Saturday, June 15, 2002

I just found out about this over at the iconatrix's place and it has me weeping with joy. OSBOURNE'S SIMS, MAN. How utterly fucking cool is that. Plus Sim Kelly is kinda hot. First the WeatherPixie(via Matt) now Sim Kelly Osbourne. I have a serious kinky gestalt for pixielated beings. I think, it all started when I developed a crush on a female Pong paddle back in kindergarten...
This afternoon, I came to the rather frightening realization that it'd been roughly 3 years since I'd had a meal that wasn't a)microwaved, b)restaurant-made, c)made at someone elses for a dinner party or d)cold cereal. I decided to take matters into my own hands. I stopped at the supermarket and bought some supplies. I was working from dim memories of rudimentary cooking skills, so I was prepared for the worst.

I burst into my apartment like a narc on a raid, threw the supplies on the counter, fired up my mp3 playlist in the B's and went to work. Somewhere in some beer-fogged cranny of my mind someone must have taught me some cooking, cause it seemed to go pretty smoothly. I trimmed the fat off some boneless pork cops, sliced 'em real thin, dipped em in egg and breadcrumbs then threw 'em in a panful of oil. I threw some fries in the oven while they sizzled. Near the end I sliced some pepper jack cheese and melted it on top of the chops. I'm happy to report that I'm eating it right now and while it ain't exactly Emeril, it's actually pretty tasty. And with tunes like B. Bumble and the Stringers "Bumble Boogie" and B.B. King and Dr. John's duet on "Is You Is, or Is You Ain't My Baby?" allowing me to dance around in my underwear while singing into a spatula, it was actually kind of fun. This growing up shtick may actually work out after all.
I had a client come in an hour or so ago who looked like he had slept in a dumpster for the past week and when he got close enough, smelled like a deep-fried shit sandwich with fried onions and sauerkraut. He spoke mainly in "Yeah" and "Nah" style monosyllables, but was very insistent on getting a high-end machine with a fuckload of RAM and FireWire to do video editing. His credit was good so I sold it to him. When I made out the order he insisted on billing it to his business, which was called "Soft Impressions"**. I am afraid to think about, let alone ask what this guy was up to, but he definitely gave me a whole new strain of the creeps. His address was in one of the faux-rural, woodsy suburbs nearby, which made wonder what kinda freakiness in going on behind all those wrought iron gates and flagstone walkways. And of course the all need PC's to document thier freakiness, I guess.

**not really, but close enough

I read about the latest, rather scary, trend in personal adornment uvula piercing(via das Filter). My first thought was, why not hang a little bell off the thing and start yodeling, it'd create a whole new genre perhaps. By odd coincidence, the other night I was listening to my Last Waltz soundtrack. One of my favorite moments on that record is when Levon Helm flubs his vocal on "Up On Cripple Creek", then sings in perfect tune with the song, "I sho' wish I could yodel, I know."

So I guess, I've got yodeling on the brain, now. As this internet course indicates, the origins of yodeling are in Europe. legendary country singer Jimmie Rodgers(one of the 10 most important figure in American Music history, BTW), transformed what had up till then been a cheesy vocal gimmick into something that could be positively evocative and affecting via his hugely popular series of "Blue Yodel" records, which are worth hearing for anyone who enjoys great roots music. Just about every country singer from Bill Monroe on has taken a whack at yodeling on occasion, but Rodgers remains the king. In rock and roll, yodeling begins and ends with "Hocus Pocus" from Focus. There's a couple of other sites to keep y'all occupied. Now if you'll excuse me I have a craving for a Drake's Cake for some reason...
Over the next couple months, there are quite a few books on blogging coming out. This one from Cory Doctorow over at O'Reilly was , in the true blog spirit, made available in PDF format for download(now sadly the review period is over, I've got a copy it's good so far.)

Some of these books are written by people who I've met online, and whose online work I'm familiar with, so I'm sure they'll all be worth a read. I do wonder how the whole blogscape is gonna be changed by this massive blast of publicity, which truth be told gas already begun with the recent deluge of newspaper and magazine articles on the phenomenon. I remember when I was running the computer section of a bookstore back in 1995 and watched the "Internet" subsection grow from one shelf of books to an entire wall over about two months. A few months later the same thing happened with HTML books.

This was not just a publishing phenomenon but a representation of a larger event-the Internet was exploding. Some of the changes wrought by this explosion were good-the demographic of the web was greatly expanded resulting in huge leaps in diversity of content and ease of use and spurring the growth of easy-to-use development tools.On the downside, the 'Net went form neighborhood to crowded cacophonous metropolis and the mad rush for profit that ensued resulted in one of the weirdest decades in American economic history. The spate of book publishing tells me a similar phenomenon may be underway for the Blog Nation. Good, Bad or, most likely, a combination thereof, I have a feeling the state of Blogovia will become very different over the next couple months.

Friday, June 14, 2002

It's now officially smell day here at View from the Counter.

A car just pulled up outside the store 10 minutes ago and three young women got out. They fanned off in different directions, one came in our store. As she entered, I could see she was wearing a name tag.

"Can I help you?" I said.

"You use cologne, right?"

Great. Door to door frangrance salespeople.

"No, I don't," I answered.

She looked at me like I said I didn't believe in eating with a fork. But it's true, I don't. I also don't use hair gel, teeth whitening kits or abdominizers either. Nor do I use conditioner or get manicures.Quite frankly I don't trust men who do. I don't believe vanity is a good thing in males, and quite frankly people who look "well put together", scare me a little. It's like narcissism has been raised to a science or something. Where the hell's the grunge aesthetic when we need it, dammit?

Today is now subtitled "jonmc at war with the modern world"
Just tried my first "Citrus Sour" flavor Altoids. "Curiously Strong," is an understatement. My entire body is now puckered.

And yet I must have more...
Out in the parking lot there sits a big ol' late model Chevy pickup truck, it's state license plate reading "EARTH."

Now if this guy is being ironic, he's a jerk. If he's being sincere, as in "Look at Me, I'm enviornmentally conscious!" and still driving that behemoth(which from the looks of things had never been used as a work vehicle) then he's an imbecile and a hypocrite to boot.

Actually, there's an abundance of pickups around here that never seem to be hauling anything, and lots of Sport Utilty Vehicles that I never see involved in any sport (or utilty, for that matter.) I like cars and motorcycles as much as the next guy, but isn't $25,000+ a lot to pay for what amounts to a hopped-up station wagon. Feh, internal combustion vehicles lost their romance back around the late '70s if you ask me. I almost wish I lived in an area where it would be feasible to commute by bicycle.There's also an abundance of $3000 computer systems that people use to send email and astonishingly well-appointed kitchens owned by people who primarily eat out.And then the people who have pagers, Palm Pilots, and cell phones hanging on their belt. One more thing clipped on there and they'd be Batman. And despite all the "communications" equipment they own, 90% of what these people say is not worth hearing.

I think people just like getting "equipped," quite frankly, although for what I have no idea. But don't point this out to people or ask them why they do it, as they will react with either outright hostilty or a nervous breakdown.

Also, I've decided that quitting cigarrettes and booze has effected my nasal passages, beacuse, you know what? Generally speaking people smell bad.
OK, end of rant. I'll be more cheerful later.

Either not drinking has changed something in my chemical makeup or not smoking has improved my sense of smell, or both, beacause my pee smells really ripe. A couple of folks have told me that I should be taking vitamins now, and by sheer coincidence we happen to have a jar of Flintstone's Chewables in the apartment. They now have a Gazoo shaped tablet, which is just the enticement I need to start living healthy.

I also bought a bag of Chips Ahoy Cremewiches last night. They're pretty tasty and the ad for them features a Claymation cookie singing a jaunty little pop-rock number while riding a city bus fulla Claymation people. For some reason this tickles me to death and forced me to got buy the cookies. Talk about your effective advertising.
OK, gotta get ready for work. I'll blog more later, like usual.

Thursday, June 13, 2002

Following in the grand tradition of my filter bud Oliver Willis, I'm gonna do some random babe-worshiping here. Although me and Oliver may agree on a lot of things, our taste in the ladies is very different.

So let's worship at the shrine of my dream girl. Isn't she the hottest thing on two legs?

Perfection! Smart, funny, dresses with style, and damn easy on the eyes to boot. I know the world has been cruel to you, Janeane darling. But, I would gladly be your docile man-servant.

*Hugs screen. Sighs*
I was having a major caffeine jones on the way home from work, so I decided to break with the usual policy and pulled into a Starbucks. I perused the menuboard and saw a small placard below the drinks reading "ADD POWER 50 cents" This was promising. My turn in line came up.

"I'd like a venti Caramel Frappuccino," I said "with telekinesis."

"With what, sir?"

"You know, the power to move objects with my mind," I pointed at the sign, "I always wanted that."

"Oh," the barrista said "It's not that kind of power, sir."

Ah, so it was a coffee-based beverage of a more Machiavellian bent I was purchasing here.

"All right, then I'd like to be ruler of Maine" I said.


"The state. It's really nice up there and if I'm going to weild power, that's the place I'd like to do it."

"Um, it's not that kind of power either, sir. How about I just give you some with your drink and you'll see."

Well, I'm here to tell ya, it just tasted like an ordinary Frappuccino to me, but all you chicks better watch out, power being the ultimate aphrodisiac and all.

In a band like the Replacements, with personalites as strong as the Stinson Brothers and Paul Westerberg around, drummer Chris Mars tended to get overlooked much of the time. Make no mistake though, his skin-pounding was central to the 'Mats' sound. Mars' drumming was like one of those speedy jalopies which was always threating to fly of the road or blow up, but never did. I'd say he's right up there with Keith Moon as a master of the "controlled chaos" school of percussion.

Since departing the Replacements after Don't Tell A Soul, Mars has kept busy with some musical projects but most interestingly, he's been focusing on visual arts lately.

Working mostly in pastels and oil, Mars' art is painstakingly detailed yet wildly surrealistic, giving it an otherworldly Tim Burton-meets-Heironymous Bosch type of quality. The strangeness of a lot of the work is somewhat explained by Mars' fascination with his eldest brother's struggles with mental illness. Numerous photographs of his drawings, paintings, and sculptures are available, so have a look, it's worth it, whether you're a Replacements fan or not.*

*although if you're not, I'm worried about you...

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

I was checking my referrer logs a few minutes ago and found my webbelganger. Actually as someone who's taken a whack at labor organizing himself, I sympathize with the man.

*Begins singing "Which Side are You On?"*
To everyone:

Thanks for all your kind words and good humor. I'm cringing a little at the drama-queen style behavior I've been engaging in lately. The ex-gf/currnet roommate says that at least some of my seesawing moodiness lately may be due to alcohol detoxification. My substance abuse career has been bush league at best, but it's still time to leave the feild.

So if you don't see me here or on the Filter for a while, don't worry I'm probably OK, just down in the septic tank getting my shit together.

When you wake up in a place that isn't your home, there's always that like 10 second panicky "where the hell am I?" reflex. Plus, for the second alcohol-free day, I've woken up feeling hung-over, which is totally unfair. Rob the EMT has been good about trying to understand my latest little snit here, but it's kinda like a line I once heard Peter Lorre say, "You have no idea what its's like to be me!" Not exactly profound, I suppose, but it makes sense.

A couple of people have asked me if I'm gonna go find religion or something; don't worry. Outside the HoJo's in Times Square last night there was some wacko on the corner literally bellowing "Open your heart to Jesus!" in a voice that suggested he'd kick your ass if you didn't.I don't know what the hell I wanna become, but not that.

Nah, I think what I'm doing here with the whole ruthless self-examination thing and the no booze/cigarettes/sex thing is like some kind of purification ritual, strip away all the crap that's been burying me since I was a teenager. I remember, one time when I was like fifteen there was this huge party going on down the street from my house. I could hear music and familiar voices from my bed. I couldn't bring myself to go though, I just lay there brooding. Rightly or wrongly, I walk through life feeling that way, that theres a geat party going on nearby that I'm missing-not because I'm not invited but because I just can't bring myself to believe I should be there, if that makes any sense.

I dunno, hopefully I'll troop around the city a bit today.
Just arrived back at Rob the EMT's place in Chelsea. Hung out up in Harlem with his EMT pals watching them drink. I had nothing but Vanilla Cokes, myself. Proved I could resist temptation if nothing else and that I have officially retired from my "partying" career, which was minor league if you wanna know the truth. I'm getting good at giving things up. I may add sex and porn to the list. I'm completely serious. I'm nuts perhaps. But so what.
Greetings, readers.

Remote blogging from the Easy Internet Cafe on 42nd street in Manhattan. Times Square is as lit up as ever but it's so like wholesome now, all sports bars and Hello Kitty stores. I miss all the smut, dammit.

I had a nice time with Jen aka nstop having pierogies at the Kiev downtown and prowling through the racks at St. Marks Comics where I bought some Reservoir Dogs Lego figurines. No, I am not kidding. Jen also informed me that the last remaining porn house in Times Square doubles as a Community performance space. I feel... let down somehow, but at least it's not Disney.

Anyways, I sit here surrounded by NYC street flotsam AIM'ing their secret lovers and a few desperate souls who appear to be hitting jobsites. Just to make the scene totally surreal the overhead audio is playing "Sing A Simple Song" by Sly and the Family Stone. Great song, but first degree cognitive dissonance, man.But It's midnight on a Tuesday and the streets still jumping. I've got a few hours to kill before hooking up with Rob the EMT, so I'm just gonna roam and soak shit up. I remember how much I used to love living around here, and now I'm remembering why.

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Fun word of the day: hodad: surfer term for a guy who hangs out with surfers*, looks the part, speaks the lingo but dosen't actually surf. We've all hodad-ed various things in our lives, I suppose. I've been a musician hodad, a tech hodad and a zine hodad among other things. Actually with all the rise of quickie easily digestible guides to just about everything, we may be entering the Age of the Hodad. Just a thought.

I first encountered this great word in Chris Offutt's excellent book The Same River Twice.

*Side Note:If I ever do make it to California, I must surf. 25 years of Beach Boy fandom have me stoked...
All I drank last night was about 5 cans of A&W rootbeer, yet somehow I feel incredibly hung over this morning. During my commute I slugged down some hi-test joe while singing along to the local classic rock station in a nasty croak, to stay awake. Billy Joel's "My Life" actually sounds interesting when you sing it in the voice of Froggy from the Little Rascals. Thankfully, my boss if finally burning this box today, so I'll have a musical antidote soon. It annoyed my co-workers last time I played it in the store, but Shorty Long's "Function at The Junction" actually had this middle aged couples toes visibly tapping. I should be a damned DJ.

But I need to hear some Hammond Organ and fatback bass right now. Necessary for mental health. I need Punk and Metal to fuel my rage and R&B/country to offer me a warm bed and a bowl of soup when I'm done.

The box we're burning, like all soul compilations has a few blue-eyed soulsters on it, but nothing by the immortal Tony Joe White singer of the classic "Polk Salad Annie"(most convincing whiteboy soul ever, covered by Elvis!) and writer of the much covered "Rainy Night in Georgia" and "Willie and Laura Mae Jones". Buy his greatest hits record and do your soul some good.

BTW, my jedi vision quest of stupidity into NYC today and tommorrow is still on. I'll be away from my email, so contact me via the comments here if any Noo Yawkers wanna hang.

Just read the news about Robbin Crosby from Ratt. I blame that transvestite Milton Berle for this. And now I've got "Way Cool Jr." running through my head. Ah, fuck.

Monday, June 10, 2002

In my high school, there weren't too many 'goths' as they are known. There was basically metalheads and hippies on one side and preps and jocks on the other and the maybe 5 punk rock fans in the school hiding in the corners(At that time I was still a punk trapped in a headbangers body. or something.)

Anyways, goths. right. It wasn't until college that I met my first gothfolk, and while they were nice enough they kinda spooked me. Putting on all that black shit just seemed like an awful lot of effort, when you could just throw on a band shirt and some flannel. Plus all the death and doom talk got to me after a while, it just made me wanna grab them by the lapels and scream "Go watch some cartoons and cheer up, dammit!!" And the music, well, quite frankly it annoyed me, something about the the vocals make my neck spasm. I do, however, remember that one perceptive little deathcookie chick I met in college told me that I "looked like a Replacements fan," whatever that means.Of course, me(and my freind Leslie,the only other 'banger at Fordham U.) sitting talking to these folks must have made for quite the sight. Imagine Beavis and Butthead visiting the set of Shprockets.

Several of my online associates have copped to being full-blown, black eyeliner poofterhaired goth children back in the day. These are perceptive, intelligent folk and I've been trying to embrace change lately. It is in this spirit that I downloaded "Never Enough" by the Cure determined to give it a fresh listen with unprejudiced ears.

*fires it up*

*listens to the instrumental portion*

*vocals kick in*

*strokes chin thoughtfully*

Nope, I still don't get it.

*sees old copy of Master of Puppets on CD rack fires it up, and begins flailing around the room like a maniac singing, Smashing Through the Boundaries, Lunacy Has Found Me, Cannot Stop the Battery!**

*Laughs Maniacally*

**My freind Leslie used to sing an absolutely obscene variation on this verse back in the day....

By the way...if I can work out a kink(how to get from my house to the train station if my roomates not home) I'll be coming into NYC tommorrow after work. I get off work around 5pm so hopefully I'll get into town around 7:30/8ish. I'll have the next day off to roam around Manhattan. I'm doing this basically because I have to see something besides my house, my job, the local bookstore and the roads between them or I'll go apeshit.

If anyone from the NYC MeFi MoFo Mafia wants to get together for coffee or a bite contact me via email or AIM(jonmacanudo). Maybe you'll even get to meet Rob The EMT.
John Gotti, convicted murderer and mobster dies.

Back when I worked at this bookstore, we had a lawyer in a very well tailored suit and a Rolex watch come in and buy a bunch of books to be shipped to John Gotti at the Marion Federal Pen. I remember this all distinctly because we had to ship the books via US Mail rather than the usual UPS, because UPS dosen't ship to PO Boxes and Prisons. I imagine these volumes were in Gotti's cell as he met his demise. I recall that among the titles was (no shit) Embraced By The Light.Somehow, I wouldn't bet on it, mister.
As Kinky Freidman used to say, It looks like I've missed my chance to be a teenage suicide.

I've only recently fully gotten that joke.

Oh, and if you're worried that this place is gonna become a relentless angst-a-thon, don't be. I'll still be the same, just less blurry and befuddled.

Sunday, June 09, 2002

To anybody I might've freaked out with that last post. I'm sorry. Blame boozy confusion and a troubled mind. Add alcohol to the list of things I need to remove from my life. I've got a lot of decisions I need to make and I can't do that with a mind that's perpetually fogged. I've had a shitload of coffee and some wings and juice. I'll probably get some heartburn but big deal, it's 11:30pm and I'm not half-shitty for the first time in months. It feels good, to tell you the truth.

I don't know if it'll feel that good forever, because I have a feeling that booze and cigarettes had been what was letting me tolerate my situation. Toleration is killing me slowly, I'm figuring out.But when you stop tolerating, you can start changing. I blame/credit Mathowie and the rest of the MeFi crew, especially roe, evan, matt, fes and shannon. Whether they know it or not, they've helped me an awful lot.

Up until I started hanging out online with this bunch, I was coasting along in blissful ignorance of the fact that there is more to be had in this life and that I am invited to this party. Probably an obvious thing to realize this late in the game, but better late than never.

So, thanks guys and keep watching, things should get.....interesting from here on out.
"Soy Un Perdidor....I'm A loser, why don't you Kill me"

Rap on, Brotha Beck, Rap on...

Don't Mind Me. I just have this unebelive desire to mushroom-cloud my entire life and hop into my car and make for wild frontier like the guy in "Frank's Wild Years", but my car's a piece of shit and I've got enogh money to get me to the New Jersey state line and that's about it.
So, in lieu of that plan, I'm gonna drink myself stupid and listen to a bunch of old music, then get up in the morning and go to work. Those of you who may be worried by this, that I might do something crazy, don't be, I currently lack even that level of conviction, not to mention vigor.

For years, I've kinda embraced this life and I'm sure soon enough I'll be able to again, that's my goal for now at least. Till then, I'm just working out some kinks is all. I really wish this dump had a back porch or terrace, It would be kinda neat to sit outside while listening to music and feeling existential, but that would be asking too much I suppose. Oh well.
I was screwing around on WinMX this morning when, as I searched for some Sonics rarities, my own user name popped up as one of the results, which is not supposed to happen. This was somewhat unsettling, like going to a singles site and being paired up with yourself. I sat there a little clammy for a moment. But, I couldn't help it, I browsed myself.* I was impressed with my list, although, the experience was kinda like leafing through your own personnel folder.

I IM'ed my buddy Jason to tell him what happened,

Jason:Dude, you should download something..

Me:For pete's sake, why? I already have all my stuff..

Jason:Yeah, but just imagine the transfer rates, man..

Interesting thought, but I couln't bring myself to do it, for fear of opening up a whole in the space-time continuum that would suck us all in and destroy the world as we know it.

*I feel so dirty...