Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy Birthday!
Happy birthday to my sainted mother, twice over a grandmother and deliriously happy at that happenstance. She's been gone since Boxing Day—helping The L.A.W. and Brother-in-L.A.W. cope with the still brand-new Natalie (Niece-in-L.A.W.? Daughter-of-L.A.W.?)—and I miss her terribly. Happy birthday, Mom!

The Rebel Black Dot Song of New Year's Eve
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, "Auld Lang Syne" from Ruin Jonny's Bar Mitzvah (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: All the best to you and yours in Anno Domini 2010, my friends.

"We'll take a cup of kindness yet
For auld lang syne."

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

No rest for the wicked. I hosted the gang on Tuesday night for a Psych marathon and to make preparations for our New Year's Eve extravaganza. Worlds collided when Ki-El joined us, becoming the first of my old comrades to meet the new crowd. I am sorry that this Christmas break has not been more productive for The Secret Base, but I've found it to be devilishly brief and passing at a heart-stopping pace. On my honor, Twenty-ten will be a better bloggy blogging year than was Aught-nine.

Tomorrow, of course, belongs exclusively to the aforementioned New Year's Eve extravaganza, about which I will report in as much detail as discretion allows, provided I survive. On Saturday, I am scheduled to see The Sardine; yippee!

The Banzai Beard Bonanza II: Bonsai's Revenge
Day 3: The itchiness has begun, and it will get much, much worse before it gets better. Good news, The Impossible Ingenue thinks this is a terrible idea. Oh, wait… crumbs!


The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Sufjan Stevens, "Holy, Holy, Holy" from Songs for Christmas (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "God in three Persons."

Dienstag, 29 Dezember
Duvall, "Joy to the World" from O Holy Night (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary-cum-Operation AXIOM: 29 December, the Feast Day of Saint Thomas Becket, martyred for his defense of the Church against the state's avarice.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Loot
Presented in the same format in which my Christmas wish list was presented to my kin.

Charles Brooks, ed., Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year—2010 Edition
Charles Brooks, ed., Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year—2008 Edition

{Motion Pictures on D.V.D.}
Slumdog Millionaire (curiously, on Blu-ray disc, even though I don't have a Blu-ray player)

{Television Series on D.V.D.}
Star Wars: The Clone Wars — The Complete Season One
Psych — The Complete First Season
Psych — The Complete Second Season
Psych — The Complete Third Season

Reel Big Fish, Fame, Fortune, and Fornication (on compact disc)
Sufjan Stevens, Songs for Christmas (through the agency of an iTunes gift certificate)

Salami (which my mom refuses to make throughout the rest of the year)
Gift certificates to the Men's Wearhouse
Hallmark keepsake ornament — Luke Skywalker & Darth Vader's final duel aboard the Death Star II
Hallmark keepsake ornaments — Anakin Skywalker & Ahsoka Tano from The Clone Wars
Hallmark keepsake ornament - Iron Man (these are my dad's favorite things in the world to give)
Renewal of my subscription to National Review
AA batteries (even though I still have stockpiled AA's from many Christmases past)
candies of many stripes
cold, hard cash
* * * * *
a stocking full of coal (technically, charcoal) & a pair of panties from The Most Dangerous Game (she's an odd duck)
"something" from The Impossible Ingenue (she didn't have it at the gang's Christmas party on 22 Dezember, and I haven't seen her since, woe is me [text messaging every day isn't sufficient!])

The Bonzai Beard Bonanza II: Bonsai's Revenge
Day 1: I shaved off my sideburns and imperial yesterday. I've trimmed my sideburns above the bottom of my ears before, but this is the first time I've been completely without them since I first grew them the summer after freshman year. I love my sideburns and I look bizarre without them; not dramatically different, but something small and nagging is clearly amiss. Pictures will be posted as soon as my dad emails them to me.

This second go-round of the Banzai Beard Bonanza is getting underway a month later than I intended. The main reason for suspending the start was Project PANDORA, the pursuit of The Impossible Ingenue and the brief, frustrating, and ultimately idiotic sideshow with The Other Woman. But you know what? The only way I'll ever win The Ingenue's heart is by being me, the best, truest version of me I can be. And I want to grow a beard; growing this beard has been five years in the making, since the first Banzai Beard Bonanza (and stand ready for some serious Wayback Machine action as we move forward). Hang on to your hats, this is going to suck. And this is going to be awesome. And then suck some more.


The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Barenaked Ladies, "I Saw Three Ships" from Barenaked For the Holidays (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Christmas music will continue throughout Christmastide.

Sonntag, 27 Dezember
Duvall, "Away in a Manger" from O Holy Night (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Seemed an apropos choice for the Feast of the Holy Family.

Samstag, 26 Dezember
Palooka-ville, "Triumph of the GoBots" from Falling Off the Doghouse (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Live on stage for one night only! The pride of the Grand Blanc music scene, together again after many moons! Ladies and gentlemen, the Aloha Lounge is proud to present the one, the only, the original, Palooka-ville!

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Rebel Black Dot Song of Christmas Day
Kevin Stermer & the Brothers Mace, "Santa Baby" courtesy of K. Steeze (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Just horrible. Bog, I hope butchering a Yuletide classic becomes an annual tradition.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Sufjan Stevens, "I Saw Three Ships" via iTunes (T.L.A.M.)

Mittwoch, 23 Dezember
Billy Joel, "New York State of Mind" from Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Because Mr. Skeeter (ne Jimmy From Queens) thinks I'm a New Yorker at heart and cannot understand why I don't live there.

Dienstag, 22 Dezember
Brian d'Arcy James, "Michigan Christmas" via iTunes (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Because I woke up long before dawn broke to drive with my father to Cleveland so that he could purchase a "parts car," and having done so we then drove back to Michigan at a snail's pace because he didn't want to push his untested prize. And all the while I thought solely about getting back in time for my new friends' Christmas party, which turned out to be exactly as delightful as I'd hoped. All my joy on Tuesday was tied up in returning to sacred Michigan from baleful Ohio.

Montag, 21 Dezember
Catch 22, "Keasbey Nights" from Keasbey Nights (T.L.A.M)

Commentary: I saw The Loose Ties perform for the second time in four days, and, boy howdy, do they love playing their cover of "Keasbey Nights."

Sonntag, 20 Dezember
Susan Egan, "I'll Be Home For Christmas" from Winter Tracks (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: I wasn't home, I was in Ohio celebrating an early Christmas with my nephew Teddy and his folks (with whom reconciliation seems increasingly likely). But, by thunder, I'll be home for Christmas!

Samstag, 19 Dezember
Weezer, "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" via iTunes, (free) Holiday Sampler (T.L.A.M.)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Tonight, my friend's band, The Loose Ties, played at a local watering hole, Woobie's Bar & Nightlife. I last saw The Loose Ties, an honest-to-Bog ska band, three weeks hence, at that selfsame Woobie's; then, a girl I'd just met formed a crush on me, leading to a tale that will eventually be told as "Project PANDORA: The Other Woman." This evening, I was returning from solo skanking in front of the stage to my group's table when a girl left the bar and drew up close to me. She asked in a low voice, "Do you like girls or boys?" I had not quite heard her and asked her to repeat the question.

She did and I answered, "I like girls." She returned to the bar and a moment later I sidled up behind her and whispered in her ear, smiling as I did so, "If that disappoints anybody, I'm sorry." Visual evidence of her ensuing conversation indicates the chap seated to her right had taken a fancy to me. Later, as I stood next to our table after another skanking sortie, this chap stood up and started to approach me before he was bodily intercepted by another of his fellows, who steered him back to the bar and spoke for some time into the chap's ear. The chap had clearly been imbibing to the point of impairment, but this was still, to my knowledge, the first time I was the object of a homosexual advance. In all frankness, yes, it was mildly flattering.

A girl the first time I skanked to the music of The Loose Ties at Woobie's, a guy the second time. I've seen and skanked to the music of The Loose Ties on two other occasions without receiving any offers; so, clearly the operative variable is Woobie's. At Woobie's, I am a chick love magnet.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the day
The Loose Ties, "Awesomer Than You" from the The Loose Ties E.P. (T.L.A.M.)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The L.A.W. and the as-yet-not-codenamed Natalie went home today, and both are reported by Brother-in-L.A.W., always a more open communicator than my sister, to be doing well. My mother, unsurprisingly, is pleased as punch, as are, it must be said, we all. Natalie's a Festivus miracle!

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Stephen Colbert, "Another Christmas Song" via iTunes, (free) Holiday Sampler (T.L.A.M.)

Mittwoch, 16 Dezember
Susan Egan, "Little Colored Lights" from Winter Tracks (T.L.A.M.)


"It's kind of funny, they're only light bulbs,
Strung around a window or a doorway or a tree,
But those light bulbs, those little light bulbs
Shine with more than just the light we see."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Welcome to the world, Natalie, Uncle Mike already loves you! Also, remember, Uncle Mike is your favorite!

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
The Killers, "Believe Me Natalie" from Hot Fuss (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: The only "Natalie" song I have.

Montag, 14 Dezember
Jimmy Buffett, "Christmas in the Caribbean" courtesy of The Watergirl (The Watergirl)

Commentary: "Got everything but snow." Sounds hellish.

Monday, December 14, 2009

As I type these lines my pregnant sister, The L.A.W., is being induced into labor, five days before her baby, the still gender-unknown "Junior" was "due." I will report again as soon as I have news, God willing that mother and baby are in tip-top shape and resting comfortably.

Max, Benjamin, Paul, or Henry? Molly, Rachel, Natalie, or Sonia?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Meaghan Smith, "It Snowed" via iTunes, (free) Holiday Sampler (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: It didn't actually snow Saturday night, it was more of a murderous freezing rain, but I was able successfully to navigate my way home from The Impossible Ingenue & The Most Dangerous Game's house, where the usual suspects watched The Ugly Truth (ugly doesn't begin to describe it) and Pretty Woman (pretty fair).

"And when the Sun dips out of sight,
We'll cozy up together by the fireside.
And just before we close our eyes
Wish upon a star it snows again tonight."

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Great Bird of the Galaxy, The Impossible Ingenue is a fan of Invader ZIM! Raise your glasses, here's to serendipity.

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Great Big Sea, "Come and I Will Sing You" courtesy of The Watergirl (The Watergirl, for reals)

Freitag, 11 Dezember
Barenaked Ladies, "Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah" from Barenaked For the Holidays (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: On the occasion of the beginning of Hanukkah. Bit of a non sequitur: Hi, my name is Mike Wilson and I am proud to be a Zionist.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Explorers Club
No. CLVIII - The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Part III: The Great Pyramid of Giza.

It is a farce that President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but credit where credit is due, his acceptance speech—at least the parts I heard—was the finest I've ever heard our charlatan president deliver. Alas, pretty words do not wise and courageous policy make.

Welcome to the parade of horrors. Seen enough yet?

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Tanya Donelly, "The Night You Saved My Life" via iTunes (Mrs. Skeeter)

Commentary: The title, "The Night You Saved My Life," reminds me so much of the last line of a short story, "Lifeguard," I wrote a decade back, in a creative writing class: "Come on, Happy, save my life."

Plus, back to Donelly, "Every day brings a new breed of jackass."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Sufjan Stevens, "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" via YouTube (Daddy Dylweed)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Think you can't inadvertently spent a night out on the town? Guess again. You can fall into these things like a tiger trap. A pleasant tiger trap, mind you, but the simile was always meant to play up the ambush angle anyway.

Tonight was supposed to be a big bloggy blogging night, a night to get caught up and explain what's been on my mind lately. Tomorrow, I devoutly hope. The Secret Base was never meant to be a casualty of MERCATOR.

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Fountains of Wayne, "Laser Show" from Utopia Parkway (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Why? Because someone mentioned the laser show tonight at dessert. It's just that easy!

Montag, 7 Dezember
They Might Be Giants, "Bed Bed Bed" from No! (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: I fell asleep on Monday a little after ten o'clock, having gotten about forty-five minutes of restless sleep the previous night. 'Twas one part socialization and two parts schoolwork (and mine own sloth toward same) that kept me up so early.

Sonntag, 6 Dezember
American Hi-Fi, "Flavor of the Weak" via iTunes (T.L.A.M.)


"Her boyfriend, he don't know,
Anything about her.
He's too stoned, Nintendo,
I wish that I could make her see."

Samstag, 5 Dezember
The Blues Brothers, "Expressway to Your Heart" from The Definitive Collection (T.L.A.M.)


"I been tryin' to get to you for a long time,
'Cause constantly you've been on my mind.
I was thinkin' about a short cut that I could take,
But I found I made a mistake.
I was wrong, it took too long.
I got caught in a rush hour,
Fellas started to shower
You with love and affection,
Now you won't look in my direction.

I need an expressway to your heart!
That expressway,
That's the best way."

I'm ready, I just can't seem to find the on ramp to the expressway to The Impossible Ingenue's heart.

Freitag, 4 Dezember
The Articles, "Blue Monk" from Flip F'real (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: On the occasion of the series finale of Monk, "Mr. Monk and the End, Part II." My thanks to all those who made Monk such a great show lo these many wonderful years.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I'm sorry for the sporadic posts and general lack of content, dear readers, these old bones are as weary as the day is long. I'm going to bed directly after publishing this.

So far past expectations has MERCATOR succeeded, so much the social butterfly have I become, that a night like tonight, with no phone calls or text messages, no high-jinks into the wee hours of the morning, fills me with a peculiar kind of dread. Like something great is happening and I'm missing it, or something awful is happening and I'm not there to stop it. Like this new life is so terribly fragile that one missed opportunity might plunge me back into my former solitude, never again to emerge. However did this happen to me, misanthropic, misfit me?

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Barenaked Ladies, "It's All Been Done" from Stunt (The Watergirl, sort of)

Mittwoch, 2 Dezember
Less Than Jake, "She's Gonna Break Soon" from Anthem (T.L.A.M.)


"It's the boys in bars on Friday night
That replace the emptiness inside."

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I have spent significant time with The Impossible Ingenue every day since Thanksgiving, with lunch scheduled for Wednesday and our second swing dance lesson for Friday. I am so taken with her it's ridiculous.

The Impossible Ingenue & The Last Angry Man at his second Thanksgiving dinner.

And, no, this isn't the out-of-left-field PANDORA news alluded to on Sunday. No time to detail that now.

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Barenaked Ladies, "In the Car" from Stunt (T.L.A.M.)

Montag, 30 November
They Might Be Giants, "Take Out the Trash" from The Else (T.L.A.M.)


"Girl, why not take out the trash?
And once you get him out,
Tell him not to come back again.
Girl, put that cat in the bin,
After what he said,
After everything he did.

You had him figured out a while ago,
And I know it's not exactly breaking news.
But it's all been a little like a trial for you
And a bunch more talking won't make him true."

A bunch more talking won't make him true.