Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Wednesday night dinner music

Tonight as Leo & I prepared dinner & cleaned dishes we listened to sides from the following LPs:

Tears For Fears - "Call Me Mellow" 12"
Iffy - "Can O Cope" 12"
Junior Senior - "Move Your Feet" 12"
Beastie Boys - To The 5 Boroughs
Prince - The Rainbow Children
The Beatles
- 1

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

MY letter to the StarTribune

This morning I read a letter to the editor that just set me off. The original letter:

"Have those who criticized the Vatican's recent document on priestly formation actually read it?

The document focuses on evaluating future priests' emotional, spiritual and sexual maturity, as well as their understanding of the gifts of celibacy and human sexuality.

The goal is to provide the Catholic Church with priests of strong moral fiber who are unlikely to prey on those in their care."

I immediately sent my response to her letter to the StarTribune, and they published it! They edited out some of my finer bits, but at least I got my two cents in:

GAYS IN THE PRIESTHOOD

No link to pedophilia

A Nov. 29 letter writer argues that the Vatican's goal in banning gay priests is "to provide the Catholic Church with priests of strong moral fiber who are unlikely to prey on those in their care."

It is hateful rhetoric like this that continues to support the lie that gay people are pedophiles. Gay men are no more prone to preying on children than straight men. In fact, it has been well documented that the majority of pedophiles are straight men.

JEFF ANDERSON, MINNEAPOLIS

Monday, November 28, 2005

Iraq: "That'll show 'em"

Lately I've been reading the Opinion section of the StarTribune just so I can know that there are citizens out there who think rationally. This guy totally nails it in his letter regarding Iraq:

"That'll show 'em

Let's see if I understand what we're doing. We lost more than 3,000 Americans in the 9/11 attacks. To get even, we go to war with a country that had nothing to do with the attack. We kill thousands of innocent people at a cost of billions of dollars, and over 2,000 more Americans.

Yes sir, that ought to teach those terrorists.

JOHN WAGNER, HOPKINS"

Saturday, November 26, 2005

2005 records

I purchased very few CDs this past year, getting the majority of my music on LP, 7", or digital download. Here's a list of the 2005 records I bought this year. Note that this only includes new releases that were actually released in 2005:

LPs:
Outrageous Cherry - Our Love Will Change The World
Burt Bacharach - At This Time
Free Design - Redesigned vol 3
Dressy Bessy - Electrified
Brendan Benson - The Alternative To Love
Beck - Guero
The Muffs - Really Really Happy

Rolling Stones - A Bigger Bang
Paul McCartney - Twin Freaks
Brian Wilson
- What I Really Want For Christmas
Paul McCartney
- Chaos & Creation In The Backyard

singles:
Tears For Fears - Call Me Mellow/Everybody Loves A Happy Ending 12"
Fischerspooner - Just Let Go 12"
Brian Wilson - Our Prayer 10"
Paul McCartney - Fine Line/Growing Up Falling Down
Fiery Furnaces - Norwegian Wood/Ted Leo - I'm Looking Through You
Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc/68 State
Weezer - Beverly Hills/Butterfly - live
Oasis - Lyla/Won't Let You Down
Paul McCartney - Jenny Wren/Summer of 59
Franz Ferdinand - Do You Want To/Get Away
Ben Folds - Landed/Bitches Aint Shit
Gito Gito Hustler -Wonderful!/Romantic!

Friday, November 25, 2005

New Big Star on LP!

I was browsing over at Tower.com and learned that In Space, the great new Big Star album is being released on vinyl! Just two days ago I ordered the CD figuring there would be no forthcoming vinyl version (guess I'll be returning the CD!). The vinyl In Space has a street date of 12/13/05.

Update: The release of this LP, according to Towerrecords.com, has been pushed to 1/10/2006.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

My LPs

A portion of my record collection:

On my turntable: Rick Springfield - Comic Book Heroes

I remember looking at this album at the Apache Plaza Musicland in the 70's, intrigued with the cover but not enough to buy it. Comic Book Heroes (1973) was released around the time that Springfield was starring in his own Saturday morning cartoon show, "Mission: Magic" (a spin-off from the "Brady Kids" show). Comic Book Heroes is a glossy pseudo-concept rock album, more Elton than Archies, and definitely worthy of more attention than it has garnered over the years. Another Saturday morning act of the 70's, The Hudson Brothers, made equally fantastic records that stiffed, perhaps proof that pretty-boy good looks can move teen magazines, but won't necessarily sell records.

Oolong the Pancake Bunny

In my October 18 entry I featured a picture of a bunny with a pancake on its head, a photo I found online that made me laugh. Turns out that this bunny, a little guy from Japan named Oolong, was famous for balancing many things on his noggin, and even has a website with many great photos (here he is with nori (seaweed) on his head). Oolong passed away on 1/7/03, but his character lives on in these pictures.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Pre-TDay cleaning music

While tackling the task of cleaning the kitchen tonight I listened to sides from the various groovy LPs:

Cheap Trick - Found All The Parts 10"
The Vines - Winning Days
The Rutles - Shangri-La 10"
Various Artists - Greenpeace
The Osmonds - Greatest Hits

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Musings from a campus coffee joint

I'm writing from my favorite campus coffee shop, Espresso 22, taking a break from reading student papers. As much as I've enjoyed teaching this semester, I will be glad to focus on some other things this Spring. One of the perks of teaching college students is that it reminds me of what life at 18 was like, and how grateful I am that I'm no longer in that age group. I think that the further away you get from the undergraduate experience, the more tempting it becomes to glamorize those years. When I look back on being an undergrad I remember what a great time of self-discovery it was, and all of the fun and exciting things I did. What I tend to forget is how awkward it was at times, and how much hard work college can be. I wouldn't want to be 20 again. It's insane how much value our culture places on youth - perhaps it's because young people have fewer fiscal responsiblities, thus more spending cash, and fewer budgeting skills.

Monday, November 21, 2005

On my turntable: Wendy & Lisa - Eroica

Eroica (1990) has been sadly out of print for several years, and is particularly hard to find on vinyl. Like their self-titled album from '87, this album is bold evidence of the talents that Wendy & Lisa brought to Prince's Revolution days. Standout tracks include "Rainbow Lake", "Why Wait For Heaven", "Valley Vista", and the insanely catchy single, "Strung Out". Of the four full-length W&L albums, Eroica is my favorite.

WendyandLisa.com

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Saturday nite cleaning music

After a necessary late afternoon nap, I had a lite dinner and slowly started cleaning. Whilst folding laundry and cleaning the bunny litter boxes I listened to sides from the following LPs:

The Knack - Round Trip promo e.p.
Great Nation - "Beat The Wall" 12"
Fischerspooner - "Just Let Go" 12"
Brian Wilson presents SMiLE
Everly Brothers - EB84
Donny & Marie - New Season
Various Artists - I'll Be Home For Christmas
The Andy Williams Christmas Album

Everyone Poops...but I poop a lot sometimes

Have you ever pooped so much that you can't imagine where it's all coming from? That's where I am right now. It's true that I am not shy about bowel movements; I don't know how one can live with Crohns or Colitis and not have a sense of humor about crapping. Today my bowels are a wee bit more explosive than usual. I have what you might call a "butt faucet", which is dispensing buckets of brown water. My dear friend Tracy is getting married to her longtime partner in NE Minneapolis as I type this, and I've choosen not to go. I feel pretty bad to have missed the occasion, but I know I'd be uncomfortable right now in such a social setting, feeling as run down as I do. Oh well, back to my throne...

Friday, November 18, 2005

Captain & Tennille on DVD? Could life be sweeter?

And the 70's variety show hits just keep on comin'! First Donny and Marie and now the Captain & Tennille? Am I dreaming?? Consider this added to my Christmas wish list.

Release date: November 22, 2005

December 8, 1980

It's hard to believe that it has been almost 25 years since John Lennon was killed. The picture shown here was taken by Annie Liebowitz on December 8, 1980, just hours before John's murder. After the photo shoot John & Yoko went to the studio to finish Yoko's masterpiece, "Walking On Thin Ice". It was upon their return from the session that John was killed in front of his home.

In 1980 I was a Beatles-obsessed, 14 year-old high school freshman. Before going to bed on the night of December 8th I listened to John & Yoko's new LP
Double Fantasy, which had just recently been released. The next morning I learned the news that John was dead. I stayed home from school that day. Some of the asshole kids at school ridiculed me for it (I didn't have much of a support system in those days). Of course now I understand that John Lennon was just a person, not some super-human mystical being, but it's hard to dispute his astronomical lasting impact on popular culture.

John Gallos, TV's Clancy

Just learned that Clancy the Cop died on Tuesday. My brother and I used to watch the Clancy and Willie show and Carmen the Nurse on WCCO every morning before school. The early 70's were a great time to be a kid if you watched a lot of television.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

On my turntable: Disco Noel

OK here's the deal. I bought this album as a joke, thinking it would be mildly entertaining. The truth is, it's wildly entertaining, and quite good. I love Disco Noel's blatant cheesiness. This album was quickly tossed together in 1979 to cash in on the last gasp of the disco craze, but its formulaic approach to these songs is part of what makes it so great. I imagine all these stuffy leisure-suit-clad business men sitting around the Pickwick Records board room: "What we need is disco Christmas record, see, 'cause that's what all the kids are into, see? Who doesn't love disco? We'll sell millions of 'em!" In the twelve months after this album's release the 'Disco Sucks' movement would effectively kill the disco era.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

"The New Cars"

Excerpts from a letter on bassist Kasim Sulton's website (Utopia, The Blackhearts). Pretty big news:

November 14, 2005

I've accepted a position as the Bassist for a new incarnation of an old band ... The Cars! Currently being billed as "The New Cars". I know most of you are aware that Todd Rundgren has also signed on as the lead singer. Pretty cool huh?
We've already recorded some new songs and are scheduled to be touring all next year (2006).
The line up is as follows, Todd, myself, Elliot Easton, Greg Hawks and Prairie Prince. We're planning to record a live CD/DVD sometime after the new year and a possible TV appearance before Christmas.
...I'm really excited to be involved in this new project with a great bunch of guys. I'm sure we'll be doing shows near you and this is one show you really don't want to miss. As soon as the publicity shots from the photo session we did are approved, I'll be putting them up here (www.KasimSulton.com).

Monday, November 14, 2005

Amen

From today's "letters" section in the StarTribune. Very nicely stated.

Pastors and gay marriage

Break down walls

Like most of the pastors and ministers in town, I did not attend the so-called "Pastors' Summit" in Eden Prairie (Star Tribune, Nov. 11).

I read that there was a workshop on "the truth of the homosexual lifestyle," led by state Sen. Michele Bachmann's husband.

Maybe I could have helped him out, as my congregation has many members who are lesbian and gay. I know a lot about "the truth" of their lives: about the families they care for, the children they love, the challenges they face in jobs, the mortgages to pay, and, yes, the sin to confess and faith to struggle with -- just like the rest of us.

While my denomination endorses same-gender marriage ("Equal Marriage Rights for All" was passed by the General Synod of the United Church of Christ in July 2005), we're willing to be religiously tolerant and get along with those who believe marriage is male/female only.

But what I -- and my congregation -- are really worried about is that this Minnesota for Marriage seeks not only to ban same-gender marriage but also to dismantle shared insurance benefits and interfere with adoptions. This agenda is plain brutish and mean.

Christianity is about love and "breaking down dividing walls of hostility" (Ephesians 2), not about putting them up.

It's about caring for children and helping the vulnerable. Let's all get with the program.

THE REV. HEIDI HILF VARDEMAN,
SENIOR MINISTER, MACALESTER PLYMOUTH
UNITED CHURCH, ST. PAUL

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Mix Tape: Winter vol. 1

Just before I started typing this I spilled half a can of Fruit Juicy Red Hawaiian Punch onto my keyboard, so I anticipate the possibility of sticky problems...
With the first Minnesota snowstorm of the season on the horizon, I thought it was a good time to make a CD of songs that remind me of Winter. In some cases the songs were released or being played on the radio during the winter months, or it may just be that I was listening to them at a time when there was snow on the ground. Seasons can really evoke particular songs for me, and vice versa. Anyway, here's the tracklist:

"I Believe/All I Need To Know" - Duran Duran
"Just A Chance" - Badfinger
"Miss Sarajevo" - George Michael
"When Time Stood Still" - ELO
"December" - Puffy AmiYumi
"Things Are Better In The East" - Jefferson Airplane
"Teddy Boy" - Paul McCartney
"What I Meant To Say" - Bangles
"God's Mistake" - Tears For Fears
"Orange Crate Art" - Brian Wilson & Van Dyke Parks
"Body Movin' (Fat Boy Slim remix)" - Beastie Boys
"Lime Green Sweater" - The Negro Problem
"Cold" - Julian Lennon
"The Christmas Dance" - Ringo Starr
"Simply Shady" - George Harrison
"Kathleen McArthur" - Tommy James & The Shondells
"Surf City" - Ramones
"Worrying Kind" - Aluminum Group
"Remember Love" - Yoko Ono
"Do They Know It's Christmas (Trevor Horn mix)" - Band Aid

Saturday, November 12, 2005

On my turntable: Franz Ferdinand - "Do You Want To"/"Get Away"

Franz Ferdinand is a band that I've not yet committed myself to. Tonight I bought the new 7" of "Do You Want To", partly because it's such a kickass song, but also because I just love the 7" format. I believe the b-side, "Get Away", is a non-LP track (if anyone knows otherwise please correct me!).

Mix Tape: Jeff's Sunshine 70's, Vol. 3

Ah, the joys of self-indulgence. This morning I threw together my 3rd CD of records that I loved as a kid of the 70's. I wore some of these 45s out so much that the surface hiss from the records was louder than the music. I'm sure at least 50% of them were purchased at Apache Plaza.

"Brand New Me" - Partridge Family
"Apple of My Eye" - Badfinger
"Kiss In The Dark" - Pink Lady
"Bye Bye Baby" - Bay City Rollers
"(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me" - Dionne Warwick
"Had Me A Real Good Time" - The Faces
"Fool On The Hill" - Beatles
"Popcorn" - Hot Butter
"The Preamble" - Schoolhouse Rock
"Muskrat Love" - Captain & Tennille
"I'm On My Way Back Home" - Partridge Family
"The Girl I Knew Somewhere" - Monkees
"Gitarzan" - Ray Stevens
"Lovely To See You" - Bay City Rollers
"It's One Of Those Nights (yes love)" - Partridge Family
"Choo Choo Train" - Box Tops
"Tired Of Midnight Blue" - George Harrison
"Roller" - April Wine
"Mechanical Boy" - H.R. Pufnstuf
"Cheese & Onions" - Rutles
"D.W. Washburn" - Monkees
"Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" - Chipmunks

Friday, November 11, 2005

To V or not to V?


I'm thinking of trying the vegan thing again.

Vegan.org

On my turntable: Burt Bacharach - At This Time

Leo and I listened to this album several times yesterday. It's hard to believe that it's been over 25 years since Bacharach has released an all-new full-length project (his last was in 1979, I think). Released just this month, At This Time is a tremendous musical return to form for Bacharach. Lyrically the album boldly adresses the sorry state of affairs in our country and abroad. A definite standout is "Who Are These People" featuring Elvis Costello, which has particularly striking lyrics:

This stupid mess we're in just keeps getting worse
So many people dying needlessly
Looks like the liars may inherit the earth
Even pretending to pray
And getting away with it

Bacharach's use of horns and strings is so smooth, like mayonaise on Wonder bread. Only a handful of artists have an original sound that is so unmistakingly theirs, artists like The Beatles, The Ramones, Manilow, and Burt Bacharach. All of the classic sonic elements are on this album, plus a few new ones, such as beats from Dr. Dre which are used on a handful of tracks. Overall, this is a very classy and poignant album from the king of the swingers. The LP version features a different cover than the CD, plus an inner picture sleeve and custom labels.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Hate and Bigotry in Minnesota

I'm still too angry to comment rationally on todays "marriage summit" in Minnesota, so I will quote the following reader letters in today's StarTrib:

Act on true immorality

I urge the Minnesota for Marriage group to spend its energy and money on the important issues: for instance, the thousands of soldiers (including their families) and Iraqis whose lives have been lost and/or affected by our occupation.

Or the lack of morals in the current administration, i.e. Lewis Libby's pornographic book, the indictments and the investigations. Or the budget proposals of our government that will cut programs for our children.

LYNN BOTTGE, ST. LOUIS PARK

Focus on divorce, right?

I have to admit that I was very excited to learn that church leaders would be meeting to discuss the issue of marriage ("Redrawing the lines on same-sex marriage," Nov. 10).

I was hoping for a serious discussion about the skyrocketing divorce rate in this country and its serious social and economic consequences for millions of Americans. I couldn't wait to see what programs and initiatives the esteemed leaders of these churches would develop to support and nurture our families.

I listened further and discovered they weren't worried about divorce. They were worried about gay people getting married!

I guess I'm not surprised -- banning gay marriage is easy. Fixing the problems really plaguing American families is hard and not nearly as fun to talk about.

KRISTINE OLSON, STILLWATER

Website of the week: Soulforce.org

Soulforce

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

On my turntable: Scissor Sisters

Scissor Sisters (2004) is one of the best LPs of the past decade, in my opinion. "Take Your Mama", sounding so much like vintage Elton, was such a fantastic single. Their cover of "Comfortably Numb" (yes the Pink Floyd song) won the Grammy for best dance record earlier this year. The band milked at least four strong singles from this album and toured relentlessly to support it. Check 'em out and buy their LP on lovely full-length vinyl.

www.scissorsisters.com

And Texas makes 19 hateful states

Yesterday Texans overwhelmingly voted for an amendment to their state constitution, making gay marriage (and any equivalent) illegal. I wonder how long it will take for people to realize how hateful this is. Personally, I feel like the gay community is going to just snap soon (or is it just me?). It is seriously ridiculous to deny any American equal rights. Regardless of what you may think God feels about gays, this country is supposed to have separation of church and state. Yet, these yahoos are using their religious beliefs to flat-out discriminate against a large percentage of citizens. This issue should not even be put to vote. If Americans of the 1960's had been allowed to vote against inter-racial marriage, they would have illegalized that too. Has America lost its ability to think?? Speaking for myself, I've had enough. Gays, lesbians, and their allies need to unite and refuse to sit at the back of the bus.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

"'Partridge' Sticks Up For Turkeys"

Shirley Jones is speaking out against factory turkey farming! Now I have yet another reason to love this woman. The following is from peta.org:

"I have a special fondness for birds—and not just partridges, by the way—and all birds feel pain and fear," begins Jones, who recommends trying a Tofurky or UnTurkey vegetarian roast instead of a real bird. "Turkeys—gentle animals who are every bit as interesting and worthy of our concern as dogs and cats—are treated especially badly," she says, going on to explain how many of the birds have their throats slit and are scalded to death in defeathering tanks while they're still conscious.

Shirley Jones rocks. I eat Tofurky every year at Thanksgiving, and find it insanely delicious. I am salivating now just thinking about it. I've not yet tried the UnTurkey - if anyone out there has, please let me know what you think!

www.shirleyjones.com

Sunday, November 06, 2005

On my turntable: REO Speedwagon - Hi Infidelity

I don't want to give the impression that I am an REO fan, or even a classic rock fan for that matter, but I found a sealed copy of this record today for two bucks and couldn't resist. The shrinkwrap still has the original sticker on it, along with the little price stickers that Musicland used at the time (see scan).

In my early high school years, everyone seemed to have Hi Infidelity (1980), along with Journey's Escape and Foreigner 4. Listening to this album now I still like it a lot, which is interesting considering that the first years of high school were pretty awful. Go figure.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Oh, Mary.


Leo & I found this interesting Mary sculpture quietly tucked away behind plexiglass at one of the apple orchards we visited last week. The orchard owners said that the sculpture had been rescued from a church that no longer stands. It's kinda spooky & cool at the same time.

On my turntable: Prince

Today I finally picked up the tasty Prince (1979) and Dirty Mind (1980) LPs, two albums that were sorely missing from my Prince collection. Of the pre-Purple Rain albums I'm still missing 1999 and Controversy. I never bothered to purchase these albums because I had them on tape for so many years. They sound great on vinyl - definitely the intended and preferred format.

My first exposure to Prince was rollerskating to "I Wanna Be Your Lover" at Apache Plaza's Disco Skate. I remember looking at the Prince album at the nearby Mr. Bojangles record store, and reading a great review of Dirty Mind in Rolling Stone. At the time I knew Prince was from Minneapolis, but didn't really have a great interest in him until Purple Rain (1984). Since then I've seen Prince in concert many times, in large venues and smaller joints like First Avenue, Glam Slam, and Paisley Park. Last year my brother and I were fortunate enough to secure front row seats to Prince and The Time at Xcel Energy Center, which was a total gas.

Friday, November 04, 2005

On my turntable: Paul McCartney - Chaos and Creation in the Backyard

I received this in today's mail, and am listening to side 2 now for the second time. Chaos and Creation in the Backyard is not the McCartney album I wanted it to be, as I had hoped for an LP full of upbeat tunes like "Fine Line", the fantastic first single. Yet, despite its consistent mellowness I am not at all displeased with this album. Producer Nigel Godrich has done a good job at challenging McCartney to work outside of his comfort zone, to make a thoughtful and assumedly personal record. Chaos has been compared to 1970's McCartney, but outside of the fact that Paul played most of the instruments I don't see any similarities. In contrast to the homemade McCartney's rough-edges, Chaos is a very polished, mature, piano-based album.

I'm sure I'll grow to love this album with time; I intend to listen to it a lot over the next week. After initial listens there are some obvious gems: "Fine Line" is one of Paul's greatest singles ever. A charming highlight of last week's St. Paul concert, "English Tea" sounds almost like the Rutles or even Julian Lennon. The album's last upbeat song is "Promise To You Girl", which hints of Wings in its harmonies and guitar. I really like this song! "Jenny Wren", the newest single from the album, was not one of my favorites at first, but I've decided it's quite lovely.

The LP itself is wonderfully packaged in a gatefold sleeve, including several prints of line drawings by artist Brian Clarke. The front cover features a vintage 1962 photo by Mike McCartney, titled
Our Kid Through Mum's Net Curtains. In my opinion, this new album (along with Flaming Pie (1997), Driving Rain (2001), and Flowers In the Dirt (1989)) offers some of Paul's most interesting and enjoyable work of the past 20 years.

Donny & Marie DVD news

I just received the following in a mass email from Donny Osmond, via donny.com:

"Many have been asking what is going to take place in 2006...I will be working on the Donny & Marie 70's Variety Show DVDs that will come out in 2006. I have been doing all the editing and producing of these dvds and am excited to see it all come together. It's been a lot of work, but also fun to go back through and watch the shows we did for 4 years. It has brought back a ton of memories and emotions. There may be a surprise announcement on what 2006 holds. I'm not going to say any more but it will be really cool. :-)"

The Electric Company

I saw this today at Amazon.com and nearly crapped myself. True story. I am SO EXCITED that The Electric Company is coming out on DVD. I watched this program so much as a kid, and also quite a bit as a freshman in college (it's a good show!). Rita Moreno is hilarious.

Friends and family please note that this DVD comes out in February 2006, in time for my birthday. Thank you.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Barry Cowsill still missing

www.cowsill.com

On my turntable: A Partridge Family Christmas Card

Yeah, sue me. I am choosing to play Christmas music a little earlier this year. Can't help myself.

A Partridge Family Christmas Card (1971) is one of my favorite holiday records. The review at cmongethappy.com
says it all, so I won't write much more about the album, except that it has the distinction of being the only Partridge record to feature lead vocals by Shirley Jones, who sings on "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and "The Christmas Song".

This is one of just a few Partridge Family records that I didn't own as a kid. I didn't actually hear the album until it was released on CD in the 90's (I've since obtained the LP). Original pressings of the lp came with an actual Christmas card affixed to the front cover. Groovy, no?

Orchard pics

Last Friday (10-28) Leo & I took a few hours to visit some apple orchards. It was a perfect sunny afternoon and we had a really nice time, as evidenced by these pics.

I've joined the High Cholesterol Club

I just received the results of my latest bloodwork: My cholesterol is 189, and triglycerides are 471, which I guess is quite high. The last time I had it checked my cholesterol was *70*, which was surprisingly low, but I was vegan at the time and running almost every day. Nowadays I get very little physical exercise. I do have some dairy in my diet, but not much. I eat butter on my popcorn, and will eat fatty treats when someone brings them into work, but that's about it. I don't eat ice cream, don't drink milk, and only ocassionally eat cheese. I will get my cholesterol down though. I consider it a challenge that I will turn into a success. But first I will have some more delicious butt'ry popcorn.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Sometimes life is painful, like right now.

So this morning I had a dermatology appointment to get my moles looked at, something I figured I should have done. All of my moles were dandy, but there was a little concern about some actinic keratosis on my face (due to sun exposure as a kid). The doctor decided to zap the spots with liquid nitrogen, which stings quite a bit and leaves blisters. Then the doctor decided that we should take care of the warts on my feet, which have been a problem for a few years. So the doctoral student tells me to lie on my stomach on the examination table, and to get comfortable because it might take a while. Real swell. So first she pares the warts down, which is no small feat (ha! That's a pun 'cause the warts were on my feet - get it?), and then she terrorized my tender soles with these blasts of nitrogen, which really really hurt!! At this point I am biting my knuckles and cursing at the woman. After about 10 minutes she slapped bandaids on my feet and sent me on my way.

So I'll be limping around campus today. To make matters slightly worse, I have found that both the pants and sweater that I'm wearing today have stains on them. I probably look like a person with special needs, hobbling around with stained clothes and blisters on my face. To top it off, I have a class to teach this afternoon. Life can be so glamorous when you're pretty like me.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Skunkist


I obtained this just yesterday, thus completing my Wacky Packages Series 2 collection. Does it make me a dork, the fact that I collect these things? I mean, it's not like I collect Star Wars or Pokemon cards. I love me my Wackys!

On my turntable: Rick Springfield - Working Class Dog

While it's true that Rick sold out for a while after this album, churning out top 40 synth-pop hits, Working Class Dog (1981) deserves to be heralded as the rock-solid chunk of power-pop that it is. From the opening chords of "Love Is Alright Tonight", this album picks up where the Raspberries left off in the 70's. Sammy Hagar, who wrote "I've Done Everything For You" has gone on record praising Rick's version (on this album) as his favorite. And of course, "Jessie's Girl", the song that propelled Rick into the spotlight, is unquestionably the perfect pop single.

I've not heard all of Rick's recent
shock/denial/anger/acceptance (2004), but the tracks I've heard indicate a return to power-pop form. This month, Rick is reprising his role as Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital, which is bound to please plenty of his forty-something lady fans. I just hope he continues to tour and make strong records.

Best Dinkytown Coffee Shop: Espresso 22

In a very close tie with Purple Onion, Espresso 22 wins out because they don't charge extra for soymilk. I've been a customer at Espresso 22 for many years, but have a newfound appreciation for the place since the start of the Minneapolis smoking ban. Located inside the Dinkydome (pictured here), Espresso 22 also offers cheap vegetarian food options. The clientele are a bit more alternative than the Starbucks crowd, which I also appreciate. With my new job in Folwell Hall, just across the street from Espresso 22, I reckon I'll be a more steady customer. We need small independent coffee shops like Espresso 22. The planet has enough Starbucks.

Wellstone