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Archive for July, 2007

Scary Harry

I started reading that stupid Harry Potter book last weekend.

I finished this morning. At about 3. At least it wasn’t like the last 11 or 12 Harry Potter books I read, where all life around me ceased to exist until I was done. It’s like someone putting a fresh pizza on the counter when I’m dieting. Eventually I smell it and – after a brave three minutes of self-control – I throw myself at it face first, occasionally coming up for air, snarling, with sauce smeared all over my face like a lion working over a zebra. I didn’t lock myself in a room and ignore everything around me this time – though it did make me two hours late for work yesterday morning. And, of course, I’m delirious from lack of sleep today.

I won’t discuss its relative merits or whatever – obviously I enjoyed the stupid thing. Therefore, I won’t ruin the ending for anyone who hasn’t finished.

Oh screw it…everybody dies.

Just kidding….


Posted on Tuesday, July 31st, 2007
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Tom Snyder and Space Ace

I meant to mention this in my last post…until I opened up my lunch container and went insane.

Anyway, news of Tom Snyder’s death made me think of one of the funniest interviews I’ve ever seen – Tom with all four members of KISS back in the band’s heyday. Watching Gene and Paul try to stay composed while a clearly chemically-enhanced Ace and Peter keep interrupting them with giggling fits is one of the most priceless things any KISS fan can witness. It’s everything Mr. Serious Businessman Gene Simmons can do to not stab one of them in the face. Here’s the link (The first part. You’ll have to go back to to get the rest of the show, as it comes in 3-4 segments).

Posted on Monday, July 30th, 2007
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Meatballs and Motley Crue

I still don’t quite get this blog thing. As in “Am I supposed to wait until I get some great/funny/inspired idea and feverishly start typing before the bulb over my head burns out?
Or can I just write that, on the whole, I’m not very happy with my lunch?
When they advertise “Pasta and Meatballs,” on the little cafeteria sign – and that’s always meant a plate of hearty spaghetti and meatballs with marinara sauce – isn’t it reasonable to expect that’s what you’ll get?
Instead I got a few meatballs surrounded by those big noodle things that look like hollowed-out logs, dipped in watery creme sauce. And chopped up green peppers. I HATE chopped up green peppers, and that cook-guy should know it. I didn’t actually tell him not to put them in this time. But, wearing that giant hat, he should be able to read my mind.
Anyways, the real reason I’m here is because I had a thought – a very strange thought. I’ll preface it by re-establishing my rock/snob creds and say the new Peter Case record “Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John,” is very, very good. As usual.
But, as you know, most music snobs don’t pay much attention to anything Motley Crue-ish anymore. At least not in a very long time and even then it should probably involve a video with a hot starlet circulating around the Internet (not that I would stoop so low – at least not with the lousy dial-up connection I used to have). Most everything they’ve done in solo land the past…probably ever…has been frightfully bad. Especially if it had anything to do with that guy who keeps making bad reality shows and pretending he’s not pushing 50. Which in his case, is the new 49.
But…Nikki Sixx’s “Heroin Diaries Soundtrack,” is actually pretty good.You know, if you’re into suicidal nuts writing 13 love/hate songs about having a needle stuck in his arm and vomiting and stuff. It’s a soundtrack for a book (?) that’s coming out, all about Nikko’s drug addiction. Which I thought we already covered in “The Dirt,” and “Behind the Music.” You know you’re a drug addict when you need two books, a TV show, 13 songs, and a pending feature film, to document it all. Still, it’s kind of fun listening to Nikki talk about spending Christmas naked under a Christmas tree with a needle in his arm. And I thought my family was bad on the holidays.
But the songs are actually pretty well-thought out and, as long as the jolly topic doesn’t wear too thin, it’s worth a listen or two. It’s a bit dramatic in a Queensryche-ish concept record sort of way, which is unexpected from anyone in Motley Crue. But what the hell – if you can get paid for telling stories about what an animal you used to be, more power to you.

Posted on Monday, July 30th, 2007
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Iron Man

Some of my metal buddies, no doubt, saw that title and thought we’d be discussing the intricacies of Black Sabbath’s Paranoid record.
Actually, with all the hoopla surrounding Cal Ripken’s Hall of Fame induction this weekend – and all the talk about his extraordinary work ethic over the years – I just remembered seeing him once behind the backstop after a Sunday A’s-Orioles game in the late 90s. I spent a few years working in the A’s out of town scoreboard and was walking back past the dugout and up the hallway. It was the last game of the series, and the visiting O’s were packing up and headed for the airport.
The A’s used to do this cool thing (I don’t know if they still do) where they’d let kids run the bases after a Sunday afternoon game. So all the other players are back in the clubhouse, except for Ripken. He’s standing there with a trainer-guy and a medicine ball, behind the backstop, watching the kids. I had a couple batting practice homerun balls in my pocket and I happened to have a pen, so I start thinking this would be a great chance to get a future Hall-of-Famer to sign a ball for me. I took a couple steps without him realizing I was there, when he suddenly said to his trainer “OK, let’s go.”
Both guys took off running out onto the field. Apparently he was waiting for enough space in the conga line of kids to make a break for the outfield. I hung out and watched as he ran to the outfield and began stretching. This was weird, I thought. Game’s over, man. Shouldn’t you be packing? Nope. Here’s this guy nearing the end of his career, who’d played more consecutive games than anyone in the history of the sport, stretching, running sprints, and tossing a medicine ball. After a game.
I’d never seen anything like it. Which is probably why he’s now a member of the Hall of Fame.
Now, about Black Sabbath…

Posted on Sunday, July 29th, 2007
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Children in the Workplace

So it’s Friday, which is the day I pick up my daughter for the weekend. Only I actually had to go get her before I finished working, which typically means I bring her back to the office … which gives her license to behave however she fits. Because the little beast is clever. She understands I can’t hit her in front of an office full of people.
Not even when she announces, while I’m speaking with a co-worker, that she can smell one of my body parts. Twice
They all think she’s cute, and she knows it. And she is cute, which irritates me to no end. They all come over to talk to her; they offer to take her to the restroom while I’m working, they give her little presents. The guys in Sports asked her to autograph a copy of Bay Area Parents magazine, on which she’s on the cover this month. She basically receives a license once she’s here to get away with murder – a trait she’ll no doubt carry with her the rest of her life. Cute people get things the rest of us don’t.
On the other hand, having my 5-year-old daughter at the office is great for productivity. I have to work as fast as possible, as the noise level gets higher the longer I’m here. The kid will only color for so long, and I can only pacify her for so long with Elvis magnets and goodies from the candy machine. Today she insisted on having Skittles. An argument ensued – people started watching. I had no choice but to cave. Now the sugar is really starting to take hold. I might as well have given her some crack.
At least she’s not as bad as some kid belonging to a former co-worker, who once came in and immediately started asking me loud questions…while I was doing an interview on the phone. Then the little chimp started whacking at my keyboard while I was trying to take notes.
Anyways…I just noticed things got quiet. Too quiet. Evil is afoot and it’s time to investigate.
Oh God, no…she’s blurting out the word “vomit” for no apparent reason…time to go.

Posted on Friday, July 27th, 2007
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