do the strand


Okay I was in a bad mood during the last post. I didn’t really mean it about stepping out in the alley behind this blog and fighting it out. Let’s change the subject. Ever wonder what it would sound like if a hyper-educated Count Dracula formed a band and wanted to be a pop star? He would look and sound like Bryan Ferry. “Fed up with fandango?” Me too.

There’s a new sensation
A fabulous creation
A danceable solution
To teenage revolution
Do the Strand love
When you feel love
It’s the new way
That’s why we say
Do the Strand
Do it on the tables
Quaglino’s place or Mabel’s
Slow and gentle

All styles served here
Louis Seize he prefer
Laissez-faire Le Strand
Tired of the tango
Fed up with fandango
Dance on moonbeams
Slide on rainbows
In furs or blue jeans
You know what I mean
Do the Strand

Had your fill of Quadrilles
The Madison and cheap thrills
Bored with the Beguine
The samba isn’t your scene
They’re playing our tune
By the pale moon
We’re incognito

Down the Lido
And we like the Strand
Arabs at oasis
Eskimos and Chinese
If you feel blue
Look through Who’s Who
See La Goulue
And Nijinsky
Do the Strandsky
Weary of the Waltz
And mashed potato schmaltz

Is a nice flower
It lasts forever
But it can’t beat Strand power
The Sphynx and Mona Lisa
Lolita and Guernica
Did the Strand


my annual holiday music post: ¿Que es mas macho?


Which of these two Christmas songs is the most powerful soul-sucking mood destroyer for anyone over the age of 14? When you go into a store with muzak or walk past some carolers, which one of these tunes brings you down the farthest?

Is it “Jingle Bell Rock” or “Little Drummer Boy”?

“Jingle Bell” has the vapid, empty-brain despair of a chewing gum commercial. It’s one-dimensional white bread hell that smells like a junior high gymnasium. It’s the musical equivalent of a poster of a cute kitten that says, “Hang in there!” as the baby kitten dangles from a string. You feel nauseous during exposure and long afterwards.

“Drummer Boy,” on the other hand, creeps in with an almost tolerable melody and then you realize, in horror, that the words are puerile nonsense. You’re singing baby talk imitations of a toy drum. It’s like a mantra designed to kill brain cells. You’re embarrassed by what’s going on in your ears and head and you try to stomp it down like you’d stomp down a fire in your kitchen. Too late.

Go ahead. Choose your poison. Jingle Bell or Drummer Boy? Which is the most bad ass? And happy frickin’ holiday christmas kwanza new years crap to you, too, Mr. or Ms. reader. That’s right, I’ve got a bad attitude. You want to step out into the alley behind this blog and deal with it? Right now? Come on, mofo, get in here.

two items and a movie about martha, marcy, may, & marlene

  • Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, by Annie Dillard (a Pulitzer Prize winner), Left Out In the Rain: Poems, by Gary Snyder, and a passel of my other books went to Good Will today, along with four large plastic trash bags full of clothes. And I still need to winnow down the books and clothes and crap. Seems like it hardly made a dent.
  • I saw the movie, Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene today and recommend it. It’s about a woman who has recently escaped from a cult and is completely haunted and pursued by the memories. The film flips back and forth between her cult days and her life with her sister and brother-in-law, who take her in when she leaves. She never tells them where she’s been, but she’s always a hairsbreadth from a psychological meltdown. It’s tense from beginning to end. Superb performance by the actor who plays the escapee (Elizabeth Olsen) and by the extremely believable, creepy cult leader (John Hawkes). Some people may not like the ending as it leaves you a bit unsettled as far as the story goes. I didn’t like it at first, but in retrospect, it’s somewhat hopeful and disturbing, and that’s fitting for a disturbing movie.

seasoning the thanksgiving turkey


Okay, I’m really bad with Photoshop, but I had to try. You get the idea anyway. A hot pepper turkey — delicious! According Wikipedia, this condiment gives the sensation of the eyelids “bubbling and boiling,” and sudden, intense, searing pain. This is followed by coughing, which causes you to inhale more and then feel like you’re choking. The burning reaction lasts up to four hours. Unless you apply cranberry sauce to the skin.

stupid einstein


In the first half of the 1980s there was a brief psychedelic revival in Los Angeles. The Rain Parade were favorites, but I saw The Three O’Clock when they came through Seattle. Up above the Oddfellows Hall on Capitol Hill. A fun light show. That’s about all I remember.