Friday, February 27, 2009

The Secret Base has not garnered a single comment in over a week. What manner of posts might you prefer, gentle readers? What topics might elicit your excited participation? How might I better serve your needs? Frank responses would be gratefully appreciated.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the day
Elvis Costello, "Miss Macbeth" from Spike (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "How can you miss what you never possessed, Miss Macbeth?"

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Explorers Club
No. CXV - The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Part I: Mrs. Gardner (1840-1924) and Mr. Bernard Berenson (1865-1959).

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
The Hippos, "Paulina" & "Paulina (Reprise)" from Heads Are Gonna Roll (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: It's a two-fer, a R.B.D.S.O.T.D. first! Why two songs on one day? Why not let "Paulina (Reprise)" stands on its own? At only thirty-seven seconds, "Paulina (Reprise)" is longer than several of the tunes from Short Music for Short People; so, 'twas not the length that gave me pause. But "Paulina (Reprise)" is just that, a brief reprise of "Paulina" at the end of Heads Are Gonna Roll, not a song in its own right. Still, I didn't want to exclude it entirely from the giddy Song of the Day fun. Thus, two-for-one Thursday. I've been jonesing to spotlight "Paulina" as the R.B.D.S.O.T.D. since selecting No Doubt's "Paulina" as part of the recently concluded series.

Alas and alack, The Hippos have gone the way of the buffalo, like all too many ska bands this century. I miss them.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you."
--The Gospel of Matthew, 6:5-6

A curious Scriptural reading for a day when we are all supposed to walk around with ashes on our foreheads, methinks.

The Lolita Mystery
A fortnight and a day hence, 10th February, "Lolita" by Mustard Plug from Pray For Mojo was the R.B.D.S.O.T.D. for a mysterious, but not secret, reason. A "hefty ransom" is in the offing for the keen detective who susses out the solution.

I will answer truthfully any and all investigative questions posed in the adjunct comments section, though I do reserve the right to attempt to be sly, and I will volunteer supplementary or clarifying information only at my whim. Perhaps as aid, perhaps as misdirection, I am including below a hyperlink to the lyrics of "Lolita." Come on, gang, you doesn't enjoy a good mystery now and again?

1) There is a girl I want to meet.
2) She is not under eighteen years of age.
3) The scene of the crime.
4) The lyrics of "Lolita."

Bon chance!

The Rebel Black Dot Song of Ash Wednesday
Joey Ramone, "What a Wonderful World" via iTunes (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "Dark, sacred night."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Mustard Plug, "Miss Michigan" from Evil Doers Beware! (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: I make no pretense of objectivity, I love Mustard Plug, I love that they are from Michigan, and I love almost any reference to the Lower Peninsula's cosmically spooky mitten shape. For my money, "Miss Michigan" is the best song ever written about masturbation. You're heard the rest, now hear the best!

"I went out with a girl just a little while,
And I loved her so, but she cramped my style
'Cause every time I'd reach she'd turn away,
And every time I'd call she'd turn and say,
'I'm sorry Dave, I got no time, I've got my life, my life is mine.'
So after a year or maybe more,
I finally found the clue, and I found the door.

I've done it before and I'll do it again,
I've seen the path and I've seen its end,
I've said it before and I'll say it again
I think I'm better off just dating Miss Michigan!

A single man is what I am,
And I'll play the field, do what I can,
If I meet a girl, she seems alright,
Say hello and spend the night,
Next thing you know she's at my door,
And she's calling my house about every hour,
I know it's my fault, 'cause I set my own trap,
But all I want now is my solitude back.

I've done it before and I'll do it again,
I've seen the path and I've seen its end,
I've said it before and I'll say it again
I think I'm better off just dating Miss Michigan!

Oh baby, I know you're the one for me.
When other girls treat me bad, you're always by my side.
Sugar, no one could ever take your place,
'Cause you got everything I need.
Aw yeah, honey, you're the one for me,
Hands down!

So I meet a girl I know is right,
She's got it all, she's just my type,
So I take it slow, and I show her I'm real,
And I treat her right, show her how I feel.
Next thing you know I'm so in love,
And it's only her that I'm thinking of,
But I was such a fool I can see today,
Should have known from the start that the girl was gay.

I've done it before and I'll do it again,
I've seen the path and I've seen its end,
I've said it before and I'll say it again
I think I'm better off just dating Miss Michigan!"

And thus concludes our series of R.B.D.S.O.T.D. about masturbating/jerking off/spanking the monkey/(insert your preferred euphemism here). Thank you for your tolerance with the lewdness and vulgarity. The morrow brings Ash Wednesday and the holy season of Lent, culminating in the holiest days of the whole year, Good Friday and Easter. May we all, this wretched sinner most especially, take full advantage of the season to more devotedly and earnestly imitate the Christ.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Explorers Club
No. CXIV - Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis (95-46 B.C.), immortalized as Cato the Younger, incorruptible Stoic and defender of Roman republican virtue against Caesar's imperial ambitions.

Technical difficulties over the weekend, please excuse our dust.

The Victors: Project OSPREY
Iowa 70-60 Michigan (O.T.*)
17-11, 7-8 Big Ten

The foul called on Sims near the end of regulation was totally bogus. We screwed up the last play of the second half, a perfect chance to win, and we completely blew it in overtime, but neither of those occurrences changes that fact that the foul on Sims was totally bogus. The lousy zebras didn't cost us the game, but they still loused up the whole affair.

Go Blue!

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Barenaked Ladies, "It's Only Me (The Wizard of Magicland)" from Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits 1991-2001 (T.L.A.M.)


"Speaking as a guy
Who's really got it going on,
It's only natural,
It's only me!

I can't think of anybody else
I'd rather spend some one-on-one time with,
It's not that hard to see,
It's only me!"

Sonntag, 22 Februar
Blink-182, "Voyeur" from Dude Ranch (T.L.A.M.)


"I can't be too cool
In a tree with my pants down,
The air is cold
And I've got splinters in my feet."

Samstag, 21 Februar
Guster, "Barrel of a Gun" from Lost and Gone Forever (T.L.A.M.)


"I know a movie star,
I've got her plastered to my wall,
Just like we're dear old friends,
Like she already knows me."

*Overtime Time

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's like some kind of dream: narwhal! (And a reminder, Narwhal Day is the 23rd of May, only three months away. Are you prepared? What you need: the Oath of Narwhal Day, a piece of gray clothing, and "Sympathy for the Narwhal" by DJ Seaghost; these items and the ritual will engender genuine sympathy for the narwhal.) 'Tis nice to know that even in our jaded sophistication here in the 21st century there are marine monsters of mystery and majesty, the sea still has secrets. And what better tool than science to wrest the secrets of the deep from Neptune's pelagic grasp?


I shall miss Monk and Psych and shall eagerly await their returns this summer.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Skankin' Pickle, "Turning Japanese" from Sing Along With Skinkin' Pickle (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Knowing the work of Skankin' Pickle front man/saxophonist and Asian Man Records founder Mike Park, this version of "Turning Japanese" is as much about racial stereotyping as it as about masturbation. But that's still enough about masturbation to earn a place in this series.

"You wrote 'I love you,'
I love me too."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Blink-182, "Waggy" from Dude Ranch (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "Waggy" is not strictly about masturbation, but, I ask you, how could I not include a song that includes the lyric, "I'll just jack off in my room until then"?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Queue
So, I devoured The Bloody Red Baron in a television-free six days, and found it to be the same as Anno Dracula, to which it is a sequel: astonishingly imaginative, deeply engrossing, staggeringly witty, and ultimately disappointing. The first four-fifths of both books are just tremendous, but Newman doesn't quite have the knack for finales. There are unsatisfying twists at the end of both books: Anno Dracula's is logical, after a fashion, but emotionally unsatisfying after the grand build-up; The Bloody Red Baron abruptly changes course, pitches over, and nosedives into No Man's Land. I almost said aloud, "Wait, that's the end?" So, while the astonishing imagination, engrossing depth, and staggering wit will almost certainly lure me to read the third book in the Anno Dracula series, Dracula Cha Cha Cha—published in this country as the repulsively melodramatic Judgment of Tears, a title so schlocky it should have been reserved for the likes of Anne Rice—I am going to wait a spell and allow some distance from The Bloody Red Baron.

Kim Newman, Anno Dracula
John Polidori, "The Vampyre"
Ronald Searle & Kaye Webb, Paris Stetchbook
Saki, "The Interlopers"
Ronald Searle, St. Trinian's: The Entire Appalling Business
David J. Brown, Bridges: Three Thousand Years of Defying Nature
Kim Newman, The Bloody Red Baron

Adriana Czupryn, Małgorzata Omilanowska, & Ulrich Schwendimann, Eyewitness Travel Guides: Switzerland
Jacques-Yves Cousteau, "Exploring a New World Undersea," Great Adventures with National Geographic

Rick Steves, Rick Steves' Switzerland 2007
Lauren Baratz-Logsted, How Nancy Drew Saved My Life
David M. Friedman, The Immortalists: Charles Lindbergh, Dr. Alexis Carrel, and Their Daring Quest to Live Forever
Ernest Shackleton, South
John Toland, The Great Dirigibles: Their Triumphs and Disasters (catch as catch can)
Sloane Crosley, I Was Told There'd be Cake
John Hodgman, The Areas of My Expertise
Kim Newman, Dracula Cha Cha Cha

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
No Doubt, "Paulina" from No Doubt (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Not to be confused with The Hippos' "Paulina." Myself, I've always assumed "Paulina" is about Paulina Porizkova.

Well, I stare at her pictures all day long,
And as I do I sing this song,
My father says to act my age,
As I single-handedly turn the page."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Explorers Club
No. CXIII - Marcus Porcius Cato (234-149 B.C.), immortalized as Cato the Censor or Cato the Elder, defender of Roman virtue against Greek decadence, who concluded every speech in the Senate, regardless of topic, with "...and Carthage must be destroyed."

The Lolita Mystery
One week ago, on 10th February, "Lolita" by Mustard Plug was the Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day. "Lolita" was chosen for a very specific reason, a reason that is a mystery, but not a secret. I believe detection, observation, deduction, and investigation capable of unraveling the mystery. There is a "hefty ransom" for whomever cracks the case (non-monetary, but a worthy prize all the same).

The Guy has uncovered two clues, one he gleaned and one he coaxed out of me: "there is a girl that [I] want to 'meet-a'" and this girl is not under the age of 18. Yet another resource: return to the scene of the crimelink. Who among you is game to solve the mystery of "Lolita"?


The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Elvis Costello, "Pump It Up" from This Year's Model (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "Pump it up, when you don't really need it."

Monday, February 16, 2009

Now this, my friends, this is the way to conduct apocalyptic science, not in a spirit of namby-pamby cooperation and fellowship, but in an adrenaline-filled atmosphere of reckless and cutthroat competition: atom smasherlink. Advance, Fermilab! Advance! Smash those atoms! Sunder the veil obscuring the inner workings of all Creation! And, of greatest import of all, scientifically pants those European twerps! "Ooo, ooo, we've had to shut down our fabric-of-time-and-space-ripping super-doohickey for safety reasons." Pantywaists! We Americans may well rend a hole in the very walls of reality itself, undoing all that ever was and all that ever will be, but, by Tesla's mustache, we'll do it in the name of science!


The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Green Day, "Long View" from Dookie (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: From my perspective, the granddaddy of them all. I didn't even know you could write a song about masturbating before "Long View."

"Bite my lip and close my eyes,
Take me away to paradise.
I'm so damned bored I'm going blind,
And loneliness has to suffice.
Bite my lip and close my eyes,
Oh slipping away to paradise.
Some say 'Quit!' or I'll go blind,
But it's just a myth."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Vote For Kodos
Pants afirelink. This is the third distinct account of events Senator Burris has given; how can we then believe a single word of his fluid testimony? The Democratic majority in the Senate said they would not seat anyone appointed by then-Governor Blagojevich, but then they installed Senator Burris; how can we believe a single one of their pronouncements? And both deposed Governor Blagojevich and Senator Burris are exemplars of the rotten-to-the-core Illinois politics that also gave us President Obama, White House Chief of Staff Emanuel, and Secretary of Education Duncan, as well as innumerable staffers now infesting the Executive Branch; how can we have any confidence that they are not exactly as venal as Blagojevich and Burris?

If you voted for our charlatan president, this is exactly the kind of shady backroom dealing for which you voted. I hope you are enjoying the parade of horrors. If you think that's not true, that President Obama and the Chicago mob stand for truth, justice, and transparency, you are either fooling yourself or you are a naive fool. Cheers!

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day After Valentine's Day
Semisonic, "Get a Grip" from All About Chemistry (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: I know this series, and it is a series, is both lewd and vulgar, but I have elected to proceed despite this. Or perhaps because of the lewdness and vulgarity. Think of this as my carnival 'fore the intense piety of Lent. Plus, in addition to being both lewd and vulgar, songs about masturbating tend to be funny. A boon!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Rebel Black Dot Song of Valentine's Day
Nerf Herder, "Doin' Laundry" from Short Music for Short People (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: I thought about R.B.F.'s "Suckers," which has shockingly never been a Song of the Day, neither Rebel Black Dot nor B.T.W. South, with its classic refrain of "This one's for all the suckers who still believe in love, this one's for you," but I've been sitting on "Doin' Laundry" for months, just waiting for the chance to use it on Valentine's Day (which is an entirely ungodly and distinct phenomenon from the Feast of Saint Valentine). Because, really, lewd gratification, not romantic love, is the heart of our crass and soulless Valentine's Day ritual here in 21st century America. So, let's just be honest about it. Take it away, Nerf Herder:


I was thinking of you while I jerked off into my sock last night,
I was thinking of you while I jerked off into my sock!
I was thinking of you,
I wish I had more than two,
'Cause I didn't have anything else to do,
I was thinking of you while I jerked off into my sock!"

Be my anti-Valentine.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Explorers Club
No. CXII - The Brodie, Adrian, Stahlhelm, and Pickelhaube helmets of the Great War.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Fountains of Wayne, "I'll Do the Driving" from Out-of-State Plates, Disc One (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "That certain nothing behind her eyes."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Queue
The Bloody Red Baron finally arrived! Those jerks at the library didn't call me, even though several weeks back I made a point of verifying that the telephone number they have on file is current (of course, my mobile number hasn't changed in the two and a half years since I got the blasted thing). So, because the book is on special loan from a library in Bad Axe - the G.D.L.'s copy having gone, as previously mentioned, walkabout - I've only got it for three weeks, not the usual four. And how long was it waiting for me at McFarlen? A week. I would have had a full four weeks if they'd called me upon The Bloody Red Baron's arrival as they said they would! Jerks. Turnabout is fair play, I'm going to keep the book as long as it takes me to read it.

Too bad, too, because I am in the middle of reading Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau's contribution to Great Adventures with National Geographic. Sure, I could finish Cousteau's account first, but the clock is ticking on The Bloody Red Baron. And despite my boasting it is in my nature to want to return the book to McFarlen within the alloted trio of weeks, however unfairly that interval might have been decided. I defer to Leviathan in all his many forms unless stirred to rebellion by a specific cause. And Captain Cousteau and the Calypso will still be waiting for me after I finish viewing the Great War through the lens of Anno Dracula.

Also, I borrowed another book that should prove excellent research fodder for Project TRITON.

Tuesday was even more of a fiasco than previously believed and I spent all of yesterday experiencing extreme tenderness in my stomach muscles. During Week 1, I experienced the soreness that accompanies exercise after a long period of sloth. I love that soreness, that hallmark of progress. But this was tenderness, not soreness. I ached when I moved in certain directions, and getting in and out of bed was a particular bother. I'm much improved today, but even so I have deferred Week 2, Day 2's sets of push ups until tomorrow at the earliest.

What is certain, though, is my intention to run tomorrow for the first time since before Christmas. Egad! I predict a preposterous level of exertion will be required to plod along at a snail's pace, but I've got to start (again) somewhere. And here I must point out to myself that I wouldn't have to repeat these initial phases ad nauseam if I'd just adhere to an exercise regimen for more than a few months at a go. But, because that kind of Monday morning quarterbacking isn't particularly helpful, let me also offer a genuinely useful reminder to myself: the more you work out, Mike, the more you want to work out. Persist and you just might wake the S.K.P. Machine, long absent yet alive even so, slumbering like Frederick Barbarossa.

Hoorah for Operation ÖSTERREICH!

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
James Darren, "Come Fly With Me" from This One's From the Heart (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Given my profound love for and devotion to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the following is high praise indeed: James Darren, with his easy smile and dulcet tones, will always be Vic Fontaine to me.

"Come fly with me,
Let's fly, let's fly away.
If you can use
Some exotic booze
There's a bar in far Bombay.
Come fly with me,
Let's fly, let's fly away."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Spike Jones and His City Slickers, "The Glow-Worm" from The Spike Jones Anthology (T.L.A.M.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Okay, what in the heck? For the second week in a row, Day 1 of the One Hundred Push Ups plan was a complete fiasco. Day 2 and Day 3 of Week 1 were both triumphs. I didn't quite feel like I could take on the whole Empire myself after finishing Day 3's push ups on Saturday, but pretty damn close. And now, I was unable to finish the final set of Day 1, Week 2; perfectly willing, but physically unable. My arms pushed, but my body would not rise, and I collapsed onto the floor in a heap. The program prescribes taking two days off between Weeks; I am at a loss as to explain the loss of strength between Saturday and today, when there was an appreciable gain in strength over a gap of the same length between last Thursday and Saturday, Days 2 and 3 of Week 1. I shall try Day 2 on Thursday exactly according to the plan, but anything less than complete success will force me to repeat Week 1.

I remain dedicated to the One Hundred Push Ups, but I wonder, am I following a foolish course? How sound can the program be given the gulf between the results of the initial test and Week 1, and now between Weeks 1 and 2? No, sir, I do not like at all where this seems to be heading. Or, "No, sir, I don't like it."

Operation ÖSTERREICH: Fortitudine Vincimus.

The Wild Sea
The image currently gracing my desktop, the I.N.S. Tarangini entering Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island.

by John Masefield

I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn is breaking.

I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Mustard Plug, "Lolita" from Pray for Mojo (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: I'm in a gamesome mood, a hefty ransom (of a sort) to whomever can surmise why "Lolita" was today's R.B.D.S.O.T.D.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the day
Less Than Jake, "We, the Uninspired" from the Absolution for Idiots and Addicts E.P. (K. Steeze)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Explorers Club
No. CXI - The Kengir Uprising, 16 May-25 June 1954.

There is scant photographic evidence of the slaughter that followed the retaking of the camp because, well, the camp was retaken and once again subjected to bloody-handed Soviet censorship.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the day
They Might Be Giants, "Fibber Island" from No! (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "Fibber Island" seemed a good complement to yesterday's "Finished With Lies."

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Vote For Kodos
I hate it when racist Vice President Biden is right. Now, mind you, that only happens once in a blue moon, and even then it is more out of sheer chance that any insight on his part. The phrase that springs to mind is "even a broken clock is right twice a day." But I digress. Racist Vice President Biden said, back when he was racist Senator Biden, that some bad actor on the world stage will "test the mettle" of President Obama. And now, looky here, just over a fortnight into the Obama presidency, the Russians have scored a major victory in the Great Game: Kyrgyzstanlink. Our response? Jack squat, thus far. In the words of Philip J. Fry, "I am shocked. Shocked! Well, not that shocked."

Also, on a lighter note, how are you all enjoying, in Sean Connery's memorable phrase, the Chicago way? What "Chicago way," you ask? Al Capone's criminal empire, the Chicago Outfit, was only ever undone by his conviction for income tax evasion. The flaunting of the tax code by Secretary Geithner, former Senator Daschle, and Ms. Killefer must have endeared them to the Chicago mob currently running the White House, who cannot possibly comprehend the furor over such a trifling matter as failing to pay one's taxes. I hope backing down in the face of Russian assertiveness and flagrantly disregarding the rules by which law-abiding citizens have to live are the kinds of "change" you believed in when you voted for our charlatan president, because these things are emblematic of what we can expect in the months and years ahead. Defeat at any cost!

Welcome to the parade of horrors.
The Victors: Project OSPREY
Michigan 14-14 Connecticut, 11:48 remaining in the first half

I know we've been playing pretty poorly of late, or going through some growing pains for those of you who need the blow softened, but it is bogus that our game against UConn isn't on T.V. around here. I tell you, if the Huskies were ranked No. 4 instead of No. 1, they wouldn't stand a snowball's chance in Hell against the quattro-killing Wolverines!

Go Blue!

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
They Might Be Giants, "Finished With Lies" from Mink Car (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Why? Because last night Jonathan Silverman guest starred on Psych as a persistent prevaricator known to Jules, Lassie, and Chief Vick as "Lyin' Ryan." Bog, what a great show.

"I'll turn everything around and confuse you,
Talk faster and faster 'til I lose you,
I'll fix it so you can't remember what was true,
And there'll be nothing to remind you."

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
The Aquabats!, "Mechanical Ape!" from Charge!! Special One Year Anniversary Edition (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "One man stands as the lone magician." G.O.B.?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I am opposed to thievery, on both moral and legal grounds, but, Bog, a well-executed heist is a thing of beauty: heistlink. Vile, corrupt beauty, but beauty all the same.

Also, I relish any opportunity to use the word heist.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
The Proclaimers, "Sunshine on Leith" from Sunshine on Leith (T.L.A.M.)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Explorers Club
No. CX - Otto Lilienthal (1848-96), the Glider King.

Well, kids, Operation ÖSTERREICH is off and running, and has been since Monday. That first day was a fiasco, the One Hundred Push Ups kicked my flabby arse and the end of the day found me with Cheeto-caked fingers. Yesterday was better, and today better still. Being slightly hungry much of the time is rather unpleasant, but necessary, I suppose. I've switched tracks in the Push Ups and today's successful, though taxing, completion of the full Day 2 set imprinted my decision with an indelible seal of approval.

I'm in this for the long haul. I shall have to take a page from Sir Ernest Shackleton's guidebook to leadership and devise some ingenious ways to maintain high morale, optimism and tenacity being the two most powerful tools of success.

Operation ÖSTERREICH: Fortitudine Vincimus.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Dance Hall Crashers, "Do You Think You're Beautiful" from Purr (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: A reminder to myself that while the one of the principal objects of ÖSTERREICH is to increase my attractiveness to the fairer sex, vanity is a sin in which one indulges to one's eternal peril.

"Where should we start?
Beauty queen, magazine, steroids, and silicone.
Pick apart,
Mirror, mirror, who is the fairest of them all?
Wouldn't you rather be smart
Than worry about what it means to get by
If you don't look right?"

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Dance Hall Crashers, "D.H.C." from The Old Record (1989-1992) (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Something is wrong in the world today.

"Wake up this morning and I looked outside,
Just an average day, with no new surprise.
Picked up the paper and I read the front page
And what it said just blew me away.
Top of the page and printed in red,
Caught my eye and here's what it said,
'Something is wrong in the world today.'
Work, war, and crime, can't walk a straight line.

Out on the dance floor,
Everything's gonna be all right.
Out on the dance floor,
Dance Hall, Dance Hall Crashers tonight."

Monday, February 2, 2009

Groundhog Day
I always mean to make a bigger deal out of Groundhog Day, but Punxsutawney Phil always slips my mind until too late. The failure, appropriately repeated in unintentional imitation of Groundhog Day, is at an end. There is not yet a branch of CADMUS devoted to the celebration of eccentric holidays, Narwhal Day being the marquee event, but by this time next year there shall be and it shall have succeeded brilliantly in making a proper ballyhoo out of Groundhog Day. Ballyhoo ho!

Mayhap I should also attempt a Quixotic revival of Candlemas?

The Queue
Having read, between December and January, five proper books, three short stories, and two cartoon collections (the Searle volumes), I am taking a brief pause. This shall last until The Bloody Red Baron resurfaces at my local lending library; at present, infuriatingly, the Genesee District Library's copy seems to have gone walkabout. I shall pass the time with complimentary copies of The Wall Street Journal and with added devotion to Project TRITON.

Kim Newman, Anno Dracula
John Polidori, "The Vampyre"
Ronald Searle & Kaye Webb, Paris Stetchbook
Saki, "The Interlopers"
Ronald Searle, St. Trinian's: The Entire Appalling Business
David J. Brown, Bridges: Three Thousand Years of Defying Nature

various, Great Adventures with National Geographic (catch as catch can)

Kim Newman, The Bloody Red Baron
David M. Friedman, The Immortalists: Charles Lindbergh, Dr. Alexis Carrel, and Their Daring Quest to Live Forever
Ernest Shackleton, South
John Toland, The Great Dirigibles: Their Triumphs and Disasters (catch as catch can)
Sloane Crosley, I Was Told There'd be Cake
John Hodgman, The Areas of My Expertise

Rudyard Kipling, The Man who would be King and Other Stories
Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Books
Rudyard Kipling, Kim
Saki, The Complete Saki

Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, The Whale (pg. 87)

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
She & Him, "Sentimental Heart" from Volume One (T.L.A.M.)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Save Ferris, "The World is New" from It Means Everything (T.L.A.M.)

Samstag, 31 Januar
William Shatner, "Common People" from Has Been (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: There is not a specific policy against repeating as the R.B.D.S.O.T.D. as there are many songs that are just the perfect song for more than one day, but I still enjoy picking previously unused songs. "Common People" was a B.T.W. South Song of the Day, but never before a Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day. Neat!

"But she didn't understand,
She just smiled and held my hand."