia. May the Almighty bless those who lost their lives to madmen.

Also, a significant part of me wants to load every single Holocause denier onto a cattle car bound for one of their own death camps, andd I would love to load the deniers of the Armenian genocide onto the same train, but this really bothers me: Hyperlink Deux. Thank Bog I live in America, where freedom of speech is an inalienable right. Whatever happened to liberte?

Are We In India Yet?
And speaking of how great America is, happy Columbus Day, everyone! Postal holidays be damned, the future Admiral of the Oceon Sea landed in the New World on this day five hundred fourteen years ago. Woot! Vikings, schmikings, European involvement in the New World didn't get rolling until the voyage of the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. And five centuries later, we have ready access to both sliced bread and television. Thanks, Admiral!
Parker Posey Appreciation Day
Last weekend, presumably on the streets of the Big Apple, Skeeter saw one of the finest and most ridiculously talented actors to have ever graced the American cinema, Parker Posey. I was made aware of this through the following email:

Subject: dude
i just saw parker posey

My replied opened:

That's wicked.

If nothing else, I am reminded that I really, really need to see The OH in Ohio. Also, dear Bog, I hope Fay Grim is better than Henry Fool, the film to which it is a sequel/continuation/what have you.

The Victors
I am mightily pleased by the success the Wolverines have enjoyed to this point in the college football season, but one thing nags at me: it had been mentioned by several sports pundits (whenever possible, I try to coincide my daily workout with Pardon the Interruption) that this year's Michigan team is haunted/motivated by last year's dismal 7-5 record, the Wolverines are resolute in their quest to restore their tarnished honor. This is all well and good, but I must ask, Where was this competitive fire last year? As far as personnel, the mighty '06 Wolverines are essentially the same team as during the sad sack '05 season. The pain of last year was moderated only the tiniest bit by the thought that, well, we just weren't that talented a squad. Apparently, we were a rather grand team that inexplicably chose to be repeatedly humiliated by lesser foes, which makes the whole miserable spectacle that much more irksome.

Still, what's done is done, and at least this year Coach Carr and the Wolverines have heeded Santayana's famous maxim. By Jove, I hope they of the famed winged helmets triumph over the Nittany Lions. Go Blue!

Deep in the Heart of Darkness... er, Texas
The L.A.W. is going to be in the Dallas-Fort Worthless area (incessantly called "the Metroplex" by the locals) next week for work. It is an all too rare treat for the full troika of Wilsons to come together. Huzzah! In the latter part of next week, my sister-in-law-to-be and her sister will be visiting to help celebrate a quarter century of the Mountain of Love. And the following week, the Mountain and I will be joining a friend/Fwopera colleague of his at American Airlines Center to watch a contest between the venerable Detroit Red Wings and the abominable Dallas Stars. (Restore the Minnesota North Stars!) Despite the Captain's retirement, I will of course be wearing my No. 19 sweater/jersey, replete with the "Believe" patch from the '97-98 season and successful Stanley Cup campaign.

The New Gods
{Furious Females}

I have a few ideas for junior members of Granny Goodness's Female Fury Battalion: Killary, Smasha, and Sing-Song. While the Female Furies are usually represented, and rightly so, by the core four of Lashina, Bernadeth, Stompa, and Mad Harriet, we must remember that in Kirby's original Mister Miracle, the Female Fury Battalion was really a battalion, with a sizable barracks overflowing with Furies.

I had originally thought to name Sing-Song "Sonica," pairing her with Killary as a twisted Apokolips version of valley girl names like Monica and Hillary, but I think I prefer Sing-Song; it has more of a depraved quality than does Sonica. I'm assuming Smasha is a younger cousin or sister of Stompa. The only question with Killary is how closely to model her on the junior United States Senator from the State of New York.

BTW South Song of the Day
New Found Glory, "Coming Home" from Coming Home (Mt. Love)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

BTW South Song of the Day
"Weird Al" Yankovic, "Weasel Stomping Day" from Straight Outta Lynwood (T.L.A.M.)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Aw... crap... there was something I was going to bloggy blog about, but it's completely slipped my mind.

BTW South Song of the Day
The Aquabats!, "Throw Away the Trash!" from Yo! Check Out This Ride! E.P. (Mt. Love)

Not the forgotten item: both The Guy and K. Steeze wrote "Go Tigers!" in the comments following Saturday's post "The Victors." I despise baseball, caring about only two things: 1) the Yankees losing. By Lucifer's beard, I hate the people of New York City! 2) The Tigers winning. I don't care about the Tigers, I care about Detroit. I care about the Tigers winning only because it is good for Detroit and by extention good for all of Michigan. For that reason and that reason only... Go DETROIT Tigers.

Bog below, I despise baseball.

Monday, October 9, 2006

BTW South Song of the Day
John Linnell, "Michigan" from State Songs (T.L.A.M.)

Honolulu Blue Forever
21-64, Mr. Millen, 0-5 on the year. I know I've said this before, but I cannot even begin to find the words to express how very, very weary I am of wearing my Lions T-shirt on Mondays to show solidarity with my long-suffering fellows back in the homeland. To equal last season's record of 5-11, we need to go 5-6 for the rest of the year. This is impossible in every sense save mathematically. So, for the second season in a row, we are actually going to get worse. In my most fevered dreams I could hardly have imagined such a thing. The 6-10 record of the 2004 campaign seems fated to remain the glorious high water mark of Matt Millen's stewardship of the Detroit Lions: 2-14, 3-13, 5-11, 6-10, 5-11, 0-5 after five games.

If I correctly remember my calculations from last fall, Jeff Garcia (currently the back-up QB for the Philadelphia Eagles) won just about one out of every four games in which he was the starting quarterback for the Lions. Joey Harrington (currently the back-up QB for the Miami Dolphins) won approximately one out of every three games he started. Thus far in his career with the Lions, Jon Kitna (formerly the back-up QB for the Cincinnati Bengals) has won zero out of five games. Garcia: 1 of 4, 25%; Harrington: 1 of 3, 33%; Kitna: 0 of 5, 0%. Boy howdy, I'm glad we ran Joey out of town with an old-fashioned mob of torch- and pitchfork-carrying villagers. That bum was really dragging the team down.

Saturday, October 7, 2006

The Victors
Just before the start of today's contest between the mighty University of Michigan Wolverines and the dastardly Michigan State University Spartans, The Guy called the Mountain of Love with a prediction: Michigan State would win the game. The Guy is a 2006 graduate of U of M-Flint; this is not the University of Michigan, but it is a University of Michigan. How could any U of M alumnus predict victory for the treacherous Spartans? Predicting victory for the nefarious Spartans and being desirous of same are two disparate things, to be sure, but still I feel as if The Guy has committed an act of heinous disloyalty. I, and a good many of my fellow alumni, fear the power of the odious Ohio State University Buckeyes under the fiendish Jim Tressel, but I could not in good conscience predict a victory for the hated Buckeyes. Has The Guy perpetrated a breach of faith? Did he bow to the considerable influence of The Gal, herself an MSU alumna? I have no answers, my friends, only a disquieting sense of uncertainty.

Truth be told, I was supremely confident before today's contest. True, the vile Spartans had not defeated the noble Wolverines since the "phantom second" debacle (a.k.a. Clockgate) in 2001; so, from a historical perspective MSU was "due" for a win. And after embarrassing loses to the despicable University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the unobjectionable University of Illinois Fighting Illini, the foul Spartans would certainly be playing with a ferocious determination to redeem themselves. But, we are talking about the pea-brained Spartans here, the greatest innovators of self-annihilation to have ever graced the fields of American collegiate football. I was confident Michigan would prevail, if not by the virtue of her own skill then by the dogged ineptitude of Michigan State.

Still, as often happens against Michigan State, I was not elated by the victory. There are few accolades to be won in triumphing over the hapless Spartans. Really, teh U of M-MSU game is a no-win situation for Michigan. If we win, big deal, we're supposed to be able to beat them; and if they win, sweet merciful crap, every idiot in green and white will be reminding you of the game at every opporutnity over the course of the whole year until the next game. At the end of games against Michigan State, I am primarily just glad that the wretched task is over for another year, that the helots have been put back in their place. No one wins when Michigan State is involved, regardless of the victor, the question is simply one of who loses the most. But, I am glad the wretched task has been completed for another year, it warms my heart to know the helots have been reminded of their place.

Victory for MSU? *scoff* Not bloody likely.

BTW South Song of the Day
Amanda Abizaid, "A Place in Time" via ye olde internet (Mt. Love)

"A Place in Time" is the theme song of the superb television series The 4400.
M2K4... 5... 6...
The plucky little Opportunity rover and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter: two great tastes that taste great together. Say Cheese! We have dispatched an army of robots to unlock the secrets of the Red Planet. An army of robots. And the mission is progressing swimmingly! Wow, Jasper was right, "What a time to be alive."

Meanwhile, also in space, the International Space Station is becoming ever more international. Neat! Once the ISS is capable of supporting a "permanent" six-member crew we'll need an American astronaut/commander (The Right Stuff-type), a Russian cosmonaut, a European Space Agency astronaut (preferrably from Edinburgh), another American astronaut (scientist), a Japanese astronaut, and a Canadian astronaut. Mix them together and what do you get? Star Trek! Sulu was Japanese; Chekov was Russian; Scotty was Scottish; we don't have access to any Vulcans, but Leonard Nimoy is American, thus the American scientist-type; and while there weren't any Canadians in Captain Kirk's crew, actors William Shatner (Kirk) and the late James Doohan (Scotty) both hail from the Great White North. No state in Africa has yet mounted or chosen to participate in a space program; so, there won't be a direct analogue for Uhura. But the African states, either separately or cooperatively, will get there in time. I am absolutely certain.

And here are a pair of hyperlinks on the Orion spacecraft and why, in President Kennedy's memorable phrase, we choose to go to the Moon.

First we shall return to the Moon and then we shall go boldly where no man has gone before, enigmatic Mars. Science!
BTW South Song of the Day
"Weird Al" Yankovic, "Canadian Idiot" from Straight Outta Lynwood (T.L.A.M.)

Friday, October 6, 2006

The Honeymoon is Over
I hate my Mac Mini exactly as much as I've hated every other HAL I've owned. I was a fool to think that the hype was true, that Macs were "better" than PCs. Macs are just as infernal as PCs; both are horrors and constant afronts to human dignity. I thought this would be the first HAL I'd like, or at least not hate; I was disgustingly, unforgivably naive. My HAL is an adversary, an enemy of my happiness.

Upon further reflection, I should have perhaps directed my frustrations at my CD of Good or Suck!, the failure of which to properly interact with my HAL set off the above tirade. Still, the Mountain's theory that home-burned CDs simply decay faster than store-bought doesn't mollify me, since the two CDs I ripped yesterday, Can't Stop the Love Sled and the Katia & Scott EP, both by The Watergirl, were both home-burned CDs and neither gave iTunes any fits.

I think "The Honeymoon is Over" is an apt title, since the marriage of man and machine will continue, and I hope that many years of happiness await us, it's just that the fool's paradise of the honeymoon is over.

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Hat Day!
During this evening's dinner, the Mountain of Love wore a pink with white polka dots Boonie hat and I wore my porkpie. Sweet fancy Moses, I love Hat Day!

BTW South Song of the Day
They Might be Giants, "Museum of Idiots" from The Spine (Mt. Love)

Barenaked Ladies, "Conventioneers" from Maroon (Close, but no cigar, guys. Better luck tomorrow.)

The New Gods
I believe I have arrived at a name for the vicious young officer of Aero-Troopers from "The Forever War": Balthazar. Balthazar is the Cadillac of given names; it's all but impossible to go wrong with Balthazar. Balthazar!

Balthazar vs. Solon

Balthazar vs. Oceon

Balthazar vs. Fastbak
Today is Thursday and dinnertime is scant hours away. 'Tis Hat Day, good people, make ready.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Yes! M!ch!gan
In the same vein as the recent acquisition of five songs about Mars, I have harnessed the power of iTunes and have now in my possesion four songs "about" the 26th State in the Union, the Great Lakes State, the Wolverine State, my beloved Michigan:

Duvall & Seville, "Michigan"
Gordon Lightfoot, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"
John Linnell, "Michigan"
Superchunk, "Detroit Has a Skyline"

And, yes, I'm still dating Miss Michigan after all these years.

BTW South Song of the Day
Bob & Doug McKenzie featuring Geddy Lee, "Take Off" from Great White North (T.L.A.M.)
The New Gods
{Part I of II}

I have to change the name of my fanatical Aero-Trooper officer in "The Forever War." I named him Zaladin, a corruption of Saladin, but was recently reminded that a member of the Axis America team that appeared in JLA Nos. 80-82, "The White Rage," was called Zaladin. Sure, sure the Fourth World of the New Gods of Apokolips and New Genesis appears to be some manner of otherdimensional realm (you can't get there by starship, only by boom tube), but a great many of their names reference back to Earth culture:

New Genesis = the Book of Genesis

Apokolips = the Apocalypse

Desaad = the Marquis de Sade

Virmin Vundabar = both "vermin" and the German word wunderbar

Kalibak = has to be a reference to Shakespeare's Caliban

Highfather (Izaya the Inheritor) = Odin was called the "high-father"; the prophet Isaiah

Orion = Orion

Lonar = he is a loner

Serifan = a fan of old movie serials, a serial fan

Valkyra = a Valkyrie

(Vyken = curiously, he seems to have no connection to Vikings)

Steppenwolf = Hesse's Steppenwolf

So, just as Zaladin referenced Saladin, I would like the new name to reference Earth in some way, especially since Whatshisname will fight two new New Gods named Solon (after the ancient Greek law-giver Solon) and Oceon (the Titan Oceanus and the oceans).

Also, I'm thinking of basing his particular unit of Aero-Troopers (whom we will see in more detail than the average group of Apokoliptian soldiers) after the famed "Winged Hussars" of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, though that doesn't mean he has to have a Polish-ish name. Potentials:

Vizier ("My father had lofty ambitions for his son's service to Great Darkseid.")

Kircholm (a battle in which the Winged Hussars fought with distinction)

Hussar / Huszar

Ideas and suggestions would be most sincerely appreciated.

{Part II of II}
Some ideas for tales of the New Gods beyond "The Inheritance," "The Never People," and "The Forever War."

The title of the story in The New Gods No. 1, written and drawn by Jack Kirby, is "Orion Fights for Earth!" I like both New Genesis and Apokolips just fine, but the King himself intended for the New Gods to be active on Earth.

Highfather Takion (originally a human named Josh Saunders) decides to establish a new, permanent, and high profile presence for New Genesis on Earth: a smaller version of Supertown, the floating capital city of New Genesis. The polytheistic history of India makes it an excellent site for a literal city of the gods and as an added real-world bonus this will help establish the DCU's bona fides outside of North America.

The usual suspects, Orion and Lightray, oversee the project, though the construction oversight comes courtesy of Atinai, the architect of Supertown. Sabotage and strife abound as Darkseid's sinister agents and human forces offended by the very idea of "new gods" independently work to shoot the floating city right out of the sky. Action, theology, weird science, and intrigue interact in the skies above India! (I originally had this idea as a way to work the New Gods into my Superman stories. "Supertown" could function as a Superman story guest-starring the New Gods, a New Gods story guest-starring Superman, or an independent New Gods story.)

"The Old Warhorse"
Before the New Gods of New Genesis and Apokolips, the Old Gods, both good and evil, lived side by side on a single planet. The final battle of the Old Gods rent their world asunder, New Genesis and Apoklolips born as twins out of the ruins. Innumerable ages passed before the rise of the New Gods. The last living Old God is Thunderer, a magnificent steed awakened from his long slumber beneath the surface of New Genesis by Lonar, the only New God who prefers solitude. Or preferred solitude, as now Lonar and Thunderer are inseparable chums.

"The Old Warhorse" is the story of the last days of the Old Gods, seen only in Thunderer's memories and communicated to no New God. I want to achieve the effect of a fly on the wall during the last days of Troy, of Valhalla just before Ragnarok. The life and family Thunderer loved, the "human" Old Gods who were his masters and peers, the tragedy of a doomed world, tragedy not lessened by the foreknowledge of the doomed. Or did the Old Gods know their world was ending? I don't think Mr. Kirby said anything explicit on the subject. Maybe some knew and others refused to believe... no, that has too many shades of the doomed planet Krypton; if they knew, it evokes the Aesir, apropos since the Old Gods visually resemble Thor's world as rendered by Kirby for Marvel Comics. Hmmm.

Like "The Inheritance," another story more about emotion than action.

"Civil Engineering"
In Orion, the evil Mantis unleashed a Hellborer, a diabolical machine that blighted the surface of New Genesis with an Apokolips-style Fire-Pit. Vyken of the Forever People, cleverest of all the New Gods after Metron, and Atinai try to engineer a technical solution while Mark Moonrider and Big Bear deal with unrest among the project's Bug workers and sabotage by unknown agents of Apokolips (possibly disguied Female Furies). Meanwhile, Beautiful Dreamer, Serifan, and Forager (II) are drawn into a separate web of intrigue as they attempt to heal the "soul" of New Genesis through Bug mysticism and discover a far more serious cancer in the heart of the New Gods.

More on that next time as we discuss the ideas I like to call "Gods and Martyrs," "Crusade," and "A Bug's Life."

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

BTW South Song of the Day
Reel Big Fish, "I'll Never Be" from Turn the Radio Off (Mt. Love)
No more bitchsquealing.

Here's something I've always liked, "Esky" from the August 1999 issue of Esquire. Enjoy:

Judie, for the thousand kisses. Anna, who always had cookies and a hug. Linda, who used to dance all crazy, whipping me around until I couldn't stop laughing.

Mary, for holding off on the hysterectomy.

Carol, for cooking with nothing but butter and meat. Christine, because every sandwich she makes will always taste better than one I make myself. Josephine, for still baking me the hamburger-Tater-Tots-cream-of-mushroom-soup thing, even though I am forty years old. Doris, who hass a little bowl by the front door that is always full of Peppermint Patties. Jenny, who taught me that food may not be love, but it can come awfully close.

Jyl, for the terry-cloth shorts.

Cookie, who taught me how to worm a hook. Jody, who showed me the trick with the Land O Lakes box. Janice, who let me win at eight ball. Jeanine, who could go shot for shot when we broke out the Yukon Jack.

Maria Cantaloupes, we called her, sophomore year.

Erika, who was as curious as I was. Samantha, whose father never came downstairs. Kristen, whose uncle bought us beer. Sue, because somehow she was sixteen, too. Sheryl, who was twenty-two when I was eighteen. Jan, for the cemetery next to the dorm. Steph, for fifteen minutes in a closet twenty years ago.

Jane, for those eyes, that ass.

Karen, who kept the letters.

Kathy, who sings along to the radio and manages to annoy everyone except me. Christine, because she can tell the difference between G-sharp and B-flat on the piano from two rooms away.

Miriam, because she hated having to break my heart twice.

Laura, because she is beautiful and has no idea. Nicole, who honestly thinks she has small breasts. Doreen, who ate nothng but chocolate cake and looked great. Ashley, because she has incredibly good posture.

The beautiful woman on the filthy subway fixing her lipstick in the blackened window.

Beth, who has the voice of an angel and knows when to use it. Lesley, for doing that little dance. Stacy, because her eyes change color every day.

Boomer, the best mechanic in Massachusetts.

Sarah, my dear, dear friend. Brenda, who said exactly the right thing at the right time. Molly, who knows that life is so much better without a boyfriend than with one. Carla, for refusing to get a nose job. Caitlin, who said nice things behind my back. Jenny, who, even though I knew her really, really well, I never knew went to Harvard.

Louise, for her brutal honesty. Amy, for her silence.

Leslie, for standing by her man, even though it wasn't me. Cathy, for that one last time before she got married.

Lisa, who is so cool.

Eleanor, for full-body goodnight kisses. Diane, for long legs and short skirts and black stockings with a thin line running up the back. Leigh, for wearing that skirt whenever I ask. Gillian, for piercing her tongue.

Stefanie, for flushing when she was told to plunge.

Marcia, for letting me sleep in on weekends. Jessica, for insisting on vacations. Valerie, who likes to argue but never gets mad. Alison, because she always calls me by my full name. Janis, because she is smarter than me and sometimes pretends not to be.

Gobby, who was seventy-five and wore an Easter-egg-purple suede coat.

Sarah, who, when I came home at midnight to tell her about the latest cruel machinations of my famous boss at my fabulous job, which paid for our car and food and the roof over the heads of our three children, said without hesitation, "Tell him to fuck off."

Becky, for saving my life by giving me one.

Annie, because she loved me back.
One eight months until Narwhal Day! Speaking of narwhals, I received my narwhal of narwhals T-shirt in the post today. Woot! Thursday is laundry day; so, I'll be wearing it Friday!

BTW South Song of the Day
The Epoxies, "It's You" from Stop the Future (T.L.A.M.)

Monday, October 2, 2006

Editorial Correction
The Mountain of Love has requested a correction. He never said that he has become "much more vain" since the phsycial reformation of his junior year, he only said that he has become "more vain" since the physical reformation of his junior year. My intention was never to imply that my brother is vain and I am sorry if such was inferred by any readers.

Also, there're mermaids.
Self-Improvement is Masturbation
So sayeth Fight Club. Of course, Palahniuk meant for people to be repulsed by the space monkeys, not inspired by them.... The Mountain of Love told me that he has become much more vain since he first lost all that weight and stopped shaving his head during his junior year of college. Since that transformation he has had his first two real girlfriends, the second of whom is now his intended, and become much more socially adroit.

On Friday, The Watergirl ruminated on "what it takes to score with chicks." Of paramount importance: be attractive. A couple years ago, Skeeter told me that it was completely unfair of me to attempt to initiate relationships with pretty girls since I was so unwilling to make the same commitment to aesthetics that they had. (As all you have met me are aware, I am fat and habitually unkempt.) She had a point. Some of these nicknames are brand new: A Girl Named Hell-ya, From Russia With Love, Mrs. Sacramento, Skeeter herself, Swimmer Girl, China Doll, Annie Power!, just a sampling of the girls I've pursued in the last ten-odd years and each and every one of them a creature of exceeding loveliness. I must have been mad to think I could rouse desire in any of these beauties on the strength of charisma alone.

That said, I don't want to be vain. I don't want to trade the deadly sin of gluttony for the deadlier sin of pride. Pride is the deadliest of the seven deadly sins and, I fear, inevitably followed by greed and envy (and lust, too, pretty please). Am I eating copious fruits and vegetables to combat gluttony or to satiate pride? Do I run and lift every day to combat sloth or to indulge greed, lust, envy, and pride? (That's the vile beauty of the seven deadly sins: as often as not they come as a cocktail.) At confession, I once told Father that I was afraid I gave to charity to try and salve a guilty conscience; he told me, not in these words, to stop being an overanalytical schmuck: anything I gave to charity went to help people, to do the Lord's work, and so giving, regardless of the motive, was a good deed. Unfortuantely, the same cannot be said of a superior diet and rigorous exercise regimen. Am I trying to improve the Lord's House on the theory that my body is a temple, or am I just trying to get laid? Once I'm thinner, will this automatically translate into leading a better Christian life? Or a less Christian life full of debauchery and excess?

I do not wish to be vain, but I want all the benefits of vanity. I want to be attractive. Or, at the least, I wish to be less lonely and I see vanity as a means of attaining that end. Would it be enough to be less of a fatbuddy? Must I also becoem a devotee of fashion? Must I align my interests and my conversation with the mainstream? Should I shed my contrariness and be more open to all the things that "everyone" is supposed to like, the right music, the right movies, and Bog forbid we talk about books? Would I hate myself or would I just be happy to have a girl and a larger gaggle of fair weather friends? Would I finally, for the first time in my life, be cool, be with it, be like everyone else?

Of course, I'll be wearing an Edna's Goldfish T-shirt when I run and lift today; so, being cool is probably an impossibility, thank goodness.

Sunday, October 1, 2006

In the Chinese Grand Prix, on the Forumla One circuit, the highest-place finishing American was Scott Speed of the Toro Rosso-Cosworth team at No. 15, one lap behind winner Michael Schumaker. With a name like Speed, how can he possibly justify a fifteenth place finish?

The Victors
The Little Brown Jug is back where it belongs and all is right with the world.

Today is the first day of October and yet the afternoon high is expected to be 92 F; so, I am wearing my Flounders T-shirt because I needed a reminder of home. The Flounders are a unique University of Michigan institution (though I am told a related game is played at the Detroit Athletic Club), and every day that I spend in Texile Michigan seems more and more the paradise I always knew it was. Yes, M!chi!gan!

BTW South Song of the Day
Shakira, "Hips Don't Lie" via iTunes (Mt. Love)

Editorial: Anyone who has ever met a girl knows that hips do, in fact, lie. Hips are quite expert liars.

Saturday, September 30
Aqua, "Back from Mars" via iTunes (T.L.A.M.)