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Friday, June 30, 2006

Yeah, but what about Camper Van Beethoven?

Rich Leonardi has a good post about The Replacements up. And other good posts, too.
Great, great quote.

Don't care much for the man and his atrocities, but Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest sure could turn a phrase when his dander was up.

To his thankfully-inept commander, Gen. Braxton Bragg, in the aftermath of the bloody Confederate victory at Chickamauga:

I have stood your meanness as long as I intend to. You have played the part of a damned scoundrel, and are a coward, and if you were any part of a man I would slap your jaws and force you to resent it. You may as well not issue any more orders to me, for I will not obey them, and I will hold you personally responsible for any further indignities you endeavor to inflict upon me. You have threatened to arrest me for not obeying your orders promptly. I dare you to do it, and I say to you that if you ever again try to interfere with me or cross my path, it will be at the peril of your life.

I can think of a few holders of pointy hats upon whom I would like to uncork that stream of brilliant vitriol. You?
Overdue musical acknowledgements.

To Chris Johnson for his recommendation of Sr. Marie Keyrouz, the musical voice of the Christian East. "Stunning" is an inadequate description of her singing. Many, many thanks, Chris.

To Aumgn and Bob Pokoj for their recommendations of Palestrina and HB Recordings Direct, respectively. Both have proven to be magnificent, though I advise against listening to the Lamentations of Jeremiah in a morose mood. And yes, Hilary, I am looking into Henry Purcell's works. T'aint cheap, though.

Feel free to add more recommendations in the comment box below.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

If you're going to spew, spew into this.

The gastroenteritis bug spreads--I spent two and a half hours at the urgent care clinic with the two oldest. Yep--Maddie's come down with it now, and Dale's firing from both barrels, so to speak. Rachel has so far been spared. The floor and paint work have been postponed, of course.

Prayers for the kids and my wife are appreciated. Don't forget Heather--if she gets sick, the household goes down in flames.

Meanwhile, some housekeeping, in response to the comments:

(1) Christina had a post surgery relapse (a fistula developed), but is home now and on the road to recovery.

(2) I forget that I have Philadelphians who visit. I should learn to speak more slowly and e.nun.ci.ate, but I'm an insensitive lout by nature. Here's the dread Saginaw Blessing, which I have experienced first hand. It's also discussed at Amy's, including the legalistic tergiversations employed to protect it.

(3) And this is just cool--you can now build your own 1/5 scale, fully--and I mean fully--functioning Sherman tank. It's in the same rarified category of cool as the Lego Babbage Engine, if I do say so myself.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Let's see...

(1) Work has been a bear (three attorneys doing the work done by six two months ago),
(2) In one of my cases, opposing counsel prematurely filed a pointless motion for summary judgment (which, but for the bushels of inconvenient material fact, is sure to be granted),
(3) Heather is testifying in a criminal case today (she witnessed an attempted beating),
(4) our kitchen floor is being replaced tomorrow,
(5) the kitchen is being painted Wednesday,
(6) Heather is leaving with the kids Tuesday (see (4) and (5), supra);
(7) The Boy is recovering from a bout of projectile vomiting and a double ear infection and
(8) I'm certain I'm forgetting something.

So, blogging will be a mite constricted for a few days. But I can't pass up a discussion of the crozier falling in Saginaw (at long last), and I'll do so soon. Among my many favorite parts is the dispatch of the dread "Saginaw blessing" [sic].

Share and enjoy!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Advice appreciated.

[Sorry for the lack of activity. Down with the misnamed "flu." As in that affliction where it makes more sense to take the entree to the toilet and flush it directly, avoiding the middleman. Meant to do much, accomplished little. That, and the morbid depression caused by the shocking non-appearance of the ODB on my doorstep has thrown me for a loop. Moving on.]

Heather has a post requesting book recommendations over here.

We have been giving the kids a dose of the classics lately, focusing on the Greek myths. Odysseus (his dad was Irish, don't you know?), Theseus and the Minotaur and Bellerophon are all favorites. If you can find them(very, very tough as they are inexplicably long out of print), the Troll Associates publications from the mid-80s are very high quality in presentation.

Theseus beheading the minotaur is a big hit. In fact, beheadings of any sort are popular with the kid set, I have discovered. In fact, I'm leery of reading Judith to the eldest on account of this.

In a mysterious development, Rachel can now say "Holy crap!" As I said, a puzzler. I suspect it's a toddler Tourrette's variant.

In the audiovisual department, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi (the Chuck Jones version) is also wildly popular. I recommend the CJ version because it borrows heavily from the Kipling original. Kids love Kipling, too. I'll be reciting Tommy and The Recessional soon. Plus, it's part of their Michigan heritage, what with the UP sporting two towns called Rudyard and Kipling (which the delighted author referred to as his "sons in Michigan"). They'd be proper little British imperialists by now, but for that Irish streak, which The Wife is educating them about. Nevermind her even stronger Churrman strain, which manifests itself in the children attempting to annex Dad's seat whenever he gets up for thirty seconds.

Rest assured, Anglophiles and those who love them, I'm gradually administering the antidote.

The Tigers still sit atop Major League Baseball after a 7-9 streak against the better American League teams and after I risked the kiss of death by mentioning them positively.

More later, if the system allows.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

There's Something About Fidel.

To all the girls I've loved before/
Who've travelled in and out my abattoir...

Holy head shot, Batman. I. Just. Don't. Get. It.

That Castro charisma, that is.

At 80, the dictator is wrinkled, unkempt, and looking increasingly goofy in his uniforms. Not to mention sporting hair in all the usual places octogenarians grow it. In fact, the man looks like nothing so much as a Stalinist yard gnome gone to seed.

But somehow, just being in the presence of the Latino Ceaucescu makes certain people all warm and swoony, leading to an instant collision of the brain pan with the large intestine.

I stumbled across another of the all-around emitter of Latin Heat and hirsute tyrant about town's Yankee leftie conquests, and an unlikely one at that. Fast Eddie swept Indigo Girls singer and lesbian activist Amy Ray off her feet in a whirlwind quickie back in March 1999. [Link here--scroll down to 3/29/99 entry.] Talk about your classic Chasing Amy scenario...

Alas, thinking Marxist Ray reveals herself as the very definition of an idiot in her entry, useful and otherwise:

Last night I met Fidel Castro. After the show, we were bussed over to the presidential palace. The bus was crowded and some were complaining of having to stand and it taking so long. We are so spoiled.

Truer words...

We were led into the palace and our bags were left at the counter. The security was very unintimidating.

"What's that? A 'Potemkin Village'? That's one of those tacky new McMansion subs in Chevy Chase, right? Yeah, I hate those, too."

I love how the "Question Authority"/"Think Globally, Act Locally" brigades fail to stress anything resembling a brain neuron at crunch time.

Too often, when faced with the sins of their heroes, they shrug and start sounding like the Japanese girls in Live at Budokan.

Exactly like them, as we shall shortly see.

The artist [sic] were set aside to meet him first-which seemed fitting somehow for this country.

I suppose it's "fitting." Especially in light of the fact you didn't have any Daughters of the NKVD auxilliaries with you. Those girls--and Oliver Stone--get to jump the queue, even ahead of people with some discernable talent.

We approached Castro one at a time and got to spend a minute of one-on-one time with him. I was visibly shaking and my eyes teared up as I introduced myself.

Didn't I didn't I didn't I see you cryin'...

I know that this man has participated in his share of violence in the name of the revolution, but his ideals (a "man of the people") seemed to overshadow the reality of war-this I have to ponder. I feel the same way about Che-a man who was dedicated to fighting the brutalities of imperialism but who also got lost in his own machismo and violence. The Zapatistas seem to be the purest movement that I have been exposed to. I think of Ingrid Washinawatok who recently was kidnapped and killed in Colombia, South America, and one reason to meet Fidel is in her memory. But how disillusioning that a women [sic] who fought for the people and sympathized with the Marxist vision would herself be killed by leftist guerrillas. This is the mix up of war. Giacomo decided not to meet Fidel because he had been touched too closely by his wars. Fidel funded the left-wing guerrilla movement in Guatemala and the U.S. government funded the corrupt right-wing Guatemalan government army. So many people were caught up in the middle. I told Fidel that I appreciated what he stands for and that I would go home with a bigger heart, then I kissed his hand...hmmm...I don't know what got into me, and I don't even remember his response. He had a peaceful demeanor and struck me as an old spirit who had been through a lot and sometimes may have lost his way. He was very otherworldly yet human.

Blogger Error Page 407--Text Unfiskable.

However, the good news is that I have been able to reconstruct the dictator's response. To paraphrase the immortal line from Anchorman, he expressed his appreciation through the medium of song:

Mother told me, yes she told me/
I'd meet girls like you/
She also told me stay away/
You'll never know what you'll catch/
Just the other day I heard/
Of a soldier's falling off/
Some Indonesian junk/
That's going 'round/

Mommy's all right, Daddy's all right/
They just seem a little weird/
Surrender, surrender/
But don't give yourself away


Very soulful, el commandante is.

Perhaps I shouldn't pick on Ms. Ray so much. After all, she joins such diverse luminaries as Stone, Dorothy Day and Bishop Thomas Gumbleton in their unreserved adulation for Fidelismo. Still, only the Rev. Joan Brown Campbell's groupie-hood is more cringe-inducing. Campbell's public celebrations of Castro always suggest a chucking-her-panties-at-Tom-Jones-moment is imminent.

Nevermind that pile of corpses and chain of gulags, of course. Not to mention that by being apologists for Castro, they are trashing the principles they claim to champion.

For example: why does Ray has such love for a man whose treatment of homosexuals is...shall we say, less than warmly affirming? According to The Black Book of Communism(1), (p. 656) Castro's tyranny has imprisoned homosexuals for simply being homosexual, has a record of forced therapy, and has staged public denunciations of and "confessions" by gay university professors.

Mustn't think of that, though. Pay no attention to the bearded man behind the iron curtain.

Unless a good Marxist just has to suck it up. Something on the order of "you can't make a utopia without breaking some gays"--perhaps that's it?

A mystery indeed.

Footnote:

(1) I know, I know--quoting from a product of the right-wing hate press, the France-Harvard axis of lies.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Stop sending in submissions.

We already have our Winner of the Best Blog Post Title for 2006:

"Ecce Ho!"

Couldn't happen to a nicer souless marketing mercenary.

[H/t to Patty. I'll be chortling all weekend]