Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Project PARAFFIN begins upon the morrow, ready or not. The dark bastard is confident, regarding failure as inevitable. For this I thank him, as spite will serve as an additional motivation. My thanks infuriate him to no end, but he's no one to blame but himself, for he understands as well as I do that by tempting Mankind Old Scratch serves the Lord's purpose, & should have known enough not to be similarly ensnared. I've been waiting for tomorrow my whole life. It's finally here. I'm terrified. I'm excited. I might throw up. I do this for myself. I do this to spite myself. I do this for her.

Grow or die.

The Queue
On the flights to & from Ireland, I supplemented Hellboy: The Companion with a pair of issues of The Economist. Sweet fancy Moses, I love The Economist!

Tiziano Sclavi, et al., The Dylan Dog Case Files
Hergé, The Adventures of Tintin In the Land of the Soviets & Cigars of the Pharaoh
Stephen Weiner, Jason Hall, & Victoria Blake, illustrated by Mike Mignola, et al., Hellboy: The Companion

Hergé, The Adventures of Tintin: The Calculus Affair, The Red Sea Sharks, & Tintin in Tibet
Henry Mazzeo, ed., & Edward Gorey, illustrator, Hauntings: Tales of the Supernatural

Hergé, The Adventures of Tintin: The Castafiore Emerald, Flight 714, & Tintin and the Picaros
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes
H. Rider Haggard, King Solomon's Mines
David Ignatius, Body of Lies
Len Deighton, City of Gold

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Bill Conti, "Gonna Fly Now" via iTunes (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "Gonna Fly Now" is, of course, the theme song from Rocky.

Montag, 30 Januar
Fountains of Wayne, "Michael and Heather at the Baggage Claim" from Traffic and Weather (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "Michael and Heather may never get home again."

Sonntag, 29 Januar
Flogging Molly, "Selfish Man" from Swagger (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: The soundtrack to Irish pubs, at least in Dublin's city center, is American pop music, the same as you'd heard on any oldies or Top 40 station. At last, we thought we'd found an Irish pub playing Irish music, but I had to play the party pooper by pointing out that Flogging Molly is an American band.

"Propelled through all this madness
By your beauty and my sadness,
I'll never change or rearrange
'Til I've finished what I've started."

Samstag, 28 Januar
Katiä, "The Minstrel Boy" from Can't Stop the Love Sled (T.L.A.M.)


"Thy songs were made for the pure and free,
They shall never be sung in slavery."

Freitag, 27 Januar
Boots Randolph, "Yakety Sax" via iTunes (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "Yakety Sax" is the perfect music to play over the scene of a mob of irate Irishmen chasing a trio of Americans who have just devoured—literally eaten—the Book of Kells.

Donnerstag, 26 Januar
Mick Maloney, "There Were Roses" from Green Linnet Records: The Twentieth Anniversary Collection (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: An Irish debater took exception to my, as an American, discussion of recent Irish history. Nevermind the fact that at least half of the debate motions specifically mentioned the United States. So, they can speak about our history & our politics, but we cannot speak about their history & their politics? This must the European broadmindedness I've heard so much about.

"So my song for you this evening, it's not to make you sad,
Nor for adding to the sorrows of our troubled northern land…"

Mittwoch, 25 Januar
Tim Lyons, "Humours of Whiskey" from Green Linnet Records: The Twentieth Anniversary Collection (T.L.A.M.)

Dienstag, 24 Januar
Mu330, "Ireland" from Crab Rangoon (T.L.A.M.)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Gone fishin'. Back at the end o' the month.

Proud Europa: Never Again
Alas, a most sincere & despondent alas, why would this—Juden-link—surprise anyone? Anti-Semitism has been on the rise in Europe for years, for my whole lifetime or more. This anti-Semitism has been tolerated, coddled & encouraged even, as long as it has disguised itself as anti-Israeli sentiment, as opposition to "Zionism" (in these cases "Zionism" doesn't refer to actual Zionism, but is a code word for all Jews everywhere). When "respectable" opinion embraces the old prejudices, who can be surprised when the fringe hatemongers read between the lines that they've been given the "all clear" to spew their vitriol? Do not be surprised the next time you read of a high-profile European politician commenting after a horrific act of anti-Semitic violence, "This is terrible, of course, but one has only to look to the crisis in Palestine before one realizes that the Zionists have in a way brought all this upon themselves."

The United States must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the State of Israel, because no one else will. People of good will everywhere must mobilize to fight the deep well of anti-Semitism in the Muslim world & to check & reverse the renewal of anti-Semitism throughout Christendom. Never again can we stand & hold our peace as the pogroms & the expulsions begin again; never again.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, "Leaving on a Jet Plane" from Have a Ball (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: 'Tis still true after all these years: Were I to see a girl wearing a short skirt & a Me First and the Gimme Gimmes T-shirt & drinking a Jones Soda, I'd ask for her hand in marriage on the spot.

"A short skirt,
A Gimmes shirt,
A Jones Soda,
Ain't life grand?"

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Less Than Jake, "Can't Yell Any Louder" from Greetings From Less Than Jake (T.L.A.M.)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Queue
I've a yen for a good mummy story, a yen that The Jewel of Seven Stars did not sate. I borrowed Hauntings in order to read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's short story, "Lot № 249." It was much more along the lines of what I'm looking for, mummywise, but the yen is not yet quenched; thus, the search continues. In the meantime, there is a story in Hauntings by H. G. Wells, of whose work I've read no more than the first paragraph of The War of the Worlds, & several authors who've been mentioned as influential to author & artist Mike Mignola in the creation & development of the Hellboy universe, amongst them Manly Wade Wellman & H. P. Lovecraft. It's the sampler! Everybody loves the sampler!

Bram Stoker, The Jewel of Seven Stars
Tiziano Sclavi, et al., The Dylan Dog Case Files
Hergé, The Adventures of Tintin: In the Land of the Soviets & The Adventures of Tintin: Cigars of the Pharaoh

Henry Mazzeo, ed., & Edward Gorey, illustrator, Hauntings: Tales of the Supernatural

Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes
H. Rider Haggard, King Solomon's Mines
David Ignatius, Body of Lies
Len Deighton, City of Gold

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Sublime, "Santeria" from Sublime (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: The Loose Ties didn't cover "Santeria," but the Soggy Bottom Bar did play Sublime's signature tune over the house speakers as soon as my favorite local ska kids had finished their show. Jojo squealed in delight, "I love this song!," & we remained on the dance floor, swaying together to the beat.

Freitag, 20 Januar
Reel Big Fish, "The Set Up (You Need This)" from Why Do They Rock So Hard? (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: The Loose Ties unveiled their cover of "The Set Up" last night, prompting the R.B.D.S.O.T.D. Their "The Set Up" was rough, brutal even, but it'll be a great addition to their set once it's a little more polished. You need this, confound it!

Donnerstag, 19 Januar
Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers, "King Tut" (live) via iTunes (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Have I mentioned how brilliant Steve Martin is? I shall have to add his autobiography, Born Standing Up, to the queue sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

This Week in Motorsport
By Endurance We Conquer
Drat! Peugeot-link Un & Peugeot-link Deux. My first reaction upon reading the article hyperlinked here as "Peugeot-link Un" was to instinctively quote Dr. Horrible; I reflexively muttered, "Balls!"

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
The Blue Van, "Independence' via iTunes (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: In what is becoming a minor Secret Base tradition, we welcome new episodes of Royal Pains with it's theme song, "Independence," as the R.B.D.S.O.T.D.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Victors: Project OSPREY
(№ 20) Michigan 60-59 Michigan State (№ 9)
15-4, Big Ten 5-2

The best thing about tonight's victory is that the valiant Wolverines prevailed against the dastardly Spartans. The second best thing about tonight's victory is that 'twas the valiant Wolverines' third consecutive triumph over the dastardly Spartans. The third best thing about tonight's victory is that 'twas over a Top 10 team. The fourth best thing about tonight's victory is that the valiant Wolverines would have cruised to victory if they hadn't missed almost all of their numerous three-point shots in the second half; as it was, the Maize & Blue shows true grit in pulling off the nail-biter. An ideal game it was not, but any victory over the dastardly Spartans, our "little brothers," is sweet. A third victory in a row is sweeter still.

Go Blue!

Ye Olde Interweb
Regarding the impending Wikipedia blackout, I do not know who is in the right about the virtues or vices of S.O.P.A./P.I.P.A., Hollywood or Silicon Valley, but I do know that I am going to be deprived of a website that I use daily & enjoy greatly not because of an act of the Congress, nor because of anything done by the Motion Picture Academy of America, but because of decisions taken by Jimmy Wales & the Wikimedia Foundation. The only people responsible for the looming Wikipedia blackout are the stewards of Wikipedia. I do not know if they are in the right in the opposition to the legislation currently making its way through the Congress, but they are absolutely in the wrong to use you & me & everyone else who uses Wikipedia as pawns in their publicity stunt. For shame, Wikimedia Foundation!

The Queue
Mike Mignola & Christopher Golden, Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire
Bram Stoker, The Jewel of Seven Stars
Tiziano Sclavi, et al., The Dylan Dog Case Files

Hergé, The Adventures of Tintin: In the Land of the Soviets & The Adventures of Tintin: Cigars of the Pharaoh

Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes
H. Rider Haggard, King Solomon's Mines
David Ignatius, Body of Lies
Len Deighton, City of Gold

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "The Horse Shoe and the Rabbit's Foot" from The Magic of Youth (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: In the lyrics in the liner notes, the word is given as "horseshoe," but in the title it is "horse shoe." Is there some hidden meaning? Or is this nothing more than a typo?

"I believe the sharkskin and the tortoiseshell,
I believe the houndstooth and the herringbone,
I believe the horseshoe and the rabbit's foot,
And in the morning everything will be all right."

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Explorers Club
№ CCLXIX - The Sedlec Ossuary, Kutná Hora, Czech Republic.

Tier 1 of Project PARAFFIN has been rescheduled from 1 January-31 December 2012 to 1 February 2012-31 January 2013. One thirty-one-day month (January '12) has been exchanged for another thirty-one-day month (January '13) & under the new schedule the crucial final deadline phase will not coincide with the notoriously unproductive Thanksgiving-Yuletide-New Year's holiday season. The finishing touches are being put on Tier 1 of Project PALINDROME ahead of my departure next week for parts unknown; so, the board should be clear for PARAFFIN upon my triumphant return.

Grow or die.

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Martin Luther King, Junior, excerpt from the "I Have a Dream" speech from Plea for Peace (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "I would like to discuss some of the problems that we confront in the world today & some of the problems that we confront in our own nation, by using as a subject the American Dream. Now, I choose this subject because America is essentially a dream. It is a dream of a land where men of all races, of all nationalities, & of all creeds can live together as brothers."

Sonntag, 15 Januar
She & Him, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" from A Very She & Him Christmas (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: The fifth & final nominee for 2011 Album of the Year was A Very She & Him Christmas. I chose "Baby, It's Cold Outside" as the album's representative R.B.D.S.O.T.D. for three reasons, aside from its innate qualities as a song. One, it's the only non-Christmas specific song on the album. Two, I am mightily impressed that Miss Deschanel & Mr. Ward were able to differentiate their version from her now famous duet with Leon Redbone from the soundtrack to the motion picture Elf. Three, it was, at long last, cold as a witch's tit yesterday. Hooray for winter!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Prior to yesterday, no comment had been left at The Secret Base since 18 December last year. I was beginning to ponder how best to mark, on 18 January, one month since the last comment when the California Dreamer & Daddy Dylweed commented independently on different posts. As to my reaction, I'm torn. I am always appreciative of comments (& wish I knew the magic formula for attracting more of them), but I was kind of looking forward toward marking a big deal out of the sad, pathetic commemoration of a month without comments. I'll cater to both impulses: genuine thanks to the Dreamer & Dylweed for their continued readership & engagement with The Secret Base & sarcastic thanks to the same pair for ruining my proposed pity party. Thanks, guys!

The Victors: Project OSPREY
Iowa 75-59 Michigan (№ 13)
14-4, Big Ten 4-2

Well, that was awful. All things considered, we were very lucky to lose by only sixteen points. The valiant Wolverines played lackadaisical defense & inept offense; so, a loss by twenty or thirty points was well within the realm of possibility. The valiant Wolverines played a textbook perfect game to defeat the pesky Badgers last weekend, but then this week needed overtime time to squeak past the plucky Wildcats before offering only token resistance to the tenacious Hawkeyes this afternoon. All this augurs ill for the coming week's contest against the dastardly Spartans, the "hope" being that the valiant Wolverines aren't as bad as they appear but are simply spoilt brats who think it beneath their station to play their best against "lesser" foes like Northwestern & Iowa. (That we are in desperate straits is proved by my hoping that my own team is a crew of contemptible asses rather than unskilled buffoons.) I concede that I might be overreacting to one loss. The valiant Wolverines are 14-3, after all. But today's game was terribly disheartening, as we went from weakness to weakness, never putting up much of a fight against a not-so-good Iowa squad. My pessimism is also based in the knowledge that three of our next four games are against mighty Michigan State, Purdue, & Ohio State; so, unless the valiant Wolverines can pull themselves together quickly & start playing more consistently we could very swiftly find ourselves at .500 in Big Ten play. *gulp*

Go Blue!

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
The Aquabats!, "Poppin' a Wheelie!" from Hi-Five Soup! (Captain Thumbs-up)

Commentary: It is a tribute to The Aquabats! that even though I miss their vintage '90s ska sound like a deposed monarch misses his throne, Hi-Five Soup! was still a finalist for 2011 Album of the Year.

"But I love love love love love love poppin' a wheelie!"

Friday, January 13, 2012

My plan for the evening was to motor down to Royal Oak for a poker night (though I suspect 'twas to be a "poker" night instead, with that deplorable bore Texas Hold 'Em in place of actual poker) hosted by my old chum the Anonymous Friend, but he informed me this afternoon that he'd had quite a number of cancellations & was putting the kibosh on the evening. I was still welcome to come down, but in light of the snow on the roads & my plan to motor to Detroit proper for the North American International Auto Show on Sunday I decided to remain closer to home. At home, in fact, dinner being late enough to quell any thoughts of attending this month's downtown Flinttown Art Walk. So, here I sit, on Friday night, having just watched the new episode of Grimm, bloggy blogging & having an I.M. chat with a nascent chum from the History Club I shall code name The Steampunk. It's a full life.

Perchance to Dream
I had a nightmare on Thursday morning. Well, perhaps it is better labelled a dream, because it wasn't unduly terrifying 'til I awoke. In the dream, a wee demon attacked a man & ate the poor fellow's face. The demon was a small, chubby humanoid, like a putto, but with large, leathery wings, like a bat's. The whole exterior of the demon was charred, like a bratwurst that has been left too long on the backyard flames. A frightening creature, but the eating of the poor chap's face wasn't graphic, the body of the demon blocking my view of anything dreadful. The trouble came when my first alarm clock shocked me into the waking world. The machine is located at the foot of my bed, & I have to come out from under the covers & swing around to reach it. I sweep my legs low to the floor, without quite touching it, in the course of this maneuver, & that is where I was given pause on Thursday morn. In my half-awake state, the notion suddenly struck me that the demon from my dream, as well as it's similarly charred but much larger mother, might well be lurking under my bed. Under my bed. I haven't thought there might be anything under my bed since I was in elementary school & feared there was a panther down there. (Not a generic monster, but the very specific image of a panther, its fur midnight black.) Even groggy as I was my rational mind revolted against the absurdity of there being anything nefarious, much less a figment of my dreamy imagination, lying in wait under my bed to menace my dangling legs, & a torrent of venom was soon being hurled at that corner of my mind that had sounded the alarum. I executed the swinging maneuver, a reasonably complex ballet that I can execute almost literally in my sleep, but even as I knew—I KNEW!—there was no danger from a charred putto demon, the echoes of that original burst of terror lingered.

"For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause."
—William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Act III, Scene I
The Queue
The Dylan Dog Case Files is a collection of a Dark Horse miniseries republication of the Italian comic book Dylan Dog, written principally by Tiziano Sclavi & drawn by a clutch of different artists. Though I've previously exempted comics books from listing in "The Queue," Case Files is nigh-on seven hundred pages long, fully qualifying as a book for our purposes. Though mindful that it has a due date by which it must be returned to the library, I shall take took my (newly) usual interlude to read some of my backlog of Hellboy & B.P.R.D. comics. Once I'm caught up on those, I've a backlog of Usagi Yojimbo that requires attention.

Christopher Moore, Bite Me: A Love Story
Mike Mignola & Christopher Golden, Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire
Bram Stoker, The Jewel of Seven Stars

Tiziano Sclavi, et al., The Dylan Dog Case Files

Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes
H. Rider Haggard, King Solomon's Mines
David Ignatius, Body of Lies
Len Deighton, City of Gold

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Brian Carpenter's Ghost Train Orchestra, "Mojo Strut" from Hothouse Stomp: The Music of 1920s Chicago and Harlem (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Hothouse Stomp was another finalist for my 2011 Album of the Year. The Ghost Train Orchestra sounds unlike anything else in my library, a gloriously delightful oddity.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Filthy Lucre
Rare wisdom in an age of intemperate demagoguery & populist buffoonery: "The Dangers of Demonology"-link. To venture into the bailiwick of "Lies, Damned Lies, & the News," The Economist is the finest news outfit of which I am aware, bar none. I do not always agree with their collective editorial stance, but I agree heartily far more often than I disagree even minutely. A full-throated defense of the market's many virtues, that is what has been missing from our discourse ("our" in this context meaning all the Western liberal democracies) lo these last four gloomy years. Much has been made of the market's vices, & many of those criticisms have been valid, but it is good to be reminded of how central a rôle the development of markets has played in the unprecedented prosperity & peace that are the hallmarks of our age (even if we too often lose sight of those larger truths, focused as we are on the panics of the present). To the staff of The Economist I say: Hear, hear!

Hello, Kitty
It really is true, cats love to play with string.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Fountains of Wayne, "Cold Comfort Flowers" from Sky Full of Holes (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Sky Full of Holes was a finalist for 2011 Album of the Year, & even though it didn't win it is in my estimation a most welcome addition to Fountains of Wayne's catalog. Keep up the good work, gentlemen!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Savage Wars of Peace
Why on Earth would the Obama Administration "strongly condemn" the assassination of a member of the Iran's Manhattan Project? War of Assassins-link. If the United States is responsible for the clandestine war being waged against the Iranian atom bomb program, as I fervently hope we are, we certainly should admit to no such thing; even if we aren't, which would be a shameful neglect of our national security, we certainly shouldn't condemn such a shadow war. If anything, even if the U.S. isn't behind this, we should act in such a way as to give the Iranians the impression that we are. The Islamic Republic of Iran is an enemy of the United States of America & has been for over thirty years. The blood of hundreds, if not thousands, of American soldiers & Marines is on the hands of the I.R.G. &/or Iranian-backed militias from the recently "concluded" Iraq War. At the very least, Washington owes Tehran a few dead atom-bombmakers as both a down payment on a future settling of accounts & as a warning that the West is in earnest when we say Persia will not be permitted to go nuclear.

The worst aspect of the ill-conceived condemnation is that it emanated from the National Security Council. I'd expect such drivel out of Foggy Bottom, sure, but the N.S.C.? How much longer must we endure having an executive branch that at every turn seeks to promote an image of American passivity & impotence?

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "Sunday Afternoons on Wisdom Ave." from The Magic of Youth (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Today I named The Magic of Youth the 2011 Album of the Year on the B.T.W. Forums, & with the choice of the R.B.D.S.O.T.D. thus narrowed down to its eleven tracks "Sundays Afternoons on Wisdom Ave." just called to me. Sweet fancy Moses, I love The Mighty Mighty Bosstones!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Vote for Kodos | Lies, Damned Lies, & the News
I shall say only this about the New Hampshire primary: Why would Republicans or affiliated right-wing "independent" voters care whom the Boston Globe endorsed? That makes no more sense than Democrats or affiliated left-wing "independent" voters caring whom The Weekly Standard endorses. If Beantown's leading rag endorsed a candidate in the Republican primary, as it did Governor Huntsman, it could only be for one of two reasons: {a} the editors thought Mr. Huntsman would have no chance against President Obama in the general election & hoped to induce G.O.P. voters to set up the weakest possible challenge to Mr. Obama, or {b} the editors thought that if by some chance Mr. Huntsman did triumph over Mr. Obama that the former governor of Utah would conduct his administration in the fashion farthest to the left of any of the potential Republicans. There is much to like in what Governor Huntsman says, as well as much to dislike, but the question remains unanswered: What is it about Huntsman that makes him so relatively well-liked by those on the Left & viewed with such narrowed eyes by those on the Right?

Onward to South Carolina, where Speaker Gingrich will continue to act as a proxy for the Obama campaign, testing & honing arguments against Governor Romney for the general election.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
The House Band, "Pharaoh" from Green Linnet Records: The Twentieth Anniversary Collection (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: I'm sure today's R.B.D.S.O.T.D. selection has naught to do with the fact that I'm currently reading Bram Stoker's mummy horror novel The Jewel of Seven Stars.

"And it's Egypt land, Egypt land,
We're all livin' in Egypt land,
Tell me, brother, don't you understand?
We're all workin' for the pharaoh."

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Explorers Club
№ CCLXVIII - The Old Jewish Cemetery, Josefov, Prague.

The Victors: Project OSPREY
(№ 16) Michigan 59-41 Wisconsin (№ 18)
13-3, Big Ten 3-1

I didn't see yesterday's game because my father preferred to have the No Fun League playoffs on in the background as we took down the Christmas decorations, a peculiar preference given that he follows the N.F.L. only very casually. Nonetheless, hooray! Sure, the pesky Badgers are not the pesky Badgers of old; nor was the game in their home area, the Kohl Center, wherein they are remarkably dominant; but 'twas still a profound arse-kicking by the valiant Wolverines. In the most recent pole, released today, Wisconsin fell out of the Top 25 whilst Michigan was promoted to № 13.

Go Blue!

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Steve Martin & The Toot Uncommons, "King Tut" (live) via iTunes (T.L.A.M.)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A dignity of dragons.

A lunacy of werewolves.

A liberty of mummies.
A craving of golems.

A basement of vampires."
—from David Malki's Wondermark, #566

The Rebel Black Dot Song of Epiphany Sunday
Toby Keith, "We Three Kings" from (iTunes's free) Holiday Sampler (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Today was Epiphany Sunday, later even than the Epiphany. The Christmastide is truly over & taking down the Christmas decorations could be put off no longer. The halls are decked no more; the house is less colorful, feels emptier. 'Twas a good Christmastide & I am sorry to see it go, but time & tide wait for no man. 'Til next Advent, dear readers, merry Christmas!

"King forever, ceasing never,
Over us all to reign."

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Mexicani Marimba Band, "Twelve Days of Christmas" from (iTunes's free) Holiday Sampler (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: All twelve days of the Christmastide have passed, but I'm not going miss this chance to select "Twelve Days of Christmas" as the R.B.D.S.O.T.D., exploiting the unofficial extension of the Christmastide due to the delay 'twixt the Epiphany & the celebration of Epiphany Sunday while simultaneously preserving the Secret Base tradition of choosing sacred music during all twelve days of the Christmastide. Win-win!

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Epiphany
Barenaked Ladies & Sarah McLachlan, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings" from Barenaked for the Holidays (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "Tidings of comfort and joy."

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I've not yet begun work on the latter because I've not yet completed work on the former. One of these years I'll learn that 31 December is the worst day of the year for any kind of creative deadline, because there are simply too many competing demands for one's attention & energy, making December the least productive month of the year. It's January now, Mike, time to shrug off this holiday hangover.

Grow or die.

Also, I might make the deadline for Project PARAFFIN 31 January 2013, instead of 31 December 2012.

He's Dead, Jim
My father is getting over a cold. My mother is in the midst of a cold. I'm getting a cold. I don't mind this nearly so much as I mind the incessant sunshine & springlike temperatures that are making this the worst winter I've known. (The unseasonable weather isn't a health issue, but it seemed apropos enough given that "He's Dead, Jim" consists mostly of grousing.)

Coming Attractions
{a} "Project MERCATOR" - enormous holiday kith & kin edition
{b} "Autobahn" - the joys & perils of motoring to & from the Mississippi River
{c} "The Victors: Sugar Bowl Special"
{d} "This Week in Motorsport" - to my shame, I still owe you the end of the Formula One season
{e} "The Loot" - I never got around to cataloging the haul from my last birthday, but the same sorry fate shan't befall my Yuletide loot

Yes, yes, I know, enough with writing about what I'm going to write, get down to it & just write. Jawohl!

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Twelfth Day of Christmas
Sufjan Stevens, "We Three Kings" from Songs for Christmas (T.L.A.M.)


"We three kings of Orient are,
Bearing gifts we traveled so far,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.

O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to they perfect light."

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Eleventh Day of Christmas
The Klezmonauts, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" from Oy to the World: A Klezmer Christmas (T.L.A.M.)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Victors
My mother is hosting her monthly game of bunco at our house this evening. When my father & I learned of this alarming development last month, we stammered, "But… but… but that's the night of the Sugar Bowl!" I admire the long-term success of her bunco club & have no objection to her playing hostess, but the timing is diabolical. I wouldn't give a tinker's damn for the Sugar Bowl were it not for the valiant Wolverines' participation, but I have a vested interest in the Sugar Bowl given the fact—inconvenient though it may be to the bunco ladies—of the valiant Wolverines' participation. A solution, unsatisfactory but sufficient, has been found & we are going to watch the game in the home of my mom's best friend, herself a member of the bunco club, alongside her husband, himself a friend of our family of long standing. All's well that ends well; now the only worry is the game itself.

Go Blue!

The Queue
You'll note that I've removed the backissues of Hellboy & B.P.R.D., et al., from all three divisions of the queue. I haven't stopped reading my accumulation of comic books & intend to continue reading them 'twixt prose books, but I've been reminded that they are read so quickly that to list them alongside the prose is to distort "The Queue's" reporting function. During the last week, when my time was filled with kith & kin, my travels were far & many, & I didn't have a chance to get to the library to borrow The Jewel of Seven Stars, I read four B.P.R.D. miniseries & one Hellboy miniseries & several one-shots. I love what used to be called "the Hellboy universe" & is increasingly known as "the Mignolaverse."

Christopher Moore, You Suck: A Love Story
Christopher Moore, Bite Me: A Love Story
Mike Mignola & Christopher Golden, Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire

Bram Stoker, The Jewel of Seven Stars

Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes
David Ignatius, Body of Lies
Len Deighton, City of Gold

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Ninth & Tenth Days of Christmas
The Klezmonauts, "We Three Kings of Orient Are" from Oy to the World: A Klezmer Christmas (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: I adore "We Three Kings," but strive to husband it 'til near the end o' the Christmastide, when the Epiphany commemorates the homage paid to the Christ by the Magi.

Montag, 2 Januar
Sufjan Stevens, "Once in Royal David's City" from Songs for Christmas (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: For clarity's sake, since "Once in Royal David's City" appears twice on Sings for Christmas, today's R.B.D.S.O.T.D. is the 3:40 version with lyrics, not the 2:01 instrumental rendition.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Eighth Day of Christmas
Duvall, "O Come All Ye Faithful" from O Holy Night (T.L.A.M.)


"O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him
Christ the Lord."