Friday Random Ten

Brendan Benson has cute feet

Wow, is it really Friday already? Sorry, both Jen and I have been terribly busy this week...we'll make it up to you, I promise. In the meantime, rules are here, list is here:

  1. The King of Carrot Flowers - Neutral Milk Hotel
  2. Hey Teacher - Louis XIV
  3. Gossip Folks - Missy Elliott feat. Ludacris
  4. You Dropped a Bomb on Me - The Gap Band
  5. Monkey Begun - Lou Barlow
  6. The Pledge - Brendan Benson
  7. Thank You Friends - Big Star
  8. Walk This Way - Run DMC
  9. Crooked Frame - Alejandro Escovedo
  10. Moya - Godspeed You Black Emperor!

Your turn!


annamaria at 9:58 AM

2 spoke


Strange things on the CTA, Vol. 2

So, I'm riding the 147 to work, as usual. It's a pretty busy route, so it is inevitable that I will have someone sitting next to me. Today it was Pickle Lady.

Pickle Lady is mid- to late-30s. Maybe in her 40s. Other than the strange pickle smell, she appears totally normal. And she's sitting next to me. Great.

How does that happen to someone, without their taking a pickle-juice bath in the morning?

At any rate, if her overwhelming smell wasn't strange enough, a few stops after her getting on she reaches deep down in her bag -- all the way to the bottom -- and pulls out a carefully folded activity book for children from Long John Silver's. And then proceeds to do the maze, word scramble, and word search on the way downtown.

Not that I'm saying that I would never complete such an activity book -- but I would do it at the place of issue or in the privacy of my own home. Not on a CTA bus. And certainly not on a CTA bus while I stunk of pickles.

person x at 11:30 AM

1 spoke


Friday Random Ten

I'm the King of Rock, there ain't none higher.  Sucka MCs should call me Sire

You know the drill, here's this week's Friday Random Ten--"Who listens to Run DMC and Blonde Redhead?" edition:

  1. Penny for a Thought - Saul Williams
  2. The Twist - Metric
  3. Love Gets You Twisted - Graham Parker and the Rumour
  4. Such Great Heights - Iron & Wine
  5. Passport to Detroit - Joe Strummer
  6. Crazy on You - Heart
  7. My Adidas - Run DMC
  8. Misery is a Butterfly - Blonde Redhead
  9. Untitled - Brian Jonestown Massacre
  10. Pressure Point - The Zutons

So...what are you listening to?


annamaria at 8:53 AM

4 spoke


In case you're looking for the perfect gift for Annamaria

Might I suggest the following:

Early Joe Strummer/101ers Material to Be Released

In one of the most interesting archival reissues in recent years, the lone studio LP from Joe Strummer's pre-Clash group, the 101ers, is currently being prepped for an expanded CD release on June 14 through Astralwerks. According to a label press release, Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited will include the band's long out-of-print Elgin Avenue Breakdown, as well as eight previously unreleased live and studio recordings. The upcoming 21-track album offers the 101ers entire studio output on a single disc, and marks the first time this much-bootlegged music has been available (legitimately) on CD.

Aaah! I was so hoping that Joe Strummer would be the punk rock Tupac, and continue to release albums long after his death, and it looks like my wish has come true.

annamaria at 3:13 PM

0 spoke

Better than grilled cheese?: Virgin Mary appears under the Kennedy Expressway

Right in my backyard -- or, well, at least in the city I live in -- the Virgin Mary has appeared! Under an expressway overpass, in the form of salt runoff!

I have a few tests coming up, so maybe I should go and visit the now-shrine that is slowing traffic along the busy expressway (the Kennedy sucks to begin with -- I don't even want to know what it's like now).

"Monday through Friday I go to school and Saturday and Sunday I work, so since I haven't been able to go to church, I asked her, 'Please help me with school because I'm having my finals,' but I felt like she was like, 'If you can come to me, I'm going to go to you,'" Delgado said.

Obdulia Delgado was the one who originally brought attention to the salt wall/Virgin Mary. She said that she was driving home from work along Fullerton Avenue on April 10 when she saw what she believes to be the Virgin Mary on the wall. Being a good Catholic, she pulled over and began praying.

At any rate, I'm going to try and see this thing this weekend. Take my own photos. I'll post them if I end up going. I mean, this is something that you just have to see.

Well, mostly I just want to go to mock it, but don't tell.

person x at 11:36 AM

1 spoke

"Prosciutto is ham."

It’s a good thing Italy has such great unemployment benefits, because Silvio Berlusconi has just lost his second job in less than four months. Rather than face a confidence vote, Berlusconi will stand down as Italian prime minister today and form a new government in an attempt to reinstate a coalition with the Union of Christian Democrats and the rightwing National Alliance. Berlusconi’s administration, incidentally, is the longest-lasting Italian government since World War II.

Meanwhile, Berlusconi’s former employer, AC Milan, will meet PSV Eindhoven on April 26th, for the first leg of the Uefa League Semifinals.

annamaria at 11:11 AM

0 spoke


Nobody loves you, Hillary, it’s true. Not like I do.

Apparently the rightie-tighties are getting out early to squash any possible dreams of Hillary running for her place in the oval office.

While the talk the last few days has been about Arthur Finkelstein, and his goal to raise as much as $10 million from Hillary haters across the nation through his PAC, Stop Her Now (soon to be located on the web at stophernow.com), Stop Hillary is already in full force.

Complete with bullshit talking points and claims that it was the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth who “saved the 2004 election,” it’s a real treat to read.

The so-called mainstream media certainly was never going to tell the truth about Kerry's lies over his Vietnam record; so the Swift Boat Vets took it upon themselves to go out and tell Americans that the John Kerry who was so cleverly packaged as a war hero by the Democrats was actually a liar and a fabricator who sold out his fellow soldiers and undercut our war effort.

Let’s just not start the who-is-the-big-fat-liar discussion, because we all damn well know who it is.

Anyway, back to Finkelstein, the big spin machine that he is. Most notably, he’s worked on campaigns for NY Gov. George Pataki, and worked for Reagan and Nixon.

Here’s the kicker, though: Finkelstein is g-a-y.

Not only is he gay, though, but he has worked for a slew of gay-hating Repub Senators, including Lauch Faircloth (R-N.C.), Jesse Helms (R-N.C), Don Nickles (R-Okla.) and Sen. (Bob) Smith (R-New Hampshire), all of whom voted against legislation banning discrimination against gays while Finkelstein was working for them.

Finkelsten is also Jewish, and used anti-Semitism as a campaign tactic during a 1978 S. Carolina race between Republican Carroll Campbell and Democrat Max Heller.

Okay. So, some people don’t like Hillary. But shouldn’t we question this man a little more? The man behind the man who apparently hates himself? Or who is apparently so interested in getting money from politicians that he doesn’t care if he’s completely selling his own self and his values in the process?

person x at 4:25 PM

1 spoke

Proud to be a lapsed Catholic

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has been named the new pope. Wow, the Catholics went from a Holocaust apologist to a former Hitler Youth. It's a good day to be an atheist.

annamaria at 1:12 PM

0 spoke

For the love of a secondary oxygen sensor

My brain says I'm recieving pain, a lack of oxygen from my life support, my iron lung

I guess it's a good thing that I found that random $300 in my checking account, because my car is broken. Apparently, it can't breathe, and needs a new oxygen system. I think its time to move to a city where public transportation is the norm. Or, maybe not.

annamaria at 11:46 AM

0 spoke


From worst to best: Mayor for Life gets nod from Time

It's interesting that I've gotten to live in the cities of two of the mayors mentioned in Time's article this week: the Hip Hop Mayor (see Annamaria's post below) and the Mayor for Life (MFL), the latter of which was named one of the best mayors in the US. The article states:

[Daley] presided over the city's transition from graying hub to vibrant boomtown, with a newly renovated football stadium, an ebbing murder rate, a new downtown park, a noticeable expansion of green space and a skyline thick with construction cranes.

Granted, MFL has done big things to improve the city, including ensuring the grassy parks along the lake remain and bringing big contracts and business to Chicago. Granted, he's not without some controversy. Like with tearing up Meigs Field under the cover of darkness in early 2003, carving giant Xs into the runway and stranding 16 planes.

Chicago Mayor Daley had sought to close Meigs until a year ago [2002], when an historic agreement between the city and the State of Illinois "guaranteed" the airport's survival for 25 years. Daley gave his word that he would not seek to close Meigs in

Despite his assertion at the time that the move was meant mostly to secure Loop airspace from would-be terrorists (we all know that politicans used that little incident on 9/11 to promote their own personal agendas), Daley has since only talked about the land in terms of returning public acreage to the people.

Since the sabotage at the airfield, Daley has reserved the area for park space, including a 10,000-seat concert venue to be run by -- fucking Clear Channel. Local company Jam Productions is pretty pissed on having their bid be overlooked. And it's no wonder. Do we really need another place for Nickleback or the teen songstress of the moment to perform? Ick.

Well, at least there will be grass there -- so you can try and stuff it in your ears to drown out the horrible performances.

person x at 4:00 PM

0 spoke

At what price, a Lincoln Navigator?

The Hip Hop Mayor has been named by Time Magazine as one of the worst mayors in America

[Kwame] Kilpatrick was named one of the nation's worst big-city mayors in the newsweekly's survey of 29 municipal executives. The magazine, which hits newsstands today, said it consulted with urban experts, at least one of whom zinged the mayor for spending $24,995 of city money to lease his family a Lincoln Navigator that was as red as the ink on the city's balance sheet.

I think this calls for a celebration. Perhaps some more strippers at the Manoogian?

annamaria at 8:30 AM

0 spoke


Nasty things you might see on public transportation, Vol. 1

I have taken the giant leap into the world of public transportation -- mostly by force, since I wouldn't be able to park my car at work for less than a bazillion dollars per month.

There are things that you can see on PT that you would never see anywhere else. I'm going to start and document them for you as I see them.

I ride the bus. I might see less fucked up things if I rode the train each day, but I actually kind of like it. It keeps me occupied. I can do plenty of weirdo watching, and if you know me you'll know that watching weirdos is one of my top-ten hobbies.

So, without further delay the nasty thing I saw on the bus on the way to work today:

Lady cutting her nails, letting the clippings fall to the ground.

This was borderline horrific and moved to red alert, this lady is out of her fucking mind when she moved on to her toenails.

I just hope that she followed the guidelines, as outlined above.


person x at 1:14 PM

2 spoke

Friday Random Ten

American Recordings and Johnny Cash would like to acknowledge the Nashville music establishment and country radio for your support.

Happy Friday! As always, we take our orders from Lauren. Here is my Friday Random Ten, totally random edition:

  1. The Pledge - Brendan Benson
  2. Banquet - Bloc Party
  3. Gamble Everything for Love - Ben Lee
  4. Take a Chance on Me - ABBA
  5. Rocks - Primal Scream
  6. Ban Marriage - The Hidden Cameras
  7. Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash
  8. Ca Plane Pour Moi - Plastic Bertrand
  9. The Revolution Starts Now - Steve Earle
  10. Less than Zero (Dallas Version) - Elvis Costello & The Attactions

Your turn!


annamaria at 8:30 AM

2 spoke


Math is hard

No, my checks aren't quite this cheesy

I sat down to finally balance my checkbook after about six weeks of neglect, and I am pleased to note that I would make Larry Summers proud. Not only can I not balance a checkbook, but I can do so to the tune of $303.44. Yes, that’s right ladies and gents, I am over $300 off in my calculations (if simple addition and subtraction can really count as calculations). It’s official: I am a walking stereotype—the girl who simply cannot do math. Feel free to chastise me thoroughly.

annamaria at 11:00 AM

1 spoke


Keywords: "Human Battling Bitches"

What the hell does "Human Battling Bitches" mean, you may ask?

Or you may just be asking where in the hell I've been -- well, as we all know, moving and starting a new job can both be a bitch. Tackle them both at the same time and you get yourself into a bit of trouble. I'll try to be better. I promise. Girl Scout's honor.

Anyway, back to the title of this post, and the keyword search that brought some poor soul to my and Annamaria's little corner of the internet.

Yes. Someone did a search online for "Human Battling Bitches" (good band name?), and rather than getting their desired destination of what I can only assume is some kind of girl-on-evil-human porn site, they came here instead. Did we make a dedicated reader out of you, HBB? I sure hope you'll come back to read more about our take on shit. Now, lets see who else we can get here.

3D space amazons (hopefully this will bring HBB back)
elephant poop pictures
thursday will be the worst day ever
instant oatmeal expiration
celebrity shoe sizes
asshat disco ceiling fan
Philosophy of Time Travel (for any Donnie Darko fans out there)
National Geographic theme song
anatomy of a chicken
official site of Indian celebrities
does Condoleezza Rice have a boyfriend?
getting rid of a stalker

[Some of these search terms were collected from Disturbing Search Requests, while others were made up. We'll see what happens. Look for an update.]

person x at 10:58 PM

1 spoke

Andrea Dworkin, 1946-2005

Like most feminists, radical or otherwise, I didn’t always agree with Andrea Dworkin. But sometimes I think that is because I will never be as evolved as she was. Regardless of your personal feelings for her (and, let’s admit it, there are few intellectuals that inspire such deeply personal responses), Dworkin was a feminist icon whose ideas helped shape the modern feminist movement.

Her long-time partner John Stoltenberg has requested that donations in honor of Ms. Dworkin be made to:

The Schlesinger Library
The Andrea Dworkin Fund
Radcliffe Institute
10 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138-3600

or to the rape-crisis or domestic-violence center of your choice. All donations to the Schlesinger Library will be used to create an online library of Andrea’s work, most of which is now out of print.

annamaria at 8:55 AM

0 spoke


Life in the D, vol. 2

Our next stop on this virtual tour of Detroit takes us to one of the most controversial and polarizing of all Detroit landmarks: The Fist.

Officially known as the Monument to Joe Louis, the fist is a 24-foot long, 8,000-pound statue located in the middle of Jefferson Avenue. Yep—smack in the middle of the intersection. While a full-body statue of the Brown Bomber is located inside Joe Louis Arena, the Monument to Joe Louis ignores his visage, focusing instead on his forearm and fist—a fitting tribute to a man who won his first 27 pro fights with 23 knockouts.

Donated to the City of Detroit in 1986 by Sports Illustrated, the statue by renowned artist Robert Graham has incited controversy for nearly twenty-years. Is it a testament to a Detroit legend or an in-your-face reminder of the city’s violent past? A symbol of black pride or an unsettling reminder of the racial tensions that culminated in the riots in the summer of 1967 and Detroit’s reputation as the murder capital of the world?

Others simply ask why the fist points at Canada.

Personally, I think the fist is both—you can’t discuss a fighter like Joe Louis without focusing on the raw power of a well-executed punch. I don’t pretend to be a fan of the pugilistic arts, but even I can appreciate that there have been few fighters like Louis, and a full-body statue is too easily ignored. A giant fist in the middle of downtown begs passersby to stop and check it out, thus ensuring that Louis will always be recognized as Detroit’s favorite son.

However, we Detroiters are an inherently cynical bunch, and any attempt to ignore the city’s violent past (and sometimes present) would be even more offensive than a glaringly violent symbol along a main thoroughfare. For better or for worse, the riots of ’67 happened, Detroit was the murder capital of the world, and simply ignoring that will not change history, nor will it change this city’s future. In fact, by remembering what Detroit used to be, we can rejoice in every step we take toward a better Detroit—be it the renovation of Campus Martius Park or this month’s Motor City Music Conference. But we can’t ease Detroit’s racial tensions (we are still among the country’s most segregated cities) by ignoring them.

And that should have been made very obvious last year. In the early morning hours of February 23, 2004, two men vandalized the fist. They poured gallons of white paint on the statue in reaction to the murder of two white Detroit police officers by a black man. The vandals claimed there was no racial motivation to their act, but rather they were attempting to draw attention to the increasing violence in Detroit. Of course, the fact that they left pictures of the slain officers with "Courtesy of the Fighting Whiteys" written on the back certainly makes that explanation seem suspect.

But whatever the motivation of the vandals, their act re-ignited a decades-old debate about the fist, and its message. In 1987, when Pope John Paul II toured Detroit and Hamtramck, a platform was erected to cover the fist, so that it would not be visible to the Pontiff while he was speaking. Ignoring Detroit's violent past didn't change anything then, and as the crime rate in the city continues to rise, perhaps now is the time to really evaluate our past in order to finally lay it to rest.


annamaria at 11:15 AM

1 spoke


Senate overturns the Global Gag Rule

Still looking for an article about this, but here’s an email update from WomensWire for Care2.com:

The Senate just passed an amendment by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) to repeal the Global Gag Rule. Tens of thousands of Care2 members have sent letters over the years protesting this rule, and while we're still waiting for the House to act, this is a great first step toward its full repeal.

Please take a moment to thank Senators Boxer and Snowe for advocating on behalf of women around the world.

The Global Gag Rule has denied critical funding to international family planning organizations that provide, advocate for, or even talk about abortion, even when they do so with their own private funds. These organizations serve the poorest women and children in the world, and are in desperate need of funding for the full range of family planning and health care services they provide.

The House still needs to vote to finalize the repeal, but it did pass the Senate with bipartisan support.

(Thanks to Ellen for the update)


annamaria at 12:26 PM

0 spoke

I did this so you didn't have to: Best-of Fundie Blogs, Pt. 2

Like Jen, there is no end to the things I will put myself through for our dear readers. Today, I read LifeSite so you don’t have to. A brief foray into the crazy contained therein:

Okay, after reading all of that...I feel dirty. And not in that good, I'm a proud sinner kind of way.


annamaria at 9:58 AM

0 spoke

Friday Random Ten

It’s that time again! Rules are here, so you have no excuse for not playing along.

Here it is, the Friday Random Ten, Covers Edition:

  1. Party Girl – Ben Lee
  2. Straight Outta Compton – Nina Gordon
  3. This Will Be Our Year – OK Go
  4. …Baby One More Time – Fountains of Wayne
  5. A Drunken Man’s Praise of Sobriety – Elvis Costello**
  6. Bitches Ain’t Shit – Ben Folds
  7. Since U Been Gone – Ted Leo
  8. Round-N-Round – Lou Barlow
  9. I’m So Excited – LeTigre
  10. Mr. Superlove – The Afghan Whigs

Your turn!

(** Originally a poem by W.B. Yeats--does that count as a cover?)


annamaria at 8:31 AM

0 spoke


Life in the D, vol. 1

I've had this idea for a while now, but after seeing Jon Stewart at the Detroit Opera House on Saturday, I've been spurred into action. Seems Jon was none-to-impressed with what has to be my favorite Detroit-area landmark: the big fucking tire.

I decided that what Detroit needs is a little appreciation, and well, I'm here to give it. So, welcome to your semi-regular installment of "Life in the D" (many thanks to Brendan Benson).

The Uniroyal Tire began its life as an 80-foot tall ferris wheel at the 1964 New York World's Fair. Apparently, over two million people rode the ferris wheel, including Jacqueline Kennedy and her children Carolyn and John F. Kennedy, Jr., as well as the Shah of Iran. Think about that for a second. The fucking Shah of Iran people! It's like something out of a Clash video!

After the fair came to an end, the tire was moved piece by piece to the Uniroyal headquarters in Allen Park. You can see it along I-94 Eastbound, between exits 204A and 206.

In 1994, Uniroyal gave the tire a $1million make-over, giving it some flashy neon lighting and a new hubcap. Personally, I'm hoping that the next make-over will include some spinning rims, because, let's face it, it doesn't get any more Detroit than that.

A giant 10' tall, 500-pound nail was added in 1998, ostensibly to promote Uniroyal's ability to withstand tire punctures. In 2003, the nail was removed, and an area businessman purchased it off eBay for $3,000. He spent the next year parading it through Greektown in an attempt to have the nail inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records.

When I was a kid, I would often drive to Metro Airport with my parents—which, at the time, seemed like the longest trip ever. So, to ward off the inevitable chorus of "Are we there yet?" my mother used to tell me to keep an eye for the big tire—that's when I knew we were mere minutes from the airport. Apparently, I'm not the only one with fond childhood memories of the tire—in 1999 and 2002, Metro Times readers named it the best local landmark.

I did call this a semi-regular installment, so I'm going to try to discuss some other Detroit landmarks in the near future? I'm thinking The Fist is the next obvious choice. Any other suggestions?


annamaria at 7:36 PM

0 spoke


Eventually people just get what they deserve...

Buchanan was drenched with salad dressing during an appearance at Western Michigan University (big props to Annamaria's alma mater).

The KVCC student shouted, "Stop the bigotry!" He then proceeded to hurl the liquid on Buchanan. Awesome. And this just after William Kristol was hit with a pie at a college in Indiana.

I don't have a picture of that, but I imagine it would have looked something like this:



person x at 12:48 PM

1 spoke

Friday Random Ten

Sorry for the seemingly endless blogging hiatus I've been on lately--I would tell you all about what is keeping me from entertaining you, but, let's face it, you don't really care. You do, however, care about the Friday Random Ten, and rather than face Jen's wrath again, I'm making sure to get this posted in a timely fashion.

Rules, as always, are found here. So, without further ado, I give you my Friday Random Ten, Don't You Know I'm Loco?** Edition:

  1. "Illusions (Harpsichord Mix)" - Cypress Hill
  2. "Canadian Song" - Matt Pond PA
  3. "Infinitely Late at Night" - The Magnetic Fields
  4. "Hey Teacher" - Louis XIV
  5. "Girl Anachronism" - Dresden Dolls
  6. "A Wolf at the Door" - Radiohead
  7. "1000 Mile High City" - Ocean Colour Scene
  8. "Real Love/It's Only Life" - Doughty
  9. "Run to You" - Lou Barlow and Friends
  10. "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House" - LCD Soundsystem

**Yes, I fully recognize that lyric is from a different Cypress Hill song. Deal with it.


annamaria at 8:22 AM

4 spoke